Commentary Notes

Dedicatory Letter

spacerFor Paride Ceresara and the relation of this letter to the early history of Mantuan’s collection, see “Composition and Publication of the Adulescentia” in the Introduction.
spacer A portion of Mantuan’s opening sentence is quoted, as Mustard notes (46), in Lamentationes novae Obscurorum Reuchlinistarum (Ulrichi Hutteni...opera...omnia, ed. Edvard Böcking [Leipzig: Teubner, 1859–70], VI, 375), and a bizarre echo appears in the prologue to Alexander Barclay’s eclogues, where (in lines 65 – 82) Barclay couches the background and reasons for publishing his poems in the language of Mantuan’s letter (M 49).

Eclogue I

spacerOne searches in vain in ancient pastoral or in the eclogues of Petrarch and Boccaccio for what the headnote of this eclogue describes as love’s happy outcome (felix exitus). Indeed, Fortunatus’ comments aside, Faustus himself suggests that not all aspects of his courtship of Galla have been “honorable (honestus),” NOTE 1 his dalliance with her in the fields (lines 63 – 113) being characterized in a darker mood (line 110) as a “crime (scelus).” Within the collection as a whole, Faustus’ love is to be compared with Pollux’s devotion to the Virgin Mary in the seventh and eighth eclogues. Badius has a lengthy introductory note on this eclogue, doubly interesting when we consider how widespread was the use of his commentary in Renaissance grammar schools:

Not without reason is this first eclogue entitled “Honorable Love and Its Happy Outcome.” For though Mantuan, having not as yet professed his vows, had already composed these poems, a prelude, as it were, to his genius (having doubtless been born to be a poet), nonetheless because even in his youth he wished to conceive or circulate nothing in the least dishonorable, now in reviewing these eclogues again, he would certainly have rejected anything in them that might give offense. Accordingly, lest, if too severely religious a person, in the habit of reading the title “Love,” should put this poem aside, he entitled it “Honorable Love,” a kind of love indeed than which nothing is more appropriate to a man. Moreover, this love is defined as honorable because it originated in matrimonial affection. “And Its Happy Outcome” is added so that those who desire to fall in love might be incited to an honorable love, one in fact whose issue is a happy one. NOTE 2

With details from the second, third, and fourth eclogues, Eclogue I was imitated in the first eclogue of Francis Sabie’s Pan’s Pipe. NOTE 3 As late as the eighteenth century it still found an English translator in William Bewick, NOTE 4 and numerous twentieth–century translations attest to renewed interest in what Leonard Grant has described as “the best–known Neo–Latin pastoral ever written in Europe.” NOTE 5

I.1–5 As J. W. Bright and W. P. Mustard point out (437), these lines are paraphrased in lines 27–32 of Francis Sabie’s first eclogue. Mustard (54, 53) finds echoes of the first line in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. III.34 and of the first two lines in the first (72) and sixth idyls (19) of Helius Eobanus Hessus.
spacerMelior vigilantia somno (watchfulness is better than sleep) is echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. X.6 (M 55) and quoted in William Martyn’s Youth’s Instruction, printed in 1612: English Writers on Education 1480–1603, ed. Foster Watson (1903 – 06; rpt. Gainesville, Fla.: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1967), 116 (M 44).

I.6 - 8 Adapted, as Harry Vredeveld points out, in Eobanus Hessus' Bucolicon III.67 – 69 (“A Neo–Latin Satire on Love–Madness: The Third Eclogue of Eobanus Hessus Bucolicon of 1509,” Daphnis, 14 [1985], 700).

I.9f. Quoted as the motto at the end of William Basse’s Three Pastoral Elegies, printed in 1598 (M 43).

spacerI.14 – 18 Quoted in Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, ed. Holbrook Jackson (London: Dent, 1932), III.151 (M 45). (Burton’s copy of the Adulescentia, in the collection of pastoral verse printed by Oporinus [C 399], is preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.)

spacerI.19 – 25 An expanded version of a detail found in descriptions of the Cyclops in love (e.g., Ovid, Met. XIII.763).

spacerI.24 Sortiri digitis, i.e., to compete at morra, an ancient and modern game in which a player tries to guess the number of fingers simultaneously held up by the other player. This bit of rustic realism is perhaps borrowed from Calp., Ecl. II.25f.

spacerI.27 – 31 An echo of Virgil’s famous image in G. IV. Noting this, Mustard also cites Statius’ version in Theb. V.601 – 3.

spacerI.32 – 35 Mustard cites Stat., Theb. VI.189 – 92, but cf. also Lucretius II.355 – 66, Ovid, Fast. IV.359 – 60, and centrally Virgil, Ecl. VIII.85 – 88.

spacerI.38 Quoted by Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy, III.145 (M 45).

spacerI.40 Syrtes, from the name of two areas of sandy flats on the coast between Carthage and Cyrene, proverbially dangerous to shipping (OLD s. v. “Syrtis”). Whence, as Badius observes, they came to signify figuratively the inextricable bonds of love ( inextricabilibus amorum nexibus). Cf. Propertius’ delight at having finally escaped them (III.24, 15f.).

spacerI.42 Galla is a non–Virgilian name, echoing ironically the beautiful, faithless Galla of Boccaccio’s first eclogue.

spacerI.45 Badius notes here that “Venus too is said to have squinted slightly (et Venus paeta dicitur).” The rustic realism of lines 44 – 47 nonetheless offended the French writer and critic Fontenelle (see “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction). Grant (op. cit., 170) notes that Galla’s coarseness supplied a precedent for the portrait of Phyllis in Euricus Cordus’ eighth eclogue.

spacerI.47 Like lines 14 – 18 and 38, quoted in Burton’s chapter on love melancholy (Anatomy of Melancholy, III.156) (M 45).

spacerI.48 – 51 Quoted in Burton’s chapter on beauty as a cause of love melancholy (Anatomy of Melancholy, III.85). Line 48 appears in Abraham Fraunce’s 1583 Latin comedy Victoria, line 1315. (M 51).

spacerI.52 Mustard notes (40f.) that this line is quoted in one of Gabriel Harvey’s letters to Spenser (Works, ed. A. B. Grosart [London: n. p., 1884 – 85], I.25) and appears as the motto on the title page of Alcilia: Parthenophil’s Loving Folly, published in 1595.

spacerI.53 Quoted in part in Wily Beguiled, published in 1602 (M 43).

spacerI.61 Citing Jerome and Aeneas Sylvius, Mustard notes that the expression was proverbial.

spacerI.62 Mustard notes that this line appears in the 1595 Cambridge Latin play Laelia, line 271.

spacerI.68f. Love–gifts are a familiar convention of pastoral (e.g., Theocritus, Id. III.33f.), but the rabbit and doves here most likely derive from Calp. III.76 – 78 and Nemes. II.67f.

spacerI.73 Quoted in Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, III.103 (M 45).

spacerI.83 Roman senators were distinguished by a broad purple stripe worn on their clothing.

spacerI.97 Potum...amnen: varied as a half –line in the eclogues of Eobanus Hessus (for this and other such adaptations of half–lines by Eobanus Hessus, see V 472).

spacerI.100 Quoted in Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, III.145 (M 45).

spacerI.104 Like 73, quoted by Burton in his chapter on artificial allurements in love (Anatomy of Melancholy, III.91, 103) (M 45).

spacerI.108 Quoted in Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, III.174 (M 45).

spacerI.113 Cf. the lovesick Gallus’ words in Virgil, Ecl. X.49 (Ad).

spacerI.114 - 16 Like lines 100 and 108, quoted in Burton’s chapter on love melancholy in his Anatomy of Melancholy, III.153, 145, 174 (M 45). Lines 114 – 16 are also paraphrased in the seventh idyl (line 135) of Helius Eobanus Hessus (M 53).
spacer Mustard notes that 115f. echo a common motif in Roman amatory poetry: see, e.g., Tibullus II.iii,79f.; Ovid, Her. VI.97.

spacerI.118 Semel insanivimus omnes (we have all been crazy once) echoes through subsequent English and Continental literature, eventually becoming, in Boswell’s words, one of those sayings “which everyone repeats, but nobody knows where to find” (in a costly lapse of memory, Johnson himself once missed winning ten guineas by failing to identify its source): The Life of Samuel Johnson, ed., G. B. Hill, rev., L. F. Powell (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934), IV.181f.. The title of two poems in Witt’s Recreations (Facetiae [London: J. C. Hotten, 1874], 196, 220) (M 44) and the motto for Samuel Nicholson’s Acolastus his After–witte (M 43) and one of the satires (VI,1) in Joseph Hall’s Virgidemiae (M 42), it is quoted in the following: Stephen Gosson’s Schoole of Abuse, ed. Edward Arber (London: A. Murray and Son, 1869), 41 (M 40); Robert Greene’s “Epistle to the Gentlemen Schollers of both Universities,” prefixed to his Mourning Garment (Life and Complete Works, ed. A. B. Grosart [London: n. p., 1881 – 6], IX, 124) (M 41); Thomas Nashe’s Have with you to Saffron–Walden, and the prologue to Summer’s Last Will and Testament (Works, ed. R. B. McKerrow [London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1910], III.79, 225) (M 41f. ); Robert Ward, Fucus histriomastix (1623), line 534 (M 51); and The Three Parnassus Plays, ed. J. B. Leishman (London: Nicolson and Watson, 1949), 326 (M 43). With a portion of line 52 (“amor est amaror”) Johannes Murmellius cites it in 1513 as being a trite proverb (protrita proverbia): Ausgewählte Werke, ed. A Bömer (Münster: Regensberg, 1892 – 95), IV.34 (M 46).

spacerI.121 In nonam horam, i.e., meridie. See Introduction, note 88. Despite the comic confusion, “noon” is in fact the correct translation, as Harry Vredeveld points out, of in nonam...horam, the canonical hour of “nones” having been shifted by the fourteenth century from the ninth to the sixth hour after sunrise: “‘In Nonam Horam’: A Misunderstood Phrase in Baptista Mantuanus’ First Eclogue,” Aevum 3 (1985), 460. Vredeveld notes that Eobanus Hessus adapts this time–expression in Bucolicon VIII, 31 (V 473).

spacerI.129 Infelix puer: a line-beginning also used by Eobanus Hessus (for this and other such borrowings at the beginnings of hexameters, see V 471f.).

spacerI.135 Potum...amnem: a line ending slightly varied in seventh eclogue of Eobanus Hessus' Bucolicon (for this and other such borrowings at the end of hexameters, see Hessus 472).

spacerI.148Semel = aliquando (see “Introduction,” note 88).

spacerI.161 Oenophilus (i.e., “wine lover”), for Onophryus (see Introduction, note 95).

spacerI.163 – 69 The bagpipe is unknown in ancient pastoral. Helen Cooper (Pastoral: Medieval Into Renaissance, 54f.) points out that the instrument is one of the conventional items in the literature of bergerie, noting that it even appears in an illustration at the beginning of an Italian Renaissance manuscript of Virgil’s Eclogues (B. L. King’s MS. 24, fol. 1). In L’Églogue en France au XVIe siècle (Paris: E. Droz, 1938), 430f., Alice Hulubei discusses the influence of Mantuan’s description of Tonius on the “Chant pastoral” of Pierre de Ronsard.
spacerspacerFor multifori buxo cf. Helius Eobanus Hessus, Id., XI.18 (M 53).

spacerI.167 Badius notes that multotiens is a comparatively low form of speech (“satis humile adverbium quo idonei abstinere dicuntur”)—an indication of Mantuan’s attempt here and there throughout the eclogues to imitate the diction of his speakers.

spacerI.174 Quoted in Heinrich Bebel’s Adagia Germanica, reprinted in Proverbia Germanica, ed. W. H. D. Suringar (Leiden: Brill, 1879), 69 (M 46).

spacerI.175f. An interruption similarly concludes the singing match in the tenth eclogue of Eobanus Hessus' Bucolicon (V 475).


spacerThe first of two eclogues in which Fortunatus modifies the original proposal to speak of “our old loves” (line 27, see I.2) in order to recount the unhappy outcome of Amyntas’ extravagant and unrequited love. Geographically accurate, his wanderings can still be followed on a map of the region north of Mantua. At the same time, Amyntas’ ramblings foreshadow, as the wordplay on “Solferino” and “Goito” suggests (see lines 37, 60, and notes), the destiny that awaits him. His remarks on honor and free love (lines 157 – 67) introduced this important topic into pastoral poetry (see “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction). The allusion to Narcissus in lines 84f. looks to a self–involved quality in Amyntas’ love that will be more fully displayed in the third eclogue (III.128f.). Fortunatus’ denunciation of the fruitlessness of erotic love in these two eclogues echoes a theme dominant in Mantuan’s later poetry (cf., e. g., Contra amorem elegia) and evident even in his early verse (see the note on lines 115 – 19). The first eclogue in Sabie’s Pan’s Pipe, as Mustard and J. W. Bright point out (op. cit., 437 – 39), draws on this and the next two eclogues. As Mustard notes (49), Alexander Barclay, whose eclogues are similarly indebted to the Adulescentia, begins his second eclogue with a paraphrase of the first sixteen lines of Mantuan’s poem and echoes Faustus’ attack on rustic impiety (lines 66 – 78) towards the conclusion of his fifth eclogue (lines 803–30).

spacerII.1 For pastoral tardiness Mustard cites Calp., Ecl. VI.1 and VII.1.

spacerII.8f. Vaurentinus notes the echo of G. I.481 – 83 in which Virgil makes the Po’s overflowing one of the portents foreshadowing the civil wars after Julius Caesar’s death. Mantuan follows a practice, well established in antiquity (Mustard cites Calp. IV.62 and Nemes. II.84), of identifying Virgil with the Tityrus of his first eclogue.

spacerII.18f. Noster lacus: the Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo, and Lago Inferiore, linked bodies of water formed by the river Mincio at Mantua.

spacerII.25f. These lines, as Mustard documents (41), are paraphrased in Robert Greene’s Tritameron of Love (Life and Complete Works, III.100f.).

spacerII.27 Eridanus: the Po, as in, e. g., Virg., G. I.482 (M).

spacerII.28 – 30 A pastoral motif, as in, e .g., Virg., Ecl. III.55 – 57 (M). Unlike Faustus, Palaemon in Virgil’s eclogue establishes the association of human sexuality and nature’s revival solely by implication (see Col 116).

spacerII.37f. Fortunatus is referring to Goito, a town approximately ten miles upstream on the Mincio from Mantua. The substitution of coitus is, of course, intentional on Mantuan’s part, if not on Fortunatus’ (see Introduction, note 95).

spacerII.58 Benace: the Lago di Garda, north of Mantua.

spacerII.60 Sulphuris arcem (tower of sulphur): Mantuan is playing on the name of Solferino, a town approximately twenty miles NNW of Mantua. Raised above the Po river valley, it is crowned by an eleventh–century tower. For sulphur and brimstone, see Gen. 19:24; Isa. 34:9; Luke 17:29; Rev. 21:8 et passim.

spacerII.63 August 1, the feast day of Saint Peter in Chains. It became a sort of early harvest festival—see Butler’s Lives of the Saints, eds. Herbert Thurston and Donald Attwater (London: Burns and Oates, 1956), III,237—a detail also noted by Mantuan in his treatment of the feast in De sacris diebus (Opera, II.326r - v).

spacerII.85 Vaurentinus notes the verbal echo of Ovid, Met. III.415 (of Narcissus), dumque sitim sedare cupit, sitis altera crevit.

spacerII.101f. On these lines Badius cites Horace, Sat. I.ii.2f., to which Zabughin (Z2 I.270) adds Ovid, Ars Am. I.32. In Roman poetry this flounce, which makes a skirt hang down to the feet, marked wives and women of good character.

spacerII.103 – 8 Badius notes the clear echo of Virgil, Ecl. VIII.41 (ut vidi, ut perii). As Mustard documents, lines 103 – 5 and 107f. repeatedly echo the images and diction of Roman amatory poetry: e.g., Virgil, Aen. IV.2 (et caeco carpitur igni); Ovid, Her. V142 (me miseram, quod amor non est medicabilis herbis); Met. I,523 (hei mihi, quod nullis amor est sanabilis herbis”); Her. XVII, 190 (“flamma recens parva sparsa resedit aqua); Met. XIII.762f (validaque cupidine captus / uritur oblitus pecorum antrorumque suorum).

spacerII.115 – 25 Cf. Mantuan’s early Ad Brognolum sodalem: “If any reward at all followed from this kind of love, I would praise and give myself as a devotee to it. But since nothing except immense shame follows it, better by far it is to have walked on. (ex hoc si quisquam fructus sequeretur amore, / laudarem hunc, isti me comitemque darem. / Sed quoniam nihil hinc sequitur nisi dedecus ingens, / est satius multo continuisse pedes.)” (Gir 87).

spacerII.124 – 26 These lines are echoed in the conclusion of Teofilo Folengo’s “Alphabetum” (A. Momigliano, “Le quattro redazioni della ‘Zanitonella’,” GSLI, 73 [1919], 196f.).

spacerII.140 – 42 Badius cites Acts 15:10: “Now therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?” But see also the conclusion of Peter’s words: “But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe to be saved, in the like manner as they also.”

spacerII.145f. Cf. Vulg. Ps. 54:7 and Paul. Nol., Carm. XVII.89–92: “Oh, who would give me wings like a dove that I might swiftly take part in that choir which, hymning (at your bidding) Christ as God the Son, beat their wings against the stars? (Quis mihi pennas daret ut columbae; / ut choris illis citus interessem, / qui deum Christum duce te canentes / sidera pulsant?)”

spacerII.151f. Adapted in Eobanus Hessus' Bucolicon III.111 – 13 (Vredeveld, op. cit., 708).

spacerII.154 In “Marius and Carbo: A Ciceronian Allusion in Mantuan’s Aegloga Secunda,” Anthony L. Pellegrini, ed., The Early Renaissance: Virgil and the Classical Tradition, Acta, vol. IX, (Binghamton: State University of New York, 1985), 67–68, John B. Dillon suggests that the two are orators mentioned by Cicero’ Brutus, (sec. 223).

spacerII.172 Fortunatus is punning on two meanings of livens: “bluish, darkening; envious.” Mount Baldo lies to the east of the Lago di Garda.


spacerFortunatus’ sequel to the story begun in the second eclogue. Amyntas’ plaint at lines 90 – 144 provided schoolboys with an early introduction to the commonplaces of the literature of love (see lines 103 – 8, 130 and notes), some of the echoes recalling Mantuan’s early interest in the elegies of Tibullus. Though Amyntas comes to a predictably bad end, his death calls forth lines strongly reminiscent (see esp. lines 182 – 85 and notes) of the lament for Daphnis in Virgil’s fifth eclogue. Along with the fourth eclogue Eclogue III was translated into German at the end of the sixteenth century. NOTE 6 As Oswald Reissert points out, NOTE 7 the six speeches that open Barclay’s first eclogue are based on the first thirty seven lines of this eclogue, and a portion of the preliminary discussion (lines 17 – 27, 32f.) in Mantuan’s eclogue echoes, as Mustard notes (127), a similar debate on the uses of adversity in the ninth eclogue of Petrarch’s Bucolicum carmen, Mantuan’s most extensive single borrowing from his Italian predecessor.

spacerIII.1 The storm whose approach cuts off the second eclogue.

spacer2f. For the sake of the ensuing discussion I have retained the classical meaning of divi. Badius glosses divi as “saints (sancti),” the meaning Mustard notes that the word regularly carries in De sacris diebus, Mantuan’s series of poems on feast days in the Church.

spacerIII.4 Harcules: see see Introduction, note 95.

spacerIII.17 – 27 Fortunatus’ complaint and Faustus’ initial response to it (32f.) echo, as Mustard points out, a similar debate in the ninth eclogue of Petrarch’s Bucolicum carmen (6 – 28; 8f.).
spacerLines 17 - 24 are paraphrased in lines 18 – 24 of Francis Sabie’s first eclogue (Bright and Mustard, Pan’s Pipe, 437).

spacerIII.29 Probably the same waxen images that Candidus alludes to in the eighth eclogue (116f.).

spacerIII.81 Freely quoted, as Mustard documents (M 44), by Priscian, a “poor Scholar,” in Beaumont and Fletcher’s Wit at Several Weapons, in The Works of Francis Beaumont and Sir John Fletcher, eds. Arnold Glover and A. R. Waller (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1905–12), IX.77.

spacerIII.83 – 85 Badius notes echoes of the love gifts in Virgil, Ecl. II.45 – 55; III. 68f., 71.

spacerIII.85f. Imitated in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. III, 115 (M 54).

spacerIII.86 Mustard points out that Ovid similarly deprecates love gifts in A. A., II.267f., 277f..

spacerIII.87 Regia res amor est is quoted as the motto on the title page of Richard Brome’s The Queenes Exchange (M 43).

spacerIII.100–2 The notion that when a lover sees his beloved, “his eyes snatch that image and carrie it to the hart” (Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, trans. Thomas Hoby [London: Dent, 1928], 313) is a commonplace of literature and Renaissance psychology: see M. B. Ogle, “The Classical Origin and Tradition of Literary Conceits,” American Journal of Philology, 34 (1913), 135 – 39. Discussing lines 101f. Badius cites 1 Cor. 6:16: “for (they say) they shall be two in one flesh”; but the cloud of commonplaces swirling about neoplatonic love theory in the late quattrocento would seem to provide an apter context: e.g., “O wondrous exchange in which each gives himself up for the other, and has the other, yet does not cease to have himself” (Marsilio Ficino, Commentary on the ‘Symposium,’ trans. Sears Jayne, Univ. of Missouri Studies, vol. 19, no. 1 [Columbia: Univ. of Missouri Press, 1944], 145).

spacerIII.103 – 7 These lines echo, as Mustard notes, Tibullus’ famous lines (I.i.59 – 62): “May I look on thee when my last hour comes; may I hold thy hand, as I sink, in my dying clasp. Thou wilt weep for me, Delia, when I am laid on the bed that is to burn; thou wilt give me kisses mingled with bitter tears (te spectem, suprema mihi cum venerit hora, / et teneam moriens deficiente manu. / flebis et arsuro positum me, Delia, lecto, / tristibus et lacrimis oscula mixta dabis)”: J. P. Postgate’s translation, in Catullus, Tibullus and Pervigilium Veneris, rev. ed. (London: Heinemann, 1924), 197, 196. A common motif in Roman elegiac poetry (see, e.g., Prop. I.xvii, 19 – 24; II.xiii.27 – 30; Ovid, Am. III.ix.51 – 58), Mantuan’s version would nonetheless seem, like lines 108f. below (see note), to be an interesting relic of a period when, as he remarks in one of his unpublished elegies, “I eagerly followed the fashion and numbers of terse Tibullus (sectabar tersi mores numerosque Tibulli)” (Gir 91).

spacerIII.108 Again, as Mustard notes, a Tibullan echo, here of I.iii.57 – 66—though without Tibullus’ certainty that after death he will be born off to Elysian fields.

spacerIII.117 – 24 Badius first noted the echo of Virgil, Ecl. V.40 – 44, the ultimate source for the combined gestures of strewing flowers and composing funerary verses.

spacerIII.119f. Puellae Pierides (Pierian maidens): the Muses.

spacerIII.126f. See lines 230 – 31 of Francis Sabie’s second eclogue (Bright and Mustard, Pan’s Pipe, 439).

spacerIII.130 A commonplace in Roman amatory poetry, of course, but one found, as Mustard notes, in Tibullus’ elegies (I.i.63–64).

spacerIII.161 Cf. I.52.

spacerIII.174 Tityrus: i.e., Virgil, as in II.9. Virgil’s second eclogue is addressed to Alexis whom, as Mustard notes, a tradition recorded by Servius had early identified with Octavian.

spacerIII.182 - 5 Orphea (Orpheus), whose death, as Badius notes, is lamented in Virgil’s fourth georgic.
spacerMustard records the dense cluster of echoes of Virgil’s fifth eclogue here: the languishing herds (cf. Virgil, Ecl. V.24f.), fields, and pastures (cf. V.35) and the strewing of flowers (cf. V.40).

spacerIII.183 Cf. Heb. 11:16: “They desire a better, that is to say, a heavenly country.” (M). Daphnim (Daphnis): the Sicilian shepherd whose death is mourned in Theocritus’ first idyll and Virgil’s fifth eclogue.

spacerIII.188f. Late classical Elysium is subterranean (e.g., Aen. VI.637f.), but for Mantuan, as for other Christian poets (e.g., Dante, Par. XV.25 – 30), Elysium was “high (altum),” imaginatively correlated with a Christian abode of the blessed. Lines 188f. bothered Badius; but given what Fortunatus previously said about Amyntas, Faustus’ description here of his fate would seem more a pious wish than a statement of fact. See Ecl. VII.132 – 40 and notes.

spacerIII.192 – 94 In the coming of the evening star, Badius notes an echo of the concluding lines (85f.) of Virgil’s sixth eclogue, where “Vesper gave the word to fold the flocks and tell their tale, as he set forth over an unwilling sky (cogere...ovis stabulis numerumque referre / iussit et invito processit Vesper Olympo),” Virgil, trans. H. Rushton Fairclough, rev. ed. (London: Heinemann, 1932), 47. Mustard documents how common a device the evening star’s advent became for closing up pastoral poems: see, e.g., Calp. II.93f.; Nemes. II.89f.; Boccaccio, Ecl. II.158f.. None of these endings (to which one should add Virgil, Ecl. X.77) has Mantuan’s stress, seen also in the conclusion of his second eclogue, on impending bad weather. Alexander Barclay’s first eclogue, as Oswald Reissert has pointed out (op. cit., 28), has a similarly threatening conclusion, as do the concluding lines of Barnabe Googe’s eighth eclogue (M 50).


spacerThe earliest instance in Latin pastoral of sustained misogynistic satire, Umber’s tirade in this eclogue (lines 110 – 241) remained controversial throughout the Renaissance. Turberville and Harvey both tried to qualify it in their translations; Robert Greene and Thomas Nashe clearly thought the attack too extreme; NOTE 8 and an anonymous paraphrase of lines 110–60 printed in 1679 (C 480) immediately drew An answer to the Mantuan, or False Character, lately wrote against Womankind. NOTE 9 Nonetheless, this eclogue has been the most widely translated of Mantuan’s pastorals, with versions in Italian, French, German, Dutch as well as English. NOTE 10 Its antifeminism set a gloomy and enduring precedent: NOTE 11 besides a passage in Teofilo Folengo’s Zanitonella, NOTE 12 a condemnation of women in the fourth eclogue of Petrus Pontanus of Bruges is modelled on Umber’s tirade, as is the fifth eclogue of Paolo Belmisseri. NOTE 13 Matteo Bandello has an amusing, probably fictional account (quoted in LR 66) of the genesis of Mantuan’s eclogue in a fit of spleen directed at a young lady who had spurned his advances. Just why Mantuan put his attack on women into the mouth of Gregorio Tifernate (see the note on line 81) puzzled Mustard since, as he observes (130), nothing in Gregorio’s published poems suggests a distinctive strain of misogyny. Rhetorically, however, the strategy distances Mantuan from full responsibility for Umber’s tirade (a strategy he uses to similar effect with Batrachus in Eclogue X), while the veneration accorded Umber in the eclogue serves to lend his words unusual authority.

spacerIV.3f. Details of the goat’s sickness derive from Virgil, Ecl. V.25f. and G. III, 465f. (M).

spacerIV.11f. Rewards for singing are conventional in pastoral: e.g., Theocritus, Id. I.25f.and Virgil, Ecl. V.81f.

spacerIV.17 Badius notes the echo of Aeneas’ invocation (Aen. II,.13)—here, of course, with a mock heroic effect.

spacerIV.19 Philomenaeos nidos (nests of Philomel): i. e., of the nightingale.

spacerIV.22f. Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. X.22f. (M 55).

spacerIV.34 As love–gifts: see I.68f .and note. It is a gently learned irony that Jannus’ song will be rewarded with the same gift and in diction (line 13) meant to recall, as Mustard notes, Damoetas’ love–gift in Virgil, Ecl. III.69.

spacerIV.35f. Cf. III.93 – 96.

spacerIV.43 Tertia hora (the third hour of the day), i. e., it was midmorning. The ancients divided the time between sunrise and sunset, however short or long, into twelve equal hours.

spacerIV.60f. The jest perhaps turns on lupa, the Latin word for a whore (and a lupanar was a brothel) Cf. III.144; VII.107–8; X, 203.

spacerIV.71 Mantuan probably has in mind the Galatea who drains Tityrus of his money in Virgil, Ecl. I.31 – 35.

spacerIV.81 Mustard quotes part of a letter, first printed in the 1503 Strasbourg edition of the Adulescentia, in which the Northern humanist Thomas Wolf Jr. states that, when visiting Mantuan in 1500, the Italian poet had told him that the figure of Umber denoted Gregorio Tifernate, his teacher at Mantua (“Aiebat ipse a se notari Gregorium tiphernum praeceptorem suum....”), for whom see lines 95 – 97 with notes and “Life” in the Introduction.

spacerIV.82f. Mustard notes an especially dense tissue of echoes here from Virgil’s eclogues: III, 52 (“quin age, si quid habes”); IX.45 (“numeros memini, si verba tenerem”); IX.38 (“neque est ignobile carmen”).

spacerIV.87f. Mustard notes the echo of Virgil, Ecl. III.20 (“‘Tytyre, coge pecus,tu post carecta latebas”) in an earthy adaptation that offended Fontenelle (see I.44 – 47 and note). Alphus’ language is echoed, as Mustard points out (55, 46), in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. VIII, 64–65 and Johannes Murmellius’ Pappa puerorum, in Ausgewählte Werke, IV.16.

spacerIV.91 Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. IV, 33 (M 54).

spacerIV.95 – 97 In an early, unprinted elegy, De morte Tiphernatis eius praeceptoris, Mantuan mourns the death of his old teacher in similar terms (Gir p. 87). Under the patronage of Nicholas V, Gregorio Tifernate translated a variety of Greek prose works into Latin, including books XI – XVII of Strabo’s Geography (De situ orbis), short essays by Theophrastus on fish and fire, and the Pythagorean De mundi of Timaeus of Locris (see Mustard, 131f.).

spacerIV.98f. Gregorio may have looked on Rhodope and the Ceraunian peaks, but it seems equally likely that, as Mustard suggests, Mantuan merely appropriated part of a line from Virgil’s Georgics: “aut Rhodopen aut alta Ceraunia” (I.332). Discussing these lines, Mustard goes on to quote a passage from Gregorio’s poetry in which he speaks of his travels: “As a younger man I drank from Eurotas’ waters. Grown older, I drink from the Loire. I have looked on the Western Ocean and the Hellespont—for thus God has wished that I should travel in long drawn out ways. (Iunior Eurotae potavi fluminis undam, / de Ligeri factus grandior amne bibo. / vidimus Oceanum mare, vidimus Hellespontum: / sic voluit longas nos Deus ire vias.)” (Gregorii Tipherni...Opuscula [Venice: Bernardinus Venetus, 1498], sig. C3).

spacerIV.105 Candidus here is to be connected with Mantuan, as in the ninth and tenth eclogues (headnotes introducing the unprinted versions of these two eclogues make this connection explicit: P1  646, 655). Within the overall design of Mantuan’s collection, Candidus’ name (adj. “ white; morally pure”) alludes to the dispute in the tenth eclogue concerning the color of the Carmelite habit.

spacerIV.108 Badius notes the echo of Corydon’s invocation in Virgil, Ecl. VII.21.

spacerIV.110 – 241 An elaborate example of the “quid est muliertopos, a convention that, reduced even in antiquity to compilations and variations of established commonplaces, is, as Anthony K. Cassell observes, conspicuously lacking in originality (Giovanni Boccaccio, The Corbaccio, trans. and ed. A. K. Cassell [Urbana- Chicago: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1975], xix). For its sources and tradition, see, inter alia, Carlo Pascal, “Antifemminismo medievale,” Poesia latina medievale, saggi e note critiche (Catania: F. Battiato, 1907), 151 – 84 and “Misoginia medievale,” Studi medievali, 2 (1906–7), 242 – 48; August Wulf, Die frauenfeindlichen Dichtungen in den romanischen Literaturen des Mittelalters bis zum Ende des XIIIen Jahrhunderts (Halle a. S.: M. Niemeyer, 1914); Francis Lee Utley, The Crooked Rib (Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 1944), 39–52; A. K. Cassell, “Il Corbaccio and the Secundus Tradition,” CL, 25 (1973), 352–360.
spacerCiting passages from Boccaccio, Aeneas Silvius, and Martinez de Toledo, Mustard points out that strings of uncomplimentary epithets were common in misogynistic literature. Robert Greene, as he notes (41), quotes this line in his Historie of Orlando Furioso (Life and Complete Works, XIII.149). Along with lines 111, 112, 116, 163, and 170, it is also quoted to be refuted in an epigram in Crepundia poetica (n .p., 1648), 54 (M 47).

spacerIV.118 Hernic is a learned medievalism for “stony”: John B. Dillon, “Some Passages in the Carmina of James Foullis of Edinburgh,” SSL, 14 (1979), 192.

spacerIV.123 This line appears in part in Abraham Fraunce’s Latin comedy Victoria, line 250 (M 51).

spacerIV.124f. These lines are imitated, as Mustard points out (56), in a long speech of invective in Luigi Pasqualigo’s Italian comedy Il Fedele. From here the passage found its way into Pierre de Larivey’s Le Fidèle and the English Fidele and Fortunio (ibid., 56, 132).

spacerIV.150f. Quoting a passage from the Epistola adversus Jovinianum, St. Jerome’s famous attack on marriage, Mustard notes that the examples cited here and in lines 207f. had long been staple items in medieval attacks on women. See the note on lines 110 –241.

spacerIV.166 Boccaccio (Genealogiae deorum, bk. IX, chap. 7) recounts how Hippodamia bribed Myrtilus, Oenamaus’ charioteer, to insure that he would lose the race to Pelops.

spacerIV.176 As Mustard points out, the names all appear in Virgil’s Eclogues. Oswald Reissert (op. cit., 30) notes that they reappear in Barclay’s second eclogue (lines 385f.).

spacerIV.178 A puzzling remark, at variance with ancient sources as well as Boccaccio’s account (op. cit., bk. V, chap. 12) of the story. An undocumented version recorded by Mustard that Eurydice was lost for tasting a pomegranate would seem more appropriate to Persephone. Robert Greene’s version in Orpharion, in which Eurydice purposely returns to Pluto, whom she has chosen over Orpheus, may, as Mustard suggests (51), derive from this passage or ultimately from some source also known to Mantuan.

spacerIV.180 As Badius first noted, Mantuan follows Virgil’s version of the story (G. I.39) in which Persephone, having been reclaimed by Demeter, chooses not to follow her mother out of the underworld (“nec repetita sequi curet Proserpina matrem”).

spacerIV.181 – 83 The two brothers are Castor and Pollux. Mustard notes that Umber’s choice of examples in these lines echoes Aeneas’ catalogue in Aen. VI.119 – 23.

spacerIV.193 – 95 A rustic analogy: see Col 9.

spacerIV.194f.  Cf. III.65f.

spacerIV.196f.  Hyenas were thought to learn a shepherd’s name and call it to attack him. Similarly, crocodiles were believed to weep in order to attract their victims. Mustard cites passages from a variety of texts to document these bits of curiosa.

spacerIV.207 – 9 Rex et natus (that king and his son): David and Solomon.

spacerIV.216 Badius notes the echo of Damoeta’s description of Galatea’s behavior in Virgil, Ecl. III.64f..

spacerIV.218 Quoted in Robert Burton’s discussion of artificial allurements in love (Anatomy of Melancholy, III.113) (M 45).

spacerIV.219f. For caecias, see Aulus Gellius’ Noctes Atticae II.xxii.24 (M).

spacerIV.230 This line is repeated in part in Edward Forsett’s 1581 Latin comedy Pedantius, line 56 (M 51).

spacerIV.235 Syrtes: the note on I.40.

spacerIV.236 Immundae volucres (foul winged monsters): the Harpies, who tormented Phineus by defiling his food.

spacerIV.239f. Phorcynides (Phorcus’ daughters): the three Gorgons.

spacerIV.247 Urbi (city): Città di Castello, on the upper course of the Tiber.

spacerIV.250 – 52 In his unprinted elegy on Gregorio Tifernate (Gir 85) Mantuan similarly describes the soul of his teacher rising to seek Jupiter’s palace and bids Gregorio’s fellow poets already in heaven to mourn his death (“...tecta Iovis petiit. / Illum autem vos, qui super estis, flete, poetae: / namque decus vestri nominis ille fuit.”).

spacerIV.251 An echo of Gallus’ wish to be laid in Arcadia (Virgil, Ecl. X.33) (M)

spacerIV.252 Olympo (Olympus): an ancient metonymy: see Virgil, Ecl. V.56 and Col. 166.  


spacerComplaints against the niggardliness of patrons had a long literary history in pastoral when Mantuan turned to the topic. Theocritus, Calpurnius, Petrarch, and Boccaccio all dealt with the subject, but Mantuan’s main literary model for this eclogue lies outside pastoral, in Juvenal whose seventh satire, as Badius first noted, is several times clearly echoed in Eclogue V (see lines 11f., 33f., 90f. with notes). The penultimate elegy in Mantuan’s contemporaneous collection of verse similarly offers literary fame in exchange for financial support (see Gir 91 – 94), and his concluding elegy, a farewell to poetry, echoes Candidus’ gloomy observations on the place of the poet in society (see lines 166–81 and note). The attack on Rome (lines 120 – 24) appealed to Thomas, Lord Fairfax (among other Protestant writers), who used a portion of it in his condemnation of corruption with the Papal Court (P2 117). Mantuan’s focus in this eclogue is, unlike his ninth, not exclusively ecclesiastical, however, its inspiration deriving in all likelihood more from literature (see line 123n) than life. Along with Eclogue X, it supplied matter for a quarrelsome amoebean contest in the eleventh idyl of Eobanus Hessus (V 483f.).  Alexander Barclay’s fourth eclogue paraphrases Eclogue V, NOTE 14 which also supplied the framework for Edmund Spenser’s great “October” eclogue in The Shepheardes Calendar. NOTE 15

spacerV.1 – 3 These lines are echoed in the first four lines of Francis Sabie’s first eclogue (Bright and Mustard, “Pan’s Pipe,” 437) as well as in the opening lines of the fifth idyl of Eobanus Hessus (M 53).

spacerV.11f. An echo, as Badius notes, of Juvenal’s complaint against miserly patrons (VII.30 – 32).

spacerV.12 Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. VI.142 (M 55).

spacerV.23 Cf. Euricius Cordus, Ecl. II.91 (M 54).

spacerV.24 Cf. a similar wintry setting (“Vitrea iam rapidos glacies astringet aquarum / cursus, iamque gelu tota rigebit humus”) in Mantuan’s unprinted appeal for support written while he was a student at Padua (Gir 93).

spacerV.26 Badius explains that the ewe lambs have been kept for future propagation.

spacerV.33f. Mustard notes the echo of Juvenal VII.32f..

spacerV.38 A bit of natural history recorded, as Mustard notes, in the Physiologus and repeated (among other places) in Niccolò Perotti’s Cornucopiae.

spacerV.46 Sorte tua contentus is twice used, as Mustard notes (44), as titles in Witt’s Recreations (Facetiae, 47, 98).

spacerV.63f. Quoted as the motto on the title page of Thomas Middleton’s Familie of Love, printed in 1607 (M 43).

spacerV.65 Nodum Herculis (Herculean knot): made, according to Macrobius (Sat. I.19, 16), by the coiled serpents on his caduceus (M ).

spacerV.82 Badius notes that country folk plow furrows in the ashes in order to predict their fortunes.

spacerV.85 Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. X.28 (M 55).

spacerV.86 – 91 Tityrus: Virgil, as in II.9. For lines 90f. Mustard notes the echo of Juvenal’s link (VII.59 – 61) between eloquence and creature comforts.

spacerV.88 Tityrus (i.e., Virgil) is similarly praised in Eobanus Hessus' Bucolicon III.15f. (V 474).

spacerV.96 Cosimo de’ Medici [1389 – 1464], whose wealth was, as Mustard documents, proverbial in Mantuan’s time.

spacerV.98 Patinam Aesopi (Aesop’s dish): Mustard cites a passage from Pliny’s Natural History in which he describes this as a dish of great value in which Clodius Aesopus served birds able to talk or sing a particular song.
spacerClypeum Minervae (Minerva’s shield): Vitellius, a notorious glutton, ordered a platter fashioned that was so big he called it the shield of Minerva (see Suet. Vit. XIII.2). (Glossing this phrase, Mustard notes that, like patinam Aesopi, it is explained by Joannes Murmellis in his Scoparius.)

spacerV.100 Aenea barba (bronze–colored beard): playing, as Badius points out, on Aenobarbi, a family name of the Domitian gens which claimed Nero, whose Golden House (as Mustard notes) is referred to in line 99 (regis laribus).

spacerV.101 Shepherds must not seem too erudite (see, e.g., Virg., Ecl. III.40 – 42). Hence, Candidus’ explanation. For Umber, see the note on IV.81; for Candidus, the note on IV.105.

spacerV.104 Codrus is, as Badius notes, a poor poet in Juvenal Sat. III.203 – 11. In the same satire (229), as Mustard points out, Juvenal alludes to Pythagoras’ well known austerity of diet (see also Sat. XV.171 – 74 [M]).

spacerV.105f. Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. II.118f. (M 54).

spacerV.109 As Mustard notes, the image of gladiatorial combat is used in the same way in Horace, Ep.  I.i.1 – 6.

spacerV.123 Following Badius, Mustard cites Horace, Ep. (regina Pecunia) and Juvenal I, 112–13 (inter nos sanctissima divitiarum / maiestas [among us no god is held in such reverence as is wealth]), to which Howard Easton adds Petronius, Sat. 14 (quid faciunt leges, ubi sola pecunia regnat? [what can laws do where riches alone reign?]).

spacerV.146f. A rustic analogy: see the note to IV.193 – 95.

spacerV.166f. Bidding farewell to the muses in the concluding elegy in his unprinted collection of verse, Mantuan similarly complains about the unjustness in patrons’ distribution of their gifts to good and bad poets (Gir 95). Mustard notes a possible echo in Palingenius’ Zodiacus vitae I.549 – 51.

spacerV.190 Badius notes a probable echo of Horace, Ep. I.i.52: “vilius argentum est auro, virtutibus aurum (cheaper than gold is silver, than virtue gold).”

Eclogue VI

spacerAlong with the fifth and tenth eclogues, Mantuan’s Eclogue VI shows the formal influence of medieval debate poetry. The comparative merits of the city and countryside, a standard topic in ancient rhetoric (e.g., Quintilian, Inst. II.iv.24), is not, however, a subject treated in surviving medieval debate literature. NOTE 16 The wry delicacy in Amyntas’ account of the origin of townsmen and country folk, a version of the folk motif of “the various children of Eve,” NOTE 17 is virtually buried under Cornix’s attack on city ways in the latter half of the eclogue. The intensity of Cornix’s invective is foreign to ancient pastoral, though at one point (see line 175 and note) the language recalls a similar attack on worldly ambition in the second book of Virgil’s Georgics. Among other critics, Zabughin (Z1 148) has admired the social realism depicted in Cornix’s attitude towards the city (lines 224 – 33). Alexander Barclay paraphrased Mantuan’s Eclogue VI in his Fifth Eclogue, NOTE 18 and the opening lines, as Mustard points out, can be seen transmuted in Winter’s song at the end of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost.  

spacerVI.1 – 5 Mustard compares the winter picture in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost V, ii, 912 – 20: “When icicles hang by the wall... While greasy Joan doth keel the pot” (The Riverside Shakespeare, eds. G. Blakemore Evans et al., [Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974], 212).

spacerVI.2f. Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. VII.32 (M 55).

spacerVI.5 Polenta: a porridge still commonly prepared (now usually with corn meal) in the country kitchens of northern Italy.

spacerVI.19 – 25  Cf. “February” lines 33–50 in Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar (Var VII[1], 257f.). Lines 19f. are echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. IV, 69 (M 54f.).

spacerVI.41 – 48 A similar interruption occurs in Bucolicon III.60 – 62 of Eobanus Hessus (V 475).

spacerVI.84 Pila (javelins): i.e., high military offices.

spacerVI.105 Mantous Amyntas (Mantoan Amyntas): i.e., a descendent of Manto, an Italian nymph and mother of Ocnus, who founded Mantua. As Mustard notes, this is the same Amyntas who appears in Mantuan’s second eclogue: see esp. II.132.

spacerVI.113 As Shakespeare’s Longaville puts it, “Fat paunches have lean pates” (Love’s Labor’s Lost I, i, 26, in op. cit., 179) (M ).

spacerVI.155 – 57: a motif varied by Eobanus Hessus in Bucolicon X.104f. (V 475).

spacerVI.175 Mustard cites Georgics II.503 in an echo of Virgil’s dispraise of deviation from the life of the countryman.

spacerVI.203 Equestre genus (equestrian race): A sarcastic remark since, as Baduis notes, doctors usually rode on she–mules.

spacerVI.219f. Quaedam Balearibus arva proxima (the land near Majorca): Ibiza, an island off the coast of Spain. For Cornix’s ignorance, see the note on V.101.

spacerVI.220 Mustard cites Pliny’s Natural History and Niccolò Perotti’s Cornucopiae as authorities for the absence of owls on Crete, Aeneid VII.778f. as the source for keeping horses away from sacred groves (here conflated with Egeria’s grove in Virgil’s story).

spacerVI.238f. Cornix’s language here echoes Virgil’s account of the consequences of Caesar’s death in G. I, esp. 475 and 466 – 68.

spacerVI.240 Lolium (darnel): Badius cites Virgil, G. I.153–54 and Matt. 13:24–30, passages that suggest the symbolic power this weed carried in antiquity.

spacerVI.246f. An odd detail, absent from both Ovid’s version of the two related stories (Met. I.163–415) and Boccaccio’s account of Lycaon and Deucalion in Genealogiae deorum, bk. IV, chs. 47 and 66.

Eclogue VII

spacerBadius’ general note on this eclogue is the most comprehensive in his commentary:

If it might not seem foolish, let me say that with reason Mantuan writes of the conversion of young men in his seventh eclogue. For the number seven, produced as a sum of the first uneven number and the nearest even number following it, is well known to have something mysterious about it not only in Scripture but also among the poets: whence “Oh thrice and four times blest...” [Aen. I.94]; “for now it is the seventh summer that bears thee a wanderer over every land and sea” [Aen. I.755f.]. Moreover, men say that every seven years the period of our life changes: so that for our first seven years we are babes, children for the next seven, youths for the third seven, and young men for our fourth seven years, at which time the character of our lives—who, of what condition, and how we want to live—is all established. Rightly then, (for I pass over in silence the other seasons of our lives, each of which succeeds in equal order) in this seventh eclogue youth’s conversion to the religious life is at stake, a conversion concerning which I believe that up to now Mantuan has sung of his youth (for so he entitled his work [i.e., Adulescentia]) and that in turn he will sing of his young manhood and adult years, namely in the last two poems which he composed in religious orders. NOTE 19  

Although Mantuan doubtless knew Boccaccio’s fourteenth and fifteenth eclogues (the first a famous account of Boccaccio’s conversion by a female visitor from Paradise, the second an allegorical presentation of his painful religious conversion under the tutelage of Petrarch), this seventh eclogue, as Mantuan’s title indicates, is clearly a poetic refraction of the choice he saw facing him during his years at Padua and Mantua. NOTE 20 Galbula’s disquisition on the select status of shepherds (lines 9 – 50) became a favorite passage among poets, with echoes in Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar (“July” lines 129 – 58) (Var VII [1], 331 – 33) as well as in Barclay’s Fifth Eclogue (lines 435 – 534), NOTE 21 Euricius Cordus’ third pastoral (M 54), and the third eclogue of Sabie’s Pan’s Pipe (lines 90 – 138). NOTE 22

spacerVII.1 For Pollux, see note 37 to the Introduction.

spacerVII.10 For Umber, see the note on IV.81.

spacerVII.11  Cf. VI.97.

spacerVII.14 As Mustard notes, ast is an archaic form—used no doubt in imitation of Virgil’s use of similar forms in his Eclogues (e.g., III.1): see note 88 to the Introduction.

spacerVII.19 Divos (gods): see the note on III.2f.

spacerVII.23 Assyrios (Assyrians): Badius adduces Abraham, Lot, Jacob, and other patriarchs. Helen Cooper (op. cit., 71) points to the development of this theme in the literature of bergerie.

spacerVII.27 – 29 See Virg. Ecl. II.61, where Paris is similarly enrolled among the shepherds.
spacerLine 27 appears in Abraham Fraunce’s Latin comedy Victoria, line 27 (M 51).

spacerVII.28 Probably Abraham, who (as Badius explains) offered to sacrifice his son.

spacerVII.29 Caelesti igne (fire from heaven): as Badius notes, the fire from the burning bush.

spacerVII.37 Tonantem (God of Thunder): against denunciations of Mantuan’s use of Graeco–Roman diction here, Mustard rightly adduces the use of this term by a long line of Christian poets: e.g., Paul. Nol. (whom Mantuan admired from early youth) XXII.49, Juvenc. II.795, Prud. Apotheosis 171, Cathemerion XII.83.

spacerVII.40 The locus classicus for Galbula’s assertion is, as Badius notes, John 10:14.

spacerVII.52  Like Galbula, Alphus too (as Badius suggests) has seen these things, in pictures.

spacerVII.59 Given Mantuan’s contemporaneous letter to his father (see “Composition and Publication of the Adulescentia and its use by Tutors and in Grammar Schools” in the Introduction), the echo of Virgil, Ecl. III.33 cited by Mustard does not eliminate the biographical foundation Badius found in these lines. With Pollux’s shrewish stepmother, cf. “March” 40 – 43 in Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar (Var VII [1], 270).

spacerVII.70 For virgo cf. line 89 and I.72.

spacerVII.75 Translation of this line follows the pointing of the 1498 edition, which places virgules after pectus and totiens.

spacerVII.79f. See III.100f. and note.

spacerVII.88 Fronde sub Herculea (Under Hercules’ leafy boughs): a deceptively simple detail. In Ecl. VII.61 Virgil describes the poplar tree as being “most pleasing to Hercules (Alcidae gratissima),” but, as Badius first pointed out, Mantuan also has in mind the story of Hercules at the crossroads. Alluding to Cicero’s account in De officiis (I.118), Badius goes on to indicate more specifically the significance which the story would have had for Mantuan’s audience (Badius’ elaboration is drawn verbatim from a widely printed commentary on De officiis by Mantuan’s friend [M 24], Pietro Marsi):

It is said that while [Hercules] stood in doubt, two noble women, Virtue and Pleasure, came to him. Pleasure, who entered in front, was adorned with the greatest care and drew behind her every kind of worldly delight. Looking back now and then, haughtily displaying many things to his view, and promising him much more, she attempted to draw Hercules away with her. Virtue, on the other hand, was stern and hard, and regarding him gravely face to face she said, “I promise you neither pleasure nor repose. Rather, I offer you toil, danger, and countless labors to be endured on land and sea. The reward of them will be, however, that you will become a god.” When Hercules had heard this, he rejected Pleasure with harsh words and followed after Virtue. (Aiunt...inter dubitandum duas accessisse Matronas virtutem & voluptatem. Quarum voluptas prior ingressa: accuratissime erat ornata & omnes delicias post se trahebat: respectans aliquando cum fastuque omnia ostentans et multo etiam plura pollicens secum trahere Herculem tentavit. At virtus aspera & dura, severeque intuens contra. Non polliceor inquit aliquam voluptatem aut quietem: sed laborem / pericula / sudores infinitos / terra marique tolerandos: sed horum praemium erit te deum fieri. Quod audiens Hercules gravibus verbis voluptatem repellens virtutem secutus est.) (Ad, fol. 127).

In his letter to his father Mantuan describes his decision to enter the Carmelite order in similar terms: “This then is my life on which I have firmly fixed my step.  In this is all my care and all my comfort. For so long a time I stood at the crossroads; now indeed standing on the right horn of Pythagoras’ letter... (Haec mea vita est in qua pedem firmiter fixi. In hac omnis mea cura. In hac omne meum solatium. Tamdiu in bivio steti, jam vero dexterum cornu pythagoricæ litteræ stando....) [the sentence is unfinished]” (MHC 489). In Pythagorean lore the letter Y symbolizes the moral choice between a life of virtue or vice which a young man must make on reaching manhood. Pythagoras’ letter, the subject of an ancient anonymous poem long attributed to Virgil beginning “Littera Pythagorae, discrimine secta bicorni (Pythagoras’ letter, divided by the space separating the two horns),” was frequently connected with the tale of Hercules at the crossroad (see S. K. Heninger, Touches of Sweet Harmony: Pythagorean Cosmology and Renaissance Poetics [San Marino: Huntington Library, 1974], 269 – 72, and Erwin Panofsky, Hercules am Scheidewege [Leipzig: Teubner, 1930], esp. 64 – 68 and tafel XXXV). Mantuan’s conjunction of the choice of Hercules with the umbrosam silvam described in lines 107f. is perhaps based on a similar fusion made by Servius, in a note on Aen. VI.136, of Pythagoras’ letter with the forest Aeneas must penetrate to find the golden bough (see the note on lines 109 - 19 below).

spacerVII.90 Badius notes an echo of Aen. IV.558f., Mercury’s appearance in a dream to Aeneas: “omnia Mercurio similis, vocemque coloremque / et crinis flavos et membra decora iuventa. (in all points like to Mercury: in voice and hue, in golden hair and handsome, youthful limbs.)” But Mantuan’s audience would also be apt to recall Venus’ famous appearance to her son in Aen. I, e. g., 327f.: “...quam te memorem, virgo? namque haud tibi voltus / mortalis, nec vox hominem sonat; o dea certe!  ( what name should I call thee, O maiden? for thy face is not mortal nor has thy voice a human ring; O goddess surely!).”

spacerVII.92 Quo tendis iter? (where are you directing your course?): Cf. Fortunatus’ warning to Amyntas in III.63: “prospice quo tendas (look where you’re heading).”

spacerVII.102 – 19 A passage with a rich literary background. Zabughin (Z1 149) has pointed out its links with various descriptions of the Other World popular in the Middle Ages (for which, see inter alia Howard Rollin Patch, The Other World According to Descriptions in Medieval Literature [Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1950]). A number of images are (like medieval accounts of the Other World) ultimately rooted in the language of the Bible and recur throughout Mantuan’s poetry and prose. Finally, various details along with much of the diction are found in Graeco–Roman accounts of the underworld (see the note on lines 107 – 19 directliy below).
spacerFor the first two lines of this passage, cf. the Bible’s two paths, the strait and narrow and the broad and pleasant one (Matthew 7:13–14), the biblical counterpart of Hercules’ two choices discussed in the note on line 88. Often elaborated in medieval literature (H. R. Patch, op. cit., 228), Mantuan’s fair–seeming path resembles, as Mustard points out (141), Boccaccio’s labyrinth of love in the Corbaccio.

spacerVII.107 – 19 Here, as in a similar passage in his tenth eclogue (lines 129 – 32), Mantuan is in part drawing details and diction from Graeco–Roman accounts of the underworld, notably (as Badius points out) from Aen. VI. In post–classical pastoral this technique had already been used in Radbert’s Ecloga duarum sanctimonialium (line 100) and Boccaccio’s tenth eclogue (lines 76 –80). Virgil’s account was, of course, understood in light of a vast body of allegorical commentary stretching from Servius and Bernardus Silvestris to (in Mantuan’s time) Cristoforo Landino, for which, see inter alia Domenico Comparetti, Vergil in the Middle Ages, trans. E. F. M. Benecke (London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1908), 104 – 18; Don Cameron Allen, Mysteriously Meant: The Rediscovery of Pagan Symbolism and Allegorical Interpretation in the Renaissance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1970), 135 – 54.
spacerFerarum hospitium (hospice of wild beasts): A common feature in medieval accounts of the Other World (H. R. Patch, op. cit., 92f.). Noting the suitability of the phrase, Badius rightly recalls a similar description of the forest in Aen. VI as being filled with “stabula alta ferarum (the deep lairs of beasts)” (179). See the note on lines 110 – 14 directliy below

spacerVII.108 Loca...opaca (a hideous place...darkness): see Patch, op. cit., 130, who notes links of medieval descriptions of the Other World with the image of “the valley of the shadow of death” of the twenty third psalm and the biblical associations of the region (e.g., Isaiah 9:2). For Mantuan’s diction, cf. Ovid, Met. X.53–54 (M) and Dido’s fate in Aen. VI.462 to pass through “lands squalid and forsaken (per loca senta situ)” in the underworld.

spacerVII.109 Remeare vetatur (is forbidden to return): Badius quotes the Sybil’s famous warning to Aeneas before he enters the underworld: “...easy is the descent to Avernus: night and day the door of gloomy Dis stands open; but to recall thy steps and pass out to the upper air, this is the task, this the toil! (...facilis descensus Averno: / noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis; / sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras, / hoc opus, hic labor est. )” (Aen. VI.126–29).

spacerVII.110 – 14 piceis vittis (by a pitch–black band): “that is, by the darkness of ignorance and despair (i. e. caligine ignorantiae et desperationis)” (Ad).
spacerBadius notes the presence of the Circe myth here (cf. Odyssey X). In his contemporaneous elegy Ad Brognolum Mantuan describes the effects of erotic love in similar terms (“cur tamen hoc [sc. vere] plures alio quam tempore semper / insaniant iuvenes, me modo causa latet, / ni forte haec: tauros et oves imitantur amando.” [Gir 87]), and, more strongly, in his Contra amorem elegia (ca. 1498), a work sometimes appended to editions of the eclogues, he accuses love of bestializing and drawing lovers into a concealed hell (“Sic amor ante oculos animi velamina tendit, / et trahit in cæcum pectora nostra chaos...Quisquis...vivit sine lumine mentis & usu, / Fert hominis vultus ingeniumque ferae”: Opera I.176). But the Virgin’s warning is more general, beginning in upheavals occasioned by erotic love (Mary in Eclogue VIII supplying “young men panting with emotion [anhelanti iuventae]” [80] with an alternative in devotion to her) but ultimately having to do (as Bernardus Silvestris interprets the temptations of Virgil’s antiquam silvam [Aen. VI.179 – 89]) with the ravaging effects of dwelling on temporal goods, effects that (as Badius also points out) figuratively transform men into beasts:
spacerFerarum: men transformed by vice into bestial nature. For philosophy calls lecherous men swine, fraudulent men foxes, babbling men dogs, truculent men lions, wrathful men boars, rapacious men wolves, and sluggish men asses. All of these dwell in temporal goods, just as in contrast ‘the conversion of the good is in Heaven.’ [Phil. 3:20] (FERARUM [Aen. VI.179]: id est hominum in ferinam naturam vitio transformatorum. Vocat enim philosophia luxuriosos sues, fraudulentos vulpes, garrulos canes, truculentos leones, iracundos apros, rapaces lupos, torpentes asinos. Hii omnes temporalia bona inhabitant sicut econtra bonorum conversatio in celis est.’)”: The Commentary on the First Six Books of the ‘Aeneid’ Commonly Attributed to Bernardus Silvestris, eds. Julian Ward Jones and Elizabeth Frances Jones (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1977), 62, with the English translation of Earl G. Schreiber and Thomas E. Maresca, Commentary on the First Six Books of Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’ (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press 1979), 61. As such, the umbrosa silva  and its perils revealed by the Virgin here are to be connected with the savage world of the Papal Curia in“Eclogue IX (lines 142 – 46, 158, and notes) and more obliquely with the creatures at the shaded whirlpool described by Batrachus in the tenth eclogue (lines 129–35 and notes).

spacerVII.111 Dumeta (thickets): a common feature in accounts of the Other World (Patch, op. cit., 131). Cf. III.148.

spacerVII.115 – 17 Badius has a series of notes on these lines that, like his gloss on line 110, suggests how thoroughgoing an allegorical reading Mantuan’s description encouraged in Renaissance scholars (as well as schoolmasters and their students): “takes up the depths”: is always in the slime of carnal desires;  “a mountain looms large”: that is, the difficulties and dangers in a life of excess; Stygian waters”: that is, the hateful waters of hellish sorrow. (ima occupat id est semper versatur in limo carnalium desideriorum. Mons plurimus id est difficultates & pericula quae sunt in luxuriosa vita. Latices stygios id est, obscœnas aquas tristitiae infernalis.)” (The association of sorrow with the river Styx goes back to Servius’ note, on Aen. VI.134; on the Styx: see the note on lines 107 – 19).

spacerVII.116 Mons (mountain): a constant element in accounts of the Other World (Patch, op. cit., 129f.).

spacerVII.118f. Zabughin (Z2 72) sees the influence of Dante and perhaps the Visio Tungdali here (see H. R. Patch, op. cit., 113).

spacerVII.124 – 40 The familiar opposition of infernal regions (e.g., Boccaccio’s tenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth eclogues) or shadowy forests (Dante’s selva oscura in Inferno I.2 and 77f.) to mountaintop paradises was sharpened in Mantuan’s case by the particular significance attached to Mount Carmel by his religious order: see the note on VIII.44 – 46 and “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction.

spacerVII.125 Idalias i. e., of Idalium, modern Dalin, a town on Cyprus. With the fall of Acre in 1291, the community on Mount Carmel was extinguished, but the province of the Holy Land continued on Cyprus until 1570: New Catholic Encyclopedia, III.118.

spacerVII.126 Carmelus: cf. X.70 – 73 and VIII.13 – 59 (esp. 44 – 46 and note).

spacerVII.129 – 31 Cf. X.59 and note.

spacerVII.132 – 40 For the Virgin’s description of Mount Carmel as the embodiment of two Arcadias, see “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction, esp. note 103.

spacerVII.138 Nymphs and dryads likewise dwell in Boccaccio’s sylvan heaven (Ecl. XV.187).

spacerVII.154f. Varied by Eobanus Hessus in Bucolicon VII.47f. (V 475).

spacerVII.156 For Mount Baldo, see the note on II.172.


spacerPartly a continuation of the topic raised in the sixth eclogue (in which, despite its title, little was said about country life), this eighth eclogue also carries over many of the characters, images, and themes of the immediately preceding poem. The association of hills and mountains, for example, with monastic life (lines 52 – 55 and notes) and the Terrestrial Paradise (lines 44 – 46 and notes) contributes to the mountain symbolism at work in the eclogues as a whole (seeThemes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction).
spacer Pollux in this eclogue exemplifies a strain of Mariology, fundamental to the ideals of the Carmelite order, that recurs throughout Mantuan’s poetry and prose. NOTE 23 Pollux’s prayer to the Virgin (lines 122 – 51) makes an interesting synthesis of this devotional strain with what Zabughin (Z1 149) sees as elements of the local religion of Mantuan’s day. Like Pollux, Mantuan composed several prayers and poems of thanksgiving addressed to the Virgin. NOTE 24 The brief kalendarium marianum that concludes the eighth eclogue (lines 177 – 219) was to find its most ample expression in Mantuan’s De sacris diebus, begun early in the sixteenth century with a poem on the Visitation (C 65).

spacerVIII.4 – 66  Cf. the dispute between Thomalin and Morrell on hills and plains in “July” 1–92 of Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar (Var VII [1], 326 – 31).

spacerVIII.16 – 18 For the giving of drugs, cf. Virgil, Ecl. VIII, 95–96. Mustard quotes a passage from Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (IIiv.1.2) testifying to the popularity of Mount Baldo among herbalists.

spacerVIII.18 Valsasinus (from Val Sasina): on the east of Lake Como.

spacerVIII.23 Polenta See the note on VI.5.

spacerVIII.28 – 33 Badius was uncertain whether Mantuan was praising or mocking his subject in this passage.

spacerVIII.40 Mustard notes the verbal echo of Virgil, Ecl. VIII.43 (duris in cotibus), but readers might also recall the hard lot of Meliboeus’ goat, who must abandon her new–born young “on the naked flint (silice in nuda)” (Ecl. I.15).

spacerVIII.44 – 46 Mantuan here reflects the medieval tradition, based on Ezek. 28:13 – 16, that placed the Terrestrial Paradise on a lofty mountain in the East (M). The equally traditional belief that the Garden of Eden almost touched the moon grew out of the description of St. Paul’s rapture in 2 Cor. 12:2 f., coupled with the Greek Fathers’ tendency to identify Paradise with the third, lunar sphere (Arturo Graf, Miti, leggende e superstizioni del medio evo [Turin: E. Loescher, 1892 – 93], I.16 – 18; A. Bartlett Giamatti, The Earthly Paradise and the Renaissance Epic [Princeton, Univ. Press, 1966], 44f.; Joseph Duncan, Milton’s Earthly Paradise: A Historical Study of Eden [Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1972], 24, 79, 80). Cf. VII.124 – 40 and notes; and see “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction, esp. note 103.

spacerVIII.51 – 53 The Grande Chartreuse is the Carthusian monastery near Grenoble. For Carmel see “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction. Gargano is the site of the sanctuary of St. Michael, established after his appearance there ca. 490. Athos is located on a peninsula in northern Greece, Mount Athos gives its name to the famous collection of monasteries located there. Loreto is the hillside town near Ancona, famous for the house of the Virgin. Alverno is a mountain in the Tuscan Apennines, midway between Arezzo and Florence; St. Francis received the stigmata while making a retreat at a chapel located there. Sinai: in the sixth century Justinian established the Monastery of St. Catherine on the traditional site of the burning bush. Soracte: Mustard notes that in Mantuan’s time there was a monastery of St. Sylvester on this famous peak. Vallombrosa: this forest southeast of Florence gave its name to the chief monastery of the Vallombrosans located on Monte Seccieta there.

spacerVIII.54f. Nursini senis (aged Nursian): St. Benedict, born at Nursia, a small town near Spoleto, died at Monte Cassino (M).
Camaldoli: located in the Tuscan–Romagnole Apennines, the Abbey of Camaldoli comprises two monastaries associated with the Camaldolese congregation, a reform movement within the Benedictines.

spacerVIII.80 Cf. see the note on VII.110 – 14.

spacerVIII.81 See G. I17 and esp. 338f., where Virgil advises the farmer that, to avoid the destructive power of storms, he should reverence the gods and Ceres in particular. spacer

spacerVIII.85f. Badius cites Rev. 12:1 (“...a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars [...mulier amicta sole et luna sub pedibus eius, et in capite eius corona stellarum duodecim]”), a description often applied to the Virgin Mary.

spacerVIII.104 – 7 A reference to G. I.335f., the same passage in which Virgil urges the husbandman to reverence the gods (see the note on line 81 immediately above). The details in Mantuan’s description of Saturn’s ill effects come from Servius’ commentary (the house, in particular, catches fire because of lightning).

spacerVIII.117 Ianni hircum (Jannus’ goat): As Mustard notes, Jannus’ goat of IV.30f.

spacerVIII.123f.  Mustard quotes passages from the Liber medicinalis of Quintus Serenus and from Nicolò Perotti’s Cornucopiae to substantiate acceptance of these beliefs.

spacerVIII.137 An adaptation, as Badius notes, of Lycidas’ description of the relationship between words and measures in Virgil, Ecl. IX.45: “The measure I remember, could I but keep the words (numeros memini, si verba tenerem).”

spacerVIII.150  Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. VII.71 (M 55).

spacerVIII.155 Cf. Euricius Cordus, Ecl. IV.48 (M 54).

spacerVIII.158 – 60 Crates for grates (see note 95 to the Introduction). Virgil at times (e.g., Aen. I.600) speaks of “giving [or paying] worthy thanks (grates persolvere dignas).

spacerVIII.173f. As Leonard Grant notes (op. cit., 275f.), the prayers of a shepherd named Pius to Christ and the Virgin in Euricius Cordus’ seventh eclogue have their basis in Pollux’s devotion to the Virgin Mary here.

spacerVIII.177 – 80 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, 15 August (M).

spacerVIII.182 The Nativity of Mary, 8 September (M). In G. II.394, Virgil uses similar langauge to describe a religious ceremony honoring Bacchus.

spacerVIII.185 – 89 Loreto overlooks the Adriatic. Illyrian and Chaonian ships would come from the Dalmatian coast where the house of the Virgin, situated at Loreto, had originally been set down. For the pilgrims here as laeti, see the note on X.14

spacerVIII.190 – 93 The Presentation, or entrance of the Virgin into the Temple, 21 November (M). The apocryphal gospel of the pseudo–Matthew tells how her parents took Mary as a young girl to the Temple and how she eagerly ran up the steps, remaining in the apartments there and never inquiring after her parents again. Long interpreted as a model of self–offering and dedication to the spiritual life, its theme is echoed in the early rule of the Carmelites (see “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction).

spacerVIII.197 The Conception of the Blessed Virgin, 8 December (M).

spacerVIII.199f. As Mustard notes, long before the Virgin’s immunity from original sin became accepted dogma in the mid–nineteenth century, Mantuan affirms it here and in his Parthenice Mariana (I.223f.).

spacerVIII.205 The Purification, or the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, 2 February (M).

spacerVIII.206  Gregis princeps (the Lord of the flock): Apollo. Traditionally associated in ancient pastoral with the care of the herds and flocks, he often (as in, e.g., Theocritus XXV.21) bore the title “Apollo of the pastures (Apollo Nomios ).” See VII.32f.

spacerVIII.209 Paranymphus: in ancient times the friend of the groom who accompanied the latter when he went to fetch home the bride. Noting that the term appears in the same way in a poem formerly attributed to Venantius Fortunatus, Mustard quotes a passage from Mantuan’s “Apologeticon” attached to his Parthenice Mariana in which he defends his use of the word by noting that in a sermon on the Nativity Augustine likewise used paranymphus  to name the angel sent to Mary.

spacerVIII.210  The Annunciation, 25 March (M).

spacerVIII.213f. See Matt. 1:18 and Luke 1:27.

spacerVIII.214 No such feast established itself in the Calendar.

spacerVIII.215 – 19 The Visitation, 2 July (M).  Luke (1:56) states that Mary remained three months with Elizabeth, and as in his treatment of the Visitation in De sacris diebus (Opera, II.316v – 317) Mantuan here assumes that the feast falls on the date of her return.

spacerVIII.223 Cf. G. II.475 f., where Virgil mentions his aspirations to write a poem on the movement of the heavens.  


spacerCandidus’ journey southward to Rome echoes the expulsion of Menalcas and especially of Meliboeus in Virgil’s ninth and first eclogues, as does Falcone de’ Sinibaldi’s role as Octavian, Tityrus’ savior in Virgil’s first eclogue (see lines 212 – 32, esp. 220f. and notes). Mantuan was doubtless familiar with Petrarch’s attacks on the Papal Court at Avignon in the sixth and seventh eclogues of his Bucolicum carmen. His own harsh criticism of the Curia at Rome, echoed again notably in De calamitatibus temporum and his sermon preached before Innocent VIII in 1488 (see “Life” in the Introduction), made Mantuan’s Eclogue IX a favorite during the Reformation. Matthias Flacius cites it in his Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel: Oporinus, 1556), 568, and an anthology of Mantuan’s works printed at Nuremberg in 1571 (C 426) quotes the eclogue at length to enlist the Carmelite reformer as a precursor of Luther. Before the Reformation its satiric–allegorical scheme was borrowed by Eobanus Hessus in Bucolicon I and IV (V 480 – 82). Spenser used Eclogue IX as a model for his attack on “Popish prelates” in the “September” eclogue (Var VII [1] , 351, 354 – 57, and 364f.), and it supplied a conspicuous precedent for Milton’s attack in “Lycidas” on corruption within the English clergy.

spacerIX.18  Cf. the “cariceam casulam” in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. VIII 109 and IX.65 (M 55).

spacerIX.19  Cf. I.1 (M) and the note on I.28 – 30.

spacerIX.20 – 31 Along with lines 34 – 37, the basis for a discussion of drinking in Teofilo Folengo’s sixth eclogue (B. Cotronei, “Il ‘Contrasto di Tonin e Bighignol’ e due ecloge maccheroniche di Teofilo Folengo,” GSLI, 36 [1900], 293f.).
Badius notes that Candidus is invited to drink so that anything he says can be put down to the wine.

spacerIX.24 – 31 These lines are quoted and discussed by Ravisius Textor in his Epistolae (London: n. p. , 1683), 35f. (M 48).

spacerIX.31 For Oenophili see I.161 and note.

spacerIX. 35 – 37 As Mustard notes, a common refrain in Roman poetry (e.g., Tibullus I.ii.1).

spacerIX.41  See the note on VIII.40.

spacerIX.42  Badius notes the echo of Virgil’s famous phrase labor improbus (G. I.145f.).

spacerIX.50 – 52 A confusing adaptation, as Badius points out, of Moeris’ premonition in Virgil, Ecl. IX.15. According to Cicero (Div. I.85), to confirm an omen the bird should appear on the left, a detail Mantuan observes only in describing how it settles on the left side of Candidus’ roof.

spacerIX.67 – 70 A dense tissue of Virgilian echoes, as Badius first noted, of Meliboeus’ rhapsodic description (Ecl. I, 53 – 58) of the homeland he is being forced to leave.

spacerIX.75f. Tityrus’ circumstance at the beginning of Virgil’s first eclogue.

spacerIX.77 A further idyllic echo from Virgil’s eclogues, this time from III.92 (Ad).

spacerIX.78 An echo of Virgil’s praise of the farmer in G. II.458f.: “O happy husbandmen! Too happy, should they come to know their blessings! (O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint, / agricolas!).”

spacerIX.90 Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. X.123 (M 55).

spacerIX.102 Zabughin (Z1 152) connects the sleek herd with the Riario and della Rovere families, whom Sixtus IV notoriously indulged. Lucia Gualdo Rosa notes that their influence, far from waning after his death, continued under Innocent VIII, whom Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere helped to elect: Poeti latini del quattrocento, 904f,. For Mantuan’s use of biblical imagery here (cf. Ezek. 34:18), see the discussion of early versions of the ninth and tenth eclogues in Appendix I.

spacerIX.117 – 19 These lines are echoed, as Mustard notes (49), in Barclay’s fourth eclogue (lines 103 – 6).

spacerIX.130f. Cf. the malign serpent of G. III, 425 – 34, esp. 434, and his counterpart in the Bible, an elemental image of deceit, abomination, and wickedness (Gen. 3:1, 14; Lev. 11:41; Rev. 12:9; et passim). Cf. X.138f.

spacerIX.133 – 35 The protective cap comes, as Mustard notes, from Calpurnius (I.7), but the diction is close to Judges 8:7 and in general Mantuan’s brambles echo the thorns and briars that in the Bible are often images of hardship and punishment (e.g., Gen. 3:18, Isaiah 5:6). Cf. VII.111,also VI.240 and note.

spacerIX.142 – 46 The metamorphosis into a wolf recalls, as Badius notes, a striking passage in Virgil’s eighth eclogue: “These herbs and these poisons, culled in Pontus, Moeris himself gave me—they grow plenteously in Pontus. By their aid I have oft seen Moeris turn wolf and hide in the woods... (has herbas atque haec Ponto mihi lecta venena / ipse dedit Moeris (nascuntur plurima Ponto), / his ego saepe lupum fieri et se condere silvis / Moerim...)” (lines 95 – 98). The basis of the wolf image is, however, biblical, founded in the wolves that raven among the flocks in, e.g., Matt. 7:15. Cf. the hospice of wild beasts (ferarum hospitium) revealed by the Virgin Mary in VII.107f.

spacerIX.151f. Cf. Acts 20:29–30: “...after [Christ’s] departure, ravening wolves will enter among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

spacerIX.153f. Badius and Mustard cite references to Egyptian animal worship in Cicero, N. D. III.19, Tusc. Disp. V.27, 78, Juvenal XV.1 – 8; Arnobius I.28;, and Celsus, in Origen’s Contra Celsum III. Nor should one forget biblical condemnation of such worship in Wisdom 11:16 and 12:24f.

spacerIX.158 Badius cites God’s blessing on Adam and Eve: “...fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Cf. also Mantuan’s De vita beata: Gigo has just finished deploring corrupt prelates who, misleading others, cannot even guide their own actions, and Hadrianus, his pupil, concurs: “And with this of which you speak that poem of Ovid’s agrees [Met. I.84 – 86]: ‘And though other animals gaze in a prone position upon the earth, [the world’s creator] gave an uplifted face to man and bade him see the heavens and raise his countenance to the stars’ (huic quod dicis illud carmen Nasonis poetae convenit: ‘Pronaque cum spectent animalia caetera terram, / Os homini sublime dedit coelumque videre / Iussit et erectos ad sydera tollere vultus.’)” (Opera IV.ii.183). See VII.110 – 14 and note.

spacerIX.159 – 67 Badius rightly recalls Virgil’s famous description of a plague in G. III. 478 – 566: cf. line 162 and G. III..515f., line 163 and G. III.49f.. The sickness Faustulus describes here is perhaps to be associated with the snakes’ venom of line 140.

spacerIX.185 – 91 Mustard compares II.87f.

spacerIX.188 – 90 Athesis (Adige), Abdua (Adda): like the Po and Mincio, rivers in northern Italy.

spacerIX.192 Echoed in Euricius Cordus, Ecl. IX.98 (M 55).

spacerIX.199f. Luna was famous for its harbor, it was destroyed in 1016. Hadria was an ancient seaport between the Po and Adige, it was destroyed in a war with Venice in. 1017. Salvia was an island town in Picenum, it was a place of some commercial importance under the Empire but was completely destroyed by Alaric (M).

spacerIX.200 For Umber see the note on IV.81.

spacerIX.206 Fontes (springs): Cf. VII.129 – 31 and the note on X.70 - 72.

spacerIX.210 Vaurentinus notes the Virgilian echo of the exiled Meliboeus’ mournful call: “Away, my goats! Away, once happy flock! (Ite meae, quondam felix pecus, ite capellae)” (Ecl. I.74).

spacerIX.213 Falcone de’ Sinibaldi, the Falco of the title. See “Composition and Publication of the Adulescentia and its use by Tutors and in Grammar Schools” in the Introduction, esp. note 52.

spacerIX.217 – 19 A rustic analogy: cf. Virgil, Ecl. V.16–17, I.26 (M) and see the note on IV.193 – 95.

spacerIX.218  For the Adda, see the note on lines 188–90. The Magra flows between Liguria and Etruria.

spacerIX.220 For Tityrus see the note on II.8f.

spacerIX.221 A clear echo, as Badius points out, of Tityrus’ grateful vow to his protector, Octavian, who in Virgil’s first eclogue has shielded him from Meliboeus’ fate (Ecl. I.42f.).

spacerIX.223 – 25 I. e., Apollo.

spacerIX.225 – 27 After the Virgilian echoes of lines 210 and 220f., a concluding modulation back into the language of Biblical pastoral (e.g., John 10:14).  Rosa, op. cit., 911, identifies Christ as the “master from Jerusalem (Solymi magistri)” and Peter, who forsook his fisherman’s nets to become pastor of the flock that had its origins in Palestine (hence an “Assyrian flock [Assyrii pecoris]”), as the “father of old (antiquo patri).” Badius notes that Peter is called pater to underline his office as pope.

spacerIX.228 – 30 Cf. Petrarch’s more guarded faith at the conclusion of his seventh eclogue (132–36) in the reforming potential of Angelo Acciaiuoli, bishop of Florence.


spacerA debate between Myrmix, spokesman for a mitigated rule within the Carmelite order, and Batrachus, like Mantuan a reformer of the order’s wayward ways. The form of the eclogue, inherited from medieval debate literature, helps to distance Mantuan (lines 194–200 excepted, for which see the note) and holds together the tensions represented by Myrmix and Batrachus, Bembus’ concluding judgment serving to bring together, in terms favorable to the latter, the contending Carmelite factions. A reprise of themes and images developed in the other eclogues (e.g., lines 203, 59, 70 – 72, 131 – 33, 138 – 41 and notes), this tenth eclogue would seem a fitting conclusion to the revised collection of the poet and reformer of the Carmelite order. George Turberville, perhaps assuming that Protestants would have little interest in a quarrel among monks, excluded it from his English version; Thomas Harvey included the tenth eclogue in his translation, however, and in our century Bembus’ judgment (lines 201–4) along with the passage on the origin of the order (lines 52 – 75) have once again been translated by Brocard Sewell of the Carmelite house at Aylesford (C 541).

spacerX.1 Bernardo Bembo, as Mustard first suggested: see “Composition and Publication of the Adulescentia” in the Introduction, esp. note 53.

spacerX.3 Batrachus, Myrmix  The names of Mantuan’s characters are sometimes playful (e.g., “Cornix [crow]” and “Fulica [coot]”), but Badius is probably correct in thinking that Myrmix’s name (Greek “ant”) also refers to the black color of the non–observant Carmelite habit. His argument that Batrachus’ name (Greek “frog”) alludes to the grey inner tunic of the reformed brethren is less convincing. Mantuan may have remembered the Batrachus of Boccaccio’s ninth eclogue, a contentious spokesman for Florence against the Holy Roman Emperor. Mustard notes that the name Myrmix is used again in the second and fifth eclogues of the Danish poet Erasmus Michaelius Laetus. For Candidus’ name, see the note on IV.105.
Certare parati: one of several phrases and motifs in this eclogue borrowed by Eobanus Hessus in the amoebean contest presented in his Bucolicon V (V 474).

spacerX.6f. Pater vatum (father of prophets): like Bembus’ familiarity with the Holy Land (lines 28 – 40), added in revision. As Badius notes, since Carmelites are often called “son of the prophets” because of their Elian heritage, in describing Bembus as a “father of prophets” Mantuan is suggesting that allegorically he represents the General of the order. Both revisions seem calculated to give Bembus’ concluding judgment greater authority than would have been carried by Bernardo Bembo.
Badius notes that the phrasing in this and the next line echoes that of Palemon in Virgil’s third eclogue (“It is not for me to settle so high a contest between you [Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites]”) (108), to which Mustard adds Nemesianus’ eulogy for Meliboeus (I.52f,): “With patient ear and soothing word for diverse plaints, you were wont to judge the disputes of the peasants. (tu ruricolum discernere lites / adsueras, varias patiens mulcendo querellas.)” (Loeb Library Minor Latin Poets, ed. and trans. J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff, rev. ed. [London: Heinemann, 1935], II.461f,). Palemon and Meliboeus judge singing competitions, however, not (as here) debates.

spacerX.8 Pierios liquores (Pierian waters): i.e., waters from the springs of Helicon.

spacerX.10  Eurotas is the principal river of Laconia in Greece. Phocis, a region in Greece, includes Mount Parnassus, Mount Helicon, and the Castalian spring.

spacerX.13f. A variation of a pastoral motif also found in II.28 – 30, for which see the note.

spacerX.31 The spring issuing from the fount of Elijah.

spacerX.32f. In G. III.441f. Virgil describes cures for scab; but, as Badius notes, the references here, as in line 99, are religious: the disease being original sin and the shepherd (in this case) being John the Baptist. Boccaccio draws a similar link between scabies and original sin in Ecl. XIV.97f.

spacerX.34 – 39 The Jordan has its sources at the foot of Mount Hermon, not Lebanon (a common error, perpetuated as late as Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium historicum, geographicum, poeticum [Geneva: J. Stoer, 1596], fol. 253), and after flowing through Lake Huleh and the Sea of Galilee (Tiberias was on its western shore), passes near Jericho and flows into the Dead Sea (“Asphaltites’ flood”), a place commonly associated with Sodom and Gomorrah.

spacerX.54 Elias (Elijah): according to Carmelite tradition, along with Elisha a founder of the order: see “Introduction: Themes, Style, and Organization.”
spacerA passage that troubled Badius, who wanted to substitute arva for arma. Mantuan seems to have meant no more, however, than that Elijah encountered his enemies in the garb of a countryman, having retreated from the city into rural seclusion (see Opera, IV.i,242 and S 279)—although, of course, with the fire of God (see 4 Kings 1:1 – 16).

spacerX.59 A figurative adaptation involving the fount of Elijah mentioned in line 31. As Mustard notes, we should recall the Virgin’s claim in Mantuan’s seventh eclogue that “From this peak reverence for God comes, led off into your mountains, just as streams issue from an unceasing fount or many descendants from a single sire” (VII.129 – 31).

spacerX.70 – 72 Noting the threat of pestilence in southern Italy, Badius interprets the turning of the stream’s course towards the south as signifying allegorically the perversion of sound teachings. Given the symbolic geography of Eclogue IX (e.g., lines 90 – 101), however, the south is also undoubtedly to be connected with Rome. In the Old Testament, the south is sometimes (e.g., Gen. 12:9; Vulg. Ps. 125:4) called the “dry country,” for which cf. IX.10, 23, 206, et passim.

spacerX.73  Cf. the healing stream that flows eastward from the temple in Ezekiel 47:1 – 12 and its anagogic counterpart, the river of water of life in Rev. 22:1 – 5.
Ortum: it is one of Mantuan’s untranslatable economies that in flowing “east” the stream would also be traveling back to its “source” (cf. lines 145 – 47).

spacerX.79 – 82 As Badius first noted, this exchange on vineyards and yew trees alludes to Virgil, G. II.112f.: “Bacchus [i.e., the vine] loves the open hills, and the yew tree the cold of the north wind. (apertos / Bacchus amat colles, Aquilonem et frigora taxi.).” The point of both passages is that no one climate suits the well–being of all things. As in Eclogue IX, south and north here allude to Rome and to northern Italy with its Mantuan reform movement.

spacerX.89f. The modern Clitunno or la Vene, Clitumnus is a small river in Umbria in whose surrounding pastures were fed white steers sacrificed during a triumph in ancient Rome (see Virg. G. II.146 – 48). Mantuan’s point about the “sheep” of Modena is that they are not black but grey, the color of the reformed Carmelite habit: see “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction. Like Mantua, Modena had a reformed Carmelite community (S 193f.).

spacerX.99f. See the note on lines 32f.. Petrarch employs a similar religious adaptation of Virgilian imagery in his Ecl. VII.187f.

spacerX.106 – 9 See “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction.

spacerX.116 – 18 See the note on I.68f.

spacerX.124 – 27  These lines are imitated in the eleventh idyl (lines 68 – 74) of Eobanus Hessus (M 53).

spacerX.131 Gurges (whirlpool): cf. VII.117 – 19, Virgil, A. VI.296, Juvenal II. 266, and see the note on VII.107 – 19. Gurges is substituted in revision for lacuna to link this passage with the imagery of VII.117 – 19 (the addition of densa spineta at line 132 serves the same function [cf. VII.111 and also X.101).

spacerX.133 Badius interprets these venomous creatures allegorically as misshapened traditions and wicked customs. See the note on VII.107 – 19.

spacerX.138 – 41 Coluber (serpent): cf. Virgil, G. III.419 – 21; and see the note on IX.130f. The basis for the other images in this passage is Biblical: for scorpions, cf., e.g., the faithless Judeans in Ezek. 2:6; for toads, the deceitful spirits resembling frogs in Rev. 16:13. As Mustard notes (49), Alexander Barclay adapts these striking lines in his fourth eclogue (lines 107 – 10).

spacerX.140 For ventrosus bufo cf. Eobanus Hessus, Id. V.55 (M 53).

spacerX.143f. Grege diviso (having divided the flock in two) A reference to the quasi–autonomy granted to the Mantuan Reform by Eugene IV in 1442 (for which, see S 71–81).

spacerX.145 – 53 Cf. VII.126–31 with the note on 126, and see “Themes, Style, and Organization” in the Introduction.

spacerX.148 Pascua laeta (rich are the pasturelands): Cf. Virgil’s description of abundant fields in G. I.101f. “laetissima...farra, / laetus ager.” As T. E. Page notes of this passage, “the adjective laetus is commonly used in Latin of crops which are abundant and bountiful...Nonetheless we must not suppose that ‘abundant’ is an adequate translation of the word, which, at any rate in Virgil, is always used to describe actual ‘joy’: so here the crops are ‘joyous’ because they are flourishing, and the field ‘rejoices’ in its crops: the ‘joy in harvest’ (Isaiah 9:3) is not confined to men but extends to inanimate nature.” (P. Vergilius Maro, Bucolica et Georgica [London: Macmillan, 1898], 194). In Mantuan’s allegorical landscape the line between subject and object is less sharply defined. True piety engenders joy, as it does among the pilgrims to Loreto, the laeti, of VIII.188f.

spacerX.152 Badius explains this as an allusion to the dimensions of the separate cells within which the early Carmelites lived.

spacerX.175f, Mustard understands these lines as meaning that the Mantuan Reform is still not close enough to the original rule of the order. But the desert or wilderness, the place designated in Saint Albert’s rule for the foundation of monestaries (The Rule of Saint Albert, 80), also became a symbol in Carmelite thought of contemplative withdrawal from the world (Dictionnaire de spiritualité, II.i.62).

spacerX.180 Cuium pecus As Mustard notes, an imitation of Virgil, Ecl. III, 1, cuium itself being a subliterary word used by the Roman poet to convey the flavor of rustic speech (Col 25). For Mantuan’s style here, see note 88 to the Introduction.

spacerX.194 – 200 Added in revision. For Candidus, see the note on IV.105.

spacerX.201 – 4 For the relation of this passage to the unprinted version of Eclogue X, see the discussion in Appendix I.

spacerX.203 Lustra ferarum (haunts of wild beasts): Cf. III.144, VII.107f. with the note, and IX.142. For Antiquis campis (fields of old) in the next line, cf. I.2 antiquos amores (loves of old).