Billeder på siden

Nec non Ausonii, Troia gens missa, coloni
Versibus incomptis ludunt risuque soluto,
Oraque corticibus sumunt horrenda cavatis,
Et te, Bacche, vocant per carmina laeta, tibique
Oscilla ex alta suspendunt mollia pinu.
Hinc omnis largo pubescit vinea fetu,
Conplentur vallesque cavae saltusque profundi,
Et quocumque deus circum caput egit honestum.
Ergo rite suum Baccho dicemus honorem
Carminibus patriis lancesque et liba feremus,

oiled skin of the he-goat which had been sacrificed. Dict. Ant. doкóλia.

385.] This and the following lines appear to refer to the 'Fescennina licentia' (Hor. 2 Ep. 1. 140) after the vintage, and not to the Liberalia at Rome on the 13th of March. It is not necessary to take v. 390 as referring to a particular year. 'Troia gens missa is a foreshadowing of the Aeneid, at the same time that it intimates here that the Italian festivities are not borrowed from Greece.

386.] Versibus incomptis,' perhaps the "horridus ille Saturnius numerus "" of Horace, 2 Ep. 1. 157, which, whatever may have been its precise nature, a question about which there a very great variety of opinion, too great to be even glanced at here, appears to have been the national metre of Italy before the introduction of the metres of Greece; though even this is disputed by some, who maintain that no one kind of metre was designated by the epithet, which they consider to have been a term of as vague and general application as incomptus here, as we should say ‘old


387.] Corticibus cavatis' is the ablative of the material. Comp. 1. 262, "cavat arbore lintres." "Os' for the mask, like πρόσωπον.

388.] Per carmina laeta' may be either ' in the course of,' 'as they sing glad hymns,' or invoke you by glad hymns.'

389.] Oscilla' (dim. of 'os' through ' osculum') were faces of Bacchus which were hung on trees that they might turn every way with the wind in order to spread fertility every way. See Dict. Ant. 'Öscillum,' where a representation of the 'oscilla' is given from an ancient gem. Serv. mentions various opinions, one of them connecting oscilla' with the Attic alopa (Dict. A.), a festival which seems to have been οὐδὲν πρὸς Διόνυσον, another of a



more mystic nature, which supposes the rites of Bacchus to symbolize the purification of the soul, the swinging of the 'oscilla' representing the third and highest of the three modes of physical purification, by water, by fire, and by air. Mollia' is explained by Heyne and others as = 'mobilia,'' easily swayed by the wind,'' waving :' but it may be doubted whether any parallel instance can be adduced, though a similar sense is given by some to "pilentis mollibus," A. 8. 666. The word is doubtless a derivative of moveo:' but its physical sense appears to be restricted to things the parts of which yield to the touch. Perhaps then we shall do better to understand the word with Mr. Yates in Dict. A., 'oscillum' of the beautiful, mild, and propitious expression of the god's face, like caput honestum.' Ladewig assumes that the 'oscilla' were of wax: but the one mentioned in Dict. A. is of white marble, though in a rustic festival we may suppose that some commoner material would be used.

390.] Pubescit :' comp. Theocr. 5. 109, Μή μεν λωβάσησθε τὰς ἀμπέλος· ἐντὶ γὰρ ἆβαι.

391.] Conplentur,' 'teem.' Lucretius uses the word of the conception of women. There seems no sufficient reason to restrict the description in this line to vineyards, though such a restriction would accord with vv. 4 foll., which are somewhat parallel.

392.] Honestum,' 'comely.' On the beauty attributed to the Greek Bacchus, see Dict. B. 'Dionysus.' The look of Bacchus fertilizes the country, as that of Jupiter (A. 1. 255) calms the sky.

[ocr errors]

393.] Honorem,' for a hymn, as for a sacrifice A. 1. 53, "aris inponet honorem." 394.] Patriis,' to show that the Roman worship of Bacchus was time-honoured as well as the Greek; comp. v. 385, “Troia gens missa." It may also imply the use


Et ductus cornu stabit sacer hircus ad aram,
Pinguiaque in veribus torrebimus exta colurnis.
Est etiam ille labor curandis vitibus alter,
Cui numquam exhausti satis est: namque omne quot annis
Terque quaterque solum scindendum, glaebaque versis
Aeternum frangenda bidentibus; omne levandum 400
Fronde nemus. Redit agricolis labor actus in orbem,
Atque in se sua per vestigia volvitur annus.

of the national measure: see on v. 386.
'Lances' probably for the 'exta,' as in v.
194. Others suppose a hendiadys, 'liba
in lancibus.' 'Liba:' Ov. F. 3. 761,
"Melle pater (Bacchus) fruitur: liboque
infusa calenti Iure repertori candida mella
damus." This however is said of the Libe-

395.] Ductus,' implying that the animal was led, not dragged, which was unlucky, and 'stabit' (comp. 'statuo,' 'constituo') are words appropriate to sacrifice, though we need not suppose with the commentators that their use here necessarily denotes that the offering would be propitious. 'Sacer,' 'devoted.'

[ocr errors]

396.] Colurnis:' Serv. says that hazel spits were used because the hazel was injurious to the vine. Comp. v. 299.

397-419.] The dressing of the vine is an interminable labour: the ground has constantly to be broken up: when the leaves are shed the work of pruning begins: fastenings have to be provided: and when pruning and tying up are over, you have still to use the hoe, and still live in dread of storms.'

397.] Curandis :' this word is used by Cato, R. R. 33, for all the operations subsequent to planting- dressing.' 'Alter' must refer to what has just gone before, 'Terendae sepes etiam,' &c. With the first words of the line comp. 3. 425.

398.] 'Exhausti' the participle is construed like a substantive. As Serv. says, 'exhausti''exhaustionis.' Comp. such usages as "Prius quam incipias consulto; et ubi consulueris mature facto opus est," Sall. Cat. 1. In prose we might have had 'cuius numquam satis exhaustum est.' But here, apparently for the sake of poetic variation, the participle instead of being the predicate is made the genitive, while the labour is in a manner personified and made the exacting power. 'Which is never satisfied by exhaustion.' Namque' is used here in a sense approaching that of its cognate 'nempe.' So yάp is used after a pronoun in

Greek. Wund. comp. Thuc. 1. 3, dŋλoï dé μοι καὶ τόδε . . . πρὸ γὰρ κ.τ.λ.

399.] It seems doubtful whether both these clauses are to be understood of the bidens,' the prongs of which are used to loosen the ground, the back, 'versis,' to break the clods so turned up, or whether a distinction is intended between ploughing and hoeing, the former of which processes is to be frequently repeated, the latter never intermitted. Supposing the distinction to be meant, Virgil will be speaking of the two kinds of vineyards, calculated respectively for ploughing and digging: see on v. 355. 'Scindere' is commonly used of the plough, 1. 50., 3. 160. Col. 4. 4 says that the number of times the soil ought to be loosened cannot be defined-the more the better. 401.] Nemus' like 'silvis,' v. 404, and perhaps umbra,' v. 410, seems to be used of the supporting trees in the 'arbustum,' as in v. 308 above. It may be doubted whether labor actus' is to be taken with Heyne and others of past labour, the same tasks recurring yearly, or actus' connected with in orbem,' 'moving in a ring.' In vv. 516 foll. we have the other side of the picture, the constant succession of the fruits of the husbandman's toil.

[ocr errors]

402] Atque:' this is one of those instances where the copulative is employed in the place of a conjunction denoting a more special connexion. Perhaps the largest number of these instances is where the relation intended is that of time, 'et' or 'atque' standing in the place of 'cum.' Here it is that of accordance, atque' having the force of 'even as.' Comp. the use of atque' in comparisons, and in such expressions as 'simul atque.' The usage is one which belongs to the ante-logical period of language, whence it is naturally adopted by the poets. Here we may say that the sense is as though the clauses had been inverted,- The year rolls round and the husbandman's labours come round again with it.' Comp. the Greek iviavrós, as explained by Plato (Crat. p. 410 d), and the less questionable expla

Ac iam olim seras posuit cum vinea frondes
Frigidus et silvis aquilo decussit honorem,
Iam tum acer curas venientem extendit in annum
Rusticus, et curvo Saturni dente relictam
Persequitur vitem attondens fingitque putando.
Primus humum fodito, primus devecta cremato
Sarmenta, et vallos primus sub tecta referto;
Postremus metito. Bis vitibus ingruit umbra;
Bis segetem densis obducunt sentibus herbae;

nation of 'annus' as originally meaning a
ring. Varius had said of the world "sua
se volventis in vestigia" (fab. inc. 1, Rib-

403.] 'Iam olim :' the choice seems to lie between taking' iam olim ' together as equivalent to 'iamdudum' and to 'iam tum' below (comp. Táλai), and connecting 'olim' with 'cum,' in the sense of illo tempore cum,' as in Plaut. Trin. 2. 4. 122," Primum omnium, olim terra quom proscinditur In quinto quoque sulco moriuntur boves," and like "olim ubi," A. 5. 125. Each way seems open to some objection. Olim' for 'dudum' is apparently post-Augustan; while 'olim cum' appears to be used for indefinite, not for definite occurrences. Comp. however cum olim,' 3. 302. 'Posuit,' 'has shed.' Comp. 3. 437, "positis novus exuviis."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

404.] This line is borrowed from Varro Atacinus, according to Serv. Horace has the same phrase, perhaps from the same source, Epod. 11. 6, "December silvis honorem decutit."

406.] For 'rusticus' Rom. has 'agricola.' 'Curvo Saturni dente:' Saturn was regularly represented with a pruning-knife in his hand. Juv. 13. 39 represents him as assuming it after his expulsion from his throne. 'Dens' is used of any curved implement. See Forcellini. 'Relictam' may be either stripped of its foliage' (for which however it is difficult to find an exact parallel), or, as Serv. takes it, the vine which he has left, in other words 'he returns to the vine.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

407.] Persequitur' like insectabere ' of exterminating weeds, 1. 155, ‘insequitur' of following up sowing by levelling the soil, ib. 105. It is conceivable however that Virgil may have wished to imitate the Greek use of diareλeiv with a participle. Fingitque putando:' comp. A. 6. 80, "fingitque premendo," 'moulds it to his will.' The word is specially used of clay moulded by the potter. Comp. Pers. 3. 24, "Nunc, nunc properandus et acri Fingendus sine fine rota," and the word 'figulus.' 'Pu



tando:' Col. (4. 4) includes under this term the 'ablaqueatio,' which consisted in laying open the roots and cutting away all within a foot and a half of the surface. Cerda however understands 'attondens' here of ablaqueatio.'

[ocr errors]

408.] Digging was constantly to go on, so that he that began first would do best: carting away and burning the branches is an occupation which suits no one time more than other, and so the sooner it is done the better; the vine-poles, if allowed to remain out, would suffer from the weather. Taubm. quotes Cato 5, who lays down as a general rule “Opera omnia mature conficias face: nam res rustica sic est: si unam rem sero feceris, opera omnia sero feceris." On the other hand, the more thoroughly ripe the grapes, as Keightley says, the better the wine.

409.]Sarmenta,' the prunings of the vine. Festus derives the word from an ancient verb 'sarpo,'' to prune,' probably connected with äpaη. In a secondary sense it is used simply for the branches of the vine. Devecta,' as in v. 207. Vallos,' the vine-poles.' Varro, R. R. 1. 8, “Ibi dominus simul ac vidit occipitium vindemiatoris furcillas reducit hibernatum in tecta, ut sine sumptu earum opera altero anno uti possit." It would seem at first sight that 'vallos' must refer to espalier vines. But comp. vv. 358-361, where 'sudes' is convertible with 'vallos.'

[ocr errors]

410.] Metito,' of vines, like 'seges,' 'serere,'' semina.' Heyne. Comp. 4. 231, where' messis' is used of collecting honey. 'Bis' in spring and autumn. 'Umbra' may refer to the shade of the elm or other supporting tree. Col. 4. 27 however uses 'umbras conpescere,' speaking of the foliage of the vine.

411.] Segetem,' 'the vineyard,' or perhaps the vines. 'Obducunt' is rather for the former. 'Sentibus,' 'briars.' 'Herbae' must be used in a wide sense, as in Cic. De Div. 1. 34, " Herbae asperae et agrestes." The weeding (runcatio')

Durus uterque labor: laudato ingentia rura,
Exiguum colito. Nec non etiam aspera rusci
Vimina per silvam, et ripis fluvialis arundo
Caeditur, incultique exercet cura salicti.
Iam vinctae vites, iam falcem arbusta reponunt,
Iam canit effectos extremus vinitor antes:
Sollicitanda tamen tellus, pulvisque movendus,
Et iam maturis metuendus Iuppiter uvis.

appears to have taken place at the same times as the pruning.


cut for tying up the vine.


415.] Salicti:' comp. 1. 265, “Aut Amerina parat lentae retinacula viti." "Inculti' would seem to show that the 'cura can be only that of cutting them: but they also required pruning, Pliny 17. 20.

416.] Reponunt - 6 reponi sinunt.' The language passes from precept to the liveliness of narrative.

412.] Uterque labor:' not the double labour in spring and autumn, but the double labour of 'pampinatio' and 'runcatio.' 'Laudato... colito:' the form of the expression is evidently taken from Hesiod, Works 643, Nñ' ¿λiyny aiveiv, μεγάλη δ' ἐνὶ φορτία θέσθαι, where it is not easy to see the point of the epigram. 417.] This is the reading of Rom. Here the point is obvious, the larger estate and Med. restored by Wagn. Heyne, being 'prima facie' the best, and large with all the edd. after the Aldine, gives estates being the fashion in Italy, as we 'extremos effoetus,' which is apparently learn from Pliny 18. 6, who complains found in Pal. The MSS. exhibit great that in his time the latifundia' had variety, ringing changes on the order of ruined Italy. 'Laudato' does not itself the words, on 'effoetus' and 'effectus,' mean 'reiicito;' if it did there would be no and on the terminations 'os' and 'us.' force in the antithesis. Still the same It is not clear whether antes' means feeling is at the root of this use of the 'lines' or 'plots.' That it denotes some word and that of raviv in Gr. singly regular order appears from Cato, De Re for to decline, the feeling, namely, which Militari, quoted by Philarg., "Pedites quaappears in our use of the word compli- tuor agminibus equites duobus antibus ment.' The connexion here is that as the duces." 'Effectos,' 'completed.' So Quinct. work is so exacting, a small estate is better 10. 5 opposes materia effecta' to inthan a large one. Col. 1. 3, §§ 8 foll., choata.' The rows are said to be comafter quoting these words of Virgil, says, pleted because the vine-dresser has been Quippe acutissimam gentem Poenos through all and done what is necessary for dixisse convenit, imbecilliorem agrum each. quam agricolam esse debere, quoniam, cum sit colluctandum cum eo, si fundus praevaleat, allidi dominum. Nec dubium quin minus reddat laxus ager non recte cultus, quam angustus eximie." He speaks of the old Roman feeling against dividing conquered lands among a few, "nec magis quia superbum videbatur tantum loci detinere, quam quia flagitiosum, quos hostis profugiendo desolasset agros, novo more civem Romanum supra vires patrimonii possidendo deserere;" and contrasts the modern practice, " praepotentium, qui possident finis gentium, quos ne circumire equis quidem valent, sed proculcandos pecudibus, et vastandos ac populandos feris derelinquunt, aut occupatos nexu civium et ergastulis tenent."

[ocr errors]

413.] Rusci,' butchers' broom. Butchers' broom, reeds, and willows are to be

'Extremus,' 'the last.' Comp. v. 410, "Postremus metito." The vine-dresser sings like the frondator,' E. 1. 57.

418.] Tamen :' 'after all this work is done you will still have to stir the ground,’ &c. The 'pulveratio' appears to have been a distinct process founded on the belief that dust was beneficial to vines. Palladius (Mart. 7) says that the process requires repeating at the beginning of every month from March till October. Pliny (17. 22) says, sione pulverem excitatum contra soles nebulasque prodesse." Comp. also Col. Arb. 12. This notion may be referred to in the next line, as 'metuendus' of course implies that precautions must be taken.


419.] It may be doubted whether 'metuendus uvis' here, like 'apibus metuenda,' 4. 37, means 'an object of terror to the grapes,' or 'an object of terror [to the vine-dresser] for the grapes.'

Contra non ulla est oleis cultura; neque illae
Procurvam exspectant falcem rastrosque tenacis,
Cum semel haeserunt arvis aurasque tulerunt;
Ipsa satis tellus, cum dente recluditur unco,
Sufficit humorem et gravidas cum vomere fruges.
Hoc pinguem et placitam Paci nutritor olivam.

Poma quoque, ut primum truncos sensere valentis
Et viris habuere suas, ad sidera raptim
Vi propria nituntur opisque haud indiga nostrae.
Nec minus interea fetu nemus omne gravescit,
Sanguineisque inculta rubent aviaria bacis.

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

423.] Satis,' the dat. of 'sata,' put for olives, as for vines above, v. 350. There seems no ground for making a distinction between 'dente unco' and 'vomere.' 'Dens' may stand for 'vomer,' as we have "vomeris dentem," 1. 262. Comp. 'dentale.'

424.] Cum vomere :''cum' seems here to express close connexion not so much of time as of causation, a sense which may be illustrated by the opposite 'sine.' We might sayas sure as the ploughshare is put in the ground.' Some read 'quum vomere,' SC. ' recluditur,' making an antithesis betweendente unco,' which they interpret 'bidente' and 'vomere.' But this is very flat, and no opposition can be imagined between 'humorem' and 'gravidas fruges.' Col. (5. 9, § 12) however recommends the use both of the plough and of the 'bidens.' In the same chapter he gives a precept (§ 15), "Nam veteris proverbii meminisse convenit; eum, qui aret olivetum, rogare fructum; qui stercoret, exorare; qui caedat (putet) cogere."

[ocr errors]

425.] Hoc' is generally taken on this account,' like 7 in Homer, a usage found in Lucretius and Horace; but I greatly prefer understanding it with Benson and Martyn, by this,' sc. 'arando,' 'with this and




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

428.] Que' couples the adverbial substantive with the adverbial adjective. Comp. A. 6. 640, "Largior hic campos aether et lumine vestit Purpureo." Que' is however omitted by some MSS., including Rom. 429-457.] 'The forest trees have their uses too, the small as well as the great, so that men may well take heart and cultivate them-nay, they are even worthier than the vine, which may be a curse as well as a blessing.'

[ocr errors]

429.] Nec minus:' equally with the trees that have been named. Interea,' while man is occupied with other things; so in the next line 'inculta' is emphatic. There seems to be no reference to the 'arbustum' in 'nemus,' as we might be tempted to suppose from vv. 308, 323, 401. The word appears to be used generally of the trees of the forest in their natural uncultivated state, as man is afterwards recommended to give them the benefit of culture. Fetu... gravescit :' imitated from Lucr. 1. 253, "crescunt ipsae fetuque gravantur.” 430.] Aviaria,' properly an artificial

« ForrigeFortsæt »