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Conclamat vates, totoque absistite luco;
Di, quibus inperium est animarum, Umbraeque silentes,
Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram,
mencement of the mysteries : comp. Hor. as the most terrible of all. Mythologically 3 Od. 1. 1, and see Lobeck's Aglaophamus, Night and Erebus were children of Chaos, vol. 1, pp. 450 foll. If the words have which represents the formless void out of any distinct reference here, it must be, as which things came and into which they Wagn. points out, to the companions of were resolved. Loca nocte tacentia late, Aeneas, who were not to undertake the as the infernal regions are called “ loca journey with him. With 'procul este,' as senta situ” below v. 462, « loca turbida" used rather than 'procul ite, comp. the v. 534. Tacentia' was restored by Heins. use of abesse,' &eivai.
from Med., Rom., and fragm. Vat. for the 260.] “Invadere viam,' exactly the common reading 'silentia,' which is found opp. of evadere viam' 2. 731, is to enter in the margin of Med. upon a journey, set out,” Henry. Why 266.] Virg. professes to have obtained Aeneas is told to draw his sword does not his information from tradition, like Hom. appear. Ulysses does so, Od. 11. 48 foll., Il. 2. 486, queîs o è aléos olov å kovouer, as commanded by Circe, and thereby pre- oùdé ti Youer. The second sit' is for vents the ghosts from drinking the blood liceat,' as in E. 10. 46, though it would before he chooses that they should do so: be possible to understand 'fas.” Numine,' but when Aeneas uses his sword vv. 290 as in 1. 133., 2. 777 &c., seems to have its foll. below, he is warned by the Sibyl that etymological sense of consent' or 'per. he can do them no harm. “Vaginaque mission, though it might also mean aid' eripit ensem » 4. 579.
or 'influence. 262.] “Furens :' the arrival of Hecate 267.] *To disclose the secrets of the and the greatness of the undertaking world below.' So the Sibyl in Sil. 13. having brought back the afflatus.
790 says of Homer that he revealed to 263.] ' Aequare' of keeping pace with the earth all that goes on in the shades 3. 671.
before he had seen it, “haec cuncta, prius 264–267.] 'Give me leave, powers of quam cerneret, ordine terris Prodidit.” the dead, to tell the tale of what they saw.' 268—294.] *As they went on in the
264.] The interposition of a special in- twilight, they saw terrible monsters at the vocation is modelled on Homer's practice, infernal gate-phantoms of all things that e.g. before the catalogue of the ships. on earth make man's life wretched. There As the commentators have remarked, it is also a giant elm where dreams congregreatly enhances the solemnity of the pre- gate, and about the door Gorgons and sent passage.
“Di, quibus inperium pe. Hydras and Chimaeras dire. Aeneas would lagi est” 5. 235. Umbrae- late' are have struck at them with his sword, had vocatives co-ordinate with Di,' not, as not the Sibyl told him they were mere they might possibly be, nominatives co. spectres.' ordinate with inperium,' though 'loca' 268.] A few MSS. (including Gud. a m. is perhaps rather awkward of things ad- p.) give obscura soli,' which, as Heyne dressed as persons. Umbrae' are the remarks, would be the more ordinary disghosts, who are called “silentes " below v. tribution of the epithets. Obscurus’ of 432 without a substantive.
persons concealed 2. 135, G. 4. 424. For 265.] • Chaos' is classed with Erebus 4. solus' applied to things where persons 510, as here with ·Phlegethon' (vv. 550 are really thought of, comp. G. 3. 249; foll.), singled out from the infernal rivers though in each case there is of course a
Perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna:
certain propriety in the epithet as applied ubi passim Palantis error certo de tramite to the thing. Heins. restored 'umbram' pellit." for ‘umbras' (Gud. a m. s. &c.).
