or Hammon, originally worshipped in
under the form of a ram, or of a human figure with a ram's
horns, had his most famous temple and oracle in the oasis of
Siwah in the
Libyan desert, 400 miles from Cyrene (Plin.
l.c.). He was identified by the Greeks and
Romans with Zeus and Jupiter; cf.
hoc neque harenosum Libyae Iovis
aestuosi: of g per Syrtes aestuosas
Hor. Carm. 1.31.5
Batti: see v. 4 n. Cyrenis.
sacrum sepulcrum: the
tomb of the founder stood in the city of Cyrene, where he was
reverenced as a god.
tacet nox: with the
rhythm cf. Catul. 5.5
tam: correlative with
v. 3 quam.
te: subject, not object
long parenthesis the poet returns to his theme, sed, as often, being resumptive.
haec: probably Catul. 66.1ff. is referred to.
Ter. Ad. 11
verbum de verbo expressum
the famous Alexandrian scholar and poet at the court of
Ptolemy Philadelphus, was the son of a certain Battus of
claimed descent from the founder of that city; cf. Catul. 7.4ff n.;
credita ventis: with
the figure cf. Catul.
ut: etc. the comparison
is of the irrevocable swiftness with which the apple falls
and the reminders vanish.
missum munere: cf.
sponsi: the secrecy of
tive genius shows so little through it.
Whether the obscurity of some passages in it is due to lack of
care on the part of the translator, or to an excessive fidelity
to the original, cannot be determined; but the general
characteristics of Alexandrian poetry would lead us to refer the
fault to Callimachus himself. The theme, a compound of court
tradition and of astronomical knowledge, is as follows:
of Magas, king of Cyrene, and wife of her cousin Ptolemy Euergetes
(reigned 247-222 B.C.), king of Egypt, had for her husband's safety vowed to
the gods a lock of her hair, when, shortly after his accession to
the throne and marriage, the king was setting out on an
expedition against Syria. Upon his safe return the vow was paid, and
the tress deposited in the temple of the deified Arsinoe on the promontory of
Next morning, however, it had disappeared; but t