having seven mouths; cf.
Verg. A. 6.800
septemgemini ostia Nili
Ov. Met. 1.422
ubi deseruit madidos septemfluus agros
Ov. Met. 5.187
genitum septemplice Nilo.
colorat aequora: by its
muddy waters, which, in their overflow, still fertilize the
fields of Egypt;
Verg. G. 4.291
[Nilus] viridem Aegyptum nigra
In this and the two following verses is a trace of the
reconciliation of Catullus to Caesar; cf. Intr. 38ff. The poet could not yet
sing Caesar's praises unreservedly, though he might have
done so had he lived longer; but he has already yielded from
his earlier position ofunmixed censure.
humorous application to
inanimate objects pes being
commonly used in such connections.
diminutive implies the general worthlessness of the whole
supinus eat: tumble
flat; apparently a colloquial expression; the adjective is
used in this sense of the sea in Plin. NH 9.2, and of the alluvial plains of
Egypt in Plin. Pan. 30.
cava: deep; cf. Catul. 95.5;
Ov. Met. 6.371
tota cava submergere membra
sic fiat, …
da: with this form of conditional wish cf.
Hor. Carm. 1.3.1 ff.
sic te diva regat, Vergilium
Verg. Ecl. 9.30 ff.
sic distendant ubera vaccae,
Martial imitates 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 the anger of the
king was appeased by the court astronomer, Conon, who said that