From the description it is supposed that the race is meant to take place in the Sinus Longuri, under Mount Eryx. The description of the goal is modelled, mutatis mutandis, upon that of the goal in Hom.'s chariot-race (Il. 22. 327 foll.). The rock is well out at sea, ‘procul in pelago,’ and faces the shore, ‘contra litora.’
 In a storm the rock is covered— in a calm it stands out. Heyne comp. Apoll. R. 1. 365, “λείῳ ἐπὶ πλαταμῶνι, τὸν οὐκ ἐπέβαλλε θάλασσα Κύμασι, χειμερίη δὲ πάλαι ἀποέκλυσεν ἅλμη”. ‘Olim’ followed by ‘ubi:’ see on G. 2. 403. Forb. comp. Lucr. 6.148, “Ut calidis candens ferrum e fornacibus olim Stridit, ubi in gelidum propere demersimus imbrem.”
 Tranquillo abl. of circumstance. ‘Tranquillum’ is frequently used as a subst., and hence ‘tranquillo’ is sometimes found adverbially, a step beyond its use here. See Forc. It matters little whether ‘saxum’ or ‘campus’ be regarded as the subject of ‘silet,’ ‘campus’ being in this case = ‘saxum.’
 Campus, a table-land, like ‘aequor’ (applied to a rock Lucr. 3.892) or ‘planities.’ ‘Apricis’ is half proleptic. ‘A pleasant standing-place for sea-birds to sun themselves upon.’ Comp. G. 4. 421, “Deprensis olim statio tutissima nautis.” The poetical reader will be reminded of Wordsworth's ‘sea-beast.’ ‘Mergis:’ note on G. 1. 361.
 It is difficult to give the force of ‘pater,’ which doubtless is intended to characterize the act, like “dederat heros” 1. 196, “dea fudit” ib. 412, “dea tollit” ib. 692. Perhaps on a comparison of vv. 358, 424 below we may say that it denotes Aeneas' acting as the president and patron of the games, directing the sports of those who are mostly younger than himself. In v. 521 it indicates Acestes' display of his prowess as a veteran.
 They choose their places by lot, as it was an object to secure the place which as nearest to the goal involved the shortest turn. Comp. Il. 23. 352, where the result of the lot-drawing is given at length, as below vv. 409 foll.
 The rowers are partially naked, and wear garlands of poplar. ‘Velatur’ 3. 174. Serv. says the poplar was chosen because these were funeral games, that tree having been brought from the shades by Hercules when he went to fetch Cerberus. See on E. 7. 61.
 Considunt transtris 3. 289. ‘Intentaque bracchia remis’ followed immediately by ‘intenti’ has given some trouble to the commentators. Probably the repetition is intentional, as Gossrau remarks, to enforce the notion of intense eagerness. There is something strange to a modern judgment in the use of the same word first in a literal and immediately afterwards in a transferred sense; but the contrast between the two was doubtless not so sharply present to the poet's mind. ‘Intendere bracchia’ occurs below, v. 403. Here the meaning seems to be that every nerve and muscle is strained in expectation of the contest. There is some resemblance between this passage and Enn. A. 7. fr. 6, “tonsas ante tenentes Parerent, observarent, portisculus signum Cum dare coepisset.”
 Finibus, from their respective places, which were their limits until the signal was given. It is the ‘limen’ of v. 316, the ‘carcer’ of the circus. Ribbeck reads ‘funibus,’ seemingly from his own conjecture.
 It is doubtful, as was intimated on 3. 668, whether ‘versa’ here and ‘verso’ in the parallel passage 10. 208, “spumant vada marmore verso,” come from “vertere” or from “verrere.” “Verrere” is used several times of rowing (see 3. 668), while to support the use of “vertere” in that sense we must perhaps look to the analogy of ploughing, “vertere terram,” &c. But the participle “versus” from “verrere” is exceedingly rare; and though “verrere” is the more natural word for rowing where quick motion is the notion intended to be brought out, “vertere” would seem to be fitter to express great exertion and disturbance of the water, which seems to be the meaning both here (comp. ‘spumant,’ ‘infindunt sulcos,’ another metaphor from ploughing, ‘dehiscit,’ ‘convolsum’) and in the passage from A. 10.
