Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

acus velit et magno mercentur Atrida." | The cradle in which the children were

13. tueatur] "that he would undertake the war in concert with them." Paley.

14. ignaris] "ignorant" of his treachery.

15. potens] when invested with power. Livy (I. 54) says: "tantâ caritate erat, ut non pater Tarquinius potentior Romæ, quam filius Gabiis esset."

16. He asks what plan for betraying Gabii his father has to propose to him. 17. suberat] "was close by." 18. sectus humum] the accus. of reference: see note on 21, 29: "having the ground divided."

19. latentia] conveyed by the friend without his being aware of their true import. Paley.

20. lilia summa] "the tops of the lilies:" intending under this image the leading men of Gabii.

24. nuda, etc.]" deprived of their

own rightful rulers."

23. THE DREAM OF ILIA:

THE

BIRTH OF ROMULUS AND REMUS. The legend which forms the subject of these lines may be stated as follows: At Alba Longa a succession of kings had reigned: one of the last of whom left two sons, Numitor and Amulius. The latter deprived Numitor of the kingdom, but allowed him to live on his private means. Fearful, however, that Numitor's heirs would not submit so quietly to his usurpation, he caused his only son to be murdered, and made his daughter, Silvia, also called Ilia, one of the Vestal Virgins. As Silvia one day went into the sacred grove, to draw water for the service of the goddess, a wolf met her, and she fled into a cave for safety; there Mars overpowered her, and consoled her with the promise that she should become the mother of heroic children. She gave birth to twins, Romulus and Remus. Amulius doomed the guilty Vestal and her babes to be drowned in the river.

came ashore, when a she-wolf carried them into her den and suckled them, and the woodpecker [picus], a bird sacred to Mars, brought them food.

1. inde moveri] "to start from this point."

2. sacra] "the sacred vessels," which it was the duty of the Vestals to cleanse in the river Numicus.

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

4. Then, as now, women carried their earthen pitchers [fictiles urnæ] on their heads. Speaking of Amymōne, Ovid uses the expression, "Cum premeret summi verticis urna commas," Amor. I. 10, 6

12. fefellit] "concealed." 13. gravis]" pregnant." 14. viscera] "her womb." 17. imagine somni] "a vision in sleep," i. e. a dream. Thus, in Horace, Europa asks, 'An vitiis carentem Ludit imago Vana,' "a mocking vision?" 18. somno clarius] "too distinct for sleep."

19. Iliacis] The Vestal fire was brought from Troy by Eneas: Virg. En. II. 296.

aderam] "I was attending to:" she, as a vestal, had the custody of the sacred fire.

20. decidit] This was ominous : as the sacred fillet was removed by the pontifex from the head of a vestal condemned for a breach of her vow. Paley appositely quotes Tibullus II. 5, 53: "Te quoque jam video, Marti placitura sacerdos,

Ilia, Vestales deseruisse focos; Concubitusque tuos furtin, vittasque jacentes."

21, 22. inde] probably means "from the ground," on which the fillet had fallen.

palmæ] emblems of triumph representing Romulus and Remus

the larger palm [major] of course typified Romulus.

24. coma] a poetical equivalent for 'fronde.' So Sophocles represents a storm as πᾶσαν αἰκίζων φόβην ὕλης Tediados, "tearing all the tresses of the foliage on the plain," Antig. 417. 25. patruus] Amulius.

26. micat] "palpitates," "beats." 27. gemino stipite] A poetical variation of utraque palma' in the next line.

pugnat] the woodpecker brought food to the infants, and the wolf suckled them; hence they appeared to "fight"| for the twins whom Amulius wished to destroy.

30. refert] See note on Phædr. X.9. 34. subiit] 66 crept beneath." Nothing terrified the Romans more than the extinction of the Vestal fire; it was to them a sign, says Dionysius, τοῦ ἀφανισμοῦ τῆς πόλεως.

36. opes] scil. regnum.

24. THE RAPE OF THE SABINES.

"The people of Romulus wanted wives, and the nations round about would not give them their daughters in marriage. So Romulus gave out that he was going to keep a great festival, and there were to be sports and games to draw a multitude together, The neighbours, including a great multitude of the Sabines, came to see the show, with their wives and daughters; when, as they were looking at the games, the people of Romulus rushed out upon them, and carried off the women to be their wives." Arnold (R. H. vol. I. p. 7; Livy, I. 10) recounts the legend.

1. viduos] "unmarried."

3. vela] "awnings:" to keep off the heat; first introduced by Lentulus Spinther.

[merged small][ocr errors]

5, 6. A heap of leaves formed a natural, 'sine arte,' stage in those days: leaves gathered from the woody Palatine. Cf. the parallel picture in Virg. Æn. VIII. 347, seqq.

8. hirsutas] Hairdressers first appeared in Rome 300 B.C.

9. respiciunt] i. e. the Romans. 10. movent] Cf.Virg. Æn. III. 34: "Multa movens animo."

11. Tusco] Stage-players originally came from Etruria to Rome: Liv. VII. 2.

14. rex] Romulus.

signa prædæ petenda] The signal to seize on their booty [the Sabine women], which they had been told to look out for; Anglicè, "the appointed signal."

