Arces apparently means the towers. The Verona fragm. gives this and the following line in inverse order.
 “‘Athon:’ haec est vera lectio: nam si legeris ‘Athos,’ thos brevis est et versus non stat” Serv., who thinks that the only nom. is Athon, -onis: a form which is found in Lucilius (3. p. 6 ed. Gerlach) and elsewhere: see on G. 1. 332, where the acc. Athŏn as if from Ἄθος is found in most MSS. The form Athōs (Ἄθως） occurs in Juv. 10. 174, “Velificatus Athos et quicquid Graecia mendax,” &c. The simile is suggested by Il. 13. 754, Ἦ ῥα καὶ ὡρμήθη ὄρεϊ νιφόεντι ἐοικώς. Virg. as usual localizes his description. Milton's picture of Satan standing “like Teneriffe or Atlas, unremoved,” though suggested by those of Hom. and Virg., is more appropriate than either. ‘Ipse,’ even he whom we know.
 The order of the words enhances the effectiveness of the description. ‘Fremit,’ the wind is roaring in its forests: comp. 10. 98, “flamina prima Cum deprensa fremunt silvis.” ‘Silvis coruscis’ 1. 164.
 ‘Aries,’ a battering-ram, as 2. 492., 11. 890.
 Arma, their shields.
 Cernere ferro Pal. originally, Verona fragm., and Mentel. corrected: ‘decernere’ Med., Pal. corrected, Gud., and some other cursives. ‘Cernere,’ the true reading, is quoted by Seneca Ep. 58 and Serv. here as an archaism. But Priscian p. 557 quotes the verse: ‘Inter se coiisse virosque discernere ferro’ (some MSS. giving ‘et decernere’), as an instance of the weakness of s in early poetry. The full phrase seems to be, “fortunam ferro cernere” (Enn. Trag. 206), or “vitam ferro cernere” (ib. A. 202), ‘to decide life or fortune by the sword:’ but ‘cernere’ or ‘cernere armis’ was also used by old writers without an accus. (See Forc.)
 As always in heroic warfare, they first throw their spears, and then meet with sword and shield. ‘Conlectique’ Med. a m. p. for ‘coniectis.’
 Invadunt Martem, poetical for ‘ineunt pugnam.’ They dash their brazen shields together: “concurrunt clipeis” v. 724 below. Comp. Il. 4. 447 foll., Σύν ῤ̔ ἔβαλον ῥινούς, σὺν δ᾽ ἔγχεα, καὶ μένἐ ἀνδρῶν Χαλκεοθωρήκων: ἀτὰρ ἀσπίδες ὀμφαλόεσσαι Ἔπληντ᾽ ἀλλήλῃσι, πολὺς δ᾽ ὀρυμαγδὸς ὀρώρει (‘aere sonoro’ is suggested by χαλκεοθωρήκων). Eur. Phoen. 1405, Συμβαλόντε δ᾽ ἀσπίδας Πολὺν ταραγμὸν ἀμφιβάντ᾽ εἶχον μάχης. “Tum clipei resonunt et ferri stridit acumen” Enn. A. 364.
 “Fors: i. e. casus, in Turno; virtus, in Aenea,” Serv., who is usually hard upon Turnus. The meaning seems rather to be that in the din of the blows it could not be discerned how far valour was assisted by chance. ‘Miscetur’ Verona fragm. for ‘miscentur.’
 Sila (see G. 3. 219 note) Med. and Pal., with two of Ribbeck's cursives, and so Serv. ‘Silva’ Rom. and originally Gud. ‘Taburno’ G. 2. 38. Wagn. is right in destroying Heyne's comma after ‘velut.’ Apollonius R. 2. 88 foll. has the same simile (Germ.).
 “Concurrere nubes Frontibus adversis” Lucr. 6.116 (Germ.). ‘Conversi’ Med. corrected for ‘conversis.’ ‘Inimica in proelia’ v. 812 below with perhaps a different meaning. Δήϊον ἐς πόλεμον, Il. 4. 281.
 Frontibus Med. a m. p. ‘Cessere’ perfect: comp. G. 1. 330, “fugere ferae;” A. 10. 804, “diffugit arator.” ‘Cessere magistri’ in another sense G. 3. 549. See on 10. 396. ‘Magistri,’ shepherds: so G. 3. 445. Comp. E. 2. 33., 3. 101. Wagn. rightly puts a colon after ‘incurrunt.’
 Pecori for ‘nemori’ Gud. corrected with Minoraug. and some of Pierius' copies. ‘Nemori,’ which is confirmed by Serv., was restored by Heins. The victorious bull is king of the wood: comp. “regnis excessit avitis” of the conquered bull, G. 3. 228. By this part of the simile Virg. suggests the helplessness of the multitude on each side.
Gud. reads ‘proelia,’ giving ‘vulnera’
as a variant in the margin. Virg.
has worked up in a different form in these
lines the materials which he had used for
G. 3. 220 foll.:
“Illi alternantes multa vi proelia miscent
Volneribus crebris; lavit ater corpora
Versaque in obnixos urguentur cornua vasto
Cum gemitu; reboant silvaeque et longus Olympus.
 ‘Lavunt’ some of Pierius' copies.
 Rom. gives this and the following line in inverse order. ‘Non aliter’ restored by Wagn. from the MSS. for ‘haud aliter.’ ‘Tros’ and ‘Daunius’ carry out the idea of “genitos diversis partibus orbis” v. 708 above.
 Fragor, the crash of the collision: so of the crushing of the woods, 7. 677.
[725-728] From Il. 22. 209 foll., Καὶ τότε δὴ χρύσεια πατὴρ ἐτίταινε τάλαντα: Ἐν δ᾽ ἐτίθει δύο κῆρε τανηλεγέος θανάτοιο, Τὴν μὲν Ἀχιλλῆος, τὴν δ᾽ Ἕκτορος ἱπποδάμοιο. Ἕλκε δὲ μέσσα λαβών, ῥέπε δ᾽ Ἕκτορος αἴσιμον ἦμαρ. ‘Examen’ is the tongue of the balance, ‘lances’ the scales. ‘Fata,’ κῆρες θανάτοιο, are the deaths of the heroes, represented by weights in the scales: the heaviest weight or death draws down the scale, which thus signifies the fall of the hero whose fate is in it. Aeschylus in his play called the Ψυχοστασία (of which only scattered notices remain), appears to have reversed the metaphor, representing Zeus as weighing not the deaths, but the lives of Memnon and Achilles. (See the notices of this play collected in Nauck's Fragmenta Tragicorum, or Hermann's Aeschylus.) Otto Jahn, “Archäologische Beiträge” p. 129, discusses several antique works of art on which this or other Ψυχοστασίαι were depicted. The souls of the heroes appear to have been given as small figures, one in each scale, in one case with wings. Milton (at the end of the fourth Book of Paradise Lost) has reversed the treatment of Virg. and Hom., Satan's scale kicking the beam. The metaphor is generalized by Aeschylus Suppl. 822, where Zeus is addressed with the words: σὸν δ᾽ ἐπίπαν Ζυγὸν ταλάντου, and Pers. 345, Ἀλλ᾽ ὧδε δαίμων τις κατέφθειρε στρατόν, Τάλαντα βρίσας οὐκ ἰσορρόπῳ τύχῃ.
 The MSS. of Priscian 798 give ‘aut’ for ‘et,’ and so Nonius 277. 7 and Agroetius 2270 P. Nonius and Serv. (who quote E. 5. 8, “damnabis tu quoque votis”) wished to take ‘damnet’ as = “liberet,” so as to make the two clauses balance each other as they might have been expected to do. There is, however, really no alternative but to take them (with Scaliger and Heyne) as co-ordinate: ‘whom the toil of the battle is to condemn, and in which weight death is to sink down.’ The weight, as remarked above, represents the death of the hero. The sense would not be altered were we to take ‘labor,’ as Heyne suggests, as = “iniqua fortuna.”
 Hic is taken by Wagn. as the pronoun, answering to Turnus in the next line: it is more natural to take it as the adverb. The passages which he quotes here and Q. V. 21. 7 are chiefly instances of the use of “ille.” “‘Inpune putans’ id sibi futurum” Heyne.
 Heyne comp. Il. 3. 361 foll., but the resemblance is not very striking.
[732, 733] Ictum Rom. and apparently Med. originally. The apparent ellipse, ‘deserit—ni fuga—subeat,’ has a good rhetorical effect: we may perhaps comp. 8. 520 foll., “Defixique ora tenebant . . . multaque . . . putabant, Ni signum caelo Cytherea dedisset ab alto.” Ribbeck inserts marks of a lacuna after ‘ictu.’ Wagn. explains the ellipse by making ‘deserit’ = “prodidit:” Heyne by supplying in thought “et inermis relictus Turnus periisset.”
 Subsidio subeat, an assonance rather in Lucretius' manner: see on 10. 552. ‘Subsidio’ = “in subsidium:” comp. “auxilio subeuntem” 2. 216 note. Heyne proposes a forced explanation: “nisi id, quod subsidium erat, fixa cogitatio subiisset eius animo.”
 Ignotum = “alienum,” strange, as in 7. 167, “ignota in veste.” Heyne comp. Il. 16. 114 foll., where Hector strikes off, with his sword, the head of Ajax' spear. Serv. remarks: “Locus hic totus ad gloriam Aeneae pertinet. Namque id agit, ne videatur Turnus armorum vilitate superatus. Unde ei redditur gladius, quo etiam cum divinis armis ab Aenea possit exstingui.”
 Primum Pal., Rom., and Gud. for ‘prima:’ but see on v. 103 above. ‘Ad’ for ‘in’ Pal. The occasion which Virg. means must be the moment after Aeneas had been wounded, v. 324 foll. above: when Turnus “poscit equos atque arma simul,” &c., to renew the general conflict: for originally (v. 91 foll.) he had put on his father's sword.
 Resplendent fragmina Med. a m. p., Pal., and Gud., with two of Ribbeck's cursives: so Heyne and Ribbeck: ‘resplendet fragmen’ Med. a m. s. and Rom., followed by Wagn., who thinks that ‘fragmina’ may be due to the initial α of ‘arena.’ ‘Fragmina,’ besides having the balance of MSS. authority in its favour, is supported not only (as Heyne says) by Homer's τριχθά τε καὶ τετραχθὰ διατρυφὲν ἔκπεσε χειρός, but by Prudentius' imitation (Psych. 145) quoted by Cerda: “Ira ubi truncati mucronis fragmina vidit, Et procul in partes ensem crepuisse minutas,” &c.
 Diversa, widely distant from each other.
[746-790] ‘Aeneas, pursuing Turnus, at length lights upon his spear, which was in the stump of a sacred oleaster. Turnus in his agony prays to Faunus and Terra that he may be unable to draw it out. His prayer is heard. Juturna seizes the opportunity to give back his own sword to Turnus, and Venus thereupon releases the spear of Aeneas. Thus the two champions meet once again.’