The scholiasts call this poem an imitation of the παλινῳδία of Stesichorus to Helen (cf. Epode 17. 42-44), cited in Plato Phaedr. 243 A. It is variously inscribed to Tyndaris, Gratidia, or Canidia. The mock-heroic tone is too playful for a serious recantation of the attack on the witch Canidia in Epodes 5 and 17; and the whole may be a mere exercise in verse writing.Daughter more lovely than thy lovely mother, burn or drown my abusive iambics. No frenzy of Corybant or heat of pale-mouthed prophet so shakes the soul as anger. Prometheus put the fury of the lion in our hearts. By that sin fell Thyestes and many a towered city. I, too, in my sweet youth was led astray by the fever of the blood. But now I recant. Be my friend, and restore me to favor.There is a coarse imitation in Johnson's Poets, 11. 457.
A familiar quotation. Cf. Ov. Met. 4. 210, quam mater cunctas tam matrem filia vicit.
quem . . . cunque voles modum: whatever end thou wilt; cf. 1. 24. 1; 3. 15. 2; Cic. Verres. 2. 2. 118, modum et finem facere. The phrase seems intentionally ambiguous, 'put an end to,' or 'set bounds to' the excesses cf.—criminosis: slanderous.
iambis: on account of its rapid movement the iambic rhythm was regarded as especially well adapted to invective. Its use in lampoons goes back to the Greek poet Archilochus of the seventh century B.C. Cf. A. P. 79, 251; Epist. 1. 19. 23; Quint. 10. 1. .9, scriptores iamborum. Horace calls the Epodes iambi; but no extant Epode is meant here.—pones: The future here is partly permissive and partly jussive; thou shalt put.
Hadriano: poetic specification. Cf. 1. 1. 14; 2. 13. 8, etc.
Dindymene: Dindymene, mistress of Dindymus (a mountain in Phrygia), i.e. the great mother of the gods, Cybĕle. Cf. Catullus' domina Dindymi; Lucret. 2. 600 sqq. Cybele symbolized the fruitfulness of nature. Her worship was the first of the oriental cults introduced into Rome (B.C. 204). The rites, of an orgiastic character, were accompanied by wild music of fife, drum, and cymbals.—adytis: felt as a foreign word, as the spelling with y shows; Caesar, B. C. 3. 105, quo praeter sacerdotes adire fas non est quae Graeci ἄδυτα appellant. Translate, in the innermost sanctuary, i.e. of the temple of Apollo. It was only there that the priestess felt the inspiration of the god, as opposed to the devotees of Cybele and Baechus, who under the inspiration of their gods ranged over great tracts of country.
incola Pythius: the god who dwells in Pytho, i.e. Apollo, Pytho being an old name for Delphi. Cf. Catull. 64. 228, incola Itoni, i.e. Athene.
Liber: Bacehus; cf. on 2. 19. 5.—aeque: with quatit. Aeque quatit forms the predicate of Dindymene, of incola Pythius, and of Liber, while with Corybantes the predicate is varied to sic geminant, etc. Ut (as) is correlative to both aeque (so much) and sic (with such effect). With tristes irae supply mentem quatiunt.
geminant . . . aera: clash cymbal on cymbal, geminant being used with special reference to the cymbals being in pairs. Cf. Stat. Theb. 8. 221, gemina aera sonant, Lucret. 2. 636, pulsarent aeribus aera.—Corybantes: priests of Cybele. Cf. on 5; and Plato, Ion, 533 E. Huxley defined the Salvation Army as Corybantic Christianity.
tristes . . . irae: bitter anger; cf. Verg. Ecl. 2. 14, tristes Amaryllidis iras.—Noricus: Noricum, a country between the Danube and the Alps, was famous for its iron. Cf. Epode 17. 71; Ov. Met. 14. 712, durior et ferro quod Noricus excoquit ignis .
naufragum: shipwrecking; cf. navem fregit, was shipwrecked: Verg. Aen. 3. 553, navifragum; Tenn. Maud, 3, 'Listening now to the tide in its broad-flung shipwrecking roar.'
Iuppiter: for the identification of Jupiter with atmospheric phenomena, cf. on 1. 1. 25. n.; Epode 13. 2.—ruens: rushing down, i.e. in thunder, lightning, and rain; for the caeli ruina, cf. 3. 3. 7, and Ζεὺς καταιβάτης.
Prometheus is the maker of man in Plato's Protagoras and Lucian's Prometheus. But the fancy that he was forced to take a portion from every animal (undique) in order to finish man is peculiar to Horace. For the moral, cf. Emerson, History, 'Every animal of the barnyard, the field, and the forest . . . has contrived to get a footing, and to leave the print of its features and form in some one or other of these upright, heaven4acing speakers.' Construe Prometheus, coactus addere, etc., fertur apposuisse et ( = etiam) . . .—principi limo: to the primordial clay. Mr. Churton Collins compares Apoll. Rhod. 4. 674, προτέρης ἐξ ἰλύος. Cf. Soph. Pandora, fr. 441, καὶ πρῶτον ἄρχον (ἄρχου?) πηλὸν ὀργάζειν χεροῖν.
undique: cf. Epist. 2. 3. 3.
insani leonis: cf. 3. 29. 19; Lucret. 3. 296-298.
stomacho: cf. on 1. 6. 6.
irae: cf. Seneca De Ira, 1. 2; Landor, 'Strong are cities:rage o'erthrows 'em, | Rage o'erswells the gallant ship. | Stains it not the cloud-white bosom, | Flaws it not the ruby lip?'—Thyesten: The banquet of Thyestes, whose own sons were served up to him by his brother Atreus, was typical of the horrors of Greek tragedy. Cf. on 1. 6. 8; Epode 5. 86.
stravere: laid low.—altis: cf. on 4. 6. 3.—ultimae: original; furthest back, and hence first. Cf. Catull. 4. 15, ultima ex origine.
stetere: in prose exstitere, a stronger fuere. Cf. Verg. Aen. 7. 553, stant belli causae.
funditus: utterly; κατ¹ ἄκρης, from turret to foundation stone.
aratrum: After destroying a city the victors plowed the site to indicate its total annihilation. Propert. 4. 8. 41, moenia cum Graio Neptunia pressit aratro | Victor; Jeremiah 26. 18, 'Zion shall be plowed like a field'; Young and Burns, 'Ruin's plowshare.'—ex||ercitus: note caesura.—insolens: in the pride of victory. Cf. on 1. 5. 8; Epod. 16. 14.
compesce mentem: curb thy temper. Cf. Odyss. 11. 562, δάμασον δὲ μένος; Epist. 1. 2. 63.
temptavit: attacked, as a disease. Cf. Epist. 1. 6. 28.—dulci: cf. Tennyson's Gama: 'We remember love ourselves in our sweet youth.'
Cf. on 3; A. P. 251, pes citus; Catull. 36. 5, truces vibrare iambos; Anth. Pal. 7. 674, ἐς λυσσῶντας ἰάμβους; Waller, 'To one who wrote against a fair lady: "Should thy iambics swell into a book | All were confuted with one radiant look."'
mitibus mutare tristia: change bitter words to sweet; either the abl. as here, or the acc. as in 1. 17. 1-2, may be the thing to which the change is made with mutare. Cf. A. G. 417. b; G. L. 404. n. 1; H. 478 4.
recantatis . . . opprobriis: now that my abuse has been recanted.
animumque reddas: thy heart, favor; cf. 1. 19. 4. Others my peace of mind: cf. Ter. Andria, 333, reddidisti animum.