« PreviousContinue »
FAS. I. 295.
THE student will find in the Introduction to the Fasti, contained in the Appendix, some information with regard to the calculations of the ancients, founded upon the rising and setting of the heavenly bodies. Ovid, when about to describe some of these Phenomena, bursts forth into an animated apostrophe to the most sublime of sciences.
4. Inque domus superas scandere. Compare the sailor's address to the corpse of Archytas, Hor. Od. 1. 28, 4
....'nec quicquam tibi prodest
Percurrisse polum, morituro.' 9. Perfusa que gloria fuco. 'Fucus,' properly speaking, is the name of a marine plant which was extensively used in dyeing; hence it is put for paint in general, and metaphorically for anything which hides the real appearance of an object, and hence frequently signifies a 'pretext' or 'disguise,' and 'facere fucum alicui' is 'to deceive. Thus Plaut. Mostell. 1. 3, 118
'Vetulae, edentulae, quae vitia corporis fuco occulunt.' Hor. S. 1, 2, 83
* Adde huc, quod mercem sine fucis gestat, aperte,
Quod venale habet, ostendit,' &c. Cic. Att. 1. I
Prensat unus P. Galba sine fuco et fallaciis more maiorum.' Plaut. Capt. 3. 3, 6
Nec sycophantiis, nec fucis, ullum mantellum obviam est.'
II. Admovere. One MS. has adduxere.' writer would certainly have said ' admovere oculos sideribus,' or "adduxere sidera oculis,' rather than admovere sidera oculis.'
13. Non ut ferat Ossan Olympus. He alludes to the legend of Otus and Ephialtes, sons of Aloeus, who sought to mount to heaven by piling Ossa upon Olympus and Pelion upon Ossa. See notes on 25. 10.
A prose 12.
FAS. I. 469.
This extract contains the history of Evander, of his arrival in Latium, and of his founding a city on the spot where Rome afterwards stood. Virgil has, with great skill and judgment, interwoven this tradition with the fabric of the last six books of the Aeneid: the prosaic record we shall give in the words of Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
Not long after, another band of Greeks, from Palantium a city of Arcadia, arrived in this part of Italy, about sixty years before the Trojan war, as the Romans themselves tell. The leader of the colony was Evander, son of Hermes and a certain Arcadian nymph, whom the Greeks declare to have been inspired and named Themis, while those who have written upon Roman antiquities give her the appellation, in their vernacular tongue, of Carmenta, which in the Greek language would be Thespiôdos, 'prophetic-songstress, for the Romans call songs .carmina :' but all agree that this woman, being divinely inspired, foretold in song to the people future events. This expedition was not sent forth by the common consent of the state, but a sedition having arisen, the party that was worsted retired voluntarily. At that time, Faunus, a son, as they say, of Ares, had succeeded to the sovereignty of the Aborigines, a man at once bold and prudent, whom the Romans honour with sacrifices and songs as one of the gods of their land. This Faunus received the Arcadians, who were few in number, with great friendship, and gave them as much of his territory as they wished. The Arcadians, on the other hand, as Themis, seized with divine phrenzy, had commanded, chose, not far from the Tiber, a hill, which is now almost in the very centre of the city of the Romans, and raised beside it a small village sufficient for the crews of the two ships in which they had migrated from Greece. This little town they named Palantium after their own mother-city in Arcadia. Now, however, the place
is by the Romans called Palatium, time having corrupted the accurate form of the word.'
Dionysius goes on to relate that Polybius and others derived the name Palatium from a youthful hero Palas (son of Hercules and Dynal daughter of Evander), who was there interred, but adds that he had never beheld any sepulchre of Palas at Rome, nor ever heard of any sacrifices offered to his memory, although holy rites were performed every year, at the public expense, in honour of Evander and Carmenta, and altars were to be seen erected, one to Carmenta beside the Porta Carmentalis under the Capitoline hill, and another to Evander at the base of the Aventine, not far from the Porta Trigeminaa.
1. Orta prior Luna, &c. The desire inherent in nations as well as individuals, of tracing up their origin to periods the most remote, is sufficiently conspicuous, in our own times, among the Hindoos and Chinese, whose chronology (according to their own representations) extends back for millions of years. Influenced by a like spirit, the Athenians gloried in the title of aŭróxdoves, asserting that they had sprung from the very soil on which they dwelt, and, as an emblem of their origin, wore golden cicadas in their hair; while the Arcadians, who were acknowledged to be among the most ancient inhabitants of Greece, boasted that they had been in possession of their mountain-land before the moon rolled in the sky. It would be vain to attempt to ascertain how this wild tradition arose, but when we recollect that legends were attached to all the principal constellations, accounting for their origin, and therefore supposing a period when they did not exist, we can easily imagine that some similar tale was current among the Arcadians with regard to their favourite deity. The epithet Topogé nvol is said to have been first applied to them by Hippo of Rhegium, a writer who flourished in the time of Darius Hystaspes. Those who are desirous to examine the testimonies of ancient authors upon this subject, and to criticise
1 Dionysius in another place (A. R. I. 45) speaks of a daughter of Evander named Launa, who is evidently the same as Lavinia.
? The student will find a critical discussion on the story of Evander in Niebuhr's Roman History.
3 For example, the Great Bear who was once Calisto, daughter of Lycaon; Arctophylax who was her son; the Crown of Ariadne, &c.
the various attempts which have been made to rationalise the myth, will find all the information they can desire in a dissertation by Heyne, published in his Opuscula Academica, vol. 2. p. 332. Ovid alludes again to the idea in Fast 2. 289 *Ante Iovem genitum terras habuisse feruntur
Arcades: et Luna gens prior illa fuit,' and in 5. 90, speaking of Mercury, • Arcades hunc, Ladonque rapax et Maenalos ingens
Rite colunt, Luna credita terra prior.' 2. Arcade. Arcas, son of Jupiter and Callisto daughter of Lycaon king of Arcadia. He was transformed into the constellation Arctophylax when his mother was changed into Ursa Major. In line 74 'Arcade' is an adjective applied as an epithet to Evander, 'the Arcadian chief.'"
4. Matris. Themis or Carmenta, of whom enough has been said in the introduction to this Extract.
7. Motus. 'Civil discord.'_ We have seen that, according to the narrative of Dionysius, Evander quitted his native land in consequence of a sedition.
8. Tempore, i. e. 'tempore et eventu fidem nactae sunt eius vaticinationes, quibus statim non credebatur' B. 9. Vera nimium. Compare Ov. Her. 5. 123
Ah nimium miserae vates mihi vera fuisti.' 10. Parrhasium larem, i. e. 'Arcadian home.' The • Parrhasii' were an Arcadian tribe, and the epithet is here used generally. The proper abode of Evander was Pallantium. In like manner, in Fast 1. 618, Carmenta is called 'Parrhasia dea,' in 627 • Tegeaea parens,' and in 634 ' Maenalis Nympha, from the city of Tegea and the mountain Maenalus.
16. The philosophy of Ovid is better here than in some other passages, where he expresses a sentiment directly the reverse of this. Thus Amor. 2. 7, II Atque ego peccati vellem modo conscius essem:
Æquo animo poenam qui meruere ferunt,' and Her. 5. 7 • Leniter, ex merito quicquid patiare, ferendum est.
Quae venit indigne poena dolenda venit.' 20. Procella. We have 'tempestas' below v. 27 in the same sense. Both words are frequently used figuratively by the best prose writers.
22. Cadmus was the son of the Phoenician Agenor and the brother of Europa. The latter having been carried off by Jove, Agenor commanded his sons to go forth and not to return until they had recovered their sister. The search proving fruitless, Cadmus settled in Boeotia, or Aonia, as it was otherwise called from the Aones, one of its ancient tribes. Ovid tells the whole story in the third book of the Metamorphoses.
23. Tydeus was the son of Oeneus king of Calydon and half-brother of Meleager. Having slain a man, he left his home an exile and took refuge in Agros with Adrastus, whose daughter Deipyle he married and became the father of Diomede. Apollod. 1.
Pagasaeus Iason. Pagasae (Volo), from which the Pagasaeus Sinus (Gulf of Volo) derived its name, was the harbour of Iolchos, the native town of Jason, and the port from which the ship Argo sailed on the expedition in search of the golden fleece. Jason, upon his return, persuaded Medea to contrive the death of Pelias the usurper of his kingdom, and was in consequence driven forth from Iolchos along with Medea by Acastus the son of Pelias. Apollod. 1. 9, 28.
24. Et quos, &c. We have a long catalogue of illustrious exiles in Ep. ex P. 1. 3. 61 et seqq.
25, 26. This couplet is a translation of a fragment of Euripides.
"Απας μεν αήρ αετω περάσιμος,
"Απασα δε χθών ανδρί γενναία πατρίς. 27. Tamen, i. e. “although the blasts of misfortune now sweep fiercely, yet the storm will not always rage, but “tempora veris erunt.” 33. Terenti.
Terentus or Terentum was a place on the edge of the Campus Martius, close to the Tiber, where there was an altar sacred to Pluto and Proserpine buried under the earth, which was uncovered at the celebration of the secular games only. Hence Mart. 4. I, 7
Hic colat ingenti redeuntia saecula lustro,
Et quae Romuleus sacra Terentus habet 1.' And again, 10. 63, 3, he boasts that he had twice beheld the
1 There seems to have been a statue of Pan here in the time of Martial. Vid. Ep. I. 70.,