Hinc seems to mean that it is
only after passing the gate of Orcus that
they see the way to Acheron. Acheron is
called ‘Tartareus’ from its dismal associations,
though it is not, like Phlegethon v.
551, a river specially surrounding Tartarus,
but apparently encompasses the whole of
the lower world. But Virg.'s conception
of the four infernal rivers, as given by
Hom., is very confused. Hom. says briefly,
Od. 10. 513 foll.:
“ἔνθα μὲν εἰς Ἀχέροντα Πυριφλεγέθων τε
Κωκυτός θ᾽, ὃς δὴ Στυγὸς ὕδατός ἐστιν ἀπορρώξ:
πέτρη τε, ξύνεσίς τε δύω ποταμῶν ἐριδούπων,
 Acheron has here the Plationie characteristics of a marshy slough, combined with those of a rapid river. ‘Caenum’ and ‘arena’ are doubtless the same, as Heyne thinks. Comp. the description of the muddy pool in Catull. 17. 10, “totius ut lacus putidaeque paludis Lividissima maxumeque est profunda vorago,” ib. 25, “Et supinum animum in gravi derelinquere caeno, Ferream ut soleam tenaci in voragine mula.” ‘Vorago’ is applied to the infernal rivers in the only other passages where it occurs in Virg., 7. 569., 9. 105., 10. 114. ‘Hic’ may be either adv. or pron., perhaps better the former.
 ‘Disgorges into Cocytus,’ into which Virg. evidently supposed Acheron to empty itself. Hom., as we have seen, makes Cocytus an ἀπορρώξ or arm of Styx.
 Portitor, properly a person who collects the portoria, duties on exports and imports, or tolls (Dict. A. ‘Portorium’); hence a person who receives toll for carrying passengers or goods, and so, as here, a ferryman, a sense which it bears Sen. De Benef. 6. 18, and in various passages of the poets, where, as here, it is applied to Charon. In later Latin it came to be used for a porter: see Forc. We have had the word used of Charon G. 4. 502.
 Terribili squalore is not to be taken with ‘horrendus,’ but forms in fact a second epithet. Charon is later than Hom., who employs only the agency of Hermes for transporting the dead to the shades (Od. 24), while the living cross the Ocean river in ships: he appears however in Aristoph. Frogs 180 &c., and was represented by Polygnotus in his paintings in the Lesche of the Cnidians at Delphi.
 Canities for ‘cani,’ as in 9. 612., 10. 844., 12. 611. ‘Stant lumina flamma’ like “pulvere caelum Stare vident” 12. 407, comp. by Turn. V. L. 28. 32. ‘Stant’ expresses the fixedness of the eyes (Donatus), and the mass of the flame (Henry). ‘His eyes are fixed orbs of fire.’ The comparison of eyes to fire occurs more than once in Hom., e. g. Il. 1. 104, ὄσσε δέ οἱ πυρὶ λαμπετόωντι ἐΐκτην. ‘Flammae’ is read by many MSS., including Med. (originally), Rom., and Pal. from a correction; but the attributive gen. would be harsh. Some copies have ‘flammea,’ which is approved by Heins., and might be scanned by synizesis (comp. 7. 448, “flammea torquens lumina”).
Nodus is to be taken strictly, not as implying a “fibula” or brooch, which would hardly be in keeping with the rest of Charon's trim. Some early correctors read ‘nudo,’ which Pier. rightly rejects.
“Facito uti venias ornatu ornatus huc nauclerico,
* * * * * * *
Palliolum habeas ferrugineum, nam is colos thalassicu'st:
Id connexum in humero laevo, expapillato brachio;
. . . . adsimulato quasi gubernator sies.
 Ipse, without assistance, old as he was. ‘Subigit’ G. 1. 202, apparently expressing the motion of the pole or oar, pushing up from beneath. ‘Conto’ 5. 208. “Velisque ministrat” 10. 218. It has been a question since the time of Serv. whether ‘velis’ is dat. or abl. “Ministrare” is used intransitively with a dat. of the person or thing served, and it also takes an abl. of the instrument of the service; two constructions which are exemplified in “Claudius Vinio fictilibus ministrari iussit,” Tac. H. 1. 48. ‘Ministrat velis’ then might either be ‘attends to the sails,’ or ‘manages the ship (understanding ‘rati’ or ‘ratem’) by means of the sails.’ Either construction would suit the present passage: 10. 218 is in favour of the dat., as there is nothing to suggest ‘rati’ or ‘ratem,’ unless we consider ‘velis ministrat’ to have become an elliptical phrase. On the other hand Tac. Germ. 44 has “naves velis ministrantur,” which makes strongly for the abl., and Val. F. 3. 38 has “ipse ratem vento stellisque ministrat,” evidently imitating either this passage or that in A. 10. Stat. Theb. 7. 752, “Ipse sedens telis pariterque ministrat habenis” (of Apollo sitting in the car with Amphiaraus, like Pallas with Diomed in Il. 5), also an evident imitation of Virg., is rather in favour of the dat., as it could not so well be said that Apollo was ministering either to the car or to Amphiaraus. The result of our examination of these passages, which the commentators have collected, seems to be that the question must still be left open.
