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Maecenas eques Etrusco de sanguine regum,
intra fortunam qui cupis esse tuam,
non sunt apta meae grandia vela rati. 5 turpe est, quod nequeas, capiti committere pondus,
et pressum inflexo mox dare terga genu.
1. eques ... regum : Maecenas 3, 9
voluntarily chose to remain in In reply to a request from the rank of the Equites rather Maecenas to essay the grand style
than undertake a senatorial caof poetry, Propertius says that thus Horace frequently refers to far he has tried to imitate his this fact, and to the royal ancestry patron's modesty, and hints that of his patron, e.g. Car. I, 20, 5: he must continue to do so until care Maecenas eques; 1, 1, 1: Maecenas shows him the way to Maecenas atavis edite regibus ; heroic strains. That this is, how Sat. 1, 6, 1-13; Car. 3, 16, 20; ever, only an argumentum ad hominem is evident from a com 2. Cf. Vell. Pat. 2, 88, 2: C. parison of 3, 1, 7 and 9; 2, 1, and Maecenas equestri, sed splendido various other elegies indicating genere natus .
nec minora conclearly the poet's own taste. Cf. sequi potuit, sed non tam concuMallet, Quaestiones Propertianae, pivit ; Ovid, Trist. 3, 4, 25: intra
fortunam debet quisque manere 1-6: “Noble, yet modest Maecenas, why do you urge me be 3. scribendi ... aequor: cf. 3, yond my strength? 7-20: Men 3, 23.
Commentators note that differ in their gifts. Non omnia
the use of the gerund with aequor possumus omnes. 21-34: I have is like a modern use of the verbal imitated your own modesty of achievement. 35-46: Rather than 5. nequeas: sc. ferre, implied venture into the epic field, I have from the following clause. — capiti: been satisfied with the themes the ancient, as well as the modern, of elegy; 47-60: but, if you will place for bearing burdens, in Italy. set the pace, perhaps I may yet 6. pressum agrees with te to relate great deeds.
be supplied from nequeas. — dare
omnia non pariter rerum sunt omnibus apta,
fama nec ex aequo ducitur ulla iugo.
exactis Calamis se mihi iactat equis,
Parrhasius parva vindicat arte locum,
9. 8. fama w flamma 0 (flamina LD) (cf. Enk) palma Itali. ulla O una w. II. summum Rothstein suma L summam NFDV.
2, 31, 8.
terga : Propertius mixes metaphors potissimum . a Lysippo fingi here; for this phrase belongs to volebat. animosa . . . signa: cf. military life. 7. omnia
... rerum : stronger 10. exactis: 'perfect.' — Calathan omnes res, just as opaca mis :
: a contemporary of Phidias. locorum (Verg. Aen. 2, 725) is His subjects were general ; but stronger than opaca loca, implying the same superiority in modeling minuter detail. The idea of the horses that is here emphasized is verse is a commonplace.
suggested by other passages; cf. 8. The thought of this much Ovid, Ex P. 4, 1, 33: vindicat discussed verse (cf. B. O. Foster ut Calamis laudem, quos fecit, in Matzke Memorial Volume, pp. equorum. — mihi: “in my opinion.' 103 sqq.) is closely connected by 11. Veneris tabula: the celenec to that of the preceding verse. brated painting of the Venus Men have their individual ex (Aphrodite) Anadyomene, often cellencies, and cannot excel if referred to in Roman literature, compelled to do exactly as their e.g. Ovid, Ex P.4, 1, 29: ut Venus neighbors, i.e. to trot in pairs; for artificis labor est et gloria Coi, in a pair, team-work is desired, as aequoreo madidas quae premit in a single hitch individual superi imbre comas; Pliny, N. H. 35, 91. ority is striven for.
summum: sc. locum from v.12. perhaps be rendered .equalizing.' – Apelles: grouped with Lysippus
9. Lysippo : his specialty was in Cic. Ad Fam. 5, 12, 7 (cited at v. bronze statuary and his portrait 9) as the only painter whom Alexwork was so celebrated that Alex ander the Great would permit to ander the Great gave him the ex paint his portrait. This portrait clusive right to represent him in brought the sum of twenty talents, statuary; cf. Hor. Ep. 2, 1, 239: and was placed in the temple of edicto vetuit, ne quis se ... alius Diana (Artemis) at Ephesus. Lysippo duceret aera; Cic. Ad 12. Parrhasius : a contemporary Fam. 5, 12, 7: Alexander ille ... and rival of Zeuxis, who flourished
argumenta magis sunt Mentoris addita formae,
at Myos exiguum flectit acanthus iter,
Praxitelen propria vindicat urbe lapis.
est quibus in celeres gloria nata pedes.
16. propria 0 Paria Broukhusius Parius w patria Hertzberg.
about 400 B.C. — parva...arte : as ration, cf. Verg. Georg. 4, 123: Parrhasius excelled in accurate flexi tacuissem vimen acanthi. drawing, correct proportion, and - iter: a cognate acc. the representation of fine shades 15. Phidiacus
Iuppiter : of expression, it seems best to take the most famous work of Phidias these words in the sense of his was the chryselephantine statue skill in details,' or 'fine points of of Zeus made for the temple at excellence.'
Olympia about 435 B.C. Render, 13. After comparing two sculp 6 at the bidding of Phidias, Juppiter,' tors of differing tastes and two
etc. painters, Propertius compares two
16. Praxitelen: one of the silver chasers. — argumenta : “sub greatest Greek sculptors, of the jects'; i.e. the artistic conception later Attic school, who flourished and arrangement of his groups or in the fourth century B.C. — pro
Cf. Ovid, Met. 13, 683 : pria ... urbe lapis: Pentelic fabricaverat Alcon Hyleus, et marble, in which he worked rather longo caelaverat argumento. than in gold and ivory, and which Mentoris : cf. 1, 14, 2, n. —
formae : is abundant in Athens. With the 'design.
abl. of source some participle is 14. Myos: Mys, the other to customary. reutic artist, did his greatest work 17. est quibus έστιν οίς, for a generation after Phidias, when the regular Latin, sunt quibus ; cf. he engraved on the inside of the Hor. Car. I, I, 3. — Eleae shield of Athene Promachos the quadrigae: chariot racing was a battle of the Centaurs after a de feature of the Olympic games after sign of Parrhasius (cf. v. 12); evi 680 B.C. — concurrit = contingit. dently he excelled in workmanship 18. Propertius has turned the and graceful finish. — exiguum : thought inside out; he means : probably the more slender, spiny “there are others whose swift feet acanthus was used in such deco are destined for glory.'
naturae sequitur semina quisque suae.
cogor et exemplis te superare tuis.
et liceat medio ponere iura foro,
atque onerare tuam fixa per arma domum, et tibi ad effectum vires det Caesar, et omni
tempore tam faciles insinuentur opes,
parcis, et in tenues humilem te colligis umbras, 30 velorum plenos subtrahis ipse sinus.
crede mihi, magnos aequabunt ista Camillos
iudicia, et venies tu quoque in ora virum, Caesaris et famae vestigia iuncta tenebis:
Maecenatis erunt vera tropaea fides. 35 non ego velifera tumidum mare findo carina :
25. hastas Markland hostes O astus Lachmann. 21. recepi: “I have adopted as 29. parcis : the intransitive use
very rare. te colligis : 6shrink.' 22. exemplis : Maecenas
30. subtrahis : furl.' The peatedly declined honors. - supe mcre usual word is contrahere; rare: 'confute.'
cf. Hor. Car. 2, 10, 22: sapienter 23. dominas: here used adjec idem contrahes vento nimium setivally : “emblems of power' = “im cundo turgida vela. perial. honore : « official position.' 31. Camillos : tradition attribsecures : those of the lictors.
uted to the famous M. Furius 24. ponere: used by Zeugma. Camillus a contentment which beHor. Sat. 1, 3, 105 uses the ex came proverbial. Cf. L. 1105. pression ponere leges, as in English 32. iudicia : cf. L. 1110. we say “lay down the law," but 33. famae: dative with iuncta. dare leges is more usual.
– tenebis i.e. through all time. 26. Cf. Tib. I, I, 54. per 34. fides : to friends, particarma: poetic for armis : cf. Ovid,
ularly to Augustus, next to his Her. 18, 7: freta ventis turbida poetic protégés. perque cavas vix adeunda rates. 35. Cf. 3, 3, 23, n. — - find is
28. insinuentur = in sinus ca one of the early examples of the dant, i.e. “pour into your lap.' shortening of the final 7 which so
tuta sub exiguo flumine nostra morast. non flebo in cineres arcem sedisse paternos
Cadmi, nec septem proelia clade pari, nec referam Scaeas et Pergama Apollinis arces,
et Danaum decimo vere redisse rates, moenia cum Graio Neptunia pressit aratro
victor Palladiae ligneus artis equus. inter Callimachi sat erit placuisse libellos
et cecinisse modis, Coe poeta, tuis. haec urant pueros, haec urant scripta puellas,
meque deum clament et' mihi sacra ferant.
36. tuta w tota 0. 44. Coe Beroaldus dure 0 Dore Scriverius dare Ayrmann docte Foster. Philita is accepted for poeta by Hosius from an anony
soon became general in all verbs. attracted many; cf. 1, 7; H. & Cf. Intr. $ 43.
T.Ş 167; the only surviving work 36. sub: “under the protection of this nature is the Thebaid of of'; the poet is thinking of his Statius. surroundings in the imagined pic 39. The poet refers to the story ture.
of the Iliad. -Scaeas : sc. portas; 37. flebo : “tell the harrowing the famous western gate of Troy, cf. I, 7, 18.
where Homer represents Helen Cadmi: cf. 1, 7, 1, n.— paternos: coming to meet the oldest counPropertius is ambiguous, as often; cilors of the city (Il. 3, 149). — he seems to be referring to the Apollinis : Apollo and Neptune city-state of Thebes, the father (Poseidon) built the walls (cf. land, and trying to indicate its com Neptunia, v. 41). plete destruction, in which the fall 41. pressit aratro : i.e. the ultiof the citadelinvolved the whole. mate result to which the ruse of
38. septem proelia : the war the wooden horse led. fare waged by the Seven against 42. Palladiae ... artis : .conThebes ; cf. H. & T. S 171. - trived by Pallas'; gen. of the clade pari : all the heroes (except author. Adrastus) met the same fate. 43. Cf. 3, 1, 1. Many literary masterpieces were 46. Cf. Ovid, Rem. Am. 813: composed upon the legends of postmodo reddetis sacro pia vota Thebes. As an epic theme it poetae.