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Thucydides, tyrannus Atticae febris :
ASPICE, quem valido subnixum Gloria regno altius et caeli sedibus extulerat :
terrarum hic bello magnum concusserat orbem, hic reges Asiae fregerat, hic populos;
hic grave servitium tibi iam, tibi, Roma, ferebat (cetera namque viri cuspide conciderant): cum subito in medio rerum certamine praeceps corruit, e patria pulsus in exilium.
tale deae numen, tali mortalia nutu
fallax momento temporis hora dedit.
QUOCUMQUE ire ferunt variae nos tempora vitae,
II. 3 tyrannus] bri(t)tan(n)us MSS. of Quintilian.
4 min et spin et Baehrens: enim et spin(e) et MSS. of Quintilian mi et psin et B: min et psin et H.
et "male illi sit" Ellis.
5 ita or ista MSS.: ita MSS. of Quintilian.
illi sit R:
III. 5 tibi (second) omitted B, hence Romane (Bücheler). 9 nutu : ritu Haupt: motu Baehrens.
10 dedit : adedit Sabbadini: ferit Baehrens: premit Ruhnken: terit Ellis.
IV. 4 quis u: qui other MSS.
1 It is generally supposed that the portrait upon which this poem is based was one of Alexander the Great. But line 8 makes this interpretation improbable, for though
is lord of the Attic fever; as his Gallic tau, his min and sphin he wickedly pounded up, so of all such word-spells he mixed a dose for his brother!
BEHOLD One, whom, upborne on mighty sovereignty, Glory had highly exalted, even above the abodes of heaven! Earth's wide bounds had he shaken in war; Asia's kings, Asia's nations had he crushed; 2 now to thee, even to thee, O Rome (for all else had fallen before his spear), was he bringing grievous slavery, when lo! of a sudden, in the midst of his struggle for empire, headlong he fell, driven from fatherland into exile. Such is the goddess' will; at such behest, in a moment of time, does the faithless hour deal out the doom of mortals.
WHITHERSOEVER the chances of our changing lives lead us to go, what lands soever to visit and what people to see, may I perish if any other shall be dearer to me than thou! For what other can be Alexander died in Babylon and was buried in Egypt, no poet could have regarded him as e patria pulsus in exilium. Baehrens and Nettleship hold that the monarch in view was Phraates, king of Parthia, whom his subjects drove from his throne in 32 B.C. Pompey the Great and Mithridates have had their advocates, but all conditions are best satisfied by Marcus Antonius, who enjoyed with Cleopatra the homage of eastern peoples, and was a real menace to Italy and Rome. (So De Witt, in the American Journal of Philology, vol. xxxiii., 1912, pp. 321 ff.)
2 cf. Aen. VIII. 685 ff.
3 The goddess is Fortune or Nemesis.
4 Addressed to the poet Octavius Musa, a friend of Horace as well as of Virgil. (cf. Horace, Satires, 1. x. 82.)
cui iuveni ante alios divi divumque sorores cuncta, neque indigno, Musa, dedere bona, cuncta, quibus gaudet Phoebi chorus ipseque Phoebus? doctior o quis te, Musa, fuisse potest? o quis te in terris loquitur iucundior uno? Clio tam certe candida non loquitur. quare illud satis est, si te permittis amari; nam contra, ut sit amor mutuus, unde mihi?
ITE hinc, inanes, ite, rhetorum ampullae,
et vos, Selique Tarquitique Varroque,
IV. 5 iuveni B: cum venit Z.
6 Musa Aldine edition 1517: multa .
10 certe per te Baehrens: graece Birt.
V. 2 rhorso B: roso HMu: rore Aldine edition 1517: et ore Curcio rhythmo Birt. The form rhoso is dubious, but probably represents Spóow, as if (d)hroso. See note in Ellis.
5 inane Heinsius: inani BHMu: inanis Aldine edition 1517. 10 vindicabimus Aldine editions: vindicavimus ZM: vindicamus B, Med.
11 ite jam sane Haupt: iam ite sane (lamite seve or sene) BZM, Med.: ite salvete Ellis. 12 fatebitur B.
sweeter than thou, upon whom in thy youth, O Musa, beyond others--and not unworthily-the gods and sisters of the gods have bestowed all blessings, all wherein the choir of Phoebus and Phoebus himself rejoice? O who can have been more skilled than thou, O Musa? O who in all the world speaks with more charm than thou-thou alone? Clio surely speaks not so clearly. Therefore 'tis enough if thou permittest thyself to be loved; for otherwise how may I cause that love to be returned?
GET ye hence! away, ye empty paint-pots 3 of rhetoricians, ye words inflated, but not with Attic dew! And ye, Selius and Tarquitius and Varro, a tribe of pedants soaking in fat, get ye hence, ye empty cymbals of our youth! And thou, O Sextus Sabinus, my chiefest care, farewell! Now fare ye well, ye goodly youths!
8 We are spreading our sails for blissful havens, in quest of great Siro's wise words, and from all care will redeem our life. Get ye hence, ye Muses! yea, away now even with you, ye sweet Muses! For the truth we must avow-ye have been sweet. And yet, come ye back to my pages, though with modesty and but seldom!
1 i.e. gods and goddesses. Birt, however, regards the divum sorores as the Fates, the Parcae.
2 Written when Virgil was giving up his early rhetorical studies, and preparing to take up philosophy under Siro, the Epicurean. For details, see Nettleship in Ancient Lives of Virgil, p. 37.
3 Horace also uses the word ampullae and the verb ampullor of bombastic language ; cf. λήκυθος and ληκυθίζειν in Greek. The ampullae are properly "paint-pots" (see Wickham's note on Hor. Epist. I. iii. 14).
SOCER, beate nec tibi nec alteri, generque Noctuine, putidum caput, tuoque nunc puella talis et tuo stupore pressa rus abibit et mihi,
ut ille versus usquequaque pertinet :
gener socerque, perdidistis omnia.”
SCILICET hoc sine fraude, Vari dulcissime, dicam : dispeream, nisi me perdidit iste πółos.
sin autem praecepta vetant me dicere, sane non dicam, sed me perdidit iste puer.
VILLULA, quae Sironis eras, et pauper agelle, verum illi domino tu quoque divitiae,
me tibi et hos una mecum, quos semper amavi, si quid de patria tristius audiero,
commendo, in primisque patrem. tu nunc eris illi, 5 Mantua quod fuerat quodque Cremona prius.
VI. 3 tuone Scaliger: tuoque .
4 abibit et B: habitet ZM, Med. : abibit? hei Scaliger. 6 cf. Catullus, XXIX. 24, socer generque, p. o.
VII. 2 Tólos Spiro: pothus (potus) : putus Scaliger. 3 autem] artis Heyne.
VIII. 5 in primisque Aldine edition 1517: primisque .
1 To be taken as complementary to XII. In the latter epigram the father-in-law is called Atilius, a name which,