Sunday, February 9, 2014

More Blessèd Shores :: Altera Iam Teritur :: Epode 16

This ode is neither short nor sweet. In 66 complicated lines, Horace foretells doom for Rome, and, like some senator, makes a case for abandoning the City à la Phocaean (an Ionian people who fled their city, leaving it to the Persians). He then offers a greener-hill-lies-yonder solution and like some pastoral poet extols the beauty of sheep in the meadow, grapes on the arbor, and cows a-lowing homeward bound. Horace even goes so far as to say that this will all be possible if Rome follows him and heeds the words of a poet.

I am not sure what to think. Is this Horace making fun of pastoral poems, which seem to say that the shepherd with his lute and a good song can conjure up peace and beauty, refuge and truth? Is he making fun of Virgil, who sometime before this epode wrote his so-called Buccolics or Ecloga? Many a scholar has pointed out that Horace used many of Virgil’s phrases in this poem. In fact, while I was working on this epode, I happened, just by chance, to read Virgil’s Ecloga. The similarities were quite apparent, especially those found in Eclogue IV. 

Why is it that a society craves the comfort food of pastoral poems, of art in general extolling the virtues of a simpler life? America, even in days more rural than ours, needed its Currier and Ives, its James Whitcomb Riley and more recently its Grandma Moses. 

But I think that neither Horace’s nor Virgil’s take on “pastoral” is as sentimental as I make it out to be. Both poets are dealing with huge social issues, which, as Horace warns, may cause Rome to collapse under its own might.

Two notes are necesssary here. 

The first refers to the long a and the short a in Latin (See also my blog posting for January 20, 2013: Ahhhh, Latin). Notice how a solid grasp of the meter is necessary to understanding which a’s are long and which are short in the following three lines:

nec fera caeruleā domuit Germānia pube

novāque monstra iunxerit libīdine

mella cavā mānant ex ilice, montibus altīs

The second is that there seems to be some confusion about where to put these two lines:

nulla nocent pecori contagia, nullius astri
     gregem aestuosa torret impotentia.

Different editors have proposed slipping them in after temperante caelitum, others after viperis humus, still others after cohors Vlixei. I have chosen to follow the arrangement offered in the 2004 edition done by Niall Rudd. Interestingly, Mr. Rudd translated the lines twice and placed them, each worded differently in two different places! Obviously an error—but not the first, unfortunately (See my blog posting for January 31, 2012: Shocked :: Descende Caelo).

Translation :: 

Now another age is wasted by civil wars
And under its own might Rome itself collapses,
which even its Marsi neighbors could not destroy— 
nor menacing Porsena’s Etruscan forces,
nor Capua’s rivaling strength, nor fierce Spartacus
nor the faithless Allobrox in the Great Events*,
nor did wild Germany with its blue youth* subdue
nor Hannibal, a curse to mothers and fathers.
We, an impious age, blood-cursed*, shall lose out
and again our land will be seized by savages*.
Hell! On ash a barbarian victor, will stand!
And Rome—a horseman will jolt with the sound of hooves,
and those Quirinian* bones kept from wind and sun—
a crime to see—he will scatter in arrogance.
What by chance might resolve this for all? The best of 
you at least seek to be free from evil hardship.
Let there be no better resolution than this: 
to go Phocaean-State-like* (under solemn oath  
it fled fields, ancestral gods; it left its temples
to be inhabited by boars, ravenous wolves)
wherever our feet take us, wherever over 
waves the Notus or Africus wind calls up storms*.
So resolved? Or can* anyone give better advice?
Why delay taking the boat under lucky wings*?
Rather let us swear on these things: once stones have swum
up from deep shoals*—let be it no crime to return;
nor should it be shameful to turn the sail homeward, 
once the Po’s washed the heights of Mattinata*
or into the sea have run the high Appenines,
and a strange love has joined monsters with a new lust,
so that the tiger delights in squatting* for deer,
and the dove is defiled by the kite, and, full of 
trust, the cattle does not fear the growling* lions,
and a goat without a beard* loves the salty* seas.’ 
These things and whatever might cut our sweet return
let us go all, a city that has made an oath,
or the part above the unteachable herd. Let them,
soft, hopeless, press themselves into ill-omened beds.
You who have virtue, kill the womanish lament
and fly beyond the shores of Etrusca. Around 
us remains an uncertain ocean: let us head for
the blessèd fields, for the rich fields and the islands,
where the earth yields grain untilled every year
and unpruned blooms the grapevine continually,
and the olive branch, never failing, is fruitful,
and the dark-colored fig adorns the tree; honey
trickles from a hollowed oak, from the high mountains
fast-flowing water dances* down on splashing feet*.
And there unbidden come the she-goats to be milked,
and the kind herd brings back its udders distended
and no evening bear growls around the flock of sheep
nor does the ground begin to swell up with vipers;
happy we marvel at much: how the wet Eurus 
does not with widespread rains lay the sown fields bare,
the fat seeds do not burn up in dry clods of earth,
each heaven’s blessing under a temperate god*.
No contagion does harm to the herd, the summer* 
fury of no star at all leaves the flock baking
not this place did pine ship seek with Argoan* oars,
nor did an impudent Colchian* set feet upon,
not to this place did Sidon’s* sailors turn their sails
nor Ulysses’ comrades beset with hardship.
Juppiter sectioned off that shore for a pious 
race, as he defiled the golden age with bronze,
with bronze then with iron he hardened our race whose 
propitious flight I poet* give to the pious.
translation © 2014 by James Rumford 

Notes ::

in the Great Events: Porphyronis Comm.: Hoc ad tempus illud refertur, quo Catilinae factio coniuravit, et paene legati Allobrugum illis consenserant [This refers to the time when Catiline’s faction made a pact, and the envoys of the Allobruges nearly agreed to it.] Acronis Comm.: novisque rebus. magnis…
In 63 BC, Catiline planned a coup d’état. He sought the help of a Gaullish tribe, the Allobruges, and formed a pact with them. They, however, betraying Catiline and going back on their word, informed Cicero of the coup d’état and the res magnae, which I shall call ‘The Great Events of 63’ came to an end.
blue youth:  The ancient commentators say that ‘blue’ refers to the color of the Germans’ eyes. I wonder, too, if blue didn’t refer to the fact that various tribes dyed their skin blue. Was Horace confusing Germans with Picts? Often scholars point out that Horace cared more about the meter than he did with facts. 
blood-cursed:  Devoti has many meanings ranging from the usual meaning in English to ‘cursed’ with the idea that one makes a vow or devotes oneself to the infernal gods.
savages: Feris usually refers to wild animals like lions, but it can also describe human beings. Although I chose to translate feris as ‘by savages’, given what follows in the next line, I wonder whether Horace didn’t mean both man and beast.
Quirinian bones: Apparently this refers to the bones of Romulus.
Phocaean-State-like: Phocaeorum velut looks as if it will introduce a complex sentence. Instead, the sentence that follows seems truncated. So, I made up an adverb: Phocaean-State-like. Is that what Horace was doing in Latin? Most editors see this bit about the Phocaeans as a parenthetical remark. 
storms: Some editors read the text as protervos because the winds Notus and Africus will call up violent ones, i.e., storms. Other editors view protervus as an adjective for Africus. I wonder what Horace was thinking. To him the Notus was violent. Maybe the Africus was not as violent and needed protervus to give it some oomph. Personally, I like protervos; it makes more sense to give vocabit an object: [ventos] protervos.
can: Habet + infinitive sometimes has the meaning ‘to be able to.’
under lucky wings: Secunda alite was part of the whole auspicious (avis-spicere) bird-watching thing that helped the Romans foretell the future. Alite ‘winged’ is poetic for ‘bird.’ Horace will use secundus again at the end of the epode.
if ever stones swim up from deep shoals: The words simul, renarint, and vadis are each given special meanings in the Lewis and Short dictionary so that the line makes sense. Instead of following the dictionary and the commentators, I have chosen to give the most common meanings, even if imis vadis produces a quasi oxymoron. (Vadis, by the way, is distantly related to our word ‘wade.’) What follows is a very Greek way of formulating an oath called adynata, impossibilities. In other words, since stones can’t ever rise meaning that any return is out of the question. 
Mattinata: In the Parco Nazionale del Gargano is a promonitory 260 ft above the Adriatic known to the Romans as Matīnus.
squatting: Although, in citing this poem, Lewis and Short define subsido as a female animal submitting to a male, I prefer the basic meaning of the verb, which is to sit down, crouch down, and squat. These better describe the act.
growling: Rāvus has two meanings: the usual ‘yellow-grey’ and a very rare one ‘hoarse.’ I would think that Horace would rather talk about what makes the lion frightening than what color coat it has.
beard: Lēvis means ‘smooth, beardless.’ Since Horace is talking about impossible things, to him a beardless goat is an impossibility. Interestingly, levis with a short e means ‘light, weightless.’ Although he could not use levis due to the constraints of the meter, his listeners or readers must have liked this play on words.
leaping: Salsus means ‘salty’ and comes from salio, meaning ‘to salt.’ There is another salio, which means ‘to leap.’ I can’t help thinking that this is another play on words like lēvis/levis.
dances: Desilit means ‘leaps down.’ Even so, my mind conjured up salto, ‘to dance,’ which surely must be related etymologically. 
feet: In Latin water has feet. Would we say ‘fingers of water’ making their way down the mountain or across a field? 
Argoan: I made up this adjective in English to refer to the Argonauts.
Colchian: This refers to Colchis, a province east of the Black Sea and by extension to Medea. Lewis and Short say this about Medea: 
Μήδεια, a celebrated sorceress, daughter of Æetes, king of Colchis. She assisted her lover, Jason the Argonaut, in obtaining the golden fleece, accompanied him to Greece, and prevented her father, who was in pursuit, from overtaking them, by strewing the sea with her brother's limbs. When Jason afterwards repudiated her, in order to marry Creusa, she killed the children she had had by him, and burned the bride to death in her palace 
Sidon’s: Sidon refers to the city in Phoenicia and by extension Sidon is poetic for Phoenicia.
god: King is meant here but the reference is to Juppiter which is further indicated by caelitum, ‘something from heaven.’
summer: Aestuosus, ‘fiery, hot’ comes from aestus, ‘fire, heat.’ The word is so close to aestas, ‘summer,’ and aestivus, ‘summery,’ that I couldn’t help fudging a bit here.
poet: Vates means ‘prophet,’ ‘seer,’ and by extension ‘poet.’ My guess is that Horace wants to be all three. What is more, editors sometimes set off vate me with commas so that it is clear that these two words should be treated as an ablative absolute, producing a cumbersome ‘since I am a prophet’ or ‘with me as seer.’ I simply chose to ignore all of that, including the fact that the sentence is passive with no clear actor. I think making the verb active with I as the subject is more forceful in English and translates the spirit of what Horace has said: he alone is the mouth-piece of the state, the poet-propagandist who will lead Rome to safer more blessed shores.  

In Prose ::    

     Aetas altera iam bellis civilibus teritur et Roma ipsa viribus suis ruit, quam [1] neque finitimi Marsi aut [2] manus Etrusca Porsenae minacis perdere valuerunt, nec [3] virtus aemula Capuae nec [4] Spartacus acer [5] Allobroxque infidelis rebus novis nec [6] Germania fera pube caeruleā domuit [7] Hannibalque parentibus abominatus.
    [Nos], aetas impia sanguinis devoti, perdemus, solumque feris rursus occupabitur.
    Victor barbarus heu cineres insistet, et eques ‹ungulā sonante› Urbem verberabit, quaeque ossa Quirini ventis et solibus (nefas videre) insolens dissipabit.
aut quid pars melior forte communiter expediat, quaeritis laboribus malis carere; nulla sententia hac potior sit: velut civitas exsecrata Phocaeorum agros profugit atque lares patrios fanaque apris et lupis rapacibus habitanda reliquit, ire quocumque pedes ferent, quocumque Notus aut Africus protervos vocabit.
    Sic placet? An melius quis habet suadere? Quid [nos], alite secundā, ratem occupare?
       Sed in haec iuremus: ‘simul [1] saxa [a] vadis imis levata renarint, ne nefas redire sit; neu pigeat domum lintea conversa dare, [2] quando Padus cacumina Matina laverit, [3] seu Appenninus celsus in mare procurrerit [4] amorque mirus, monstra nova libidine iunxerit, ut iuvet tigris cervis subsidere, et columba miluo adulteretur, [5] nec armenta credula leones ravos timeant [6] hircusque lēvis aequora salsa amet.’
     Et haec exsecrata [sunt] quae [nostros] reditūs dulcıs abscindere poterunt, [nos] civitas omnis eamus, aut pars melior grege indocili; [aut pars] mollis et exspes cubilia inominata perpremat.
     Vos, quibus est virtus, luctum muliebrem tollite, et prater litora Etrusca volate.
     Oceanus vagus circum nos manet: arva beata petamus, arva divites et insulas, reddit ubi [1] tellus inarata cererem quotannis reddit et [2] vinea imputata usque floret, et [3] numquam termes olivae fallentıs germinat [4] ficusque pulla arborem suam ornat, [5] mella ex ilice cavā manant, [6] lympha levis [in] montibus altis ‹pede crepante› desilit. 
     Illic capellae iniussae ad mulctra veniunt grex amicus ubera tenta refert nec ursus vespertinus ovile circumgemit nec humus alta viperis intumescit; [nos]que felices plura mirabimur, ut neque Eurus aquosus arva imbribus largis radat, nec semina pinguia glaebis siccis urantur, utrumque caelitum rege temperante.
     Nulla contagia pecori nocent, impotentia aestuosa nulius astri gregem torret.
       Non huc pinus Argoo remige contendit neque Colchis impudica pedem intulit, non huc nautae Sidonii cornua torserunt, nec cohors laboriosa Ulixei.  
    Iuppiter illa litora genti piae secrevit, ut tempus aureum aere inquinavit, aere, dehinc saecula ferro duravit, quorum fuga secunda piis datur, me vate.

Delphin Ordo ::

Secunda jam ætas absumitur bellis civilibus, et Romam propria disperdit potentia. Quam labefactare nequiverunt Marsi vicini, vel Thuscus exercitus superbi Porsenæ; nec invida Capuæ vis; nec ferox Spartacus; atque Allobroges perfidi, rebus novis studentes, nec vicit trux Germania juvenibus cæruleis; et Annibal parentibus execrabilis; scilicet hanc pessumdabimus ipsi nos homines conscelerati, quorum addictus est cruor: atque terra hæc à bestiis iterum tenebitur. Eheu! victor barbarus stabit super favillas urbis, et equorum pedibus strepentibus conculeabit. Et, quod horrendum visu, ossa Romuli solis ac venti expertia disperget superbus. Forte universi vel pars major interrogabitis quid utile sit ad evitandas tales ærumnas? Nulla videatur sententia melior quàm hæc: opportet abire quocunque ferent pedes, quocunque per mare impellet Auster vel Africus vehemens: quemadmodum Phocæorum urbs post execrationes abscessit, suas domos agrosque et templa dimittens occupanda apris et lupis voracibus. Ita censeo. Habetne quispiam melius aliquid proferre? Quid tardamus navim conscendere faustis avibus? At priùs  jurejurando nos obstringamus, in hæc verba: nec reverti liceat, nisi cùm emergent lapides aquis profundis elati: neve displiceat vela facere versùs patriam, quando Padus rigabit verticem Matini montis, aut altus Apenninus in mare proruet, atque amor prodigiosus insolitâ libidine copulabit geras, adeò ut tigrides cupiant jungi cervis, et columba milvio; atque greges sine metu credant se leonibus fulvis, glaberque fiat caper, et gaudeat mari salso. Posteaquam ista et quæcunque valebunt tollere spem gratam remigrandi adjuraverimus, proficiscamur omnes, aut pars melior plebe indocili. Pars autem iners et spe carens occupet semper hæc domicilia inauspicata. Vos præditi virtute, fœmineo abstinete ejalatu, et properate ultra Thuscum littus. Nos expecta Oceanus circumfluens. Eamus in terram felicem et insulas beatas, ubi solum incultum fert messem annis singulis, et vitis non recisa nihilominus florescit; atque ramus oleæ nunquam non germen et fructum producit, et ficus matura propriam arborem exornat: mel fluit è cavatâ quercu: acqua leniter obmurmurans dimanat è montium cacumine. Ibi capræ sponte veniunt ad mulctram, et grex benignus reportat plena ubera; non ursus vespere fremit circum caulas: nec terra viperarum latebris assurgit aut fit tumida. Ibi nulla gregem lues infestat, nec adurit æstus vehementior ullius sideris. Plura verò beati cum admiratione videbimus, ut quòd Eurus nimbosus agros non infestet nimiis pluviis, neque semina opima urantur, vel arescant glebæ; quippe cœlitum rex utrobique temperiem dat. Illuc non accessit navis remigibus Argois; nec obscœna Colchis gressum infixit. Eò non appulerunt Sidonii, vel ærumnosi comites Ulyssis. Scilicet Jupiter eas insulas reservavit piis hominibus, ex quo ætatem auream ære fœdavit, ac deinde ferro sæcula induravit. Istorum malorum fuga prospera bonis conceditur, me vaticinium edente.
Original Epode ::

 Altera iam teritur bellis civilibus aetas,
      suis et ipsa Roma viribus ruit.
quam neque finitimi valuerunt perdere Marsi
      minacis aut Etrusca Porsenae manus,
aemula nec virtus Capuae nec Spartacus acer
      novisque rebus infidelis Allobrox
nec fera caeruleā domuit Germānia pube
      parentibusque abominatus Hannibal:
inpia perdemus devoti sanguinis aetas
      ferisque rursus occupabitur solum:
barbarus heu cineres insistet victor et Vrbem
      eques sonante verberabit ungula,
quaeque carent ventis et solibus ossa Quirini,
      (nefas videre) dissipabit insolens.
forte quid expediat communiter aut melior pars,
      malis carere quaeritis laboribus;
nulla sit hac potior sententia: Phocaeorum
      velut profugit exsecrata civitas
agros atque lares patrios habitandaque fana
      apris reliquit et rapacibus lupis,
ire, pedes quocumque ferent, quocumque per undas
      Notus vocabit aut protervos Africus.
sic placet? an melius quis habet suadere? Secunda
      ratem occupare quid moramur alite?
sed iuremus in haec: ‘simul imis saxa renarint
      vadis levata, ne redire sit nefas;
neu conversa domum pigeat dare lintea, quando
      Padus Matina laverit cacumina,
in mare seu celsus procurrerit Appenninus
      novāque monstra iunxerit libīdine
mīrus amor, iuvet ut tigris subsidere cervis,
      adulteretur et columba miluo,
crēdula nec rāvōs timeant armenta leōnēs
      ametque salsa lēvis hircus aequora.’
haec et quae poterunt reditūs abscindere dulcıs
      eamus omnis exsecrata civitas
aut pars indocili melior grege; mollis et exspes
      inominata perpremat cubilia.
vos, quibus est virtus, muliebrem tollite luctum,
      Etrusca praeter et volate litora.
nos manet Oceanus circum vagus: arva beata
      petamus, arva divites et insulas,
reddit ubi cererem tellus inarata quotannis
      et inputata floret usque vinea,
germinat et numquam fallentis termes olivae
      suamque pulla ficus ornat arborem,
mella cavā mānant ex ilice, montibus altis
      levis crepante lympha desilit pede.
illic iniussae veniunt ad mulctra capellae
      refertque tenta grex amicus ubera
nec vespertinus circumgemit ursus ovile
      nec intumescit alta viperis humus;
pluraque felices mirabimur, ut neque largis
      aquosus Eurus arva rādat imbribus,
pinguia nec siccis urantur semina glaebis,
      utrumque rege temperante caelitum.
nulla nocent pecori contagia, nullius astri
      gregem aestuosa torret impotentia.
non huc Argōō contendit remige pinus
      neque impudica Colchis intulit pedem,
non huc Sidonii torserunt cornua nautae,
      laboriosa nec cohors Vlixei.
Iuppiter illa piae secrevit litora genti,
      ut inquinavit aere tempus aureum,
aere, dehinc ferro duravit saecula, quorum
      piis secunda vate me datur fuga.

:: 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, February 2, 2014

Travels with Horace :: Satire I:V

A few weeks ago, I happened to open the other Loeb volume I have on Horace’s works and my eyes fell upon his fifth satire: “A Journey to Brundisium.” As I began reading, I was totally taken in by the diary-like description which was so telegraphic that it almost seemed surreal, as sketches of the journey came into focus then vanished. Adding to the dreamlike quality were fleeting events that seemed disconnected and illogical. And like a dream, the poem ended abruptly:

Brundisium longae finis chartaeque viaeque est,

as if the dreamer had been suddenly jolted awake without getting to find out what happened next.

After my first reading, I didn’t see anything I would call satyrical about the poem. Obviously I had no idea what Horace considered satyrical; so I did some digging. I learned that Horace modelled many of his satires on the works of Gaius Lucilius, who lived from 180 to 103 BC. Apparently, for Lucilius, a satire was largely autobiographical and an opportunity to talk about the follies of society and friends, about religion and literature, even, as in today’s selection, about travel. Thus it is that “A Journey to Brundisium,” I am told by the Loeb translator H.R. Fairclough, closely follows Lucilius, who wrote of a journey south from Rome in his third book. You can read what fragments there remain of his poem here, which is an on-line copy of the Loeb book, Remains of Old Latin:

This is all well and good, but it is still difficult for me to see the satire in what Horace did. Satire relies on wit, expertly sharpened à la Daily Show or à la Colbert Report. Could it be that the knife-edge of Horace’s wit has dulled, even rusted away over the centuries? I mean: isn’t there more to “A Journey to Brundisium” than just the journey? For that, we’d need heaps of information. All I can offer for now is the supposed fact that Horace was part of the embassy that Octavian sent to Brundisium to make terms with Marcus Antonius in the year 38 BC. Beyond that, I haven’t much to add. It will be up to you to see the humor of the contest of wit between an ex-slave and the scurra [jester] Sarmentus, the description of some bureaucrat in his overly-fine toga, the fire in the kitchen, and poor horny Horace, suffering from some kind of conjunctivitis, waiting in vain for a prostitute and having to settle for the release of a wet dream that leaves his night clothes a mess.

Because we’re dealing with a two-thousand year old satire, any translation must necessarily fall short. (Imagine replaying a Colbert Report in the year 4014!) Take these unusually terse lines for example:

hoc iter ignavi divisimus, altius ac nos
praecinctis unum: minus est gravis Appia tardis.

Broken down these lines become (with the observation that ac means ‘than’ following a comparison like altius): 

This trip [we] lazy [ones] divide [into stops]. 
[The ones who are] more highly than us girded up 
[just] one [stop]. Less is it serious 
the Appian [Way] to the slow [ones].

The difficult-to-translate part is the way Horace refers to the travelers hurrying along bare-legged with their garments cinched up, toga hems mud-free. Maybe a praecinctus was a rather humorous way of describing someone hell-bent-for-leather, which a few centuries from now will seem just as obscure in meaning.

These lines are difficult, too:

Cocceius Capitoque simul Fonteius, ad unguem
factus homo, Antoni non ut magis alter amicus.

Cocceius and at the same time Capito Fonteius, a man made 
to the fingernail, so that to Antony [there is] no other friend greater.

Ad unguem factus refers to the old ‘trick’ of craftsmen who go over a polished area to detect any unevenness, any imperfection with their fingernail. For anyone who has fashioned something out of wood, metal, or stone, the finger is better than the eye. So a man, ad unguem factus must be perfect indeed. As for Antoni non ut magis alter amicus, the trick is to supply not only ut sit but also to understand that Antony’s friends must meet high standards; otherwise they are not his friends. I find this an odd thought. Is this a criticism of Anthony? Is it of Capito Fonteius as well?  Someone seems way too picky here. I’ll leave it up to you to decide who.

Another problem line is:

hic oculīs ego nigra meīs 
colyriā lippus illinere.

This must mean

Here [in] my eyes I blear-eyed with black colyria to smear.

Besides the fact that colyrium is plural, suggesting that there were several ointments that Horace used for his eyes, and that lippus must mean that Horace had pink eye or some kind of conjunctivitis, there is the problem of illinere, which is an infinitive. There is no conjugated verb. This fact hasn’t seemed to bother any of the commentators I could find online. What is it I don’t know about this sentence that I should know? Finally after much searching, I find in The Works of Horace (Vol II), printed in London in 1753 for the assigns of Joseph Davidson, this line translated as:

Having got an Inflammation in my Eyes, I was obliged 
to annoint them here with black Ointment, as usual.

This would certainly take care of the infinitive illinere, but where is ‘was obliged’? Is it understood? Hic ego lippus debeo/debui meis oculis colyria nigra illinere? The same book, in an attempt to reorder the phrase in Latin, inserts the word cœpi [I began]:

Hic ego lippus cœpi illinere nigra collyria oculis meis.

Obviously, Horace has bequeathed us an exceptionally telegraphic sentence. Perhaps it should be translated:

Here: me pink-eyed, smearing my eyes with black collyria.  

To help the reader further understand this poem, I’ve made a map of the journey and have indicated the Latin names as well as the Italian names of each place mentioned. Wouldn’t it be fun to go to go to Italy and retrace Horace’s footsteps? There are however two small problems with such a trip:  No one knows where the Villa Trivici was. Scholars are unsure whether Trivici refers to a village or to a person. Likewise, because Horace stated that he couldn’t include the name of one of the towns, because such a name wouldn’t fit the meter he was using (hexameter), no one knows now where it was that the people sold water but baked excellent bread. We’ll just have to settle for the fact that this town and the villa Trivici are somewhere on the road from Benevento to Canosa. [Click to enlarge.]

By the way, according to scholar Tenney Frank [1876-1939], the meter also caused another problem. The Heliodorus mentioned in the poem is really Apollodorus. Apparently, Apollodorus can’t be stuffed into a hexametric straight-jacket. Instead, clever Horace changed the name to Heliodorus, which, because Apollo often refers to the sun, points to the same person. Who was Apollodorus? He was chosen by Julius Caesar to be Octavian’s teacher and happened to become, according to another scholar Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff [1848-1931], “the founder of the classical school of Augustan poetry” [quoted in Tenney Frank’s 1920 “Notes and Discussions,” pg. 393 in Classical Philology, Vol. 15]. Very witty of Horace, but then you have to be as smart as Tenney Frank to see the chuckle in the phrase

rhetor comes Heliodorus,
Graecorum longe doctissimus:

Translation ::

Aricia welcomed me with modest lodging 
     coming from Great Rome. 
My companion: the Rhetor Heliodorus, 
     most learned of Greeks. 
From there: Forum Appi, overcrowded with ships
     and vile innkeepers.
We wimps divided the trip in two, the ones more 
     gung-ho than us: one. 
Appia for the slowpokes is less of a pain.
     Here because of the
water, which is the worst, I declare a stomach war, 
     waiting, not being 
cool at all, for my dining friends. Now night prepares
     to draw its shadows 
over the earth and pour stars upon the heavens.

Then the boys rudely hollered at the boatmen, the
     boatmen at the boys,
“Heave to!” “You’re putting on three hundred?” “Ahoy!
     Enough already!”
While coin is being asked for, the mule tied up,
     a whole hour goes by. 
Evil gnats and swamp frogs drive off sleep as the boatman,
     awash in vappa
sings back and forth with the mule driver about some girl 
     no longer around. 
But tired the mule driver starts to fall asleep; so 
     the lazy boatman 
ties a stone to the mule’s rope, having sent her to graze. 
     Now he’s snoring on his back.

Day was already here. We don’t feel the boat moving, 
     until some fool jumps up 
and with a willow stick clobbers head and backside
     of boatman and mule.
Not until the fourth hour are we put ashore 
     with a hubbub. 
We wash our faces and hands in your clear water, 
     o Feronia.
Lunch. Then we crawl three miles and come upon Anxur, 
     atop far-shining rocks.
Here the best, Maecenas, would come and Cocceius,
     sent on great affairs,
legates each one used to bringing together friends
Here I, with my vision gummed up, line my eyes with 
     black collyrium.
Meanwhile Maecenas arrives and Cocceius and 
     Capito Fonteius,
A man “made to the nail,” as he’s to Antony 
     a friend no greater.
Fundi, under Praetor Aufidius Luscus, 
     we left willingly, 
madly laughing at the scribe’s perks: purple toga, 
     broad stripes, and coal pan.
Tired, we stayed in Formiae next, with Murena 
     offering a home,
Capito vittles. The next dawn broke most pleasing,
     for at Senuessa,
Plotius and Varius meet up and Vergil, 
     a spirit more dazzling
the earth has not borne the like. Who else is there more 
     devoted than I?
What embracing there was and how much happiness!
     There is nothing sane
about me meeting up with a joyful friend.
     The next country house
nearby the Campanus bridge offered a roof and 
     parochi obliged 
with wood and salt. Then in time they set down the mule 
     packs in Capua.
Maecenas goes to play, I to sleep and Vergil,
     for playing ball is
an enemy to the blear-eyed and to the one 
     raw with stomach pains.
From here: Cocceius’ most bountiful villa 
     welcomes us, which is
above the inns at Caudium. Now briefly I’d 
     like you, Muse, to tell
me of the fight between the buffoons Sarmentus 
     and Messius Cicirrus,
of which father each is born, and the beef each has.
     Famous is the clan
of Messius the Oscan; known is the mistress
     of that Sarmentus.
Arisen from these great ones, they came to the fight.
     Up first, Sarmentus.
“I say, you seem to be created like a horse.”
     We laughed and that one,
Messius, nodded his head with “I accept that.”
     “Ah, were your forehead,”
he said, “not with its horn cut out! How will you so
     disfigured make threats?” 
(for an unsightly scar had deformed the left side
     of his bristly brow.)
His Campanian sickness and his face he joked 
     about much, asking
him to dance the “Cyclops-Shepherd” dance, saying
     there was need neither
for mask nor the tragic actor’s high-heeled boots.
     Cicirrus had much 
to say about this. He asked whether he’d already 
     given his slave’s chain 
out of some votive offering to the Lares, 
     now that he was a scribe. 
Then he asked why he had ever fled—so thin and
     so tiny—for whom 
one pound of flour would have been enough. Amused
     we went on dining.
From here: we head directly for Beneventum,
     where an eager host 
almost burned up, turning scrawny doves on the fire, 
     for a flame astray, 
having slipped down from the fire, sped through the old kitchen 
     to lick the roof top.
There you’d’ve seen starved guests grab their dinner, the scared
     help dousing the fire.
Apulia starts to spread out the mountains I know, 
     which Atabulus 
scorches, which we would have never scrambled over
     had not the nearby 
Villa Trivici welcomed us—not without smoke 
    that made us weep from
a furnace that burned damp branches leaves and all!  

It’s here really stupid me waits until midnight 
     for some lying girl.
But sleep carries me off, eager for sex, and dreams 
     with impure visions 
spatter my night clothes and my upturned belly. 

From here: for twenty-four miles we are dragged along 
     by wagons and are 
set to stay in a little village, which can’t be 
     named in verse, much easier by signs: 
here water, cheapest of things, is sold, but the bread 
     is by far the loveliest; 
to the next stop, the smart traveler usually carries 
     some on his shoulder, 
for at Canusium it’s gritty, the water’s 
     not worth more than the urn: 
it’s a place long ago founded by brave Diomedes.
     From here: Varius, 
sad, his friends weeping, leaves. From there we arrive at
     Rubi beat, having
made a rain-spoiled trip. The next Day: better weather.
     The road, worse up to
the walls of fish-filled Barium. From there: Gnatia, 
     built by angry Lymphs, 
gave us a laugh and some fun, for the place wanted 
     to persuade us that 
incense, without any flame, would liquidify 
     at the sacred doorway. 
Let Apella the Jew, believe that, but not I,
     for I have learned that
the gods lead unconcerned lives. Even if nature 
     does something amazing, 
it just what bored gods drop down from heaven’s high roof. 
     Ah! Brundisium: 
The end of the road and a very long story. 

[translation © 2014 by James Rumford]   

Pārōchus is the Greek word for coparius: one who furnished traveling magistrates with beds, hay, salt.
erepsemus is a syncopated form of the pluperfect subjunctive < ērēpo, -psi
culex -icis is gnat but I wonder whether it does not mean mosquito here.
vappa is tasteless wine, probably here the cheapest one could have bought
cerebrosus is hare-brained and passionate. It comes from cerebrum. I guess ‘brainy’ didn’t have the same meaning back in Rome.
scurra is a buffoon or a jester. It also gives us our word ‘scurrilous’ after a rather long trip from Etruscan to Latin to English.
morbus campanus is thought to be some warty growth on the forehead which left a scar when removed. 
Atābulus was a burning wind blowing in Apulia.
culina is kitchen and seems to have the same force as cuisine does in French.
vēnit means ‘is for sale’ and comes from vēneo (also vaeneo), īvi or ii, itum.
lympha is a water nymph.
limine sacro is the theshold of, scholars presume, a temple where, in this particular case, frankincense (tūs, tūris, neuter) melts without fire.

In Prose ::

     Aricia ‹me egressum magnā Romā› hospitio modico accepit; comes rhetor Heliodorus Graecorum longe docticissimus.
     Inde Forum Appi, nautis atque cauponibus malignis differtum.
     [Nos] hīc iter ignavi divissimus. Altius ac nos praecinctis [iter] unum! Appia tardis minus gravis est. Hic ego propter aquam, quod [aqua] deterrima erat, bellum ventri indico, comites cenantıs haud animo aequo expectans.
     Iam nox umbras terris inducere et signa caelo diffundere parabat. Tum pueri nautis, nautae pueris conoscia ingerer[unt]: “Huc appelle!” “Trecentos inseres.” “Ohe! Iam satis est.” Dum aes exigitur, dum mula ligatur, hora tota abiit. Culices mali ranaeque palustres somnos avertunt, ut nauta vappā multā prolutus, amicam absentam cantat—atque viator certātim. Viator tandem fessus dormire incipit ac nauta piger ‹retinacula mulae pastum missae› saxo religat supinusque stertit.
     Iamque dies aderat. [Nos] cum lintrem procedere nil sentimus, donec unus cerebrosus prosilit ac caput lumbosque mulae nautaeque fuste saligno dolat.
     Hora demum quarta vix exponimur.
     Ora manūsque lymphā tuā, Fērōnia, lavimus. Tum [nos] pransi, milia tria rēpīmus atque ‹Anxus saxis late candentibus impositum› subīmus.
     Huc Maecenas venturus erat—atque Cocceius optimus, de rebus magnis missi, uterque legati, soliti amicos aversos componere. Hic ‹ego lippus› occulis meis collyriā nigrā illinere [debui]. Interea Maecenas advenit atque Cocceius, simulque Fonteius Capito, homo ad unguem factus, ut alter amicus magis non [sit] Antoni.
     [Nos] Fundos, Aufidio Lusco Praetore, libenter linquimus, [nos] insani praemia scribae ridentes—praetextam et clavum latum vatillumque prunae.
     In urbe Mamurrarum deinde lassi manemus, Murena domum praebente, Capitone culinam [praebente]. Postera lux multo gratissima oritur. Namque Plotius et Varius Vergiliusque [in] Sinuessae [nos] occurrunt, neque terra qualıs ‹candidiores animae› tulit, neque quis alter me sit devinctior. O qui complexus et quanta gaudia fuerunt! Nil ego sanus amico iucundo contulerim.
     Villula quae proxima Ponti Campano [est] tectum praebuit, et pārōchī, quae debent, ‹ligna salemque› [praebuerunt].
     Hinc muli clitellas [in] Capuae tempore ponunt. Maecenas lusum it; ego Vergiliusque dormitum [iimus], namque ‹ludere pila› lippis et crudis inimicum [est].
     Hinc ‹villa plenissima Coccei›, quae est super cauponas Caudi, nos recipit.
     Nunc velim [tu], [o] Musa, mihi paucis pugnam Sarmenti scurrae Messique Cicirri memores, et quo patre natus est uterque litis contulerit. Genus Messi Osci clarum [est]. Domina Sarmenti exstat. [Illi] ab his maioribus orti ad pugnam vener[unt]. 
     Prior Sarmentus: “Dico te equi feri similem esse.” 
     Ridemus, et ipse Messius, [dicit] “Accipio,” et caput movet. 
     “O tua frons ‹cornu exsecto› ni foret,” inquit. “Quid faceres, cum [tu] sic mutilus minitaris?
     At cicatrix foeda illi frontem saetosam oris laevi turpaverat. In morbem Campanum, in faciem permulta iocatus, [Missius] rogabat uti ‘pastorem-cyclopa’ saltaret. Nil illi larvā aut cothurnis tragicis opus esse.
     Cicirrus multa ad haec [dixit]. Quaerebat, catenamne ex voto Laribus donasset. Quod scriba esset, nilo[minus] ius dominae [eius] deterius esse. Denique rogabat, cur umquam fugisset, cui ‹sic gracili tamque pusillo› una libra farris satis foret. Illam cenam iucundē prorsus producimus.
     Hinc [viā] rectā Beneventum tendimus, ubi hospes sedulus paene arsit dum turdos macros in igni versat. Nam, Vulcano per culinam veterem dilapso, flamma vaga properabat tectum summum lambere. Videres convivas avidos servosque timentıs tum cenam rapere atque omnis restinguere velle.
     Ex illo, Apulia incipit montıs notos mihi ostentare—[montes] quos Atābulus torret et quos numquam erepsemeus, nisi villa vicina Trivici nos recepisset, non sine fumo lacrimoso, camino ramos udos cum foliis urente. 
     Hic ego stultissimus puellam mendacem usque ad mediam noctem exspecto. Somnus tamen ‹[me] veneri intentum› aufert. Tum somnia visu immundo vestem nocturnam ventremque supinum maculant.
     Hinc milia quattuor et viginti [in] raedis rapimur, mansuri oppidulo, quod versu non est dicere. Signis perfacile est [dicere]. Hic aqua, vilissima rerum, vēnit, sed panis longe pucherrimus, ut viator callidus soleat [in] umeris [itinera] ultra portare. Nam [panis] Canusi [est] lapidosus, [Canusium] qui locus non [est] aquae ditior urnā, a Diomede forti olim est conditus. Hinc Varius maestus amicis flentibus discedit.
     Inde [nos] fessi Rubos pervenimus, utpote ‹iter longum et imbri corruptius factum› carpentes. Postera tempestas melior [erat, sed] via peior usque ad moenia Bari piscosi [erat]. 
     Dein Gnatia, lymphis iratis exstructa, risūsque iocosque dedit, dum [Gnatia] [nos] persuadere cupit tura sine flammā [in] limine sacro liquescere. Apella Iudaeus credat, non ego, namque dedici deos aevum securum agere, nec, si natura quis miri faciat, deos tristıs ex tecto alto caeli demittere. 
     Brundisium finis chartae longaeque viaeque est.

Original Satire ::

     Egressum magnā me accepit Aricia Romā
hospitio modico; rhetor comes Heliodorus,
Graecorum longe doctissimus: inde Forum Appi,
differtum nautis, cauponibus atque malignis.
hoc iter ignavi divisimus, altius ac nos
praecinctis unum: minus est gravis Appia tardis.
hic ego propter aquam, quod erat deterrima, ventri
indico bellum, cenantıs haud animo aequo
expectans comites.
                         Iam nox inducere terris
umbras et caelo diffundere signa parabat.
tum pueri nautis, pueris convicia nautae
ingerer: “huc appelle!” “trecentos inseris.” “ohe,
iam satis est.” dum aes exigitur, dum mula ligatur,
tota abit hora. mali culices ranaeque palustres
avertunt somnos, absentem ut cantat amicam
multā prolutus vappā nauta atque viator
incipit ac missae patum retinacula mulae
nauta piger saxo religat stertitque supinus.
iamque dies aderat, nil com procedere lintrem
sentimus, donec cerebrosus prosilit unus
ac mulae nautaeque caput lumbosque saligno
fuste dolat.
               Quarta vix demum exponimur hora.
ora manusque tuā lavimus, Feronia, lymphā.
milia tum pransi tria repimus atque subimus
impositum saxis late candentibus Anxur.
huc venturus erat Maecenas optimus atque
Cocceius, missi magnis de rebus uterque
legati, aversos soliti componere amicos.
hic oculis ego nigra meis colyria lippus
illinere. interea Maecenas advenit atque 
Cocceius Capitoque simul Fonteius, ad unguem
factus homo, Antoni non ut magis alter amicus.
     Fundos Aufidio Lusco praetore libenter
linquimus, insani ridentes praemia scribae,
praetextam et latum clavum prunaeque vatillum.
in Mamurrarum lassi deinde urbe manemus,
Murena praebente domum, Capitone culinam.
postera lux oritur multo gratissima: namque
Plotius et Varius Sinuessae Vergiliuque
occurrunt, animae qualis neque candidiores
terra tulit, neque quis me sit devinctior alter.
o qui complexus et gaudia quanta fuerunt!
nil ego contulerim iucundo sanus amico.
     Proxima Campano ponti quae villula, tectum
praebuit, et parochi, quae debent, ligna salemque.
hinc muli Capuae clitellas tempore ponunt.
lusum it Maecenas, dormitum ego Vergiliusque:
namque pila lippis inimicum et ludere crudis.
hinc nos Coccei recipit plenissima villa,
quae super est Caudi cauponas.
                                           Nunc mihi paucis
Sarmenti scurrae pugnam Messique Cicirri,
Musa, velim memores, et quo patre natus uterque
contulerit litis. Messi clarum genus Osci;
Sarmenti domina exstat: ab his maioribus orti
ad pugnam venere. prior Sarmentus: “equi te 
esse feri similem dico.” ridemus, et ipse
Messius “accipio,” caput et movet. “o tua cornu
ni foret exsecto frons,” inquit, “quid faceres, cum 
sic mutilus minitaris?” at illi foeda cicatrix
saetosam laevi frontem turpaverat oris.
Campanum in morbum, in faciem permulta iocatus,
pastorem saltaret uti Cyclopa rogabat:
nil illi larvā aut tragicis opus esse cothurnis
multa Cicirrus ad haec: donasset iamne catenam
ex voto Laribus, quaerebat; scriba quod esset,
nilo deterius dominae ius esse; rogabat
denique, cur umquam fugisset, cui satis una
farris libra foret, gracili sic tamque pusillō.
prorsus iucunde cenam producimus illam.
     Tendimus hinc recta Beneventum; ubi sedulus hospes
paene macros arsit dum turdos versat in igni;
nam vaga per veterem dilapso flamma culinam
Volcano summum properabat lambere tectum.
convivas avidos cenam servosque timentıs
tum rapere atque omnis restinguere velle videres.
     Incipit ex illo montıs Apuliā notōs
ostentare mihi, quos torret Atabulus et quos
numquam erepsemus, nisi nos vicina Trivici
villa recepisset, lacrimoso non sine fumō
udos com foliis ramos urente caminō.
hic ego mendacem stultissimus usque puellam
ad mediam noctem exspecto: somnus tamen aufert
intentum veneri; tum immundō somnia visū
nocturnam vestem maculant ventremque supinum.
     Quattuor hinc rapimur viginti et milia raedis,
mansuri oppidulo, quod versū dicere non est,
signis perfacile est: vēnit vilissima rerum
hic aqua; sed panis longe pulcherrimus ultra
callidus ut soleat umeris portare viator.
nam Canusi lapidosus (aquae non ditior urna),
qui locus a forti Diomede est conditus olim.
flentibus hinc Varius discedit maestus amicis.
     Inde Robos fessī pervenimus, utpote longum
carpentes iter et factum corruptius imbri.
postera tempestas melior, via peior ad usque 
Bari moenia piscosi. dein Gnatia lymphīs
iratīs exstructa, dedit risusque iocosque,
dum flammā sine tura liquescere limine sacrō
persuadere cupit. credat Iudaeus Apella,
non ego: namque deos didici securum agere aevum,
nec, si quid miri faciat natura, deos id
tristıs ex altō cali demittere tectō.
Brundisium longae finis chartaeque viaeque est.

:: 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.