Thursday, April 2, 2020

M/M: Nisus & Euryalus: Part 2 (Vergil, Aen 9.184-223)

Nisus ait: 'dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?               185
aut pugnam aut aliquid iamdudum invadere magnum
mens agitat mihi, nec placida contenta quiete est.
cernis quae Rutulos habeat fiducia rerum:
lumina rara micant, somno vinoque soluti
procubuere, silent late loca. percipe porro               190
quid dubitem et quae nunc animo sententia surgat.
Aenean acciri omnes, populusque patresque,
exposcunt, mittique viros qui certa reportent.
si tibi quae posco promittunt (nam mihi facti
fama sat est), tumulo videor reperire sub illo               195
posse viam ad muros et moenia Pallantea.'
obstipuit magno laudum percussus amore
Euryalus, simul his ardentem adfatur amicum:
'mene igitur socium summis adiungere rebus,
Nise, fugis? solum te in tanta pericula mittam?               200
non ita me genitor, bellis adsuetus Opheltes,
Argolicum terrorem inter Troiaeque labores
sublatum erudiit, nec tecum talia gessi
magnanimum Aenean et fata extrema secutus:
est hic, est animus lucis contemptor et istum               205
qui vita bene credat emi, quo tendis, honorem.'
Nisus ad haec: 'equidem de te nil tale verebar,
nec fas; non ita me referat tibi magnus ovantem
Iuppiter aut quicumque oculis haec aspicit aequis.
sed si quis (quae multa vides discrimine tali)                210
si quis in adversum rapiat casusve deusve,
te superesse velim, tua vita dignior aetas.
sit qui me raptum pugna pretiove redemptum
mandet humo, solita aut si qua id Fortuna vetabit,
absenti ferat inferias decoretque sepulcro.               215
neu matri miserae tanti sim causa doloris,
quae te sola, puer, multis e matribus ausa
persequitur, magni nec moenia curat Acestae.'
ille autem: 'causas nequiquam nectis inanis
nec mea iam mutata loco sententia cedit.               220
acceleremus' ait, vigiles simul excitat. illi
succedunt servantque vices; statione relicta
ipse comes Niso graditur regemque requirunt. 

---Vergil, Aeneid IX.184-223

Nisus said "Do the gods inspire you to seek glory, or does your own desire drive you? For I need to fight--or do some big gesture--I'm not content to just sit around here. You know how cocky our Rutulian enemy is. Their watch fires are scattered, spluttering out, and their watchmen are sleeping or drunk. They're not vigilant at all.

Look at how confident I am in this plan, and what I've devised based on these facts. Everyone (the Trojan leaders and menfolk alike) are clamoring for Aeneas to return. They're looking for volunteers to come fetch him, even offering a reward. I think I can find a way to him through that heap of enemies--a path to our ally Pallas' city walls."

Euryalus, inspired by a love of praise, spoke to his friend (amicum): "Nisus, do you shirk from letting me join you on the most important time of all? Will I send you off--alone--into such danger? Listen, I no longer have a father. My dad Opheletes fell by the Greeks in Troy's fateful struggle. But he raised me better than that! And Aeneas, the man I followed to our ultimate destiny--he raised me better than this, too! I didn't come all this way, doing all these adventures with you otherwise. What life is there for me, if I only had life, and not honor?"

Nisus responds: "No, it isn't right. I would never think that of you. But Jupiter, I pray to god (or whatever god it is), look on me with kindness, to bring me back to you, while you're there, waiting to cheer me on from the sidelines. You see how the situation is. If some enemy or act of god should take me away from you, I want you to live on. You're too young to die. Let it be you who brings my body back from the battlefield and lays it to rest in my tomb. Or, if Fortune does not permit even that, honor me with an empty grave. I do not want to break your mother's heart. Of all the Trojan women, she alone left the safety of Acestes' walls to follow you here."

Euryalus said: "Stop being such a worrywart; my mind is made up. Come on, let's go." Together, they woke up the next shift of watchmen. They leave their posts in the hands of competent replacements, and together with his comes Nisus, they head for the king's headquarters.

Name:  Publius Vergilius Maro
Date:  70 BCE – 21 BCE
Works:  Aeneid*

Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

Vergil was born in Mantua (Cisalpine Gaul, located in northern Italy) and lived during the tumultuous transition of Roman government from republic to monarchy. His masterpiece, the Aeneid, tells the story of Aeneas’ migration from Troy to Italy; it was used for centuries as the pinnacle of Roman literature.
Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE

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