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While Aeneas hides in a cloud, an embassy comes from other Trojan ships that, it turns out, hadn’t been lost after all. Their entry to the temple of Juno is described as follows:
Postquam introgressi et coram data copia fandi,
maximus Ilioneus placido sic pectore coepit…. (A. 1.520-1)
The blending of the first three words (postquintrogresset) gives a sound-picture of the men crossing the threshold, and the quickened pace at the end of the line (vv-vv-x), carried through to the next line, entirely dactylic except for the fourth foot, reminds the reader of their haste. Once again, sound and rhythm reinforce sense. Note that the -eu- in Ilioneus is a diphthong.
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Jacques Barzun has died.
Jacques Barzun, a Columbia University historian and administrator whose sheer breadth of scholarship — culminating in a survey of 500 years of Western civilization — brought him renown as one of the foremost intellectuals of the 20th century, died Thursday. He was 104.
His death was announced by Gavin Parfit, his son-in-law, the Associated Press reported.
Dr. Barzun was 92 when he published what is widely regarded as his masterwork, “From Dawn to Decadence, 500 Years of Western Cultural Life: 1500 to the Present.” Journalist David Gates spoke for a majority of critics when he wrote in Newsweek magazine that the book, which appeared in 2000, “will go down in history as one of the great one-man shows of Western letters.”
(Thanks to John J. Miller for the link.)
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As Dido enters the temple of Juno in Aeneid 1 she is likened in a simile to Diana (Artemis):
Qualis in Eurotae ripis aut per iuga Cynthi
exercet Diana choros, quam mille secutae
hinc atque hinc glomerantur Oreades; illa pharetram 500
fert umero, gradiensque deas supereminet omnis:
(Latonae tacitum pertemptant gaudia pectus):
talis erat Dido, talem se laeta ferebat
per medios, instans operi regnisque futuris.
Dido is like Diana leading the hunt as she proceeds carrying her quiver (pharetram), towering above the other goddesses. One cannot help but recall here the description of Venus disguised as a Tyrian huntress earlier in Book 1; for instance, she too carried a quiver (virginibus Tyriis mos est gestare pharetram, 336). She there presents herself as one of Dido’s subjects: she dwells in the Punic realms (Punica regna, 338; cf. regnis futuris, 504). Aeneas suspects from the beginning that she is a goddess (dea certe, 328), even thinking she might be Diana (an Phoebi soror?, 329). Diana in the simile is followed by Nymphs (Oreades, 500), while Aeneas previously thought Venus might be a nymph (an nympharum sanguinis una?, 329).
The irony is rich: Venus, an immortal, is likened in appearance within the poem to a mortal; Dido, a mortal, is likened by Vergil in a simile to an immortal, the same goddess for whom Aeneas had mistaken Venus; Venus-as-mortal is on a hunt; Dido-as-immortal is on a hunt; Venus presents herself as a subject of Dido, though we know that Dido is and will be shown to be subject to Venus. The picture of Dido as chaste maiden strikes an odd note when one remembers what happens in the poem, just as the earlier picture of Venus did. Thus Dido is drawn into a symbolic connection to Venus, only for the dark irony of the connection to be exploited later.