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[297] Mercury's mission is rather indefinite, as Virg. can have hardly meant him actually to convene Dido and the Carthaginians as he convenes Aeneas in 4. 265 foll. There may be a confusion between the Homeric character of Hermes as the messenger of the gods and his other character as the god of eloquence and the civilizer of mankind; for which see Hor. 1 Od. 10 and Ov. F. 5. 663.—‘Demittitpateantarceret.’ Jahn rightly remarks that ‘ut pateant’ expresses Jupiter's charge to Mercury, ‘arceret’ his object in giving it. The former, it is obvious, would naturally come under the historic present, but it could hardly have been extended to the latter.

[298] Terraearces: that they might be allowed to enter the territory and be received into the city. Pal. originally had ‘terra.’ ‘Novae’ is to be taken with ‘Karthaginis,’ as is proved by v. 366, on which Serv. says “Karthago est lingua Poenorum Nova Civitas, ut docet Livius.” In the same way Virg. uses epithets explanatory of the etymology of the name 3. 693, “Plemyrium undosum;” 698, “stagnantis Helori;” 703, “arduus Acragas;” 705, “palmosa Selinus.” With ‘pateant’ Forb. comp. “clauditur orbis” above v. 233.

[299] Hospitio Teucris: adouble dative after ‘pateant.’ Comp. “excidio Libyae” v. 22. ‘Fati nescia’ is observable, as showing Virg.'s conception of fate as a power which other agencies may thwart, though they cannot ultimately overcome it. Heyne's explanation, that Dido's ignorance of destiny might lead her to suppose that the Trojans wished to settle at Carthage, seems less likely. Rom. originally had ‘fatis.

[301] Adstitit, ‘alighted.’ Comp. 6. 17, “Chalcidicaque levis tandem super adstitit arce.” For ‘remigio alarum’ comp. Lucr. 6.743, “Remigi (so Lachm. for “remigio”)oblitae pennarum vela remittunt”. The original author of the metaphor, which has become a common-place in poetry, is supposed to be Aesch. Ag. 52.

[302] Ponuntque shows that the effect of Mercury's mission is almost simultaneous with the discharge of it. Comp. the use of “que” after “vix” 2. 692 &c., and that of “iamque” followed by a sentence without a connecting particle 2. 132 foll. “Iussa facessunt” 4. 295. “Pone animos” 11. 366. It may be doubted whether the meaning is ‘to lay aside’ or ‘to allay,’ as in Hor. 1 Od. 3. 16, “tollere seu ponere freta” (comp. “animos tollent sataG. 2. 350); but such expressions as “ponere inimicitias” seem rather in favour of the former. So probably “iram ponit” Hor. A. P. 160, as the antithesis to “colligit” appears to show. Here possibly ‘accipit’ may point the same way, though ‘quietum’ might be pressed on the other side.

[303] Volente deo. Θεοῦ θέλοντος occurs Aesch. Theb. 427 and elsewhere in the sense of θεῶν θελόντων: so that it is possible that ‘volente deo’ is meant to be understood generally, not taken of Mercury, which is the common interpretation. The participle will of course bear the sense either of, ‘if he wills,’ or, as here, ‘since he wills.’ ‘Quietum,’ ‘peaceful,’ opp. to “turbatus” (8. 435) and “turbidus” (11. 742 &c.). ‘Animummentem:’ comp. “magnam mentem animumque” 6. 11, and the Homeric κατὰ φρένα καὶ κατὰ θυμόν. Lucr. couples “mens animusque1. 74 (where see Munro), 3. 142, 403: in 3. 94 he uses the words convertibly, “animum . . . mentem quam saepe vocamus,” and in 6. 1183 he talks of “animi mens.” ‘Accipere mentem’ is used differently below, v. 676.

[305-324] ‘Aeneas goes out in the morning to reconnoitre. After hiding his fleet in the cove, he meets his mother in the shape of a huntress, and is accosted by her in that character.’

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