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Jam Cytheréa choros ducit Venus imminente lunâ, 5
Horace, addressing Agrippa, tells him that the Epic Muse of Varius alone can celebrate his martial deeds; that he himself, accustomed as he was only to light and sportive subjects, possessed neither the courage nor the abilities which would warrant him in venturing upon so noble a theme.
rich ' (thus frequently with Horace amd
Scribêris Vario fortis et hostium
Victor, Maeonii carminis alite,
Quam rem cumque ferox navibus aut equis
Quis Martem tunicâ tectum adamantinâ
AD L. MUNATIUM PLANCUM.
Horace prefers Tivoli to all the finest cities of Greece or Asia; and advises Plancus, whether visitingthat delightful spot, orliving as a campaigner in foreign lands, to follow the example of Teucer when on the point of leaving his country, and
drown the cares of life in mellow wine.
LAUDABUNT alii claram Rhodon, aut Mytilenen, * ***
Μe nec tam patiens Lacedaemon
Nec tam Larissae percussit campus opimae,
Et praeceps Anio ac Tiburni lucus et uda
quid urimur, non praeter solitum lèves, cantamus convivia, nos (cantamus) proelia virginum, acrium in juvenes sectis vnguibus ;—urimur quid, * burm with any passiom '—proelia, facetiously of the light, and sometimes feigned contests of Syouth—acres sectis unguibus, facetiously: * violently assailing with pared nails ' (i. e. harmlessly); note the position of the opposite words, sectis and acrium, at the beginning and end of the verse. Carm. 7.—1. laudabunt, futur. indic. concessivum for the pres. subj. = laudent per me licet, * may celebrate ' (comp. below C. 1, 20, 10: Prelo domitam Caleno Tu bibes uvam, and ib. 3, 23, 13: Victima pontificum secures tinget)—alii, corresponding with sunt quibus in v. 5—claram, * celebrated ' (for her commerce, arts, and eloquence) —Myälenen, this (not Mitylenen) is the
Albus ut obscuro deterget nubila coelo
EXCURSUS V. CARM. vII. LIB. I.
How was it that Horace, who had seen the most beautiful districts of Greece and Italy, and who enjoyed so much comfort on his Sabine farm that he did not like to exchange it for great Rome, was, nevertheless, led to express the desire that Tibur might one day be the abode of his old age, a final retreat for the man fatigued with sea voyages and military campaigns:
Tibur Argeo positum colono
It was the magnificent natural beauty of the district which, even now, when time and barbarism have exercised their destructive power for so many centuries, fills the wanderer with admiration; it was those rocky heights on which the town and its splendid villas rose in picturesque groups; it was those foaming cascades, in which the wild Anio was rushing over the rocks; those rich plantations of olives and vines which spread all around; those ancient temples and grottoes, the sacred seats of myths and poetry; and, lastly, in addition to all these attractions, that quickening element for a character like Horace, namely, the society of the most distinguished men of his age, who retired hither to their country-seats from the fatiguing bustle of the town, and led here, in familiar intercourse, a purer, intellectual life. It was this rare union of an enehanting nature and an ingenious society whieh filled Horace with delight whenever he mentioned Tibur, and which suggested to him that great variety of attractive epithets for it:——
“The gentle height ofTibur”»—** Tibur's matted shades” 3—**The sunny field of Tibur, where the vine thrives”4—** Fertile Tibur, surrounded with water";—“ Tibur watered by brooks, on the banks of which, when making poetry, I wander like the bee”6—** Still Tibur”7 —“ Tibur, for which I am longing when in Rome.”8
Tibur (in Greek, i) Ttßovpa, Tißupis, and τὸ Tußoöp, at present called Tivoli), situated on both sides of the Anio, but chiefly on the right bank of this river, twenty Romam miles from Rome, and connected with it by the Wia Tiburtina, had, according to an old saying, been founded as early as a whole generation before the Trojan war, by two of the sons of Amphiaraus, king of Argos, Catillus, and Coras, and called Tibur in honour of their brother Tiburtus.9 According to another myth, the town existed much earlier, and was inhabited by the Sicani, who were expelled by the Greek settlers already mentioned.