Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-559fc8cf4f-28jzs Total loading time: 0.422 Render date: 2021-03-07T07:11:17.539Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2017

Christopher B. Polt
Boston College
E-mail address:


Discussing different types of metaphor, Isidore of Seville quotes an anonymous fragment that uses agricultural vocabulary to describe the sailing of a ship in order to illustrate metaphorae ab inanimali ad inanimale ‘metaphors taken from inanimate objects and applied to inanimate objects’ (Etym. 1.37.3 = inc. fr. 63 Blänsdorf):1

Research Article
Copyright © The Classical Association 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.


1 For the text of Varro of Atax, I follow Blänsdorf, J., Fragmenta poetarum Latinorum epicorum et lyricorum praeter Enni Annales et Ciceronis Germanicique Aratea (Berlin, 2011)Google Scholar; for Virgil, Conte, G.B., P. Vergilius Maro Aeneis (Berlin, 2009)Google Scholar; for Apollonius, Race, W.H., Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica (Cambridge, MA, 2008)Google Scholar; for Catullus, Thomson, D.F.S., Catullus (Toronto, 1998 corr. ed.)Google Scholar. All translations are my own unless otherwise noted. I am grateful to Jim O'Hara as well as to Bruce Gibson and CQ’s anonymous referee for their help with this article.

2 Hollis, A.S., ‘The Argonautae of Varro Atacinus’, in Accorinti, D. and Chuvin, P. (edd.), Des Géants à Dionysos. Mélanges offerts à F. Vian (Alexandria, 2003), 331–41Google Scholar, at 334–6 and Hollis, A.S., Fragments of Roman Poetry: c.60 BC–AD 20 (Oxford, 2007), 407–8Google Scholar. Cf. Nettleship in Conington, J. and Nettleship, H., The Works of Virgil. Vol. III. Containing the Last Six Books of the Aeneid (London, 1883 3, rev. ed.), 264 Google Scholar on Verg. Aen. 10.294–6; S.J. Harrison, Vergil Aeneid 10 (Oxford, 1991), 151–2 on Verg. Aen. 10.295–6; Muse, K., ‘Sergestus and Tarchon in the Aeneid ’, CQ 57 (2007), 586605 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 601 n. 63. On Varro, see Hofmann, E., ‘Die literarische Persönlichkeit des P. Terentius Varro Atacinus’, WS 46 (1928), 159–76Google Scholar; Lenz, F., ‘P. Terentius (88) Varro’, RE 5 (1934), cols. 692704 Google Scholar; Alfonsi, L., Poetae novi. Storia di un movimento poetico (Como, 1945), 7786 Google Scholar; Traglia, A., Poetae novi (Rome, 1962), 8493 Google Scholar and 145–9; Brugnoli, G., ‘XXXV annum agens Graecas litteras cum summo studio didicit’, in Studi di poesia latina in onore di Antonio Traglia (Rome, 1979), 193216 Google Scholar; Crowther, N.B., ‘Varro Atacinus: traditional or neoteric poet?’, AC 56 (1987), 262–8Google Scholar; Courtney, E., The Fragmentary Latin Poets (Oxford, 1993), 235–53Google Scholar; Hollis (this note [2003]) and (this note [2007]), 165–214; Polt, C.B., ‘Allusive translation and chronological paradox in Varro of Atax's Argonautae ’, AJPh 134 (2013), 603–36Google Scholar.

3 The relationship between Varro's Argonautae and Virgil's Aeneid is discussed by Hollis (n. 2 [2007]), 178–9, 196–7 and 206–8 on fr. 8 Blänsdorf; cf. Hollis (n. 2 [2003]), 337–41. For Virgil's engagement with Varro's other poems, see Hollis (n. 2 [2007]), 185–8, 193–7 and 202–5 on frr. 13, 22 and 4 Blänsdorf.

4 Hollis (n. 2 [2003]), 335.

5 For the concept of a ‘window reference’, see Thomas, R.F., ‘Virgil's Georgics and the art of reference’, HSPh 90 (1986), 171–98Google Scholar, at 188, where he defines it as ‘a close adaptation of a model, noticeably interrupted, in order to allow reference back to the source of that model’; cf. the related idea of the ‘two-tier allusion’ discussed by Hinds, S., The Metamorphosis of Persephone: Ovid and the Self-Conscious Muse (Cambridge, 1987), 151 Google Scholar n. 16.

