Page images

185, 186. The emphasis is on immensam and coelo. They were not only advised to build this substitute for the Palladium, but to build it of vast dimensions, and to rear it to heaven, so that the Trojans might not get it into the city to serve as a new Palladium, and that they might be tempted through suspicion to lay violent hands upon it, and thus incur the anger of Minerva.- -186. Roboribus; the means of attollere.- -Coelo; dative for ad coelum. Comp. 8.- -187. Portis; the way or route by which a motion proceeds is put in the ablative without a preposition. Gr. § 255, 2; Madvig, § 274.- -Moenia; for urbem.—Possit; the present subjunctive shows that jussit is the perfect definite: has ordered. Gr. § 258, i..1; Z. 512.- -188. Neu; for neve; or lest.-Antiqua sub religione; under their former worship; under the same religious security as that which they had enjoyed under the Palladium.- -Nam violasset; for (said Calchas) if your hand should violate; this is the continuation, in the oblique form, of what Calchas had stated. Saying, thinking, &c., are often implied in the foregoing verb, as here in jussit. See Gr. § 270, R. 2, b; Z. § 620. For the infinitive and subjunctive here, see Gr. § 266, 2, and R. 4; Z. § 603.

-190. Quod omen; which token, which ruin; by metonymy for the destruction indicated by the omen.- -Ipsum; Calchas.- -193. Ultro. Forbiger interprets: from afar. But all the nations of Asia allied with Troy may, after the present occasion of hostility shall have been forgotten, be led by a common impulse, and without provocation, to make war upon Greece. Hence the usual signification of ultro, spontaneously, may be taken here.

–194. Nostros refers to the Greeks.—Ea fata; such fates; such destruction awaits the Grecian posterity if the horse goes into the city, as would fall upon the Trojans if they should injure the horse.-196. Credita res; the story was believed.- -197. Larissaeus; derived from Larissa, an ancient city of Thessaly. Gr. § 128, 6, h.-198. Mille; a round number; Homer, Il. ii. 494, sq., makes the exact number of the Grecian ships 1186.199. Hic. See on 122.- -Aliud; another event. For the neuter adjective used substantively, see Gr. § 205, R. 7, (2), (3); Z. § 363. -Majus; even a greater incident than the adventure of Sinon.200. Improvida pectora turbat; according to Thiel: disturbs our minds already surprised; according to Heyne and others, an instance of prolepsis: disturbs our minds so that they become imprudent; so that they lose all discretion. Comp. i. 637, and below, 228.-Ductus sorte; though priest of Apollo, Laocoon was appointed by lot to offer sacrifices to Neptune, whose favor had been forfeited by the Trojans in consequence of the treachery of their former king, Laomedon. See below, 610.

-202. Solemnes; used properly of the sacrifice itself, but applied here, as not unfrequently, to the place where the sacrifice is made, the sacrificial, or ritual altar.- -203. Ecce. See on 57.-Gemini; for duo, with the additional idea of resemblance in size, appearance, and motion. Comp. i. 162.-A Tenedo. The serpents come from Tenedos, as an omen that the

army of the Greeks is coming from thence to the destruction of Troy.Per alta (maria); along the deep; join with incumbunt.- -204. Immensis orbibus; of, or with enormous folds; an ablative of description, limiting angues. Gr. § 211, R. 6; Z. § 471.- -205. Incumbunt pelago; translate in connection with per alta: swim along the tranquil waters pressing upon the sea. For the force of incumbere, and the case following it, see on i. 84. Pariter; side by side, or with an equal course.- -Tendunt; supply cursum, as in i. 205.- -206. Arrecta; stretched or straining; not the same as erecta.- -207. Sanguineae; bloody; of the color of blood.- -Pars cetera ; all except the head and breast.- -Pontum pone legit; courses the sea behind.- -208. Comp. iii. 127.- -Sinuatque; in connection with legit translate as a present participle, sinuans, curving. Comp. 224.- -Volumine; for the plural; in folds; meaning the undulating curves made by the long bodies of the serpents, in propelling themselves over the waves. 209. Spumante salo; ablative of the instrument; by the foaming sea. In some editions it is punctuated as an ablative absolute.—Arva; the shores. -210. Oculos; the Greek accusative after suffecti. See on i. 228.212. Visi exsangues; terrified by the sight.- -Agmine certo; in an undeviating course; indicating that they had been sent by a higher power expressly to destroy Laocoon, and were not merely seeking for prey. Agmen is. also used of the motion of a snake in v. 90.- -215. Morsu depascitur; devours; de is intensive.—216. Post; adverbially for postea.—Ipsum refers to Laocoon.—Subeuntem; going up to their aid. Auxilio is a dative of the end or purpose under Gr. § 227, R. 2; Z. § 422.- -218. Medium • supply cum; around his body; literally, him middle. See Gr. § 205, R. 17. -Collo; around his neck. For the dative, see Gr. § 249, R. 3;. Z. § 418. -219. Superant; rise above him.—Capite; for capitibus; with their heads. Comp. volumine, 208, and similar instances of the singular for the plural in i. 579; vii. 392; ix. 721; x. 334.- Cervicibus altis; with their necks (stretched on) high.- -221. Vittas; Greek accusative; see on i. 228. -223. Quales mugitus; (such) bellowings as the bull raises when he has fled, &c. Taurus in prose would stand in the principal clause, thus: quales mugitus taurus tollit. Tales, agreeing with clamores, is understood as the antecedent of quales. Comp. i. 316, and 430. Determine the tense of fugit by scanning the verse. If Virgil was familiar with the famous statue of Laocoon, now preserved in the Vatican, he chose rather, with true poetic taste, to transfer the spirit of that great work to his description, than to adhere to the original in respect to all its details. In the poet's picture we have the old man alone in the folds of the serpents, the boys having been previously destroyed.- -225. At; in transition. Comp. i. 267.-226. Saevae; cruel; not as an attribute, but in a restricted sense; angry with the Trojans.- -Tritonidis. See on 171.- -Arcem; for templum; it was situated on the highest part of the Acropolis.— -227. Sub pedibus. The statues of Minerva are draped to the feet, and some of them, as the Minerva

Medica in the Vatican, have a snake coiled at the feet; and in some, as the Minerva Salutifera, also in the Vatican, there are two serpents represented.


No doubt many of the conceptions of the poet were caught from Grecian statues, multitudes of which were in his time to be seen in Italy. The statue here fancied by Virgil to be in the temple is not of course the Palladium, but some large statue of the goddess, forming a conspicuous ornament of the edifice.- -228, 229. Novus pavor; new terror; no longer apprehension for our personal safety, as in 212, but fear of the goddess who has sent such a terrible token of her wrath upon Laocoon, and thus shown the danger of committing any outrage upon the wooden horse.—Cunctis ; for the dative, see Gr. § 211, R. 5, (1); Z. § 405, (a).—Insinuat; supply -Scelus expendisse; for sceleris poenam solvisse; to have paid the pen


alty of his crime. Comp. i. 258.- -231. Laeserit; for the mode, denoting the ground of their opinion, see on i. 388.- -Tergo, for corpori.—232. Ad sedes; to the shrine; divae understood.- -233. Conclamant; exclaim

with one voice.234. We divide the walls and throw open the bulwarks of the city. Muros is the general term for walls; moenia, city walls, fortifications, and, sometimes, the whole mass of buildings which make up the city; the city. The Trojans are here supposed to throw down that part of the wall which forms the top and sides of the Scaean gate. Comp. 242, where the term portae would seem to indicate that the horse was carried in through one of the gates of Troy.- −235. Accingunt; supply se; apply themselves. Comp. i. 210.- -Rotarum lapsus; the movements of wheels; for the simple form rotas. Comp. i. 301; remigio alarum.236. Stuppea. Gr. § 128, i. 1.- -Collo; about the neck; dative. Comp. iv. 506.-237. Scandit; climbs or surmounts; a bold expression, suggested by the form and height of the fabric, and by the difficulties to be overcome in clearing a passage through the fortifications. We must conceive, too, of the ascent to the elevated ground on which the wall is built.- -238. Armis for armatis, as i. 506. For the ablat. see Gr. § 250, 2, (1); Z. § 462.- -239. Sacra canunt. Hymns were sung at the sacred festivals of the Romans by choirs of boys and girls.240. Subit; enters.—Mediae urbi; into the midst of the city. "Omnia media dicuntur, quae post initia sunt." Therefore any point within the city walls is media urbs. See on i. 505. Urbi is governed by illabitur. -Minans; towering; as in i. 162; iv. 88.-242. Dardanidum; for Dardanidarum. See on i. 565.-Portae; some understand the gate of the citadel here; but in that case we should expect some limiting noun, or something in the show that such was the meaning.243. Substitit; halted. Stumbling at the door was considered an evil omen.

