« PreviousContinue »
connects the name of Ilia (Rea Sylvia) with the Julian line as Virgil does those of Ilus and Iulus, Aen. 1. 269–288. The Schol. refer to Ennius for the story of her being thrown into the Tiber. Claudian calls her · Tiberini uxor.' Ovid represents her as finding a refuge and a husband in the Anio.
18. Cp. the opening of Lucan's Pharsalia, esp. v. 10 foll. ‘Cumque superba foret Babylon spolianda tropaeis Ausoniis, umbraque erraret Crassus inulta, Bella geri placuit nullos habitura triumphos;' see also Epod. 7. 5-10.
19. Iove non probante. Jupiter, as the Schol. says, “terreri voluit populum, non perire;' he disapproves the excessive vengeance of Ilia. For the division of a word between the third and fourth lines of a Sapphic stanza, cp. 1. 25. 11 'sub inter-lunia vento;' 2. 16.7. neque purpura ve-nale neque auro.'
21. cives. The purpose for which the sword is sharpened, is indicated partly by the contrasted “better' purpose, partly by the emphasis on 'cives’; not as soldiers, nor as Romans against foreigners, but as citizens, in pursuance of an intestine, civil quarrel ; see on Od. 1. 32. 5, and 1. 35. 34. Compare the use of soror' in Virg. Aen. 12. 871.
22. graves, Od. 3. 5. 4 =‘molesti.'
Persae. From the decline of the Syro-Macedonian kingdom, B.C. 250 foll, to the restoration of a Persian dynasty in the person of Artaxerxes, the founder of the Sassanidae, A.D. 226, the ruling race of western Asia was the Parthi, a tribe originally settled to the east of Media, and immediately south of the Caspian. Their kings, the Arsacidae, fixed their capital at Seleucia on the Tigris, where they adopted the pomp and title of the old Persian monarchs, βασιλεύς βασιλέων, βασιλεύς μέγας. Horace is the only Augustan writer who calls them "Persae' (and therefore, following the Greek usage, also · Medi’; see below, v. 51), an instance probably of the predominant influence of Greek associations upon his style. Cp. the still more definite identification of the two dynasties, Od. 2. 2. 17 • Redditum Cyri solio Phraaten.'
24. rara, our youth thinned by their parents' crimes.' There will be few to hear the story, for civil war has killed those who should have bred up sons for the state; cp. C. S. 17-20.
25. ruentis imperi rebus. The dative='ut rebus succurrat,' rebus,''the fortunes.' It is a variety of the more usual 'ruentibus rebus,' as Virg. uses ‘res fractae,' Tac. ‘res labantes.'
25. imperi, ‘the empire'=the whole system of Roman rule—the State in its aspect of power and majesty, 1. 37. 8. Sometimes it contains more detinitely the idea of the dominion of Rome over foreign peoples, 3. 5. 4, 'adiectis Britannis Imperio’; cp. the verb in 3. 6. 5 * Dis te minorem quod geris imperas (Romane). 4. 15. 14 'fama .. et
imperi Porrecta maiestas ad ortus solis et Hesperium cubile' seems to combine buth shades of meaning.
27. minus audientem, ' turning a deaf ear to their litanies.' Vesta is represented as offended at the murder of the Pontifex Maximus, whose office was specially connected with her service and temple, see above, v. 16. Ordinarily she would be the protectress of Rome.
29. scelus, ayos, guilt which involves ceremonial pollution. Ср. Virg. E. 4. 13' sceleris vestigia nostri’; Hor. Epod. 7. 1 ' Quo, quo, scelesti ruitis’? The 'scelus,' which in those places is the guilt of civil bloodshed generally, is here summed up in the murder of Caesar.
31. Ηom. 11. 5. 186 νεφέλη ειλυμένος ώμους, veiling his brightness that mortals might look upon him.
32. augur. Apollo (uávtis, Alòs apoptos)—-Romanized as the god of augury, Virg. Aen. 4. 376,—may tell them how the pollution is to be removed.
33. Erycina, “Venus,’ from her temple on Mount Eryx in Sicily, Virg. Aen. 5. 759. The people of Segesta applied to Tiberius to restore this temple on the ground of its mythical connection with the founder of the Julian gens, and he . suscepit curam libens ut consanguineus,' Tac. Ann. 4. 43.
35. genus et nepotes, = 'genus nepotum,' Od. 3. 17. 3. The purpose of the hendiadys is to give full emphasis to 'neglectum' and to ' auctor' by allowing each a clause to itself.
36. auctor. Mars, the father of Romulus and Remus; Virg. Aen. 4. 365 ' generis nec Dardanus auctor.'
37. ludo, war is the sport of Mars (see on Od. 1. 28. 17) as the turns of luck are the sport of Fortune, Od. 3. 29. 50 ; the miseries and errors of lovers, of Venus and Cupid, 1. 33. 10, 3. 27. 67.
39. Mauri. This is the reading of all the MSS. and of Acr. and Porph. Tan. Faber conjectured · Marsi,' and Bentley argues at length for it on the ground that the . Mauri' were 'nec fortes, nec pedites, nec cominus pugnantes.' To the first point Ritter well answers that it is ferocity, not courage, which is in question. For the others he shows from Sall. Jug. 59, that the Numidae at least had learnt at this time to mingle foot soldiers amongst their cavalry. For the Roman practice in this respect see Liv. 26. 4, Caes. B. G. 1. 48, 7. 65. This is simpler than Orelli's explanation of 'peditis,'"dismounted.'
cruentum, ' bleeding.'
41-43. 'Or if thou be sweet Maia's winged child wearing on earth the disguise of human youth.'
41. iuvenem, Virg. E. 1. 43 . Hic illum vidi iuvenem’; G. 1. f00 • Hunc saltem everso iuvenem succurrere seclo Ne prohibete.' Augustus
would be now, if we take Franke's date for the Ode, thirty-four years old.
45-50. Cp. Virg. G. 1. 503 ‘Iampridem nobis caeli te regia, Caesar, Invidet, atque hominum queritur curare triumphos; Quippe ubi fas versum atque nefas,' etc.
47. nostris vitiis iniquum, ' intolerant of,''non diutius aequa mente vitia ferentem.' Franke sees in these words a reference to the censorian power which Octavianus had accepted in the year B.c. 29.
48. aura tollat, keeps up the character of the winged Mercury, ever on tiptoe' for flight.
49. triumphos. “Caesar triplici invectus Romana triumpho Moenia,' Virg. Aen. 8. 714; “Curules triumphos tres egit, Dalmaticum, Actiacum, Alexandrinum: continuo triduo omnes,' Suet. Oct. 22.
50. pater. The title of . Pater patriae' was not solemnly given to Augustus by the Senate till B.C. 2, but, as Ovid says, Fast. 2. 127, it was only the ratification of a title which had been long given him by popular usage: 'Sancte Pater patriae, tibi Plebs, tibi Curia nomen Hoc dedit; hoc dedimus nos tibi nomen Eques; Res tamen ante dedit.' It was a title familiar to Roman ears, having been given by the Senate to Cicero (Juv. 8. 243), and in earlier times to Camillus by the army (Liv. 5. 49); and 'Parenti patriae' had been the inscription placed by the people on the column erected in the Forum to Julius Caesar's memory, Suet. Jul. 85, Cic. Phil. 1. 2. Horace promises (Od. 3. 24. 27) a similar title to any one who will venture to restrain the licence of the time, pointing, of course, to Augustus, “Si quaeret Pater urbium Subscribi statuis, indomitam audeat Refrenare licentiam. The title of ‘Princeps' (Od. 4. 14. 6), sc. “senatus,' must also (if we take Franke's date for the Ode) be here anticipated, as it was conferred on him in the following year (B.C. 28) by Agrippa, his colleague in the Censorship, Dio C. 53. I.
51. Augustus is to restore the disturbed order of things, v. 21, 22, to stay the civil war, and to retrieve the military glory of Rome, which had been tarnished by the defeat of Crassus in B.C. 53, and Antony in B.C. 36.
equitare, Od. 2. 9. 24.
52. Caesar. The true name of the incarnate Mercury is reserved to be the last word left on our ears, the word that stills all the fears and satisfies all the doubts of the preceding stanzas.
O ship, in which Virgil is sailing to Greece, carry thy precious burden safely. It is a dreadful risk, the sea. He was a hard, bold
man who first ventured upon it. The gods meant it to be a barrier impassable, but man delights in disobedience. Prometheus brought fire on earth and sickness with it. Daedalus tried to fly. Acheron was no barrier to Hercules. Where shall we stop? and when will Jove be able to lay aside his bolts of wrath ?'
This Ode has been very generally referred to the voyage of Virgil to Athens, from which he returned only to die in B.c. 19. This, however, would fix its composition four years later than the date which the considerations suggested by Od. 1. 12 lead us to assign to the publication of Books i-iii; nor is it an Ode which seems very likely to have been inserted after publication. Given to the world in Virgil's lifetime, it seems playful and affectionate, but it would seem cold and irrelevant to be published after his early death, and in a volume in which it was the sole record of their friendship. Franke felt the difficulty so much that he proposed to read “Quintilium' for · Virgilium,' thinking that he could trace a correspondence between this Ode and 1. 24, especially in v. 11 'heu non ita creditum.' It has even been suggested that it may have been another Virgilius, as is the case probably with Od. 4. 12. The simplest solution would be that the reference is to another voyage. All we know even the voyage in B.C. 19 is due to the fragmentary biography which goes by the name of Donatus, and which is not supposed to be earlier than the fifth century.
For other notices of Horace's friendship for Virgil, cp. Sat. 1. 5. 40 ; 6. 55. The form of the Ode may have been suggested by a poem of Callimachus, the beginning of which is preserved :
& ναύς και το μόνον φέγγος εμον το γλυκύ τας ζοάς
άρπαξας, ποτί τυ Ζανος εκνεύμαι λιμενοσκόπω. Statius' 'Propempticon Metio Celeri,' Sylv. 3. 2, is in great part an expansion of Horace's poem. We may contrast Horace's wishes for the voyage of an enemy, Epod. 1o.
The tirade against sea-travelling as one form of man's restless audacity is in part playful; and as Prof. Sellar (Roman Poets of the Augustan Age, p. 120) suggests, adapted to Virgil's own temperament and expressed feelings: but Horace recurs to the idea that commerce and the mingling of nations are against nature and a source of evil, and that if the golden age could return they would cease; Od. 3. 24. 36-41, Epod. 16. 57-62. Cp. Virg. E. 4. 32–39; and Hesiod épya kaì tquépai 236.
Lines 1-7. sic . . regat .. reddas. This may be taken, 'Pay back (may Venus so guide thee), etc., a wish, with a parenthetical wish for that which is necessary to its accomplishment. But 'sic' in wishes, as
in protestations, seems always to involve a condition; see Conington's note on Virg. E. 9. 30 ‘Sic tua Cyrneas fugiant examina taxos, . . Incipe;' cp. Od. 1. 28. 25. May you suffer shipwreck if you do not pay back,' etc. The prayer is illogical, for if the ship did suffer shipwreck on the voyage it could not land Virgil safely. But the ship is personified, and charged by its hopes of happiness to perform a certain task; and what happiness can a ship look for but calm seas and favouring winds ?
1. potens Cypri, for the gen. cp. Od. 1. 5. 15 'potenti maris deo’; 1. 6. 10 'musa lyrae potens.' He is addressing Venus ('marina,’ Od. 3. 26. 5, 4. 11. 15); she was worshipped at Cnidus under the name of eutloia, Paus. 1. 1. 4. Cp. Ov. Her. 19. 160 · Auso Venus ipsa favebit, Sternet et aequoreas aequore nata vias.'
2. fratres Helenae, Castor and Pollux, Od. 4. 8. 31. Clarum Tyndaridae sidus ab infimis Quassas eripiunt aequoribus rates.' Cp. 1. 12. 25 foll., 3. 29. 64. They were especial protectors of sailors, who saw their presence in the electric lights which are said to play about the spars of a vessel at times after stormy weather in the Mediterranean, and which are now called St. Elmo's fire. It is these, and not the constellation Gemini, that are the 'lucida sidera.' Cp. Statius Pro. Met. Cel. 8 · Proferte benigna Sidera, et antennae gemino considite cornu.'
3. regat, for the number, see on v. 10.
4. aliis, all others,' cp. Sat. 1. 10. 77, an uncommon use, but found even in good prose ; 'vulgus aliud trucidatum,' Liv. 7. 19. It is perhaps rather in its sense of årloos than of árlos, those of other kinds.'
läpyga, 'albus Täpyx,' Od. 3. 27. 20. The N.W. wind, which got its name in the mouths of those who crossed from Brundusium to Dyrrhachium, on whom it blew from the Täpygium Promontorium' in Apulia, and to whom it was the most favourable wind.
6. finibus Atticis, “ambiguum utrum “ debes finibus Atticis” an “ finibus Atticis reddas,” 'Porph. It is really governed ånd koivoû, as grammarians say, by both. This is a construction which Horace often adopts for the sake of brevity, and to avoid clumsy and unmanageable pronouns and particles. Compare the position of consiliis’in Od. 2. 11. 11; of sibi'in 3. 8. 19; of 'cantare' in Sat. 1. 3. 2. The metaphor of a depositum' (Stat. 1. c. 5 Grande tuo rarumque damus, Neptune, profundo Depositum') is sustained through the words .creditum,' • debes,' 'reddas’; with 'incolumem’ the safety' of Virgil becomes again more prominent than the entireness' of the repayment.
8. et, 'and so.' It couples two descriptions of the same action, first