Roma Gill (ed.), The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 1: All Ovids Elegies, Lucans First Booke, Dido Queene of Carthage, Hero and Leander

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pg 94The First Booke of Lucan Translated into English.

  • Editor’s Note1  Wars worse then civill on Thessalian playnes,
  • Editor’s Note2  And outrage strangling law & people strong,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus3  We sing, whose conquering swords their own breasts launcht,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus4  Armies alied, the kingdoms league uprooted,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus5  Th' affrighted worlds force bent on publique spoile,
  • Editor’s Note6  Trumpets, and drums like deadly threatning other,
  • Editor’s Note7  Eagles alike displaide, darts answering darts.
  • Critical Apparatus8Romans, what madnes, what huge lust of warre
  • Editor’s Note9Hath made Barbarians drunke with latin bloud?
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus10Now Babilon, (proud through our spoile) should stoop
  • Critical Apparatus11While slaughtred Crassus ghost walks unreveng'd,
  • 12Will ye wadge war, for which you shall not triumph?
  • 13  Ay me, O what a world of land and sea,
  • 14  Might they have won whom civil broiles have slaine,
  • 15  As far as Titan springs where night dims heaven,
  • 16  I to the Torrid Zone where midday burnes,
  • Editor’s Note17  And where stiffe winter whom no spring resolves,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus18  Fetters the Euxin sea, with chaines of yce:
  • 19  Scythia and wilde Armenia had bin yoakt,
  • Editor’s Note20  And they of Nilus mouth (if there live any.)
  • Critical Apparatus21Roome if thou take delight in impious warre,
  • 22First conquer all the earth, then turne thy force
  • Critical Apparatus23Against thy selfe: as yet thou wants not foes.
  • Critical Apparatus24  That now the walles of houses halfe rear'd totter,
  • Editor’s Note25  That rampiers fallen down, huge heapes of stone
  • 26  Lye in our townes, that houses are abandon'd,
  • 27  And few live that behold their ancient seats;
  • 28  Italy many yeares hath lyen until'd,
  • 29  And choakt with thorns, that greedy earth wants hinds
  • Editor’s Note30  Fierce Pirhus, neither thou nor Hanniball
  • 31  Art cause, no forraine foe could so afflict us,
  • Editor’s Note32  These plagues arise from wreake of civill power.
  • Editor’s Note33But if for Nero (then unborne) the fates
  • Editor’s Note34Would find no other meanes, (and gods not sleightly
  • pg 95Editor’s Note35Purchase immortal thrones; nor Jove joide heaven
  • 36Untill the cruel Giants war was done.)
  • 37We plaine not heavens, but gladly beare these evils
  • 38For Neros sake: Pharsalia grone with slaughter;
  • Editor’s Note39And Carthage soules be glutted with our blouds;
  • Editor’s Note40At Munda let the dreadfull battailes joyne;
  • Editor’s Note41Adde Caesar; to these illes Perusian famine;
  • Editor’s Note42The Mutin toyles; the fleet at Leuca suncke;
  • Editor’s Note43And cruel field, nere burning Aetna fought:
  • Critical Apparatus44  Yet Room is much bound to these civil armes,
  • Editor’s Note45  Which made thee Emperor, thee (seeing thou being old
  • 46  Must shine a star) shal heaven (whom thou lovest,)
  • Editor’s Note47  Receive with shouts; where thou wilt raigne as King,
  • 48  Or mount the sunnes flame bearing charriot,
  • 49  And with bright restles fire compasse the earth,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus50  Undaunted though her former guide be chang'd;
  • 51  Nature, and every power shal give thee place,
  • 52  What God it please thee be, or where to sway:
  • Editor’s Note53But neither chuse the north t'erect thy seat;
  • Editor’s Note54Nor yet the adverse reking southerne pole,
  • Critical Apparatus55Whence thou shouldst view thy Roome with squinting beams;
  • 56If any one part of vast heaven thou swayest
  • 57The burdened axes with thy force will bend;
  • 58The midst is best; that place is pure, and bright,
  • Critical Apparatus59There Caesar may'st thou shine and no cloud dim thee;
  • 60Then men from war shal bide in league, and ease,
  • Editor’s Note61Peace through the world from Janus Phane shal flie,
  • Editor’s Note62And boult the brazen gates with barres of Iron.
  • 63Thou Caesar at this instant art my God,
  • 64Thee if I invocate, I shall not need
  • 65To crave Appolles ayde, or Bacchus helpe;
  • 66Thy power inspires the Muze that sings this war.
  • 67  The causes first, I purpose to unfould
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus68  Of these garboiles, whence springs a long discourse,
  • 69  And what made madding people shake off peace.
  • 70The fates are envious, high seats quickly perish,
  • 71Under great burdens fals are ever greevous;
  • Critical Apparatus72Roome was so great it could not beare it selfe:
  • pg 9673So when this worlds compounded union breakes,
  • 74Time ends and to old Chaos all things turne;
  • 75Confused stars shal meete, celestiall fire
  • 76Fleete on the flouds, the earth shoulder the sea,
  • Editor’s Note77Affording it no shoare, and Phoebe's waine,
  • 78Chace Phoebus and inrag'd affect his place,
  • 79And strive to shine by day, and ful of strife
  • Editor’s Note80Disolve the engins of the broken world.
  • 81  All great things crush themselves, such end the gods,
  • Critical Apparatus82  Allot the height of honor, men so strong
  • 83  By land, and sea, no forreine force could ruine:
  • Critical Apparatus84  O Roome thy selfe art cause of all these evils,
  • 85  Thy selfe thus shivered out to three mens shares,
  • 86  Dire league of partners in a kingdome last not.
  • Editor’s Note87O faintly joyn'd friends with ambition blind,
  • 88Why joine you force to share the world betwixt you?
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus89While th'earth the sea, and ayre the earth sustaines;
  • 90While Titan strives against the worlds swift course;
  • 91Or Cynthia nights Queene waights upon the day;
  • 92Shall never faith be found in fellow kings.
  • 93Dominion cannot suffer partnership;
  • 94This need no forraine proofe, nor far fet story:
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus95Roomes infant walles were steept in brothers bloud;
  • 96Nor then was land, or sea, to breed such hate,
  • Editor’s Note97A towne with one poore church set them at oddes.
  • 98  Caesars, and Pompeys jarring love soone ended,
  • 99  T'was peace against their wils, betwixt them both
  • Editor’s Note100  Stept Crassus in, even as the slender Isthmos,
  • 101  Betwixt the Aegean and the Ionian sea,
  • 102  Keepes each from other, but being worne away
  • 103  They both burst out, and each incounter other:
  • Editor’s Note104  So when as Crassus wretched death who stayd them,
  • 105  Had fild Assirian Carras wals with bloud,
  • Critical Apparatus106  His losse made way for Roman outrages.
  • 107Parthians y'afflict us more then ye suppose,
  • 108Being conquered, we are plaugde with civil war,
  • Critical Apparatus109Swords share our Empire, fortune that made Roome
  • 110Governe the earth, the sea, the world it selfe,
  • Editor’s Note111Would not admit two Lords: for Julia
  • 112Snatcht hence by cruel fates with ominous howles,
  • pg 97113Bare downe to hell her sonne the pledge of peace,
  • 114And all bands of that death presaging aliance.
  • 115  Julia, had heaven given thee longer life
  • 116  Thou hadst restrainde thy headstrong husbands rage,
  • Critical Apparatus117  Yea and thy father to, and swords thrown down,
  • Editor’s Note118  Made all shake hands as once the Sabines did;
  • Editor’s Note119  Thy death broake amity and trainde to war,
  • 120  These Captaines emulous of each others glory.
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus121Thou feard'st (great Pompey) that late deeds would dim
  • Critical Apparatus122Olde triumphs, and that Caesars conquering France,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus123Would dash the wreath thou wearst for Pirats wracke.
  • Editor’s Note124Thee wars use stirde, and thoughts that alwaies scorn'd
  • 125A second place; Pompey could bide no equall,
  • 126Nor Caesar no superior, which of both
  • 127Had justest cause unlawful tis to judge:
  • 128Each side had great partakers; Caesars cause,
  • Editor’s Note129The gods abetted; Cato likt the other;
  • 130Both differ'd much, Pompey was strooke in yeares,
  • 131And by long rest forgot to manage armes,
  • 132And being popular sought by liberal gifts,
  • 133To gaine the light unstable commons love,
  • Editor’s Note134And joyed to heare his Theaters applause;
  • 135He liv'd secure boasting his former deeds,
  • 136And thought his name sufficient to uphold him,
  • Editor’s Note137Like to a tall oake in a fruitfull field,
  • 138Bearing old spoiles and conquerors monuments,
  • 139Who though his root be weake, and his owne waight
  • 140Keepe him within the ground, his armes al bare,
  • 141His body (not his boughs) send forth a shade;
  • Editor’s Note142Though every blast it nod, and seeme to fal,
  • 143When all the woods about stand bolt up-right,
  • 144Yet he alone is held in reverence.
  • Editor’s Note145  Caesars renowne for war was lesse, he restles,
  • Editor’s Note146  Shaming to strive but where he did subdue,
  • 147  When yre, or hope provokt, heady, & bould,
  • 148  At al times charging home, & making havock;
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus149  Urging his fortune, trusting in the gods,
  • 150  Destroying what withstood his proud desires,
  • Editor’s Note151  And glad when bloud, & ruine made him way:
  • 152  So thunder which the wind teares from the cloudes,
  • pg 98153  With cracke of riven ayre and hideous sound,
  • 154  Filling the world, leapes out and throwes forth fire,
  • 155  Affrights poore fearefull men, and blasts their eyes
  • Editor’s Note156  With overthwarting flames, and raging shoots
  • Editor’s Note157  Alongst the ayre and not resisting it
  • 158  Falls, and returnes, and shivers where it lights.
  • Editor’s Note159  Such humors stirde them up; but this warrs seed,
  • 160  Was even the same that wrack's all great dominions.
  • 161When fortune made us lords of all, wealth flowed,
  • 162And then we grew licencious and rude,
  • Editor’s Note163The soldiours pray, and rapine brought in ryot,
  • 164Men tooke delight in Jewels, houses, plate,
  • 165And scorn'd old sparing diet, and ware robes
  • 166Too light for women; Poverty (who hatcht
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus167Roomes greatest wittes) was loath'd, and al the world
  • Critical Apparatus168Ransackt for golde, which breeds the world decay;
  • Editor’s Note169And then large limits had their butting lands,
  • Editor’s Note170The ground which Curius and Camillus till'd,
  • Editor’s Note171Was stretcht unto the fields of hinds unknowne;
  • 172Againe, this people could not brooke calme peace,
  • 173Them freedome without war might not suffice,
  • 174Quarrels were rife, greedy desire stil poore
  • Editor’s Note175Did vild deeds, then t'was worth the price of bloud,
  • 176And deem'd renowne to spoile their native towne,
  • 177Force mastered right, the strongest govern'd all,
  • 178Hence came it that th'edicts were overrul'd,
  • Editor’s Note179That lawes were broake, Tribunes with Consuls strove,
  • Editor’s Note180Sale made of offices, and peoples voices,
  • 181Bought by themselves & solde, and every yeare
  • Editor’s Note182Frauds and corruption in the field of Mars;
  • 183Hence interest and devouring usury sprang,
  • 184Faiths breach, & hence came war to most men welcom.
  • 185Now Caesar overpast the snowy Alpes,
  • Editor’s Note186His mind was troubled, and he aim'd at war,
  • Editor’s Note187And comming to the foord of Rubicon,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus188At night in dreadful vision fearefull Roome,
  • 189Mourning appear'd, whose hoary hayres were torne,
  • Critical Apparatus190And on her Turret-bearing head disperst,
  • 191And armes all naked, who with broken sighes,
  • Editor’s Note192And staring, thus bespoke, what mean'st thou Caesar?
  • pg 99Critical Apparatus193Whether goes my standarde? Romans if ye be,
  • 194And beare true harts, stay heare: this spectacle
  • 195Stroake Caesars hart with feare, his hayre stoode up,
  • 196And faintnes numm'd his steps there on the brincke:
  • Editor’s Note197He thus cride out: Thou thunderer that guardst
  • Critical Apparatus198Roomes mighty walles built on Tarpeian rocke,
  • Editor’s Note199Ye gods of Phrigia and Iûlus line,
  • Editor’s Note200Quirinus rites and Latian jove advanc'd,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus201On Alba hill, ô Vestall flames, ô Roome,
  • 202My thoughts sole goddes, aide mine enterprise,
  • 203I hate thee not, to thee my conquests stoope,
  • 204Caesar is thine, so please it thee, thy soldier;
  • Critical Apparatus205He, he afflicts Roome that made me Roomes foe.
  • Editor’s Note206This said, he laying aside all lets of war,
  • 207Approcht the swelling streame with drum and ensigne,
  • 208Like to a Lyon of scortcht desart Affricke,
  • 209Who seeing hunters pauseth till fell wrath
  • 210And kingly rage increase, then having whiskt
  • 211His taile athwart his backe, and crest heav'd up,
  • 212With jawes wide open ghastly roaring out;
  • 213(Albeit the Moores light Javelin or his speare
  • Editor’s Note214Sticks in his side) yet runs upon the hunter.
  • Editor’s Note215  In summer time the purple Rubicon,
  • 216  Which issues from a small spring is but shallow,
  • 217  And creepes along the vales deviding just
  • 218  The bounds of Italy, from Cisalpin Fraunce;
  • 219  But now the winters wrath and wat'ry moone,
  • 220  Being three daies old inforst the floud to swell,
  • Editor’s Note221  And frozen Alpes thaw'd with resolving winds.
  • Editor’s Note222The thunder hov'd horse in a crooked line,
  • 223To scape the violence of the streame first waded,
  • 224Which being broke the foot had easie passage.
  • 225  As soone as Caesar got unto the banke
  • Critical Apparatus226  And bounds of Italy; here, here (saith he)
  • 227An end of peace; here end polluted lawes;
  • 228Hence leagues, and covenants; Fortune thee I follow,
  • Editor’s Note229Warre and the destinies shall trie my cause.
  • 230  This said, the restles generall through the darke
  • 231  (Swifter then bullets throwne from Spanish slinges,
  • Editor’s Note232  Or darts which Parthians backward shoot) marcht on
  • pg 100Editor’s Note233  And then (when Lucifer did shine alone,
  • 234  And some dim stars) he Arriminum enter'd:
  • 235  Day rose and viewde these tumultes of the war;
  • 236  Whether the gods, or blustring south were cause
  • 237  I know not, but the cloudy ayre did frown;
  • 238  The soldiours having won the market place,
  • 239  There spred the colours, with confused noise
  • 240  Of trumpets clange, shril cornets, whistling fifes;
  • 241  The people started; young men left their beds;
  • 242  And snatcht armes neer their houshold gods hung up
  • 243  Such as peace yeelds; wormeaten leatherne targets,
  • 244  Through which the wood peer'd, headles darts, olde swords
  • 245  With ugly teeth of blacke rust fouly scarr'd:
  • Critical Apparatus246But seeing white Eagles, & Roomes flags wel known,
  • 247And lofty Caesar in the thickest throng,
  • 248They shooke for feare, & cold benumm'd their lims,
  • 249  And muttering much, thus to themselves complain'd.
  • Critical Apparatus250  O wals unfortunate too neere to France,
  • 251  Predestinate to ruine; all lands else
  • 252  Have stable peace, here wars rage first begins,
  • 253  We bide the first brunt, safer might we dwel,
  • 254  Under the frosty beare, or parching East,
  • 255  Wagons or tents, then in this frontire towne,
  • Editor’s Note256  We first sustain'd the uproares of the Gaules,
  • Editor’s Note257  And furious Cymbrians and of Carthage moores,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus258  As oft as Roome was sackt, here gan the spoile:
  • 259Thus sighing whispered they, and none durst speake
  • 260And shew their feare, or griefe: but as the fields
  • 261When birds are silent thorough winters rage;
  • Editor’s Note262Or sea far from the land, so all were whist.
  • Critical Apparatus263  Now light had quite dissolv'd the mysty night,
  • 264  And Caesars mind unsetled musing stood;
  • 265  But gods and fortune prickt him to this war,
  • 266  Infringing all excuse of modest shame,
  • 267  And laboring to approve his quarrell good.
  • Editor’s Note268The angry Senate urging Grachus deeds,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus269From doubtfull Roome wrongly expel'd the Tribunes,
  • 270That crost them; both which now approacht the camp,
  • pg 101Editor’s Note271And with them Curio; sometime Tribune too,
  • 272One that was feed for Caesar, and whose tongue
  • 273Could tune the people to the Nobles mind:
  • 274Caesar (said he) while eloquence prevail'd,
  • 275And I might pleade, and draw the Commons minds
  • Critical Apparatus276To favour thee, against the Senats will,
  • Critical Apparatus277Five yeeres I lengthned thy commaund in France:
  • 278But law being put to silence by the wars;
  • 279We from our houses driven, most willingly
  • Editor’s Note280Suffered exile: let thy sword bring us home.
  • Critical Apparatus281Now while their part is weake, and feares, march hence,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus282"Where men are ready, lingering ever hurts":
  • Critical Apparatus283In ten yeares wonst thou France; Roome may be won
  • 284With farre lesse toile, and yet the honors more;
  • 285Few battailes fought with prosperous successe
  • Editor’s Note286May bring her downe, and with her all the world;
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus287Nor shalt thou triumph when thou comst to Roome;
  • Editor’s Note288Nor capitall be adorn'd with sacred bayes:
  • 289Envy denies all, with thy bloud must thou
  • Editor’s Note290Abie thy conquest past: the sonne decrees
  • 291To expel the father; share the world thou canst not;
  • 292Injoy it all thou maiest: thus Curio spake,
  • Editor’s Note293And therewith Caesar prone ennough to warre,
  • Editor’s Note294Was so incenst as are Eleius steedes
  • 295With clamors: who though lockt and chaind in stalls,
  • Editor’s Note296Souse downe the wals, and make a passage forth:
  • 297Straight summon'd he his severall companies
  • 298Unto the standard: his grave looke appeasd
  • Editor’s Note299The wrastling tumult, and right hand made silence:
  • 300And thus he spake; you that with me have borne
  • 301A thousand brunts, and tride me ful ten yeeres,
  • Editor’s Note302See how they quit our bloudshed in the North;
  • Critical Apparatus303Our friends death; and our wounds; our wintering
  • Critical Apparatus304Under the Alpes; Roome rageth now in armes
  • 305As if the Carthage Hannibal were neere;
  • Editor’s Note306Cornets of horse are mustered for the field;
  • 307Woods turn'd to ships; both land and sea against us:
  • Critical Apparatus308Had forraine wars ill thriv'd; or wrathful France
  • 309Pursu'd us hither, how were we bestead
  • Critical Apparatus310When comming conqueror Roome afflicts me thus?
  • pg 102Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus311Let come their leader whom long peace hath quail'd;
  • Editor’s Note312Raw soldiours lately prest; and troupes of gownes;
  • Editor’s Note313Brabbling Marcellus; Cato whom fooles reverence;
  • Editor’s Note314Must Pompeis followers with strangers ayde,
  • Editor’s Note315(Whom from his youth he bribde) needs make him king?
  • Editor’s Note316And shal he triumph long before his time,
  • Editor’s Note317And having once got head still shal he raigne?
  • Editor’s Note318What should I talke of mens corne reapt by force,
  • 319And by him kept of purpose for a dearth,
  • Editor’s Note320Who sees not warre sit by the quivering Judge;
  • 321And sentence given in rings of naked swords,
  • 322And lawes assailde, and arm'd men in the Senate;
  • 323Twas his troupe hem'd in Milo being accusde;
  • Editor’s Note324And now least age might waine his state, he casts
  • 325For civill warre, wherein through use he's known
  • Editor’s Note326To exceed his maister, that arch-traitor Sylla.
  • 327  A brood of barbarous Tygars having lapt
  • 328  The bloud of many a heard, whilst with their dams
  • Editor’s Note329  They kennel'd in Hircania evermore
  • 330  Wil rage and pray: so Pompey thou having lickt
  • 331  Warme goare from Syllas sword art yet athirst,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus332  Jawes flesht with bloud continue murderous.
  • 333Speake, when shall this thy long usurpt power end?
  • Editor’s Note334What end of mischiefe? Sylla teaching thee,
  • 335At last learne wretch to leave thy monarchy;
  • Editor’s Note336What, now Scicillian Pirats are supprest,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus337And jaded king of Pontus poisoned slaine,
  • Editor’s Note338Must Pompey as his last foe plume on me,
  • 339Because at his commaund I wound not up
  • 340My conquering Eagles? say I merit nought,
  • 341Yet for long service done, reward these men,
  • Editor’s Note342And so they triumph, be't with whom ye wil.
  • 343Whether now shal these olde bloudles soules repaire?
  • 344What seates for their deserts? what store of ground
  • 345For servitors to till? what Colonies
  • 346To rest their bones? say Pompey, are these worse
  • Editor’s Note347Then Pirats of Sycillia?. they had houses:
  • Critical Apparatus348Spread, spread these flags that ten years space have conquer'd,
  • pg 103349Lets use our tried force, they that now thwart right
  • 350In wars wil yeeld to wrong: the gods are with us,
  • 351Neither spoile, nor kingdom seeke we by these armes,
  • Critical Apparatus352But Roome at thraldoms feet to rid from tyrants.
  • 353  This spoke none answer'd but a murmuring buz
  • 354  Th'unstable people made: their houshold gods
  • Critical Apparatus355  And love to Room (thogh slaughter steeld their harts
  • 356  And minds were prone) restrain'd them; but wars love
  • Editor’s Note357  And Caesars awe dasht all: then Lalius
  • Editor’s Note358  The chiefe Centurion crown'd with Oaken leaves,
  • Critical Apparatus359  For saving of a Romaine Citizen,
  • Critical Apparatus360  Stept forth, and cryde, chiefe leader of Rooms force,
  • 361So be I may be bold to speake a truth:
  • 362We grieve at this thy patience and delay,
  • 363What doubtst thou us? even nowe when youthfull bloud
  • 364Pricks forth our lively bodies, and strong armes
  • Editor’s Note365Can mainly throw the dart; wilt thou indure
  • 366These purple groomes? that Senates tyranny?
  • 367Is conquest got by civill war so hainous?
  • Editor’s Note368Well, leade us then to Syrtes desart shoare;
  • Editor’s Note369Or Scythia; or hot Libiaes thirsty sands.
  • Editor’s Note370This hand that all behind us might be quail'd,
  • 371Hath with thee past the swelling Ocean;
  • Editor’s Note372And swept the foming brest of Articks Rhene,
  • 373Love over-rules my will, I must obay thee,
  • 374Caesar, he whom I heare thy trumpets charge
  • Critical Apparatus375I hould no Romaine; by these ten blest ensignes
  • 376And all thy several triumphs, shouldst thou bid me
  • 377Intombe my sword within my brothers bowels;
  • Editor’s Note378Or fathers throate; or womens groning wombe;
  • 379This hand (albeit unwilling) should performe it;
  • 380Or rob the gods; or sacred temples fire:
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus381These troupes should soone pull down the church of Jove;
  • Critical Apparatus382If to incampe on Thuscan Tybers streames,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus383lie bouldly quarter out the fields of Rome;
  • 384What wals thou wilt be leaveld with the ground,
  • 385These hands shall thrust the ram, and make them flie,
  • 386Albeit the Citty thou wouldst have so ra'st
  • Critical Apparatus387Be Roome it selfe. Here every band applauded,
  • 388And with their hands held up, all joyntly cryde
  • pg 104389  They'ill follow where he please: the showts rent heaven,
  • Editor’s Note390  As when against pine bearing Ossa's rocks,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus391  Beates Thracian Boreas; or when trees bowe down,
  • 392  And rustling swing up as the wind fets breath.
  • 393When Caesar saw his army proane to war,
  • 394And fates so bent, least sloth and long delay
  • Critical Apparatus395Might crosse him, he withdrew his troupes from France,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus396And in all quarters musters men for Roome.
  • 397  They by Lemannus nooke forsooke their tents;
  • Editor’s Note398  They whom the Lingones foild with painted speares,
  • Editor’s Note399  Under the rockes by crooked Vogesus;
  • 400  And many came from shallow Isara,
  • Editor’s Note401  Who running long, fals in a greater floud,
  • 402  And ere he sees the sea looseth his name;
  • Editor’s Note403  The yellow Ruthens left their garrisons;
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus404  Mild Atax glad it beares not Roman boats;
  • 405  And frontier Varus that the campe is farre,
  • 406  Sent aide; so did Alcides port, whose seas
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus407  Eate hollow rocks, and where the north-west wind,
  • 408  Nor Zephir rules not, but the north alone,
  • Editor’s Note409  Turmoiles the coast, and enterance forbids;
  • Editor’s Note410  And others came from that uncertaine shore,
  • 411  Which is nor sea, nor land, but oft times both,
  • 412  And changeth as the Ocean ebbes and flowes:
  • 413  Whether the sea roul'd alwaies from that point,
  • 414  Whence the wind blowes stil forced to and fro;
  • 415  Or that the wandring maine follow the moone?
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus416  Or flaming Titan (feeding on the deepe,)
  • 417  Puis them aloft, and makes the surge kisse heaven,
  • 418  Philosophers looke you, for unto me
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus419  Thou cause what ere thou be whom God assignes
  • Editor’s Note420  This great effect, art hid. They came that dwell
  • 421  By Nemes fields, and bankes of Satirus,
  • 422  Where Tarbels winding shoares imbrace the sea,
  • Editor’s Note423  The Santons that rejoyce in Caesars love,
  • Editor’s Note424  Those of Bituriges and light Axon pikes;
  • Critical Apparatus425  And they of Rhene and Leuca, cunning darters,
  • 426  And Sequana that well could manage steeds;
  • pg 105Editor’s Note427  The Belgians apt to governe Brittish cars;
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus428  Th' Averni too, which bouldly faine themselves
  • 429  The Romanes brethren, sprung of Ilian race;
  • Editor’s Note430  The stubborne Nervians staind with Cottas bloud;
  • Critical Apparatus431  And Vangions who like those of Sarmata,
  • Editor’s Note432  Were open slops: and fierce Batavians,
  • 433  Whome trumpets clang incites, and those that dwel
  • 434  By Cyngas streame, and where swift Rhodanus
  • 435  Drives Araris to sea; They neere the hils,
  • 436  Under whose hoary rocks Gebenna hangs;
  • 437  And Trevier; thou being glad that wars are past thee;
  • Editor’s Note438  And you late shorne Ligurians, who were wont
  • Critical Apparatus439  In large spread heire to exceed the rest of France;
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus440  And where to Hesus, and fell Mercury
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus441  They offer humane flesh, and where Jove seemes
  • 442  Bloudy like Dian, whom the Scythians serve;
  • Editor’s Note443  And you French Bardi, whose immortal pens
  • 444  Renowne the valiant soules slaine in your wars,
  • 445  Sit safe at home and chaunt sweet Poesie,
  • 446  And Druides you now in peace renew
  • 447  Your barbarous customes, and sinister rites,
  • 448  In unfeld woods, and sacred groves you dwell,
  • Editor’s Note449  And only gods & heavenly powers you know,
  • 450  Or only know you nothing. For you hold
  • 451  That soules passe not to silent Erebus
  • Editor’s Note452  Or Plutoes bloodies kingdom, but else where
  • 453  Resume a body: so (if truth you sing)
  • Editor’s Note454  Death brings long life. Doubtles these northren men
  • 455  Whom death the greatest of all feares affright not,
  • 456  Are blest by such sweet error, this makes them
  • 457  Run on the swords point and desire to die,
  • 458  And shame to spare life which being lost is wonne;
  • 459  You likewise that repulst the Caicke foe,
  • Critical Apparatus460  March towards Roome; and you fierce men of Rhene
  • Editor’s Note461  Leaving your countrey open to the spoile.
  • 462These being come, their huge power made him bould
  • 463To mannage greater deeds; the bordering townes
  • 464He garrison'd; and Italy he fild with soldiours.
  • pg 106Editor’s Note465  Vaine fame increast true feare, and did invade
  • 466  The peoples minds, and laide before their eies
  • 467  Slaughter to come, and swiftly bringing newes
  • 468  Of present war, made many lies and tales,
  • 469  One sweares his troupes of daring horsemen fought
  • 470  Upon Mevanias plaine, where Buls are graz'd;
  • 471  Other that Caesars barbarous bands were spread
  • 472  Along Nar floud that into Tiber fals,
  • Editor’s Note473  And that his owne ten ensignes, and the rest
  • Editor’s Note474  Marcht not intirely, and yet hide the ground,
  • 475  And that he's much chang'd, looking wild and big,
  • Editor’s Note476  And far more barbarous then the French (his vassals)
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus477  And that he lags behind with them of purpose,
  • 478  Borne twixt the Alpes & Rhene, which he hath brought
  • Critical Apparatus479  From out their Northren parts, and that Roome
  • Editor’s Note480  He looking on by these men should be sackt.
  • 481  Thus in his fright did each man strengthen Fame,
  • 482  And without ground, fear'd, what themselves had faind:
  • 483  Nor were the Commons only strooke to heart
  • Editor’s Note484  With this vaine terror; but the Court, the Senate;
  • 485  The fathers selves leapt from their seats; and flying
  • Editor’s Note486  Left hateful warre decreed to both the Consuls.
  • 487  Then with their feare, and danger al distract,
  • Editor’s Note488  Their sway of fleight carries the heady rout
  • Editor’s Note489  That in chain'd troupes breake forth at every port;
  • 490  You would have thought their houses had bin fierd
  • Editor’s Note491  Or dropping-ripe, ready to fall with Ruine,
  • Editor’s Note492  So rusht the inconsiderate multitude
  • 493  Thorough the Citty hurried headlong on,
  • 494  As if, the only hope (that did remaine
  • Critical Apparatus495  To their afflictions) were t'abandon Roome.
  • Editor’s Note496Looke how when stormy Auster from the breach
  • Editor’s Note497Of Libian Syrtes, roules a monstrous wave,
  • 498Which makes the maine saile fal with hideous sound;
  • 499The Pilot from the helme leapes in the sea;
  • Editor’s Note500And Marriners, albeit the keele be sound
  • 501Shipwracke themselves: even so the Citty left,
  • 502All rise in armes; nor could the bed-rid parents
  • 503Keep back their sons, or womens teares their husbands;
  • 504They stai'd not either to pray or sacrifice,
  • pg 107Editor’s Note505Their houshould gods restrain them not, none lingered,
  • Critical Apparatus506As loath to leave Roome whom they held so deere,
  • Editor’s Note507Th'irrevocable people flie in troupes.
  • 508  O gods that easie grant men great estates,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus509  But hardly grace to keepe them: Roome that flowes
  • Critical Apparatus510  With Citizens and Captives, and would hould
  • 511  The world (were it together) is by cowards
  • 512  Left as a pray now Caesar doth approach:
  • 513  When Romans are besieg'd by forraine foes,
  • 514  With slender trench they escape night stratagems,
  • Editor’s Note515  And suddaine rampire raisde of turfe snatcht up
  • Critical Apparatus516  Would make them sleepe securely in their tents.
  • Critical Apparatus517  Thou Roome at name of warre runst from thy selfe,
  • 518  And wilt not trust thy Citty walls one night:
  • Critical Apparatus519  Wel might these feare, when Pompey fear'd and fled.
  • 520  Now evermore least some one hope might ease
  • 521  The Commons jangling minds, apparent signes arose,
  • 522  Strange sights appear'd, the angry threatning gods
  • 523  Fill'd both the earth and seas with prodegies;
  • 524  Great store of strange and unknown stars were seene
  • Editor’s Note525  Wandering about the North, and rings of fire
  • 526  Flie in the ayre, and dreadfull bearded stars,
  • Editor’s Note527  And Commets that presage the fal of kingdoms.
  • Editor’s Note528The flattering skie gliter'd in often flames,
  • 529And sundry fiery meteors blaz'd in heaven:
  • 530Now spearlike, long; now like a spreading torch:
  • 531Lightning in silence, stole forth without clouds,
  • 532And from the northren climat snatching fier
  • Editor’s Note533Blasted the Capitoll: The lesser stars
  • 534Which wont to run their course through empty night
  • Editor’s Note535At noone day mustered; Phoebe having fild
  • 536Her meeting hornes to match her brothers light,
  • 537Strooke with th'earths suddaine shadow waxed pale,
  • 538Titan himselfe throand in the midst of heaven,
  • 539His burning chariot plung'd in sable cloudes,
  • 540And whelm'd the world in darknesse, making men
  • Editor’s Note541Dispaire of day; as did Thiestes towne;
  • 542(Mycenae) Phoebus flying through the East:
  • pg 108Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus543Fierce Mulciber unbarred Aetna's gate,
  • 544Which flamed not on high; but headlong pitcht
  • Editor’s Note545Her burning head on bending Hespery.
  • Editor’s Note546Cole-blacke Charibdis whirl'd a sea of bloud;
  • Editor’s Note547Fierce Mastives hould; the vestall fires went out,
  • Editor’s Note548The flame in Alba consecrate to Jove,
  • 549Parted in twaine; and with a double point
  • Editor’s Note550Rose like the Theban brothers funerall fire;
  • Editor’s Note551The earth went off hir hinges; And the Alpes
  • Editor’s Note552Shooke the old snow from off their trembling laps.
  • Editor’s Note553The Ocean swell'd, as high as Spanish Calpe;
  • Editor’s Note554Or Atlas head, their saints and houshold gods
  • 555Sweate teares to shew the travailes of their citty.
  • Editor’s Note556Crownes fell from holy statues, ominous birds
  • Editor’s Note557Defil'd the day, and wilde beastes were seene,
  • Critical Apparatus558Leaving the woods lodge in the streetes of Rome.
  • 559Cattell were seene that muttered humane speech:
  • 560Prodigious birthes with more and ugly jointes
  • 561Then nature gives, whose sight appauls the mother,
  • 562And dismall Prophesies were spread abroad:
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus563And they whom fierce Bellonaes fury moves
  • Editor’s Note564To wound their armes, sing vengeance, Sibils priests,
  • 565Curling their bloudy lockes, howle dreadfull things,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus566Soules quiet and appeas'd sigh'd from their graves,
  • Critical Apparatus567Clashing of armes was heard, in untrod woods
  • Critical Apparatus568Shrill voices schright, and ghoasts incounter men.
  • 569Those that inhabited the suburbe fieldes
  • Editor’s Note570Fled, fowle Erinnis stalkt about the wals,
  • 571Shaking her snakie haire and crooked pine
  • Critical Apparatus572With flaming toppe, much like that hellish fiend
  • Editor’s Note573Which made the sterne Lycurgus wound his thigh,
  • Editor’s Note574Or fierce Agave mad; or like Megaera
  • 575That scar'd Alcides, when by Junoes taske
  • 576He had before lookt Pluto in the face.
  • 577Trumpets were heard to sound; and with what noise
  • 578An armed battaile joines, such and more strange
  • Editor’s Note579Blacke night brought forth in secret: Sylla's ghost
  • 580Was seene to walke, singing sad Oracles,
  • pg 109Editor’s Note581And Marius head above cold Tav'ron peering
  • 582(His grave broke open) did affright the Boores.
  • 583To these ostents (as their old custome was)
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus584They call th'Etrurian Augures, amongst whom
  • Editor’s Note585The gravest, Aruns, dwelt in forsaken *Leuca *or Luna
  • Editor’s Note586Well skild in Pyromancy; one that knew
  • 587The hearts of beasts, and flight of wandring foules;
  • 588First he commands such monsters Nature hatcht
  • Editor’s Note589Against her kind (the barren Mules loth'd issue)
  • 590To be cut forth and cast in dismall fiers:
  • 591Then, that the trembling Citizens should walke
  • Editor’s Note592About the City; then the sacred priests
  • 593That with divine lustration purg'd the wals,
  • 594And went the round, in, and without the towne.
  • 595Next, an inferiour troupe, in tuckt up vestures;
  • Editor’s Note596After the Gabine manner: then the Nunnes
  • Editor’s Note597And their vaild Matron, who alone might view
  • Editor’s Note598Minervas statue; then, they that keepe, and read
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus599Sybillas secret works, and wash their saint
  • 600In Almo's floud: Next learned Augures follow;
  • Editor’s Note601Apolloes southsayers, and Joves feasting priests;
  • Editor’s Note602The skipping Salii with shields like wedges;
  • Editor’s Note603And Flamins last, with networke wollen vailes.
  • Critical Apparatus604While these thus in and out had circled Roome,
  • 605Looke what the lightning blasted, Aruns takes
  • 606And it inters with murmurs dolorous,
  • Editor’s Note607And cals the place Bidentall, on the Altar
  • 608He laies a ne're-yoakt Bull, and powers downe wine,
  • Editor’s Note609Then crams salt levin on his crooked knife;
  • 610The beast long struggled, as being like to prove
  • 611An aukward sacrifice, but by the hornes
  • 612The quick priest pull'd him on his knees & slew him:
  • 613No vaine sprung out but from the yawning gash,
  • Editor’s Note614In steed of red bloud wallowed venemous gore,
  • 615These direful signes made Aruns stand amaz'd,
  • 616And searching farther for the gods displeasure,
  • 617The very cullor scard him; a dead blacknesse
  • 618Ranne through the bloud, that turn'd it all to gelly,
  • pg 110619And stain'd the bowels with darke lothsome spots,
  • Editor’s Note620The liver swell'd with filth: and every vaine
  • 621Did threaten horror from the host of Caesar;
  • 622A small thin skinne contain'd the vital parts,
  • 623The heart stird not, and from the gaping liver
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus624Squis'd matter; through the cal the intralls pearde,
  • 625And which (aie me) ever pretendeth ill,
  • 626At that bunch where the liver is, appear'd
  • 627A knob of flesh, whereof one halfe did looke
  • 628Dead, and discoulour'd; th'other leane and thinne.
  • 629By these he seeing what myschiefes must ensue,
  • 630Cride out, O gods! I tremble to unfould
  • 631What you intend, great Jove is now displeas'd,
  • 632And in the brest of this slaine Bull are crept,
  • 633Th'infernall powers. My feare transcends my words
  • Critical Apparatus634Yet more will happen then I can unfold;
  • Editor’s Note635Turne all to good, be Augury vaine, and Tages
  • 636Th'arts master falce. Thus in ambiguous tearmes,
  • Editor’s Note637Involving all, did Aruns darkly sing.
  • Editor’s Note638But Figulus more seene in heavenly mysteries,
  • Editor’s Note639Whose like Aegiptian Memphis never had
  • Editor’s Note640For skill in stars, and tune-full planeting
  • 641  In this sort spake. The worlds swift course is lawlesse
  • Editor’s Note642  And casuall; all the starres at randome radge:
  • Critical Apparatus643  Or if Fate rule them, Rome thy Cittizens
  • Critical Apparatus644  Are neere some plague: what mischiefe shall insue?
  • 645  Shall townes be swallowed? shall the thickned aire,
  • 646  Become intemperate? shall the earth be barraine?
  • Editor’s Note647  Shall water be conjeal'd and turn'd to ice?
  • 648  O Gods what death prepare ye? with what plague
  • 649  Meane ye to radge? the death of many men
  • Editor’s Note650  Meetes in one period. If cold noysome Saturne
  • 651  Were now exalted, and with blew beames shinde,
  • Editor’s Note652  Then Gaynimede would renew Deucalions flood,
  • 653  And in the fleeting sea the earth be drencht.
  • Editor’s Note654  O Phoebus shouldst thou with thy rayes now sing
  • Editor’s Note655  The fell Nemean beast, th'earth would be fired,
  • 656  And heaven tormented with thy chafing heate,
  • Editor’s Note657  But thy fiers hurt not; Mars, 'tis thou enflam'st
  • pg 111658  The threatning Scorpion with the burning taile
  • Editor’s Note659  And fier'st his cleyes. Why art thou thus enrag'd?
  • Editor’s Note660  Kind Jupiter hath low declin'd himselfe;
  • Editor’s Note661  Venus is faint; swift Hermes retrograde;
  • 662  Mars onely rules the heaven: why doe the Planets
  • 663  Alter their course; and vainly dim their vertue?
  • Editor’s Note664  Sword-girt Orions side glisters too bright.
  • 665  Wars radge draws neare; & to the swords strong hand,
  • Editor’s Note666  Let all Lawes yeeld, sinne beare the name of vertue,
  • Critical Apparatus667  Many a yeare these furious broiles let last,
  • 668  Why should we wish the gods should ever end them?
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus669  War onely gives us peace, ô Rome continue
  • 670  The course of mischiefe, and stretch out the date
  • 671  Of slaughter; onely civill broiles make peace.
  • 672These sad presages were enough to scarre
  • 673The quivering Romans, but worse things affright them,
  • Editor’s Note674As Maenas full of wine on Pindus raves,
  • 675So runnes a Matron through th'amazed streetes,
  • Editor’s Note676Disclosing Phoebus furie in this sort:
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus677Pean whither am I halde? where shall I fall,
  • Editor’s Note678Thus borne aloft? I see Pangeus hill,
  • 679With hoarie toppe, and under Hemus mount
  • Editor’s Note680Philippi plaines; Phoebus what radge is this?
  • Critical Apparatus681Why grapples Rome, and makes war, having no foes?
  • 682Whither turne I now? thou lead'st me toward th'east,
  • Editor’s Note683Where Nile augmenteth the Pelusian sea:
  • Editor’s Note684This headlesse trunke that lies on Nylus sande
  • 685I know, now throughout the aire I flie,
  • Editor’s Note686To doubtfull Sirtes and drie Affricke, where
  • 687A fury leades the Emathian bandes, from thence
  • Editor’s Note688To the pine bearing hils, hence to the mounts
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus689Pirene, and so backe to Rome againe.
  • 690Se impious warre defiles the Senat house,
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus691New factions rise; now through the world againe
  • 692I goe; ô Phoebus shew me Neptunes shore,
  • Editor’s Note693And other Regions, I have seene Philippi:
  • 694This said being tir'd with fury she sunke downe.
pg 112

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 worse then civill] Pompey and Caesar were not merely fellow citizens, but actual kinsmen.
Thessalian playnes] Lucan has per Emathios … campos, using 'Emathia' for 'Thessalia' in the rhetorical figure metonymia: 'when of thinges that be nigh together, wee put one name for another' (Peacham, C2). Marlowe was perhaps guided in his translation by Sulpitius, whose commentary told him that Pharsalia was a town of Thessaly: Pharsalus Thessaliae oppidum fuit … In huius agro sive campo suprema pugna inter Caesarem & Pompeium commissa fuit. Emathia was a region of Macedonia, which was adjacent to Thessaly.
Editor’s Note
2 outrage strangling law] The Latin is Iusque datum sceleri, which Duff, translator of the Loeb edition (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1962) gives as 'legality conferred on crime'.
Critical Apparatus
3 launcht,] ⁓‸ Q
Editor’s Note
3 We sing] Thus Marlowe translates Lucan's canimus, disregarding the fact, pointed out by Sulpitius, that the Roman poet's plural form (instead of the more usual cano) was probably dictated by the metre: Metrice eloquimur.
launcht] OED describes as obsolete the first sense of the verb launch, meaning 'pierce' or 'wound'.
Critical Apparatus
4 uprooted,] ⁓‸ Q
Editor’s Note
4 Armies alied] Lucan's Cognatasque acies is not easy to translate concisely, but Sulpitius says that many of the fighters were related to each other (Multi-tudines arrmatorum consanguineas), and that Cognati here has the sense of qui commune nascendi initium habent, quasi una & communiter nati.
the kingdoms league] Lucan refers to the first triumvirate, formed by Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus in 60 bc.
Critical Apparatus
5 force] ⁓: Q
Editor’s Note
5 Th' affrighted … spoile] Sulpitius seems to have failed Marlowe with the difficult lines Certatum totis concussi viribus orbis | In commune nefas, which Duff renders: 'All the forces of the shaken world contended to make mankind guilty.'
Editor’s Note
6 Trumpets, and drums] Lucan uses the single word Signa (meaning 'standards'), but Cooper gives 'trumpets' as a possible meaning, and Sulpitius lists Tubus, tympana, lituos as synonyms.
like] Sulpitius introduces the idea of 'alikeness' in his comment on Lucan's obvia: Contra euntia, & similia.
Editor’s Note
7 Eagles alike displaide] The standard of the Roman legion was surmounted by an eagle; this was carried into battle at the forefront of the army. In the war between Caesar and Pompey, each of the opposing sides bore the same standard.
darts] OED 1: 'A pointed missile thrown by the hand, a light spear or javelin.' With 'darts' Marlowe offers an acceptable Elizabethan equivalent for Lucan's pila, one that is preferable to Dryden's solution when he imitated this line in The Hind and the Panther: 'That was but civil war, an equal set, | Where Piles with piles, and Eagles Eagles met' (ii. 160–1). The pilum was the special weapon of the Romans.
Critical Apparatus
8 Romans] Romans Q
Editor’s Note
9 Barbarians] Lucan's Gentibus invisis is glossed by Sulpitius as Barbaris, quod odistis.
Critical Apparatus
10 Babilon] Babilon Q
Editor’s Note
10–11 Now … unreveng'd] Lucan is telling the Romans that this was the time when superba foret Babylon spolianda tropaeis (Duff: 'It was your duty to rob proud Babylon of her trophies over Italy'). The editorial commas after 'stoop' and 'unreveng'd' are intended to help achieve Lucan's sense, which Marlowe misses because he neglects to translate the -que suffixes in lines 10 and 11. Lucan is horrified that the Romans should engage in civil war at a time when they should be retaliating against Babylon and avenging the death of Crassus, who was killed by the Parthians ('Babylon' is Lucan's metonymy for 'Parthia') at Carrhae in 53 bc. In 50 bc the Roman Senate, alarmed by rumours of an approaching Parthian army, decreed that Pompey and Caesar should each contribute a legion of soldiers to fight against the Parthians; Lucan believes that this would have been preferable to civil war.
Critical Apparatus
11 unreveng'd,] ⁓. Q
Editor’s Note
17 resolves] The verb seems to originate with Sulpitius, whose comment on Lucan's nescia vere remitti is Quae verno tempore non resolvitur. As synonyms for sense I now obsolete of resolve, OED affords 'melt, dissolve, reduce to a fluid state'.
Critical Apparatus
18 Euxin] Euxin Q
Editor’s Note
18 the Euxin sea] Lucan's Scythicum … pontum is interpreted by Sulpitius: sinum Euxinum dicit.
Editor’s Note
20 And … any] Some of the error in Marlowe's translation of Et gens si qua iacet nascenti conscia Nilo (Duff: 'and any nation that knows the secret of Nile's cradle') can be explained by reference to Sulpitius: Et si quis ad Nili ortum, qui ignoratur, habitat. It is strange, however, that he mistakes both nascenti and ortum, and Tucker Brooke suggests an emendation of 'mouth' to 'fount' or 'source'.
Critical Apparatus
21 Roome] Roome Q
Critical Apparatus
23 foes.] ⁓, Q
Critical Apparatus
24 rear'd] reaer'd L, F, H; reafer'd B
Editor’s Note
25–6 huge … townes] Cf. Edward II, III. iii. 30: 'Make Englands civill townes huge heapes of stones.'
Editor’s Note
30 Pirhus, … Hanniball] These were Rome's most dangerous enemies. Pyrrhus, King of Epirus (who claimed descent from his namesake, the son of Achilles), defeated the Roman armies in 280 bc. Hannibal (called Poeni by Lucan) invaded Italy in the third century bc.
Editor’s Note
32 wreake] OED sb. 3: 'Harm, injury; damage. Obs.' In the Ruines of Rome: by Bellay, Spenser invites the reader's contemplation of Rome:
  • Behold what wreake, what ruine, and what wast,
  • And how that she, which with her mightie powre
  • Tam'd all the world, hath tam'd herselfe at last.
Editor’s Note
33 ff. Nero] In this elaborate panegyric of the emperor, Lucan is following a tradition started by Virgil who, in Georgics, i. 24ff., prophesied that Julius Caesar would be elevated to join the immortal gods, and to shine as a star in heaven. Ovid, in Metamorphoses, xv, describes how this happened: after his death, Venus
  • from her Caesars bodye tooke his new expulsed spryght
  • The which shee not permitting to resolve to ayer quyght,
  • Did place it in the skye among the starres that glister bryght,
  • And as shee bare it, shee did feele it gather heavenly myght,
  • And for to wexen fyrye. Shee no sooner let it flye,
  • But that a goodly shyning starre it up aloft did stye
  • And drew a greate way after it bryght beames like burning heare.
the fates] The Parcae, or Destinies, were three sisters who had ultimate power over every human life.
Editor’s Note
34 sleightly] OED records this as a variant spelling of slightly; it is used here either with the 'rare' sense (2c): 'With slight exertion or effort', or with the more common sense (3): 'easily, readily'.
Editor’s Note
35–6 Jove … done] The Giants were angry when Jupiter defeated the Titans (to whom they were closely related, and with whom they are often confused). They conspired to dethrone Jupiter but were defeated.
Editor’s Note
35 joide] This transitive use of the verb joy is in OED's sense 4a: 'To derive enjoyment from, to possess or use with enjoyment'.
Editor’s Note
39 Carthage soules] Martin and Maclure both ignore the plural noun and gloss 'the shade of the Carthaginian, i.e., Hannibal'. But this is one occasion where Poeni is not used as a surname for Hannibal (in contrast to line 30), and Marlowe's translation of Lucan's Poeni … manes was guided by reference to his commentary, where Sulpitius explains: Hoc est, umbrae Carthaginensium, qui bellis Punicis interiere a Romanis occisi.
Editor’s Note
40 At … joyne] Marlowe's translation is somewhat awry. Lucan writes: Ultima funesta concurrant proelia Munda (Duff: 'Let the last battle be joined at fatal Munda'). The final battle of the civil war was fought at Munda, in Spain, where Caesar defeated Pompey's two sons in 45 bc.
Editor’s Note
41 Caesar] Lucan addresses Nero (to whom Sulpitius gave his full name of Claudius Nero Caesar in the gloss on line 33).
Perusian famine] During the winter of 41–40 bc, Lucius Antonius and Fulvia, the brother and wife of Mark Antony, respectively, were blockaded in Perusia by Octavius Caesar.
Editor’s Note
42 Mutin toyles] The fighting (OED toil sb. 1, 2) around Mutina in 43 bc, when Octavius defeated Antony.
Leuca] For the sake of his rhythm, Marlowe must accept Lucan's metonymy instead of substituting the familiar 'Actium' for the scene of the sea battle in which Augustus Caesar defeated Antony and Cleopatra.
Editor’s Note
43 And … fought] The reference is to the war in Sicily, which was fought by Agrippa (on behalf of Octavius Caesar) against Sextus Pompeius during 36 bc.
Critical Apparatus
44 Room] Room Q
Editor’s Note
45 made thee Emperor] Lucan's Quod tibi res acta est is explicated by Sul-pitius: Quod tu imperium obtines—which helped Marlowe with his translation.
Editor’s Note
47 where] The Latin, seu sceptra tenere, | Seu te flammigeros Phoebi conscendere currus, makes it fairly certain that this is a variant form of whether.
Critical Apparatus
50 chang'd;] ⁓, Q
Editor’s Note
50 Undaunted … chang'd] The intrusion of 'her' makes this line awkward. Lucan means that the earth will not be distressed because the sun's chariot has a different driver [i.e. Nero instead of Phoebus]: Tellurem nihil mutato sole timen-tem.
Editor’s Note
53–8 But … best] At this point the panegyric almost overbalances into the ludicrous, with the notion that the deified Nero must be careful to maintain the balance of the universe by settling in the centre: if he were to choose either pole, his weight would cause it to sink down (like a seesaw). Marlowe translates Lucan's onus as 'force', perhaps not knowing that 'Weight is a regular attribute of divinity in ancient mythology' (Duff).
Editor’s Note
54 Nor … pole] Marlowe is translating Lucan's Nec polus aversi calidus qua vergitur austri (Duff: '[n]or where the sultry sky of the opposing South sinks down'). It seems to have been generally thought by the Romans that the climate becomes hotter on the other side of the equator, and that the South Pole is the hottest place on earth.
Critical Apparatus
55 Roome] Roome Q
beams;] beams‸ Q
Critical Apparatus
59 There] Robinson; Their Q
Editor’s Note
61 Janus Phane] The doors of the temple of Janus were always open in time of war, and closed in peacetime.
Editor’s Note
62 boult … Iron] Lucan speaks only of iron gates (Ferrea … limina); Marlowe gets his details from Sulpitius: Claudat portam aeneam et vectibus ferreis munetam.
Critical Apparatus
68 a long] Robinson; along Q
Editor’s Note
68 garboiles] 'Confusion, disturbance, … brawl' (OED). But the word does not seem to have carried these dismissive, even pejorative, overtones in its earliest usages. Richard Stanyhurst begins his translation of the Aeneid (1582) with the words: 'Now manhood and garbroyls I chaunt.' T. J. B. Spencer, however, noted that 'garboyls' was Antony's favourite word for dismissing Fulvia's military and political exploits ('Shakespeare and the Romans', Shakespeare Survey, x (1957), 27–38).
Critical Apparatus
72 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
77 Phoebe's waine] The moon. The adjective was applied to Diana, as well as to her brother, Apollo. The apostrophe for the possessive case is rare in this text (and at this time generally).
Editor’s Note
80 Disolve the engins of the broken world] Lucan has totaque discors | Machina divulsi turbabit foedera mundi. Marlowe seems to have taken the preceding Phoebus as the subject of turbabit, instead of Machina (which he understands as the object of the verb). 'Disolve' was suggested by Sulpitius, who glosses turbabit foedera as Dissolvet concordiam.
Critical Apparatus
82 strong] ⁓. Q
Critical Apparatus
84 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
87 faintly joyn'd] Marlowe is attempting to give an equivalent of Lucan's male Concordes: the triumvirs were joined together for an evil purpose.
Critical Apparatus
89 ayre the] ⁓,⁓ Q
ayre the] ⁓,⁓ Q
Editor’s Note
89 th'earth … sustaines] Lucan states an old belief that the earth supports the sea, and the air supports the earth.
Critical Apparatus
95 Roomes] Roomes Q
Editor’s Note
95 Roomes … bloud] While Rome was being built, its founders quarrelled; Remus was killed by (or at the instigation of) his brother, Romulus.
Editor’s Note
97 A towne … church] Marlowe rejects Lucan's exiguum … asylum (referring to the asylum of Romulus) in favour of the explanation of Sulpitius, who identified Lucan's figure as synecdoche, and interpreted it as exigua urbs, in qua erat asylum, hoc est, templum sanctissimum.
Editor’s Note
100 Stept Crassus in] Lucan wrote: Crassus erat … medius, meaning that Crassus, the third member of the triumvirate, stood between Caesar and Pompey. Marlowe perhaps got the notion of intervention from Sulpitius, who glosses medius as Interpositus.
the slender Isthmos] The isthmus of Corinth.
Editor’s Note
104 Crassus wretched death] Crassus was defeated by the Parthians at Carrhae in 53 bc, and was subsequently murdered by them.
Critical Apparatus
106 Roman] Roman Q
Critical Apparatus
109 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
111–14 for Julia … aliance] Julia was Caesar's daughter; she married Pompey, but died after giving birth to a child who lived only a few days. Both the marriage and the child could have been 'pledge[s] of peace' (Lucan's pignora is glossed by Sulpitius: Hoc est, affinitatem et foetum quem conceperat ex Pompeio). But the marriage became a threat (Lucan's diro … omine, Marlowe's 'death presaging') when it turned to mourning.
Critical Apparatus
117 down,] ⁓. Q
Editor’s Note
118 the Sabines] The earliest enemies of Rome, the Sabines eventually became allies.
Editor’s Note
119 trainde] The verb train in the sense of OED ll. 4 is described as 'archaic'; but it is the most frequent early usage, meaning 'to draw by art or inducement'.
Critical Apparatus
121 Pompey) … dim] ⁓‸…⁓) Q
Editor’s Note
121 late deeds] Lucan's nova acta—new (or more recent) deeds.
Critical Apparatus
122 France] France Q
Critical Apparatus
123 wracke.] ⁓‸ Q
Editor’s Note
123 Pirats wracke] In 67 bc Pompey drove the pirates from the Mediterranean, where for many years they had been a serious threat to Rome's naval power.
Editor’s Note
124 Thee] Lucan now addresses Caesar.
Editor’s Note
129 Cato] The Stoics held their great men (of whom Cato was one) in high esteem, respecting them as much as the gods.
Editor’s Note
134 his Theaters applause] Pompey built the first stone theatre in Rome.
Editor’s Note
137–8 Like … monuments] Lucan refers to the custom of offering the trophies of war to the gods by hanging them on trees (the oak was sacred to Jupiter). Marlowe uses 'monuments' in OED's sense 4: 'Anything that by its survival commemorates a person, period, or event'.
Editor’s Note
142 nod] The sense is that of OED vb. 9: 'cause to bend or sway'.
Editor’s Note
145 Caesars … lesse] Marlowe makes a mistake here, perhaps because (as Martin suggests) he understood non … tantum to refer back to Pompey. Lucan writes: Sed non in Caesare tantum | Nomen erat fama ducis (Duff: 'But Caesar had more than a mere name and military reputation').
Editor’s Note
146 Shaming … subdue] The error here is more understandable, since Lucan's meaning is easily misconstrued: solusque pudor non vincere bello (Duff: 'his one disgrace was to conquer without war'). But Sulpitius gave a clear explanation: Nulla pudore Caesar imprudens tangebatur, nisi dolose aut pacifice victor evaderet.
Critical Apparatus
149 gods,] ⁓‸ Q
Editor’s Note
149 Urging] The sense is that of OED 7a: 'To stimulate to expression or action; to increase or intensify'.
Editor’s Note
151 glad … way] gaudensque viam fecisse ruina.
Editor’s Note
156 overthwarting flames] obliqua … fiamma. The participle is from overthwart: 'To pass or lie athwart or across; to traverse, cross' (OED).
Editor’s Note
157 not] Emendation to 'nought' is improper in an edition using old spelling, since 'not' is an acceptable variant.
Editor’s Note
159–60 Such … dominions] Marlowe seems to have been striving for too much economy; by neglecting Lucan's publica, he fails to achieve his sense: Haec ducibus causae; suberant sed publica bellis | Semina, quae populos semper mersere potentes (Duff: 'Such were the motives of the leaders. But among the people there were hidden causes of war—the causes which have ever brought down ruin upon imperial races').
Editor’s Note
163 The soldiours … ryot] Praedaque et hostiles luxum suasere rapinae (Duff: 'The spoil taken from the enemy lured men to extravagance').
Critical Apparatus
167 Roomes] Roomes Q
Editor’s Note
167 greatest wittes] Lucan speaks of Poverty as the begetter of manhood— fecunda virorum. Marlowe's 'wittes' seems to imply intellectual, rather than physical, achievement; but Sulpitius includes examples of both in his comment on Lucan's phrase: Quae producit multos egregios viros, ut Fabritios, Curios, Quin-tios, & Attilios.
Editor’s Note
167–8 al the world … decay] totoque accersitur orbe | Quo gens quaeque perit. Lucan tells how the Romans brought from every part of the world 'the special bane of each nation' (Duff); Sulpitius, however, recognized a single, universal poison: Id est, opes, which is the source for Marlowe's 'golde'.
Critical Apparatus
168 Ransackt] Ransanckt Q
Editor’s Note
169 then … lands] Lucan: tum longos iungere fines | Agrorum (Duff: 'Next they stretched wide the boundaries of their lands'). Marlowe uses 'butting' in the sense of 'bounding, boundary' (OED vbl. sb.2 'Obs.').
Editor’s Note
170 Curius] Marcus Annius Curius Dentatus conquered the Samnites, the Sabines, and the Lucanians in the third century bc; he was renowned for frugality as well as fortitude.
Camillus] L. Furius Camillus (fourth century bc) was called a second Romulus for his services to Rome.
Editor’s Note
171 Was … unknowne] Longa sub ignotis extendere rura colonis (Duff: 'grew into vast estates tilled by foreign cultivators'). Sulpitius added agricolas, which may have given Marlowe the idea for 'hinds' (OED sb.2 2: 'A servant; esp. in later use, a farm servant, an agricultural labourer').
Editor’s Note
175–6 then … towne] magnumque decus ferroque petendum, | Plus patria potuisse sua (Duff: 'to overawe the State was high distinction which justified recourse to the sword').
Editor’s Note
179 Tribunes with Consuls strove] Both tribunes and consuls were magistrates, but the former were always elected from the plebeians whereas the consuls (originally) were chosen from the patrician families. According to Duff: 'Order should be represented by the consuls, and progress by the tribunes; but both bodies were equally factious' (note to line 177).
Editor’s Note
180 voices] The electoral votes of the citizens.
Editor’s Note
182 the field of Mars] The Campus Martius, where elections for magistrates were held.
Editor’s Note
186 His mind … war] Lucan's Caesar suffers no anxiety: Ingentesque animo motus bellumque futurum … Ceperat (Duff: 'Caesar … had conceived in his heart the great rebellion and the coming war'). But sixteenth-century texts place a comma after motus, and this may be the cause of Marlowe's misunderstanding.
Editor’s Note
187 the foord of Rubicon] The river Rubicon separated metropolitan Italy from the province of Cisalpine Gaul, Caesar's own province. By crossing this river (in fact a small stream) Caesar became an invader, precipitating war with Pompey and the Roman Senate.
Critical Apparatus
188 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
188 ff. At night …] Lucan's personification of the city of Rome as a goddess (dea Roma) owes something to Virgil's description (Aeneid, vi. 781ff.) of Cybele, the Roman Magna Mater, especially in the detail of the 'Turret-bearing head'; both wear mural crowns, representing walls and battlements. Plutarch has another version of Caesar's vision: 'It is said that the night before he passed over this river [the Rubicon] he dreamed a damnable dream: that he carnally knew his mother' (The Life of Julius Caesar, trans. Thomas North).
Critical Apparatus
190 Turret-bearing] ⁓,⁓ Q
Editor’s Note
192 a [d] stare] Lucan has no equivalent, but Marlowe gives no translation for the Latin aadgtare in the same line.
Critical Apparatus
193 Romans] Romans Q
Editor’s Note
197–8 Thou thunderer … rocke] The Latin is 0 … tonans, this being Jupiter's mightiest appellation: he is generally represented seated on a throne with a thunderbolt in his hand. Sulpitius glosses: O Jupiter optime maxime, qui in Capitolio coleris. The temple of Jupiter was on the Capitol, which was originally called the Tarpeian Hill.
Critical Apparatus
198 Roomes] Roomes Q
Editor’s Note
199 Ye gods … line] Caesar invokes the Penates, Phrygian gods whose images had been rescued from Troy by Aeneas, the father of Julus (or Ascanius), from whom Caesar claimed descent. Cf. Aeneid, iii. 148–50.
Editor’s Note
200 Quirinus rites] Festivals in honour of Romulus, who was given the surname Quirinus (also a surname of Mars) when he was made a god by the Romans.
Editor’s Note
200–1 Latian Jove … Alba hill] Caesar invokes Jupiter in his aspect of protector of Latium, a country whose capital city of Alba Longa was founded by Caesar's supposed ancestor Ascanius. Marlowe seems to be using 'advanc'd' in the sense (OED ppl. a. 4) of 'Raise, elevated (physically)' to translate Lucan's residens.
Critical Apparatus
201 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
201 Vestall flames] The worship of Vesta, goddess of hearth and home, was introduced into Rome from Alba Longa. Fire burned continually in the temple of Vesta.
Critical Apparatus
205 Roome] Roome Q
Roomes] Roomes Q
Editor’s Note
206 laying … war] moras solvit belli (Duff: 'loosed war from its bonds'); 'lets' is used in its original sense (OED sb.1) of 'Hindrance … obstruction'.
Editor’s Note
214 runs upon the hunter] Lucan's phrase, Per ferrum … exit is not easy; Marlowe translates the commentary: Per ipsam hastam ruit in venatorem.
Editor’s Note
215 the purple Rubicon] Lucan's adjective is Puniceus, and Sulpitius comments that the river took its name of 'Rubicon' from its colour, which was that of the reddish soil through which it ran. OED gives 'purple' as one meaning (a. 2) of the adjective punic.
Editor’s Note
221 resolving] From the verb resolve in OED's sense l. 1: 'To melt, dissolve, reduce to a liquid or fluid state'.
Editor’s Note
222–4 The … passage] Cf. Lucan:
  • Primus in obliquum sonipes opponitur amnem
  • Excepturus aquas; molli tum cetera rumpit
  • Turba vado faciles iam fracti fluminis undas.
(Duff: 'First the cavalry took station slantwise across the stream, to meet its flow; thus the current was broken, and the rest of the army forded the water with ease'.)
Critical Apparatus
226 Italy] Italy Q
Editor’s Note
229 the destinies] Modern editions of Lucan accept Housman's emendation of this line, and read Credidimus satis his ('We have believed in them [agreements] long enough'). But sixteenth-century editions have the reading of the manuscripts: Credidimus fatis.
Editor’s Note
232 Parthians] The Parthians were notorious for feigning flight and then shooting arrows at the enemy pursuing them; cf. Virgil, Georgics, iii. 31: fiden-temque fuga Parthum versisque sagittis.
Editor’s Note
233 Lucifer] Phosphor, or Venus; the morning star.
Critical Apparatus
246 Roomes] Roomes Q
Critical Apparatus
250 France] France Q
Editor’s Note
256 the Gaules] Lucan refers to the Senones (Sulpitius explains that these were Gauls) who fought the Romans in the third and fourth centuries bc.
Editor’s Note
257 furious Cymbrians] Marlowe's edition of Lucan could have had Cim-brumque furentem where the modern editions read Cimbrumque ruentem (Duff: 'the onrush of the Cimbrian').
Carthage moores] Lucan has martem Libyes, which Sulpitius explains as Secundum bellum punicum—i.e. the Second Punic War, when Hannibal crossed the Alps in 218 bc to launch an attack on Rome.
Critical Apparatus
258 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
258 gan] The past tense of gin, the aphetic form of begin.
Editor’s Note
262 whist] OED a.1 b: 'Keeping silence in relation to something, saying nothing about the matter'.
Critical Apparatus
263 night] Robinson; might Q
Editor’s Note
268 urging Grachus deeds] The tribunes Tiberius and Caius Gracchus were popular reformers who incurred the hostility of the Senate and were murdered in (respectively) 133 and 121 bc. The Senate is now using this as a precedent (minax iactatis … Gracchis; Duff: 'boasted of the doom of the Gracchi') for the expulsion of the tribunes Antony and Q. Cassius.
Critical Apparatus
269 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
269 doubtfull] Duff translates Lucan's ancipiti as 'distracted'; but Marlowe is influenced by Sulpitius' gloss Dubia.
Editor’s Note
271ff. Curio] For this portrait, Marlowe owes much to Sulpitius. Lucan says that Curio was once a spokesman for the people (Vox quondam populi), but it is Sulpitius who gives him the official title: Olim Tribunus. Sulpitius also explains that Curio was once a formidable opponent of Caesar's, but that a Caesare ingenti mercede corruptus est; it must have been this, rather than Lucan's vague venalilingua, that was the source of line 272: 'One that was feed [i.e. fee'd] for Caesar'. The 'Five yeeres' of line 277 was also provided by Sulpitius (quinquennium); Lucan does not specify the length of time nor the area of command (Sulpitius has Gallias).
Critical Apparatus
276 will,] ⁓. Q
Critical Apparatus
277 France] France Q
Editor’s Note
280 let … home] Sulpitius was not helpful here. Lucan writes tua nos faciet victoria cives (Duff: 'your victory will make us citizens again'); and this explains the volentes (Marlowe's 'most willingly') of the previous line. Although they were driven out of Rome by force (and against their wills), Curio and the two tribunes are now glad to suffer this exile, because Caesar's victory will restore them to their status as citizens of Rome.
Critical Apparatus
281 hence,] ⁓‸ Q
Critical Apparatus
282 hurts] ⁓‸ Q
Editor’s Note
282 "Where … hurts"] The quotation marks in Q suggest that this is some proverb or maxim. They are not present in editions of Lucan (either of the sixteenth or twentieth centuries), but Sulpitius prefaces his gloss on Lucan's semper nocuit differre paratis with the words Sententia est. A 'sentence' of this nature perhaps underlies the following couplet in Donne's elegy 'To His Mistris Going to Bed': 'The foe oft-times, having the foe in sight, | Is tir'd with standing, though they never fight.'
Critical Apparatus
283 France] France Q
Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
286 and ' world] Marlowe has failed to understand the meaning of Lucan's tibi Roma subegerit orbem, even with the help of Sulpitius: Roma victa orbis te domi-num faciet. Curio argues that if Caesar wins just two or three battles more, it will be for him [tibi] that Rome has conquered the world.
Critical Apparatus
287 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
287–8 Nor … bayes] Lucan's Nunc is necessary to make sense of this couplet. Curio warns Caesar that now—as things are at present—there will be no triumphal procession, or laurel wreath, when he returns to Rome.
Editor’s Note
287 shalt thou triumph] Be received with the honour of a formal triumphal procession, the appropriate reception for a returning conqueror (Lucan's longi … pompa triumphi.
Editor’s Note
288 capitall … bayes] The laurel wreath with which the conqueror was crowned was subsequently dedicated to Jupiter in the Capitol.
Editor’s Note
290 Abie] OED v. arch. 2: 'To pay the penalty for … atone for'. Lucan writes: gentesque subacitas | Vix inpune feres (Duff: 'you will scarce go unpunished for your conquest of foreign nations').
the sonne] Pompey, who by his marriage to Julia (see note to line III–14) was Caesar's son-in-law.
Editor’s Note
293 prone] OED 7: 'Ready in mind (for some action expressed or implied); eager. Obs. or arch.'
Editor’s Note
294 Eleius steedes] The racehorses at Elis for the Olympic games.
Editor’s Note
296 Souse downe the wals] Lucan describes how the racehorses, excited by the shouting, try to break through the starting-barriers. OED quotes this line as an example of souse v.2 1b: 'To dash against, to knock or cast down'.
Editor’s Note
299 wrastling] A variant form of wrestling.
Editor’s Note
302 bloudshed] (OED 3: 'The shedding or parting with one's own blood').
in the North] i.e. in the northern lands of Gaul and Britain.
Critical Apparatus
303 our] onr Q
Critical Apparatus
304 Alpes] Alpes Q
Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
306 Cornets] OED cornet sb.2 4: 'A company of cavalry, so called from the standard [a coronet] carried at its head'.
Critical Apparatus
308 France] France Q
Critical Apparatus
310 Roome] Roome Q
Critical Apparatus
311 leader] Dyce; leaders Q
Editor’s Note
311 leader] Dyce's emendation of Q's 'leaders' is justified by the Latin dux; Sulpitius explains the rest of the line: Pompeius debilitatus longo ocio.
Editor’s Note
312 troupes of gownes] Lucan writes: partes … togatae, which Sulpitius explains as Viri a militia alieni, pacique. For gown sb. 3, OED says the word is 'Used as the name of the flowing outer garment worn by the ancients, esp. the Roman toga. Hence after Roman usage: "The dress of peace".'
Editor’s Note
313 Brabbling Marcellus] There were three consuls of this name (two brothers and a cousin) who all spoke against Caesar in the Senate, and so would have merited the scorn of Lucan's loquax (which Marlowe's 'Brabbling' suitably translates).
Cato] Marcus Cato Uticensis, who does not seem to deserve either Lucan's dismissal of him as nomina vana or Marlowe's scornful 'whom fooles reverence'. Although the words are spoken by Caesar, one would expect some foundation in reality (as in the reference to Marcellus).
Editor’s Note
314 strangers] Marlowe uses the word in its earliest sense, meaning 'foreigners', in accordance with the explanation given by Sulpitius that Pompey's supporters were in fact Clientes remotissimarum nationum.
Editor’s Note
315 (Whom … bribde)] Lucan says that Pompey gave presents to his supporters over a long period; Marlowe takes the interpretation that this meant 'from his youth' from Sulpitius: A sua adolescentia.
Editor’s Note
316 shal … time] Ille reget currus nondum patientibus annis (Duff: 'Shall Pompey hold the chariot reins before reaching the lawful age'. But once again Marlowe translates Sulpitius: Ille triumphabit ante legitimos annos. Pompey claimed the right to an official 'triumph' (see line 287n.) when he was no more than 26 years old; this was granted to him by Sulla for his outstanding achievement in the defeat of Iarbas in Numidia, even though the normal age for the receipt of such an honour was about 30.
Editor’s Note
317 And … raigne] Pompey refused to give up his consulship at the proper time.
Editor’s Note
318–19 What … dearth] In 57 bc Cicero proposed that Pompey should be put in charge of the world's corn supply; Pompey was later accused of having held back supplies, so that he could take advantage of a time of famine.
Editor’s Note
320–3 Who … accusde] The reference is to the trial of Milo in 52 bc, when he was accused of the murder of Clodius. Pompey's soldiers occupied the Forum, to maintain order; but the orator, Cicero, was so intimidated by the soldiers that he forgot most of his argument, and Milo was condemned.
Editor’s Note
324 waine] In its transitive use, the verb wane (meaning 'to diminish') is now said to be obsolete (OED).
casts] OED cast v. VII. 43: 'To machinate, contrive, devise, scheme'.
Editor’s Note
326 Sylla] Lucius Cornelius Sulla led a civil war against Rome (in which he was joined by Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus), and came to power in 82 bc, when he showed himself to be a dictator and a tyrant.
Editor’s Note
329 Hircania] In literature the Hyrcanian, or Hyrcan, tigers are noted for their ferocity; cf. Macbeth, III. iv. 99–100: 'Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear, | The arm'd rhinoceros, or th'Hyrcan tiger.'
Critical Apparatus
332 Jawes flesht] Dyce; ⁓, flesh Q
Editor’s Note
332 Jawes flesht] Dyce's emendation is essential for the sense of the line (Lucan has Altus caesorum pavit cruor armentorum, referring to the tiger 'who has drunk deep of the blood of slain cattle', Duff). The application of OED v. 1. trans. is particularly appropriate to Lucan's meaning: 'To reward (a hawk or hound) with a portion of the flesh of the game killed, in order to excite his eagerness in the chase'.
Editor’s Note
334–5 Sylla … monarchy] ex hoc iam te, inprobe, regno | Ille tuus saltem doceat descendere Sulla (Duff: 'but let him learn one lesson at least from his master Sulla—to step down at this stage from his unlawful power'). Maclure suggests that Marlowe might have written 'At least' (not 'At last') as a translation of Lucan's saltem.
Editor’s Note
336 Scicillian Pirats] See line 123n.
Critical Apparatus
337 jaded king] Robinson; Jaded, Q
Editor’s Note
337 jaded … slaine] The king of Pontus was Mithridates who, after a long struggle with Pompey, took poison to kill himself.
Editor’s Note
338 plume] The verb is used technically in falconry (OED 1) to describe how the hawk strips the feathers from its prey. OED also records a figurative usage comparable to the present one.
Editor’s Note
342 And … wil] miles sub quolibet iste triumphet (Duff: 'and let them triumph, be their leader who he may').
Editor’s Note
347 they had houses] After Pompey had subdued the pirates, he settled some of them as colonists in Calabria.
Critical Apparatus
348 Spread] Spead Q
Critical Apparatus
352 Roome] Roome Q
Critical Apparatus
355 Room] Room Q
Editor’s Note
357 Lalius] The character Laelius is almost certainly fictitious, an invention of Lucan's to give dramatic force to his poem. The enthusiastic reception of Caesar's speech is narrated in De Bellum Civile, i. 7–8.
Editor’s Note
358 Oaken leaves] The reference is to the corona civica, or querna corona, which was the Roman equivalent of a medal for life-saving.
Critical Apparatus
359 Romaine] Romaine Q
Critical Apparatus
360 Rooms] Rooms Q
Editor’s Note
365–6 indure … groomes] Lucan's Degenerem patiere togam (Duff: 'submit to the disgrace of wearing the toga') is glossed by Sulpitius: Tolerabis togatos inertes; and this is the source of Marlowe's line. Marlowe expresses the scorn of Sulpitius with 'groomes' (OED groom sb. 3: 'A man of inferior position'; the 'purple' is not easy to explain: perhaps Marlowe is attempting oxymoron by coupling 'groomes' with the figurative use of OED purple sb. 2b, where the purple is defined as 'imperial, royal, or consular rank, power, or office'.
Senates tyranny] Lucan's regnumque Senatus is glossed by Sulpitius with the single word Tyrannidem.
Editor’s Note
368 Syrtes] Two wide gulfs on the north coast of Africa, dangerous to shipping. Sulpitius: Syrtes duae, maior & minor, sunt in mari quod Africam Aegyptum versus alluit. Both Lucan and Virgil (Aeneid, iv. 41) speak of inhospita Syrtis.
Editor’s Note
369 hot … sands] For the Elizabethans, as for the Romans, the Libyan sands were the physical embodiment of vastness; cf. Catullus, vii. 3: quam magnus numerus Libyssae harena, and The Taming of A Shrew (1594), scene xv: 'This angrie sword … hewd thee smaller then the Libian sands.'
Editor’s Note
370 This hand] Dyce suggested 'band' as a more acceptable translation of Lucan's manus in Haec manus.… Oceani tumidas remo compescuit undas. Sulpitius appreciated the possible ambiguity, and commented: Aut suam dextram ostendit, aut militum multitudinem. However, emendation is not only unnecessary, but also undesirable: 'This hand' at line 370 makes for an effective form of anaphora with 'This hand' at line 379 and 'These hands' at line 385.
that … quail'd] ut victum post terga relinqueret orbem (Duff: 'that we might leave a conquered world at our backs'). Sulpitius explains that the reference is to Caesar's conquest of Gaul and Britain.
Editor’s Note
372 Articks Rhene] The northern Rhine.
Critical Apparatus
375 Romaine] Romaine Q
Editor’s Note
378 womens groning wombe] Dyce suggested 'groaning woman's womb'; but cf. Measure for Measure, ll. ii. 15–16: 'What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet? | She's very near her hour'; and OED groaning vbl. sb. 2: 'A lying-in'—as in Hamlet, in. ii. 259: 'It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.'
Critical Apparatus
381 Jove;] ⁓, Q
Editor’s Note
381 These … Jove] Marlowe's line makes sense—but it is not Lucan's sense! The Latin is Numina miscebit castrensis flamma monetae (Duff: 'the furnace of the military mint shall melt down the statues of the deities'). Marlowe might have been somewhat misled by Sulpitius, who wrote: Numina Monetae. Iunonis Monetae templum, referring to the fact that Moneta was a surname for Juno: the temple of Juno Moneta was the Roman mint.
Critical Apparatus
382 streames,] ⁓; Q
Critical Apparatus
383 Rome] Rome Q
Editor’s Note
383 quarter out] Mark out, outline (OED quarter vb. 2b. 'Obs.').
Critical Apparatus
387 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
390 Ossa's] The unusual (at this time) possessive apostrophe may in fact be marking the omission of an e (which would give the form Ossaes; e following a vowel to form the possessive case is found at line 452: Plutoes).
Critical Apparatus
391 bowe] Dyce; bowde Q
Editor’s Note
391 Thracian Boreas] The north wind. For the Romans, as for the Greeks, 'Thratian' was a conventional epithet for 'northern'.
bowe] Dyce's emendation is sensible, giving action to the line and accurately representing the Latin: curvato robore pressae | Fit sonus aut rursus redeuntis in aethera silvae.
Critical Apparatus
395 France] France Q
Critical Apparatus
396 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
396–442 musters men] Catalogues of supporters (such as the one which follows) are an epic convention (Pompey's forces are listed in Book III of the Pharsalia). But Marlowe seems to be in some error, giving the impression that the named nations rallied to Caesar's aid—like the troops in arms under Tambur-laine. Lucan, however, says simply that the Roman soldiers who guarded these areas (previously conquered by Caesar) were recalled from their duties. It might be noted that Lucan himself is no very reliable authority on the subject of Caesar's conquests, so that identification is not always easy.
'Lemannus nooke' (line 397) is Lake Geneva, and the 'Lingones' (line 398) the people occupying territory to the west of the Vosges ('Vogesus', line 399). 'hard' (line 400) is the river Isère. The Ruteni ('Ruthens', line 403) were a Gallic tribe living in the neighbourhood of what is now Toulouse. 'Atax' (line 404) and 'Varus' (line 405) are the rivers Aude and Var; in Lucan's day the latter formed the boundary between Italy and the provineia. Monaco is the name now given to 'Alcides port' (line 406), deriving from portus Herculis Monoeci—the harbour sacred to Hercules the solitary dweller. 'Nemes fields' (line 421) are the lands of the Nemetes on the left bank of the Rhine near Speyer. With 'Satirus' (line 421) Marlowe is following the sixteenth-century reading of Satyri; modern editions have Aturi, referring to the river Adour which flows through Aquae Tarbellicae, 'Tarbels winding shoares' (line 422). The 'Bituriges' (line 424) were a Gallic people whose chief town was the modern Bordeaux. The 'Axon' (line 424) is now called the Aisne, a river entering the Seine below Paris; and 'Rhene' (line 425) is of course the Rhine. The peoples of 'Leuca' (line 425) and 'Sequana' (line 426) inhabited respectively Gallia Belgica north of the Lingones (line 398), and the modern departments of Jura and Doubs. The 'Averni' (line 428) were from the Auvergne, and the 'Nervians' (line 430) from the region which is east Flanders. The 'Vangions' (line 431) were a Germanic race living around the town of Worms, and the 'Batavians' (line 432) another Germanic tribe from what is now South Holland. 'Cyngas streame' line 434) is the river Cines, which flows from the Pyrenees; 'Rhodanus' (line 434) is the Rhône; and 'Araris' (line 435) the Saône, a tributary of the Rhône. 'Gehenna' (line 436) and 'Trevier' (line 437) are Cevennes and Trier. The 'Ligurians' (line 438) occupied territory between the Alpes-Maritimes and the valley of the Rhône.
After locating the different tribes geographically, Lucan proceeds to the religious groups, beginning with those who worshipped the Celtic deities Teutates, Hesus, and Taranis. The triad had been introduced into Gaul, and the Romans had tried to identify them with their own gods; Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter (440–2).
Editor’s Note
398 They … foild] The Roman soldiers who controlled (OED, foil v.1 11) the Lingones.
with painted speares] Lucan's pictis … armis probably refers to the shields which the Lingones carried, which were ornamented with enamel.
Editor’s Note
399 Under … Vogesus] Modern editions of Lucan read: Vosegi curvam … ripam (Duff: 'the winding bank of the Vosegus [Vosges]'). Marlowe's text, however, would have had the traditional reading, Vogesi; Sulpitius explained it as Vogesus mons, and further confused matters by offering in the margin, as a variant of ripam, the word that Marlowe obviously chose to translate, rupem.
Editor’s Note
401 Who … floud] Lucan means that the river Isère, after flowing for some distance under its own name, merges into a greater river [the Rhône].
Editor’s Note
403 yellow] flavi—fair-haired.
Critical Apparatus
404 boats] bloats Q
Editor’s Note
404–5 Mild … farre] Atax and Varus (the Aude and the Var) were happy to be free from Roman occupation.
Critical Apparatus
407 wind,] ⁓; Q
Editor’s Note
407–8 north-west wind … the north] Lucan names three winds: Corus, Zephyrus, and Circius. Marlowe uses the one name that would be familiar to his readers (Zephyrus, the west wind), but Sulpitius identifies the others. Circius ('the north') is probably the mistral.
Editor’s Note
409 enterance forbids] i.e. to 'Alcides port': tuta prohibet statione Monoeci.
Editor’s Note
410 that uncertaine shore] Lucan is probably referring to the Belgian coast; like many Greek and Roman writers (accustomed to the comparatively tideless Mediterranean), he was fascinated by the action of the tides.
Critical Apparatus
416 deepe,)] ⁓, ‸ Q
Editor’s Note
416 (feeding on the deepe)] Lucan alludes to the theory (which formed part of Stoic and other ancient cosmologies) that the sun was nourished by vapours arising from water. Marlowe's pronoun 'them' in line 417 should refer to Lucan's alentes … undas; but the translation has lost the structure of the original.
Critical Apparatus
419 assignes] ⁓, Q
Editor’s Note
419 God] Lucan has the plural, superi.
Editor’s Note
420 that dwell] Lucan's Qui tenet does not refer to the natives of 'Nemes fields', but to the Roman forces who occupied this and the other named regions.
Editor’s Note
423 rejoyce in Caesars love] Marlowe is mistaken, perhaps because he read amato for amoto: the 'Santons' are rejoicing at the departure of their [Roman] enemy: gaudetque amoto Santonus hoste, and Lucan now proceeds to list other tribes who shared in their relief.
Editor’s Note
424 light Axon pikes] Many editions have Suessones for Axones; these were longisque leves … in armis (Duff: 'nimble in spite of their long spears').
Critical Apparatus
425 Rhene and Leuca,] ⁓, ⁓ ⁓‸ Q
Editor’s Note
427 Brittish cars] Lucan says that the Belgians were expert drivers of monstrati … covinni (war chariots invented by others). A covinnus was a British chariot, as Sulpitius explains in his comment on Monstrati: A Brilanni.
Critical Apparatus
428 Averni too,] ⁓, ⁓‸ Q
themselves] ⁓; Q
Editor’s Note
428–9 Th'Averni … race ] The inhabitants of the Auvergne claimed that they, like the Romans, were descended from the Trojans of ancient Ilium (Troy).
Editor’s Note
430 The … bloud] The Nervii persisted in rebelling (nimiumque rebellis) against their Roman conquerors, and in one of their uprisings treacherously murdered one of Caesar's officers, L. Aurunculeius Cotta.
Critical Apparatus
431 Vangions] vangions Q
Editor’s Note
432 Were open slopes] The trousered dress ('Were' is a variant form of wear) of the Gallic nations would naturally attract the attention of the Roman Lucan. According to Sulpitius, the laxis … bracis were short and tight—vestes breves & strictae, quibus pudenda velantur ab umbilico ad genus, but Cooper translates bracha as 'a breech or sloppe'. The chief characteristic of the Elizabethan 'slops' was their looseness, or width: they seem to have been the forerunner of the clown's baggy trousers (see my essay '"Such conceits as clownage keeps in pay'", in The Fool and the Trickster, ed. P. V. A. Williams (Cambridge and Ipswich, 1979), 61).
Editor’s Note
438 late shorne Ligurians] Since they inhabited land which had become Roman territory (provincia), they had adopted the Romans' short hair-style.
Critical Apparatus
439 France] France Q
Critical Apparatus
440 Mercury] Robinson; (Jove) Q
Editor’s Note
440–1 to Hesus … flesh] Sulpitius comments that Hesus was Asper & saevus, quia humanis victimis … placabantur. The same was true of the god Teutates, Qui mortis deus inter pretatur. Mercurium hoc nomine Galli appellant'.
Critical Apparatus
441 Jove] Dyce; it Q
Editor’s Note
441–2 Jove … serve] Et Taranis Scythicae non mitior ara Dianae. Sulpitius identified the god (Qui Jupiter inter pretatur) whose cruelty was comparable with that of Scythian Diana: both deities were served with human sacrifice.
Editor’s Note
443 French Bardi] Sulpitius provided the nationality for Lucan's Bardi: poetae, qui lingua Gallica cantores significant.
Editor’s Note
449–50 And only … nothing] Lucan is quietly sceptical about the Druids: their beliefs are very different from those of other peoples, and if the Druids are right, all other faiths are wrong: Solis nosse deos et caeli numina vobis | Aut solis nescire datum'
Editor’s Note
452 Plutoes bloodies kingdom] For Ditis … Pallida regna, Duff offers 'the sunless realm of Dis', but Marlowe's version is more in the spirit of Sulpitius, who (after explaining Ditis as Plutonis) comments on the use of Pallida: Ab effectu, quae pallorem inducunt.
Editor’s Note
454 Death brings long life] According to Duff's translation of Lucan, 'death is but a point in the midst of continuous life' (vitae | Mors media est). Marlowe seems to be more nearly following Sulpitius, who has Media morte pervenitur ad illam vitam aeternam.
Critical Apparatus
460 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
461 Leaving … spoile] When the military forces had all withdrawn to join Caesar's army, the Roman empire was open to attack by foreign nations: apertum gentibus orbem.
Editor’s Note
465 Vaine fame] Vana … fama: Lucan attaches the conventional epithet (glossed by Sulpitius as Inanis) to fama (rumour, report).
Editor’s Note
473 ten ensignes] Sulpitius first translated the metonymy of Lucan's omnes aquit as into the factual Decem legiones.
Editor’s Note
474 not intirely … ground] Marlowe seems rather awkward in his rendering of Lucan's Agmine non uno, densisque incedere castris (Duff: 'with many a column and crowded camps'). As Sulpitius explains, Agmine non uno implies that there were many marching columns (Pluribus aciebus & exercitibus), and Marlowe's 'intirely' must be understood in the obsolete sense (OED 1) of 'as a whole'. Maclure says that 'hide the ground' is 'a striking version' of densisque … castris; however, accuracy requires that 'yet' be understood in the sense (OED 1. 1) of 'In addition … also … furthermore'
Editor’s Note
476 more … vassals] The comparison does not derive from Lucan, who says that Caesar appeared 'more savage than the foes he has conquered' (Duff); and Sulpitius glosses victo … hoste as Germanis.
Critical Apparatus
477 purpose,] ⁓; Q
Editor’s Note
477–8 And that … Rhene] Lucan reports that Caesar was followed by the Germanic tribes dwelling between the Rhine and the Elbe: inter Rhenum populos Albimque iacentes (though Marlowe's edition probably had Alpesque—the reading of several manuscripts—for Albimque).
Critical Apparatus
479 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
480 He looking on] Marlowe seems to understand Lucan's rhetoric better than either Duff or Sulpitius. The former translates Romano spectante as 'under the eyes of the Romans', in agreement with the commentary's explanation that Romano signifies Romanis militibus. Marlowe, however, correctly interprets the trope—which Puttenham calls 'Antonomasia, or the Surnamer', instancing the appellation 'the great Vallois' for 'the French king … because so is the name of his house' (The Arte of English Poesie (1589), 151).
Editor’s Note
484 the Court, the Senate] Curia.
Editor’s Note
486 Left … Consuls] Marlowe is perhaps too concise in his translation of invisaque belli | Consulibus fugiens mandat decreta senatus (Duff: 'and the Senate fled, deputing to the consuls the dreaded declaration of war').
Editor’s Note
488 Their sway of fleight] Marlowe uses 'sway' in the sense (OED 3) of 'Force or pressure bearing or inclining its object in one direction or another' to translate Lucan's fugae … impetus.
Editor’s Note
489 in chain'd troupes breake forth] 'Forth they rush in long unbroken columns' is Duff's translation of serieque haerentia longa | Agmina prorumpunt.
Editor’s Note
491 Dropping-ripe … Ruine] Lucan speaks of houses iam quatiente ruina | Nutantes pendere (Duff: 'swaying and tottering in an earthquake shock').
Editor’s Note
492 the inconsiderate multitude] Sulpitius glosses Lucan's adjective lymphata as Furiosa; 'inconsiderate' has the sense (OED 2) of 'acting without deliberation; thoughtless, imprudent'.
Critical Apparatus
495 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
496 Auster] The south wind.
breach] The breaking of waves on a coast; OED (sb. 1. 2) instances Twelfth Night: before you took me from breach of the sea' (II. i. 21).
Editor’s Note
497 Libian Syrtes] Two wide gulfs, dangerous to shipping, on the north coast of Africa; in stormy weather the south wind drives the sea away from the quicksands.
Editor’s Note
500–1 Marriners … themselves] Although the ship is undamaged by the storm, the sailors tear off its timbers for their own support in the water, thereby wrecking the vessel: Naufragium sibi quisque facit.
Editor’s Note
505 Their houshould gods] The Lares Familiares, beneficent spirits who watched over each individual household.
Critical Apparatus
506 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
507 Th' irrevocable people flie] In his translation of Lucan's ruit inrenvocabile volgus, Marlowe joins the 'clerks and scholers and secretaries' described by Puttenham who
… not content with the usual Normane or Saxon word, would convert the very Latine or Greeke word into vulgar French, as to say innumerable for innombrable, revocable, irrevocable, irradiation, depopulation & such like, which are not naturall Normans nor yet French, but altered Latines, and without any imitation at all: which therefore were long time despised for inkehorne termes, and now be reputed the best & most delicat of any other. (The Arte of English Poesie, II. xii.)
Critical Apparatus
509 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
509–10 Roome … Captives] Lucan pictures the city full of free citizens and conquered peoples: Urbem populis victisque frequentem, and his victis seems to justify Dyce's emendation from Q's 'Captaines'.
Critical Apparatus
510 Captives] Dyce; Captaines Q
Editor’s Note
515 suddaine rampire] Marlowe translates the subitus … agger with an obsolete sense of sudden (OED adj. 5): 'Made, provided, or formed in a short time'.
Critical Apparatus
516 in] iu Q
Critical Apparatus
517 Roome] Roome Q
Critical Apparatus
519 fled.] ⁓, Q
Editor’s Note
525 the North] Marlowe takes Lucan's polum in its absolute sense of North Pole, rather than with the general meaning of 'the sky'.
Editor’s Note
527 Commets … kingdoms] Lucan is the source of the expression whose English phrasing was developed from Marlowe by Shakespeare in 1 Henry VI: 'Comets, importing change of times and states' (1. i. 2).
Editor’s Note
528 The flattering skie] Lucan describes the omens in a sky of deceptive clearness—fallaci … sereno.
often] This adjectival use (OED B) is common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; cf. As You Like It, IV. i. 19: 'My often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.'
Editor’s Note
533 the Capitoll] Lucan refers (and Sulpitius explains the reference) to Latiare caput—i.e. Alba Longa, the capital of Latium, with its shrine of Jupiter Latialis.
Editor’s Note
535–7 Phoebe … pale] Lucan describes an eclipse when the moon was full and was reflecting the sun's light with her whole orb. For 'th'earths suddaine shadow', cf. Dr Faustus, A 244: 'Now that the gloomy shadow of the earth'— which in the B Text becomes 'shadow of the night' (line 227).
Editor’s Note
541–2 as did … East] Mycenae was plunged into darkness when the sun fled back to its place of rising (per ortus) in horror at the sight of Thyestes, who banqueted on his own sons.
Critical Apparatus
543 unbarred] ⁓; Q
Editor’s Note
543 Mulciber]Vulcan, whose forges were under Mt Aetna.
Editor’s Note
545 bending Hespery] Instead of shooting upwards, the volcanic flames swept down to the Italian coast (Ignis in Hesperium cecidit latus).
Editor’s Note
546–7 Charibdis … Mastives] The whirlpool Charibdis, traditionally said to be in the Straits of Messina, was opposite the cave of Scylla—who was commonly pictured as a marine monster with canine attributes.
Editor’s Note
547 the vestall fires] The perpetual flame on the altar of Vesta, goddess of the home.
Editor’s Note
548 The flame … Jove] Lucan alludes to the sacrificial fires which signified the end of the feriae Latinae, and Sulpitius adds the explanation: Sacra Latialis Iovis a Latinis populis.
Editor’s Note
550 the Theban brothers] The bodies of Eteocles and Polynices, sons of Oedipus, were burned on the same funeral pyre, but the flames rose in two separate tongues, a sign that even in death the brothers were not reconciled.
Editor’s Note
551 The earth … hinges] Marlowe translates Lucan's cardine tellus Subsedit with an expression which antedates OED's earliest (1611) use of the phrase to mean 'out of order; in (or into) disorder'.
Editor’s Note
552 laps] There is a strong temptation here to accept Dyce's emendation 'tops', as being a more accurate translation of the Latin iugis nutantibus.
Editor’s Note
553 Spanish Calpe] Gibraltar (Lucan has Hesperiam Calpen, and Sulpitius glosses Hesperiam as Hispaniam).
Editor’s Note
554 Atlas] Sulpitius has Atlas mons altissimus. It was believed that this mountain, running from east to west across Africa, was so high that the heavens rested on top.
Editor’s Note
556 Crownes … statues] It is Sulpitius who supplies this detail—Sponte decidisse ornamenta & coronas deorum—in explanation of Lucan's statement that the temple offerings fell from their places.
Editor’s Note
557 and wilde beastes] Martin follows Cunningham's suggestion, reading 'at night wild beasts', in order to regularize the rhythm and accommodate Lucan's sub nocte.
Critical Apparatus
558 Rome] Rome Q
Critical Apparatus
563 moves] ⁓, Q
Editor’s Note
563–4 they … armes] Fanatical worshippers of the war-goddess Bellona gashed their arms in orgiastic ecstasy.
Editor’s Note
564 Sibils priests] The Galli, eunuch priests of Cybele, were whirling (Marlowe's 'Curling') their hair in frenzy. The spelling here suggests that Marlowe has confused the Cumaean Sibyl (whose prophecies, the Sibylline books, are referred to in line 562) with Cybele, the Great Mother.
Critical Apparatus
566 sigh'd] Dyce; sight Q
Editor’s Note
566 quiet and appeas'd] Cooper gives both these words in translating conpono (Lucan's conpositis).
sigh'd] The emendation (from Q's 'sight') makes for both the sense and an accurate rendering of gemuerunt.
Critical Apparatus
567 woods] ⁓, Q
Critical Apparatus
568 men.] ⁓, Q
Editor’s Note
570–2 fowle … toppe] One of the Furies, with the traditional attributes of snakes for hair and a flaming torch.
Critical Apparatus
572 fiend] ⁓; Q
Editor’s Note
573 the sterne Lycurgus] This was a king of Thrace who attempted to drive the worship of Bacchus from his kingdom; intending to cut down the vines, he cut off his own legs.
Editor’s Note
574 fierce Agave] In a state of Bacchic frenzy Agave, wife of the King of Thebes, killed her own son, Pentheus.
Editor’s Note
574–6 like Megaera … face] The Fury Megaera was sent by Juno (iussu Junonis iniquae) to terrify Hercules after his visit to the underworld, where he had seen its ruler, Dis (viso iam Dite). Marlowe accepts the gloss of Sulpitius: Post visum Plutonem.
Editor’s Note
579 Sylla's ghost] The dictator L. Cornelius Sulla.
Editor’s Note
581–2 Marius … open] Gaius Marius had opposed Sulla (according to Sulpitius, the two bellis civilibus gavisi sunt); on the orders of Sulla, the body of Marius was disinterred and thrown into the Anio, the river Teverone.
Critical Apparatus
584 amongst] amonst Q
Editor’s Note
584 th' Etrurian Augures] Tuscos … vates. Sulpitius: Hetrusiae aruspices. The Etruscans invented the art of the haruspex—divination from the entrails of a slaughtered beast.
Editor’s Note
585 *Leuca] Sixteenth-century editions of Lucan (as well as Sulpitius) give the marginal gloss Luna.
Editor’s Note
586 Pyromancy] Lucan says that the soothsayer understood the course of the thunderbolt (Fulminis … motus), and Sulpitius explains this as Pyromanticus.
Editor’s Note
589 the barren … issue] Lucan does not specify an unnatural beast, but Sulpitius explains that the reference is propter mulam.
Editor’s Note
592 the sacred priests] Lucan appears to be contrasting these, the college of high priests, with the Turba minor (Marlowe's 'inferiour troupe' in line 595) from the subordinate religious colleges.
Editor’s Note
596 the Gabine manner] According to this fashion a corner of the toga was thrown over the left shoulder, and brought under the right arm to the breast.
Editor’s Note
597 vaild Matron] The procession of vestals was led by a vittata sacerdos, whom Sulpitius describes as Maxima Vestalium, velata.
Editor’s Note
598 Minervas statue] The Palladium.
Critical Apparatus
599 wash] Dyce; washt Q
Editor’s Note
599 Sybillas secret works] Sulpitius makes it clear that the fata deum secreta carmina are the Sibyllinos libros, the prophecies of the Cumaean Sibyl—whom the next line seems to confuse once again with Cybele (cf. line 564n).
Editor’s Note
599–600 wash … floud] The image of the goddess Cybele was washed annually in the Almo, to restore its original purity in the cleansing waters.
Editor’s Note
601 Apolloes southsayers] The Titii … sodales are identified by Sulpitius: sacerdotes Apollinis.
Joves feasting priests] Sulpitius is needed to explain Lucan's Septemvirque epulis festis; these were sacerdotes … qui in dicendorum faciendorumque epulorum Iovi, & diis reliquis facultatem habebant.
Editor’s Note
602 The skipping … wedges] The Salii were dancing priests of Mars; the detail of the shape of their shields came from Sulpitius: Scuta cuneata specie.
Editor’s Note
603 Flamins & vailes ] The flamens were priests who performed the sacrifice. Lucan mentions the pointed cap (apicem) worn as a mark of office, but Marlowe prefers the detail supplied by Sulpitius: assiduo filo veletur, quasi filamen.
Critical Apparatus
604 Roome] Roome Q
Editor’s Note
607 cals … Bidentall] Modern editions read Datque locis numen, which refers to the hallowing of the ground where the lightning-blasted wreckage was interred. One textual variant, however, is nomen for numen, and Sulpitius adds Appellat Bidental, alluding to the ritual slaughter of a young sheep (bidens) to sanctify the spot.
Editor’s Note
609 salt levin] Cooper translates Lucan's word molas as 'a cake made of meale and salt'; 'levin' is a form of leaven—and indicates that Marlowe is thinking (correctly) of the meal rather than the finished 'cake'.
Editor’s Note
614 wallowed] A powerful use of the verb in the sense of 'spouted, gushed' (OED. v. intr. 5). Cf. the translation of Seneca's Agamemnon by John Studley, in Tenne Tragedies, ed. Thomas Newton, 1581:
  • heere from the Carkasse dead
  • The spouting blood came gushing out: and there the head doth lye
  • With wallowing, bobling, mumbling tongue.
(Act V)
Editor’s Note
620–1 every vaine … Caesar] Marlowe manages to convey some sense of Lucan's description of the liver: venasque minantes [modern editions, inaces] Hostili de parte videt. The two main lobes of the liver were called the pars hostilis and the pars familiaris; here the pars hostilis is that of Caesar, and its swollen veins portend conflict.
Critical Apparatus
624 matter; … cal] Martin; ⁓ ‸ … ⁓; Q
Editor’s Note
624 Squis'd … pearde] The emendation of Q's punctuation allows for the accommodation of Lucan's meaning: produntque suas omenta latebras. The verb 'Squis'd' could be a form of either of OED's 'obsolete' verbs squiss or squize; both have a sense of 'squeezing'. It is Cooper who translates omentum as 'The call … wherein the bowels are lapt'.
Critical Apparatus
634 unfold;] ⁓, Q
Editor’s Note
635 Tages] A grandson of Jupiter, who was the first teacher of augury and divination by haruspication.
Editor’s Note
637 Involving all] Modern editions of Lucan read omina … Involvens, but sixteenth-century texts have omnia. Marlowe's 'Involving' (OED 3) is a reasonable rendering of the gloss Confundens & occultans.
Editor’s Note
638 Figulus] A neo-Pythagorean sage.
Editor’s Note
639 Aegiptian Memphis] The Egyptian school of astrology.
Editor’s Note
640 tune-full planeting] Marlowe takes Lucan's numeris in the sense of the order or harmony of the spheres—the direction indicated by Sulpitius: Canonicis spaciis temporum, quibus se astra per gradus movent quadam cum harmonia. Ben Jonson is perhaps recalling Marlowe's phrase when he writes of 'giving to the World | Again, his first and tunefull plannetting' (The Sad Shepherd, III. ii. 31–2).
Editor’s Note
642 casuall] OED casual I: 'produced by chance … fortuitous'. Lucan's incerto … motu is glossed Temerario & fortuito' by Sulpitius.
Critical Apparatus
643 Rome] Rome Q
Critical Apparatus
644 plague;] ⁓? Q
Editor’s Note
647 Shall … ice] Lucan's soothsayer fears that the waters will all be poisoned (Omnis an effusis miscebitur unda venenis).
Editor’s Note
650 cold … Saturne] Sulpitius justifies Lucan's astrological epithet with the explanation that Saturn is called frigida, Quia a Sole, in quo totus est calor, est astellag remotissima.
Editor’s Note
652 Gaynimede] Lucan has the more predictable Aquarius, but Marlowe changes the name in accordance with the comment of Sulpitius: Aquarius signum, in quod finxerunt Ganymedem fuisse conversum, & ex urna aquam emittere.
Deucalions flood] The inundation whereby Jupiter drowned the whole human race except Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha.
Editor’s Note
654 sing] A form of singe.
Editor’s Note
655 The fell Nemean beast] The Nemean lion killed by Hercules as one of his twelve labours—qui postea inter signa relatus est (Sulpitius)—to become the constellation Leo.
Editor’s Note
657 thy fiers hurt not] Hi cessant ignes. The action described by Lucan took place in winter, when Saturn was not 'exalted' (Summo … caelo), and the Sun was not in the sign of Leo.
Editor’s Note
659 cleyes] The claws (chelas) of Scorpio; 'cleyes' is a variant of sb. clee, itself a form of claw (OED).
Editor’s Note
660 Kind] Sulpitius gives Benignus for Lucan's mitts. Lucan makes the standard distinction between the benign planets, Jupiter and Venus, and those of baleful aspect—cold Saturn and fiery Mars—which at the time were dominant.
Editor’s Note
661 swift Hermes retrograde] motuque celer Cyllenius haeret. Sulpitius identifies Cyllenius as Mercurius, and glosses haeret as Retrogradus est. Mercury is swiftest of the planets because it is closest to the sun.
Editor’s Note
664 Sword-girt … bright] The constellation Orion is conspicuous for its brilliance; three especially bright stars form the 'side' (latus), or belt.
Editor’s Note
666–7 Let all … let last] Lucan uses the simple future tense here (erit and exhibit); Marlowe's 'Let' and 'let' seem to be used jussively.
Critical Apparatus
667 furious] firious Q
Critical Apparatus
669 Rome] Rome Q
War] text; Onely catchword
Editor’s Note
669 War onely gives us peace] Lucan's soothsayer is rather less ambiguous: peace will bring a reign of tyranny (Cum domino pax ista venit).
Editor’s Note
674 As … raves] With the aid of Sulpitius, Marlowe unravels the allusiveness of Lucan's Nam qualis vertice Pindi | Edonis Ogygio decurrit plena Lyaeo. Sulpitius glosses Edonis as Maenas, sacerdos Bacchi, and explains plena Lyaeo as Corrupta furore Bacchi, adding for Ogygio the more usual Thebano. Pindus, in Thrace, was renowned for Bacchanalian revels.
Editor’s Note
676 Disclosing Phoebus furie] Manifestans Phoebi numen is the gloss given by Sulpitius.
Critical Apparatus
677–8 fall, … aloft?] Dyce; ⁓? … ⁓, Q
Editor’s Note
677 Pean] A surname of Apollo.
Editor’s Note
678–94 see … downe] The 'Matron's' vision reveals the battles to come and the civil warfare, along with the deaths of Pompey and Caesar, until the time of the final struggle at Philippi in 42 BC.
Editor’s Note
678 Pangeus hill] The mountain that overlooked Philippi.
Editor’s Note
680 Philippi plaines] Duff comments (and Sulpitius offers a similar observation) that 'She means Pharsalia; but it is a convention with the Roman poets … to speak of Pharsalia and Philippi as fought on the same ground'.
Critical Apparatus
681 Rome] Rome Q
Editor’s Note
683 Pelusian] Pelusium was the city at the mouth of the Nile.
Editor’s Note
684 This headlesse trunke] The body of Pompey.
Editor’s Note
686–7 where … bandes] Some modern editions have Enyo (goddess of war) for Erinnys, the Fury who drove the Thessalian armies to fight in Africa.
Editor’s Note
688 pine bearing hils] The reference is to the Alps. In the Latin there is a textual crux, with the variants piniferae | nubiferae; modern editors prefer the latter, but Marlowe's text obviously read piniferae.
Critical Apparatus
689 Rome] Rome Q
Editor’s Note
689 Pirene] The Pyrenees.
Editor’s Note
689–90 back to Rome … Senat House ] She foresees Caesar's return to Rome after the battle of Munda, and his assassination in the Roman Senate House.
Critical Apparatus
691 againe] ⁓: Q
Editor’s Note
691 New factions rise] She prophesies continuing struggle after the death of Caesar.
Editor’s Note
693 I have seene Philippi] She has already witnessed the Battle of Pharsalia (see line 680n.), and does not want to see the repetition (between Augustus, Brutus, and Cassius) at Philippi.
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