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Semina, nec miseros fallunt aconita legentis,
mann reads 'rabidi,' asserting that 'rapidus' cannot mean 'rapax.' See on E. 2. 10. Saeva leonum semina' is an imitation of "triste leonum Seminium," Lucr. 3. 741.
152.] There is aconite in Italy, according to Dioscorides 4. 78. Virgil's statement, therefore, is not accurate. But it is vain to attempt to save his credit, as Servius and others have done, by laying the stress on 'fallunt,' as the context clearly requires an assertion of freedom from poisonous herbs. 'Legentis' is the subst. Comp. G. 1. 193, "Semina vidi equidem multos medicare serentis." So 'medentes' and 'canentes in Lucretius, 'amantes,' 'nocentes,' 'balantes,' 'salutantes,' &c.
153.] Tanto tractu,' 'that vast train,' which he has elsewhere. Virgil appears to be thinking exclusively of the huger serpents. 155.] Think, too, of all those noble cities and trophies of human toil, all those towns piled by man's hand on precipitous rocks, and the rivers that flow beneath their time-honoured walls.' " Operumque laborem' occurs again A. 1. 455. 'Laborious or mighty works,' such, perhaps, as those of the Etruscan cities.
156.] Praeruptis saxis congesta' is a specific description of the position of many of the Italian towns. The addition of 'manu' here implies labour, as elsewhere violence (3. 32), or care (3. 395), the general notion being that of personal exertion. Hence its frequent use with 'ipse.'
157.] This might seem to be merely a picture of the situation of some of the old cities of Italy, but the mention of seas and lakes immediately following shows that Serv. is right in supposing a special reference to the usefulness of the rivers. 'An
tiquos,' however, appears to be chiefly a
158.] An amplification of 'mare supe-
159.] Lari,' Lago di Como.
160.] 'Benace,' Lago di Garda. 'Ad-
161.] The Avernus and the Lucrinus
162.] Indignatum,'' chafing at the barrier.' Philarg. refers the words to a particular storm which occurred while the work was going on, and which was regarded as a prodigy, being accompanied with the sweating of an image at Avernus.
163.] Refuso,' 'beaten back.' 'Iulia unda'='unda Iulii portus,' which resounds with the noise of the sea beating against its outer barrier.
164.]And the Tyrrhenian billows come foaming up into the channel of Avernus." 'Fretis' seems to refer to the passage made
Haec eadem argenti rivos aerisque metalla
Salve, magna parens frugum, Saturnia tellus,
between the two lakes, of which Avernus was the more inland, so that the sea is supposed to issue through the channel mentioned on v. 161, mix with the waters of the Lucrine, and thence flow into the Avernus. It is possible, too, that 'fretis,' which is properly applied to the sea, may be used proleptically of the Avernus as the receptacle of sea-water. In any case a contrast seems intended between Tyrrhenus' and 'Avernis,' the effect of the work of Agrippa being to mingle two distant waters.
165.] Lucr. 5. 1255, "Manabat venis ferventibus in loca terrae Concava conveniens argenti rivus et auri." These lines, however, refer to the actual liquefaction of the metals by a conflagration. 'Rivos '
and 'fluxit' denote not streams but streamlike threads. 'Auro plurima fluxit' has, however, been supposed to mean the gold found in the Po, which is mentioned by Pliny 33. 4. In the same passage he speaks of Italy as abounding in metals, if the senate had not forbidden the working of the mines; and so at the conclusion of his Natural History, in the passage mentioned above on vv. 136-176, he says "Metallis auri, argenti, aeris, ferri, quamdiu libuit exercere, nullis cessit." 'Venis,' 'in its veins.' The perfects ' ostendit' and 'fluxit' may possibly point to the discontinuance of working the mines, though they need only mean it has been known to display,' &c.
167.] Genus acre virum' refers to all that follows. 'Marsos:' Appian, B. C. 1. 46, Οὔτε κατὰ Μάρσων οὔτε ἄνευ Μάρσων γενέσθαι θρίαμβον. 'Pubem Sabellam,'
the Samnites. The name Sabellians was a general one, including the various tribes supposed to have issued from the Sabines, as well the Marsians and Pelignians as the Samnites and Lucanians. Niebuhr, Hist. vol. i. p. 91.
of the Roman army, and originally borrowed from the Sabines and Volsci. Lipsius conjectured 'veruto;' but the conjunction of 'malo' and 'veruto' would be very flat.
169.] All these heroes saved Rome in extreme peril, the Decii from the Latins, Marius from the Cimbri, Camillus from the Gauls, the Scipios from Carthage; and so Octavianus saves her from her enemies in the East.
170.] The form 'Scipiades' had been already used by Lucilius. So Lucretius calls MemmiusMemmiades' for metrical reasons. The combination of the Roman family name with the Homeric patronymic produces rather a hybrid effect, especially as there is nothing in the family name itself to distinguish the son from the father. As Virgil is using the plural, we might have expected him to have talked of the 'gens Julia' instead of individualizing Octavianus ; but the love of variety and the desire to pay a higher compliment doubtless led him to express himself as he has done.
171.] These lines refer to the battle of Actium, in which Octavianus rolled back the tide of Eastern invasion from the west, and the triumphal progress which he afterwards made as conqueror through Syria, Palestine, and Asia Minor. Comp. A. 8. 685728. Inbellem' has given some trouble to the commentators, but it is a mere epithet of national contempt for the vanquished.
172.]Romanis arcibus' is Rome itself. Comp. A. 4. 234, "Ascanione pater Romanas invidet arcis?" 10. 12, "Cum fera Carthago Romanis arcibus olim Exitium magnum atque Alpis inmittet apertas ;" 'arces' probably being the hills, as in v. 535 of this book. It was the prospect of an Oriental despotism at Rome which exasperated the national sentiment. Comp. Hor. 1 Od. 37. 6 foll., Prop. 4. 11. 41 foll. 173.] Hail to thee, land of Saturn, mighty mother of noble fruits and noble men! For thee I essay the theme of the glory and the skill of olden days: for thee I adventure to break the seal of those hal
Magna virum; tibi res antiquae laudis et artis
lowed springs, and sing the song of Ascra through the towns of Rome.' 'Saturnia' gives the idea of mythical greatness. See Evander's speech A. 8. 314 foll.
174.] Res antiquae laudis,' things which have been from antiquity the subject-matter of praise and art. Artis,' the art of agriculture. Comp. 1. 122, "primusque per artem Movit agros." 'Laudis:' comp. the opening of Cato, De Re Rust. "Virum bonum cum laudabant [maiores nostri], ita laudabant bonum agricolam bonumque colonum. Amplissime laudari existimabatur qui ita laudabatur." Possibly the words may refer to Saturnia tellus,' and the mythical glories of agriculture under Saturn. 'Tibi,' not 'ingredior,' is the emphatic word. He has already entered on the subject.
175.] Sanctos ausus recludere fontis' is from the Lucretian "iuvat integros accedere fontis Atque haurire" (1. 927); but Virgil introduces a religious notion. He is the first that has been thought worthy to unseal the holy spring. Comp. below, v. 476, and Prop. 4. 1. 3, "Primus ego ingredior puro de fonte sacerdos Itala per Graios orgia ferre choros."
locus arvorum ingeniis:' supply 'dicendum est,' on which' quae robora,' &c. depends.
179.] Difficiles,' opp. to 'facilis,' below, v. 223. 'Malignus' opp. to 'benignus.' Comp. A. 6. 270, "lunae sub luce maligna," and Hor. 2 Ep. 1. 209, “laudare maligne.” Comp. also Pliny, Ep. 2. 17, "Quarum arborum illa vel maxime ferax est terra, malignior ceteris." Both 'difficilis' and 'malignus' are metaphorical, as we might say' churlish' and 'niggard.'
180.] 'Tenuis,' 'lean,' 'hungry.' 'Argilla:' Col. 3. 11 speaks of "creta qua utuntur figuli quamque nonnulli argillam vocant as being in itself unfavourable to production. There are three signs of a 'terra difficilis et maligna '-'argilla,'' dumi,' and 'calculus.' Cato's precept (6) is "Qui ager frigidior et macrior erit, ibi oleam Licinianam seri oportet."
181.] As the olive is slow of growth (v. 3 note), so it is longlived. Pliny 16. 44 speaks of it as an allowed fact that olives live two hundred years. 'Silva' seems to have no particular force, a sort of ornamental variety for 'arbore.'
182.] The presence of the wild olive shows that the soil is good for the cultivated. The 'oleaster,' as Martyn remarks, is not to be confounded with the plant cultivated in our gardens under that name, which is more properly called 'eleagnus.'
183.] With the picture comp. E. 7. 54. 'Silvestribus' here is used strictly, opp. to 'felicibus.'
184-194.] A rich and moist slope, with a southern aspect, is the soil for vines.' 184.] 'Dulci uligine :' Col. 2. says, "solet autem salsam nonnunquam et amaram uliginem vomere terra, quae quamvis matura iam sata, manante noxio humore, corrumpit." In 11. 3, § 37, he says that 'dulcis uligo' is best secured by planting near a spring.
Quique frequens herbis et fertilis ubere campus-
185.] Frequens herbis:' comp. Ov. Her. 16. 54, "locus piceis ilicibusque frequens ;" Tac. A. 4. 65, "quod talis silvae frequens fecundusque esset." 'Ubere' seems to be merely a metaphor from the breast as the source of nourishment.
186.] Such as we often see at the bottom (or on the side) of a mountain hollow.' Heyne, following Heins., reads 'dispicere' from several MSS., including the Gudian. But that word seems to be used rather of a penetrating than of a wide gaze.
187.] Liquuntur' is constructed like 'fluunt,' as in Stat. Theb. 5. 618, "in volnera liquitur imber," comp. by Forb. 'Huc' is used where in a regularly constructed sentence we should expect 'quo.' The sentence gives the reason for the moisture of land so placed.
188.] Felicem limum' forms a contrast to' tenuis argilla.' 'Quique editus austro is to be coupled with quique frequens herbis,' not explained with Heyne, "aut qualem eum campum videmus, qui editus austro." 'Editus austro,' 'rising to the south.' 'Editus' is not = 'expositus,' but has its natural signification, and austro' is nearly ad austrum.' Comp. caelo edůcere,' A. 2. 186, Col. 3. 1, "optumum est solum nec campestre nec praeceps, simile tamen edito campo;" 3. 2, "vinum . . . iucundius afferunt collina quae magis exuberant aquiloni prona, sed sunt generosiora sub austro;" in which last passage aquiloni prona' also illustrates the construction of 'editus austro.' Authorities were divided as to the best aspect for a vineyard; see on v. 298.
189.] 'Filicem,' the female fern or brake, according to Martyn. Some of the early editors have read silicem,' which would agree with Col. 3. 11, but 'filicem,' besides its MS. authority, is supported by Pliny 17. 4, and suits 'pascit' better.
192.] Pateris et auro.' There seems no objection to explaining this and similar expressions (if it can be called an explanation) by what is termed Hendiadys, so long as we bear in mind that such figures are not so much rules which the poets followed, as helps devised by the grammarians for classifying the varieties of language in which the poets indulged. The word Hendiadys indeed amounts to no more than a statement of the fact that two words are used to express one thing. We might have had either 'pateris' or 'auro separately; but the poet chooses to use both. Such a redundance of expression is common enough in poetry, e. g. in this very passage 'hic fertilis uvae, Hic laticis, qualem,' &c. are only two ways of saying that the soil bears good vines. Early poets are prone to it from simplicity, later from a love of ornament; but whatever the reason, it is one of the most obvious of the poet's resources. The feeling which prompts its use in the particular case must vary according to circumstances, and no single rationale, such as that which supposes the second noun in the hendiadys to be epexegetical (Bryce on A. 1. 2), will cover the instances which have to be dealt with. The relation between the two nouns may be sometimes described as that of attribute and subject, sometimes as that of a whole and its part, &c., but no general rule can be laid down, except that the two nouns, while representing the same thing, seem commonly to represent distinct aspects of it, so as not to run into simple tautology. For this reason they may generally be combined in translation, being resolved into a noun with its epithet, or a noun with another in the genitive, as here, 'golden bowls,' or 'bowls of gold.' The best wines were naturally those that were used in libations. Comp. v. 101 above, E. 5. 71. For the use of the 'patera,' a kind of saucer, in libations, see Dict. A. s. v.
193.] Pinguis Tyrrhenus:' comp. Catull. 37 (39). 11, "Aut pastus (parcus) Umber aut obesus Etruscus." Serv. explains
Lancibus et pandis fumantia reddimus exta.
