previous next

[799] The rhythm of this line is harsh: probably however we are meant to pause at ‘haec,’ separating ‘Saturnius’ from ‘domitor.

[800] “Fas omne” 3.55. “Fas fidere” 2. 402.

[801] Merui quoque ut fideres. Beside the general ground for Venus' confidence, Neptune had given her further reason by his personal interference in Aeneas' behalf.

[802] Tantam seems emphatic, as if he had said “tantos furores rabiemque compressi,” substantiating the assertion ‘merui quoque.’ The reason why he does not give ‘tantam’ its natural place may be that he wished to bring ‘saepe’ into prominence. ‘So many have been his deliverances from dangers so great.’ Some difficulty has been felt about ‘saepe,’ as the only interference recorded is that in Book 1. It is answered by Heyne that we may assume Neptune's protection to have been exerted on such occasions as vv. 8 foll. above, 3. 192 foll. This may have been what Virg. refers to: but it is perhaps more satisfactory with Burm. to say simply that he refers to occasions not mentioned (expressly at least) in the Aeneid.

[803] Xanthum Simoentaque testor is explained by what follows. The combat of Aeneas with Achilles (Il. 20. 158 foll.) happened before the μάχη παραποτάμιος of Il. 21, but both took place on the same occasion, the return of Achilles to battle, so that it is scarcely inaccurate to speak of them as contemporaneous.

[805] The expression seems to be taken from Il. 21. 295, κατὰ Ἰλιόφι κλυτὰ τείχεα λαὸν ἐέλσαι Τρωικόν, ὅς κε φύγῃσι, words used by Poseidon himself to Achilles, though they had been previously used by Achilles himself (v. 225) in speaking to Scamander. For the fact see the latter part of Il. 20 and 21. A similar expression occurs in Tac. H. 2. 41 (cited by Forc. s. v. ‘impingo’), “a paucioribus Othonianis quo minus in vallum inpingerentur.” Fragm. Vat. originally had ‘inmitteret.

[806] Daret leto G. 3. 480 note. The phrase was a common one at Rome, it being the custom to announce a public funeral (hence called ‘funus indictivum’) by the herald in the words “Ollus Quiris leto datus est” (Festus s. v. ‘Quiris,’ Varro L. L. 7. 42 Müller). ‘Gemerent’ &c. is again from Il. 21. 218, where Xanthus says— “πλήθει γὰρ δή μοι νεκύων ἐρατεινὰ ῥέεθρα
οὐδέ τί πη δύναμαι προχέειν ῥόον εἰς ἅλα δῖαν,
στεινόμενος νεκύεσσι: σὺ δὲ κτείνεις ἀϊδήλως.

Virg. perhaps alludes to the connexion of the two senses of στένω.

[807] Amnes, as Scamander invokes Simois against Achilles, Il. 21. 307 foll. ‘Evolvere’ is used in post-Augustan prose of rivers emptying themselves: see Forc. For ‘atque’ Pal. has ‘neque,’ which might stand if ‘volvere’ were read.

[808] Another reference to Homer's words, Il. 20. 334, where Poseidon blames Aeneas for encountering Achilles, ὃς σεῦ ἅμα κρείσσων καὶ φίλτερος ἀθανάτοισιν. ‘Nec dis aequis’ does not express the same thing as the words just quoted, but it agrees with the Homeric narrative, where the Greek gods generally show themselves stronger than the Trojan, as in the wounding of Aphrodite and Ares Il. 5, and the θεομαχία Il. 20. Comp. the words of Hera Il. 20. 122 foll. ‘Viribus aequis’ occurs again in a similar connexion 10. 357, 431., 12. 218. With the sense comp. generally v. 466 above.

[810] Nube cava 1. 516. The deseription is not quite the same as that in Il. 20. 321, where Poseidon puts a mist before the eyes of Achilles and then takes Aeneas away, but Virg. was doubtless thinking of other instances where Homeric gods carry off warriors in clouds, as in Il. 20. 444., 21. 597. ‘Eripui,’ a former reading, is supported by a correction in fragm. Vat. There is some awkwardness in ‘cum inpingeret’ followed by ‘cum cuperem:’ but we should lose rather than gain if we were to remove it according to Wagn.'s suggestion by placing a full stop after ‘Xanthus’ v. 808, and connecting ‘cum Troia,’ &c. with the previous sentence, as ‘Xanthum Simoentaque testor’ would then produce an awkward tautology with what follows. “Ex imo verti Neptunia Troia” 2. 625.

[811] The building of Troy by Poseidon and the perjury of Laomedon are sufficiently known. ‘Periturae’ is read for ‘periurae’ in fragm. Vat. and Med. a m. pr., perhaps as Wagn. suggests, from a recollection of 2. 660; but the two words are easily confounded, and there is the same variety in the Virgilian Catalecta 11. 51.

[812] Timorem Med., ‘timores’ Rom., Pal., Gud., and probably fragm. Vat. The former is perhaps preferable, as we have “timorem mittite” 1. 202, while ‘timores’ does not occur at all in Virg., though we have ‘solve’ and ‘auferte metus.’ Wagn.'s distinction that the sing. denotes the apprehension of a particular thing, the plural the fear of many things, is I think refuted by 1. 202., 9. 90.

[813] Portus Averni is the harbour of Cumae. Comp. 3. 441, 442., 6. 236 foll., and note on G. 2. 161. Serv., and after him Spence, find an inconsistency in the passage as ordinarily pointed, as Neptune's promise that Aeneas should reach Cumae is not the same thing as Venus' request that he may arrive at the Tiber, and propose to remove it by separating ‘Averni’ from ‘portus’ and taking it with ‘gurgite:’ but the dangers of the voyage were in fact over when they reached Cumae, and Virg.'s love of variety is not to be controlled.

[814] Quaeres is the reading of all Ribbeck's MSS., ‘quaeret’ of one or two inferior copies, followed by most editors. Either would stand very well, ‘quaeret’ referring to Aeneas, ‘quaeres’ to Venus, who would gladly be identified with him in his care for the fleet. The latter is less obvious, without being at the same time less Virgilian, and external authority is, I agree with Henry and Ribbeck, decisive in its favour. Comp. Venus' language 1. 250 foll., “Nos . . . Navibus . . . . amissis . . . . Prodimur,” and the assurance she afterwards gives Aeneas of the safety of his fleet ib. 390 foll. (see also ib. 584, 585.) ‘Amissum quaeres’ is like “sublatam ex oculis quaerimus” Hor. 3 Od. 24. 32, comp. by Forb. So 1. 217, “amissos . . . requirunt.” The person referred to is of course Palinurus, not, as Serv. thinks, Misenus, curiously fancying v. 814 to point to the latter, v. 815 to the former.

[816] Here, as in 1. 147, 156, Neptune mounts his car and rides over the waves to smooth them. The description however is from Il. 13. 23 foll., where his object is to make a journey to the earth. ‘Laeta’ is apparently proleptic, in this as in other places, though it is not easy to distinguish this use of an epithet from its more ordinary employment. Venus was sad before Neptune spoke: but she had become happy before his speech came to an end.

[817] Auro all Ribbeck's MSS., ‘curru’ two or three inferior copies. The latter is evidently a correction to make the passage easier. ‘Aurum’ for a thing made of gold is found elsewhere in Virg., e. g. 1. 739; but the reference has in each case to be determined from the context, a task which here is somewhat difficult. Hom. does not help us, as though he talks of gold repeatedly, it is with reference to Poseidon's palace, the manes of his horses, and his own armour; unless we suppose Virg. to have understood χρυσὸν δ αὐτὸς ἔδυνε περὶ χροΐ to mean that Poseidon put golden harness on the coats of the horses. Probably Heyne is right in taking it of the yoke, though it may be the harness. In either case it is doubtless abl., not dat., so that Wagn.'s objection that ‘iungere currui’ is the proper expression, not ‘iungere iugo,’ falls to the ground. The horses are ‘iuncti,’ fastened to the car, or to each other (comp. 3. 113., 7. 724, E. 3. 91 &c.), with gold, ‘aureo iugo’ or ‘aurea iunctura.’ So Claudian, Phoenix 86, comp. by Heins., “Auro frenat equum,” where ‘freno’ is similarly supplied from ‘frenat.’ This seems more Virgilian than with Wagn. to make ‘auro’ dat. = ‘currui aureo.’ ‘Genitor’ of Neptune 1. 155, as of Tiber 8. 72, like ‘pater’ (note on G. 2. 4). ‘Frena addit,’ puts on the bridles, harnesses them. “Frena spumantia” 4. 135.

[818] Feris: note on 2. 51. Here it may be meant to express the spirit of animals, like “ferox” in 4. 135 just referred to. “Omnis effundit habenas” 12. 499.

