starts a new train of thought: “Ye long-suffering sons of Dardanus, the land which bare you first from your parent stock shall welcome you back to her fruitful bosom. Seek out your ancient mother. There the house of Aeneas shall lord it over all lands, even his children's children and their race that shall be born of them.” (III, 94-98).

Here at last was a prophecy direct from Apollo himself, and one of such nature as to fire one with ambition. “And mighty joy arose, mingled with tumult; all ask, what walls are those? Whither calls Phoebus the wanderers, bidding them return?' (111, 99-101). Anchises interprets the words to mean Crete. So they move on to Crete, build a city, and prepare to make it their permanent abidingplace. But there comes the terrible pestilence that warns them that they have not interpreted aright. Just as they are preparing to return to Delos for further consultation with Apollo, the Phrygian Penates appear to Aeneas in a dream and bring Apollo's answer:

Do thou prepare mighty walls for the mighty, nor shrink from the long toil of flight. Not these the shores the Delian Apollo counselled, not in Crete did he bid thee settle. A place there is, by Greeks named Hesperia, an ancient land, mighty in arms and in richness of the soil. There dwelt Oenotrians; now the rumor is that a younger race has called it from their leader's name Italy. This is our abiding home; bence our Dardanus sprung and father Iasius, from whom came our race. Come, arise, and with good cheer bear to thine aged parent these certain tidings, to seek Corythus and the lands of Ausonia. Jupiter denies thee the Dictaean fields (111 159-171).

One notes the change from mere warning and vague direction to definiteness and to explanation. The appointed land is Hesperia, as Creusa had called it; but it is further identified as Italy. And it is all but explicitly stated that the place of settlement is ordained of Jove. Emphasis falls once more upon the city that shall be built. It is further to be noted that Aeneas comes upon the information now no longer through chance only, but in response to his own seeking. He makes it his business to learn what course has been determined upon for him, he seeks guidance through prayer, he ponders the answers, he submits them to Anchises for interpretation. From now on he is thoroughly awake to the truth that the fates are leading him to some predestined abiding-place, not merely to an indefinite place of exile in waste lands. He does not yet realize fully the idea of a mission; he is intent only on reaching a certain destination. Henceforth he takes advantage of every opportunity to question further prophet and seer in order that he may steer his course to Italy.

He sails on from Crete and comes to the islands where dwell the harpies. Here he learns from Calaeno how he is to know when he has arrived in the promised land.

Italy is the goal ye seek; wooing the winds, ye shall go to Italy and freely enter her harbours; but ye shall not girt with walls your promised city until dread hunger and the wrong of violence towards us force you to gnaw with your teeth and devour your very tables (III, 253-257).

Again Aeneas moves on, and makes his next stop at Actium. He spends a whole winter here, but has no thought of settling down permanently, as he had hoped to do in Thrace and in Crete. The warnings and oracles have had their effect upon him, and he is henceforth obedient to instructions. After celebrating games and making sacrifices he takes up his journey once more, and comes to Chaonia. Here in conversation with Helenus Aeneas tells in so many words what he now understands of his task: “With fair words hath Heaven declared to me all my journey, and all the gods in their oracles have counselled me to make for Italy and explore lands remote ” (111, 362-364). Questions put to Helenus reveal his intentness on his goal, his now all-absorbing purpose to fulfil his appointed destiny.

And much he learns from Helenus. The detailed instructions he receives are the last important revelation, and leave him possessed of all he needs to know. For Helenus tells him:

First of all, the Italy which now thou deemest so near, and into whose neighbouring ports, unwitting one! thou dost essay entrance, a long trackless track with long land-reaches sunders widely. First in the Trinacrian wave must thou bend the oar, and traverse with thy ships the salt Ausonian main, past the nether lake and Aeaean Circe's isle, ere thou mayest build thy city in a land of safety. Tokens will I declare to thee; do thou keep them stored in mind. When, in thy distress, by the waters of a secluded stream, thou shalt find a sow lying under the oaks on the shore, just deliv. ered of a litter of thirty young, the mother reclining on the ground white white, too, the young about her teats—there shall be the city's site, there a sure rest from thy toils. And dread not the gnawing of tables that awaits thee; the Fates will find a way, and Apollo be present at thy call. But these lands, and this nearest border of the Italian shore, that is washed by the tide of our own sea, avoid; in all towns dwell evil Greeks ! ... But when, on parting thence, the wind has borne thee to the Sicilian coast, and the barriers of narrow Pelorus open out, make thou for the land on the


left and the seas on the left, long though the circuit be; shun the shores and waters on the right .... So at last thou shalt leave Trinacria behind and be sped triumphantly to the bounds of Italy. And when, thither borne, thou drawest near to the town of Cumae, the haunted lakes and Avernus with its rustling woods, thou shalt look on an inspired prophetess, who deep in a rocky cave sings the Fates and entrusts to leaves signs and symbols ... Here let no loss in delay be of such account in thine eyes

that thou visit not the prophetess and with prayers plead that she herself chant the oracles, and graciously open her lips to speak. The nations of Italy, the wars to come, the mode whereby thou art to flee or face each toil, she will unfold to thee; and, reverently besought, she will grant thee a prosperous voyage. This it is whereof by my voice thou mayest be warned. Now go thy way, and by thy deeds exalt Troy in greatness unto heaven! (III, 381-462).

And later in bidding Anchises farewell Helenus adds: “Before thee is the land Ausonia! make sail and seize it! And yet past this shore thou must needs drift upon the sea; far away is that part of Ausonia which Apollo reveals ” (111, 477-479).

This is the final revelation necessary to a full understanding on the part of Aeneas, with detailed instructions of how he may know the exact spot, with warning to stop at Cumae to consult the Sibyi concerning his further course of action, with comfort as to omens of disaster. Through it all the idea is made abundantly clear that his course had been predetermined for him and at every stage is being watched and directed by divine agencies. It is impossible for Aeneas to think of himself in a negative fashion as but an exile fleeing destruction; that he is singled out to do some positive thing of great moment is now unmistakable. A city is to be built, wars are to be waged, a new Troy is to be exalted to the heavens, hostile parts of the world are to be united. He is to be a founder of an empire. We may assume that Aeneas looks back over his past experiences and recalls the former prophecies. Their meaning, their consistent direction, their divine origin and purpose become clear to him in the end. That he now thoroughly understands his mission is made plain by his parting speech to Helenus:

Fare ye well, ye whose own destiny is already achieved; we are still summoned from fate to fate. Your rest is won. No ocean plains need ye plough, no ever-retreating Ausonian fields need ye seek. A copy of Xanthus ye see and a Troy, which your own hands have built under happier omens, I pray, and more beyond the range of Greeks. If ever I enter the Tiber and Tiber's neighbouring fields and look on the city-walls granted to my race, hereafter, of our sister cities and allied peoples, in Epirus, in Hesperiawho have the same Dardanus for ancestor and the same disastrous story

of these twain we shall make one Troy in spirit. May that change await our children's children! (111, 493-505).

Such is the narrative of the revelation of his mission to Aeneas. It proceeds gradually and cumulatively from the vague hints of Hector's ghost to the detailed and explicit instructions of Helenus. It pictures the hero at the beginning wholly ignorant of his great destiny, and leaves him at the end with full understanding that he is divinely ordained to be the builder of that city whence shall spring the walls of lofty Rome.

That many incidents of the hero's career in search for his place of settlement, that even certain wonders and omens and warnings find their source in the works of earlier poets, means no more than that some of Virgil's material, already in existence, did not spring from his own invention. It was still his part to make proper use of it. He conceived Aeneas in two roles; one as a Ulysses sailing away from Troy towards a destination in the west and encountering many marvellous things and undergoing many perilous adventures; the other as a responsible man with a mission of vast importance to the world driving straight ahead to the appointed goal of achievement. These two ideas contain in them much that conflicts, are indeed as wide apart as are the purposeless Odyssey and the national Aeneid. But Virgil succeeded in weaving them together with such skill and plausibility that they become a single unit. The story of adventure is still there, but the adventures are only incidents along the way toward the fulfilment of God's purposes. The revelation of God's purposes is still there, but it is only a means of guiding the hero safely through his thrilling adventures.

Nor is it to the point in an examination of this sort to criticise Virgil for making his hero as he did, a more or less blind instrument of fate. We may agree that the criticism is just, and yet, accepting Aeneas as he is, may examine Virgil's method of portrayal. Had he not been the blind instrument that he was, there would have been no necessity for the revelation under discussion. As it was, the revelation was necessary, and the poet possessed the skill so to treat it that he holds our interest consistently while developing his hero into the character he must be to satisfy his conception of the poem. This he does with minimum loss of sympathy with the man.

The University of North Carolina.



A great part of the scholarly work done in connection with Heliodorus’ Aethiopica has been directed toward tracing its extensive influence upon later literature. The conventional lines of Quellenuntersuchung have also been followed in some cases. What has been done along these lines, together with the presence of elements in the story which are so obviously borrowed as to need no research to establish the fact, has created the general impression that Heliodorus is almost entirely lacking in originality. This view has been presented briefly and emphatically by Chassang in the following words:

C'est un pastiche .... des poemes épiques et tragiques de l'antiquité. A chaque page, on trouve des imitations d'Homère et d’Euripide .... Son roman est conçu sur le plan de l'Odysseé. .... On .... retrouve . dans l'épisode de Cnémon et de Démenète l'histoire de Phèdre et d'Hippolyte, dans les figures de Pétosiris et de Thyamis celles d'Etéocle et de Polynice, dans une situation d'Hydaspe en face de Chariclée celle d’Agamemnon prêt à immoler Iphigénie.

We may complete this summary by remarking that many of the learned digressions, and the lengthy accounts of the siege and battle in Book IX, seem to have been inspired by Herodotus, and that the character of the Ethiopian King Hydaspes is clearly a reminiscence of Xenophon's Cyrus. It may also be stated that whether or not Heliodorus borrowed directly from the novel of Xenophon of Ephesus to any great extent, he has certainly introduced the stock episodes and characters of Greek romance. Examples of such commonplace episodes are a capture by pirates,

*M. Deftering, Heliodor und seine Bedeutung für die Litteratur, Litterar. historische Forschungen, Heft XVIII, Berlin, 1901. S. L. Wolff, The Greek Romances in Elizabethan Prose Fiction, Diss. Columbia, 1912.

*M. Schnepf, De imitationis ratione, quae intercedit inter Heliodorum et Xenophontem Ephesium, commentatio, Progr. Kempten, 1887. P. Neimke, Quaestiones Heliodoreae, Diss. Halle, 1889.

• A. Chassang, Histoire du Roman .. .. dans l'Antiquité grecque et latine, Paris, 1862, pp. 416-417.

« VorigeDoorgaan »