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Ode XXV


A dithyramb. Horace affects the Bacchic inspiration in order to set the name and fame of Caesar among the stars. The new theme, recens (1.7), may possibly be the overthrow of Cleopatra (cf. 1.37, Epode 9), or more probably the bestowal of the title Augustus upon Octavian, B.C. 27.

On the apotheosis of Augustus, cf. 3.3.16. n.; 4.5.35. n. . Sellar, p.156. With the whole, cf. the ode to Bacehus, 2.19.


Cf. Herrick, 416, 'Whither dost thou whorry (hurry) me, |Bacchus, being full of thee?'


plenum: cf. on 2.19.6. quae: (in) nemora, etc. Cf. Verg. Aen. 6.692, quas ego te (per) terras et quanta per aequora vectum.


mente nova: with changed feelings.


antris: by what grots; as dat. rather than loc. abl. personifies grots as listeners and avoids tautology with in specus egregli: 1.6.11. n.


aeternum: perhaps proleptic. meditans: used of composing aloud, and so here attempting to celebrate; μελετῶν. Cf. Verg. Ecl. 1. 2; 6. 82.; Milton's, 'strictly meditate the thankless muse.' decus: direct object of meditans.


stellis inserere: Tac. Dial. 10, et nomen inserere possunt famae; Tenn., 'Not this way will you set your name |A star among the stars'; Id. Last Tournament, 'The knights |glorying in each new glory set his name |High on all hills and in the signs of heaven'; Lucret. 5.329. Inserere is a complementary infinitive with meditans.


insigne: cf. 1. 12. 39.


indictum: Epp. 1.19.32, non alio dictum prius ore.


non secus . . . ut: so aeque . . . ut (1.16.7-9). Ac mihi after ac pede (11) would have been a horrible cacophony. Non secus (2.3.2). Horace compares his sensations to those of the Maenad, as she looks out on the panorama of the Thracian plain, the river Hebrus, and the snow-capped summit of Mt. Rhodope in the distance. Exsomnis, ἄυπνος, pervigil, must mean sleepless (all the night). The Maenads reveled through the night (Soph. Ant. 1152).


in iugis: cf. Anth. Pal. 6.74, βασσαρίς . . . σκοπελοδρόμος; Verg. Aen. 3.125; Sil. 4.776; Lucan, 1.674, qualis verticePindi| Edonis (cf. 2.7.27) Ogygio decurrit plena Lyaeo.


stupet: is amazed. Ov. Trist. 4.1.42, dum stupet Edonis exululala iugis. Euhias: cf. on 2.19.7; 2.11.17.


Hebrum: in Thrace; it is the river of Orpheus, Verg. G. 4.524. prospiciens: a picture like the Ariadne of Catullus (64.61) on the seashore straining her gaze for Theseus, quem procul ex alga maestis Minois ocellis| Saxea ut effigies Bacchantis prospicit eheu. Or rather, the spirit of a Greek marble is caught by the poet. Cf. 3.20.11-14. nive candidam: 1.9.1.


Thracen: 2.16.5. barbaro: a wild desolate scene; or merely Phrygian, Thracian, by Greek usage.


lustratam: cf. Vergil's virginibus bacchata Lacaenis | Taygeta. English poets render lustrare by 'trace.' Cf. Milton, Comus, 'May trace huge forests and unharbour'd heaths.' -Rhodopen: a mountain in Thrace. Cf. Milton, P. L. 7. init., 'But drive far off the barbarous dissonance |Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race |Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard| In Rhodope.' devio: in my wanderings.


ripas: so absolutely,3. 1.23; 4.2.31.-nemus: 1.1.30.

14-20, Cf. Arnold, The Strayed Reveller, 'And sometimes, for a moment, | Passing through the dark stems| Flowing-robed, the beloved, The desired, the divine,| Beloved Iacchus' ; cf. ibid. Bacchanalia, I., too long to quote.


potens: 1.3.1. Cf. 2.19.3.


valentium . . . vertere: as they do in Eurip. Bacch. 1109. vertere: evertere. For inf. with valeo, cf, 1.34. 12.


parvum: 3.3.72. humili modo: lowly, ταπεινόν, sermones . . . repentes per humum, Epp. 2.1.250.


mortale: Milton, P. L. 7, when his muse descends from heaven, says: 'Standing on earth not rapt above the pole,| More safe I sing with mortal voice.' But Horace is resolved to be 'rapt.' dulce periculum: oxymoron. Cf. 'sweet sorrow,' καλὸς κίνδυνος. For the danger, cf. on 2. 19. 5 sqq.; Homer, Il.20. 131; Judges 13.22.


Lenaee: O God of the wine-press; cf. Orph. Hymn. 50, Ληναῖε (ληνός, a wine-press).


Cf. on 4.8.33. cingentem: probably with the subject of sequi, i.e. the poet (cf. on 1.1.29); possibly of the god (cf. Milton's 'ivy-crowned Bacchus'; Pindar's κισσοδέταν θεόν, fr.75.9).


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