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Fidentemque fuga Parthum versisque sagittis,
775, mention a river of that name, possibly,
31.] The Parthian mode of warfare is too well known to need illustration. If these lines do not refer to the triumphal progress of Octavianus in the East after the battle of Actium, we must either regard them, with Heyne, as prophetic, or suppose that they were added after the completion of the Georgics, B. C. 20, the last year of Virgil's life, when Augustus received the submission of the Armenians and recovered the standards from the Parthians, an event referred to in the same strain by Hor. 2 Od. 9. 18 foll.
32, 33.] These lines refer to the double triumph of Augustus in the East and the West. It is hard to say what this Western victory can be, unless it be that gained over the Cantabri, B.C. 26, which would agree with the hypothesis of a subsequent insertion mentioned in the previous note. Britain, of which Serv. speaks, never furnished any triumph to Augustus. The language looks almost too specific for prophecy, which moreover in a case like this is less sublime than actual historical fact.
33.] Utroque ab litore' is to be taken with gentis.' 'Bis triumphatas,' once over each. Some take it, twice apiece; but this will not agree so well with 'duo tropaea.' 34.] Stabunt,' either on separate pedestals, or on the pediment, like the Aegi
netan and Selinuntian marbles. When the deeds of Augustus are commemorated, the mythical glories of his ancestors are also to be introduced.
35.] Assaracus' was the son of Tros, from whom Aeneas and the Julian house were sprung.
36.]Nomina,' the great names. Comp. Sil. 17. 492, "Jamque ardore truci lustrans fortissima quaeque Nomina obit ferro." Troiae Cynthius auctor:' comp. Hor. 3 Od. 3. 65, 66, "Ter si resurgat murus aeneus Auctore Phoebo." Apollo is perhaps introduced as the tutelar god, and reputed father of Augustus (Keightley).
37.] Invidia' probably refers to political malcontents, not to the rivals of the poet. 'Severum :' comp. Lucr. 5. 35, "pelagique severa," where 'sonora seems a needless conjecture.
38.] 'Metuet,' 'shall quail at,' that is, shall be represented as quailing at the tortures of the infernal regions, as inflicted, not on others, but on itself. 'Tortosque Ixionis anguis' is to be taken in close connexion with the next clause. Virgil alone speaks of Ixion as bound to the wheel with snakes; whence some have preferred the reading of the Rom. 'orbis.' Tortos' would then refer to the whirling of the wheel, in which the torture consisted.
39.] Non exsuperabile saxum' is probably on the analogy of 'exsuperare laborem.' Serv. however understands 'exsuperabile' actively, “quod superare non valet summum montis cacumen.' Gell. 17. 2 quotes from the Annals of Q. Claudius the expression "operam fortem atque exsuperabilem."
41] Intactos:' this attribute seems to be dwelt on for two reasons: first, as denoting the untried nature of the subject (comp. Lucr. 1. 927, integros fontis'), and, secondly, because it of pasture land that he now comes to speak. Pursue we the Dryads'
Te sine nil altum mens inchoat: en age, segnis
Seu quis, Olympiacae miratus praemia palmae, Pascit equos, seu quis fortis ad aratra iuvencos, Corpora praecipue matrum legat. Optuma torvae
woods and glades, virgin as they.' 'Iussa' may = 'pensa,' the thing or subject commanded, in apposition to 'saltus;' or it may be a cognate accus. after sequamur,''saltus' being the ordinary accus. of the object. The union of the two in the same instance does not seem usual in Latin, but is frequent in Greek, e. g. Aesch. Ag. 1419, 1420, οὐ τοῦτον ἐκ γῆς τῆσδε χρῆν σ ̓ ἀνδρηλareiv Miaopáтшv äπоiα; It seems unnecessary to suppose that Maecenas actually urged him to undertake this part of the subject. No more need be meant than that it forms a necessary part of the work which Maecenas seems to have prompted.
43.] Clamore' is the clamour of the hunt. 'Cithaeron' was a wild mountain, abounding in beasts, as the stories of Oedipus and Pentheus prove.
44.] Taygeti' is the gen. of 'Taygetus,' the masc. being the form used in the sing. Spartan dogs are mentioned below, vv. 345, 405. Epidaurus' for Argolis, "Apyos inπóBorov, though 'domitrix equorum' seems to be a translation of ἱππόδαμος.
46.] Accingar' with the infin. is to be noted. The word is of course metaphorical, but perhaps used with some sense of its special appropriateness in connexion with 'pugnas.' 'I will gird my loins to sing of the battle, as now for the chase.'
