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[503] Imitated from Enn. A. fr. inc. 8, “At tuba terribili sonitu taratantara dixit.” ‘Sonitum’ cogn. acc. Prop. 1. 17. 6 has “saevas increpat aura minas.

[505] In the following description Virg. had in view partly the attack on the Greek wall, Il. 12. 378 foll., partly his own account of the assault on Priam's palace 2. 438 foll. ‘Acta testudine’ 2. 441. ‘Pariter’ apparently with ‘acta,’ as the effect of the συνασπισμός would depend on the similarity and uniformity of its construction, as a serried column. ‘Volsci’ are doubtless put for the Italians generally: comp. v. 517, where the same body of assailants is called ‘Rutuli.

[506] Vellere vallum like “rescindit vallum” v. 524. Med. second reading has “pellere vallo” from v. 519. Rom. has “pellere vallum.

[507] Quaerunt aditum v. 58 above. For the combination of the acc. and the object clause comp. G. 1. 25.

[508] With ‘interlucet’ comp. “lucebat” v. 383 above. “Rara muros cinxere corona” 10. 122.

[509] Spissa viris thick in respect of men. So perhaps “spissa ramis laurea” Hor. 2 Od. 15. 9.

[510] “Nec saxa nec ullum Telorum interea cessat genus” 2. 467. ‘Conti’ may be either barge-poles used for want of better implements, or heavy pikes, a sense which the word bears in post-Augustan writers, Tac. A. 6. 35 &c.

[511] “Ut quos belli decennalis Troiani calamitas fecerat doctiores” Taubm.

[513] The rhythm is broken, so as to reflect the sense. Heyne calls the connexion of the clauses by ‘cum tamen’ “duriuscula:” it serves however to express a contrast, as in 10. 509, which is doubtless what Virg. intended, the resolution of the assailants being set against that of the assailed. Schrader conj. ‘quam’ (‘aciem’), and Ribbeck actually reads ‘num,’ which is very un-Virgilian.

[514] Rom., Med. second reading (the first being ‘lubat’), and two of Ribbeck's cursives have ‘libet,’ which was the reading before Cunningham and Heyne. ‘Libet’ however seems to mean to take a fancy to do a thing, at any rate in Virg. (comp. 12. 570, E. 2. 28., 3. 36., 10. 59, G. 3. 436), which would hardly suit the present passage. ‘Iuvat’ or ‘iubat’ is read by Pal. corrected, fragm. Vat. in an erasure, Gud., and another of Ribbeck's cursives. Pal. originally and others have ‘iubet:’ see on 4. 498. Virg., by using the word, transfers our sympathy for a moment to the besiegers, who are so confident in the strength of their defence that they regard the danger incurred as a pleasure: comp. G. 2. 37, 437 &c. ‘Casus’ may perhaps be meant to be taken in its original sense of a downfall.

[515] The nom. for ‘sufficiunt’ has to be supplied from ‘aciem.’ ‘Globus’ v. 409 above. “Muris imminet hostis” 10. 26. With the sense generally comp. 2. 460 foll.

[517] Rutulos: see on v. 506. ‘Armorum tegmina,’ as Serv. says, are the shields.

[518] “Caeco Marte resistunt” 2. 335. The reference here is to the fight carried on under the penthouse of shields, and the point of the epithet seems to lie in the disadvantage of that mode of combat to those who practise it, as they cannot see what is coming. Thus ‘audaces’ may have a double force: they have no longer the courage to encounter unseen dangers, at the same time that, like Ajax in Hom., they prefer to face peril in daylight.

[522] ‘Pinum’ is doubtless a torch, not, as has been thought, Mezentius' spear (comp. 10. 762): but the epithet ‘Etruscam’ seems an idle one, as he is not likely to have brought a torch with him from his own country, and to call the torch Etruscan simply as carried by him is to exceed Virg.'s ordinary licence in the transference of epithets.

[523] Repeated from 7. 691.

[524] The incident is from Il. 12. 397, where Sarpedon wrenches down a battlement and makes a breach in the wall. Pal. (apparently in an erasure), Gud. originally, and another of Ribbeck's cursives have ‘ad moenia.

[525-529] ‘Aid me, ye Muses, to sing of the deeds of Turnus and the rest.’

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