6 Brasidas as a model for Tarchon: Conington and Nettleship (n. 2), 264 and Harrison (n. 2), 152 on Verg. Aen. 10.297; Howie, J.G., ‘The aristeia of Brasidas’, PLLS 12 (2005), 207–84Google Scholar; Muse (n. 2), 589–90.

7 It is noteworthy that ualidis … remis is extremely rare in Latin, appearing for the first time here and at Aen. 5.15 (colligere arma iubet [sc. Palinurus] ualidisque incumbere remis) and occurring again only twice at Valerius Flaccus (2.311 and 4.689); see Murgatroyd, P., A Commentary on Book 4 of Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica (Leiden, 2005), 329 Google Scholar. Harrison (n. 2), 151 suggests that Virgil's incumbere remis imitates the Homeric ἐμβαλέειν κώπῃς (cf. Od. 9.489, 10.129), but Apollonius’ phrase here presents a much closer and more meaningful source. This parallel does not appear in the tables of correspondences from Nelis, D., Vergil's Aeneid and the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius (Cambridge, 2001)Google Scholar. Ross, D.O., ‘Commentaries on the Aeneid ’, CJ 90 (1982), 81–6Google Scholar, at 82 compares Enn. Ann. 213 Skutsch poste recumbite uestraque pectora pellite, on which see below.

8 Virgil repeatedly evokes the opening of Catullus 64 throughout the Aeneid; see, for example, passages discussed by Thomas, R.F., ‘Catullus and the polemics of poetic reference (poem 64.1–18)’, AJPh 103 (1982), 144–64Google Scholar, at 160–2 and by Hardie, P., ‘Ships and ship-names in the Aeneid ’, in Whitby, Michael, Hardie, P. and Whitby, Mary (edd.), Homo Viator: Classical Essays for John Bramble (Bristol, 1987), 163–71Google Scholar.

9 On imagery of violence and violation in the opening of Catullus 64, see Konstan, D., Catullus’ Indictment of Rome: The Meaning of Catullus 64 (Amsterdam, 1977), 1518 Google Scholar and Feeney, D., Caesar's Calendar: Ancient Time and the Beginnings of History (Berkeley, CA, 2007), 118–27Google Scholar.

10 Jackson, S., ‘Argo: the first ship?’, RhM 140 (1997), 249–57Google Scholar shows that the Argo was not the first ship in the Greek tradition before Catullus; see also Polt (n. 2), 603–6 for the Argo's relative date in the Latin tradition. On the complex mythological chronologies of poem 64, see Bramble, J.C., ‘Structure and ambiguity in Catullus LXIV’, PCPhS 16 (1970), 2241 Google Scholar; Weber, C., ‘Two chronological contradictions in Catullus 64’, TAPhA 113 (1983), 263–71Google Scholar; Gaisser, J.H., ‘Threads in the labyrinth: competing views and voices in Catullus 64’, AJPh 116 (1995), 579616 Google Scholar; Clare, R.J., ‘Catullus and the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius: allusion and exemplarity’, PCPhS 42 (1996), 6088 Google Scholar; and O'Hara, J.J., Inconsistency in Roman Epic: Studies in Catullus, Lucretius, Vergil, Ovid and Lucan (Cambridge, 2007), 3341 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On the Argo's launch as marker of decline, see Feeney, D., The Gods in Epic: Poets and Critics of the Classical Tradition (Oxford, 1991), 330–4Google Scholar, especially 331 n. 59 and Feeney (n. 9), 108–37 with additional bibliography cited at 263 n. 52. For the advent of seafaring in general as an evil, see Smith, K.F., The Elegies of Albius Tibullus (New York, 1913), 245–7Google Scholar on Tib. 1.3.37–40; Gatz, B., Weltalter, goldene Zeit und sinnverwandte Vorstellungen (Hildesheim, 1967), 229 Google Scholar s.v. absentia nauium; Gärtner, U., ‘νῆες ἀρχέκακοι: Schiffe als Unheilsbringer in der antiken Literatur’, AA 55 (2009), 2344 Google Scholar.

11 Roman authors in particular envisage the sea as the enforcer of natural divisions and preserver of the Golden Age: see Heydenreich, T., Tadel und Lob der Seefahrt: Das Nachleben eines antiken Themas in den romanischen Literaturen (Heidelberg, 1970), 1362 Google Scholar; Horden, P. and Purcell, N., The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History (Oxford, 2000), 278 Google Scholar and 342; Feeney (n. 9), 120–2. On Catullus’ Argo as piercing and collapsing those limits, see Feeney (n. 9), 123–7. On the semantic range and violent sexual connotations of imbuit, see Konstan (n. 9), 16 and OLD s.v. imbuo 1, 3 and 4.

