previous next

[192] This and the three following lines (repeated with variations 5. 8—11) are copied closely from Od. 12. 403 foll. (repeated 14. 301 foll.). ‘Nec iam amplius:’ this use of ‘amplius’ is not found in Cic., who uses ‘nec iam’ simply: it occurs however Lucr. 4.874.

[193] Adparent belongs to ‘caelum et pontus’ as well as to ‘terrae.

[194] ‘Caeruleus imber:’ see G. 1. 236 note.

[195] Inhorruit unda tenebris is an ornamental rendering of the Homeric ἤχλυσε δὲ πόντος ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς, the words being borrowed from Pacuv. inc. fr. 45, “inhorrescit mare, Tenebrae conduplicantur, noctisque et nimbum occaecat nigror,” a description of the storm that fell upon the Greeks as they returned from Troy. The picture seems to be of the surface of the water roughened or curled partly by the wind, partly by the darkness, which would change its outline to the eye. Perhaps we might say in English “And darkness ruffled the billow's crest.”

[196] Venti volvunt mare: comp. 1. 86. ‘Magna’ with ‘surgunt.

[198] Involvere diem is a poetical variety for “involvere caelum.” See on G. 4. 59. With the line generally comp. 1. 88, “Eripiunt subito nubes caelumque diemque Teucrorum ex oculis.

[199] For ‘abruptis’ two MSS. give ‘abrupti,’ which is strongly supported by Lucr. 2.214, “Nunc hinc, nunc illinc abrupti nubibus ignes concursant;” but Virg. is as likely to have made a variation upon Lucr. as to have copied him exactly.

[200] Caecis in undis like “freta caecaG. 2. 503, though here the uncertainty arises from actual darkness, not from the mariner's ignorance or rashness.

[201] ‘He cannot distinguish day and night in the sky:’ as he looks at the sky, he cannot tell whether it is day or night.

[202] Nec is used as if an affirmative verb, such as “dicit,” had preceded. See Madv. § 462, b. ‘Media in unda’ seems contrasted with ‘caelo:’ as he cannot tell the time of the day in the sky, so he cannot tell the path in the water.

[203] Adeo strengthens ‘tris,’ like “quinque adeo” 7. 629, as we might say ‘three long days.’ See on E. 4. 11. ‘Incertos’ goes closely with ‘caeca caligine,’ ‘suns obscured by blinding darkness.’

[204] Serv. says that after this verse the following lines were found enclosed in brackets or placed in the margin— ‘Hinc Pelopis gentes Maleaeque sonantia saxa
Circumstant, pariterque undae terraeque minantur:
Pulsamur saevis et circumsistimur undis.

The locality may be correctly given, as the storm is supposed to have arisen about the promontory of Malea (see 5. 193): but the lines, even if intrinsically worthy of the poet, would be inconsistent with the context, which tells us expressly that they did not know where they were, and that land was not seen till the fourth day.

[206] The rising of smoke as a sign of an inhabited country is from Od. 10. 99, καπνὸν δ᾽ οἶον ὁρῶμεν ἀπὸ χθονὸς ἀΐσσοντα.

[208] Repeated 4. 513. ‘Caerula verrunt’ may be from Catull. 62 (64). 7, “caerula verrentes abiegnis aequora palmis.

[209-267] ‘We find ourselves on the Strophades, the islands of the Harpies. Oxen and goats are seen grazing: we kill, sacrifice, and eat, when the Harpies come upon us and tear and pollute the meat. We do the same in another spot, and the same visitation follows. A third time we try, and on their coming attack them with the sword, but make no impression. One of them, Celaeno, threatens us with famine, which shall drive us when landed in Italy to eat our very tables, as a punishment for our present gluttony and violence. My father deprecates the denunciation, and bids us set sail again.’

[209] The episode which follows is imitated partly from Od. 10. 260 foll., where the companions of Ulysses devour the herds of the sun, partly from Apoll. R. 2. 178 foll., where Zetes and Calais deliver Phineus from the Harpies. For ‘primum’ Med. and Gud. have ‘prima,’ which seems to be a corruption from the preceding word.

[210] Stant is obviously a variety for “sunt” (E. 7. 53): but whether the additional notion is that of the position of the island, or, as Wagn. thinks, the permanence of the name, is not clear. Apoll. R. 2. 285 foll. makes Zetes and Calais chase the Harpies to the Πλωταὶ νῆσοι, where they would have killed them, had not Iris interposed. The assailants turn back from the islands, which are thence called Στροφάδες: the Harpies fly to Crete. Other writers expanded the story (see Dict. Biog. ‘Harpyiae’), but it does not appear whether any but Virg., whom Ov. M. 13. 709 obviously follows, made the Strophades the regular habitation of the Harpies.

[211] For the Greek rhythm comp. G. 1. 437.

[212] The Homeric conception of the Harpies is of personified storm-winds, which agrees not only with their general designation and with the name Podarge, given to one of them Il. 16. 149, but with the names given to them in later legends, Aello, Ocypete, and Celaeno. In the story of Phineus they appear in the loathsome character in which they are represented here. Aeschylus, one of whose lost plays was on that subject, makes the priestess in the Eumenides name them along with the Gorgous as the most frightful monsters with which her memory supplies her for comparison with the Erinnyes.

[213] Metu: for fear of Zetes and Calais.

[214] Haudnec 7. 203 note.

[215] Ira deum is a bold expression for the effect of divine anger. Val. Fl. 1. 683 has adopted it from Virg., applying it to Sirius.

[216] ‘Theirs are the maiden countenances of birds:’ they are birds with maidens' countenances. The expression somewhat resembles Lucr. 4.733, “Cerbereasque canum facies,” “semiferas hominum species” Id. 2. 702.

[217] The Harpies are the goddesses of eternal famine, carrying off and spoiling the food of others, yet ever hungering themselves, which gives point to Celaeno's denunciation v. 256.

[218] Virg. Follows Od. 12. 353 foll., though not very closely.

[221] ‘Caprigenum pecus’ is from Pacuvius and Attius, according to Macrob. Sat. 6. 5. “Satis nove et affectate” is Serv.'s criticism. ‘Caprigenum’ is neuter sing., not, as some have thought, gen. pl., as Cic. Progn. fr. 6. p. 556 (Orelli) has “Caprigeni pecoris custos.” ‘Herbam’ was read before Heins.

[223] In praedam partemque was read before Heins. The expression seems a fair instance of hendiadys (note on G. 2. 192), standing for ‘in partem praedae.

[224] They piled up turf to recline, or, as we should say, to sit on while eating. “Exstructos toros” 11. 66.

[225] Heins. restored ‘subitae’ for the common reading ‘subito.

[226] κλαγγῇ ταίγε πέτονται, Il. 3. 5, comp. by Wagn. Virg. follows

ἀλλὰ διὲκ νεφέων ἄφνω πέλας ἀΐσσουσαι
Ἅρπυιαι στόματος χειρῶν τ᾽ ἄπο γαμφηλῇσι
συνεχέως ἥρπαζον: ἐλείπετο δ᾽ ἄλλοτε φορβῆς
οὐδ᾽ ὅσον, ἄλλοτε τυτθόν, ἵνα ζώων ἀκάχοιτο:
καὶ δ᾽ ἐπὶ μυδαλέην ὀδμὴν χέον.

Serv., who raises a question about the use of ‘clangoribus,’ apparently says that there was another draught of the line bracketed or cancelled (see note on v. 204 above), “resonant magnis stridoribus alae:” this note is however not found in all copies of his commentary.

[229, 230] Partly repeated from 1. 310, 311. Here, as in 1. 311, ‘clausam’ is read by Pal., and originally by Med., Gud., and two other of Ribbeck's cursives, Rom., we may remember, being deficient through the greater part of this book and the last. ‘Clausa’ is the corrected reading of Med., Gud., and another cursive, and seems on the whole safest to adopt. ‘Clausi,’ the common reading, would be neater, but it is only found in two of Ribbeck's cursives corrected, and in inferior copies. Ribbeck goes further, and omits v. 230, which seems unnecessary, though it may be allowed that the variation of the text is a ground for suspicion.

[231] Reponimus is rightly understood by Wund. of a second sacrifice, the first being implied, if not actually expressed, in v. 222. See on G. 3. 527.

[232] Ex diverso 2. 716.

[233] Virg. has chosen his words with attention, ‘praedam’ suiting ‘pedibus uncis,’ ‘dapes’ ‘ore.’ It matters little whether we understand ‘praedam’ relatively to the Trojans, as in v. 222, or to the Harpies, as in v. 244.

[234] Comp. 10. 258.

[236] “Haud minus ac iussi faciunt,” v. 561 below, which shows, what would else be very doubtful, that ‘iussi’ is a participle, not a verb.

[237] Latentia of course is proleptic.

[238] This must refer to a third, not, as Forb. thinks, to the second visitation, which came to an end v. 234. Virg. tells us of the banquet indirectly, more suo, in v. 244.

[239] Misenus 6. 164, 165 notes. Virg. doubtless imitated Apoll. R. 2. 1055,ἀλλ᾽ ὅγε χαλκείην πλαταγὴν ἐνὶ χερσὶ τινάσσων Δούπει ἐπὶ σκοπιῆς περιμήκεος”.

[241] Foedare in apposition to ‘nova proelia,’ as “stridere” to “mirabile monstrumG. 4. 554 foll. ‘Ferro foedare’ 2. 55 note. ‘Pelagi volucres’ seems rightly explained by Serv. of the mythological origin of the Harpies from Pontus, Poseidon, or Electra, daughter of Oceanus. ‘Obscenas:G. 1. 470 note.

[242] The Harpies in Apollonius seem not to be invulnerable, as we are told (v. 284) that Zetes and Calais would have slain them had they overtaken them.

[244] Wagn. seems right in restoring the spelling ‘semiesam’ for ‘semesam,’ though found in none of the MSS. The unelided i is found in the majority of words where ‘semi’ is followed by a vowel, and ought probably to be restored to all. In 8. 297 one MS., the Alburgensian, preserves “semiesa.” See below v. 578.

[246] Rupit was read before Heins. ‘Infelix vates,’ an inauspicious prophet, Homer's μάντι κακῶν, Serv. So ‘infelix’ of the Trojan horse 2. 245.

[247] Celaeno asks whether they are going so far as to wage war in defence of their right to the cattle which they have so unjustly slaughtered.

[248] Laomedontiadae, a term of reproach, like “Laomedonteae TroiaeG. 1. 502.

[249] Patrio seems used loosely for “proprio,” as in G. 1. 52 (note), which Serv. comp. His other explanation, ‘belonging to our father the sea-god’ (see on v. 241), in other words, ‘our island kingdom,’ is far less likely. The order before Pierius was ‘insontis Harpyias.’

[250] Repeated 10. 104. ‘Animis’ goes with ‘accipite,’ as in 5. 304, “accipite haec animis,” not with ‘figite,’ though the word may be supplied in the second clause, which is a translation, as Heyne remarks, of the Homeric σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν.

[251] Phoebus receives his revelations from Zeus, whose προφήτης he is, Aesch. Eum. 19. In his turn he has the power of imparting inspiration, as to Cassandra, Ag. 1202. Whether Celaeno is to be regarded as a prophetess, or merely as possessed of this single communication of the future, is not clear.

[252] Furiarum maxuma 6. 605. The later mythology, which limited the number of the Erinnyes, introduced gradations of age among them. Virg. identifies or confuses the Harpies with the Furies, as Aesch. Eum. 50 does with the Gorgons.

[253] Cursu petere of a speedy journey 1. 157., 2. 399, E. 6. 80. ‘It is for Italy that you are crowding all sail.’ As Donatus remarks, Celaeno shows them that she knows the present, that they may believe her prophecy of the future. ‘Vocatis’ is understood by Wagn. ‘duly invoked,’ and therefore favourable. Perhaps the sense rather is ‘the winds shall come at your call,’ as if any stress were laid on due invocation, Celaeno would be inadvertently giving profitable advice where she intends only to terrify. Comp. 5. 211., 8. 707, where the words recur, and see on 4. 223.

[254] With the repetition of ‘Itaiiam’ comp. 1. 553, 554.

[255] Datam urbem like “data moenia” v. 501 below, “datas urbes” 4. 225.

[256] Dira, monstrous, like “dira cupidoG. 1. 37. ‘Iniuria:’ the wrong is regarded as having the power of avenging itself. ‘Caedis,’ since the Trojans were murderers in will, if not in deed, as Menelaus says of Ajax (Soph. Aj. 1126 foll.),κτείναντά με . . . . . θεὸς γὰρ ἐκσώζει με, τῷδε δ᾽ οἴχομαι”.

[257] Ambesas absumere: see on 1. 29. ‘Malis’ goes with ‘absumere’ as in G. 3. 268. So “absumere ferro” 4. 601., 9. 494. This prophecy formed part of the traditional account of Aeneas' landing in Italy (Heyne, Excursus 8), so that Virg had no choice about introducing it. The notion of putting it into the mouth of Celaeno, so far as we know, is his own; others having represented it as given by Jupiter at Dodona, or by the Erythrean sibyl to Aeneas, or by Venus to Anchises. In 7. 122 foll., where the prophecy is fulfilled, it is said to have been delivered by Anchises to Aeneas, no mention being made of Celaeno, though she is expressly named as its author later in this book, v. 365. See Introduction to this Book, and also note on 7. 123. ‘Subigat:’ the subj. is used as if the Trojans would be anxious to anticipate the visitation by establishing themselves in their city. One MS. has ‘subiget.’

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)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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