War was then made upon Trojans and Aborigines alike. Turnus was king of the Rutulians, and to him Lavinia had been betrothed before the coming [p. 13]
of Aeneas. Indignant that a stranger should be preferred before him, he attacked, at the same time, both Aeneas and Latinus.
Neither army came off rejoicing from that battle. The Rutulians were beaten: the victorious Aborigines and Trojans lost their leader Latinus.
Then Turnus and the Rutulians, discouraged at their situation, fled for succour to the opulent and powerful Etruscans and their king Mezentius, who held sway in Caere, at that time an important town. Mezentius had been, from the very beginning, far from pleased at the birth of the new city; he now felt that the Trojan state was growing much more rapidly than was altogether safe for its neighbours, and readily united his forces with those of the Rutulians.
Aeneas, that he might win the goodwill of the Aborigines to confront so formidable an array, and that all might possess not only the same rights but also the same name, called both nations Latins;1
and from that time on the Aborigines were no less ready and faithful than the Trojans in the service of King Aeneas.
Accordingly, trusting to this friendly spirit of the two peoples, which were growing each day more united, and, despite the power of Etruria, which had filled with the glory of her name not only the lands but the sea as well, along the whole extent of Italy from the Alps to the Sicilian Strait, Aeneas declined to defend himself behind his walls, as he might have done, but led out his troops to battle.
The fight which ensued was a victory for the Latins: for Aeneas it was, besides, the last of his mortal labours. He lies buried, whether it is fitting and right [p. 15]
to term him god or man, on the banks of the river Numicus; men, however, call him Jupiter Indiges.2