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530. Vulgusque proceresque] The final 'e' in 'que' is made long by position before the two consonants in the next word. 531. anguigenae proles Mavortia] Both these are vocative The Thebans were snake-born as sprung from the teeth of the snake, and the sons of Mars because that god was said to be the father of the snake (see v. 32).
532. Attonuit] Has thunderstruck your mind.' This verb is seldom used. Its participle, attonitus,' is common for astonished, surprised. It expresses properly the confusion of one struck by lightning.
533. Aere repulsa] Hath cymbal echoed back by cymbal and flute by crooked horn such power?' He asks if the music of the Bacchanals and their magic tricks have such power over their minds that they must needs go out to join such a rabble. He supposes them to be under the magical influence of these strangers, and afraid to resist it. Repulsas,' 'beaten back,' is used for the echoing of sounds. Cornu' was a crooked trum'Tibia' was an instrument
pet, as 'tuba' was a straight one. like the flageolet with holes and stops.
535. strictis agmina telis] Troops grasping their weapons.' 'Agmen' (from ago') as applied to an army is properly a body of troops on the march, acies' being troops in battle array. But agmen' is used for troops in general. Stringere' is 'to hold tight.' It is used for drawing a sword, but the other is its meaning here.
537. Obscenique greges] 'Immodest herds.' 'Obscenus,' the derivation of which is uncertain, means in the first instance that which is of ill omen. It is applied to any thing that is disgusting or unclean (p. 3, v. 52). The revels of Bacchus were conducted without any decency.
537. inania tympana] Idle drums.' The tympanum' was like the tambourine, a hoop with parchment stretched over it, carried in one hand and beaten with the other. It was especially used in riotous dances of this sort.
538. Vosne senes mirer] 'Must I not wonder at you old men?' 539. Hac Tyron] He says they transplanted Tyre and their banished Penates to Thebes, referring to Cadmus' banishment from Phoenicia by his father. The Penates were a Roman conception. The Greeks had none. But Ovid writes as a Roman. The Romans had public Penates as well as private. They were supposed to protect the city, as the others protected families. (See p. 3, v. 7 n.)
540. Nunc sinitis sine Marte capi] 'Do ye suffer them now to be captured without a blow?' He speaks as if the strangers were come to drive them from their home.
540. vosne acrior aetas] 'What ye, whose age is bolder, O ye youths, and nearer to mine own? He means, are ye as bad as the rest? 'Acrior aetas' is the vocative case, in apposition
with juvenes;' but it cannot well be so translated. All who could bear arms and were not 'senes' were 'juvenes.' See v. 352.
542. Non thyrsos] The thyrsus' was a pole carried by Bacchus and his followers. The top of it was usually wreathed with ivy or vine-leaves, which the dancers also wore upon their heads. Bacchus is generally represented as crowned with leaves of the vine or ivy, which plants were sacred to him.
545. Pro fontibus] He died in defence of fountains and a pool.'
547. dedit leto] See p. 29, v. 47 n.
548. Si fata vetabant] If the fates forbade.' He uses the past time because the decrees of heaven are in the past. 'Fata,' from 'fari,'' to speak,' are the decrees of Jove, which once spoken cannot be recalled or altered.
549. tormenta] The Greeks and Romans had instruments used in the siege of towns which the latter called 'tormenta,' from the word torqueo,' 'to twist,' because they were worked by twisted cords and thongs. There were instruments for throwing heavy stones called by the Romans 'balistae,' and others for throwing darts called 'catapultae :' the first were used for battering the walls. See v. 695 n.
553. puero] That is Bacchus. See v. 421.
556. pictis] Embroidered.' 'Pingere' is used for representing in colours, whether by the brush or needle or otherwise. 557. actutum] Straightway.' It means immediately upon any action (actu, tum').
558. Assumtumque patrem] That his father is pretended and his rites a fiction.' He had heard that the stranger claimed to be the son of Jove. 'Commenta' is a participle, from com
miniscor,'' to invent.'
559. An satis Acrisio est animi] Acrisius' was a king of Argos, and was said, like Lycurgus in Thrace and Pentheus at Thebes, to have refused Bacchus admission into his city. He was afterwards compelled to do so.
563. abesto] See v. 285 n. on this stronger form of the imperative.
564. Hunc avus hunc Athamas] His grandfather Cadmus and his uncle Athamas, who was king of Orchomenus in Boeotia, and married Ino daughter of Cadmus.
567. remoraminaque ipsa nocebant] 'The very hindrances did harm.' 'Remoramen' (from 'moror') is not found elsewhere.
571. objice] Impediment.' The nominative is 'obex,' but it is derived from ob, jacio,'' to put in the way,' as 'obstruo,' 'to obstruct,' is 'to build up in the way.'
576. Tyrrhena gente] Of Tyrrhenian birth.' The inhabitants of that part of Italy which the Romans called Etruria were called by the Greeks Tyrrheni or Tyrseni, by the Romans
Etrusci or Tusci. The tradition commonly received was that they were descended from the Lydians.
579. O periture] 'O thou destined to die and give to others by thy death a lesson.' On the meaning of the participle in 'urus' see note on p. 2, v. 45. 'Documentum' is connected with
'doceo,' 'to teach."
581. morisque novi] Why new-fashioned rites thou dost attend?' 'Moris' is the genitive of quality.
583. Maeonia] This is an old name for Lydia in Asia Minor. 588. Ars illi sua census erat] His art was his fortune.' 'Census' is used for property, a censendo,'' to take account,' from the account taken by the censors at Rome of the property of every citizen, which was done every five years (see note on p. 22, v. 33).
588. Quum traderet artem] 'When he was handing over his art to me.' There should be a comma at 'habeo.'
wealth I have, thou the successor to my trade and heir.'
591. Praeter aquas] He says his father left him nothing but the waters he fished in. But he had no mind to stay all his life among the same rocks fishing, so he learnt how to manage a ship.
593. Addidici regimen] 'I learnt, besides, the rudder of a ship to bend with ruling hand.' 'Regimen,' from 'rego,' is only used in this sense by Ovid. He uses moderamen' in the same sense below, v. 644. Sailors had their particular duties, to which they were chiefly confined. Acoetes says he learnt to be a pilot. The different functions of his crew he mentions below.
594. Oleniae sidus] The story says that when Jove was an infant he was suckled by a nymph, Amalthea, or Aega, the daughter of Olenus, a fabulous minstrel. She was rewarded by being placed among the stars as Capella, the Goat, the chief star in the constellation Auriga. This constellation sets in Italy in December, and with the stars which compose it, especially the Haedi or Kids, is on that account usually spoken of as rainy or stormy.
595. Taygeten Hyadasque] According to the story, the giant Atlas had seven daughters called Pleiades, and seven others called Hyades, who at their death were transferred to the skies as constellations. They form two clusters not far from one another in or close to the constellation Taurus. Taygete was one of the Pleiades. As to Arctos see p. 11, v. 48.
596. Ventorumque domos] He means he observed the different quarters of the heavens where the various winds came from.
597. Diae telluris ad oras] Perhaps 'Diae' should be 'Chiae,' which is the older reading. A ship sailing from the northern parts of Lydia for Delos, one of the Cylades, might pass between the island of Chios and the projecting coast of Ionia, and Chios would thus lie on the right. Dia was Naxos (see v. 690).
598. dextris adducor littora remis] With the right oars I
make the shore.' If the island was on the right of the steersman it would be on the left of the rowers, and so pulling the right bank of oars would bring the ship's head round to it.
602. Admoneo] He bids his companions bring fresh water, then climbs a hill and looks out to see which way the wind is likely to blow.
613. adsis] Adesse' commonly means 'to stand by one and help him.'
614. His quoque] He begs him to pardon his friends for having captured him. They are all eager to keep their prize and will not have him ask pardon for them.
617. prorae tutela] Who kept watch upon the bows.' A sharp look-out was required ahead when sailing among the islands and reefs of the Aegean. We have here the names of the piratical crew.
618. qui requiemque modumque] Most of the ancient ships were urged by rowers when the wind was unfavourable for setting their sail, which all large ships carried. There was an officer whose duty it was to cheer the rowers, and to direct them in pulling. They pulled hard or rested according to his directions. His technical name among the Romans was Portisculus, or Pausarius; the first from a hammer he carried, by the strokes of which he kept the rowers in time; the second from 'pausa,' 'rest.' He was also called Hortator, from his encouraging the men.
621. pinum] The pine or fir-tree was much used in shipbuilding, and a ship was sometimes called 'pinus.' The best timber of this sort was got from Pontus on the north coast of Asia Minor.
622. pars hic mihi maxima juris] ‘I have the largest share of authority here.'
623. Inque aditu obsisto] 'I opposed them at the entrance;' what we call the gangway.
624. Tusca pulsus ab urbe] 'Driven from a Tuscan town.' He does not say which. See 576 n. He was paying the penalty of exile. The Latin idiom is, he was paying exile as a penalty.' The first meaning of 'luo' is to pay a debt.
728. quamvis amens] Though senseless.'
630. veluti clamore solutus Sit] As if he were loosed (from his drunken stupor) by the noise.'
632. qua dicite] 'By what means, tell me, sailors, came I hither ?'
634. Proreus] This is one of the pirates; so called because his station was on the prow (see p. 593, v. 617).
639. pictae] Ancient ships, besides being painted on the sides, commonly had figures of gods or others painted on the bows.
640. dextra mihi lintea danti] As I was setting sail on the right.' As to 'dare vela' or 'lintea' see p. 13, v. 16. Linteum' is connected with 'linum' ('flax') and means canvas.
642. Pro se quisque] Each man cries for himself,' that is, independently. The crew had resolved to carry Bacchus to Asia, the coast of which was on the ship's left. They were angry therefore with Acoetes for putting the ship's head towards Naxos. Most of them hinted their wishes by nods, some by whispers.
644. moderamina] Moderamen,' like 'regimen,' is used for 'government,' and also that by which we govern. Here it is the helm, see v. 593.
645. ministerio scelerisque] This is literally I retired from the service of their crime and of my art.' He was the helmsman, and he means he would not exercise his art in the service of their wickedness.
647. Te scilicet omnis in uno] 'Scilicet' is ironical, 'of course.' 649. Explet opus] He discharges my duty, and leaving Naxos makes for the opposite shore.'
650. tanquam modo denique] As if now for the first time, now at length, he had discovered their treachery.
651. adunca] The sterns as well as the prows of Greek vessels were commonly curved upwards. See woodcut.
655. Si puerum juvenes] See v. 352 n.
658. Per tibi nunc ipsum] 'Per' belongs to 'ipsum,' and ‘tibi' to adjuvo. Acoetes is addressing Pentheus, and says, 'I now swear to thee by the god himself (for there is none more powerful than he) that what I tell thee is as true as it is past belief.' 'Fides veri' is the belief of a thing as true (v. 527 n.). Praesens' when applied to the gods sometimes means powerful. 661. siccum navale] The ship would not go on, but stood as still in the middle of the sea as if it were in a dry dock.
663. Velaque deducunt] They let down the sail from the yard-arm ('antenna'), and try to get on with the help of sail and oars combined. They suddenly find the oars entangled with ivy, which also creeps round the mast and adorns the sails with clustering berries. Distinguere' is 'to mark,' and so to ornament. Corymbus' is 'a cluster,' more commonly applied to grapes. It is a Greek word.
664. ramos],This is a misprint for 'remos.'
666. Ipse racemiferis] Uva' and 'racemus' both mean a cluster.' Racemiferis uvis' can only be rendered 'clustering
667. hastam] This is the thyrsus mentioned in v. 542. The boy suddenly appears in his own character with clusters of grapes round his head and brandishing a thyrsus wrapped round with vine-leaves, in a dress with figures of wild beasts embroidered on it. Tigers were sacred to Bacchus.
670. Exsiluere viri] The men all leapt off the benches, and some jumped into the sea and were turned into fish.
672. Corpore depresso] With body sunk below the water, and with the curving of his spine began to twist himself.'