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the recipient of a formal hymn (for the religious formulae see N–H vol.

1, p. 127, below on 3. 21). Its attributes are described in a series of

appositions (5 n.), and an aretalogia follows on its power to cajole wild

nature and soothe the torments of the damned; other sacral features are

the conventional potes (13–14 n.) and the anaphora of tu and tibi (15–

16 n.). Yet for all its solemnity, the invocation derives a whimsical note

from the tortoise-shell’s humble origins.

This light-hearted tone is repeated in the description of Lyde, who is

compared to a frolicsome filly in the erotic language of Anacreon (9 n.).

The secularization of hymns for private purposes can already be seen

in Sappho’s appeal to Aphrodite to restore the affections of a beloved

(1. 15 ff.); closer in mood is Anacreon, PMG 357. 9 f. ồùõùýứ ọ Iêặeũ

êíớồù = óýìâïıºïò, ơ Kìüí ªš Šỉø- = ơš , t ồỹớúồ, ọíữồúặỉ (cf. Cairns,

op. cit. 137). The blandishments of music and poetry in courtship were

also a topic in Augustan elegy; cf. Prop. 1. 7. 5 f., 3. 2. 1 ff. (like Horace,

mentioning Orpheus and Amphion), Tib. 2. 4. 19 ‘ad dominam faciles

aditus per carmina quaero’ (with Murgatroyd), W. Stroh (1971).

In the central lines (25–8) Horace turns to the Danaids, whose crime

takes up the six final stanzas (for this type of conclusion cf. N–H on 1. 7.

21): when coerced by Danaus to marry their cousins, the sons of

Aegyptus, they killed them on the wedding-night; of the fifty sisters

only Hypermestra spared her bridegroom, Lynceus. The tale had been

told in a trilogy by Aeschylus, in which the surviving Supplices must

have been less relevant than the lost Danaids; for theories about the

controversial ending see A. F. Garvie, Aeschylus’ Supplices (1969) and the

commentary by H. F. Johansen and E. W. Whittle (1980), especially vol.

1, pp. 29–55. There was also a legend about unnamed water-carriers in

the underworld, who were compelled to fill a leaky vessel because they

themselves were incomplete (Iơåºå), i.e. uninitiated; cf. Plato, Gorg.

492d (with Dodds), Paus. 10. 31. 9 (on the painting by Polygnotus at

Delphi), E. Keuls, The Water Carriers in Hades, 1974. In the Hellenistic

age the water-carriers were regularly identified with the Danaids

([Plat.] Axioch. 371e); perhaps they were ‘incomplete’ because their

marriage had not been consummated (for various views cf. E. Rohde,

Psyche, appendix 3, Garvie 234 f., Keuls 53). See further Lucr. 3. 1008 ff.,

Apollod. 2. 1. 4–5, RE 4. 2087 ff., LIMC 3. 1. 337 ff., 3. 2. 250 ff.

The myth as presented by Horace is ingeniously linked to the

opening hymn. The power of the lyre is illustrated by various examples,

culminating in the story of how Orpheus in the underworld brought

respite to sinners like the Danaids. Having reached the notorious manhaters in this apparently casual way, Horace uses them as a warning to

Lyde (25–6 n.); at the same time he glorifies Hypermestra, who was

merciful to her man, even at the risk of her own life. This turns out to be

the song by which he hoped to win Lyde’s ear (7 f.). In addition to the



contrast between wild and tame (tigers and lionesses as against filly and

calves) there is a persistent tension between hardness and gentleness:

thus lapides (2), obstinatas (7), duro ferro (31 f.), saevis catenis (45) pull

against amica (6), blandienti (15), mulces (24), mollior (43), clemens (46),

Venus (50). This is enough to show that, although the myth is the most

memorable feature of the poem, the opening section is not just an

introduction prefixed to the story and then forgotten (Fraenkel 190;

cf. F. Klingner, JRS 48, 1958: 175), but rather an integral part of the ode,

explaining why the myth is recounted (Syndikus 2. 117 f., Bradshaw, op.

cit. 164). If this explanation is disregarded, the nature of the ode as a

whole is liable to be misconstrued (see the end of the introduction).

One contemporary representation of the story was to be seen in the

portico in front of Apollo’s Palatine temple: see Prop. 2. 31. 1 ff. ‘quaeris

cur veniam tibi tardior? aurea Phoebi / porticus a magno Caesare aperta

fuit. / tota erat in speciem Poenis digesta columnis / inter quas Danai

femina turba senis’, Ov. am. 2. 2. 3 f., ars 1. 73 f. ‘quaque parare necem

miseris patruelibus ausae / Belides et stricto stat ferus ense pater’, trist. 3.

