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Martis equi biiuges, et magni currus Achilli.
Hunc quoque, ubi aut morbo gravis aut iam segnior annis
91.] Martis equi:' see Hom. Il. 15. 119. The notion of Serv. that Ariuos and Þóßog were the names of the horses rests on a mistranslation. 'Currus Achilli :' Xanthus and Balius. Hom. Il. 16. 148. 'Currus' for 'equi:' comp. 1. 514. The orthography fluctuates between 'Achilli' (not Achillei,' which Wagn. on A. 1. 80 rejects) and 'Achillis.' I have followed Wagn., as a reference to A. 1. 30., 2. 406, seems to show that he is right in deciding the question in each case by euphony.
92.] Iubam effudit,' in flight, as is shown by 'pernix' and 'fugiens.'
93.] Coniugis,' Rhea, or Ops, to hide from whom his amour with the nymph Philyra, Saturn changed himself into a horse and the nymph into a mare. The idea is taken from Apoll. Rhod. 2. 1234, where Saturn is described galloping off on being surprised with the nymph by Rhea.
95-122.] The first thing is to see that they are young and vigorous, then to inquire into their peculiar qualities and antecedents, their successes and defeats, and how they have borne them; for you have only to look at a race to see how thoroughly a spirited horse enters into the contest. Whether for driving or riding, I repeat, youth and vigour are what you have mainly to look to.'
95.] Hunc quoque,' even this perfect horse.
96.] Abde domo' has been taken by Heyne and others to mean 'remove him from home,' 'send him off;' but it more probably means 'take him up,' 'leave him no longer out with the mares.' The Latin will bear either, 'domo' being in the former case the ablative, in the latter probably the dative, and equivalent to 'in domum.' Nemesianus, Cyneg. 141, has
'abdaturque domo' for 'be sent away from home,' but his authority is of less weight than the analogy of Horace's 'abditus agro,' 1 Ep. 1. 5, where, as Keightley remarks, the mention of the horse immediately after looks like a reference to the present passage. There is some doubt about the meaning of 'nec turpi ignosce senectae.' Serv., who has been generally followed, proposes to take 'nec turpi' as non turpi.' It seems better to take his other way,nec ignosce senectae,'' suffer him not to disgrace himself in his old age.' Turpis' seems to be equivalent to ȧoxyuwv. Ladewig comp. Sil. 15. 651, turpi finem donate senectae."
98.] Ingratum,' fruitless. Comp. 1. 83,"nec nulla interea est inarata gratia terrae." 'Proelia' of course is to be explained from the context.
99.] Sine viribus,' because the straw is its only fuel.
100.] The emphatic word is 'aevum.' You must first see that he is young and vigorous. 101.] Hinc,' afterwards, that is, not till you have looked to the age. Artis,' qualities. Prolem parentum,' the breed of his sire and dam; comp. Col. 7. 6. 7, “ Parit autem, si generosa est proles, duos."
102.] Cuique,' in each case, whenever you choose a horse to breed from. These lines may be taken in a different way, 'prolem parentum' being rendered 'the other offspring of his sire and dam,' and 'cuique' as each of these offspring, into whose racing qualities the breeder is to inquire. The words 'quis dolor, quae gloria' denote a twofold inquiry; what have been his victories and defeats, and what spirit has he shown in each. On the latter the poet proceeds to expatiate.
103.] Nonne vides,' see on 1. 56. The
Corripuere ruuntque effusi carcere currus,
description is imitated from Il. 23. 362-
105.] Spes arrectae,' a poetical variety for animi arrecti spe.' So A. 5. 138, which is a partial repetition of this passage, 'laudumque arrecta cupido.' 'Iuvenum,' the drivers, the word being of course chosen to bring out the enthusiasm of youthful hopes. 'Haurit' seems rightly explained by Heyne, 'exhausts the heart by stopping the breath.' Those who think this too recondite may compare with Servius, A. 10. 314, "Latus haurit apertum," the notion in each case being that of rapidly devouring, so that here they may render, 'thrills through and through.' 'Pulsans,' as well ashaurit,' may go with corda.' Virgil borrowed the expression from Il. 23. 370, where however πúraσoε is intrans.
connexion with 'nonne vides.' We have
107.] The reins were passed round the body of the driver, so that he naturally leant forward when at full speed. See Dict. A. s. v. 'Circus.' 'Axis:' this was a very conspicuous part of the ancient chariot, because the car was so small and light. Vi' is of course to be taken with 'volat ;' not, as Wakefield thought, with fervidus.'
103, 109.] Hom. (Il. 23. 368, 369) has “Αρματα δ' ἄλλοτε μὲν χθονὶ πίλνατο πουλυβοτείρη
*Αλλοτε δ ̓ ἀΐξασκε μετήορα· τοὶ δ ̓ ἐλα τῆρες
"Εστασαν ἐν δίφροισι,
so that Virgil refers to the bounding of the cars, and the corresponding rising and sinking of the charioteers, not to any motion of the charioteers themselves.
109.] The words 'sublime-auras' are a case of zeugma, being connected grammatically with both humiles' and 'elati,' though in sense with elati' only. Sublime' may be taken with either elati' or 'ferri.' Vacuum' has nearly the same meaning, denoting a certain height above the ground. Comp. Hor. 1 Od. 3. 34, Expertus vacuum Daedalus aera.' Pind. Ol. 1. 10, iphμaç di' aitépoç. Comp. also A. 5. 515., 12. 592.
110.] At' is continuative, not adversative. 111.] Comp. Il. 23. 330 and Soph. El. 718, which passages show that this of Virgil's is literal, not rhetorical.
Tantus amor laudum, tantae est victoria curae.
112.] This connects the preceding description, rather inartificially, with v. 102, from which the poet digressed, forming as it were a sort of object-clause for 'nonne vides.' This will show you what ambition can do.' With the language comp. 1. 147.
113.] Pliny 7. 56 has the same legend, "Bigas primum iunxit Phrygum natio, quadrigas Erichthonius." Cic. (N. D. 3. 23) says that the Arcadians attributed the invention of the four-horse car to a Minerva, daughter of Jupiter and Coryphe, whom they worshipped under the name of Coria. Erichthonius was turned into the constellation Auriga. See Dict. B. Erichthonius.' 'Currus et quattuor iungere equos' 'currui quattuor iungere equos:' he first thought of putting together the two, the car and the four horses,' as if they had before existed separately.
114.] The majority of the MSS. have 'rapidis.' 'Rapidus' however is supported by Med. a m. p., Rom. and Servius, and is much more poetical. 'Insistere refers to the practice of standing upright in the car, and is perhaps intended to be contrasted with 'rapidus' (comp. Hom. cited on vv. 108, 109). 'Victor' either of conquest in battle or a race, or merely of success in his invention. 'Erichthonius was the first who rose to the feat of coupling a car and four horses together, standing erect above the wheels that swept him on in triumph,'
115.] Pelethronii,' from the Pelethronian wood on Mount Pelion. 'Gyros,' the ring for breaking horses in. Comp. PseudoTibull. 4. 1. 91, 66 equum Inque vicem modo directo contendere cursu, Seu libeat curvo brevius compellere gyro." Hence the frequent use of 'gyrus' metaphorically for a narrow space, as in Prop. 4. 3. 21, "Cur tua praescriptos evecta est pagina gyros?" The Greek name for it was Kukλος, and Pollux has κυκλοτερὴς ἱππασία for riding in the ring. Virgil, as Keightley thinks, instead of rationalizing the fable of the Centaurs, attributes the introduction of riding horses to their rivals the Lapithae. 'Dedere ' seems better explained by regarding the inventor as the giver (comp. 'vestro
munere' 1. 7) than by understanding 'dare' as 'edere.'
116.] Sub armis'' armatum.'
117.] It is difficult to fix the exact meaning of 'glomerare;' but from the epithet 'superbos' it seems to denote the gathering up of the legs in prancing or high action, not, as might otherwise be suggested, wheeling round in the ring. Gellius (17.5) and Macrobius (Sat. 6. 9), with Philargyrius on this passage, have attempted to give 'equitem' the sense of equum,' on the strength of a doubtful passage in Ennius (Ann. 237), an anomaly which, if justified, would only produce a platitude. Here as in Hor. Epod. 16. 12, "Eques sonante verberabit ungula," the rider is evidently said to do what the horse does. So 'sub armis' points to the weight on the horse.
118.] In v. 102 it was said that, after the age, the racing qualities of the stallion should be looked to; and this led to a digression on racing. We now return to the original point, that youth and vigour are indispensable (iuvenem calidumque animis' answering to 'animos aevumque'). 'Labor,' the difficulty of providing a good stallion (which is throughout the uppermost notion in the poet's mind), is' aequus' in both cases, that is, whether you wish to breed racers or chargers. Comp. 2. 412, "Durus uterque labor;" where, as here, the meaning of labor' is implied rather than expressed by the immediate context. Aeque' with what follows explains aequus. Calidum animis et cursibus acrem are the signs of youth and undiminished vigour, and therefore it is in point to mention them in the case of a stallion, whereas it would be a truism in the case of a racer. The whole passage may be paraphrased: It is equally difficult to breed chargers and racers, and in either case the breeder requires a young and fresh stallion, and must not take one that is aged and worn out, even though in the one case he may have been a capital charger (v. 120), or in the other may be of the highest racing breed of Greece. But the brevity of Virgil's language, and his tendency to substitute poetical ornament for regular logical
Exquirunt calidumque animis et cursibus acrem,
His animadversis instant sub tempus, et omnis
sequence, render the passage obscure, and it is possible that Voss may be right in referring labor' to the training for driving and riding, the toil however being that of the horse-breaker, not of the horse. In that case the connexion will be, as the two objects are equally important and equally difficult of attainment, it is of equal moment to attend to breeding for each.' To understand uterque labor' with Heyne of breeding and driving or riding seems out of the question: nor can Wagn. be right in referring aeque' to -que-que,'' aeque iuvenem ac calidum et acrem. Vv. 120 122 apparently refer back to v. 102, reminding the reader that such considerations are to be attended to only in the second place. There is some carelessness also in the use of 'ille' v. 120, which is introduced so as to leave it doubtful whether Virgil meant to say they look to the youth of a horse first, whatever may have been his past services,' or 'they look for a young horse, though the other candidate for their choice may have been distinguished in past times.' Probably there is a confusion between the two. A friend of Warton's, who observed this, wished to place the lines after v. 96.
