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Victosque Penatis inferre, 8. 11. Unde may be taken either as qua ex re, or as a quo, as in v. 568., 6. 766, &c. The latter seems more probable. Genus Latinum, Albani patres, altae moenia Romae, denote the three ascending stages of the empire which sprang from Aeneas, Lavinium, Alba, and Rome. Comp. 12. 823, foll., which is a good commentary on the present passage. Albani patres probably means not our Alban ancestors, but the senate, or rather the noble houses of Alba, of which the Julii were one.
Regnum gentibus, the capital of the nations, instead of Rome. The dative, as in 8. 65., 10. 203. For the pronoun taking the gender of the following substantive, see Madv. § 313.
Si qua is similarly used 6. 882. Fata sinebant, 4. 652., 11. 701. Med. 2 m. p. has sinunt. Iam tum, in that early age, long before it became the actual rival of Rome. Tendit determines the construction, the infinitive being the object of both verbs. Tendere is often followed by an infinitive, the subject being the same as the nominative to the verb, as aqua tendit rumpere plumbum, Hor. 1 Ep. 10. 20, si vivere cum Iove tendis, Pers. 5. 139. Foveo, on the other hand, takes an accusative, as fovere consilium. These two constructions are united, the sentence hoc—esse standing in the relation of an ordinary infinitive to tendit, and of an accusative to fovet. Three MSS. give favet, and vovet has been conjectured. Some have thought hoc regnum—fovetque spurious, on the strength of a notice of Serv., which really refers to v. 534 bei
Jupiter reassures her, telling her what the course of the destined Trojan empire is to be, beginning with Lavinium, passing into Alba, and ending in Rome, whose greatness is to be perfected in the golden age of Augustus.
Comp. note on G. 2. 345. The notion here is that of succession. The nation shall then pass into the hands of Romulus. There is nothing to warrant the notion of Thiel and Forb. that excipiet = accipiet asylo. Mavortia may point at once to the birth of Romulus, the worship of Mars at Rome, and the martial character of the nation.
The phrase in melius referre is twice used in Virg. (here and 11. 425) for to amend. Serv. refers to Ennius (A. 289) as saying that Juno became reconciled to the Romans in the second Punic war. There would naturally be different opinions about the time when her sentiments changed: Horace has his own, 3 Od. 3. 16 foll.: Virg. seems to put the date earlier, 12. 841, though elsewhere, as in 10. 11 foll., he intimates that the gods take part in the struggle between Rome and Carthage.
Macrobius (Sat. 6. 5) says that Laberius was the author of this line; and Suetonius (Aug. 40) tells a story of Augustus' quoting it. It had probably become a stock line to express the grandeur of imperial Rome. Gentem togatam is not a tame addition, being sufficiently characteristic; so that there is no need with Heyne to seek a point in any antithesis between arma and toga. Hor. 3 Od. 5. 10, Anciliorum et nominis et togae Oblitus.
Sic placitum, ou(/tws de/doktai. Jupiter is speaking destiny. It will be observed that lustra being a strictly Roman measure of time, Jupiter is thus made to speak the language of the great nation. As Rome's years roll on.
These four deities are chosen, as Henry remarks, as typical of the primitive and golden age of Rome. Vesta has been mentioned before in a similar connexion G. 1. 498, Romulus and Remus G. 2. 533. The union of the two latter, as Heyne observes, symbolizes the end of civil broils. Numa (Livy 1. 21) established the worship of Fides. Comp. Hor. Car. Saec. 57, Iam Fides et Pax et Honor Pudorque priscus. Cana occurs 5. 744, as an epithet of Vesta.