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A shade arrives, they would desire to be purified, if there could be
given Sulphur with pines, and if there were a wet laurel. Thither, alas! we wretches are conveyed! our arms, indeed, bem
at least not till they learn them by coming to Rome; instances, ins deed, may be found of this, as may appear by what follows.
164. Zelates.] An Armenian youth, sent as an hostage from Armenia.
More soft, &c.] More effeminate-made so, by being corrupted at an earlier period of life, than was usual among the Roman youths. Ephebus signifies a youth or lad from about fourteen to seventeen. Then they put on the toga virilis, and were reckoned men. The word is compounded of ini, at, and 564, puberty.
165. To have yielded himself.] For the borrid purpose of unnatural lust.
A burning tribune. Virg. ecl. ii. 1. has used the verb ardeo in the same horrid sense. The tribune is not named, but some think the emperor Caligula to be hinted at, who, as Suetonius relates, used. some who came as hostages, from far countries, in this detestable manner.
. 166. See what commerce may do.] Commercia here signifies intercourse, correspondence, converse together. Mark the effects of bad intercourse. The poet seems to mean what St. Paul expresses, 1 Cor. xv. 33. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.”
He had come an hostage.] Obses-quia quasi pignus obsidetur, i. e. because kept, guarded, as a pledge. An hostage was given as a security or pledge, for the performance of something by one people to another, either in war or peace, and was peculiarly under the protection and care of those who received him. This youth had been sent to Rome from Artaxata, the capital of Armenia, a country of Asia, and was debauched by the tribune who had the custody of him. This breach of trust aggravates the crime.
167. Here they become men.] Here, at Rome, they soon lose their simplicity and innocence of manners, and though young ia years, are soon old in wickedness, from the corruptions which they ineet with. The word homo is of the common gender, and significa both man and woman; and it is not improbable, but that Juvenal
Indulsit pueris, nyoa unquam deerit amatør :
uses the word homines here, as intimating, that these youths were soon to be regarded as of either sex.
167. If a longer stay, &c.] If they are permitted to stay a longer time at Rome, after their release as hostages, and are at large in the city, they will never want occasions of temptation to the worst of vices: at every turn, they will meet with those who will spare no pains to corrupt them.
169. Trowsers.] Braccæ-a sort of trowsers or breeches, worn by the Armenians, Gauls, Persians, Medes, and others. Here by synec. put for the whole dress of the country from which they came.
- Knives.] Cultelli-little knives_dim. from culter. This should seem to mean some adjunct to the Armenian dress; not improbably the small daggers, or poignards, which the Easterns wore tucked into their girdles, or sashes, of their under vestments; such are seen in the East to this day.
-- Bridles, whip.] With which they managed, and drove on their horses, in their warlike exercises, and in the chace.
---- Will be luit uside.] The meaning of these lines is, that the dress of their country, and every trace of their simplicity, manliness, activity, and courage, will all be laid aside--they will adopt the dress
The city boys, never will a lover be wanting,
and manners, the effeminacy and debauchery of the Roman nobility, which they will carry home with them when they return to their own capital. See l. 166, note.
170. Prætextate manners.] See sat. i. 78, note. Rome's noble crimes. Holyday. As we should express it—the fashionable vices of the great. The persons who wore the prætexta, were magistrates, priests, and noblemen's children till the age of seventeen.
- Antaxata. The chief city of Armenia the Greater, (situate on the river Araxes,) built by Artaxias, whom the Armenians made their king. It was taken by Pompey, who spared both the city and the inhabitants : but, in Nero's reign, Corbulo the commander in chief of the Roman forces in the East, having forced Tiridates, king of Armenia, to yield up Artaxata, levelled it with the ground. See Ant. Univ. Hist. vol. ix. 484.
This city is called Artaxata-orum, plur. or Artaxata-æ, sing. See Ainsw.
It is probable that the poet mentions Artaxata, on account of the fact which is recorded, 1. 164, 5; but he may be understood, by this instance, to mean, that every country and people would become corrupt, as they had less or more to do with Rome.
END OF THE SECOND SATIRE.
Juvenal introduces Umbritius, an old friend of his, taking his depar's
ture from Rome, and going to settle in a country retirement at Cuma. He accompanies Umbritius out of town: and, before they take leave of each other, Umbritius tells his friend Juvenal
Q UAMVIS digressu veteris confusus amici,
Line 2. Cume.] An ancient city of Campania riear the sea. Some think it had its name from rupata, waves: the waves, in rough weather, dashing against the walls of it. Others think it was so called from its being built by the Cumæi of Asia. Plin. iii. 4. Juvenal calls it empty in comparison with the populousness of Rome: it was, now, probably, much decayed, and but thinly inhabited: on this account it might be looked upon as a place of leisure, quiet, and retirement ; all which may be understood by the word vacuis.
3. The Sibyl. Quasi 018 Bxan, Dei consilium. Ainsw. The Sibyls were women, supposed to be inspired with the spirit of prophecy. Authors are not agreed as to the number of them; but the most famous was the Cumæan, so called from having her residence at Cumæ. Umbritius was now going to bestow, donare, one citizen on this abode of the Sibyl, by taking up his residence there. See VIRG. Æn. vi. I. 10. et seq.
4. The gate of Baiæ.] Passengers from Rome to Baiæ were to pass through Cumæ; they went in on one side, and came out on the other, as through a gate.
- Baiæ.] A delightful city of Campania, of which Hor. lib. i. epist. i. l. 83.
Nullus in orbe sinus Baiis prælucet amänis. Here were fine warm springs and baths, both pleasant and healthful ; on which account it was much resorted to by the nobility and
the reasons which had induced him to retire from Rome : each of which is replete with the keenest satire on its vicious inhabitants.
Thus the Poet carries on his design of inveighing against the vices and disorders which reigned in that city ,
I HO'troubled at the departure of an old friend,
gentry of Rome, many of whom had villas there for their summer residence. It forms part of the bay of Naples.
4. A grateful shore.] Gratum-grateful, here, must be understood in the sense of agreeable, pleasant. The whole shore, from Cumæ to Baiæ, was delightfully pleasant, and calculated for the most agreeable retirement. See the latter part of the last note.
5. Prochyta.) A small rugged island in the Tyrrhenian sea, desert and barren.
- Suburra.] A Street in Rome, much frequented, but chiefly by the vulgar, and by women of ill fame. Hence Mart. vi. 66.
Famæ non nimium bonæ puella,
Quales in media sedent Suburrâ. 6. For what so wretched, &c.] Solitary and miserable as any place may be, yet it is better to be there than at Rome, where you have so many dangers and inconveniences to apprehend.
7. Fires.] House-burnings—to which populous cities, from many various causes, are continually liable.
8. Falling of houses. Owing to the little care taken of old and ruinous buildings. Propertius speaks of the two foregoing dangers.
Præterea domibus flammam, domibusque ruinam, 8-9. The fell city.] That habitation of daily cruelty and mis. chief,