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53-57. This is Numa Pompilius, the reputed founder of 49 the religious worship of Rome. 'He exists simply as an explanation of certain religious usages; his very name Numa seems to mean lawgiver,' [Seely Liv. p. 40]. He is decorated with a wreath of olive as a sacrificial ornament. crines incanaque menta 'his hoary hair and beard.' Numa is thus represented as a mark of his venerable age and office.

56. Curibus parvis] 'from the little (Sabine) town of Cures' [mod. Correse], about twenty-four miles from Rome, and in Vergil's time sunk to a mere village. From it came Tatius and Numa. The Roman worship and ritual was always said to be of Sabine origin. imperium magnum rather refers to what Rome became afterwards, than to what it was under the kings.

57-59. subibit] 'will succeed.' Tullus 'the notion that Tullus (Hostilius) was a warlike king, was possibly suggested by his name, though in the early Latin it probably only meant "son of a foreigner," (Seely, p. 41). resides [the nom. resěs does not occur] 'inactive,' 'quiet,' from resideo.

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60. Ancus] 'The principal event in the reign of Ancus Marcius was the settlement of the Latins on the Aventine. This was the Plebeian quarter of the town, and the creation of it was possibly attributed to this king on account of his name Ancus, which is connected with ancilla and means "servant," [Seely, p. 44]. Hence the idea that he flattered the lower orders. jactantior over boastful,' as a grandson of Numa. He is represented as showing even before his birth (nunc quoque) the qualities he displayed in the upper world. popularibus auris the breath of popular favour.' The metaphor is that of a favourable gale, but there is also allusion to the breath i.e. the voices of the people. "The sweet breath of flattery,' as Shakespeare says. Cp. also Coriol. 2, 1, 225, 'showing his wounds to the people buy their stinking breaths.'

62-63. Tarquinios reges] the two Tarquins, Priscus and Superbus. ultoris 'the avenger,' i.e. of Lucretia. fasces receptos the restoration of the consulship.' The fasces or rods carried before the Consuls are put for the office. Vergil chooses to speak of their 'recovery,' as though the kingly office had been a usurpation of rights once possessed by republican officers, which has no historical justification.


64. saevas secures] 'the axes of severity.' The axes carried in the fasces. The axes were the symbol of the power of life and death possessed by the magistrates who had imperium. They are mentioned here in reference to the story of the execution of Brutus' sons, for their conspiracy to restore the Tarquins.

67-68. ferent] 'shall speak of,' or 'estimate.' Vincet 'will prove superior to all other considerations.'

70-71. quin] [qui non] 'nay more.' Decios Decius Mus the elder, Cons. B.C. 340, devoted himself to death to save the Roman army in the great Latin war, and his son did the same at the battle of Sentinum B. C. 295. Drusos the most distinguished of the Drusi (a family of the Gens Livia) was M. Livius Drusus, who was tribune in B. C. 122 with C. Gracchus ; he is probably referred to by Vergil because he was an ancestor of Livia, the wife of Augustus. Saevumque securi Torquati 'Manlius Torquatus with his pitiless axe' (lit. pitiless with his axe) referring like saevas secures in verse 64, to the execution of his son Manlius for disobedience to orders in fighting a single combat with a Latin, just before the battle of Vesuvius B. c. 340. Camillum the reputed saviour of Rome from the Gauls who captured it after the battle of the Allia B.C. 390. referentem signa restoring the stands,' which the Gauls had taken.

72-81. The next spirits are those of Julius Caesar and Pompeius and these lines refer to the civil war in which they were the heads of the two parties.

73. nocte] by the shades of the lower world.'

76-77. gener...socer] Pompey married Julia the daughter of Julius Caesar, a marriage which preserved the peace of the world for some time. After Julia's death Pompey and Caesar soon became estranged. Vergil represents Caesar as descending upon Italy from his province of Gaul, and would seem to indicate that he entered Liguria by the Riviera as arx Monoeci is the modern Monaco. He entered Italy proper on the east coast by Ariminum. adversis instructus Eois 'with an army composed of Eastern troops to meet him.' The Eastern troops' are not composed of Eastern natives, or not mainly so, but of Roman legions serving in the East.


50 78-81 assuescite] 'familiarise.' qui genus ducis Olympo who deduce your descent from Heaven.'


Caesar claimed a descent through Aeneas from Venus, as belonging to the Gens Julia supposed to be named from Iulus, son of Aeneas. sanguis meus my son.' The incompleteness of the line is perhaps meant to express the horror of Anchises as the vision of the events of the civil war rise before his eyes; or it may possibly have been left to be finished on the revision of the work which was prevented by Vergil's death.

82-86. The conquerors of Greece come next. ille in 82 is Mummius who sacked Corinth B.C. 146. triumphata 'triumphed over.' See on 30, 26. Capitolia ad alta sc. to the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus to which the triumphal processions went by the Via Sacra. ille in 84 is Aemilius Paulus who defeated Perses King of Macedonia B.c. 168, who is called Aeacides and genus Achilli because he claimed descent from Achilles [others have thought that Mummius was intended in both cases]. Argos and Mycenae became part of the Roman province of Archaia on the conquest of the Achaean league by Metellus B. C. 147-6.

