Billeder på siden

Itys, into the nightingale.

of Itys (Ecl. vi. 79): —

[ocr errors]

Virgil makes Philomela the mother and slayer

Quas illi Philomela dapes, quae dona pararit?

Quo cursu deserta petiverit, et quibus ante
Infelix sua tecta supervolitaverit alis?"

In short, the legend is more varied than almost any other.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

7. male] This may go with barbaras' to strengthen it, as rauci male (S. i. 4. 66), or with ulta.'

8. Regum] The lust of kings, as exemplified in one of them, Tereus, the Thracian king, who, having married one of the above sisters, concealed her, and married the other, under the pretence that she was dead. The fraud was discovered, and the first wife, whichever of the two it was (see above), murdered her son Itys, and put his limbs before his father as a banquet. The sisters then ran away, and Tereus pursuing them, they were all changed into birds.

9. Dicunt] C. iii. 4. 1.

11. deum] Pan, who was chiefly worshipped in Arcadia. 14. Calibus] See C. i. 20. 9. As to 'ducere,' see C. iii. 3. 34, n. 15. juvenum nobilium cliens,] These are said by the Scholiasts to be Augustus and Mæcenas. Juvenis' is applied to the former in C. i. 2. 41 (see note).

17. Nardi parvus onyx] A pound of 'nard' was worth upwards of 300 denarii, which sum was equivalent to more than 10. sterling. The 'onyx' was another name for alabaster, of which, as we find in the New Testament, as well as here and elsewhere, boxes were made for ointments.

18. Sulpiciis-horreis,] These were famous wine-cellars, which originally belonged to one of the Sulpician family, and, according to the Scholiasts, continued to bear the name of Galba, the cognomen of a branch of that gens, in their day. There are inscriptions extant in which mention is made of the 'horrea Galbiana.' Horace, professing to have no good wine of his own, says he will buy a cadus of Calenian. (C. i. 20 10, n.)

19. amaraque Curarum] This is a Greek construction, but not uncommon in Horace, as "acuta belli" (C. iv. 4. 76); “ corruptus vanis rerum " (S. ii 2. 25), fictis rerum (S. ii. 8. 83); " vilia rerum " (Epp. i. 17. 21) . abdita rerum (A. P. 49).

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

23. Immunem] for nothing,' as we say. It is equivalent to asymbolus in Terence (Phorm. ii. 2. 25): "Ten' asymbolum venire!" The drone is represented as immunis sedens aliena ad pabula" (Virg. Georg iv. 244), and Horace says of himself, "quem scis immunem Cinarae placuisse rapaci (Ep. i. 14. 33).

25. studium lucri,] This looks like a joke, but the point of it is lost. 26. Nigrorum-ignium] This epithet is commonly applied to the funeral fires, as (Aen. xi. 186), "subjectis ignibus atris.”


It is not un

THIS Ode has been noticed in the introduction to C. iii. 10 like the fifteenth of the same book. It is professedly addressed to an old woman, Lyce, who is trying to keep up her charms. The poet writes as if the gods had answered his prayers by taking away her beauty for the cruelty she had shown him. It is most probably an imitation.

ARGUMENT. My prayers are answered, Lyce. Thou art old, and would captivate still; but love abides only on the fresh cheek, and runs away

from the withered trunk, and from thee, with thy black teeth, and wrinkles, and gray hairs. Try and hide thy years with purple and jewels, but the telltale records betray thee. Where is the girl that I loved only next to Cinara?-whom Fate carried off too soon, while it left Lyce to grow old, that her lovers might laugh at her decline.

7. Chiae]Chia' is a proper name. in the same way.

8. excubat in genis.]


9. aridas Quercus,]

'Delia' and 'Lesbia' are formed

This is a close imitation of Sophocles (Antig

Ἔρως ὃς ἐν κτήμασι πίπτεις

ὃς ἐν μαλακαῖς παρειαῖς

νεάνιδος ἐννυχεύεις.

This corresponds to C. i. 25. 19, “aridas frondes";

as to 'luridi,' see C. iii. 4. 74, n.

