Horace Ode

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					Horace Ode 1.37            Actium     (text, commentary, limited vocabulary, study questions)


Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero
pulsanda tellus, nunc Saliaribus
   ornare pulvinar deorum
   tempus erat dapibus, sodales.

Antehac nefas depromere Caecubum                 5
cellis avitis, dum Capitolio
   regina dementīs ruinas
   funus et imperio parabat

contaminato cum grege turpium
morbo virorum, quidlibet impotens               10
   sperare fortunāque dulci
   ebria. Sed minuit furorem

vix una sospes navis ab ignibus,
mentemque lymphatam Mareotico
redegit in veros timores         15
   Caesar ab Italia volantem

remis adurgens, accipiter velut
mollīs columbas aut leporem citus
   venator in campis nivalis
   Haemoniae, daret ut catenīs             20

fatale monstrum. Quae generosius
perire quaerens nec muliebriter
   expavit ensem nec latentīs
   classe citā reparavit oras;

ausa et iacentem visere regiam            25
voltu sereno, fortis et asperas
   tractare serpentīs, ut atrum
   corpore conbiberet venenum,

deliberatā morte ferocior,
saevis Liburnis scilicet invidens          30
   privata deduci superbo
   non humilis mulier triumpho.
Alcaeus ()      332

ῦ ῆ ύ ί ὲ ί                    nun che muthusthen kai tina per bian

ώ, ἐὶ ὴ ά ύ…                        ponen, epei de katthane Mursilos….

Odes 1.37                      Commentary                       Horace

1-2: bibendum and pulsanda are gerundives. Apart from the uses of the gerundive which
       we have reviewed, there is something called the first periphrastic conjugation or more
       simply called the gerundive with the verb "to-be" (sum...). When the gerundive is used with
       sum the verbal quality reflects 3 elements: 1) it is passive, 2) it shows necessity, and 3) if
       there is an agent supplied with the passive verbal, the agent goes into the dative case. Your
       difficulty here will be aspect number 2 = necessity. How do we in English impart
       "necessity" to our verbals? Do the same here. You have many options.

1-2:   By definition the gerundive, when it is part of the 1st periphrastic conjugation or the
       gerundive with the verb "to-be", must be in the nominative case. Be careful with your

1:     pede libero = yes, the agent of the passive gerundive should be the dative case = point 3
       above. But here you can see that Horace has chosen to use the ablative of agent.

4:     tempus = nominative case. tempus erat... what part of speech do you expect to follow?

4:     erat. erat has been a bone of contention ever since this poem was read for the first time.
       Perhaps erat has the meaning: "it has been (for a very long time)....

_____________________STANZA 2__________________________________________

5:     antehac = purely adverbial and temporal. It contrast with nunc in line 1.

5:     nefas = same syntax as tempus erat above. Supply erat from above. This supplied erat has
       its usual meaning.

5:     Caecubum = supply vinum (vinum, vini = wine). Caecuban wine was expensive. Only taken
       out for special occasions.

6:     cellis avitis = ablative of source. If you wish to supply ex, feel free to do so.

6:     dum = while or at the time when
7:    dementis = demens, dementis = 3rd declension. You have been taught that -es is the ending
      for nominative/accusative plural in the 3rd declension for masculine and feminine nouns.
      Not incorrect. But, the Romans felt at ease to switch between long -is and long -es for those
      endings. As you can see, Horace prefers the former ending. The genitive singular, of course,
      remains a short -is ending.

8:    et = you know my passion for et's! Draw a fence between dum in line 6 and virorum in line
      10. What does this et connect?

8:    parabat = the imperfect is proper here. Be certain to translate it accurately.

8:    imperio = dative of disadvantage = for the empire.

_______________STANZA 3________________________________________________

9:    contaminato = modifies grege. Translate it in predicate position.

10:   morbo = ablative of means after contaminato! Be careful.

10:   quidlibet = accusative.

11:   sperare = epexegitical infinitive! I imagine that means nothing to you. That is ok. Latin and
      Greek like to use infinitives to explain the meanings or complete the meanings of
      adjectives! Epexegetical infinitives are essentially complementary infinitives, but unlike the
      traditional complementary infinitive which completes the meaning of a previous verb, the
      epexegetical infinitive complements an adjective! Therefore, sperare explains impotens, i.e.
      translate sperare after impotens.

12:   dulci = remember, i-stems adjectives make their ablative singular in -i-!

12:   minuit:         Translate minuit after line 13!

____________STANZA 4____________________________________________________

13:   sospes = translate in predicate position. It is explained by ab ignibus.

14:   Mareotico = supply vino just as for Caecubum above. See note 5.

15:   redegit = probably a good translation is "reduced"

16:   volantem = modifies Cleopatram and is the direct object of adurgens.
____________STANZA 5__________________________________________________

17:    remis = probably ablative of means with volantem. Plus, it is probably a metaphor for naves.

17:    mollis = modifies columbas. See note 7.

17-20: for the simile = velut... for the nominatives supply adsurget.

20:    nivalis = notice that the -is in nivalis is short! See note 7.

20:   daret ut...: word order = ut daret... What type of ut clause is this?
____________________STANZA 6_______________________________________

21:    fatale monstrum = accusative.

22:    perire quaerens = take these words together.

22:    nec = negates expavit.

23:    latentis = long -is! See note 7.

______________________STANZA 7___________________________________

25:    iacentem = lying in ruin

26:    vultu sereno = ablative of manner with visere.

26:    fortis = fem. nom. sing. modifying an implied Cleopatra. Like impotens above this
       adjective governs the infinitive tractare. See note 11.

26:    et = etiam as often in poetry. Here et(iam) emphasises asperas serpentis.

27:    ut = what type of ut-clause here?

28:    corpore = ablative of means. I suppose one does drink through the mouth rather than
       through the body. Perhaps we could translate "into her body".

__________________STANZA 8________________________________________

29:    deliberata morte = ablative of cause; it explains why she is/was ferocior.

30:    saevis = for her, of course.

30:    saevis Liburnis = probably ablative case; ablative of means with deduci.
31:   deduci = what form is this? It is the epexegectical accompaniment to invidens! Hint. See
      note 11.

32:   non = only negates humilis.

32:   humilis mulier = in apposition to the subject (Cleopatra) of invidens.
Horace Odes 1.37

Vocabulary                Stanza 1

bibo, bibere = to drink
pulso, pulsare = to strike
tellus, telluris, FEM., earth/ground
orno, ornare = to decorate/to provide
Saliaris/e = Salian (the Salii were a college of preists) Salian = priestly
pulvinar, pulvinaris, Neut., table
dapes, dapium = banquet (the word in Latin is usually plural)
sodalis, sodalis = commrade/friend

        stanza 2
antehac = before = ante = adverb
depromo, depromere = bring out
nefas = indeclinable noun = a religious crime
Caecubus, -a, -um = Caecubian = reference to a geographical area
cella, ae = cellar
avitus, -a, -um = ancestral
demens, -tis = demented/crazy
funus, -eris Neut. = death, doom, destruction

        Stanza 3
contaminatus, -a, -um = contaminated
grex, gregis = herd
turpis/e = disgraceful
quislibet, quaelibet, quidlibet = anything at all
impotens = mad, unable to stop, crazy
dulcis/e = sweet
ebrius, -a, -um = drunk(en)
minuo, -ere = lessen
        Stanza 4
vix = adverb = hardly/barely
sospes, sospitis = safe
mens, mentis = mind
lymphatus, -a, -um = crazed
Mareoticus, -a, -um = Egyptian
redigo, ere, redegi, redactus = bring back/force
volo, are = fly
        Stanza 5
remus, -i = oar
adurgeo, -ere, adurgui, = press towards, pursue closely
accipiter, tri Masc. = hawk
velut = like
mollis/e = soft
columba, -ae = dove
lepus, -oris = hare
citus, -a, -um = quick/swift
venator, oris, = hunter
nivalis/e = snowy
Haemonia, -ae = Greece
catena, -ae = chain

        Stanza 6
fatalis/e = fatal
monstrum, -i, Neut. = monster
generosus, -a, -um = noble
muliebriter = adverb = like a woman
expavesco, ere, expavi = dread/fear greatly
ensis, ensis, masc. = sword
reparo (principal parts = paro) = seek instead
ora, -ae = shore
        Stanza 7
audeo, audere, ausus sum = dare
iaceo, iacere, iacui, iacitus = lie
viso, visere, visi, visum = look upon, gaze at
regia, -ae = palace
vultus, vultus (4th declension) = expression/look
serenus, -a, -um = serene
asper, -a, -um = rough/harsh/savage
tracto, are, = handle
serpens, entis, = serpent
ater, atra, atrum = black
combibo = bibo above = to drink (in)

        Stanza 8
deliberatus, -a, -um = deliberated/planned
ferox/ferocis = ferocious
saevus, -a, -um = cruel/savage
Liburna, -ae = an Egyptian type of ship
invideo, ere, invidi, invisum = envy, begrudge, deny
deduco, ere, duxi, ductum = to lead away
superbus, -a, -um = magnificient, proud, haughty
humilis/e = humble
mulier, mulieris = wife
                                Questions on Horace's Cleopatra Ode

1. A literary motif is a picture or environment drawn with words. What motifs are
found in the first stanza? What picture is Horace trying to portray here? Can you
suggest why these images are found here?

2. How is Cleopatra portrayed through line 21. To answer this question look at the
nominatives used to name her, look at the adjectives and verbals which describe her
personality and actions. What cumulative picture results? What is significant about
this picture?

3. Discuss the simile (= the velut-construction) found in stanza 5. What image is found
here? Is there any comment written in between the lines?

4. How is Cleopatra portrayed in the last two stanzas? Is this the same picture that we
have found above? Can you offer any suggestions why this is the case?

5. What proper names are used in this poem? Any significance?

6. What or who is missing from this poem?

7. Alliteration is the repetition of consonantal sounds. Presumably there is some
underlying reason for this musical harmony. Can you detect some significan alliteration
in the last two stanzas? Any reason, perhaps?

8. Horace is fond of "ring composition", that is to say he likes to begin a poem on the
same note he finishes a poem. The poem, as it were, travels full circle to return to the
point at which it begins. Do you find ring composition here? If so, please elaborate on
any significance. I realize this last question is vague, but I want you to investigate all
possible connections you can make.

9. What images are the most common in this poem? Do you see or recognize any
pattern or meaning here.

10. On the surface, this is a celebratory poem over the battle of Actium. Do you believe
this poem well reflects the celebration over Actium? If so, why; if not, why?

11. Who is the "star" of this poem?

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