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THIS Ode was probably written as a dedication to Mæcenas of the three first books, when they were collectively published, probably in the fortysecond year of Horace's age, B. C 24. He says that different men have different tastes; the Greek loves the Olympic games, the Roman to get place or money; one is quiet, another restless, and so on; while he only loves the lyre, and seeks to be ranked by Mæcenas among lyric poets.



ARGUMENT. Mæcenas, my protector, my pride, various are the aims of The Greek seeks glory from the race; the lords of the world are supremely happy, one in the honors of the state, the other in his well-filled barns. The farmer will not plough the seas; the merchant is restless on land. One man loves his case and his wine; another, the camp and the din of war; while the huntsman braves all weathers for his sport. My glory is in the ivy crown, my delight to retire to the groves with the nymphs and the satyrs, where my muse breathes the flute or strikes the lyre. Placed by thee among the lyric choir, I shall lift my head to the skies.

1. atavis] A noun substantive, signifying properly an ancestor in the fifth degree, thus: pater,' 'avus,' 'proavus,' 'abavus,' 'atavus'; compounded of 'ad' and 'avus,' and corresponding to adnepos' in the descending scale. Mæcenas belonged to the family of Cilnii, formerly Lucumones or princes of Etruria, and up to a late period possessed of influence in the Etrurian town of Aretium, whence they were expelled by their own citizens B.C. 300. See Liv. x. 3. Compare Propert. iii. 9. 1:


Maecenas, eques Etrusco de sanguine regum,
Intra fortunam qui cupis esse tuam.'

Martial xii. 4. 2: "Maecenas atavis regibus ortus eques." See also C. iii. 29. 1. S. i. 6. 1, sqq.

2. O et praesidium] My protector, my delight, and pride.' Virgil (G. ii. 40) addresses Maecenas in the same affectionate terms:

"O decus, O famae merito pars maxima nostrae,
Maecenas ";

and Propertius, ii. 1. 73.

3. Sunt quos] The Greeks say σrw ous. The indicative is used with 'sunt,' or 'est qui,' when particular persons are alluded to, as here the Greeks in opposition to the Romans. So Epp. ii. 2. 182: ". Argentum sunt qui non habeant, est qui non curat habere," where, by the latter, is distinctly indicated the wise man. Here Horace alludes to the Greeks of

former days, and is led to refer to them, because this was the chief subject of Pindar's poetry.

-curriculo] This may mean either the chariot (formed from 'curro,' as 'vehiculum' from 'veho) or the course.

4. Collegisse] The perfect is used to express the frequent repetition of the action, like the Greek aorist. The best illustration of what follows is in the Iliad (xxiii. 338, sqq.). Meta' was the conical pillar at the end of the course round which the chariots turned on their way back to the startingplace. By the Greeks it was called vooŋ. It was the mark of a skilful driver to turn the goal as closely as possible without touching it, which is implied in fervidis Evitata rotis.'

6. Terrarum dominos] That is, the Romans. Virgil (Aen. i. 282) calls them "Romanos rerum dominos."

8. tergeminis] This refers to the three curule magistracies, those of the ædile, prætor, and consul. Though the questorship was usually the first step in the line of promotion, it is not included, because it was not a curule office. "Tergeminus' here signifies no more than triplex.' 'Geminus' is used in this combination with cardinal numbers frequently. So Virgil (Aen. vi. 287) calls Briareus centumgeminus.' Honoribus' is the ablative case, as (C. i. 21.9): "Vos Tempe totidem tollite laudibus." Tac. Ann. i. 3: "Claudium Marcellum pontificatu et curuli aedilitate — M. Agrippam geminatis consulatibus extulit."

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Certattollere] The poets, following the Greek idiom, use for convenience and conciseness this construction of the infinitive with verbs, which in prose would require 'ut' with the subjunctive, or a supine, or 'ad' with a gerund or some other construction. In the next Ode we have ". egit visere"; in the 12th, "sumis celebrare"; in the 26th, “tradam portare," and so on. Verbs of all kinds signifying desire and the reverse are frequently used with the infinitive, as in this Ode: "demere spernit," "refugit tendere"; C. 9. 13, "fuge quaerere," &c. Propertius uses the infinitive after 'ire,' which the prose writers never do: "Ibat et hirsutas ille videre feras" (i. 1. 12).

10. de Libycis verritur areis.] The great mass of the corn consumed at Rome was imported from Sicily and Libya. See C. iii. 16. 26, 31. S ii 3. 87. The area' was a raised floor on which the corn was threshed; and, after the wind had winnowed it, the floor was swept, and the corn was thus collected. See Virgil (Georg. i. 178, sqq.), where directions are given for making an area.'


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11. findere sarculo] There is something of contempt in these words, where we should have expected 'arare.' The soil must be poor that was worked by a hoe, and the owner macro pauper agello.' (Epp. ii. 2. 12.) 'Scindere' is the proper word for the plough; findere,' for the hoe or lesser instruments. -Attalicis conditionibus' signifies the most extravagant terms.' There were three kings of Pergamus of this name, which was proverbial for riches. The third left his great wealth to the Romans (B. C. 134). See C. ii. 18. 5. Compare for 'conditionibus' Cic. ad Qu. Fr. i. 2. 8: "Nulla conditio pecuniae te ab summa integritate deduxerit."

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13. dimoveas,] From the meaning of 'de,' 'down from,' 'demoveo' is more properly used when the place from which the removal takes place is expressed, and 'dimoveo' when the sentence is absolute, as here. For instance, demovet' is the proper reading in C. iv. 5. 14: "Curvo nec faciem littore demovet." The MSS. have in many instances dimovet' where 'demovet' is wanted. The same remark applies to 'diripio' and 'deripio' -'Cypria,'' Myrtoum,' 'Icariis' (C. iii. 7. 21), ' Africum,' are all particular names for general, as Bithyna carina' (C. i. 35. 7). By adding names more life is given to the description. Horace's epithets for Africus, which was the west-southwest wind, and corresponded to the Greek diy, are ' praeceps,'

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'pestilens,' protervus.' He uses the phrase 'Africae procellae' (C iii. 23. 5) to signify the storms for which this wind was proverbial. 'Luctari,' certare, decertare,' 'contendere,' are used by the poets with the dative case, instead of the ablative with 'cum,' after the manner of the Greek μάχεσθαί τινι.

16. otium et oppidi Laudat rura sui;] He commends the peaceful fields about his native town; for otium et rura' may be taken as one subject.


18. indocilis - pati.] Examples of this Greek construction for ad patiendum' are very numerous. To go no further than this book, we have audax perpeti,'' blandum dicere,'' nobilem superare,' impotens sperare,'' callidum condere,' 'doctus tendere,' 'praesens tollere,' 'ferre dolosi.' - Pauperies, 'paupertas,''pauper,' are not usually by Horace taken to signify privation, or anything beyond a humble estate, as, among many other instances, meo sum pauper agello" (Epp. ii. 2. 12). Probamque pauperiem sine dote quaero" (C. iii. 29. 56). Paupertas,' 'inopia,' ' egestas,' is the climax given by Seneca (de Tranq. Animi, 8).

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19. Est qui See above, v. 3. This is the only instance in which 'est qui' is followed by the indicative where the person is not expressed or clearly understood. Horace may have had some one in his mind, and the description would apply to many of his friends, or to himself.

Massici] The wine grown on Mons Massicus in Campania was of delicate flavor. See S. ii. 4. 54.

20. solido demere de die] That is, to interrupt the hours of business. So (C. ii. 7. 6)"morantem saepe diem mero fregi." Solidus' signifies that which has no vacant part or space; and hence solidus dies' comes to sig nify the business hours, or occupied part of the day.

The solidus dies' ended at the hour of dinner, which with industrious persons was the ninth in summer and tenth in winter. The luxurious dined earlier, the busy sometimes later. The commencement of the day varied with the habits of different people.

21. viridi] This is not an idle epithet, which Horace never uses. The arbutus is an evergreen, which is expressed by ‘viridi.'

22. caput This is used for the mouth as well as the spring of a river. Virg. Georg iv. 319, "Tristis ad extremi sacrum caput astitit amnis." Caes. (B. G. iv. 10) says of the Rhine, " multis capitibus in Oceanum influit." Here it is the spring. Shrines were usually built at the fountain-head of streams, dedicated to the nymphs that protected them, which explains


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23. lituo tubae] The 'lituus' was curved in shape and sharp in tone, and used by the cavalry: tuba,' as its name indicates, was straight and of deep tone, and used by the infantry. Non tuba directi, non aeris cornua flexi" (Ov. Met. i. 98). The lituus' is said to have been in shape a mean between the tuba' and the cornu'; not so straight as the one, nor so twisted as the other. See C. ii. 1. 17.

24. bellaque matribus Detestata.] 'Detestatus' is nowhere else used passively, except by the law-writers, who use it for one convicted by evidence: 'modulatus' (Č. i. 32. 5), 'metatus' (ii. 15. 15), are likewise instances of deponent participles used passively.

25. sub Jove] The atmosphere, and so the sky. Epod. iii. 2: "Nivesque deducunt Jovem." The Latin writers represented the atmosphere by Jupiter, the Greeks by Hera.

26. tenerae] This word occurs frequently in Horace in the sense of 'young.' See C. 5. 19 (tencrum Lycidam).

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28. teretes] This word may be rendered smooth and round.' It has always more or less closely one of these meanings, or both. It contains the same root as 'tero,' 'tornus,' reipw, and its cognate words, and its meaning

is got from the notion of rubbing and polishing. Horace applies it to a woman's ankles, a smooth-faced boy, the cords of a net, and a faultless man. It is applied by Ovid (Fast. ii. 320) to a girdle, and by Virgil (Aen. xi. 579) to the thong of a sling; where, as here, it represents the exact twisting of a cord. Plagae' were nets of thick rope with which the woods were surrounded to catch the larger beasts as they were driven out by dogs and beaters. (Epod. ii. 32. Epp. i. 6. 58; 18. 46.) Marsus for Marsicus, as Medus for Medicus, is the only form Horace uses. The country of the Marsi, east of Rome, Umbria, and Lucania were all famous for boars, being abundant in acorns, on which they fed and grew fat. Laurentian boars were also celebrated. See S. ii. 3. 234; 4. 41. 43.

29. Me doctarum hederae praemia frontium] The ivy, which was sacred to Bacchus, made a fit and usual garland for a lyric poet. "Doctarum frontium" is the proper description of poets, who by the Greeks were called σοφοί.

30. me gelidum nemus] This is an imaginary scene, in which Horace supposes himself wandering in cool groves, surrounded with dancing bands of wood-nymphs (Dryads and Hamadryads) and satyrs, and listening to the flute of Euterpe, and the lyre of Lesbos struck by Polyhymnia. Tibia' was a sort of flageolet. When it is used in the plural (as here, C. iv. 15. 30, Epod. ix. 5), it has reference to two of these instruments played by one perTheir pitch was different, the low-pitched tibia being called 'dextra,' because it was held in the right hand, and the high-pitched sinistra,' because it was held in the left. Euterpe, the Muse, was said to have invented the tibia,' and she especially presided over music. Polyhymnia, or Polymnia, another Muse, invented the lyre.


34. Lesboum-barbiton.] The lyre of Sappho and Aleæus, who were natives of Mytilene in the island of Lesbos, and flourished at the same time, about the end of the seventh century B. C. (C. 32. 5.)

35. Quod si Although the personal pronoun 'tu' is emphatic in this sentence, it is omitted, as is often the case in poetry, where no opposition of persons is intended. — Lyricis' is less common than melicis,' to describe the lyric poets of Greece.

Lyricis The most celebrated of the lyric poets of Greece were Pindar, Alcæus, Sappho, Stesichorus, Ilycus, Bacchylides, Simonides, Alcmeon, and Anacreon.


THIS Ode seems to have been written on the return of Augustus to Rome, after the taking of Alexandria, when the civil wars were brought to a close and the temple of Janus was shut, B. C. 29. Horace here urges Augustus to take upon himself the task of reducing to order the elements of the state, which so many years of civil war had thrown into confusion, and he does so in the following manner. He refers to the prodigies at Julius Cæsar's death, as evidences of the divine wrath for the guilt of the civil wars. He then invokes one god after another to come and restore the state, and finally fixes upon Mercury, whom he entreats to take upon himself the form of a man, and not to leave the earth till he has accomplished his mission and conquered the enemies of Rome. The man whose form Mercury is to take is Augustus.

If this Ode is read with C. ii. 15, and the others mentioned in the introduction to that Ode, the feeling with which Horace entered into the mission of Augustus as the reformer will be better understood.


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- Portents enough hath Jove sent upon the earth, making it afraid lest a new deluge were coming, as the Tiber rolled back from its mouth, threatening destruction to the city, the unauthorized avenger of Ilia.

Our sons shall hear that citizens have whetted for each other the steel that should have smitten the enemy. What god shall we invoke to help us? What prayers shall move Vesta to pity? To whom shali Jove assign the task of wiping out our guilt? Come thou, Apollo; or thou, smiling Venus, with mirth and love thy companions; or thou, Mars, our founder, who hast too long sported with war; or do thou, son of Maia, put on the form of a man, and let us call thee the avenger of Cæsar; nor let our sins drive thee too soon away; here take thy triumphs; be thou our father and prince, and suffer not the Mede to go unpunished, whilst thou art our chief, Ó Cæsar.

1. Jam satis-] These are the prodigies which are said to have followed the death of Julius Cæsar. They are related also by Virgil (Georg. i. 466 – 489), which description Horace may have had in his mind. See also Ovid, Met. xv. 782 sqq.


dirae] It is very common in Horace (though not peculiar to him) to find an epithet attached to the latter of two substantives, while it belongs to both, as here, and "fidem mutatosque Deos " (C. i. 5. 6), poplitibus timidoque tergo (C. iii. 2. 16), and many other places. Horace uses this construction so frequently that it may be looked upon as a feature in his style; and he often uses it with effect.

2, 3. rubente Dextera] With his right hand, glowing with the light of the thunderbolt which it grasped.

arces] The sacred buildings on the Capitoline Hill. They were called collectively Capitolium or Arx (from their position), Arx Capitolii, and sometimes "Arx et Capitolium." (Livy, v. 39, &c.) They embraced the three temples of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Juno, and Minerva, of Jupiter Feretrius, and of Terminus. Horace uses ‘jaculari' three times, and always with an accusative. Other writers use it absolutely. See C. ii. 16. 17; iii. 12. 9.

6. nova monstra] The prodigies alluded to are those enumerated in the following verses; namely, the occupation of the mountains by sea animals, of the waters by the deer, and the trees by the fishes.

7. pecus] The herds of Neptune, or the larger sea animals, fabulous or otherwise, which were said to be under the charge of Proteus. The deluge of Deucalion, the husband of Pyrrha, and its causes, are described at length by Ovid (Met. i. 125 - 347).

10. columbis,] The proper name for a wood-pigeon is 'palumbus,' or '-ba,' or '-bes'; but 'columbus,' '-ba,' are the generic terms for pigeons. Damae' is both masculine and feminine. Georg. iii. 539: “timidi damae cervique fugaces."

11. superjecto] Terris' may be understood. xi. 625), "Scopulisque superjacit undam."

Virgil uses the word (Aen.

13. flavum] This common epithet of the Tiber arose out of the quantity of sand washed down in its stream. Aen. vii. 31: "Vorticibus rapidis et By vidimus' Horace means that his generation had seen the prodigies he refers to, as Virgil says of the eruptions of Ætna:

multa flavus arena."


"Quoties Cyclopum effervere in agros

Vidimus undantem ruptis fornacibus Aetnam."- Aen. i. 471. 13, 14. retortis Littore Etrusco violenter undis] "its waters driven violently back from the shore of the Etruscan sea," into which the Tiber emptied itself. It is said that the overflowings of the Tiber are still by the common people accounted for by the violence of the sea driving back the stream. They were always held to be ominous, and many such are mentioned in Livy and other writers.

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