Billeder på siden

Circum perque duas in morem fluminis Arctos,
Arctos Oceani metuentis aequore tingui.
Illic, ut perhibent, aut intempesta silet nox
Semper, et obtenta densantur nocte tenebrae;
Aut redit a nobis Aurora diemque reducit;
Nosque ubi primus equis Oriens adflavit anhelis,
Illic sera rubens accendit lumina Vesper.
Hinc tempestates dubio praediscere caelo

Μυρίος· αἱ δ ̓ ἄρα οἱ σπείρης ἑκάτερθε φύ


"Αρκτοι κυανέου πεφυλαγμέναι ὠκεανοῖο. 'Elabitur,' 'shoots out:' not the same as 'labitur.' Forb.

246.] 'Metuentis—tingui’like “metuente solvi," Hor. 2 Od. 2.7. So Homer of the Bear (Il. 18. 48), οἴη δ' ἄμμορός ἐστι λοετρῶν ὠκεανοῖο.

247.] The two cases are that either the southern regions are in total darkness or that they have day when we have night. The doctrine that the sun perishes every day is Epicurean. Lucretius mentions both alternatives (5. 650 foll.):

"At nox obruit ingenti caligine terras,

Aut ubi de longo cursu sol extima caeli Inpulit, atque suos afflavit languidus ignis Concussos itere, et labefactos aere multo: Aut quia sub terras cursum convortere cogit Vis eadem, supra quae terras pertulit orbem."

'Intempesta nox:' Enn. A. 106, 172, Lucr. 5. 986, like VUKTÒç dwoi: "cum tempus agendi est nullum," as it is defined in Varro, L. L. 5. 2. It seems to have been a question whether the expression denoted any particular time of night. Macrobius (Sat. 1. 3) and Censorinus (Die Nat. last ch.) make it the interval between bedtime (nox concubia') and midnight. Varro 1. c. identifies it with 'nox concubia:' Serv. on A. 3. 587 with midnight; while Festus, p. 82, arguing from its etymology, refers it to no fixed time. There appears to be the same uncertainty about its Greek equivalent. The rhythm of the verse is doubtless meant to be descriptive. All is wrapped in eternal night, with its silence that knows no seasons, and its thick pall deepening the gloom.'

[ocr errors]

248.] Wagn. connects 'semper' with what follows: but the rhythm produced by the old pointing is surely superior. Obtenta nocte,' which is introduced rather carelessly after'nox,' is perhaps imitated from Hom. Od. 11. 19, άλλ' ¿πì vù§ ỏλon TETαTαι deiλoioi ẞporotoi. 'Densantur' Med., 'densentur' Rom. Both forms of the verb are used by Virgil.



249.] 'Redire,' 'reducere,' and other words of the sort, are constantly used, as Wund. remarks, of the recurring order of nature. "Informis hiemes reducit Iuppiter, idem Summovet,' Hor. 2 Od. 10. 15. The words imply that the thing has happened before, and thence the notion of regular succession

is inferred.

250.] Oriens,' the rising sun, as in A. 5. 739, where this line is nearly repeated. The horses of the sun come panting up hill, casting their breath, which, as Keightley observes, represents the morning air, on the objects before them.

251.] Seneca (Ep. 122), quoting this line, gives Illis,' which would be highly plausible, if supported by any MS. But Virgil is speaking of the region, not of the inhabitants, and the hypothesis of vv. 247, 248 would be hardly compatible with the existence of antipodes at all, though in a different connexion, v. 237, he seems to believe in them, placing them doubtless in Libya. So 'a nobis,' v. 249, answers to 'illic,' v. 247. Lumina' is Vesper's own rays-not the light of sunset, as Voss thinks, taking 'Vesper' generally of evening; nor the other stars, as others interpret it, much less, as the old commentators thought, the candles that are lighted on earth. Comp. 4.401, " medios cum Sol accenderit aestus." 'Rubens' may merely mean 'bright,' like "Luna rubens," Hor. 2 Od. 11. 10 (where see Macleane's note), or the colour of sunset may be naturally transferred to the star.

252-258.] From this disposition of nature the husbandman and the mariner get certain knowledge, and may consult the heavens with confidence.'

