The legend of Camilla is found in Virgil's Aeneid, and was undoubtedly based on Italian folk-tales and also derived from the story of Harpalyce. Camilla was the daughter of Metabus of Privernum, the king of the Volsci. After the death of his wife he was driven out of the town by his enemies and fled with his daughter, who was still only a little girl, pursued by armed soldiers. Just as he was about to escape from them he encountered the waters of the Amisenus, a small river in Latium. He had the idea of saving his daughter by tying her to a heavy pike which he was carrying and hurling it one the far bank. He vowed that he would dedicate Camilla to Diana if she reached safety: Diana granted his prayer and the child reached the far bank.

Metabus himself swam across the river, and they both lived for a long time in solitude in the woods. The girl became so accustomed to living like this that she became unable to endure staying in a town. She used to hunt and she engaged in warfare, taking part in the struggle against Aeneas during which she performed several notable deeds just like the Amazons in Greek legend. She was killed by the hero Arruns.


Table of Sources
- Virgil, Aen. 11, 531ff.
- Hyg. Fab. 252
- Serv. on Virgil, Aen. 1, 317

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