Page images
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

dangers of v. 24, the discomforts of v. 25, etc. • Each pursuit has its drawbacks, yet men follow it in spite of them.

turba has a similar force, something of Juvenal's turba Remi,' 10. 73. Cp. Cicero on the uncertainty of the comitia, pro Mur. 17, pro Planc. 4 • Non est consilium in vulgo, non ratio, non discrimen.'

8. certat tollere. Vide App. 2, § 1.

tergeminis. Tergemini' properly meant 'three born at a birth,' as 'gemini' (Plaut. ph. 1. 2. 18 duos geminos ') by usage meant two so born. Afterwards it was used generally for 'triple,' cp.'centumgeminus ' (Virg. Aen. 6. 287), etc.

honoribus, the abl. as 'Cl. Marcellum pontificatu . . extulit,' Tac. Ann. 1. 3. The triple honours' are apparently those of curule aedile, praetor, consul.

9. proprio horreo. Cp. 3. 16. 26 ' si quicquid arat impiger Apulus Occultare meis dicerer horreis. For other metaphorical descriptions of the passion for enormous properties, which was a characteristic of the age, see the latter stanzas of that Ode, and 2. 2. 10 foll.

10. verritur, is swept together after threshing.'

11. gaudentem, 'one whose pleasure it is.' The point of the following lines is the tenacity with which men cling to their own pursuitso the instance taken is no longer the lordly owner of a “latifundium' in the provinces, but the humble cultivator of an 'avitus fundus,' I.



12. 44.

[ocr errors]


findere sarculo. The verb and the implement seem to imply difficult and personal work; a harsher soil as well as a smaller farm. Contrast • scindere' and 'proscindere,' used of ploughing, and compare Virg. G. 1. 94 'rastris glebas qui frangit inertes.'

12. Attalicis condicionibus, .by offers such as Attalus could make.' An allusion to the proverbial wealth of the kings of Pergamus, see on Od. 2. 18. 5. For the use of condicio,' cp. Cic. ad Q. Fr. 1. 1. 2. 8 * ut nulla condicio pecuniae te . . ab summa integritate deduxerit.'

13. Cypria, Od. 3. 29. 60.Cypriae merces.'

14. Myrtoum. Speciem pro genere ponit more suo,' Porph. on Od. 1. 16. 4. So with · Cypria,' 'Icariis,' etc. When Horace puts a special for a general designation in this manner he usually selects a Greek one. Four names are commonly assigned to different parts of the Aegean: Thracium, the northern part: Myrtoum, the western part, south of Euboea, so named from the small island Myrto, off the south coast of Euboea: Icarium, to the east of Myrtoum, named from the island Icaria, just west of Samos: Creticum (Od. 1. 26. 2), south of both the last, washing the island of Crete.

16. metuens, 'at the moment when he fears.' His repentance is as shortlived as that of the 'fenerator Alfius' in Epod. 2. Cp. Od. 2.


[ocr errors]

16. 1-4, where the point is the same, 'Otium Divos rogat in patenti Prensus Aegaeo.' Dillenburger points out the triple contrast between the two lives, of danger, and of peace ('otium'); at sea, and in the country (“rura'); of wandering, and of rest at home ('oppidi sui').

18. quassas, though their state bears witness to the risks of the trade.

pauperiem. The 'pauperies,' which the trader is represented here and in Epp. 1. 1. 45 as flying 'per mare, per saxa, per ignes,' is not “want' (' egestas '), but a modest competence, such as Horace tells us was the school of the ancient Roman heroism, Od. 1. 12. 44 'Saeva paupertas et avitus apto Cum lare fundus,' such as he attributes to his own father, Sat. 1. 6. 71 'macro pauper agello.'

pati, for the inf. see App. 2. § 2.
19. Massici, a wine grown near Sinuessa in Campania.

20. solido de die. He is speaking probably not of letting the festivities of the evening encroach on the day's work (* tempestivum convivium,' Cic. pro Mur. 6, etc.), but of breaking the continuity of business hours. Compare for the metaphor, Varr. R. R. 1. 2 'diffindere titio somno meridiem,' and Horace himself, Od. 2. 7. 6, 7 'morantem saepe diem mero Fregi.' Seneca was probably thinking of this place when he wrote, Ep. 83, ‘hodiernus dies solidus est, nemo ex illo mihi quidquam eripuit.'

22. lene, not so loud as to disturb slumber.

caput, Virg. G. 4. 368 ' caput unde altus primum se erumpit Enipeus.'

sacrae. All springs were sacred. Cp. Od. 3. 13. The epithet recalls the qualities which gave them that character—the beauty, freshness, abundance.

