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Hexameter.co is my site devoted to helping scholars of the classics learn and practice how to scan ancient epic poetry. Lots of people have already signed up for this service, which is free and awesome. I have something new to announce. Watch this video to see how the site has grown in the past three years!
Runaway slaves, when captured, were branded with a FUG for fugitivus. But they were also referred to with the colorful term cervus, which means "deer". This brings with it a whole slew of connections, including that with the goddess Diana and the rex Nemorensis.
The English word mile comes from Latin. We think the mile is an arbitrary length that has nothing in common with a kilometer, but its decimal origins are clear when you know the etymology.
After the storm, Aeneas and his seven ships finally arrive at a safe harbor in Africa. This section has our first ekphrasis as Vergil describes the geography of the place in vivid detail.
Juno addresses Aeolus and commands him to stir up a storm to overwhelm the Trojans on the Tyrrhenian Sea, just west of Italy. Aeolus owes a lot to Juno, and thus will do her bidding.
Safe in Africa, Aeneas decides to search for his men. Failing to see them, he does catch sight of three stags, and goes deer hunting. Aeneas provides meat for his men and begins to calm their sorrows with words.
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The storm arrives and destroys much of the Trojan fleet. Many of Aeneas' ships are lost, driven either into sand bars and reefs, or sucked into a devouring whirlpool. Vergil uses a lot of metrical effects to emphasize the devastating nature of this storm.
Neptune arrives on the scene of the storm and sees the wreckage of Aeneas' fleet. He summons the winds and rebukes them for daring to overturn the seas and Neptune's power. Then he sends the winds back to Aeolus, promising a much greater punishment.
The Romans had many different ways to find out the future. Both the augurium and the auspicium divined the future by looking at the flights of birds. What do these words mean, and where do they come from?