‘Aeneas was our king,’ not ‘we had a king called Aeneas,’ which would imply that Aeneas was unknown. Heyne was the first who put a comma at ‘alter.’ The old punctuation connected ‘iustior’ with ‘pietate,’ a combination in itself very harsh, and moreover involving an unexampled inversion. For the omission of ‘neque’ in the first clause, comp. Caes. B. C. 3. 71 (quoted by Gossr.), “sed in litteris, quas scribere est solitus, neque in fascibus insignia laureae praetulit.” So in Greek, Aesch. Ag. 532, Choeph. 294. With ‘pietate maior’ comp. 11. 292, “Hic pietate prior.” Cerda comp. Il. 3. 179, ἀμφότερον βασιλεύς τ᾽ ἀγαθὸς κρατερός τ᾽ αἰχμητής. ‘Bello et armis’ pleonastic, 4. 615., 7. 235 (comp. the latter passage generally).
 Lucr. 5.857, “quaecumque vides vesci vitalibus auris.” Lachm. on Lucr. 3.405 objects to the combination “aetheriae” or “aetheris aurae” or “aura,” on the ground that “aurae” belong to the “aer,” not to the “aether;” accordingly, wherever the words occur, he would alter “aetherius” into “aerius,” as here and 6. 762, or “aurae” into “orae,” as in 4. 445., 7. 557, G. 2. 292. Both changes are natural enough; “aetherius” and “aerius” are confused in the MSS. 5. 518, 520., 8. 221; in G. 2. 47 Med. has “auras” for “oras.” But whatever may be the case with Lucr. (and I am glad to see that Prof. Munro rejects his predecessor's view), there seems on the one hand no reason why Virg. may not have used “aether” loosely in this connexion, as equivalent to “caelum” (a word with which “aurae” is not unfrequently joined, 6. 363., 7. 543, 768., 11. 595), while on the other “aura” at any rate is found in Virg. in a sense in which it is peculiarly appropriate to “aether,” if not actually synonymous with it, “Aetherium sensum atque aurai simplicis ignem,” 6. 747. This is probably its sense here, as Henry suggests,—the same mixture of the notions of light and air which we find G. 2. 340, “lucem hausere.” Henry comp. Stat. Theb. 1. 237 (of the blind Oedipus), “Proiecitque diem nec iam amplius aethere nostro Vescitur,” on which Lachm. merely remarks, “Statio licuit improprie loqui.” Elsewhere Virg. connects “aether” with life, 6. 436., 11. 104. Heyne remarks that Virg. was probably thinking of such passages as Od. 20. 207 foll., εἴ που ἔτι ζώει καὶ ὁρᾷ φάος ἠελίοιο: Εἰ δ᾽ ἤδη τέθνηκε καὶ εἰν Ἀΐδαο δόμοισιν, a supposition which may perhaps be thought to confirm the view of ‘aura aetheria’ just maintained.
 Crudelibus umbris, the cruel darkness of death. Heyne and Wagn. take ‘umbris’ as the dative and ‘occubare umbris’ as a synonym for “occumbere morti.” But “occumbere” means to fall, ‘occubare’ to lie dead, so that Forb. is doubtless right in making ‘umbris’ abl., unless we suppose that ‘occubat umbris’ can be i. q. “iacet inter umbras,” lies among the spectres.
 Nec is the reading of all the MSS., except the Hamburg corrected, and of Serv., and is supported by the occurrence of the expression “nec te paeniteat” E. 2. 34., 10. 17, where it is nearly equivalent to “nec pudeat.” ‘Ne’ was recommended by Heins. and introduced by Heyne, and has been followed by most subsequent critics. Retaining ‘nec,’ we must understand ‘non metus’ with Henry, ‘we have no cause to dread,’ which would agree with Dido's words v. 562. But the expression is a harsh one, though it may perhaps be palliated by such phrases as “haud mora.” There should, I think, be a semicolon or colon after ‘metus;’ not a period, as Ribbeck punctuates, as if a new thought began here and were carried on to the end of v. 550. It is Aeneas who will repay Dido if he lives. ‘Officio certasse priorem,’ to have taken the lead in the rivalry of good deeds. Comp. the phrase “provocare aliquem beneficio.” “Si muneribus certes” E. 2. 57. Comp. generally the parallel 7. 233, “Nec Troiam Ausonios gremio excepisse pigebit.” ‘Certasse,’ like ‘paeniteat,’ assumes that Dido has already done what Ilioneus asks her to do. See E. 2. 34, referred to above.