272.] Iuppiter,' as the god of the sky, 269.] ‘Vacuas' and `inania' both give E. 7. 60. * Colorem :' the early comthe notion of empty space, indicating that mentators discuss this doctrine of the rethe mansions of the dead are capable of moval of colour by night. Serv. says receiving all comers, and that their pre- “Hoc et videmus, et tractatur ab Epicureis, sent inmates are unsubstantial, so that rebus tollere noctem colorum varietatem : earthly travellers there would feel a sense of unde et apud inferos omnia nigra esse di. desolation, the same which has been al. cuntur. Contra hos Academici una reready expressed by sola sub nocte.' Hom. pugnant: nam squamas piscium lucere per makes the unburied Patroclus say år' noctem comprobatur.” Comp. the exposiαύτως αλάλημαι άν' εύρυπυλές 'Αϊδος δω, tion of Lucr. 2. 730-841. II. 23. 74. With inania regna’ Taubm. 273.] “ Vestibulum ante ipsum primoque
“ domus exilis Plutonia” Hor. in limnine” 2. 469, where see note on the 1 Od. 4. 17. “Locus inanis” is applied meaning of vestibulum.' Primis fauci. to Avernus by Lucr. 6. 832 in a different bus' is distinguished from vestibulum sense, the inability of the birds to exist by Gell. 16.5, who reports Sulpicius Apolthere being accounted for by the supposi- linaris as explaining it as “iter angustum, tion that there is no atmosphere.
per quod ad vestibulum adiretur;" but it 270.] 'Per incertam lunam' answers to would seem more simple to understand per umbram,' v. 268, sub luce maligna' the two expressions as poetically equivato sola sub nocte'. The moonlight is lent. Comp. G. 4. 467, "Taenarias fauces, looked upon as a medium through which alta ostia Ditis.” Orcus, the god of the they pass. Comp. 2. 255, “per amica dead, is here as elsewhere used for the silentia lunae,"ib. 340 “oblati per lunam," place, like "Aions. Donatus remarks of though in both cases the expression is the assemblage of personified evils that somewhat less harsh : see also G. 4. 59, follows, “ In hoc erant omnia quae cruciant "nare per aestatem liquidam.” Henry is vivos aut defunctos afligunt.' Germ. rerather hypercritical in objecting to the fers very happily to a bold personification ordinary view of 'incertam lunam' as in Lucr. 3. 65 foll., which not improbably “the struggling moonbeam's misty light,” suggested this mythological picture to like “incertos soles” 3. 203, though the Virg., and at any rate furnishes an admiraepithet doubtless includes the sense which ble comment on it: he maintains, “unsure, not to be depended on,' a general attribute of moonlight as Turpis enim ferme contemptus, et acris compared with sunlight. Serv. mentions egestas a reading “inceptam,' still found in some Semota ab dulci vita stabilique videntur, MSS., and apparently supported by Dona- Et quasi iam leti portas cunctarier tus, who explains “ in ipsis initiis positam,” ante." though Serv. thinks the two words mean the same thing, as it must be the new We may well be reminded also of such moon that is spoken of. Maligna'churl- passages as Psalm lxxxviii. 2 foll., “ For ish or niggardly, as in G. 2. 179.
my soul is full of trouble, and my life 271.] “In silvis,' quae etiam exiguum draweth nigh unto hell. . . Free among the illud lucis sua densitate possunt eripere.” dead, like unto them that are wounded Donatus. There is also of course a refer- and lie in the grave, who are out of reence to the difficulty of picking one's way membrance, and are cut away from thy where there is no road. Comp. the de- hand.” scription of Nisus and Euryalus 9. 381 274.] ‘Luctus’ is half personified 2. foll. : also Hor. 2 S. 3. 48, * velut silvis, 369. Ultrices Curae' seems rightly ex.
Pallentesque habitant Morbi, tristisque Senectus, 275
In medio ramos annosaque bracchia pandit
plained by Serv. of the stings of conscience. why they are represented here among the The commentators refer to the well-known guardians of the gate. It has been replied passage in Juv. 13. 192 foll.
that the Furies may be distinguished from 275.] “Subeunt morbi tristisque senec- the Eumenides—that the meaning may be tus, Et labor et durae rapit inclementia that they sleep here, but work elsewhere mortis " G. 3. 67.
