This book provides the first general account of the works of the Latin writer Apuleius, most famous for his great novel the `Metamorphoses' or `Golden Ass'. Living in second-century North Africa, Apuleius was more than an author; he was an orator and professional intellectual, Platonist philosopher, extraordinary stylist, relentless self-promoter, as well as a versatile author of a remarkably diverse body of other work, much of which is lost to us.
I quote Griffiths' translation: ‘A crown of many designs with all kinds of flowers had girt her lofty head; in its centre a flat disk above the forehead shone with a clear light in the manner of a mirror or indeed the moon, while on its right and left it was embraced by coils of uprising snakes; from above it was adorned also with outstretched ears of corn’. This is the detailed description of the crown worn by Isis in her (...) epiphany to Lucius at Cenchreae. ‘Sulcis’ is strange; it can only refer to the tracks or furrows left by snakes, a notion wholly irrelevant here – we require a noun referring to actual physical parts of the two snakes which border Isis' moon-disk on either side, preferably a reference to their hanging coils – so Griffiths' translation runs ‘on its right and left it was embraced by coils of uprising snakes’, though this does not render his text, which keeps ‘sulcis’. Read ‘spiris’, a word of similar shape to ‘sulcis’; ‘spirae’ is twice used of the coils of snakes by Vergil, at Aen. 2.217 and 12.848; ‘serpentum spiris’ in the latter passage may influence Apuleius’ ‘spiris…viperarum’. The alliteration and assonance of ‘spins’ and ‘spicis’ would be very much in Apuleius' manner as a jingle involving the change of a single consonant between two words – cf. Florida 3 ‘ita Marsyas in poenam cecinit et cecidit’, Apologia 85 ‘acerbiores morsus viventi et videnti offeruntur’ and H. Koziol, Der Stil des L. Apuleius , 204–5. (shrink)
Quid enim? si Daphitae fatum fuit ex equo cadere atque ita perire, ex hocne equo, qui cum equus non esset nomen habebat alienum ? aut Philippus hasne in capulo quadrigulas vitare monebatur? quasi vero capulo sit occisus. Quid autem magnum aut naufragum illum sine nomine in rivo esse lapsum – quamquam huic quidem his scribit in aqua esse pereundum? ne hercule Icadii quidem praedonis video fatum ullum; nihil enim scribit ei praedictum: quid mirum igitur ex spelunca saxum in crura eius (...) incidisse? puto enim, etiam si Icadius tum in spelunca non fuisset, saxum tamen illud casurum fuisse, nam aut nihil est omnino fortuitum aut hoc ipsum potuit evenire fortuna. (shrink)
at ego tibi sermone isto Milesio varias fabulas conseram auresque tuas benivolas lepido susurro permulceam, modo si papyrum Aegyptiam argutia Nilotici calami inscriptam non spreveris inspicere. figuras fortunasque hominum in alias imagines conversas et in se rursum mutuo nexu refectas, ut mireris, exordior. ‘quis ille?’ paucis accipe. Hymettos Attica et Isthmos Ephyrea et Taenaros Spartiatica, glebae felices aeternum libris felicioribus conditae, mea vetus prosapia est; ibi linguam Atthidem primis pueritiae stipendiis merui, mox in urbe Latia advena studiorum Quiritium indigenam sermonem (...) aerumnabili labore nullo magistro praeeunte aggressus excolui. en ecce praefamur veniam, si quid exotici ac forensis sermonis rudis locutor offendero. iam haec equidem ipsa vocis immutatio desultoriae scientiae stilo quern accessimus respondet. fabulam Graecanicam incipimus. lector intende: laetaberis. (shrink)
Euripides, Medea 11–13 :12 πολιτν codd. et Σbv; πολίταις V3, sicut coni. Barnes 13 ατ Sakorrphos; ατή codd. et gE et Stob. 4.23.30In his recent discussion of this passage , Diggle has convincingly argued for πολίταις and ατ, the latter of which he places in his new Oxford text, but recognises that υγ remains highly problematic : ‘The truth, I think, is still to seek’. It is to this last difficulty that I should like to suggest a solution.The problems of (...) υγ are syntactical, as Diggle clearly demonstrates : ‘With which verb is υγ to be constructed?’ Of these νδάνουσα is more likely for position, ίκετο for sense; but the former construction produces an obscurity, the latter an unacceptable hyperbaton. Another complicating element is the juxtaposition υγ πολιτν. it is clearly significant, and by its intervention appears to prevent taking υγ as π κοινο with both verbs, the third possible construction.As a solution I should like to revive a forgotten conjecture of Pierson's, made in his Verisimilia . His υγς πολίταις appears both to solve all the syntactical problems and to give appropriate point to the juxtaposition of ‘exile’ and ‘citizen’. υγάς would then go with νδάνουσα and bear a concessive sense: ‘pleasing, though an exile, the citizens to whose land she came’, a nuance found already in Wecklein's paraphrase of his text υγ πολιτν. ‘Sie gefällt denen, in deren Land sie gekommen ist, obwohl sie die Bürgerschaft als eine fremde, landesflüchtige Person gegenübersteht’. This contrast between citizen and exile and the necessity for the latter to please the former are naturally important themes in the dramatic situation of the Medea — cf. Medea's words at 222 χρ δ ξένον μν κάρτα προσχωρεν πόλει, with Page's note. (shrink)
Epode 10: the Mystery of Mevius' Crime Horace's tenth Epode, an inverse propempticon, calls down dire curses on the head of a man named Mevius as he leaves on a sea-voyage.1 Scholars have naturally been interested in what Mevius had done to merit such treatment, but answers have been difficult to find, for nothing explicit is said on this topic in the poem; as Leo noted, ‘[Horatius] ne verbo quidem tarn gravis odii causam indicat’. This is in direct contrast with (...) the Strasbourg epode usually attributed to Hipponax , which served as Horace's model in this poem; there it is clear that the similar curses on a departing sailor are caused by his breaking of oaths to the poet and betrayal of their previous friendship . One might expect Horace to give some kind of indirect suggestion of the nature of Mevius’ offence, but even this is despaired of by Fraenkel: ‘There is no hint at the sort of crime which Mevius is said to have committed, nor is anything said about the man himself; he remains an entirely shadowy figure’. The best that scholars have been able to do is to follow the ancient commentary of Porphyrio in suggesting that Horace's Mevius is to be identified with the poetaster attacked by Vergil in Ecl. 3.90 ‘qui Bavium non odit, amet tua carmina, Mevi’. Though it is pleasant to think of Vergil and Horace, perhaps by now friends in the circle of Maecenas, ganging up on a luckless hack, there is, as Fraenkel points out, no mention in the tenth Epode that Mevius is a poet, and his literary incompetence, assuming he is Vergil's poet, does not seem to underlie or indeed warrant the bitter imprecations of the poem: Catullus might wish a dire fate on the works of a bad poet , but to long for their author's shipwreck and consumption by gulls might indeed seem excessive. (shrink)
The lack of a separate commentary on the fourth book of Statius' Thebaid has meant that many significant details in this description of Capaneus in the catalogue of the Seven have gone unremarked. This article aims to fill the deficiency, pointing out the rich literary allusions, artful symbolism and the careful use of language in this well written passage.
Epistles 1.20, the last poem of its book, begins with an elaborate joke on the entry of Horace's book of epistles into the world and ends with a well-known σραγς describing the poet himself. It will be argued here that this final poem recalls and subverts the pretensions of two earlier final poems in Horace's own Odes, and that its good-humoured depreciation of Horace himself is matched by a similar attitude towards his previous grand poetic claims as a lyric vates.
The high moral tone of Horace's Reguhls ode makes it unsurprising that the poet should employ the traditional imagery of philosophers, both in the speech of Regulus and in the final simile. I should like here to point out some instances which seem to have escaped the notice of commentators.This passage is intended to illustrate the lost ‘virtus’ of the prisoners in Carthage, who, Regulus claims, will be of no greater use to the Romans if ransomed since they were cowardly (...) enough to surrender in the first place. For the first image of dyeing wool Kiessling–Heinze refer the reader to Lucretius 6.1074–7:purpureusque colos conchyli iungitur unacorpore cum lanae, dirimi qui non queat usquam,non si Neptuni fluctu renovare operam des,non mare si totum velit eluere omnibus undis.This gives the first hint that the image belongs to the philosophical tradition, though it does not seem to occur in the extant remains of Epicurus. This is confirmed by a passage of Plato, who at Rep. 429d ff. has an elaborate image taken from the dyer's art. The Guardians of the ideal city are to be carefully selected and prepared like wool for the dyeing process of education; then, as good wool keeps its colour after dyeing, so the Guardians will keep right opinions when they are taught them. The image is summarized by Socrates at 430a ff. (shrink)
The winning of the ultimate military honour of spolia opima, spoils taken personally from an enemy commander killed by a Roman commander, traditionally occurred only three times in Roman history, the winners being Romulus in the legendary period, A. Cornelius Cossus in either 437 or 426 and M. Claudius Marcellus in 222 B.C.1 The dedication-place of these special spoils was the temple of Jupiter Feretrius on the Capitol, traditionally founded by Romulus for the purpose, and considered the oldest temple in (...) Rome : the god was said to draw his name either from the fact that the spolia opima were carried up to the Capitol by the victorious general in person, or from the fact that the general had to strike down his opposite number before such spoils could be won. (shrink)
In Latin Hexameter Verse, his 1903 manual for composers of Latin hexameters which is still useful as a guide to Vergil's metrical and prosodic practices, S. E. Winbolt states that a hexameter ‘must not end with an adjective preceded by a noun with a similar short ending, e.g.…flumina nota’ unless the adjective is emphatic, ‘i.e. strongly distinctive, predicative or antithetical’. Whether or not his distinction between emphatic and non-emphatic adjectives in this position is wholly workable , Winbolt here rightly detects (...) a strong tendency in Vergil and other Latin poets towards avoiding endings of this general kind, which we can conveniently call the ‘Discordia taetra’ type after one of its earliest and best-known instances in the Annales of Ennius . The rarity of this type of line-ending is clear in Vergil; there are only 16 examples, regardless of whether the adjective is emphatic or not, in the 9890 lines of the Aeneid. Such a select and easily-defined phenomenon might prove a yardstick of some interest in the history of the Latin hexameter, for it seems to raise a number of questions to which the answers would be significant and useful. Is this type of ending avoided equally by all poets? Is there an increasing tendency to avoid it as time goes on? Is it associated with any particular genres of hexameter poetry? Do poets tend to use in it the same words or phrases as their predecessors? To discover the answers, this article will look at the ‘Discordia taetra’ phenomenon in Latin hexameter poetry, defining it as the instance where a noun ending in a short vowel is immediately succeeded by an adjective of similar ending and in agreement at the end of the hexameter, and where such a noun is not a substantivised adjective and such an adjective is neither predicative nor a participle. (shrink)
The information transmitted on the numeration of the books of Petronius' Satyrica is notoriously contradictory. Parts of the extant fragmentary text are variously assigned to Books 14–16: the testimonia are clearly set out in Muller's recent fourth edition , and briefly discussed by Sullivan: of Müller's testimonia, no. 10 places Sat. 89.1 in Book 15, no. 13 puts Sat. 20.5 in Book 14, no. 21 identifies the Cena Trimalchionis as Book 15, and no. 22 suggests that excerpts from Sat. 6–141 (...) and the complete Cena all come from Books 15 and 16. My main purpose here, however, is not to reopen the general question of the numeration or the overall number of the books of the Satyrica. (shrink)
Here Gellius, also the target of poems 74, 80, 89, 90, 91 and 116, is accused of incest with his mother, sister, and aunt. This accusation is coupled with the only extended mythological reference to be found in the group of short Catullan epigrams 69–116:2 not even Tethys or Oceanus can wash out Gellius' crimes. This notion that large bodies of water are unable to wash away the stain of crime is of course a topos going back to Greek tragedy, (...) but the individual naming of the two sea-deities seems to make a point—a literary point which is relevant to the invective of the poem. (shrink)
Sic effata et osculis hiantibus filium diu ac pressule saviata proximas oras reflui litoris petit, plantisque roseis vibrantium fluctuum summo rore calcato ecce iam profundi mans sudo resedit vertice, et ipsum quod incipit velle, set statim, quasi pridem praeceperit, non moratur marinum obsequium: adsunt Nerei filiae chorum canentes et Portunus caerulis barbis hispidus et gravis piscoso sinu Salacia et auriga parvulus delphini Palaemon….
Commentators on this passage have drawn attention to the unusual genitive in the phrase ferox scelerum, ‘fierce in his crimes’: ‘this adj. seems here alone to take an objective genitive’, says Furneaux, while Martin and Woodman state that ‘the dependent genitive of an external attribute, evidently on the analogy of its use with personal characteristics , seems unparalleled and is perhaps intended to suggest that Sejanus' criminality was innate’. Most commentators add a reference to Sallust's description of Jugurtha as sceleribus (...) suis ferox , but that passage is no help as a parallel for the construction, since it gives the ablative usual after ferox in Tacitus and other writers to describe the reason for ferocity. (shrink)
Here in the proem to his fifth book Lucretius is praising the philosophical achievements or discoveries of Epicurus through favourable comparison with other discoveries of traditional heroic or divine figures; first, in this passage, with the products of bread and wine associated with the gods Ceres and Liber , and later with the deeds of the god-hero Hercules. This technique clearly derives from the σγκρισις of formal rhetoric, one of the basic exercises through which composition was taught in ancient schools, (...) and Lucretius begins with ‘confer’, an imperative which has something of a formulaic force in rhetorical comparisons. But it is not the purpose of this note to point out the rhetorical qualities of this passage; Lucretius' treatment of Ceres and Liber has other important literary and philosophical associations, links which have not been noted or explored by scholars. (shrink)