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[273] “Vestibulum ante ipsum primoque in limine” 2. 469, where see note on the meaning of ‘vestibulum.’ ‘Primis faucibus’ is distinguished from ‘vestibulum’ by Gell. 16. 5, who reports Sulpicius Apollinaris as explaining it as “iter angustum, per quod ad vestibulum adiretur;” but it would seem more simple to understand the two expressions as poetically equivalent. Comp. G. 4. 467, “Taenarias fauces, alta ostia Ditis.” Orcus, the god of the dead, is here as elsewhere used for the place, like Ἅιδης. Donatus remarks of the assemblage of personified evils that follows, “In hoc erant omnia quae cruciant vivos aut defunctos affligunt.” Germ. refers very happily to a bold personification in Lucr. 3.65 foll., which not improbably suggested this mythological picture to Virg., and at any rate furnishes an admirable comment on it: “Turpis enim ferme contemptus, et acris egestas
Semota ab dulci vita stabilique videntur,
Et quasi iam leti portas cunctarier ante.

We may well be reminded also of such pasages as Psalm lxxxviii. 2 foll., “For my soul is full of trouble, and my life draweth nigh unto hell. . . Free among the dead, like unto them that are wounded and lie in the grave, who are out of remembrance, and are cut away from thy hand.”

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Vergil, Georgics, 4.467
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 3.65
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