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There is very little evidence for the date or place of composition of this idyll. The scene is, however, probably Coan. Polybotes (l. 16) is a Coan name; and the use of Σύραν (l. 26), and the mention of Lityerses (l. 41) are more appropriate to the eastern islands than to Sicily. On the other hand Theophrastus states that the cactus (vid. l. 4) was only found in Sicily. It is one of the more realistic poems, and consists of a dialogue between two reapers, Milo and another (Battus acc. to Scholiast). Battus is in love and cannot work; urged by his companion he relieves himself by singing a sentimental love song to his Bombyca; but meets with small sympathy from Milo, who shows him what a labourer's song should be--a string of rustic maxims in the style of Hesiod, on crops and weather and overseers.

βουκαῖε. Fritzsche makes this a proper name, and βοῦκος (l. 38) a shortened form of the same. Nicander, however, certainly uses βουκαῖος as a common noun. Theriaca, v. 5 πολύεργος ἀροτρεὺς βουκαῖός τεκαὶ ὀροιτύπος. Eustathius on Iliad xiii. 824 explains both βουκαῖος and βοῦκος as = ἄγροικος. Schol. k on 37 says Nicander used βοῦκος = βουκόλος, and the false reading βουκόλος in that verse is obviously a gloss (Nicander, fr. 35 βουκαῖοι ζεύγεσσιν ἀμορβεύουσιν ὀρήων). It is impossible in face of this evidence to make βουκαῖος a proper name; and we must regard βουκαῖος and βοῦκος as a doublet like δειλός δείλαιος, ἐρυθρός ἐρυθραῖος, and probably as adjectives = ἄγροικος.

πεπόνθεις from πεπόνθω. These forms are said to be Sicilian, but are found in Greek of all ages and districts. δεδοίκω, Theocr. xv. 58; πεφύκει, xi. 1; ἑστήκω, Anthol. Append. 65. In participle--ἀνώγουσα, Herond. vii. 101; κεκλήγοντες, Quint. Smyr. xii. 58, etc. (? Iliad xvi. 430); ἐρρίγοντι ἐοικώς, Hesiod, Scut. 227; τεπύποντες, Callim. iii. 61. Cf. ἐμέμηκον, Odyss. ix. 438; ἐπέφυκον, Hesiod, Theog. 152; Scut. 76.

[2] ἑόν, 'your.' The possessive pronouns become utterly confounded in late Greek: ἑός = tuus here and xxiv. 36; xxii. 173; Quint. Smyrn. vii. 294 = suus (plural), Quint. Smyrn. ii. 264 (Theocr. xxvii. 26) = noster, Ap. Rhod. iv. 203. There are possibly traces of this in Homer; Iliad xiv. 221 σῇσι: MS. D has ᾗσι. So εἷο = mei, Ap. Rhod. ii. 635; ἑοῖ αὐτῇ = mihi ipsi, Ap. Rhod. iii. 99: σφίσι = nobis, Id. ii. 1278; σφέτερος = tuus, Theocr. xxii. 67 = meus, xxv. 162 = suus (singular), Bacchyl. iii. 36 and often (not in Homer): ὅς = tuus, Callim. iii. 103 = meus (Mosch.) Megara 77 etc. Cf. Monro, Hom. Gram. § 255.

δύνᾳ for δύνασαι, cf. Soph. Philoct. 798, etc.; ἐπίστᾳ, Pind. Cf. Rutherford, N. Phryn. p. 463.

ὄγμον, 'swathe'; cf. Iliad xi. 68: “ οἱ δ᾽ ὡς ἀμητῆρες ἐναντίοι ἀλλήλοισι
ὄγμον ἐλαύνωσιν ἀνδρὸς μάκαρος κατ᾽ ἄρουραν
πυρῶν κριθέων: τὰ δὲ δράγματα ταρφέα πίπτει.

” Cf. Odyss. xviii. 366 sqq.

[3] ἅμα λᾳοτομεῖς Quint. Smyrn. viii. 279: “ ὡς δ᾽ ὁπότ᾽ αἰζηοὶ μεγάλης ἀνὰ γουνὸν ἀλωῆς
ὄρχατον ἀμπελόεντα διατμήξωσι σιδήρῳ
σπερχόμενοι, τῶν δ᾽ ἶσον ἀέξεται εἰς ἔριν ἔργον

[4] κάκτος ἔτυψε cf. Philetas, fr. (quoted Introd. p. 11); Theophrastus, H. Pl. vi. 4. 10 states that the cactus was peculiar to Sicily, ἐν δὲ ῾Ελλάδι οὐκ ἐστί. Does he include the islands in ῾Ελλάς̣ vid. preface to this idyll.

