When Erysichthon, son of Triopas, persisted in felling trees in a grove sacred to Demeter the goddess inflicted on him an insatiable appetite, the consequences of which are brilliantly recounted by Callimachus in his sixth Hymn. Among them is a vain appeal from Triopas to his father Poseidon either to cure or else to feed his grandson, who has devoured the mules, the heifer which his mother was rearing for sacrifice, the racehorse, and the charger.
Li. 263 and 264 have been much vexed, and a string of conjectures will be found in Wecklein's appendix. All of them produce roughly the same meaning–‘it is useless to enquire into the future, which is bound to be disastrous.’.
‘The populace,’ says Menelaus, ‘when roused to anger, is difficult to deal with; but if when it rages one slacks the sheet, watching an opportunity, the storm may blow itself out. And when it moderates its blasts, one may easily win one's will of it. It is capable of pity and nobility, qualities most precious to one who bides his time.’.
In the course of his dispute with Conington on the comparative merits of Catullus and Horace, Munro taxed the Augustans with having made the lyric of the heart impossible in Latin by their virtual exclusion of diminutives from the language of poetry; and, whether that is the result or no, the general fact that diminutives are rare in the serious poetry of the Augustan age is well known. The details, however, are less easy to come by. Stolz and Stolz-Schmalz devote (...) a few unilluminating lines to the Stilistik of diminutives: otherwise the grammars and the treatises on diminutives known to me concern themselves only with forms and meanings. Except for a note by Professor Housman which, at 4. 927, sets out Manilius's diminutives, I know of no collections for any Augustan poet, and it is perhaps worth while therefore to state the facts. I have not indeed read through Augustan poetry for the purpose, but for some time past I have been in the habit of noting such diminutives as I have come across in the course of reading, and these lists I have now checked and amplified from the indexes to the authors concerned. My lists are probably not complete, but I hope they are sufficiently near it to present a true picture of the position. (shrink)
The poem to which Callierges attached the title Hρακλσ ΛεοντοφῸνοσ from the narrative which occupies its last hundred lines falls into three sections, of which two have still, and all no doubt had originally, separate titles. In the first Herakles is found in conversation with a rustic who describes to him the estates of Augeias and accompanies him in search of that king. In the second the hero, in attendance on Augeias and his son Phyleus, inspects the royal flocks and (...) herds as they return at night to their folds and byres, and astonishes the spectators by the ease with which he repels the attack of a mighty bull. In the third Herakles and Phyleus are discovered on their way to the neighbouring town. Phyleus has heard from an Achaean stranger some account of the death of the Nemean lion, suspects that its slayer may have been his companion, and questions him. Herakles in reply tells the story. The poem exhibits the same conception of epic narrative as is seen in the authentic works of Theocritus. There is the eye for landscape and the attention to setting conspicuous in Id. 13 and in Part 2 of Id. 22: the keying down of the miraculous and heroic conspicuous in Id. 24: the easy command and constant memory of Homer which is in T. not confined to epic subjects. There is, too, at leaste point of contact with Callimachus. Part 1, as has been said, is occupied by a conversation between a friendly rustic and Herakles, who, we must suppose, is seeking Augeias in order to clean out his cattle-byres. We know next to nothing of what passed in the Hekale of Calhmachus between that heroine and Theseus on his way to deal with the bull of Marathon, and nothing of what passed in the Aetia between Molorchos and Herakles on his way to kill the lion of Nemea; but both Hekale and Molorchos were treated as poor countryfolk who befriend a hero bound on a heroic mission, and, whatever may have been the divergences of handling, the agreement between the two poets in this far from obvious method of attacking an epic theme is noteworthy. (shrink)