Page images

her answers orally, but merely to commit them to writing.--Notas. Written characters ; letters.

445. Carmina. “ Verses," i. e. oracles in verse.—446. In numerum, equivalent to in ordinem.-—447. Ab ordine. “From the order in which they have been placed.”—450. Verum eadem, &c. “And yet these same, when, on the hinge being turned, a slight current of air has set them in motion, and the opening) door hath disturbed the tender leaves, she never afterwards cares to arrest as they flutter through the hollow cave, nor to restore their (former) positions, nor connect (once more) her predictions."-452. Inconsulti abeunt. “ They (who apply) depart (in this way) without a response.” Literally, as they who have not been consulted for,i. e. for whose interests the Sibyl has not consulted by giving them a response. In other words, they who have received no response from her.

453. Hic tibi ne qua moræ, &c. “Here let no expenditure of time be of so much consequence in thy eyes.”—454. Quamois. “ However much."-Et vi cursus cocet. “ And thy voyage may powerfully invite.” 455. Possisque sinus implere secundos. “And thou mayest be able to fill their favouring bosoms," i. e. to fill their bosoms with favouring gales.Quin adeas patem. “But go to the prophetess.” The general meaning of the whole passage is this : Let not time appear so valuable in thy eyes as to prevent thee from visiting the cave of the Sibyl, &c.

458. Expediet. “ Will unfold.”—460. Cursusque dabit, &c. “And, having been addressed with due reverence, will give thee a favourable course,” i. e. will show thee how to obtain a favourable course.Venerata. Used passively, according to poetic usage, based upon the earlier idiom of the language, many deponents of a later day (perhaps all of them) having been originally common verbs.--461. Quce nostra liceat, &c. Compare line 380. Observe the peculiar force of liceat, as if Helenus feared that he had even already gone too far in his revelations.

464. Dona auro gravia, &c. i. e. richly adorned with gold and plates, or laminæ of ivory. Secare is the proper term applicable to the dividing of any substance into thin plates. The ivory is here divided in this way, and placed as an ornament on different objects. Thus Pliny, “ Dentes elephanti secare, lignumque ebore distingui. (H. N. xvi. 44, 84.)—Gravia. Final syllable lengthened by the arsis or cæsura.-465. Stipatque carinis, &c. “And stows away in their holds a vast quantity of silver plate, and also Dodonæan caldrons.” Heyne considers “ Dodonæan" a mere ornamental epithet: such caldrons, namely, as are in the temple and grove of Jupiter at Dodona, and from which oracles were drawn by his priests. Wagner, on the other hand, suspects that Virgil has followed in this some Grecian poet, who had heard that Helenus had settled at Dodona. (Compare Dion. Hal. i. 32.)

467. Loricam consertam hamis, &c. “A coat of mail, composed of rings hooked into one another, and (these arranged) in a triple tissue of gold,” i. e, a chain-mail, composed of rings of gold, linked or hooked into one another, and resembling in its formation the pattern of cloth technically termed trilix. In other words, the chains that composed the corslet consisted each of three strands, or parallel rows of smaller chains. All that is effected by the shuttle, in weaving, is the conveyance of the woof across the warp. To keep every thread of the woof in its proper place, it is necessary that the threads of the warp should be decussated. This was done by the leashes, called in Latin licia, in Greek uiror. At least one set of leashes was necessary to decussate the warp, even in the plainest and simplest weaving. The number of sets was increased according to the complexity of the pattern, which was called bilix, trilix, &c., according as the number was two, three, or more.—468. Conum insignis galeæ, &c. “The cone of a beautiful helmet, and a hairy crest," i. e. a beautiful helmet, with cone and hairy crest. The cone supported the crest.

