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In this satire, Horace defends himself against two classes of his critics. fended at the simplicity and graceful negligence of his satires, denied them the name of poems, and indeed to satire itself the name of poetry. The other alleged that he wroto with malignity, and spared not even his personal friends.
The charges were, then, substantially these : that he was no poet, and that he was a malignant satirist. After some pleasant allusions to Lucilius, and to Fannius, an inferior poet of the day, and then to the general dislike of satire, Horace begins his defence at line 38, and replies to the first charge in lines 38-63, and to the second in the remainder of the satire.
1. Eupolis, etc. These three poets were the masters of the prisca or vetus, comoedia, the old comedy, of the Greeks. Vetus, old, in distinction from the media, middle, and the nova, new. The Old Comedy, in its freedom in ridiculing the men and events of the day, and in introducing living persons by name, was in its nature like the Roman Satire, and the Satire of modern times. Hence its mention here.See note on Ars. Poet. 281–284. 6. Omnis ; i. e. entirely, expressing the resemblance between Lucilius and the writers of the Greek comedy. Lucilius was the first Roman poet who wrote in the regular satire. He was born at Sinuessa, B. C. 148. - -%. Mutatis, etc. The Greek comedy was written in iambic verse; Lucilius wrote mostly in hexameters, sometimes in iambic and trochaic verse. -10. Ut magnum. As if (it were) a great thing.. - Stans, etc., i. e.“without changing his position, a figure taken from the plays of boys or the feats of tumblers.” Keightley, from Orelli. – -11. Cum; the causal particle, since; the image from a muddy stream. - 14. Crispinus; who thinks every thing depends upon facility in writing. See note, Sat. i., 1, 120.—Minimo; the lowest; or, as we say of one who challenges, at the largest odds, e. g. a hundred to one. - - 19. Follibus. He compares a tumid style with the puffing and blowing of a blacksmith's bellows. -21, 22. Ultro-imagine. Some suppose that these words mean, that the writings and bust of Fannius had been deposited in the public library; but Franke's explanation is simpler and nearer the text, that the friends of Fannius had brought him capsae for his poems; and also a bust for himselt. Ultro, literally of their own accord; the things were brought wilhout solicitation on the part of Fannius. The capsa, like the scrinium, in Sat. i., 1, 120, was a wooden case, with loculi, compartments, designed to hold books, writings, or other things. See Dict. Antiqq., also Biblio. theca Sacra, vol. iii., pp. 227, 228. -23. Timentis. Agrees with mei, implied in mea. 24. Utpote, etc. “By attraction for-quippe cum plures culpari digni sint.” Orelli. - 25—38, Quemvis, etc. The poet Dow illustrates the plures culpari dignos, and shows who they are that dislike satire. - 28. Aere. Bronze. Read the article Acs in Dict. Antiqq. 30. Quin,=quin immo, nay even. - 32. Ut, and also the preceding ne, depend upon metuens. - 34. Foenum, etc. A common cry of the street, here humorously applied to a poet. A vicious ox or cow usually had a wisp of kay fastened to its horns, as a warning to the passers-by. -37. Lacu. By this word were designated the basins, containing a head of water, supplied from the aqueducts, to which, as to a city-pump, the poor might come, who could not afford to have the pipes in their own houses. They are here referred to, because they were naturally thronged by servants and loungers. - - 38. The poet (sce introduction) admits that, in his Satires, he is not, in the highest sense of the word, a poet. We must bear in mind that these criticisms were made upon the satires; the odes were written afterwards. 39. Poetis. See note, Sat. i., 1, 19.-Dederim; I should allow; the subj. softens the assertion. See Harkness, Lat. Gram., 485, 486, I.-40. Concludere. To round. 