1. 61 f. ‘signa peregrinis ubi sunt alterna columnis / Belides et stricto

barbarus ense pater’, schol. Pers. 2. 56 ‘Acron tradit quod in porticu

quadam Apollinis Palatini fuerunt L Danaidum effigies, et contra eas

sub divo totidem equestres filiorum Aegypti’ (the presence of the sons is

doubted by many).Three herms of black marble depicting women are

now believed to have come from this site: see L. Balensiefen, MDAI(R)

102, 1995: 189 ff. (with illustrations and bibliography). The monument is

likely to have influenced Horace’s ode, but throws little light on its date.

Propertius 2. 31 implies that the opening of the portico was distinct from

the dedication of the temple in October 28, and the latter part of his

second book is assigned to 26 or 25; cf. Hubbard (1974), 43 f.; but even if

the formal opening was delayed till Augustus’ return from Spain in 24,

the construction could have been completed earlier.

The symbolism is not obvious. One looks for some connection with

Apollo, as in the case of the Gauls’ defeat at Delphi and the destruction

of Niobe and her children—motifs depicted on the temple doors (Prop.

2. 31. 13 f.)—or with Augustus’ victories; for if he did not actually

conceive the design, Augustus certainly sanctioned it (res gest. 19. 1).

According to one view, Danaus is present as an ancestor of Antony’s,

and the murderous Danaids, who came from Egypt, represent the

much-hated forces of Cleopatra as well as symbolizing a hostile attitude

towards marriage; see B. Kellum in The Age of Augustus (ed. R. Winkes),

1985: 173 ff., and especially S. Harrison in Vergil’s Aeneid: Augustan Epic

and Political Context (ed. H.-P. Stahl), 1998: 223 ff. Others think that

they stand for the triumph of civilization in the same conflict (E.Simon,

Augustus. Kunst und Leben in Rom um die Zeitwende, 1986: 19 ff.,

E. Lefe`vre, Das Bild-Programm des Apollo-Tempels auf den Palatin,

1 1 . M ERC V R I , NA M T E D O C I LI S M AG I S T RO


1989: 14 ff.); but this hardly suits the hostile reaction of the Augustan

poets (cf. Virg. Aen. 10. 497. ‘impressumque nefas’). P. Zanker sees a

suggestion of atonement and reconciliation after the fratricidal war

(Citta` e architettura nella Roma imperiale, Analecta Romana Instituti

Danici, suppl. 10, 1983: 27 ff.); but that is not in line with Ovid’s description of Danaus or the triumphalism of the temple as a whole.

K. Galinsky, while in general accepting the more favourable view of

the Danaids, speaks of ‘multilayered inspirations’ and ‘alternative interpretations’ (1996: 222); yet it is easier to see or imagine such ambiguities

in poetry than in a large and prominent work of public sculpture. If the

first hypothesis is preferred (according to Apollodorus 2. 1. 5 and

Hyginus, fab. 170. 3 one of the Danaids was actually called Cleopatra),

a problem still remains: in such monuments victorious killers are usually

celebrated rather than reviled.

In style the poem has some affinities with Greek lyric (Cairns,

op. cit.), for instance in the concluding speech (37 ff.); but it lacks the

amplitude of Pindar and seems closer to the narratives of Sappho and

Ibycus (N–H vol. 1, p. 189, Kroll 239 f.). Unlike Ovid, her. 14, it does not

tell a continuous story, but alludes to what is assumed to be known. The

search for a new way of handling a familiar theme, and the light-hearted

attitude to the myth, are more reminiscent of Callimachus than of early

Greek poetry. The didactic impact of the story would be blunted by the

psychological conflicts that we find in Ovid’s imitation (for which see

H. Jacobson, Ovid’s Heroides, 1974: 124 ff.). The combination of brevity

and sensationalism is paralleled in the Europa-ode (3. 27); perhaps the

influence of declamation, as seen in the elder Seneca, is already at work.

This brings us to the poet’s intention. It has been pointed out that

here, in contrast to 1. 23, Horace gives no overt sign of any personal

interest in the girl; hence Bradshaw suggests that Lyde is a Roman

maiden, and Horace is giving her some kindly avuncular advice about

fidelity in marriage (op. cit. 156, 164, 172). Yet the name Lyde does not

indicate the context of Roman marriage any more than it does in 2. 11. 22

or 3. 28. 3. So, whatever the significance of the monument mentioned

above, here a less serious interpretation is called for, and this is supported at several points by the poet’s tone. In the first section the

magical achievement of Amphion in founding Thebes, and that of

Orpheus in charming the hound of hell, are put on the same level as

the poet’s attempt to seduce an indifferent young girl. When in the

central stanza (25 ff.) Horace refers to the punishment of the wicked

Danaids (‘scelus atque notas / virginum poenas’) he is hinting that their

virginity was part of their offence. In the second part there is an

amusing incongruity in recommending a heroine with a noble literary

pedigree in Aeschylus and Pindar as a role-model to a girl who, like her

predecessor in Anacreon, is behaving like a skittish filly. And when the



poet emphasizes the soft-heartedness of Hypermestra he is suggesting

that Lyde should show the same quality to him (see note on viro in

v. 46). Fraenkel finds in Hypermestra’s speech ‘a dignity of thought and

expression worthy of tragedy’ (197), but it seems nearer the mark to

think of melodrama. And when the story is set in the context of an

attempted seduction, the discrepancy would appear to justify Pasquali’s

verdict on the ode: ‘frivolo scherzo’ (144).

Metre: Sapphic.

1. Mercuri: Hermes was the inventor of the tortoise-shell lyre (1. 10. 6

with N–H, epod. 13. 9, h. Herm. 25 ff., Frazer on Apollod. bibl. 3. 10. 2);

so he could be regarded as a patron of poetry, though less exalted than

Apollo. As the god of persuasion (N–H on 1. 10. 1 facunde), he was a

suitable intermediary in the poet’s courtship of Lyde; cf. N–H on 1. 30. 8,

citing Cornutus, nat. deor. 24 where he is associated with Aphrodite. H

regards him as his protecting deity (N–H vol. 1, pp. 127 f.), who had

rescued him at Philippi (2. 7. 13 f.) even before he became a significant

poet; there was also apparently an astrological connection (2. 17. 29 f.

with N–H). For the god’s name at the very beginning of a hymn cf. 1. 10,

1. 30, Cairns, op. cit. 138 n. 2.

1–2. —nam te docilis magistro / movit Amphion lapides canendo—:

in hymns a god’s past assistance to the suppliant, or as here to others, is

commonly used as a reason for requesting his help (1. 32. 1 with N–H,

Pulleyn 17, 35 f.). In both sacred and secular contexts the reason for the

address can be given in a parenthetic clause following the vocative;

cf. epod. 17. 45, serm. 2. 6. 51 f., Hom. Il. 24. 334 ff. ổỡồòặ, úùd êĩổ ụồ

ỡĩỉúụĩ êồ òụặụỹớ Kúụỉớ = Iớọổd ụặỉổòúúặỉ, Alcaeus 308. 1 f., Virg.

Aen. 1. 65 ‘Aeole, namque tibi’ (with Austin), Ov. met. 1. 2 (with Boămer),

Milton, PL 3. 654 ff. Uriel! for thou . . . ’, J. D. Denniston, The Greek

Particles, 1954: 69, H–Sz 472. For Hermes’ tuition of Amphion cf. Paus.

9. 5. 8 (mentioning a hexameter poem on Europa), Apollod. 3. 5. 5 with

Frazer, Philostr. imag. 1. 10. 1; similarly, Bacchus appears as a musicteacher at 2. 19. 1 f. ‘Bacchum . . . vidi docentem’. docilis, pointedly juxtaposed with magistro, indicates that Amphion was an apt pupil (cf. 4. 6.

43 f. ‘docilis modorum / vatis Horati’); for a word’s insertion in the

middle of an ablative absolute cf. 3. 29. 1–2 n.

Amphion with his brother Zethus built the walls of Thebes (Hom.

Od. 11. 262 f., who gives no details); in other accounts he attracted the

stones by the music of Hermes’ lyre, notably in the Antiope of Euripides;

there Hermes says to him ŒłïíơỈØ äÝ óïØ = ðÝơỉỈØ ơš KỉıìíỈd ìïıóØŒfi ỗé

ỗùýỡồớặỉ = ọíớọổỗ ụồ ỡỗụổeũ Kỉỹớ ọỵỉặ ( J. Diggle, Trag. Graec.

Frag. Selecta, 1998, p. 92, 92 ff. ¼ GLP, p. 68, 86 ff.). The artistic

1 1 . M ERC V R I , NA M T E D O C I LI S M AG I S T RO


Amphion was celebrated in Hellenistic poetry (Ap. Rhod. 1. 740 f.);

a similar source may lie behind Virg. ecl. 2. 24 ‘Amphion Dircaeus

in Actaeo Aracyntho’ (Clausen ad loc. suggests Parthenius); cf. Prop.

3. 15. 42. In epist. 1. 18. 41 f. H takes an unsentimental line, favouring the

practical Zethus; elsewhere he rationalizes Amphion’s song to suggest

the civilizing power of literature (ars 394 ff. with Brink). For the famous

Antiopa of Pacuvius (cf. 5 n.), which was based on Euripides (Cic. fin.

1. 4), cf. M. Valsa, Marcus Pacuvius poe`te tragique, 1957: 10 ff. See further

Sen. Phoen. 566 ff., RE 1. 1944 ff., Pease on Cic. div. 2. 133, Lieberg 37 ff.,

LIMC 1. 854 ff.

