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9. non temere. And yet not thoughtlessly: they will sing what we must in duty regard.'

visere. So the best MSS.

An obvious emendation is

vincere, 'what it is our task to surpass.'

11. 'We have no easy palm, brothers, already won.' aequales i.e., aetate, λikes.

12. secum requirunt, silently recall their studied lays. They do not study in vain: they bring with them something fit to live. How should they not, for they labour in the deep mines of thought?'

15. We have parted our thoughts to one side, our ears to another.' Cf. Verg. Aen. VIII. 20:

'animum nunc huc celerem nunc dividit illuc.'

16. jure, 'deservedly.'

amat, for victory is the friend of diligence.' Cf. Eurip. Phoen.: τὸ νικᾶν ἐστὶ πᾶν εὐβουλία.

17. saltem, 'fling your courage, at least, into the contest.'

20. fertur, 'what more pitiless fire rides in Heaven than thine?'

22. retinentem, 'pluck the clinging child from,' &c.

23. ardenti, 'to a burning lover surrender,' &c.

P. 29. 27. qui desponsa, 'who shinest to ratify covenants of marriage, long plighted by husband and by father, yet unjoined (not made into union), until thy gleam has gone up on high.'

29. nec, and yet not.' Cf. xxx. 4 note.


32. The sequence of thought may have been: 'Hesperus is a robber, for he brings night, when watchers wake and robbers lurk.' To which the answer is returned (37): True, robbers lurk by night; but Hesper returns as Phosphor, and arrests them.' Thus 32-35 would have run something like the following:

'Hesperus e nobis, aequales, abstulit unam:

Ecqua tuum virgo non oderit, Hespere, nomen?
Namque tuo adventu vigilat custodia semper :
Nocte latent fures: tu noctem furibus affers.'

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37. fures, thieves of love.' Cf. VII. 8, 'furtivos hominum amores.'

idem. . . . eosdem, 'whom thou returnest, changed not in person but in title, to arrest still in their trespass.' For Eosdem, Schrader reads Eous. Cf. v. 1 note.

40. quid tum, 'what shall be said?' Cf. Verg. Ec. x. 38: 'quid tum, si fuscus Amyntas?'

42. secretus, 'a flower, growing in a nook, within garden walls.'

44. To which the breezes give sweetness, and the sun strength, and the rains stature.

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mulcent, sweeten.' Ellis renders stroke.'

47. Once that flower is nipt with the thin nail, and its blossom shed.'

49. So it is with the maiden so long as she remains untainted, endeared to her kindred; but, the flower of pure maidenhood once fallen from her soiled form, she impassions youths and she is dear to maidens no more for ever.'

P. 30. 53. vidua, 'unwedded.' So of the elm, reversely, Hor. Od. Iv. v. 30:

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'Et vitem viduas ducit ad arbores.'

nudo, on an unsheltered soil.'

55. 'But ever, as she bends her uninvigorated frame in drooping heaviness, about to brush topmost tendril with root.' 56. jam jam, 'about to.' Verg. Aen. II. 530.

flagellum. Verg. Geor. II. 279.

58. marito, her husband, the elm.' Cf. Hor. II. xv. 4; 'platanus coelebs

Evincet ulmos.'

60. inculta, 'uncherished,' falls untended into years.'

61. par, when in fulness of time she has won an espousal in her own station.' Cf. Ov. Her. IX. 32:

'Si qua voles apte nubere, nube pari.'

Or, perhaps better, par conubium = conubium quod adipisci

par est, which it befits her to win'; just as invisa parenti suggests that it is a daughter's duty to get married: or, less likely, par = 'a marriage like this,' cf. LXI. 38, 'virgines, quibus advenit par dies.'

65. 'It is rebellious to resist one to whom you have been surrendered.'


For a complete account of the worship of Cybele see Ellis' introduction to this poem, a fine example of his vast erudition. For the Galliambic metre see Appendix I. F.

The worship of the 'Great Mother' (whom Lucretius identifies with Tellus, giving an explanation of the allegorical elements of her procession, II. 600), was introduced into Rome from Phrygia, in obedience to a command of the Sibylline books, 203 B.C. Her image, a small black stone, was brought from Pessinus, a town on the slope of Dindymus; in her honour a temple was built, and the games called Megalesia established.

