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[624] Tum vero: after his eyes have been opened to see Heaven fighting against Troy. ‘Omne’ is emphatic. ‘Considere in ignis’ occurs 9. 145, and Tac. H. 3. 33, “cum omnia sacra profanaque in ignis considerent,” perhaps an imitation of Virg. Troy is undermined by the flame, and so cannot stand against it, but sinks down into it. The word is also applied to the collapse or subsidence of flame itself.

[625] Neptunia: as if god-built towers might have been expected to resist.

[626] Hom. Il. 4. 482 foll. compares the death of Simoisius to the falling of a poplar which the woodman cuts down; but the circumstances of the felling are not dwelt on. Apoll. R. 4. 1182 foll. has a simile more like Virg.'s, comparing the overthrow of Talus under Medea's enchantments to a tree half cut down and left, which first moves gently to the wind and afterwards comes down with a crash. But Virg.'s simile is sufficiently original, as regards both the details and the thing to which the tree is compared. Heyne complains of its grammatical structure, from the omission of the apodosis: but ‘ac veluti’ means not ‘and as,’ but ‘even as.’

[627] Accisam: note on G. 2. 379.

[628] Minatur bears its ordinary sense of threatening to fall. Henry fancies the point of the comparison is between a tree dangerous in its fall and Troy threatening injury to its captors: but the only danger the tree can cause is by falling, and we hear nothing of injury when the fall actually takes place v. 631. It seems equally needless to suppose that in the next line there is any allusion to a warrior nodding his plumes threateningly. Aeneas has ceased to look upon Troy as having any power for offence or defence, and regards its destruction as simply a question of time. ‘Usque:’ it keeps threatening.

[630] Evicta 4. 474, stronger than ‘victa.

[631] “‘Congemuit:’ not merely groaned, but groaned loudly, as it were with all its force collected into one last effort:” Henry; who seems also right in connecting ‘iugis’ with ‘traxit ruinam,’ and understanding ‘avolsa’ of tearing away the tree from the stump with ropes, like the description in Ov. M. 8. 776. ‘Traxit ruinam iugis’ will then mean that the tree fell heavily, and lay at length along the mountain, not, as has been supposed, that part of the mountain gave way with the tree.

[632] Descendo: note on v. 570. ‘Deus’ is used when a goddess is meant, perhaps on the analogy of καὶ θεός, giving a more general, and therefore in a case like this more impressive notion. “Under the guidance of Heaven.” There is an old reading ‘dea,’ which originally existed in Med. and the Verona palimpsest, and appears in Pal. from a correction, as well as in some inferior MSS.: but Macrob. Sat. 3. 8 vindicates ‘deo.

[633] Expedior: Emm. comp. Hor. 4 Od. 4. 76, “curae sagaces Expediunt per acuta belli.” Ovid (ex Ponto 1. 1. 33), either mistaking Virg., or following another legend, supposes that Aeneas was protected from the flames afterwards when he was rescuing his father; but Virg. gives no hint of this, and Aeneas' own language, 6. 110, rather contradicts it.

[634-654] ‘Arrived at home, I find my father will not be persuaded to fly with me. He tells me that flight is for the young; that the fall of the city is a signal that he has lived long enough; and that we must leave him to die, as indeed his life has long been useless and unblest. We, in an agony of tears, endeavour to move him, but in vain.’

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