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[504] ‘Penctralis’ in its original sense as an adj., as in G. 1. 379 (note). Serv. says, “Notatus est hic versus: vitiosa est enim elocutio, quae habet exitus similes, licet sit casuum dissimilitudo.” The ears of grammarians must have been morbidly fine to have been offended by ‘pyrā’ following ‘regină,’ especially as the pause in the sense after ‘regina’ alters the rhythm. It would have been more natural to object to ‘erecta . . . secta’ in the next line.

[505] Wakef. connects ‘ingenti taedis,’ rightly, as appears from 6. 214, quoted by Henry, where ‘ingentem’ must go with ‘robore secto.’ Otherwise I should incline to Wund. and Wagn.'s construction, which regards ‘taedis atque ilice secta’ as an instrumental or modal abl. after ‘erecta.’ ‘Taedae,’ as Henry reminds us, are not torches, but the wood of the Pinus Taeda. ‘Ilice secta,’ planks of ilex, like “secta abiete” 2. 16.

[506] We have already in 2. 236 (where see note) had ‘intendere’ used of the operation of binding. Virg. has here taken a further licence, inverting the expression, so as to put the bandage into the instrumental abl., the thing bound into the acc. This new variety he repeats 5. 503, “intendere bracchia tergo,” where however there is probably something more gained by the inversion. ‘Frons funerea’ e. g. cypresses, pitch-trees, and yews. Comp. 6. 215, “cui frondibus atris Intexunt latera, et feralis ante cupressos Constituunt.

[507] Exuvias: see on v. 496. ‘Ensem:’ see on v. 646.

[508] We have already had the use of the effigy in incantations for restoring love E. 8. 75. Its use in getting rid of the passion has been adverted to on v. 496. ‘Toro,’ the “lectus iugalis,” v. 496. ‘Haud ignara futuri’ seems to mean that though her arrangements might seem to her sister to have one object, they were really devised with another. The words are perhaps from Hor. 1 S. 1. 35.

[509] Stant = “constitutae sunt,” as in 3. 63. Enchantresses had their hair unbound while performing their incantations, Hor. 1 S. 7. 24. See further on 3. 370. ‘Sacerdos’ is sufficiently explained from v. 483; but it is used, as Wund. remarks, of enchantresses, as in Val. Fl. 1. 755.

[510] Some of the editors, following a hint of Serv., take ‘ter’ with ‘tonat,’ remarking that a hundred is the ordinary number of the gods, while the repetition of an act three times was supposed to have a magical propriety. But the sense produced is frigid, and contrary to the obvious meaning which the words would suggest; nor is it supported by the imitation in Sil. 1. 94, where, though a hundred is the number of the gods, nothing is said about a threefold invocation. On the other hand Virg., as Wagn. admits, talks of “ter centum delubra” 8. 716 as dedicated by Octavianus after the victory of Actium. If the number is exaggerated, as seems probable, we must attribute it partly to the well-known colloquial use of the numeral to express a great multitude, partly to the prejudice, just noticed, in favour of the number three in magic. ‘Tonare’ of loud utterance 11. 383. ‘Erebumque Chaosque’ shows that the invocation was chiefly of the infernal gods. Comp. 6. 264 foll.

[511] ‘Tergeminus’ of Geryon, Lucr. 5.28. See on 6. 287. Hecate is called τρισσοκέφαλος Orph. Argon. 974 (where there is no occasion to read τρισσοκάρηνος with Heyne, the penult being lengthened in pronunciation, as in κυνοκέφαλος, τετρακέφαλος, τρικέφαλος). The same goddess was supposed to be Artemis, the Moon, and Hecate or Persephone. So 6. 247, “Voce vocans Hecaten, Caeloque Ereboque potentem,” and Horace's “Diva triformis” (3 Od. 22. 4). ‘Tria ora Dianae,’ the three-faced Diana, like “foedati ora Galaesi” 7. 575 for “Galaesum foedato ore,” “squalentia terga lacertiG. 4. 13 for “lacertus squalenti tergo.”

[512] So Sagana runs “per totam domum Spargens Avernalis aquas” (Hor. Epod. 5. 25), a sort of infernal lustration, answering apparently here to that which ordinarily took place at funerals 6. 229 foll. Virg. here candidly admits that the Avernus water used by the priestess was not genuine.

[513] Quaeruntur, like “quaeriturG. 4. 300, are looked after and obtained. “Marsis quaesitae montibus herbae” 7. 758. The plants were to be poison-plants (E. 8. 95), cropped by moonlight with brazen shears. Macrob. Sat. 5. 19 thinks that Virg. got the latter notion from a tragedy of Sophocles, the Ριζοτόμοι, now lost, where Medea cuts plants with a brazen sickle, χαλκέοισιν δρεπάνοις, and pours the juice into a brazen vessel, χαλκέοισι κάδοις: but he quotes a passage from the second book of a work by Carminius on Italy, which shows that the use of brazen things in sacrifices was an old Italian custom, “Prius itaque et Tuscos aeneo vomere uti, cum conderentur urbes, solitos in Tageticis eorum sacris invenio, et in Sabinis ex aere cultros quibus sacerdotes tonderentur.” Comp. Pers. 2. 59.

[514] Pubentes seems to include the two notions of downiness and luxuriance. “Puberibus caulem foliis” 12. 413. “Pubentis herbas” is read by some MSS. G. 3. 126. ‘Nigri cum lacte veneni’ is descriptive of the plants, whose juice (so “herbae quarum de lacte soporem Nox legit” Ov. M. 11. 606) is deadly poison. With this use of ‘cum’ Wagn. comp. “poenas cum sanguine” 2. 72, = “poenas sanguineas.”

[515] The ancients believed that foals were born with tubercles on their foreheads, which were bitten off by their dams, and that if the tubercle was previously removed in any other way (as is here supposed to be the case), the dam refused to rear the foal. So Aristot. H. A. 6. 22., 7. 24, Pliny 8. 66. The name given to this flesh was hippomanes, and it was supposed to act as a philtre. In G. 3. 280 we have had a hippomanes of a different kind, though in similar request with enchantresses.

[516] Amor, a love-charm, a sense for which no other authority is adduced.

[517] Dido takes a subordinate part in the ceremony. The ‘mola,’ or salt barley cake, was broken and thrown into the fire, E. 8. 82. ‘Pius’ is a constant epithet of things connected with sacrifice: “pia vitta” v. 637 below, “farre pio” 5. 745. Here it seems = “purus.” The abl. is modal. Comp. Madv. § 257. Med., Pal., Gud. a m. pr. &c. have ‘molam,’ an easy corruption. Ribbeck recalls it, inserting v. 486 after the present line.

[518] Other writers speak generally of the person performing the incantation as barefooted, Hor. 1 S. 8. 24, Ov. M. 7. 183, where ‘nuda pedem’ can hardly be understood in a more particular sense. Heyne refers to a passage in Artemidorus, 4. 67, as confirming Virg.'s representation, and says that the single unsandalled foot is found in ancient works of art. The reason Serv. gives, that Dido herself may be loosed from love while Aeneas is bound, seems scarcely adequate, though approved of by Lerch, Antiqq. Vergg. § 68. ‘Vincla’ of sandals, Ov. F. 5. 432. The loosened dress was another ceremonial and probably symbolical observance, Ov. M. 1. 382., 7. 182. Canidia however in Hor. 1. c. is represented “nigra succincta palla.” ‘In veste’ as in 5. 179., 7. 167., 12. 169.

[519] The stars are appealed to as knowing the secrets of destiny, probably that they may witness that she had no choice but to act as she had done. Their knowledge is appealed to somewhat similarly 9. 429, though there it is merely the knowledge which they have as constant spectators of all that is done on earth.

[520] She invokes the gods who watch over unhappy love. ‘Aequo foedere’ is well paralleled by Henry to Theocr. 12. 15, ἀλλήλους δ᾽ ἐφίλησαν ἴσῳ ζύγῳ, of a passion returned, and Martial 4. 13. 8, “Tamque pari semper sit Venus aequa iugo.” ‘Amantis’ are not the two unequally matched lovers, but the class of lovers who have unequal yokefellows. With the general sense Wagn. comp. Ajax's dying appeal in Soph. Aj. 835 foll.

[521] Curae habere occurs Cic. Fam. 8. 8, 10. Suet. Oct. 48.

[522-553] ‘Night comes, and brings rest to all but Dido. She lies tossed with distracting thoughts. What shall she do? ally herself with one of her former lovers? throw herself on the compassion of the Trojans? join them alone, or drag the Tyrians with her into a second exile? No, she must die. Would that, instead of listening to her sister, she had barred her heart against love and kept her faith!’

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