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TR. I. iii.
GEMITVS LVCTVSQUE SVORVM.
Ovid having received from the Emperor an order to quit the city and take up his residence at Tomi, on the shores of the Euxine, depicts in this poem the misery he endured in tearing himself from Rome. With regard to his banishment and the causes, see life of Ovid in the Introduction.
5. Lux aderat. Three MSS. have nox aderat,' which is unnecessary. It appears from the whole of this elegy that Ovid set out from Rome at daybreak, (see particularly lines 71, 72,) and he would appear to be describing, although not in regular order, the events which took place during the last day spent by him in the city and during the night, towards the close of which he actually commenced his journey.
6. Finibus extrema e Ausoniae, i.e. "extremis finibus Ausoniae.' With regard to 'Ausonia,' see note, p. 304.
14. Convaluere, 'recovered their vigour.'
16. Qui modo, &c. 'who from many were now reduced to one or two.' Compare Trist.
* Vix duo tresve mihi de tot superestis, amici,
Cetera fortunae, non mea turba fuit,' and Ep. ex. P. 2. 3, 29, addressed to Maximus,
Cumque alii nolint etiam me nosse fateri,
Vix duo proiecto tresve tulistis opem;
Quorum tu princeps'.... 18. Indignas...genas, ‘her cheeks, which deserved not to be disfigured with marks of woe.'
19. Procul, at a distance;' diversa, in an opposite direction from that in which I was about to journey.'
26. Haec facies, &c. Compare Cic. in Verr. Act. 2. Lib. 4. 23
'Quem concursum in oppido factum putatis? quem clamorem? quem porro fletum mulierum ? qui viderent, equum Troianum introductum urbem captam esse dicerent.'
29. Ab hac, i. e. 'Postquam hanc aspexi.' The variations in the MSS. probably arose from the expression not being understood.
30. Lari, 'to my home.' 37. Caelesti viro. Augustus. Error. See Life of Ovid.
44. The extinction of the fire in the atrium' always indicated the desertion of a dwelling.
45. Adversos, will signify the Penates, whose statues stood in front of her as she knelt before the hearth.' Heinsius conjectured 'aversos,' turned away in wrath,' which is supported by Hor. Od. 3. 23, 19
Mollivit aversos Penates
Farre pio, et saliente mica.' 48. Axe.
Observe the different modifications in the meaning of the word 'axis.'
i. “The axle of a wheel,' and hence, by synecdoche, “a car' or chariot.'
ii. “The imaginary axle on which the universe appears to revolve.
iii. The extremity of this axle, the poles,' and especially the north pole.'
iv. Any quarter of the heavens, 'the heavens' in general, 'the canopy of heaven,''the open air.'
A climate' or 'region.' i. 'Post valido nitens sub pondere faginus axis Instrepat, et iunctos temo trahat aereus orbes'
Virg. G. 3. 172. 'Quod sit avus, radiis frontem vallatus acutis, Purpureo tepidum qui movet axe diem'
Ov. Her. 4. 159. ii. “Sive enim ipse mundus deus est, quid potest esse minus quietum, quam nullo puncto temporis intermisso versari circum axem caeli admirabili celeritate?' Cic. N. D. 1. 20. "Ter sine perpetuo caelum versetur in axe'
Ov. Fast. 4. 179. iii. “Te geminum Titan procedere vidit in axem'
Lucan 7. 422.
Virg. G. 2. 269.
iv. "Axe sub Hesperio sunt pascua Solis equorum'
Ov. Met. 4. 214.
Virg. Ae. 6. 796.
Virg. Ae. 6. 791.
Virg. Ae. 2. 512.
Plin. H. N. 27. 1.
Postera iamque dies primo surgebat Eoo,
Virg. Ae. 3. 588.
Hor. Epod. 17. 77. Parrhasis Arctos, "the Arcadian Bear.' •Parrhasis' is the feminine Graeco-poetic form of the adjective 'Parrhasius,' which, as we have already seen!, is equivalent to • Arcadian.'
The brilliant constellation known to us as the Great Bear, which never sets in European latitudes, was named by the early Greeks 'The Wain' ("Auaća), or the Bear' ("Apkros); by the Latins' Plaustrum,' or 'Septem Triones’ (i. e. Seven Oxen).
Among the objects represented by the skill of Hephaestus on the shield of Achilles, we find the stars which had chiefly attracted observation at that early period,
Πλήιάδας θ' Yάδας τε τό τε σθένος 'Ωρίωνος,
*Note, p. 168.
Who turning ever treads the self-same round
Partakes not in the baths of Ocean's stream.' We may remark that the two characteristics of the Bear are here noted—it never sets, and appears to turn round a fixed point in the heavens. From the last circumstance the name of 'Helice' ('Elíkn) was bestowed on the group, in addition to the other appellations.
In after times it was associated with the legend of Callisto, daughter of Lycaon, king of Arcadia. This damsel attached herself to the train of Artemis, but was deceived and betrayed by Zeus, upon which Hera in wrath transformed her into a bear. After wandering for many years in this shape, she was encountered and wellnigh slain by her son Arcas, but Zeus arrested the arrow as it was quitting the bow, and to recompense his mistress for her sufferings, planted her as a constellation in the heavens). Arcas became “ Arctophylax' or ‘Bootes,' his dog ‘The Lesser Bear. Hera, still burning with jealousy, begged as a boon from Tethys that her rival might never be permitted to cool herself in the waters of the deep. Thus Ov. Fast. 2. 187
'Hanc puer ignarus iaculo fixisset acuto;
Ni foret in superas raptus uterque domus.
Maenaliam tactis ne lavet Arcton aquis,' and again Met. 2. 508
'Gurgite caeruleo septem prohibete triones.' The address of Ceres, when in search of her lost daughter, refers to the same phenomenon. ‘Parrhasides stellae, namque omnia nosse potestis,
Aequoreas numquam quum subeatis aquas,
Dixerat. Huic Helice talia verba refert.'
1 There were several different accounts of the parentage of Callisto, as may be seen from Apollod. 3. 8, 2. According to Apollodorus she was changed into a bear by Zeus, and shot by Artemis. The common version of the story is given by Ov. Met. 2. 401, seqq., Fast. 2. 155, seqq. Apollodorus says nothing about Arcas being turned into a constellation,
The "Lesser Bear' was also termed 'Cynosura' (kuvòs oúpà), or Dog's tail.' The Grecian mariners steered their course by the Greater Bear, while the Phoenicians, as might have been expected from their superior skill in navigation, chose Cynosura as their guide, and probably the Pole-star itself. Thus Ovid, when expatiating on the ignorance of astronomy which prevailed in the age of Romulus, exclaims, Fast. 3. 105 'Quis tunc aut Hyadas, aut Pleiadas Atlanteas
Senserat, aut geminos esse sub axe polos ?
Sidoniis, Helicen Graia carina notet ?' and Hygin. Poet. Astron. 2. 2 'Omnes qui Peloponesum incolunt, priore utuntur Arcto: Phoenices autem, quam a suo inventore acceperunt, observant Cynosuram, et hanc studiosius perspiciendo diligentius navigare existimantur.'
From what has been said above, the various epithets and periphrases employed to denote these personages will be readily understood, such are, Virgo Tegeaea,' Virgo Nonacrina,' 'Periura Lycaoni,’ ‘Maenalis Ursa,' 'Lycaoniam Arcton,' • Custos Ursae, Custos Erymanthidos Ursae,' 'Parrhasiae gelido virginis axe premor,' &c.
54. Horam ... quae foret apta. It is well known that in many parts of the East to this day no one will set out upon a journey, nor commence any important undertaking, until a lucky hour' has been fixed upon by an astrologer. 55. Ter limen tetigi. See note on 2. 88.
60. Pignora, pledges, pledges of love, hence children, and hence relations and friends in general. Thus Pliny Ep. 1. 12 • Corellium ... habentem ... filiam, uxorem, nepotem, sorores, interque tot pignora, veros amicos.'
61. Scythia. The name of Scythians is quite as vague in ancient geography, as those of Tartars and Monguls are at present. We sometimes find the name applied to a particular people, and sometimes to all the nomad tribes who were settled throughout that immense tract of country extending from the north of the Black and Caspian seas into the heart of Asia. The same uncertainty prevails in the use of a name for the country, the term Scythia being sometimes applied to the region inhabited by Scythians properly so called, and sometimes employed as an indefinite appellation for the modern Mongolia and Tartary. The settlements assigned to the Scythians proper by Herodotus, extend from the Danube to the Tanais, or Don, around which several other tribes had their residence.