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
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.
AGE OF CONFLICT