in Language, Literature

Verbal Artistry in Vergil: Elision in Aeneid 1.520

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.