Billeder på siden

Prospicere et certis poteris cognoscere signis:
Nam neque tum stellis acies obtunsa videtur,
Nec fratris radiis obnoxia surgere Luna,
Tenuia nec lanae per caelum vellera ferri;
Non tepidum ad solem pennas in litore pandunt
Dilectae Thetidi alcyones, non ore solutos


Inmundi meminere sues iactare maniplos.


At nebulae magis ima petunt campoque recumbunt,

Solis et occasum servans de culmine summo
Nequiquam seros exercet noctua cantus.
Adparet liquido sublimis in aere Nisus,
Et pro purpureo poenas dat Scylla capillo ;
Quacumque illa levem fugiens secat aethera pennis,
Ecce inimicus, atrox, magno stridore per auras
Insequitur Nisus; qua se fert Nisus ad auras,
Illa levem fugiens raptim secat aethera pennis.
Tum liquidas corvi presso ter gutture voces
Aut quater ingeminant, et saepe cubilibus altis,

'Ex imbri,' after the shower you will know
whether it is going to be fine or rain again,
as Wagner remarks.

395.] Virgil begins by negativing certain phenomena, which would have been more naturally mentioned among the signs of rain. Aratus 281, Ημος δ ̓ ἀστέροθεν καθαρὸν φάος ἀμβλύνηται.

396.] Obnoxia,' beholden. And the moon is bright as though she shone with her own light.' "Non rastris, hominum non ulli obnoxia curae," 2. 438. Wagn. interprets it not reddened by the sunset:' Heyne, who has an Excursus on the passage, supposes the meaning to be that the moon does not rise, regarding fratris radiis obnoxia' as a sort of perpetual epithet.

397.] Aratus 206, 207. Lucr. 6. 504 compares rain clouds to 'pendentia vellera lanae,' referring principally to their power of imbibing moisture. 'Tenuia,'trisyllable, as in Lucr. 3. 383, "tenuia fila," and elsewhere.

398.] Tepidum ad solem,' the afternoon or evening sun.

399.] 'Dilectae Thetidi,' possibly because the lovers were changed into Halcyons by Thetis but it is simpler to say 'loved by her as sea-birds.' Comp. Theocr. 7. 59.

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

for themselves.

[ocr errors]



401.] Nebulae,' that is, the clouds on the mountains. Comp. Aratus 256-258. 403.] The night owl is a sign of fine weather, Aratus 267. Nequiquam,' like incassum '—a prolonged objectless effort.

[ocr errors]

404.] Liquido,' clear after the storms. For the story see the Pseudo-Virgilian Ciris (where vv. 538-541 are reproduced); also Ov. M. 8. 1 foll.

407.] It is best to take inimicus, atrox as two epithets. Comp. "Acer, anhelanti similis," A. 5. 254.

408.] Keightley explains 'qua se fert Nisus ad auras of the greater bird having missed his pounce, and thus being obliged to soar into the air in order to make a second, while the smaller escapes as fast as it can.

409.] Raptim:' the primitive meaning is either by a snatch' or 'by snatches ;' hence 'eagerly,' 'hastily,' 'quickly.' Comp. that sense of 'rapidus' in which it seems to have the meaning of 'rapio,' noticed in E. 2. 10 note.

[ocr errors]

410.] Liquidas,' 'soft,' opposed to 'raucas.' 'Presso gutture' apparently opposed to plena voce.' The whole passage is loosely rendered from Aratus 271277. Aratus appears to distinguish accurately between the ionμaios кópa that cries δισσάκις and πλειότεροι δ' ἀγεληδόν. Comp. Lucr. 5. 1083 foll.

411.] Cubilibus altis' seems to be a loose version of ἐπὴν κοίτοιο μέδωνται.

Nescio qua praeter solitum dulcedine laeti,
Inter se in foliis strepitant; iuvat imbribus actis
Progeniem parvam dulcisque revisere nidos;
Haud, equidem credo, quia sit divinitus illis
Ingenium aut rerum fato prudentia maior ;
Verum, ubi tempestas et caeli mobilis humor
Mutavere vias et Iuppiter uvidus austris

Denset, erant quae rara modo, et, quae densa, relaxat,
Vertuntur species animorum, et pectora motus
Nunc alios, alios, dum nubila ventus agebat,
Concipiunt: hinc ille avium concentus in agris,
Et laetae pecudes, et ovantes gutture corvi.

Si vero solem ad rapidum lunasque sequentis

412.] Nescio qua,' &c.: xaipei KÉ TIC wtoσairo. The Virgilian version is characteristic.

[ocr errors]

413.] The old reading was 'inter se foliis.' Wagn. restored the prep. from Med. Rom. 'Imbribus actis' may either be 'when the rain is spent,' like "tempus actum (Burm.), or when the rain is driven away' (Heyne), not 'when the rain has descended' (Wund., who comp. 2. 334). The sentence can hardly have any other meaning than that the rooks are glad to revisit their young when the showers are over, though Keightley objects that they have been driven home already by the shower, and accordingly understands 'revisere,' 'to review,' examine the state in which they are in after the storm. Servius asserts on the authority of Pliny that rooks are apt to forget their young and not go near them.

[ocr errors]

415.] An allusion to the Pythagorean, Platonist, and Stoic spiritualism, which Virgil here rejects in favour of the Epicurean and Lucretian materialism. In 4. 219 &c. he mentions the anima mundi' view without disapprobation. Divinitus' is distinguished from 'fato,' as Virgil is evidently alluding to the language of different philosophies, fato' pointing to the Stoic doctrine. Not, if I may judge, that Heaven has given them any spark of wit like ours, or Fate any deeper insight into things.' 'Rerum prudentia' go together. 'Maior,' 'more than usual'-more, for instance, than men have. It seems better to follow Reiske in pointing Haud, equidem credo,' than to keep the common punctuation 'Haud equidem credo.' 'Equidem credo' is thrown in modestly. 'Iuvat-nidos' will then be a kind of parenthesis, giving the reason for


[ocr errors]



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

421.] Alios, dum nubila ventus agebat' is to be construed parenthetically. change from low to high spirits being the point, the second alios' is logically = quam,' and does not denote a co-ordinate difference, as in "Numquam aliud natura, aliud sapientia dicit" (Juv. 14.321). Comp. Plaut. Trin. 1. 11. 123, "Alium fecisti me, alius ad te veneram."

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

Ordine respicies, numquam te crastina fallet
Hora, neque insidiis noctis capiere serenae.
Luna, revertentis cum primum colligit ignis,
Si nigrum obscuro conprenderit aera cornu,
Maxumus agricolis pelagoque parabitur imber;
At si virgineum suffuderit ore ruborem,
Ventus erit; vento semper rubet aurea Phoebe.
Sin ortu quarto, namque is certissimus auctor,
Pura neque obtunsis per caelum cornibus ibit,
Totus et ille dies, et qui nascentur ab illo
Exactum ad mensem, pluvia ventisque carebunt,
Votaque servati solvent in litore nautae
Glauco et Panopeae et Inoo Melicertae.

'Sequentis,' following each other. 'Lunas might mean either the daily or monthly moons, but, looking to 'primum' and 'ortu quarto,' it probably means the daily.

426.] Cerda comp. A. 5. 851, "Caeli toties deceptus fraude sereni."

427.] These lunar prognostics are selected from Arat. 46 foll., where the subject is treated much more elaborately. Virgil has seized the three main points, dullness as a sign of rain, redness of wind, brightness of fair weather, and expressed them in language borrowed from various parts of his original. Aratus has expressed them himself yet more concisely, vv. 70 foll. Пáνтη уàρ каÐαрî re μáλevdia terμýpato, Πάντα δ ̓ ἐρευθομένη δοκέειν ἀνέμοιο κελεύ.


̓Αλλοθι δ ̓ ἄλλο μελαινομένῃ δοκέειν ὑετοῖο.

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




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


432.] Is,'' ortus quartus.' Aratus dwells on the third and fourth as the critical days, and connects his prognostics with them. Virgil just gives the unfavourable prognostics without reference to days, and then connects the favourable prognostics with one of the critical days. 'Auctor:' non si mihi Iuppiter auctor Spondeat," A. 5. 17.


433.] Virgil takes his general distinctions from Aratus, 'pura answering to καθαρή, obtunsis cornibus' to παχίων καὶ aμßXɛiyoɩ repaiɑıç, and 'rubet' to ¿pɛúons.

434.] Arat. 73 foll. seems to say that the signs of the third and fourth days will only hold good for half the month.

436.] Servati,' that have come safe to port'-not preserved from peril as if there had been a storm. Comp. owεobal. 'In litore,' A. 5. 236.

437.] Taken almost verbally, according to Gell. 13. 26 and Macr. Sat. 5. 17, from

Sol quoque et exoriens, et cum se condet in undas,
Signa dabit; solem certissima signa sequuntur,
Et quae mane refert, et quae surgentibus astris.
Ille ubi nascentem maculis variaverit ortum
Conditus in nubem, medioque refugerit orbe,
Suspecti tibi sint imbres; namque urguet ab alto
Arboribusque satisque Notus pecorique sinister.
Aut ubi sub lucem densa inter nubila sese
Diversi rumpent radii, aut ubi pallida surget
Tithoni croceum linquens Aurora cubile,
Heu, male tum mitis defendet pampinus uvas:
Tam multa in tectis crepitans salit horrida grando.
Hoc etiam, emenso cum iam decedit Olympo,

a line of Parthenius, who is said to have taught Virgil Greek-гaukų kai Nŋpe (Nŋoni?) kai Ivy (Gell. gives sivalių) Μελικέρτη. The peculiarity is that the last syllable of Glauco' is left open in the thesis, licence not indulged in by Virgil elsewhere. Wagn. would read Glaucoque.'

438-460.] For the sun's prognostics, a spotted or hollow disc at rising is a sign of rain a cloudy or pale sunrise of hail. At sunset dark grey spots denote rain, fiery red wind, a mixture of the two rain and But a clear rising and setting betoken clear weather.'


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


[ocr errors]


441.] Virgil has here mixed two, and unless que' ' in the next line is to be taken for ve,' three signs which are separate in Aratus. Nascentem,' &c. is a translation of ποικίλλοιτο νέον βάλλοντος ἀρούρας KUKλog, and medioque refugerit orbe' of kołλog ¿eidóμevoç TEρITÉλλy, which is translated by Avienus 'medioque recedens orbe.' 'Medioque refugerit orbe:' either recedes from the middle of his disc to the circumference, or retires in respect of the middle of his disc. Lucan, 5. 544, has a similar line, speaking however of sunset: “ Orbe quoque exhaustus medio languensque recessit." As in the case of the moon, Virgil has picked out salient points from Aratus' lengthy enumeration.

[ocr errors][merged small]




it means strictly not 'to hide,' but 'to throw together' or 'into' (comp. 'coniicio,'' contorqueo ').

443.] There is the same doubt about 'ab alto' here as about ex alto,' v. 324. The sense 'from the deep' is truer to nature; 'from on high' perhaps more like Virgil.

445.] Aratus couples this prognostic with the concavity of the disc as portending either rain or wind. 'Sese diversi rumpent' is oxilóμeval. Sese rumpent' = 'erumpent,' as in A. 11. 549, "tantus se nubibus imber Ruperat." Lucan 5. 542, speaking of sunset, says, "Noton altera Phoebi, Altera pars Borean diducta luce vocabat."

446.] The only thing answering to this in Aratus is v. 115-119; where however the phenomenon is the same, but its significance totally opposite.

447.] Imitated from Hom. Il. 11. 1, Od. 5. 1, and repeated A. 4. 585., 9. 460.

[ocr errors]

449.] Comp. ppioσovтaç öμßpov, Pind. Pyth. 4. 81. Sharp.' The radical notion of the word seems to be that of erect points.

450.] If hoc' refers to what goes before, it may mean either generally the sun's significance, or specially the particular facts just noted, that being taken as a type of the others, which are supposed to be yet more significant in the evening than in the morning. Aratus, v. 158, says, 'Еσeρioɩç kai μãλλov έníτpeñe oýμaoi ToÚTOıç (the last three words are otherwise read ἀληθέα τεκμήραιο,) ̔Εσπερόθεν γὰρ ὁμῶς σημαίνεται upevès aiɛí. This points to the latter of the two interpretations suggested, 'hoc' being onμao Toúroic. If any MS. were to give 'haec' it would perhaps be an improvement.

Profuerit meminisse magis; nam saepe videmus
Ipsius in voltu varios errare colores :
Caeruleus pluviam denuntiat, igneus Euros;
Sin maculae incipient rutilo inmiscerier igni,
Omnia tum pariter vento nimbisque videbis
Fervere. Non illa quisquam me nocte per altum
Ire, neque a terra moneat convellere funem.
At si, cum referetque diem condetque relatum,
Lucidus orbis erit, frustra terrebere nimbis,
Et claro silvas cernes Aquilone moveri.
Denique, quid vesper serus vehat, unde serenas
Ventus agat nubes, quid cogitet humidus Auster,
Sol tibi signa dabit. Solem quis dicere falsum
Audeat? Ille etiam caecos instare tumultus


451.] Comp. Aratus 102-107. 'nam' understand 'tum,'' at evening.' 452.] - Errare,” ἐπιτρέχει. 453.] Caeruleus' (note on v. 235), μελανεῖ. ‘Igneus,” ἔρευθος.

454.] A translation of εi yɛ μèv áμoOTÉρwv äμvdig kexpwoμévos ein. 'Maculae' must therefore relate to 'caeruleus,' 'igni' to ' igneus.'

456.] Fervĕre:' Virgil also uses effervo,'' strido,' and 'fulgo.' 'Non' for 'ne' is rarely used. Quinctilian (1. 5) mentions it as a solecism.

457.] Wagn. and others read 'ab,' from Valerius Probus 1, p. 1411, but without MS. authority. Wagner's theory that 'ab' is always άπó seems arbitrary. 'Convellere funem,' to pluck up the cable with the anchor.

458.] Aratus 126 foll. Aratus says that if the sun sets without cloud, but there are red clouds above, there is no danger of rain next morning or at night. Virgil omits half the prognostic, and extends the rest to the morning.

459.] Frustra terrebere nimbis' seems at first sight to mean 'you need not be frightened by clouds if there are any,' implying that there are likely to be some. But the words seem to be a rhetorical translation of Arat. 1. c. ou σε μάλα χρὴ Αὔριον οὐδ ̓ ἐπὶ νυκτὶ περιτρομέειν ὑετοῖο.

460.] Claro' marks that the fear of 'nimbi' is vain.

461-491.] In short, the sun is your great prognosticator of weather; and not of weather alone, for he gives signs of sudden and secret commotions, as lately when he darkened himself in grief for the death of



Caesar, though in truth that was a time for other portents in earth, sea, and sky-dogs howling, owls hooting, volcanic eruptions, arms clashing in the sky, earthquake shocks, mysterious voices, apparitions, cattle speaking like men, rivers stopping, images covered with moisture, inundations, ill-omened sacrifices, springs of blood, wolves heard within city walls, lightnings in a clear sky, and shooting stars-all prelusive to a second battle of Roman against Roman, fought in the same country as the first, and leaving a store of relics to be turned up in distant days by the husbandman.'


461.] Nescis, quid vesper serus vehat' was a Roman proverb, and formed the title of one of Varro's Menippean Satires. Gell. 13. 11, Macr. Sat. 1.7. The secrets which evening carries on his wing.' 'Unde serenas Ventus agat nubes' seems to be explained by the previous line. The sun gives prognostics of fair winds producing fair weather. 'Serenas agat nubes' is probably to be explained agat nubes ita ut serenum sit caelum.' In any case. 'serenas' is evidently opposed to humidus.' Probably Virgil is loosely summing up the minute directions in Aratus, v. 880— 889.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« ForrigeFortsæt »