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ace therefore does not use the word in its legal sense. The Geta lay towards the mouths of the Danube, while the Daci were situated to the west of them, on the same or south side of the river.
23. Seres Tanain See C. iii. 29. 27, n. The Seres and Indi are not much distinguished by Horace (see C. i. 12. 56), and, when he is referring to the East, their names are generally associated with the Parthians, more for the sake of amplification than with historical or geographical accuracy. The Roman armies had not yet even crossed the Tigris. But when Augustus was in Syria, we are informed by Suetonius, ambassadors came from the far East to ask his protection and alliance.
25. lucibus] This word is used for diebus' by Ovid (Fast. iii. 397) :— "His etiam conjux apicati cincta Dialis
Lucibus impexas debet habere comas."
The singular is more common.
29. Virtute functos] This is a concise way of expressing 'virtutis munere functos,' as in Cicero (Tusc. i. 45): "Nemo parum diu vixit qui virtutis perfectae perfecto functus est munere.'
more patrum] Cic. (Tusc. i. 2) tells us that in the Origines of Cato it is stated that it was the custom of old to sing songs at meals upon the virtues of great men. The practice may have been partially revived in Horace's day. The conclusion of this Ode recalls C. iv. 5. 31, sq.
30 Lydis] Plato tells us that the Lydian and Ionian melodies were best suited to delicacy and feasting, the Dorian and Phrygian to war; and Aristotle that the Lydian were most suitable to the tender age of boyhood, as harmonizing the mind and training it to good. There is no particular force, however, here in the word Lydis.' As to 'tibiis,' see C. i. 1. 32, n. pipes used by the Lydians themselves are called by Herodotus (i. 17) avλós ἀνδρήϊος and αὐτὸς γυναικήϊος, probably as representing the voices of a man and a woman respectively.
31. Anchisen] The family of Anchises, the grandfather of Iulus, are mentioned here, because Augustus belonged by adoption to the Julian family, of which Iulus was the reputed founder.
THE SECULAR HYMN.
WHEN Augustus had completed the period of ten years for which the im perial power was at first placed in his hands (B. C. 27 - 17), he determined to celebrate his successes at home and abroad by an extraordinary festival, and he took as his model the Ludi Tarentini or Taurii, which had in former times been observed as a means of propitiating the infernal deities, Dis and Proserpina, on occasions of great public calamities. It does not appear that_this festival ever was held at regular intervals. How, therefore, the name Ludi Seculares arose, is not clear; but, as it was now for the first time given, it was probably convenient to have it believed that the games were no more than the observance of a periodical solemnity. The Quindecimviri were ordered to consult the Sibylline books, and they reported, no doubt as they were desired, that the time was come when this great national festival should be repeated, and the details of it were laid down as from the commands of the oracle in a set of hexameter Greek verses, composed of course for the occasion, and which have been preserved to us by the historian Zosimus.
Horace appears to have been much pleased at being chosen poet-laureate of the occasion (see C. iv. 6, Introd.). The Ode was sung at the most solemn part of the festival, while the emperor was in person offering sacrifice at the second hour of the night, on the river-side, upon three altars, attended by the fifteen men who presided over religious affairs. The chorus consisted of twenty-seven boys and twenty-seven girls of noble birth, well trained no doubt for the occasion (C. iv. 6). The effect must have been very beautiful, and no wonder that the impression on Horace's feelings (for in all probability he was present) was strong and lasting.
Apollo and Diana, hear the prayers we offer you in obedience to the Sibyl's commands (1-8).
O Sun, that rulest the day, thou lookest upon nothing mightier than Rome (9-12).
Ilithyia, protect our mothers and children, and prosper our marriage-law that so, in the cycle of years, this our festival may come again (13-24).
And ye, Parcæ, who do prophesy truly, let our future destiny be as the past. Let the earth and air give strength to our flocks and fruits (25-32). Hide thy weapon, Apollo, and hear thy suppliant boys (33, 34), Queen of the stars, Ó Moon, hear thy maidens (35, 36),
Since Rome is your handiwork, and at your bidding Eneas brought his remnant to these shores (37-44).
Ye gods, give virtue to the young and peace to the old, and power and sons and glory to the family of Romulus (45 – 48).
Grant the prayers of the noble son of Anchises, for his victories shall be tempered with mercy (49-52).
Humbled are the Mede, the proud Scythian, and the Indian (53-56); Peace, plenty, and all the virtues have returned to our land (57-60). May Phoebus, the augur, the prince of the bow and of song, the physician who favorably regardeth his Palatine temple and the fortunes of Rome and Latium, ever extend our blessings to another and still happier lustrum (61-68).
May Diana, who inhabiteth the Palatine and Algidus, hear our prayers (69-72).
We, the choir of Phœbus and Diana, will go home believing that our prayers are heard (73–76).
1. silvarumque potens] Compare C. iii. 22. 1. 'Lucidum caeli decus' applies to both deities.
5. Sibyllini] See Introd. These were oracular books written, it is conjectured, on palm-leaves, in Greek verse, which were kept in the Capitol and consulted on extraordinary occasions. The leaves taken at random were supposed to give the directions required. They were under the care of certain persons, at this time fifteen in number (quindecimviri,' v. 70), who alone had power to consult them. The books were said originally to have been sold to Tarquinius Superbus by an old woman, and to have been three in number. They were burnt with the Capitol, B. c. 82, but collections of these verses having accumulated in various towns of Italy, they were got together and deposited in the same building, and used as before.
6. Virgines lectas] See Introd.
7. septem placuere colles] The seven hills of Rome, which were Cœlius, Esquilinus, Viminalis, Quirinalis, Capitolinus, Palatinus, Aventinus.
9. Alme] This epithet is to be taken in its proper sense as derived from 'alo.' 'Sun the nurturer.' This stanza is addressed to Phoebus, and was sung perhaps by the boys. The two next, addressed to Diana, may have been taken up by the girls; but this is uncertain.
13. Rite maturos] O thou whose office it is gently to bring babes to the birth in due season.' 'Rite' means according to thy province and functions.' Eixelvía, the Greek name for Here and Artemis, or more properly in the plural number for their attendants, when presiding at the delivery of women, (which name is said to contain the root of eλdeîv, but that seems doubtful,) is represented by the Latin 'Lucina,' " 'quae in lucem profert," which title also was given indiscriminately to Juno and Diana. The title 'Genitalis' does not occur elsewhere in this sense, but appears to be a version of the Greek Tevetuλdís, which was applied to Aphrodite as well as Artemis and her attendants.
17. producas] This signifies to rear,' as in C. ii. 13. 3.
18. Prosperes decreta] In B. c. 18, the year before this Ode was written, a law was passed which, after Augustus, was called "Lex Julia de Maritandis Ordinibus," its object being the regulation and promotion of marriages. It is referred to in the note on C. i. 2. 24.
21. Certus undenos] The notion that the Secular Games were celebrated every 110 years, which seems to have been the length of a seculum as measured by the Etruscans, was a fiction invented probably at this time. There is no trace or probability of their having been so celebrated either before or after Augustus. They lasted three days and nights. They were celebrated by Claudius, A. D. 47, and again by Domitian, A. D. 88.
25 Vosque veraces cecinisse,] Ye too who are true to declare, O Parcæ, that which hath been once decrced, and which the steadfast order of events is confirming' (that is, the power of Rome). The orders of the oracle (sce Introduction) directed a special sacrifice of lambs and goats, novтoyóvois Moipaus, which was the Greek name of the Parca (some writers derived their birth from Oceanus and Ge, the earth). Semel,' in the sense of 'once for all' (каðáжαέ), is common enough. The Parcæ could not but be true exponents of the decrees (fata ') of Jove, since to them their execution was intrusted. That was their province (see C. ii. 16. 39). There may be some inconsistency in asking them to give good fates to Rome, since they could
only execute ministerially 'quod semel dictum est.' But such confusion is
33. Condito mitis placidusque telo] The boys take up the song for two lines, the girls for two more, and after that they probably join their voices.
On the promontory near Actium there was a statue of Apollo with his bow bent and a fierce aspect, which was an object of terror to the sailors who ap proached the coast. (See Virg. Aen. iii. 274, sq.) And again on the shield of Æneas (viii. 704) the same figure is represented. To this god Augustus paid his devotions before his battle with M. Antonius, and to him he attributed his success. Accordingly, on his return to Rome, he built a temple to Apollo of Actium on Mons Palatinus (v. 65; C. i. 31; Epp. i. 3. 17), and set up a statue (executed by Scopas, see C. iv. 8. 6, n.) of that god, but in a different character, the bow being laid aside and a lyre substituted for it in one hand, and a plectrum in the other. He was clad also in a long flowing robe. Propertius was present at the dedication of the temple, and gives a description of it (ii. 31); the last object he mentions being the statue of Apollo, as above described. This change of character is what Horace alludes to.
35. regina bicornis] In a rilievo on Constantine's arch, Diana, as the moon, is represented in her chariot drawn by two horses, and with a small crescent on her forehead, which is a common way of representing her on gems and medals. In the above group Hesperus is flying in front of her.
37. Roma si vestrum est opus,] Æneas tells Dido (Virg. Aen. iv. 345) that it was the oracle of Apollo that bade him seek Italy, and Horace introduces this with good effect, associating Diana with her brother for the occasion. See C. iv. 6. 21, n.
41. fraude] C. ii. 19. 20.
42. Castus C. iii. 2. 30, where the correlative term is used: "Neglectus incesto addidit integrum." Aen. vi. 661:
Quique sacerdotes casti."
43. Liberum munivit iter,] Made a free course,' 'opened the way.' 'Munire' is used commonly in this sense both literally and figuratively. See Livy (xxi. 37, where he is describing Hannibal's passage of the Alps): “Inde ad rupem muniendam per quam unam via esse poterat milites ducti," etc. Cicero (in Verrem, ii. 3. 68), "Existimat easdem vias ad omnium familiaritatem esse munitas."
49. Quaeque vos bobus veneratur] Veneratur' is equivalent to venerando precatur,' and is used transitively here and in S. ii. 2. 124; 6. 8, as well as in other authors. The oracle required that milk-white bulls should be offered by day to Zeus.
51. bellante prior, Bellante' is opposed to jacentem,' and 'prior' to 'lenis.' 'Mightier than his enemy in the fight, but merciful when he is fallen.' The chorus pray rather for the blessings of peace than the triumphs of war, and therefore praise Augustus's clemency to his conquered enemies, which accorded with the warning of Anchises (Aen. vi. 852, where Virgil plainly had reference to Augustus) :
"Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento;
Hae tibi erunt artes, pacisque imponere morem,
54. Albanas secures, The Roman fasces, as "Albanique patres" (Aen. i. 7). Ascanius or Iulus, the son of Eneas, according to the legends from which the Romans had their notions of their own history, transferred the seat of his father's kingdom to Alba Longa, and there it continued till Romulus, his descendant, founded a kingdom on the banks of the Tiber, about ten miles from Alba.
55. responsa] Replies to their offers of submission and petitions for friendship. This word is used for the replies of the gods, and here perhaps expresses the majesty of Augustus delivering his will as that of a god, like
Virgil (Ecl. i. 45): "Hic mihi responsum primus dedit iile petenti." But 'responsum' is also a technical term for the answer of a jurisconsult to a client, or a superior to an inferior, as of the emperor to the governor of a province.
57. Jam Fides et Par] This group occurs nearly in the same combination in C. i. 24. 6. The figures are variously represented on medals, &c. Fides' represents honesty, good faith, and is called in the above place ‘justitiae soror.' 'Honos' has nothing to do with what we call honor in the sense of honesty (fides'), but represents Gloria in her good character (for she had a bad, as vainglory, C. i. 18. 15). Virtus' is most usually represented in a military character, as Fortitudo; but the name embraced all moral courage and steadfastness in well-doing, with which military courage was closely associated in the mind of a Roman. Pudor,' or 'pudicitia,' represents conjugal fidelity. Juvenal speaks of her especially as having left the earth at the close of the reign of Saturn. But all these virtues are said to have left the earth with Astræa at the close of the golden age, and their return is intended to represent the return of that age.
60. Copia cornu.] Copia, whose horn was most properly the symbol of Fortune (C. i. 17. 14, n.), but was also given to many other divinities, as Fides, Felicitas, Concordia, Honos, &c., was herself represented under the forms of Abundantia and Annona, the latter signifying the supply of corn for consumption in the city.
61. Augur] All prophets and augurs were held to be servants of Apollo, and to derive their knowledge from him.
et fulgente decorus arcu] This seems to contradict the prayer in v. 33; but the bow of Apollo did not always inspire dread. He is sometimes represented with this unstrung at his back, and the lyre and plectrum in his hands (C. ii. 10. 19); and it is uncertain whether he did not so appear in the statue above referred to.
62. acceptusque novem Camenis,] See C. iv. 6. 25, n. In some ancient rilievi and paintings Apollo is represented as seated in the midst of the nine Muses, who are all paying attention to him.
63. Qui salutari] Apollo's attribute as the healer is one of the oldest that was attached to him, and is most commonly exhibited in his statues and other representations. It is symbolized by the serpent which always attends the figures of Salus, Esculapius, and others connected with the healing art. Ovid makes him say :
"Inventum medicina meum est; opiferque per orbem
Dicor, et herbarum subjecta potentia nobis." (Met. i. 521.)
65 Si Palatinas videt aequus arces,] See above, v. 33, n. 'Felix' agrees with 'acvum,' and 'videt' governs 'arces,' 'rem,' and 'Latium.' 'May he prolong this happy age to another and another lustrum, and ever to a happier.' It is common with Horace to put an adjective and its substantive at the two extremes of a period.
69. Quaeque Aventinum] Diana had a temple on Mons Aventinus and on Algidus (C. i. 21. 6). From this stanza it has been assumed by some that the sacred commissioners (the quindecimviri,' see Introd. and v. 5, n.) took part in the singing, which is not very probable. Their number, which was originally two, and was increased to ten about 150 years after the establishment of the Republic, was raised to fifteen either by Sulla or Julius Cæsar.
71. puerorum] This includes the whole choir of boys and girls.
74. reporto,] The whole choir take up this last stanza, or else the leader does so for them, declaring their confidence that the prayers they have offered have been heard by Jove and all the gods.
75. Doctus] C. iv. 6. 43: "docilis modorum Vatis Horati."