« ZurückWeiter »
In historical times, Tibur was one of the most important towns of the Latim confederation, and a powerful rival of Rome; it was consequently a place of refuge for proscribed Romams, and formed an alliance with the Gauls, when the latter threatened the Roman territory.i. When Tibur had been subjected to the sovereignty of Rome (500 A. U. c., 254 B. c.), it continued to flourish on account of its magnificent situation, and was the favourite abode of the rich and noble Romans. The country round Tibur was very fertile, and particularly rich in oil, wine, and figs. There were famous quarries in the neighbourhood; and the town itself furnished excellent crockery. From a statement of Suetonius,2 it is very probable that Horace, when in Tibur, not only lived in the villas of his friends, but possessed a house of his own in the meighbourhood of the town. From the cireumstance of his calling Sabinum his only property about the year 725 (29 B. C.), we must presume that he obtained this house only in his old age (either as a present or by purchase), and thus realized the favourite wish of his youth.3 The following description of this classical country by a moderm traveller is rather interesting: “ At the twenty-first hour, i. e. about two o'clock P. M., we drove into the bright and sumny Campagna by the Porta di San Lorenzo. A bridge built in the earliest times of the Romans, and still in excellent condition, leads over the Teverone, which cuts the old Via Tiburtina. It is called Ponte Marmoro (it is thus, and not Mammolo, that the genuine Romans, who are fond of vibrating consonants, promounce this name.) The ruins of ancient tombs and temples, half-buried and crumbling, stand scattered here and there. About midway, there rises on the left, on a ridge of hills, a spacious medieval castle, with towers and walls, embrasures and battlements, of strange and bold outline, erected by some Roman barom, perhaps, on the ruins and with the remains of the splendid piles of antiquity. At present it serves the shepherd as a nightly shelter. Carriages drawn by buffaloes and oxen, horsemen of the Campagna, on their black, lion-maned, wild-looking horses; and hunters on horseback, in their picturesque costume, with their pointed hats and velvet jackets, their high leather gaiters, resembling the greaves of Homeric heroes, having before them, on their saddlebows, their long guns or their iron-shod sticks; groups of women and girls on asses and heavily-ladem mules; shepherds lying here and there
before turf-built huts in groups, around their fires, or singly near some
old wall; cumbrously-loaded carts standing before some solitary inn, whilst the drivers refresh themselves with a draught of good wine, formed then also a most peculiar scene, such as only the Roman Campagna can exhibit. “ When we had passed the limpid mineral water of the Solfatara, and escaped from its pestilential sulphuric vapours, the road near the Ponte Lucano, a bridge across the Anio, went, gently curving, up the moun
1 Liv. 7, 11, sq.
3 “ Vixit plurimum in secessu ruris sui Sabini aut Tiburtini, domusque ejus ostenditur circa Tiburni luculum."
* C. 2, 18, 14: Satis beatus unicis Sabinis. *
taim, on the top of which we saw Tivoli. Driving slowly through the olive-wood, we enjoyed, on looking back, the spectacle of a most magmificent sunset surrounding the whole horizon above Rome and towards the sea, with a broad band of burning red. Falling through the trees, tempered and interrupted by single shades, but blazing up the more brightly in light places, the phenomenon illuminated our path. Before the entrance of the town, on am opem square, a magnificent pile is situated. It is a villa of the Jesuits, who keep here, during the summer months, summer-residence (Villegiatura) with their pupils, the childrem of Roman nobles. “The last rosy glimmer of day was extinguished, and veiled in night lay the streets and lanes of old Tibur, through whieh I wandered with a throbbing heart, full of classical recollections, in order to seek my night's lodgingin the Sibylla, an inn above the cascades of the Anio. The wild Anio, which, in its thundering waterfalls, rushes through these high mountain-valleys, sung us to sleep. “ Behind the imn of the Sibyl, quite on the top of the rock, there
stands, alongside the round temple of Vesta with its fluted columns, the temple of Albunea, the prophetic Sibyl of Tibur, now transformed into a church. From this round terrace we enjoyed, in a favourable light, the finest view of the surrounding waterfalls, town, and mountains. The romantic beauty of this place is incomparable; and I could not blame old Horace for wishing to find here the haven of his old age, after so many storms encountered on lamd, on sea, and in the battle-field:
Tibur Argeo positum colono
Sit meae sedes utinam senectae,
Sit modus lasso maris et viarum
The whole scene is still the same which he described in so many of his songs. The Anio is still rushing * headlong' from the rocky heights down into the fresh fragrant valleys and woody glens. The Romam, parched by the burning sirocco, is still refreshed here by a moist shadowy coolness. The exuberant soil is stillbringing forth an abundant produce of oil and wine. But what an enchanting abode must this Tibur have been, when the fabulous wealth of those highly-educated princely men of Rome, during the Augustan era, in union with the finest sense of beauty, combined here, in these villas and palaces, the inexhaustible charms of an exquisitely beautiful nature, with all the splendour, all the luxury, and all the physical and intellectual enjoysment of the most cultivated taste!"
