In ancient literature and religion, Hercules—in common with many other deities—is frequently associated with particular trees or types of tree. There are tales connecting him with the wild olive, laurel and oak, but his most prominent and frequent arboreal link is with the poplar (populus Alcidae gratissima, ‘the poplar is most delightful to Hercules’, Verg. Ecl. 7.61), an association mentioned twice in the Hercules-heavy first half of Aeneid Book 8 (276, 286). The festival of Hercules celebrated by Evander and his people takes place just outside the city within a ‘great grove’ (Aen. 8.103–4) of unspecified species, in an area surrounded by less defined expanses of trees. Trees crowd the banks of the Tiber, leaning out for wonder as Aeneas’ fleet passes by (Aen. 8.91–2) and soon uariisque teguntur | arboribus, uiridisque secant placido aequore siluas (‘[the Trojans] are covered by different trees and cut their way through green woods on the calm water’, Aen. 8.95–6); looking up through the sacrificial smoke on the altars, Pallas and his friends are initially frightened ut celsas uidere rates atque inter opacum | adlabi nemus (‘as they saw the tall ships glide towards them through the dark grove’, Aen. 8.107–8). When Evander later shows Aeneas around, the emphasis on trees recurs, with the huge grove destined to become Romulus’ Asylum (Aen. 8.342), and the bramble- and god-haunted woods of the Capitol (Aen. 8.347–54). Later, Aeneas and his men camp in a vast grove of Silvanus, as Venus approaches to bring her son his new shield (Aen. 8.597–607).