Vergil, Aeneid I 372-386

'Ō dea, sī prīmā repetēns ab orīgine pergam

et vacet annālēs nostrōrum audīre labōrum,

ante diem clausō compōnet Vesper Olympō.

Nōs Trōiā antīquā, sī vestrās forte per aurēs375

Trōiae nōmen iit, dīversa per aequora vectōs

forte suā Libycīs tempestās appulit ōrīs.

Sum pius Aenēās, raptōs quī ex hoste Penātēs

classe vehō mēcum, fāmā super aethera nōtus;

Ītaliam quaerō patriam, et genus ab Iove summō.380

Bis dēnīs Phrygium cōnscendī nāvibus aequor,

mātre deā mōnstrante viam data fāta secūtus;

vix septem convulsae undīs Eurōque supersunt.

ipse ignōtus, egēns, Libyae dēserta peragrō,

Eurōpā atque Asiā pulsus.' Nec plūra querentem385

passa Venus mediō sīc interfāta dolōre est:

Manuscripts: M 372-378, 379-386 | P | R 372-378, 379-386 | G 381-386

Aeneas tells the sad story of his misfortunes (Wetherell). 

372: si prima repetens ab origine pergam: “if, tracing back from the first beginning, I should go on” (F-B).

373: et vacet: “and should there be leisure.” The verb is impersonal (F-B). Supply tibi (Anthon) (AG 368).

374: ante...Olympo: “sooner will heaven close and evening lay the day to rest.” The poetical conception is that of day issuing from the gates of the sky, to return again in the evening. The sky is a great palace, closed at night, open in the day (F-B). ante is the adverb (Bennett). Vesper: the god of evening. He is represented by the evening star, and his office is to close the portals of the sky, or Olympus, when the sun with his chariot has entered in; and thus, as it were, he puts the day to rest (componere): “Vesper, having closed Olympus, will end the day” (Frieze).

375–7: The order of the construction is: Tempestas forte sua appulit Libycis oris nos vectos per diversa aequora (a) Troia antiqua (Storr).

375: nos: accusative after appulit (Carter). Troia: abl. of the town whence, after vectos (Jerram) (AG 427). vestras: thus including her fellow-countrymen (F-B).

377: forte sua: literally, “by its own chance,” i.e., “by the merest chance.” It was not in accord with any plan formed by the Trojans (F-B). oris: dative, for the usual prose construction, ad oras (Frieze) (AG 428h). Dative of goal or limit of motion (Carter).

378: sum pius Aeneas: “I am Aeneas the good.” Assuming the naïve tone of early epic style, Vergil puts into his hero’s mouth the epithet by which Aeneas was commonly known. ... In this passage, pius is explained by the qui clause which follows (F-B). ex: “from the midst of” (Frieze).

379: classe: locative ablative (Frieze) (AG 429.4). fama: ablative of cause (Frieze) (AG 404). super aethera: “in heaven above”; literally, “above the sky” (F-B).

380: Italiam...patriam: “Italy, our fatherland”; because Dardanus our ancestor was born in Italy (Frieze). Italy is so called because Dardanus, founder of Troy was said to have come from there (F-B). Dardanus was the son of Jupiter and Electra (F-B).

381: conscendi:“I embarked on” (Anthon). Phrygium...aequor: i.e., the sea near Troy (F-B).

382: matre dea monstrante: abl. absolute (Storr). matre dea: “my goddess-mother” (F-B). secuta: for sequens (Frieze).

383: vix: with supersunt, not with septem (Storr). Euro: for vento (Frieze).

384: ignotus, egens: Asyndeton marking excited feeling. The words are in strong antithesis of pius and notus above (Page). Libyae deserta: again in bitter contrast with Europa atque Asia (Page).

385–386: plura querentem passa: sc. eum, is a Greek construction for passa eum queri plura, “allowing him to complain no more” (Walpole).