-a view somewhat favoured by the form 276.] Malesuadus' occurs in Plaut.: of expression, which speaks of their chamsee Fore. The sense is not unlike that bers, not of themselves, though it would which is sometimes borne by “inprobus' naturally stand for the Furies and their in Virg., e.g. 2. 80, 356. Comp. Hom.'s chambers—that Virg. has been inconsislanguage about the stomach Od. 17. 286 tent, perhaps following different legends. foll. Turpis seems to refer to physical Either of the two latter views seems prounsightliness. * Ac' was restored by bable. Virg. however has doubtless an Heins. for et.'
object in placing the Furies on the thres277.] “ Horribili visu portenta” 11. hold, which seems to have been their seat 271. Letum’ appears as if strictly speak. (see on v. 563 below), and there is someing it ought not to have been placed be- thing of the same inconsistency in his lanfore the gates of Orcus: but it is regarded guage about the Hydra, vv. 287, 576. as one of the many human ills. “Labos' The thalami’ are chambers, compared was restored by Heins. for • Labor.' by Heyne to the cells of the porters in
278.] As Macrob., Sat. 5. 7, points out some Roman houses (Dict. A. Domus,' from i. 14. 231, ένθ' “Ύπνφ ξύμβλητο, Ianua'). Vulcan’s ‘thalamus' is of gold, Kao iyVhtu Oavátolo (comp. Il. 16. 682, 8. 372, where the synizesis aureo' illuswhere Sleep and Death carry off the dead trates .ferrei' here. Another question Sarpedon to Lycia). "Mala mentis gaudia' was raised by Serv. about the propriety of i. q. 'malae mentis gaudia.' Sen. Ep. 59 the word as applied to the Furies, thalathinks the epithet an improper one, as joy mus' generally meaning a bridal chamber : is always a good thing, since none but the but Cerda shows from Ov. M. 2. 738 &c. wise can feel it. Virg. doubtless means to that it is attributed to maidens also. include evil pleasures of all kinds, as real • Discordia' had been already personified evils, the end of which is death.
by Ennius, whose words are quoted by 279.] “Adverso in limine" below v. Hor. 1 S. 4. 60. So the Homeric "Epis. 636. Here it is merely poetical surplusage, 281.] Virg. represents Discord as a saying, what has been said before, that Fury, with snakes for hair. Vipereum these figures are at the gate fronting those crinem' like "anguino capillo" Catull. 62 who wished to enter, unless we choose to (64). 193. “Vipereus' occurs again 7. say with Serv. that war, being the chief 351, 753. cause of death, is placed at the threshold 282.] 'In medio' is explained by Donatus when the others are at the vestibule, or, of the impluvium,' perhaps rightly, comp. what would be the same thing, that the 2. 512 foll., where a bay tree grows in the thought is repeated in order to call special “impluvium’of Priam's palace, We must attention to the case of war. For the not however expect to be able to trace personification of War_comp. 1. 294., 7. such details in the description of these 607, and see Aristoph. Peace 205 &c. vast shadowy realms, Heyne explains it
280.] The Furies are mentioned below, in medio vestibuli :' see v. 285. vv. 570 foll., as carrying on their work « Ramos et bracchia tendens " G. 2. 296. within : so that it has been questioned 283.] “Opaca, ingens 3. 619. The
Vana tenere ferunt, foliisque sub omnibus haerent.
notion of dreams perched like birds on a Scyllae’ may be meant to include the tree Heyne traces to Il. 14. 286 foll., where two Scyllas, as the daughter of Nisus was Sleep, taking the form of a bird, perches turned into a monster according to one on one of the trees of Ida, before coming legend (see on E. 6. 74), or the plural may down upon Zeus. Virg. may mean that be rhetorical, like Milton's “Hydras and the dreams are actually in the form of birds, Chimaeras dire.” It would almost seem as Henry thinks, comp. Sil. 13. 595 foll., as if Virg. wished them to be conceived who, imitating this passage, represents a of as a monstrous race, like the Centaurs. yew on the banks of Cocytus as peopled Lucr., whom Virg. doubtless had in view, by noisome birds. Volgo' may go either speaking philosophically, treats them as a with ‘ferunt' or with "tenere: but the class, « Centauros itaque et Scyllarum latter seems more forcible. Wagn. comp. membra videmus, Cerbereasque canum 3. 643,“ habitant ad litora volgo.” In facies,” 4. 732, and again “Centauros, Od. 24. 12 the oņuos 'Ovelpw is reached Scyllas et cetera de genere horum” 5. before the shades.
891 foll. 284.] · Vana' seems to mean fallacious 287.] ‘Centumgeminus'='centuplex,' as well as unsubstantial. Comp. the dis- as 'tergeminus' 4. 510 = 'triplex,' septinction between “ verae umbrae” and temgeminus' v. 801 below = ‘septemplex.' “falsa insomnia” below vv. 894 foll. “Ne The latter part of the compound has no vana putes haec fingere somnum” 8. 42. very precise force, as is frequently the case * Haerent’sc. 'somnia.' The parallels to in compounds in Greek, though the notion this change of construction quoted by probably is that as 'geminus' indicates Wagn. Q. V. 34. 4 are mostly instances repetition, 'tergeminus' &c. may indicate like 4. 263, where the subject of the a thing repeated three &c. times. •Tersecond verb is the same as that of the geminus' is applied by Lucr. 5. 28 to first, but the first verb is constructed with Gorgon, who had three bodies. Briareus a relative clause which is dropped in the had not a hundred bodies, but a hundred second. One however comes tolerably near, hands (I). 1. 402 foll.), so that the ex9. 593, “Cui Remulo cognomen erat, Tur- pression is far from exact. Possibly hownique minorem Germanam nuper thalamo ever as Virg. (following Apollodorus) gives sociatus habebat." Serv. and the older him fifty heads 10. 565 foli., he may have commentators suppose Virg. to refer to a given him a hundred here. In Hom. notion that dreams become false at the there seems no reason for supposing him fall of the leaf.
to have had more than one. The word is 285.] Praeterea' may be beside the said to occur only in Val. F. 6. 118, where dream-laded elm, which we must then sup- it is applied to the hundred-gated Thebes. pose to be in the middle of the vestibule, “Belua Lernae,' the Hydra, called “Leror besides the shapes mentioned vv. 274 naeus anguis " 8. 300,“ Lernaea pestis foll. “Monstra ferarum' =“monstruosae Lucr. 5. 26. ferae,” as “monstra deum” 8. 698 = 288.] •Stridens' of the Hydra, as else“monstruosi Di.” The figures here are where of serpents. The Chimaera is called not personifications, but mythological mon- • flammis armata,' as the Parthian arrow sters.
Hom. knows nothing of them, is called “armata felle veneni” 12. 857. though he makes Ulysses afraid lest Perse- Wakef., thinking the expression common. phone should send the Gorgon's head from place, ingeniously proposed * animata,' Hades against him Od. 11. 634: but which would produce a translation, though Aristoph. Frogs 143, 277 speaks of wild not perhaps a very Virgilian one, of Hom.'s beasts which have to be encountered im- δεινόν αποπνείουσα πυρός μένος αιθομένοιο, , mediately on crossing the infernal lake. 11. 6.182. The Chimaera is one of Turnus'
286.] Stabulant neuter, G. 3. 224. cognizances, 7. 785 foll. The word is appropriate to the Centaurs. 289.] The 'forma tricorporis umbrae' is
Corripit hic subita trepidus formidine ferrum
Hinc via, Tartarei quae fert Acherontis ad undas.
