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[576] Atris, a common epithet of serpents G. 1. 129. Here it seems to refer not so much to the skin or to the poisonous powers of the Hydra, as to the black gulf of its throats. “Inmanis hiatu” above v. 237. The Hydra need not be the same as that mentioned v. 287. Virg. however may have some object in placing a Hydra near the gate of Tartarus as well as at the gate of Orcus, as in the case of the Furies. The number of heads assigned to the Hydra varied in different legends. Serv. cites Simonides for fifty.

[577] Saevior, fiercer than Tisiphone. ‘Habet sedem’ i. q. “sedet.” In what follows Virg. has copied Hom., doubling his measurement, τόσσον ἔνερθ᾽ Ἀΐδεω, ὅσον οὐρανός ἐστ᾽ ἀπὸ γαίης Il. 8. 16; a mode of ‘excelling by ill imitating’ which he has more than once resorted to. Milton, we may remember, has similarly attempted to improve on Virg. and Hom. both, placing the rebel angels in a region “as far removed from God and light of heaven As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole” (P. L. Book 1. 73 foll.).

[578] Comp. the description of the tree 4. 445 foll. Virg., as Cerda points out, has been indebted for some of his language to Lucr. 4.416 foll., where the deceptive appearance of reflections in water is spoken of, “Despectum praebet sub terras impete tanto, A terris quantum caeli patet altus hiatus.” Here, as in some other places (see note on G. 2. 249), we are admitted to see something of what passed in Virg.'s mind in the process of composition. The occurrence of ‘hiatibus’ in v. 576 cannot be unconnected with the presence of “hiatus” in Lucr. l. c., so that we may imagine either that having talked of ‘hiatibus’ Virg. was reminded of “hiatus” in Lucr. and so of the whole passage, or that having imitated the passage he was led to recast v. 576 so as to introduce ‘hiatibus.’ There is of course much scope for fancy in this kind of criticism; but a subtle imitator like Virg. may be said specially to invite it, and those who are themselves accustomed to composition will be interested in pursuing it, even though indisposed to build much on its apparent results.

[579] Suspectus occurs again 9. 530, where we hear of a tower “vasto suspectu.” ‘Caeli suspectus’ evidently means the looking up to heaven, ‘ad aetherium Olympum’ being added to develope the thought. The meaning then will be that the gulf of Tartarus extends twice as far below the ground of the infernal regions which Aeneas and the Sibyl are traversing, as the heaven extends above the earth. To this explanation we are helped by the words of Hom. quoted on v. 577. We should have expected some mention of the earth, but Virg., writing with Hom. and Lucr. in his mind, was perhaps less likely to cultivate perfect clearness of expression, and he doubtless intended ‘suspectus’ to be pressed, the earth being the only place from which a person could look up to heaven. This seems more likely than the view apparently held by Donatus and glanced at by Heyne, which would make the meaning to be that the depth of Tartarus below the infernal plains is as great as the height of heaven viewed, if it could be viewed, from the infernal plains; though there would be nothing harsh in thus slurring over ‘suspectus,’ if we did not suppose Virg. to have the parallel of Hom. in his mind. Comp. G. 1. 243 (note), where ‘videt’ is used as loosely as ‘suspectus’ would be according to this interpretation. A third view is mentioned by Forb. as Henry's, who however does not give it in his own note on this passage, viz. that ‘caeli suspectus’ means the looking up from the floor of the sky to the highest point of Olympus, which he supposes to be meant by “vertice caeli” 1. 225. This view also would have much to recommend it, introducing as it does a striking comparison between the heights of heaven and the depths of the shades, but for the parallel in Hom. Petit ingeniously proposed to substitute ‘terra’ for ‘caeli’ here, introducing ‘caeli’ for ‘Terrae’ in the next verse. Ladewig, following some of the older commentators, connects ‘caeli Olympus,’ supposing it to be so called to distinguish it from the mountain in Thessaly.

[580] Genus Terrae, comp. G. 1. 278. The best comment on ‘antiquum’ is furnished by the passages about the elder gods in the Prometheus of Aeschylus. For ‘pubes’ Rom. and some others give ‘proles,’ which is more likely to have been introduced by a copyist.

[581] Fundo in imo is perhaps from Hom., who speaks of τοὺς Ὑποταρταρίους, οἳ Τιτῆνες καλέονται Il. 14 279. With ‘deiecti’ after ‘genus’ and ‘pubes’ Forb. comp. “manus . . . passi” v. 660 below. “Telo deiicit” of lightning G. 1. 333: “quo centimanum deiecerat igne Typhoea” Ov. M. 3. 303.

