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402. Dixit et avertens, &c. “She said, and, turning away, flashed on the view with her rosy neck.” We have here one of the marks of divinity, according to ancient ideas, namely, a bright-flashing and roseate hue, the “fusus et candore mixtus rubor" of Cicero, (N. D. i. 27.)-Avertens. Supply se.—403. Ambrosiæque comæ, &c. “ And from her head the ambrosial locks breathed a heavenly odour.” A second mark of divinity. Ambrosice is here equivalent to ambrosia illitæ, “ anointed or perfumed with ambrosia," the immortal unguent of the gods. Compare the Jelov óðuñs veïna in Euripides, by which Hippolytus recognizes the divinity of Diana. Venus and Diana are generally represented with their hair dressed in the simple style of the young Greek girls, whose hair was parted in front, and conducted round to the back of the head, so as to conceal the upper part of the ears. It was then tied in a plain knot at the nape of the neck, or, at other times, though less frequently, at the top of the head.
405. Et vera incessu patuit dea. “And in her gait the true goddess was disclosed to the view.” Another proof of her divinity. The walking of the gods is described by the ancients as a swift, smooth, gliding motion, somewhat like that of a serpent. Heliodorus speaks of the wavy motion of the immortals, not by opening their feet, but with a certain aërial force.- Dea. Ille. In scanning this line, Dea is not to be pronounced as a monosyllable, an erroneous opinion entertained by some editors ; on the contrary, there is an hiatus after it, although the word ends with a short vowel ; and the pause at the end of the sentence prevents the operation of the synalopha. (Bentley, ad Horat. Od. iii. 14, 11.)
407. Quid natum toties, &c. “ Why dost thou, cruel also, mock thy son so often with untrue appearances ?" Venus bad often appeared to him before, and as often suddenly and inysteriously disappeared.-- Crudelis quoque. Implying that Juno was not the only deity cruel to him, since his own mother seemed to court this same charge.-409. Veras roces. “ The language of reality,” i, e, words spoken in one's proper character, and not under an assumed form.-410. Incusat. “ He reproaches her.”
411. Obscuro gradientes, &c. “Encompassed them as they moved onward with darkened air.” This is in accordance with the usage of Homer, whose deities thus conceal their favourites from mortal view.--412. Et multo nebulæ, &c. “And the goddess poured around them the abundant covering of a mist." Literally, “poured them around with."-413. Eos. A negligent expression. The poets generally avoid the oblique cases of the pronoun is, where they are enclitic, or merely signify him," “ them," &c., and employ them chiefly when orthotune and emphatic.-Contingere. “ To injure.” More literally, “ to lay hands upon them.”_-414. Molirive moram. “ Or to cause any delay," i. e. to interpose any obstacle (moles) that might occasion delay.
415. Ipsa Paphum sublimis abit. “She herself departs on high for Paphos."-Sedesque revisit, &c. “And with joy revisits her accustomed seats.”—416. Læta refers to the delight which the goddess took in her favourite Paphos ; not, as some think, to the joy which she felt on account of the safety of her son.- Templum. Supply est.Centumque Sabæo, &c. “ And (where) a hundred altars glow with Sabæan incense, and exhale the perfume of freshly-twined garlands." Literally,“ breathe with fresh garlands." The altar of the Paphian Venus was never stained with the blood of animal sacrifices. The offerings were flowers and frankincense.—Sabæo. The Sabæi occupied a region in Arabia Felix, whence the best frankincense was obtained.
418. Corripuere viam interea, &c. “ Meanwhile they hastened on their way.”—419. Plurimus. « Of lofty height.”—420. Adcersasque aspectat, &c. “ And faces from above its confronting towers.”—421. Molem, magalia quondam. “ The mass of buildings, formerly (mere) portable huts.” “We have given magalia here the meaning which Gesenius assigns to it, “tuguria Numidarum portalia, quce plaustris circumferebantur,” i. e. portable huts that were carried about on waggons. Servius says that the true form of the word is magaria, not magalia, because magar signified, in Punic, “a villa.”—422. Strepitumque, &c. “ And the bustle, and the paved ways.” Strata riarum is a Græcism for stratas vias.
423. Instant. “Ply the work.” Supply operi. More literally, 5 press on.”--Pars ducere muros. “Some are extending the walls." We have followed Wagner, who places a colon after ”Tyrii. This will convert ducere, moliri, &c., into historical infinitives, with the meaning of the indicative present.—424. Subroltere. “ Are rolling up,” i.e. to the heights where the citadel is to stand. “ Literally, " are rolling from beneath, or under.”—425. Pars optare locum, &c. “ Some are selecting a spot for a dwelling, and enclosing it with a furrow." The furrow is the space dug all round to receive the foundation-stones, and serves, at the same time, to mark out the limits of the new dwelling.
426. Jura magistratusque, &c. " They are appointing modes of judicial procedure, and magistrates, and a revered senate.” This line comes in very awkwardly between the preceding and subsequent ones, in both of which mention is made of building, &c. To obviate this difficulty, some translate the present verse as follows: “ They are choosing places for courts of justice, and for magistrates, and the revered senate.” Such a translation, however, can never be fairly obtained from the words in question, and it is therefore best to regard the line as a spurious one, an opinion in which most commentators agree.
