Vergil, Aeneid I 124-131

Intereā magnō miscērī murmure pontum

ēmissamque hiemem sēnsit Neptūnus et īmīs125

stāgna refūsa vadīs, graviter commōtus, et altō

prōspiciēns summā placidum caput extulit undā.

Disiectam Aenēae tōtō videt aequore classem,

flūctibus oppressōs Trōas caelīque ruīnā;

nec latuēre dolī frātrem Iūnōnis et īrae.130

Eurum ad sē Zephyrumque vocat, dehinc tālia fātur:

Manuscripts: M | R 124-126, 127-131

Neptune notices that an unauthorized storm has arisen (Austin). 

124–126: the order is: —Interea Neptunus, graviter commotus, sensit pontum misceri magno murmure, hiememque emissam (esse), et stagna refusa (esse) imis vadis (Robertson).

124: magno misceri murmure: “is in the turmoil of a loud uproar”; murmure is abl. of manner (Wetherell) (AG 412). misceri: “to be agitated” (Frieze).

125: emissam: sc. esse (F-B).

126: stagna: the waters near the bottom of the sea are supposed not to be disturbed by ordinary winds; hence, they are called here “standing” or “still waters” (Frieze). refusa: sc. esse, “upheaved” (F-B). vadis: ablative of separation (F-B) (AG 401). graviter commotus: “deeply indignant” or “with deep displeasure,” not vehementer concitatus, “violently agitated,” or “roused to fury”; it is the stern displeasure of a god, conscious of his supreme power, and calmly exercising his authority to restrain or punish without any external excitement. Hence placidum caput, in the next verse, is not inconsistent (Frieze). 126–127: alto prospiciens: “gazing out over the deep.” alto is most naturally taken as ablative of the place where. prospiciens is not a verb of motion, and the dative would mean, “caring for the deep” (F-B). Locative abl. or possible abl. of separation (G-K). Dat. = in altum “over the sea” (Page).

127: placidum caput: however angry, the god is outwardly serene (F-B). In contrast with the angry storm and also to express his dignity...and dignified self-control in spite of his anger (Page). unda: abl. of separation (Wetherell).

129: caelique ruina: “by the destructive force of the air”; literally, “by the rushing down of the sky”; referring to the furious descent of the winds (Frieze). The phrase is here opposed to fluctibus: the sea and sky conspire to destroy the Trojans (Page). “The wreck of heaven,” a fine poetic audacity for “the storm” (Sidgwick).

130: latuere… fratrem: the verb is transitive (“be unknown to, escape the notice of”), and hence takes the accusative, fratrem (Bennett). Neptune was a son of Saturn, and therefore brother of Juno (Frieze). irae: “passions,” plural with reference to their repeated display (Walpole).

131: Eurum, Zephyrumque: all the winds are implied, though only two are mentioned (Frieze). dehinc: one syllable, by synizesis (F-B) (AG 603 note).


intereā: (adv.), amid these things; meanwhile, in the meantime, 1.418, et al.

murmur, uris, n.: a murmur, 6.709; uproar, 1.124; roaring, reverberation, 1.55; acclamation, applause, 5.369; thunder, 4.160.

ēmittō, mīsī, missus, 3, a.: to send forth, 6.898; hurl, throw, shoot, 11.676.

Neptūnus, ī, m.: Neptune, one of the sons of Saturn, and brother of Jupiter, Juno, and Pluto; identified by the Romans, as god of the sea, with the Greek Poseidon, 1.125.

stāgnum, ī, n.: a collection of standing water; a pond, pool, lake; sluggish water or stream, 6.323; pl., stāgna, ōrum, deep waters of the sea, 1.126; waters, 6.330. (stō)

refundō, fūdī, fūsus, 3, a.: to pour back or up; cast, throw up, 7.590; boil up, 1.126; flow back, overflow, 6.107; p., refūsus, a, um, thrown back, beaten back; poured back, flowing back upon itself, encircling, 7.225.

vadum, ī, n.: a ford; a shallow, shoal, 1.112; sand-bank, 10.303; shallow water, 11.628; bottom, depth, 1.126; water, tide, stream, 6.320; water of the sea, 5.158; wave, sea, 7.198.

graviter: (adv.), heavily; deadly, 7.753; greatly, deeply, 1.126; heavily, mournfully, 2.288. (gravis)

commoveō, mōvī, mōtus, 2, a.: to move completely; move rapidly in procession, 4.301; rouse, start from cover, 7.494; shake, stir, 5.217; disturb, move, 1.126; agitate, terrify 1.360.

altum, ī, n.: the deep; the lofty; the deep sea, the main, the deep, 1.3; the sky, heaven, air, 1.297; from far, far-fetched, remote, 8.395. (altus)

prōspiciō, spexī, spectus, 3, n. and a.: to look forth, forward; to see afar, in the distance, descry, see, 3.648; to look forth or out upon, w. dat., 1.127. (prō and speciō, look)

placidus, a, um: adj. (placeō), gentle, calm, tranquil, peaceful, serene, 5.848; inactive, idle, 9.187; friendly, propitious, 3.266; (adv.), placidē, gently, softly, quietly, calmly, 5.86.

extollō, 3, a.: to lift up; (fig.), laud, extol, 11.401.

dīsiciō, iēcī, iectus, 3, a.: to throw, cast asunder; overthrow, demolish, 8.355; scatter, disperse, 1.70; cleave, 12.308. (dis- and iaciō)

Aenēās, ae, m.: 1. A Trojan chief, son of Venus and Anchises, and hero of the Aeneid, 1.92. 2. Aenēās Silvius, one of the Alban kings, 6.769.

opprimō, pressī, pressus, 3, a.: to press against; press down, overpower, overwhelm, 1.129; come upon suddenly; surprise, 9.398. (ob and premō)

Trōes, m.: (subst.), the Trojans, 1.30, et al. (Tros, one of the kings of Troy)

ruīna, ae, f.: a falling down; fall, overthrow; convulsion, commotion, destructive force, 1.129; onset, shock, 11.613; pl., ruin, overthrow, destruction, 1.238; dare, trahere ruīnam, to fall in ruins, 2.310; bring destruction, 12.454. (ruō)

nec or neque: (adv. and conj.), and not; neither, nor, 1.643, et al.; in prohibition, 3.394, et al.; neque (nec) — neque (nec), neither — nor, 5.21, et al.; nec — et, or -que, may be rendered neither — nor, 12.801; 2.534; nec nōn, and also, nor less, 6.183; nec nōn et, and also, 1.707.

Iūnō, ōnis, f.: Juno, the Sabine and Roman name for the wife and sister of Jupiter, daughter of Saturn, 1.4, et al.; Iūnō īnferna, the Juno of the lower world, Proserpine, 6.138.

Eurus, ī, m.: the southeast wind, 1.85, et al.; wind, 1.383, et al.

Zephyrus, ī, m.: Zephyrus or Favonius, the god of the west wind, 2.417, et al.; west wind, 4.562; wind, 10.103.

dehinc (often monosyll.): (adv.), from this place; from this time; thereupon, then, 1.131.

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Suggested Citation

Christopher Francese and Meghan Reedy, Vergil: Aeneid Selections. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-947822-08-5.