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P. VERGILI MARONIS GEORGICON LIB. II.
Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma,
Sed nos inmensum spatiis confecimus aequor,
534.] Scilicet :'
note on 1. For other instances of the supposed impiety 282. Here, as in that passage, scilicet' is of slaying the ox, the fellow-labourer of inserted rhetorically, to give importance man, see Cerda's note. to the words connected with it. Some 538.] · Aureus,' the king of the golden place the stop after crevit,' taking scilicet' age. Comp. Theocr. 12. 15, o pa tór' with what follows. But comp. the position noav Xpúsenol tálai ävòpes. of scilicet' in the passage just referred to. 539.] 'Etiam' connects necdum' with • Rerum pulcherrima :' looking to such ex- ante,' as the former .etiam ' connects pressions as 'nemorum maxima,' above, v. ante' with what precedes. 'Audierant:' 15, Hor. 1 S. 9. 4, dulcissime rerum,' and comp. the latter part of note on v. 463. Ovid, M. 8. 49, “ pulcherrime rerum,' it may 541, 542.] ‘But I must end this long be doubted whether the genitive here is a stage of my work.' real partitive, and whether the agreement 541.] •Spatiis :' the plural spatia, as in gender of pulcherrima' with
used by Virgil, seems to denote sometimes is not merely accidental.
the circles of a race-course, and sometimes 535 ] This line seems an anticlimax here, the passage of the racers round them. and still more where it recurs in A. 6. 783. Comp. A. 5. 584., 7. 380. We may thereFor the importance which the Romans fore either take spatiis' in the former attached to the number of the hills which sense, and connect with inmensum,' as they retained, when by the expansion of Heyne does, or take it in the latter, and the city the hills themselves were changed, connect it with “confecimus.' Heyne refers see Niebuhr 1. 382 (Eng. Tr.). We must for a similar metaphor to Tryphiodorus bear in mind how much the Romans thought 664, εγώ δ' άπερ ίππον ελάσσω Τέρματος of the grandeur of the city compared with αμφιέλισσαν επιψαύουσαν αοιδών. In that of the empire. · Arces' of the hills, v. Lucr. 6. 92 foll. the metaphor is from a 172.
foot race. 536.] · Dictaei regis :' Cicero (N. D. 3. 542.] “Fumantia :'"
equos Fumantis 21) speaks of three Jupiters : « tertium sudore quatit," A. 12. 338. Rom. and Cretensem, Saturni filium, cuius in illa in- some others have spumantia,' which seems sula sepulchrum ostenditur.”
less appropriate, though we may conceive 537.] Comp. Arat. Phaen. 132,
of the necks of the horses as wet with Χαλκείη γενεή προτέρων όλοώτεροι their own Hying foam ; or, if the image is άνδρες,
that of a race, with the foam of those imOů a pūTou karoepyov éxalceúvavro mediately behind them (3. 111). Quincμάχαιραν
tilian quotes the words (8. 6), but his Eίνοδίην, πρώτοι δε βοών επάσαντ' MSS. differ as here. Charisius however αρoτήρων.
supports . fumantia.'