[5] δείλαν τυ καὶ ἐκ μέσω ἄματος. 'καί, se corrigentis est; "vesperi et a meridie eris" non significat "atque adeo,"'” Hermann, Opusc. v. τυ is rather contemptuous, 'what will you be like?'

ἐκ = 'after.' ἐξ ἠοῦς λείβειν οἶνον, Hesiod, ῎Εργ. 724.

[7] ὀψαμάτα, 'who can reap till late.'

[8] ποθέσαι τινὰ τῶν ἀπεόντων masc. not neuter. Battus tries to break the subject delicately; 'have you never longed for some absent--friend?'

[11] μηδέ γε συμβαίη, 'no, and may it never'; Arist. Frogs 1045 ΕΥ. μὰ Δί᾽ οὐδὲ γὰρ ἦν τῆς ᾿Αφροδίτης οὐδέν σοι. ΑΙ. μηδέ γ᾽ ἐπείη.

γεῦσαι, 'to give a taste of.' χαλεπόν, 'a bad business.' The phrase is either a recognized proverb or modelled on such. It is noticeable that a large proportion of Greek proverbs form the last half of a hexameter, e.g. κακὰ μὲν θρῖπες κακὰ δ᾽ ἶπες: ξύλον ἀγκύλον οὐδέποτ᾽ ὀρθόν: σὺν ᾿Αθηνᾷ καὶ χέρα κίνει (God helps them that help themselves).

[12] ἔραμαι ἑνδεκαταῖος, 'I have been in love for ten days.' The present is used as with πάλαι, Herond. iii. 38 τριταῖος οὐκ οἶδεν τῆς οἰκίης τὸν οὐδόν.

[13] ἐκ πίθω. παροιμία ἐπὶ τῶν ἄφθονα ἐχόντων, Schol.; Herond. iv. 14 οὐ γάρ τι πολλὴν οὐδ᾽ ἕτοιμον ἀντλεῦμεν.

δῆλον, 'it is clear'; cf. δῆλον ὅτι in orators.

ἅλις ὄξος. The accus. with ἅλις occurs rarely in Classical period, always in Alexandrian, e. g. ἅλις ὄλβον, Callim. i. 84.

[14] ἄσκαλα πάντα, 'all is unhoed before my doors.' ἀπὸ σπόρω, 'from seed-time.' Harvest began in May (see Hesiod, ῎Εργ. 383), so this must refer to the spring sowing, when the sun enters Taurus (April 20 now); cf.

'Vere fabis (beans) satio: tum te quoque, Medica (lucerne), putres
Accipiunt sulci, et milio (millet) venit annua cura:
Candidus auratis aperit cum cornibus annum Taurus.'

[15] λυμαίνεται, 'tortures'; Arist. Frogs 59 τοιοῦτος ἵμερός με διαλυμαίνεται.

Πολυβώτα sc. παῖς. The slave girl of Polybotes, not the daughter.

[16] παρ᾽ ῾Ιπποκίωνι, 'in Hippocion's farm'; cf. xiv. 14.

[17] Solon, xiii. 27: “ τοιαύτη Ζηνὸς πέλεται τίσις,……
αἰεὶ δ᾽ οὔ λέληθε διαμπερές, ὅστις ἀλιτρὸν
θυμὸν ἔχῃ.

” Schol. k παροιμιῶδες ἐπὶ τῶν διδόντων δίκην τῆς ἁμαρτίας, 'your sin has found you out.' πάλαι is to be joined with ἐπεθύμεις, what you desired before. πάλαι can refer to comparatively recent events; see Soph. O. T. εἶπον ὡς δοίην πάλαι. Milo regards Battus' attainment of his desire as a heaven sent punishment for his sins.

[18] μάντις καλαμαία a grasshopper (cf. use of σερῖφος, Liddell and Scott, s.v.). So Milo calls Bombyca from her bony leanness.

τὰν νύκτα accus. of time.

χροϊξεῖται = συγκοιμηθήσεται, vid. Hiller and Paley, ad loc.

[19] αὐτός, 'alone'; cf. ii. 89; Arist. Acharn. 504 αὐτοὶ γάρ ἐσμεν.

[22] καί τι κόρας, 'and strike up a love song to your girl.' The gen. κόρας depends on μέλος: cf. Pind. Isth. i. 21 ᾿Ιολάου ὕμνῳ: Demosth. De Cor. § 100 στρατείας ἃς ἁπάσας τῆς τῶν ῾Ελλήνων σωτηρίας πεπόιηται πόλις where τῆς σωτηρίας depends on στρατείας.

ἅδιον οὑτῶς ἐργαξῇ song will relieve your thought and you will work the better; so Propert. i. 9, ad fin. 'dicere quo pereas saepe in amore levat.'

[24] -37. The song falls naturally into couplets, as that in Idyll iii into groups of three lines, Introd. p. 39.

[24] συναείσατε vid. on ix. 28.

μοι is governed by the συν-; cf. Thucyd. viii. 16 ξυγκαθῄρουν αὐτοῖς, etc.

[25] ποεῖτε (k): Theocritus has the first syllable short, viii. 18; x. 38; iii. 9, 21: xxix. 24; xiv. 70. The MSS. vary in each case between ποιεῖν and ποεῖν.

[27] sqq. Cf. Lucretius, iv. 1151 sqq.; Longus, i. 16 μέλας εἰμί: καὶ γὰρ ὑάκινθος: ἀλλὰ κρείττων: Nonnus, xxxiv. 118: “ Χαλκομέδην μὲν ἅπαντες: ἐγὼ δέ σε μοῦνος ἐνίψω
Χρυσομέδην ὅτι κάλλος ἔχεις χρυσέης ᾿Αφροδίτης.

[28] γραπτὰ ὑάκινθος. The iris sprang from the blood of the dead Hyacinthus, slain by Apollo, and bore on its edge the letter Υ: Verg. Ecl. iii. 106; Milton, Lycidas:      'His bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe.'

” A second legend made the flower spring from the blood of Ajax, and interpreted the writing as αἲ αἴ. Euphorion, fr. 36: “ πορφυρέη ὑάκινθε, σὲ μὲν μία φῆμις ἀοιδῶν
῾Ροιτείῃς ἀμάθοισι δεδουπότος Αἰακίδαο
εἴαρος ἀντέλλειν γεγραμμένα κωκύουσαν.

[29] τὰ πρᾶτα λέγονται, 'they are chosen to be the first in the garlands.' The subject is τὸ ἴον καὶ ὑάκινθος. For τὰ πρῶτα cf. Arist. Frogs 421: “      νυνὶ δὲ δημαγωγεῖ
     ἐν τοῖς ἄνω νεκροῖσι,
κἀστὶν τὰ πρῶτα τῆς ἐκεῖ μοχθηρίας.

” = the pick of the rascals.

[31] ἐπὶ τίν cf. ii. 40.

[32] 32, 33 'Would that I had the fabled wealth of Croesus: our statues would be standing in gold to Aphrodite.' ἀνακεῖσθαι used for passive of ἀνατίθεμαι (middle). For the use with the person whose statue is dedicated as the subject cf. Lycurgus, In Leocr. § 51 ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἀθλητὰς ἀνακειμένους: Plato, Phaedr. 236 b πλείονος ἄξια εἰπὼν τῶν Λυσίου παρὰ τὸ Κυψελιδῶν ἀνάθημα σφυρήλατος ἐν ᾿Ολυμπίᾳ στάθητι. The protasis of the condition is supplied by a wish; cf. Odyss. i. 265, etc.; Theocr. v. 44. The form of wish must of course be assimilated to the form of if-clause which would have been used. Hence Paley's εἴη ὅσα is ungrammatical.

[34] 'You with your flute and a rose or apple; I with fine dress and new shoes on my feet.'

μᾶλον τυ so Ahrens with the best MSS. The Vulgata τύγε μᾶλον gives a better rhythm, but does not give a sufficiently prominent place to the pronoun.

τὼς αὐλώς cf. l. 16. In the second line καινόν is usually supplied to σχῆμα from καινάς, but σχῆμα by itself means a fine dress. Alciphr. i. 34 ἐξ οὗ φιλοσοφεῖν ἐπενόησας σεμνός τις ἐγένουεἶτα σχῆμα ἑλὼν καὶ βιβλίδιον μετὰ χεῖρας εἰς τὴν ᾿Ακαδημίαν σοβεῖς (Wuestemann). The Scholiast (and some modern editors) take σχῆμα of a dancer's poise; it could not mean this without further definition. It is probably merely confusion on the Scholiast's part that makes him write ἐγὼ δὲ καλὸν ἄνθος εἶχον ἄν. If anything were lost it would have to be two lines, and the symmetry of sense and style would not allow of this.

[35] ἀμύκλας Amyclean shoes. Things are constantly called from the place of their origin, e.g. ᾿Αχαϊκάς (fetters), Herond. v. 61, in English, 'Hollands,' 'Newfoundlands,' 'Skyes,' 'St. Bernards,' 'Havannas.'

[36] ἀστράγαλοι 'instar talorum eburneorum,' Fritzsche; cf. xxviii. 13.

[37] τρύχνος. Photius, Lex. τρύχνον: καὶ παρὰ τὴν παροιμίαν ἁπαλώτερος τρύχνου: παρῳδῶν Κωμικός φησι εἰμὶ μουσικώτερος τρύχνου: Theophrastus, H. Pl. ix. 11 calls it τρύχνος ὑπνώδης, and says that mixed with wine it formed a narcotic (Hiller). The point of the comparison lies in the soft soothing tone of the voice: 'Her voice was ever soft, Gentle and low' (King Lear).

[38] ἐλελήθει. This pluperfect form becomes common in place of the aorist, Lucian, Νεκυομ. 486 ἐλελήθει Μένιππος ἡμᾶς ἀποθανών. So with other verbs: ἐπεὶ παρεληλύθειμεν, Lucian, V. H. ii. 29; ὥστε αὐτίκα ἐπεπτώκει, Id. Tox. 16; ἔνθα καταδεδεμένον κατελελοιπει τὸν ἵππον, ib. 49; ἐπεὶ ἐδεδείπνητο, ib. 25.

βοῦκος see note on line 1. Hiller objects to the absence of the article if the word is taken as a common noun, but unnecessarily. Milo means 'a labourer,' not 'the labourer.'

[39] τὰν ἰδέανἐμέτρησεν, 'he measured off the tune'; Lucian, Imagg. 14 τὸ γὰρ τῆς τε ἁρμονίας ἀκριβέστατον διαφυλάττειν, ὡς μὴ παραβαίνειν τι τοῦ ῥυθμοῦ ἀλλ᾽ εὐκαίρῳ τῇ ἄρσει καὶ θἑσει διαμεμετρῆσθαι τὸ ᾆσμα (Fr. Jacobs); cf. Plato, Theaet. 175 ad fin.

[40] τῶ πώγωνος gen. after exclamation; cf. iv. 40.

ἀνέφυσα. Greek of the Classical period would have said ἔφυσα. ἀναφύω is common from 300 b. c., Ap. Rhod. ii. 1212 ὄφιςὃν αὐτὴ γαῖ᾽ ἀνέφυσε Καυκάσου ἐν κνημοῖσι. The sense of the line is 'Alas that I am a bearded man, and so inferior to him!' in mockery, as his whole behaviour shows.

[41] Λιτυέρσα. Lityerses was son of Midas, king of Celaenae in Phrygia. After hospitably entertaining strangers he made them reap with him, and such as could not equal him in work he slew. Hercules finally ended him. Athenaeus 619 a says merely that the harvesters' song was called the Lityerses; and Photius, i. 54 speaks of Λιτυέρσην ᾠδήν τινα ἣν ᾁδουσιν οἱ θερίζοντες ὡς ἐπίσημόν τινα γεγονότα τῶν παλαιῶν τὸν Λιτύερσαν. It seems then that according to the popular version Lityerses was merely a hero of agriculture, and barbarity was not ascribed to him (see Wuestemann's note). Milo's song is intended as a representation of the traditional popular songs of Theocritus' day; it is not to be regarded as Milo's own invention.

[42] -55. The lines form seven couplets of maxims strung together without any close connexion as in Hesiod, ῎Εργ. 706-764.

[44] ἀμαλλοδέται, 'binders,' here and A. Pal. x. 16 for ἀμαλλοδετῆρες. The form in -ης is usual in nom. sing.; that in -ηρ in other cases, in hexameter and lyric verse (K. Lehrs, praef. Oppian, ed. Didot, p. vi).

[45] σὑκινοι ἄνδρες, 'useless fellows.' The fig-tree was useless for timber, Hor. Sat. i. 8. 1 'inutile lignum.'

ἀπώλετο χο̣̣τος μίσθος, 'that hire is a dead loss'; Theophrast. Char. ix. καὶ φίλῳ δὲ ἔρανον κελεύσαντι εἰσενεγκεῖν εἰπεῖν ὅτι οὐκ ἂν δοίη, ὕστερον ἥκειν φέρων, καὶ λέγειν ὅτι ἀπόλλυσι καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἀργύριον.

εἴποι. The optative in final sentence in primary sequence becomes very common in Alexandrian and later writers, especially Lucian (Madvig, Adv. i. 682); Ap. Rhod. i. 660, 1005, 490 εἰ δ᾽ ἄγε δὴδῶρα πόρωμεν ἵν᾽ἔκτοθι πύργων μίμνοιεν: cf. Theocr. xxiv. 100.

[46] 46, 47 τομά. The sheaf is to be turned with the cut end of the stalk to the west wind, in order that the grain may be dried and fattened. Cf. A. Pal.: Εὔδημος τὸν νηὸν ἐπ᾽ ἀγροῦ τόνδ᾽ ἀνέθηκα
     τῶν πάντων ἀνέμων πιοτάτῳ Ζεφύρῳ.
εὐξαμένῳ γὰρ γ᾽ ἦλθε βοαθόος ὄφρα τάχιστα
     λικμήσῃ πεπόνων καρπὸν ἀπ᾽ ἀστυχύων.

[48] 'When winnowing avoid sleep in the noontide.'

τὸ μεσαμβρινόν cf. i. 15. The precept is given generally, not addressed to the winnowers; hence absence of article, and the use of the accusative, Hesiod, ῎Εργ. 753 μηδὲ γυναικείῳ λουτρῷ χρόα φαιδρύνεσθαι ἀνέρα: then 755 μηδ᾽ ἱεροῖσιν ἐπ᾽ αἰθομένοισι κυρήσας μωμεύειν ἀΐδηλα (addressed to Perses, hence nominative). Hermann alters the text to φεύγοιὕπνος (so Hiller. Ziegler) without any need.

[49] τελέθει. πέτεται (C. Hartung) possibly right.

[50] ἄρχεσθαι δ᾽ ἀμῶντας. The δέ is justified here since this precept attaches closely to the preceding couplet, and is in contrast to it. Hermann (Ziegler, Meineke, Hiller, Fritzsche) reject it and read ἄρχεσθ᾽ ἀμώοντας.

[52] οὐ μελεδαίνει, 'he does not trouble about the filler of the glass, for he has to spare.' μελεδαίνω with accus. here, as Archiloch. 8 ἐπίρρησιν μελεδαίνων, with gen. in ix. 12; vid. Index, Accusative.

[53] τὸν προπιεῖν ἐγχεῦντα Herond. vi. 77 γλυκὺν πιεῖν ἐγχεῦντα: Herod. iv. 172 ἐκ τῆς χειρὸς διδοῖ πιεῖν. The MSS. have τὸν τὸ πιεῖν ἐγχεῦντα. Fritzsche supports this by A. Pal. xii. 34 εἷς ἔφερεν τὸ πιεῖν (his drink), but both are to be emended. The infinitive with the article cannot stand for a concrete noun; here = τὸ ποτόν. In Plato, Rep. 439 b ἄγειν ὥσπερ θηρίον ἐπὶ τὸ πιεῖν it = a verbal noun 'drinking'; Soph. Ajax 555 ἕως τὸ χαίρειν καὶ τὸ λυπεῖσθαι μάθῃς = rejoicing and sorrowing; cf. Aesch. Agam. 498 τὸ χαίρειν μᾶλλον ἐκβάξει λέγων: Isocr. 85 e ἐξεστηκὼς τοῦ φρονεῖν. It can be used freely in consecutive sense when negatived, Aesch. Agam. 15 τὸ μὴ βεβαίως βλέφαρα συμβαλεῖν ὕπνῳ, so that though we could say κωλύει τὸ μὴ πιεῖν ἐμέ we could not say ἐγχεῖ τὸ πιεῖν ἐμέ, 'so that I drink.' Lastly it can be used dependent on nouns, as Lucian, i. 457 οὐδεμία μηχανὴ τὸ διαφυγεῖν αὐτούς. None of these uses in the least justifies τὸ πιεῖν ἐγχεῦντα. προπιεῖν is nearer MSS. than πιέειν Herm. or τι πιεῖν: vid. also Jannaris, Hist. Greek Gram. p. 580.

[57] λιμηρόν, 'starveling,' A. Pal. vi. 287: “      κακῶν λιμηρὰ γυναικῶν
ἔργα, νέον τήκειν ἄνθος ἐπιστάμενα.

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