385: querentem: = ut quereretur (Frieze). Aeneas continuing his complaint is a grief which his mother cannot bear. (Page).


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.

orīgō, inis, f.: a source, origin, beginning, 1.372; descent, lineage, birth, 1.286; source, root, founder, 12.166. (orior)

annālis, e.: adj. (annus), pertaining to years, or lasting through a year; subst., m., annalēs, ium, annals, records; story, history, 1.373.

vesper, eris or erī, m.: the evening; the evening star; the west, 5.19; personif., Vesper, Hesperus, 1.374, et al.

Olympus, ī, m.: Olympus, the name of several mountains in Greece and Asia Minor, the most famous of which was Mount Olympus in the northeastern part of Thessaly; the home of the superior gods; heaven, Olympus, 1.374; referring to the gods, 8.533.

Trōia, ae, f.: 1. Troy, the capital of the Troad, 2.625, et al. 2. A city built by Helenus in Epirus, 3.349. 3. A part of the city of Acesta in Sicily, 5.756. 4. The name of an equestrian game of Roman boys, 5.602.

Libycus, a, um: (adj.), Libyan, 1.339, et al.; subst., Libycum, ī, n., the Libyan or African sea, 5.595.

appellō, pulī, pulsus, 3, a.: to drive to; bring, convey to, 1.377; draw up to, moor on the shore, 7.39. (ad and pellō)

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

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.

Penātēs, ium, m.: gods of the household; hearth-, fireside gods, 2.514, et al.; tutelary gods of the state as a national family, 1.68; (fig.), fireside, hearth, dwelling-house, abode, 1.527. (penus)

Ītalia, ae (Ī by poetic (epic) license), f.: Italy, 1.2, et al.

Iuppiter, Iovis, m.: Jupiter, son of Saturn and Rhea, and king of the gods, 1.223; Iuppiter Stygius, Pluto, 4.638.

bis: (adv.), twice, 1.381. (in composition bi-)

dēnī, ae, a: (adj. num. distrib.), ten by ten; ten each; (as cardinal), ten, 1.381.

Phrygius, a, um: Phrygian, Trojan, 1.381; subst., Phrygiae, ārum, f., Phrygian or Trojan women, 518. (Phryx)

cōnscendō, scendī, scēnsus, 3, a. and n.: to ascend, climb, 1.180; mount, 12.736; embark on, 1.381. (com- and scandō, climb)

mōnstrō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to show, point out, indicate, 1.444; inform, tell, 1.321; direct, incite, 9.44; ordain, appoint, prescribe, 4.636. (mōnstrum)

septem: (num. adj.), seven, freq.

convellō, vellī, vulsus, 3, a.: to pull violently; pluck, tear, pull up, 3.24; wrench forth, 12.774; cut off, 6.148; p., convulsus, a, um, rent, shattered, 1.383; convulsed, 5.143.

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

supersum, fuī, esse, irreg., n.: to be over; to be left, remain (separated by tmesis), 2.567; survive, 8.399.

ignōtus, a, um: (adj.), unknown, 1.359; strange, 5.795; not well known, but little known, 11.527.

egēns, entis: destitute, needy, necessitous, helpless, 4.373. (egeō)

Libya, ae, f.: Libya; northern Africa; by poetic license, Africa, 1.22, et al.

dēserta, ōrum, n.: desert, waste places, 1.384; haunts, 7.404.

peragrō, āvī, ātus, 1, n. and a.: to go through fields or lands; to roam, travel; traverse, 1.384. (per and ager)

Eurōpa, ae, f.: 1. Europa, the daughter of Agenor, king of Phoenicia, borne by Jupiter over the sea to Crete. 2. Europe, 1.385.

Āsia, ae, f.: 1. Asia, a town of Lydia, near the river Cayster. 2. Asia Minor; Asia, 7.224, et al.

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.

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.

interfor, fātus sum, 1, dep. a.: to speak between; interrupt, 1.386.

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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.