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[160] Comp. 1. 124. Here Virg. may have been thinking of Lucr. 5.1221, “Magnum percurrunt murmura caelum.

[162] Passim 2. 364 note.

[164] Tecta generally, places of shelter. ‘Ruunt de montibus amnes’ is almost translated by Thomson in his description of a storm in harvest in his Autumn, “Red, from the hills, innumerable streams Tumultuous roar.”

[165] The hint of this passage is doubtless taken, as Henry has pointed out, from Apoll. R. 4. 1130 foll., where the union of Jason and Medea is made to take place in a cave; but there is nothing in the description of the elder poet to remind us of Virg., except the mention of Juno and of the Nymphs.

[166] Prima seems rightly explained by Henry, after Taubmann, of the Earth as the oldest of the deities, comp. “primam deorum Tellurem” 7. 136, πρεσβεύω θεῶν τὴν πρωτόμαντιν Γαῖαν Aesch. Eum. 1, 2. The ‘pronuba’ was a matron who had only been married to one husband, and her function was to conduct the bride to the “lectus genialis” (Dict. A. Marriage, Roman). Juno performs this office here, as in Ov. Her. 6. 43: but we may doubt with Keightley (Myth. p. 454, ed. 3) whether it was ever one of her regular titles. The whole description is rightly regarded by Henry as one not of an inauspicious but of an auspicious marriage, in which the gods take the parts ordinarily performed by mortals; the various phenomena of the storm being in fact regarded by Virg. as representing the various parts of the wedding solemnity, the lightning the holding up of the torches, the sounds of waters or woods the nuptial ὀλολυγμός. But he goes too far when he supposes the descent of rain upon the earth to be itself a symbolical marriage union between two great parts of nature. Such a notion is found in other passages of the classics (e. g. G. 2. 325), but there is nothing to show that it is intended here.

[167] It may be doubted whether ‘dant signum’ here means ‘give a signal for the flashing of the fire’ (comp. 3. 239, 519 &c.), or ‘give a sign of the event taking place’ (comp. 8. 523., 12. 245). Nor is it clear in either case what parts are meant to be assigned to the Earth and Juno respectively, supposing, as was observed in the last note, that some natural phenomenon is intended by each of the actions ascribed here to the various deities. Taking ‘signum’ as a sign, and so regarding ‘fulsere ignes’ as that in which the sign consisted, we may account sufficiently well for the operation of Juno, who is the mistress of the atmosphere; but the office of Tellus is still undetermined. The generality of commentators, regarding the appearances as inauspicious, suppose the sign given by Earth to be the shock of an earthquake. This was probably the interpretation of Milton, who doubtless intended to imitate the passage in his description of the effects following the first act of sin (Par. Lost, 9. 782 foll., 1000 foll.). Henry thinks ‘signum’ is a signal, which he supposes to be given by Tellus and Juno simply as persons, not as presiding powers of nature, “a simple nod of the head or wave of the hand:” but this would spoil the symmetry of the passage, nor is it supported, as he thinks, by Claudian in Prob. et Olybr. Cons. 205 foll., where ‘signum’ is evidently a sign or portent. Gossrau, who regards the manifestations as ambiguous, is similarly at a loss to know what part to assign to the Earth, and concludes “signa quae dederit Tellus esse omissa.” ‘Fulsere ignes et aether’ is rightly explained by Wagn. as i. q. “fulsit aether ignibus.” For nuptial torches see E. 8. 29.

[168] ‘Connubiis’ Med., ‘connubiii’ Rom. Pal. corrected, Verona fragm. The latter might perhaps be defended if written ‘connubi,’ though Lachm. on Lucr. 5.85 says, “Hoc quoque mirabile est, quod Vergilius gignendi casu uti noluit quo conubi dicendum erat, quod habent per i duo scriptum Lucanus 2. 330, 343 et Statius Theb. 7. 300., 10. 62, sed maluit dicere A. 4. 168 et conscius aether Conubiis, sive, ut mihi videtur, Conubis.” But the less ordinary construction of ‘conscius’ with a dative (for which see the lexicons) would account for the change of reading, as would the ‘s’ immediately following, though this latter argument tells both ways. For the synizesis comp. “taeniis” 5. 269, and see 1. 73. From the imitation of this passage by Ovid (Her. 7. 95), it is clear that he supposed the ‘ululatus’ of the nymphs to be a good sign. ‘Ululare’ is used of triumphal or festive cries, such as doubtless greeted the marriage procession, like the Greek ὀλολυγμός, which Serv. comp. So Lucan 6. 258, “laetis ululare triumphis.” The nymphs may be Oreads, Dryads, or Naiads, according to the view we take of the nature of the sound. Henry argues from ‘summo vertice’ that they are Oreads, comp. Apoll. R. 4. 1150. The words, as Heyne remarks, are probably from Apoll. R. 3. 1218,αἱ δ᾽ ὀλόλυξαν Νύμφαι ἑλειονόμοι ποταμηΐδες”, but the sense is different.

[169] We might have expected “prima,” agreeing with ‘caussa:’ but Virg. seems to have mixed up two expressions, ‘that day was the first day of ruin,’ and ‘that day was the cause of ruin.’ ‘Malorum’ is perhaps a little weak after the stronger word ‘leti,’ but that is no reason for suspecting the reading. Pal. a m. p. and Philarg. on G. 2. 168 have ‘laborum,’ probably, as Ribbeck hints, from 7. 481.

[170] The meaning is, that day sealed Dido's ruin, for henceforth she allowed herself to regard Aeneas as her husband and treated him as such openly. ‘Specie,’ as we should say ‘by the look of things.’ The word seems here to bear a neutral sense, like ‘fama.’ ‘She cares nought for the common eye or the common tongue.’

[171] ‘It is not on a concealed love that Dido's heart is any longer set.’ Forc. quotes this line in illustration of the statement “Universim meditari aliquid est non solum cogitando persequi, sed etiam agendo et praeparando, atque adeo ponitur pro exercere.

[172] Praetexit nomine culpam is a variety for “praetexit nomen culpae.” So below v. 500 ‘praetexere funera sacris’ stands for “praetexere funeri sacra.” ‘Culpa’ is used specially of unchastity: see Forc.

[173-197] ‘The news flies over Libya, being spread by Fame, a monster of the giant breed, winged, with countless eyes, tongues, and ears. Aeneas, it is said, has come as a stranger, Dido has married him, and they are leading a luxurious winter without a thought for Carthage. Iarbas hears and is enraged.’

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