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[275] “Unde nigerrimus Auster Nascitur, et pluvio contristat frigore caelumG. 3. 278, 279. ‘LaevoG. 4. 7 note. In the above lines Virg. has two passages of Homer before him: Il. 5. 4 foll., and Il. 22. 25 foll. The first, which has been referred to above on v. 270, is the description of the helmet and shield of Diomed. The second is that of Achilles running over the plain, and appearing to the eyes of the aged Priam like the baleful dogstar (κακὸν δέ τε σῆμα τέτυκται, Καί τε φέρει πολλὸν πυρετὸν δειλοῖσι βροτοῖσι). Comp. also Il. 19. 375 foll. The description of the comets, of which Homer knows nothing, would probably recall to Roman readers the times of the civil wars, in which the Romans were twice terrified by the appearance of a remarkable comet (Pliny 2. 23, comp. G. 1. 488). Milton is more Virgilian than Homeric in Paradise Lost 2. 708 foll.:— “Satan stood
Unterrified, and like a comet burn'd,
That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge,
In the arctic sky, and from his horrid hair
Shakes pestilence and war.

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    • Vergil, Georgics, 1.488
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