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[545] Henry, in a long comment, sets forth the peculiar beauties of this new show with great judgment and delicacy of perception. It was a special boon from Aeneas to the spectators, who had not been told to expect it in the programme of the games (above vv. 66 foll.)—a custom not uncommon in the actual games at Rome, where a surprise was sometimes contrived for the people (Henry comp. Pliny, Paneg. 33)—and it formed a peculiarly graceful contrast to the violent exertion and passionate striving of competitive sports among men, besides being an appropriate compliment to Augustus, who revived this very sport (Suet. Aug. 43), and a pleasing memento to the great Romans, whose sons had exhibited themselves as the young Trojans, their progenitors, are made to do. ‘Pater:’ v. 130. Here there is of course a further reference to Aeneas' relation to Ascanius. ‘Certamine misso:’ v. 286. Aeneas gives his directions before the shooting-match is over, that the procession may come on at once, and the surprise be complete, the spectators not having had time to think of separating.

[546] Comes of senior attendants 11. 33, of “aequales” 10. 703.

[547] We hear of Periphas the herald, son of Epytus (Ἠπυτίδης), an old retainer in the family of Aeneas, ὅς οἱ παρὰ πατρὶ γέροντι Κηρύσσων γήρασκε, φίλα φρεσὶ μήδεα εἰδώς, Il. 17. 323. ‘Epytides’ as the patronymic of a herald almost looks as if it pointed to connexion of office or pursuit rather than lineal descent, as in the case of the Homeridae, ἠπύτα, loud-voiced, being an epithet of a herald, Il. 7. 384: we have however the name Epytus above, 2. 340, si lectio certa, and it is conceivable that the father of the herald, probably a herald himself, was known by a significant name. For ‘ad aurem’ some MSS. have “in aurem,” the more usual expression (Juv. 11. 59 has “in aure”). Cic. Fin. 2. 21 has “eam tantum ad aurem admonerent . . . . ut caveret.” If there is a distinction between them, as there may be (comp. “ad auras” and “in auras”), it is probably as Forb. says, that ‘in’ expresses a somewhat closer contact than ‘ad:πρὸς οὖς and εἰς οὖς both occur in Greek (Lidd. and S. οὖς).

[548] If he has got it ready—implying that he had been told before by his father to do so. Pal. a m. p. has ‘paratus.

[549] Instruere, the usual word for drawing up an army. ‘Cursus equorum’ then will practically = ‘equitatum.’ “Cursus equestris ducebat” of Ascanius below v. 667.

[550] With ‘ducat turmas’ Gossrau and Forb. comp. Suet. Tib. 6, “Troianis Circensibus ductor turmae puerorum maiorum.” ‘Avo,’ in honour of his grandfather. So v. 603, “Hac celebrata tenus sancto certamina patri.

[551] Ait after ‘fatur,’ as ‘inquit’ after ‘fatur’ 11. 42, and perhaps 2. 78. ‘Circo’ above v. 289. ‘Longo:’ the circus, in spite of its name, was not circular but oblong, like those at Rome (Dict. A. ‘Circus’). The crowd had been pressing about the arena during the last two games, the boxing and the archery, which would not require a large field. Pal. has ‘discedere.

[552] Forc. (s. v.) explains ‘infusum’ “magno numero circum ingressus ac totum occupans more aquarum inundantium.” ‘Campos patentisG. 4. 77.

[553] Incedunt of horsemen 4. 141. The procession forms the first part of this exhibition. ‘Pariter’ expresses the general uniformity and symmetry of their appearance and movements, the details of which are afterwards developed vv. 556 foll.

[554] ‘In equis’ v. 578., 7. 285., 11. 190. ‘Euntis’ after ‘mirata,’ as Henry has seen, not, as Forb. thinks, following Serv., after ‘fremit.

[555] One MS., the Montalbanian, gives “Trinacria emirata,” an ingenious error. Observe ‘iuventus’ as distinguished from ‘pueri.

