Commentary Cons. Phil. Book 3 Metrum 3
The rich are plagued by cares.
Meter: Iambic trimeter alternating with elegiac pentameter (= 2 hemiepes). In the trimeter there is a caesura after the fifth element; no substitutions are allowed in the second hemiepes of the pentameter.
- line 2
non expleturas: "not about to fulfill," i.e., "that will not fulfill/satisfy."
- line 3
bacis: < baca, literally, "berry"; by extension, "pearl."
rubri litoris: i.e., from the shore of the "Red Sea," which for ancients could be either the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, or what we call the Red Sea itself.
- line 4
centeno: centeno . . . boue: "with a hundred oxen" (collective singular common in poetry).
boue: centeno . . . boue: "with a hundred oxen" (collective singular common in poetry).
- line 5
superstitem: "surviving," i.e., "while he lives," to contrast with defunctum in next line.
- line 6
leues: here, "fickle."