« ForrigeFortsæt »
Durus amor? Nempe abruptis turbata procellis
259.] Abruptis,' as Heyne remarks, has the force of abrumpentibus,' like mare proruptum,' A. 1. 245.
261.] The gates of the sky are mentioned by Homer, Il. 5. 749., 8. 393 foll., and by Ennius, Epigr. 10. It is even asserted by Columna that a fragment of an anonymous grammarian quotes the words "Quem super ingens Porta tonat caeli," as from Ennius; and Vahlen accordingly inserts them in the Annals (v. 595). Whether any distinct image is intended by mentioning them here in connexion with thunder, is not clear. Perhaps he may have meant that the gates are opened to let out the storm, and that the noise of their turning on their hinges is the thunder. Comp. 1. 371," Eurique Zephyrique tonat domus." 'Reclamant' is commonly taken as if it merely meant to rebellow;' but it is perhaps more poetical with Martyn to explain it by revocare' in the next line, which is its more usual sense, the violence of the waters warning him to desist.
262.] Leander warned by the thought of his parents, who would call him back in agony if they knew his danger. This explanation seems established by the next line, as Hero in reality, so far from calling him back, was probably waiting for him.
263.] Crudeli funere' with 'moritura,' as A. 4. 308 shows. 'Super' may either mean 'thereupon,' or literally, on his body,' as Ladewig explains it: comp. Musaeus 440, kad d' 'How Télvŋkev έπ' ¿ìλυμένῳ παρακοίτη. Το understand it as = 'insuper' seems scarcely so good, though the thought of Hero would be a stronger appeal than the thought of his parents.
264.] Lynxes, like tigers (A. 6. 805), drew the car of Bacchus, Ov. M. 4. 24. Variae,' like 'maculosae,' the epithet of the lynx, A. 1. 323. Lucr. 5. 862 has
genus acre leonum."
265.] Dant proelia:' 'edere proelia' occurs Lucr. 2. 118, Livy 25. 38. Compare our expressions to give battle' and 'to show fight,' the latter of which answers more nearly to the sense here.
266.] Scilicet' is apparently explained by 'quid' in the two previous lines. He has been hurrying on, and now he gives his reason for doing so-the fact that it is on the fury of the mares that there is most need to dwell. 'Ante omnes:' Keightley understands furores,' but it seems simpler to suppose 'above all animals' to be put for above the fury of all animals.'
267.] He chooses a mythological story as typical of what mares do, not apparently as supplying a mythical account of the origin of their fury. Mentem dedit' seems equivalent to 'dant animos,' A. 7. 383. Venus is said to have inspired them. If we press the sense of 'mens,' we may explain it by what follows-the purpose with which they fell on their master. For the story see Dict. B.
268.] Quadrigae' seems properly to mean the horses rather than the car. See Forcell.
269.] Illas' 'equas.' He returns to the general description, though he still localizes. Gargara,' 1. 102.
270.] Ascanius' is a river flowing out of a lake of the same name in Bithynia. Strabo 14, C. 681. The introduction of the general after the particular, montis et flumina' after Gargarus and Ascanius, is perhaps rather weak, but the stress is possibly to be laid on the verbs 'superant' and
'tranant,' the accusatives meaning little more than 'illa' and 'hunc.' The picture is from Lucr. 1. 14, "Inde ferae pecudes persultant pabula laeta Et rapidos tranant amnis."
Continuoque avidis ubi subdita flamma medullis :-
271.] Continuo,' closely with 'ubi.' He is now speaking of a different effect of passion. Keightley takes it 'all at once, after having run themselves out of breath.' 'Subdita' gives the image of a fire kindled from beneath. Avidis' may either be a general epithet of passion or denote the greediness with which they catch the flame.
272.] See 2. 323 foll. "Calor ossa reliquit," A. 3. 308.
273.] Med. has 'ad Zephyrum,' the preposition having been omitted in transcription and inserted above; and this Wagn. rightly supposes to be the cause of the error, which has crept into another MS., and one of Columella (6. 27, where this passage is quoted). For the specification of the west wind see next note.
275.] The theory of the impregnation of mares by the wind (aveμovola) was general among the ancients. It is supposed to be indicated by the mythological stories of horses generated by Zephyrus or Boreas, and inheriting their swiftness (Il. 16, 150., 20. 222, in the former of which passages the mother, the Harpy Podarge, is feeding by the ocean, the home of the wind). Aristot., H. A. 6. 19, fixes it to Crete, Varro, 2. 1, to the neighbourhood of Lisbon, and Columella, 1. c., himself a Spaniard by birth, speaks of the phenomenon as of frequent occurrence "in Sacro Monte Hispaniae, qui procurrit in occidentem iuxta Oceanum." The two latter add that foals so conceived do not live beyond three years. Wind-eggs were supposed to be produced in the same manner, Varro 1. C. Comp. Aristoph. Birds 695, where the egg produced by Night without a father is called vηvéμov. 276.] A spondaic termination generally expresses slowness and majesty: here it is evidently meant to indicate the contrary. Voss comp. Il. 4. 74, βῆ δὲ κατ ̓ Οὐλύμποιο και ρήνων ἀΐξασα : 10. 359, φευγέμεναι· τοὶ δ ̓ αἶψα διώκειν ὡρμήθησαν, and so Catull. 63 (65). 23, "Atque illud prono praeceps agitur decursu." The number of syllables in a spondaic line is smaller than in a dactylic (a fact
similar to that noticed long ago by Johnson in reference to imitative rhythm in English poetry), and where the notion of rapidity has been already conveyed to the mind, the balanced equality of two long syllables may perhaps be best adapted, as Voss thinks, to leave an impression of continuous smoothness. Judging merely by the ear, we might say that the change of metre here expresses the motion downwards, as in the first passage from Homer, and that from Catullus.
277.] Aristot. 1. c. says of the mares so impregnated, θέουσι δὲ οὔτε πρὸς ἕω, οὔτε πρὸς δυσμάς, ἀλλὰ πρὸς ἄρκτον ǹ VÓTOV. With this the words Virgil cannot be made exactly to agree, whether we understand him to mean that they run not to the east nor to the north or south, with Martyn and Keightley, or not to the east, but to the north or south, with Heyne and other editors. The latter interpretation may appear preferable, as only differing from Aristotle by the omission of the west; but that difference is a most important one, as it would appear from v. 273 that Virgil certainly did not mean to exclude the west (unless we understand rupibus altis' of westerly cliffs overhanging the sea), so that on that point at any rate they must be considered as directly at issue. Either then we must suppose that Virgil wished to combine Aristotle's statement with that of others, who make the west wind that from which the conception generally takes place, or that he followed an entirely different authority, who, writing, as Martyn suggests, about some place where the nearest sea lay to the west, such as the parts about Lisbon (see on v. 276), spoke of the mares as only running westward, while Aristotle, writing about Crete, as naturally made them run north and south, in which directions the sea lies nearest. The language does not enable us to decide either way. Tuos ad ortus,' as the east is called 'Euri domus ' 1. 371.
278.] Caurus' or 'Corus' is N.W. according to Pliny 18. 34, with whom Virgil's
Nascitur et pluvio contristat frigore caelum.
Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus,
description elsewhere (v. 356, A. 5. 126)
280.] Hic,' 'upon this,' 'under' these circumstances.' The old reading before Heins. was hinc.' 'Vero nomine' is explained to mean that this is the true hippomanes, as distinguished from two other things that went by the name, the supposed tubercle on the forehead of a young foal, mentioned A. 4. 515, and a plant used in incantations, Theocr. 2. 48. But it need mean no more than that the hippomanes is rightly called, ἐπώνυμος.
283.] Repeated from 2. 129.
284-294.] 'But I dwell too long on horses and cows; I must sing of sheep and goats, a difficult subject to treat poetically, but the enthusiasm of an untouched theme carries me on.'
284.] Inreparabile tempus,' A. 10. 467. 285.] Circumvectamur' may either be an image from chariot-driving, as just below, v. 291, or from sailing, as in 2. 41 foll. 'Capti amore,' E. 6. 10.
286.]Armentis' includes horses (A. 3. 540., 11. 494) as well as oxen. Varro derives it from aro,' Festus and Serv. from arma,' animals useful in war, "ut scutis boum coria (!), equi praelio."
287.] Agitare' looks almost like a play on the word, intended to apply both to the breeder and to the agricultural poet. If it must be confined to one, it will be to the former, as the next line shows. The word means 'to occupy one's self with.'
288.] As usual, he does not extenuate the difficulty, but tells them that they can cope with it, and points to the glory. See on 1. 63., 2. 37. He goes on to say that his own feeling is the same: he knows the effort needed, but yearns for the exertion and looks to the reward.
289.] This and the four following lines are a brief imitation of Lucr. 1. 921 foll., and in part of vv. 136 foll. of the same book (see also 5. 97 foll.). 'Animi dubius' is from the Lucretian 'animi fallit,' which doubtless he thought too bold an expression, as in A. 4. 96, where he copies the phrase, he changes 'animi' into 'adeo.' Vincere verbis' is also from Lucr. (5. 735), who however has a different meaning, 'to prove,' whereas Virgil must mean to triumph over the difficulties of the subject, with some such reference as in v. 9.
290.] Hunc,' for which one MS. has 'hinc,' as Burm. wished to read, means 'this honour which I have in my mind,' as it were diкTIK@g, the honour I have to confer as a poet.
291.]"Avia Pieridum peragro loca," Lucr. 1. 926.
Nunc, veneranda Pales, magno nunc ore sonandum.
gular road, but by a bye-path of his own
294-321.] Through the winter months the sheep should be kept in sheds, well laid with straw and fern. The goats should have arbutes and fresh water, and their cotes should face the south. They require and deserve as much care at these times as sheep; hair is not so valuable as wool, but it has its use; and besides, they are more prolific and give more milk: generally too they need less tendance-another reason for not grudging it when wanted.'
294.] 'Awake a louder and a loftier strain.' Dignity must be lent to the subject, so he implores Pales to give it. Such invocations are common where the task is supposed to increase in difficulty, e. g. A. 7. 37, before the description of the war in Italy, ib. 640, before the catalogue of the Italian forces, after the manner of Homer. Here it is perhaps open to the objection that a deliberate exaggeration is intended, the exaltation of what is naturally mean, not the treatment of things unusually noble in language transcending the poet's ordinary powers. It matters little whether the line be made the end of the foregoing paragraph or the opening of the present. With 'magno ore sonandum' Forb. comp. Hor. 1 S. 4. 43, "os Magna sonaturum," one of the qualifications of the poet-probably an imitation of Virgil.
295.] Incipiens... edico' looks like an allusion to the edict made by the praetors on entering office, as Keightley observes, remarking also that the language in general seems to be that of a proprietor going round his estate (Cato 2). The line may also remind us of A. 10. 258, "Principio sociis
edicit, signa sequantur." Mollibus' seems
296.] Mox' seems to denote that they will not have to remain long in the sheds. "The cold weather, we must recollect, does not begin in the south of Italy till towards the end of December" (Keightley). 'Aestas includes all the warmer months, as hiemps the colder.
297.] Cato 5, Varro 2. 2, Col. 7. 3.
299.] Turpis podagras,' probably the 'clavi,' a name given to two kinds of disease in the feet of sheep, Col. 7. 5.
300.] Digressus :' as if he were actually moving to another part of his farm (Keight.).
302.] Col. (7. 3) says that sheep-cotes ought to look to the south, and from ib. 6 it seems probable that he would extend the remark to goats. Varro (2. 2. 3) prefers the east for both.
