Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Mercury.

756. alipedi, Mercury. (See Fig. 19.)

757. et ... indotata, though without a dowry, a (sufficient) reward for even so great a deed. 758. Hymenaeus, the god of marriage.

Fig. 19.
759. praecutiunt, brandish in front, in
the bridal procession.

762. reseratis, thrown back.
763. instructa, prepared.
764. Cepheni, people of Cepheus.

765. functi, etc., having discharged the service of high-born Bacchus.

766. diffudere, relaxed.

767. Lyncides : Lynceus was a fabled ancestor of Perseus.

769. qui relates to Cepheus. — simul = simul atque, as soon as.

771. crinita draconibus = with snaky locks.
772. Agenorides, Perseus, descended from a brother of Agenor.

775. unius luminis usum: the sisters Graiæ, daughters of Phorcys, had but one eye between them, which Perseus — made invisible by the cap of Pluto — caught as it was passing from

Fig. 20. one to the other. Thus made helpless, they were constrained to tell him the secrets on which the fate of the Gorgon depended.

775. partitas, sharing.

780. ferarumque: observe that the syllable -que is elided before the vowel at the beginning of the next verse (syna. pheia).

781. ex ipsis = from their proper shape.

783. aere repercusso, i.e. by the image reflected from the polished brass; limited by clipei, above (see note, v. 655).

785. caput: see Fig. 20. — pennis fugacem Pegason: the winged horse Pegasus, sacred to the Muses, and the

Perseus and the Gorgon's head. giant Chrysaor, wielding a golden sword, sprang from the blood of the slain Gorgon.

791. sola sororum: the accounts of the three sisters are various.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

According to the story here adopted by Ovid, Medusa was the only one
with snaky locks. She was also the only mortal being of the three.

794. forma, abl. of specification.
795. invidiosa, envied by other maidens.
797. referret, subj. of characteristic ($ 320; G. 631, 2; H. 503, i.).

: 798. vitiasse, dishonored.
Fig. 21.

803. Minerva wore a Gorgon's head upon her breastplate. (See Fig. 21.)

The tale of Perseus (like that of Hercules and many other heroes) represents the daily course of the sun, in conflict with the powers of darkness and storm. The harpe is his gleaming ray; the Graiæ are the twilight; the Gorgons are the storm. cloud, which rests upon the bosom of the sea. wave, and is cloven by the “golden sword ” of the lightning. The jagged edges of the cloud, and the crimson stream which pours from it in the glow of sunset, help out the features of the image.

[ocr errors]

XI. THE WANDERING OF CERES.

Ceres, in the Greek myth, is the Earth-Mother (Anuńrnp), type of the productive power of the soil, who seeks her child Proserpina (Persephone,

called also Kópn, the maiden), stolen from her Tawrl. Minspire and collis

sight by the king of the lower world, and only Minerva.

restored to her by Jupiter for six months of each year. By this parable the ancients understood the annual sowing of the grain-harvest, by which the corn is hidden in the ground through the winter months, but restored in spring to sunlight, and ripening to the har. vest, in which the yearly festival of Ceres is celebrated with religious rites.

V. 341. Ceres: see Fig. 22. — unco aratro: the ancient plough, still sometimes seen in Italy, was a rude wooden instrument, which broke the soil with its hooked extremity.

343. dedit leges : because agriculture first led men to an orderly life, she was called Ceres legifera (Δημήτηρ Θεσμοφόρος).

346. membris (dat. after ingesta), heaped on the giant limbs (Ty. 756. alipedi, Mercury. (See Fig. 19.)

757. et ... indotata, though without a dowry, a (sufficient) reward for even so great a deed. 758. Hymenaeus, the god of marriage.

Fig. 19.
759. praecutiunt, brandish in front, in
the bridal procession.

762. reseratis, thrown back.
763. instructa, prepared.
764. Cepheni, people of Cepheus.

765. functi, etc., having discharged the service of high-born Bacchus.

766. diffudere, relaxed.

767. Lyncides : Lynceus was a fabled ancestor of Perseus.

769. qui relates to Cepheus. — simul = simul atque, as soon as.

Mercury. 771. crinita draconibus = with snaky locks. 772. Agenorides, Perseus, descended from a brother of Agenor.

775. unius luminis usum: the sisters Graiæ, daughters of Phorcys, had but one eye between them, which Perseus — made invisible by the cap of Pluto — caught as it was passing from

Fig. 20. one to the other. Thus made helpless, they were constrained to tell him the secrets on which the fate of the Gorgon S depended.

775. partitas, sharing.

780. ferarumque: observe that the syllable -que is elided before the vowel at the beginning of the next verse (syna. pheia).

781. ex ipsis = from their proper shape.

783. aere repercusso, i.e. by the image reflected from the polished brass; limited by clipei, above (see note, v. 655).

785. caput: see Fig. 20. — pennis fugacem Pegason: the winged horse Pegasus, sacred to the Muses, and the

Perseus and the Gorgon's head. giant Chrysaor, wielding a golden sword, sprang from the blood of the slain Gorgon.

791. sola sororum: the accounts of the three sisters are various.

[graphic]

591.1

According to the story here adopted by Ovid, Medusa was the only one
with snaky locks. She was also the only mortal being of the three.

794. forma, abl. of specification.
795. invidiosa, envied by other maidens.
797. referret, subj. of characteristic ($ 320; G. 631, 2; H. 503, i.).

798. vitiasse, dishonored.
Fig. 21.

803. Minerva wore a Gorgon's head upon her breastplate. (See Fig. 21.)

The tale of Perseus (like that of Hercules and many other heroes) represents the daily course of the sun, in conflict with the powers of darkness and storm. The harpe is his gleaming ray; the Graiæ are the twilight; the Gorgons are the storm. cloud, which rests upon the bosom of the sea. wave, and is cloven by the “golden sword” of the lightning. The jagged edges of the cloud, and the crimson stream which pours from it in the glow of sunset, help out the features of the image.

XI. THE WANDERING OF CERES.

Minerva.

Ceres, in the Greek myth, is the Earth-Mother (Anuntne), type of the productive power of the soil, who seeks her child Proserpina (Persephone,

called also Kópn, the maiden), stolen from her Taourt. Minsare and collisi

sight by the king of the lower world, and only

restored to her by Jupiter for six months of each year. By this parable the ancients understood the annual sowing of the grain-harvest, by which the corn is hidden in the ground through the winter months, but restored in spring to sunlight, and ripening to the barvest, in which the yearly festival of Ceres is celebrated with religious rites.

V. 341. Ceres: see Fig. 22. — unco aratro: the ancient plough, still sometimes seen in Italy, was a rude wooden instrument, which broke the soil with its hooked extremity.

343. dedit leges: because agriculture first led men to an orderly life, she was called Ceres legifera (Δημήτηρ Θεσμοφόρος).

346. membris (dat. after ingesta), heaped on the giant limbs (Ty.

[ocr errors]

phæus; see Introd.). Typhæus was not reckoned one of the giants, but represented the violent powers of nature, especially in the earthquake: hence he is placed for punishment under the volcano Etna.

347. Trinacris, “the three headlands," is the ancient name

Fig. 22. describing the triangular form of 2 Sicily, which, on a rude map, might CV suggest the notion of a buried giant.

- subjectum and ausum agree with Typhoea; molibus depends on subjectum, and sperare on ausum; sedes is object of sperare.

350. Peloro, etc. : Pelorus is the headland nearest Italy; Pachynus, the southeastern extremity of the island; Libybæum, the western.

- Ausonio, Italian (an old name of Southern Italy).

352. resupinus, flat on his back.

354. remoliri, to cast off (with effort).

356. rex silentum, king of the silent realms, Pluto.

361. ambibat, surveyed, going his rounds, like a watchman.

363. Erycina, Venus, who had a famous temple on Mt. Eryx, in

Ceres. the western part of Sicily, apparently of Phoenician origin. Eryx was fabled to be her son, killed by Hercules in a boxing-match, and buried on this mountain. (See Virgil, Æn. V. 392-420.)

364. natum volucrem, her winged son, Cupido (= "Epws) or Desire, son of Venus: the modern Cupid, whose attributes of bow and arrows, with wings, have come down from ancient works of art. (See Fig. 23.)

365. arma, manus, potentia : all vocative, in apposition with nate.

366. illa tela, those shafts, pointed with gold or lead, according as they were to stir love or hate.

368. triplicis ... regni, the last lot fell of the threefold realm ;

« ZurückWeiter »