Billeder på siden

Ille dolum ridens, Quo vincula nectitis ? inquit.
Solvite me, pueri; satis est potuisse videri.
Carmina, quae voltis, cognoscite; carmina vobis,
Huic aliud mercedis erit. Simul incipit ipse.
Tum vero in numerum Faunosque ferasque videres
Ludere, tum rigidas motare cacumina quercus ;
Nec tantum Phoebo gaudet Parnasia rupes,
Nec tantum Rhodope miratur et Ismarus Orphea.
Namque canebat, uti magnum per inane coacta
Semina terrarumque animaeque marisque fuissent
Et liquidi simul ignis; ut his exordia primis

[ocr errors]

24.] It is difficult to decide between the two possible interpretations of satis est potuisse videri,' 'satis est quod potuisse visi estis,' and 'satis est quod potui videri.' The one is supported by A. 5. 231, "possunt quia posse videntur," the other by A. 8. 604, "videri jam poterat legio." If the former be true, 'videri' probably would mean to be seen rather than to seem —it is enough to have shown your power,' the sense resembling that of Ov. Her. 12. 76, quoted by Wund., "Perdere posse sat est, si quem iuvet ipsa potestas," and the expression being apparently almost proverbial. The latter receives some confirmation from • videre,' v. 14, and from the stress laid on the privilege of beholding the gods unharmed (see on v. 13., 4. 15, 16., 10. 26).

25.] 'Cognoscite'='audite.' "Cognosce prooemia rixae," Juv. 3. 288.

[ocr errors]

26.] Incipit ipse,' A. 10. 5. Here it seems to have the sense of 'ultro,'' without further prelude '-' without waiting for them to press him.'

27.] In numerum,' Forb. Emmen. comp. Lucr. 2. 631, "Ludunt in numerumque exsultant." The usage is like that in 5. 58 foll. The passage seems to be imitated more or less from Lucr. 4. 580 foll.

29.] The mention of Parnassus, Rhodope, and Ismarus is an indirect way of saying that the mountains as well as the oaks made demonstrations of joy, as in 5. 62.

30.] Rhodope,' G. 4. 461. Ismarus,' G. 2. 37. Orpheus is called 'Ismarius,' Ov. Am. 3. 9. 21. 'Miratur' was changed by Heins. from the Roman and other MSS. into 'mirantur,' but Wagn. recalls the old reading, which is perhaps more Virgilian. The substitution of plural verbs for singular is common even in the best MSS. in passages where sense and grammar would suffer by the change (see Wagn. Quaestiones

[blocks in formation]

Vergilianae, 8), so external authority in such cases goes for little. 'Orphea' is doubtless a dissyllable; see on G. 1. 279.

31-40.] Silenus' song. He begins by describing the formation of the world from the four elements, the separation of land and water, and of the sky from the earth, and the production of vegetable and animal life. This opening seems to be imitated from the beginning of the song of Orpheus in Apoll. Rh. 1. 496 foll., as Ursinus remarks, though the cosmogony here is Epicurean, and the phraseology Lucretian. That Virg. knew the passage is shown by his imitation of it in Iopas' song, A. I. 742.

31.] Magnum inane' and 'semina' are Lucretian expressions, the void and the atoms which were supposed to move in it. Lucretius did not allow that the four elements were the ultimate causes of things (1. 715), though he admitted them to be component parts of the universe (5. 235 foll.), so that perhaps we may be meant to press the meaning of 'semina,' the atoms out of which air, &c. were formed. See, however, on v. 33.

[ocr errors]

32.] Animae' for 'air,' is also Lucretian, I. 715, &c.


33.] 'Liquidi ignis' is again from Lucr. 6. 205, the vypov up of Aratus. ordia' is occasionally used by Lucr. in the sense of the atoms themselves, 2. 333, &c. (more commonly 'primordia '); elsewhere, however, he employs it more vaguely in the sense of beginning or origin (e. g. 5. 471), and this seems to be its sense here. At the same time ex his primis' seems intended to recall Lucr. 1. 61, "Corpora prima, quod ex illis sunt omnia primis," so as verbally to favour the doctrine referred to on v. 31, as that which Lucr. opposes. All that can be said is that as usual Virg. is an artist, not a philosopher, even though professedly philo.


Omnia et ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis ; Tum durare solum et discludere Nerea ponto Coeperit et rerum paulatim sumere formas; Iamque novum terrae stupeant lucescere solem, Altius atque cadant submotis nubibus imbres; Incipiant silvae cum primum surgere, cumque Rara per ignaros errent animalia montis.

sophizing. The general drift of the whole passage, the production of the world by the separation of the so-called elements, is evidently from Lucr. 5. 416-508.

34.] 'Mundus' is the whole universe, as in 4. 50, earth, sea and sky. 'Ipse' is added to distinguish the formed universe from the rudimental' exordia.' 'Tener' is apparently opposed to aridus,' Lucr. 1. 809, and so here it seems meant to express the fusile nature of an early formation, as contrasted with 'durare solum,' v. 35. Wagn. refers to Lucr. 5. 780, "Mundi novitatem et mollia terrae Arva." This agrees with concreverit.'


35.] Tum' goes with 'coeperit,' not with canebat,' as Heyne thinks. 'Durare' is a transitive verb, used intransitively, a frequent habit with Virg., though there appears to be no other instance where ‘durare' has the sense of 'durescere.' 'Discludere' is another Lucretian word, 5. 438, "to shut up apart in the sea," as if Nereus were independent of the sea, and the sea had itself existed before the creation. Comp. the personification of Nereus, Pers. 1. 94, where it is apparently intended to be ridiculous.

[ocr errors]

36.] Formas rerum' expresses generally what is developed in detail vv. 37-40. Shapes' are opposed to the shapeless chaos; and there may be a force too in the plural, as a characteristic of chaos was its uniformity. "Unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe, Quem dixere Chaos," Ov. M. 1. 6. Comp. also ib. vv. 87, 88, which in fact form a comment on Virgil's words, "Sic modo quae fuerat rudis et sine imagine tellus Induit ignotas hominum conversa figuras."

37.] The sun is developed, and an atmosphere formed. Comp. Lucr. 5. 471 foll., and contrast the language of the poet-philosopher with that of the philosophizing poet. The words of Virg. cannot be pressed, or we might suppose him to mean that the sun found its place later than the earth, and so to contradict Lucretius. Anyhow 'solem' is the important word, the earth being merely brought in for the sake of poetical ornament. See note on 2. 12.



38.] The trajection of 'atque' is unusual, and not sufficiently supported by Lucr. 3. 531, where Lachmann reads 'usque adeo' for 'atque animo;' but there can be no doubt that it is intended here, as 'altius' would have no force if joined, as Wagn. proposes, with the previous line. 'Submotis nubibus,' as the clouds would be drawn up by the sun. Virg. expresses himself as if clouds and rain had both existed in the chaotic state, creation merely implying separation-language which agrees with the Lucretian use of 'imber' for water, 1. 715.

39.] Silvae.' In the brief description of the creation, G. 2. 336 foll., which should be compared with this, the woods are supposed to exist before the beasts are turned into them, like the mountains here; but the language in either case is poetical, and the remark is only important as showing that Virgil does not aim at scientific precision.

40.] 'Rara' appears to imply that they were produced one by one, so that they would not at first overrun the mountains. 'Ignaros' is restored by Wagn. from at least one good MS. (the Rom.) for 'ignotos,' as more poetical, the strangeness being supposed to be reciprocal, as in A. 10. 706 note. This seems better than to suppose ignarus' to be used passively, as in Sallust, Ovid, and Tacitus. At the same time, as ignaros' implies 'ignotos,' there may be a reference, as Burmann thinks, to the use of 'notus' as an epithet for the haunts of wild beasts (0ɛa). The mountains are the natural home of wild beasts, as in Soph. Ant. 350, Onpòs opeσσiẞára, Lucr. 1. 404, "montivagae ferai,' 2. 1081. The whole line is probably imitated from Lucr. 5. 822, "Terra . . . . animal prope certo tempore fudit Omne quod in magnis bacchatur montibu' passim." Hence animalia' is to be confined to beasts, the creation of man being mentioned in the next line.

