Abbildungen der Seite

poets often use adjectives in the singular number agreeing with one substantive when they apply to more than one.

8. verberat unda deos] Images of gods were carried in the stern of ships.

9. Pinea texta sonant] The pine-timbers groan.' See p. 3, v. 2. The timbers are called 'texta,' from 'texere,' to weave or join together.

[ocr errors]


10. Adgemit] He says the ship itself groans in harmony with his sorrows. Carina, the ship's bottom,' is commonly used by the poets for the ship itself.

12. Jam sequitur victam] 'Now follows the beaten ship, not directs it with his skill,' that is, he lets it go where it will, and goes with it. Navita' is the shipmaster, which is its proper meaning, though it is sometimes used for any sailor.

13. rector] This word is generally used for a steersman, and the ship being likened to a restive horse, 'rector' is therefore used here where a rider or driver is meant. 'Cervicis rigidae frena,'' the reins of its rigid neck,' means the reins which should turn its neck, which however is too stubborn to be turned.

16. Aurigam] This is a charioteer; and as 'rector' is used for a driver, though it is commonly applied to a pilot, auriga' is used for a pilot to keep up the illustration. 'Vela dedisse rati' means to let the ship drive. Dare' is to put,' 'to give' being a derived sense. Vela dare,' therefore, is to set sail.' See p. 23,



v. 7.

17. Aeolus] This was the reputed ruler of the winds, which he was supposed to keep shut up in a cave in one of the islands called after him Aeoliae Insulae,' now the Lipari islands, north of Sicily. He let loose such as he pleased or as Neptune required. Quodnisi' is but if Aeolus does not. He says, if the wind does not change, the ship will be carried back to Italy, a place he must not approach again. Jam' is henceforward.' (See above, p. 10, v. 32.)


19. Nam procul Illyriis] Ships sailing from the eastern coast of Italy tried to make the opposite coast of the Hadriatic, and so to coast to the southward, that they might not be out of sight of land longer than necessary. A wind from the north-east probably prevented Ovid's ship from pursuing that course and drove her down to the south, so that she came back within sight of the projecting coast of Calabria. Illyricum, which is an adjective in form, is the common name of the country. Illyrius' is also an adjective form, used both in the singular and the plural.

21. contendere] This verb means to stretch or strain,' and so is applied to one who is in haste and strains his muscles to run.

22. deo] That is Augustus, whom he calls a god, p. 10, v. 40, and elsewhere. 'Illa' means the ship.

23. Dum loquor] While he was speaking to the ship, and bidding her not struggle for the forbidden land but obey the

commands of Caesar. Repelli,' to be driven back' to Italy. Increpuit,' 'dashed against. This sense is derived from the noise of the water against the ship's side.

26. Jovem] This also means Augustus, whom his flatterers represented as Jove's vicegerent upon earth.

27. subducite morti] Steal from death my weary life.' Verbs of separation commonly govern the dative case. Words compounded with sub' often get the signification of secresy, fraud, and so forth; sub' having the force of suppression. He adds to his prayer, if only he who is dead can be not dead." He means he is as good as dead, as he said when he left his home (p. 12, v. 87).

[ocr errors]

A faithless Friend.-P. 13.

1. In caput alta suum] This was a proverbial way of speaking derived from the Greeks: the rivers will flow back from the sea to their source,' etc.


5. praepostera] This is properly hind-foremost, but is used for monstrous and irregular things. All things will go contrary to


the laws of nature.'


8. de quo] Which may not be believed.'

13. jacentem-exsequias] He speaks of himself as one dead and buried. (See p. 2, v. 20, as to jacere;' and as to 'exsequias,' see p. 1, v. 2.)


17. Quid fuit ingenti] What was it,' which means, how small a thing it was' to visit a man laid prostrate by a great misfortune. ('mole'). Alloquii' is conversation,' and so comes to mean sympathy or comfort.

[ocr errors]

20. Pauca tamen] He thinks he might at least have pretended to feel for him. 'Pauca verba' after 'queri,' which is not a transitive verb, is called a cognate accusative (see p. 3, v. 8). It means to utter a few words of sorrow.'


21. ignoti] Strangers.'


22. publicaque ora sequi] To follow the public voice,' that is, to express sorrow, as the people did, for his banishment. Publicus' is a contracted form of 'populicus,' from 'populus,' and 'publica ora' is the mouth of the people.'


23. Denique lugubres vultus] In short, to look upon my sad face, which thou wouldst never see again, on that last day, and while it yet might be.'

28. signa] This is in apposition with lacrimas.' 'Dare lacrimas' is to shed tears.'

29. Quid nisi convictu] What (he asks) would you have done, if I had not been bound to you by the ties of fellowship and strong reasons? What if we had not shared our sports and our

[ocr errors]

serious hours together?' He means, 'could you have been more cold?'

33. duntaxat] This word, which means 'only,' contains the root 'tag' of 'tangere' to touch:' it is literally till it touches,' which is a limitation; and the word so comes to have this meaning, as 'modo' does. See p. 12, v. 93 n.

34. Adscitus toties] 'So oft admitted to every kind of sport.' 36. Lethaeis] Lethe was supposed to be a river in the lower regions, the waters of which when drunk caused forgetfulness of the past. He asks if all his friend's professions have been carried away by the winds or the river Lethe.

37. Quirini] See above, p. 10, v. 33.

39. Ponti] The Pontus Euxinus was sometimes called merely Pontus. Ovid wrote from the left, that is the western, shore of the Euxine (p. 22, v. 42.

40. Scythiae Sarmaticisque] Scythia included the nations immediately north of the Danube and Euxine. Sarmatia is a term which was used by the ancient writers vaguely. In the later geographers it includes central Europe, east of the Vistula, and as far as the Crimea: it also included a large part of Asia, bordering on European Sarmatia. The name is used vaguely by Ovid.

42. ferri semina] Iron ore he calls seeds of iron.

43. ducenda] Ducere' is used in a great variety of senses. Here it is to drain.' In the same sense it is applied to cups of wine.

45. At mala nostra] The meaning is: 'But if all I have said were true, that thou wast born a barbarian, with veins of flint and heart of iron and nursed by a tigress, yet wouldst thou not be so indifferent to my misfortunes as now.'


46. non agerere reus] Thou wouldst not be charged by me as guilty of cruelty.' Agere' and 'reus' are legal terms; the first meaning to prosecute or bring an action as we say, the other a defendant or prisoner on his trial.


48. Ut careant numeris] That the first times are out of tune,' that is, that his friend had not done what he ought at first. Numeri' in the plural is used for time or tune in music. 'Fatalibus damnis means the losses sent upon him by fate, as distinguished from that which he suffered through the unkindness of his friend. 50. Officium] Kindness,' 'attention.'

The Exile's Misery.-P. 15.

1. Triptolemi] Triptolemus was said to have been born at Eleusis near Athens, and to have invented the plough and the art of cultivating the ground. Demeter, the goddess of fruits and corn, called Ceres by the Romans, gave him a chariot drawn by

dragons, with which he went about the world teaching mankind the art of husbandry,

2. ignotam] The powers of the earth were not known till it was cultivated, and the seed was rude or unartificial until it was skilfully used. 'Misit' means here 'cast.'

3. Medeae] Medea was the daughter of Aeetes king of Colchis, and became the wife of Jason, whom she helped to secure the golden fleece (see p. 3, 2 n). She went with him to Corinth, where Jason deserted her and married the daughter of the king, whereupon she murdered her own children and his new wife, and fled from Corinth to Athens in a chariot drawn by winged dragons through the air.


5. jactandas] 'For flight,' literally to be moved' in the air. Perseus was the son of Acrisius king of Argos. He is said to have possessed himself of certain sandals with wings attached to them, which he afterwards gave to Hermes (Mercury), who is usually represented in pictures and sculptures with wings on his feet. Daedalus, a noble Athenian, was said to have made himself wings, with which he escaped from the power of Minos king of Crete, and flew over the sea to Sicily.

13. Si semel optandum est] If you must wish once for all.' 'Augustum' is an adjective, and a title conferred by the senate on Cæsar Octavianus in B.C. 27. His successors had the same title. He again speaks of him as a god.


14. Et quem]And to him whose godhead thou hast felt pray duly as to a god.' 'Deum' belongs both to sensisti' and to 'precare.' 'Precor' takes an accusative of the person as well as the thing prayed for. 'Rogare' does the same, v. 20.

16. Det reditum] Suppose he grants thy return, thou wilt straightway have wings. The permission of Augustus would be as effectual as the chariots and wings Ovid had been wishing for. Protinus' is a shorter form of porro tenus,' right on.' The subjunctive is commonly used without 'si' to express a supposed case.



19. Forsitan hoc olim] It may be that hereafter when his anger has satiated itself, he may be asked for this (permission to return), though even then with anxious mind,' that is, with fear lest he should refuse.

21. Quod minus] That which is less meanwhile is to me the worth of a mighty boon.' 'Instar' is a substantive, p. 5, v. 47 n. 23. faciunt] He means the climate, the water, the soil, and the air do not agree with him. To make for a person' in English is to be good for him, to be for his advantage, and 'facere' has that meaning sometimes.

[ocr errors]

27. Ut tetigi] Ever since I reached the Euxine sleeplessness hath troubled me.' This is the English idiom. The Latin is that which appears in the text. As to 'Pontum,' see p. 15, v. 39. 34. binaque damna] I suffer a double loss,' that is, of health

and spirits. Duo' would be used in prose, the numerals ending in 'nus' being distributive, 'so many each.' The poets do not always observe this distinction.

35. Haeret et] He says the figure of his fortune cleaves to him and remains before his eyes as legible as a body actually visible.

38. subit] The thought rises in my mind.' See p. 9, v. 1 n. 39. querar ut cum] Queror de aliquo' is, I complain of a person to another;' 'queror cum' is to complain of a person to himself, in his presence.

[ocr errors]



41. civiliter] This means 'courteously, generously. We use civilly in that sense; but the Romans by civiliter' generally meant as a citizen.' Civilis' came to mean kind or civil, as opposed to 'regius' which meant despotic, tyrannical; a kingly government such as that of their old kings being odious to the Romans. Ovid means that Augustus acted generously in sending him away from Rome rather than putting him to death, which he almost wishes he had done. He hopes that having once been so kind, he will now go further, and let him change his place of residence. Ovid was not punished with exile as the Romans understood it, which deprived a person of his citizenship; but with another sort of banishment called 'relegatio,' which, without taking away citizenship, required a person to leave Rome for ever or for a fixed time, the place of residence being named or not. In Ovid's case it was named.

Spring.-P. 17.

2. Maeotis hiems] The people who lived about the Palus Maeotis, now called the Sea of Azof, were called Maeotici. But Ovid uses the name as equivalent to Scythian. Antiquis' means 'former' (see note on p. 1, v. 10). A diphthong before a vowel is very seldom made short, as it is here.

3. Hellen] According to a Greek legend, Helle was the daughter of Athamas, a prince of Boeotia. She was placed, with her brother Phrixus, who was about to be sacrificed by their father, on the back of a winged ram, to be carried to the shores of the Euxine, but on the way she fell off into the strait called after her Hellespontus (the Dardanelles). Qui' means the ram, which was that whose golden fleece afterwards became famous as the object of the Argonautic expedition. It was said to have been taken up into heaven, where it appears as the constellation Aries, one of the signs of the zodiac. See p. 3, v. 2.

4. Tempora nocturnis] The sun enters Aries about the 21st of March, which is the time of the vernal equinox, and Ovid therefore says Aries is making the day and night equal. But the equinox was past. See below, v. 17.

« ZurückWeiter »