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[756] Cedebant for ‘caedebant’ Pal., Rom., and Gud., a variation mentioned by Serv. The following lines are a varied condensation of Il. 11. 70—83 (Heyne). ‘Ruebant,’ were falling: comp. v. 338 above, 11. 673. The subject of both ‘caedebant’ and ‘ruebant’ is the two armies, each of which has its share of killing, each of being killed. ‘Pariterpariter’ then will not mean that the cases of killing and being killed balance each other, but that each army balances the other in both respects: so that we must not comp. the use of ‘pariterpariter’ 8. 545.

[757] Ὣς Τρῶες καὶ Ἀχαιοὶ ἐπ᾽ ἀλλήλοισι θορόντες Δῄουν, οὐδ᾽ ἕτεροι μνώοντ᾽ ὀλοοῖο φόβοιο, Ἴσας δ᾽ ὑσμίνῃ κεφαλὰς ἔχον Il. 11. 70 foll. ‘Victores victique,’ becoming conquerors and conquered in turn.

[758] A variation of Hom. 1. c. Οἱ δ᾽ ἄλλοι οὔ σφιν πάρεσαν θεοί, ἀλλὰ ἕκηλοι Σφοῖσιν ἐνὶ μεγάροισι καθείατο, ἧχι ἑκάστῳ Δώματα καλὰ τέτυκτο, &c. The gods in Hom. have separate houses made for them on Olympus by Hephaestus (see Il. 1. 606 foll.): here they are all in the palace of Jupiter. ‘Inanem’ may mean objectless, because unending (comp. “incassumG. 1. 387, “nequiquam” ib. 403 notes): but it is perhaps better understood as indicating the feeling of superior beings that human quarrels are too trivial to justify the suffering they cause to creatures already miserable.

[759] The constr. is like 8. 92, “Miratur nemus insuetum fulgentia longe Scuta virum fluvio pictasque innare carinas.” For the thought comp. Il. 17. 446, where Zeus says, Οὐ μὲν γάρ τί πού ἐστιν ὀϊζυρώτερον ἀνδρὸς Πάντων ὅσσα τε γαῖαν ἔπι πνείει τε καὶ ἕρπει. ‘Mortalibus’ emphatic: those already doomed to death.

[760, 761] The gods look on, but the Fury, like Eris in Hom., takes part in the battle. Ἔρις δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔχαιρε πολύστονος εἰσορόωσα, Οἴη γάρ ῥα θεῶν παρετύγχανε μαρναμένοισιν. “Pallida TisiphoneG. 3. 552.

[762] Ribbeck writes ‘Medientius’ on the authority of Nonius 272: see on 7. 654.

[763] Campum Med., and this, or acc. with ‘in,’ would be the more common constr. Comp. G. 4. 469., 11. 904. We have had ‘ingredior’ with dat. v. 148 above. The meaning apparently must be that Mezentius came into a part of the field where he had not been previously engaged, that where Aeneas was fighting.

[764] Serv. gives a quaint story of Orion's march through the sea. Orion, who had desired to violate the daughter of his adopted father Oenopion, was blinded by him with the aid of Bacchus. On consulting the oracle he was told that he could recover his eyesight if he walked with his eyes always turned to the east, which he did, after having procured a Cyclops from the thunder-furnaces to sit on his shoulders and guide him. (See further Dict. M. ‘Orion.’) The story may have symbolized the rising and setting of Orion, which were the signal for storms: see on 1. 535. Comp. the language of Theocr. 7. 53, Χὥταν ἐφ᾽ ἑσπερίοις ἐρίφοις Νότος ὑγρὰ διώκῃ Κύματα, χὡρίων ὅτ᾽ ἐπ᾽ Ὠκεανῷ πόδας ἴσχῃ (quoted by Cerda). Orion is πελώριος Od. 11. 572. ‘Pedes’ emphatic: comp. Lucr. 1.200, “pedibus qui pontum per vada possent Transire.” ‘Medii’ as in 3. 664, “graditurque per aequor Iam medium.

[765] Stagna of the depths, as in 1. 126. Comp. Catull. 29 (31). 3, “quascunque in liquentibus stagnis Marique vasto fert uterque Neptunus,” Apollonides in Anth. Graec. 9. 296. 2, Νηρῆος λαθρίοισιν ὑποπλεύσας τενάγεσσιν, referred to by Taubm. ‘Viam scindens’ like “viam secat” 6. 899.

[766] Serv. supposes Orion to be carrying a tree, apparently as a staff or club, uprooted by himself on the mountains. This would agree sufficiently with Od. 11. 574, τοὺς (θῆρας) αὐτὸς κατέπεφνεν ἐν οἰοπόλοισιν ὄρεσσιν Χερσὶν ἔχων ῥόπαλον παγχάλκεον, αἰὲν ἀαγές, while the substitution of a tree for a club of brass would remind us of Polyphemus and his “trunca pinus” 3. 659. Thus we should have two pictures of Orion, one wading through the sea, the other stalking as a hunter along the mountains. But there is great plausibility in the rival interpretation, which makes ‘referens’ mean reproducing or recalling to mind, Orion's stature being compared to that of a mountain ash, as Pandarus and Bitias are compared to firs or oaks 9. 675, 679 foll. In that case, however, there would be no reason intimated why Orion should be represented on land (for the comParison to a mountain ash would hardly be enough to suggest that he is hunting on the mountains), and the introduction of a comParison within a comParison would be somewhat awkward, not to mention that the comParison to a tree would be rather an anticlimax after we have been told that he could walk through the sea, and would hardly prepare us for the language of the next line. The two latter objections would be obviated if we could suppose that the mountain itself is included in the comParison, as then we might say that Orion's height is indicated in two ways: when he wades through the sea his head and shoulders are above water; when he is on land, he is like a tree set on a mountain top. This may be Virg.'s meaning, though of course the thought will not bear to be pressed, as if the height of the mountain would be added to the height of the tree. If we adopt the former interpretation, we may suppose that Virg.'s thought was suggested by a recollection of 3. 659 referred to above, that having been itself suggested to him by his description of Orion striding through the water like Polyphemus, just as elsewhere we find one imitation of Hom. or Lucr. suggesting another. ‘Referens montibus’ will then mean carrying away from the mountains. “Summis antiquam montibus ornum” 2. 626.

[767] Repeated from 4. 177, where it is applied to Rumour.

[768] Armis is doubtless modal or descriptive abl., as ‘vastis’ would be unmeaning if it were dative; but it might still be questioned whether ‘vastis armis’ =“ingentem quatiens hastam” or ‘armis’ =“humeris,” Mezentius' shoulders being represented as rising above the throng like Orion's. “Vasta se mole moventem” 3. 656.

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