« PreviousContinue »
143. Perstitit. It will be seen from the various readings, that the MSS. vary much here. If we retain 'perstitit,' the meaning will be, 'Nasica did not remain the only founder of a temple to Cybele, Augustus claims a like honour. It will be seen by referring to the introduction, that the first temple was actually dedicated by M. Junius Brutus, 181 B. C.
144. Augustus nunc est. We find from the Marmor Ancyranum, that Augustus built a temple of Cybele on the Palatine,
'AEDEM MATRIS MAGNAE IN PALATIO FECI.' Metellus. We know nothing of this event, unless Ovid, supposing Cybele and Vesta to be the same, refers to the preservation of the Palladium, which forms the subject of the Extract 31.
FAS. II. 83. The celebrated story of Arion is narrated by Herodotus 24.
1-8. The effects of the music of Arion are the same as those usually attributed to the strains of Orpheus and Amphion. Compare Hor. Od. 1. 12, 5
"Aut in umbrosis Heliconis oris
Ducere quercus.' and Virg. G. 4. 510 (the whole passage is one of exquisite beauty)
Mulcentem tigres et agentem carmine quercus.' 4. Restitit, 'stood still,' stopped short in its flight.'
5, 6. There is a remarkable coincidence of expression here with the inspired prophet Isaiah, 11. 6
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.'
7. The owl was at enmity with the crow, because the latter was detested by the Goddess of Wisdom on account of chattering and talebearing propensities. See note on cornix invisa Minervae,' p. 132.
9. Cynthia. Artemis, so called from the mountain Cynthus (Monte Cintio) in Delos, her native isle. Hence also Apollo is styled Cynthius.'
Intonsum pueri dicite Cynthium’ Hor. Od. 1. 21, 2. 10. Fraternis...modis. The strains of her brother Apollo, lord of the lyre. 'Modus' is properly 'a measure,' 'a measured sound,' 'a musical sound.'
13. Ausonis ora. The country originally called 'Ausonia' or Opica,' for they are synonymous, was the district around Cales and Beneventum; but in later times the name was applied as widely as that of Italia.'
14. Ita. In this manner-on board of ship.
19. Dubiam. The helm being abandoned by the steersman, the ship would no longer be holding a steady course.
21. Pavidus. Many editors consider this inappropriate, and would substitute vacuus,' which is found in one MS. only. Both Herodotus and Aulus Gellius, however, expressly mention the terror of Arion.
23-26. Arion here assumes the attire which minstrels were wont to wear upon state occasions; thus Apollo, when he comes forth to contend with Pan, is thus described, Met. 1. 165
'Ille caput flavum lauro Parnaside vinctus,
Artificis status ipse fuit'...... on which the words of Auct. ad Herenn. 4. 47, serve as a commentary.
* Vti citharaedus quum prodierit, optime vestitus, palla inaurata indutus cum chlamyde purpurea, coloribus variis intexta, et cum corona aurea magnis fulgentibus gemmis illuminata, citharam tenens exornatissimam, auro et ebore distinctam, ipse praeterea forma et specie sit, et statura apposita ad dignitatem.' Compare also Tibull. 2. 5, 5-10.
25. Tyrio...murice. The different species of shell-fish which yielded the principal ingredient in the purple dye, were found in greatest abundance on the coasts of Phoenicia, of Africa, and of Laconia, and hence the ephithets, ‘Tyrius,' ‘Sidonius,' 'Afer, ‘Gaetulus,' 'Laconius, 'Oebalius,' &c. perpetually applied to this colour by the poets. See note, p. 275.
Bis tinctam. A garment which had been twice dyed purple, and had therefore drunk as much of the precious liquor as the wool was capable of absorbing, was distinguished by the ephithet dibaphus' (diapos). Thus Pliny H. N. 9. 39 ' Dibapha tunc (i.e. in the age of Cicero) dicebatur quae bis tincta esset, veluti magnifico impendio, qualiter nunc omnes pene commodiores purpurae tinguntur.' The Roman magistrates and chief priests wore a robe fringed with purple, toga praetexta,' and hence 'dibaphus' is used by Cicero for a magistracy or priesthood. Thus Ep. Fam. 2. 16 Curtius noster dibaphum cogitat,' i.e. 'is aiming at a magistracy;' and again, Ep. Att. 2. 9 Vatinii strumam sacerdotii dißápo vestiant.'
26. Suos...sonos, 'its own proper tones,' such as it yields in the hands of a skilful artist.
27. Icta...pollice. The cords of the lyre were swept either with the fingers, or with a pointed instrument, made of ivory or metal, shaped like a finger, and called 'plectrum' (Tynktpov) or 'pecten. Virg. Ae. 6. 645
Nec non Threicius longa cum veste sacerdos,
Iamque eadem digitis, iam pectine pulsat eburno.'
' Et te sonantem plenius aureo,= Alcaee, plectro'.... 27-28. The order of construction is “Veluti olor traiectus canentia tempora dura penna cantat flebilibus numeris,' where 'canentia tempora’ are the snowy temples, or head of the swan, 'penna,' the arrow with which it is pierced.
28. Cantat olor. The strange notion, universally current among the Greeks and Romans, that the swan poured forth melodious strains when in the agonies of death, seems to have arisen from the circumstance that the Egyptians used the figure of this bird as a hieroglyphic for a musical old man, Γέροντα μουσικών βουλόμενοι σημήναι, κύκνον ζωγραφούσιν ούτος γάρ ήδύτατον μέλος άδει γηράσκων 1. Hence it was accounted sacred to Apollo, and poets are figuratively addressed as
Hor. Od. 4. 2, 25
So says Horapollo, 2. 39. See Sir Thomas Browne upon Vulgar Errors, Book 3. c. 27.
Cicero thus reports the expressions of Socrates on this subject
'Itaque commemorat, ut cycni, qui non sine causa Apollini dicati sint, sed quod ab eo divinationem habere videantur, qua providentes quid in morte boni sit, cum cantu et voluptate moriantur, sic omnibus bonis et doctis esse faciendum Tuscul. Disp. 1. 30.
30. Spargitur, &c. Arion, by plunging suddenly into the sea, splashes up the water upon the ship.
34. Cantat. If we understand 'carmen' after 'cantat,' then 'pretium' will be in opposition with 'carmen.'
HERCULES ET OMPHALE.
FAS. II. 305.
THE following pretty description belongs to one of the numerous adventures of Hercules. The hero, after the completion of his twelve labours, became involved in a quarrel with Eurytus, lord of Oechalia, whose son itos he slew in a moment of phrenzy, although the youth was at the time his guest. The rites necessary to wash away the stain of blood were performed, but the wrath of heaven was not yet appeased, for the most sacred ties had been violated, and the murderer was smitten with a sore disease. The Pythia announced that no release would be granted, unless he were sold and remained in slavery three years. The sum of money received was to be given to Eurytus as the price of blood. Accordingly he was made over by Hermes to Omphale, daughter of lardanus, queen of the Lydians!
1. Dominae is used here in the strict sense. Hercules was the slave of Omphale.
Iuvenis. It is well known that this term was applied to all who were in the vigour of manhood, to all who were fit for military service.
1 Apollodor. 2. 6, 1. We have already stated that this fable probably arose from Hercules being confounded with the Lydian hero Sandon. See p. 173. Those who wish to see a discussion upon this topic, may consult Muller's Dorians, Vol. 1. p. 456, Engl. Trans., and his essay in the Rheinisches Museum, Vol. 3. p. 22.
Tirynthius. See note, p. 175.
2. Faunus. See introduction to 15. The Italian god, it will be observed, is here taking a ramble in Asia.
3. Montanaque numina, &c.'ye nymphs of the hills.' See note, p. 237.
5. Odoratis, &c. 'with her perfumed locks flowing over the shoulders.'
6. Moeonis, “the Lydian queen.' Moeonia was the original name of Lydia. See note on 3. 9, p. 119.
Aurato...sinu, with gold-embroidered robe.' The ‘sinus' was properly the large plait or fold formed by the toga' or 'palla’ across the breast, and on the skilful
arrangement of this the graceful effect of the drapery chiefly depended.
7. Rapidos soles. The epithet rapidus' is appropriately applied to a swift-flashing flame, or the swift-darting rays of the sun.
* Aestuat ut clausis rapidus fornacibus ignis’ Virg. G. 4.63. “Ne tenues pluviae rapidive potentia solis,' &c. Ibid. 1. 92. Umbraculum will signify anything that affords shade, here it is a 'parasol,' and so Ov. A. A. 2. 209
• Ipse tene distenta suis umbracula virgis.' In Tibull. 2. 5, 97, it means a temporary tent, in Virg. E. 9. 42, the shadowy umbrage of the vines,
‘hic candida populus antro Imminet et lentae texunt umbracula vites,' and in Cicero, a school of philosophy,' an application of the term derived from groves of Academe and other shady retreats where the Athenian sages were wont to discourse to their disciples. Thus De Legg. 3. 6
‘Post a Theophrasto Phalereus ille Demetrius mirabiliter doctrinam et umbraculis eruditorum, otioque, non modo in solem atque pulverem, sed in ipsum discrimen aciemque produxit,' and again, Brut. g. 'e. Theophrasti doctissimi hominis umbraculis.'
9. Tmoli vineta. Tmolus was the name of a lofty group of hills in the centre of Lydia, from which descend the headwaters of the Pactolus and the Caystrus. Its slopes were celebrated for the wine which they yielded, and hence the district is here termed .nemus Bacchi.' Compare Ov. Met.