Page images


B. Bennett's Latin Grammar; A. = Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar; G. Gildersleeve's; H = Harkness's Complete Latin Grammar.


Prefixed to the opening lines of the first book of the Aeneid in many manuscripts of the poem are the four following verses:

Ille ego, qui quondam gracili modulatus avena
Carmen, et egressus silvis vicina coëgi

Ut quamvis avido parerent arva colono,

Gratum opus agricolis; at nunc horrentia Martis.

I (am) he that once tuned my song on slender pipe of straw, and coming forth from forest glades did make the neighboring fields to yield obedience to the greedy farmer, a work to peasants sweet; but now (I sing) the dreadful deeds of Mars.

But it is doubtful whether these lines were written by Virgil. If they were, they were at most intended as a dedicatory inscription on copies of the Aeneid sent to friends, and were not meant to constitute a part of the poem. The words gracili modulatus avena refer to Virgil's first published works, the Eclogues or pastorals; egressus silvis means, ‘abandoning pastoral themes'; in vicina . . . coëgi, the allusion is to the Georgics, Virgil's poetical treatise on farming; horrentia Martis (limiting arma in line 1) refers to the contents of the Aeneid.

1-7. The poet announces his theme.

1. virum qui: viz. Aeneas, whose name gives the title to the poem. primus: first; the meaning is not that Aeneas was the first of a series of Trojans who settled in Italy, but merely that he marks the first beginning of the Roman race.

2. Italiam ... litora: to Italy and the Lavinian shores. In poetry the accusative of any noun denoting a place may be used without a preposition to denote the limit of motion; B. 182, 4; A. 428, g; G.337, N. 1; H. 419, 3. Note that the initial I of Italia is here used as long. In


prose, as Quintilian expressly assures us, this I was short. But adherence to this quantity would have made the word impossible to use in the dactylic hexameter (Ĭtăliă); hence in this metre the I, by poetic license, is regularly lengthened. fato profugus: by fate an exile, i.e. driven from home in accordance with the decrees of fate fato is Ablative of Accordance; B. 220, 3; A. 418, a; G. 399, n. 1; H. 475, 3. Lavina litora: i.e. the shores of Latium. 'Lavinian applies properly to the city of Lavinium, which Aeneas named in honor of his wife, Lavinia; but here the word is poetically used of the general district (Latium) in which Lavinium was situated.

3. multum: here an adverb, limiting jactatus. ille in apposition with qui, and introduced for the purpose of bringing out in stronger relief the idea which jactatus limits. et... et correlatives. terris, alto: on land, on the deep. The poets freely use the ablative without a preposition to denote the place where; B. 228, 1, d ; A. 429, 4; G. 385, N. 1; H. 485, 3.

4. superum: genitive plural. Instead of the ending -orum, Virgil and other poets often use the earlier ending -um; B. 25, 6; A. 49, d; G. 33, R. 4; H. 84, 3. saevae memorem Junonis iram: an instance of the so-called 'interlocked' order (or Synchysis), a favorite arrangement of words in poetry; B. 350, 11, d; A. 598, h. Junonis ob iram: Juno's hatred of the Trojans had been occasioned by the slight put upon her by the Trojan Paris, who awarded the golden apple as the prize of beauty to Venus; see the note on line 27.

5. multa quoque et bello passus: and having suffered much besides in war. bello: viz. against the enemies he encountered after his arrival in Italy. dum conderet. . . inferretque: in his desire, or purpose, of founding . . . and bringing (as he struggled to build him a city, etc., C.1); an illustration of a dum- clause embodying a wish entertained by the subject of the leading verb, -a use of dum too little noticed in our Latin grammars; B. 310, 1.


6. deos i.e. the guardian gods of Troy, whose images Aeneas had brought with him after the fall of the city. Latio to Latium; Dative of the Goal; B. 193, 1; cf. A. 428, h; G. 358, N. 2; H. 419, 4. genus Latinum, Albani patres, moenia Romae: these three phrases suggest the three different seats of power occupied by Aeneas and his descendants, viz. Lavinium founded by Aeneas, Alba by his son Ascanius, and Rome by his descendants, Romulus and Remus. It is

1 Passages marked "C" are from Conington's prose translation of the Aeneid.

inexact to refer the Latin race to Aeneas for its origin. The Latins existed in Italy before Aeneas's arrival. He, however, gave the name 'Latini' to the united peoples, Trojans and Latins. unde: the antecedent is involved in the general idea contained in the words dum conderet, etc., viz. Aeneas's settlement in Italy.

[ocr errors]

7. Albani patres: by Alban fathers,' Virgil means the Alban ancestors of the Romans. altae: referring to Rome's situation on the seven hills.

8-11. Invocation of the Muse.

8. mihi: the final i of mihi (regularly short) is here long. This is not an arbitrary license, but is a reminiscence of the original quantity of the final syllable. quo . impulerit: what divine purpose was thwarted, or what resentment the queen of the gods cherished, that she forced a hero, etc.; literally, what divine purpose having been thwarted (Ablative Absolute) or smarting at what, etc. The clause quo . . . impulerit is explanatory of causas.

9. quid dolens: literally, pained at what, smarting at what; B. 175, 2, b; A. 388, a; G, 330, R.; H. 405, 1. regina deum: viz. Juno; for the form deum (= deorum), see the note on superum, line 4.

10. insignem pietate virum: referring to Aeneas. By pietas, we must not understand mere ceremonial devotion. Latin pietas and pius cover goodness in all its phases; as applied to Aeneas they signify his devotion to the gods, his country, his family, his followers, and his dedication to the eternal principles of right and justice.

11. impulerit: Subjunctive of Indirect Question; B. 300; A. 574; G. 467; H. 649, II. tantaene, etc.: do heavenly minds cherish such wrath? Literally, (is) so great wrath to heavenly minds? animis is Dative of Possession; as verb with irae, understand sunt. Note the plural in irae, suggesting special instances of the quality; B. 55, 4, c; A. 100, c; G. 204, n. 5; H. 138, 2.

12-33. The poet tells the causes of Juno's hatred.

12. Tyrii: Carthage was said to have been settled from Tyre. tenuere as object understand eam, referring to urbem.

13. Italiam contra: the placing of a preposition after the word it governs is not infrequent in poetry; the figure is called Anastrophe. longe with contra, — far away opposite Italy, etc.


14. opum: in resources; B. 204, 1; A. 349, a; G. 374; H. 451, 2. But dives is not thus construed except in the poets. studiis: Abla

tive of Specification.

15. fertur: is said. terris: Ablative of Comparison; B. 217; A. 406; G. 398; H. 471. unam: alone; to be taken with quam, but placed with omnibus for the sake of emphasizing the antithesis.

16. posthabita Samo: esteeming (even) Samos less; literally, Samos being esteemed less. According to the myth, Juno had been nurtured on the island of Samos; one of her most famous temples was also located there. Notice that the final o of Samo is not here elided. Such retention is known as Hiatus. hic: the adverb. illius: in the genitive termination -ius the poets often use the i as short.

17. fuit agreeing with the nearer subject. hoc regnum, etc.: the goddess strove and cherished (the hope) even then that this (viz. this city, Carthage) should be ruler (literally, ruling power) of the nations, if in any way the Fates should permit; hoc, for hanc (urbem), is attracted to the gender of the predicate noun, regnum; B. 246, 5; A. 296, a; G. 211, R. 5; H. 396, 2. dea: Juno. gentibus: a poetic use of the dative where we should expect the Objective Genitive. esse: object infinitive of tendit and fovet.

18. si qua: if in any way; qua is the indefinite adverb. sinant: subjunctive of subordinate clause in indirect discourse. tendit, fovet: Historical Presents. -que... que: correlatives. In poetry -que -que are freely used where in prose we have et


et. But the

Latin often uses correlatives where the English idiom does not. Thus here we should not render the first -que.

sed enim: but

19. progeniem, etc.: referring to the Romans. alas!; enim did not originally mean for,' but indeed,' 'in truth,' etc. This original force is often retained in classical Latin in the combinations neque enim, sed enim. In the present passage, the enim has even pathetic force.

20. Tyrias arces: i.e. the citadel of Carthage, so called because Carthage was a Tyrian settlement. olim: one day. verteret: overthrow; here used in the sense of everteret; i.e. the simple verb has the force of the compound. This usage is a common feature in the poetry of Virgil's age and in the prose of the era immediately following; verteret represents a future indicative of direct discourse.

21. hinc: viz. from Trojan stock. late regem: widely ruling; the noun rex is here poetically used with the force of a participle.

22. exscidio Libyae: for the destruction of Libya, i.e. of Carthage, which was situated in Libya; exscidio is Dative of Purpose. sic volvere Parcas: thus the Fates decreed; literally, unrolled, i.e. spun the thread of destiny. The Parcae were Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, conceived as spinning the fate of men; volvere is here used in the

[ocr errors]

sense of evolvere, another instance of the use of the simple verb for the compound.

23. Saturnia: i.e. Juno, the daughter of Saturn. etc. viz. the Trojan War.

belli quod,

24. prima: as leader; prima limits ea understood, the subject of gesserat. Among the gods, Juno had been the most conspicuous champion of the Greeks in the war against Troy. ad Trojam : around Troy; B. 182, 3; A. 428, d; G. 386, R. 2. Argis: ablative plural of Argi (-orum), another form of Argos, the capital of Argolis. By saying in behalf of dear Argos,' Virgil means, in behalf of Greece' (Synecdoche). Juno was a very prominent divinity in Argive worship. Remains of her temple near Argos have recently been brought to light.

25. necdum etiam: and not even yet. irarum: on the use of the plural for the singular, see note on irae, line 11.

26. alta mente: literally, in her deep mind, i.e. deeply in her mind; the words limit repostum. repostum: by Syncope for repositum.

27. judicium Paridis: "Once upon a time, when Peleus and Thetis solemnized their nuptials, all the gods were invited to the marriage, with the exception of Eris, or Strife. Enraged at her exclusion, the goddess threw a golden apple among the guests, with the inscription, To the fairest.' Thereupon Juno, Venus, and Minerva each claimed the apple for herself. Jupiter ordered Mercury to take the goddesses to Mt. Gargarus, a portion of Ida, to the beautiful shepherd Paris, who was there tending his flocks, and who was to decide the dispute. The goddesses accordingly appeared before him. Juno promised him the sovereignty of Asia and great riches, Minerva glory and renown in war, and Venus the fairest of women for his wife. Paris decided in favor of Venus, and gave her the golden apple. This judgment called forth in Juno and Minerva fierce hatred against Troy." Smith's Classical Dictionary. spretaeque injuria formae: and the insult of slighting her beauty; -que does not here add a new circumstance, but simply puts in other words the idea already conveyed by judicium Paridis. For the force of spretae injuria, etc., see B. 337, 6; A. 497, a ; H. 636, 4; (spretae) formae is Appositional Genitive, i.e. the affront (injuria) consisted in slighting her beauty; B. 202; A. 343, d; G. 440, 4.

28. genus invisum: viz. the Trojans. Juno hated the Trojans not merely on account of the Trojan Paris and Trojan Ganymede, but because the race was sprung from Electra, her rival in Jupiter's affection. rapti Ganymedis : Ganymede was a Trojan prince

« PreviousContinue »