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[630] Comp. vv. 285, 286 above.

[631] “Abrumpere vitam” occurs 8. 579., 9. 497, perhaps with a reference to the thread of life. Ἀπορ᾽ῥῆξαι βίον, πνεῦμα &c. are found in Greek (Eur. Or. 864 &c.).

[632] Serv. reminds us that Barca was the name of Hannibal's family.

[633] Heyne and others have suspected this line without reason. ‘Suam’ is peculiar, but not unexampled (see Madvig, § 490. b.) and was doubtless used partly for the sake of emphasis, partly as the only pronoun of the third person. ‘Patria antiqua’ is like “coniugis antiqui” v. 458 above. ‘Cinis ater habebat’ is a confusion between ‘tellus habebat’ and ‘ea cinis erat’—the natural identification of the human dust with the dust of earth. So the Greek κόνις, doubtless the same word as ‘cinis,’ is used of both, though such expressions as ἥδε κέκευθε κόνις (Thuc. 6. 59) in epitaphs do not prove, as Wagn. and Forb. appear to think, that the Greeks talked of a man as interred in his ashes. The line is a touch of circumstantial detail, which may very well have been invented by Virg. to give verisimilitude to his narrative, though it is possible that the legend may have mentioned the death of Dido's nurse.

[634] Mihi doubtless with ‘siste,’ as Wakef. takes it. To connect it with ‘cara’ would have a long-drawn effect: nor is it likely that any emphasis should be intended, as Forb. thinks, as if Dido meant to say, ‘I love you as well as Sychaeus did, though you are not my own nurse.’

[635] “Corpusque recenti Spargit aqua” 6. 635. The necessity of cleansing before approaching the gods is well known: comp. 2. 719 &c. Here ‘spargere’ seems to show that sprinkling with a lustral branch is intended, not bathing.

[636] “Monstratas excitat arasG. 4. 549. ‘Enjoined’ in this case by the priestess. ‘Ducat’ may have its sacrificial sense: comp. G. 2. 395. “Duc nigras pecudes: ea prima piacula sunto” (6. 153) is probably an exact parallel to Virg.'s words here, in sense as well as in language. The ‘pecudes’ are doubtless black cattle, being offered to Pluto (v. 638), the whole ceremony, as has been remarked on v. 496, partaking of the character of a sham funeral. Possibly the ‘piacula’ may be identical with the ‘pecudes.

[637] Sic is emphatic: ‘thus and only thus’—when she has done this and not till then, Dido's object of course being to gain time, while she professes to be anxious for her sister's presence. Serv. says well, “‘Sic,quemadmodum praeceptum est, ne praetermitteret aut praecederet,” and adds, not less well, that the injunction to Barce to get a fillet for herself is given “ut et ipsa tardaret.” ‘Tege,’ as the fillet would probably not be a mere wreath, but have its ends hanging down (Dict. A. ‘vitta’). “Crinis umbrosa tegebat arundo” 8. 34. Comp. the use of ‘velo’ 3. 174.

[638] Quae rite incepta paravi = ‘quae rite paravi et incepi.’ The two words are thus contrasted with ‘perficere.’ For the fact see vv. 504 foll. ‘Iovi Stygio’ is as old as Homer, who talks of Ζεὺς καταχθόνιος Il. 9. 457.

[639] “Susceptum perfice munus” 6. 629. The word is used of offerings also 3. 178, 548., 6. 637., 8. 307. ‘Est animus’ 11. 325 &c.

[640] Dardanii capitis like “infandum caput” v. 613, the circumlocution being perhaps adopted for a similar reason. ‘Rogum’ with ‘capitis.’ “Bene suum rogum illius dicit, ne suspicionem faciat.” Serv.

[641] For ‘celerabat’ Serv. mentions another reading, ‘celebrabat,’ which is found in Pal., Gud. a m. pr. and Med. a m. s., and adopted by Ribbeck. In 5. 609 ‘celebrans’ is the original reading of Med. Attius appears to have used ‘celeber’ or some word connected with it in the sense of ‘celer,’ though Serv. and Nonius, who attest the fact, differ in their citations of the passage. ‘Anili’ is the reading of Med. and the majority of the MSS., ‘anilem’ being found in Gud. (from a correction) and some others, and supported by ‘inilem,’ the original reading of Pal. Ambrose (De Abrah. 1. 8) seems to have read the latter, Serv. and Donatus (on Ter. Eun. 5. 3) the former. With Henry and Ribbeck I have followed Heyne, as against most of the later editors, in reading ‘anili,’ chiefly on the ground of external evidence. The sense is rightly given by Serv. “pro industria qua utuntur aniculae”—she made such haste as an old woman would, her intentions being doubtless better than her powers. Perhaps Virg. was thinking of Euryclea at the beginning of Od. 23.

[642-662] ‘When the nurse was gone, Dido mounts the pile and draws the sword. She says a few words, reviewing her life and pronouncing it happy and glorious but for this last sorrow, and plunges it into her bosom.’

[642] Her eyes are bloodshot, and red spots are burning on each cheek. Peerlkamp compares the appearances on the faces of the victims of the guillotine in France. Val. Fl. 2. 104, in an imitation of this passage, speaks of Venus in an infuriate mood as “maculis suffecta genas.

[644] “Pallentem morte futura” 8. 709, of Cleopatra. The sense of coming death makes her pale, casting as it were its shadow before. Cerda comp. Lucan 7. 129, “multorum pallor in ore Et mors ventura est [al. Mortis venturae], faciesque simillima fato.

[645] She had been in her palace-tower (v. 586), from which she now apparently descends. The pile was under the ‘impluvium:’ see on v. 494. The plural ‘altos rogos’ seems merely poetical.

[646] “Ense recluso” 9. 423.

[647] The difficulty of this line is well known. Its natural meaning is that the sword had been procured for or begged by Dido (according to the sense we give to ‘quaesitum’) as a present to herself from Aeneas. So the ancients seem themselves to have understood the passage, Ov. Her. 7. 184 foll. and Sil. 8. 148, speaking of Dido as slaying herself with the sword Aeneas had given her—if indeed the coincidence does not show that this was one of the points of the legend. Yet this seems inconsistent with the words of v. 507, which can hardly be understood of a thing which did not belong to Aeneas at the time of his departure. The alternative seems to be to suppose the sword to have been Dido's present to Aeneas, already mentioned v. 261 foll., which he may be assumed to have left behind him in his haste. ‘Quaesitum’ then would have to mean ‘procured,’ as Aeneas was not likely to have begged for it. In that case however we should have expected Virg. to have made more of the thought of Dido perishing by her own gift. On the whole I incline to the first interpretation, while professing myself unable to reconcile it satisfactorily with v. 507. Possibly it may be another instance of “Vergilius aliquando dormitans.” The objection that a sword was not a natural present to a lady may or may not be valid in itself, but it proves nothing against the probability of the interpretation, as Ov. and Sil. clearly did not feel it.

[648] Hic probably of time, as in 2. 122., 3. 369 &c., rather than of place. ‘Vestes’ are doubtless the ‘exuviae,’ vv. 496, 507, the garments left by Aeneas, not, as Heyne thinks, the presents originally given her by Aeneas, 1. 648 foll. ‘Notumque cubile’ v. 496.

[649] Lacrimis et mente seems to be a modal abl., as we might say ‘she paused awhile to weep and think,’ or ‘for tears and thought,’ so that we may comp. 5. 207, “magno clamore morantur.” Val. Fl. 2. 169 (quoted by Forb.), in an imitation of the present passage, has “lacrimisque iterum visuque morantur,” of the Lemnian women before leaving their homes.

[650] So Deianira slays herself on her nuptial bed Soph. Trach. 912 foll. ‘Dixitque novissima verba’ 6. 231.

[651] ‘Dear while fate and heaven allowed.’ ‘Sinebat’ Med., Pal. a m. pr., ‘sinebant’ fragm. Vat., Pal. a m. s. On the whole Wagn. seems right in preferring the singular, as ‘fata deusque’ evidently make one notion.

[652] Animam dare is a common phrase for dying, 10. 854, G. 4. 204 &c., so that ‘accipere animam’ may be used correlatively of the spot where a person dies.

[653] Comp. 3. 493 note, and, for ‘vixi,’ 9. 862, and the well-known ‘vixi’ of Hor. 3 Od. 29. 43.

[654] Henry comp. Turnus' language 12. 648, “Sancta ad vos anima atque istius inscia culpae Descendam, magnorum haud unquam indignus avorum.” ‘Magna’ seems to include the notion of size greater than life (2. 773 note), as well as that of queenly majesty. ‘Sub terras’ may be illustrated by the Greek καταχθόνιος. Some have wished that this line should be placed before v. 657, so as to close Dido's enumeration of her actions; but independently of the authority of the MSS., which is unequivocal, with the exception mentioned in the next note, it is easy to see that as a matter of taste the present arrangement is preferable. Dido first says that she has lived her life, and will die a queen, and then briefly but with dignity enumerates her actions as if she were writing an epitaph, adverting at the close to the one cloud on her history. ‘Mei imago:’ see Madvig § 297. b. obs. 1.

[655] “Urbem quam statuo” 1. 573. ‘Mea moenia:’ comp. 1. 437, “O fortunati quorum iam moenia surgunt.” Possibly there may be an implied taunt against her wandering lover, whose city is still to build. Some MSS. reverse the order of this and the following line, “non male,” says Ribbeck: but Dido follows the natural order of her own thoughts, not the order of time. Serv. strangely constructs ‘statui’ with ‘vidi’ as pass. inf.

[656] Recipere is used of receiving the proceeds of any thing (see Forc.), so that the transfer of it to the receipt of a penalty or satisfaction is not unnatural. Burm. very ingeniously conj. ‘Poenos.

[657] The construction is carried on from the preceding line. With the form of expression comp. E. 6. 45. Virg. was thinking of Catull. 62 (64). 171, “Iuppiter omnipotens, utinam ne tempore primo Gnosia Cecropiae tetigissent litora puppes,” and perhaps of Apoll. R. 4. 33.

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