78 Apollo’s priestess at Delphi gave her responses sitting on a tripod. Cf. Minutum 96, respondeas e tripode (meaning “you should tell me truthfully”).
127 This should of course be Tarpeia (a rock on the Capitoline Hill, where Jupiter’s temple was located), just as at 135 the reading should be Garamantas, not Garamuntes (a tribe of the Libyan desert in antiquity). I do not think these are copying errors, but rather a deliberate form of humor illustrating Bel.’s general ignorance (his response at 134f. certainly shows his ignorance of geography).
143 Gradivus was a cult-name of Mars.
167 The allusion is to the Twelfth Labor of Hercules.
181f. The shepherd in question was of course Paris.
219 The author would seem to have been familiar with John Owen’s epigram VII.49 (published the same year that Vulpinus was written ):
Proximus ipse egomet mihi sum, tibi proximus es tu.
Quid prohibet quin sit proximus ille sibi?
239 The author appears to have had the wrong idea of the meaning of the word vitilitigator (it actually designates a captious literary critic, which scarcely seems appropriate in the present context). The tenor of this speech can be understood by remembering that Mercury was the god of merchants, small craftsmen and thieves
254 If this is a literary quotation, I cannot identify the source.
277 This does not appear to be an actual quote. The idea that the world is a theater was of course a cliché.
282 Cf. Horace, Odes III.i.1, Odi profanum volgus et arceo. Marcus’ misuse of the word coryphaeus shows that the depth of learning is not great.
291ff. the first two definitions of Man are those of Plato and Aristotle. The third is that of Ovid, Metamorphoses I.84ff.
296ff. With the exception of titriculitis emplites, each of the rare and obsolete words used by Marcus in this passage can actually be found in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, and when strung together they do make, after a fashion, some manner of sense. I do not know how to translate them so as to retain the original effect.
343 The joke is that Cappadocia was a far-flung province, and a Roman would probably have regarded Marcus as an uncouth barbarian. Then too, Dr. Martin Wiggins points out to me that “Cappadocia” was a current bit of slang for prison.
351 In fact, Varro does not use this word in De Lingua Latina. It first appears at Cicero, Topica xxxv.4 (cf. also Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria I.vi.28 and Servius on Aeneid II.75 and II.161.
365 Xenophon does not use this word. Marcus’ memory is playing tricks on him, he is thinking of the title of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia.
403 Hypodidascalus = “assistant master of a school.” In England, this pretentions-sounding title was used for the second master of the Westminster School (whose stall in the Abbey still has a plaque with this word), a position once held by William Camden, and Dr. Martin Wiggins informs me of a commemorative plaque on the chapel wall of Magdalen College School, Oxford, that also employs it. I do not know if any other English school used it, so is this a hint that our author may have attended one of these two schools?
408 De Oratore II.xxxvi.2.
410 Dominus was an honorary title used by anyone who possessed the B. A.
421 This allusion to Utopia is the only link between Vulpinus and Thomas Morus.
454 I. e., Mt. Parnassus, where the Hippocrene spring is.
456 Various haunts of the Muses (the way Marcus expresses himself makes it seem he may be a little unsure of his geography, since the Hippocrene is on Parnassus).
467ff. He quotes the first three lines of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
471ff. This quote is an amalgam of parodies of a.) the first line of the alternate proem of of the Aeneid, preserved by Donatus and Servius, ille ego, qui quondam gracili modulatus avena, and b.) Aeneid II.15f., instar montis equum diuina Palladis arte / aedificant.
526 Robigus was a Roman rural deity, honored with an annual rustic festival (the Robigalia) every April 25.
584 There is an obvious pun on the title of a work by Aristotle that goes under the name Parva Naturalia.
622 The allusion is to Cato’s De Agri Cultura.
686 Lerna was a Greek swamp, the home of the Hydra.
694 Aequivoca seems a somewhat curious adjective for a Jesuit writer (as our playwright most likely was) to use. According to the pamphlet A Treatise on Equivocation, allegedly written by Father Henry Garnet, it was acceptable for Catholics to lie about their faith to civic authorities. The reader may be interested in Attorney General Coke’s explanation of this doctrine in the trial of the Gunpowder Plotters, set forth here.