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comers appear 'they first recognise the shields and lying weapons' which the Trojans wore. The effect is instantaneous ; the confusion, which had hitherto saved the Trojans, ceases and 'straightway we are overwhelmed with numbers' (424).
423. ora...] ‘mark our lips disagreeing in speech (from their own). In Homer Trojans and Greeks alike speak Greek, and Virgil's words here do not necessarily imply more than a divergency of accent or dialect.
426. iustissimus unus] 'most righteous of all men.' Unus which has by itself a superlative force (cf. 5.704) is sometimes added to superlatives or expressions equivalent to a superlative to give emphasis, cf. 1. 15 magis omnibus unam ; 3. 321 felix una ante alias. So solus in 11. 821 fida ante alias quae sola Camillae, and in Greek Il. 12. 243 είς οιωνός άριστος αμύνεσθαι περί TTárpns. For other strengthenings of superlatives cf. 1. 347 n.
427. aequi] ‘justice,' cf. 3. 232 n.
428. dis aliter visum] An interjectional phrase expressive of pious but melancholy acquiescence in what is inscrutable
Heaven willed it otherwise.' Cf. Hom. Od. 1. 234 vûv ó' ετέρως έβόλoντo θεοί κακά μητιόωντες. . The force of aliter is clear : their will is other than we should have expected in the case of such a man. Seneca, says Conington, recommends the use of the expression Di melius as a nobler and wiser ejaculation.
430. infula...] 'A flock of wool knotted regularly along ? vitta or riband, fastened by this riband round the head and hanging down over each side of the head,' Munro, Lucr. 1. 87. It was worn by priests, and its sacred character might have been expected to afford protection to the wearer.
431, flamma extrema meorum] 'O funeral fire of my countrymen.' The burning town became the funeral pyre of those who fell.
432. testor...] 'I call you to witness that in the hour of your fall I shunned...' For the omission of me cf. 3. 201 n.
433. vices Danaum] Servius explains vices here as= pugnas, quia per vicissitudinem pugnabatur,' and so Coning, ton and Wagner take the phrase as meaning 'hand-to-hand encounters with the Greeks.' This view is probably right in the main, though vices cannot by itself = pugnas: the vices Danaum are the answering blows of the Greeks' as Aeneas wildly attacked them hoping to meet one such answering blow' that might prove fatal. Perhaps the French riposte expresses vices.
'Others, considering that vices is frequently used in connecVOL. I
tion with the changes and chances of Fortune, take it here 'hazard of the Greeks,' 'hazard of encounter with the Greeks.'
434. ut caderem] These words are very carefully placed : they must be taken with si fata fuissent (which needs something to complete its meaning and cannot by itself='had fate so willed '), but they also are mentally carried on to meruisse
‘Had fate been that I should fall by my deeds I earned it (i.e. the right to fall).'
divellimur inde : we are torn away thence (i.e. from the fight), Iphitus and Pelias at my side.' Iphitus et Pelias mecum is the real nom. to divellimur, being='I and Iphitus and Pelias.' By his use of the strong word divellimur and by the emphatic position he assigns it, Virgil calls attention to the fact that what happened to Aeneas was caused by force and due to the violence of the fray, and also vigorously marks the change of scene.
Conington places only a comma after Ulixi and connects divellimur with vocati, sacrificing its force and neglecting protinus (437), which marks progress and change in the action.
436. et] 'also.' vulnere Ulixi : 'a wound inflicted by U.'
438. ingentem pugnam] Governed by cernimus, but in 440 Virgil repeats and expands the accusative: ‘here indeed (we behold) å mighty battle, as if other warfare there were none...so do we behold the war-god uncontrolled and....'
ceu cetera nusquam bella forent : lit. as if the rest of the engagements existed nowhere.'
441. acta testudine] 'by the advancing roof (or ‘penthouse ') of shields,’ lit. by the tortoise brought up against it.' The testudo (see drawing in Smith's Dict. Ant.) consists of a body of men who locked their oblong shields together over their heads so as to form a sloping roof over them, and so advanced to the assault of a fortified place.
442. parietibus] Note the scansion, and cf. 5. 589 n.
Virgil describes an assault at and around the gate of the palace, and the object of the assailants is twofold, (1) to burst open the gates, (2) to scale the walls. The besieged are of course chiefly on the roof, but a certain number are also drawn up (450) behind the gate in case it should be forced. The gate must be imagined as standing slightly back from the line of the front of the house, leaving an open space, which is flanked and commanded by the walls and forms the vestibulum, cf. 469. The walls are of moderate height, such as may be scaled, and guarded with a parapet (fastigia, 444) and small turrets (445, 460).
postesque...] 'right up under the very doors they force their way climbing (lit. by the steps' or 'rungs' of the ladders). The phrase emphasises the boldness of the assault as being made exactly where the defence was strongest. The rendering ‘force their way to the gate by the steps (leading up to it)' is impossible, for the position of the words prevents it : you first plant scaling ladders, then climb up them, then try to lay hold of the battlements and climb over.
443. clipeosque...protecti obiciunt] 'and with their left hands present their shields against the missiles to shelter theinselves.' Protecti may be either 'thus protected,' or it may be used in a middle sense and so partly govern clipeos, placing them (the shields) before them, see Appendix.
