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1 The wood of a fig-tree was very little used, on account of its brittleness.
2 Octavius, willing to correct the infection of this hill, which was a common burial-place for all the poor of Rome, got the consent of the senate and people to give part of it to Maecenas, who built a magnificent house there with very extensive gardens. Hence the poet calls them “novis hortis.”
3 “Mille pedes in fronte.” Such was the title of the grave-yard, preserved on a pillar of stone, cippus, to show its extent, and to declare it was never to return to the heirs of the estate. We have numberless inscriptions of this kind, “ITA NE UNQUAM DE NOMINE FAMILIAE NOSTRAE EXEAT HOC MONUMENTUM. HOC MONUMENTUM HEREDES NON SEQUITUR. IN FRONTE LAT. PED. XX. ET DIG. II. IN AGR. LONG. PED. XX.” In fronte signifies to the road: in agro, to the fields. Dabat is for indicabat, testabatur.
4 The air was afterward so healthy, that Augustus was carried thither when he was ill.
5 The moon presided over all enchantments, and was believed to be most favorable when in the full, decorum os, because she then infused a stronger spirit into the magical herbs.
6 Black victims alone were sacrificed to the infernal gods, nor was any thing supposed more delicious to the souls of the departed than blood. They could not foretell any future events, or answer any questions, until they had drank of it. Ulysses was obliged to draw his sword to frighten them away from the blood he had poured into the trench for Tiresias.
7 The image of wool represented the person they were willing should survive the other represented by that of wax. It is for this reason that the images were made of different materials, that their fates might be different.
8 This little figure probably represented Darius, who had forsaken Canidia, as we find in the fifth epode.
9 The serpents were forerunners of Tisiphone, and the bitches foretold that her infernal majesty was coming.
10 “Iulius et fragilis Pediatia.” We know not who Julius was. Pediatius was an infamous Roman knight, whom Horace, for his effeminacy, calls Pediatia. Thus Aristophanes calls Cleonymus Cleonyma; Sostratus, Sostrata.(Clouds 673 ff.)
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