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VIRGIL has the following lines in the sixth book: 1
Yon princeling, thou beholdest leaning there
Upon a bloodless 2 lance, shall next emerge
Into the realms of day. He is the first
Of half-Italian strain, thy last-born heir,
To thine old age by fair Lavinia given,
[p. 165] Called Silvius, a royal Alban name
(Of sylvan birth and sylvan nurture he),
A king himself and sire of kings to come,
By whom our race in Alba Longa reign.

It appeared to Caesellius that there was utter inconsistency between

thy last-born heir
To thine old age by fair Lavinia given,
Of sylvan birth.
For if, as is shown by the testimony of almost all the annals, this Silvius was born after the death of Aeneas, and for that reason was given the forename Postumus, with what propriety does Virgil add:
To thine old age by fair Lavinia given,
Of sylvan birth?
For these words would seem to imply that while Aeneas was still living, but was already an old man, a son Silvius was born to him and was reared. Therefore Caesellius, in his Notes on Early Readings, expressed the opinion that the meaning of the words was as follows: “Postuma proles,” said he, “does not mean a child born after the death of his father, but the one who was born last; this applies to Silvius, who was born late and after the usual time, when Aeneas was already an old man.” But Caesellius names no adequate authority for this version, while that Silvius was born, as I have said, after Aeneas' death, has ample testimony.

Therefore Sulpicius Apollinaris, among other criticisms of Caesellius, notes this statement of his as [p. 167] an error, and says that the cause of the error is the phrase quem tibi longaevo. “Longaevo,” he says, “does not mean 'when old,' for that is contrary to historical truth, but rather ' admitted into a life that is now long and unending, and made immortal.' For Anchises, who says this to his son, knew that after Aeneas had ended his life among men he would be immortal and a local deity, and enjoy a long and everlasting existence.” Thus Apollinaris, ingeniously enough. But yet a “long life” is one thing, and an “unending life” another, and the gods are not called “of great age,” but “immortal.”

1 760 ff.

2 See note 1, p. 155.

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