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[236] ‘His actis’ 12. 843.

[237] This grotto is not the same as that mentioned v. 11 above. Heyne identifies it with one now called Baian, as looking towards Baiae. With the latter part of the line comp. Lucr. 5.376, “sed patet inmani (‘inmaneWakef.) et vasto respectat hiatu.” The description seems partially taken from that of the σπέος Ἀΐδαο (in the [Asiatic] Acherusian promontory) in Apoll. R. 2. 735 foll., though the vapour there is not mephitic, but icy.

[238] ‘Scrupeus’ is found in Enn. Androm. fr. 8, and Pacuvius Nipt. fr. 6 speaks of “scruposam specum.” ‘Tuta’ participle, sheltered, as in 1. 571 &c. The meaning seems to be that the darkness appears to afford it a protection.

[239] Translated from Apoll. R. 4. 601,οὐδέ τις ὕδωρ κεῖνο ῾τηε λακε οφ τηε εριδανυς᾿ διὰ πτερὰ κοῦφα τανύσσας Οἰωνὸς δύναται βαλέειν ὕπερ”. With the whole passage comp. Lucr. 6.740 foll.: “Principio, quod Averna vocantur nomine, id ab re
Inpositumst, quia sunt avibus contraria cunctis,
E regione ea quod loca cum venere volantes,
Remigii oblitae pennarum vela remittunt,
Praecipitesque cadunt molli cervice profusae
In terram, si forte ita fert natura locorum,
Aut in aquam, si forte lacus substratus Avernist.
Is locus est Cumas apud, acri sulfure montes
Oppleti calidis ubi fumant fontibus aucti.

See also ib. 818 foll. ‘Volantes’ used substantively, as in v. 728 below, Lucr. 2. 1083. So ‘volitansG. 3. 147.

[240] “Tendit iter velis” 7. 7.

[241] Comp. Lucr. 6.819, “Mortiferam vim, de terra quae surgit in auras.” “Supera convexa” v. 750 below. Ribbeck reads ‘super’ from Pal. and Med. a m. p., and Rom.; but the cause of the mistake is obvious.

[242] This line is wanting in fragm. Vat. and others, and is added in Med. by a later hand. Rom. however has it. Serv. does not explain it, nor does Non. quote it s. v. ‘Avernus,’ as he might have been expected to do. There is a similar line in the Periegesis of Dionysius, v. 1151, τοὔνεκά μιν καὶ φῶτες ἐπικλείουσιν Ἄορνον, rendered by Priscian, Perieg. 1056, “Unde locis Graii posuerunt nomen Aornin.” Heyne thinks it a gloss, and Wagn. and Ribbeck remove it from the text. There is nothing un-Virgilian about it: Virg. is fond of talking of the names of places, as Henry remarks (comp. e. g. 3. 693): he refers to a Greek name G .3. 148 (a common habit with his master Lucr.): and the expression ‘nomine dicere,’ to which Wagn. objects, is found v. 441 below, as is observed by Forb. On the other hand the external evidence is such as to leave the question doubtful, so I have placed the line in brackets. There is a further question whether ‘Aornon’ or ‘Avernum’ ought to be read. The MSS. which retain the line would seem generally in favour of this latter, which I have adopted: but it would seem more likely that Virg. would use the Greek word than the Latin transformation of it, which hides the etymology. Is it certain that Lucr. in talking of the etymology of ‘Avernus’ did not mean to derive it from “avis”? Possibly however Virg. may have so far complied with the Latin form as to give ‘Aornum,’ the reading of Gud. and others, adopted by Heins.

[243] Comp. G. 4. 538 foll., where four bulls and four heifers are sacrificed to the Manes of Orpheus and Eurydice. “Nigrantis terga iuvencos” 5. 97. Black was the colour of the victims sacrificed to the shades, v. 153 above, Od. 10. 523—527.

[244] Constituit 5. 237. ‘Frontique invergit vina:’ comp. 4. 61 note. Plaut. Curc. 1. 2. 12 has “Invergere in me liquores tuos sino ductim.” Serv. draws a distinction between ‘fundere’ and ‘vergere’ in sacrifices: “‘Fundereest supina manu libare, quod fit in sacris supernis; ‘vergereautem est conversa in sinistram partem manu ita fundere ut patera convertatur: quod in infernis sacris fit.” ‘Invergo’ however is used by Val. Fl. 2. 611 of pouring sacrificial wine into the sea

[245] The plucking of hairs from the head of the victim and the throwing of them into the fire as ἀπαρχαί is a Homeric custom, Od. 3. 445, πολλὰ δ᾽ Ἀθήνῃ Εὔχετ᾽ ἐπαρχόμενος, κεφαλῆς τρίχας ἐν πυπὶ βάλλων, from which we see also that prayers were made during the process, as in v. 247. ‘Saetae’ of the hair of oxen 7. 790.

