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[519] Superabat: E. 9. 27 &c.

[520] Aetherias was read before Heins. The confusion naturally arose from the change of the text in v. 518. ‘Contendit’ Med., Rom. (first reading), ‘contorsit’ Pal., Med. (second reading). Wagn. objects to ‘contorsit’ as inappropriate; but though it is not applied to shooting elsewhere in Virg., there seems no reason why it should be incapable of such an application, as we have just had ‘torsisti’ so used v. 497, while ‘tendere’ and ‘contendere,’ as we have just seen, are both used of levelling an arrow. On the whole, I have not thought it worth while to disturb ‘contendit,’ which is read by Non. p. 260. In 10. 521 the MSS. vary between ‘contenderat’ and ‘contorserat.’

[521] Difficulties about the metre or about the sense of ‘pater’ have led to varieties in the MSS., “artem pariter,” “artemque patris,” “artemque paternam,” “artemque parans.” For the force of ‘pater’ see above on v. 130. ‘He makes a display of his art and his sounding bow,’ i. e. he displays his art by making his bow sound, the loudness and shrillness of the sound being the test of his skill and strength. Perhaps also there may be a reference, as Forb. thinks, to the goodness of the bow.

[522] The meaning seems to be, as most of the editors have seen, that what then came to pass was really a portent of evil, though not understood so at the time, its true meaning being taught by the event, when the prophets of the day pointed out the connexion between the omen and its fulfilment. Aeneas, immediately on its appearance, as we shall see (v. 530), interprets it favourably, but what happened subsequently showed that he was mistaken. What then was the event portended? The old interpretation was, the burning of the ships: but this disaster, soon over and soon repaired, would hardly suit v. 524, which points apparently to something more terrible and more distant. Wagn. supposes it to be the impending war in Italy; but Acestes had nothing to do with this either as actor or as sufferer. It seems more probable that Heyne is right in referring it to the wars between Rome and Sicily. But there is no need to fix it at all, as long as we regard it as identified with some adequate occurrence in the subsequent history of Sicily. Wagn. censures the awkwardness of alluding to something extraneous to the poem and not specified; but Gossrau remarks that Virg. is probably not inventing this story of the portent and its supposed accomplishment, but repeating what he found in a legend. Med., Pal., Gud., Rom., and others have ‘subito,’ as Med., Pal., and Verona fragm. have in 2. 680: wrongly in both places. The awkwardness of the connexion “subito futurumque” might be got over (see above on v. 498); but ‘subito’ would create an inexcusable ambiguity with ‘magno augurio.’ ‘Subitum’ itself is not strictly co-ordinate with ‘futurum,’ being a predicate. ‘Magno futurum augurio:’ strictly speaking the thing was an ‘augurium’ already, but as it was not understood as such, its augurial character is spoken of as future. In other words ‘futurum’ points to the estimation of the thing, not to its nature. ‘Magno augurio’ like “omine magno” 7. 146, the epithet being equally applicable to good and evil.

[523] Monstrum does not of itself indicate the omen to be a bad one: comp. 2. 680, above referred to. Here it probably refers not to any thing future, but to the impression made on the spectators, who recognized it as a thing supernatural, but did not understand its character (vv. 529 foll.).

[524] See on v. 522. Heyne says rightly, “Etiam vates, etsi serius et iam post eventum quem res habuit, casum ita interpretati sunt.” ‘Terrifici,’ the character attributed to prophets from the days of Aeschylus downwards (Ag. 1132 foll. &c.). Comp. 4. 464. Germ. comp. Lucr. 1.102, “vatum Terriloquis victus dictis.” ‘Cecinerunt’ does not mean that the utterance was prophetic, but merely that it was made by inspired men.

[525] Liquidis in nubibus is a sort of epexegesis of ‘volans’—in its flight, in the sky. Henry complains of other editors, who, from Serv. downwards, say that ‘nubibus’ = ‘aere,’ understanding the words himself of the untroubled clouds of a sunny sky as opposed to the turbid clouds of wintry weather. But vv. 512, 516 seem to show that Virg. had no such notion definitely before his mind, if indeed he did not mean expressly to exclude it. Here as in 7. 699 (referred to by Forb.), “liquida inter nubila” (if the reading is certain), I take ‘liquidus’ to be used not of a clear sky as opposed to clouds, or of one kind of cloud as distinguished from another, but generally of clouds as opposed to solid matter like earth.