445. tecta...culmina] 'roof-covering.'
446. his se...] 'with such missiles, seeing that the end is come, now in death's extremity they prepare to defend themselves.'
448. auratas trabes] Cf. 1. 448 n.
449. imas...] ‘are stationed at (i.e. to guard) the doors below (i.e. in opposition to those on the roof).'
451. instaurati...] 'our courage is renewed to succour the royal palace': the inf. depends on the general sense of eagerness contained in instaurati animi, cf. 64 n.
453-485. We gain entrance by a door in the rear, join the defenders on the roof and by overturning a tower on the assailants check them for a while, but they are soon reinforced by others and the fight continues. Pyrrhus especially distinguishes himself in the assault and with a huge axe makes an opening in the door.
453. pervius usus...] 'a passage serving to connect the halls of Priam with one another.' The halls of Priam' are probably his palace and that of his son Hector, which communicated with one another by means of this private door in the rear.
455. a tergo] With postes not with relicti : it was ' a gate in the rear' or 'postern,' which had been left'undefended by those inside and unobserved by the assailants.
457. soceros] 'parents, the father and mother of her husband, Priam and Hecuba.
trahebat: cf. 320 parvumque nepotem ipse trahit ; the word is used for duco to suggest that the boy can scarcely keep pace with his mother who seems to draw him after her."
458. evado] 'I climb up': for e or ex in composition = 'upwards,' 'on high,' cf. 461 eductam rising high’; 553 extulit; 688; and 3. 567 n.
summi fastigia culminis: 'the summit of the highest roof.' For fastigium cf. 302 n.
460. in praecipiti] 'on a sheer edge,' the phrase describes the position of anything when, if it falls, there is nothing whatever to stop its fall. summisque.., : 'and rising aloft to the stars with its highest roof.'
Notice that the construction is turrim...adgressi (part.)... convellimus, and that in the clause unde...videri the verb is solitae (sunt)—'whence often we wont to view all Troy....'
463. qua summa...] 'where its topmost stories afforded weak (or ‘yielding ') joinings. The lower stories of the tower form part of the main building ; 'its topmost stories are those which rise from the level of the roof : at the point where these topmost stories spring from the roof they apply their crowbars, because at this point they would find a joining' and also be enabled to get some leverage. Labantes 'tottering' cannot strictly be applied to iuncturae, but describes the effect on the tower of the attack on 'the joinings.'
464. altis sedibus] 'from its lofty place.' Conington explains as if the words meant ‘from its deep foundation,' but in his translation rightly gives 'from its eminence.'
Notice carefully the elaborate accommodation of sound to sense in the words convellimus ... incidit, and also the change from the present of continued action convellimus to the perfect inpulimus describing a single act.
465. ruinam trahit] Cf. 631. The phrase is exceedingly graphic : when anything high falls after swaying to and fro, it does not fall in separate pieces or collapse, but the highest part seems to lean forward and then suddenly "drag after it' the rest in its fall. The notion of continuity is very strong in traho.
467. subeunt] Cf. 216 n.
470. telis...] 'flashing with arms and brazen sheen. Editors place a comma after exsultat, but coruscus and exsultat go closely together : it is as he 'inoves proudly' that his armour flashes. For luce aena cf. 11. 13. 341 αυγή χαλκείη κορύθων 1 το λαμπ ομενάων. .
471. qualis ubi...] Cf. II. 22. 93, where Hector is awaiting the attack of Achilles,
ως δε δράκων επί χειη ορέστερος άνδρα μένησιν,
ως "Έκτωρ.... The elaboration of Virgil's art is very clear here when contrasted with Homer's natural simplicity, Notice how the simile serves to bring out (1) the youthful vigour of Pyrrhus, (2) the malignancy of his attack, (3) the exceeding brightness of his appearance.
in lucem : 'towards the light': the words strictly go with the verb of motion convolvit 474, but are thrown forward to emphasise the main idea which is that of 'light' (cf. luce in the preceding line), and the construction is influenced by the idea of an attack, advance, or assault which pervades the whole simile.
472. tumidum] ‘gorged' i.e. with the baneful herbs,' which he is digesting and transmuting into venom. The snake which has spent the winter in a state of torporis skilfully described as employing it in recruiting his deadly powers.
473. nunc...] ‘now, his old husk doffed, fresh and glistening with youth.' This line and' 475 are repeated from G. 3. 437, 440 : Virgil in his country life had probably often seen what he describes.
novus iuventa : probably with a reference to his other name Neoptolemus (Neonróleos, young warrior ') which is used 501. Papillon compares Shelley's Hellas ad fin.
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn.' See too Tennyson, The Two Voices, where he describes the dragon-fly,
' An inner impulse rent the veil
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.' 475. arduus...] ‘rearing his head to the sun as he darts from his mouth his forked tongue.' Cf. Tennyson, In Mem. C. 110 'to flicker with his double tongue.'
Micare is strictly used of a quick jerky movement backwards and forwards (cf. micare digitis, which describes a game in which a number of fingers are sharply shot forward), and the