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[278] Insperata is explained by vv. 282, 283, as Wagn. remarks. ‘Tellure potiti’ 1. 172.

[279] Lustramur middle. The purification was doubtless required by their recent adventure with the Harpies. ‘Iovi,’ in honour of Jupiter. The expression is imitated by Gratius Cyn. 492, “Lustraturque deae.” It is asked why Jove is singled out rather than Apollo, the tutelary god of the place. Jove had doubtless been invoked foremost among the “numina magna,” v. 264, and he would be specially propitiated here for the same reason, as aggrieved in the matter of the Harpies, partly perhaps by the inauspicious sacrifice, v. 223, partly by the attempt to injure his ministers, which the prophecy v. 251 seems to show that he resents. ‘Votis’ here stand for votive offerings. Wagn. well comp. Aesch. Ag. 91, βωμοὶ δώροισι φλέγονται. “Incensa altaria” occurs 8. 285. The vows are explained partly by what follows, v. 282, partly by what precedes, v. 264.

[280] The celebration of games at Actium by Aeneas is a compliment to Augustus, who instituted a quinquennial celebration at Actium in honour of his victory, Dion 51. 1. The adjective ‘Actius’ occurs again 8. 675, 704, and elsewhere in the Latin poets, the prose form being “Actiacus.” ‘Celebramus litora ludis’ is a variety for “celebramus ludos in litore,” “celebrare” having its strict sense of ‘to make populous.’

[281] The ‘palaestra’ is given as a specimen of other games, whicl may perhaps be the force of the plural. ‘Exercent palaestras’ like “choros exercet” 1. 499, “exercet ludos” Prop. 4. 14. 3. ‘Oleo labente:’ the oil is said to slip, probably from its effect on the bodies of those who use it.

[284] The sun is said to roll round the year, as it is said to roll round the sky, the year being equivalent to what is traversed in the year. In a Greek author we should at once pronounce ‘annum’ to be a cognate accusative; here it is evidently an ordinary accusative of the object, though the acc. of the duration of time may help us to understand the expression. The epithet ‘magnum’ is merely an ornamental one, just as Hom. Il. 2. 134 speaks of Διὸς μεγάλου ἐνιαυτοί (comp. G. 4. 154 note), not, as Wakefield thinks, used with the feeling of an exile. For the date which this point marks in Aeneas' wanderings see Introduction to the present Book.

[285] The inference to be drawn from this line apparently is that they remained on shore during the winter, though prima facie it would seem from v. 289 that they started immediately. Here as elsewhere the narrative is touched very lightly.

[286] The name of Abas, an early king of Argos, son of Lynceus and Hypermnestra, is connected in legends with a shield, which obtained victory even after his death (Dict. Biog., following Serv. on this passage). This shield appears to have been fastened up in the temple of Here at Argos, that the conqueror in the games celebrated there might bear it in procession. Another story, also mentioned by Serv., made Abas the inventor of the shield. Virg. can hardly be thinking of this mythical person, whose date would involve an anachronism here, though it is singular that the words ‘de Danais victoribus,’ v. 289, coincide with the pedigree of the shield, which is said originally to have belonged to his grandfather Danaus, while the story about the games again seems as if it might be glanced at in the Actian games just mentioned, as if Aeneas were bearding the old hero on his own ground. But for these coincidences, the Abas of the present passage would be to us merely the name of some unknown Grecian warrior whom Aeneas had slain at some time or other, and whose shield he hangs up on Grecian soil as a crowning act of triumphant joy after an unmolested sojourn there. Ov. M. 15. 664 talks of the shield of Euphorbus, which Pythagoras recognized as his own, as hanging up “Abanteis templo Iunonis in Argis.” ‘Gestamen’ 7. 246.

[287] “Multaque praeterea sacris in postibus arma” 7. 183. ‘Adversis,’ as Heyne says, is merely ornamental, on the door as it faces you. It is not said where the door was; indeed, we are left to imagine for ourselves how Aeneas contrived to inhabit the town unmolested.

[288] E. 7. 30 note.

[289] This and the next line are imitated from Od. 9. 103, 104, οἱ δ᾽ αἶψ᾽ εἴσβαινον καὶ ἐπὶ κληῖσι καθῖζον, Ἑξῆς δ᾽ ἑζόμενοι πολιὴν ἅλα τύπτον ἐρετμοῖς.

[291] Abscondimus of passing a place, or seeing it vanish, like ἀποκρύπτειν Plato Protag. 338 A. Not unlike is the use of “condereE. 9. 52. The ‘aeriae Phaeacum arces’ (G. 1. 240) are the mountains of Corcyra, ὄρεα σκιόεντα Γαίης Φαιήκων, Od. 5. 279.

[292] Portu may be either dat. or local abl. “Muro subibant” 7. 161, “subeunt luco” 8. 125, seem in favour of the former. ‘Portus . . . Chaonios’ is the reading of many MSS., including Med. a m. sec., the text having originally been ‘portus . . . Chaonio,’ which Valerius Probus actually explained as a genitive, comparing ‘Chaonio’ with “Androgeo.” Serv. notices the plural as unmetrical.

[293] ‘Adscendimus,’ the reading before Heins., is favoured by ‘celsam,’ but hardly agrees with what follows, vv. 300, 345, which shows that Aeneas did not reach the city till afterwards. “The epithet of lofty cannot be applied with any propriety to Buthrotum,” Dict. G. Perhaps it is only meant to be a perpetual epithet of a city.

[294-343] ‘Here I am told that Priam's son, Helenus, is king of the country and married to Andromache. Going to the city, I find her making offerings at Hector's tomb. From her I hear that the tale is true, Andromache having been given by Pyrrhus to Helenus, when he was wearied of her himself, and Helenus having succeeded to part of Pyrrhus' dominions after Pyrrhus had been killed by Orestes.’

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