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Roma patrem patriae Ciceronem libera dixit," where libera' seems to mean that the Senate were no longer free agents when Augustus took the name. See C. iii. 24. 27, n.
princeps,] Tac. Ann. i. 1: "Cuncta discordiis civilibus fessa principis sub imperium accepit." In the Senate there was always one person who was called 'princeps senatus,' chosen at their own discretion by the censors. It was nominally as such that Augustus took the title of princeps' rather than 'rex,' which was odious to the Romans. He and his successors are more often styled 'princeps' than 'imperator' by the historians. The latter title, from which emperor' is derived, they had in virtue of the 'imperium,' for an explanation of which term see Smith's Dict. Ant.
51. Medos equitare inultos,] That is, the Parthians. See above, v. 21, n. 52. Te duce, Caesar.] The name of Cæsar is introduced abruptly where that of Mercury might be expected. This abruptness increases the effect.
THIS Ode is addressed to the ship that was carrying Virgil the poet on some occasion to Greece. His constitution was weak, and he probably made several voyages for the sake of his health. He went, and only returned to die in B. C. 19, but this ode was written before then. It is taken up with reproaches against him who first invented navigation, and a lament for the presumption of mankind.
ARGUMENT. - We commit to thee Virgil, O thou ship! deliver him safe on the shores of Attica, and preserve him whom I love as my life; and may the skies and winds prosper thee. Hard and rash was the man who first tempted the sea and defied the winds. In what shape should he fear the approach of death, who unmoved could look on the monsters of the deep, and the swelling waves, and dangerous rocks? In vain did God separate lands, if man is to leap over the forbidden waters. So doth he ever rush into sin. Prometheus brought fire into the world, and with that theft came all manner of diseases; Daedalus soared on wings, and Hercules burst into hell. Deterred by nothing, we would climb heaven itself; and our guilt suffers not Jove to lay aside his bolts.
1. Sic] Sic' in this place amounts to no more than utinam' in a strong form, as is does in Greek. There are other passages where 'sic' follows the prayer on which it depends, as C. i. 28. 25:
"Ne parce malignus arenae Sic quodcunque minabitur Eurus,"
· particulam dare:
where the condition and its consequence are clearly marked, and an opposite wish is implied if the condition be not fulfilled. But such is not the case here; first Horace says, 'May the stars and winds prosper thee,' and then goes on, 'O ship, deliver thy trust in safety.'
'Potens,' like its kindred word πóτvia, is used with a genitive after it. Venus (a Latin divinity) is confounded by the poets with the Greek Aphrodite, who, from her supposed origin, was imagined to have power over the sea; hence Horace calls her marina' (C. iii. 26. 5; iv. 11. 15). She had the titles eurλoia, λuévias, had temples built for her in harbors, and is represented on coins with a rudder, shell, and dolphin. Her principal temples were at Idalium and Paphos in Cyprus, in the island of Cythera off the Peloponnesus, Eryx (C. 2. 33) and Cnidus in Caria.
2. Sic fratres Helenae] Castor and Pollux had among other titles that of apwyóvavtal, sailor-helpers.' The appellation 'lucida sidera' is supposed to be derived from certain meteoric appearances after storms, which the ancients supposed to indicate the presence of Castor and Pollux. Similar phenomena are still called by the Italian sailors the fire of St. Elmo, a corruption (it is believed) from Helena, sister of Castor and Pollux. Compare Eurip. Helen. 1495, sqq., and C. iv. 8. 31.
3. pater,] Eolus is steward of the winds in Homer (Odyss. x. 21), king in Virgil, and father here.
4. praeter lapyga:] The Iapygian or northwest wind, so called from Iapygia in Apulia, whence it blows down the Adriatic, was favorable for a voyage from Brundisium, where Virgil would embark for Greece.
6. finibus Atticis] 'Deliver him safe on the shores of Attica'; 'finibus' being the ablative case. 'Reddere' is the word for delivering a letter.
8. animae dimidium meae.] See C. ii. 17. 5. The definition of a friend ἥμισυ τῆς ψυχῆς is attributed to Pythagoras.
9. Illi robur et aes triplex] This too is an imitation of the Greek, as Aesch. Prom. 242 : σιδηρόφρων τε κἀκ πέτρας εἰργασμένος. We are to understand a man whose heart is hard, as if cased in oak and a triple coat of bronze.
13. Aquilonibus] The dative, depending on 'decertantem.'
14. tristes Hyadas,] These were three stars in the head of Taurus, whose name (derived from vew, to rain) explains the epithet tristes,' 'dull,' 'unhappy.'
15. arbiter] This may be rendered 'tyrant.' 'Notus' is called 'dux turbidus Hadriae' (C. iii. 3. 5). 'Ponere freta' is like Virg. (Aen. i. 66), "placide straverunt aequora venti"; and Soph. Aj. 674: dewvwv 8' anua πνευμάτων ἐκοίμισε στένοντα πόντον. ‘Sive' is omitted before ‘tollere, as the Greeks frequently omitted ere in the first clause. This is common in Horace.
17. gradum] This is not 'degree,' but 'step.' It must be rendered in some such way as this: in what shape should he fear the approach of
18. siccis oculis] έnpoîs ȧkλavσtois ouμaow (Aesch. S. c. Theb. 696). The ancients were less exact in ascribing the proper signs to emotion, or they wept less sparingly than men do now. Cæsar, describing the effect of fear on his men, says, "Hi neque vultum fingere neque interdum lacrimas tenere potuerunt" (B. G. i. 39); and Ovid (Met. xi. 539), describing sailors in a storm, says:
Non tenet hic lacrimas: stupet hic: vocat ille beatos
It was enough to make them weep, to think that their bodies could not meet with burial. 'Sicci occuli' are fitting accompaniments of a heart so hard as this venturous discoverer is said to have had.
20. Acroceraunia?] Ceraunii montes' was the ancient name for the range of mountains that runs down the coast of Epirus, the northern extremity of which was the promontory called 'Acroceraunia.' The navigation in the neighborhood of this promontory appears to have been dangerous. Vessels going from Italy to Greece were liable to be driven upon it, which accounts for its mention here.
22. dissociabili] Used actively, as "penetrabile telum" (Aen. x. 48), "genitabilis aura Favoni" (Lucret. i. 11), and in Horace amabilem' (C. i. 5. 10), illacrimabilem (ii. 14. 6), which is used passively C. iv. 9. 26. Tacitus uses 'dissociabilis passively (Agr. 3), "res olim dissociabiles miscuerit principatum et libertatem." Prudens" is providens,' foreseeing the evil to come.
25. Audax omnia perpeti] Presumptuous (enough) to endure all sufferings.' Compare with this Soph. Antig. 332, sqq.:. πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ, κοὐδὲν ἀνθρώπου δεινότερον πέλει. τοῦτο καὶ πολιοῦ πέραν πόντου χειμερίῳ νότῳ χωρεῖ, περιβρυχίοισιν περῶν ὑπ ̓ οἴδμασιν.
'Perpeti' means to endure to the end. "Vetitum' with 'nefas' is not altogether redundant. It expresses crimes which are obviously forbidden, as shown by the obstructions thrown in the way of their commission.
27. Iapeti genus] Son of Iapetus' (Prometheus). This is after the use of yévos, which occurs not rarely in the Tragedians. Eurip. (Cyclops 104) has Spur Zoupou yévos, for Ulysses; and Virg. (Aen. iv. 12) "genus esse Deorum." Compare S. ii. 5. 63.- Prometheus also claimed to be the inventor of ships (Aesch. P. V. 467).
28. fraude mala] 'Mala' means mischievous or fatal theft, referring to its consequences. Technically 'dolus malus' means a fraud with bad intent, and 'dolus bonus' with good intent, a pious fraud.
30. Subductum 'stolen.' 'Sub' in composition has sometimes that force of úró which signifies 'suppression,' and so 'deception' in every form. But it does not always convey a bad meaning.
31. incubuit] This word does not always take a dative case after it. Lucret. vi. 1141:
Incubuit tanden populum Pandionis omnem."
In what follows' prius' belongs to 'semoti,' and 'tarda necessitas leti' are one subject. Translate, tardaque necessitas leti, prius semoti, corripuit gradum,' the power, once slow, of death remote before, hastened its step.' So that prius also affects tarda.' The story of the diseases and ills which issued from Pandora's box, and which were a punishment for the theft of Prometheus, will be found in any classical dictionary.
36. Herculeus lab.] So Odyss. xi. 600, Bin Hpakλnein for Hercules. "Catonis virtus " (Ć. iii. 21. 11), "virtus Scipiadac et mitis sapientia Laeli " (S. ii. 1. 72), may be taken in the same way. The descent of Hercules to Hades, for the purpose of bringing up Cerberus, was the twelfth labor imposed on him by Eurystheus.
L. SESTIUS, whose name is used in this Ode, was one of those who served with Horace under Brutus, and they were no doubt on terms of intimacy. The Ode professes to be written at the beginning of spring, and its subject is the uncertainty of life and the duty of enjoying it.
ARGUMENT.- The winter is thawing; the spring is returning; the ships are being launched; the herds quit their stalls and the ploughman his fireside; and the meadows are no longer white with frost. Venus and the Graces are leading the dance, and the Cyclops' forge is burning. Let us bind the head with myrtle or the earth's first flowers, and sacrifice a lamb or kid to Pan. Death calls on rich and poor alike. Life is short, O Sestius! and our hopes we must contract. The grave awaits thee; and when there, no more shalt thou preside at the feast, or sigh for the fair young Lycidas.
2. machinae] The machines here mentioned are called by Cæsar (B. C. ii. 10) phalangae.' They were rollers. Vessels were drawn up on shore from the Ides of November to the Ides of March, during which time "Defendens pisces hiemat mare (S. ii. 2. 17). As to Favonius' see C. iii. 7. 2. The usual word for 'to launch' (for which trahunt' is here used) is deducere,' the reverse of which, to haul up on shore,' is 'subducere.'
aut-nec] The two first of these form one branch of the sentence, and the last the other. "Neque (pecus aut arator) gaudet nec prata albicant." See C. ii. 3, at the beginning.
4. canis-prumis] The hoar-frost.
5. imminente Luna,] with the moon overhead.' 'Cytherea Venus' is unusual, but is analogous to Φοῖβος ̓Απόλλων.
6. Junctaeque Nymphis] Nymphis' is dative. 'comely.' See C. 30. 5, and 7, n.
7. graves] This epithet may have a variety of meanings. Perhaps Horace meant 'laborious.' The eruptions of Etna, where the thunderbolts of Jove were supposed to be forged, taking place chiefly in the summer and early autumn, the Cyclops are fitly represented as preparing these bolts in spring.
8. urit] This seems to be an adaptation of péyet, lights up,' and is an unusual sense for uro.' Ovid (Fast. iv. 473) has " Antraque Cyclopum, positis exusta caminis," which was possibly imitated from this.
9. nitidum] i. e. with oil. C. ii. 7. 22, n.; Epp. i. 5. 14, n.
11. Fauno decet immolare] The Faunalia took place on the Ides of December. But a lesser festival was observed on the Ides of February, at the advent of Faunus (Pan, the two being identified by the later Romans). See C. iii. 18. At that time the flocks and herds went out to graze, and the god was invoked for their protection. Immolare' admits of two constructions: with an ablative, as (Livy xli. 14) "immolantibus Jovi singulis bubus"; and with an accusative, as (Virg. Aen. x. 519) "inferias quas immolet umbris." Horace himself has the latter construction elsewhere (S. ii. 3. 164): "Immolet aequis hic porcum Laribus." So Virgil (Ecl. iii. 77), "facias vitula."
13. pulsat] Ovid, Heroid. xxi. 46, “Persephone nostras pulsat acerba
14. Reges] This word is commonly applied to the rich by Horace, and by Terence too, as Phormio (i. 2. 20): "O! regem me esse opportuit." The Romans, after the expulsion of the kings, used the terms 'rex,' 'regnum,' 'regnare,' for the most part, in an invidious sense. Beatus' means one who is rich and lives free from misfortunes. Sestius shared the defeat of Brutus at Philippi, but returning to Rome he was favored by Augustus, and rose to be consul.
15. inchoare] To enter upon.' This word means properly to begin a thing and not to bring it to an end. The derivation is uncertain.
16. premet] From this word, which belongs more properly to 'nox,' we must understand appropriate words for 'Manes' and 'domus.' Orelli supplies circumvolitabunt' and 'teget.'
fabulaeque Manes] This is explained by Juv. S. ii. 149: "Esse aliquid (or aliquos) Manes —
Nec pueri credunt nisi qui nondum aere lavantur." Persicus has imitated Horace, S. v. 152: "cinis et Manes et fabula fies." 'Fabulae,' therefore, signifies unreal.' See Epp. ii. 2. 209, n. .Exilis' is 'bare,' as in Epp. i. 6. 45: "Exilis domus est qua non et multa supersunt."
-Simul' is used commonly by Horace for simul ac,' as soon as.' 'Mirabere,' as expressing affection, savors of the Greek bavμáčew. It occurs again Epod. iii. 10. — As to 'talis,' 'dice,' see S. ii. 3. 171, n. It was usual
at feasts for one to be chosen by lot, or by throw of dice, president, called by the Greeks ouμπоσiaрxos, and by the Romans 'rex bibendi' or 'magister bibendi,' his office being principally to regulate the quantity and quality of wine to be drunk. Compare C. ii. 7. 25.
THIS is a graceful fancy poem. It expresses a lover's jealousy, under the pretence of being glad to escape from the toils of an inconstant mistress. He supposes her to be at this time engaging the affections of some inexperienced youth unknown, who is embarked on the dangerous sea from which he has himself barely escaped. Milton has made a good translation
of this Ode.
ARGUMENT.- What slender youth art thou toying with now, Pyrrha? He thinks, poor, credulous boy, it will always be thus with thee, and will timidly wonder when the tempest ariseth. I pity those who have no experience of thee; for my part, I have escaped out of the storm, as the walls of the Sea-god show, whercon my dripping garments and the picture of my wreck are hung.
in rosal on a bed of roses.'
5. Simplex munditiis?] Munditia,' in the singular and plural, signifies elegance of dress without pretension. Translate plain in thy neatness.'
6. Mutatosque deos] Mutatos' applies equally to ‘fidem' and 'deos.'▾ See C. ii. 1, n.
8. Emirabitur] This word is not found in other good authors. It is a stronger form of miror,' which is a common effect of 'e' and 'de' in composition, as, among many other instances, decertantem' in the third Ode. 'Demiror' is a word used by Cicero and others, and adopted here by some editors.-'Insolens' is either used absolutely or with a genitive.
9. aurea] All gold' is Milton's translation, and none other that I know of will do. It implies perfection, just as 'aurea mediocritas' signifies that perfect state which transgresses neither to the right nor to the left. So Homer calls Venus xpvoéa frequently.
10. vacuam,] 'heart-free.' Elige de vacuis quam non sibi vindicet alter," Ov. Herod. xx. 149. See also C. i. 6. 19: "Cantamus vacui sive quid urimur.". 'Amabilem' Gesner understands actively. It may be either, or both. See C. i. 3. 22.
13. tabula] This practice of persons escaped from shipwreck hanging up in the temple of Neptune or other sea-god a picture representing their wreck and the clothes they escaped in, is mentioned twice again by Horace, S. ii. 1. 33; A. P. 20. Also, among many others, by Virgil, Aen. xii. 768: "Servati ex undis ubi figere dona solebant
Laurenti divo, et votas suspendere vestes."
The temples of Isis in particular were thus adorned, after the introduction of her worship into Rome, which was not till quite the latter years of the Republic. She was worshipped in Greece as Heλayia, and the Romans placed themselves under her protection at sea. Juvenal asks (S. xii. 28): "Pictores quis nescit ab Iside pasci?" There is a little confusion in the sentence; for Horace says, 'the wall shows with its votive picture that he has hung up his clothes to the sea-god.' This may be accounted for if we suppose that he meant to say, 'the wall with its picture shows that he has