Notes to Vergil, Aeneid 4.630-662

haec = these words, that is, the curse Dido pronounced upon Aeneas and the Trojans in the preceding lines, setting eternal hatred between them and her people, the Carthaginians (Aeneid 4.625-629)

ait (irregular verb)
say, speak; the subject is Dido.

pars, partis f.
part, region, direction; partis= poetic accusative plural partes, modified by omnis (=omnes).

animus, -i m.
mind, intellect, soul.

verso (1)
keep turning/going round, spin, whirl.

invisus, -a, -um
hated, detested, hateful, hostile.

quaero, quaerere, quaesivi, quaesitum
search for, seek; the verb recurs below in line 647 as quaesitum

quam primum conjunction
as soon as possible.

abrumpo, abrumpere, abrupi, abruptum
break (bonds), break off, tear asunder, cut through, sever.

lux, lucis f.
light, daylight; metaphorically, life.

tum adverb
then, next, besides, at that time.

breviter adverb
quickly, briefly.

Barce, -es f. The nurse of Dido’s late husband, Sychaeus; she accompanied Dido to Carthage. Barcen=Greek accusative singular.

nutrix, nutricis f.
nurse, foster mother. The nurse was a member of the Roman familia and although a slave had great influence in the home.

adfor, adfari, adfatus/a sum
speak to, address.

Sychaeus, -i m. Dido’s husband, a wealthy nobleman who was murdered by her brother Pygmalion, King of Tyre, for his riches.

namque conjunction

suam= Dido; supply nutricem.

patria, -ae f.
native land, home.

antiquus, -a, -um
old, ancient.

cinis, cineris n.
ashes, embers. Dido’s nurse had been cremated; cinis is the subject of habebat.

ater, atra, atrum
black, dark, gloomy. The adjective is both a physical description of the ash and an epithet for the underworld.

Anna, -ae f. Dido’s sister (click on the SPQR at the end of the line for the 4th century CE Low Ham mosaic of Anna with Dido, Ascanius, and Aeneas).

carus, -a, -um
dear, beloved; governs the dative mihi.

huc adveb.
here, to this place, to this point.

sisto, sistere, steti, statum
cause to stand, station; present. Dido sends Barce to give instructions to Anna for a ritual of expiation, thus distracting them both from seeing or guessing her real intent.

propero (1)
hurry, speed up, be quick. Properet (and ducat in the following line) are in the subjunctive after the indirect command dic; Anna is the subject of both verbs.

fluvialis, -is, -e
of a river, from a river. The requirement for purifying persons and animals participating in a sacrifice was “living” water,” ie, running water from a river or stream.

spargo, spargere, sparsi, sparsum
scatter, strew, sprinkle.

lympha, -ae f.
water, liquid.

pecus, pecudis n.
cattle; beast. Black was the proper color for an animal sacrificed to Pluto ( also called Dis and Hades), god of the underworld (see SPQR at the end of the line for a bull being purified for sacrifice).

secum= se + cum.

monstratus, -a, -um
appointed, prescribed. Did Vergil intend the reader to think monstrum (portent, unnatural thing)?

piaculum, -i n.
expiatory offering; rite of atonement.

veniat: jussive subjunctive; the subject is Anna.

pius, -a, -um
devout, faithful, dutiful.

tego, tegere, texi, tectum
cover, hide.

tempus, -oris n.
temple (of the head).

vitta, -ae f.
band, ribbon, fillet. The fillet was a long rope of wool tied at intervals and worn in religious rituals by the attending priestess as well as the sacrificial animals (click on SPQRs at the end of the line for examples).

sacra, -orum n. pl.
sacred rites

Stygius, -a, -um
of the river Styx (one of the rivers in the underworld); Stygian. Iovi Stygio = Pluto, the much-feared god of the underworld (click on SPQR for a terracotta fragmentary relief of Pluto snatching Persephone, the king and queen of the underworld). In naming the god, Romans often used periphrases, as Dido does in her prayer.

rite adv.
duly, with due observance, solemnly; with correct religious procedure, properly. The Romans took every precaution to perform rituals perfectly, as the smallest error invalidated their contractual obligation to the gods.

inceptus, -a, -um
begun, started.

paro (1)
prepare, furnish, supply, provide.

perficio, perficere, perfeci, perfectum
complete, finish, execute, bring about, accomplish; a complementary infinitive after est [mihi] animus (it is my intention, I have a mind to).

finis, -is m.
end, limit.

impono, imponere, imposui, impositum (+ dative)
impose, establish, set.

cura, -ae f.
anxiety, trouble, concern

Dardanius, -a, -um
Dardanian; Trojan. Dardanus was the son of Zeus and an early king of Troy, hence the Trojans are often referred to as Dardanians. Dardanii…capitis = Aeneas, the Trojan chief.

rogus, -i m.
funeral pyre. Dido’s use of the term rogus is ambiguous: it is both the construction of all Aeneas' things and the marriage bed she shared with him which she intends as her funeral bier (click on SPQR for a terracotta relief of a funeral scene with the corpse being carried amid laments to the pyre).

permitto, permittere, permisi, permissum
give, allow, grant.

gradus, -us m.
step, pace; see also below in line 646.

studium, -i n.
eagerness, enthusiasm.

celebro (1)
crowd; perform duly; hurry; the subject is illa (Barce), the object is gradum.

anilis, -is, -e
of an old woman, aged.

at conjunction
but, but on the other hand.

trepidus, -a, -um
nervous, frightened, shaking, shivering.

coeptus, -a, -um
begun, commenced, initiated; coeptis = a substantive, modified by immanibus.

immanis, -is, -e
monstrous, frightful, enormous.

efferus, -a, -um
made wild, savage; governs the causal ablative coeptis immanibus.

sanguineus, -a, -um
bloody, bloodstained, blood-red. The adjective refers at once to the appearance of her eyes, blood-shot from weeping and sleeplessness, and figuratively to the bloody act she contemplates.

volvo, volvere, volvi, volutum
roll, turn.

acies, -ei f.
sigh; glance; pupil of the eye (the rolling of the eyes was seen as a sign of extreme agitation).

maculus, -a, -um
spot, stain.

tremo, tremere, tremui, ---
tremble, shake, shudder at; the present participle trementis = trementes, modifying genas.

interfusus, -a, -um (perfect passive participle of interfundo)
poured, spread out between; suffused; translate as a Greek middle with genas as the object.

gena, -ae f.
cheek; accusative of respect after interfusa.

pallidus, -a, um
pale. Scan the line to determine what noun the adjective belongs with.

mors, mortis f.
death; translate with the future participle futurus.

interior, -ius
inner, interior; private.

domus, -us f.
house; household; scansion reveals the last syllable to be long.

inrumpo, inrumpere, inrupi, inruptum
burst in, rush into.

limen, limina n.
threshold, entrance; home; the pyre was probably set up in the unroofed central courtyard of the house.

altus, -a, -um
high, lofty; modifies gradus below but applies equally to rogus. Funeral pyres were piled high with logs (click SPQR to see the funeral pyre Emperor Hadrian built for his wife Sabina) in order to produce a flame sufficient to consume the deceased and her/his belongings; steps were constructed alongside on which the corpse and belongings were carried to the top.

conscendo, conscendere, conscendi, conscensum
climb up, ascend, scale.

furibundus, -a, -um
raging, out of one’s mind.

ensis, -is m.
sword; modified by Dardanium (note Dido’s continued refusal to use Aeneas’ name) and quaesitum (perfect passive participle of quaero) below (click on SPQR for a fresco of Aeneas in full armor, being treated for a wound).

recludo, recludere, reclusi, reclusum
uncover, disclose, reveal.

munus, muneris n.
gift, tribute, offering.

usus, -us m.
use, service, purpose.

hic, adverb
here, in this place.

Iliacus, -a, -um
of Ilium, Trojan.

vestis, -is f.
garment, clothing; vestis = poetic accusative plural for vestes. These are either clothes left behind by Aeneas in his rush to depart or gifts he gave Dido.

notus, -a, -um
known, familiar.

cubilis, -e n.
bed, couch, marriage bed.

conspicio, -spicere, -spexi, -spectum
catch sight of, see.

paulum adverb
a little, a little while.

lacrima, -ae f.

moror, morari, morata/us sum
delay, tarry.

incubo, -cubare, -cubui, -cubitum (+ dative)
lie in/on, lie down.

torus, -i m.
bed, couch.

novissima, -a, -um (superlative of novus)
newest, hence last.

exuviae, -arium f. pl.
things stripped off; spoils (of an enemy); memento, relic.

dum, conjunction
while, as long as.

sino, sinere, sivi, situm
allow, permit; the entire phrase is descriptive of the vocative dulces exuviae.

anima, -ae f.
soul, spirit.

exsolvo, -solvere, -solvi, -solutum
set free, release.

cursus, -us m.
race, course (of life).

perago, -agere, -egi, -actum
complete, live (one’s life), finish; note the grim finality of Dido's use of the perfect tense in vixi and peregi.

mei: genitive singular of the first personal pronoun ego.

imago, imaginis f.
ghost, phantom.

praeclarus, -a, -um
splendid, famous, magnificent, glorious.

statuo, statuere, statui, statutum
set up, establish.

moenia, -ium n. pl.
town walls, bulwarks, fortifications.

ulciscor, -i, ultus/a sum
avenge, punish.

vir, viri m.
man, husband; here, Sychaeus, her deceased husband.

recipio, -ere, -cepi, -ceptum
take; receive, accept .

poena, -ae f.
penalty, punishment; here satisfaction, vengeance.

inimicus, -a, -um

felix, felicis
happy, blessed; successful; understand fuissem, the conclusion of a past contrary to fact condition introduced by si ... tantum ...tetigissent in the following lines. Dido's words evoke Venus and Juno's scheme, the cause of the queen's epithet infelix Dido.

heu, interjection
oh! ah! alas!

nimium adverb
excessively, too great.

litus, litoris n.
shore, seashore, coast; modified by the adjective nostra, placed distantly beside carinae on the next line.

numquam, adverb

tango, tangere, tetigi, tactus
touch; reach. Tetigissent is the pluperfect subjunctive in a past contrary to fact clause introduced by si...tantum, expressing an impossible wish (perhaps an echo of the nurse’s opening monologue in the prologue of Euripides’ tragedy Medea).

carina, -ae f.
ship, boat; subject of tetigissent (the SPQR shows Aeneas' boats departing from Carthage in the Low Ham mosaic).

imprimo, -primere, -pressi, -pressus
press, press down; impressa is in the poetic middle voice with the object os.

morior, mori, mortuus/a sum
die, expire; note the tense and moods of the verbs moriemur and moriamur. Dido uses the royal “we.” See a drawing of Dido’s death scene as imagined by 17th century artist Gerard de Lairesse.

inultus, -a, -um
unavenged; Dido was an avenger for her husband but there is no one to serve in that capacity for her.

iuvo (1)
please; help; it has been suggested that the repeated sic punctuates Dido’s sword thrusts.

umbra, -ae f.
shade, ghost, shadow; umbras = the abode of the ghosts, the underworld.

haurio, -ire, hausi, hausus
drink, drain; jussive subjunctive. The subject of hauriat and ferat (line 662) is Aeneas, whose name Dido still refuses to pronounce.

crudelis, -is, -e
cruel, hardhearted, unmerciful; modifies Dardanus = Troy’s founder’s descendent Aeneas.

altum, -i n.
sea; heaven; the deep.

omen, ominis n.
sign, token, omen.

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