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[485] The archery match follows Hom. closely, vv. 850 foll., except that there it is a match between two, one of whom divides the cord, the other kills the bird —the odd thing being that the result is apparently foreseen by Achilles, who offers the inferior prize for the former feat, the superior for the latter. With this and the next line comp. vv. 291, 292.

[486] With Ribbeck I have restored ‘dicit’ from Pal. and Gud., supposing ‘ponit’ (Med., Rom., Verona fragm.) to have been introduced from a recollection of v. 292. See on 1. 668., 4. 564.

[487] Serv. explains ‘ingenti manu’ “magna multitudine,” and others have thought of taking ‘ingenti’ with ‘nave.’ It clearly however belongs to ‘manu,’ and is to be taken like “manu magna” v. 241, “dextra ingenti” 11. 556 (of Metabus), the Homeric χειρὶ παχείῃ, expressing the gigantic stature of the hero, “ingentem Aenean” 6. 413, and showing how he could set up the mast himself. Serestus is apparently the same who was mentioned 4. 288, his ship not having engaged in the contest. It must be confessed however that this passage affords a strong argument for identifying him with Sergestus, whose shattered vessel might naturally be utilized in this manner. The mast is taken from the ship, ‘de nave,’ and set up on the sand, Hom. v. 853.

[488] Volucrem, winged, implies the notion of fluttering, like “πτηνῆς πελείαςSoph. Aj. 140. Hom. l.c. has τρήρωνα πέλειαν. ‘Traiecto’ seems to mean ‘passed across,’ not ‘passed through;’ but it is still doubtful whether it is to be understood passed across the mast, or, as Heyne thinks, across the dove. Hom. has merely πέλειαν Λεπτῇ, μηρίνθῳ δῆσεν ποδός. ‘In fune,’ tied by the rope, another use of ‘in’ with abl., where we should expect some other construction. See on v. 37.

[490] Convenere viri, the competitors. ‘Sortes deiiciuntur’ occurs Caes. B. C. 1. 6, quoted by Gossrau. “‘Deiectas sortes’ malit Trappius. Non videbat alterum eodem sensu esse magis poeticum,” Heyne. Poetical variety alone would be hardly a sufficient reason for the use of the singular here, were it simply improper on grounds of sense, though it might perhaps be justified by metrical necessity, if any such could be pleaded. But ‘sors’ is used generally in the sing. as opposed to other modes of choice, as we talk of ‘the lot,’ ‘by lot,’ and this probably accounts for its use here, though as a matter of fact there was a lot for each competitor.

[491] Κλήρους δ᾽ ἐν κυνέῃ χαλκήρεϊ πάλλον ἑλόντες, Il. 23. 861. ‘Clamore secundo,’ of his backers: comp. v. 369 above.

[492] Locus, the place, for the lot fixing the place. ‘Ante omnis’ after ‘primus’ 2. 40 &c. ‘Exit’ like κλῆρος ὄρουσεν Il. 3. 325, ἐκ δ᾽ ἔθορε κλῆρος κυνέης Il. 7. 182. Hippocoon seems to be brother to Nisus, who was also son of Hyrtacus, 9. 177. In Il. 2. 837 we have Ὑρτακίδης Ἄσιος, who comes from Arisbe. Hippocoon is not otherwise known.

[493] “Modo victor” Juv. 2. 73. ‘Victor,’ though he was only the second winner.

[494] All the naval competitors, or at least three out of four, got some kind of chaplet, v. 269. Cloanthus is crowned with bay (v. 246): possibly the others had each a different kind of wreath, the distinction being intentional. The three prizemen in the foot-race however are all crowned with olive, v. 309, so that it is also possible that Virg. may have mentioned olive inadvertently here, forgetting that he had made bay the naval wreath.

[495] Eurytion is not known otherwise. He is appropriately made the brother of Pandarus, the great archer (‘clarissime’) of the early part of the Iliad, the special favourite of Apollo (Il. 2. 827., 5. 105).

[496] Iussus, by Athene. The story is told Il. 4. 86 foll. “Avidus confundere foedus” 12. 290, where the broken truce between Latins and Trojans is copied from the broken truce between Trojans and Greeks. ‘Confundere’ is a translation of Homer's own expression, ἐπεὶ σύν γ᾽ ὅρκἰ ἔχευαν Τρῶες, Il. 4. 269.

[497] Torquere of shooting 11. 773., 12. 461 (modelled on the present line). Pandarus did not shoot at random, but aimed at Menelaus, whom he struck.

[498] Extremus and ‘galea ima’ virtually express the same thing by different grammatical forms. Grammatically they would be classed as different parts of the same sentence, requiring no copulative to join them, as they are not strictly speaking co-ordinate. Virg. however has chosen to unite them by ‘que,’ as in 10. 734, “Obvius adversoque occurrit,” an almost exact parallel quoted by Wagn. Q. V. 34. There “obvius” is connected with “occurrit,” but not so closely as “adverso,” which forms part of the grammatical construction: here ‘extremus’ is connected with ‘subsedit,’ but not so closely as ‘galea ima.’ With ‘galea ima subsedit’ comp. the stories of persons throwing clods of earth as their lots into helmets full of water, that the lots might not be shaken out, Soph. Aj. 1285, Apollod. 2. 8. 4. ‘Acestes’ for the lot of Acestes, a very natural identification, common not only in poetical but in familiar English. Burm. and Heyne read ‘subsidit,’ which seems to have no MS. authority, and is intrinsically inferior here.

[499] “Manu temptare pericula” 11. 505. ‘Manu’ here seems to have the notion of force, its general sense in Virg., as the two words ‘iuvenum,’ ‘laborem’ both seem to show. ‘Iuvenem’ Med. a m. pr., which has been praised as an elegance, but is obviously an error in writing. Virg. thought partly of Agamemnon appearing as a competitor in the darting match Il. 23. 887 foll., partly of Nestor's words about himself ib. 643, νῦν αὖτε νεώτεροι ἀντιοώντων Ἔργων τοιούτων. ‘Manumlabore’ Verona fragm.

[500-544] ‘Hippocoon hits the mast, Mnestheus divides the cord, Eurytion kills the bird, Acestes shoots into the air, when his arrow takes fire. Aeneas embraces it as an omen, and gives Acestes the first prize.’

[500] Flexos incurvant = “flectunt et incurvant.

[501] “‘Pro se quisque,pro qualitate roboris sui.” Serv. “Pro se quisque viri summa nituntur opum vi” 12. 552.

[502] Que seems to denote that Hippocoon shot at once. So Teucer Hom. v. 862, αὐτίκα δ᾽ ἰὸν Ἧκεν ἐπικρατέως. “Nervo pulsante sagittaeG. 4. 313 note.

[503] Diverberat, which occurs Lucr. 1.222., 2. 152, is used here and in 6. 294., 9. 411 of a blow with a weapon which has both the effect and the sound of a lash. Pal. and Gud. a m. p. have ‘volucris iuvenis.

[504] Venit, absolutely, reaches its destination, as in 1. 627. ‘Arbor mali’ is perhaps used on the analogy of ‘arbor fici,’ ‘abietis,’ &c., though the construction is of course not quite parallel. Or we may say that ‘arbore’ is equivalent to ‘ligno,’ ‘robore mali,’ with an accessary notion of tallness. ‘Arbor’ is used of a mast 10. 207.

[505] Timuit exterrita pennis, showed its fear by fluttering and clapping its wings. Comp. v. 215 above. Here ‘pennis’ is constructed as an abl. of the part affected with ‘timuit exterrita.’ The novelty consists in connecting a verb expressive of mental action with an abl. of a part of the body. Neither ‘tremuit pennis’ nor ‘timuit animo’ would have been at all remarkable.

[506] “‘Plausu:alii pinnarum dicunt, sed melius spectantium favore: illud enim est incredibile,” Serv. Heyne, Gossrau, and Forb., however understand ‘plausu’ of the wings, as in the parallel v. 215. But Virg. translated Hom. v. 869, ἀτὰρ κελάδησαν Ἀχαιοί, though he has transferred the applause from the shot which cut the cord to that which struck the mast: in each case however it is the first shot that draws the plaudits forth, naturally enough.