41-60.] He tells of the creation and early history of man, Deucalion, Saturn, and Prometheus-also of Hylas, and of

Hinc lapides Pyrrhae iactos, Saturnia regna,
Caucasiasque refert volucres furtumque Promethei.
His adjungit, Hylan nautae quo fonte relictum
Clamassent, ut litus, Hyla, Hyla, omne sonaret;
Et fortunatam, si numquam armenta fuissent,
Pasiphaen nivei solatur amore iuvenci.
Ah, virgo infelix, quae te dementia cepit !
Proetides inplerunt falsis mugitibus agros :
At non tam turpis pecudum tamen ulla secuta est
Concubitus, quamvis collo timuisset aratrum
Et saepe in levi quaesisset cornua fronte.
Ah, virgo infelix, tu nunc in montibus erras :
Ille, latus niveum molli fultus hyacintho,

Pasiphae and her passion-how she followed the bull in vain through the mountains, beseeching the wood-nymphs to intercept him. This mythology is a strange sequel to the quasi-Epicurean cosmogony: but there is nothing unnatural in making a cosmogony of some kind precede the legendary history of the world, as in Ovid's Metamorphoses. There seems to be no principle in the choice of the legends, or in the different degrees of prominence given to each, e.g., the details about Pasiphae as compared with the brief mention of the earlier stories.

41.] The peopling of the world by Pyrrha, the reign of Saturn, and the punishment and crime of Prometheus, are mentioned without any regard to chronological order, as the first was really the latest in point of time, Pyrrha being the niece and daughter-in-law of Prometheus (Ov. M. 1.390). It is very possible however that Virgil may intend to represent Deucalion and Pyrrha as the actual creators of mankind, in which case the reign of Saturn and the story of Prometheus would naturally follow them, either from a confusion of his own, or on the authority of a different, series of legends. 'Saturnia regna' is not in apposition to 'lapides Pyrrhae iactos,' but a distinct item in the enumeration, as Jahn rightly remarks against Wagner.

42.] Volucres' for the single eagle, which formed part of the punishment of Prometheus. For the story see Hesiod and Aeschylus.



tion of the fountain would not enter into the song.

45.] So Dido of herself, A. 4. 657, "Felix, heu nimium felix, si litora tantum Numquam Dardaniae tetigissent nostra carinae." Comp. also G. 2. 458. In the present passage the meaning seems to be that the existence of the bull was the curse of Pasiphae's life, the greatness of the infliction being expressed by saying that but for this she would indeed have been happy. Fortunatam' then is equivalent to 'quae fortunata fuisset,' as in Greek we might have had av with participle or adjective.

[ocr errors]

46.] He tells how Pasiphae solaced herself, as in vv. 62, 3, "circumdat. . erigit" for 'canit ut se circumdederint et erexerint.' Elsewhere, as in G. 4. 464, the passion is the thing to be solaced here it is itself made the solace, by a natural change of aspect.

47.] Virgo' used of other than unmarried women, as in Hor. 2 Od. 8. 22, &c. Serv. quotes a line from Calvus, on Io, "Ah virgo infelix, herbis pasceris amaris," which Virgil would seem to have imitated. 'Quae' here, and perhaps in 2. 69, seems to mean rather how is it that this madness has seized thee?' than 'what madness is this?' but it is not easy to say.

[ocr errors]

48.] The daughters of Proetus fancied themselves cows: yet even they did not proceed to such monstrous lengths, though their delusion was complete.' 'Falsis,' counterfeited,' as 'fallere' is used, A. 1.684. 50.] Collo,' dative, as A. 2. 130, 729. 43.] The tale of Hylas from the legend 51.] Levi,'"humana scilicet," Serv. of the Argonauts, given by Apollonius, 53.] Niveum seems to be emphatic, Theocritus, and Propertius. Quo' for recalling the epithet in v. 46. 'Fultus' ‘quomodo’(1. 54 note), as the identifica- merely expresses 'reclining,' being used

Ilice sub nigra pallentis ruminat herbas,

Aut aliquam in magno sequitur grege. Claudite, Nymphae,
Dictaeae Nymphae, nemorum iam claudite saltus,

qua forte ferant oculis sese obvia nostris
Errabunda bovis vestigia; forsitan illum,

Aut herba captum viridi, aut armenta secutum,
Perducant aliquae stabula ad Gortynia vaccae.
Tum canit Hesperidum miratam mala puellam ;
Tum Phaethontiadas musco circumdat amarae
Corticis, atque solo proceras erigit alnos.
Tum canit, errantem Permessi ad flumina Gallum

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

56.]Saltus,' the glades or open spaces in forests, where cattle pastured and wild beasts wandered, called 'vacui,' G. 3. 143, 'aperti,' A. 11. 904, and so closed here, as they are hedged round in hunting by nets and watchers (G. 1. 140., A. 4. 121), to prevent the animals from breaking out. 57.] Si qua forte,' 'in the hope that by some chance.' "Inde domum, si forte pedem, si forte tulisset, Me refero," A. 2.756. 58.] Whether vestigia' is put simply for the feet, as in A. 5. 566 and elsewhere, or the footprints of the bull are sought for, as leading to the discovery of the bull itself (comp. 2. 12), is not clear. Strict propriety of expression would perhaps demand the former, as the footprints might be discovered even if the bull had escaped: but such an argument can hardly be pressed. Forsitan.. vaccae introduces a fresh hope he may have fallen in with the herd, or cows may have come up with him as he was browsing, and so he may arrive at the Cretan stalls (Gortyna being celebrated, according to Serv., for the herds of the sun, whose daughter Pasiphae was). This seems better than with Ruaeus to understand Pasiphae to be expressing her fear that if

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

the outlets be not guarded he may get away from her, or with Voss to suppose that captum . . . secutum are meant to account for his wandering, and aliquae vaccae' to suggest the means of bringing him back after the facilities for escape have been removed.

61-73.] He tells next the story of Atalanta and the sisters of Phaethon, and how Gallus once fell in with one of the Muses, who took him to the Aonian mount, where Linus hailed him as the successor of Hesiod.

62.] Circumdat:' see on v. 46. 'Phaethontiadas,' an extension of the patronymic to sisters, as Tethys in Ov. F. 5. 81, referred to by Forb., is called 'Titanis,' being Titan's sister. Voss makes it equivalent to Heliades, Phaethon being elsewhere found as a name of the sun: but this would be most unseasonable here, where the story of the younger Phaethon is alluded to.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

63.] Alnos' is a sort of factitive or cognate accusative, 'raises them as alders,' or into alders.' Elsewhere, as in A. 10. 190, they are said to have been turned into poplars. The story was that they found their brother's body on the banks of the Eridanus, where they bewailed him for four months, till they were turned into rivertrees, which would naturally suggest the thought of alders (G. 1.136., 2.110.452 note).

