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[778] “Post multa tuorum funera” 2. 283.

[779] “Mnestheus acerque Serestus” above v. 171. ‘Teucri’ adj. 2. 747.

[780] Receptum v. 727 above.

[781] “Quo deinde ruis? quo proripis? inquit” 5. 741 note. ‘Tendere fugam’ like “tendere iter” &c.

[782] From Il. 15. 735 foll., where Ajax, who in other respects answers to Turnus here, reminds the Greeks that they have nothing but the wall to trust to. If we are to distinguish between ‘muros’ and ‘moenia’ here (see on 2. 234), we may say that in ‘muros’ he is thinking of the defences, in ‘moenia’ of the campsettlement as a city. Pal., Gud. originally, and another of Ribbeck's cursives have ‘quaeve’ for ‘quae iam,’ and another MS., the “alter Moreti,” has ‘altera’ for ‘ultra,’ an ingenious variation.

[783] Observe the care taken by Virg. to avoid lengthening the last syllable of ‘homo.’ ‘Cives’ appeals to their interest in their camp-city.

[784] With this and the next line comp. vv. 526, 527 above. “Per campos edebat funera” 10. 602.

[785] For ‘ediderit,’ ‘miserit’ see on 2. 581. Here there is no fut. ind. coupled with the so-called future perfect; but the thought which it would have expressed is conveyed by ‘inpune,’ the words being equivalent to “inpunitus erit qui edidit, misit.” “Iuvenum primi” 8. 105. Virg. doubtless thought of Il. 1. 4.

[786] They are called upon to compassionate their gods, who will fall into the hands of the enemy if the city is taken. Gud. has an unmeaning variant ‘malorum,’ doubtless from 11. 280, a MS. in Jesus College Cambridge ‘parentum,’ which is plausible but really inappropriate. Med. second reading has ‘nonne.

[787] Segnes is more probably voc. than acc.

[788] Talibus 1. 370 &c. Virg. probably imitated Il. 6. 106, οἱ δ᾽ ἐλελίχθησαν καὶ ἐναντίοι ἔσταν Ἀχαιῶν. ‘Agmine denso’ almost abl. abs., like “densis armis” 2. 383, 409.

[789] “Excedere palma” 5. 380. Pal. and Rom. have ‘pugnae.’ The following description is modelled on Il. 11. 544 foll., where Ajax retreats.

[790] “Dextera cingitur amni,” v. 469 above. Some MSS., including two of Ribbeck's cursives, have ‘amni’ here. Heins. restored it as more elegant: but Wagn. rightly replies that it is far from elegant in combination with ‘fluvio,’ even if its authority were greater.

[791] “Hoc acriusG. 4. 248.

[792] “Glomerare manum” 2. 315.

[793] Cum may be either preposition or conjunction: but on the whole the latter seems more likely. “Telis premit” 8. 249. ‘Territus,’ which Peerlkamp questions, is supported by Il. 11. 554, τάς τε τρεῖ ἐσσύμενός περ.

[794] “Asper, acerba tuens” Lucr. 5. 33. No instance is quoted of ‘redeo’ in the sense of retiring; but it is consistent with the etymology of the word, and Virg. doubtless thought that the addition of ‘retro’ would explain it sufficiently.

[795] Tendere contra v. 768 above.

[796] “Ille quidem hoc sperans” 10. 385. All that can be said of ‘ille’ is that is adds emphasis, as we should say ‘though he would wish it.’ See on 1. 3. ‘Per’ probably includes both the ordinary sense of ‘through’ and that of ‘by reason of.’

[798] ‘Inproperata’ adj. not part. ‘Mens exaestuat ira,τετιημένος ἦτορ Il. 11. 556.

[799] The pluperf. seems to show the rapidity of the attack, as it clearly belongs to a time subsequent to his onset vv. 760 foll. above. The tense is changed in ‘vertit,’ as the rout was in consequence of the charge.

[800] Per muros, as he is pursuing them round the enclosure. It matters little whether ‘fuga’ be taken with ‘confusa’ or with ‘vertit.

[801] “Coit omnis in unum” 10. 410.

[802] “Viris sufficit” 2. 618. Comp. v. 764 above.

[804] “Haud mollia iussaG. 3. 41: comp. 11. 452, 728. With ‘iussa, ni,’ which implies a threat, Gossrau comp. Hor. 1 Od. 10. 9, “Te boves olim nisi reddidisses . . . minaci Voce dum terret.

[805] Jupiter willed that Turnus should retire, and threatens Juno should she prevent the Trojans from forcing him to do so.

[806] This part of the description is imitated from Il. 16. 102 foll., also of Ajax. Ennius had previously imitated it in a passage about a tribune in the Histrian war, preserved by Macrob. Sat. 6. 3 (A. 18. fr. 2); but there is nothing in his lines which seems specially to have influenced Virg.'s reproduction of Hom. Virg. is himself curiously imitated by Lucan 6. 192—5. ‘Ergo,’ “quia numinis est desertus auxilio” Serv. ‘Subsistere’ i. q. “resistere.” “Italiam vix Hannibali atque eius armis subsistentem” Livy 27. 7. ‘Nec clipeo nec dextra,’ neither by defence nor by attack. ‘Tantum’ like “tendere tantum” 5. 21 note.

[807] “Undique conveniunt velut imber tela tribuno” Enn. l. c.

[808] δεινὴν δὲ περὶ κροτάφοισι φαεινὴ Πήληξ βαλλομένη καναχὴν ἔχε Il. 16. l. c. ‘Cava’ with ‘tempora’ above v. 633. The epithet here seems to denote the dizzying and stunning effect of the blows on the ringing metal.

[809] Solida aera probably refers to the helmet, as the context seems to show. Comp. Il. 12. 160, κόρυθες δ᾽ ἄμφ᾽ αὖον ἀΰτευν Βαλλόμεναι μυλάκεσσι.

[810] With ‘nec sufficit umbo’ Cerda comp. Il. 13. 397, οὐδ᾽ ἥρκεσε θώρηξ.

[811] Ingeminant hastis like “ingeminant plausu” 1. 747. ‘Ipse:’ Turnus is attacked, not only by the Trojan force, but by their leader.

[812] Mnestheus is called ‘fulmineus’ as hurling darts like lightning. “Toto manabat corpore sudor” 3. 175. ‘Corpore liquitur’ like “liquuntur rupibus” G. 2. 187.

[813] Piceum is a strange and scarcely pleasing epithet, expressing, doubtless, the sweat as mingled with dust and gore. There is nothing like it in Hom. or Enn. “Nec respirandi fit copia” Enn. l. c., both being closely translated from Hom. οὐδέ πη εἶχεν Ἀμπνεῦσαι.

[814] Sudor flumen agit like “undam fumus agit” 8. 258. “Vastos quatit aeger anhelitus artus” 5. 432. Serv. mentions a variant ‘acer anhelitus,’ which Heins. adopted and Heyne retained: but it is not known to be in any MS. Hom. l. c. has αἰεὶ δ᾽ ἀργαλέῳ ἔχετ᾽ ἄσθματι.

[815] Praeceps sese dedit like “sese tulit obvia” 1. 314, &c. “Se iecit saltu” 8. 257. “Se iactu deditG. 4. 528. Virg. may have followed some description of Horatius Cocles. ‘Omnibus armis,πανοπλία.

[816] From Enn. A. 1. fr. 37, “Teque, pater Tiberine, tuo cum flumine sancto,” which he had already more closely imitated, 8. 72. Pal., Gud., and another of Ribbeck's cursives have ‘vasto,’ Gud. with ‘flavo’ as a variant.

[817] Extulit, raised him after his plunge and bore him above its surface. ‘Mollibus,’ buoyant, not unlike “mollia colla” 11. 622. “Mollibus undisLucr. 2.377, where, however, the shade of meaning is not quite the same.


Macte, or according to the more common form of the phrase, ‘macte esto,’ is generally, and I believe rightly, supposed to be the vocative of ‘mactus,’ constructed with the imperative of the verb substantive in the sense of the nominative. Madvig disputes this, and regards ‘macte’ as an adverb, the last syllable being shortened as in ‘bene’ and ‘male.

The facts of the case appear to be as follows:—

Macte or ‘mactus’ was an old Latin word, especially used in connexion with sacrifices. Cato De Re Rustica, chaps. 134 (135), 132 (133) &c., gives various formulae for the invocation of the different gods: “Iuppiter, te hoc fercto obmovendo bonas preces precor, uti sies volens propitius mihi liberisque meis, domo familiaeque meae, mactus hoc fercto,” “Iuppiter dapalis, macte istace dape pollucenda esto,” “macte vino inferio esto.” This agrees with the words of Servius on the present passage, “Et est sermo tractus a sacris. Quotiens enim aut tus aut vinum super victimam fundebatur, dicebant: Mactus est taurus vino vel ture, hoc est, cumulata est hostia et magis aucta.” To the same effect Arnobius 7. 31, “Operae pretium est etiam ipsa verba depromere, quibus, cum vinum datur, uti ac supplicare consuetudo est: Mactus hoc vino inferio esto.” There is also an apparent reference to this sacrificial use in a line from Lucilius Book 5, quoted by Nonius p. 341 and Servius on the present passage, “Macte, inquam, virtute simulque his versibus esto,” though Lion's edition of Servius reads ‘viribus.’ In the remaining passages where the word is used, with one or two exceptions, it seems, as in the present passage, to have the sense of approbation and encouragement, being commonly found with ‘virtute’ or some similar word1. There is no need to accumulate instances, which may readily be found in the Dictionaries, especially Mr. White's, to which I am indebted for almost all those already given. Cicero, Letters to Atticus 15. 29 ad finem, has ‘macte’ alone without a case, and Statius (Theb. 2. 495) and Martial (12. 6. 7) have each an instance of ‘macte animi.’ In all these passages ‘macte’ is the form used, with or without ‘esto,’ as an imperative. There is one passage where it occurs with ‘esse’ in a sort of oratio obliqua, Livy 2. 12, “iuberem macte virtute esse, si pro mea patria ista virtus staret2.” Three passages have been quoted for a plural form ‘macti,’ with ‘este’ or ‘estote,’ Livy 7. 36, Pliny 2. 12, Curtius 4. 1. § 18; but in each of these there is more or less MS. authority for ‘macte.’ In Lucretius 5. 1339 ‘mactae’ occurs in quite a different connexion, “boves Lucae ferro male mactae:” this however Mr. Munro believes to be quite a different word. Lastly, in Attius' Epigoni fr. 16 Ribbeck (cited by Nonius p. 342) ‘macte’ seems to occur in connexion with ‘exsilio:’ but the reading of the whole passage is doubtful in a high degree.

I cannot but think that these facts point decidedly to one conclusion. The passage from Cato and the note of Servius seem to prove that there was a word ‘mactus,’ existing as a participle side by side with ‘macto,’ like ‘aptus’ with ‘apto.’ Priscian p. 668 P. distinctly says “macte, id est, magis aucte, antiqui tamen et mactus dicebant,” and Festus p. 93 has “mactus, magis auctus,” which he is hardly likely to have mid if the only part of the word he knew was ‘macte.’ The testimony of Arnobius is more doubtful, as the form he quotes is the same as that given by Cato with ‘macte.’ ‘Mactus’ then, as applied to the gods, seems originally to have meant honoured, as ‘mactare’ meant to honour. This being the case, it seems to me the natural conclution that where ‘macte’ is used, it is used as a participle or adjective, not as an adverb. We must remember that in all the passages where ‘macte’ is used, except Livy 2. 12, it is found with the imperative mood: and Livy is evidently accommodating an obsolete expression, the grammatical rationale of which he perhaps did not himself understand, to the oratio obliqua. How then is the use of the vocative to be accounted for? The question is one on which it would be imprudent to speak confidently: but I would suggest that we have here a trace of an old construction of the vocative with the imperative, perhaps even of a connexion between the two forms, the vocative of the noun and the imperative of the verb, each of which may be said to be analogous to the other. There is a curious expression in Homer which suggests a similar explanation, οὖλέ τε καὶ μάλα χαῖρε, θεοὶ δέ τοι ὄλβια δοῖεν (Od. 24. 402, Hymn to Apollo 466, with the variation μέγα for μάλα). Here οὖλε is commonly supposed to be the imperative of an unnused οὔλω ὑγιαίνω, on the strength of Strabo p. 635: but it is evident that Strabo is merely making an etymological guess from this passage, in order to get a derivation for Οὔλιος, the Milesian and Delian name of Apollo. I can hardly doubt that οὐλε is the vocative of οὖλος, which had come in some way to be used colloquially where we should expect an imperative3. A vocative is occasionally found in Greek contructed with the imperative of the verb substantive, as in the well-known instances γενοῦ πολυμνᾶστορ Aesch. Supp. 535, ὄλβιε κῶρε γένοιο Theocr. 17. 66, which may be only instances of poetical licence, but may also be remnants of an old form of expression. The instances in the Latin poets where the vocative is substituted for the nominative are generally of a different kind, and seem rather poetical than idiomatic4. It is quite possible that the omission of ‘esto’ after ‘macte’ (as in the present passage from Virgil and the three passages which the dictionaries adduce from Cicero) may have arisen from the gradual prevalence of a notion that ‘macte’ itself was an imperative. Nor does the question whether ‘macte’ or ‘macti’ is the reading in the passages cited from Livy, Pliny, and Curtius appear to be of much importance. In Livy's time the expression was doubtless an obsolete one, imperfectly understood, and those who employed it would be guided rather by a vague apprehension of usage than by any clear comprehension of its original force. What seems of more importance is the fact that in the vast majority of instances it is only found with the second person singular of the imperative. The ‘male mactae’ in Lucretius I should myself explain not, as Mr. Munro does, by supposing that ‘mactus’ comes from a supposed ‘macere,’ but by a reference to such expressions as ‘mactare malo,’ ‘infortunio,’ &c. Lucretius was using a word which in his time was probably obsolescent, and he may well have wavered between a conception derived from the expressions just quoted, and one founded on the later use of ‘mactare’ in the sense of slaughtering a victim.

Madvig's explanation has of course the advantage of avoiding the hypothesis of an otherwise unknown construction: but it appears to me unsupported by what is known of the usage of the word ‘mactus,’ and it fails to account for the fact of the virtual restriction of ‘macte’ to the second person of the imperative. I do not include the difficulty about the quantity of the final ‘e,’ which might doubtless be got over. The only support of Madvig's view that has occurred to me is the use of the adverb ‘salve’ in such phrases as ‘satin salve,’ which I have sometimes thought may have come to be mistaken for an imperative, so that ‘salvete’ was used in the plural, and a verb ‘salveo’ assumed. But I am not aware that ‘salve esse’ is ever found, though there seems no reason why it should not exist, as Plautus says ‘bene sum’ as well as ‘bene est mihi.

1 This is probably its sense in Martial 4. 13. 2, “Claudia, Rufe, meo nubit peregrina Pudenti: Macte esto taedis, O Hymenaee, tuis,” “a blessing on thy torches.”

2 In Florus 2. 18. 16, which Mr. White quotes, the reading seems uncertain.

3 This suggestion, with the parallel ‘macte,’ has already appeared in Dr. Hayman's edition of Homer's Odyssey, vol. i. Appendix A. 3, to which I communicated it. Perhaps the use of οὖλε depends on its junction with χαῖρε, in which case we may be reminded of such expressions as ‘out and spake.’

4 Such e.g. are the instances given in Servius' note, Persius 3. 28, 29, and others.

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