12 Ross (n. 7), 82 notes that Virgil's incumbite remis may also point to Enn. Ann. 218 Skutsch poste recumbite uestraque pectora pellite tonsis, which further elaborates the idea of the ship's novelty. Skutsch, O., The Annals of Quintus Ennius (Oxford, 1985), 390Google Scholar suggests that Ennius is here describing naval exercises before the launch of the first Roman fleet in 260 b.c.e.; if these took place on dry land, as Polybius remarks (1.21.2), that would add another layer of complexity to Virgil's allusion, since Tarchon orders his men to lean into their oars until their ships are run aground. Cf. Aen. 10.299, where Virgil uses tonsis, the same rare word for oars that Ennius uses, which contributes to the metaphorical vocabulary he draws from Catullus 64; see below for fuller discussion.

13 Jenkyns, R., Virgil's Experience: Nature and History; Times, Names, and Places (Oxford, 1998), 571 Google Scholar notes the metaphor here but wrongly construes it as sensual and almost tender. At Aen. 8.315–25, Evander describes Italy's aurea saecula under Saturn, which he says had become tarnished through war and the arrival of newcomers to Italy at 8.326–9; cf. 6.792–4 (Anchises says Italy once thrived under a Saturnian Golden Age to be renewed by Augustus), 7.45–9 (Virgil says that Latinus, grandson of Saturn, still rules in Golden-Age Latium) and 7.199–204 (Latinus portrays his people, which he calls gens Saturni, in Golden-Age terms). On Virgil's Italian Golden Age, see Smolenaars, J.J.L., ‘Labour in the Golden Age: a unifying theme in Vergil's poems’, Mnemosyne 40 (1987), 391405 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Braund, S.M., ‘Virgil and the cosmos: religious and philosophical ideas’, in Martindale, C. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Virgil (Cambridge, 1997), 204–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Perkell, C., ‘The Golden Age and its contradictions in the poetry of Vergil’, Vergilius 48 (2002), 339 Google Scholar; Adler, E., Vergil's Empire: Political Thought in the Aeneid (Lanham, 2003), 147–66Google Scholar; Thomas, R.F., ‘Torn between Jupiter and Saturn: ideology, rhetoric and culture wars in the Aeneid ’, CJ 100 (2004/2005), 121–47Google Scholar. See also Polt, C.B., ‘A Catullan/Apollonian “window reference” at Vergil Eclogue 4.31–36’, Hermes 144 (2016), 118–22Google Scholar on Virgil's similar complication of Golden-Age imagery in Ecl. 4 through allusion to Catullus and Apollonius.

14 For the nautical and agricultural range of aequor, see OLD s.v. aequor 2 and McKeown, J.C., Ovid: Amores Volume III. A Commentary on Book Two (Leeds, 1998), 218 Google Scholar on Ov. Am. 2.10.33–4; cf. also Ars am. 2.671 (aut mare remigiis aut uomere findite terras) for a related combination of nautical and agricultural ploughing.

15 Konstan (n. 9), 13–14.

16 Polt (n. 2).

17 Polt (n. 2), 616–22.

18 For Catullus’ etymological play here, see Thomas (n. 8), 148–53; Traina, A., Poeti latini (e neolatini): note e saggi filologici, vol. 2 (Bologna, 1986), 131–45Google Scholar; Gaisser (n. 10), 584. On Varro's celeris, see Traina (this note), 134 n. 2; Nosarti, L., Filologia in frammenti: contributi esegetici e testuali ai frammenti dei poeti latini (Bologna, 1999), 207–8Google Scholar.

19 Hollis (n. 2 [2003]), 335.

20 Hollis (n. 2 [2007]), 198; Polt (n. 2).

21 Muse (n. 2), 601 discusses some of the sexual connotations of Tarchon's vocabulary here. On eroticized nautical vocabulary in Latin, cf. Konstan (n. 9), 15–18; J.N. Adams, The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (Baltimore, 1982), 167; Murgatroyd, P., ‘The sea of love’, CQ 45 (1995), 925 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; cf. also Adams (this note), 154–5 for eroticized agricultural vocabulary. The following in Virgil's passage are especially evocative: prora and rostra (10.293, 10.295, 10.301; Murgatroyd [this note], 11 for equations of ‘prow’ and ‘penis’); findere and sulcum premere (10.295–6; Adams [this note], 83–4 and 182 for sexual meanings of the latter); frangere (10.297; Adams [this note], 149–51 for sexual ‘bursting’ or ‘breaking’); and arripere (10.298; Muse [n. 2], 601 n. 64 and Adams [this note], 175 on rapere generally).

