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Metrum 5:

The Golden Age found happiness without riches. (The ideas and images of this poem are part of a long, rich tradition of poetic depictions of an idyllic past.)

Meter: Anapestic dimeter catalectic W M W M W M - , also called paroemiac. Diaeresis between the metra occurs only in lines 1 and 27.

facili: "ready-to-hand, easy-to-find," picked up randomly from the earth where they lay abundantly. Cf. 1M6.6, where acorns are a less attractive food. sera: "tardy," modifying ieiunia ; people in olden days were less hastily attentive to their hunger. glande: "acorn, nut."

Bacchica: "Bacchic"; see on 1M6.15. norant = noverant ; here, "knew [how to]."

melle: < mel , "honey"; honey wine or mead ( mulsum ) was a luxury at Rome.

lucida vellera Serum (< Seres , "the Chinese"): "gleaming fleeces of the Chinese," i.e., silk from China (not long after B.'s death the emperor Justinian sought to import silkworms to the empire to satisfy demand for the fabric). Tyrio . . . veneno: "Tyrian dye," extracted from shellfish and exported from Tyre in Phoenicia to adorn the richest garments. ( Venenum is ordinarily "venom," but with proper adjectives is regularly used for "dye" as well.)

herba: "grass."

secabat: < seco , "cut, cleave"; subject is hospes (line 15).

mercibus undique lectis: "having gathered merchandise from all over."

classica: < classicum , "battle signal, trumpet."

viderent: effectively "foresaw" for providerent ; the shorter form is metrically convenient.

Utinam . . . redirent . . . tempora: "If only our times might return"; imperfect subjunctive in a present wish incapable of fulfillment.

Aetnae: the volcano in Sicily.

amor ardet habendi: cf. 2M2.18, sitis ardescit habendi .

latere volentes: "preferring to remain hidden."

fodit: "dug [up]," less precise than effodit , but metrically easier.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, 1.m6
    • Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, 2.m5
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