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Aeneid 4.622–3

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2009

Howard Jacobson
University of Illinois, Urbana


R. G. Austin's translation of these famous imprecations of Dido's seems to me perfectly representative, ‘and then do you, my Tyrians, hound with hate and hate again all his stock and all his race to be’. I see no strong arguments against such an interpretation of this sentence, but I think that an alternative—and very different—understanding of these words is likely.

Shorter Notes
Copyright © The Classical Association 1998

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1 In his commentary ad be. (Oxford, 1963).

2 In support of the traditional view, one may note that in antiquity curses commonly invoked destruction not just upon a transgressor, but upon his whole yivos family as well (L. Watson, ARAE: The Curse Poetry of Antiquity [Leeds, 1991], p. 33).

3 Indeed, coming immediately after vos, o Tyrii, the words are more naturally read of Tyrian progeny.

4 As well as TLL, s.v. col. 1371, line 66.

5 Cf e.g. Pliny N.H. 8.113, partus exercent cursu (they train their offspring in running).

6 Nepos 23.2.4–5. Didos next words allude to Hannibal (exoriare aliquis. ultor).

7 I am indebted to Professor David Sansone and to CQs reader for helpful comments.