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[374] Nam te &c. This clause, the meaning of which has been a good deal disputed, seems to correspond to vv. 362 foll. Helenus acknowledges what Aeneas says, assuring him that he is undoubtedly undertaking this voyage with the highest supernatural sanction. With ‘maioribus’ so explained we may comp. 12. 429, “Maior agit deus, atque opera ad maiora reservat.” ‘Nam’ then has a reference, though not a very distinct one, to what follows in v. 377, “pauca tibi expediam.” ‘I will explain some of the difficulties in your voyage, which you are quite right in supposing to be undertaken under prosperous auspices.’ ‘Ire per altum’ 4. 310.

[375] Manifesta fides 2. 309. ‘Sicordo’ gives a reason for the preceding clause, the emphatic words being ‘sic’ and ‘is.’ ‘Such is the ordinance of Jove; such the course of fate.’

[376] Jupiter is supposed to draw the decrees of fate like lots out of the urn, being apparently the regulator, if not the actual author of destiny. So 4. 614 we hear of “fata Iovis.” In ‘volvitque vices’ the notion seems to be that of ordaining the succession of events, being further explained by “is vertitur ordo.” We have already had the word used in connexion with fate 1. 22, 262 (notes): but in the latter passage, and perhaps in the former too, the precise reference seems to be different.

[377] Henry seems right in giving ‘hospita’ here and v. 539 a medium sense, like that of ξένος, between ‘stranger’ and ‘host.’ To press the latter aspect of the word would be inconsistent with ‘tutior,’ as if the seas were absolutely friendly. Helenus' directions would scarcely be needed: to merge it entirely in the former would make the epithet less poetical. Comp. G. 3. 362, “Unda . . . Puppibus illa prius, patulis nunc hospita plaustris,” and the application of εὔξενος, ἄξενος, ἀπόξενος to seas.

[378] Considere, as Henry remarks, signifies to settle finally and completely.

[379] Expediam dictis 6. 759.

[380] Serv., followed by Heyne and others, separates ‘scire’ from ‘Helenum,’ understanding the words to mean ‘the Fates forbid you to know the rest, and Juno will not let Helenus reveal it,’ it being supposed that an admission of Helenus' ignorance would be derogatory to his prophetic dignity. Forb. makes ‘Helenum’ the subject of ‘scire,’ ‘Parcas’ of ‘fari,’—‘the Fates will not let me know, and Juno will not let them reveal it to me.’ But it is simpler with Wagn. and Ladewig to make ‘Helenum’ the subject of both infinitives, Helenus saying in effect that the future is partly unknown to him, partly incommunicable by him. With ‘prohibent cetera Parcae scire’ we may comp. Aesch. Ag. 1025, εἰ δὲ μὴ τεταγμένα μοῖρα μοῖραν ἐκ θεῶν εἶργε μὴ πλέον φέρειν. Whether the restraining power exercised by Juno is owing simply to her enmity to Troy is not clear. Helenus' respect for her appears afterwards vv. 437 foll. In Sil. 1. 137, “Venientia fata Scire ultra vetuit Juno,” comp. by Wagn., there is a propriety in her intervention, as it is a Carthaginian priest who is speaking of the future. What the ‘cetera’ specifically are we need not inquire, though the context seems to point rather to the events of the voyage (Serv., Heyne) than to the future greatness of the Trojan empire in Italy (Forb.). There is a general resemblance to Apoll. R. 2. 311,κλῦτέ νυν: οὐ μὲν πάντα πέλει θέμις ὔμμι δαῆναι Ἀτρεκές: ὅσσα δ᾽ ὄρωρε θεοῖς φίλον, οὐκ ἐπικεύσω”.

[381] Rere occurs Hor. 1 S. 9. 49.

[382] Ignare where we should have expected ‘ignarus:’ see on 2. 283. For the connexion between this clause and the preceding see on G. 2. 208.

[383] Longis terris seems best taken with Forb. as the abl. after ‘dividit.’ ‘A far journey separates Italy from our far country,’ the “terrae” spoken of being Epirus, where they now were, and ‘longis’ being introduced to give a rhetorical balance, like “absens absentem auditque videtque” 4. 83, in spite of the logical confusion created by its insertion. Other interpretations are ‘dividit longis terris,’ divides by a long stretch of country, referring to the length of Italy that has to be sailed along before the Trojans reach the proper spot for landing (Heyne), and ‘via longis terris,’ a way by long tracts of country, like “cursus brevissimus undis” v. 507 below (Wund.), an expression which would be applicable to a land-journey, not to a voyage. ‘Via invia’ is another jingle, an imitation of such Greek combinations as βίος ἄβιος, &c., ‘a way, yet no way.’ Helenus' meaning is that though Italy looks near, the way which Aeneas must go to reach the part assigned him by the fates is long and beset with dangers.

[384] Henry seems to be refining too much when he understands ‘lentare’ of supplying rather than of bending the oar, and accordingly refuses to admit the parallel of Catull. 62 (64). 183, “lentos incurvans gurgite remos.” It is true doubtless that ‘lentare’ = ‘lentum facere,’ but there is nothing to show that it may not be applied to the simple drawing of an oar against the water or to the simple bending of a bow (which surely must be its sense in Stat. Theb. 1. 703, “Tela tibi longeque feros lentandus in hostis Arcus”). The imitation of Sen. Ag. 435, “Properat iuventus omnis adductos simul Lentare remos,” seems to show that he understood it in that sense. Comp. also 7. 28, “in lento luctantur marmore tonsae,” where the meaning is the water pulls against the oars as well as the oars against the water. At the same time there is nothing to prevent our supposing that Virg. chose the word here to indicate that the voyage was to be a long one, the oars growing more tough and flexible by exercise.

[385] Salis Ausonii like “sale Tyrrheno” 6. 697. “‘Sal Ausonium,’ mare Tyrrhenum, vel accuratius ea pars maris inferi quae est inter Tyrrhenum et Ionium circa fretum Siculum. Cf. Plin. 3. 10. 15, et 14. 6. 8.” Forb.

[386] Infernique lacus: see v. 442 below. They pass by Circe's island after leaving Cumae and Caieta, 7. 10 foll. ‘Circes’ was the old reading: but ‘Circae,’ which Heins. restored from the older MSS., is in keeping with Virg.'s practice elsewhere of preferring the Roman to the Greek form of the genitive. Hom. calls Circe's island Αἰαίην νῆσον, Od. 10. 135, Circe being so called from her connexion with Aea in Colchis.

[387] Burm. rightly makes ‘componere’ include both the sense of building (“ponere”) and that of settling, as if Virg. had said “ponere quietam urbem.” Heyne says that this supposed twofold reference “sermonis humani rationi adversatur:” but others will probably pronounce it “sermonis Vergiliani rationi maxime consentaneum.” Comp. note on 1. 249, and for other instances of this characteristic of Virgil's style, notes on 1. 381, G. 3. 364. ‘Tuta:’ “propter Thraciae et Cretae discrimina.” Serv. Dangers from hostile neighbours are more likely to have been in Helenus' mind, as vv. 395 foll. show.

[388] Signa is explained by the context to mean the token that the Trojans had come to their destined home. Comp. 1. 442.

[389] Nothing is said in the passage at the beginning of A. 8, where this prophecy is repeated and verified, to illustrate ‘secreti’ here, except it be “per silvam” v. 82: but it is not unnatural that the scene should be laid in a retired spot.

[390] This and the three following lines occur 8. 43 foll., with a verbal change. ‘Litoreis’ of the bank of a river, as in 8. 83, “viridi in litore,” where the fulfilment is described.

[391] Capita is used of animals numerically, as we use ‘head,’ “bina boum capita” 5. 61. See also instances from Columella quoted by Forc. ‘Capitum’ then is a descriptive gen. after ‘fetus.

[393] See on 8. 46, and also Introduction to this Book.

[394] Nec with imperative G. 2. 96.

[395] Fata viam invenient 10. 113. The expression is imitated by later poets, Lucan 1. 33, Stat. Silv. 1. 145. ‘Adesse’ of gods 1. 734. ‘Vocatus ApolloG. 4. 7.

[396] ‘Has,’ as if he were pointing to the east coast of Italy in the direction from Epirus, as Forb. observes. ‘Litoris oramG. 2. 44.

[397] Nostri aequoris, the Ionian and Adriatic. ‘Perfundere’ of the sea, as we talk of washing. Forc. quotes Pliny 4. 12., 5. 29, where it is used of rivers surrounding a country, being distinguished in the latter passage from “alluere.”

[398] For the distributive use of ‘cuncta’ see on 1. 518. The plural ‘moenia’ generally answers to “urbs:” here it = “urbes.

[399] Narycii G. 2. 438 note. Virg. follows a story which represented some of the companions of the younger Ajax as driven on shore on the coast of Bruttii by the storm which attacked the Grecian fleet on its return, and settling there. Others were driven still farther, to Africa, as Virg. tells us himself, 11. 265.

[400] See on v. 122. “Sallentinos” is the orthography of Med., Pal., &c., preferred by Heins. and the later editors to ‘Salentinos.’ One MS. has ‘Salantinos,’ which is supported by a coin.

[401] Lyctius E. 5. 72. ‘Ducis Meliboei:’ Meliboea in Thessaly had been part of the dominious of Philoctetes (Il. 2. 717), who, like Idomeneus, was forced to leave his kingdom and settle in Italy.

[402] Subnixa muro, supported by its wall, like “solio subnixa” 1. 506. Henry thinks a compliment is intended to the strength of the little Bruttian town, which made a gallant resistance in the second Punic War, Livy 23. 30. ‘Philoctetae’ with ‘Petelia.’ The spelling ‘Petelia’ is found in Med. and supported by coins: but ‘Petilia,’ the orthography of Pal., Gud., &c., has also some confirmation from inscriptions. Turnebus derives the name from “petilus,” a word apparently signifying thin or shrunk, occurring in fragments of Plautus and Lucilius (see Forc.): and Henry, who connects this dubious adjective with the French “petit,” thinks we have here an instance of a practice not uncommon with Virg. (see on 1. 298), of adding to the name of a place an epithet explanatory of its meaning.

[403] Wagn. would take ‘steterint’ here, like “steterant” above v. 110, as a perf. subj. from “sisto,” such a form being vouched for by Charisius and Diomedes, so that ‘steterint’ here will = “stabunt.” We may accept his remark as to the use of the word in these two passages without committing ourselves to his grammatical position, as Gell. 2. 14 apparently speaks of “stiti” as the only perfect of “sisto.” The utmost that could be said would be, that as “stiti” seems to be confined to the transitive sense of “sisto,” and even then only to be used in legal formularies, the perfect of ‘sto’ is sometimes employed with a certain latitude, so as to include the meaning of “sisto” intransitive. For the union of “steterint” and “solves,” as for that of “admoverit” and “rarescent,” vv. 410, 411, see on G. 4. 282. Gossrau apparently connects “trans aequora” with “transmissae,” not with “steterint;” but the order seems against this. Helenus' direction refers to their landing on the nearest coast of Italy for the purpose of sacrificing, as is evident from vv. 543 foll., where they fulfil his injunction, so that perhaps we may say that this and the next verse contain an indirect precept, Helenus assuming that they will do what otherwise they would not have thought of doing.

[404] Ponere aras 4. 200.

[405] Velare imperative passive: see on 2. 707, and comp. v. 545 below. To explain ‘velare’ as infinitive for imperative is to introduce a construction unexampled in Latin, except in one very doubtful passage, Val. Fl. 3. 412, “Tu socios adhibere sacris.” See Wagn. Lect. Verg. p. 377. The covering of the head during sacrifice was a distinctively Roman custom, the Greeks sacrificing with the head uncovered. There is a representation of Aeneas sacrificing with his head covered in the Royal Gallery at Florence: see Lersch, p. 176. Lucr. has not omitted the trait in his wellknown lines on the inutility of sacrifice (5. 1196 foll.), “Nec pietas ullast velatum saepe videri Vertier ad lapidem.

[406] In honore deorum G. 3. 486. ‘Inter sanctos ignis’ expresses the same thing more picturesquely.

[407] The reason given for the precept seems to be that the appearance of an enemy, if seen by the worshipper, would be an evil omen. It is not said that such an appearance would be an evil omen in itself; nor is anything intimated about the danger to the sacrificer; though perhaps the meaning may be that he would become confused or break off the sacrifice. The prohibition “Absint profani” is supposed to be connected with the same observance. If we may trust Serv., Virg. is not only accounting for a Roman custom, but glancing at a Trojan legend, to the effect that Diomede, being ordered by an oracle to restore the Palladium, came upon Aeneas while sacrificing, that Aeneas did not interrupt his worship, and that the restoration was consequently made not to him, but to Nautes. ‘Hostilis facies’ like “virgineae facies” 9. 120. ‘Omina turbet:’ the omens would have been taken before the sacrifice, and anything occurring during the sacrifice might spoil them. As usual, many MSS. give ‘omnia.

[408] “Morem ritusque sacrorum Adiiciam” 12. 836.

[409] Casti = ‘pii,’ as in 6. 563 &c. ‘Manere in religione,’ like “manere in sententia,” “in amicitia” &c.: see Forc.

[410] Digressum, leaving Italy and re-embarking.

[411] Rarescent is rightly explained by Serv. of the gradual opening of a passage which at a distance would appear closed. It is used similarly of the thinning of the ranks of an army, of the population of a city, &c.: see Forc.

[412] Laeva tellus, the left or southern side of Sicily, round which Aeneas was to sail ‘longo circuitu,’ so as to avoid the passage between Scylla and Charybdis.

[414] Haec loca refers to ‘dextrum litus et undas.’ The opinion that Sicily and Italy had originally been one country is frequently found in the Latin writers. Comp. Ov. M. 15. 290, Val. Fl. 1. 589, Claudian, Rape of Proserpine 1. 140.

[415] The expression would seem to suit a gradual rather than a violent change; but Virg. doubtless means no more than that a long period of years gives time for accidental convulsions.

[416] Protinus of continuity in space, E. 1. 13.

[417] Medio seems better taken as a local abl. than with Serv. and others as a dative (= “in medium”). ‘Medius,’ which we should rather have expected (comp. 1. 348), was perhaps avoided as less euphonious.

[418] “Sicanium latus” occurs 8. 416 for “Sicaniae latus.” Here there may be some force in the substitution of the adj. for the gen., as indicating that both sides originally belonged to the same undivided continent.

[419] Heyne's explanation of ‘litore diductas’ as equivalent to “mari deductas,” “ubi enim litus, ibi mare,” seems rather harsh. Perhaps it would be better to interpret the words ‘separated in respect of coast,’ the ground on which they stood being no longer continuous, but disconnected. ‘Diductas’ is the reading of Pal., Gud., &c.: ‘deductas’ of Med. and most others. See on G. 2. 354.

[420] In the following lines Virg. has had his eye on the much longer description of Scylla and Charybdis Od. 12. 73 foll. The Scylla of the Odyssey however is a six-headed and twelve-footed monster; the Scylla of Virg. is modelled on the later legend, already glanced at E. 6. 75 foll., which represented her as a maiden whose lower parts had been transformed by magic. “‘Dextrum:’ de Ionio venientibus. Scylla enim in Italia est, Charybdis in Sicilia.” Serv. ‘Inplacata,’ insatiate, as Hor. 2. S. 8. 5 talks of “iratum ventrem placare.” The word is said to occur only here and in Ov. M. 8. 846.

[421] Ter, three times a day, as appears from Od. 12. 105.

[422] Sorbet in abruptum, swallows down her gulf: Hom's. ἀναρροιβδεῖ. The Homeric Charybdis, who is not represented in any visible form, dwells under a rock. ‘Sub auras,’ upwards to the air, as in v. 576, &c.

[423] Hom.'s description is less hyperbolical, ὑψόσε δ᾽ ἄχνη Ἄκροισι σκοπέλοισιν ἐπ᾽ ἀμφοτέροισιν ἔπιπτεν, Od. 12. 238.

[424] Μέσση μέν τε κατὰ σπείους κοίλοιο δέδυκεν, Ἔξω δ᾽ ἐξίσχει κεφαλὰς δεινοῖο βερέθρου, Od. 12. 93, 94.

[425] In Hom. Charybdis swallows the ships, Scylla contents herself by seizing six men, one in each of her mouths.

[426] Hominis facies, a poetical variety for “homo facie.” ‘Prima’ and ‘postrema’ of the top-most and bottom-most parts, as in Lucr. 5.905. “Prima leo, postrema draco, medio ipsa Chimaera,” which was probably in Virg.'s mind.

[427] Pube tenus explains ‘prima.’ ‘Pistrix,’ ‘pristis,’ ‘pistris,’ ‘pristrix,’ are varieties found in the MSS. here or elsewhere. The question seems to lie between the two first, both of which seem to have been forms used in classical Latin, Cic. Arat. v. 152 having “pistricis,” while “pristim” occurs 10. 211. On internal grounds it might seem more probable that Virg. should have written ‘pristis,’ as there is no passage in the Aeneid which requires the form in ‘x,’ while there are several (5. 116, 156., 10. 211) which do not admit it. The external authority however is strongly for ‘pistrix,’ only inferior MSS. being cited for ‘pristis;’ and as the question seems not to be one of mere orthography, it is better to adopt the better attested word. The notion that Virg. was likely to have given the more colloquial name to the ship, the less colloquial to the actual fish, is refuted by the passage in Book 10. The ‘pistrix’ was a great fish, which Pliny (9. 3) says was found sometimes of 200 cubits' length.

[428] This line is a further description of the “pistrix” part of Scylla, which was not entirely fish, but fish and wolf or dog mixed. ‘Delphinum’ probably means little more than “piscium.” Virg. calls the fishy part ‘pistrix’ and ‘delphin’ indifferently, aiming in each case at being poetically graphic, not prosaically general, as he speaks of the material of the Trojan horse as fir, maple, and oak indifferently. ‘Utero luporum’ would naturally signify a belly like a wolf's (comp. 11. 813): but it is evident from v. 432 and from the story as told elsewhere, that he means there were wolves' or dogs' heads (another instance of two discordant specifications) about her belly. ‘Commissus’ of junction. “Eadem plumbo commissa manebit.” Juv. 14. 310. So the substantive “commissura.

[429] In Hom. (vv. 109, 110) the advice given to Ulysses is that he should keep close to Scylla and away from Charybdis. Virg. however has had the language in view, while varying the sense. ‘Metas:’ Pachynum being the southern promontory of Sicily, which they were to sail round as they would go round a goal of which ‘longos circumflectere cursus’ is actually used 5. 131.

[430] Cessantem, taking a longer way, which would virtually be the same thing as loitering on a shorter one.

[431] οὐδέ κέ τίς μιν Γηθήσειεν ἰδών, οὐδ᾽ εἰ θεὸς ἀντιάσειεν, Hom. vv. 87, 88. On ‘vidisse’ Gossrau remarks that the Roman poets were fond of using the perf. inf. for metrical reasons, if a past notion could be introduced with any shadow of propriety. ‘Vasto sub antro:’ for the size of Scylla's cave see Hom. vv. 83, 84.

[432] In a note on G. 4. 388 I had suggested that ‘caeruleus’ as applied to seagods, &c., need only mean “marinus:” it appears however that the ancients did actually conceive of the sea-gods as of that colour, as Vell. Pat. 2. 83 tells us of a person who acted Glaucus “caeruleatus et nudus, caputque redimitus arundine, et caudam trahens.

[433] We are probably not intended to discriminate sharply between ‘prudentia’ and ‘fides,’ as Serv. wishes, as if the first indicated a human, the second a supernatural attribute. ‘Vati si qua fides’ is merely ‘if the prophet is to be trusted,’ or ‘if he is to be trusted as a prophet.’ At the same time there can be little doubt that those copies are wrong which connect ‘vati’ with what precedes. One MS. gives ‘fati,’ which, if better supported, would be plausible, though I should connect it with ‘prudentia,’ not, as Heins., with ‘fides.’ The substitution of ‘Heleno’ and ‘vati’ for the personal pronoun here as in v. 380 suits a solemn and impressive, as in 4. 308, 610 and impassioned style.

[434] Veris, with truth. “Liceat concedere veris” Hor. 2 S. 3. 305. This use of the neuter pl. as a substantive seems commoner in the nom. and acc. than in the other cases.

[435] Proque is the reading of the best MSS., others having ‘praeque,’ which Burm. preferred and Heyne retained. Wagn. comp. Cic. Att. 2. 5, “Cato ille noster, qui mihi unus est pro centum millibus.” So the phrase “unus instar omnium.”

[436] Iterumque iterumque probably with ‘monebo.

[437] Iunonis numen adora 1. 48. ‘Primum,’ as the first thing to do, G. 2. 475, where as here ‘primum’ seems an adverb.

[438] Canere of a sacred utterance, as frequently of prophecy. So “carmen” of a religious form. The notion is Roman, as is the spirit of the direction itself, Juno being always the object of peculiar worship at Rome. Comp. 12. 840. ‘Libens’ is a very common word in paying vows; see passages and inscriptions in Forc. An English reader may be reminded of the Antiquary's “Agricola Dicavit Libens Lubens.” Comp. also 8. 275, “date vina volentes;” 10. 577, ‘volens vos Turnus adoro.’ ‘Dominam’ of a goddess v. 113.

[439] “Supplicibus supera votis” 8. 61, where this passage is partially repeated. Some MSS. have ‘votis’ here. ‘Victor’ as perhaps in 8. 1. c. is explained by ‘supera.

[440] Metire, the reading of some copies, is plausible: but ‘mittere’ is evidently right. ‘You will have a good passage from Sicily to Italy.’ Pal. has ‘misere’ corrected into ‘miscere,’ which last is the first reading of Gud. ‘Denique,’ as the first voyage was disconcerted by the storm in A. 1.

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