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[387] Od. 3. 27, οὐ γὰρ ὀΐω Οὔ σε θεῶν ἀέκητι γενέσθαι τε τραφέμεν τε. In ‘quisquis es’ Venus seems to speak as a Tyrian maiden, to whom the history of Troy is unknown. ‘Auras vitalis’ is common in Lucr., 3. 405, 575., 5. 857., 6. 1227.

[389] The commentators have been unable to find instances of “se perferre ad aliquem locum.” “Se ferre ad aliquem locum” however is common enough, and “per” is naturally prefixed here as Aeneas is bidden to go on till he reaches the palace.

[390] The ‘namque’ refers to her injunction to go straight without further anxiety to the palace. ‘Relatam’ is to be explained by ‘reduces,’ ‘brought back to haven.’ A few MSS. have ‘receptam.

[391] The wind has shifted, and instead of driving it into danger now drives it into safety.

[392] Vani, false pretenders. Comp. 2. 80, “vanum etiam mendacemque inproba finget.” She sees the swans, and professes to interpret the omen on the spot by the rules her parents have given her. The parents are those of the supposed huntress, not, as Donatus, “maiores nostri.

[393] The swans are the birds of Venus, and their number is that of the missing ships. Serv. quotes Aemilius Macer in his ὀρνιθογονία, “Cycnus in augurio nautis gratissimus augur: Hunc optant semper, quia nunquam mergitur undis.” ‘Agmine,’ ‘in order,’ is opposed to ‘turbabat,’ and explained by ‘ordine longo.’ Comp. “agmen” in v. 186, contrasted with “miscet” in v. 191. Connect ‘laetantis agmine,’ ‘in jubilant order.’

[394] Aetheria lapsa plaga, ‘swooping from the sky;’ the ‘aetheria plaga’ being higher than the ‘caelum.’ ‘Aperto caelo,’ ‘the wide air,’ harmonizing with ‘turbabat.’ As Forb. remarks, it is parallel to the wide ocean over which the ships were tossed. Forb. well comp. Ov. M. 6. 692, “Idem ego [Boreas], cum fratres caelo sum nactus aperto (Nam mihi campus is est), tanto molimine luctor.

[396] This line seems to answer in structure and therefore probably in sense to v. 400. Its meaning has been the subject of much controversy; the word ‘capere’ being variously understood either as to settle on or to mark out for settling (“capere oculis”), which latter would agree with the military sense of “locum capere.” The difficulty in each case consists in the words ‘captas despectare,’ which could not very naturally, as Henry thinks, stand for the action of the swans rising again and hovering over the place where they had settled, while Wagn.'s view (in his smaller edition), that some mark their ground, others look down on it after having marked it, is open to the obvious objection that such a distinction could not possibly be observed or pointed out by a spectator. It seems best then, with Burm., to take ‘captas’ in the sense of “captas ab altera cycnorum parte,” so that the sense would be, ‘some alight, others still hover in the air and look down on those who have alighted.’ ‘Iam’ expresses that they are just looking down on their companions and already preparing to follow them. ‘Coetu cinxere polum’ is no objection to this interpretation, as Henry thinks, those words being evidently ornamental and only vaguely descriptive. Ribbeck's ‘capsos respectare’ (‘respectare,’ Pal.) is a sufficiently unhappy conjecture, introducing a most un-Virgilian word. ‘Captos’ however is read by Pal. (corrected) and Gud.

[397] This and the following line express no more than the joy of the swans at their safety, the exact parallel between the swans and the ships having been anticipated at v. 396. ‘As surely as the swans are rejoicing in their safety, so surely shall you see your ships safe again.’ ‘Reduces’ answers to ‘reduces’ in v. 390, the swans rallied from their confusion corresponding to the Trojans returning to port after the storm. Hom. has a simile from an eagle swooping on a flock of swans, Il. 15. 690.

[398] Cinxere polum like “cinxerunt aethera nimbi” 5. 13, though there is probably a notion of the swans wheeling about.

[399] Puppesque tuae pubesque tuorum tenet = “pubes tuorum cum puppibus tuis tenet.” Il. 1. 179, Οἴκαδ᾽ ἰὼν σὺν νηυσί τε σῇς καὶ σοῖς ἑτάροισιν. ‘Tuorum’ is distinguished from ‘tuae’ merely for variety's sake.

[401] “Quo via ducitE. 9. 1.

[402-417] ‘Aeneas discovers his mother as she leaves him. She makes him and Achates invisible.’

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