86. 'Thus avenging his ancestors of Troy and the desecrated temple of Minerva.' Referring to the supposed Trojan descent of the Romans, and to the transference of the Palladium to Rome, and to the insult inflicted on Pallas by Ajax, in offering violence to Cassandra furias Ajacis Oïlei (Aen. 1, 41).

87. Cato] the Censor b. B. C. 234. Cossus Servius Cornelius Cossus cons. B. c. 428, who killed the king of Veii and won the Spolia opima.

88. Gracchi genus] the two brothers Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, Trib. Pl. in B.C. 133 and 123-1 respectively. Both were assassinated by the party of the nobles. Other members of the family had also been distinguished.

87-88 The two Scipios are the elder and younger Scipio Africanus. The latter was the adopted son of the former. The elder Scipio was the hero of the Spanish campaigns in the 2nd Punic war and commanded at the battle of Zama B. C. 202. The younger among many other military services took and destroyed Carthage in B.C. 146. Scipiades is a patronymic Sons of Scipio, used in poetry for the unrhythmical plural or oblique cases of Scipio. fulmina belli seems to be taken from Lucretius [3, 1034] Scipiadas, belli fulmen, Carthaginis horror. cladem Libyae 'the destroyer of Africa.'


89-90. parvoque potentem Fabricium] Caius Fabricius Cons. B.C. 282 and 278. The conqueror of Pyrrhus. The parvo potentem great in poverty,' refers to the stories of his frugal life on his farm, like his contemporary Dentatus who said that it was better to rule those who had gold than to have gold oneself. Serrane C. Atilius Regulus, Consul B.C. 257, defeated the Carthaginian fleet at the Liparæ Islands. Vergil here countenances the notion that his cognomen Serranus was given him to record the fact that he was sowing (serentem) when the news came to him that he was elected Consul. The etymology of the word, is however doubtful.

91-92. Fabii Quintus Fabius Maximus surnamed Cunctator from his success in baffling Hannibal by avoiding an engagement. unus qui nobis etc. is from the Annals of Ennius, and is also used by Ovid [F. 2, 242]

'Scilicet ut posses olim tu, Maxime, nasci
Cui res cunctando restituenda foret.'

and elsewhere much quoted.

93-98. Let Greeks and others excel in the fine arts: the Roman's work in the world is to conquer and rule.

spirantia aera] repeated from G. 3, 34, stabunt et Parii lapides spirantia signa. Cp. Macaulay's Lays.

'The stone that breathes and struggles,
The brass that seems to speak ;—
Such cunning they who dwell on high
Have given unto the Greek.'

93-94. mollius] 'more smoothly' ['with finer touch,' L. L.] vivos 'life-like.'

95-96. orabunt] 'plead.' describent radio map out with a measuring-rod.' meatus caeli' motions of the heavenly bodies.' surgentia sidera dicent 'predict the rising of the planets.' Vergil has enumerated in general terms the art of sculpture, of oratory, and the science of astronomy. Superiority in these he is willing to allow to the Greeks.

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98-99. pacis imponere morem] 'to dictate the terms of peace,' and more than that 'to impose on the nations the rules of peace,' i.e. the rules which they are to obey during this peace. superbos 'rebellious.'



[The ceremonies observed in proclaiming war. The gates of Janus, which Vergil calls the Temple of War,' are solemnly thrown open by the consul in his official robes, and to the sound of trumpets.

1. Hesperio in Latio] 'in primitive Latium,' when Italy 51 was called Hesperia. protinus in their turn,' 'one after another.'

2. coluere sacrum] 'observed as sacred.'

4. Getis] The Getae were a barbarous tribe of Dacia on the N. of the Danube, which formed the frontier of the empire in Vergil's day. Their incursions over the river especially when it was frozen are often described by Ovid, who at Tomi speaks of himself as 'inter Sauromatas Getasque.' They were among the most dangerous enemies of Rome at that time. Cp. Hor. Od. 4, 15, 17.

Custode rerum Caesare

Non qui profundum Danubium bibunt,
Edicta rumpent Julia; non Getae
Non Seres infidive Persae,

Non Tanain prope flumen orti.

manu] 'by force,' i.e. conciliation having failed.

5. Hyrcanisve Arabisve] Hyrcania was on the S. E. of the Caspian sea. The 'Arabs' stand generally for the East. seu trudere ad Indos 'or to push even as far as India.'

6. Parthosque reposcere signa] 'to demand back the standards from the Parthians,' i.c. the standards taken when Crassus and his army were destroyed at Carrhae B.C. 52. These were afterwards restored to Augustus, a triumph of his prestige which the Augustan poets are never tired of recording.

9. vectes] μoxλoí, 'bars,' to go across the folding doors. 10. nec custos etc.] 'nor does the guardian Janus ever leave the threshold.' The gates of Janus are two gates in a Temple of War, opened in time of war, closed in time of peace. The building is usually spoken of as 'the temple of Janus,' but it seems that the temple had two doors which alone were properly sacred to Janus, not the entire temple.

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