22 The negating nec properly modifies remurmurat, but its proximity to fracta connects the two, at least temporarily, until the line's syntax is resolved at the very end, where the final word unda reveals that fracta modifies neither litora nor uada; on the significant ambiguity in such ‘garden path’ sentences, see Fontaine, M., Funny Words in Plautine Comedy (Oxford, 2009), 176–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Cf. Fowler, D., Roman Constructions (Oxford, 2000), 181 Google Scholar on the anthropomorphization of Italy and a similar equation of warfare's initiation with the rape of the land at Aen. 7.601–40, as well as Vance, E., ‘Warfare and the structure of thought in Virgil's Aeneid ’, QUCC 15 (1973), 111–62Google Scholar for the regular opposition of effeminized landscapes and the dominating masculine force of ars (and thus of human-made artefacts, such as boats) that Virgil often frames in terms of sexual violence.

23 Adams (n. 21), 175 notes: ‘rapio had a strong implication that the act was carried out against the will of the victim’; cf. Muse (n. 2), 601 n. 64 on Virgil's arrepta tellure. On the semantic range of Latin words for breaking in their sexual usages, see Adams (n. 21), 51 and 150–1.

24 For audacia in Catullus 64, see Bramble (n. 10) and Morisi, L., ‘Ifigenia e Polissena (Lucrezio in Catullo)’, MD 49 (2002), 177–90Google Scholar, at 185–6. On the Argo and audacia in Seneca's Medea and Valerius Flaccus, see Bishop, J.D., ‘The choral odes of Seneca's Medea ’, CQ 60 (1965), 313–16Google Scholar; Biondi, G., Il nefas argonautico. Mythos e logos nella Medea di Seneca (Bologna, 1984), 8791 Google Scholar on Sen. Med. 301–2; Davis, M., ‘ Ratis audax: Valerius Flaccus’ bold ship’, Ramus 18 (1989), 4673 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

25 Tarchon's recklessness sets him apart as an anti-Aeneas; see Block, E., The Effects of Divine Manifestation on the Reader's Perspective in Vergil's Aeneid (New York, 1981), 103–4Google Scholar; Nielson, K.P., ‘ Tarchon Etruscus: alter Aeneas ’, Pacific Coast Philology 19 (1984), 2834 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Muse (n. 2), 587. Vance (n. 22), 134–43 observes that Aeneas describes the sack of Troy in terms of rape, which he claims contrasts strongly with the equally sexualized but relatively gentle first entry of Aeneas into the Tiber at Aen. 7.29–36. The sharp disparity in how Virgil portrays Tarchon's and Aeneas’ penetration of Italy by boat can be seen to contribute further to the Etruscan's role in the epic as a foil for the Trojan leader.

26 Muse (n. 2), 600 n. 61 observes that the shore responds to Tarchon's attack with its dorsum iniquum, which Harrison (n. 2), 153 on Aen. 10.303–4 notes combines the senses of ‘uneven’ and ‘hostile’. Block (n. 25), 103–4 remarks that Tarchon's shipwreck is ‘the maritime equivalent of stumbling on the threshold’; cf. Muse (n. 2), 590–1.

27 On the wavering motion implied by anceps, see Harrison (n. 2), 153 on Verg. Aen. 10.303–4. For sexual connotations of fatigare, see Adams (n. 21), 196; for soluere of sexual release, cf. Verg. G. 4.198–9, Celsus, Med. 1.1.4 and Ov. Am. 2.10.35–6 (where Ovid playfully combines the word's connotations of sexual climax and the release of death; cf. Adams [n. 21], 159 for death as a common erotic metaphor).

28 Ovid redeploys Virgil's nautical and agricultural metaphor at Ars am. 2.671 aut mare remigiis, aut uomere findite terras (cf. inimicam findite rostris | hanc terram at Aen. 10.295–6) and 2.731–2 cum mora non tuta est, totis incumbere remis | utile (cf. ualidis incumbite remis at Aen. 10.294). He also uses similarly eroticized descriptions of moaning alongside these nautical metaphors (Ars am. 2.721–6, where he advises readers not to ‘use full sail’, uelis maioribus usus, when the woman moans). Cf. also Virgil's phrase sustentata diu (10.304), used of Tarchon's ship hanging in flagrante delicto, and Ovid's use of sustinere for prolonging sexual activity at Ars am. 2.690 quaeque morer meme sustineamque rogent. Murgatroyd (n. 21) discusses other passages where Ovid sexualizes maritime vocabulary.