 Ferruginea (see note on G. 1. 467) seems to denote the murky hue of the infernal boat. It may however merely indicate the ordinary colour of ships (comp. νεὸς κυανοπρώροιο Il. 15. 693), as Plaut. referred to on v. 301 says as a reason for wearing the ‘ferrugineum pallium’ “is colos thalassicu'st.” At any rate it is evidently the same with “caeruleam puppim” v. 410 below. ‘Subvectat’ used like “subvectus” 8. 58, perhaps to express the difficulty of the exertion. ‘Corpora:’ see on G. 4. 475, and comp. v. 391 below. ‘Cymba’ G. 4. 506.
 “Iam senior” 5. 179. ‘Senior’ with Virg., as Forb. remarks, is not the same as “senex.” In its technical sense among the Romans it was applied to those who were between forty-five and sixty, Gell. 10. 28, referred to by Forb. ‘Cruda senectus’ is a translation of ὠμὸν γῆρας, which occurs Od. 15. 357, Hes. Works 705, though apparently in a different sense of untimely (or perhaps cruel) old age. There is however a compound ὠμογέρων applied to Ulysses Il. 23. 791, and this is doubtless what Virg. meant to represent here, ‘crudus’ meaning fresh, with the blood still in the veins, opposed to dried up and withered: i. q. ‘viridis’ in short. ‘Viridis’ is elsewhere applied to youth, as in 5. 295, so that its connexion with ‘senectus’ is a kind of oxymoron. Serv. remarks of ‘deo’ “τὸ αἴτιον: ideo cruda et viridis, quia in deo.” ‘Deo’ doubtless refers to Charon specially: but the sentence might conceivably be taken as a general sentiment: ‘the old age of a god is fresh and green.’
 “Quam multa” G. 4. 473, where the simile resembles the second of the two now before us. The comparison to falling leaves is apparently from Apoll. R. 4. 216, “ἢ ὅσα φύλλα χαμᾶζε περικλαδέος πέσεν ὕλης, Φυλλοχόῳ ἔνι μῆνι”, where the thing compared is an ordinary concourse of people. Hom. compares a multitude to leaves on the trees, Il. 2. 467. Putting the similes side by side, we may see that there is a delicate propriety in Virg.'s which is wanting to Apollonius', the pale ghosts being compared to the withered leaves. The well-known reversal of the comparison in Shelley's Ode to the West Wind, where the ‘leaves dead’ are compared to ‘ghosts from the enchanter fleeing,’ and designated as ‘yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes,’ will illustrate what was in Virg.'s mind. “Prima auctumni sub frigora” G. 2. 321.
 “‘Lapsa cadunt’ fere idem quod ‘decussa cadunt:’ vide Döderlein Synon. vol. 1, p. 128,” Wagn. ‘Ad terram gurgite ab alto:’ the birds are apparently supposed to have accomplished their voyage over the sea, and to be just alighting in a mass in the warmer clime that is to receive them. Mr. Long however remarks, that the flocking together of the birds before departure would be a fitter and more natural comparison. The simile of birds is probably from Il. 3. 3 foll., where the Trojans are compared to cranes migrating for the winter, ἐπεὶ οὖν χειμῶνα φύγον καὶ ἀθέσφατον ὄμβρον. “Gurgite ab alto” 7. 704, which resembles this passage, “nubem volucrum urgueri ad litora” corresponding to ‘ad terram glomerantur.’
 Frigidus annus, the cold part of the year, as “pomifer annus” Hor. 3 Od. 23. 8 is the fruit-bearing part of the year, “annus hibernus” Id. Epod. 2. 29 the wintry part of the year (both comp. by Forb.). So “formosissimus annus” E. 3. 57. Burm. reads ‘amnis’ from a few inferior MSS., interpreting it of the Strymon, as in Lucan 3. 199 we have “Strymon tepido committere Nilo Bistonias consuetus aves,” but, as Heyne remarks, ‘amnis’ alone would be obscure, especially as the correlative is ‘terris,’ not any equivalent of ‘Nilo.’
 “‘Primi transmittere’ figura Graeca est, ut primi transirent,” Serv. ‘Transmittere’ takes an acc. of the thing sent across (“transmissae classes” 3. 403), and so here of the passage, though in Greek we should distinguish them as the acc. of the object and the cognate. In 4. 154 the acc. is of the space passed over, the passage being put into the instrumental abl. Scaliger, Poetics 4. 48, observes “Ecce cum tractu morae videtur ipse versus stare.”
[317-336] ‘Aeneas inquires the meaning of what he sees, and is told by the Sibyl that only those who have been buried are ferried over, the rest having to wait a hundred years. He grieves over the fate of the unburied, recognizing among them his comrades lost in the wreck between Sicily and Africa.’