427. Alta theatri fundamenta, &c. “Others are laying the deep foundations of a theatre.” Mention of a theatre at Carthage has given rise to objections on the part of some critics. The poet, however, is perfectly excusable. In endeavouring to depict the greatness and splendor of Carthage, he calls in to his aid certain features which belonged more properly to imperial Rome.—429. Scenis decora alta futuris. “ The lofty decorations for future scenes.”
430. Qualis apes, &c. “Such toil is theirs, as employs the bees, beneath the rays of the sun, throughout the flowery fields, in the beginning of summer, when they lead forth the grown-up offspring of their race.” The grammatical construction is, talis labor est illis, qualis labor exercet apes, &c.—433. Stipant. “They press close,” i. e. stow closely away, or compress into a narrow compass.—435. Fucos. “ The drones." These are the male bees, which, after subserving the purposes of fecundation, are driven out by the workingbees.- A præsepibus. “From the hives.”_436. Redolentque thymo, &c. “And the fragrant and abundant honey is redolent of thyme.” Mella, in the plural, denotes great abundance.
437. O fortunati, &c. Æneas envies them their good fortune in
being already occupied with that which he had so long ardently desired in his own case, namely, the building of their city.-438. Et fastigia suspicit urbis. “And he looks up to the city's topmost towers.” He thinks with a sigh of the difference between his present condition and that of the Tyrian colonists, and, while he is thus employed, his eye involuntarily rests on their proud structures already soaring into the sky.–Fastigia. More literally, “the summits.” The term properly means the high, elevated, gable end of a building ; the peak of the roof.
439. Infert se. “ He moves onward.”—440. Ulli. A Græcism, for ab ullo.-441. Lætissimus umbroe. “ Most luxuriant of shade." Lætissimus equivalent to uberrimus. The common text has umbrâ, but the genitive is preferable, as denoting more of fulness and abundance 442. Quo primum jactati, &c. “In which very spot the Carthaginians, after having been tossed to and fro by the waves and the tempest, first dug up an omen, which royal Juno had pointed out, the head of a spirited steed.” With quo construe loco, and connect primum with effodere.—444. Monsträrat. By an oracle, or some other indication. -Caput acris equi. The Carthaginian coins had the head of a horse impressed on one side, in allusion, as is said, to this early tradition. According to one account, Juno ordered Dido, by an oracle, to settle in that place where she should find a horse's head.
Sic nam fore, &c. “For thus did she indicate that the nation should be illustrious in war, and easy to be supported for ages." Some difference of opinion exists among commentators as to the meaning of facilem victu in this passage. Heyne makes victu the ablative of victus, and explains facilem by “abounding in the means of subsistence,” i. e. richly supplied with them by a fruitful territory. Wagner, however, regards victu as the supine of cito; so that the phrase in question will then be equivalent to “easy to be supported or sustained,” i. e. abounding in resources, and easily able, therefore, to maintain its ground. This accords better, moreover, with the nature of the omen. The horse's head was a type of power, indicating that the nation would be a warlike one, and acquire extensive possessions and resources by the force of arms.
446. Sidonia Dido. “Sidonian Dido.” So called from Sidon, one of the cities of Phænicia, older even than Tyre. The term is therefore equivalent here to “ Phænician.”—447. Condebat. “ Was building.” We would expect here condiderat, “had built ;" but condebat, perhaps, indicates that some part of the structure still remained unfinished.-Et numine divo. “ And with the presence of the goddess." Servius, whom Heyne follows, makes this refer to the statue of the goddess, formed of gold or some other precious material. It would rather seem to allude to the peculiar sanctity of the place, and to the belief that the temple was honoured occasionally by the immediate presence of the divinity worshipped in it.
448. Ærea cui gradibus, &c. “ For which a brazen threshold rose on steps, and door-posts of brass connected with this ; (for which) the hinge creaked unto brazen doors.” Both limina and trabes refer to surgebant. We still, in speaking of ancient works of art, employ the terms “ brass” and “brazen," and the custom has been followed by us in the present case. It is, however, an incorrect mode of speaking Brass, as we use the term in modern times, is a combination of copper and zinc, whereas the specimens of ancient objects formed of the material termed ces, are found, upon analysis, to con
tain no zine, but, with very limited exceptions, to be composed entirely of copper and tin. To this mixture the appellation of bronze is now exclusively given by artists and founders, and ought, in strictness, to be used by us also in speaking of ancient works.
Limina. The threshold was, with the ancients, an object of superstitious reverence, and it was thought unfortunate to tread on it with the left foot. On this account, the steps leading into a temple were of an uneven number, because the worshipper, after placing his right foot on the bottom step, would then place the same foot on the threshold also.
Nexæque. The line ends with nexe, and que is joined to the succeeding verse by synapheia.- 449. Cardo. The Greeks and Romans used hinges exactly like those now in common use.
452. Ět afflictis melius confidere rebus. “ And to have a better confidence in his fallen fortunes.”—454. Dum, quæ fortuna sit urbi, &c. “ While he gazes with wonder at what is the fortune of the city, and at the skill of the artists, compared one with the other, and the elaborate finish of their works.' -_456. Videt Iliacas, &c. He beholds on the walls of the temple certain paintings, seven in number, the subjects of which were taken from the tale of the Trojan war,Ex ordine. “ In order.”_458. Atridas. “The sons of Atreus." Agamemnon and Menelaus.-Særum ambobus. “ Bitterly hostile to buth parties," i. e. to the Atridæ and to Priam. Achilles was incensed against Agamemnon on account of Briseïs, and with Menelaus also, whose interests were identified with those of his brother. On the other hand, he was irritated against Priam and the Trojans on account of the loss of Patroclus. The allusion in the case of Priam, however, is principally to the harsh reception which Achilles at first gave to the aged monarch, when the latter came to beg from him the dead body of Hector.
459. Constitit. “He stood (rooted to the ground),” i. e, amazed at the unexpected nature of the sight.–460. Nostri non plena laboris. “ Is not full of our suffering ?" i. e. of the story of our sufferings.
–461. En Priamus! “See, here is our Priam ?” A fine touch of nature. The Trojan hero, after glancing rapidly at other objects, dwells with true national feeling on the figure of the aged Priam, and on his many virtues.
Sunt hic etiam, &c. “Even here has praiseworthy conduet its own reward, (even here) are there tears for misfortunes, and human affairs exert a touching influence on the heart."- 463. Hæc fama. “ This fame of ours," i. e. of our achievements and sufferings.—464. Inani picturâ. “ With the empty painting.” Inanis here means
empty,” or “unreal,” in so far as the figures were not the objects themselves. 465. Flumine. “ Flood (of tears).” The pictures on the walls of the Carthaginian temple are conceived, says Symmons, in the happiest humour of poetic invention ; and the hint of them is altogether unborrowed. Homer frequently alludes to sculpture, but never to painting, which was the improvement of the imitative art in a later age.
466. Namque videbat, &c. The first painting (there were seven altogether) is now described. The subject is an engagement between the Greeks and Trojans, marked by varied success. — Bellantes Per. gama circum. “ As they warred around Troy.” Pergama (the plural of Pergamus) properly means the citadel of Troy, here taken for the whole city.
469. Nec procul hino, &c. We now come to the subject of the second painting, which is the death of Rhesus, and the leading away of his famous steeds. Rhesus, king of Thrace, came to Troy with a band of auxiliaries, after the war had continued for a long period, and brought with him the far-famed coursers, in relation to which it had been predicted, that the city would become impregnable, if once they tasted the forage of Troy or drank of the waters of the Xanthus. Diomede and Ulysses having ascertained the arrival of the Thracian king on the very day of his coming, and that he had encamped without the city, entered the place of encampment that very night, slew Rhesus and many of his followers while asleep, and carried off the steeds to the Grecian army.
Niveis velis. “With their snow-white coverings.” Referring to the white canvass of which they were made. There is here, lowever, an anachronism. Neither Greeks, nor Trojans, nor auxiliaries, were under canvass. The Greeks were hutted; the Thracians would seem to have been lying on the bare ground.—470. Primo prodita somno. “ Betrayed by the first (and deepest) sleep.” A beautiful idea. What was done during sleep is called a betrayal by sleep itself.-472. Ardentesque avertit equos, &c. “And turned away the fiery steeds towards the Grecian camp."
474. Parte aliâ, &c. The third painting, the subject of which is Troïlus, son of Priam. This young prince, having engaged with Achilles, received a mortal wound, and fell from his chariot backward. His feet, however, became entangled in some way with the reins, and he was dragged along on his back, his shield gone, but still holding the reins with one hand and grasping his spear with the other. The spear, however, was inverted, and only marked the ground idly with its point. It will be observed that Virgil here deviates from Homeric usage, according to which those heroes who fought from chariots had a charioteer by their side. Troïlus, on the contrary, is alone in his car, and fights, and manages his steeds, at one and the same time. Perhaps the poet intended that the reins should pass around his body, and thus require but little guidance from the left hand.
Armis amissis. “His shield being lost.” Many apply the term armis here to both shield and spear. This, however, is not correct. Armis here, as very frequently elsewhere, refers merely to defensive armour.-476. Curruque hæret resupinus, &c. “ And lying supine, still adheres to the empty chariot.” His feet are entangled in the reins, and serve to connect his body with the chariot. His head and neck, and the part of his body about the shoulders, are dragged along the ground.-477. Lora tenens tamen. “ Clinging, notwithstanding, to the reins.” The spirit of the young warrior appears even in death. He still grasps the reins, as if seeking by a desperate effort to remount his car.
478. Et versâ pulvis, &c. “ And the dust is marked by his inverted spear.” There is great beauty and graphic force in versâ. The point of the spear is turned away from the foe, and only imprints an idle furrow on the ground. Many commentators make hasta here refer to the spear of Achilles, with which Troïlus had been pierced. But then, in order to justify the expression versâ hastá, we must suppose the spear to have passed quite through the body of the prince, and its point on the other side to be marking the ground, which would certainly not be in very good taste.