Geryon, mentioned again 7. 662., 8. 202. pidus' with ‘formidine,' as in 9. 169. Aesch. Ag. 870 calls him tploánatos, and 291.] 'Strictam aciem' 2. 333. To Lucr. 5. 28 talks of “tripectora tergemini offer a weapon at a person is a common vis Geryonai.” Sil. uses the word 'tri- expression in our own older writers. corpor’twice, each time of Geryon. The 292.] *Docta’ instructed, perhaps by words ‘forma umbrae' (for ‘formae' see Hecate, v. 565 below. But the word on 3. 591) sufficiently indicate the spectral often means little more than wise or skiland unsubstantial nature of the appear- ful: see Forc. “Tenuis vitas' G. 4. 224. ances, pointed out by the Sibyl in the fol. Sine corpore : see on G. 4. 475, where, lowing lines. Some of these monsters had as in v. 303 below, Virg. is not quite conbeen actually killed, so that it was natural sistent with his language here. that they should appear spectrally in 293.] Virg.'s words are a paraphrase of Hades; others, like the Harpies, were Tol de orial åto o ovo w Od. 10. 495, transproducts of the infernal world (comp. 3. lated by Cic. De Div. 1. 40, “ ceteros um214), and though when appearing on earth brarum vagari modo.” The kind of motion they may have had bodies, they may be is connected with the want of substance supposed to be divested of them in the and stability. “Cava imagine' means more shades, where spirit acts upon spirit. The than “nube cava" 1. 516,
cava umbra” train of thought may be the same as that 2.360 note, expressing not merely that the in Hom. (Od. 11. 602), where though spirits are enclosed by the visible shape, Hercules himself is among the gods, his but that the shape is essentially hollow, είδωλον is in the shades (comp. Shelley's ψυχή και είδωλον, ατάρ φρένες ουκ ένι • Phantasın of Jupiter' in the Prometheus adunav (II. 23. 105: comp. Od. 10. 493). Unbound): or Virg. may have been in- 'Admoneat-inruat : see on 5. 325. fluenced more or less by a philosophical 294.] In Hom. Ulysses' sword operates motive, intending to hint at the unreality as a real terror to the ghosts (see on v. of these terrible shapes. The words of 260 above). The legend was that HerServ. may be worth quoting, “ Harpyiae. cules drew his sword on the Gorgon when que :' aut iam mortuas intellige, aut se- he went down to the shades, and was recundum Platonem et alios simulacra licet assured by Hermes as Aeneas here is by vivarum illic fuisse. Nam dicunt esse the Sibyl (Apollodorus 2. 5. 12: Schol. on omnium rerum ideas quasdam, i.e. ima- Il. 8. 368). * Diverberet' 5. 503 note. gines, ad quarum similitudinem procrean- 295–316.] Next they see the way to tur universa." Serv. also tells us that Acheron. Charon is there with his ferryafter these lines four others were inserted boat, old and squalid, but vigorous. Ghosts by some, who believed them to have been keep crowding to the boat: some of them left by Virg., but omitted by those who are admitted, others rejected.' revised his work. It will be seen that 295.] ‘Hinc' seems to mean that it is they are of the same quality as those quoted only after passing the gate of Orcus that on 3. 204:
they see the way to Acheron. Acheron is
called Tartareus' from its dismal associa“Gorgonis in medio portentum inmane tions, though it is not, like Phlegethon v. Medusae,
551, a river specially surrounding Tartarus, Vipereae circum ora comae cui sibila but apparently encompasses the whole of torquent,
the lower world. But Virg.'s conception Infamesque (qu. informesque ?) rigent of the four infernal rivers, as given by oculi, mentoque sub imo
Hom., is very confused. Hom. says briefly, Serpentum extremis nodantur vincula Od. 10. 513 foll. : caudis.”
ένθα μεν εις 'Αχέροντα Πυριφλεγέθων τε 290.] ‘Hic' of time, 2. 122 &c. "Tre