23. lituo tubae, ' stridor lituum clangorque tubarum,' Luc. I, 237. The 'lituus' was a curved horn emitting a shrill note, used by the cavalry—the 'tuba’ was straight, and belonged to infantry.

24. matribus detestata, cp. Epod. 16. 8 'parentibusque abominatus Hannibal.' Cicero uses 'detestatus' as a passive, De Legg. 2. 11.

25. manet, stays all night;' cp. Sat, 2. 3. 234 · Tu nive Lucana dormis ocreatus ut aprum Cenem ego.'

Iove, of the air, Od. 1. 22. 20, 3. 10. 8, Epod. 13. 2; cp. Virg. G. 1. 418 ' Iuppiter uvidus,' and G. 3. 435 sub divo.'

28. teretes, of close-twisted cord,' not loose in texture and ragged ; so that it is equivalent to strong.'

Marsus, for the form, see on Od. 1. 15. 10.

29. doctarum, i.e. a poet's. The epithet is derived from the copòs ảoldós of heroic times, 8v Moño' édidate (Hom. Od. 8. 481), the Muse, the daughter of Memory. The poet learnt and remembered rather than


[ocr errors]


created. It is appropriated here and elsewhere by a Roman poet with a feeling that it describes his art also. It is on a knowledge and imitation of Greek models that Horace rests his own title to fame. The lute which his muse strings is the “lute of Lesbos.'

hederae. The ivy crown belongs to the poet (Virg. E. 7. 25, 8. 13) as inspired by Bacchus; cp. Juv. 7. 64 'dominis Cirrhae Nisaeque,' Hor. Epp. I. 19. 4.

30. Dis miscent superis, not merely like 'evehit ad deos' above'glorify me, make me as happy as the gods,' but'admit me to a happy dreamland,' to the Movoûv várai, the 'pii luci' of Od. 3. 4. 5 foll. ; cp.

[ocr errors]

3. 25. I foll.

32–34. tibias .. barbiton. The two instruments are intended to include all varieties of lyric poetry; see on Od. 3. 4. 1-4, and cp. 1. 12. 1, 2. They are divided here between Euterpe and Polyhymnia. In the two passages referred to they are both attributed in one case to Calliope, in the other to Clio. In 1. 24 and in 4. 3, Horace traces his inspiration to Melpomene. He knows nothing of any division amongst the Nine of the different branches of poetry. For the plural - tibias,' cp. Od. 4. 15. 30, Epod. 9. 5, and see Dict. Ant. s. v. The reference is to the double pipe-two pipes used at the same time-one of a higher the other of a lower pitch. Cp. Herod. 1. 17, where the aŭloi åvopúcou kai yuvaukñïou are generally interpreted in this way.

34. Lesboum barbiton. The Greek form of adj. and subst. seems to point to the imitative character of the poetry which he aspires to write ; see on Od. 1. 32. 3, and on 4. 6. 20. It is to be noticed that Horace prefers in the Odes the Greek form Helenen, Cypron, etc., in the Satires and Epistles the Latin Helenam, etc.

35. vatibus. The Greek lyric poets—for on Horace's showing they had as yet no Roman rival. Cp. Od. 4. 3. 13, and note the change of tone. He there claims as his own, by gift of the public voice, the place which here he looks for at the hands of a patron.

36. feriam sidera. I shall be raised to the skies with glory. A common Greek trope. Sapph. Fr. 9 ψαύειν δε πόλoν δοκεί μοι ουρανώ δυσπάχεα. Soph. Ο. C. 381 προς ουρανόν βιβών.


We have seen and felt enough of the wrath of the gods. Our population is thinned by civil war, while the Parthians defy us in safety. What god can save our falling empire, or atone for our guilt? Apollo ? Venus ? our father Mars ? nay rather Mercury, who is amongst us in human shape, and submitting to be called Caesar's avenger-you,

Augustus, you must be our prince. war, and chastise the Parthians !'

Long may you live-stay the civil

This is one of the Odes which seem to challenge us by the definiteness of their historical allusions to find their date, and which yet baffle us if we attempt to do so. That the portents referied to in vv. 1-20 are those which followed the death of Julius Caesar, b.c. 44 (Dio C. 45. 17, Virg. G. I. 466 foll., Tib. 2. 5. 71 foll., Ov. Met. 15. 782 foll.), seems certain from vv. 18. 44, although Horace stands alone in mentioning the inundation of the Tiber, Dio and Virgil only speaking of the Po. That the Ode was not written at that time is still more certain. Augustus did not then occupy the whole horizon of politics. Horace was at Athens, and on the point of joining the army of Brutus. Franke places its composition in B.c. 29, when Augustus returned to Rome after the victory of Actium, and celebrated his threefold triumph (see v. 49). Dio (53. 4) makes Augustus assert that his mission had been tớ natpi δεινώς σφαγέντι τιμωρήσαι as well as την πόλιν εκ μεγάλων και επαλ. anaw karwv écadéodai. And the temple of Mars Ultor, of which the façade probably still stands, in the forum of Augustus, was built in fulfilment of a vow made by him, ' bello Philippensi pro ultione paterna suscepto,' Suet. Octav. 29; cp. Ov. Fast. 5. 569. If Horace identifies for a moment the “ scelus expiandum' with the death of Caesar, his thoughts at least are not running on any cruel vengeance when he sees in the avenger the incarnation of gentle Maia's son,' the god of peaceful arts, of prudence and persuasion, of commerce and wealth.

Compare with the whole poem Virg. G. I. 466 to the end—a complete parallel both in sentiment and expression.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Line 1. terris misit. A common poetical dative, Od. 1. 12. 59 mittes fulmina lucis;' Virg. Aen. 2. 398 'demittimus Orco.'

dirae. A word properly of augural signification, ‘of bad omen,' diri cometae,' Virg. G. 1. 488; dirae aves,' Tac. Ann. 12. 43. Dillenburger points out that, though put only with the last of the two subst. after Horace's manner, it qualifies both. He gives the following list of instances, Od. 1. 31. 16, 1. 34. 8, 2. 8. 3, 2. 19. 24, 3. 2. 16, 3. 11. 39, 4. 14. 4 ; see on Od. 1. 5. 6.

2. Pater. Od. 3. 29. 44 Nube polum Pater occupato.' rubente, red from the flames of the bolt which he is launching.

3. sacras arces, “temple and tower;' the Capitoline hill with its two summits, one occupied by the arx, the other by the temple of Jupiter.

5. terruit gentes. The downfall of rain was so great that the


[ocr errors]



world looked for a return of Deucalion's deluge; cp. Virg. G. 1. 468 • Impiaque aeternam timuerunt saecula noctem.'

6. monstra, anything strange and portentous; used in Virg. Aen. 3. 582 of the noises of Aetna ; Aen. 7. 21, of the transformations wrought by Circe.

questae, as a Greek might have used igavaktelv. The word serves to identify Pyrrha's feelings as well as her circumstances with those of the poet. She too said iam satis,' etc.

7. pecus, 'immania armenta . . phocas,' Virg. G. 4. 395. egit visere, App. 2. § 1.

9-12. Dillenburger points out how the words are chosen to emphasize the general inversion of the natural order of things. The fish.cling' as if they were birds—the deer 'swim’ as if they were fish.

13. vidimus, not necessarily of personal sight, 'our generation has seen;' Virg. G. I. 471 ' quoties Cyclopum effervere in agros Vidimus undantem ruptis fornacibus Aetnam.'

flavum, Od. 1. 8. 8, 2. 3. 18-an habitual epithet, otherwise we might take it as meaning “yellower than usual from the flood.'

retortis litore Etrusco, "hurled back from the shore of the Tuscan sea,' i. e. driven back by the wind and so caused to flood. Horace uses ‘litus Etruscum’ in two other places in this sense, C. S. 38, and Epod.

And this was the common explanation of the flooding of rivers. Cp. the account of the rise of the Nile, mentioned, though not approved, by Herodotus, 2. 20. So Seneca, Nat. Q. 3. 26 “ si crebrioribus ventis ostium caeditur et reverberatus fluctu amnis restitit: qui crescere videtur quia non effunditur.' *Litore Etrusco 'has been otherwise taken of the right bank of the Tiber, against which the full stream dashes, and is driven back so as to flood the lower left bank, sinistra ripa,' y. 18. • Litus’ is used for a river bank in Virg. Aen. 3. 390, 8. 83.

15. monumenta regis would properly include both the • Atrium Vestae,' also called “Regia,' the residence of the Pontifex Maximus, and the temple of Vesta, which was attached to it: both were attributed to King Numa. The 'que,' however, does not couple so much the names of two separate buildings as the two interests, historic and religious, that attach to the same block of building. Note that the identification of the cause of the flood with the murder of Caesar begins in these words, see on v. 27.

16. templa. Virgil uses the plural in the same way, Aen. 3. 84. The temple of Vesta stood at the foot of the Palatine near the southwest corner of the Forum.

17. nimium, with “querenti,' " complaining more than he could bear;' she complains of the murder of her great descendant. Horace

16. 40.

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »