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In manibus terrae; non hic te carmine ficto
Sponte sua quae se tollunt in luminis oras, Infecunda quidem, sed laeta et fortia surgunt; Quippe solo natura subest. Tamen haec quoque, si quis Inserat, aut scrobibus mandet mutata subactis, Exuerint silvestrem animum, cultuque frequenti In quascumque voces artis haud tarda sequentur. Nec non et sterilis, quae stirpibus exit ab imis, Hoc faciet, vacuos si sit digesta per agros; Nunc altae frondes et rami matris opacant, Crescentique adimunt fetus, uruntque ferentem. Iam, quae seminibus iactis se sustulit arbos, 45.] In manibus terrae:' comp. Apol. Rhod. 1. 1113, roioi de Maкpiádeg OKоTiai, καὶ πᾶσα περαίη Θρηϊκίης ἐνὶ χερσὶν ἑαῖς πpovpαiver' idéolai, and with the language generally Prop. 4. 9. 35, "Non ego velifera tumidum mare findo carina: Tuta sub exiguo flumine nostra mora est.' 'Carmine ficto,' 'feigned strains,' i. e. romantic or mythical. 'Hic' almost seems to imply an intention of doing so one day. It is difficult otherwise to see the point of these lines, unless we suppose the poet to have one of his predecessors in his eye.
46.] Ambages:' comp. Lucr. 6. 1079, "Nec tibi tam longis opus est ambagibus usquam." The word denotes, as we should say, going a long way round, instead of coming to the point. 'Exorsa' for 'exordia.' So exorsus in Cic. Pro Lege Manil. 4.
47-60.] 'Nature requires to be assisted by art: trees of spontaneous growth are not fruit-bearing, but may be made so: natural suckers are dwarfed unless transplanted: trees springing up from seed grow slowly and yield poor fruit.'
47.] Virgil here returns to the threefold division of trees naturally produced, viz., those that are generated spontaneously, those from seed, and those from suckers, the order of the last two being here reversed. He shows that each of these kinds admits of improvement by cultivation. Sponte sua,' &c., those which are spontaneously generated. 'Oras' is the reading of Med. only, the other MSS. having 'auras.' But the expression here and in A. 7. 660 seems to be clearly from Ennius and Lucretius, in the latter of whom luminis oras' frequently occurs. Compare Gray's "warm precincts of the cheerful day."
49.] Natura,' productive power. The
words 'quippe-subest' refer only to 'laeta et fortia,' not to 'infecunda.' Comp. Quinct. 10. 2. 11, “ Namque iis, quae in exemplum adsumimus, subest natura et vera vis: contra omnis imitatio ficta est." Comp. also Lucr. 3. 273, "Nam penitus prorsum latet haec natura subestque." For Virgil's doctrine see note on v. 10 above. Tamen ' must relate to 'infecunda,' to which silvestrem animum' is clearly parallel; though the qualifying particle ought rather to belong to 'sed laeta et fortia,' as being the last assertion. 'Unfruitful as they are.'
50.] Inserat,' engraft them with cuttings from other trees. Insero' has a double construction. Comp. "Inseritur vero et fetu nucis arbutus horrida," below v. 69. 'Mutata,'' transplanted.' So perhaps A. 5. 19, "Mutati transversa fremunt venti." That simple transplantation improves a tree is stated by Pallad. 12. 7, and other rural writers. Subactis,' well prepared with the spade. Subigere' is used for kneading and chewing. Comp. Col. 3. 5, "Locum subigere oportet bene; ubi erit subactus, areas facito."
52.] Artis :' that which is alien to their nature and communicated by training. 'They will learn whatever lessons you choose to teach.'
53.] Sterilis' is the general description, 'quae stirpibus exit ab imis' the characteristic. 'Stirpibus ab imis''ab radice,' v. 17.
54.] Vacuos' contrasted with the wood where it is choked by the parent tree.
55.] Nunc,' in its natural state. 'As it now is the towering foliage and branches of its mother overshadow it, and rob it of its fruit as it grows up, and wither up the productive powers it exerts.'
57.] Wagn. commences a new paragraph
Tarda venit, seris factura nepotibus umbram,
Scilicet omnibus est labor inpendendus, et omnes
with Iam, quae;' but it is unnecessary.
59.] Poma,' all kinds of fruit.
60.] 'Avibus praedam,' because no men will pick them. That vines were raised at Rome from grapes or grape-seeds appears from Cic. Sen. 15, Pliny 17. 10 (Forb.).
61-72.] Artificial methods vary according to the kind of tree: with some trees truncheons suit best, with some layers, with others sets, with others suckers: grafting again is practised on some trees, not on others.'
64.] Respondent: "votis respondet avari Agricolae," 1. 47. The word is sometimes, as here, used absolutely. Col. 3. 2, "Gemella vitis maior nisi praepingui solo non respondet." This may possibly be derived from the use of the word in the case of debtors, as in Cic. Att. 16. 2, Seneca, Ep. 87,"respondere nominibus." Truncis' and 'propagine' are ablatives of the instrument. Five of the six methods (v. 22-34) are here mentioned. The 'cacumen' (v. 29) is omitted. The instance of the olive in both cases seems to identify
'truncis' with 'caudicibus sectis,' v. 30; and, if this is so, 'solido de robore' must answer to 'stirpes,' 'sudes,' ' vallos,' v. 24, 25, in spite of the testimony of Servius as to the applicability of 'caudicibus sectis' to the myrtle, quoted on v. 31.
66.] Comp. "Populus Alcidae gratissima," E. 7. 61. The commentators take no notice of the difficulty respecting the use of the gen. in Herculeae coronae arbos.' It is not easy to say whether it denotes simple connexion, or a final cause, or whether, looking to 'Chaonii patris glandes' in the next line, it should not rather be reckoned as a possessive genitive, 'arbos Herculeae coronae' being substituted poetically for 'arbos Herculis.'
67.] Chaonii patris:' comp. 'Lemnius pater,' A. 8. 454. 'Chaonii' 'Dodo
68.] Nascitur,' sc. 'plantis,' which we should have expected to be repeated, as the more important word; but the repetition of the verb is meant to remind us of the rest of the expression of which it has formed a part. We may perhaps compare the half repetitions of words in Homer. See Jelf's Gr. Gram. § 343, obs. 1.
69.] Wagn. reads 'Inseritur vero et nucis arbutus horrida fetu' on the authority of a correction in Med. and of six other MSS. Here however, as in 3. 449 (note), critical probability seems in favour of the common reading, which in both instances is supported by Serv. Wagn.'s view as to the inharmoniousness of hypermetric lines with dactylic endings does not seem of much weight in itself without MS. authority. If the elision implied a synapheia, this might require the last syllable but one to be long by nature. The copyists, even of the better MSS., are apt to remove metrical anomalies, as they have done e. g. in A. 6. 33 and
Et steriles platani malos gessere valentis ;
70.] Sterilis' opp. to 'pomifera.' 71.] For fagus' most of the MSS., including Med., give 'fagos,' a reading which, though acknowledged by Serv., may safely be imputed to the misapprehension of copyists, who supposed castaneae' to be nom. pl. The structure of the sentence is decidedly in favour of connecting the words with those which follow, nor is it likely, as Scaliger saw, that the Romans should have preferred the beech-nut to the chestnut, so as to graft the former tree on the latter. Wagn. and Forb. take 'fagus' as the nom. pl. of the fourth declension, relying on Culex v. 139, "Umbrosaeque manent fagus hederaeque ligantes Bracchia." The last syllable may however be long by caesura. Keightley says of the 'ornus:" "It is very uncertain what this tree is the usual opinion is that it is the sorbus aucuparia,' our quicken or mountain ash. As this however is quite a different tree from the ash, and Columella (De Arb. 16) calls the 'ornus' a 'fraxinus silvestris,' distinguished from the other ashes by having broader leaves, botanists are now inclined to think it is the fraxinus rotundifolia' of Lamarck, the manna tree, or tree that yields the manna, of Calabria." The words' incanuit albo flore' are to be taken with both clauses.
73-82.] 'Grafting is distinct from inoculation: in the latter case you introduce a bud, in the former a slip.'
73.] Nec modus inserere:' see on 1. 213. Oculos inponere,' 'to inoculate' or bud,' ¿voplaλμiouós. In what follows inoculation is distinguished from engrafting. We must therefore take simplex as 'unus,' as 'duplex' frequently = 'duo.' The mode of grafting and inoculating is not one.' It is possible that Virgil may mention the two species first as constituting a genus, and afterwards as the varieties of the genus which they constitute, though this seems clumsy. In the whole context Virgil's object is to show the manifoldness of his subject. See above, vv. 63 foll., below, vv. 83 foll.
75.] Tunicas,' that which is under the 'cortex.' Pliny 24. 3., 16. 14.
76.] Fit,' 'is made by the knife.' Huc... includunt,' A. 2. 18. 77.] And teach it to grow into the bark which gives it the sap of life.'
78.] Rursum,' on the other hand.' Comp. Hor. 1 Ep. 2. 17, "Rursus quid virtus et quid sapientia possit Utile proposuit nobis exemplar Ulixem."
79.] Feraces plantae,' slips from fruitful trees.
80.] Et:' comp. A. 3. 9, "Vix prima inceperat aestas, Et pater Anchises dare fatis vela iubebat," a remnant of primitive simplicity of expression, which sometimes gives more force to a passage than the employment of a more formal connecting particle.
81.] Exiit' the perfect expresses instantaneousness. So perhaps ruperunt,' 1. 49.
82.] Serv. gives 'mirata estque,' a cor
Praeterea genus haud unum, nec fortibus ulmis, Nec salici lotoque, neque Idaeis cyparissis; Nec pingues unam in faciem nascuntur olivae, Orchades, et radii, et amara pausia baca, Pomaque et Alcinoi silvae; nec surculus idem Crustumiis Syriisque piris gravibusque volemis. Non eadem arboribus pendet vindemia nostris,,
rection, as it would appear from his note, for 'mirataque,' which seems to have been an old reading, and is found in a fragment attached to one MS. (the Gudian). The original error, as Heyne remarks, was probably 'miratasque,' which is actually read by Med. a m. pr. and some other copies, and is easily accounted for by the confusion of terminations.
83-108.] 'Again, there are varieties in each kind of tree, the olive, the apple, and pear, and especially the vine, the diversities of which are innumerable.'
84.] According to Fée, cited by Keightley, there are five kinds of the arborescent lotus, which is itself distinct from the aquatic, containing three varieties, and the terrestrial and herbaceous (see on 3. 394), containing two. "The lotus-tree grows on the north coast of Africa; it is described by Theophrastus and Polybius, and is a tree of moderate altitude, bearing small fruits, which are sweet, resembling the date in flavour." Keightley.
85.] Unam in faciem :' comp. A. 10. 637, "Tum Dea nube cava tenuem sine viribus umbram In faciem Aeneae (visu mirabile monstrum) Dardaniis ornat telis." In both passages in faciem' is adverbial.
86.] Cato mentions eight kinds of olives, Columella ten, Macrobius sixteen. chades' and 'radii' appear to be so named from their shape. The 'orchades' are oblong, the 'radii' are long like a weaver's shuttle. 'Pausia' is a kind of olive which requires to be gathered before it is ripe; hence 'amara baca.' Pliny (15. 3) says that the 'pausia' is gathered first, then the 'orchis,' then the 'radius;' and Columella says that the oil of the 'pausia' is excellent while it is green, but is spoiled by age. 'Orchites,' the more usual form, was introduced by the early editors on very slender MS. authority, if any; but it would spoil the metre, unless, with one MS. we were to read ' radiique.'
87.] Pomaque et Alcinoi silvae: the 'que' is disjunctive, as in 3. 121, "Et patriam Epirum referat fortesque Mycenas,"
'Nor are apples, &c. of one sort any more than olives.' The orchards of Alcinous' (comp. the description of them in Hom. Od. 7. 112 foll) are the same as the 'poma,' unless we suppose them to convey a still more general designation, apples, and all Alcinous' orchard trees.' 'Surculus,' cutting:' a poetic variety, intended to signify not that the pear must be planted by cuttings, but that it may. The meaning of course is not that the cuttings differ as cuttings, but that they differ as belonging to different trees.
88.] Crustumiis:' so called from Crustumerium or Crustumium, at the conflux of the Allia and Tiber. Serv. says they were partly red. 'Syriis:' Serv. and Pliny say they were black. 'Volemis :' the volema' are named, without description, by Cato, and mentioned by Pliny merely as spoken of by Virgil. Serv. derives them from 'vola,' hand-fillers,' mentioning however another etymology from a Gaulish word meaning 'big.' Pliny (15. 15) says that the Crustumine were the best. The 'Syria,' according to Col., were also called 'Terentina.' Syrian pears are mentioned by Juv. 11. 73, and Martial 5. 78. 13.
89.] Here and in vv. 267, 278, 300, arbos' may mean either the vine or the tree which supported it, the silvestria virgulta' of v. 2. Pliny (14. 1) and Ulpian (47. 7. 3) include the vine among 'arbores.' On the other hand, Colum. (3. 1) distinctly excludes it; Cato (32) correlatively contrasts arbores' and 'vites,' and the writers on agriculture generally speaking of vineyards use arbores' of the trees which supported the vines. It is clear that 'arbor' means the supporter in E. 5. 32, "Vitis ut arboribus decori est, ut vitibus uvae," and in v. 290 of this book it is distinguished from the vine. Altogether there seems to be no passage in Virgil where 'arbos' is clearly used for the vine, and therefore it is not easy to resist the argument in favour of the technical sense in a technical treatise.
Quam Methymnaeo carpit de palmite Lesbos
90.] Hor. 1 Od. 17. 21, "Hic innocentis pocula Lesbii Duces." The 'palmes' is the bearing wood of the vine. Col. 5. 6.
91.] Thasiae vites:' Athenaeus (1.51) collects testimonies to the excellence of the Thasian, Lesbian, and Psythian wines among others. Pliny also speaks of an Egyptian wine called Thasian (14. 7, and 22. 2). 'Mareotides:' comp. Hor. 1 Od. 37. 14, Mentemque lymphatam Mareotico." 'Albae' is of course an epithet of 'Mareotides.' Comp. Col. 10. 347," Saepe suas sedes praecinxit vitibus albis." The reference then is probably to the pale green colour of the grape.
92.] From this verse it might seem as if Virgil meant that these vines may be grown in Italy, though v. 89 looks the other way.
93.] Passo,' sc. 'vino' = passis uvis facto.' Comp. Col. 12. 39, "Passum optumum sic fieri," &c.; Stat. Silv. 4. 938, "Vel passum psithiis suis recoctum;" Pliny 14. 9, "Psithium et melampsithium passi genera sunt;" G. 4. 269, "Psithia passos de vite racemos.' The word Psithia' is Greek, but seems to have no known meaning. Lageos,' λáYELOS. 'Tenue,' as an epithet of wine, is opposed to dulce' by Pliny 14. 9, and to 'pingue' and 'nigrum' (23. 1), where it is coupled with austerum; so that it seems to mean a thin and light wine.
94.] Olim' may either be 'some day,' after it has been made into wine, or 'soon,' after it has been drunk. Lucr. 6. 1116 has "Atthide temptantur gressus."
95.] The purpureae' are mentioned as a particular kind of grape by Col. 3. 2. Of the 'preciae,' which Serv. explains by 'praecoquae,' there were two kinds, distinguished by the size of the grape. Col. 3. 2. 1, Pliny 14. 2.
96.] Rhaetica:' this wine appears from Pliny 14. 7 to have been grown as far
south as the neighbourhood of Verona. Suetonius (Aug. 77) says that it was a favourite with Augustus, but it appears from Pliny 14. 1 that the fashion was changed by Tiberius. Seneca (Nat. Q. 1. 11) thinks Virgil's language equally applicable to praise and censure, but surely ideo' shows that it could only be understood in the former sense. 'Cellis:' the full expression is 'cella vinaria.'
97.] Firmissima:' comp. Plin. 14. 2, "Principatus datur Aminaeis propter firmitatem senisque proficientem vini ejus utique vitam.". Further on he speaks of wines as 'contra omne sidus firmissima.' The Aminaea vitis' appears to have included several varieties, and to have grown in different parts of Italy and in Sicily. For the locality of Aminaei, which is disputed, see Dict. Geogr. Macrobius, Sat. 2. 16, says that it was the old name of Falernum. In the article 'vinum' in the Dict. Ant., it is observed that the names of wines, derived from their original localities, were retained when the vines had ceased to be grown in those localities.
98.] Tmolus et' is the reading of Heyne, with some of the early editions, and perhaps Pal.; but Tmolius' is supported by Med. and other MSS. Pliny 14.7 speaks of Tmolian wine as good not to drink alone, but to mix with other wines, to which it imparts sweetness and the flavour of age. The ellipse is οἶνος. Comp. Lageos.' 'Rex ipse Phanaeus' is a translation of Lucilius' xĩós te duváorns, which Serv. quotes, Phanae being a promontory and port of Chios. Adsurgit:' comp. "Utque viro Phoebi chorus adsurrexerit omnis," E. 6. 66.
99.] Argitisque minor:' there were an 'Argitis maior' and an 'Argitis minor.' The name is said to be derived from ἀργός, alluding to the colour of the grape or wine. Col. 3. 2.