 It is difficult to determine the exact point of this sentence, as ‘et’ may mean, besides Aeneas, i. q. “we have other protectors who may receive us and repay you,” or, besides Carthage, i. q. “we have other cities where we may settle, and are not come to intrude on you,” or lastly, besides Italy, i. q. “we have another chance if our hopes there are gone.” The last would accord with the remainder of the speech, which dwells on the two courses open to them, that of fulfilling their Italian destiny should Aeneas be alive, or that of settling in Sicily should he and his heir be dead.
 Armaque Rom., Pal., Gud., ‘arvaque’ Med. The great majority of MSS. would seem to be in favour of the former: the latter is found in at least one of the Oxford MSS., that of Ball. Coll. In internal probability the two words seem to be as nearly balanced as possible. ‘Arva’ brings out further the notion of a settlement, and is used repeatedly in connexion with the Trojan settlement in Italy (see among many other passages v. 569 below, 4. 311, 355, and comp. 3. 136). ‘Arma’ adds a new thought, and one which is natural enough in the mouth of Ilioneus. Arms are a natural addition to a city: comp. v. 347 foll. above, “urbem Patavi sedesque locavit Teucrorum, et genti nomen dedit, armaque fixit Troia,” 12. 192 foll., “socer arma Latinus habeto . . . mihi moenia Teucri Constituent, urbique dabit Lavinia nomen.” The Trojans have arms of their own (comp. 4. 48, where observe “urbem” and “regna” in the immediate context); but in the absence of Aeneas they must seek armed assistance elsewhere. Such being the balance of probabilities, I have decided, after much hesitation, by external evidence, adopting ‘arma’ with Henry and Ribbeck, against most modern critics. ‘Arva’ was first introduced by Heyne. Oddly enough, there are traces of a similar variety in Pal. and another MS. below, v. 569, where, though ‘arma’ would be out of the question, there is a certain parallelism. ‘A sanguine,’ without a participle or word indicating origin, 5. 299.
 Wagn., Jahn, and Wund. seem right in taking vv. 551—558 as one sentence, “liceat subducere classem, ut Italiam petamus si datur Italiam tendere, sin absumpta salus, ut saltem Siciliam petamus.” The old method had been to break up the passage, considering ‘ut petamus’ as an elliptical expression, and the second ‘petamus’ as optative. ‘Subducere classem,’ to lay up the fleet, opposed to “deducere,” to launch. Instances are given by Forc. Ribbeck supposes the passage to be unfinished, thinking the transition from the previous sentence to the present a harsh one; but see on v. 549.
 Silvis aptare trabes, to fashion planks in the woods; that is, to fit them to the breaches which required mending in the ship's side. Comp. 5. 753, G. 1. 171 note. ‘Stringere remos,’ to clear branches or trees of their leaves and twigs for oars, hence called “tonsae.” Comp. G. 2. 368, “tum stringe comas, tum bracchia tonde.” Silius has imitated the expression (6. 352), “Aut silvis stringunt remos aut abiete secta Transtra novant.” Comp. also A. 4. 399, “Frondentisque ferunt remos et robora silvis Infabricata fugae studio.” ‘Silvis,’ as if he had said, ‘give us the use of your woods for repairing our ships,’ while it gives the picture of hasty work, carried on in the woods themselves, as in the passage just quoted.
 The repetition of ‘Italiam’ has been complained of, but it really adds force, showing what is the speaker's first object. Comp. 3. 253, “Italiam cursu petitis, ventisque vocatis Ibitis Italiam.” “Classem sociosque receptos” below v. 583.
 Italiam Latiumque: see v. 3. Ilioneus has not previously mentioned Latium, while he has spoken of Italy vv. 530 foll. as an unknown country; but Virg.'s love of variety leads him to neglect these minutiae. So Dido talks of “Saturnia arva” below v. 569.
 Cuncti—Dardanidae repeated 5. 385, where as here ‘simul’ means not that they shouted all together, which is expressed by ‘cuncti,’ but that they shouted assent to the speaker. ‘Ore fremebant,’ ἐπευφήμησαν. Weidner.
[561-578] ‘Dido welcomes them, offers them either a temporary sojourn or a lasting home, and promises to search for Aeneas.’