[Milton-L] Iberia

Erick Ramalho ramalhoerick at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Nov 21 08:14:18 EST 2007

Thank you very much, Professor Shawcross, for having furthered my email on Iberia with essential reference to the Ancient Greek.
   As for Harold Skulki’s assertion ‘Horace's malignant witch Canidia imports her noxious herbs from the land of Medea--Caucasian Iberia "fertile in poisons" (Epodes, 1.21)’, I should recall that Horace doesn’t use the word Iberia (the accusative Caucasium is the Latin word employed in Epodes 1) as he refers to the Colchian region, a neighbouring area to Iberia (with which Iberia indeed bears the same relation as that with Armenia in the words from Tacitus I quote in my former email). 
  This is particularly important in the light of Milton’s Fourth Elegy (Elegia Quarta, line 10), in which we read: ‘Colchis fugit ab ore viri.’. That is, after Ovid, Milton identifies Medea as the one from Colchis who runs away (fugit) from her husband’s face (ab ore uiri).  Milton was of course acquainted not only with the meanings of Iberia, but also with the geographical particularities of Caucasian region as a whole.

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