“Post multa tuorum funera”
“Mnestheus acerque Serestus”
above v. 171. ‘Teucri’ adj. 2. 747.
Receptum v. 727 above.
“Quo deinde ruis? quo proripis?
inquit” 5. 741 note. ‘Tendere fugam’
like “tendere iter” &c.
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.
Observe the care taken by Virg.
to avoid lengthening the last syllable of
‘homo.’ ‘Cives’ appeals to their interest
in their camp-city.
With this and the next line comp.
vv. 526, 527 above. “Per campos edebat
funera” 10. 602.
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.
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.’
Segnes is more probably voc.
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.
“Excedere palma” 5. 380. Pal.
and Rom. have ‘pugnae.’ The following
description is modelled on Il. 11. 544 foll.,
where Ajax retreats.
“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.
“Hoc acrius” G. 4. 248.
“Glomerare manum” 2. 315.
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.
“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.
Tendere contra v. 768 above.
“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.’
‘Inproperata’ adj. not part.
‘Mens exaestuat ira,’ τετιημένος ἦτορ Il.
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
Per muros, as he is pursuing
them round the enclosure. It matters
little whether ‘fuga’ be taken with ‘confusa’
or with ‘vertit.’
“Coit omnis in unum” 10. 410.
“Viris sufficit” 2. 618. Comp.
v. 764 above.
“Haud mollia iussa” G. 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.”
Jupiter willed that Turnus should
retire, and threatens Juno should she
prevent the Trojans from forcing him to
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.
“Undique conveniunt velut imber
tela tribuno” Enn. l. c.
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.
Solida aera probably refers to
the helmet, as the context seems to show.
Comp. Il. 12. 160, κόρυθες δ᾽ ἄμφ᾽ αὖον
ἀΰτευν Βαλλόμεναι μυλάκεσσι.
With ‘nec sufficit umbo’ Cerda
comp. Il. 13. 397, οὐδ᾽ ἥρκεσε θώρηξ.
Ingeminant hastis like “ingeminant
plausu” 1. 747. ‘Ipse:’ Turnus
is attacked, not only by the Trojan force,
but by their leader.
Mnestheus is called ‘fulmineus’ as
hurling darts like lightning. “Toto
manabat corpore sudor” 3. 175. ‘Corpore
liquitur’ like “liquuntur rupibus”
G. 2. 187.
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.
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.
Praeceps sese dedit like “sese
tulit obvia” 1. 314, &c. “Se iecit saltu”
8. 257. “Se iactu dedit” G. 4. 528.
Virg. may have followed some description
of Horatius Cocles. ‘Omnibus armis,’
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.
Extulit, raised him after his
plunge and bore him above its surface.
‘Mollibus,’ buoyant, not unlike “mollia
colla” 11. 622. “Mollibus undis” Lucr. 2.377, where, however, the shade of
meaning is not quite the same.
EXCURSUS ON VERSE 641.
or according to the more common form of the phrase, ‘macte esto,
generally, and I believe rightly, supposed to be the vocative of ‘mactus,
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
’ and ‘male.
The facts of the case appear to be as follows:—
’ 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
” 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
” 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
” 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
’ 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.
p. 668 P. distinctly says “macte, id est, magis aucte, antiqui tamen et mactus
” 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.
’ then, as applied to the gods, seems originally to have meant honoured, as
’ 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
). 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
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
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
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,
’ &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
’ 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