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HomePoems > Kubla Khan > Sources > Seneca >  1. Alph                        

 

 

1. Alph

2. Sunless sea, lifeless ocean

Seneca

1. Alph

Lowes argues that the following passage shows that Seneca may have influenced Coleridge's idea of a river disappearing beneath the ground, flowing under an ocean, and rising in a fountain.

Now some, if not all, of these passages Coleridge without doubt had read. And just as ocular spectra which 'flashed' from Bartram's fountains and from the fountains of the Nile had telescoped in the dream, so there seem to have merged linked reminiscences of the Alpheus and the Nile. 396

Text

In the East as well as the West this happens. The Tigris is absorbed by the earth and after long absence reappears at a point far removed, but undoubtedly the same river.Thence (from the behavior of the fountain Arethusa) comes the belief that the Alpheus makes its way right from Achaia to Sicily, stealing under sea by secret sluice, and reappearing only when it reaches the coast of Syracuse. --Clarke translation, p. 142.

Iam vero nimis oculis permittit nec ultra illos scit producere animum, qui non credit esse in abdito terrae sinus maris vasti. Nec enim video quid prohibeat aut obstet quo minus habeat aliquod etiam in abdito litus et per occultos aditus receptum mare, quod illic quoque tantundem loci teneat aut fortassis hoc amplius quod superiora cum tot animalibus erant dividenda: abstrusa enim et sine possessore deserta liberius undis vacant. Seneca, Book VI, section 7, 2.

Other sources

William Bartram
William Beckford
F. Bernier
James Bruce
Thomas Burnet
William Collins
Herodotus
Athanasius Kircher
Jerome Lobo
Thomas Maurice
John Milton
Pausanias
Samuel Purchas
Major James Rennell
Strabo
Virgil

Mary Wollstonecraft

 
Word Line # Line Sources for word
Alph

3

Where Alpha, the sacred river, ran

 Pausanias
 Seneca 1
 Strabo 1
 Strabo 2
 Virgil

Earth

18

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing

 Bartram 2
 Bartram 6
 Bartram 8
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 5
 Bruce 1
 Burnet 2
 Kircher 1

 Kircher 3

 Maurice 1

 Milton 2

 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Seneca 1
 Seneca 2
 Wollstonecraft

Fountain

19

A mighty fountain momently was forced

 Bartram 4
 Bartram 5
 Bartram 6

 Bartram 7

 Bartram 8
 Beckford
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 4
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2

 Bruce 3

 Burnet 1
 Herodotus
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Virgil
 Wollstonecraft

 

34

From the fountain and the caves

 Bartram 4
 Bartram 5
 Bartram 6

 Bartram 7

 Bartram 8
 Beckford
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 4
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2

 Bruce 3

 Burnet 1
 Herodotus
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Virgil
 Wollstonecraft

River

3

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

 Bartram 3
 Bartram 6
 Beckford
 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 3
 Bernier 5

 Bruce 2

 Bruce 4
 Bruce 6

 Burnet 1
 Kircher 1
 Kircher 3
 
Maurice 1
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Strabo 1
 Strabo 2

 Virgil

 

24

It flung up momently the sacred river

 Bartram 3
 Bartram 6
 Beckford
 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 3
 Bernier 5

 Bruce 2

 Bruce 4
 Bruce 6

 Burnet 1
 Kircher 1
 Kircher 3
 
Maurice 1
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Strabo 1
 Strabo 2

 Virgil

 

26

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran

 Bartram 3
 Bartram 6
 Beckford
 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 3
 Bernier 5

 Bruce 2

 Bruce 4
 Bruce 6

 Burnet 1
 Kircher 1
 Kircher 3
 
Maurice 1
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Strabo 1
 Strabo 2

 Virgil

Sea

5

Down to a sunless sea

 Burnet 1
 Kircher 1
 Kircher 3

 Milton 2

 Pausanias
 Seneca 1
 Seneca 2
 Strabo 1
 Virgil

Waves

32

Floated midway on the waves;

 Seneca 1
 Seneca 2
 Virgil

 

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