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terrace, of the outer wall, where it is fortified with a battlemented parapet, interrupted here and there with turrets. From this roof, or terrace, Aeneas commands the view both of what is going on outside of the palace in front of the walls and gate, and also in the courts within
460. Turrim : object of convellimus, l. 464. in praecipiti: 'on the edge.' summis Eductam tectis : ‘rising with lofty roof.'
462: solitae : sc. sunt.
463. qua summa labantes, etc.: 'where the topmost stories afforded yielding joints.' The summa tabulata, “highest flooring' or 'highest stories' of the palace, served as the base, or floor, of the tower; and if the tower was of wood, it could be easily thrown down in one mass, when loosened and separated at that point.
464. altis Sedibus : ‘from its lofty foundations'; the tabulata and tectı, or palace roof, just mentioned.
468. interea: refers to the time occupied in tearing up the tower, and in the replacing of the Greeks destroyed by its fall.
469. Vestibulum : “the entrance'into the atrium, or first court. See note on 1. 449.
470. Exsultat: ‘springs to and fro’; indicates the swift movements of the warrior. telis et luce aëna: ‘with the gleaming of brazen weapons. A case of hendiadys (see note on I, 61).
471. Qualis ubi: the full expression would be talis, qualis est coluber, ubi, etc. See note on I, 316.
472. sub terra : is contrasted with in lucem. tumidum: he is supposed to be swollen by eating venomous herbs.
473. positis exuviis: ‘his old skin laid aside.'
475. Arduus ad solem : 'uprising toward the sun.' ore: ablative of place.
477. Scyria pubes: “the Scyrian band’; followers of Pyrrhus, from the island of Scyros, one of the Cyclades, which was ruled over by Lycomedes, the grandfather of Pyrrhus.
478. Succedunt tecto: 'advance to the palace. They hurl firebrands up to the battlements, to prevent the Trojans from casting down missiles on Pyrrhus and the other assailants.
479. Ipse: Pyrrhus.
480. Limina: the lintel and threshold, for the door. perrumpit, vellit: the present denotes the continuance of the act, the attempt to break' and
wrench, contrasted with cavavit and dedit (11. 481, 482), which denote the completion of the act. postes : = fores, “the door.' cardine: the hole in the lintel and threshold, in which the pivots at the top and bottom of the door turned. See Fig. 19.
481. Aeratos: ‘bronze,' covered with bronze. Cf. I, 448, 449.
482. ore: limits fenestram ; "an opening with a broad mouth. See note on silvis, I, 164.
483. Apparet: through this opening the great central apartments are at once visible to the Greeks; for the vestibule admitted directly to the courts, which were connected by open passages, so that the eye could range through the whole at one view.
485. Armatos: the armed guards defending the vestibule, mentioned in 1. 449. vident: refers to the Greeks.
487. cavae aedes: a second court, or square, around which the more private apartments were built, was often called cavaedium, but Virgil may not necessarily have been thinking of this
Fig. 19 part of the Roman house in the expres
The first illustration is designed to show
the general shape of the ancient door. The sion, cavae aedes.
postis was the upright pillar (a, b), at
whose ends were fastened bronze pivots 491. Instat vi patria : ‘presses on
(shown on an enlarged scale in the annexed with his father's fury'; with the im
These pivots moved in bronze
sockets (cardines), made in the threshold petuosity inherited from his father, the and lintel. The third cut presents a horiwrathful Achilles.
zontal cross section of the door with the
threshold (ll. 480 sqq.). 492. sufferre: 'to withstand (him).' ariete: pronounced here ar-ye-te. See note on 1. 16. The battering-ram in its primitive form is probably meant, i.e. a long stick of timber, wielded by men without the aid of machinery. crebro: as below, 1. 627.
493. cardine, postes: see above, l. 480. Join cardine with emoti; “started from the socket.'
495. milite: used as a collective noun. See note on 1. 20.
496. aggeribus ruptis : 'the barriers burst.' The Po in many places was kept within its channel, like the lower Mississippi at the present day, by embankments; and Virgil was familiar with the disastrous floods produced by a crevasse, or breach in the dike.
497. Exiit: i.e. from its channel.
499. Vidi ipse: 'I myself saw.' Aeneas, who had been repelling the storming party of Greeks from the battlements, was compelled to witness the entrance of Neoptolemus and the other assailants at the gate, without the power to render help.
501. nurus: daughters'; put for both the daughters and daughters-inlaw of Hecuba: per aras: usually explained as equivalent to inter aras.
504. Barbarico: ‘barbaric’; because the gold and spoils which adorned the door posts were trophies captured from foreign or barbarian enemies of the
Trojans. It was customary to hang such spoils on the door posts of houses, as well as of temples. Cf. V, 393; VII, 183. The same use of barbaric' occurs in Milton, Par. Lost, II, 3:
'Or where the gorgeous East, with richest hand,
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold.' 506. fuerint: see note on videat, I, 181. The fate of Priam has just been indicated in general terms, but it is natural to ask the particulars of his death. requiras: H. 552; LM. 717, 718; A. 311, a; B. 280, 1; G. 257; (H. 486, 1).
507. uti: temporal, as ut, in l. 67. 508. medium : cf. I, 348.
509. Arma: especially the lorica. diu: join with desueta. senior: the aged king.'
510. umeris: dative. See note on 1, 412. ferrum: accusative with cingitur, which has a middle force. See note on exuvias, l. 275.
1 511. fertur: 'is hurrying ’; but he is interrupted by Hecuba. See l. 515. moriturus : cf. periturus, 1. 408.
512. Aedibus in mediis : 'in the midst of the palace'; in the inner court. See note on l. 487. nudo sub axe: under the open vault.'
515. nequiquam: 'in vain’; for, in the end, its sacredness failed to save them. circum: see note on I, 32.
516. Praecipites: : = se praecipitantes.
517. sedebant: it was the custom to flee for refuge, in time of peril, to the altars and images of the gods.
519. mens : ‘purpose.' 520. cingi: sc. te.
521. auxilio: for the ablative, see note on l. 44. defensoribus istis : “such defenses as those (weapons) of thine.'
522. non, si, etc. : 'not even if my Hector were now here. For not even Hector could now help us with arms; it is only the altar, and the gods, that
can save us.
525. sacra in sede: i.e. on the altar, or steps of the altar.
526. Polites has been defending the entrance to the palace, in company with those mentioned in l. 449. Pyrrhus, from whom he has already received a deadly wound, is on the point of dispatching him. Pyrrhi de caede: “from the death-dealing hand of Pyrrhus.'
528. Porticibus : along the porticoes’; the ablative of the way or route. His flight is through the colonnades which surround the courts, and also across the courts.
vacua : either empty,' referring to some of the courts not yet occupied by the Greeks, or “open,' spacious,' Cf. 1. 761. lustrat: 'traverses.'
529. infesto vulnere: 'with deadly aim'; join with insequitur.
530. iam iam: ‘now, even now. -que: connects insequitur with the following verbs. premit: 'is close upon him.'
533. in media morte tenetur : i.e. death is all around him; his son lies before him dead, and his own death is imminent.
535. ausis : reckless deeds.'
539. foedasti: 'hast violated. It implies both the outrage to his nature as a father, and the defiling of his person with the blood of the slain; for the touch, or even the presence, of a corpse rendered the individual religiously impure.
540. quo: H. 469, 2; LM. 609; A. 244, a and N. 1; B. 215; G. 395; (H. 415, II). mentiris : "you falsely pretend’; for you would dishonor such a father.
541. in hoste: 'in respect to (toward) his enemy.' iura fidemque supplicis erubuit: ‘he respected (lit. 'blushed at ') a suppliant's rights, a suppliant's trust.'
542. sepulcro: dative of the purpose; "for burial.'
547. ergo: “so then. The particle expresses bitter irony. The future here is almost equivalent to an imperative.
549. Degenerem: a scornful allusion to the comparison between father and son, just made by Priam, 11. 540 sqq.
550. Hoc dicens: 'while saying this.' trementem : not with fear, but with age. See l. 509.
552. Implicuit comam laeva: for comae laevam. Cf. 1. 723.
553. Extulit: raised on high. lateri: dative for in latus. See note on 1. 18. capulo tenus : 'up to the hilt. For the position of tenus, see note on I, 13.
555. Sorte tulit: 'befell by fate.'
558. sine nomine : 'without a name’; because deprived of the head, that by which the individual is distinguished.
559-631. Aeneas is reminded, by the fate of Priam and his house, of his own father and family, and is hastening homeward, when he discovers the Grecian Helen, the cause of all these misfortunes, hiding in the temple of Vesta. He stops, and is on the point of taking vengeance by putting her to death, but he is deterred by his mother, who appears to him in her own form, and reveals to him the gods at work in the destruction of Troy. He submits to fate, and, guarded by Venus, arrives at his home in safety.
559. tum primum: Aeneas is now for the first time awakened to all the horrors of his own situation, and that of his family.
562. subiit : "came to my mind '; sc. mentem. Cf. 1. 575. Creusa: wife of Aeneas, and daughter of Priam.
563. domus : has the last syllable long under the ictus. See note on pavor, 1. 369. casus: “the fortune'; as in I, 623.
564. Respicio : *I look about.' He has been absorbed in the scene in the court below, and the death of Priam. Now he withdraws his eyes to consider what is going on around him on the battlements. sit: subjunctive mood in indirect question. quae copia: "what force?'
566. Ad terram, etc. : “they have cast themselves (from the battlements) to the ground. The perfect definite is used here with reference to the preceding historical present.
567. The passage, as far as l. 587, appears inconsistent with VI, 510-527, and is said to have been set aside by Tucca and Varius, the critics to whom the manuscript of Virgil was committed by Augustus. Hence, it is wanting in the best manuscripts; but it is regarded as Virgilian by recent commentators, and is retained in practically all texts. adeo : Virgil often joins this particle with iam. It may be translated, .so now.' super unus eram : for supereram. limina: shrine.'
568. servantem:*keeping’; i.e. holding, as a place of refuge, secure on account of its sacredness.
570. Erranti: he has left the battlements of the palace, but is still on the Acropolis, seeking to escape to his own house, without coming in contact with the enemy. Hence he pursues a devious course, looking about cautiously, oculos per cuncta ferenti.
571. eversa Pergama: 'the overthrow of Troy. See note on l. 413.
572. poenas Danaum: “punishment inflicted by the Greeks. What genitive? Cf. Ulixi, 1. 436. coniugis : Menelaus.
573. communis Erinys: because she had been the cause of the ten years' war, which had been attended with many disasters to the Greeks, and was now closing with the destruction of Troy.
574. aris sedebat: i.e. on the steps of the altar. invisa : “odious,' hateful.'
575. ignes: ‘fury'; the fires of passion. subit ira: "wrath enters (my soul).'
576. The infinitives as in l. 10. sceleratas poenas : = sceleris poenas. Cf. VI, 563.
577. Mycenas: put for Graeciam. Cf. I, 650.