Page images
PDF
EPUB

sentence will be talis labor eos exercebat qualis apes -exercet. The English idiom omits the noun, labor, in the second clause. Milton expresses the same figure in Par. Lost, I, 768:

"As bees
In springtime, when the sun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth their populous youth about the hive
In clusters.'

432. liquentia : from līquor, not liqueo.
434. venientum: for venientium:
436. Fervet opus : 'the work glows hot’; 'is briskly pursued.'

437. iam: even now.' In contrast with the fortune of Aeneas, whose promised walls of Lavinium (1. 258) are not yet begun.

438. suspicit: 'looks up to’; having descended the hill. See l. 419.
439. dictu : : see note on visu, l. 111.
440. medios: sc. viros.

miscet: sc. se. viris : see note on dextrae, 1. 408. ulli: for ab ullo. See note on l. 326.

441. laetissimus umbra : 'very abundant in shade.' So the best Mss. A very plausible emendation is umbrae, with which cf. the genitive opum, l. 14.

442. Quo: join with loco. primum: ‘in the beginning'; or on their first arrival.

443. signum : “the token.'

444. Monstrarat: ‘had indicated. She had foretold to them, through some vision or oracle, that from the ground where she desired them to plant their new city, they would dig up as a sign the head of a horse. sic: i.e. by such a token as this. fore : depends on monstrarat understood; 'for she had thus shown that the nation would be renowned in war and easily sustained for ages’; lit. "easy in living,' “easy to be nourished. The supine victu is from vivo. See note on visu, I, III.

446. Sidonia : see above note on l. 12.

447. donis — divae : ‘rich with offerings (valuable treasures given by devotees) and with the powerful manifestation (i.e. presence, numine) of the goddess.'

448. Aerea : the costly material of the door indicates the splendor of the temple. The idea still more impressed by its repetition in aere and aënis, as well as by the position of the terms at the beginning and end of the verse. Cf. a similar repetition of aureus in IV, 138, 139, and VII, 278, 279. cui: limiting surgebant, is equivalent to cuius limiting gradibus. See note on Ascanio, l. 691. nexae Aere trabes : 'timbers bound with bronze,' describes the bronze doorposts,' which were timbers cased or covered over with bronze; nexae aere being nearly equal to aeratae. We may render freely: From whose steps arose a threshold of bronze, and doorposts overlaid with bronze, bronze were the doors with their creaking hinges.' Virgil perhaps had in

a

6

mind the sumptuous temples erected in Rome in his own time; one of which, the Pantheon, with its lofty portal of bronze folding doors (fores), bronze jambs (trabes), threshold and lintel, is still in use. See Fig. 19. foribus : dative with stridebat instead of a genitive with cardo; rendering aënis more emphatic by throwing it into the predicate. The hinges or pivots creaked in their sockets in turning the ponderous doors of bronze. -que : in l. 448, is joined to the next verse in scanning. See note on l. 332.

452. rebus : H. 476, 3; LM. 629; A. 254, 6; B. 219, 1; G. 346, 2; (H. 425, 1), n.).

454. quae — urbi: 'the prosperity which the city enjoys.' Quae is the relative, not the interrogative. . H. 643; LM. 1026; A. 340; B. 314, 1; G. 650; (H. 524).

455. Artificum manus : 'the skill of the artists.' inter se : (comparing them) with each other.' Conington translates “the rival skill.'

operum laborem : 'the efforts of their skill.' These words refer to the building itself, i.e. the labor bestowed upon the construction of the temple, in contrast with artificum manus, which refers to the works of art. The paintings were in honor of Juno, who had been victorious in the Trojan war.

456. ex ordine : ‘in their (historical) order.'

458. ambobus : “to both parties.' Achilles was cruel to the sons of Atreus (Agamemnon and Menelaus) in refusing so long to aid in the defense of the Grecian camp; and to Priam in slaying so many of his sons and particularly Hector.

460. laboris, etc.: "filled with (the story of) our misfortune.' See note on l. 14.

