To vie with Pindar is to essay an Icarus flight. Like a river in flood his lawless verse rushes on through Dithyramb, Paean, Epilnikian, or Dirge. He is the tempest-cleaving swan of Dirce. I am the laborious bee that gathers honey from flower to flower. 'Tis thou, friend Julius, that must sing in lofty strain the pomp that shall wind down the Sacred Way and the people's joy at Caesar's vouchsafed return. Thou wilt sacrifice ten bulls in honor of the glad day. A young calf will be a fit offering for me. Apparently composed, like 5, about B.C. 14 in anticipation of Augustus' return from the west, whither he had gone in B.C. 16 after the defeat of M. Lollius (cf. on 9) by the Sygambri. Jullus Antonius may have suggested that Horace should celebrate the achievements of the emperor in Pindaric strain. Or the ode may be a deprecatory preface to 4 and 14. The failure to mention the victories of Drusus, does not prove that it was written later. Jullus Antonius, the son of the triumvir and Fulvia, was brought up by his stepmother Octavia and treated as a member of the Julian house by Augustus, who married him to Marcelia the daughter of Octavia, and raised him to the consulship B.C. 10. He was the author of an Epic in twelve books,--the Diomedea. On the discovery of his intrigue with the emperor's daughter, Julia, he was put to death, B.C. 2. Cf. Veil. 2.100; Dio. 35.10. For the influence of Pindar upon Horace, see Arnold, Griechischen Studien des Horaz, p.102 sqq; cf. also notes on 1.12. 1; 2.1.37; 3.3; 3.4.69; 3.11; 3.27; 4.4.18 and73. On the technical conformity of this ode with the type of the recusatio see Lucas, Festschrift f. Joh. Vahlen, 3234; and Reitzenstein, Neue Jahrbücher 21 (1908). 84. Cowley's Praise of Pindar (Johnson's Poets, 7.129) is an imitation of this ode. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the 'Pindaric Ode' was a recognized and very quaint literary type. Cf. Gosse, English Odes, Intr.; Garnett, Ital. Lit., p.278.
Cf Quintil. 10.1.61, Horatius eum [Pindarum] merito credidit nemini imitabilem, Yet he smilingly encourages (Epist. . 1.3.9) his young literary friend Titius,| Pindarici fontis qui non expalluit haustus.--aemulari: rival.
Iulle: found in inscriptions as a praenomen. See Rhein. Mus. 44.317 ; and Mommsen, Hermes 24, 155. The use of the praenomen is familiar, but 'Julian' is always complimentary in the Augustan poets. Iulius a magno demissum nomen Iulo (Verg. Aen. 1.288). 'Valerius smote down Julius| Of Rome's great Julian line' (Macaulay, Reg.).--ceratis: wax-joined. -ope: 1.6. 15.-Daedalea: cf. on 1.3.34; Ov. Met. 8.189.
nititur: soars; cf. nisus (4.4.8); Verg. Aen. 4.252, paribus nitens Cyllenius alis.--vitreo: cf. on 3.13.1; and Wordsworth's 'glassy sea'; Arnold's 'clear, green sea'; Milton, 'On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea.'--daturus: cf. on 2.3.4.
nomina: cf. 3.27.76; Ov. Trist. 1.1.90, Icarus aequoreis nomina fecit aquis; Stat. Theb. 12.625, casurum in nomina ponti. That the plural is merely for metrical convenience appears from Trist. 3.4.22, Icarus immensas nomine signet aquas. 5 sqq. Cf. Cowley, Praise of Pindar, 'So Pindar does new words and figures roll |Down his impetuous dithyrambic tide,| Which in no channel deigns to abide,| Which neither banks nor dikes control.'--decurrens: cf. Lucret. 5. 946, montibus e magnis decursus aquai.--amnis: Cicero has flumen ingenii, flumen orationis. Cf. Tenn. 'full-flowing river of speech'; Dante, 'quella fonte,| che spande di parlar sì largo flume.'
Cf. King John, 3.1, 'Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds'; Mids. Night's Dr. 2.1, 'Have every pelting river made so proud,| That they have overborne their continents.'--notas . cf. 1.2.10; Ov. Met. 1.370, ut nondum liquidas sic iam vada mota secantes; Milt. Il Pens., 'while Cynthia checks her dragon yoke| Gently o'er the accustomed oak.'--aluere: cf. Tenn., 'full-fed river'; Homer, Il.15, 621, κύματά τε τροφόεντα.
fervet: cf. Sat. 1.10.62, rapido ferventius amni ingenium. --immensus ruit: like πολυ]ς ῥεῖ. The language of the image is retained in the application to the poet. The whole expresses thee beatissima rerum verborumque copia of Quintilian (10.1.61).
profundo . . . ore: i.e. deep-mouthed. Not the mouth of the river, but the os magnum (Ov. Pont. 4.16.5); the os magna sonaturum (Sat. 1.4.43); the os rotundum (A. P.323) of the poet.
laurea: 3.30. 16.--donandus: worthy to be presented with; the conclusion of seu . . . seu . . . sive, etc. The 'fut. pass.' part is only less convenient than the fut. act. (cf. on 2.3.4). Horace employs it with special frequency in this book: Cf. 45; 47; 4.68; 9.4, 9.21, 11.3, 11.14, 11.34, 14.17. Cf. also on 11.30. --Apollinari: cf. 3.30.15. n.; Ov. Met. 1.357-565.
audacis: bold metaphors and compounds were characteristic of dithyrambic poetry. Cf. Cope, on Aristotle's Rhet. 3.3. Boileau in his Discours Sur L'Ode, prefixed to his Ode sur la Prise de Namur, naively says, 'A l'exemple des anciens poëtes dithyrambiques j'y ai employé les figures les plus audacieuses, jusqu'à y faire un astre de la plume blanche que le roi porte ordinairement à son chapeau.'
devolvit: cf. volventis, 3.29.38; Tenn. A Character, 'devolved his rounded periods'; 'Devolving through the maze of eloquence | A roll of periods' (Thomson, Autumn).
lege solutis: soluta oratio normally means prose. One is legibus solutus who is not bound by a law. Pindar's difficult measures may have seemed lawless to Horace, or he may mean merely poems not composed in strophes. Cf. Klopfstock (Nauck), 'Willst du zu Strophen werden, O Haingesang? WilIst du gesetzlos?' etc. ; Cowley, Liberty, 6, 'The more heroic strain let others take,| Mine the Pindaric way I'll make: | The matter shall be grave,| the numbers loose and free.' On the error of this view of Pindar's poetry, cf. Jebb, Greek Class. Poetry, p.141. It is as old in Greek lit. as Himerius (Orat. 3. 1). But in the school of Statius' father the boys were taught qua lege recurrat | Pindaricae vox flexa lyrae (Silv. 5.3.151).
The hymns and Paeans.
reges: not the historical kings, Hieron, Theron, etc., celebrated in the Epinikian odes, but the legendary heroes, Pirithous, Theseus, Bellerophon.
sanguinem: cf. 3.27.65.--quos: the reference is to Theseus and Pirithous.
Centauri: cf. on 1.18.8; Pind, fr. 143.--tremendae: 4.6.7; 4.14.12.--Chimaerae: killed by Bellerophon; 1. 27.24; 2.17.13.
The Epinikian hymns.
Elea . . . palma: Olympia was in Elis; the palm of Elis is typical of the four great games. Cf. on 4.3.3. For palma see note on 1. 1.5.
domum . . . caelestis: the triumphant home-bringing of the victor is everywhere emphasized by Pindar, who warns him that he must not strive to become as a god and that he cannot scale the brazen heavens. Cf. 1.1.5.
pugilemve equumve: in partitive apposition with quos; the boxing and riding here stand for all athletic contests. Cf. Epp. 2.3.83. Pindar does not forget the horse (O.1.18), but equum here is probably used for metrical convenience.
centum potiore signis: better than a hundred statues; cf. the expansion of the thought 4.8; also, Pind. Nem .4.81; Agathias, Anth. Pal. 4.4.9.
The lost Dirges (θρηνοι). Horace seems to have a particular poem in mind.
flebili: cf. on 1.24.9.
Note hypermetra. Cf. 3.29.35.
aureos: cf. 'golden lads' (1.5.9. n.). --astra: 3.25.6. --nigro: cf. on 1.24.18.
invidit Orco: cf. 3.2.21; 4.8.27, caelo musa beat.
Cf. Denham, On death of Cowley, 'On a stiff gale (as Flaccus sings)| The Theban swan extends his wings,| When through th' ethereal clouds he flies;| To the same pitch our swan doth rise.' Dircaeum: for fountain Dirce, cf. Lex.--cycnum: cf. on 4.3.20; 2.20. Gray, Progress of Poesy, describes Pindar as the Theban eagle 'sailing with supreme dominion |Through the azure deep of air.'
apis: cf. Epp. 1.3.21; 1.19.44; Pind. fr. 152; Pyth. 10. 54; Bacchyl. 10.10; Plat. Ion, 534. A; Aristoph. Birds, 749; Erinna, Anth. Pal. 7.13. 1.--Matinae: 1.28.3.
more modoque: mere alliterative formula. Cf. A. G. 412. b.
per laborem: cf. per dolum (1.10.10); per vim (3.14.15).
plurimum: with laborem rather than with nemus. Cf. De Quincey (Masson, 11.379), 'There are single odes of Horace that must have cost him a six weeks' seclusion from the wickedness of Rome'; Tenn. In Mem. 65, 'And in that solace can I sing, |Till out of painful phases (phrases?) wrought |There flutters up a happy thought |Self-balanced on a lightsome wing.'--circa: 1.18. 2 --uvidi: 1.7.13.
operosa: cf. Ruskin's Queen of the Air, 48, 'I, little thing that I am, weave my laborious songs as earnestly as the bee among the bells of thyme on the Matin mountains.' See the whole passage. Cf. 3.1.48; 3.12.5; and Philips' 'operose Dr. Bentley.'
concines: the transition is abrupt, but pronouns and adversative particles were not easy to manage in Latin Sapphics. Cf. 1.20. 10.--maiore poeta plectro: thou a poet of loftier style. Cf. on 2.1.40; 2.13.26.
quandoque: cf. on 4. 1. 17.--trahet: will drag (in triumph). This is the natural phrase. Cf. Epp. 2.1.191. But in the order of the triumph the captives preceded. Cf. 1.12.54.
sacrum clivum: the part of the Sacred Way from the Arch of Titus to the Forum. Cf. Epode 7.8; Martial, 1.70.5, sacro . . . clivo; Macaulay, Proph. of Capys, 30, 'Blest and thrice blest the Roman |Who sees Rome's brightest day,| Who sees that long victorious pomp |Wind down the Sacred Way |And through the bellowing Forum,| And round the Suppliants' Grove, |Up to the everlasting gates| Of Capitolian Jove.'--decorus: cf. 3.14.7; 2.16.6.
fronde: the wreath of laurel.--Sygambros: they had defeated the legate Lollius (cf. Intr.), but hastened to make peace with Augustus. Cf. 4.14.51.
Augustus is heaven's last best gift to man. The phrase suggests Cic. Acad. Post. 1.7, and Plato, Tim. 47, b. For the flattery, cf. Epp. 2.1.17; Ov. ex Pont. 1.2.98; Sellar, p.157, 'In the odes of the 4th book the ideal is supposed to be realized; but there is less perhaps of the ring of genuine sincerity in the celebration of its triumph. The tone of the poet is more distinctly imperial than national. . . . The adulation which was the bane of the next century begins to be heard.' Cf. on 4.15.4; 3.3.16.
boni: cf. 4.5.1.
aurum: i.e. tempus aureum (Epode 16.64).
priscum: cf. Epode 2.2.--laetos: festos.
ludum: the technical phrase is ludos, but Horace prefers to vary familiar formulas, and, like Tennyson, would almost rather sacrifice the sense than bring two s's together, though, like Tennyson, he sometimes does, e.g. 1.2.27; 1.25.19; 3.18.6; 4.7. 17; 4.9.10. Cf. on 3.5.52.--super: on account of.--impetrato: vouchsafed in answer to our prayers. There are coins of B.C. 16 inscribed S. P. Q. R. V. S. (vota suscepta) Pro S. (salute) ET RED. AVG. Cf. also Dio, 54.19.
litibus orbum: the closing of the courts, iustitium. For orbum, cf. Lucret. 5.840, orba pedum; Pind. Isth. 3.26, ὄρφανοι ὕβριος. 45 sqq. The Augustan poets frequently describe themselves as humble spectators of the emperor's triumphs. Cf. Proper. 4.3; Cons. ad Liv. 273 sqq. In this case Augustus declined the triumph and entered the city by night. The ludi took place in the year 14 (Dio, 54.27). --audiendum: worth hearing.
bona pars: i.e. my voice shall freely swell the acclaim.
Sol pulcher: cf. 4.4.39.--recepto: 2.7.27.
teque: with dicemus; personifies the Triumph itself, as in Epode 9.21. But see Ensor, Hermathena 12 (1903). 108.
civitas omnis: in apposition with the subject of dicemus.--dabimus: at the totam delubra per urbem (Verg. Aen. 8. 716).--tura: 4. 1.22.
te (i.e. Antonius) . . . me: cf. 2.17.30-32.
solvet: will release, i.e. from his vow.--relicta . . . matre: weaned.
Quiet, homely or idyllic ending. Cf. 2.19.29-32; 3.5.53-56. So Tennyson closes Walking to the Mail, Edwin Morris, and The Golden Year.
iuvenescit: is growing up.--herbis: cf. 3.23.11.
in: i.e. to pay.
The phrasing is suggested by the familiar expression, cornua lunae. Cf. C. S. 35; Claudian de Rapt. Pros. 1.129, (vitula) nec nova lunatae curvavit germina frontis.--tertium . . . ortum: of the moon at her third rising, lit., bringing back her third rising. Cf. 3.29.20. The new moon shows a slight sickle, or crescent, on the third evening. Shelley, Hellas, 'The young moon has fed| Her exhausted horn.'
Cf. Hom. Il.23.454, 'A chestnut all the rest of him, but in the forehead marked with a white star.' Cf. λευκομέτωπος. Cf. Moschus, 2.84. Cf. 'The glory of the herd, a bull | Snow-white, save 'twixt his horns one spot there grew; | Save that one stain, he was of milky hue.' (?)
notam duxit: is marked; so ducere . . . colorem (Ov. Met. 3.484); Juv. 2.81, uvaque conspecta livorem ducit ab uva; Verg. Ecl. 9.49.