48.] Tithonus' was not one of the mythical ancestors of the Caesars in the direct line, as he belonged to the other branch of the royal house of Troy; but this may be merely a poetical licence. Hurd thinks these three lines are spurious. His view is grounded partly on alleged difficulties in the expression, such as 'accingar dicere, ardentis pugnas,' and the unauthorized introduction of Tithonus, partly on their matter-of-fact character, which he
regards as inconsistent with the previous allegory, and partly on their position as interrupting the main subject just resumed by a recurrence to the digression. The last objection is of some weight, as the whole passage would be improved by their absence. Virgil however may have felt bound to give his patron a distinct and repeated assurance of his intentions. The lines, if genuine, directly negative Hurd's theory, that the subject of the previous allegory is the Aeneid, which indeed the structure of the allegory itself, if carefully considered, will sufficiently refute. promise, which seems to have been evaded by most of the Augustan poets, was doubtless fulfilled in the composition of the Aeneid; but the manner of its performance was very different from any thing sketched here; indeed the method proposed was exactly reversed in practice, the mythical ancestors of Rome and the Julian family being made the central figures, and Augustus and his exploits only accessory.
49-59.] 'Whether in breeding horses or oxen, the great thing is to choose the mother well.' Then follow the points of a good breeding cow.
49.] Miratus' has in effect the sense of desiring, as in Hor. 1 Ep. 6. 18 (comp. v. 9). Comp. also the use of stupet,' Hor. 1 S. 4. 28, and note on 'inhiant,' 2. 463.
50.] It is hard to say whether ' ad aratra' should be taken with 'fortis' or 'pascit.' Instances of both are common, e.g. Prop. 2. 10. 3, " Fortis ad praelia turmas,' and Ter. Andr. 1. 1. 30, "alere canes ad venandum." But 'fortis aratris' (v. 62) is decidedly in favour of the former.
51.] Corpora matrum :' comp. A. 7. 650, "excepto Laurentis corpore Turni." The requisites for a cow are given at length by Varro 2. 5, and by Col. 6. 1, and Pallad. 4. 11, who appear to have imitated Varro. 'Torvae,' grim-looking. Col. 6. 20, "Huic (sc. 'tauro') torva facies est."
Forma bovis, cui turpe caput, cui plurima cervix,
53.] Palearia,' dewlaps. Col. 1. C. palearibus amplis et paene ad genua promissis."
54.] The 'oblongae et amplae' of Varro 1. c. The more length a cow has, the greater room she will have for her calf to grow in.
55.] 'Pes etiam:' Varro 1. c. says, “pedibus non latis;" but Col. and Pallad., speaking of oxen, have 'magnis ungulis,' speaking of cows, 'ungulis brevibus' or 'modicis.' 'Pes etiam,' put thus emphatically, may be a special contradiction of the opposite view. Hirtae aures,' so Varro l. c. pilosis auribus." 'Camuris,' curving inwards. "Camuri boves sunt qui conversa introrsus cornua habent; quibus contrarii patuli qui cornua diversa habent; laevi, quorum cornua terram spectant; his contrarii licini, qui cornua sursum versum reflexa habent" (Philarg.). Servius says this is the same word as camera.' Pallad. 4. 11 says, "cornibus robustis ac sine curva
turae pravitate lunatis."
56.] Maculis et albo': = ' albis maculis.' Varro, on the other hand, (2. 5) says, lore potissimum nigro, dein robeo, tertio helvo (i. q. gilvo), quarto albo." Col. again (6. 1), "coloris robei vel fusci."
57.] Detrectans:' Wagn. and Forb. write detractans,' on the authority of the Rom, and other MSS. But since the com
58.] Faciem tauro propior,' probably ='latis frontibus,' Varro 2. 5. The expression has been already specified by torvae.' 'Ardua tota:' "Vaccae quoque probantur altissimae formae longaeque," Col. 6. 21.
59.] Comp. Varro 1. c. "Caudam profusam usque ad calces ut habeant." tigia' may be either the footsteps or the feet, as in A. 5. 566, "Vestigia primi Alba pedis," and in Catull. 62 (64). 162.
60-71.] The age for breeding is between four and ten years. It is best to be early if the first days are let slip, disease or death may intervene : such is the lot of mortality. Be attentive, and supply fresh breeders as the others fail.'
60.] Iustos,' regular; as in 'iustum praelium,'' iustus exercitus.' Comp. Varro I. c. "Non minores oportet inire bimas, ut trimae pariant; eo melius si quadrimae. Pleraeque pariunt in decem annos, quaedam etiam in plures."
62.] Cetera,' sc. 'aetas.'
superest.' Wagn. explains it by 'abunde est;' but v. 66 clearly points to the former meaning. Comp. note on 2. 235.
Atque aliam ex alia generando suffice prolem.
in Pers. 3. 9, the animals themselves. 'Primus: comp. 2. 408, "Primus humum fodito, primus devecta cremato Sarmenta.'
65.] Suffice this word means properly to produce' or 'put from beneath,' and so to supply a void or heap up a succession. Comp. the phrase sufficitur consul, censor,' &c.
66.] Another touch of the pessimism which Virgil probably caught from Lucretius; comp. 1. 198. Miseris mortalibus' is from Lucr. 5. 944.
68.] Labor,' suffering, as in A. 6. 277, where 'Letumque Labosque' are enumerated among the phantoms at the gates of hell. 'Rapit,' hurries on, as in A. 4. 581, "Idem omnes simul ardor habet, rapiuntque ruuntque." So 'rapidus.'
