previous next

[367] Praemissi sent on or express, 1. 644., 6. 38. For ‘Latina’ Peerlkamp wishes to read ‘Latini,’ as in 6. 891., 11. 213., 12. 137: here however the expression would identify Latinus with the mission sent, contrary to what we know of his refusal to take any active part in the war (7. 600, 618), an objection which does not apply to the other passages.

[368] The meaning apparently is that the Latin army generally is drawn up near the city, and does not at once march in answer to a requisition which we gather from this passage to have been sent by Turnus, a detachment of three hundred horse being sent instead.

[369] The old reading was ‘regis,’ which was apparently read by the Verona Schol., and is said in a note, not very consistently worded, in the Paris MS. of Serv. to be found “in omnibus bonis.” All the MSS. however appear to give ‘regi,’ which Wagn. and most later editors restore. ‘Regis’ would be objectionable for the reason mentioned on v. 367, and ‘Turno regi’ has occurred already above v. 327., 8. 17, where see note. ‘Responsa’ then will be the answer from the authorities in the city charged with carrying on the war.

[370] Three hundred was the ordinary number of the cavalry of a Roman legion (Lersch, A. V. § 26). Serv. finds a propriety in ‘scutati,’ “nam clipei peditum sunt, scuta equitum:” but this is not borne out by the language of the Latin writers, who attribute the “scutum” to the infantry, it having superseded the “clipeus” (Livy 8. 8), so that Livy 28. 2 uses ‘scutati’ to designate the infantry as distinguished from “equites.” Lersch § 31 supposes that the ‘scuta’ are mentioned as an extraordinary thing, “quae enim exinde oritur fortitudo equitum atque habilitas magnis illis tegumentis se tuentium!” which seems a strange notion. The words ‘scutati omnes’ occur in the chapter of Livy (8. 8) above referred to. ‘Magistro’ reminds us of the “magister equitum.

[371] One of Ribbeck's cursives corrected and some inferior MSS. have ‘portis,’ from 11. 621. ‘Muro’ Med., Rom., ‘muros’ Pal., Gud. The line is nearly repeated from 7. 161, where the weight of authority is in favour of ‘muro,’ so that it seems better to read ‘muro’ here, though ‘muros’ is perhaps supported by a doubtful notice in Serv. The ‘murus’ is doubtless the “agger” of the Rutulian camp, which must have been fortified, though we do not hear of the fact elsewhere.

[372] Laevo: the way to the right would have led them to the Rutulian camp and to Laurentum: that to the left led them inland. See Heyne on v. 195. ‘Flectentis:’ “clauso transitu fluminis, ad Oceanum flectit” Livy 28. 16.

[373] Sublustri, because the moon was shining.

[374] Inmemorem probably = “inprudentem,” as in 2. 244, but we may say that he did not remember that he was wearing what might attract attention. Euryalus' imprudence contrasts with Diomed's prudence Il. 10. 258 in taking a helmet without cone or crest, as Heyne remarks. It matters little whether ‘radiis’ goes with ‘refulsit’ or ‘adversa.’ ‘Adversa’ opposite to the moon.

[375] Ter. Eun. 2. 2. 60 has “non temere” for “non de nihilo est” (comp. Plaut. Aul. 2. 2. 7), so that the construction may be “visum est haud temere esse,” the hostile party saw it was no casual thing. But it seems better to connect ‘temere’ with ‘visum:’ they did not observe it carelessly, but took note of it. So Hor. 2 S. 2. 116, “non temere edi luce profesta Quicquam.” I did not eat anything thoughtlessly, or without good cause. Some editors, recent as well as early, make ‘Haud temere est visum’ part of Volscens' speech, which is hardly so good. Pal. and originally Gud. have ‘ab aggere,’ which Heins. explained of a raised way, as in 5. 273.

[376] ‘In armis’ i.q. “armati,” as in 7. 436 &c.

[377] “Quove tenetis iter” 1. 370. “‘Nihil illi tendere contra,hoc est, nihil contra responderunt: nam tendo contra sermonem tuum est respondeo tibi, tendo contra iter tuum est occurro tibi,” Serv. Comp. “tendebat Iulum” 2. 674, “munera tendeG. 4. 534, and our phrase ‘offer in reply.’ ‘Tendere contra’ 5. 27 of making head against a thing.

[378] Celerare fugam 1. 357. Pal. and Gud. have ‘silvis.

[379] Divortia would naturally mean a branching of two or more paths, as in Livy 44. 2 (comp. by Cerda), “prope divortium itinerum castra posituri erant,” a sense in which it is frequently applied to a water-shed. So it is explained by Serv., “viae in diversa tendentes, hoc est, ad diverticula viae militaris.” “Diverticulum” however seems rather to mean a bye-path, a turning from the regular road, and so it is often written “deverticulum.” Tac. Agr. 19 has “divortia itinerum et longinquitas regionum indicebatur,” where some have wished to read “devortia.” Here we should rather expect to hear of bye-paths than of cross-paths: the MSS. however seem to present no variety of reading, and it would be hazardous either to assume a word “devortium” or to give ‘divortia,’ without further authority, the sense of “deverticula.

[380] For ‘abitum’ Med. (second reading), Pal., Rom., fragm. Verona, and originally Gud. have ‘aditum,’ which was the old reading before Heins. Serv. however distinctly prefers ‘abitum,’ which is required by the sense. ‘Coronant’ i. q. “cingunt,” as in Lucr. 2.802, “pluma columbarum . . . Quae sita cervices circum collumque coronat” and other instances quoted by Forc., with a further reference to the use of “corona” as a military term for besiegers surrounding a place (Forc. “corona”).

[381] “Horrida dumis” 8. 348. ‘Ilice nigraE. 6. 54, G. 3. 333.

[382] Med. has ‘conplebant,’ as in 5. 107: here however the pluperf. seems better.

[383] Serv. mentions another reading ‘ducebat,’ which is the second reading of Med., and is found in one or two of Ribbeck's cursives: ‘lucebat’ however is much more poetical, and is confirmed by Prop. 3. 5. 17, “Ante pedes caecis lucebat semita nobis,” quoted by Gossrau. Ruhkopf comp. Apoll. R. 1. 1281,διαγλαύσσουσι δ᾽ ἀταρποί”. ‘Rara’ with ‘lucebat.’ The glimmering is that of the path as perceptible through the brushwood, as Serv. and Peerlkamp take it, not of the path as occasionally illuminated by the moonlight, as Heyne thinks. ‘Per occultos calles’ seems to mean that there were several paths, all more or less overgrown, and that the ‘semita’ had to be found sometimes in one, sometimes in another.

[384] Tenebrae ramorum like “nemorum tenebris” 6. 238. The meaning apparently is that Euryalus was prevented from seeing his way, and also actually entangled by the branches.

[385] Regione viarum 2. 737 note. Here as in 7. 215, it is constructed somewhat irregularly with ‘fallit,’ as a sort of abl. of respect, deceives him in respect of the line of road, much as if ‘fallit’ could be interchanged with “errare facit.” Or we might say that ‘regione’ was abl. instrum., deceives by the line of road, i. e. by ignorance of the line of road, like “ignota captus regione viarum” Val. F. 2. 43, quoted by Forb. Med. a m. p. had ‘falli,’ which Heins, approved, taking ‘falli timor’ as = “timor ne falleretur.

[386] Nisus abit 5. 318. There is also a reference to ‘abitum’ v. 380: he extricated himself from the wood. ‘Inprudens,’ without thinking of Euryalus. The word seems at first sight so little in keeping with a successful escape that we can scarcely wonder that some in the time of Serv. explained it as “valde prudens.”

[387] The common reading before Heins. was ‘lacus,’ which is supposed to be merely a conj. of Joannes Baptista Egnatius, a Venice editor of 1507. The Alban lake is well known, whereas no place is known to have borne the name of ‘Albani loci.’ But Nisus could not have got nearly as far as the Alban lake: and Wagn. rightly remarks against Heyne that however loose Virg.'s geography may be elsewhere, in speaking of the district about Rome he is likely to be fairly accurate. Ladewig conj. ‘Ae lucos,’ after a hint of Heyne's, as Cic. Mil. 31 appeals to “Albani tumuli atque luci.” Even these however would be too distant to have been reached by Nisus. It remains then with Wagn. to suppose that ‘loci Albani’ was a name given to some district in those parts, perhaps a territory appropriated by the Romans after the taking of Alba. For the form ‘locos’ 1. 306, 365. ‘De nomine’ 1. 277, 534 &c.

[388] Latinus kept his flocks there, ‘Stabula alta’ 6. 179. Tyrrheus is the royal herdsman 7. 485, so that the scene would seem to be the same as that of the battle between the Trojans and the Latin rustics. ‘Tumhabebat’ is connected loosely with what goes before, as in 8. 100 note.

[389] Wagn. rightly connects this line with what goes before, ‘iamque’ being followed by ‘ut’ as by “cum” elsewhere, e. g. v. 372 above. ‘Absentem respexit’ might have stood for ‘looking back, found him absent,’ like “amissum respexi” 2. 741, but Virg. has added ‘frustra’ to make his meaning clearer.

[390] Wagn. is right again in connecting ‘infelix’ with ‘Euryale,’ as against Serv. and Donatus. Taken with what follows, it would, as he remarks, give a false emphasis.

[391] Since the time of Serv. it has been doubted whether ‘rursussilvae’ was said by Nisus or by the poet. The former view seems clearly preferable: ‘simul et’ would be meaningless, as coupling two things that are really the same, ‘revolvens’ and ‘legit’ (contrast 6. 669): and the feeling of the words ‘perplexumomnefallacis’ is much more appropriate to Nisus, if indeed the clause is not necessary to explain ‘quave sequar.’ ‘Revolvens’ is used of gathering up again on the spindle the thread already spun, Sen. Here. F. 183, Stat. Theb. 7. 774, and so here it is applied to retracing a tangled way. Med. (first reading) has ‘resolves,’ i. e. ‘resolvens,’ the reading of two other MSS., to which Wagn. once inclined, comparing 6. 29. Gossrau would omit the whole line.

[392] Simul: even while complaining of his task as an impossibility, he sets about it. “Vestigia retro Observata sequor” 2. 753. ‘Observata’ = “observando:” he retraces his steps by scrutinizing and noting where he had been.

[393] The force of ‘silentibus,’ which has been doubted, is to intimate that Nisus is listening, and so to prepare us for the next line.

[394] ‘Signa sequentum’ must here be footsteps and other sounds, though the word is more ordinarily used of tokens perceptible to the eye: comp. 5. 590, “signa sequendi.” Comp. its use of a military signal, a sense which Serv. wishes to give to it here.

[395] Germ. remarks that ‘nec longum in medio tempus’ is a phrase modelled on the Greek, comparing among other passages Aesch. Supp. 735, μῆκος δ᾽ οὐδὲν ἐν μέσῳ χρόνου. Forc. cites “medio tempore” i.q. “interea” from Suet. and Justin. ‘Nec longum tempusG. 2. 80. For ‘cum’ Med. and originally Gud. have ‘tum.

[397] The place and the night have done him wrong. ‘Fraude’ abl. of cause, constructed with the whole notion ‘oppressum rapit.’ “Magno turbante tumultu” 6. 857, which refutes a punctuation ‘noctistumultu,’ mentioned by Serv.

[398] They have seized him and are hurrying him away. ‘Conari’ with acc. 10. 685.

[399] Comp. 4. 283, G. 4. 504. Forb. explains ‘qua vi, quibus armis’ “qui fieri possit ut vi et armis iuvenem eripiat,” like “quo numine laeso” 1. 8. This however is hardly necessary, as Nisus might reasonably ask what force of arms that he could command would enable him to prevail against such a host, as Orpheus in G. 4. l. c. is supposed to ask, “Quo fletu Manis, qua Numina voce moveret?

[400] “Densos fertur moriturus in bostis” 2. 511, from which Med., Rom., Verona fragm., and one of Ribbeck's cursives read ‘hostis’ here. Serv. mentions both readings, himself apparently preferring ‘hostis.

[401] “Pulchramque petunt per volnera mortemG. 4. 218.

[402] “Adductis lacertis” 5. 141.

[403] The reading of this line is very uncertain. All the MSS. appear to give ‘et sic,’ Rom., Verona fragm., and some others ‘ad Lunam.’ The editors generally omit ‘et:’ Wagn. restored it, though he now inclines to suspect that ‘torquetque’ should be read for ‘torquens.’ The two participles without a copulative are awkward: the copulative with no finite verb preceding is worse than awkward. It is true that some Greek writers use καί or τε after a participle; but the irregularities of Hom., Aesch., and Thuc. cannot be adduced to defend an unexampled construction in Virg. Wagn.'s plea that Nisus is excited and disturbed seems scarcely true as a matter of fact: Nisus has been distracted, now he is resolved; and the prayer that follows is clear and even rhetorical. On the other hand, it seems impossible to resist the consensus of the MSS., backed as it is by Priscian 1034 P, who quotes the line as an instance of ‘et’ out of its place—‘suspiciens altam Lunam et’ for ‘et suspiciens.’ If we might conjecture, it would be natural to suppose that the original reading was ‘suspiciens altam ad Lunam sic voce precatur’—that ‘ad’ dropped out, and afterwards reappeared in the form of ‘et’ (see on 2. 139) in a wrong place. Or we might propose to omit the whole line, supplying a verb of speech from the context, as Nisus' prayer would be more likely to be silent than articulate, ‘voce.’ Meanwhile, retaining ‘et,’ we may follow the bulk of the MSS. in omitting ‘ad,’ as the elision neutralizes the jingle ‘altam Lunam,’ which would otherwise be objectionable and un-Virgilian. For ‘voce’ a variant in Med. has ‘forte,’ Gud. corrected, and another cursive ‘ore:’ see on 6. 186.

[404] For prayers before discharging a weapon comp. Il. 4. 101 foll., Od. 24. 518 foll. Here Virg. is perhaps thinking of the prayer of Ulysses and Diomed Il. 10. 277 foll. This line recalls ib. 290 Σὺν σοί, δῖα θεά, ὅτε οἱ πρόφρασσα παρέστης. Ὣς νῦν μοι ἐθέλουσα παρίστασο.

[405] Astrorum decus, πρέσβιστον ἄστρων, Aesch. Theb. 390, comp. by Cerda, the moon being probably included among the ‘astra.’ The line resembles the opening of Hor. Carm. Saec. “silvarumque potens Diana, Lucidum caeli decus,” as Forb. remarks. Comp. also Hor. 3 Od. 22. 1, “Montium custos nemorumque Virgo.

[406] Comp. generally Il. 1. 39 foll., the prayer of Chryses. W. Ribbeck cites Od. 4. 763 foll.

[407] Si qua auxi seems i.q. “si qua addidi,” the acc. being a kind of cognate. There may be also a notion of honouring by sacrifice, for which Forc. comp. Plaut. Merc. 4. 1. 10,aliquid cedo, Qui hanc vicini nostri aram augeam.” For Nisus' hunting see above vv. 178, 245.

[408] Tholo the dome, internally, ‘fastigia’ the summit, externally. For offerings hung from the dome, Cerda comp. Stat. Silv. 1. 4. 32, Theb. 2. 733.

[409] “‘Sine,ἔασον, ut Il. 8. 242, 243. Sollemnius erat δός με, da, fac me,” Heyne. If the word was suggested by anything more than metrical convenience, we may trace in it a feeling of pessimism, as in G. 4. 7 (note), as if the gods were in the habit of preventing men from being as successful as they might otherwise be. ‘Turbare,’ that Euryalus might escape in the confusion, as Forb. remarks. ‘Globum’ of a mass of men v. 515 &c. ‘Rege’ i. q. “dirige,” 6. 30. Germ. comp. Il. 5. 290, βέλος δ᾽ ἴθυνεν Ἀθήνη.

[410] Toto connixus corpore 10. 127.

[411] “Diverberet umbras,” in a different sense, 6. 294. See on 10. 396. “Sagitta Hyrtacidae iuvenis volucris diverberat auras” 5. 503. “Aerias quasi dum diverberet undasLucr. 2.152 of the light of the sun: it is curious that in v. 699 below Virg. in speaking of the flight of a javelin borrows “aera per tenerum” from the same context.

[412] The great bulk of MSS. give ‘adversi,’ ‘aversi’ being apparently only found in two or three inferior copies, including MS. Ball. Serv. and the earlier commentators, reading ‘adversi,’ understood ‘tergum’ of the shield, with reference to which they also explained ‘fisso ligno:’ but though ‘tergum’ might perhaps stand for a shield (see on 10. 718, Serv. on 11. 619), ‘tergum Sulmonis’ could hardly mean the shield of Sulmo. ‘Aversus’ and ‘adversus’ are confused in MSS., which on a matter like this are not more authoritative than on a question of orthography. Serv. regards this as one of the insoluble passages in Virg. (see on v. 364).

[413] Fixo, the old reading before Heins., is found in none of Ribbeck's MSS. The shaft of the spear is broken, but the force of the throw drives it through the back to the heart.

[414] Volvitur v. 433. The latter part of the line is from Lucr. 2.354Sanguinis exspirans calidum de pectore flumen.

[415] Frigidus contrasted with ‘calidum,’ perhaps rather unseasonably. “Imaque longo Ilia singultu tenduntG. 3. 507. Rom. has ‘pulsant,’ the verb, as is often the case in MSS., being accommodated to the noun preceding.

[416] Macrob. Sat. 6. 1 quotes Pacuvius (Medus fr. 6), “Divorsi circumspicimus, horror percipit.” ‘Hoc acrior,’ “quod latuerat, et quod ei primus prospere cesserat iactus” Serv. Pal. (two corrections), Med. (second reading), and Gud. (originally) have ‘acrius,’ as in G. 4. 248.

[417] The hand is raised over the shoulder to a level with the ear. Cerda comp. Eur. Hipp. 220, παρὰ χαίταν ξανθὰν ῥίψαι Θεσσαλὸν ὅρπακ᾽. Later poets have imitated Virg., e. g. Ov. M. 2. 311, 624, cited by Cerda and Gossrau. Cerda also quotes Il. 23. 431, δίσκου κατωμαδίοιο. Pal., Gud., and two others of Ribbeck's cursives have ‘telum summa.’ Some MSS. (none of Ribbeck's) have ‘vibrabat.’

[418] δ᾽ ἑτέροιο διὰ κροτάφοιο πέρησεν Αἰχμὴ χαλκείη Il. 4. 503. ‘Iit’ Pal., ‘it’ Med., Rom., and two of Ribbeck's cursives. Gud. is doubtful, Ribbeck having inserted it in both lists. See Excursus on G. 2. 81. In the other passages in question the evidence is strongly for the uncontracted form, and if it is retained elsewhere, it should certainly be retained here. One MS. and Priscian in three places give ‘volat.

[419] Stridens similarly forms the first foot of 4. 185. With ‘tepefacta’ Heyne comp. Il. 16. 333, πᾶν δ᾽ ὑπεθερμάνθη ξίφος αἵματι. “Fixo ferrum in pulmone tepescit” v. 701, cited by Serv.

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Verona (Italy) (3)
Venice (Italy) (1)
Sulmo (Italy) (1)
Rome (Italy) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1507 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: