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Candida succinctam latrantibus inguina monstris
writers (Propertius, Ovid, Statius, Martial) were apt either to confuse with Ithaca, or to include among the dominions of Ulysses, though Homer (Il. 2. 635) places the Echinades under Meges. A question appears to have been raised among the ancient critics about the appropriateness of the word 'vexasse,' which is defended, as sufficiently strong for the occasion, by Gell. 2.6, Macrob. Sat. 6. 7, and Probus ap. Serv.
would be neater, but the difference is not very great, being only that in the one case we have to supply narraverit,' in the other 'ut narraverit (“Quid loquar, aut ut narraverit Scyllam, aut ut mutatos," &c.). Jahn's construction of Scyllam' with loquar' is objectionable, as involving an awkward confusion between the narrative of Virgil and that of Silenus: while Hilde brand's proposal, adopted by Forb., to make Scyllam . ... vexasse... ... lacerasse depend on 'narraverit,' introduces an equally awkward coupling of 'vexasse... lacerasse' with 'mutatos' (which cannot, as Forb. thinks, be for 'mutatos esse'), and leaves the words 'quam fama secuta est' to form a tame and unmeaning parenthesis. On the other hand, Virgil is fond of using 'fama est' or some equivalent, such as "volat," A. 3. 121,"occupat auris," ib. 294, with an infinitive clause, so that' fama secuta est , may easily be resolved into 'fama est apud posteros.' The further difficulty, the attribution to Scylla, the daughter of Nisus, of the transformation which really happened to the other Scylla, daughter of Phorcus, is not peculiar to this passage, the same thing being done, as Cerda and Ruaeus show, by Ov. F. 4. 500 and Prop. 5. 4. 39 foll., and consequently is to be accounted for either by the hypothesis of different versions of the le- 79.] Serv. rightly distinguishes between gend, or, as Keightley prefers, by the Ro-dapes' and 'dona,' the former being the man ignorance of Greek mythology, not flesh of Itys, which was served up to corrected by the insertion of 'aut,' which Tereus, the latter the head and extremiwould be ungraceful, even if it were better ties, which were presented to him after his supported than by the single unnamed MS. meal. reported by Pierius. That Virgil some years afterwards, G. 1. 404, incidentally followed a different story, does not affect the argument.
75.] This and the two following lines are found in the Ciris, vv. 59 foll., with the variation of 'deprensos' for 'ah timidos.' The language apparently follows Lucr. 5. 892, "rabidis canibus succinctas semimarinis Corporibus Scyllas." Scylla is more fully described A. 3. 424 foll.
76.] Dulichias,' the ships or ship (Od. 12. 205) of Ulysses, so called from Dulichia, or Dulichium (A. 3. 271), one of the Echinades, which the Roman
78.] The story of Tereus was differently told, the Greeks generally making Procne the nightingale, and Philomela the swallow, the Romans reversing the order, perhaps, as Voss suggests, from a false notion of the etymology of Philomela. Those who followed the latter version were again divided, some keeping to the old narrative and making Procne Tereus' wife and Philomela her sister, others reversing the relations, doubtless because they saw that the nightingale must have been the mother of Itys, whose name is the burden of her song. This last is probably Virgil's view, as he would more naturally represent the wife than the sister as preparing the feast, v. 79, while in other passages in his works, G. 4. 15 and 511, he follows the Roman as distinguished from the Greek version. The whole subject is elaborately treated in Voss's note.
80.] It is not clear whether Tereus or Philomela is the subject of 'petiverit' and supervolitaverit.' The former is recommended by mutatos artus,' v. 78, and by the prominence apparently meant to be given to him: the latter by the structure of v. 79, and perhaps by the language of the clause' quibus . . . alis,' which seems more appropriate to the nightingale than to the hoopoe. There is a further doubt about
quo cursu,' which may either denote the speed of Philomela's flight or Tereus' pursuit, or the manner in which they fled, as birds ('quo' for ' quali '). If we accept the former, which agrees better with 'cursu,'
Infelix sua tecta supervolitaverit alis ?
we must understand 'quibus ... alis' of his or her return after transformation to hover over the palace, connecting ante' with 'sua' (Heyne comp. Ov. M. 2. 491 of Callisto when transformed, "Ante domum quondamque suis errabat in agris"), a conjunction which will be less harsh if we regard 'infelix' as a sort of parenthetical exclamation. If the latter, ante' may then be understood to mean that before flying to the woods the metamorphosed king or queen took a last farewell of the palace by flying round it. The description of the bird flying round the house might seem to point to the swallow, in which case Virgil would have followed the Greek version of the story, as Heyne thinks, in spite of the other passages referred to on v. 78: but this would not suit' deserta petiverit.' Ov. M. 6. 668 foll. says of the sisters "petit altera silvas, Altera tecta subit," though he does not explain which is which. Here the ambiguity is certainly awkward, and looks almost like a confusion of the habits of the nightingale and swallow. Quibus alis petiverit' is for 'quomodo alis petiverit,' and so, according to the first view, 'quo cursu.'
83.] The mention of the Eurotas points to Apollo's love for the Spartan youth Hyacinthus, to whom accordingly we must suppose him to have sung. Laurus is restored by Wagn. for lauros' from the Med., in accordance with what seems the general usage of Virgil.
84.] Comp. 5. 62, and Lucr. 2. 327 there quoted.
85.] An incidental proof that Chromis and Mnasylus were shepherds, as no others are represented as listening to the song. Numerumque referri' is the reading of the best MSS. instead of 'referre,' and is more probable as the more difficult reading. The same mixture of the passive and active infin. is found A. 3. 61 (where there is a similar variety of reading), 5. 773., 11. 84. For the custom see E. 3. 34.
86.] 'Invito,' as Olympus was himself listening. Voss comp. Il. 18. 239, where Juno bids the sun set against his will. It is doubtful whether Olympus' is merely the heaven, or the mountain, over which the evening star is said to rise, as in 8. 30, "tibi deserit Hesperus Oetam," A. 2. 801, "Iamque iugis summae surgebat Lucifer Idae;" but the former is simpler. In either case 'Olympo' is probably to be constructed with 'processit.' avλiog, the star of the sheepfolds, was a Greek epithet of the evening star.
THIS is another singing-match between Corydon and Thyrsis, with Daphnis as umpire. Unlike those in Eclogues 3 and 5, it ends decisively in the defeat of Thyrsis. The story is told by Meliboeus, who was not present until the terms of the contest had been agreed on, so that of them we hear nothing.
The Idyls of Theocr. which Virgil seems chiefly to have had in view are the 6th and 8th.
Various attempts were made by the earlier critics to identify the characters, Corydon being supposed to be Virgil or a friend of Virgil's, Thyrsis a contemporary rival, or even, according to Cerda, Virgil's great prototype Theocritus, Meliboeus and Daphnis patrons of the poet, if not the poet himself. Serv., who mentions this mode of interpretation without adopting it, makes Codrus (v. 22) a historical personage, asserting on the authority of the Elegies of Valgius (Dict. B.) that he was a contemporary poet; but the clause is apparently omitted in some of the MSS. of the old commentator. Nothing in the poem points to any historical basis; all can be explained by supposing it to be an imaginary Eclogue in the Theocritean style. There does not even seem to be any necessity for supposing that in introducing Meliboeus, Daphnis, and Corydon, Virg. is thinking uniformly of the Meliboeus, Daphnis, and Corydon of former Eclogues, though there is some appropriateness in making Daphnis the bestower of the crown of poetry, and Corydon, the hero of Ecl. 2, its receiver.
The scenery is, as usual, confused. Arcadian shepherds are made to sing in the neighbourhood of the Mincius, while neither the ilex (v. 1), the pine (v. 24), the chestnut (v. 53), nor the flocks of goats (v. 7), would seem to belong to Mantua.
There appears no means of determining the date, as the mention of the Mincius does not prove that Virgil was then in actual possession of his property.
This Eclogue is alluded to by Propertius (3. 26. 67), "Tu canis umbrosi subter pineta Galaesi Thyrsin et attritis Daphnin arundinibus ;" but the reference is sufficiently vague, as the mention of Galaesus is apparently intended to recall a totally different scene, that described in G. 4. 126, and the juxtaposition of Thyrsis and Daphnis can mean no more than that Virg. introduces both, as Theocr. does, though in different Idyls.
M. FORTE sub arguta consederat ilice Daphnis,
1-20.] 'A singing-match had been agreed on between Corydon the goatherd and Thyrsis the shepherd, Daphnis being umpire. I was just going to look after a stray he-goat when Daphnis asked me to come and listen. I agreed hesitatingly, and they began.'
1.] Imitated generally from the beginning of Theocritus' 6th and 8th Idyls. Arguta,' 8. 22 note. Virg. may intend that the very tree should, as it were, suggest a song, as in Theocr. 1. 1 foll. the whisper of the leaves is paralleled with the sound of piping.
3.] Distentas lacte' may be meant to show that the time was towards evening; and so perhaps v. 15.
4.] Aetatibus,' the plural, each being made to have his own aetas,' by a poetical variety, where a prose writer would have said, 'ambo florente aetate.' 'Arcades,' and therefore skilled in song, 10. 32. cadia was a pastoral country (called sμnλos, Theocr. 22. 157), and Pan, its patron, was
the god of rural song, so that shepherds who can pipe and sing are naturally made Arcadians. There seems also to have been a law in Arcadia in historical times (Polyb. 4. 20) compelling the study of music, which Polybius thinks produced a humanizing effect on the people. Keightley supposes that these passages of Virg. suggested the notion which became current at the revival of letters, representing the Arcadians as living in an ideal golden age of pastoral felicity-a view sufficiently unlike that taken by the ancients themselves, with whom the Arcadians were proverbial for thickwitted rustic stupidity, Juv. 7. 160, &c. For the confusion between Arcadia and Mantua, see Introduction.
Huc mihi, dum teneras defendo a frigore myrtos,
Quid facerem? neque ego Alcippen, neque Phyllida habebam,
Et certamen erat, Corydon cum Thyrside, magnum.
tare,' the infinitive used as in Greek for a
6.] Huc,' in the direction of the place where they were sitting. 'Defendo a frigore myrtos' has created some difficulty, even as early as the time of Serv. It is to be solved by supposing that the scene is laid in the spring-time, when the nights are frosty (a supposition which agrees with the whispering of the leaves, v. 1, the humming of the bees, v. 13, and the weaned lambs, v. 15), and that Meliboeus, like Corydon, 2. 45, &c., had to look after his trees as well as after his flocks and herds. 'Dum' is used with the present, though the verb in the principal clause is in the pluperfect, as in A. 6. 171 foll. quoted by Wagn. For 'myrtos' a few MSS. have myrtus;' but in this case the usage of Virg. appears to be in favour of the second declension.
7.] Vir gregis,' & тáyε, tãv λevkav aiyav avep, Theocr. 8. 49. Ipse' the leader of the herd had strayed, and therefore of course the herd with him. Heyne, referring to v. 9.
'Deerro' is dissyllabic, as in Lucr. 3. 860. 'Atque,' used in a style of poetical simplicity, where, in connected writing, we should have had 'quum.' Other
instances, collected by Wagn., are A. 4. 663., 6. 162., 7. 29., 10. 220. Comp. the traditional explanation of G. 1. 203. Here the sense is, I had just observed that he had strayed, when I catch sight of Daphnis.'
11.] The bullocks are clearly those of Meliboeus, who accordingly must be supposed to be in charge of them as well as of the goats, and also of lambs, v. 15, as Damoetas, 3. 6, 29, is both shepherd and cowherd.
12.] Comp. 1. 49 foll., G. 3. 14, 15, Α. 10. 205. The Mincius is evidently mentioned to give the reason why Meliboeus' bullocks will not go out of sight; but the mention of it suggests the thought of the invitingness of the spot, which is the thing dwelt on in the second clause, 'eque... quercu.'
13.] Comp. 1. 54 foll. 'Sacra,' as being the tree of Jupiter.
14.] Alcippe' and 'Phyllis' seem to be partners (see on 1. 31), perhaps former partners, of Meliboeus, not, as Serv. supposes, partners respectively of Corydon and Thyrsis.
16.] Corydon cum Thyrside' is connected by a loose apposition with 'certamen.' Somewhat similar is Soph. Ant. 259, λóyoɩ d' év áλλýλotσw ¿óóóðovv kakoí, puλaï ¿λéyxwv púλaka. Magnum' seems to be a predicate. 'Et' couples the two antagonistic considerations. Thyrsis is the name of one of the personages in Theocr. Idyl 1.
18.] 'Alternis:' introduction to Ecl. 3. 19. Volebam' is found in one or two MSS. mentioned by Serv., and adopted by Voss; but 'volebant' is clearly right. There is no need to supply 'eos' before
Hos Corydon, illos referebat in ordine Thyrsis.
C. Nymphae, noster amor, Libethrides, aut mihi carmen,
T. Pastores, hedera nascentem ornate poetam,
'meminisse,' with Wagn. and Forb., or 'me' with Spohn and Jahn. 'Musae' are the Muses of the two rivals, who are said to remember the amoebean strains, as recalling them to the memory of the shepherds, the Muses being mythologically connected with memory, who was said to be their mother. Comp. A. 7. 645, "Et meministis enim, Divae, et memorare potestis." The language is worded as if the shepherds had a number of verses in their minds, and the Muses chose to remember amoebeans rather than others; but it must not be pressed to mean that the contest had been studied or rehearsed beforehand (see v. 5 note), as by the act of memory probably no more is intended than the act of composition, which Virg. elsewhere (1. 2, &c.) expresses by the word 'meditari.'
Muses, grant that I may sing like my Codrus; if not, I abandon the art.'
21.] 'Libethrus,' 'Libethra,' or 'Libethrum,' was a fountain in Helicon, with a cavern, mentioned by Strabo, 9. p. 629, A. To τῶν Λειβηθρίδων νυμφῶν ἄντρον. Pausanias speaks also of a mountain of the same name. They are mentioned as distinct from the Muses, though equally with them patronesses of song. Comp. 10. 1, where Arethusa is invoked. In Theocr. 7. 91, the nymphs teach a shepherd song.
22.] Codrus,' 5. 11. It signifies little whether proxima' be constructed with 'carmina' supplied from 'carmen,' or taken as a verbal acc. after 'facit.' With the sense comp. Theocr. 1. 2, μɛrà Пăva тò δεύτερον ἆθλον ἀποισῇ.
23.] 'Non possumus omnes,' 8. 63. Corydon, as Voss remarks, modestly classes himself with the many.
was transformed. So Tibull. 2. 5. 29, "Pendebatque vagi pastoris in arbore votum, Garrula silvestri fistula sacra deo."
25-28.] Th. Crown me, in spite of Codrus' envy, and protect me against his evil tongue.'
25.] The arrogance and spleen of Thyrsis are contrasted with the modesty of Corydon. 'Hedera,' 8.13. "Doctarum hederae praemia frontium," Hor. 1 Od. 1. 29. Crescentem' most MSS. Nascentem' is restored by Wagn. from Serv. and the first reading of the Med.
26.] 'Invidia rumpantur,' a colloquial expression, doubtless intended as a characteristic trait of Thyrsis. Emm. quotes Cic. in Vatin. 4, "ut aliquando ista ilia, quae sunt inflata, rumpantur." The supposed allusion to the story of Codrus the Moor, glanced at by Hor. 1 Ep. 19. 15, would be quite out of place, were it only that Virg. evidently sympathizes with Corydon and his friend.
27.] Thyrsis affects to fear that Codrus may attempt to injure him by extravagant praise, which when bestowed on a person either by himself or by another, was considered likely to provoke the jealousy of the gods, and so used to be guarded by the apologetic expression 'praefiscine.' Cerda refers to a fragment of Titinius (Charis. p. 210), "Pol tu ad laudem addito praefiscine, ne puella fascinetur." 'Ultra placitum' is generally understood 'beyond his judgment,' i. e. with extravagant insincerity; but it more probably refers to the pleasure of the gods. 'Bacchare,' 4. 19.
28.] Mala lingua.' "Nec mala fascinare lingua," Catull. 7. 12. 'Vati futuro is a stronger expression than 'nascentem poetam' (see note on 9. 32), and so argues increased self-confidence in Thyrsis.