Horace apparently sets out to celebrate the moral and religious reforms of Augustus, but lapses into pessimistic reflections on modern degeneracy, from which he fails to return to the more cheerful theme. Cf. on 3.24; 2.15; 4.5.20-25; 4.15.10-15; C. S. 17-20, 45. Translation in Dodsley, 3.18; by Roscommon, Johnson's Poets, 8.271.
maiorum: especially the generation of the civil wars, 88-31.immeritus: Cf. 1.17.28. n.; here not generally guiltless; but innocent of the 'sins of the fathers,' which are visited upon them. Cf. Solon,fr. 13.29-32; Eurip. fr. 980; Exod. 20.5; Ezek. 18.2.
Romane: so sing., Sat. 1.4.85; Verg. Aen. 6. 851; Macaul., 'Thine, Roman, is the pilum.' refeceris: restore; cf. aedis sacras vetustate conlapsas aut incendio absumptas refecit (Suet. Aug.30). CF. Mon. Ancyr. 4.17; Ov. Fast. 2.63, templorum sancte repostor.
aedisandtempla are synonomous here. deorum et: 3.3.71.
fumo:from the fires which had injured the temples. 5, 6. dis, etc.: even Greek skeptics commended the Roman religion as a social and political safeguard (Polyb. 6.56; Gaston Boissier. Relig. Rom.1.28-36). Cf. Propert. 4.10.64, haec di condiderunt haec di quoque moenia servant; Cic. N. D. 3.5. te geris: bearest thyself. MINOREM: 1.12.57; 'walkest humbly with they gods.'
hinc: from them;a verb corresponding to REFERis felt but not 'supplied.' CF. hinc illae lacrimae. principium: as 3. 4.41. CF. Liv. 45.39, maiores vestri omnium magnarum rerum et principia exorsi ab dis sunt et finem statuerunt. huc: to them.
neglecti: expressing the cause ofdederunt, etc., 3.2.30. Liv. 3.20, sed nondum haec quae nunc tenet saeculum neglegentia deorum venerat.
Hesperiae: 2.1.32; 1.36.4.
"Let Crassus' ghost and Labienus tell |How twice in Parthian plains their legions fell.|Since Rome hath been so jealous of her fame,|That few know Pacorus' or Monaeses' name'(Roscommon, Essay on Translated Verse). bis: three defeats are known: that of Crassus, B.C. 53; that of Decidius Saxa by Pacorus, son of the Parthian king Orodes, B.C. 40; avenged by Ventidius, B.C. 38 (cf. Ant. and Cle.3.1); the disastrous repulse of Antony, B.C. 36. A Monaeses is mentioned (Dio, 49.23.24) as an exiled pretendant to the Parthian throne, supported by Antony. Horace cared as little for the historical details as we do. manus:4.11.9; Epode 16.4.
non auspicatos: inauspicious; probably refers to the dire auspices under which Crassus set out (Vell. 2.46; Cic. Div. 1. 29). contudit: crushed; 4.3.8.
adiecisse: 1.1 4. n. praedam: our rich spoils, contrasted with exiguis.
torquibus: necklaces, decorations conferred by the Persian king for bravery or conspicuous merit; cf. the στρεπτοί and ψέλια mentioned as insignia of honor (Xen. Anab. 1.2.27; Cyrop. 8.2.8). renidet: 2.18.2; grins with delight, beams with joy, gaudet, hence inf.
paene: with delevit. seditionibus: dissensions.
Dacus: i.e. the tribes of the north with Antony (Dio, 51. 22; Verg. G. 2.497, descendens Dacus ab Histro). Aethiops: the Egyptian fleet of Cleopatra (Verg. Aen. 8.687 sqq.). 17 sqq. The fountain-head of evil is the corruption of the pure family life of old Rome. Cf. 3.24.20-24; 4.5.21-24; C. S. 17; Juv. Sat. 2.126, O pater urbis| unde nefas tantum Latiis pastoribus?
18.inquinavere: Epode 16.64. genus: the race.
motus . . . Ionicos: 'skirt-dances' will serve. Cf. Athen. 14.629 E; Plaut. Pseud. 1274; Stich. 767. The Ionic dance was especially voluptuous. With motus cf. Epp. 2.2. 125, movetur; A. P.232, moveri. Roman moralists were as severe censors of dancing as Byron. Cf. Sall. Cat. 25, psallere et saltare elegantius quam necesse est probae.
matura: 'the rare ripe maid' (Gildersleeve). fingitur: trained in. artibus: of the coquette.
iam nunc: before marriage. Cf. mox, 25.
de tenero . . . ungui: ἐξ ἁπαλῶν ἀνύχων, i.e. from the quick, means in every fiber, with all her soul, through every nerve, to the finger-tips. Cf. Anth Pal. 5.129; 5.14; Plut. de lib. educ. 5; Plaut. Stich. 759, usque ex unguiculis. It is apparently also used in the sense from infancy (Lyd. de Magg. 2 26; Cic. ad Fam. 1.6).
coram: openly; with iussa.
institor: pedlar, whose trade gave him access to the women of the house.
non . . . parentibus: not from such fathers and mothers sprang the youth who, etc.
infecit aequor: 2.12.3; sc. in the great naval battles of the first Punic war.
Pyrrhum: at Beneventum, B.C. 275. Cf. 1.12.41. n. ingentem:i.e. magnum, Antiochus the Great, defeated at Magnesia, B.C. 190.
dirum: 2.12.2.n.; 4.4.42; 'the dreaded name of Hannibal' (Martin) ; 'Forced even dire Hannibal to yield,| And won the long-disputed world at Zama's fatal field' (Roscommon).
The hardy offspring of a yeoman soldiery.
Sabellis: cf. 1.31.9. The Sabines type the old Italian virtue (Verg. G. 2.532, hanc olim veteres vitam coluere Sabini). Cf. Liv. 1.18.4.
severae: cf. Lucret. 5. 1357, agricolae . . . severi.
portare fustis: after field work was done they must still hew and fetch fagots, at the command and to the contentment of (ad arbitrium) the stern matron. sol . . . curru: a quiet evening idyl. Cf. Tenn. In Mem. 121, 'The team is loosened from the wain,| The boat is drawn upon the shore,' etc.
ubi . . . mutaret: subjunctive because dependent on an infinitive clause; others explain it as a subjunctive of repeated action; mutaret: lengthened.
umbras: Verg. Ecl. 1. 84, maioresque cadunt altis de montibus umbrae. iuga demeret: cf. βουλυτ́ς; Verg. Ecl. 2. 66, aspice, aratra iugo referunt suspensa iuvenci. In Hesiod, Op. 581, πολλοῖσι δ᾽ ἐπὶ ζυγὰ βουσὶ τίθησι; El. in Maec. 99-100.
amicum: welcome; 'Oh Hesperus, thou bringest all things good.'
agens abeunte: faint oxymoron. For agens, cf. Verg. Ecl. 8.17.curru: Epp. 1.16. 6, sol . . . discedens curru fugiente. Cf. Car. Saec. 9-10. n.
damnosa: note effective position: (alas!) the ravages of time. imminuit: has and does.
peior avis: than (that of) our grandfathers; cf. 2.14.28. n.
daturos: cf. 2.3.4. n. Without this fut. part. Horace could hardly have packed four generations in three lines. But cf. Arthur C. Benson's lines 'To my father'--who 'Didst nurse and kindle generous fires| That as the old earth forward runs| May fit the sons of herDesires |To be the sires of hero sons.' Cf. Arat. Phaen. 123.