[589-623] ‘That moment my mother appeared, calmed my rage, bade me look for my father, wife, and son, showed me that the overthrow of Troy was the work not of man but of Heaven, and revealed to me the bodily presence of Neptune, Juno, Pallas, and Jupiter himself, helping in the work of destruction.’
 For ‘cum’ several inferior MSS. give ‘tum,’ which would be neater if the preceding passage were regarded as an interpolation. ‘Non ante oculis tam clara:’ Aeneas had never before seen her so bright, so completely in her true goddess form. We need not ask on what former occasions she is likely to have appeared to him. ‘Videndam’ = “obtulit ut viderem,” as “discere laudanda magistro,” Pers. 3. 46, = “discere ut laudaret magister:” see Madv. § 422. Venus appears to check Aeneas from killing Helen, as Pallas, Il. 1. 193 foll., to check Achilles from killing Agamemnon.
 Pura in luce: distinguished from an appearance in a cloud or in an ordinary human form. ‘Per noctem,’ it is needless to say, is not inconsistent with v. 569, as the blaze would still leave darkness enough to render Venus' appearance conspicuous. ‘Refulsit,’ 1. 402.
 The expression ‘confessa deam’ (i. q. “confessa se deam esse”) is apparently Virg.'s own; Ovid however imitates it M. 3. 2., 11. 264., 12. 601. Hence ‘confessed’ for ‘revealed,’ or ‘manifested,’ occurs frequently in English poetry of the school of Dryden and Pope. ‘Qualis et quanta’ seems to be a translation of such expressions as ὅσσος ἔην οἷός τε, Il. 24. 630. It is applied to the gods by Ov. M. 3. 284, Tibull. 3. 6. 23, quoted by Forb. In this case ‘quantus’ has a special force, as the stature of the gods was greater than that of men. ‘Que’ couples the clause to which it belongs with ‘confessa deam.’ ‘Videri caelicolis:’ see on E. 4. 16.
 Venus seizes the hand with which Aeneas was laying hold of his sword. The circumstance may also have some significance as denoting the fulness of the revelation, unlike that in 1. 408, where Aeneas complains “cur dextrae iungere dextram non datur.” Every one will remember Hom.'s ἔν τ᾽ ἄρα οἱ φῦ χειρί.
 It is difficult to see how these words could apply to a purpose of selfdestruction not mentioned, but left to be indirectly inferred, as we must suppose them to do if we regard the passage about Helen as interpolated.
 Quonam nostri tibi cura recessit has been variously explained as if Aeneas owed to his mother to protect the family of which she formed a part (vv. 596 foll.), or as if Venus claimed an interest in Helen. Perhaps it is better to say that Aeneas by losing self-command showed that he had lost confidence in his mother and sense of his relation to her. ‘Nostri cura’ of course must mean ‘care for me;’ but the sense of another's care for oneself may be said to involve care for another. So far as this clause goes, it may balance that just commented on, as it would apply exceedingly well to the supposed intention of suicide. With the expression comp. G. 4. 324.
 Prius, before doing anything else, οὐ φθάνοις ἂν σκοπῶν. ‘Aspicere,’ of paying attention to a thing, G. 4. 2. ‘Fessum aetate’ contains the same notion as “aevo gravior,” v. 435. ‘Ubi liqueris,’ where you left him; the real meaning being, where he, whom you left at home, may be now.
 Superet, E. 9. 27. We should rather have expected ‘ne’ to follow ‘superet:’ but ‘coniunx Creusa’ may be regarded as more emphatic than ‘superet,’ as the question of the safety of Aeneas friends has already been put in the former clause, and now the point is whether this or that person is safe. Perhaps also we may say that it has the force of an additional ‘que,’ as if it had been written “superetne coniunxque Creusa Ascaniusque puer.”
 It is not clear whether ‘omnis’ or ‘omnes’ should be read; in other words, whether ‘omnes’ goes with ‘quos’ or with ‘acies.’ The latter is supported by Med., the former by the editors generally. In the one case ‘omnes’ has to be applied to three people; in the other three people are said to be surrounded by the whole Grecian army, when the meaning merely is that enemies are swarming round them.
 ‘Circumerrant’ denotes that the enemy is constantly passing backwards and forwards, and suggests that they may at last by mere chance light upon their victims. ‘Resistat’ expresses that the danger and consequently the guardianship are not over. ‘Tulerint’ and ‘hauserit,’ on the other hand, for the sake of liveliness, speak of the destruction as already a thing of the past.
 Tulerint, nearly as in v. 555 above. ‘Haurire,’ of a weapon or other offensive agent, probably as devouring flesh or drinking blood, a Lucretian expression, repeated 10. 314, and not uncommon in Ovid. Comp. also note on G. 3. 105. The original is probably Homer's διὰ δ᾽ ἔντερα χαλκὸς ἄφυσσεν Δῃώσας (Il. 14. 517).