303.] Aquarius sets in February, which with the Romans would be close on the end of the natural year. Frigidus' and ' cadit ' seem to refer to the sign, 'inrorat' to the supposed figure in the zodiac. Sprinkling the skirts of the departing year.' 'Cum olim' seems equivalent to 'olim cum,' for which see on 2. 403.
305.] It is difficult to decide between 'hae tuendae,' the reading of some MSS. and Philarg., and 'haec tuenda,' the reading of most copies, including Med. The former is simpler, and its deficiency in external authority is to a certain extent supplied by Rom. and Vat., which have 'haec... tuendae,' the former word having perhaps been changed in transcription by
Nec minor usus erit, quamvis Milesia magno
the proximity of the similar sound of q. But the latter can be explained without difficulty, haec' being understood not of the goats, as Serv. thinks, but of the 'stabula,' which are mentioned, either as including their inmates, or with reference to the provisions for their comfort already enjoined in the case of the sheep. Adopting this, I have followed Wund. in connecting the line with what goes before (comp. Hor. 2 S. 2. 68), “unctam Convivis praebebit aquam; vitium hoc quoque magnum "), though it has also a reference to what follows.
306.] High as is the price that wool fetches when dyed.' The introduction of 'quamvis' with an exception expressed in special, not in general language, is like 1. 38, 39, "Quamvis Elysios miretur Graecia campos, Nec repetita sequi curet Proserpina matrem." Milesia vellera,' 4. 334, mentioned among the best by Col. 7. 2, ranked third after the Apulian and GraecoItalian, by Pliny 8. 48.
308.] The recommendations of the goat enumerated in this and the following lines are summed up Geop. 18. 9, didvμотokε δὲ ὡς ἐπὶ πολύ, καὶ τρέφει τὰ γεννώμενα, καὶ προσόδους δίδωσιν οὐκ ὀλίγας, τὰς ἀπὸ γάλακτος καὶ τυροῦ καὶ κρέως, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις τὰς ἀπὸ τῆς τριχός. Goats occasionally bear three, Col. 7. 6. Copia lactis,' E. 1. 82.
309.] Some MSS. have 'quo:' 'quam' however is the reading of the best MSS., and sufficiently supported by A. 7. 787, 788, where 'tam magis quam magis' occurs, and by Lucr. 6. 460, "quam magis tanto magis." The meaning is, as 'exhausto' shows, the fuller the pails after one milking, the more will be yielded by the
310.] For flumina' many MSS. give 'ubera,' which is acknowledged by Philarg., and preferred by some of the earlier editors.
311.] Incanaque menta,' A. 6. 809.
312.] 'Tondent,' 'men clip,' like 'inurunt,' v. 158. This seems better than to separate 'Cinyphii' from 'hirci,' making it the nominative plural, or to suppose that the goats are said to clip their own beards because they surrender them to the shears. The latter view, though slightly supported by barbas,' is rather discountenanced by the use of 'pascuntur,' v. 314, of the goats generally. The river Cinyps, in Libya, is mentioned by Hdt. 4. 175, 198; its goats are alluded to by Martial 8. 51. 11., 14. 140; the use to which their hair was put by Sil. 3. 276.
313.] For these hair-cloths, called 'cilicia,' see Dict. A. s. v. "Nautis:"" capra pilos ministrat ad usum nauticum," Varro 2. 11.
314.] Pascuntur' is constructed with an accusative, as being equivalent to a transitive verb. So 'depascitur,' v. 458. ‘Lycaei' (Ε. 10. 15), another instance of specification for the sake of dignity.
315.] "Amantis litora myrtos," 4. 124. 316.] "Ipsae lacte domum referent distenta capellae Ubera," E. 4. 21, which however seems mentioned there as a wonder, not as a part of the ordinary course of nature. 'Suos,' their young.
317.] The pause after the first foot expresses the slowness of their approach with their burden of milk.
318.] Omni studio' contains the notion of eo magis,' the natural correlative of 'quo minor.'