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Hypsipyle was daughter of Thoas, King of Lemnos. When the Argonauts visited Lemnos, they found her reigning as queen, the women of the island having slain all the men. Hypsipyle concealed and saved her father, who, however, according to one story, was subsequently discovered and killed. This, and the later massacre of Athenian women who had been carried off by the Pelasgian inhabitants of the island, gave rise to the proverbial expression, “Λήμνια ἔργα” (Herod.vi. 138). A lost play of Aeschylus, Hypsipyle, was no doubt on this subject.
Tirynthia. Hercules is often called Tirynthius, as in VII. 410. His father, Amphitryon, was expelled from Argolis before or soon after the birth of the hero, who subsequently recovered Tiryns.
domino comitante. Their possessor is subordinated to the precious arrows. Cf. 51 n., 138.
manus ultima, ‘the last hand,’ ‘the finishing touch,’ Cf. Virg. Aen.VII. 572, “extremam...bello imponit...manum”. 404-17. There has evidently been considerable interpolation here. Korn follows Bentley and Merkel respectively in rejecting 404-7 and 409-17. The death of Priam and the carrying away of the Trojan women are related twice, and the mention here of Hecuba's metamorphosis anticipates the conclusion of the whole story. Korn also remarks on the obscurities of expression, as in post omnia and tendebat, and on the want of connection between 407, 408, and 409, and between 414 and 415. The details also, which may have been derived from Virg. Aen.II. 403-6 and 515-7, and from Seneca, Troad. 1081, are foreign to the purpose of the narrative.
novo, ‘sudden.’ The expression seems to be taken from VII. 362, “et quos Maera novo latratu terruit agros”, where, as frequently, the epithet is used of a characteristic induced by sudden metamorphosis, and need not be connected predicatively with terruit.
in angustum clauditur, ‘narrows to the strait.’ The Cynossema (“κυνὸς σῆμα”, Dog's Tomb), the supposed burialplace of Hecuba, was on a promontory in the Thracian Chersonese nearly opposite Abydos.
consederat, ‘had fallen.’ The word is used of the collapse of buildings in a fire, and the eonsequent subsidence of the flames. Cf. Virg. Aen.II. 624, and for another sense, 1 n.
exiguum senis. The blood of the aged was supposed to be scanty. So of the old ram killed by Medea and changed to a lamb in order to tempt the daughters of Pelias by a proof of her skill, VII. 314, Haemonio marcentia guttura cultro fodit et exiguo maculavit sanguine ferrum. Iovis ara, the altar of “Ζεὺς ῾Έρκειος”, Troad. 16. Cf. Ibis, 284, “cui nihil Hercei profuit ara Iovis”. The slaughter of Priam by Pyrrhus (cf. 155 n.) is related at length by Virgil, Aen.II. 506-59.
tractata comis. Cf. Virg. Aen.II. 403, “trahebatur passis Priameia virgo crinibus”. See 336 n. antistita Phoebi. Cassandra had received the gift of prophecy from Apollo. non . . . palmas, ‘unavailing hands.’ But palmas is to be taken strictly, the hand being held in supplication with the palm uppermost. Cf. VIII. 681, “manibusque supinis concipiunt preces”, Virg. Aen.IV. 205, Hor. C. III. xxiii. 1, Prom. Vinct. “ὑπτιάσμασιν χερῶν”.
Dardanidas, Greek accusative of 3rd declension, R. § 170. signa . . . amplexas. Cf. Virg. Aen.II. 517, “divom amplexae simulacra”. The perfect participle describes the state, the effort towards which would be expressed by the imperfect participle amplectentes, as in VI. 100, where Cinyras strives to embrace his daughters who have been turned to stone, “gradus templi, natarum membra suarum, amplectens”. Instances in which the action of the perfect participle is not past in reference to the action of the verb, are not rare. They are most commonly recognised in deponent verbs where English represents them by a present participle. See Key, Lat. Gr. § 1273, and compare the use of operatus in Hor. C. III. xiv. 6, Virg. Georg.I. 339, feriatus (‘keeping holiday’), Hor. C. IV. vi. 14, solatus, Virg. Georg.I. 293, Virg. Aen.V. 708, ususVirg. Aen., 657Virg. Aen., XIV. 546, vectusVirg. Aen., V. 360, invectusVirg. Aen., XIV. 538, Virg. Aen.I. 155, blanditusVirg. Aen., VI. 440Virg. Aen., XIV. 705.For passives cf. actus, Liv.i. XII. 3, relictus, ib. XXXIV. 2, caesus, id. II. xxxvi. 1. Other references and a discussion of similar usages in the participles generally may be found in Wagner's Quaestiones Virgilianae, xxix.
templa tenentes. Cf. Virg. Aen.II. 490, “amplexaeque tenent postes atque oscula figunt”.
invidiosa is generally taken to mean ‘enviable’ or ‘envied,’ as in IX. 10, “pulcherrima virgo multorumque fuit spes invidiosa procorum”. Mr. King translates ‘the prize and spoil of wrangling Greeks.’ But the word may also be used of what excites invidia in its other senses, as frequently in the sense of ‘hateful’; ‘inuidiosa saepius Ouidio sunt quae propter miseriam uel crudelitatem inuidiam mouent in auctores.’ (R. Ellis on Ibis, 121, citing this passage and V. 513). Here it seems to mean ‘pitiful’ or ‘odious,’ rousing pity and indignation in the onlookers. Cf. V. 513, where it is used of Ceres in her grief for the loss of Proserpine: “ante Iovem passis stetit invidiosa capillis”, VII. 603, of the inhabitants of Aegina dying of pestilence, “ante ipsas, quo mors foret invidiosior, aras” (‘nay, at the altar's foot, so more the cruel Gods reproaching,’ King).
mittitur, ‘is hurled.’ Cf. 438. Astyanax or Scamandrius ( Il.VI. 402) was thrown from a tower of Troy by Ulysses, according to one story in order that he might not, as was prophesied, restore the kingdom of Troy; according to another, because Calchas announced that the departure of the Greeks was impossible until he had thus been put to death. 416. This forms, as it were, a companion picture to the one in Virg. Aen.II. 453-7 of Andromache's frequent visits with the child to Priam and Hecuba. Cf. Ibis, 563, “vel videas quod iam cum flammae cuncta tenerent, Hectoreus patria vidit ab urbe puer”. The details may be imitated from Seneca, Troad. 1081, “turri in hac blando sinu fovens nepotem, cum metu versos gravi Danaos fugaret Hector et ferro et face, paterna puero bella monstrabat senex.”
flatu secundo, a breeze ‘following,’ and so favourable. Cf. 630, 728.
patriae, ‘of their city.’ The meaning of the word is frequently thus restricted; ‘fatherland’ is too large a term. Cf. V. 652, “patria est clarae mihi, dixit, Athenae”, Liv.i. 18, “cremata patria”, id. IV. ii. 13, “minari se proditurum patriam, oppugnari atque capi passurum”, Cic. de Legg. II. ii. 5.
Hecuba. Cf. 549, 556. Ovid generally retains the original long quantity of Greek nominatives feminine of 1st declension, as in Electra, Fast.IV. 177, Amalthea, ib. V. 155, Rhea, ib. IV. 201. Cf. Ter. Eun.107 Eun., 707, Phor. 865, 1037.
ossibus . . . dantem. Cf. VIII. 537-41, and Tennyson's Rizpah.
Dulichiae, of Ulysses (cf. 107, XIV. 226), to whom she had fallen in the division of spoil. Cf. 485-7. hausit. The primary meaning of this word seems to be to ‘dip’ what is liquid, or ‘dig’ what is solid, with the general idea of producing a cavity. Cf. Fast.II. 294, “nectar erat palmis hausta duabus aqua” Fast., IX. 35, “ille cavis hausto spargit me pulvere palmis”. In the former use (for which cf. 535) it passes to the general sense of ‘drain,’ ‘drink’ (xiv. 277), ‘draw,’ (of breath, as in Virg. Aen.X. 899, hausit caelumVirg. Aen., XIV. 129, and metaphorically of the flame of love Virg. Aen., VIII. 326Virg. Aen., X. 252, of light, Georg. ii. 340, and metaphorically, XV. 64, “oculis ea pectoris hausit”, of sound, 787, XIV. 309, of blood, 331, IV. 118). For the latter cf. 526, 564, XIV. 136, XI. 187, and the very frequent use of wounds inflicted by a sharp instrument which scores or gashes the flesh, as in VIII. 371, “rostro femur hausit adunco”, IX. 413, “cognatumque latus Phegeius hauserit ensis”, and without mention of the weapon, V. 126, “haerenti latus hausit Abas”.
Hectoris. The emphatic repetition of the name is of course intentional. haustos. Cf. 345 n.
inferias inopes, ‘penury's offering.’ Cf. 525, Soph. El. 449, where Electra says of the same offering “σμικρὰ μὲν τάδ᾽ ἀλλ᾽ ὅμως ἅχω”.
ubi . . . fuit, to be taken with Phrygiae.
Bistoniis. The Bistones were a Thracian people living on the western border of Thrace about Abdera, while the story of Polydorus is localised either in the Thracian Chersonese ( Eur. Hec.8), or, as by Virgil, Aen.III. 18, near the mouth of the Hebrus at Aenus or Aeneadae. But Ovid applies the name to the people of Thrace generally, and even to the tribes about Tomi beyond its borders (Ex Pont. I. iii. 59, ib. IV. v. 35).
Phrygiis ab armis, ‘from Phrygian (Trojan) warfare.’ Cf. 50 for this use. The Homeric version of the story makes Achilles slay Polydorus in battle, Il.XX. 407-18. The version dramatised by Pacuvius (alluded to by Horace, Sat.III. iii. 60) was again quite different in the account of Polydorus' death, as is also a fourth version given at length in Dictys Cretensis, II. 18-27. Ovid follows the Hecuba of Euripides.
cecidit. Cf. Virg. Georg.IV. 209, “stat fortuna domus”. inpius, ‘foully,’ as sinning against sacred obligations. Virgil ( Aen.III. 45) represents Polydorus as struck down and pinned to the ground by spears, the cornel wood shafts of which grew into a thicket over him.
scopulo, ablative with misit, R. § 509.
dum . . . esset, Roby, § 1664-6, R. § 692. As may be seen by comparing the examples given there under a and b, the conception of purpose is suggested by the matter of the sentence, not by its form, as the subjunctive mood merely ‘expresses an action or event as thought or supposed, rather than as done or narrated.’ The delay of the voyage was caused by the angry spirit of Achilles ( Eur. Hec.113).
hic. Euripides, in making the ghost of Achilles appear at his cenotaph in Thrace ( Hec.37), deserts for obvious reasons the older tradition followed by Virgil ( Aen.III. 322), according to which he appeared at his grave on the Sigeian promontory. quantus . . . solebat, ‘in full stature as he lived,’ and in full panoply, “χρυσέοις σὺν ἵπλοις” ( Eur. Hec.112). He was nine cubits high, according to Lycophron. Everything is on a gigantic scale in the heroic age. So Priam is called “μέγας”, Il.XXIV. 477, ingens, Virg. Aen.II. 557; so Turnus, ib. XII. 927, Aeneas, ib. VI. 413, and his hand, ib. V. 487. In the same spirit are the descriptions of the huge stones and trees hurled by the heroes. Cf. III. 59, XII. 510 (with the sarcastic reference, Juv.i. 11), Virg. Aen.XII. 896-900, Il.V. 303, ib. XII. 445-9 (with Juv.xv. 65-71), and the accompanying contrasts of modern degeneracy. This degeneracy was connected with the gradual decline of the earth's productive power, dwelt on by Lucr.ii. 1150 sqq. and V. 826. For much more information see Mayor on Juv.xv. 69. quantus . . . solebat, ‘in full stature as he lived,’ and in full panoply, “χρυσέοις σὺν ἵπλοις” ( Eur. Hec.112). He was nine cubits high, according to Lycophron. Everything is on a gigantic scale in the heroic age. So Priam is called “μέγας”, Il.XXIV. 477, ingens, Virg. Aen.II. 557; so Turnus, ib. XII. 927, Aeneas, ib. VI. 413, and his hand, ib. V. 487. In the same spirit are the descriptions of the huge stones and trees hurled by the heroes. Cf. III. 59, XII. 510 (with the sarcastic reference, Juv.i. 11), Virg. Aen.XII. 896-900, Il.V. 303, ib. XII. 445-9 (with Juv.xv. 65-71), and the accompanying contrasts of modern degeneracy. This degeneracy was connected with the gradual decline of the earth's productive power, dwelt on by Lucr.ii. 1150 sqq. and V. 826. For much more information see Mayor on Juv.xv. 69.
humo . . . rupta, ‘from the ground which far about him brake,’ Golding. Cf. Liv.v. XLI. 5, “dilapsi ad praedam vacuis occursu hominum viis” (‘through streets where no man met them’), Sall. Jug.85, § 29, “cicatrices adverso corpore possum ostentare”. The so-called ablative absolute is not to be distinguished from the general use of the case expressing accompanying circumstances, such as those of time, place, manner, means, and cause. The supposed distinction rests merely on the accident that the usages thus grouped are commonly rendered in English either by a subordinate clause, or by a participial construction without preposition. See Key, Lat. Gr. § 1013, Roby, § 1240, R. § 504.
referebat, ‘recalled.’ The descriptive force of the tense could only be rendered by adopting a participial construction (‘recalling’). For the use of the verb cf. Ibis, 545, “referas exempla Thyestae”.
iniusto, ‘lawless,’ in accordance with the character of Achilles as described by Horace, A.P. 122, “iura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis”. The reference is to the scene described in Iliadi. where Achilles half draws his sword upon Agamemnon, but is restrained by Minerva. petiit. The original long quantity is thus preserved by Ovid wherever petiit, subiit, etc., are followed by a vowel. The following instances occur in the Metamorphoses: petiit, II. 567, IX. 611, abiit, IV. 711, XI. 14, XV. 111, adiit, IV. 317, IX. 610, X. 15, XV. 63, interiit, III. 546, periit, XIV. 618, praeteriit, XIV. 101, rediit, 958, XIV. 519 and 766, subiit, I. 114, VII. 170, prosiluit, VI. 658. Transiit and exiit do not occur in Ovid, and Lachmann proposed to alter all passages in Virgil in which they are found as dactyls. See Conington's Excursus on Georg.II. 81, and Munro on Lucret. III. 1042.
ne facite, Roby, § 1597, R. § 669. The periphrases by which a prohibition is made less peremptory are inappropriate to the simple and direct language of poetry. ut . . . sepulchrum, ‘that so my tomb shall not lack its offerings.’ Ut non expresses the result without that special association with purpose which came to belong to ut ne. Cf. Cic. in Verr. IV. § 45, “ut non conferam vitam neque existimationem tuam cum illius”, id. pro leg. Manil. § 44, “ut plura non licam”, with Halm's note. For honos cf. 287 n.
mactata Polyxena. Cf. 64 n., 619 n.
parentibus, ‘complying,’ not without debate, but here also Ulysses' eloquence prevailed with the chiefs, Eur. Hec.119-42.
plus . . . femina, ‘more than woman.’ The juxtaposition of femina and virgo has no special force.
diro busto, dative. Properly it was only a cenotaph, 441 n.
memor sui, remembering her royal birth, and bearing herself accordingly. aris, of a single altar. Cf. 82 n.
sibi . . . parari, ‘that it was she for whom the horrid rites were making ready.’ Sacra is used of the salt barley cake and other apparatus of sacrifice, Virg. Aen.II. 132, “mihi sacra parari, et salsas fruges et circum tempora vittae”. In 624, X. 6. 6, it is used of the images of the gods, “sacra retorserunt oculos”.
Neoptolemum, son of Achilles and Deidamia, chosen as next-of-kin to present this offering, Eur. Hec.224.
suo, emphatic, as sibi above.
generoso, ‘gentle’ (cf. XIV. 698), a word which in the substantive also has replaced the older usage of ‘generosity,’ for which see Trench, Select Glossary, and also S.v. kindly. For iamdudum, ‘immediately,’ cf. Virg. Aen.II. 103. sanguine. The spirit was to be appeased by drinking the maiden's blood, Eur. Hec.536-41, “ἐλθὲ δ̓, ὠς πίῃς μελαν κόρης” “ἀκραιφνὲς αἱμα...πρευμενὴς δ̓ἡμῖν γενοῦ, λῦσαί τε πρύμνας καὶ χαλινωτήρια νεῶν δὸς ἡμῖν”. Cf. 619 n.
nulla . . . est, ‘I am ready.’ Cf. Eur. Hec.557-65, where the action of baring the throat and breast is more fully described. “ἰδοῦ τόδ̓, εἰ μὲν στέρνον, ὦ νεανία, παίειν προθυμεῖ, παῖσον, εἰ δ᾽ ὑπ᾽ αὐχένα χρῄζεις, πάρεστι λαιμὸς εὐτρεπὴς ὅδε.”
scilicet . . . vellem, ‘Polyxena, be sure, would have been the slave of none.’ Cf. Eur. Hec.349-68, where she describes the horrors involved in slavery for herself, “τὴν Ἑκτορός τε χἀτέρων πολλῶν κάσιν”. So in Virg. Aen.III. 321 she is styled by Andromache “felix una ante alias Priameia virgo...quae sortitus non pertulit ullos”.
If the line be retained, whether with haud or aut (with the latter the two lines must be read interrogatively), the sense must be as explained by Bothe (cited by Jahn); it is only generoso sanguine that the angry spirit can be appeased; if she clings to life, as she says of herself ( Eur. Hec.348), “κακὴ φανοῦμαι καὶ φιλόψυχος γυνή”, and such a sacrifice would be unavailing. This explanation removes the inconsistency with 467 of which Korn complains, but the expression remains harsh and difficult. It is besides a leonine hexameter (cf. 230, 379).
vellem . . . posset, ‘would only that my death could escape my mother's ken,’ Roby, §§ 1536, 1606, R. §§ 644, 672. The frequency with which this construction occurs is worth noticing: cf. 805, IX. 490, “tu me vellem generosior esses”, ib. 531, X. 355, XI. 696, XIV. 482. It should be observed that vellem in the subjunctive strictly corresponds in its reference to volebam of the indicative, and is limited to past time; here it is used to express a wish which is impossible, because it is concerned with what has already been determined otherwise. For fallere used of things which escape notice, cf. 771 n. VI. 657, where is described the gradation of colour in the rainbow: “in quo diversi niteant cum mille colores transitus ipse tamen spectantia lumina fallit; usque adeo quod tangit idem est, tamen ultima distant.”
obest, as we say ‘is in the way.’ So obstare is used of a person whose conduct gives offence, Pers.v. 163, “an siccis dedecus obstem cognatis”, and of a thing which creates dislike, Virg. Aen.VI. 64, “quibus obstitit Ilium et ingens gloria Dardaniae”. She cannot bear to think of her mother's grief, though, as she reflects, it is misdirected.
vos modo, addressed to the young men appointed to restrain her struggles, “σκίρτημα μόσχου σῆς καθέξοντες χεροῖν”, as Talthybius relates to Hecuba, Eur. Hec.525-7 Eur. Hec., 544-52.
tactu virgineo, ‘from touch of a maiden,’ the adjective being equivalent to an objective genitive, Roby, § 1315. Cf. 211 n., Liv.iii. XIX. 11, “divinis humanisque obruti sceleribus”, Virg. Aen.II. 583, “nullum memorabile nomen feminea in poena est”, Milton, P.l. VI. 879, ‘Heaven soon repaired her mural breach.’ The juxtaposition of viriles and virgineo is effective, as in IV. 682, “nec audet appellare virum virgo”. This is a touch added by Ovid, as in Euripides the feeling is only of the indignity inflicted upon herself; “δούλη κεκλῆσθαι βασιλὶς οὖσ᾽ αἰσχύνομαι”.
quisquis is est. As in 454, Ovid varies from the story of Euripides, in which the decision of the Greek chiefs with its reasons is announced beforehand to Hecuba and Polyxena.
siquos. Cf. 137 n.
xedimebat, ‘she would buy it,’ ‘was ready to buy it.’ The only instance was that of Hector in Iliadxxiv.For the descriptive force of the tense cf. 101 n., 380.
dixerat, ‘she ceased.’
flens invitusque. Cf. Eur. Hec.566, “ὁ δ᾽ οὐ θέλων τε καὶ θέλων, οἴκτῳ κόρης”.
praebita . . . ferro, ‘pierced with a sword-thrust her proffered breast,’ not as in Eur. l.c. the throat, “πνεύματος διαρροάς”.
defecto poplite, ‘with failing knee.’ Cf. IX. 155, “vires defecto reddat amori”. In Euripides, before addressing Neoptolemus, she kneels to receive the blow.
ad fata novissima. Cf. 180 n.
cura . . . tegendas, ‘she bethought herself to cloak all that should be hidden.’ For the care to fall decently, cf. Eur. Hec.568-70, Fast.II. 833(of Lucretia) “tunc quoque iam moriens, ne non procumbat honeste, respicit, haec etiam cura cadentis erat”. The passage from Euripides is quoted by Pliny ( Epp.IV. xi. 9) in his account of the like modesty displayed by the Vestal Cornelia, who, probably innocent, was entombed alive by Domitian: “quin etiam cum in illud subterraneum cubiculum demitteretur, haesissetque descendenti stola, vertit se ac recollegit, cumque ei carnifex manum daret, aversata est et resiluit”.
deploratos, ‘lost,’ ‘dead,’ an extension of the meaning ‘given up for lost.’ Cf. Trist. I. iii. 46, “pro deplorato non valitura viro”, and the similar use in Milton, Par. Lost, I. 660, ‘peace is despaired, for who can think submission?’
dederit, the subjunctive of oratio obliqua; ‘they tell over all the blood that a single house has spent.’
o modo . . . parens, ‘who wast but now wife and mother of kings.’ For dicta cf. XIV. 152 n.
Asiae . . . imago, ‘mirror of Asia in her pride.’ So Augustus is addressed, Trist. v. II. 49, “o decus, o patriae per te florentis imago, o vir non ipso quem regis orbe minor”. For the extension of Priam's dominion cf. Virg. Aen.II. 557, Cic. de Div.i. XL. § 89, Juv.x. 266.The reference is of course only to the western part of Asia Minor, which was all that the Romans understood by the term. Of the Roman province thus named Cicero says (pro leg Manil. § 14): Asia vero tam opima est ac fertilis, ut et ubertate agrorum et multitudine earum rerum quae exportantur, facile omnibus terris antecellat. But perhaps the reference of florentis is rather to the barbaric magnificence characteristic of Asiatic monarchs. For this use of the word cf. Virg. Aen.VII. 804, and Munro on Lucr.iv. 450.
praedae mala sors, ‘a sorry share of spoil,’ to draw which would be small gain. For sors used of a person cf. Fast.VI. 29, Saturnum prima parentem feci; Saturni sors ego prima fui. The expression is imitated by Seneca, Troad. 58, “praeda quem vilis sequar? . . . mea sors timetur, sola sum Danais metus”.
tamen, ‘after all,’ in spite of all that made Hecuba a prize of little value. partu edideras, ‘hadst given birth to.’ The tense has reference to nollet. 487. For the form of expression cf. Fast.V. 199, “quae fuerit mihi forma, grave est narrare modestae, sed generum matri repperit illa deum”.
in vulnera. Cf. IV. 140, “vulnera supplevit lacrimis”, Her.XI. 125, “lacrimasque in vulnera funde”.
oscula, the mouth of Polyxena. consueta, (neuter plural) ‘as she was wont,’ misfortune having made the expression of grief familiar to her. The use is a common one. Cf. II. 265, “nec se super aequora curvi tollere consuetas audent delphines in auras”.
concreto, ‘clotted.’ Cf. XIV. 201, and for canitiem verrens, 961.
plura . . . haec. Cf. Fast.IV. 689, “is mihi multa quidem, sed et haec narrare solebat”.
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