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[425] Brontes (βροντή) and Steropes (στεροπή) are mentioned Hesiod Theog. 140, where the third is called Arges. Pyracmon (πῦρ, ἄκμων) seems not to appear elsewhere. Serv. explains his name “qui nunquam a calenti incude discedit.” There is of course no intention of representing him as distinguished from the rest by being naked, but the epithet suits his name. The Chalybes are represented as naked G. 1. 58.

[426] ‘Informo’ nearly i. q. “inchoo,” with which it is coupled Cic. de Or. 2. 9: comp. v. 447. The meaning seems to be to sketch a thing, or, as we say, put into shape. Here it seems best to refer it to the thunderbolt altogether, not to the part of it which was finished, separating it from ‘erat,’ which is constructed with ‘parte polita,’ and making ‘his manibus’ = “horum manibus,” like “hic nuntius” 4. 237, &c. ‘Shaped by their hands, the lightning was already polished in part, while part remained unfinished.’ Serv. makes ‘manibus’ = “in manibus.” ‘Parte polita’ = “parte politum.” The polish of course is meant to represent the brightness of the bolt.

[427] Quae plurima, one of the many which. Heyne comp. Od. 5. 422, κῆτος . . οἷά τε πολλὰ τρέφει κλυτὸς Ἀμφιτρίτη. ‘Toto caelo’ carries out the notion of ‘plurima.

[429] This and the preceding lines are imitated from Apoll. R. 1. 731 foll.Ζηνὶ κεραυνὸν ἄνακτι πονευμένοι, ὃς τόσον ἤδη Παμφαίνων ἐτέτυκτο, μιῆς δ᾽ ἔτι δεύετο μοῦνον Ἀκτῖνος”. ‘Imbris torti’ is rightly explained by Serv. of hail, “constricti et coacti in grandinem:” otherwise it would be difficult toi distinguish it from ‘nubis aquosae.’ The parallel which Wagn. quotes from 9. 671 foll. scarcely proves it, as though hail is mentioned there, “torquet aquosam hiemem” seems merely to refer to the descent of the rain. Virg. apparently means to represent the thunderbolt as made out of the component parts of the storm. The thunderbolt in the representations of zeus appears as a sort of bundle of darts.

[430] Rutili tris ignis et (tris) alitis Austri is apparently intended, as there is no reason why fire and wind should be blended into one triad. Serv. has a long note full of various fancies, as if the four triads represented the four seansons, showing that lightning falls in all alike, or were characteristic of four divinities, &c. Pal. corrected has traces of an ungrammatical reading, ‘halitus Austri,’ which Gud. gives with ‘alitis’ as a variant. “Auster fulmine pollensLucr. 5.745.

[431] Light and sound, and the terror they inspire, and the wrath that inspires them, are treated, not very scientifically, as if they were separate ingredients in the composition of the bolt, thrown in after the various rays or shafts have been combined. ‘Horrificos’ Rom., which Heins. adopted, apparently mistaking the extent of the external evidence for it.

[432] Flammis might be dat. like ‘operi,’ but it seems best to take it, with Serv. and the commentators, as attributive abl. with ‘iras.’ There is something awkward in mixing real and metaphorical fire: but Virg. perhaps means to identify the anger of Jupiter with the physical element. ‘Sequax’ is a natural epithet of ordinary flame: but it may apply as naturally to the penetrating character of lightning.

[434] Currum instabant:nova locutio” Serv. It is found in Novius, Mil. Pom. fr. 2, “instat mercaturam: spero, rem faciet; frugi est homo” “Instare viam,” which occurs in Plautus, is scarcely parallel. For the chariot of Mars comp. 12. 331 foll. He is supposed to drive it through a battle-field or a city, inspiriting or terrifying those who see or hear him.

[435] For the aegis see on v. 358. The mention of scales here seems to point to a breastplate, and so “in pectore.” ‘Horrifer’ is an odd compound, occurring in Pacuv. Chryses fr. 4, Att. Philoct. fr. 20, and three times in Lucr. ‘Horrificam’ is a variant in Gud., found in a few other MSS. The word seems intended to express δεινήν, ἣν πέρι μὲν πάντη φόβος ἐστεφάνωται, Il. 5. 739. ‘Turbatae’ here seems to mean wrathful, the general notion being that of agitation, of which the particular kind is indicated by the context: comp. 4. 353. ‘Arma’ of a single piece of armour 2. 288.

[436] Squamis serpentum auroque ἓν διὰ δυοῖν, the serpent's scales not being real but represented in gold. “Duplici squama lorica fidelis et auro” 9. 707. It is difficult to say whether these scales are the same as those of the serpents mentioned in the next line, or not. Lersh § 30 refers to Müller and Oesterlei's Monumenta Artis Antiquae 2. 2. Tab. 19. The ablatives are instrumental or modal, Virg. saying that they polished the aegis with scales, because the scales when made bright would add to the brightness of the whole.

[437] Connexos anguis clustering together round the head of Medusa. ‘In pectore’ agrees with the description of other authors, such as Paus. 1. 24, (describing the Parthenon) καί οἱ (Pallas) κατὰ τὸ στέρνον κεφαλὴ Μεδούσης, Ov. M. 4. 803, “Pectore in adverso quos fecit sustinet anguis,” Prop. 2. 2. 9, “Pallas . . Gorgonis anguiferae pectus operta comis.

[438] She is made to roll her eyes, though her head is severed. Wagn. comp. the animated figures made by Hephaestus Il. 18. 417 foll. Serv. gives a choice of two other explanations, turning the eyes of the beholders to stone, or turning their eyes from herself in horror. ‘Desecto collo,’ the neck having been severed, where we should say the head. So Hom. uses δειροτμεῖν. Rom. has ‘deiecto,

[440] Aetnaei v. 419. ‘Advertite mentem’ 5. 304.

[441] “Arma citi properate viro” 12. 425. ‘Usus’ occasion; see on G. 2. 23.

[442] Arte magistra 12. 427, the art which you have learnt and which guides your actions. Sil. 3. 387 has “iussis parere magistris.

[443] “Praccipitate moras” 12. 699. The notion seems to be that of driving rapidly before one. Burm. restored ‘et illi,’ the first reading of Pal.; but Wagn. recalled ‘at.’

[444] Wagn. Q. V. 34. 2 seems right in connecting ‘pariterque laborem sortiti’ with ‘omnes,’ so that both qualify ‘incubuere,’ instead of making ‘sortiti’ a finite verb. ‘Pariter,’ on equal principles, so that each should have his fair share.

[445] For ‘sortitio’ in labour comp. 3. 510, 634. The meaning seems to be that some throw the metals in the fire and attend to their melting, others frame the shield, others blow the bellows, &c. In Hom. Hephaestus does all, with the help of his implements. ‘Fluit&ξ. χαλκὸν δ᾽ ἐν πυρὶ βάλλεν ἀτειρέα κασσίτερόν τε Καὶ χρυσὸν τιμῆντα καὶ ἄργυρον Il. 18. 474. ‘Fluit rivis’ 5. 200. “Aeris metallaG. 2. 165.

[446] ‘Volnificus’ is a sort of proleptic epithet, expressing the purpose for which the steel is melted. “Vastis Aetnae fornacibusLucr. 6.681.

[447] Informant: see on v. 426. ‘Unum omnia contra tela:’ comp. “pro omnibus unum” 3. 435.

[448] Orbibus orbis inpediunt 5. 584, in a different sense: see on 10. 396. The sense of ‘orbis’ here seems to be fixed by 12. 925, as referring not to the circles on the superficies of the shield, but to the layers or folds of metal overlying each other. So Serv. appears to have understood it, “veluti septem scuta facta in unitatem connectunt,” though Donatus speaks of fourteen (!) circles. We do not elsewhere hear of the shield as seven-fold, but Turnus' shield is so called 12. 925. The shield of Ajax had seven bull-hide folds, the brass on the outside forming an eighth, Il. 7. 245. ‘Inpediunt’ then will refer to placing one on the other, so that their circumferences are connected and as it were entangled. Lersch § 31 makes ‘orbes’ the circles on the shield, distributing the pictures into seven parts.

[449] Alii: this passage, to the end of the paragraph, has already occurred, with the exception of two or three words, G. 4. 171 foll., where see notes, ‘Ventosis:’ “taurinis” G. 4. l. c.

[451] Antrum:Aetna” G. 4. l. c. ‘Inpositis’ may perhaps be meant to tell us indirectly, after Virg.'s manner, that some put down the anvil, that being one of the works performed by Hephaestus, αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα Θῆκεν ἐν ἀκμοθέτῳ μέγαν ἄκμονα Il. 18. 475.

[452] Illi may indicate a further division of labour, as Hephaestus l. c. takes up the hammer and the tongs immediately after placing the anvil. Virg. however has chosen here to express principally the contrast between the groaning of the smithy on the hand and the labours of the workers on the other.

[453] Massam:ferrum” G. 4. l. c.: comp. ib. 170. Rom. has ‘forfice.’

[454-468] ‘Evander rises at daybreak, and goes to find Aeneas.’

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