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ut per te clausas sciat excantare puellas, qui volet austeros arte ferire viros.' talia Calliope, lymphisque a fonte petitis ora Philetaea nostra rigavit aqua.
Arma deus Caesar dites meditatur ad Indos, et freta gemmiferi findere classe maris.
see here the picture of the torches borne with unsteady hand by the roisterers who disturb domestic peace, hurrying this way and that to escape just punishment for their insults. The adjective belongs more to fugae than to signa.
49-50. A task worthy of Ovid! Cf. also Tib. I, 1, 73; 2, 1, 75-78.
50. ferire: 'to trick'; a slang use which reminds the reader of Plaut. Trin. 247: ibi illa pendentem ferit; also of our colloquial "strike the old man for fifty dollars"; cf. Ter. Phorm. 47, ferietur alio munere. - viros: husbands.'
52. Philetaea: cf. 3, I, I, n.
Propertius expresses confidence that the projected expedition against the Parthians will achieve great success. In harmony with the spirit of the preceding elegy he disclaims any direct interest in the expected spoils of victory won by heroic deeds, but hopes as a lover to gaze with his lady upon
the expected triumph of Augustus.
1-10: 'The expedition that Caesar is planning will surely bring victory, revenge, and rich booty; 11-22: ye gods, let me live to see with my darling the glorious triumph on his return.'
1. deus starting with the worship of the city of Rome, which had begun here and there in the East in republican times, Augustus organized throughout the provinces of the empire a regular worship of Roma et Augustus. The direct worship of Augustus in his lifetime sprang up here and there in Italy where individuals or communities were under some special obligation to him, or for some similar reason. In Cumae a temple was erected to him. In the city of Rome itself he deemed it politic to permit only the indirect worship under the form of the Lares Augusti and the Genius Caesaris. The poets, however, do not hesitate to use the word deus of their patron. Cf. 4, 11, 60; Rushforth, Latin Historical In
magna, viri, merces. parat ultima terra triumphos:
scriptions, pp. 44-46; Shuckburgh, Augustus, p. 196; Hor. Car. 4, 5, 32-35; Ep. 2, 1, 16; Verg. Ec. I, 6. meditatur: Rome had long been restless to recover from the Parthians its lost military standards, and once for all to settle the supremacy of the East. In 22 B.C. Augustus finally started with an army for the East via Sicily. But the victory was a bloodless one, for in 20 B.C., the Parthian king Phraates sent back the Roman standards and such prisoners as did not prefer to remain. - Indos: poetic enthusiasm is largely responsible for the word here. The Indians represent the far East, but the Parthians were the real limit of the martial plans of the hour. Cf. 2, 10, 15, n.
2. gemmiferi. . maris: cf. Tib. 2, 2, 15-16, nn.; 4, 2, 19–20.
3. viri: those planning to accompany Augustus on the expedition; cf. v. 21.- parat: sc. tibi (i.e. Augustus) from the tua in v. 4.
4. Cf. Hor. Car. 2, 9, 21: Medumque flumen gentibus additum victis minores volvere vertices.
7-8. While Propertius has laid himself open to the charge of ambiguity as to the syntax of prorae and equi, it seems most likely that he is intending to address ite agite to the viri of v. 3, and that the same vocative is in mind in vv. 9 and 10; prorae as dative is also more logical than as a vocative; while ducite is natural for the rider, but not for the horse. Guide the accustomed task of the war horse 'is Propertian for 'Guide the war horse to perform his familiar function.'
9. omina . . . cano: cf. Tib. 2, 1, 25. Crassos: cf. 2, 10, 14, n. While the great defeat at Carrhae in 53 B.C. loomed largest
ite et Romanae consulite historiae. Mars pater et sacrae fatalia lumina Vestae, ante meos obitus sit, precor, illa dies qua videam spoliis oneratos Caesaris axes, ad vulgi plausus saepe resistere equos, inque sinu carae nixus spectare puellae
incipiam, et titulis oppida capta legam, tela fugacis equi et bracati militis arcus et subter captos arma sedere duces.
in Roman thought, the standards returned to Augustus included also those lost by Decidius Saxa in 40 B.C. and by Antony in 36
11. Mars pater: Mars as the father of Romulus and Remus had a clear title to this designation, but he and Jove did not enjoy a monopoly of the distinction; cf. Lucil. 1,9 (Mueller): nemo ut sit nostrum, quin aut pater optumu' divom aut Neptunu pater, Liber, Saturnu' pater, Mars, Ianu', Quirinu pater siet ac dicatur ad unum. - fatalia: the Romans believed the destiny of Rome was closely linked with the life or extinction of the sacred fire of Vesta; cf. Livy, 26, 27, 14: aeternos ignes, et conditum in penetrali fatale pignus imperii
13. oneratos . . ... axes: figuratively the triumphal car of the emperor would be loaded with spoils literally they were carried before him in a long procession. See Pohlmey, Der römische Triumph, pp. 15 sqq., where the
various features of the triumph referred to in the following verses are described.
14. ad . . . plausus: purpose acc. The triumphal car stopped ever and anon for the triumphator to receive and acknowledge the plaudits of the multitude; and the fine-spirited horses might seem themselves to share in this appreciation. Cf. Ovid, Trist. 4, 2, 53: ipse sono plausuque simul fremituque canente quadringos cernes saepe resistere equos.
16. titulis: the inscription upon the representations of conquered towns carried in the procession; cf. Tib. 2, 5, 116, n. oppida : object of both spectare and legam, while in vv. 17-18 the force of spectare only is continued.
17. fugacis equi: referring to the Parthians' characteristic method of warfare. - bracati: a feature of Oriental dress; cf. Pers. 3. 53: bracatis inlita Medis por
18. subter: with arma. It was beneath a trophy that the eminent captives would be sitting in chains.
ipsa tuam serva prolem, Venus: hoc sit in aevum,
cernis ab Aenea quod superesse caput. praeda sit haec illis quorum meruere labores: me sat erit sacra plaudere posse via.
Pacis Amor deus est, pacem veneramur amantes: sat mihi cum domina proelia dura mea. nec tantum inviso pectus mihi carpitur auro,
where a large number of parallels in this group is cited.
The thought is similar to that in Tib. 1, 1, and various passages in Horace, e.g. in Epod. 1, 1; Car. 2, 18; 2, 3; 1, 4; etc. With vv. 25-38, cf. Aetna, 219-251. Curiously at variance with modern ideas is the inclusion under scientific investigation of speculation with regard to the future life.
1-18: As a poet of love, I prefer peace to war and all its prizes for which men struggle, only to leave them behind when death comes. 19-22: In youth I have played the lover and sung the songs of love; 23-46: but when advancing age has cooled love's ardor, let it be my delight to delve into the secrets of nature and try to solve the problems of the afterworld. 47-48: You who love war, bring home the standards of Crassus.'
The poet once again defines his mission and states his ambition. Though not, probably, as various eminent scholars have believed, one with the previous elegy, this may be regarded as a meditation suggested by the text found in the final couplet of 3, 4, and written shortly afterward. Indeed it forms the final poem of the closely connected group that opens this book, and that is also connected in thought with the end of Book 2. Cf. Ites, De Properti Elegiis inter se Conexis, pp. 51-56,
1-2. Cf. Tib. I, 10, 49-56; 1, I, 73-76.
nec bibit e gemma divite nostra sitis,
nec mihi mille iugis Campania pinguis aratur,
quaerimus, atque armis nectimus arma nova.
5. 8. caute O cauti w.
4. gemma: cf. Verg. Georg. 2, 506: ut gemma bibat; Cic. In Ver. 4, 62: erat etiam vas vinarium, ex una gemma pergrandi trulla excavata manubrio aureo. tra sitis: the thing for the person; cf. 3, 16, 17.
5. Campania: the most fertile and valuable land in Italy was, and still is, in this district. For the thought, cf. Hor. Sat. 2, 6, 1: Hoc erat in votis: modus agri non ita magnus; 1, 6, 58: non ego circum me Satureiano vectari rura caballo . . . narro.
6. miser: in his present temper Propertius views the avaricious man as a truly pitiable object; cf. Hor. Sat. 1, 1, 63: iubeas miserum esse, libenter quatenus id facit.· aera... clade, Corinthe: the especially valuable alloy known as Corinthian bronze was said to have been accidentally produced at the destruction of Corinth by Mummius in 146 B.C. Cf. Pliny, N. H. 34, 2, 6; hoc casus miscuit
Corintho, cum caperetur, incensa. For the craze for the genuine article at Rome cf. Hor. Sat. 1, 4, 27: stupet Albius aere; 2, 3, 20: quaerere amabam, quo vafer ille pedes lavisset Sisyphus aere, quid sculp tum infabre, quid fusum durius esset.
7. infelix: i.e. because avarice was one of the elements included in the composition of man; cf. Hor. Car. 1, 16, 13: fertur Prometheus addere principi limo coactus particulam undique. Prometheo for representations of Prometheus creating man, cf. Baum. Denk., p. 1413. For the synizesis, cf. Tib. 2, 1, 49.
8. parum caute: i.e. he ill deserved his name "Prometheus " ('man of forethought') = providens (cf. non vidit, v. 9). — pectoris: the heart'; cf. vv. 9-10.
11. nunc referring to the actual state of things in contrast with what ought to have been (debuit).