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Doubled that sin in Bethel, and in Dan,
487. “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord." Exod. xii. 12
488. Equalled, i. e., made them equal. I suppose this to be the meaning here, although Milton generally uses the word as in i. 248.
490. Belial was not a heathen deity, i. 492. The Hebrew word means worthlessness. Later it became a sort of type of evil as in 2 Cor. vi. 15.
495. Eli's sons. Eli was a priest of the Lord whom we remember chiefly by the story of Samuel. His sons 66 were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord." 1 Sam. ii. 12.
500-502. Milton had perhaps in mind the wild young men of fashion who harried the streets of London after their revels. They went by different names: the Tityre-Tu's appear as early as 1641; the Mohocks as late as Queen Anne's day.
502. Flown, flushed.
503. Sodom, the most notorious of the five cities of the plain. Gen. xviii.-xix.
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
These were the prime in order and in might:
518. Dodona, the oracle of Zeus or Jove; it was in Epirus. 520. Adria, the Adriatic Sea.
504. Gibeah. Judges xix.-xx.
506. Prime, first, chief.
508. The Greek people were divided into three families, the Ionian, the Dorian (i. 519) and the Eolian. Of these the first being best known, to the Asiatics at least, stand for all. The Ionians were fabled to descend from Ion, whose name has been identified with Javan, the son of Japhet. Gen. x. 2.
Of Javan's issue, by Javan's issue considered to be gods.
509. Heaven and Earth, the parents of Saturn and Rhea, who dispossessed them of their power. They and the other Titans were in turn dispossessed by Jupiter or Jove and the later family of gods. 510. Titan. See the note to 1. 198.
515. Ida and Olympus, mountains, the former in Crete, the other in Thessaly, famous both in Greek mythology, especially the latter, which was the home of the gods.
517. Delphi, the oracle of Apollo, on the southern slope of Mount Parnassus.
Hesperian fields; Italy, where according to the traditions of Latin literature, Saturn, being cast out by Jupiter, had established his kingdom and an age of gold.
And o'er the Celtic roamed the utmost isles.
All these and more came flocking; but with looks
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled
543. Chaos and old Night. See ii. 960-962.
546, Orient, Eastern, i. e., the colors of sunrise.
521. O'er the Celtic, probably alludes to France, as utmost isles to the British Isles.
523. Damp. Damped, we should say.
526, 527. Cast like doubtful hue; i. e., at first their downcast appearance discouraged Satan.
534. A Cherub tall. The Cherubim were of second rank in the angelic host. See Introd., p. xxxiv.
542. Concave, the vault of hell.
Of depth immeasurable. Anon they move
556. 'Suage, assuage.
568. Traverse, across.
550. Dorian mood. The Spartans were the chief Dorian people, famous for their prowess in war and for their severe discipline of life. Their music was like their national character.
573-576. For never after the creation of man, was collected together a force which, compared to these, would seem more than pygmies.
575. The battles of the Pygmies and the Cranes was the subject of one of the poems attributed to Homer.
Warred on by cranes; though all the giant brood
577. Phlegra, in Macedon. For the giant brood see note on i. 198. 578. Thebes and Ilium. The war of the Seven against Thebes and the Trojan war (Ilium was another name for Troy) are famous in Greek litera ure. Not only did the heroes do battle, but the gods themselves took sides and aided their favourites.
580. Uther's son, King Arthur. Read The Coming of Arthur, in Tennyson's Idylls of the King.
581. Armoric. The old inhabitants of Brittany (Armorica) were a Celtic people akin to the ancient British.
582. Baptised or infidel. Christian or Saracen, as in the Crusades and the legends developing from them.
583-587. As to Milton's use of geographical names see Introd., p. xlvii.
583. Aspramont was in southern France, the scene of certain exploits of the Paladin Orlando.
Montalban was the castle of Rinaldo in Languedoc.
584. Damasco, or Marocco. Milton probably had in mind the Crusades and the Spanish wars with the Moors. Trebisond was an Eastern empire south of the Black Sea, a great favourite of the old
585-587. Charles the Great of France, although a historical personage, was almost as great in romance as King Arthur. The legends relate that Agramant, King of Africa, preparing to invade Christendom, gathered a great army at Biserta, whence he marched into Spain. At Roncesvalles he came up with the retreating rear guard of Charlemagne's army under Orlando or Roland and destroyed it, Charlemagne himself being a considerable distance in advance. So the story is usually told, the latter part, at least, having some historic basis. Why Milton varies from this version is not known. Fontarabbia was at some distance from Roncesvalles.