COMMENTARY NOTES

Title Page The quotation is Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.xiv.43. There is a punning self-reference in this line. The surname “Gwinne” means “white” in Welsh, and Gwinne published Italian sonnets under the name Il Candido.
Dedicatory epistle Written to Thomas Egerton, Baron Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley
[1540? - 1617], Lord Chancellor and Keeper of the Privy Seal; his son Sir John Egerton, destined to be created the first Earl of Bridgewater [1579 - 1649]; and Francis Leigh, married to Sir Thomas’ daughter Mary (articles on the two Egertons are in the D. N. B.). Gwinne’s reason for dedicating Nero to these three is obscure, but we may note that in later life Sir John Egerton was the recipient of other such dedications, such as that of Sir John Davies’ Orchestra, and was very much involved with Milton, who wrote Comus in his honor. Cf. R. Fogle and Louis A. Knafla, The Country Chancellor: The Patronage of Thomas Egerton, Baron Ellesmere,” in French R. Fogle and Louis A. Knafla (edd.), Patronage in Late Renaissance England (Los Angeles, 1983).
aguntur Cantabrigiae, ut audio, nonnulla huiusmodi At Cambridge the Bacchalaureate festivities were celebrated on Ash Wednesday. This was a holiday, like the Athenian Dionysia, when plays were produced.
ut ille de Demosthene Sidenote: Aeschin. Plin. l. 2 cap. 3. Despite this note, the proper reference is to Pliny the Younger, Epistles II.iii.10.
quin ut agantur libere Gwinne is probably thinking of a remark in the first chapter of John of Salisbury’s Policraticus from which he is about to quote (I prologus 387a, p. 15 Webb), ut Decembri libertate utantur. The license of the Roman Saturnalia (December) and the Greek Dionysia (March) were similar.
tantumne ab re The quotation is Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 75f.
demissis propriis Sidenote: Policrat. l. 1 c. 1. The phrase actually comes from Horace, Satire II.iii.19 (oddly, the sidenote directs the reader to John of Salisbury, Polycraticus I.i 389b, p.19 Webb, where this line is quoted).
ille quod monuit Polemon, Second Oration (p. 61 Hinck), τοῦτο γὰρ ἐπιπόνου μάλιστα καὶ ἐργωδεστέρας ἐστὶν ἐγχειρήσεως.
πάντων ἐπιλήπτωρ This tag is from the Greek poet Timon of Phleia (45.2).
vitilitigator This word is employed by Pliny in the proem of his Natural Histories. Similarly, in his letter to Dr. John Rainolds of July 31, 1592, William Gager described Momus as “a carper, and a pincher at all thinges that are done with any opinion of well dooinge.”
oratorum ac vatum These Tacitean quotes in favor of the theater are taken from Annales XIV.xxi.
Aristonem Livii For Aristo cf. Livy, Ab Urbe Condita XXIV.xxiv.2.
Ciceronis Roscium, Aesopum Roscius and Aesopus were the two most celebrated actors of Cicero’s day; for the latter cf. D. F. Sutton, “Aesopus and the Emotional Lability of Audiences,” Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica 19 (1985), 63 - 73. The orator was on friendly terms with these both and acted for both in a professional capacity.
etsi in scena Roscii, at viri meliores plus veritatis possideant Cf. the epilogue to Gager’s Panniculus Hippolyto Tragaediae Senecae Assutus (1592), 369f.:

non histrionam didicimus, Roscii
nescimus artem.

Gager went on to make his Rainolds-Momus jeer at this plea (7).
facio nonnunquam versiculos The quotation is from Pliny the Younger, Epistles V.iii.2.
non corrumpi in deterius Ib. 6. It is perhaps surprising that Gwinne does not allude to one devastating fact. The prize Roman specimen of the evil of acting, not neglected by Rainolds, was of course the emperor Nero. Gwinne therefore could have scored a powerful debating point by noting that Nero’s most famous victim, the Stoic martyr Thrasea Paetus, was also an amateur actor (Tacitus, Annales XVI.xxi).
viva vox magis afficit Ib. 9.
non plumbeo, non stolido, non asino Cf. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 877, asinus plumbeus.
ἀπίτω φθόνος, ἀπίτω βασκανία Sidenote: Arist. l. 1. The correct quote is Aristaenetus, Epistle 1, p. 3 Mazal, ἀπίτω φθόνος τοῦ κάλλους, ἀπίτω βασκανία τῆς χάριτος.
mundus universus…
exercet histrioniam Sidenote: Polic. l. 3 c. 8. The allusion is to John of Salisbury, Policraticus III. viii 490d, pp. 194f. Webb), huius itaque tam immensae tam mirabilis et inenarrabilis tragediae vel comediae theatrum quo peragi possit, ei mirabiliter coaequatur. tanta est area eius quantus et orbis. difficilimum est ut quisquam admittatur exclusus vel emittatur inclusus, dum carnis gerit luteum indumentum.
ut monet Epictetus Sidenote: Epi. ench. c. 59. The reference is to Enchiridion xvii, Μέμνησο, ὅτι ὑποκριτὴς εἶ δράματος, οἵου ἂν θέλῃ ὁ διδάσκαλος· ἂν βραχύ, βραχέος· ἂν μακρόν, μακροῦ· ἂν πτωχὸν ὑποκρίνασθαί σε θέλῃ, ἵνα καὶ τοῦτον εὐφυῶς ὑποκρίνῃ ἂν χωλόν, ἂν ἄρχοντα, ἂν ἰδιώτην. σὸν γὰρ τοῦτ’ ἔστι, τὸ δοθὲν ὑποκρίνασθαι πρόσωπον καλῶς .
fallunt animi sub vulpe latentes Horace, Ars Poetica 437.
astutam vapido servant sub pectore vulpem Persius, Satire v.117.
Qui personas induunt Binns, Intellectual Culture 135, translated these words as “those who assume and lay aside death-masks,” as if Gwinne was thinking of the Roman practice of wearing the death masks of one’s ancestors.
crambe (ut audio) recoxit nobis Cf. Juvenal, Satire vii.154, occidit miseros crambe repetita magistros.
tantane animis caelestibus irae? Vergil, Aeneid I.15.
ut sine rivali seque et sua solus amarit Horace, Ars Poetica 444 (Horace has amares).
verum tragice si placuit Having disposed of his Puritan critics, Gwinne turns to another possible objection: that Nero does not adhere to the canons of ancient tragedy. The specfic example he cites is Horace’s rule (Ars Poetica 192) that a tragedy should employ only three actors. Oddly, perhaps, he does not put up what strikes the reader as an obvious defense, that Nero is a history play (fabula togata ) and not a tragedy, and so is exempted from such traditional regulations as the three-actor rule and the Unities, which would be impossibly restrictive for that genre.
ἀρχαῖα ἄριστα I cannot identify the source of this Greek tag.
maioris an ingenii, an artificii Gwinne is thinking of the passage in Horace’s Ars Poetica that begins (408f.):

natura fieret laudabile carmen an arte,
quaesitum est.

qui per se compleat non absonam tragaediam A hint that Act V could be performed as a separate play. See the discussion of this possibility in the Introduction.
I do not understand Gwinne’s sidenote, Cast. Aul. l. 2.
personarum multitudo Nero requires over eighty speaking parts.
modus tractandi non plausibilis Not the implausibility of the subject matter, but of bringing such a huge work to the stage and of producing it with the resources available for Gwinne’s college.
Paddaeo demum nostro beneficentissimo convictori Sir William Paddy
[1554 - 1634], another Fellow of St. John’s College, President of the College of Physicians (1609 - 11) and, like Gwinne, one of the Physicians to the King. Cf. the D. N. B. life.
melius, peius Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 643 (with Terence’s vident altered to videt ).
nisi quod ipse facit Terence, Adelphoe 99.
hoc licet impune facere ib. 824f.
aut Caesar, aut nihil For this saying cf Plutarch’s Life of Caesar xi. Gwinne incorporates it into his play at 3593f.
aperta est vomica From the context this extraordinary phrase would seem to mean something like “the cat’s out of the bag,” but it is an idiom I have not before encountered.
sed si repudiata Here, as often, Gwinne playfully dwells on double meanings. Earlier he has said that the play was turned down by his college (repudiata ); now he uses this same word as if the play were a woman divorced by her husband.
tanto maiorem (inquit ille) apud doctos Pliny the Younger, Epistles II.xix.8.
quem nemo fando dixerit A sidenote cites Auso. epist. 16.27. This, I suppose, actually refers to the dedicatory poem to Probrus included in Ausonius, Epistle xii (cited below).
effugiunt curas inferiora tuas Ovid, Tristia II.i.218.
in publica commoda peccem Gwinne conflates Horace, Epistles II.i.3f. (with Caesar altered to custos in the second line) and Ovid, Metamorphoses V.334.
haec est caelesti pectore Ovid, Tristia II.i.216f.
nulla quibus reddi gratia Ib. VI.16 (the slightly puzzling sidenote is l. 1. el. 5.16 ).
animae, quales neque candidiores Gwinne conflates Horace, Sermones I.v.41f. and Vergil, Aeneid XI.291.
Ausonius ut rogat Cf. Ausonius’ dedicatory poem just cited, lines 53 - 6:

libelle felix, quem sinu
vir tantus evolvet suo
nec occupari tempora
grato queretur otio.

devinctus ordini The Order of the Garter. In a context where garters are involved, there is perhaps a bit of whimsy in Gwinne’s choice of devinctus.
Sandsbury epigram This is appropriately addressed to the celebrated Flemish Humanist, Justus Lipsius, the leading Tacitean of the age. For Sandsbury, another member of St. John’s College, cf. the D. N. B. life.
6 The adjective millenus does not exist in the classical Latin lexicon.
10 Sandsbury compliments Gwinne by placing him on a level with those he regards as the three leading lights of neo-Latin drama, Theodore Beza {1519 - 1605}, George Buchanan
[1506 - 82], and William Gager [1555 - 1622].
Prologue Although this prose paragraph is printed on a separate page as if it were a hypothesis to the ensuing action, in reality it is an elaborate stage direction for a masque preceding the Prologue spoken by Nemesis, with the three Furies Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone standing silently by. The actions rather mysteriously mimed now are explained in the following narrative (perhaps the intention is thus to pique the audience’s curiosity).
1ff. A couple of Senecan plays (Agamemnon, Thyestes ) begin with the appearance of an angry ghost from the netherworld, bent on vengeance (the Ghost of Agrippina also appears in the course of the pseudo-Senecan Octavia, and the Thyestes prologue consists of a dialogue between the Ghost of Tantalus and the Fury). After the example of such passages, the appearance of Furies or similar creatures in academic tragedy became routine, expecially as such apparitions catered to contemporary tastes for the supernatural and the macabre. A good parallel, surely known to Gwinne, who wrote a dedicatory epigram for its published version, is Megaera’s prologue to William Gager’s Meleager (1582). But, as far as I know, a chorus of Furies is original.
The beginning of the present speech echoes the first lines of Seneca’s Agamemnon:

opaca linquens Ditis inferni loca
adsum profundo Tartari emissus specu.

2f. Lines 2 and 4f. answer the question posed by Nemesis in line 1, but line 3, which makes a beginning towards identifying the chorus for the audience, looks like an intolerably harsh parenthesis. It therefore would appear that these two lines have been printed in the wrong order. This error could have easily happened if the manuscript supplied the printer contained line 3 added as an afterthought in the margin.
4 For some reason, evidently having to do with phonology, Anglo-Latin poets sometimes forgot that the combinations sc and st ought to produce positional lengthening. Hence the second foot of the present line is dactylic. Gwinne appears to have been thinking of Juvenal, Satire xiii.23 - 5

quae tam festa dies, ut cesset prodere furem,
perfidiam, fraudes atque omni ex crimine lucrum
quaesitum et partos gladio uel pyxide nummos?

5 Cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 729, sceleris nocentes debitas poenas dare? A sidenote refers to Aristotle, de Mundo vii p.401d8, a discussion of the role played by Nemesis, Adrasteia, and the Fates.
6f. The sidenote refers to Natalis Comes, Mythologiae IX.xix in the expanded 1581 edition, a passage too long for quotation here, in which it is argued that Nemesis is to be identified with Astraea. The later Greeks identified Adrasteia with Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance (Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, New York, 1955, § 32.3, citing Strabo, Geography XIII.i.3).
11 Cf. Seneca, Medea 386, furoris…lymphati and Troades 34, ore lymphato furens.
19 A sidenote cites Horace, Ars Poetica 191f.:

nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus
inciderit.

The reason for this reference is not exactly self-evident. Either Gwinne is using these lines to explain why no gods participate in the action, or conversely he is inviting the reader to view Nero’s downfall as the result of the Furies’ behind-the-scenes machinations.
20 The words utrisque sua tribuat echoes the definition of justice standing at the beginning of Justinian’s Digest, iustitia est constans et perpetua voluntas ius suum cuique tribuans.
22 A sidenote refers to Orphic Hymn lxx, addressed to the Eumenides.
24 A sidenote alludes to the appearance and function of the Furies as the chorus of Aeschylus’ Eumenides.
28 A sidenote refers to the very explicit description of Messalina’s depravity at Juvenal, Satire vi.115ff.
30 The meaning of this paradoxical line (unless we ought to read prudens ) is that she was shameless but hitherto careful in hiding her proclivities.
31 Gaius Silius, who is introduced by Tacitus, Annales XI.xii as iuventutis Romanae pulcherrimus.
34 Cf. Ag, 724, cui bacchor furens?  
35f. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XI.xxvi, cum abrumpi dissimulationem etiam Silius, sive fatali vaecordia an imminentium periculorum remedium ipsa pericula ratus, urgebat.
38 Cf. Tacitus, ib., Claudium, ut insidiis incautum, ita irae properum.
40ff. The following description summarizes Ann. XI.xxviii - ix, a passage that begins igitur domus principis inhorruerat. The words ausa, acta tanta refer to the mock-wedding staged by the adulterous lovers.
41ff. Pallas, Callistus, and Narcissus were three powerful freedmen who virtually operated Claudius’ government. Cf. Ann. XI.xxix, flagrantissimaque eo in tempore gratia Pallas.
44 The word dissidium is not found in the classical Latin lexicon. I assume it = dissedentia.
47f. Cf. Ann. XI.xxxi, satis constat eo pavore offusum Claudium, ut identidem interrogaret, an ipse imperii potens, an Silius privatus esset.
48ff. This is a somewhat simplified version of the account at Ann. XI.xxxiv. The words vel neglecta refer to Tacitus’ statement that Narcissus industriously attempted to keep Claudius from noticing her approach.
55f. See the discussion of Gwinne’s sources in the Introduction.
58 For grex = “troupe of actors” cf. the examples cited by the Oxford Latin Dictionary, grex def. 3(b).
60 Pari is presumably to be understood as a shortened form of pariter.
Act I, scene
i Like most other academic dramas, Nero was originally divided into five acts, subdivided into scenes. But in academic drama the prevalent idea of a “scene” was different than ours. Cf. T. W. Baldwin, On Act and Scene Division in the Shakspere First Folio (Carbondale, Ill., 1965— the first two chapters of this study are relevant.) 15:

As Sir Walter [Greg’s] analysis makes sufficiently clear, the scene in sixteenth-century English practice is essentially the Terentian scene. In the manuscripts, and consequently in the editions of Terence, a scene was a unit of occupany upon the stage, marked by grouping at the head all the characters who were to appear in a particular unit. When the characters changed by addition or by subtraction the scene changed, marked by the consequent new grouping of characters. Scene in the sense of scenery or setting had nothing to do with the matter. A scene was simply a unit of stage-scene occupancy.

Just how artificial Gwinne’s scene-divisions can be, when judged by modern standards, is shown by those between Act III, scenes i and iii, and Act IV, Scenes ii and iii, where there is not only no discontinuity of time or place - the new scene occurs in the middle of a single iambic line!
Initial speaker-lists sometimes serve to mark the entrance or exits of characters. Occasionally Gwinne deviates from standard practice, for example by using such introductory lists to indicate the presence of nonspeaking characters (such as the Ghost of Silius here). At other times, he combines an initial part-list with stage directions. In this scheme, all the speakers in a given scene are supposed to be included, whether they are onstage at its beginning or enter subsequently. In some instances (as in the list prefacing Act
I, scene iii) he only includes those present towards the beginning of a scene. In other cases names may have have been inadvertently omitted by the printer; in such cases, the missing names are restored here in angular brackets.
This speech is somewhat reminiscent of that of the Ghost of Agrippina in Ps.- Seneca, Octavia (594ff.). Compare in particular 615ff. of that play with 74ff. below:

extinctus umbras agitat infestus meas
flammisque vultus noxios coniunx petit,
instat, minatur, imputat fatum mihi
tumulumque nati, poscit auctorem necis.
iam parce: dabitur, tempus haud longum peto.
ultrix Erinys impio dignum parat
letum tyranno.

And also 593 - 7 with the conclusion of the present speech:

tellure rupta Tartaro gressum extuli,
Stygiam cruenta praeferens dextra facem
thalamis scelestis: nubat his flammis meo
Poppaea nato iuncta, quas vindex manus
dolorque matris vertet ad tristes rogos.

61 Cf. miseranda coniunx at H. F. 439. The sidenote against this line refers to Tacitus’ description of the death of Messalina at the end of Book XI of the Annales.
63 Cf. ib. 1185, numen secundum.
68f. Cf. Thy. 86f.:

me pati poenas decet,
non esse poenam.

69 For the phrase auctor sceleris cf. Me. 979 and Tr. 871.
72 Cf. poenas with forms of peto at H. F. 104, H. Oet. 1447, 1791, and Me. 964.
80 Cf. Styga…petimus at Phaed. 478f.
83 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Claudius iii, mater Antonia portentum eum hominis dictatabat.
84 This sidenote citation of the Apocolocyntosis attributed to Seneca really belongs against 86f. (often these marginal notes are only approximately placed by the printer). The reference is to 11, tu Messalinam, cuius aeque avunculus maior eram quam tuus, occidisti. ‘Nescio’ inquis. di tibi male faciant: adeo istuc turpius est, quod nescisti, quam quod occidisti.
Nero’s mother was the younger Antonia, his sister Livilla, and his grandmother Livia Augusta.
87 This remark is explained by Suetonius, Claud. xxxix, paulo post quam in triclinio decubuit, “cur domina non venisset” requisit.
89 It must be understood that in Act I, prior to Claudius’ adoption of Agrippina’s son by Domitius Aenobarbus, “Nero” refers to Claudius, and “Domitius” to the future emperor.
90ff. At least in a very general way, this passage finds a parallel in Medea’s invocation of the powers of the Underworld at Me. 740ff., a passage that begins:

comprecor vulgus silentum vosque ferales deos
et Chaos caecum atque opacam Ditis umbrosi domum,
Tartari ripis ligatos squalidae Mortis specus.
supplicis, animae, remissis currite ad thalamos novos.

91 She invokes Trivia, i. e., Diana under her triform aspects of Diana, Luna, and Hecate.
95 Cf. H. Oet. 47f.:

nox et extremum chaos
in me incucurrit.

97 Cf. Oct. 255, vindex deus, and Thy. 1110, vindices aderunt dei.
98 Cf. H. F. 1195, tinctanece, H. Oet. 1470, cruore tincta, and Phoen. 257, cruore . . . tinctas.
99 Cf. Oct. 263f.:

succincta anguibus
ultrix Erinys.

101f. Cf. Thy. 45 - 8:

supraque magnos gentium exultet duces
Libido victrix: impia stuprum in domo
levissimum sit fratris; et fas et fides
iusque omne pereat. 

103 Cf. Phaed. 852, in limine ipso.
104ff. Cf. Thy. 40 - 4:

nihil sit ira quod vetitum putet:
fratrem expavescat frater et gnatum parens
gnatusque patrem, liberi pereant male,
peius tamen nascantur; immineat viro
infesta coniunx.

109 Because Claudius is governed by women and freedmen.
Act I, scene
ii This scene (including the initial arguments advanced by the three freedmen in favor of their respective candidates) is closely modelled on the first two chapters of Tacitus’ Annales, Book XII. At the same time, the striking resemblance of this scene to the beginning of King Lear is discussed in the Introduction. The setting is presumably Claudius’ council chamber.
Although Domitius’ name is included in the list of parts for this scene, he has no speaking rolee. Line 307 appears to establish his presence as a mute character.
112ff. This speech is very comparable to, and quite possibly took its inspiration from, the equally boastful and purblind speech of prosperous Oeneus at William Gager’s Meleager of 1582 (472ff.), which begins:

par diis superbis gradior, et caelo tenus,
inter tyrannos arduum caput efferor.

For the construction of the sentence (if not its contents), cf. the first lines of Seneca’s Troades:

quicumque regno fidit et magna potens
dominatur aula nec leves metuit deos
animumque rebus credulum laetis dedit,
me videat et te, Troia.

It is conceivably significant that the opening lines of Thomas Legge’s Richardus Tertius are closely modelled on this passage.
114 I. e. aetas. Either Gwinne or his printer rather frequently confuses ae and oe even in situations where they would normally be distinguished by contemporary Anglo-Latin writers (because the two diphthongs were pronounced alike).
116 The book has αὐτοκρατόρες tetrae Ioves, but tetrae makes no sense and creates a monosyllabic fourth foot. In terra is of course a conjectural emendation.
118 For Rome as domina rerum cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.447.
120 Cf. Tacitus, Ann. XI.xi (pertinent to 47 A. D.) isdem consulibus ludi saeculares octingentesimo post Romam conditam, quarto et sexagesimo, quam Augustus ediderat, spectati sunt. In fact, the present action happens in the year 49 A. D. = 802 A. U. C. (cf. the note on 383); Messalina’s downfall had occurred in the previous year. For purposes of dramatic compression, Gwinne plays fast and free with the chronology of his story.
125 I suppose that ultra Lyaei terminos means India, whence Bacchus is supposed to have come. For anni vices cf. H. Oet. 1096 and also Juvenal, Satire xiii.88.
130 He means the deified Julius Caesar.
132 Cf. the equally boastful speech at Ag. 546f.:

superasse ~nunc pelagus atque ignes iuvat,
vicisse caelum Palladem fulmen mare.

135 For Britonas…feros cf. Horace, Odes III.iv.33, Britannos hospitibus feros.
139f. Cf. Suetonius, Claudius xvii, ac sine ullo proelio aut sanguine intra paucissimos dies parte insulae in deditionem recepta
atque inter hostilia spolia navalem coronam fastigio Palatinae domus iuxta civicam fixit, traiecti et quasi domiti Oceane insigne.
141 Sortis…vulgaris would have a special meaning to a university audience: when a student matriculated, he was required to state his social rank for purposes of assessing fees. These words were used to describe a commoner.
145 Cf. Tacitus, Ann. XII.i, Claudio caelibis vitae intoleranti et coniugum imperiis obnoxio. The mythological allusion is to Hercules’ servitude to Omphale of Lydia (Robert Graves, The Greek Myths § 136). Cf. H. Oet. 370 - 3:

brevique in illis arsit Alcides face.
hospes Timoli Lydiam fovit nurum
et amore captus ad leves sedit colos,

tenerum feroci stamen intorquens manu.

146 Cf. Oed. 1f.:

fessi unicum
patris levamen.

149 Cf. Phaed. 448, toro viduo.
150 The point of nec arat subactum bos iugo liber solum is far from self-evident. This seemingly bizarre apothegm may be meant as a specimen of Claudius’ mental eccentricity.
151 Because the Phoenix alone is perpetually self-begetting: cf. Pliny the Elder, Natural History X.ii.
153ff. For Narcissus’ speech cf. Annales XII.ii, Narcissus vetus matrimonium, filiam communem (nam Antonia ex Paetina erat), nihil in penatibus eius novum disserebat, si sueta coniunx rediret, haudquaquam novercalibus odiis visura Britannicum, Octaviam, proxima suis pignora.
153 Cf. Oed. 291, sacrate divis, proximum Phoebo caput.
157 Aelia Paetina, whom Claudius had previously divorced, according to Suetonius, Claudius xxvi, ex levibus offensionibus. For thalamis digna cf. Oct. 544 and Oed. 977.
159 Cf. Tacitus, Ann. XII.ii, nihil in penatibus eius novum disserebat.
161ff. Cf. Tacitus, loc. cit., Callistus improbatam longo discidio, ac si rursum adsumeretur, eo ipso superbam; longeque rectius Lolliam induci, quando nullos liberos genuisset, vacuam aemulatione et privignis parentis loco futuram.
The words vice Iovis terris date reflect a contemporary Renaissance theory of kingship; although they were written before he assumed the throne, James I would have thoroughly applauded them.
164 Lollia Paulina, widow of Caligula (not to be confused with Seneca’s wife Pompeia Paulina, who appears in Act V).
168ff. Cf. Tacitus, loc. cit., at Pallas id maxime in Agrippina laudare quod Germanici nepotem secum traheret, dignum prorsus imperatoria fortuna: stirpem nobilem et familiae <Iuliae> Claudiaeque posteros coniungeret, ne femina expertae fecunditatis, integra iuventa, claritudinem Caesarum aliam in domum ferret.
For some reason, Pallas chooses not to mention the name of his candidate, Julia Agrippina, the daughter of Germanicus, and mother of the future emperor Nero by her previous marriage to Domitius Aenobarbus. For line 168 cf. Oct. 168, columen augustae domus and Tr. 124, columen patriae.
171 For the tale of Alexander and the Amazon Thalestris, cf. Quintus Curtius, Historia Alexandri Magni VI.v.24ff.
176 For ferox iuventa cf. iuventusferox at Phoen. 444f.
185 The seemingly irrational way in which the field is narrowed down to two is explained by a remark of Tacitus (Ann. XII.i) sed maxime ambigebatur inter Lolliam Paulinam…et Iuliam Agrippinam. Nevertheless, the immediate juxtaposition of two similes, one involving a choice between two candidates and the other a choice between three, is jarring and might be meant to indicate Claudius’ muddled mental state.
187ff. Cf. Thy. 707 - 10:

qualis in Gangeticis
inter iuvencos tigris errauit duos,
utriusque praedae cupida quo primum ferat
incerta morsus.

189 For oculos…reflectit cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VII.341.
191 The reference is of course to the Judgment of Paris.
196 This line seems to echo Ovid, Metamorphoses III.466, quod cupio mecum est: inopem me copia fecit.
198f. These mythical allusions to unfaithful lovers are about Hercules and Omphale (cf. the note on 145), Jason and the daughter of Creon, and Paris and Helen.
200 For dolore tacito cf. Ovid, Fasti I.356. Cf. also Oed. 976, debitas poenas tuli.
204 An angry Jupiter killed Semele with a lightning-bolt for demanding to see his true form: cf. Graves, The Greek Myths § 14c.
210 Although the words have a quite different meaning, cf. attollit iugum at H. F. 662, and attollit iuga at Phoen. 602.
212 Because she has already been Caligula’s consort.
221 Cf. the note on 145.
223f. Cf. iaculare flammas at Thy. 1086.
225 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.viii.28, per numquam surdos in tua vota deos. Cf. also Oed. 103, quid sera mortis vota nunc demens facis?
232 For repudia regum cf. Ag. 283.
236 I. e., haeres (cf. the note on 114).
237 Lollia Paetina was the daughter of Marcus Lollius, a former consul.
244 I. e., haesit (cf. the note on 114).
252 At about this point Paetina and Paulina retire along with their freedman supporters, leaving behind Claudius, Agrippina, Pallas, and Domitius. Evidently Vitellius has been present as a silent witness to the earlier portion of the scene.
254f. The Censor Lucius Vitellius, father of the future emperor. According to Tacitus, Annales XII.4, igitur Vitellius, nomine censoris servilis fallacias obtegens ingruentiumque dominationum provisor, quo gratiam Agrippinae pararet, consiliis eius implicari, ferre crimina in Silanum, cuius sane decora et procax soror, Iunia Calvina, haud multum ante Vitellii nurus fuerat. The ensuing dialogue in which Vitellius soothes Claudius’ qualms is inspired by the interview reported at Annales XII.v.
Although these lines are modelled on no specific example, such descriptions of the physical symptoms of anxiety of course constitute a stock Senecan topos, as is the soothing response of an interlocutor. For 254 pectus labat cf. Oed. 207.
256f. Cf. Me. 990f.:

quid, misera, feci? misera? paeniteat licet,
feci.

259f. Cf. Oed. 306, subito refulsit lumine et subito occidit.
261 For lachrymas feram cf. Phoen. 500f. and Tr. 1168.
264 For causam timoris cf. Thy. 434.
265 Throughout the play we shall encounter medical metaphors, which of course came readily to the author’s mind.
268f. Cf. Suetonius, Claudius xxvi.2, confirmavitque pro contione apud praetorianos, quatenus sibi matrimonia male cederent, permansurum se in caelibatu, ac nisi permansisset,
non recusaturum confodi manibus ipsorum.
269 Cf. Me. 285, auspicatos…toros.
272 For scelus est fides cf. H. Oet. 481.
275ff. Vitellius’ sophistic arguments supporting incest are drawn from Tacitus. But they are also strongly reminiscent of those advanced by a character significantly named Pandarus in one of the extra scenes written for a 1592 Christ Church performance of Seneca’s Phaedra by William Gager under the self-mocking title Panniculus Hippolyto Senecae Tragaedia Assutus. Both arguments favoring incest are ultimately indebted to those advanced in Ovid’s tale of Cinyras and Myrrha (Metamorphoses X.323 - 33).
277 Cf. Ovid, Heroides iv.133 - 6:

Iuppiter esse pium statuit, quodcumque iuvaret,
et fas omne facit fratre marita soror.
illa coit firma generis iunctura catena,
inposuit nodos cui Venus ipsa sua.

281 I. e., praebe (cf. the note on 114).
282 Vitellius alludes especially to the Ptolemies of Egypt, who practiced incest as a matter of routine. For repete regna cf. Oed. 794, Phoen. 324, and Thy. 33.
Cf. Gager’s Panniculus, 170 - 2:

quanquam feruntur esse quoque gentes,
ubi et nata patri nubit, et nato parens,
et iuncta crescit vinculo pietas duplo.

284 Cf. natura repugnat at Ovid, Metamorphoses III.376.
285f. Cf. Gager, ib. 165 - 9:

mundi parentem si ducem libeat sequi,
indulsit illa non modo Venerem omnibus
hanc coniugalem, sed vagam sylvae feris
promiscuamque. nata fit cervo patri
coniux, et utero dama, quem peperit, subit.

Both arguments favoring incest are ultimately indebted to those in Ovid’s tale of Cinyras and Myrrha (Metamorphoses X.323 - 33):

sed enim damnare negatur
hanc Venerem pietas: coeunt animalia nullo
cetera dilectu, nec habetur turpe iuvencae
ferre patrem tergo, fit equo sua filia coniunx,
quasque creavit init pecudes caper, ipsaque, cuius
semine concepta est, ex illo concipit ales.
felices, quibus ista licent! humana malignas
cura dedit leges, et quod natura remittit,
invida iura negant. gentes tamen esse feruntur,
in quibus et nato genetrix et nata parenti
iungitur, et pietas geminato crescit amore.

293 If Typhi is what Gwinne wrote (the word scans correctly), presumably it very improperly = Typhonis.
294ff. At Annales XII.iii Tacitus describes Agrippina’s campaign to marry her son Domitius to Claudius’ daughter Octavia; this involved the elimination of Lucius Silanus, who was betrothed to Octavia (Gwinne writes as if they were actually married, probably because he presumed that the betrothal sufficed to make Silanus Claudius’ son-in-law, as it would in English law).
For line 284 cf. Thy. 888, summa votorum attigi.
296 Cf. Ovid, Remedia Amoris 106, radices altius arbor agit.
305 Cf. Tr. 890f., an quisquam audeat / negare? (imitated at H. Oet. 1845f.).
313 For stabitrobore cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.743 and Vergil, Aeneid II.639.
315 For amore…pari cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.192.
316f. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.xxv, sic apud divum Augustum, quamquam nepotibus subnixum, viguisse privignos; a Tiberio super propriam stirpem Germanicum adsumptum: se quoque accingeret iuvene partem curarum capessituro.
318 Cf. Oct. 582, negare durum est.
319 Cf. Juvenal, Satire x.201, gravis uxori natisque and also Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto III.vii.11).
320 For misera pietas cf. H. Oet. 1027 and Oed. 19.
Act I, scene iii
The setting is before a stage “house” representing the Senate building. For these temporary stage buildings erected in collegiate dining halls, cf. Bruce R. Smith, Ancient Scripts & Modern Experience on the English Stage 1500 - 1700 (Princeton, 1988) 74-76 and the discussion of the “conditions of college drama” in Alan H. Nelson, Records of Early English Drama: Cambridge (Toronto, 1989) II.714-22.
In this case, the list of speakers indicates only those present in the first portion of the scene, which is suggested by Tacitus’ account of Silanus’ removal from office at Annales XII.iv.
322 Cf. quo proripis? at Vergil, Aeneid V.741 and quo se proripit ille? at Vergil, Eclogue iii.19.
329 Gwinne was perhaps thinking of Seneca, Troades 335, quodcumque libuit facere victori licet. For satis causae cf. Catullus
xci.8.
330 For Silanus’ sister cf. the note on 254f.
332f. For a similar Senecan complaint cf. Thy. 1037f.:

quas miser voces dabo
questusque quos? quae verba sufficient mihi?

333 Cf. Thy. 1070 - 2:

audite inferi,
udite terrae, Noxque Tartarea gravis
et atra nube.

338 For saeculi crimen cf. Oed. 875.
339 Procrustes (or Procustes) was a notorious mythological ogre, defeated by Theseus (Graves, The Greek Myths § 96k).
341 For pompa ducitur cf. Oed. 126.
343 Cf. Phoen. 112, funebrem escendam struem.
344 For genialis thorus cf. Ag. 298 and Me. 1.
346 For dextra refugit cf. H. F. 1319f.
349 At Annales XII.viii Tacitus records that Silanus committed suicide on the wedding-day of Octavia and Nero.
350ff. Although he provides no stage direction, it is likely that Gwinne wanted the curtain of the “house” to be drawn, revealing the assembled Senate within.
For the speech, cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.v, ipse curiam ingreditur, summamque rem publicam agi obtestans veniam dicendi ante alios exposcit orditurque: gravissimos principis labores, quis orbem terrae capessat, egere adminiculis ut domestica cura vacuus in commune consulat. quod porro honestius censoriae mentis levamentum quam adsumere coniugem, prosperis dubiisque sociam, cui cogitationes intimas, cui parvos liberos tradat, non luxui aut voluptatibus adsuefactus, sed qui prima ab iuventa legibus obtemperavisset.
360ff. Cf. Annales XII.vi, postquam haec favorabili oratione praemisit multaque patrum adsentatio sequebatur, capto rursus initio, quando maritandum principem cuncti suaderent, deligi oportere feminam nobilitate puerperiis sanctimonia insignem. nec diu anquirendum quin Agrippina claritudine generis anteiret: datum ab ea fecunditatis experimentum et congruere artes honestas. id vero egregium, quod provisu deum vidua iungeretur principi sua tantum matrimonia experto. audivisse a parentibus, vidisse ipsos abripi coniuges ad libita Caesarum: procul id a praesenti modestia. statueretur immo documentum, quo uxorem imperator acciperet. at enim nova nobis in fratrum filias coniugia: sed aliis gentibus sollemnia, neque lege ulla prohibita; et sobrinarum diu ignorata tempore addito percrebuisse. morem accommodari prout conducat, et fore hoc quoque in iis quae mox usurpentur.
369 Cf. Phoen. 536, pietatem inclitae, also at the end of the line.
370 Cf. deorum numen at Tr. 28.
373 For coniuges castas cf. Oct. 192 and Phaed. 226.
383 Gaius Pompeius and Quintus Veranius were the consuls in 49 A. D. For the sentiment, cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.vii, haud defuere qui certatim, si cunctaretur Caesar, vi acturos testificantes erumperent curia.
386ff. Cf. Tacitus, loc. cit.. [Claudius ] senatumque ingressus decretum postulat quo iustae inter patruos fratrumque filias nuptiae etiam in posterum statuerentur. But here the request is shifted to Vitellius.
393 This last clause seems inspired by Suetonius, Nero vii, tener adhuc necdum matura pueritia circensibus ludis Troiam constantissime favorabiliterque lusit. In 49 A. D. Nero was twelve or possibly thirteen years old (Suetonius, Nero vii, wrongly says eleven).
398 Cf. Tacitus, Ann. XII.xxv, adnotabant periti nullam antehac adoptionem inter patricios Claudios reperiri, eosque ab Atto Clauso continuos duravisse (so also Suetonius, Claudius xxxix.2).
401ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.xli, obvii inter se Nero Britannicum nomine, ille Domitium salutavere. quod ut discordiae initium Agrippina multo questu ad maritum defert: sperni quippe adoptionem, quaeque censuerint patres, iusserit populus, intra penatis abrogari; ac nisi pravitas tam infensa docentium arceatur, eruptura in publicam perniciem. commotus his quasi criminibus optimum quemque educatorem filii exilio aut morte adficit datosque a noverca custodiae eius imponit. The incident is also mentioned at Suetonius, Nero vii.
408 For suo Marte cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto vii.154 and Fasti IV.188.
411 For flammas with forms of alo cf. H. Oet. 310 and Me. 889.
412 Cf. inauctorem at Oed. 706.
414 Cf. Me. 200, licet statuerit.
416 This imitates a standard Senecan entrance cue, which often describes the manner in which an approaching character is walking. Cf. citatis passibus at Phaed. 1001 (not an entry-line).
417ff. Cf. Suetonius, Claudius xxix.2, in quinque et triginta senatores trecentosque amplius equites Romanos tanta facilitate animadvertit, ut, cum de nece consularis viri renuntiante centurione factum esse quod imperasset, negaret quicquam se imperasse, nihilominus rem comprobaret, affirmantibus libertis officio milites functos, quod ad ultionem imperatoris ultro procucurrissent. But Suetonius does not say that this incident occurred when Claudius married Agrippina.
424ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.lxv, haec atque talia dictitans amplecti Britannicum, robur aetatis quam maturrimum precari, modo ad deos, modo ad ipsum tendere manus, adolesceret, patris inimicos depelleret, matris etiam interfectores ulcisceretur, and Suetonius, Claudius xliii, hortatus est, ut cresceret rationemque a se omnium factorum acciperet; Graeca insuper voce prosecutus:ὁ τρώσας ἰάσεται cumque impubi teneroque adhuc, quando statura permitteret, togam dare destinasset, adiecit: ‘ut tandem populus Romanus verum Caesarem habeat.’ Both writers make it clear that the emperor uttered such wishes because he was aware of Agrippina’s adulterous affair with his freedman Pallas, alluded to in lines 443f.
The subsequent stage-direction shows that Agrippina and the others are still onstage, and her outburst at the beginning of the following scene establishes that Claudius is being so indiscreet as to give voice to these sentiments within her hearing.
431 Cf. Terence, Eunuchus 832, scelesta, ovem lupo commisisti. In addition, Ovid is particularly fond of such imagery. Cf. Ars Amatoria II.364, plenum montano credis ovile lupo?, ib. III.8, et rabidae tradis ovile lupae?, Tristia I.vi.10, incustoditum captat ovile lupus etc.
433ff. Cf. Ag. 971 - 5:

dummodo hac moriar manu.
recedo ab aris. sive te iugulo iuvat
mersisse ferrum, praebeo iugulum tibi;
seu more pecudum colla resecari placet,
intenta cervix vulnus expectat tuum.

435 For optanda mors est cf. Tr. 869.
437 Cf. Thy. 615f.:

nemo confidat nimium secundis,
nemo desperet meliora lassis.

439 The source of this Greek tag, quoted by Suetonius, appears to be unknown; perhaps it is a fragment of a lost tragedy.
440 This may be designed to recall some lines addressed to Ascanius in the Aeneid (IX.641f.):

macte nova virtute, puer, sic itur ad astra,
dis genite et geniture deos.

451 For seri nepotes cf. Catullus lxviii(b).120, Vergil, Georgics II.58, and Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto III.ii.35 and Metamorphoses IV.564. For lenta mors cf. Met. XV.236 and H. F. 450. In both those hrases the meaning is “a lingering death,” and so perhaps Vitellius’ wish for Claudius is a bit ambiguous.
Act I, scene
iv This is of course no new scene in the modern sense: the stage clears, leaving Agrippina and Pallas behind.
453 For ferocesminas cf. H. F. 902.
455 Cf. Ag. 193 scelus occupandum est (imitated at H. Oet. 435) and also Thy. 202 - 4:

proinde antequam se firmat aut vires parat,
petatur ultro, ne quiescentem petat.
aut perdet aut peribit: in medio est scelus
positum occupanti.

Cf. also William Gager, Ulysses Redux (1592) 1544ff. :

prematur ultro, ne quiscentes premat.
et hinc, et illinc, facinus in medio loco
positum occupanti est. aut pati aut facere improbe
quoties necesse est, ne patere, facias scelus.

457 For tumidas…minas cf. H. Oet. 927.
460f. Cf. Ag. 115, per scelera semper sceleribus tutum est iter.
467 Cf. Thy. 200, flecti non potest - frangi potest.
470 Cf. H. Oet. 340, aut pereat aut me perimat.
472 For quid haeres? cf. H. Oet. 274 and also Phoen. 477, quid dubius haeres? For faemina irata cf. H. Oet. 1354.
473 For fulmen Iovis cf. H. Oet. 1384.
477 Afranius Burrus (spelled Burrhus by Gwinnne), commander of the praetorian guards, and Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the philosopher, who will serve as Nero’s chief advisors during his minority. According to Tacitus (Annales XII.viii) Agrippina had Seneca recalled from banishment to serve as Nero’s tutor quia Seneca fides in Agrippinam memoria beneficii et infensus Claudio dolore iniuriae credebatur. At the same time he was appointed a Quaestor, hence his influence in the Senate.
484ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.lxvi, tum Agrippina, sceleris olim certa et oblatae occasionis propera nec ministrorum egens, de genere veneni consultavit, ne repentino et praecipiti facinus proderetur; si lentum et tabidum delegisset, ne admotus supremis Claudius et dolo intellecto ad amorem filii rediret. exquisitum aliquid placebat, quod turbaret mentem et mortem differret. deligitur artifex talium vocabulo Locusta, nuper veneficii damnata et diu inter instrumenta regni habita. eius mulieris ingenio paratum virus, cuius minister e spadonibus fuit Halotus, inferre epulas et explorare gustu solitus.
487 Cf. H. Oet. 1376 mortemque differ.
488 Cf. sceleris…eum at Phoen. 252.
491ff. In describing Agrippina’s murder (Annales XIV.ix) Tacitus adds the information that hunc sui finem multos ante annos crediderat Agrippina contempseratque. nam consulenti super Nerone responderunt Chaldaei fore ut imperaret matremque occideret; atque illa ‘occidat’inquit, ’‘dum imperet.’
492 Agerinus was one of Agrippina’s freedmen, mentioned at Tacitus, Annales XIV.vi, etc. In some mss. his name is given as Agermus.
494 For tacere liceat cf. Oed. 523.
495 Cf. Phoen. 355, in fratrem ruat.
496 Gwinne was presumably thinking of the phrase fiat iustitia, ruat caelum. Cf. Tr. 166, causafaciatmoram.
Act 1, scene
v A room in the Palace, shortly thereafter.
498ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.lxv, …multum adversante Narcisso, qui Agrippinam magis magisque suspectans prompsisse inter proximos ferebatur certam sibi perniciem, seu Britannicus rerum seu Nero poteretur; verum ita de se meritum Caesarem, ut vitam usui eius impenderet. (His death at the instigation of Agrippina is recounted at XIII.i). For 498 o dura fata cf. Me. 431 and Tr. 1056.
502 Cf. H. Oet. 217, mea me lacrimas fortuna rogat.
507 The Hydra was the multi-headed snake killed by Hercules: as soon as one head was cut off, more grew in that one’s place. Cf. Robert Graves, The Greek Myths § 34.
510 For the Chimaera, cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.647f.:

quoque Chimaera iugo mediis in partibus ignem,
pectus et ora leae, caudam serpentis habebat.

512 For aliud ex alio malum cf. Terence, Eunuchus 987.
513 For perdidimus operam cf. Oed. 1014.
515 Cf. minimum malorum at Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.202 and Tristia V.vi.35.
517 Cf. Me. 900, fas omne cedat, abeat expulsus pudor.
521 Cf. Tr. 394f.:

ut nubes, gravidas quas modo vidimus,
arctoi Boreae dissipat impetus.

524 Cf. Tr. 475, tam magna timeo vota. For immemor / nostri cf. Oct. 288, nostri…immemores.
528 Cf. H. F. 75, magna meditantem.
530 For culpa vacet cf. H. Oet. 983 and Thy. 321.
531 For mori iuvabit cf. Oct. 108
534ff. The speaker is of course thinking of the myth of Pandora’s jar.
541ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.lxvii, igitur exterrita Agrippina et, quando ultima timebantur, spreta praesentium invidia provisam iam sibi Xenophontis medici conscientiam adhibet. ille tamquam nisus evomentis adiuvaret, pinnam rapido veneno inlitam faucibus eius demisisse creditur, haud ignarus summa scelera incipi cum periculo, peragi cum praemio.
542 For verba sunt irae data cf. Thy. 1056.
543 Cf. Ag. 915, quid, anime demens, refugis? For the second half of the line, cf. H. Oet. 435, perage, dum fervet manus. For similar self-exhorations cf. H. F. 75, perge, ira, perge et magna meditantem opprime, and Me. 566f.:

perge, nunc aude, incipe
quidquid potest Medea, quidquid non potest.

553 Cf. the note on 256.
554f. This striking prayer to Asclepius was written by a medical man. For line 554 cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.228, mundi oculus.
555 The Latin loan-word archiatrus, like its Greek parent, was employed of a court physician.
557 Alexicacus is another Greek loan word (q. v. in Liddell-Scott-Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon ).
558 Cf., perhaps, Thy. 255, nil quod doloris capiat assueti modum.
561 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.734, coniugis ille suae conplexus colla lacerti.
563ff. In this speech Agrippina hypocritically addresses Britannicus in the tones of Andromache speaking to Astyanax at Tr. 461ff., a passage which begins:

o nate, magni certa progenies patris,
spes una Phrygibus, unica afflictae domus,
veterisque suboles sanguinis nimium inclita
nimiumque patri similis.

For o dulce pignus cf. ib. 766. Then cf. ib. 799f.:

oscula et fletus, puer,
lacerosque crines excipe.

564 Cf. Me. 543f.:

in quorum sinu
lacrimas profundam.

566 Cf. forms of nectere with dolos at Phoen. 120 and Tr. 928, and also Tr. 523, nectit pectore astus callidos.
568ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.lxviii, iam primum Agrippina, velut dolore victa et solacia conquirens, tenere amplexu Britannicum, veram paterni oris effigiem appellare ac variis artibus demorari ne cubiculo egrederetur. Antoniam quoque et Octaviam sorores eius attinuit, et cunctos aditus custodiis clauserat, crebroque vulgabat ire in melius valetudinem principis, quo miles bona in spe ageret tempusque prosperum ex monitis Chaldaeorum adventaret.
573f. Cf. H. F. 1052f.:

detur quieti tempus, ut somno gravis
vis victa morbi pectus oppressum levet.

578ff. She is of course thinking of the story of Laocoon, the Trojan priest who mistrusted the gift of the Trojan Horse, and was destroyed by two serpents which appeared from the sea, recounted by Vergil in Book II of the Aeneid. Sinon was the Greek who pretended to have been marooned by his comrades, and who opened the Horse after it had been brought within the walls of Troy.
584 Cf. Phaed. 852, in limine ipso.
585 For claustr
a…laxet cf. Oed. 401 and Tr. 430.
597 Cf., perhaps, Seneca, H. F. 387, passas et ausas scelera.
598 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid X.284, audentis Fortuna iuvat.
605ff. This lyric passage is written in Sapphic stanzas.
622 Cf. Thy. 1103, scelere quis pensat scelus? Cf. also, perhaps, Oct. 258, urgetur ira.
627 Gwinne also invokes the name of the Jewish Gehenna at 2133 and 3802; Gehenna, the reader may be interested to learn, was the name of the Jerusalem city dump.
629 Cf. Horace, Odes III.ii.31f. (the imitation perhaps makes it less likely that Gwinne intended a pun on claudo - Claudius):

raro antecedentem scelestum
deseruit ped e Poena claudo

Gwinne may also have been thinking of Oct. 872f.:

vel poena; quae iam sera damnatam premet
diu nocentem.

630 Cf. H. F. 385, sequitur superbos ultor a tergo deus. For this stanza, cf. also William Gager’s Ulysses Redux (1592) 592f.:

scelerumque tristes expetere paenas solent.
fastum sequetur ultor a tergo deus.

633 For segnisdies cf. H. Oet. 60 and Me. 399.
634 Cf. Propertius I.xviii.28, datur…quies.
635 Cf., perhaps, Horace, Epistulae I.i.106, sapiens uno minor est Iove.
637 For Sispyho…lapis cf. H. Oet. 942, Me. 747, and Thy. 6. Morten Bartnaes, Stipendiat of the Institutt for nordisk og mediefag, Universitetet i Agder, writes to me:

In the commentary to vv. 636f., you mention three instances where Seneca mentions Sisyphos. However, the word immineat does not seem to fit well with the descriptions Seneca gives, and also, I think, not very well with our common understanding of Sisyphos' task. Curiously, in T. Tassos tragedy Il Re Torrismondo (1587), a similar description occurs. The hero, Torrismondo, is concerned about the arrival of his friend
Germondo:

spacerOimè dolente
che fia se di Germondo udrò le voci?
Non a Sisifo il rischio alto sovrasta
così terribil di pendente pietra,
come a me il suo venire.

In a recent article (P. Janni, “Torquato Tasso, Il re Torrismondo v. 997 e seguenti,” in Atene e Roma 2005, 2-3, p. 23sq), this feature of Tasso’s play has been described as a lapsus calami (Tasso is accused of confusing Sisyphos with Tantalus)- however, personally I am more inclined towards seeing this as a manieristic joke from Tasso's side.

638 For crescens iecur cf. Phaed. 1234. The reference is to Tityus’ punishment in the Underworld, for which cf. Robert Graves, The Greek Myths § 21d.
639 For poenam pati cf. Thy. 74 and 86f.
641 For inter umbras cf. H. Oet. 1996, Me. 621, Oct. 139, 598, and Oed. 584.
643 I. e. saeva (see the note on 114). Cf. saevum scelus at Thy. 715 and 743.
644 For torquent mala cf. Ag. 420.
649 Cf. Thy. 546, credat hoc quisquam? Cf. also ib. 82, amate poenas.
651f. Cf., perhaps, Seneca, Tr. 169f.:

maiora veris monstra (vix capiunt fidem)
vidi ipse, vidi.

The adjective noctigenis is not in the classical Latin lexicon.
652 For Stygio cane cf. Ag. 750, H. F. 783, H. Oet. 79, 1257, and Phaed. 223.
657 Cf. Seneca, Phaed. 356, nec hoc sat est. For sat est at the end of a line cf. H. Oet. 870, 1122, 1354, 1826, 1858, Oed. 938, Tr. 56 and 475.
664 For manumimpiam cf. Ag. 900 and Oed. 935.
665 Cf. Thy. 95, stabo et arcebo scelus (spoken by the Ghost of Tantalus).
666 For fatanegant cf. Tr. 510f.
667 For o dira fata cf. Phaed. 1271 (cf. also o dura fata at Me. 431 and Tr. 1056).
668 For ego te peremi cf. Phaed. 1250 (also spoken by a father responsible for his son’s death).
672 Cf., perhaps, Lucretius III.80, odium lucisque videndae.
673 Save for Plautus and Terence, Seneca is the only major Roman poet to use the adjective maleficus, at Tr. 752.
Act II, scene
ii Before the Senate building. In the book this scene lacks a speaker-list.
Gwinne adopts a device evidently invented by Legge for Richardus Tertius and employed in a number of subsequent vernacular history plays, including some by Shakespeare, of writing a scene in which anonymous “men in the street” give voice to contemporary public opinion.
For Nero’s movements in this and the next scene, cf. Suetonius, Nero viii, proque Palati gradibus imperator consalutatus lectica in castra et inde raptim appellatis militibus in curiam delatus est. Gwinne presumably envisioned a dumb-show representing Nero being carried past on a litter.
675ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XII.lxix, dubitavisse quosdam ferunt, respectantis rogitantisque ubi Britannicus esset: mox nullo in diversum auctore quae offerebantur secuti sunt.
679 For quid agimus? cf. Tr. 642.
687 For nunc agendum cf., perhaps, H. F. 1276f. Cf. also insurgensimpetus at Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.530.
689 For a similar policy of government, cf. Lycus at Seneca’s H. F. 399f.:

ego rapta quamvis sceptra victrici geram
dextra regamque cuncta sine legum metu.

695 Nero was seventeen at the time of his accession. In the previous Act, for purposes of dramatic economy Gwinne telescoped events that spanned five years, so that the reader receives a very imperfect sense of time’s passage (Claudius died on October 13, 54 A. D.)
696f. As a military tribune Scipio Africanus rallied the survivors of the Roman defeat at Cannae when twenty years old. Gwinne seems to have confused Valerius Corvinus, a supporter of Brutus and Cassius, with Valerius Corvus of the fourth century B. C., who served as Consul when only twenty. Octavian, the future Augustus, became a member of the First Triumvirate at the same age. Pompey commanded an army at nineteen.
710 Junius Silanus, proconsul of Asia and brother of Octavia’s former betrothed, described by Tacitus (Annales XIII.i, where his death by the contrivance of Agrippina is recounted) as segnis et dominationibus aliis fastiditus, adeo ut G. Caesar pecudem auream eum appellare solitus sit. Like Nero, he was descended from Augustus, quod tunc spectaretur.
714 The words voluisse feret impune hint at Agrippina’s destruction of Silanus, as described by Tacitus.
715 The allusion is to the giants piling Ossa atop Pelion in order to attack the gods, a traditional image of hubris.
Act II, scene
iii There is no scene-break here in the modern sense. Again, it is likely that the curtain of the “house” opens, so that Nero can eulogize Claudius before the assembled Senate. As can be gathered from the sidenotes, Gwinne took the main lines of this speech from Tacitus, Annales XIII.iii - iv, fleshing it out with details from other writers. But he does not repeat Tacitus’ information (XIII.iii) that this oration was ghost-written by Seneca.
717f. A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Nero xxxiii, parricidia et caedes a Claudio exorsus est; cuius necis etsi non auctor, at conscius fuit, neque dissimulanter, ut qui boletos, in quo cibi genere venenum is acceperat, quasi deorum cibum posthac proverbio Graeco conlaudare sit solitus. certe omnibus rerum verborumque contumeliis mortuum insectatus est, modo stultitiae modo saevitiae arguens; nam et morari eum desisse inter homines producta prima syllaba iocabatur.
718 A sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIII.iii, die funeris laudationem eius princeps exorsus est, dum antiquitatem generis, consulatus ac triumphos maiorum enumerabat, intentus ipse et ceteri; liberalium quoque artium commemoratio et nihil regente eo triste rei publicae ab externis accidisse pronis animis audita: postquam ad providentiam sapientiamque flexit, nemo risui temperare.
719 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Claudius xvii, cum decretis sibi a senatu ornamentis triumphalibus leviorem maiestati principali titulum arbitraretur velletque iusti triumphi decus, unde adquireret Britanniam potissimum elegit, neque temptatam ulli post Divum Iulium.
For triumphis clarus cf. Horace, Odes III.i.7, Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.iii.45 and Fasti VI.723, and Statius, Thebais XII.617.
720 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Claudius xli, historiam in adulescentia hortante T. Livio, Sulpicio vere Flavo etiam adiuvante, scribere conatus est, and xlii, nec minore cura Graeca studia secutus est, amorem praestantiamque linguae occasione omni professu…denique et Graecas scripsit historias, Tyrrhenicon viginti, Carchedoniacon octo.
721 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Claudius xviii, urbis annonaeque curam solicitissime semper egit.
722 A sidenote redirects the reader’s attenton to the passage of Tacitus quoted in the note on 718.
723 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Claudius xxxviii, ac ne stultitiam quidem suam reticuit simulatamque a se ex industria sub Gaio, quod aliter evasurus perventurusque ad susceptam stationem non fuerit.
724 A sidenote directs the reader to the Senecan Apocolocyntosis, in which much is said about Claudius’ stupidity.
725 The commas indicate that an impressive pause should be made after the recitation of each of Nero’s formal titles. Cf. William Gager’s Meleager 167
4, where a comma is inserted after each word of a letter being read aloud hesitantly.
726 The sidenote refers to Dio Cassius, Epitome LX.xxxv.4, ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἐν βραχυτάτῳ πολλὰ εἰπὼν ἀπομνημονεύεται. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ τοὺς ἐν τῷ δεσμωτηρίῳ θανατουμένους ἀγκίστροις τισὶ μεγάλοις οἱ δήμιοι ἔς τε τὴν ἀγορὰν ἀνεῖλκον κἀντεῦθεν ἐς τὸν ποταμὸν ἔσυρον, ἔφη τὸν Κλαύδιον ἀγκίστρῳ ἐς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνενεχθῆναι. καὶ ὁ Νέρων δὲ οὐκ ἀπάξιον μνήμης ἔπος κατέλιπε· τοὺς γὰρ μύκητας θεῶν βρῶμα ἔλεγεν εἶναι, ὅτι καὶ ἐκεῖνος διὰ τοῦ μύκητος θεὸς ἐγεγόνει.

729 A sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIII.iv, …consilia sibi et exempla capessendi egregie imperii memoravit, neque iuventam armis civilibus aut domesticis discordiis imbutam; nulla odia, nullas iniurias nec cupidinem ultionis adferre. tum formam futuri principatus paescripsit, ea maxime declinans quorum recens flagrabat invidia. non enim se negotiorum omnium iudicem fore, ut clausis unam intra domum accusatoribus et reis paucorum potentia grassaretur; nihil in penatibus suis venale aut ambitioni pervium; discretam domum et rem publicam. teneret antiqua munia senatus, consulum tribunalibus Italia et publicae provinciae adsisterent: illi patrum aditum praeberent, se mandatis exercitibus consulturum.
734ff. A stock clichee of monarchists. Cf., for example, a brief poem by William Gager entitled Monarchia
(poem XCV):

ut geminos caeli non fert bene fabrica soles,
sic reges regio non feret una duos.

741 The meaning of this sidenote reference to Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI.iii.1, καὶ οἱ μὲν ἐκ τούτων ὡς καὶ κατὰ συγγραφήν τινα καλῶς ἀρχθησόμενοι παρεσκευάζοντο. Dio provides no summary of the contents of Nero’s speech on the present occasion.
744 Cf. civica…arma at Ovid, Fasti I.22. The sidenote refers to the Tacitean passage quoted in the note on 729.
769 The emperor Nero and Lucius Antistius were consuls for the year 55.
772f. Cf. the Commentary note on 725.
776f. Cf. Suetonius, Nero viii, honoribus tantum patris patriae nomine recusato proper aeatem.
781ff. Tarpeius sator was Jupiter’s title in connection with his Capitoline cult. Romulus was worshipped as Romulus Quirinus after his death, and of course Augustus was similarly deified. For line 871 cf. H. F. 592, o lucis almae rector et caeli decus.
790f. A sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero ix, primo etiam imperii die signum excubanti tribuno dedit “optimam matrem.”
792f. Another sidenote cites ib. x, et cum de supplicio cuiusdam capite damnati ut ex more subscriberet admoneretur, “quam vellem,” inquit, “nescire litteras.”
793ff. Once again, this use of medical imagery betrays its author’s enthusiasm for medicine.
807f. Cf. Suetonius, Nero x, agenti senatui gratias respondit, “cum meruero.”
810ff. A sidenote cites Tacitus, Annales XIII.v, orantibus escendere suggestum imperatoris et praesidere [sc. Agrippina] simul parabat, nisi ceteris pavore defixis Seneca admonuisset venienti matri occurreret. ita specie pietatis obviam itum dedecori.
For 810 sed ecce (always at the beginning of the line) cf. Ag. 388, 586, 728, H. F. 329, 987, H. Oet. 1008, 1430, Oct. 435, and Oed. 321. Of these lines, Ag 388, 586, H. F. 329, and Oct. 435 are cues marking the entrance of a new character.
811 A sidenote alludes to Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI.iii.3, ὡς δὲ ἐπὶ πολὺ τοῦτ’ ἐγίνετο, ἐδυσχέρανεν ὅ τε Σενέκας καὶ ὁ Βοῦρρος, φρονιμώτατοί τε ἅμα καὶ δυνατώτατοι τῶν περὶ τὸν έρωνα ἀνδρῶν ὄντες (ὁ μὲν γὰρ ἔπαρχος τοῦ δορυφορικοῦ ἦν, ὁ δὲ διδάσκαλος αὐτοῦ ), καὶ ἔπαυσαν τὸ γινόμενον τοιᾶσδε ἀφορμῆς λαβόμενοι. πρεσβείας ᾿Αρμενίων ἐλθούσης καὶ ἡ ᾿Αγριππῖνα ἐπὶ τὸ βῆμα, ἀφ’ οὗ σφίσιν ὁ Νέρων διελέγετο, ἀναβῆναι ἠθέλησεν. ἰδόντες οὖν αὐτὴν ἐκεῖνοι πλησιάζουσαν ἔπεισαν τὸν νεανίσκον προκαταβῆναι καὶ προαπαντῆσαι τῇ μητρὶ ὡς καὶ ἐπὶ δεξιώσει τινί. πραχθέντος τε τούτου οὔτε τότε ἐπανῆλθον, ἐμβαλόντες τινὰ αἰτίαν, ὥστε μὴ καὶ ἐς τοὺς βαρβάρους τὸ νόσημα τῆς ἀρχῆς ἐκφανῆναι, καὶ μετὰ τοῦτ’ ἔπραττον ὅπως μηδὲν ἔτ’ αὐτῇ  τῶν κοινῶν ἐπιτρέπηται.
Act II, scene
iv Again, the stage clears save for Agrippina and Pallas, so that there is no scene-break here in the modern sense. In view of the rythmic architecture Gwinne is imposing on his material, discussed in the Introduction, the parallel between this sequence and that of Act I, scenes iii and iv, in which a large group dissolves leaving an insulted Agrippina behind to plot a crime with Pallas, acquires structural significance.
817 Cf. Me. 560 (spoken just after Jason has left the stage), discessit. itane est?
823 Cf. H. Oet. 1336, pensare merita.
825 Cf. Thy. 341, sceptrum scelere aggredi.
830 Cf. H. Oet. 1194, fulminibus frange trisulcis. Cf. also Phaed. 680f.:

cur dextra, divum rector atque hominum, vacat
tua, nec trisulca mundus ardescit face?

For iusta manu cf. H. F. 272. For the sentiment of this prayer, cf. William Gager’s Meleager 1096 - 1102:

iam iam tonandum est, Iuppiter, caelo tibi,
convolve mundum. tela, Cyclopes, date;
nec cautiore fulmen emittas manu
in hunc vel illam. quisquis ex istis cadit,
merito peribit, non potest in eos tua
errare dextra.

832 Cf. Phoen. 252, sceleris infandi reum.
835 Cf. Phaed. 255, moderare, alumna, mentis effrenae impetus.
836 Cf. Phoen. 598, cadere de regno grave est.
845ff. A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Nero xxviii, nam matris concubitum appetisse et <ab> obtrectatoribus eius, ne ferox atque impotens mulier et hoc genere gratiae praevaleret, deterritum nemo dubitavit, utique postquam meretricem, quam fama erat Agrippinae simillimam, inter concubinas recepit. olim etiam quotiens lectica cum matre veheretur, libidinatum inceste ac maculis vestis proditum affirmant. Semiramis is supposed to have had an incestuous relationship with her son.
847 Cf. Tr. 334, hoc vetat fieri pudor.
851ff. Cf. Suetonius, loc. cit., Acten libertam paulum afuit quin iusto sibi matrimonio coniungeret, summissis consularibus viris qui regio genere ortam peierarent. (Cf. also Tacitus, Annales XIII.xii). For line 851 cf. H. Oet. 279, natis Iovisque fiet ex famula nurus?
853 Cf. dabit . . . nepotes at Statius, Achilleis I.783 and Silvae IV.viii.27.
857ff. Such lists of ἀδύνατα are a standard rhetorical feature in the Senecan corpus. Cf., for example, Oct. 222 - 6:

iungentur ante saeva sideribus freta
et ignis undae, Tartaro tristi polus,
lux alma tenebris, roscidae nocti dies,
quam cum scelesti coniugis mente impia
mens nostra, semper fratris extincti memor.

858 If this catalogue of adunata is traditional, the mention of planets is not, and may probably be accounted a reflection of the new Copernican astronomy.
860ff. Compare the advice of the Nutrix at Oct. 189 - 92:

iuvenilis ardor impetu primo furit,
languescit idem facile nec durat diu
in Venere turpi, ceu levis flammae vapor:
amor perennis coniugis castae manet.

869 A sidenote against 862 probably belongs here and refers to Tacitus, loc. cit., quando uxore ab Octavia, nobili quidem et probitatis spectatae, fato quodam, an quia praevalent inlicita, abhorrebat.
871 Cf. H. Oet. 377, levi caluit face.
872 For vagos ignes cf. H. F. 126.
874 Cf. redibit amor at Propertius II.v.10.
875 For nomen parentis cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.ix.134 and Phoen. 225.
878 For matris…nomen cf. Phaed. 609 and Oct. 609f. Exosus is supposed to mean “hating, detesting,” but from the context it is obvious that Gwinne employs the word to mean “hated, detested.”
882ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xiii, forte illis diebus Caesar inspecto ornatu quo principum coniuges ac parentes effulserant, deligit vestem et gemmas misitque donum matri nulla parsimonia, cum praecipua et cupita aliis prior deferret. sed Agrippina non his instrui cultus suos, sed ceteris arceri proclamat et dividere filium quae cuncta ex ipsa haberet.
883 For sponte with forms of tuli cf. Lucretius III.1041 and Vergil, Georgics II.501.
886 Cf. H. Oet. 400f.:

nuribus Argolicis fui
mensura voti.

893 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.677, et vires fortuna negat.
897 The exchange mater es / cui sim vide is taken from the similar stichomythic dialogue between the Nutrix and Medea at Me. 171.
898 Possibly this is inspired by the exchange between Amphitruo and Alcmene at Plautus, Amphitruo 836f.:

AMPH. mulier es, audacter iuras. ALC. quae non deliquit, decet
audacem esse, confidenter pro se et proterve loqui.

899 Cf. Thy. 67, quo praeceps ruis? Cf. also Me. 283, ne culpa natos matris insontes trahat.
Actus II, scena
v Again, there is no break in the action here.
903ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xiii, tum Agrippina versis artibus per blandimenta iuvenem adgredi, suum potius cubiculum ac sinum offerre contegendis quae prima aetas et summa fortuna expeterent: quin et fatebatur intempestivam severitatem et suarum opum, quae haud procul imperatoriis aberant, copias tradebat, ut nimia nuper coercendo filio, ita rursum intemperanter demissa. quae mutatio neque Neronem fefellit, et proximi amicorum metuebant orabantque cavere insidias mulieris semper atrocis, tum et falsae. Cf. pro sancta pietas at Phaed. 903.
904f. Nero is hinting at her relations with Pallas.
905 Nihili facio is a common phrase in comedy, as at Plautus, Bacchides 89, Captivi 616, Curculio 218, Terence, Adelphoe 167 etc.
909 For matris arbitrio cf. arbitrio matris at Ovid, Metamorphoses V.380 and matris ad arbitrium at Horace, Odes III.vi.40.
912 Cf. struxit dolos at H. Oet. 1468.
918 Cf. Oct. 534, Claudiae gentis decus, Phaed. 900, gentis Actaeae decus, and Tr. 876, Pelasgae maximum gentis decus.
921 Cf. regna deserui at Me. 477 and Phoen. 104.
923 Cf., perhaps, nimiumque severus at Horace, Epistulae I.v.13.
925f. Cf. stimulos…admovet at Juvenal, Satire x.329.
930 Cf., perhaps, Plautus, Captivi 445, tibi commendo spes opesque meas.
934 For the idiom suspectum habeo cf. Plautus, Bacchides 572 and Vergil, Aeneid IV. 97.
937 Cf. the exchange between Megara and Amphitryon at H. F. 313 - 6:

ME. quod nimis miseri volunt,
hoc facile credunt. AM. immo quod metuunt nimis
numquam moveri posse nec tolli putant:
prona est timoris semper in peius fides.

944ff. Tacitus tells the story at Annales XIII.xiv, et Nero infensus iis quibus superbia muliebris innitebatur, demovet Pallantem cura rerum quis a Claudio impositus velut arbitrium regni agebat; ferebaturque degrediente eo magna prosequentium multitudine non absurde dixisse, ire Pallantem ut eiuraret. sane pepigerat Pallas ne cuius facti in praeteritum interrogaretur paresque rationes cum re publica haberet.
947 Cf. Horace, Epistulae I.i.103, curam metumque Caesaris rerum, and Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.ix.71, quod tamen ab rerum cura propiore vacabit.
954 Compare Medea’s indignant question to Creon at Me. 192, quod crimen aut quae culpa multatur fuga?
As it happens, there is a rare dative singular form qui, and some Renaissance writers were capable of employing unusual or archaic forms. But it is of course far likelier that this is a simple typographical error for cui.
955 Cf. sortem dedit at Ovid, Fasti IV.25 and Metamorphoses I.381.
958f. Cf., perhaps, Cepheus’ indignant question at Ovid, Metamorphoses V.13f., meritisne haec gratia tantis / redditur?
961ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xiv, praeceps posthac Agrippina ruere ad terrorem et minas, neque principis auribus abstinere quo minus testaretur adultum iam esse Britannicum, veram dignamque stirpem suscipiendo patris imperio quod insitus et adoptivus per iniurias matris exerceret. non abnuere se quin cuncta infelicis domus mala patefierent, suae in primis nuptiae, suum veneficium: id solum diis et sibi provisum quod viveret privignus. ituram cum illo in castra; audiretur hinc Germanici filia, inde debilis rursus Burrus et exul Seneca, trunca scilicet manu et professoria lingua generis humani regimen expostulantes. simul intendere manus, adgerere probra, consecratum Claudium, infernos Silanorum manis invocare et tot inrita facinora.
965 For infernum Iovem cf. Seneca, H. F. 47.
966 For vivit, et vivat precor, cf. Oed. 885.
967 Tacitus makes it clear that this quarrel broke out on the day before Britannicus’ fourteenth birthday, when he assumed the toga virilis.
968 Cf. mea fraude at Me. 475 and Tr. 867.
972 Cf. Thy. 788, tota patefient mala.
980 For trunca manu cf. Propertius IV.viii.42.
981 Seneca had been exiled by Claudius. For lingua falsa cf. Ovid, Heroides vi.67 and Metamorphoses II.631.
985 For nefas summum cf. Lucan II.286 and Juvenal, Satire viii.83.
986 For humanum genus at the end of the iambic senarius, cf. H. F. 674, H. Oet. 323, Oct. 399 and 568.
988 Cf. the prediction of Nero’s downfall at Oct. 629 - 31:

veniet dies tempusque quo reddat suis
animam nocentem sceleribus, iugulum hostibus
desertus ac destructus et cunctis egens.

Act II, scene vi A room in the Palace, slightly thereafter.
989ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xv, turbatus his Nero et propinquo die quo quartum decimum aetatis annum Britannicus explebat, volutare secum modo matris violentiam, modo ipsius indolem.
991 Cf. Me. 181, nota fraus, nota est manus.
992 Cf. Statius, Thebais XII.158, si mens nota mihi.
994 Cf. H. Oet. 467, cui cedat ille? (also at line-beginning).
995 For cui parcet illa cf. Me. 182 (also at line-beginning). Cf. also genus with forms of perdo at Ovid, Metamorphoses I.188 and 261.
997 For faeminam iratam cf. H. Oet. 1354.
1000 Cf. Tr. 254, patienter feras (at line-end).
1009ff. This soliloquy about the advisability of killing young Britannicus is an internalization of the debate between Agamamnon and Pyrrhus about the need for killing the infant Astyanax in Seneca’s Troades (203ff.), a scene which was a popular subject for imitation by University playwrights. It serves as the model for the debate between Catesby and Buckingham about the necessity of killing the little princes in the Tower in Thomas Legge’s Richardus Tertius (1579), I.v.i 1245ff., and also for that among the Suitors about the possible murder of Telemachus in William Gager’s Ulysses Redux (1592) 1479ff., very possibly written under Legge’s influence.
1014 This line echoes Tr. 551, futurus Hector: libera Graios metu (spoken by Ulysses).
1020ff. Cf. Tacitus, loc. cit., Agrippinae minis, quia nullum crimen neque iubere caedem fratris palam audebat, occulta molitur pararique venenum iubet, ministro Pollione Iulio praetoriaae cohortis tribuno, cuius cura attinebatur damnata veneficii nomine Locusta, multa scelerum fama. nam ut proximus quisque Britannico neque fas neque fidem pensi haberet olim provisum erat. primum venenum ab ipsis educatoribus accepit tramisitque exoluta alvo parum validum, sive temperamentum inerat ne statim saeviret. sed Nero lenti sceleris impatiens minitari tribuno, iubere supplicium veneficae, quod, dum rumorem respiciunt, dum parant defensiones, securitatem morarentur. promittentibus dein tam praecipitem necem quam si ferro urgeretur, cubiculum Caesaris iuxta decoquitur virus cognitis antea venenis rapidum. Cf. also Suetonius, Nero xxxiii, veneno adgressus est. quod acceptum a quadam Lucusta, venenariorum indice, cum opinione tardius cederet ventre modo Britannici moto, accersitam mulierem sua manu verberauit arguens pro veneno remedium dedisse; excusantique minus datum ad occultandam facinoris invidiam: ‘sane,’ inquit, ‘legem Iuliam timeo,’ coegitque se coram in cubiculo quam posset velocissimum ac praesentaneum coquere. deinde in haedo expertus, postquam is quinque horas protraxit, iterum ac saepius recoctum porcello obiecit; quo statim exanimato inferri in triclinium darique cenanti secum Britannico imperavit.
1024 For lenta nimium cf. Oct. 820.
1028 Cf. Plautus, Amphitryo 989, ego sum Iovi dicto audiens.
1031 The lex Iulia de sicariis, a law against assassinations instituted by Sulla and renewed by Julius Caesar.
1033 For nectis moras cf. H. Oet. 10 (also at line-end).
1035 Cf. Plautus, Truculentus 951, immo tu prior perde et peri.
1041 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XII.321f.:

“miscenda“ que dixit
“cum Styge vina bibes.”

1043 For imo Tartaro cf. Oed. 869.
1047 Cf. Thy. 480, flammis aquae (at line-end).
1050ff. After describing the death of Britannicus, Suetonius adds Lucustae pro navata opera impunitatem praediaque ampla, sed et discipulos dedit. Cf. also Juvenal, Sat. i.71f.
Act II, scene
vii A banquet room in the Palace. Probably, like other banquets in University drama, such as those in Legge’s Solymitana Clades and Gager’s Dido and Ulysses Redux, this was meant to be represented as an interior scene.
1054 Cf. Atreus’ exclamation at Thy. 491, plagis tenetur clausa dispositis fera. The echo is a significant one: this is Nero’s equivalent of Atreus’ ghastly banquet, and in fact Nero’s speech contains several elements reminiscent of Atreus’ at Thy 491ff.:

plagis tenetur clausa dispositis fera;
et ipsum et una generis invisi indolem
iunctam parenti cerno. iam tuto in loco
versantur odia. venit in nostras manus
tandem Thyestes, venit, et totus quidem.
vix tempero animo, vix dolor frenos capit . . .
cum sperat ira sanguinem, nescit tegi;
tamen tegatur.

1062 For lautes dapes cf. Martial XIV.xl.2.
1064ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xv, festis Saturno diebus inter alia aequalium ludicra regnum lusu sortientium evenerat ea sors Neroni. igitur ceteris diversa nec ruborem adlatura: ubi Britannico iussit exsurgeret progressusque in medium cantum aliquem inciperet, inrisum ex eo sperans pueri sobrios quoque convictus, nedum temulentos ignorantis, ille constanter exorsus est carmen, quo evolutum eum sede patria rebusque summis significabatur.
1067 Cf. Oct. 104, maerore pressa.
1068 For the idea cf. Phaed. 301, dulcior vocem moriente cygno.
1077 This song is written in Sapphic stanzas.
1078 Cf. caeso genitore at Ovid, Metamorphoses V.148.
1089f. In condensed form these lines reflect, the sentiment of two Senecan choruses, Ag. 87ff. and Phaed. 1123ff. (both of which are indebted to Horace, Odes. II.x. 6 - 16).
1092 For Claudia proles cf. Oct. 278.
1101 M. Salvius Otho, the future emperor; he is currently married to Poppaea Sabina.
1102 Gwinne was possibly thinking of Oct. 256, laetus et veniet dies (also at line-end).
1103ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xvi, illic epulante Britannico, quia cibos potusque eius delectus ex ministris gustu explorabat, ne omitteretur institutum aut utriusque morte proderetur scelus, talis dolus repertus est. innoxia adhuc ac praecalida et libata gustu potio traditur Britannico; dein, postquam fervore aspernabatur, frigida in aqua adfunditur venenum, quod ita cunctos eius artus pervasit ut vox pariter et spiritus raperentur. trepidatur a circumsedentibus, diffugiunt imprudentes: at quibus altior intellectus, resistunt defixi et Neronem intuentes. ille ut erat reclinis et nescio similis, solitum ita ait per comitialem morbum quo prima ab infantia adflctaretur Britannicus, et redituros paulatim visus sensusque. at Agrippinae is pavor, ea consternatio mentis, quamvis vultu premeretur, emicuit ut perinde ignaram fuisse <atque> Octaviam sororem Britannici constiterit: quippe sibi supremum auxilium ereptum et parricidii exemplum intellegebat. Octavia quoque, quamvis rudibus annis, dolorem caritatem, omnis adfectus abscondere didicerat. ita post breve silentium repetita convivii laetitia.
1108 Cf. Ag. 49, quid pudor vultus gravat?
1111 Cf. H. Oet. 1416, abeat excussus dolor.
1112 A dramatic adaptation of a standard epistolary formula. Cf., for example, Cicero, ad Fam. XIV.viii, si vales bene est; ego valeo.
1113 Gwinne may have been thinking of H. F. 178, dum fata sinunt, vivite laeti.
1114 For gestit…animus cf. Phoen. 87.
1115 For pectus labat cf. Oed. 207. In general, this description of the physical symptoms of horror resembles a number of similar passages in Seneca, such as Me. 926f.:

cor pepulit horror, membra torpescunt gelu
pectusque tremuit.

1120f. This line carries us back to Atreus’ hideous banquet, as Thyestes says (Thy. 983 - 6):

capio fraternae dapis
donum. paternis vina libentur deis,
tunc hauriantur ósed quid hoc? nolunt manus
parere, crescit pondus et dextram gravat.

1124 Bene est, abunde est is a self-satisfied exclamation made twice by Seneca’s Atreus (Thy. 279, 889).
1135ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xlvi, Otho sive amore incautus laudare formam elegantiamque uxoris apud principem, sive ut accenderet ac, si eadem femina potirentur, id quoque vinculum potentiam ei adiceret. saepe auditus est consurgens e convivio Caesaris, se quidem ire ad illam, sibi concessam dictitans nobilitatem pulchritudinem, vota omnium et gaudia felicium.
Cf. vultus gravat at Ag. 49 and Oed. 952.
1137 Neither Tacitus nor Suetonius supplies the detail that the poisoning occurred on the day of the festival of Salus. But cf. the phrase sacra mensae in the Tacitean passage quoted in the note on 1310ff.
1145 For deliciae meae cf. Plautus, Stichus 742, Catullus
ii.1, iii.4, xxxii.2, Ovid, Amores III.xv.4, and Propertius IV.vii.75.
1147 Cf. coniugialia iura at Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.536.
1150 For caecus amor in various cases cf. Catullus
lxvii.25, Horace, Odes I.xviii.14, Vergil, Georgics III.210, Ovid, Fasti II.762, and Ag. 118.
1155 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.350 (echoed by Martial, Epigrams VIII.xxi.1), quid gaudia nostra moraris?
Act II, scene
viii There is no real scene-break here. It may or may not be coincidental that the first words of this duet recall beginning of John Dowland’s enormously popular song (Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, 1600), Flow my teares, fall from your springs.
1158 Cf. rupto obice at H. F. 237. This passage, reminiscent of a ritual lamentation or kommos from a Greek tragedy, is suggested by the remark of Tacitus (Annales XIII.xviii), at matris ira nulla munificentia lenire, sed amplecti Octaviam.
1161f. The allusions are to the myths of Phaethon and of Caunis and Byblis, as told in Books I - II and IX of Ovid’s Metamorphoses respectively.
1163f. Agrippina matches this with two more Ovidian transformations, of Aurora and Hecuba, both narrated in Book XIII of the Metamorphoses.
1173ff. Busiris and Diomedes were two wayfarer-molesting ogres in mythology: Busiris sacrificed strangers on his altars, Diomedes fed his victims to his man-eating horses. Cf. Tr. 1106 - 9:

non Busiridis
puerilis aras sanguis aspersit feri,
nec parva gregibus membra Diomedes suis
epulanda posuit.

1174 For cruore polluit cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.98.
1175 I. e., caede (cf. the note on 114). Cf. the Vergilian Elegiae in Maecenetam i.84, immanes vel Diomedis equos.
1179 I. e., caeca (cf. the note on 114 ).
1182 For caede fraterna cf. Catullus
lxiv.181 and Vergil, Aeneid IV.21. Cf. also Oct. 823f.:

caede nec populi madet
funerea Roma.

1185 Gwinne was evidently thinking of Oct. 144, regni cupido, sanguinis diri sitis.
1187 Cf. Phaed. 677 - 9:

tuque, sidereum caput,
radiate Titan, tu nefas stirpis tuae
speculare? lucem merge et in tenebras fuge.

(For diem with forms of condo, cf. H. F. 243 and Phaed. 675).
1188 As if this were a game of matching quotations, Agrippina responds with Phaed. 671 - 4:

magne regnator deum,
tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
et quando saeva fulmen emittes manu,
si nunc serenum est?

1189 Gwinne was perhaps thinking of H. Oet. 968f.:

recede, Titan, tuque quae blanda tenes
in luce miseros vita.

1190 For elabere anima cf. Tr. 964 (also at line-beginning). Cf. also, possibly, fugio scelera at Phoen. 218.
1195 For fert gradum cf. Seneca, Me. 186.
1196 Cf. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 250 and 851a, quanta de spe decidi!
1202 For patriae decus cf. Lucan VII.597 and Statius, Silvae V.iii.124.
1204 For preces vanas cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.ix.16, III.vii.2, and IV.viii.26.
1209 For serasalus cf. H. F. 622.
spacer1210f. Morten Bartnaes, Stipendiat of the Institutt for nordisk og mediefag, Universitetet i Agder, writes to me:

In this case, I know two parallels:

a) Tasso, Il Re Torrismondo (1587)

C. Virtù non è mai vinta, e 'l tempo vola.
T. Vola, quando egli è portator de' mali;
ma nel recare i beni è lento e zoppo.

b) Monteverdi/Badoaro, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (1640):

IL TEMPO
Salvo è niente
dal mio dente.
Ei rode,
ei gode.
Non fuggite, o mortali,
ché, se [io sono] ben zoppo, ho l'ali.

I tend to assume that both Tasso's and Gwinn's very similar descriptions of the limping time have a common (perhaps emblematic?) source, but for the moment, I haven't been able to identify it. However, these two examples [he means this one and that mentioned in the note on 637] could also point towards the assumption that Gwinn actually knew Tasso's play.

This is not a difficult assumption to make. In the first place, as a member the literary circle that revolved around William Gager of Oxford, Gwinne would have been friends with the legalist Alberico Gentili, whose brother Scipio was Tasso’s great champion in England during the 1580’s. In the second, he collaborated with the Italian immigrant John Florio (who supported himself by teaching Italian literature to London intellectuals) in editing the posthumous poetry of Sir William Philip Sidney. So he had abundant opportunity to learn about Tasso’s play."1212 For animus iniquus cf. Terence, Eunuchus 212, Phormio 763, and Vergil, Aeneid X.7.
1213f. Cf., perhaps, Propertius II.i.10, facilis ut premat arte manus.
1217ff. This chorus is written in Lesser Asclepiadics. For line 1217 cf. Vergil, Aeneid III.57, auri sacra fames.
1218 For feroimpetu cf. Thy. 136.
1219 Cf., perhaps, mala…ambitio at Horace, Sermones II.vi.18.
1220f. Cf. the note on 715. But here Gwinne is being creative with his mountains: Seneca had it right at Ag. 338 (cf. also Thy. 812), stetit imposita Pelion Ossa.
1223f. Gwinne was possibly thinking of Lucan V.250f.:

sed culmine cuncta
despiceret staretque super titubantia fultus.

For culmine lubrico cf. Thy. 392.
1227 Cf. Vergil, Eclogue ii.47, summa papavera carpens.
1229f. Eteocles and Polyneices, and Romulus and Remus are cited as two examples of fratricidal hate inspired by a lust for power. For the former pair, cf. Ovid, Tristia II.i.319, cur tacui Thebas et vulnera mutua fratrum?
1231f. Now the reference is to the elimination of Pompey by Caesar, and of Mark Antony by Octavian.
1243ff. Unless both passages are based on an undentified common source, these lines are imitated at lines 1195 - 7 of William Gager’s hexameter poem on the Gunpowder Plot, Pyramis (written for presentation to King James in 1608, and very much in accord with that sovereign’s political philosophy):

bina Deo semper manus est, dextra atque sinistra.
illa bonus rex est, malus haec. impune quis ausit
velle Deo laevam scelerato abscindere ferro?

1245 For curaesuperis cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.ii.108, Fasti II.64, and Lucan IV.808.
1250 For proditio falsa cf. Vergil, Aeneid II.83.
1253 For serus Pudor cf. H. F. 682 and Phaed. 595.
1255 For nefas ingens cf. Oct. 363, 605, and 787.
1256 Cf. the Vergilian Culex 372f.:

ego Ditis opacos
cogor adire lacus.

1258 For via prona cf. Ovid, Heroides xviii.121 and Metamorphoses II.67.
1259 For stagna Lethes cf. H. Oet. 1162.
1264 Cf., perhaps, Lucretius II.21, quae demant cumque dolorem.
1265 Evidently Gwinne was thinking of Oct. 598f. (spoken by the Ghost of Agrippina):

manet inter umbras impiae caedis mihi
semper memoria.

1267 Cf. such lines as Vergil, Aeneid II.689, Iuppiter omnipotens, precibus si flecteris ullis, Ovid, Metamorphoses II.483, neve preces animos et verba precantia flectant, and possibly H. F. 569 - 71:

immites potuit flectere cantibus
umbrarum dominos et prece supplici
Orpheus.

1268 For scelus with forms of punio cf. H. Oet. 911 and Thy. 31. For poenas pares cf. Oed. 1030 and Phoen. 242.
1271ff. A standard list of the principal sufferers in the Underworld. For similar catalogues cf. H. F. 750 - 8:

rapitur volucri tortus Ixion rota;
cervice saxum grande Sisyphia sedet;
in amne medio faucibus siccis senex
sectatur undas, alluit mentum latex,
fidemque cum iam saepe decepto dedit,
perit unda in ore; poma destituunt famem.
praebet volucri Tityosaeternas dapes
urnasque frustra Danaides plenas gerunt;

And Me. 744 - 9:

rota resistat membra torquens, tangat Ixion humum,
Tantalus securus undas hauriat Pirenidas,
[gravior uni poena sedeat coniugis socero mei]
lubricus per saxa retro Sisyphum soluat lapis.
vos quoque, urnis quas foratis inritus ludit labor,
Danaides, coite: vestras hic dies quaerit manus.

And Oct. 621 - 3:

poenasque quis et Tantali vincat sitim,
dirum laborem Sisyphi, Tityi alitem
Ixionisque membra rapientem rotam.

1273 For et siquod his maius malum cf. Phoen. 286.
1275 Cf. H. Oet. 1557, non tamen vilis eris inter umbras.
1279 Cf. the note on 2315. Cf. corpora inhumata at Lucretius VI.1215, Vergil, Aeneid XI.22, Statius, Thebais IX.158 and XII.151.
1284ff. Both Tacitus (Ann. XIII.xvii) and Suetonius (Nero xxxiii.3) describe how Britannicus received a shabbily hasty funeral during a downpour. But neither historian mentions any such divine portents as are described here.
1288 For laesos…deos cf. Lucan III.447.
1291 For irati Iovis cf. Ag. 528 and H. F. 932.
1294ff. Cf. Ag. 471 - 4:

cum subito luna conditur, stellae latent;
nec una nox est: densa tenebras obruit
caligo et omni luce subducta fretum
caelumque miscet.

1295 For lux fugit cf. Ag. 72-6.
1298 Cf. Thy. 670, ululantque manes. Cf. also Seneca, Agamemnon 485, mundum revelli sedibus totum suis.
1303 Cf. Thy. 703, movere cunctos monstra.
1309 For sedes beatas cf. Vergil, Aeneid VI.639. For insons puer cf. Statius, Thebais IX.443 and 666.
1310ff. A sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIII.xvii, tradunt plerique eorum temporum scriptores crebris ante exitium diebus illusum isse pueritiae Britannici Neronem, ut iam non praematura neque saeva mors videri queat, quamvis inter sacra mensae, ne tempore quidem ad complexum sororum dato, ante oculos inimici properata sit in illum supremum Claudiorum sanguinem, stupro prius quam veneno pollutum.
1314 For matura…mors cf. Lucan IX.834.
1315 For laesus pudor cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.450, VII.751, and Phaed. 1189.
1316 For saeva mors cf. Tr. 621.
1322f. Cf. Thy. 747f.:

sceleris hunc finem putas?
gradus est.

1324 Cf. Thy. 744f.:

hactenus si stat nefas,
pius est.

1325 Cf. Phaed. 101, alitur et crescit malum (at line-end).
1326 Sidenote: Traian. Au. Vict. N. Bap. Egn. This evidently directs the reader to Aurelius Victor, de Caesaribus xiii.7, adeo boni malive in republica nihil est, quod in diversum traduci nequeat moribus praesidentium.
1328 A sidenote refers to Battisto Egnazio, De Caesaribus Libri III (Florence, 1519) p. 2v, quinquennio sub initia omnum princieps optimus existimatus etiam Traiani testimonio, procul distare caeteros principes a Neronis quinquennio praedicantis. Cf. J. G. Anderson, “Trajan on the Quinquennium Neronis,” at Journal of Roman Studies 1 (1911) 173ff.
1329 Cf. fratris dolos at Phoen. 492 and Thy. 178.
1330 Cf. cladem futuram at Lucretius V.246 and Lucan I.470.
1333 Cf. Thy. 47f.:

et fas et fides
iusque omne pereat.

Act III, scene ii The Palace banquet-room. Nero is feasting and drinking late into the night, in the company of Poppaea (cf. 1546f. and the second paragraph of the Tacitean passage quoted in the note on 1478).
1336ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xlvi, sed accepto aditu Poppaea primum per blandimenta et artes valescere, imparem cupidini se et forma Neronis captam simulans; mox acri iam principis amore ad superbiam vertens, si ultra unam alteramque noctem attineretur, nuptam esse se dictitans nec posse matrimonium amittere, devinctam Othoni per genus vitae quod nemo adaequaret: illum animo et cultu magnificum; ibi se summa fortuna digna visere: at Neronem, paelice ancilla et adsuetudine Actes devinctum, nihil e contubernio servili nisi abiectum et sordidum traxisse.
1342 For famatulit cf. Vergil, Aeneid VI.502 (cf. also IV.298) and H. Oet. 914.
1343 Cf. mira videbant at Lucretius V.1181 and mira videri at Vergil, Aeneid X.267.
1346 Cf. Phaed. 607, curae leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent.
1347 Cf. Phaed. 637, libet loqui pigetque.
1350 For amor instat cf. Propertius II.xxx(a).7.
1354 A sidenote directs the reader to Annales XIII.xlvi, as do ones against 1376 and 1389.
1356 Cf., perhaps, gustare amorem at Lucretius V.179.
1359 For Anteros cf. Cicero, de Natura Deorum III.lx.3, Cupido primus Mercurio et Diana prima natus dicitur, secundus Mercurio et Venere secunda, tertius qui idem est Anteros Marte et Venere tertia. But here, obviously, Anteros means “loving in return.” Cf. G. de Tervarent, ”Eros and Anteros or Reciprocal Love in Ancient and Renaissance Art,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Insitutes 28 (1965) 205 - 8.
1360 For mutuus amor cf. Horace, Epodes xv.10, Odes II.xii.15, and the Vergilian Catalepton iv.12.
1362 Cf., perhaps, simulator amare at Ovid, Ars Amore I.615 and simularat amare at Ovid, Remedia Amoris 501.
1363ff. Cf. Vergil, Aeneid IV.93 - 5:

egregiam vero laudem et spolia ampla refertis
tuque puerque tuus (magnum et memorabile numen),
una dolo divum si femina victa duorum est.

1366 Cf. H. F. 1305, miserum haut potes me facere.
1369 For deos testor cf. Terence, Hecyra 476, Vergil, Aeneid IV.492, Oed. 14, Tr. 644f., and Thy. 1102.
1370 For testor numen cf. Vergil, Aeneid II.155, Me. 440 and Tr. 28.
1382 This passage is possibly suggested by H. Oet. 237 - 9:

namque ut reluxit paelicis captae decus
et fulsit Iole qualis innubis dies
purisve clarum noctibus sidus micat.

1392f. For potens / opibus cf. Ovid, Fasti IV.255 and Metamorphoses VI.426.
1400 Cf. Propertius II.xxxiv.18, rivalem possum non ego ferre Iovem.
1401ff. The reference is to the story of Gyges and Candaules in Book I of Herodotus’ Histories. Candaules, who in a very Otho-like way boasted of his wife’s beauty, compelled Gyges to witness her naked. She found out and informed Gyges that he must help her kill her husband and supplant him as king of Lydia, or die himself. Thus Candaules was undone.
1403ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xlvi, deicitur familiaritate sueta, post congressu et comitatu Otho, et ad postremum, ne in urbe aemulatus ageret, provinciae Lusitaniae praecitur.
1405 A sidenote refers to a rather different account given by Suetonius at Otho iii: the marriage of Otho and Poppaea was merely a sham to cover the fact that she was Nero’s mistress — but Otho betrayed his imperial friend by seducing his own wife!
1411f. For this kind of linkage of urbs and orbis cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.174, atque ingens orbis in Urbe fuit, and Fasti II.684, Romanae spatium est Urbis et orbis idem.
1413ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.i, [sc. Poppaea], quae sibi matrimonium et discidium Octaviae incolumi Agrippina haud sperans crebris criminationibus, aliquando per facetias incusaret principem et pupillum vocaret, qui iussis alienis obnoxius non modo imperii sed libertatis etiam indigeret. cur enim differri nuptias suas? formam scilicet displicere et triumphalis avos. an fecunditatem et verum animum? timeri ne uxor saltem iniurias patrum, iram populi adversus superbiam avaritiamque matris aperiat. quod si nurum Agrippina non nisi filio infestam ferre posset, redderetur ipsa Othonis coniugio: ituram quoquo terrarum, ubi audiret potius contumelias imperatoris quam viseret periculis eius immixta.
1416 Gwinne was perhaps thinking of the Vergilian formula divum pater atque hominum rex (Aeneid I.65, II.648, X.2, X.743).
1423 Creusa tried to poison Ion, not realizing that he was her son (the subject of Euripides’ Ion ). Deianira destroyed Hercules by means of a cloak tainted with the blood of the centaur Nessus, as dramatized in the Hercules Oetaeus.
1425 Cf. the note on 878.
1429 For factum scelus cf. H. Oet. 842 and Me. 474.
1432 Cf. Nero’s verdict on Octavia at Oct. 471, quidquid excelsum est cadat.
1435 For populusdefendet cf. H. Oet. 1816f.
1441 For inane nomen cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.740, Heroides x.116, Tristia III.iii.50, Lucan II.342 and V.389.
1444 A sidenote mention of Ninus seems to refer to a strong man mentioned at Martial, Epigrams V.xii.8f. and not to the husband of Semiramis:

aut grandis Ninus omnibus lacertis
septem quod pueros levat vel octo.

1453 Cf. Phoen. 131, saeva Thebarum lues.
1455f. I can only understand these lines by taking redi as a transitive verb having temet, and milites, cives, deos as its direct objects (if the meter permitted, redde would be a preferable reading).
1457 Cf. Oed. 375, implet parentem.
1458 For horrendum nefas cf. Thy. 89.
1459 The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIV.ii, tradit Cluvius ardore retinendae Agrippinam potentiae eo usque provectam ut medio diei, cum id temporis Nero per vinum et epulas incalesceret, offerret se saepius temulento comptam et incesto paratam; iamque lasciva oscula et praenuntias flagitii blanditias adnotantibus proximis, Senecam contra muliebris inlecebras subsidium a femina petivisse, immissamque Acten libertam quae simul suo periculo et infamia Neronis anxia deferret pervulgatum esse incestum gloriante matre, nec toleraturos milites profani principis imperium. Fabius Rusticus non Agrippinae sed Neroni cupitum id memorat eiusdemque libertae astu disiectum.
1467 For nimium gravis cf. Oct. 588.
1468 Cf. Ovid, Fasti I.624, excutiebat onus.
1469f. The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIII.xviii, excubiasque militaris, quae ut coniugi imperatoris olim, tum ut matri servabantur, et Germanos nuper eundem <in> honorem custodes additos degredi iubet.
Act III, scene
ii There is obviously no genuine scene-break at this point (notice that the scene-division falls in the middle of a line).
1477f. Cf. Oed. 554, maestus ingreditur senex.
1478 A sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIII.xix - xx: ex quibus erat Iunia Silana, quam matrimonio C. Sili a Messalina depulsam supra rettuli, insignis genere forma lascivia, et Agrippinae diu percara, mox occultis inter eas offensionibus, quia Sextium Africanum nobilem iuvenem a nuptiis Silanae deterruerat Agrippina, impudicam et vergentem annis dictitans, non ut Africanum sibi seponeret, sed ne opibus et orbitate Silanae maritus poteretur.
Illa spe ultionis oblata parat accusatores ex clientibus suis, Iturium et Calvisium, non vetera et saepius iam audita deferens, quod Britannici mortem lugeret aut Octaviae iniurias evulgaret, sed destinavisse eam Rubellium Plautum, per maternam originem pari ac Nero gradu a divo Augusto, ad res novas extollere coniugioque eius et imperio rem publicam rursus invadere. haec Iturius et Calvisius Atimeto, Domitiae Neronis amitae liberto, aperiunt. qui laetus oblatis (quippe inter Agrippinam et Domitiam infensa aemulatio exercebatur) Paridem histrionem, libertum et ipsum Domitiae, impulit ire propere crimenque atrociter deferre.
provecta nox erat et Neroni per vinolentiam trahebatur, cum ingreditur Paris, solitus alioquin id temporis luxus principis intendere, sed tunc compositus ad maestitiam, expositoque indicii ordine ita audientem exterret ut non tantum matrem Plautumque interficere, sed Burrum etiam demovere praefectura destinaret tamquam Agrippinae gratia provectum et vicem reddentem.
1482 Cf. Thy. 639, quid sit quod horres ede et auctorem indica.
1485 With one exception, the tragic heroines listed here are to be found in the plays of Euripides. Althaea appears in no surviving ancient tragedy. Possibly Gwinne included this name as a compliment to his old Oxford friend William Gager, whose Meleager was first produced in 1582.
1488 Odrysia = “Thracian” Cf. Thy. 272f.:

vidit infandas domus
Odrysia mensas.

1491 Cf. Ag. 420f.:

exprome: clades scire qui refugit suas
gravat timorem; dubia plus torquent mala.

1492f. Cf. the exchange between Atreus and the Satelles at Thy. 257:

SAT. ferrum?
THY. parum est.
SAT. quid ignus?
THY. etiamnunc parum est.

1493 The book has laesam Claudiam, which appears to make no sense; but Nero would have plenty of cause for worry if Agrippina were to confess that Claudius had been murdered.
1497 As intimated by Tacitus in the passage just quoted, Rubellius Plautus, like Nero, was a great-grandson of Augustus, and therefore a potential heir to the throne.
1500 As the adjective partilis does not exist in the classical Latin lexicon but is used in later astrological writers; one may guess at the meaning of this remark, assisted by Tacitus, Ann. XIII.xix, Plautum, per maternam originam pari ac Nero a divi Augusto.
1513ff. For the logic cf. Thy. 201 - 4:

proinde antequam se firmat aut vires parat,
petatur ultro, ne quiescentem petat.
aut perdet aut peribit; in medio est scelus
positum occupanti.

1517 Cf. Oct. 621, poenasque quis et Tantali vincat sitim.
1518 Cf. H. Oet. 447, where Deianira’s question begins with the words leve esse credis.
1533ff. This portion of the scene is suggested by Annales XIII.xx, Nero trepidus et interficiendae matris avidus non prius differri potuit quam Burrus necem eius promitteret, si facinoris coargueretur: sed cuicumque, nedum parenti defensionem tribuendam; nec accusatores adesse, sed vocem unius ex inimica domo adferri: reputaret tenebras et vigilatam convivio noctem omniaque temeritati et inscitiae propiora.
1533 Cf. the note on 769.
1534 Cf. Phaed. 672, tam lentus audis scelera?
1538 Cf. Thy. 1024, haec fratris fides?
1540ff. Cf. the exchange between Nero and the reluctant Praefectus at Oct. 863 - 5, when Nero orders the murder of Octavia:

NE. parere dubitas? PRF. cur meam damnas fidem?
NE. quod parcis hosti. PRF. femina hoc nomen capit?
NE. si scelera cepit. PRF. estne qui sontem arguat?

1550 Cf. poenas luat at Me. 146, Oct. 248 and Oed. 222 (all at line-end).
1551 For egregias…causas cf. Me. 202.
1553 Cf. H. F. 27 non sic abibunt (at line-beginning).
1554 Cf. quid fluctuaris? at Ag. 109 and Tr. 657 (both at line-beginning).
1564 Cf. Ag. 150, res est profecto stulta nequitiae modus.
1565ff. Nero’s moral predicament is quite reminiscent of that of Althaea in Gager’s Meleager (cf. the note on 1485), torn between the conflicting urges of a protective mother and an avenging aunt. Cf., for example, 13
46ff.:

cupio nequeoque, quod paro factum horreo,
et pectus unum nomina exagitant duo,
mater sororque. da locum matri, soror;
cur non sorori mater? hinc pietas movet.
erras. untrinque est, hinc et hinc pietas movet.

But of course Althaea’s vacillation is based on that of Seneca’s Medea, as expressed in her great speech at Me. 895ff.
1569 Cf. Me. 944, cede pietati, dolor.
1570 Cf. Me. 927f.:

ira discessit loco
materque tota coniuge expulsa redit.

1571 Cf. Me. 895, quid, anime, cessas?
1572 Cf. Atreus’ dismissive statement at Thy. 217f.:

sanctitas pietas fides
privata bona sunt.

1577 For dirum nefas cf. H. Oet. 1232, 1350, and Me. 931.
1578 Cf. Thy. 220, fas est in illo (another line spoken by Atreus).
1579 Cf. sceleris…reum at Phoen. 252.
1581ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.iii, postremo, ubicumque haberetur, praegravem ratus interficere constituit, hactenus consultans, veneno an ferro vel qua alia vi. placuitque primo venenum. sed inter epulas principis si daretur, referri ad casum non poterat tali iam Britannici exitio; et ministros temptare arduum videbatur mulieris usu scelerum adversus insidias intentae; atque ipsa praesumendo remedia munierat corpus. ferrum et caedes quonam modo occultaretur nemo reperiebat; et ne quis illi tanto facinori delectus iussa sperneret metuebat. obtulit ingenium Anicetus libertus, classi apud Misenum praefectus et pueritiae Neronis educator ac mutuis odiis Agrippinae invisus. ergo navem posse componi docet cuius pars ipso in mari per artem soluta effunderet ignaram: nihil tam capax fortuitorum quam mare; et si naufragio intercepta sit, quem adeo iniquum ut sceleri adsignet quod venti et fluctus deliquerint? additurum principem defunctae templum et aras et cetera ostentandae pietati.
1593 Cf., perhaps, Statius, Thebais IV.342, minuuntque metus.
1594 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.605, praemia digna ferant, and Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.702, praemia digna feres.
1597 Cf. fraudem struit at H. Oet. 718.
1599 Cf., perhaps, offeram…manus at Tr. 671.
1605ff. Cf. Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xii.2, ναῦν ἰδόντες ἐν τῷ θεάτρῳ διαλυομένην τε αὐτὴν ἐφ’ ἑαυτῆς καί τινα θηρία ἀφιεῖσαν, καὶ συνισταμένην αὖ πάλιν ὥστε καὶ  ἐρρῶσθαι, τοιαύτην ἑτέραν ταχέως ἐναυπηγήσαντο .
1611f. The language seems suggested by a different contrivance described by Suetonius, Nero xxxiv.2, lacunaria, quae noctu super dorminetem laxata machina deciderent, paravit.
1622 For the idiom effectum dabo cf. Terence, Eunuchus 212.
Act III, scene
iv The scene shifts to Agrippina’s apartment in the Palace.
1623ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xxi, sic lenito principis metu et luce orta itur ad Agrippinam ut nosceret obiecta dissolveretque vel poenas lueret. Burrus iis mandatis Seneca coram fungebatur; aderant et ex libertis arbitri sermonis. deinde a Burro, postquam crimina et auctores exposuit, minaciter actum. et Agrippina ferociae memor ’non miror’ inquit ’Silanam, numquam edito partu, matrum adfectus ignotos habere; neque enim proinde a parentibus liberi quam ab impudica adulteri mutantur. nec si Iturius et Calvisius adesis omnibus fortunis novissimam suscipiendae accusationis operam anui rependunt, ideo aut mihi infamia parricidii aut Caesari conscientia subeunda est. nam Domitiae inimicitiis gratias agerem, si benevolentia mecum in Neronem meum certaret: nunc per concubinum Atimetum et histrionem Paridem quasi scaenae fabulas componit. Baiarum suarum piscinas extollebat, cum meis consiliis adoptio et proconsulare ius et designatio consulatus et cetera apiscendo imperio praepararentur. aut existat qui cohortis in urbe temptatas, qui provinciarum fidem labefactatam, denique servos vel libertos ad scelus corruptos arguat. vivere ego Britannico potiente rerum poteram? ac si Plautus aut quis alius rem publicam iudicaturus obtinuerit, desunt scilicet mihi accusatores qui non verba impatientia caritatis aliquando incauta, sed ea crimina obiciant quibus nisi a filio absolvi non possim.’ commotis qui aderant ultroque spiritus eius mitigantibus, conloquium filii exposcit, ubi nihil pro innocentia, quasi diffideret, nec de beneficiis, quasi exprobraret, disseruit, sed ultionem in delatores et praemia amicis obtinuit.

1631 For the exclamation o dirum nefas cf. H. Oet. 1232.
1632 Nero’s aunt Domitia, the sister of Messalina’s mother. Cf. the Tacitean passage quoted in the Commentary note on 1478.
1645 Either Gwinne knew Tacitus in an edition which printed the words ego Britannico potiente rerum poteram as a declarative sentence, or the printer has incorrectly omitted a question mark here.
1661 Cf. the Nurses’ advice at Me. 506, ira concitum pectus doma.
1683 For fulmen Iovis cf. H. Oet. 1384.
1684 For Phoebi sagittas cf. H. F. 455.
1686 For credis nefas? cf. Tr. 331 (also at line-end).
1689ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIII.xxii, at Silana in exilium acta; Calvisius quoque et Iturius relegantur; de Atimeto supplicium sumptum, validiore apud libidines principis Paride quam ut poena adficeretur. Plautus ad praesens silentio transmissus est.
1693ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.iv, placuit sollertia, tempore etiam iuta, quando Quinquatruum festos dies apud Baias frequentabat. illuc matrem elicit, ferendas parentium iracundias et placandum animum dictitans quo rumorem reconciliationis efficeret acciperetque Agrippina facili feminarum credulitate ad gaudia.
1694f. Cf. Thy. 519f.:

ponatur omnis ira et ex animo tumor
erasus abeat.

1699 Cf., perhaps, Thy. 639, quid sit quod horres ede.
1705 Cf. Thy. 435, nihil timendum video, sed timeo tamen.
1707 Semper perire qui timet, semper perit looks very much like an echo of Caesar’s famous dictum at Julius Caesar II.ii 32f.:

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.

1707ff. This debate about the necessity for fear may take its inspiration from the exchange between Oedipus and Creon at Oed. 699 - 701:

OE. dubia pro certis solent
timere reges. CR. qui pavet vanos metus,
veros meretur.

1714 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.583, omnia tuta vides.
1715 Gwinne may have been thinking of Galatians 6:7, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
1716 Conscia scelesti mens may be a deliberate inversion of Vergil, Aeneid I.604, mens sibi conscia recti; cf. also Juvenal, Satire xiii.193f., diri conscia facti / mens.
1721 Cf. Phaed. 634f.:

o spes amantum credula, o fallax Amor!
satisne dixi?

1730 The purport of this line would be impossible to understand for someone unfamiliar with Tacitus. Nero is now proposing that they sail to Antium, where the plan sketched by Anicetus is to be put into action (Annales XIV.iv). As we shall see, Gwinne imperfectly represents the geographical setting of Agrippina’s murder and its sequel. For epulas…instructas cf. Ag. 875.
Nero’s words echo those of Atreus, inviting Thyestes to an equally sinister banquet, at Thy. 970f.:

festum diem, germane, consensu pari
celebremus.

Act III, scene v This song looks as if it is inserted to mark the change of setting from Rome to Antium, and to cover for whatever scene-shifting might be required. As indicated by a sidenote,itis written in Adonics, a metrical pattern equivalent to the last two feet of a hexameter line; therefore to a certain extent it is compiled from end-line tage from Roman poets.
1733 For omine fausto cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.448, IX.785, and Tristia II.i.6.
1734 For tempore festo cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.657 and Juvenal, Satire xv.38.
1735 For pectore laeto cf. Lucan IX.1039.
1741 For fata parentis cf. Vergil, Aeneid XII.395, Ovid, Metamorphoses VII.346, H. Oet. 207 and Oct. 364.
1743ff. For the wedding of Peleus and Thetis cf. Catullus
lxiv. There is something palpably sinister about this comparison of Thetis’ marine wedding with the watery reception being planned for Agrippina.
1747 For nectare dulci cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.433 and Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.606.
1751 For fonteque laeta cf. Vergil, Aeneid XI.238 and Lucan VIII.1107.
1760 For aurea vestis cf. Vergil, Aeneid VIII.659.
1763 For faedera pacis cf. Lucretius V.1155, Lucan IV.205 and IV.365.
1766 For oscula figit cf. Lucretius IV.1179, Vergil, Aeneid I.687, II.490, the Vergilian Ciris 253, Lucan VI.565, and Statius, Thebais XII.27.
1770 Gwinne was perhaps thinking of Vergil, Aeneid I.687, oscula dulcia figet.
1771 For dulcior ipsa cf. Lucan IV.582.
1793 For flore recente cf. Horace, Odes III.xxvii.44 and Ovid, Fasti IV.346.
1798 For Pallada doctam cf. the Vergilian Elegiae in Maecenatem i.17.
1806 For pectora turbat cf. Vergil, Aeneid II.200.
Act III, scene
vi The scene is now Nero’s villa at Baiae, near Naples. The change of scene is very feebly marked and bound to confuse the spectator. Since at 1730 Nero, still at Rome, has suggested that they sail to Antium, one would be led to suppose the setting is still the same as that of scene iv. This vagueness about location is perhaps Gwinne’s most serious defect as a dramatist: cf. the initial note on the final scene of the play. On the other hand, in fairness, such weaknesses might have been noted and corrected had the play been produced.
1813ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.iv (continuing the passage begun in the note on 1693ff.), ibi blandimentum sublevavit metum: comiter excepta superque ipsum conlocata. iam pluribus sermonibus modo familiaritate iuvenili Nero et rursus adductus, quasi seria consociaret, tracto in longum convictu, prosequitur abeuntem, artius oculis et pectori haerens, sive explenda simulatione, seu periturae matris supremus aspectus quamvis ferum animum retinebat.
1814 For numen secundum cf. H. F. 1185.
1820 For oscula with forms of figo cf. Lucretius IV.1179, Vergil, Aeneid I.687, II. 490, the Vergilian Ciris 253, Ovid, Metamorphoses III.25, IV.141, Lucan VI.565, and Statius, Thebais XII.27.
1821 Cf. o quam iuvat at Oct. 385.
1826ff. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xxxiv.2 - 3, protraxit convivium repetentique Baulos in locum corrupti navigii machinosum illud optulit, hilare prosecutus atque in digressu papillas quoque exosculatus.
1833 For nova procella cf. Ag. 531f.
1834 Cf., possibly, timidum facis at Ovid, Metamorphoses V.234 (at line-end).
1836 Cf. supremumque vale at Statius, Silvae III.iii.209. For aeternum vale cf. Vergil, Aeneid XI.98 and Martial, Epigrams V.lxi.2.
1838 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.569, mersum caput obruit unda (cf. also Tristia V.xi. 13 and Martial, Epigrams IX.xl.7).
1839f. Cf. such pictures as Vergil, Aeneid II.416 - 8:

adversi rupto ceu quondam turbine venti
confligunt, Zephyrusque Notusque et laetus Eois
Eurus equis.

And Ag. 475f.:

rapiuntque pelagus infimo eversum solo
adversus Euro Zephyrus et Boreae Notus.

1841 Cf. ib. 488f.:

vento resistit aestus et ventus retro
aestum revoluit.

1842 For montes aquarum cf. Ovid, Tristia I.ii.19 (cf. also Lucretius I.283, V.946, Vergil, Aeneid I.105, and Germanicus, Aratea 302).
1843 Cf. vallem . . . aquarum at Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.266.
1852 For the idea cf. 1281, nox ne videret Phoebus et fugeret scelus.
1854 The reference is to the sun standing still when Atreus killed Thyestes’ sons and fed them to him, as dramatized by Seneca in the Thyestes.
1860 Cf. Ovid, Fasti IV.489f.:

iam color unus inest rebus tenebrisque teguntur
omnia.

1861 For fiat…nefas cf. Phoen. 356, Thy. 56 and 265.
1862 Cf. stupente…unda at Seneca, H. F. 763.
1867 The verbal echo of Phaed. 956 reminds us that this rather Marlovian rant is indebted to Phaed. 955 - 8:

nunc atra ventis nubila impellentibus
subtexe noctem, sidera et caelum eripe,
effunde pontum, vulgus aequoreum cie
fluctusque ab ipso tumidus Oceano voca.

1868 For similar confusion of natures cf., for example, Vergil, Aeneid I.133f.:

iam caelum terramque meo sine numine, venti,
miscere et tantas audetis tollere moles?

And also Aeneid XII.204f.:

si tellurem effundat in undas
diluvio miscens caelumque in Tartara solvat.

1871 Cf. Terence, Adelphoe 455, in te spes omnis, Hegio, nobis sitast (cf. also Plautus, Pseudolus 1292, Terence, Adelphoe 331, and Phormio 470).
1873 For scelus with forms of occupo cf. Ag. 193, H. Oet. 435, Thy. 204 and 274.
1880 For medium nihil cf. Lucretius I.1070.
1882 Cf. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 317f.:

SY. si sinas, dicam. CLIN. sine.
SY. sino

1883ff. A sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIII.v, noctem sideribus inlustrem et placido mari quietam quasi convincendum ad scelus dii praebuere. nec multum erat progressa navis, duobus e numero familiarium Agrippinam comitantibus, ex quis Crepereius Gallus haud procul gubernaculis adstabat, Acerronia super pedes cubitantis reclinis paenitentiam filii et reciperatam matris gratiam per gaudium memorabat, cum dato signo ruere tectum loci multo plumbo grave, pressusque Crepereius et statim exanimatus est: Agrippina et Acerronia eminentibus lecti parietibus ac forte validioribus quam ut oneri cederent protectae sunt. nec dissolutio navigii sequebatur, turbatis omnibus et quod plerique ignari etiam conscios impediebant. visum dehinc remigibus unum in latus inclinare atque ita navem submergere: sed neque ipsis promptus in rem subitam consensus, et alii contra nitentes dedere facultatem lenioris in mare iactus. verum Acerronia, imprudentia dum se Agrippinam esse utque subveniretur matri principis clamitat, contis et remis et quae fors obtulerat navalibus telis conficitur: Agrippina silens eoque minus adgnita (unum tamen vulnus umero excepit) nando, deinde occursu lenunculorum Lucrinum in lacum vecta villae suae infertur.
But if this description is indebted to Tacitus, it is also relies heavily on Oct. 309 - 44:

haec quoque nati videre nefas
saecula magnum,
cum Tyrrhenum rate ferali
princeps captam fraude parentem
misit in aequor.
properant placidos linquere portus
iussi nautae,
resonant remis pulsata freta;
fertur in altum provecta ratis,
quae resoluto robore labens
pressa dehiscit sorbetque mare.
tollitur ingens clamor ad astra
cum femineo mixtus planctu.
mors ante oculos dira vagatur;
quaerit leti sibi quisque fugam:
alii lacerae puppis tabulis
haerent nudi fluctusque secant,
repetunt alii litora nantes;
multos mergunt fata profundo.
scindit vestes Augusta suas
laceratque comas
rigat et maestis fletibus ora.
postquam spes est nulla salutis,
ardens ira, iam victa malis:
“haec” exclamat “mihi pro tanto
munere reddis praemia, nate?
hac sum, fateor, digna carina,
quae te genui, quae tibi lucem
atque imperium nomenque dedi
Caesaris amens.
exere vultus Acheronte tuos
poenisque meis pascere, coniunx:
ego causa tuae, miserande, necis
natoque tuo funeris auctor
en, ut merui, ferar ad manes
inhumata tuos,
obruta saevis aequoris undis.”

1884 Cf. nectis moras at H. F. 1884 (also at line-end).
1892 The detail that Agrippina was in her cups comes from Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI. xiii. 3.
1907 For conclamat deos cf. Oed. 974f.
1938 Cf. hausit…mare at Oct. 516a.
1939 For audire lubet cf. Plautus, Trinummus 522, 907, and 932.
1940f. Cf. Martial, Epigrams XII.lxi.5f.:

in tauros Libyci ruunt leones,
non sunt papilionibus molesti.

1944ff. The account in the Octavia continues (346 - 56):

feriunt fluctus ora loquentis,
ruit in pelagus rursumque salo
pressa resurgit, pellit palmis
cogente metu freta, sed cedit
fessa labori. mansit tacitis
in pectoribus spreta tristi
iam morte fides. multi dominae
ferre auxilium pelago fractis
viribus audient, bracchia quamvis
lenta trahentem voce hortantur
manibusque levant.

1958ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.vii, at Neroni nuntios patrati facinoris opperienti adfertur evasisse ictu levi sauciam et hactenus adito discrimine ne auctor dubitaretur. tum pavore exanimis et iam iamque adfore obtestans vindictae properam, sive servitia armaret vel militem accenderet, sive ad senatum et populum pervaderet, naufragium et vulnus et interfectos amicos obiciendo: quod contra subsidium sibi? nisi quid Burrus et Seneca; quos expergens statim acciverat, incertum an et ante gnaros. igitur longum utriusque silentium, ne inriti dissuaderent, an eo descensum credebant <ut>, nisi praeveniretur Agrippina, pereundum Neroni esset. post Seneca hactenus promptius <ut> respiceret Burrum ac sciscitaretur an militi imperanda caedes esset. ille praetorianos toti Caesarum domui obstrictos memoresque Germanici nihil adversus progeniem eius atrox ausuros respondit: perpetraret Anicetus promissa. qui nihil cunctatus poscit summam sceleris. ad eam vocem Nero illo sibi die dari imperium auctoremque tanti muneris libertum profiitetur: iret propere duceretque promptissimos ad iussa.
1961 For minax + ore + an adjective, cf. H. F. 947f. and Oed. 561f.
1963 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Tristia III.xi.57, utque sitim nostro possis explere cruore (for sitis cruoris cf. also Metamorphoses XIII.786 and Statius, Thebais IV.560, as well as cruorem with forms of sitio at Thy. 103 and Statius, Thebais XII.595).
1964 For vultum trucem cf. H. F. 371, Oct. 22, 110, 436, Phaed. 692, and Tr. 1152.
1965 For saeva manu cf. Seneca, H. F. 88, H,. Oet. 429, 522, Oct. 418, Phaed. 227, 533, 673, Oed. 1029, Tr. 46, and 985. H. Oet. 429 and the two examples from the Troades are saeva manu at line-end.
1975 For quid statis? cf. Vergil, Aeneid XII.425.
1976 For non est locus cf. Plautus, Epidicus 454 and Truculentus 877 (both at line-end).
1977 For non est opus cf. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 611, Hecyra 104, Ovid, Fasti IV.393, Heroides xvi.3, and Metamorphoses XIV.770.
1992 Cf. Thy. 970f. (spoken by Atreus):

festum diem, germane, consensu pari
celebremus: hic est, sceptra qui firmet mea.

1993 Cf. tantique…muneris auctor at Ovid, Metamorphoses V.657.
1994 For author funeris cf. Ovid, Heroides vii.136, Metamorphoses X.199, Remedia Amoris 22, and Oct. 341.
1998 Cf. Tr. 679f., iussa ocius / peragite.
2000 Anicetus speaks in the tones of wily but depraved Ulysses in Seneca’s Troades (613f.):

nunc advoca astus, anime, nunc fraudes, dolos,
nunc totum Ulixem.

2002f. Cf. Me. 43, et inhospitalem Caucasum mente indue, and also Tr. 1048f.:

quis inhospitalis Caucasi rupem asperam
Heniochus habitans.

2003 Cf. William Gager, Meleager 1361, animosque silices indue ac ferrum triplex, and Ulysses Redux 1064, saxumque fibris indue, ac ferrum triplex; both of these lines are in turn based on Me. 43, et inhospitalem Caucasum mente indue, and Horace, Odes I.iii.9, aes triplex.
2010 Cf. Me. 563f.:

fructus est scelerum tibi
nullum scelus putare.

2022 For fieri iubet cf. H. Oet. 331 (also at line-end).
2026 Cf. ib. 340, aut pereat aut me perimat.
2034 Cf. Ag. 115, per scelera semper sceleribus tutum est iter, and also ib. 112, periere mores ius decus pietas fides.
Stage direction Herculeius and Obaritus (as his name is given in modern editions) are named as Anicetus’ accomplices at Tacitus, Annales XIV.viii.
2051ff. Tacitus writes [
sc. Anicetus] audito venisse missu Agrippinae nuntium Agerinum, scaenam ultro criminis parat gladiumque, dum mandata perfert, abicit inter pedes eius, tum quasi deprehenso vincla inici iubet, ut exitium principis molitam matrem et pudore deprehensi sceleris sponte mortem sumpsisse confingeret.
2055f. Cf. Thomas Legge’s Richardus Tertius 2532, crebro iuvat nescire, quod scias tamen.
2057 Note the false quantity here as well as at 2073 and 2080 below: Gwinne wrongly employs sica in the sixth foot as if the first syllable were short.
2084 For sceleris infandi artifex cf. Ag. 983.
Act III, scene
vii The setting shifts to Agrippina’s nearby villa The final stage-direction shows that it is meant to be played as an interior scene.
2088 The sidenote cites Tacitus, Annales XIII.viii, Anicetus villam statione circumdat refractaque ianua obvius servorum abripit, donec ad fores cubiculi veniret; cui pauci adstabant, ceteris terrore inrumpentium exterritis. cubiculo modicum lumen inerat et ancillarum una, magis ac magis anxia Agrippina, quod nemo a filio ac ne Agermus quidem: aliam fore laetae rei faciem; nunc sollitudinem ac repentinos strepitus et extremi mali indicia. abeunte dehinc ancilla “tu quoque me deseris” prolocuta respicit Anicetum, trierarcho Herculeio et Obarito centurione classario comitatum: ac, si ad visendum venisset, refotam nuntiaret, sin facinus patraturus, nihil se de filio credere; non imperatum parricidium. circumsistunt lectum percussores et prior triarchus fusti caput eius adflixit. iam in mortem centurionem ferrum destringenti protendens uterum “ventrum feri” exclamavit multisque vulneribus confecta est.
2096 Cf. Lucretius I.964, caret ergo fine modoque, and II.92, sine fine modoque est.
2100f. Perhaps there is supposed to be some irony in Agrippina’s repetition of the sentiment expressed by Anicetus at 2055f.
2104 For aliquid ultra cf. Ag. 996.
2110 Cf. Oed. 308, subito refulsit lumine et subito occidit.
2111f. Cf. ib. 332 - 4:

quid istud est quod esse prolatum volunt
iterumque nolunt et truces iras tegunt?
pudet deos nescioquid.

2128ff. Cf. Oct. 368 - 72:

caedis moriens illa ministrum
rogat infelix, utero dirum
condat ut ensem:
“hic est, hic est fodiendus” ait
“ferro, monstrum qui tale tulit.”

Act III, scene viii We are returned to Nero’s villa.
2132ff. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xxxiv.3, reliquum temporis cum magna trepidatione vigilavit opperiens coeptorum exitu (although in Suetonius this refers to his waiting for the ship to collapse).
2134 Cf. Plautus, Mercator 890, quid si mi animus fluctuat?
2138 For metus w ith premit cf. Ovid, Fasti III.634 and Lucan VII.341.
2140 Cf. Ag. 867, res agitur intus magna.
2147
Ἀνίκητος means “Invincible.”
2155ff. Nero thus summarizes the contents of Euripides’ Bacchae. Pentheus opposed the coming of Dionysus to Thebes, tried unsuccessfully to keep his mother Agave from joining the maenads, and in the end was torn apart by them.
2162 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.698, premens puppim.
2171 For metuenda magis cf. Lucretius II.57, III.89, VI.37, Oed. 792, and Juvenal, Satire xi.45.
2172 Cf., evidently, Ovid, Remedia Amoris 398, fortius, et gyro curre, poeta, tuo.
2175 Gwinne was possibly thinking of Plautus, Mercator 891, ego istum in tranquillo quieto tuto sistam.
2176 For interii miser cf. Plautus, Bacchides 836 and 853.
2183 For matrem peremptam cf. Vergil, Aeneid X.315 and H. Oet. 1458.
2184 For laudo manum cf. H. Oet. 961 and Thy. 1906.
2185 For fide…tua cf. H. F. 1177.
2191 For maius…fide cf. Ovid, Fasti II.113, Metamorphoses III.103, and Propertius I.x.14.
Chorus 3 A sidenote points out that this chorus is written in anapaestic dimeters (lines consisting of four anapaests or equivalents).
2203 Cf. Plautus, Asinaria 495, lupus est homo homini, non homo.
2205 For viscera matri cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.274, IV.424, Remedia Amoris 59, Ps. - Ovid, Epicedion Drusi 264, and Statius, Thebais VII.522.
2210 Gwinne is thinking of the creation of mankind in the myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha, for which cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.211 - 421.
2213 The word sanguibiba is not in the classical Latin lexicon.
2214 For this last and worst age of mankind, cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.128ff.
2216 A sidenote refers to the Furies’ euphemistic title of the Eumenides (“The Kindly Ones”), the title of a tragedy by Aeschylus in which they serve as choru, and also to Orphic Hymn lxx, addressed to the Eumenides.
2221 Cf. the note on 1173ff.
2222 Phalaris was a tyrant of Sicily who had constructed a brazen bull in which he roasted his victims. The Thracian tyrant is Tereus, the oppressor of Philomela (Robert Graves, The Greek Myths § 46).
Act IV, scene 1 The reader may care to compare this passage with the similar apparition of the Ghost of Agrippina at Oct. 592 - 645.
2229 Cf. ib. 1665f. (of Agrippina):

cecidit atque eadem sui
mox scelere nati.

2231 Orestes and Alcmaeon were two famous mythological matricides; both killed their mothers to avenge their fathers, and were subsequently hounded by the Furies and driven to madness. The story of Orestes was of course dramatized by Aeschylus in the Oresteia. For Alcmaeon killing his mother Eriphyle cf. Graves’ The Greek Myths § 107.
Cicero summed up their quandary in a speech cited in a sidenote (pro Sexto Roscio Amerino lxvi), a passage that seems to have helped Gwinne frame the present soliloquy: videtisne quos nobis poetae tradiderunt patris ulciscendi causa supplicium de matre sumpsisse, cum praesertim deorum immortalium iussis atque oraculis id fecisse dicantur, tamen ut eos agitent Furiae neque consistere umquam patiantur, quod ne pii quidem sine scelere esse potuerunt? sic se res habet, iudices: magnam vim, magnam necessitatem, magnam possidet religionem paternus maternusque sanguis; ex quo si qua macula concepta est, non modo elui non potest verum usque eo permanat ad animum ut summus furor atque amentia consequatur. nolite enim putare, quem ad modum in fabulis saepenumero videtis, eos qui aliquid impie scelerateque commiserint agitari et perterreri Furiarum taedis ardentibus. sua quemque fraus et suus terror maxime vexat, suum quemque scelus agitat amentiaque adficit, suae malae cogitationes conscientiaeque animi terrent; hae sunt impiis adsiduae domesticaeque Furiae quae dies noctesque parentium poenas a consceleratissimis filiis repetant.
2235 Cf., perhaps, H. F. 215, monstra superavit.
2236 The sidenote alludes to Suetonius, Nero vi, de genitura eius statim multa et formidulosa multis coniectantibus. praesagio fuit etiam Domiti patris vox, inter gratulationes amicorum negantis quicquam ex se et Agrippina nisi detestabile et malo publico nasci potuisse .
2240 Cf. pro te . . . cadat at Ovid, Heroides xx.176.
2242 For pro te nocens cf. Me. 503.
2245 A sidenote refers to descriptions of Nero gloating over his mother’s corpse preserved by Dio Cassius (Epitome LXI.xiv.2), Tacitus (Annales XIV.ix), and Suetonius (Nero xxxiv. 4), adduntur his atrociora nec incertis auctoribus: ad visendum interfectae cadaver accurrisse, contrectasse membra, alia vituperasse, alia laudasse, sitique interim oborta bibisse. It is this account that is cited in the sidenote on 2248.
2251 A sidenote refers to the same passage in Dio Cassius, εἶπε γὰρ ὅτι “οὐκ ᾔδειν ὅτι οὕτω καλὴν μητέρα εἶχον.” But I do not understand the purport of a similar sidenote against 2255 (the single word Dion.)
2256
Cf. Suetonius, Nero xxxiv.4, neque tamen conscientiam sceleris…aut statim aut umquam postea ferre potuit, saepe confessus exagitari se materna specie verberibusque Furiarum ac taedis ardentibus. quin et facto per magos sacro evocare manes et exorare temptativit. Cf. also Tacitus, Annales XIV.x, sed a Caesare perfecto demum scelere magnitudo eius intellecta est. reliquo noctis modo per silentium defixus, saepius pavore exsurgens et mentis inops lucem opperiebatur tamquam exitium adlaturam, and also Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xiv.4. Doubtless because of this same tradition, the Ghost of Agrippina makes an appearance in the Octavia. For line 2256 cf. H. F. 109, cur nondum furis?
2257f. Cf. Ovid, Amores II.ii.29, neque verbera sentit.
2258 For Furiarum verbera cf. also Statius, Thebais III.630.
2265 A sidenote refers to the description of a parricide’s punishment given by Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino lxx - lxxii: quanto nostri maiores sapientius! qui cum intellegerent nihil esse tam sanctum quod non aliquando violaret audacia, supplicium in parricidas singulare excogitaverunt ut, quos natura ipsa retinere in officio non potuisset, ei magnitudine poenae <a> maleficio summoverentur. insui voluerunt in culleum vivos atque ita in flumen deici. o singularem sapientiam, iudices! nonne videntur hunc hominem ex rerum natura sustulisse et eripuisse cui repente caelum, solem, aquam terramque ademerint ut, qui eum necasset unde ipse natus esset, careret eis rebus omnibus ex quibus omnia nata esse dicuntur? noluerunt feris corpus obicere ne bestiis quoque quae tantum scelus attigissent immanioribus uteremur; non sic nudos in flumen deicere ne, cum delati essent in mare, ipsum polluerent quo cetera quae violata sunt expiari putantur; denique nihil tam vile neque tam volgare est cuius partem ullam reliquerint. etenim quid tam est commune quam spiritus vivis, terra mortuis, mare fluctuantibus, litus eiectis? ita vivunt, dum possunt, ut ducere animam de caelo non queant, ita moriuntur ut eorum ossa terra non tangat, ita iactantur fluctibus ut numquam adluantur, ita postremo eiciuntur ut ne ad saxa quidem mortui conquiescant
2273 For maius nefas at line-end cf. Ag. 124.
2282 For spondet thoros cf. Oct. 750f.
2284ff. Similarly, at ib. 593 - 8 the Ghost of Agrippa says:

tellure rupta Tartaro gressum extuli,
Stygiam cruenta praeferens dextra facem
thalamis scelestis. nubat his flammis meo
Poppaea nato iuncta, quas vindex manus
dolorque matris vertet ad tristes rogos.

For taedas…iugales cf. ib. 570 and 695.
2286 This line becomes more intelligible in the light of Tacitus, Annales XIII.ix, cremata est nocte eadem convivali lecto et exsequiis vilibus; neque, dum Nero rerum potiebatur, congesta aut clausa humus. mox domesticorum cura levem tumulum accepit.
2293 For cura sollicitat cf. Vergil, Aeneid IV.379 and Phaed. 438.
2297 Cf. Oed. 875f.:

saeculi crimen vagor,
dium deorum, iuris exitium sacri.

Act IV, scene ii The scene is still (or at least ought to be) Nero’s villa at Baiae, where Poppaea has joined him: cf. the notes on 2314 and. 2349
2298ff. The sidenote refers to Oct. 712 - 37. Gwinne has transformed this account of Poppaea’s guilty nightmare into that of a dream shared by Nero and Poppaea:

confusa tristi proximae noctis metu
visuque, nutrix, mente turbata feror,
defecta sensu. laeta nam postquam dies
sideribus atris cessit et nocti polus,
inter Neronis iuncta complexus mei
somno resolvor; nec diu placida frui
quiete licuit. visa nam thalamos meos
celebrare turba est maesta; resolutis comis
matres Latinae flebiles planctus dabant;
inter tubarum saepe terribilem sonum
sparsam cruore coniugis genetrix mei
vultu minaci saeva quatiebat facem.
quam dum sequor coacta praesenti metu,
deducta subito patuit ingenti mihi
tellus hiatu; lata quo praeceps toros
cerno iugales pariter et miror meos,
in quis residi fessa. venientem intuor
comitante turba coniugem quondam meum
natumque; properat petere complexus meos
Crispinus, intermissa libare oscula;
irrupit intra tecta cum trepidus mea
ensemque iugulo condidit saevum Nero.
tandem quietem magnus excussit timor;
quatit ossa et artus horridus nostros tremor
pulsatque pectus; continet vocem timor,
quam nunc fides pietasque produxit tua.

2299 Rufrius Crispinus, her husband before her Otho.
2314 A sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIV.x, quia tamen non, ut hominum vultus, ita locorum facies mutantur, obversabaturque maris illius et litorum gravis aspectus (et erant qui crederent sonitum tubae collibus circum editis planctusque tumulo matris audiri), Neapolim concessit, and to Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI.xiv.4, αὐτὸς δὲ ταῖς τε νυξὶν ἐξεταράττετο ὥστε καὶ ἐκ τῆς εὐνῆς ἐξαπιναίως ἀναπηδᾶν, καὶ μεθ’ ἡμέραν ὑπὸ σαλπίγγων δή τινων πολεμικόν τι καὶ θορυβῶδες ἐκ τοῦ χωρίου ἐν ᾧ τὰ τῆς ᾿Αγριππίνης ὀστᾶ ἔκειτο ἠχουσῶν ἐδειματοῦτο. At least to the reader familiar with these writers, these passages shows that Nero is presently still at Baiae, and 2317 alludes to his proposed removal to Naples. But again, this scene’s setting is poorly indicated, and is in fact very problematic: cf. the note on 2349 below.
2315 This reference to Agrippina’s tomb evidently contradicts her ghost’s previous statement that she is inhumata (2287). Just such a seeming contradiction occurs at 1279 when Charon refuses to transport Britannicus across the Styx on the grounds that he is inhumatus, although in the very next line Britannicus alludes to the shabby funereal rites that had been performed for him.
2317f. The passage from Dio Cassius just quoted continues διὸ καὶ ἄλλοσε ᾔει, καὶ ἐπειδὴ κἀνταῦθα τὰ αὐτὰ αὐτῷ συνέβαινεν, ἄλλοσε ἐμπλήκτως  μεθίστατο .
Here Gwinne echoes the famous Vergilian simile (Aeneid IV.69 - 73):

qualis coniecta cerva sagitta,
quam procul incautam nemora inter Cresia fixit
pastor agens telis liquitque volatile ferrum
nescius: illa fuga silvas saltusque pergrat
Dictaeos; haeret lateri letalis harundo.

2319 Cf. Aeneid III.161, mutandae sedes.
2323f. Cf. Lucan IV.200, extrahit insomnis bellorum fabula noctes (cf. also Vergil, Aeneid IX.167 and Statius, Thebais II.74).
2324 A sidenote refers to the allusion to Nero’s guilty insomnia in the passages quoted in the note on 2256ff.
2329 A sidenote refers to Oct. 720, matres Latinae flebiles planctus dabant. (Cf. the full passage quoted in the note on 2298).
2331 A sidenote refers to ib. 722f., from the same passage:

sparsam cruore coniugis genetrix mei
vultu minaci saeva quatiebat facem.

2332 For Eriphyle and Clytemnestra cf. the note on 2231. This is another good example of the repeated metatheatrical self-referentiality we encounter throughout Nero (justified, of course, because of its protagonist’s theatrical proclivities).
2337ff. Nero’s soothing response is based on the equally optimistic interpretation of Poppaea’s nightmare by her nurse at Oct. 740 - 55:

quaecumque mentis agitat infestus vigor
ea per quietem sacer et arcanus refert
veloxque sensus. conugem thalamos toros
vidisse te miraris amplexu novi
haerens mariti? sed movent laeto die
pulsata palmis pectora et fusae comae?
Octaviae discidia planxerunt sacros
inter penates fratris et patrium larem.
fax illa, quam secuta es, Augustae manu
praelata clarum nomen invidia tibi
partum ominatur. infernum sedes toros
stabiles futuros spondet aeternae domus.
iugulo quod ensem condidit princeps tuus,
bella haud movebit, pace sed ferrum teget.
recollige animum, recipe laetitiam, precor,
timore pulso redde te thalamis tuis.

2349 The sidenote refers to Suetonius, Nero xlvi, de Mausoleo, sponte foribus patefactis, exaudita vox est nomine eum cientis. But, for anybody who reflects on it, this portent creates a difficulty: previous indications have suggested this scene is set at Baiae, but the Caesars’ tomb was at Rome.
2357ff. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xlvi, numquam antea somniare solitus occisa demum matre vidit per quietem navem sibi regenti extortum gubernaculum trahique se ab Octavia uxore in artissimas tenebras et modo pinnatarum formicarum multitudine opperi, modo a simulacris gentium ad Pompei theatrum dedicaturum circumiri aceri progressu; asturconem, quo maxime laetabatur, posteriore corporis parte in simiae speciem transfiguratum ac tantum capite integro hinnitus edere canoros.
2382 Cf. tellus with forms of dehisce at Oed. 582, 868, Phaed. 1238, and Tr. 519. Cf. also Me. 960f., agmen infernum faces / intentat.
2385 For mens intus cf. Me. 47.
2386 Cf. Graves, The Greek Myths § 31b., “newly arrived ghosts are daily judged by Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Aeacus at a place where three roads meet.”
2387f. Cf. the note on 1271ff.
2388 For hiante…fame cf. Thy. 5f. For aeternam sitim cf. ib. 150.
2389f. He names the three principal tributaries of the Styx: their functions here are in accordance with their names, since Phlegethon means “burning” and Cocytus means “wailing.”
2392 Cf. H. Oet. 982, parce iam, mater, precor. Cf. also ib. 1006, poenas poscis Alcidae? dabo. But for the repetition of dabo in this and the next line, cf. William Gager’s Meleager (1582) 1175
ff.:

eia supplicia petitis? dabo.
manes ad imos ire securos licet.
abite, fratres, quid petitis? inquam dabo.
desiste, oro. genibus advolui, dabo.

2395 Cf. Thy. 279, hic placet poenae modus.
2397f. A very condensed version of guilt-stricken Hercules’ rant at H. F. 1321 - 42:

quem locum profugus petam?
ubi me recondam quave tellure obruar?
quis Tanais aut quis Nilus aut quis Persica
violentus unda Tigris aut Rhenus ferox
Tagusue Hibera turbidus gaza fluens
abluere dextram poterit? Arctoum licet
Maeotis in me gelida transfundat mare
et tota Tethys per meas currat manus,
haerebit altum facinus. in quas impius
terras recedes? ortum an occasum petes?
ubique notus perdidi exilio locum.
me refugit orbis, astra transversos agunt
obliqua cursus, ipse Titan Cerberum
meliore vultu vidit. o fidum caput,
Theseu, latebram quaere longinquam, abditam;
quoniamque semper sceleris alieni arbiter
amas nocentes, gratiam meritis refer
cicemque nostris: redde me infernis, precor,
umbris reductum, meque subiectum tuis
restitue vuinclis: ille me abscondet locus -
sed et ille novit.

2399 The sidenote refers to Seneca, Nero xxxiv, quin et facto per Magos sacro evocare manes et exorare temptavit. Cf. Me. 970f.:

victima manes tuos
placamus ista.

2404f. Cf. Suetonius, Nero x xxiv, peregrinatione quidem Graeciae et Eleusinis sacris, quorum initiatione impii et scelerati voce praeconis summoventur, interesse non ausus est.
2408 A sidenote alludes to Tacitus, Annales XIV.xxii (pertinent to 60 A. D.), inter quae et sidus cometes effulsit, de quo vulgi opinio est, tamquam mutationem regnis portendat.
2410ff. In this passage the astronomical portents of Seneca’s Thyestes (cf. the note on 1854) are combined with the appearance of a comet. Tacitus mentions two such comets, in 60 and 64 respectively, at Annales XIV.xxii and XV.lxvii, and the latter is also recorded at Suetonius, Nero xxxvi. Despite a sidenote mentioning his name placed against 2412, Dio Cassius does not refer to this portent.
2414ff. I do not know where Gwinne got the idea for this case of spontaneous dinner combustion, as it is not mentioned by any of his principal sources.
2417 For tortum…anguem (to limit it to Senecan examples), cf. Me. 962 and Thy. 96.
2419 Here Poppaea is hinting at Octavia’s alleged adultery with her Alexandrian flute-player (cf. 2484 with the note ad loc.).
2422 For pater Tarpeius cf. the note on 781ff. For superis labor cf. Vergil, Aeneid IV.379.
2425 Cf. Juvenal, Satire xiii.100, ut sit magna, tamen certe lenta ira deorum est.
Actus IV, scene
iii There is obviously no genuine scene-break at this point (like Act III, scene iii, it begins in the middle of a line, and there is no list of speakers).
2433 A sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIV.x, atque eum auctore Burro prima centurionum tribunorumque adulatio ad spem firmavit, prensantium manum gratantiumque, quod discrimen improvisum et matris facinus evasisset.
2441 The sidenote refers to Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI.xiv.3, καὶ τοῖς τε δορυφόροις ἀργύριον
ἔδωκεν, ἵνα δῆλον ὅτι πολλὰ τοιαῦτα γίνεσθαι εὔχωντα .
2442f. For pari…animo cf. Phoen. 392.
2444f. Tacitus goes on to say ipse diversa simulatione maestus et quasi incolumitati suae infensus ac morti parentis inlacrimans.
2447 Cf. William Gager’s Meleager (1582) 131
2f.:

meruisse fateor cur pereat, et mors placet,
sed mortis author displicet, nato parens.  

2460 Cf. H. F. 241, saeva Lernae monstra, numerosum malum.
2462 A sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero vi, gratia quidem et potentia revocatae restitutaeque matris usque eo floruit, ut emanaret in vulgus missos a Messalina uxore Claudi, qui eum meridiantem, quasi Britannici aemulem, strangularent. additum fabulae eosdem dracone e pulvio ser proferente conterritos refugisse. quae fabula exorta est deprensis in lecto eius circum cervicalia serpentis exuviis; quas tamen aureae armillae ex voluntate matris inclusas dextro brachio gestavit aliquamdiu ac taedio tandem maternae memoriae abiecit rursusque extremis suis rebus frustra requisiit.
2470ff. As indicated by a sidenote on 2479, this speech incorporates elements from Poppaea’s reported speech at Tacitus, Annales XIV.i.
2484 Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.lx, et diu paelex et adulteri Neronis, mox mariti potens, quendam ex ministris Octaviae impulit servilem ei amorem obicere. destinaturque reus cognomento Eucaerus, natione Alexandrinus, canere tibiis perdoctus.
2492 Cf. Oct. 544 - 6:

dignamque thalamis coniugem inveni meis
genere atque forma, victa cui cedat Venus
Iovisque coniunx et ferox armis dea.

2493 Likewise at ib. 551, Nero says of Poppaea, omnes in unam contulit laudes deus.
2494 By a misprint, a sidenote erroneously cites Tacitus, Annales XIII. The correct reference is Ann. XIV.li, sed gravescentibus in dies publicis malis subsidia minuebantur, concessitque vita Burrus, incertum valetudine an veneno. valetudo ex eo coniectabatur, quod in se tumescentibus paulatim faucibus et impedito meatu spiritum finiebat. plures iussu Neronis, quasi remedium adhiberetur, inlitum palatum eius noxio medicamine adseverabant, et Burrum intellecto scelere, cum ad visendum eum princeps venisset, aspectum eius aversatum sciscitanti hactenus respondisse, “ ego me bene habeo,” civitate grande desiderium eius mansit per memoriam virtutis et successorum altrius segnem innocentiam, alterius flagrantissima flagitia. quippe Caesar duos praetoriis cohortibus imposuerat, Faenum Rufum ex vulgi favore, quia rem frumentarium sine quaestu tractabat, Sofonium Tigellinum, veterem inpudicitiam atque infamiam in eo secutus. atque illi pro cognitis moribus fuere, validior Tigellinus in animo principis et intimis libidinibus adsumptus, prospera populi et militum fama Rufus, quod apud Neronem adversum experiebatur.
2502 For alienus animus cf. Terence, Adelphoe 338.
2506 The sidenote refers to Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI.xiii.1 - 2, ἐν δὲ τῇ ῾Ρώμῃ ὁ Νέρων ᾿Οκταβίαν τὴν Αὔγουσταν ἀπεπέμψατο μὲν πρότερον διὰ Σαβῖναν τὴν παλλακίδα ὕστερον δὲ καὶ ἀπέκτεινε, καίτοι τοῦ Βούρρου ἐναντιουμένου αὐτῷ καὶ κωλύοντος ἀποπέμψασθαι, καί ποτε εἰπόντος “οὐκοῦν καὶ τὴν προῖκα αὐτῇ ”τοῦτ’ ἔστι τὴν ἡγεμονίαν “ἀπόδος.”
οὕτω γάρ πως ἐρρωμένως αὐτῇ ἐχρῆτο ὥστε ποτὲ δεύτερον ἐρωτηθεὶς ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ γνώμην περὶ ὧν ἀπεφήνατο, εἶπεν ἄντικρυς ὅτι “περὶ  ὧν ἂν ἅπαξ τι εἴπω, μηκέτι μου αὖθις πύθῃ.”
2513 Cf. Phaed. 369, nunc se quieti reddit.
2318 For potestatem dedi cf. Plautus, Asinaria 847 (also at line-end).
2535 The sidenote refers to Suetonius, Nero xxxii, nulli delegavit officium ut non adiceret, “scis quid mihi opus sit,” et “hoc agamus, ne quis quicquam habeat.” It would appear that Rufus and Tigellinus only make their entrance at this point.
2538 A sidenote alludes to John of Salisbury, Polycraticus I.vi (p. 45 Webb), cum vero esset omnium avarassimus, adeo ut nulli quodcumque officium delegaret, quin preseueretur:“nosti quid michi opus sit,” aut illud subiceret, “qui omnibus praeest, omnibus indiget.”
2539 The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIV.lvii, validior in dies Tigellinus et malas artis, quibus solis pollebat, gratiores ratus, si principem societate scelerum obstringeret, metus eius rimatur; conpertoque Plautum et Sullam maxime timeri, Plautum in Asiam, Sullam in Galliam Narbonensem nuper amotos, nobilitatem eorum et propinquos huic Orientes, illi Germaniae exercitus commemorat. non se, ut Burrum, diversas spes, sed solam incolumitatem Neronis spectare; cui caveri utcumque ab urbanis insidiis praesenti opera: longinquos motus quonam modo comprimi posse? erectas Gallias ad nomen dictatorium, nec minus suspensos Asiae populos claridudine avi Drusi. Sullam inopem, unde praecipuam audaciam, et simulatorem segnitiae, dum temeritati locum repireret. Plautum magnis opibus ne fingere quidem cupidinem otii, sed veterum Romanorum imitamenta praeferre, adsumpta etiam Stoicorum adrogantia sectaque quae turbidos et negotiorum adpentitis faciat.
2544 Gallias because Gaul was divided into two provinces.
2545 Cornelius Sulla Felix, a descendant of the dictator Sulla, had been a son-in-law of Claudius. He had been banished to Massilia (Marseilles) because Nero had suspected him of complicity in a previous plot (Tacitus, Ann. XIII.xlvii).
2547 Cf. Horace, Odes III.xxi.18, addis cornua pauperi, and Ovid, Ars Amatoria I. 239, tum pauper cornua sumit. The idea is that the horns represent the audacity that a pauper is obliged to display.
2549 For Rubellius Plautus cf. the note on 1497.
2556f. For caput…abscissum cf. Horace, Sermones II.iii.303.
2558 Cf. Suetonius, Nero xxxvi, anxius ea re, ut ex Balbillo astrologo didicit, solere reges talia ostenta caede aliqua illustri expiare atque a semet in capita procerum depellere, nobilissimo cuique exitium destinavit.
2561 For sanguinem…sitit cf. Tr. 957.
2563 Cf. H. Oet. 339, meo iugales sanguine extinguam faces.
2566f. For pari…clade cf.Tr. 220.0
2567 The statistic of 80,000 Britons killed in the uprising mentioned in the sidenote comes from Tacitus, Annales XIV.xxxvii.
2568 As acknowledged in the sidenote, the woman in question was Boudicea, who figures in Tacitus’ description of the uprising in Annales, Book XIV.
2570 A sidenote (which should really be against 2564) alludes to Tacitus, Annales XIV.lii, hi variis criminationibus Senecam adoriuntur, tamquam ingentis et privatum modum evectas opes adhuc augeret, quodque studia civium in se verteret, hortorum quoque amoenitate et villarum magnificentia quasi principem supergrederetur. obiciebant etiam eloquentiae laudem uni sibi adsciscere et carmina crebrius factitare, postquam Neroni amor eorum venisset. nam oblectamentis principis palam iniquum detrectare vim eius equos regentis, inludere voces, quotiens caneret. quem ad finem nihil in re publica clarum fore, quod non ab illo reperiri credatur? certe finitam Neronis pueritiam et robur iuventae adesse: exueret magistrum, satis amplis doctoribus instructus maioribus suis. Seneca’s usurious activities helped provoke the revolt in Britain, as explained by Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.1.
2585 Cf. Tacitus, Annale
s XIV.ii, Senecam contra mulierbres inlecebras subsidium a femina petivisse, inmissamque Acten libertam.
2594 A sidenote refers to Tacitus’ description of the downfall of Sejanus in Book V of the Annales (is it significant that Ben Jonson’s Sejanus His Fall was first produced in the year Nero was printed?) Since Tiberius confiscated his fortune, he turned a handsome profit on the transaction. The same sidenote cites Ann. XIV.lxv, eodem anno libertorum potissimos veneno interfecisse creditus est, Doryphorum quasi adversatum nuptiis Poppaea, Pallantem, quod inmensam pecuniam longa denecta detineret. Doryphorus had succeded Callistus as libertus a libellis.
2595 For nimias opes cf. Lucan I.160 and Juvenal, Satire x.105.
2596 For longa senecta in Seneca, cf. Tr. 210f.
2600 For opus…arte est cf. Terence, Andria 32, Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.162, and Martial IX.xxxviii.10.
2604 Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.lx, exturbat Octaviam, sterilem dictitans…movetur tamen primo civilis discidii specie domumque Burri, praedia Plauti, infausta dona accipit: mox in Campaniam pulsa est addita militari custodia.
Act IV, scene
iv The Senate house at Rome, slightly later. The letter Seneca had been commanded to write is now read.
2612 Caius Vipstanius and Caius Fonteius were consuls in 59 A. D. (Tacitus, Annales XIV.1); perhaps Gwinne employed an edition of Tacitus which printed Vipsanius. For moderator orbis cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.v.75.
2614ff. The sidenote cites Tacitus’ summary of the letter in question at Annales XIV.x - xi, Neapolim concessit litterasque ad senatum misit, quarum summa erat repertum cum ferro percussorem Agermum, ex intimis Agrippinae libertis, et luisse eam poenas conscientia, quasi scelus paravisset.
Adiciebat crimina longius repetita, quod consortium imperii iuraturasque in feminae verba praetorias cohortis idemque dedecus senatus et populi speravisset, ac postquam frustra habita sit, infensa militi patribusque et plebi dissuasisset donativum et congiarum periculaque viris inlustribus struxisset. quanto suo labore perpetratum, ne inrumperet curiam, ne gentibus externis responsa daret. temporum quoque Claudianorum obliqua insectatione cuncta eius dominationis flagitia in matrem transtulit, publica fortuna exstinctam referens. namque et naufragium narrabat.
The beginning of this letter is taken from that of another emperor’s letter to the Senate (cf. Annales VI.vi), insigne visum est earum Caesaris litterarum initium; nam his verbis exorsus est: “quid scribam vobis, patres conscripti, aut quo modo scribam aut quid omnino non scribam hoc tempore, di me deaeque peius perdant quam perire me cotidie sentio, si scio.”
2617 Cf. infanda…crimina at Lucan IX.1013.
2622 Cf. Oct. 466 (spoken by Nero), armat ministros sceleris in caedem meam.
2626 For nimium potens cf. Phaed. 330, 609, and 1114.
2632ff. Nero is referring to the incident dramatized at the end of Act II.
iii.
2645 Thrasea Paetus was the leading Stoic martyr under Nero. Cf. Tacitus, Ann. XIV.xii, Thrasea Paetus silentio vel brevi adsensu priores adulationes transmittere solitus exiit tum senatu, ac sibi causam periculi fecit, ceteris liberatis initium non praebuit, and also Dio Cassius, Epitome LI.xiv.2, ὁ Πούπλιος δὲ δὴ Θρασέας Παῖτος ἦλθε μὲν ἐς τὸ συνέδριον καὶ τῆς ἐπιστολῆς ἐπήκουσεν, ἀναγνωσθείσης δὲ αὐτῆς ἐξανέστη τε εὐθὺς πρὶν καὶ ὁτιοῦν ἀποφήνασθαι καὶ ἐξῆλθε, διότι ἃ μὲν ἤθελεν εἰπεῖν οὐκ ἐδύνατο, ἃ δὲ ἠδύνατο οὐκ ἤθελεν.
 2650 Cf. Oed. 709, non tu tantis causa periclis.
 2652ff. Cf. Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI.xv.3, “εἰ μὲν ἐμὲ μόνον ὁ Νέρων φονεύσειν ἔμελλε, πολλὴν ἂν εἶχον τοῖς ἄλλοις ὑπερκολακεύουσιν αὐτὸν συγγνώμην. εἰ δὲ καὶ ἐκείνων τῶν σφόδρα αὐτὸν ἐπαινούντων πολλοὺς τοὺς μὲν ἀνάλωκε τοὺς δὲ καὶ ἀπολέσει, τί χρὴ μάτην ἀσχημονοῦντα δουλοπρεπῶς φθαρῆναι, ἐξὸν ἐλευθερίως ἀποδοῦναι τῇ φύσει τὸ  ὀφειλόμενον; ἐμοῦ μὲν γὰρ πέρι καὶ ἔπειτα λόγος τις ἔσται, τούτων δέ, πλὴν κατ’ αὐτὸ τοῦτο ὅτι ἐσφάγησαν, οὐδείς. ”τοιοῦτος μὲν ὁ Θρασέας ἐγένετο, καὶ τοῦτο ἀεὶ πρὸς ἑαυτὸν ἔλεγεν “ἐμὲ Νέρων ἀποκτεῖναι μὲν δύναται, βλάψαι δὲ οὔ.”
  2661ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.xi, quod fortuitum fuisse, quis adeo hebes inveniretur, ut crederet? aut a muliere naufraga missum cum telo unum, qui cohortes et classes imperatoris perfringeret? ergo non iam Nero, cuius inmanitas omnium questus anteibat, sed Seneca adverso rumore erat, quod oratione tali confessionem scripsisset.
  2671ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.xii, miro tamen certamine procerum decernuntur supplicationes apud omnia pulvinaria, utque Quinquatrus, quibus apertae insidiae essent, ludis annuis celebrarentur; aureum Minervae simulacrum in curia et iuxta principis imago statuerentur; dies natalis Agrippinae inter nefastos esset.
  Act IV, scene
vA room in the Palace. Octavia, probably surrounded by a military guard, is being bundled off into exile. This is designed to match the similar representation of Octavia going into exile at the end of the Octavia (lines 899ff. of that play).
  2680 Cf., perhaps, Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 420f., ad miserias / natus sum.
  2695 She means Electra.
  2706f. The attitude expressed here agrees with that of Octavia at Oct. 106 - 8:

trepidante semper corde non mortis metu,
sed scelerisóabsit crimen a fatis meis,
mori iuvabit.

 2709 For crimine with forms of palleo cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.446 and Lucan VIII.56.
 2710 For murus aeneus cf. Horace, Odes III.iii.65.
 2713 Another reminiscence of the Octavia, in which the doomed heroine says (182), me dira miseri fata germani trahunt.
 2719 A sidenote refers to John of Salisbury, Policraticus V.x 567a (pp. 329f. Webb), res siquidem monstruosa est philosophus curialis; et, dum utrumque esse affectat, neutrum est, eo quod curia philosophiam excludit, et ineptias curiales philosophus usquequaque non recipit.
 2722 Capua freely surrendered itself to Hannibal (Livy XXIII.vii).
 2728 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Metamorphoses VII.801, Iovis…thalamos.
  2731 This line would be all the more meaningful for a reader who recalls Seneca’s description of the goddess Astraea deserting the world at Oct. 424ff.
 2734 The sidenote refers to the Tacitean passage on Seneca using his rhetorical talents to draft Nero’s hypocritical letter to the Senate, quoted in the note on 2661ff.
 2740 Cf. Ovid, Fasti V.532, pudor est ulteriora loqui.
  2743 Fore latebram or latebras with forms of quaero, cf. Vergil, Aeneid X.663, Seneca, Hercules Furens 1335, and Lucan VIII.780.
 2744 For gradus or gradum with forms of refero, cf. Oed. 708 and Thy. 430.
 2745 A sidenote cites the view on retirement stated at de Tranquillitate Animi iii.2-3, nec ut leonem animaliumque impetus caveis coercetur, sic hominum, quorum maximae in seducto actiones sunt. ita tamen delituerit, ut ubicumque otium suum absconderit, prodesse velit singulis universisque ingenio, voce, consilio. But in fact there is a much closer Senecan parallel to the sentiment expressed in this and the next line at Dialogues IX.iv.4, officia civis amisit: hominis exerceat. ideo magno animo nos non unius urbis moenibus clusimus sed in totius orbis commercium emisimus patriamque nobis mundum professi sumus, ut liceret latiorem virtuti campum dare.
 2749 A sidenote refers to ib. x.6, illi rursus, quos sors iniqua in ancipiti posuit, tutiores erunt superbiam detrahendo rebus per se superbis et fortunam suam quam maxime poterunt in planum deferendo. multi quidem sunt, quibus necessario haerendum sit in fastigio suo, ex quo non possunt nisi cadendo descendere, sed hoc ipsum testentur maximum onus suum esse, quod aliis graves esse cogantur, nec sublevatos se sed suffixos.
 2753 A sidenote refers to Seneca’s ad Polybium de Consolatione , chapter 26. Since in modern editions this essay is divided into only eighteen chapters, I am not sure to what it alludes, although in the course of this essay Seneca does make this point: cf. vi.3 si volebas tibi omnia licere, ne convertisses in te ora omnium, and vii.2, ex quo Caesar orbi terrarum dedicavit, sibi eripuit, et siderum modo, quae irrequieta semper cursus suos explicant, numquam illi licet subsistere nec quicquam suum facere. But, again, it is curious that the sidenote does not advert to the actual Senecan model for 2753, Dialogues XI.vi.5, magna servitus est magna fortuna.
 2756 Cf. Oct. 34 - 8:

fulgore primo captus et fragili bono
fallacis aulae quisquis attonitus stupet,
subito latentis ecce Fortunae impetu
modo praepotentem cernat eversam domum
stirpemque Claudi.

 2763f. Cf. Seneca, Dialogues IV.xxxiii.2, notissima vox est eius qui in cultu regum consenuerat: cum illum quidam interrogaret quomodo rarissimam rem in aula consecutus esset, senectutem, “iniurias inquit “accipiendo et gratias agendo.”
 2766 Cf. Thy. 138, peccatum satis est.
 2771 For mare placidum cf. Ovid, Heroides xix.92 and Tr . 201.
 2776 For posito metu cf. Ovid, Fasti I.101 and Metamorphoses IV.128.
 2778 The sidenote cites Tacitus, Annales XIV.lix, et posito metu nuptias Poppaea ob eius modo terrores dilatas maturare parat Octaviamque coniugem amoliri.
 2780 Cf. H. F. 339, altis inclitum titulis genus.
 2782 The famous comic poet Plautus acted in his own plays.
 2785 For venit in nostras manus cf. Thy. 494.
 2789 A sidenote cites Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xiv.1, ὁ δὲ δὴ Νέρων καὶ γέλωτα καὶ σκώμματα τὰ τῶν συγγενῶν κακὰ ἐποιεῖτο. τὸν γοῦν Πλαῦτον ἀποκτείνας, ἔπειτα τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ προσενεχθεῖσάν οἱ ἰδών, “οὐκ ᾔδειν ”ἔφη “ὅτι [οὕτω ]μεγάλην ῥῖνα εἶχεν, ”ὥσπερ φεισάμενος ἂν αὐτοῦ εἰ τοῦτο προηπίστατο.
 2794 A sidenote refers to Seneca, de Clementia I.xxiv.1, non minus principi turpia sunt multa supplicia quam medico multa funera.
 2795 Cf. the exchange between Nero and Seneca at Oct. 443f. (which reminds us that the present debate is quite similar to that between these two individuals at ib. 440ff.):

NE. extinguere hostem maxime est virtus ducis.
SEN. servare cives maior est patriae patri.

The heavy use of medical imagery in the following passage reminds us that the author was a physician.
 2803 For pars…aegra cf. Lucan I.628.
 2806 For reddit inimicos cf. Thy. 208.
 2807 Augustus’ clemency was proverbial: cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto I.ii.59 and Tristia IV.iv.53.
 2808 He refers to the proscriptions under the Second Triumvirate of Octavian, Marcus Antonius, and Lepidus.
 2809ff. As indicated by a sidenote, this story about Augustus is told by Seneca, de Clementia ix.2ff., sed cum annum quadragensimum transisset et in Gallia moraretur, delatum est ad eum indicium L. Cinnam, stolidi ingenii virum, insidias ei struere; dictum est, et ubi et quando et quemadmodum adgredi vellet; unus ex consciis deferebat. constituit se ab eo vindicare et consilium amicorum advocari iussit. nox illi inquieta erat, cum cogitaret adulescentem nobilem, hoc detracto integrum, Cn. Pompei nepotem, damnandum; iam unum hominem occidere non poterat, cui M. Antonius proscriptionis edictum inter cenam dictarat. gemens subinde voces varias emittebat et inter se contrarias: “quid ergo? ego percussorem meum securum ambulare patiar me sollicito? ergo non dabit poenas, qui tot civilibus bellis frustra petitum caput, tot navalibus, tot pedestribus proeliis incolume, postquam terra marique pax parata est, non occidere constituat, sed inmolare?” (nam sacrificantem placuerat adoriri). rursus silentio interposito maiore multo voce sibi quam Cinnae irascebatur: “quid vivis, si perire te tam multorum interest? quis finis erit suppliciorum? quis sanguinis? ego sum nobilibus adulescentulis expositum caput, in quod mucrones acuant; non est tanti vita, si, ut ego non peream, tam multa perdenda sunt.” interpellavit tandem illum Livia uxor et: “admittis” inquit “muliebre consilium? fac, quod medici solent, qui, ubi usitata remedia non procedunt, temptant contraria. severitate nihil adhuc profecisti; Salvidienum Lepidus secutus est, Lepidum Murena, Murenam Caepio, Caepionem Egnatius, ut alios taceam, quos tantum ausos pudet. nunc tempta, quomodo tibi cedat clementia; ignosce L. Cinnae. deprensus est; iam nocere tibi non potest, prodesse famae tuae potest.: gavisus, sibi quod advocatum invenerat, uxori quidem gratias egit, renuntiari autem extemplo amicis, quos in consilium rogaverat, imperavit et Cinnam unum ad se accersit dimissisque omnibus e cubiculo, cum alteram Cinnae poni cathedram iussisset: “hoc” inquit “primum a te peto, ne me loquentem interpelles, ne medio sermone meo proclames; dabitur tibi loquendi liberum tempus. ego te, Cinna, cum in hostium castris invenissem, non factum tantum mihi inimicum sed natum, servavi, patrimonium tibi omne concessi. hodie tam felix et tam dives es, ut victo victores invideant. sacerdotium tibi petenti praeteritis conpluribus, quorum parentes mecum militaverant, dedi; cum sic de te meruerim, occidere me constituisti.” cum ad hanc vocem exclamasset procul hanc ab se abesse dementiam: “non praestas” inquit “idem, Cinna; convenerat, ne interloquereris. occidere, inquam, me paras” adiecit locum, socios, diem, ordinem insidiarum, cui conmissum esset ferrum. et cum defixum videret nec ex conventione iam, sed ex conscientia tacentem: “quo” inquit “hoc animo facis? ut ipse sis princeps? male mehercules cum populo Romano agitur, si tibi ad imperandum nihil praeter me obstat. domum tueri tuam non potes, nuper libertini hominis gratia in privato iudicio superatus es; adeo nihil facilius potes quam contra Caesarem advocare. cedo, si spes tuas solus inpedio, Paulusne te et Fabius Maximus et Cossi et Servilii ferent tantumque agmen nobilium non inania nomina praeferentium, sed eorum, qui imaginibus suis decori sint? ” ne totam eius orationem repetendo magnam partem voluminis occupem (diutius enim quam duabus horis locutum esse constat, cum hanc poenam, qua sola erat contentus futurus, extenderet): “vitam” inquit “tibi, Cinna, iterum do, prius hosti, nunc insidiatori ac parricidae. ex hodierno die inter nos amicitia incipiat; contendamus, utrum ego meliore fide tibi vitam dederim an tu debeas.” post hoc detulit ultro consulatum questus, quod non auderet petere. amicissimum fidelissimumque habuit, heres solus illi fuit. nullis amplius insidiis ab ullo petitus est.
 2811 The sidenote alludes to Tacitus, Annales XIV.lix, decretae eo nomine supplicationes. utque Sulla et Plautus moverentur, gravioribus iam ludibriis quam malis.
 2815 Cf. Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI.xviii.3, κἂν συχνοὺς εὐθὺς κατεχρήσατο, εἰ μὴ ὁ Σενέκας ἔφη αὐτῷ ὅτι “ὅσους ἂν ἀποσφάξῃς, οὐ δύνασαι τὸν διάδοχόν σου ἀποκτεῖναι.”
  2820f. For an example of Nero’s ambitions in this direction cf. Suetonius, Nero xxxvii.3, elatus inflatusque tantis velut successibus negavit quemquam principum scisse quid sibi liceret, multasque nec dubias significationes saepe iecit, ne reliquis quidem se parsurum senatoribus.
 2829 Likewise in the Octavia Seneca advises Nero that divorcing Antonia and marrying Poppaea would be unpopular (572f.):

vix sustinere possit hos thalamos dolor
videre populi, sancta nec pietas sinat.

 2830 To document Octavia’s popularity with the common people, a sidenote cites Annales XIV.lxi, effigies Poppaeae proruunt, Octaviae imagines gestant umeris, spargunt floribus foroque ac tamplis statuunt. itur etiam in principis laudes streptu venerantium. iamque et Palatium multitudine et clamoribus complebant, cum emissi militum globi verberibus et intento ferro turbatos disiecere. mutataque quae per seditionem verterant, et Poppaeae honos repositus est. 
 2831 For vulgus leve cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XII.53.
 2832 At Oct. 286f. it is asked about Octavia:

sancta quid illi prodest pietas
divusque pater?

 2834 Cf., perhaps, the exchange between Thyestes and Atreus at Thy. 1102f.:

TH. piorum praesides testor deos.
AT. quid? coniugales?

 2838 For poenae modo cf. ib. 279.
 2839 Based on Seneca’s extended speech at Tacitus, Annales XIV.liii - liv, at Seneca criminantium non ignarus, prodentibus iis quibus aliqua honesti cura et familiaritatem eius magis aspernante Caesare, tempus sermoni orat et accepto ita incipit:“quartus decimus annus est, Caesar, ex quo spei tuae admotus sum, octavus ut imperium obtines: medio temporis tantum honorum atque opum in me cumulasti ut nihil felicitati meae desit nisi moderatio eius. utar magnis exemplis nec meae fortunae sed tuae. abavus tuus Augustus Marco Agrippae Mytilenense secretum, C. Maecenati urbe in ipsa velut peregrinum otium permisit; quorum alter bellorum socius, alter Romae pluribus laboribus iactatus ampla quidem sed pro ingentibus meritis paemia acceperant. ego quid aliud munificentiae tuae adhibere potui quam studia, ut sic dixerim, in umbra educata, et quibus claritudo venit, quod pretium. at tu gratiam immensam, innumeram pecuniam circumdedisti adeo ut plerumque intra me ipse volvam: egone equestri et provinciali loco ortus proceribus civitatis adnumeror? inter nobilis et longa decora praeferentis novitas mea enituit? ubi est animus ille modicis contentus? talis hortos extruit et per haec suburbana incedit et tantis agrorum spatiis, tam lato faenore exuberat? una defensio occurrit quod muneribus tuis obniti non debui.
Sed uterque mensuram implevimus, et <tu>, quantum princeps tribuere amico posset, et ego, quantum amicus a principe accipere: cetera invidiam augent. quae quidem, ut omnia mortalia, infra tuam magnitudinem iacet, sed mihi incumbit, mihi subveniendum est. quo modo in militia aut via fessus adminiculum orarem, ita in hoc itinere vitae senex et levissimis quoque curis impar, cum opes meas ultra sustinere non possim, praesidium peto. iube rem per procuratores tuos administrari, in tuam fortunam recipi. nec me in paupertatem ipse detrudam, sed traditis quorum fulgore praestringor, quod temporis hortorum aut villarum curae seponitur in animum revocabo. superest tibi robur et tot per annos visum <summi> fastigii regimen: possumus tot per annos visum <summi> fastigii regimen: possumus seniores amici quietem reposcere. hoc quoque in tuam gloriam cedet, eos ad summa vexisse qui et modica tolerarent.”
Cf. causa agitur at Plautus, Poenulus 551 and Pseudolus 720.
 2867ff. Cf. ib. lv - lvi, ad quae Nero sic ferme respondit: “quod meditatae orationi tuae statim occurram id primum tui muneris habeo, qui me non tantum praevisa sed subita expedire docuisti. abavus meus Augustus Agrippae et Maecenati usurpare otium post labores concessit, sed in ea ipse aetate cuius auctoritas tueretur quidquid illud et qualecumque tribuisset; ac tamen neutrum datis a se praemiis exuit. bello et periculis meruerant; in iis enim iuventa Augusti versata est: nec mihi tela et manus tuae defuissent in armis agenti; sed quod praesens condicio poscebat, ratione consilio praeceptis pueritiam, dein iuventam meam fovisti. et tua quidem erga me munera, dum vita suppetet, aeterna erunt: quae a me habes, horti et faenus et villae, casibus obnoxia sunt. ac licet multa videantur, plerique haudquaquam artibus tuis pares plura tenuerunt. pudet referre libertinos qui ditiores spectantur: unde etiam mihi rubori est quod praecipuus caritate nondum omnis fortuna antecellis.
verum et tibi valida aetas rebusque et fructui rerum sufficiens, et nos prima imperii spatia ingredimur, nisi forte aut te Vitellio ter consuli aut me Claudio postponis et quantum Volusio longa parsimonia quaesivit, tantum in te mea liberalitas explere non potest. quin, si qua in parte lubricum adulescentiae nostrae declinat, revocas ornatumque robur subsidio impensius regis? non tua moderatio, si reddideris pecuniam, nec quies, si reliqueris principem, sed mea avaritia, meae crudelitatis metus in ore omnium versabitur. quod si maxime continentia tua laudetur, non tamen sapienti viro decorum fuerit unde amico infamiam paret inde gloriam sibi recipere.” his adicit complexum et oscula, factus natura et consuetudine exercitus velare odium fallacibus blanditiis.
 2885 Sidenote: Sen. cons. ad. Pol. c. 26. But the true reference is to Seneca’s essay ad Polybium de Consolatione vii (cf. the note on 2751),vide, quantum huius in te indulgentiae fidem, quantam industriam deveas; intelleges non magis tibi incurvari licere quam illi.
2892 The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIV.lxii, ergo confessionem alicuius quaeri placet cui rerum quoque novarum crimen adfingeretur. et visus idoneus maternae necis patrator Anicetus, classi apud Misenum, ut memoravi, praefectus, levi post admissum scelus gratia, dein graviore odio, quia malorum facinorum ministri quasi exprobrantes aspiciuntur. igitur accitum eum Caesar operae prioris admonet: solum incolumitati principis adversus insidiantem matrem subvenisse; locum haud minoris gratiae instare si coniugem infensam depelleret. nec manu aut telo opus: fateretur Octaviae adulterium. occulta quidem ad praesens sed magna ei praemia et secessus amoenos promittit, vel, si negavisset, necem intentat. ille insita vaecordia et facilitate priorum flagitiorum plura etiam quam iussum erat fingit fateturque apud amicos.
2897f. Cf. Tacitus, Annales IV.xviii, destrui per haec fortunam suam Caesar imparemque tanto merito rebatur. nam beneficia eo usque laeta sunt dum videntur exolvi posse: ubi multum antevenere pro gratia odium redditur.
Act IV, scene
vi Although the printed text places no scene-division here, the next numbered scene is vii. There is no change of setting; we are still in the Palace apartment of Octavia.
2919 Cf. Tacitus, Annales XI.lx, actae ob id de ancillis quaestiones et vi tormentorum victis quibusdam ut falsa adnuerent, plures perstitere sanctitatem dominae tueri; ex quibus una instanti Tigellino castiora esse muliebria Octaviae respondit quam os eius. Dio Cassius, Epitiome LXI.xiii.3, tells the same story. In reading this gruesome scene one wonders whether Gwinne, in his capacity as Physician to the Tower, was required to attend the torturing of the Gunpowder Plotters.
2921 Cf. Oed. 852, fatere, ne te cogat ad verum dolor.
2928ff. This list of adunata or natural impossibilities is a familiar feature of Senecan rhetoric. Cf., for example, H. F. 373 - 8:

prius
extinguet ortus, referet occasus diem,
pax ante fida niuibus et flammis erit
et Scylla Siculum iunget Ausonio latus,
priusque multo uicibus alternis fugax
Euripus unda stabit Euboica piger.

This topos is frequently imitated in English academic drama, as at William Gager, Meleager (1582) 409ff.:

prius
mergetur ortu, incipiet occasu dies,
paxque ante canibus alta cum damis erit,
quam victa facilem coniugi mentem dabo.

2933 Diana is called regina nemorum at Phaed. 406.
2940 For quid quaeris ultra? cf. H. Oet. 754, 1320, and Oed. 860.
2957ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales. XIV.lxiii, at Nero praefectum in spem sociandae classis corruptum et incusatae paulo ante sterilitatis oblitus, abactos partus conscientia libidinum, eaque sibi comperta edicto memorat. (Cf. also the Tacitean passage quoted in the note on 2892).
2960 For exosam cf. the note on 878.
2961 This line has a Tacitean ring because of Histories III.xlix, omnibus dictis factisque viam sibi ad potentiam struere.
2970 For vidit amantem cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses X.294.
Act IV, scene
vii The setting is the Forum (cf. 2983).
2984 The sidenote cites Dio Cassius, Epitome LXI.xvi.2, τοῦτο δὲ παιδίον ἐς τὴν ἀγορὰν ῥίψαντες προσέδησαν αὐτῷ πινάκιον λέγον “οὐκ ἀναιροῦμαί σε, ἵνα μὴ τὴν μητέρα ἀποσφάξῃς.” Although Dio’s Greek contains no similar word-play, it is not improbable that Gwinne has divined the original intention.
2993 The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales IV.xxxiv, ipse divus Augustus et tulere ista et reliquere, haud facile dixerim, moderatione magis an sapientia. namque spreta exolescunt: si irascare, adgnita videntur.
2995f. Cf. crebrescentem…famam at Tacitus, Histories IV.xii
2996 A sidenote cites Epitome LXI.xvi.2 - 3, ἦν δὲ καὶ ἀκούειν αὐτὸ τοῦτο λεγόντων ὅτι Νέρων τὴν μητέρα ἀνεχρήσατο· συχνοὶ γὰρ ὡς καὶ λελαληκότας  τινὰς αὐτὸ εἰσήγγελον, οὐχ οὕτως ἵν’ ἐκείνους ἀπολέσωσιν, ὡς ἵνα τὸν Νέρωνα διαβάλωσιν. ὅθεν οὐδεμίαν τοιαύτην δίκην προσήκατο, ἤτοι μὴ βουλόμενος ἐπὶ πλεῖον δι’ αὐτῆς τὴν φήμην ἐπαυξῆσαι, ἢ καὶ  καταφρονῶν ἤδη τῶν λεγομένων.
2998 A sidenote alludes to Suetonius, Nero xxxix, mirum et vel praecipue notabile inter haec fuerit nihil eum patientius quam maledicta et convicia hominum tulisse, neque in ullos leniorem quam qui se dictis aut carminibus lacessissent extitisse.
3000 A sidenote incorrectly cites ib. xxxix. The proper reference is chapter xlv, alterius [sc. statuae ] collo éskÚw praeligatus simulque titulus, ëego egi quod potui, sed tu cullum meruisti.’ For the point of the gibe cf. the note on 2265.
3002 This and the following pasquinade are quoted by Suetonius, Nero xxxix.
3004f. These lines comprise an elegiac distich.
3009 For medios…ignes cf. H. Oet. 725.
3010 Cf. Plautus, Casina 630, nam quid est quod haec huc timida atque exanimata exsiluit foras?
3011 Cf. Terence, Phormio 473, quonam in loco sunt res et fortunae meae?
3014 The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIV.lxi, a passage already partially quoted in the Commentary note on 2828. Tacitus makes clear that this riot was provoked by a rumor that Octavia had been recalled from exile. He goes on to describe Poppaea’s reaction, quae semper odio, tum et metu atrox ne aut vulgi acrior vis ingrueret aut Nero inclinatione populi mutaretur, provoluta genibus eius, non eo loci res suas agi ut de matrimonio certet, quamquam id sibi vita potius, sed vitam ipsam in extremum adductam a clientelis et servitiis Octaviae quae plebis sibi nomen indiderint, ea in pace ausi quae vix bello evenirent. arma illa adversus principem sumpta; ducem tantum defuisse qui motis rebus facile reperiretur, omitteret modo Campaniam et in urbem ipsa pergeret ad cuius nutum absentis tumultus cierentur. quod alioquin suum delictum? quam cuiusquam offensionem? an quia veram progeniem penatibus Caesarum datura sit? malle populum Romanum tibicinis Aegyptii subolem imperatorio fastigio induci? denique, si id rebus conducat, libens quam coactus acciret dominam, vel consuleret securitati. iusta ultione et modicis remediis primos motus consedisse: at si desprent uxorem Neronis fore Octaviam, illi maritum daturos.
Cf. extremo…loco at Seneca, Oedipus 834.
3020 The sidenote alludes to the description of the riot at Oct. 792 - 803:

hic urit animos pertinax nimium favor
et in furorem temere praecipites agit.
quaecumque claro marmore effigies stetit
aut aere fulgens, ora Poppaeae gerens,
afflicta vulgi manibus et saevo iacet
eversa ferro; membra per partes trahunt
deducta laqueis, obrunt turpi diu
calcata caeno. verba conveniunt feris
immixta factis quae timor reticet meus.
sepire flammis principis sedem parant,
populi nisi irae coniugem reddat novam,
reddat penates Claudiae victus suos.

3023 Cf. floribus spargere at Statius, Achilleis I.289, Silvae I.ii.21, and Thebais V.580.
3029 A rather cryptic sidenote cho. 1. et 3 refers to lines from the first and (evidently) third choruses of the Octavia. First, to 291ff.:

vera priorum virtus quondam
Romana fuit verumque genus
Martis in illis sanguisque viris.

And then to 301 - 5:

te quoque bellum triste secutum est,
mactata tua miseranda manu,
nata Lucreti, stuprum saevi
passa tyranni.
dedit infandi sceleris poenas
cum Tarquinio Tullia coniunx.

But if cho. 1. is readily intelligible, the significance of et 3 is not. The chorus at Oct. 762ff. is scarcely germane to the present passage.
3030 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid II.13f., fracti…ductores.
3031f. When Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of Rome, had raped Lucretia, under the leadership of Brutus the people ejected him and his dynasty and founded the Republic. Not long thereafter the decimvir Appius Claudius is supposed to have been assassinated for aiming at a dictatorship.
3037f. Cf. the exchange between the Nuntius and the Chorus at Oct. 783 - 7:

NU. victa nec cedit metu
concepta rabies temere, sed vires capit.
CH. quis ista mentes agitat attonitus furor?
NU. Octaviae favore percussa agimna

et efferata per nefas ingens ruunt.

3056ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.lxii, varius sermo et ad metum atque iram accommodatus terruit simul audientem et accendit. For line 3056 cf. Phoen. 306f.:

nata, quid genibus meis
fles advoluta?

3063 Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.lxii, varius sermo et ad metum atque iram accommodatus terruit simul audientem et accendito a variant of a famous saying of Caligula (Suetonius, Caligula xxx.2), utinam populus Romanus unam cervicem haberet! Curiously, this same misattribution is found in a speech of the Earl of Northampton at the trial of Father Henry Garnet (A true and Perfect Relation of the Proceedings at the Several Arraignments of the Late Most Barbarous Traitors, 1606, X.6), and hence also in Francis Herring’s mini-epic about the Gunpowder Plot Pietas Pontificia (1606), sig. C 1. Evidently Northampton had found it in the present play (Herring’s work has been edited by Estelle Haan, “Milton’s In Quintum Novembris and the Anglo-Latin Gunpowder Epic,” Humanistica Lovaniensia 41, 1992, 221 - 95).
3067ff. Gwinne takes his cue from the Octavia in identifying outrage at this riot, coupled with a craving for revenge, as Nero’s motive for setting Rome afire. Cf. Oct. 820 - 43:

o lenta nimium militis nostri manus
et ira patiens post nefas tantum mea,
quod non cruor civilis accensas faces
extinguit in nos, caede nec populi madet
funerea Roma, quae viros tales tulit!
suspecta coniunx et soror semper mihi,
tandem dolori spiritum reddat meo
iramque nostram sanguine extinguat suo;
mox tecta flammis concidant urbis meis,
ignes ruinae noxium populum premant
turpisque egestas, saeva cum luctu fames.
exultat ingens saeculi nostri bonis
corrupta turba nec capit clementiam
ingrata nostram, ferre nec pacem potest,
sed inquieta rapitur hinc audacia,
hinc temeritate fertur in paeceps sua:
malis domanda est et gravi semper iugo
premenda, ne quid simile temptare audeat
contraque sanctos coniugis vultus meae
attollere oculos; fracta per poenas metu
parere discet principis nutu sui.

3072 For inerme vulgus cf. Ovid, Amores I.ix.22 and Ars Amatoria III.46.
3074f. The Nuntius expresses the same fear at ib. 801, sepire flammis principis sedem parant.
3075 Alea iacta est was of course Caesar’s famous exclamation as he crossed the Rubicon. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xxxviii, sed nec populo aut moenibus patriae pepercit. dicente quodam in
sermone communi:

ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μειχθήτο πυρί,

“immo,” inquit, “ἐμοῦ ζῶντος.”
3081 Besides Oct. 830, quoted in the note on 3067ff., cf. H. Oet. 399, meo iugales sanguine extinguam faces.
3092 Cf. Oct. 38, stirpemque Claudi.
3095 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Gaius Caligula xxx, tragicum illud subinde iactabat, “oderint, dum metuant.” This famous line is from Accius’ Thyestes. Again, Gwinne attributes to Nero one of Caligula’s famous sayings.
3098 Gwinne may have been thinking of Vergil, Eclogue vii.26, invidia rumpantur ut ilia Codro.
3099 The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XIV.lxiii, insulaque Pandateria Octaviam claudit.
3101 This chorus is written in glyconics.
3108 For Stygius canis cf. H. F. 783, H. Oet. 79, 1257, and Phaed. 223.
3112 Cf. the note on 2389f. Cf. also, perhaps, Statius, Thebais VII.782f.:

audio iam rapidae cursum Stygis atraque Ditis
flumina tergeminosque mali custodis hiatus.

3116 Cf. sinu genrentem at H. Oet. 1756.
3125 For exosus cf. the Commentary note on 878.
Act V, scene
i In the Introduction I have explained how a series of marginal numbers are meant to indicate how Act V could be performed as a separate five-act play; according to this theory, the number 5.1 has accidentally been omitted from the printed text.
3131f. Gwinne was probably thinking of Oct. 658, soror Augusti, non uxor ero.
3132f. Likewise at ib. 102 - 5 Octavia summarizes her plight:

genetrice caesa, per scelus rapto patre,
orbata fratre, miseriis luctu obruta,
maerore pressa, coniugi invisa ac meae
subiecta famulae, luce non grata fruor.

3134 Cf. caelo frui at Oed. 854 (also at line - end).
3135 Cf. H. F. 4 (spoken by Juno), locumque caelo pulsa paelicibus dedi.
3136 Octavia also calls Poppaea a paelex at Oct. 125 and 186.
3137 A sidenote (which probably ought to stand against the preceding line) appears to refer to Tacitus, Annales XIV.lxiii, tum ancilla domina validior.
3140 In the fourth century B. C. Marcus Manlius is supposed to have been a champion of the plebeians, and was condemned for aspiring to make himself king. Titus Manlius Torquatus, after serving thrice as consul, was put on trial for abusing his office of dictator. The two popular leaders Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus tried to improve the lot of the Roman commons in the second century B. C., and were killed for their troubles. Marcus Livius Drusus was another social reformer of the early first century B. C. whose efforts came to naught.
Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Oct. 882 - 889:

flevit Gracchos miseranda parens,
perdidit ingens quos plebis amor
nimiusque favor genere illustres,
pietate fide lingua claros,
pectore fortes, legibus acres.
te quoque, Livi, simili leto
Fortuna dedit, quem neque fasces\
texere suae nec tecta domus.

(The Livius in question is Livius Drusus).
3142ff. Again, cf. Oct. 941 - 6:

felix thalamis
Livia Drusi natisque ferum
ruit in facinus poenamque suam.
Iulia matris fata secuta est;
pst longa tamen tempora ferro
caesa est, quamvis crimine nullo.

3143 The sidenote alludes to Tacitus, Annales XIV.lxiii, meminerant adhuc quidam Agrippinae a Tiberio, recentior Iuliae memoria obversabatur a Claudio pulsae: sed illis robur aetatis adfuerat; laeta aliqua viderant et praesentem saevitiam melioris olim fortunae recordatione adlevabant. huic primum nuptiarum dies loco funeris fuit, deductae in domum in qua nihil nisi luctuosum haberet, erepto per venenum patre et statim fratre.
3147 For praesens malum cf. Terence, Phormio 781.
3149f. For mali / praesaga cf. Vergil, Aeneid X.843 and Thy. 9 58.
3150 Cf. exemplum vitae at Juvenal, Satire x.247.
3152 Cf., perhaps, Statius, Thebais VI.439, fert gemitus.
3155ff. Cf. Annales XIV.lxiv, paucis dehinc interiectis diebus mori iubetur, cum iam viduam se et tantum sororem testaretur communisque Germanicos et postremo Agrippinae nomen cieret, qua incolumi infelix quidem matrimonium sed sine exitio pertulisset. restringitur vinclis venaeque eius per omnis artus exsolvuntur; et quia pressus pavore sanguis tardius labebatur, praefervidi balnei vapore enecatur. additurque atrocior saevitia quod caput amputatum latumque in urbem Poppaea vidit.
3165 A sidenote alludes to Suetonius, Nero xxviii, puerum Sporum exectis testibus etiam in muliebrem naturam transfigurare conatus cum dote et flammeo per sollemni<a> nuptiarum celeberrimo officio deductum ad se pro uxore habuit; extatque cuiusdam non inscitus iocus bene agi potuisse cum rebus humanis, si Domitius pater talem habuisset uxorem.
3175 For proh sancta pietas cf. Phaed. 439. Sancta pietas is also invoked thrice in the Octavia (160, 286, 573).
3178 As recorded by Suetonius, Nero xlvi, it was considered ominous that Nero acted in a play entitled Oedipus the Exile which contained this significant line.
Act V, scene
ii The setting is a street in Rome. This scene is based on Tacitus, Annales XV.xxxviii, impetu pervagatum incendium plana primum, deinde in edita adsurgens et rursus inferiora populando, antiit remedia velocitate mali et obnoxia urbe artis itineribus hucque et illuc flexis atque enormibus vicis, qualis vetus Roma fuit. Its beginning was suggested by Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xvi.2, ς διαπέμπων, τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἕν που καὶ δύο καὶ πλείονα ἄλλα ἄλλοθι ὑπεμπίπρα, ὥστε τοὺς νθρώπους ἐν παντὶ ἀπορίας γενέσθαι, μήτ’ ἀρχὴν τοῦ κακοῦ ἐξευρεῖν μήτε τέλος ἐπαγαγεῖν δυναμένους, ἀλλὰ πολλὰ μὲν ὁρῶντας πολλὰ δὲ ἀκούοντας ἄτοπα. οὔτε γὰρ θεάσασθαι ἄλλο τι ἦν ἢ πυρὰ πολλὰ ὥσπερ ἐν στρατοπέδῳ, οὔτε ἀκοῦσαι λεγόντων τινῶν ἢ ὅτι “τὸ καὶ τὸ καίεται· ποῦ; πῶς; ὑπὸ τίνος; βοηθεῖτε. ”θόρυβός τε οὖν ἐξαίσιος πανταχοῦ πάντας κατελάμβανε, καὶ διέτρεχον οἱ μὲν τῇ οἱ δὲ τῇ ὥσπερ ἔμπληκτοι. καὶ ἄλλοις τινὲς ἐπαμύνοντες ἐπυνθά νοντο τὰ οἴκοι καιόμενα· καὶ ἕτεροι πρὶν καὶ ἀκοῦσαι ὅτι τῶν σφενοντο τὰ οἴκοι καιόμενα· καὶ ἕτεροι πρὶν καὶ ἀκοῦσαι ὅτι τῶν σφετέρων τι ἐμπέπρησται, ἐμάνθανον ὅτι ἀπόλωλεν. οἵ τε ἐκ τῶν οἰκιῶν ἐς τοὺς στενωποὺς ἐξέτρεχον ὡς καὶ ἔξωθεν αὐταῖς βοηθήσοντες, καὶ οἱ ἐκ τῶν ὁδῶν εἴσω ἐσέθεον ὡς καὶ ἔνδον τι ἀνύσοντες.  .
3180 Cf. Me. 885f.:

avidus per omnem regiae partem furit
immissus ignis.

3189 For finis mali cf. H. F. 208.
3190ff. Tacitus continues impetu pervagatum incendium plana primum, deinde in edita adsurgens et rursus inferiora populando, anteiit remedia velocitate mali et obnoxia urbe artis itineribus hucque et illuc flexis atque enormibus vicis, qualis vetus Roma fuit. ad hoc lamenta paventium feminarum, fessa aut rudis pueritiae [aetas], quique sibi quique aliis consulebant, dum trahunt invalidos aut opperiuntur, pars mora, pars festinans, cuncta impediebant. et saepe dum in tergum respectant lateribus aut fronte circumveniebantur, vel si in proxima evaserant, illis quoque igni correptis, etiam quae longinqua crediderant in eodem casu reperiebant. postremo, quid vitarent quid peterent ambigui, complere vias, sterni per agros; quidam amissis omnibus fortunis, diurni quoque victus, alii caritate suorum, quos eripere nequiverant, quamvis patente effugio interiere.
3204ff. Cf. ib., nec quisquam defendere audebat, crebris multorum minis restinguere prohibentium, et quia alii palam faces iaciebant atque esse sibi auctorem vociferabantur, sive ut raptus licentius exercerent seu iussu. Cf. also Suetonius, Nero xxxviii, incendit urbem tam palam, ut plerique consulares cubicularios eius cum stuppa taedaque in praediis suis deprehensos non attigerint.
3208 For author mali cf. H. Oet. 491.
3216 Cf. Oed. 164f.:

mors atra avidos oris hiatus
pandit.

And also ib. 180f.:

o dira novi facies leti
gravior leto.

3218 Cf. luctus recentes at Tr. 43.
3219ff. Cf. Oed. 52 - 5:

nec ulla pars immunis exitio vacat,
sed omnis aetas pariter et sexus ruit,
iuvenesque senibus iungit et gnatis patres
funesta pestis, una fax thalamos cremat.

3222 Cf. H. F. 507f.:

coniugem et totum gregem
consumat unus igne subiecto rogus.

3224 Cf. quid agam nescio or close variants at Plautus, Amphitruo 1056, Aulularia 730, Casina 950, Trinummus 64, and Terence, Eunuchus 711.
3225 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid II.305f:

aut rapidus montano flumine torrens
sternit agros. 

3226f. Cf. Aeneid II.361f.:

quis cladem illius noctis, quis funera fando
explicet aut possit lacrimis aequare labores?

(In view of Nero’s following song, this implied comparison to the sack of Troy is especially significant).
3229f. Again, cf. ib. II.363, urbs antiqua ruit multos dominata per annos.
3230f. And also ib. II.368f.:

crudelis ubique
luctus, ubique pavor et plurima mortis imago.

3231 I do not understand the purport of the sidenote against this line, ἅγωσι, φέρωσι.
3232 Cf. Aeneid II.759, exsuperant flammae, furit aestus ad auras.
3233 Cf. Ovid, Tristia V.x.7f.:

nec mihi solstitium quicquam de noctibus aufert,
efficit angustos nec mihi bruma dies.

3235ff. Tacitus describes damage suffered by temples at Annales XV.xli. For vagi / ignes cf. H. Oet. 378.
3237f. Cf. Phaed. 185, potensque tota mente dominatur deus.
3238ff. As indicated by the sidenote, Livy relates the burning of the Rome by the Gauls at V.xlii.
3242 The information about dates comes from Tacitus, Annales XV.xli, fuere qui adnotarent XIII Kal. Sextiles principium incendii huius ortum, quo et Senones captam urbem inflammaverunt. Rome had been partially burned by Brennus and his Gauls on July 19, 390 B. C. (this date is given in a sidenote against 3239).
3244ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XV.xl, quippe in regiones quattuordecim Roma dividitur, quarum quattuor integrae manebant, tres solo tenus deiectae: septem reliquis pauca tectorum vestigia supererant, lacera et semusta.
3247 Gwinne was perhaps thinking of Martial III.lii.3f.:

rogo, non potes ipse videri
incendisse tuam, Tongiliane, domum?

stage direction before 3250 Probably Gwinne imagined Nero appearing on the so-called “heaven,” the loft or balcony traditionally employed in academic drama for such purposes.
3250 The sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero xxxviii, hoc incendium e turre Maecenatiana prospectans laetusque “flammae,”ut aiebat, “pulchritudine” Halosin Ilii in illo suo scaenico habitu decantavit.
3252 Cf., perhaps, Terence, Andria 9 56, o faustum et felicem diem!
3254 The sidenote refers to Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xvi.1, μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἐπεθύμησεν (ὅπερ που ἀεὶ ηὔχετο) τήν τε πόλιν ὅλην καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν ζῶν ἀναλῶσαι· τὸν γοῦν Πρίαμον καὶ αὐτὸς θαυμαστῶς ἐμακάριζεν ὅτι καὶ τὴν πατρίδα
ἅμα καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν ἀπολομένας εἶδεν.
3261 Cf. factum optime at Plautus, Mostellaria 449 (also at line-end).
3266ff. This song is written in lesser Asclepiadics (cf. the Commentary note on 1217ff.). Nero’s composition is referred to by Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xviii.1, Suetonius, Nero xxxviii.2, and Juvenal, Satire viii.221.
3271ff. The gods who supported Troy in the Iliad are overcome by those who favored the Greeks.
3291 For ore rabido cf. Oed. 561f. and 626.
3292 A sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XV.xliv, sed non ope humana, non largitionibus principis aut deum placamentis decedebat infamia quin iussum incendium crederetur. ergo abolendo rumori Nero subdidit reos et quaesitissimis poenis adfecit quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos appellabat. auctor nominis eius Christus Tiberio imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat; repressaque in praesens exitiabilis superstitio rursum erumpebat, non modo per Iudaeam, originem eius mali, sed per urbem etiam quo cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque. igitur primum correpti qui fatebantur, deinde indicio eorum multitudo ingens haud proinde in crimine incendii quam odio humani generis convicti sunt. et pereuntibus addita ludibria, ut ferarum tergis contecti laniatu canum interirent, aut crucibus adfixi aut flammandi, atque ubi defecisset dies in usum nocturni luminis urerentur. hortos suos ei spectaculo Nero obtulerat. The sidenote also refers to Suetonius’ less informative remark on Nero outlawing the Christians at Nero x vi, as well as Marcantonio Sabellico’s gloss on this passage in his edition of Suetonius (Milan, 1491).
3294 For invisum genus cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.28 and Ovid, Metamorphoses X.552.
3296 Gwinne was evidently thinking of Pliny, Natural History XIII.xlii, una earum arbor in Chora esse traditur, una et syagrorum, mirumque de ea accepimus, cum phoenice ave, quae putatur ex huius palmae argumento nomen accepisse, intermori ac renasci ex se ipsa.
3305ff. Tacitus goes on to add unde quamquam adversus sontis et novissima exempla meritos miseratio oriebatur, tamquam non utilitate publica sed in saevitiam unius absumerentur.
3308ff. Cf. Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xviii.1, ὁ μέντοι δῆμος οὐκ ἔστιν ὅ τι οὐ κατὰ τοῦ Νέρωνος ἠρᾶτο, τὸ μὲν ὄνομα αὐτοῦ μὴ ὑπολέγων, ἄλλως δὲ δὴ τοῖς τὴν πόλιν ἐμπρήσασι καταρώμενοι, καὶ μάλισθ’ ὅτι αὐτοὺς ἡ μνήμη τοῦ λογίου <τοῦ > ατὰ τὸν Τιβέριόν ποτε ᾀσθέντος ἐθορύβει. ἦν δὲ τοῦτο, “τρὶς δὲ τριηκοσίων περιτελλομένων ἐνιαυτῶν ῾Ρωμαίους ἐμφύλιος ὀλεῖ τάσις. ”ἐπειδή τε ὁ Νέρων παραμυθούμενος αὐτοὺς οὐδαμοῦ αῦτα τὰ ἔπη εὕρασθαι ἔλεγε, μεταβαλόντες ἕτερον λόγιον ὡς καὶ  ιβύλλειον ὄντως ὂν ᾖδον· ἔστι δὲ τοῦτο, “ἔσχατος Αἰνεαδῶν μητροκτόνος ἡγεμονεύσει. ”καὶ ἔσχεν οὕτως, εἴτε καὶ ὡς ἀληθῶς  θεομαντείᾳ τινὶ προλεχθέν, εἴτε καὶ τότε ὑπὸ τοῦ ὁμίλου πρὸς τὰ αρόντα θειασθέν.
The first of these two oracles was thus written, as an elegiac distich sandwiched between two halves of a single iambic senarius.
3317 Cf. Suetonius, Augustus xxviii.3, urbem neque pro maiestate imperii ornatam et inundationibus incendiisque obnoxiam excoluit adeo, ut iure sit gloriatus marmoream se relinquere, quam latericiam accepisset.
3318 A sidenote cites Tacitus, Annales XV.xliii, ceterum urbis quae domui supererant non, ut post Gallica incendia, nulla distinctione nec passim erecta, sed dimensis vicorum ordinibus et latis viarum spatiis cohibitaque aedificiorum altitudine ac patefactis areis additisque porticibus quae frontem insularum protegerent. eas porticus Nero sua pecunia extructurum purgatasque areas dominis traditurum pollicitus est. addidit praemia pro cuiusque ordine et rei familiaris copiis finivitque tempus intra quod effectis domibus aut insulis apiscerentur.
3324 Cf. Suetonius, Nero lv, mensem quoque Aprilem Neroneum appellavit, destinaverat et Romam Neropolim nuncupere.
Act V, scene
ιιι The scene shifts to Seneca’s house. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XV.xlv, tradidere quidam venenum ei per libertum ipsius, cui nomen Cleonicus, paratum iussu Neronis vitatumque a Seneca proditione liberti seu propria formidine, dum persimplici victu et agrestibus pomis ac, si sitis admoneret, profluente aqua vitam tolerat.
3334 For credat hoc quisquam? cf. Thy. 546.
3337 Seneca’s wife Pompeia Paulina, not to be confused with Lollia Paulina, who appeared in Act I.
3340 For mos geratur cf. Plautus, Asinaria 40, Epidicus 693, Pseudolus 559, and Truculentus 961.
3345 Gwinne was doubtless thinking of Matthew 7:9, or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
3347 Cf. Thy. 1024, hoc foedus? haec est gratia, haec fratris fides?
3556 Seneca uses vela with forms of contraho metaphorically in this way at Dialogues IX.iv.7 and Epistulae Morales xix.9.
3358 The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XV.xlv, ferebatur Seneca quo invidiam sacrilegii a semet averteret longinqui ruris secessum oravisse et, postquam non concedebatur, ficta valetudine quasi aeger nervis cubiculum non egressus.
3663 Cf. Juvenal, Satire x.12, nimia congesta pecunia cura.
3364 A sidenote reference to de Tranquillitate Animi viii alludes to the first sentence of the chapter, transeamus ad patrimonia, maximam humanarum aerumnarum materiam.
3371 A sidenote alludes to Seneca, Epistulae Morales lxxxvii.33, “isto modo” inquit “etiam malum sunt divitiae, non tantum bonum non sunt.” esset malum si ipsae nocerent, si, ut dixi, haberent efficientem causam: nunc praecedentem habent et quidem non inritantem tantum animos sed adtrahentem; speciem enim boni offundunt veri similem ac plerisque credibilem.
3376 Cf. Seneca, Epistulae Morales xlviii.12, singula vicere iam multi, ignem Mucius, crucem Regulus, venenum Socrates, exilium Rutilius, mortem ferro adactam Cato: et nos vincamus aliquid.
3377 Cf. ib. lxxxi.22, Attalus noster dicere solebat, “malitia ipsa maximam partem veneni sui bibit.”
3381 Cf., perhaps, fortissimus ultor at Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.821. For victor incolumis cf. Lucan III.7602.
3382f. A excruciatingly bad pun involving se neca, “kill yourself.”
3385 The sidenote reference is to Seneca, Epistulae Morales civ.4, ingentis animi est aliena causa ad vitam reverti, quod magni viri saepe fecerunt; sed hoc quoque summae humanitatis existimo, senectutem suam, cuius maximus fructus est securior sui tutela et vitae usus animosior, attentius <curare>, si scias alicui id tuorum esse dulce, utile, optabile. habet praeterea in se non mediocre ista res gaudium et mercedem; quid enim iucundius quam uxori tam carum esse ut propter hoc tibi carior fias? potest itaque Paulina mea non tantum suum mihi timorem inputare sed etiam meum.
3395 She compels him to love himself too much to commit suicide, since he realizes that her well-being depends on his.
3404 At Epistulae Morales lxx.2 (an epistle much quoted in this scene), Seneca wrote of death portus est, aliquando petendus, numquam recusandus
3410 The sidenote cites Seneca, Epistulae Morales lxv.16, nam corpus hoc animi pondus ac poena est; premente illo urguetur, in vinclis est, nisi accessit philosophia.
3411 A sidenote refers to Seneca, Naturales Quaestiones VI.xxxii.4, pusilla res est hominis anima, sed ingens res contemptus animae.
3413 Cf. Seneca, Dialogues XI.ix.8, fruitur nunc aperto et libero caelo. (Seneca also uses caelo frui at Oedipus 854 and Epistulae Morales xlvii.10).
3414 Cf. Seneca, Epistulae Morales lxx.28, iniuriosum est rapto vivere, at contra pulcherrimum mori rapto.
3415 Gwinne was possibly thinking of ib. lxi.3, da operam ne quid umquam invitus facias: quidquid necesse futurum est repugnanti, id volenti necessitas non est.
3416ff. It will be observed that in this speech Paulina rhetorically defeats her husband, largely by quoting him passages of his own works. She also repeatedly draws on the speech beginning at Josephus, Jewish Wars III.362 in which Josephus denounces suicide.
3419 A sidenote refers to Josephus, The Jewish War III.365, δειλὸς δὲ ὁμοίως ὅ τε μὴ βουλόμενος θνήσκειν ὅταν δέῃ καὶ ὁ βουλόμενος, ὅταν μὴ δέῃ.
3420 A sidenote refers to a maxim uttered by the dying Emperor Julian at Ammianus Marcellinus XXV.iii.16, dolores omnes ut insultant ignavis, ita persistentibus cedunt.
3421 The sidenote reference against 3421 (Martial. l. 11. ep. 57.15 ) should be to Martial, Epigrams XI.lvi.15f.:

rebus in angustis facile est contemnere vitam:
fortiter ille facit, qui miser esse potest.

3422 The sidenote reference is evidently to Phoen. 79, resiste; tantis in malis vinci mori est.
3423 The sidenote refers to Juvenal, Satire xiii.20 - 2:

ducimus autem
hos quoque felices, qui ferre incommoda vitae
nec iactare iugum vita didicere magistra.

3426 Seneca uses the word lucifuga at Epistulae Morales cxxii.15 to describe the sort of person we would call a “night owl.”
3427 A sidenote cites Josephus, Jewish War III.373, καὶ κολάζειν μὲν τοὺς ἀποδράντας οἰκέτας δίκαιον νενόμισται κἂν πονηροὺς καταλείπωσι δεσπότας, αὐτοὶ δὲ κάλλιστον δεσπότην ἀποδιδράσκοντες τὸν θεὸν οὐ δοκοῦμεν ἀσεβεῖν;
3430f. Cf. Seneca, Epistulae Morales lxx.17, tamquam migraturus habita.
3433 Cf. ib. lxx.14, expectandum esse exitum quem natura decrevit.
3434f. Cf. ib. 30.15, ego vero vidi, sed plus momenti apud me habent qui ad mortem veniunt sine odio vitae et admittunt illam, non adtrahunt.
3438f. Cf. ib. lxv.24, quem in hoc mundo locum deus obtinet, hunc in homine animus.
3442 Cf. H. F. 1221, in se ipse saevit.
3448 A sidenote refers to Josephus, Jewish War III.371, καὶ γὰρ εἰλήφαμεν παρ’ ἐκείνου τὸ εἶναι καὶ τὸ μηκέτι εἶναι πάλιν ἐκείνῳ δίδομεν.
3450 A sidenote evidently refers to Seneca, Epistulae Morales lxx.14, invenies etiam professos sapientiam, qui vim adferendam vitae suae negent et nefas iudicent ipsum interemptorem sui fieri; expectandum esse exitum, quem natura decrevit.
3459f. Cf. Seneca, Epistulae Morales lxx.7, stultitia est timore mortis mori.
3461 The sidenote cites Josephus, Jewish War III.368, ὡς ἔγωγε καὶ κυβερνήτην ἡγοῦμαι δειλότατον, ὅστις χειμῶνα δεδοικὼς πρὸ τῆς θυέλλης ἐβάπτισεν ἑκὼν τὸ σκάφος.

3465ff. This interview is built on various hints in Tacitus: 1.) in denouncing Seneca for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy, the informer Natalis stated (Annales XV.lx) missum se ad aegrotum Seencam, uti viseret conquerereturque, cur Pisonem aditu arceret: melius fore, si amicitiam familiari congressu exercuissent. et respondisse Senecam sermones mutuos et crebra conloquia neutri conducere; ceterum salutem suam incolumitate Pisonis inniti; 2.) the historian’s report (lxi) that Faenius, a conspirator, shrank from carrying out the order for Seneca’s execution, and 3.) the passage quote in in the Commentary note on 3517ff. below. The other participants in this scene were named co-conspirators. Gwinne’s purpose in adding this is fictitious scene was to establish that Seneca did not play a part in the conspiracy he is invited to join. Cf. also the note on 3479f.
Faenius Rufus and Tigellinus had been appointed joint Prefects of the Praetorian guard. The other character’s name was actually Subrius Flavus, though it is given as Flavius in some Tacitean mss.
3479f. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XIV.lvii, perculso Seneca promptum fuit Rufum Faenium imminuere Agrippinae amicitiam in eo criminantibus.
3488 A sidenote refers to Seneca, de Providentia iv.1, at calamitates terroresque mortalium sub iugum mittere proprium magni viri est.
3490 Cf. H. F. 1295, vox est digna genitore Herculis.
3493 Cf. luporum praeda at Seneca, Dialogues VI.xxii.7 (and also cervi, luporum praeda rapacium at Horace, Odes IV.iv.50).
3494 For audendum est cf. Thy. 284.
3496 Agatur aliquid is found at Seneca, Epistulae Morales cxvii.25.
3497 Cf. ib. xxiv.12, scies nihil esse in istis terribile nisi ipsum timorem (a phrase appropriated by Franklin Roosevelt’s speech writers).
3502f. Caligula was assassinated by Cassius Chaerea. Cf. Suetonius, Gaius Caligula lvi.2, primas sibi partes Cassius Chaerea tribunus cohortis praetoriae depoposcit, quem Gaius seniorem iam et mollem et effeminatum denotare omni probro consuerat.
3503f. Brutus the regicide and Brutus the tyrannicide are familiar figures from Roman history. Cassius Longinus and Cassius Parmensis were two of Caesar’s murderers.
3507f. This roster of military members of the conspiracy is taken from Tacitus, Annales XV.l, who names Statius Proxumus, Maximus Scaurus, and Venetus Paulus. He mentions nobody named Granius, but immediately preceding the name of Statius Proxumus stands that of Gavius Silvanus. Either Gwinne has taken a liberty with the name or this is a printer’s error.
3510 C. Calpurnius Piso, whom we shall meet below: the conspirators will halfheartedly agree to set him up as the next Caesar.
3512ff. Tacitus gives a character appraisal at Annales XV.xlviii, is Calpurnio genere ortus ac multas insignisque familias paterna nobilitate complexus, claro apud vulgum rumore erat per virtutem aut species virtutibus similis. namque facundiam tuendis civibus exercebat, largitionem adversum amicos, et ignotis quoque comi sermone et congressu; aderant etiam fortuita, corpus procerum, decora facies: sed procul gravitas morum aut voluptatum parsimonia; levitati ac magnificentiae et aliquando luxu indulgebat, idque pluribus probabatur qui in tanta vitiorum dulcedine summum imperium non restrictum nec perseverum volunt. For Piso as a tragic actor cf. Suetonius, Nero xxi, inter cetera cantavit Canacen parturientem, Oresten matricidam, Oedipodem occaecatum, Herculem insanum.
3517ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XV.lxv, fama fuit Subrium Flavum cum centurionibus occulto consilio neque tamen ignorante Seneca destinavisse ut post occisum opera Pisonis Neronem Piso quoque interficeretur tradereturque imperium Senecae, quasi insontibus claritudine virtutum ad summum fastigium delecto. quin et verba Flavi vulgabantur, non referre dedecori si citharoedus demoveretur et tragoedus succederet, quia ut Nero cithara, ita Piso tragico ornatu canebat.
3521 The equestrian Antonius Natalis, whom Tacitus described (Ann. XV.lv) as an intimate of Piso.
3527 For facto opus cf. Plautus, Amphitryo 169, 505, 776, Mercator 565, Stichus 61, Trinummus 584, and Terence, Adelphoe 601.
3530 A sidenote refers to Machiavelli, Sopra la Prima Deca di Tito Livio III.vi (p.203 Mazoni - Casella), delle quali erano consapevoli più che cinquanta nomini.
3533 This appraisal of the conspirators’ mixed motives is extracted from passing remarks in Tacitus’ lengthy catalogue of the conspirators at Annales XV.xlix - l. Cf. Tacitus’ generalization at l, ceteris spes ex novis rebus petebatur.
3541f. Gwinne was probably thinking of H. F. 920 - 2:

utinam cruore capitis inuisi deis
libare possem: gratior nullus liquor
tinxisset aras.

3551 Cf. Thy. 302, illinc egestas tristis ac durus labor.
3556 Cf. Oct. 244, animam trahit (but there the phrase means “drags on his life”).
3559ff. The sidenote refers to Tacitus, Annales XV.lii, coniuratis tamen metu proditionis permotis placitum maturare caedem apud Baias in villa Pisonis, cuius amoenitate captus Caesar crebro ventitabat balneasque et epulas inibat omissis excubiis et fortunae suae mole. sed abnuit Piso invidiam praetendens, si sacra mensae diique hospitales caede qualiscumque principis cruentarentur: melius apud urbem in illa invisa et spoliis civium extructa domo vel in publico patraturos quod pro re publica suscepissent.
3560 As indicated by the sidenote, Machiavelli tells the story of the Pisonian conspiracy, Sopra la Prima Deca di Tito Livio III.vi (pp. 203 - 5 Mazzoni - Casella).
3570ff. Cf. Annales XV.l, et cepisse impetum Subrius Flavus ferebatur in scaena canentem Neronem adgrediendi, aut cum ardente domo per noctem huc illuc cursaret incustoditus. hic occasio solitudinis, ibi ipsa frequentia tanti decoris testis pulcherrima animum extimulaverant, nisi impunitatis cupido retinuisset, magnis semper conatibus adversa.
3574ff. Cf. Annales XV.liii, tandem statuere circensium ludorum die, qui Cereri celebratur, exequi destinata, quia Caesar rarus egressu domoque aut hortis clausus ad ludicra circi ventitabat promptioresque aditus erant laetitia spectaculi. ordinem insidiis composuerant, ut Lateranus, quasi subsidium rei familiari oraret, deprecabundus et genibus principis accidens prosterneret incautum premeretque, animi validus et corpore ingens; tum iacentem et impeditum tribuni et centuriones et ceterorum, ut quisque audentiae habuisset, adcurrerent trucidarentque, primas sibi partis expostulante Scaevino, qui pugionem templo Salutis sive, ut alii tradidere, Fortunae Ferentino in oppido detraxerat gestabatque velut magno operi sacrum. interim Piso apud aedem Cereris opperiretur, unde eum praefectus Faenius et ceteri accitum ferrent in castra, comitante Antonia, Claudii Caesaris filia, ad eliciendum vulgi favorem.
3593f. Cf. the note on aut Caesar, aut nihil in the dedicatory epistle.
3595ff. Cf. Annales XV.li, interim cunctantibus prolatantibusque spem ac metum Epicharis quaedam, incertum quonam modo sciscitata (neque illi ante ulla rerum honestarum cura fuerat), accendere et arguere coniuratos, ac postremum lentitudinis eorum pertaesa et in Campania agens primores classiariorum Misenensium labefacere et conscientia inligare conisa est tali initio. For the sequel cf. the Commentary note on 3637ff.
3601 For suppetias with forms of fero cf. Plautus, Epidicus 659, Menaechmi 1003, Miles Gloriosus 1053, Rudens, 624 and 1083.
3602ff. Cf. Annales XV.liv, sed mirum quam inter diversi generis ordinis, aetatis sexus, ditis pauperes taciturnitate omnia cohibita sint, donec proditio coepit e domo Scaevini; qui pridie insidiarum multo sermone cum Antonio Natale, dein regressus domum testamentum obsignavit, promptum vagina pugionem, de quo supra rettuli, vetustate obtusum increpans asperari saxo et in mucronem ardescere iussit eamque curam liberto Milicho mandavit. simul adfluentius solito convivium initum, servorum carissimi libertate et alii pecunia donati; atque ipse maestus et magnae cogitationis manifestus erat, quamvis laetitiam vagis sermonibus simularet. postremo vulneribus ligamenta quibusque sistitur sanguis parare eundem Milichum monet, sive gnarum coniurationis et illuc usque fidum, seu nescium et tunc primum arreptis suspicionibus, ut plerique tradidere [de consequentibus]. nam cum secum servilis animus praemia perfidiae reputavit simulque immensa pecunia et potentia obversabantur, cessit fas et salus patroni et acceptae libertatis memoria. etenim uxoris quoque consilium adsumpserat muliebre ac deterius: quippe ultro metum intentabat, multosque adstitisse libertos ac servos qui eadem viderint: nihil profuturum unius silentium, at paemia penes unum fore qui indicio praevenisset.
3612 Cf., perhaps, Statius, Thebais X.194, stupet obruta somno.
3614f. Brutus killed the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, for having raped Lucretia, and established the Republic. For Chaerea, cf. the note on 3502.
3616 Cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.585, amici fallere nomen.
3617 Scevinus turns out to be insufficiently mindful of Horace’s injunction (Odes II. xiii.13f.):

numquam homini satis
cautum est in horas.

3624 Cf., perhaps, Terence, Adelphoe 287, hilare hunc sumamus diem.
Act V, scene
iv Gwinne provides no clue as to where this scene is supposed to be set: perhaps in the Servilian Gardens (cf. the note on 3730ff.).
3637ff. Cf. Annales XV.li, erat nauarchus in ea classe Volusius Proculus, occidendae matris Neroni inter ministros, non ex magnitudine sceleris provectus, ut rebatur. is mulieri olim cognitus, seu recens orta amicitia, dum merita erga Neronem sua et quam in inritum cecidissent aperit adicitque questus et destinationem vindictae, si facultas oreretur, spem dedit posse impelli et pluris conciliare: nec leve auxilium in classe, crebras occasiones, quia Nero multo apud Puteolos et Misenum maris usu laetabatur. ergo Epicharis plura; et omnia scelera principis orditur, neque senatui quidquam manere. sed provisum quonam modo poenas eversae rei publicae daret: accingeretur modo navare operam et militum acerrimos ducere in partis, ac digna pretia expectaret.
3653 For Nero’s hatred of the Senate, cf. the Suetonius passage quoted in the note on 2820f.
3670 Cf. Thy. 47, et fas et fides (at line-end).
3672 Cf. Horace, Odes II.i.6, periculosae plenum opus alea.
3673 Nefas is used with forms of audeo at H. Oet. 767, 1288, Me. 261, and Thy. 193. For magnum nefas cf. Phoen. 527 (also at line-end).
3676ff. Tacitus continues: nomina tamen coniuratorum reticuit. unde Proculi indicium inritum fuit, quamvis ea quae audierat ad Neronem detulisset. accita quippe Epicharis et cum indice composita nullis testibus innisum facile confutavit. sed ipsa in custodia retenta est, suspectante Nerone haud falsa esse etiam quae vera non probabantur.
3684 Cf. Phaed. 1249, crimen agnosco meum.
3721 Although the word otacousta is used at Apuleius, de Mundo xxvi, it is more illuminating to consult Liddell-Scott-Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon
, where it is defined as “listener, eavesdropper, of a person employed as a spy by tyrants,” illustrated by citations from Aristotle, Polybius, and Plutarch. Cf. sagax canis at Thomas Legge, Richardus Tertius 1222 (in the majority of mss.).
3726f. Again, cf. Richardus Tertius 612f.:

hospes video tumultuari subditos,
per tota raptare volitantes moenia.

3728f. Cf. Oed. 777, frequensne turba regium cinxit latus?
3730ff. Cf. Annales XV.lv, igitur coepta luce Milichus in hortos Servilianos pergit; et cum foribus arceretur, magna et atrocia adferre dictitans deductusque ab ianitoribus ad libertum Neronis Epaphroditum, mox ab eo ad Neronem, urgens periculum, gravis coniuratos et cetera quae audiverat coniectaverat docet. telum quoque in necem eius paratum ostendit accirique reum iussit. is raptus per milites et defensionem orsus, ferrum cuius argueretur olim religione patria cultum et in cubiculo habitum ac fraude liberti subreptum respondit. tabulas testamenti saepius a se et incustodita dierum observatione signatas. pecunias et libertates servis et ante dono datas, sed ideo tunc largius quia tenui iam re familiari et instantibus creditoribus testamento diffideret. enimvero liberalis semper epulas struxisse, vitam amoenam et duris iudicibus parum probatam. fomenta vulneribus nulla iussu suo sed, quia cetera palam vana obiecisset, adiungere crimen cuius se pariter indicem et testem faceret. adicit dictis constantiam; incusat ultro intestabilem et consceleratum tanta vocis ac vultus securitate ut labaret indicium, nisi Milichum uxor admonuisset Antonium Natalem multa cum Scaevino ac secreta conlocutum et esse utrosque C. Pisonis intimos.
For Faenius Rufus’ part in this scene cf. also Annales XV.lviii, cum super Neronis ac Tigellini saevas percontationes Faenius quoque Rufus violenter urgeret, nondum ab indicibus nominatus, et quo fidem inscitiae pararet, atrox adversus socios. idem Subrio Flavo adsistenti adnuentique an inter ipsam cognitionem destringeret gladium caedemque patraret, rennuit infregitque impetum iam manum ad capulum referentis.
For line 3730 cf., perhaps, Me. 429, quam multa sint timenda, si perstas, vide. Cf. also totus perii at Plautus, Aulularia 410.
3762 For vultus intrepidus cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.478.
3768ff. Tacitus continues (lv), ergo accitur Natalis et diversi interrogantur quisnam is sermo, qua de re fuisset. tum exorta suspicio, quia non congruentia responderant, inditaque vincla.
3774 For quid verba quaeris? cf. Oed. 850.
3787ff. Cf. Annales XV.lvii, atque interim Nero recordatus Volusii Proculi indicio Epicharin attineri ratusque muliebre corpus impar dolori tormentis dilacerari iubet. at illam non verbera, non ignes, non ira eo acrius torquentium ne a femina spernerentur, pervicere quin obiecta denegaret. sic primus quaestionis dies contemptus. postero cum ad eosdem cruciatus retraheretur gestamine sellae (nam dissolutis membris insistere nequibat), vinclo fasciae, quam pectori detraxerat, in modum laquei ad arcum sellae restricto indidit cervicem et corporis pondere conisa tenuem iam spiritum expressit, clariore exemplo libertina mulier in tanta necessitate alienos ac prope ignotos protegendo, cum ingenui et viri et equites Romani senatoresque intacti tormentis carissima suorum quisque pignorum proderent.
3799 Cf. the lament at Oct. 911, nullum pietas nunc numen habet.
3802f. Cf. the note on 627. Cf. also Ovid, Heroides x.82, morsque minus poenae quam mora mortis habet.
3803 This line summarizes the sufferings of the famous damned, as described, for example, by Seneca at H. F. 750 - 8:

rapitur volucri tortus Ixion rota;
cervice saxum grande Sisyphia sedet;
in amne medio faucibus siccis senex
sectatur undas, alluit mentum latex,
fidemque cum iam saepe decepto dedit,
perit unda in ore; poma destituunt famem.
praebet volucri Tityos aeternas dapes
urnasque frustra Danaides plenas gerunt;

3804 For tormenta Sicula cf. the note on 2222.
3805 Cf. William Gager’s Meleager (1582) 14
29f.:

quo gravius istud, hoc erit brevius malum,
brevitate gravitas saepe pensari solet.

3806 Cf. Ovid, Tristia V.viii.5, posito…fine laborum.
3819 For fide firma cf. Plautus, Captivi 927.
3822ff. Cf. Annales XV.lvi, et tormentorum aspectum ac minas non tulere: prior tamen Natalis, totius conspirationis magis gnarus, simul arguendi peritior, de Pisone primum fatetur, deinde adicit Annaeum Senecam, sive internuntius inter eum Pisonemque fuit, sive ut Neronis gratiam pararet, qui infensus Senecae omnis ad eum opprimendum artes conquirebat. tum cognito Natalis indicio Scaevinus quoque pari imbecillitate, an cuncta iam patefacta credens nec ullum silentii emolumentum, edidit ceteros. ex quibus Lucanus Quintianusque et Senecio diu abnuere: post promissa impunitate corrupti, quo tarditatem excusarent, Lucanus Aciliam matrem suam, Quintianus Glitium Gallum, Senecio Annium Pollionem, amicorum praecipuos, nominavere.
3735f. Cf. ib. lx, proximam necem Plautii Laterani consulis designati Nero adiungit, adeo propere, ut non complecti liberos, non illud breve mortis arbitrium permitteret. raptus in locum servilibus poenis sepositum manu Statii tribuni trucidatur, plenus constantis silentii nec tribuno obiciens eandem conscientiam.
3838ff. Cf. Annales XV.lx, solus quippe Natalis et hactenus prompsit missum se ad aegrotum Senecam uti viseret conquerereturque cur Pisonem aditu arceret: melius fore si amicitiam familiari congressu exercuissent; et respondisse Senecam sermones mutuos et crebra conloquia neutri conducere; ceterum salutem suam incolumitate Pisonis inniti. haec ferre Gavius Silvanus tribunus praetoriae cohortis et an dicta Natalis suaque responsa nosceret percontari Senecam iubetur.
3850f. Cf. Annales XV.xlix, Lucanum propriae causae accendebant, quod famam carminum eius premebat Nero prohibueratque ostentare, vanus adsimulatione.
3852f. Cf. ib., Quintianus mollitia corporis infamis et a Nerone probroso carmine diffamatus contumelias ultum ibat.
3854f. Cf. Annales XV.l, ex quibus Senecio, e praecipua familiaritate Neronis, speciem amicitiae etiam tum retinens eo pluribus periculis conflictabatur.
3858ff. Cf. Annales XV.lxi, Seneca missum ad se Natalem conquestumque nomine Pisonis quod a visendo eo prohiberetur, seque rationem valetudinis et amorem quietis excusavisse respondit. cur salutem privati hominis incolumitati suae anteferret causam non habuisse; nec sibi promptum in adulationes ingenium. idque nulli magis gnarum quam Neroni, qui saepius libertatem Senecae quam servitium expertus esset. ubi haec a tribuno relata sunt Poppaea et Tigellino coram, quod erat saevienti principi intimum consiliorum, interrogat an Seneca voluntariam mortem pararet. tum tribunus nulla pavoris signa, nihil triste in verbis eius aut vultu deprensum confirmavit. ergo regredi et indicere mortem iubetur.
3870ff. Cf. Annales XV.lxi, ubi haec a tribuno relata sunt Poppaea et Tigellino coram, quod erat saevienti principi intimum consiliorum, interrogat an Seneca voluntariam mortem pararet. tum tribunus nulla pavoris signa, nihil triste in verbis eius aut vultu deprensum confirmavit. ergo regredi et indicere mortem iubetur.
3879 Cf. redde…vicem at Me. 482.
3382 Cf. Ovid, Fasti X.532, pudor est ulteriora loqui.
3886ff. Cf. Annales XV.lxvii, mox eorundem indicio Subrius Flavus tribunus pervertitur, primo dissimilitudinem morum ad defensionem trahens, neque se armatum cum inermibus et effeminatis tantum facinus consociaturum; dein, postquam urgebatur, confessionis gloriam amplexus. interrogatusque a Nerone quibus causis ad oblivionem sacramenti processisset, ‘oderam te’ inquit, ‘nec quisquam tibi fidelior militum fuit, dum amari meruisti. odisse coepi, postquam parricida matris et uxoris, auriga et histrio et incendiarius extitisti.’ ipsa rettuli verba, quia non, ut Senecae, vulgata erant, nec minus nosci decebat militaris viri sensus incomptos et validos. nihil in illa coniuratione gravius auribus Neronis accidisse constitit, qui ut faciendis sceleribus promptus, ita audiendi quae faceret insolens erat.
3898 Levis may describe the poor quality of Nero’s voice or the undignified nature of his avocation.
3902f. For the sentiment cf. H. Oet. 866, levis una mors es.
3917ff. Cf. Annales XV.lvii, non enim omittebant Lucanus quoque et Senecio et Quintianus passim conscios edere, magis magisque pavido Nerone, quamquam multiplicatis excubiis semet saepsisset.
3935ff. Tacitus continues, poena Flavi Veianio Nigro tribuno mandatur. is proximo in agro scrobem effodi iussit, quam Flavus ut humilem et angustam increpans, circumstantibus militibus, ‘ne hoc quidem’ inquit ‘ex disciplina’ admonitusque fortiter protendere cervicem, ‘utinam’ ait ‘tu tam fortiter ferias!’ et ille multum tremens, cum vix duobus ictibus caput amputavisset, saevitiam apud Neronem iactavit, sesquiplaga interfectum a se dicendo.
3941ff. This speech is probably suggested, in a general way, by Tacitus description of Nero’s reign of terror at Annales XV.lviii.
3945 Cf. the note on 3802f.
Act V, scene
v The setting shifts to Piso’s house.
3949ff. Cf. Annales XV.lix, fuere qui prodita coniuratione, dum auditur Milichus, dum dubitat Scaevinus, hortarentur Pisonem pergere in castra aut rostra escendere studiaque militum et populi temptare. si conatibus eius conscii adgregarentur, secuturos etiam integros; magnamque motae rei famam, quae plurimum in novis consiliis valeret. nihil adversum haec Neroni provisum. etiam fortis viros subitis terreri, nedum ille scaenicus, Tigellino scilicet cum paelicibus suis comitante, arma contra cieret. multa experiendo confieri quae segnibus ardua videantur. frustra silentium et fidem in tot consciorum animis et corporibus sperare: cruciatui aut praemio cuncta pervia esse. venturos qui ipsum quoque vincirent, postremo indigna nece adficerent. quanto laudabilius periturum, dum amplectitur rem publicam, dum auxilia libertati invocat. miles potius deesset et plebes desereret, dum ipse maioribus, dum posteris, si vita praeriperetur, mortem adprobaret. immotus his et paululum in publico versatus, post domi secretus, animum adversum suprema firmabat, donec manus militum adveniret quos Nero tirones aut stipendiis recentis delegerat: nam vetus miles timebatur tamquam favore imbutus. obiit abruptis brachiorum venis.
3976 Cf. Lucan X. 538f.:

via nulla salutis,
non fuga, non virtus; vix spes quoque mortis honestae.

Cf. also Vergil, Aeneid II.354, una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.
3979 For remige et velo cf. Thy. 438f.
3980 For procellosum mare cf. Me. 411.
3982f. For incensa…Troia cf. Vergil, Aeneid II.555 and VII.294f.
Act V, scene
vi The setting is Seneca’s villa outside of Rome. The scene is based on Annales XV.lxi - ii, tradit Fabius Rusticus non eo quo venerat itinere reditum sed flexisse ad Faenium praefectum, et expositis Caesaris iussis an obtemperaret interrogavisse, monitumque ab eo ut exequeretur, fatali omnium ignavia. nam et Silvanus inter coniuratos erat augebatque scelera in quorum ultionem consenserat. voci tamen et aspectui pepercit intromisitque ad Senecam unum ex centurionibus qui necessitatem ultimam denuntiaret:ille interritus poscit testamenti tabulas; ac denegante centurione conversus ad amicos, quando meritis eorum referre gratiam prohiberetur, quod unum iam et tamen pulcherrimum habeat, imaginem vitae suae relinquere testatur, cuius si memores essent, bonarum artium famam fructum constantis amicitiae laturos. simul lacrimas eorum modo sermone, modo intentior in modum coercentis ad firmitudinem revocat, rogitans ubi praecepta sapientiae, ubi tot per annos meditata ratio adversum imminentia? cui enim ignaram fuisse saevitiam Neronis? neque aliud superesse post matrem fratremque interfectos quam ut educatoris praeceptorisque necem adiceret.
3898 Seneca addresses his kinsmen, the physician Statius Annaeus (whose presence is mentioned at Annales XV.lxxix), and his adoptive brother Junius Gallio (ib. XV.lxxiii).
3899 Novius Priscus, a friend mentioned at Annales XV.lxxi. Lucilius was the adressee of Seneca’s Epistulae Morales.
4007ff. Tacitus continues (lxiv - v), ubi haec atque talia velut in commune disseruit, complectitur uxorem et paululum adversus praesentem fortitudinem mollitus rogat oratque temperaret dolori neu aeternum susciperet, sed in contemplatione vitae per virtutem actae desiderium mariti solaciis honestis toleraret. illa contra sibi quoque destinatam mortem adseverat manumque percussoris exposcit. tum Seneca gloriae eius non adversus, simul amore, ne sibi unice dilectam ad iniurias relinqueret, ‘vitae’ inquit ‘delenimenta monstraveram tibi, tu mortis decus mavis: non invidebo exemplo. sit huius tam fortis exitus constantia penes utrosque par, claritudinis plus in tuo fine.’ post quae eodem ictu brachia ferro exolvunt. Seneca, quoniam senile corpus et parco victu tenuatum lenta effugia sanguini praebebat, crurum quoque et poplitum venas abrumpit; saevisque cruciatibus defessus, ne dolore suo animum uxoris infringeret atque ipse visendo eius tormenta ad impatientiam delaberetur, suadet in aliud cubiculum abscedere. et novissimo quoque momento suppeditante eloquentia advocatis scriptoribus pleraque tradidit, quae in vulgus edita eius verbis invertere supersedeo . . . Seneca interim, durante tractu et lentitudine mortis, Statium Annaeum, diu sibi amicitiae fide et arte medicinae probatum, orat provisum pridem venenum quo damnati publico Atheniensium iudicio extinguerentur promeret; adlatumque hausit frustra, frigidus iam artus et cluso corpore adversum vim veneni. postremo stagnum calidae aquae introiit, respergens proximos servorum addita voce libare se liquorem illum Iovi liberatori. exim balneo inlatus et vapore eius exanimatus sine ullo funeris sollemni crematur.
4010 Cf. H. Oet. 1970, luctus in turpes eat.
4018ff. A sidenote has Lucan. l. 5. f. Despite this misleading citation, the beginning of this passage is modeled after Pompey’s similar speech at Bellum Civile VIII.70ff.:

prohibet succumbere fatis
Magnus et inmodicos castigat voce dolores.
“nobile cur robur fortunae volnere primo
femina tantorum titulis insignis avorum
frangis? habes aditum mansurae in saecula famae.
laudis in hoc sexu non legum iura nec arma,
unica materia est coniunx miser. erige mentem,
et tua cum fatis pietas decertet, et ipsum
quod sum victus ama.

4036 Seneca writes honesta mente at Phoen. 97.
4037 For mara mors cf. Propertius I.xix.20.
4038 For amatae coniugis cf. the Vergilian Elegiae in Maecenatem ii.153 and Juvenal, Satire x. 241.
4039 Cf., perhaps, Plautus, Miles Gloriosus 1206, quo modo ego vivam sine te?
4045 Cf. Horace, Odes III.ix.24, tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam lubens.
4047 Cf. Phoen. 66, perire sine me non potes, mecum potes.
4052 Another misleading sidenote (Martial. l. 1 epigr. 43. ) should refer to Martial, Epigrams I.lxi:

coniugis audisset fatum cum Porcia Bruti
et subtracta sibi quaereret arma dolor,
‘nondum scitis’ ait ‘mortem non posse negari?
credideram, fatis hoc docuisse patrem.’
dixit et ardentis avido bibit ore favillas.
i nunc et ferrum, turba molesta, nega.

4053 For mira virtus cf. Lucretius V.966 and Statius, Silvae IV.v.37.
4063 Here Gwinne transfers to Seneca Martial’s account of the death of Caecina Paetus and his wife Arria (Epigrams I.xiii); for this episode cf. the note on 4461:

casta suo gladium cum traderet Arria Paeto,
quem de visceribus strinxerat ipsa suis,
‘si qua fides, vulnus quod feci non dolet,’ inquit,
‘sed tu quod facies, hoc mihi, Paete, dolet.’

4071 For hominem exuit cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses X.105.
4076f. Cf. Tr. 545f.:

est quidem iniustus dolor
rerum aestimator.

4082 Cf. Ag. 590f.:

cum pateat malis
effugium et miseros libera mors vocet.

4085 Gwinne was thinking of the description of the sacrifice at Oed. 341 - 4:

iuvenca ferro semet opposito induit
et vulnere uno cecidit, at taurus duos
perpessus ictus huc et huc dubius ruit
animamque fessus uix reluctantem exprimit.

4087 Again, at Oed. 336f. Tiresias asks about the victims:

placidone vultu sacra et admotas manus
patiuntur?

4089 For devota morti cf. Horace, Odes IV.xiv.18. Cf. also Oedipus 247, nunc expietur numinum imperio scelus.
4091 For membra with forms of secare in Seneca cf. Me. 476 and Thy. 760.
4101 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Ars Amatoria III.746, excipitur miseri spiritus ore viri.
4102 For supremum vale cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.509, X.62, and Statius, Silvae III.iii.209.
4103 Cf. Elysio…agro at Martial X.ci.1.
4112 Cato the Younger committed suicide by falling on his sword at Utica in 46 B. C. For imago…
virtutis cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.viii.31 and Statius, Thebais III.419.
4113 The sidenote against 4112 refers to Seneca’s account of the exemplary death of his contemporary Julius Canus at de Tranquillitate Animi xiv.4ff.
4117 This echoes Socrates’ dying words as reported by Plato, Phaedo p. 118A. As is rather unnecessarily noted by Gwinne in a sidenote, Socrates’ death-scene is also described in Book I of Erasmus’ Apophthegmata (§ 74 and 75). Perhaps he had read these in the translation of Nicolas Udall (1564, reprinted Boston, 1877, pp. 32f.).
4120 The sidenote refers to Seneca, de Tranquillitate Animi xi.2f., quandoque autem reddere iubebitur, non queritur cum fortuna, sed dicet: ‘gratias ago pro eo, quod possedi habuique. magna quidem res tuas mercede colui, sed quia ita imperas, do, cedo gratus libensque.’

4125 For defecta sensu cf. Oct. 714 (also at line-beginning).
4128ff. Cf. Annales XV.lxiv, at Nero nullo in Paulinam proprio odio, ac ne glisceret invidia crudelitatis, <iubet> inhiberi mortem. hortantibus militibus servi libertique obligant brachia, premunt sanguinem, incertum an ignarae.
4133 Cf. amoris…notam at H. Oet. 368.
Act V, scene
vii We are now transferred to the house of the poet Lucan. Besides the Tacitean passage quoted in the note on 3822ff., cf. Annales XV.lxx, exim Annaei Lucani caedem imperat. is profluente sanguine ubi frigescere pedes manusque et paulatim ab extremis cedere spiritum fervido adhuc et compote mentis pectore intellegit, recordatus carmen a se compositum quo vulneratum militem per eius modi mortis imaginem obisse tradiderat, versus ipsos rettulit eaque illi suprema vox fuit.
4142 The side note refers to Lucan, Bellum Civile I.462 (in a modern text), et ignavum rediturae parcere vitae.
4144ff. The sidenote (l. 4. 579 ) to the contrary, the passage is a pastiche of lines from Vulteius’ speech beginning at Lucan’s Bellum Civile, IV.476ff. 4144 and the first half of 4145, B. C. IV.478 and the first half of 479. The second half of 4145 and 4146 - 8, The second half of IV.512 followed by 513 - 15. 4149f.
= IV.519f.
4152f. These lines = B. C. III.39f.
4154f. Despite a sidenote (l. 8.629 ), these lines = B. C. III.626f.
4156ff. Sidenote: 629. In a modern text these lines = B. C. III.630 - 2 (with non fit for non sum in the final line).
4160 This = B. C. IX.211 in a modern text.
4161 B. C. IX.404 in a modern text.
4162ff. B. C. IX.390 - 2 in a modern text (with hi mihi sint in the first line).
4166ff. These lines = B. C. IX.885 - 7.
4170ff. An abbreviated version of B. C. IX.811 - 14:

sanguis erant lacrimae; quaecumque foramina novit
umor, ab his largus manat cruor; ora redundant
et patulae nares; sudor rubet; omnia plenis
membra fluunt uenis; totum est pro volnere corpus.

4174ff. These lines = B. C. III.638 - 41.
Act V, scene 8 The scene reverts to Nero’s palace. As indicated by sidenotes on 4180f., it is inspired by Tacitus, Annales XVI.vi, post finem ludicri Poppaea mortem obiit, fortuita mariti iracundia, a quo gravida ictu calcis adflicta est…quippe liberorum cupiens et amori uxoris obnoxius erat. corpus non igni abolitum, ut Romanus mos, sed regum externorum consuetudine differtum odoribus conditur tumuloque Iuliorum infertur, and also Suetonius, Nero xxxv.2, Poppaeam duodecimo die post divortium Octaviae in matrimonium acceptam dilexit unice; et tamen ipsam quoque ictu calcis occidit, quod se ex aurigatione sero reversum gravida et aegra conviciis incesserat.
4185 Cf. ib. xxxv.3, uxores praeter Octaviam duas postea duxit, Poppaeam Sabinam quaestorio patre natam et equiti Romani antea nuptam, deinde Statiliam Messalinam Tauri bis consulis ac triumphalis abneptem.
4196 No is the English word, employed as a negative intensifier. Within the scope of my readings in Anglo-Latin literature, I have not otherwise encountered this usage.
4197 Cf. H. Oet. 451f. (spoken, significantly enough, by Deianira):

sed magnus dolor
iratus amor est.

For exundat dolor cf. Oed. 924 (also at line-end).
4199 Nero interrupts her before she can complete the equation by threatening to be a Deianira - who killed her husband.
4212 For deus vindex cf. Oct. 255.
4216 Nero compares himself, not unreasonably, to the protagonist in Seneca’s Hercules Furens, who also killed his wife Megara in a spell of madness.
4217f. Cf. Horace, Epistulae I.ii.62, ira furor brevis est.
4219 In mythology Athamas, driven mad by Hera, killed one of his sons and tried to kill Ino his wife; for the story cf. Robert Graves The Greek Myths § 70g).
4220 Cf. H. F. 1097f.:

solus te iam praestare potest
furor insontem.

4223 Cf., perhaps, execrandum…nefas at Tr. 45.
4224f. Apollo killed Coronis for betraying him with her lover Ischys, and cursed a crow for not pecking out Ischys’ eyes, but then repented: cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.612ff.
4228 Cf. Phaed. 1173f.:

heu me, quo tuus fugit decor
oculique nostrum sidus? exanimis iaces?

4233 Cf. H. Oet. 539, tu deum inuictum advoca.
4236 A sidenote cites Suetonius, Tiberius i.1, inter cognomina autem et Neronis assumpsit, quo significatur lingua Sabina fortis ac strenuus. (On the basis of this passage, and because of general considerations of plausibility, I assume the antecedent of Sabina is lingua, not Poppaea ). The sidenote also cites Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae XIII.xxiii, id autem, sive ‘Nerio’ sive ‘Nerienes’ est, Sabinum verbum est, eoque significatur virtus et fortitudo. itaque ex Claudiis, quos a Sabinis oriundos accepimus, qui erat egregia atque praestanti fortitudine, ‘Nero’ appellatus est.
4238f. There is probably an allusion here to the legal concept of the mens rea. For the sentiment, cf. H. Oet. 965f.:

invicte coniunx, innocens animus mihi,
scelesta manus est.

4240 For necem with forms of tuli cf. Ovid, Ibis 466, H. Oet. 1608, and Thy. 719.
4241 Cf., perhaps, Lucan IX.1019, Thessalicas quaerens Magnus reparare ruinas.
4242 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Nero xxxv.2, Antoniam Claudi filiam, recusantem post Poppaeae mortem nuptias suas, quasi molitricem novarum rerum interemit.
4245 A sidenote alludes to Tacitus, Annales XVI.vii, mortem Poppaeae ut palam tristem, ita recordantibus laetam ob impudicitiam eius saevitiamque.
4249ff. A sidenote against 4250 refers to Tacitus, Annales XVI.6, corpus non igni abolitum, ut Romanus mos, sed regum externorum consuetudine differtum odoribus conditur tumuloque Iuliorum infertur. ductae tamen publicae exequiae laudavitque ipse apud rostra formam eius et quod divinae infantis parens fuisset aliaque fortunae munera pro virtutibus.
4255 Cf., perhaps, Tr. 1176f.:

non ignis meos
absumpsit artus.

4257f. For suavem…odorem cf. Catullus lxiv.87 and Vergil, Eclogue ii.55.
4259 A cryptic sidenote Plin. refers to Pliny the Elder, Natural History XII.lxxxi.1, mihi ad Persas etiam prius ista portasse quam in Syriam aut Aegyptum videntur Herodoto teste, qui tradit singula milia talentum annua turis pensitasse Arabas regibus Persarum.
4263ff. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xxviii, puerum Sporum exectis testibus etiam in muliebrem naturam transfigurare conatus cum dote et flammeo per sollemni<a> nuptiarum celeberrimo officio deductum ad se pro uxore habuit; extatque cuiusdam non inscitus iocus bene agi potuisse cum rebus humanis, si Domitius pater talem habuisset.
4265 This “marriage” to the freedman Pythagoras is mentioned at Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xxviii.2.
4275 Cf. Lucretius II.1024, nova res molitur.
4776 Cf. thalamos with various forms of peto at H. Oet. 419, Phaed. 1186, and Tr. 61 (all at line-end).
4280 Gwinne may have been thinking of Me. 701f.:

et Hydra et omnis redeat Herculea manu
succisa serpens caede se reparans sua.

4284 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Nero xxxvii, [sc. obiectum est] Cassio Longino iuris consulto ac luminibus orbato, quod in vetere gentili stemmate C. Cassi percussoris Caesaris imagines retinuisset. But in fact Gwinne depends on Tacitus, Annales XVI.vii, nova insuper invidia Nero complevit prohibendo C. Cassium officio exequiarum, quod primum indicium mali. neque in longum dilatum est, sed Silanus additur, nullo crimine nisi quod Cassius opibus vetustis et gravitate morum, Silanus claritudine generis et modesta iuventa praecellebant. igitur missa ad senatum oratione removendos a re publica utrosque disseruit, obiectavitque Cassio quod inter imagines maiorum etiam C. Cassi effigiem coluisset, ita inscriptam ‘duci partium’: quippe semina belli civilis et defectionem a domo Caesarum quaesitam; ac <ne> memoria tantum infensi nominis ad discordias uteretur, adsumpsisse L. Silanum, iuvenem genere nobilem, animo praeruptum, quem novis rebus ostentaret.
4288ff. Cf. Annales XVI.xvii, Mela, quibus Gallio et Seneca parentibus natus, petitione honorum abstinuerat per ambitionem praeposteram ut eques Romanus consularibus potentia aequaretur; simul adquirendae pecuniae brevius iter credebat per procurationes administrandis principis negotiis. idem Annaeum Lucanum genuerat, grande adiumentum claritudinis. quo interfecto dum rem familiarem eius acriter requirit, accusatorem concivit Fabium Romanum, ex intimis Lucani amicis. mixta inter patrem filiumque coniurationis scientia fingitur, adsimilatis Lucani litteris: quas inspectas Nero ferri ad eum iussit, opibus eius inhians. at Mela, quae tum promptissima mortis via, exolvit venas, scriptis codicillis quibus grandem pecuniam in Tigellinum generumque eius Cossutianum Capitonem erogabat quo cetera manerent.
4291ff. Cf. Annales XVI.xviii, inter paucos familiarium Neroni adsumptus est, elegantiae arbiter, dum nihil amoenum et molle adfluentia putat, nisi quod ei Petronius adprobavisset. unde invidia Tigellini quasi adversus aemulum et scientia voluptatum potiorem. ergo crudelitatem principis, cui ceterae libidines cedebant, adgreditur, amicitiam Scaevini Petronio obiectans, corrupto ad indicium servo ademptaque defensione et maiore parte familiae in vincla rapta.
4295 For fraudem or fraudes with forms of struo, cf. H. Oet. 718 and Phaed. 503.
4302ff. A sidenote against 4303 refers to Annales XVI.xxif., trucidatis tot insignibus viris ad postremum Nero virtutem ipsam excindere concupivit interfecto Thrasea Paeto et Barea Sorano, olim utrisque infensus et accedentibus causis in Thraseam, quod senatu egressus est cum de Agrippina referretur, ut memoravi, quodque Iuvenalium ludicro parum spectabilem operam praebuerat; eaque offensio altius penetrabat, quia idem Thrasea Patavi, unde ortus erat, ludis +cetastis+ a Troiano Antenore institutis habitu tragico cecinerat. die quoque quo praetor Antistius ob probra in Neronem composita ad mortem damnabatur, mitiora censuit obtinuitque; et cum deum honores Poppaeae decernuntur sponte absens, funeri non interfuerat. quae oblitterari non sinebat Capito Cossutianus, praeter animum ad flagitia praecipitem iniquus Thraseae quod auctoritate eius concidisset, iuvantis Cilicum legatos dum Capitonem repetundarum interrogant.
Quin et illa obiectabat, principio anni vitare Thraseam sollemne ius iurandum; nuncupationibus votorum non adesse, quamvis quindecimvirali sacerdotio praeditum; numquam pro salute principis aut caelesti voce immolasse; adsiduum olim et indefessum, qui vulgaribus quoque patrum consultis semet fautorem aut adversarium ostenderet, triennio non introisse curiam; nuperrimeque, cum ad coercendos Silanum et Veterem certatim concurreretur, privatis potius clientium negotiis vacavisse. secessionem iam id et partis et, si idem multi audeant, bellum esse. ‘ut quondam C. Caesarem’ inquitet M. Catonem, ita nunc te, Nero, et Thraseam avida discordiarum civitas loquitur. et habet sectatores vel potius satellites, qui nondum contumaciam sententiarum, sed habitum vultumque eius sectantur, rigidi et tristes, quo tibi lasciviam exprobrent. huic uni incolumitas tua sine <cura>, artes sine honore. prospera principis respuit: etiamne luctibus et doloribus non satiatur? eiusdem animi est Poppaeam divam non credere, cuius in acta divi Augusti et divi Iuli non iurare. spernit religiones, abrogat leges. diurna populi Romani per provincias, per exercitus curatius leguntur, ut noscatur quid Thrasea non fecerit. aut transeamus ad illa instituta, si potiora sunt, aut nova cupientibus auferatur dux et auctor. ista secta Tuberones et Favonios, veteri quoque rei publicae ingrata nomina, genuit. ut imperium evertant libertatem praeferunt: si perverterint, libertatem ipsam adgredientur. frustra Cassium amovisti, si gliscere et vigere Brutorum aemulos passurus es. denique nihil ipse de Thrasea scripseris: disceptatorem senatum nobis relinque.’ extollit ira promptum Cossutiani animum Nero adicitque Marcellum Eprium acri eloquentia.
For the consular Barea Soranus, another of the Stoic martyrs, cf. ib. XVI.xxiii, at Baream Soranum iam sibi Ostorius Sabinus eques Romanus poposcerat reum ex proconsulatu Asiae, in quo offensiones principis auxit iustitia atque industria, et quia portui Ephesiorum aperiendo curam insumpserat vimque civitatis Pergamenae prohibentis Acratum, Caesaris libertum, statuas et picturas evehere inultam omiserat. sed crimini dabatur amicitia Plauti et ambitio conciliandae provinciae ad res novas.
4306 For Plautus cf. the note on 1478.
4307 For Barea’s daughter Servilia cf. Tacitus, Annales XVI.xxx, vetera haec: sed recens et quo discrimini patris filiam conectebat, quod pecuniam magis dilargita esset. acciderat sane pietate Serviliae (id enim nomen puellae fuit), quae caritate erga parentem, simul imprudentia aetatis, non tamen aliud consultaverat quam de incolumitate domus, et an placabilis Nero, an cognitio senatus nihil atrox adferret. The Stoic Carrinas Celer Secundus, mentioned (adversely) by Tacitus at ib. XV.xlv, is listed among Thrasea’s denouncers by Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xxvi.1. Cf. also, perhaps, H. F. 19, sed vetera querimur.
4312
The sidenote refers to a.) Suetonius, Nero xxxvii, [obiectum est ] Paeto Thraseae tristior et paedagogi vultus; b.) Plutarch, Πολιτικὰ Παραγγέλματα p. 810
A, “ἐβουλόμην ἄν, ”ἔφη ,“Θρασέαν οὕτως ἐμὲ φιλεῖν, ὡς δικαστὴς ἄριστός ἐστιν.”  Cf. also Plutarch’s Cato Minor xxxvii, ῾Ο μέντοι Μουνάτιος οὐκ ἀπιστίᾳ τοῦ Κάτωνος, ἀλλ’ ἐκείνου μὲν ὀλιγωρίᾳ πρὸς αὑτόν, αὑτοῦ δέ τινι ζηλοτυπίᾳ πρὸς τὸν Κανίδιον ἱστορεῖ γενέσθαι τὴν ὀργήν. καὶ γὰρ αὐτὸς σύγγραμμα περὶ τοῦ Κάτωνος ἐξέδωκεν, ᾧ μάλιστα Θρασέας ἐπηκολούθησε. c.) the Tacitean passage just cited.
4317 Tacitus, Suetonius, and Dio Cassius all allude to Nero’s so-called vox caelestis.
4342ff. Although the preceding portion of this speech (and likewise its conclusion) are closely modeled on Tacitus, Capito’s concrete proposals are Gwinne’s own invention).
4349 Cf. abrumpere vitam at Vergil, Aeneid VIII.579 and IX.497.
4355 Both Tacitus (vide supra) and Dio Cassius, Epitome LXII.xxvi.4, record that Thrasea acted in a tragedy: it is perhaps strange that this avocation was considered discreditable for Nero but not for the great Stoic martyr.
Dio writes Θρασέας δὲ ὅτι οὔτε ἐς τὸ βουλευτήριον συνεχῶς ὡς οὐκ ἀρεσκόμενος τοῖς ψηφιζομένοις ἀπήντα, οὔτ’ ἤκουσέ ποτε αὐτοῦ κιθαρῳδοῦντος, οὔτε  ἔθυσε τῇ ἱερᾷ αὐτοῦ φωνῇ ὥσπερ οἱ ἄλλοι, οὔτε ἐπεδείξατο οὐδέν, καίτοι ἐν Παταουίῳ τῇ πατρίδι τραγῳδίαν κατά τι πάτριον ἐν ἑορτῇ τινι τριακονταετηρίδι ὑποκρινάμενος. 
Act V, scene
ix In the absence of any mention of Petronius’ detention at Cumae, evidently we are to think the setting is Petronius’ house. As indicated by the sidenote on 4365, this scene is based on Annales XVI.xix, forte illis diebus Campaniam petiverat Caesar, et Cumas usque progressus Petronius illic attinebatur; nec tulit ultra timoris aut spei moras. neque tamen praeceps vitam expulit, sed incisas venas, ut libitum, obligatas aperire rursum et adloqui amicos, non per seria aut quibus gloriam constantiae peteret. audiebatque referentis nihil de immortalitate animae et sapientium placitis, sed levia carmina et facilis versus. servorum alios largitione, quosdam verberibus adfecit. iniit epulas, somno indulsit, ut quamquam coacta mors fortuitae similis esset. ne codicillis quidem, quod plerique pereuntium, Neronem aut Tigellinum aut quem alium potentium adulatus est, sed flagitia principis sub nominibus exoletorum feminarumque et novitatem cuiusque stupri perscripsit atque obsignata misit Neroni. fregitque anulum ne mox usui esset ad facienda pericula.
4363 For fontes Stygis cf. Vergil, Aeneid XII.816, Stygii…fontis and Statius, Achilleis I.134, Stygios…fontes.
4366 The sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero xxxvii, mori iussis non amplius quam horarum spatium dabat; ac ne quid morae interveniret, medicos admovebat qui cunctantes continuo curarent: ita enim vocabatur venas mortis gratia incidere.
4378ff. The boys sing some lines from a dirge about the loss of hair at Petronius’ Satyricon 109.
4385f. The first two lines he sings are the two preceding lines of Satyricon 109.
4387ff. The first and third of these lines are from the short poem at the end of Satyricon 3 4; evidently the second line is Gwinne’s own.
4397 Cf. Tacitus, Annales XVI.xviii, nam illi dies per somnum, nox officiis et oblectamentis vitae tr
ansigebatur.
4398 Conceivably when Gwinne wrote this striking line he was thinking of Ovid, Metamorphoses II.70f.:

quod adsidua rapitur vertigine caelum
sideraque alta trahit celerique volumine torquet.

Act V, scene 10 The scene is Thrasea Paetus’ house.
4399ff. Cf. Tacitus, Annales XVI.xxv, tum Thrasea inter proximos consultavit, temptaretne defensionem an sperneret. diversa consilia adferebantur. quibus intrari curiam placebat, securos esse de constantia eius disserunt; nihil dicturum nisi quo gloriam augeret. segnis et pavidos supremis suis secretum circumdare: aspiceret populus virum morti obvium, audiret senatus voces quasi ex aliquo numine supra humanas: posse ipso miraculo etiam Neronem permoveri: sin crudelitati insisteret, distingui certe apud posteros memoriam honesti exitus ab ignavia per silentium pereuntium.
4412ff. Tacitus continues (XVI.xxvi), contra qui opperiendum domi censebant, de ipso Thrasea eadem, sed ludibria et contumelias imminere: subtraheret auris conviciis et probris. non solum Cossutianum aut Eprium ad scelus promptos: superesse qui forsitan manus ictusque per immanitatem ausuri sint; etiam bonos metu sequi. detraheret potius senatui quem perornavisset infamiam tanti flagitii et relinqueret incertum quid viso Thrasea reo decreturi patres fuerint. ut Neronem flagitiorum pudor caperet inrita spe agitari; multoque magis timendum ne in coniugem, in filiam, in cetera pignora eius saeviret. proinde intemeratus, impollutus, quorum vestigiis et studiis vitam duxerit, eorum gloria peteret finem.
4416f. Cossutianus Capito and Eprius Marcellus, two of Thrasea’s enemies who were parties to the prosecution (cf. the note on 4302ff.).
4420 For facit . . . metum cf. Ovid, Tristia V.x.28.
4429ff. Tacitus’ account continues, aderat consilio Rusticus Arulenus, flagrans iuvenis, et cupidine laudis offerebat se intercessurum senatus consulto: nam plebei tribunus erat. cohibuit spiritus eius Thrasea ne vana et reo non profutura, intercessori exitiosa inciperet. sibi actam aetatem, et tot per annos continuum vitae ordinem non deserendum: illi initium magistratuum et integra quae supersint. multum ante secum expenderet quod tali in tempore capessendae rei publicae iter ingrederetur. ceterum ipse an venire in senatum deceret meditationi suae reliquit. For vitam exigat cf. Terence, Hecyra 216 and 490.
4332 Cf. Thy. 95, stabo et arcebo scelus.
4336 For vitae tenor cf. Ovid, Heroides xvii.14.
4445 For the martyrdom of Thrasea Paetus, cf. Annales XVI.xxxvi, tum ad Thraseam in hortis agentem quaestor consulis missus vesperascente iam die. inlustrium virorum feminarumque coetus frequentis egerat, maxime intentus Demetrio Cynicae institutionis doctori, cum quo, ut coniectare erat intentione vultus et auditis, si qua clarius proloquebantur, de natura animae et dissociatione spiritus corporisque inquirebat, donec advenit Domitius Caecilianus ex intimis amicis et ei quid senatus censuisset exposuit. igitur flentis queritantisque qui aderant facessere propere Thrasea neu pericula sua miscere cum sorte damnati hortatur, Arriamque temptantem mariti suprema et exemplum Arriae matris sequi monet retinere vitam filiaeque communi subsidium unicum non adimere.
Tum progressus in porticum illic a quaestore reperitur, laetitiae propior, quia Helvidium generum suum Italia tantum arceri cognoverat. accepto dehinc senatus consulto Helvidium et Demetrium in cubiculum inducit; porrectisque utriusque brachii venis, postquam cruorem effudit, humum super spargens, propius vocato quaestore“libamus” inquit “Iovi liberatori. specta, iuvenis; et omen quidem dii prohibeant, ceterum in ea tempora natus es quibus firmare animum expediat constantibus exemplis.” post lentitudine exitus gravis cruciatus adferente, obversis in Demetrium…
At this point the extant portion of Book XVI of the Annales breaks off; Gwinne’s main source fails him, and so he is obliged to rely as best he can on Suetonius, with whatever hints can be gleaned from Dio and other sources..
4453 Cf. Arrian, Discourses of Epictetus I.i.26, Θρασέας εἰώθει λέγειν “Σήμερον ἀναιρεθῆναι θέλω μᾶλλον ἢ αὔριον φυγαδευθῆναι.”
4461 Her mother Arria, wife of Caecina Paetus, had committed suicide with her husband after he had become involved in a failed attempt against Claudius. Cf. the note on 4063.
4469ff. Tacitus records this sentence of banishment on Helvidius Priscus and Paconius Agrippinus at Annales XVI.xxxiii.
4473 A sidenote cites Arrian, ib. I.i.30, γυμνασαμένῳ λέγει τις αὐτῷ ἐλθὼν ὅτι “Κατακέκρισαι
.” —“Φυγῇ,” φησίν, “ἢ θανάτῳ;”—“Φυγῇ.”—“Τὰ ὑπάρχοντα τί;”—“Οὐκ ἀφῃρέθη.” —“Εἰς ᾿Αρίκειαν οὖν ἀπελθόντες ἀριστήσωμεν.”
4475f. Cf. Lucan VIII.147f.:

cunctos mutare putares
tellurem patriaeque solum.

4483 Gwinne was no doubt thinking of Seneca’s description of Astraea, the goddess of justice, deserting the earth at Oct. 423ff., a passage that begins:

neglecta terras fugit et mores feros
hominum et cruenta caede pollutas manus
Astraea virgo, siderum magnum decus.

4484 For astra with forms of peto, cf. Ovid, Fasti II.496, H. Oet. 1645, Oed. 893, Lucan I.46 and I.76.
4488 For mortem minitatur cf. Statius, Thebais X.395. For the more usual morte with forms
of minor, cf. Vergil, Aeneid X.900, XI.348, XII.760, Statius, Silvae I.vi.61, and Thebais XI.295.
4495 Dio Cassius gives these (in Greek) as Thrasea’s dying words at Epitome LXII.xxvi. 4.
4498 Cf. Phaed. 624f.:

summus hoc omen deus
avertat.

4501f. Cf. Seneca, Dialogues XI.ix.3, nunc animus fratris mei velut ex diutino carcere emissus, tandem sui iuris et arbitrii, gestit et rerum naturae spectaculo fruitur.
4504This line acquires the significance of a dying man’s curse in view of the Vindex revolt about to happen, the first in the chain of catastrophes leading to Nero’s downfall.
Act V, scene
xi Although Suetonius says that Nero first learned of the Vindex revolt while at Naples (cf. the note on 4512), the following passage in which Nero reacts to posted libels and barbs against himself would seem to suggest that the setting is a street in Rome, or perhaps the Forum.
4509 For pectus with forms of recludo cf. Horace, Epode xvii.71, Vergil, Aeneid X. 601, and Tr. 1001.
4510 For poenarum modos cf. Ag. 989 (also at line end).
4513 For vertentis anni cf. Propertius IV.ii.11.
4518f. Vindex, the governor of Gaul, was the first of Nero’s generals to rebel against him. A sidenote against 4512 refers to Suetonius, Nero xl.4, Neapoli de motu Galliarum cognovit die ipso quo matrem occiderat, and states that the day in question was May 20.
4520ff. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xli, edictis tandem Vindicis contumeliosis et frequentibus permotus senatum epistula in ultionem sui reique publicae adhortatus est, excusato languore faucium, propter quem non adesset. Cf. also Dio Cassius’ version of the same speech at Epitome LXII.xxii.1ff. (too extended for quotation here).
Aenobarbus
literally means “bronze-bearded.”
4525 Gwinne appropriates a famous mot about Tiberius quoted at Suetonius, Tiberius lvii.1, Theodorus Gadareus rhetoricae praeceptor et perspexisse primus sagaciter et assimilasse aptissime uisus est, subinde in obiurgando appellans eum lutum a sanguine maceratum.
4530f. Suetonius (Nero xxi.3) describes him playing the roles of Canace, Orestes, Oedipus, and Hercules.
4537 A sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero xl.4, adeoque lente ac secure tulit ut gaudentis etiam suspicionem praeberet tamquam occasione nata spoliandarum iure belli opulentissimarum provinciarum.
4538 For immensas opes cf. Oct. 433 and 626 (both at line-end).
4540ff. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xli.1, nihil autem aeque doluit, quam ut malum se citharoedum increpitum ac pro Nerone Ahenobarbum appellatum; et nomen quidem gentile, quod sibi per contumeliam exprobraretur, resumpturum se professus est deposito adoptivo, cetera convicia, ut falsa, non alio argumento refellebat, quam quod etiam inscitia sibi tanto opere <e>laboratae perfectaeque a se artis obiceretur, singulos subinde rogitans, nossentne quemquam praestantiorem.
4548 For Roscius cf. the note on Ciceronis Roscium, Aesopum in the dedicatory epistle.
4553 For precatur male cf. Plautus, Mercator 235.
4568 Cf. Suetonius, Nero xlv.2, ascriptum et columnis, Gallos eum cantando excitasse. The note of J. C. Rolfe, the Loeb Library translator, on this is there is obviously a pun on Galli, ‘Gauls,’ and galli,
cocks,’ and on cantare in the sense of ‘sing’ and of ‘crow.’ There may also be a secondary involving Gallus, “eunuch”: “by their singing your wakeful catamites arouse you.”
4570 Cf. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 341f.:

ademptum tibi iam faxo omnem metum,
in aurem utramvis otiose ut dormias.

4571ff. Nero now plans his fantastic campaign against Vindex. The sidenote refers to Suetonius, Nero xliv.1, in praeparanda expeditione primam curam habuit deligendi vehicula portandis scaenicis organis concubinasque, quas secum educeret, tondendi ad uirilem modum et securibus peltisque Amazonicis instruendi. mox tribus urbanas ad sacramentum citavit ac nullo idoneo respondente certum dominis servorum numerum indixit; nec nisi ex tota cuiusque familia probatissimos, ne dispensatoribus quidem aut amanuensibus exceptis, recepit. partem etiam census omnes ordines conferre iussit et insuper inquilinos privatarum aedium atque insularum pensionem annuam repraesentare fisco; exegitque ingenti fastidio et acerbitate nummum asperum, argentum pustulatum, aurum ad obrussam, ut plerique omnem collationem palam recusarent, consensu flagitantes a delatoribus potius revocanda praemia quaecumque cepissent.
4579 A sidenote refers to ib. liv, sub exitu quidem vitae palam voverat, si sibi incolumis status permansisset, proditurum se partae victoriae ludis etiam hydraulam et choraulam et utricularium ac novissimo die histrionem saltaturumque Vergili Turnum.
4590ff. Sidenotes on 4589 and 4594 both cite ib. xliii.2, credensque expeditionem necessariam, consules ante tempus privavit honore atque in utriusque locum solus iniit consulatum, quasi fatale esset non posse Gallias debellari nisi a consule. ac susceptis fascibus cum post epulas triclinio digrederetur, innixus umeris familiarium affirmauit, simul ac primum provinciam attigisset, inermem se in conspectum exercituum proditurum nec quicquam aliud quam fleturum, revocatisque ad paenitentiam defectoribus insequenti die laetum inter laetos cantaturum epinicia, quae iam nunc sibi componi oporteret.
4593 A sidenote refers to Sir Henry Savile, The Ende of Nero and Beginning of Galba. Fower Bookes of the Histories (1591) sig. ¶ viiv, As for pollicies and plots of warre, hee tolde his familiar frendes, hee had one most assured. As soone as hee entered the prouince, hee would venture himself vnarmed amongst them.
4599 Cf. arma deponis at Ag. 229.
4603f. A sidenote (in which the numbers are wrongly transposed from 41 to 14 ) is meant to cite Suetonius, Nero xli.2, Romam praetrepidus rediit; leviterque modo in itinere frivolo auspicio mente recreata, cum adnotasset insculptum monumento militem Gallum ab equite Romano oppressum trahi crinibus, ad eam speciem exiluit gaudio caelumque adoravit.
4605 For laeto omine cf. Lucan VIII.585.
4606ff. Cf. Suetonius, loc. cit., auspicanti Sporus anulum muneri optulit, cuius gemmae scalptura erat Proserpinae raptus.
4610 A sidenote refers to the telling of this myth at Ovid, Metamorphoses V.341ff. For forms of dii with Erebi cf. Met. X.78, Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1065, Octavia 965, and Lucan II.306.
4612 For imo Dite cf. Tr. 432. For omen placet cf. Plautus, Epidicus 396 (also at line-end).
4613ff. The sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero xlii.1, postquam deinde etiam Galbam et Hispanias descivisse cognovit, conlapsus animoque male facto diu sine voce et prope intermortuus iacuit, utque resipiit, veste discissa, capite converberato, actum de se pronuntiavit consolantique nutriculae et aliis quoque iam principibus similia accidisse memoranti, se vero praeter ceteros inaudita et incognita pati respondit, qui summum imperium vivus amitteret.
4614 For nova monstra cf. Horace, Epodes xvi.30, Odes I.ii.6, Ovid, Metamorphoses I.437, XI.391, Oed. 724, and Lucan X.337.
4616 Occidi! is a common lament in Roman comedy: for examples of this exclamation at line-end cf. Plautus, Mercator 468, Mostellaria 739, Persa 744, Rudens 1415, Terence, Adelphoe 265, and Heauton Timorumenos 908.
4621 Cf. Phaed. 589f.:

quis me dolori reddit atque aestus graves
reponit animo? quam bene excideram mihi!

4622 For caput with forms of attollo cf. Oed. 337, 971, and Phaed. 830. Cf. also H. Oet. 1330f.:

undique infelix caput
mactate saxis, vincite aerumnas meas.

4623 Cf. Plautus, Miles Gloriosus 1401, verberetur fustibus. For comas with forms of lanio cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.193, Ps. - Ovid, Epicedion Drusi 317, Phoen. 440, Lucan II.39 and II.335.
4624 Cf. partes eant at Thy. 60 (at line-end); cf. also Propertius III.v.38, plenus et in partes quattuor annus eat.
4626 For tibi parce cf. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 164 (also at line-beginning).
4628 For recollige animum cf. Oct. 754.
4629 For iam periit cf. Plautus, Epidicus 338.
4631 Cf. Plautus, Pseudolus 85, actum est de me hodie.
4632 For this short speech cf. Phoen. 188 - 90:

at hoc decebat roboris tanti virum,
non esse sub dolore nec victum malis
dare terga.

4634 For pati with forms of cogo, cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.553 and Phoen. 264.
4637 Titus Virginius Rufus, governor of Germany, was charged to put down the revolt of Vindex, but sided with the rebel, as described by Dio Cassius, Epitome LXIII.xxiv.1, cited in the sidenote here.
4639 The sidenote refers to Sir Henry Savile, The Ende of Nero sig. ¶ iiii, Of high Germany Verginius Rufus was Lieutenant, with three Legions, next neighbour to Vindex, only of a mean gentlemans house.
4646 Cf., perhaps, Plautus, Amphitruo 236, hostes crebri cadunt.
4651 Cf. Tr. 833, tinnulas plectro feriente chordas.
4655 Cf. Thy. 435, nihil timendum video, sed timeo tamen.
4656 A sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero xl.2, ut vero consulto Delphis Apolline septuagensimum ac tertium annum cavendum sibi audivit, quasi eo demum obiturus, ac nihil coniectans de aetate Galbae, tanta fiducia non modo senectam sed etiam perpetuam singularemque concepit felicitatem, ut amissis naufragio pretiosissimis rebus non dubitaverit inter suos dicere pisces eas sibi relaturos.
4666 A sidenote cites ib. vi.4, quae fabula exorta est deprensis in lecto eius circum cervicalia serpentis exuviis; quas tamen aureae armillaae ex voluntate matris inclusas dextro brachio gestavit aliquamdiu ac taedio tandem maternae memoriae abiecit rursusque extremis suis rebus frustra requisiit. We have seen him discard this bracelet at 2467ff.
4669 A sidenote alludes to ib. xl.2, praedictum a mathematicis Neroni olim erat fore ut quandoque destitueretur; unde illa uox eius celeberrima: τὸ τέχνιον ἡμᾶς διατρέφει;, quo maiore scilicet venia meditaretur citharoedicam artem, principi sibi gratam, privato necessariam. spoponderant tamen quidam destituto Orientis dominationem, nonnulli nominatim regnum Hierosolymorum, plures omnis pristinae fortunae restitutionem. cui spei pronior, Britannia Armeniaque amissa ac rursus utraque recepta, defunctum se fatalibus malis existimabat.
4676 I cannot identify the source of this Greek tag.
4678 The sidenote cites ib. xlii.2, quin immo, cum prosperi quiddam ex provinciis nuntiatum esset, super abundantissimam cenam iocularia in defectionis duces carmina lasciveque modulata, quae vulgo notuerunt, etiam gesticulatus est.
4680 A sidenote refers to Suetonius, Galba xxi, statura fuit iusta, capite praecalvo, oculis caeruleis, adunco naso.
4684 Archilochus was an early Greek poet who wrote harsh iambic invectives against his enemies. Cf. Horace, Ars Poetica 79, Archilochum proprio rabies armavit iambo. When he was betrothed to Lycambus’ daughter and then the betrothal was called off, he supposedly lampooned this family so savagely that they all committed suicide.
4686 Cf. Suetonius, Nero xli.2, reliquam diei partem per organa hydraulica novi et ignoti generis circumduxit, ostendensque singula, de ratione ac difficultate cuiusque disserens, iam se etiam prolaturum omnia in theatrum affirmavit, si per Vindicem liceat, and ib. liv, sub exitu quidem vitae palam voverat, si sibi incolumis status permansisset, proditurum se partae
victoriae ludis etiam hydraulam et choraulam.
4690 For perfidum…caput cf. Horace, Odes II.viii.6.
4691 A sidenote directs the reader to Sir Henry Savile, The Ende of Nero sig. ¶ vii, The Senate, receiuing the letters, flattering and fearing, adiudged Vindex a traitour…[Nero] tore his clothes, beat his head, and would in no wise recei
ve anie confort, til such time as the Senate by decree had declared Galba enimie to the state. Then resuming courage, and somewhat reuiued with some rumours out of Germanie, hee returned to his ryot and carelesse licentious life, and putting Galbas seruants in prison seized his goods and set them to sale.
4692 Cf. Dio Cassius, Epitome LXIII.xxiii.2, λέγεται δὲ ὅτι τοῦ Νέρωνος διακοσίας καὶ πεντήκοντα μυριάδας ἐπικηρύξαντος τῷ Βίνδικι ἀκούσας ὁ Βίνδιξ ἔφη “ὅτι ὁ Νέρωνα ἀποκτείνας τήν τε κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ κομίσας μοι τὴν ἐμὴν ἀντιλήψεται.” τοιοῦτος μέν τις ὁ Βίνδιξ ἐγένετο.
4693 Cf. Suetonius, Nero xlvii.1, nuntiata interim etiam ceterorum exercituum defectione litteras prandenti sibi redditas concerpsit.
4698 Cf. ib. xliii, initio statim tumultus multa et inmania, verum non abhorrentia a natura sua creditur destinasse…senatum universum veneno per conviuvia necare; urbem incendere feris in populum immissis, quo difficilius defenderentur. sed absterritus non tam paenitentia quam perficiendi.
4708 Cf. ib. xlvii.2, varie agitavit, Parthosne an Galbam supplex peteret, an atratus prodiret in publicum proque rostris quanta maxima posset miseratione veniam praeteritorum precaretur, ac ni flexisset animos, vel Aegypti praefecturam concedi sibi oraret. inventus est postea in scrinio eius hac de re sermo formatus; sed deterritum putant, ne prius quam in forum perveniret discerperetur.
4710 Cf. referre vicem at Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.370.
4715 Gwinne may have been thinking of Ag. 267, det ille veniam facile cui venia est opus. Cf. also, possibly, Vergil, Georgics IV.536, namque dabunt veniam votis, irasque remittent.
4718f. For manu / feroci cf. H. Oet. 373.
4723 Although images such as this are not uncommon in Latin poetry, Gwinne may have been thinking especially of Me. 939f.:

anceps aestus incertam rapit;
vt saeva rapidi bella cum venti gerunt.

4732 For fiam miser cf. Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 148 and Hecyra 300 (both at line-end).
4734 Cf. Suetonius, Nero xlvii.1, transiit in hortos Servilianos, ubi praemissis libertorum fidissimis Ostiam ad classem praeparandam tribunos centurionesque praetorii de fugae societate temptavit. sed partim tergiversantibus, partim aperte detrectantibus, uno vero etiam proclamante:

usque adeone mori miserum est?

Cf. also Plautus, Mercator 471, cur ego vivo? cur non morior? quid mihist in vita boni?
4735f. The line in question is Vergil, Aeneid XII.646, spoken by Turnus.
4740ff. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xlvii.1, ac sumpto a Lucusta veneno et in auream pyxidem condito.
4741 All three of these great leaders committed suicide by poison.
4743 For vitae facultas cf. Lucan V.527.
4749 Gwinne was perhaps thinking of Thy. 458, somnosque non defendit excubitor meos.
4750ff. Cf. Suetonius, Nero xlvii.2, sic cogitatione in posterum diem dilata ad mediam fere noctem excitatus, ut comperit stationem militum recessisse, prosiluit e lecto misitque circum amicos, et quia nihil a quoquam renuntiabatur, ipse cum paucis hospitia singulorum adiit. verum clausis omnium foribus, respondente nullo, in cubiculum rediit, unde iam et custodes diffugerant, direptis etiam stragulis, amota et pyxide veneni.
4751 Cf. Lucan VIII.535, nulla fides umquam miseros elegit amicos.
4752 Gwinne was evidently thinking of Vergil, Aeneid V.604, fortuna fidem mutata novavit.
4754ff. Cf. Lucan VIII.485 - 7:

“dat poenas laudata fides, cum sustinet” inquit
“quos fortuna premit. fatis accede deisque,
et cole felices, miseros fuge.”

4763 The sidenote cites Suetonius, Galba i, progenies Caesarum in Nerone defecit: quod futurum compluribus quidem signis, sed vel evidentissimis duobus apparuit. Liviae olim post Augusti statim nuptias Veientanum suum revisenti praeteruolans aquila gallinam albam ramulum lauri rostro tenentem, ita ut rapuerat, demisit in gremium; cumque nutriri alitem, pangi ramulum placuisset, tanta pullorum suboles provenit, ut hodieque ea villa ‘ad Gallinas’ vocetur, tale vero lauretum, ut triumphaturi Caesares inde laureas decerperent; fuitque mos triumphantibus, alias confestim eodem loco pangere; et observatum est sub cuiusque obitum arborem ab ipso institutam elanguisse. ergo novissimo Neronis anno et silva omnis exaruit radicitus, et quidquid ibi gallinarum erat interiit. ac subinde tacta de caelo Caesarum aede capita omnibus simul statuis deciderunt, Augusti etiam sceptrum e manibus excussum est.
Act V, last scene The setting is a little difficult to visualize. It would appear that, deserted by his guards, Nero spends one last night in the Palace, where he is rudely awakened by a nightmare. But the rest of the scene is immediately outside of Phaon’s suburban villa. Stage features include sections of a road and of the marshy ground surrounding the villa. Probably one “house” was meant to represent the Palace, the other Phaon’s villa, and the audience would have been invited to imagine that the space between the two structures was the open highway along which the refugees travel. Still, one receives the impression that Gwinne had not fully thought out the staging complexities: how, for example, would the stage direction after 4804 be enacted? He would perhaps done better to divide this scene into two separate ones.
4786 Gwinne was evidently thinking of Vergil, Aeneid IV.572f.:

tum vero Aeneas subitis exterritus umbris
corripit e somno corpus sociosque fatigat.

4787ff. This passage may have been inspired by scenes in such vernacular plays as Richard III in which the ghosts of a murderer’s victims appear to him immediately before his downfall. Certainly, it is very much calculated to appeal to contemporary tastes. For consciae mentis cf. the note on 1716.
4795 Cf. Dio Cassius, Epitome LXIII.xxviii.1, καὶ αὐτοῦ ταῦτα πράσσοντος σεισμὸς ἐξαίσιος ἐγένετο, ὥστε καὶ δόκησιν παρασχεῖν ὅτι ἥ τε γῆ πᾶσα διαρρήγνυται καὶ αἱ τῶν  πεφονευμένων ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ ψυχαὶ  πᾶσαι ἅμα ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ἀναθορνύουσι. For this passage cf. the note on 2382.
4798 The sidenote refers to the passage quoted in the note on 4750ff., which continues ac statim Spiculum murmillonem vel quemlibet alium percussorem, cuius manu periret, requisit et nemine reperto: ‘ergo ego’ inquit ‘nec amicum habeo nec inimicum?’ procurritque, quasi praecipitaturus se in Tiberim.
4806 The sidenote refers, I suppose, to the passage from John of Salisbury quoted in the note on 2719. Cf. also H. Oet. 1810, omne iam ingratum est genus.
4810f. Gwinne seems to have been thinking of Plautus, Cistellaria 34f.:

palam blandiuntur, clam, si occasio usquam est,
aquam frigidám subdole suffundunt.

4812 Piscator in aqua turbida looks like a Latinization of a familiar English proverb.
4813 Cf. H. Oet. 639, tantum ut noceat cupit esse potens.
4816f.
The first of these references is to Horace, Ars Poetrica 437, numquam te fallent animi sub vulpe latentes. The second is to the English proverb“a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” I do not know the source of the phrase galeatus lepus, also used by Richard Burton at Anatomy of Melancholy I.ii.iii.xiv (I p. 298 of the Everyman edition).
4820 For vera…facies cf. Vergil, Aeneid III.310.
4821 Cf. nomen inane fides at Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.740 and Heroides x.116.
4825 This Greek tag comes from no identifiable classical author.
4833 For praecipiti cursu cf. Ag. 943.
4835 Gwinne was evidently thinking of Me. 251, detur remotus aliquis in regnis locus.
4836 The sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero xlviii.1, sed revocato rursus impetu aliquid secretioris latebrae ad colligendum animum desideravit, et offerente Phaonte liberto suburbanum suum inter Salariam et Nomentanam viam circa quartum miliarium, ut erat nudo pede atque tunicatus, paenulam obsoleti coloris superinduit adopertoque capite et ante faciem optento sudario equum inscendit, quattuor solis comitantibus, inter quos et Sporus erat. statimque tremore terrae et fulgure adverso pavefactus audiit e proximis castris clamorem militum et sibi aduersa et Galbae prospera ominantium, etiam ex obviis viatoribus quendam dicentem: “hi Neronem persequuntur,” alium sciscitantem: “ecquid in urbe novi de Nerone?” equo autem ex odore abiecti in via cadaveris consternato, detecta facie agnitus est a quodam missicio praetoriano et salutatus.
4844 Cf., perhaps, terram…premit at H. Oet. 834.
4869ff. Cf. ib. xlviii.3, ut ad deverticulum ventum est, dimissis equis inter fruticeta ac vepres per harundineti semitam aegre nec nisi strata sub pedibus veste ad aversum villae parietem evasit. ibi hortante eodem Phaonte, ut interim in specum egestae harenae concederet, negavit se vivum sub terram iturum, ac parumper commoratus, dum clandestinus ad villam introitus pararetur, aquam ex subiecta lacuna poturus manu hausit et: “haec est” inquit “Neronis decocta.” dein divolsa sentibus paenula traiectos surculos rasit, atque ita quadripes per angustias effossae cavernae receptus in proximam cellam decubuit super lectum modica culcita, vetere pallio strato, instructum sordidum oblatum aspernatus est, aquae autem tepidae aliquantum bibit. tunc uno quoque hinc inde instante ut quam primum se impendentibus contumeliis eriperet, scrobem coram fieri imperavit dimensus ad corporis sui modulum, componique simul, si qua invenirentur, frusta marmoris et aquam simul ac ligna conferri curando mox cadaveri, flens ad singula atque identidem dictitans: “qualis artifex pereo!” This passage is cited by the sidenote against 4883.
4872f. Turpis haec mortis fuga / quam morte peior! is not an identifiable quotation from Seneca, but the sentiment is ineluctably his. There is doubtless intended irony in having Nero, reduced to this extremity, dredge up this nugget of the wisdom of his philosopher-victim.
4884 Despite the sidenote (Plin. l. 31. c. 3 ), the proper reference is to Pliny the Elder, Natural History XXXI.xl, Neronis principis inventum est decoquere aquam vitroque demissam in nives refrigerare; ita voluptas frigoris contingit sine vitiis nivi.
4893 A sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero xlix, inter moras perlatos a cursore Phaonti codicillos praeripuit legitque se hostem a senatu iudicatum et quaeri, ut puniatur more maiorum, interrogauitque quale id genus esset poenae; et cum comperisset nudi hominis cervicem inseri furcae, corpus virgis ad necem caedi, conterritus duos pugiones, quos secum extulerat, arripuit temptataque utriusque acie rursus condidit, causatus nondum adesse fatalem horam. ac modo Sporum hortabatur ut lamentari ac plangere inciperet, modo orabat ut se aliquis ad mortem capessendam exemplo iuvaret; interdum segnitiem suam his verbis increpabat: ëuiuo deformiter, turpiter “οὐ πρέπει Νέρωνι, οὐ πρέπει - νήφειν δεῖ ἐν τοῖς τοιούτοις - ἄγε ἔγειρε σεαυτόν.iamque equites appropinquabant, quibus praeceptum erat ut vivum eum adtraherent. quod ut sensit, trepidanter effatus:

ἵππων μ᾿ ὠκυπόδων ἀμφὶ κτύπος οὔατα βάλλει.

ferrum iugulo adegit iuvante Epaphrodito a libellis. semianimisque adhuc irrumpenti centurioni et paenula ad vulnus adposita in auxilium se venisse simulanti non aliud respondit quam: ‘sero’ et: ‘haec est fides.’ atque in ea voce defecit, extantibus rigentibusque oculis usque ad horrorem formidinemque visentium. nihil prius aut magis a comitibus exegerat quam ne potestas cuiquam capitis sui fieret, sed ut quoquo modo totus cremaretur.
4894ff. Again, although this statement cannot be exactly matched in the philosopher’s writings, it is as if Neophytus is delivering Nero a lecture out of Seneca.
4897 Cf., possibly, Phaed. 1203, premite perpetuis malis.
4900 Gwinne seems to have been thinking of Ag. 590f.:

cum pateat malis
effugium et miseros libera mors vocet.

4924 A sidenote refers to Eutropius, Breviarium vii.ix, cum quaereretur ad poenam (quae poena erat talis, ut, nudus per publicum ductus, furca capiti eius inserta, virgis usque ad mortem caederetur, atque ita praecipitaretur de saxo), e palatio fugit.
4926 For o saevum scelus! cf. Thy. 743.
4931 Cf. Horace, Epodes iii.4, o dura messorum ilia.
4934 For fatalis hora cf. Lucan IX.87 and Statius, Thebais VIII.185.
4935 The sidenote cites Suetonius, Nero lvii, obiit tricensimo et secundo aetatis anno, die quo quondam Octaviam interemerat. The day was June 8.
4936 Gwinne seems to have been thinking of Tr. 1010, dulce lamentis resonare gentes.
4938 Cf. Tr. 64, ferite palmis pectora et planctus date, and also Lucan II.38f.:

“nunc”, ait “o miserae, contundite pectora, matres,
nunc laniate comas neve hunc differte dolorem .”

4939 The sidenote refers to the description of Nero weeping at the prospect of his impending death at ib. xlix, a passage quoted in the note on 4893.
4940f. Alcyon claimed that she was Juno and that her husband Ceyx was Jupiter. Hera drowned Ceyx and Alcyon threw herself into the sea. Then both were transformed into kingfishers. The story is told at Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.410 - 748.
4943 Cf. Tr. 812, nullus est flendi modus.
4946 The sidenote refers to Dio Cassius, Epitome LXIII.xxviii.4, τοιοῦτον γὰρ δρᾶμα τότε τὸ δαιμόνιον αὐτῷ παρεσκεύασεν, ἵνα μηκέτι τοὺς ἄλλους μητροφόνους καὶ ἀλήτας ἀλλ’ ἤδη καὶ  ἑαυτὸν ὑποκρίνηται· καὶ τότε μετεγίνωσκεν ἐφ’ οἷς ἐτετολμήκει, καθάπερ ἄπρακτόν τι αὐτῶν ποιῆσαι δυνάμενος. Νέρων μὲν δὴ τοιαῦτα ἐτραγῴδει
.
These lines bring to a climax the series of metadramatic references to the theater that have recurred throughout the play. They also appear to echo some written by William Gager in the 1596 Oxford memorial anthology for Sir Henry Unton, to whom Gwinne had served as physician (poem XXXVIII.13 - 15):

non personata cothurno
fabula, res agitur. nec ficta tragoedia, vera
pertexenda mihi est.

4953 Eros was a slave who assisted Mark Anthony in his suicide (Plutarch, Life of Antony lxxvi.7).
4958 The sidenote refers to Pindar’s praise of Aphrodite and the Erotes at the beginning of Nemean Ode viii. I cannot identify the reference to Crato.
4959 The reference in the sidenote is to the final chapter of Plutarch’s Life of Brutus, in which it is told how Brutus’ friend Strato helped him commit suicide. For fidam manum cf. Phaed. 725.
4961 He quotes Iliad X.535.
4962 For armata manus cf. H. Oet. 973.
4970 For oculi rigent cf. Ag. 715 and Oed. 187a.
4972 For habet: peractum est cf. H. Oet. 1457, Ag. 901, and Oe. 998.
4975f. (This chorus is written in iambic dimeters.) Gwinne was evidently thinking of H. Oet. 171f.:

commoda cladibus
magnis magna patent.

4996 A sidenote cites Sir Henry Savile, The Ende of Nero and Beginning of Galba. Fower Bookes of the Histories (1591) sig. ¶ iiiv, Nero being slaine, the people and gentlemen, but principallie the nobilitie, the principall object of tyrannie, sacrificed to the gods and feasted for ioie: some also ware Bonnets, as beeinge newlie enfranchised.
4999ff. A conclusion praising Elizabeth is not uncommon in the epilogues to academic dramas (such as those of Legge’s Richardus Tertius of 1579, William Gager’s Meleager of 1582, Dido of 1583, and Ulysses Redux of 1592); partly as a convention, and also, no doubt, for reasons of metrical convenience, Anglo-Latin poets often referred to the Queen under the name Elisa or Eliza
, as also did vernacular poets: cf. E. C. Wilson, England’s Eliza (Cambridge, Mass., 1939).
4999 For alumna pacis cf. Ovid, Fasti I.704 and Martial IX.xcix.4.
5000 For regum decus cf. Me. 243.