Notes on Horace

Classical Quarterly 8 (3):145-150 (1914)
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The sic of this passage is ordinarily taken as meaning, ‘on this condition,’ viz. the condition implied in reddas and serues. But du Mesnil urged that this interpretation was illogical. The fulfilment of the condition implied in reddas involves in itself the realization of the wish expressed in regat, and so makes that wish unnecessary. To this objection two answers have been made. Schütz expresses the opinion that the prayer is for the perpetual enjoyment of the favourable conditions enumerated in verses 1–4. But apart from the unnaturalness of this explanation, it involves the north-west wind as the perpetual attendant of the vessel. This would prevent its easy return to Italy. The other answer is that such ‘matter of fact’ criticism should not be applied to poetry. But to the minds of many this seems a mere evasion of the question at issue. Most students of Horace, I venture to say, are far from satisfied with the traditional interpretation of the passage.



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