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Ipse, racemiferis frontem circumdatus uvis,
By some of the Latin writers the thyrsus was considered as a spear concealed in ivy, or having the point covered with a cone. Catull. LXIV. 257.
Horum pars tecta quatiebant cuspide thyrsos,
and Seneca H. F.
Tectam virenti cuspidem thyrso ferens,
but this was not an idea entertained by the Greeks, nor indeed by the Romans, generally.1
35. (Matres Phylaceides.) Phylaceis is a feminine adjective formed from Phylace. Four towns bore this name, one in Thessaly, a second in Macedonia, a third in Epirus, and a fourth in Arcadia; of these, the first was the abode of Protesilaus and Laodamia. Hence, the shade of Protesilaus is called by Statius (Silv. V. iii. 273) Phylaceis umbra,
Si lux una retro Phylaceida retulit umbram,
and Laodamia is termed by Ovid (Trist. V. xiv. 39) coniux Phylaceia.
Cernis, ut Admeti cantetur, ut Hectoris uxor,
On the other hand, Phylacides is a patronymic for Protesilaus, formed from Phylacus his grandsire. e. g. Ov. A. A. II. 355.
Penelopen absens sollers torquebat Ulixes,
and III. 17.
Respice Phylaciden, et quæ comes isse marito
and the lines from Prop. I. xix., quoted in the introduction to this epistle. See also Extracts p. 61 line 41.
Heinsius proposes to read in the line before us matres Phylleides,
1 See an interesting dissertation on the thyrsus in Donaldson's New Cratylus, p. 397.
deriving Phylleis, a word which is found in no Latin author, from Phyllus, another Thessalian town, near Iolcos, celebrated for its flocks.
Aptior armentis Midea pecorosaque Phyllos.-Stat. Theb. IV. 45.
36. (Sinus.) See note on Ep. V. v. 71.
37. (Saturatas.) Lana sæpe dicitur colorem bibere vel sorbere, quæ vero plene et penitus tincta est, proprio verbo dicitur saturari. R.
Murex, Ostrum, Buccina, Conchylium, Purpura, are the names of shell-fish from which the red liquor, which formed the principal ingredient of the purple dye, was obtained, and hence, each of these words, and the adjectives formed from them, are used for the dye itself.
43. Dyspari, if not the true reading, deserves to be so, being infinitely superior to Dux Pari. It is the Homeric AvoTagi, i. e., O male et infelix Pari, which occurs II. III. 39. xiii. 769.
Δύσπαρι, εἶδος ἄριστε, γυναιμανὲς, ἠπεροπευτὰ,
to which the Euripidean alvótagis is equivalent. Hec. 925.
Ιδαῖόν τε βούταν ἀινόπαριν κατάρᾳ- διδοῦσ ̓
45. (Tanariæ,) i. e., Laconian. See note on Tibull. III. iii. 14. p. 212 48. (Flebilis,) i. e., lacrimarum causa. So Amor. II. i. 32.
Raptus et Hæmoniis flebilis Hector equis.
and Hor. C. I. xxiv. 10.
Nulli flebilior quam tibi, Virgili.
50. (Reduci,) i. e., "bringing back." So Sab. Ep. I. 78.
Iam reduci solvens debita vota Iovi.
it is more frequently used in the sense of "brought back" or turned," as below, 115.
Quando ego, te reducem cupidis amplexa lacertis.
Miles, ut emeritis non est satis utilis armis,
(Det arma Iovi.) Veteres artem, quam factabant, desinentes, eius instrumenta Diis dedicabant. Et sic milites, confecto bello, quæ gesserant arma, in templis suspendebant. R., who quotes Ov. T. IV. viii. 21.
So Hor. Ep. I. 1. 5. of the retired gladiator.
and in C. III. xxvi, when describing himself as superannuated. 53. (Ilion, &c.) See note on Ov. Amor. I. xv. 10. Extracts p. 58. 57. (Spectabilis,) dignus qui spectetur, ut amabilis dignus qui
69. (Facito dicas,) i. e., "Fail not to repeat."
Burmann has quotaquæque sui? i. e. "Paris came attended by a powerful fleet and retinue, and yet what proportion did they bear to the whole resources of the kingdom," if we read, as in the text, quota quemque sui? it makes the proposition general, "and yet how small a proportion of the whole force of a kingdom is wont to attend a prince upon such an occasion." R. reads quotaquæque șui, without an interrogation and explains it, "omnes cives sui," which is nonsense.
61. (Consors Ledæa gemellis.) The gemelli are Castor and Pollux, twin sons of Leda, and brothers of Helena and Clytemnestra. Consors is frequently applied by Ovid in an extended signification to brothers and sisters. The student may consult Met. VIII. 444. XIII. 663. Her. III. 46.
65. Observe the sibilation in this line, which would seem to indicate that the Roman ear was not very delicate in these matters.
68. (Hectoras,) h. e. multos viros fortes qualis Hector. R. So Sueton. Cæs. I. "Cæsari multos Marios inesse."
In like manner, Cicero has Thucydidas and Mart. VIII. lvi. 5.
Sint Mæcenates, non deerunt, Flacce, Marones.
It is a very common English idiom.
74, 75. The authenticity of these two lines has been called in question in consequence of their being omitted in several MSS. Moreover, sibi is startling where we should have expected illi, but this difficulty may be explained by supposing that the speaker puts himself, in fancy, in the place of Menelaus; we find the same thing in Martial. Ep. V. lxxvi.
Profecit poto Mithridates sæpe veneno,
(Si......fas est.) "If it be the will of heaven," fas properly denotes divine law, while human institutions are called iura.
74. (Ut rapiat Paridi.) Perinde ac si scripsisset a Paride. R. So Ov. Met. XIII. 772.
Terribilem Polyphemon adit, Lumenque, quod unum
76. After this line we find in one MS. the following hexameters.
Hostis et invadat thalamos Helenamque reducat,
and in another, the couplet
Ictibus adversis poscat sua munera fortis,
77. (Vivere pugna,) h. e. da operam ut vivas. R. Pugnare frequently signifies to struggle, to make an effort to attain some object, and in this sense it is construed with the infinitive by the poets, as in the passage before us. So again Ov. R. A. 122.
Pugnat in adversas ire natator aquas,
but in Silius XI. 403, with the peculiar meaning "to struggle against."
Nec pudeat picto fultum iacuisse cubili,
Nec crinem Assyrio perfundere pugnet amomo.
86. (Substitit.) Pro infausto enim omine accipi potuisset, si ipsa abeuntem et valedicentem revocasset, retinere tentasset. enim veteribus verba sic temere enuntiata ominosa. L.
88. (Offenso limine.) No omen was considered more fatal than to stumble over the threshold when setting forth upon a journey, or going in and out upon serious business. For this reason a bride was always earried over the threshold, both when she left the house of her parents and when she entered that of her husband, Thus Ov. Amor. I. xii. 3. on receiving an unpropitious answer to a billet-doux.
Omina sunt aliquid-modo cum discedere vellet,
Missa foras iterum limen transire memento
Cautius; atque alte sobria ferre pedem.
again Trist. I. iii. 55, when describing the night he left Rome as an exile.
Ter limen tetigi: ter sum revocatus: et ipse
And Tibullus I. iii. 19.
O! quoties, ingressus iter, mihi tristia dixi
91. (Ne sis animosus.) "Be not too forward," "too rash." Animosus signifies, properly, full of spirit, and therefore brave, intrepid; so Ov. T. IV. vi. 3.
Tempore paret equus lentis animosus habenis.
and Ov. Her. VIII. 3.
Pyrrhus Achillides animosus imagine patris.
97. (Mille,) used indefinitely. The exact number given by Homer
98. (Fatigatas,) i. e., remis aliorum.
100. If we read properas, the meaning will be, "the land to which you are hastening is not your native land." If properes, "you have no native land to which you can hasten," as in Hor. C. I. xiv. 9.
Non tibi sunt integra lintea
Non Di, quos iterum pressa voces malo.
The latter sense is manifestly quite inapplicable here.
104. (Venis) is here nearly equivalent to es. "By night and by day alike you are a source of unceasing sorrow to me. "Whose neck is supported by a husband's arms."
107. (Aucupor...somnos,) i. e., cum cupiditate capto-me trado somnis. L. Aucupor, properly, to watch eagerly, as a bird-catcher for his prey and, hence, to seize eagerly.
111. (Simulacra.) "I pay homage to the visions of the night," i. e., I offer sacrifices in order to propitiate the nocturnal deities by whom these ill-omened dreams (described in the preceding couplet) were sent, and so to avert the evil they threaten. This is illustrated by Ov. Her. IX. 39.
Me pecudum fibræ, simulacraque inania somni,
and XIX. 193.
Nec minus hesternæ confundor imagine noctis