Vergil, Aeneid IV 238-278

Dīxerat. Ille patris magnī pārēre parābat

imperiō; et prīmum pedibus tālāria nectit

aurea, quae sublīmem ālīs sīve aequora suprā240

seu terram rapidō pariter cum flāmine portant.

Tum virgam capit: hāc animās ille ēvocat Orcō

pallentēs, aliās sub Tartara trīstia mittit,

dat somnōs adimitque, et lūmina morte resignat.

Illā frētus agit ventōs et turbida trānat245

nūbila. Iamque volāns apicem et latera ardua cernit

Atlantis dūrī caelum quī vertice fulcit,

Atlantis, cīnctum adsiduē cui nūbibus ātrīs

pīniferum caput et ventō pulsātur et imbrī,

nix umerōs īnfūsa tegit, tum flūmina mentō250

praecipitant senis, et glaciē riget horrida barba.

Hīc prīmum paribus nītēns Cyllēnius ālīs

cōnstitit; hinc tōtō praeceps sē corpore ad undās

mīsit avī similis, quae circum lītora, circum

piscōsōs scopulōs humilis volat aequora iūxtā.255

Haud aliter terrās inter caelumque volābat

lītus harēnōsum ad Libyae, ventōsque secābat

māternō veniēns ab avō Cyllēnia prōlēs.

Ut prīmum ālātīs tetigit māgālia plantīs,

Aenēān fundantem arcēs ac tēcta novantem260

cōnspicit. Atque illī stellātus iäspide fulvā

ēnsis erat Tyriōque ārdēbat mūrice laena

dēmissa ex umerīs, dīves quae mūnera Dīdō

fēcerat, et tenuī tēlās discrēverat aurō.

Continuō invādit: 'Tū nunc Karthāginis altae265

fundāmenta locās pulchramque uxōrius urbem

exstruis? heu, rēgnī rērumque oblīte tuārum!

Ipse deum tibi mē clārō dēmittit Olympō

rēgnātor, caelum et terrās quī nūmine torquet,

ipse haec ferre iubet celerēs mandāta per aurās:270

Quid struis? aut quā spē Libycīs teris ōtia terrīs?

Sī tē nūlla movet tantārum glōria rērum

[nec super ipse tuā mōlīris laude labōrem,]

Ascanium surgentem et spēs hērēdis Iǖlī

respice, cui rēgnum Ītaliae Rōmānaque tellūs275

dēbētur.' Tālī Cyllēnius ōre locūtus

mōrtālēs vīsūs mediō sermōne relīquit

et procul in tenuem ex oculīs ēvānuit auram.

Manuscripts: M 238-262, 263-278 | P 238-253, 254-277, 278

238–278: Mercury immediately makes ready for his flight, taking with him his magic wand. He first alights on the hoary head of Atlas, and then, swooping downward to the sea, skirts the coast of Libya. He finds Aeneas overlooking the building of Carthage, delivers his message, and disappears (Page).

238–239: patris parēre parābat, prīmum pedibus: note the unusual alliteration (F-B).

238: ille: = Mercurius (Carter). patris magnī: = Iovis. Mercury was the son of Jupiter and Maia (Carter). parābat: the imperfect expressing the action in general precedes a number of present tense verbs expressing the details of the action (Carter).

239: talāria: the famous winged sandals of Mercury (Carter). [insert image]

240: sublīmem ālīs: supply illum (Pharr): “raised aloft by means of wings” (Stephenson); “upborne on wings” (F-B); “soaring on wings,” i.e., the wings attached to his talāria (Page). aequora suprā: = suprā aequora, anastrophe (Pharr).

241: rapidō partiter cum flāmine: = tam rapidē quam rapidum flāmen, “as swift as the wind” (Carter); “along with the swift breeze,” which he calls to his aid (226), and which helps to bear him along (Page). rapidō: “whirling,” in an active sense (Austin).