[556] This line presents great difficulty. The natural way of understanding would seem to be that all have their hair bound (comp. 4. 148, “Fronde premit crinem”) with a wreath of stripped leaves (‘tonsa corona’ for ‘corona tonsae frondis;’ comp. v. 774, G. 3. 21 note). But how is this to be reconciled with their wearing helmets (v. 673)? Wreaths were sometimes put over the helmet, as appears from 7. 751, “Fronde super galeam et felici comptus oliva,” which would agree with ‘tonsa’ here, that being probably a sign that oliveleaves are meant (v. 774 &c.). But in that case the hair must be confined by the helmet, not by the wreath. Cerda proves from Ov. Her. 13. 39, Fast. 3. 2 that ‘premi’ would naturally be said of the pressure of a helmet (comp. also 9. 612, “Canitiem galea premimus”), as ‘solvi’ of its removal; but this will not help us here, unless we are to suppose that Virg. is thinking of wreath and helmet both, while only mentioning the former. Peerlkamp apparently considers the wreath to be under the helmet, to which Forb. answers, that in that case the helmet would not fit. But it seems possible that there might be a wreath worn just below the helmet, so as not to interfere with it— a variety of the custom mentioned 7. 751. And in this interpretation I incline to acquiesce, till a better shall have been proposed. Henry, following Gesner in his Thesaurus, thinks the meaning is that the hair of the boys was cut round, as was that of the Roman boys (a custom expressed by ‘in morem,’ according to Virg.'s usual habit of ascribing Roman usages to the Trojans). He compares the words used by St. Jerome in translating and commenting on Ezekiel 44. 20, where the poll of the Jewish priests is spoken of (a mode of wearing the hair which he believes to have been as nearly as possible the same as that in use among the Roman boys), “comas ad pressum tondere,” the use of ‘premere’ for pruning or lopping leaves (G. 1. 157 &c.), and that of ‘corona’ in modern Italian for pollarding a tree. But these parallelisms are by no means equal in value to those adduced in support of the other interpretation: and moreover the passage, so interpreted, would be inconsistent with 10. 137, where we are expressly told that Ascanius' hair was not cropped, but only confined by a gold band. ‘In morem,’ which he thinks cannot refer to any peculiarity of the game, this being its first exhibition, need merely mean ‘according to rule,’ implying that all observed the fashion, established as it was then for the first time. Ladewig, understanding the words of a garland round the helmet, connects ‘in morem tonsa.

[557] Praefixa has been restored by Wagn. and Jahn from Med., Rom., Pal., and others for ‘praefixo,’ which Heins. retained. The sense is of course the same with either: comp. 7. 817. Spears of cornel wood 9. 698., 12. 267: comp. 3. 22, 23. Two spears as in 1. 313. Baebius Macer, according to Serv., said that Augustus gave a helmet and two spears to each of the boys who performed in the ‘Troia.

[558] Levis polished and shining. Some MSS. have ‘parsque levis,’ which might be supported by 10. 169, “Gorytique leves humeris,” as well as by the appropriateness of light quivers to boys: but the ‘que’ would be awkward, and the best MSS. seem all on one side. For ‘it’ some MSS. have ‘et’ (Rom., Med. first reading, Pal. corrected) or ‘in.’ Some variety existed in the time of Serv., who speaks of ‘it’ as necessary to avoid a solecism, doubtless that of a nom. following an acc. Later copyists however mended the construction by reading ‘obtorti it,’ ‘collum it,’ or ‘it torti’ in v. 559.

[559] “An accurate description of the manner in which the Romans wore the torques, neither on the neck, tight and close like a collar, nor yet suspended from the neck so as to hang down in an oblong shape on the front of the chest like a chain or necklace, but round the neck and at the same time on the top of the breast, i. e. resting on the top of the breast, surrounding and near to but still at a little distance from the neck.” Henry. Augustus gave a golden ‘torques’ to a disabled competitor in this game, with leave to bear the name Torquatus, Suet. Aug. 43. ‘Obtorti’ alludes to the etymology of ‘torques,’ and expresses the Greek στρεπτός. The ‘circulus’ which Ascanius wears 10. 138 is different.

[560] There may be an allusion, as Heyne suggests as an amendment on Serv., to the three centuries of equites, Livy 1. 13. ‘Numero’ as in v. 62 above. Rom. has ‘turmae numero.’ ‘Vagantur’ of movement without a certain destination, as Henry explains it: comp. 6. 886, where, as here, it points to the expanse of the field, and so may be rendered ‘expatiate.’ ‘Terni’ is merely ‘tres.

[562] Agmine partito, the whole body being divided, as we have just seen, into three companies. ‘Fulgent’ like ‘lucent’ v. 554, of bright armour and general gay appearance. ‘Paribusque magistris’ seems merely to mean that each had its own captain, each being in fact co-ordinate with and so independent of the rest. With ‘magistris’ comp. the well-known office “magister equitum.

[563] Una seems here virtually for “prima,” the cardinal number for the ordinal. “Unus, alter, tres” are found in enumerations (see Forc. ‘unus’): and here Virg. has put ‘una’ and followed it by ‘alter,’ which is an ordinal, not a cardinal. ‘Ovantem’ is used more or less strictly, indicating a quasi-triumphal procession, as in 6. 589.

[564] “Nomine avum referens” 12. 348, a passage which will illustrate at once the custom referred to, especially common in Greece (Aristoph. Birds 283, Thuc. 8. 6 &c.), of giving the grandson the grandfather's name, and the language in which it is expressed. ‘Referens’ seems here, as there, to mean ‘reproducing.’ It might also mean ‘carrying off for himself,’ owning, possessing, which is perhaps its meaning in 7. 49, “isque parentem Te, Saturne, refert,” though there other meanings might be suggested, ‘tells over,’ ‘commemorates,’ as in Martial 5. 17. 1, “Dum proavos atavosque refers et nomina magna” (comp. with this passage by Gossrau), or by a mercantile metaphor, ‘sets down in his tablets as his father,’ a variety for “refert originem acceptam tibi.” Such are the uncertainties of the interpretation of a single word where there is no doubt of the general meaning—uncertainties perhaps complicated by the possibility that Virg. himself, according to the peculiarity so often illustrated, may have intended to shadow forth more meanings than one. Pal. a m. p., has ‘cara;’ Pal. a m. p., Med. a m. p., and Rom. ‘Polites.’ For Polites see 2. 526. The use of the vocative here, as in 7. 49 just referred to, will show that this form of expression is not always adopted by Virg. for metrical reasons alone.

