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estimating the value of these it is of course necessary to be sure of the nature of the allusion. We are in danger of confusing poetry with history when we look too closely into every mention of Dacian or Indian and search the pages of Dio or Strabo for some detail that will exactly suit it. Horace's verses are full of the feeling of the greatness of the Roman empire, the remoteness of its frontiers, the immense charge which Caesar has taken on himself. And the names of distant and unknown places and tribes had a spell in ancient times which they have lost in days of maps and geography. Even when we come to more definite references, as those to the quarrels of Phraates and Tiridates, or to the frequent risings of the Cantabri, though we have here ample ground for dating generally the period during the course of which the poems must have been composed, and exactly, if we know the date of a special event referred to in the year before which the particular poem could not have been composed, we yet soon get to the point where the event has become a standing illustration of the vicissitudes of fortune or a statesman's anxieties, a poetical commonplace which may recur till it is supplanted by some fresh circumstance which strikes the poet's imagination.
To this it must be added that the foreign history of the time is imperfectly known to us, and that some uncertainty hangs over the dates of several of those events which are known.
§ 5. It may be convenient and may save some repetitions to give shortly in this place the few facts which are known with respect to the Cantabrians, the Dacians, and Scythians, and the Parthians, to which, if to any known historical events, allusions in these Books must have reference.
§ 6. The Cantabri, a tribe living in the mountains of the northern coast of Spain, are named by Dio (51. 20), with their neighbours the Astures, as in arms against Rome at the time of the general pacification in B.C. 29, and as being conquered in that year by Statilius Taurus. The next mention of them is in B.C. 26 '(Dio 53. 25), in which year the news of their rising reached Augustus in Gaul, and diverted him (see above, § 3) from his intended expedition to Britain. He was commanding in person against them in B.C. 25, but fell ill and was detained
at Tarraco for some months. In the meantime the war was concluded by C. Antistius and T. Carisius, his legati.' Augustus himself returned home in B.C. 24. In the same year they rose again (Dio. 53. 28) and seized by stratagem and killed some Roman soldiers, but were again put down by L. Aemilius.
The expressions of Od. 2. Cantabrum indoctum iuga ferre nostra,' and 2. 11. 1 'Quid bellicosus Cantaber ... cogitet, would be intelligible at any time during this period, and as each conquest would be thought final till the next rising, there is nothing in the words of 3. 8. 21 (“Servit Hispanae vetus hostis orae Cantaber sera domitus catena ') to fix them necessarily to a single date. Other considerations place the Ode, as we shall see, either in B.C. 29 or in 25.
The final subjugation of the Cantabri by Agrippa in B.C. 19 (Dio 54. 11) does not come within the period of Odes i-iii, but is recorded in Epp. 1. 12. 26, and alluded to in Od. 4. 14. 41.
§ 7. Daci, Getae, Scythae, Geloni.— There is much vagueness in the use of these names by Horace, as indeed there is confessedly in their use by prose writers of much later date. The name 'Scythae' is the most comprehensive, being used apparently for all the tribes north of the Danube and Euxine. At times it is brought into close relation with that of the Getae (as in Od. 3. 24. 11), who again are closely connected by all writers with the Daci. At other times it is associated with the Geloni and the Tanais (“Scythicus amnis,' Od. 3. 4. 36), and denotes tribes far enough to the East to interfere in Parthian politics. The names are often used merely as poetical expressions of distance, the extreme North (as in Od. 2. 20), or generally for the northern tribes, as the supposed representatives of the manlier virtues (as in Od. 3. 24), or as the objects of the vague fears of Roman statesmen (Od. 2. 11. I).
The Daci are mentioned by Dio 51. 22 as offering their services to Octavianus, and when their terms were declined by him joining Antony, to whom, however, they rendered little assistance, as they were quarrelling amongst themselves (see Od. 3. 6. 13).
In B.C. 30, M. Crassus, at the bidding of Octavianus, marched northward from Macedonia, and won some victories over the Daci and Bastarnae as well as the Moesi, for which he was allowed a triumph, Dio 51. 23.
From the Epitome of Livy (B. 135) it appears that Crassus was again fighting in Thrace in B.C. 25.
Florus (4. 12, § 18) speaks of Lentulus driving the Daci beyond the Danube, but no date is given. His words may be worth quoting for his mention of Cotiso (Od. 3. 8. 18) and for the illustration of Horace's expression “intrà praescriptum equitare,' Od. 2. 9. 23: ‘Daci montibus inhaerent ; Cotisonis ? regis imperio quoties concretus gelu Danubius iunxerat ripas decurrere solebant et vicina populari. Visum est Caesari Augusto gentem aditu difficillimam submovere. Misso igitur Lentulo ultra ulteriorem repulit ripam : citra praesidia constituit, sic tunc Dacia non victa sed submota atque dilata est. Sarmatae patentibus campis inequitant; et hos per eundem Lentulum prohibere Danubio satis fuit.'
It is obvious that there is nothing here to fix the date of the debated Ode 3. 8. The victory of Crassus will satisfy the expressions of v. 18, and so would the victory of Lentulus, but this last is itself undated.
The only political event connected with the Eastern Scythians which is alluded to in these Books, is their interference on behalf of Phraates, which will be noticed immediately under the Parthian affairs.
$ 8. Parth-a.—The defeats of Roman armies under Crassus, Decidius Saxa (the legatus of M. Antony), and M. Antony himself, in B.C. 53, 40, and 36, though the objects of frequent reference in Horace's poems, and grounds of the keen interest taken in Parthian affairs, and of the stress laid on the mission of Augustus to restore Roman prestige in the East, yet all fall without the period assigned for the composition of the Odes. The only contemporaneous event of Parthian history is that
1 Suetonius, Oct. 63, calls him 'Getarum rex, and gives a story, on Antony's authority, of Augustus having at one time promised Julia in marriage to him, and asked a daughter of his in return.
which is related by Dio 51. 18, and by Justinus 42. 5. 5. Phraates IV, to whom Orodes I had resigned his throne in B.C. 38, after some years of tyranny, provoked his subjects to the point of rebellion. He was expelled, and Tiridates, another member of the Arsacid house, though his exact relationship to Phraates is unknown, was put on the throne in his place. After a short time Phra was restored (Justinus adds, by the intervention of the Scythians, which explains probably the allusion of Od. 1. 26. 3-5), and Tiridates fled to seek the protection of Augustus, carrying with him the infant son of Phraates. These events are undoubtedly the objects of reference in Od. 1. 26. 5, 2. 2. 17, 3. 8. 19, and very probably also in 1. 34. 14-16 and 3. 29. 28. ' If we could date them therefore with certainty we should know the earliest time at which the first-named Odes at least could have been written. And it so happens that this would incidentally throw light on one or two more points of Horatian chronology ; for 3. 8 is written on an anniversary (it seems almost necessarily the first anniversary, of Horace's escape from the falling tree. To fix, therefore, the earliest date of this Ode would determine as much for the other Odes which refer to the accident, i.e. 2. 13 and 3. 4.
Horace's escape again is connected (2. 17. 21-30) with Maecenas' reception in the theatre on his recovery from illness, and this in its turn gives a date of some kind to 1. 20. The date, however, on which so much depends is not itself quite free from doubt. Justinus says that Tiridates fled to Augustus, 'who was at that time fighting in Spain,' which would fix the date to B.C. 25. Dio, on the contrary, narrates the event under the year 30, and makes Tiridates find Augustus in Syria, on his progress through Asia after the battle of Actium. This seems more probable in itself than the story of his journey to Spain ; and the earlier date is the one now generally accepted. A confirmation of it is found in Od. 3. 4, which contains a reference to the falling tree, and which yet, both by its relation to the other Odes at the beginning of Book iri, and by the allusion of v. foll., seems to be fixed to a date earlier than B.C. 26–25. Another point of some interest has been supposed to be involved in the
date of Tiridates' flight. Two of the Odes which refer to this event (3. 8 and 29) speak also of Maecenas as burdened with cares of State in a way in which no other Ode speaks of him. ‘Mitte civiles super urbe curas,' 'Tu civitatem quis deceat status Curas, et urbi sollicitus times.' These expressions have been usually interpreted of the powers which Augustus is known to have delegated to Maecenas during his own absence from Rome in the last year of the civil war. Dio 51. 3, Tac. Ann. 6. 11 Augustus bellis civilibus Cilnium Maecenatem equestris ordinis cunctis apud Romam atque Italiam praeposuit.' If the later date of these Odes were adopted it would seem necessary to assume, what is probable enough in itself, but not otherwise ascertained, that the same powers were entrusted to Maecenas during Augustus'absence in Gaul and Spain in the years B.C. 27-24.
II.—THE ORDER OF THE ODES.
$ 9. In the preceding pages it has been assumed that the first three Books of the Odes were published together. This is not a necessary inference from Suetonius' words; all that we know from him being that three Books had been published before the fourth was commenced. But if we may assume that the present division of Odes between the Books is the original division, it will follow that the publication of the three must have been simultaneous, not successive, for, whatever be the principle of the arrangement of the Books, it certainly is not chronological'. For this reason, then, if for no other, it may be a matter of some interest to see the evidence in favour of the present order of the Odes.
§ 10. In the first place, it has at least the right of undisputed traditional possession. One MS. indeed, and that the im
1 We have seen that 1. 24 dates from the same year as 3. 14; 1. 12 seems to be one of the latest, 3. 29 one of the earliest Odes; 1. 32 is most plausibly associated with 3. 1-6; 1. 26 ranges itself with 3. 8, and this again is certainly prior to 1. 20.