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[575] Excipiunt, welcome them on their entry. Virg., as Henry remarks, goes back to v. 555, the intermediate lines simply describing their appearance as they were seen to enter, not any thing that they did after entering.

[576] Veterum may either mean simply elder, as contrasted with the youth of the boys, or it may show that ‘parentum’ is not to be restricted to parents, but includes remoter ancestry. Thus the young Priam may have reminded the spectators of his grandfather.

[577] Comp. v. 340 note.

[578] “Lustravere in equis” 11. 190. There may be a reference to the use of the word ‘lustratio’ for a review (Dict. A. s. v.), though the troops were there ‘lustrated’ themselves, and did not ‘lustrate’ others.

[579] Epytides, the loud-voiced herald (see on v. 547), gives a signal shout which can be heard at a distance, and cracks his whip. “Verberaque insonuit” 7. 451. The two phrases differ no more than when we say ‘sounds with his horn’ and ‘sounds his horn.’

[580] Henry has explained this passage by supposing the three ‘turmae’ each to divide into two parts, ‘chori,’ of six horsemen each, one part retiring (say) to the right, another to the left, after which the three right ‘chori’ and the three left turn about and severally charge each other. Heyne thought that ‘terni solvere agmina’ perhaps meant each splits into four companies of three horsemen each, which would complicate the picture needlessly: Wagn. and Forb. suppose no more to be meant than that the three ‘turmae,’ having been together while they passed in procession, now separate: but, as Henry remarks, the previous context, so far from leading us to suppose that they ever formed into one, distinctly suggests the contrary. ‘Discurrere pares,’ according to Virg.'s wont, is explained by the following clause. There is something antithetical in the combination of the two words, ‘discurrere’ alone suggesting the notion of irregular dispersion (9. 164., 12. 590), as if it had been said “discurrerunt quidem, sed ita ut pares fierent.” ‘Terni,’ being distributed into three, that being as it were the basis of their ‘discursio’ and ‘solutio agminum;’ they separate, keeping their original distinction into three, so that there are not simply two companies, right and left, but three pairs of companies. One difficulty remains which Henry has not noticed: when the three companies are divided into pairs, there are still only three leaders. This may not be fatal to the interpretation; but it can only be met by charging Virg. with an oversight.

[581] Deductis, the reading of Rom. and Med., was adopted by Jahn: but ‘diductis’ is necessary to the sense, and ‘de’ and ‘di’ are so frequently confused that MS. authority on the point goes for nothing, even if ‘diductis’ were not found in Pal. See on G. 2. 8, 354 &c. There seems nothing technical about the word ‘choris,’ which is simply a poetical equivalent for a company, so that it may apply either to the “turmae” (‘diductis choris’ = “singulis choris diductis in duo partes”), or to the divisions of the “turmae” produced by the “diductio.” The latter seems the neater, as enabling us to realize better the three pairs of companies. ‘Vocati,’ by their captains, or perhaps by Epytides, as Serv. explains it, “ictu virgae.

[582] Convertere is used both of flight and of rallying after a flight: see Forc. Here it expresses something analogous to the latter, being applied to the ‘chori’ wheeling about after having retired right and left. “Convertunt clamore fugam” 12. 252. “Infesta” 2. 529, here with ‘tulere.

[583-585] Henry thinks that in these three lines another definite picture is presented, the ‘chori’ severally wheeling about, one set (say) E. and W., another W. and E., and thus meeting in the middle of the ‘spatia,’ when they come into collision so as to prevent each other from completing the circle, ‘orbibus orbis Inpediunt,’ and then pretend to fight for passage, ‘pugnae cient simulacra.’ Accepting the definite picture which he had developed out of the preceding lines, I think he has been too anxious for explicitness here. Virg.'s words, it seems to me, become purposely rather indefinite at this point, ‘alios cursus aliosque recursus’ merely expressing that these retreats and charges keep going on in one form or another. ‘Adversi spatiis’ (so Wagn. from Med. and Rom., for ‘adversis,’ Pal. and Gud.) seems to imply that they still keep their ground, right and left respectively, as they took it in v. 580, though they are continually advancing and retreating over the ground. ‘Adversi spatiis,’ opposed in point of ground, is of course the same thing as ‘adversis spatiis.’ ‘Alternosque (so Wagn. again from Med., Pal. &c., for ‘alternisque’ Rom.) orbibus orbis Inpediunt’ is I think rightly referred by the generality of the commentators to complicated circular evolutions as it were entangling each other. The ‘chori’ are not really confused, but their movements are so ingeniously intricate that they appear confused: the effect produced is that of circles involved in or cutting each other. “Septenosque orbibus orbis Inpediunt” occurs 8. 448 of the shield of Aeneas, where, though the entanglement of the circles is not the same as that here supposed, the picture is still less like what Henry imagines, circles preventing each other from being circles. Besides, Virg. has himself shown that he intends not single but highly complicated evolutions by the comparison to the labyrinth which immediately follows—a comparison which would be unmeaning if the movements of the ‘chori’ had been such as the eye could easily trace. Whether these circular evolutions are the same as what is described generally in v. 583, or something different, it is not easy to say. There will be no reference in any case to the military sense of ‘orbis’ ( = ‘globus’) for a mass of men. ‘Alternos’ implies that the complication was reciprocal. ‘Pugnaeque cient simulacra sub armis’ seems to be general—‘in short, they have a sham fight.’ The expression is from Lucr. 2.41, 324, “belli simulacra cientes,” which is actually copied below v. 674. ‘Sub armis;’ above v. 440.

[586, 587] Sometimes they fly, sometimes they turn on their pursuers, sometimes they (all the six ‘chori’ or three ‘turmae’) ride in the same direction. ‘Fugae,’ a former reading, found in two of Ribbeck's cursives, could hardly be defended, whether ‘fugae’ were explained for the purpose of flight, a phrase which would want authority, or ‘nudant fugae’ in the sense of “nuda dant fugae,” which Wakef. tries to support from Lucr. 5.970, where Lachm. seems right in reading “nuda dabant terrae” after Lambinus, for ‘nudabant terrae.’ Even “dare terga fugae” is not found in Virg. (comp. 12. 463, G. 4. 85, where ‘fuga’ is the reading), though Cic. Att. 7. 23 has “dare se fugae,” Ov. 3 ex Pont. 2. 8, “terga dedere fugae,” while ‘dare in fugam’ is a common phrase (see Forc.). Lucan 4. 713 has “nudataque foeda Terga fuga” (comp. by Wagn.). ‘Fuga’ then = ‘fugientes’ or ‘fugiendo,’ as constantly in Virg., e. g. 1. 317., 4. 155. ‘Spicula vertunt,’ turn against the pursuers. Rom. (according to Heyne) and another MS. have “spicula torquent.

[588] Heyne supposes that Virg. despaired of reproducing what would have been the most apposite description for his purpose, that of Daedalus' dance as represented on the shield of Achilles Il. 18. 590 foll., and so took the thing which suggested itself next, Daedalus' labyrinth. ‘Alta,’ rising from the sea. “Contra elata mari respondet Gnosia tellus” 6. 23, comp. also by Cerda. There may be a reference too, as Heyne thinks, to Ida and the other mountains of Crete.

[589] Parietibus textum caecis iter, a way constructed with blind walls, walls without door or window, which might give the traveller a glimpse of his bearings. The complication of the passages is expressed in the next clause ‘ancipitemque Mille viis habuisse dolum,’ where ‘mille viis’ is a descriptive abl. with ‘dolum,’ virtually the same as “dolum mille viarum.

[590, 591] Qua after ‘mille viis,’ as after “pluris vias et caeca spiramentaG. 1. 90. The following words are imitated from Catull. 62 (64). 114, 115, “Ne Labyrintheis e flexibus egredientem Tecti frustraretur inobservabilis error.” Comp. also Virg.'s own lines 6. 27 foll. Virg. has as usual refined on his model. Catullus, simply enough, speaks of the maze baffling the person emerging from its windings: Virg. talks of it as eluding the traces of observation. ‘Signa’ seem to be the marks by which a person would try to identify the way by which he had come. ‘Signa sequendi’ then will be “signa quorum opera sequendum sit,” ‘sequi’ having the sense of tracking, or, if we like, of following a way in the hope of finding the right point. These marks, or rather any attempt to proceed by their help, the perplexed puzzle of the labyrinth is said to mock and elude. The puzzle is ‘indeprensus,’ undiscovered or undiscoverable, though here again there is a certain looseness of expression, as it is not the ‘error’ but the secret of the ‘error,’ the solution of the difficulty, which ‘deprehenditur.’ Connected with ‘inremeabilis,’ ‘error’ slightly changes its meaning. It now becomes the winding course which brought the traveller into the heart of the maze, and which he cannot retrace. The word occurs again 6. 425 of the Styx, which once crossed cannot be recrossed, δύσνοστος, ἀδίαυλος. ‘A maze without solution and without return.’ Three MSS. give ‘domum’ for ‘dolum’ (comp. 6. 27): “sed ‘dolus’ eleganter,” says Heyne. Pal., Rom., Gud. &c. have ‘frangeret,’ which is perhaps recognized by Serv. and Donatus. Possibly it might be defended from G. 4. 400, “doli circum haec demum frangentur inanes,” but it would be very harsh, and cannot be put into comparison with ‘falleret’ (Med.), though Ribbeck adopts it.

[592] Aliter, the old reading, is in two of Ribbeck's cursives. Rom. combines both words, ‘alio ter.’ Probably the proximity of ‘Teucrum’ led to the variety, though Pal. and Gud. have ‘nati Teucrum.’ ‘Vestigia inpediunt,’ make entangled movements.

[593] Texuntque fugas et proelia ludo, make complicated evolutions in sham flights and sham fights. ‘Texunt’ is the important word, which, taken in connexion with ‘haud alio cursu,’ brings out the comparison with the labyrinth. ‘Ludo’ = ‘per ludum,’ ‘ludendo,’ as in v. 674 below. ‘A gamesome tangle of flying and fighting.’

