Commentary Cons. Phil. Book 4 Metrum 6
The world is ruled by an ordered plan. The poem has the same meter as 1M5, the same subject (order in the cosmos), the same number of lines, and the same outline:
Meter: Anapestic dimeter with diaeresis.
- line 1
Tonantis: "the thunderer," i.e., Jupiter.
- line 2
- line 6
concitus: < concio, "rouse, provoke."
- line 7
Phoebes: Greek genitive singular, "of the moon."
axem: literally, "axis," i.e., a fixed point of rotation; here, used for the rotation itself.
- line 9
Ursa: antecedent of quae (line 8) and subject of cupit (line 12); the "great bear" never goes below the horizon for observers in the northern temperate latitudes.
- line 10
occiduo: literally, "setting," thus "western" (where the sun and stars set).
lota: "washed," one way to spell the perfect passive participle < lauo (lauatum and lautum also occur).
- line 17
astrigeris: astrigeris . . . exulat oris: "is in exile from the starry shores."
- line 18
exulat oris: astrigeris . . . exulat oris: "is in exile from the starry shores."
- line 19
19: Lines 19-24: Cf. 2M8.2ff, 3M9.10ff.
- line 20
pugnantia: i.e., in conflict with the dryness to which they do in fact yield. (This word provides the only dactyl in a fourth foot in any of the four poems with this meter. The foot may in fact be a spondee with -tia pronounced as a single syllable by synaeresis.)
- line 21
uicibus: "by turns."
- line 23
pendulus: "hanging, poised"; fire is normally to be found balanced between the air and the ether.
- line 24
sidant: "settle, subside."
- line 25
uere: "in spring" (< uer, ueris).
- line 26
spirat: here, "exhales, emits" with direct object (odores).
- line 30
- line 32
eadem: object of condit and aufert.
condit et aufert: both creates (cf. lines 30-31) and takes away (cf. line 33).
- line 33
obitu: obitu . . . supremo: "in the final passing away. "
orta: "things having arisen," i.e., "whatever has come to be"; object of mergens.
supremo: obitu . . . supremo: "in the final passing away. "
- line 38
38: Cf. 3M9.3.
- line 39
sistit: "causes to stop."
- line 40
rectos: "straight, direct."
itus: "goings, courses"; first syllable scanned long, unclassically.
- line 43
dissaepta: "separated as if by walls."
- line 45
boni fine: i.e., by having the Good as their common goal.
- line 47
conuerso rursus amore: The divine principle sets all things in motion but then in the end draws them back to rest in itself.
- line 48
causae: dative with refluant.
esse: object of dedit; translate, "being, existence."