[246] Libamina prima, ἀπαρχαί, as ‘libare’ is used of pouring out or taking away the first part of any thing. Gell. in his preface says, “Primitias quasdam et quasi libamenta ingenuarum artium dedimus.” Stat. Theb. 6. 224 has “raptumque suis libamen ab armis Quisque iacit,” of offerings on a funeral pile, each one giving as it were a taste or specimen of his weapons. ‘Inponit’ is frequently used of offerings 1. 49., 4. 453.

[247] See on v. 245. The line is imitated from Apoll. R. 3. 1209,ἐπὶ δὲ μιγάδας χέε λοιβὰς Βριμὼ κικλήσκων Ἑκάτην ἐπαρωγὸν ἀέθλων”. ‘Voce vocans’ 4. 680 note. For Hecate's attributes see on 4. 510. ‘Caelo potentem’ less strong than ‘Caeli potentem’, implying not sovereignty over a place, but power in it. ‘Caeloque Ereboque’ 7. 140.

[248] Cerda, followed by Heyne and Forb., explains ‘supponunt cultros’ of the custom of sacrificing victims to the gods below with their heads downwards, those devoted to the gods above being sacrificed with their heads upturned, the αὖ ἔρυσαν of Hom. For this he quotes Myrsilus De Rebus Lesbiacis 2 (? the passage does not occur in the remains of Myrsilus in Müller's Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum), εἰώθασιν οἱ ἱερεῖς τὰ ἔντομα τοῖς κάτω θεοῖς ἐναγιζόμενα ἐν τῇ γῇ ἀποτέμνεσθαι τὰς κεφαλάς: οὕτω γὰρ θύουσι τοῖς ὑποχθονίοις: τοῖς δὲ οὐρανίοις ἄνω ἀναστρέφουσι τῶν ἱερείων τὸν τράχηλον σφάζοντες. The same words however have already met us in G. 3. 492, where we cannot suppose that a sacrifice to the infernal gods is specially meant. All that is said is that the throat is cut from beneath, and this might be done equally well whether the victims' heads were turned up or down—more easily indeed in the former case. It is more probable that the special reference, if any, is to another (Roman?) sacrificial custom mentioned by Cerda in the same note, that of first striking the victims down with an axe or club, afterwards cutting their throats, a process which seems to have required two persons, according to a passage from Dionys. Hal. 7. 72, quoted by Cerda, θύειν τότε τοῖς ὑπηρέταις αὐτὰ ἐκέλευον. τῶν δὲ οἱ μὲν, ἑστῶτος ἔτι τοῦ θύματος, σκυτάλῃ τοὺς κροτάφους ἔπαιον: οἱ δὲ πίπτοντος ὑπετίθεσαν τὰς σφαγίδας. Serv. says that ‘supponere’ was a sacrificial word, being of neutral signification and consequently avoiding a bad omen: and the three last words in the passage of Dionys. confirm the statement, as they would hardly have been translated from an expression found only in the poets. ‘Tepidum cruorem’ 8. 106.

[249] The form ‘succipiunt’ is supported by Pal. and fragm. Vat., Gud. a m. s. &c., and expressly recognized by Serv., who says “antique: nam modosuscipiuntdicunt:” it has accordingly been restored by Wagn. in later edd., here and 1. 175. It was evidently read by Pomponius Sabinus, whose note “antiquum verbum est” is wrongly explained by Heyne as if the meaning were that the more ordinary word would be ‘excipiunt.’ The object of catching the blood is said by Donatus to be “ne iam sacratus in terram cadat.” The Greek feeling would seem to have been just the reverse, as what was poured on the earth was supposed to reach the powers below. So Od. 11. 35 Ulysses cuts the throats of the sheep into a trench, that the shades may flock round it. Virg. however seems to mean that the blood is caught in bowls that it may be afterwards poured out, apparently on the ground (3. 67., 5. 78). Perhaps we may say then that this mode of offering was adopted as giving more solemnity to the act, and involving as it were a separate consecration of the blood apart from that of the victims. ‘Ipse:’ Aeneas also acts as sacrificer, in the Homeric fashion. Stat. Theb. 4. 445 has “Velleris obscuri pecudes.

[250] The mother of the Eumenides was Night (7. 331., 12. 846, Aesch. Eum. 416 &c.), her great sister Earth, both being daughters of Chaos. Comp. Hes. Theog. 116 foll., where however the birth of Gaea from Chaos is not expressly stated.

[251] So Od. 11. 30 Ulysses vows that on his return to Ithaca he will sacrifice to the shades, στεῖραν βοῦν ἥτις ἀρίστη. Lersch quotes from Arnob. 7. 21, “Bos si sterilis [caedatur] Unxiae, quam Proserpinae tribuitis.” ‘Ense ferit’ may possibly be referred to striking down the victim, according to the distinction taken on v. 248. Serv. has a notion that the sword was used rather than any other weapon because, having been consecrated by the act, it became available for keeping the shades at a distance. ‘Ense ferit’ 12. 458.

