By AoM, in 'Aeneid', Dec 1, 2018.
“T.’s words break off with the ejaculation en occupying the first syllable of 52.”
aut tu, magne pater divum, miserere, tuoque
invisum hoc detrude caput sub Tartara telo (495-6)
Don't know how viable it is, but it sounds good:
"There is perhaps also a hint of the other invisus 'unseen', taken proleptically: 'thrust me down to Tartarus [= Hades, Ἀ-īδης 'the unseen'] where I shall be unseen'."
et media adversi liquefacto tempora plumbo
"the ancients believed that the friction of the air on a leaden bullet melted it"
I give it a like because I never cease to be amazed by how much thought some ancient poets put into the mere description of those brutal acts. Vergil somehow stands in the tradition of Ennius's (and even Homer's) way of describing all the gore that can be described while also trying not be too excessive in his descriptions (or in his poetry in general - it took him 12 books to do what Homer did in 48 )
My personal reading would have been a different one, though. I would have read liquefacto as a prolepsis: It alludes to the fact that the spear became wet after it had slit the temples (or the head for that matter) of the victim. I think this is a bit more likely because you find numerous allusions to weapons becoming wet once they've penetrated some part of the head (off the top of my head, I think something like that appears in the Euryalus & Nisus episode [spear] and in Camilla's aristeia [when she splits somebody's head with an axe]).
Also note how the hyperbata in that verse support the idea of splitting something (although the sentence structure is pretty normal for an hexameter).
Yeah, I can see that. The synchysis literally stresses the fact that the lead is now breaking up his temples.
dum trepidant, it hasta Tago per tempus utrumque
stridens traiectoque haesit tepefacta cerebro. (418-9)
The other verses I had in mind (regarding Camilla) were from 11, 696-698, but it's not the weapon that gets wet there (I misremembered that), just the face (or what's left of it...)
tum validam perque arma viro perque ossa securim
altior exsurgens oranti et multa precanti
congeminat; vulnus calido rigat ora cerebro.
Another (from book 9):
________________volat Itala cornus
aera per tenerum stomachoque infixa sub altum
pectus abit; reddit specus atri vulneris undam
spumantem, et fixo ferrum in pulmone tepescit. (698-701)
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