P. VERGILI MARONIS
G E O RG ICON
The care of the various animals that are bred by the farmer forms the subject of the Third Book. These are divided into two main classes, which are distinguished in Latin as. armenta' and ' pecudes,' the former including horned cattle and horses, the latter the smaller cattle, sheep and goats, while a word is thrown in (vv. 404–413) about dogs. The former occupies the larger portion of the book, vv. 49—283: the poet however allows himself to digress in the last paragraph of the division, w. 242 foll., speaking of the effect of sexual passion on the whole animal creation. Even in the earlier portion the subject is not very regularly treated. Virgil commences by saying (vv. 49 foll.) that a breeder of oxen or horses ought to attend particularly to the choice of the dams. A description of a cow follows; but nothing is said of a mare. At last (vv. 72 foll.) he changes the subject to horses, but it is that he may talk, not of the dams, but of the sires. Thus instead of describing the cow and the mare, the bull and the stallion, he consults variety by describing the female of one class, the male of the other. In what follows he treats of both classes indifferently; but true to his preference of poetical ornament to practical accuracy, he does not so much generalize as confuse, using language which is sometimes applicable to oxen, sometimes to horses. At last (vv. 146 foll.) he is led to speak more particularly of the former with respect to their early training ; that over, he bestows a similar paragraph on the latter. But this proportion is soon violated. Speaking of the effect of the sexual passion, he lavishes all his powers of minute description on the bull, in the well-known picture of the fight between two bulls for the same heifer (vv. 219 foll.). Horses and mares are indeed mentioned, but not with the same prominence, the former being introduced cursorily in the digression on the sexual fury of the whole animal creation, the latter forming the conclusion of that digression. In the second part of his subject Virgil is perhaps more systematic; but he digresses more. The mention of pasturing the flocks in summer and winter leads to the two celebrated descriptions (vv. 339 foll.) of a Libyan shepherd's summer and a Scythian shepherd's winter, in the latter of which special pastoral details are soon lost in a picture of the general features of the scene. And the narrative of the pestilence in Southern Italy, with which, in imitation of Lucretius, he has chosen to conclude the book, is essentially digressive, following, as it does, the fortunes of other animals besides those which are the subjects of the farmer's care, and in general being so conducted that the reader peruses it as an independent story, and does not feel the patent want of a regular peroration closing this part of the treatise.
The exordium of the book has a biographical interest, as containing the most definite sketch of the project, which Virgil doubtless stood pledged to execute, of a poem in honour of the exploits of Octavianus-a plan, not of the Aeneid, but of that for which the Aeneid was accepted as a compensation. It is in the course of it that, as was mentioned in p. 141, the only passage occurs which seems as if it must have been written at a later date than that assigned to the completion of the poem as a whole. See on vv. 31, 32, 33.
TE quoque, magna Pales, et te memorande canemus
1-48.] My song shall now embrace 7.] Virgil may have been thinking of the themes of cattle and pasturage. The Pind. Ol. 1, which dwells equally on the old heroic legends have been worn thread- ivory shoulder of Pelops and his victory in bare by other poets : mine must be a dif- the chariot race. ferent path to fame. One day I hope to 8.] 'Acer equis,' a keen charioteer, as raise a deathless monument to Caesar-a “acerrimus armis' (A. 9. 176) is 'a gallant trophy of his victories over the East and warrior.' Temptanda via est,' 'I must ex. West, and of mine over the bards of Greece. plore a path,' taking 'via' in its strict Meanwhile Maecenas bids me to the woods
Comp. Hor. 3 Od. 2. 22, Virtus again. Away to the chase.'
negata temptat iter via,” probably an 1.] For Pales and Apollo Nomius, see imitation of Virgil, as the following words E. 5. 35.
(see next note) seem to show. 2.] •Pastor ab Amphryso :' the pastoral 9.] Comp. Ennius' epitaph on himcharacter of Apollo appears in the common self (Epigr. 1. 4),
“ volito vivu' per ora legends as a mere episode: it appears how- virum." • Victor,' of intellectual triumph, ever to have been a distinct aspect under perhaps from Lucr. 1. 75. The word prewhich he was regarded by the earlier my- pares us for the image developed in the thology. • Ab’ here serves for local de- following lines. •Virum volitare per ora' scription. Comp. “ Turnus Herdonius ab appears to have been taken by Palladius, Aricia,” Livy 1. 50.
• Silvae amnesque
one of the later Latin poets (marked No. 10 Lycaei :' the abode of Pan, l. 16, who is in Dict. B.), as being in the mouths of thus indirectly indicated as a third god in- -“ Vivus in aeternum docta per ora voked.
volo," Epitaph on Cicero. It is however 3.] The MSS. vary between carmine' more probably • hover before the faces of and carmina,' the latter being the read- men.' Comp. Sall. Jug. 31, “Incedunt ing of Med. But the change is very per ora vestra magnifici," and Hor. 2 S. 1. slight, and .carmine’ seems less common. 64, “ Nitidus qua quisque per ora Cederet.” place. •Tenuissent,' the potential, not the Keightley appositely refers to the belief that conjunctive. All other themes which poets were changed into swans. See Hor. might have laid on idle minds the spell of 2 Od. 20. • Volitare' is connected with poesy are hackneyed now.'
me tollere humo.' Comp. Hor. 3 Od. 5.] •Inlaudati :' much unnecessary in- 2. 23, “ udam Spernit humum fugiente genuity and learning have been wasted on
penna." this word, as may be seen from Forcellini 10–39.] The nature of the allegory con
It is a litotes like inamabilis,' A. 6. tained in these lines has been much dis438. So in Greek our naivū is used for puted. It seems clearly however to be I condemn.'
drawn from a Roman triumph. The poet
Aonio rediens deducam vertice Musas;
who has just spoken of himself as a con- Triumphavit Palmam Dedit,” which is exqueror (* victor') represents himself as re- plained to mean in gremio Iovis colloturning from a campaign in Greece, and cavit.' From this it appears either that the bringing the Muses captive from Helicon; name palma' was given to the branch in other words, if the old subjects of song of bay which was carried by the victor in a are forestalled, he will be the first to do for triumph, or that the palm itself was someRome what Hesiod and others have done for times substituted for the bay, agreeably Greece. Then he will build a votive temple to the custom in the Grecian games, also by his native river to his patron god, and adopted at Rome (Livy 10. 47) where the celebrate before it games and shows, like conqueror carried à palm branch. Comp. Roman conquerors after their triumph. The Pausan. 8. 48. temple is to be adorned with the sculptured 13.] *Templum ponam :' the custom history of Augustus, as other temples were of vowing temples to the gods in battle
with the legends of their god. Having and dedicating them after victory is too • secured his own fame as the rural poet of well known to need illustration : see, how.
his country, he will be able to pass to the ever, Livy 1. 11, 12., 2. 20. grateful celebration of his patron's tri- 14.] ‘Propter aquam,' like the temple of umphs. For a different interpretation see Zeus by the Alpheus; a glance at the Hurd on Horace, Vol. ii. pp. 43 foll. Grecian games, which he intends to emu
10.] ‘Primus,' &c. : imitated from Lucr. late, though the main idea is that of a 1. 117, where Ennius is spoken of. 'In Roman triumph. “Ingens :' the Mincio patriam,' not Mantua, as Serv., Heyne, and spreads into a lake close to Mantua. others think, but Italy. Virgil has before 16.] 'In medio,' in the shrine, which is claimed to be the earliest rural poet of to contain the image of Caesar as the preItaly, 2. 175, 176.
siding god. Caesar shall be the principal 11.] · Aonio vertice :' Helicon, as in subject of a great poem. Lucr. 1. c., but perhaps with a reference to 17.] Imitated by Horace, A. P. 228. Hesiod (Keightley). * Rediens,' as from a The reference is either to the toga picta,' campaign. “Deducam,' lead in triumph. worn in the triumph, or to the toga praeComp. Hor. 1 Od. 37. 31, “ Privata deduci texta,' worn by the magistrates at the celesuperbo Non humilis mulier triumpho.” It bration of the games. For • illi' Rom. and has been plausibly suggested that this pas- some others have .illic,' not so well. sage is not purely metaphorical, but refers 18.] ‘Centum,' as in A. 1. 417., 4. 199., to a literal journey into Greece which we 6. 787. “Agitabo,' will cause to be driven know Virgil ultimately to have taken. (by instituting games).
12.] The epithet . Idumaeas' is worse 19.] • Lucos Molorchi,' the forest of than otiose. It would be otiose if ap. Nemea, where Molorchus entertained Herplied only to 'palmas :' but it is worse cules. Philargyrius seems to have read than otiose, as drawing a contrast be- ludos.' tween “ palmas' and · Mantua.' For • Idu. 20.] ‘Crudo,' made of raw hide. His maeas palm.as' comp. Hor. 2 Ep. 2. 184, games will not be merely national, but will “ Herodis palmetis pinguibus,” and Lucan attract even the Greeks from Olympia and 3. 216, Stat. Silv. 5. 2. 138. * Palmas :' in Nemea. In other words, in his heroic an inscription ap. Marin. Frat. Arv. quoted poem, no less than in his Georgics, he will by the German editor of Forcell. (• palma') it use and improve upon Greek art. Comp. is said “Imp. Caes. ex Sicilia Eid. Nov. Hor. 2 Ep. 1. 32, “Venimus ad summum
Ipse, caput tonsae foliis ornatus olivae,
fortunae, pingimus atque Psallimus et luc- draw it up with them. The Britanni sued tamur Achivis doctius unctis."
for peace to Augustus A.U.c. 727, when 21.] • Tonsae olivae' probably, as Heyne he was in Gaul preparing to invade them. thinks, means the stripped leaves of olive 26.] He recurs to the temple, which is woven into a wreath. The reference seems to be ornamented with the exploits of its to be not to the Olympic crown, but to the god. See note on v. 10. • Foribus :' temsacrificial wreath of olive. Comp. A. 5. 774., ples, with their folding doors, thus adorned 7. 750, and especially 6. 809, “Quis procul with appropriate figures in gold and ivory ille autem ramis insignis olivae Sacra ferens?” are mentioned by Cicero, Verr. 2 Act. 4.56,
23.] ‘Iuvat’ may refer either to the and Prop. 3. 23. 11. Long on the passage poet himself or to the fancied spectators of from Cic. remarks that some of the great these shows. • Feram' immediately pre- works of art, both of ancient and modern ceding rather makes for the former. If times, are doors and gates. The combination the latter be preferred, comp. A. 2. 27. of ivory and gold was common in ancient staBut Virgil may well have intended to in- tuary, the ivory being employed to represent clude both. The time is come: what joy the flesh. See Dict. A. ' Statuaria Ars.' to lead the solemn procession to the temple, 27.] The Gangaridae were an Indian tribe and see the bullocks slaughtered !'
near the Ganges; and the reference pro24.] There shall be stage plays as well bably is, as in 2. 173, to the defeat as sacrifices and games. Servius says that of the Eastern troops of Antony. "Qui. Virgil refers to two different kinds of rini' may be referred to Augustus, to whom 'scenae,' called versilis' and ductilis,' the it was proposed to give the title of Romu. one turning on a pivot and so exhibiting lus or Quirinus; but, looking to the con. different faces (“ versis frontibus'), the other trast with 'Gangaridum,' it is more probably parting (* discedat') to disclose a new scene the representative of the Roman nation. within. Schlegel, Dram. Lit. Lect. 4, re- 28.] Undantem bello,' swelling or conciles the two by supposing that the side surging with war, that is, with warlike feelscenes were versiles' and the centre scene ing: the meaning is explained by magnum was ductilis.' In the Greek scene there were fluentem.' In the same way the defeated two rotatory prisms (Tepiartou) near the river is said "ire mollior undis,” A. 8. 727, side entrances of the scena,' which served and“ minores volvere vertices," Hor. 2 Od. for shifting the scene. Dict. A. “Theatrum.' 9. 22. This seems more natural than to
25.] The ancient curtain rose instead understand it of the fleets floating on the of falling. This line is illustrated by Ovid, Nile, as it was not there that the struggle M. 3. 111-113, who compares the rising of took place. The opposite picture of the the warriors from the ground where Cadmus vanquished Nile is engraved on the shield had sown the serpent's teeth to the rise of the of Aeneas, A. 8. 711. Magnum' is not figures embroidered on the stage curtain : an adverbial neuter, but agrees with 'fluen“Sic, ubi tolluntur festis aulaea theatris,
tem:' comp. trolùs péwv, and Bentley's
note on Hor. 1 S. 7. 28. Surgere signa solent, primumque ostendere vultum,
29.] ‘Navali surgentis aere columnas,' Cetera paullatim placidoque educta tenore otherwise called “columnae rostratae,' and Tota patent, imoque pedes in margine po
found on the coins of Augustus. nunt.'
30.] Niphates,' according to the geo
graphers, is a mountain in Armenia; though * Tollant,' rise with it, and so appear to Juv. 6. 409, Lucan 3. 245, and Sil. 13.