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facit, ‘shows,’ the infinitives being best represented by participles, dare, ‘dealing,’ cecidisse, ‘fallen.’ The subject of facit is either Alcon, or the cup itself, according to a usage common in Propertius, for which see Hertzberg, Quaest. Propert. p. 154. It is not an ordinary use of the historic present, as it does not describe the act as in progress or narrate its performance (as in VI. 75, “stare deum pelagi, longoque ferire tridente aspera saxa facit”), but describes the details of the finished work. The two uses are distinguished in Propertius by Hertzberg, Quaest. Propert. p. 120, and by Postgate, Select Elegies, p. ex.693. The passage is very difficult and corrupt. According to Korn's reading (which the authority of T, one of Hellmuth's MSS., inclines Zingerle to approve) the two lines form one scene, iugulo contrasting with pectora and fortia corresponding to non femineum. Demissa tela of the shuttle (a use apparently not found elsewhere, though Haupt remarks on the wide use of the word) is a conjecture of Bentley for demisso telo. The Marcian codex has “agmen femineum iugulo dare vulnus aperto, illas dimisso per inertia vulnera telo”, from which Merkel (followed by Siebelis and Zingerle) reads hac, illac, serving to indicate the arrangement on the cup of two separate scenes (694 then belonging to the second scene, that of the funeral), and per inertia vulnere tela. For demisso vulnere he compares Hor. Epp.VII. v. 13, “vulnera parum demissa laxantem”, and for the structure of the line V. 436 Hor. Epp., VI. 217.Inertia tela is used of the radii, shuttles, as ‘inglorious weapons,’ just as in VII. 542, “leto moriturus inerti” of the warhorse dying by disease in his stall, and as in Virg. Aen.II. 364, “inertia corpora” are the dead who have died unresisting (see Henry ad loc.). For per tela in the sense of the instrumental ablative, cf. Prop.iv. IX. 26, with Postgate's note. Madvig (Adversaria Critica, vol. II. p. 92) keeps the reading of M, except in changing inertia to inerti, supporting agmen femineum, used of two persons only, by Virg. Aen.II. 212(of the two serpents,) agmine certo Laocoonta petunt, where the expression is otherwise understood. There is still a difficulty in the exact distribution of the scenes, Haupt referring the birth of the Coronae to the second scene, while Merkel, with more probability, makes tum introduce the third scene (just as it does the second in Virg. Aen.VI. 20). In either division incidents are grouped (ferri and exire, or exire and ducere), which are consecutive and not simultaneous, but this is probably a common feature in such descriptions, as in that of the two cities in Hom. Il.XVIII. 490-540.
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