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[680] Ribbeck reads ‘flamma’ from Pal., where, as in Med., the original reading was ‘flammam.’ ‘Viris indomitas posuere’ like “ponuntque ferocia Poeni corda” 1. 302.

[681] The timber is moistened, but the tow which was between the planks keeps smouldering. Tow seems to have been used to close up the interstices. Forc. quotes from Varro ap. Gell. 17. 3, “Liburni plerasque navis loris suebant, Graeci magis cannabo et stuppa.” ‘Vivit’ is transferred from the flames to the thing ignited.

[682] “‘Tardum,quod densior est aqua vicina,” Gossrau. So ‘lentus.

[683] Est 4. 66. ‘Vapor’ of heat is very common in Lucr. Here we are meant to think of heat and smoke both, as distinguished from bright flame. ‘Toto’ &c.: the plague (‘pestis’ as in v. 699., 9. 540, here accommodated to ‘corpore’) sinks into the vitals and pervades the whole frame of the vessels.

[684] Heroum, Aeneas and his friends, who would be stronger than ordinary men. ‘Vires heroum infusaque flumina’ form a sort of hendiadys, as the strength of these heroes would chiefly be shown in flinging large quantities of water. ‘Flumina’ might mean river-water, like “fontibus” 2. 686, or it might simply denote the pouring of the water on the ships, so as in fact to repeat ‘infusa:’ but the former part of the line seems to show that it is used hyperbolically, as if whole rivers were showered down.

[685-699] ‘Aeneas, desperate, invokes Jupiter, begging him either to save them, or, if he is their enemy, to destroy them at once and utterly. A tremendous storm follows immediately, and the ships are saved with the loss of four.’

[685] For ‘abscindere’ Med. has ‘exscindere,’ Rom. ‘abscidere’ (comp. G. 2. 23 note). He rends his clothes in sign of grief, like Latinus 12. 609. Comp. also 4. 590.

[686] Auxilio vocare seems i. q. “vocare in auxilium.” “Auxilio subire,” “venire,” &c. occur several times in Virg., so that he may have intended a sort of condensed expression for “vocare ut auxilio sint.” We have had “vocantem auxilia” above v. 221, and “auxilium vocat” occurs 7. 504.

[687] For instances of ‘ad unum’ with or without ‘omnes’ see Forc. ‘Unus.’ Ribbeck prints ‘exosu's:’ see on 1. 237.

[688] Pietas: see 2. 536 note, 4. 382. ‘Antiqua’ is an appeal to what Jupiter had been to him and others in times past. So exactly Psalm lxxxix. 48, “Lord, where are thy old loving-kindnesses which thou swarest unto David in thy truth?” τὰ ἐλέη σου τὰ ἀρχαῖα LXX. Comp. also Isaiah li. 9, “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.”

[689] The construction is ‘da classi, evadere flammam.’ ‘Classis’ and ‘classem’ are found in some MSS., but Virg. doubtless wished to consult perspicuity by the construction he adopted, as he has consulted variety by the order.

[690] Leto is here used of things because the things really involve persons. So in Livy 22. 53 (comp. by Gossrau), “si sciens fallo, tum me, Iuppiter O. M., domum familiam remque meam pessumo leto afficias.

[691] Tu gives urgency to the request, as in 12. 158, where as here another imperative without ‘tu’ has preceded. ‘Quod superest’ seems at the first sight to be most naturally taken ‘which is the only thing left for thy cruelty to do or for us to suffer,’ a sense with which Wagn. well comp. 12. 643, “Exscindine domos, id rebus defuit unum, Perpetiar?” But I believe Jahn is right in following a suggestion disapproved by Heyne, “quod superest e rebus Teucrorum,” as the parallel passage v. 796 below goes far to show. The antithesis may seem to require ‘either restore us wholly or ruin us wholly,’ not ‘either give us partial safety or ruin us wholly:’ but Aeneas' thoughts flow too fast to conform to balanced rhetoric. He first says ‘rescue our wretched fortunes from death: it is but little to ask, and yet, if it be not granted, we are extinguished at once and for ever:’ then as he looks at the ships burning one by one, he says, ‘We are well night crushed already: tread us wholly into dust.’ There is a fragment of Attius' Nyctegresia (9 Ribbeck) of which Virg. perhaps thought, “Tum quod superest socium mittis leto: an lucti paenitet?” but, as we know nothing of the context of the passage, it does not help us here. ‘Mereor’ is in favour, it must be admitted, of supplying ‘me’ as the object of ‘demitte:’ but there is nothing harsh in making Aeneas identify himself with the Trojans, of whom he is the head, and resting their safety on his deserts. On the other hand, an objection might perhaps be raised with justice to Aeneas' separating himself from the rest, as he does according to the common interpretation, and calling for his own destruction as the one thing wanted to crown the national misery. On the whole then I think ‘quod superest’ includes both generally the fortunes of Troy, the ‘tenuis Teucrum res,’ and specially the vessels still unconsumed, which is the main meaning in v. 796. ‘Morti:’ note on G. 3. 480.

[692] Med., Pal. &c. have ‘dimitte.’ ‘Dextra’ as hurling the lightning. The reference may be to an earthquake.

[693] Edere of speaking v. 799 below: with ‘ore’ 7. 194. ‘Effusis imbribusG. 2. 352., 4. 312. It may be questioned whether the words here are to be taken closely with ‘atra’ or not. Strictly speaking of course the discharge of the rain would diminish the blackness of the sky: but Virg. may mean to describe the first moments of a storm, when rain and blackness are seen together, and the supposition of a close connexion is favoured both by the order and by G. 1. 323, though there the ‘imbres’ are called ‘atri’ while still in the clouds.

[694] ‘Sine more’ 7. 377., 8. 635. It seems as nearly as possible = “sine lege.” ‘mos’ being a custom which may operate as a restraining rule. Comp. the use of the word in 6. 852., 7. 204., 8. 316, and see on G. 4. 5.

[695] “Ardua montis” occurs 8. 221., 11. 513. For ‘campi’ Pal., Med. a m. pr. and a few others read ‘campis,’ connecting it with what follows. The common reading however is clearly preferable.

[696] “Turbidus imber” 12. 686. It seems to mean not so much driven by the wind (Forb.), though the wind may have been one of the causes of the blackness, as turbid or murky. ‘Turbidus aqua’ is used loosely, meaning no more than ‘turbida aqua,’ the water not being the cause of the turbidness, as the mud is in “turbidus caeno” 6. 296, any more than in 11. 876. “caligine turbidus atra Pulvis,” it is the blackness that makes the dust turbid. ‘Densis austris’ like “aquilo densusG. 3. 196, perhaps with a further reference to the thickness of the clouds and the driving force of the shower. Comp. G. 1. 333, “ingeminant austri et densissimus imber.” “Nigerrimus austerG. 3. 279.

[697] Super doubtless = “desuper” (see Forc.), not, as Wagn. in his small edition explains it, ‘are filled to overflowing,’ a circumstance which would be trivial here.

[698] Vapor v. 683 note.

[699] Peste v. 683 note.

[700-718] ‘Aeneas doubts whether after all he ought not to settle in Sicily. Nautes advises him not to give up Italy, but to leave behind him in Sicily all whose hearts are not in the enterprise, and let them have a city of their own there.’

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