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Quid plenam fraudas vitem crescentibus uvis:
22. (Dura......tertia regna.) Although double epithets are by no means approved of by critics, and seldom employed by the best poets, except in enthusiastic strains, yet, in the present case, we must remember that tertia regna may be considered as one word, being equivalent to Tartarus, and that tertia is indispensable as a qualification of regna. On similar grounds we may defend Lucret. V. 33.
Aureaque Hesperidum servans fulgentia mala,
and Virg. Æ. VI. 603.
..lucent genialibus altis
Aurea fulcra toris.
24. (Cimmeriosque lacus.) In Homer, and his imitators, the Cimmerians are a people who dwell in the mysterious regions of the far west, on the borders of the Ocean stream, near the entrance to the realms of Hades. Theirs is a gloomy land shrouded in mists and clouds—
On them the beaming Sun ne'er sheds his rays,
In Herodotus, the Κιμμέριοι are spoken of, historically, as a tribe
who, in remote ages, possessed the country around the Palus Mæotis and the neighbouring shores of the Euxine. They were expelled from their seats by the Scythians, and made an irruption into Asia about the middle of the seventh century before our era.2 From these the Cim
merian Bosphorus received its name.
The poetical Cimmerians, like many other geographical marvels, seem to have been created out of the wild tales of the early Phoenician navigators. The word would appear to be derived from the Semitic Kamar, Kimmer, which signify dark.3
30. The exercise of swimming.
Facilis describes the flowing, yielding nature of water.
Alternæ facilis cedere lympha manu. Prop. I. xi. 12.
Lenta again implies the elastic resistance which it offers to the stroke.
Lentaque dimotis brachia jactat aquis. Ov. Her. xix. 48.
1 Hom. Od. XI. 14 et seqq. 2 Herod. I. 6. 15. 16. 103. IV. 1. 11. 12. 28. 45 100. 3 See Voss "Kritische Blätter" 11. 507.
OVID. HEROIDES. EPISTLE V.
THE loves of Paris and Enone, and the legend regarding the birth and early history of the former, which form the ground-work of this Epistle, were unknown to Homer. What follows is the substance of the tale as narrated by Apollodorus.
Hector was the first-born of Priam and Hecuba. When Hecuba was about to produce a second child, she dreamed that she had given birth to a blazing torch, which kindled a conflagration that spread over the whole city. Priam, having been informed by her of the vision, sent for Esacus, (his son by Arisbe, a former wife) who was skilled in the interpretation of dreams, an art which he had been taught by Merops, his maternal grandfather. Æsacus pronounced that the boy would prove the destruction of his country, and bade them expose the babe. Priam, as soon as it was born, gave it to one of his herdsmen, named Agelaus, to be conveyed to Ida and there abandoned. The infant left to perish, was nurtured for five days by a she-bear, when Agelaus, finding it thus miraculously preserved, took it up and bore it to his dwelling, where he reared it as his own son, under the name of Paris.1 The child having grown up to manhood, excelled both in comeliness and valour, and soon received the additional appellation of Alexander,2 because he withstood and drove away the robbers who attacked the flocks. Not long after he discovered his parents.
While yet a shepherd in the hills,3 he wedded Œnone, daughter of the river Cebren. This nymph having learned the art of prophecy from Rhea, warned Alexander not to sail in quest of Helen; but finding that her remonstrances were unheeded, she then enjoined him, should he be wounded, to come to her for aid, since she alone had power to heal him. After this Paris bore away Helen from Sparta, and being pierced, during the war against Troy, by an arrow shot by Philoctetes
1 A fanciful derivation of Πάρις is here indicated ἀπὸ τοῦ παρελθεῖν τὸν μόρον. Vid. Schol. on Hom. II. III. 325. A similar derivation of 'Aλížævdgos, áñò toũ Av. To this we find an allusion in the Epistle of Paris to Helen, Her. XVI. 357.
Pene puer cæsis abducta armenta recepi
3 So Ovid. The period of his marriage with Enone is not specified by Apollodorus. 4 Ovid says nothing of her prophetic powers; but in this Epistle he tells that Apollo instructed her in the healing art.
from the bow of Hercules, he returned again to Ida to seek Enone's aid. But she, cherishing resentment, refused to exert her skill. Alexander was borne back to Troy and there expired. Enone having repented, brought drugs to heal his wound, and finding him a corpse, hanged herself for grief.
It will be seen that Ovid adheres, for the most part, closely to the above tale, departing from it in one or two points only.
1. In some MSS. this epistle commences with the following couplet, which is generally considered spurious,
Nympha suo Paridi (quamvis meus esse recuses)
2. (Mycenaa manu,) i. e. hostili, with reference to Agamemnon and Menelaus, sons of Atreus, king of Mycena.
3. (Pegasis Enone.) "Enone the fountain nymph," from anyǹ a fountain. Enone was the daughter of the river Cebren. Many ancient writers speak of the Cebrenia Regio and its capital Cebrene in the Troad. The river Cebren is mentioned, as we have seen above, in the narrative of Apollodorus. Geographers fix the site of Cebrene near the sources of the Mendere (which some identify with the Scamander, and others with the Simois of Homer) in Mount Ida. Extensive ruins mark the spot, now called Kutchunlu-Tepe, and a little way above these a small stream, believed to be the Cebren, falls into the Mendere, and is called the Kaz-dagh-tchai.' With regard to the epithet Pegasis we may observe that the Muses are styled "Pegasides" by Propertius III. i. 19.
Mollia, Pegasides, vestro date serta poetæ.
9. (Tantus,) i. e. nondum agnitus eras Priami filius. R. In line twelve he is termed servus because he was at that time the reputed son of the bondsman of Priam.
11. Remark the difference of meaning according as we read adsit or absit.
“Ita revereamur veritatem, ut eam quamvis tibi ingrata sit,
Absit. "Ne tui reverentia nos impediat quominus verum dicamus." 12. (Tuli,) i. e. non recusavi nubere.-So Ov. Met. xiii. 460.
Scilicet aut ulli servire Polyxena ferrem.
and Ov. Met. xi. 447.
Nec tulit Halcyonen in partem adhibere pericli.
1 Cramer's Description of Asia Minor.