Vergil, Aeneid I 198-207

'Ō sociī (neque enim ignārī sumus ante malōrum),

ō passī graviōra, dabit deus hīs quoque fīnem.

Vōs et Scyllaeam rabiem penitusque sonantēs200

accestis scopulōs, vōs et Cyclōpia saxa

expertī: revocāte animōs maestumque timōrem

mittite; forsan et haec ōlim meminisse iuvābit.

Per variōs cāsūs, per tot discrīmina rērum

tendimus in Latium, sēdēs ubi Fāta quiētās205

ostendunt; illīc fās rēgna resurgere Trōiae.

Dūrāte, et vōsmet rēbus servāte secundīs.'

Manuscripts: M 198-204, 205-207 | R 198, 199-207 | F 198-205, 206-207

Returning to his companions, Aeneas addresses them with consoling words (Wetherell). 

198: neque enim: almost = non, but strictly “for not before this either” (F-B). Gives the ground of some proposition understood, as nil desperandum (Frieze). summus ante: an adverb of time with a present tense (to be translated by a perfect) is a common idiom in most languages, though not in English (F-B) (AG 466). ante malorum: the adverb here has the force of an adjective (Bennett). ante: = praeteritorum, limiting malorum…or with ignari sumus, “we are not inexperienced before now in ills” (Walpole).

199: o passi graviora: “O (you) having suffered heavier (woes)” (Walpole). A line famous for its depth of expression. Note the alliteration (dabit deus) (F-B). graviora: supply mala (Robertson). his: supply malis (Robertson).

200: vos et: repeated in the next line, a high rhetorical anaphora. Vergil uses a technique familiar in the historians, where a speech before battle stresses previous victories over the same, or a similar, enemy (Austin). Scyllaeam rabiam: “the fury of Scylla.” She was a monster who was said to dwell in the Straits of Messina (F-B) (Smith’s Dictionary s.v. Scylla). Adjectives derived from proper names are often substituted for the genitive case (Frieze). penitus sonantes: “deep echoing,” i.e., the barking of Scylla’s dogs echoes through the caverns (F-B).

201: accestis: shortened by syncope for accessistis (F-B). Cyclopia saxa: the rocks amid which the Cyclopes (plural) dwelt (F-B).

202: experti: sc. estis (F-B).

203: mittite: = omittite, as often (F-B). forsan: the use of this particle with the Indic. is poetical, in imitation of the construction fortasse (Conway). et: = etiam (Walpole). haec: acc. after meminisse (Robertson). olim: = aliquando in prose (Walpole). meminisse: subject infinitive with iuvabit (Carter). iuvabit: “it will be pleasant,” used impersonally with a clause as subject (Robertson).

204: discrimina rerum: “perils of fortune” (Frieze).

205: tendimus: sc. iter, “we are pursuing our way” (F-B). in Latium: Aeneas is not supposed to known anything at this point about Latium. (F-B).

206: ostendunt: sc. nobis (Knapp). fas: sc. est (Carter).

207: vosmet: strong form of vos (Knapp). rebus...secundis: dative (Carter).


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.

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.

malum, ī, n.: an evil, a misfortune, calamity, adversity; suffering, woe, misery, 1.198; misdeed, crime, sin, wickedness, 6.739; pest, curse, scourge, 4.174; mischief, poison, 7.375.

Scyllaeus, a, um: adj. (Scylla), pertaining to Scylla; Scyllaean, 1.200.

rabiēs, em, ē, f.: madness, frenzy, fury, fierceness, 2.357, et al.; of inanimate things, 5.802, et al.

penitus: adv. (cf. penes), inwardly, far within, deep, deeply, 1.200; wholly, entirely, 6.737; afar, 11.623; far away, 1.512.

sonāns, antis: sounding, resounding, murmuring, rustling, rattling, freq. (sonō)

accēdō, cessī, cessus (perf. ind., accēstis for accessistis, 1.201), 3, n.: to go or draw near to; approach, with acc. alone, 1.307. (ad and cedo)

scopulus, ī, m.: a projecting ledge of rock; a high cliff or rock, 1.180; crag, 1.45; ledge, reef, 1.145; detached rock, fragment of rock, 12.531.

Cyclōpius, a, um: adj. (Cyclōps), pertaining to the Cyclops; Cyclopean, 1.201.

forsan: (adv.), perhaps, 1.203. (for forsitan)

meminī, isse, def. a. and n.: (w. acc., gen., or inf.), to have in mind; remember, be mindful, recollect, 1.203; distinguish, 3.202. (rel. to mēns)

discrīmen, inis, n.: a separating interval, space, 5.154; separation, division, 10.382; distance, 3.685; difference, distinction, 1.574; variation, division, of sound; note, 6.646; crisis, danger, peril, 1.204; pl., difference, 10.529. (discernō)

Latium, iī, n.: a country of ancient Italy, extending from the left bank of the lower Tiber to Campania, 1.6; (meton.), for Latīnī, the Latins, people of Latium, 10.365, et al. (2. latus; Virgil, 8.323, derives it from lateō)

quiēscō, quiēvī, quiētus, 3, n.: to rest, 7.6; repose, rest in death, 1.249; be hushed, still, quiet, 4.523; cease from action, 5.784; lie, 10.836; p., quiētus, a, um, at rest, quiet, 5.848; still, calm, tranquil, 5.216; peaceful, in repose, 4.379; gentle, friendly, 1.303. (quiēs)

fās, indecl. n.: divine right or law; duty, justice, 3.55; privilege, 9.96; as predicate with esse, permitted, lawful, proper, incumbent, 1.77, et al. (rel. to for)

resurgō, surrēxī, surrēctus, 3, n.: to rise again, 1.206; revive, return, 4.531.

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.

dūrō, āvī, ātus, 1, a. and n.: to make hard, harden; to be enduring; endure, persevere; be firm, patient, bear up, 1.207; continue, last. (dūrus)

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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.