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Non ego te, Dis et mensis accepta secundis,
Nec vero terrae ferre omnes omnia possunt.
101. Non ego te transierim, 'I do not think I will pass these over in silence.' Here, again, we have the perf. subj. as a softened future. Dis et mensis secundis, to the gods and second courses.' The second courses consisted of fruits, and libations were then accustomed to be poured out to the gods. Hence Virgil means that the Rhodian was a favourite wine at desserts, and much used also in libations at such times.102. Bumaste. The Bumastus had its name from its bearing large grapes: Boúpaσтos, SC. äμTEλos. It is also called bumamma and duracina. -105. Libyci aequoris, of the (desert) plain of Libya.' The reference here is to the Libyan plain or African desert, not to the Libyan sea.— 106. Zephyro, by the western blast.'
109. Nec vero, &c. The poet now informs us that different trees and plants require different soils. Omnia, sc. genera arborum.—110. Fluminibus = ad flumina, about rivers.'-113. Aquilonem, a northerly exposure.'-114. Aspice-orbem; that is, behold also the most distant parts of the cultivated globe.-116. We are now informed that different countries are distinguished from one another by the trees they produce. India. In this poetical geography of our author, the Arabians are ranked among the Indi.-117. Ebenum. Virgil has been accused of mistake in saying that India alone produces ebony.' The whole difficulty to such accusers arises from their forgetting the looseness of his use of the term India. He, however, in this merely follows Theophrastus, who says that ebony is peculiar to that country. His words are: "Ιδιον καὶ ἐξένη χώρας ταύτης. After all, however, there are several trees that yield this wood, but all of the genus diospyrus; and now that the geographical habitat of plants is better known, the ancients must have derived their ebony from India, or Ceylon, or Madagascar, for no species of diospyrus has yet been found by botanists in Upper Egypt or in Abyssinia, though some may be found, as the climate is well suited to their existence. Solis-Sabaeis, 'the Sabaei
Quid tibi odorato referam sudantia ligno
Et gens illa quidem sumptis non tarda pharetris.
alone have their frankincense-plant.' Cf. G. 1, 57.-118. Sudantia, 'exuding.'-119. Balsama. The reference is to the gum of the Amyris opobalsamum, or balm of Gilead.' This gum is produced by two shrubs which grow in Arabia. So plentiful are these shrubs along the south coast, along the Strait of Babelmandeb, that they are the only kind of firewood used by the inhabitants.-120. The allusion is to the cotton-plant; the term Aethiopum, however, must be taken in a very general sense.-121. Velleraque-Seres, and how the Seres comb the thin fleeces from the leaves.' The Seres were a people of Asia, either identical with the Chinese or bordering upon them. The allusion here is to silk, with which they furnished the nations of the west. The popular belief among the ancients was, that silk was a kind of down gathered from the leaves of trees (Plin. N. H. 6, 17). Aristotle, however, for his time, gives a surprisingly accurate account of the production of silk (Hist. An. 5, 19).—123. Extremi sinus orbis, 'the curvature of the extremity of the world.' As Voss remarks, sinus here does not denote a gulf or bay, but the swelling out or bending forth of the earth, in accordance with the current ideas of the shape of the land in that quarter of the world. Sinus is found in the same sense in Hor. Epod. 1, 13; Tac. An. 4, 5; Germ. 29; Plin. 6, 88. Ubi-sagittae, 'where no arrows can in flight out-top the loftiest summit of the tree :' and yet that nation handling the quiver are expert. This is not merely a poetic fiction in reference to the loftiness of trees in India, for even Pliny himself (H. N. 7, 2) makes the same statement as Virgil. --125. Et-pharetris. Several eminent commentators suspect this verse of being spurious, on account of the epithet tardus occurring in the next verse. But were this to hold good, we must cast out as spurious also A. 1, 504 (medios-media); 5, 780 (pectore--pectus); G. 1, 301 (curant-curas).-127. Felicis mali; this is the citron,' the fruit of the citrus Medica; it is called felix on account of its salubrious' qualities, in effecting cures in cases of poisoning. The tristes succos (bitter juices) are those of the rind merely. The poet alludes to the tonic action of the citron acid (Fée and Martyn). Praesentius, more instantly efficacious.'-129. This verse is an interpolation from G. 3, 283. As referring to love-potions, it is quite irrelevant here. 130. Agit, ' expels.'
Ipsa ingens arbos faciemque simillima lauro;
131. Faciem, in general appearance,' ' in look.”—135. With illo supply malo.
136-139. Virgil having spoken of the remarkable foreign trees, now makes a beautiful digression in praise of Italy. Silvae ditissima, 'richest in forest.'-139. Panchaïa was a fabulous island in the Indian Ocean, which Euheměrus pretended to have discovered. The poet evidently refers to Arabia Felix, though he borrows the name from Euheměrus.-140-144. Haec loca, &c. The meaning intended to be conveyed by these five verses is: that Italy is a land no less rich and fertile than Cholcis, and yet is exempt from those monsters which have rendered that region so peculiarly ill famed. The allusion in verse 140 is to the story of Jason and the Argonautic expedition.141. Invertere, have upturned (with the plough).'-144. Tenent possident.-145. Hinc, hence;' that is, from this land,' comes the war-horse that proudly rushes into the battle.-146. Albi greges, thy 'white herds.' The white cattle from this district of Umbria, along the banks of the Clitumnus, a tributary of the Tiber, were of a milkwhite hue, and were selected as victims in the celebration of the Roman triumphs. Maxima victima, 'greatest of victims,' as being the largest victim offered, or as being offered on the occasion of a triumph. -147. Perfusi, alluding probably to the idea of their colour being affected by the water of the stream.-148. Templa deûm; that is, the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill, with its two additional shrines or temples of Minerva and Juno. Duxere. The bulls are here poetically said to lead the triumph itself, though they were only led before the triumphal chariot.-149. Alienis mensibus, in months not
At rabidae tigres absunt et saeva leonum
An mare, quod supra, memorem, quodque alluit infra?
Atque indignatum magnis stridoribus aequor,
Tyrrhenusque fretis immittitur aestus Avernis?
Haec genus acre virum, Marsos, pubemque Sabellam,
its own; that is, when winter reigns elsewhere.-151. At, but' (what is far more), Italy enjoys the fecundity and fertility of warm climates without their general evils-lions, tigers, serpents, poisons.— 152. Aconita. The plural of a particular kind of poison is here used for poisonous herbs in general. Servius thinks that Virgil's meaning is, that wolf's-bane' is too well known in Italy to be gathered by mistake; while more recent commentators say that his meaning is, that the plant is rare in Italy as compared with other countries, especially with Pontus, where it is indigenous.-153. Tanto tractu,' of so great a length' (as in other countries).-154. Spiram = orbem.155. Operum laborem, stupendous works.-156. Congesta-saxis, piled by the hand (of man) upon precipitous rocks.' These are the hillcities' of Italy, now generally believed to have been of Pelasgic or Etruscan origin.-158. Mare. The two seas alluded to here are the Mare Superum or Adriatic, and the Mare Inferum or Tyrrhene Sea. Alluit, laves its shores.'-159. Lari. The Larius is now Lago di Como. It is the longest' (muxime) of the Italian lakes.-160. Assurgens. The allusion is to the sudden and violent storms to which this lake is subject.-161. The allusion is to the famous Portus Julius, so called in honour of Augustus, and constructed by Agrippa under his orders.162. Indignatum, giving vent to its indignation,' at being excluded.— 165. Argenti. In the poet's time, the working of mines in Italy was prohibited, and had been so, even long before, by an express decree of the senate (Plin. H. N. 3, 20, 24; and 33, 4, 21, &c.).—167. Genus acre viram, a warlike race of inhabitants.' Pubem Sabellam, the Sabellian youth,' meaning the Samnites especially.-168. Assuetum malo, accustomed to privation.' The soil of Liguria was poor and stony, and inured them to hardship. Verutos, armed with a veru' (or spit-like spear), which was used by the Volsci and Samnites, and from them adopted
Extulit; haec Decios, Marios, magnosque Camillos,
Salve, magna parens frugum, Saturnia tellus,
by the Romans. Its shaft was three feet and a half long, its point five inches.-169. Decios, &c. All these names are famous in Roman story. -170. Scipiadas, the Greek form for Scipionides. Maxime, 'greatest of all.'-171. Extremis Asiae in oris. After the reduction of Egypt, Octavianus, on his return by land through Syria and Asia Minor (724-5 a. u. c.), visited the eastern frontier, and then received an embassy from Phrahates the king of Parthia (Dio Cassius, 51, 8).-172. Imbellem -Indum, art driving away the humbled Indian from the towers of Rome.' By Indum are here meant the Parthians and other nations of the remote East, who had furnished auxiliaries to Antony for the battle of Actium. Cf. A. 4, 234.-173. Frugum, 'of fertility.' Saturnia; in allusion to the fabled residence of Saturn in Latium after he had been expelled from the skies.-174. Magna virum, mighty (mother) of (a race) of heroes;' supply parens. Tibi, for thee; that is, in honour of thee, for thy advantage. Res antiquae laudis et artis, themes of ancient praise and skill; that is, agriculture, which had been practised and held in esteem from the earliest times.-175. Sanctos recludere fontes, to open up the hallowed fountains;' that is, to be the first Roman who has ventured to draw poetic inspiration from such a source.-176. Ascraeumque cano, and for thee do I sing the Ascrean song throughout the Roman towns; that is, and in this do I follow the example of Hesiod, the bard of Ascra, who went from town to town of his native land singing the song of agriculture, and inculcating its precepts through the medium of verse.
177. The poet now treats of the various kinds of soils, and their uses. Nunc-ingeniis, now is the place for the native characters of soils; that is, now is the time or place to treat of the nature of different soils. The soils appropriate to olives, vines, corn, and pasture are treated of. Robora, strength,' productive power.'-179. Difficiles, ungenerous,' 'stubborn.' Maligni, barren.'-180. Tenuis argilla, 'a hungry clay. Argilla is 'potter's clay,' which Columella says is as hungry as sand.-181. Palladia-olivae, rejoice in Minerva's grove of long-lived olive; that is, are best adapted to produce the longlived olive, the tree of the goddess Pallas. Hilly, stony ground is considered the best for the olive.