Book eight of the Aeneid starts with Aeneas in an anxious and nervous mood. With Turnus rallying his troops, and the uncertainty of aid from other territories, Aeneas' mind is in turmoil. His thoughts are further confused when he sleeps that night and has a prophetic dream. He dreams he is lying on the bank of a river when the God of the Tiber river appears. He eases Aeneas' troubled mind by saying that he has made it to the new Trojan home. He goes on to say that if he doubts this vision, he will find a white sow on a riverbank the following day, with thirty young pigs around it. He further explains that Aeneas must head for Pallanteum and seek an alliance with the ruler of this land, Evander. The dream ends as the Tiber river tells Aeneas that he will aid him with fair currents.
Aeneas sets sail the next day on a calm river, on his way to visit Evander. He finds the king in the middle of a celebration honoring Hercules. Aeneas and Evander talk and discover that they are actually distant relatives, and Evander agrees to help Aeneas in the coming war. Evander then goes on to invite the Trojans to the feast.
At the feast, Evander relates the story of how his people came to celebrate Hercules on a special day. The story goes that there was a half-man half-monster named Cacus who would terrorize and kill the people of this town. One day, Hercules was traveling through this land with his cattle. Cacus then stole some of the cattle and Hercules chased him to his mountain hideaway. Hercules lifted the entire mountain up, found Cacus, and killed him.
As the night comes, Aeneas and Evander sleep as Venus and Vulcan stay up. Venus uses her powers to seduce Vulcan and convince him to do her a favor. Vulcan went to the Cyclops' forge on his island to do work for his wife. He employed all the Cyclops to help him in his task of making new armor for Aeneas.
In the meantime, Aeneas and Evander are preparing for war. They wake early to have a meeting and... [continues]
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