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[588] The incident that follows is apparently Virg.'s own. Ovid borrows it in his account of Aeneas' wanderings, Met. 14. 160 foll. It enables Virg. to introduce a description of the Cyclops' cave without involving the Trojans in any perilous adventure, at the same time that it furnishes a sort of counterpoise to the story of Sinon in Book 2, from which one or two circumstances are taken. ‘Eous’ (properly the morning star, ἑῷος ἀστήρ) here stands for the morning, as the parallel passage 11. 4 shows. So probably 5. 42, “Postera cum primo stellas Oriente fugarat Clara dies.” For the position of ‘iamque’ comp. 5. 225.

[590] This advance of Achemenides from the woods to the shore (below v. 598) has been thought to show that the Trojans could not have spent the night in the woods (above v. 583). We need however only suppose that they had risen and were on the shore again, a circumstance which Virg., more suo, tells by implication, as indeed there was no occasion to specify it. ‘Suprema,’ the last extremity. So Caes. B. G. 1. 31 talks of “summus cruciatus.” “Extremus” and “ultimus” are similarly used: see Fore.

[591] Forma viri like “forma dei” 4. 556, “forma tricorporis umbræ” 6. 289, ‘forma’ in each case expressing external appearance. ‘Miseranda cultu’ i.q. “miserando cultu.” So “aspera cultu” 5. 730, though ‘cultus’ there refers to social habits, here to dress.

[593] Respicimus: the Trojans were apparently turned towards the sea, attending to their ships, when the approach of the stranger leads them to look back. The description of Achemenides may possibly be modelled, as the commentators think, on a passage in one of the Latin dramatists quoted by Cic. Tusc. 3. 12, where Aeetes is described— “Refugere oculi: corpus macie extabuit:
Lacrimae peredere humore exsanguis genas
Situ liventis (?): barba paedore horrida atque
Intonsa infuscat pectus illuvie scabrum.

For ‘inmissa’ two or three MSS. give ‘dimissa’ (‘demissa’), Non. v. ‘promittere’ ‘promissa,’ which is supported by Gud. a m. pr. ‘Inmissa barba’ however is found Ov. M. 12. 251.

[594] ‘Consertum tegumen spinis’ is alluded to by Ov. M. 14. 166, who speaks of Achemenides when under Aeneas' protection as “spinis conserto tegmine nullis,” and perhaps, as Forb. thinks, by Tac. Germ. 17, “Tegumen omnibus sagum, fibula, aut, si desit, spina consertum.” The commoner form ‘tegmen’ is found in some MSS., and was the old reading. We need hardly ask how Achemenides is known to be a Greek —whether by the remnants of his dress, or, as Serv. thinks, by his language and gait.

[595] Et, as Wagn. remarks, has the force of “et quidem.” Burm. read ‘ut,’ from one MS., but Heyne rightly brought back the old reading. The words do not necessarily imply that he was then wearing the armour of a Greek (Forb.) but only that he was a Greek who had fought at Troy—a fact which they may have recognized as he drew nearer, though at first he was ‘vir ignotus,’ or which may be mentioned in anticipation of his confession v. 602.

[599] Testor has here the sense of ‘oro,’ like ‘obtestor’ and μαρτύρομαι. Forc. does not mention this use. The common notion is that of adjuring, which applies equally to a witness and to a person entreated.

[600] For the identification of light and air see G. 2. 340., 4. 220. “Per cacli iucundum lumen” 6. 363, which seems to show that Ribbeck is wrong in reading ‘numen’ here, from Med. (first reading,) and perhaps Pal. a m. p., which has ‘nomen.

[601] Tollere of taking on board 6. 370, as in Hor. 2 S. 6, 42 of giving a lift in a carriage.

[602] Scio seems to mean ‘I am aware who I am when I make the request,’ so that it almost = ‘I admit.’ This use is imitated by Val. Fl. 1. 196, where Jason says, addressing Neptune, “Da veniam: scio me cunctis e gentibus unum Illicitas temptare vias, hiememque mereri.” We may comp. the use of ‘sciatG. 3. 474 (note), though we should hardly be justified in founding a special meaning of the word on these passages, as the original sense prevails in all, though a certain novelty is imparted in each case by the context. Serv. says “‘scio:modo confiteor.” For the quantity of ‘scio’ see on E. 8. 43. ‘E classibus’ = “e militibus in classe profectis.

[604] Sceleris iniuria nostri like “nostrae iniuria caedis” above v. 256. ‘Nostri’ is better taken in the sense of ‘mei’ than extended, as Forb. suggests, to the whole Greek army.

[605] Spargite me in fluctus is explained by 4. 600, “Non potui abreptum divellere corpus et undis Spargere?” Schirach's notion, approved by Forb., that spargere has reference to ‘vasto ponto,’ ‘throw me into the boundless deep, to welter there,’ is possible, but scarcely so likely. Virg. seems to combine in the two clauses the two thoughts of being thrown piecemeal into the waves and drowned there.

[606] “Ostendit male vivere: namsi pereodixit, et noncum periero:’” Donatus, who is right in calling attention to the mood and tense, though the meaning seems rather to be ‘if I die, as I am on the point of dying, either by the hands of the Cyclops, or by those of my natural enemies.’ ‘Manibus hominum’ was the reading before Heins. The early editors used to point before ‘periisse.

[607] The structure of the sentence obliges us to take ‘genibus’ with ‘volutans,’ not with ‘haerebat.’ The abl. will then be local. Some MSS. have ‘volutus,’ but the intransitive use of the participle is sufficiently Virgilian, and the frequentative is very forcible here. ‘Genibus’ or ‘genua advolvi’ is frequent in prose: see Forc.

[608] Comp. 2. 74, 75. Some MSS. give ‘quis sit.’ See on E. 1. 19.

[609] Deinde is not unfrequently used by Virg. out of its place (see on 1. 195), so that Jahn and Forb. may be right in connecting it here with ‘fateri.’ But a very good meaning may be extracted from it as it stands, not by connecting it, as Wagn. does, with ‘quae’ in the sense of ‘quae iam,’ a sense which Forb. rightly denies to be supported by 5. 741., 9. 781., 12. 888 (where see notes), but by referring it to ‘agitet Fortuna.’ Achemenides is asked what is his birth, and what have been his subsequent fortunes. ‘Agitet’ is used because the present is inquired about as well as the past, and is indeed the more prominent object of curiosity. The word might be understood in a neutral sense, Fortune being said ‘agitare’ a person, as a person is said himself ‘agitare aevum,’ ‘vitam,’ &c. (a conversion of subject and object not unusual in Virg.), but it is better taken in its less favourable acceptation, as they would naturally assume that Achemenides had been persecuted by Fortune.

[611] “‘Dat iuveni:ut evitaret tenuem voculam ‘ei.’” Heyne. ‘Iuveni’ has a force of its own, as contrasted with ‘pater.’ ‘Praesenti’ seems to mean ‘taking effect at once,’ as ‘praesens pecunia’ is money paid down at once, ready money, ‘praesens debitum’ a debt that has to be discharged immediately. Anchises' action was an earnest of something further, but it brought immediate comfort. ‘Animum firmatG. 4. 386.

[612] We have had this line already 2. 76, though its genuineness there is doubtful.

[613-654] ‘His name, he said, was Achemenides: he had been at Troy with Ulysses, and on his voyage home had been accidentally left in the cave of the Cyclops. He described to us the death of his comrades and the vengeance Ulysses took, and advises us to fly at once, as there were many other giants besides the one who had been blinded. He himself had been three months in the island, subsisting as he could, and only wished to be removed from it.’

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