Marbles and bronzes are not mine to give, friend Censorinus, nor do you want them. In song thou delightest, and my present is a song. 'Who will not honor noble numbers when Verses out-live the bravest deeds of men?' -Herrick. C. Marcius Censorinus, consul B.C. 8, is known only by this poem--which thus fulfils its boast--and by Velleius' mention of him (2.102) as virum demerendis hominibus genitum. Imitations by Jenyns, Johnson's Poets, 17.608, and by Mason, ibid. 18.418. For the theme, cf. on 3.30 and 4.9; Cowley, Praise of Poetry; Martial, 10.2.9-12; Eleg. in Maecen. 37. Statius, Silvae, 5.1.1-10, expands the first few lines. Cf. also Propert. 4.1.57. A great deal of literature has accumulated about this ode. The chief points which have appeared in the controversy are the following: (1) the apparent identification in ll.15-19 of Scipio Africanus Maior, who conquered Hannibal at Zama in 202 B.c., with Scipio Africanus Minor, who destroyed Carthage (incendia Karthaginis) at the end of the Third Punic War in 146 B.C. ; (2) the absence of caesura in the line non incendia Karthaginis impiae; and (3) the fact that the ode, which contains thirty-four lines, does not conform to "Meineke's canon," according to which the number of lines in all of Horace's odes is a multiple of four. Measures more or less heroic have been adopted by editors to remove these difficulties. For incendia the emendations impendia and stipendia have been suggested. Various omissions have also been proposed; e.g. ll.15 non-19 rediit and ll.28 and 33 by Lachmann and Haupt; 14-17 by Peerlkamp; 15-20 by Verrall. Bentley rejected l.17, in which he has been followed by some modern scholars (cf. Heinze in Berl. Phil. Wochen., XXVIII (1908), 1341). Lehrs rejected the whole ode, as does Gow. See Postgate's Corpus, Vol.1, p.227; Earle, Rev. de Philol. 29 (1905), 3O6 sqq. The results of Elter's elaborate treatise (Donarem Pateras, Bonn, 1907), so far as the interpretation of the poem is concerned, are negligible. The difficulties of the ode have indeed been much exaggerated. It is certainly unreasonable to omit verses in order to bring about conformity with a law of such doubtful validity as Meineke's alleged canon; and even in regard to the historical difficulty we may assume that Horace mingled the glories of the two Scipios and meant the phrase, eius qui domita nomen ab Africa, etc., to apply to both, as it conceivably may, regardless of the fact that Ennius did not live to sing the younger.
donarem: probably as presents on the occasion of the Saturnalia (Dec. 17-19).--commodus: if the gifts are grata, the giver is complaisant, préenant. Cf. Epp. 2.1.227; 1.9.9, Odes 3.19.12.
aera: vasa Corinthia, bronzes.
tripodas: cf. Pind. Isth. 1.18, 'And at the games they entered oftenest for the strife, and with tripods and caldrons and cups of gold they made fair their houses' (Myers); Hesiod, Works, 656; Homer, Odyss. 13.13.
ferres: i.e. auferres.--divite me scilicet: that is, if I were rich, protasis to donarem.--artium: works of art; so τέχνη frequently in Pausanias.
Parrhasius: the great painter of the close of the fifth century B.C. In an epigram in Athenaeus (12.543. C) he boasts that he had attained the limits of art.--Scopas: the great sculptor of the first half of the fourth century. protulit: created, invented. Cf. Tibull. 1.10.1, quis fuit horrendos primus qui protulit enses?
liquidis: suggests as complement the hard stone. Cf. 3.13.6. n.
ponere: represent; used both of painting and sculpture.
vis: i.e. I have not the power (to give them). Hederae vis (4.11.4), a quantity of, is not parallel.
egens: with res, he is rich and could buy them; with animus, his desires are not set on such 'curios.'
pretium dicere: tell the worth; a slight variation on pretium ponere or statuere, set a price, Sat. 2.3.23.
Not inscribed marbles, nor all the deeds of Scipio, confer so sure an immortality of fame as the Calabrian muse (of Ennius). For discussion of the passage, see last paragraph of the introduction to the ode.
'The marbles cut by the letters' is more plastic than the 'letters cut in or into the marbles' would be. There is a possible allusion to Augustus' design of setting up, in the portico of his Forum, statues of the great Roman generals, with inscriptions recounting their deeds. Cf. Suet. Octav. 31; Gell. N. A. 9. 11,
spiritus et vita: cf. Verg. Aen. 6.847, imitated in Macaulay's 'The stone that breathes and struggles, |The brass that seems to speak' (Proph. of Capys, 28).
celeres fugae: the abandonment of Italy or the flight from the field of Zama, or both. Editors query the force of the plural. The nom. sing. would not give the rhythm. Cf. celerem fugam (2.13.17; 2.7.9).
minae: cf. 4.3.8. The threats of ' Hannibal at the gates' of Rome were hurled back at Carthage by Scipio after Zama.
impiae: cf. 4.4.46.
Cf. Sat. 2. 1.66, qui duxit ab oppressa meritum Karthagine nomen; Milton, P. R., 'How he surnamed of Africa dismissed |In his prime youth the fair Iberian maid.'--eius: cf. on 3.11.18.
luc atus: a purposely low word. In Val. Max. 3.8.1, Scipio boasts that he has gained nothing from the subjugation of all Africa but a cognomen.
Calabrae Pierides: the Muse of Ennius, who was a native of Rudiae in Calabria. Nos sumus Romani qui fuvimus ante Rudini, he boasts. He had celebrated Scipio, both in his Annals and in a special poem.
chartae: so 4. 9.31.--sileant: transitive, cf 3. 19. 8 n
Iliae: cf. on 1.2.17.
puer: cf. 4.6.37.--invida: cf. on 4.9.33; 4.5.9.
Aeacum: cf. on 2.13.22.
virtus: his virtue. Cf. 3.2.21, and Pind. Isth. 8.24.--favor: popular acclaim. potentium: the power of which Corneille boasts when he cries to a young beauty, 'Vous ne passerez pour belle |Qu'autant que je l'aurai dit.' Cf. Shaks. Sonnet 55, 'Not marble, not the gilded monuments,| Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme.'
divitibus=beatis. Cf. 1.4.14. insulis: loc. abl. For Islands of Blessed, cf. on Epode 16.42.
Cf. Sellar, p.181. Horace is not careful to distinguish the immortality of mythical or imperial apotheosis, that of the 'choir invisible,' and that conferred by poetry. Cf. on 3.3. 9-12.
Cf. Bacchyl. 3.92. sic: i.e. by the power of song. Cf. hac arte, resuming what precedes, 3.3.9.
optatis: it was the goal of his striving. Cf. Epp. 2.3 412. So Hercules frequently points the moral in Pindar.
Cf. 1.3.2; 1.12.27.
quassas: cf. 1.1. 18.--33. Cf. 3.25.20.
vota . . . ducit: like interest and eripiunt is a concrete expression of the general idea of deification. Cf. Verg. Eclog. 5.79.