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Placement, gender, pedagogy: Virgil's fourth Georgic in print *.

What assumptions enable a writer to believe that a given utterance, whether didactic or mythic, poetic or paraliterary, can instigate action? Can poetry make anything happen? These questions organize the following discussion, which brings humanist pedagogy, poetics, and print culture to bear on an interpretation of the nymph Cyrene's role in Virgil's Fourth Georgic. The epyllion with which the Georgics concludes uses Cyrene as a means of testing didactic writing, and sets up problems that would ultimately challenge the assumptions and practices of the humanist editors, commentators, and illustrators who guided the poem into print. In Virgil's enigmatic epyllion, Cyrene's gender and placement are at once an essential component of her pedagogy, and the reason humanist pedagogy has not figured prominently in accounts of the poem's reception during the Renaissance.


After three and a half books mingling agricultural precept with speculative digression, Virgil concludes his didactic poem with a narrative account of the origins of bugonia--a technique for breeding bees from the corpses of slain bullocks. This narrative takes the form of an epyllion (so that the framing account of Aristaeus' quest to replace his bees, and the inset Orpheus material as sung by the seer Proteus, constitute a single narrative unit), and seems always to have presented a challenge to interpretation. (1) The Orpheus material has dominated recent scholarship on the Georgics, (2) but the frame narrative offers a point of entry into pedagogical problems that are vital to the epyllion.

Faced with the loss of his bees, Aristaeus utters a riverside complaint to his mother Cyrene and is promptly escorted to her underwater bower by her nymphs. Cyrene instructs Aristaeus to seek aid from Proteus, telling him he must surprise and bind the seer: "nam sine vi non ulla dabit praecepta, neque illum / orando flectes" (4.398-99(3)) (For without force he will give you no counsel, nor shall you bend him by prayer). Comforted, instructed, and accompanied to Proteus' cave by Cyrene, Aristaeus overpowers the seer, who, in lieu of offering the promised praecepta (precepts, counsels), sings instead of Orpheus' loss of Eurydice. Proteus' song makes Arisraeus responsible for the death of Eurydice (she was bitten by a poisonous snake while fleeing his advances), and Orpheus responsible for the loss of Aristaeus' hive ("tibi has miserabilis Orpheus / haudquaquam ad meritum poenas... / suscitat" [4.454-56]; this punishment, far less than you deserve, unhappy Orpheus arouses against you). Proteus' version of the st ory of Orpheus and Eurydice seems to have been Virgil's invention. No one before him implicates Aristaeus and his bees in the deaths of the lovers, and he appears also to have been the first poet to make Orpheus unsuccessful in his mission to retrieve Eurydice. (4) Having ended his song, Proteus flees, and Cyrene, who remains with Aristaeus, is faced with the task of putting to use what she and her son have learned from the seer's highly enigmatic song. Cyrene decides that Aristaeus can recuperate his bees by placating the nymphs who had been Eurydice's companions. In accordance with Cyrene's instructions, Aristaeus sacrifices eight oxen and leaves their bodies to putrefy in a grove for nine days. When he returns to the grove after the prescribed time he is greeted by a miraculous sight:
liquefacta boum per viscera toto
stridere apes utero et ruptis effervere costis,
immensasque trahi nubes, iamque arbore summa
confluere et lentis uvam demittere ramis. (4.555-58)

(throughout the paunch, amid the molten flesh of the oxen, bees buzzing and swarming forth from the ruptured sides, then trailing in vast clouds, till at last on a treetop they stream together, and hang in clusters from the bending boughs.)

Figure 1, first printed in John Ogilby's 1654 English translation of Virgil's works, depicts Aristaeus' return to the grove and the miraculous sight that greets him there. (5) The plate is unsigned and the engraver unknown, but the German-born artist Franz Cleyn (1582-1658) executed the original designs for the images in the volume. Recent attention to Ogilby's edition has concentrated on the political implications of his translations, and Annabel Patterson has demonstrated how fully Ogilby's adherence to the beleaguered royalist cause pervaded his reading of Virgil. (6) Cleyn's engraving may contain vestiges of this allegiance, especially given that one long-standing tradition in scholarship on the Georgics reads Virgil's bugonia as a coded account of the emergence of a new political order from the violence of the Roman Civil War. (7) Here, the rising sun casts its beams toward an empty temple, and Aristaeus' lone attendant (beating a pot at the left edge of the engraving) seems to perform the dual task of c oaxing the swarm to settle (8) and heralding with primitive music a surprising kind of "restoration."

But in addition to the potential political implications of bugonia, the scene depicted by Cleyn is a striking visual reminder of the sheer strangeness of this violent substitute for traditional procreation -- a "birth" that excludes a living female birthgiver of the insect being spawned. Aristaeus' posture suggests shock, but his facial expression is strangely placid and his gaze is focused less on the rising plume of bees than on the corpse immediately before him. Cleyn has chosen to depict the moment of Aristaeus' discovery of the marvel rather than the protracted act of instruction that made it possible. Technical considerations must have governed that choice, since bugonia provides a congenial showcase for an artist's talents, and since artists had, by the middle of the seventeenth century, abandoned interest in depicting a series of events within a single image. Nevertheless, this simple compositional consideration has the curious effect of mimicking the exclusion of the mother from bugonia, and Cleyn's engraving preserves no trace of Cyrene's crucial role in Aristaeus' success. It is tempting, in fact, to view the absence of a living female from the reproductive technology of bugonia as a surprising analogue to the way in which Cyrene's contribution has been passed over in traditional accounts of her son's undertaking. (9)

But details gleaned from early printed editions of the poem offer grounds for seeing bugonia primarily as a triumph of Cyrene's pedagogy. Specifically, a number of illustrations, anonymous annotations of Renaissance readers, and the marginal commentaries from which those readers sought guidance, cooperate in significant ways to emphasize that bugonia is a direct result of Cyrene's instruction. This view of the epyllion brings the work of gender to bear on the discourse of pedagogy. To attend to the importance of Cyrene's role in the epyllion is to see in the Georgics a self-conscious attempt to test the rhetorical strategies that characterize didactic writing against the didactic function that was accorded to poetry even in ancient times. (10) At the end of the Georgics, Virgil employs Cyrene as a kind of provisional solution for the problem that plagues the didactic enterprise, which is always seeking to disguise the rift between its ability to organize informational patterns and its inability to enforce th e actions those informational patterns are intended to instigate. Cyrene proves capable not only of uttering commands and seeing them executed, but of carrying out the far more nebulous and challenging task of putting to use a poetic utterance, and of locating in highly enigmatic and emotive poetry a path to human action.


An underexamined maternal energy governs the act of instruction in the Aristaeus epyllion, and Virgil mobilizes this energy in an attempt to construct a pedagogical model that attends to both the insecurities of the didactic enterprise and to the still more elusive problem of whether poetry can instigate action. But before examining the implications of Cyrene's status as a gendered pedagogue, there are three moments in which Virgil's text hints at the symbolic value of Cyrene's physical presence at every stage of Aristaeus' undertaking. Throughout the latter half of the epyllion, Cyrene's presence and placement are integral components of her pedagogy.

Having told Aristaeus where to find and how to capture Proteus, and having insisted on accompanying him to the cave herself, Cyrene places her son in the shadows to surprise the god. Significantly, Cyrene remains on the scene. Virgil apparently wrote: "hic iuvenem in latebris aversum a lumine Nympha / collocat, ipsa procul nebulis obscura resistit" (4.423-24). Modern editors are unanimous in reading resistit (presumably related to resto-restare, to stand still, stay behind, remain), but early printed editions are almost as likely to read recessit (recedo-recedere, to go back, draw back, recede, retreat, retire) in place of resistit, thereby removing Cyrene from the scene of Proteus' capture. (11) The famous 1502 edition of Virgil's works edited by the humanist and poet Sebastian Brant (1458-1521) and printed at Strasbourg by Johann Gruninger, prints resistit, as does the text edited by the Milanese humanist Alessandro Minuziano (1450-1522) in 1504, and the edition printed by at Paris by Pierre Vidoue and Pie rre Gaudoul in 1529. (12) However, the texts edited by Philipp Melanchthon (1535) and Petrus Ramus (1556) both adopt recessit, and Melanchthon's edition includes a marginal note acknowledging that some copies give the alternative reading: "alii, resistit" (13) (others [i.e., other copies read] resistit).

In 1589, the English churchman, antiquarian, and poet Abraham Fleming (1552?-1607) published a translation that should give some indication of what is at stake in the two readings:
The nymph [Cyrene] placeth heere the yoong man Aristey
Within the lurking hole he being turned from the light,
[Standing aside from the caves mouth whereat the light came in,]
And she went backe againe farre off darkned with
mistie clouds. (14)

Fleming seems concerned about where and how to position Cyrene, and in a marginal gloss on this passage he first notes the reading he has adopted and then the variant: "Recessit, returned, withdrew hirselfe. some boks have resistit standeth stil, or asside, staieth herselfe." The two readings give a vastly different sense of the extent of Cyrene's involvement in the scene; either she withdraws, as Fleming gives it, "farre off," or she remains hidden exactly where she is at Aristaeus' side. Modern translators betray the same concern over Cyrene's placement, and though working from texts that read resistit, offer translations that seem closer to the recessit reading. H.R. Fairclough, for instance, translates in the Loeb edition: "Here the Nymph stations the youth in ambush, away from the light; she herself, veiled in a mist, stands aloof." It is possible, however, that resistit warrants leaving Cyrene where she is, and that the phrase could be translated, "she herself, veiled in a mist, remains close by," with only the relative distance implied by Virgil's procul (at, to, from a distance). (15) Such a reading is fully in keeping with Cyrene's insistence that she herself would guide Aristaeus to Proteus' cave ("ipsa ego te... accenderit" [4.401]; I myself will guide you), and with other signs that her presence and placement are integral components of her pedagogy. In any case, Cyrene must remain close enough to understand Proteus' song. Procul and resistit seem to operate in careful tension, so that procul pushes her away while resistit keeps her close at hand. For modern editors and translators, the act of separating Cyrene from her son at this crucial stage of his undertaking seems to have as much to do with the problem of not knowing what to make of her presence as it does with questions about the semantic range of resistit. Fifteenth-, sixteenth-, and seventeenth-century editors and commentators, however, lived with parallel textual traditions that could leave her on the scene, remove her far into the shadows, ( 16) or even, as we will see, make her vanish into thin air.

Notwithstanding Cyrene's assurance that Proteus will supply Aristaeus with praecepta (4.398), Proteus' song is, to say the least, obscure in its relation to the kind of knowledge Aristaeus is seeking. Indeed, the chief challenge of the encounter between Aristaeus and Proteus is to make it meaningful and useful, to "read" Proteus' song so as to be able to intuit a course of action from the narrative tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. The task of doing so falls to Cyrene who, after Proteus concludes his song and flees, pointedly remains at her son's side, reassures him, and sets about instructing him in the performance of a set of propitiatory actions:
 Haec Proteus, et se iactu dedit aequor in altum,
quaque dedit, spumantem undam sub vertice torsit.
at non Cyrene, namque ultro adfata timentem:
'nate, licet tristis animo deponere curas.
haec omnis morbi causa, hinc miserabile Nymphae,
cum quibus illa choros lucis agitabat in altis,
exitium misere apibus. tu munera supplex
tende petens pacem, et facilis venerare Napaeas;
namque dabunt veniam votis, irasque remittent.
sed modus orandi qui sit prius ordine dicam.
quattuor eximios praestanti corpore tauros,
qui tibi nunc viridis depascunt summa Lycaei,
delige et intacta toridem cervice iuvencas.
quatruor his aras alta ad delubra dearum
constitue, et sacrum jugulis demitte cruorern
corporaque ipsa bourn frondoso desere luco.
post ubi nona suos Aurora ostenderit ortus,
inferias Orphei Lethaea papavera mitres,
et nigram mactabis ovem, lucumque revises:
placatam Eurydicen vitula venerabere caesa.' (4.528-47)

(Thus Proteus, and at a bound plunged into the deep sea, and where he plunged, whirled the water into foam beneath the eddy. Cyrene stayed, and straightway spoke to the startled youth: 'You may dismiss from your mind the care that troubles it. This is the whole cause of the sickness, and hence it is that the Nymphs, with whom she [Eurydice] used to tread the dance in the deep groves, have sent this wretched havoc on your bees. You must offer a suppliant's gifts, sue for peace, and pay homage to the gentle maidens of the woods; for they will grant pardon to prayers, and relax their wrath. But first I will tell you in order the manner of your supplication. Pick out four choice bulls, of surpassing form, that now graze among your herds on the heights of green Lycaeus, and as many heifers of unyoked neck. For these set up four altars by the stately shrines of the goddesses, and drain the sacrificial blood from their throats, but leave the bodies of the steers within the leafy grove. Later, when the ninth Dawn dis plays her rising beams, you must offer to Orpheus funeral dues of Lethe's poppies, slay a black ewe, and revisit the grove. Then with Eurydice appeased you should honour her with the slaying of a calf.')

An intertextual reading of Aristaeus' visit to the cave of Proteus suggests that Virgil has gone out of his way to leave Cyrene at her son's side. As numerous scholars have noted, Aristaeus' journey is closely modeled on Menelaus' visit to Proteus in Odyssey 4.351-570. In Homer, Menelaus is instructed by the nymph Eidothea, but she, unlike Cyrene, does not seem to be present for Proteus' prophecy and plays no further role in advising or instructing Menelaus. (17) In Homer, man and god understand each other without any kind of mediation, but in Virgil's text there is a wide hermeneutic gap between Proteus' utterance and its potential as a spur to action. Cyrene's intercession bridges this gap; in fact, Proteus' puzzling utterance and her surprisingly practical response seem to constitute a kind of shared language to which Aristaeus has no access. Given the traditional view of the overwhelming "masculinity" of the Georgics (a poem seemingly concerned with male roles in masculine spheres of action), Virgil's dep arture from his Homeric model in having Cyrene interpret the song and instruct her son seems to accord her a potentially significant role in what David Halperin has called "the still largely unwritten function of 'the feminine' in the social reproduction of male culture." (18) Cyrene plays a crucial mediating role in the origins of bugonia, and she is the female originator of a process that Cleyn's engraving, for instance, depicts as a specifically male project. Cyrene's pedagogy disrupts this vision and makes bugonia not only a gift of the gods, but the product of a specific gender-inflected exchange in which practical knowledge -- which ancient Greece and Rome constructed as "masculine" (19) -- is envisioned as the product of maternal solicitude. This maternal solicitude presides as a trope over Virgil's attempt to gender the act of interpretation and explanation in which Cyrene is involved.

Cyrene is at once a perfect reader (she is able to distill narrative into precept and to read Proteus' highly enigmatic poetry as a spur to human action) and a perfect preceptor (her presence at every stage of Aristaeus' undertaking is at once a stabilizing force and an essential component of the successful realization of that undertaking). In both cases she offers a useful reminder that pedagogy is deeply invested in a fantasy of perfect exchange between preceptor and student. This demiurgic fantasy pervades the Fourth Georgic, but while this exchange can be depicted in narrative, it can never be wholly accounted for or systematized. The questions with which the georgic poet opens the epyllion -- "Quis deus hanc, Musae, quis nobis extudit artem? / unde nova ingressus hominum experientia cepit?" (4.315-16) (What god, ye Muses, forged for us this device? From what source did this strange new practice of man take its beginnings?)20 -- and which have been taken to have the demigod Aristaeus as their answer, pro ve more difficult to answer once the radical contribution of Cyrene is acknowledged. Proteus narrates the human misfortune and anger that lie behind the death of Aristaeus' bees; Cyrene identifies the nymphs as the agents responsible for Arisraeus' misfortunes and teaches him how to appease both the nymphs and Orpheus; Aristaeus performs the ritual. Who, indeed, forged for us this device?

Cyrene's commitment to aiding and instructing her son brings the powers of maternal devotion to bear on the problem of instruction in the epyllion. (Such mentorship anticipates Venus' protection of Aeneas in the Aeneid, and finds a prized historical analogue in the fame Cornelia derived from educating her sons, the Gracchi.) As a result, we are granted a view of an instructional model in which emotional investment governs the relationship between teacher and student. Moreover, this model of emotional investment is immune to the destructive unpredictability of erotic amor. (Erotic amor wreaks havoc among the animals in the Third Georgic, causes the failure of Orpheus' quest to retrieve Eurydice when he is seized by a sudden fury ["dementia cepit amantem" (4.488)], and may have possessed the Thracian Maenads who dismember Orpheus.) And yet Cyrene's displacement from the core of the instructional model postulated in the epyllion occurred very early in the poem's reception. The key text is Ovid's retelling in the Fasti (circa 8 CE) of Aristaeus' visit to the cave of Proteus. Cyrene plays a seriously diminished role in Ovid's version:
caerula quem genetrix aegre solata dolentem
 addidit haec dictis ultima verba suis:
'siste, puer, lactimas! Proteus tua damna levabit,
 quoque modo repares quae periere, dabit,
decipiat ne te versis tamen ille figuris,
 impediant geminas vincula firma manus.'
Pervenit ad vatem iuvenis resolutaque somno
 alligat aequorei brachia capta senis.
ille sua faciem transformis adulterat arte:
 mox domitus vinclis in sua membra redit,
oraque caerulea tollens rorantia barba,
 'qua' dixit 'repares arte, requiris, apes?
obrue mactati corpus tellure iuvenci:
 quod petis a nobis, obrutus ille dabit.'
iussa facit pastor: fervent examina putri
 de bove: mille animas una necata dedit. (21)

(Scarce could his azure mother soothe his grief, when to her speech she these last words subjoined. 'Stay, boy, thy tears! Thy losses Proteus will retrieve and will show thee how to make good all that is gone. But lest he elude thee by shifting his shape, see that strong bonds do shackle both his hands.' The stripling made his way to the seer, and bound fast the arms, relaxed in slumber, of the Old Man of the Sea. By his art the wizard soon changed his real figure for a semblance false; but soon, by the cords mastered, to his true form returned. Then lifting up his dripping face and azure beard, 'Dost ask,' said he, 'in what way thou mayest repair the loss of thy bees? Kill a heifer and bury its carcase in the earth. The buried heifer will give the thing thou seekest of me.' The shepherd did his bidding: swarms of bees hive our of the putrid beeve: one life snuffed out brought to the birth a thousand.)

As a reading of Virgil, it is a typically Ovidian piece of wit: Cyrene is acknowledged genetrix (mother, but the word also carries traces of the honorific "she who brings forth," an epithet of Venus and Ceres which may serve as a nod to Cyrene's radical contribution to Aristaeus' quest in the Georgics), but Virgil's interest in her ability to generate instruction for her son is elided. In one sense, Ovid restores the story to its Homeric structure. Proteus' tale of Orpheus and Eurydice is replaced by a confrontation between Proteus and Aristaeus in which no intervention or mediation is required and, like Eidothea, Cyrene is not present for the seer's utterance. Ovid, of course, is engaged in a different kind of poetic enterprise. He inserts his account of bugonia into a tale of the origins of animal sacrifice, and he is not intent on mining the story for its ability to offer insight into the projects and problems of the didactic enterprise. This is, however, the easy answer, and the concluding sections of thi s essay argue that Cyrene's gender is inseparable from her pedagogy; and that her gender and pedagogy account for her marginalization in the history of the poem's reception.

Cyrene's presence is once again an essential component of Virgil's model pedagogy when Aristaeus returns to the grove after his sacrifice to the nymphs:
Haud mora: continuo matris praecepta facessit;
ad delubra venit, monstraras excitat aras,
quattuor eximios praestanti corpore tauros
ducit et intacta totidem cervice iuvencas.
post ubi nona suos Aurora induxerat ortus,
inferias Orphei mittit, lucumque revisit.
hic vero subitum ac dictu mirabile monstrum
aspiciunt, liquefacta boum per viscera toto
stridere apes utero et ruptis effervere costis,
immensasque trahi nubes, iamque arbore summa
confluere et lentis uvam demittere ramis. (4.548-58)

(Tarrying not, he straightway does his mother's bidding. He comes to the shrine, raises the altars appointed, and leads there four choice bulls, of surpassing form, and as many heifers of unyoked neck. Later, when the ninth Dawn had ushered in her rising beams, he offers to Orpheus the funeral dues, and revisits the grove. But here they espy a portent, sudden and wondrous to tell--throughout the paunch, amid the molten flesh of the oxen, bees buzzing and swarming forth from the ruptured sides, then trailing in vast clouds, till at last on a treetop they stream together, and hang in clusters from the bending boughs.)

Cyrene's instructions to Aristaeus, and Arisraeus' methodical execution of those instructions, play out in its entirety a didactic relational drama between preceptor and student that is otherwise only rendered in the Georgics in a variety of fragmentary and destabilized forms. The repetition of virtually every word of Cyrene's instructions in the description of Aristaeus' performance of those instructions is, as Richard F. Thomas and others have observed, a conventional Homeric locution. (22) But given the significance of Cyrene's pedagogical intervention, such a style may also represent a trace, at the level of diction, of Virgil's self-conscious examination of the didactic mechanism.

Given that the problems posed by the epyllion are insistently relational (what is the relationship between narrative and precept? how does instruction instigate action?), it is perhaps not surprising that Aristaeus is not alone when he revisits the grove to offer Orpheus' funeral dues ("monstrum I aspiciunt" [4.554-55]; they espy a portent). Among recent commentators, only R.A.B. Mynors has expressed interest in this third-person plural, which seems to serve as a final, muted reiteration of Cyrene's contribution to Aristaeus' project, and to allow for her centrality in Virgil's conception of knowledge and instruction. Mynors does not, however, develop its implications. Citing with approval the conjecture of the nineteenth-century commentator Albert Forbiger that Aristaeus is accompanied by a retinue of attendants, Mynors dismisses out of hand another possibility: "No one could imagine that he would rake his goddess-mother to these ceremonies, or that he could perform them single-handed." (23)


Franz Cleyn's engraving of Aristaeus' return to the grove after his sacrifice to the nymphs (Fig. 1) is representative of the prevailing assumption that bugonia is Aristaeus' personal triumph--a marvel he himself brings about and contemplates. Indeed, the engraving, like Mynors' comments concerning the third-person plural aspiciunt, suggests that there is literally no place for Cyrene at the grove. Ogilby's own decision as translator in his 1654 edition is still more radical than Cleyn's engraving (which does at least acknowledge the verbal clue that Aristaeus has been accompanied to the grove). Ogilby, whose translation of the resistit / recessit crux does its utmost to remove Cyrene from the scene ("here she the Young Man plac'd, / Shelter'd with Darkness, from discovering Light: / Then straight to thin Air vanish'd from his sight" (24)), goes further still in transforming Virgil's third-person construction from plural to singular:
And when the ninth day bright Aurora shew'd,
He worships Orpheus, and the Wood review'd:
A Wonder not to be believ'd, he sees;
From the dissolved Entrails, Swarms of Bees,
Which from the broken Ribs resounding flue,
And in a thick Cloud sally to the Skie;
On a tall Trees top-branch they cluster now,
As Grapes hang dangling on the gentle Bow. (25)

Cyrene's absence from the grove here is consistent with Ogilby's conception, beginning with Cyrene's having "vanish'd" from sight in the cave of Proteus, of Aristaeus' actions as a solitary undertaking. But if Ogilby's repeated emphasis on Aristaeus' personal achievement seems almost programmatic, the engraving that accompanied Ogilby's translation preserves the play of other possibilities even as it imposes a new kind of limitation on them. Cleyn has included the third-person plural ("Adspiciunt" [sic]) in the text quoted in the dedicatory panel at the bottom of the engraving, and his inclusion of a solitary male attendant at the left edge of his engraving indicates that Cleyn felt obliged to account for Virgil's plural in a way that Ogilby did not in his translation.

Some humanist commentators supply a more explicit rationale for Ogilby's decision to send Aristaeus alone to the grove. Melanchthon's sparse marginal commentary, which consists primarily of identifications of rhetorical figures, labels the troublesome third-person verb as a "Coniugationis verborum enallage" (enallage of the conjugation of the verb). (26) The figure of enallage governs ungrammatical, illogical, or unusual uses of language, (27) and Melanchthon's note advocates ignoring the surprising plural. Other commentators pursue the question differently. In the 1492 edition of the Paris printer and bookseller Antoine Caillaut, the verb aspiciunt is glossed as "aristaeus et qui cum eo erant" (Aristaeus and those who were there with him). (28) This note likely inspired the Flemish humanist and printer Badius Ascensius (1462-1535), who glossed the verb ("aristaeus et qui aderant") in his prolix and hugely popular commentary on Virgil.

The verb attracted the attention of readers as well as commentators. A copy of a 1506 edition of the Georgics preserved in the Junius Morgan Collection of Virgil at Princeton University contains an interlinear annotation above the verb aspiciunt which seems to read "Cyrene et arist" (29) (Cyrene and Arist[aeus]). For this reader, at least, Cyrene has accompanied Aristaeus to the grove. The reader of this heavily-marked copy, which was printed at Leipzig by the printer and bookseller Jacob Thanner, would have received little guidance from the very brief arguments by Filippo Beroaldo the Elder (1453-1505) that appear at the beginning of each book of the poem, and the mass of marginal and interlinear notes in this copy are a testament to this anonymous reader's mostly solitary labors. More commonly, however, Renaissance readers owed a complex dual allegiance to Virgil's text and to the layers of commentary accumulating in the margins of their books.

Recent scholarship on the history of reading has produced many insights into the practice of annotating and marking books. (30) Much has been written about the discursive annotations of Renaissance readers and their often polemical engagements with the commentators with whom they shared the page. Quite often, however, annotations are merely perfunctory grammatical notations of case, conjugation, and declension, synonyms, or abbreviated interlinear repetitions of marginal notes from the many commentaries that shared the page with Virgil's text. A 1515 copy of Virgil's works printed at Paris by Francois Regnault preserves one such manuscript note commenting on the troublesome third-person plural aspiciunt. The anonymous reader has inserted above the verb an interlinear note reading simply "Arist et quiaderant." (31) The note repeats verbatim Ascensius' gloss, which is printed on the verso of the page on which the annotation appears. Notwithstanding the extreme view that such notes merely confirm the dull copyin g and subservient reading that humanist pedagogy encouraged,32 the anonymous reader's repetition of Ascensius' note provides a surprisingly useful analogue to the pedagogical dynamic that links Aristaeus to Cyrene and which makes her presence necessary at the grove.

These are hardly grounds for constructing a new theory concerning the complex relationship between reader and commentator, even if this kind of textual trace constitutes one of the most common classes of annotations in Renaissance editions of classical texts. This is particularly true of heavily-commented texts of curriculum authors such as Virgil, in which a reader's verbatim repetition of a marginal gloss bespeaks an almost desperate attempt to prevent an important observation from drowning in a sea of printed marginal commentary. Nevertheless, this exchange between Ascensius and his reader provides an example of the material traces instruction can leave in its wake, and a means of relating those traces to Cyrene's role in the epyllion. In this particular instance, humanistic marginal commentary has left behind traces of its impact on a contemporary reader that make it possible to see the verbatim repetition in Virgil's text as a specifically pedagogical locution (in addition to a Homeric one). It seems pos sible, under such circumstances, to view Cyrene's presence at the grove as serving a discursive function, and to view the repetition of her instructions in the description of Aristaeus' actions as a pedagogical exchange humanists might potentially have identified with their own ideals and practices. And yet, the very process which seems to invite Cyrene to be present institutionalizes a reading that excludes her from the grove. At the reader's invitation, the male preceptor-commentator moves from the margins into the text of the poem, and Ascensius forecloses the space Virgil himself had left open for Ascensius' female pedagogical "original."

It is both possible and productive to take a more sophisticated view of Cyrene's pedagogy than was the norm in Renaissance commentaries--one that would grant her a stake in the concerns about presence and pedagogy that repeatedly turn up in marginal commentaries and in editions and translations of Virgil's works aimed at students. In the first of two dedicatory epistles addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury by Abraham Fleming in his 1589 translation of the Eclogues and the Georgics, Fleming writes that he has forsaken rhyme and adopted a studied plainness in his translations in the hope "that yoong Grammar boyes, may even without a schoolemaister teach themselves by the helpe hereof.,, (33) The fantasy of a perfect pedagogy; then, culminates in a scene from which the preceptor is absent. Similarly, in his curious 1620 grammatical translation of the Eclogues and the Fourth Georgic, the Puritan divine and schoolmaster John Brinsley (1585-1665) constructs a fantasy of a pedagogy that continues to function in the preceptor's absence. Brinsley's ambitious aim is to enable students, with the help of his book, to master Latin, English, and themselves:

To the end that all Schollers may find the severall benefits of these translations mentioned in my Grammar-schoole, not onely for sound understanding, true construing, parsing, getting without booke, making and proving the same Latin, speedy turning either into prose or verse, but also for growth in our English tongue together with the Latin; and principally for causing Schollers to study of themselves, and to prepare their lectures at home, to bring them more perfectly, and keep them more surely; and all this with very much certaintie, pleasure and ease both to maister and scholler I finde this course most radie. (34)

The process of "getting without booke" is in an almost literal sense the final stage of "getting without instructor." The tendency of pedagogical fantasies to invest themselves in projections of the pedagogue's absence seems to offer one possible rationale for the many translations, marginal commentaries, and visual representations in which Cyrene is absent from the grove. Such readings assume, perhaps quite reasonably, that her instruction should be strong enough not to require her presence. But insecurities over this very assumption seem always to vex the didactic enterprise, which so often betrays its despair at the contingency of the responses it hopes to instigate in its readers by metaphorically objectifying the addressee who is to be "cultivated." (35)

The structures of interaction between readers and commentators on the printed page can be viewed as analogues to Cyrene's pedagogy, and as clues that the poem spoke directly to the practices of the humanist scholars and commentators who guided its entry into print. One crucial piece of visual evidence explicitly suggests that this case for Cyrene's importance fell within the realm of what readers and interpreters were prepared to believe about the Georgics by at least the middle of the seventeenth century. Michel de Marolles (1600-81), abbe de Villeloin and mercilessly prolific translator of the classics, published in 1649 a French translation of Virgil's works featuring sumptuous illustrations by the great French engraver Francois Chauveau (1613-76) (36)

These engravings were copied and reprinted at least once more before the end of the seventeenth century, (37) and they constitute the most explicit visual emphasis on the importance of Cyrene's placement and pedagogy.

Figure 2 depicts an explicitly gendered and pedagogical vision of Aristaeus' return to the grove, and is notable for its prominent inclusion of both the nymphs and Cyrene in the scene. Cyrene, at the extreme right of the image, directs her alarmed son's attention to the miraculous scene before him. A crowd of men share in Aristaeus' shock, and two of them have raised their hands in a gesture that mimics that of Aristaeus. Only Cyrene and the nymphs (at the left edge of the engraving) retain any kind of composure. Cyrene, pointing with her left hand to the carcasses from which the bees are erupting, seems to be placed in an explicitly pedagogical posture, suggesting that Chauveau has interpreted Virgil's third-person plural as an indication of the importance of Cyrene's instruction to the success of Aristaeus' undertaking. Chauveau's interpretation of the passage is all the more striking because Cyrene is not explicitly included in Marolles' prose translation of the lines: "La d'abord parut aux yeux de tout l e monde une merveille etrrange" ( There then appeared to everyone's eyes a strange marvel). (38)

Chauveau's engraving suggests that the only means of visually representing the importance of Cyrene's pedagogy is to call attention to her presence at the grove. The engraving, then, makes explicit something that can at most only ever be implicit in Virgil's elusive third-person plural, no matter how deeply invested one might be in asserting that Cyrene is present at the grove. Chauveau's inference is simultaneously justified by Cyrene's crucial contribution to Aristaeus' undertaking, and undermined by the curious paradox that the success of her instructional act is somehow called into question if her presence at the grove is still required.

Significantly, some of Cleyn's designs for Ogilby in 1654 attest to his familiarity with Chauveau's 1649 engravings, opening up the possibility that Cleyn's version of bugonia is a deliberate evasion of the gendered pedagogy depicted in Chauveau's rendition of the event. (39) Chauveau's interest in the iconographical potential of a gendered bugonia seems deliberately to foreground a crucial "gender reading" already advanced within the Fourth Georgic itself: namely, Cyrene's reading of the song of Orpheus. While Proteus assigns to Orpheus responsibility for the fate that has befallen Aristaeus' bees, Cyrene's instructions to Aristaeus explicitly reassign that responsibility to Eurydice's nymphs, and she attributes to them the power to forgive her son. (40) Chauveau has accorded those nymphs a prominent agency by placing them in the left-middle ground of the scene, on a platform behind the altars Aristaeus was instructed to erect in their honor, directly above the slaughtered oxen from whose bodies the new-bor n bees are streaming. This small community of nymphs is Chauveau's reminder that Orpheus (unquestionably Eurydice's most celebrated mourner) was not alone in grieving the loss of Eurydice, and that Cyrene's intercession enabled Aristaeus to appease and bring solace to a fractured and suffering sisterhood.

At every stage of the poem's reception during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, ideas about Cyrene's presence and priority coexist with assumptions about her absence and insignificance. Specifically, the resistit/recessit crux, in addition to the various readings and interpretations of the third-person plural aspiciunt, can be viewed as providing textual grounds for Cyrene's presence or absence from two crucial moments in Aristaeus' quest. Chauveau's engraving plays out within its own margins something of this ambivalence about Cyrene's prominence. Although the foreground articulates an explicitly gendered and pedagogical iconography, the field in the background of the scene depicts a more conventional model of cultural exchange between the sexes. If the relationship between Cyrene and Aristaeus, and the prominence Chauveau accords to the nymphs, bring the question of gender to bear on the epyllion's pedagogical model, the laboring man and woman in the background of the scene may constitut e an attempt to flatten the hierarchy constructed in the foreground. Do these laborers refigure the foreground's hierarchy as an emblem of mutual and perfect exchange, or do they represent a studied reversal of the pedagogy that elevates Cyrene above Aristaeus? The laboring woman's posture seems to echo Cyrene's posture in the foreground, but the male partner has assumed a far more active role than the one played by Aristaeus. In fact, the male laborer has become the sower of seeds, the distributor--in a sense, the preceptor--as if Chauveau accepted the pedagogical hierarchy as it operates within the epyllion, but chose to sever it from what it might suggest about the work of gender in georgic.

Behind those laborers stands a gentleman whose back is turned to them. This gentleman surveys a row of bee skeps, and his presence there (he must be their master), subtly invests the scene with a reminder that questions of power and privilege govern the labors of the sower and planter. They labor for him in the background, and Aristaeus acts at Cyrene's behest in the foreground, but the gentleman's presence and posture are nothing like Cyrene's instructional and maternal solicitude. By offering in the foreground an explicitly gendered and pedagogically inflected model of bugonia, and by inscribing in the distance what seems to be a reversal of the way that pedagogical machinery is gendered in the foreground, Chauveau has combined in a single complex image the entire range of responses to Cyrene's importance as it is usually articulated from copy to copy, commentary to commentary, and illustration to illustration. Chauveau has drawn together in one space the whole of the deeply-conflicted discourse surrounding Cyrene's presence or absence.

One final struggle over the question of Cyrene's participation in the scene at the grove is performed on the very page on which Chauveau's engraving appears. While Chauveau makes bugonia a pedagogical triumph in which Cyrene is the key player, and in which the nymphs are explicitly depicted as the gods who have been appeased, four lines of verse printed beneath the engraving redistribute in a number of directions responsibility for the miracle:
Enfin les Nymphes soeurs, et le divin Prothee,
Le Soleil, le doux air[,] la Clemence du Ciel,
Dans les Boeufs immollez par le jeune Aristee,
Reparent les essains qui composent le miel. (41)

(Finally, the sister Nymphs, and the divine Proteus, the sun, the soft air, the temperate sky, in the oxen sacrificed by the young Aristaeus, restore the honeyproducing bees.) (42)

Strikingly, the nymphs retain a degree of agency, but Cyrene has no place in the verses which have been arranged to gloss the very engraving that most strenuously asserts her prominence.

Chauveau's engraving, which depicts Cyrene as her son's instructor, appears to be the first explicit attempt to bring gender and pedagogy to bear on visual representations of bugonia, but the inclusion of didactic structures in illustrations of the Georgics originates in the very first illustrated edition of Virgil's works (Brant and Gruninger's 1502 Strasbourg edition). The full title of the Strasbourg edition makes the claim that the woodcuts were executed 'per Sebastianum Brant," but scholars agree that Brant only oversaw and directed their execution by artists employed by Gruninger. Brant envisioned the woodcuts as serving an explicitly didactic function, and as a key supplement to the text which would enable him to teach "indocti" (ignorant) readers. (43) As Brant explains in a poem at the end of the volume, the images themselves were intended to teach:
Virgilium exponant alii sermone diserto
Et calamo pueris tradere et ore iuvet.
Pictura agresti voluit Brant atque tabellis
Edere eum indoctis rusticolisque viris. (44)

(Let others explain Virgil with eloquent discourse and let it please them to teach him to boys with pen and speech. Brant wished to publish him with a rural picture and with small tables for ignorant and rustic men.) (45)

All the woodcuts in the Brant volume were designed to serve this didactic function, but those accompanying the Georgics are of a special kind, attending closely to the poem's status as an addressed utterance, and wedding the didactic function of the volume's other woodcuts to the addressed quality of the didactic mode. (46) In the woodcuts to the Georgics, Virgil and the poem's addressee Maecenas are preceptor and student, and as Virgil leads Maecenas through a northern-European-looking Italian countryside, he instructs him in skills ranging from plowing to grafting. Brant and his artists sought to integrate the poem's didacticism into the 1502 volume's woodcuts, and they did so by depicting a pedagogical exchange between instructor and student against a backdrop of georgic field work. Figure 3 is representative of the majority of the images that accompany the first three-and-a-half books of the Georgics. Here, four men busy themselves transplanting and grafting trees while Virgil stands by and describes to M aecenas the tasks being performed. Virgil's extended finger is a kind of prototype for Cyrene's similar gesture in Chauveau's engraving, and a sign that Chauveau was interested in naturalizing to the epyllion an iconography of instruction that had hitherto been relegated to illustrations of the first three-and-a-half books of the poem.

In Brant's 1502 edition the epyllion was the only section of the Georgics not to be illustrated by visual depictions of this pedagogical exchange between Virgil and Maecenas. It seems to have taken one hundred and forty seven years (the time separating Brant's edition from the publication of Chauveau's engravings in Marolles' edition) for visual representations of any kind of didactic exchange to make their way into illustrations of the Aristaeus epyllion in the Fourth Georgic. It is, then, even more significant that the pedagogical dynamic that was so prominent in Brant's volume (and that had disappeared from the work of subsequent illustrators, whose techniques were derived from Italian traditions that were more decorative than descriptive in their aims) (47) should make such an elaborate and complex return in Marolles' 1649 edition. There, Chauveau demonstrates his sensitivity not only to the fact that instruction is vital to the epyllion, but also to the notion that the problem of instruction links the e pyllion to the poem's more overtly didactic passages. Chauveau's explicit inclusion of a scene of instruction in his 1649 depiction of bugonia is a telling sign that the artist, if not Marolles himself, read the conclusion of the epyllion primarily as a successful pedagogy--perhaps even as an explicit and speculative exploration of ideas that are already implicit in the poem's overtly didactic sections. As such, Chauveau's engraving occupies a special position in the attempt to recover early evidence of sensitivity to Cyrene's crucial role in the epyllion, and the attempt to account for the work of gender in simultaneously advertising and eliding her act of instruction. (48)


Disagreements over Cyrene's presence and placement seem to confirm that Cyrene is one of the great mysteries of the poem: in part because she alone is able to put Proteus' song to use; in part because the importance of her pedagogy is so far from being a matter of record in scholarship on the Georgics.

The curiously equivocal position in which Cyrene's gender places her--a position grounded in social constructions that identify "the feminine" with passivity and "the masculine" with activity, and even in the pragmatics of the division of labor in field work--is enticingly relevant to the questions of absence and presence that animate Fleming's and Brinsley's articulation of the pedagogical fantasy. On the one hand, Cyrene must be present at the grove in order to call attention to the pedagogy that underwrites Aristaeus' success; on the other hand, she cannot be present at the grove if that pedagogy is to be judged a success, and if the didactic enterprise in which she is engaged is to be accorded any kind of strength and conceptual vitality. Virgil's text manages to finesse the question and accommodate both sides of this paradox by means of some delicate grammatical work, but commentators and illustrators found themselves facing a different kind of representational problem. In short, Cyrene is only present a s a kind of trace that pedagogy is under examination, and yet her very presence problematizes any claims that the pedagogical enterprise might wish to make about its value as a practice. We are granted a vision in which the work of gender in culture, with its evasions and effacements of "the feminine," doubles as the work of pedagogy.

There are different ways of bringing gender to bear on the formulation of a model pedagogy. The vast literature on the Muses may represent the most significant attempt to come to terms with the curious mixture of prominence and marginality accorded to them by the poets whose work they inspire. The topos of nursing, too, occupies a crucial position in the discourse of pedagogy. Additionally, georgic supplies a uniquely decorous mode in which to map a gendered pedagogy on to the conventional homology between woman and the earth. Lucretius' notion of Epicurus' laying bare the secrets of the recalcitrant and feminine material of the universe is one influential attempt to gender the origin and exchange of knowledge. David Halperin has called attention to Diotima's role in the Symposium, where Socrates cites her authority when he advances a fully reciprocal and mutual conception of eros as a model for dialectic and philosophical enquiry. In seventeenth-century England, Michael Drayron's Poly--Olbion (first part 161 2; second part 1622), with its peripatetic Muse, gendered cartography, and singing landscape, continually experiments with the mobilization of feminine sources of knowledge. And Andrew Marvell's "Upon Appleton House" (circa 1651) provides a fascinating moment of clarity concerning the work of gender in georgic field work:
With whistling scythe, and elbow strong,
These massacre the grass along:
While one, unknowing, carves the rail,
Whose yet unfeathered quills her fail.
The edge all bloody from its breast
He draws, and does his stroke detest,
Fearing the flesh untimely mowed
To him a fate as black forebode.

But bloody Thesrylis, that waits
To bring the mowing camp their cates,
Greedy as kites, has trussed it up,
And forthwith means on it to sup. (49)

Given the duties accorded to her within the georgic economy briefly sketched by Marvell, Thestylis seems to exist primarily to minimize loss in this violent economy, and to ensure that nothing lies waste in a mode intensely concerned with the frill semantic range of "waste." Even from her subordinate position, Thestylis (who "waits I To bring the mowing camp their cares") presides over a brief instance of exchange in which mutuality characterizes gender relations in georgic. Lucy Hutchinson (1620-75), who translated the De Rerum Natura during the 1 1650s, staked a poignant lament for her husband's death on a passive and Lucretian version of the homology between woman and earth, and mourned her husband as a fallen civilizer. Addressing her garden, she writes, "Tis now our best grace to be wild and rude." (50) The fact that constructions of "the feminine" could operate simultaneously within discourses of perfect mutuality and utter passivity calls attention to the way problems of absence and presence play out i n pedagogy. Cyrene, who is at once a solution and a specter, provides a program for gendering the curious binary that inhabits the pedagogical fantasy, and exposes pedagogy as a self-effacing program that frames its greatest fantasies in the very terms by which it is marginalized.

Cyrene's "place" in the poem, then, is no place at all. At most it is a decidedly spectral position; if she does occupy any space it is the open discursive space separating the song of Proteus from the propitiatory action of Aristaeus. But it is not a physical space, and as the reception of the Georgics (beginning with Ovid and spreading roots throughout the poem's first two centuries in print) suggests, only rarely is it even a textual space. While the epyllion offers a methodical, if enigmatic, account of the entry into human life of an astonishing technique for breeding bees from dead bullocks, the same cannot with any assurance be said of Cyrene's ability to read Proteus' song as a spur to human action. This skill is on view in the epyllion, but unlike the superficially more spectacular bugonia, Cyrene's skill as preceptor is never naturalized to or systematized for human consumption. And as the notes of readers, scholarly commentaries, and illustrations in early printed editions of Virgil's works sugges t, her ability to put poetry to use--a possibility on which humanist poetics staked its very existence--merely hovers on the verge of formulation.

Anthony Grafton, Lisa Jardine, Craig Kallendorf, and others have argued persuasively that Renaissance books sometimes offer decidedly ineloquent testimony to the limitations of the humanists' claims for poetry, and that these books preserve textual traces of the inability of readers to make the series of almost magical moves from grammar and etymology to the moral insights and virtuous actions that humanistic pedagogy claimed to facilitate. (51) Crucially, at the time of the poem's most likely date of completion (circa 29 BCE) , Virgil was within a few years of becoming an established curriculum author whose works would be read not only for grammar but for an antique version of the didactic function that humanists ascribed to poetry. (52)

On the cusp of his own early canonization in Roman pedagogy, Virgil contemplates in the Georgics the inscrutability not of poetry itself, but of the means by which it might systematically be put to use. Renaissance readers, commentators, and illustrators all bear material witness that these problems also vexed the enterprise of the humanists who guided the poem--and even accompanied it--into print. Fifteenth-, sixteenth-, and seventeenth-century printed editions of Virgil preserve a collision between the poet's apparent despair at the possibility of founding a technique for putting poetry to use, and a humanistic enterprise that was deeply invested in the promise of such a project. It is tempting, finally, to suppose that the humanists whose commentaries shared the page with the Georgics thought of Cyrene--when they thought of her at all--as a relic of a more primitive pedagogy, one which attends to the original ancient associations of pedagogy with accompaniment rather than instruction, (53) and which was s uperseded by the predominantly masculine assumptions of humanistic letters. (54) But the fact that these printed commentaries were present on the page with Cyrene makes it possible to identify her brand of pedagogy with that of the very humanists who contributed to her effacement from the poem.

* Thanks to Nancy Lindheim, Elizabeth D. Harvey, Jeff Dolven, A.M. Keith, Theresa M. Krier, and Dana Dragunoiu for reading and commenting on an earlier version of this paper. Paul Grendler, Craig Kallendorf, and an anonymous RQ reader made a number of helpful suggestions. Research for this project was made possible by a fellowship from the Princeton University Friends of the Library I thank the Princeton University Library Department of Rare Books and Special Collections for permission to reproduce three illustrations from the Junius Morgan Collection of Virgil.

(1.) Servius' curious account of the epyllion has puzzled scholars and generated its own size able legacy of commentary. He asserts that the epyllion was not part of Virgil's original version of the poem, and that it was written to replace the so-called laudes Galli -- a passage in praise of Cornelius Gallus. (Elegist, friend of Virgil, subject of the Tenth Eclogue, and disgraced former prefect of Egypt, Gallus was forced by Augustus to commit suicide ca. 27 BCE.) No independent evidence has been found to suggest that such a passage existed or that a different "first edition" of the Georgics was ever published. Servius' story has been roundly dismissed and is perhaps best seen as the most elaborate attempt to account for the otherwise unaccountable epyllion, for which nothing in the earlier sections of the poem prepares the reader. See Servius, 3:119; 3:321. For objections to Servius' story, references to recent scholarship, and key articles on the controversy, see Thomas' introduction in Virgil, 1998, 1:13-1 6.

(2.) For a classic account of the main problems and interpretations of the epyllion, see Griffin. One strategy employed by scholars has been to test Arisracus and Orpheus in their respective relationships to the problem of labor. Given such an approach, some scholars have viewed Aristaeus as the epitome of Iron Age experience, and have attributed to Virgil's ambivalence or pessimism the fact that Arisracus is rewarded with a new hive in spite of his complicity in the deaths of Eurydice and Orpheus. See, for example, Putnam, 6, 322; Perkell, 1989,73, 168. Perkell, 2001,39, suggests that the different lives and fares of Atistaeus and Orpheus express the poem's fundamental ambiguity: "power is ironized in the poem as pitiless, pity is ironized as useless." Whatever limited consensus does exist concerning the interpretation of the epyllion seems to center on the notion that Virgil identifies himself with Orpheus and thereby claims a social function for the poet that is both equal to and also outside the mode of e xperience of Aristaeus, who is identified with Octavian. See Perkell, 1989, 26; Lee, 17; Miles, 294; Morgan, 218. Alessandro Schiesaro has evaded this traditional binary by suggesting that Virgil, as georgic poet, is directly implicated in Cyrene's instruction of Aristaeus. Schiesaro's essay has been important for the formulation of my arguments about Cyrene.

(3.) Virgil, 1999. Book and line references to the Georgics will be given parenthetically and departures from Fairclough's Loeb translation will be noted.

(4.) Mynors describes a fifth-century Attic relief which depicts Orpheus, a veiled Eurydice, and Hermes, who seems to be in the act of compelling Eurydice to remain in the Underworld. See Virgil, 1990, 314-15. Orpheus successfully retrieves Eurydice in literary treatments of the story before Virgil. See Wilkinson, 117, and Thomas' account of Proteus' song (Virgil, 1998, 2:225-26). For an account of the evolution of the Orpheus myth see Lee, 1-17, and Segal.

(5.) Virgil, 1654, sig. X4v. The 1654 edition reworks Ogilby's 1649 translation (Virgil, 1649b), which was published without illustrations. The illustrations were engraved by Wenceslaus Hollar, Pierre Lombart, and others after designs by Cleyn. They were later reprinted in Ogilby's 1658 Latin edition and again (with alterations) in Dryden's 1697 translation of Virgil's works. For a brief account of the alteration of the plates for the 1697 Dryden edition, see Pennington, 39-40.

(6.) Patterson, 169-80, argues convincingly that Ogilby's royalist sympathies, which were also evident in his 1649 translation, are much more explicit in the 1654 edition, and that Cleyn's illustrations were instrumental in amplifying Ogilby's already "powerfully historicized" (170) reading of Virgil. David Norbrook, 310, echoes Patterson's assertion that many of the 1654 volume's subscribers, along with the dedicatees of its engravings, were prominent royalists.

(7.) See Morgan for the most recent iteration of this traditional argument that the Georgics is a fundamentally optimistic political poem. Morgan reads the poem as "a thoroughgoing exercise in Octavianic propaganda, a precise response to the requirements of the regime headed by Octavian which at the time of the poem's completion was emerging from the chaos of the Civil War" (1).

(8.) Mynors notes: "that a swarm of bees can be persuaded to settle by making a noise of percussion is a long-standing belief." See Virgil, 1990, 267.

(9.) See Gale, 55, for a recent acknowledgment of Cyrene's contribution. See also Schiesaro, 65-68. Mynors, however, is representative when he suggests that Cyrene "is no more than an essential intermediary in the story" (Virgil, 1990, 301). See also a forthcoming article on Cyrene, Virgil, and Lucretius by Theresa M. Krier.

(10.) Moral and didactic readings of literature seem to have been first institutionalized in the Stoic and Cynic traditions. See Bonner, 48, 242-44. The humanists, of course, were firmly committed to a vision of poetry's moral and political functionality. On the practice of humanistic education, see Grendler; Black, 2001.

(11.) The nineteenth-century editor and commentator John Conington speculates: "'Resistit' may mean no more than 'stat' [stands]; but it seems possible that it may have the force of 'standing off,' with reference perhaps to the cloud into which Cyrene maybe said to retire, just as at [Aeneid] 1.588 it seems to mean 'stands out,' being applied to Aeneas emerging from the cloud. So where 'resto' means 'to remain,' the sense seems to be that of independent standing. The early editions read 'recessit,' which however has scarcely any MS. support." See Virgil, 1865-75, 1:372. I have nor been able to identify the source of even the "scarce" manuscript support to which Conington alludes. On the Virgilian manuscript tradition, see Reynolds, 433-36. Forbiger argues that the confusion caused by procul generates the recessit reading. See Virgil, 1872-75, 1:519-20. Richard F. Thomas suggests that "Perhaps Virgil would have used [recessit] , except Cyrene did nor actually leave" (personal communication). Without firm evid ence about where and when recessit enters the manuscript tradition, its wide distribution in print is less difficult to account for. Two editions vie for the status of editio princeps: Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz's undated [1469?] Rome edition, and Vindelinus de Spira's 1470 Venice edition. Sweynheym and Pannartz print recessit, de Spira prints resistit.

(12.) Virgil, 1502, sig. Qvr; Virgil, 1504, sig. G7r; Virgil, 1529, sig. P6r.

(13.) Virgil, 1535, sig. g6r; Virgil, 1556, fol. 352.

(14.) Virgil, 1589, sig. K2r. Fleming's edition was aimed at students, and the parenthetical extrapolations and clarifications are his. I discuss in the next section the implications of his having aimed his translation at students.

(15.) Mynors suggests that procul means "hard by." See Virgil, 1990, 311.

(16.) A random investigation of nearly one hundred editions printed between 1469 and 1654 confirms that the recessit reading is relatively common. Pierio Valeriano's (1477-1560) textual commentary (published frequently in sixteenth-century editions of Virgil) notes both readings and suggests: "retro ye1 in recessu sistit" (she stands behind him or in a recessed place). Valeriano's note appears, for example, in Virgil, 1529.

(17.) The departure from Homer in these details is the more striking for Thomas' assertion that in Virgil's account of Aristaeus' journey with Cyrene to the cave of Proteus, he "adapts a poetic model as closely as anywhere in his corpus." See Virgil, 1998, 2:216.

(18.) Halperin, 118.

(19.) Constructions of "the feminine" as passive and "the masculine" as active spread deep roots throughout antiquity, from ancient Greek gynecological theory and Aristotle's characteristic depreciation of women to Catullus' strategies of abuse and the works of the Roman love elegists. Extrapolations from the mechanics of heterosexual coition are at the root of such formulations, with "penetrability" constructed as a fundamentally female trait in Roman humor. See Richlin. On Greek disputes over the woman's contribution to conception, see Halperin, 139, and notes 155-64. On the male partner's active "cultivation" of the female's passive body, see Halperin, 141, and notes 181-82. For a trenchant critique of the overwhelming masculinity of epic, see Nugent, 1994. Nugent investigates a cluster of puns on mater / terra / materia in Lucretius' poem with a keen eye to the poet's insistent reduction of "Mother Earth" to the passive material of the universe.

(20.) I have adopted Thomas' translation of the second question. See Virgil, 1998, 2:203.

(21.) Ovid, 1.365-80.

(22.) Virgil, 1998, 2:239.

(23.) See Virgil, 1990, 323. Mynors cites Forbiger's note on the lines in Virgil, 1872-75, 1:537: "Aristaeus cum comitibus" (Aristaeus with [his] attendants). Contra the objection that the nymph doesn't belong on land, Mynors notes that Cyrenc is an enthusiastic huntress in the early literature. See Virgil, 1990, 301.

(24.) Virgil, 1654, sig. X2r.

(25.) Virgil, 1654, Ylr.

(26.) See, for example, Virgil, 1561, sig. h5r. Me1anchrhon's notes were often reprinted.

(27.) See Lanham, 195. Lanham defines enallage as a "substitution of one case, person, gender, number, tense, mood, part of speech, for another."

(28.) Virgil, 1492, sig. s9v.

(29.) Virgil, 1506, sig. k3r. Junius Morgan Collection no. 625. The handwriting is difficult to decipher, but the first word seems either to read "Cyrene" or the surprising "Sirene."

(30.) The study of marginalia by literary scholars and historians has become something of a growth industry during the last decade, and has produced significant insights into the consumption and interpretation of texts. See, for example, Jardine and Grafton; Sherman, 65-100; Burke, 75-80; Grafton, 1997a, 1997b.

(31.) Virgil, 1515, fol. 153r. Junius Morgan Collection no. 49.

(32.) See, most famously, Grafron and Jardine, 1986, 10-11. For an overview of some of the debates occasioned by Grafton and Jardine's work, see Black, 1991.

(33.) Virgil, 1589, sig. A4v.

(34.) Virgil, 1620, sig. A3v. My emphasis.

(35.) On the violence that is often implicit in the georgic metaphors of humanistic educational discourse, see Crane, 53-92, to which Bushnell, 73-116, is a sensitive qualification.

(36.) Virgil, 1649a. Patterson, 182, incorrectly attributes the images to Franz Cleyn. See entry 43 in the "Catalogue icono-bibliographique--XVII (c) siecle" in Pasquier, 240-41.

(37.) Smaller copies of the plates (reversed and engraved by J. Seauve) appear in Virgil, 1681.

(38.) Virgil, 1649a, sig. qir. My translation.

(39.) Concerning the Marolles edition see Pennington, 39: "it is certain that Cleyn had this book in front of him when he made the designs for Ogilby's translation."

(40.) Proteus asserts: "tibi has miserabilis Orpheus / haudquaquam ad meritum poenas, 01 fata resistant, / suscitat, et rapta graviter pro coniuge saevit" (4.454-56) (this punishment, far less than you deserve, unhappy Orpheus arouses against you--did not Fate interpose--and rages implacably for the loss of his bride). Cyrene, however, makes the nymphs responsible: "haec omnis morbi causa, hinc miserabile Nymphae, / cum quibus illa choros lucis agitabat in altis, / exitium misere apibus" (4.532-34) (This is the whole cause of the sickness, and hence it is that the Nymphs, with whom she used to tread the dance in the deep groves, have sent this wretched havoc on your bees). Gyrene's reading should perhaps be seen as a correction--rather than a refutation--of Proteus. The nymphs are the actual agents and are responsible for the death of Aristaeus' bees after Orpheus' desire for greater punishment has been diverted by the fates.

(41.) Virgil, 1649a, sig. n3v. Marolles' translations are in prose, but these verse lines are likely to have been written by him.

(42.) My translation.

(43.) On the didactic function of the woodcuts in Brant and Gruninger's edition, see Rabb. Brant seems to have hoped that the sheer copiousness of the woodcuts (there are more than two hundred) would help explicate the text for readers whose Latin was poor. The woodcuts also provided stronger readers with trivia concerning the attributes of the gods and heroes, all of whom are labeled by name. See also Gorrichon; Patterson, 92-106. For an assessment of the relationship between word and image in the editions of Brant and Dryden (which reprinted with interesting alterations the engravings from Ogilby's 1654 edition), see Leach. For an overview of the main traditions of illustrations in early editions of Virgil, see Mortimer; Kallendorf, 2001. The most extended treatment of Virgilian illustration is Pasquier.

(44.) "Virgil, 1502, sig. dd9v.

(45.) May translation.

(46.) Ancient critics such as Servius, 3:129, make the inclusion of an explicit addressee the primary formal requirement for didactic poetry: "et hi libri didascalici sunt, unde necesse est, ut ad aliquem scribantur; nam praeceptum et doctoris et discipuli personam requirit: unde Maecenatem scribit, sicut Hesiodus ad Persen, Lucretius ad Memmium" (And these are didactic books, so it is necessary that they be written to someone; for counsel requires both a teacher and a student: so he [Virgil] writes to Maecenas, just as Hesiod to Perseus, Lucretius to Memmius). My translation. See Batstone, 129: "ancient critics seem to treat didaxis not as a genre, but as a particular mode of epos." Epos (literally, utterance) was a term for the dactylic hexameter in which Virgil's three canonical poems were written.

(47.) See Rabb, 195-99; but see Kallendorf, 2001, for a reminder that illustrations continued to mediate between the text and reader as a form of interpretation.

(48.) The sheer difficulty of situating Cyrene physically within the action of the epyllion may constitute a fruitful connection between the problem of gender in the Georgics and recent work by feminist scholars on the Aeneid. Nugent, 1999, for instance, argues that Virgil continually depicts "woman" in the Aeneid "both as what must be rejected--even destroyed--and as what remains most indelibly present" (252). Nugent focuses on Creusa, and glosses her sudden and undescribed disappearance during Aeneas' escape from Troy as "a tendency toward incorporealiry" (266). This metaphorical incorporeality becomes literal when Creusa's shade appears to Aeneas. Interestingly, when her shade withdraws from Aeneas, Virgil employs the same verb that would later he foisted upon Cyrene in the early print history of the Georgics: "tenuisque recessit in auras (2.79 1) (and she drew back into thin air). See also Spence, 1999, 80, on "the paradox of centrality and insignificance" that governs Virgil's depiction of Dido. The unce rtainties that collect around Cyrene's placement in the epyllion do nor seem to be grounded in any desire on Virgil's part to control a voice that subverts cultural norms or to discredit Cyrene's contribution. Rather, those uncertainties are the product of Virgil's attempt to make a pair of marginalized and problematic categories (gender and pedagogy) account for their own marginalization through careful juxtaposition. Nevertheless, the narrative techniques by which Virgil makes it possible for Cyrene to be both present and absent are decidedly similar to those discussed by Nugent and Spence. For other influential feminist readings of the Aeneid see Wiltshire; Nugent, 1992; Spence, 1988; Desmond. On gender and epic generally, see Keith.

(49.) Marvell, lines 393-404.

(50.) Hutchinson, line 10.

(51.) See Grafron and Jardine, 1986, 22, 27, 43. Kallendorf, 1999, 54, offers a Succinct statement of the central claims of humanist pedagogy: "Humanist educational theorists claimed that there was a close link between this method of reading the classics, which relies heavily on close verbal analysis of the text, and the transferal of the moral precepts contained in the text to the life of the student reader."

(52.) Q Caecilicus Epirora first began teaching Virgil's poetry at Rome in 26 BCE. See Bonner, 32.

(53.) In Greek education the pedagogue was originally not an instructor at all. Rather, the pedagogue was a trusted slave responsible for accompanying the family's child between home and school. On pedagogy as presence and accompaniment rather than instruction, and on the process by which pedagogy took on its mote familiar connotations in antiquity, see Banner, 38-47.

(54.) See De Studiis et Litteris Liber (1424) by Leonardo Bruni (1370-1444) in Humanist Educational Treatises, 92-125. Bruni performs a delicate balancing act and adjusts the humanist educational program (replacing rhetorical treatises with devotional works) in order to accommodate his female addressee, Lady Battista Malatesta of Montefeltro. See Grafton and Jardine, 1986, 29-57, on the challenge female students presented to the rhetoric of humanist education.


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* From the Junius Morgan Collection of Virgil, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
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