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21. (Tum.) Si messem non eluserit seges, novis honoribus vos iterum ornabimus. D. Allusion is here made, as Wunderlich observes, to the sacred rites performed immediately before the commencement of harvest. Virg. G. I. 347.
24. Many of the best commentators understand these words to refer to the erection of little temporary bowers, constructed by the slaves, in front (ante) of the altar (focum), under the shelter of which they might drink and amuse themselves. For arbours of this kind we find various names, as, pergula, trichila, hypampelos, &c. They are described in the next extract, line 95, in the little poem Copa" attributed by some to Virgil.
Falcem maturis quisquam supponat aristis,
Sunt cupæ, calices, cyathi, rosa, tibia, chordæ,
and by Ov. Fast. III. 527.
Sub love pars durat: pauci tentoria ponunt:
Sunt, quibus e ramis frondea facta casa est:
Others suppose that the verna, in the passage before us, are the slave children (the “picaninnies") of the family, who are represented as building baby-houses, one of the amusements enumerated in the catalogue of Hor. S. II. iii. 247.
Edificare casas, plostello adiungere mures,
26. (Nuntia fibra.) According to Varro, Festus and the old grammarians, fibra properly signifies the extremity of any thing, being the feminine of the obsolete adjective fiber, equivalent to extremus. In the discipline of the Haruspices, the fibra were the thread-like extremities of the entrails, and especially of the liver (caput iocinoris,) to which peculiar importance was attached in the art of divination. Hence fibra is constantly used in reference to the omens derived from the entrails of victims, so Tibull. I. viii. 3.
Nec mihi sunt sortes, nec conscia fibra deorum,
and Virg. G. I. 483, describing the portents which preceded the death of Cæsar.
nec tempore eodem Tristibus aut extis fibrae apparere minaces Aut puteis manare cruor cessavit
Fibra is also used for entrails collectively, as Ov. Fast. IV. 935.
Tura focis, vinumque dedit, fibrasque bidentis.
and for the filaments of the roots of plants, as in Cic. Tuscul. III. vi.
Non solum ramos amputare miseriarum, sed omnes radicum fibras evellere.
27, 28. (Falernos... Chio.) The Italian wines, most esteemed by the Romans, were all produced in the favoured district of the "happy Campania" or on its confines. The Massicum and "immortale Falernum”1 grew upon the sunny slopes to the south of Sinuessa (Rocca di Monte Dragone.) The Cacubum and Calenum, so often and so earnestly eulogised by Horace, came, the former from the marshes around Fundi, the latter from Cales (Calvi;) the heights of Setia (Sezza) yielded the Setinum, prized above all others by Augustus and his court,2 while the volcanic ridges of Mons Gaurus (Monte Barbaro), between Puteoli (Pozzuoli) and Cumæ, supplied the scarcely less celebrated Gauranum. From the bay of Sinuessa, says Pliny,3 "incipiunt vitiferi colles, et temulentia nobilis succo per omnis terras inclyto, atque, ut veteres dixere, summum Liberi patris cum Cerere certamen. Hinc Setini et Cæcubi obtenduntur agri: his iunguntur Falerni, Caleni: dein consurgunt Massici, Gaurani, Surrentinique montes.'
Among the various delicious sweet wines of the Greek islands, those of Lesbos and Chios seem to have been most relished. Of the latter, immense quantities must have been imported, if we can believe the accounts given by Pliny, of the number of casks bequeathed by Hortensius to his heir, and of the largesses of Lucullus upon his return from Asia.
29. (Madere.) Wunderlich compares Hor. C. IV. v. 38.
dicimus integro-Sicci mane die, dicimus uvidi Cum Sol Oceano subest.
1 Mart. Ep. IX. 95. 2 Plin. H. N. XIV. 6. 3 H. N. 111. 5. 4 H. H. XIV. 14.
and S. II. i. 9.
Irriguumque mero sub noctem corpus habento.
See also next extract, line 87.
31. (Bene Messalam,) sc. precor valere. Est formula convivialis
nota e Plaut. Stich. V. iv. 26.
Tibi propino decem: affunde tibi tute inde si sapis.
Bene vos! bene nos! bene te! bene me! bene nostram etiam
(Singula verba.) Singulis propemodum verbis redeat eius
34. (Intonsis.) See note on Extract from Ovid, p. 64, v. 8. 44. (Irriguas,) in an active sense, watering, as Virg. G. IV. 32.
irriguumque bibant violaria fontem,
in a passive sense, well-watered, as Hor. S. II. iv. 16.
irriguo nihil est elutius horto
and, figuratively, in line quoted above, in note on v. 29.
49. (Verno.) Connect this epithet with alveo, and in line 59 with flore, not with rure in either.
51. (Satiatus,) does not here imply weariness nor disgust, but simply having had enough of, except we conclude that the epithet assiduo involves the idea of fatigue, which, however, is not necessary. In line 53, satur is satisfied with food, hunger being appeased.
55. (Minio suffusus.) We have seen above in the note on Tibull. I. i. 17, that it was the practice in ancient times, on high festivals, for those who paid homage to the gods, to paint both their own faces, and also those of their deities with vermilion.
"Verbum suffundere de iis plerumque usurpatur rebus quæ sub cute conspiciuntur," as of a blush. Ov. Am. III. iii. 5.
Candida candorem roseo suffusa rubore,
and of dropsy. Ov. Fast. I. 215.
Sic quibus intumuit suffusa venter ab unda,
in the line before us it is equivalent to inducere, as in Lucret. VI. 478. of the clouds it is said,
Quæ, velut halitus, hinc ita sursum expressa feruntur
56. (Duxit ab arte.) The preposition seems to be redundant, as in Tib. I. V. 4.
Quem celer assueta versat ab arte puer.
64. We find in Catull. LXIV. 312, a most vivid description of the primitive method of spinning, with the distaff (colus) and spindle (fusus,) which was common in this country until within a few years, and is still universally employed by the peasantry of southern Italy and of Greece.
Læva colum molli lana retinebat amictum:
66. (Applauso tela sonat latere.) This refers to the sound of the web, when the threads of the woof (subtemen) are driven home by the lay (pecten.) Ovid, in his account of the strife of Pallas and Arachne, Met. VI. 54, will supply us with the technical terms relating to weaving.
Haud mora, consistunt diversis partibus ambæ,
75, We have here a picture of a maiden stealthily passing, in the dead of night, the slaves who guarded the door, as they lay stretched in sleep, and feeling her way, in the dark, with foot and hand, that she may keep an appointment with her lover.
81. (Veni dapibus.) A prose writer would rather have said veni ad dapes.
84. (Clam,) implies that the lover murmurs, in an under tone, the prayers and vows prompted by his passion.
86. The Phrygian flute or flageolet consisted of two straight tubes, of unequal length and unequal diameter, to the ends of which was attached a crooked metallic appendage, called xwowy, resembling the extremity of a French Horn. Hence the epithet curvus. Catull. LXIII. 22.
Tibicen ubi canit Phryx curvo grave calamo,
and Virg. Æ. ix. 617,
O vere Phrygiæ, neque enim Phryges! ite per alta
on which Servius. "Tibiæ autem Serranæ dicuntur, quæ sunt pares, et æquales habent cavernas; aut Phrygiæ, quæ et impares sunt, et inæquales habent cavernas.”
88. (Lascivo ;) nimble; merry; playful. Any one of these meanings is admissible and appropriate.
90. (Incerto pede.) On account of the indistinct, unstable character of dreams.
TIBULLUS. BOOK II. ELEGY V.
M. Valerius Messala had two sons, M. Valerius Messalinus1 and Lucius,2 who was adopted into the Aurelian gens, was known as L. Aurelius Cotta Volesus, or sometimes as Maximus Cotta, and took the name of Messalinus after the death of his brother.
The present Elegy was composed, probably about B. C. 16, to celebrate the admission of Marcus, the elder, into the college of the quindecimviri, the fifteen priests to whom was committed the custody of the Sibylline Books. These prophecies occupy such a conspicuous
1 Consul along with Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, B. C. 3. 2 Consul along with Cn. Cornelius Cinna Magnus, A.D. 5. He was the friend of Ovid, to whom the poet addresses two of the epistles written in exile. E ex P. III. ii. & v.