plain thing in a plain way. He arrests attention by the vigour, the strangeness, the intensity, the emphasis, if I may so phrase it, of his language. He is often stretching constructions or the sense of words, using abstract for concrete, part for the whole, adjective for adverb; transferring epithets, varying, inverting, seeking the unusual instead of the ordinary phrase. In short he is constantly surprising the reader.

The good side of these peculiarities is freshness and force: the bad side is affectation. The protections against affectation are of course the poet's own taste, command of expression, ear for melody, dignity, imagination, and skill; and all these qualities Vergil possesses in a consummate degree.

The following are a few of the instances in this book which exhibit these peculiarities :

sterneret aequor aquis (89).
quaerenti signa ferebant (212).
angit elisos oculos (261).
mixtus matre Sabella (510).
siccum sanguine guttur (261).

telis volatile ferrum (694). and these words :

lacu of a river (66).
fudit 'bore' (139).
fultus 'blocked' (227).
impedio 'to weld' (448).

textum of metal (625). Others the reader will find by referring to the Index of Style at the end: and there is much more of the same kind that he can discover for himself. Vergil's workmanship is so careful and so perfect, that he is an inexhaustible field for the literary analyst.

1 I quote this sentence from ‘Suggestions introductory to the study of the Aeneid' by Prof. Nettleship; a pamphlet which all students of Vergil will find most instructive, interesting and suggestive, as indeed is to be expected of so distinguished a scholar.

Note on the Imitations of Homer and others in Vergil.

To discover all the passages where Vergil echoes lines or phrases of earlier ancient, and especially Greek, poets, would be an endless task: but those places in this book which were clearly suggested, more or less consciously, by Homer, will be found collected in the Appendix at the end of the notes in the form of a list drawn up by aid of the commentators.

Without discussing the question fully, which would not be suitable in a brief edition like the present, a word on the question of Vergil's imitations may be found useful.

The main point is that the modern idea of imitation is entirely different from that which was held by the Roman literary men, and which indeed could not fail to be held by them. With us, literary productions belong indeed mostly to one or other main class, and so far are composed under conditions which prescribe the form: though even here constantly new varieties are invented: but both in style and subject-matter, the aim of all great writers is to be original. The Roman literature on the other hand was mainly formed on Greek models; and to adhere to those models closely, to be constantly reminding the readers of them, to imitate them much in the treatment, in the phraseology, and even in the incident, was inevitable to the Latin poets; or, rather, it was one of the very things they proposed to do in writing? Vergil's style, indeed, is completely his own, and entirely unlike Homer's, as is plain from what has been said; his main purpose and subject are entirely his own, and truly Roman; he borrows where he does borrow (and that from Ennius, Cyclic poets, Greek tragedians, and many others besides Homer) always to suit his own purpose, and not in a servile manner; and he invariably remains master of his materials, and stamps his own mark indelibly upon them.

But to understand Vergil, it is clearly necessary to grasp the conditions under which he worked; and nothing can be a greater mistake than to feel surprise at the extent to which he was indebted to his predecessors in the poetic art. 1 See remarks on this subject on p. 9.

Outline of Vergil's life. P. Vergilius Maro was born 15 Oct., B.C. 70, near Mantua, a town on the Mincio in North Italy, then called Cisalpine Gaul. He had not good health, and after being educated at Cremona and Mediolanum (Milan), and studying Greek and philosophy elsewhere, he came back to live (probably) on his father's farm, until about B.C. 42. In that year Octavianus, afterwards the emperor Augustus, had defeated at Philippi Brutus and Cassius, the murderers of Julius Caesar; and gave lands to his victorious soldiers in various parts of Italy, amongst other assignments being Vergil's farm. The poet's first acquaintance with Augustus was due to this event; for he applied to him at Rome for the restitution of his property, and was successful. He became the friend of the rich art-patron Maecenas, the poet Horace, and the brilliant circle of literary men who were collected at the court of Augustus. The works of Vergil are not voluminous. The Eclogues are Idylls in imitation of the Greek poet Theocritus, and were written sometime before he was 33. The Georgics, an agricultural poem in four books, of which the form was more or less suggested by Hesiod, he wrote in the next few years, finishing them sometime about his 40th year. The Aeneid, his great work, he appears to have begun about B.C. 27, when he was 43 years of age, at the wish of Augustus. A few years later, finding his health failing, he tried travelling; and in the spring of 19 he was at Athens. The summer he spent with Augustus abroad, but died a few days after reaching Brundusium on his return. The day of his death was Sept. 22, and he was not quite 51. He was buried at Naples, where his tomb is still shewn, though the authenticity of it is at least doubtful.