242: virgam: the caduceus or herld’s staff, which Mercury carried as a mark of his office. What follows is an explanatory aside, such as a modern prose-writer would put in a footnote (Austin). One of the attributes of Hermes or Mercury. It was a combination in one of the herald’s staff which he carried as messenger of the gods, and the magic wand with which he performed his different functions (Stephenson), such as guiding the dead (F-B). Cf. Homer, Iliad 24.343–344 (= Odyssey 5.47–48), and Statius, Thebaid 1.306–308. The caduceus of Hermes belongs in a large category of sticks with some symbolic significance or magical power, including the thyrsus, spear, sceptrre, crosier, shpehaerd’s crook, mace, magic wand, judge’s staff, dowsers’ stick, and blooming rod (Pease). animās ēvocat: supply aliās from the next verse: “some souls he summons forth…, others he conducts down…” (Page). Ēvocat seems to be an extension of Mercury’s functions; elsewhere he is represented only as conducting shades to Hades (Orcus and Tartarus appear to be used here in a general sense for Hades) (Stephenson). Orcō: ablative of place from which (AG 427).

242–244: hāc…resignat: supply virgā; a parenthetic description of his wand (Page). As escort of the souls of the dead, Mercury conducted them in both directions: to Hades after death, and back to the upper world as ghosts (Pharr).

243: sub Tartara: “down to the depths of Tartarus” (Carter).       

244: dat somnōs adimitque: The power of giving slumber and taking it away seems connected with his character as the messenger of Jove, from whom he brings good or evil dreams (Page). Cf. Homer’s account: “and he took the wand wherewith he lulls the eyes of those he wills, while others again he even wakes from out of sleep” (Odyssey 5.47–48) (F-B). lūmina morte resignat: “he unseals eyes in” or “from death,” i.e., he unseals the eyes of the dead before conducting them to Hades (Frieze). Taking “unseals in death,” we may explain it as an allusion to a Roman custom of opening the closed lids of the dead on the pyre, which would thus be described as done by command of Mercury, that they may see their way as he leads them down to Orcus. Otherwise we must render “unseals from death” and explain “restores to life,” the words being thus a mere repetition of 242. In any case the reference first to his power over the dead, then over those asleep, and then again over the dead is very awkward. The rendering “and again (at another time) seals the eyes in death (not sleep)” ignores the plain meaning of resignat (Page).

245: illā frētus agit ventōs: understand virgā with illā; ablative of means with frētus (AG 409) (Pharr). Resuming the narrative after the parentheses— “relying on it (i.e., on the magic power of the caduceus) he drives the winds.” Here the god is said to “drive,” “set in motion,” (G-K) or “outstrip” (Pharr) the winds, as previously (223, 241) he has been said to “fly” or “be carried along with the winds”; the poet presents the same idea in different shapes which are not strictly consistent (Page). trānat: = transnat (G-K), “cleaves” (Page), transvolat (Serv.).

247: Atlantis: in the following description, Vergil skillfully mingles the conception of Atlas as an anthropomorphic god and as a mountain (Pharr). Atlas was the Titan who, as punishment for his revolt, was compelled to carry the heavens on his shoulders (Carter). The Titan is here identified with the African mountain of the same name (Stephenson). In Homer and Hesiod, Atlas is never a mountain, but a giant who upholds the heavens upon his shoulders. The summit of Mt. Atlas is 12,000 feet above the sea (H-M) [insert image]. dūrī: an epithet equally suited to Atlas the “rocky” mountain and Atlas the “patient” Titan (Page): “of much-enduring Atlas” (G-K); “of toiling Atlas,” who, according to Homer, “upholds the lofty pillars that keep heaven and earth asunder” (Odyssey 1.52), but in the later form of the myth he himself “props the heavens” (F-B).

248: Atlantis: note the repetition (anaphora) from the preceding line (F-B). cīnctum adsidue cui…: supply est (Pharr). Literally, “the head being surrounded to whom” (Frieze); “whose pine-wreathed head is ever girt…”; cui is dative of interest / reference (AG 376) (F-B).

249: pīniferum: used as a general epithet of mountains. It is not at all appropriate to Mt. Atlas (Carter).

249–251: caput…umerōs…mentō…barba: The personification of the mountain as an old man with “pine-wreathed head,” “snowy mantle,” “streaming cheeks,” and “frozen beard,” seems to us overdone. To assign human characteristics to striking physical objects is common and natural; a lofty mountain may be “a giant bearing heaven on his back,” but when you begin to point out his eyes, nose, etc., the comparison becomes childish (Page). Some editors condemn the introduction of such human features as the chin, yet we must remember (1) that this is no ordinary mountain but one metamorphosed, as Ovid describes, from a person; and (2) that such terms as “head,” “arm,” “shoulder,” “knee,” and even “nose” and “chin” (as on Mt. Mansfield, Vermont) are even today used of parts of mountains, espcecially as seen in profile. One might also compare Dante, Inferno 14.19–120 (Pease).

250: umerōs: i.e., the yokes or ridges of the mountain (Carter). tum: “moreover” (F-B). mentō: supply , “from the chin” (Frieze); ablative of separation (AG 402) (Pharr).

251: praecipitant: supply (Carter). senis: “of the aged sire,” perhaps with the same idea as in our “old as the hills” (G-K). horrida: “unkempt” and long (he is represented with the long beard of an old man) (G-K).

252: hīc: on the summit of Atlas (Pharr). pāribus nitēns alīs: i.e., at the moment of poise in mid-air when the expanded wings are held motionless (Carter). He may be either “poising [himself] on even wing” (like a sailing bird) (G-K), i.e. just before alighting, or nitēns may describe active muscular effort, “making his way,” “flying with even wing,” for pāribus ālīs does not imply wings outstretched at rest, but is used even of active flight, the adjective merely contrasting the balanced movement of wings with the alternate movement of legs (Page). Mercury first rests on Mount Atlas, and then darts down to the place of his destination (Frieze).

Cyllēnius: an epithet of Mercury (H-M), “the Cyllenean,” of Mt. Cyllene in Arcadia, birthplace of the god (Pharr). ālīs: ablative of means (AG 409) with nitēns (Pharr).

253–255: hinc…iuxtā: The point is not that Mercury “swoops down” from Atlas like a bird from a crag, but that after he has swooped down to the sea he assumes the shape and flight of a sea-bird, such as a gull or a cormorant, which keeps close to the water in its pursuit of fish (cf. piscōsōs, 255) (Page). constitit: the paus here is effective. Mercury flies evenly to Mt. Atlas, then dives down to sea-level near Carthage, like a sea-bird coasting round before landing. Page strangely thinks that he assumed a bird’s form (Austin).

253: tōtō corpore: “with its whole weight”; allowing the weight of his body to have its full effect, without any resistance from the wings (Frieze).

254: avī: Some bird of the kind that feeds on fish, and darts down to the water, when it has caught sight of its prey (Frieze).

255: piscōsōs scopulōs: the cliffs at whose feet in the deep water fishes are numerous (Carter). humilis volat: “flies low” (F-B).

256–258: These lines are omitted by some editors, but MSS authority for them is overpowering, and they correspond with the passage of Homer which Vergil is closely copying. They are dull and frigid, but the sense is clear. Mercury “was flying between earth and heaven (thus contrasting his present flight with 240 sublīmem ālīs, where he is still soaring aloft) to Libya’s sandy coast, and cleaving the winds as he came…” (Page). Ribbeck brackets these lines as spurious, following other critics. But a simile articulated twice (avi similis…haud aliter) should not call them into suspicion: Vergil is very closely following a Homeric model (Odysey 5.51–52) (Conte).

256: terrās: i.e., skimming near the water (G-K).

256–257: volābat, secābat: Similar jingles, probably accidental, occur elsewhere, as below at 260: fundantem…novantem (Page).

257: lītus harēnōsum ad Libyae: = ad lītus harēnōsum Libyae; anastrophe, an inversion of the usual order of words (Pharr); ad lītus, “along the shore” (G-K).

258: māternō ab avō: Atlas was the father of Maia the mother of Mercury, but to speak of Mercury here as coming from “his maternal grandsire” is absurd, especially when he is also described as “Cyllene’s child,” i.e. not “the child of Cyllene,” but nursed or reared on Cyllene, a mountain in Arcadia (Page).

259–264: Mercury, sent by his father Jupiter, has reached Carthage, where he finds Aeneas gorgeously appareled, superintending the buildings of Carthage. He delivers his message and departs (Stephenson).

259: māgālia: a Punic word, used here apparently for the smaller houses on the outskirts of the city as opposed to the larger buildings in the city itself. According to Servius, the suburbs of Carthage were called ‘Magalia’ (Stephenson).

260: Aenēan: emphatic initial placement; Aeneas is the first person that he sees (Austin). tēcta novantem: = nova tēcta aedificantem (Frieze). Notice the internal rhyme of fundantem… novantem (Austin).

261: cōnspicit, etc.: “he beholds Aeneas founding...while see! his sword was starred...” The point here is that when Mercury sees Aeneas he is immediately struck by the magnificence of his apparel, which indicates a woman’s wanton rather than a warrior (Page). atque: “and lo!” Note the tone of surprise, implied both in this word and in the emphatic pause after cōnspicit. (F-B). stellātus iaspide: i.e., on the hilt of the sword (G-K).

262: ēnsis: the sword itself is put for the scabbard, which was “starred with tawny jaspar.” ārdēbat: a good choice of verb; the purple cloak “was glowing.” The whole picture is dazzling—and Oriental (Austin). mūrice: the mūrex was the shellfish from which purple dye was made, and Tyrian was the richest and finest of all purple dyes. Pliny (NH 9.135) states that the Tyrian hue resembled that of clotted blood (Austin). laena: A cloak, fastened with a fibula (a pin or broach). It was an old Roman garment, made generally of thick woolen material, used as protection against the weather, or as a wrap in going to and from the cēna. It is a common garment of heroes in the poets. Under the empire it was a garment of various price according to the dye used, and the point here, as Conington says, is the Tyrian purple, the most expensive dye, and the golden thread, which made the garment luxurious (Stephenson). The laena was much used under the empire instead of the toga (G-K). Though a gay laena might be a sign of luxury, yet a chief naturally wore a purple one, and it is only the context here which suggests the sense of luxurious splendor (Page).

264: fēcerat et...discrēverat: “had wrought, interweaving the web with thread of gold (F-B). The clause et discrēverat introduces an explanation of how it was wrought (Page). She had inserted between the long threads of the cloth (tēlīs) cross-threads of gold. The cloak was woven, therefore, by Dido herself, in accordance with primitive customs (Frieze). tenuī: shows the fineness of the interweaving of the cloak (Austin).

265: continuō: a favorite word of Vergil’s, and frequent in earlier poetry, but rare in post-Virgilian verse (Austin). invādit: “attacks,” like adgreditur (92), but stronger (Page); “assails (him)”; i.e., addresses him sternly (F-B). The suggestion of continuō invādit is that Mercury wasted no time but “went for” Aeneas the moment he caught sight of him (Austin). tū: emphatic. Force is also secured by the omission of an interrogative particle (F-B). Karthāginis altae: a hint at the future grandeur and hostility of Carthage (G-K): “Art thou, Aeneas, laying the foundations of mighty Carthage, Carthage, the city of Juno, who seeks your destruction?” (Frieze). It should be an Italian city that Aeneas is building (Austin).

266: uxōrius: “a woman’s minion,” very contemptuous (F-B). This is Mercury’s own sneer; note the juxtaposition with pulchram: Aeneas is so much tied to Dido’s apron-string that he is building her fine city for her (Austin). Aeneas, though not Dido’s husband, here acts as if he were (Pease).

267: rērum: “fortunes” (F-B). oblīte: a perfect participle (of oblīviscor) in the vocative shows that this thought is exclamatory (F-B). Perhaps a vocative standing in for a nominative, as in 2.283: expectate venis; 12.947: tune hinc spoliis indute meorum (Pease).

268–70: ipse...ipse: extreme emphasis showing the gravity of the message. Various shades of meaning converge in it: (a) the decision is Jupiter’s own, (b) it is Jupiter in person who sends the message, and (c) his power is supreme and unquestionable (Austin).

268: deum: = deōrum. tibi: = ad tē (Frieze). Note the emphatic juxtaposition of tibi mē (F-B).

