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Flammarumque globos liquefactaque volvere saxa!
490 Nec fuit indignum superis, bis sanguine nostro Emathiam et latos Haemi pinguescere campos.
Scilicet et tempus veniet, quum finibus illis 473. Liquefacta saxa, lava.' — 477. Simulacra, “the shades of the departed,'' spectres,' modis pallentia miris, 'ghastly pale.'-478. Pecudes, cattle,' 'oxen.' This and the following prodigies are often spoken of by Livy.--479. Sistunt (sc. se): observe the change to the present tense, thus rendering the description more graphic. Dehiscunt. Ovid mentions an earthquake at Rome about this time.-481. Proluit, • washed away.' In the next verse, fluviorum refers to Italian rivers only. By pronouncing io in fluviorum as yo, the anapest becomes a spondee; but the irregularity adds beauty to the verse in describing the overflowing torrent. 484. The exta were the heart, lungs, and liver, especially the last. The extremity of any one of these was called fibra.-488. Cometae. Fiery meteors are said to have occurred about this time; but the poet seems especially to refer to the star or comet that appeared for seven days after the death of Caesar, and was believed by the vulgar to be the soul of Caesar converted by Venus into a blazing star !-489. Ergo, “therefore,' marks the conclusion to which all these omens tended- -a civil war.-490. Philippi. Pharsalia had seen the previous civil war; and Philippi now beheld the second meeting in this intestine conflict.--492. Emathiam. Emathia was the ancient name of Macedonia. In Virgil's application of it, however, it embraced Thessaly and part of Thrace. Hence • Emathia and the broad plains of Haemus,' are the same as Thessaly, Macedonia, and Thrace. Pharsalia was in Thessaly, and Philippi in Thrace, hence the language in the text. Haemi campos means the country of Thrace ; for the ridge of Haemus formed the northern boundary of Thrace.493. Scilicet-veniet, 'doubtless, too, the time shall come.' Finibus =
Agricola, incurvo terram molitus aratro,
terris.--494. Molitus = moliens, 'while turning up;' or perhaps better to take molitus in its proper sense, as he must have turned up the earth before he could see what it contained.--497. Grandia ossa. This is in accordance with the popular belief that our race is in a progressive state of degeneracy.--498. Indigetes, deified heroes, such as Aeneas and Romulus. By a species of epexegesis, the poet mentions one of each class ; namely, Vesta and Quirinus. In these cases, the first of the single particular instances is always joined by a copula to the general denomination. Cf. A. 5, 240 ; 6, 831 ; 8, 698; &c.499. Tuscum, Tuscan,' because it bounded Etruria, from its source to its mouth. Palatia, the Palatine Hill,' at the foot of which was the temple of Vesta, and on which Caesar resided. According to the fable, Romulus laid the foundation of Rome on this hill. Hence the Roman Palatium became identical in poetry with all that was glorions in the past and present annals of Rome. -500. Hunc saltem juvenem,
this youthful hero at least; alluding to Augustus, who was now about twenty-seven years of age. Everso, ruined.'-502. Laomedonteue Trojae,
Laomedontean Troy; alluding to Laomedon's refusal to keep his plighted faith with Apollo and Neptune, after they had built the walls of his city. The meaning is : we have already suffered sufficiently for the sins of our fathers, as well as for our own. Do not further punish us by taking away our Augustus, who can alone restore our ruined affairs. --503. Nobis te invidet, envies (has envied) us the possession of thee.' Observe the force of jam pridem, ' long since,' in converting the present into the perfect in our idiom. The same remark holds in respect to luimus in verse 502.-504. Triumphos, “honours,' for he had not yet celebrated a triumph.-505. Ubi apud quos ; that is, homines; or = hic, ‘here.' Tot bella (sc. sunt) per orbem.-506. Tam multae scelerum facies, .so numerous are the aspects of guilt.'—508. Conflantur, are 'forged.?—509. Hinc, &c.; alluding to the Parthians and other Eastern nations combined with them, against whom Antony was carrying on war. Illinc Germania ; alluding to the revolt of the Germanic and
Vicinae ruptis inter se legibus urbes
Gallic tribes, which had just been quelled by Agrippa, though poetically represented as still existing. -512. Carceribus, the barriers,' from behind which the chariots started.—513. Addunt in spatia, they add round to round' (read of the Circus in the Classical Dictionary)
- spatia spatiis addunt.-514. Audit, obeys.' "To hear’ is often used in all classical languages for 'to obey.'
The Second Book of the Georgics is occupied with the culture of
trees, particularly of the vine. Virgil first of all states the subject, invoking Bacchus, 1-8. He then treats of the various modes in which trees are naturally produced: spontaneously, 9-13; from seed, 14-16 ; from suckers, 17-21. He then shews the artificial methods of propagating trees: from suckers, 22-24 ; sets, 24, 25; layers, 26, 27 ; cuttings, 28, 29; pieces of dry trunk, 30, 31; ingrafting, 32-34. Addressing farmers, and asking the approval of Maecenas, he inculcates industry and attention to the best modes of improving and cultivating trees, 35-46. Trees spontaneously produced may be improved by ingrafting, transplanting, and culture, 47-52. Trees naturally produced from suckers must be transplanted into the open fields, 53-56. Trees naturally produced from seed must be trenched and otherwise reclaimed, 57-62. Of trees artificially propagated, certain methods are best adapted for different trees, 63-68. Different fruit-trees are best adapted for being ingrafted on certain others, 69-72. Inoculating is described, 73-77; and ingrafting, 78-82. There are different species of the same kinds of tree, 83-88 ; especially of vines, 89-108. Trees are adapted to their situation, 109-113; this is illustrated by the products of distant climes, 114-135. This introduces the praises of Italy, 136-176. Different soils, too, have different capabilities : one is best suited for the olive, 177-183; another for the vine, 184-194; another for pastures, 195-202. Difference between a productive and an unproductive soil, 203-225. Rules are given to distinguish soils, 226-258. Directions regarding the planting of vines : as to the preparation of the ground, 259-264 ; as to the cuttings, 265-272; and as to the mode of planting, 273-287. Various instructions and warnings are given, 288-314. He then shews the best season for planting, and gives a glowing description of spring, 315-345. Then follow directions as to the proper steps to be taken during and after planting, 346-357; and as to props, 358-362; and pruning, 363-370. Then is a list of evils to be guarded against, 371-379; especially the attack of the goat, 380-396. Vineyards need constant attention all the year round, 397-419. Olives, 420-425; fruit-trees, 426-428 ; demand little or no attention. Neither do other trees, which, from their beauty and their usefulness, should be extensively planted, 429-453; they even surpass the vine, which is often injurious in its effects, 454-457. This detail of the various advantages derived from planting, leads to a splendid eulogium on rural life, 458-542.
HACTENUS arvorum cultus et sidera coeli;
Principio arboribus varia est natura creandis.
1. Hactenus, sc. cecini, 'thus far have I sung.' This verse is a brief recapitulation of the First Book. With equal brevity, the poet states the subject of this Book: vines, forest-trees, fruit-trees, but the olive in particular.—2. Silvestria virgulta, the young forest-trees.' These are here mentioned, because they were planted out in vineyards, as stages for the vines to creep along. The elm, poplar, and ash were especially used for this purpose.-4. Lenaee, god of the wine-press,' from anyós, ' a wine-press.'-5. Tibi, 'for thee;' that is, for thy honour. The reference in pampineo auctumno, viny autumn,' is to the period of the vintage.—7. Nudata crura refers to the still prevalent custom of treading out the grapes with the feet.-8. Cothurnis. Bacchus is often represented with rich • buskins.'
9. Principio. Several methods of producing trees are first mentioned by Virgil. In three ways they are produced without culture: spontaneously, by seeds, and by suckers from the parent stock. Arboribus varia est; that is, the natural origin of trees is various. This natural origin is opposed to the artificial modes mentioned further on at verse 22, et seq.-11. Sponte sua, "of their own accord;' that is, by unassisted nature. The spontaneous generation of plants is a doctrine now exploded, though very ancient.–12. Molle siler, the soft ozier,' the salix vitellina of Linnæus. Lentae genestae, “the pliant broom. This plant is the species called Spanish broom, which is found
Populus et glauca canentia fronde salicta ;
Sunt alii, quos ipse via sibi reperit usus.
25 Silvarumque aliae pressos propaginis arcus
in abundance in most parts of Italy.-13. Glaucā canentia fronde,' white (beneath) with leaf of bluish-green (above).' This description of the willow is beautifully accurate—the leaves are of a bluish-green above, while the under part is covered with a white down. Salicta = salices : the willow-beds for the trees themselves. Cf. Ecl. 1, 55.-14. Posito de semine, “from seed deposited by the parent tree itself;' that is, from seed that has fallen from the parent tree on the ground.15. Nemorum arborum ; so silvarum = arborum in verses 21 and 26. The aesculus belongs to the quercus or oak-family, but the particular kind meant here is altogether doubtful: Martyn is in favour of the bay-oak.-16. Habitae Graiis oracula, 'deemed oracular by the Greeks ;' alluding to the sacred oaks at Dodona, which were fabled to impart oracles.-17. Pullulat densissima silva, "a very thick growth of suckers sprouts forth. Cf. Cato, R. R. 51; and Plin. H. N. 17, 10, 12.18. Ulmis. The' elm' was preferred by the ancients to all other trees as vine standards. Parnasia laurus ; the finest ‘bays' grew on Par
As Delphi, the seat of the celebrated oracle of Apollo, was situated on the slope of Mount rpassus, there is a double allusion in the epithet Parnasia.-19. Se subjicit, rears its head.'-21. Silvarum, nemorum: cf. the note on verse 15. Fruticum is the name given to shrubs which do not rise into one clean stem, but break into a number of small suckers.
22. Sunt alii (sc. modi arborum creandarum), “there are other (modes of producing trees).' Having mentioned the ways in which plants naturally
propagate their species, the poet now proceeds to enumerate the artificial methods of effecting their propagation. These are suckers, settings, layers, cuttings, splittings of the parent trunk, and grafting. Quos—usus, ' which experience itself has discovered in the course (of improvement).'—23. Plantas, “suckers.' Abscindens, ' plucking away. The suckers are pulled away or up, not cut, as the common reading abscădens would signify.—26. Silvarum = arborum : cf. verse 15. Pres propaginis arcus,
'the bent arches of a layer.' Layers ar technically called propagines. Propagatio is used by the Roman agricultural writers exclusively in the sense of raising by layers, which is