-Utero; the ablative of situation. The shock of the sudden halt caused the weapons of the Greeks secreted within the horse to clash and rattle.. 244. Instamus. Comp. i. 423, and below, 491.—Immemores; regardless of the evil omen. -Cacci; blinded to the circumstances which should have awakened suspicion, especially to the noise of the arms from within the horse. Sistere is followed by the accusative with in, or by the ablative either with or without in. Comp. x, 323.- -246. Tunc etiam etc.; then also, (as well as very often before,) Cassandra opens her lips for (revealing) the future fates. Fatis is the dative after aperit; perhaps canendis is understood. Cassandra was a daughter of Priam, whom Apollo had inspired with prophetic power, while at the same time in revenge for her disregard of his love, he so influenced the minds of her countrymen that they gave no heed to her warnings.- -Credita; used personally, agreeing with Cassandra. The poets occasionally, in imitation of the Greek, use neuter verbs in the passive voice with a personal subject. The regular construction here would be cui nunquam creditum est; so credor, invideor, &c. For the dative Teucris instead of a Teucris, see on ulli, i. 440.- -248. Esset;

the relative clause is in the subjunctive, under Gr. § 264, 8; Z. § 555, as giving the reason why they should be called miseri.—249. Velamus. See on i. 417.

250-437. While the city is buried in slumber, the Grecian fleet returns silently from the island of Tenedos, and Sinon, seeing the signal torch on board the ship of Agamemnon, opens the wooden horse. The leaders issue forth, and commence the attack on the city, setting fire to it in various places, with the aid of Sinon, and are soon joined by their whole army at the Scaean gate. Aeneas is warned of the danger in a dream, by the shade of Hector, and is roused from sleep by the increasing noise of the conflict, and of the flames. He arms himself, and hastens from the palace of his father, and, being joined by Coroebus and other warriors, undertakes to defend the city. After a momentary success his party is defeated, Coroebus and others are slain, and he is left with only two companions, with whom he proceeds to the palace of Priam.

250. Vertitur. The sky itself is conceived to revolve, while the earth stands still.Ruit oceano; ascends from the ocean; i. e. Night rises in her chariot from the eastern ocean, when the sun sinks in the west. See on 8; comp. v. 721; and for this sense of ruit, vi. 539; viii. 369.—251. Polum ; the heavens.252. Myrmidonum; by synecdoche for Graiorum. See on 7. For the increment, see Gr. § 287, exc. in o, 3.-Dolos refers especially to the stratagem of the wooden horse.- -Per moenia; throughout the city; not here the battlements merely.- -253. Sopor; a deep, heavy sleep; such as is produced by a narcotic. Comp. 265.- -254. Phalanx; here for host or army.Instructis navibus; their ships being drawn up in order; not being equipped. They would advance in regular array, in order to be ready for an enemy, and to effect a simultaneous landing. The equal (pariter) movement of the serpents from Tenedos to the shore had foreshadowed this.—255. Amica-lunae; the friendly stillness of the night; friendly, or favorable to the projects of the Greeks, because while it lulls the Trojans to rest, it lights the fleet on its return to Troy.-Lunae; of the moonlight night. According to the post-Homeric tradition, Troy was taken at the time of full moon. We should infer from 340, 360, 397, 420, &c., that the moon was sometimes shining, and sometimes obscured.-256. Nota; well known'; for the Greeks had been ten years encamped upon the shores.Flammas; a blazing torch is elevated on board the ship of Agamemnon, as the signal agreed upon with Sinon, who is now at liberty in the city, and unobserved by the slumbering Trojans.-257. Extulerat; had already shown the signal flame.—Defensus. Sinon had been favored by the fates of the gods, unfriendly (iniquis) to Troy; especially by the prodigy of the two serpents, sent by Minerva, who thus seemed to sanction his falsehood.

-258. Utero; for the case, comp. 19, and 45.-259. Laxat. This verb is adapted to both objects, Danaos and claustra, by zeugma: releases the Greeks, and loosens the bolts. Gr. § 323, b, (2); Z. § 775. The natural order of the ideas is also reversed. This license, which is termed hysteron proteron, is defined in Gr. § 323, 4, (2). -Sinon; the final syllable is long.

« PreviousContinue »