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Possumus, hinc messisque diem tempusque serendi,
Et quando infidum remis inpellere marmor
Conveniat, quando armatas deducere classis,
Aut tempestivam silvis evertere pinum :
Nec frustra signorum obitus speculamur et ortus,
Temporibusque parem diversis quattuor annum.



Frigidus agricolam si quando continet imber, Multa, forent quae mox caelo properanda sereno, Maturare datur: durum procudit arator Vomeris obtunsi dentem: cavat arbore lintres; Aut pecori signum aut numeros inpressit acervis. 258 must clearly belong to this paragraph, not to that which follows, as Prof. Ramsay has pointed out in the Classical Museum, vol. 5, pp. 107 foll. They come in fact under 'Hinc,' which is the introduction to the whole paragraph. Hence it is that our watchings for the rising and setting of the stars, and our attention to the course of the seasons are not thrown away.' 'Tempestates' seems rightly understood by Keightley of changes of weather, which agrees with 'dubio caelo.'

the watch for:' here it means merely 'to pay attention to.'

[ocr errors]

253.] The weather and the seasons are matters of equal importance to landsmen and seamen (vv. 204 foll.: comp. v. 456), so the occupations of both are mentioned here. 'Infidum' is significant, as showing the importance of knowing when to venture on the sea. There may be a distinction, as Voss thinks, between 'remis,' the smaller craft, and 'classis,' the larger; but it seems more likely that Virgil first speaks generally of putting to sea, and then contrasts the fleet when rigged with the cutting down of the timber. 255.] Armatas,' rigged.' "Armari classem cursumque parari," A. 4. 299. 'Deducere' of ships, A. 3. 71., 4. 398. Cerda comp. Hor. 1 Od. 4. 1, "Solvitur acris hiemps grata vice veris et Favoni, Trahuntque siccas machinae carinas."

256.] Tempestivam' with 'evertere:' woaia Téμvεobai úλa, Theophr. cited by Ursinus. Cato 31, whom Macr. Sat. 6. 4, rather unreasonably charges Virgil with copying, says of pines and other trees, "cum effodies, luna decrescente eximito, post meridiem, sine vento austro. Tum erit tempestiva, cum semen suum maturum erit." Pall. (12. 15) says that the best time of the year is February.

258.] Parem' is intended to contrast with diversis,' as Serv. remarks. The seasons are diverse, yet as they are of equal lengths, and succeed each other regularly, they make the year uniform. Speculamur' in v. 257 appears to mean strictly to be on

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

259-275.] Even rainy weather has its employments; and so have holy days.'

259] Hitherto Virgil has been insisting on the importance of the weather he now shows that weather which is bad for ordinary out-door purposes is good for other things. Frigidus imber' cannot apply to the winter, on account of 'si quando:' besides, winter occupations are mentioned vv. 305 foll. Frigidus' is an ordinary epithet of rain, as chilling the air, just as 'hiemps' is used indifferently of storm and winter. Continet,' 'keeps him from his work :' confines him to the house. "Dum se continet Auster, Dum sedet et siccat madidas in carcere pennas," Juv. 5. 100.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

260.] Properare,' to hurry,' is contrasted with 'maturare,' 'to get done in good time.' See A. 1. 137. The contrast is noticed by Gell. 10. 11., Macr. Sat. 6. 8, who follow a remark of Nigidius Figulus, "Mature est quod neque citius neque serius sed medium quiddam et temperatum est.'

261.] Procudit' is explained by 'obtunsi.' Forb. quotes Lucr. 5. 1264, "Et prorsum quamvis in acuta ac tenuia posse Mucronum duci fastigia procudendo."

262.] Lintres' were troughs into which grapes were put after the vintage. "Haec mihi servabit plenis in lintribus uvas," Tibull. 1. 5. 23. Cato (11) mentions them among the requisite apparatus for a vineyard, saying that two are required for a vineyard of 100 jugera. They appear to have been the same as'naviae' (Fest. s. v. 'navia') which were made from a single piece of wood, and so called from their resemblance to ships or canoes, whence both names. 'Arbore' is a sort of material ablative, like "ocreas lento ducunt argento," A. 7. 634.

