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uni siqua placet, culta puella sat est ;
cum tibi praesertim Phoebus sua carmina donet.
unica nec desit iucundis gratia verbis,
omnia quaeque Venus quaeque Minerva probat. his tu semper eris nostrae gratissima vitae,
taedia dum miserae sint tibi luxuriae.
Non ego nunc Hadriae vereor mare noscere tecum,
The reason why Propertius cannot accept the invitation of Tullus to accompany him to the East. The same Tullus, to whom this first book of Propertius is dedicated, and who appears to have been a most intimate friend, is addressed also in I, 1, 9; 14, 20; 22, I; 3, 22, 2. He is believed to have been a nephew of L. Volcatius Tullus, and had doubtless asked Propertius to go with him to Asia in his uncle's train. As the latter was consul in 33 B.C. and, according to the Lex Pompeia de iure magistratuum, a provincial command could not be assumed till five years after the end of the year of office, the date of his departure for the East, and of this poem, was probably about 27 B.C.
The obvious similarity of the theme to that of Tibullus I, I, serves to emphasize the differences between the poets and their loves.
26. I.e. let this rather be your conviction.
27. cum tibi praesertim: and this is especially true in your case, for,' etc. carmina: power of song.' Cf. Pott's Lat. Prose Comp.,. p. 32 (C. S.).
28. Aoniam: i.e. Boeotian, of the land of Helicon and the Muses, among whom Calliope holds the first place. Cf. Milton's Par. Lost, 1, 14: "to soar above the Aonian mount." Calliopea this form occurs in Vergil and Ovid; also, cf. 3, 3, 38, n.
29. verbis: sc. tuis. Propertius often refers to the fact that Cynthia was a docta puella. Cf. I, 7, II, n.
30. Sc. adsint; cf. 4, 1, 17-19. There are several examples of this sort of brachyology in Propertius.
- Minerva: in her capacity as patroness of feminine handiwork.
31. nostrae . . . vitae : more emphatic than nobis would be. Cf. Plaut. Men. 675: aetati tuae.
cum quo Rhipaeos possim conscendere montes, ulteriusque domos vadere Memnonias: sed me conplexae remorantur verba puellae, mutatoque graves saepe colore preces. illa mihi totis argutat noctibus ignes,
Tibullus does not wish to leave home and Delia; Propertius, with a sigh, admits that he dare not meet the tirade of reproaches with which Cynthia would inevitably receive the announcement of such a purpose. These early poems of the Cynthia book suffice to show that Propertius already felt the attachment often a grievous burden, yet one which he could not bring himself to lay down; a situation in many respects similar to that existing between Catullus and Lesbia.
1-6: Not the dangers of the deep, but the words of my mistress hold me back, Tullus, from sailing with you. 7-18: Her complaints are unendurable; I would rather give up seeing the wonders of the world than risk them. 19-24: Go! win your spurs; for Cupid has not yet aimed his shafts at you. 25-30: But I am not for deeds of glory. 31-36: Where'er you go, forget not my unlucky star!'
I. vereor of the awesome respect the Romans often expressed for the sea. Cf. Hor. Car. 1, 3; Luc. 3, 193 sqq.; Petron. (Baehrens PLM., Vol. 4, p. 94).
2. ducere vela navigare. salo: a favorite word with Proper
tius; cf. 1, 15, 12; 3, 13, 6; 3, 7, Poetic abl. of place.
3. cum quo . . . possim: 'for with thee I could.'- Rhipaeos : the mention of the extreme regions of cold and heat is frequently paralleled in the poets of this age, e.g. Hor. Car. I, 22, 17-24. Cf. Cat. 11, 1-14.
4. ulterius: the narrowness of the line distinguishing adverb and preposition is well illustrated in this use of the comp. adv. for the positive ultra as a preposition
with acc. domos . nonias: i.e. Aethiopia.
5. Cf. Tib. I, 1, 55. 6. mutato colore: perhaps the best commentary is 1, 15, 39: quis te cogebat multos pallere colores, referring to alternating blushes and pallor. Cf. 1, 18, 17. - saepe belongs to mutato.
7. illa note the eager repetition of the pronoun, in contrast with the personal pronouns with which this short poem abounds. — totis . . . noctibus: duration of time. argutat: an impatient and not very gallant term. The verb is usually deponent and intransitive, but here has ignes (i.e. amorem) as an object. Cf. Verg. Aen. 4, 2; Ovid, Trist. 4, 10, 45: saepe suos solitus recitare Proper
et queritur nullos esse relicta deos:
illa meam mihi iam se denegat: illa minatur,
his ego non horam possum durare querellis:
Cynthia et insanis ora notet manibus,
tu patrui meritas conare anteire secures,
16. ora notet manibus: cf. Tib. I, 1, 68; 10, 37.
ROM. EL. POETS — 14
17. opposito i e. she may tell her grievance to the wind that blows in her face, perhaps as she gazes after the vanishing ship that bears away her lover. - debita : still due' from her lover.
19. tu, like the tua in v. 21 and the tibi in v. 23, serves to emphasize the contrast with me in v. 25. Cf. the thought with Tib. 1, 1, 53-55. patrui: see introduction to this poem. - meritas: a com
13. doctas: a natural epithet; plimentary epithet. anteire: cf. 3, 21, 1.
'surpass.'—secures: i.e. the greatness which the official axes symbolized.
15. deducta: the ships were drawn up on the shore in winter, and launched again when a journey was to begin. Cf. Hor. Car. 1, 4, 2: trahuntque siccas machinae
20. vetera iura: many Asiatic peoples had formerly been true to their Roman allies, before the political anarchy which for a time intervened during the civil
nam tua non aetas umquam cessavit amori,
et tibi non umquam nostros puer iste labores
in quorum numero me quoque terra tegat.
at tu seu mollis qua tendit Ionia seu qua
seu pedibus terras seu pontum carpere remis
22. at O et w.
21. aetas = vita. 'has had leisure for.'
22. at: for the position cf. 3, 5, 14; Verg. Ec. 7, 67: saepius at. - cura: sc. tua or tibi; the State had been his mistress. Cf. Tac. Ann. 4, 8, 4: e complexu rei publicae.
23. puer: Amor. iste is more expressive than translatable.
25. iacere take life easy.' Cf. Cic. Phil. 10, 7, 14: in pace iacere quam in bello vigere maluit. quamquam ille quidem numquam iacuit.
26. hanc animam: of mine.' nequitiae : worthlessness.'
29. Cf. Tib. 1, 1, 57.—laudi: ie. military glory.
tum tibi siqua mei veniet non inmemor hora,
Dum tibi Cadmeae dicuntur, Pontice, Thebae
atque, ita sim felix, primo contendis Homero,
nos, ut consuemus, nostros agitamus amores,
36. duro sidere: cf. 4, 1, 150; Ovid, Trist. 5, 10, 45: tam grave sidus. Astrology and its language were at this time much in vogue. We still exclaim: "My lucky stars!"
1-14: 'You are writing great epics, Ponticus, while I am busy only with my love, and from thence must hope for inspiration and future fame. 15-26: But if perchance Cupid should turn his bow upon you, how you would envy me, in vain, and wish, too late, to write elegy also! So, beware!'
31. Pontice: Ponticus was one of the few literary friends whom Propertius felt free to address familiarly. His fame as an epic poet rests mainly upon this passage and 1, 9, 9, together with Ovid, Trist. 4, 10, 47: Ponticus heroo, Bassus quoque clarus iambis. Thebae many a "Thebais" was attempted by the Roman poets; only that of Statius has survived.
2. fraternae: i.e. of Eteocles and Polynices. Cf. H. & T. § 171.
3. ita sim felix: cf. Tib. 2, 5, 63, n. - primo: so acknowledged now nearly three millenniums! Homero the rare poetic dat. with contendo occurs also in 1, 14, 7.
1. Cf. Ovid, Am. 2, 18, 1-4; Anacreontea, 23, 1: Oéλw λéyelv ̓Ατρείδας, θέλω δὲ Κάδμον ᾄδειν, ὁ βάρβιτος δὲ χορδαῖς Ἔρωτα μovvov nxeî- tibi: poetic dat. for abl. of agent. Cadmeae: Cadmus was the legendary founder of Thebes. dicuntur: cf. Tib. 1, 3,
5. consuēmus = consuevimus · the other syncopated forms of the perf. are more common. Cf., as other examples of this tendency in Propertius, 2, 7, 2: flemus = flevimus; 2, 15, 3: narramus = narravimus; 9: mutamus = muta