121.] Epirum,' comp. 1.59. 'Mycenas' for Apуos inπoßóтov. 'Neptuni origine' refers either to the story of the birth of the horse Arion (Dict. B.) or to that of the production of the horse in the contest of For Neptune with Pallas. See on 1. 12. 6 gentem' the Rom. has 'nomen,' perhaps, as Wagn. suggests, from A. 10. 618.
123-127.] After choosing a stallion, the next thing is to get him into good condi.
tion; mares, on the other hand, sometimes require to be kept thin by denial of food and severe exercise.'
123.] His animadversis,' i. e. "moribus et aetate deprehensis," Serv. Comp. 2. 259.
124.] Denso,' firm, as the flesh of a horse should be when in high condition. Pliny (11.37) distinguishes pingue' from 'adeps.' 125.] Pecori' is to be taken both with ducem' and 'maritum.'
126.] Florentis" is the reading of all the best MSS. Others have 'pubentis,' which is adopted by Heyne: but, as he himself suggests, it may have been introduced from A. 4. 514, and it does not seem to be exclusively or especially appropriate here. 'Florentis' is not, as Wagn. seems to think, an ornamental epithet, but seems rather to indicate the kind of herbage spoken of, e.g. vetches ('ervum,' Col. 6. 27) or clover. 'Secant' and 'ministrant' imply that the stallion or bull is kept up. Fluvios' for aquas fluviales.' Comp. A. 2. 686, "Sanctos restinguere fontibus ignis." 127.] Nequeat superesse' = 'desit.' Comp. Ter. Phorm. 1. 3. 10, "Aliis quia defit quod amant aegre est, tibi quia superest, dolet." The meaning in each passage appears to be that of abundance, not, as in other passages where the words are contrasted, of excess.
129.] Ipsa armenta,' the herd itself as distinguished from its 'dux' and 'maritus;' that is, the mares.
132.] Gallop and sweat them.'
133.] Comp. 1. 298. Col. 2. 21 (22)
mentions the west wind as the best for winnowing. It seems hard to disconnect 'sole fatigant' from 'cursu quatiunt,' and
Surgentem ad Zephyrum paleae iactantur inanes.
refer it to the cows, with Trapp and Keight-
138-156.] After conception the dams require attention rather than the sires. They should be kept from work and violent exercise, and allowed to graze in the shade near water, and this in the morning and evening rather than at midday, for fear of the gadfly.' Virg. seems gradually to be sliding from the subject of horses to that of oxen, v. 140 referring rather to cows, vv. 141, 142 to mares. The mention of the gadfly appears to make the final transition, and accordingly in the next paragraph we hear exclusively about calving.
138.] No exact parallel for this use of 'cadere' is given. 'Cadere' and 'succedere' may possibly be a metaphor from the setting and rising of stars.
140.] Varro (2.7. 10) cautions his breeder against working his mares too much when they are near foaling. Non' for ne,' as in 1. 458 (note). 'Plaustris' seems to be the ablative, as if it had been 'iuga gravium plaustrorum,' not, as Forb. and Keightley think, the dative.
141.] It is hard to fix the exact sense of 'saltu superare viam ; but it is probably to be coupled with what follows, and taken as clearing, i. e. leaping out of, the road.
142.] Fluviosque rapacis' is from Lucr.
1. 17; and Virg. seems to have had his eye on the whole of that passage. Rapacis' is not without point, because the mares would have to struggle to avoid being carried away by the stream.
143.] Rom., the first reading of Med., and others have 'pascunt;' but many, including Pal., read 'pascant.' It is doubtful whether 'pascant' would be good Latin, as it can hardly be understood except of the herds, and this use of 'pascere' for 'pasci' appears to rest only on Tibull. 2. 5. 25. The participle pascens' in such places as E. 3. 96 may be from the deponent. 'Vacuis,' where they will be undisturbed. 'Plena,' says Serv., that they may not have to stoop; rather, to scramble down the steep bank of a torrent. The whole picture is a contrast to that in the preceding line.
144.] Where (there is) moss, and where the bank is greenest with grass; 'viridissima gramine' being the predicate. Med. has 'gramina ripae.'
145.] Philargyrius says that'saxea umbra' and 'procubet' are 'nove.' 'Procubo' only occurs again in Claudian, Consul. Prob. et Olyb. 119, and there in the sense of lying down. The conjunctives will depend on 'ubi,' if' pascunt' is read v. 143.
147.] Volitans,' a participle used substantively, a usage more commonly found in the plural, as in 2. 152, &c., except in the case of a word like 'amans,' which has come to be fairly naturalized as a noun. Besides 'asilus,' the Romans called the gadfly 'tabanus,' Pliny 11. 28, as the Greeks had another name, μúwp.
148.] Strictly speaking, 'vertere vocantes' would imply that the Greeks translated the