Propertius cites the exemplum of Amphion to show the uses of poetry

in courting a woman (3. 2. 5 f. ‘saxa Cithaeronis Thebis agitata per artem

/ sponte sua in muri membra coisse ferunt’); so there may have been a

Hellenistic prototype. H’s movit lapides suggests the persuasion of stony

hearts; cf. Ov. am. 3. 7. 58 ‘surdaque blanditiis saxa movere suis’ and

Fedeli on Prop. 1. 9. 31. canendo could include both music and words

(ars 395 cited above); in the myth of Amphion the former was more

important, with H the latter.

3–4. tuque, testudo, resonare septem / callida nervis: for the bowlshaped lyre, here of tortoise-shell, cf. M. L. West (1992), 56 f.: it was ‘the

ordinary instrument of the non-professional’, and hence appropriate to

the courtship of Lyde. For addresses to the testudo or ÷ݺıò cf. 1. 32. 14,

Sappho 118, Alcaeus 359 L–P. tu marks the change of addressee (cf. Liv.

1. 32. 10 ‘audi, Iuppiter, et tu, Iane Quirine’); from now on the lyre is

invoked rather than Mercury.

For the seven strings cf. Pind. P. 2. 70, N. 5. 24, Eur. Alc. 446 f., West,

op. cit. 62; the substitution of the heptachord for the tetrachord was

usually attributed to Terpander (D. A. Campbell, Greek Lyric 2, 1988:

testimonia 1 and 16, fr. 6), but sometimes to Amphion (Paus. 9. 5. 7, cf.

Philostr. imag. 1. 10. 5. ơe äb ơåïò ›ðơÜðıºïí, ‹óïØ ơBò ºýỉỈò ïƒ ơüíïØ).

callida transfers to the lyre the trickiness of Mercury himself (1. 10. 7);

for the epexegetic infinitive cf. N–H on 1. 1. 8. nervis is probably dative

(cf. serm. 1. 4. 76 ‘suave locus voci resonat conclusus’); the tortoise-shell

acted as a sound-box for the strings.

5. nec loquax olim neque grata: the apposition alludes to the deity’s

origin; cf. N–H on 1. 10. 1 citing Norden (1913), 148. Since Latin does

not distinguish the tortoise from its shell, H was able to conflate the

two; cf. (in a different context) Juv. 11. 94 f. In life the tortoise makes

no significant sound (Arist. hist. anim. 536a7, Pacuvius, Antiopa 2 ff.

R. ‘quadrupes tardigrada agrestis humilis aspera / capite brevi, cervice

anguina, aspectu truci, / eviscerata inanima cum animali sono’), but now

it can talk; for the same antithesis cf. h. Herm. 38 jớ ọb ĩớ ỗũ ụỹụồ Œåí



ỡĩặ ặeớ Iồòọùỉũ, Soph. TrGF 4. F314. 300 (ẳ GLP, pp. 46 ff., vv.

240 ff.), Nicand. alex. 560 f., Manil. 5. 324 ff. ‘nunc surgente Lyra testudinis enatat undis / forma per heredem tantum post fata sonantis . . . ’.

loquax, like ºÜºïò, suggests fluent chatter rather than eloquence. grata

points to a contrast between the prized shell and its ugly inhabitant; so

also Pacuvius, loc. cit.

5–6. nunc et / divitum mensis et amica templis: the contrast between

‘formerly’ and ‘now’ was a common device in ancient literature (cf.

3. 26. 1 n.., Cairns, op. cit. 129 f., 138 n. 3). The most relevant parallels

here are the transformations of one object by craftsmanship into another; cf. serm. 1. 8. 1 ff. ‘olim truncus eram ficulnus, inutile lignum’ with

Fraenkel 121 f., Philippus, anth. Pal. 6. 99, Simmias, 6. 113 (a bow made

from antlers), Crinagoras 6. 229, Fedeli on Prop. 1. 16. 1–5.

The lyre is called comrade of the feast (ọặỉụd . . . ụặòổỗớ) at Hom.

Od. 17. 271, h. Herm. 31; this suits mensis, but in conjunction with temples

amica need mean no more than welcome friend. For music at Roman

banquets cf. Bluămner (1911), 411, Wille 143 ff.; H is not just thinking of

the ‘lays of ancient Rome’ mentioned at 4. 15. 29 ff., Cic. Tusc. 4. 3. For

the lyre at sacrifices cf. Porph. ‘fidicines hodieque Romae sacrificiis

adhiberi videmus’, 1. 36. 1 with N–H, Wille 29 ff. templis does not

quite balance divitum mensis, and deorum must be understood; for a

similar combination of men and gods cf. Varro, rust. 3. 16. 5 (of honey)

‘et deis et hominibus est acceptum’, Virg. georg. 2. 101 (of a grape).

Baehrens proposed caelitum for divitum (cf. 1. 32. 13 f. ‘dapibus supremi

/ grata testudo Iovis’); but then the first et ought to have come before


7–8. dic modos Lyde quibus obstinatas / applicet auris: dic modos suits

both verses and music (3. 4. 1–2 n.). The name Lyde, here in a prominent

position before quibus, has exotic associations (N–H on 2. 11. 22). For

‘bending the ears’ cf. carm. saec. 71 f. (of Diana) ‘votis puerorum amicas /

applicat auris’, Symm. epist. 3. 6. 1. obstinatus sometimes has a good

sense (Liv. 1. 58. 5 ‘obstinatam pudicitiam’), but here Lyde’s obduracy is

not regarded as a merit; as the word implies stiffness, a contrast with

applicet (which suggests bending) is obvious.

9. quae velut latis equa trima campis: in Greek lyric poetry a stanza is

sometimes connected with its predecessor by a relative pronoun; Cairns

(op. cit. 130) cites exempli gratia Alc. 34. 5, Pind.O. 5. 4, 6. 29, 8. 67, 13. 63.

For the comparison of girls with fillies cf. Anacr. PMG 417. 1 Hồ

ăổ ỗòỗ, Ar. Lys. 1308, Lucil. 1041M anne ego te vacuam atque animosam, / Tessalam ut indomitam, frenis subigamque domemque?’,

V. Buchheit, Studien zum Corpus Priapeorum, 1962: 104 n. Horses bred

1 1 . M ERC V R I , NA M T E D O C I LI S M AG I S T RO


for speed need space to exercise (Colum. 6. 27. 2 ‘spatiosa . . . pascua’),

and here the girl has freedom to roam (cf. N–H on 2. 5. 5 f. ‘circa virentis

est animus tuae / campos iuvencae’); contrast the walled garden of the

secluded maiden (Catull. 62. 39 ff., Virg. ecl. 8. 37, Ov. met. 14. 635 f.),

and the medieval figure of the hortus conclusus. Mares were mated at the

age of 2 (Colum. 6. 28. 1) or better 3 (Arist. hist. anim. 6. 575b24).

10. ludit exsultim metuitque tangi: H is echoing Anacreon 417. 5

ºåØìHíÜò ơå âüóŒåỈØ = ùFĩ ụồ úỉổụHúặ ặòổồỉũ (see last note); ludit

implies high-spirited capers but not sexual activity (contrast 2. 5. 8,

3. 15. 12). The drily archaic exsultim is attested only here, but cf. Suet.

Aug. 83 subsultim, Gell. 9. 4. 9 saltatim, which is given as a gloss by

ps.-Acro on our passage; for exsultare of horses cf. Cic. off. 1. 90

‘ferocitate exsultantes’, Nep. Eum. 5. 5, TLL 5. 2. 1948. 16 ff. metuit

indicates not just timidity but actual shying away; there is a sexual

innuendo in tangi (cf. serm. 1. 2. 54 ‘matronam nullam ego tango’, and

the concept of virgo intacta).

11–12. nuptiarum expers et adhuc protervo / cruda marito: expers

means ‘having no part in’; cf. Virg. Aen. 4. 550 with Pease, Stat. Theb.

7. 298 f. ‘expertem thalami crudumque maritis / ignibus’, Musaeus 31

with Kost, TLL 5. 2. 1689. 30 ff. nuptiarum is ambiguous, as it can refer

to sexual experience as well as marriage; cf. Plaut. cist. 43 ‘haec . . . cotidie

viro nubit’, auct. ad Her. 4. 45 ‘cuius mater cottidianis nuptiis delectetur’,

Petr. 26. 3. cruda means ‘unripe’, the opposite of ‘iam matura viro’ (Virg.

Aen. 7. 53); for the combination of imagery from animals and fruit cf.

2. 5. 10, Theoc. 11. 21, Catull. 17. 15 f. protervo suggests aggressive

masculinity; the word can be used of animals (2. 5. 15 implying a piquant

reversal of roles, Ov. met. 14. 63); marito can be used of animal mates

(1. 17. 7 with N–H, 2. 5. 16). The marital connotations of nuptiarum and

marito provide a link with the story of Hypermestra.

13–14. tu potes tigris comitesque silvas / ducere et rivos celeris morari:

these are the accomplishments regularly attributed to Orpheus (indeed

vv. 15 ff. must allude to him rather than Amphion); cf. 1. 12. 7 ff. (a later

poem) with the parallels cited by N–H. In particular H is alluding to

Virg. georg. 4. 510 ‘mulcentem tigris et agentem carmine quercus’; there

may be a humorous suggestion that savage tigers are led by the slow and

lowly tortoise. In the rationalizing version in ars 391 ff. Orpheus is again

combined with Amphion. For the rivers see N–H on 1. 12. 9 (citing

Ap. Rhod. 1. 26 f.), Clausen on Virg. ecl. 8. 4. The lyre checks their

progress by holding their attention (OLD morari 3); the verb points a

contrast with both celeris and ducere. tu potes suggests the hymnal style

(N–H on 1. 28. 28, Fedeli on Prop. 1. 14. 17); the lyre can do these things,



because it has already done them; cf. 2. 19. 17 ‘tu flectis amnis’ with

N–H. comites is to be taken with both tigris and silvas; the word-order

is characteristic of Greek lyric poetry, particularly hymns (N–H on

2. 19. 27, Cairns, op. cit. 138 n. 11).

15–16. cessit inmanis tibi blandienti / ianitor aulae: for descents to

the underworld see N–H vol. 2, pp. 203 ff., Mynors on Virg. georg.

4. 453 ff., Boămer on Ov. met. 10. 1 ff., R. J. Clark, Catabasis: Vergil

and the Wisdom Tradition, 1979: 79 ff. (Heracles), 95 ff. (Orpheus).

For the need to neutralize Cerberus by music or other means cf. 2. 13.

33 ‘illis carminibus stupens’ with N–H, 2. 19. 29 ff. (Bacchus gets

past), Virg. georg. 4. 483 ‘tenuitque inhians tria Cerberus ora’, Synesius,

hymni 8. 19 ff. on Christs descent ổòợồớ úồ êíổứớ ụỹụồ = òọặũ

ặặỉêồớịũ, = ặd ặùõỹổùũ ýứớ = . . . õặổúồớcũ Iớồữĩúúặụù õỗùF

(cf. cessit). Terzaghi ad loc. sees a common source behind Synesius,

Virgil, and our passage.

Is inmanis genitive with aulae or nominative with ianitor? In favour of

the first is the fact that aulae needs qualification (cf. Sil. 2. 552 ‘lacrimosae ianitor aulae’) and can be supported by phrases like ‘spelunca immanis’ (Virg. Aen. 6. 237) and ‘immane barathrum’ (ibid. 8. 245); this is the

preference of most editors, including NR, who thinks it may be imitated

in Matthew Arnold’s ‘the vasty hall of death’ (Requiescat 16). RN thinks

that after cessit the reader would naturally take inmanis as a contrasting

nominative and apply it to the monstrous Cerberus (cf. Virg. Aen. 6. 400

‘ingens ianitor’, 6. 417 f. ‘Cerberus adverso recubans immanis in antro’);

the misunderstanding would not be removed until aulae (16). He has

considered immensae (cf. Sen. Tro. 178 ‘immensos specus’), but that

might not be enough to identify the aula. He has also thought of

reading in manis for inmanis of many MSS (cf. Hom. Od. 11. 563 f.

of Ajax õB ọb ỡồụ ẳặũ = ữaũ ồNũ ổồõùũ ớồýứớ ặụặụồớỗỵụứớ,

Synes. loc. cit. 17 f.); but Ajax can join the shades more appropriately

than Cerberus. He has also tried emending aulae to Orci; if ianitor Orci

was compressed by haplography into ianitorci, then aulae might have

been supplied to fill the gap.

tibi after tu (13) exemplies the ‘Du-Stil’ common in hymns (3. 21. 13 n.);

the pronoun is emphatic, not enclitic (Nisbet ap. Adams–Mayer, 1999:

149). blandienti, which suits the charms of Orpheus (1. 12. 11, 1. 24. 13)

hints at the blandishments of the poet’s own courtship (cf. Stroh 115 ff.).

For aula as ‘the hall of death’ cf. 2. 18. 31 with N–H, Prop. 4. 11. 5

‘fuscae . . . aulae’; for the entrance to the underworld cf. Hom. Il. 5. 646,

H. Usener, Kleine Schriften 4, 1913: 226 ff., Boămer on Ov. met. 4. 453.

A door-keeper was not a friendly character in the ancient world; for

Cerberus in this capacity cf. Eur. Her. 1277, Virg. Aen. 8. 296 ‘ianitor

Orci’, anon. anth. Pal. 7. 319. 1 f., Roscher 3. 2. 3331, TLL 7. 1. 132. 66 ff.

1 1 . M ERC V R I , NA M T E D O C I LI S M AG I S T RO


17–20. Cerberus . . . : this stanza, which was known to Porph., has been

deleted by several scholars, including Buttmann, Naeke (Opuscula Philologica 1, 1842: pp. 73 ff.), Peerlkamp, L. Muăller, Heinze; it has been

defended by Jahn (ap. Orelli), Campbell (edn. 2), Williams, Syndikus

(2. 121 f.), Bradshaw (RhM 118, 1975: 311 ff.), Cairns (op. cit. 130 f.). In our

view there is nothing problematic about it except eius atque (18 n.). The

lines are alleged to disrupt the high-flown sequence of 13–16 and 21–4,

but they too underline the power of poetry; the three stanzas on

Orpheus (13–24) balance their three predecessors. The appositional

Cerberus has been thought an interpolated explanation of ianitor that

was built up into a stanza (Naeke, op. cit., Fraenkel on Aesch. Ag.

1224–6), but such appositions are well attested; cf. for instance Hom.

Il. 6. 394 f. ớ ẳùữùũ ùýọứổùũ Kớặớụòỗ qồ íùúặ, = ớọổùỡĩữỗ,

Virg. Aen. 7. 761 ibat et Hippolyti proles pulcherrima bello, / Virbius’.

17–18. quamvis Furiale centum / muniant angues caput: for the

appended concessive clause cf. 2. 19. 25 ff.; the subjunctive has been

doubted, but is normal with quamvis in Republican Latin (K–S

2. 442 f.), and is used by H in the same sense at 4. 6. 6 f. ‘filius quamvis

Thetidis marinae / Dardanas turris quateret’. Cerberus had snakes in his

hair, like the Furies (2. 13. 35 f. ‘intorti capillis / Eumenidum . . . angues’,

Virg. Aen. 6. 419, where they are seen as a kind of mane, Billerbeck on

Sen. Hf 785–7, LIMC 6. 1. 31); for muniant cf. Lucr. 5. 27 ‘hydra

venenatis . . . vallata colubris’. He was usually given three heads (Cic.

Tusc. 1. 10, Virg. Aen. 6. 417, Ov. met. 4. 450 f.), though sometimes fifty

or a hundred (2. 13. 34, Hes. theog. 311 f., Billerbeck on Sen. Hf 784 ); in

art for obvious reasons the number of heads varies from one to three

(LIMC 6. 1. 24 ff., 6. 2. 12 ff.). In our passage the singular caput has been

impugned by those who delete the stanza, but furiale caput is not

inconsistent with a plurality of heads; cf. Sen. Hf 784 f. where Cerberus’

three heads (trina capita) are followed by the singular caput: ‘sordidum

tabo caput / lambunt colubrae’; see further on v. 20.

18–19. yeius atquey / spiritus taeter: the first two words present three

problems. (1) the genitive eius is very rare in high poetry (Axelson 72); it

suits the somewhat old-fashioned style of Lucretius (35 instances) and is

attested in elegy (Tib. 1. 6. 25, Prop. 4. 2. 35, 4. 6. 67, Ov. trist. 3. 4. 27,

Pont. 4. 15. 6 and also at met. 8. 16), but though found in H’s Sermones

(2. 1. 70, 2. 6. 76) it appears elsewhere in the Odes only in the suspect

4. 8. 18. (2) Though atque ends a line at 2. 10. 21, the sequence of two

inert words is uncharacteristically clumsy. (3) Though parallels can

be found for a verb suiting the second of its two subjects better than

the first, spiritus does not combine well with manet (19), which implies

some kind of liquid. Taken together, these points have led us to obelize



the phrase (though NR has doubts), and to look for a verb that has been

displaced by eius atque.

Bentley proposed exeatque (cf. Ov. met 3. 75 f. ‘halitus exit / ore niger

Stygio’), though he conceded that elsewhere exit spiritus refers to dying

breath (Ov. ars 3. 745, trist. 4. 3. 41); but one would have preferred

something less comprehensive and more clearly differentiated from

manet below. Gesner (1752) proposed effluatque, which occurred independently to Housman (Classical Papers 1. 3); the verb could be applied

to breath (Cic. nat. deor. 2. 101 ‘aer effluens’, TLL 5. 193. 56 ff.), but is also

perhaps too similar to manet. Cunningham (1721) proposed aestuatque

(making the three verbs in the stanza indicative), and Williams considered aestuetque (while retaining eius atque); the word would refer to a

hot dry blast as at Lucr. 3. 1012 ‘Tartarus horriferos eructans faucibus

aestus’, Virg. Aen. 8. 258 ‘nebulaque ingens specus aestuat atra’, Sil. 6. 219

‘(serpens) Stygios aestus fumanti exsibilat ore’. aestuetque seems the

best solution; unlike exeatque, it has the advantage of standing alone

and not combining with ore trilingui. The archaic taeter is avoided by

most Latin poets; but as it is found in Virgil (Aen. 3. 228, 10. 727) and

Seneca, Heinze was wrong to count it one of the suspicious features in

the stanza.

19–20. saniesque manet / ore trilingui: for Cerberus’ poisonous discharge cf. Ov. met. 4. 501 ‘oris Cerberei spumas’ (carried by the Fury),

Plin. nat. hist. 27. 4 (aconite is produced by the froth). Porph. suggests

that the blood comes from human bodies, and Cairns (op. cit. 131) sees

a reference to Œỉåïâüỉïò ‘meat-eating’, the supposed etymology of

Cerberus (Maltby 121); but the sanies seems to be produced by the dog

himself (cf. Ov. met. 4. 494 of the Fury’s snakes ‘saniemque vomunt’,

Plin. nat. hist. 27. 50 ‘si [aures] manent sanie’). For the ablative of source

with manare cf. 2. 9. 1, Ov. met. 3. 85 with Boămer, TLL 8. 320. 14. ore

trilingui seems to be a condensed way of saying ‘from his three muzzles,

each with its tongue’; cf. 2. 19. 31 f. with N–H’s note: ‘Cerberus had

usually three heads, and therefore three mouths, three tongues, and

three barks’.

21–2. quin et Ixion Tityosque vultu / risit invito: quin introduces the

climax of the underworld scene, as at 2. 13. 37; both passages must be

influenced by Virg. georg. 4. 481 f. ‘quin ipsae stupuere domus atque

intima leti / Tartara’. Ixion attempted to seduce Hera, and was punished

by being tied to a revolving wheel (Pind. P. 2. 21 ff. with schol., Prop.

1. 9. 20 with Fedeli, RE 10. 2. 1373 ff., LIMC 5. 1. 857 ff., 2. 555 ff.). For

Tityos cf. 3. 4. 77 n. The respite from the torments of the damned (Virg.

georg. 4. 484, Prop. 4. 11. 23 ff., Ov. met. 10. 41 ff., Sen. HO 1068 ff.)

presumably goes back to a lost catabasis of Orpheus.

1 1 . M ERC V R I , NA M T E D O C I LI S M AG I S T RO


On vultu invito Porph. comments ‘intellegas tantam fuisse gratiam

cantus, ut in tormentis poenae constitutis extorserit tamen risus’; i.e.

they couldn’t help smiling in spite of their pain. In other contexts the

phrase might more naturally have suggested a deliberately forced smile;

cf. Aesch. Ag. 794 with Fraenkel, Stat. Ach. 1. 194 ‘ficto risit Thetis anxia

vultu’. RN has considered insueto; cf. Tib. 1. 4. 48 with Murgatroyd,

Lucan 5. 163 ‘insueto concepit pectore numen’, where invito is a variant.

22–4. stetit urna paulum / sicca, dum grato Danai puellas / carmine

mulces: for the myth of the daughters of Danaus see the introduction.

urna refers to the pitcher of each individual Danaid (cf. Plato, Gorg.

493b quoted in 26–7 below); the girls are so entranced that instead of

refilling their pitchers, they set them down on the ground. H is

following the usual account by which the holes were in the dolium,

not the urnae (27 n.). mulcere (lit. ‘to stroke’) is used regularly of the

charms of music (Lucr. 5. 1390, Ov. fast. 2. 116, notably in Virgil’s

description of Orpheus in georg. 4. 510). H hopes that his song will

have an equally agreeable effect on Lyde.

25–6. audiat Lyde scelus atque notas / virginum poenas: for the subtle

transition see the introduction. Porph. points out the mock-serious

moral: ‘audiat Lyde qua poena damnatae sint quae crudeles amatoribus

fuerint’; cf. Tib. 1. 3. 79 ff. ‘et Danai proles, Veneris quod numina laesit, /

in cava Lethaeas dolia portat aquas. / illic sit quicumque meos violavit

amores’. H cunningly gives the impression that virginity was part of

their crime; he clearly ignores the version by which they were forced to

have intercourse (Apollod. 2. 1. 5), as that would have diminished their

guilt and confirmed Lyde’s suspicions of men.

26–7. et inane lymphae / dolium fundo pereuntis imo: et adds an

explanation of poenas; cf. OLD s. v. 11. For the genitive with inane cf.

Cic. de orat. 1. 37, K–S 1. 441. pereuntis means ‘going to waste’; the verb is

used of leaks at Frontin. aqu. 2. 88 ‘ne pereuntes quidem aquae otiosae

sunt’, Mart. 12. 50. 6 ‘et pereuntis aquae fluctus ubique sonat’. The large

dolium, which held 10–15 amphorae, was big enough for Diogenes;

cf. Hilgers 171 ff. fundo means ‘through the bottom’; imo is pleonastic,

like summus with vertex.

H puts the leaks in the dolium to which the water is being carried

(cf. Tibullus quoted in the last note, Phaedrus, app. 7. 10 ‘urnis scelestae

Danaides portant aquas, / pertusa nec complere possunt dolia’); this

is the predominant version in the iconographic tradition (LIMC

3. 2. 250 f.). Leaky pitchers are assigned to the Danaids by Sen. Med.

748, but this was not Seneca’s innovation (pace Costa ad loc.): both

forms of the legend are applied to nameless sinners at Plat. Gorg. 493b

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