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Lappaeque tribolique, absint; fuge pabula laeta;
384.] 'Lanitium' seems rightly explained by Forcell., lanae proventus.' 'Lanitia occurs in Laberius (fr. ' Paupertas') v. 67, 'lanities' in Tertullian. "Aspera silva Lappaeque tribulique," 1. 152. These are to be avoided as tearing the wool and wounding the flesh, see v. 444.
385.] Pabula laeta,' a common expression in Lucretius. Here however the epithet is emphatic, as it is luxuriant pasturage which is injurious to the wool, Col. 7. 2.
386.] Continuo,' 1. 169. Mollibus' is equally emphatic with 'albos.' Cerda refers to Geop. 18, Varro 2. 2, Col. 7. 2, Pall. 8. 4. 388.] Tantum' admits the apparent slightness of the defect, as compared with the general excellence of the ram, 'ipse.' The precept is found in all the rustic writers, some of whom (Aristot. H. A. 6. 19, Col. 7. 3, Pliny 8. 47) lay down more or less distinctly the general rule that the colour of the fleece depends on that of the ram's tongue. The writer in the Geopon. (18. 6) so far differs from the rest as to say that it is the ewe's tongue which should be examined. Virgil however seems not quite to have understood his authorities, as they say that a black tongue will produce black lambs, a speckled tongue, speckled, while he makes a black tongue the indication of a speckled offspring.
out of his flock, and that she chose a white
392.] Pan deus Arcadiae,' E. 10. 26.
394-403.] 'If your object is milk, feed your cattle well with salt herbage. Some prevent kids from sucking at all. The milk when made into cheese is either sold at once or kept for the winter.'
394.] Cytiso,' E. 1. 79., 9. 31. ' Lotos,' not the tree, as in 2. 84, but the land-plant, of which there are two kinds, nuɛpos ('Melilotus officinalis,' Linn.) and ayolos or Aißvov ('Melilotus caerulea'). Keightley, referring to Fée.
395.] Ipse' is explained by Jahn to mean that they are not to be left to look for salt herbage for themselves. It might also mean that the farmer is to do it himself, the injunction being added merely to express the importance of the thing to be done; see on 4. 112. 'Salsas' seems to mean salted, as Aristot. H. A. 8. 10, Col. 7. 3, and Pall. 12. 13, all speak of giving salt to sheep (Voss). "We ourselves salt hay for our cattle. It is remarkable that the graminivorous animals in general are fond of salt, while the carnivorous dislike it" (Keightley).
396,397.] Two reasons are given the salt makes them drink more, and so give more milk, and it imparts a salt flavour to the milk. Of the latter Keightley says, "This effect is doubtful."
398.] Multi' introduced as in 1. 225. 'Excretos' from 'excerno,' not, as Serv., from 'excresco.'. The meaning evidently is not that the kids are weaned when they are grown, but that they are not allowed to suck at all—a practice opposite to that re
Primaque ferratis praefigunt ora capistris.
Nec tibi cura canum fuerit postrema, sed una
commended above, v. 178, in the case of
399.] Prima,' from the first, like 'iam excretos.' These 'capistra,' unlike those in v. 188, seem to have been made with iron points, which would prick the mother and make her drive the kid away. Praefigunt ora capistris' is a variety for 'praefigunt capistra oribus.'
400-403.] The difficulty of this passage appears to arise from the brevity and want of precision with which Virgil is apt to deliver his practical precepts. Milk was used for various purposes, for making curds as well as for making cheese; cheeses were of different kinds, and made in different ways, some for immediate use, and others for keeping; and, lastly, part of the produce would be for home consumption, part for sale. These details might have been embarrassing in poetry, so Virgil dispatches the whole subject in four lines, giving a glance at each. The words' quod surgente
nocte premunt' refer to the practice of making curds or cheese in the evening from the milk drawn in the morning; but it is not said which of the two products is meant, 'premere' being applicable to both; nor is it sa d for what purpose either is made. In the next part of the sentence 'quod iam ... calathis,' speaking of the evening milk, he tells us what becomes of it ultimately it is sent to the town-but not of the process it has passed through; only we are left to infer that it has been dealt with rapidly, as it is ready to be carried away at daybreak. In v. 403 we hear merely of the process, the cheese being evidently one of those described by Col. 7. 8, which undergo a nine days' course of pressing, sprinkling with salt, &c., and are then washed, dried,
and put away. Thus we shall not need with Fea and Keightley to punctuate after 'sub lucem,' v. 402, which beside introducing an abruptness not very usual in Virgil, involves the admission of Scaliger's conjecture exportans,' contrary to all the MSS. 'Surgente die horisque diurnis ' refer to the same thing, the morning milking, as 'tenebris et sole cadente' show. The 'calathi,' which here are to carry the cheese or curd to market, were also used in the actual making of cheese (Col. 1. c.). Adit oppida pastor' is parenthetical, not unlike 'furor arma ministrat,' A. 1. 150, which is similarly thrown in to account for what has been just said. Possibly there may be some playfulness in the juxtaposition of oppida' and 'pastor.' With the thing itself comp. E. 1. 21 foll., 34, 5. G. 1. 273 foll. The 'pastor' is probably the farm-slave, not the owner, though it is not always easy to see for what class of men Virgil is writing. 'Parco,' because it might be done too liberally, as Heyne explains it.
Contingunt' probably from tango,' not from 'tingo' or 'tinguo,' as Keightley remarks, comparing Celsus de Med. 2.24, "quae contacta sale modico sunt." See Forcell.
404-413.] 'It is worth while too to rear dogs of the best breed, to protect you against robbers and wolves, and to hunt wild beasts and game.'
405.] Spartae catulos,' vv. 44. 345. They are joined with Molossians by Hor. Epod. 6. 5, "Molossus aut fulvus Lacon, Amica vis pastoribus." For the latter comp. also Lucr. 5. 1063. The Spartan dogs (called uvidia by Aristot. H. A. 5. 2, which may perhaps answer to 'catulos' here) seem to have been preferred for hunting, the Molossian as watch-dogs. Aristot. H. A. 9. 1 says that the Molossian hounds were much like others, but that their sheep-dogs were remarkable for size and courage (Cerda). The general precept is after Hesiod (Works 604), kai Kýva καρχαρόδοντα κομεῖν· μὴ φείδεο σίτου Μή ποτε σ ̓ ἡμερόκοιτος ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ χρήμað ëλŋtai.
406.] Pingui' seems to mean 'fattening.'
Nocturnum stabulis furem incursusque luporum,
Disce et odoratam stabulis accendere cedrum,
Whey as a food for dogs is recommended
407.] Stabulis furem ... horrebis:' comp. E. 6. 50, "quamvis collo timuisset aratrum."
408.] True to his habit of localizing, Virgil warns his farmer against Spanish brigands, supposing him for the moment to be settled in their neighbourhood. Varro (1. 16), enumerating points to be considered in the choice of a farm with regard to neighbourhood, mentions as the first question 'infesta sit regio necne,' adding that there are many excellent tracts of land which would be undesirable for farming by reason of the neighbourhood, some for instance in Sardinia, and those in Spain bordering on Portugal. The technical name for cattlestealers was abigei.' 'A tergo' seems intended to give the notion of surprise.
409.] The 'onagri,' or wild asses, again do not belong to Italy or to any part of Europe, being chiefly found in Asia Minor (Varro 2. 6), as now in Syria, and in Africa (Pliny 8. 44). The flesh of their foals was considered a delicacy, though Pliny (8. 43) tells us that Maecenas set the fashion of preferring that of the tame ones, a taste which died with him.
410.] 1. 308.
411.] Volutabris,' a rare word, quoted by Forb. from Arnob. 7. 224.
412.] Agens' here and in A. 1. 191., 4. 71, seems to mean merely chasing:' comp. A. 7. 481. For turbabis' Rom. has 'terrebis,' for 'agens' Med. 'agros,' the former no improvement, the latter evidently an oversight.
413.] 'Ingenti clamore' is read by one MS., as in v. 43, and approved by Burm., but the size of the stag (comp. A. 1. 192) shows the success of the sport, and confers credit on the dogs, so that the epithet is
not, as Heyne thinks, a merely ornamental one. Premes ad retia:' "pressisque in retia cervis," Ov. Her. 4. 41; "Quattuor sunt venatorum officia, vestigatores, indagatores, alatores et pressores,' Isid. Orig. 10 ad finem (Emm.).
414-439.] 'Snakes should be got rid of by fumigating the sheds, which they are apt to infest. Attack them with sticks and stones, and they will take to flight. There is one particular snake in Calabria of special danger, with scaly back and speckled belly, who lives on the banks of pools, feeding on fish and frogs, but in hot weather is driven into the fields, a formidable enemy to the casual sleeper.'
414] There are similar warnings in Geop. 18. 2, Col. 7. 4. Pliny (24. 5) says that the smell of cedar shavings puts serpents to flight. "Urit odoratam nocturna in lumina cedrum," A. 7. 13.
415.] Galbanum,' a gum from a plant growing in Syria, is mentioned by Pliny 12. 25 as having the power of smoking away serpents. So Diosc. 3. 38. The root of the plant was also thought a specific against their bite, Sammonicus 846. Virgil imitated Nicander, Ther. 51 foll., who recommends βαρύοδμος ἐπὶ φλογὶ ζωγρηθεῖσα Χαλβάνη . . . καὶ ἡ πριόνεσσι τομαίη Κέδρος. 'Chelydros,' 2. 214. 'Gravis' may either signify the intolerable smell of these reptiles (comp. v. 451, and for the fact, Nicand. Ther. 421 foll.) or simply = χαλεπó.
Aut tecto adsuetus coluber succedere et umbrae,
Fovit humum. Cape saxa manu, cape robora, pastor, 420
418.] What this coluber' is seems uncertain. Voss understands it of the coluber natrix,' Linn., which, though really harmless, was accused of sucking the cows.
420.] 'Fovit humum,' like 'fovere larem,' 4. 43, castra fovere,' A. 9. 57, of constant occupation. 'Cape saxa:' comp. A. 5. 274, 275, and the scene in the Culex, vv. 155 foll. ·
421.] A. 2. 381.
422.] Deiicere' is not an uncommon term in hunting (Emm.). Here it is rendered appropriate by 'tollentemque minas.' Iamque' the precept is exchanged for narrative, the meaning being merely 'this will put him to flight.'
423.] Cum' seems virtually equivalent todum.' The head is in the ground; the volume of the body uncoils as the middle approaches the hole; the end still has a curve. The medii nexus' and the 'extremae agmina caudae' before formed a complication, which is now unloosed ('solvuntur'), but the tail still continues to undulate. Agmina,' of a serpent, A. 5. 90, as of a river, A. 2. 782.
424.] Ifsinus ultimus' is to be taken strictly, tardos orbis''tardum orbem.' Possibly Virgil may mean, as Forb. thinks, that though the head is gone, there is still time to strike the tail of the serpent, but it seems more likely that these details are merely meant for a picture. Serv. supposes the direction to be 'Caede serpentem, donec et caudae volubilitas conquiescat.'
425.] The serpent meant is the 'chersydrus,' a species of water-snake, which abounded in Calabria (Solinus, c. 8), the passage being imitated again from Nicand. Ther. 359 foll.
426] A. 2. 474.
427.] Cerda remarks that two characteristics are here mentioned, the length of the belly and the spots.
428.] Rumpuntur fontibus' = erumpunt fontibus.'
430.] Hic,' on the banks and in the 'Atram' see on 1. 129.
Nec mihi tum mollis sub divo carpere somnos,
Morborum quoque te caussas et signa docebo.
to the aggressive fury of the serpent. But
435.] Nec' is the reading of Med. and others for 'ne.' The combination nec... neu,' which some have thought inadmis. sible, is defended by Ov. Trist. 1. 1. 11, where nec.. . neve' occur. See Forb.'s note. 'Divum' or 'dium' seems to be only used in the expressions' sub divo,'' sub divum,' the latter of which occurs Hor. 1 Od. 18. 12. 'Dio' was the old reading, but Med., Rom., and others have divo.'
436.]May I never take a fancy.' 'Dorso nemoris' is explained by Hor. 2 S. 6. 91, “praerupti nemoris . . . dorso," the back or ridge of a mountain on which a wood grows. 'Iacuisse:' Madv. (§ 407, obs. 2) remarks that this use of the perf. inf. instead of the present by the poets is especially found after "verba voluntatis et potestatis."
437.] A. 2. 473.
438.] The reference is probably to the serpent's casting his skin twice in the year, in the spring and autumn, 'catulos relinquens' marking the former, 'ova' the latter period. So Heyne and Keightley, referring to Aristot. Hist. A. 8. 17. At any rate Virgil is wrong in mentioning the young, as the serpent drops its eggs, and does not attend to them afterwards. The drought mentioned in the preceding verses points rather to the later time than to the earlier.
439.] The two ablatives, linguis,'' ore,' are not easy to explain, though micat' would be sufficiently intelligible with either separately. The choice seems to lie between making 'ore' local, which would leave 'linguis' for an instrumental or modal
ablative, like 'micat auribus,' v. 84, and supposing that 'micat ore' is regarded as a single notion, linguis' being constructed as above, so as to answer the purpose of a yet further specification. See on 1. 360. The line is repeated A. 2. 475. 'Ora,' a reading introduced by Heyne probably from an oversight, would untie the knot, but it has no MS. authority. 'Trisulcis :' the tongue of the serpent is only twoforked; other poets however have followed Virgil, and so Pliny 11. 37.
440-463.] As to the diseases of sheep, they are liable to scabs from the effect of the weather, or from uncleanliness or scratches when new shorn. To remedy this, they are well washed, or rubbed with ointment after shearing. Lancing the place is good, and in case of violent inflammation and fever, bleeding in the feet.'
440.] The diseases of sheep and other cattle are touched upon by Cato 96, and by Varro 2. 1, the former talking only of the scab, the latter, though very briefly, of other complaints. Col. (7.5) goes more fully into the subject, referring as usual to Virgil.
441.] "Oves frequentius quam ullum aliud animal infestantur scabie," Col. 1. c. Temptat,' E. 1. 49. 'Frigidus imber,' 1. 259.
442.] Persedit :' "clades nova pestilitasque . . . fruges persidit in ipsas," Lucr. 6. 1125.
444.] Hirsutis,' the reading of Med. and Rom., is rightly regarded by Wagn. as a mere corruption arising from the first letter of the next word, as Virgil is not likely to have specified the unshorn sheep as those likely to suffer from brambles. Columella too says "si tonsum gregem patiaris silvestribus rubis aut spinis sauciari" (l. c.). He adds two other causes of 'scabies'-lodging in a shed used for horses, mules, or asses, and especially deficiency of food.