Vergil, Aeneid II 795-804

Sīc dēmum sociōs cōnsūmptā nocte revīsō.795

Atque hīc ingentem comitum adflūxisse novōrum

inveniō admīrāns numerum, mātrēsque virōsque,

collēctam exsiliō pūbem, miserābile vulgus.

Undique convēnēre animīs opibusque parātī

in quāscumque velim pelagō dēdūcere terrās.800

Iamque iugīs summae surgēbat Lūcifer Īdae

dūcēbatque diem, Danaīque obsessa tenēbant

līmina portārum, nec spēs opis ūlla dabātur.

cessī et sublātō montīs genitōre petīvī.

    Manuscripts: M | P

    795-804: Aeneas and the other survivors of Troy’s fall seek the mountains (Bennett). Observe the true poetic feeling with which Vergil ends this splendid but tragic description of the fall of Troy with the rise of the Daystar on the dawn of a new calm and hope (Sidgwick).

    795: sic demum: i.e. bereft of her (G-K). Aeneas has seen Creusa “so”; and he does not rejoin his companions until he has seen her “so” (Austin 1964).

    797: admirans: “astonished” (F-B). “to my surprise” (Bennett).

    798: There is much bitterness in these words: pubes collecta would normally have some different purpose than exile — the truth is revealed in the appositional phrase, miserabile vulgus (Williams). pubem: (poetic for iuventus): a general expression for all who have outgrown their boyhood (G-K). in apposition with the foregoing accusatives, and denoting, as in VII, 219, the whole body of the followers of Aeneas (Frieze). exsilio: AG 382.
    799: opibus: They have gathered money, provisions, and the remnants of their movable property (Frieze). parati: scil. ire or sequi (H-H). they had made up their minds to follow him and also made preparations for doing so by collecting such treasures as they could. Some word like ire must be mentally supplied after parati (Page).

    800: velim: the sentence is virtually oblique as it practically expresses the “will of the people” to go wherever Aeneas wishes to take them: also the indefinite quascunque may naturally take subjunctive: so there are two reasons (Sidgwick) (AG 593). pelago: AG 429a. deducere: the word regularly used of a Roman colony (G-K). the technical term for leading forth a colony from a metropolis like Rome, is most suggestive here, for it makes Aeneas speak of his settlement in Italy, and so by implication of the results of that settlement, Lavinium, Alba Longa, Rome itself, as a colony from Troy (Knapp).

    801: iamque iugis summae surgebat: note the double alliteration (F-B). Lucifer: “the light bringer.” The story goes that the star of Venus guided Aeneas to Italy (H-H). a name applied to the planet Venus as “morning star”; which, as the evening star, is Hesperus, or Vesper (Frieze). The planet Venus when seen in the east, near sunrise, was called Lucifer or Phosphorus; when seen in the west at evening, Hesperus (Chase).

    802: ducebat: as a king with his retinue (Howson). obsessa: used in the predicate. Note the alliteration in the line (F-B).

    803-804: Once again, for the last time, Aeneas stresses that there was no hope left staying in Troy; so he yields to fate and departs carrying his father to the mountains (Williams).

    803: limina portarum: = portas (Carter). All the gates were now guarded by the Greeks (Frieze). spes opis: = auxilii (Comstock). “hope of help” (i.e. of giving or receiving assistance) (G-K).

    804: cessi: used in two sense: metaphorical, “I yielded” to fate, and literal, “I left” the scene (H-H). montis: Mt. Ida, near Troy (Bennett). So, with this quiet line, the book ends: and the last sight we have of Aeneas is that of a weary, defeated man carrying his father to exile (Austin 1964).


    dēmum: (adv.), at length, at last, 1.629; at least, indeed, especially. (dē with n. superl. ending -mum, hence, perhaps meaning downmost)

    revīsō, 3, a. and n.: to look at again; visit again, return to see; return to, 2.760; revisit, 3.318.

    adfluō, flūxī, flūxus, 3, n.: to flow to; (fig.), gather, flock together, assemble, 2.796.

    admīror, ātus sum, 1, dep. a.: to admire, 6, 408; wonder, 2, 797.

    pūbēs, is, f.: the groin, middle, 3.427; the youthful population; youth, young men; youthful band, 1.399; brood, offspring, 6.580.

    miserābilis, e: adj. (miseror), that deserves to be pitied; pitiable, miserable, deplorable, wretched, 1.111; (adv.), miserābile, wretchedly, pitiably, 12.338.

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

    Lūcifer, erī, m.: the light bearer; Lucifer; Venus as morning star, 2.801, et al. (lūx and ferō)

    Īda, ae, f.: 1. Mount Ida in Crete, where Jupiter was reared, 12.412. 2. A mountain in the Troad, where Ganymede was caught up by the eagle of Jupiter, 2.801. 3. A Nymph, 9.177.

    Danaī, ōrum, m.: the Greeks, 2.327.

    obsideō, sēdī, sessus, 2, n. and a.: to sit in or on; abide; hold, occupy, 3.421; besiege, beset, 2.441; throng, 12.133; obstruct, fill up, choke. (ob and sedeō)

    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.

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

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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.