Cum venit. On his arrival the feast begins. ‘Conposuit—locavit:’ the perfect coupled with the historic present ‘venit,’ as the pluperfect would have been coupled with the past. ‘Aulaea’ are doubtless the awning or curtain that hung from a Roman ceiling to catch the dust, and under which the couches would be arranged. Comp. Hor. 2 S. 8. 54, and the Schol. there. So also Serv. and the older commentators interpreted it, and so Henry. It is difficult however to account for the abl., which may be either in or under a curtain, or settled herself (‘conposuit se’） with a curtain, as contributing to the ease of the banquet. Heyne, followed by the later editors, takes ‘aulaea’ for the tapestry on the couch; but there seems to be no authority for this use of the term. Horace's “cenae sine aulaeis et ostro” (3 Od. 29. 15) might support such a meaning if established, but cannot be quoted to prove it.
 Aurea, dissyllable, 7. 190. Serv. thought it might be nom. ‘Sponda,’ the open side of the bed or couch. Dict. A. ‘lectus.’ ‘Mediam,’ in the centre of the triclinium. This seems to have been the host's place (Hor. 2 S. 8. 23). Gossrau thinks the meaning is, that Dido occupied a couch by herself in the middle of the banqueting-hall. The narrative seems to afford little or no help in determining the question: see however on v. 718. An imitation in Val. F. 2. 346 is perhaps in favour of Gossrau's view, as both Hypsipyle and Jason are represented as taking the middle place; but the passage is too rapid and summary to throw much light on Virg.
 Iam does not begin a new paragraph, as the early editors thought; but there is no occasion to connect this line, as Wagn. and Forb. have done, with the lines before, as though it were intended to mark still farther the time of the arrival of Ascanius.
 Super may be taken either as a preposition (comp. “fronde super viridi,” E. 1. 81) or adverbially—on purple spread over the couch, a view supported by v. 708, and Stat. Ach. 2. 82, “picto discumbitur ostro.”
 Dant manibus famuli lymphas. This is the order of the words in Med., Rom., Pal., the St. Gall palimpsest, Gud., and other good MSS. The common reading, supported by the MSS. of Priscian (De fig. num. ed. Kr. 2. 389), is “dant famuli manibus lymphas.” Med., Pal., and Gud. have ‘famulae,’ which seems to have been introduced from v. 703. For the details comp. Od. 1. 144 foll. &c., and see G. 4. 376 foll. notes. ‘Cererem canistris expediunt,’ serve out the bread promptly from the baskets, “proferunt,” says Serv. In Hom. heralds serve the water, maids the bread, boys the wine.
[703, 704] All the MSS. appear to give “ordine longo,” which is the common reading. But ‘longam’ has the authority of Charisius, the oldest extant grammarian, and was current as well as ‘longo’ in the time of Gellius (4. 1). It also seems to have been read by Ausonius, who (Idyll. 3. 27) has “Conduntur fructus geminum mihi semper in annum. Cui non longa penus, huic quoque prompta fames.” This passage of Ausonius seems also to give the explanation of ‘longam’—a store that will last for a long time. Serv., in explaining the difference between ‘penus’ and “cellarium,” says that “cellarium” is “paucorum dierum, penus temporis longi,” which probably shows that he read ‘lougam’ here, especially as he goes on to speak of the gender of ‘penus.’ ‘Struere’ will then have nothing to do with the office of “structor,” the arranger of the dishes, as Taubmann supposes, but will be i. q. “instruere,” to furnish or replenish; these ‘famulae’ being evidently distinguished from the two hundred who serve the banquet. ‘Intus’ may be a translation of Hom.'s κατὰ δῶμα in the parallel passage, Od. 7. 104; but it more probably has reference to the “cella penaria,” as opposed to the hall in which the guests were served. ‘Ordine’ refers not to ‘struere,’ but to the division or course of labour among the servants, as in G. 4. 376, A. 5. 102. ‘Longo’ was retained by Heinsius and Heyne, and is still preferred by Gossrau and Henry; but ‘longam’ was restored by Wagn., and is generally read by the later editors. ‘Ordine longo’ is of course common enough in Virg.; but this would be the very reason for its introduction here by a transcriber. ‘Flammis adolere Penatis’ seems to express merely the keeping up of the fire for cooking. Comp. κτησίου βωμοῦ, Aesch. Ag. 1038, ἑστίας μεσομφάλου, ib. 1056. For ‘adolere’ see note on E. 8. 65, and comp. G. 4. 379. ‘Penatis’ seems to be etymologically connected with ‘penus,’ and therefore the two are appropriately joined. For the construction ‘cura struere’ see on G. 1. 213.
 Henry remarks, “It is neither indifferently nor accidentally that Virg. assigns to Dido a number of attendants all of one age. It appears from the following passage of Tac. A. 15. 69, that etiquette did not permit persons of private rank to be waited on by such attendants: ‘iubetque praevenire conatus consulis: occupare velut arcem eius: opprimere delectam iuventutem: quia Vestinus inminentis foro aedes decoraque servitia et pari aetate habebat.’”
 Most of the MSS., including Med., Gud., and partially Pal., have ‘onerent’ and ‘ponant,’ which Wagn. rightly recalled as agreeing better with ‘quibus cura’ before. Heyne had introduced ‘onerant’ and ‘ponunt’ from Rom.: it is found too in the St. Gall palimpsest. Virg. follows Hom. in setting on the cups at once. The Romans were apt to reserve drinking to the second course, as Serv. remarks on v. 723 below.
 ‘Satisfied the love of his pretended father.’ For ‘falsi’ see note on v. 684, and comp. 3. 302, “falsi Simoentis ad undam.” Serv.'s explanation, “qui fallebatur, quem decipiebat,” is improbable.
 Haeret oculis, &c., hangs on him with her eyes and with her whole heart. Val. Fl. 6. 658, imitates the construction: “Persequitur lustrans, oculisque ardentibus haeret.” There is something of the same image in Tennyson's “And her eyes on all my motions with a mute observance hung.”
 Insidat, Med., Gud. corrected, supported also by the MSS. of Non. 311. 29; ‘insideat,’ Rom., St. Gall palimps. Gud. originally has ‘insidiat,’ which probably points the same way. The word is lost in Pal. Serv. recognizes both readings, and on 6. 708 quotes “insidat.” On the whole it seems best, with Heyne and Ribbeck, to adopt the rarer word. The difference is between resting on the bosom and settling or sinking down into it.
 The only account of the epithet ‘Acidaliae’ is given by Serv., who after narrating an absurd etymology from ἄκιδες, cares, explains the word from the Acidalian spring near Orchomenus in Boeotia, where the Graces, Venus' attendants, bathed. The one other author who has used the word is Martial, who speaks, 6. 13. 5, of Venus' zone as “nodus Acidalius,” and 9. 14. 3, of “Acidalia arundo,” as a pen with which Venus would write, apparently a reed growing by the spring.
 Serv. (who is followed by Wund.) explains ‘praevertere,’ “praeoccupare, propter Iunonem.” Comp. “capere ante dolis,” v. 673. But the meaning more probably is, to surprise her unguarded heart—her long devotion to the dead having made her cease to regard love as anything but a thing of the past. So ‘vivo amore’ is love for a living object, and consequently itself living and real.
[723-756] ‘The feast proceeds. Dido makes a libation to Jupiter, Bacchus, and Juno, and prays that the Carthaginians and Trojans may be united. The time passes in song and talk, till Dido begs Aeneas to tell the whole story of the fall of Troy and his seven years of wandering.’