borrowing from the best / by Anthony Gibbins

Do you know, dear reader, the origin of these sentences, appearing on today’s page of Legonium?

his dictis, Miranda Marcellusque conticescunt intentique ora ad Jessicam vertunt. inde Jessica sic orditur:

Here is the original Latin, with a name removed to keep something of the challenge.

conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant.

inde toro pater <nomen> sic orsus ab alto:

If you said that these were lines from Virgil’s Aeneid, then you were absolutely correct. Can you also pick their position in the poem?

That’s right, reader! (I’m channelling Dora Explorator here!)  These are the opening lines of The Aeneid Book II. At the end of Book I, during a sumptuous feast, Queen Dido asked Aeneas to tell her of his home’s destruction and of the wanderings that have brought the Trojans to Carthage. As he readies himself to speak, the gravity of this moment is signalled by the reaction of the revellers. They fall silent and hold their glances towards him.

Jessica is about to tell her long tale, of the destruction of her old life and of the wanderings (and wonderings) that have brought her to Legonium (and to the attention of Miranda). I thought it would be fun to borrow a little gravitas from Aeneas.

These things having been said, Miranda and Marcellus fall silent and, attentive, turn their faces toward Jessica. Then Jessica thus begins: ’One month ago I was living in a far-off location.