Page images
PDF
EPUB

The storm at sea, the landing of Aeneas near Carthage, and his reception at the palace of Dido.

1-7. The exordium: “Arms I sing, and the man, driven by fate from his native Ilium: who endured many hardships of land and sea and war, until he founded in Latium the kingdom from which sprang mighty Rome.” Thus are indicated briefly the contents of the entire poem: Aeneas, obedient to the fates and to the gods, in his wanderings, his trials, and his war of conquest. In multum et terris iactatus et alto, we have the subject of the first six books of the epic, which thus far resembles the Odyssey; in multa quoque et bello passus that of the last six books, in which the poet describes warlike scenes like those of the Iliad.

1. qui: relatives and other connectives are often displaced in poetry, and sometimes very widely, from their regular position. primus : ' first,' in the usual sense of the first who.' There is no inconsistency between this statement and that made in I. 242 in regard to Antenor, for Patavium, which this Trojan hero founded, being in Cisalpine Gaul, was not regarded by Virgil as strictly within the limits of Italy.

2. Italiam :: for ad Italiam. In poetry the omission of prepositions is frequent before accusatives and ablatives of place; the cases being sufficient to express, without prepositions, the relations of 'to," from,' and `in.' fato profugus : exiled by fate'; 'by fate a wanderer.' Thus is presented at the very beginning the idea of the supremacy of fate, which gives unity to the Aeneid. Lavina : for the regular form, Lavinia. Lavina litora is added to Italiam to restrict the meaning. Cf. 1. 569.

3. ille: in apposition with qui, recalls and emphasizes the subject. iactatus, passus: to be taken as participles.

4. superum: for superorum, 'the gods above '; equivalent here to divina, agreeing with vi, and referring especially to Juno; for she alone of the Olympian gods was persecuting Aeneas. saevae: in poetry, adjectives and genitives are commonly separated from the substantives to which they belong. memorem : relentless'; that forgets not.

5. quoque : join with multa. et: connects the foregoing et terris et alto with bello; ' in war also (as well as on land and sea) having suffered much besides.' dum conderet:“while he was striving to found'; expressing an idea of purpose. 11. 603, II, 2; LM.921; A. 328; B. 293, III, 2; G. 572; (H. 519, II, 2).

1 H. = Harkness's Complete Latin Grammar (references to Harkness's Standard Latin Grammar in parentheses); LM. = Lane and Morgan's; A. = Allen and Greenough's; B. = Bennett's; G. Gildersleeve's. Common abbreviations used in the Notes are: 1. = line; sc. (scilicet) = supply; trans. = translate; cf. (confer) = compare; indic. = indicative; subj. = subjunctive; pl. = plural; p., pp. = page pages; lit. = literally. For other abbreviations, see list preceding the Vocabulary.

6. Latio : the dative instead of the accusative with in. 11. 419, 4; LM. 540; A. 225, 6, 3; B. 193, 1; G. 358, N. 2; (H. 380, II, 4). unde is equivalent to qua ex re; from the fact that Aeneas suffered and did thus, originated the Latin race, Alba, and Rome. For the position of unde, see note on qui, 1.1. Latinum: the aborigines and the Trojans were united under the com mon name of Latini.

7. altae: Rome, like many cities of Italy, was built on elevated ground, for greater security from attack. Perhaps, however, the reference is to its lofty walls. “The main purpose of the Aeneid is indicated in these lines; namely, to celebrate growth, in accordance with a divine dispensation of the Roman empire and Roman civilization' (Nettleship).

8-11. The invocation to the Muse.

8. quo numine laeso : 'what divine purpose thwarted?' what interest violated? referring to Juno's favorite plan of making Carthage the mistress of the world. For another example of numen in the sense of “will' or 'purpose,' see V, 56.

9. tot volvere casus : 'to pass through so many vicissitudes.' The incidents of life, like time itself, are conceived as moving in a round or circle; hence, “turning' is a metaphor signifying to pass through. The infinitive here is poetic for ut volveret.

10. pietate : embodying the predominant quality of Aeneas's character, emphasized throughout the Aeneid, “absolute loyalty to duty.' See note to l. 220.