 “Telluri infindere sulcos” E. 4. 33. ‘Pariter’ expresses the regular movement of the oars of each vessel; or it may refer to the ships as abreast of each other at starting. ‘Dehiscit’ as in a storm, 1. 106.
 Repeated 8. 690. In both passages an unmetrical reading ‘stridentibus’ seems to have got early possession of the text, to the perplexity of the grammarians, who had recourse to various ways of scanning it, a molossus or amphimacer in the fourth foot, the suppression of s as a consonant which the Etruscans scarcely sounded at all, and the shortening of i by the poet ‘auctoritate sua.’ Pierius, who mentions these devices, himself asks “sed quid obsecro magis proprium quam in eo strepitu exprimendo, per eam syllabarum asperitatem, ut vastum nescio quid praeter etiam rationem musicam audiatur, legere ‘convolsum remis rostrisque stridentibus aequor’?” Others, less ready for metrical tours de force, omitted ‘que:’ while others again changed ‘stridentibus’ into ‘sonantibus,’ ‘ruentibus,’ ‘rudentibus.’ The reading ‘tridentibus’ was mentioned to Pierius, apparently as a conjecture, “ab Academia Neapolitana profectam,” by Angelus Colotius. It is found in Med., fragm. Vat. (originally), Pal., and some other copies, and is unquestionably the true one, expressing as it does accurately the shape of the ship's beak (Dict. A. ‘Ships’). It is supported also by an imitation in Val. Fl. 1. 688, “volat inmissis cava pinus habenis, Infinditque salum et spumas vomit aere tridenti.” Rom., Gud., &c. have ‘stridentibus.’
 Virg. may be said to glance indirectly at his master in asserting that the ships moved faster and the rowers showed more eagerness than the chariots and their drivers. The comparison of a ship to a car at full speed is Homer's own, Od. 13. 81 foll., while the lines descriptive of the chariots and their drivers are partly taken from Virg.'s previous description of a chariot-race, G. 3. 103 foll., which is itself modelled on the chariot-race in Il. 23. “Praecipiti certamine campum Corripuere ruuntque effusi carcere currus” G. 3. 103, 104, where see notes. ‘Biiugo certamine’ is the poetical equivalent of “biiugorum” or “bigarum certamine.”
 Inmissis expresses the darting forward of the horses. So G. 2. 364, “laxis per purum inmissus habenis” (note). It is here joined with ‘iugis,’ as the yoke would move as the horses' necks moved, while the yoke naturally occurs in connexion with the reins.
 Emm. comp. Ov. M. 5. 403, “quorum per colla iubasque Excutit obscura tinctas ferrugine habenas.” Heins. ingeniously but needlessly conj. ‘iubis’ here. ‘Pronique in verbera pendent’ 10. 586. ‘In verbera’ may mean either, as Forb. thinks, “ut verbera dent,” or literally and physically, over the blows they give, which is the same thing as saying, over the horses. “Illi instant verbere torto Et proni dant lora” G. 3. 106. The image, as Heyne remarks, seems to be Virg.'s own.
 ‘Faventum’ may be taken either with ‘virum’ or separately.
 “Consonat omne nemus strepitu, collesque resultant” 8. 305. Here we must suppose wooded hills near the coast. ‘Consonat’ is explained by Wagn. from ‘omne.’ Perhaps it is rather to be explained by the echo, ‘fremitu’ &c. however not being taken as datives, but as instrumental ablatives expressing the cause of the echo. ‘Inclusa,’ confined by the hills. “Vocemque per ampla volutant Atria” 1. 725.