Servius

Introduction

Maurus Servius Honoratus was a pagan Roman grammarian of the late 4th century CE. He is best known for his commentaries on the works of Virgil but also authored a number of grammatical treatises.

Notes on the text:

  • The Agathyrsi were a Thracian or Scythian people of the Transylvanian Plateau.
  • The ancient region of Scythia covers modern-day Kazakhstan, southern Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, northern Iran, and eastern Poland.

Text

In Virgilii Aeneidos (1.287)

Imperium Oceano, famam qui terminet astris; (cuius fama usque ad Oceanum pervenit;) aut ad laudem dictum est, aut certe [est] secundum historiam. Re vera enim et Britannos, qui in oceano sunt, vicit

Translation

In Virgil's Aeneid (1.287)

He will limit the empire with the ocean, his fame with the stars; (whose fame becomes known as far as the ocean;) said either in praise or surely in accordance with history. In truth, Caesar certainly conquered the Britons who are in the Ocean

In Virgilii Aeneidos (4.146)

Pictique Agathyrsi; populi sunt Scythiae colentes Apollinem Hyperboreum, cuius logia, [i. e. responsa], feruntur. Picti autem non stigmata habentes: [sicut gens in Britannia,] sed pulchri, hoc est cyanea coma placentes;

In Virgil's Aeneid (4.146)

and Picti Agathyrsi; people are of Scythia revering Northern Apollo, whose logia, [that is, responses], are reported. However, Picti doesn't mean tattooed: [just as the people in Britain] but beautiful, that is on account of their pleasing dark blue hair;

In Virgilii Aeneidos (7.225)

Tellus extrema; ut est Britanniae et omnium insularum Oceani.

In Virgil's Aeneid (7.225)

The farthest land; as is Britain and of all the islands in the Ocean.

In Virgilii Bucolica (1.67)

Penitus; i. e. omnino. Divisos; quia olim iuncta fuit orbi terrarum Britannia. Est enim insula seposita in Oceano septemtrionali: et a poëtis alter orbis terrarum dicitur.

In Virgil's Bucolics (1.67)

Wholly; that is, entirely. Divided; because long ago Britain was attatched to the world. In fact, it is a separated island in the northern Ocean: and it is said by poets to be another world.

In Virgilii Georgicon (1.30)

Thule; insula est Oceani inter septemtrionalem et occidentalem plagam, ultra Britanniam, iuxta Orcades et Hiberniam; in hac Thule cum sol in Cancro est, perpetui dies sine noctibus dicuntur.

In Virgil's Georgics (1.30)

Thule; an island in the Ocean between the northern and western zone, beyond Britain, near the Orkneys and Ireland; in this way Thule is with the sun in Cancer, in perpetual daylight without night, it is said.

In Virgilii Georgicon (1.247)

Intempesta; [inactuosa], alta, [densa], crassa, qualis est intempesta. Posse autem hoc fieri in aliqua parte modi, ut paene sibi totum vindicet nox, probat Britannia: quae lucis dives, vix quoddam spatium noctibus cedit.

In Virgil's Georgics (1.247)

Unseasonable; [inactive], deep, [dense], thick, of such a nature is unseasonable. Moreover, Britain proves these unseasonable nights can arise in some part measure, as night claims almost all for itself: which of day is abundant, with difficulty yielding a certain period to the nights.


Text credit: Maurus Honoratus Servius. Commentarii in Virgilium Serviani; sive Commentarii in Virgilium, qui Mauro Servio Honorato Tribuuntur. H Albertus Lion, ed. Berlin: Apud Vandenhoeck et Ruprect, 1826.

Translation credit: JA Hogan, 2009