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AD CAESAREM AUGUSTUM.
An ode to Augustus, in which he is praised in a beautiful and
polished manner, but truthfully. Horace extols in him the genuinely Roman virtue of perseverance and firmness (constantia), and shows that by it all the great heroes who, according to the belief of the ancients, had been raised to the position of gods had obtained their fame. He considers Augustus as belonging to this class, and in fact there was nothing in the emperor so well worthy of praise as the determination and steadiness by which, when a young man, he overcame the greatest obstacles, and reached his aim. The poet spends a considerable time in describing how Romulus was assumed into the number of the gods, no doubt with the view that Augustus should be pointed to as a second Romulus. The ode was written about the year 21 B.C.
Justum et tenacem propositi virum
Hac arte Pollux et vagus Hercules
10 Quos inter Augustus recumbens
Purpureo bibit ore nectar. 1. Tenacem propositi, . firm to his purpose, steady-minded' = constantem. — 2. Ardor, the passion.' – 3. Instantis, 'threatening.'
- 4. Mente quatit solida, drives from a purpose formed for good reasons,' for this is what is here called mens solida. — 5. Dux Ila. driae. Compare i. 3, 15. — 6. Magna manus, the great (that is, mighty, powerful) hand.' — 7. Orbis, 'the vault of heaven, the sky.' - 9. Hac arte = hac virtute ; namely, constantia. These heroes kept firm in the pursuit of their objects. Pollux did not reach heaven alone, but in company with his brother Castor; the two being the Dioscuri. Frequently, however, the name of the one is used to indicate both. Vagus, the far-wandered;' for Hercules is said to have travelled to Spain (even to the western ocean), to Africa, and to Asia, everywhere delivering mankind from
10. Enisus — igneas. Eniti is to raise one's self by labour from a lower to a higher position, 'to struggle for: ward.' Arces igneae, the sky, because it is lofty (arx', and studded with stars (ignes.) – 12. Purpureo ore, with rosy lips,' to indicate
Hac te merentem, Bacche pater, tuae
Gratum elocuta consiliantibus
In pulverem, ex quo destituit deos
Jam nec Lacaenae splendet adulterae
the eternal youth which he enjoys as a god.-13. Hac-trahentes. An allusion' to the triumphal march of Bacchus as he returned from India, after spreading over the whole world his precepts of civilization. — 14. Indocili - collo, with their necks, ill to teach (namely, to bear the yoke.)-15. Hac Quirinus. The tradition was, that Romulus had been taken up to heaven by his father Mars in his chariot, and that the Romans had named him, as a god, Quiri. nus.–17. The scene which Horace describes is this : A council of the gods is held, to determine whether Romulus shall be taken into their number, and in it Juno delivers the speech which we have following. In this speech she speaks strongly against the restoration of Ilium. Why, we naturally ask, does Horace (through the goddess) so much condemn the restoration of Troy, even going so far as to say, that Rome can endure only if Troy remains in ruins ? For we know that Augustus really did rebuild Troy; and by granting it privileges, and settling many colonists in it, made it an important town. But he had it in his mind to do more: there was a report that he intended to make Troy the seat of government, and leave Rome. This is what Horace opposes. Connect gratum consiliantibus divis, ' a thing agreeable to the deliberating gods.'-19. Judex ; namely, Paris, son of king Priam, who gave judgment in the dispute between Juno, Minerva, and Venus, regarding their beauty. Fatalis, 'appointed by fate,' which had doomed the fall of Troy.–20. Mulier peregrina, Helen, whom Paris carried off from Sparta. Compare i. 15, 5. – 21. Connect ex quo with damnatum, &c. in line 23. Damnatum belongs to Ilion :' condemned by me and Minerva, ever since the time when Laomedon cheated the gods'. Destituit=fraudavit, privavit, and on this account construed with the ablative, mercede pacta. Laomedon, father of Priam, had bargained with Apollo and Neptune to build the walls of Troy for a team of horses; but when the walls were finished, he refused to fulfil his engagement.--24. Duce fraudulento ; namely, Laomedon. It is true, the punishment fell upon the innocent Priam, but the whole royal race of Troy wås faithless. Hence (in line 27) perjura domus Priami. - 25. Lacaenae_adulterae-hospes ; namely, Paris, who seduced Helen when he was a guest in her husband's house.
Perjura pugnaces Achivos
Nostrisque ductum seditionibus
Marti redonabo; illum ego lucidas
35 Ordinibus patiar deorum.
Dum longus inter saeviat Ilion
Horrenda late nomen in ultimas
Qua tumidus rigat arva Nilus, He no more goes about in his glittering armour (splendet.)—29. Nos. tris ductum seditionibus, .drawn out, prolonged (for this is bellum ducere) by dissensions among ourselves,' the gods. For whilst Juno and Minerva were hostile to the Trojans, Venus, Mars, and Apollo defended them. Jupiter wavered between the two parties. -30. Resedit = extinctum est, is finished.' Protinus. The connection of ideas is as follows:-As my desire of revenge has been gratified by the destruction of Troy, I will not persecute the descendants of its inhabitants, and I forthwith (for this is protinus) vote for the assumption of Romulus among the gods. The Romans were (that is, believed themselves to be) descendants of the Trojans. Rea Silvia, who became by Mars the mother of Romulus, was a vestal virgin,
and is here called Troica sacerdos on account of her descent. -33. Redonabo, in prose condonabo, 'I will make a present of him to Mars ;' that is, will pardon him for the sake of Mars, and will give up my anger to please him. Lucidas-sedes. Compare arces igneas in line 10.- 37. Inter, in prose, would have to be placed immediately before Ilion. 48. Exules ; that is, the Romans, descendants of the fugitive Aeneas. — 40. Busto. This is a mere poetical idea, and must be understood as 'the spot where they fell;' for the Trojan heroes had no monuments erected to them. Some of the Greek warriors, however - as, for instance, Achil. les — had monuments, which existed even in later times. — 41. Insultet, 'leaps upon them, or over them, thus dishonouring them.-43. Triumphatis, a poetical construction, over whom she has triumphed.' - 46. Medius liquor,' the middle water;' that is, * the Mediterranean Sea.'-_48. Tumidus, swelling;' that is, which annually, at a particular season, swells and inundates the country.
Aurum irrepertum et sic melius situm,
Quicunque mundo terminus obstitit,
Sed bellicosis fata Quiritibus
Trojae renascens alite lugubri
Ter si resurgat murus aëneus
Non hoc jocosae conveniet lyrae.
50. Connect fortior spernere aurum quam cogere, 'stronger, more anxious to despise gold than to gather it. Also, connect spernere aurum irrepertum, which is equivalent to nolle aurum reperire, '10 spurn seeking gold.' Cum terra celat are to be connected with sic :
gold is better situated then (in that state), when the earth conceals it, than when it is discovered.' — 51. Humanos-dextra, whilst the right hand steals away for man's use everything sacred ;' in its greed transgressing all law. This clause belongs closely to cogere.
- 55. Debacchentur, a very rare word, properly, 'to weary one's self with Bucchic frenzy.' Hence translate, where (qua parte qua terra) the sun (ignes) rages with most fury;' that is, in the extreme south. 57. Fata ; that is, that which is appointed to them by fate.:-58. Hac lege = hac condicione.-59. Rebus fidentes, 'trusting to their deeds.' — 61. Alile lugubri is the same as mala avi in i. 15. 5. -- 62. Iterabitur iterum delebitur, 'shall again be over. thrown.' 65. Aëneus, literally, brazen ;' here, figuratively, *strong,' as strong as the first wall of Troy, which was built by Phoebus. — 66. Neis Argivis, 'by warriors whom I protect,' as I did the Argives (Greeks) in the old Trojan war.–67. Uzor-ploret, as always follows the destruction of a town. — 69. Horace had ven. tured into a field far distant from the ordinary range of his poetry, when he began to give political advice, and condemn the restoration of Ilium. The poem ends, therefore, with an apology.- 70. Pervicax, "irreverent.' – 72. Tenuare = extenuare, 'to make litile, unimportant, by a little song (modis = carmine.)
ODE to Calliope, the muse of heroic poetry. In reality, however, it
is a laudation of Augustus. As in the preceding poem Horace had praised his firmness, so here he extols his foresight, prudence (consilium), and the essence or substance of the whole ode is to be found in lines 65–68. Augustus exhibited this prudence in three distinct ways: first, in the conquest of the troops which opposed him (line 42 to the end), particularly those of Antony, and Horace represents his battle with him as that of Jupiter against the giants and Titans; secondly, in his mildness after the victory (line 41); and thirdly, in his literary occupations and enjoyments during peace (lines 37-40.) The giver of this pru. dence is Calliope, to whom also the poet has dedicated himself. Hence his right to sing the emperor's praises in an ode to the
The expansion of this thought forms the introduction (lines 1–36.)
DESCENDE coelo et dic, age, tibia
1. Age, an encouraging call to the muse, .do come.'-2. ReginaCalliope. The muse is a queen, partly, generally, because she is a goddess, and partly, specially, because she is a daughter of Jupiter, king of the gods, being thus of royal blood. Longum melos. The poet wishes to compose a long ode, and he has succeeded, for this is his longest. -- 3. The muse is offered the choice of three things, sive (which is omitted) tibia (compare i. 12, 1) seu voce acuta (' with thy clear voice,' as in i. 24, 3; voce liquida) seu fidibus citharaque Phoebi, on the strings of Apollo's lyre. For fidibus citharaque is a hendiadys, = fidibus citharae. –5. The poet turns to his companions. Auditis, do ye hear ?' namely, the muse singing, or is that inspiration, enthusiasm (insaniu), which often takes possession of poets, deluding, befooling (ludit) me ?'—6. Construe thus: videor audire et errare, I think I hear.' Sibi videri is the common expression for one who sees a vision, or to whom any supernatural phenomenon occurs. Pios
per lucos,.' through the groves of the muses,' a common poetical fiction, indicating that inspiration comes upon a bard most readily in solitude, and in the enjoyment of nature.
8. Subeunt refers both to aquae and aurae, because wind and was