13. Coae] These are thin, transparent textures of some sort, from the island of Cos in the Ægean.

14. clari lapides] The precicus stones of the costlier sort most in use by Roman women were pearls ('margaritae') and emeralds (smaragdi '). They were chiefly worn in necklaces, and as ear-drops and rings; and libertinae distinguished for their beauty could make a great display of jewels received as presents from their admirers.

15. Notis condita fastis] Buried in the public annals.' Horace means to say, that the days she has seen are all buried, as it were, in the grave of the public annals, and there any one may find them, but she cannot get them back. It is a graphic way of identifying the years, and marking their decease, to point to the record in which each is distinguished by its consuls and its leading events. 'Notis' merely expresses the publicity and notoriety of the record by which the lapse of time is marked. As to 'fasti,' see Epp. ii.

48, n.

quantum mutatus 66 unum me sur

Regarding Cinara,


18. illius, illius, This word is very emphatic, as in “ ab illo Hectore" (Aen. ii 274). On surpucrat' compare pite morti" (Sat. ii. 3. 283); C. i. 36. 8, n.; S. i. 5. 79, n. see C. iv. 1. 3, n; and for the form 'nota artium gratarum' compare in fratres animi paterni " (C. ii. 2. 6). Et' is redundant, and the sentence is a little irregular: What hast thou left of her, of her who breathed but love, who stole me from myself, blest next to Cinara, that face, too, so familiar in its lovely charms?'

[ocr errors]

24. parem-temporibus] This means that Lyce and the crow go on together, getting old and never dying. Vetulae' is a contemptuous form of annosa,' used elsewhere (C. iii. 17. 13). Martial speaks of an old woman who had survived all the crows (x. 67). She was the daughter (he says) of Pyrrha, and Nestor's step-mother, an old woman when Niobe was a girl, grandmother of Laertes, nurse of Priam, and mother-in-law of Thyestes.

28. Dilapsam] This expresses well the crumbling of a burnt-out torch. The idea is very original. There is an intentional contrast in 'fervidi.' That burning youths might see with loud laughter the torch's flame crumbling away to ashes.'


THE circumstances under which this Ode was written, and its probable date, are given in the Introduction to C. 4 of this book, to which the student is referred. The common inscriptions, which make it an address in honor of

Augustus, sufficiently describe the spirit of it, though its professed purpose is to celebrate the part that Tiberius took, with Drusus, in the victories over the German tribes. It is probable that, whereas the Ode for Drusus was written soon after his victory, this was not written till Augustus returned from Gaul, two years afterwards.

ARGUMENT. With what honors shall we perpetuate thy virtues, O mightiest of princes, whose strength the insolent Vindelici have felt? With great slaughter Drusus cast them down from their heights, and Tiberius drove them before him, as the south wind drives the waves, or the swollen Aufidus lays waste the corn, a scathless victory; and thou didst lend thine armies, thy counsels, and thine auspices. "T was fifteen years from that day when Alexandria opened her gates to thee, that Fortune brought this glory to thine arms. All nations bow down to thee, from the east to the west, from the north to the south, O thou guardian of Italy and Rome!

4. fastos Aeternet,] As to 'titulos,' see S. i. 6. 17, n., and for 'fastos,' see Epp. ii. 1. 48, n. Aeternare' is a word which had probably become almost obsolete in Horace's time. It is not found in any other author, except in a fragment of Varro. Many words used by Horace, and by no other extant writer, were probably common enough before the age of Cicero. 'Habitabiles oras, like oikovμévη, so commonly used by Plutarch and the writers of the New Testament, signifies the Roman world."

- didicere


[ocr errors]


7. Quem Quid Marte posses.] This construction is not uncommon in Plautus, as (Asin. i. 1.45), verum meam uxorem, Libane, seis qualis siet"; and Terence, as (Eun. iv. 3. 15), Ego illum nescio qui fuerit,' and other places. With the Greek poets nothing is more common, as in Sophocles (Trachin. 429): —

πρὸς θεῶν φράσον, φίλη

δέσποινα, τόνδε τίς ποτ' ἐστὶν ὁ ξένος ;

10. Genaunos,] The Genauni were one of the southern tribes of Rætia, lying between the lakes Verbanus (Maggiore) and Larius (Como), in the modern Val d'Agno. The Breuni were a small but warlike tribe, also occupying part of Rætia. The character Horace gives of these tribes is that which is given by all writers of the time. 'Implacidum' is a word not found in any writer earlier than Horace. It is as likely that he made as that he found it: either may be true.

13. plus vice simplici;] The literal version would thus be, with more than an even exchange,' i. c. of blood, he being 'sine clade victor' (v. 32). As to the construction 'plus vice,' sce C. i. 13. 20.

14. Major Neronum] Tiberius. Sec C. iv. 4. 28, n.

17. Spectandus — Quantis] This seems imitated from the Greek idiom Davμarròs oσois. A noble sight, how in the strife of war he drove with mighty slaughter those hearts devoted to a freeman's death.'

20. Indomitas prope qualis] It may be observed, that the fourth verse of the Alcaic stanza is frequently constructed with a noun and its adjective in the first and last place, and corresponding in their last syllables. In this Ode we have vv. 12, 16, 20, 36, 52, answering to this rule or habit. Prope' has no particular force. Horace, whose ear was familiar with the language of the Greek tragedians, copied their σxedov Tɩ (a common phrase in comparisons) here and in other places. The setting of the Pleiades, at the beginning of November, was reckoned as the commencement of winter; they therefore are said to burst the clouds ('scindere nubes'), which poured down rain upon the earth.

24. medios per ignes.] Ignes' means the flames of war.

25. tauriformis] This is taken from the Greek Tavpóμoppos, applied to the

Cephissus by Eurip. (Ion, 1261). The only other Italian river that was rep resented under this form was the Eridanus, of which Virgil says (Georg. iv. 371, sqq.):

"Et gemina auratus taurino cornua vultu
Eridanus, quo non alius per pinguia culta
In mare purpureum violentior effluit amnis."

He was therefore represented not only with horns, but with gilded horns. Horace has probably invented this description of his native river, by way of magnifying its importance, and ranking with the greater streams. Whence this conception of a bull, as representing the form of a river-god, may have arisen, it is not easy to say, but probably from the branching of so many large streams at their mouths, though that would not apply to the Aufidus. 26. Dauni] See C. i. 22. 14, n.

28. meditatur] See C. iii. 25. 5, n.

[ocr errors]

31. metendo] And, mowing down first and hindmost, strewed the earth, a scathless victor.' Horace (like Virgil, Aen. x. 513, "Proxima quaeque metit gladio") gets his word from Homer (Il. xi. 67), oi d wor' dμntηpes ἐναντίοι ἀλλήλοισιν Ὄγμον ἐλαύνωσιν.

32. sine clude] See note on v. 13.

33. te- - Praebente divos.] See C. i. 7. 27, n. Augustus had the auspi cium,' and his step-sons were his 'legati.'

34. quo die] See C. i. 37, Introduction, iv. 4, Introduction.

40. Imperiis decus arrogavit.] Claimed for the wars carried on under thy imperium the glory thou didst desire.' What follows is a compendious review of the successes of Augustus, all of which have been noticed in these Odes. Before the present Ode was written, the Cantabri had been finally subdued by Agrippa; the Parthians had restored the standards of Crassus and M. Antonius; the Scythians had sent to ask to be taken into alliance; the distant nations of Asia had done the same (see C. S. 55, sq.); the successes of Lentulus had checked the inroads of the tribes of the Danube (ii. 9. 23); Egypt had long been a tributary province; Armenia (Tigris) had been ceded by the Parthians; Britain, though only threatened, had sent tokens of submission. Augustus was just returned from Gaul and Spain, where he had put down the last efforts of rebellion, having also driven back the German tribes (Sigambri), whose success against Lollius had thrown a stain upon the arms of Rome (see C. 2 of this book, Introduction).

45. Te fontium qui celat origines] This applies only to Nilus. The ancient representations of the Nile exhibit him as covering his head with his robe, or with the waters flowing from under his robe; while the Ister is exhibited with his urn in a medal of Trajan, on whose column he is represented as rising out of his stream to do homage to Rome.