[507, 508] Both here and in v. 513 Virg. has had his eye on Homer's description of the second shot with which Meriones kills the dove after Teucer had cut the cord. The lines, as they appear in our editions, are difficult, as it would seem that Meriones shot with the same bow as Teucer, but that he had taken aim with his arrow, which he held in the same place, even while snatching the bow from Teucer's hand. Σπερχόμενος δ᾽ ἄρα Μηριόνης ἐξείρυσε χειρὸς Τόξον: ἀτὰρ δὴ ὀϊστὸν ἔχεν πάλαι ὡς ἴθυνεν. Eustath. however tells us that in the Marseille recension, Μασσαλιωτικὴ ἔκδοσις, the lines were read Σπερχόμενος δ᾽ ἄρα Μηριόνης ἐπέθη κατ᾽ ὀϊστὸν Τόξῳ: ἐν γὰρ χερσὶν ἔχεν πάλαι ὡς ἴθυνεν. We cannot tell what reading Virg. had in his copy of Homer; but at any rate he has given his competitors a bow apiece. ‘Acer,’ keen; not quite the same as σπερχόμενος, ‘rapidus,’ as Mnestheus had not the same occasion for haste. ‘Adducto arcu’ may be illustrated by Il. 4. 123, νευρὴν μὲν μαζῷ πέλασεν, τόξῳ δὲ σίδηρον. ‘Arcus’ is here put of the whole, string as well as bow, the string of course being that which he drew to him. See on 9. 632. ‘Constitit,’ took his stand. “Alta petens” in a different sense G. 1. 142 note. ‘Pariterque oculos telumque tetendit’ seems to mean ‘he levelled his arrow, as he had already levelled his eye.’ The latter action would precede the former, but might continue along with it. “Tendere lumina” 2. 485. “Tendant ferrum” we have just had v. 489. Thus there is no reason to suppose a zeugma here.

[509] ὄρνιθος μὲν ἅμαρτε: μέγηρε γάρ οἱ τό γ᾽ Ἀπόλλων, Hom. v. 865, where Teucer's comparative failure is ascribed to his having neglected to vow a hecatomb of lambs to Apollo. ‘Miserandus,’ as Sergestus (v. 204) and Nisus (v. 329) are called ‘infelix.

[510] Hom. vv. 866, 867. ‘Nodi’ are coupled with ‘vinculaLucr. 6.356.

[511] As usual, Virg. now for the first time tells us incidentally how the dove was attached to the mast, ‘innexa pedem.

[512] Notos atque in nubila like “incepto et in sedibus” 2. 654, comp. by Forb. Hom. v. 868 tells us of the cord dropping or drooping towards the ground. Pal. and Gud. a m. p. have ‘alta,’ which Ribbeck adopts.

[513] See on vv. 507, 508. “Telum contendit” below v. 520. “Contenderat hastam” 10. 521. It is scarcely necessary to suppose that Virg. was thinking also of “contendere arcum.” The preposition seems to imply effort.

[514] Fratrem: Pandarus, having been a great champion in life, is regarded after death as a deified patron of archery, at least within his own family, as Eryx is Entellus' patron of boxing. ‘In vota vocavit:’ note on v. 234 above.

[515] ὕψι δ᾽ ὑπὸ νεφέων εἶδε τρήρωνα πέλειαν, Hom. v. 874. Hom. keeps his perpetual epithet: Virg. substitutes ‘laetam.’ The clapping of the wings which follows seems to be a sound of joy. The arrow strikes her while in the midst of her exultation. Hom. however mentions the wing as the part where she was struck, v. 875. ‘Vacuo’ expresses that she was high up in the air, with no other object near her. Comp. G. 3. 109 note. It cannot be paralleled with “campos patentisG. 4. 77, which seems to imply freedom from clouds.

[516] Gud. has ‘figit nigra,’ Pal. a m. p. ‘figit nigram.

[517] Henry wishes to understand ‘exanimis’ without sense or volition, to avoid the tautology with the next clause; but though ‘exanimis’ occurs not uncommonly in a modified sense when the context explains that actual death is not meant, that is no warrant for our softening the meaning where death is confessedly in question. “Vitam sub nube relinquuntG. 3. 547.

[518] ‘Aeriis,’ the old reading before Heins., is supported by Med., Rom., &c., but which would be less suitable, the stars not being aerial but ethereal, as Wagn. remarks, comp. Cic. N. D. 2. 15, “sidera aetherium locum obtinent.” Comp. also vv. 838, 839 below, where “aetheriis astris” is distinguished from “aera.” If ‘aeriis’ were to be defended, it would be on the ground that ‘in astris’ is a poetical hyberbole, meaning really no more than ‘in auris,’ and that the ‘aer’ is the natural place for birds. Hom.'s description is more detailed: the arrow passes through the bird, and falls at Meriones' feet: the bird settles on the mast, droops her neck, drops her wings, dies, and falls at a distance (vv. 876—881).

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