269: caelum...torquet: “with his power guides the heaven and the earth” (Page). As Conington says, probably combines the notions of physical movement and government (Stephenson); “sways,” with caelum, in a physical sense, i.e., “revolves,” with terrās, in a moral one, i.e., “rules” (F-B). nūmine: connected here with the idea of Jupiter’s nod (nuō, nuere), by which he controls all things (Austin).

271: struis: = “aim at,” but with special reference to the city he is building (G-K) teris ōtia: “do you waste idle hours?” “Do you (idly) squander time?” (Frieze); “waste your time” (literally, wear away idleness, i.e., make the time idle instead of laborious, and thus wear it away). (G-K). This seems an unjust sneer, for whatever Aeneas has done wrong, he is clearly not ōtiōsus (Austin). The assonance of teris...terrīs is probably accidental (Page), however the s-sounds of the line are note-worthy (Austin).

273: The evidence against this line, made up from 4.233 with mere changes from the third to the second person, seems convincing. On the tendency of MSS to interpolate lines from parallel passages cf. Heinze, Vergils epische Technik, 3rd ed. (1915), 93 n.2 (Pease). The line is omitted in the primary MSS; the changes from 233 are very perfunctory, and it is clearly suspect (Austin).

274: Ascanium, Iūlī: two names for the same person (F-B). spēs hērēdis Iūlī: objective genitive (AG 348): “the hopes of your heir Iulus,” i.e., the hope of empire which he rightly entertains (Page). The hope connected with Iulus as your heir. As thus used, in connection with hērēdis, the name suggests the Julian house, which claimed descent from Iulus (see 1.288 and 6.789) (G-K). Mercury is saying, in essence, “if you do not care for yourself, you have no right to disappoint your son and heir” (Stephenson).

276: dēbētur: “due” or “destined” to him by fate (Frieze). Note how Mercury’s speech ends abruptly with a single run-on word, and then he vanishes (Austin). tālī...ōre: more than just tālibus verbīs; ōs implies not only the spoken word upon the lips, but the way they are said and the whole expression or “mien” of the speaker (Austin).

277: mortālēs vīsūs: “his human appearance” (accusative plural) (Frieze). mediō sermōne: “even as he was speaking”; the phrase indicates that before the words were well completed he was gone (Page). When he had scarcely ceased to speak, and without waiting for an answer (Frieze). 


tālāria, ium, n.: sandals; winged sandals, 4.239. (tālus, ankle)

nectō, nexuī, or nexī, nexus, 3, a.: to tie, bind, fasten, 4.239; bind together or round, 1.448; join, unite, of soul and body, 4.695; (fig.), of arguments, 9.219.

sublīmis, e: (adj.), raised up, elevated, uplifted, 11.602; aloft; on high, 1.259; through the air, 1.415; on high, 6.720; to heaven, 5.255; of lofty soul, 12.788; (adv.), sublīme, loftily, aloft, on high, 10.664.

āla, ae, f.: a wing, 1.301; the feather of an arrow, 9.578; the wing of an army; cavalry, 11.730; troop, battalion, 11.604; horsemen, mounted huntsmen, 4.121.

sīve or seu: (conj.), or if, freq.; or, 5.69; elliptical, 11.327; sīve (seu) — sīve (seu), whether — or, 1.569, 570; either — or, 4.240, 241.

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

pariter: (adv.), equally, 2.729; also, in like manner, in the same manner, on equal terms, 1.572; side by side, 2.205; at the same time, 10.865; pariter — pariter, 8.545. (pār)

flāmen, inis, n.: a blowing; blast, gale, breeze, wind, 4.241. (flō, blow)

virga, ae, f.: a twig, bough, branch, 6.144; a wand (the caduceus of Mercury), 4.242. (vireō)

ēvocō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to call out or forth; summon, conjure, 4.242.

Orcus, ī, m.: Orcus, the lower world, Hades, 4.242; personif., the god of the lower world, Orcus, Dis, Pluto.

palleō, uī, 2, n.: to be pale; p., pallēns, entis, pallid, wan, pale, 4.26.

