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What a strained, unnatural similitude must this seem to a modern reader, but how full of humour, if we suppose it alludes to any celebrated statues of these two champions, that stood perhaps in some public place or highway near Rome ! And what makes it more than probable there were such statues, we meet with the figures which Juvenal here describes, on antique intaglios and medals. Nay, Propertius has taken notice of the very statues.
Luctantum in pulvere signa
Lib. ii. Car, i.
And both the grappling statues seem to live. I cannot forbear observing here, that the turn of the neck and arms is often commended in the Latin poets among the beauties of a man, as in Horace we find both put together, in that beautiful description of jealousy:
Dum tu Lydia Telephi
Cervicem roseam, et cerea Telephi
Fervens difficile bile tumet jecur:
Certâ sede manent: humor et in genas
Quàm lentis penitus macerer ignibus.
And melt my very soul away. This we should be at a loss to account for, did we not observe in the old Roman statues, that these two parts were always bare, and exposed to view, as much as our hands and face are at present. I cannot leave Juvenal without taking notice that his
Ventilat æstivum digitis sudantibus aurum
Some lawyer alludes with A other, i flaying are still
Charged with light summer rings his fingers sweat,
own age, which we are now deprived of. One of the est ancient statues in Rome is a Meleager with a spear in
hand, and the head of a wild boar on one side of him. s of Parian marble, and as yellow as ivory. One meets h many other figures of Meleager in the ancient basso reos, and on the sides of the Sarcophagi, or funeral monuats. Perhaps it was the arms or device of the old Roman ters; which conjecture I have found confirmed in a passof Manilius, that lets us know the pagan hunters had leager for their patron, as the Christians have their St. bert. He speaks of the constellation which makes a good rtsman.
Quibus aspirantibus orti Te Meleagre coluntquestion not but this sets a verse, in the fifth Satire of renal, in a much better light than if we suppose that the t aims only at the old story of Meleager, without conering it as so very common and familiar a one among the
MANIL. lib. i.
soldiers their he Romull in the commer that he the old they mi swelling they ar
word p bossme in alto
Flavi dignus ferro Meleagri
Juv. Sat. 5.
Of Meleager, smokes upon the board. Mr. Bowles.
Scire velim quare toties mihi Nævole tristis
that he him hu
is of op bendin
Some of the commentators tells us, that Marsya was a lawyer who had lost his
that this passage alludes to the story of the satyr Marsyas, who contended with Apollo; which I think is more humorous than the other, if we consider there was a famous statue of Apollo flaying Marsya in the midst of the Roman forum, as there are still several ancient statues of Rome on the same subject.
There is a passage in the sixth Satire of Juvenal, that I could never tell what to make of, till I had got the interpretation of it from one of Bellorio's ancient basso relievos.
Magnorum artificum frangebat pocula miles
As threatening death to each resisting foe. Juvenal here describes the simplicity of the old Roman soldiers, and the figures that were generally engraven on their helmets. The first of them was the wolf giving suck to Romulus and Remus : the second, which is comprehended in the two last verses, is not so intelligible. Some of the commentators tell us, that the god here mentioned is Mars, that he comes to see his two sons sucking the wolf, and that the old sculptors generally drew their figures naked, that they might have the advantage of representing the different swelling of the muscles, and the turns of the body. But they are extremely at a loss to know what is meant by the word pendentis; some fancy it expresses only the great embossment of the figure, others believe it hung off the helmet in alto relievo, as in the foregoing translation. Lubin supposes that the god Mars was engraven on the shield, and that he is said to be hanging, because the shield which bore him hung on the left shoulder. One of the old interpreters is of opinion, that by hanging is only meant a posture of bending forward to strike the enemy. Another will have it, that whatever is placed on the head may be said to hang, as we call hanging gardens, such as are planted on the top of
I can Senecat
e house. Several learned men, who like none of these excations, believe there has been a fault in the transcriber, d that pendentis ought to be perdentis ; but they quote no nuscript in favour of their conjecture. The true meang of the words is certainly as follows. The Roman soldiers, no were not a little proud of their founder, and the miliy genius of their republic, used to bear on their helmets
first history of Romulus, who was begot by the god of er, and suckled by a wolf. The figure of the god was de as if descending upon the priestess Ilia, or, as others 1 her, Rhea Silvia. The occasion required his body puld be naked,
Tu quoque inermis eras cum te formosa sacerdos
That Rome's high founder bore-
Ilia Vestalis (quid enim vetat inde moveri)
Sacra lavaturas manè petebat aquas :
I can of Zetus two brot
I coul musical Apollos, which m preferen would, models of the
Pectore; turbatas restituitque comas.
Fecerunt somnos, et leve murmur aquæ.
Et cadit a mento languida facta manus ?,
Ov. De Fast. lib. iii. Eleg. 1.
than ar marble, able to bare fin adding those in
modern have ha
As the fair vestal to the fountain came,
Swelled with the founder of immortal Rome.
Primus emergit solo
Sen. EDIP. act. iii.
That tosses back his horns in vain. I cannot doubt but the poet had here in view the posture of Zetus in the famous group of figures, which represents the two brothers binding Dirce to the horns of a mad bull.
I could not forbear taking particular notice of the several musical instruments that are to be seen in the hands of the Apollos, muses, fauns, satyrs, bacchanals, and shepherds, which might certainly give a great light to the dispute for preference between the ancient and modern music. It would, perhaps, be no impertinent design to take off all their models in wood, which might not only give us some notion of the ancient music, but help us to pleasanter instruments than are now in use. By the appearance they make in marble, there is not one string-instrument that seems comparable to our violins, for they are all played on, either by the bare fingers, or the plectrum, so that they were incapable of adding any length to their notes, or of varying them by those insensible swellings and wearings away of sound upon the same string, which give so wonderful a sweetness to our modern music. Besides, that the string-instruments must have had very low and feeble voices, as may be guessed from