64.] There is of course great incongruity in the introduction of this supposed interview of Gallus with the Muses as part of Silenus' legendary song: but it may very well have been intended by Virgil to heighten the compliment to his friend. It would have been natural at this point of the song to tell some old story, showing how men in elder and better days used to be admitted to familiar intercourse with the gods, as Ovid, e. g., introduces the tale of Philemon and Baucis (compare the concluding lines of Catullus' poem on Peleus and Thetis);

Aonas in montis ut duxerit una sororum,
Utque viro Phoebi chorus adsurrexerit omnis;
Ut Linus haec illi, divino carmine pastor,
Floribus atque apio crinis ornatus amaro,
Dixerit: Hos tibi dant calamos, en accipe, Musae,
Ascraeo quos ante seni, quibus ille solebat
Cantando rigidas deducere montibus ornos.
His tibi Grynei nemoris dicatur origo,
Ne quis sit lucus, quo se plus iactet Apollo.
Quid loquar, aut Scyllam Nisi, quam fama secuta est

and by recounting Gallus' experience as a story of those times, Virgil in fact invests him with all the associations of heroic antiquity, which would not have been the case had the mention of him been reserved to the end, as Heyne, following Scaliger, thinks it should have been. Thus the various attempts to evade the incongruity by supposing that Silenus' intention is to describe the origin of the Grynean grove, but that he is made artfully to resign the task into the hands of Gallus, whose verses Voss further supposes him to borrow for the remainder of the song, the story of Scylla (see note on v. 74), appear to be not only illusory, but founded on a misconception of Virgil's meaning. The story itself resembles one which Hesiod tells of himself at the beginning of the Theogony: and the allusion to Hesiod, v. 70, as Gallus' predecessor, shows that the resemblance is not merely accidental.

65.] Una sororum' is used Prop. 4. 1. 37 for one of the Muses,' where the context sufficiently indicates what sisterhood is meant. Here the mention of the Aonian mountains suggests the epithet 'Aoniae' or 'Aonides.'

66.] Heyne comp. II. 1. 533 foll., where the gods rise at the approach of Zeus.

67.] 'Ut' comes after ut... utque,' asdum' after 'dum. . . dumque,' 5. 77, comp. by Wund. 'Divino carmine' with 'pastor,' expressing the combination of attributes which made Linus an appropriate hero of pastoral poetry. There seems no evidence that Linus was supposed to ever have been a shepherd, but it was natural for a pastoral poet to conceive of him as such.

68.] Parsley was a favourite material for garlands, used by a shepherd in Theocr. 3. 22 to form a crown for his love, worn commonly at feasts (Hor. 1 Od. 36. 16, &c.), and given as a prize in the Nemean

[ocr errors]



games. There seems no reason for its use here, beyond its natural appropriateness: the epithet amarum' too appears to be simply descriptive. Martyn takes 'apium' to be smallage or celery.

70.] Senex,' indicative not of age, but of antiquity, as it is applied to Lucilius Hor. 2 S. 25. 1. 34, to Attius and Pacuvius, id. 2 Ep. 1. 56, and to Aristophanes Pers. 1. 124.

71.] The same magic, A. 4. 491.

result is ascribed to See on 8. 3. It does not seem to have been a traditional characteristic of the effect of Hesiod's poetry: but the image can hardly have been chosen arbitrarily.

72.] The story of the origin of the grove of Grynium or Grynia in Aeolia, Serv. says, was told in a poem by Euphorion of Chalcis, whose works Gallus (see 10. 50) translated or imitated. A serpent had been killed there by Apollo; the town was founded by Grynus, son of Eurypylus, in consequence of an oracular response; and its grove was the scene of the death of Calchas after a defeat, the circumstances of which are differently related, by a rival augur.

73.] Apollo is called Gryneus A. 4. 345. With the language of the line comp. v. 11. It seems to be imitated from Callim. on Delos v. 269, ouds Tig äλλŋ Faiάwv T05σóvde Deų tepiλnoetai äλλœ.

74-86.] Lastly, he tells the two stories of Scylla, daughter of Nisus, whose lower parts were changed into those of a sea monster, and who thus became the terror of Ulysses' ships, and of Tereus, his bloody feast, and his transformation. In short he sings all that Phoebus used to sing to Hyacinthus, till evening warned the shepherds home.

74.] Aut Scyllam' is the reading of all the MSS. except the Roman, as vouched for by Pierius, which gives 'ut.' The latter

« ForrigeFortsæt »