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Immolat, et poenam scelerato ex sanguine sumit.'
952. The reader's imagination is left to complete the sequel—the marriage of Aeneas, and the founding of Lavinium, with which the poem is introduced. The action of the last six Books, narrating the settlement of the Trojans in Italy, occupies a period of ab twenty days.
GEORGICON = Tewgyixã, the genitive plural in the Greek form, is derived
from yewgyizós, ' agricultural.' This work treats of the various departments of farming, and is divided into four Books. The subject of the First Book, generally, is the cultivation of the soil for the growth of crops. More particularly, it contains an introduction, addressed to Virgil's patron, Maecenas, stating the nature of the whole work, 1-5; then an invocation to Sol, Luna, Liber, Ceres, the Fauns, the Dryads, Neptune, Aristaeus, Pan, Minerva, Triptolemus, Silvanus, and all the rural deities, along with Augustus Caesar, 5-42. Virgil then discusses the proper time and mode of ploughing and manuring, with reference to season, soil, fallow, succession of crops, irrigation, feeding-down, and draining, 43-117. In connection with the trouble necessary to protect the soil from mischievous animals and plants, labour and invention are spoken of as the result of Jupiter's succession to the throne of heaven, 118-159. The instruments of agriculture are described, 160-175. Miscellaneous directions-regarding the thrashing-floor, 176-186; indications of a heavy or a light crop, 187-192 ; the medicating and choice of seed, 193-203, are then given. The proper time for sowing is next taken up, 204-230. The sun's annual course, and the zodiac, 231-256. The four seasons. What should the farmer do in time of rain ? 257-267; on holy days ? 268-275. The moon's influence on certain days is treated of, 276-286. Some things are better done at night, some in the heat of the day, and some in winter, 287-310. Next follows a description of the havoc made by an autumnal storm, 311-334. Therefore we must watch the weather, and worship the gods, 335-350. The poet then dwells on the prognostics that foretell winds, 351-369; rain, 370-392; clear weather, 393-423; on prognostics derivable from the moon, 424-437; from the sun, 438-466. And he concludes with a splendid passage on the prodigies which prognosticated the civil war that followed the death of Julius Caesar,
466-497, and a prayer for the preservation of Augustus, 498-514. Thomson's Seasons furnish the best imitation, in our language, of
passages in the Georgics.
AD C. CILNIUM MAECENATEM.
Quid faciat laetas segetes, quo sidere terram
1-5. Introduction, stating the object of the whole work-tillage, planting, grazing, and keeping of bees. The gradation is very naturalfrom grasses and leguminous plants to trees; thence to animals ; terminating with those social insects which approach, by their instinct, nearest to man.-1. Faciat. As the precepts are somewhat hypothetical, the potential, 'may make,' is best suited to a didactic work. Laetas segetes, “joyous (= fruitful) corn-fields:' cf. Cic. de Or. 3, 38 : laetas segetes etiam rustici dicunt. On comparing laetamen, 'manure, we may perhaps infer that the original sense of the adjective was 'fruitful, abundant.' Quo sidere, 'under what constellation,' at what time:' the rural labours of the ancients, as we shall see, were regulated by the rising and setting of the Pleiades and other constellations.--2. Vertere, sc. aratro. Cf. Hor. S. 1, 1, 28. Maecenas, at whose request Virgil composed this poem. Ulmisque, &c. The ancients trained their vines along trees, as they thought the quality of the fruit was injured by stages. For this purpose, the elm was the favourite tree. The poet here, though mentioning the vine only, alludes to the culture of trees in general.-3. Cultus, 'care,''attention,' is merely a variety of expression, being almost = cura preceding. Habendo pecori, for keeping small cattle ;' habendo being the dative of the gerund: Zumpt, $ 664. It is not easy to discriminate between pecus (gen. pecoris) and pecus (gen. pecŭdis); but like our word cattle,' the former seems rather to include a herd or number of the same kind; the latter, like 'beast,' to designate the individual. This distinction, however, is not strictly adhered to by the ancient classic authors. Of small cattle, sheep, goats, swine, pecus is most frequently used; armentum of large cattle, oxen, asses, horses.-4. Apibus, sc. habendis. Experientia, experience,' sc. of the bee-master: another variety of expression for cura. Parcis (construed with apibus), thrifty,''frugal.' Some manuscripts read parvis; and one paucis, joining it with the following words; but Servius and Voss read and explain as we have done. Wagner, and his close adherent, Forbiger, however, interpret purcis, “ few,' scanty,' and say that it expresses the difficulty of keeping up, and still more of increasing, the stocks of bees.-5. Hinc = ex his or horum partem ; the language of modesty. Vos. Having set forth the argument of his poem, he now (verses 5-24) proceeds to invoke the deities who presided over the subjects of his work. 6. Lumina, sc. Sol et Luna. Labentem, 'gliding,' beautifully expresses
Liber et alma Ceres, vestro si munere tellus
