Hanc quoque cum patriis
Galatea receperit undis,
securae terra quietis erit,
surgit humo iuvenis
gemino nexas porrigit angue manus.
Phaedrae, nota est iniuria Thesei:
natum credulus ille suum.
non impune pius
iuvenis Troezena petebat:
obstantes pectore taurus
equi, frustraque retenti
scopulos dominum duraque saxa trahunt.
lorisque morantibus artus
lacero corpore raptus erat,
animam, multum indignante
Coronides 'causa doloris' ait:
'namque pio iuveni
vitam sine volnere reddam,
cedent arti tristia fata meae.'
loculis depromit eburnis:
Glauci manibus illa
tum cum observatas
augur descendit in herbas,
et auxilio est anguis ab angue dato.
tetigit, ter verba salubria dixit:
terra sustulit ille caput.
nemorisque sui Dictynna
Aricino Virbius ille lacu.
--Ovid, Fasti VI.732-756
The same day that Galatea welcomes in her father’s waves,
When the earth lies quiet and full of peace,
A youth rises from the earth, struck down by his grandfather’s
Extending his hands bound by twin serpents.
We all know the tale of Phaedra’s lust and Theseus’
When he, bamboozled, condemned his own son [to die].
The youth, pious in vain, did not reach Troezen.
A bull rose up from the waves; this spooked the lad’s terrified
and they dragged their master, still clutching the reins,
Through rocky craigs and rough terrain.
He fell from the chariot, and snatched up by the reins
tangled in his limbs,
Hippolytus’ body was mangled…
Overwhelmed with grief, Diana restored him to life.
Asclepius said, “There is no need to grieve,
For I shall restore the pious youth to life—every wound
The wretched Fates shall yield to my healing art!”
From an ivory cabinet he started to pull medicines,
The kind that had previously benefited Glaucus,
When the prophet found the aforementioned herb
that a snake had used to cure another snake.
Three times Asclepius touched the youth’s breast,
Three times he spoke a healing spell,
And then the youth raised his head up
From the ground.
A grove now conceals him in woods
Where Dictynna haunts.
That man—a man reborn [Virbius]—now dwells in Aricia’s lake.
Date: 43 BCE – 18 CE
Ovid was one
of the most famous love poets of Rome’s Golden Age. His most famous work, the
Metamorphoses, provides a history of the world through a series of
interwoven myths. Most of his poetry is erotic in nature; for this reason, he
fell into trouble during the conservative social reforms under the reign of
the emperor Augustus. In 8 CE he was banished to Bithynia, where he spent the
remainder of his life pining for his native homeland.
GOLDEN AGE ROME