The poet gaily rallies Lydia for captivating Sybaris so effectually as to withdraw him from all the manly exercises in which he formerly excelled.
Carm. 8.—4. campum, i. e. campum Martium, as the place of exercise for the Roman youth. 5. militaris, * as a soldier.' 7. temperat, poetic. = moderatur, regit, ' he manages' — ora, sc. equi, the Gallic horses were very spirited and much used by the Romam cavalry. 8. timet joined with the infin. tangere, inst. of the more usual ne (thus with the infin. also C. 3, 24, 56; S. 1, 4, 23; Ep. 1, 5, 2; 1, 7, 4; 1, 19, 27; 2, 1, 114; A. P. 170 and 197)—flavum Tiberim, see C. 1, 2, 13; Tiberim tangere, i. e. to bathe in the Tiber—olivum, poetic. = luctationem, * the wrestling' (because, before wrestling, they used to rub their bodies over with oil). 10. gestat, poetic. = habet — armis, i. e. the discus (quoit) and jaculum (dart, javelim), the well-known instru
ments used in gymnastic exercise, and by handling which the arms were affected with livid weals.
11 and 12. construe: saepe (antea) nobilis (= celebratus) disco (et) jaculo eaepedito (= emisso) trans finem (* beyond the mark').
13 and 14. filium marinae Thetidis, i. e. Achillem ; he was brought by his mother to Lycomedes, king of Scyros, and concealed in female vestments, in order to avoid going to the Trojan war — sub = paulo ante, * shortly before,' * on the eve of.'
16. Lyeias catervas, the Lycian troops, allies of the Trojans, under Sarpedon and Glaucus—proriperet (sc. eum), poetic. *should hurry, drag him ' (Achilles, into the slaughter to be caused by the Lycians).
The poet entreats his friend Thaliarchus, now that it is the depth of winter, to heap wood upon the blazing hearth—to broach his four-year-old wine— and, resigming all care of the future, to enjoy the present hour, by abandoning himself to love and amusement. The ode seems to be a close imitation of one of Alcaeus, a fragment of which is preserved in Athenaeus.
VIDES ut altâ stet nive candidum •*^ **^*"* •
Dissolve frigus, ligna super foco 5
Permitte divis cetera: qui simul
Stravere ventos aequore fervido
Deproeliantes, nec cupressi
Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere, et
Carm. 9. — 1. vides ut stet ? * thou seest how it stands' (thus videre vith vt below C. 1, 14, 3: nonne vides, ut... gemant.)—stare, here horrère = rigère, *to stiffen' (comp. Virg. Æen. 6, 471: Si dura silex aut stet Marpesia cautes; and below C. 2, 9, 5: Stat glacies iners). 3. laborantes, a beautiful description, * struggling and bending under the burdem ' (of snow) ; comp. below C. 2, 9, 6: (Aquilonibus querceta Gargani laborant). 5. dissolve, poetic. (opposed to constiterint) = pelle, * dispel the cold.' G. benignius, i. e. more liberally, plen
Donec virenti canities abest,
Compositâ repetantur horâ, 20
Nunc et latentis proditor intimo
A IIymn to Mercury, in which his various attributes are enumerated.
- - - - - v - •. - - :^
Te canam, magni Jovis et deorum 5
CARM. 10.—1. Mercuri facunde, nepos some Codd.
apposition to risus) ab intimo angulo puellae latentis, (i. e. qui, veniens ab intimo angulo, prodit puellam latentem, * which betrays the hidden girl '), pignusque (= et pignus) dereptum lacertis (sc. puellae), &c.\ 24. male (i. e. non admodum) pertinaci, * faintly resisting.' Carm. 10.—1. facunde, the Greek Aóyvos, as god of language and eloquence. 2. recentum = recens creatorum. 8. voce, poetic. = linguâ, * bythe gift of language '—catus = acutus, sapiens, for the adv. * wisely." 4. more, poetic. — institutione, * by the institution ' of the palaestra. 6. curvae lyrae parentem = inventorem, see the Excursus IV. to Carm. 1, 1.