His character seems to have been most simple, pure, and loveable; and his poetic fame was well established even befure his death.





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Ur belli signum Laurenti Turnus ab arce
Extulit, et rauco strepuerunt cornua cantu,
Utque acres concussit equos, utque impulit arma,
Extemplo turbati animi, simul omne tumultu
Coniurat trepido Latium saevitque iuventus
Effera. Ductores primi Messapus et Ufens
Contemptorque deum Mezentius undique cogunt
Auxilia, et latos vastant cultoribus agros.
Mittitur et magni Venulus Diomedis ad urbem,
Qui petat auxilium, et Latio consistere Teucros,
Advectum Aenean classi, victosque Penates
Inferre, et fatis regem se dicere posci,
Edoceat, multasque viro se adiungere gentes
Dardanio, et late Latio increbrescere nomen.
Quid struat his coeptis, quem, si Fortuna sequatur, 15
Eventum pugnae cupiat, manifestius ipsi
Quam Turno regi aut regi apparere Latino.

Talia per Latium. Quae Laomedontius heros
Cuncta videns magno curarum fluctuat aestu,
Atque animum nunc huc celerem, nunc dividit illuc, 20
In partesque rapit varias, perque omnia versat.
Sicut aquae tremulum labris ubi lumen anenis
Sole repercussum, aut radiantis imagine Lunae,
Omnia pervolitat late loca, iamque sub auras
Erigitur, summique ferit laquearia tecti.
Nox erat, et terras animalia fessa per omnes


Alituum pecudumque genus sopor altus habebat :
Cum pater in ripa gelidique sub aetheris axe
Aeneas, tristi turbatus pectora bello,
Procubuit, seramque dedit per membra quietem.

- 30
Huic deus ipse loci fluvio Tiberinus amoeno
Populeas inter senior se attollere frondes
Visus; eum tenuis glauco velabat amictu
Carbasus, et crines umbrosa tegebat arundo;
Tum sic adfari, et curas his demere dictis :

O sate gente deum, Troianam ex hostibus urbem
Qui revehis nobis aeternaque Pergama servas,
• Expectate solo Laurenti arvisque Latinis,
“Hic tibi certa domus, certi, ne absiste, penates;
• Neu belli terrere minis: tumor omnis et irae
'Concessere deum.
'Iamque tibi, ne vana putes haec fingere somnum,

Litoreis ingens inventa sub ilicibus sus,
• Triginta capitum fetus enixa, iacebit,
Alba, solo recubans, albi circum ubera nati.
Hic locus urbis erit, requies ea certa laborum,
'Ex quo ter denis urbem redeuntibus annis

Ascanius clari condet cognominis Albam.
‘Haud incerta cano. Nunc qua ratione quod instat
'Expedias victor, paucis, adverte, docebo.
“Arcades his oris, genus a Pallante profectum,
• Qui regem Euandrum comites, qui signa secuti,
• Delegere locum et posuere in montibus urbem
• Pallantis proavi de nomine Pallanteum :
Hi bellum adsidue ducunt cum gente Latina;
Hos castris adhibe socios, et foedera iunge.
'Ipse ego te ripis et recto flumine ducam,
‘Adversum remis superes subvectus ut amnem.
'Surge age, nate dea, primisque cadentibus astris
' Iunoni fer rite preces, iramque minasque
•Supplicibus supera votis. Mihi victor honorem
• Persolves. Ego sum, pleno quem flumine cernis
"Stringentem ripas, et pinguia culta secantem,
'Caeruleus Thybris, caelo gratissimus amnis.
"Hic mihi magna domus, celsis caput urbibus, exit.' 65

Dixit, deinde lacu fluvius se condidit alto,


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