'You prate of Inachus and ancient history,' Horace cries to a learned prosy friend, 'when the question is what brand of Chian shall we procure, and at whose house shall we dine together tonight.' Then, transferring himself in imagination to the carouse, he takes the chair as arbiter bibendi, gives out toasts, orders the mixing of the wine and water and bids them wake the echoes till envious old January, ill-mated with beauteous May next door, hears their revelry. Or we may conceive the whole scene, the inopportune antiquarian talk and the jovial interruption to take place at the banquet. If the Murena of 1.11 is the Murena of 2.10, the date can hardly be later than his conspiracy against Augustus, B.C. 23 (Vell. 2.91; Suet. Octav. 19.66; Sen. de Clem. 9; Dio, 54.3).
quantum distet: how long a period separates. Inacho: cf. on 2.3.21; F. Q. 2.9.56, 'The wars he well remembered of King Nine,| Of old Assaracus and Inachus divine.'
Codrus: semi-mythical last king of Athens according to the later form of the myth. In war with Dorians he provoked his own death because of prophecy that the enemy would win if they spared the life of the Athenian king (Cic. Tusc. 1.116). timidus: so 4.9.52.
narras: colloquial, almost slangy, like French 'Qu'est-ce que tu chantes?' The lexicons do not bring this out. Cf. Sat. 1.9.52; 2.7.5; Martial 3.46.7; 4.61.16; 3.63.13; 4.37. 6; 8. 17.3, etc.; Propert. 3. 7.3; Petron Sat. 44; Sen. de Morte Cl. 6; Persius, 1.31, quid dia poemata narrent, where this force is necessary to the point. genus Aeaci: Zeus, Aeacus, Peleus, Achilles, Neoptolemus, Telamon, Ajax, and Teucer.
pugnata . . . bella: cf. on 4.9.19; Epp. 1.16.25, bella ibi terra pugnata marique. sacro: Ἴλιος ἱρή. For gender see 1.10.14.
Apparently the feast is to be a συμβολή, where each contributes his part and one lends his house and provides the hot water. Chium cadum= a cask of Chian Cf. Sabina diota, 1.9.7 The Chian was prized. Cf. Epode 9.34; Mrs. Browning Wine of Cyprus, 7, 'Go! let others praise the Chian.'
aquam temperet: for the wine. Sat. 1.4.88, qui praebet aquam is the host.
praebente domum: in Sat. 2.8.36 he is playfully called parochus, the purveyor. quota (sc. hora); at what hour.
Paelignis: the Paeligni, high in the Apennines, were proverbially cold (Ov. Fast. 4. 81). taces: what you speak-of you can be-silent-of. Cf. 4.9.31.
da: sc. cyathos, vinum lunae, noctis, auguris: for the use of thee genitive to express the toast, cf. 3.8.13; Anth. Pal. 3.136; 5.110; 5.137; Theoc. 14. 18. novae: the month was originally lunar, and the Kalends would be conventionally the new moon. Cf. 3.23.2.
noctis: 3.28.16. mediae: they won't go home till morning. auguris: apparently Murena has recently been chosen into the college of augurs. 11, 12. The cups shall contain a mixture of 3 cyathi of wine and 9 of water, or 9 of wine and 3 of water. Fractions were reckoned in twelfths of the as or the sextarius by unciae and cyathi respectively. Anacreon drank 10 water to 5 wine (fr. 64). Cf. Athenac. 10.426 sqq.
commodis: at your choice; cf. 4.8. 1. Others render just or full.
imparis: they were nine.
ternos ter: 9/12 wine, the stronger mixture. attonitus: cf. Lex. s.v. B, οἴνῳ συγκεραυνωθείς φρένας (Archil. fr. 74).
tris . . . supra: probably more than three (the weaker mixture), suited to him who sacrifices to the Graces. It has been taken the three beyond (9); that would make it unmixed wine. Cf. Ov. Fast. 3.813, altera tresque super.
metuens: with gen. (3. 24. 22). Gratia, etc.: cf. on 1.4.6; 4.7.5. nudis: until the third century B.C. art showed them clothed. Cf. Frazer on Pausan. 9.35.6.
insanire iuvat: cf. on 2.7.28. Berecyntiae: cf. 1.18. 13; 4.1.22; Epode 9.5, 6. The tibia was orgiastic.
cessant: cf. on 1.27.13; 3.27. 58. flamina: λωτοῦ πνεύματα(Eurip. Phoen. 788).
pendet: harps and lyres conventionally hang when not in use (Odyss. 8.671; Pind. O.1.17; Scott, Prelude, L. of L., 'Harp of the north! that mouldering long hast hung,' etc). fistula: 4.1.24; 1.17.10. Tacita with both nouns.
sparge rosas: cf. 1.36.15; Epp. 1.5.14, potare et spargere flores; Herrick's and Martial's 'Now raignes (regnat) the rose.' The hand that scattered winter roses would not be niggardly. Cf. Martial, 4.29.3; 6.80; Lucian, Nigrin. 31; Pater, Marius, Chap. 12, sub fin., 'And at no time had the winter roses from Carthage seemed more lustrously yellow and red,' audiat, etc.: Propert. 4. 8. 9, dulciaque ingratos adimant convivia somnos.| publica vicinae perstrepat aura viae.
Lycus: some old man who lived near the scene of the revel. There is a neighbor Λύκος in Theoc. 14. 24. For the invidious repetition (Lycus . . . Lyco) cf. on 1.13.1-2.
vicina: Lycus' young wife. non habilis: not tempestiva (27).
spissa: no 'thin and icy crown.' nitidum: cf. on 2.12. 19, 'well-groomed.' But cf. Pind. Nem. 1.68, φαιδίμαν . . . κόμαν. Tenn. El., 'Her bright hair blown about the serious face.'
puro: i.e. in a clear sky. Cf. 2.5.19; 3.10.8,; 3.29.45. similem . . . vespero: cf. on 3. 7.1; 3.9. 21. Telephe: 1.13.1. 4.11.21.
tempestiva: suited to thee; cf. 1.23.12; 4.1.9; and non habilis above. petit: 1.33.13. Rhode: 'whose name and fame are of roses' (Symonds).
me: Epode 14. 15. lentus: 1.13.8; Tibull. 1.4.81 lento me torquet amore Glycerae: 1.19.5; 1.30.3; 1.13.2. torret: 1.33.6; 4.1.12. It is a smoldering fire. Theoc. 3. 17, ὅς με κατασμύχων.