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up by the damsel, who, as soon as she had pronounced the words of the legend became bound as by a solemn oath to be the bride of Acontius. Ovid has worked up the tale with great skill and beauty in two epistles !, and alludes to it again A. A. I. 457
'Litera Cydippen, pomo perlata, fefellit
Insciaque est verbis capta puella suis.' and in R. A. 381
Callimachi numeris non est dicendus Achilles :
Cydippe non est oris, Hemere tui.' The last lines manifestly relate to a poem of Callimachus upon this theme, of which disjointed fragments are still extant 2.
TR. IV. 10.
The life of Ovid, given in the Introduction, will serve as a commentary upon this Extract, which furnished most of the materials for the biography in question. But few additional illustrations will be required. 8. Nearly the same couplet is found in Amor. 3. 15, 5 “Si quid id est, usque a proavis vetus ordinis heres,
Non modo militiae turbine factus eques.' io. The order of the words is, 'Qui ortus erat quater tribus mensibus ante,' who had been born four times three months before.
13. For a full account of the festival of Minerva, see introduction to 30.
15. Protinus, i. e. forthwith from our early years we are educated with care.
16. Insignes ab arte viros, 'men distinguished by their ability. Some commentators would confine arte' to the Ars Grammatica, but it ought to be taken in a general sense, men rendered distinguished by learning and accomplishments.' Merula understands it thus : After concluding our grammatical studies (“ab arte') we betake ourselves to the distinguished men of the city,' i.e., to rhetoricians and others.
22. Maeonides. See note on 3. 9, p. 119. 1 Heroid. 20 and 21.
2 There is an interesting disquisition on Cydippe and Acontius in the Mythologus of Buttmann.
24. Verba soluta modis, 'words released from measures,'
i. e. prose.
28. Liberior...toga. The 'toga virilis' usually assumed at the age of seventeen.
29. Induiturque. This line and the expression below, 'clavi mensura coacta est,' have given rise to many discussions, inasmuch as they refer to certain arrangements with regard to the 'Equites, introduced under the Empire, the nature of which is not distinctly understood. It appears from a comparison of several passages in Dion Cassius and Tacitus, that Augustus divided the knights into two classes ; 1. The 'Equites illustres,' splendidi,' or 'Laticlavii,' were the sons of senators, or of persons possessing the fortune of senators; they were thus qualified to enjoy the great offices of state, and if they entered into public life, were permitted to wear the “Tunica Laticlavia' by anticipation; 2. The 'Equites modici, or®' Angusticlavii,' were not the sons of senators, and did not possess the fortune requisite for senators, and consequently were ineligible to the chief magistracies. Ovid belonged to the former class, and consequently so long as he was a candidate for public distinction, appeared with the latus clavus,' which he laid aside as soon as he abandoned all ambitious views. See Dion Cassius 54. 30; 59. 9; 55. 2 ; 56. 27, Tacit. Ann. 1. 73; 2. 59; 11. 4; 16. 17, Agric. 4, and the commentators; also Rubenius de Re Vestiaria, in the Thesaurus of Graevius, where the question is treated at great length.
34. Eque viris ... tribus. There were various offices at Rome, usually filled by persons who aspired to higher magistracies, and considered as the first steps to preferment. Thus we read of the “Triumviri Monetales,' Commissioners of the Mint; ‘Triumviri Nocturni,' Commissioners of the Night Police ; 'Triumviri Capitales,' Commissioners who had the charge of prisoners and attended the execution of criminals.
39. Aoniae...sorores. The muses who haunted the Boeotian hill of Helicon, the fountains Aganippe and Hippocrene, and the streams of Olmius and Permessus. Aonia was an ancient name of Boeotia. Compare Virg. E. 6. 64
“Tum canit, errantem Permessi ad flumina Gallum
Vtque viro Phoebi chorus assurrexerit omnis.' 47. Ponticus heroo. Ponticus was the author of a poem on the Theban War, and is addressed in the most flattering terms by Propertius, 1. 7, I
• Dum tibi Cadmeae dicuntur, Pontice, Thebae,
Armaque fraternae tristia militiae,
Sint modo fata tuis mollia carminibus.'
Bassus. Of this poet we know nothing, and even the name is uncertain, since the MSS. have Bacchus, Battus, or Batus. At all events, he must not be confounded with Salleius Bassus!, nor with Caesius Bassus", both of whom were distinguished bards in the reign of Vespasian.
50. The emphasis is upon Ausonia. It must be remembered that Horace claimed the honour of having first adapted the Lyric strains of Greece to Latin measures.
Ne forte credas interitura, quae
Verba loquor socianda chordis.' 53. Galle. See note on 5. 64, p. 139.
Propertius was born in Umbria, on the confines of Etruria. The precise year of his birth is not known, but since it appears from this passage that he was older than Ovid, and younger than Tibullus, and since the latter, as we have already shown, must have been born about 59 B.C., and the former in 43 B.C., we cannot be far wrong if we fix upon 53 B.C., the year in which Crassus and his legions were destroyed by the Parthians, as the approximate date. The time of his death is absolutely unknown 3.
The works of Propertius which have descended to modern times consist of a series of compositions in elegiac verse, divided into four books. It may be remarked that the poems in the fourth book differ considerably in character from the rest, being chiefly of an historical and antiquarian character; and many suppose that some of these first suggested to Ovid the idea of his Fasti, while the greater number of the pieces which constitute the three first books are of an amatory
See Quinctil. I. O. 10. 1, $ 90, Dial. de caus. corrupt. eloq. 5 and 9. 2 See Quinctil. I. O. 10. 1, $ 96, Schol. ad Pers. S. 6. 1.
3 The few particulars which can be ascertained with regard to Propertius are to be gathered from his own works. The chief passages are 1. 22, 1; 4. I, 61, 121; 2. 24, 35; 2. 34, 35; 1. 6, 25; 2. 20, 15; 3. 23, 23.
description, being for the most part addressed to Cynthia, the mistress of the bard.
57. Legi. Before printing was invented, the only way in which a poet could make his works generally known was by reading them to audiences collected for this purpose.
68. Fabula nulla, &c. No tale was attached to my name -no reports were ever spread injurious to my character. In other words, I enjoyed an unblemished reputation.
78. Lustris. The 'lustrum’ (from 'luo') was, properly speaking, the purificatory sacrifice offered up for the whole body of the Roman citizens at the end of every five years, when the census was taken. Hence ‘lụstrum’ is very frequently used to denote a period of five years. The meaning of this line manifestly is, that the father of Ovid had completed twice nine lustra, or ninety years, at the period of his death.
80. Iusta. See note, p. 218.
95. Pisaea oliva. A wreath of Oleaster or wild Olive (kótivos) was the prize bestowed on the victors in the Olympian games celebrated at Olympia in Elis, on the river Alpheus, in the immediate vicinity of Pisa. Compare Virg.
G. 3. 179
“Sin ad bella magis studium turmasque feroces,
Et Iovis in luco currus agitare volantes.' 96. Abstulerat decies, &c. It appears from this passage and from Ep. ex P. 4. 6, 5, written soon after the death of Augustus, 'In Scythia nobis quinquennis Olympias acta est,
Iam tempus lustri transit in alterius,' that Ovid confounded the Olympiad of four years with the Roman ‘lustrum' of five. See Appendix on Calendar.
Victor Equus. All the MSS. have "eques.' Bentley and Burmann agree in adopting the emendation equus, for it seems to be certain that in the Olympic contest the horses and not the riders or drivers were crowned. So Hor. Od. 4. 2, 17
‘Sive, quos Elea domum reducit
and A. P. 84
• Musa dedit fidibus Divos puerosque Deorum,
Et iuvenum curas, et libera vina referre.' Hence Theocritus (Eidyll. 16. 47) calls the conquering steeds otepavnpópoi, and Plutarch (Sympos. 2. 4) says that they alone of all animals shared the rewards of victory. Bentley supposes the error to have arisen from the false reading abstuleram,' found in almost all the MSS., which makes the introduction of eques' necessary.
97. Tomitas. See introduction to 39.
106. The construction is somewhat harsh. ‘Cepi arma manu insolitâ temporis.' The meaning is clearly, 'I grasped arms unsuited to my time of life.'
110. Sarmatis ora...Getis. See note, p. 325.