« PreviousContinue »
Voles sonari : Tu pudica, tu proba
Quid obseratis auribus fundis preces ?
HORATII EPODON LIBER. EPOD. XVII.
Fastidiosa tristis aegrimonia.
"Men have different ideas of glory and happiness --success in the Olympic games, civic honours, wealth. The farmer will not turn trader for any prospect of riches, nor the trader give up the sea for any danger. One likes a life of ease; another the excitements of war or sport. My taste is lyric poetry, and my glory that you should rank me with the lyric poets of Greece.'
The Ode is clearly written as an introduction. (Cp. the tone of Od. 3. 30, when the work is done.) It is dedicated to Maecenas-as is the first of the Epodes, the first of the Satires, the first of B. i. of the Epistles. See Introd. to Books i-iï. § 11. 2.
Compare also Od. 4. 3, which recalls the main thoughts of this Ode, though its confident tone and the absence of a patron's name point the change which had by that time come upon the poet's circumstances. There is no need in either Ode to trace the incongruous' mention of the Olympic games as among the natural objects of ambition to the remembrance of any special Greek original, such as Pind. Fr. 201 :
αελλοπόδων μέν τιν' ευφραίνοισιν ίππων
τίμια και στέφανοι τους δ' εν πολυχρύσοις θαλάμους βιοτά, κ.τ.λ. The purpose is to give the feeling of a wide survey of human life, and Horace does not draw a strong, line between the Greek life which survived in literature and the actual Roman life of his own day. The apology for poetry, as one among the various tastes of mankind, is as old at least as Solon (2. 43-52), and Horace would remember the end of Virg. G. 2, esp. vv. 503 foll. For the same thoughts in a less poetical form, cp. Sat. 2. I. 24 foll. 'Quot capitum vivunt totidem studiorum Millia : me pedibus delectat claudere verba, etc.'
Line 1. See on 3. 29. 1 “Tyrrhena regum progenies. In neither case is there the special purpose in the address which there is in Sat 1. 6. 1. Compare Od. 1. 20. 5 with 3. 16. 20. It is, however, a little more than a pleasing compliment; in connection with the next line it has the force of so far above us, yet whose power is my protection, and whose glory is my pride.' The Cilnii, Maecenas' ancestors on his father's side, are named (Liv. 10. 3) as a powerful family at Arretium in the fourth century B.C.
atavis, ‘ancestors,' cp. Virg. Aen. 7.56 «Turnus avis atavisque potens.' When contrasted with other compounds of .avus,’ ‘atavus,' = émi TamTOS, the fifth ancestor—' pater, avus, proavus, abavus, atavus,’ Plaut. Pers. I.
edite, Virg. Aen. 8. 137 · Electram maximus Atlas Edidit.'
2. Cp. Od. 2. 17. 4 'mearum Grande decus columenque rerum ;' Ep. 1. I. 103 · rerum tutela mearum ;' Virg. G. 2. 40 O decus, O famae merito pars maxima nostrae.' Notice that here, as with the corresponding word in the other passages, ‘ meum’is in the emphatic place, 'to me.'
3. sunt quos . . iuvat. “Sunt qui' may take either a Subjunctive, in which case ' qui' has its consecutive force: 'sunt qui dicant,' there are people to say:' or an Indicative, in which case sunt-qui,' like 'nescio quis,' becomes a new pronoun, the subject of a definite categorical statement. The former is the more Latin construction, more consonant with the usages of the Relative, and is preferred in prose, although the Indicative is also found, as in Sall. Cat. 19. 4, where see Kritz' note. Horace, swayed perhaps by his love of Greek constructions, prefers the Indícative, after the model of cioìv oi'. Cp. Od. 1.7. 5, Sat. 1. 4. 24, 2. 1. I, etc. But he uses the Subjunctive also, Sat. 1. 2. 28, 1. 4. 74, Epp. 1. 1. 77. In Epp. 2. 2. 183 ‘Sunt qui non habeant, est qui non curat habere,' he seems to use the two constructions as a means of contrasting the vagueness of a general statement with the definiteness of a known particular instance. There are who have not, I know one who cares not to have.'
curriculo may mean either the 'course,' as in Cic. Mur. 27 'quadrigarum curriculum,' or the chariot,' as in Ov. Trist. 4. 8 curriculo gravis est facta ruina meo.'
4. collegisse. On comparison with Sat. 1. 4. 31 'pulvis collectus turbine,' perhaps rather to have raised a cloud of dust' than ‘to have become dusty.' The perf. may be regular, but see on 3. 4. 52.
fervidis, Virg. G. 3. 167 .volat vi fervidus axis;' the object was to round the 'metae' as closely as possible, and with the chariot going at full speed.
5. palma nobilis, 'the palm of glory,' Paus. 8. 48 és oè tņu defráv έστι και πινταχού τη νικώντι εστιθέμενος φοινίς. .
6. terrarum dominos. The interpretation of these words must depend to a great extent on the decision of the question discussed in the next note. (1) If the punctuation given in the text is adopted, so that v. 6 belongs to the preceding sentence, they may best be taken with Dillenburger as ='quasi sint facti terrarum domini,' 'raises them to heaven, very lords of the world,' i.e. in their own feeling and estimation. Cp. Od. 4. 2. 17 'quos Elea domum reducit Palma caelestes.' Ovid (ex Pont. 1.9. 36) gives the title • Terrarum domini' to the gods themselves, and so it is taken here by many editors. The force would really be the same; for to name a special characteristic of the gods is in effect to qualify the sense of evehit ad deos,’ raises them to the gods in so far as the gods are terrarum domini, 'makes them like gods, lords of the world. A less probable view, following Lucan's use of the words (8. 208, of Eastern princes), makes them the direct object of evehit’and understands them of the princes celebrated by Pindar, as Hiero, Thero, etc. (2) If the verse belongs to the sentence which follows, “Terrarum dominos' may be taken, according to the suggestion first made by Glareanus, as a designation of the Romans who are contrasted with the Greeks, the objects of the preceding verses. Cp. the contrast of the two peoples in the parallel Od. 4. 3. 3-9. The expression would then be the same as Virgil's 'Romanos rerum dominos,' Aen. 1. 282 ; but Mr. Yonge rightly points out that in Virgil it is used of the Romans collectively, and that we still lack proof that it could have been tolerated if used, as it would be here, of individuals.
7-9. hunc .. illum. We must supply 'iuvat’ from v. 4. The interposition of the fresh verb 'evehit’ has been felt to be a difficulty. Bentley avoided it by altering .evehit' to 'evehere,' which he took with nobilis,' as “superare pugnis : nobilem,' Od. 1. 12. 24. Rutgers had previously suggested the course which has been followed lately by Macleane and Munro, supported by the mphatic advocacy of Dr. Kennedy.' They put a full stop at nobilis, making evehit’ the verb of the new sentence, and · hunc,'illum 'the distribution of the collective accusative 'terrarum dominos,' in the sense of the Romans;' see preceding note. The serious objection to this view lies in the break of rhythm, resulting in an anti-climax, caused by stopping at ‘nobilis." The parallels which Mr. Munro alleges, such as 1. 30.5, quite dispose of any difficulty which may have been raised against the break in the fifth line of the system, but they leave untouched the poverty of palmaque nobilis' if it is the subject of the preceding verb, the last in a series which descends both in fulness of sense and in weight of sound.
mobilium. The epithet, if it reflects the poet's own feeling (cp. Epp. 1. 19. 34 · ventosae plebis,' Od. 3. 2. 20 ‘popularis aurae '), suits also the feeling of the poem. It is the parallel of the 'dust' of v. 3, the