Dīxerat. Ille Iovis monitīs immōta tenēbat
lūmina et obnīxus cūram sub corde premēbat.
Tandem pauca refert: 'Ego tē, quae plūrima fandō
ēnumerāre valēs, numquam, rēgīna, negābō
prōmeritam, nec mē meminisse pigēbit Elissae335
dum memor ipse meī, dum spīritus hōs regit artūs.
Prō rē pauca loquar. Neque ego hanc abscondere fūrtō
spērāvī (nē finge) fugam, nec coniugis umquam
praetendī taedās aut haec in foedera vēnī.
Mē sī Fāta meīs paterentur dūcere vītam340
auspiciīs et sponte meā compōnere cūrās,
urbem Trōiānam prīmum dulcēsque meōrum
rēliquiās colerem, Priamī tēcta alta manērent,
et recidīva manū posuissem Pergama victīs.
Sed nunc Ītaliam magnam Grӯnēus Apollō,345
Ītaliam Lyciae iussēre capessere sortēs;
hic amor, haec patria est. Sī tē Karthāginis arcēs
Phoenissam Libycaeque aspectus dētinet urbis,
quae tandem Ausoniā Teucrōs cōnsīdere terrā
invidia est? Et nōs fās extera quaerere rēgna.350
Mē patris Anchīsae, quotiēns ūmentibus umbrīs
nox operit terrās, quotiēns astra ignea surgunt,
admonet in somnīs et turbida terret imāgō;
mē puer Ascanius capitisque iniūria cārī,
quem rēgnō Hesperiae fraudō et fātālibus arvīs.355
Nunc etiam interpres dīvum Iove missus ab ipsō
(testor utrumque caput) celerēs mandāta per aurās
dētulit: ipse deum manifestō in lūmine vīdī
intrantem mūrōs vōcemque hīs auribus hausī.
Dēsine mēque tuīs incendere tēque querēlīs;360
Ītaliam nōn sponte sequor.'
Manuscripts: M 331-350, 351-360 | P 331-347, 348-361
331–61: Aeneas hiding his pain replies: “I know my debt to you and can never forget it, but, in answer to this charge, deceit I never planned and marriage I never purposed. Were my life my own, my first longing would be to rebuild Troy, but heaven’s will urges me to Italy. Vision of my sire by night and thoughts of my son’s welfare by day bid me depart, while even now the visible messenger of Jupiter laid on me his commands. Entreat no more: I go, because I must” (Page).
331: dīxerat: supply Dīdō (Pharr). ille (etc.): Not all Vergil’s art can make the figure of Aeneas here appear other than despicable. His conduct has been vile, and Dido’s heart-broken appeal brings its vileness into strong relief (Page). This is Aeneas’ only speech, and in making it he is at the bar of judgment before posterity. Page comments “not all Vergil’s art can make the figure of Aeneas here appear other than despicable,” and he speaks of “the cold and formal rhetoric of an attorney.” This is to ignore all the undertones of the speech, and it is a view that has misled generations of schoolboys. It is unfair, and it is untrue. Irvine shows deeper insight, rermarking that “at the very crisis of a great book, and writing at the highest imaginative level, Vergil knew what he was about” (Austin). monitīs: ablative of cause (AG 404) modifying the whole idea (G-K); “remembering Jupiter’s warning” (Comstock). Vergil shows at the outset that Aeneas was no free agent (Austin). The mandata of 4.270 (Pease).
332: obnīxus: “with a mighty effort” (Comstock); perfect participle used for the present with an adverbial sense (Frieze). The word shows his mental struggle (Austin). cūram: “pain,” i.e., the pain of love (F-B). premēbat: i.e., he did not let it appear in his face or in his words (G-K). Note the assonance in tenēbat…premēbat, surely deliberate. Whether the imperfect tense is continuous action (“he kept holding…and suppressing”) or conative (“he was trying to hold…and suppress”) depends in part on one’s view of Aeneas (Austin).
333–5: In answer to Dido’s sī meruī of 317 (Pharr). In the rhetorical character of this speech we may perhaps find a hint of Vergil’s forsaken profession of the law; cf. 11.378–444. Servius recognizes this rhetorical quality: controversia est plena, in qua purgat obiecta, removens a se crimen ingrati… (Pease).
333: pauca: His speech is longer than Dido’s; Vergil is conscious, however, that as a reply it is inadequate (Page). ego tē: English cannot bring out the force of this juxtaposition; the two persons concerned face each other syntactically, as it were, and the importance for both of what is being said receives clear emphasis. quae plūrima: “all the many kindnesses which” (Warman). tē, quae plūrima… prōmeritam: supply esse: tē is the accusative subject of prōmeritam [esse] in indirect discourse; “that you have deserved (of me) the utmost…”; plūrima is attracted into the relative clause (F-B) but should be translated in the antecedent clause: “I will never deny that you have done very many favors to me (literally, deserved of me)” (Frieze). fandō: gerund in ablative (AG 507): “(the most) that you can relate in speech,” i.e., however many claims you put forward are fewer than your real ones (Page).
334: valēs: = potes (Pharr). numquam negābō: favorite Latin use of double negative instead of affirmation. “Your lips cannot express (detail) more claims upon my gratitude, O queen, than I will ever gladly acknowledge” (Stephenson). regina: Aeneas calls her “queen” rather than “wife.”
335: nec mē pigēbit: “nor shall I be sorry” (F-B). Piget is an impersonal verb with accusative of the person affected (mē) (AG 208). Elissae: = Dīdōnis, genitive with meminī, a verb of remembering (AG 350) (Pharr).
336: dum memor meī: supply sum; “while I have memory of myself” (Page). Meī is genitive with the adjective memor, an adjective of memory (AG 349). ipse: supply sum (F-B). spiritus: = vīta (Comstock).
337: prō rē: The speech of Aeneas begins very formally. The opening (333–336) is the regular and formal exordium or captātiō benevolentiae prescribed in books on rhetoric, after which Aeneas adds that he will “speak briefly (pauca) on the charge,” rēs being the subject-matter of the accusation made against him. He then does so proceed to “speak on the charge,” the first words of the defense answering the first words of the accusation, viz. that he never hoped “stealthily to conceal his flight” (Page); “to suit the case,” “as the case requires,” or “as circumstances allow” (Stephenson); “for the affair,” “for (in defense of) my conduct” (Frieze). The two clauses neque… nec (337-8) are a justification of his good faith: “I have concealed nothing and failed in no promise” (G-K). pauca: the “few words” of every orator, however lengthy (Page). furtō: ablative of manner (AG 412), almost equivalent to furtim, “in secret” (Stephenson).
338: nē finge: a poetical negative imperative for prose nōlī fingere (AG 450) (Pharr): “do not deceive yourself with such a thought” (Stephenson); “do not imagine (it)” (Comstock).
338–9: nec coniugis umquam praetendī taedās, etc.: praetendī seems to combine the literal notion of “holding out” and the figurative one of “pretend,” “use as a disguise” (Stephenson). “I have never carried before you (i.e., caused to be carried before you in bridal procession) the torches of a husband” (Frieze). ”I never held out (to you the prospect of) marriage” (Pharr). “I did not mean you to understand that I am really your husband” (Warman). haec in foedera vēnī: “nor did I make any such contract” (Comstock); i.e., marriage contracts (Frieze).
340–1: mē: emphatic position; “for myself, if the fates, etc.” (G-K). meīs…auspiciīs: “at my own behest” (Page); “by my own guidance” (G-K). A military metaphor: in a Roman army the commander alone had the right of taking the auspices, and to have this power was called habēre auspicium. Then the word came to be used for his authority in other matters too, and then for any power or authority. Here it means “on my own authority,” “according to my own will,” practically the same as sponte meā (Warman). Aeneas obeys his commander, i.e., Jupiter (F-B). sī paterentur: imperfect subjunctive in the protasis of a present contrary-to-fact condition (AG 517); a general supposition applying to his concerns in the past as well as the present (G-K).
341: sponte meā: = meō arbitriō, “by my own decision” (Stephenson). compōnere cūrās: “to soothe my sorrows” (F-B); “to end my toils / troubles” (Frieze); “arrange to my own liking all that grieves me” (Austin).
342: prīmum: “above all,” “first and foremost” (F-B); i.e., that would be my first choice (G-K).
342–3: dulcēs meōrum reliquiās: “sweet relics of my kin,” i.e. the ruins of Troy (F-B); “dear remnant of my people” (Frieze).
343: colerem: “I should cherish”; I should be now cherishing in my own native land (Frieze). Colerem partly suggests incolerem (“reside in”) (F-B). manērent: “would still abide”; the statement finds its explanation in the next line (F-B). Both colerem and manērent are imperfect subjunctive expressing continued action in present time (G-K) in the apodosis of a present contrary-to-fact condition (AG 517).
344: recidīva posuissem Pergama: “I would have set up (ere now) a second Pergamon” (F-B). Posuisssem, pluperfect subjunctive in the continuation of the apodosis (begun in 343), expresses a momentary completed action: i.e., I should not be here at all, but should have restored Troy and should now be there (G-K). manū: supply meā, “through my toil” (F-B); added to emphasize the idea of personal interest or exertion bestowed upon an act (Page). victīs: dative of reference or advantage (AG 376); “for the conquered,” i.e., the Trojans (Warman). A revealing word: Aeneas can never forget the pitiful lines of refugees at Troy (2.776), when urbs antiqua ruit multos dominate per annos (2.363), and all his promised destiny can make no atonement for the bitter past (Austin).
345: sed nunc: “but now (as it is)” (G-K). Italiam: emphatic, i.e., “it is Italy that….” (Comstock). Grȳnēus: belonging to Grynium, a city on the coast of Aeolia in Asia Minor, where there was a famous grove and temple of Apollo (Stephenson).
346: Lyciae sortēs: = sortēs Lyciī Apollinis (Pharr); “the Lycian oracles”; the oracles of Apollo, one of whose haunts was Patara in Lycia (F-B). The oracular warning alluded to is not mentioned elsewhere (Stephenson). Sortēs is properly the word for the Italian form of oracle, which consisted in drawing from an urn a billet of wood with a verse upon it (G-K). capessere: “strive to reach” (Comstock).
347: hic: pronounce as hicc, making a long syllable (Pharr). hic (est) amor, haec patria est: each pronoun (hic, haec) is attracted into the gender of its predicate noun (Pharr), and each refers to Italia. Note the combined effect of anaphora, the pause after the first dactyl, and the epigrammatic tone (F-B). This destined Italy is the land which I must love as my own (Frieze). amor: emphatic: “that is my love (not you)” (Page). sī tē…: the argument is in answer to Dido’s suggestion that he was only leaving her for “alien fields,” and is this–“If Libya charms a Phoenician, may not Ausonia charm the Trojans? We too (et nōs) may seek a foreign realm” (Page).
348: Observe the antithesis: Phoenissam is opposed to Teucrōs, as Karthāginis is to Ausonia (G-K).
349–50: quae tandem…invidia est?: supply tibi (Frieze). “Why begrudge (us) Trojans the privilege of settling…?” (Stephenson). Literally, “what (ground for) envy is it?” Consīdere is a subjective infinitive with est; invidia is the predicate (F-B).
350: et nōs fās quaerere: with fās supply est (F-B): “we also have a right…” (Comstock); “it is right for us also (as well as you)” (Frieze). fās: like licet, but more solemn, and of permission accorded by superhuman powers (Pease).
351: patris Anchisae: here for emphasis. The governing word is imāgō (353) (F-B). quotiēns…surgunt: note the repetition, both of actual expression (quotiēns…quotiēns) and of thought (F-B).
353: turbida imāgō: “troubled ghost”; turbida = sollicita (F-B). The countenance of his father, seen in his dreams, seems troubled lest Aeneas linger in Carthage and hence fail to reach Italy (G-K). Turbida, i.e., with troubled aspect (Page).
354: mē puer Ascanius: mē forms an anaphora with mē in 351 (F-B). A verb, e.g. commovet or admonet, must be supplied from the preceding sentence (Stephenson): “(the thought of) my son Ascanius (urges) me (on)” (Pharr). capitis iniūria cārī: capitis cārī = Ascaniī, objective genitive (AG 348), “the wrong (I am doing) to Ascanius” (Pharr); “the wrong to his dear head.” Caput can be put for a person in emotional language, or in oaths which are directed against the head as the most vital part (Page); in Roman law, caput was the sum of a person’s legal capacities, so that (e.g.) a slave, having no legal rights, had no caput (F-B); caput applied to a person as a term of endearment (Chase): “to the one I love” (Comstock).
355: fātālibus: granted by the fates (F-B): “destined” (G-K).
356: etiam: “too” (Comstock). interpres dīvum: i.e., Mercury (F-B); dīvum = dīvōrum.
357: testor utrumque caput: Servius gives three explanations of utrumque: meum et tuum, Iovis et Mercurii, meum et Ascanii. The first seems most natural; it is only reasonable to take the parenthesis as referring to the speaker and the person spoken to (Austin).
358: manifestō in lūmine: almost “in broad daylight” (Page).
359: mūrōs: = urbem (Comstock).
360: incendere: “to agitate,” “to distress” (Stephenson).
361: Italiam nōn sponte sequor: supply meā with sponte (Pharr). This brief sentence, summing up the situation, makes a most effective close. Note the alliteration (F-B). A fine half line. Its powerful terseness is in striking contrast with the wordy rhetoric of the rest of the speech. Whether Vergil, had he revised the Aeneid, would have felt it necessary to complete the line is difficult to decide. Nothing at any rate could improve these four words thus left rugged and abrupt (Page). sequor: “make for,” cf. 4.381, 5.629. These are Aeneas’ last words to Dido: could she not understand his agony? And yet, did he understand her? When he meets her in the lugentes campi, he says nec credere quivi / hunc tantum tibi me discessu ferre dolorem (6.463f.). The utter dissimilarity of their characters is an integral part of the tragedy (Austin).
Iuppiter, Iovis, m.: Jupiter, son of Saturn and Rhea, and king of the gods, 1.223; Iuppiter Stygius, Pluto, 4.638.
monitum, ī, n.: an admonition; counsel; advice, warning, 4.331; command, 8.336; influence, 10.689. (moneō)
immōtus, a, um: (adj.), unmoved, motionless; immovable, 3.77; (fig.), firm, fixed, steadfast, unchangeable, 1.257.
obnītor, nīxus or nīsus sum, 3, dep. n.: to press, push against, w. dat., 12.105; without an object, push, 4.406; struggle, resist, 4.332; bear up, 5.21; strive, strike against, 5.206.
pauca, ōrum, n.: a few things; few words, 3.313, et al.
ēnumerō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to count out or completely; enumerate, 4.334.
rēgīna, ae, f.: a queen, 1.9; princess, 1.273. (rēx)
prōmereor, meritus sum, 2, dep. a. and n.: to merit for one's self by favors given; deserve, merit, put under obligation, 4.335.
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.
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)
piget, uit, 2, impers. a.: to cause disgust, vexation, irksomeness; with mē, tē, etc., I am, you are … vexed, displeased, annoyed; regret, 4.335, et al.
Elissa ae, f.: another name for Dido, 4.335.
memor, oris: adj. (rel. to mēns and meminī), mindful, remembering, 1.23; heedful, 480; thankful, grateful, 4.539; not forgetting; relentless, 1.4; with nōn or nec, unmindful, regardless, 12.534.
artus, ūs, m.: a joint of the body of man or beast, 5.422; a limb, 2.173, et al.; part, member, 6.726; frame, body, 9.490. (generally in the pl., except in later writers)
abscondō, condī and condidī, ditus, 3, a.: to put out of sight, hide, conceal; to conceal, 4.337; lose sight of, withdraw from, 3.291.
fūrtum, ī, n.: that which is stolen; (meton.), the act of stealing; theft; secrecy, concealment, 4.337; artifice, deceit, fraud, deception, 6.24; treacherous deed (adultery), 10.91; stealthy attack, stratagem, 9.350; fūrta bellī, an ambuscade, 11.515. (fūr)
praetendō, tendī, tentus, 3, a.: to hold out before; stretch forth, extend, wave, 8.116; stretch, extend before, 3.692; oppose, 9.599; (fig.), pretend, promise, 4.339.
taeda, ae, f.: pitch-pine, 4.505; a brand, 7.71; torch, nuptial torch, 4.18; marriage, 4.339.
foedus, eris, n.: a treaty, league, alliance, freq., truce, 5.496; side or party, 12.658; covenant, contract, 4.339; laws of hospitality, hospitality, 10.91; pledge, love, 4.520; law, term, condition, rule, 1.62. (rel. to fīdō, trust)
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.
auspicium, iī, n.: an auspice; omen, token, sign, 3.499; power, authority, 4.103; will, 4.341; conduct, leadership, 11.347. (auspex)
sponte, f.: abl. of obs. spōns, of which only the gen., spontis, and abl. occur, by or of one's own will, of its own or their own will, 4.341; of one's self, of itself, of themselves, 6.82; freely, voluntarily, spontaneously; nōn sponte, helplessly, 11.828.
Trōiānus, a, um: adj. (Trōia), Trojan, 1.19; subst., Trōiānus, ī, m., a Trojan, 1.286; pl., Trōiānī, ōrum, m., the Trojans, 5.688.
meī, m. pl.: my kindred, friends, countrymen, descendants, etc., 2.587, et al.; mea, ōrum, n., my possessions, enjoyments, 12.882. (mē)
rēliquiae, ārum, f.: the things left; remnant, 1.30; relics, remains, 4.343. (relinquō)
Priamus, ī, m.: 1. Priam, son of Laomedon, king of Troy, 1.458, et al. 2. A Trojan youth, son of Polites and grandson of King Priam, 5.564.
recidīvus, a, um: falling back; returning; rebuilt, restored, 4.344. (recidō, to fall back)
manus, ūs, f.: the hand, 1.487; freq.; (meton.), action, movement of the hand; work, art, handiwork, 3.486; prowess, heroic deed, action, 2.434; force, violence, 2.645; a collection of persons; a band, crew, troop; an army, 2.29; forces, 5.623; multitude, 6.660; pl., manūs, workmen, 11.329; dare manūs, to yield, 11.558; extrēma manus, the finishing hand or touch, 7.572.
Pergama, ōrum, n., Pergamum, ī, n., and Pergamus (-os), ī, f.: 1. The citadel or walls of Troy, 3.87; Troy, 4.344, et al. 2. The Trojan citadel of Helenus in Epirus, 3.336.
Ītalia, ae (Ī by poetic (epic) license), f.: Italy, 1.2, et al.
Grynēus, a, um: (adj.), of Grynia, a town in Asia Minor, the seat of one of the oracles of Apollo; Gryneian, 4.345
Apollō, inis, m.: Apollo, son of Jupiter and Latona; the god of prophecy, medicine, music, poetry, and archery, 2.430; met., a temple of Apollo, 3.275.
Lycius, a, um: adj. (Lycia), Lycian, 6.334, et al.; pl., Lyciī, ōrum, m., the Lycians, 1.113.
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.
capessō, īvī or iī, ītus, 3, intens. a.: to seize, 3.234; (fig.), lay hold of, assume, 8.507; seek to reach, hasten to, 4.346; undertake, achieve, perform, 1.77. (capiō)
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)
Phoenissus, a, um: (adj.), Phoenician, 1.670; subst., Phoenissa, ae, f., a Phoenician woman; Dido, 1.714, et al.
Libycus, a, um: (adj.), Libyan, 1.339, et al.; subst., Libycum, ī, n., the Libyan or African sea, 5.595.
aspectus, ūs, m.: a looking at; (meton.), that which is looked at; a vision, 9.657; a view, sight, 4.314; appearance, presence, 1.613. (aspiciō)
dētineō, uī, tentus, 2, a.: to hold from or back; hold, detain, 2.788. (dē and teneō)
Ausonius, a, um: adj. (Auson), Ausonian; Italian, 4.349; subst., Ausoniī, ōrum, m., the Ausonians; Italians, 11.253.
Teucrī, ōrum, m.: the Trojans, descendants of Teucer, 1.38, et al.; adj., Teucrian, Trojan, 9.779, et al. (Teucer)
cōnsīdō, sēdī, sessus, 3, n.: to sit or settle down together or completely; sink, 2.624; sit, 4.573; sit in mourning, 11.350; take a seat, 5.136; alight, 3.245; settle, 10.780; dwell, 1.572; abide, rest, 11.915; to lie at anchor, to anchor, 3.378; to be moored, stationed, 7.431.
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)
Anchīsēs, ae, m.: son of Capys and Themis, and father of Aeneas by Venus, 2.687, et al.
quotiēns: (interrog. and rel. adv.), how often? so or as often as. (quot)
ūmeō, 2, n.: to be moist; p., ūmēns, entis, wet, dewy, humid, 7.763. (ūmor)
operiō, uī, tus, 4, a.: to cover up; cover, 4.352; p., opertus, a, um, covered; subst., opertum, ī, n., a covered or secret place; partitive, operta tellūris, hidden, unseen regions of the earth, 6.140. (cf. aperiō)
īgneus, a, um: adj. (īgnis), of fire or fiery substance; fiery, 6.730; of lightning swiftness, 11.718.
admoneō, uī, itus, 2, a.: to put in mind; remind; admonish, warn, with acc., 4.353; incite, urge on, 10.587; with interrogative clause, 10.153; remind, remonstrate, caution.
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.
Ascanius, iī, m.: Ascanius, son of Aeneas, and traditional founder of Alba Longa, 1.267.
Hesperia, ae, f.: the western land; Italy, 1.569, et al.
fraudō, āvī, ātus, 1, a.: to deprive of wrongfully; cheat, defraud (w. abl. of the thing), 4.355. (fraus)
fātālis, e: adj. (fātum), fated, 4.355; of fate or destiny, 2.165; sent by fate, 12.232; fraught with fate, destructive, calamitous, deadly, fatal, 12.919.
interpres, etis, c.: an agent between parties; a mediator, messenger, 4.355; author, 4.608; prophet, 3.359.
testor, ātus sum, 1, dep. a.: to testify, bear witness to, with acc. of object witnessed, 3.487; to call to witness, appeal to, with acc. of witness called upon, 2.155; invoke, 12.496; w. object omitted, adjure, implore, 3.599; declare, proclaim, 6.619; beseech (call to witness the offering), 11.559. (testis)
mandātum, ī, n.: a charge, order, command, 4.270, et al.
manifēstus, a, um: (adj.), made obvious; palpable, plain, clear, evident, 2.309; manifest, visible, 3.151, et al.
hauriō, hausī, haustus, 4, a.: to draw any fluid, 9.23; drink; drain, 1.738; draw blood with a weapon; devour, slay, 2.600; pierce, 10.314; take in with the eyes or ears; receive, 12.26; perceive, see, 4.661; hear, 4.359; strain, thrill, 5.137; suffer, 4.383; conceive, 10.648.
incendō, cendī, cēnsus, 3, a.: to set fire to, burn, 2.353; kindle, 3.279; illuminate, 5.88; (fig.), of the mind, fire, inflame, 1.660; arouse, rouse to action, 5.719; excite, irritate, enrage, madden, provoke, 4.360; disturb, rend, fill, 10.895.
querēla, ae, f.: a complaining; complaint, 4.360; lowing, 8.215. (queror)