Thursday, November 11, 2021


Manly Pursuits

Ovid, Heroides 19.9-14 (Hero to Leander; tr. Grant Showerman):
You men, now in the chase, and now husbanding the genial acres of the country,
consume long hours in the varied tasks that keep you.
Either the market-place holds you, or the sports of the supple wrestling-ground,
or you turn with bit the neck of the responsive steed;
now you take the bird with the snare, now the fish with the hook;
and the later hours you while away with the wine before you.

vos modo venando, modo rus geniale colendo
    ponitis in varia tempora longa mora.        10
aut fora vos retinent aut unctae dona palaestrae,
    flectitis aut freno colla sequacis equi;
nunc volucrem laqueo, nunc piscem ducitis hamo;
    diluitur posito serior hora mero.

11 dona codd.: lucta Heinsius: mane Bentley
Arthur Palmer ad loc.:
9-14. A passage of some grace, and Euripidean in its simplicity and sentiment. 9. rus geniale, 'the kindly, the delightful country': genialis is used much as in invitat genialis hiems Virg. Georg. 1.302 of what is cheering to the genius of a man. 10. Ponitis .. tempora: ponere is often used of spending time. Commentators give a large number of instances from Cicero, De Orat. 3.5.17; Att. 6. 2. 6. So with diem or dies, Brut. 22.87; Att. 11.22.2; Fam. 5.21.1. Cicero is the only writer quoted for this usage. [Dr. Reid quotes Pont. 1.5.36 Tempus et adsueta ponere in arte iuvat; Ib. 48 Quo ponam vigilans tempora longa modo?] The sense is something the same as that of 'investing,' which is common with ponere. mora, 'pastime': Prop. 4.8.4 Hic ubi tam rarae non perit hora morae. 11. unctae: cf. nitidae 16.151. dona palaestrae, 'the joys of the glittering palaestra': Hor. Carm. 3.8.27 dona praesentis cape laetus horae; Grat. Cyneg. 252 dumque manebunt Silvarum dotes atque arma Diania terris. [There is thus no need to read lucta with Heinsius.] For the sentiment, cf. A.A. 3.385 Nec vos Campus habet, nec vos gelidissima Virgo, Nec Tuscus placida devenit amnis aqua. [12. sequacis,'tractable,' obedient': cf. Plin. Paneg. 45 flexibiles quamcunque in partem ducimur a principe atque ut ita dicam sequaces sumus; Paneg. Vet. 12.15 sequaces discipuli, but this is a doubtful passage. The reading fugacis, if properly supported, would give a better sense; cf. 4.46 torquentem frenis ora fugacis equi and note there. Dr. Reid thinks that sequacis here may mean the horse which chases the quarry or the foe, like flammis sequacibus Virg. Aen. 8.432, and many similar words. Ταχινοῦ of Planudes will fit either sequacis in this sense or fugacis.] 13. laqueo, 'with the springe' [cp. Hor. Ep. 1.16.51; Epod. 2.35]. 14. Diluitur posito serior hora mero, 'you make your later hours glide away with the wine cup': [diluere is generally applied in this connexion to 'cares,' not to time; cf. Prop. 3.17.6 Tu vitium ex animo dilue, Bacche, meo; Ov. A.A. 1.238 Cura fugit multo diluiturque mero].

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