The first part of the book tells of the battle on the plain. Aeneas and Eurymachus are urged on by Apollo. The Trojans are driven back by Neoptolemus and his Myrmidons, but Aeneas rallies them. When Athena intervenes on the Greek side, Aphrodite removes Aeneas from the battlefield, and the Trojans retreat within their walls. The second part of the book describes the Greeks’ assault on the city on the following day. The result is an impasse.
The removal of Aeneas from the fighting is based on Iliad 5.311–17, 445–46, and several other scenes are inspired more generally by Books 5 and 13. The narrative of the siege has elements in common with the messenger speech in Euripides’ Phoenician Women (1090–1199) and with Virgil’s account of the attack on the Trojans’ camp at Aen. 9.503–89.