263.] Branding cattle is mentioned again 3. 158. It was done with boiling pitch, generally towards the end of January and

Exacuunt alii vallos furcasque bicornis,
Atque Amerina parant lentae retinacula viti.
Nunc facilis rubea texatur fiscina virga;
Nunc torrete igni fruges, nunc frangite saxo.
Quippe etiam festis quaedam exercere diebus
Fas et iura sinunt: rivos deducere nulla
Religio vetuit, segeti praetendere saepem,
Insidias avibus moliri, incendere vepres,
Balantumque gregem fluvio mersare salubri.

April (Col. 7. 9., 11. 2). It is not easy to
see how the 'acervi' can have had numbers
stamped on them if they were merely heaps
of corn, as apparently they are in vv. 158,
185; so we must either suppose 'inpressit'
to be used by a kind of zeugma, the heaps
being really numbered in some other way, or
understand 'acervi' as sacks or vessels of

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

267.] A. 1. 178, 179. The roasting or drying was to make the corn easier to grind. 268.] Why, even on holy days a husbandman may do something.' So Cato 2, speaking of the means which the landowner has of checking the amount of work done by his servants, mentions holy-day employments after those for rainy weather. The things which may or may not be done on holy days are enumerated at length by Col. 2 21 (22).

269.] Fas et iura,' 'divine and human laws' (Serv.), who however seems wrong in seeking for a real distinction where Virgil probably only intended surplusage. Rivos deducere it is not clear whether letting water on or off is meant. The language will bear either equally, according to the use of deducere,' though "deducere aquam in vias," Cato 155 (156), is used for drawing water off from a field, and deducit' occurs in a similar sense above, v. 113, as opposed to inducit,' v. 106. Serv. maintains that the latter must be intended, asserting on



the authority of Varro that irrigation was
forbidden, and appealing to the Pontifical
books to show that works might be finished
on holy days, though not begun, and con-
sequently that water already let on might
be let off; but the extract he gives is
rather in favour of the other interpretation:
"feriis denicalibus aquam in pratum du-
cere, nisi legitimam, non licet: ceteris feriis
omnes aquas licet deducere" (comp. Col. 2.
21 (22), where there is a similar distinction
between the sanctity of 'feriae denicales'
and that of other holy days). Macr., Sat.
3. 3, explains deducere' by 'detergere,'
alleging that old water courses might be
cleaned on holy days, but not new ones
made and so Columella, 1. c., enumerates
among lawful things "fossas veteres tergere
et purgare." But it is not easy to extract
this sense out of the words of Virgil, though
Heyne attempts to do so, arguing that he
who cleans a water-course lets the water
flow, deducit.' If any argument could be
founded on the greater or less appropriate-
ness of the work in question to holy days,
it would be natural to suppose Virgil to be
speaking of drawing off a stream which had
suddenly overflowed in the corn-field.
the other hand, Mr. Macleane remarks that
to lead the water down the channels would
be a work of daily necessity for gardens in
hot weather.

[ocr errors]


270.] 'Religio' is here used in its technical sense as a restraining, not an imperative power. Segeti praetendere saepem raises another difficulty, as Col. 1. c. says that the pontiffs forbid the making of hedges for corn on holy days. Forb. and Keightley suppose that old hedges might be repaired, though not new ones made: but Virgil's words are surely express.

271.] Insidias avibus moliri' seems to refer to snaring mischievous birds (vv. 119, 156), as that would be a work of necessity, which ordinary bird-catching would not be. 'Incendere vepres :' Cato, 2 (quoted by Keightley), mentions 'vepres recidi' among the works for holy days.

272.] Washing sheep for cleanliness was

Saepe oleo tardi costas agitator aselli

Vilibus aut onerat pomis; lapidemque revertens
Incusum aut atrae massam picis urbe reportat.

Ipsa dies alios alio dedit ordine Luna
Felicis operum. Quintam fuge: pallidus Orcus
Eumenidesque satae; tum partu Terra nefando
Coeumque Iapetumque creat, saevumque Typhoea,

not allowed on holy days, according to
Macr. and Col. ll. cc., who observe that
'salubri' is emphatic, indicating that the
washing is to cure disease. Comp. 3. 445
foll. Balantum' is doubtless meant to be
forcible, the sheep bleating when they are
washed, as in 3. 457, when they are in
pain but it is elsewhere no more than a
generally descriptive epithet, discriminating
sheep from other cattle by their bleat, as in
A. 7. 538. To which class such passages
as Enn. Alex. fr. 1. 5, Lucr. 2. 369., 6.
1132 are to be referred, is hard to say.

