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[1–36. The Trojans, after burying Aeneas' nurse Caieta at the spot which bears her name, pass by night the dreaded shores of Circe, where the noises of the wild beasts (changed from men by her spells) are heard ; and in a bright dawn sail up Tiber mouth.]
1. quoque, as well as Misenus and Palinurus mentioned in the last
nostris, see Introduction, the remarks on the national feeling of the Aeneid. (Aeneia, adj. used like regia, 56.)
nutrix. Her name was Caieta, acc. the story, and the place was called after her. Caieta and Circeii (10) are the two conspicuous promontories of the Latin coast.
The nurse (or rather wet-nurse) was regarded with a half-filial reverence and affection. In v. 645 Pyrgo, the foster-nurse of the princes of Troy, is the leader of the Trojan women, and a person of importance.
3. servat...tuus, 'thy glory guards thy place' (M), a fine phrase, the honos being a protecting sacred power.
ossa nomen signat, 'the name marks thy bones', the name of the place (Caieta) makes known thy tomb over Italy.
4. Hesperia (prop. 'western' land from onepos "evening star'], one of the Greek names for Italy.
si qua est ea gloria, "if that honour is aught': the thought is at once stately and pathetic: a name known over Italy is the greatest earthly honour, and yet does Caieta feel and know it?
qua by a common attraction for quid: cf. si qua est ea cura, X. 828, hoc decus illi hoc solamen erat (the horse), 858.
5. pius 'good' to the gods and kindred : the regular title of Aeneas in the poem.
8. *adspirant aurae in noctem, "fair breezes breathe far into the night', in noctem implying continuance into. So in dies, 'as the days go on'.
cursus negat, 'forbids not their voyage'.
9. tremulo, a pretty instance of the transferred epithet. It is the sea strictly which trembles, and the light from it.
10. Circaeae. In Odyssey x. is told how the enchantress Circe, daughter of Helios or the sun, bewitched Odysseus' companions, changing them into swine. It is also told that they saw round Circe's house wolves and lions of the mountain whom she had bewitched'.
Verg. identifies the island of Aeaea', the fairy-land dwelling of Circe in Homer, with Circeii, which was certainly at one time an island, though in historic times a promontory of the mainland.
11. The details are naturally from Homer, as follows :
(dives) In Homer the palace is 'built with polished stones', Od, x. 211: so (lucos) it is ‘in a clear space in the thickets', 210: 'she sings sweetly and all the plain echoes?, 227 (resonat cantu): and she tends the great loom', 226 (arguto...telas).
inaccessos, "unapproachable', because of her witchcrafts. 12. resonat, transitive by a stretch of construction, 'makes echo'. tectis, 'in the halls', abl. of place without prep., common in Verg. 13. nocturna in lumina, 'to light the night'.
14. arguto, “shrill’. It is a curious word, about which the dictionaries are often unsatisfactory.
The verb comes from stem arg- 'bright' (and so 'white') [argentum, argilla, åpyós, &c.] and means orig. 'to make clear', so 'to prove or convict'.' The part. means properly clear' with the closely allied meaning ‘keen', 'sharp', 'quick'. It is used of sounds (arguta serra, Georg. I. 143, Neaera, Hor. Od. III. 14. 21), of smells [odor, Plin. xv. 3. 4].
Then of movement [arguta manus, Cic. De Or. III. 59; argutum caput, “lively', of a cow's head, Georg. III. 80).
Finally metaphorically of mind, sagacious', 'quick', 'witty'. Here it is best taken of sound.
15. exaudiri, historic inf. Its effect is to describe action without marking time: and so occurs of continued or repeated action: of confused scenes : of feelings with no defined end or beginning.
gemitus iraeque, 'roar and rage', hendiadys, i. e. two points instead of one, the fact having two aspects, the sound and the fury.
16. recusantum, ofretting’ (M).
18. formae, 'shapes', suggests the grim beasts, half seen in the moonlight from the sea. The sound of the line is very impressive.
19. See note on 10. Verg. however varies from Homer : for the wild beasts are merely animals bewitched so as to be tame in the original, while Verg. makes them men changed into wild animals.
20. induerat in, a common constr. of the verb: lit. brought into', i.e. clad in'.
21. monstra, “horrors': used of anything unnatural.
quae...talia, these...so fearful', the double pronoun being an unnecessary fulness of expression. So x. 298, quae talia postquam effatus.
26. roseis...lutea. Several commentators (even Bentley) find a difficulty in the Dawn being "yellow' (Homer's KPOKómetros) and having a 'rosy' chariot : as if the two colours were not often seen at sunrise.
27. posuere, 'fell’, used by Verg. of winds intrans. X. 103, Zephyri posuere, Con. ingeniously suggests it may be a nautical expression.
28. The liquid alliterations (rep.,.res... flat...lent...luct. marmore] give a subtle suggestion of the calm.
30. Tiberinus, a common form of the name of the river Tiber. amoenus, commonly used of pleasant sights.
31. The yellow' Tiber is a regular epithet : it really is a light mud-colour, very turbid. Verg. gives the reason, in adding multa arena.
- 33. alveo, two syll. as often, e and o coalescing (synizesis).
34. luco, local abl., cf. 12.
35. flectere, inf. after imperat instead of the prose construction ut with subj. (oblique petition). This stretch of constr. is common in poetry, e. g. Verg. has inf. after oro (VI. 313), adegit (vi. 696), suadeo (x. 10), hortor (x. 69), &c.
36. laetus because he has reached the promised land at last : the ghost of Creusa his dead wife told him (11. 781) that ‘joy and kingdom and a royal wife awaited him where the Lydian Tiber flowed through rich lands.'
Observe the impressive picture: he enters in calm and glorious sunrise, up the 'shady' and 'pleasant' stream, amid flying and singing birds; just in the middle of the whole poem, with the Odyssey of wandering' past, and the “Iliad of fighting' yet to come. It is the feeling of this being a solemn and critical moment that makes Vergil pause and invoke the Muses formally, as he had done before the wanderings at the beginning of the whole, Aen. 1. 8.
[37–106. Muse, aid me to tell the state of Latium, and the wars and fates that were coming. Latinus the king had no son : his daughter was wooed by Turnus : but portents forbid the union. A swarm of bees settling on the sacred laurel portends a foreign prince: fire in Lavinia's hair portends troubles. Latinus seeks oracles from Faunus his father, who foretells a mighty prince who will wed his daughter.]
37. Erato, one of the Muses. Vergil is not thinking of her special province, love, but invokes her as a muse simply. . quae tempora rerum, the times of all that befel,' each deed in its due order. This is the simplest and best way of taking it.
38. advena exercitus, 'the stranger host': the poetic use of advena like an adj. is of course perfectly natural.
39. Ausoniis, one of the numerous poetic names for 'Italian', from the Ausones, old inhabitants of the W. coast of Campania.
It helps the national character of the poem, to set in it all the old local names.
41. mone, 'give me knowledge', 'inspire.' 42. in funera, i.e. to the deadly strife: death either dealt or suffered.
43. Tyrrhenamque manum, "and the Tuscan band'. This refers to the story told in Book viii. of the Tyrrhenians (Greek name for Tuscans) who rose against their brutal king Mezentius. He fled to the protection of the Rutulian king Turnus, and his people allied themselves with the invader Aeneas.
sub arma coactam, 'gathered to arms': totam Hesperiam, 'all Italy', is a stately exaggeration.
44. He calls it a mightier line of deeds' because the wanderings of the first six books have all been leading up to this destined and event. ful struggle.
45. Latinus, king of the Latins, a small tribe whose capital is Laurentum, a town near the sea, south-west of Rome.
The genealogy of Latinus is traced to the local Latin rustic gods : Faunus, a god of fields and cattle-keeping, who was afterwards identified with the Greek Pan : Picus, a prophetic god of the country, who used a woodpecker (picus,—the whole legend being based on a popular belief in the woodpecker being a prophetic bird) in his soothsaying and was himself changed into one, 191 : the Laurentian (Latin) nymph Marica (worshipped at Minturnae near the mouth of the Liris, just in Latium though a long way from Laurentum): and finally Saturnus the old Latin god of sowing (SAT-), afterwards identified with the Greek Kronos, father of Zeus (Iuppiter).
In Aen. VIII. 314 sqq. the poet tells how in the golden age Saturnus reigned in Latium and the native fauns and nymphs dwelt in the groves'.
49. refert, .tells', 'boasts', the Homeric yèvos eỞ XETAL Elval. (The other interpretation, 'brings back', i.e. resembles, is much less simple and natural.]
ultimus, • first': the last to one tracing back.
50, 51. Son and male issue he had none: he [the son he once had] was cut off in the dawn of early youth'.
prolesque virilis is not a mere repetition: it is a son under the other aspect as his successor. So we say, 'son and heir'.
52. servabat, she kept' his house and great possessions, both as heiress and as preventing the line from being extinct.
Observe the rhetorical fulness of expression all through these lines, filius... proles virilis, domum...sedes, matura...nubilis.
55. ante alios pulcherrimus, before all most beautiful', a statelier way of saying 'of all'. So with comparative I. 347, scelere ante alios immanior omnes.
56. regia coniunx, Amata, wife of Latinus [adj. like Aeneia, 1].
57. properabat, 'was eager': the construction stretched, in Vergil's manner, the verb being used like volo.
59. tecti medio (a variation from the normal tecto medio, see 563), i.e. in the atrium or central court on which the rooms opened.
61. primas, as so often, varied from adv. primum. So medium hunc habet turba, VI. 667, sublimes animas ire, vi. 720, &c.
62. Phoebo [poißos, paF- 'bright '], name of Apollo: the bay was his peculiar tree, abounding at Delphi.
64. dictu, see note on 78.
65. liquidum, 'clear', used of fire, water, light, air, and even (Aen. X. 272) of night.
66. pedibus per mutua nexis, 'with feet intertwined', per mutua being Vergilian variation for adv. mutuo. The bees' swarming is described Georg. iv. 555, which you may refer to if you have never seen it' says Gossrau touchingly.
68. externum, so in Livy XXIV. 10 a bee-swarm in the forum (214 B.C.) is one among many signs of danger from the foe.
69. easdem...isdem, i.e. the same as the direction taken by the bees.
71. adolet, 'fires', a curious word. Properly to increase ', so to honour' gods by offerings, 'to offer' and even to burn' on altars. The meaning varies between these senses according to the substantive. Thus 'honour', penates flammis, 1. 704;
offer', iussos honores, III. 547;