[582] The sons of Aloeus, Otus and Ephialtes, are mentioned Il. 5. 385 foll., as having put Ares in chains, and in Od. 11. 307 foll. the story of their attempt on heaven and their punishment is told at length, on the occasion of Ulysses seeing their mother Iphimedeia, who is there said to have borne them, not to her husband Aloeus, but to Poseidon. Nothing is said there of their having been thrust down to Tartarus; their mother is in the shades, but we hear of them merely as slain by Apollo. With the apposition of ‘corpora’ comp. 10. 430, and see note on 2. 18.

[583] See note on G. 1. 280.

[584] “ὡς τὴν Διὸς τυραννίδ᾽ ἐκπέρσων βίᾳAesch. Prom. 357, of Typhoeus. In the account in Od. 11 the attempt is made somewhat less definite than here; it is added however that it would have succeeded had the giant twins been allowed to grow to manhood. “Detrude caput sub Tartara” 9. 496.

[585] Salmoneus again is mentioned in Od. 11 (v. 236), but only as the father of Tyro, being himself designated as ἀμύμων. Heyne attempts to trace the gradual growth of the myths about his impiety in an Excursus specially devoted to him. He is called ἄδικος in a fragment of Hesiod quoted by Schol. on Pind. p. 4. 252 (fragm. 32 Göttling). Joseph Warton thought that Virg. meant here to censure the Roman custom of deification, a supposition most unlikely in itself, and directly refuted by the whole tenor of the Aeneid, as well as by the Fourth and Fifth Eclogues and the end of the First Georgic. “Crudelis poenas” above v. 501.

[586] Dum imitatur has been variously explained, but there can be little doubt that Forb. is right in preferring Jacob's view, cited by Hand, Turs. vol. 2, p. 310, that Salmoneus is described as struck with vengeance in the very midst of his impious triumph. We may say if we please that the sight of his punishment recalls the thought of his impiety, and so that the Sibyl may be said to have witnessed the latter as still continuing. The construction generally resembles that in the well-known lines “Dic, hospes, Spartae nos te hic vidisse iacentis Dum sanctis patriae legibus obsequimur,” Cic. Tusc. 1. 42. Gossrau's view that he is condemned to imitate Jupiter for ever in Tartarus is ingenious, but to the last degree unlikely, not being confirmed by any other instance of punishment, though others, not punished, are represented as following in the shades the employments they loved on earth, a distinction expressly made by Ov. M. 4. 445 foll. Pal., Gud. a m. p., and the Mentelian MS. have ‘flammam.’ Some MSS. give ‘tonitrus’ for ‘sonitus,’ as might be exsected. There can be no doubt that Virg. deliberately preferred the less conventional word, as in 2. 113, where Wakef. wished to read ‘tonuerunt.’

[587] Quassans, brandishing his torches before hurling them, so as to give force to the blow and make the blaze brighter, Comp. 5. 642. “Quassabat Etruscam Pinum et fumiferos infert Mezeatius ignis” 9. 521, which will also illustrate ‘fumea taedis Lumina.’ ‘Lampas’ of a torch 9. 535.

[588] Graium populos is limited of course by ‘Elidis urbem.’ ‘Elidis urbem’ most naturally means the city of Elis, which was not built till long after, but may well have been mentioned by Virg., by a voluntary or involuntary anachronism. Serv. well remarks, “Hinc est indignatio, quod in ea civitate Iovem imitabatur in qua specialiter Iuppiter colitur.” Apollod. 1. 9. 7 speaks of a city built by Salmoneus, and afterwards destroyed by lightning. If Virg. alludes to this, ‘mediae per Elidis urbem’ will probably be a variety for “mediam per Elidis urbem.

[589] Many MSS. give ‘honores.

[590] Demens, qui, the Homeric νήπιος ὅς (Od. 1. 8). ‘Nimbos et fulmen’ is meant to include thunder and lightning; the next verse however mentions only the mock-thunder, the mock-lightning having been already mentioned v. 587, a curious exemplification of Virg.'s indirect and fragmentary way of telling a story.

