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‘Menacing Shades’
The Aeneid of Virgil, Book 1, Part 4
Neptune [1] heard the tumult
Reared his awful head above the sea
Sensed His sister's envious fury
Her wicked aims and arts He well knew
He summoned King Wind
Rebuked him for a rebel [2]
Lashed him in
Banished him to his troubled cave again
Claimed Neptune Ocean and Air
By fatal lot to He [3] liquid empire fell and
By His trident of the sea He confined
King Wind as shackler of the wind
Hoarse commands he gusted
And while he spoke He smoothed the sea
Dispelled the darkness
And day-lit the sea
Triton, and the sea-green nymphs
His Daughters of the Deep
Freed the rock-bound ships
With their beauteous grips
As a mob of punks cowed subsides
So did the screaming tempest
The seething tides
The Deep come to weary rest
Neptune risen
Like a grave and pious man
The mob of winds and swells listen
Their bloodthirst quiet in the shadow of his spear
End 4
-1. Poseidon, “Breaker of Horses,” patron of Hector of Troy, an earlier Aryan sky god than Zeus [Thunder-chief] and his Roman version Jupiter or Jove.
-2. Such cataclysmic myths demonstrate that, in the ancient view, nature does not in its normal course threaten humanity with such destruction, as in the tales of Gilgamesh and Noah. Disaster on such scale is represented by the evil work of a deity, generally of the jealous sort.
-3. As the ancient tribes who brought the worship of Horse Breaker [Poseidon/Neptune] to the a Middle Sea were harried in their turns by the tribes under Thunder-chief [Zeus/Jove], then Sun-chariot [Apollo, possibly a conflation of a handful of skygods] and finally Kantor [the Centaur deity, perhaps representing the coming of actual horse-riders rather than charioteers] it may be that the earliest horse clan god was recognized as lord of the seas, not as a demotion by a more powerful sky god, but due to the taking of his people to a life of maritime nomadism and piracy under pressure from successive tribes of horse clans. It is certain that a group of “Sea Peoples” also had a hand in toppling the Bronze Age chariot empires, a happening reflected in The Iliad, the Odyssey and the Argonautica and very likely this epic. These Sea Peoples are also represented by the Philistines in the Old Testament.
Of Lions and Men
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