Vergil, Aeneid I 325-334

Sīc Venus et Veneris contrā sīc fīlius ōrsus:325

'Nūlla tuārum audīta mihī neque vīsa sorōrum,

ō quam tē memorem, virgō? namque haud tibi vultus

mortālis, nec vōx hominem sonat; ō, dea certē

(An Phoebī soror? an nymphārum sanguinis ūna?),

Sīs fēlīx nostrumque levēs, quaecumque, labōrem330

et quō sub caelō tandem, quibus orbis in ōrīs

iactēmur doceās: ignārī hominumque locōrumque

errāmus ventō hūc vāstīs et flūctibus āctī.

multa tibi ante ārās nostrā cadet hostia dextrā.'

Manuscripts: M | P | R

He replies that he has not, and asks her to tell him what country he has reached (Austin). 

325: Sic Venus: sc. inquit (Walpole). Supply locuta est (Robertson). Venus et Veneris...filius: the juxtaposition brings into relief the fact that they do not meet as mother and son (F-B). contra: “in reply” (Walpole). orsus: sc. est (Walpole).

326: audita mihi: sc. est (Walpole). “Heard by me”; mihi is a dative of agent (F-B) (AG 375a). Refers to clamore above (Storr).

327: O quam te memorem: O ought to be followed by a vocative, but Aeneas cannot at once think of the right name with which to address her (Walpole). memorem: deliberative subjunctive (F-B) (AG 444). tibi: sc. est. Dative of possession (Carter) (AG 373).

328: nec vox hominem sonat: sonat is here transitive (Frieze). “Nor does your voice have a human ring.” hominem is an inner (so-called cognate) accusative with sonat (F-B) (AG 390b).

329: Phoebi soror: i.e., Diana: sc. es (F-B). sanguinis: = generis (Carter). Genitive with una (Robertson).

330: sis felix: “be gracious.” sis is an optative subjunctive (F-B) (AG 441). Supply nobis (Robertson). quaecumque: sc. es (F-B).

332: locorumque: -que is elided before the vowel at the beginning of the next line. The syllable so elided is called hypermetric (F-B). In scanning this line notice that there is a syllable too much—hence the line is said to be hypermetrical; the que at the end of the line is to be elided before erramus at the beginning of the next line (Robertson).

334: dextra: ablative of instrument with cadet, which is virtually passive (Walpole) (AG 412).

CORE VOCABULARY

Venus, eris, f.: Venus, goddess of love and beauty, identified by the Romans with Aphrodite, daughter of Jupiter and Dione, 1.411, et al.; (meton.), love, lust, 6.26.

contrā: (prep. and adv.; prep. w. acc.), over against; opposite to, 1.13; against, 5.370; to, 9.280; on the contrary, 12.779; on the other hand, in reply, 1.76.

fīlius, iī, m.: a son, 1.325. (rel. to fēmina)

ōrdior, ōrsus sum, 4, dep. a. and n.: to weave, spin; to begin; begin to speak; begin, 1.325.

ō: (interj. expressing joy, grief, astonishment, desire, or indignation), O! oh! ah! w. voc., 2.281, et al.; w. sī and the subj., oh that, 11.415; sometimes placed after the word to which it relates, 2.281.

memorō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to call to memory; mention, rehearse, relate, 1.8; say, speak, 3.182; name, 1.327; mention proudly, boast of, 5.392. (memor)

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.

Phoebus, ī, m.: Phoebus or Apollo, 1.329, et al.

nympha, ae, f.: a bride, a maiden; a nymph, one of the inferior deities, presiding over fountains, woods, etc., 1.71, et al.

levō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to render light; lighten; lift, aid, 1.145; raise, 4.690; (fig.), ease, relieve of (w. abl.); support, rest, 10.834; reënforce, help, 2.452; mitigate, 3.36; allay, 7.495; cure, 7.755; relieve, 7.571. (2. levis)

ōra, ae, f.: a margin, border, 12.924; coast, shore, 3.396; region, 2.91; rim, extremity, 10.477; pl., outline, compass, 9.528.

iactō, āvī, ātus, 1, freq. a.: to throw often or much; toss to and fro; toss, freq.; hurl, cast, 2.459; thrust out, 5.376; aim, 5.433; (fig.), throw out words, utter, say, 1.102; of the mind, revolve, meditate, 1.227; sē iactāre, boast, exalt one's self, rejoice, glory, 1.140; prae sē iactāre, to make pretense of, 9.134; p., iactāns, antis, arrogant, assuming, ambitious, 6.815. (iaciō)

ignārus, a, um: (adj.), not knowing; freq.; unaware, ignorant, 11.154; often w. genit., ignorant of, 1.630; unsuspicious of, 2.106; unconscious, 9.345; not knowing the land; (pass.), unknown, a stranger, 10.706.

vāstus, a, um: (adj.), empty, void, wild, waste, 9.323; vast, unbounded, 1.118; huge, enormous, immense, 3.647; deep-, vast-, sounding, 1.245.

hostia, ae, f.: a sacrificial animal; victim, 1.334, et al.

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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. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/vergil-aeneid/vergil-aeneid-i-325-334