« PreviousContinue »
“Poscimur Aonides, sed forsitan otia non sunt.” Sic Hor. Od. 1. 22, 1, Ad Lyram.
“Poscimur, si quid vacui umbro=Lusimus tecum..." vid. ibi Bentl.' (G.)
5. Certe, &c. The poet here points out to the goddess that he has merited her favour by a strict performance of all the rites enjoined in her worship.
De vitulo cinerem. On the 15th of April was a festival, named the 'Fordicidia,' so called from the sacrifice of boves fordae, or pregnant cows; the embryos were burnt by the senior Vestal Virgin, and the ashes kept for the purifications of the Palilia.
'Igne cremat vitulos, quae natu maxima, Virgo,
Luce Palis populus purget ut ille cinis.' See Ov. Fast. 4. 629-640.
6. Februa, as we have seen above, p. 208, was the general term for all objects used in expiatory sacrifices —
“Februia Romani dixere piamina patres.' 7. Leaping over heaps of blazing hay and stubble was the characteristic ceremony of the Palilia. Thus Varro, quoted by the Scholiast on Persius, S. 1. 72
Palilia tam publica quam privata sunt; et est genus hilaritatis et lusus apud rusticos, ut congestis cum feno stipulis ignem magnum transiliant, his Palilibus se expiari credentes.' Compare also Propert. 4. 4, 73
• Vrbi festus erat; dixere Palilia patres;
Hic primus coepit moenibus dies.
Cum pagana madent fercula deliciis,
Traiicit immundos ebria turba pedes.'
8. Another lustration, which consisted in dipping a branch of laurel into pure water, and sprinkling all the objects to be purified. See 28. 15
• Vda fit hinc laurus : lauro sparguntur ab uda
Omnia, quae dominos sunt habitura novos;'
1 Varro de L. L. 'Fordicidia a fordis bubus. Bos forda, quae fert in ventre.'
a branch of olive might be employed, Virg. Ae. 6. 229
Idem ter socios pura circumtulit unda,
Spargens rore levi et ramo felicis olivae;' a sort of brush used for this purpose is to be seen among sacred utensils represented on ancient monuments; to this the name 'aspergillum' is given. The word, however, does not occur in any classical author. 9. Navalibus, &c.
We have already spoken of this metaphor in the note on 9. 4.
11. Virginea...ara. The altar of Vesta tended by the Vestal Virgins.
Suffimen, or suffimentum, "anything which when burnt produced an expiatory or purifying smoke, and hence, in general, anything used for purification or expiation. Festus gives the following explanation of suffimentum:
Suffimenta sunt, quae faciebant ex faba, milioque molito, mulso sparso : Ea Diis dabantur eo tempore, quo uvae calcatae praelo.' Pliny H. N. 15. 30, speaking of the laurel, 'Ob has causas equidem crediderim, honorem ei habitum in triumphis potius quam quia suffimentum sit caedis et purgatio, ut tradit Massurius. Again, Festus in verb 'Aqua,'
Funus prosecuti, redeuntes ignem supergrediebantur aqua aspersi: quod purgationis genus vocabant suffitionem.'
The verb connected with these words is suffio,' to produce smoke,''to fumigate,' e. g. Virg. G. 4. 241
“At suffire thymo, cerasque recidere inanes
Quis dubitet '...... and Columella 12. 18, 3 'Cella quoque vinaria omni stercore liberanda, et bonis odoribus suffienda.'. Compare also Prop. 4. 8, 83. In Lucret. 2. 1098, it is used in the sense of 'to warm,'
'Ignibus aetheriis terras suffire feraceis.' 13. Sanguis equi. Solinus, p. 2 “Et observatum deinceps ne qua hostia Parilibus caederetur, ut dies iste a sanguine
There is no contradiction here. The horse alluded to was sacrificed in the month of October to Mars, in the Campus Martius: his tail was cut off, and the blood that dropped from the wound was kept in the temple of Vesta. These particulars we learn from Festus under 'Equus October.' Propertius, 4. I, 19, alludes to the same rite, and gives the
epithet curtus’ to the horse, in consequence of the amputation described
Annuaque accenso celebrare Palilia feno,
Qualia nunc curto lustra novantur equo,' where we find 'curvo' for curto’ in many editions, a corruption which arose from the former epithet not being understood.
18. Longa corona. The garlands from their size hung down in festoons,
19. Vivo de sulfure. Pliny, H. N. 35. 15, describes sulphur "Genera quatuor : vivum, quod Graeci apyron, nascitur solidum, hoc est gleba. Compare Tibull. 1. 5, II
• Ipseque ter circum lustravi sulfure puro.' Sulfura viva' occurs in Virg. G. 3. 449. 21, 22.
See note on 18. 10. 23. Fiscella, a diminutive from 'fiscina,' a basket made of twigs. • Nunc facilis rubea texatur fiscina virga’ Vir. G. 1. 266. “Tunc fiscella levi detexta est vimine iunci' Tibull. 2. 3, 15.
25. Resectis. The MSS. are in great confusion here, as will be seen from the various readings. Gierig conj. “refectus,' and explains the passage thus— Ordo autem rituum est hic. Primum Deae cibus apponitur: tum sibi dapes parant pastores. Iis refecti libant lac; mox preces faciunt. Tandem ipsi se proluunt lacte et sapa.” 25-56.
• Carmen precationis.-Sequitur magnus catalogus delictorum quibus sacra violari Deosque offendi superstitio veterum credebat' G. 26. Compare Tibull. 1. 1, 35 'Hic ego pastoremque meum lustrare quotannis
Et placidam soleo spargere lacte Palen.' 32. Semicaperve deus. Pan or Faunus. Compare Fast. 5. 101
Semicaper, coleris cinctutis, Faune, Lupercis,' and introduction to 15.
35. Degrandinat. This word occurs in no other passage
classical writer. Hence a doubt has arisen whether the verb signifies “to hail violently,' or 'to cease hailing,' since, according to analogy, the compound might admit of either signification. Observe, however, that if we adopt the latter, we must read 'degrandinet.'
36. Some MSS. have ‘fano,' which will give a more general meaning than ‘Fauno,' which must be understood to denote 'a shrine dedicated to Faunus.'
37-42. Nothing is more pleasing in ancient mythology than the fanciful doctrine which peopled all earth and sea with multitudes of fair female spirits. Every hill and dale, every grot and crystal spring, every lake, and brook, and river, every azure plain and coral cave of ocean, was animated and hallowed by the presence and protection of the Nymphs. Grouped in bands they braided the flowery garland, or wove the mystic dance, or watched the cradle of infant gods and heroes, or followed in the train of Artemis. Sometimes they shared the love of the Celestials—sometimes they deigned to consort with favoured mortals—sometimes they coquetted with Satyrs and Sileni—but more often alone in maiden purity they would wander through glade or field, and repose on sunny bank, or in greenwood covert, rejoicing in the beauty and beneficence of Nature. But they loved not their haunts to be disturbed, and if any unwary swain chanced to surprise them as they laved their limbs in the fountain, he was seized with sudden phrenzy!.
Being dispersed through all creation, the classes into which they were divided, and the epithets by which they were distinguished, are exceedingly numerous.
We hear most frequently of the “Naides,' the fountain, lake, and river Nymphs; Nereides' and 'Oceanitides,' sea and ocean Nymphs; •Oreades, mountain Nymphs; . Napaeae,' 'Dryades,' · Hamadryades,' grove and tree Nymphs.
Those last mentioned, the ‘Hamadryades,' possess a peculiar interest, because their existence was supposed to depend upon the oak to which they were attached: they grew, and flourished, and pined, and withered, and died, each with her own tree.
41. Labra. 1. 'Labrum' properly signifies a lip. 2. The edge or rim of anything, as, for example, of a vessel. Cato R. R. 107 'quo labra doliorum circumlinas. 3. A large vessel or vat. Virg. 2. 6 'Floret ager, plenis spumat vindemia labris.' 4. A vessel for bathing in. 5. In the passage before us, "a natural bathing place.'
42. Premit arva, i. e. when stretched on the ground in slumber. 48. Lavent artus. Compare Virg. G. 1. 272
Balantumque gregem fluvio mersare salubri,' ? A person under these circumstances was styled vvupóanatos by the Greeks, ' lymphatus' by the Latins.
and 3. 445
• Dulcibus idcirco fluviis pecus omne magistri
Mersatur, missusque secundo defuit amni.' 'Rarus' is properly applied as an epithet to an object composed of a number of parts which are not in close combination with each other, and hence to any fine thin texture, or anything full of holes and pores. Thus to a sieve, a net, or, as here, to a basket into which the curd was put, in order that the whey might be pressed out through the interstices. Compare Ov. Met. 12. 435
Perque cavas nares, oculosque, auresque, cerebrum
Manat, et exprimitur per densa foramina spissus,'
Raraque per nexus est via facto sero.' See also a note on this word, 8. 24.
59. Camella, 'a wooden bowl. It is a rare word. Aulus Gellius, 16. 7, speaks of it as an obsolete vulgar term, introduced by Laberius in his mimes. It occurs three times in Petronius Arbiter; in one passage with the epithet 'lignea.'
60. Sapam. The unfermented juice of the grape was called 'mustum.' This, when boiled until one-third had evaporated, became 'carenuml;' when one-half had evaporated, it was called 'defrutum?;' when two-thirds, 'sapa 3.' The name of sapa is still given by the Italians, and of sabe by the French, to similar preparations. See Henderson on wines, pp. 41, 42.
The drink formed by mixing sapa with milk was called ‘Burranica potio,' as we learn from Festus, ‘Burranica potio appellatur lacte commistum sapa, a rufo colore, quem burrum vocant.'
FAS. III. 429.
THE Nones of March were marked in the Calendar as the day on which the temple of Veiovis or Vedius was consecrated.
1 Pallad. in Octobr. tit. 18.
Pliny, H. N. 14. 9. 3 Plin. et Pallad. ibid. But Varr. ap. Non. c. 17. n. 14, gives the name of 'sapa' to must boiled down one-half. Columella, 12. 19, seems to include all three under the general name of sapa.'