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Haec Proteus, et se iactu dedit aequor in altum,
speech. To suppose that the head kept
528-547.] 'Proteus ended and left him. Cyrene remained to tell him the cure as well as the cause of his loss. It came, she said, from the nymphs, who were to be appeased by the sacrifice of four of his best bulls, their bodies being left in the sacred grove. On the ninth day he was to go back to the grove, having first paid funeral honours to Orpheus and Eurydice.'
528.] ὡς εἰπών, ὑπὸ πόντον ἐδύσατο Kvμaívovτa, Od. 4. 570. In Homer Proteus departs much less abruptly than in Virgil, answering several questions from Menelaus, and comforting him after the news of his brother's death. Here it may be said that variety is secured, without any departure from prophetic custom, by confining him to a narrative of the events which led to the calamity, and leaving the rest to be said by Cyrene; but the fact still remains, that, so far as the manner of his communication is concerned, he is too much the mouthpiece of the poet, though the narrative is certainly so conducted as to excite pity for Orpheus beyond every other feeling, and so to represent to Aristaeus the gravity of the occasion. 'Iactu' expresses the mode, like "lapsu effugiunt " A. 2. 225, "cursu tendit" ib. 321.
529.] Torsit sub vertice :' " quod vulgari usu, vortice vel in vorticem, ita ut vortex
fieret." Heyne. Proteus, diving to the depth, is said to wreath the water in foam under the eddy, the poet's object being to give the two images, of a body shooting down and sending up water, and of the eddy that agitates the surface. Another interpretation of 'sub vertice,' 'under his
head,' mentioned by Cerda and adopted by Trapp and Martyn, is now generally given up.
530.] At non Cyrene:' some verb, generally equivalent to dedit' and 'torsit,' must be inferred from the preceding sentence, as we might say, 'But Cyrene did not leave him thus abruptly.' See on 3. 349 and comp. A. 4. 529. Ultro adfata,' spoke without waiting to be addressed, or, as we might render it, spoke at once.
531.] Comp. Aesch. Ag. 165, ei rò μárav ἀπὸ φροντίδος ἄχθος Χρὴ βαλεῖν ἐτητύμως.
533.] For the dances of the nymphs, comp. A. 1. 498 foll.
535.] Tende' pictures the attitude of suppliance, outstretched hands with gifts in them. "Tendentemque manus Priamum respexit inermis," A. 1. 487. 'Pacem,' of reconciliation with the gods, A. 3. 261, 370,
'Facilis' is not an infrequent epithet of the nymphs, denoting their accessibility and placability. So "faciles Hamadryades ' Prop. 3. 26. 76, " Naiades faciles" Nemes. Cyn. 94. The 'Napaeae,' vaπaîαι, are distinguished from the Dryades, to whom they seem to have borne a general resemblance, by Col. 10. 264, Nemes. E. 2. 20.
536.]Votis,' connected with 'dabunt,' as if he had said 'precanti.'
537.] Ordine dicam,' Enyhooμai, 'ordine' expressing ritual exactness of detail.
538.] Eximius' is said by Festus (s. v.) and Macrob. (Sat. 3. 5) to be primarily used, as here, of cattle selected for sacrifice. Donatus (on Ter. Hec. 1. 1. 9) adds that its proper application there is to pigs, egregius' being the word for oxen under similar circumstances, 'lectus' for sheep.
539.] Comp. the invocation of Aristaeus, 1. 14. The locality here agrees with his title 'Arcadius magister,' v. 283, but scarcely
Delige, et intacta totidem cervice iuvencas.
with the topography of the present story,
540.] Intacta cervice,' never yoked. So 'grege de intacto,' A. 6. 38. Comp. G. 3. 162 foll., where the separation of cattle, according to their destination is dwelt on. Thus intacta cervice' is equivalent to 'eximios.'
542.] Elsewhere 'constituo' is used of setting the victims before the altar, A. 5. 237., 6. 244. So "statuere aram 8. 271,"statuere juvencum" 9. 627. With 'iugulis demitte cruorem' Germ. well comp. Eur. Heracl. 821 (of the sacrificers), apίεσαν Λαιμῶν βροτείων εὐθὺς οὔριον φόνον, a passage which Virgil may possibly have had in mind. The best MSS., including Med., read' dimitte,' but the word would be less appropriate, and the variety is one which constantly recurs.
543.] Corpora ipsa,' as distinct from their blood, and perhaps from their throats. There may be some point in 'frondoso,' as answering to the closing up of the chamber recommended v. 303, but the discrepancy pointed out on v. 302 warns us against looking too minutely for signs of analogy.
544.] Heyne suggests that Virgil may be pointing to the Novendiale, a sacrifice performed nine days after a funeral, as perhaps he does A. 5. 64. At the same time of course he wishes to give time for the production of the swarm, though not so long as was considered necessary in actual practice (see on v. 303).
545.] Inferias,' as funeral offerings. "Viventis rapit, inferias quos inmolet umbris." Orphei,' the Greek dative. 'Papavera:' nothing is said by the commentators to illustrate or explain this offering of poppies, in what form it was made, &c. Is it possible that the reference may be to the μeλirtovтa, or honey-cake, placed by the side of the corpse, and intended probably for Cerberus, which we may assume to have been made with poppy-seed (comp. A. 4. 486., 6. 420)? 'Mittes :' "manibus divis Inferias mit
tunt," Lucr. 3. 52, comp. by Cerda.
546.] The third Aldine edition, a recension which is supposed to have some MS. authority, and perhaps a single MS., reverse the order of this and the next line: and their disposition has been generally followed by the earlier editors, including Heyne. See however on the next verse. 'Nigram mactabis ovem :' so Aeneas (A. 6. 249 foll.) sacrifices a black lamb to Night and Earth.
547.] The genuineness of this line is disputed by Heyne and Wagn., but in one position or another it is found in all the MSS., though the difference about the order, if any really exists, may perhaps furnish a slight external ground against it. As it is commonly understood, as if it were merely an additional injunction,
praeterea Eurydicen vitula caesa placabis" (Jahn), there is certainly some awkwardness in its position after 'lucumque revises,' and without any introducing particle-an awkwardness not removed by Jahn's remark that the atonement made to Eurydice might come in as an afterthought, not being itself really a means of restoring the bees, as, if none but the physical means of restoration are taken account of, the mention of Orpheus' poppies and black sheep might be postponed as well. But the line will gain greatly in force and propriety, if we suppose it to contain an intimation from Cyrene that her son will find his bees restored, and that then he is to offer a calf as a thank-offering to Eurydice:
you will go back to the grove . . . and then, finding Eurydice appeased, you will honour her,' &c. The sacrifice of the bulls and the offerings to Orpheus have appeased Eurydice, being really offered to her as well. Possibly there may be something delicate in the discrimination of the propitiatory offerings required by the husband from the thank-offering which contents the wife; but it may be no more than one of those poetical varieties of which Virgil is so fond. Ladewig too has seen that a thank-offering is meant.
Haud mora; continuo matris praecepta facessit;
549.] Monstratas aras,' like "monstrata piacula," A. 4. 636. Excitat,' builds, as in Cic. Legg. 2. 27, "nec e lapide excitare plus" (of a tomb), and other instances given by Forc. In A. 8. 543,"excitat aras" is used of kindling, a sense which Forc. attributes to the present passage.
551.] Ducit,' leads to the altar. “Duc nigras pecudes," A. 6. 153. The repetition of the lines that have just occurred is of course an imitation of the Homeric narrative. Heyne, referring to Bentley on Milton, Par. L. 10. 1086, and Upton on Spenser's Faery Queen, pp. 643, 644, finds a reason for these repetitions in the poet's wish not to alter gratuitously or tastelessly what has once been said well; but in an old epic writer there is no need to look for any thing deeper than that simplicity which, addressing a simple audience, thinks more of explicit information than of ornamental variety, and is only occasionally visited with unwillingness avriç ȧpilýjλws rionueva μυθολογεύειν.
above illustrate each other.
556.] Germ. comp. Lucr. 2. 928, vermisque effervere, terram Intempestivos cum putor cepit ob imbris." The costae' and 'viscera' are connected as in A. 1. 211, "Tergora deripiunt costis et viscera nudant."
559-566.] So ends my rural poem, written while Caesar is winning glories in the East, in my studious retreat at Naples, by me, the poet of the Eclogues.'
559.] This and the following lines, though found in all the MSS., have been condemned by some critics, such as Brunck and Schrader, as the production of a grammarian, such summaries being frequently produced as exercises by later writers, a class of whom Ausonius may be taken as a favourable specimen, while they are sufficiently uncommon in the undoubted works of poets themselves. That a composition of this kind might find its way into the text of MSS. of authority, we shall see at the opening of Aeneid 1; but here as elsewhere the unanimity of the MSS. is an argument not easy to rebut, while the lines may be vindicated on their own ground as completing a poem which would otherwise
Et super arboribus, Caesar dum magnus ad altum 560
wear an unfinished air, and as containing
560.] The period referred to in this and the two following lines is that of Octavianus' progress in the East after the battle of Actium. The meaning is evidently that the poem was finished while these Eastern
operations, which were the work of some time, were taking place. To conclude with Wagn. that the whole poem was composed during that time is to disregard probability without any adequate gain from increased strictness of language. See Introductory Essay. 'Canebam dum fulminat:' the use of 'dum' with the present in narrative is sufficiently common, the verb in the corresponding clause being in the perfect, e. g. A. 5. 605, 606, “Dum variis referunt tumulo sollennia ludis, Irim de caelo misit Saturnia Iuno," while they are engaged in the obsequies, Juno has sent Iris,' the whole being viewed from the present moment. Hence it is extended to cases where the verb in the leading proposition is in the pluperfect, as E. 7. 6, 7 (note), the construction being a mixture of the present and past forms of narrative, such as frequently occurs in prose as well as in poetry. The combination in this passage of 'dum' with the present, and a verb in the imperfect in the leading proposition, is an instance of a similar mixture. The imperfect in formulas, like those noticed in the note on the preceding line, is intended, as is well known, to place the writer at the time when his work will be perused by the reader. If the present is to be explained in conformity with this usage, we must say that it is meant to imply that the successes of Caesar were still going on when the composition of the Georgics was finished, and, in the poet's view, would still be going on when his work should be in the reader's hands. Or we may say that canebam' being regarded as a conventional synonyme for the present, the present is used of a time intended to be coextensive with it. In the passage from Livy 21. 7, quoted by Voss, "dum ea Romani parant consultantque, iam Saguntum summa vi oppugnabatur," the inconsistency of the tenses has a rhetorical force, the point being to fix the mind on the late date to which the consultations extended, and on the early date at which the siege began, so that what is present in the former is placed in juxtaposition with what is past in the latter.
561.] Fulminat,' like "fulminat Aeneas armis," A. 12. 654, where the image is that of Jupiter hurling his thunderbolts on the world. So the Scipios are called "fulmina belli," A. 6. 842, Lucr. 3. 1034. Comp. Aristophanes' well known description of Pericles (Ach. 531), отρаπт',
364 P. VERGILI MARONIS GEORGICON LIB. IV.
Per populos dat iura, viamque adfectat Olympo.
ἐβρόντα, ξυνεκύκα τὴν ̔Ελλάδα, though the fulmination there was of a different kind. 'Bello,' instrumental or modal, like 'armis,' A. 12, 1. c. The war is the war with Egypt, just closed, the submissions those which Octavianus afterwards received, Egypt being reduced to a province, while the claimants of the Parthian throne sought his arbitration, and Herod was confirmed by him in his kingdom. See Merivale, Hist. 3, pp. 358, 359.
562.] Dat iura,' of governing, frequent in the Aeneid. See on A. 1. 293. 'Adfectare viam' or 'iter' is a phrase. Ter. Phorm. 5. 8. 71, “Hi gladiatorio animo ad me adfectant viam." The sense is apparently nearly 'ingredi viam,' though in one or two passages it seems to denote rather purpose than even an early stage of accomplishment. Caesar is apparently here described as working his way to actual immortality (1. 503), not as making himself a god on earth, which Virgil has declared that he is already (ib. 42). Olympo,' like "it clamor caelo," A. 5. 451.
563.] The contrast between the conqueror and the poet, which had been hinted in the previous lines, is here drawn out, not only the occupations being compared, but the places, and even the names. The spelling Vergilium' being found in Med. and Rom., has been adopted by Wagn. in his smaller edition, Forb., and Ladewig, as probably the older. Alebat' suits canebat.'
564.] Parthenope,' the other old name of Naples (Neapolis), from the grave of one of the Sirens of that name. "Sirenum
dedit una suum memorabile nomen Parthenope muris Acheloias," Sil. 12. 33, quoted by Emm. 'Oti,' peace: see on E. 1. 6. Weichert's argument, mentioned on v. 559, from the form of the word is not conclusive, as though the genitive 'ii,' from 'ium,' may not have come in till the latter part of Augustus' reign, a question on which see Lachmann on Lucr. 5. 1006, the form ‘i' seems not entirely to have died out afterwards. Palati' is found Juv. 4. 31. Studiis oti' then is opposed to 'studiis belli,' A. 1. 14, the genitive here, if not there, being possessive. Ignobilis' opposed to active life, “Solus ubi in silvis Italis ignobilis aevum Exigeret," A. 7. 776. Comp. 'inglorius,' above 2. 486. Florentem :' Cic. Ep. 4. 13, "studia quibus a pueritia floruisti." The expression there seems to imply something of a compliment; here it probably only denotes abundance.
565.] Carmina pastorum' is not 'carmina pastoralia,' but refers to the actual songs of shepherds in the Bucolics. Lusi,' E. 1. 10. Audax iuventa:' he is thinking of bucolic poetry, not as compared with other kinds of poetry, but with reference to its own standard, with some such feelings as those embodied E. 9. 32 foll. Heyne comp. "audacibus annue coeptis," above 1. 40.
566.] E. 1. 1, which shows that 'sub tegmine fagi' refers to Tityrus. 'Patulae cecini,' Med. Pal.; 'cecini patulae,' Rom., which perhaps might make the sense clearer, but it is more probable that Virgil should have wished to reproduce his first line as closely as possible.