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Flashcards in Lines 453-529 Deck (67)
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it is NOT the case that NO divinity's anger...

Heavy double negative emphasises Proteus' oracular style.


'magna luis commissa: tibi has miserabilis Orpheus'
you atone for a heavy crime: Orpheus, wretched man

Proteus' oracular style is emphasised with the emphatic short sentence and pause after the trochee in the third foot.
This is the only line in which Orpheus’ name is mentioned – except for line 494 where Eurydice speaks to him.
ALSO start of Epyllion (mini epic)


'haudquaquam ob meritum poenas, ni fata resistant'           
(Orpheus, wretched man,)
brings this punishment on you, which you have not deserved

Although Aristaeus is responsible for Eurydice’s death (a version of events repeated nowhere else in mythology), he did not do it deliberately.
The consultation with Proteus means that Orpheus’ hostility is fated to be turned aside.


'illa quidem'
indeed that...

Changes the subject and provides emphasis.
The focus is moving from Orpheus to Eurydice.


seeking to avoid

Subjunctive- implies purpose


'flerunt Rhodopeiae arces
altaque Pangaea et Rhesi mavortia tellus
atque Getae atque Hebrus et Actias Orithyia.'

the towers of Rhodope wept,
and the heights of Pangaea, and the warlike land of Rhesus,
and the Getae, and the Hebrus, and Orythia, Acte’s child.

Personification of inanimate objects.
Pathetic Fallacy (When the mood of the character is reflected in the atmosphere (weather) or inanimate objects.)
Effect is reinforced by slow spondees and repetition of 'et' and 'attack' (polysyndeton)


Rhodope and Pangea

Mountains in Thrace



Famous Thracian leader who took part in the Trojan war.


Connotations of Thrace

Considered to be very Martial- in Homer, Ares lived there.


'atque Getae atque Hebrus et Actias Orithyia.'
And the Getae, and the Hebrus, and Orythia, Acte’s child.

Hiatus after Getae.
No strong caesura in the third/fourth foot.
Pollysyllabic endings with a spondaic fifth foot.
Very unusual.



The absence of elision where 2 vowels meet or as expected.


The Getae

A northern people, here associated with Thrace.


The Hebrus

a rive of Thrace



Daughter of Erecthus, King of Athens, and wife of the North Wind.


'Ipse cava solans aegrum testudine amorem'
He himself, consoling love’s anguish, with his hollow tortoise-shell (lyre),

Tortoise shell- synechdoche.
he is consoling himself through song.


'Illa quidem, dum te fugeret per flumina praeceps,
immanem ante pedes hydrum moritura puella
servantem ripas alta non vidit in herba.'

Indeed that doomed girl, while seeking to avoid you, headlong along the stream,
in the deep grass under her feet
did not see the enormous snake, keeping to the riverbank.

Scattered word order, shows panic and fear.


'te, dulcis coniunx, te solo in litore secum,               
te veniente die, te decedente canebat.'
was singing of you, sweet wife, you alone on the shore,
of you as day neared, of you as day departed.

Slow spondaic movement.
assonance of long 'e'
alliteration of 't' and 'd'
Repetition of direct address to Eurydice from poet:
All create a sense of pathos.
ALSO anaphora is used- 'te'



The repetition of a word or phrase for emphasis.



Entrance to the underworld, in the extreme south of Greece.


Dis and Erebus

Synonyms for the underworld.


'nigra formidine lucum'
'...sacred grove dim with dark fear'

Contrast between sacred location and dark imagery.


'et caligantem nigra formidine lucum'

Chiasmus (ABBA)
Slow movement.
Allows Virgil to blend the physical and spiritual appearance of the place.



long 'i' picks up the long 'i's in the previous line.


'quam multa in foliis avium se milia condunt
vesper ubi aut hibernus agit de montibus imber,'

As many as the thousand birds that hide among the leaves,
when Vesper, or wintry rain, drives them from the hills,

This simile is given a different turn in Aeneid Book 6 where the ghosts are compared first with leaves and then with birds flying in to land from the ocean in winter.
Here the point is that the birds flock from the open sky into the trees for shelter.
It is also an apt comparison because both ghosts and birds are fleeting.


'matres atque viri defunctaque corpora vita               
magnanimum heroum, pueri innuptaeque puellae,
impositique rogis iuvenes ante ora parentum'

Mothers and husbands, and the bodies of noble heroes
bereft of life, boys and unmarried girls, and young men
placed on the pyre before their father’s eyes,

These three lines are repeated in Aeneid Book 6.
They are based on Homer’s Odyssey Book 11 which also features a visit to the underworld.
Each group Virgil chooses has particular poignancy


'Taenarias etiam fauces, alta ostia Ditis,
et caligantem nigra formidine lucum
ingressus manesque adiit regemque tremendum
nesciaque humanis precibus mansuescere corda.'
He even entered the jaws of Taenarus, the high gates of Dis,
and the grove dim with dark fear,
and came to the spirits, and their dread king,
and hearts that do not know how to soften at human prayer.

All one sentence- more dramatic.
Anaphora of and- build up.



Virgil employs an archaic genitive plural form.
Appropriate for describing heroes of Rome's past.


'impositique rogis iuvenes ante ora parentum'
placed on the pyre before their father’s eyes

A notion of extreme pathos and tragedy throughout Virgil.
The detail is not found in the Homeric model.



River of lamentation in the underworld


Rivers that converge in the centre of the underworld (5)