Init bellum, begins the war. “Prima pares ineunt gravibus certamina remis” 5. 114. ‘Tyrrhenis ab oris:’ “oriundo Tuscus, non qui nunc de Tuscia venit, quem antea pulsum a civibus constat,” Serv. This is possible enough (comp. G. 3. 2, “Pastor ab Amphryso”): but even if the words are constructed with ‘init,’ they need not be pressed to mean that Mezentius came direct from Etruria. The name of Mezentius comes from the early legends, though his part in the story was differently represented by different persons, some making him kill Aeneas in a battle subsequent to the Trojan settlement in Latium. See Heyne, Excursus 3 on Book 8, Lewis 1, p. 338. So, according to another account, Lausus was killed later by Ascanius (Dict. M. s. v.). Serv. remarks on the whole catalogue that Virg. mentions some whom he does not name afterwards in his narrative, while some who are named afterwards are not mentioned here, which he calls “poetae affectatio, nam amblysiam” (apparently some word connected with ἀμβλυώσσειν: Casaubon conj. “ablepsiam”) “nefas est dicere.”
 “Contemptorque deum Mezentius” 8. 7. ‘Armat,’ arrays, much as θωρήσσειν is used in Hom., Il. 2. 11, 83., 16. 155. There was a legend that Mezentius claimed for himself the first-fruits due to the gods, Cato ap. Macrob. Sat. 3. 5.
 Corpore Turni, periphrastic, but intended to enforce the notion of personal beauty. Comp. 2. 18 note. It matters little whether we make this and the preceding line a complete sentence, as is generally done, or with Ribbeck carry on the sense to what follows. Virg. is evidently thinking of the lines about Nireus, Il. 2. 672 foll.
 Equum domitor v. 189 above. “Ferarum vastatorem” 9. 771. For the fondness of the Tyrrhenians for hunting comp. 11. 686. Lausus is represented as trained for war by horse-breaking and hunting. Heyne comp. Il. 5. 49 foll.
 It may be doubted whether these thousand men are the same as the “agmina” in v. 648, or whether the words there refer to other musters raised by Mezentius (comp. 8. 7). There seems nothing to determine the precise sense of ‘patriis— inperiis.’ Serv. supposes it to be that Lausus was worthy to have had as father a monarch, not an exile, in other words, worthy to have had a throne in prospect. Heyne understands it simply “dignus qui meliore patre gauderet,” adding “ad patrem declarandum inperia non minus valent quam in filio obsequium.” It might also mean that Lausus was worthy to have fought under a commander more acceptable to the gods: comp. 11. 347 (of Turnus), “Cuius ob auspicium infaustum . . . Lumina tot cecidisse ducum.”
 Haud is used loosely for “non.” Hand, Turs. 3. p. 13, wishes to connect ‘haud Mezentius,’ as we might say “a nonMezentius,” which seems most unlikely. Pal. reads ‘Medientius,’ which Ribbeck adopts, a form also found in Non. p. 272, where 10. 762 is quoted: but though the form is doubtless a legitimate one, ‘di’ and ‘z’ being frequently interchanged in pronunciation (see Corssen, Ueber Aussprache &c. der Lateinischen Sprache, vol. 1. pp. 215 foll. ed. 2), it does not seem likely that Virg. should have used the two indifferently. The recurrence of ‘esset’ is inartificial.
[655-669] ‘Aventinus, son of Hercules, joins them with a force.’