[526] The arrow kindled, made a trail of light as it burned, and then disappeared. ‘Signavitque viam flammis:’ comp. 2. 697 note. ‘Recessit in ventos’ 4. 705.

[527] Comp. 2. 693 foll., where a shooting star is described. “Refixa caelo sidera” Hor. Epod. 17. 5. The stars are regarded as fixed like nails in the sky, 4. 482.

[528] Transcurrunt,caelum” (as in 9. 111), which is supplied from ‘caelo.’ “Stella crinita” is the Latin translation of κομήτης. Virg. doubtless had the Greek word in his mind, though he is speaking of a different phenomenon.

[529] Haesere seems to include both doubt and fixedness of attitude. They prayed that the omen might be for good, not for harm: comp. 3. 34 foll.

[531] The Greek and Roman belief was that if a favourable interpretation could be put on an appearance, it would turn to good. Hence the phrases δέχεσθαι τὸν οἰωνόν, ‘accipere omen.’ Serv. says “nostri arbitrii est visa omina vel improbare vel recipere.” Why Aeneas allows himself to accept this omen has been questioned: but he probably interpreted it on the analogy of that in Book 2 already referred to. ‘Laetum’ seems to mean that Acestes, proud of his feat, was himself quite ready to accept the favourable view. Rom. has ‘et laetum,’ which arises from the spelling ‘set.’ See on 4. 312.

[532] “Textilibusque onerat donis, ac talia fatur” 3. 485. The ‘munera magna’ here seem to be the single present mentioned in the speech, unless we choose to include the laurel-wreath.

[533] Acestes had been the occasion of an omen which was interpreted as a good one, and it might be supposed that Jupiter by connecting a supernatural phenomenon with his shot, had recognized it as something better than the best. The speech to Acestes is modelled on that with which Achilles gives Nestor the prize that had remained over from the chariot-race, which is itself a bowl, ἀμφίθετος φιάλη (Il. 23. 615 foll.), with a glance also at Achilles' compliment to Agamemnon, ib. vv. 890 foll., to whom he gives a prize on his mere appearance as a competitor, begging him not to enter the contest. ‘Sume, pater:τῆ νῦν, καί σοι τοῦτο, γέρον, κειμήλιον ἔστω, Il. 23. 618. In his reply Nestor calls Achilles τέκος, v. 626.

[534] Honores Rom., Pal., Med. a m. pr., Gud. a m. pr.; ‘henorem’ Med. a m. sec., Gud. a m. sec. The latter was the old reading before Heins., and Wagn. has restored it. The corrections seem to show that both readings belong to old rescensions, so that the decision between them must turn on intrinsic considerations. These again are as nearly balanced as may be, as both sing. and pl. are equally good and Virgilian, as Wagn. remarks, comp. vv. 342, 347. Nor is there any thing to show which of the two is the more likely to have been altered: the sing. may have been changed to discriminate ‘exsortem’ from ‘honorem,’ the pl. to assimilate it. If we adopt ‘honorem,’ it had better be constructed with ‘exsortem,’ like “ducunt exsortem [equum] Aeneae” 8. 552, and the Greek phrases ἐξαίρετόν τι ποιεῖσθαι, διδόναι, λαμβάνειν (Lidd. and Scott ἐξαίρετος). The proper application of the word is to a thing exempted from the ordinary division of the spoil by lot and given to some distinguished person. Here it is applied to the extra prize, of superior value to the rest, which is given to Acestes as an extraordinary thing. ‘Ducere:’ see on v. 385 above, and comp. 8. 552 (note). Here there seems to be a further reference to the phrase “ducere sortem,” as if to say that Acestes was to draw a prize without the risk of drawing. For similar extensions of meaning see on 1. 508., 2. 201, and comp. Prop. 4. 21. 12, “Remorumque pares ducite sorte vices,” with Paley's note. Achilles says to Nestor 1. c. δίδωμι δέ τοι τόδ᾽ ἄεθλον Αὔτως.

