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Tarpeium nemus et Tarpeiae turpe sepulcrum
fabor et antiqui limina capta Iovis.
71. The proper place to dedicate the arms of the returning victorious warrior would be a temple of Mars. The temple most natural and convenient would be that about a mile outside the Porta Capena, near the Appian Way, along which the army would probably return from the east; cf. Ovid, Fast. 6, 191: lux eadem Marti festa est, quem prospicit extra appositum Tectae porta Capena viae. -- portae : poetic dat. of place to which.
72. Cf. 2, 28, 44. — salvo = servato (abl.).
instead of the wars with the Sabines. Tarpeia's motive in Livy (1, 11) and Plutarch (Romulus) is avarice; but in making her motive, rather, love, Propertius has doubtless reverted to the original form of the myth as seen in Parthenius, Simylus, and others.
1-2: The theme; 3-6: the scene; 7-20 : the circumstances : the Sabine camp near the spring; Tarpeia's duties as a Vestal take her to the spring; she beholds Tatius below engaged in military exercises; 21-30: she conceives a violent passion for the handsome warrior, which becomes all-absorbing; 31-66: her soliloquy, in which she acknowledges that her love overrides all other considerations, plans to betray the city into the hands of her adored one, and dreams of wedding the Sabine King; 67-88: she sleeps, wakes on the festal day of Rome's birth, compacts with Tatius to deliver the city into his hand, accomplishes the betrayal. 89-94: Her reward.
1. Tarpeium nemus: while we need not credit Varro's statement (L. L. 5, 41) that the Capitoline bill was originally called Mons Tarpeius, that designation doubtless was often used even in
A typical aetiological elegy on the subject of the Tarpeia myth, with characteristic emphasis upon the erotic element. For the development of this myth, and its protean forms and later literary reminiscences cf. H. A. Sanders in Rom. Hist. Sources and Institutions (Univ. of Mich. Studies), 1, 1-47; and O. Rossbach in BPW., Vol. 25 (1905), Sp. 1563. Its origin is to be sought far back in Greek literature, and its first introduction into Roman legend probably was in connection with the sack of Rome by the Gauls,
lucus erat felix hederoso conditus antro,
multaque nativis obstrepit arbor aquis, Silvani ramosa domus, quo dulcis ab aestu
fistula poturas ire iubebat oves. hunc Tatius fontem vallo praecingit acerno,
fidaque suggesta castra coronat humo. quid tum Roma fuit, tubicen vicina Curetis
cum quateret lento murmure saxa Iovis, atque ubi nunc terris dicuntur iura subactis,
stabant Romano pila Sabina foro?
4. 3. conditus O consitus w.
the time of Propertius, and whatever remnants of a sacred lucus were still left on the summit could be easily designated by the phrase with which this elegy opens. Cf. Verg. Aen. 8, 347: hinc ad Tarpeiam sedem et Capitolia ducit.- Tarpeiae . . . sepulcrum: her real or supposed tomb on the Capitol, still pointed out when Propertius wrote. Cf. 3, II, 45.
2. The first temple of Juppiter Capitolinus was built under the kings. The second temple, built by Sulla and Catulus, had been elegantly restored by Augustus in Propertius's own time.
3. lucus ... felix: “a grove of noble trees,' such as were connected with religious purposes and associations. — conditus: ósecluded.' - antro: cf. I, I, II, n. Propertius is thinking, not of any one grotto, but of the curving slope of the hill on the side towards the Forum, where the
rocks offered many a lurkingplace. The abl. is locative. With the description cf. Ovid, Am. 3, 1, 3: fons sacer in medio speluncaque pumice pendens.
4. nativis: i.e. of springs. — obstrepit: the rustling of the trees vies with the murmur of the waters.
5. Silvani .... domus: any such grove might be considered sacred to the forest-god.
6. poturas : instead of the more usual supine.
7. The Sabine leader was Titus Tatius, acc. to Livy, 1, 10.-praecingit: i.e. he runs the line of his fortification close to the spring, without including it.
8. fidaque belongs to the predicate. -- coronat: encircles'; cf. Ovid, Met. 9, 334: est lacus ... Suminum myrteta coronant.
9. Curetis: adj. from Cures, the chief town of the Sabines.
10. lento: long-reverberating.' – saxa lovis : the Capitol.
murus erant montes : ubi nunc est curia sacpta,
bellicus ex illo fonte bibebat equus.
urgebat medium fictilis urna caput.
quae voluit flammas fallere, Vesta, tuas?
vidit arenosis Tatium proludere campis, 20 • pictaque per flavas arma levare iubas.
obstupuit regis facie et regalibus armis,
interque oblitas excidit urna manus. 13. montes: they alone sur- stream; cf. Preller 3, Vol. 2, p. rounded the Forum valley like a 167, - at: cf. Tib. I, 3, 63, n. wall, whatever the extent of the 16. fictilis : cf. Tib. I, 1, 38, n.; legendary wall of Romulus. — and the picture of Silvia Vestalis ·curia: the senate house on the going after water in Ovid, Fast. north side of the Forum. — saepta : 3, 14: ponitur e summa fictilis i.e. by temples and other public urna coma. buildings.
17. et: used often to introduce 14. illo fonte: there was a an exclamatory question; cf. 2, 8, well-known spring in the Tullia- 2: et tu me lacrimas fundere, num, near the Curia.
amice, vetas! Cat. 29, 6; Fried15. hinc may possibly refer to rich, p.173. — una ... mors: cf. Roma (v. 9), but seems naturally Hor. Car. 3, 27, 37 : levis una to refer to v. 14. But the spring mors et virginum culpae. in v. 15 must be identical with 20. picta ... arma: the Sathat in v. 7, which would seem bine scutum became ultimately the necessarily far removed from that characteristic legionary shield of just mentioned in v. 14. Either the Romans. From early times it Propertius is ambiguous here, or was painted and carried distinctive his topography must be declared designs. — iubas: the flowing as vague as the notorious geogra- mane of the horse on which Tatius phy of these poets. – deae : cf. v. rode. Cf., however, 4, 1, 30, n. 18: the dramatic force of the myth 21. obstupuit: regularly used is enhanced in the form which of love at first sight; cf. Ovid, Propertius adopts, whereby Tar- Met. 2, 726: obstipuit forma love peia is a Vestal, vowed to per- natus. petual virginity. Water for the 22. interque: temporal; as her service of the goddess must be hands forgot to maintain their drawn from a running, open grip, the pitcher fell. — excidit:
saepe illa inmeritae causata est omina lunae
et sibi tinguendas dixit in amne comas: 25 saepe tulit blandis argentea lilia nymphis,
Romula ne faciem laederet hasta Tati. dumque subit primo Capitolia nubila fumo,
rettulit hirsutis bracchia secta rubis,
et sua Tarpeia residens ita flevit ab arce 30 vulnera, vicino non patienda lovi:
‘ignes castrorum et Tatiae praetoria turmae
et formosa oculis arma Sabina meis,
dum captiva mei conspicer ora Tati.
et valeat probro Vesta pudenda meo. ille equus, ille meos in castra reportet amores, 32. formosa DV famosa NFL. 34. ora Gronovius arma V, esse 0. 37. reportet w reponet 0. cf. Tib. 4, 2, 4; Ovid, Met. 3, 39: 28. In her absorption she hardly effluxere urnae manibus.
noticed the brambles as she hurried 23. saepe ... causata est: home. Tarpeia sought excuses to revisit 29. Tarpeia : a proleptic use. the spring and perhaps catch 30. vulnera ... non patienda : sight of her hero. Cf. Tib. 1, 3, such dereliction to her vows would
be intolerable in the eyes of Jove. 24. tinguendas ... in amne: The wounds are those inflicted by for purification in the morning. - Cupid's dart. amne = fonte.
31. ignes castrorum : the eve25. blandis : .gracious.'
ning shadows have fallen when 26. Romula : cf. 3, II, 52, n. Tarpeia begins her soliloquy. -
27. primo ... nubila fumo: praetoria seems inconsistent with i.e. the top of the hill is beclouded 4, 1, 29. with smoke of the fires kindled in 34. captiva : 6 even as a cappreparation for the evening meal; tive.' --- conspicer: catch sight of.' cf. Verg. Ec. 1, 83: et iam summa 36. pudenda : “who will be procul villarum culmina fumant, shocked.' maioresque cadunt altis de monti- 37. meos ... amores = me bus umbrae.
amantem; cf. 2, 28, 39, n.
cui Tatius dextras collocat ipse iubas.
candidaque in saevos inguina versa canes ?
cum patuit lecto stamine torta via?
inproba virgineo lecta ministra foco!
ignoscat: lacrimis spargitur ara meis. cras, ut rumor ait, tota pugnabitur urbe :
47. pugnabitur 0 purgabitur Huleatt pigrabitur Housman potabitur Rossberg cessabitur Palmer.
38. Tarpeia is already jealous of the caress given by Tatius to his horse when arranging the mane on the right side of his neck.
39. Tarpeia seeks for justification, or at least comfort, from examples of other maidens who had proved disloyal to family or country, for the sake of love. Other parallels are cited by Sanders (1.c.above). — Scylla: daughter of Nisus, king of Megara. She fell in love with the besieging king Minos, and cut from her father's head the purple (or golden) lock upon which his life, and therefore the safety of the city, depended. But Minos despised her treachery, and caused her death, as Tarpeia's was caused by Tatius.
40. Propertius wrongly identifies the Scylla of verse 39 with the notorious sea monster in the straits of Messina. But there are several
other examples of the same mistake, e.g. Verg. Ec. 6, 74; and Ovid, Fast. 4. 500 and A. A. 1, 331.
41. monstri : the Minotaur, halfbrother of Ariadne, who for her love to Theseus assisted in the scheme for killing the monster by arranging the thread which served as a guide in the Cretan labyrinth.
42. lecto: •by gathering up."
43. ego: emphatic contrast. Tarpeia is to correspond in infamy among the Latins to Scylla and Ariadne among the Greeks.
45. Pallados : not only was it supposed that the sacred fire of Vesta had been brought to Rome from Troy, the city of Pallas (cf. Verg. Aen. 2, 297), but also an image of Pallas, also believed to have been brought from Troy, was kept in the temple of Vesta; cf. Ovid, Fast. 6, 421-436.
46. Cf. 4, 3, 4.