461. En Priamus: H. 421, 3; LM. 490; A. 241, c; (H. 381, N. 3, 2)). Sunt — laudi: 'glory (i.e. praiseworthy conduct) has even here its own reward,' i.e. even in this remote part of the world. sua: H. 503, 4; LM. 1043; A. 196, c; B. 244, 4; G. 309, 2; (H. 449, 2). praemia: the reward in the case is fame and present human sympathy, as expressed in the following beautiful line.

462. rerum: an objective genitive. H. 440, 2; LM. 571; A. 217; B. 200; G. 363, 2; (H. 393, N.). Cf. II, 784.

463. haec fama: 'this renown. The knowledge of our history which the Carthaginians show in these pictures.

464. pictura: 'painting’; in its general sense, referring to the whole collection.

465. Multa : H. 416, 2; LM. 505; A. 238, b; B. 176, 2, b; G. 333, 1; (H. 378, 2).

466. uti: interrogative, “how. For the mood following, cf. note on videat, 1. 181. Pergama: means properly the citadel of Troy, but is sometimes put, as here, for the whole city. circum: see note on l. 32.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

• 466–493. The poet seems to have in mind a series of eight pictures, which we must imagine to be painted under the portico on the outer wall of the temple: (1) the victory of the Trojans under Hector; (2) the victory of the Greeks under Achilles; (3) the death of Rhesus; (4) the death of Troilus; (5) the Trojan matrons before the statue of Minerva; (6) Priam as a suppliant before Achilles; (7) Memnon in battle; and (8) the battle of the Amazons with the Greeks.

467, 468. Hac (sc. parte): "here,' 'in this part ’; i.e. on this panel : Here the Greeks were flying, (while) the Trojan youth pursued; here (on the next panel) the Trojans (were flying, while) the crested Achilles in his chariot pressed on. curru: an ablative of the instrument.

469. Nec procul hinc: ‘and not far hence'; from that part of the series of paintings mentioned in the preceding verses. Rhesi: ‘Rhesus,' a Thracian prince, who had come to the aid of Priam, and encamped on the night of his arrival outside of the city. According to some post-Homeric accounts, it was fated that Troy should not fall unless the horses of Rhesus should come into the possession of the Greeks before they had tasted of the pasturage of Troy and drunk of the river Xanthus. In the Iliad, X, 433, Ulysses and Diomedes penetrate into the camp of Rhesus, slay the chief himself and twelve of his followers, and convey the horses to the Grecian camp. niveis velis : 'with snowy coverings ’; ablative of description. Virgil is thinking of his own times. Huts of twigs and turf were used in the heroic age.

470. primo prodita somno: 'betrayed in their first (and therefore soundest) sleep.' Others understand by ‘first sleep' the sleep of the first night of their arrival.

471. vastabat: ‘was (just before) devastating. He was not represented in the painting as actually engaged in slaughter, but the bodies of the slain, scattered around in the picture, suggest this idea. multa caede : better with vastabat than cruentus.

472. avertit: “is leading away,' driving away. This is the immediate subject, or, so to speak, the action of the picture.

473. gustassent: the pluperfect is used here after an historical present. For the mood, see H. 605, 2; LM. 880; A. 327; B. 292; G. 577; (H. 520, II). .474. Troilus: the youngest son of Priam. 475. atque : connects infelix and impar. Achilli: limits congressus.

476. curru: see. note on I. 226. resupinus : “thrown backward.' The war chariot was very short and low, and open behind. Two warriors usually rode together, one to fight and the other to drive. The chariot in this case is empty, because Troilus is thrown out, and the charioteer, perhaps, has been slain.

477. tamen: 'yet (though he has been thrown out of the chariot).'

478. versa hasta : 'with his inverted spear,' which being held in the right hand, and thrown backward over his shoulder, trails in the dust as he is

dragged along. See Fig. 17. pulvis: the last syllable is lengthened by the ictus. See note on l. 308.

479. Interea : 'in the meanwhile. The paintings seem like a narrative, and hence suggest the narrative term. In the Iliad; VI, 269–312, the Trojan matrons, by the request of Hector, bear a peplum in procession to the temple of Minerva, in the hope of propitiating the angry goddess. non aequae : “unpropitious.' Minerva was under the same provocation to anger as Juno; namely, the judgment of Paris. See l. 27 and note.

480. Crinibus passis : the hair was unbound in token of woe, according to the practice of females in ancient times. Cf. III, 65.

481. Suppliciter: 'as suppliants’; join with tristes. tunsae — pectora : 'beating their breasts. The accusative is used with the perfect participle having a middle or reflexive use. H. 407; LM. 510; A. 240, C, N.; B. 180; G. 338, N. 2; (H. 377). The perfect participle is used as comitatus, l. 312.

482. solo: the ablative with fixos. aversa : “turned away’; to be taken literally; not 'hostile,' though it implies that. The statue is represented in the painting with the head averted and the eyes cast toward the ground.

484. vendebat: this is the incident represented in the picture. Achilles listens to the entreaties of the aged Priam, who kneels before him and begs the body of Hector; while near by is seen the chariot of Achilles with the body fastened to it by leather thongs. The scene is described in the Iliad, XXIV, 478, sqq.

486. spolia: refers to the arms of Hector, lying near the tent of Achilles. Ut: H. 666, 1; LM. 1148; A. 386, anaphora ; B. 350, 11, b; G. 682; (H. 636, III, 3).

487. inermes : in its literal signification, “unarmed'; for he came to Achilles as a suppliant.

488. Se quoque: Aeneas, as one of the most distinguished among the Trojan heroes, must also appear in these paintings; but the particular scenes are not specified. For the government of principibus, see note on dextrae, 1. 408.

489. Eoas: 'eastern.' Memnon, the son of Tithonus and Aurora, and nephew of Priam, came with both Oriental and Aethiopian forces to the succor of Troy, and was slain by Achilles. His arms were made by Vulcan at the solicitation of Aurora. See VIII, 384.

490. Amazonidum: the Amazons, a race of female warriors, were said to dwell near the river Thermodon, in the northern part of Asia Minor. According to the post-Homeric poets, they came to the help of Priam under their queen, Penthesilea, who was killed in battle by Achilles. lunatis — peltis : an ablative of description, limiting agmina.

492. exsertae : "uncovered.' subnectens : = gerens subnexa, 'wearing a girdle bound,' etc.

493. Bellatrix : 'a warlike heroine'; in apposition with Penthesilea. Observe the emphasis given to this appellative by its position in the verse, like

venatrix, 1. 319. audetque, etc. : 'and (though) a virgin,' etc. Fig. 8, copied from a statue in the Vatican, represents an Amazon in the Greek style. The half-moon shield is seen at her side. An Amazon in the Phrygian costume is represented in vase paintings.

[graphic]

494-612. Aeneas is lost in the contemplation of the Ilian pictures, when Queen Dido enters the temple, attended by a numerous train, and proceeds to give audience to her people. While Aeneas and Achates, still invisible, are watching the proceedings, they behold Ilioneus and the other Trojan chiefs belonging to the missing ships entering the temple, followed by a tumultuous crowd of the Carthaginians. llioneus, as the eldest of the party, addresses the Queen, and makes known their name, nation, and recent mishap, complaining of the hostile disposition of her subjects, who have attempted to oppose the landing of the Trojans. He mentions Aeneas and his uncertain fate, and entreats

the Queen to aid the remnant of the Trojans to Fig. 8. — An Amazon

resume their voyage to Italy. Dido makes a

friendly reply, and apologizes for the harsh conduct of her subjects. She offers to give them the desired aid, or to receive them as subjects into her new state. While she is expressing the wish that Aeneas himself were present, and her determination to send messengers everywhere in search of him, the cloud which enveloped him is suddenly dispelled, and he thus appears unexpectedly in the presence of the Queen and his Trojan friends.

494. dum : is joined with a present, though the events are past, the regular construction. H. 553, 4; LM.917; A. 276, e; B. 293, I; G. 570; (H. 467, III, 4). Aeneae : limits videntur as a dative of the agent. Cf. ulli, l. 440. Videri is used as above in l. 326, in its literal sense; while Aeneas is looking at these objects deserving of wonder, 'marvels to see.'

497. Incessit: 'advanced. See note on 1.46. iuvenum : 'of youthful followers'; men and women in the prime and vigor of life. stipante: as comitante, II, 40; V, 76.

498. Qualis — Exercet Diana choros : such as Diana when she leads her

« PreviousContinue »