Primus ante omnis is not said, as Heyne thinks, with reference to ‘magna comitante caterva,’ which would be jejune. The meaning is, at this juncture Laocoon, followed by a large number, plunges into the arena and takes the lead. Thymoetes had been called “primus” v. 32, as having first made himself heard.
 ‘Has this been your experience of Ulysses?’ who is mentioned not as actually having been a principal in the scheme, which the Trojans could not have known, but as the natural author of fraud, “hortator scelerum Aeolides,” 6. 529.
 The two cases put in this and the two following lines are that the horse is a receptacle of soldiers, and that it is a means of scaling the walls. In the former case it would be fatal if admitted within the city, in the latter even if left outside. There is not the slightest reason to suppose with Ribbeck that v. 45 and vv. 46, 47 were left as alternatives by Virg., who would have omitted the one or the other in revising his work.
 Heyne, after Vegetius, 4. 19, points out an allusion to the “turris,” a military engine with several stories, run on wheels alongside the walls, which it approached by throwing out a bridge. See Dict. A. sub voce.
 ‘To come down on the city from above.’ ‘Urbi’ for “in urbem.”
 Aliquis is rightly explained by Wagn. as virtually equivalent to “alius quis:” comp. 9. 186, and see on 6. 533. ‘Error,’ means of misleading, hence deceit. Forb. comp. Livy 22. 1. 3, “errore sese ab insidiis munierat.”
 Et for “etiam,” like καί. Hand, Tursell. 2. 520. Lachmann on Lucr. 6. 7, “Cuius et extincti propter divina reperta Divolgata vetus iam ad caelum gloria fertur,” denies that ‘et’ has this sense either here or there, explaining the meaning to be “et eius extincti,” “et eos dona ferentis.” Whether he means to deny that ‘et’ ever stands for “etiam,” is not clear; but it would seem impossible to give it any other sense in such passages as Ov. Her. 20. 183, “Nec bove mactato caelestia numina gaudent, Sed, quae praestanda est et sine teste, fide,” and both here and in Lucr. l. c. the sense of ‘even’ is certainly favoured by the context. Mr. Munro, who apparently takes Lachm.'s objection as applying to Latin of the golden and earlier ages, does not, I am glad to see, defer to it.
 This verse may remind us that it is not always safe to argue from the position of words to their construction, as ‘validis viribus’ clearly goes with ‘contorsit,’ not with ‘ingentem.’ Comp. 5. 500.
 Some ingenuity has been wasted (see Wagn., Forb., Henry) in explaining ‘in latus inque alvum.’ Generally where the preposition is repeated there is no copula, as in v. 358, the former, as Forb. remarks, supplying the place of the latter. Here we have both, as in v. 337. All that can be said grammatically is that two notions are coupled: how they are coupled depends on the context. Here the question simply is whether the ‘alvus’ is regarded externally, in which case it would define the ‘latus,’ or internally, the spear piercing through the ‘latus,’ into the ‘alvus,’ as the spear e. g. of Turnus, 10. 482, pierces through the various parts of Pallas' armour. Either would be defensible: but what follows seems to recommend the latter. ‘Feri,’ simply the beast: used especially of a tame animal 7. 489; of horses again 5. 818. “Ferus,” “fera,” and “ferum,” are all used substantively.
 Contorsit: Key, § 1323, b. c. d. ‘Stetit illa tremens’ is generally taken by the commentators of the horse; but it obviously refers to the spear, were it only that “alvus” would have to be supplied, not “equus” or “ferus.” The force of the spear made it penetrate into the womb within, so that it remained quivering in the wood. Trapp seems to have understood the words rightly, and so Gossrau. ‘Recusso,’ like “repercusso,” expressing the shock resulting from the blow.
 Cavae cavernae, a pleonasm, belonging, as Forb. remarks, to the earlier times of the language, though the words are so arranged as to convey the effect of a forcible repetition. ‘Insonuere cavae,’ ‘sounded through their depths,’ or ‘sounded as hollow.’ Comp. G. 1. 336, “cava flumina crescunt Cum sonitu.” ‘Gemitum:’ merely of the hollow noise (applied to the sea 3. 555, to the earth 9. 709), not of the arms, as in v. 243, much less of those within, as some imitators of the passage, beginning with Petronius, have thought, perhaps with reference to the other story, Od. 4. 280, &c.
 “Si mens non laeva fuisset,” E. 1. 16. Here ‘non’ is to be taken closely with ‘laeva,’ ‘si fata fuissent’ being explained as in v. 433 below, “had fate so willed.” Heyne's other explanation, ‘si fata non fuissent,’ “had it not been fated that Troy should fall,” though supported by Od. 8. 511, αἶσα γὰρ ἦν, is harsh, as we should rather have expected ‘si non mens laeva.’ A third possible view, which would make ‘laeva’ the predicate to both ‘fata’ and ‘mens,’ might be defended from G. 4. 7; but ‘mens’ in that case would be contrasted rather baldly with ‘fata deum.’ ‘Fata deum’ 6. 376., 7. 239.
 ‘Inpulerat.’ See G. 2. 133, note. The distinction attempted by Wagn. “si fuisset, inpulerat: at non fuit: si fuisset, ut esse poterat, inpulisset,” seems, in spite of the authorities appealed to by Forb., not only arbitrary but irrational, as the difference, whatever it be, is not in the protasis but in the apodosis, and the ind. is not likely to have been substituted for the subj. to denote a less probable and in fact impossible contingency. ‘Ferro foedare,’ 3. 241, of wounding the Harpies. Here there seems a mixture of the two notions of wounding the horse and slaying the Greeks, “Argolicas latebras” being substituted for “equum.” Weidner however explains ‘foedare’ as = “foede detegere.”
 The reading of this line is doubtful. ‘Staret—maneret’ is attested by Pomponius Sabinus to have been read by Apronianus, and is the second reading of Med. Serv. recommends ‘stares—maneret,’ to avoid the jingle. ‘Staret—maneres’ is the first reading of Med., found also apparently in both Pal. and Rom. Wagn. adopts it, comparing 7. 684, and is followed by later editors, rightly it would seem. Weidner cites an imitation in Sil. 7. 561 foll. “Mutassentque solum sceptris Aeneia regna, Nullaque nunc stares terrarum vertice, Roma,” where it is quite in keeping with the practice of an imitator to borrow the words from one part of his original, the rhetorical use of the second person from another. ‘Stares—maneres’ is the reading of Heyne, but it appears to have no first-class authority, though Pierius speaks of it as found in ancient MSS. The occurrence of the imperf. subj. in conjunction with the pluperf. ind. is noticeable.
[57-76] ‘A Greek surrenders himself prisoner, and is invited to give an account of himself.’