By Aad Kleywegt
This paintings offers a whole remark at the first publication of Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica, an epic which has acquired elevated awareness within the previous couple of a long time, as could be obvious from fresh versions (1997 and 2003). Its first target is to elucidate the textual content, that's occasionally fairly tricky and, in locations, nonetheless now not verified with walk in the park. except this philological element, the literary benefits of the poem have additionally been taken under consideration.
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Additional info for Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica, Book I: A Commentary (Mnemosyne, Bibliotheca Classica Batava Supplementum) (Bk.I)
Finally ‘greater (than his other claims to glory)’ would take too much for granted: then the comparative would stand for maxima. So probably the implied superiority is to Caesar’s former, less successful attempts (prius): Vespasian’s maritime exploits and their ensuing fame are considered to be greater than his predecessor’s. The genitive ‘of reason’ with fama is normal classical use. Caledonius … Oceanus: of course not in the strict sense. We need not suppose a conscious exaggeration but rather a vagueness, as is so often observed in the use of geographical names in Latin literature.
There are no other instances of the combination viae et tempora in the epic poets. versat ‘to turn over in the mind, ponder, debate’ (OLD 8). 725; cf. 408 f. timores / versat. 33–36 sed neque bella videt Graias neque monstra per urbes ulla: Cleonaeo iam tempora clausus hiatu Alcides, olim Lernae defensus ab angue Arcas et ambobus iam cornua fracta iuvencis. 36 commentary bella … monstra: cf. Sen. F. 30–40 (quae bella? 30; monstra iam desunt mihi (sc. Iunoni) 40); ib. 527f. bella per omnia / monstris exagitet caeliferam manum.
In 177 and 507 below VF has duce te. nunc: ‘now (while you are still with us)’. This is a subtle variation on the theme ‘may you still long remain on earth’ (serus in caelum redeas, Hor. Carm. 45). After the imperatives (mone, eripe, fave) and the future forms (instituet, lucebis, dabis) the invocation is rounded oﬀ with a prayerlike wish. serenus: this epithet can be used both of a person and his/her countenance and of a star. It is evident that both notions are present here. 3, all quoted by Langen).