273.] Varro ap. Serv. says that markets were held on holy days, to give countrymen an opportunity of going to town. Col. 1. c. quotes Cato (138) as saying that mules, horses, and asses had no holy days, adding that the pontifical books forbad the harnessing of mules on 'feriae denicales.' 'Agitator aselli,' the driver, like " equorum agitator,” Α. 2. 476, i. e. not the man whose business it was to drive asses ( asinarius), but the peasant who happens to drive the

ass to market. We need hardly inquire whether 'aselli' belongs primarily to 'costas' or to 'agitator.'

[ocr errors]

274.] Vilibus' harmonizes with 'onerat,' implying, as Serv. remarks, that they are abundant. 'Lapidem incusum ' is explained by Serv. of a mill-stone, which is indented that it may crush the corn better.

275.] Picis:' pitch would be useful for marking cattle, securing casks, repairing vessels, &c.

276-286.] 'The days of the lunar month are not all equally lucky for work. The fifth is bad, the seventeenth good, and, in a different way, the ninth.'

276.] Virgil is said by Pliny (18. 32) to have followed Democritus in this enumeration of lucky and unlucky days. Hesiod (Works 765 foll.) had treated the subject at much greater length. Varro, 1. 37, has a chapter on the same subject, but his treatment of it is entirely different. Virgil's own treatment is sufficiently cursory, only three days being named in all, for good or for evil, and those not accurately represented, at least according to Hesiod, who was evidently to some extent his model. The force


of 'ipsa' seems to be that the mere position
of days in the month gives them a certain
fitness or unfitness for agricultural purposes,
irrespectively of more scientific considera-
tions. Dedit' is commonly taken as an
aorist but it may mean that the moon has
made the ordinance once for all in regu-
lating the month.
'Alio ordine' opp. to
"uno ordine," A. 2. 102. It is as if Virgil
had said 'omnis dies non pariter felicis
fecit.' 'Alios' is followed by quintam,'
as in Tibull. 3. 6. 32 (quoted by Wund.),
"Venit post multos una serena dies."

277.]Felicis operum,'' happy in respect of (agricultural) work' (operum' as in 2. 472: comp. the title of Hesiod's poem), like "infelix animi," A. 4. 529 (see on G. 3. 498), "fortunatus laborum," 11. 416. The construction is virtually equivalent to that with the abl. 'Quintam fuge :'

Πέμπτας δ ̓ ἐξαλέασθαι, ἐπεὶ χαλεπαί τε

Kai aivai.

Εν πέμπτῃ γάρ φασιν Ερινύας ἀμφιπο


Ορκον γεινόμενον, τὸν ̓́Ερις τέκε πῇμ'
(Hes. Works 802.)

Wilfully or ignorantly Virgil misinterprets
Hesiod, confounding "Oproc, the god of the
oath, with the Latin Orcus, the god of
the dead, and making the Eumenides born
themselves on the fifth, instead of attending
on the birth (if that be Hesiod's meaning,
which is doubtful, especially as some copies
give τιννυμένας for γεινόμενον) of Όρκος.
For a similar misinterpretation see E. 8. 58

'Pallidus' of the ghastliness of death, Horace's Pallida mors.'

[ocr errors]

278.] Tum' seems better taken with Serv. in its ordinary sense of 'then' than with Forb. as 'moreover.' It appears to be added here because it had been omitted in the previous clause. No other extant authority appears to fix the birth of the giants to this day.

279.] The birth of 'Coeus' and 'Iapetus' is mentioned Hes. Theog. 134, that of 'Typhoeus,' ib. 821 foll., the latter not taking place till after the expulsion of the Titans from heaven. The two former were the sons of Earth and Uranus, the latter of

Et coniuratos caelum rescindere fratres.

Ter sunt conati inponere Pelio Ossam

Scilicet, atque Ossae frondosum involvere Olympum;
Ter Pater exstructos disiecit fulmine montis.
Septuma post decumam felix et ponere vitem,
Et prensos domitare boves, et licia telae
Addere; nona fugae melior, contraria furtis.
Multa adeo gelida melius se nocte dedere,

[ocr errors]

Earth and Tartarus. Typhoeus' is distinguished from the rest by the epithet 'saevus,' as he was the most formidable (Hes. 1. c.). 'Creat:' see on E. 8. 45. Typhoea is probably a trisyllable, the two last vowels coalescing (comp. 'Orphea,' E. 6. 30), as in Greek (Tupwća), though it might be scanned as a dactyl, hypermetrically or otherwise. See on 2. 69.

280.] It is doubtful whether 'fratres' refers to the giant-brood generally, or to the two 'Aloidae.' The deeds mentioned in the following lines are ascribed to the latter by Homer (Od. 11. 304 foll.), and by Virgil himself (A. 6. 582, where the words 'rescindere caelum' occur again): but the 'Aloidae ' were the sons not of Earth, but of Poseidon and Iphimedeia. Possibly Virgil may have misunderstood the passage in the Odyssey, where they are said in Homeric phrase to have been nourished by the Earth, though the word there used is apovpa. Rescindere ' may be to break open,' like "vias rescindere," Lucr. 2. 406, or it may be compared with Aesch. Prom. 357 (of Typhoeus), wg tηv Aiòg Tvρavvid' ἐκπέρσων βίᾳ.

281.] Οσσαν ἐπ ̓ Οὐλύμπῳ μέμασαν θέμεν, αὐτὰρ ἐπ ̓ Οσσῃ Πήλιον εἰνοσίpvλλov, ïv' ovpavòs àμßaròs ein, Hom. 1.


Virgil reverses the positions of Pelion and Olympus, and transfers to the latter the epithet attached to the former. The non-elision of the 'i' and 'o' and the shortening of the latter are in imitation of the Greek rhythm, and are appropriate here and elsewhere where the subject reminds us of Greek poetry.

282.] Scilicet,' agreeably to its etymology ('scire licet'), introduces an explanation or development. Here it introduces the details of the conspiracy of the giants. 'Involvere' is used in its strict sense of 'rolling upon,' like "involvitur aris," A. 12. 292. Olympus is heaved up the sides of Ossa. 283.] The three-fold attempt seems to be Virgil's invention.


284.] Septuma post decumam,' the seventeenth, as is evident from Hesiod, v.



805, where the seventeenth follows the fifth immediately, though the work which he assigns to it is not the same as here. Of the works which Virgil assigns to the seventeenth planting is referred by Hes. to the thirteenth, taming cattle to the fourteenth, weaving to the twelfth. Ponere,' 'to plant in order;' 2. 273, E. 1. 74. Felix ponere :' see on E. 5. 1.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

285.] Prensos domitare,' perhaps for 'prendere et domitare:' πpηůvεiv ¿πì xeîpa riosis, Hes. v. 797. Taking in hand, ‘prendere,' is the first step towards breaking in, 'domitare.' Comp. 3. 206, 7. Licia telae addere,' 'to add the leashes of the woof to the warp,' to weave. See Dict. A. ' tela,' where Tibull. 1. 6. 78, "Firmaque conductis adnectit licia telis," is compared.

286.] Fugae' seems to refer to fugitive slaves. Virgil however, as Heyne remarks, may be speaking not in their interest, but in that of the husbandman, who is warned to be on his guard that day, while on the other hand he need not watch agains hieves. In Hesiod the ninth day is merely mentioned as good for work of any sort. 'Contraria furtis:"avibus contraria cunctis," Lucr. 6.

[blocks in formation]


287.] As in vv. 259 foll., Virgil's thought seems to be that no part of the husbandman's time is unemployed, and that every work should be done at its right time. 'Gelida nocte' is doubtless contrasted with medio aestu,' at the same time that it indicates the cool dew as that which makes work easier. Melius se dedere:' the general sense is that many operations are performed better at certain times. Virgil expresses the notion of performance by 'se dedere,' to indicate the dependence of the husbandman upon nature. Thus the use of se dare here is parallel rather to the instances where it is equivalent to occur

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »