Map of the journey of Antenor as described by Venus in Vergil, Aeneid 1.242-247. Ancient coastline and elevation data supplied by the Ancient World Mapping Center.


    Aeneid 1.242-247

    Antēnor potuit mediīs ēlāpsus Achīvīs

    Īllyricōs penetrāre sinūs atque intima tūtus

    rēgna Liburnōrum et fontem superāre Timāvī,

    unde per ōra novem vāstō cum murmure montis

    it mare prōruptum et pelagō premit arva sonantī.

    Hīc tamen ille urbem Patavī sēdēsque locāvit.

    Illyricos sinus: “Illyrian gulfs,” meaning the Adriatic gulf along the shores of Illyricum. Illyrian attacks on shipping brought Roman intervention in the First and Second Illyrian Wars (229/8, 219 BC).

    regna Liburnorum: "the realm of the Liburni." A wild and piratical race (Livy 10.2), the Liburni used privateers called lembi or naves Liburnicae with one very large lateen sail, which, adopted by the Romans in their struggle with Carthage (Eutropius 2.22) and in the Second Macedonian War (Livy 42.48), supplanted gradually the high-bulwarked galleys which had formerly been in use. (Caesar, Civil War 3.5; Horace, Epodes 1.1.) (Smith)

    fontem Timavi: the small river Timavus (modern Timavo) flows into the Adriatic near Trieste.

    urbem Patavi: meaning Padua, some twenty miles west of Venice. According to a tradition recorded by Virgil, and universally received in antiquity, it was founded by Antenor, who escaped thither after the fall of Troy; and Livy, himself a native of the city, confirms this tradition, though he does not mention the name of Patavium, but describes the whole nation of the Veneti as having migrated to this part of Italy under the guidance of Antenor. it was at an early period an opulent and flourishing city: Strabo even tells us that it could send into the field an army of 120,000 men, but this is evidently an exaggeration, and probably refers to the whole nation of the Veneti, of which it was the capital. (Strab. v. p.213.) Whatever was the origin of the Veneti, there seems no doubt they were, a people far more advanced in civilisation than the neighbouring Gauls, with whom they were on terms of almost continual hostility. (Smith)

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    June 2015
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