[591] Aere is most simply taken as the brazen car, though Apollod. l. c. speaks of brazen vessels dragged along the ground by Salmoneus, and Manilius 5. 91 foll. of a brazen bridge. See Heyne, Excursus 12. If we were to suppose a brazen bridge we should perhaps make the line neater, as there would then be a hendiadys, ‘aere et pulsu’ i. q. ‘aere pulso.’ ‘Pulsu’ Pal., first readings of Med., fragm. Vat., and Gud., ‘cursu’ Rom., second readings of Med., fragm. Vat., and Gud. ‘Pulsu’ is obviously preferable, as much the more forcible word. Comp. 12. 533, “crebro super ungula pulsu Incita.” ‘Simularet’ is the reading of Med., Rom., Pal., Gud., &c., and the first reading of fragm. Vat., ‘simularat’ being the other, found also in many other copies. The subj. is certainly preferable, as the narrative has already been given, so that a narrative mood is not required. We have already had a similar variety 2. 346. Wagn. remarks hat Virg. says ‘simularet,’ not “simuarit,” because this impious mockery was Salmoneus' habit. So ‘ibat,’ ‘poscebat.

[592] Virg. doubtless thought of Lucr. 5.399 foll. “At pater omnipotens ira tum percitus acri Magnanimum Phaethonta repenti fulminis ictu Deturbavit equis in terram.” ‘Densa inter nubila’ may be meant merely to give the picture, “media nimborum in nocte corusca Fulmina molitur dextraG. 1. 328, or it may mean that Jupiter raised a storm and then hurled the lightning. The words have already occurred G. 1. 445.

[593] Contorsit 2. 52 note. ‘Ille’ is semipleonastic, as in 1. 3., 5. 457 notes (comp. Hor. 4 Od. 9. 51, “Non ille pro caris amicis Aut patria timidus perire”): here however, as perhaps in the passage just quoted from Hor., it has the force of contrast, distinguishing Jove from Salmoneus. ‘Fumea taedis lumina,’ a variety for ‘fumeum lumen taedarum.’ In 7. 456 we have “atro Lumine fumantis taedas.” The smokiness of pinewood torches is doubtless mentioned contemptuously, as contrasted with the lightning, which, though it causes smoke when it falls, and so may be called ψολόεις κεραυνός, is itself clear. Comp. Aesch. Ag. 496, where Clytaemnestra contrasts the human messenger with the beacon in similar words, ὡς οὔτ᾽ ἄναυδος οὔτε σοι δαίων φλόγα Ὕλης ὀρείας σημανεῖ καπνῷ πυρός. “Irai fax fumidaLucr. 3.304.

[594] Turbine the wind of the thunderbolt, 1. 45 note. ‘Adegit,’ “ad umbras,” which is expressed 4. 25. It may be worth while to quote the lines of Manilius referred to on v. 591, as they are expressed with considerable ingenuity. He is speaking of the constellation Auriga. “Hinc mihi Salmoneus (qui caelum imitatus in urbe
Pontibus inpositis missisque per aera quadrigis
Expressisse sonum mundi sibi visus et ipsum
Admovisse Iovem terris, dum fulmina fingit,
Sensit, et inmensos ignis super ipse secutus
Morte Iovem didicit) generatus possit haberi.

[595] Tityos actually appears in the shades in Od. 11. 576 foll., a passage of part of which this is an expanded translation. Virg. is also indebted to the celebrated lines of Lucr. 3.984 foll., where the sufferings of Tityos are described and pronounced to be a symbolic representation of the effects of passion. Hom. (who mentions two vultures) says nothing about the growing again of the liver, and Lucr. makes it an objection to the literal truth of the story that the liver must come to an end, in spite of its gigantic size as inferred from the size of the body. Virg. may be said to have met this objection by introducing the circumstance of the imperishability of the liver, apparently from the story of Prometheus, as we shall see on v. 598: he has not however been quite consistent with himself, as v. 599 will show. ‘Omniparentis:’ ‘omnipotentis’ is the reading a m. p. of Med. and fragm. Vat., quoted too by Arusianus and Nonius. ‘Omnipatentis’ is found in one MS. ‘Omnipotens’ would not be a natural epithet of the earth, “omnipotentis Olympi” 10. 1, as Wagn. remarks, not being in point; and the error is one into which a transcriber would most naturally fall. ‘Omniparens’ on the other hand is found twice in Lucr. as an epithet of the earth (2. 706., 5. 259), and is a translation, as Heyne remarks, of παμμήτειρα. Hom. affords no help, as his words are Γαίης ἐρικυδέος υἱόν, unless it should be contended that ‘omnipotentis’ is a translation, an awkward one at best, of ἐρικυδέος. Still though ‘omniparentis’ appears to be Virg.'s word, it may be doubted whether he would not have done more wisely in following Hom. more closely, as it detracts from the grandeur of Tityos' descent as one of the earthborn to intimate in the same breath that the earth is the mother of all. ‘Alumnus’ expresses the relation of a child to the nurse rather than to the mother; but the two lie so near together that they are often identified. Comp. vv. 876 foll. below, “nec Romula quondam Ullo se tantum tellus iactabit alumno.” So γαῖα μαῖα Aesch. Cho. 45, χθονὸς τροφοῦ ib. 66. There is however a legend, which Virg. may have followed, that Tityos was the son of Elara, but was afterwards reared in the womb of the earth, “Τιτυὸν μέγαν, δν ῤ̔ ἔτεκέν γε Δἶ Ἐλάρη, θρέψεν δὲ καὶ ἂψ ἐλοχεύσατο Γαῖα,Apoll. R. 1. 761. But the epithet ‘omniparentis’ would still be open to exception, striking as it does a chord which is philosophical rather than mythological.