469. Sunt et sua dona parenti. “My father (Anchises), too, has his appropriate gifts.”—470. Duces. “Guides," i. e. pilots for the route. Heyne thinks that grooms, to take care of the horses, are meant. Wagner, however, is of opinion, on account of the second addit, that guides or pilots are intended, and he strengthens this view of the subject by a quotation from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, wherein it is stated, vreuóvaç rñs vavrilias OUVEKTNEŪoal Alveią, from Epirus.471. Remigium supplet. “He supplies a band of rowers." "Heyne objects to this way of translating, because in Homeric times the rowers were not a servile class, but were composed of the warriors themselves. Wagner, however, very correctly suggests, that Virgil does not follow Homeric usage exclusively, but blends the manners and customs of early and later times. · 472. Classem velis aptare. Literally, “ to fit the fleet with sails," i. e. to have the sails hoisted, and ready for the wind when it should begin to blow. Velis is the ablative, not the dative.-473. Ferenti. “When favouring (us).” More literally, “when bearing (us on our way).”-474. Phoebi interpres. Helenus.-Multo honore. “ With deep respect.” 475. Dignate is here taken passively. Compare note on line 460.-476. Bis Pergameis, &c. Consult note on ii. 641-3.-477. Ecce tibi Ausoniæ litus. “Lo! the land of Ausonia is before thee.” – Hano arripe velis. “ Seize this with thy sails," i. e. “sail thither with utmost zeal.”

478. Et tamen hanc pelago, &c. “And yet it is necessary that thou glide by this (same land here) on the deep," i. e. the part of Italy which is nearest here.—479. Ausonic pars illa procul, &c. “That part of Italy is far away which Apollo unfolds (to thee).” Helenus alludes to the Western coast of Italy, which could only be reached by a long circumnavigation.

480. Quid ultra provehor, &c. i. e. why say I more, and why, by thus lengthening out my discourse, do I prevent you from availing yourselves of favouring gales.

483. Picturatas auri subtemine vestes. “ Garments figured over with embroidery of gold.Picturatas, equivalent to pictas acu, “painted with the needle,” i. e, embroidered or wrought in needlework. So, again, subtemen, which elsewhere means the woof, here denotes, literally, “ a thread," and is the same as filum.—484. Phrygiam chlainydem. This was in the number of the vestes just mentioned. The chlamys was a species of cloak or scarf, oblong instead of square, its length being generally about twice its breadth. It was worn in war, hunting, and on journeys.

Nec cedit honori. “Nor is her bounty disproportioned to the merit of the object," i. e, nor is her gift unworthy of him on whom it is bestowed. It was just such a gift as the young Ascanius merited to receive. This is the commonly-received interpretation ; but it is far from satisfactory.—485. Textilibus donis. “With gifts, the produce of the loom.”

486. Manuum monumenta. “Memorials of my handiwork.” Andromache is occupied with Ascanius alone; to him alone makes presents ; she dwells on his resemblance to her murdered son.489. () mihi sola mei, &c. “Oh, sole remaining image unto me of my (beloved) Astyanax.” Super, equivalent to superstes, or to quæe superes.-491. Et nunc æquali tecum, &c. “And he would now be beginning to bud forth into manhood), in equal age with thee.”

492. Lacrimis obortis. “Tears having sprung up in spite of me," &c. Observe the force of ob in composition ; against all my efforts to restrain them.—493. Quibus est fortuna, &c. i. e. the course of whose fortune is now completely run. Literally, “live ye happy, unto whom their fortune is now completed.”—494. Alia ex aliis, &c. “From one fate to another." .

498. Opto. “I hope.”—499. Minus obvia. “Less exposed.”— 502. Cognatas urbes olim, &c. “We will make hereafter our kindred cities and neighbouring communities in Epirus, in Hesperia, unto whom the same Dardanus is a founder, and to whom there is the same fortune, one common Troy in their affections. Let this care wait for our posterity (to fulfil it).” Observe the peculiar usage of utramque, as agreeing with Trojam, where we would expect utrosque, as referring to the inhabitants of Buthrotum and Rome. Some think that the words maneat nostros, &c., allude to Nicopolis, built and declared a free city by Augustus. Dardanus is here called a common founder of the race, the allusion being to the Trojans with Helenus and those with Æneas.

506. Prorehimur pelago, &c. The fleet leaves Buthrotum, and sailing along the coast of Epirus, in a northwestern direction, comes to the Acroceraunian Mountains, whence the passage across to Italy is the shortest.—507. Unde iter Italiam. “Whence is the route to Italy.”—509. Et montes umbrantur opaci. “ And the dusky mountains are lost in the shade (of night).”–508. Sternimur, i. e. we lie down for food and rest.-510. Sortiti remos. “Having distributed the oars by lot," i. e. having determined by lot who should remain on board and keep watch at the oars; who disembark and enjoy repose. Those on board would, of course, be ready at the first signal of Palinurus. -511. Corpora curamus. “We refresh our frames with food.” Supply cibo. Irrigat. See note on i. 692.

512 Necdum orbem medium, &c. i. e. it was not yet midnight.-514. Atque auribus aëra captat. “And carefully catches the air with his ears," i. e. listens to each quarter for the breeze.--516. Geminosque Triones. “And the two bears.” Consult note on i. 516.-517. Armatumque auro, &c. His sword and belt are formed of very brilliant stars.-Circumspicit. Observe the force of this verb. Palinurus looks all around the constellation, to see whether there be any thing dangerous in its vicinity. Ernesti says : “ Circumspectare, de providis et timidis, qui sæpe circumspiciunt omnia." (Clao. Cic.)

518. Postquam cuncta videt, &c. “When he sees all things settled in the serene sky," i. e. when he sees all those signs which betoken fair and settled weather.-520. Et celorum pandimus alas. “And spread out the pinions of our sails,” i. e. spread out our sails like pinions. Heyne thinks alas means the extremities of the sails. It is much better, however, to adopt the ordinary explanation,

522. Obscuros colles, humilemque Italiam. “Misty hills, and Italy lying low (upon the waters).” The Trojans landed at a place called Častrum Minerva, below Hydruntum, where the coast is low and flat. The hills seen were those in the interior of the country.5:23. Italiam. The repetition of this word indicates joy. Compare the Sálarra! Jálatta ! of the ten thousand, when they first beheld the sea on their retreat. (Xen. Anab. iv. 7, 24.)-525. Cratera coronâ induit. Compare note on i. 724. 526. Mero. “ With undiluted wine.” As was customary in libations.—527. Celsâ in puppi. He takes his station on the stern, because here was placed the image of the tutelary deity of the ship, together with a small hearth or altar.

528. Potentes. “ Rulers.”-530. Crebrescunt. “Freshen.”—531. In arce. “On a height," i. e. on elevated ground inland.-533. Portus ab Euroo fluctu, &c. The poet is here describing the Portus Veneris, as it was afterward called. This harbour was formed by two rocks or cliffs, sloping downward from the interior, and the extremities of which served as barriers against the waves. It faced the southeast, and the waves impelled by the south-east wind had, by their dashing, hollowed out the harbour between the two walls of rock.-535. Gemino demittunt, &c. An enlargement, merely, on the previous idea.-536. Turriti scopuli. “ Turret-crowned rocks.”— Refugitque, &c. As they approach, the temple is found to be situate on a hill in the interior. The coast between the hills and shore is in general low. The scopuli are spurs coming down from the more elevated country inland.

537. Primum omen. The ancients used carefully to observe the first objects that met their view on landing in any country where they intended to settle, and thence drew proguostics of good or evil fortune.—539. Bellum, O terra hospita, portas. “Ah ! hospitable land, thou (nevertheless) betokenest war;" i. e. although hospitable, thou nevertheless betokenest war.—540. Bello. “For war.” Poetic for ad bellum.-Hæc armenta. “ These animals.”—541. Sed tamen idem olim, &c. “And yet these same quadrupeds have been accustomed from of old to be joined to the chariot."-Curru. Old dative, for currui. Hence, succedere curru is, literally, “ to go unto," “ to come up to," &c.

543. Numina sancta, &c. Alluding to their having seen a temple of this goddess first of all on their approach to Italy.-545. Et capita ante aras, &c. Compare note on line 405.—546. Præceptisque Heleni, &c. “ And in accordance with those precepts of Helenus which he had given us as of the greatest importance, we in due form burn the prescribed offerings to the Argive Juno.” 547. Honores for victimas, &c. Compare lines 435, seqq.

549. Cornua velatarum, &c. “We turn towards the deep the extremities of our sail-clad yards,” i. e. we prepare to depart. Two ropes hung from the horns or extremities of the sail-yards, the use of which was to turn the yards around as the wind veered, so as to keep the sail opposite to the wind. It was also done, as in the present instance, to bring the head of the vessel around, when leaving a harbour into which it had just entered.

550. Grajugenúm. “Of the men of Grecian race," i. e. of the Greeks. Alluding to the Grecian colonies in this quarter. For Grajugenarum, from the nominative Grajugence.

551. Hinc sinus Herculei, &c. “ After this is discerned the bay of Tarentum, (a city) founded by Hercules, if report be true.” Virgil appears to allude to some early legend by which the founding of Tarentum was ascribed to Hercules. According to the common account, this city owed its origin to Taras, son of Neptune. That the

legend was a doubtful one, is indicated by the words si vera est fama.

--552. Attollit se Diva Lacinia contra. “The Lacinian goddess rears her head opposite," i. e. the temple of Juno on the Lacinian promontory. The Trojan fleet, in coasting along, came to the Iapygian promontory, on passing which the bay of Tarentum opens on the view. In front of them, across the mouth of this bay, rises the Lacinian promontory, crowned by a celebrated temple of Juno. Towards this promontory they direct their course, not entering the bay of Tarentum, but merely standing across its entrance.-553. Caulonisque arces, &c. These places were encountered after doubling the Lacinian promontory. On examining the map, it will be perceived that Scylaceum comes before Caulon, but it must be borne in mind that as the Trojans were passing round the Lacinian cape, they first saw in the distance the heights on which Caulon was built, and then, the shore bending in and forming the Sinus Scylaceus, they first observed Scylaceum, at the head of the bay, close on their right.

Navifragum. This epithet either alludes to the rocky and dangerous shores near this place, or else to the frequent storms which prevailed in this quarter, between the Tria promontoria Iapygum and Cocintum.

554. E fluctu. “Rising out of the wave.” They see Ætna in the distance, which appears to them to rise out of the bosom of the sea, the mountain being so lofty as to be visible to them before the island,

-555. Gemitum ingentem pelagi, &c. “The deep, sullen roar of ocean, and the rocks lashed by the waves, and the noise of breakers on the coast.” The allusion is to Scylla, the noise of which is heard by them in the distance.- 557. Exultantque rada. “ Both the deep waters of ocean leap upward, and the sands are intermingled with the boiling sea.” This alludes to Charybdis.--Vada. We have followed the explanation of Heyne: Mare ex imo fundo sublatum in altum egeritur. According to this, vada will convey the idea, not of shoals, but of the very bottom of ocean; and this is further seen from the succeeding clause, where the sand from the bottom is washed up by the agitated water.

559. Nimirum hæc illa, &e. “Doubtless, this is that Charybdis," i. e. of which Helenus foretold.—560. Eripite. Supply nos. “ Rescue (us).”—Pariterque insurgite remis. “And in equal order rise to the oars," i. e. and apply yourselves vigorously to the oars, with equal strokes. Consult note on line 207.

561. Primusque rudentem, &c. “And first Palinurus whirled around the groaning prow towards the waters on the left," i. e. by a powerful impulse of the rudder he turned away the head of the vessel, which groaned beneath the effort with its straining timbers.-562. Læoas ad undas. Compare note on line 412.-563. Ventis. “The winds," i. e, with sails. The left-hand course would carry them off from Italy in a south-east direction.

564. Curcato gurgite. On the arched and troubled wave,” i. e. the wave bending and swelling upward.--Et idem subducta, &c. “ And (then, again), the water being withdrawn, we the same descend to the lowest shades.” Heyne reads desidimus, “ we settle down;" and Wagner desedimus, “ we settled down.” But the common reading, descendimus, is far more graphic.-567. Ter spumam elisam, &c. “ The spray had been carried to such a height as to seem, when descending, as if it fell dew-like from the very stars. 569. Oris for ad oras.

« PreviousContinue »