Virgil's Aeneid: Semantic Relations and Proper Names

By Michael Paschalis | Go to book overview

BOOK 10

I. OVERVIEW

1. The Gates of Olympus and Jupiter's gaze (1-117)

The opening ('panditur') of the Gates of Olympus reveals bitter dissent in the council of the gods, which in the end (96 ff.) assumes stormlike proportions. The situation recalls the opening of the gates of Troy and the dissent of the Trojans, and more closely the winds in Aeolus' cavernous mountain. Olympus combines here Palace and Sky as well Mountain (for the latter cf. 115). Olympus is in addition a high vantage-point, from where Jupiter surveys ('aspectat') the events on earth. Jupiter's all-encompassing gaze gives him knowledge of the course of the war between the Trojans and the Latins and the involvement of the gods. Considering that 'arduus' in the Aeneid suggests not only Sight ('aspectat') but also Fire ('ardeo'), the epithet may allude to Jupiter's reaction to what he sees.1 In a speech to the gods he demands that the war in Italy and the internal dissension of the gods come to an end. Unlike Aeolus in Aeneid 1, who raises a storm on Juno's instructions by piercing the mountain with his spear, the father of the gods calms the 'storm' of dissent (100 ff.) with a speech, which lodges spearlike (or arrowlike) in the hearts of the gods ('haec mea figite dicta'), and in the end he shakes Olympus with a nod of his head. On the human level the calming of the 'storm' foreshadows a calm voyage for Aeneas (note Venus' accusations against Juno in 36 ff.).


2. The Trojans on the camp walls (118-45)

The opening of the Gates of Olympus follows the forced withdrawal of Turnus from the enclosed camp space; Turnus had penetrated into the camp when 'Pandarus' ('pando') and Bitias flung the gates wide open.2 Now the narrative shifts back to the Trojan camp. The besieging Latins have surrounded the camp with watch-fires while

____________________
1
On 'arduus'cf. Ch. 2.VI.3. For analogous cases of Jupiter's reaction cf. 1. 226 (Ch. 1.I.3) and 4. 220 (Ch. 4.I.6).
2
Ch. 9.I.8.

-330-

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Virgil's Aeneid: Semantic Relations and Proper Names
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations and Bibliographical Note xv
  • Note on Structure and Conventions xvii
  • Introduction 1
  • Book 1 34
  • Book 2 70
  • Book 3 111
  • Book 4 149
  • Book 5 181
  • Book 6 209
  • Book 7 244
  • Book 8 275
  • Book 9 302
  • Book 10 330
  • Book 11 358
  • Book 12 380
  • Conclusion 409
  • References 419
  • Index of Selected Names and Words Discussed 431
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