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SHORT NOTES TO VIRGIL
NOTE A. ARSIS AND CÆSURA.
ARSIS is the stress laid by the voice at regular intervals in reading a verse, and tends to lengthen the syllable on which it falls. In hexameters this is the first syllable of every foot. A pause in the sense has the same tendency. A syllable not in arsis is said to be in thesis.
Cæsura is the name given to the break in a foot, caused by its consisting partly of one word and partly of another: when the syllable immediately before the break is in arsis, the cæsura is called strong; when in thesis, weak.
In Virgil, the strong cæsura in any of the first four feet is allowed to lengthen a syllable by nature short. e. g. E. i. 39, Tityrus hinc aberāt; ipsæ te, Tityre, pinus; but there must be a pause in the sense immediately after such a syllable, or short syllables immediately before it, since after them the voice naturally seeks repose. In lines which approximate to a Greek model, as those which end in a tetrasyllable, or with two spondees, more freedom of license is found, and that too in the fifth foot, e. g. E. vi. 53, molli fultus hyacintho (end); G. ii, 5, pampineo gravidūs quctumno (end),
In G. ii. 5, we have an exceptional verse, where the strong cæsura alone is allowed to lengthen us in nullius. There are a few more such in the Æneid. In two substantives coupled by two que's, the first que, if it be in the second or fourth foot, is often lengthened by a strong cæsura, e.g. Æn. iii. 91, Liminaquē laurusque. This form is a favourite beginning for a Virgilian line: in such an one as E. iv. 51, Terrasquè tractusque, the tr of tractus helps the length of que preceding, and makes up for the absence of short syllables before it
NOTE B. HIATUS.
A vowel or diphthong is said to be in hiatus when it might be elided, but is not. If a strong cæsura concur, a syllable in hiatus may, if long by nature, retain its quantity, otherwise hiatus shortens it. Thus in E. vi. 44, Hyla, Hylă, omne sonaret; G. i. 281, Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam. A syllable short by nature in hiatus is comparatively rare, and still rarer when concurring with a weak cæsura, as in E. ii. 53, Addam cerea prună; honos erit huic quoque myrto: observe, however, the strong pause in the sense. In Æn. xii. 648, we have probably an unfinished line.
Hiatus does not find place later than the fourth foot, except in lines formed on a Greek model; see note A.
A word of more than three syllables at the end of a line in the Ecl. or Geor. is commonly a Greek one, as hyacinthi, hymenæos, elephanto; often a proper name, as Aracyntho; unless the fifth foot be a spondee, when a Latin tetrasyll. may end the line, as abscondantur, incrementum.
In the year U.C. 711, noted for the second Triumvirate, Cicero died. In 712, Brutus and Cassius were conquered at Philippi, Horace being a tribune in their army at the time (Sat. 1. vi. 48; Od. ii. 75), and the triumvirs, in performing their promise of lands in Italy to their veterans, had assigned Virgil's estate near Mantua to a soldier, Claudius. Through the influence of Pollio it was restored to the poet, who in 713, having visited Rome in the interval, wrote this Eclogue to express his gratitude to Octavius. The misfortune which only threatened Virgil, befel the poets, Horace, Tibullus, and Propertius, (Hor. Ep. ii. 2. 50; Tibull. I. i. 19; Propert. IV. i. 129.) The fate of Horace's "Ofellus," a labourer on the estate he had once owned (Sat. II. ii. 112), moralizing on his transitory lot, was probably that of a large class.
