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Joseph of Exeter: Trojan WarBooks I-III$

Print publication date: 1986

Print ISBN-13: 9780856682940

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780856682940.001.0001

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Joseph of Exeter: The Trojan War

Joseph of Exeter: The Trojan War

Chapter:
(p.29) Joseph of Exeter: The Trojan War
Source:
Joseph of Exeter: Trojan War
Author(s):
A. K. Bate
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9780856682940.003.0002

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter covers Joseph of Exeter's epic The Trojan War, which was composed in Reims in the first years of the 1180s. It begins with details of the first destruction of Troy and Priam's escape from death while fighting in eastern Phrygia, followed by his return to Troy to become its new king. After the attack, the Trojans made a plan to return Hesione, Priam's sister, who had been abducted by the Greeks. It recounts Paris' dream about the three goddesses who came to him for his judgement on their beauty, and the promise of a successful foray into Greece made to him by Venus. It ends with the Greek preparations for war after Paris abducted Helen and the drowning of Castor and Pollux, Helen's brothers, who had left Greece before the rest of the fleet in the hope of catching up with their sister on the seas.

Keywords:   Joseph of Exeter, The Trojan War, Priam, Hesione, Paris, Venus, Helen, Castor, Pollux

(p.30) Frigii Daretis Yliados Liber Primus

Prima Distinctio

  • Iliadum Iacrimas ronressaque Pergama fatis,
  • prelia bina ducum, bis adactam cladibus urbem
  • in cineres querimur; flemusque quod Herculis ira,
  • Hesiones raptus, Helene fuga fregerit arces,
  • impulerit Phrygios, Danaas exriverit urbes.
  • ut quid ab antiquo vatum proscripta tumultu,
  • veri sacra fides, longum silvescis in evum?
  • an, quia spreta, lates? mundoque infensa priori
  • nos etiam noseenda fugis? merum, inclyta, merum
  • exorere, et vultum ruga leviore resumens
  • plebeam dignare lubam: sterilisque vetusLas
  • erubeat dum rulta venis, dum libera frontem
  • exeris. en aures blandas, en pertus amicum
  • muloes, vulgarem levius passura cacohinum.
  • si noslris nil dulce novum, nil utile visum
  • quod teneri pariunt anni, si serula tantum
  • aurea Saturni memoranl et nulla rerentis
  • gratia virlutis, aude tamen ardua, pubes!
  • menlo canescanl alii, nos mente; capillo,
  • nos animo; facie, nos peclore. tempora certe
  • virtulem non prima negant, non ultima donant.
  • cumque duplex elas varios conlendit in usus,
  • her viqel, illa iacel; hcc pullulat, illa fatisoil.
  • Meoniumne senem, mirer, Latiumne Maronem
  • an valem Phrygium Martem cui certior index
  • expiicuil presens oculus, quem fabula nescil?

(p.31) Book 1

  • My complaint is the tears of the Trojan women and Troy given up
  • to its fates, the two wars of the leaders, the city twice reduced
  • to ashes by destruction. I weep too that the anger of Hercules
  • destroyed its citadels, the abduction of Hesione drove on the
  • Trojans, the flight of Helen stirred up the Greek cities.
  • O why, exiled by the confused writings of the ancient poets,
  • sacred truth, have you lain hidden for so long? Are you hiding
  • because you were despised? Angry with former times, do you now
  • flee even us, when you should be recognised? With me, O famous
  • one, with me arise and adopt a countenance less marked by anger;
  • find my humble voice worthy of you. May the sterile past blush
  • with shame as you come forth adorned with culture and lift your
  • head in freedom: Lo, the ears you soothe are favourable to you,
  • the heart friendly: you will endure more easily the laughter
  • of the mob. If to our contemporaries novelty, which the present
  • age brings, appears to be neither pleasant nor useful, if they
  • recall only the Golden Age of Saturn and find no quality in recent
  • excellence, nevertheless dare great deeds o youth! Let others
  • show their age in their bearded chins, their hair and their faces
  • while I show it in my mind, my couraqe and my heart. Youth does
  • not necessarily preclude excellence nor does old aqe confer it;
  • although each age strives for different goals, youth flourishes
  • while old age languishes; youth multiplies while old age loses
  • its strength. Should I admire Homer, the old man from Maeonia,
  • or Virgil from Latium, or Dares, the Phrygian master who was
  • present as an eye-witness - a surer witness to describe the war
  • that fable does not really know?
  • (p.32) hunc ubi combiberit avide spes ardua mentis,
  • quos superos in vota vocem? mens consoia veri
  • proseripsit longe ludentem ficta poetam,
  • quin te Cicropii mentita licentia pagi
  • et ledant figmenta, pater, quo presule floret
  • Cantia et in priscas respirat libera leges.
  • in numerum iam cresoit honos, te ternia poscit
  • infula: iam meminit Wigornia, Cantia discit,
  • Romanus meditatur apex et naufraga Petri
  • ductorem in mediis expectat eimba prorellis.
  • tu tamen occiduo degis oontentus ovili
  • tertius a Thoma, Thomasque seoundus, et alter
  • sol oriens, rebus successor, moribus heres.
  • felices quos non trahit ambitus! ardua nactus
  • non in se descendit honos; non ceca potestas
  • quid possit fortuna videt; non perfida sentit
  • prosperitas flevisse humilem qui ridet in altis.
  • parcite sacrilega superos incessere preda,
  • parcite! venales quisquis venatur honores
  • unde ruat tabulata struit. premit ultio noxas
  • tunc gravior, cum tarda venit; tuno plena timoris
  • cum terrore caret; blanda nil sevius ira,
  • cum floret miseri felix iniuria voti.
  • at tu dissimilis longe, cui fronte serena
  • sanguinis egregii lucrum pacemque litata
  • emptam anima pater iile pius, pius ille sacerdos
  • in curam venisse veiit, cui cederet ipse
  • prorsus vel proprias letus sociaret habenas.
  • (p.33) When the ambitious hope of my eager mind has absorbed this writer,
  • what gods shall I invoke? Aware of the truth my mind has exiled to a
  • far-off land the poet that deceives with lies, lest the lying
  • dissoluteness of the Athenian Areopagus and its fictions should
  • offend you, father, - you the prelate under whom Canterbury flourishes
  • and free, breathes again in its former rights. Your honour is reaching
  • its fulfillment. A third ecclesiastical dignity calls you: Worcester
  • now remembers you, Canterbury is getting to know you, the Roman
  • diadem has you in mind. The shipwrecked boat of Peter waits for its
  • captain in the middle of the storm, yet you live content with your
  • western flock, the third after Thomas but a second Thomas, another
  • rising sun, his temporal successor and moral heir. Happy are those
  • whom ambition does not lead on! Having scaled the heights honour
  • does not descend into itself; blind power does not see what fortune
  • can do; perfidious prosperity does not feel if the man who
  • laughs at the top wept when he was at the bottom. Cease to attack
  • the saints with sacrilegious gains! Cease! Whoever hunts for venal
  • honours is building platforms for his downfall. Vengeance dogs the
  • guilty, more dire when coming late; then it is to be feared utterly
  • when it lacks fear. There is nothing crueller than its smiling
  • anger when injustice is successful in pursuit of an evil wish and
  • flourishes. But you are far different, you to whose care with
  • serene face that pious father, that pious priest would have wished
  • to come what he earned with his noble blood, the peace bouqht by the
  • offering of his soul. To you he would have been glad to hand over
  • his control directly or to share it with you.
  • (p.34) hactenus hec, tuque, oro, tuo da, maxime, vati
  • ire iter inceptum Trioamque aperire iacentem!
  • te sacre assument acies divinaque bella
  • tuno dignum maiore tuba, tuno pectore toto
  • nitar et immensum mecum spargere per orbem.

Narratio

  • Luserat omnifice quondam soliertia cure
  • ignotas molita rates, aurique cupido
  • audendi transgressa modum trans equora misit,
  • qui raperent thalamos, spoliarent templa metallis.
  • siccine mortalis finem metitur hiatus?
  • egeste sic Ditis opes, quas ambitus audax,
  • quas predo pallens Stygiis extorquet ab antris,
  • sufficiunt? cui iam satis est, quod regna, quod urbes
  • ipsaque quod pateant rapiendis Tartara gazis?
  • itur in ignotos fluctus, ultroque procellis
  • insultare iuvat et soli vivere fato.

Profectio Arqonautarum ad Colchon insulam

  • Esonides primus undas assumsit in usus
  • Phryxeam rapturus ovem, cui laudis alumnus
  • Alcides socias indulsit in ardua vires,
  • his Peleus Telamonque duces, his cetera pubes
  • Emathie. casus pelagi coniurat in omnes
  • pars mirata ratem, pars fame prona petende,
  • pars mundum visura novum qentesque remotas.
  • ergo sequi docilis quas nondum noverat undas
  • (p.35) Enough of that; I pray you, O mighty one, allow your bard to continue
  • the journey he has begun and to reveal the destruction of Troy.
  • The holy armies and religious wars will then take you, worthy of a
  • greater song; then with all my strength will I strive and your fame
  • will spread worldwide with me.

Narrative

  • Long ago the ingenuity of all-producing care had been at play building
  • boats that were previously unknown to man, and greed for gold, going
  • beyond the bounds of audacity, sent men across the seas to steal a
  • bride and despoil temples of their gold. Is it thus that human greed
  • measures its end? Did not the riches of Pluto, mined from the earth
  • and hewn out of the Stygian caves by the bold ambition of the pallid
  • plundering miner, suffice? For whom now then is it enough that
  • kingdoms, cities and even Hell itself allow their riches to be
  • stolen? Men ventured into unknown waters and moreover rejoiced in
  • facing storms and living by fate alone.

The Departure of the Argonauts for the Isle of Colchis

  • Jason, son of Aeson, first used the sea for his own ends in going to
  • steal the Golden Fleece. With him went Hercules, grandson of Alceus
  • but foster-son of fame, who accepted to lend his strength for the
  • difficulties ahead, and with these the dukes Peleus and Telamon
  • together with the rest of the youth of Thessaly. A common oath,
  • whatever the dangers of the sea, was sworn by some who admired
  • the boat, others keen on earning fame and others who wanted to
  • see a new world and distant peoples. So, ready to follow the seas
  • it had never known,
  • (p.36) Tetios in gremium migrat prerepta Diane
  • pinus et e ramis remos habet, inque profundum
  • ornatu contenta rudi - plus robore, cultu
  • fisa minus - paucis exul peregrinat in armis.
  • nondum seva deos ponto obiectare natantes
  • reliigio, non fluxa sinu tumuere superbo
  • carbasa. delicias dat fastiditior usus
  • exornatque suum novitas operosa periclum.
  • prima inopem pinus cultum quo stabat in Hemo
  • detulit in Syrtes. auctor ratis Argus, et Argo
  • navis erat, sed uterque rudis. nil illa superbe,
  • non auro superos lesit, non rupibus aurum.

Iter Iasonis ad rapiendum aureum vellus

  • Stat dubius novus hospes aque, reditumque fugamque
  • ludentis pelagi miratur, et equora visu
  • metitur, patrieque pium consultat amorem
  • virtuti nutu facili cessurus et undis.
  • sed rapit aura ratem. quonam, quo naufraga tendis?
  • quo populos in fata trahis? tene angue vel armis
  • patrandum fastidit opus? scio: tedia tollis,
  • delicias leti queris. nunc utere saxo,
  • terra potens, atque iniecte Symplegadis ictu
  • nulla prius consumta refer! ferat ipsa cruentum
  • quod peperit fatum, primaque superbiat ira!
  • fata obstant, hominum predatrix Atropos arcet.
  • pius superi quam vota queunt; trabs Thessala divos
  • presentes, quos fecit, habet. Contemtus in antris
  • (p.37) the pine-tree boat, felled in the forest of Diana, proceeded into
  • the lap of Thetis and its oars were branches. Content with rough
  • decoration and little equipment she went into exile on the main,
  • trusting more in her strength, less in her sophistication. As yet
  • cruel religion had not imposed gods bobbing on the sea nor did
  • billowing linen sails yet swell into the shape of noble breasts.
  • Familiarity bringing tedium in turn produces refinements and
  • inventive novelty gilds its danger. The first boat brought to the
  • Syrtes the unwrought elegance it had as a pine tree on Mount Haemus.
  • The builder of the boat was Argus, the boat itself the Argo;
  • both were unpolished. The Argo was not arrogant, she did not harm
  • the gods with gold nor the gold with rocks.

Journey of Jason to steal the Golden Fleece

  • The new guest of the sea stands there hesitating, wondering at the
  • ebb and flow of the playful sea. He gauges the expanse of the sea
  • with his eye, thinks of his natural love for his country, ready to
  • abandon easily both fame and sea. But the wind catches the boat.
  • Where, oh where are you making for, wrecker? Where are you dragging
  • peoples to their doom? Does murder to be carried out by poison
  • or weapons bore you? I know you are relieving your boredom,
  • you are seeking refinements in death. Now use a stone, o powerful
  • earth, and with a blow from the clashing Symplegades forget any
  • previously unsuccessful means of death. Let the Argo suffer
  • the bloody fate she made possible and glory in the first anger!
  • But the fates do not agree, Atropos, the huntress of men, forbids.
  • The gods can achieve more than my prayers; the Thessalian boat
  • has the gods she created around her. In his cave
  • (p.38) Ypotades, in aquis Triton, in Caroere Corus
  • hac rate prerepta summos senuisset in annos.
  • quippe deum genitore metu mens ceca creavit
  • Ditem umbris, celo superos et numina ponto.
  • vix pelagi sensere minas, iamque ‘Eole’ clamant,
  • ‘Eole tuque dato mulces qui cerula sceptro,
  • undarum Neptune potens, date numen ituris!
  • si reduces, meritis nomen sacrabitur aris.’
  • mox certant in vota dei gaudentque vocati;
  • hic faciles proclinat aquas, hie evocat antro
  • qui vela impregnet Zephirum, qui purget abacta
  • nube diem, cursu tandem producta sereno
  • labitur in portus Phrygios ratis, improba pubes
  • emicat, et vetita certant tellure potiri.
  • Fama nocens subitum Segea in regna tumultum
  • spargit, et insidias populo regique minatur,
  • Dardana si coeant peregrine ad litora classes.
  • plebs excita furit; nec abest qui Laomedontem
  • intentet Danais, ultro ni litore cedant.
  • o superis invisa manus! sic pignora celi
  • orescentesque deos in Syrtes cogis? an unam
  • extimeas gens tanta ratem? sed, ceca, quid horres?
  • hue hospes, non hostis, adest, cui monstra potenti
  • debentur frangenda manu. reverere Tonantem
  • vel saltern cognosce hominem! si pendimus equum,
  • si rerum iustis metimur partibus usum,
  • omne homini commune solum, sed iura perosus
  • publica sacrilegis naturam barbarus ausis
  • (p.39) Aeolus, son of Hippotes, in the sea Triton, in his prison
  • Corus, each would have grown old, despised for eternity if
  • this boat had been forcibly removed earlier. Indeed, with
  • fear as the creator of the gods, man’s blind mind put Pluto
  • in the underworld, gods in the sky and powers in the sea.
  • Scarcely had they sensed the dangers of the sea when they
  • shouted ‘Aeolus, Aeolus, and you, Neptune, lord of the waves,
  • who have been given the power to calm the seas, qive your
  • approval to us as we set out! If we return, your name will be
  • revered on worthy altars.’ Immediately the gods compete to
  • fulfill their prayers, happy to be called upon; Neptune smoothes
  • down the waves to make them easy , Aeolus calls Zephyrus out of
  • the cave to make the sail big and to clear the sky by blowing
  • away the clouds. At last, carried along in its uneventful course
  • the boat slips into the Phrygian harbours; the headstrong youths rush
  • out of the boat and struggle to get a foothold on the forbidden land.
  • Evil rumour suddenly spreads tumult in the Trojan kingdom,
  • threatening the people and their king with danger if foreign fleets
  • should come to Trojan shores. The people get excited and angry; and
  • someone is ready to turn Laomedon against the Greeks if they do not
  • agree to leave the beach. O people hated by the gods! Is it thus
  • that you drive on to the dangers of the sea these men not only beloved
  • by the gods but also destined to become gods themselves? Are you,
  • a great nation, to be frightened by one boat? But, blind people, what do
  • you fear? This is a guest not an enemy. His powerful hands will
  • destroy monsters. Fear Jupiter the Thunderer or at least show
  • Hercules some humanity ! If we are fair, if we are impartial in
  • sharing out the world for use, every land is common to all mankind.
  • But the barbarian, hating international laws with his sacrilegious daring
  • (p.40) contrahit, et proprios Phrygiam phariseat in usus.
  • o Asie pollentis opes! o Pergama nulli
  • tranquillo cessura deo! nil dura sororum
  • licia, nil superi peccant; gens incola fatum
  • ipsa facit, celo Phrygius parcente meretur
  • exilium, gladios, incendia. pellitur Argo
  • armatumque Iovem mediis exorat in undis.
  • at Danai flagrant, animis poscentibus arma,
  • quo rapit ira sequi gladioque ultore pudendam
  • excusare fugam. contra prudentia, turbe
  • rara comes, raro Phrygiam cum milite pendit.
  • excipit ancipites docti tuba Nestoris aures,
  • suspensosgue regit irataque pectora mulcet:

Sermo Nestoris

  • ‘O qui magnanimo domuistis remige fluctus,
  • qui freta, qui ventos primi libastis et astra
  • iratum didicistis iter non nota secuti,
  • discite dura pati! sola est que conterit hostem
  • virtutesque regit patientia; sola triumphis
  • militat innocuis et honeste consulit ire.
  • est tempus quando, locus est ubi. ledimur omnes,
  • ledirnur immeriti patimurque indigna priores
  • ut causa meliore frui superisque secundis
  • marte dato liceat. non her iniuria nobis
  • sed Danais facta est. veniet gui probra suorum
  • ense pio redimat.’ sic fatur, et accipit omnes
  • deiinita Thetis gremiumque exponit ituris.
  • (p.41) reduces nature’s gifts by setting apart Phrygia for Phrygians only.
  • O riches of powerful Asia! O Pergamum, you who will yield to no
  • god in time of peace! It is not the fault of the strong threads
  • of the Fates nor of the gods above. The inhabitants are making
  • their own destiny; the Trojan is now earning exile, slaughter and
  • conflagrations whereas previously the gods were indulgent.
  • The Argo is driven off and from out in the sea the Greeks pray
  • to Jupiter the Avenger. But as their hearts yearn for weapons the
  • Greeks burn to follow where their anger leads them and to make
  • amends for their shameful flight by the sword’s revenge. Against
  • this, however, prudence, rarely found in a large mob, contrasted
  • the whole of Phrygia with the few Greek soldiers. The words of
  • wise Nestor came to their ears as they hesitated, guided their
  • uncertainty and calmed their angry hearts.

Nestor’s Speech

  • ‘O you who have tamed the waves with your heroic rowing, who first
  • made trial of the sea and the winds, following unknown stars to
  • discover the dangers of this journey, now learn to put up with
  • hardships! Patience is the only means of governing one’s strengths
  • and defeating the enemy; it alone fights for bloodless triumphs and
  • has respect, for righteous anger. There is a right time, a right
  • place. We have all been slighted - unfairly so - and we are first
  • suffering indignities so that our cause will be better and the gods
  • favourable once war has started. This insult has been inflicted not
  • on us alone but on the Greeks as a whole. There will come a man who
  • will avenge with his pious sword the disgraceful repulse of his
  • fellow-country men.’ Thus he spoke and the sea now deflowered took
  • on all comers, exposing her lap to any traveller.
  • (p.42) Iam fluctus emensa vagos in Phasidis undas
  • declinat Pegasea ratis pelagoque relicto,
  • pauperiore sinu sed liberiore potita
  • multa prius metuenda tulit dum litore in alto
  • discordes agerent undarum prelia motus.
  • improbus audaci suspendit gurgite pontum
  • Phasis et obnitens castigat in arva ruentem
  • cessuram miseratus humum. furit ille feroxque
  • potandas incestat aquas bilemque refundit
  • in vada blanda suam dedignaturgue teneri.
  • ipsa etiam clausisque Nothis Celoque sereno
  • continuas hiemes portus angustia volvit,
  • neo spatio laxum languet mare; crescit arena
  • consumptura rates tellusque occulta vadosas
  • in cumulum suspendit aquas mentita profundum.
  • fluctuat ambiguus Tiphys, prope litora speetat,
  • suspeotam formidat humum discitque timere
  • quo tutum sperabat iter, timor elicit artem.
  • consultura vadum medias minor alnus in undas
  • pellitur et conto metitur iudice pontum.
  • litoris insidie postquam patuere, coacto
  • inter utrumque solum decurrens limite puppis
  • arva petita premit frartasque offendit arenas.
  • Quid memorem Esonide duras incumbere leges
  • Oethe imperio, quid semina iacla, quid hostes
  • terriqenas Martisque bo\es sevique draconis
  • excubias? ignis virluti cedit et ensis
  • eripiturque emptum summo discrimine vellus.
  • (p.43) And now, having journeyed over the moving waves, the swift boat
  • turned into the waters of the River Phasis. With the sea behind her
  • she came into a creek that was shallower but less dangerous, although
  • first she had to contend with many frights as conflicting currents
  • battled against each other on the steeply-shelving beach. The bold
  • River Phasis with its brave waters held back the sea, struggling to
  • check it as it rushed towards the fields, for the river took pity
  • on the vulnerable land. The sea raged and wildly muddied the clear
  • water, pouring its filth into the fresh river water in its anger at
  • being countered. Even in the absence of winds when the sky is clear
  • the narrowness of the harbour created continual eddies as the broad
  • sea found no rest in the confined space: the sandbanks increase as
  • though to overwhelm boats, and the unseen bottom heaps up the
  • shallows, giving a false appearance of depth. Tiphys hesitates, in
  • two minds what to do: he looks at the shore near at hand, is afraid of
  • suspected ground and even learns to be afraid where he hoped the
  • passage was safe. Fear brings out his skill. A smaller craft is rowed
  • out into the middle of the waves to test the shoals and the depth of
  • the water is measured with a measuring rod. When the dangers of the
  • shore were known, the boat slips along a narrow channel between two
  • banks, beaches up on the land she sought, scattering the sand as she
  • drives in.
  • Why should I recount the harsh terms imposed on Jason, son of Aeson,
  • by Aeeles’ orders, or the seeds that were sown, or the earthborn
  • adversaries, or the bulls of Mars, or the watchfulness of the cruel
  • dragon? Fire y ielded to courage, as did the sword, while the fleece
  • that was earned by such signal combat was removed.
  • (p.44) Neptunum sensisse putes; fugientibus equor
  • altius intumuit fractique in litora fluctus
  • intonuere simul: ‘Procul, o procul ite profani!
  • non licet in sanctum cum preda tendere pontum.’
  • has Nothus haut passus causas instare timoris
  • preripuit voces nec iter concessit in aures.

Reditus Iasonis cum aureo vellere

  • Navigat auricomo spoliatis vellere Colchis
  • predo potens. culpemne ratem que prima per undas
  • ad facinus molita vias atque Atropon auxit,
  • an causa potiore probem? sine remigis usu
  • non nosset Memphis Romam, non Indus Hiberum,
  • non Schita Cicropidem, non nostra Britannia Gallum.
  • primus ab excubiis montes proreta Pelasgos
  • anticipat salvere iubens, at cetera pubes
  • remorum assurgit studio victrixque carina
  • Thessalicis reddit, quos in freta duxerat, arvis.
  • quis varios memoret plausus, quis gaudia vulgi?
  • si parous meminisse velim, vel nolle fateri
  • vel seriem non nosse putenl; si prodigus, auris
  • fastidila neget faciles ad singula nutus.
  • Pelea miratur reducem Larissa Pilonque
  • Nestor habet, Thelamone suo Salamina superbit,
  • Leda Terauneis et fratribus Orithia
  • Ysmariis laudatque suum Calidonia mater
  • Oenidem, nondum tantum soror, Orphea Traces,
  • Archades Admetum, Thalaumque et Thesea et Idam
  • (p.45) You would think Neptune was aware of the deed. The water piled up
  • higher in front of the fugitives while the waves breaking on the shore
  • thundered in unison: ‘Keep away, keep well away, you evil men! It is
  • not permitted to sail on the divine sea with plunder.’ The wind did
  • not allow these frightening words to affect the Argonauts but instead
  • snatched them away and did not let them reach their ears.

Return of Jason with the Golden Fleece

  • The powerful pirate sails away with the Golden Fleece that had been
  • stolen from the Colchians. Should I condemn the boat that first made
  • its way through the waves to crime and increased deaths, or should I
  • commend it for a greater reason? If it were not for the use of oars
  • Memphis wuuld not have known Rome, nor India Spain, nor Scythia
  • Athens, nor our Britain France. The look-out on the prow is first
  • to make out the mountains of Greece and he gives the signal to cheer,
  • but the rest of the young heroes merely row harder and the victorious
  • boat returns to the fields of Thessaly those it had carried out on to
  • the seas. Who could recount all the kinds of cheerinq or the people’s joy?
  • If I were to say little on the subject readers might think I was
  • unwilling to describe it, or else that I did not know the details.
  • If, however, I were wordy, the bored listener would refuse to approve
  • of everything. Larissa is surprised at the return of Peleus; Nestor
  • regains Pylos; Salamis revels in its Telamon, Leda in her Spartan sons,
  • Orithyia in her Ismarian brothers, while the Caly donian mother, not yet
  • merely a sister, praises Meleaqer, her son by Oeneus. The Thracians
  • applaud Orpheus, the Arcadians Admetus. Thalaus, Theseus and Idas
  • (p.46) Antheumque urbes varie, sua menia quemque.
  • at Peloponensum cum preda divite Iason
  • occupat. insigni lascivit reqia cultu
  • viotorique suo gratas plebs obvia voces elicit et vero dispensant gaudia vultu.
  • solus inexplicita Pelias sub fronte serena invidia egrescit, sese causatur, in omnes
  • vota deos consumpta gemit Martemque lacessit,
  • qui gratis domitos tulerit defervere tauros.
  • eluctata diu rapidis impulsibus ira
  • in verbum singultat atrox questusque superbos:

Questus Pelie de reditu Iasonis

  • ‘O superi, quo thura meant? o fata, quis error
  • imperat? o hominum casus, paucosne reservat
  • ut multos fortuna premat? iam sentio, traxi
  • invito mea regna deo. cape, maxime, tandem
  • quorum fastidit usus regnare negantem,
  • que longo emisti voto, tumeasque relictis,
  • non raptis. tenui certe non sponte deorum
  • hisque velim regnis emptum vicisse Tonantem.
  • me mage - si qua fides - votorum offensa lacessit
  • quam sceptri iactura mei. voluine sub Arcton
  • proscripsisse virum? regnat. fregisse? superbit.
  • extinxisse? viget. titulos minuisse? triumphat.
  • ergo deos dita ingratos, da thura Tonanti:
  • cum dederis, sperata neget, donisque retentis
  • rideat elusum. melius fortuna pianda est,
  • (p.47) and Anthaeus are welcomed by various cities - each their own. But
  • Jason with his rich plunder enters Peloponensus. The palace is
  • festive and splendidly decorated, the people come to greet their
  • hero with gratitude, their faces showing genuine joy. Only Pelias
  • is sick with jealousy, though he hides this behind a happy facade.
  • He blames himself, bemoans the fact that he had wasted his prayers
  • on all the gods, and rails against Mars who had allowed his bulls
  • to be tamed into inaction although he had been offered nothing.
  • After seething for some time his anger breaks out savagely in rapid
  • sobbing bursts into arrogant words of complaint:

Complaints of Pelias about Jason’s return

  • ‘O gods above, where does incense go? O fates, what mistake rules?
  • O chance, does fortune save a few men in order to destroy many? Now
  • I realise that I have ruled my kingdom longer than Jupiter wished.
  • Mighty Jupiter, take those things whose enjoy ment finally palls
  • on one who refuses to reiqn, those things that you have prayed for
  • for so long. Now puff yourself up with pride over what has been
  • handed over to you, not acquired by your own efforts. I have been
  • king not by the will of the qods and I should have liked to defeat
  • Jupiter by bribing him with this kingdom. The spurninq of my prayers
  • angers me more - if you can believe that - than the loss of my rule.
  • Did I want to banish the man to the far north? He is kinq.
  • To break him? He is glorious. To destroy him? He is flourishing.
  • To diminish his fame? He is triumphant. So, enrich the ungrateful
  • qods, send incense up to Jupiter: when you have done no, then may be
  • dash your hopes, keep your gifts and mock you when he has made a
  • fool of you. It is better to propitiate Fortune
  • (p.48) que pacem, que fulmen habet, que prima tyrannis
  • imperium partita tribus concessit, abegit,
  • mutato lusit ceio, rursusque iubebit
  • quos fecit reges, mecum migrare sub umbras,
  • et love proscripto Saturni leniet iras.’
  • sic fatur, diroque animam depascitur estu,
  • has tamen, has cordis rugas, hec preiia mentis
  • frontis oliva domat, faciesque dolosa sophistam
  • mendicat vultum et blandos peregrinat in usus.
  • Gaudia prima ducum sollempni mensa tumultu
  • excipit. at celi predo terreque marisque,
  • ambitus, acceptas venatur regibus escas:
  • Iuno liram volucrum languescere sentit; alumnos
  • equoris emungi Thetis dolet: aspera Phebe
  • indignata sui numerum rarescere civis
  • excubat ultoremque humeris accommodat arcum,
  • venantes venata v iros predamque petentes
  • in predam petit et lucos vigilantius ambit.
  • ergo thoros com iva premit donumque dearum
  • interpres blandus hilarat deus humida sieois
  • mire concilians. comptos discreta elientes
  • cura agit; hi Cererem cumulant, hi fercula mutant,
  • illi hilares iterant calices. at rege superbo
  • emeritum libante merum mensalibus herent
  • submissique haustum Bacchi regalis adorant.
  • Has mense qenialis opes, hec ocia cure
  • dapsilis, hoc grati eertamen duice laboris
  • incolumi virtus delibat sobria gustu.
  • (p.49) who holds peace and the thunderbolt in her hands, who first shared
  • out power between the three tyrants, drove out Saturn, played under
  • a changed heaven, and once again will command the kings she created
  • to descend with me into the underworld. She will banish Jupiter and
  • calm the anger of Saturn.’ Thus he spoke and he nourishes his mind
  • with the fire of his wrath. However, this shrivelled heart, this
  • turbulent mind, are masked by his calm appearance; his deceitful face
  • borrowed a false look, a gentle expression that was foreign to him.
  • A banquet with its festive revelry follows the leaders’ first joy. But
  • greed, that robber of sky, earth and sea, hunts fare fit for kings.
  • Juno feels the birdsong weaken in volume; Thetis is sad that the sea’s
  • inhabitants are diminishing; Phoebe, angry that her subjects are
  • getting fewer, keeps watch, fits the avenging bow to her shoulder.
  • Hunting the hunters she seeks as prey those who are seeking prey,
  • stalking her woods with more care than usual. So the guests sit down,
  • and Bacchus, the sweet go-between, happily mixed with the goddesses’
  • gifts of food, thus producing a wonderful marriage of liquid and solid.
  • Different tasks occupy the well-dressed servants; some pile up the
  • bread, some serve new dishes, while others refill the joyous qoblets.
  • But as the arrogant king drinks some vintage wine they stand around
  • with their napkins and dutifully applaud the roy al drinking. This
  • richness of magnificent food, these generous offerings of affection
  • and leisure, this tasty match of love and effort are savoured by the
  • sober and virtuous who keep their tastebuds intact.
  • (p.50) non ignava gravi peperere oblivia menti
  • delinie, non in sompnos elanguit ira
  • Amphitrioniade. Troiam bis terque resumens
  • se vuitu reserat animumque his asperat egrum:

Conquestio Herculis

  • ‘Ergo Iovem meritus cunali Marte parentem
  • celestes docui mecum vagire dracones
  • prevenique minas? pudet, heu, vir, victor, adultus
  • barbaricis cessi, non viso milite, iussus.
  • ergo minis frangendus eram? pro fata pudenda!
  • pro crimen superum! fato Iunonior omni
  • nescio quis fame meritum scidit. arma tenebam,
  • nec deerant hostes. i nunc, et prisca revolvens
  • privignum mirare tuum, Iovis inclita coniunx!
  • vicisti, fateor, fugi; victoria summa
  • Alciden fugisse fuit. rursusne severum
  • dignere artificem nostris Euristea penis?
  • si Lernam edomui, si Cerberus ore trifauci
  • in scopulos, Dodona, tuos aconita refudil,
  • si gravis Antheus gratam suspensus arenam
  • dedidioit mirante Rea, si cetera mundi
  • monstra triumphali potui oonsumere dextra,
  • in Frigios - dicamne viros? - humanaque bella
  • depotuisse pudet. sed cur clare acta revolvo?
  • degeneri gravius accedit gloria facto.
  • quin potius seris gladius quid conferat ausis,
  • monstrorum domitor, reminisoere! Pergama penas
  • (p.51) But the revelries do not produce base forgetfulness in an anxious
  • mind: the anger of Hercules, son of Amphitryon, does not die away into
  • sleep. Two or three times he thinks again of Troy, his feelings for
  • all to see on his face as he reproached his afflicted heart with these thoughts:

The Complaint of Hercules

  • ‘so, when I fought that battle in the cradle did I not deserve to be
  • able to call Jupiter my father? Did I not teach the snakes sent from
  • heaven to cry like me? Did I not forestall a threat on my life? It is
  • shameful, alas, that a man, a mature hero, has been ordered to yield to
  • barbarians without seeking any fighting. So should I be browbeaten by
  • mere threats? O shameful fates! O, the crime of the gods! Someone
  • crueller than all the fates has destroy ed my well-earned reputation.
  • I had weapons and the enemy was at hand. Go on, famous wife of Jupiter,
  • think of your stepson’s former deeds and be dumbstruck! You won, I
  • admit it. I fled. Hercules’ flight was your greatest victory . Will
  • you again enlist Eurystheus, the cruel instigator of my labours?
  • If I tamed Lerna, if Cereberus vomited up from his three throats the
  • poison on to your rocks, Dodona, if heavy Antaeus, held aloft, forgot
  • the strength-giving earth to the amazement of Rea, if I was able to
  • overcome with my triumphant right hand the other monsters of the world,
  • then it is a disgrace for me to have renounced mere human war aqainst
  • Trojan - what shall I call them? - men. But why do I recall my
  • famous deeds? Glory does not really suit an ignoble deed. You slayer
  • of monsters, why not remember rather what the sword may bring with
  • acts of daring, even if they are late? Let Pergamum pay the penalty
  • (p.52) pendant et meritis periuros perde minis,
  • sic Phebo liquidoque Iovi ducture triumphum,
  • sic tibi, sic Danais! docilesque instare Pelasgos
  • non fugisse sciant, qui, cum potuere minari,
  • et potuere pati!’ tacitis sic questibus iram
  • exacuens summos animum procudit in ausus.
  • haut secus exilium grate dequestus arene
  • armenti princeps iunatum robur in ornos
  • asperat obiectas et se premensus in hostem
  • ocia dura gerit et prelia puicra figurat
  • fronte furens pulsasque pudet non frangere silvas.
  • inde thoro meliore redit veteremque repulsam
  • excusans victor regnat lauroque superbit.

Apparatus Herculis ad bellum

  • Vix primes belli motus iibraverat heros
  • et iam fama loquax rapiens ex aure potentum
  • quod serat in vulgus, pavidas quod spargat in urbes,
  • prelia mota canit. illamne nocentis Averni
  • progeniem celine rear, gue murmura rerum
  • occulta extenebrat redditque latentia luci?
  • immo quis e supera contendat pace creatam
  • turbatrioem hominum que sancta silentia regum
  • in mundi perfert aures et plebis in ora
  • dissipat archanum cure furata silentis?
  • haut mora, non lituis iussi, non ere vocati,
  • conspiranl ad bella viri; sed et arma tumultu
  • plebs rapit, et vibrans quos non bene noverat enses,
  • (p.53) while you slaughter the perjurers with the destruction they deserve,
  • thus gaining a triumph for Apollo, for the sea-god as well as for
  • you and the Greeks! And may they learn that the Greeks did not
  • flee but are ready to attack. Those who were able to threaten once
  • were also able to suffer.’ With these silent complaints thus fuelling
  • his anger he strengthened his resolve for the utmost daring. In like
  • fashion does the leader of the herd, bemoaning his exile from his
  • beloved territory, fiercely stimulate the strength of his horns on
  • the ash-trees in his way, and practising against an eventual enemy he
  • finds the lack of activity hard to put up with. Imagining splendid
  • contests, the bull rages with his horns and does not disdain to break
  • the trees he attacks. He returns from exile with greater strength,
  • redeems his former defeat and boasts of his success as a victorious ruler.

Hercules’ Preparations for War

  • Scarcely had Hercules given some thought to the initial preparation
  • for war when babbling Rumour, snatching from the councils of the
  • powerful what she can divulge to the public and spread around in
  • frightened cities, tells that war has begun. Shall I consider her
  • to be the offspring of evil hell or or heaven, she who brings out of
  • the shadows clandestine discussions and exposes secrets to the light
  • of day? But who would argue that this upsetter of men was created in
  • heavenly peace? She, I mean, who brings to the ears of the world and
  • spreads in the mouths of the people the revered secrets of kings,
  • robbing the unknown hiding-place of the unspoken thought! Immediately,
  • without any orders from trumpet or command from bugle, men agree
  • on war; but the mob takes up arms in chaotic fashion, wielding swords
  • it does not really know how to use.
  • (p.54) ingenue irasci discit multumque minatur,
  • sed faotura parum. terit hie in frena iugales
  • non longum mansurus egues; rapta ilie superbit
  • casside, at impatiens captos deorescere visus.
  • hi suras riguisse stupent; hi pondere victi
  • in clipeos nutant. pars barbara regna lacessit
  • litigiis audax et citra prelia fortis,
  • obiecto secura freto. gemit anxia matrum
  • turba, nec infaustis solacia mesta querelis
  • ire negant lacrime, lacrimis certatur et omnem
  • excessisse putat flendi parcissima luctum.
  • hec inter medios enses timet; ilia Caribdim
  • inourrit: pietas numquam secura quiescit.
  • mens o prona virum! non hec suspiria virtus
  • infraota admittit, non dant complexibus artus,
  • oscula non iterant, ne vel sic bella morentur,
  • vix memores dixisse: ‘vale’, mulcetur alumpnus
  • fatorum Alcides et spe meliore superbis
  • assidet inceptis. fremitu navalia fervent
  • Egeosque sinus ter quino remige frangit
  • lecla cohors totidemque movet per cerula pinus.
  • at Nothus incumbens humeris puppigue sequaci
  • ducit inoffensam Simoontis in hostia classem.

Bellum Herculis et Troianorum

  • Puppibus emigrat primus, Thelamone secundo,
  • Larisse pollentis honos, cui cerula nupsit
  • Nereis, amplexus non aspernata minores
  • (p.55) It learns noble anger, threatening much but destined to achieve
  • precious little. One budding knight forces a bridle on a horse, but
  • he will not stay mounted long. Another struts around in a stolen helmet
  • but cannot stand the restricted vision. Others are amazed at the
  • stiffness of their legs with greaves on. Others y et fall forward on
  • to their shields because the weight is too much for them. Yet more
  • utter threats at the kingdom of the barbarians, brave in their insults
  • and strong before the fight, safe as they are with the sea in between.
  • The worried crowd of mothers groan, and their tears, that sad
  • consolation for unlucky laments, do not refuse to flow, so much so,
  • in fact, that a weeping contest ensues and even the driest-eyed thinks
  • she has outdone all the others in her grief. One mother fears for her
  • son in combat, another sees Chary bdis as an obstacle: never does a
  • mother’s love remain carefree and untroubled. O headstrong mind of man!
  • Unbroken manliness does not accept these sighs nor welcome embraces; it
  • does not give a second kiss in case war should be held up by it. These
  • men hardly remember to say farewell. Hercules, grandson of Alceus and
  • foster-child of the fates, is happy at this and with enhanced hope sets
  • about his proud endeavour. The shipy ards bustle with excitement as the
  • chosen band of rowers breaks the surface of the Aegean sea with their
  • fifteen oars, and the same number of boats sails through the waters.
  • But the south wind blows on their shoulders from behind the stern and
  • brings the fleet unimpeded into the harbour of the Simois.

Hercules’ War against the Trojans

  • First out of the ships, closely followed by Telamon, is Peleus, the pride
  • of powerful Larissa, whom the sea-qoddess, Thetis the Nereid, married,
  • not despising an inferior marriage
  • (p.56) mortalemque thorum, quo prinoipe gloria spirat
  • Mirmidonum, quern tota suis obnoxia fatis
  • Dorica castra canunt. Danais hio debet Achillem,
  • Aiacem Thelamon, equale in Pergama fulmen.
  • dividit ergo aoies equi libraminis instar
  • Alcides: pars in Frigios armata Penates
  • iam dictos sortita duces, pars eura reliote
  • classis disponit cum Nestore, parsque secuta
  • Amphitrioniadem sociis partitur utrisque
  • excubias hinc inde suas. sic agmine trino
  • consulitur bello. patriumque armaverat orbem
  • principis edictum Frigii, ruit omnis in arma
  • barbaries; flammisque rates consumere fisus
  • et Danaos sparsurus aquis ad litora martem
  • dux migrare iubet, paretur et ocius omnes
  • fluctibus insiliunt, solite nil tale timere
  • Nereides visa arma stupent horrentgue tumultum.
  • hi telis instant, alii face; pectora telum,
  • fax puppes iniecta petit; ounabula Mavors
  • Cypridis infestat armis et Lennius igne.
  • tunc primum bellis rubuit mare: sanguinis illas
  • murex hausit opes, quas nondum oblitus in annos
  • presentes meminit regumque expendit in usum.
  • Soilleos nova preda canes ad funera mesti
  • gurgitis invitat, coeunt latrantibus undis
  • monstra sinus Siculi, dehinc hausto neetare diro
  • in freta sparguntur similem venantia potum.
  • at fremitu accepto Nereus excussus ab antris
  • (p.57) nor a mortal husband. Under his kingship the glory of the Mirmidons
  • flourishes. It is he that the whole Greek army praises, although it
  • is prejudicial to his fates. Peleus owes Achilles to the Greeks, Telamon
  • owes Ajax, to be twin thunderbolts against Troy. Hercules divides up
  • his battle forces in equal parts: one part is detailed to join an armed
  • attack against the city of Troy under the leadership of the
  • aforementioned generals, Peleus and Telamon; the second is marshalled
  • under Nestor to protect the anchored fleet; the third follows Hercules,
  • dividing the watches between two groups. Thus a threefold strategy
  • of war is evolved. An edict of the Phrygian king had put all his
  • territory under arms, so all the barbarians rush to take up their weapons.
  • Counting on burning the ships and scattering the Greeks in the sea
  • Laomedon forms his battle line up on the beach. The order is obeyed
  • quickly by all the Trojans who leap into the waves. The Nereids are
  • amazed and horrified on seeing the weapons and the tumult as they are
  • not accustomed to fearing anything like it. Some men attack with spears,
  • others with firebrands. Spears are thrown at bodies, firebrands at
  • ships. Mars attacks the sea, the birthplace of Venus, with arms
  • while Vulcan uses fire. Then for the first time the sea turned red
  • through warfare: the purple-fish absorbed those huge quantities of
  • blood that it has not yet forgotten, remembering it up to the present
  • day and providing it for the benefit of kings. This new prey
  • attracts the dogs of Scylla to the corpses of the sorrowing sea.
  • These monsters of the Gulf of Sicily come together in the barking
  • waves, drink the grim nectar and then disperse all over the sea
  • hunting for a similar drink. When he hears the uproar Nereus is
  • roused from his cavern.
  • (p.58) mutatis horresoit aquis, fontique relapsus
  • nascentem explorat urnam, visoque meatu
  • quern genitrix Natura dedit, securior exit.
  • immo agite, inmisso beilum oonsumite ponto,
  • dii si qui undarum, rapteque Athlante repulso
  • evolvantur aque! fatis iniuria prima
  • excusanda fuit, an et hos impune furores
  • ferre iuvat? misero compiutus sanguine pontus
  • spumat et inoensum fumat mare. Soilla Caribdim
  • excitat et nostris pinguesount monstra ruinis.
  • si neutros superesse ratum, si iudice causa
  • elicitis penas, Frigios periuria mergenl,
  • exemplum sceleris Danaos. que iam mora, segnes?
  • pronius in farinus tardis ultoribus itur.
  • Ardua iam trepidis murorum septa oatervis
  • Iliaoe ninxere manus. stat Dardana pubes
  • pro iugulis armata suis; neo enim invida regni
  • ambitio ludit pugnas, sed et ira mineque
  • et non extorti per vulnera oruda furores
  • bella rient hinr inde odiis flammata superbis.
  • primus in adversos librata ruspide mums
  • torquet eguum Peleus frartaque arrenditur hasta.
  • ‘har’ ait ‘hospiliis aditus et in hospita terta
  • pulsanti reseranda manu. nos urbe fruamur,
  • portu alii.1 dixit, runrtique instare Pelasqi,
  • reu belli tunc causa rerens ner tempore longo
  • ira minor, minus ar-oendanl in prelia mentes
  • (p.59) Horrified at the changed nature of the waters he slips back to
  • investigate the wellsprings of the ocean, and having verified the
  • source that Mother Nature gave, he returns more confidently. Come on,
  • you gods of the sea, if you exist, destroy the combatants with a flood
  • of your waters. Remove Atlas and let the divided waters rush together!
  • The first insult had to be excused by the fates, but are they now
  • accepting this madness without taking any action? Permeated by pitiful
  • human blood the sea foams and the heated ocean steams. Soylla arouses
  • Chary bdis and the monsters grow fat on our disasters. If the judgement
  • is that neither nation should survive, if you demand punishment to fit
  • the crime, then their perjuries will drown the Trojans and their model
  • for criminality the Greeks. What is the delay, y ou laggards? Crime is
  • bolder when vengeance is slow.
  • The Trojan people were already huddled around the steep fortifications
  • of their walls in trembling groups. The Trojan y oung men stand armed to
  • defend their throats: for this is not envious ambition for a kingdom
  • practising warfare, but anger and threats and rage not produced by cruel
  • wounds incite the fighting inflamed by the hate and arrogance of both
  • sides. Peleus is the first to turn his horse toward the enemy walls,
  • throwing his spear and then bursting into anger when the spear breaks.
  • ‘This is the way’ he shouts, ‘to hospitality and the guestrooms that
  • will he unlocked when we knock on the door. Let us enjoy the city
  • while the others enjoy the harbour.’ When he finished speaking all
  • the Greeks attacked as though the reason for the war was still fresh,
  • and their anger was no less fierce because of the long time-gap. Minds
  • would be less inflamed for battle
  • (p.60) iussa, tube, promissa, preoes. asperrima oernas
  • bella geri. non precipites telluris hiatus,
  • non undas timuere viri; sibi quisque videri
  • dux aliis milesque sibi. pars oratibus instat
  • continuas molita vias vallemque profundam
  • molibus iniectis vincunt; pars aspera rlivi
  • impatiens hesisse subit. iam copia muri,
  • iam silices laxare licet, sed desuper urgent
  • Dardanide, tncussasque trabes et saxea volvunt
  • fragmina; pars iaculis audax, pars aspera flammis
  • flagrantes invergit aquas, septum arbore Dimus
  • affectabat iter, fixoque in menia vultu,
  • heserat; hunc latioes decalvavere profusi,
  • fulmineique imbres, nudum spoliatur utroque
  • crine caput penetratque fluens in viscera vulnus.
  • at testudineo Telamon defensus amictu
  • occultum furalur iter silicumque tenorem
  • ere domat iamque in preceps pendente ruina
  • cedit et effracta tandem prior urbe potitur.

Interfectio Laomedontis

  • Interea flammis populari vela parantem
  • percellit vox dira ducem: ‘Cui, strenue ductor
  • Dardanidum, cui bella geris? civesne perosus
  • monstripari pacem pelagi sancire laboras
  • an pavidis profugisque instas, et, ne qua superstes
  • sit fuga, consumis classes? propioribus ausis
  • (p.61) by orders, trumpets, promises or entreaties. The battles you can
  • see being fought are extremely fierce. The Greek warriors had no
  • fear of the steep sides of the moat nor the water in it. Each man
  • seems to think of himself as a leader for the others and a soldier
  • for himself. Some press on with wooden platforms, making a direct
  • assault, filling the deep moat with huge boulders; others, not
  • brooking delay, climb the steep side of the moat. Now they can
  • attack the mass of the wall by pulling out the stones, but the Trojans
  • attack them from above, tipping over them bits of rock and fractured
  • timbers. Some throw their spears bravely while others cruelly
  • pour down boiling water. Dimus was trying a path protected by
  • a tree, and he hesitated with his eyes fixed on the walls. The
  • mass of hot water showering down balded him, scalding the hair
  • and beard from his unhelmeted head. The wounding flow penetrates
  • into his entrails. But Telamon, covered by the tortoise formation,
  • sneaks up stealthily and overcomes the hard resistance of the
  • stones with his iron bar. And now, with the ruined wall about
  • to fall headlong, he steps back, but he is the first to take
  • possession of the city when it is finally broken into.

The Killing of Laomedon

  • Meanwhile a grim voice rocks the leader Laomedon as he prepares
  • to destroy the ships with fire. ‘On whose behalf are y ou fighting,
  • great leader? Do you detest y our fellow-citizens so much that you
  • struggle to impose peace on the monster-bearing sea? Or are you
  • attacking frightened runaways and burning the fleet so that no
  • flight is possible for them?
  • (p.62) intendere manus hostes, hue lumina fleete
  • atque urbem miserare luam!’ vix credulus heret
  • Laomedon eernitque tamen iam Pergama rumpi,
  • stare hostes, nutare Friges, rapit oeius aqmen
  • attonitum bellique rudis non colligit alas,
  • sed sparsis properat signis. quern prepete gaudens
  • exeipit oecursu Tirynthius ‘his’que ait ‘olim
  • cum premerent portus optataque litora fessi,
  • exilem teliuris opem tenuemque negasti,
  • seve, moram spreta pacis cum fronde Minerva.
  • sume vices: rediit hostis qui venerat hospes.’
  • sic fatur strictoque ducem transverberat ense
  • thoracisque moras clipeique umbramina raptim
  • dissipat atque animam tot defensoribus usam
  • elicit et Stvgios iubet irrupisse Penates.
  • fit fuga Dardanidum mactato principe. at hostis
  • civiles predatur opes; pars cedibus iras
  • innumeris explere sitit. vox regia tandem
  • casligat rapidos Danao grassante tumultus.
  • ‘Parcite, v ictores Danai, rompescite dextras!
  • labe pari peccat, pariter crudelis ulerque,
  • qui cunctis parcit et nulli. nobilis ire est
  • citra iram punire reos. iam copia regni,
  • urbs cecidit, cessit hostis; cesogue tiranno
  • ut miseris faciles Graiorum exempla secuti
  • esse Friqes discant, damus ullro rura colono,
  • (p.63) The enemy troops are straining to perform daring deeds close
  • at hand. Look this way and take pity on your city!’ Laomedon
  • stops, hardly able to believe it yet perceives that Troy is
  • breached, the enemy is winning, the Trojans falling. He quickly
  • recalls his astonished battle-force and hurries off with his troops
  • all over the place, since he did not draw up the raw soldiers in battle
  • formation. Tiry nthian Hercules happily runs out to meet him at
  • full speed. ‘There was a time’, he say s, ‘when you refused merely
  • permission for a short stopover on your soil to those people who
  • arrived on the longed-for beach of this harbour when they were
  • tired out. You cruel savage, y ou ignored Minerva’s olive branch of
  • peace. Now pay the price: he who came as a guest now returns as an
  • enemy.’ Speaking thus he draws his sword and runs Laomedon through,
  • forcing a way through the protective breastplate and covering shield.
  • Thus drawing out his soul that was employ ing so many defensive layers,
  • he orders it to descend to a home in hell. After the death of their
  • king the Trojans flee. But their enemy loots the wealth of the city,
  • some longing to satisfy their anger by indiscriminate slaughter.
  • At last a kingly v oice reprimands the rioting hordes of angry Greeks:
  • ‘Victorious Greeks, stop and check your right hands! Both are
  • equally sinful and equally cruel whether they spare everybody or
  • nobody. It is noble anqer to punish the guilty without anger.
  • Already the power of the kingdom as well as the city hav e fallen
  • while the enemy has fled. With the death of the tyrant let the
  • Trojans learn how to show pity for the unfortunate, followinq the
  • example of the Greeks. We are happy to hand over the fields to
  • the farmer,
  • (p.64) castra viris, pontum nautis et civibus urbem.
  • at pereat, dira si quis de stirpe superstes,
  • hanc quoniam delere iuvat.’ sic fatur, et ecce
  • Amphitus, Isiphilus, Volcontus et inclita vultu
  • Hesione sevis vincti post terga catenis
  • traduntur ducibus. hii dira in funera rapti,
  • hec, Telamon, tibi preda datur, quod Pergama victor,
  • quod prior effractam facilem das hostibus urbem.
  • ilicet Argolici preda Hesioneque potiti
  • incumbunt pelago laurumque, insigne triumphi,
  • puppibus exponunt penetrantque ad sidera plausu.

Reditus Priami ab orientali Frigia

  • His aberat Priamus aliam servatus in iram
  • fatorum casusque alios, cui Marte secundo
  • Eoos populata Friges victoria leta
  • faverat et reduci comites plausere triumphi.
  • dura hominum Lachesis! sors perfida! luditur anceps
  • imperium. Priamus natales ampliat agros,
  • Troia ruit; sceptroque novus dum queritur orbis,
  • sceptri nutat honos; faustos in regna meatus
  • fata dabant reduci, sed dira, sed aspera donis
  • invidit Fortuna suis, que, cum ardua donet,
  • gustatos graviore favos ulciscitur ira.
  • iamque urbis trepido conspectum peetore ductor
  • hauserat, occurrit luctus visumgue salutat
  • e muris manuum plausus lacrimabilis. horror
  • adgreditur turbatque ducem totamque pererrat
  • (p.65) the camp to the soldiers, the sea to the sailors and the city
  • to the citizens. But if any of this cruel line remains, let him
  • perish, since it is a public utility to wipe it out.’ Thus he
  • speaks, and see, Amphitus, Isiphilus, Volcontus and Hesione whose
  • looks are famous are handed over to the Greek generals with their
  • hands chained behind their backs. The males are put to death cruelly
  • while Hesione is given to Telamon as a prize because he is the victor of
  • Pergamum, the first to have broken into the city and made it easy for the
  • enemy to take it. Immediately the Greeks set sail’, taking with them
  • booty and Hesione while decking their ships with laurel, the sign of
  • victory. Their shouts reach the sky.

Return of Priam from Eastern Phrygia

  • Priam had been absent from this war, preserved for other misfortunes
  • and a different wrath of the fates. Joyous victory had blessed him
  • with a successful campaign to ravage Eastern Phrygia and his comrades
  • applauded him on his triumphal return. O harsh fates of men!
  • O perfidious chance! His double empire is mocked. Priam increases his
  • native lands while Troy itself falls. While new territory is sought
  • for his rule the glory of that rule is tottering. The fates were
  • giving him a successful return journey to his kingdom but cruel, harsh
  • chance begrudges him her gifts. Although she grants the heights she
  • then takes an even angrier revenge on those who have tasted honey.
  • Already the prince had taken in the sight of the city with trembling
  • heart when grief comes out to meet him. Sad beating of hands greets
  • him from the walls when he has been perceived. Horror invests the
  • prince, throwing him into confusion.
  • (p.66) infelix planctus aoiem. stant undique cives
  • solanturque suam Priamo spirante ruinam.
  • ille autem, licet interno compluta dolore
  • corda gemant, vultu lacrimas castigat adultas
  • ut saltern speret ducis ad solacia vulgus.
  • nam summe miser est cui nec sperare relictum est.

Deseriptio Troie

  • Nec mora, diffusam spatiis maioribus urbem
  • integrat, ac potior constructio barbara Grecam
  • excludit themesim. medicati vulnera muri
  • respirant meliore manu, contentaque moles
  • in senum patuisse aditum et, qua saxa recedunt,
  • continuant valve duplices; hec cardine laxo
  • alternos pandit adilus, hec robur acernum
  • pectine ferrato lacitos suspendit in usus.
  • iamque arces cecidisse iuvat, iam maehina maior
  • et lucro iactura fuit. muralia primas
  • propulsura manus pinnarum culmine denso
  • conspicuos tollunt apices, nec menia munit
  • rarior excubias turris factura secundas.
  • celsior in superas eontendens vertice nubes
  • Ylios equaret gemini discrimina mundi.
  • si spacio contenta suo minus improba celo
  • pareeret atque alium iam non presumeret orbem!
  • si Flegram conferre velis, si virginis arces
  • Assirie, feret hec potius discrimina lingue,
  • tela Iovis. nulli spaciosior ethere traetus
  • (p.67) An unhappy lament runs through the whole army. The citizens stand
  • around everywhere and find their consolation in Priam who is still
  • alive. Although his heart inside him is flooded with grief, he
  • checks back the tears that welled up in his eyes so that his people
  • could at least hope for some solace in their leader. For the
  • most wretched person is one to whom no hope is left.

Description of Troy

  • Immediately Priam rebuilds the city, extending it over a greater
  • surface area. A stronger Trojan construction shuts out Greek
  • retribution. The damage to the wall had been repaired to make it
  • better than before, and the wall extended to allow six entrances.
  • Where the blocks end twin gates continue; one opens both ways on
  • its turning hinge, the other contains a strong maplewood portcullis
  • hidden in its top for use in war. By now the Trojans were glad
  • their battlements had fallen for the construction was now bigger
  • and so the loss was really a gain. The new walls would deter the
  • first bands of attackers by their conspicuous height and tight
  • crenellations. Towers are no less frequent to provide efficient
  • watchpoints for defending the walls. The palace Ylios rises
  • higher, soaring into the upper clouds, and would reach the dividing
  • line between the lower and upper atmosphere if it were content with
  • its space; if, less ambitiously, it respected the upper air and did
  • not presume to occupy another world! If you wished to compare phlegra
  • or the other citadels of the Assyrian virgin, this tower would rather
  • deserve the division of languages or the thunderbolts of Jupiter.
  • To no other has a larger tract in the upper air been allowed
  • (p.68) contigit aut tantum paciens indulsit Olimpus.
  • pene pares totam turres sparguntur in urbem
  • Ciclopum fasse studium, civisque superbus
  • celsa petens fastidit humum. surgentia passim
  • exalant piceas incensa piralia flammas.
  • ingenti Ucalegon consumens aera tecto
  • arduus alta tenet, Antenor menibus eguis
  • certat. at inconstans nunc maior nunc minor egris
  • Anchises parcit pedibus gressumgue perosus
  • e speculis videt urbis opes plaususque viarum.
  • Haut procul incumbens urbi mediantibus arvis
  • Ydeus consurgit apex, vetus incola montis,
  • silva, viret: vernat abies procera, cupressus
  • flebiiis, interpres laurus, vaga pinus, oliva
  • conciiians, cornus venatrix, fraxinus audax,
  • stat comitis paciens ulmus nunquamque seneseens
  • cantatrix buxus. paulo proclivius arvum
  • ebria vitis habet et dedignata latere
  • Cancricolam poscit Phebum. vieinus aristas
  • pregnantes fecundat ager. non plura Falernus
  • vina bibit, non tot pascit Campania messes.
  • Proxima rura rigans alio peregrinat ab orbe
  • Visurus Troiam Simois lonqoque meatu
  • emeruisse velit ut per tot regna, tot urhes,
  • exeat equoreas tandem Troianus in undas.
  • Dumque indefesso miratur Pergama visu,
  • (p.69) or patient Olympus been so indulgent. Towers almost as high are
  • scattered throughout the whole city, testifying to the toil of the
  • Cyclops. The arrogant citizen despises the ground as he seeks the
  • heights. Chimneys rising everywhere belch out their smoky flames when
  • lit. Using up the air with his huge building Ucalegon has a steeply
  • towering house while Antenor rivals him with walls rising equally
  • high. But limping Anchises, who hates walking, spares his crippled
  • feet, merely looking out from his vantage point at the prosperity of
  • the city’s crowded streets.
  • Not far off, on the other side of some fields, the summit of Mount Ida
  • rises, leaning towards the city. The wood that had long been there was
  • flourishing: the tall fir, the sad cypress, the prophetic laurel, the
  • travelling pine, the conciliatory olive, the hunting cornel and the
  • bold ash grew there, while the elm, supporting its companion, and
  • the evergreen musical boxwood also stand there. The drunken vine
  • occupies the slightly steeper terrain. Scorning to seek shelter it
  • demands the burning sun. A neighbouring field enriches the swelling
  • ears of corn. Falernus does not produce more wine nor does Campania
  • so many harvests.
  • The river Simois irrigates nearby countryside as it travels from
  • another world to see Troy. By its long journey through so many
  • kingdoms and cities it would like to have earned the right to flow
  • out into the sea finally as a Trojan river. And while it gazes
  • in unending amazement at Troy
  • (p.70) lapsurum suspendit iter fluviumque moratur
  • tardior et totam complerti destinat urbem.
  • suspensis infensus aquis vioientior instat
  • Nereus atque amnem cogens procul ire minorem
  • proximus accedit urbi. contendere credas
  • quis propior, sic alternis concurritur undis,
  • sic crebras iterant voces, sic iurgia miscent.
  • Undique siderei maiestas conflua mundi
  • Yliacum dignata solum iuga, menia, pontum
  • vestit et astrifero dat respiramina collo.
  • Ydeos Cibele colles colit, ipsa superbis
  • regnatura iugis reliquos tibi, Delia, saltus
  • donat et Ydeis pensat venatibus orbem.
  • pampineum te, Bacche, nemus, te spicea cinqit
  • silva, Ceres. Neptunus aquas, navalia Phebus,
  • arces Pallas habet et habetur Pallade fatum.
  • est sacer urbe locus media modicumque laborat
  • in cumulum pigmeus apex, quern surgere plene,
  • quern plane residere neges. hie celsa superbi
  • fulgurat ara Iovis non sceptro et fulmine nudi,
  • non qualem Tirius, non qualem predicat Indus.
  • (p.71) it delays its faltering course, slows down its already sluggish
  • flow, and causes the whole city to be encircled. The sea is
  • angry at the delay to its waters and presses in more violently,
  • forcing the smaller river to move away so that it can get right
  • up to the city. You would think they were striving to see who
  • could get closer, such was the meeting of the two currents, such the
  • continual roaring of the mutual strife.
  • From everywhere the majestic gods of the starry sphere converge,
  • finding the Trojan land worthy, investing the mountains, the walls
  • and the sea. Thus they gave respite to the heaven-bearing neck of
  • Atlas. Cybele inhabits the hills of Ida with the intention of
  • ruling on the lofty peaks while she allots the rest of the groves
  • to you, Diana, and determines the area to be available for the
  • hunts on Ida. The vine-forest houses you, Bacchus, while a
  • cornfield is your home, Ceres. Neptune occupies the sea, Apollo
  • the harbour, Pallas the citadel. The fate of the city is held
  • by Pallas. In the middle of the city is a sacred spot where a
  • tiny promontory struggles to reach a mediocre height which one
  • would describe as not rising fully nor lying quite flat. Here
  • gleams a high altar to proud Jupiter, possessing his sceptre
  • and thunderbolt, not like the one the Tyrian or the Indian
  • worships.

(p.72) Liber secundus de iudicio Paridis

  • Iam floret Priamus populoso pignore felix,
  • felix eoniugio, felix natalibus arvis,
  • si superi, si fata sinant, si stare beatis
  • permissum. videt Alleeto quas fregerat arces
  • fortuna meliore frui; videt, ardet et idris
  • irascens circumque genas et tempora crebris,
  • ‘Mene’ inquit ‘reginam Herebi mundique potentem
  • atque utinam celi, regnum mortale lacesset
  • eternum? pudet heu, lascivit Troia superstes
  • post Danaos, quibus usa fui. nostrisne triumphis
  • contendit vincique negat? ruat ocius ergo
  • a cunis concessa mihi!’ sic questa, quietem
  • invidet exiguam Priamo raptumgue sororis
  • servilemque colum et lacrimas obiectat inultas.
  • O hominum superumque pater! si numina curas,
  • cur hominem plectis? miserene quod incola terre
  • despicitur? certe lacrimis noctique dedisti
  • proscriptas a luce animas. pater optime,
  • tandem fleetere, redde polo reduces vel funera saltern
  • exilii tutare tui! cur impia sevit
  • Allecto in miseros? cur Pergama dia fatigat
  • tot superis confisa suis? tolle, inclita, tolle,
  • virgo, moras nec passa premi, quas incolis, arces
  • Gorgone pretenta Stigias perstringe Medusas!
  • en aras, en thura sibi communia poscunt

(p.73) Second Book - The Judgement of Paris

  • Priam is now flourishing, blessed with numerous children, blessed
  • in marriage, blessed in his native kingdom, if only the gods and
  • the fates were to allow it, or indeed it if was permissible to
  • remain blessed. Alleeto sees the defences she had broken enjoy a
  • better fortune. She sees, she is inflamed and rages with many
  • snakes around her cheeks and temples. ‘Will an earthly kingdom’,
  • she says, ‘always provoke me, the powerful gueen of hell and earth,
  • and one day, I hope, of heaven too? What shame is mine! Troy is
  • still standing, provocatively prosperous after the defeat by the
  • Greeks who were my agents. Does Troy put my triumph in question
  • and refuse to admit defeat? May it collapse quickly, this city that
  • was placed in my power at its very foundation!’ Complaininq like
  • this she begrudges Priam even a minimal respite, reminding him of his
  • sister’s abduction, her servile fate and her unavenged tears.
  • O father of the gods and men! If you look after the deities why do
  • you punish mankind? Is he looked down on because he lives on this
  • wretched earth? In truth, y ou have abandoned to tears and darkness
  • the souls that have been exiled from your light. Best of fathers,
  • yield at last, return and restore the souls to heaven, or at least
  • protect the dead victims of the exile you imposed! Why does evil Alleeto
  • act cruelly against the unfortunate? Why does she harass holy Pergamum
  • that puts its trust in its numerous gods? O famous virgin, do not
  • delay. Do not allow the citadels you inhabit to be assailed. With
  • the Gorgon’s head in front of you turn to stone those Styqian Medusas!
  • See, they demand that your altars and incense should be shared with them
  • (p.74) nutriees soeierum Furie noctisque tirannos
  • exorare iubent. celum intra menia clausum,
  • connives habuisse deos haut linquet inultum
  • Thesiphone regique suo cultore negato,
  • quam dedit, invidiam Frigius iuet. ecce profundis
  • curarum furiis vigiiigue impulsa dolore
  • mens Priamum in diversa trahit: nunc Marte reposcit
  • Hesionem, nunc bella timet, sententia tandem
  • certior inniti precibus, temptare Pelasgos
  • blandiciis. voce hac legatum Anthenora demum
  • instruit et parvo claudit mandata libello.
  • ‘Hactenus, invicti gens imperiosa Pelasgi,
  • libertas Asie nullis concussa vigebat
  • casibus. invidit solitum fortuna favorem
  • et rerum decrevit apex, verum Hercule vinei
  • turpe minus tantoque leves auctore ruine.
  • nunc, quia concilial humiles favor, exuo regem,
  • in miseras descendo preces. sic India Bachum,
  • sic Cirrum Cresus, Thamirim sic, Cire, rogabas.
  • at si Parca prior qua ceperat ire mearet,
  • ipse orandus eram geminumque impensus in usum
  • aut pacem reqerem iudex aut prelia princeps.
  • proh superi, que dira orbem deludit Erinis!
  • exieram miles, tractabam prelia durtor,
  • victor eram. sed quid Eoo blanda triumpho,
  • si mestos leto reditus, Fortuna, parabas?
  • heroine post tantos mihi debita pompa labores?
  • (p.75) those fomentors of crime, the Furies. They even give instructions
  • to pray to the tyrants of hell. Tisiphone will not leave unavenged
  • the fact that heavenly gods are enclosed within the walls of Troy
  • and are fellow-citizens of the Trojans, and because Priam refused
  • to worship her king, Pluto, he will pay for the ill-will he created.
  • Lo, driven by the deep anger of his worries and his keen grief,
  • Priam’s mind is torn in two directions: now he demands Hesione’s
  • return by force, now he is afraid of force. At last his considered
  • thought is to rely on entreaty, to use flattery on the Greeks.
  • Ultimately he instructed Antenor as his ambassador with these words
  • and conveyed his orders in a short letter:
  • ‘Until now, o mighty nation of unconguered Greeks, the liberty of
  • Asia flourished with no misfortunes to shake it. Then Fortune
  • begrudged us her normal favour and our supremacy declined. But
  • actually defeat by Hercules is not a great disgrace, and destruction
  • wrought by such a great man is bearable. Now because humility
  • induces favour, I put my royal honour to one side and stoop to
  • humble entreaty. Thus India pleaded with Bacchus, Croesus with
  • Cyrus, and you, Cyrus, with Thamiris. But if my previous fate had
  • continued on its course, I would have been the subject of entreaties.
  • Employed in a twofold purpose I would have acted as a presiding judge
  • in peace and as a general in war. O gods above, what a cruel curse
  • mocks the world! I left my country as a soldier, I fought battles
  • as a general and I was victorious. But, Fortune, why were you
  • preparing a return saddened by death when you had made me happy
  • with an eastern triumph? Was this the pomp that was due to me
  • after such a great struggle?
  • (p.76) sic merui tibi, Troia, dari? que leta parabas
  • cum redii! seva ilia dies semperque gemenda
  • qua reduci primum patrie mestissima clades
  • visa, audita simul! melius, quern feeirnus, hostis,
  • aut cui factus eram, vitam hanc tot tristia passam
  • rupisset gladio. sceptrone et culmine regni
  • dulce frui sic, sic fratrum patrisque perempti,
  • sic rapte memor Hesiones? miserescite, magni
  • Mirmidonum proceres! cesum lugere parentem,
  • exhaustam vidisse domum lapsosque Penates
  • sit satis: Hesionem lacrimis solatia tantis
  • reddite! parva quidem posco, sed muneris instar
  • maioris; vite pariter pariterque saluti
  • exanimem dabitis,1 sic postquam questus, et ipsi
  • et cui carta datur tepidus fluit imber in ora.
  • Anthenor, Zephiris blandum spondentibus equor,
  • haurit iter rapiensque ducis mandata per undas
  • Magnesii fines Sparlen pretervolat altam
  • fatidicamque Pilon. paucis ubi tracta diebus
  • ocia dequestus cedit; non Pelea magnum,
  • Tindaridas geminos, Piliarn flexere seneclam
  • verba ducis. leti tandem Thelamonis ad urbem
  • flectit iter Lachesisque fugam vestigat in omnes.

Nuptie Hesiones

  • Regia relsa nitet complutaque murire multo
  • purpura Gidonios disperqil in atria luxus
  • (p.77) Was this how I deserved to return to you, Troy? What happy events
  • you were preparing for my return! That was a cruel day to be
  • lamented forever, a day on which the most pitiful destruction of
  • my homeland first met my ey es and ears as I returned. It would have
  • been better if the enemy I made or for whom I was made had put an end
  • with the sword to this life of mine which had suffered so much
  • sadness. Is it a pleasure for me to hold the sceptre of royal
  • power like this, when I remember my brothers and dead father,
  • and my abducted sister Hesione? Show pity, great leaders of
  • the Mirmidons! Let it be enough to have mourned a slaughtered
  • parent, to have seen one’s family wiped out, one’s home
  • destroyed! Return Hesione to me as a consolation for such
  • great mourning! I am not asking much, but nevertheless it would
  • be like a great gift to me. You will be giwnq both life and health
  • to a dsad man.’ After this complaint a warm stream of tears rolls
  • down both Priam’s face and Antenor’s, the recipient of the letter.
  • When the west winds promise a calm sea Antenor sets sail, carrying the
  • king’s letter over the waves. He speeds across the land of Magnesia,
  • towering Sparta and prophetic Py los. After a few day s in each he
  • leaves, complaining bitterly about wasting his time. The king’s words
  • had no influence on mighty Peleus or on the twin sons of Tyndareus or
  • on the old man of Py los. Finally Antenor mov es on to the city of
  • Telamon the happy, with Lachesis looking for a way out for all concerned.

Hesione’s Wedding

  • The tall palace gleams, and purple dye from many purple-fish spreads
  • Tyrian ostentation over the rooms.
  • (p.78) soliempnem eonfessa diem, qua iungit herilem
  • Iuno thorum. leto cuncti convivia plausu
  • conrelebrant, populoque suo certamina prima
  • Ventripotens ponit genius, cenare decorum
  • et mensas variare iuvat. nec pocula desunt
  • fecundam factura sitim, repetisse voluptas,
  • et vites conferre libet. civiliter ipsi
  • indulgent proceres ciathis; bibulique clientes
  • ‘Heus, Hymenee!’ sonant et in aurea pocula fusi
  • invitant sese pateris. plebs mixta - Britanni
  • certatura siti longique potentior haustus -
  • plebeos gaudet calices et sobria vina
  • regali mutasse mero, redimitque voluptas
  • rara moras nec cessat hians dum pectore victo
  • lingua fluat, crescant lichni, vestigia nutent.
  • cetera multiplici iascivil curia plausu:
  • pars sistris, pars grata liris, pars ore canoro
  • nativas ostentat opes contentaque nervis
  • arterie non artis opem, non carmina nervi
  • ad vocis mendicat opus, se guelibet ornat
  • musa libens, qua voce placet, qua dote superbit.
  • non tamen indulgent studiis communibus omnes,
  • elatum parium similis concordia, narrat
  • cum sene canicies, ludit cum pube iuventus.
  • at moduli alternat libamina prima coraules
  • pre\ ius et dociles hoc explicat ore choreas:
  • ‘Plaudite, ronci\es, Salamine ditis alumpni,
  • plaudite! victori nubil Priameia nostra
  • (p.79) announcing the festive day on which Juno makes the royal bed conjugal.
  • Everyone with happy applause celebrates the wedding feast while the
  • Genius of the Powerful Appetite sets his first contests for his people:
  • it is a pleasure to be at table, a pleasure to have several courses.
  • Nor are the drinks missing that create an abundant thirst; here the
  • pleasure is to go back for more and to compare the different wines.
  • The nobles themselves in the manner of townspeople drink heavily
  • while their thirsty vassals shout ‘Hail, Hymen!’, and having been
  • generous with the golden cups now drink their own health from bowls.
  • The drunken lower class, forerunners of the Britons for their thirst,
  • and more competent in drinking deep, are happy to have changed their
  • common cups and ordinary wines for a royal vintage. This rare joy
  • for them makes up for any slowness in the service, and their ever-
  • open mouths do not admit defeat until, with their minds blown, their
  • tonyues lose their power, the candles seem double and their steps
  • totter. The rest of the court enjoy themselves with mans a different
  • noise: some delight with their castanets, some with lyres, while others
  • show their natural talents in tuneful song. Content with their vocal
  • chords they did not beg for the help of art or for the sounds of a
  • stringed instrument to back up their voices. Each singer gladly goes
  • on show with the voice that gives pleasure, the gift he is proud of.
  • But not everyone indulges in the communal pleasures: the different
  • generations go their own ways. The white-haired chat with the old
  • while the young men joke together. A musician comes forward, directs
  • the first movements of the dance and arranges the listening dancers
  • in position, saying: ‘Fellow citizens, inhabitants of rich Salamis,
  • clap your hands! Hesione, sister of Priam, is marrying our hero.’
  • (p.80) Hesione.’ clamant una ‘Feliciter!’ omnes
  • congeminantque iterum ‘Feliciter!’ ille canoros
  • ooncilians in plectra modos his exit in aures:
  • ‘Quid gentis Danae proavos, quid prisca stupemus
  • prelia? miremur potius, quern protulit etas,
  • qua fruimur, rerum patrem mundique patronum
  • Amphitroniadem, axis quern laudat uterque;
  • cuius opem sevos debellatura Gigantes
  • astra petunt geminoque armari fulmine poscunt.
  • hunc non Iuno ferox, non accusator iniquus,
  • non labor exhausit. redolent cunabula primum
  • vix orte virtutis opus: Nemeus adultos
  • expavit terror humeros; Erimanthus abacto
  • respiravit apro; victricis victima clave
  • absolvit Cretem taurus; dux flebat Hiberus
  • damnatis quas Cacus opes absconderat antris;
  • non angues Lerne reduces, non Cerberus ingens,
  • non Laphite domuere virum; vigilata draconi
  • poma tuiit; pestem Libicam libravit in auras
  • edocuitque hostem nocituris arlibus astra,
  • qui quondam geometer erat; Achelous in armis,
  • Nessus in effugio nimis exarsisse gueruntur;
  • Otrisios mactavit eguos, revocavit ab armis
  • Ypoliten domuitque fero Stimphalides arcu.
  • nec solum tibi se tellus, sed sidera debent;
  • vector eras et vector eris. da, maxime, felix
  • auspicium, letum tribuas nubentibus omen
  • (p.81) They all shout in unison ‘Good lurk’, repeating it again and again.
  • Adapting the beautiful rhythms to his lyre, the musician addresses
  • all of them:
  • ‘Why do we marvel at the ancestors of the Greek nation and their
  • earliest battles? Rather let us admire the one our present age has
  • brought forth, the father of our existence, the protector of the world,
  • Hercules son of Amphitryon, whom the whole world praises. It was
  • his help the heavens sought when they were able to fight the savage
  • Giants, calling for the armed presence of those twin thunderbolts,
  • Jupiter and Hercules. Neither fierce Juno nor the evil accuser
  • Eurystheus, nor his labours sapped his strength. His cradle indicated
  • the first exploit of a new-born hero: the scourge of Nemea trembled
  • in fear at the sight of his shoulders when he was full grown. Mount
  • Ery manthus breathed again when the boar had been put to flight. He
  • freed Crete from the bull that became a victim of his victorious club.
  • The Spanish chief, Geryon, wept for his cattle which Carus then hid in
  • his doomed cave. Neither the self-renewing heads of the Hydra, nor
  • huge Cerberus, nor the Lapiths could tame the man. He took the apples
  • watched over by the dragon. He held aloft Antaeus, the scourge of Libya,
  • and by means of his skills that were to prove injurious he taught his
  • enemy about the stars - beforehand Antaeus was only a geometrician.
  • Acheious in fighting and Nessus in absconding had learned to their
  • cost about his excessive love for Deianira. He slaughtered the
  • horses of Diomedes, he made Hippolyte forget fighting and tamed the
  • Stymphalians with his savage bow. Not only is the earth in your debt,
  • but the heav ens too. You were a carrier and y ou will be carried.
  • O qreat one, give a favourable auspice, grant a happy omen to the
  • bridal pair
  • (p.82) et prosit oeoinisse tibi. si iusseris, ibunt
  • monstra procul, ridebit Hymen Iunoque favebit
  • iam tua. sic Hebe pariat Saturnia celo
  • et nostro nova nupta duci,’ plaudentia rursus
  • tecta sonant festoque favet plebs leta tumultu.
  • sola tamen duro turbat convivia vultu
  • Hesione. spernit plausus oditque faventes
  • nil titulis permota suis, non dote superba,
  • non cultus mirata novos. sibi rapta videri,
  • mesta queri et quociens sibi plaudit regia nomen
  • regine, captiva pavet nec libera fidit,
  • sed iussa in thalamos timide ventura coactos.
  • cumque aliis modulentur aves, que coniuga fata
  • exhilarant meliore lira, sibi credula fingit
  • noetivagas ululasse striges, bubone sinistro
  • tecta premi Stigioque satas Acheronte sorores
  • funestas gessisse faces, heu, ceca futuri,
  • quam sevum patriis paritura nepotibus hostem!
  • quin etiam oblatos calices, oblata reeusat
  • cimbia, nunc tacito perfundit pocula luctu
  • et lacrimas bibit ipsa suas segnique morantes
  • crescentesque cibos gustu ieiuna faligat.
  • Tristior interea Frigius delabitur hospes
  • in partus, Salamina, tuos ramoque verendus
  • Palladio celsas subit arces. cetera nosse
  • curia ounetatur, concivem sola Friqemgue
  • agnoscit nova nupta virum pudibundaque vultum
  • flectit et orantem miratur talibus ilium:
  • (p.83) and may our song to you be to our advantage. If you give the
  • order the evil spirits will go away, Hymen will smile and Juno,
  • now on your side, will grant her approval. May Hebe, daughter of
  • Juno, give birth in heaven and may the new bride produce offspring
  • for our king.’ The sound of applause goes through the palace again
  • while the joyous population joins in the noisy celebrations. Only
  • Hesione upsets the festivities with her unsmiling face. She scorns
  • the applause and hates the well-wishers, unmoved by her new position
  • or marvellous dowry and unimpressed by her new life-style. She thinks
  • of herself as abducted. She complains sadly, and each time the
  • palace applauds her title as queen she fears for herself as a captive,
  • not trusting in her freedom, but going into a forced marriage afraid
  • and under duress. And although birds that add to the charm of a
  • wedding ceremony with their lovely song sing to the others, Hesione
  • thinks and even believes that night-flying owls had screeched, that
  • the sinister horned owl is sitting on the roof, that the sisters born
  • in Stygian Acheron had shaken their deadly torches. Alas, unaware of
  • the future, she will bring forth a savage enemy for her father’s
  • descendants! She even refuses the goblets and the drinking vessels
  • offered but fills her cup with silent grief, drinking her own tears
  • while her lack of appetite and slow eating cause the waiting piles of
  • food to grow.
  • Meanwhile, a sadder, Trojan guest slips into your harbour, Salamis,
  • and enters the lofty palace with Pallas’ olive branch to afford him
  • respect. The rest of the palace is slow to discover his identity -
  • only the new bride recognises the man as a fellow Trojan, and
  • shamefacedly she turns away yet admiring him as he makes this plea:
  • (p.84) ‘Inclita sceptrigeri proles Iovis et minus uno
  • in natum perducte gradu, reverende Pelasgis
  • iustitia belloque potens, tibi supplieat omnis
  • cum duoe Troia suo, Thelamon. miserescite, cives,
  • tuque prior, non tot terraque marigue labores
  • incassum fluxisse sinas! post aspera multa
  • hue tandem, hue veni. eerno quam querere iussus.
  • Hesionem cerno. non hec commercia eerte
  • Iuno probat; viotore suo captiva fruetur,
  • flens hilari, famulans domino vel barbara Greco?
  • redde magis: tot vestra nurus Europa superbas,
  • tot celebres habet ilia faces, melioribus ortam
  • quere aliam fatis: hec edita sidere diro
  • in raptus damnata fuit facilisque vel omni
  • preda venit, sempergue suis rapienda minatur.
  • noverat Argolicas Alcides, noverat alter
  • cum Polluce error, novit cum Nestore Peleus,
  • cum levis assensu facili tibi preda daretur
  • Hesione; meque haut fines trusisset in istos
  • infelix Priamus, si quid de qente superstes
  • cognata patrie pensaret damna ruine.
  • hanc tibi, non superis, animam debere fatetur
  • quam sibi servatam gaudet.’ ‘sibi? sed “Telamoni”
  • die potius,’ subicit Telamon invitaque flentis
  • oscula predatur et ‘in hos’ ait ‘ire lacertos
  • emerui gladio.’ sic interfatur ei illud
  • Dirceum memorat: ‘teneo longumque tenebo.’
  • (p.85) ‘Famous offspring of ruling Jupiter, brought into this life at
  • only one remove from him, powerful in war and revered by the
  • Greeks for your fairness, Telamon, the whole of Troy with its
  • king implores you. O citizens, but particularly you, Telamon,
  • show pity. Do not permit so many tribulations on land and sea
  • to have been suffered in vain. After so much hardship it is to
  • here that I have finally come. I see the one I have orders to
  • seek; I see Hesione. Juno certainly does not approve of this
  • wedding. Will a captive find pleasure from her captor, will a
  • mourner from one who is happy, a servant from her master or a
  • barbarian from a Greek? Give her back, instead. Your Europe
  • has so many aristocratic young women, so many reputable brides.
  • Seek one who was born under a luckier star. Hesione was born
  • under a cruel sign, destined to be abducted. She comes as an
  • easy prey for anyone and is always under threat of being abducted
  • from her companions. Hercules had Greek women, as did the identical
  • twins, Castor and Pollux. Peleus and Nestor still had theirs when
  • Hesione was readily given to you as unimportant booty. And unhappy
  • Priam would not have bundled me off to these lands if some survivor
  • of his family remained to compensate for the loss of his fatherland
  • that was ravaged. He admits that she owes her life to you, not to
  • the gods, and he is happy that she has been kept alive for him.’
  • ‘For him? For Telamon, you mean’, says Telamon, snatching unwelcome
  • kisses from the weeping Hesione. ‘I earned by my sword the right to
  • enjoy her embraces.’ Thus he interrupts and recalls the Theban
  • saying: ‘I hold it and will do so for a long time.’
  • (p.86) Pulsus abit Frigius relegensque quod hauserat equor
  • in patrios delatus agros iter explicat omne
  • civibus, Hesiones talamos et nulla Pelasgos
  • iura sequi, bellumque hortatur. at eger iniqua
  • suspicione Paris: ‘ne credite; ludimur’, inquit,
  • ‘Dardanide! miror hilarem. sibi commodus uni.
  • non sperata refert, non quod commune decorum
  • molitus speciale bonum. male publica curat
  • qui sua pluris habet; gelidoque haut utitur ense
  • saucia proximitas. mihi classem ac vela parate.
  • ibo, ibo: non me, pavidus quas obicit Hector,
  • terruerint Sirtes, non arma adversa vel hostes;
  • non aditus in regna graves, mihi numen ab alto
  • indulget dictatque vias spemque addit ituro.
  • mira quidem, sed vera, duces, advertite, pandam.

Somnium Paridis

  • Desertura virum flebat Pallantias ortum
  • processisse diem, sed iam maturior estus
  • solverat algentes lacrimas; me dulce trahebat
  • certamen nemorum populari lustra, fugaces
  • indagare feras facilique instare moiosso.
  • ocius exeiti qui casse vel ore vel aure,
  • fraude, sono, sensu, ludentes prelia, casse
  • fallunt, ore cient, vestigant aure, simulque
  • invadunt saltus. me nutu numinis error
  • devius in spatium seduetius, in nemus altum
  • egit venarique dedit secreta dearum.
  • (p.87) Antenor leaves rebuffed, returns over the sea he had previously
  • crossed. Having reached home he recounts the whole journey to the
  • citizens, the wedding of Hesione and the Greeks’ disregard of rights.
  • He recommends war. But Paris, troubled by unjust suspicions, says:
  • ‘Don’t believe him, Trojans. We are being tricked. I marvel at
  • his happiness. He has worked only for his own good. He has not
  • brought back what we hoped for, has not striven for that special
  • goal of common good. He who places personal wealth first is a
  • bad upholder of public interests. When a blood-relative has been
  • injured one takes revenge with an uncowardly sword. Prepare a
  • fleet for me to set sail. I shall go. The Syrtes that frightened
  • Hector puts forward as an obstacle will not scare me. Nor do
  • armed enemies facing me. Nor even the difficulties involved in
  • entering the kingdoms of the Greeks. A heavenly power looks kindly
  • on me, indicates the way and gives me hope for my journey. Leaders,
  • listen to me as I recount something that is fantastic but true.

The Dream of Paris

  • Aurora, descendant of the giant Pallas, about to leave her
  • husband’s bed, was weeping that the day had begun to be set in
  • motion, but by now an increasing heat had made her cold tears
  • disappear. The pleasant sport of the woods was enticing me to
  • plunder the dens of wild animals, to pursue them in flight and
  • to track them down with the easily -trained dogs. Quickly stirred
  • into action are those who with net, voice or ear, by trickery ,
  • noise or flair, play at war - that is, the trappers, the beaters
  • and the trackers enter the woods together. Because of the will
  • of a deity I wandered off course into a more remote part, deep
  • in the woods, which allowed me to hunt the secrets of the goddesses.
  • (p.88) Idei regina sinus dignissima Phebo
  • laurus inoffenso frondosum vertice crinem
  • explicat, et nemoris proscripta plebe minoris
  • sola viret, nullique suas oommunicat umbras.
  • cetera Cirream veneratur silva iuventam,
  • celsum submittens apicem, longeque reducta
  • maiorem temere poscentes aera frondes
  • castigat metuitque sacris occurrere ramis.
  • hue deus, aut casus, certe gratissimus error,
  • pertulit ereptum sociis. hac letus in umbra
  • mirabar laurum vivacis lege iuvente
  • nil love mutato passam: mirabar et Eurum
  • murrnure adulantem foliis, et frondibus auram
  • secretum spirare suum; cum languida sensim
  • fur oculi somnus invitans ocia, blandum
  • pectoris elusit studium curasque fefellit.
  • sic caput herboso proiectum cespite fultus,
  • delicias hausi superum, nec frivola suetus
  • in plebem lusisse sopor sed somnia regum
  • dignatus subiit. magni mox nupta Tonantis
  • et Venus et Pallas sese languentibus ultro
  • ingessere oculis, quarum que maxima fando
  • vix bene maturam visa est solvisse quietem.

Confliotus dearum de preiudicio forme Oratio Iunonis

  • ‘Venimus in saltus Frigios, O Dardane, veni
  • magni nupta Iovis, venit Mavortia Pallas,
  • (p.89) A laurel tree, queen of the vale of Ida and most worthy of Apollo,
  • unfurls its leafy crown at an unrivalled height. It flourishes
  • there on its own, as the crowd of lesser trees is far removed
  • from it and it therefore sheds no shade on any other tree. The
  • other trees in the wood revere the evergreen of Apollo, bowing
  • their tall crests, and from a distance rebuke those leaves that
  • have the audacity to demand more sunlight. They are afraid of
  • tangling with its sacred branches. It was to here that a deity
  • or chance - certainly a very welcome diversion - led me away from
  • my comrades. At ease in the shade, I admired the laurel that
  • suffered no change whatever the weather because it was an evergreen.
  • I was admiring too the east wind caressing the leaves with its
  • gentle breath, and the breeze whispering its secret to the branches,
  • when sleep, robbing me of my sight, bade me rest my senses in
  • repose. It playfully removed the pleasant pursuit of hunting from
  • my mind and cheated my intentions. Thus resting my head down on
  • the grassy turf I experienced the delights of the gods. Sleep of
  • the sort that graces the dreams of kings, not that which usually
  • plays frivolous tricks on the lower classes, came to me. Immediately
  • Juno, the wife of the great Thunder king, and Venus and Pallas
  • entered my tired eyes. The greatest of these seemed to put an end
  • to my sleep almost before it had begun by saying:

The Goddesses’ Arguments about the Beauty Contest Juno’s Speech

  • ‘We have come to the Phrygian woods, O Trojan, - that is, I the
  • bride of great Jupiter have come, the warrior Pallas has come,
  • (p.90) venit blanda Venus, gratare, en noster alumpnus,
  • quod dare Paroa neget, timeat promittere votum,
  • sideree Hbram forme dedit. ipsa Tonantis
  • unica, que trini dispense federa regni
  • cui parent unde Neptuni, Tartara Ditis,
  • astra Iovis, non si laudor censore caduco
  • indignor, non grata minus reditura Tonanti,
  • si nostro dubius hesit mortalis in ore.
  • quod longum est mirantis erit; neu forte putetur
  • mendax quern debet famulatrix fama favorem,
  • quod rarum superis, nudos en aspice vultus.
  • talis in amplexus venio Iovis. ergo quis ausus
  • Pallada Gorgoneam bellatricemque Medusam
  • hiis conferre genis? non sic pudor exulat omnis
  • ut populi terror, vulgi fuga, baiula leti,
  • quo terret, placuisse velit. vis, dira, doceri?
  • “diva” tamen dictura fui. non hie opus ense,
  • angues tolle tuos, armatos exue vultus,
  • da facilem visu faciem, frontem exere, cedat
  • cassis et inclusum sine respirare cerastam!
  • detege quod galea horrendum, quod parma pudendum
  • occulit atque aude preconia vera mereri!
  • hicne nitor calibis, hoc aurum hostile decoris
  • extorquebit opem? nescis, sevissima, nescis:
  • in calibe horror inest, in casside fulrninat aurum,
  • in capuln rrudescit ebur. sic docta minaces
  • delicias affert el vull placuisse Minerva.
  • tune Iovem mentita patrem? qua pelice nostra
  • (p.91) seductive Venus has come. Be happy. Look, my beloved stepson
  • has given you what fate will not give and what your prayers fear
  • to conceive, namely the judgement of heavenly beauty. I, Jupiter’s
  • only love, who administer the laws of the three kingdoms, to whom
  • the sea of Neptune obeys, as do Pluto’s hell and Jupiter’s heaven,
  • I will not get angry if I am judged by a mortal judge. I will not
  • nturn to Jupiter any less appreciated if a hesitant mortal takes
  • a long time to appreciate my beauty. If he does take time it will
  • be because he is lost in admiration. So that the favour which Fame,
  • my familiar, owes me, should not appear false, look at my uncovered
  • face - a sight rarely offered to the gods. I am like this when I
  • embrace Jupiter. So who would dare to compare Pallas the Gorgon,
  • the battling Medusa, with me for beauty ? All sense of shame is not
  • exiled if the terror of the people, the router of the mob, the carrier
  • of death, should thus wish to seduce by the very guality that inspires
  • terror. Do you want a bit of advice, malevolent one? Sorry, I meant
  • to say “heavenly one”. You won’t need your sword here. Take off
  • your snakes and your armoured headgear. Let us see your face clearly.
  • Show us y our forehead; off with y our helmet now and let the horned
  • serpents that are under it have a breather! Reveal the horror that
  • the helmet hides, the disgrace that the shield hides, and be brave
  • enough to warrant a genuine evaluation! Will this gleam of steel
  • or this gold of your armour win for you the rich beauty prize? You
  • are wrong, most cruel one, you are wrong: there is horror in your
  • steel, the gold in your helmet has a baleful sheen, the ivory of your
  • sword-hilt flashes cruelly. Thus does learned Minerv a bring along
  • her agqressiv e pleasures and she wants to he liked. Did you falsely
  • pretend that Jupiter was your father? By which of our whores
  • (p.92) in luetus audente suos? sed matre carere
  • creditur. o superum pudor! hincne animosa superbit
  • solius meminisse viri dicique virago
  • emeruit? certe superos invisa fatigat,
  • mortales consurnit. “at est Mavortia” diount -
  • ergo mares vorat. “at Pallas” - sit, sed quia pallet
  • vel quia Pallanti iugulum scidit. hinc color, inde
  • dextra nocens nomen alterno iure meretur.
  • Tuque, sed o facinus! tune, inquam, prodiga sexus,
  • femina plus quam iura sinant et mollior equo,
  • tune ergo, Venus, ausa venis in premia forme?
  • an nescis cui iura petis communia? sed quis
  • credet? tot luno similes habet? unica quondam
  • et nullis equanda fui! cum provida mundum
  • digereret Natura suum, sine coniuge coniunx
  • stabat et in florem vuitu crescente severum
  • stabat adhuc cum sic mater Natura: “Quid heres,
  • celi heres? quod poscis habes: hec sanguine iuncta
  • iunctior amplexu. soror est, coniunx erit. una
  • e numero selecta tibi - una, sed unica, cuius
  • nec similem memoret lellus nec sidera norint.
  • absque pari parit ilia tibi.” sic fata negantem
  • in fratris cupidi dedit oscula. eonseius ille
  • optati sceptrum tribuit commune sorori.
  • erqo eat et vultus nostros Erieina lacessat.
  • nuptum ivi selecta Iovi: sed fallilur. isset
  • diva Paphi poeius? quid ni? ortus nacta serenns
  • (p.93) whose daring was to bring her grief? But they say she has no mother.
  • O shame of the gods! Is it for this reason she proudly boasts that
  • she keeps only man in mind and has deserved to be called a virago?
  • It is true - the hateful creature wearies the gods and consumes
  • mortals. ‘But she is Mavortian” people say - so she mauls men.
  • “But she is Pallas” - agreed, but either because she is pallid or
  • because she slit Pallas’ throat. In one respect her complexion, in
  • another her murderous right hand, have given her a double right to her
  • name.
  • And you, Venus, you scandal! You, I say, you dispenser of sex, more
  • feminine than is lawful and more lewd than is right, are you daring
  • to come to this beauty contest? Don’t you know whom you are measuring
  • yourself against? But who will believe it? Juno has so many equals?
  • Once I was unique and had no rivals! When provident Nature ordered
  • her world my husband had no wife, and when his face was beginning to
  • sprout a stern beard he was still without one, so Mother Nature said:
  • Why do you delay, heir to the heavens? You have what you are asking
  • for. She who is joined to you in blood will be joined even closer
  • in bed. She is your sister; she will be your wife. One chosen for
  • you from a number and yet one who is unique. Earth cannot recall and
  • the heavens do not know any one like her. She will produce incomparable
  • children for you.” Speaking thus, Nature handed me over against my
  • will to my brother’s lustful embraces. He was aware of what he
  • wanted and shared his sceptre with his sister. So, let Sicilian
  • Venus go and challenge my beauty. I was selected to go and marry
  • Jupiter. But that is wrong - should the goddess of Paphos have gone
  • in my place? Why not? She had a pure birth,
  • (p.94) concrevit spumante freto cesisque pudendis.
  • hec patrem factura lovem, tibi beilice Mavors,
  • et populo pareret! hac anceps etheris heres
  • aurea degeneri violaret regna metallo,
  • quique nec indicia Phebi nec vindice textu
  • securam potuit noctemque fidemque rnereri,
  • Lennius ultum iret alieni probra pudoris,
  • lenius et proprios non suspiraret amores.
  • ut Frigium sileam - quis vulgatissima nescit
  • furta dee? “Sed blanda, sed alma, sed aurea” - nectit
  • blanda dolos, alit alma malum, petit aurea donum.
  • olim, nam memini, certandi sola potestas
  • cum love nostra fuit. ubi tunc Venus? illane venit
  • tercia? ubi Pallas? an quarta, ut iussa, veniret?
  • Tiresia certe steterat sub iudice Iuno.
  • sed taceo. tu, Frix, potior tu disce rnereri
  • Iunonem que sceptra feral, que commodet aurum!
  • tot mundus miratur opes, tot regna comete
  • dispensant: que sceptra velis, quas, elige, terras.
  • quicquid agas, quocumque fluat sententia, nosti
  • Iunonem placuisse Iovi; Iunonie iudex,
  • censorem ne sperne lovem!’ sic alta profando
  • regine mullum meminil vultumque superbum
  • vocibus ingessit contempta fronte precantis.
  • Prodit in aspectum Pallas fandique serundas
  • nacta vices, proprie fidens et conscia cause
  • irriguo sacras haurit de pectore voces:
  • (p.95) and grew from the foam of the sea and chopped-off testicles. When
  • she might have made Jupiter a father it was really the offspring of you,
  • warlike Mars, and the human race that she was giving birth to!
  • With her this doubtful heir of heaven would have degraded the
  • golden realm with base metal, while he who was unable to earn your
  • fidelity or a night free of worry either with the help of Apollo or
  • with his avenging net, Lemnian Vulcan I mean, he should have gone to
  • avenge the shame of another’s disgrace, and forgivingly should not
  • have longed for his own love. And not to mention the Phrygian ...,
  • but who does not know of the most notorious adulteries of this goddess?
  • “But she is gentle, kind and golden.” - She gently weaves her deceits,
  • kindly feeds evil and “giltily” seeks reward. There was a time, I
  • remember, when only my power of resisting Jupiter was in evidence.
  • Where was Venus then? Was she the third member in the contest?
  • Where was Pallas? Did she come as the fourth member when summoned?
  • No, indeed, only Juno stood there when Tiresias was judge. But I will
  • say no more. You, Trojan, instead learn to earn the gratitude of Juno
  • who carries the sceptre and bestows gold! The world marvels at such
  • wealth while comets distribute so many kingdoms: choose whatever
  • sceptres and lands you may desire. Whatever y ou may do, wherever your
  • decision may end, you know that Juno found favour with Jupiter. Judge
  • of Juno, do not despise Jupiter’s judgement!’ Speaking haughtily in this
  • way she kept firmly in mind her queenly status, adopting a proud look
  • and tone, scorning the mien of a suppliant.
  • Next into sight comes Pallas who had drawn the right to speak second.
  • Conscious of, and confident in, her own cause, she brings forth these
  • sacred words from her wisdom-giving heart:

(p.96) Oratio Palladis

  • ‘Magna parens superum - nec enim nego, magna Tonantis
  • nupta, nec invideo - meritum, Frix inclite, nostrum,
  • si quod erat, carpsit. testor freta, testor Olimpum,
  • testor humum. non arrnatas in preiia lingue
  • credideram venisse deas; hac parte loquacem
  • erubeo sexum, minus hie quam femina possum -
  • Martem alium didici. victoria feda ubi victus
  • plus laudis victore feret, nostrisque triumphis
  • hie haut notus honos. sed quo regina decoro
  • effatu tendit? dea sit, cedo, immo dearum
  • maxima, non dextre sortiri sceptra potentis
  • partirive lovem certatim venimus. ilia,
  • ilia habeal que se ostentat. nos qloria saltern
  • cum titulis opus est ornat minor, et quia cogor
  • in laudes ire, haut omni sine dote Minerva.
  • si gena, si generis auctor, si denique mores
  • querendi, in curis regnal pudor, a love sanguis,
  • censori facies oculo patet. heroine forma,
  • hoc genus, hie mentis cullus? si ooniuga dive
  • gaudia, nuptarum doles et pignora iaetant,
  • virginitas me sola iuvat nil passa pudendum,
  • non lesura thoros, non deprensura maritos.
  • marie Paris, mea bella viri, mea pensa puelle
  • et mea laurigeri meditanlur rarmina vates.
  • sic populis ulrisque fruor, sic grata per omnes.
  • sed quid ego hec, quid ad her subnectere plura laborem?
  • rnoribus indiqnum, fateor, sludiisque pudiris

(p.97) Speech of Pallas

  • The great mother of the gods (a title I do not deny her), who is
  • also the great bride of Jupiter (and this title I do not envy her)
  • has impugned whatever merit I had, famous Trojan. I call on the seas,
  • Olympus and the earth to witness this. I had not thought that the
  • goddesses had come armed for a battle of words; on this point I blush
  • for the garrulous sex, but I am less capable than a woman here. I
  • have learned another sort of contest. A victory in which the vanquished
  • gets more praise than the victor is vile. It is an honour unknown in
  • my victories. But what is our queen driving at with her eloquent speech?
  • Let her be a goddess - I concede that, even the greatest of the goddesses.
  • We have not come to compete in casting lots for the sceptres of her
  • mighty hand or to have a share in Jupiter. Let her keep those things
  • she has been boasting about. A lesser glory is mine, if praise is
  • essential and since I am forced to sing my own praises, but Minerva is
  • not totally without assets. If beauty, lineage and morals are in
  • contention, then modesty rules my emotions, my blood is that of Jupiter
  • and my beauty is obvious to any judge. Is this not beauty , lineage and
  • refinement? If other goddesses boast of their wedded bliss, their
  • marriage dowries and their children, I can say that virginity alone
  • appeals to me. I have not had to put up with anything disgraceful.
  • I am not going to wreck any marriage or catch any husband doing wrong.
  • Revered Paris, men think of my battles, girls of my weaving and
  • laurel-crowned poets of my songs. I enjoy the company of both sexes
  • and am well-received by everyone. But why am I praising myself?
  • Why am I striving to add even more praise to this? It is degrading
  • to one’s character and to one’s modest disposition, I admit,
  • (p.98) ostentare suum; proprie nam venditor artis
  • detitulat titulos, quos ingerit. at quia presens
  • viribus et viciis armatur causa, Minervam
  • accipe plus tacite meritam quam voce secutam!
  • Cum vetus efflueret in regnum mobile mundus
  • terrarumque notas ultrix detergeret unda,
  • emersit cum sole Fides; mox cetera dudum
  • nacta fugam virtus terris offensa profanis
  • iam mundo meliore redit: Prudentia numquam
  • velox, indulgens Pietas, Patientia victrix,
  • strenua Simplicitas, hilaris Pudor, Ardor Agendi
  • sobrius et nullo nutans Constantia casu;
  • non vaqa Pax aberat, rerum Concordia custos,
  • Iusticie Rectique Tenor, sine vindiee stabant
  • visure populos et Deucaliona sorores
  • poscebantque ducem; nec enim secura meandi
  • copia nec prorsus Furiis in Tartara pulsis
  • cessavere metus. tandem qenitura Minervam
  • contremuit frons celsa Iovis totusque rotatu
  • intonuit maiore polus, nec letior umquam
  • lux superis. hoc patre fluens, hoc edita partu
  • divum pandit iter, Diras et monstra relegat
  • virtutum custos, virtutum previa Pallas.
  • hec ilia est, quam Iuno notat, quam, Dardane, eernis,
  • marte Minerva potens, hec, cuius dextra minacem
  • exhausit Flegram. vidi - dicamne? sed omnes
  • novimus: Encheladi consumpsit flamma Ciclopes,
  • centimanus pharetras centum Niobesque sagittas
  • (p.99) to sing one’s own praises, for the proclaimer of his own worth
  • devalues those very claims he advances. But since the present
  • case is being fought on virtues and vices, listen to a Minerva
  • who has more merit when silent than she will ever have when boasting!
  • When the old world was washed away into the sea and the avenging
  • flood cleansed the stains of the earth, Trustworthiness came out with
  • the sun. Immediately the other virtues that had long since fled,
  • offended by the sinful lands, returned now that the world was
  • better: Prudence, never in a hurry, kind-hearted Piety,
  • triumphant Patience, eager Simplicity, cheerful Chastity,
  • sober Charity and Constancy that does not waver in any
  • misfortune; Peace the traveller’s friend, Concord the guardian of
  • property, and the unswerving course of Justice and Right were also
  • there. The sisters stood there without a champion, waiting to see
  • Deucalion and his people, begging for a leader. For there was no
  • possibility of trav elling free from worry, nor had their fears
  • completely disappeared because the Furies had been driven into hell.
  • At last the lofty brow of Jupiter began to tremble as it gave birth
  • to Minerva and the whole sky echoed as it turned on a greater axis.
  • No day was ever more pleasing to the gods. Coming from this father,
  • born in this way, Pallas, the guardian and leader of the virtues,
  • cleared the path of the gods and banished the Furies and the monsters.
  • This is the one that Juno criticises, that you see before you, Trojan:
  • Minerva, powerful in war, whose right hand defeated the threat of
  • Phlegra. I saw - shall I say it? But we all know the story: how
  • the madness of Eneeladus wore out the Cyelopes, the hundred-handed
  • Briareus scorned the hundred arrows of Diana and Phoebus and the
  • arrows that killed Niobe,
  • (p.100) sprevit, hanelanti iam maior Marte Typhoeus
  • celum poscebat. ubi tunc Mavortia Iuno?
  • iuvisset numero saltern propiorque stetisset
  • pro sceptris armata suis! iam pene supernos
  • Persephone thalamos Ditem compiexa tenebat,
  • cum tandem exiliens trepidis Saturnia stratis
  • exclamat: “Pallas, Pallas, proh fata, moraris?
  • pellimur”! accessi. sensit valuisse Medusam
  • Gorgoneamque deam, sensit, quod fulminat aurum
  • plus splendore potens, cum celum, sceptra, Penates
  • reddidimus trepide. sit nunc ingrata, sit hostis,
  • nostrum est, quod regnat, nostrum, quod cum love sompno
  • securo fruitur. at curam imbellis Olimpi
  • cum subii, tunc diva fui, tunc dicta virago.
  • vos, superi, testor, quantis sudaverit ausis
  • hoc caput, hoc pectus nostrum,’ ac ostendit utrumque
  • celum suspiciens. ‘Pudor hie, hie cassidis horror
  • et parme, quern Iuno notat. genuitne cerastas
  • Iupiter? Advertat, cuius convicia tractat,
  • diva memor parcatque suis! parit ilia potentem
  • Vulcanum pariatque velim; non, quod pede molli
  • militat, invideo, nectitve quod arte catenas’,
  • sic fatur Veneremque obliquo figit oeello
  • atque iterat: ‘Res o vatum dignissima risu!
  • en generat voces, evolvit nomina, nugas
  • Pieridum et nostras dignatur nosoere frondes.
  • Sed male vel didicit, meminit vel mollius eguo.
  • vera voce fluit a ‘polleo’ Pallas et alti
  • splendorem meriti vix gloria nominis equat.
  • (p.101) how Typhoeus got the upper hand as Mars gasped for breath and how he
  • demanded the heavens. And where was warlike Juno then? She could
  • at least have added to the number and approached nearer, armed to
  • defend her rule! Persephone was already on the point of mating with
  • Pluto in the heavenly bed when Saturnian Juno at last jumping out of
  • that bed in fear, shouted: “Pallas, Pallas, by Jupiter! Why are you
  • holding back? We are being driven out!” I mov ed in. She realised
  • the worth of Medusa the Gorgon goddess then, she realised that the
  • gold of my armour she had criticised was more than just show when
  • I gave her back heaven, her kingdom and her home, as she stood there
  • shaking with fright. She may now be ungrateful and hostile to me,
  • but it is my doing that she is queen, that she can sleep safely with
  • Jupiter. But when I went to the help of feeble Olympus, then I was
  • a ‘heavenly one’, then I was called a virago. O gods above, I call
  • on you as witnesses to testify to the great deeds of bravery which
  • my head and breast achieved with so much effort.’ So saying, she
  • bared both, raising her ey es to heaven. ‘Here is the modesty , here
  • the terror of my helmet and shield, reviled by Juno. Did Jupiter
  • produce horned serpents? The goddess should remember and realise
  • whom she is attacking with her insults. She should stop attacking
  • her own! For she produced powerful Vulcan - and I am glad she did;
  • I do not envy her that he goes to war softly or that he is a skilful
  • weaver of nets!’ Thus she spoke, and fixing Venus with a sidelong
  • glance, she continued: ‘O topic most worthy of the ridicule of poets!
  • She not only ety mologises, she giv es the derivation of my name, and
  • lowers herself to adopt the trifles of the muses and my leafy crowns.
  • But she has not learned properly, or else her memory is feebler than it
  • should be. In actual fact, Pallas is derived from ‘power’ and the glory
  • of the name can scarcely compare with the splendour of my lofty merit.
  • (p.102) macte Paris - quid enim numerandis improba veris
  • effluo et in titulos suspiro prodiga? - lesi
  • forte deos, exempla sequor veniamque coaetus
  • error habet. nosti Iunonem indigna locutam,
  • sed taceo. promsi - fateor doleoque - superba,
  • vera tamen. sed molle decus formeque triumphum
  • non hac mente peto, viles ut solvar in usus
  • vulgaresque iocos. hac fronte, hoc oris honore
  • venatrix hominum vernet Venus! o fuga morum!
  • diis utinam libranda forem! nunc Cipris in omnes
  • bella ciet victrixque placet mundumque superbit
  • imperiis cessisse suis. heu, rara securis
  • aurea, rarus amor morum! quippe ardua frangit
  • virus dulce, pie Sirtes, amentia supplex,
  • molle malum, morbus hilaris. sic vendieat orbem
  • exicium venale Venus, sic exit in omnes
  • teligerum complexa suum exemplumque datura
  • Vulcano Martique parit. moderantior olim,
  • mortali contenta iugo non astra coegit
  • in numerum laqueumque suum, non fulmine blando
  • fulminis auctorem fregit, non Cinthius ignes
  • maiores miratus erat, non cura Tridentis
  • in mediis fervebat aquis, sed nomine vero
  • Bachus Liber erat. pudet, Egeonis alumpna
  • sera ultrix superos vexat celumque reposcit
  • cum patrio proiecta gelu cumque exule mentu... -
  • erubeo ulteriora loqui. me strenua certe
  • omnipotensque Venus temptabat flectere. cessit,
  • sensi etenim; mecumque utinam deprenderet orbis,
  • (p.103) Revered Paris - why do I go on enumerating truths in this shameless
  • fashion and aspire to fame so prodigally? Perhaps I have offended
  • the gods? I am only following Juno’s example, and sin that is forced
  • on one is pardonable. You know that Juno said a lot that was unworthy -
  • but I will say no more. I have made, it is true and I regret it, some
  • proud boasts, but they are truthful. But I do not seek this peaceful
  • honour, this beauty prize, with the intention of earning money from
  • low-class acts of vulgar sex. Venus, the huntress of men, could do
  • really well with this beautiful face of mine! How virtue has fled!
  • If only I were to be judged by gods! Now the Cyprian wages war against
  • everyone, delights those she defeats, and is proud that the world has
  • yielded to her power. Alas, rare indeed is the golden axe, rare the
  • love of virtue! It is not surprising that this sweet poison, these
  • pious quicksands, this wheedling madness, this soft evil, this happy
  • disease, weakens firm resolve. Thus Venus, the venal destruction,
  • claims the world, thus she goes out against every one, embracing her
  • arrow-bearing son. To set an example she has children by both Vulcan
  • and Mars. Once she was less ambitious and was content to yoke mortals:
  • she did not drive gods into her snare to be of her number. She did not
  • destroy the lightning-god with her gentle lightning, Phoebus the Cynthian
  • was not amazed by heat greater than his own. Neptune the trident-god
  • was not steaming with love in the middle of the sea, and Bacchus, true
  • to his name, was free. It is shameful that this child of the sea, this
  • late avenger, harries the gods and claims back the heavens she was
  • thrown out of with her cold father who had lost his pen.. - I blush to
  • say more. The noble, all-powerful Venus certainly tried to influence me,
  • but she failed for I was on my guard. If only the world could deal with
  • her as I did!
  • (p.104) quam fallax et blanda venit! nil hoste polito
  • sevius. omnifico vultu mentita favorem
  • amplexum in planctus solvit, defederat urbes,
  • arces frangit et in subitum rapit omnia Martem.
  • cum ventum in cedes, cedit; cum prelia fervent,
  • frigescit. tunc arma iuvant, tunc Pallas in usu
  • et Venus in probris. commercia turpia: molies
  • exacuit, duros emasculat et rapit orbem
  • in predam, cui preda venit. sic mutuus error
  • invenit alterni solacia digna pudoris.
  • non cogo in certos numerosum Prothea vultus,
  • non Venerem semper variam moresque pererro
  • implicitos. satis est, aliquo si cognita nutu
  • non trahat incautum prorsus. sed voce monentis,
  • exemplum cui mundus erit, quis dicat egere?
  • maxime Priamidum, nostra est si gloria quicquid
  • Mars audet, quod Clio docet, quod tractat Aragne
  • si tibi mixta manus et partitura Minervam,
  • si tutoris egent artes et in arce triumphat
  • Palladium, forme titulum si virgo meretur,
  • annue et Iliacum, iudex, ne despice fatum’!
  • desierat vultuque animum vocemque secuto
  • in girum flectens aciem sedet. emicat axe
  • Ydalio provecta Venus tandemque profatur
  • mesta parum, sed blanda oculis et fronte serena:

Oratio Veneris

  • ‘heu, quibus exilium populis positura relinquar
  • libera Saturni proles? cui grata vel equa,
  • si superis invisa vagor, si transfuga celi
  • (p.105) How deceptively pleasant she is! But there is nothing crueller
  • than a polite enemy. With her changeable face she lies when she
  • offers you her protection, she turns love into grief. She causes
  • cities to break treaties, destroys citadels and drives everything
  • into sudden conflict. When the actual fighting starts she leaves;
  • in the heat of battle she grows cold. That is when weapons are useful,
  • that is when Pallas is needed and Venus is reviled. Her changes are
  • disgusting: she makes the weak brave, emasculates the hard men and
  • makes the world her prey when she comes as prey for it. Thus each
  • side in error finds some dignified consolation in the shame of the
  • other. I cannot force versatile Proteus into a recognisable shape
  • and I cannot go over all of Venus’ continual changes or her complicated
  • love intrigues. It is enough if she is recognised by some indication
  • and does not completely seduce the unwary. But who can say that he
  • lacks the word of an advisor when the whole world could be an example?
  • O greatest son of Priam, if my glory is whatever Mars dares, what Clio
  • teaches, what Arachne makes, and if your brothers and sisters need the
  • different gifts of Minerva, if your skills lack a patron, and if the
  • Palladium is enthroned in your citadel, or if a virgin deserves the
  • title of beauty -queen, then give it to her, judge, and do not despise
  • the fate of Troy.’ She finished speaking, and with an expression
  • fitting her thoughts and words she looks around her and sits down.
  • Venus riding in her Cyprian chariot arrives in haste and speaks at
  • last somewhat sadly, but her eyes are beautiful and her face calm:

Venus’ Speech

  • Alas, I, the free-born daughter of Saturn, to which peoples shall I
  • be left to take up my exile? To whom shall I be welcome as a friend
  • if I wander the world, hated by the qods; if, an outcast from heaven
  • (p.106) fata sequor? vos, o, spirat quibus orbe secundo
  • indefessa fides, quos non livesoere rertum est:
  • si pia, si facilis, si nuili dura Dione,
  • pendite, quis causam casus premat, unde tumultus,
  • unde mine! cum prima meos lux extulit ortus,
  • fovi hominem duros tenere solata labores
  • et casus miserata graves, sic publica grati
  • tempia michi struxere viri, sic thura merebar.
  • hinc ire, hinc odii cause, miserescite saltern
  • vos, quibus exul agor! celi rea deprecor orbem,
  • quern colui; vestram, populi, defendite civem!
  • flos iuvenum, spes nostra, Paris, non vexo locutas
  • non incuso, deas; quis enim vel carpere possit
  • vel sacros equare modos? at - si qua fatendi
  • libertas veri - nosti, puer indite, nosti,
  • que rerum series, steterit quo cardine causa,
  • quam bene rem sermo digesserit. indice vultu,
  • eloquio frontis, oculo censore secanda
  • lis erat. unde igitur armata licentia fandi
  • infremuit? si dura minus reverensque pudoris,
  • et love progenita et virgo Tritonia credi
  • posset, “at emeruit Musarum maxima dici”:
  • non nego, fingit enim nullique hac arte secunda
  • falsigraphos commenta docet, docet auribus uti
  • mollibus et cecos per frivola ducere sensus;
  • cumque per ambaqes nugis pomposa venustis
  • Phillidas, Ysiphilas et prelia nostra retractel,
  • lucratur saeram venalis fabula laurum.
  • at, si rniliciam fingendi feda facultas
  • hano habitura fuit, saltern discrimen habendum,
  • (p.107) I follow my fates? O you whose tireless faith is strong on this good
  • earth, you mortals who certainly feel no jealousy, if I, Dione, am
  • faithful, understanding, cruel to nobody, consider what misfortune
  • assails my case, where the arguments and the threats come from! From
  • the very day of my birth I have cherished man, gently consoling his
  • harsh toil and sympathising with his difficulties and misfortunes.
  • For this reason grateful men have built public temples to me, and I
  • deserved the incense. These are the causes of the anger and hate of
  • the goddesses. You to whom I am driven in exile have pity on me, at
  • least. Accused by the heavens I appeal to the earth that I inhabit:
  • peoples, defend your fellow-citizen. Flower of youth, Paris, my hope,
  • I do not refute or blame the goddesses who have spoken, for who could
  • either fault or emulate their divine manner? But - if I am allowed the
  • possibility of speaking the truth - you know, renowned young man, you
  • know the actual events and on what point this case revolves. You know
  • how well they have explained the problem. This case was to have been
  • judged on the evidence of beauty with our appearance doing the talking
  • and with your eye as the judge. So, how is it that we have had this
  • barbed, aggressive “plain-speaking”? If Tritonian Pallas were less
  • harsh she might be truly thought of as the child of Jupiter. If she
  • were modest she might be convincing as a virgin. “But she is rightly
  • called the greatest of the Muses.” That I do not deny, for she is
  • second to none in the art of fiction and teaches fiction-writers their
  • lies. She teaches them to take advantage of gullible audiences and to
  • lead their unwitting senses on to the frivolous. And when our glorious
  • Pallas with her sophisticated speech recalls by allusion the stories of
  • Phyllis and Hypsipyle, and our struggles, her venal poem steals the reward
  • of the sacred laurel from me. But if her vile ability to lie was going
  • to be so aggressive she should at least have been more judicious
  • (p.108) in quam, quid, quare! nec enim, si nata cerebro
  • nostri plena Iovis, gelide nil improba fando
  • virginis elidit titulum doctissima virgo.
  • ilia virum titulos raptis mendioet ab armis,
  • sit sese oontenta Venus, tumide ilia minetur,
  • nos humiles faeilesque pati. rorantia tabo
  • signa ferat victrix, nostri sine cede triumphi.
  • an, quia nature non obluctata, fatigor?
  • Anchise si blanda fui, sexumne fefelli?
  • si peperi, cui facta nocens? meus astra Cupido,
  • Eneas Frigiam vester colit, heccine culpa?
  • hoc Venus exicium superis molitur et orbi?
  • hiis homines, hiis dono deos! ergo innuba Pallas
  • sic merite mores Veneris notet? illane grata,
  • grata viris, quos Marte vorat? placanda puellis,
  • quarum fastidit sexum? diis digna serenis,
  • quos resides timidosque voeat? sic exit in omnes,
  • sic telis placitura suis, sic omnibus equa.
  • “at virgo est”: negat Aglauros, negat anguis opertus.
  • sed taceo. “at facie pollet”: consulta reclamat
  • unda tumorque gene, “gladiis at strenua sumptis”:
  • non proprium, quod fingit, habet. mentita potestas
  • leta brevi, probrosa diu; post pauca serena
  • spuria perpetuo sordeseit gloria luctu.
  • quondam certa fides bella imperiosa deorum
  • non una confecta manu, laurusque per omnes
  • dicta dari. “at victrix Persee Gorgonis umbra
  • extorsit titulos palmamque imbellis Olimpi”:
  • sic de se meminit Pallas, sic credere oportet,
  • (p.109) about the who, what and why of the matter! For although she was born
  • fully-grown from the brain of our Jupiter, this most learned virgin
  • destroyed her reputation as a virgin by speaking shamefully. Ler her
  • seek elsewhere the glory of heroes from her violence: let Venus be
  • happy with what is more fitting for her. Let her be arrogant and
  • threatening: I am humble and long-suffering. Let her carry her standards
  • dripping with gore: my triumphs are bloodless. Or am I assailed because
  • I did not fight my nature? If I was intimate with Anchises did I betray
  • my sex? If I gave birth to Aeneas, whom did I harm? My son Cupid lives
  • in heaven, your Aeneas lives in Phrygia: is this a sin? Is this Venus’
  • way of plotting ruin for heaven and earth? With these I endow men and
  • gods! So unmarried Pallas would criticise the morals of Venus who is
  • thus meritorious? Is she popular - popular, I mean, with men she destroys
  • in war? Is she to be revered by girls whose sex she rejects? Does she
  • deserve to be among the serene gods she calls sluggish and cowardly?
  • This is the way she attacks everyone, going to please them with her
  • weapons, friendly to one and all. “But she is a virgin.” Aglauros
  • would not agree, nor the serpent that was shut away. But enough of
  • that. “But she has a beautiful face.” The reflection of her swollen
  • cheeks in the water cries out against this. ‘But she is a good fighter.”
  • What is assumed is not one’s own. Power that is not true brings a short
  • period of happiness and a long period of disgrace; after a short honeymoon
  • borrowed glory becomes base with permanent grief. There was a time
  • when it was known for certain that the power-struggle of the gods was
  • not decided by one single person and that the laurels were awarded to
  • all of them. ‘But the conquering shade of the Gorgon of Perseus has
  • snatched the glory and the honour of cowardly Oly mpus.” That is what
  • Pallas says about herself, so you ought to believe it.
  • (p.110) crede, Paris! res digna fide tradendaque fastis:
  • plus love, plus Phebo, potuit plus femina Marte,
  • Marte utinamque meo! nec enim tibi, Iuno, nepotes
  • invideo - si digna tamen - nec turpe Minervam
  • ut socium numerare genus, tot freta Dione
  • vindicibus potuit, saltern si fata tulissent,
  • serpentum non esse parens miserique per urbem
  • exulis explicito raperet vestigia giro
  • Hermione Martis. vidi, vidi ipsa nefande
  • cesum, quern peperit, populum’. sic fata madentem
  • inclinat vultum rursusque accensa profatur:
  • ‘de fatis nil lesa queror, metuenda deorum
  • invidia est. blando Semele conceperat astro,
  • plena deo, paritura deum, denusque tumebat
  • mensis, cum vultum Iuno mentita severum
  • accedit, persuadet, abit. quid credula, simplex,
  • inscia iurato premitur love? sic tua longis,
  • Cadme, fides perspecta viis, sic annuus error
  • emeruit? cum rapta soror viduamque parares
  • Iunonem sancire Iovi, te luctibus ecce
  • munerat inque tuos flammis armatur alumpnos.
  • gaudeat, en quali deitas rugosa triumpho
  • molitur titulos! tremula dum militat hasta,
  • altricis mentita fidem. nam cetera ni.Ilus
  • confinxisse labor; faciles ad tempora cani,
  • ad faciem veniunt ruge; fallenda senectus,
  • non fingenda fuit. o si ad certamina forme
  • ilia potensBeroe staret socianda Dione
  • inculeret celebrem simulatrix simia risum!
  • (p.111) Go on, Paris - believe it! It is a story that deserves to be
  • believed, fit to be put in the history books: a woman achieved more
  • than Jupiter, Phoebus Apollo and my Mars - ah, if only he were mine!
  • But Juno, I do not begrudge you your grandchildren - if I am not too
  • presumptuous, that is - nor am I ashamed to count Minerva as a relative.
  • Relying on so many defenders, I, Venus, should have been able not to
  • become the mother of snakes, and Hermione, my daughter by Mars, would
  • not be crawling along through the city of a miserable exile - at least if
  • the Fates had been willing! I myself witnessed the impious slaughter of
  • the many children she produced.’ Thus speaking, she lowers her tear-
  • stained eyes, but then continues again, angrily: ‘I do not complain of being
  • harmed by the Fates: it is the jealousy of the gods that has to be
  • feared. Semele had conceived under a favourable star, and pregnant by
  • a god she was going to give birth to a god. She was in the tenth
  • month of her pregnancy when Juno, disguised as an old woman, arrives,
  • persuades and leaves. Why is credulous, simple, naive Semele destroyed
  • by the oath of Jupiter? Cadmus, is this what your faith earned you on
  • that year-long journey? When your sister, Europa, was abducted, and
  • you were working to reconcile abandoned Juno with Jupiter, Juno rewards
  • you with grief and attacks your children with lightning. Let her be
  • happy, for you can see with what a triumph the wrinkled deity earns
  • her glory! While her weapon is a trembling walking-stick she only has
  • to adopt the faithful character of a nurse. It was no great task to
  • have feigned the rest; white hair comes easily to her temples, wrinkles
  • to her face. In fact, she had to hide her senility, not feign it.
  • O if only that powerful Beroe were standing here now to be judged
  • alongside Dione in the beauty contest her ape-like appearance would
  • cause hoots of laughter!
  • (p.112) stulte, quid Europen genero love queris, Agenor?
  • ilia rapi meruit, raptorem excusat egestas
  • et thalami pocioris amor, sibi maxima debet
  • quod tociens vidua est ooniunx Iovis. alite fausto
  • nupsisset stabilique thoro, si prima tulissent
  • federa plus forme, lingue minus, improba, turpis,
  • garrula legitimi mores incestat amantis.
  • “at soror est coniunxque Iovis”: bene cessit in uno,
  • coniugis offensam redimit soror. “ardua regnat”:
  • at patris in solio fruiturque iugalibus astris
  • stirpis non thalami merito. fuit aureus olim
  • ille senex, quo nata feror, fuit unicus heres,
  • necdum sortilegam mundus nutabat in urnam,
  • cum pia Saturni proles, equanda Minerve
  • vel saltern non exul erat. regnoque tirannis
  • concedente tribus triplioem prooessit in orbem
  • communis regina Venus; quod cum love Iuno,
  • cum love cum Tritone fuit cum Dite Dione;
  • non mea sideribus famulis contenta potestas,
  • tartara solatur, mulcet frela. vos, pia ponti
  • turba, dee vestre scelus excusate sororis,
  • si scelus hinc traxisse genus; tuque, optima vindex,
  • imperiosa Thetis, celum lunone fugata
  • posce tuum raptasque faces! iam pelice pulsa,
  • iam non sollicito venies paritura Tonanti,
  • fatis nulla fides, preeium Saturnia forme
  • perdet, opes perdet. non hue emptura decorem
  • venisset, si pulcra domi. male, Dardane, mores
  • consuluit dare promta tuos. non flectilur auro,
  • (p.113) Agenor, you fool, why do you want Europa back from your
  • son-in-law Jupiter? She deserved to be abducted. His lack of a
  • beautiful wife plus the desire for a better sex-life both excuse
  • Jupiter’s abduction of her. Jupiter’s wife has only herself to blame if
  • she is deserted so often. She would have married under a favourable
  • auspice, enjoying a stable relationship, if the marriage-contract had
  • contained more beauty and less talk. A shameless, despicable, garrulous
  • wife causes her husband to commit adultery. “But she is the wife and
  • sister of Jupiter.” That has turned out well in one respect - the fact
  • that she is his sister makes up for the offence she gives as his wife.
  • “she rules on high.” On her father’s throne, and she enjoys her conjugal
  • heaven because of her birth not because of her marriage. Once there was
  • a golden old man whose daughter I am said to be. He was the unique
  • inheritor of the universe. As yet the universe had not been put into the
  • fortune-teller’s urn, and the pious daughter of Saturn was the equal of
  • Minerva, or at least was not an exile. When the universe was divided
  • among the three tyrants Venus went into all three parts as the joint
  • queen. What Juno shares with Jupiter I, Dione, shared with Jupiter,
  • Neptune and Pluto. My power is not content with the heavens as servants,
  • it brings consolation in hell and calm to the seas. You pious female
  • deities of the sea, forgive the crime of your sister goddess, if crime it
  • be to have one’s origins in the sea; and you, great avenger, imperious
  • Thetis, cast out Juno and demand the heaven that is yours with your
  • aborted marriage! Once the whore has been driven out y ou will come to
  • bear children to the Thunderer, who will not be afraid. There is no
  • trust to be had in the Fates. Saturnian Juno will squander the beauty -
  • prize and riches. She would not have come here to buy beauty if she was
  • beautiful at home already. Trojan, she who is ready to bribe you did not
  • think very carefully about your character. He is not impressed by gold
  • (p.114) qui titulum paritatis habet. vietrieibus olim
  • armentis impensa fides librantis habene
  • non vendit nutum, veteris non immemor equi.
  • illane, blande Paris, vultu viotore fruetur,
  • cui gemit Hesione, sanguis cui fluxit avitus,
  • Alcide que tela sui libravit in arces,
  • bellica virgo, tuas? ubi tunc que prelia iactas,
  • fatum ubi? plus actum est rapto Frige; pocula nate
  • eripuit thalamumque dee sic molliter ultus
  • aspera, miscet adhuc superis dotatus Olimpo.
  • Flos Asie, veneranda deum requmque propago
  • non meus instabiles labor est aut gloria versus
  • texere, non trepidas pensis urgere puellas,
  • nec mecum Phebus, mecum certavit Aragne;
  • hos Pallas tibi pacta pedes, hec stamina nectat.
  • plurima dii - fateor - faciles et summa pacisci
  • et dare; sed quid opes, quid regna, quid arma potent
  • adieiunt, cuius sceptrum pars amplior orbis,
  • cuius opes Frigie, cuius gens Dardana vires?
  • at si solanda est thalami regalis egestas,
  • si vires, si sceptra nichil sine coniugis usu,
  • munus habe Veneris, munus quo Sparta superbit,
  • munus quod Iuno dici velit, esse Minerva!
  • quid moror? internam propius rimare Dionem,
  • res agitur tractanda palam, iam pectora nuda
  • pandimus: hac facie Phebo duce metior astra,
  • hoc vultu produco diem, formose, merenti
  • qratare et similem, iudex, ne despice vultum!’
  • sic effata genas rapto depromit amirlu
  • (p.115) who has the reputation for impartiality. That fairness once applied
  • to the winning bulls does not money the verdict of the poised scales,
  • forgetting its sense of justice. Charming Paris, will she win the
  • beauty -contest, she who caused Hesione to lament and made your
  • grandfather’s blood flow? She who aimed the spears of her protege
  • Hercules at y our citadels, warlike Pallas? Where was y our boasted
  • battle prowess then? Where was Fate? More was achieved by an
  • abducted Trojan: he snatched the marriage bed from the goddess Juno
  • and the goblets from her daughter, thus avenging peacefully the harsh
  • deeds of Juno. He still mixes drinks for the gods, well provided
  • for on Olympus.
  • Flower of Asia, honourable offspring of gods and kings, it is not my
  • task or glory to weave unstable verses or to impose my spindles on
  • frightened girls. Phoebus did not compete against me, nor did Arachne;
  • Pallas promised y ou the verses, let her weave your wool. The gods are
  • quick to agree several good contracts and to honour them, I admit, but
  • what can riches, dominions or arms bring to a powerful man whose
  • kingdom is greater than half the world, whose riches are Phrygia, and
  • whose strength is the Trojan people? But if the lack of a royal marriage
  • bed is to be remedied, if power and dominion are nothing without the
  • presence of a wife, then take the gift of Venus, a gift that Sparta is
  • proud of, a gift that Juno would like to be called and Minerva actually
  • to be! But why do I waste my time? Find out about the inner Venus at
  • close hand. This business needs to be seen in the open. Look at my
  • naked breasts: with this beauty I follow the sun around the heavens,
  • with this charm I start off the day. Handsome judge, reward a deserving
  • candidate, and do not reject a face as beautiful as yours!’ So saying,
  • she tears off her cloak and reveals her face.
  • (p.116) nuda humeros, exerta sinus totoque diescit
  • ore. pudet divas Veneri oessisse triumphum.
  • ‘consulite, ultores Frigii, Venus excitat egros.
  • hac constant michi visa fide, vel sompnia certe
  • pondus habent. hec fata sequor. parete Dione,
  • que civi lacrimas, risus que terminet hosti!’
  • (p.117) Her body was naked, her bared breasts glistened in total beauty.
  • The other goddesses were ashamed that they had yielded the victory
  • to Venus.
  • Take note you Trojan avengers: Venus stirs up the down-hearted.
  • What I have seen corresponds to this belief and dreams really do
  • have substance. These are the Fates I follow. Obey Dione who will
  • put an end to the grief of Troy and the laughter of the Greek enemy.

(p.118) Liber terrius de raptu Helene

  • Solvuntur vario consulta siientia plausu.
  • Ydalium Peana eanunt plebs, aula, senatus.
  • hie fatis vovet, ille deis, una omnibus una
  • voce animoque frequens plaudit Venus, altus ubique
  • sanguis obit, sacris ultro cessantia cedunt
  • arva, coronato luget spoliata marito
  • Inaehis et raptos gemebunda reposcit alumpnos.
  • illustres superis epulas molita potestas
  • sacrificis bibulos lictoribus instruit ignes
  • totague thuricremis Panchaia spirat in aris
  • venales emptura deos. at pauper acerra
  • principe digna Deo nostro placitura Tonanti
  • mente litat pura, votis exorat honestis.
  • celsior explicitas rapturus in ardua flammas
  • regius exstruitur congestis floribus ignis
  • perstringitque aciem. procul hiis exspirat ab aris
  • hostia dira, cruor; Veneri quod dulce propinat
  • ductor, Aristeos latices, Melibea fluenta,
  • Ycareos haustus, fracti Phenicis odores.
  • fronde comas nexe sanctoque astare parenti
  • Yliades iusse spumantia lacte serenis

(p.119) Third Book - The Abduction of Helen

  • The silence of the deliberations is broken by much applause. The
  • ordinary people, the court and the elders sing the praises of
  • Venus. One prays to the Fates, another to the gods, and the name
  • of Venus alone is joyfully lauded again and again in every heart
  • and mouth. Every where the blood of fat sacrificial animals runs as
  • the fields, doomed to inactivity, gladly yield up their bulls for
  • sacrifice. The heifer lows in grief for the loss of her garlanded
  • mate and sighs for the return of her calves that are led off to
  • their ritual slaughter. The most important townspeople strive to
  • prepare a splendid banquet for the gods while tending the thirsty
  • flames for the sacrificing priests. The whole of Arabia goes up in smoke
  • on the incense-burning altars to bribe the venal gods. However, the poor
  • man’s incense-box is worthy of the greatest God and will be acceptable
  • to our Thunderer because he entreats with honourable vows. A pure mind
  • is the sacrifice for Him. Priam’s altar fire, piled high with
  • masses of aromatic herbs, dazzles the eyes. It is bigger than the
  • others in order to send its flames unhindered to the heavens. Far
  • away from these altars the blood gushes out from a grim sacrifice.
  • For Venus the king offers what is sweet - honey, milk, wine and
  • perfumes. With flowers in their hair the daughters of Priam assist
  • their holy father as directed,
  • (p.120) cimbia devolvunt flammis, rex ipse ministrans
  • Ydaliam delibat avem sic ante precatus:

Supplicatio Priami ad Venerem

  • ‘Diva potens hominum, divum imperiosa voluptas,
  • vera deum soboles, nostri Tritonis alumpna,
  • alma Venus! seu te convivam Thetios urna
  • poscit seu nectar superum seu forte papaver
  • Elisium, flecte hec teneros ad dona iugales,
  • hos dignare favos! nec enim mactante securi
  • grata minus pia sacra tibi. si digna litamus,
  • exorata veni pariterque haustura recumbe!
  • celsa licet caleant centeno thure Cithera,
  • Ydalium modulos nectat nemus, ardua Cypri
  • in flores crescant varios: incensa Cithera,
  • Ydalias volucres, Cypri thima Pergama vincent.
  • hiis meritis, hiis, si qua tamen, veneranda Dione,
  • adde fidem visis, sponsi memor adde favorem,
  • solatam solare domum! non improbus oro
  • ut tuus Inachias iudex predetur alumpnas;
  • Hesione contentus eat. Tritonia certe
  • non neget hosque velit melior Saturnia raptus.
  • olim Asie - sed quid vulgata ac flenda revolvo? -
  • claruit imperium, formidandusque Pelasgis
  • Frix erat; inversa est vetus alea. respice, diva,
  • Eneadas miserare tuos!’ sic fatus in ignes
  • Ybleas inclinat opes, ieiunaque spirans
  • nidor odorifero solatur sidera fumo.
  • (p.121) pouring cups of foaming milk on the bright flames, while the king
  • himself sacrifices, touching the Idalian bird after praying thus:

Priam’s Prayer to Venus

  • ‘O powerful goddess of men, imperious delight of the deities, true
  • offspring of the gods, child of our Tritonian Neptune, beloved Venus!
  • Whether an urn of seawater can bring about your presence, or the
  • nectar of the gods, or perhaps the Elysian poppy, turn your gentle
  • pair of doves towards these gifts and deign to accept these honeycombs!
  • For these pious offerings are no less welcome to you than a sacrifice
  • from an axe. If our sacrifices are worthy, come when you are
  • entreated. Sit down with us and drink! Although Mount Cythera may burn
  • with a hundred altars, the forest of Idalium may have the billing and
  • cooing of its doves, and the heights of Cyprus their brightly-coloured
  • flowers, nevertheless Pergamum will surpass the incense of Cythera, the
  • Idalian birds and the aromatic herbs of Cyprus. Confirm these merits,
  • reverend Venus; confirm this dream if it is to be believed. Remember
  • the husband-to-be and grant your approval. Console a devastated
  • family! I do not pray wickedly that your judge should abduct Greek
  • women; let him leave Greece satisfied to have Hesione. Tritonian
  • Pallas will certainly not show any opposition and indeed Saturnian
  • Juno will even welcome the abduction. Once, - but why do I repeat
  • things that are common knowledge and painful? - once the power of
  • Asia was famous and the Phrygians struck fear into the Greeks.
  • But the old order has been overturned. Look upon us, goddess,
  • and have pity on the people of your son, Aeneas!’
  • Having prayed thus, he pours the Hyblaean honey into the flames,
  • and the rising scent of the aromatic smoke satisfies the hungry
  • heavens.

(p.122) Vaticinium Heleni

  • Iam votis sacrisque modus, iam fessa reclinat
  • flamma apices, alios Helenus prorumpit in estus
  • bachantemque deum flagranti pectore nactus
  • vocales tripodum Furias angustat in usus
  • orsus ita: ‘heu Frigii, gens non premensa futurum!
  • quo noster spoliator abit? quenam illa carina,
  • que Troiam mersura redit, iam litora tangit?
  • ite duces contra!’ sic interrupta profatus
  • plus dubios urit, pleno tamen arguit ore
  • Deiphebum, cui summa fides et sola medendi
  • copia, iussa sequi Veneris, raptum ire Lacenas,
  • auctores sperare deos, ‘quenam ista nefanda
  • spes?’, inquit. ‘superumne fides celique potestas
  • incestum dispenset iter, predantibus assit?
  • macte Paris, sceleris alios molire ministros
  • et sompnum tibi finge novum! non fallere norunt,
  • qui falli nequeunt.’ orantern haut sustinet ultra
  • Troilus, utque animo preceps bellique sititor
  • et gladii consultor erat, ‘timidissime fratrum,
  • vade’ ait, ‘o tenebris antri dampnate loquacis,
  • vade, inquam, et quociens visum tibi fallere plebem,
  • finge deum! nobis alius iam constat Apollo.
  • ibit Alexander, non, si Cumana senectus
  • aut aries Libicus aut Chaonis obstrepat ales,
  • iussum flectet iter, ibit miseramque reducet,
  • quod noiles, tamen Hesionen.’ conclamat herilem
  • preceps ad nutum plebes; excire tumultus,
  • quos nequeat sopire, potens nec mensa futurum

(p.123) The Prophecy of Helenus

  • And now with an end to the prayers and the sacrifices, when the
  • flames began to weaken and falter, Helenus breaks out in another
  • sort of heat. Receiving the raging god in his burning breast
  • he struggles to give voice to the frenzied stimulus from the tripod,
  • saying: ‘Alas, Phrygians, race that has no thought for the future!
  • Where is our pirate going? What is this ship now reaching the
  • shore, only to return to destroy Troy ? Oppose this, leaders!’
  • Speaking in bursts like this he puts the doubting Trojans in
  • greater torment, and then openly accuses Deiphobus, who alone was
  • to be fully trusted and who alone could remedy their grief, of
  • following Venus’ orders, of going to abduct Spartan women, and of
  • believing that the gods sanctioned this. What is this wicked hope?’
  • he asks. ‘Does the good faith of the gods or the might of heaven
  • assign this evil journey to you? Or give help to plunderers?
  • Revered Paris, invent other instigators for your crime. Dream
  • something different. The gods who cannot be deceived do not know
  • how to deceive.’ Troilus cannot tolerate him speaking any longer,
  • headstrong, warmonger and sword-happy as he is. ‘O most cowardly
  • of brothers’, he says, ‘go on. Go on, I say , cursed by the darkness of
  • the jabbering grotto, and each time you wish to mislead the people
  • pretend it is a god. The Apollo we know is different. Paris will
  • go. If the old Sybil of Cumae or the ram of Libya or the birds of Chaonia
  • should loudly clamour against it, he will not alter the itinerary that
  • has been commanded. He will go, and moreover will bring back poor
  • Hesione against your will.’ The people applaud, always ready to
  • follow a leader’s whim: capable of stirring up trouble they cannot
  • settle. Not having weighed up the consequences they are bold
  • since for the moment they feel no fear.
  • (p.124) audet, cum presens metuat nichil. omnibus arma,
  • arma animis mentique frequens illabitur Argo
  • Laomedonque iacens et inulte dedecus urbis,
  • conclamantque iterum: ‘quonam usque, o libera pubes
  • Dardanio cognata Iovi, patiemur inultum
  • tot iugulos rubuisse senum, tot colla parentum
  • Argea nutasse manu? non impia sanxit
  • Atropos hoc etiam nostris incumbere fatis,
  • ultorem non posse dari. si numinis iram
  • Troia merens sensit, penas quoque iudice Phebo
  • dira Micenee debent convivia mense.
  • ite, duces, Venus hec, hec certior augur Apollo
  • bella iubet fratrumque exhausta funditus urbe
  • poscit inoffensos Frigio ductore meatus.
  • unde metus, metus unde, viri? concessit in ignes
  • indutus Nessum Tirynthius, ecce timoris
  • causa prior cessit. spirat par Herculis Hector,
  • ecce animos gens nostra dabit. si prima Pelasgis
  • laurea, fas Frigibus palmam sperare secundam
  • et nostros rediisse deos. vos, inclita saltern
  • pignora, cesorum iugulos lugete parentum!
  • vos, quibus uberior lacrimas iniuria nectit,
  • vos pietas armata vocat.’

Vaticinium Panthi

  •        sic voce precantur
  • intenduntque manus, egras cum Panthus in aures
  • fatorum monitus priscos serit et, quod ab ipsis
  • exlorsil genitor aditis Euforbius, index
  • (p.125) The desire for arms and yet more arms comes to everybody’s heart,
  • and the thought of the Argo comes frequently to mind as does that of
  • the prostrate Laomedon and the disgrace of their unavenged city.
  • They burst into voice again: ‘Just how long, o free race, kin of
  • Jupiter through Dardanus, shall we allow to go unavenged the fact
  • that so many of our elders’ throats were stained with blood, or
  • that the heads of our parents tottered because of a Greek hand?
  • Pitiless Atropos did not sanction that this too, should
  • form part of our fates, that is the denial of an avenger.
  • If Troy deservedly felt the god’s anger, then the grim feasts
  • of the Mycenean table deserve to suffer too, from Apollo’s
  • judgement. Go forth, leaders. Both Venus and Apollo,
  • a more reliable augur, order this war and demand a safe return for
  • the Phrygian leader after the total destruction of the city of the
  • brothers. Where is the cause for your fears, men? The Tirynthian hero
  • has put on the shirt of Nessus and burned to death, so the foremost
  • cause for fear has gone. Hector flourishes, the equal of Hercules,
  • so that our very nationality will give us courage. If the first
  • victory fell to the Greeks it is only right for Trojans to expect
  • that our gods have returned to us to give us the second. You, glorious
  • offspring, at least mourn the slit throats of your slaughtered parents!
  • You, whose greater loss brings you tears, armed piety summons you.’

The Prophecy of Panthus

  • Such are the prayers they voice when they stretch out their hands,
  • and then Panthus plants in their sick ears the original warnings
  • of the Fates; what his father, Euphorbius, had wrested from the
  • very shrines of the gods
  • (p.126) in medium pandit proles: ‘lapsura sub Argis
  • Pergama, si Frigias Helene consoendat in urbes’.
  • hiis iam facta fides ducibus vulgique tumultus
  • flectitur. o quanto priscis nova mollius urgent!
  • plus superi constant Pantho memorante futura
  • quam dicente Heleno. Priami tamen egra lacessit
  • consilia Hesione; superos premit, audit et audet
  • dux falli fatisque favet, cum fata recuset,
  • atque ita: ‘dic’ inquit, ‘alio die ordine fata,
  • Anthenor, memora iam facta! necesse peractum
  • constat, venturum mutabile transit, habemus
  • iam cunctis graviora minis: perfusa cruore
  • Pergama, nuptarum lacrimas, lamenta parentum.
  • tu quoque visa refer, Frigie repetitor alumpne,
  • atque ea que passus obiter tot cladibus adde!
  • hiis saltem cedat bachantis fabula fani
  • et moneat potiora fides, prius esse negabit
  • unda fluens, ignis urens, spirabilis aer,
  • quam dictet facienda furor.’ sic fatur, at ille
  • ‘ergo’ ait, ‘o cives, iterum testanda laborum
  • historia. an lapsa est necdum vetus? indice questu
  • non opus est, ubi regna dolos et bella loquuntur.
  • vidimus emeritis fecundam civibus urbem
  • atque alium regnare ducem. nondum Ylios Argis
  • cesserat. hasne vices velox oblivio transit
  • inmemor et longi precidit tedia luctus
  • inpaciens languere diu? quin, inclita pubes,
  • si iuvat inviso mentes absolvere questu,
  • armata decurre manu! fortuna sequenda est,
  • (p.127) he, the son, reveals to all: ‘Troy will fall to the Greeks if
  • Helen enters the Phrygian cities’. So the established trust in the
  • future of the leaders and the clamour of the people are changed.
  • O how the new has less impact than the old! The gods are more in
  • evidence in what Panthus recalls of the future than in what Helenus
  • says. However, the thought of Hesione troubles the wavering Priam.
  • The king crushes the gods’ replies; he hears them but dares to be
  • deceived, and so defers to destiny though he rejects their evidence.
  • So he says: ‘Tell us, Antenor, tell us the future in another way.
  • Recall what has already happened! It is necessarily true that the
  • past is fixed but that the future is subject to change. We now have
  • something worse than all the warning signs: Pergamum is drenched with
  • blood, brides are in tears, parents are lamenting. Tell us too,
  • what you saw, you the seeker of the Trojan girl, and add to so many
  • disasters the account of those things you suffered en route! Let
  • the lie of the mad shrine make way for these words, at least, and let
  • what is reliable urge a better course. Water will refuse to be liquid,
  • fire to be igneous and air to be breatheable before madness will
  • dictate what must be done.’ Thus he speaks, and then Antenor says:
  • ‘so, citizens, the story of my tribulations must be told again.
  • Is the story, which is not yet ancient, forgotten already? There
  • is no need for my lament to bear witness when our kingdom testifies
  • to treachery and war. We have seen a rich city inhabited by worthy
  • citizens, another king on the throne. Troy had not yet yielded to
  • the Greeks. Has swift, forgetful oblivion traversed these misfortunes
  • and cut short the boredom of a long grief because it cannot bear to
  • mourn for long? Why, glorious youth, if it is any pleasure to rid your
  • minds of hated grief, then attack with weapons in your hands’ Fortune
  • has to follow
  • (p.128) dum preclarum aliquid dolor indecoctus hanelat.
  • nil grande et longum; segnem timor obruit iram.
  • heretis quia fana vetant? hec scilicet angit
  • cura deos evi tacitos vexare recessus
  • et rerum librare vices, stant fixa tanore
  • fata suo. certam miseris si Parca ruinam
  • indixit Frigibus, moriendum Marte; triumphum
  • si pepigit, meritum minuit victoria segnis.
  • o falli faciles! si fas depromere verum,
  • deprendi insidias superum. Lerneus Apollo
  • nostras vexat aves et que metuenda minatur
  • Dardanidis timet ipse suis. sic ficta locutus
  • accinctos ad bella Friges prevertere temptat.
  • vos contra cunctis potiora eventa futuris
  • pendite: donatos Tirynthius induit ignes,
  • Eacide senuere duo nullique timendus
  • aut puer aut virgo est, quern fata minantur, Achilles.
  • ipse, viri, vidi ipse viros et menia, vidi
  • urbes, sed gelidos nil excitat. ite, potentes,
  • et iuqulos aptate iugo spretoque triumpho
  • reddite fatidicis victores hostibus enses!’
  • hiis virtus accensa viris, procul omnis abacta
  • relligio. cedit Helenus vittasgue minaces
  • abicit et lacrimis incusat fata secutis.

Profectio Paridis ad rapiendam Helenam

  • Dux cepti legitur pastor Paris, advena quondam
  • regni, nunc regis heres; nec profuit urbi
  • fatalem dampnasse facem, rum lederet ardens
  • (p.129) when still-fermenting grief craves for something glorious.
  • Nothing great is long drawn out. Fear destroys anger that is
  • sluggish. Do you hesitate because the shrines forbid? Indeed, this
  • pursuit forces the gods to trouble the silent recesses of future time
  • and to consider the destiny of things. Destiny stands fixed in its
  • course. If the Fates have decided on certain ruin for the wretched
  • Trojans we ought to die in war. If they have promised triumph then
  • a half-hearted victory diminishes the merit. O easily deceived men!
  • If it is right to utter the truth I have uncovered the deceit of the
  • gods. Apollo of Lerna is troubling our birds of augury, and the fears
  • he threatens the Trojans with he actually feels for his own Greeks.
  • By speaking such lies he attempts to divert the Trojans already armed
  • for battle. On the other hand consider the actions that are more
  • cogent than all prognostications of the future: Hercules has put on
  • the shirt of fire he was given, the two sons of Aeacus have grown old,
  • while Achilles, whom the fates threaten us with either as a boy or a
  • girl, is to be feared by nobody. Men, I have seen for myself their
  • warriors and their fortifications. I have seen their cities. Nothing
  • rouses the cowardly. Go on, you mighty fighters, fit your necks to the
  • yoke, and spurning a triumph as victors, hand back your swords to your
  • prophetic opponents!’ At these words courage is kindled in the men;
  • all sense of religion is banished far off. Helenus leaves, throwing
  • away his fillets of foreboding. In tears he reproaches the Fates.

The Journey of Paris to abduct Helen

  • As leader of the expedition is chosen the shepherd, Paris. Once a stranger
  • to the kingdom he is now the king’s heir. It was no use to that city that
  • it had condemned the lethal torch when the burning
  • (p.130) pregnantem sompnus Cisseida; pullulat alte
  • flamma vetus revehuntque fidem presagia plenam.
  • it fati imperio Danaum rapturus alumpnam
  • Dardanus et blande debellaturus Achivos
  • prevelat fraudes. cesas non induit alnos
  • pinnarum suspecta strues, numerosa vagatur
  • tranquillo classis cultu; regalis olivam
  • pretendit pinus tandemque erepta furori
  • semimaris Galli non adversante Cibebe
  • miratur similes bachari ad litora voces,
  • hanc decor insignit, qualem progressior usus
  • post longum lucratur opus: tabulata superbis
  • preradiant inscripta notis, vestitur herili
  • prora Tiro puppisque Tago, nitor erigit Indus
  • antempnam spargitque in transtra cupressus odorem
  • vela regens. certant venti, quis linthea tendat
  • purpureos discincta sinus, at lene fluentes
  • arcessit Zephiros puppi prescripta Dione.
  • instabat iam dicta dies, qua classis in altas
  • propulsum poscebat aquas, cum lecta iuventus
  • Priamiden sortita ducem per litora ferri
  • discursu rapido, qualisque abeuntibus ardor,
  • certatim fremere et varios miscere tumultus.
  • haut mora, succincto Nabatheos agmine ducens
  • Hector in arma Friges comites per cerula fratri
  • ire iubet, certantque rates stipare secuti
  • Peonide duce Deiphebo, quin ipse Diones
  • spes Anchisiades cum Polidamante secundo
  • iungit opes, iamque effractas rapiebat harenas
  • (p.131) dream afflicted the pregnant Hecuba: the flame of long ago grows
  • big and the omens are coming to full fruition. At the command of
  • Fate the Trojan Paris sets sail to abduct the Greek girl. Going
  • to defeat the Greeks by charm he veils his treachery. No suspicious
  • cluster of pinnacles clothes his hollow ships. His large fleet sails
  • under peaceful guise. An olive-branch decks his royal ship which
  • started life as a pine tree violently uprooted to the frenzy of an
  • effeminate Gallus with Cybele’s approbation. It marvels that similar
  • voices howl at the shore. A decoration such as a more advanced
  • technique achieves after long toil distinguishes this ship: the boards
  • shine with their covering of superb paintings, the prow is clothed
  • with royal purple and the stern with gold. The sailyard is of ivory
  • while the cypress mast spreads its perfume along the thwarts as it
  • governs the sails. The winds compete to see which can stretch the
  • billowing sails into purple breasts, but an image of Venus attracts
  • the gently blowing zephyrs to the ship. The appointed day was now
  • dawning when the fleet longed to be launched on to the deep sea and
  • then the selected band of youths under their chosen leader, Paris,
  • rush across the beach - such is the enthusiasm of the voyagers -
  • shouting to each other and raising a confused uproar. There is no
  • delay. Leading the Nabathaeans in battle dress Hector, orders them
  • to go as armed Phrygian companions for his brother across the seas.
  • Under the leadership of Deiphobus the Paeonians follow and hurry
  • to pack into their ships. Even Aeneas, son of Anchises and hope
  • of Venus, with Polydamas as his lieutenant, adds his support.
  • Already the fleet was dragging the scattered sand
  • (p.132) in pelagus classis humerosque manusque secuta,
  • cum tandem exclamans aditis Cassandra relictis
  • fata aperit turbatque Friges, at seva morantes
  • impellit Lachesis pinus uncosque tenaces
  • rumpit et intento percellit flamine vela.
  • ultimus in socias fatalis predo carinas
  • provehitur multum Priamo frustraque rogatus,
  • ne quicquam temere victori supplicet hosti,
  • Hesione contentus eat; sin reddere raptam
  • velle negent, bellum intentet. sic format iturum
  • venturosque Friges accepto interprete spondet.
  • Vix in conspectum Paridi patuere Cithera,
  • cum patrias permensus aquas ad Nestora casu
  • Atrides molitus iter, Simoontide pinu
  • perspecta secum volvit, qui, quo, unde; stupentque
  • alternis reges figentes lumina velis.
  • en, qua fata fide rerum discrimina nectant:
  • hostis adest, Menelaus abest geminosque Lacones
  • Hermione sibi nacta duces Agamennonis urbem
  • visum ierat matrem cupide visura secundam;
  • plebs quoque Iunoni celebrem confluxerat Argos
  • ludificum ductura diem, pontusque vacabat
  • et tellus exuta viris. sic omnia casus
  • expediit ventura potens victrixque Dione.
  • Prodit in abruptum pretentis insula saxis
  • mirtigere sacrata dee, pars ima recessu
  • abditiore iacens refugos falcatur in arcus
  • depressos furata sinus, hue litore blando
  • (p.133) into the sea and moving under the impetus of shoulders and arms, when
  • at the last moment Cassandra leaves the god’s shrine, shouting as she
  • reveals the fates and troubling the Trojans. But cruel Lachesis drives
  • on the lingering ships, breaks free the restraining anchors and strikes
  • the sails with a fierce blast of wind. Paris, the death-bringing
  • pirate, is the last to join his companion ships, having been
  • earnestedly entreated in vain by Priam not to ask the victorious
  • enemy rashly for anything but to leave content with Hesione. But if they
  • refuse the return the captive then he should threaten them with war.
  • Thus he instructed Paris on the point of departure, promising that the
  • Phrygians would come if he, Paris, sent a messenger for assistance.
  • Scarcely had the island of Cerigo come into Paris’ sight when Menelaus.
  • son of Atreus, who happened to be crossing his territorial waters
  • en route for a visit to Nestor, catches sight of the Trojan fleet and
  • wonders who they are, where they are going and where they have come
  • from. The princes are amazed as they fix their eyes on each other’s
  • sails. See how steadfastly the Fates weave the dangers for the world:
  • the enemy is at hand, Menelaus leaves while Hermione under the
  • protection of Castor and Pollux had gone to visit Agamemnon’s city
  • eagerly in order to see her maternal aunt. The people too had converged
  • on famed Argos to celebrate Juno’s festal day . The sea was deserted and
  • the countryside bereft of men. Thus Fate which has power and victorious
  • Venus prepared for all that was to come.
  • The island sacred to the myrtle-bearing goddess rises steeply with its
  • rocky cliffs. The farthest part, lying in a deep recess, is scythed
  • out in receding curves, taking the form of gentle harbours. Trusting
  • in the safe beach
  • (p.134) freta Frigum pubes puppes agit. ipse propinquas
  • sanguine sacrifico Latoidos irrigat aras
  • princeps et larga cumulat promissa securi.
  • ergo Citheriacas preceps it fama per urbes
  • Priamiden venisse Parim, plebs undique portus
  • occursu complet. at pollens ore Lacena
  • ignotos visura viros ad litora gressus
  • dirigit acclinemque freto defertur Heleam.
  • Postquam Helenes Paridi patuit presentia, classem
  • deserit ac forme fidens et conscius oris
  • huc illuc gressum librans, qua Tindaris ibat,
  • indefessa vagis incessibus ocia texit
  • certantesque offert vultus, incendia nutrit
  • mutua captatumque brevi lucratur amorem.
  • quippe nec ad cursum preceps nec segnior equo
  • librato gestu formam iuvat, auctus in armos,
  • in caput erectus. tenero delibat harenam
  • incessu figitque oculo mirante Lacenam
  • oblitosque gradus sistit; suspectus haberi
  • mox metuens transfert celeres ad cetera visus,
  • ceu stupeat quicquid spectat. moderantius illa
  • obliquos vultus et non ridentia plene
  • ora gerit totasque velit cum pectore nudo
  • ostentare genas, sed castigator adultos
  • comprimit excessus animi pudor, egraque mixtus
  • pulsat corda metus. sentit Paris, ardet et audet,
  • promissorque ingens facilis presagia prede
  • ducit amor, dum signa iuvant, dum nutus oberrat,
  • (p.135) the Trojan youths land their ships here. The leader, Paris,
  • sprinkles the nearby altars of Diana with sacrificial blood and
  • piles up offerings killed by the broad axe. And so Rumour spreads
  • rapidly through the cities of the island that Paris, son of Priam,
  • had come. From all around citizens congregate to fill the harbour
  • to see him. But Helen of the beautiful face directs her steps
  • to the shore to see these unknown men and is brought to Helea, a
  • city overlooking the sea.
  • When the presence of Helen becomes known to Paris he leaves the fleet,
  • trusting in his beauty and aware of his handsome features. Going
  • wherever Helen goes he spends his time tirelessly walking up and
  • down, inciting her to look at him and feeding their mutual passions.
  • In a short time he captures and wins her love. Indeed, neither
  • walking too quickly nor more slowly than normal, he enhances his
  • beauty by his poise and balance, with his broad shoulders and head
  • held high. He walks lightly across the beach, eyeing Helen with an
  • approving look, then stops, forgetting to continue his stride. Then,
  • fearing to be thought acting suspiciously, he quickly transfers his
  • gaze to other things as if amazed at all he sees. Showing more
  • self-control Helen steals sidelong glances at him, not openly smiling
  • at him. She would like to show her face and her naked breasts, but
  • her sense of decency reproves her and represses these full-blown
  • excesses. A confused fear makes her heart beat unevenly. Paris
  • senses this. He is on fire and full of daring. Love, that great
  • maker of promises, produces signs of an easy prey as the signals
  • give him hope, as the head nods appreciatively,
  • (p.136) interpres cordisque vagi presentior index
  • leno oculus taciti garrit preludia voti.
  • ut vero expiicitas peregrini Tindaris auri
  • blandicias hausit complutaque murice vela
  • conspexit, quid agat heret, prebere rogatas
  • prompta manus cogique volens. at turba precandi
  • stipatrix iuveni fas invidet. inclite predo,
  • ne propera! dabit ilia manus, manus aurea vincet.
  • plus opibus, minus ore potes. Cicerone secundo
  • non opus est, ubi fantur opes, quin ipsa rapinis
  • blanditur Fortuna tuis: urbs, aura, Lacena,
  • nuda, favens, facilis ceptum iuvat. urbis Helea
  • nomen. in hanc pelagus undis declivibus actum
  • proxima litoreis delambit tecta procellis
  • et medias impingit aquas clauditque profundo.
  • hie Latonigenis cognatas struxerat aras
  • prisca fides, iubet hie noctem regina propinquam
  • excubiis hilarare sacris, templum ipsa superbum
  • prima petit soiitoque deos implorat honore.
  • res cupido perlata Frigi, temeraria sancit
  • consilia indulgetque aditus in vota secundos
  • pollicito maiore Venus, rapere haut mora nuptam
  • victor et imbelles populari destinat aras.
  • tantaque precipitem pulsat lascivia mentem,
  • vix noctem exspectat suspenso vespere credens
  • zelotipum Titana suis livere secundis.
  • (p.137) and the seducing eye, that spokesman and more immediate sign of
  • a flighty heart, speaks the prelude of an unspoken desire. As soon
  • as Helen took in the ostentatious delights of the foreign gold and
  • saw the sails steeped in purple, she no longer knows what to do,
  • being ready to touch hands if asked and yet wanting to be forced.
  • But the packed crowd prevents the young prince from asking. Do
  • not be too hasty, famous pirate! She will give you her hand: your
  • golden hand will win. Your wealth can achieve more than your tongue.
  • There is no need for Cicero on your side when wealth is speaking.
  • Why, even Fortune herself favours your acts of abduction: the empty
  • city, the favourable breeze and the complaisant Helen all help your
  • enterprise. The name of the city is Helea. The sea is driven into
  • it by towering waves in stormy weather, beating against the houses
  • nearest the shore, swirling about and covering them with water.
  • Here the ancient religion had built similar altars for Phoebus and
  • Diana. Queen Helen gives orders that the following night should be
  • celebrated here with holy vigils. She is the first to go to the
  • superb temple to pray to the gods with the usual reverence. Her
  • action is reported to the lustful Trojan. Venus approves his rash
  • plan, affording him easy access to his desire with an even greater
  • promise. He decides there and then to abduct the wife of Menelaus
  • and to plunder the peaceful altars like a conqueror. And so great
  • is the lust that drives his rash thoughts he can hardly wait for
  • nightfall, believing that the jealous sun was prolonging the
  • evening, envious of his successes.

(p.138) Raptus Helene

  • Fregerat Hesperias radiis languentibus undas
  • Phebus et astrorum medio poscebat in alto
  • nauta diem; tellus, aer, mare celsa remenso
  • consopita deo, strepitu defuncta silebanl
  • undique et in teneros nutabant ocia sompnos.
  • at Paris obsequio noctis presentius audet
  • inpaciens differre deos, Veneremque secutus
  • primus ad inbelles thiasos et debile vulgus
  • armatum maturat iter, ludentia turbat
  • fana ferox. non, hospes, Hymen, non coniuga sacra,
  • hospioii non obstat honos, non ultor iniqui
  • asperior tutela deus? temere omnia preceps
  • aspernata Venus, nil respectura decorum
  • in facinus votumque ruit. rapit ergo Lacenam
  • tendentemque manus et leta fronte vocantem
  • Dardanus aut rapitur potius. gratare tropheis,
  • predo, tuis, agnosce deos! post aspera multa
  • excidium lucratus abis revehisque parenti
  • quas nollet peperisse faces, heu, perdite, nescis
  • quas tecum clades, quantos fugiente tumultus
  • classe refers, tuque, Herculea corruptior unda,
  • Bellorofonteo flaqrantior igne, sereno
  • certa minus, thalamos linquis, Ledea, iuqales
  • et spreto tociens iterum querenda marito
  • numquam rapta fugis. nunc, o Lilibea vorago,
  • latratus Siculi, Libicus tenor et quod in omni
  • sevit triste mari rnixtis hue confluat undis,
  • has infestet aquas primosque ultrice procella

(p.139) The Abduction of Helen

  • The sun had broken through the western waves with his dying rays
  • and in the middle of the deep the sailor was calling for the light
  • of the stars. The earth, the sky and the sea, after being put to
  • rest by the god who had gone through the heavens, all lay silent,
  • bereft of noise. Everywhere repose nodded off into gentle sleep.
  • But with the aid of darkness Paris is more confident and daring, not
  • bearing to delay his destiny, and following Venus, he leads the way
  • quickly under arms to the peaceful celebrations of the gentle sex.
  • He turns the festive temple into wild uproar. O guest, does not
  • Hymen or the sanctity of marriage or the honour granted you as a
  • visitor stand in your way? Or even the god that avenges evil, a harsh
  • protector indeed? Venus rashly spurns everything in her headlong rush.
  • She will have no regard for civilised behaviour as she hastens to her
  • lust for sin. So Trojan Paris snatches Helen as she holds out her
  • hands, encouraging him with her happy expression - or rather Paris
  • is snatched by her. Congratulate your spoils, pirate, and acknowledge
  • the favour of the gods! After many a hardship you leave with the reward
  • of destruction and carry back to your mother the firebrands she did not
  • want to give birth to. Alas, you are doomed. You do not know what
  • disasters, what great wars you are taking home with you in your
  • hit-and-run fleet. And you, Helen, daughter of Leda, more venomous
  • than the marsh Hercules dried up, more torrid than the fire breathed
  • on Bellerophon, less reliable than fair weather, you are leaving your
  • marriage bed. Again and again you will be sought by the husband you
  • abandoned. You are running away, never abducted! Now may Chary bdis
  • and Scylla and the Syrtes and whatever rages grimly in any sea flow
  • here with united force and infest these waters. With avenging storm
  • (p.140) amplexus medium solvat mare! multa nocentes
  • mutat, si vetitis velox occurrerit ausis.
  • Postquam exempta quies et mesto pulsa fragore
  • inscia turbatas hausere silentia voces,
  • aure prius mensi, fremitus ubi et unde tumultus,
  • armati cognata petunt oracula cives.
  • hic tritas stridere liras, hie pocula cernunt
  • effuso calcata deo, funalia lucem
  • ponere et effracto lacrimari lampada vitro.
  • mirati, qua clade nova iocunda sileret
  • relligio, que causa pios inopina tumultus
  • flexerit, advertunt alias ad litora lites
  • et toto sonuisse mari: ‘quo, perfide leno,
  • hospicii temerator, abis? sic digna rependis,
  • regales predate thoros’? hiis nobile vulgus
  • excitum arma fremit raptaque superstite turba
  • invadunt Frigios. illi nec pandere vela
  • molirique fugam cessant nec iunqere bello
  • dignantur dextras contempta paupere pugna.
  • sola tamen tumidos pertemptat gloria captis
  • iniectare manus, proprium cum quisque tropheum
  • ostentare paret aut cive aut virgine rapta.

Reditus Paridis

  • Ecce redit Paphie meritus virgulta corone
  • victrices vinctura comas Tenedoque potitus
  • iam minus audentern solatur predo Lacenam,
  • iam tandem palrie memorem. sed qnarus adulter
  • (p.141) may the middle of the ocean break their first embraces! Harsh
  • punishment affects the guilty when it has speedily come upon
  • forbidden sins.
  • After the calm has been broken and expelled by the sad tumult, the
  • silence in its ignorance absorbed the troubled sounds. Armed citizens
  • make for the connected altars after first listening to where the noise
  • and uproar were coming from. Here they see smashed lyres squeaking,
  • goblets trampled on and the wine spilled, chandeliers shedding their
  • candles, lamps dripping oil from their broken glass globes. Wondering
  • what unknown disaster had caused the joyous religious ceremony to
  • become silent, what unexpected event had stopped the holy songs, they
  • realise that there are other struggles going on at the beach and over
  • the whole of the sea the cry was ringing out: ‘Where are you going,
  • treacherous lecher, violaler of hospitality? Is this how you repay
  • courtesy, by plundering a royal bed?’ Aroused by these words the noble
  • mob clatter their weapons. Joining up with the surviving crowd they
  • attack the Trojans. These, however, do not stop spreading their sails
  • in preparation for escape, not deigning to join battle in their scorn
  • for such a small force. Glory alone finally persuades them to lay
  • their proud hands on captives as each prepares to exhibit his own
  • trophy by grabbing some man or girl.

The Return of Paris

  • See, now Paris returns, having earned the shoots of the myrtle crown
  • of Venus to bind his hair in victory. Putting in at Tenedos the
  • pirate consoles Helen who is now less bold and at last thinking of
  • her homeland. But the clever adulterer
  • (p.142) pollicitis fluxum meche sancire favorem
  • et fictos lenire metus, ebur aggerat Indum,
  • thura Sabea, Mide fluvios et vellera Serum,
  • ac mundi maioris opes, quodque educat aer
  • iocundum, pontus clarum vel fertile tellus,
  • hec faciles emere thoros, domuere rebelles
  • amplexus, pepigere fidem. non iam oscula reddit,
  • non reddenda negat Helene, sed pectore toto
  • incumbens gremium solvit, premit ore, latentem
  • furatur Venerem, iamque exspirante Dione
  • conscia secretos testatur purpura rores.
  • proh scelus! an tantis potuisti, pessima, votis
  • indulsisse moras exspectabatque voluptas
  • emptorem? o teneri miranda potentia sexus!
  • precipitem in lucrum suspendit femina luxum
  • nec nisi conducto dignatur gaudia risu.
  • Res hilarat vulgata Friges, Priamoque sereni
  • clarescunt vultus, rugas rareseere sentit
  • infelix animi morbus dolor, improba paulum
  • cedit hiems mentis, voto dux auqure sperat
  • reddendam Hesionen, Helenam si reddat Achivis.
  • nondum Segeas portu digressus harenas
  • Dardanus attigerat, meritos mentita triumphos
  • obvia pompa subit. pars curru vecta superbo
  • aerium suspendit iter, pars cetera
  • casum haut metuens gressu vestigia paupere texit
  • obsequio contenta pedum, et - que cura novorum!-
  • Inachiam visura nurum plebs currit hanela
  • (p.143) stabilises the fickle favours of the whore with promises,
  • soothing her imagined fears. He adds Indian ivory,
  • Arabian incense, rivers of gold and Chinese silk. The
  • riches of Asia, whatever delights the sky or the clear sea or
  • the fertile earth produce, all these bought an easy seduction,
  • overcame any resistance to his embraces and guaranteed her fidelity.
  • Helen now not only kisses him first but does not hold back if
  • kissed first. Lying on him with her whole body, she opens her
  • legs, presses him with her mouth and robs him of his semen. And
  • as his ardour abates the purple bedlinen that was privy to their sin
  • bears witness to his unseen dew. What evil! O wicked woman, were
  • you able to put a check on such passionate desire? Was your lust
  • waiting for a purchaser? What marvellous power in the gentle sex!
  • Woman holds back her precipitate lust to obtain wealth and does
  • not deign to give joy unless her smile has been paid for!
  • When the news is known it cheers up the Trojans. Priam’s expressions
  • becomes serenely happy. Grief, that unhappy illness of the mind feels
  • its wrinkles diminish and the harsh winter of his thoughts recedes a
  • little as he uses his prayers as an augur, hoping that Hesione will be
  • returned if he returns Helen to the Greeks. Paris had left the harbour
  • but had not yet reached the Sigean shore. A procession sets out to
  • meet him in the mistaken belief that he deserved the triumph. Some,
  • riding in splendid chariots, go along high in the air, while others,
  • not fearing a fall, wend their way like the poor, content with the
  • aid of their feet. Always lov ers of novelty, the ordinary people
  • run quickly to see the young Greek bride,
  • (p.144) contemptrix opere, nutricis et immemor artis
  • nec lucri meminit, predam dum spectet amenam.
  • at cui sublimes humeros proceraque colla
  • invidit natura brevis, vel desuper altis
  • incumbit tectis vel recto calce fatigat
  • articulos humilesque gradus suspendit in altum.
  • hoc populo dederat vulgati fama decoris
  • certamen mirandi Helenam. subit illa pudice
  • ora gerens, oculis nusquam vaga, voce faventi
  • spectantum pudibunda parum mixtoque nitore
  • sidereas neutrata genas.

Vaticinium Cassandre

  •        At regia vates
  • ut venisse Parim certo Cassandra relatu
  • audit et adductam monstrum fatale Lacenam,
  • ad tripodas questura fugit ramosque loquaces
  • ore premit poscensque deum non irrita longum
  • fatis plena redit. claretque interprete vultu
  • extorti vindicta dei, furiosa potestas
  • imbelles vexat artus. cervice rotata,
  • crine umbrante humeros, oculis spargentibus ignem
  • et facie perdente fidem nunc livida vitrum,
  • nunc flammata facem superat, nunc pallida buxum.
  • lali se mediis procerum tot milibus infert
  • ore furens tremulosque gradus vix ebria figit
  • atque ita Tindaridem cernens: ‘tune illa iuvenea,
  • que saltus ingressa novos presepe paternum
  • incesta liquisse fuga taurumque iuqalem
  • (p.145) with scant regard for their work. They forget the skill that feeds
  • them. They even forget money as they gaze at the plundered beauty.
  • Those whose short stature begrudged them high shoulders and long
  • necks either look down from high roofs or stand with raised heels,
  • making their toes ache as they hoist their lowly stance. The
  • reputation of her beauty that had been spread about had made the
  • people struggle to admire Helen. She walks along to the applause of
  • the spectators, looking modest and keeping her gaze fixed, although
  • blushing a little, so that her face is neither white nor red, but a
  • blend of both.

The Prophecy of Cassandra

  • As soon as she heard for certain that Paris had returned and had
  • brought back Helen, the fatal portent, Cassandra, the royal prophetess,
  • rushes to the tripods to complain. She interrogates the talking laurel
  • branches, and not having to wait unanswered for long when she calls the
  • god, she returns filled with the future. The vengeance of the god she
  • had taken by force appears in her prophetic face while his imperious
  • power shakes her gentle limbs. Her neck rolls about, her hair covers
  • her shoulders, her eyes flash sparks. As her face changes its
  • appearance it is now greener than glass, now redder than a torch,
  • now paler than boxwood. With such a face she enters madly into the
  • middle of many thousands of nobles, hardly able to walk properly as
  • she is under the influence. Catching sight of Helen she says:
  • ‘Are you the heifer that is said to have entered new pastures,
  • leaving your father’s manger in sinful flight and the bull you
  • mate with
  • (p.146) diceris et nostros petis importuna maritos?
  • ite, viri, deus “ite” iubet, pontoque veligne
  • maternas abolete faces, ne dira sequatur,
  • quam cecini, clades!’ sic paucis questa quiescit,
  • expediuntque deum suspiria longa relictum.
  • Hiis hilares herent animi, totusque faventum
  • sopitur fremitus, favissent agmina vatis
  • imperio! motas reverentia principis iras
  • obruit indignisque datur Cassandra catenis.
  • rex Helenam lenit inopinaque probra qementis
  • solatur blandus suspiria; vatis hanelas
  • excusat Furias celeresque ad iurgia voces
  • et vicio capitis solitos sevire tumultus.
  • nec mora, sollempni lascivit regia cultu
  • imperiis ornata ducis tedasque pudendas
  • tolli’ adulter Hymen, melius caligo profunda
  • pollutum nersisset opus! quid nomine sacro
  • incestum phalerare iuvat? pretendit operta
  • bracteolam caries, agnum lupus, ulcera bissum,
  • sed Farnam fraus nulla latet. non una duorum
  • esse potest; nam prima fidem dum federa debent,
  • alterius non uxor erit, sed preda cubilis.

Apparatus Grecorum ad bellum

  • Interea Graium preceps perlabitur orhem
  • luctus et Europe dotalas nomine terras
  • armato rumore quatit. leduntur in uno
  • una omnes, seu quod pnpulos iniuria regum
  • (p.147) to seek a husband amongst us, you ruthless creature? Go on, men.
  • The god commands it. By fire or water destroy the mother’s
  • firebrands lest the tragic disaster I foretold should follow!’
  • After uttering this brief complaint she falls silent. Long sighs
  • show clearly that the god has left.
  • The Trojans’ happy spirits falter at these words and all the noisy
  • applause dies down. The crowd would have obeyed the order of the
  • prophetess, but respect for King Priam crushes the anger Cassandra
  • had aroused and she is unjustly clapped in chains. The king consoles
  • Helen and kindly calms her sighs as she bewails the unexpected
  • insults. He excuses the gasping frenzy of the prophetess, her words
  • that quickly become quarrelsome, her tendency to rant and rage,
  • putting it all down to insanity. In no time at all the palace is
  • resplendent in festive splendour, decorated at the king’s command.
  • Adulterous Hymen lifts high the shameful marriage torches. It would
  • have been better if deep darkness had buried this dishonourable deed!
  • What is the good of dressing up adultery in a holy name? Hidden dry
  • rot hides itself under gold leaf, the wolf under the guise of a sheep,
  • a running sore under fine linen, but no deceit can escape Rumour.
  • One woman cannot belong to two husbands; for while her first vows
  • have validity she will not be the wife of another, only his bedroom
  • spoils.

The Greek Preparations for War

  • Meanwhile grief spreads quickly through the Greek-speaking world,
  • shaking the lands of Europe with rumour of war. Everyone is affected
  • by what happened to Menelaus, whether because an injury inflicted
  • on a king
  • (p.148) acrius incendit, seu regnis prelia livor
  • inducit, seu quisque suas presumit in iras,
  • quod fieri sibi triste potest; quod flere peractum
  • quodque pati potuere, gemunt. hinc omnibus idem,
  • idem animus similes scelerum precidere motus
  • et thalamos sancire metu. ruit ocius ergo
  • nec iussa exspectat populus, belli ardor inerti
  • nascitur, augetur forti, sic prelia vulgus
  • precipit. at viduos it solatura Penates
  • clara ducum series, Malee quos erigit umbo,
  • quos Larissa fovet, quos cetera Grecia nutrit.
  • enumerem facilesque fide dictante meatus
  • ultrices Danaum certo sequar ordine vires,
  • que loca, qui reges, pelagus quot quisque fatiget
  • classibus? at celebres hac novi parte Camenas
  • fraudari titulis auresque offendere molles.
  • pauca tamen studio non egrescente faventum
  • succincte dixisse velim numerique sigillo
  • iuratas signare rates: fert bella bis una,
  • bis centum et decies centum, quas undique raptas
  • Cicropii vocat unda sinus et Apollinis equor.
  • huc acies, hue arma meant, hinc bellica classis
  • ordiri disponit iter, sic culmen herile
  • imperii iussit, statuit consulta potestas.

Submersio Castoris et Pollucis

  • Ast ubi gesta Frigum geminos vulgata Lacones
  • concussere, fremunt ambo, dolor excitat ambos,
  • ambos ira quatit. non sic orbata leones
  • (p.149) arouses people more keenly or because envy brings war to empires or
  • because everyone takes personal umbrage at something cruel that might
  • happen to oneself. They all bemoan what they could lament when done
  • and what they might have had to suffer. And so they were all of
  • one mind on this point, that is to cut short any similar impulses
  • to crime and to make marriage inviolable through fear. Thus
  • the people move quickly without waiting for orders. The
  • desire for war is born in the cowardly and increased in the
  • brave - in this fashion did the ordinary people anticipate
  • battle. But a succession of famous leaders goes to offer
  • condolence to the bereaved household, coming from Mount Malea, Larissa
  • and the rest of Greece. Should I enumerate and list the avenging
  • Greek powers in hallowed order, with truth dictating the easy path,
  • telling what were the places, who were the leaders and how many ships
  • they each had to burden the sea? But I know that it is in this part
  • that several poetic muses lost their reputations and gave offence to
  • sensitive ears. However I would like to make some brief comments
  • without the enthusiasm of my supporters waning, and to stamp with the
  • seal of number the federation of ships. One thousand two hundred and
  • two ships go to war, summoned from everywhere to the bay of Athens
  • and the docks protected by Apollo. It is on here that the armies and
  • weapons converge, from here that the battle fleet decides to begin
  • its journey. Thus the noble supremos ordered, thus the power-making
  • council decided.

The Drowning of Castor and Pollux

  • But when the deeds of the Trojans were recounted to Castor and Pollux,
  • they are shaken. Both rage, aroused by grief and moved by anger.
  • (p.150) lustra indignati lugent, non fulminis ales
  • sic gemit elinguis inopina silentia nidi.
  • haut mora, conscendunt classem Lesboque relicta,
  • dum preceps animus et nil decoctius audet
  • ira recens, nullos exspectatura sequentes
  • haurit iter fluidum pietas memor. alta tenebat
  • Castor, et Iliacas iam iam poscebat harenas
  • excidium latura ratis. nox obviat atra
  • defensura Friges armatique aeris ira
  • instrepit et geminis expugnat vela procellis.
  • o pietas, qua nulla Deum presentius ambit
  • virtus! o mitis fraterni candor amoris!
  • sola hec in geminos cessit discordia fratres,
  • discordes habuisse metus; hie illius, ille
  • huius fata timet, quotiensque illabitur equor
  • invergitque latus puppis subitura profundum,
  • equoris occursum certatim vertice prono
  • anticipare parant et sic proclamat uterque:
  • ‘in me, dira Thetis, in me, sevissime Triton,
  • has intende minas, tantos molire tumultus;
  • hunc serves, huic parce, precor’. tandem acrius aucto
  • incumbente Notho nil iam sperante carina
  • Ledei iuvenes nexis per colla lacertis
  • nata simul simili deponunt corpora fato.
  • Desine, Cicropii funesta licentia pagi,
  • incestos generare deos! non fabula celum,
  • sed virtus non ficta dabit. quos cecus ab alto
  • mersit in ima furor, in summos eriqis axes
  • (p.151) Angry lions do not mourn their plundered dens in this way, nor
  • does the bird of Jupiter bemoan the unexpected silence of the
  • tongueless nest. Without delay they board ship and leave Lesbos
  • while their headstrong feelings and immediate anger dare something
  • not premeditated. In brotherly love for their sister, without
  • waiting for any followers they race across the sea, Castor steering
  • straight ahead. The boat, intent on bringing destruction to the Trojans,
  • was already making for the Trojan beach when darkness black as night
  • intervenes in defence of the Trojans. The angry hostile sky roars
  • and attacks their sails with its two-fold squalls. O piety! No
  • virtue reaches more closely to God. O gentle sincerity of brotherly
  • love! This was the only difference between the twins, namely of having
  • different fears: Castor feared the death of Pollux, Pollux of Castor.
  • Each time the sea breaks over the boat and the boat dips its side,
  • as though going to the bottom, each strives by thrusting his head
  • forward to take the brunt of the wave first, and each spoke thus:
  • ‘Against me, harsh Thetis, direct these threatening waters, against
  • me, most cruel Triton, heap your huge seas. Preserve and spare him
  • I pray!’ But at last, as the south wind grows in strength, battering
  • them more fiercely, and the ship is now in a helpless state, the
  • young sons of Leda throw their arms around each other’s neck and die
  • together just as they had been born together.
  • O deadly licence of the Athenian world, cease from creating bastard
  • gods! Myth will not give a place in Heaven - only true virtue can
  • do that. Those whom blind fury of the sea has dashed from the heights
  • to the depths, you, Athens, raise to the heights of Heaven
  • (p.152) et similes Iovis esse iubes. quos ignis in auras,
  • in scopulos sparsit fluctus, mentiris adeptos
  • sidera gentilisque preces deludis acerre.
  • Tindaridis, quos hausit hiems, dans Attica celum
  • fabula Castoreos casus Pollucis in ortum
  • fingit et alterni redimit dispendia fati.
  • at neutrum testata deum feralis utrique
  • Atropos iniecit laqueum, quo fortibus egros,
  • quo sontes placidis, inopes quo regibus equat.
  • sola tamen Fatis Ledeum Lesbos amorem
  • concessisse negat raptosque secuta Lacones,
  • quos nec apud Frigios, mediis nec repperit undis,
  • credidit esse deos sterilique reversa favore
  • diis urbes auxit, thure aras, marmore templa.
  • sic Britonum ridenda fides et credulus error
  • Arturum exspectat exspectabitque perenne.
  • (p.153) and command them to be like Jupiter. Those whom fire has
  • scattered to the breezes and the waves have driven on to the
  • rocks, you, in your lying fashion, say have attained the stars.
  • You deceive the prayers offered with pagan sacrifice. The storm
  • swallowed up the sons of Tyndareus, yet the Attic myth puts them
  • in Heaven, imagines the setting of Castor at the rising of Pollux
  • in order to make good the losses of their alternate mortality.
  • But deadly Atropos, proving that neither was a god, imposed on
  • each the snare of death which is the same for strong and weak,
  • violent and gentle, paupers and kings. The men of Lesbos alone
  • deny that these loving brothers had yielded to the fates; pursuing
  • the lost pair they did not find them at Troy or on the sea, so
  • believed they were gods. Having returned to Lesbos, with useless
  • devotion they increased the cities with gods, the altars with
  • incense, the temples with marble. Just so is the laughable credulity
  • and mistaken belief of the Britons who await the return of King Arthur
  • now and will always go on doing so.
(p.154)