The ‘Sicanian bay’ is that which afterwards formed the great harbour of Syracuse. With ‘praetenta’ comp. 6. 60 “praetentaque Syrtibus arva,” though there the construction is different (see note).
 Plemyrium is known to the readers of Thucydides (7. 4) as the height which the Athenians fortified after the arrival of Gylippus: τῷ δὲ Νικίᾳ ἐδόκει τὸ Πλημμύριον καλούμενον τειχίσαι: ἔστι δὲ ἄκρα ἀντιπέρας τῆς πόλεως, ἥπερ προὔχουσα τοῦ μεγάλου λιμένος τὸ στόμα στένον ποιεῖ. The spelling ‘Plemmyrium’ is more usual in Greek: here however Med. and Rom. agree in ‘Plemyrium,’ which Wagn. consequently restores, comparing “Parnasus,” “Lyrnesus.” Ribbeck prefers ‘Plemurium,’ the spelling of fragm. Veron., Pal, and Gud. Longus in the Verona Scholia says “Plemurium fuit, emendatum Plemyrium.” The name is of course from πλημμυρίς, so that ‘undosum’ is one of those epithets which are in fact Latin translations of Greek significant appellatives—a class of which there are several specimens in this paragraph. See on 1. 298.
 Iussi apparently by Anchises, who throughout the book directs the religious observances of the Trojans; it may however be an unexpressed precept of Helenus. Serv. suggests another alternative, Achemenides. ‘Numina’ are apparently Alpheus and Arethusa. Gossrau sees here a proof of the prophetic power of Anchises, whom he supposes to foresee the greatness of Syracuse, and thence to infer that the spot is under high supernatural protection—a notion with which he comp. 8. 347 foll. Some MSS. read ‘Numina magna loci iussi veneramur:’ but Pierius defends the order in the text, comparing 7. 724, E. 2. 53, where the rhythm is similar.
 Proiecta saxa, προβλῆτες σκόπελοι, of which it may be intended as a translation. Heyne. Macrob. Sat. 6. 4 notes this as an old use of ‘proiecta,’ and quotes Sisenna and Lucr.; but other instances are given in the lexicons from Cic. and later writers.
 Fatis, by the oracle, which is preserved by Serv., μὴ κίνει Καμάριναν: ἀκίνητος γὰρ ἀμείνων, words which in modern days have passed into a proverb against meddling even with admitted evils. The story is that the place was surrounded by a marsh, which the inhabitants drained in spite of the oracle, thus making the spot accessible to the enemy, who took it. It is not known to what period of history this story refers, though Thuc. says (6. 5) that the place was three times founded, the inhabitants having been twice expelled. In any case Serv. is doubtless right in saying that Aeneas in making this and other allusions is speaking in the poet's language rather than in his own. Comp. 2. 21 note.
 Thuc. 6. 4 says of Gela καὶ τῇ μὲν πόλει ἀπὸ τοῦ Γέλα ποταμοῦ τοὔνομα ἐγένετο, τὸ δὲ χωρίον, οὗ νῦν ἡ πόλις ἐστί, καὶ ὃ πρῶτον ἐτειχίσθη, Λίνδιοι καλεῖται. The meaning of ‘inmanis’ is much disputed, some referring it to the size of the place, which however is not known to have been very large, others to the tyrants who ruled it, while the later editors understand it as a genitive, not very probably, and refer it to the dangerous character of the river. In lengthening the final syllable of ‘Gela’ Virg. has followed the Greek (see Lachm. on Lucr. 6.971). Silius Italicus on the contrary, in a similar enumeration of Sicilian cities (14. 218), has “Venit ab amne trahens nomen Gela.” A difficulty has been made about ‘fluvii,’ the “ii” in the genitive being said not to be found in Virg. Lachm. however, in his elaborate treatment of the whole subject on Lucr. 5. 1006, allows it in hexameters in the case of trisyllables, comparing “apii” in the Moretum, v. 89, “Latii” in Gratius, Cyn. 18, 38, “spatii” in Germanicus, v. 531, Porson conjectured ‘fluvio,’ regarding ‘cognomine’ as an adj., as in 6. 383; but the omission of the preposition would be harsh, and the attempt to supply it by reading ‘a fluvio’ (Martin) produces a very un-Virgilian line. There is no difficulty in making ‘cognomen’ = “nomen,” as in 12. 845, which Forb. comp. With the repetition ‘campique Geloi, Gela’ Lachm. comp. Il. 2. 711, παραὶ Βοιβηΐδα λίμνην, Βοίβην καὶ Γλαφύρας.
 Arduus again seems to be an etymological explanation of ‘Acragas,’ the Greek name of Agrigentum, as if it came from ἄκρος. ‘Acragas’ is the reading of Rom. and a few others, including Verona fragm.; the common reading is ‘Agragas’ ‘Agragans’ Med. a m. p.).
 Magnanimum is the single instance in which Virg. has admitted a crasis in the genitive of an adj. of the second declension. The form occurs again 6. 307. G. 4. 476. Agrigentum was famous for breeding horses, which were not only taken care of while living, but honoured with sepulchres when dead, Pliny 8. 42. Theron, whose Olympic victories Pindar celebrates, was of Agrigentum. ‘Quondam’ comes in strangely, as it can hardly mean any thing but ‘at a future time.’ The only supposition seems to be that Virg., who throughout this paragraph lets Aeneas speak as he himself would have spoken (see on v. 700 above), here forgets himself, or rather his hero, so completely as to point a contrast between the time of the narrative and the time of the poem. A poet with his mind full of the literary and historical interest of his subject is perhaps not unlikely to allow the expression of that feeling to escape him even at the most inappropriate time. We may remember how gladly he avails himself of the prophetic power of Anchises in Book 6 to contrast the small beginnings of Italy with its subsequent greatness (6. 766), and how readily in the later books of the Aeneid he introduces a reference to his own time (12. 134).
 Heyne apparently takes ‘dura’ as if it referred to the physical hardness of the stony bottom; but it is far more like Virg. to explain it with Gossrau of the danger and difficulty of navigation.
 “‘Inlaetabilis’ propter patris amissionem.” Serv. Heyne may perhaps be right in supposing the epithet also to refer to the character of the coast, which is said to be a barren salt marsh. Wund. comp. the Homeric ἀτερπὴς χῶρος (Od. 11. 94).
 There is a question of reading between ‘actis’ (Rom., Pal., Gud.) and ‘actus’ (Med.). The former is supported by the majority of MSS., and was read by Serv. If we adopt it, the sense will be that after surmounting so many storms, Anchises at last died in harbour, the feeling being like that of v. 711. ‘Actus’ on the other hand will express the same feeling as ‘fessum’ v. 710, Aeneas having sustained his trials by his father's help, and now being left alone just when he could bear it least. Or we may vary the thought slightly, and say that he means to represent this blow as the crowning evil of many, which is Wagn.'s view. Comp. 1. 240, “Nunc eadem fortuna viros tot casibus actos Insequitur.” “Tempestatibus acti” occurs also 7. 199. On the whole I have followed Med., with Heins., who however doubts between the two, and subsequent editors, except Ribbeck. A single MS. gives ‘actum,’ which had occurred to myself.
 The death of Anchises was fixed in different places by different authorities. His tomb is still shown at Drepanum; Eustathius however represented him as buried in Mount Ida, Theon in Pallene, Conon on the Thermaic gulf, the Arcadians in Arcadia, while Cato and others made him land in Italy with Aeneas. Had Virg. followed this last legend, his story would have been embarrassed by the presence of Anchises at Carthage, as Serv. and later critics remark.
 Aeneas calls the death of Anchises his ‘last agony,’ losing in his sense of it all recollection of the subsequent shipwreck, which is barely glanced at in the next line. Thus Virg. consults the natural feeling of his hero, at the same time that he avoids tiring the reader with any thing like repetition.
[716-718] ‘So ended Aeneas.’