15. animum] "their intent."

constitit] A term often applied to colour: as in Livy, 39, 34: "adeo perturbavit regem, ut non color, non vultus ei constaret."

26. "Their modesty alone [ipse] might have graced many of them." Or the infinitive present [decere] after 'potuit:' see L. E. p. 159, Rule IV.; Key's Lat. Gram., § 1257; and the note on Ovid, 38, 5, below.

27. The construction is: 'negabat [se] comitem [fore].'

32. dederis] On this idiomatic use of the future, where in English we prefer the present, see note on Ovid, 14, 8.

25. FLORA.

1. Chloris] "the name Chloris is akin to χλωρός, σε green;' Flora is related in the same way to Flos. Chloris and Flora are therefore kindred terms: but the latter is not, as the poet says, actually derived from the former."

4. croco] Saffron, mingled with water and wine, was employed to diffuse a fragrant odour, in theatres and other places. Horace alludes to the custom, Epist. II. 1, 79: "Recte necne | Keightley.

[blocks in formation]

Cuncta coloribus egregiis etodoribus opplet."

7. dotalibus] "dotal:" i. e. the domains given her as her dowry.

9. generoso flore] "the finest flowers." Cf. 'generosa uva,' Ovid, R. A. 567; generosa pruna,' Met. XIII. 818. Paley remarks that this line is full of peculiar beauty, as the Zephyr -Flora's husband-was popularly supposed to wake the flowers. Flore' is used for floribus,' poetically, like 'innumera ovis,' "countless flocks of sheep," Tibull. II. 2, 42.

11. digestos numerare] "to arrange and count." See L. E. p. 172, Rule II. 2.

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

native of the principal sentence. Arnold.

21. Therapnæ o] i. e. from the blood of Hyacinthus, a Spartan youth, beloved, and accidentally slain by Apollo, and turned into the flower of his own name: Metamorph. X. 162. Therapna was a town in Laconia, near Sparta.

22. querela] On the petals of the hyacinth* it was supposed that the wordaiai,'"alas," could be traced.

24. alter et alter] i. e. that he and his shadow were not different persons. See Mythol. Dict. and Ovid, 41, below.

25. Crocon] Ovid elsewhere says Crocus was metamorphosed into the saffron flower which bears his name, by Hermes. In Metamorph. X. 103, Cyběle changes Attis into a pine-tree. Adonis, the son of Cinyras, was turned into an anemone: Metamorph. X. 728.

27. coronis] The Romans used flowers chiefly for making festive garlands; and they do not seem to have appreciated them, as we do, as beautiful objects, or to have cultivated them much in gardens. Paley.

29-33. Burmann has misunderstood this passage. Flora says she is the goddess of agriculture as well as of horticulture: for the quality of the wheat crop depends on the budding [flowering] of the plant; the quality of the vintage on the blossoming [flowering] of the vine; and so of olives and apples.

eventum habent] "experience the result of this season:" i. e. prove by the amount of the crop whether the blossoms have duly set in spring. Paley, who compares Virg. G. IV. 142: "Quotque in flore novo pomis se fertilis

arbos

Induerat, totidem auctumno matura ferebat."

34. advena]" foreign:" its source not being in Egypt.

*Not our hyacinth, but the Martagon, or Turk's-cap Lily, the petals of which are pencilled by small black strokes.

The Roman gates had a bust of Janus on either side the arch, with a pathway on either side, the one for egress, the other for ingress.

36. nebulæ] "scum," which settles | gate.": on the surface of new wine, when set to clear itself. The Greeks call it the äveos olvov, whence Ovid perhaps borrowed its fanciful connection with the goddess of flowers.

26. THE FABII. Cf. Livy II. 48-50.

1. Idibus] The 'Faunalia,' or festival of Faunus, was celebrated on the Ides of February, and also on the Nones" of December, Hor. Od. III. 18.

2. insula] The island in the Tiber contained the temple of Faunus, which was built by the Ediles with the funds arising from fines, and consecrated A.U.C. 509. By adding ubi rumpit aquas,' the poet shows that the end of the island is meant, where it first meets the current. Paley.

3,4. Niebuhr (R. H. II. 192) thinks that the Fabian clan, disgusted by the obstinate refusal of their brother Patricians to grant the just claims of the commonalty, retired with their clients, and a part of the Commons, and founded a colony on the banks of the Creměra, in Etruria. They left Rome on the Ides of February, A.U.C. 275, and were cut off by the Tuscans on the 18th of the following Quinctilis [July. Ovid poetically blends the two dates in

one.

The number of the Fabii is always given, as in the text, as 306.

5. One clan had taken upon itself to represent the resources and responsibilities of the whole State. So Livy says: "familia una subiit civitatis onus."

6. gentiles manus] "the hands of a single clan." The gens Fabia was one of the clans [gentes], of which the Patrician order at Rome was composed.

professa] "volunteered: " line 5 explains this epithet.

[ocr errors]

66

13. tetigere] "reached."

[ocr errors]

15. loco] "at a convenient spot." 'Locus' sometimes has a pregnant sense, equivalent to kаiрós, or locus opportunus,' as in Hor. Epist. I. 7, 57: "properare loco."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

22. arma caca parant] they," i. e. the Tuscans, concert a surprise." Compare cæcum vallum,' Cæs. B. C. I. 28, a covered palisade;" cæcum vulnus,' Lucret. IV. 1116, a concealed wound:" also " a wound in the back," because such wounds are concealed, Virg. Æn. IX. 733; cæca domus,' Cic. Orat. 67, "a house without windows," cæcum crimen,' Liv. 45, 31, 66 an uncertain charge." 23. ultima] sub. spatia. 27. Compare Virg. Æn. II. 304, where the same image is employed. 32. alter] i. e. they had no fear of ambush.

37. Construe' pauci' with 'fortes:' with 'millia' sub. hoininum.'

[ocr errors]

39. Laurentum Was a town of Latium, famous for wild boars; whence Bentley reads 'Laurens aper,' in Hor. Ep. V. 28, for the commonplace 'currens aper.'

45. Herculeæ] The Fabian clan claimed descent from Hercules through Evander.

46. consuluisse ut] "provided that."

48. Niebuhr, ut supra, shows that the Fabius who remained at Rome must have been a grown man at this He thinks he stayed behind, because he differed from his family in politics.

time.

*The translator in "Bohn" absurdly renders this line: "The nearest path is by the right hand postal of the Carmental 7. miles generosus] "the high-gate" as if it could make any difference, born soldiery."

9. "There is a pathway close to the right-hand Janus of the Carmental

I

as to the contiguity of a spot several miles from Rome, whether the Fabii passed through the right or the left passage of the gateway.

49. The celebrated Fabius Maximus | speaks of the oxen as "caudâ in spelunCunctator. Cf. Virg. Æn. VI. 846. cam tractos, versisque viarum Indiciis Both Ovid and Virgil have borrowed raptos." En. VIII. 210. Cf. Propert. almost literally from the well-known v. 9, 12. lines of Ennius, preserved by Cicero, Off. I. 24: Unus homo nobis cunctando restituit rem.'

27. CACUS.

At the period when Hercules, as he was driving the oxen of Geryon from the isle of Erytheia, visited Italy, Evander, an exile from Arcadia, ruled over a part of the country. The neighbourhood in which he lived had long been devastated by Cacus, whom Ovid here describes as a fearful giant, who made himself the terror of the land by his robberies and murders. In the eighth Eneid, 190 seqq., Evander tells Æneas much the same story about Cacus as that related here by Ovid, who probably had Virgil's lines in view, and also the ninth elegy of the fifth book of Propertius.

1,2. exsul] Evander. The next line was probably suggested to Ovid by the horrors of his own place of exile.

4. Arcade] "the Arcadian:" i. e. Evander.

5. Erytheïdas] "of Erytheia.” The tenth task of Hercules was to bring the oxen of Geryon from the isle of Erytheia to Eurystheus. Erytheia was on the south-west coast of Spain. applicat] "lands.” 'Applico' is properly used of bringing a ship to land: as in Propert. I. 20, 20:

"Mysorum scopulis applicuisse ratem."

7. domus Tegeæa] i. e. the house of Evander, who came from Tegea, in Arcadia. Huic,' in this line, and 'heros,' line 5, of course refer to Hercules.

9. Tirynthius] Tiryns was a town of Argolis, in which Hercules was educated.

12. aversos] Cacus had dragged them "by the tail" into the cavern, in order that it might seem, from the marks of their hoofs, that they had come out of the cavern. Virgil also

15. pro corpore] "in proportion to his bulk,” κατὰ τὸ σῶμα.

19. ora]"human faces."

21. servatâ male] "having been ill-kept: "i. e. lost. Paley says: "the sense is, Hercules was going away minus his two bulls, when the bellowing of the lost animals to the herd as it passed the cave aroused his attention. Accipio revocamen, like the Greek déxoμaι Tov oiwvov, said when any one acts on a hint dropped or an expression used, which can be interpreted as an omen.' 22. furta] "the stolen oxen. 25. ille] i. e. Cacus. 26. juga bis quinque] pair of oxen."

27. hic] scil. Hercules.

[ocr errors]

66 ten

[blocks in formation]

male fortis] "brave to little purpose."

35. Typhoëa] Typhoeus, a giant, imprisoned under Mount Etna in Sicily. 37. occupat] "closes with him," i. e. anticipates the blow before harm can be inflicted. Cf. Propert. V. 4, 84.

"Nec mora: vocales occupat ense canes." It is nearly the Greek plávelv, or Kiyxáve. Paley.

Alcides] A name of Hercules, from his paternal grandfather Alceus.

adducta] "drawn towards him: " as in the act of striking. In 'trinodis 'we have a poetical definite for an indefinite.

39. ter quater] "three or four times."

28. THE IMMORTAL GLORY OF POETRY. 3. The construction is [quid objicis] me non sequi, etc.

« ForrigeFortsæt »