Notes to Vergil, Aeneid 7.803-817

hos refers to the warriors allied against Aeneas. Camilla is introduced last in the catalogue of leaders, even after Turnus. Vergil's description of her closes Book VII, underscoring the tragic cost, in women (Dido in Aeneid IV) as well as men, of founding the Roman race (Aeneid I.33: Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem).

super, preposition + accusative
in close succession to; hard on the heels of.

Volscus, -a, -um:
Volscian; a tribe of the Latin people on the banks of the Liris River (see SPQR for map). Scan the line to determine the case of Volsca.

Camilla, -ae f.:
the feminine form of camillus. Although she is a creation of Vergil’s, the camillae and camilli were pre-pubescent children from noble Roman families who were selected to serve as acolytes to the priests in sacred rites. Camillus is a cognomen of the Furius gens which produced famous leaders in Rome from the 4th century BCE. The name may have been Etruscan in origin.

gens, gentis, f.
tribe; clan, nation, people, offspring, descendant.

ago, -ere, egi, actum
drive, lead; move, rouse; do, act; agens, agentis present participle.

agmen, agminis, n.
army on the march; troops; battle line. Note the assonance with agens.

eques, equitis, m.
cavalry; horseman, knight, rider.

floreo, -ere, -ui, --
glittering; blooming, flourishing. Florens, florentis present participle, accusative plural modifying catervas; translate with aere. See Aeneid 11.432-33, where Vergil reprises this artful metaphor of the androgynous warrior Camilla and her troops: de gente Camilla/ agmen agens equitum et florentis aere catervas.

aes, aeris, n.
bronze; copper ore, helmet, money.

caterva, catervae, f.
troop; crowd, soldiers.

bellatrix, bellatricis, f.
warrioress (female form of bellator); it is modified by adsueta.

colus, coli, n.
distaff (a tool used to hold flax or wool for spinning); see “Spindle Stories” for images and the metaphorical use of the term). The following word order may help you translate: illa non adsueta femineas manus colo calathisve Minervae.

calathus, calathi, m.
wicker basket (from the Greek word), used to hold flowers, fruit, bread, thread; -ve is an enclitic particle meaning or.

Minerva, ae, f.
Minerva was the Roman counterpart of Athena, the androgynous daughter of Zeus, goddess of polis life. While usually pictured with helmet, breastplate, shield and spear, Athena, as goddess of crafts and civic skills, successfully bridged the roles of men and women.

femineus, -a, -um
womanly: feminine, relating to a woman/female.

ad/suesco, -ere, -suevi, -suetum
accustom oneself to, be accustomed to; use. It is used differently in two clauses. Here it is used reflexively with the accusative of person and dative of thing. In line 807 it is followed by the infinitives pati and praevertere. While Camilla is practiced in the military arts which Minerva protects, she lacks the talents to contribute equally to the state in peacetime.

proelium, proelii, n.
battle; fight; with the juxtaposition of the terms proelia and virgo Vergil underscores the cultural paradox of the female warrior.

durus, -a, -um
hard; tough, strong, brazen. Be attentive to the word order which suggests meanings beyond the syntax: enjambment separates both proelia and virgo from dura, which can modify either or both; dura beside pati suggests strong to endure. In this way Vergil equates Camilla’s battle courage to a man’s.

patior, pati, passus/a sum
endure; suffer, undergo, experience. This, like praevertere, is a complementary infinitive following adsueta.

cursus, cursus, m.
swiftness; running; course.

praeverto, -ere, -i, --
outrun; outstrip, surprise; a complementary infinitive following adsueta.

vel . . . vel, correlative conjunctions
even . . . even; actually, especially. The passage is based on Homer, Iliad 20.226-229, a reference to the young horses of the North Wind.

intactus, -a, -um
untouched; virgin; unconquered, unhurt. Here and elsewhere in the succeeding verses Vergil’s choice of adjectives suggest the vulnerability of the young huntress.

seges, segetis, f.
corn, cornfield, crop.

summus, -a, -um
the top of; highest; greatest; last.

volo, -are, -avi, -atus
fly; rush; a potential subjunctive in the imperfect tense (see also below ferret in line 811)—translate could.

gramen, graminis, n.
grass; turf.

tener, -a, -um
delicate; tender, soft, youthful.

laedo, -ere, laesi, laesum
damage; strike, injure, knock, hurt; pluperfect subjunctive in the conclusion of a past contrary to fact condition.

arista, aristae, f.
ear of grain; harvest; hair.

medium, medii, n.
; midst, center; modifies mare.

fluctus, fluctus, m.
wave; billow.

suspendo, -ere, -di, -sum
suspend; hang, hover; be raised; perfect participle modifying illa, and followed by the ablative.

tumeo, -ere, --, tumensum
swell; puff, be swollen.

celer, -is, -e
swift; quick, rapid; accusative plural with plantas.

tingo, -ere, tinxi, tinctum
wet; moisten, dye, tinge; imperfect subjunctive, the conclusion of a contrary to fact condition in present time.

aequor, aequoris, n.
surface of the sea.

planta, plantae, f.
sole (of a foot); cutting, plant.

tectum, tecti, n.
home; dwelling, shelter.

ager, agri, m.
field, countryside; land

effundo, -ere, effudi, effusum
to pour forth; Greek middle (used reflexively).

iuventus, -tutis, f.
youth; men, soldiers.

turba, -ae, f.
crowd, multitude; turmoil, tumult, mob.

miro (1)
amaze; wonder, astonish.

prospecto (1)
gaze; look to/toward, watch, survey.

eo, ire, ivi/ii, itum
go, march, proceed. The opening (illam, i.e. Camilla) and closing (euntem) words of lines 812-813 belong together grammatically and frame the lines.

attonitus, -a, -um
awe-struck, astonished; inspired, dazed, fascinated.

inhio (1)
gape a; stare at; desire.

animus, animi, m.
mind; heart, soul, life.

ut, conjunction
how with the subjunctive in indirect question, the first of three parallel constructions with ut (see lines 815, 816).

regius, -a, -um
regal; royal, kingly.

ostrum, ostri, n.
purple; purple-dyed garment or covering. Vergil establishes out the outset Camilla’s feminine regard for finery, which ironically will be the cause of her death in battle.

velo (1)
cover; seal, envelop, veil.

honos, -oris, m
office, splendor; here, by metonymy, symbol of office.

levis, -e
gentle, slight; soft; scanning will show the length of the ending vowel and determine which of the framing nouns it modifies.

umerus, umeri, m.
shoulder; upper-arm. Note the end-rhyme with honos, despite their different cases.

fibula, fibulae, f.
clasp; pin, brooch; fillet. Camilla’s costume ominously echoes Dido’s before the hunt in Aeneid Book 4.136-139. In addition, the fibula, usually of iron or bronze, which soldiers used to fasten their military cloak, is of gold and worn by Camilla as a fillet in her hair!

crinis, crinis, m.
hair; direct object of internectat.

internecto, -ere, --, ---
bind up, bind together; followed by the accusative crinem and the dative auro.

Lycius, -a, -um
Lycian; of Lycia (a country in southern Asia Minor); an epithet of the archer-god Apollo.

gero, -ere, gessi, gestum
carry, wear, bear.

pharetra, pharetrae, f.

pastoralis, -e
pastoral; of a shepherd; it suggests a time of peace.

praefigo, -ere, praefixi, praefixum
fasten; to point, transfix; ablative absolute.

cuspis, cuspidis, f.
point; spear, lance.

myrtus, myrti, f.
myrtle-wood spear. The oxymoron of pastoralem . . .myrtum is heightened by chiastic word order. The phrase closes Book 7 with the sad vision of farmer-warriors who have turned their agricultural implements into weapons.

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