47. belluosus] This word does not occur elsewhere in any classical writer. It reduces to the form of an adjective 'scatentem belluis' (Č. iii. 27. 26). It corresponds to πολυθρέμμων of Eschylus, πολυκήτης of Theocritus, and Homer's μεγακήτης.

49. Te non paventis funera Galliae] Caes. de B. G. vi. 14: "In primis hoe volunt persuadere (Druidae) non interire animos sed ab aliis post mortem transire ad alios, atque hoc maxime ad virtutem excitari putant, metu mortis neglecto."


THIS Ode appears in early times to have been read as part of the fourteenth; but there can be little doubt the Odes were written separately, though

probably about the same time, on the return of Augustus to Rome, B. C. 13. All that is here said of the subjection of the world and the universal peace was said in effect at the close of the fourteenth Ode; but it was natural that. if Horace had received the emperor's commands to publish another book of Odes, he should conclude it with one addressed to Augustus himself, reviewing the blessings of his reign, which at this time had been crowned by a series of successes by which universal peace was established.

ARGUMENT. When I would sing of wars, Phoebus checked me with his lyre. Thy reign, O Cæsar, hath brought back our lost honor, with plenty and peace and order, and the means by which our name and strength have become great. Under thy protection we fear no wars, at home or abroad; the North and the East obey thy laws, and we with our wives and children will sing of the heroes of old, of Troy, and Anchises, and of Venus's son.

2. increpuit lyra,] This is explained by Ovid (A. A. ii. 493).· Haec ego cum canerem subito manifestus Apollo

Movit inauratae pollice fila lyrae."

'Increpuit lyra' therefore signifies checked me by touching the strings of his lyre, and leading me to a strain more fitted to my muse.' The other metaphor is common enough. See Virgil (Georg. ii. 41):

da vela patenti.”

Pelagoque volans

4. Tua, Caesar, actas] The abruptness with which this is introduced is worth remarking. A longer preface would have weakened the Ode.

5. Fruges et agris] This is a repetition of C. iv. 5. 17, sq. 6. nostro Jovi] To the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.

7. Derepta] As the standards were quietly and voluntarily sent to Augustus by Phraates, Horace's language is somewhat exaggerated. The recovery (see C. iii. 5, Introd.) of the standards lost by Crassus was one of the greatest causes of rejoicing that ever happened at Rome. Without it, the restoration effected by Augustus, and of which Horace here gives a compendious picture, would have been wanting in one of its chief features; the honor, as well as the peace, of Rome was restored. These praises are repeated from or in (for we cannot say which was written first) Epp. ii. 1. 251, sqq. See also Epp. i


[ocr errors]

9. Janum Quirini] If' Janum Quirini' and not Janum Quirinum' be the true reading, Horace assigns to Romulus the building of the temple of Janus, which is usually assigned to Numa. The other would mean Janus called Quirinus,' a name given him as Janus of the Quirites. As to the shutting of the temple, see Epp. ii. 1. 255, n.

10. evaganti This nowhere else appears with an accusative case, but 'evadere" and 'exire are used with an accusative repeatedly. (Compare C iii. 24. 29.) Artes' means those virtues in which the discipline of life is placed, as prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.

[ocr errors]

17. furor Civilis aut vis] Civilis' belongs to 'furor,' and 'vis,' which is a technical word, means here personal violence.' 'Ira' applies to foreign quarrels. See C. iii. 14. 14, n.

20. inimicat] This is another word which Horace probably found in use by writers of a former day. Later writers have taken it from him. It means 'sets at enmity.' Apprecati' (v. 28), 'remixto' (v. 30), are also words first found in Horace.

21. qui profundum Danubium bibunt] The German tribes, particularly the Vindelici lately subdued. Edicta Julia' can only mean here the laws of Augustus, laid upon them at their conquest, though in its technical sense the word 'edicta' would not apply. The rules of a governor published in his province were his 'edictum,' and these people were not in a province. Hor

« ForrigeFortsæt »