previous next

[567] Iamque adeo is Virgilian, 5. 268, 864., 8. 585., 11. 487, ‘adeo’ strengthening ‘iam’ (see note on E. 4. 11). ‘Super’ separated from ‘eram,’ as in E. 6. 6. The same tmesis occurs even in prose, “vix decumae super portiones erant” Tac. H. 1. 20. comp. by Wund. The temple of Vesta, like that of Pallas, appears to have been in the “arx.

[568] Servantem G. 4. 459.

[569] Dant &c. shows how it was that Aeneas discovered her.

[570] Erranti: Heyne supposes that Aeneas has let himself down to the ground and is ranging over the palace; but it may be questioned whether he really descends till v. 632. To suppose that his descent is presumed in a context like this is to put a weapon into the hands of the oppugners of the genuineness of the passage.

[573] Heins. from a few MSS. restored ‘praemetuens,’ which seems a better word than ‘permetuens,’ the reading before his time; but it is hard to judge of external authority where so many MSS. fail us. Accepting ‘praemetuens,’ we shall do right to understand it with Henry of fear anticipating the consequences, like “praemetuens dolum” Phaedrus 1. 16. 4. Helen is called νυμφόκλαυτος Ἐρινύς Aesch. Ag. 749.

[574] Invisa seems better taken with Wagn. and Henry as ‘hated’ (comp. v. 601) than with Heyne and others as ‘unseen.’ It however qualifies ‘sedebat:’ ‘sat crouching, like a hated thing,’ ‘sat in hateful solitude.’

[575] ‘Ulcisci . . sumere’ may be taken in apposition with ‘ira,’ or they may be resolved into “ulciscendi . . sumendi:” see on G. 1. 213. Aeneas' resolution to kill Helen seems to be copied, as Emmenessius and Heyne remark, from a similar resolution of Pylades and Orestes Eur. Or. 1131 foll.

[576] Sceleratas sumere poenas is a variety, perhaps a harsh one, for ‘sceleris poenas sumere’ or ‘poenas ex scelerata sumere.

[577] Here as in 1. 650 Helen is spoken of in connexion with Mycenae, with which she had really nothing to do, according to Virg.'s usual habit of specifying where he merely means to generalize. ‘Mycenae’ with him is the poetical way of saying Greece, as, “acernis” v. 112 is the poetical way of saying ‘made of wood.’ At the same time in the case of Helen there is doubtless a confusion between the royal cities of the two Atridae, Sparta and Mycenae being used convertibly. ‘Patrias,’ because Tyndareus was originally king of Sparta, though he afterwards resigned his throne to Menelaus.

[578] Regina, as a queen, not like our Trojan ladies, as a captive. ‘Parto triumpho:’ “parere” is frequently used with such expressions as “honorem,” “laudem,” “decus,” “victoriam:” see Forcell.

[579] This line has been condemned by those who, like Wagn., defend the rest of the passage; but there is no fresh external evidence against it, and the internal grounds for separating it from its fellows do not appear conclusive. ‘Coniugium’ for “coniugem” is in Virg.'s manner, and occurs again 11. 270 (comp. “remigium,” 3. 471): it is not said that she will see Menelaus for the first time on her return, but merely that she will return and be re-united to her family, husband, children, and parents: ‘patres’ may very well stand for “parentes,” like “soceros,” v. 457, for father and mother-in-law, and is in fact so used in some inscriptions referred to by Forcell., if not in Ov. M. 4. 61: Tyndareus and Leda are represented by Eur. Or. 473 as alive even after the death of Clytaemnestra, though Hom. Od. 11. 298 introduces Leda in the shades: and the picture of Helen attended by a retinue of Trojan dames may refer at least as well to her daily life, which is the more Homeric conception, as to her procession in triumph, which would be a Roman image. ‘Natos:’ Hom. Od. 4. 12 foll., speaks of hermione as Helen's only child; but other authorities (Hesiod, cited by the Schol. on Soph. El. 532) speak of a son, Nicostratus.

[580] Phrygiis ministris refers doubtless to male attendants, like the Φρύξ introduced Eur. Or. 1369 foll.

[581] The so-called past futures ‘occiderit,’ ‘arserit,’ ‘sudarit,’ are meant to indicate those circumstances in the past which make it monstrous that the event spoken of as future, ‘aspiciet,’ ‘ibit,’ ‘videbit,’ should ever be realized. The sense is ‘shall she return, now that Priam has been murdered, Troy burned, Dardania bathed in blood?’ So in 4. 590, well comp. by Wund. “Pro Iuppiter! ibit Ille, ait, et nostris illuserit advena regnis?” is a vivid poetical equivalent for “ibit advena qui nostris illusit regnis?

[582] Sanguine sudare is from Enn. Hect. Lustr. fr. 11 (Vahlen), “terra sudat sanguine.Lucr. 5.1129 has “sanguine sudent,” of aspirants to power. Thus ‘undarit,’ the conjecture of Heins., would be no improvement. ‘Totiens’ refers to the whole course of the war. Π̔έε δ᾽ αἵματι γαῖα is a feature of an ordinary battle in Homer.

[583] Non ita seems to answer to our ‘not so,’ rather than to the Greek οὐ δῆτα, ‘no truly,’ with which it is generally compared. Cicero more than once has “non est ita” (Pro Flacc. 22, Off. 1. 44). Henry remarks on the similarity of the sentiment which follows with that expressed by Arruns 11. 790 foll. “Non exuvias pulsaeve tropaeum
Virginis, aut spolia ulla peto: mihi cetera laudem
Facta ferent: haec dira meo dum volnere pestis
Pulsa cadat, patrias remeabo inglorius urbes,

observing at the same time that what in Aeneas, the hero, is a mere passing impulse, is deliberately resolved on by Arruns, the coward. Arruns' cowardice however is shown not by his wishing to kill Camilla, but by his not daring to confront her, his disclaimer of a desire for spoils meaning that his object is not to conquer her, but simply to take her life; and the feeling of Aeneas answers exactly to that of Pylades, Eur. Or. 1131 foll., who argues that it would be dishonourable to put a virtuous woman to death, but a worthy deed to execute vengeance on Helen. Both expression and thought are parallel to 4. 94, “magnum et memorabile nomen, Una dolo divum si femina victa duorum est.

[584] Feminea poena for ‘feminae poena’ belongs to a class of expressions which are more common perhaps in Greek poetry than in Latin, more common in the case of proper names (comp. above v. 543, “corpus Hectoreum”) than in that of ordinary nouns. Comp. however 11. 68, “virgineo pollice.

[585] ‘Exstinxisse laudabor,’ like “posuisse figuras Laudatur,” Persius 1. 86. The more ordinary construction would be ‘laudabor quod exstinxi,’ or ‘qui exstinxerim.’ Virg. has another variety 10. 449, “spoliis ego iam raptis laudabor opimis.” ‘Nefas,’ contemptuously of a person, as we might say, ‘for having put out of the way so much crime.’ So ‘scelus’ is frequently used in the comic writers. ‘Merentis’ is probably the acc. pl., agreeing with ‘poenas,’ not, as Heyne and others have thought, the genitive singular, a construction which, though not prima facie opposed to the genius of the language, would require to be supported by examples. ‘Merentis poenas’ will then be like “sceleratas poenas,” v. 576, note. The repetition of a harsh or unusual expression within a few lines may be used as an argument against the whole passage; but similar instances might, I fancy, be accumulated, where it seems as if a novelty in language had exercised for the moment a fascination on the writer, compelling him to recur to it immediately after having used it first. The mere repetition of ‘poena,’ ‘poenas,’ may be paralleled more easily; comp. “pulsae,” “pulsa,” in the passage from A. 11, cited on v. 583.

[586] ‘Explesse’ appears to be constructed with a genitive, like “implentur,” 1. 215, after the analogy of similar words in Greek. ‘Animum explere’ is a phrase: see Forcell. ‘Ultricis flammae’ for “ultionis,” the feeling and the revenge which is its object being not unnaturally confused. By a not very happy transition the poet passes from the flame of vengeance to the ashes of his kinsfolk, as both requiring to be satisfied. The thought of posthumous vengeance delighting the dead is common enough; comp. 4. 387., 12. 948. With ‘cineres meorum’ comp. “flamma extrema meorum,” v. 431.

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Troy (Turkey) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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