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FAVNE, NYMPHARVM FVGIENTVM AMATOR

FAVNE, NYMPHARVM FVGIENTVM AMATOR

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Horace’s ode has some of the formal characteristics of a hymn. The

opening vocative is followed by a phrase in apposition describing an

attribute of the god (1 n.). The summons to Faunus categorizes the

hymn as ‘kletic’ (cf. 1. 30 with N–H, Menander Rhetor 334. 25 ff.,

Murgatroyd on Tib. 2. 5, pp. 164 ff.); words for ‘propitious’ like lenis

(3 n.) and aequus (4) are regular in such hymns. The poet promises an

appropriate sacrifice in return for the god’s protection; for such bargaining see 5 n. It is not specified when the promise is made; the sacrifice to

Faunus at 1. 4. 11 should probably be associated with 13 February, the

date of the urban Faunalia (N–H are too cautious), but in our poem

aprica rura (2) suggests something later in the year. Of the animals

mentioned in the first stanza lambs were born from mid-October to

mid-December and weaned in March (K. D. White, 1970: 305); kids

were normally born in March, so the tener haedus of v. 5 seems to belong

to a later brood (see the introduction to 3. 13).

In the second half of the poem Horace vividly describes the Faunalia

on 5 December, when the god receives his annual reward; the regard for

the precise date is typically Roman, though the rural festival is not

recorded in the official calendars. The stressed tibi (cf. ‘Thy kingdom

come’) keeps up the sacral tone (10 n., 14 n.), but a more realistic cult

hymn would not describe an occasion that was due to occur at some

distance in the future. V. Bartoletti (SIFC 15, 1938: 75 ff.) compares

Sappho 2, a hymn in Sapphics to Aphrodite with a tricolon similar to

Horace’s; there too we meet altars, incense, leaves, and a meadow; but

rather than a specific imitation we should recognize a natural structure

and shared commonplaces (a god summoned to a locus amoenus). Greek

epigrammatists describe dedications to Pan (Leonidas, anth. Pal. 6. 13,

6. 35, etc.), sometimes in return for protection from wolves (Philippus,

ibid. 6. 99), and Theocritean shepherds invoke him (1. 123 ff, 7. 103 ff.);

Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe is described as an offering to Pan and the

Nymphs (praef. 3), and his important part in the love-story may sometimes reflect the influence of Philitas (I. M. Le M. Du Quesnay in

Creative Imitation and Latin Literature, ed. D. West and T. Woodman,

1979: 60). But instead of including such frivolities Horace draws on the

time-honoured rituals of a real fiesta in the Italian countryside; Warde

Fowler, loc. cit., looks beyond antiquarian details and anthropological

speculations to catch the underlying spirit of such occasions. For parallels to Horace’s vignette see Lucr. 5. 1379 ff., Virg. georg. 1. 338 ff. and

2. 380 ff. with Mynors, Tib. 2. 1 with Murgatroyd, Ov. fast. 1. 657 ff. with

Boămer, Calp. Sic. 4. 122 ff., H. Kier, De Laudibus Vitae Rusticae, Diss.

Marburg 1933: 67 ff.

Heinze comments on the elegant balance of the poem, which is very

different from the archaic formulae of genuine Roman cult. The first

pair of stanzas summons Faunus and promises a sacrifice; the second



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pair describes the fulfilment of the vow. All four stanzas break into three

clauses: in the first pair these clauses occupy 1 ỵ 1 21 ỵ 1 21 , in the more

end-stopped second pair 1 ỵ 1 þ 2 lines. The word-patterns at the end

of each stanza also correspond: 3 f. ‘parvis / aequus alumnis’ is picked up

by 7 f. ‘multo / fumat odore’, and 12 ‘cum bove pagus’ by 16 ‘ter pede

terram’. In the third stanza two lines on animals are followed by two

lines on people—a pattern repeated in the fourth stanza. We may also

note the rhyming long o’s: pleno . . . anno (5), multo (7), herboso . . . campo

(9), otioso (11). So like many other ‘simple’ poems, this proves to be

carefully crafted.

Metre: Sapphic.

1. Faune, nympharum fugientum amator: in hymns and prayers the

vocative name is often followed by a phrase in apposition that gives a

standing attribute of the god; cf. 1. 10. 1 ‘Mercuri, facunde nepos

Atlantis’ with N–H, 3. 22. 1 (with the order reversed) ‘Montium custos

nemorumque Virgo’, PMG 887, carm. conv. 1 f. t aớ ổặọòặũ ỡồọíứớ

ồồớớAũ, = Oổữỗúụa õổùỡòặỉũ Oặọb ýỡặỉũ, frag. adesp. 936. 1 f. (also

to Pan), Norden (1913), 148. Here Faunus, taking over the goat-like

qualities of Pan, is presented as both nimble (cf. 1. 17. 1 velox) and lustful

(for the tone of amator see 3. 4. 79 n.); cf. Eur. Hel. 187 ff., Ov. met.

1. 691 ff. (Pan and Syrinx) with Boămer, her. 5. 137 f., Ach. Tat. 8. 6. 7

aớ ùsớ Kọòứồớ ặPụcớ ọổỹỡùớ Kổứụỉỹớ, Longus 2. 39. 3 ặýồụặỉ ọb

ùPọíùụồ ổĩúỉớ KớùữHớ ặd ỉỡỗòúỉ ýỡặỉũ ặổíữứớ ổĩêỡặụặ.

Naturally Hs humorous formulation would be impossible in genuine

cult, but belongs rather to the sensual world of Graeco-Roman literature and art; moderns deplore the sexual harassment (L. C. Curran,

‘Rape and rape victims in the Metamorphoses’, in Women in the Ancient

World, ed. J. Peradotto and J. P. Sullivan, 1984: 263 ff.), but typically

of the ancient world Porph. emphasizes the lascivia of the nymphs

(he cites Virg. ecl. 3. 65 ‘et fugit ad salices et se cupit ante videri’).

fugientum is an archaic form, metrically convenient for fugientium, the

standard genitive plural of the present participle; cf. also 3. 24. 21 n.

2–3. per meos finis et aprica rura / lenis incedas: meos preceding its

noun is in its stronger position: in a prayer it is natural to underline the

reciprocal relationship of worshipper and god. The possessive should

also be understood with rura, the land that H owns (cf. epod. 2. 3

‘paterna rura bobus exercet suis’). aprica presents an idyllic picture of

the sunny Sabinum in spring or summer (cf. epist. 1. 14. 30, 1. 16. 6 f.).

Kletic hymns naturally contain a word for ‘come’ (1. 2. 30 venias with

N–H, Pulleyn 136 ff., 219), and here incedas is often taken to mean no

more (cf. TLL 7. 1. 856. 31 ff.), but with lenis (¼ leniter) it means ‘walk



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gently’, suggesting a contrast with the boisterous pursuit of the

Nymphs; in ancient prayers a god’s manner of approach is sometimes

specified (Fraenkel 204 n., citing such passages as the prayer to Dionysus

in PMG, carm. pop. 871 KºŁå lỉø ˜Øüíıóå = . . . ơfiH âïÝfiø ðïäd Łıßøí,

Ar. ran. 326 ff., Catull. 61. 9 f. ‘huc veni, niveo gerens / luteum pede

soccum’). lenis also suggests that Faunus should be gentle to the flocks;

for such adjectives in kletic hymns cf. 1. 19. 16 ‘mactata veniet lenior

hostia’ with N–H, Anacr. PMG 357. 6 f. óf äš åPìåícò = ŠºŁš ™ìßí,

Eur. Hec. 538 ðỉåıìåícò äš ỡEớ êồớùF, Ar. Thesm. 1148 lồụí ụ

ồhổùớồũ, Yặùỉ, Virg. georg. 1. 18 (to Pan) ‘adsis, o Tegeaee, favens’,

Ov. am. 2. 13. 21 (to Ilithyia) ‘lenis ades’, Pulleyn 145.

3–4. abeasque parvis / aequus alumnis: by saying ‘come and go favourably’ H refers to the whole time of Faunus’ sojourn; so ‘te veniente die,

te decedente canebat’ (Virg. georg. 4. 466) implies that Orpheus

mourned Eurydice all day. For similar ‘polar expressions’ (some more

difficult than this) cf. Aesch. Ag. 634 f. ðHò ª ºÝªåØò ữồỉỡHớặ ớặụỉH

úụổặụH = KồEớ ụồồụBúặò ụồ ọặỉỡỹớứớ ỹụứ; Eur. Phoen. 533 f. (on

Ambition) ùùfũ ọ Kũ ùYùũ ặd ỹồỉũ ồPọặòỡùớặũ = KúBồ IợB

K Oíổứ ụHớ ữổứỡíớứớ, Rhes. 811 f., Xen. Hell. 5. 2. 39 (cited among

other passages by E. Kemmer, Die polare Ausdrucksweise in der griechischen Literatur, 1903: pp. 225 ff.). So also Psalm 121: 8 ‘The Lord shall

preserve thy going out and thy coming in’; comprehensiveness is a

natural feature of religious language.

Some scholars have supposed that Faunus is being urged to leave

before he does any harm (cf. Pasquali 563, A. W. J. Holleman, AC 41,

1972: 563 ff.). It is true that in some contexts he had a dangerous aspect

(Porph. on v. 1 ‘pestilentem deum’, RE 6. 2060 ff.), just like Pan (Gow

on Theoc. 1. 16); but here he is a protector of flocks. The reading adeas

appears in the ninth-century codex Bernensis, and that verb is occasionally used in similar contexts (Cic. har. resp. 62, Virg. Aen. 8. 302 ‘et nos et

tua dexter adi pede sacra secundo’). But abeas (supported by Servius on

Aen. 7. 91) gives a good contrast to incedas and leads more smoothly to

the next stanza, which implies that Faunus’ visit will last till his December festival; so also 1. 17. 2 ff. ‘igneam / defendit aestatem capellis /

usque meis pluviosque ventos’.

The alumni are lambs and kids (not slave-boys as ps.-Acro oddly

supposes); parvis gains emphasis from the hyperbaton and stresses their

need for protection. Most editors understand meis from meos above

(cf. 1. 17. 3 f. ‘capellis . . . meis’) suggesting H’s pride of ownership;

Heinze understood tuis, but that takes the god’s concern too much for

granted. If meis is regarded as too sentimental, one might think rather of

the unweaned nurslings (ŁỉÝììỈơỈ) of the flock itself; the same alternative is available at 3. 23. 7. aequus means ‘favourable’ or ‘kindly’ (cf. serm.



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2. 3. 164 f. ‘immolet aequis / hic porcum Laribus’, carm. saec. 65); in the

ancient world Faunus was already connected by some with favere (see

the introduction above).

5. si tener pleno cadit haedus anno: the conditional clause gives a

justification for the god’s help (N–H on 1. 32. 1, Pulleyn 16 ff.). Normally

the tense is either past or future (Hom. Il. 1. 40 f. åN ọị ùụí ụùỉ ặụa

òùớặ ỡỗổò ỗặ = ụặýổứớ Mọ ặNêHớ, ụỹọồ ỡùỉ ổịỗớùớ Kíọứổ, Virg.

Aen. 1. 334 multa tibi ante aras nostra cadet hostia dextra’ with Austin);

but here the present tense underlines that the sacrifice recurs every year.

The euphemistic cadere of a sacrificial victim (TLL 3. 25. 9 ff.) is a

vox propria rather than a poeticism. As Faunus was assimilated to the

goat-like Pan, he is offered a male kid (less appropriately a ewe at

Ov. fast. 4. 653); at 1. 4. 12 he is given the choice. pleno . . . anno means

‘when the calendar year is complete’ and refers to the Faunalia on 5 Dec.

(an idea developed in the next two stanzas); distinguish 3. 22. 6 ‘per

exactos . . . annos’, which refers to anniversaries.

6–7. larga nec desunt Veneris sodali / vina creterrae: the MSS vary

between creterrae and craterae; the former was naturalized in Latin at an

early stage, but being less familiar in late antiquity was often corrupted

(W. Clausen, CQ 13, 1963: 85 ff.). The mixing-bowl was needed in the

first instance for a libation at the sacrifice (see RE 15. 2039, Hilgers

157 ff.); cf. especially Leonidas, anth. Pal. 9. 99. 6, where the goat is

sprinkled with wine from the vine that he has nibbled. But H envisages

an uninhibited rustic festival that goes beyond the thank-offering to

Faunus; hence the emphatic larga (which balances pleno in a purely

formal way) and the litotes nec desunt (cf. 1. 36. 15 ‘nec desint epulis

rosae’). Hence, too, the mention of Venus, which would not belong to

the authentic cult; for the association of wine and sex cf. Ar. PCG 3. 2 fr.

613 ¼ Athen. 10. 444d ọýũ ụồ òớồỉớ ùr ớùũ ổùọòụỗũ êĩặ, Eur. Bacch.

773 ùYớù ọb ỡỗíụ Zớụùũ ùP úụỉớ ýổỉũ, Ter. eun. 732 sine Cerere

et Libero friget Venus’ (with Pease on Cic. nat. deor. 2. 60), Ov. ars 1. 244

‘Venus in vinis, ignis in igne fuit’, Otto 366. For the mixing-bowl as

‘boon-companion of Venus’ cf. 1. 25. 19 f. ‘hiemis sodali / . . . Euro’ with

N–H, Hom. Od. 17. 271 (where the lyre is the companion of the feast), h.

Hom. 4. 31 with Allen and Halliday, anon. anth. Pal. 5. 135. 3 ´ÜŒ÷ïı ặd

èùúíứớ ặổc ĩụổỉ ặd ồổồòỗũ (to a wine-jar).

78. vetus ara multo / fumat odore: Peerlkamp inserted et before vetus,

unnecessarily; for the asyndetic combination of two parallel subordinate

clauses cf. Lucr. 3. 957 ‘sed quia semper aves quod abest, praesentia

temnis . . . ’, Leo (1912), 272 n. 4. For the hallowed associations of the

altar of Faunus cf. Men. dysc. 1 ff. (set at Pan’s famous altar at Phyle),



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E. W. Leach, Vergil’s Eclogues: Landscapes of Experience, 1974: ch. 3

(illustrating ‘sacral-idyllic’ scenes from poetry and wall-painting). vetus

evokes the age-old rhythms of the agricultural year, and reinforces the

impression that cadit (5) refers to an annual event. multo . . . odore refers

to incense, as Porph. says (cf. 1. 30. 3. to Venus ‘ture te multo’, 3. 23. 3 to

the Lares); this was used even in simple sacrifices, perhaps to exclude

less agreeable smells (see S. Lilja, The Treatment of Odours in the Poetry

of Antiquity, 1972: 31 ff.). For smoking incense cf. Eur. Andr. 1026, Bacch.

144 ff. ểổòặũ ọ ũ ỉõĩớù ặ- = ớeớ ặữồfũ Iớíữứớ = ổúỵọỗ ỹêặ

ồýặũ, Ov. met. 10. 273 turaque fumabant’, Sil. 7. 457 ‘Paphos centum

mihi fumet in aris’; fumare is more often applied to the burnt offerings

themselves (Ov. fast. 2. 193 ‘Idibus agrestis fumant altaria Fauni’), but

after the sacrifice (5) H turns to its concomitants, wine and incense.

9. ludit herboso pecus omne campo: this is no longer part of the

conditional clause, but a new sentence describing the winter Faunalia

(as Bentley saw). For ludere of animals cf. 3. 11. 10 (a frisking horse),

Lucr. 1. 261, 2. 320 ‘et satiati agni ludunt blandeque coruscant’, Ov. fast.

1. 156, anth. Lat. 238a. 1 ‘adludunt pavidi tremulis conatibus agni’, TLL 7.

2. 1771, 16 ff.; the prominent opening verb sets the tone for the human

merrymaking that follows. herboso suggests that there was still grass on

the lower ground when the flocks left the hills for the winter; for

‘transhumance’ cf. Varro, rust. 2. 2. 9, K. D. White (1970), 507 n. 130,

Mynors on Virg. georg. 3. 146, Horden–Purcell (2000), 549 ff.

10. cum tibi Nonae redeunt Decembres: for the festival on 5 Dec. see

the introduction above. tibi (repeated in 14) is the emphatic pronoun

often found in hymns and prayers (Norden, 1913: 149 ff., N–H on 1. 10. 9).

For redire of an anniversary cf. 3. 8. 9.

11–12. festus in pratis vacat otioso / cum bove pagus: vacat and otioso

emphasize that the festival is a day of rest for the farm-workers and the

ploughing-oxen; cf. 3. 17. 16 ‘cum famulis operum solutis’, Tib. 2. 1. 5 ff.

‘luce sacra requiescat humus, requiescat arator, / et grave suspenso

vomere cesset opus . . . ’ with K. F. Smith. Sacral law forbade work

on such a day, but there were various reasonable exceptions (Virg.

georg. 1. 268 f. with Mynors, Nock, 1972: 2. 738). A pagus was a scattered

rural community that had some administrative and religious responsibilities (RE 18. 2. 2318 ff., Boămer on Ov. fast. 1. 669, OCD 1092). H’s

pagus included Mandela and apparently Varia, now Vicovaro; cf. 2. 13. 4,

epist. 1. 18. 104 f. ‘gelidus Digentia rivus, / quem Mandela bibit, rugosus

frigore pagus’, epist. 1. 14. 3 (for the topography of the area see S. Q.

Gigli in Encicl. oraz. 1. 253 ff.).



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pardus is read in a number of significant MSS (sometimes as a

variant), though pagus is supported by ps.-Acro’s comment and the

preponderance of the tradition (cf. also Ov. fast. 1. 669 ‘pagus agat

festum, pagum lustrate coloni.’). As Bentley pointed out with amusement, the former reading is due to a reminiscence of Isaiah 11: 6

‘habitabit lupus cum agno et pardus cum haedo accubabit’; for monastic

corruptions cf. Petr. 43. 1 ‘abbas secrevit’ (for ‘ab asse crevit’), R. M.

Ogilvie, G & R 18, 1971: 32 ff., J. Willis, Latin Textual Criticism, 1972:

100 ff.

13. inter audacis lupus errat agnos: the wolf is proverbially the enemy

of the flock (cf. epod. 4. 1, 12. 25 f., 15. 7, TLL 7. 2. 1855. 31 ff.), but here the

lambs are unnaturally bold (audacis is emphasized by the hyperbaton). It

was a proverbial impossibility (‘adynaton’) for the laws of animal nature

to be reversed; cf. 1. 33. 8 with NH, Ar. pax 1076 ổòớ ồớ ýùũ ùr ớ

ỡồớặỉùE, Virg. ecl. 8. 52 ‘nunc et ovis ultro fugiat lupus’, Otto 198, TLL 7.

2. 1853. 8 ff. In descriptions of an ideal world this impossibility is

portrayed as an actuality; here a major influence is Virg. ecl. 5. 60 ‘nec

lupus insidias pecori . . . ’, 4. 22 ‘nec magnos metuent armenta leones’

(probably drawing on the paraphrase of Isaiah 11: 6 at orac. Sib. 3. 791 f.).

In our passage H’s idyllic fantasy goes beyond the parallel at 1. 17. 8 f.

‘nec viridis metuunt colubras / nec Martiales haediliae lupos’; for a

further elaboration cf. Prud. cath. 3. 153 ff., who in addition to fearless

flocks speaks of an ineffectual serpent (153), obedient lions (162), and an

aggressive dove (164 f.).

14. spargit agrestis tibi silva frondes: the wood scatters leaves in

honour of Faunus; the repeated tibi suits the hymnal style (10 n.), and

the position in the line is emphatic (Nisbet, ap. Adams–Mayer 144 f.).

For the scattering of flowers or leaves as a mark of honour (IíŁïâïºåEí or

ıººïâïºå) cf. Pind. P. 9. 123 f. ðﺺa ìbí ŒåïØ ọòùớ = ý ỉ ặd

úụồĩớùũ, Virg. ecl. 5. 40 spargite humum foliis’, Ov. trist. 4. 2. 50,

Matthew 21: 8 ¼ººïØ ọb ùụùớ ĩọùũ Ie ụHớ ọíớọổứớ ặd

Kúụổỵớớùớ Kớ ụ ỗé ›äfiH (cf. Mark 11: 8), Apul. met. 11. 9. 2 with Griffiths,

RE 20. 1025, Browning, The Patriot 1 f. ‘It was roses, roses, all the way /

With myrtle mixed in my path like mad’. For such tributes by inanimate

Nature cf. Lucr. 1. 7 f. (the hymn to Venus) ‘tibi suavis daedala tellus /

summittit flores’, Virg. ecl. 4. 18 ff. agrestis (accusative) shows that the

foliage belongs to the wild woods rather than being made up by some

coronarius; cf. Virg. ecl. 10. 24 ‘agresti capitis Silvanus honore’, Tib. 2. 5.

117 ‘lauro devinctus agresti’, TLL 1. 1418. 11 ff. Faunus himself is called

agrestis (Ov. fast. 2. 193, cf. 3. 315), just as Pan is Iêổỹụặ (Leonidas, anth.

Pal. 6. 13. 2) or Iêổặýứ (Archias, ibid. 6. 179. 1).



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Cornelissen proposed arentes (Mnem. 16, 1888: 310), but withered

leaves would be a poor compliment; he himself cites 1. 25. 19 f. ‘aridas

frondes . . . / dedicet Euro’ (a pejorative passage that does not help

his case). To avoid this difculty Lucian Muăller combined arentes

with ubi (for tibi); and this has been accepted by Shackleton Bailey.

But though leaves in Italy might fall as late as December (epod.

11. 5 f. ‘hic tertius December . . . / silvis honorem decutit’), H could not

say ‘when the leaves fall’ as a way of pointing to the Faunalia on

5 December.

15–16. gaudet invisam pepulisse fossor / ter pede terram: fossor is

sometimes used contemptuously for a clodhopper (Catull. 22. 10 ‘caprimulgus aut fossor’, Pers. 5. 122), but here it has the more genial tone of

Virg. georg. 2. 264 ‘labefacta movens robustus iugera fossor’. ‘To beat the

ground with one’s feet’ describes the vigorous dancing of antiquity (cf. 1.

4. 7 ‘alterno terram quatiunt pede’ with N–H, 1. 37. 2. ‘pulsanda tellus’);

for rustic dances cf. epist. 1. 14. 24 f. (to the vilicus) ‘meretrix tibicina

cuius / ad strepitum salias terrae gravis’, Lucr. 5. 1402 ‘duriter et duro

terram pede pellere matrem’, Nonn. 47. 37. But stamping with the feet

could also be a sign of anger; cf. Cic. de orat. 1. 230 with Wilkins, Sen.

de ira 1. 1. 4 ‘complosae saepius manus et pulsata humus pedibus’. Here

invisam suggests that the fossor gets his own back by kicking the earth

that has cost him so much trouble; cf. Porph. ‘naturale est enim omnibus

odisse laboris sui materiam’. A dance with triple beat (tripudium) was

associated with the Salii (1. 36. 12 with N–H, 4. 1. 28) and the Arval

Brethren (ILLRP 4, ROL 4, p. 250, E. Norden, Aus altroămischen Priesterbuăchern, 1939: 238 f.). The movements described by Plut. Num. 13. 4 f.

must have been much more sophisticated than the rustic dances referred

to here and at Ov. fast. 6. 330 ‘et viridem celeri ter pede pulsat humum’,

Calp. Sic. 4. 128 f. Although ps.-Acro’s comment is not clearly expressed

(‘ter vero ad rhythmum rettulit sonos’) it is plain that H’s ter pede terram

has an onomatopoeic effect.

pepulisse here means ‘to strike’, not ‘to have struck’; the poets find the

perfect infinitive metrically convenient, and often there is no clear

distinction between it and the present (cf. K. F. Smith on Tib. 1. 1.

29–32, Bo 270). But in our passage as sometimes elsewhere H seems to

emphasize an instantaneous action as opposed to a continuing state; cf.

1. 34. 16 ‘posuisse gaudet’, 3. 4. 51 f. ‘fratresque tendentes opaco / Pelion

imposuisse Olympo’, serm. 1. 2. 28, 2. 3. 187. We may compare the aspect

of the Greek aorist innitive, where OổêỉúBớặỉ means to get angry as

opposed to the present Oổêòổồúặỉ to be angry’ (cf. Arist. eth. Nic. 1173b

1 f., W. W. Goodwin, Syntax of Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, edn.

2, 1889: 28 ff.). So in Latin we find S. C. de Bacchanalibus 2 (ROL 4,

p. 256) ‘neiquis eorum Bacanal habuise velet’, Cato, agr. 5. 4, tabulae



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Vindolandenses 2. 505 (A. K. Bowman and J. D. Thomas, Britannia 27,

1996: 324) ‘cras quid velis nos fecisse rogo, domine, praecipias’; these are

clearly not literary affectations. See further K–S 1. 133 ff., H–Sz 351 f.,

A. Ernout and F. Thomas, Syntaxe latine, 1953: 259 f., Adams–Mayer 8

(with R. G. G. Coleman, ibid. 83).



1 9 . QVA N T V M D I S T E T A B I NAC H O

[E. Bignone, RFIC n s . 7, 1929: 457 ff.; J. F. G. Gornall, G&R 18, 1971: 188 ff.; H. U.

Instinsky, Hermes 82, 1954: 124 ff.; J. Ruăpke, MH 53, 1996: 217 ff.; H. Traănkle, MH 35, 1978:

48 ff.; L. Wickert, RhM 97, 1954: 376 f.; Williams 115 ff.]



1–8. You keep talking of remote chronologies, but say nothing about a

symposium this cold night. 9–17. Pour a toast to the new month, the new day,

and the augurate of Murena: the bard shall have nine measures and the

decorous only three. 18–28. Let us have wild music and a profusion of roses, so

that old Lycus next door may be envious. Rhode makes advances to handsome

young Telephus; I am smouldering with love for my Glycera.

This ode celebrates the installation as augur of a certain Murena,

though the situation does not emerge until vv. 10 ff. He is identified by

some with the Licinius (Murena) of 2. 10, (the brother of Maecenas’

wife Terentia), who was accused of conspiracy probably in 22 bc (Dio

54. 3. 4 f.) and killed ‘while intending to escape’; that ode’s commendation of the Golden Mean suits the Peripatetic interests of ‘the conspirator’, as shown by N–H vol. 2, pp. 152 f.. However, the Murena of

our poem was probably not the same person but perhaps his brother,

perhaps the A. Terentius Varro Murena who was elected consul for 23

bc but was for some reason replaced; for the difficult prosopography

of this family see especially G. V. Sumner, HSCP 82, 1978: 187 ff.,

Syme (1986), 387 ff., J. S. Arkenberg, Historia 42, 1993: 326 ff., 471 ff.

A relationship to Maecenas would give a point of contact with Horace;

at the same time the ode’s indirect approach suits a nobilis who was

not a close intimate, just as 3. 21 is addressed not to Messalla but to

a wine-jar.

The poem begins abruptly with a protest: somebody is going on

about chronological questions that all seem very remote (1–4). The

natural scene for such a discourse is not a casual encounter but a dinner:

one recalls Callimachus’ aetiological questions to the Ician (aet. fr. 178),

as well as such treatises as the Quaestiones Conviviales of Plutarch, the

Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus, the Noctes Atticae of Aulus Gellius,

the Saturnalia of Macrobius ( J. Martin, Symposion, 1931). A suitable



228



H O R AC E : O D ES I I I



occasion would be the cena aditialis at Murena’s installation as augur,

where boring antiquarians were likely to be found. For such banquets cf.

Varr. rust. 3. 6. 6 ‘primus (pavones) Q. Hortensius augurali cena posuisse

dicitur’, Sen. epist. 95. 41 ‘et deciens tamen sestertio aditiales cenae

frugalissimis viris constituerunt’, Wissowa 491, RE 2. 2319; for pontifical

dinners in general cf. also 2. 14. 28, Macrob. Sat. 3. 13. 10–12 (with a long

menu). If Horace’s comments sound too discourteous for a formal

dinner of this kind, we can always understand them as an interior

monologue.

In the second stanza it becomes clear that Horace would sooner hear

about arrangements for the coming symposium (5–8); when in v. 8 he

speaks of escaping from the cold, we must assume that it is a chilly night

and that he has in mind the walk to the venue of the drinking-party. It

was a poetic convention to say that guests should concentrate on

enjoyment rather than serious preoccupations. Sometimes these were

questions of war and politics; cf. 1. 26. 3 ff., 2. 11. 1 ff., 3. 8. 17 ff., Theog.

763 f., Anacr. eleg. 2. 1 ff., Xenophanes, eleg. 1. 21 ff. For other rejected

topics cf. 1. 11. 1 ff. (astrology), Anacreontea 50. 1 ff. Bergk ¼ 52 (a)

Campbell (schemes), Alexis (?) PCG 2 fr. 25. 1 ff. ¼ pp. 822 ff. in W. G.

Arnott’s commentary (philosophy): ụò ụặFụặ ỗổồEũ, ỗớặHớ ẳớứ

ĩụứ = áýồỉùớ, ặọịỡồỉặớ, ỉọồòù ýặũ, = ịổùũ úùỉúụHớ; ùPọb

Êớ ụùýụứớ ặỹớ= òớứỡồớ, Kỡòớứỡồớ . . . Particularly relevant are some

myuric or mouse-tailed hexameters of the Roman period ( J. U. Powell,

Coll. Alex. p. 199, no. 37. 7 ff. ¼ Page, GLP no. 125. 8 ff. or N. Hopkinson,

A Hellenistic Anthology, 1988: pp. 80 f.): ỡc ùòặ ổỗụồEớ ỹồớ lỉùũ j

ỹồớ oọứổ, = Ia ỹồớ ụe ỡýổùớ ặd ụùfũ úụồĩớùũ Iêùổĩú ỗũ. Here,

as in our ode, the rejection of serious themes is followed by questions

about purchases for the symposium (6 n.); the Greek poem next mentions measures of various liquids (3 of honey, 5 of milk, 10 of wine, 12 of

myrrh, and 2 of spring water), and goes on to speak of a girl, a lyre, and a

Phrygian pipe. The resemblances suggest shared antecedents in the

drinking-songs of the Greek symposium if not a direct borrowing by

Horace (thus Bignone, op. cit.).

The last five stanzas describe the ensuing symposium; it was a

common practice for diners to go elsewhere for their drinking (Plaut.

most. 315 ff. ‘nam illi ubi fui inde ecfugi foras, / ita me ibi male convivi

sermonisque taesumst. / nunc comissatum ibo ad Philolachetem’, Liv.

40. 7. 5 quin comissatum ad fratrem imus?, Bluămner, 1911: 400); for a

similar progression cf. 3. 14. 17 ff. (again moving from an official occasion

to an informal party). In our poem, however, the change of scene is

disconcertingly abrupt. Some think that Horace interrupts a boring

dinner with a call for wine, but that is too rude; it is also too late to

discuss the price (5 n.), and nonsensical to ask about the place and time

of the festivities (see 5–6 n. and 7 n.). Some commentators have regarded



1 9 . QVA N T V M D I S T E T A B I NAC H O



229



the last five stanzas as a scene imagined by the diner, in anticipation of

the coming symposium; but that loses vividness and raises questions at

v. 23 Lycus and perhaps v. 27 petit (see the notes below). In view of

the very real difficulty it might be worth considering that after v. 8

a transitional stanza has fallen out (as once suggested to RN by

W. A. Camps).

Preparations for the drinking-party were a standard poetic theme

(5–6 n.); here Horace envisages an ‘eranos’ on the Greek model, in

which one man provides the accommodation (‘praebente domum’ in

v. 7) and another prepares the hot drinks (6 n.). Not only does he

propose toasts (9 n.), which any guest could do, but as self-appointed

magister bibendi (N–H on 1. 4. 18) he prescribes the quantities to be

drunk (11 ff.). Then, as commentator on a developing scene, he keeps up

a flow of instructions and descriptions till the end of the poem; for this

mime-like technique cf. 1. 27 with N–H, E. Stemplinger, Philologus 75,

1919: 466 ff. The typical concomitants of a drinking party are duly

recorded (N–H vol. 1, p. 402, vol. 2, p. 168, RE 4. 618, Bluămner, 1911:

410 ff.): the Chian wine with its possibly significant origin (5 n.), the

wild music that annoys the neighbours (18 ff., 22 ff.), the roses that are

scattered with hyperbolical abandon (22 n.), the on-coming girl (27 n.).

The wintry evening is also traditional (8 n.) and is set against a very

Roman use of hot wine (6 n.).

The wildness of the party is reflected in the style (Syndikus 2. 171 f.)

with its rapid choriambic metre (cf. 1. 11, 1. 36, and for different reasons

3. 25), its increasingly short sentences (contrast the opening period with

its leisurely A et B et C), its mixture of crisp imperatives and impatient

questions, its sudden breaks in unexpected places (11, 15, 17, 22). In all

this there is none of the mellow wisdom that usually characterizes

Horace’s sympotic odes; cf. A. La Penna in O. Murray and M. Tecus˛an

(1995), 275. The poet mentions the restraining influence of the Graces

(16 n.), but he himself chooses the bigger drinks (14 f. with 11 n.), and the

less sober role (18 insanire). But though the fleeting pleasures of youth

make an arresting contrast with the antiquated concerns of pedants,

Horace seems no longer quite at home even with the former: though he

is not jealous like the misanthrope next door (22–3), he cannot match

young Telephus’ lustrous hair (25 n.) and sexual magnetism (28 n.). Here

he not only paints a vivid and economical picture, but communicates an

emotion. Once again he has shown how to celebrate an official occasion

without abandoning his lyric persona (cf. 3. 14. 17 ff. and in its different

way 1. 31. 17 ff.); contrast the formality of Tibullus 2. 5. 1 (on the elevation

of Messalinus to a priesthood) ‘Phoebe fave; novus ingreditur tua

templa sacerdos’.

Metre: alternating Glyconics and Asclepiads.



230



H O R AC E : O D ES I I I



1. Quantum distet ab Inacho: Inachus was the legendary first king of

Argos; for his proverbial antiquity cf. N–H on 2. 3. 21. He became a

point of reference for ancient chronographers (E. Schwartz, AGG 40. 2,

1895: 11 ff.); cf. Ocellus Lucanus 42, pp. 218 ff. Harder ụùEũ íêùúỉ ụcớ

ụBũ ỗớỉBũ úụùổòặũ Iổữcớ Ie ẫớĩữù ồr ớặỉ ụùF ổêồòù, Castor of

Rhodes (1st cent. bc) FGrH 250 F3, cf. RE 9. 2. 1218 f., 10. 2352 (Inachus

begins the list of Argive kings), Cens. 21. 2 ‘a priore scilicet cataclysmo

ad Inachi regnum anni sunt circiter quadringenti’, Apollodorus, 2. 1. 1

(Inachus begins the book), Clem. strom. 1. 102. 1, Aug. civ. Dei 18. 3

(from Varro). But though the king was so remote, the pedant in the

ode must fix him on a time-scale. For the place of Inachus in early

Greek genealogies add M. L. West, The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women,

1985: 177, R. L. Fowler, PCPS 44, 1998: 7 ff.; for later calculations see

A. A. Mosshammer, The Chronicle of Eusebius and Greek Chronographic

Tradition, 1979.

One is tempted to try a further speculation about the function of the

Argive king in the ode. The Licinii Murenae came from Lanuvium

(Cic. Mur. 86), and must have been its most distinguished family; the

foundation of the place was attributed to the Argive Diomedes (App.

civ. 2. 20), and its famous cult of Juno Sospita (Cic. Mur. 90, Wissowa

188) was associated with Argive Hera (Ael. nat. an. 11. 16); a sculpture

of Alexander in the precinct and fragmentary inscriptions have been

connected with the victories of L. Murena (cos. 62) and Lucullus (also a

Licinius) over Mithridates (F. Coarelli, Coll. de l’e´cole fr. de Rome 55,

1981: 251 ff.). The name Licin(n)ius could have been associated with

Licymnius (RE Suppl. 8. 259 ff.), the eponymous hero of Licymna

(the acropolis at Tiryns), whose grave was still shown at Argos (Paus.

2. 22. 8, Plut. Pyrrh. 34. 2), and who in Apollodorus comes twelfth in

line from Inachus (2. 1. 1–2. 4. 5); at 2. 12. 13 ps.-Acro identifies Licymnia

with Terentia, the sister of Licinius the alleged conspirator (see N–H ad

loc. and vol. 2, pp. 180 ff.). There was a vogue at the time for imaginative

family history (cf. the introduction to 3. 17); so Murena may have traced

his roots to the kings of Argos (cf. 2. 3. 21 to Dellius who might have

claimed to be ‘prisco natus ab Inacho’). The pedant could then have

been shown as flattering Murena by referring to his ancestors.

2. Codrus pro patria non timidus mori: the legendary last king of

Attica is significantly combined with the first king of Argos; his death

marked a stage in chronological systems (cf. Vell. 1. 2. 1, RE 11. 986 ff.,

E. Schwartz, op. cit (1 n.), 16). The name was proverbial for oldfashioned ways; cf. paroem. Gr. 2. 148 etc. Iổữặỉỹụồổùũ ỹọổù, RE

11. 993 f. When the Spartans invaded Attica, and the Delphic oracle

promised victory to the side that lost its general, Codrus disguised

himself, picked a quarrel with some Spartan soldiers, and was duly



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