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Aut tantum fluere aut totidem durare per annos.
100.] Certaverit. . . fluere... durare:' comp. Stat. Silv. 5. 3. 191, "Non tibi certasset iuvenilia fingere corda Nestor," and see on 1.213. 'Tantum fluere,' to yield so much juice: comp. below v. 190, and Col. 3. 2, "Graeculae vites acinorum exiguitate minus fluunt."
101.] Dis et mensis accepta secundis:' drinking did not begin till after the first course, when it was commenced by a libation (A. 1. 723, &c.); so that there is no need to refer Dis' to the temples. Comp. however Hor. 3 Od. 11. 6, "Divitum mensis et amica templis," of the lyre.
102.] The Rhodian vine is merely mentioned by Pliny and Columella. Rhodian wine occurs in the anecdote of Aristotle choosing his successor under pretence of choosing a wine, Gell. 13. 5. Athenaeus, 14. 68, quotes Lynceus as speaking of a peculiar species of Rhodian grape called ITπÚVIOS ẞórρuç. Bumastus:' called by Varro and Macrobius 'bumamma.' Pliny 14. 1, "Tument vero mammarum modo bumasti." Bov means magnitude, as in Bouzas. Pliny (14. 3) says there were two kinds, black and white.
103.] Pliny (14. 2) says that Democritus alone pretended to know all the varieties of vines even in his own country. Το the same general effect Col. 3. 2, who quotes these lines. Cato had noticed fifty-eight, Pliny about eighty. The number has been indefinitely increased since, 1400 having been collected in the garden of the Luxembourg, a number supposed to be not more than half of those cultivated in France alone. Fée on Pliny 14. 4, referred to by Keightley. 104.] Neque enim,' ' nor indeed.' Key's Lat. Gr. 1449.
105.] Who should wish to know it, would wish also,' &c. It is difficult to say whether Libyci aequoris' means the 'plains' or the 'sea' of Libya. There is sufficient authority for the expression 'Libyan sea,' Pliny 5. 1; and where the
word is ambiguous its usual meaning ought perhaps to prevail. There might be an objection, poetically speaking, to the repetition of the gale at sea in both similes. But, in the first, Zephyro turbentur' seems to be mere ornament. The common interpretation however, referring it to the sand of the desert, is supported by Catull. 7. 3, quoted by Ursinus, "Quam magnus numerus Libyssae arenae Laserpiciferis iacet Cyrenis, Oraclum Iovis inter aestuosi." Comp. the oracle in Hdt. 1. 47, oidá r' ¿yw "Þáμμov T' açılμòv κại μéтpa Oaλáoons, and Pind. Pyth. 9. 46,
109-135.] Different soils are proper different trees, and so we find each country with trees of its own.'
109.] The words are from Lucr. 1. 166, "ferre omnes omnia possent," where the fact that particular places produce particular things is urged to prove that nothing can come of nothing. The fact has been mentioned already, 1. 50-63 (see note on latter verse), where it is recognized as connected with the present condition of humanity, just as the opposite, "omnis feret omnia tellus," E. 4. 39, is a characteristic of the golden age. Here we have the fact and nothing beyond. We may compare also, with Forb., the language of E. 8. 63.
Fluminibus salices crassisque paludibus alni
116.] 'Divisae arboribus patriae:' 'their countries are divided among trees,' i. e. each tree has its allotted country. 'Sola India,' &c. comp. 1. 57. 'Sabaeis' in the next line seems to prevent our taking India' as a loose name for the whole East, including Aethiopia, and to require us to take as India Proper, though ebony does not grow there alone. As Forb. remarks, the geography of the ancient poets is apt to be vague, especially in the case of countries so far removed.
omnia incertiora fecerunt, quod iure mircmur, virgis etiam turis ad nos commeantibus: quibus credi potest, matrem quoque tereti et enodi fruticare trunco."
119.] For the transposition of' que' in the construction 'que et,' comp. Hor. 3 Od. 4. 18, " ut premerer sacra Lauroque collataque myrto." It is doubtful whether the balsam and acanthus are not meant rather to be distinguished as belonging to different countries, than connected, as belonging to the same. The country of the balsam is by some thought to be Judaea, by others Arabia Felix. The acanthus is attributed both to Egypt and to Arabia. The acanthus is not a herb but a tree, the acacia. Bodaeus a Stapel, cited by Martyn, accounts for 'bacas' by saying that though there are no berries the flowers grow in little balls. Martyn himself understands it of the globules of gum, Keightley of the pods.
120.] Lana:' called by Hdt. ïpiov àñò úλov. Pliny 19. 1, "Superior pars Aegypti, in Arabiam vergens, gignit fruticem quem aliqui gossypion vocant, plures xylon, et ideo lina inde facta xylina."
121.] This was the belief long after Virgil's time. Pliny 6. 17, "Seres, lanitio silvarum nobiles, perfusam aqua depectentes frondium canitiem." Silkworms were not known in the Roman empire till the time of Justinian.
122.] Here again Pliny supports Virgil (7.2), "Arbores quidem" (speaking of India) "tantae proceritatis traduntur ut sagittis superari nequeant." Val. Fl. 6. 76 foll. says the same thing of the forests of Syene. Virgil does not specify the trees, but simply discriminates them from others by their height. India is said to have a
Extremi sinus orbis, ubi aera vincere summum
Et gens illa quidem sumptis non tarda pharetris.
greater variety of forest trees than any other
123.] Sinus' it is hard to ascertain the exact meaning of this word in all the passages where it occurs; but here it seems to mean a deep or remote recess, a nook. Comp. Hor. Epod. 1. 13, "Vel Occidentis usque ad ultimum sinum," where the commentators are not explicit. 'Arboris aera summum vincere,' to overshoot the air at the top of the tree; an apparent confusion between the notion of shooting through the air at the top of the tree, and shooting over the tree. The expression aera summum arboris has been imitated by Val. Fl. 6. 261, "Si quis avem summi deducat ab aere rami," Juv. 6. 99, “Tum sentina gravis, tum summus vertitur aer." Hom., Od. 12. 83, estimates the height of the mouth of Charybdis by saying that a strong man could not send an arrow up to the top, and Aeschylus applies the same image metaphorically, Supp. 473, and probably Cho. 1033.
125.] Non tarda' = 'impigra.' For the Indian archers Keightley refers to Hdt. 7. 65. Heyne, Bryant, and others have suspected the genuineness of this verse, but without cause.
126.] Tardum,' 'lingering.' 'Medicum malum' is the citron. 'Mali' is the genitive of 'malum,' not 'malus,' and therefore 'felicis' must mean not 'prolific,'
but blessed,' as an antidote. Comp. the application of the word to the gods, an association with which 'praesentius' agrees, though we need not suppose that Virgil intended it.
127.] Praesens' is 'close at hand,' and hence 'prompt,' 'efficacious,'' sovereign.'
129.] Miscuĕrunt' seems to be used like 'fuerunt,' 'tulerunt,' 'stetěrunt, ‘dedĕrunt,' though it is also possible that there may be a synizesis of the second and third syllables. The line is repeated 3. 283, and on that account has been suspected by Heyne and other editors. In Med. it appears not in the text, but in the margin. There are many instances in which Virgil wholly or partially repeats in a later poem a line which has appeared in an earlier, and many where the same line is repeated in different parts of the Aeneid, a practice which was doubtless adopted deliberately from Homer; but there is apparently no instance of the recurrence of an entire line in different parts of the Georgics, with the exception of the epic repetition in 4. 550 foll., where see note on v. 551, and only one (1. 494., 2. 513) of a partial repetition, though Lucretius, whom Virgil might have been expected to follow, repeats whole passages. On the other hand, it is certain that the copyists sometimes introduced lines which they remembered to have seen elsewhere; see on 4. 338. Still, as the external evidence against the genuineness of the line is far from strong, and there is nothing inappropriate in the sense, poisons and incantations being frequently connected, it seems decidedly best to retain it. It will then serve as an epexegesis of 'infecere.' With 'miscuerunt verba' comp. the last line of the very obscure epigram attributed to Virgil, In C. Annium Cimbrum Rhetorem' (Catalecta 2. 5), "Ista omnia, ista verba miscuit fratri," where the point seems to be that the person attacked, being a suspected fratricide, and also an affected speaker or writer, mixed his strange jargon with the draught with which he poisoned his brother.
Auxilium venit, ac membris agit atra venena.
130.] Here, as in 1. 129, 'ater' seems to contain the double notion of 'black' and 'deadly.' In the former sense it is to be explained either with reference to the colour of the poison itself, "nigri cum lacte veneni," A. 4. 514, or to the colour produced by it on the body, "nigros efferre maritos," Juv. 1. 72.
133.] Erat' for 'esset.' Ovid, Amor. 1.6. 34, "Solus eram si non saevus adesset Amor." The indicative is frequently used for the conjunctive, especially by Tacitus, for the sake of rhetorical liveliness, to show how near the thing was to happening. For instances of the present participle used as a finite verb Wagn. comp. 3. 505, A. 7.787.
134.] Ad prima,' 'in the highest degree.' Comp. Hdt. 6. 13, és rà πрwта. Apprime' is the more usual expression.
135.] Foveo' means generally 'to cherish,' either physically or morally. It is one of those words which must be rendered very variously according to the context. Here it denotes a medical application, OEраTεVELY. See on 4. 230.
136-176.] For the excellence of its peculiar products, however, no country can rival Italy. It has not the mythical glories of a savage antiquity, but it has more useful characteristics, corn, wine, oil, flocks, herds, and horses, and a benignant climate, while it is free from the noxicus animals and herbs that abound elsewhere. Its cities and rivers, its seas and lakes, its harbours and breakwaters, its mines, its races of men, its heroes, are all its own. I glory in it as my country, and raise in its honour this rural strain, at once old and new.' This celebrated burst of patriotism appears to be Virgil's own. A eulogy on the agricultural capabilities of Italy occurs near the beginning of Varro's work (R. R.
1. 2), and Pliny concludes his Natural History with another. The twenty-second elegy of Propertius' Fourth Book seems to be a direct imitation of this passage in Virgil.
136.] 'Silvae' is generally taken as the genitive after ditissima,' a punctuation introduced by Reiske. After much hesitation I have returned to the old interpretation, connecting Medorum silvae,' and placing 'ditissima terra' in apposition. Comp. "Alcinoi silvae," v. 87, and "Sunt et Aminaeae vites, firmissima vina," v. 97. It should however be mentioned that Med. has 'regna' as a correction instead of 'terra,' and that Manilius 4. 752 has "Et molles Arabes, silvarum ditia regna." The 'silvae,' according to the punctuation I have adopted, will be the citron-groves; with the other pointing nothing more than general luxuriance in trees seems to be meant.
137.]Auro turbidus,' whose mud or sand is gold. Heyne calls it an oxymoron. 138.] Bactra' seems to be mentioned merely as a great Eastern power.
139.] 'Panchaia,' the happy island of Euhemerus, is here put for Arabia, near which his fancy placed it. 'Que' is disjunctive. 'Pinguis' appears to refer to the frankincense rather than to the general fertility of the soil.
Invertere satis inmanis dentibus hydri,
Nec galeis densisque virum seges horruit hastis;
141.] Satis dentibus' is taken by some as dative, as if it were used for serendis.' But it is better to take it as an ablative absolute, and regard the passage as a sort οἱ ὕστερον πρότερον. 'Hydri,' the dragon whose teeth were sown by Jason.
142.] Seges' is of course connected with 'virum.'
143.] 'Gravidae:' comp. 1. 319, "gravidam segetem." 'Bacchi Massicus humor:' comp. "lacteus humor," Lucr. 1. 258.
144.] Perhaps an imitation of the rhythm of Lucr. 5. 202, "Possedere, tenent rupes, vastaeque paludes." Laeta,' 'prolific.' It must be owned that 'armenta' is unnatural after 'tenent oleae,' but it is the reading of all the MSS. 'Sarmenta' and 'arbusta' have been conjectured, but Virgil has already spoken of the vine. After 'oleae' 'que' is inserted in Med. a m. sec., and in some others for the sake of the metre. It was first omitted by Heins. Varro, Festus, and others derive the name 'Italia' from its oxen, iraλoí (vituli), and Gell. 11. 1 calls it 'armentosissima.'
145.]From this land comes the warhorse that prances proudly over the field of battle.' Comp. A. 3. 537, where four white horses are the first object seen in Italy, and are interpreted as an omen of both war and peace.
146.] Servius quotes Pliny as saying that the water of the Clitumnus made the animals that drank of it white. But the passage (2. 103), as it is read in the MSS., speaks of the water in the ager Faliscus,' while the Clitumnus is in Umbria. Virgil speaks of the whiteness as coming from bathing in the stream. Juv. 12. 13 confines himself to the fattening effect of the pastures of Clitumnus.
147.] Tuo perfusi flumine sacro :' comp. Enn. Ann. 55, "Teque, pater Tibe
rine, tuo cum flumine sancto;" and A. 8. 72. So "suo cum gurgite flavo," A. 9. 816, and "Hunc tu, Diva, tuo recubantem corpore sancto Circumfusa super," Lucr. 1. 38. This use of the possessive pronoun and epithet together belongs to the earlier Latin poetry. 'Sacro:' Pliny (Ep. 8. 8) speaking of the sources of the Clitumnus, says, "Adiacet templum priscum et religiosum. Stat Clitumnus ipse, amictus ornatusque praetexta. Praesens numen atque etiam fatidicum indicant sortes. Sparsa sunt circa sacella conplura totidemque Dei."
148.] The white bulls did not lead the way in the procession, but they came earlier than the triumphal car. Dict. A. Triumphus.'
149.] Here is ceaseless spring, and summer in months where summer is strange; twice the cattle give increase, twice the tree yields its service of fruit.' 'Ver' and 'aestas' are of course used loosely. The meaning is that there is verdure all the year, and warmth in the winter months. Lucr. 1. 180, "Quod si de nihilo fierent, subito exorerentur Incerto spatio atque alienis partibus anni." Virgil may have had the expression of Lucr. in his eye when he said that Italy really enjoyed that which Lucr. gives as a derangement of nature.
150.] It is not quite clear whether 'pomis' is the dat. or abl. If the former, must