 Tibi refers to the whole sentence, as in 1. 261. ‘It is not, as you think,’ or ‘this overthrow that you mourn is not caused by,’ &c. ‘Facies invisa,’ the hated beauty. ‘Lacaenae:’ Menelaus in Eur. Tro. 869 says, Ἥκω δὲ τὴν Λάκαιναν, οὐ γὰρ ἡδέως Ὄνομα δάμαρτος ἥ ποτ᾽ ἦν ἐμὴ λέγω, Ἄξων. The source of the sentiment is Il. 3. 164 foll., where Priam says to Helen, Οὔτι μοι αἰτίη ἐσσί, θεοί ύ μοι αἴτιοί εἰσιν, Οἵ μοι ἐφώρμησαν πόλεμον πολύδακρυν Ἀχαιῶν. In Q. Smyrn. 13. 412, Menelaus is going to kill Helen, when Agamemnon stops him, saying, οὐ γάρ τοι Ἑλένη πέλει αἰτίη, ὡς σύ γ᾽ ἔολπας, Ἀλλὰ ΙΙάρις. Virg. does not say, as Mr. Gladstone (Hom. vol. iii. pp. 523 foll.) charges him with saying, that Helen and Paris are guiltless, but that Aeneas ought to think not of them but of the gods as the real overthrowers of Troy.
 ‘Culpatus,’ whom you and others blame. The word is used as an adjective: see Forc. Aeneas had said nothing about Paris, so that the mention of him here neutralizes the mention of Helen in the previous line as an argument for the genuineness of the disputed passage. ‘Divom inclementia, divom’ is the reading of Med. and Ribbeck's other MSS., supported by Donatus on Ter. Andr. 5. 3. 12, and others of the old grammarians, and is now generally adopted. The old reading was ‘verum inclementia,’ a much weaker expression, and apparently not well supported, though Heyne's critical note is not explicit about the authorities for it. Other copies present other varieties, ‘sed enim inclementia,’ ‘unquam inclementia,’ ‘divom inclementia summis,’ which may perhaps show that some corruption has crept into the text. On intrinsic grounds nothing can be more satisfactory than the text as it now stands.
 Aeneas knew that the tutelary gods of Troy had left their temples (v. 351): he now learns that there are heavenly powers actually arrayed against Troy. How far the two views of the relations of the gods to Troy harmonize it would be hard to say: in Homer certain gods are the avowed friends, certain other gods the avowed enemies of Troy, and though the Trojans try to propitiate the latter (comp. the procession to the temple of Pallas Il. 6. 269 foll.), their hostility seems to be unabated. The opening of Aeneas' eyes that he may see the gods is from Il. 5. 127, where Pallas performs the same office to Diomedes, ἀχλὺν δ᾽ αὖ τοι ἀπ᾽ ὀφθαλμῶν ἕλον, ἣ πρὶν ἐπῆεν, Ὄφρ᾽ εὖ γιγνώσκῃς ἠμὲν θεὸν ἠδὲ καὶ ἄνδρα.
 Tu ne qua—recusa is a clause which has given some trouble to the commentators. Heyne thinks Virg. would have altered it had he lived to revise the poem: Wagn. vindicates it as giving the reason why the cloud is to be removed, that Aeneas, seeing the desperate state of Troy, may not hesitate to abandon it. Perhaps it would be better to say that Venus fears lest Aeneas, seeing the gods banded against Troy, should become desperate, or too timid to make an attempt to save his family,—a view which will agree with ‘time’ here, and with the language of v. 620.
 The picture of Neptune overthrowing the walls with his trident is taken from a curious passage, Il. 12. 27 foll., speaking of the destruction of the unblessed rampart of the Greeks by Poseidon, in connexion with Apollo and Zeus, after the fall of Troy. There however his functions as the earth-shaking god of the sea are more distinctly marked: the rampart had been made to protect the ships as they stood drawn up on the shore, and the foundation is accordingly undermined by the waves, and the beach restored as it was before. Here there may be a hint of Neptune's marine agency on a maritime town, but all that is expressed is the leverage of the trident in overturning the walls of the city. Comp. also the descent of the gods to battle Il. 20. 47 foll.
 “‘Pulvis’ est ex ruinis.” Heyne.
 Serv. reminds us that the walls of Troy were originally built by Neptune and Apollo, Cerda that θεμελιοῦχος was one of the names of Poseidon. If Virg. remembered the one fact and was aware of the other, he might naturally feel that there was a philosophical propriety in representing the same power as the maker and the destroyer. ‘Magno emota tridenti’ of course belongs really to ‘muros’ as well as to ‘fundamenta,’ though grammatically only to the latter.
 The Scaean gate looked towards the shore, and the battle naturally thickened round it, as Heyne remarks in his note on Il. 6. 307.
 Prima because at the entrance of the city (see on v. 334), Heyne: a better interpretation than Henry's, who thinks that Juno is meant to be the prime mover of the whole. ‘Socium agmen’ are the Greeks, to whom Juno calls, as in Il. 20. 48 foll. Athene calls to the Greeks, Ares to the Trojans.
 Stat. Theb. 5. 280, in an imitation of this passage quoted by Cerda, represents even Venus as armed: “illa, qua rara silentia, porta Stat funesta Venus, ferroque accincta furentis Adiuvat.” Juno's arms have been already mentioned 1. 16. Cerda, in a note there, observes from Festus and Plutarch that Juno was sometimes represented with a spear under the title of “Curitis” (“curis,” the Sabine spear); and Serv. quotes a prayer used in the “sacra Tiburtia,” “Iuno curulis, tuo curru clipeoque tuere meos curiae vernulas sane.” One inferior MS. fills up the hemistich with the words ‘saevasque accendit ad iras.’
 Like Neptune (v. 610), Pallas presides over the destruction of that which she ordinarily (see note on E. 2. 61) protects. In Il. 5. 460 Apollo takes his seat on the height of Pergamos, to defend it.
 The ‘nimbus’ naturally goes with the ‘Gorgon,’ as the “aegis” is really the whirlwind that drives the storm-cloud, whence the double meaning of the word in Greek. Comp. 8. 353 foll., Sil. 12. 720 foll. So Apollo Il. 15. 308 appears εἱμένος ὤμοιϊν νεφέλην (Horace's “nube candentis humeros amictus”), ἔχε δ᾽ αἰγίδα θοῦριν, a line which Virg. doubtless meant to translate. The brightness of the storm-cloud, to which Henry objects, may be accounted for, if not, with Wagn., by the lurid glare of the conflagration, at any rate by the lightning which it would naturally emit—a view agreeing well with the historical picture of a captured town quoted by Henry himself from Tac. A. 13. 41, “Adiicitur miraculum, velut numine oblatum: nam cuncta extra, tectis tenus, sole illustria fuere: quod moenibus cingebatur, ita repente atra nube coopertum fulguribusque discretum est, ut quasi infensantibus Deis exitio tradi crederetur.” So Pallas, who carries the “aegis” of Zeus, wields also Zeus' lightning, as we have seen on 1. 42. Her descent here then will be parallel to Juno's 10. 634, “agens hiemem, nimbo succincta,” though there we hear only of the darkness of the cloud, not of the lightning. So explained, ‘nimbo’ seems to give a finer because a more real and less conventional picture than Henry and Ladewig's substitute ‘limbo’ (recognized by Serv. as a various reading, and still found as an alternative in one MS.), though the robe reaching down to the feet was a characteristic of Pallas, and the border would naturally be of peculiar splendour, as it appears frequently to have been in more ordinary human costume.— ‘Saeva’ might conceivably, as Serv. remarks, be taken with ‘Pallas:’ but it is apparently a translation of θοῦριν quoted above. Both Hesiod and Hom., as Henry observes, call the Gorgon δεινή.
 Eripe fugam is a variety for “eripe te fuga,” with a glance, after Virg's manner, at other possible aspects of the word, the notion of rescuing flight from those who would rob one of it (Gossrau), and the use of “rapere fugam” (Ov. F. 3. 867) in the sense of flying hastily. See on 1. 381, G. 2. 364. ‘Labor,’ the struggle, as Homer's heroes talk of battle as μόγος: see on v. 11. For ‘finem inponere’ in the sense of putting an end to, which Weidner seems to question, comp. 5. 463.
 Venus engages to conduct him safely home.
 Dirae facies doubtless suggested the ‘dreadful faces’ that throng the gate of Milton's Paradise: but Virg. probably meant ‘forms.’ It has been asked why ‘inimica’ and ‘magna’ are not joined by a copula: the answer is that the two epithets are not co-ordinate, ‘inimica Troiae’ being in fact part of the predicate, ‘are seen ranged against Troy.’
 Numina, as we might say ‘the powers:’ more emphatic here than ‘di,’ as it is the exertion of a superhuman power on which we are meant to dwell. The effect of the hemistich here is very grand, and it is not easy to see how Virg. could have improved the line by completing it. At any rate the effective brevity with which he dismisses in a line and a half what an inferior poet would have taken a paragraph to express is a memorable testimony of his judgment. Serv. has a curious note: “Secundum mathesin” (astrology), “post abscessum Veneris dicit apparuisse numina, cuius praesentes radii intervenientes anaereticos” (ἀναιρετικούς, seemingly an astrological term) “temperant.”
[624-633] ‘I saw at once that all was lost, and Troy modding to its fall like a tree under the woodmen's axes.’