Sophocles Laocöon at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Berkeley Art Museum
Peter Paul Rubens, Lacoön and his sons, 1601

after the wooden horse
is brought into the city
the Trojans celebrated
believing the war over

laocoon marco dente
Marco Dente

A sacrifice to Poseidon
for removing the Greeks
with Laocoōn
a priest of Poseidon
ordered to carry it out

Cassandra and Laocoön
warn of the impending danger
within the horse
with Laocoön sinning against the gods
by attacking the horse with a spear

two serpents appear
named Porces and Chariboea
(the Greek poet Bacchylides
says they were changed into humans)
sent by Apollo
they devour Laocoön and his sons

Laocoon’s brother Anchises
views their deaths as the fulfillment of a prophecy
of Troy’s ultimate fall
told to him by his one time lover
and mother of his son Aeneas

anchises and aphrodite

he persuades Aeneas and his family
to flee to Mount Ida
as Trojans celebrate the end of the war

Aneas Flight from Troy, Frederico Barocci
Aneas’ Flight from Troy, Frederico Barocci

The Fragment…

Laocoon, Berkeley Art Museum
Death of Laocoön from the Vatican Vergil.

And fire shines on the altar in the street
as it sends up a vapor from drops of myrrh,
exotic scents.

Poseidon, you who range over the capes of the Aegean
or in the depths of the gray sea rule over the windswept waters above the lofty cliffs…

And now at the gates stands Aeneas,
the son of the goddess,
carrying on his shoulders his father
with his linen robe
stained with the discharge
caused by the lightning,
and about him
the whole horde of his servants.
And with him follows a crowd,
you cannot imagine how great,
of those who are eager to take part
in this migration of the Phrygians.

When one is no longer weary, labors are delightful.

For one takes no account
of trouble that is in the past.

El Greco Laocoön, Berkeley Art Museum
El Greco’s Laocoön

The Location…

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Sophocles Laocoön at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive