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[229] Corynaeus also performs the lustration, that the crews might be purified from the pollution contracted by the dead body, v. 150 above. It does not appear whether lustration formed a regular part of a Roman funeral, as of course we cannot argue from this passage that it did: but there was a lustration in the month of February, the month of special solemnities in honour of the Di Manes. Macrob. Sat. 1. 13 says “lustrari eo mense civitatem necesse erat, quo statuit ut iusta dis Manibus solverentur.” ‘Ter:’ comp. E. 8. 73, 75 notes. Serv. says “‘Circumtulit:’ purgavit. Antiquum verbum est. Plautus: ‘Pro larvato te circumferam,’ i. e. purgabo.” This passage is not in the extant works of Plautus: but there is a similar one in Amph. 2. 2. 143,quin tu istane iubes Pro cerrita circumferri?” It is to be explained on the analogy of the double structure of ‘circumdare’ &c. ‘aliquam rem alicui’ and ‘aliquem aliqua re,’ ‘circumtulit socios pura unda’ being a variety for ‘circumtulit socios puram undam.’ See on G. 4. 337. If not originally Virg.'s own expression, it is at any rate precisely such a one as we should expect him to affect, so that we need not be tempted by varieties like ‘puram undam,’ the reading of one MS., ‘circumvenit,’ found in another, or ‘circumluit,’ which is found in the margin of a MS. of Macrob. Sat. 3. 1. Sophocles, whose inversions of language are very like Virg.'s, has a similar expression El. 709, ὅθ᾽ αὐτοὺς οἱ τεταγμένοι βραβῆς Κλήροις ἔπηλαν, which has been similarly altered by reading κλήρους.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Vergil, Eclogues, 8
    • Vergil, Georgics, 4.337
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 2.2
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