Saturday, February 18, 2017

TFBT: Caucasian Tigresses

When Dido accuses Aeneid of coldness she declares; that 
Mount "Caucasus bore thee, and the tigresses of fell Hyrcania to thy baby lip their udders gave." Aeneid 4

Immediately I thought of "gray sea bore you and the sheer cliffs begot you,” in reference to Achilles (Iliad 16:30-34)  and Dr. Spock called “a simpering, devil-eared freak, whose father was a computer and his mother an encyclopedia?" (This Side of Paradise)

Of course, Achilles and his father Peleus we raised in Chiron's cave on the sheer cliffs of Pelion and his mother was a goddess of the Aegean waves.  At least Spock's father was an emotionless man and mother a school teacher.  But, Aeneas was quite famously conceived on Mt. Ida and raised by the local nymphs

Why would Dido (Ovid) say Mt Caucasus and what is a tigress from s Hyrcania?  Apparently Pliny the Elder is our source  for all this (Nnatural History, Book 8, 25) saying that The tiger, "lives in Hyrcania and India" .  Hyrcania is south of Mount Caucasus. 

But, anyone got any idea Dido mentions Mount Caucasus?

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