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This idyll is again pastoral. A nameless goatherd appeals for favour to his Love, who is hiding herself in a grotto shaded with fern, but in vain; then from direct appeal he turns to the indirect persuasion of a love song, but still without result. The poem falls into three parts:

a) 1-5 are addressed by the goatherd to his companion Tityros, bidding him tend the herd while he is away.

b) The scene changes to a spot before the grotto where Amaryllis hides. To her the goatherd appeals.

c) Encouraged by a favourable sign, he makes a new attempt, and sings of legendary heroes and their success in love. Then, wearying of his appeal, again despairs.

The idyll has been generally brought into connexion with iv, as there (l. 38) the words, χαρίεσσ᾽ ᾿Αμαρυλλί, reoccur in the mouth of Battos. Hence critics, ancient and modern, would make the κωμαστής of this poem = Battus (εἰκάσειε δ᾽ ἄν τις τὸν ἐπικωμάζοντα Βάττον εἶναι, Schol.). But Battus is very different from the love-lorn singer of this idyll. The scene of Id. iv is South Italy; of this Sicily or Cos (see Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Aratos von Kos, p. 183, note).

Theocritus frequently repeats half lines from idyll to idyll without any intention of uniting the one to the other; see i. 38 = vii. 48; xviii. 46 = xxii. 76; ii. 19 = xi. 72; vi. 17 = xiv. 62.

The Scholium on line 8 is interesting: τινὲς διὰ τὸ σιμὸς τὸν Θεόκριτον κωμάζειν φασί, ἐπεὶ καὶ ἐν τοῖς Θαλυσίοις (Id. vii) Σιμιχίδας ὠνόμασται: πλὴν οὐκ αἰπόλος Θεόκριτος οὐδὲ Σιμιχίδας ἀπὸ τοῦ σιμός, ἀλλ᾽ ἀπὸ Σιμίχου πατρωνυμικόν.

The meaning of the name Simichidas has been discussed in the Introduction, pp. 8, 9; while the idea that Theocritus is the κωμαστής is absurd, it is not absurd to see in the σιμός of line 8 a hit at himself.

The date of the idyll must be sought in the Coan period, 290-280, vid. Introd. p. 23. In style it approximates to vii, vi and i: all Coan poems.

Κωμάσδω cf. Alcaeus, 56 (Bergk) δέξαι με κωμάζοντα δέξαι λίσσομαί σε λίσσομαι: Callim. Ep. 42: “ εἰ μὲν ἑκὼν ᾿Αρχῖν᾽ ἐπεκώμασα, μυρία μέμφου
     εἰ δ᾽ ἄκων ἥκω τὴν προπέτειαν ἔα:

” and Bion, xi. 4: “ ἕσπερε
     καί μοι ποτὶ ποιμένα κῶμον ἄγοντι
ἀντὶ σεληναίας τὺ δίδου φάος:

” in both cases of a serenade. The word is Latinized as 'comissor,' Horace, Odes iv. 1, and has the sense of κῶμον ἄγειν, 'to lead a rout of revellers.'

ταὶ δέ deictic; vid. i. 31.

1, 2 must be spoken by the κωμαστής to himself, not to Tityros, as the change from nominative to vocative in line 3 shows.

[3] τὸ καλὸν πεφιλαμένε cf. i. 41; iii. 18. This use of the neut. adj. and article, in place of an adverb of quality, seems hardly to occur before Theocritus. The use is imitated in A. Pal. vii. 219: “ τὸ καλὸν καὶ πᾶσιν ἐράσμιον ἀνθήσασα,
     μούνη Χαρίτων λείρια δρεψαμένη:

” by Herond. i. 54 πλουτέων τὸ καλόν: and by Callim. Ep. 52 τὸν τὸ καλὸν μελανεῦντα Θεόκριτον: but it is grammatically merely an extension of the cognate accusative (cf. Arist. Acharn. 1201: “ φιλήσατόν με μαλθακῶς, χρυσίω,
τὸ περιπεταστὸν κἀπιμανδαλωτόν̓:

” and differs from the common καλόν or καλά just as τὴν καλὴν φιλίαν πεφιλημένος differs from καλὴν φιλίαν πεφιλημένος, and indicates therefore a definite standard.

[In i. 15, etc., τὸ μεσαμβρινόν as adv. of time is different from Soph. O. C. 1640τλάσας τὸ γενναῖον φρενί”. τὸ γενναῖον is object to τλάσας.] These lines are reproduced in

'Tityre, dum redeo--brevis est via--pasce capellas,
Et potum pastas age, Tityre, et inter agendum
Occursare capro, cornu ferit ille, caveto.'

But it is noticeable that the untranslatable τὸ καλὸν πεφιλαμένε is omitted, a point which struck Aul. Gellius (N. A. ix. 9) “'caute omissum quod est in graeco versu dulcissimum: quo enim pacto dicebat τὸ καλὸν πεφιλημένε verba hercle non translaticia, sed cuiusdam nativae dulcedinis'” (quoted by Meineke).

[3] 3, 4 On repetition of Τίτυρος, Τίτυρε, Τίτυρε, see Introd. p. 43.

[5] κνάκωνα a new formation, from κνακός (Id. vii. 16). Babrias has κνηκίας, of a wolf (yellow boy), 122, 12; cf. πυρρίαςπυρρός), Ξανθίαςξανθός), αἰολίας (αἰόλος, the name of a fish).

κνάκων seems to be formed on analogy of such names of ᾿Αγάθων, Τίμων, Φίλων. Libyan sheep were famous from the time of the Odyssey (Odyss. iv. 85).

[6] 6, 7 Verg. Ecl. ii. 6.

τοῦτο κατ᾽ ἄντρον to be joined with παρκύπτοισα, 'leaning out through the entrance of your bower.' κατ᾽ ἄντρονκαλεῖς (= 'call to your bower') is not a use of the preposition which can be supported [xvii. 112 ἱεροὺς κατ᾽ ἀγῶνας = 'for'; cf. Thucyd. vi. 31 κατὰ θέαν ἥκειν, 'to come for the spectacle'] except in very late prose (vid. Jannaris, Hist. Gk. Grammar, § 1586). In the sense given to κατά here, see Lycurgus, § 86 ὑποδύντα κατὰ τὰς πύλας: Iliad xii. 469.

[7] ἐρωτύλον. τὸν ἐρωτικὸν ὑποκοριστικῶς καὶ οὐχ ὥς, MSS. κύριον: Schol. = 'the love lorn swain.' The word is used by Bion, v. 10 ἀλλά μοι αὐτὸς ἄειδεν ἐρωτύλα = 'songs of love'; cf. ib. 13: “ ὅσσα δ᾽ ἔρως μ᾽ ἐδίδαξεν ἐρωτύλα πάντ᾽ ἐδιδάχθην.

” We have a by-form, ἐρωτίς (fem.), iv. 59, which shows that it is not formed immediately from ἔρως. For the diminutive termination -ύλος, cf. δριμύλος, μικκύλος, Moschus, ῎Ερως δραπέτης (8, 13).

[8] ἐγγύθεν, 'at near view': not ἐγγύς, since Greek marks the point from which we look; cf. xxii. 16: Mosch. Europa, 155 Ζεὺς εἰμὶ καὶ ἐγγύθεν εἴδομαι εἶναι ταῦρος: Plato, Phaedr. 255 b προσεμένου δὲ καὶ λόγον δεξαμένου, ἐγγύθεν εὔνοια γιγνομένη τοῦ ἐρῶντος ἐκπλήττει τὸν ἐρώμενον.

[9] προγένειος 'cui mentum prominet,' Kiessling; but Vergil ( Ecl. viii. 35'Hirsutumque supercilium promissaque barba'”) certainly took it to denote a scrubby projecting beard; that this was the meaning of Theocritus is rendered certain by Longus, i. 16 οὗτος δὲ πυρρὸς ὡς ἀλώπηξ καὶ προγένειος ὡς τράγοςκἂν δέῃ δε φιλεῖν ἐμοῦ μὲν φιλήσεις τὸ στόμα, τούτου δὲ τὰς ἐπὶ τοῦ γενείου τρίχας. Vergil, Ecl. iii. 7('mori me denique coges')” follows both sense and rhythm; cf. supra on 4 and 6. xi. 72 = Ecl. ii. 69; vid. Introd.

[10] τηνῶθε = 'thence'; cf. Arist. Acharn. 754; A. Pal. vi. 354; τουτῶθεν, Id. iv. 48, which establish the form against the variant τηνῶ δέ. For the long vowel, cf. ἀμφοτέρωθεν, etc., but Theocritus has also τουτόθε, iv. 10; τηνόθι, viii. 44; like αὐτόθι, αὐτόθεν, ἄλλοθεν.

[11] ἄλλα i. e. ἄλλα δέκα: Verg. Ecl. iii. 70.

[12] From here to l. 23 the lines drop naturally in groups of three; as above they fell into couplets. This change and the abruptness of some of the transitions from thought to thought have led commentators to rearrange the lines, and by dint of much shuffling and rejecting of lines to get a mathematical symmetry into the poem. On the Theocritean symmetry of verse, see Introd. p. 39. On the second point--the abrupt transitions--the sequence of thought is not logical, but it represents a natural change from sentiment to sentiment as each is suggested by circumstance. At 11 an answer is expected, and not given: so 12 proceeds, 'Yet regard my grief if nothing else,' the thought is changed by the passing bee: in 15 it returns to the complaint of cruelty: 18 is a more piteous appeal, 'I do not ask much, only a little kiss': 21--an expression of peevishness which works itself up to thoughts of self-destruction.

[12] ἐμόν cf. viii. 14; xxv. 203; and Index.

[13] βομβεῦσα, 'that bee'; cf. A. Pal. v. 83: “ εἴθε ῥόδον γενόμην ὑποπόρφυρον ὄφρα με χερσὶν
     ἀρσαμένη χαρίσῃ στήθεσι χιονέοις.

” And a modern Greek song, Legrand, Chansons popul. grecques 41: “ χιλιδονάκι νὰ γενῶ τὴν κλίνην σου νὰ ἔλθω
νὰ κτίσω τὴν φωλίτσαν μου ἐς τὰ προσκέφαλά σου,
νὰ κηλᾳδῶ, νὰ σ᾽ ἐξυπνῶ, πάντα νά με θυμᾶσαι,
νά με θυμᾶσαι, λυγερή, ἕως τε ζῇς καὶ εἶσαι.

” Cf. Anacreontea 22, Bergk.

[14] τὺ πυκάσδῃ, 'wherewith you shut yourself in,' i.e. the bower is covered with ferns.

[15] Verg. Ecl. viii. 43; Catullus, lxiv. 154 'quaenam te genuit sola sub rupe leaena?'; Iliad xvi. 34. Similar expressions are common enough in Greek and Latin.

[16] ἐθήλαζε see on xiv. 15.

δρυμῷ loc. dative; cf. ii. 121; Soph. O. T. 20 ἀγοραῖσι θακεῖ.

[17] ἐςἄχρις. In the Classical period we find ἄχρις or μέχρις ἐς occasionally (Xen. Anab. v. 5. 4). The order used here seems to be only Alexandrine, but becomes very frequent, e.g. ἐς γόνυ μέχρι, Callim. iii. 12; ἐς αἰθέρα δ᾽ ἄχρι, Mosch. i. 19; ποτὶ τὸν θεὸν ἀχρις, Callim. vi. 129; ἐς ὀστίον ἄχρις, Quint. Smyrn. ix. 376; ἐς αἰθέρα μέχρις, Id. ix. 69. The other order appears, Theocr. vii. 67 ἕστ᾽ ἐπὶ πᾶχυν, cf. xxv. 31: Aratus 599 μέσφα παρ᾽: Id. 602 ἄχρι παρ᾽: Theophrast. Char. xi. ἄχρις ἐπὶ πολὺ τῶν πλευρῶν: and often.

[18] κυάνοφρυ cf. xx. 24 καὶ λευκὸν τὸ μέτωπον ἐπ᾽ ὀφρύσι λάμπε μελαίναις: Anacreont. xvi. 11 ἁπαλὸν δὲ καὶ δροσῶδες στεφέτω μέτωπον ὀφρὺς κυανωτέρη δρακόντων.

τὸ καλὸν ποθορεῦσα see on xiii. 45.

τὸ πᾶν λίθος is difficult. The Scholiast gives a variety of explanations: (1) ὅλη λευκὴ οἷον ἀγαλμα μαρμάρινον: (2) σκληρὰ καὶ ἄτεγκτος: (3) μόνον οὐχὶ ἀποδιδοῦσα τοὺς ὁρῶντας τῷ κάλλει. The third is obviously ridiculous. The first would give a good sense, but it is doubtful if λίθος could be so used without further designation; cf. vi. 38 λευκοτέραν αὐγὰν Παρίας ὑπέφαινε λίθοιο: Anacreont. 15: “ ὑπὸ πορφυραῖσι χαίταις
ἐλεφάντινον μέτωπον.

” Nicet. Eugen. ii. 208 λαμπρὸν τὸ βλέμμα: χαῖρε λαμπρότης λίθων, although as description of beauty precedes and follows it would be natural to take λίθος as compliment rather than as upbraiding. This is, however, the sense most easily given to λίθος by itself; cf. A. Pal. v. 228: “ αὐτὰρ ἐμὲ στενάχοντα τόσης κατὰ νυκτὸς ὁμίχλην
     ἔμπνοος Εὐίππης οὐκ ἐλέαιρε λίθος.

Id. xii. 151: “ εἰ δ᾽ ἐσιδὼν ξεῖνε πυριφλέκτοισι πόθοισιν
     οὐκ ἐδάμης, πάντως θεὸς λίθος εἶ.

” In that case we have a sudden transition from praise of beauty to complaint of coldness; cf. A. Pal. xii. 12 ἄρτι γενειάσδων καλὸς καὶ στερρὸς ἐρασταῖς: and verse 39 of this idyll will refer back to the line. Herondas, vi. 4 μᾶ, λίθος τις οὐ δούλη, of a person standing stock still. Calverley translates rightly, 'O thou whose glance is beauty and whose heart marble.' For the neuter τὸ πᾶν attached to λίθος, cf. xv. 20 ἅπαν ῥύπον: Lucian, Dearum Judic. de Paride τὸ πᾶν βουκόλος. Usually we have attraction, Soph. Philoc. 622 πᾶσα βλάβη: ib. 927 πᾶν δεῖμα. λίπος is mentioned as v. l. in Scholiast, but is not justified by the use of λιπαρός, Bacchyl. v. 169 λιπαρὰν θείμαν ἄκοιτιν. J. A. Hartung reads λέπας. Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig.

[19] πρόσπτυξαι cf. Odyss. iv. 647 ἐπεὶ προσπτύξατο μύθῳ.

τὸν αἰπόλον (see on xiv. 56), me, your own herdsman.

[20] ἔστι καὶ ἐν. The line is repeated by the author of xxvii. 4, and quoted by Eustath. Philos. § 105 τί σοι κέρδος εἶπεν ἐκ τοῦ φιλήματος. ἐγὼ δὲ πρὸς τὴν κόρην μεθ᾽ ἡδονῆς ἔστι καὶ ἐν κενεοῖσι φιλήμασιν ἁδέα τέρψις.

[21] τὸν στέφανον τῖλαί με κατ᾽ αὐτίκα λεπτὰ ποησεῖς (s. Junt. Call. καταυτίκα p, k). There is no word καταυτίκα, though we have καταυτόθι, Iliad x. 273; Theocr. xxv. 153, καθάπαξ (Attic), etc. παραυτίκα (xxv. 222) and new compounds are made by the Alexandrian writers with great freedom: εἴσετι, xxvii. 17; συνάμα, xxv. 126; κατεναντία, Ap. Rhod. ii. 1116; εἰσοπίσω, Quint. Smyrn. i. 243; ἔκποθεν, Ap. Rhod. iii. 262. So divisim: κατ᾽ ἔκτοθι, Quint. Smyrn. ii. 413; ἐκ τόθεν, Ap. Rhod. ii. 533; κατ᾽ ἀντίον, Quint. Smyrn. ii. 328; εἰς ἅλις, 25; ἀπ᾽ ἐντεῦθεν, Polyb. (Jannaris, § 1516). Ahrens reads here καὶ αὐτίκα, but we can keep κατά if we take it as tmesis with τῖλαι: cf. Odyss. x. 567 ἑζόμενοι δὲ κατ᾽ αὖθι γόων: Moschus, Europa 4: “      ὕπνος
λυσιμελὴς πεδάᾳ μαλακῷ κατὰ φάεα δεσμῷ.

” The construction then is ποησεῖς με κατατῖλαι τὸν στέφανον λεπτά, 'to pluck the wreath in bits'; ἤτοι κατατῖλαι τὸν στέφανον εἰς λεπτά, Schol. To a neuter plural thus used as predicate the preposition εἰς may be added, but is usually omitted; but then it is customary to make the adj. immediately dependent on a second verb; cf. Theocr. ix. 27; Odyss. xii. 174: “      κηροῖο μέγαν τροχὸν
τυτθὰ διατμήξαςπίεζον.

” Similar to this passage are Aratos 1054: “      …καὶ γάρ τ᾽ ἀροτήσιον ὥρην
τριπλόα μείρονται.

” Quint. Smyrn. xiv. 534: “      …ἄφαρ δέ μιν ἄλλυδις ἄλλῃ
ἐσκέδασαν διὰ τυτθά.

” Cf. Demosth. 182 διελεῖν ἑκάστην πέντε μέρη.

[24] δύσσοος vid. on ii. 138.

ὑπακούεις see on xi. 78.

[25] τηνῶ vid. on iii. 10.

[26] The tunny fishery was practiced throughout Greek waters (Oppian, Hal. iii. 620 sqq.). Oppian, l. c. 637 describes a watcher for the school as here εἴθ᾽ ἤτοι πρῶτον μὲν ἐπ᾽ ὄρθιον ὕψι κολωνὸν ἴδρις ἐπαμβαίνει θυννοσκόπος, ὅστε κιούσας παντοίας ἀγέλας τεκμαίρεται, αἵτε καὶ ὅσσαι, πιφαύσκει δ᾽ ἑτάροισι.

[25] τὰν βαίταν ἀποδύς shows a delightful idea of economy: he may be drowned, but spoil his plaid--no fear!

[27] The MSS. have καἴκα μὴ ᾿ποθάνω, keeping which Paley translates 'etiam si non moriar at saltem tibi iucundum erit': so the Scholiast. The sense is feeble and the Greek dubious since γε μάν is not used to introduce an apodosis. Graefe read δή for μή (a not uncommon confusion): Meineke and Hiller take this and translate 'si obiero tua tibi voluntas effecta est.' But τὸ τεὸν ἁδύ in both these is very doubtful and could only mean 'your sweetness,' not 'what is pleasant to you'; cf. τῷ ἐμῷ αἰσχρῷ, Andocid. ii. § 9; τὸ σεμνὸν τὸ σόν, Eurip. Hippol. 1064; “τὸ σὸν γενναῖον,Soph. O. C. 569; τὸ σφέτερον ἀπρεπές, Thucyd. vi. 11; τὸ ὑμέτερον εὐσεβές, Antiphon. 141. 2; τῷ συμφέροντι τῷ ὑμετέρῳ, Aesch. Ktes. § 8; ἡμετέρῳ μεδέοντι, Callim. i. 86; especially τὸ αὑτοῦ γλυκύ, Plato, Phaedrus. I take δή and mark an aposiopesis after ἀποθάνω, 'and if I die (well it will all be over), and yet (γε μάν) thou art sweet to me.'

ἁδύ is predicate. τὸτεόν is little more than τύ (= what thou art); cf. xxii. 61; Arist. Thesm. 1170 τὰ μὲν παρ᾽ ἡμῶν ἴσθι σοι πεπεισμένα: Plato, Theaet. 161 e τό γ᾽ ἐμὸν οὐδὲν ἂν προθυμίας ἀπολείποι: cf. Soph. Ajax 1313: Arist. Thesm. 105: “ εὐπίστως δὲ τοὐμὸν
δαίμονας ἔχει σεβίσαι.

” (Vergil may have taken the lines as Hiller, Ecl. viii. 60; but probably he represented iii. 54 and xxiii. 20, not this line, when he writes “'extremum hoc munus morientis habeto,'vid. Conington, ad loc.).

[28] The object of ἔγνων is not the following clause, ὅκα (vid. in vi. 21), but the clause supplied from the context, 'that thou care not for me': hence the kai/ in 31. 'I knew it of old, and the old witch too told me sooth.'

μεμναμένω εἰ φιλέεις με thinking of thee and wondering if thou lovest me (Haupt). There is an exactly similar usage in

τῆς μὲν ἀπὸ μεγάροιο κατὰ στίβον ἐνθάδ᾽ ἰόντες
μνησάμεθ᾽, εἴ κε δύναιτο, κασιγνήτη γεγαυῖα,
μήτηρ ἡμετέρη πεπιθεῖν ἐπαρῆξαι ἀέθλῳ:

cf. Mosch. ῎Ερως δραπ. 2; Xen. Anab. vi. 1. 31ἐθυόμην εἰ βέλτιον εἴη.

[29] οὐδὲ τὸ τηλέφιλον, κ.τ.λ. According to usual explanation we have here described a popular method of augury. A leaf (? poppy, τηλέφιλον) was held between the fingers and slapped against the arm or hand. If a sharp cracking noise (πλατάγημα) was made the sign was favourable; πληττόμενον εἰ ψόφον ἀπετέλει, ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς σημειοῦσθαι ὅτι ἀντερῶνται, Schol.: cf. Pollux, Onom. ix. 127. But ποτεμάξατο and ἐξεμαράνθη are both very obscure with this explanation. Haupt translates 'impingit crepitum': a sense which can hardly be extracted from ποτεμάξατο = to press close, xii. 32; to press into, Nicander, Therm. 772, 181 αἵδα προσμάσσεσθαι: so ἐνεμάξατο κέντρον, ib. 767; ἐμμάξεαι ὀργήν, Callim. Dian. 124; A. Pal. ix. 548; in all the original sense of 'smearing,' 'rubbing in,' is latent. Schol. k gives another rendering: φύταριόν τι τινὲς τῶν ἐρωτικῶν τιθέντες ἐπὶ τῶν ὤμων τῶν καρπῶν ἐπικρούουσι, καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ἐρυθρὸν γένηται καλοῦντες αὐτὸ ῥόδιον νομίζουσιν ἀγαπᾶσθαι, τοῦ χρῶτος (χρώματος MSS. quidam) δ᾽ ἐμπρησθέντος ἑλκωθέντος μισεῖσθαι.…πλατάγημα: τὸ πλαταγώνιονμήκωνος φύλλον. This gives quite a new interpretation, and one which is free from objection. There is no authority for πλατάγημα = 'crack.' The word only occurs here and in a mistaken imitation, A. Pal. v. 296. Take τὸ τηλέφιλον and τὸ πλατάγημα in apposition, and translate πλατάγημα, 'leaf' or 'cracking leaf,' si lubet.

[30] ἁπαλῷ ποτὶ πάχεος MSS. optimi: ἁπαλῷ ποτὶ πάχεϊ vulgo: πάχεϊ is not a Theocritean form. Read ἁπαλῷ ποτὶ πάχεος, 'on the soft part of the arm.' Tr., 'the love-in-absence, the leaf, did not make the (red) smear, but withered dead on the flesh of my arm.' ποτί in Doric does not put back its accent when it follows its case.

[31] There is again considerable doubt as to the right reading (vid. note crit.). We want a proper name with the definite reference to some particular witch (cf. ii. 145; vi. 40). Meineke's Παραιβάτις is therefore probable: it is a feminine form of the name Παραιβάτης (Herod. v. 46). The lectio vulgata is ᾿Αγροιώ. k has γροιώ, and Schol. k gives Γροιὼ ὄνομα κύριον. Hence Ziegler (Hiller) Γροιώ: but the place of the article is hardly justified for Theocritus by the Homeric τὸν Χρύσην ἀρητῆρα (which Hiller quotes). Greek says ῥήτωρ Δημοσθένης or Δημοσθένης ῥήτωρ ὤν, not Δημοσθένης ῥήτωρ: see on xiii. 19; xv. 97. γραία is only conjecture and does not explain the MSS. reading. I adopt therefore Warton's conjecture ἀγροιῶτις ἀλαθέα, 'And a country-woman too divining by the sieve told me sooth, Paraebatis who the other day was gathering her herbs, that I dote on thee.'

[32] ποιολογεῦσα'haec de spicilega (gleaner) viri docti interpretantur messores subsequente ... at neque ποιολογεῖν idem est quod σταχυολογεῖν neque Παραιβάτις dici potest quae messores sequitur'” (Meineke). Paraebatis is therefore an old hag like Cotytaris (cf. vi. 40) who was gathering her herbs to make into charms and simples.

[35] ἐριθακίς μισθώτρια ὑποκοριστικῶς, Schol.: cf. Eustath. ad Iliad 1162. 23 ἔστι δὲ καὶ ὄρνεον ἀφ᾽ οὗ τὸ ὄνομα. Again a double explanation: (1) ἐριθακίς is a diminutive formed from ἔριθος, 'a maidservant' (so Liddell and Scott, s. v.); (2) it is a proper name formed from ἐρίθακος, 'the name of a bird.' But the diminutive of ἔριθος would be ἐριθίς (fem.), vid. on v. 50. The majority of editors therefore take the word as proper name. Tr. 'Erithacis, daughter of Mermnon.' Theocritus often gives the parent's name, ii. 146; x. 15; Herondas, vi. 25 Βιτᾶτος εὐβούλει: v. 3 ῾Αμφυταίῃ τῇ Μένωνος: i. 76 τὴν Πυθέω δὲ Μητίρχην.

[37] The twitching of the eyelid was a favourable omen. Plautus, Pseud. i. 1. 105'ita supercilium salit'”; Eustath. Philos. § 322 ἐπὶ δὴ τούτοις πᾶσιν ὀφθαλμὸς ἥλατο μὲν δεξιός. Wuestemann quotes a fragment from a work by one Melampus addressed to Ptolemy Philad. ὀφθαλμὸς δεξιὸς ἐὰν ἅλληται, ἐχθροὺς ὑποχειρίους ἕξει. The goatherd is encouraged by the sign to believe that he will see Amaryllis, and resolves to try to entice her by a song.

ἰδησῶ a new future form; see Synopsis of Dialect, § 3.

[38] ἀποκλινθείς, 'leaning back.'

[39] ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἀδαμαντίνα refers back to τὸ πᾶν λίθος, l. 18. Cf. the similar reference from ii. 157 to ii. 4; Stat. Silv. i. 2. 69 'duro nec enim ex adamante creati.'

[40] -51. The song consists of four groups of three verses each, touching briefly on country stories of love. The idea reappears in the Leontion of Hermesianax, and, pretty though this ballad is, it might be regarded as hardly in keeping with the character of a country swain. But Theocritus' shepherds are not all clowns, and, as shown in Introd. p. 37, Theocritus' realism is not particularly attentive to detail of style or expression. The idea is appropriate enough in the country lad, only the form is worked up by the author to give a more artistic setting. What is important is that Theocritus' country folk do not utter moral sentiments or criticisms of current events out of keeping with their station. We have similar appeals to legend in xx. 33; viii. 52.

[40] 40, 41 For the story of Hippomenes and Atalanta see Ovid, Met. x. 560.

[41] δρόμον ἄνυεν not 'finished the course,' but 'sped on the course'; see i. 93.

[42] See note on ii. 82; for hiatus see Index, s. v.

[43] Neleus, king of Pylus, imposed on him who would wed his daughter Pero the task of bringing to Pylus the oxen of Iphiclus. Melampus undertook the quest for his brother Bias, and having rendered service to Iphiclus received the herd as a present; cf. Odyss. xi. 281; Propert. ii. 3. 51.

῎Οθρυος, Mount Othrys in Thessaly.

[44] δέ, 'and she' (Pero); μάτηρ χαρίεσσα follows in apposition. Cf. δ᾽ εἶπ᾽ ᾿Οδυσσεύς, Soph.; and the frequent deictic use of the article in Theocr. i. 30; vii. 7, 80, etc.

[46] Verg. Ecl. x. 18'et formosus oves ad flumina pavit Adonis'”; cf. Theocr. i. 109 ὡραῖος χὥδωνις, ἐπεὶ καὶ μᾶλα νομεύει.

[47] ἐπὶ πλέον ἄγαγε λύσσας. For the genitive see on i. 20; Herond. iii. 8 συμφορῆς δ᾽ ἤδη ὁρμᾷ ἐπὶ μέζον: Aratus 1047: “ πρῖνοι μὲν θαμινῆς ἀκύλου κατὰ μέτρον ἔχουσαι
χειμῶνος κε λέγοιεν ἐπὶ πλέον ἰσχύσοντος.

” Thucyd. ii. 53 ἐπὶ πλέον ἀνομίας ἦρξεν τὸ νόσημα. The second limb of the comparison is with ἐπὶ πλέον only vaguely understood; and may be '(more) than now is,' or '(more) than usual,' or '(more) than previously.' So here ἐπὶ πλέον ἄγαγε λύσσας = 'led her on in madness.' Oppian, Hal. iv. 147 σήπιαι αὖ δυσέρωτες ἐπὶ πλέον ἔδραμον ἄτης.

[48] 'That not even in death does she cease to clasp him to her breast.' The Scholiast understood the line to be descriptive of a picture. It rather expresses the legend given by Bion, Epit. Adon.: πάχεε δ᾽ ἀμπετάσασα κινύρετο, μεῖνον ῎Αδωνι
δύσποτμε μεῖνον ῎Αδωνι, πανύστατον ὥς σε κιχείω,
ὥς σε περιπτύξω καὶ χείλεα χείλεσι μίξω.

[49] 49, 50 ζαλωτὸςζαλῶ Introd. p. 43, § ii.

τὸν ἄτροπον ὕπνον ἰαύων the accus. is cognate. Λάτμιον κνώσσεις, Herond. viii. 10.

ἄτροπον dist. xxiv. 7 εὕδετ᾽ ἐμὰ βρέφεα γλυκερὸν καὶ ἐγέρσιμον ὕπνον: Mosch. Epit. Bion. 117 (of sleep of death) εὕδομες εὖ μάλα μακρὸν ἀτέρμονα νήγρετον ὕπνον. Endymion loved by Selènê was thrown by her into an endless sleep that she might ever look on him and kiss him sleeping; cf. A. Pal. v. 164 (Meleager): “      δ᾽ ἐν κόλποισιν ἐκείνης
ῥιπτασθεὶς κείσθω δεύτερος ᾿Ενδυμίων.

[50] Iasion, loved by Demeter; see Odyss. v. 125: Hesiod, Theog. 970: “ Δημήτηρ μὲν Πλοῦτον ἐγείνατο, διὰ θεάων,
᾿Ιασίῳ ἥρωϊ μιγεῖσ᾽ ἐρατῇ φιλότητι.

” See Paley, ad loc.

[51] τοσσῆν᾽ ἐκύρησεν. The accusative is used also by Oppian, Hal. i. 34 ἀτερπέα δ᾽ αὖλιν ἐκύρσαν; Aesch. Sept. 699 βίον εὖ κύρησας. τόσσων k is therefore probably due to an emending copyist. Iasion is said to have been associated with Demeter in the mysteries of Eleusis (παρεμφαίνει δὲ μυστικὸν τὸν ἔρωτα ᾿Ιασίωνος καὶ Δήμητρος, Schol.), but only on the authority of this passage.

The words ὅσ᾽ οὐ πευσεῖσθε βέβαλοι (cf. xxvi. 14) can only mean 'which ye shall not learn who are unacquainted with love's mysteries.' To make them refer to any supposed religious rites involves the absurdity of making the singer himself one of the initiated. Catullus imitates the line lxiv. 260 'orgia quae frustra cupiunt audire profani.'

[52] τίν = σοί, Dialect. § 2.

ἀείδω for present cf. Aeschines ii. 183 μικρὰ εἰπὼν ἤδη καταβαίνω: Krüger, liii. 1. 8.

[53] κεισεῦμαι δὲ πεσών cf. Arist. Clouds 126 ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἐγὼ μέντοι πεσών γε κείσομαι: Ecclesiaz. 963 (to fall and lie where one has fallen).

[54] 'Let this be honey for thee in thy throat'; an expression of bitter vexation. The change of style in 52 from smooth running lines to jerky clauses suits the change of temper to cross disappointment.

hide References (12 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (12):
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1640
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 569
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 5.5.4
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 6.1.31
    • Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 3.262
    • Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 3.535
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 1.1
    • Vergil, Eclogues, 10
    • Vergil, Eclogues, 2
    • Vergil, Eclogues, 3
    • Vergil, Eclogues, 8
    • Vergil, Eclogues, 9
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