[596] Cernere erat, ἦν ἰδεῖν. The construction is less elastic in Latin than in Greek, as in Greek the thing seen may be made the nom. to the verb substantive, while in Latin it must be the object of the infinitive. ‘Per novem iugera, δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἐννέα κεῖτο πέλεθρα Hom. l. c. “Novem dispessis iugera membris Optineat” Lucr. l. c.

[597] Porrigitur, as if the extension were a continuing act. ‘Rostro obunco’ 11. 755. Rom., fragm. Vat., and others, have ‘abunco,’ seemingly a vox nihili, and Pal., Gud., &c. ‘adunco,’ which was the reading of the old editions.

[598] ‘Inmortale iecur’ is a translation of “ἧπαρ ἀθάνατον(of Prometheus) Hesiod, Theog. 523, from which Virg. may have borrowed the circumstance as well as the word. ‘Tondens’ is the reading of Med. and others, and is supported by Hom., who has ἔκειρον: ‘tundens,’ which was preferred by some of the early editors, has the authority of Pierius' Medicean and one of Ribbeck's cursives, and is perhaps supported by an erasure in fragm. Vat.; but though it might be used of pecking, it would be far too weak for a context like this. ‘Fecunda poenis’ might be i. q. ‘fecunda ad poenas’ (so Serv.); but it is better to make ‘poenis’ abl. (comp. “Viminibus salices fecundaeG. 2. 446), the punishment being conceived of as growing along with the materials of punishment. Cerda reminds us appropriately that the liver was regarded by the ancients as the seat of passion, so that Tityos, the ravisher, is suitably punished: Lucr. however has not taken advantage of this in moralizing the legend, not mentioning the liver even in his description of Tityos' sufferings.

[599] The vulture digs for its food in the inwards of the giant, as the birds in G. 1. 384, “Dulcibus in stagnis rimantur prata Caystri.” The image is from Hom. l. c. δέρτρον ἔσω δύνοντες, which is again rendered by ‘habitatque sub alto pectore,’ the word ‘rimatur’ being doubtless suggested by Lucr. l. c. “Nec quod sub magno scrutentur pectore, quicquam Perpetuam aetatem poterunt reperire profecto.” We may observe however that Hom. indirectly and Lucr. directly deny the inexhaustibility of the liver, so that it is natural for them to represent the vultures as digging deep for their food, like miners in a well-worked mine; not so in Virg., whose bird might be always eating in the same place. ‘Epulis’ dat., ‘ad epulas.’ ‘Epulas’ was at one time the reading of the inferior editions, seemingly without authority. Nonius v. ‘rimari’ quotes “rimaturque oculis,” a fact which may abate his authority in such passages as v. 595 above.

[600] Fibris: see on G. 1. 484. They are not suffered to rest, being always eaten as fasta s they grow. Comp. 1. 723, “postquam prima quies epulis.” We might argue from G. 2. 516, if that passage has been rightly interpreted, that the meaning is ‘there is no pause in growing;’ but this is less likely. “At nunc nimirum requies data principiorum Corporibus nulla est” is in Lucr. 1.992.

