Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Money :: Inclusam Danaen Turris :: III:16

The ancient commentator Porphyrio says this about today’s ode:

ut ostendatur nihil non posse pecunia atque auro expugnari
to show that nothing cannot be expunged with money or gold

Later in the poem, Horace warns his audience not to be too greedy. It isn’t so much that money can’t buy happiness. It is that greed leads to unhappiness. One must realize when one has had enough. One must learn to count one’s blessings. As you might imagine, this poem has oft been quoted. Certain lines have made their way into the usual compendia of quotations.  I ran across some website which stated that this poem is found in 170 books from 1793–2006. In fact, one line 

crescentem sequitur cura pecuniam maiorumque fames
care—and hunger for more—follows growing money

can be found in websites from all over the world. The most interesting is one from Japan with this transliteration

which, because of the nature of the Japanese syllabary, sounds like:

kurusutentemu · sekuuitouru ·kuura · pakuuniamu

and is translated as:

In ode III:16, we meet Acrisius, the king of Argos, who so feared his daughter would bear a child that, according to an oracle, would one day murder him, that he locked her in a tower, only to have Zeus/Jupiter turn himself into a shower of gold and, I suppose, bribe his way into the tower to accomplish the deed. Such is the power of money.

Next we hear of Amphiraraus, the soothsayer form Argos, who died in the siege of Thebes. Why had he gone to Thebes? Because Polyneices had bribed his wife so that she would coax Amphiraraus into going. We also hear of the Man from Macedonia, Philip, father of Alexander the Great, who used money in dealing with his enemies. Finally, we hear of the rich king of Lydia in Asia Minor named Alyattes and the plains of King Mygon, I suppose another rich monarch. 

Grammatically, this ode has, like all of the others, its pitfalls. Fore, line 7, is an old future infinite used for futurum esse. Fore causes problems because it implies that someone said something or thought something so that what seems to to be missing from lines 7 and 8 is:

risissent, [quia Jupiter Venusque intellegebant] iter tutum fore [futurum esse] . . . .
laughed because Jupiter and Venus thought there’d be a safe way . . . .

As for me, I almost think that fore was a way for Horace to interject himself into the poem, a sarcastic aside, something like: of course, there would be a way in, once a god turns himself into money.

Another pitfall for me were lines 22–24:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nil cupientium
nudus castra peto et transfuga divitum
partis linquere gestio.

The keys are the words: nudus for ‘stripped [of money]’,  peto ‘ask [for]’, transfuga ‘a deserter’ and gestio ‘I am eager to.’ In wordy Latin, this gives us:

ego sum nudus (sine pecunia) et 
castra virorum [qui nil cupiunt] peto;
ego etiam sum transfuga et ego gestio 
illas partis virorum divitum linquere.

Horace, as always, is compact. Deconstructing him is, as always, difficult. 

Finally, there is fallit in line 32. What is missing here is the idea that fallit means mihi fallit  or ‘I don’t know whether.’ Also missing is a verb like esse. 
Horace, as usual, is almost telegraphic. But what do you want? He’s a poet. His messages come via unusual channels from unusual places in his mind.

translation ::

A coppered tower, gates of oak, and a mournful 
patrol of vigilant dogs would have been quite enough 
to wall off the imprisoned girl Danaë from
the adulterers of the night, 

if Jupiter and Venus hadn’t laughed at 
Acrisium, the fearful guardian of that 
sequestered virgin with “there’ll be a sure way in,
with a god turned into money.”

Gold likes going among the attendant guards and, 
more powerful than a stroke of lightning, breaking 
apart rocks—the house of the Argive soothsayer 
did collapse because of money 
sinking into ruin. He split apart the gates 
of cities—the man from Macedonia—and 
dragged under rivaling kings with gifts; gifts ensnared 
the barbarous captains of ships.

Care attends money that increases and so does 
hunger for more. I have rightly abhorred to raise, 
my own head proudly for everyone to admire,   
Maecenas, glory of the knights.

And the more one denies himself, the more one will 
get from the gods; I, stripped, ask for the camps of those 
who covet nothing and I, deserter, long to 
leave behind the ranks of the rich,

I, a holder of hated things more splendid than 
were I said to hide within my barns whatever 
hardworking Apulus tilled—great treasures amongst 
those without.

A river of pure water and a woods of few 
acres and a sure faith in my crop—it’s not known 
if the one agleam with the command of fertile 
Africa is more blessed by fate.

Although the bees don’t bring Calabrian honey 
nor does a Laestrygonian Bacchus languish 
in an amphora for me, nor do wooly sheep  
grow in the pasture lands of Gaul,

but grievous poverty is far away, and, were 
I to want more, you would not deny giving it. 
Better, my desires pulled back, and that 
I have laid out my little spread

than if I joined the kingdom of the Mygdoni 
to the fields of Alyattes. Much is lacking 
those who ask much. Well, God gives what is sufficient 
to the one with a frugal hand.  
translation copyright 2011 by James Rumford

in prose ::

Turris aenea foresque robustae et excubiae tristes canum vigilum Danaen inclusam ab adulteris nocturnis satis munierant, si ‹Jupiter et Venus› Acrisium, custodem pavidum virginis abditae, non risissent, [sciverunt] enim, deo in pretium converso, iter tutum et patens fore. 
Aurum amat per medios satellites ire et saxa ictu fulmineo potentius perrumpere. Domus auguris Argivi, exitio demersa, ob lucrum concidit. Vir Macedo portas urbium diffidit et reges aemulos muneribus subruit. Munera duces saevos navium illaqueant. 
Cura famesque maiorum pecuniam crescentem sequitur. 
Iure perhorrui, ‹[o] Maecenas, decus equitum›, verticem conspicuum late tollere. Quisque sibi quanto plura negaverit, ab dis plura feret. [Ego] nudus, castra-nil-cupientium peto, et, [ego] transfuga, gestio partes divitum linquere. 
[Ego poeta sum] dominus rei contemptae, splendidior quam si [ego] dicerer [me in] meis horreis ‹quidquid Apulus impiger arat› occultare—inops inter opes magnas. 
Rivus aquae purae silvaque iugerum paucorum et fides certa segetis meae fulgentem imperio Africae fertilis fall[un]t. Sorte beatior [sum], quamquam nec apes mella Calabrae ferunt, nec Bacchus in amphora Laestrygonia mihi languescit, nec vellera pinguia pascuis Gallicis crescunt. 
Pauperies tamen importuna abest; nec tu [Maecenas] deneges dare, si plura velim. 
Melius vectigalia parva cupidine contracto porrigam quam si regnum Alyattei campis Mygdoniis continuem. 

Multa ‹multa petentibus› desunt. Bene est cui deus manu parca obtulit quod satis est.
[revised March 28, 2015]

Delphin ordo ::

Turris ex ære, et validæ januæ, necnon vigilantium canum mæsta custodia clausam Danaën abundè tuebantur noctu à mœchis, nisi Jupiter et Venus irrissent Acrisium inclusæ puellæ meticulosum observatorem: quippe viam fore securam opertamque numini in aurum mutato.Aurum solet pervadere medios custodes, ac rupes frangere, vi fulminis validius. Vatis Argolici familia teriit propter quæstum.Vir Macedonius portas civitatum perrupit, ac Reges invidos profligavit donis.Dona irretiunt feroces navarchos. Augescentes opes comitatur solicitudo, et cupiditas ampliorum.O Mæcenas, equitum gloria, non sine causâ timui caput erigere valdè splendidum.Quò majora sibi quisque ademerit, eò ampliora consequetur à Numinibus. Pauper transeo ad partes nihil appetentium, atque opulentiorum castra fugitivus deserere aveo; bonorum spretorum possessor magis illustris, quàm si meis granariis conderem id omne quod colit Appulus laboriosus, ego interim egens summis in divitiis.Rivus aquæ liquidæ et silva paucorum jugerum, messis[f. harvest]que  meæ spes secura, est ignota illi qui fœcundæ Libyæ dominatur.Ejusque fortunta melior est meâ, licèt mihi neque apes Calabricæ mel producant, neque vinum apud me senescat in cado Formiano, neque lanæ pretiosæ crescant in Galliæ pascuis; at gravis egestas non adest : sique majora cuperem, tu donare minimè recusares. Exigua trivuta solvam faciliùs refrænatâ cupiditate, quàm si Lydiæ ditionem agris Phrygiis adjungam.Plurima cupientes egent plurimis.Felix est is cui manu contractâ Diì dederunt quantum sufficit.

original ode ::

Inclūsam Danaen turris aēnea
rōbustaeque forēs et vigilum canum
tristēs excubiae mūnierant satis
   nocturnīs ab adulterīs,
sī nōn Acrisium, virginis abditae
custōdem pavidum, Iuppiter et Venus
rīsissent: fore enim tūtum iter et patēns
   conversō in pretium deō.
aurum per mediōs īre satellitēs
et perrumpere amat saxa potentius
ictū fulmineō; concidit auguris
   Argīvī domus ob lucrum
dēmersa exitiō; diffidit urbium
portās vir Macedo et subruit aemulōs
rēgēs mūneribus; mūnera navium
   saevōs illaqueant ducēs.
crescentem sequitur cūra pecūniam
maiōrumque famēs. iūre perhorruī
lātē conspicuum tollere verticem,
   Maecēnās, equitum decus.
quantō quisque sibī plūra negāverit,
ab dīs plūra feret; nīl cupientium
nūdus castra petō et transfuga dīvitum
   partıs linquere gestio,
contemptae dominus splendidior reī,
quam sī quidquid arat impiger āpulus
occultāre meīs dīcerer horreīs,
   magnās inter opēs inops.
pūrae rīvus aquae silvaque iūgerum
paucōrum et segetis certa fidēs meae
fulgentem imperiō fertilis Āfricae
   fallit sorte beātior.
quamquam nec Calabrae mella ferunt apēs
nec Laestrȳgoniā Bacchus in amphorā
languescit mihi nec pinguia Gallicīs
   crescunt vellera pascǔīs,
importūna tamen pauperiēs abest,
nec, sī plūra velim, tū dare dēnegēs.
contractō melius parva cupīdine
   vectīgālia porrigam
quam sī Mygdoniīs regnum Alyatteī
campīs continuem. multa petentibus
dēsunt multa; bene est cui deus obtulit
   parcā quod satis est manū.

:: Latin books by James Rumford ::

For all 102 odes purchase Carpe Diem, Horace De-Poetizedfor $11.50 at 

For a Latin translation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at $12, click here: 

To find out more about Carpe Diem go to the blog of March 26, 2015; 
for more about Pericla Thomae Sawyer, go to the blog of November 22, 2016.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Black Holes :: Quae Cura Patrum :: IV:14

Today’s ode has 52 lines. Scholars over the past two thousand years have divided it into 7 sentences. Some of them are quite long. One sentence begins at line 9 and doesn’t end until line 24! Why ancient scholars didn’t break the ode up into more sentences, I don’t know. Perhaps they wanted to emphasize its structure, which runs like this:

1   O Augustus, how can we praise you enough? [1-6]
2   You “learned” the Vindilici people. [7-9]
3   Because of you, your two stepsons have done well in battle. [9-24]
4   More about your stepson Tiberius Claudius. [25-34]
5   Fortune smiles on you, Augustus. [34-40]
6   Tribes have submitted to you. [41-44]
7   Rivers and lands and the Sygambri have submitted to you. [45-52]
I am afraid that even this outline isn’t going to make much sense unless you have this imperial genealogy fixed in your head, which shows that Augustus Caesar had three wives, the last of whom was Livia, the widow of Tiberius C. Nero, whose sons Augustus adopted:

You will also need to know something about the campaigns to subdue Rome’s enemies.

Then to top it off, you have to realize the level of scholarship that awaits you. This level is very high. For example, in line 14 there is the phrase:

maior Neronum

Scholars merely mention that the name Tiberius wouldn’t have fit in the line metrically; so Horace used Neronum. This is little help. I needed to be told, which I finally figured out for myself, that the base of Neronum is Nero and that the -num is the genitive plural. Once I did this I had:

the greater of the Neros

Referring to the genealogy chart above, I discovered why the scholars mentioned Tiberius.

But there is something else even more bothersome. Why didn’t Niall Rudd, for example, say in his translation “the elder of the two Neros” or something like that? Why did he go beyond translation and slip into explanation? Was this because the phrase, even to scholars, was a bit difficult to understand? I don’t know the answer, but to me, more that two thousand years after Horace’s ink dried—after Rome’s wars were fought—after the genealogies of emperors were no longer of interest, once one started to explain/translate, where would one stop? I’ve mentioned this problem in other blog posts. I guess, I expected a little more integrity from the Loeb series. I suppose, I thought that its editors, of all people, would have known where to draw the line between translation and explanation.

I suppose, this misunderstanding is my fault. I should have looked at Porphyrio, who says that the order of maior Neronvm is: Drusus maior Neronum. Hic enim maior natu fuit. I should also have looked at the French translation, which has l’aîné des Nérons. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.

Translation and explanation. There is no real solution to this dilemma. Rudd decided to “transexplain” the first line of the ode as well.

Quae cura patrum quaeve Quiritium


Senate and people are anxious

This is very clever, but it does take a bit of background knowledge to understand how he arrived at the English he did. It turns out that Quiritium refers to the Roman people. This designation comes from the time of Romulus, who united the Sabines and their town of Cures with the Romans. Over time the civilians came to be called Quirites [people of Cures]. The military and the people of the government were called Romani. Patrum refers to the fathers of the State, i.e., the senators.

Finally another stumbling block to my understanding of the poem are lines 7-9:

quem legis expertes Latinae
Vindelici   didicere  nuper,
quid  Marte  posses———

Once we understand didicere as a quasi-poetic past tense agreeing with Vindelici meaning “they learned,” we are ready to tackle the meaning, which is that the outlaw Vindelici people recently learned about someone through your [i.e., Augustus’] military power. [Tu] posses “you can” clearly refers to Augustus, to whom the poem is addressed, but to whom does quem [meaning here ‘and him’] refer? The Lewis and Short dictionary quotes this line under disco and says:

Quem (Augustum) didicere Vindelici

Daniel Garrison in his Horace [1991, pg. 365] writes “quem: Augustus, obj. of didicere.” But this doesn’t make sense. Horace can’t refer to Augustus in the third person in one part of the sentence and then in the second person in another! Or can he? Maybe Horace means ‘him with a capital h.’ In other words: the Emperor. 

And about the Emperor 
the lawless Vindelici recently learned 
and about what power you have through Mars.

The question is: why would Horace do this? Out of deference? I don’t think so. Something else is going on. Garrison provides some of the answer when he writes [ibid.]: 

[the Vindelici] have come to know, through the military operations of his stepsons Tiberius and Drusus in 15 B.C. 

But Garrison’s explanation isn’t clear enough for me. Fortunately, ancient Porphirio comes to my rescue. He writes that Horace speaks as though the Vindelici were conquered by [Augustus] Caesar, but in truth it was his stepson Drusus who had conquered them—with his backing. This gives me an idea—maybe quem refers to Drusus, about whom Horace is going to speak in the next several lines. Maybe lines 7-9 mean:

And about Drusus
the lawless Vindelici have recently learned
and about the power you have through Mars.

If this is so, I have just gone against 2000 years of scholarship. I must be wrong somehow, but I ask you, after 2000 years who’s to know for sure?    

Maior Neronum, patrum quaeve Quiritium and quem, are black holes for the modern reader. Without a prodigious understanding of Rome and its history, there is no way one can understand what Horace is saying. Rudd’s approach may be the best after all. I fear that my translation below will, once the explanations are forgotten, be as impenetrable as Horace’s words.

translation :: 11:11:9:10

What thoughtfulness from the Fathers or from the 
Quirites with gifts honor-filled, Augustus,
would keep your virtues with titles and 
memorials forever in the annals,

greatest of the princes wherever the sun 
shines on habitable shores? And about him 
the Vindelici, having no part 
in Latin Law, have just learned and about 

what you through Mars can do. Now with your army,
brave Drusus, in a more than simple payback, 
dislodged the savage Genauni and the 
quick Breuni and the strongholds set within 

the terrifying Alps, and then the older 
of the two Neros fought a heavy battle 
and under your auspices repulsed 
the savage Raeti, he being something 

to behold in the martial contest of war: 
how he tormented those hearts sworn to die free 
with destruction—uncontrollable
like the waves the austral winds might stir up, 

when the chorus of the Pleiades splits the 
clouds asunder, and tireless, harassing 
the towers of the enemy and 
sending his horse screaming through the fire.

Thus, the bull-like Aufidus is made to roll,
flowing past the Apulian kingdom of
Daunus in fury and devises 
a fearful flood over the tilled fields,

like the savage iron mailed troops Claudius
destroyed by a vast assault, cutting down the
front and the rear, the victor heaping
them up on the ground without any loss,

as you provided the troops, the counsel and
your gods. For, for you, from the day the harbor
of Alexandria, on its knees,
threw wide open the deserted palace,

prosperous fortune over fifteen years has
granted a favorable outcome to the 
war and to your commands accomplished
the acclaim and the glory long wished for.

You the Cantabri, before this unmastered,
the Medes, the Indians, the Scythes retreating
admire, Guardian of Italy,
of the city of Rome, the dominant.

You the Nile, which hides the source of its waters
and the River Danube, you the hurrying 
Tigris, you the monster-filled ocean 
thundering at the far-away Britons,

you the lands of Gaul, unafraid of death, and 
the obstinate earth of Iberia heeds, 
you the slaughter-happy Sygambri, 
their weapons now laid aside, venerate.
copyright © 2011 by James Rumford

in prose ::

[O] Auguste, o maxime principum ‹qua sol oras habitabiles illustrat›, quae cura patrum quaeve Quiritium tuas virtutes muneribus honorum plenis, per titulos memoresque fastus, in aevum aeternet? 
Quem Vindelici, legis Latinae expertes, nuper didicere quid Marte posses. Nam milite tuo, Drusus acer Genaunos, genus implacidum, Breunosque veloces et ‹arces tremendes Alpibus impositas› vice plus simplici deiecit. 
[Tiberius] maior Neronum mox proelium grave commisit, Raetosque immanes auspiciis secundis pepulit—[ille] spectandus quantis ruinis in certamine Martio pectora morti liberae devota fatigaret. Prope qualis Auster, [ille] undas indomitas exercet, choro Pleiadum nubes scindente. [Ille est] impiger turmas hostium vexare et equum frementem per medios ignes mittere. Sic [ille] Aufidus tauriformis volvitur, qui regna Dauni Apuli praefluit, cum saevit diluviemque horrendam [in] agris cultis mediatur, ut Claudius ‹agmina ferrata barbarorum› impetu vasto diruit, primosque et extremos metendo, victor humum sine clade stravit, te copias, te consilium et divos tuos praebente. 
Nam quo die portus Alexandrea supplex et aulam vacuam tibi patefecit, Fortuna prospera lustro tertio exitus secundos belli reddidit laudemque et decus optatum imperiis peractis arrogavit. 
Te Cantaber ‹ante non domabilis› Medusque et Indus, te Scythes profugus miratur, o tutela praesens Ītaliae dominaeque Romae. 
Teque, qui Nilus ‹origines fontium [suorum] celat› et Hister, te Tigris rapidus, te Oceanus beluosus ‹qui Britannis remotis obstrepit›, te tellus Galliae ‹funera non paventis› Hiberiaeque durae audi[un]t. 
Te Sygambri caede gaudentes [et] armis compositis venerantur.
[revised March 28, 2015]

original ode ::

Quae cūra patrum quaeve Quirītium
plēnīs honōrum mūneribus tuās,
   Auguste, virtūtēs in aevum
       per titulōs memorēsque fastūs
aeternet, ō quā sōl habitābilıs
illustrat ōrās maxime principum?
   quem lēgis expertēs Latīnae
       Vindelicī didicēre nūper
quid Marte possēs. Mīlite nam tuō
Drūsus Genaunōs, implacidum genus,
   Breunōsque vēlōcıs et arcēs
       Alpibus impositās tremendıs
dēiēcit ācer plūs vice simplicī.
māior Nerōnum mox grave proelium
   commīsit immānısque Raetōs
       auspiciīs pepulit secundīs,
spectandus in certāmine Martiō,
dēvōta mortī pectora līberae
   quantīs fatīgāret ruīnīs,
       indomitās prope quālis undās
exercet Auster Plēiadum chorō
scindente nūbēs, impiger hostium
   vexāre turmās et frementem
       mittere equum mediōs per ignıs.
Sīc tauriformis volvitur Aufidus,
quī regna Daunī praefluit āpulī,
   cum saevit horrendamque cultīs
       dīluviem meditātur agrīs,
ut barbarōrum Claudius agmina
ferrāta vastō dīruit impetū
   prīmōsque et extrēmōs metendō
       strāvit humum sine clāde victor,
tē copiās, tē consilium et tuōs
praebente dīvōs. Nam tibi quō diē
   portūs Alexandrēa supplex
       et vacuam patefēcit aulam,
Fortūna lustrō prospera tertiō
bellī secundōs reddidit exitūs
   laudemque et optātum peractīs
       imperiīs decus arrogāvit.
tē Cantaber nōn ante domābilis
Mēdusque et Indus, tē profugus Scythēs
   mīrātur, ō tūtēla praesēns
        ītaliae dominaeque Rōmae;
tē fontium quī cēlat orīginēs
Nīlusque et Hister, tē rapidus Tigrīs,
   tē bēluōsus quī remōtīs
        obstrepit ōceanus Britannīs,
tē nōn paventis fūnera Galliae
dūraeque tellūs audit Hibēriae,
   tē caede gaudentēs Sygambrī
       compositīs venerantur armīs.

:: Latin books by James Rumford ::

For all 102 odes purchase Carpe Diem, Horace De-Poetizedfor $11.50 at 

For a Latin translation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at $12, click here: 

To find out more about Carpe Diem go to the blog of March 26, 2015; 
for more about Pericla Thomae Sawyer, go to the blog of November 22, 2016.