Tartarus, ī, m., pl., Tartara, ōrum, n.: the lower world, Hades; especially that portion which was set apart for the wicked; Tartarus, 5.734, et al.

adimō, ēmī, ēmptus, 3, a.: to take to one’s self; take from or away, 4, 244; pluck out, 3, 658. (ad and emō)

resīgnō, āvī, ātus: to unseal; (fig.), to open, of the eyes, 4.244.

frētus, a, um: (adj.), leaning on; w. abl. of the thing on which; relying on, confiding in, trusting to, 4.245.

turbidus, a, um: adj. (turbō), confused; mingled, foul, 6.296; dismal, dark, 6.534; whirling, 5.696; of the mind, sad, troubled, 4.353; startled, in alarm, 11.814; furious, 11.742.

trānō, āvī, ātus, 1, a. and n.: to swim or sail across, 6.671; fly across or through, 4.245. (trāns and nō)

nūbilus, a, um: adj. (nūbēs), cloudy; subst., nūbilum, ī, cloudy weather; pl., nūbila, ōrum, clouds, 3.586.

volō, āvī, ātus, 1, n.: to fly, 1.300, et al.; of rumor, to be spread rapidly, noised or spread abroad, 3.121.

apex, icis, m.: the point of anything; peak, top, summit, 4.246; pointed flame, 2.683; cone of a helmet, 10.270; a peaked cap, 8.664.

arduus, a, um: (adj.), steep; erect, high, raised high, 2.475; 5.480; lofty, towering, 2.328; rearing, 11.638.

Atlās, antis, m.: Atlas, a king of Mauretania, famed for his knowledge of the stars, and hence said to have borne the heavens on his head and shoulders, transformed, according to mythology, by Perseus with the Gorgon’s head into the mountain that bears his name, 1.741, et al.

vertex, icis, m.: a whirl; whirlpool, 7.567; vortex, 1.117; whirling column of flame, 12.673; the top, crown of the head, the head, 1.403; summit, top, 1.163; mountain summit, height, 3.679; ā vertice, from on high, from above, 1.114. (vertō)

fulciō, fulsī, fultus, 4, a.: to sustain, support, uphold, 4.247.

adsiduē: adv. (adsiduus), persistently, perpetually, constantly, 4.248.

nūbēs, is, f.: a cloud, 1.516, et al.; storm, 10.809; the air, 12.856; (fig.), flock, multitude, 7.705.

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.

pīnifer, era, erum: adj. (pīnus and ferō), pine-bearing, pine-covered, 4.249.

pulsō, āvī, ātus, 1, intens. a. and n.: to beat much; batter, buffet, 5.460; strike, 6.647; lash, 3.555; beat with the hoofs, dash along, 11.660; violate, insult, 12.286; pulsate, throb, 5.138; rebound, 4.313. (pellō)

imber, imbris, m.: a rain-storm; shower, 1.743, et al.; rain-cloud, 3.194; of sea-water, flood, 1.123; hail, 8.429.

nix, nivis, f.: snow, 4.250.

umerus, ī, m.: the upper bone of the arm; the shoulder, 1.501, and freq.

īnfundō, fūdī, fūsus, 3, a.: to pour into or upon, 6.254; pour down, 4.122; assemble, crowd together, 5.552; infuse, diffuse, 6.726; (pass.), lie, repose, 8.406.

mentum, ī: the chin, 4.250; the beard, 6.809. (minor, to project)

praecipitō, āvī, ātus, 1, a. and n.: to cast headlong, hurl, plunge, 2.37; urge, hurry, hasten; impel, incite, 2.317; break off, end swiftly, 12.699; hasten away, 4.565; n. (sc. sē), fall headlong, 6.351; descend swiftly, 2.9; run down, 4.251. (praeceps)

glaciēs, ēī, f.: ice, 4.251, et al.

rigeō, riguī, 2, n.: to be stiff, 4.251; p., rigēns, entis, stiff, 1.648.

horridus, a, um: adj. (horreō), rough, bristling, 3.23, et al.; bristling with arms; shaggy, grizzly, stiffened, 4.251; blustering, tempestuous, 9.670; terrible, fearful, 1.296.

barba, ae, f.: the beard, 3.593.

pār, paris: (adj.), equal, 1.705; like, 2.794; equal, well-poised, steady, 4.252; side by side, 5.580; well-matched, 5.114.

nītor, nīsus or nīxus sum, 3, dep. n.: to lean or rest upon, w. abl., 6.760; tread, walk upon, 2.380; to be borne upon, poised or balanced upon, 4.252; push, press, struggle forward or upward; ascend, 2.443.

Cyllēnius, a, um: adj. (Cyllēnē), of Cyllene; Cyllenian; subst. m., the Cyllenian god; Mercury, 4.252.

praeceps, cipitis: adj. (prae and caput), head foremost; headlong, 2.307; deep, 11.888; hurried, hasty, quick, speedy, 4.573; flying, running swiftly, 2.516; 3.598; rash, impetuous, fiery, 9.685; prolept., ready to sink, 10.232; subst., praeceps, n., a steep, precipice, verge, 2.460; in praeceps, headlong; downwards, 6.578.

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

piscōsus, a, um: adj. (piscis), abounding in fish; haunt of fish, 4.255.

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.

humilis, e: adj. (humus), near the ground; low down; low, 4.255; low-lying, 3.522; near the surface, shallow, 7.157; unpretentious, lowly.

iūxtā: (adv. and prep. w. acc.), near, close, near by, 2.513; at the same time, 2.666; near to, 3.506.

harēnōsus, a, um: adj. (harēna), sandy, 4.257.

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

secō, secuī, sectus, 1, a.: to cut, freq.; cut off, 4.704; engrave, carve, 3.464; cut through, cleave, 5.218, et al.; of the channel of a river, 8.63; sail through, pass, 8.96; speed, 6.899; shape out mentally, form, 10.107.

māternus, a, um: adj. (māter), pertaining to a mother; mother's, maternal, 4.144; maternal, on the mother's side, 4.258; of a mother’s gift, 12.107.

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.

avus, ī, m.: a grandfather, grandsire, 2.457; sire, father, ancestor, 6.840.

prōlēs, is, f.: that which springs forth; offspring, race, progeny, 1.75; lineage, 3.180.

ālātus, a, um: adj. (āla), winged, 4.259.

māgālia, ium, n. pl: huts, dwellings, 1.421. (a Punic word)

planta, ae, f.: the sole of the foot, 4.259. (cf. plānus, flat)

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.

fundō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to make or lay the bottom of anything; to found, erect, build, 4.260; establish, render stable, organize, 6.811; of ships, hold to the bottom, fasten, moor, hold, 6.4. (fundus)

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.

novō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to make new, renew, renovate, repair, 5.752; change, 5.604; build, 4.260; rēs novāre, to change one's purpose or plans; take new measures, 4.290. (novus)

cōnspiciō, spexī, spectus, 3, a.: to have a complete view of; to look at, see, behold, 1.152; descry, discover, find, 6.508; p., cōnspectus, a, um, conspicuous. (com- and speciō, look)

stellō, no perf, ātus, 1, n. and a.: to cover over with stars; to stud with stars; p., stellāns, antis, starry, 7.210; p., stellātus, a, um, set with stars; (fig.), glittering, gleaming, 4.261. (stella)

iaspis, idis, f.: a precious stone of greenish hue; jasper, 4.261.

fulvus, a, um: (adj.), reddish or tawny yellow; yellow, 5.374; tawny, 2.722; brown, 11.751; glowing, bright, 12.792.

ēnsis, is, m.: a sword, 2.393, et al.; knife, 2.155.

Tyrius, a, um: adj. (Tyrus), of Tyre; Tyrian or Phoenician, 1.12; subst., Tyrius, iī, m., a Tyrian, 1.574; pl., 1.747.

mūrex, icis, m.: the murex or purple fish; a sharp-pointed shellfish from which was obtained the Tyrian purple; (meton.), purple dye, purple, 4.262; a pointed or jagged rock, 5.205.

laena, ae, f.: an upper garment; cloak, mantle, 4.262.

dēmittō, mīsī, missus, 3, a.: to send down, 1.297; shed, 6.455; let down into, receive, admit, (of the mind or the senses), 4.428; consign, condemn, 2.85; convey, conduct, 5.29; transmit, hand down, 1.288; dēmittere mentem, to lose heart, sink into despair, 12.609.

Dīdō, ūs or ōnis, f.: Dido, daughter of Belus, king of Phoenicia, who fled from her brother Pygmalion to Africa, where she founded the city of Carthage, 1.299.

tenuis, e: adj. (cf. tendō), stretched out; slender, thin, 4.278; light, 3.448; little, 10.511; airy, ethereal, 6.292; delicate, fine, 4.264; scanty, yielding a scanty livelihood, 8.409; reduced, perishing, sinking, 5.690; simple, trivial, humble.

tēla, ae, f.: a web; the long thread of a woven fabric; the warp; web, 4.264. (texō)

discernō, crēvī, crētus, 3, a.: to distinguish one thing from another; determine, distinguish, decide, 12.898; perceive, 3.201; mark, set off; work, embroider, 4.264.

continuō: (adv.), immediately, straightway. (continuus)

invādō, vāsī, vāsus, 3, a. and n.: to go into; enter, 3.382; enter upon, 6.260; invade, violate, 6.623; rush into, 12.712; attack, assail, 2.414; address, accost, 4.265; undertake, adventure, 9.186.

Karthāgō, inis, f.: a city built by Phoenician adventurers on the northern coast of Africa, opposite Sicily, a short distance N.E. of the modern Tunis, 1.13, et al. (Καρχηδών, new city)

fundāmentum, ī, n.: a foundation, 4.266. (1. fundō)

locō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to place, put, 1.213, et al.; lay, 1.428; found, 1.247. (locus)

uxōrius, a, um: adj. (uxor, wife), pertaining to a wife; enslaved to one's wife, uxorious, slave of a wife, 4.266.

exstruō, strūxī, strūctus, 3, a.: to build up; erect; raise, spread, 3.224; build, 4.267; p., exstrūctus, a, um, raised by, reclining on, 9.326. exstrūctum, ī, n., an elevated seat or tribunal, 5.290.

heu: (interj.), alas! ah! oh! 2.289, et al.

oblīvīscor, oblītus sum, 3, dep. n. and a.: to forget, w. acc. or gen. of object, 2.148; to be heedless, unmindful, forgetful of, 5.174; p., oblītus, a, um, having forgotten; forgetful, 4.528.

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.

rēgnātor, ōris, m.: one who reigns; sovereign, lord, 2.779, et al. (rēgnō)

torqueō, torsī, tortus, 2, a.: to wind, turn, twist, 4.575; roll along, 6.551; whirl, hurl, 3.208; shoot, 5.497; cast, dash, 1.108; direct, 4.220; turn away, 6.547; turn, cause to revolve, 4.269; control, 12.180; p., tortus, a, um, whirled, whirling, impetuous, 7.567.

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.

mandātum, ī, n.: a charge, order, command, 4.270, et al.

struō, strūxī, strūctus, 3, a.: to place side by side or upon; to pile up; build, erect, 3.84; cover, load, 5.54; arrange, 1.704; like īnstruō, to form or draw out a line of battle, 9.42; (fig.), to plan, purpose, intend, 4.271; bring about, effect, 2.60. (rel. to sternō)

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

terō, trīvī, trītus, 3, a.: to rub; wear, clash, strike, 5.324; of time, spend, pass, 9.609; waste, 4.271.

Ascanius, iī, m.: Ascanius, son of Aeneas, and traditional founder of Alba Longa, 1.267.

hērēs, ēdis, m.: an heir, 4.274.

Iūlus, ī, m.: Iulus or Ascanius, son of Aeneas, 1.267, et freq.

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

Rōmānus, a, um: adj. (Rōma), belonging to Rome; Roman, 1.33; subst., Rōmānus, ī, m., a Roman, 1.234.

vīsus, ūs, m.: a seeing; vision, sight, 4.277; a phenomenon, spectacle, appearance, sight, 2.212; aspect, 11.271; prodigy, 3.36. (videō)

ēvānēscō, vānuī, 3, inc. n.: to disappear, vanish, 4.278.

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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.