There is nothing, however, that is specially Roman in the treatment of her cultus in the present poem. Every allusion is essentially Greek; and all internal evidence would allow, if indeed it does not suggest, that we have here a translation of a lost Greek model. The ärağ λɛyóμɛva, such as hederigerae properipedem, silvicultrix, nemorivagus, erifugae, would then be attempts to render the Greek compounds of the original; so foro, v. 60, is used in the sense of ȧyópa, the associations of which word (and not at all those of the Latin forum) are intended to be presented. Roman literature on the subject of the magna mater, it is also to be remarked, contains no allusion to Attis, down to the date of the present poem; of which we may at least affirm, that in versification, phraseology, and conception, it is essentially Greek.

The distinctive features of the worship of Cybele were an enthusiastic excitement, amounting to madness (μaiveodai tý Oε), fasting, and self-castration. Attis, here a Greek youth, not a god, is represented as leaving his home under an irresistible impulse which had seized him as a devotee of the Idaean Mother; as crossing the Aegean; as landing near the Phrygian Ida; and as penetrating the forests, that clothe the mountain to its summit, the sacred abode of the goddess, whence he is suffered to return no more.

Catullus' friend, Caecilius, seems to have begun a poem on this subject; xxxv. 14.

1. super, 'on the crest.'

P. 31. 2. citato cupide pede, 'with restless foot and hot desire.'

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4. vagus animis, 'lost in passion.'

8. niveis, like teneris, 10, = womanish.

citata. Attis is henceforward spoken of indifferently as of either sex. Translate, 'the restless feminine shape.'

typanum is another form of tympanum, 'tambourine.'

9. tubam. As the trumpet is an instrument employed, not in Greek, but in Roman ritual, Ellis would render this word (very harshly) as in opposition to typanum, and somehow equivalent to avтi σáλmiyyos, the tambourine which is in the rites of Cybele what the trumpet is in the rites of other gods, 'the tambourine that is trumpet to Cybele.'

Munro reads ' ac typum,' signifying a medallion of Cybele worn by her worshippers. A simple, but rather weak, alteration is to tuum Cybelle. The name has various forms, Kußńλn, Κύβελλα, Κυβέλη, Κυβήβη.

mater. Cf. magna mater, Idaea mater, mater deorum.

initia, 'ritual,' 'mystic instrument.'

12. Gallae. The emasculated priests of the Phrygian goddess were generally called Galli. Cf. Verg. Aen. Ix. 617: 'O vere Phrygiae, nec enim Phryges, ite per alta Dindyma, ubi assuetis biforem dat tibia cantum. Tympana vos buxusque vocat Berecyntia matris Idaeae: sinite arma viris.'

13. vaga pecora, 'wandering sheep.'


15. sectam, path.' Cf. Cic. Nat. Deor. 11. 22, natura habet quasi viam quandam et sectam quam sequatur.' Ellis renders following my rule,' certainly adopting the commoner meaning of the word.

16. truculentaque pelagi, 'the savagery of ocean.' . Cf.

Verg. Aen. IX. 81, 'pelagi petere alta.' Pelage is read, unnecessarily, by many editors.

18. aere, with wanderings fired by the clang of brass.' Munro rejects aere as violating the metre, and believes omnia 54 to be corrupt. If erae be read, it will depend on animum, 'the goddess's soul.'

21. cymbalum, if vox be read, is genitive; if nox be read, it will be accusative after sonat, like hominem sonat, Verg. Aen. I. 328. But the evidence for the latter reading is very slight.

reboant, reverberate.'

22. curvo, when the Phrygian piper sounds his deep note on the horned reed,' i.e., his pipe has a horn-shaped extremity.

canit grave. Cf. dulce ridentem, LI. 4, turpe incedere, XLII. 8. J.XI. 7, note.

24. sacra sancta, 'with shrill screams wake their inviolate orgies.'

26. nos celerare, 'hasten our going with triple dancing step.'

tripudiis = the dancing step of religious processions. Cf. Liv. 1. 20, Salios ancilia ferre ac per urbem ire canentes carmina cum tripudiis sollennique saltatu jussit.'

27. notha mulier, 'counterfeiting womanhood.'

28. thiasus, 'rout.' LXIV. 253.

trepidantibus, 'tumultuous.'

29. recrepant, crash in answer.'

P. 32. 31. Feverish, panting, wandering waywardly, pouring her soul in sighs, with nothing at her side but the tambourine, Attis leads through the dark woods.',

35 sqq. See General Introduction I. p. xi.

39. oris aurei. It is not necessary to take this as a descriptive genitive ('golden-visaged sun,' Ellis), as it may depend on oculis.

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