1. Tityre, perhaps meant for Virgil himself, so vi. 4. -fagi, "beech," der. pñyos, but not the same tree; pny. a sort of oak, perhaps quercus æsculus. fagus, Cul. 139, is plur., so perhaps G. ii. 71, elsewhere, fagi.-2. meditaris, &c., "art studying a rustic melody on a slender oatstraw" (material of pipe), meditor akin to μeλerów, with d
for A, so 'Odúoσeus, Ulysses.-4. lentus, "at thine ease;" prop. "offering no resistance," hence, v. 26, "pliant.”—5. doces has a double accus., (1) sylvas, (2) resonare, while itself governs Amaryllida.-12. turbatur = turba fit, impersonal.-13. protinus, pro-tenus, "right forward." "drive." duco, "lead."-15. connixa, "after hard effort" (in giving birth), “to struggle,” put poet. for the action of bearing; it governs gemellos, with which spem is in app. -16. Si mens, &c., the clause which really depends on the hypothetical si, &c., is not the one expressed mem. prædicere, but another implied, such as, " and I should have taken the oak's warning if," &c.; so ix. 45, numeros mem. (und. et canerem) si, &c.-17. De coelo tactas, "touched (by lightning) from the sky."-18. This line has prob. no warrant here.-19. sit, see on ii. 19. da, und. scire.21-2. solemus Pastores, "we shepherds are wont;" ovium depends on fetus.-24. noram, "I used to notice."-26. lenta, see on v. 4. viburna, akin to vimen, both prob. der. old verb vieo, to bind.
29. candidior... cadebat, "fell whiter (than before);" an adj. after a neuter or passive verb agreeing with its subject, often marks some accompanying quality of the action, so G. i. 313, ruit imbriferum ver; and even when the verb becomes a part., as G. i. 163, tarda volventia quæ volvuntur tarda. So a trans. verb takes an adj. in the acc., agreeing with its object and marking some consequence of the action, as in G. i. 400, solutos · jactare maniplos: and thus in G. i. 320, sublimem expulsam eruerent, the neut. constr. is exemplified in sublimem with expulsam, the trans. constr. in both these with eruerent.-30. post, after what? the next line answers the question; v. 30 is a repetition of v. 28, with a slight inversion of the emphasis, longo p. t. being a fuller expansion of sera.-31. postquam with pres., because the state had lasted ever since; but reliq. perf., as of a past
action.-33. peculi, the property which a slave was allowed to consider his own, der. pecus, like pecunia, cattle being of old the most common wealth. multa victima, "many a beast for sacrifice," i. e. prime quality. exiret, i. e. to the city, see 21-2; Catull. xx. 12, imitated, meisque pinguis agnus ex ovilibus Gravem domum remisit ære dexteram. —38. cui after pendere. The question, cui ... poma, depends on mirabar, and this clause and quid...vocares are asyndeta. -39. aberāt, see note A.
42. præsentes, "ready to help." Psalm xlvi. 1, "A very present help in trouble;" so G. ii. 127, cognoscere, "to find out."-43. juvenem, see Hor. Od. 1. ii. 41, Octav. Cæsar, then twenty-three years old, spoken of as deus in v. 6.-44, bis senos, meaning prob. once a month, (at the Kalends) = twelve times a year. altaria, der. altus ara, prop. some top-piece set on the altar, hence, part for whole, a tall altar," but the notion of height is lost; doubtful in sing.-48. omnia, not agr. pascua, but "all things."-49. obducat agr. both lapis and palus, but junco added in reference to palus only.-50. graves fetas, "cattle heavy while breeding;" fetus prop. part. of feo (obsolete; whence, too, fecundus, femina, &c.), "that bears or has borne fruit." -53. frigus... opacum, "shady coolness," for "coolness of the shade."-54-6. "Hence ( = = on this account), for thee the hedge having its willow bloom eaten, as ever, by Hyblæan bees from thy neighbour's confines, shall often by its light hum persuade sleep to enter. In G. i. 112, depascit is said of the shepherd, in G. iv. 539, depascunt, of the cattle, in which way the part. is used here of bees; florem following the active constr., like venas, vi. 15; latus, vi. 53.-63. Ararim, "the Saone" in France. Germany lay partly west of the Rhine, and reached nearly to the source of the Arar. The Parthians had lately extended their border towards the Tigris.