صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

meritis pensandum nces and the year gical writers, Isid. nde babetur perfecti smans, carm. de pond.

me mensis in anno'; and

Betrol. script. II quicquid per potest annus, qui

sq. (Peip. p. 95) libra; nec est herefore is two years,

Sn this arrangement of

seven. Cleom. I 3 (17) -LYOV TÔν äλλwv, Cic. Phaethontia flamma, Fraethontia means the

s name for the Sun; and Phaethontius ardor Sy is the use of soles for Theme of discourse.

s solecism, cardinal number II p. 342 ed. 3, and galais... signis' (where se constellations are 42, - the thesaurus linguae

[ocr errors]

is poem, which it calls by no

[ocr errors]

II p. 1986 7, ' carm. de 353' ibid. p. 580 45, and, 4, though it is neither vel V pp. 525 sq., the last e cum bis, ter, quater':

three, and then we are

ce of uicies milies dena, all of noteworthy instance of sex denos - 525 58-60, there is a prosagular number: 'singularis:

- 28 15, 798 5, Veg. mil. 3 15 its at least five instances, and sted by Neue vol. II p. 335 ed. 3: § 2, `ter dena luce', Ser. Samm. 1065 arm epigr. Buech. 264 1) 'uota

Fauentinus bis deni suscipit orbis', IX 4756 (carm. epigr. 409 3) 'bis deno circite solis'. Furthermore it includes, jumbled up with the rest, two examples of a usage which the article nowhere mentions or recognises, denus as an ordinal; for denam in anth. 680a 15 means decimam and denus in Cypr. Gall. Ios. 438 means decimus.

Professor Lindsay says in C. Q. XI p. 41 that with the help of the thesaurus Latin scholarship is now becoming easy, and that textual emendation will become equally easy when certain advances have been made in palaeography. No advance in palaeography will ever make textual emendation easy, because textual emendation depends much less on palaeography than on several other things, the chief of which is the textual emendator; and for a like reason Latin scholarship will never be made easy by any dictionary,1 much less by such a dictionary as this. In present circumstances I think it right to add that the article on deni is not of German manufacture and might be better if it were: it is contributed to the thesaurus by its American editor.

8. ter senas partes his Cytherea retorques is the MS tradition, but Cytherea is a scansion of which even this poet can hardly have been guilty: the Oxford MS (saec. XI) gives <ex> his, and this, though probably a conjecture, is probably true: Riese's his <tu> is inferior, and the <plus> his of the Cuiacian MS is absurd.

What the words must convey is the time of the revolution of Venus; and hereupon Meyer observes' Venus conficit orbem diebus 224. uersus corruptus'. This wise remark is echoed by Riese, who augments its wisdom from his own store: 'corruptus: possis ter quinas his partes; nam Venus circiter in temporis Terrae (224 diebus) Solem circuit'. On the metre of this conjecture I say nothing, as his partes is probably a slip of the pen for partes his; and on its Latinity I only observe in passing that the Latin for is tres quintas, and that ter quinas is Latin not for but for 15. The point on which I dwell is the statement of both scholars that the time of Venus' revolution is 224 days. 224 days, as Riese in his innocence blurts out, is the time of her revolution round the Sun. These well-intentioned but ill-instructed editors, in hopes of finding out what number this verse might be expected to contain, have resorted to some handbook of modern astronomy: modern, and therefore Copernican and heliocentric. The astronomy of this poem is ancient astronomy, Ptolemaic and geocentric, and with Venus' revolution round the Sun it has no concern: this verse contains the time of her revolution round the Earth. Now the mean time of Venus' revolution, and of Mercury's too, is necessarily the same as the Sun's, 365 days, though a single and particular revolution of either may exceed that time or fall short of it within certain limits; and this, as I have already said, was the teaching of Eudoxus and the general opinion of antiquity. The case is perhaps best put by Theon p. 136 Φωσφόρος δὲ καὶ Στίλβων καθ' ἕκαστα μὲν ἀνωμάλως (τὸν τῶν ζωδίων κύκλον διέρχονται), ὀλίγον παραλλάττοντες

1 'I will allow the publisher of a dictionary to two words put together' said Pope. know the meaning of a single word, but not of

C

τοῖς χρόνοις, ὡς δὲ τὸ ὅλον εἰπεῖν ἰσόδρομοι Ἡλίῳ εἰσὶν, ἀεὶ περὶ τοῦτον ὁρώμενοι. But Meyer and Riese are not alone in their confusion: Cornewall Lewis in his Astronomy of the Ancients p. 155 says of Eudoxus' figures 'the error with respect to Venus and Mercury is considerable', and thinks to show the magnitude of that error by giving the Copernican figures, 224 days 16 hours and 87 days 23 hours; W. Ramsay and A. S. Wilkins in Smith's Dictionary of Antiquities vol. II p. 433 ed. 3 repeat the blunder and the slander; and Joseph Mayor in his note on Cic. n. d. II 52 p. 154 compares Eudoxus' and Vitruuius' figures with Herschel's, as if they could be expected to agree.

But the true opinion concerning the times of Venus and Mercury, though general in antiquity, was not universal, and evidently it was not held by the author of this poem. Let us see then what other opinions were in circulation. The time of Venus is 336 days in schol. Arat. 455, 300 days and a few over in Mart. Cap. VIII § 882, while Vitruuius IX 1 9 gives the ample sum of 485 days: none of these can be reconciled with the wording of our verse. But there was another false opinion more widely diffused than any of them: that the time of Venus was 348 days and the time of Mercury 339. This is stated by Pliny n. h. II 38 sq. and repeated in schol. Germ. Breys. pp. 184 and 228, and it reappears in anth. Lat. Ries. 798 9 sq., though the number for Mercury has there been corrupted either by the scribe or by the poet. These, it appears, are the times given by our author. Subtract 18 days from the solar year, says he, and you have the time of Venus; subtract 9 from that, and you have the time of Mercury. Now he has stated the solar year as 365 days, and if he is subtracting from the nearest round number, 365, his figures for Venus and Mercury will be one less than Pliny's, 347 and 338: the number first subtracted should have been 17. But 17 is a much less easy number to mention in Latin hexameters than 18, and it seems that instead of subtracting 17 from the nearest round number to 3651 he takes leave to subtract 18 from the next nearest, the 366 days of leap-year. If so, his figures for Venus and Mercury both will be those of Pliny.

ter senas ex his retorques must signify 'you subtract 18 from this number': the literal translation is 'you turn back (or away) 18 out of these', so that the total is shortened by that amount. The usual names for subtraction are demere deducere detrahere, often with ex c. abl. added, but compounds of re are also employed: remouere by Horace art. 327 sq. 'si de quincunce remota est ] uncia, quid superat?', retrahere by Ausonius 396 14 (Peip. p. 250) 'Priamidae quot erant, si bis bini retrahantur' (i.e. 50-20-30). retorquere itself is given an arithmetical sense in verse 23 of the same epistle, 'in se retortas explicabo summulas', where the 'summulae in se retortae' are various artificial modes of saying triginta, such as ' duc binas decies semelque denas', though only one of them involves subtraction, ' octonas quater, hinc duae recedant'.

[ocr errors]

10. The only editorial comment on this verse is Riese's: 'cum Mercurii cursus sit 87 dierum, dies terni fortasse intellegendi sunt cuiusque mensis kalendae nonae idus'. That Mercury's revolution of 87 days round the Sun has

nothing to do with the matter I have already said; and what shadow of sense has 'circulus Mercurii tollens kalendas nonas idus puro de uespere '? uespere should be Vespere: puro Vespere is the clear evening star, as in Hor. carm. III 19 26 'puro te similem, Telephe, Vespero'; and Vesper is identical with the Cytherea of verse 8. The words mean 'subtracting nine days from Venus', that is from Venus' revolution: 348-9-339. Pliny states the time of Mercury just in the same way, by subtracting 9 from 348: n.h. II 36-9 'sidus . . . Veneris . . . signiferi . . . ambitum peragit trecenis et duodequinquagenis diebus proximum illi Mercurii sidus. . . inferiore circulo fertur nouem diebus ociore ambitu'.

[ocr errors]

II. This verse is altered by every editor except Burman. Scaliger wrote Semonis dii for sermonis domini and anno for anni. anno would be plausible if the verse had no context, for Mercury does in fact complete his circle in a year; but this poet thought otherwise, and has said so in the verse above. Semonis is accepted by Meyer, Riese, and Baehrens, though they prefer diui to Scaliger's dii; and they seem to take on trust his assertion that Semo can mean Mercury, though he makes no more than a feint of supporting it: 'Semo autem uocatur Mercurius, quia fere in infimis collocatus est; quemadmodum Semones uocabant eos deos qui in infimis censebantur, maiores scilicet hominibus, minores deis'. On the other hand sermonis dominus, lord or master of language, does properly designate Mercury, who in C. I. L. VI 520 (carm. epigr. 1528) is twice called' sermonis dator', and says of himself' sermonem docui mortales'. See also Diod. Sic. I 16 1 ὑπὸ γὰρ τούτου πρῶτον μὲν τήν τε κοινὴν διάλεκτον διαρθρωθῆναι καὶ πολλὰ τῶν ἀνωνύμων τυχεῖν προσηγορίας, V 75 2 εὑρετὴν τῶν ὀνομάτων καὶ λεξέων γενόμενον, ὥς τινές φασιν, Nonn. Dion. XXVI 284 γλώσσης ἡγεμονῆα, σοφῆς ἰθύντορα φωνῆς, Orph. hymn. XXVIII 4 λόγου θνητοῖσι πроДnта, Hoг. carm. I 10 1-3 Mercuri facunde, . . . qui feros cultus hominum recentum uoce formasti', Ouid. fast. V 668 'quo didicit culte lingua docente loqui', schol. Germ. Breys. p. 229 Mercurii stella, a qua se linguam et sapientiam percipere arbitrabantur.' The translation is therefore 'the complete circle of the year of the lord of language is formed by taking away nine days from that of the evening star'.

[ocr errors]

éviautós in Greek is used to signify the circuit of a planet, e.g. Plut. placit. II 32 I ἐνιαυτός ἐστι Κρόνου μὲν ἐνιαυτῶν περίοδος τριάκοντα, and so is annus in Latin. As the thesaurus (with whose help Latin scholarship is becoming easy to Mr Lindsay) ignores this usage totally, I give examples. Cic. Arat. 232 'haec (quinque stellae) faciunt magnos longinqui temporis annos (=Arat. 458 μακροὶ δέ σφεων εἰσιν ἑλισσομένων ἐνιαυτοί), Lucr. V 643 sq. 'stellae . . . quae uoluunt magnos in magnis orbibus annos', Macr. somn. Scip. II 11 5 singulorum seu luminum seu stellarum emenso omni caeli circuitu a certo loco in eundem locum reditus annus suus est', 6 'sic mensis Lunae annus est', 7' Martis uero annus fere biennium tenet,' II 'annus Lunae mensis est et annus Solis duodecim menses et aliarum stellarum hi sunt anni quos supra rettulimus,' Sat. I 14 4 lunaris annus mensis est . Lunae annus

[ocr errors]

breuis,' Seru. Aen. III 284 'lunarem annum triginta dierum': in one MS the title of our poem is ' uersus de annis planetarum.' Not all these references are absent from the thesaurus: some of them will be found in a wrong place and under a false interpretation, I 6 annus magnus, maximus, mundanus (ca. 25800 anni). The peculiar and technical use of annus in Firm. math. II II was sure to escape lexicographers, as the corresponding use of eros in Greek has escaped them.

12. The time of the Moon's revolution (sidereal of course, not synodic1) is given as 27 days 8 hours by Geminus I 30, Theon p. 136, Pliny n. h. II 44, and this is only 17 minutes in excess of the truth. Since terni deni is 13, terni noueni should by rights be 12 if it were anything; but it is clear that the distributive ternos in here misapplied like the cardinal sex in verse 7 and stands for the adverb ter. Neue cites no example of this particular abuse, and I have observed no other; for in Plaut. Bacch. 1050 binos ducentos Philippos iam intus ecferam' the meaning is not 400, bis ducentos, but separate sums of 200 each, as the next words show: 'et militi quos dudum promisi miser | et istos.'

[ocr errors]

I append a still worse poem on the same subject, anth. Lat. Ries. 798 (poet. Lat. min. Baehr. vol. V p. 382), which also stands in some need of annotation. It is preserved in one MS of the 13th century, Paris. 7461, and was printed first by L. Angeloni in 1811 and again by Orelli on p. 242 of his Phaedrus in 1832.

signifer aethereus, mundus quo cingitur omnis,
astra tenet tantum se sede mouentia septem,
caetera nam proprio stant semper in ordine fixa.
Saturni sidus summa concurrit in arce
ter denoque suus completur tempore cursus.
inde Iouis cursus bis senis uoluitur annis
et Mars quingentis rubeus quadraginta diebus.

ast uno Solis completur circulus anno.
trecentis Venus octo et quadraginta diebus,
Mercurius centum triginta nouemque diebus,
bis denis septemque diebus Luna peragrans

octo horisque simul proprium sic conficit orbem.

5

ΙΟ

The times here assigned to Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon are the same as in the other poem, and when Orelli in verse II alters septemque diebus into septem atque duobus he substitutes an incorrect statement of the synodic revolution for a correct statement of the sidereal. The concurrit of verse 4, unless the metre has forced it on a poetaster who only wanted to say currit, may be meant for una currit (cum fixis astris); for though it is not true that Saturn actually keeps pace with the fixed stars, it is true that he falls behind them much less rapidly than the other planets: Mart. Cap. VIII § 853

1 This parenthesis is not unnecessary, for Sir Norman Lockyer in his Primer of Astronomy confounds the two, and says on p. 61 that the Moon

is overtaken by the Sun every 27 days. The mean synodic time is in truth more than 291 days.

« السابقةمتابعة »