42. Sermoni; i. e. prose. — 45. Quidam. The Alexandrian critics. Their view seems to have been, that Comedy was restricted both in its language (verbis) and matter (rebus) to every day life, and did not rise to the dignity of poetry. - 48. At pater. So may say an objector, in defence of comedy. (Comp. Ars. P. 93, 94.) -The language refers to a character common in comedy, as in the Adelphi, and in the Self-Tormentor of Terence. -52. Pomponius. Some dissolute young man of the time. The reply to the objector is : Just so Pomponius's father might talk, it is the language of real and of common life. -58. Tempora; in reference to quantity, times ;=pedes, feet; modos, to rhythm, measures. -60. Ut si. After ut, repeat invenias; as (you would find) if, etc. The meaning is: take from my verses the feet, rhythm, order, and you would not still find poetry there, as you would, after putting to the same process those verses of Ennius. Etiam means still, yet. --Solvas; turn to prose. -64. See introduction. The poet wonders (65–78) that he should be so much feared, since he shuns publicity, and reads his satires only to his particular friends. - 65. Suleias-Caprius. Probably two well-known lawyers; the Scholiast says, informers. - 66. Male ; = valde. -71. Pila. The Roman booksellers suspended the titles of their books on the door of their shop (taberna), or on the pillar of the portico, under which the shop
See Becker's Gallus, Exc. 3; Biblioth. Sacra, Vol. 3, p. 229.72. Tigelli. See note, Sat. i., 3, 129.- -78-end. The poet now repels the charge of malignity; and to show how abhorrent was such a temper to his whole character, he dwells, as in other parts of his works, upon the judicious and careful training he had received from his father. 79. Inquit. Some one says; or it is said.-Hoc is accusative.-Studio; with eagerness; on purpose. - 86. Tribus lectis ; i. e. the Triclinium, See note, Sat. ii., 8, 20. Quaternos; four on each couch, and twelve in
the company; usually there were but three on a couch, and nine at the table. The rule of Varro was, that the number of guests at a dinnerparty should not be smaller than the number of the Graces, nor greater than that of the Muses. –88. Qui-aquam; either to drink, or for washing. The whole expression for convivator, the host.-Hunc; in same construction as cunctos; potus (part.) agrees with unus. 94. Capitolini. So called, because once governor of the Capitol. The Scholiast says, that when in this office, Petillius stole the crown of Jupiter Capitolinus, but was acquitted on trial, through the favor of Augustus.
100. Loliginis. Loligo means a cuttle-fish; the whole expression is metaphorical for rank malignity. - 102. Ut si, etc. Dillenburger explains this construction thus: ut promitto, si quid aliud vere de me promittere possum, it apromitto abfore, etc. 105. Hoc is the abl., the usual case with suesco and its compounds; Dillenb. makes it an acc. Me is the object of insuevit. Comp. Sat. ii., 2, 109. Also Tacitus, Ann. 2, 52: ut lectos viros imperiis suesceret. -118. Custodis. Comp. Sat. i., 6, 81, and note. - 123. Judicibus selectis. A body of judices chosen, by the provisions of the Lex Aurelia, enacted B. c. 70, from the senators, equites, and tribuni aerarii ; they were 36) in number. It is not known whether the Lex Aurelia determined the number of judices in any given case, but it is conjectured that the number was seventy. They tried criminal cases. See Dict. Antiqq., under Judex. 124. An, join with addubites ; or can you doubt, &c. 133. Lectulus. My couch ; here the allusion is to reclining upon it for study, reading, writing, &c.--See Becker's Gallus, p. 42. Bibl. Sacra, vol. iii., p. 228. 137. Haec; i. e. what is said in preceding lines, from Rectius. 141. Multa-manus. Horace humorously says, that all the poets, most of whom were far from friendly to him, would turn to his aid in a body, and bring to terms such an enemy of poets. – 143. Judaci. The comparison seems to turn upon the zeal of the Jews in proselyting.
This Satire is a humorous description of a journey which Horace made from Rome to Brundusium, in the company of Maecenas and of other friends. It is generally supposed that the party was arranged by Maecenas, when he had occasion to go to Brundusium B. C. 37, to aid in settling terms of reconciliation between Octavianus and Antony; as he had done once before, B. C. 40, when the alliance called foedus Brundusinum was formed between the two triumvirs.
The route from Rome to Capua, and thence to Beneventum, lay on the Appian Way, and thence to Brundusium on the side-road, called the Via Egnatia. The poet, and his friends, must have travelled very leisurely, as they occupied certainly fiftcen, and perhaps, as Orelli conjectures, seventeen, days in reaching Brundusium, which was thres mundred and twelve miles from Rome.
Becker has made a very happy use of this Satire in the Journey Scene cf his “Gai Jus: or, Roman Scenes of the Time of Augustus."
I give from Ileindorf (Wüstemann's edit.) the following table of the days, and of the places, with their relative distances. The miles are Roinan, which arc a little shortci than the English mile.
312 But perhaps the poet omitted two stopping-places between Barium and Brundusium, which are given in the Itinerarium Antonini; if so, the above must be modified us follows:
1. Aricia. On the distance, modern name, &c., of this town, and of all the towns mentioned in the Satire, see Table, at the end of tho Introd. - 3. Longe doctissimus. Probably said in jest, as we have no such account elsewhere of the person. - F. Appi. So called from Appius Claudius Caecus, who built the Appia Via.- - 4. Nautis, boat men; great numbers of whom lived at Forum Appii, who were em. ployed in forwarding passengers along the canal, from that place to Tərracina.-Cauponibus malignis. The travel by the canals, and tho number of boatmen, would naturally require numerous inns. Many of them doubtless were very low places, and their keepers may havo deserved in an especial manner the epithet, maligni; but this class of people, both in Greece and at Rome, was notorious for cheating and fraud of every description.-5. Altius–Praecinctis, literally for travellers higher girt; i. e. more e.cpeditious, as a traveller in haste wonld
gird up the loose Roman dress as high as possible, in order to get on more rapidly.-On ac, see n. Epod. 17, 4.- 6. Unum; i. e. (with iler) one day's journey; he means to say, rapid travellers would make the journey from Rome to Forum Appii in one day; we took two for it. -Minus-gravis-tardis. Is less troublesome to the slow ; i. e. simply, those who journey leisurely get on with more ease and convenience than those who travel rapidly. -7. Ventri-bellum; i. e. eat no sup
- 9. Comites. Not merely Heliodorus, but all who had reached Forum Appii at the same time as himself, and were intending to take the night boat on the canal. 11. Pueri, the slaves of the passengers
16. Nauta-viator. Keightley seems to be right in taking nauta to be the boatman, who drove the mules, and vialor some poor foot-passenger, who joined company with him. For · a while they sang together; but by and by, perhaps when they stopped to bait the mule, the viator lay down to sleep, and the nauta followed his example.-Others, and among them Becker (Gallus, p. 64), suppose the vialor to be on board the boat; and also the nauta, who guides the mule, as he sits or stands in the boat. 21. Prosilit, lcaps forlh ; i. e. on shore.- - 23. Quarta-hora, ten o'clock, several hours behind the time, owing to the boatman's sleeping on the way. - 24. Feronia. The name of an ancient Italian divinity. Her temple, Fanuni Feroniae, together with the grove and fountain sacred to her, was three miles from Terracina, to which the travellers, after washing and taking breakfast, proceeded on foot. - 26. Anxur; this was the Volscian name, Terracina the Latin; the modern Terracina lies at the foot of the rocky hill, on which lay the ancient town. - 29. Aversos amicos. Antony and Octavianus; see Introd. When the earlier alliance was formed at Brundusium, Maecenas acted as the friend of Octavianus, and Cocceius, with Asinius Pollio, as the friend of Antony. Now, as appears from 1. 33, Fonteius Capito represented Antony. - 32. Ad unguem factus homo: literally, made to the nail, -i. e. made accurately; a perfect gentleman. The metaphor is taken from sculpture, as the artist judges of the accuracy of his work, especially of its smoothness of surface, by running the nail over.it. Sculptors, also, when modelling in clay, make use of the nail in the finer parts of their work. -Comp. Ars. P., 291. - 34. Praetore ; a pleasant hint at the man's fondness for official parade. He was the prefect, a kind of selectman, of a second-class town, but he carried himself as if he were the practor urbanus, the Mayor of Rome itself. - 35. Scribae. The Scribae were clerks in the pay of the state; perhaps from this office Aufidius had been promoted to the prefectura. 36. Praetextam, etc. The toga praetexta was the robe with purple border, worn by the higher magistrates. The lalus clavus, or laticlavia, was a broad strip of purple woven into the front of the tunic, and was a badge of scnatorian rank