« ZurückWeiter »
Collegisse juvat, metaque fervidis
Quidquid de Libycis verritur areis.
Gaudentem patrios findere sarculo
Luctantem Icariis fluctibus Africum
Mercator metuens, otium et oppidi -
Nec partem solido demere de die
VARIOUS READINGS.—CARM. 1.—6. evehere, Bentl. conj.—7. nobilium, some Codd.
hypothetic sentences (*there may be | curule aedile, praetor and consul—the
some who,' &c.) the subjunctive is used (as Ep. 1, 1, 77: sunt qui venentur; and Ep. 2, 2, 182: sunt qui non habeant)—curriculo, i. e. by the chariotrace (in the Olympic games, poetic. for games in general). 4. sq. collegisse, the infin. perf. for the infin. pres. colligere, aoristically (accord. to others omly to suit the verse, om account of the three short syllables colligéré)—metaque, &c., construe: et quos meta evitata fervidis rotis, et palma nobilis evehit (ut) dominos terrarum ad deos — evehit = educit, tollit in astra, exalts to the stars; comp. C. 4, 2, 17 and 18: quos Eléa domum reducit Palma coelestes—fervidis, * glowing' (by the frequent rotatiom;' comp. Virg. G. 3, 107: volat vi fervidus axis). See Excurs. II. to this Ode. 7. hunc, sc. juvat—mobilium, * changeable,' * inconstant ' (in bestowing their honours). va 8. certat, poetic. with the infin. tollere (this construction recurs very oftem in the foll. poems)—tollere, sc. eum— tergeminis honoritus (ablat.), * by threefoil honours ' (namely, the offices of .*
three highest posts of honour among the Romans). 9. illum, sc. juvat. 10. Libycis, poetic. for Africis (the north of Africa was one of the principal granaries of Rome). 12. Attalicis condicionibus, poetic. = maximis pretiis, * by the greatest, most splendid offers' (as the liberality of the Attáli. the kings of Pergamos, used to spend on works of literature and art). 13. trabe, poetic. = nave. 14. pavidus nauta, * as,' * like,' * becoming a timid mariner.' 15. sq. construe: mercator, m.cfuens Africum (ventum) luctantem Icariis fluctibus (dative), laudat otium et rura oppidi sui (the genit. belonging to both nouns: “ the security of, and rural scenery round, his native town.') 18. indocilis, poetic. with the infim. pati, iwstead of ad patiendum. 19.Asq. qui nec...spernit, = qui amat, ' wlio does not scorn ' = ' who finds his pleasure in,' &c. (the rhetor. figure of Litotes or Meiósis.) 20. solido de die, * from the entire day,' i. e. from the day which ought to 25
Spernit, nunc viridi membra sub arbuto
Detestata. Manet sub Jove frigido
Venator tenerae conjugis immemor,
Dis miscent superis, me gelidum nemus
Nympharumque leves cum Satyris chori -
29. sq. construe: me hederae, praemia doctarum frontium, miscent dis superis, poetic. = me delectant studia poetica, quibus dum vaco, inter deos versari mihi videor— doctarum, like the Greek αοφόs, also of poets: * skilful,' * excellent.' 30. me gelidum, &c., another object of his desire, namely, to feel himself far above the crowd, by living among the Nymphs and Satyrs of the forest, and composing lyric poems—me...me, note the emphatic repetition of this pronoum, as in opposition to other people. 32. sq. tibias cohibet, poetic. = tibiâ canere recusat, * withholds her flutes.' 34. refugit, poet£c. wfth the infin. (tendere), * refuses'—barbiton, see the Excurs. IV. to this Ode. 36. feriam sidera sublimi vertice, poetic. = ad sidera usque me attollam, ' I shall enjoy immortal fame.'
EXCURSUS I. CARM. I. LIB. I.
FIFTEEN years had elapsed since the first introduetion of Horace to Maecenas, the influential friend and adviser of the Emperor Augustus, when Horace, about the year 730 (B. c. 24), in the prime of his life, published the first three books of his lyric poems and presented them to Maecenas. From being the patrom of Horace, and the benefactor who had secured to the poet an ample competence and an independent position in society, Maecenas had now become his intimate friend. This is evident from the ode of dedication, in which the poet tries to give full expression to his gratitude in the following words:—
** O thou, my protector, my darling honour." i
This generous patronage and friendship on the part of a man, who, in a similar manner, favoured that other great poet of his time, the author of the Georgics and AEneid, with his friendship, is a sufficient inducement for us to render our portraiture of Maecenas as faithful and complete as possible.
C. Cilnius Maecenas was descended both by his father's and mother's side from princely Etruscam families,—
** Not because none of the Lydians, who cultivates the Etruscan soil,
The time and place of Maecenas' birth are unknown. He was probably born between 680 and 690 (74 and 64 B. c.), being, therefore, of the same age with, or only a few years older than, both Horace and Augustus. We know his birth-day, the 13th of April, from one of Horace's poems.5 He is seem, at am early period, among the friends of the young heir of Caesar, as his adviser and the strenuous promoter o? his political interests. As early as 711 A. U. c. (43 B. c.), a year after the death of Caesar, we see him before Mutina; three years later (714— 40), as one of Octavianus' plenipotentiaries for concluding the peace of Brundisium with Asinius Pollio, the plenipotentiary of Antony; and again, three years after this (717—37), at Tarentum for the purpose of
concluding a treaty of alliance with Antony against Sextus Pompejus. Horace, who accompanied him om this journey, gives a humorous and lively description ofit in the Fifth Satire of the First Book of Satires. In the following year (718—36), when Octavianus went to war with Sextus I'ompejus, he was appointed by the former supreme civil and military governor of Rome and Italy ; he filled the same office five years later (723—31), when Octavianus had to leave Italy for his last war with Antony, which was terminated by the battle of Actium ; and it is to his vigilance that the future master of Rome was indebted for the discovery of the conspiracy of the vounger Lepidus (the son of the former triumvir), which had for its object the assassination of Octavianus. The historian Dio Cassius, to whom we are indebted for the most complete history of this epoch, relates that Maecenas, when Oetavianus, after conquering all his opponents, in 725 (29 B. c.), consulted with him and Agrippa, his two most faithful friends, whether he should restore the republic or establish monarchy, in a long and elaborate speech (whieh is preserved by Dio), urgently reeommended monarchy, which circumstance, although not founded om fact, is certainly quite reconcilable with the character of the “ Descendant of Etruscan kings."
When Octavianus had become the august sovereign of the Roman empire, Maecenas remained his friend and faithful adviser, and eventually knew how to incline this self-willed and arbitrary rnler to forbearance and elemency, while, in the performance of this delicate task, he exhibited complete independence of thought, and perfect freedom of speech.
An instance of this is also related by Dio Cassius. When Augustus, on presiding one day in a court of justice, was on the point of condemning a considerable number of men to death, Maecenas expostulated with him in the following bitter words:—“ Surge tandem, earnifex," (“ rise at last, you butcher,') and Augustus submitted to this severe reproof.
In addition to his political engagements, Maecenas eagerly pursued the study of Greek and Roman literature.
“ Learned Maecenas,
He wrote prose treatises on gems (for which he had agreat predilection), and on various subjects of natural history: he also attempted a few small poems. His productions as an author, however, as well as his eloquence, for which he was not without talent, are very much censured by the ancients (Seneca, Quintilian, Tacitus) for their effeminacy, affectation, and pomposity. The following fragment of a hendecasyllabon which has been preserved does not belie this criticism:—
“ Lucentes, mea vita, nec smaragdos
3ut all are unanimous in praising his zealous and unwearied efforts for the promotion of literature and the fine arts. His palace on the Esquiline Hill was the general resort of the greatost poets of his age,— Virgi), Varius, Horace, Propertius, &c. Most of them had acquired a competency, some had even attained to opulence, either by his liberality or through his earnest and effective recommendation. The lovely Sabine farm, in the possession of which Horaee was so happy, was a present made to him by Maecenas after the publication of the First Book of Satires (719—35). These marks of favour and friendship were the more valued by those who recoived them, as Maecenas was very careful in selecting his friends, and in his choice was guided more by moral excellence than by birth.
“ Noble Maecenas! wouldst thou learn the best
When in thy presence stood my bashful youth,
True to that custom taught in wiser times,
During the last years of his life, Maecenas was much annoyed with fever and sleeplessness. He died in 746 (B. c. 8), and only a few months later his mourning friend Horace followed him to the grave, ' as he had once foretold him in a pathetic declaration of his fervent attachment:—
** Alas, if ever thou, the half of my soul, be by
CARM. LiB. II. C. xviii. 5-12.