previous next

[559] Tum primum. His feeling before had been courage, more or less desperate, but he had never been cowed and horror-stricken. ‘Circumstetit’ may have been suggested by such expressions as τὸν δ᾽ ἄχεος νεφέλη ἐκάλυψε μέλαινα, Il. 18. 22.

[560] Subiit is used with or without “animum” (“animo”), “mentem” &c. Comp. “succurrit” v. 317, and the parallel use of εἰσέρχεσθαι and similar words in Greek of things occurring to the mind. Aeneas thinks of his father, when he sees Priam murdered, as Priam Il. 24. 486 bids Achilles see in him the image of Peleus, τηλίκου ὥσπερ ἐγών, ὀλοῷ ἐπὶ γήραος οὐδῷ.

[562] Creusa, the daughter of Priam and wife of Aeneas, is mentioned here for the first time.

[563] The destruction of his house rose before his mind, not as a fact, like the desolation of Creusa, but as a probability. “‘Casus Iuli,quid Iulo accidere possit.” Heyne.

[564] Copia in the singular for a number of men is found 11. 834, and is not unfrequent in prose authors: see Forcell. The common reading before Heins. was ‘circum me.’ “Iaciebant corpora saltuLucr. 5.1318.

[566] Ignibus aegra dedere: they had dropped in mere weariness into the flames from the palace roof, where they were standing with Aeneas.

[567-588] ‘At that moment I spied Helen lurking in the temple of Vesta. I was doubting whether to kill her—it seemed monstrous that she should enjoy a safe and triumphant return, after all the misery she had brought on us and ours.’ Like the four lines prefixed to the Aeneid, this passage is traditionally said to have been written by Virg., but omitted by Tucca and Varius. The external evidence against its genuineness is strong, stronger than against the genuineness of the former passage, the MSS. which contain the lines now in question being very few, and apparently none of them of great importance. The early interpreters do not comment on them, though their existence is recognized by a doubtful notice in Serv., which is the chief authority for the Tucca and Varius story. But when we come to internal considerations, the case is altered. The lines, though possibly disfigured by a few harshnesses, are vigorous and elaborate, and in general worthy of Virg. They are perhaps not required by the context, as v. 601 might be explained without them, and the appearance of Venus could be accounted for by supposing with Donatus that Aeneas was meditating suicide; but the context is improved by their presence, and v. 589, as Wagn. has pointed out, coheres rather awkwardly with v. 566. The aesthetical or ethical objection that has been taken to them, as if Virg. would not have made his hero think of killing a woman in a temple, seems to belong to a later age (see on v. 583), nor need the discrepancy between the present account of Helen and what we read 6. 510 foll. about her introducing the Greeks to the chamber of Deiphobus disturb us much, at the same time that one or both reasons may have led to their exclusion on critical grounds, whether by Tucca and Varius, or by some less authorized regulator of Virg.'s text. The external evidence however seems to me too formidably strong to be summarily ignored, so that I have followed the earlier editors, who enclose the passage in brackets, rather than the bulk of the later, who print it as an unquestioned part of the text. Where possibilities are so many and facts so few, an attitude of doubt seems the only one which can be safely assumed, except by those, who, like Jahn and Peerlkamp, condemn the lines unreservedly, on internal as well as external grounds.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: