Saturday, August 13, 2022

Ace Allies, Assemble--for Rome! Claudian, Stilich. 3.237-274

Tibi, quae pariter silvis dominaris et astris,

exiguam Stilicho movit, Latonia, curam :

tu quoque nobilibus spectacula nostra laboras

inlustrare feris summoque in vertice rupis

Alpinae socias arcu cessante pudicas

et pharetratarum comitum inviolabile cogis

concilium, veniunt umcros et brachia nudae

armataeque manus iaculis et terga sagittis,

incomptae pulchraeque tamen ; sudoribus ora

pulverulenta rubent, sexum nec cruda fatetur

virginitas ; sine lege comae ; duo cingula vestem

crure tenus pendere vetant. praecedit amicas

flava Leontodame, sequitur nutrita Lycaeo

Nebrophone telisque domat quae Maenala Thero.

ignea Cretaea properat Britomartis ab Ida

et cursu Zephyris numquam cessura Lycaste.

iungunt se geminae metuenda feris Hecaerge

et soror, optatum numen venantibus, Opis

progenitae Scythia : divas nemorumque potentes

fecit Hyperboreis Delos praelata pruinis.

hae septem venere duces ; exercitus alter

Nympharum incedunt, acies formosa Dianae,

centum Taygeti, centum de vertice Cynthi

et totidem casto genuit quas flumine Ladon.

has ubi collectas vidit, sic Delia coepit :

‘ O sociae, mecum thalami quae iura perosae

virgineo gelidos percurritis agmine montes,

cernitis ut Latio superi communibus ornent

hunc annum studiis ? quantos Neptunus equorum

donet ab orbe greges ? laudi quod nulla canendae

fratris plectra vacent ? nostram quoque sentiat idem

quam meritis debemus opem. non spicula poscit

iste labor ; maneant clausis nunc sicca pharetris,

omnis et a solitis noster venatibus arcus

temperet ; in solam cruor hic servetur harenam.

retibus et clatris dilata morte tenendae

ducendaeque ferae, cupidas arcete sagittas ;

consulis in plausum casuris parcite monstris.

--Claudian, Stilicho III.237-274

Daughter of Latona [Diana],

Who lords over the forests and the stars with equal ease,

You care for Stilicho as well, by ensuring our Roman games are filled with noble beasts.

On the top of Alpine cliffs with bow in hand,

you assemble and hold a chaste [inviolabile] court

With your chaste [pudicas] companions.

All  of them are armed with quivers

With bare arms and bare shoulders,

Armed with spear in hand and quiver on their backs

Beautiful yet unadorned.

Their dusty faces gleam with sweat,

Showing off neither their maidenhood nor their gender.

Their hair is loose, two hempen cords gird their waists

And keep their legs free.

Blond Leontodame arrives first,

Nebrophone (raised on the Lycaean mountain) follows next

And Thero, who keeps the Arcadian territories in check with her mighty weapons.

Passionate Britomartis hastens over from Cretan Mt. Ida

And Lycaste, who can outrun the wind.

Scythian-born twins Hecaerge (the one feared by all beasts)

and her sister Opis, (The one to pray to when you’re hunting)

arrive side-by-side, by making their home in Delos

shunning the wild norths—made these twins powerful goddesses.

These seven leaders came, and following them was another army of nymphs,

Diana’s beautiful Valkyries.

A hundred of them were from Taygetus,

A hundred of them were from the peak of Mt. Cynthus,

A hundred nymphs born in the region of the chaste-flowing Ladon.

When they assembled together, Diana began her speech:

“O allies, you who follow me together

Who spurn the detested marriage bed,

Dwelling with me in the crisp mountain ranges,

Do you notice that the gods are all keeping an eye on Rome

How many herds of horses that Neptune has bestowed upon the world?

That my brother Apollo’s lyre never stops singing of Rome’s praise?

I feel that we ought to be doing the same.

We do not need our spears for this task,

Our arrows can remain unbloodied,

Our bows can cease from their accustomed hunting,

Blood should be preserved for the Roman games only.

Beasts should be brought in alive with nets & cages

(spare them from your fierce arrows!)

Save these creatures until their deaths can come

For an applauding audience.”



Name:  Claudius Claudianus

Date:  370 – 404 CE

Works: The Abduction of Proserpina

          On the Consulship of Stilicho

          Against Eutropius


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



 Claudian was born in Alexandria, Egypt during the 4th century CE. He is one of the best poets of the time period, and he provides a unique perspective as a non-Christian writer in Christian Rome. Many of his works are still extant, including panegyric [official praise literature] for the Roman Emperor Honorius and his general Stilicho, a poem criticizing the eunuch consul Eutropius, and an epic retelling of the abduction of Persephone.


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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.