[252] Stygio regi of Pluto, like “Iovi Stygio” 4. 638. ‘Nocturnas:’ sacrifices to the infernal gods were performed by night, which is now going on, as we see from v. 255. Cerda refers to Turnebus V. L. 28. 44. ‘Inchoat’ is said by Serv. to be a sacrificial word: but the only instance the commentators adduce is “delubrum inchoare” Cic. (?) De Domo 51. 132. Comp. however ‘instauro’ 4. 63 note.

[253] Solida = “integra,” as in 2. 639: see Forc., where this sense is abundantly illustrated. Holocausts were offered to the infernal gods, Apoll. R. 3. 1033. For ‘viscera’ see on G. 3. 559., 4. 302. It is on this line that Serv. gives the explanation there cited. ‘Inponere’ above v. 246.

[254] Modelled on Il. 11. 775, σπένδων αἴθοπα οἶνον ἐπ᾽ αἰθομένοις ἱεροῖσιν. All Ribbeck's MSS. give ‘superque:’ ‘super’ is found in a few copies mentioned by Heyne, and in the Canon. and Balliol MSS. The ‘que’ seems to have been added as a support to the verse, as apparently in 1. 668, where it is similarly found in the best MSS. Between ‘infundens’ (Med.) and ‘fundens’ (fragm. Vat., Pal., Rom., Gud., &c.) there is little or nothing to choose, except on external grounds. Both ‘superfundo’ and ‘superinfundo’ are found in composition, though the latter appears to have no higher authority than Celsus. Comp. however ‘superinponere.’ ‘Exta’ are the entrails proper as distinguished from ‘viscera.’ Comp. Aesch. Ag. 1221. σὺν ἐντέροις τε σπλάγχν᾽. Oil was one of the offerings to the dead (see on v. 225), but it may have been intended merely to feed the fire. Emmen refers to Schedius de Dis German. c. 29 for the statement that oil was used for wine in sacrifices to Pluto.

[255] Primi sub lumina solis et ortus, ἓν διὰ δυοῖν. ‘Primi’ = ‘prima,’ and ‘prima lumina’ = ‘ortus.’ “Lumina solis” 8. 69, Lucr. 1.5. Comp. also 7. 130, “primo cum lumine solis.” Med. and some others have ‘limina,’ an impossible reading here, as Burm. remarks, though it might stand in a passage where place, not time, was spoken of. The description here, like parts of that which has preceded, is modelled on Jason's invocation of Hecate Apoll. R. 3. 1191-1223, where the time and circumstances of the approach of the goddess are the same as here.

[256] Comp. 4. 490, “mugire videbis Sub pedibus terram, et descendere montibus ornos.” See also on E. 4. 50. “Πίσεα δ᾽ ἔτρεμε πάντα κατὰ στίβονApoll. R. 3. 1217. ‘Iuga silvarum:’ the ridges are regarded as belonging to the woods which grow on them rather than vice versa. So “iuga nemorum” 11. 545, “dorso nemorisG. 3. 436, comp. by Forb. Seneca, Nat. Q. 6. 13, quotes the words with “iuga celsa,” which might stand, ‘visa’ being understood from the next line.

[257] “ἀμφὶ δὲ τήν γε ῾ηεξατἐ Ὀξείῃ ὑλακῇ χθόνιοι κύνες ἐφθέγγοντο,Apoll. R. 3. 1216, which shows that the dogs here are infernal hounds accompanying Hecate. Many MSS. have ‘visi;’ but the fem. is more usual in a context like this: comp. G. 1. 470. ‘Ululare’ of dogs, as of wolves 7. 18, G. 1. 486. Comp. ὑλάσκω. So possibly 4. 609 (note), “Nocturnisque Hecate triviis ululata per urbes.

[258] Procul o, procul este, profani is perhaps a translation of Callim. Hymn to Apollo v. 2,ἑκάς, ἑκάς, ὅστις ἀλιτρός”. The uninitiated were warned off at the commencement of the mysteries: comp. Hor. 3 Od. 1. 1, and see Lobeck's Aglaophamus, vol. 1, pp. 450 foll. If the words have any distinct reference here, it must be, as Wagn. points out, to the companions of Aeneas, who were not to undertake the journey with him. With ‘procul este,’ as used rather than ‘procul ite,’ comp. the use of ‘abesse,ἀπεῖναι.

[260] “‘Invadere viam,’ exactly the opp. of ‘evadere viam’ 2. 731, is to enter upon a journey, set out,” Henry. Why Aeneas is told to draw his sword does not appear. Ulysses does so. Od. 11. 48 foll., as commanded by Circe, and, thereby prevents the ghosts from drinking the blood before he chooses that they should do so: but when Aeneas uses his sword vv. 290 foll. below, he is warned by the Sibyl that he can do them no harm. “Vaginaque eripit ensem” 4. 579.

[262] Furens: the arrival of Hecate and the greatness of the undertaking having brought back the afflatus.

[263] Aequare of keeping pace with 3. 671.

[264-267] ‘Give me leave, powers of the dead, to tell the tale of what they saw.’

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