previous next

[200] Another legend made Tarcho the brother of Tyrrhenus founder of Mantua, and derived the name of the town from the Etruscan Mantus = Dis (Müller, Etrusker 2. p. 61), to whom it was consecrated.

[201-203] These three lines must be taken together as referring to Mantua: it is unnatural with Heyne to apply 202 and 203 to the ‘agmen’ of Ocnus. ‘Dives avis’ taken, as it must be, in connexion with ‘sed non genus omnibus unum,’ implies number and diversity of race, as well as quality and antiquity, in the founders of Mantua: comp. with Heyne the imitation of Stat. Theb. 1. 392 (of Adrastus), “Dives avis et utroque Iovem de sanguine ducens.” These founders consisted, according to Serv., of Thebans, Tuscans, Gauls, and Veneti: and Cluver (Italia Antiqua p. 255) follows him so far, though plausibly enough omitting the Thebans. K. O. Müller (Etrusker 1. p. 137) thinks that the third race was probably Umbrian. The relation of ‘gens’ to ‘populus’ is fixed by the usage of Livy 4. 49, “simul Aequos triennio ante accepta clades prohibuit Bolanis, suae gentis populo, praesidium ferre:” ib. 56, “caput rerum Antiates esse: eorum legatos utriusque gentis (Acquorum et Volscorum) populos circumisse.” ‘Gens’ is a race, ‘populus’ a city or people belonging to it: Strabo (6. p. 263) apparently uses the words ἔθνος and πόλις as respective Greek equivalents (see J. F. Gronovius on Livy 5. 34). It would seem that Virg. intends to represent Mantua as possessing a territory peopled by three races, each of whom was master of four cities; just as Strabo (1. c.) says that Sybaris had four ἔθνη and twentyfive πόλεις subject to her. The words ‘ipsa caput populis’ preclude either Serv.'s confused explanation, that ‘gentes’ = “tribus” and ‘populi’ = “curiae,” or that of Niebuhr (Rom. Hist. 1. p. 296 note, Eng. Tr.) that ‘populi’ was equivalent to the territorial δῆμοι of Greek cities. Virg. could never, in a condensed passage like the present, merely mean the truism that Mantua was the head of her own ‘curies’ or of her own ‘demes:’ to say nothing of the difficulty of supposing that ‘populi’ could ever mean anything but communities or townships. K. O. Müller (Etrusker l. e.) seems to be right in supposing that Virg. intended to magnify the legendary glory of his native city not only by connecting her with the southern Etruscan states leagued with Aeneas, but also by representing her as head of the ancient northern group of twelve Tuscan cities spoken of by Livy 5. 33 as founded from the original dodecapolis on the south of the Apennines. The power of the Etruscans north of the Po was broken up by the invasion of the Gauls, and in the time of the elder Pliny (H. N. 3. 23) Mantua was the only Tuscan city left in those regions. (Comp. Mommsen, Römische Geschichte, 1. pp. 122, 123.) This may have been to Virg. only the greater reason for putting Mantua forward, and assigning her a position which according to Pliny (H. N. 3. 20) properly belonged to Bononia ‘Tusco de sanguine vires’ must mean that the noblest and most powerful tribe at Mantua were Tuscans. Verona fragm. has ‘illis’ for ‘illi,’ Rom. ‘populi’ for ‘populis.’ ‘Caput populis’ like “celsis caput urbibus” 8. 65.

[205, 206] Patre Benaco . . Mincius (like “Eunaeum Clytio patre” 11. 666) because the Mincius flows out of the lake Benacus (Lago di Garda). The meaning must be that a figure of the river Mincius was at the head of the ship: not, as was at one time supposed, that they were sailing down the Mincius, which would have carried them down the Po into the Adriatic. Rivers were not uncommonly represented in human shape: see the description in Ov. A. A. 1. 222,hic est Euphrates, praecinctus arundine frontem: Cui coma dependet caerula, Tigris erit:” Pers. 6. 47, “ingentisque locat Caesonia Rhenos” (where see Jahn's note). Comp. Virg.'s description of the river-god Tiberinus 8. 33. ‘Pinu’ E. 4. 38.

[207] Gravis, half adverbial, as in 5. 437, “stat gravis Entellus:” comp. Lucr. 5.497, (limus) “Confluxit gravis et subsedit funditus ut faex:” Livy 27. 4, “cui cedenti certamenque abnuenti gravis ipse instaret.” ‘Centena’ the partitive for the simple number: comp. “terno consurgunt ordine remi” 5. 120, and v. 213 below. ‘Arbore’ to suggest the bulk of the oars. ‘Fluctus’ Rom. and one of Ribbeck's cursives.

[208, 209] Adsurgens, rising to the stroke. ‘Verso’ 5. 141 note. For a description of Triton somewhat similar to this comp. Apoll. R. 4. 1610-1616 (Cerda). ‘Concha’ 6. 171 note.

[210, 211] Exterrens freta: so in Ov. M. 1. 333 foll. Triton drives back the waters of Deucalion's deluge to their places. The description of him here is not unlike that of Scylla 3. 426. “Atrum Desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne” Hor. A. P. 3, 4. For ‘pristis’ see note on 3. 427.

[212] “Pectora semiferi” of Cacus 8. 267. Comp. Il. 1. 481, ἀμφὶ δὲ κῦμα Στείρῃ πορφύρεον μεγάλ᾽ ἴαχε, νηὸς ἰούσης: and ἀφρῷ μορμύρων Il. 5. 599., 18. 403. Heyne comp. Apoll. R. 1. 542, 543.

[213, 214] “Bis denis navibus” 1. 381: see on v. 207. “Delectos populi ad proceres” 3. 58. ‘Campos salisG. 3. 198 note. “Spumas salis aere ruebant” 1. 35.

[215-245] ‘Aeneas is met by the Nymphs into whom his fleet had been transformed. One of them prophesies success to him in the battle of the morrow.’

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.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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