'pinguis," "victimarum scilicet carnibus." ' Ebur,' an ivory pipe: comp. 1. 480, "maestum inlacrimat templis ebur," and the use of 'auro' just above. Pliny 16. 36 speaks of the "sacrificae tibiae Tuscorum," which however he says were made of boxwood. Prop. 5. 6. 8 has a sacrificial pipe of ivory, though it is a Phrygian one. Perhaps a pipe strengthened with ivory rings is meant. Dict. A., Tibia.' The custom of employing pipes at sacrifices was Greek as well as Roman; but as pipers appear to have existed at Rome from the earliest times, it is sufficiently probable that, like actors, they were imported from Etruria, where from the works of art we know every description of musical instrument to have been in use. (Dict. A., Roman Music.') Tyrrhenus' then may mark the original extraction of the order, for such they may be called, having been actually incorporated into a college (Val. Max. 2. 5).
194.] Pandis,' either 'curved,' ' deep,' or • bowed beneath the weight of the entrails.' "Pandos autumni pondere ramos," Ovid. Met. 14. 660; "rotundas Curvet aper lances," Hor. 2 Sat. 4. 40. On the other hand " cavas lances occurs in Martial 11. 31. 19. Med. a m. pr. and another MS. give 'patulis.''Fumantia,'' reeking.' Serv. however speaks of the entrails as boiled before being offered. Reddere' is said by Serv. to be the technical word for laying the entrails on the altar. Stat. Theb. 4. 466, "Semineces fibras et adhuc spirantia reddit Viscera;" Tac. H. 4. 53, "Lustrata suovetaurilibus area et super caespitem redditis extis."
195-202.]For grazing choose a country like the lawns of Tarentum and the plain of Mantua.'
195.] 'Tueri:' comp. Col. 6. 3, "Tueri armentum paleis," from which and other passages 'tueri' seems to have the meaning of sustentare.' A more general sense however is perhaps recommended by the parallel use of the word 3. 305. Forstudium tueri' see on 1. 21, 213. 'Armenta' includes horses and oxen. Vitulos' probably has special reference to the breeding.
196.] The goat was held, either by its bite, or by something poisonous in its saliva, to kill crops and trees, especially vines and olives. Comp. Varr. 1. 2. 17, 18, 19, whence it appears that certain laws which he calls leges colonicae' forbade goats to be kept in agro surculario,' i. e. where vines, olives, or other trees were planted. See also vv. 378 foll. Urentis,' causing to wither, killing: comp. 1. 77. 'Culta' = 'sata.' Med. and other MSS. give 'ovium fetus unmetrically: the Canon. MS.,
' ovium fetum.' 197.] Saturi,'' rich.' Pers. 1.71, “rus saturum;" Seneca, N. Q. 5. 9, “Locos ob humidam caeli naturam saturos et redundantis." Some MSS., including Med., give 'Satyri,' which seems to have been introduced by those who thought with Probus that the word, like 'Satureianus,' Hor. I S. 6. 59 (Macleane's note) was the adj. from 'Saturium' or 'Satyrium' in Calabria. For the fertility of the Ager Tarentinus see Hor. 2 Od. 6. 10 foll. Longinqua Tarenti:' comp. caerula ponti.' 'Longinqua' would of course have more force, if we could suppose Virgil, at least at the time of writing this passage, to have been at Mantua rather than Naples.
198.] 'The plain which Mantua lost' in the assignment of lands mentioned in E. 1 and 9.
199.] E. 9. 27-29, "Vare, tuum nomen, superet modo Mantua nobis, Mantua vae miserae nimium vicina Cremonae, Cantantes sublime ferent ad sidera cycni." Herboso flumine,' the Mincius. Comp. E. 7. 12
and A. 10. 205.
200.] 'Deerunt,' a dissyllable, like 'deesse' in Lucr. 1. 43, "Talibus in rebus communi deesse saluti." So deerit,' A. 7. 262, and 'deest,' A. 10. 378. 'Desunt,' which is said to be in Pal., was the reading before Heins. The variation is perhaps accounted for by the Med. spelling 'derunt,' which agrees with the precept of Velius Longus, p. 2227, quoted and followed by Lachmann on Lucr. 1. c., that 'de' in composition 'inminuitur' before a vowel.