[594] Henry remarks with considerable taste, that the simile of the dolphins was almost required after that of the labyrinth, to bring out the conception of lively motion after that of lifeless artistic mechanism. There is a simile from dolphins in Apoll. R. 4. 933, where their gambols are dwelt on more in detail: “ὡς δ᾽ ὁπότ᾽ ἂν δελφῖνες ὑπ᾽ ἐξ ἁλὸς εὐδιόωντες
σπερχομένην ἀγεληδὸν ἑλίσσωνται περὶ νῆα,
ἄλλοτε μὲν προπάροιθεν ὁρώμενοι, ἄλλοτ᾽ ὄπισθεν,
ἄλλοτε παρβολάδην, ναύτῃσι δὲ χάρμα τέτυκται.

But Virg. has perhaps shown judgment in not describing their movements after having been so minute in representing the evolutions which he compares to theirs: he does little more than name them, and leaves his readers who have seen them to fill up the picture for themselves. For a similar instance of judicious reticence see on G. 3. 237. ‘Delphinum similes:’ apparently a solitary example of the use of ‘similis’ with a gen. in Virg. ‘Maria humida’ like “humida stagna” 12. 476.

[595] Heyne would have preferred ‘Libycumve,’ but Wagn. remarks that the meaning is that the dolphins pass to and fro between the two seas. Virg. doubtless intended to express the extraordinary swiftness and agility of the dolphin tribe. ‘Luduntque per undas’ is wanting in Pal. &c., added in Med. and Gud. a m. sec., but found in Rom. Heyne condemns and Wagn. omits it, but it seems unobjectionable and even good in itself. As usual in such cases, I have retained it in brackets. It is without one at least of the marks of an interpolation, variety of reading.

[596] Hunc morem cursus is read by all Ribbeck's MSS. Others have ‘hunc morem, hos cursus,’ which Heins. and Heyne adopted. Wagn. justly thinks that ‘hunchoshaec’ would be too emphatic for the present passage, the ictus falling as it does upon each of them. With ‘hunc morem cursus’ comp. 3. 408, “Hunc socii morem sacrorum, hunc ipse teneto.” ‘Primus’ means that Ascanius introduced the game into Italy. Virg. does not say that Ascanius invented the game, as Henry thinks: and the previous description scarcely makes it likely that this was his meaning.

[597] Comp. 1. 271. “Cingere muris oppidaE. 4. 32. Here it merely means to build a city with a wall round it, like ‘muniet’ 1. l. c.

[598] ‘Rettulit’ might be explained brought from Sicily, or from the place wherever it was that the game was invented, into Italy: but an imitation in Claudian, Laud. Stil. 1. 328, “Neglectum Stilicho per tot iam saecula morem Rettulit” (comp. by Forb.), seems to show that the commentators, after Serv., are right in giving it the sense of ‘revived,’ ‘repeated,’ for which see Forc. ‘Latinos,’ those who became inhabitants of his new city: hence ‘Albani’ v. 600. In ‘priscos’ there is doubtless an allusion to the ‘Prisci Latini,’ though there is nothing to show the precise sense which Virg. attached to that disputed term. The application of the epithet to the Sabines (7. 706) and to the Quirites (7. 710) is in favour of giving it its simplest meaning here, the early Latins, as distinguished from those of later Roman history.

[599] He taught them to celebrate it as he had celebrated it when a boy: i. e. he taught them the routine of which we have just been hearing.

[600] Comp. 7. 602. ‘Porro’ of succession: see Forc.

[601] Honorem generally, an observance. To understand it of the honour paid to the youths themselves with Gossrau is inconsistent with the use of the word in similar passages, e. g. 8. 268, “Exillo celebratus honos, laetique minores Servavere diem.” ‘Patrium’ ancestral, not referring to Anchises, as Forb. seems to think.

[602] With Henry I have returned to the old pointing, as more rhythmical than that adopted by most of the editors, who punctuate after ‘nunc,’ understanding the construction to be ‘Troia nunc ludus dicitur, Troianum agmen dicuntur pueri,’ according to the well-known variety by which the copula is made to agree with the predicate. The construction seems to be, as Henry gives it, “pueri nunc (dicuntur) Troia, agmen dicitur Troianum,” the second clause as usual being amplificatory of the first. ‘Troia’ was the name of the game (“Troiam lusit turma puerorum,” Suet. Caes. 39), and there is nothing peculiarly harsh or un-Virgilian in identifying it with the players.

[603] Sancto deified; “sancte parens” above v. 80. ‘Hac’ separated from ‘tenus’ 6. 62. With the line generally we may compare the concluding line of the Iliad, ὣς οἵγ᾽ ἀμφίεπον τάφον Ἕκτορος ἱπποδάμοιο.

[604-640] ‘A fatal incident now happened. Juno sends down Iris, who finds a party of old Trojan women mourning for Anchises, and wretched at the thought of having to cross the sea again. She takes the form of one of themselves, and urges them to burn the ships, pretending an order to that effect conveyed in a vision.’

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