[819] Comp. 1. 147. ‘Caeruleus’ of marine things G. 4. 388 note (see on v. 123 of this book), though here it may be meant to be taken strictly. ‘Levis’ seems to include easy motion (6. 17., E. 1. 60) and light pressure. Comp. v. 838 below.

[820] Tonanti seems to refer to the sounding of the sea, of which Virg. has chosen to remind us, perhaps with a little sacrifice of propriety, by affixing the epithet to the chariot-wheel at the time when it is calming the waves.

[821] It may be doubted here and in 8. 89, whether ‘aquis’ is abl., ‘in respect of,’ or ‘with its waters,’ or dat., ‘a smooth surface is laid for the waters.’ Med. originally had ‘equis.’ for ‘fugiunt vasto aethere’ Med. as a second reading has ‘fugiuntque ex aethere,’ which Wagn. adopts against the whole consensus of the other MSS., objecting to the rhythm of ‘vasto,’ and asserting that it cannot be used appropriately of the sky, as it is used of things which inspire dread by their size, not simply wonder. The first objection is obviously futile: the second proceeds on a gratuitous supposition that because the word is used of objects of terror, it cannot be extended to cases where nothing is meant beyond enormous size, and that when ‘vastum aequor silentio’ &c. occur in a neutral connexion (e. g. 3. 191), we are bound to suppose that Virg. meant us to regard the size as formidable, not simply as wonderful. Comp. “mundus caeli vastus constitit silentio” Enn. Sat. 3. fr. 4; “vasto et aperto mari” Caes. B. G. 3. 12. 5; “in vastissimo atque apertissimo oceano” ib. 3. 9. 7. Following a hint of Jahn's, too, we may say that ‘vasto’ here may be meant to impress slightly the notion of the sky as a desert when unpeopled by clouds, not unlike “aera per vacuumG. 3. 109 note: and this would agree with the passage from Caes. just quoted.

[822] “‘Tum variae comitum faciesexquisitius quam comites varia facie et aspectu,” Heyne. “Tam multae scelerum faciesG. 1. 506. Whales form part of Homer's description Il. 13. 27, ἄταλλε δὲ κήτἐ ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ Πάντοθεν ἐκ κευθμῶν, οὐδ᾽ ἠγνοίησεν ἄνακτα, though they are not there combined with sea gods. ‘Cete’ a Greek pl., like ‘mele,’ ‘pelage,’ in Lucr.

[823] Glauci chorus like “Phorci chorus” above v. 240. ‘Senior,’ old, like Glaucus himself, who was represented as so covered with marine incrustations as to have lost all trace of his pristine form (Plato, Rep. 10, p. 611), and to be constantly bewailing his immortality (Schol. on Plato l. c.). Keats has seized this point in his elaborate description of him in Endymion, Book 3. The ‘chorus’ are doubtless sea-gods, as in v. 240, though Glaucus was represented as accompanied by κήτεα when he went about yearly to the coasts and islands of Greece (Paus. 9. 22, § 6). ‘Inous Palaemon’ G. 1. 437.

[824] “Exercitus omnis” 2. 415., 11. 171, 598. Comp. G. 1. 382, where the word is applied to the rooks. Here it is doubtful whether sea-gods or sea-monsters are spoken of. Pliny 36. 5, in his description of a sculpture by Scopas (quoted by Heyne), speaks of “Tritones chorusque Phorci et pristes et multa alia marina,” which might be pleaded for the latter view. But probably the two were not very sharply distinguished.

[825] Laeva neut. pl.: see Forc. ‘Tenet’ Med., Gud. a m. s., ‘tenent’ Pal., Gud. a m. p. Rom. has ‘tent.’ Wagn. prefers the sing., Ribbeck the pl. Melite is one of the Nereids mentioned, Il. 18. 39 foll., among Thetis' companions, as are the five whose names follow hers here. “Panopeaque virgo” above v. 240.

[826] See on G. 4. 338. Here the line seems to be found in all the MSS., though, as usual, the proper names undergo strange transformations.

[827-871] ‘Rejoicing in the smoothness of the sea, Aeneas sets sail, his own ship, under Palinurus, going first. In the middle of the night, the god of sleep assails Palinurus with a temptation to quit his post, but finding him inflexible, throws him into a sleep and makes him drop into the water. Aeneas perceives the loss of his pilot, supplies his place, and laments him.’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Troy (Turkey) (1)
Rome (Italy) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: