Snake imagery is also much in evidence in The Aeneid . At various points in the poem, it's associated with chaos and destruction. During the fall of Troy, for example, the sea god Neptune sends a couple of giant serpents to devour the high priest Laocoön and his sons. It's...
notable that the same Latin word,lapsus—meaning slithering—is used both in relation to the serpents that kill Laocoön and the movement of the Trojan Horse's wheels as they slink ever closer to the walls of Troy.
The link between snake imagery and cunning is further highlighted by the actions of Aeneas and his men, who disguise themselves as Greeks before launching a surprise attack on an Achaean warrior. Here, they are likened to a snake unseen among the rough brambles.
But despite this example, snake imagery is generally a bad sign for the Trojans. At the end of Book 2, two omens appear that convince Anchises, Aeneas's father, that it's time to leave the city. The first is a flame that appears over the head of Ascanius, Aeneas's son, which licks at his hair in much the same way as the twin serpents did earlier. The second is a falling star that "glides" over the rooftops just as the snakes glided, or slithered, over their hapless victims and the wheels glided beneath the Trojan Horse.