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940 Et iam iamque magis cunctantem flectere sermo
Coeperat, infelix umero cum apparuit alto
Straverat atque umeris inimicum insigne gerebat. 945 Ille, oculis postquam saevi monumenta doloris
Exuviasque hausit, furiis accensus, et ira
Immolat, et poenam scelerato ex sanguine sumit.” 950 Hoc dicens ferrum adverso sub pectore condit
Fervidus. Ast illi solvuntur frigore membra,
Ille ego, qui quondam gracili modulatus avena
The above verses are usually placed, in the editions of Virgil, at the beginning of the Aeneid, but printed in a form different from that of the text, as an indication that there is a question as to their authenticity, and as to their proper connection with the poem. They were known to Servius, the great commentator on Virgil, and seem not unworthy of the poet. But, on the other hand, the lines are not found in the best manuscripts, while “all antiquity,” as Ribbeck says, “recognizes the words arma virumque as the beginning of the poem.” They were thus understood by Propertius and quoted by Ovid, contemporaries practically of the poet, and by the later writers, Martial and Persius. It is possible that these four lines were prefixed by the poet to one or more copies of the first book presented to personal friends. At any rate, although they may be Virgilian, they should not form part of the text.
Trans. : ‘I, that poet who formerly tuned my song with the slender pipe, and (then) coming forth from the wood (i.e. dismissing sylvan or pastoral themes) taught the neighboring fields to fulfill the desire of the husbandman, however greedy (i.e. made his labors fruitful through the teachings of my poems on husbandry), a work (of song) acceptable to the tillers of the soil : yet now sing the bristling arms of Mars.'
ego : sc. cano.
vicina : 'neighboring,' near by the woods, implying that the subjects of the Bucolics and Georgics are nearly related.
horrentia : the idea of “terrible' or ' dreadful' is occasionally associated, as perhaps here, with the literal meaning of horrens.
The storm at sea, the landing of Aeneas near Carthage, and his reception at the palace of Dido.
1-7. The exordium: “ Arms I sing, and the man, driven by fate from his native Ilium: who endured many hardships of land and sea and until he founded in Latium the kingdom from which sprang mighty Rome.” Thus are indicated briefly the contents of the entire poem: Aeneas, obedient to the fates and to the gods, in his wanderings, his trials, and his war of conquest. In multum et terris iactatus et alto, we have the subject of the first six books of the epic, which thus far resembles the Odyssey; in multa quoque et bello passus that of the last six books, in which the poet describes warlike scenes like those of the Iliad.
1. qui: relatives and other connectives are often displaced in poetry, and sometimes very widely, from their regular position. primus : “first,' in the usual sense of the first who.' There is no inconsistency between this statement and that made in l. 242 in regard to Antenor, for Patavium, which this Trojan hero founded, being in Cisalpine Gaul, was not regarded by Virgil as strictly within the limits of Italy.
2. Italiam: for ad Italiam. In poetry the omission of prepositions is frequent before accusatives and ablatives of place; the cases being sufficient to express, without prepositions, the relations of 'to,' from,' and • in. fato profugus : “exiled by fate'; by fate a wanderer.' Thus is presented at the very beginning the idea of the supremacy of fate, which gives unity to the Aeneid. Lavina : for the regular form, Lavinia. Lavina litora is added to Italiam to restrict the meaning. Cf. 1. 569.
3. ille: in apposition with qui, recalls and emphasizes the subject. iactatus, passus : to be taken as participles.
4. superum : for superorum, 'the gods above '; equivalent here to divina, agreeing with vi, and referring especially to Juno; for she alone of the Olympian gods was persecuting Aeneas. saevae : in poetry, adjectives and genitives are commonly separated from the substantives to which they belong. memorem : relentless'; that forgets not.
5. quoque : join with multa. et: connects the foregoing et terris et alto with bello; .in war also (as well as on land and sea) having suffered much besides.' dum conderet : 'while he was striving to found”; expressing an idea of purpose. H. 603, II, 2; LM. 921; A. 328; B. 293, III, 2; G. 572; (H. 519, II, 2).1
1 H. = Harkness's Complete Latin Grammar (references to Harkness's Standard Latin Grammar in parentheses) ; LM. = Lane and Morgan's; A. = Allen and Greenough's; B. = Bennett's; G. = Gildersleeve's. Common abbreviations used in the Notes are: 1. = line; sc. (scilicet) = supply; trans. = translate; cf. (confer) = compare; indic. = indicative; subj. = subjunctive; pl. = plural; p., pp. = page pages; lit. = literally. For other abbreviations, see list preceding the Vocabulary.
6. Latio : the dative instead of the accusative with in. H. 419, 4; LM. 540; A. 225, 6, 3; B. 193, 1; G. 358, N. 2; (H. 380, II, 4). unde is equivalent to qua ex re; from the fact that Aeneas suffered and did thus, originated the Latin race, Alba, and Rome. For the position of unde, see note on qui, 1. 1. Latinum: the aborigines and the Trojans were united under the common name of Latini.
