Vergil, Aeneid I 142-156

Sīc ait, et dictō citius tumida aequora plācat

collēctāsque fugat nūbēs sōlemque redūcit.

Cӯmothoē simul et Trītōn adnīxus acūtō

dētrūdunt nāvēs scopulō; levat ipse tridentī145

et vāstās aperit syrtēs et temperat aequor

atque rotīs summās levibus perlābitur undās.

Ac velutī magnō in populō cum saepe coorta est

sēditiō saevitque animīs ignōbile vulgus

iamque facēs et saxa volant, furor arma ministrat;150

tum, pietāte gravem ac meritīs sī forte virum quem

cōnspexēre, silent arrēctīsque auribus astant;

ille regit dictīs animōs et pectora mulcet:

sīc cūnctus pelagī cecidit fragor, aequora postquam

prōspiciēns genitor caelōque invectus apertō155

flectit equōs currūque volāns dat lōra secundō.

    Manuscripts: M 142-145, 146-156 | R 142-144, 145-156

    Neptune calms the storm (Storr). 

    142: dicto citius: “sooner than his word,” i.e., before his order was given (F-B). dicto is abl. after the compar. citius (Robertson) (AG 406).

    144: Cymothoe: a Nereid or sea-nymph (F-B). Triton: Neptune’s trumpeter (F-B) (Smith’s Dictionry, s.v. Triton). simul adnixus: “with common effort” (F-B). Instead of the usual construction in the plural, adnixi, refers both to the Nereid, Cymothoe, and to the sea god, Triton (Frieze). = simulsimul (Storr).

    145: scopulo: abl. after detrudunt (Robertson) (AG 402). ipse: = Neptune (Walpole).

    146: aperit: “makes a way through” (F-B).

    147: rotis: for curru; abl. of means (Frieze).

    148: ac veluti magno in populo cum saepe: the order is: —ac veluti saepe in magno populo, cum (Robertson). This famous simile, drawn from a Roman mob, is remarkable as illustrating nature (or a god of nature) by means of man, instead of the opposite. The central figure in the picture is one with whom even a god may fitly be compared, and indicates the true Roman reverence for the great and good citizen (F-B). The image was no doubt suggested by the riots in the Roman Forum during the furious political contests of the late republic. (Conington). ac veluti: “and just as.” ac connects the whole paragraph with what precedes. (F-B). magno in populo: “in a great nation,” such as Rome (F-B). “In a concourse of people,” not “in a mighty people.” (Conington) saepe: implies quod saepe accidit, “as often happens” (Frieze). grammatically dependent on coorta est, is really an abbreviated (“syncopated”) form for id quod saepe fit (Carter).

    149: seditio: “riot” (F-B). animis: local ablative (F-B). abl. of manner (G-K).

    150: furor arma ministrat: because no citizen could carry arms within the walls of the city (Walpole).

    151: pietate, meritis: pietate, general discharge of duty; meritis, services to the state (Conington). Abl. of cause (Comstock). gravem: gravitas was one of the qualities most admired by the Romans (F-B). si forte virum quem: “if haply some man.” quem is the indefinite pronoun often used after si, nisi, ne, num (F-B) (AG 149b).

    152: conspexere: plural, notwithstanding vulgus (149), because the individuals are thought of (F-B).

    154: sic: corresponding to veluti (148). aequora: object of prospiciens (Walpole).

    155: caeloque invectus aperto: “riding under a clear sky”; caelo, ablative of attendant circumstance (AG 420.5). Neptune does not ride through the sky, but over the water. invectus has a present meaning (F-B). caelo aperto: aperto is not the participle, but the adjective … “the sky clear and unclouded,” as it was before the storm began (Henry).

    156: curru: the contracted form of dative currui (Frieze). “To his chariot and his horses” (Conington). flectit, dat: historical presents (F-B). curru secundo: The word secundus has two meanings: second in rank or order, and going or acting along with another, as a second, not principal, actor. The currus (not the car considered as apart from the horses, but the horses considered as drawing the car) obeys every wish of the driver, seconds his will (Henry). volans: “at full speed” (Conington).


    dictum, ī, n.: a thing said; word, 1.197; command, precept, injunction, 1.695; promise, 8.643. (dīcō)

    tumidus, a, um: adj. (tumeō), swollen, 1.142; distended, 10.387; elated, 9.596; incensed, angry, 6.407; causing to swell, swelling, 3.357.

    plācō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to appease, 2.116; calm, quiet, still, 1.142; subdue, quell, 6.803. (rel. to placeō)

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

    redūcō, dūxī, ductus, 3, a.: to lead, bring back; restore, 1.143; return, 9.257; draw back, 5.478; rescue, 4.375.

    Cȳmothoē, ēs, f.: Cymothoe, a Nereid, 1.144.

    Trītōn, ōnis, m.: Triton, a son of Neptune, 1.144; pl., Trītōnēs, um, m., sea-gods of the form of Triton, 5.824.

    adnītor, nīsus or nīxus sum, 3, dep. n.: to press upon; (with dat.), lean against, 12.92; lean, rest upon, 4.690; alone, make effort, strive, 5.226; ply the oars, 4.583.

    acūtus, a, um: sharpened, pointed, sharp, 1.45. (acuō)

    dētrūdō, trūsī, trūsus, 3, a.: to thrust down or away; push off from, 1.145; drive from, thrust out, 6.584; thrust down, 7.772.

    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.

    levō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to render light; lighten; lift, aid, 1.145; raise, 4.690; (fig.), ease, relieve of (w. abl.); support, rest, 10.834; reënforce, help, 2.452; mitigate, 3.36; allay, 7.495; cure, 7.755; relieve, 7.571. (2. levis)

    tridēns, entis: adj. (trēs and dēns), three-pronged, trident, 5.143; subst., tridēns, entis, m., a triple-pointed spear; trident, 1.138.

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

    syrtis, is, f.: a sand-bank or shoal in the sea; esp., Syrtis Maior and Syrtis Minor, on the northern coast of Africa, 4.41; a sand-bank, shoal, 1.111.

    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)

    rota, ae, f.: a wheel, 1.147; (fig.), circle or orbit of time, 6.748.

    perlābor, lāpsus sum, 3, dep. n.: to glide through or over, 1.147; reach, come down in tradition, 7.646.

    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.

    coorior, ortus sum, 4, dep. n.: to arise completely, or at once; break out, arise, 1.148.

    sēditiō, ōnis, f.: a mutiny; faction, 11.340; uprising, riot; outbreak, tumult, 1.149. (sēd- and eō)

    saeviō, iī, ītus, 4, n.: to be fierce; to be furious, rage; be angry, 6.544. (saevus)

    ignōbilis, e: (adj.), unknown; obscure, 7.776; low, base, 1.149; undistinguished, bringing no renown, ignoble.

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

    ministrō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to serve, attend to, manage, 6.302; to minister, give, furnish, supply, 1.150. (minister)

    meritum, ī, n.: a thing deserved; desert; service, favor, merit, 1.74. (mereō)

    quis, qua or quae, quid or quod: (indef. pron., adj., and subst.), any, some, 2.94, et al.; some one, any one, any body, anything, something, 1.413, et al.; sī quis, nē quis, etc., if any, lest any, etc., freq.; (adv.), quid, as to anything, in anything, at all, freq.; sī quid, if at all, freq.

    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)

    sileō, uī, 2, n. and a.: to be, keep, remain silent, 2.126; be hushed, calm, still, 1.164; w. acc., to pass over in silence; leave unmentioned, unsung, 10.793.

    arrigō, rēxī, rēctus, 3, a.: to raise up; erect; bristle up, 10.726; (fig.), to excite, rouse; p., arrēctus, a, um, standing up, rising; erect, 5.426; bristling, 11.754; attentive, 1.152; animated, roused, encouraged, 1.579; ardent, intent; intense, 5.138; in fearful expectation, 12.731. (ad and regō)

    adstō, stitī, 1, n.: to stand at, near, or upon; alight, 1.301; stand, 9.677; be present, 3.150; stand or be ready, 3.123; impend, 3.194.

    mulceō, mulsī, mulsus or mulctus, 2, a.: to stroke; lick, 8.634; (fig.), soothe, caress, comfort, 1.197; mitigate, soften, calm, 1.66; to make harmonious, charm, 7.34.

    pelagus, ī, n.: the sea; open sea, main, 1.138; flood, 1.246.

    fragor, ōris, m.: breaking, the noise of breaking; a crash; noise; a burst or clap of thunder, 2.692; roaring, uproar, 1.154; shout, 5.228; noise of lamentation, 11.214. (frangō)

    prōspiciō, spexī, spectus, 3, n. and a.: to look forth, forward; to see afar, in the distance, descry, see, 3.648; to look forth or out upon, w. dat., 1.127. (prō and speciō, look)

    genitor, ōris, m.: he who begets; father, sire, 1.155, et al. (gignō)

    invehō, vexī, vectus, 3, a.: to carry into or forward; (pass.), invehī, to ride or drive, 1.155; sail, 5.122; w. acc. of place, sail to, arrive at, or in, 7.436; enter, 8.714.

    aperiō, uī, tus, 4, a.: to uncover, lay bare, 1.107; throw open, open, 2.60; disclose to the view, 3.206; disclose, reveal, 6.12; (pass.), aperīrī, to appear, 8.681; p., apertus, a, um, opened, 8.585; unguarded, 11.748; adj., open, 1.155; clear, pure, 1.587. (ab and root par, whence pariō)

    flectō, flexī, flexus, 3, a. and n.: to bend; make by twisting, weave, 7.632; turn, guide, 1.156; rein, manage, 9.606; influence, sway, bend, move; retain, check, 12.46.

    lōrum, ī, n.: a leather strap or thong, 2.273; pl., lōra, ōrum, reins, 1.156, et al.; harness, 9.318.

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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.