[601] The enumeration of the culprits and their respective punishments is abandoned, and the rest of the guilty are dealt with in a mass; a change which has partly the advantage of variety, partly that of increasing the horror. It is as if the reader were allowed a glimpse of that fearful abyss, and, after distinguishing a few figures, were to find himself unable to disentangle his impressions of the sufferers and their torments, and so obliged to retire with a confused sense of terrors inextricably blended. Ixion and Pirithous stand for the whole class of hitherto unnamed criminals: the tortures which follow are chosen not as those which the persons specified individually suffered, but as belonging to some of the number. In this again there is a dramatic and poetical propriety, at the same time that the confusion is justified by the fact that the legends on which Virg. had to build were not always accordant in their accounts,—Hom. e. g. representing Tantalus as tormented with perpetual hunger and thirst (Od. 11. 582 foll.), while Pindar (Olymp. 1. 55 foll.) and Lucr. (3. 980) make him the victim of the everthreatening stone mentioned in the next line. Thus ‘quos’ is regularly constructed after ‘Lapithas, Ixiona Pirithoumque’ as its antecedent. “Quid memorem” v. 123 above. Comp. G. 2. 118 foll. Ixion and Pirithous were Lapithae.

[602] Quo Rom., which Ribbeck adopts, supposing the passage to be incomplete, Virg. having intended to prefix something about Tantalus. πατὴρ ὑπερκρέμασε καρτερὸν αὐτῷ λίθον, τὸν αἰεὶ μενοινῶν κεφαλᾶς βαλεῖν εὐφροσύνας ἀλᾶται Pind. l. c. “Miser inpendens magnum timet aere saxum Tantalus, ut fama est, cassa formidine torpens” Lucr. l. c. ‘Atra:’ the colour increases the horror. “Iam iamque tenet, similisque tenenti Increpuit malis” 12. 754. The hypermeter has a rhetorical effect, the overlapping syllable expressing the just falling stone. Some MSS., including Rom., omit ‘que.

[603] Lucent &c. Wagn. and Forb. connect this punishment with the preceding, Ixion and Pirithous, whom they suppose to be placed under the overhanging rock, and also tormented by the presence of a banquet which they cannot enjoy. This may perhaps be supported by Stat. Theb. 1. 712, “ultrix tibi torva Megaera
Ieiunum Phlegyam subter cava saxa iacentem
Aeterno premit accubitu dapibusque profanis
Instimulat: sed mixta famem fastidia vincunt,

but though the mention of Megaera and the word ‘accubitus’ show that Stat. had this passage of Virg. in his mind, the banquet he is thinking of is the banquet which Tantalus served up of his child's flesh, supposed to be repeated in the lower world, so that we cannot argue from the imitation to the right interpretation of the passage imitated. On the other hand, the two punishments are not easily combined in thought, the point of the terror of the overhanging rock being that it distracts the victim's mind from any thing else, while the banquet is represented as rendered impossible, not by the alarm of the rock, but by the interference of the Fury. If the view taken on v. 601 is the correct one, there is of course a further reason for supposing more than one punishment to be spoken of. On the whole then I think that two punishments are named, and those only as specimens of an infinite number. The hint of the banquet is evidently given by the Homeric description of Tantalus, but the circumstances are varied with considerable judgment, the board spread with artificial dainties being substituted for the simpler features of lake-water and orchard-trees. In Val. Fl. 2. 192 foll. Theseus and Phlegyas are represented as doomed to sit at a similar banquet, the poet having either followed another legend, or availed himself of Virg.'s example to introduce changes of his own. ‘Geniales tori’ are entirely different from the ‘lectus genialis’ or bridal bed, though both receive their name from the genius, the deification of the happier and more impulsive part of man (see on G. 1. 302). ‘Genialis dies’ is a feast-day, and so ‘genialis torus’ is a banqueting couch, whether the expression is Virg.'s own or borrowed from common language. ‘Altis:’ so “toro ab alto” 2. 2. The second epithet is rather awkward, but it is doubtless to be explained with Wagn. on 5. 24 by saying that ‘genialis torus’ forms one notion, and that ‘altis’ is added as a piece of ornamental description.

[604] Fulcra the pillar or support of the couch. ‘Toris’ may be either a dat. or an attributive abl., the couch being made, for poetical variety, the appendage to its pillar; or again the abl. may be local, ‘in’ or ‘upon.’ On any view, the case must be regarded as substituted for the gen., the natural one in prose. ‘Parare’ of getting ready a banquet 1. 638. Rom. has ‘paternae,’ a reading which in an author of less pure taste might conceivably be strained into an allusion to the feast of Tantalus.

[605] ‘Regificus’ is said to occur only in an imitation of this passage and of that just referred to from A. 1 in Val. Fl. 2. 652 foll.; but Enn. Andromacha fr. 9 Vahlen has “auro, ebore instructam regifice,” so that the adj. was probably one of the many compound epithets invented by the old poets, who, like their Greek predecessors, frequently cared only for one part of the compound, ‘regificus’ being regarded as = ‘regalis’ or ‘regius,’ as ‘magnificus’ was found to be virtually convertible with ‘magnus.’ “Regali luxu” 1. 637. ‘Furiarum maxuma’ is explained as a personification of Hunger by Serv., who refers to 3. 252, where the same words occur; but though Celaeno with her Prophecy of Famine illustrates and is illustrated by the office of the fiend here, there is no reason to suppose that the expression has any other but its ordinary sense, one of the Furies, conceived of as the eldest of the sisterhood, being charged with the execution of this mode of punishment. Πρέσβειρα Ἐρινύων occurs Eur. Iph. T. 963. If we suppose Virg. to have thought of three Furies, we may suppose this to be either Allecto or Megaera, Tisiphone, as we have seen v. 555, being otherwise employed. Elsewhere however, 12. 845 foll., Virg. makes the three produced at a birth. ‘Iuxta accubat’ is perhaps suggested by the Erinnys and Orestes sitting opposite to each other in Eur. 1. c.

[606] Manibus with ‘contingere,’ as in 2. 167. Comp. the Homeric οἱ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ὀνείαθ᾽ ἐτοῖμα προκείμενα χεῖρας ἴαλλον Il. 9. 221.

[607] Exsurgitque, as if they were persisting in their attempt to eat, in spite of her prohibition. “Tonat ore” 4. 510. A few MSS., including Pal. and perhaps Gud. a m. p., have ‘increpat,’ a variety which occurs again 8. 527, though there the balance of MS. authority is reversed.

[608] Virg. has apparently imitated Aristoph. Frogs 147, where Heracles enumerates those who lie in the infernal quagmires, “εἴ που ξένον τις ἠδίκησε πώποτε,
μητέρ᾽ ἠλόησεν, πατρὸς γνάθον
ἐπάταξεν, ᾿πίορκον ὅρκον ὤμοσεν.

Serv. well remarks that ‘quibus invisi fratres’ is general, though Virg. may have thought of special instances like Atreus and Thyestes, Eteocles and Polynices. “Dum vita manebat” v. 661, merely meaning ‘in life.’

[609] In mentioning the striking of a parent rather than the further crime of parricide, Virg., like Aristoph. l. c., has followed the true moral feeling of antiquity, which counted even the less heinous crime among the blackest offences. So πατραλοίας is strictly the striker of a father, and so perhaps ‘parricida.’ Comp. the story of Solon providing no punishment for parricide. Sen. Contr. 9. 4, quoted by Taubm., has “qui patrem pulsaverit, manus ei praecidatur.” The fragment of the so-called law of Servius Tullius makes the crime capital, “Si parentem puer verberit, ast olle plorassit, puer divis parentum sacer esto.” For ‘et’ one or two MSS. with Non. ‘Pulsare’ have ‘aut:’ but ‘et’ is virtually disjunctive. ‘Innexa’ metaphorical, as in 4. 51, here of the web of trickery and wrong in which the patron is supposed to entangle his client. Urbanus, an old grammarian cited by Serv., thinks the meaning of the passage cannot be the true one, as clients are more likely to cheat their patrons than vice versa, a curious piece of aristocratic feeling, as Heyne remarks: he therefore supposes the criminals intended to be “praevaricatores.” The laws of the Twelve Tables took a different view, specifying the crime here mentioned and making it capital, “Patronus si clienti fraudem fecerit, sacer esto.

[610] Comp. G. 2. 507, “Condit opes alius, defossoque incubat auro:” there however the man hides his money in the earth, here he has found a treasure. Heyne gives ‘repertis’ the sense of ‘partis,’ which would suit the general language in the next line better, ‘quae maxuma turba est:’ but the other sense is more natural and more picturesque, and Virg. may mean the treasure-finder as a type of all who are greedy of gain. Comp. for the picturesque image expressed in ‘soli’ Hor. 1 S. 1. 66 foll.

[611] Posuere = ‘dedere,’ as θεῖναι frequently = δοῦναι. Comp. the use of ‘ponere’ of setting a thing before a person at table: “Da Trebio: pone ad Trebium” Juv. 5. 135. ‘Suis,’ their kinsfolk and friends, which would be the extent of charity ordinarily practised.

[612, 613] ‘Those who were slain for adultery’ are particularized among other adulterers, either as having been surprised in the fact, or to show that punishment in life does not confer immunity from punishment after death. ‘Arma secuti’ 3. 54, 156., 11. 161, as we should say, to follow a standard. The followers are chosen instead of the leader for the sake of poetical variety. Doubtless Virg. had in his mind the civil wars of Rome, ‘impia’ having that special reference, as in G. 1. 511, though in E. 1. 70 it seems general. Augustus would of course not be likely to regard himself as glanced at, as some of the commentators have feared that he might, since he doubtless considered his own mission to be that of putting an end to such impious conflicts. Wagn. ingeniously supposes the servile wars to be meant, connecting ‘necdextras’ closely with the preceding clause; but the two images do not seem as if they were meant to harmonize, and there is a point gained in supposing two classes of violators of relative duties to be intended rather than one. We have then (1) those who have violated duty to their brothers, (2) to their parents, (3) to their clients, (4) to their kindred generally, (5) to their married fellow-citizens, (6) to their country, (7) to their masters. Ruhkopf remarks that slaves partook largely of the general social disorganization of the time, and refers to Appian B. Civ. 1. 72., 4. 22, 29, 39, 51. ‘Dextras dominorum’ i. q. “fidem dominis datam.” Virg. seems to have expressed himself loosely, since a slave, as Mr. Long remarks, could not strictly be said to give ‘fides’ to his master, like an equal.

[614] Poenam exspectant presents a difficulty, as though Virg. might for the sake of variety take the culprits at the time when they are not actually suffering punishment, but in the agony of looking forward to it, we should have inferred from the preceding narrative that they would not have to wait after having been once hurled into Tartarus, ‘inclusi.’ It would seem that we must suppose either that Virg. has been inconsistent with himself, expressing himself now as if Tartarus were a dungeon as well as a place of torture, or that he conceives of the guilty as not punished immediately upon reaching the prison-house, and chooses to regard them in the interval, a brief one, between incarceration and execution. There is a similar picture of the agony of expectation G. 3. 37 foll. Schrader wished to read ‘expendunt,’ and Med. a m. pr. has ‘exsectant,’ but the word seems a mere error, out of which nothing can be made. “Ne quaere” v. 868 below, 8. 532. For ‘quaero’ with inf. see Forc.

[615] Quam poenam, sc. ‘exspectent,’ or, if the construction is the same as in the next clause, ‘exspectant.’ ‘Mersit’ shows that ‘quae’ must be relative, not interrogative, ‘doceri formam fortunamve quae mersit,’ though the awkwardness of such a construction may dispose us to see some plausibility in ‘merset,’ the reading of two MSS. ‘Mergere’ however is simpler than ‘mersare,’ and is supported by v. 429, 512 above. ‘Forma’ too is very strange, though it receives some illustration from v. 626, where it evidently means “species,” a sense illustrated by Forc. from Cicero's Topics. Here the meaning seems not to be ‘forma sceleris,’ but ‘forma poenae,’ so that ‘forma fortunave’ form a kind of hendiadys. Virg. probably chose the word on account of the dramatic character of the various mythological punishments, which consist in some striking, significant, and pictorial act. The form itself is said ‘mergere,’ as it receives them when they are engulphed in the abyss.

[616] Saxum, the traditional punishment of Sisyphus, as the wheel is that of Ixion. Virg., as was remarked on v. 601, is purposely general. Heyne reads ‘radiisve,’ but ‘que’ is supported by all the MSS., and is virtually disjunctive. ‘Radii’ of the spokes of a wheel G. 2. 444

[617] As usual, many MSS., including Med., Rom., Pal. a m. s., Gud., and fragm. Vat., give ‘destricti.’ The meaning of course is that the legs and arms of the sufferers are stretched out, and that in this state they are bound on a wheel which whirls them round and round. The word is often used nearly in the sense of ‘distraho:’ see Forc. The ordinary legend of Theseus was that, having been fixed in a chair in the shades for his attempt to carry off Persephone, he was released by Heracles, leaving some of his flesh behind him: Virg. however has varied the story, or followed another.

[618] Phlegyas was taken by some interpreters whom Serv. mentions as acc. pl., Theseus being supposed to admonish the Phlegyae, a nation which was destroyed for its impiety by Poseidon, according to Euphorion: but it is evidently nom., being the name of the father of Ixion, who appears in the imitations of Statius and Val. Fl. mentioned on v. 603. The nature of his punishment is not specified by Virg., who leaves us to infer the horror of it from his melancholy warning.

[619] Testari is used of solemn affirmations, which are supposed to be equivalent to calling witnesses to the truth of the statement made; here it is extended to a warning which contains no formal affirmation, though we may say if we please that Phlegyas makes himself and those who witness his torture evidences of the truth of the propositions involved in his precept.

[620] Virg. has evidently imitated Pind. Pyth. 2. 39 foll., where Ixion gives a similar warning from his wheel: θεῶν δ᾽ ἐφετμαῖσιν Ἰξίονά φαντι ταῦτα βροτοῖς λέγειν ἐν πτερόεντι τροχῷ παντᾶ κυλινδόμενον: Τὸν εὐεργέταν ἀγαναῖς ἀμοιβαῖς ἐποιχομένους τίνεσθαι. Henry makes ‘non temnere divos’ a repetition of the preceding clause ‘Learn justice, and do not slight the command of the gods to be just:’ but this would be rather flat, and the story of Phlegyas as told by Serv. says that his crime was burning the temple of Apollo at Delphi, so that it would be truer to say that the last part of the line interprets the first, ‘iustitia’ meaning the rendering of their dues to all, gods as well as men. Taubm. has a curious note, “Versus in sano sensu auro expendendus: qui quidem status et summa est omnium tragoediarum, et conpendium universae ethices. Testatur G. Fabricius se ex Laz. Bonamico viro gravi et fidei pleno audivisse puellam in agro Patavino fuisse fanaticam, quae Graece et Latine, omnium literarum ante insaniam expers, optume locuta sit: quae cum interrogata esset quaenam esset praestantissima apud Verg. sententia, hunc ipsum versum clara voce ter pronuntiasse.

[621, 622] Macrob. Sat. 4. 1 says that these lines are closely copied from two of Varius', “Vendidit hic Latium populis, agrosque Quiritum Eripuit, fixit leges pretio atque refixit.” Virg. has been generally supposed to refer to Curio, who was bribed by Caesar's paying his debts to quit the party of Pompey; but though Lucan 4. 819 foll. speaks of him in similar language, it is not credible that Virg. should refer in this way to a transaction which reflected on the buyer no less than on the seller. Virg. might safely speak of the impiety of civil contests to Augustus, as we have seen on vv. 612, 613, but he cannot be supposed to have glanced at any of those who brought about either the dictatorship of the first Caesar or the imperial power of the second. ‘Fixit’ &c. seems to refer to the same person as ‘vendidit,’ ‘inposuit,’ so that the same reason would operate against our supposing a distinct reference to Antony, though we cannot say that his proceedings may not have been in Virg.'s mind. ‘Vendidit auro’ 1. 484. “Dominam potentem” 3. 438. Here the words are significant, as opposed to the liberty which has been taken away. “Dominum vehet inprobus atque Serviet aeternum” Hor. 1 Ep. 10. 40. ‘Fixit’ and ‘refixit,’ the laws being engraven on brazen tablets and fastened in some public place whence they were removed when abrogated. The laws of the Twelve Tables were engraved on brass and fixed in the Forum: the Senatusconsultum de Bacchanalibus, now preserved at Vienna, is on brass. See Lewis, Credibility of Rom. Hist., vol. 1. p. 138.

[623] Thalamum invasit like οἴγοντι δ᾽ οὔτε νυμφικῶν ἑδωλίων Ἄκος Aesch. Cho. 71. Virg. may have thought of the Homeric εὐνῆς ἐπεβήσατο.

[624] Auso potiri a somewhat bold expression for succeeding in a design, borrowed by Ov. M. 11. 242, cited by Forb. Comp. “victor propositi” Hor. 1 Ep. 13. 11.

[625] Repeated from G. 2. 43. See Introduction to Aeneid, p. 26.

[626] Scelerum formas: see on v. 615, and comp. “scelerum facies” v. 560.

[627] Some MSS. give ‘possem,’ which was the old reading before Heins., but is certainly less grammatical. We have had the same variety G. 1. 351. See on v. 754.

[628-636] ‘They then hasten to the palace of Pluto and deposit the golden bough.’

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