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P. VERGILI MARONIS OPERA
AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
T. L. PAPILLON, M.A.
FORMERLY FELLOW AND TUTOR OF NEW COLLEGE
A. E. HAIGH, M.A.
LATE FELLOW OF HERTFORD; CLASSICAL LECTURER AT CORPUS CHRISTI AND
WADHAM COLLEGES, OXFORD
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
Univ. Library, Univ. Calif., Santa Cruz
PRINTED AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
BY HORACE HART, M.A.
PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY
This Eclogue fixes its own date, shortly after B.C. 40 (713 A.U.C.), when, by an agreement of the Triumvirate, Octavianus distributed the country lands among the veterans, twenty-eight legions of whom had to be satisfied. The inhabitants of Cremona suffered first, then those of Mantua (nimium vicina Ecl. ix. 28), and among them Virgil ; though, as appears from Ecl. ix. 7-10, he had hoped that he might be spared. He then went to Rome and obtained from Octavianus the restitution of his property, at the instance of Asinius Pollio (a strict disciplinarian and no friend to military licence), Alfenus Varus, and Gallus. This poem expresses his gratitude to Octavianus.
Meliboeus, a dispossessed and exiled shepherd, encounters Tityrus fortunate in the undisturbed possession of his homestead. Tityrus is represented as a farm-slave who has just worked out his freedom ; and this symbolises the confirmation of Virgil in his property, the slave's master representing Octavianus, and the two ideas of the slave's emancipation and Virgil's restoration being so mixed up as to confuse the whole narrative; which is at one time allegorical, at another historical.
On the relative date of this and Ecl. ix see Introd. to ix, p. 133.
Bucolica (Boukoliká) are poems treating of pastoral subjects. Eclogae (éndoyai, selections) are short unconnected poems. Statius (Silv. iii. pref.) applies the title to one of his own poems ; Ausonius (Idyll 11, pref.) to an ode of Horace. Pliny (Epist. iv. 14, 9) doubts whether to call a collection of short poems epigrammata, idyllia, eclogae, or poematia.
2. silvestrem musam,
a woodland strain.' Cp. Lucr. iv. 589 fistula silvestrem ne cesset fundere Musam. meditaris, “compose,' 'practise.' tenui, slender.'