29 Muse (n. 2), 603; see also the comments by Lyne, R.O.A.M., Words and the Poet: Characteristic Techniques of Style in Vergil's Aeneid (Oxford, 1989), 36–7Google Scholar and by Horsfall, N., Virgil, Aeneid 11: A Commentary (Leiden, 2003), 401–2Google Scholar on Aen. 11.743, who suggests that Virgil's phrasing here may recall the erotic nocturna bella at 11.736. On Virgil's eroticization of war elsewhere in the epic, see Vance (n. 22), 123–4, who points out some additional ways in which the poet connects lust, wrath and loss of ratio.

30 Muse (n. 2), 600–4.

31 Fratantuono, L. and Smith, R.A., Vergil, Aeneid 5: Text, Translation, and Commentary (Leiden, 2015), 258 Google Scholar on Aen. 5.158 also note the link between Virgil's and Catullus’ uada salsa but leave the allusion unexplored.

32 See the discussion above on the multiple connotations of iniquus; cf. also Fratantuono and Smith (n. 31), 285 on Aen. 5.203.

33 Muse (n. 2), 591–8 and see 604 on the coincidence of the conspiracy and Octavian's birth.

34 Pace Fratantuono, L., Madness Unchained: A Reading of Virgil's Aeneid (Lanham, 2007), 298 Google Scholar, who notes the identical names but sees Sergestus’ Centaur as an unproblematic symbol of ‘halcyon days of athletic rest and relaxation’. For the connotations of centaurs and their implications for Virgil's ships, see Mørland, H., ‘Nisus, Euryalus, und andere Namen in der Aeneis ’, SO 33 (1957), 87109 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 106–7; Nisbet, R.G.M. and Hubbard, M., A Commentary on Horace Odes Book II (Oxford, 1978), 187–9Google Scholar on Hor. Carm. 2.12.5–6; Nicoll, W.S.M., ‘Chasing chimaeras’, CQ 35 (1985), 134–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 134–5; Hardie (n. 8), 164–6; Muse (n. 2), 593.

35 Hardie (n. 8) discusses the uncanny, monstrous and ambiguous nature of ships in the Aeneid.

36 Hardie (n. 8), 166 notes astutely that ‘in book ten the Odyssean theme of return is combined with the Iliadic theme of invasion, and the list of competitors in book five has its counterpart in the grimly serious catalogue of ships at 10.163–214, whose names include more monsters, and whose figureheads direct violent control of the untamed sea to a more warlike end than that of the oarsmen in book five’.

37 Harrison (n. 2), 119 on Verg. Aen. 10.185–6 notes that the character Cupavo is altogether unknown outside this passage, and I wonder whether Varro might be lurking somewhere in the background here. The Ἔρωτες of Phanocles is clearly Virgil's source for the Cycnus portion of the aetion (see Harrison [n. 2], 119–20 on Aen. 10.187–93 and Hollis, A.S., ‘Hellenistic colouring in Virgil's Aeneid ’, HSPh 94 [1992], 269–85Google Scholar, at 276–7), but Apollonius gives a digression (4.552–884) on the Argo's journeys in Italy and Etruria, including Liguria, where he vividly describes the aftermath of Phaethon's fall (4.595–626). As Nelis (n. 7), 244–5 shows, Virgil alludes to this passage in his sketch of Lake Avernus at Aen. 6.236–41. Varro translated this scene as well, as we know from fr. 10 Blänsdorf tum te flagranti deiectum fulmine, Phaethon, a line to which Hollis (n. 2 [2007]), 211 suggests Virgil alludes shortly after the Avernus scene when the Sibyl describes the Titans in Tartarus ( fulmine deiecti fundo uoluuntur in imo, 6.581). Might more of Varro's account of the Argo in Italy stand behind Virgil's stories about pre-Roman Etruria? Their parallel apostrophes to Cupavo and Phaethon (a detail invented by Varro that is not in Apollonius’ version) are suggestive.

38 See Hardie (n. 8), 166 on the monstrousness of these ships. Note also that the figureheads increasingly dominate the action of this passage, displacing their captains as subjects of the active verbs; see Fantham, E., ‘ Nymphas … e nauibus esse: decorum and poetic fiction in Aeneid 9.77–122 and 10.215–59’, CPh 85 (1990), 102–19Google Scholar, at 114–15. In focussing attention on these sculpted figures, Virgil makes the interaction between ship and sea less a meeting of two inanimate objects and more a conflict between living creatures, on the one hand (pointedly male) monsters and on the other hand a (traditionally female) incarnation of the natural world.

39 Virgil's choice of the name Triton for this ship can be seen to reinforce the sense of violence: Triton is derived at Fulg. Virg. cont. 96,11 Helm from τρίβω or tero ‘to rub, beat, wear away’ (Triton interimit quasi tetrimmenon quod nos Latine contritum dicimus), so Virgil's uerberat (208) is an especially appropriate action for a ship named Triton.

40 Harrison (n. 2), 127 on Aen. 10.207–8 points out that Enn. Ann. 377–8 Skutsch (uerrunt extemplo placidum mare: marmore flauo | caeruleum spumat sale conferta rate pulsum) also lies in the background of Virgil's passage here.

41 See OLD s.v. uerto 4a (agricultural usages) and 4b (nautical usages) and remarks in W. Görler, ‘Rowing strokes: tentative considerations on ‘shifting’ objects in Virgil and elsewhere’, in Adams, J.N. and Mayer, R.G. (edd.), Aspects of the Language of Latin Poetry (Oxford, 1999), 269–88Google Scholar, at 274.

42 On white as the essential female colour, see Sharrock, A.R., ‘Womanufacture’, JRS 81 (1991), 3649 Google Scholar, at 36–45 and Olson, K., Dress and the Roman Woman: Self-Presentation and Society (New York, 2008), 60–1Google Scholar. For marble used of women, cf. Lucil. 859–60 hic corpus solidum inuenies, hic stare papillas | pectore marmoreo, Hor. Carm. 1.19.5–6 urit me Glycerae nitor | splendentis Pario marmore purius, etc. There may be another layer of etymological play here. Barry, F., ‘Walking on water: cosmic floors in antiquity and the Middle Ages’, ABull 89 (2007), 627–56Google Scholar, at 631 remarks that ‘Mar had originally indicated the movement of the waves, and mar-mar the more agitated stirring (or murmuring) of the sea’; cf. discussion by Walde, A., Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (Heidelberg, 1906), 370 Google Scholar, who connects both to roots that denote smashing actions and compares the link between rupes ‘cliffs’ and rumpere ‘to break’ (as of the sea's crashing against them). Virgil's phrase may suggest a link between marmor and murmur (which occurs four lines later in the same position in the line; cf. marmore uerso and murmurat unda), reinforcing the sense of the Triton’s violence against the sea here.

43 Virgil's use of moaning may suggest an etymological link between Catullus’ Amphitrite and the anthropomorphized waters here and in the scene where Tarchon lands: Jebb, R.C., Bacchylides: The Poems and Fragments (Cambridge, 1905), 388 Google Scholar on Bacchyl. 16.111 notes that one etymology for Amphitrite derives her name from ἀμφί ‘around’ and τρίζω or τρύζω ‘to murmur, moan’, because she is ‘the Sea that moans around the shores of earth’; cf. ἀγάστονος Ἀμφιτρίτη at Hom. Od. 12.97. See also the discussion of etymological play on the Triton’s name above, which strengthens the connection between the ship's assault and the moaning of Amphitrite-as-ocean.

44 Fantham (n. 38), 14–15; Harrison (n. 2), 127 on Aen. 10.209–11.

45 On the rarity of tenus with the genitive, see Peck, T., ‘Cicero's hexameters’, TAPhA 28 (1897), 6074 Google Scholar, at 68; Austin, R.G., Virgil Aeneid II (Oxford, 1964), 212–13Google Scholar on Aen. 2.553; Harrison (n. 2), 128 on Aen. 10.209–11; LHS 2.267–8. Thomson (n. 1), 395–6 credibly defends the MSS reading feri at 64.14 against the emendation freti.

46 Virgil seems to have picked up on this moment of the nymphs’ banishment from mortal sight in his description of Aeneas’ reunion with his ships after Cybele transforms them into nymphs. Fantham (n. 38), 113–14 observes that they reappear only when ‘isolated from the everyday world by night’ (cf. media Aeneas freta nocte secabat, 10.147), thereby agreeing with Catullus’ assertion that the nymphs never appeared to mortals again ‘in the light’ (luce, 16).

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 22
Total number of PDF views: 160 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 25th October 2017 - 7th March 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *