Live HowWe Can Yet Die We Must

cWhether the Postumus addressed in this ode was a friend of Horace or simply a convenient name we do not know, hut the warninggiven on the inevitability of death is in keeping with attitudes expressed elsewhere by the poet.

Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume, labuntur anni nec pietas moram rugis et instanti senectae adferet indomitaeque morti: non si trecenis quotquot eunt dies, 5

amice, places inlacrimabilem Plutona tauris, qui ter amplum Geryonen Tityonque tristi text Q. Horati Flacci Opera, ed. D, R. Shackleton Bailey

(Bibliotheca Teubneriana, 2001) meter Alcaic stanza [§m4]

e|heu fii|gaces || Postume | Postu|me la|buntur | anni || nec pie|tas mo|ram ru|gis et | instan|ri se|nectae adferet | Indoml|taeque | morti iff. eheu (= heu) alas!; take fugaces (fiigax (fugacis) fleeting) with anni; Postume voc. of Postumus -i m.; labor labl slip by; pietas pietatis f. piety, reverence toward the gods; the verb of the second clause, adferet (adfero -ferre bring), is followed by an accusative, moram (mora -ae f. delay), and three datives, rugis (ruga -ae f. wrinkle), senectae (senecta -ae f. old age), and morti, lit., will bring a delay to wrinkles ,..; instans (pres.pple. ofinsto -are) impending; indomitus invincible. 5ff. non si ..places (potential subj. [§g 68]; placo -are) not [even] if you were to placate—what follows, viz the sacrifice of three hundred bulls a day to Pluto, would be an extreme example of pietas; take trecenis quotquot eunt dies with tauris (instrumental abl. [§047]), lit., with three hundred bulls each (trecenl distributive numeral 300 each; taurus -i m. bull) [for] however many days go (poetic expression for quotidie daily), trans, with three hundred bulls for each day that passes; inlacri-mabilis pitiless; Plutona (Greek acc. of Pluto Plutonis m., ruler of the Underworld) is the antecedent of qui; ter amplum Geryonen (Greek acc.) thrice huge Geryones, a three-bodied monster of mythology (the commoner form of his name is Geryon); Tityon Greek acc. of Tityos -i m„ a mythological giant—both he and Geryones were condemned to be punished in Tartarus for their crimes on earth; tristi conpescit unda confines (conpesco -ere) with the gloomy water (instrumental abl. (§G47j; unda -ae f. wave, but often used in poetry as a synonym for aqua)—i.e., the Styx, across which Charon ferried the dead (see "Roman Beliefs About an Afterlife," page 78); agreeing with unda is enaviganda (1.11), a gerundive used as an attributive adjective [§g 79], lit., water needing to be sailed across (enavigo conpescit unda, scilicet omnibus, quicumque terrae munere vescimur, 10

enaviganda, sive reges sive inopes erimus coloni, frustra cruento Marte carebimus fractisque rauci fluctibus Hadriae, frustra per autumnos nocentem 15

corporibus metuemus Austrum: visendus ater flumine languido Cocytos errans et Danai genus infame damnatusque longi

Sisyphus Aeolides laboris: 20

-are); with enaviganda take omnibus (dat. of agent [§G29]), which is the antecedent of quicumque (whoever); the meaning of the relative clause of 1.10 is whoever we [are who] feed (vescor vescl + abl., hence munere) on the gift of earth, i.e., all mortals—taking this clause and its antecedent, we can translate with the gloomy water that must certainly (scilicet) he crossed by all of us who feed on earth's gift; sive ... coloni lit., whether we will be kings or poor farmers (colonus -I m.).

13 cruento Marte abl. after carebimus, we will avoid bloody Mars (Mars Martis m. god of war).

14 fractis ... fluctibus another abl. after carebimus, lit., broken waves (fluctus -us m.)—the reference is to waves driven against the shore, trans, crashing waves; rauci Hadriae of the raucous Adriatic (Hadria -ae m.).

i${. per autumnos trans, in the autumn (autumnus -I m.); nocentem corporibus ... Austrum the south wind (Auster Austrl m.) harming (noceo -ere + dat., hence corporibus) [our] bodies—the south wind (modern sirocco), which blows in autumn, was supposed to cause malaria. I7ff. visendus (viso -ere) gerundive used as a predicative adj. [§g 80], lit., needing to be seen—supply est nobis (the subjects are the nominatives in the following three lines, but visendus is sg., agreeing with the nearest [§G58]); ater... Cocytos (Greek nom. sg.) black Cocytus (one of the rivers of the Underworld)—because they had nowhere to flow, the Underworld rivers (see "Roman Beliefs About an Afterlife," page 78) were always murky and slow moving, hence flumine languido ... errans wandering with a sluggish current (abl. of manner [§G45]; flumen fluminis n.); Dana! genus infame the ill-famed family of Danaus (Danaus -I m.), i.e., the daughters of Danaus (the Danaides), who were condemned to Tartarus, where they were made to fetch water in sieves; damnatus longi ... laboris condemned to long toil—the genitive expresses the punishment; Sisyphus (-1 m.), son of Aeolus (hence Aeolides (-ae m.) Greek nom. sg.), was condemned for all eternity to push a large stone up a hill, but when he reached the top, it rolled back and he was obliged to begin again—the Cocytus, the Danaids, and Sisyphus are selected to symbolize the Underworld.

linquenda tellus et domus et placens uxor, neque harum quas colis arborum te praeter invisas cupressos ulla brevem dominum sequetur: absumet heres Caecuba dignior 25

servata centum clavibus et mero tinget pavimentum superbo, pontificum potiore cenis.

Horace Odes 2.14

aiff. linquenda (linquo -ere) gerundive used as a predicative adj. [§g8o], lit., needing to be left—supply est nobis (the subjects are the following nominatives, but linquenda is sg„ agreeing with the nearest [§g58]); tellus (telluris f. earth) here means the upper world; placens (with uxor) pleasing; take harum ... arborum ... ulla together, any of these trees; quas (antecedent arborum) colis that you cultivate; praeter + acc. except; invisas cupressos hateful cypresses (cupressus -i f.); te... brevem dominum you,... [their] short[-lived] master—we are to imagine Postumus among trees he has planted; only the cypress will follow him in death, since its foliage was placed around funeral pyres.

absumo -ere here drink (up); heres (heredis m./f.) ... dignior (a worthier heir) is said sarcastically—Horace supposes that Postumus' heir will waste what Postumus has carefully stored up; Caecuba ... servata centum clavibus [your] Caecuban wines (Caecubum -i n., a much-valued wine) guarded (servo -are) by a hundred keys (instrumental abl. [§g47j; clavis clavis f.); mero ... superbo with proud wine (instrumental abl. [§g47]; merum -1 n. lit., undiluted wine); tingo -ere wet, stain; pavimentum -i n. floor; take potiore with mero, wine better...; ponti-fex pontifkis m. high priest; cenis (cena -ae f. dinner) abl. of comparison [§g 42]— lit., than the dinners of the high priests, a condensed comparison: the full expression would be wine better than that of the dinners... (the pontifices were notorious for their lavish feasts).

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