11. Impulerit: 11.649, II; LM. 810; A. 334; B. 300; G. 467; (H. 529, 1). animis : H. 430; LM. 542; A. 231; B. 190; G. 349; (H. 387). Cf. Milton's well-known line, Par. Lost, 6, 788: –

'in heavenly breasts could such perverseness dwell?' 12-33. The reply to the questions addressed above to the Muse. The present occasion for the hostility of Juno toward Aeneas is her apprehension for the fate of Carthage, which is destined to be overthrown by the future Rome (12-22); besides this, she remembers the war she has just conducted against Troy, and the causes of the resentment which occasioned that war are still rankling in her mind; namely (1), the origin of the Trojan race through Dardanus from Jupiter and Electra; (2) the choice of the Trojan Ganymede to be cup-bearer of the gods instead of Juno's daughter, Hebe; (3) the decision (iudicium) of the Trojan prince, Paris, by whom the golden apple was awarded to Venus, in preference to Juno and Minerva.

12. Urbs antiqua : Carthage was ‘ancient' with reference to the time of Virgil, not to the time of Aeneas. Tyrii: the founders of Carthage and their descendants are termed indifferently by Virgil Phoenices, Sidonii, Poeni, or Tyrii.

13. Karthago: for information concerning proper names, location of cities, etc., see the Vocabulary, and Map, p. 30. contra: for prepositions placed after their cases, see H. 676, 1; LM. 668; A. 263, N.; B. 144, 3; G. 678, 3; (H. 569, II, 1). longe : is joined with contra. Not only opposite but ‘far' opposite; separated from the mouth of the Tiber by the Mediterranean Sea.

14. dives, etc. : 'rich in resources, and formidable in the pursuits of war.' See H. 451, 2; LM. 573; A. 218, a; B. 204, 1; G. 374; (H. 399, I, 3).

15. terris magis : for the ablative with the comparative, instead of the accusative of the object, see H. 471, 3; LM. 616; A. 247, a, N.; B. 217; G. 398, 296, R.; (H. 417, I, N. I). unam: emphatic; ‘one in particular '; here the emphasis is increased by its position at the end of the verse.

16. Posthabita Samo : ‘(even) Samos being less esteemed.' The most ancient temple and worship of Juno were in the island of Samos, where she was nurtured, and where she was married to Jupiter. The -o in Samo is not elided here, and yet retains its quantity, the hiatus being relieved by the caesural pause.

17. Hic currus fuit: the gods, like the heroes, used war chariots. Hic refers to Urbs (1. 12) and = in hac urbe. hoc: agrees with the following noun, regnum, though it refers to Urbs. H. 396, 2; A. 195, d; B. 246, 5; G. 211, R. 5; (H. 445, 4). regnum esse : “to be the ruling power.' The infinitive after tenditque fovetque instead of ut sit. Regnum is a substitute for regno, a dative of the end, and gentibus a dative of the thing affected. See H. 433; LM. 548; A. 233, a; B. 191, 2; G. 356; (H. 390, II, N. 2).

18. Si qua : 'if in any way.' sidant: H. 576; LM. 936; A. 305, 6, 2; B. 303; G. 596, 1; (H. 507). iam tum : 'even then'; so early in the history of Carthage; before it was even completely built, and before it had subdued even the neighboring tribes of Africa. tenditque fovetque : both purposes and fondly hopes.' The couplet, que- que, for et - et, both — and,' is not infrequent in poetry.

19. sed enim: an elliptical expression; but (she feared for Carthage) for she had heard.' Trans. “but yet,' but indeed.' Cf. the language of Tennyson, The Coming of Arthur:

But — for he heard of Arthur newly crowned.' duci: ‘was being derived'; the race was even then springing up.

20. quae verteret: for the subjunctive, see H. 590; LM. 835; A. 317, 2; B. 282, 2; G. 630; (H. 497, I). The ‘overthrow of the Tyrian citadels' has reference to the sack of Carthage by Scipio Aemilianus, B.C. 146.

21. Hinc: 'hence'; i.e. from this offspring late regem: for late rege nantem ; “ruling far and wide.' This usage of the substantive for an adjective or participle is chiefly poetical. For the adverb before rex, see H. 497, 5; LM. 670; A. 188, d; B. 354, d; G. 439; (H. 359, N. 4).