the noiseless pace of time.—7. Liber et alma Ceres. As these two deities were the joint givers of increase to the earth, and had a common temple at Rome, they are invoked together. Vestro si munere,
since by your bounty' (that is, the knowledge of tillage and the culture of the vine) men exchanged mast and acorns for corn, as their food; and water, for wine and water, as their drink. Si = quum or quod, causal. By tellus is meant the early race of men.-8. Chaoniam glandem, “Chaonian mast,' such as grew in the woods of Epirus around Dodona, which was the primitive seat of the human race, according to the Greek legend. See note on Ecl. 9, 13. By the words glans and Bánovos the ancients designated not only the acorns of the various species of oak, but also the beech, mast, &c. Pingui arista, large, rich grains of corn.' Arista, the awn, is here put for the grain or the ear.-9. Pocula Acheloïa, their cups of water.' Acheloüs, the river flowing between Aetolia and Acarnania in Greece, is often used by the poets for water in general.-10. Praesentia, 'propitious.' Cf. Ec, 1, 42. Fauni. See note on Ecl. 6, 27.-11. Ferte pedem, 'approach. Cf. our phrase, “bear a hand;' that is, come, help.–12. Munera vestra. Here vestra refers to all the deities named. The trees, with their fruits, seem to be the gifts of the Fauns and Dryads. Tuque, &c. The poet now proceeds to the deities presiding over the subjects of the Third and Fourth Books. The assigning of the production of the horse to Neptune refers to the legend of his having produced the first horse by one stroke of his trident in Thessaly. Prima tellus for tellus primum. Cf. Ed. 1,45.–13. Fudit, ' teemed,'as Milton expresses it in Par. Lost, 7, 454. The passage which was perhaps in Virgil's mind was Tempore quo primum tellus animalia fudit, Lucr. 5, 915.- 14. Cultor nemorum, ‘inhabitant of the woods.' Aristaeus, the son of Apollo and Cyrene, the teacher of the art of keeping bees. See G. 4, 315. Cui, 'through whom,' under whose (protecting care three hundred snow-white steers browse upon the rich pastures of Cea). Cea or Ceos was one of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, where Aristaeus was greatly honoured.-15. Ter centum, a definite for an indefinite number.—16. Ipse, “thou thyself,' as being of greater importance than Aristaeus. Pan was the great god of Arcadia, in which were the mountains of Lycaeus and Maenalus, and the town of Tegea, from which he is here named. Cf. Ed. 8, 22; and 10, 55.17. Tua si tibi (sc. sunt), “if thou carest for thy Maenalus;' that is, its pastures, and the flocks that graze upon them. Maenalus, i, m., or,
Adsis, O Tegeaee, favens, oleaeque Minerva
Maenala, orum, n. pl.–18. Tegeaee, 'god of Tegea.' Pan was thus named from Tegea, a city of Arcadia, where he was worshipped with peculiar honours. It lay in an easterly direction from the southern part of the range of Maenalus. Oleae. He passes from Arcadia to Attica, whose patron goddess, Minerva or Athēne, gave mankind the
olive,' and whence the art of husbandry was spread by Triptolemus.--19. Unci, crooked,' curved.' It is strange that none of the rural writers has left us a description of the (aratrum) plough. Varro (De L. L. 5, 135) has given us the names of the different parts of which it was composed; so has Virgil in this Book (verse 169, &c.); and Hesiod ("Egy. 427) has also left us a description of the ancient Grecian plough. The principal parts of the plough which these authors mention are the buris, temo, stiva, culter (5), dentalia, and vomis (6), which pertain to all ploughs; and the aures (7), which were put on in sowing-time. This cut, though small, will best familiarise the pupil with these parts of this important instrument. The buris (2), or beam,' was usually curved, with its convex side uppermost; to the lower end of it was fastened, by a pin or cord, the temo (3), or pole which went between the oxen, having at its end the jugum, or yoke, to which they were attached. The one end of the buris turned down to the ground, and had fastened horizontally to it the dentalia (4), parts of which went on each side of the buris. The dentalia ran to a point; in the ruder ploughs, they were without any protecting covering; in others, they were plated with iron; in others, fitted with a movable share. The stiva (1), or handle, was generally mortised into the buris, at a small angle or vertically; in some cases, it and the buris formed one piece, and the temo was mortised into it or fastened to it. Puer. In the legend, Triptolemus is represented as quite a youth.—20. Teneram cupressum. Silvanus, the Italian deity, guardian of cattle and boundaries, was usually represented bearing a ‘young cypress plant.' Ab radice = radicitus, plucked up from the root, root and all. Forbiger, less naturally, would connect ab radice with teneram, and render: 'all tender, root and all.' The former more obvious interpretation is preferable.-22. Non ullo semine, spontaneous.' Novas fruges, 'the new (that is, young) plants.' Cf. G. 2, 10, &c.; and Ov. Met. 1, 108. Fruges is here a general term for the productions of the earth. 23. Satis largum imbrem, 'copious rain on the sown corn.' With satis supply frumentis, as in G. 3, 176.–24. Tuque adeo, &c., and thou too,