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Ode XXXI


The bard's prayer on the dedication of the temple on the Palatine to Actian Apollo, B.C. 28. For an account of the temple and the adjoining library, cf. Epp. 1. 3. 17; 2. 1. 216; 2. 2. 93; Suet. August. 29; Dio Cass. 53. 1; Propert. 3. 29.

Lanciani, Ancient Rome, p.111; Duruy, History of Rome, 4. 1. p.127; Merivale, 4. 24; Gardthausen, 2. 574.

Horace prays neither for cornlands, vineyards, nor fat herds. He envies not the adventurous trader's gains. He asks only for a sound mind in a sound body and 'not to be tuneless in old age.'

Cf. Pindar's prayer, Nem. 8. 37.


dedicatum: just enshrined, used both of the deity and his temple; perhaps because the god and his statue were confounded. Cf. Theog. 11; Ov. Fast. 6. 637, te quoque magnifica, Concordia, dedicat aede.—Apollinem: for Apollo Palatinus, the work of Scopas, brought to Rome by Augustus, cf. Pliny, N. H. 36. 28; Baumeister, 1. p.99. The statue stood between Praxiteles' Latona and Timotheus' Diana. Cf. Propert. 3. 29. 15.


vates: the poet in his higher religious aspect as sacred bard. Cf. Verg. Aen. 6. 662, quique pii vates et Phoebo digna locuti; Epode 16. 66. In his prosaic mood he sneers at the old-fashioned word rehabilitated by Vergil. Cf. Epist. 2. 1. 26, annosa volumina vatum.—novum: new wine used in religious rites. Cf. 1. 19. 15.


fundens . . . de: cf. 4. 5. 34, defuso.—opimae: cf. 1. 7. 11; Verg. Aen. 1. 621, opimam Cyprum.


Sardiniae: with Sicily and Africa the granary of Rome.—segetes: harvest fields; the harvest and the harvest field are virtually one. Cf. Epist. 2. 2. 161.


aestuosae: hot, sunny. Cf. 1. 22. 5; Epode 1. 27.—grata: a prosperous herd is a pleasing sight, especially to the owner. Calabria, in southern Italy, had excellent pasture lands.


For ivory and gold, cf. 2. 18. 1.—Indicum: cf. Tenn., 'Laborious Orient ivory.' The prehistoric Indian trade in ivory, silks, and gems impressed the imagination of the Romans. Cf. Lucret. 2. 537, India . . . vallo munitur eburno. Cf. 3. 24. 2, divitis Indias.


rura: the home of Falernian and, Massic.—Liris: between Latium and Campania, 3. 17. 8.


quieta, of motion; taciturnus, of sound. Contra: longe sonantem . . . Aufidum (4. 9. 2; 3. 30. 10); loquaces (3. 13. 15). Cf. Longfellow, Monte Cassino, 'Beautiful valley! through whose verdant meads | Unheard the Garigliano glides along; |The Liris, nurse of rushes and of reeds; | The river taciturn of classic song.'


mordet: eats into; cf. Lucret. 5. 256, et ripas radentia flumina rodunt; Callim. Ep. 45. 3.


premant: prune, i.e. putent, amputantes coerceant. Cf Verg. G. 1. 157; like arat, Epode 4. 13, it is a poetic expression of ownership.—Calena: Cales in Campania was an important center of the wine-growing industry. Cf. on 1. 20. 9; for transfer of epithet from vitem to falce, cf. 3. 6. 38, Sabellis ligonibus; Cat. 17. 19, Liguri securi.—dedit: sc. premere.


exsiccet: drain (greedily). Cf. 1. 35. 27.—culullis: goblets; cf. A. P. 434.


Syra: eastern trade by way of Syria was greatly increased in the Augustan age. Cf. 3. 29. 60.—reparata: procured in exchange for. Cf. 1. 37. 24.


carus: ironical; he must needs be dear to heaven to run such risks with impunity.—ter et quater: cf. 1. 13. 17.


quippe . . . revisens: since he revisits, i.e. quippe qui revisat (G. L. 626. n. 1; A. G. 535. e. n. 1; H. 592. 1). Cf. use of ἅτε with part.


me: cf. 1. 1. 29. n.—olivae, etc.: a diet of herbs, the standing antithesis to cloying luxury. So already Hesiod, Works, 41.


leves malvae: regarded as laxative. Cf. Epode 2. 58, gravi salubres corpori.


The expression is embarrassed. The simplest way is to construe: dones mihi, et valido et integra cum mente, frui paratis, nec (dones) degere. The Mss. generally read at (l. 18), which is still harsher, and rejected by most editors.


paratis: i.e. partis, what I have, τὰ ἕτοιμα.


Latoe: son of Latona; Λητῷε. For sentiment, cf. Juv. Sat. 10. 356, Orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpore sano;Theog. 789; Eurip. Herc. Fur. 676; Fr. Erechth. 369 (Nauck). And Austin Dobson's graceful tribute to Longfellow, 'Not to be tuneless in old age, | Ah surely blest his pilgrimage,' etc. Lines 19-20 appear on the title-page of Longfellow's Ultima Thule.


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