22. exscidio Libyae: 'for the destruction of Africa. For the two datives, see note on regnum esse, l. 17. After the Scipios had destroyed the power of Carthage, the succeeding generations of Romans rapidly advanced to the conquest of the world, thus becoming late regem, everywhere supreme. volvere : decreed.' The three Parcae are Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. The first draws the thread from the distaff, the second winds or twists it by turning (volvere) the spindle, and the last decides the destinies of men by cutting the thread with the shears. But volvere may also have reference merely to the 'revolving' or 'circling' of events.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed]

Fig. 1. — Judgment of Paris (1.27) 23. Id: the destiny of Rome and Carthage above described. veteris : former.'

24. Prima : 'of old.' quod : see note on qui, l. 1. pro Argis : "for Greece.'

25. Necdum etiam : 'not even yet.' Not only was the war itself still fresh in her memory, with all the irritating circumstances attending the ten years' siege of Troy, but she had not ceased to think of the provocations which had preceded and brought about the war. The passage from l. 25 to 28 inclusive, is parenthetical.

26. repostum: for repositum.

27. Iudicium: Eris, the goddess of strife, threw among the gods assembled to celebrate the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, a golden apple inscribed, 'to the fairest.' The prize was claimed by Juno, Venus, and Minerva; the shep. herd Paris, son of Priam, being summoned to act as judge, assigned the apple to Venus. See Fig. 1. iniuria is explanatory of iudicium. formae : an objective genitive.

28. invisum : 'hated,''odious'; on account of her jealousy of Electra, from whom and Jupiter the Trojan race had sprung. rapti: Ganymede, accord. ing to the myth, when hunting on Mount Ida, was seized by the eagle of Jupiter, and carried to Olympus. See Fig. 44.

29. The construction of the sentence, interrupted by the preceding parenthetical lines, is here resumed. His accensa super : ‘being inflamed by these things besides.' These old causes of hostility are added to her jealousy for Carthage. super : an adverb.

30. Troas : for this form of the accusative, see H. 110; A. 64; B. 47, 3; G. 65; (11. 68). reliquias Danaum: for reliquias Danais ereptas; referring to Aeneas and his followers.

31. Arcebat : ‘was repelling from.' She did this by stratagems, not by direct opposition; she instigated the inferior powers, as, for example, Aeolus and Iris, to injure the Trojans.

32. acti fatis: see note on fato profugus, l. 2. circum: see note on contra, l. 13.

33. molis : see H. 447; LM. 557; A. 214, d; B. 203, 5; G. 366; (H. 398, 1, and 402).

34-49. Six years after the fall of Troy (see introductory note to Book Third) Aeneas and his followers arrived at Drepanum, in the west of Sicily, where they were hospitably entertained by Acestes, a prince of Trojan descent. During this visit Anchises, the father of Aeneas, died. The Tro. jans were now, in the seventh summer, setting sail again from Drepanum, joyful (laeti) in the hope of soon reaching Italy, the end of their wanderings. The narrative, therefore, begins in the middle of the adventures which form the subject of the poem.

What had previously transpired is related by Aeneas himself in the second and third books.

34, 35. in altum Vela dabant: 'were unfurling their sails for the deep '; ventis is understood with dabant.

35. salis: sal is frequently used for mare. aere : ‘with the brazen prow.' The prow of a ship was sheathed with copper in Virgil's time. For the form of the ship, see Fig. 24; for the rostrum, or beak, Fig. 41.

36. aeternum servans vulnus : cherishing the eternal wound '; the bitter wrath' mentioned in l. 25.

37. Mene — desistere : ‘am I to desist from my purpose, defeated?' H. 616, 3; LM. 976; A. 274; B. 334; G. 534; (H. 539, III).

39, 40. classem Argivum : 'a,' not 'the, fleet of the Greeks.'

40. ipsos : “themselves, as distinguished from the ships. ponto: after mergo and summergo the ablative, either with sub or in, or without a prepo. sition, is used. See VI, 342; also below, l. 584.

41. Unius : ‘of one only.' Pallas was angry with Ajax alone, and friendly

« PreviousContinue »