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21-2. occidet] 'will fall harmless.' Assyrium...amomum 'Assyrian' stands generally for 'eastern.' The amomum is an aromatic shrub, from which the balsam is made. For this manner of expressing bounteous vegetation cp. Ecl. 3, 88, Mella fluant illi ferat et ruber asper amomum.
23. heroum]' of the deified heroes of the past.' parentis, ' of his father Augustus.'
25. molli] [μaλ-α-кòs]. The plain is to grow corn without cultivation, and the notion conveyed by molli and paulatim is that of the gradual stages from the tender' blade to the full corn in the ear.
26. rubens] the grape will not only grow wild on the brambles, but will ripen. Men will gather grapes from
27. durae...sudabunt] The oaks though sound and not hollow will exude honey, which will fall on it like dew. He calls the honey roscida, because of the notion that honey fell from the clouds on plants (aerii mellis, G. 4, 1). Euripides says in the Bacchanals: honey sweet in slow stream from the wild Thyrsus dropped.' He is careful to call the oaks durae to show that it is not meant of bees making their nest in a hollow or rotten tree [penitusque repertae. exesaeque arboris antro, G. 4, 44].
27-30. priscae fraudis] 'of the old sinfulness,' i.e. before the new golden age. quae jubeant 'such as to force men,' cp. 27, 21: the nom. quae thrice repeated. temptare Thetim 'to tempt the deep,' a mark of the degenerate age which was not content to observe the divisions of lands assigned by the Providence which created the seas. Nequiquam deus abscidit Prudens Ocean dissociabili Terras, si tamen impiae Non tangenda rates transiliunt vada, Hor. Od. 1, 3, 21.
31-33. The old heroic history is to repeat itself: there will 4 be another Argo, another Trojan war. Tiphys the steersman of the Argo, cp. Quid tibi cum patria, navita Tiphy, mea? Ovid, Ep. 6, 48. The foreign conquests of Rome are implied.
34-6. But as the golden age develops, with the age of the child, all this will cease. There will be no need of ships. Every land will produce all that men need. hinc after this.' cedet mari 'will quit the sea.' et ipse vector 'the very
passenger' who goes for pleasure, and therefore much more the sailor who only goes for gain.
39. mentiri colores] 'to assume colours not its own.'
40-1. The sheep will grow purple and yellow fleeces without the help of dyes. murice the murex is the shellfish from which the purple dye was made, called Tyrian from the usual place of finding the shell. mutabit 'will vary.'
42. pascentes] ‘as they graze,' equivalent to in pratis,
[Silenus, the old attendant of Bacchus, is bound by two shepherds and forced to sing a song. It is of the beginnings of the world, and all nature is filled with delight at the sound. The poet has put into the mouth of Silenus fragments of the Epicurean and Empedoclean theory of the beginning of the world. Cp. Lucretius 1, 712:
Adde etiam qui conduplicant primordia rerum
Et qui quattuor ex rebus posse omnia rentur
1. incipit ipse] sc. Silenus.
in numerum]' in time to the music.' Numerus is used of poetical numbers or verses, and of music.
3. ludere]'dance.' motare, frequentative of moveo.
Parnasia rupes] Mount Parnassus, as sacred to the Muses, is also beloved of Phoebus the patron of song.
5. Rhodope] a chain of mountains in Scythia between the Hebrus and Nastus rivers (Despoto dagh) Ismarus is an isolated height near the south coast. This district possessed famous vineyards, and was said to be the home of Orpheus. G. 4, 461, flerunt Rhodopeïae arces, i.e. at the distress of Orpheus.
6-7. The Lucretian doctrine of the origin of all nature. Atoms in a huge void by chance or fate, or their natural tendency, came together and formed all that exists. But Vergil is either confusing or epitomising two distinct things, the atomic origin of matter, and the doctrine of the four elements, as the origin of all things, as taught by Empedocles. uti 'how.' coacta fuissent had been driven into union.' animae is the element 'air.' maris 'water.'
8-9. ignis liquidi] The epithet liquidus, as generally applied to fire, seems to mean clear and bright,' but here it appears to be used to contrast it with the solid earth. ut 'how,' repeated from 5, 31. his exordia primis omnia 'how from these, as their primary elements, the beginnings of all things came.' tener orbis 'the airy arch.' mundi Con. and Munr. explain to refer to the aether, L.L. to 'the universe,' and tener 'still soft,' referring to its fusile state. concreverit 'grew to one perfect whole.'
