The October Poems in the Chronography of 354

For October, the images are preserved in four manuscripts of the Chronography.  The verses are preserved in R1, and in other, unillustrated copies of the text.

Here is the 4-line poem (tetrastich):

Dat prensum leporem cumque ipso palmite foetus
October; pingues dat tibi ruris aves.
Iam Bromios spumare lacus et musta sonare
apparet: vino vas calet ecce novo.

The captured hare and with the vine itself the fruits,
October gives; it gives the fat birds of the country.
Now Bromios appears, to fill with foam the basins, and the fermenting juice make sounds;
See, the cask is warming up from the new wine!

“Bromios” is Bacchus.  The heat of fermentation is referred to in line 4.

The 2-line verse (distich) is as follows:

Octobri laetus portat vindemitor uvas,
Omnis ager, Bacchi munera, voce sonat.

In October the harvester happily carries the grapes,
Every field celebrates in sound the gifts of Bacchus.

Corrections are very welcome!

Probably the most faithful of the renaissance copies is R1, Ms. Vatican Barberini lat. 2154 B, fol. 21r.  The tetrastich is at the right, the first line of the distich at the bottom.

MS. Vatican Barberini lat. 2154 part B, fol. 21r. Chronography of 354. October.

Here’s the obviously redrawn image in the 16th century Vienna manuscript 3416, folio 25 (online here):

Vienna ms (V)

The Brussels Ms, fol.202r:

Brussels MS. October.

The Berlin Ms, f.230, formerly f.235:

Berlin Ms. October

From Divjak and Wischmeyer, I learn that the depiction is of a stocky male figure holding a  braided basket trap in his left hand.  He holds a live hare in his right hand.  There is a tray at the upper right with leaves or flowers.  Behind the figure is a bird-trap, with an animal skin on which is perched a bird of prey.  A small pot of glue hangs from a cord.  The picture shows the hunting for birds and small animals.  The figure is not realistic, but the personification or genius of the month.

(For more information on this series of posts, please see the Introduction to the Poems of the Chronography of 354).


From My Diary

For the last six weeks my attention has been fully engaged in dealing with pointless and annoying domestic matters.  So there has been no time for anything important.  I hope to be able to post the October images and poems from the Chronography of 354 shortly, however, since I drew up a draft of the remaining posts when I did the September post.