[565] The name of Polites was connected by legend with various parts of Italy, some accounts representing him as a companion of Ulysses (Od. 10. 224), others as a companion of Aeneas. See Serv. here, and Lewis, Credibility of Rom. Hist., vol. 1, p. 329. Virg. having represented him as killed by Pyrrhus, naturally introduces his son here. ‘Auctura’ perhaps includes the notion of bringing honour to the Italian nations as well as that of swelling their numbers. Thrace abounded in horses (comp. the horses of Rhesus), and is called ἱπποτρόφος by Hes. Works 507, as Cerda remarks. With the threefold reiteration of ‘albus’ Gossrau comp. 1. 448. It is not clear whether the ‘maculae’ here refer generally to what is afterwards expressed in detail, the white pasterns and white star on the forehead, or to other spots on other parts of the body. If the parallel just cited from A. 1 could be pressed, it would support the latter view.

[566] Vestigia poetically for the feet themselves, as in Catull. 62 (64). 162, “Candida permulcens liquidis vestigia lymphis.” ‘Primi’ is explained by Cerda of the fore feet: but Taubm. saw that it meant the fore part or pastern of each leg.

[567] Doubtless, as the commentators have seen, from Il. 23. 454, where the leader of Diomed's chariot is described ὃς τὸ μὲν ἄλλο τόσον φοίνιξ ἦν, ἐν δὲ μετώπῳ Λευκὸν σῆμ᾽ ἐτέτυκτο περίτροχον ἠΰτε μήνη.

[568] The introduction of Atys as the supposed founder of the Atian gens is a compliment to Augustus, whose mother was an Atia. The special attachment of Iulus to him is another stroke of compliment, as if the future union of the two houses were prefigured even then. Atys is not otherwise known as connected with Troy: but the name occurs in Livy's enumeration (1. 3) of the kings of Alba. ‘Latini,’ either for ‘Romani,’ or, as Heins. suggests, because the Atii came from Aricia. ‘Atii’ may be either gen., as “Memmi” probably is v. 117, or nom. agreeing with ‘Latini,’ like “Romane Cluenti” v. 123. The latter here is the simpler and more natural. ‘Dixere’ is a correction in Med.

[569] Puero puer like “famulo famulamque” 3. 329, “pueri puer” 1. 684. Med.(? Ribbeck is silent) and another MS. have ‘delectus,’ which Jahn thinks may be explained of choosing into the band: but ‘dilectus’ is obviously right. The commentators inquire why Atys' horse is not mentioned, and suggest that Virg. has not completed the passage, as v. 574 shows. But we have had a parallel omission v. 118 (note), and Virg.'s love of variety will account for both.

[570] Virg. uses ‘ante omnis’ with a positive, as here, with a comparative, as 1. 347, and with a superlative, as 7. 55.

[571] Heyne thinks ‘Sidonio’ is used loosely, meaning no more than that the horse was the gift of Dido, it being probably an African one. “Nam Phoenicios equos non memini narrari: nec tanti res erat ut curiosius in eam inquirerem: nec Phoeniciae solum equis alendis idoneum.” Perhaps we may quote Ezekiel 27. 14, speaking of Tyre, “They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules.” It may not have been a native of Phoenicia: but Dido may nevertheless have brought it thence. Possibly it may be the same which Ascanius rides 4. 157. “Candida Maia” 8. 138, “NaisE. 2. 46.

[572] v. 538 note.

[573] Acestes mounts the rest on Sicilian horses. Ribbeck's MSS. however are divided between ‘Trinacrii’ (Rom., Pal. a m. p.), ‘Trinacriae’ (Med., Pal. a m. s.), and ‘Trinacria:’ and he adds: “‘Trinacriis’ in quo libro legatur nescio.” ‘Trinacriis’ is found in at least four MSS. in the Bodleian Library, one of them (in the Catalogue, Auct. F. 2. 6) assigned by my friend Mr. Coxe to the early part of the twelfth century, the others later; so that, whatever the pedigree of the reading, it is not posterior to the invention of printing. There can be little doubt of its truth, as ‘Trinacrii,’ which Ribbeck adopts, would be extremely flat, ‘Trinacriae,’ if constructed with ‘pubes,’ contrary to the sense. “Senioris Acestae” v. 301, where, as here, the epithet is intended to mark a contrast.

[574] Fertur equis, simply, rides: not as in 1. 476, G. 1. 514, where the passive is emphatic, expressing a negation of action.

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