Page images


Arrival of Aeneas at Cumae. His descent to Hades and-interview with the shade of Anchises.

1-155. Aeneas lands at Cumae, and immediately proceeds to the temple of Apcl on the Acropolis, to consult the Sibyl. Deiphobe the Sibyl, who is also priestess of Hecate, informs him of his future wars and hardships, and instructs him how to prepare for his proposed descent into the lower regions.

1. Sie fatur lacrimans. These words closely connect the narrative of the Fifth and Sixth Books. So Books vii., ix., and xiii., of the Odyssey, are connected immediately with those which precede them.Immitit habenas; gives reins; in viii. 708, it is immittere funes.- -2. Enboicis Camarum ;

Cumae, a city situated on the coast of Campania, was founded in very ancient times by a colony of Greeks from Chalcis, (now Negropont,) in the island of Euboea; hence the terms Euboean and Chalcidian are applied to the city of Cumae and to objects connected with it. Strabo calls Cumae the most ancient of all the Italian and Sicilian cities. After passing through many vicissitudes of fortune, it was at last utterly destroyed in the thirteenth century by the people of Naples and Aversa. Its site, marked by the ruins of temples and villas, is often visited by modern travellers. The following view of Cumae and its environs presents in the distance near the sea the abrupt height of the Acropolis, on which stood the temple of Apollo and grove of Diana. In its sides were excavated many subterranean passages, some of which communicated with the holy place of the oracle, or grotto of the Sibyl. These caverns are still in existence, and have been cleared out and explored to some extent, though mostly filled with ruins and rubbish.

-3. Obvertant. On landing, the prow of the ship was turned towards the water, and the stern towards the shore, that the ship might be ready to put to sea again.—Dente tenaci; with tenacious fluke; in i. 169, morsu is used instead of dente.-4. Fundabat; held to the bottom, or secured; equivalent to fundo affigebat. Observe the imperfect interchanged with the historical present.-5. Emicat; springs or darts; as in v. 337.—7. Abstrusa in venis silicis. Comp. i. 174. Fire and food are first thought of or .anding.- -8. Tecta rapit; part quickly penetrate the forests, the dense dwellings of the wild beasts, and point out the discovered streams. Rapit, like corripere, i. 418, is equivalent to cursu rapit, and means here hurries into or through. Running water (flumina) must be used for purification before they can approach the shrine of Apollo.-9. Arces; for the singular, which is used in the 17th verse; the Acropolis, on which stood the tem

[graphic][merged small][subsumed]
« PreviousContinue »