7. altae : Rome, like many cities of Italy, was built on elevated ground, for greater security from attack. Perhaps, however, the reference is to its lofty walls. “The main purpose of the Aeneid is indicated in these lines; namely, to celebrate growth, in accordance with a divine dispensation of the Roman empire and Roman civilization' (Nettleship).
8-11. The invocation to the Muse.
8. quo numine laeso : 'what divine purpose thwarted?' what interest violated ? referring to Juno's favorite plan of making Carthage the mistress of the world. For another example of numen in the sense of 'will’or “purpose,' see V, 56.
9. tot volvere casus: 'to pass through so many vicissitudes.' The incidents of life, like time itself, are conceived as moving in a round or circle; hence, 'turning' is a metaphor signifying 'to pass through. The infinitive here is poetic for ut volveret.
10. pietate: embodying the predominant quality of Aeneas's character, emphasized throughout the Aeneid, “absolute loyalty to duty.' See note to l. 220.
11. Impulerit: H. 649, II; LM. 810; A. 334; B. 300; G. 467; (H. 529, I). animis : H. 430; LM. 542; A. 231; B. 190; G. 349; (H. 387). Cf. Milton's well-known line, Par. Lost, 6, 788:
'in heavenly breasts could such perverseness dwell?' 12–33. The reply to the questions addressed above to the Muse. The present occasion for the hostility of Juno toward Aeneas is her apprehension for the fate of Carthage, which is destined to be overthrown by the future Rome (12-22); besides this, she remembers the war she has just conducted against Troy, and the causes of the resentment which occasioned that war are still rankling in her mind; namely (1), the origin of the Trojan race through Dardanus from Jupiter and Electra; (2) the choice of the Trojan Ganymede to be cup-bearer of the gods instead of Juno's daughter, Hebe; (3) the decision (iudicium) of the Trojan prince, Paris, by whom the golden apple was awarded to Venus, in preference to Juno and Minerva.
12. Urbs antiqua : Carthage was 'ancient’ with reference to the time of Virgil, not to the time of Aeneas. Tyrii : the founders of Carthage and their descendants are termed indifferently by Virgil Phoenices, Sidonii, Poeni, or Tyrii.
13. Karthago: for information concerning proper names, location of cities, etc., see the Vocabulary, and Map, p. 30. contra: for prepositions placed after their cases, see H. 676, 1; LM. 668; A. 263, N.; B. 144, 3; G. 678, 3; (H. 569, II, 1). longe: is joined with contra. Not only opposite but ‘far' opposite; separated from the mouth of the Tiber by the Mediterranean Sea.
14. dives, etc. : 'rich in resources, and formidable in the pursuits of war.' See H. 451, 2; LM. 573; A. 218, a; B. 204, 1; G. 374; (H. 399, I, 3).
15. terris magis : for the ablative with the comparative, instead of the accusative of the object, see H. 471, 3; LM. 616; A. 247, a, N.; B. 217; G. 398, 296, R.; (H. 417, 1, N. 1). unam: emphatic; ‘one in particular '; here the emphasis is increased by its position at the end of the verse.
16. Posthabita Samo :'(even) Samos being less esteemed.' The most ancient temple and worship of Juno were in the island of Samos, where she was nurtured, and where she was married to Jupiter. The -o in Samo is not elided here, and yet retains its quantity, the hiatus being relieved by the caesural pause.
17. Hic currus fuit: the gods, like the heroes, used war chariots. Hic refers to Urbs (1. 12) and in hac urbe. hoc: agrees with the following noun, regnum, though it refers to Urbs. H. 396, 2; A. 195, d; B. 246, 5; G. 211, R. 5; (H. 445, 4). regnum esse : “to be the ruling power.' The infinitive after tenditque fovetque instead of ut sit. Regnum is a substitute for regno, a dative of the end, and gentibus a dative of the thing affected. See H. 433; LM. 548; A. 233, a; B. 191, 2; G. 356; (H. 390, II, N. 2).
18. Si qua: “if in any way. sinant: H. 576; LM. 936; A. 305, 6, 2; B. 303; G. 596, 1; (H. 507). iam tum : 'even then’; so early in the history of Carthage; before it was even completely built, and before it had subdued even the neighboring tribes of Africa. tenditque fovetque : «both purposes and fondly hopes.' The couplet, que- que, for et - et, - both — and,' is not infrequent in poetry.
19. sed enim : an elliptical expression; "but (she feared for Carthage) for she had heard.' Trans. “but yet,' 'but indeed.' Cf. the language of Tennyson, The Coming of Arthur:
‘But for he heard of Arthur newly crowned.' duci:
was being derived'; the race was even then springing up. 20. quae verteret: for the subjunctive, see H. 590; LM. 835; A. 317, 2; B. 282, 2; G. 630; (H. 497, I). The 'overthrow of the Tyrian citadels' has reference to the sack of Carthage by Scipio Aemilianus, B.C. 146.
21. Hinc: "hence'; i.e. from this offspring. late regem: for late reg. nantem ; 'ruling far and wide.' This usage of the substantive for an adjective or participle is chiefly poetical. For the adverb before rex, see H. 497, 5; LM. 670; A. 188, d; B. 354, d; G. 439; (H. 359, N. 4).