recte, etc.: there are two reasons given why Iccius should
not complain. First, if he knows how to enjoy the material advantages
of his position, living well and keeping good health, riches could
give him no more. Second, if, on the other hand, he lives simply and
frugally though abundance is accessible to him, he would desire no
more evne in the midst of wealth, in which case a fortune would do
him no good.
7. in medio
positorum, what is ready at hand, i.e.
the abundance of Agrippa's house.
cf. Plin. H. N. XXI.15.93. ut:
quia, etc.: i.e. your nature is such that money
wouldn't spoil it, and besides, your philosophical studies have given
you true views of virtue and all other goods.
etc.: an indirect proof of the philosophical enthusiasm of Iccius,
and so still more indirectly of the truth of v. 11.
great atomist of Abdera, the Laughing Philosopher, of whom the story
was told alluded to in v. 12. Cf. Democritus ut quam minime animus
a cogitationibus abduceretur patrimonium neglexit, agros deseruit
incultos, Cic. de Fin. V.29.87.
scabiem, etc.: i.e. the times of Democritus
were less worldly than our own, and hence it is a stronger proof of
devotion to philosophy when you study such themes amid the present
race for wealth than when Democritus did so.
parvum, etc., study no petty wisdom, i.e.
are not drawn away from lofty themes to the petty interests of the
celestial themes (tà metéora), i.e. the
study of the heavens, pure science, the questions enumerated below.
compescant: i.e. control the waves.
whether there is any law in their movement as natural bodies, or whether
they are directed by mechanical forces, untrammelled by law.
a kind of predicate adjective belonging only with premat.
velit: i.e. what it means, or aims at.
what are the limits of its power, as the question is spoken of in
Lucretius, quid fieri possit et quid non, particularly, no
doubt, in reference to the influence of celestial phenomena on human
discors, the dissentient harmony, i.e.
various in manifestation, but joined in a common plan; cf. v. 20.
(444 B.C.): the first great natural philosopher who referred all things
to natural causes, excluding intelligence from any share in natural
taken jocosely as a type of the Stoic philosopher, who assigned an
intelligent will (lógos) to the universe. Cf. Sat.
cf. virtus Scipiadae, Sat. II.1.72.
seu, etc.: returning to the idea in vv. 5-8.
piscis: as a
type of good living, fish being bought in the market, and so regarded
as a luxury. porrum
et caepe: as examples of frugal fare, cf. herbis
et urtica, vs. 7, 8. trucidas:
a jocose use of an inappropriate word.
etc.: i.e. whichever course of life you take, either of enjoying
the good things, or of suppressing the desire for them like a philosopher,
don't forget to cultivate my friend Grosphus, etc.
Grospho: a friend
of the poet having estates in Sicily. Cf. Od. II.16.
would probably have favors to grant as manager of the estates of Agrippa.
The two estates were probably contiguous. ultro,
freely, i.e. go beyond his request.
cf. Sat. II.3.312, note.
i.e. only costing the outlay of a small favor.
the price, properly the year's crop. Here the idea is that
friends are to be bought at a cheap rate when good men need anything,
--a little with grateful people goes a long way. Cf. nun dià tà
prágmata euonotátous ésti phílous agathoùs ktásasthai, Xen. Mem.
i.e. though my letter has been taken up with other matters
than news, the usual theme of letters, yet, etc.
quo loco: an
almost proverbial expression (hence without the in),
doubtless derived from military usage. Cf. Virg. Æn. II.322.
res, affairs at Rome, but with a different idea
underlying it, inasmuch as all the interests and circumstances of
the state as a whole are summed up in this one expression.
etc.: the Cantabrians were conquered by an expedition under Agrippa,
B.C. 20. In the same year the expedition of Tiberius referred to in
Ep. I.3, conquered and caused the death of Artaxias, who
was hostile to the Romans, and set Tigranes on the throne of Armenia.
Cf. Tac. Ann. II.3.
in the same year, B.C. 20, the king of the Parthians, apparently alarmed
by the progress of the Roman arms, sought peace of the Romans and
restored the standards taken in the great defeats of Crassus and Antonius
(B.C. 53 and 36).
minor, suppliant on his knees; the construction
is that of the degree of difference. aurea,
etc.: merely telling of a bountiful harvest.