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Keppler, Ueber Copa (Leipzig, 1908); Plésent, Le Culex (Paris, 1910); Skutsch, Aus Vergils Frühzeit (Leipzig, 1901-6); Birt, Jugendverse und Heimatpoesie Vergils (Leipzig, 1910); Phillimore, "The Text of the Culex," in Classical Philology, vol. v. (1910). Professor Phillimore is one of three English scholars who have recently upheld the genuineness of the Culex as an early work of Virgil's, the other two being S. Elizabeth Jackson (Classical Quarterly, 1911, pp. 163 ff.) and W. Warde Fowler (Classical Review, 1914, pp. 119 ff.). The authenticity of others of these poems as well seems to be assumed by Mooney in his metrical translation of The Minor Poems of Vergil (Birmingham, 1916). This book, however, does not include the Ciris. Birt is a stout advocate of the Virgilian authorship of most of the poems of the Catalepton. See also vol. i., p. vii.




LUSIMUS, Octavi, gracili modulante Thalia
atque ut araneoli tenuem formavimus orsum.
lusimus haec propter Culicis sint carmina dicta,
omnis ut historiae per ludum consonet ordo
notitiae. doctrina, vaces licet: invidus absit.
quisquis erit culpare iocos Musamque paratus,
pondere vel Culicis levior famaque feretur.
posterius graviore sono tibi Musa loquetur
nostra, dabunt cum securos mihi tempora fructus,
ut tibi digna tuo poliantur carmina sensu.

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5 notitiaeque ducum voces, Leo, Vollmer: ductum Vat. 1586: notitiae, doctumque voces Ellis. The readings and interpretation adopted are Phillimore's, but must be regarded as merely an approximation to the original verse, which cannot be recovered.

7 feratur Scaliger.

10 digna tuo Bembo: dignato n.

The principal MSS. containing the Culex, as given by Vollmer, are the following :

S = fragmentum Stabulense, Paris, 17177, of the 10th century.

F = Fiechtianus, or Mellicensis (designated as M by Ellis), of the 10th century.

C = Cantabrigiensis, Kk. v. 34, of the 10th century.

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Vaticanus 2759, of the 13th century.

r = Corsinianus 43 F 5, of the 14th century.

La group of MSS. of the so-called ludus iuvenalis

of Virgil, designated as
9th to the 11th century.

W, B, E, A, T, from the


We have trifled, O Octavius,1 while a slender Muse marked the measure, and lo! like tiny spiders, have fashioned our thin-spun task. We have trifled to this end let our Gnat's song be sung, that in sportive mood throughout its course our argument may harmonize with epic story. A truce to thee, O Art; let Envy begone! Whoso is ready to blame our jests and Muse, shall be deemed lighter than even our Gnat in weight and name. Hereafter shall our Muse speak to thee in deeper tones, when the seasons yield me their fruits in peace, that so thou mayest find her verses polished, and worthy of thy taste.

1 The later Augustus, who is still a puer (vv. 26, 37) when thus addressed. The young Octavius assumed the toga virilis in his fifteenth year, in 48 B.C., before which event this dedication, if genuine, must have been written. Suetonius asserts that the Culex was composed in the poet's sixteenth year (54 B.C.); the dedication, however, may have been inserted later.

Exc. =

selections, in certain MSS. of the 12th to 14th centuries, found in an anthology of the 11th century. As a group, the above-named MSS. are designated as . To these Ellis adds some MSS., e.y. b Mus. Brit. Add. 16562, written in 1400, and Vat(icanus) 1586, of the 14th or 15th century. Occasional references must be made to late MSS. which were emended by Italian scholars of the Renaissance. As a group, these are designated as It. The most notable among them is the Helmstadiensis 332, of the 15th century, designated as H.

BB 2

Latonae magnique Iovis decus, aurea proles,
Phoebus erit nostri princeps et carminis auctor
et recinente lyra fautor, sive educat illum
Arna Chimaereo Xanthi perfusa liquore,
seu decus Asteriae seu qua Parnasia rupes

hinc atque hinc patula praepandit cornua fronte,
Castaliaeque sonans liquido pede labitur unda.
quare, Pierii laticis decus, ite, sorores
Naides, et celebrate deum ludente chorea.

et tu, sancta Pales, ad quam ventura recurrunt
agrestum bona fetura-sit cura tenentis
aerios nemorum cultus silvasque virentis:
te cultrice vagus saltus feror inter et antra.
Et tu, cui meritis oritur fiducia chartis,
Octavi venerande, meis adlabere coeptis,
sancte puer : tibi namque canit non pagina bellum
triste Iovis ponitque

Phlegra, Giganteo sparsa est quae sanguine tellus,
nec Centaureos Lapithas compellit in ensis,
urit Erichthonias Oriens non ignibus arces;
non perfossus Athos nec magno vincula ponto
iacta meo quaerent iam sera volumine famam,
non Hellespontus pedibus pulsatus equorum,
Graecia cum timuit venientis undique Persas :
19 plaudente Bembo, Ellis.

20 ventura] tutela Phillimore. recurrit .





11 agrestum bona secura FCL: ag. bona sis: tecum Philli24 chartis] tantis Phillimore.


27 <acies quibus horruit olim> conjectured by Bücheler.

1 i.e. Delos.

2 Far below the real summit of Parnassus, the rocky cliffs that tower above Delphi present two peaks, between which, in a deep chasm, flows the Castalian stream. 3 The Muses.

11 The glory of Latona and mighty Jove, their golden offspring, even Phoebus, shall be the fount and source of our song, and he with resounding harp shall inspire, whether Arna nurture him—Arna, steeped in the Chimaera's stream of Xanthus-or the glory of Asteria, or that land where Parnassus' ridge, with broad brow, spreads his horns this way and that, and Castalia's singing waves glide in their watery course.2 Wherefore, come, ye sister Naiads, glory of the Pierian spring, and throng about the god in sportive dance. Thou too, holy Pales, to whom, as they appear, the blessings of husbandmen return with increase, be thine the care of him who keeps the lofty forest-homes and woodlands green; whilst thou dost tend them, freely I roam among the glades and caves.


24 Thou also, O Octavius revered, who by the writings thou hast earned winnest confidence, graciously attend my venture, O holy youth! For thee, indeed, my page sings not Jove's gloomy war,5 nor plants the lines wherewith Phlegra once bristled, the land that was sprinkled with the Giants' blood, nor drives the Lapiths upon the Centaurs' swords; the East burns not the Erichthonian towers 6 with flames : 'tis not the piercing of Athos, not the casting of fetters upon the mighty deep, not the Hellespont, smitten with horses' hooves, what time Greece feared the Persians, as they streamed from every side, that at this late hour shall, through my book, seek fame :

The epithets venerande and sanctus are suggested by the youth and innocence of the boy, "who wore the same toga as priests and magistrates" (Professor Warde Fowler).

5 The battle between Jupiter and the Giants, fought in Phlegra.

6 i.e. Athens, burnt by the Persians, of which Erichthonius was one of the early kings; cf. Georgics, III. 113.

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