Vergil, Aeneid I 50-64

Tālia flammātō sēcum dea corde volūtāns50

nimbōrum in patriam, loca fēta furentibus Austrīs,

Aeoliam venit. Hīc vāstō rēx Aeolus antrō

luctantēs ventōs tempestātēsque sonōrās

imperiō premit ac vinclīs et carcere frēnat.

Illī indignantēs magnō cum murmure montis55

circum claustra fremunt; celsā sedet Aeolus arce

scēptra tenēns mollitque animōs et temperat īrās.

nī faciat, maria ac terrās caelumque profundum

quippe ferant rapidī sēcum verrantque per aurās;

Sed pater omnipotēns spēluncīs abdidit ātrīs60

hoc metuēns mōlemque et montēs īnsuper altōs

imposuit, rēgemque dedit quī foedere certō

et premere et laxās scīret dare iussus habēnās.

Ad quem tum Iūnō supplex hīs vōcibus ūsa est:

Manuscripts: M 50-58, 59-64 | R 50-54, 55-64

Juno visits the cave of Aeolus, the Lord of the Winds (Austin). 

51: nimborum: the storm-winds. They are regarded as persons, and therefore have a native land (patriam), and are governed by a king (F-B). loca feta furentibus austris: “the womb of wild southern blasts” (Storr). loca: locus, a place, has two plurals, loci and loca; loci denoting “single places”; loca, “a district.” (Robertson). loca, Aeoliam: in apposition with patriam (Bennett). Austris: “south winds” (F-B). abl. after feta (Robertson).

52: Aeoliam: identified by Vergil with Lipari, the volcanic islands north of Sicily (F-B). hīc: adverb (C-R). Aeolus: the fabled king of the winds (Walpole) (Smith’s Dictionary, s.v. Aeolus 3). antro: ablative of place with preposition omitted (F-B) (used freely in poetry: AG 429.4).

54: vinclis et carcere: abl. of means (Frieze). vinclis = vinculis (Wetherell). “With prison bonds,” or “the restraint of a prison.” The use of two parallel simple expressions for one complex phrase is called hendiadys; vinclis should not be taken of actual chains (F-B).

55: magno cum murmure montis: note the expressive alliteration with m (F-B).

56: circum claustra: the poet probably has in mind the Roman chariot races, the horses being confined behind the barriers until the moment of starting, when they swept forth like a whirlwind (F-B). celsa arce: like a Greek tyrant, Aeolus occupies a citadel on lofty ground overlooking the carcer (F-B).

57: sceptra: another case of a plural used for the singular (F-B). It denotes not a particular sceptre, but the sceptre as a symbol of sovereignty (Storr).

58: ni faciat: sc. hoc, “but for this, surely” (quippe). The condition is regarded as still possible of fulfilment. The form of the condition contrary to fact might have been used, but would have been less vivid (F-B). The present is here used, instead of the imperfect, to prepare the reader for the following scene by denoting the possibility of his not doing so (Walpole) (AG 516b, c).

59: quippe: “assuredly” (Wetherell). Gives the reason for their incarceration, but its position in the sentence makes it almost parenthetical (Storr). rapidi: the adj. has the force of an adverb (Wetherell).

61: molem et montes: “a mass of mountains.” Alliteration and hendiadys (F-B). For molem montium altorum (Frieze). insuper: “above” them (Walpole).

62: foedere certo: abl. of means (Comstock). “Under a fixed covenant.” Explained by iussus, for only when bidden was he to release them. The ablative is a form of the modal ablative (F-B) (AG 418a).

63: premere: sc. eos (Walpole). laxas dare: = laxare (Storr). sciret: subjunctive in a relative clause of purpose (F-B) (AG 531.2).

64: vocibus: utor governs the abl. (Wetherell) (AG 410). ad quem: “addressing him” (C-R). supplex: “in supplication” (C-R).

CORE VOCABULARY

flammō, āvī, ātus, 1, a. and n.: to set in flames; (fig.), inflame, enrage, 1.50. (flamma)

volūtō, āvī, ātus, 1, intens. a. and n.: to roll about; to roll back, reëcho, 5.149; roll or send through, make resound, 1.725; of thought, turn over, ponder, think over; meditate, 1.50; with ellipsis of the acc., 4.533; n., fall prostrate, 3.607. (volvō)

nimbus, ī, m.: a violent rain; storm, tempest, 1.51; a black cloud, thunder-cloud, cloud, 3.587; a bright cloud; the nimbus surrounding a god, 2.616; cloud of smoke, 5.666; a multitude, 7.793.

fētus, a, um: pregnant, with young; bearing; filled, full, teeming, 1.51; 2.238; having brought forth; fruitful.

furō, uī, 3, n.: to be mad; freq., to rave, be frantic, rage, 1.491; to be furious, burn, storm (for war), 7.625; to be burning or mad with love, 1.659; to be frenzied, in a frenzy, 6.100; inspired, 2.345; distracted with grief, 3.313; plunge madly, 9.552; boil, 7.464; with cognate acc., give vent to one's fury, 12.680.

Auster, trī, m.: the southerly or south wind, opposite to Aquilo; wind in general, 3.70; (meton.), the south.

Aeolia, ae, f.: Aeolia, an island near Sicily, the home of Aeolus, 1.52.

veniō, vēnī, ventus: to come, freq.; come forth; approach, 6.755; rise, appear, 1.353; dawn, 10.241; to present one's self or itself, 5.344; descend, spring from, 5.373; impers., ventum est, we, they came or have come, 4.151.

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

Aeolus, ī, m.: Aeolus. 1. The god who ruled over the winds, 1.52. 2. A follower of Aeneas from Lyrnesus, 12.542.

antrum, ī, n.: a cave, cavern, grotto, 1.166.

lūctor, ātus sum, 1, dep. n.: to struggle, strive, contend, 1.53; wrestle, 6.643; w. inf., 12.387.

sonōrus, a, um: adj. (sonor), loud-sounding; roaring, 1.53; ringing, resounding, 12.712.

atque, or ac: (conj.), and in addition, or and besides; and, as well, and indeed, and, 1.575; freq.; even, 2.626; in comparisons, as, 4.90; than, 3.561.

carcer, eris, m.: a dungeon, hold, prison, 1.54; carcer, or pl., carcerēs, the stalls; the starting place or barrier in the circus or race-course, 5.145.

frēnō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to bridle, 5.554; check, curb, restrain, 1.54, 523. (frēnum)

indīgnor, ātus sum, 1, dep. a. and n.: to deem unworthy; to fret, chafe, be impatient, 1.55; resent, 2.93; scorn, 8.728; be angry, indignant, 11.831; w. inf., 7.770.

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

circum: (adv.), about, around; (prep. with acc.), around, about.

claustra, ōrum, n. pl: fastenings; bolts, bars; barriers, 1.56; narrows, straits, 3.411. (claudō)

fremō, uī, itus, 3, n. and a.: to make a murmuring noise; to roar, 1.56; whinny, neigh, 12.82; raise lamentations, 6.175; whiz, 12.922; resound, 4.668; rage, 5.19; to be fierce, furious, 4.229; fume, rave, 12.535; shout and sing, 4.146; a., rage, rave for, clamor for, 11.453, et al.; ore fremere, applaud, shout applause, 5.385; p., fremēns, entis, raging, 4.229.

celsus, a, um: adj. (cellō, rise), high, lofty, 1.56, et al.

scēptrum, ī, n.: a royal staff; scepter, 1.653; freq.; (meton.), rule, sway, power, royal court, realm, 9.9; 1.253; authority, 11.238.

molliō, īvī or iī, ītus, 4, a.: to soften; to soothe, calm, assuage, appease, 1.57. (mollis)

temperō, āvī, ātus, 1, a. and n.: to attemper; combine in due proportions; with acc., regulate, adjust; refresh; allay, moderate, calm, 1.146; restrain, 1.57; with abl. or dat., abstain from, 2.8. (tempus)

profundus, a, um: (adj.), deep, 5.614; lofty, deep-vaulted, 1.58; subst., profundum, ī, n., the deep, the sea, 12.263.

rapidus, a, um: adj. (rapiō), that tears away; violent, fierce; swiftly moving, rapid, 1.42; speedy, quick, prompt, 5.513.

verrō, no perf., versus, 3, a.: to sweep; snatch, bear, sweep away, 1.59; sweep over, 3.208.

omnipotēns, entis: adj. (omnis and potēns), all-powerful, almighty, 1.60; supreme, sovereign, 10.1; subst., The Almighty, 4.220.

spēlunca, ae, f.: a cavern, 1.60; retreat, 5.213.

abdō, didī, ditus, 3, a.: to put away; with the point or place where, in the abl. alone or with a prep., the acc. with prep., or the dative; to hide, shut up, 1.60; to bury, plunge, thrust, 2.553.

āter, tra, trum: (adj.), black; dark, gloomy, 1.60, et al.; smoky, lurid, 7.456; 4.384; clotted, dark, 3.622; soiled, blackened, 2.272; (fig.), sad, fatal, 6.429; venomous, deadly; of the odor of smoke, 12.591.

mōlēs, is, f.: a cumbrous mass; a heavy pile or fabric; mound, rampart, 9.35; dike, 2.497; a mass of buildings, vast buildings, 1.421; structure, 11.130; frame or figure, 2.32; bulk, 5.118; weight, 7.589; pile, mass, 1.61; gigantic frame, 5.431; warlike engine, siege tower, 5.439; array, pomp, train, 12.161; body of soldiers, phalanx, 12.575; heavy storm, tempest, 5.790; toil, work, labor, 1.33.

īnsuper: (adv.), above, over, upon, 1.61; moreover, 2.593; (prep. w. abl.), besides, 9.274.

foedus, eris, n.: a treaty, league, alliance, freq., truce, 5.496; side or party, 12.658; covenant, contract, 4.339; laws of hospitality, hospitality, 10.91; pledge, love, 4.520; law, term, condition, rule, 1.62. (rel. to fīdō, trust)

laxus, a, um: (adj.), loose; disjointed, unfastened, gaping, open, 1.122; slack, loosened, free, 1.63; unbent, 11.874.

iubeō, iussī (fut. perf. iussō for iusserō, 11.467), iussus, 2, a.: to order, request, usually w. inf., freq.; bid, 2.3; ask, invite, 1.708; will, wish, desire, 3.261; direct, enjoin, admonish, 3.697; persuade, advise, 2.37; to clear by command, 10.444; w. subj., 10.53.

habēna, ae, f.: a rein, 1.63, et al.; strap, thong, 9.587; whip, 7.380; immissīs or laxīs habēnīs, with all the reins let out, without restraint, unchecked, 5.662; pressīs or adductīs habēnīs, with tightened reins, 12.622. (habeō)

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.

supplex, icis: adj. (supplicō, beseech), kneeling, entreating, suppliant, 3.439; subst., supplex, icis, c., a suppliant, 2.542.

Text Read Aloud
article Nav

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-50-64