10-11. discludere...ponto] 'to shut up Nereus in the sea 5 apart,' i.e. apart from the land. He gave him his bounds that he should not pass nor return and cover the land.'
distinct shapes,' as distinct from Chaos, which was 'without form.'
12. stupeant lucescere] 'gazes with wonder as the new sunlight breaks.' The sun is new to the new lands, not that it is formed after them. altius aloft,' to be constructed with lucescere.
15. rara] because there are as yet few of them. ignaros (like caecus) is both 'unknown' and 'unknowing.'
16. hinc] 'next.' Pyrrha wife of Deucalion; for whom and the deluge, see Classical Dictionary. Saturnia regna see note on II. 3.
17. For Prometheus and his theft of fire, and the vultures that fed on his liver, see Classical Dictionary. Caucasias of Mount Caucasus, a range extending from the Black Sea to the Caspian, and still called by that name. Aeschylus (P.V. 722) calls it op oтov, it was there that Prometheus was chained.
[ECL. X. 9-30].
[C. Cornelius Gallus, to whom the Eclogue from which this extract is taken was addressed, was born B. c. 66, and died by his own hand in B.C. 26. He was a schoolfellow of Vergil, and an elegiac poet of some pretensions. Ovid [Tr. 4, 10, 52] reckons him as the predecessor of Tibullus in the art of elegiac poetry.
The poet is imitating Theocritus [Id. 1, 66 sq.], and represents Gallus as perishing from unrequited love and lamented by all nature. Milton has closely imitated the passage in the Lycidas:
'Where were ye, nymphs, when the remorseless deep
For neither were ye playing on the steep
2. Naides] 'water nymphs,' the word is from the root which appears in vâ-ua, a spring,' Nnp-eus, va-pós, 'flowing.' The form Nais,-idos is that of a Greek feminine patronymic, such as Pegasis, Cecropis, Tantalis, etc.
indigno] 'undeserved,' 'not worthy of him.'
4. Aonie [Gr. fem. -n] Aonian,' i.e. Boeotian, for Aganippe or Hippocrene, the sacred spring, was in Helicon. Aonia is the ancient name of Boeotia. For the hiatus cp. 11, 9; 31, 26.
7. Maenalus] a mountain in Arcadia. As Gallus was a pastoral poet he is connected especially with Arcadia. Lycaei, Lycaeus, also a mountain in Arcadia, the chief seat of the worship of Pan.
8. nostri] ' of us shepherds,' ¿.e. pastoral poets.
11. ōpilio] 'shepherd,' contracted from ovipilio, cp. οἴπολος.
'Came Menalcas all wet from steeping the winter store of acorns.' Menalcas stands for any countryman; the acorns are steeped to make food for cattle and swine.
14. tua cura] 'your darling,' cf. 1, 12.
16. agresti capitis honore] 'with the rural honours of his head,' i.e. with a garland on his head. Silvanus a god of the woodlands 'and country.
17. ferulas] 'fennel.' Vergil is imitating a line of Lucretius (4, 587), pinea semiferi capitis velamina quassans.
18. ebuli] 'dwarf elder.' Pan, the patron of the country, and therefore of the pastoral poets, is represented as smeared with elder-berries and vermilion, because the rustic figures of him were often so coloured.
20. modus] 'limit,' i.e. to grief, cp. Hor. O., 1, 24, 1, quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus Tam cari capitis?
[These lines may be said to contain the moral of the Georgics. Man is engaged in a constant contest with Nature, only persistent labour can win from her what he wants.]
4. maxima quaeque] 'all the largest.'
sic] so true it is that.' ruere...referri historic infinitives, cp. 37, 175.
6. lembus] is properly a yacht,' but is here used loosely for any rowing boat.
8. alveus] 'the bed of the river,' used for the river itself. prono amni 'down the stream.' The ablative in -i is a survival from an older form in -ei. The general tendency in Vergil's time and after him was to weaken the termination to -č. But we find the -i form generally retained in some words, as colli, igni, turri, and in Lucretius, imbri, navi, tussi.
[The implements used by Italian farmers the plough, the wagon, the thrashing machine,-consisting of two drays,-the corn-basket, and the winnowing van. These are all of the most primitive structure. A student should have before him some book such as Rich's Dictionary of Antiquities while reading these lines.]
1. arma] 'implements.'