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Vergil, Aeneid 5.458–60

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2009

Howard Jacobson*
University of Illinois, Urbana


It appears to have gone unnoticed that the simile used by Vergil at Aeneid 5.458–60 was appropriated by him from Apollonius Rhodius.

Shorter Notes
Copyright © The Classical Association 1999

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1 See e.g. Vergil's at Georgics 1.449.

2 Even Vergil's hailstorm at Aen. 9.668–71 is less focused and part of a broader simile representing turmoil and disorder. See too Aen. 10.803–10 and Georgia 4.80. Homeric ‘parallels’ are not relevant. See e.g. Il. 12.156–61, 278–89.

3 That Vergil knew well and used the Argonautica does not need demonstration. Cf. his similes: that at Aen. 6.453–4 is borrowed from Apollonius 4.1479–80; that at Aen. 6.309–10 owes more to Apollonius’ at 4.216–17 than to Homer's at Il. 6.146–7, and that at 6.707–9 owes more to Apollonius 1.879–92 than to Il. 2.87–89. Apollonius’ influence on Vergil is the topic of a forthcoming book by Dr Damien Nelis.