Page images
PDF
EPUB

He was also one of the most accomplished men of the age. Catullus (12. 9) speaks of him in his youth as ‘leporum Disertus puer et facetiarum.' He is ranked among the great orators by Quintilian (10. 1. 113), Seneca (Epist. 100), and Tacitus (De Or. 38). His tragedies are spoken of in high terms by Virgil (E. 8. 10‘sola Sophocleo tua carmina digna cothurno') and Horace (Sat. 1. 10. 42). His history of the civil wars, from B.c. 60 to the establishment of Augustus' power, is referred to by Tacitus (Ann. 4. 34), Suetonius (Jul. Caes. 30).

We may notice the skill with which Pollio's various accomplishments are worked incidentally into the Ode.

Line 1. motum, the stir of civil strife; Cicero's word for a tumult or rising, whether of a foreign or a domestic enemy.

ex Metello consule, from the consulship of Q. Caec. Metellus Celer and L. Afranius, B.c. 60, the year of the league between Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar, often called the First Triumvirate.

civicum, an archaic and, with the exception of the phrase "civica corona,' almost exclusively poetical form of the more usual civilis.' Cp. 'hosticus' for 'hostilis,’ 3. 2. 6.

2. vitia, 'crimes.' modos='rationes,' its shifting phases, now on land, now on sea, etc. 3. ludum Fortunae, Od. 3. 29. 50, 1. 2. 37.

graves principum amicitias, cp. Lucan 1. 84 'Tu causa malorum, Facta tribus dominis communis Roma, nec unquam In turbam missi feralia foedera regni. O male concordes !' etc. It must not be applied to the triumvirate of Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus, of which Horace would not speak in such terms.

5. nondum expiatis, Od. 1. 2. 29.
cruoribus, plural of quantity, 2. 14. 25, Virg. Aen. 4. 687.

6. aleae, of hazards which no prudence can foresee. Horace's object is not to discourage Polllo, but to exalt the value of the difficult task which he is performing.

7. ignes . . doloso, metaphorical, of any dangerous business. Callim. 46. 2 TÜP TO TỘ otodin, Prop. 1. 5.5 ignotos vestigia ferre per ignes.'

9. severae, solemn, stately. Cp. Aristotle's epithets of Tragedy and its subjects, σπουδαίος, σεμνός.

11. ordinaris, after the Greek ouvtártelv, of composition. This is the Scholiast's interpretation; but before Bentley the other commentators took it to mean, according to a common poetical figure, ‘tell of the settlement of the State.' Orelli's objection to this seems to be forcible, that it would imply Pollio's approval of Augustus' policy more distinctly than Horace appears to intend. 12. Cecropio cothurno. For the abl. cp. V. 16 Delmatico triumpho,' and 2. 7. 16. fretis aestuosis,' and see on 1. 6. 2 and 3. 5. 5. The relation is of the nature of those classed together as the ablative absolute'; i.e. the adjective is predicative, and it is not the substantive alone, but the substantive and adjective together which constitute the circumstance which justifies or limits the main statement. Pollio's occupation is a 'lofty calling,' because the buskin' which he wears is that of the Attic stage.

14. consulenti, absol. ‘in its counsels. Like 'maestis,' it describes the time at which Pollio's services would be most needed.

Pollio. There seems to be force in the reservation of Pollio's name for this place, when our interest has been roused for the forthcoming history, 'the history written,' Horace would say, 'not by a bystander, but by the great orator, statesman, warrior. Compare a more evident instance of art in the collocation of a name, in the conclusion of Od. 1. 2.

curiae, 'the senate.' Cp. Od. 3. 5. 7.

16. Delmatico, Virg. E. 8. 6 foll. Pollio was sent by Antony against the Parthini, an Illyrian tribe who had espoused the cause of Brutus and Cassius. He defeated them, and took their chief town, Salonae. For the ablative see above on v. 12.

19. fugaces, pred. “scares them till they would fain fly.'

20. equitum voltus; compare with Dillt. Plutarch Caes. 45 (in the account of the battle of Pharsalia) ου γαρ ήνείχοντο των υσσων αναφερομένων ουδ' ετόλμων εν οφθάλμοις τον σίδηρον δρώντες, αλλ' απεστρέφοντο και συνεκαλύπτοντο φειδόμενοι των προσώπων. Ritter sees a definite reference to Caesar's order to his soldiers (Plut. ib.) to 'strike at the faces' of the Pompeians.

21. audire . . duces, ' to hear you reading of chiefs, etc. Ritter, Orelli, and Dillé, take it of hearing the voices of the chiefs haranguing or giving command in the battle. Both interpretations are as old as Acron. The latter would suit better with the preceding stanza; but there would be a harsh zeugma in the use of 'audire,' which, with ' cuncta terrarum subacta,' must mean to hear of'; and although 'non indecoro pulvere sordidos' may refer only to the dust and heat of battle (Od. 1. 6. 14 pulvere Troico Nigrum Merionen '), not to biting the ground in death, yet if .audire' means “to hear them speaking,' we should certainly have expected an epithet for duces,' which should appeal to the ear rather than to the eye. Bentley felt this difficulty, and wished to read, in despite of the MSS., 'videre.' The point, which Orelli desiderates in our interpretation of the verse, is possibly given by the fact (recorded by the elder Seneca, Controv. 4 Praef.), that ' recitation' by an author of his compositions was a novel practice introduced by Pollio himself.

6

23. cuncta terrarum, Od. 4. 4. 76acuta belli'; 4. 12. 19'amara curarum'; Madv. § 284. obs. 3 n.

subacta, sc. a Caesare.

24. atrocem, .stubborn.' Silius, 6. 378, of Regulus, 'Atrox illa fides.'

Catonis, Od. 1. 12. 35. Catonis nobile letum.' The mention of Cato's death, and the final overthrow of the Pompeians at Thapsus, suggest the thought that Jugurtha is avenged in the Roman blood shed on African soil. Similarly, and perhaps with remembrance of this passage, Lucan 4. 788 foll. ·Excitet invisas dirae Carthaginis umbras Inferiis Fortuna novis: ferat ista cruentus Hannibal et Poeni tam dira piacula Manes.' Orelli reminds us that the impression which Jugurtha's cruel death (see on Od. 2. 13. 18) had made on the Romans had been revived by Sallust's history.

25. Iuno, Virg. Aen. 1. 15. The Roman poets represent Juno as a special patroness of Africa, identifying her with the Phoenician goddess Astarte.

26. cesserat. So Virgil of the gods of the conquered city, Aen. 2. 351 · Excessere omnes adytis arisque relictis Di quibus imperium hoc steterat. Cp. the story of the destruction of Jerusalem, Tac. Hist. 5. 13 · Exapertae repente delubri fores, et audita maior humana vox, excedere deos; simul ingens motus excedentium.'

impotens, powerless to save their land from Rome.

29. pinguior, Virg. G. 1. 491 ' sanguine nostro Emathiam et latos Haemi pinguescere campos.'

30. sepulcris, the barrows that marked battlefields (ib. 493-497).

31. auditumque Medis. There seem to be two ideas conveyed; one of the mighty crash of the empire in the West heard in the extreme East, the other of the shame that barbarians should witness the catastrophe of Rome. Cp. Od. 3. 5. 39.

34. Dauniae, • Apulian' for 'Roman.' See on Od. 1. 22. 14 and 3. 5. 9.

37-40. Cp. 1. 6. 17 foll., 3. 3. 69, 3. 5. 55, Introd. to Books i-iii, § 10. 3.

retractes quaere. For the construction see on 1. 33. I.

38. retractes, take up the task which Simonides of Ceos (cp. 4. 9. 7) left unfinished.

munera, as 'grande munus,' supr. v. 11.
naeniae, Ophvov, 'maestius lacrymis Simonideis,' Catull. 38. 8.

39. Dionaeo, the grot of Venus, where the songs will be of love; so called from Dione, Venus' mother. Virg. E. 9. 47 . Dionaei Caesaris.'

40. leviore plectro, opposed to Od. 4. 2. 33 ' maiore plectro.' Cp.

37. ne

[ocr errors]

2. 13. 26 (of Alcaeus' style) aureo plectro'; Ov. Met. 10. 150 cecini plectro graviore gigantas, Nunc opus est leviore lyra.' The 'plectrum' was a little bar, usually of gold or ivory, with which the player touched the strings of the lyre.

ODE II.

* Wealth has no value save to use well: used as Proculeius used it, it wins immortal fame. To tame the spirit of avarice is more than to own the world. Avarice is like the thirst of dropsy, which grows by indulgence. Virtue calls him alone happy, him alone the true king, who has subdued the love of money.'

That the Ode is addressed to Salustius is enough to show that there could be no danger of the world's applying its doctrine to him.

The little we know of him is chiefly derived from Tacitus, Ann. 3. 30, where his death in A.D. 20 is recorded : Crispum, equestri loco, C. Salustius rerum Romanarum florentissimus auctor, sororis nepotem, in nomen adscivit. Atque ille quanquam prompto ad capessendos honores aditu, Maecenatem aemulatus, sine dignitate senatoria multos iumphalium consulariumque potentia anteiit, diversus a veterum instituto per cultum et munditias copiaque et affluentia luxu propior. Suberat tamen vigor animi negotiis par, eo acrior quo somnum et inertiam magis ostentabat. Igitur incolumi Maecenate proximus, mox praecipuus cui secreta imperatorum inniterentur, et interficiendi Postumi Agrippae conscius, aetate provecta speciem magis in amicitia principis quam vim tenuit.' Horace had satirised him some years before (Sat. 1. 2. 48 foll.), but he has now made his acquaintance in the Court circle. Pliny (N. H. 34. 2) mentions that the Sallust family possessed copper mines in the Tarentaise (“Centronum tractu'), and it has been suggested that this gave a special point to the first stanza, ' As you know from your experience of ore.'

6

Lines 1-4. ' As silver has no brightness while it is still in the mine, so wealth only acquires its value by the uses it is put to.' In the first line and a half we have the allegory, its application helped by the epithet • avaris,' which suggests the miser's hoards as the parallel for the useless ore; in the remainder of the stanza we have the application, but still clothed, with the exception of · temperato,' in terms metaphorical, taken from the allegory (* lamnae,' • splendeat'). See notes on 1. 35. 19, 4. 2. 5-8, 4. 4. 59.

2. abdito terris, as Od. 3. 3. 49 ‘aurum irrepertum . . cum terra celat. Much of the force of the stanza is lost if we take it with the Scholiast of the miser's treasure, . qui defosso incubat auro,' Sat. 1. lamnae, the unwrought bar into which the ore was first run. Bentley pointed out that the construction is 'inimice lamnae nisi splendeat,' not as it had been strangely taken, 'nullus argento color est nisi splendeat.' For the syncopated form see on Od. 1. 36. 8.

3. Crispe Salusti. For this inversion of the family and the gentile name cp. ' Hirpine Quinti,' Od. 2. 11. 2; . Fuscus Aristius,’ Sat. 1. 10. 61; ‘Cascellius Aulus,' A. P. 371. Such violations of the old usage were growing common. Thus Velleius Paterculus (born B.c. 19) has • Drusus Claudius' and 'Silvanus Plautius' (2. 97 and 112, quoted in Dict. Ant.).

4. usu seems to apply primarily to the brightening of genuine metal by handling (λάμπει γαρ εν χρείαισιν ώσπερ εκπρεπής χάλκος, Soph. Fr. 742, quoted by Ritter); secondarily and metaphorically, to the right use of money. In the epithet ' temperato,' on the contrary, the moral sense is the predominant one.

5-8. An instance of the wisely directed use of which he speaks. Acron's note is, • Proculeius qui pius sic erga fratres suos Scipionem et Murenam fuit ut cum spoliatis bello civili patrimonium suum de integro divideret,' in which 'Scipionem ' has been ingeniously altered by Estré to Caepionem,' the name of the person who suffered with Murena for a conspiracy against Augustus in B.C. 22. There is no reason, however, from any other authority, to suppose that the two were brothers. It may perhaps be doubted whether Horace's words necessarily imply that Proculeius had more than one brother : the plural generalises. That he was the brother (or cousin, for this doubt always besets the words. frater' and ådelpós) of Murena (Od. 3. 19. 11, Sat. 1. 5. 38), the 'Licinius' of Od. 2. 10, and the brother of Maecenas' wife Terentia, we know from Dio 54. 3. Proculeius was high in Augustus' favour; so much so, that he is named as one of the persons to whom at different times the emperor had thought of marrying his daughter Julia (Tac. Ann. 4. 40). Juvenal (7. 94) couples him with Maecenas as a patron of literature.

5. vivet extento aevo, “shall live beyond the term of life.' Cp. Virg. Aen, 10. 468 · breve et irreparabile tempus Omnibus est vitae ; sed famam extendere factis Hoc virtutis opus.'

6. notus animi, cp. probably the same construction Od. 4. 13. 21 nota artium.' Horace uses the Greek gen. of relation to avoid the awkwardness of a preposition, 'notus propter' or 'ob.' With in fratres paterni' cp. Od. 4. 4. 27 . paternus In pueros animus Nerones.'

7. aget, 'will carry on his way,' will not allow him to fall, as he • volitat vivus per ora virum.' The weight of MS. testimony and Acr., though not Porph., are in favour of the future as against · agit,' and it is preferable also as suiting better with 'vivet,' and as not implying,

« PreviousContinue »