Gates of Horn and Ivory - The Aeneid

The Aeneid

Virgil borrowed the image of the two gates in lines 893-898 of Book 6 of his Aeneid, describing that of horn as the passageway for true shadows and that of ivory as that through which the Manes in the underworld send false dreams up to the living. Through the latter gate Virgil makes his hero Aeneas, accompanied by the Cumaean Sibyl, return from his visit to the underworld, where he has met, among others, his dead father Anchises:

Two gates the silent house of Sleep adorn;
Of polish'd ivory this, that of transparent horn:
True visions thro' transparent horn arise;
Thro' polish'd ivory pass deluding lies.
Of various things discoursing as he pass'd,
Anchises hither bends his steps at last.
Then, thro' the gate of iv'ry, he dismiss'd
His valiant offspring and divining guest.

Why Virgil has Aeneas return through the ivory gate (whence pass deluding lies) and not through that of horn is uncertain. One theory is that it refers to the time of night at which he returned. Jorge Luis Borges accepted the view that, for Virgil, what we call reality is not in fact such; that Virgil may have considered the Platonic world of the archetypes to be the real world.

Read more about this topic:  Gates Of Horn And Ivory

Other articles related to "the aeneid, aeneid":

Pederasty - In Literature - The Aeneid
... In the Aeneid of Vergil, Nisus, a Trojan soldier, is in a relationship with Euryalus, a younger Trojan soldier ...
Dido's Lament - The Aeneid
... The text, and the Purcell opera are alluding to the Roman legend of the Aeneid, the story of a Trojan Warrior Aeneas, seeking Italy in order to settle there and secure his son's ...
Sortes Virgilianae - History - Classical Instances
... Other recorded Roman instances of the practice are by Hadrian - drew Aeneid 6, 808, taken as predicting his adoption by Trajan and succession to the imperial throne Alexander Severus - drew ...
Michael C. J. Putnam - Publications
... The Poetry of the Aeneid (1965) Virgil's Pastoral Art Studies in the Eclogues (1970) Tibullus A Commentary (1973) Virgil's Poem of the Earth (1979) Essays on Latin Lyric, Elegy, and Epic (1982) Artifices ...
Cento (poetry) - Example
... Aeneid ... Ecce autem primi sub lumina solis, et ortus, 2, Aeneid 694 ... Stella facem ducens multa cum luce cucurrit 5, Aeneid 526 ...