[535] ‘You shall have as your own a present given to Anchises himself.’ But the sense may be, ‘You shall receive a present from Anchises himself,’ the spirit of the dead consenting to the transference of a gift which had belonged to him. This of course would greatly enhance the compliment. Hom. does not help us, as he merely says, Πατρόκλοιο τάφου μνῆμ᾽ ἔμμεναι.

[536] Inpressum signis, on which figures have been impressed (apparently chased). Comp. 10. 497, “Inpressumque nefas.” Virg. has imitated Il. 24. 234, ἐκ δὲ δέπας περικαλλὲς, οἱ Θρῇκες πόρον ἄνδρες Ἐξεσίην ἐλθόντι, μέγα κτέρας.

[537] Cisseus, king of Thrace, was father of Hecuba, called “Cisseis regina” 10. 705. ‘In munere’ occurs again 8. 273, “tantarum in munere laudum,” in the sense of ‘by way of a reward,’ for which we should have expected “in munus” or “muneri.” Comp. the use of ἐν χάριτι ποιῆσαί τινί τι, nearly = εἰς χάριν (Lidd. and Scott χάρις), where though χάρις apparently expresses the feeling rather than its tangible result, the two meanings lie sufficiently near together to make the illustration apposite. Such constructions as “in hoste” 2. 541 are so far parallel as that they show other cases in which ‘in’ with abl. is used where we should expect ‘in’ with acc.

[538] Ferredederat 1. 319. ‘Dederat’ rather than “dedit,” perhaps because the time which Aeneas assumes for the moment in speaking is that of Anchises' death, or that at which he heard from Anchises of the present, which was doubtless made before Aeneas was born. In v. 572 below ‘dederat’ is of course explained by the past “invectus est.” It may be doubted whether the construction is ‘monumentum et pignus sui amoris’ or ‘monumentum sui et pignus amoris.’ The passages 3. 486, “manuum tibi quae monumenta mearum Sint, puer, et longum Andromachae testentur amorem;” 12. 945, “monumenta doloris,” are perhaps in favour of the former.

[539] Comp. v. 246 and, for the language, v. 72.

[540] Appellat perhaps refers to the declaration through the herald, v. 245.

[541] Bonus, good-natured or kind. So “bonus Aeneas” v. 770., 11. 106. Here it expresses the good feeling which led Eurytion not to stickle for his right under the circumstances. ‘Praelato invidit honori,’ grudged the rank or prize set above his own. Forb. remarks that Virg. might if he pleased have said “praelato invidit honorem,” or, as Markland conjectures, “honoris;” but ‘honori’ is more artificial and more Virgilian. Heyne erroneously understood ‘praelato’ as = ‘praerepto,’ Oberlin on Tac. A. 5. 1 as ‘delato.’ Ribbeck reads ‘honore’ (already conj. by Peerlkamp) from Pal. a m. p., apparently separating it from ‘praelato.

[542] ‘Deiicere’ of bringing down a bird, 11. 580. Comp. G. 3. 422.

[543] Heyne connects ‘donis’ with ‘proxumus;’ Cerda understands ‘ingreditur donis’ “incedit gloriabundus cum donis,” which might perhaps be supported from 6. 855, 856. Wagn. and Forb. wish to combine the two. I take ‘ingreditur donis’ to mean ‘enters on’ or ‘attains the prizes,’ enters to take possession, “in partem donorum venit.” Comp. the use of ‘ingredi’ for to enter on an office, G. 1. 42 note, and the frequent metaphorical use of ἐπιβαίνειν in Hom. with such words as εὐκλείης, εὐφροσύνης, τέχνης (Lidd. and S. ἐπιβαίνω). Possibly the expression may have been suggested by Il. 9. 598, ἐπὶ δώροις Ἔρχεο. In this game, for the sake of variety, Virg. has not told us what the prizes are—unlike Hom., who is never tired of repeating the same formula.

[545-603] ‘Aeneas now surprises the spectators by a new show, a miniature cavalry procession, three companies of youths commanded by Ascanius and his friends, who perform labyrinthine evolutions—a custom which Ascanius, when arrived at manhood, introduced into his new city, Alba, and which has descended to Rome, with the name Troia.’

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