69.] There will always be some that you will be glad to get rid of. 'Quarum corpora' is merely periphrastic, as above, v. 51.
70.] 'Enim' seems here to be added for the sake of emphasis. The words are to be connected with what follows. Amissa' probably ='quae amiseris,' notamissa corpora.'
71.] Subolem,' a supply of young ones. 'Sortire' 'elige,' as in A. 12. 919. 72-94.] Directions for the choice of stallions.
72.] The Med. and two other MSS. have dilectus.' But analogy, as well as the authority of MSS., is in favour of 'delectus.' See Kritz on Sall. Cat. 36.
73.] 'Submittere,' E. 1. 46 note. The antecedent is omitted, because 'quos' is equivalent to 'si quos.' See Madv. § 321.
The prominence given to 'tu' may be expressed in translation, Mark me, and let those whom you mean to rear as the propagators of their line have even from their first youth the advantage of your special pains.'
74.] A teneris,' from foals, like a pueris,' from boys.
75.] Continuo,' from the first, 1. 169. 76.] Altius ingreditur' seems to mean steps higher.' Varro (2.7) says, "cruribus rectis et aequalibus." Col. (6. 29), aequalibus atque altis rectisque cruribus." 'Mollia crura reponit:' Servius quotes from Ennius (Ann. 545), who is speaking of cranes, 'Perque fabam repunt et mollia crura reponunt." 'Mollia" = 'mobilia :' comp. Lucr. 4. 980, "mollia membra moventis."Reponit:' the meaning of this word is very doubtful. Trapp hints that there' means alternation, a sense which we may perhaps parallel by òπλaiç áμeßóμεvor, Pind. Pyth. 4. 226. Keightley takes the 're' to mean frequency,lays fast to the ground. But it is more probably to be explained as correlative to
altius ingreditur.' 'See, how high he steps in the pasture, and with what spring he brings down his legs.'
77.] Primus,' &c.: he leads the herd over the ford and bridge. The same proof of a colt's courage is given by Col. 6. 2, and Varro 2. 7. The bridges meant were probably wooden. Comp. Pliny 8. 43 (speaking of asses) "nec pontes transeunt per raritatem eorum tralucentibus fluviis." Some MSS., including the first reading of Med., give 'ponto.'
Argutumque caput, brevis alvus, obesaque terga,
Et gilvo. Tum, si qua sonum procul arma dedere,
80.] 'Argutum:' this word is the parti-
81.] Animosum,' spirited, because muscular. Honesti,' from the context, must mean 'good' rather than handsome.'
82.] Spadices,' bay; as appears from Gell. 2. 26, who derives it from σπádık, the Doric for a palm, and says that the colour is that of a not too ripe date. A synonym for the word is 'badius' or 'baidius,' Batoios, from ßaiç, also a palm branch, whence the Italian baio' and our 'bay.' 'Glauci,' blue grey (Keightley). Albis: Keightley says this remark must be confined to stallions. The distinction taken between 'albus' and 'candidus,' as if the praise of white horses in the classics was confined to the latter, is overthrown by Hor. 1 S. 7. 8, equis praecurreret albis," where see Macleane's note.
MSS. Fremens,' besides being the reading of the best MSS., derives some support from Lucr. 5. 1076, "Et fremitum patulis sub naribus edit ad arma.' 'Ignem,' the hot breath. The steam seems to have suggested the idea of smoke. Comp. the fable of the horses of Diomedes," spirantes naribus ignem" (Lucr. 5. 29). Volvere' is used of breath Lucr. 6. 1227, "vitalis aeris auras Volvere in ore.'
86.] Iactata,' after being tossed up. Böringer, quoted by Schneider on Varro 2. 7, says that the ancients got up on the right side of the horse, and used the mane to mount with. Comp. Prop. 5. 4. 38, "Cui Tatius dextras collocat ipse iubas."
87.] Duplex spina' appears to be a hollow spine, opposed to extans.' Varro 1. c., Col. 6. 29.
88.] Varro and Col. 1. c. mention 'durae ungulae' as a good point. A hard and thick hoof would be especially requisite when horses were not shod with iron. Comp. the Homeric pateρwvvɣes iππOL.
89.] Such was the steed that learnt to obey the rein of Amyclaean Pollux, Cyllarus, and those of which Greek song has preserved the memory, the horses of Mars, and the pair of the mighty Achilles : aye, such was the great god Saturn himself, when quick as lightning he flung his mane over that horse's neck of his, as he heard his wife's step, and, as he ran, thrilled through the height and depth of Pelion with his clear sharp neigh.' These mythological allusions are obviously intended to ennoble the subject; but they tend to injure its genuine character. Propertius has carried the artifice to absurdity. Amy. claei,' v. 345.
90.] Castor is generally the rider of Cyllarus, while Pollux is a boxer. Suidas however, s. v. Kúλλapos, quotes Stesichorus as saying that Cyllarus belonged to both.