Obrazy na stronie

20. ambitiosior.] This is the only passage in which the word occurs in this sense of clinging,' the nearest to ambire' in its primitive meaning.

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THE occasion that gave rise to this Ode, and the time therefore of its composition, are sufficiently clear. Intelligence of the deaths of M. Antonius and Cleopatra was brought to Rome in the autumn of B. c. 30, and on this occasion Horace wrote the following Ode, which is directed chiefly against Cleopatra. Horace appears to have started with an ode of Alcæus on the death of Myrsilus in his head. It began,

νῦν χρὴ μεθύσθην καί τινα πρὸς βίαν

πίνην ἐπειδὴ κάτθανε Μύρσιλος.

The historical facts referred to may be gathered from Plutarch's Life of M. Antonius.

ARGUMENT.-'T is time to drink, to smite the earth, and set out a feast for the gods, my friends. We might not bring down the Cæcuban, while that mad queen with her foul herd was threatening Rome with destruction. But her fury is humbled, her fleet in flames, her drunken heart shook with fear when Cæsar hunted her from Italy, as the hawk pursues the dove or the hunter the hare, to chain the accursed monster; who feared not the sword nor fled to secret hiding-places, but chose to die, rather than submit to be led in triumph by the conqueror.

2. nunc Saliaribus] A Saliaric banquet is a rich banquet, fit for the Salii, the priests of Mars. The feasts of the Pontifices were proverbial for profusion. On great occasions, a banquet was set out, in place of a sacrifice, and images of the gods were placed upon couches, as for the purpose of eating. This sort of banquet was called a 'lectisternium.'

3. pulvinar] Properly, the cushion of the couch, and so put here for the couch itself.

4. Tempus erat] This imperfect tense seems to mean that this was the time that the Fates had intended for such festivities. Ovid (Tr. iv. 8. 24, sq.) has it twice over in this unusual way:


"Sic igitur tarda vires minuente senecta

Me quoque donari jam rude tempus erat;
Tempus erat nec me peregrinum ducere caelum
Nec siccam Getico fonte levare sitim."

The Greeks used the imperfect expny in the same undefined way.

on i. 27. 19.

See note

6. Cellis] The cella' was, properly speaking, a chamber, partly above and partly under ground, in which the dolia' were kept. That in which the amphorae' were stored was called 'apotheca,' and was in the upper part of the house hence the terms, depromere,' 'deripere,' 'descendere.' Capitolio' is equivalent to 'urbi.' See C. iii. 3. 42; iii. 30. 8. 'Imperio' is used for the sovereign power of Rome, as in C. iii. 5. 4.

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7. Regina dementes ruinas] 'Dementes' is transferred from 'regina' to - ruinas as in Virg. (Aen. ii. 576): "Ulcisci patriam et sceleratas sumere poenas," ,"where 'sceleratas' expresses the guilt of Helen.

9. Contaminato cum grege turpium Morbo virorum,] with her filthy herd of men (forsooth) foul with disease.' The corrupt lusts of that class of persons who were most about an Eastern queen, are properly called a disease. 'Vicorum' is used ironically. In Epod. ix. 11, Horace complains:

"Romanus eheu! posteri negabitis
Emancipatus foeminae

Fert vallum et arma miles, et spadonibus
Servire rugosis potest."

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10. impotens Sperare] 'wild enough to expect anything.' This is a common construction, noticed at C. i. 1. 18. Impotens' corresponds to ȧkpaτýS, and signifies violence, want of self-control. See Epod. xvi. 62.

13. Vix una sospes navis] Cleopatra's fleet escaped from the battle of Actium, but M. Antonius saved no more than his own ship, in which he fled to Egypt. From motives of delicacy no allusion is made to M. Antonius throughout the Ode.

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14. Mentemque lymphatam Mareotico] Lymphatus' is equivalent to vuμþóATTоs, lympha and nympha' being the same word. Mareotic wine was from the shores of the Lake Mareotis in the neighborhood of Alexandria. ‘In veros timoresis opposed to what the Greeks called τὰ κενὰ τοῦ πολέμου. Cleopatra's fleet fled from Actium, before a blow was struck, under the influence of a panic; but Horace chooses to say it was a verus timor.' The historical facts are not accurately represented in this Ode. Though it is said that Cleopatra meditated a descent upon Italy, in the event of M. Antonius and herself proving successful at Actium, she fled from that place to Egypt, and never went near Italy, whither Augustus returned after the battle; and it was not till the next year, A. U. c. 724, that he went to Alexandria, and the deaths of M. Antonius and Cleopatra occurred.

20. Haemoniae,] This is an ancient name for Thessaly.

24. reparavit] Literally, took in exchange for her own kingdom shores out of the sight of men." It is said that Cleopatra contemplated quitting Egypt, to escape from Augustus, and that she transported vessels across the deşert to the Red Sea; but they were destroyed by the Arabs, and she abandoned her design. Plut. Ant. c. 69. On the word 'reparavit,' see C. i. 31. 12, n.

25. jacentem] On Cleopatra's death, etc., see Plut. Ant. c. 84.

26, 27. asperas-serpentes] venomous asps.' 'Atrum' is 'deadly.' 29. Deliberata morte ferocior] 'Growing bolder, when she had resolved to die.'

30. Liburnis] See Epod. i. 1, n.


THIS Ode was probably written as a song, and set to music. There is not much to remark upon it. No great pains are usually bestowed on such matters. Some suppose it to be a translation, others an original composition. It is probably only a good imitation of Anacreon. The time is supposed to be Autumn (v. 4).

ARGUMENT. -I hate your Persian finery. Hunt not for the rose, boy; I care only for the myrtle, which equally becomes thee, the servant, and me, thy master.

2. philyra] The linden-tree was so called by the Greeks; and its thin inner bark was used for a lining, on which flowers were sewed to form the richer kind of chaplets, called 'sutiles.'

3. Mitte] forbear,' equivalent to 'omitte.'

5. allabores] This is a coined word, and signifies to labor for something

more. It corresponds to πроσπoveîv, and occurs again, Epp. viii. 20. The order is, curo nihil sedulus allabores simplici myrto,' 'I wish you to take no trouble to add anything,' &c.

7. sub arta Vite]

Arta' signifies 'thick,' 'close-leaved.'



THIS Ode is addressed to C. Asinius Pollio, the friend and companion in arms of Julius Cæsar. In B. c. 40 he was consul, and in the following year he was sent by M. Antonius against the Parthini, a tribe of Illyricum, and having defeated and subdued them he was allowed a triumph on his return to Rome. He then betook himself to literature, and practising as an orator in the courts of justice, and speaking in the senate. He patronized literary men, built a library, wrote poetry, particularly tragedies, and composed a history of the civil wars, in most of which he had taken an active part. The Ode was written after hearing Pollio recite part of this work, a practice which he is said to have been the first to introduce among literary men at Rome.

ARGUMENT. The civil wars, their causes, their progress, and their fatal results, - a dangerous task is thine, and treacherous is the ground thou art treading.

Leave the tragic Muse for a little while, and thou shalt return to her when thou hast finished the historian's task, O Pollio! advocate, senator, conqueror! Even now I seem to hear the trumpet and the clarion, the flashing of arms, and the voices of chiefs, and the whole world subdued but the stubborn heart of Cato. The gods of Africa have offered his victors' grandsons on the tomb of Jugurtha. What land, what waters, are not stained with our blood? But stay, my Muse, approach not such high themes.

1. Motum ex Metello consule] The foundation of the civil wars is here laid in the formation of the (so-called) triumvirate by Cæsar, Pompeius, and Crassus, which took place in the consulship of Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer, and L. Afranius, A. U. C. 694, B. C. 60. But though this was the first great act of aggression on the liberties of Rome, the civil war did not break out till the year A. U. C. 704, B. C. 50, when Cæsar and Pompeius came to their final rupture. Pollio's work was in seventeen books, and probably ended with the battle of Actium.

2. modos] The 'plans' pursued by the opposing parties.

4. Principum amicitias] The alliance of Cæsar and Pompeius, and the subsequent coalition of M. Antonius and Augustus, more than once broken and renewed, and always maintained at the expense of the people's liberties, and therefore called 'graves,' 'oppressive,' are here principally referred to. See Plutarch, Vit. Caes. c. 13. Pollio was himself the means of reconciling Antonius and Augustus, in the year of his consulship B. C. 40.

5. Nondum expiatis uncta cruoribus,] See C. i. 2, Introduction. The 29th verse of that Ode, " Cui dabit partes scelus expiandi," compared with this, makes it probable the two were written about the same time. The plural

'cruoribus' is unusual, and savors of the Greek. So Aesch. Supp. 265 παλαιῶν αἱμάτων μιάσμασιν.

6. Periculosae plenum opus aleae,] A task full of hazard,' literally, 'full of perilous chance.' Pollio had been faithful to Julius Cæsar, but after his death had sided rather with M. Antonius than Augustus; and therefore, when the latter had succeeded in putting an end to his rival, and had the entire power in his own hands, it was a bold and difficult task that Pollio had undertaken. It does not appear, however, that he involved himself in any difficulty with Augustus, for he lived quietly to a good old age, dying in his eightieth year at his villa at Tusculum, A. U. c. 758, A. D. 4. It is probable that his history was written with impartiality, and that Augustus was not jealous, and could afford to be otherwise. See Tac. Ann. iv. 34. 'Aleae'

was the name for dice (see C. iii. 24. 58); here it means 'hazard,' 'risk.' 7. Incedis per ignes] Thou art treading on ashes that cover a smouldering fire,' like the ashes at the mouth of a volcano, cool on the surface, but burning below.

10. mox ubi publicas Res ordinaris] When you shall have finished your history of public events.' The Greeks used ovvráσσew for writing a book. Plutarch uses σύνταγμα for a book. ̓Ανατάξασθαι occurs in the preface to St. Luke's Gospel, and is thus rendered in the Vulgate translation, "Quoniam quidem multi conati sunt ordinare narrationem." It seems that Pollio was writing tragedy at the same time with his history, and the style of the one may have affected the style of the other so that Horace advises him to lay aside his tragedies, in order that he may do justice to his history. As the theme is delicate, and he is well able to adorn it, he should put aside the only obstacle to its proper accomplishment, viz, his tragedies. They were probably of no great merit. None have survived, and he has no credit for them, except with Horace and Virgil, who were under personal obligations to him. See S. i. 10. 42, and Virg. Ec. viii. 10.

11. grande munus] 'Thou shalt put on the Attic cothurnus, and return to thy lofty task.' The 'cothurnus' was a shoe worn by tragic actors, the use and name of which were borrowed by the Romans from the Athenians. It was usually ornamented with purple, and strapped up the leg nearly to the knee. When worn on the stage, it had a thick sole and a high heel, to add to the actor's height. Men of rank wore the 'cothurnus.' Horace speaks figuratively, when he says that Pollio shall put on the 'cothurnus,' meaning that he shall return to writing tragedies (see last note).

16. Delmatico- triumpho.] See Introduction.

17. Jam nunc] See C. iii. 6. 23, n. As to 'cornua' and 'litui,' see C. i. 1. 23, n.

21. Audire - videor] 'I seem to myself to hear' (as C. iii. 4. 6), referring to what he had heard Pollio read (see Int.). Cicero uses 'videor' with 'videre' not unfrequently, as (De Am. 12), “videre jam videor populum a senatu disjunctum."

23. cuncta terrarum subacta] It is probable that Pollio had given a stirring account of Cæsar's African campaign, in which he himself served, and that his description had made a great impression upon Horace. The victory of Thapsus, B. c. 46, made Cæsar master of the whole Roman world. 'Cuncta terrarum' is equivalent to 'cunctas terras.'

24. atrocem] 'stubborn.'

25. Juno et deorum] Juno and all the gods that favor Africa, who had departed helplessly (i. e. after the Jugurthine war) and left that land unavenged, have offered up as an atonement (rettulit') the grandsons of those victors, on the grave of Jugurtha.' Inferiae' or 'parentalia' were offerings presented by relatives at the tombs of the dead. Ten thousand of the Pompeian army alone fell at the battle of Thapsus. It has been suggested that

the Jugurthine, rather than any of the other African wars, is referred to, because Sallust's history had lately come out, and was attracting much attention. 29. Quis non Latino] In this and the following stanza Horace amplifies a little. But during the civil wars of Julius Cæsar, Spain, Greece, and Africa were scenes of much bloodshed, and Romans fought against each other at Mutina, at Philippi, and at Actium. That the Parthian had heard the crash of Italy in its fall, is a poetical exaggeration, meaning, in plain prose, that the bitterest enemy of Rome had watched her dissensions, and rejoiced in the prospect of her downfall.

pinguior] Comp. Virg. (Georg. i. 491) :

"Nec fuit indignum superis bis sanguine nostro
Emathiam et latos Haemi pinguescere campos."

34. Dauniae] Roman.' See C. i. 22. 14, n.; iii. 30. Î1; iv. 6. 27.
35. decoloravere] 'have deeply dyed.'

38. Ceae -neniae:]

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The subjects which belong to the Cean Muse.' 'Nenia' is used in various senses by Horace. As a dirge (C. ii. 20. 21); as a night-song (C. iii. 28. 16); as a charm (Epod. xvii. 29; as a song of triumph (Epp. i. 1. 63). Here it stands for the melancholy poetry of Simonides of Ceos, who flourished in the sixth century B. C.

retractes] Equivalent to 'tractes.' See note on i. 31. 12.

39. Dionaeo-antro] A cave dedicated to Venus, the daughter of Dione.


HORACE, meaning to write an Ode on the moderate desire and use of wealth, dedicated it to C. Sallustius Crispus, grand-nephew of the historian, and inheritor of his property. He had previously alluded to him in no terms of praise in Sat. i. 2. 48; but that Satire was written many years before this Ode, and at this time Sallustius was in high favor with Augustus, and possessed of great riches, of which Horace implies that he made a good use.

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ARGUMENT. Silver hath no beauty while hid in the earth, Sallustius. Proculeius, for his generosity to his brethren, will live for ever, and the man who rules the spirit of avarice is a greater king than if from Carthage to Gades were all his own. The dropsy grows and grows, till its cause is expelled. Phraates, restored to his throne, is not happy; he only is a king and conqueror who looks on money with indifference.

2. Abdito terris,] Sallustius possessed some valuable mines in the Alps, and to this circumstance Horace seems to refer. The character given of Sallustius by Tacitus (Ann. iii. 30) is rather different from Horace's description. Tacitus says he was inclined to luxurious living and fine clothes, different from the practice of the old times. Horace inverts the order of the cognomen and gentilician name, as Tacitus frequently does; as, ' Agrippam Postumum' (Ann. i. 3), and elsewhere. The eleventh Ode of this book is addressed to Quintius Hirpinus; and the names are inverted, as here. lamnae] Ovid (Fast. i. 207):

"Jura dabat populis posito modo consul aratro
Et levis argenti lamina crimen erat."

For examples of syncope, see i. 36. 8, n.

5. Vivet extento Proculeius aevo] C. Proculeius is said to have been brother of Licinius Murena, who, with one Fannius Caepio, entered into a conspiracy against the life of Augustus, and was put to death B. C. 22.


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