Obrazy na stronie

cedes, ferro duratorum saeculorum, or cujus ferreae aetatis; a fligid from which (brazen age, the last and worst of all) is granted to the good.


The poet ridicules, with oitter satire, Canidia and her sorceries. Affecting to recant, as if himself her victim, what he had before written (in Epode Fifth), he really repeats it all, and adds yet more; and in the words of reply which he puts into her mouth, makes her criminate and ridicule herself.

Compare the Fifth Epode, together with the introduction.

3. Dianae. Hecate, as in Epod. 5, 51.

verse, of charms and incantations.

4. Carminum. Forms, in 7. Turbinem. The magical

wheel, which, as it went round, involved the victim more and more in the wiles of the sorceress, and when turned back released him.

8. Nepotem Nereium. Achilles, who at length healed, by the rust of his spear, the wound he had inflicted upon Telephus. -12. Hectorem. The idea is by implication, that the body of Hector was restored by Achilles, who could not resist the supplications of Priam. -17. Volente Circa. So Circe, moved by the prayers of Ulysses, freed the victims of her sorceries.. 20. Amata, etc. Of course, in irony. As an old Scholiast says, urbanissima contumelia. -22. Lurida. When the body is wasted, and shows nothing but skin and bones.-25. Urget diem, etc. Compare the poet's language in O. ii., 18, 15.—Est, like GTI,licet. And I may not. So Tacitus, Germ. 5, Est videre-vasa.

28. Sabella. So in Sat. i., 9, 29, Sabella-cecinit anus. The people scem to have been versed in magic arts. 29. Marsa. As in Epod. 5, 76, the Marsi are here represented as excelling in magic incantations. 31. Hercules. See note, Epod. 3, 17.- 33. Virens. This is the reading of the most MSS., and is adopted by nearly all the Editors; it is interpreted as referring to the color of sulphur flame, which Orelli describes as something "between light yellow, green, and blue." 35. Officina; with tu; you like a workshop. 36. Finis. On the gender, see note, O. ii., 18, 30. 36. Stipendium. This word, as it means in general, what one has to pay, is used here in the sense of poena. 39. Mendaci lyra. A refinement of irony and satire. In the same breath that he promises to sing her praises, he pronounces his lyre mendacious.- -42. Infamis; defamed; by Stesichorus (vati, 1. 44). The story was, that the poet was punished by Castor and Pollux with blindness for slandering Helen, and was afterwards cured by them, on his writing a recantation. 42. Vicem. On account of Helen. On the construction with offensus, see Z. § 453.. 46. Obsoleta. Polluted. The negative only makes more forcible the poet's allusion

to Canidia's mean origin. -48. Novendiales dissipare. The sorceresses made use of the ashes of the dead for magical rites. In such rites they were thought more efficacious, when fresh and warm from the urn or the funeral pile. Hence they plundered the sepulchres as soon as possible after an interment; which idea is expressed by novendiales, as the funeral rites usually continued for nine days. Allusion is made to the tombs of the poor, sepulcris pauperum, for those of the rich were carefully guarded. 50. Venter; for filius. Pactumeius seems to have been the name of some boy she had tried to palm off as her own. 56. Ut tu; sc. fieri potest? Expresses indignation. See Z. § 609. Cotyttia; sc. sacra, the impure rites of Cotytto, a Thracian goddess.

58. Pontifex. The pontifex maximus, being supreme in all religious matters, had jurisdiction over burials, and every thing pertaining to them. On the Esquiline was a burial place (see note, Epod. 5, 100), and here the sorceresses would plunder the tombs. 60. Pelignas. Like the Sabelli and Marsi, the Peligni were famous for their skill in sorcery. 62. Sed tardiora-votis. But a destiny slower than your wishes awaits you; i. e. your wretched life shall be protracted contrary to your own ardent prayers for deliverance by death.. 63. In hoc.

For this purpose alone. -75. Terra cedet. The poet makes Canidia assume the proud air of a deity, under whom, as she strides on, the earth yields, as if unequal to the pressure. Orelli quotes Ovid, A. A. 1, 500: (Bacchus) "e curru Desilit; imposito cessit arena pedi.”. 76. Cereas imagines. The sorceresses went through their processes over waxen images, with the idea that the souls of the originals were all the while subject to their power. So Virgil, Ecl. 8, 80:

"Et haec ut cera liquescit

Uno eodemque igni, sic nostro Daphnis amore."


1. THE festival of the Secular Games, together with the name itself, Ludi Saecular res, was peculiar to the period of the Empire. The real object of its introduction and first celebration was to do honor to Augustus and to his government, the first ten years of which had just passed away. It seemed a fitting occasion, by means of a series of public games, at once to acknowledge and to secure the supreme power of Augustus, and to hand down his name to posterity, as the restorer of the state from strife and anarchy to harmony and established order. The Quindecemviri, in order to give greater éclat to the proposed games, sought to identify them with the existing Ludi Tarentini, which had been celebrated but three times during the period of the Republic. They declared that these games had been celebrated once in every century or saeculum; and having consulted the Sybilline books, of which they had charge, they formally announced that the time had now arrived for another celebration.

2. But the Secular Games differed essentially from the Tarentine. The latter were in every instance celebrated for the specific purpose of averting from the state some pressing calamity, and the services were in honor of Dis and Proserpina; but, in the celebration of the former, the infernal deities held but a subordinate place, while their object, as we have seen above, was a purely political one.

3. On the above-mentioned announcement of the Quindecemviri, the jurist Ateius Capito was appointed to make the requisite arrangements, and Horace was directed to prepare an Ode. First of all, heralds were sent round to invite the people to a spectacle which they had never seen before, and would never see again. Next, in anticipation of the ceremonies, the Quindecemviri distributed among the free-born citizens, on the Palatine and the Capitoline, torches, sulphur, and bitumen; and in these places, as well as in the temple of Diana on the Aventine, were alse distributed wheat, barley, and beans, as offerings to the Parcae.

The festival was solemnized in summer, and lasted three days and three nights. Games were held in a place in the Campus Martius called Tarentum, and sacrifices were offered to the following deities: Jupiter and Juno, Apollo, Latona, and Diana, the Parcae, to Carmenta, Ceres, and to Dis and Proserpina.

At the second hour of the night, the ceremonies were opened by the emperor, who, by the river-side, sacrificed three lambs to the Parcae, upon three altars erected for the purpose. In the Tarentum a stage was erected, and on it was sung by a choir a festive nymn. On this first day the people went to the Capitol to offer sacrifices, and then returned to the Tarentum, to do honor to Apollo and Diana by singing choruses.

On the second day, the most honored matrons of the city went to the Capitol, and sang hymns; and the Quindecemviri sacrificed to the great divinities.

On the third day, Greek and Latin choruses were sung in the temple of Apollo on the



Palatine, by three times nine boys and maidens. During these three days, feasts and games were going on throughout the city.

The above account has been prepared from IIartung's description of the Tarentine Games, in Rel. d. Römer, vol. 2, 92, seqq., a translation of which may also be found in the Dictionary of Antiquities.

I add from the Dictionary of Antiquities the following statement of the several celebrations of the Secular Games: "The first celebration of the Ludi Saeculares took place in the reign of Augustus, in the summer of the year 17 B. C. The second took place in the reign of Claudius, A. D. 47; the third in the reign of Domitian, A. D. 88; and the last in the reign of Philippus, A. D. 248."

The following scheme, proposed by Steiner, and adopted by Orelli and Dillenburger, represents the manner in which the Secular Hymn was probably sung by the two choirs of boys and of maidens:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

5. Sybillini-versus. It was understood to be in obedience to the authority of the Sybilline books, that Augustus celebrated the Secular Games. -6. Lectas-castos. It was required that the boys and the maidens of the chorus should be of senatorial families, and the children of parents who were both alive, and had been married by the ceremony of the confarreatio, the most ancient and solemn of the Roman marriage forms. 10. Promis. Drawest out; i. e. from the darkness of night. Celas. Hidest; in darkness. Aliusque et idem. Different and yet the same; that is, as Osborne remarks, different in semblance, and yet in reality the same. -14. Ilithyia; Eiλeiðvía, from èλcú↓w, an appellation of Diana. As if to do more honor to the goddess, he adds two appellations, Lucina from lux, an appellation of Juno also, and Genitalis from genitum (gigno). 20. Lege. The allusion is to the Lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus, which was passed B. c. 18; its object was to encourage and regulate marriages. . See note, O. iv., 5, 22, and Dict. Antiqq. under the word. 23. Ter. See note, Epist. ii., 1, 36.24. Frequentes. Numerously attended. Translate the word, according to the Latin order, last in the stanza. 26. Semel. Once for all.⚫ Stabilis rerum terminus. "The sure event of circumstances." Osborne. -Quod depends upon cecinisse, which is equivalent to in canendo.· 31. Fetus. Here the fruits of the earth; as in Virg. Georg. 1, 55, Arbo rei fetus; also ib. 2, 390; and Cic. Or. 2, 30. - -33. Condito. Compare the poet's language in the last stanza but one of Tenth Ode of Book Second. 39. Jussa pars. In apposition with turmae. Virgil represents the voyage of Aeneas to Italy, and the settlement of the Trojans there, as done in obedience to the command of Apollo; in Aen. 3, 94:


4,345. -41. Sine fraude. Without injury- 47. Remque prolemWealth and (numerous) offspring. The second que is elided before the vowel in et in the next verse. 49. Quaeque-impetret. This is the true reading. Quaeque is governed by veneratur, which is equivalent to venerando precatur. 51. Bellante, etc. The same sentiment in the celebrated line of Virgil, Aen. 6, 853:

"Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos."

54. Medus. Here means the Parthian, as so often in Horace. · 55. Responsa. Compare the poet's words, O. iv., 15, 22. 60. Copia. See note, O. i., 17, 16. - -65. Arces; here in the sense of colles; and the Palatine hill is thus referred because, as already mentioned in the introduction, hymns were sung in the temple of Apollo, on the Palatine. -69. Aventinum. On the Aventine was a temple of Diana. The Algidus is also mentioned in O. i., 21, 6, as a favorite haunt of Diana. -73. Haec-sentire. Haec; i. e. quae precati sumus. Give heed to Base prayers of ours.

« PoprzedniaDalej »