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Title: Claudian, volume 1 (of 2) - With an English translation by Maurice Platnauer
Author: Claudianus, Claudius
Language: English
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Transcriber’s Note:

                      THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY

                     FOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB, LL.D.

                               EDITED BY

                      † T. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D.

     † E. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D.            † W. H. D. ROUSE, LITT.D.
     L. A. POST, L.H.D.      E. H. WARMINGTON, M.A., F.R.HIST.SOC.



                           MAURICE PLATNAUER


                            IN TWO VOLUMES


                       CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
                       HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
                         WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD

                         _First printed_ 1922
                        _Reprinted_ 1956, 1963

                      _Printed in Great Britain_



  INTRODUCTION                                                         vii




    PREFACE                                                             24

    BOOK I                                                              26


    PREFACE                                                             56

    BOOK II                                                             58


    BOOK I                                                              98


    BOOK I                                                             138

    BOOK II: PREFACE                                                   178

    BOOK II                                                            184

  MARRIAGE OF THE EMPEROR HONORIUS                                     230


    PREFACE                                                            240

    EPITHALAMIUM                                                       242


    PREFACE                                                            268

    PANEGYRIC                                                          270

  EMPEROR HONORIUS (A.D. 398)                                          286

  THEODORUS (A.D. 399)--

    PREFACE                                                            336

    PANEGYRIC                                                          338


    BOOK I                                                             364


Claudius Claudianus may be called the last poet of classical Rome.
He was born about the year 370 A.D. and died within a decade of the
sack of the city by Alaric in 410. The thirty to forty odd years which
comprised his life were some of the most momentous in the history of
Rome. Valentinian and Valens were emperors respectively of the West and
the East when he was born, and while the former was engaged in constant
warfare with the northern tribes of Alamanni, Quadi and Sarmatians,
whose advances the skill of his general, Theodosius, had managed to
check, the latter was being reserved for unsuccessful battle with an
enemy still more deadly.

It is about the year 370 that we begin to hear of the Huns. The first
people to fall a victim to their eastward aggression were the Alans,
next came the Ostrogoths, whose king, Hermanric, was driven to suicide;
and by 375 the Visigoths were threatened with a similar fate. Hemmed
in by the advancing flood of Huns and the stationary power of Rome
this people, after a vain attempt to ally itself with the latter, was
forced into arms against her. An indecisive battle with the generals of
Valens (377) was followed by a crushing Roman defeat in the succeeding
year (August 9, 378) at Adrianople, where Valens himself, but recently
returned from his Persian war, lost his life.

Gratian and his half-brother, Valentinian II., who had become Augusti
upon the death of their father, Valentinian I., in 375, would have had
little power of themselves to withstand the victorious Goths and Rome
might well have fallen thirty years before she did, had it not been for
the force of character and the military skill of that same Theodosius
whose successes against the Alamanni have already been mentioned.
Theodosius was summoned from his retirement in Spain and made Augustus
(January 19, 379). During the next three years he succeeded, with the
help of the Frankish generals, Bauto and Arbogast, in gradually driving
the Goths northward, and so relieved the barbarian pressure on the
Eastern Empire and its capital. In 381 Athanaric, the Gothic king,
sued in person for peace at Constantinople and there did homage to the
emperor. In the following year the Visigoths became allies of Rome and,
for a time at least, the danger was averted.

Meanwhile the West was faring not much better. Gratian, after an uneasy
reign, was murdered in 383 by the British pretender, Magnus Maximus.
From 383 to 387 Maximus was joint ruler of the West with Valentinian
II., whom he had left in command of Italy rather from motives of policy
than of clemency; but in the latter year he threw off the mask and,
crossing the Alps, descended upon his colleague whose court was at
Milan. Valentinian fled to Thessalonica and there threw himself on the
mercy of Theodosius. Once more that general was to save the situation.

Maximus was defeated by him at Aquileia and put to death, while
Arbogast recovered Gaul by means of an almost bloodless campaign (388).

The next scene in the drama is the murder at Vienne on May 15, 392,
of the feeble Valentinian at the instigation of Arbogast. Arbogast’s
triumph was, however, short-lived. Not daring himself, a Frank, to
assume the purple he invested therewith his secretary, the Roman
Eugenius, intending to govern the West with Eugenius as a mere
figure-head. Once more, and now for the last time, Theodosius saved
the cause of legitimacy by defeating Eugenius at the battle of the
Frigidus[1] in September 394. Eugenius was executed but Arbogast made
good his escape, only to fall a few weeks later by his own hand.

Theodosius himself died on January 17, 395, leaving his two sons,
Arcadius and Honorius, emperors of the East and West respectively.
Arcadius was but a tool in the hands of his praetorian prefect,
Rufinus, whose character is drawn with such venomous ferocity in
Claudian’s two poems. Almost equally powerful and scarcely less
corrupt seems to have been that other victim of Claudian’s splenetic
verses, the eunuch chamberlain Eutropius, who became consul in the
year 399. Both these men suffered a violent end: Eutropius, in spite
of the pleadings of S. John Chrysostom, was put to death by Gainas,
the commander of the Gothic troops in the East; Rufinus was torn to
pieces in the presence of Arcadius himself by his Eastern troops.[2]
The instigator of this just murder was Claudian’s hero, Stilicho the

Stilicho, who had been one of Theodosius’ generals, had been put in
command of the troops sent to oppose Alaric, the Visigoth, when the
latter had broken away from his allegiance to Rome and was spreading
devastation throughout Thrace, Macedonia and Thessaly. He was
successful in his campaign, but, upon his marching south into Greece,
in order to rid that country also of its Gothic invaders, he was
forbidden by Rufinus to advance any farther. There can be little doubt
that the murder of Rufinus was Stilicho’s answer.

In spite of a subsequent victory over Alaric near Elis in the year
397, Stilicho’s success can have been but a partial one, for we find
the Visigoth general occupying the post of Master of the Soldiery in
Illyricum, the withholding of which office had been the main cause
of his defection. Possibly, too, the revolt of Gildo in Africa had
something to do with the unsatisfactory termination of the Visigothic
war. It is interesting to observe the dependence of Italy on African
corn, a dependence of which in the first century of the Christian era
Vespasian, and right at the end of the second the pretender Pescennius
Niger, threatened to make use. If we can credit the details of
Claudian’s poem on the war (No. xv.), Rome was very shortly reduced to
a state of semi-starvation by Gildo’s holding up of the corn fleet,
and, but for Stilicho’s prompt action in sending Gildo’s own brother,
Mascezel, to put down the rebellion, the situation might have become
even more critical. The poet, it may be remarked, was in an awkward
position with regard to the war for, though the real credit of victory
was clearly due to Mascezel (_cf._ xv. 380 _et sqq._), he nevertheless
wished to attribute it to his hero Stilicho, and, as Stilicho had
Mascezel executed[3] later in that same year (Gildo had been defeated
at Tabraca July 31, 398), he prudently did not write, or perhaps
suppressed, Book II.

Stilicho, who had married Serena, niece and adoptive daughter of
Theodosius, still further secured his position by giving his daughter,
Maria, in marriage to the young Emperor Honorius in the year 398.
This “father-in-law and son-in-law of an emperor,” as Claudian is
never wearied of calling him, did the country of his adoption a signal
service by the defeat at Pollentia on Easter Day (April 6), 402, of
Alaric, who, for reasons of which we really know nothing, had again
proved unfaithful to Rome and had invaded and laid waste Italy in the
winter of 401-402.

The battle of Pollentia was the last important event in Claudian’s
lifetime. He seems to have died in 404, four years before the murder
of Stilicho by the jealous Honorius and six before the sack of Rome by
Alaric--a disaster which Stilicho[4] alone, perhaps, might have averted.

       *       *       *       *       *

So much for the historical background of the life of the poet. Of the
details of his career we are not well informed. Something, indeed, we
can gather from the pages of the poet himself, though it is not much,
but besides this we have to guide us only Hesychius of Miletus’ short
article in Suidas’ lexicon, a brief mention in the Chronicle of 395,
and (a curious survival) the inscription[5] under the statue which,
as he himself tells us,[6] emperor and senate had made in his honour
and set up in the Forum of Trajan. We are ignorant even of the date of
his birth and can only conjecture that it was about the year 370. Of
the place of his birth we are equally uninformed by contemporary and
credible testimony, but there can be little doubt that he came from
Egypt,[7] probably from Alexandria itself. We have, for what it is
worth, the word of Suidas and the lines of Sidonius Apollinaris,[8]
which clearly refer to Claudian and which give Canopus as the place of
his birth. (Canopus is almost certainly to be taken as synonymous with
Egypt.) But besides these two statements we have only to look at his
interest in things Egyptian, _e.g._ his poems on the Nile, the Phoenix,
etc., at such passages as his account of the rites at Memphis,[9] at
such phrases as “nostro cognite Nilo,”[10] to see that the poet is an
Egyptian himself. It is probable that, whether or not he spent all his
early life in Egypt, Claudian did not visit Rome until 394. We know
from his own statement[11] that his first essays in literature were all
of them written in Greek and that it was not until the year 395 that he
started to write Latin. It is not unlikely, therefore, that his change
of country and of literary language were more or less contemporaneous,
and it is highly probable that he was in Rome before January 3, 395,
on which day his friends the Anicii (Probinus and Olybrius) entered
upon their consulship. Speaking, moreover, of Stilicho’s consulship
in 400 Claudian mentions a five years’ _absence_.[12] Not long after
January 3, 395, Claudian seems to have betaken himself to the court
at Milan, and it is from there that he sends letters to Probinus and
Olybrius.[13] Here the poet seems to have stayed for five years,
and here he seems to have won for himself a position of some
importance. As we see from the inscription quoted above, he became _vir
clarissimus_, _tribunus et notarius_, and, as he does not continue
further along the road of honours (does not, for instance, become a
_vir spectabilis_) we must suppose that he served in some capacity on
Stilicho’s private staff. No doubt he became a sort of poet laureate.

It is probable that the “De raptu” was written during the first two
years of his sojourn at the court of Milan. The poem is dedicated, or
addressed, to Florentinus,[14] who was _praefectus urbi_ from August
395 to the end of 397 when he fell into disgrace with Stilicho. It is
to this circumstance that we are to attribute the unfinished state of
Claudian’s poem.

The Emperor Honorius became consul for the third time on January 3,
396, and on this occasion Claudian read his Panegyric in the emperor’s

Some five weeks before this event another of greater importance had
occurred in the East. This was the murder of Rufinus, the praetorian
prefect, amid the circumstances that have been related above. The date
of the composition of Claudian’s two poems “In Rufinum” is certainly
to be placed within the years 395-397, and the mention of a “tenuem
moram”[16] makes it probable that Book II. was written considerably
later than Book I.; the references, moreover, in the Preface to Book
II. to a victory of Stilicho clearly point to that general’s defeat of
the Goths near Elis in 397.

To the year 398 belong the Panegyric on the fourth consulship of
Honorius and the poems celebrating the marriage of the emperor to
Stilicho’s daughter, Maria. We have already seen that the Gildo episode
and Claudian’s poem on that subject are to be attributed to this same

The consuls for the year 399 were both, in different ways, considered
worthy of the poet’s pen. Perhaps the most savage of all his poems was
directed against Eutropius, the eunuch chamberlain, whose claim to the
consulship the West never recognized,[17] while a Panegyric on Flavius
Manlius Theodorus made amends for an abusive epigram which the usually
more politic Claudian had previously levelled at him.[18]

At the end of 399, or possibly at the beginning of 400, Claudian
returned to Rome[19] where, probably in February,[20] he recited his
poem on the consulship of Stilicho; and we have no reason for supposing
that the poet left the capital from this time on until his departure
for his ill-starred journey four years later. In the year 402,[21] as
has already been mentioned, Stilicho defeated Alaric at Pollentia, and
Claudian recited his poem on the Gothic war sometime during the summer
of the same year. The scene of the recitation seems to have been the
Bibliotheca Templi Apollinis.[22] It was in this year, too, that the
poet reached the summit of his greatness in the dedication of the
statue which, as we have seen, was accorded to him by the wishes of the
emperor and at the demand of the senate.

The last of Claudian’s datable public poems is that on the sixth
consulship of Honorius. It was composed probably towards the end of
403 and recited in Rome on (or after) the occasion of the emperor’s
triumphant entry into the city. The emperor had just returned after
inflicting a defeat on the Goths at Verona in the summer of 403. It is
reasonable to suppose that this triumphant entry (to which the poem
refers in some detail, ll. 331-639) took place on the day on which the
emperor assumed the consular office, viz. January 3, 404.

In the year 404 Claudian seems to have married some protégée of
Serena’s. Of the two poems addressed to her the “Laus Serenae” is
clearly the earlier, and we may take the other, the “Epistola ad
Serenam,” to be the last poem Claudian ever wrote. It is a poem which
seems to have been written on his honeymoon, during the course of which
he died.[23]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not easy to arrive at any just estimate of Claudian as a writer,
partly because of an inevitable tendency to confuse relative with
absolute standards, and partly (and it is saying much the same thing
in other words) because it is so hard to separate Claudian the poet
from Claudian the manipulator of the Latin language. If we compare his
latinity with that of his contemporaries (with the possible exception
of Rutilius) or with that of such a poet as Sidonius Apollinaris,
who came not much more than half a century after him, it is hard to
withhold our admiration from a writer who could, at least as far as his
language is concerned, challenge comparison with poets such as Valerius
Flaccus, Silius Italicus, and Statius--poets who flourished about
three centuries before him.[24] I doubt whether, subject matter set
aside, Claudian might not deceive the very elect into thinking him a
contemporary of Statius, with whose _Silvae_ his own shorter poems have
much in common.

Even as a poet Claudian is not always despicable. His descriptions
are often clever, _e.g._ the Aponus, and many passages in the “De
raptu.”[25] His treatment of somewhat commonplace and often threadbare
themes is not seldom successful--for example, the poem on the Phoenix
and a four-line description of the horses of the dawn in the Panegyric
on Honorius’ fourth consulship[26]--and he has a happy knack of
phrase-making which often relieves a tedious page:

    ille vel aerata Danaën in turre latentem

he says of the pander Eutropius.

But perhaps Claudian’s forte is invective. The panegyrics (with the
doubtful exception of that on Manlius, which is certainly brighter
than the others) are uniformly dull, but the poems on Rufinus and
Eutropius are, though doubtless in the worst of taste, at least in
parts amusing.

Claudian’s faults are easy to find. He mistook memory for inspiration
and so is often wordy and tedious, as for instance in his three poems
on Stilicho’s consulship.[28] Worse than this he is frequently obscure
and involved--witness his seven poems on the drop of water contained
within the rock crystal.[29] The besetting sin, too, of almost all
post-Virgilian Roman poets, I mean a “conceited” frigidity, is one
into which he is particularly liable to fall. Examples are almost too
numerous to cite but the following are typical: “nusquam totiensque
sepultus”[30] of the body of Rufinus, torn limb from limb by the
infuriated soldiery; “caudamque in puppe retorquens Ad proram iacet
usque leo”[31] of one of the animals brought from Africa for the games
at Stilicho’s triumph; “saevusque Damastor, Ad depellendos iaculum cum
quaereret hostes, Germani rigidum misit pro rupe cadaver”[32] of the
giant Pallas turned to stone by the Gorgon’s head on Minerva’s shield.
Consider, too, the remarkable statement that Stilicho, in swimming
the Addua, showed greater bravery than Horatius Cocles because, while
the latter swam away from Lars Porsenna, the former “dabat … Geticis
pectora bellis.”[33]

Two of the poems are interesting as touching upon Christianity (Carm.
min. corp. xxxii. “De salvatore,” and l. “In Iacobum”). The second of
these two poems can scarcely be held to be serious, and although the
first is unobjectionable it cannot be said to stamp its author as a
sincere Christian. Orosius[34] and S. Augustine[35] both declare him to
have been a heathen, but it is probable that, like his master Stilicho,
Claudian rendered the new and orthodox religion at least lip-service.

       *       *       *       *       *

It seems likely that after the death of Claudian (404) and that of
his hero, Stilicho, the political poems (with the exception of the
Panegyric on Probinus and Olybrius,[36] which did not concern Stilicho)
were collected and published separately. The “Carmina minora” may have
been published about the same time. The subsequent conflation of these
two portions came to be known as “Claudianus maior,” the “De raptu”
being “Claudianus minor.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The MSS. of Claudian’s poems fall into two main classes:

(1) Those which Birt refers to as the _Codices maiores_ and which
contain the bulk of the poems but seldom the “De raptu.”

(2) Those which Birt calls the _Codices minores_ and which contain
(generally exclusively) the “De raptu.”

Class (1) may be again divided into (_a_) MSS. proper; (_b_) excerpts.
I give Birt’s abbreviations.

(_a_) The most important are:

  R = Cod. Veronensis 163. 9th century.
      Contains only the “Carmina minora.”

  G = Cod. Sangallensis S n. 429. 9th century.
      Contains only the (Latin) “Gigantomachia.”

  G (_sic_) = Cod. Reginensis 123. 11th century.
      Contains only “De Nilo.”

  V = Cod. Vaticanus 2809. 12th century.

  P = Cod. Parisinus lat. 18,552. 12th or 13th century.
      Contains all the “Carmina maiora” except
      (as usual) the “De raptu” and
      “Pan. Prob. et Olyb.” No “minora.”

  C = Cod. Bruxellensis 5380-4. (?) 12th-13th

  Π = Cod. Parisinus lat. 8082. 13th century.
      This is Heinsius’ “Regius.” The MS. once
      belonged to Petrarch and still bears his name.

  B = Cod. Neapolitanus Borbonicus 1111 E 47.
      13th century.

  A = Cod. Ambrosianus S 66. 15th century.
      Contains all the “maiora” except the
      “De raptu” and “Pan. Prob. et Olyb.”

  J = Cod. Cantabrigiensis coll. Trinitatis
      0.3.22. 13th century.

Besides these are many inferior MSS. referred to collectively by Birt
as ς.

(_b_) Consists of:

  E = Excerpta Florentina. 15th century.

  _e_ = Excerpta Gyraldina. 16th century.

Each of them resembles the other closely and both come from a common

Under (_b_) may further be mentioned the Basel edition of Isengrin
(1534), which preserves an independent tradition.

Birt postulates an archetype (Ω), dating between 6th and 9th centuries,
and two main “streams,” _x_ and _y_; _y_ being again subdivided into
_w_ and _z_.

The following is the family “tree.” Letters enclosed in brackets refer
to non-existent MSS.

      |                                   |
      |                                   |
    (_x_)                               (_y_)
      :                                   |
      :                                   |
      :                     -------------------------------
      :                     |                             |
      :                     |                             |
      :                   (_w_)                         (_z_)
      :                     |                             |
      :                     |                             |
  -----------     ------------------            ------------------------
  |    |    |     |     |          |            |         |     |      |
  |    |    |     |     |          |            |         |     |      |
  G    V    P  =  P   (_a_)        Π     =      Π         C    (?)     R
                                   |                            |
                                   |                            |
                             ---------------              ------------
                             |             |              |          |
                             |             |              |          |
                             A             B            (_e_)        E

Of class (2) may be mentioned:

  S = Cod. Parisinus lat. 15,005. 13th or 14th

  C = Cod. Cantabrigiensis coll. corp. Christi
      228. 13th century.

  D = Cod. Musei Britannici 6042. 13th

  W = Cod. Antverpiensis iii. 59. 12th or 13th

  F = Cod. Florentinus bibl. St. Crucis. 12th

  A, B = Codd. Oxonienses Bodleiani. (?) 13th

  V = Cod. Antverpiensis N. 71. 14th century.

It is to be observed that in Birt’s edition, and in any other that
accepts his “sigla,” A B C and V stand for different MSS. according to
whether they refer, or do not refer, to the “De raptu.”

Some MSS. contain scholia but none of these go back before the 12th or
even the 13th century.

The chief editions of Claudian are as follows:

  Ed. princeps:
    Celsanus, Vicenza, 1482.
    Ugolentus, Parma, 1500.
    Parrhasius, Milan, 1500.
    Camers, Vienna, 1510.
  Aldine ed. (Asulanus), 1523.
  Isengrin ed. (Michael Bentinus), Basel, 1534.[37]
    Claverius, Paris, 1602.

Like Bentinus, Claverius used certain MSS. (in his case those of the
library of Cuiacius) unknown to us.[38]

  Plantin ed. (Scaliger), 1603.

  Elzevir ed. (Heinsius), Leyden, 1650.
    Amsterdam, 1665.

  Barth, Hanau, 1612.
    Frankfort, 1650.

  Delphin ed. (Pyrrho), Paris, 1677.

  Burmann, Amsterdam, 1760.

  König, Göttingen, 1808.

These last three have good explanatory notes.

The first critical edition is that of L. Jeep (Leipzig, 1876-79).

In 1892 Birt published what must be considered as the standard edition
of Claudian--vol. x. in the _Monumenta Germaniae historica_ series.
Birt was the first to put the text of Claudian on a firm footing, and
it is his edition that I have followed, appending critical notes only
where I differ from him.[39]

The latest edition of Claudian is that of Koch (Teubner, Leipzig,
1893). Koch was long associated with Birt in his researches
into textual questions connected with Claudian, and his text is
substantially the same as that of Birt.

So far as I know, there is no English prose translation of Claudian
already in the field, though various of his poems, notably the “De
raptu,” have found many verse translators, and in 1817 his complete
works were put into English verse by A. Hawkins. An Italian version
was published by Domenico Grillo in Venice in 1716, a German one
by Wedekind in Darmstadt in 1868, and there exist two French prose
translations, one by MM. Delatour and Geruzez (éd. Nisard, Paris, 1850)
and one by M. Héguin de Guerle (Garnier frères, Collection Panckoucke,
Paris, 1865).

Of Claudiana may be mentioned Vogt, _De Claudiani carminum quae
Stilichonem praedicant fide historica_ (1863); Ney, _Vindictae
Claudianeae_ (1865); T. Hodgkin’s _Claudian, the last of the Roman
Poets_ (1875); E. Arens’ _Quaestiones Claudianae_ (1894); two studies
by A. Parravicini, (1) _Studio di retorica sulle opere di Claudio
Claudiano_ (1905), and (2) _I Panegirici di Claudiano_ (1909); J. H.
E. Crees’ _Claudian as an Historical Authority_ (Cambridge Historical
Essays, No. 17, 1908); Professor Postgate’s article on the editions of
Birt and Koch in the _Class. Rev._ (vol. ix. pp. 162 _et sqq._), and
the same scholar’s Emendations in the _Class. Quarterly_ of 1910 (pp.
257 _et sqq._). Reference may also be made to Professor Bury’s appendix
to vol. iii. of his edition of Gibbon (1897, under “Claudian”) and to
Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. xxx. _The Encomiums of
Claudius Claudianus_. Vollmer’s article in Pauly-Wissowa’s Lexicon is a
mine of information, but for completeness Birt’s introduction (over 200
pp. long) stands alone.

The curious may find an interesting light thrown on Claudian and his
circle by Sudermann’s play, _Die Lobgesänge des Claudian_ (Berlin,

       *       *       *       *       *

All Claudian’s genuine works are translated in the present volumes
with the exception of the two-line fragment “De Lanario” (Birt, c.m.c.
lii [lxxxviii.]). The appendix “vel spuria vel suspecta continens” has
been rejected both by Birt and Koch, and I have in this followed their
example. The eight Greek poems attributed to Claudian are at least of
doubtful authenticity, though Birt certainly makes out a good case for
the “Gigantomachia” (a fragment of 77 lines). The remainder consists
of short epigrams, two on the well-worn theme of the water enclosed in
the crystal and two Christian ones. These last are almost certainly not
the work of Claudius Claudianus but of Claudianus Mamertus, presbyter
of Vienne _circ._ 474 A.D. We know from Sidonius (_Ep._ iv. 3. 8)
that this Claudian was a writer of sacred poetry both in Greek and
Latin--indeed the famous “Pange lingua” is attributed to him.

       *       *       *       *       *

A word should perhaps be said as to the numbering of the poems.

It is much to be regretted that Birt did not cut adrift from Gesner’s
system, or at least that he only did so in the “Carmina minora.” The
resultant discrepancy in his (and Koch’s) edition between the order of
the poems and their numbering is undoubtedly a nuisance, but I have not
felt justified, in so slight a work as the present one, in departing
from the now traditional arrangement.

I wish, in conclusion, to express my thanks to my colleagues, Mr. R.
L. A. Du Pontet and Mr. E. H. Blakeney: to the first for valuable
suggestions on several obscure points, and to the second for help in
reading the proofs.


WINCHESTER, _September 1921_.

    [1] _Cf._ vii. 99 _et sqq._

    [2] v. 348 _et sqq._ S. Jerome (_Ep._ lx.) refers to his death and
    tells how his head was carried on a pike to Constantinople.

    [3] Or at least connived at his death; see Zosimus v. 11. 5.

    [4] For an adverse (and probably unfair) view of Stilicho see Jerome,
    _Ep._ cxxiii. § 17.

    [5] _C.I.L._ vi. 1710 (=Dessau 2949). Now in the Naples Museum.

    [Cl.] Claudiani v.c. | [Cla]udio Claudiano v.c., tri|[bu]no et
    notario, inter ceteras | [de]centes artes prae[g]loriosissimo
    | [po]etarum, licet ad memoriam sem|piternam carmina ab eodem
    | scripta sufficiant, adtamen | testimonii gratia ob iudicii
    sui | [f]idem, dd. nn. Arcadius et Honorius | [fe-]licissimi et
    doctissimi | imperatores senatu petente | statuam in foro divi
    Traiani | erigi collocarique iusserunt.

        Εἰν ἑνὶ Βιργιλίοιο νόον | καί Μοῦσαν Ὁμήρου |
        Κλαυδιανὸν Ῥώμη καὶ | βασιλῆς ἔθεσαν.

    v.c. = vir clarissimus, _i.e._ (roughly) The Rt. Hon. dd. nn. =
    domini nostri. The inscription may be translated:--To Claudius
    Claudianus v.c., son of Claudius Claudianus v.c., tribune and
    notary (_i.e._ Permanent Secretary), master of the ennobling arts
    but above all a poet and most famous of poets, though his own poems
    are enough to ensure his immortality, yet, in thankful memory of
    his discretion and loyalty, their serene and learned majesties, the
    Emperors Arcadius and Honorius have, at the instance of the senate,
    bidden this statue to be raised and set up in the Forum of the
    Emperor Trajan of blessed memory.

        Rome and her kings--to one who has combined
        A Homer’s music with a Vergil’s mind.

    [6] xxv. 7.

    [7] John Lydus (_De magistr._ i. 47) writes οὖτος ὁ Παφλαγών, but
    this, as Birt has shown, is merely an abusive appellation.

    [8] Sid. Ap. _Carm._ ix. 274.

    [9] viii. 570 _et sqq._

    [10] Carm. min. corp. xix. 3: _cf._ also Carm. min. corp. xxii. 20.

    [11] Carm. min. corp. xli. 13.

    [12] xxiii. 23.

    [13] Carm. min. corp. xl. and xli.; see ref. to Via Flaminia in xl. 8.

    [14] Praef. ii. 50.

    [15] vi. 17.

    [16] iv. 15.

    [17] _Cf._ xxii. 291 _et sqq._

    [18] Carm. min. xxi.

    [19] xxiii. 23.

    [20] So Birt, _Praef._ p. xlii. note 1.

    [21] It should perhaps be mentioned that this date is disputed: see
    Crees, _Claudian as an Historical Authority_, pp. 175 _et sqq._

    [22] xxv. 4 “Pythia … domus.”

    [23] This suggestion is Vollmer’s: see his article on Claudian in
    Pauly-Wissowa, III. ii. p. 2655.

    [24] Still more striking is the comparison of Claudian’s latinity
    with that of his contemporary, the authoress of the frankly
    colloquial _Peregrinatio ad loca sancta_ (see Grandgent, _Vulgar
    Latin_, p. 5: Wölfflin, “Über die Latinität der P. ad l. sancta,”
    in _Archiv für lat. Lexikographie_, iv. 259).

    [25] It is not impossible that this poem is a translation or at
    least an adaptation of a Greek (Alexandrine) original. So Förster,
    _Der Raub und die Rückkehr der Persephone_, Stuttgart, 1874.

    [26] viii. 561-4 (dawns seem to suit him: _cf._ i. 1-6).

    [27] xviii. 82, 83.

    [28] Honourable exception should be made of xxi. 291 _et sqq._--one
    of the best and most sincere things Claudian ever wrote.

    [29] It is worth observing that not infrequently Claudian is making
    “tentamina,” or writing alternative lines: _e.g._ Carm. min. corp.
    vii. 1 and 2, and almost certainly the four lines of id. vi. v. is
    quite likely “a trial” for some such passage as xv. 523.

    [30] v. 453.

    [31] xxiv. 357-8.

    [32] Carm. min. corp. liii. 101-3.

    [33] xxviii. 490.

    [34] vii. 35 “Paganus pervicacissimus.”

    [35] _Civ. dei_, v. 26 “a Christi numine alienus.”

    [36] This poem does not seem to have been associated with the
    others till the 12th century.

    [37] See section on MSS.

    [38] Koch, _De codicibus Cuiacianis quibus in edendo Claudiano
    Claverius usus est_, Marburg, 1889.

    [39] I should like if possible to anticipate criticism by frankly
    stating that the text of this edition makes no claims to being
    based on scientific principles. I have followed Birt not because
    I think him invariably right but because his is at present the
    standard text. Where I differ from him (and this is but in a few
    places) I do so not because I prefer the authority of another
    MS. or because I am convinced of the rightness of a conjecture,
    but because Birt’s conservatism commits him (in my opinion) to
    untranslatable readings, in which cases my choice of a variant is
    arbitrary. Of the principle of _difficilior lectio_ I pragmatically
    take no account.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 1


       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 2




    Sol, qui flammigeris mundum complexus habenis
    volvis inexhausto redeuntia saecula motu,
    sparge diem meliore coma crinemque repexi
    blandius elato surgant temone iugales
    efflantes roseum frenis spumantibus ignem.
    iam nova germanis vestigia torqueat annus
    consulibus, laetique petant exordia menses.
      Scis genus Auchenium, nec te latuere potentes
    Anniadae; nam saepe soles ductoribus illis
    instaurare vias et cursibus addere nomen.                           10
    his neque per dubium pendet Fortuna favorem
    nec novit mutare vices, sed fixus in omnes
    cognatos procedit honos. quemcumque require
    hac de stirpe virum: certum est de consule nasci.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 3



Sun, that encirclest the world with reins of flame and rollest in
ceaseless motion the revolving centuries, scatter thy light with
kindlier beams and let thy coursers, their manes combed and they
breathing forth a rosy flame from their foaming bits, climb the heavens
more jocund in their loftier drawn chariot. Now let the year bend
its new steps for the consul brothers and the glad months take their

Thou wottest of the Auchenian[40] race nor are the powerful Anniadae
unknown to thee, for thou oft hast started thy yearly journey with
them as consuls and hast given their name to thy revolution. For them
Fortune neither hangs on uncertain favour nor changes, but honours,
firmly fixed, pass to all their kin. Select what man thou wilt from
their family, ’tis certain he is a consul’s son. Their ancestors are

    [40] Probinus and Olybrius, the consuls for 395 (they were
    brothers), both belonged to the Anician gens, of which Auchenius
    became an alternative gentile name, Anicius becoming, in these
    cases, the _praenomen_. Many members of this family had been, and
    were to be, consuls: _e.g._ Anicius Auchenius Bassus in A.D. 408.
    The Annian gens was related by intermarriage to the Anician: _e.g._
    Annius Bassus (cos. 331) who married the daughter of Annius Anicius
    Iulianus (cos. 322).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 4

    per fasces numerantur avi semperque renata                          15
    nobilitate virent, et prolem fata sequuntur
    continuum simili servantia lege tenorem.
    nec quisquam procerum temptat, licet aere vetusto
    floreat et claro cingatur Roma senatu,
    se iactare parem; sed, prima sede relicta                           20
    Aucheniis, de iure licet certare secundo:
    haud secus ac tacitam Luna regnante per Arcton
    sidereae cedunt acies, cum fratre retuso
    aemulus adversis flagraverit ignibus orbis;
    tunc iubar Arcturi languet, tunc fulva Leonis                       25
    ira perit, Plaustro iam rara intermicat Arctos
    indignata tegi, iam caligantibus armis
    debilis Orion dextram miratur inertem.

    Quem prius adgrediar? veteris quis facta Probini
    nesciat aut nimias laudes ignoret Olybri?                           30

    Vivit adhuc completque vagis sermonibus aures
    gloria fusa Probi, quam non ventura silebunt
    lustra nec ignota rapiet sub nube vetustas.
    ilium fama vehit trans aequora transque remotas
    Tethyos ambages Atlanteosque recessus.                              35
    audiit et gelido si quem Maeotia pascit
    sub Iove vel calido si quis coniunctus in axe
    nascentem te, Nile, bibit. virtutibus ille
    Fortunam domuit numquamque levantibus alte
    intumuit rebus; sed mens circumflua luxu                            40
    noverat intactum vitio servare rigorem.
    hic non divitias nigrantibus abdidit antris
    nec tenebris damnavit opes; sed largior imbre
    sueverat innumeras hominum ditare catervas.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 5

counted by the fasces (for each has held them), the same recurring
honours crown them, and a like destiny awaits their children in
unbroken succession. No noble, though he boast of the brazen statues of
his ancestors, though Rome be thronged with senators, no noble, I say,
dare boast himself their equal. Give the first place to the Auchenii
and let who will contest the second. It is as when the moon queens it
in the calm northern sky and her orb gleams with brightness equal to
that of her brother whose light she reflects; for then the starry hosts
give place, Arcturus’ beam grows dim and tawny Leo loses his angry
glint, far-spaced shine the Bear’s stars in the Wain, wroth at their
eclipse, Orion’s shafts grow dark as he looks in feeble amaze at his
strengthless arm.

Which shall I speak of first? Who has not heard of the deeds of
Probinus of ancient lineage, who knows not the endless praise of

The far-flung fame of Probus[41] and his sire lives yet and fills all
ears with widespread discourse: the years to come shall not silence
it nor time o’ercloud or put an end to it. His great name carries him
beyond the seas, beyond Ocean’s distant windings and Atlas’ mountain
caverns. If any live beneath the frozen sky by Maeotis’ banks, or any,
near neighbours of the torrid zone, drink Nile’s stripling stream,
they, too, have heard. Fortune yielded to his virtues, but never
was he puffed up with success that engenders pride. Though his life
was surrounded with luxury he knew how to preserve his uprightness
uncorrupted. He did not hide his wealth in dark cellars nor condemn
his riches to the nether gloom, but in showers more abundant than rain
would ever enrich countless numbers of

    [41] Probus was born about 332 and died about 390. He was (among
    many other things) proconsul of Africa and praefectus of Illyricum.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 6

    quippe velut denso currentia munera nimbo                           45
    cernere semper erat, populis undare penates,
    adsiduos intrare inopes, remeare beatos.
    praeceps illa manus fluvios superabat Hiberos
    aurea dona vomens (sic vix[42] tellure revulsa
    sollicitis fodiens miratur collibus aurum),                         50
    quantum stagna Tagi rudibus stillantia venis
    effluxere decus, quanto pretiosa metalli
    Hermi ripa micat, quantas per Lydia culta
    despumat rutilas dives Pactolus harenas.

    Non, mihi centenis pateant si vocibus ora                           55
    multifidusque ruat centum per pectora Phoebus,
    acta Probi narrare queam, quot in ordine gentes
    rexerit, ad summi quotiens fastigia iuris
    venerit, Italiae late cum frena teneret
    Illyricosque sinus et quos arat Africa campos.                      60
    sed nati vicere patrem solique merentur
    victores audire Probi. non contigit illi
    talis honor, prima cum parte viresceret aevi,
    nec consul cum fratre fuit. vos nulla fatigat
    cura diu maiora petens, non anxia mentem                            65
    spes agit et longo tendit praecordia voto:
    coepistis quo finis erat. primordia vestra
    vix pauci meruere senes, metasque tenetis
    ante genas dulces quam flos iuvenilis inumbret
    oraque ridenti lanugine vestiat aetas.                              70
    tu, precor, ignarum doceas, Parnasia, vatem,
    quis deus ambobus tanti sit muneris auctor.

    Postquam fulmineis impellens viribus hostem
    belliger Augustus trepidas laxaverat Alpes,

    [42] MSS. _si quis_; Birt suggests _sic vix_; possibly _ecquis_
    should be read. Postgate (C. Q. iv. p. 258) _quae vix … miretur …

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 7

men. The thick cloud of his generosity was ever big with gifts, full
and overflowing with clients was his mansion, and thereinto there
poured a stream of paupers to issue forth again rich men. His prodigal
hand outdid Spain’s rivers in scattering gifts of gold (scarce so much
precious metal dazzles the gaze of the miner delving in the vexed
bowels of the earth), exceeding all the gold dust carried down by
Tagus’ water trickling from unsmelted lodes, the glittering ore that
enriches Hermus’ banks, the golden sand that rich Pactolus in flood
deposits over the plains of Lydia.

Could my words issue from a hundred mouths, could Phoebus’ manifold
inspiration breathe through a hundred breasts, even so I could not tell
of Probus’ deeds, of all the people his ordered governance ruled, of
the many times he rose to the highest honours, when he held the reins
of broad-acred Italy, the Illyrian coast, and Africa’s lands. But
his sons o’ershadowed their sire and they alone deserve to be called
Probus’ vanquishers. No such honour befell Probus in his youth: he was
never consul with his brother. You ambition, ever o’ervaulting itself,
pricks not; no anxious hopes afflict your minds or keep your hearts
in long suspense. You have begun where most end: but few seniors have
attained to your earliest office. You have finished your race e’er the
full flower of youth has crowned your gentle cheeks or adolescence
clothed your faces with its pleasant down. Do thou, my Muse, tell their
ignorant poet what god it was granted such a boon to the twain.

When the warlike emperor had with the thunderbolt of his might put his
enemy to flight and freed

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 8

    Roma Probo cupiens dignas persolvere grates                         75
    sedula pro natis dominum flexura rogando
    ire parat. famuli currum iunxere volantem
    Impetus horribilisque Metus, qui semper agentes
    proelia cum fremitu Romam comitantur anhelo,
    sive petat Parthos seu cuspide turbet Hydaspen.                     80
    hic ligat axe rotas; hic sub iuga ferrea nectit
    cornipedes rigidisque docet servire lupatis.
    ipsa, triumphatis qua possidet aethera regnis,
    adsilit innuptae ritus imitata Minervae.
    nam neque caesariem crinali stringere cultu                         85
    colla nec ornatu patitur mollire retorto;
    dextrum nuda latus, niveos exerta lacertos,
    audacem retegit mammam, laxumque coercens
    mordet gemma sinum; nodus, qui sublevat ensem,
    album puniceo pectus discriminat ostro.                             90
    miscetur decori virtus pulcherque severo
    armatur terrore pudor, galeaeque minaci
    flava cruentarum praetenditur umbra iubarum,
    et formidato clipeus Titana lacessit
    lumine quem tota variarat Mulciber arte.                            95
    hic patrius Mavortis amor fetusque notantur
    Romulei; pius amnis inest et belua nutrix;
    electro Tiberis, pueri formantur in auro;
    fingunt aera lupam; Mavors adamante coruscat.

    Iam simul emissis rapido velocior Euro                             100
    fertur equis; strident Zephyri cursuque rotarum
    saucia dividuis clarescunt nubila sulcis.
    nec traxere moras, sed lapsu protinus uno,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 9

the Alps from fear, Rome, anxious worthily to thank her Probus,
hastened to beg the Emperor’s favour for that hero’s sons. Her slaves,
Shock and horrid Fear, yoked her winged chariot; ’tis they who ever
attend Rome with loud-voiced roar, setting wars afoot, whether she
battle against the Parthians or vex Hydaspes’ stream with her spear.
The one fastens the wheels to the hubs, the other drives the horses
beneath the iron yoke and makes them obey the stubborn bit. Rome
herself in the guise of the virgin goddess Minerva soars aloft on the
road by which she takes possession of the sky after triumphing over the
realms of earth. She will not have her hair bound with a comb nor her
neck made effeminate with a twisted necklace. Her right side is bare;
her snowy shoulder exposed; her brooch fastens her flowing garments
but loosely and boldly shows her breast: the belt that supports her
sword throws a strip of scarlet across her fair skin. She looks as good
as she is fair, chaste beauty armed with awe; her threatening helm of
blood-red plumes casts a dark shadow and her shield challenges the sun
in its fearful brilliance, that shield which Vulcan forged with all
the subtlety of his skill. In it are depicted the children Romulus and
Remus, and their loving father Mars, Tiber’s reverent stream, and the
wolf that was their nurse; Tiber is embossed in electrum, the children
in pure gold, brazen is the wolf, and Mars fashioned of flashing steel.

And now Rome, loosing both her steeds together, flies swifter than the
fleet east wind; the Zephyrs shrill and the clouds, cleft with the
track of the wheels, glow in separate furrows. What matchless speed!
One pinion’s stroke and they reach their

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 10

    quem poscunt, tetigere locum: qua fine sub imo
    angustant aditum curvis anfractibus Alpes                          105
    claustraque congestis scopulis durissima tendunt,
    non alia reseranda manu, sed pervia tantum
    Augusto geminisque fidem mentita tyrannis.
    semirutae turres avulsaque moenia fumant;
    crescunt in cumulum strages vallemque profundam
    aequavere iugis; stagnant inmersa cruore                           111
    corpora; turbantur permixto funere manes.

    Haud procul exhausto laetus certamine victor
    caespite gramineo consederat arbore fultus
    adclines umeros; domimim gavisa coronat                            115
    terra suum, surguntque toris maioribus herbae.
    sudor adhuc per membra calet creberque recurrit
    halitus et placidi radiant in casside vultus:
    qualis letifera populatus caede Gelonos
    procubat horrendus Getico Gradivus in arvo;                        120
    exuvias Bellona levat, Bellona tepentes
    pulvere solvit equos, inmensaque cornus in hastam
    porrigitur tremulisque ferit splendoribus Hebrum.

    Ut stetit ante ducem discussas Roma per auras,
    conscia ter sonuit rupes et inhorruit atrum                        125
    maiestate nemus. prior hic: “o numen amicum”
    dux ait “et legum genetrix longeque regendo
    circumfusa polo consors ac dicta Tonantis,
    dic agedum, quae causa viae? cur deseris arces
    Ausonias caelumque tuum? dic, maxima rerum!                        130

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 11

goal: it is there where in their furthermost parts the Alps narrow
their approaches into tortuous valleys and extend their adamantine bars
of piled-up rocks. No other hand could unlock that gate, as, to their
cost, those two tyrants[43] found; to the Emperor only they offer a
way. The smoke of towers o’erthrown and of ruined fortresses ascends
to heaven. Slaughtered men are piled up on a heap and bring the lowest
valley equal with the hills; corpses welter in their blood; the very
shades are confounded with the inrush of the slain.

Close at hand the victor, Theodosius, happy that his warfare is
accomplished, sits upon the green sward, his shoulders leaning against
a tree. Triumphant earth crowned her lord and flowers sprang up from
prouder banks. The sweat is still warm upon his body, his breath comes
panting, but calm shines his countenance beneath his helmet. Such is
Mars, when with deadly slaughter he has devastated the Geloni and
thereafter rests, a dread figure, in the Getic plain, while Bellona,
goddess of war, lightens him of his armour and unyokes his dust-stained
coursers; an outstretched spear, a huge cornel trunk, arms his hand and
flashes its tremulous splendour over Hebrus’ stream.

When Rome had ended her airy journey and now stood before her lord,
thrice thundered the conscious rocks and the black wood shuddered in
awe. First to speak was the hero: “Goddess and friend, mother of laws,
thou whose empire is conterminous with heaven, thou that art called the
consort of the Thunderer, say what hath caused thy coming: why leavest
thou the towns of Italy and thy native clime? Say, queen of the world.
Were it thy

    [43] Maximus and Eugenius. See Introduction, p. ix.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 12

    non ego vel Libycos cessem tolerare labores
    Sarmaticosve pati medio sub frigore Cauros,
    si tu, Roma, velis; pro te quascumque per oras
    ibimus et nulla sub tempestate timentes
    solstitio Meroën, bruma temptabimus Histrum.”                      135

    Tum regina refert: “non me latet, inclite rector,
    quod tua pro Latio victricia castra laborant
    nec quod servitium rursus Furiaeque rebelles
    edomitae paribus sub te cecidere triumphis.
    sed precor hoc donum cum libertate recenti                         140
    adicias, si vera manet reverentia nostri.
    sunt mihi pubentes alto de semine fratres,
    pignora cara Probi, festa quos luce creatos
    ipsa meo fovi gremio. cunabula parvis
    ipsa dedi, cum matris onus Lucina beatum                           145
    solveret et magnos proferrent sidera partus.
    his ego nec Decios pulchros fortesve Metellos
    praetulerim, non, qui Poenum domuere ferocem,
    Scipiadas Gallisque genus fatale Camillos.
    Pieriis pollent studiis multoque redundant                         150
    eloquio; nec desidiis dapibusve paratis
    indulgere iuvat nec tanta licentia vitae
    adripit aut mores aetas lasciva relaxat:
    sed gravibus curis animum sortita senilem
    ignea longaevo frenatur corde iuventus.                            155
    illis, quam propriam ducunt ab origine, sortem
    oramus praebere velis annique futurum
    devoveas venientis iter. non improba posco,
    non insueta dabis: domus haec de more requirit.
    adnue: sic nobis Scythicus famuletur Araxes,                       160

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 13

wish I would not shrink from toiling neath a Libyan sun nor from the
cold winds of a Russian midwinter. At thy behest I will traverse all
lands and fearing no season of the year will hazard Meroë in summer and
the Danube in winter.”

Then the Queen answered: “Full well know I, far-famed ruler, that thy
victorious armies toil for Italy, and that once again servitude and
furious rebels have given way before thee, overthrown in one and the
same battle. Yet I pray thee add to our late won liberty this further
boon, if in very truth thou still reverest me. There are among my
citizens two young brothers of noble lineage, the dearly loved sons of
Probus, born on a festal day and reared in my own bosom. ’Twas I gave
the little ones their cradles when the goddess of childbirth freed
their mother’s womb from its blessed burden and heaven brought to light
her glorious offspring. To these I would not prefer the noble Decii
nor the brave Metelli, no, nor the Scipios who overcame the warlike
Carthaginians nor the Camilli, that family fraught with ruin for the
Gauls. The Muses have endowed them with full measure of their skill;
their eloquence knows no bounds. Theirs not to wanton in sloth and
banquets spread; unbridled pleasure tempts them not, nor can the lure
of youth undermine their characters. Gaining from weighty cares an old
man’s mind, their fiery youth is bridled by a greybeard’s wisdom. That
fortune to which their birth entitles them I beg thee assure them and
appoint for them the path of the coming year. ’Tis no unreasonable
request and will be no unheard-of boon. Their birth demands it should
be so. Grant it; so may Scythian Araxes be our vassal

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 14

    sic Rhenus per utrumque latus, Medisque subactis
    nostra Semiramiae timeant insignia turres;
    sic fluat attonitus Romana per oppida Ganges.”

      Ductor ad haec: “optata iubes ultroque volentem,
    diva, rogas; non haec precibus temptanda fuissent.
    usque adeone meam condunt oblivia mentem,                          166
    ut pigeat meminisse Probi, quo vindice totam
    vidimus Hesperiam fessasque resurgere gentes?
    ante dabunt hiemes Nilum, per flumina dammae
    errabunt glacieque niger damnabitur Indus,                         170
    ante Thyesteis iterum conterrita mensis
    intercisa dies refugos vertetur in ortus,
    quam Probus a nostro possit discedere sensu.”

      Dixerat et velox iam nuntius advolat urbem.
    extemplo strepuere chori collesque canoris                         175
    plausibus impulsi septena voce resultant.
    laetatur veneranda parens et pollice docto
    iam parat auratas trabeas cinctusque micantes
    stamine, quod molli tondent de stipite Seres
    frondea lanigerae carpentes vellera silvae,                        180
    et longum tenues tractus producit in aurum
    filaque concreto cogit squalere metallo:
    qualis purpureas praebebat candida vestes
    numinibus Latona suis, cum sacra redirent
    ad loca nutricis iam non errantia Deli,                            185
    illa feros saltus et desolata relinquens
    Maenala lassato certis venatibus arcu,
    Phoebus adhuc nigris rorantia tela venenis
    extincto Pythone gerens; tunc insula notos

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 15

and Rhine’s either bank; so may the Mede be o’erthrown and the towers
that Semiramis built yield to our standards, while amazèd Ganges flows
between Roman cities.”

To this the king: “Goddess, thou biddest me do what I would fain do
and askest a boon that I wish to grant: thy entreaties were not needed
for this. Does forgetfulness so wholly cloud my mind that I will not
remember Probus, beneath whose leadership I have seen all Italy and her
war-weary peoples come again to prosperity? Winter shall cause Nile’s
rising, hinds shall make rivers their element, dark-flowing Indus shall
be ice-bound, terror-stricken once again by the banquet of Thyestes the
sun shall stay his course and fly for refuge back into the east, all
this ere Probus can fade from my memory.”

He spake, and now the speedy messenger hies him to Rome. Straightway
the choirs chant and the seven hills re-echo their tuneful applause.
Joy is in the heart of that aged mother whose skilled fingers now make
ready gold-embroidered vestment and garments agleam with the thread
which the Seres comb out from their delicate plants, gathering the
leafy fleece of the wool-bearing trees. These long threads she draws
out to an equal length with the threads of gold and by intertwining
them makes one golden cord; as fair Latona gave scarlet garments to her
divine offspring when they returned to the now firm-fixèd shrine of
Delos their foster-island, Diana leaving the forest glades and bleak
Maenalus, her unerring bow wearied with much hunting, and Phoebus
bearing the sword still dripping with black venom from the slaughtered
Python. Then their dear island laved the feet of its acknowledged

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 16

    lambit amica pedes ridetque Aegaeus alumnis                        190
    lenior et blando testatur gaudia fluctu.

      Sic Proba praecipuo natos exornat amictu:
    quae decorat mundum, cuius Romana potestas
    fetibus augetur. credas ex aethere lapsam
    stare Pudicitiam vel sacro ture vocatam                            195
    Iunonem Inachiis oculos advertere templis.
    talem nulla refert antiquis pagina libris
    nec Latiae cecinere tubae nec Graeca vetustas.
    coniuge digna Probo; nam tantum coetibus extat
    femineis, quantum supereminet ille maritos.                        200
    ceu sibi certantes, sexus quid possit uterque,
    hunc legere torum. taceat Nereida nuptam
    Pelion. o duplici fecundam consule matrem
    felicemque uterum, qui nomina parturit annis!

      Ut sceptrum gessere manu membrisque rigentes
    aptavere togas, signum dat summus hiulca                           200
    nube Pater gratamque facem per inane rotantes
    prospera vibrati tonuerunt omina nimbi.
    accepit sonitus curvis Tiberinus in antris
    ima valle sedens. adrectis auribus haesit,                         210
    unde repentinus populi fragor. ilicet herbis
    pallentes thalamos et structa cubilia musco
    deserit ac Nymphis urnam commendat erilem.
    illi glauca nitent hirsuto lumina vultu
    caeruleis infecta notis, reddentia patrem                          215
    Oceanum; crispo densantur gramine colla;
    vertice luxuriat toto crinalis harundo,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 17

deities, the Aegean smiled more gently on its nurslings, the Aegean
whose soft ripples bore witness to its joy.

So Proba[44] adorns her children with vestment rare, Proba, the world’s
glory, by whose increase the power of Rome, too, is increased. You
would have thought her Modesty’s self fallen from heaven or Juno,
summoned by sacred incense, turning her eyes on the shrines of Argos.
No page in ancient story tells of such a mother, no Latin Muse nor old
Grecian tale. Worthy is she of Probus for a husband, for he surpassed
all husbands as she all wives. ’Twas as though in rivalry either sex
had done its uttermost and so brought about this marriage. Let Pelion
vaunt no more that Nereid bride.[45] Happy thou that art the mother of
consuls twain, blessed thy womb whose offspring have given the year
their name for its own.

So soon as their hands held the sceptres and the jewel-studded togas
had enfolded their limbs the almighty Sire vouchsafes a sign with riven
cloud and the shaken heavens, projecting a welcoming flash through the
void, thundered with prosperous omen. Father Tiber, seated in that
low valley, heard the sound in his labyrinthine cave. He stays with
ears pricked up wondering whence this sudden popular clamour comes.
Straightway he leaves his couch of green leaves, his mossy bed, and
entrusts his urn to his attendant nymphs. Grey eyes flecked with blue
shine out from his shaggy countenance, recalling his father Oceanus;
thick curlèd grasses cover his neck and lush sedge crowns his head.

    [44] Anicia Faltonia Proba. She was still alive in 410 and
    according to Procopius (_Bell. Vand._ i. 2) opened the gates of
    Rome to Alaric.

    [45] Thetis, daughter of Nereus, was married to Peleus on Mount
    Pelion in Thessaly.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 18

    quam neque fas Zephyris frangi nec sole perustam
    aestivo candore mori; sed vivida frondet
    aequaevum complexa caput. taurina levantur                         220
    cornua temporibus raucos sudantia rivos;
    distillant per pectus aquae; frons hispida manat
    imbribus; in liquidos fontes se barba repectit.
    palla graves umeros velat, quam neverat uxor
    Ilia percurrens vitreas sub gurgite telas.                         225

      Est in Romuleo procumbens insula Thybri
    qua medius geminas interfluit alveus urbes
    discretas subeunte freto, pariterque minantes
    ardua turrigerae surgunt in culmina ripae.
    hic stetit et subitum prospexit ab aggere votum:                   230
    unanimos[46] fratres iuncto stipante senatu
    ire forum strictasque procul radiare secures
    atque uno biiuges tolli de limine fasces.
    obstupuit visu suspensaque gaudia vocem
    oppressam tenuere diu; mox incohat ore:                            235

      “Respice, si tales iactas aluisse fluentis,
    Eurota Spartane, tuis. quid protulit aequum
    falsus olor, valido quamvis decernere caestu
    noverit et ratibus saevas arcere procellas?
    en nova Ledaeis suboles fulgentior astris,                         240
    ecce mei cives, quorum iam Signifer optat
    adventum stellisque parat convexa futuris.
    iam per noctivagos dominetur Olybrius axes
    pro Polluce rubens, pro Castore flamma Probini.

    [46] Birt, following MSS., _unanimes_; Koch _unanimos_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 19

This the Zephyrs may not break nor the summer sun scorch to withering;
it lives and burgeons around those brows immortal as itself. From
his temples sprout horns like those of a bull; from these pour
babbling streamlets; water drips upon his breast, showers pour down
his hair-crowned forehead, flowing rivers from his parted beard.
There clothes his massy shoulders a cloak woven by his wife Ilia, who
threaded the crystalline loom beneath the flood.

There lies in Roman Tiber’s stream an island where the central flood
washes as ’twere two cities parted by the sundering waters: with equal
threatening height the tower-clad banks rise in lofty buildings. Here
stood Tiber and from this eminence beheld his prayer of a sudden
fulfilled, saw the twin-souled brothers enter the Forum amid the press
of thronging senators, the bared axes gleam afar and both sets of
fasces brought forth from one threshold. He stood amazed at the sight
and for a long time incredulous joy held his voice in check. Yet soon
he thus began:

“Behold, Eurotas, river of Sparta, boastest thou that thy streams have
ever nurtured such as these? Did that false swan[47] beget a child to
rival them, though ’tis true his sons could fight with the heavy glove
and save ships from cruel tempests? Behold new offspring outshining
the stars to which Leda gave birth, men of my city for whose coming
the Zodiac is now awatch, making ready his hollow tract of sky for a
constellation that is to be. Henceforth let Olybrius rule the nightly
sky, shedding his ruddy light where Pollux once shone, and where
glinted Castor’s fires there let glitter Probinus’

    [47] Jupiter, who courted Leda in the form of a swan, becoming by
    her the father of Helen, Clytemnestra, Castor and Pollux. These
    latter two were the patrons of the ring--hence “decernere caestu”
    (l. 238); and of sailors--hence “arcere procellas” (l. 239).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 20

    ipsi vela regent, ipsis donantibus auras                           245
    navita tranquillo moderabitur aequore pinum.
    nunc pateras libare deis, nunc solvere multo
    nectare corda libet. niveos iam pandite coetus,
    Naides, et totum violis praetexite fontem;
    mella ferant silvae; iam profluat ebrius amnis                     250
    mutatis in vina vadis; iam sponte per agros
    sudent inriguae spirantia balsama venae!
    currat, qui sociae roget in convivia mensae
    indigenas Fluvios, Italis quicumque suberrant
    montibus Alpinasque bibunt de more pruinas:                        255
    Vulturnusque rapax et Nar vitiatus odoro
    sulphure tardatusque suis erroribus Ufens
    et Phaëthonteae perpessus damna ruinae
    Eridanus flavaeque terens querceta Maricae
    Liris et Oebaliae qui temperat arva Galaesus.                      260
    semper honoratus nostris celebrabitur undis
    iste dies, semper dapibus recoletur opimis.”
      Sic ait et Nymphae patris praecepta secutae
    tecta parant epulis ostroque infecta corusco
    umida gemmiferis inluxit regia mensis.                             265
      O bene signatum fraterno nomine tempus!
    o consanguineis felix auctoribus annus,
    incipe quadrifidum Phoebi torquere laborem.
    prima tibi procedat hiems non frigore torpens,
    non canas vestita nives, non aspera ventis,                        270
    sed tepido calefacta Noto; ver inde serenum
    protinus et liquidi clementior aura Favoni
    pratis te croceis pingat; te messibus aestas

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 21

flame. These shall direct men’s sails and vouchsafe those breezes
whereby the sailor shall guide his bark o’er the calm ocean. Let us now
pour libation to the new gods and ease our hearts with copious draughts
of nectar. Naiads, now spread your snowy bands, wreath every spring
with violets. Let the woods bring forth honey and the drunken river
roll, its waters changed to wine; let the watering streams that vein
the fields give off the scent of balsam spice. Let one run and invite
to the feast and banquet-board all the rivers of our land, even all
that wander beneath the mountains of Italy and drink as their portion
the Alpine snows, swift Vulturnus and Nar infected with ill-smelling
sulphur, Ufens whose meanderings delay his course and Eridanus into
whose waters Phaëthon fell headlong; Liris who laves Marica’s golden
oak groves and Galaesus who tempers the fields of Sparta’s colony
Tarentum. This day shall always be held in honour and observed by our
rivers and its anniversary ever celebrated with rich feastings.”

So spake he, and the Nymphs, obeying their sire’s behest, made ready
the rooms for the banquet, and the watery palace, ablaze with gleaming
purple, shone with jewelled tables.

O happy months to bear these brothers’ name! O year blessed to own such
a pair as overlords, begin thou to turn the laborious wheel of Phoebus’
four-fold circle. First let thy winter pursue its course, sans numbing
cold, not clothed in white snow nor torn by rough blasts, but warmed
with the south wind’s breath: next, be thy spring calm from the outset
and let the limpid west wind’s gentler breeze flood thy meads with
yellow flowers.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 22

    induat autumnusque madentibus ambiat uvis.
    omni nobilior lustro, tibi gloria soli                             275
    contigit exactum numquam memorata per aevum,
    germanos habuisse duces; te cuncta loquetur
    tellus; te variis scribent in floribus Horae
    longaque perpetui ducent in saecula fasti.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 23

May summer crown thee with harvest and autumn store thee with luscious
grapes. An honour that no age has ever yet known, a privilege never yet
heard of in times gone by, this has been thine and thine alone--to have
had brothers as thy consuls. The whole world shall tell of thee, the
Hours shall inscribe thy name in various flowers, and age-long annals
hand thy fame down through the long centuries.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 24




    Phoebeo domitus Python cum decidit arcu
      membraque Cirrhaeo fudit anhela iugo,
    qui spiris tegeret montes, hauriret hiatu
      flumina, sanguineis tangeret astra iubis:
    iam liber Parnasus erat nexuque soluto                               5
      coeperat erecta surgere fronde nemus
    concussaeque diu spatiosis tractibus orni
      securas ventis explicuere comas
    et qui vipereo spumavit saepe veneno
      Cephisos nitidis purior ibat aquis.                               10
    omnis “io Paean” regio sonat; omnia Phoebum
      rura canunt; tripodas plenior aura rotat,
    auditoque procul Musarum carmine dulci
      ad Themidis coëunt antra severa dei.

    Nunc alio domini telis Pythone perempto                             15
      convenit ad nostram sacra caterva lyram,
    qui stabilem servans Augustis fratribus orbem
      iustitia pacem, viribus arma regit.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 25




When Python had fallen, laid low by the arrow of Phoebus, his dying
limbs outspread o’er Cirrha’s heights--Python, whose coils covered
whole mountains, whose maw swallowed rivers and whose bloody crest
touched the stars--then Parnassus was free and the woods, their
serpent fetters shaken off, began to grow tall with lofty trees. The
mountain-ashes, long shaken by the dragon’s sinuous coils, spread their
leaves securely to the breeze, and Cephisus, who had so often foamed
with his poisonous venom, now flowed a purer stream with limpid wave.
The whole country echoed with the cry, “hail, Healer”: every land sang
Phoebus’ praise. A fuller wind shakes the tripod, and the gods, hearing
the Muses’ sweet song from afar off, gather in the dread caverns of

A blessed band comes together to hear my song, now that a second Python
has been slain by the weapons of that master of ours who made the rule
of the brother Emperors hold the world steady, observing justice in
peace and showing vigour in war.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 26



      Saepe mihi dubiam traxit sententia mentem,
    curarent superi terras an nullus inesset
    rector et incerto fluerent mortalia casu.
    nam cum dispositi quaesissem foedera mundi
    praescriptosque mari fines annisque meatus                           5
    et lucis noctisque vices: tunc omnia rebar
    consilio firmata dei, qui lege moveri
    sidera, qui fruges diverso tempore nasci,
    qui variam Phoeben alieno iusserit igni
    compleri Solemque suo, porrexerit undis                             10
    litora, tellurem medio libraverit axe.
    sed cum res hominum tanta caligine volvi
    adspicerem laetosque diu florere nocentes
    vexarique pios, rursus labefacta cadebat
    relligio causaeque viam non sponte sequebar                         15
    alterius, vacuo quae currere semina motu
    adfirmat magnumque novas per inane figuras
    fortuna non arte regi, quae numina sensu
    ambiguo vel nulla putat vel nescia nostri.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 27



My mind has often wavered between two opinions: have the gods a care
for the world or is there no ruler therein and do mortal things drift
as dubious chance dictates? For when I investigated the laws and the
ordinances of heaven and observed the sea’s appointed limits, the
year’s fixed cycle and the alternation of light and darkness, then
methought everything was ordained according to the direction of a God
who had bidden the stars move by fixed laws, plants grow at different
seasons, the changing moon fulfil her circle with borrowed light and
the sun shine by his own, who spread the shore before the waves and
balanced the world in the centre of the firmament. But when I saw the
impenetrable mist which surrounds human affairs, the wicked happy and
long prosperous and the good discomforted, then in turn my belief in
God was weakened and failed, and even against mine own will I embraced
the tenets of that other philosophy[48] which teaches that atoms drift
in purposeless motion and that new forms throughout the vast void are
shaped by chance and not design--that philosophy which believes in God
in an ambiguous sense, or holds that there be no gods, or that they are
careless of our doings. At

    [48] Epicureanism.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 28

    abstulit hunc tandem Rufini poena tumultum                          20
    absolvitque deos. iam non ad culmina rerum
    iniustos crevisse queror; tolluntur in altum,
    ut lapsu graviore ruant. vos pandite vati,
    Pierides, quo tanta lues eruperit ortu.

      Invidiae quondam stimulis incanduit atrox                         25
    Allecto, placidas late cum cerneret urbes.
    protinus infernas ad limina taetra sorores
    concilium deforme vocat. glomerantur in unum
    innumerae pestes Erebi, quascumque sinistro
    Nox genuit fetu: nutrix Discordia belli,                            30
    imperiosa Fames, leto vicina Senectus
    impatiensque sui Morbus Livorque secundis
    anxius et scisso maerens velamine Luctus
    et Timor et caeco praeceps Audacia vultu
    et Luxus populator opum, quem semper adhaerens                      35
    infelix humili gressu comitatur Egestas,
    foedaque Avaritiae complexae pectora matris
    insomnes longo veniunt examine Curae.
    complentur vario ferrata sedilia coetu
    torvaque collectis stipatur curia monstris.                         40
    Allecto stetit in mediis vulgusque tacere
    iussit et obstantes in tergum reppulit angues
    perque umeros errare dedit. tum corde sub imo
    inclusam rabidis patefecit vocibus iram:

      “Sicine tranquillo produci saecula cursu,                         45
    sic fortunatas patiemur vivere gentes?
    quae nova corrupit nostros clementia mores?
    quo rabies innata perit? quid inania prosunt
    verbera? quid facibus nequiquam cingimur atris?

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 29

last Rufinus’ fate has dispelled this uncertainty and freed the gods
from this imputation. No longer can I complain that the unrighteous man
reaches the highest pinnacle of success. He is raised aloft that he may
be hurled down in more headlong ruin. Muses, unfold to your poet whence
sprang this grievous pest.

Dire Allecto once kindled with jealous wrath on seeing widespread peace
among the cities of men. Straightway she summons the hideous council of
the nether-world sisters to her foul palace gates. Hell’s numberless
monsters are gathered together, Night’s children of ill-omened birth.
Discord, mother of war, imperious Hunger, Age, near neighbour to
Death; Disease, whose life is a burden to himself; Envy that brooks
not another’s prosperity, woeful Sorrow with rent garments; Fear and
foolhardy Rashness with sightless eyes; Luxury, destroyer of wealth,
to whose side ever clings unhappy Want with humble tread, and the long
company of sleepless Cares, hanging round the foul neck of their mother
Avarice. The iron seats are filled with all this rout and the grim
chamber is thronged with the monstrous crowd. Allecto stood in their
midst and called for silence, thrusting behind her back the snaky hair
that swept her face and letting it play over her shoulders. Then with
mad utterance she unlocked the anger deep hidden in her heart.

“Shall we allow the centuries to roll on in this even tenour, and
man to live thus blessed? What novel kindliness has corrupted our
characters? Where is our inbred fury? Of what use the lash with none
to suffer beneath it? Why this purposeless girdle of smoky torches?
Sluggards, ye,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 30

    heu nimis ignavae, quas Iuppiter arcet Olympo,                      50
    Theodosius terris. en aurea nascitur aetas,
    en proles antiqua redit. Concordia, Virtus
    eumque Fide Pietas alta cervice vagantur
    insignemque canunt nostra de plebe triumphum.
    pro dolor! ipsa mihi liquidas delapsa per auras                     55
    Iustitia insultat vitiisque a stirpe recisis
    elicit oppressas tenebroso carcere leges.
    at nos indecores longo torpebimus aevo
    omnibus eiectae regnis! agnoscite tandem
    quid Furias deceat; consuetas sumite vires                          60
    conventuque nefas tanto decernite dignum.
    iam cupio Stygiis invadere nubibus astra,
    iam flatu violare diem, laxare profundo
    frena mari, fluvios ruptis inmittere ripis
    et rerum vexare fidem.”
                             Sic fata cruentum                          65
    mugiit et totos serpentum erexit hiatus
    noxiaque effudit concusso crine venena.
    anceps motus erat vulgi. pars maxima bellum
    indicit superis, pars Ditis iura veretur,
    dissensuque alitur rumor: ceu murmurat alti                         70
    impacata quies pelagi, cum flamine fracto
    durat adhuc saevitque tumor dubiumque per aestum
    lassa recedentis fluitant vestigia venti.
      Improba mox surgit tristi de sede Megaera,
    quam penes insani fremitus animique profanus                        75
    error et undantes spumis furialibus irae:
    non nisi quaesitum cognata caede cruorem
    inlicitumve bibit, patrius quem fuderit ensis,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 31

whom Jove has excluded from heaven, Theodosius from earth. Lo! a golden
age begins; lo! the old breed of men returns. Peace and Godliness,
Love and Honour hold high their heads throughout the world and sing a
proud song of triumph over our conquered folk. Justice herself (oh the
pity of it!), down-gliding through the limpid air, exults over me and,
now that crime has been cut down to the roots, frees law from the dark
prison wherein she lay oppressed. Shall we, expelled from every land,
lie this long age in shameful torpor? Ere it be too late recognize a
Fury’s duty: resume your wonted strength and decree a crime worthy
of this august assembly. Fain would I shroud the stars in Stygian
darkness, smirch the light of day with our breath, unbridle the ocean
deeps, hurl rivers against their shattered banks, and break the bonds
of the universe.”

So spake she with cruel roar and uproused every gaping serpent mouth as
she shook her snaky locks and scattered their baneful poison. Of two
minds was the band of her sisters. The greater number was for declaring
war upon heaven, yet some respected still the ordinances of Dis and
the uproar grew by reason of their dissension, even as the sea’s calm
is not at once restored, but the deep still thunders when, for all the
wind be dropped, the swelling tide yet flows, and the last weary winds
of the departing storm play o’er the tossing waves.

Thereupon cruel Megaera rose from her funereal seat, mistress she of
madness’ howlings and impious ill and wrath bathed in fury’s foam. No
blood her drink but that flowing from kindred slaughter and forbidden
crime, shed by a father’s, by a brother’s

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 32

    quem dederint fratres; haec terruit Herculis ora
    et defensores terrarum polluit arcus,                               80
    haec Athamanteae direxit spicula dextrae,
    haec Agamemnonios inter bacchata penates
    alternis lusit iugulis; hac auspice taedae
    Oedipoden matri, natae iunxere Thyesten.
    quae tune horrisonis effatur talia dictis:                          85
      “Signa quidem, sociae, divos attollere contra
    nec fas est nec posse reor; sed laedere mundum
    si libet et populis commune intendere letum.
    est mihi prodigium cunctis inmanius hydris,
    tigride mobilius feta, violentius Austris                           90
    acribus, Euripi fulvis incertius undis
    Rufinus, quem prima meo de matre cadentem
    suscepi gremio. parvus reptavit in isto
    saepe sinu teneroque per ardua colla volutus
    ubera quaesivit fletu linguisque trisulcis                          95
    mollia lambentes finxerunt membra cerastae;
    meque etiam tradente dolos artesque nocendi
    edidicit: simulare fidem sensusque minaces
    protegere et blando fraudem praetexere risu,
    plenus saevitiae lucrique cupidine fervens.                        100
    non Tartesiacis ilium satiaret harenis
    tempestas pretiosa Tagi, non stagna rubentis
    aurea Pactoli; totumque exhauserit Hermum,
    ardebit maiore siti. quam fallere mentes
    doctus et unanimos odiis turbare sodales!                          105
    talem progenies hominum si prisca tulisset,
    Perithoum fugeret Theseus, offensus Orestem
    desereret Pylades, odisset Castora Pollux.
    ipsa quidem fateor vinci rapidoque magistram

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 33

sword. ’Twas she made e’en Hercules afraid and brought shame upon
that bow that had freed the world of monsters; she aimed the arrow in
Athamas’[49] hand: she took her pleasure in murder after murder, a mad
fury in Agamemnon’s palace; beneath her auspices wedlock mated Oedipus
with his mother and Thyestes with his daughter. Thus then she speaks
with dread-sounding words:

“To raise our standards against the gods, my sisters, is neither
right nor, methinks, possible; but hurt the world we may, if such
our wish, and bring an universal destruction upon its inhabitants.
I have a monster more savage than the hydra brood, swifter than the
mother tigress, fiercer than the south wind’s blast, more treacherous
than Euripus’ yellow flood--Rufinus. I was the first to gather him,
a new-born babe, to my bosom. Often did the child nestle in mine
embrace and seek my breast, his arms thrown about my neck in a flood of
infant tears. My snakes shaped his soft limbs licking them with their
three-forked tongues. I taught him guile whereby he learnt the arts of
injury and deceit, how to conceal the intended menace and cover his
treachery with a smile, full-filled with savagery and hot with lust of
gain. Him nor the sands of rich Tagus’ flood by Tartessus’ town could
satisfy nor the golden waters of ruddy Pactolus; should he drink all
Hermus’ stream he would parch with the greedier thirst. How skilled to
deceive and wreck friendships with hate! Had that old generation of
men produced such an one as he, Theseus had fled Pirithous, Pylades
deserted Orestes in wrath, Pollux hated Castor. I confess myself his
inferior: his quick genius has outstripped

    [49] Athamas, king of Orchomenus, murdered his son Learchus in a fit of

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 34

    praevenit ingenio; nec plus sermone morabor:                       110
    solus habet scelerum quidquid possedimus omnes.
    hunc ego, si vestrae res est accommoda turbae,
    regalem ad summi producam principis aulam.
    sit licet ipse Numa gravior, sit denique Minos,
    cedet et insidiis nostri flectetur alumni.”                        115
      Orantem sequitur clamor cunctaeque profanas
    porrexere manus inventaque tristia laudant.
    illa ubi caeruleo vestes conexuit angue
    nodavitque adamante comas, Phlegethonta sonorum
    poscit et ambusto flagrantis ab aggere ripae                       120
    ingentem piceo succendit gurgite pinum
    pigraque veloces per Tartara concutit alas.
      Est locus extremum pandit qua Gallia litus
    Oceani praetentus aquis, ubi fertur Ulixes
    sanguine libato populum movisse silentem.                          125
    illic umbrarum tenui stridore volantum
    flebilis auditur questus; simulacra coloni
    pallida defunctasque vident migrare figuras.
    hinc dea prosiluit Phoebique egressa serenos
    infecit radios ululatuque aethera rupit                            130
    terrifico: sentit ferale Britannia murmur
    et Senonum quatit arva fragor revolutaque Tethys
    substitit et Rhenus proiecta torpuit urna.
    tunc in canitiem mutatis sponte colubris
    longaevum mentita senem rugisque seueras                           135
    persulcata genas et ficto languida passu
    invadit muros Elusae, notissima dudum

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 35

his preceptress: in a word (that I waste not your time further) all the
wickedness that is ours in common is his alone. Him will I introduce,
if the plan commend itself to you, to the kingly palace of the emperor
of the world. Be he wiser than Numa, be he Minos’ self, needs must he
yield and succumb to the treachery of my foster child.”

A shout followed her words: all stretched forth their impious hands and
applauded the awful plot. When Megaera had gathered together her dress
with the black serpent that girdled her, and bound her hair with combs
of steel, she approached the sounding stream of Phlegethon, and seizing
a tall pine-tree from the scorched summit of the flaming bank kindled
it in the pitchy flood, then plied her swift wings o’er sluggish

There is a place where Gaul stretches her furthermost shore spread out
before the waves of Ocean: ’tis there that Ulysses is said to have
called up the silent ghosts with a libation of blood. There is heard
the mournful weeping of the spirits of the dead as they flit by with
faint sound of wings, and the inhabitants see the pale ghosts pass and
the shades of the dead. ’Twas from here the goddess leapt forth, dimmed
the sun’s fair beams and clave the sky with horrid howlings. Britain
felt the deadly sound, the noise shook the country of the Senones,[50]
Tethys stayed her tide, and Rhine let fall his urn and shrank his
stream. Thereupon, in the guise of an old man, her serpent locks
changed at her desire to snowy hair, her dread cheeks furrowed with
many a wrinkle and feigning weariness in her gait she enters the walls
of Elusa,[51] in search of the house she had long known so well. Long

    [50] Their territory lay some sixty miles S.E. of Paris. Its chief town
    was Agedincum (mod. Sens).

    [51] Elusa (the modern Eauze in the Department of Gers) was the
    birthplace of Rufinus (_cf._ Zosim. iv. 51. 1).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 36

    tecta petens, oculisque diu liventibus haesit
    peiorem mirata virum, tum talia fatur:

    “Otia te, Rufine, iuvant frustraque iuventae                       140
    consumis florem patriis inglorius arvis?
    heu nescis quid fata tibi, quid sidera debent,
    quid Fortuna parat: toto dominabere mundo,
    si parere velis! artus ne sperne seniles!
    namque mihi magicae vires aevique futuri                           145
    praescius ardor inest; novi quo Thessala cantu
    eripiat lunare iubar, quid signa sagacis
    Aegypti valeant, qua gens Chaldaea vocatis
    imperet arte deis, nec me latuere fluentes
    arboribus suci funestarumque potestas                              150
    herbarum, quidquid letali gramine pollens
    Caucasus et Scythicae vernant in crimina[52] rupes,
    quas legit Medea ferox et callida Circe.
    saepius horrendos manes sacrisque litavi
    nocturnis Hecaten et condita funera traxi                          155
    carminibus victura meis, multosque canendo,
    quamvis Parcarum restarent fila, peremi.
    ire vagas quercus et fulmen stare coegi
    versaque non prono curvavi flumina lapsu
    in fontes reditura suos. ne vana locutum                           160
    me fortasse putes, mutatos cerne penates.”
    dixerat, et niveae (mirum!) coepere columnae
    ditari subitoque trabes lucere metallo.

    Inlecebris capitur nimiumque elatus avaro
    pascitur aspectu. sic rex ad prima tumebat                         165

    [52] _gramina_ E: other codd. _gramine_. Birt conjectures
    _toxica_, Heinsius _carmina_. I take Postgate’s _crimina_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 37

she stood and gazed with jealous eyes, marvelling at a man worse
than herself; then spake she thus: “Does ease content thee, Rufinus?
Wastest thou in vain the flower of thy youth inglorious thus in thy
father’s fields? Thou knowest not what fate and the stars owe thee,
what fortune makes ready. So thou wilt obey me thou shalt be lord of
the whole world. Despise not an old man’s feeble limbs: I have the gift
of magic and the fire of prophecy is within me. I have learned the
incantations wherewith Thessalian witches pull down the bright moon,
I know the meaning of the wise Egyptians’ runes, the art whereby the
Chaldeans impose their will upon the subject gods, the various saps
that flow within trees and the power of deadly herbs; all those that
grow on Caucasus rich in poisonous plants, or, to man’s bane, clothe
the crags of Scythia; herbs such as cruel Medea gathered and curious
Circe. Often in nocturnal rites have I sought to propitiate the dread
ghosts and Hecate, and recalled the shades of buried men to live again
by my magic: many, too, has my wizardry brought to destruction though
the Fates had yet somewhat of their life’s thread to spin. I have
caused oaks to walk and the thunderbolt to stay his course, aye, and
made rivers reverse their course and flow backwards to their fount.
Lest thou perchance think these be but idle boasts behold the change of
thine own house.” At these words the white pillars, to his amazement,
began to turn into gold and the beams of a sudden to shine with metal.

His senses are captured by the bait, and, thrilled beyond measure, he
feasts his greedy eyes on the sight. So Midas, king of Lydia, swelled
at first

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                              Page 38

    Maeonius, pulchro cum verteret omnia tactu;
    sed postquam riguisse dapes fulvamque revinctos
    in glaciem vidit latices, tum munus acerbum
    sensit et inviso votum damnavit in auro.
    ergo animi victus “sequimur quocumque vocabis,                     170
    seu tu vir seu numen” ait, patriaque relicta
    Eoas Furiae iussu tendebat ad arces
    instabilesque olim Symplegadas et freta remis
    inclita Thessalicis, celsa qua Bosphorus urbe
    splendet et Odrysiis Asiam discriminat oris.                       175

    Ut longum permensus iter ductusque maligno
    stamine fatorum claram subrepsit in aulam,
    ilicet ambitio nasci, discedere rectum,
    venum cuncta dari; profert arcana, clientes
    fallit et ambitos a principe vendit honores.                       180
    ingeminat crimen, commoti pectoris ignem
    nutrit et exiguum stimulando vulnus acerbat.
    ac velut innumeros amnes accedere Nereus
    nescit et undantem quamvis hinc hauriat Histrum,
    hinc bibat aestivum septeno gurgite Nilum,                         185
    par semper similisque manet: sic fluctibus auri
    expleri calor ille nequit. cuicumque monile
    contextum gemmis aut praedia culta fuissent,
    Rufino populandus erat, dominoque parabat
    exitium fecundus ager; metuenda colonis                            190
    fertilitas: laribus pellit, detrudit avitis

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 39

with pride when he found he could transform everything he touched to
gold: but when he beheld his food grow rigid and his drink harden
into golden ice then he understood that this gift was a bane and in
his loathing for the gold cursed his prayer. Thus Rufinus, overcome,
cried out: “Whithersoever thou summonest me I follow, be thou man or
god.” Then at the Fury’s bidding he left his fatherland and approached
the cities of the East, threading the once floating Symplegades and
the seas renowned for the voyage of the Argo, ship of Thessaly, till
he came to where, beneath its high-walled town, the gleaming Bosporus
separates Asia from the Thracian coast.

When he had completed this long journey and, led by the evil thread of
the fates, had won his way into the far-famed palace, then did ambition
straightway come to birth and right was no more. Everything had its
price. He betrayed secrets, deceived dependents, and sold honours that
had been wheedled from the emperor. He followed up one crime with
another, heaping fuel on the inflamed mind and probing and embittering
the erstwhile trivial wound. And yet, as Nereus knows no addition from
the infinitude of rivers that flow into him and though here he drains
Danube’s wave and there Nile’s summer flood with its sevenfold mouth,
yet ever remains his same and constant self, so Rufinus’ thirst knew no
abatement for all the streams of gold that flowed in upon him. Had any
a necklace studded with jewels or a fertile demesne he was sure prey
for Rufinus: a rich property assured the ruin of its own possessor:
fertility was the husbandman’s bane. He drives them from their homes,
expels them from the lands their sires had

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 40

    finibus; aut aufert vivis aut occupat heres
    congestae cumulantur opes orbisque ruinas
    accipit una domus: populi servire coacti
    plenaque privato succumbunt oppida regno.                          195

    Quo, vesane, ruis? teneas utrumque licebit
    Oceanum, laxet rutilos tibi Lydia fontes,
    iungatur solium Croesi Cyrique tiara:
    numquam dives eris, numquam satiabere quaestu.
    semper inops quicumque cupit. contentus honesto
    Fabricius parvo spernebat munera regum                             201
    sudabatque gravi consul Serranus aratro
    et casa pugnaces Curios angusta tegebat.
    haec mihi paupertas opulentior, haec mihi tecta
    culminibus maiora tuis. ibi quaerit inanes                         205
    luxuries nocitura cibos; hic donat inemptas
    terra dapes. rapiunt Tyrios ibi vellera sucos
    et picturatae saturantur murice vestes;
    hic radiant flores et prati viva voluptas
    ingenio variata suo. fulgentibus illic                             210
    surgunt strata toris; hic mollis panditur herba
    sollicitum curis non abruptura soporem.
    turba salutantum latas ibi perstrepit aedes;
    hic avium cantus, labentis murmura rivi.
    vivitur exiguo melius; natura beatis                               215
    omnibus esse dedit, si quis cognoverit uti.
    haec si nota forent, frueremur simplice cultu,
    classica non gemerent, non stridula fraxinus iret,
    nec ventus quateret puppes nec machina muros.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 41

left them, either wresting them from the living owners or fastening
upon them as an inheritor. Massed riches are piled up and a single
house receives the plunder of a world; whole peoples are forced into
slavery, and thronging cities bow beneath the tyranny of a private man.

Madman, what shall be the end? Though thou possess either Ocean, though
Lydia pour forth for thee her golden waters, though thou join Croesus’
throne to Cyrus’ crown, yet shalt thou never be rich nor ever contented
with thy booty. The greedy man is always poor. Fabricius, happy in
his honourable poverty, despised the gifts of monarchs; the consul
Serranus sweated at his heavy plough and a small cottage gave shelter
to the warlike Curii. To my mind such poverty as this is richer than
thy wealth, such a home greater than thy palaces. There pernicious
luxury seeks for the food that satisfieth not; here the earth provides
a banquet for which is nought to pay. With thee wool absorbs the dyes
of Tyre; thy patterned clothes are stained with purple; here are bright
flowers and the meadow’s breathing charm which owes its varied hues but
to itself. There are beds piled on glittering bedsteads; here stretches
the soft grass, that breaks not sleep with anxious cares. There a crowd
of clients dins through the spacious halls, here is song of birds and
the murmur of the gliding stream. A frugal life is best. Nature has
given the opportunity of happiness to all, knew they but how to use it.
Had we realized this we should now have been enjoying a simple life, no
trumpets would be sounding, no whistling spear would speed, no ship be
buffeted by the wind, no siege-engine overthrow battlements.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 42

    Crescebat scelerata sitis praedaeque recentis                      220
    incestus flagrabat amor, nullusque petendi
    cogendive pudor: crebris periuria nectit
    blanditiis; sociat perituro foedere dextras.
    si semel e tantis poscenti quisque negasset,
    effera praetumido quatiebat corda furore.                          225
    quae sic Gaetuli iaculo percussa leaena
    aut Hyrcana premens raptorem belua partus
    aut serpens calcata furit? iurata deorum
    maiestas teritur; nusquam reverentia mensae.
    non coniunx, non ipse simul, non pignora caesa                     230
    sufficiunt odiis; non extinxisse propinquos,
    non notos egisse sat est; exscindere cives
    funditus et nomen gentis delere laborat.
    nec celeri perimit leto; crudelibus ante
    suppliciis fruitur; cruciatus, vincla, tenebras                    235
    dilato mucrone parat. pro saevior ense
    parcendi rabies concessaque vita dolori!
    mors adeone parum est? causis fallacibus instat,
    arguit attonitos se iudice. cetera segnis,
    ad facinus velox, penitus regione remotas                          240
    impiger ire vias: non illum Sirius ardens
    brumave Riphaeo stridens Aquilone retardat.
    effera torquebant avidae praecordia curae,
    effugeret ne quis gladios neu perderet ullum
    Augusto miserante nefas. non flectitur annis,                      245
    non aetate labat: iuvenum rorantia colla
    ante patrum vultus stricta cecidere securi;

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 43

Still grew Rufinus’ wicked greed, and his impious passion for new-won
wealth blazed yet fiercer; no feeling of shame kept him from demanding
and extorting money. He combines perjury with ceaseless cajolery,
ratifying with a hand-clasp the bond he purposes to break. Should any
dare to refuse his demand for one thing out of so many, his fierce
heart would be stirred with swelling wrath. Was ever lioness wounded
with a Gaetulian’s spear, or Hyrcan tiger pursuing the robber of her
young, was ever bruisèd serpent so fierce? He swears by the majesty
of the gods and tramples on his oath. He reverences not the laws of
hospitality. To kill a wife and her husband with her and her children
sates not his anger; ’tis not enough to slaughter relations and drive
friends into exile; he strives to destroy every citizen of Rome and
to blot out the very name of our race. Nor does he even slay with a
swift death; ere that he enjoys the infliction of cruel torture; the
rack, the chain, the lightless cell, these he sets before the final
blow. Why, this remission is more savage, more madly cruel, than the
sword--this grant of life that agony may accompany it! Is death not
enough for him? With treacherous charges he attacks; dazed wretches
find him at once accuser and judge. Slow to all else he is swift to
crime and tireless to visit the ends of the earth in its pursuit.
Neither the Dog-star’s heat nor the wintry blasts of the Thracian north
wind detain him. Feverish anxiety torments his cruel heart lest any
escape his sword, or an emperor’s pardon lose him an opportunity for
injury. Neither age nor youth can move his pity: before their father’s
eyes his bloody axe severs boys’ heads

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 44

    ibat grandaevus nato moriente superstes
    post trabeas exul. quis prodere tanta relatu
    funera, quis caedes possit deflere nefandas?                       250
    quid tale inmanes umquam gessisse feruntur
    vel Sinis Isthmiaca pinu vel rupe profunda
    Sciron vel Phalaris tauro vel carcere Sulla?
    o mites Diomedis equi! Busiridis arae
    clementes! iam Cinna pius, iam Spartace segnis                     255
    Rufino collatus eris!

                           Deiecerat omnes
    occultis odiis terror tacitique sepultos
    suspirant gemitus indignarique verentur.
    at non magnanimi virtus Stilichonis eodem
    fracta metu; solus medio sed turbine rerum                         260
    contra letiferos rictus contraque rapacem
    movit tela feram, volucris non praepete cursu
    vectus equi, non Pegaseis adiutus habenis.
    hic cunctis optata quies, hic sola pericli
    turris erat clipeusque trucem porrectus in hostem,
    hic profugis sedes adversaque signa furori,                        266
    servandis hic castra bonis.

                                Hucusque minatus
    haerebat retroque fuga cedebat inerti:
    haud secus hiberno tumidus cum vertice torrens
    saxa rotat volvitque nemus pontesque revellit,                     270
    frangitur obiectu scopuli quaerensque meatum
    spumat et inlisa montem circumtonat unda.

    Qua dignum te laude feram, qui paene ruenti

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 45

from their bodies; an aged man, once a consul, survived the murder of
his son but to be driven into exile. Who can bring himself to tell of
so many murders, who can adequately mourn such impious slaughter? Do
men tell that cruel Sinis of Corinth e’er wrought such wickedness with
his pine-tree, or Sciron with his precipitous rock, or Phalaris with
his brazen bull, or Sulla with his prison? O gentle horses of Diomede!
O pitiful altars of Busiris! Henceforth, compared with Rufinus thou,
Cinna, shalt be loving, and thou, Spartacus, a sluggard.

All were a prey to terror, for men knew not where next his hidden
hatred would break forth, they sob in silence for the tears they dare
not shed and fear to show their indignation. Yet is not the spirit of
great-hearted Stilicho broken by this same fear. Alone amid the general
calamity he took arms against this monster of greed and his devouring
maw, though not borne on the swift course of any wingèd steed nor
aided by Pegasus’ reins. In him all found the quiet they longed for,
he was their one defence in danger, their shield out-held against the
fierce foe, the exile’s sanctuary, standard confronting the madness of
Rufinus, fortress for the protection of the good.

Thus far Rufinus advanced his threats and stayed; then fell back in
coward flight: even as a torrent swollen with winter rains rolls down
great stones in its course, overwhelms woods, tears away bridges, yet
is broken by a jutting rock, and, seeking a way through, foams and
thunders about the cliff with shattered waves.

How can I praise thee worthily, thou who

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 46

    lapsuroque tuos umeros obieceris orbi?
    te nobis trepidae sidus ceu dulce carinae                          275
    ostendere dei, geminis quae lassa procellis
    tunditur et victo trahitur iam caeca magistro.
    Inachius Rubro perhibetur in aequore Perseus
    Neptuni domuisse pecus, sed tutior alis:
    te non penna vehit; rigida cum Gorgone Perseus:
    tu non vipereo defensus crine Medusae;                             281
    ilium vilis amor suspensae virginis egit:
    te Romana salus. taceat superata vetustas,
    Herculeos conferre tuis iam desinat actus.
    una Cleonaeum pascebat silva leonem;                               285
    Arcadiae saltum vastabat dentibus unum
    saevus aper, tuque o compressa matre rebellans
    non ultra Libyae fines, Antaee, nocebas,
    solaque fulmineo resonabat Creta iuvenco
    Lernaeamque virens obsederat hydra paludem.                        290
    hoc monstrum non una palus, non una tremebat
    insula, sed Latia quidquid dicione subactum
    vivit, et a primis Ganges horrebat Hiberis.
    hoc neque Geryon triplex nec turbidus Orci
    ianitor aequabit nec si concurrat in unum                          295
    vis hydrae Scyllaeque fames et flamma Chimaerae.
      Certamen sublime diu, sed moribus impar
    virtutum scelerumque fuit. iugulare minatur:
    tu prohibes; ditem spoliat: tu reddis egenti;
    eruit: instauras; accendit proelia: vincis.                        300

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 47

sustainedst with thy shoulders the tottering world in its threatened
fall? The gods gave thee to us as they show a welcome star to
frightened mariners whose weary bark is buffeted with storms of wind
and wave and drifts with blind course now that her steersman is beaten.
Perseus, descendant of Inachus, is said to have overcome Neptune’s
monsters in the Red Sea, but he was helped by his wings; no wing bore
thee aloft: Perseus was armed with the Gorgons’ head that turneth all
to stone; the snaky locks of Medusa protected not thee. His motive
was but the love of a chained girl, thine the salvation of Rome. The
days of old are surpassed; let them keep silence and cease to compare
Hercules’ labours with thine. ’Twas but one wood that sheltered the
lion of Cleonae, the savage boar’s tusks laid waste a single Arcadian
vale, and thou, rebel Antaeus, holding thy mother earth in thine
embrace, didst no hurt beyond the borders of Africa. Crete alone
re-echoed to the bellowings of the fire-breathing bull, and the green
hydra beleaguered no more than Lerna’s lake. But this monster Rufinus
terrified not one lake nor one island: whatsoever lives beneath the
Roman rule, from distant Spain to Ganges’ stream, was in fear of him.
Neither triple Geryon nor Hell’s fierce janitor can vie with him nor
could the conjoined terrors of powerful Hydra, ravenous Scylla, and
fiery Chimaera.

Long hung the contest in suspense, but the struggle betwixt vice and
virtue was ill-matched in character. Rufinus threatens slaughter, thou
stayest his hand; he robs the rich, thou givest back to the poor; he
overthrows, thou restorest; he sets wars afoot, thou winnest them. As a
pestilence, growing from day

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 48

    ac velut infecto morbus crudescere caelo
    incipiens primos pecudum depascitur artus,
    mox populos urbesque rapit ventisque perustis
    corruptos Stygiam pestem desudat in amnes:
    sic avidus praedo iam non per singula saevit.                      305
    sed sceptris inferre minas omnique perempto
    milite Romanas ardet prosternere vires,
    iamque Getas Histrumque movet Scythiamque receptat
    auxilio traditque suas hostilibus armis
    relliquias. mixtis descendit Sarmata Dacis                         310
    et qui cornipedes in pocula vulnerat audax
    Massagetes caesamque bibens Maeotin Alanus
    membraque qui ferro gaudet pinxisse Gelonus,
    Rufino collecta manus. vetat ille domari
    innectitque moras et congrua tempora differt.                      315
    nam tua cum Geticas stravisset dextra catervas,
    ulta ducis socii letum, parsque una maneret
    debilior facilisque capi, tunc impius ille
    proditor imperii coniuratusque Getarum
    distulit instantes eluso principe pugnas                           320
    Hunorum laturus opem, quos adfore hello
    norat et invisis mox se coniungere castris.

    Est genus extremos Scythiae vergentis in ortus
    trans gelidum Tanain, quo non famosius ullum
    Arctos alit. turpes habitus obscaenaque visu                       325
    corpora; mens duro numquam cessura labori;
    praeda cibus, vitanda Ceres frontemque secari

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 49

to day by reason of the infected air, fastens first upon the bodies
of animals but soon sweeps away peoples and cities, and when the
winds blow hot spreads its hellish poison to the polluted streams, so
the ambitious rebel marks down no private prey, but hurls his eager
threats at kings, and seeks to destroy Rome’s army and overthrow her
might. Now he stirs up the Getae[53] and the tribes on Danube’s banks,
allies himself with Scythia and exposes what few his cruelties have
spared to the sword of the enemy. There march against us a mixed horde
of Sarmatians and Dacians, the Massagetes who cruelly wound their
horses that they may drink their blood, the Alans who break the ice
and drink the waters of Maeotis’ lake, and the Geloni who tattoo their
limbs: these form Rufinus’ army. And he brooks not their defeat; he
frames delays and postpones the fitting season for battle. For when
thy right hand, Stilicho, had scattered the Getic bands and avenged
the death of thy brother general, when one section of Rufinus’ army
was thus weakened and made an easy prey, then that foul traitor, that
conspirator with the Getae, tricked the emperor and put off the instant
day of battle, meaning to ally himself with the Huns, who, as he knew,
would fight and quickly join the enemies of Rome.[54]

These Huns are a tribe who live on the extreme eastern borders of
Scythia, beyond frozen Tanais; most infamous of all the children of the
north. Hideous to look upon are their faces and loathsome their bodies,
but indefatigable is their spirit. The chase supplies their food; bread
they will not eat. They love to slash their faces and hold it a

    [53] Here and throughout his poems Claudian refers to the Visigoths as
    the Getae.

    [54] _Cf._ Introduction, p. x.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 50

    ludus et occisos pulchrum iurare parentes.
    nec plus nubigenas duplex natura biformes
    cognatis aptavit equis; acerrima nullo                             330
    ordine mobilitas insperatique recursus.
      Quos tamen impavidus contra spumantis ad Hebri
    tendis aquas, sic ante tubas aciemque precatus:
    “Mavors, nubifero seu tu procumbis in Haemo
    seu te cana gelu Rhodope seu remige Medo                           335
    sollicitatus Athos seu caligantia nigris
    ilicibus Pangaea tenent, accingere mecum
    et Thracas defende tuos.   si laetior adsit
    gloria, vestita spoliis donabere quercu.”
      Audiit illa pater scopulisque nivalibus Haemi                    340
    surgit et hortatur celeres clamore ministros:
    “fer galeam, Bellona, mihi nexusque rotarum
    tende, Pavor. frenet rapidos Formido iugales.
    festinas urgete manus. meus ecce paratur
    ad bellum Stilicho, qui me de more tropaeis                        345
    ditat et hostiles suspendit in arbore cristas.
    communes semper litui, communia nobis
    signa canunt iunctoque sequor tentoria curru.”
    sic fatus campo insiluit lateque fugatas
    hinc Stilicho turmas, illinc Gradivus agebat                       350
    et clipeis et mole pares; stat cassis utrique
    sidereis hirsuta iubis loricaque cursu
    aestuat et largo saturatur vulnere cornus.
      Acrior interea voto multisque Megaera
    luxuriata malis maestam deprendit in arce                          355

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 51

righteous act to swear by their murdered parents. Their double nature
fitted not better the twi-formed Centaurs to the horses that were parts
of them. Disorderly, but of incredible swiftness, they often return to
the fight when little expected.

Fearless, however, against such forces, thou, Stilicho, approachest
the waters of foaming Hebrus and thus prayest ere the trumpets sound
and the fight begins: “Mars, whether thou reclinest on cloud-capped
Haemus, or frost-white Rhodope holdeth thee, or Athos, severed to give
passage to the Persian fleet, or Pangaeus, gloomy with dark holm-oaks,
gird thyself at my side and defend thine own land of Thrace. If victory
smile on us, thy meed shall be an oak stump adorned with spoils.”

The Father heard his prayer and rose from the snowy peaks of Haemus
shouting commands to his speedy servants: “Bellona, bring my helmet;
fasten me, Panic, the wheels upon my chariot; harness my swift horses,
Fear. Hasten: speed on your work. See, my Stilicho makes him ready
for war; Stilicho whose habit it is to load me with rich trophies and
hang upon the oak the plumed helmets of his enemies. For us together
the trumpets ever sound the call to battle; yoking my chariot I follow
wheresoever he pitch his camp.” So spake he and leapt upon the plain,
and on this side Stilicho scattered the enemy bands in broadcast flight
and on that Mars; alike the twain in accoutrement and stature. The
helmets of either tower with bristling crests, their breastplates flash
as they speed along and their spears take their fill of widely dealt

Meanwhile Megaera, more eager now she has got her way, and revelling in
this widespread

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 52

    Iustitiam diroque prior sic ore lacessit:
    “en tibi prisca quies renovataque saecula rursus,
    ut rebare, vigent? en nostra potentia cessit
    nec locus est usquam Furiis? huc lumina flecte.
    adspice barbaricis iaceant quot moenia flammis,                    360
    quas mihi Rufinus strages quantumque cruoris
    praebeat et quantis epulentur caedibus hydri.
    linque homines sortemque meam, pete sidera; notis
    Autumni te redde plagis, qua vergit in Austrum
    Signifer; aestivo sedes vicina Leoni                               365
    iam pridem gelidaeque vacant confinia Librae.
    atque utinam per magna sequi convexa liceret!”
      Diva refert: “non ulterius bacchabere demens.
    iam poenas tuus iste dabit, iam debitus ultor
    inminet, et, terras qui nunc ipsumque fatigat                      370
    aethera, non vili moriens condetur harena.
    iamque aderit laeto promissus Honorius aevo
    nec forti genitore minor nec fratre corusco,
    qui subiget Medos, qui cuspide proteret Indos.
    sub iuga venturi reges; calcabitur asper                           375
    Phasis equo pontemque pati cogetur Araxes,
    tuque simul gravibus ferri religata catenis
    expellere die debellatasque draconum
    tonsa comas imo barathri claudere recessu.
    tum tellus communis erit, tum limite nullo                         380

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 53

calamity, comes upon Justice sad at heart in her palace, and thus
provokes her with horrid utterance: “Is this that old reign of peace;
this the return of that golden age thou fondly hopedst had come to
pass? Is our power gone, and no place now left for the Furies? Turn
thine eyes this way. See how many cities the barbarians’ fires have
laid low, how vast a slaughter, how much blood Rufinus hath procured
for me, and on what widespread death my serpents gorge themselves.
Leave thou the world of men; that lot is mine. Mount to the stars,
return to that well-known tract of Autumn sky where the Standard-bearer
dips towards the south. The space next to the summer constellation of
the Lion, the neighbourhood of the winter Balance has long been empty.
And would I could now follow thee through the dome of heaven.”

The goddess made answer: “Thou shalt rage no further, mad that thou
art. Now shall thy creature receive his due, the destined avenger
hangs over him, and he who now wearies land and the very sky shall
die, though no handful of dust shall cover his corpse. Soon shall come
Honorius, promised of old to this fortunate age, brave as his father
Theodosius, brilliant as his brother Arcadius; he shall subdue the
Medes and overthrow the Indians with his spear. Kings shall pass under
his yoke, frozen Phasis shall bear his horses’ hooves, and Araxes
submit perforce to be bridged by him. Then too shalt thou be bound with
heavy chains of iron and cast out from the light of day and imprisoned
in the nethermost pit, thy snaky locks overcome and shorn from thy
head. Then the world shall be owned by all in common, no field marked
off from another

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 54

    discernetur ager; nec vomere sulcus adunco
    findetur: subitis messor gaudebit aristis.
    rorabunt querceta favis; stagnantia passim
    vina fluent oleique lacus; nec murice tinctis
    velleribus quaeretur honos, sed sponte rubebunt                    385
    attonito pastore greges pontumque per omnem
    ridebunt virides gemmis nascentibus algae.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 55

by any dividing boundary, no furrow cleft with bended ploughshare; for
the husbandman shall rejoice in corn that springs untended. Oak groves
shall drip with honey, streams of wine well up on every side, lakes
of oil abound. No price shall be asked for fleeces dyed scarlet, but
of themselves shall the flocks grow red to the astonishment of the
shepherd, and in every sea the green seaweed will laugh with flashing

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 56




    Pandite defensum reduces Helicona sorores,
      pandite; permissis iam licet ire choris:
    nulla per Aonios hostilis bucina campos
      carmina mugitu deteriore vetat.
    tu quoque securis pulsa formidine Delphis                            5
      floribus ultorem, Delie, cinge tuum.
    nullus Castalios latices et praescia fati
      flumina polluto barbarus ore bibit.
    Alpheus late rubuit Siculumque per aequor
      sanguineas belli rettulit unda notas                              10
    agnovitque novos absens Arethusa triumphos
      et Geticam sensit teste cruore necem.

    Inmensis, Stilicho, succedant otia curis
      et nostrae patiens corda remitte lyrae,
    nec pudeat longos interrupisse labores                              15
      et tenuem Musis constituisse moram.
    fertur et indomitus tandem post proelia Mavors
      lassa per Odrysias fundere membra nives
    oblitusque sui posita clementior hasta
      Pieriis aures pacificare modis.                                   20

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 57




Return, ye Muses, and throw open rescued Helicon; now again may your
company gather there. Nowhere now in Italy does the hostile trumpet
forbid song with its viler bray. Do thou too, Delian Apollo, now that
Delphi is safe and fear has been dispelled, wreath thy avenger’s head
with flowers. No savage foe sets profane lips to Castalia’s spring or
those prophetic streams. Alpheus’[55] flood ran all his length red
with slaughter and the waves bore the bloody marks of war across the
Sicilian sea; whereby Arethusa, though herself not present, recognized
the triumphs freshly won and knew of the slaughter of the Getae, to
which that blood bore witness.

Let peace, Stilicho, succeed these age-long labours and ease thine
heart by graciously listening to my song. Think it no shame to
interrupt thy long toil and to consecrate a few moments to the Muses.
Even unwearying Mars is said to have stretched his tired limbs on the
snowy Thracian plain when at last the battle was ended, and, unmindful
of his wonted fierceness, to have laid aside his spear in gentler mood,
soothing his ear with the Muses’ melody.

    [55] A reference to Stilicho’s campaign against Alaric in the
    Peloponnese in 397 (see Introduction, p. x).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 58



      Iam post edomitas Alpes defensaque regna
    Hesperiae merita complexus sede parentem
    auctior adiecto fulgebat sidere mundus,
    iamque tuis, Stilicho, Romana potentia curis
    et rerum commissus apex, tibi credita fratrum                        5
    utraque maiestas geminaeque exercitus aulae.
    Rufinus (neque enim patiuntur saeva quietem
    crimina pollutaeque negant arescere fauces)
    infandis iterum terras accendere bellis
    incohat et solito pacem vexare tumultu.                             10
    haec etiam secum: “quanam ratione tuebor
    spem vitae fragilem? qua tot depellere fluctus
    arte queam? premor hinc odiis, hinc milite cingor.
    heu quid agam? non arma mihi, non principis ullus
    auxiliatur amor. matura pericula surgunt                            15
    undique et impositi radiant cervicibus enses.
    quid restat, nisi cuncta novo confundere luctu
    insontesque meae populos miscere ruinae?
    everso iuvat orbe mori; solacia leto

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 59



After the subjugation of the Alpine tribes and the salvation of the
kingdoms of Italy the heavens welcomed the Emperor Theodosius[56] to
the place of honour due to his worth, and so shone the brighter by
the addition of another star. Then was the power of Rome entrusted
to thy care, Stilicho; in thy hands was placed the governance of the
world. The brothers’ twin majesty and the armies of either royal court
were given into thy charge. But Rufinus (for cruelty and crime brook
not peace, and a tainted mouth will not forgo its draughts of blood),
Rufinus, I say, began once more to inflame the world with wicked wars
and to disturb peace with accustomed sedition. Thus to himself: “How
shall I assure my slender hopes of survival? By what means beat back
the rising storm? On all sides are hate and the threat of arms. What am
I to do? No help can I find in soldier’s weapon or emperor’s favour.
Instant dangers ring me round and a gleaming sword hangs above my head.
What is left but to plunge the world into fresh troubles and draw down
innocent peoples in my ruin? Gladly will I perish if the world does
too; general destruction shall console me for

    [56] Theodosius died in January 395, not long after his defeat of
    Eugenius at the Frigidus River (near Aquileia), September 5-6, 394
    (see Introduction, p. ix).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 60

    exitium commune dabit nec territus ante                             20
    discedam: cum luce simul linquenda potestas.”
      Haec fatus, ventis veluti si frena resolvat
    Aeolus, abrupto gentes sic obice fudit
    laxavitque viam bellis et, nequa maneret
    inmunis regio, cladem divisit in orbem                              25
    disposuitque nefas. alii per terga ferocis
    Danuvii solidata ruunt expertaque remos
    frangunt stagna rotis; alii per Caspia claustra
    Armeniasque nives inopino tramite ducti
    invadunt Orientis opes. iam pascua fumant                           30
    Cappadocum volucrumque parens Argaeus equorum,
    iam rubet altus Halys nec se defendit iniquo
    monte Cilix. Syriae tractus vastantur amoeni
    adsuetumque choris et laeta plebe canorum
    proterit imbellem sonipes hostilis Orontem.                         35
    hinc planctus Asiae; Geticis Europa catervis
    ludibrio praedaeque datur frondentis ad usque
    Dalmatiae fines: omnis quae mobile Ponti
    aequor et Adriacas tellus interiacet undas
    squalet inops pecudum, nullis habitata colonis,                     40
    instar anhelantis Libyae, quae torrida semper
    solibus humano nescit mansuescere cultu.
    Thessalus ardet ager; reticet pastore fugato
    Pelion; Emathias ignis populatur aristas.
    nam plaga Pannoniae miserandaque moenia Thracum
    arvaque Mysorum iam nulli flebile damnum,                           46
    sed cursus sollemnis erat campusque furori
    expositus, sensumque malis detraxerat usus.
    eheu quam brevibus pereunt ingentia fatis!

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 61

mine own death, nor will I die (for I am no coward) till I have
accomplished this. I will not lay down my power before my life.”

So spake he, and as if Aeolus unchained the winds so he, breaking their
bonds, let loose the nations, clearing the way for war; and, that no
land should be free therefrom, apportioned ruin throughout the world,
parcelling out destruction. Some pour across the frozen surface of
swift-flowing Danube and break with the chariot wheel what erstwhile
knew but the oar; others invade the wealthy East, led through the
Caspian Gates and over the Armenian snows by a newly-discovered pass.
The fields of Cappadocia reek with slaughter; Argaeus, father of swift
horses, is laid waste. Halys’ deep waters run red and the Cilician
cannot defend himself in his precipitous mountains. The pleasant plains
of Syria are devastated, and the enemy’s cavalry thunders along the
banks of Orontes, home hitherto of the dance and of a happy people’s
song. Hence comes mourning to Asia, while Europe is left to be the
sport and prey of Getic hordes even to the borders of fertile Dalmatia.
All that tract of land lying between the stormy Euxine and the Adriatic
is laid waste and plundered, no inhabitants dwell there; ’tis like
torrid Africa whose sun-scorched plains never grow kindlier through
human tillage. Thessaly is afire; Pelion silent, his shepherds put to
flight; flames bring destruction on Macedonia’s crops. For Pannonia’s
plain, the Thracians’ helpless cities, the fields of Mysia were ruined
but now none wept; year by year came the invader, unsheltered was the
countryside from havoc and custom had robbed suffering of its sting.
Alas, in how swift ruin perish

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 62

    imperium tanto quaesitum sanguine, tanto                            50
    servatum, quod mille ducum peperere labores,
    quod tantis Romana manus contexuit annis,
    proditor unus iners angusto tempore vertit.
      Urbs etiam, magnae quae ducitur aemula Romae
    et Calchedonias contra despectat harenas,                           55
    iam non finitimo Martis terrore movetur,
    sed propius lucere faces et rauca sonare
    cornua vibratisque peti fastigia telis
    adspicit. hi vigili muros statione tueri,
    hi iunctis properant portus munire carinis.                         60
    obsessa tamen ille ferus laetatur in urbe
    exultatque malis summaeque ex culmine turris
    impia vicini cernit spectacula campi:
    vinctas ire nurus, nunc in vada proxima mergi
    seminecem, hunc subito percussum vulnere labi                       65
    dum fugit, hunc animam portis efflare sub ipsis;
    nec canos prodesse seni puerique cruore
    maternos undare sinus. inmensa voluptas
    et risus plerumque subit; dolor afficit unus,
    quod feriat non ipse manu. videt omnia late                         70
    exceptis incensa suis et crimine tanto
    luxuriat carumque sibi non abnuit hostem;
    iactabatque ultro, quod soli castra paterent
    sermonumque foret vicibus permissa potestas.
    egregii quotiens exisset foederis auctor,                           75
    stipatur sociis, circumque armata clientum

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 63

even the greatest things! An empire won and kept at the expense of so
much bloodshed, born from the toils of countless leaders, knit together
through so many years by Roman hands, one coward traitor overthrew in
the twinkling of an eye.

That city,[57] too, called of men the rival of great Rome, that looks
across to Chalcedon’s strand, is stricken now with terror at no
neighbouring war; nearer home it observes the flash of torches, the
trumpet’s call, and its own roofs the target for an enemy’s artillery.
Some guard the walls with watchful outposts, others hasten to fortify
the harbour with a chain of ships. But fierce Rufinus is full of joy in
the leaguered city and exults in its misfortunes, gazing at the awful
spectacle of the surrounding country from the summit of a lofty tower.
He watches the procession of women in chains, sees one poor half-dead
wretch drowned in the water hard by, another, stricken as he fled,
sink down beneath the sudden wound, another breathe out his life at
the tower’s very gates; he rejoices that no respect is shown to grey
hairs and that mother’s breasts are drenched with their children’s
blood. Great is his pleasure thereat; from time to time he laughs and
knows but one regret--that it is not his own hand that strikes. He sees
the whole countryside (except for his own lands) ablaze, and has joy
of his great wickedness, making no secret of the fact that the city’s
foes are his friends. It is his boast, moreover, that to him alone the
enemy camp opened its gates, and that there was allowed right of parley
between them. Whene’er he issued forth to arrange some wondrous truce
his companions thronged him round and an armed band of dependents

    [57] Constantinople.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 64

    agmina privatis ibant famulantia signis;
    ipse inter medios, ne qua de parte relinquat
    barbariem, revocat fulvas in pectora pelles
    frenaque et inmanes pharetras arcusque sonoros                      80
    adsimulat mentemque palam proclamat amictu,
    nec pudet Ausonios currus et iura regentem
    sumere deformes ritus vestemque Getarum;
    insignemque habitum Latii mutare coactae
    maerent captivae pellito iudice leges.                              85
      Quis populi tum vultus erat! quae murmura furtim!
    (nam miseris ne flere quidem aut lenire dolorem
    colloquiis impune licet): “quonam usque feremus
    exitiale iugum? durae quis terminus umquam
    sortis erit? quis nos funesto turbine rerum                         90
    aut tantis solvet lacrimis, quos barbarus illinc,
    hinc Rufinus agit, quibus arva fretumque negatur?
    magna quidem per rura lues, sed maior oberrat
    intra tecta timor. tandem succurre ruenti
    heu patriae, Stilicho! dilecta hic pignora certe,                   95
    hic domus, hic thalamis primum genialibus omen,
    hic tibi felices erexit regia taedas.
    vel solus sperate veni. te proelia viso
    languescent avidique cadet dementia monstri.”
      Talibus urgetur discors Aurora procellis.                        100
    at Stilicho, Zephyris cum primum bruma remitti
    et iuga diffusis nudari coepta pruinis,
    partibus Italiae tuta sub pace relictis
    utraque castra movens Phoebi properabat ad ortus,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 65

danced attendance on a civilian’s standards. Rufinus himself in their
midst drapes tawny skins of beasts about his breast (thorough in his
barbarity), and uses harness and huge quivers and twanging bows like
those of the Getae--his dress openly showing the temper of his mind.
One who drives a consul’s chariot and enjoys a consul’s powers has no
shame to adopt the manners and dress of barbarians; Roman law, obliged
to change her noble garment, mourns her slavery to a skin-clad judge.

What looks then on men’s faces! What furtive murmurs! For, poor
wretches, they could not even weep nor, without risk, ease their grief
in converse. “How long shall we bear this deadly yoke? What end shall
there ever be to our hard lot? Who will free us from this death-fraught
anarchy, this day of tears? On this side the barbarian hems us in,
on that Rufinus oppresses us; land and sea are alike denied us. A
pestilence stalks through the country: yes, but a deadlier terror
haunts our houses. Stilicho, delay no more but succour thy dying land;
of a truth here are thy children, here thy home, here were taken those
first auspices for thy marriage, so blessed with children, here the
palace was illumined with the torches of happy wedlock. Nay, come even
though alone, thou for whom we long; wars will perish at thy sight and
the ravening monster’s rage subside.”

Such were the tempests that vexed the turbulent East. But so soon as
ever winter had given place to the winds of spring and the hills began
to lose their covering of snow, Stilicho, leaving the fields of Italy
in peace and safety, set in motion his two armies and hastened to the
lands of the sunrise, combining

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 66

    Gallica discretis Eoaque robora turmis                             105
    amplexus. numquam tantae dicione sub una
    convenere manus nec tot discrimina vocum:
    illinc Armeniae vibratis crinibus alae
    herbida collectae facili velamina nodo;
    inde truces flavo comitantur vertice Galli,                        110
    quos Rhodanus velox, Araris quos tardior ambit
    et quos nascentes explorat gurgite Rhenus
    quosque rigat retro pernicior unda Garunnae,
    Oceani pleno quotiens impellitur aestu.
    mens eadem cunctis animique recentia ponunt                        115
    vulnera; non odit victus victorve superbit.
    et quamvis praesens tumor et civilia nuper
    classica bellatrixque etiamnunc ira caleret,
    in ducis eximii conspiravere favorem.
    haud aliter Xerxen toto simul orbe secutus.                        120
    narratur rapuisse vagos exercitus amnes
    et telis umbrasse diem, cum classibus iret
    per scopulos tectumque pedes contemneret aequor.
      Vix Alpes egressus erat nec iam amplius errat
    barbarus adventumque timens se cogit in unam                       125
    planitiem tutoque includit pascua gyro:
    tum duplici fossa non exuperabile vallum
    asperat alternis sudibus murique locata
    in speciem caesis obtendit plaustra iuvencis.
      At procul exanguis Rufinum perculit horror;                      130
    infectae pallore genae; stetit ore gelato
    incertus peteretne fugam, veniamne subactus

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 67

the so different squadrons of Gaul and of the East. Never before did
there meet together under one command such numerous bands, never in one
army such a babel of tongues. Here were curly-haired Armenian cavalry,
their green cloaks fastened with a loose knot, fierce Gauls with golden
locks accompanied them, some from the banks of the swift-flowing Rhone,
or the more sluggish Saône, some whose infant bodies Rhine’s flood
had laved, or who had been washed by the waves of the Garonne that
flow more rapidly towards, than from, their source, whenever they are
driven back by Ocean’s full tide. One common purpose inspires them
all; grudges lately harboured are laid aside; the vanquished feels
no hate, the victor shows no pride. And despite of present unrest,
of the trumpet’s late challenge to civil strife, and of warlike rage
still aglow, yet were all at one in their support of their great
leader. So it is said that the army that followed Xerxes, gathered into
one from all quarters of the world, drank up whole rivers in their
courses, obscured the sun with the rain of their arrows, passed through
mountains on board ship, and walked the bridged sea with contemptuous

Scarce had Stilicho crossed the Alps when the barbarian hordes began to
restrict their forays and for fear of his approach gathered together
in the plain and enclosed their pasture lands within a defensive ring.
They then built an impregnable fortification with a double moat,
planted stakes two deep at intervals along its summit and set wagons
rigged with ox-hide all round like a wall.

Panic fear seized upon Rufinus as he saw this from afar, and his cheeks
grew pale. He stood with ice-cold face, not knowing whether to fly, to
own himself

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 68

    posceret an fidos sese transferret in hostes.
    quid nunc divitiae, quid fulvi vasta metalli
    congeries, quid purpureis effulta columnis                         135
    atria prolataeve iuvant ad sidera moles?
    audit iter numeratque dies spatioque viarum
    metitur vitam. torquetur pace futura
    nec recipit somnos et saepe cubilibus amens
    excutitur poenamque luit formidine poenae.                         140
    sed redit in rabiem scelerumque inmane resumit
    ingenium sacrasque fores praedivitis aulae
    intrat et Arcadium mixto terrore precatur:
      “Per fratris regale iubar, per facta parentis
    aetherii floremque tui te deprecor aevi,                           145
    eripe me gladiis; liceat Stilichonis iniquas
    evitare minas. in nostram Gallia caedem
    coniurata venit. quidquid rigat ultima Tethys,
    extremos ultra volitat gens si qua Britannos,
    mota mihi. tantis capiendi credimur armis?                         150
    tot signis unum petitur caput? unde cruoris
    ista sitis? geminum caeli sibi vindicat axem
    et nullum vult esse parem. succumbere poscit
    cuncta sibi: regit Italiam Libyamque coercet;
    Hispanis Gallisque iubet; non orbita solis,                        155
    non illum natura capit. quascumque paravit
    hic Augustus opes et quas post bella recepit,
    solus habet, possessa semel nec reddere curat.
    scilicet ille quidem tranquilla pace fruatur;
    nos premat obsidio? quid partem invadere temptat?
    deserat Illyricos fines; Eoa remittat                              161

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                              Page 69

beaten and sue for mercy, or go over to an enemy whose good faith
his treachery had assured. Of what use now were his riches, his vast
stores of golden ore, his halls upheld with red marble pillars, his
sky-towering palace? He hears of Stilicho’s march and counts the days,
measuring his term of life according to the distance of his enemy from
him. He is troubled with thoughts of coming peace and cannot sleep,
often starts up distraught from his bed and suffers as punishment the
fear of punishment. But his fury repossesses him and, regaining his
genius for crime, he enters the sacred portal of the rich palace and
addresses Arcadius with prayers and threats: “By thy brother’s royal
star, by the deeds of thy divine sire and the flower of thine own age,
I beg thee deliver me from the edge of the sword; let me escape the
cruel threatenings of Stilicho. All Gaul is sworn to my destruction.
Tethys’ extreme coasts, the wandering tribes beyond the farthest
Britons are stirred up against me. Am I thought fit prey for all those
armies? Are so many standards advanced against a solitary man? Whence
comes this lust for blood? Stilicho lays claim to either hemisphere and
will brook no equal. The world forsooth must lie at his feet. Italy
is his kingdom, Libya his dominion, Spain and Gaul his empire. The
sun’s path circumscribes him not, no nor the whole universe. All the
wealth collected here by Theodosius or received by him after the war
is Stilicho’s alone, and he has small mind to restore what he has once
acquired. Is he to enjoy his gains in peace and quietness while ’tis
mine to stand a siege? Why should he encroach on thy share? Let him
leave Illyria, send back his Eastern troops, divide the

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                              Page 70

    agmina; fraternas ex aequo dividat hastas,
    nec sceptri tantum fueris, sed militis heres.
    quodsi dissimulas nostrae succurrere morti
    nec prohibere paras, Manes et sidera testor:                       165
    haec cervix non sola cadet; miscebitur alter
    sanguis; nec Stygias ferar incomitatus ad undas
    nec mea securus ridebit funera victor!”
      Haec ubi, dictatur facinus missusque repente
    qui ferat extortas invito principe voces.                          170
      Interea Stilicho iam laetior hoste propinquo
    nec multo spatii distantibus aequore vallis
    pugnandi cupidas accendit voce cohortes.
    Armeniis frons laeva datur; per cornua Gallos
    dexteriora locat. spumis ignescere frena,                          175
    pulveris extolli nimbos lateque videres
    surgere purpureis undantes anguibus hastas
    serpentumque vago caelum saevire volatu.
    implet Thessaliam ferri nitor antraque docti
    cornipedis, teneroque amnis reptatus Achilli                       180
    et nemus Oetaeum radiat. clamore nivalis
    Ossa tonat pulsoque fragor geminatur Olympo.
    intumuit virtus et lucis prodigus arsit
    impetus; haud illos rupes, haud alta vetarent
    flumina: praecipiti stravissent omnia cursu.                       185
      Si tunc his animis acies collata fuisset,
    prodita non tantas vidisset Graecia caedes,
    oppida semoto Pelopeia Marte vigerent,

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                              Page 71

hosts fairly between the two brothers, and do thou not be heir to the
sceptre only but to thy forces. But if thou neglect to come to mine aid
and make not ready to prevent my death, this head of mine shall not
fall alone--by the dead and the stars I swear it. The blood of another
shall be mingled with mine. I will not go unaccompanied to the waters
of Styx nor shall the victor be free to exult in my death.”

So saying he dictates a treasonable letter and sends therewith an
emissary to bear the message extorted from the emperor’s unwilling lips.

Meanwhile Stilicho, exulting in the thought of advancing upon the
foe and of the narrow stretch of country that separated him from the
fortifications, inflames with his words the hearts of his troops
already thirsting for battle. On the left wing are posted the
Armenians, farther to the right the Gauls. A beholder might have seen
bits covered with warm foam, clouds of dust uprising, and on all sides
waving banners bearing the device of a scarlet dragon; the very air
seemed to teem with these fierce flying monsters. The glint of steel
fills all Thessaly and the cave of the wise Centaur; the river whose
banks supported Achilles’ baby footsteps and the forests of Oeta are
agleam with arms, snowy Ossa re-echoes to the sound and Olympus smitten
therewith sends it back twofold. Hearts beat high with a courage that
is lavish of life. Neither precipice nor deep river could check their
advance: their headlong speed would have overthrown all barriers.

If the two armies had then joined battle in this temper ruined Greece
would not have witnessed such disaster as she did, the cities of the
Peloponnese would still have been flourishing untouched by the hand

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 72

    starent Arcadiae, starent Lacedaemonis arces;
    non mare fumasset geminum flagrante Corintho                       190
    nec fera Cecropiae traxissent vincula matres.
    illa dies potuit nostris imponere finem
    cladibus et sceleris causas auferre futuri.
    invida pro quantum rapuit Fortuna triumphum!
    inter equos interque tubas mandata feruntur                        195
    regia et armati veniunt ductoris ad aures.
      Obstupuit; simul ira virum, simul obruit ingens
    maeror et ignavo tantum licuisse nocenti
    miratur. dubios anceps sententia volvit
    eventus: peragat pugnas an fortia coepta                           200
    deserat? Illyricis ardet succurrere damnis;
    praeceptis obstare timet. reverentia frangit
    virtutis stimulos: hinc publica commoda suadent,
    hinc metus invidiae. tandem indignatus ad astra
    extollit palmas et ab imo pectore fatur:                           205
      “Numina Romanis necdum satiata ruinis,
    si iuvat imperium penitus de stirpe revelli,
    uno si placuit deleri saecula lapsu,
    si piget humani generis, prorumpat in arva
    libertas effrena maris vel limite iusto                            210
    devius errantes Phaëthon confundat habenas.
    cur per Rufinum geritur? procumbere mundum
    hoc auctore pudet. mediis revocamur ab armis
    (pro dolor!) et strictos deponere cogimur enses.
    vos, arsurae urbes perituraque moenia, testor:                     215
    cedo equidem et miserum permitto casibus orbem
    flectite signa, duces. redeat iam miles Eous.

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                              Page 73

of war, Arcadia and Sparta’s citadel would have remained unravaged.
Burning Corinth would not have heated the waves of her two seas, nor
would cruel chains have led in captivity the matrons of Athens. That
day might have set an end to our disasters and destroyed the seeds of
future calamities. For shame, envious Fortune, of what a triumph didst
thou rob us! The kingly mandate came to Stilicho in arms amid the
cavalry and the trumpets’ din.

He stood amazed; anger and great grief o’erwhelm the hero and he
wonders that such power for ill is allowed a coward. His wavering mind
ponders the uncertain issue: shall he continue his advance or fail his
brave beginnings? He longs to stem Illyria’s ruin but fears to disobey
orders. Loyalty annuls the prickings-on of valour. The public good
urges him one way, fear of the emperor’s displeasure another. At length
in his distress he raises his hands to heaven and speaks from deep
within his heart: “Ye gods not yet glutted with Rome’s destruction, if
ye will that our empire be utterly uprooted, if ye have resolved to
blot out all the centuries with one blow, if ye repent you of the race
of man, then let the sea’s unrestrained fury burst forth upon the land
or let Phaëthon, deviating from his ordained course, drive his straying
chariot at random. Shall Rufinus be your tool? ’Twere shame that such
an one should be the author of the world’s destruction. O the grief of
it! recalled in mid fight; forced to lay down the swords we have drawn!
Cities marked out for the flames, walls doomed to destruction, I call
you to witness: see, I retire; I leave the unhappy world to its fate.
Turn your banners, captains; to your homes, soldiers of the east. Needs
must we obey.

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                              Page 74

    parendum est. taceant litui. prohibete sagittas.
    parcite contiguo--Rufinus praecipit!--hosti.”
      His dictis omnes una fremuere manipli                            220
    quantum non Italo percussa Ceraunia fluctu,
    quantum non madidis elisa tonitrua Cauris,
    secernique negant ereptaque proelia poscunt,
    insignemque ducem populus defendit uterque
    et sibi quisque trahit. magno certatur amore,                      225
    alternamque fidem non inlaudata lacessit
    seditio talique simul clamore queruntur:
      “Quis mihi nudatos enses, quis tela lacertis
    excutit et solvi curvatos imperat arcus?
    quisnam audet stricto leges imponere ferro?                        230
    inflammata semel nescit mitescere virtus.
    iam mihi barbaricos sitientia pila cruores
    sponte volant ultroque manus mucrone furenti
    ducitur et siccum gladium vagina recusat.
    non patiar. semperne Getis discordia nostra                        235
    proderit? en iterum belli civilis imago!
    quid consanguineas acies, quid dividis olim
    concordes aquilas? non dissociabile corpus
    coniunctumque sumus. te qua libet ire sequemur.
    te vel Hyperboreo damnatam sidere Thylen,                          240
    te vel ad incensas Libyae comitabor harenas.
    Indorum si stagna petas Rubrique recessus
    litoris, auriferum veniam poturus Hydaspen;
    si calcare Notum secretaque noscere Nili
    nascentis iubeas, mundum post terga relinquam;                     245

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 75

Silence, ye clarions; men, forbear to shoot. The foe is at hand, spare
him; ’tis Rufinus’ command.”

At these words an unanimous roar went up from all the companies. With
less din are the cliffs of Ceraunia buffeted by the Italian sea or the
thunders evoked from the western winds’ wet storm-clouds. They will
not separate, and demand the battle of which they have been defrauded.
East and west claim the leadership of that illustrious chief. It is a
contest of affection; insubordination that none can blame threatens to
sap the loyalty of both armies who thus utter their common complaint:
“Who is it robs us of our drawn swords? Who strikes the lance from our
hand and bids us unstring the bent bow? Who dares dictate to an army
under arms? Valour once roused knows no abatement. Spears thirsting for
barbarian blood cast themselves from out our hands; our headlong blades
force our vengeful arms to follow them; our very scabbards refuse to
sheath an unblooded sword. I will not bear it. Shall the Getae ever
profit by our dissension? Behold once more the shadow of civil war.
Why dost thou seek to separate armies whose blood is one, standards of
immemorial alliance? We are a body one and indivisible. Thee will we
follow whithersoever thou goest; thee will we accompany even as far as
Thule lying ice-bound beneath the pole-star, or to the burning sands of
Libya. Should thy path be by the waters of Ind, or the bays of the Red
Sea,[58] I would go drink Hydaspes’ golden stream. Shouldst thou bid me
fare south and search out the hidden sources of the stripling Nile, I
would leave behind me the world

    [58] By the _mare rubrum_ the ancients meant the Indian Ocean. The
    Hydaspes is the modern Jhylum.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 76

    et quocumque loco Stilicho tentoria figat,
    haec patria est.”
                    Dux inde vetat: “desistite, quaeso.
    atque avidam differte manum. cadat iste minacis
    invidiae cumulus. non est victoria tanti,
    ut videar vicisse mihi. vos fida iuventus                          250
    ite, mei quondam socii.” nec plura locutus
    flexit iter: vacuo qualis discedit hiatu
    impatiens remeare leo, quem plurima cuspis
    et pastorales pepulerunt igne catervae,
    inclinatque iubas demissaque lumina velat                          255
    et trepidas maesto rimatur murmure silvas.
      Ut sese legio vidit disiuncta relinqui,
    ingentem tollit gemitum galeasque solutis
    umectat lacrimis pressamque morantia vocem
    thoracum validos pulsant suspiria nexus:                           260
    “tradimur, heu, tantumque sequi prohibemur
    exclamant. “spernisne tuas, dux optime, dextras,
    quas tibi victrices totiens Bellona probavit?
    nos adeo viles? adeo felicior axis
    Hesperius, meruit qui te rectore teneri?                           265
    quid nobis patriam, quid cara revisere tandem
    pignora dilectosve iuvat coluisse penates?
    te sine dulce nihil. iam formidata tyranni
    tempestas subeunda mihi, qui forte nefandas
    iam parat insidias, qui nos aut turpibus Hunis                     270
    aut impacatis famulos praebebit Alanis;
    quamquam non adeo robur defecerit omne
    tantave gestandi fuerit penuria ferri.
    tu, licet occiduo maneas sub cardine caeli,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 77

I know. Wheresoever Stilicho plants his tent there is my fatherland.”

But Stilicho said them nay: “Cease, I beg you,” he cried, “stay your
eager hands. Suffer to disperse the mountain of hatred that towers over
me. I hold not victory so dear that I would fain seem to win it for
myself. Loyal gentlemen, so long my fellow-soldiers, get you gone.” He
said no more but turned away, as a lion loath to retire makes off with
empty maw when the serried spears and the burning branches in the hands
of the shepherd band drive him back and he droops his mane and closes
his downcast eyes and with a disappointed roar pushes his way through
the trembling forest.

When the armies saw that they had been parted and left, they groaned
deeply and bedewed their helmets with a stream of tears. The sighs that
refused egress to their smothered words shook the strong fastenings of
their breastplates. “We are betrayed,” they cried, “and forbidden to
follow him we love so well. Dost thou despise, matchless chief, thine
own right hands which have so often won thee the victory? Are we thus
vile? Is the Western sky to be the happier which has won the right to
enjoy thy rule? What boots it to return to our country, to see once
more our children dear after so long an absence, to live again in the
home we love? Without thee is no joy. Now must I face the tyrant’s
dread wrath; mayhap e’en now he is making ready against me some wicked
snare and will make me a slave to the foul Huns or restless Alans. Yet
is not my strength altogether perished nor so complete my powerlessness
to wield the sword. Rest thou beneath the sun’s westering course,
Stilicho, thou art still

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 78

    tu mihi dux semper, Stilicho, nostramque vel absens
    experiere fidem. dabitur tibi debita pridem                        276
    victima: promissis longe placabere sacris.”
      Tristior Haemoniis miles digressus ab oris
    tangebat Macetum fines murosque subibat,
    Thessalonica, tuos. sensu dolor haeret in alto                     280
    abditus et tacitas vindictae praestruit iras,
    spectaturque favens odiis locus aptaque leto
    tempora. nec quisquam tanta de pube repertus,
    proderet incautis qui corda minantia verbis.
    quae non posteritas, quae non mirabitur aetas                      285
    tanti consilium vulgi potuisse taceri
    aut facinus tam grande tegi mentisque calorem
    non sermone viae, non inter pocula rumpi?
    aequalis tantam tenuit constantia turbam
    et fuit arcanum populo. percurritur Haemus,                        290
    deseritur Rhodope Thracumque per ardua tendunt,
    donec ad Herculei perventum nominis urbem.
      Ut cessisse ducem, propius venisse cohortes
    cognita Rufino, magna cervice triumphat
    omnia tuta ratus sceptrumque capessere fervet                      295
    et coniuratos hortatur voce clientes:
    “vicimus, expulimus, facilis iam copia regni.
    nullus ab hoste timor. quis enim, quem poscere solum
    horruit, hunc tanto munitum milite vincat?
    quis ferat armatum, quem non superavit inermem?
    i nunc, exitium nobis meditare remotus                             301

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 79

ever our general, and though we be not together thou shalt still know
our loyalty. Long has a victim been owed thee; he shall be sacrificed
and thou placated by an immolation promised of old.”

Sad at heart the army left Thessaly, reached the borders of Macedon,
and arrived before the walls of Thessalonica. Indignation deep hid in
their hearts prepares the silent wrath of revenge. They look for a
place where they may wreak their vengeance and a moment propitious for
the blow, and of all that vast army not one is found to divulge with
incautious speech his heart’s intent. What succeeding age and time
but will marvel that a plot so widespread could be kept hid, a deed
of such vast import concealed; that the ardour of their minds was not
rendered of no avail by the chance word of a soldier on the march or a
drunkard’s babbling? But discretion ruled all alike and the people’s
secret was kept. The army crossed the Hebrus, left Rhodope behind, and
struck across the uplands of Thrace until it came to the city called
after Hercules.[59]

When Rufinus learned that Stilicho had retired and that his troops were
approaching he held his head high in triumph, believing everything
safe, and, anxious to seize the power, inflamed his traitorous minions
with this speech: “We have conquered; have driven off our enemy;
empire is within my grasp, nor have we anything to fear from the foe.
Will one who dared not approach me when I stood alone defeat me now
that I am strengthened by the addition of so great a force? Who could
stand against him armed whom unarmed he could not conquer? Plot my
destruction in exile, friend

    [59] Probably Heraclea, at the west end of the Propontis.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 80

    incassum, Stilicho, dum nos longissima tellus
    dividat et mediis Nereus interstrepat undis.
    Alpinas transire tibi me sospite rupes
    haud dabitur. iaculis illinc me figere tempta.                     305
    quaere ferox ensem, qui nostra ad moenia tendi
    possit ab Italia. non te documenta priorum,
    non exempla vetant? quisnam conatus adire
    has iactat vitasse manus? detrusimus orbe
    te medio tantisque simul spoliavimus armis.                        310
    nunc epulis tempus, socii, nunc larga parare
    munera donandumque novis legionibus aurum!
    opportuna meis oritur lux crastina votis.
    quod nolit rex ipse velit iubeatque coactus
    in partem mihi regna dari. contingat in uno                        315
    privati fugisse modum crimenque tyranni.”
      Talibus adclamat dictis infame nocentum
    concilium, qui perpetuis crevere rapinis
    et quos una facit Rufino causa sodales,
    inlicitum duxisse nihil; funesta tacere                            320
    nexus amicitiae. iamiam conubia laeti
    despondent aliena sibi frustraque vicissim
    promittunt, quae quisque petat, quas devoret urbes.
      Coeperat humanos alto sopire labores
    nox gremio, nigrasque sopor diffuderat alas.                       325
    ille diu curis animum stimulantibus aegre
    labitur in somnos. toto vix corde quierat,
    ecce videt diras adludere protinus umbras,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 81

Stilicho. What harm can that do so long as a vast stretch of country
divide us and Nereus’ waves thunder between? Thou shalt have no chance
of crossing the rocky Alps while I live. Transfix me from thence with
thine arrows, if thou canst. Seek in thy fury a sword that from Italy
shall reach my city’s walls. Does not the experience and the example
of those who have tried before deter thee? Who that has dared approach
can boast escape from my hands? I have driven thee from the centre of
the civilized world and at the same time deprived thee of thy great
army. Now, my friends, is come the time for feasting and making ready
bountiful gifts and bestowing gold upon these new legions. To-morrow’s
light dawns prosperously for my purpose. Needs must the emperor will
what he would not and bid a portion of his empire to be given to me.
Mine alone be the happy fortune to rise above a private estate and yet
escape the charge of tyranny.”

To such words they shout acclaim--that vile band of traitors, waxed fat
on plunder, whom one principle makes fellows with Rufinus, the holding
nothing unlawful, and whose bond of friendship is to guard guilt in
silence. Straightway they joyfully promise themselves foreign wives and
all to no purpose forecast the booty they will win and the cities they
will sack.

Night had begun to soothe human toils in her deep bosom and sleep had
spread his black wings when Rufinus, whose mind had long been a prey to
anxiety, sank into a troubled slumber. Scarce had quiet fastened on his
heart when, lo, he sees flit before his eyes the dread ghosts of those
whom he

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 82

    quas dedit ipse neci; quarum quae clarior una
    visa loqui: “pro! surge toro. quid plurima volvis                  330
    anxius? haec requiem rebus finemque labori
    adlatura dies: omni iam plebe redibis
    altior et laeti manibus portabere vulgi.”
    has canit ambages. occulto fallitur ille
    omine nec capitis sentit praesagia fixi.                           335
      Iam summum radiis stringebat Lucifer Haemum
    festinamque rotam solito properantior urget
    tandem Rufini visurus funera Titan:
    desiluit stratis densaeque capacia turbae
    atria regifico iussit splendere paratu                             340
    exceptura dapes et, quod post vota daretur,
    insculpi propriis aurum fatale figuris.
    ipse salutatum reduces post proelia turmas
    iam regale tumens et principe celsior ibat
    collaque femineo solvebat mollia gestu                             345
    imperii certus, tegeret ceu purpura dudum
    corpus et ardentes ambirent tempora gemmae.
      Urbis ab angusto tractu, qua vergit in austrum,
    planities vicina patet: nam cetera pontus
    circuit exiguo dirimi se limite passus.                            350
    hic ultrix acies ornatu lucida Martis
    explicuit cuneos. pedites in parte sinistra
    consistunt. equites illinc poscentia cursum
    ora reluctantur pressis sedare lupatis;
    hinc alii saevum cristato vertice nutant                           355
    et tremulos umeris gaudent vibrare colores,
    quos operit formatque chalybs; coniuncta per artem

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 83

had killed. Of them one, more distinct than the rest, seemed thus
to address him: “Up from thy couch! why schemes thine anxious mind
further? This coming day shall bring thee rest and end thy toils. High
above the people shalt thou be raised, and happy crowds shall carry
thee in their arms.” Such was the ambiguous prophecy of the ghost,
but Rufinus observed not the hidden omen and saw not it foretold the
elevation of his severed head upon a spear.

Now Lucifer touched the peak of Haemus with his rays and Titan urged
his hastening wheel quicker than his wont, so soon to see at last the
death of Rufinus. Rufinus himself leapt from his bed and bade make
ready the capacious palace with regal splendour in preparation for the
feast; the gold to be given in largesse he ordered to be stamped with
his own fateful image. Himself went to welcome the troops returning
from the battle in kingly pride and arrogance above a prince’s. Sure
now of empire he wore a woman’s raiment about his neck; as though the
purple already clothed his limbs and the jewelled crown blazed upon his

Hard by a crowded quarter of the city of Constantinople, towards the
south, there lies a plain. The rest is surrounded by the sea which
here allows itself to be parted by a narrow way. Here the avenging
army, bright with the panoply of the war god, disposes its squadrons.
On the left stands the infantry. Over against them the cavalry seek
to restrain their eager steeds by holding tight the reins. Here nod
the savage waving plumes whose wearers rejoice to shake the flashing
colours of their shoulder-armour; for steel clothes them on and gives
them their shape; the limbs within

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 84

    flexilis inductis animatur lamina membris;
    horribiles visu: credas simulacra moveri
    ferrea cognatoque viros spirare metallo.                           360
    par vestitus equis: ferrata fronte minantur
    ferratosque levant securi vulneris armos.
    diviso stat quisque loco, metuenda voluptas
    cernenti pulcherque timor, spirisque remissis
    mansuescunt varii vento cessante dracones.                         365
      Augustus veneranda prior vexilla salutat.
    Rufinus sequitur, quo fallere cuncta solebat
    callidus adfatu, devotaque brachia laudat;
    nomine quemque vocat; natos patresque reversis
    nuntiat incolumes. illi dum plurima ficto                          370
    certatim sermone petunt, extendere longos
    a tergo flexus insperatoque suprema
    circuitu sociare parant; decrescere campus
    incipit, et clipeis in se redeuntia iunctis
    curvo paulatim sinuantur cornua ductu:                             375
    sic ligat inmensa virides indagine saltus
    venator; sic attonitos ad litora pisces
    aequoreus populator agit rarosque plagarum
    contrahit anfractus et hiantes colligit oras.
    excludunt alios. cingi se fervidus ille                            380
    nescit adhuc graviterque adprensa veste morantem
    increpat Augustum: scandat sublime tribunal,
    participem sceptri, socium declaret honoris--cum
    subito stringunt gladios; vox desuper ingens
    infremuit: “nobis etiam, deterrime, nobis                          385

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 85

give life to the armour’s pliant scales so artfully conjoined, and
strike terror into the beholder. ’Tis as though iron statues moved and
men lived cast from that same metal. The horses are armed in the same
way; their heads are encased in threatening iron, their forequarters
move beneath steel plates protecting them from wounds; each stands
alone, a pleasure yet a dread to behold, beautiful, yet terrible, and
as the wind drops the parti-coloured dragons[60] sink with relaxing
coils into repose.

The emperor first salutes the hallowed standards; Rufinus follows him,
speaking with that crafty voice wherewith he deceived all, praising
their devoted arms and addressing each by name. He tells those who have
returned that their sons and fathers are still alive. The soldiers,
observing a feigned rivalry in asking questions, begin to extend their
long lines behind his back and to join up the ends so as to form a
circle unnoticed by Rufinus. The space in the centre grows smaller
and the wings meeting with serried shields gradually form into one
lessening circle. Even so the huntsman surrounds the grassy glades with
his widespread snares: so the spoiler of the ocean drives to land the
frightened fish, narrowing the circuit of his nets and closing up all
possible ways of egress. All others they exclude. In his eagerness he
notes not yet that he is being surrounded and, strongly seizing his
robe, chides the hesitating emperor: let him mount the lofty platform
and declare him sharer in his sceptre, partaker in his dignities--when
suddenly they draw their swords and above the rest there rang out a
mighty voice; “Basest of the base, didst

    [60] Claudian refers to the devices emblazoned upon the banners.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 86

    sperasti famulas imponere posse catenas?
    unde redi nescis? patiarne audire satelles,
    qui leges aliis libertatemque reduxi?
    bis domitum civile nefas, bis rupimus Alpes.
    tot nos bella docent nulli servire tyranno.”                       390
      Deriguit. spes nulla fugae; seges undique ferri
    circumfusa micat; dextra laevaque revinctus
    haesit et ensiferae stupuit mucrone coronae,
    ut fera, quae nuper montes amisit avitos
    altorumque exul nemorum damnatur harenae                           395
    muneribus, commota ruit; vir murmure contra
    hortatur nixusque genu venabula tendit;
    illa pavet strepitus cuneosque erecta theatri
    respicit et tanti miratur sibila vulgi.
      Unus per medios audendi pronior ense                             400
    prosilit exerto dictisque et vulnere torvus
    impetit: “hac Stilicho, quem iactas pellere, dextra
    te ferit; hoc absens invadit viscera ferro.”
    sic fatur meritoque latus transverberat ictu.
      Felix illa manus, talem quae prima cruorem                       405
    hauserit et fessi poenam libaverit orbis!
    mox omnes laniant hastis artusque trementes
    dilacerant; uno tot corpore tela tepescunt
    et non infecto puduit mucrone reverti.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 87

thou hope to cast upon _us_ the yoke of slavery? Knowest thou not
whence I return? Shall I allow myself to be called another’s servant,
I who gave laws to others and restored the reign of liberty? Two civil
wars have I quenched, twice forced the barrier of the Alps. These many
battles have taught me to serve no tyrant.”

Rufinus stood rooted to earth. There is no hope of escape, for a
forest of flashing spears hems him in. Shut in on the right hand and
on the left he stood and gazed in wonder on the drawn blades of the
armed throng; as a beast who has lately left his native hills, driven
in exile from the wooded mountains and condemned to the gladiatorial
shows, rushes into the arena while over against him the gladiator,
heartened by the crowd’s applause kneels and holds out his spear. The
beast, alarmed at the noise, gazes with head erect upon the rows of
seats in the amphitheatre and hears with amazement the murmuring of the

Then one more daring than the rest drew his sword and leapt forward
from the crowd and with fierce words and flashing eye rushed upon
Rufinus crying: “It is the hand of Stilicho whom thou vauntest that
thou didst expel that smites thee; his sword, which thou thoughtest far
away, that pierces thy heart.” So spake he and transfixed Rufinus’ side
with a well-deserved thrust.

Happy the hand that first spilt such vile blood and poured out
vengeance for a world made weary. Straightway all pierce him with
their spears and tear quivering limb from limb; one single body warms
all these weapons with its blood; shame to him whose sword returns
unstained therewith.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 88

    hi vultus avidos et adhuc spirantia vellunt                        410
    lumina, truncatos alii rapuere lacertos.
    amputat ille pedes, umerum quatit ille solutis
    nexibus; hic fracti reserat curvamina dorsi;
    hic iecur, hic cordis fibras, hic pandit anhelas
    pulmonis latebras. spatium non invenit ira                         415
    nec locus est odiis. consumpto funere vix tum
    deseritur sparsumque perit per tela cadaver.
    sic mons Aonius rubuit, cum Penthea ferrent
    Maenades aut subito mutatum Actaeona cornu
    traderet insanis Latonia visa Molossis.                            420
    criminibusne tuis credis, Fortuna, mederi
    et male donatum certas aequare favorem
    suppliciis? una tot milia morte rependis?
    eversis agedum Rufinum divide terris.
    da caput Odrysiis, truncum mereantur Achivi.                       425
    quid reliquis dabitur? nec singula membra peremptis
    sufficiunt populis.
                          Vacuo plebs undique muro
    iam secura fluit; senibus non obstitit aetas
    virginibusve pudor; viduae, quibus ille maritos
    abstulit, orbataeque ruunt ad gaudia matres                        430
    insultantque alacres. laceros iuvat ire per artus
    pressaque calcato vestigia sanguine tingui.
    nec minus adsiduis flagrant elidere saxis
    prodigiale caput, quod iam de cuspide summa

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 89

They stamp on that face of greed and while yet he lives pluck out his
eyes; others seize and carry off his severed arms. One cuts off his
foot, another wrenches a shoulder from the torn sinews; one lays bare
the ribs of the cleft spine, another his liver, his heart, his still
panting lungs. There is not space enough to satisfy their anger nor
room to wreak their hate. Scarce when his death had been accomplished
do they leave him; his body is hacked in pieces and the fragments borne
on the soldiers’ spears. Thus red with blood ran the Boeotian mountain
when the Maenads caused Pentheus’ destruction or when Latona’s daughter
seen by Actaeon betrayed the huntsman, suddenly transformed into a
stag, to the fury of her Molossian hounds. Dost thou hope, Fortune,
thus to right thy wrongs? Seekest thou to atone by this meting out
of punishment for favour ill bestowed? Dost thou with one death make
payment for ten thousand murders? Come, portion out Rufinus’ corpse
among the lands he has wronged. Give the Thracians his head; let Greece
have as her due his body. What shall be given the rest? Give but a limb
apiece, there are not enough for the peoples he has ruined.

The citizens leave the town and hasten exulting to the spot from every
quarter, old men and girls among them whom nor age nor sex could keep
at home. Widows whose husbands he had killed, mothers whose children he
had murdered hurry to the joyful scene with eager steps. They are fain
to trample the torn limbs and stain their deep pressed feet with the
blood. So, too, they eagerly hurl a shower of stones at the monstrous
head, nodding from the summit of the spear that transfixed it as it

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 90

    nutabat digna rediens ad moenia pompa.                             435
    dextera quin etiam ludo concessa vagatur
    aera petens poenasque animi persolvit avari
    terribili lucro vivosque imitata retentus
    cogitur adductis digitos inflectere nervis.
      Desinat elatis quisquam confidere rebus                          440
    instabilesque deos ac lubrica numina discat.
    illa manus, quae sceptra sibi gestanda parabat,
    cuius se totiens summisit ad oscula supplex
    nobilitas, inhumata diu miseroque revulsa
    corpore feralem quaestum post fata reposcit.                       445
    adspiciat quisquis nimium sublata secundis
    colla gerit: triviis calcandus spargitur ecce,
    qui sibi pyramidas, qui non cedentia templis
    ornatura suos extruxit culmina manes,
    et qui Sidonio velari credidit ostro,                              450
    nudus pascit aves. iacet en, qui possidet orbem,
    exiguae telluris inops et pulvere raro
    per partes tegitur nusquam totiensque sepultus.
      Senserunt convexa necem tellusque nefandum
    amolitur onus iam respirantibus astris.                            455
    infernos gravat umbra lacus. pater Aeacus horret
    intrantemque etiam latratu Cerberus urget.
    tune animae, quas ille fero sub iure peremit,
    circumstant nigrique trahunt ad iudicis urnam
    infesto fremitu: veluti pastoris in ora                            460
    commotae glomerantur apes, qui dulcia raptu
    mella vehit, pennasque cient et spicula tendunt
    et tenuis saxi per propugnacula cinctae

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 91

was carried back in merited splendour to the city. Nay his hand too,
made over to their mockery, goes a-begging for alms, and with its awful
gains pays the penalty for his greedy soul, while forced, in mimicry of
its living clutch, to draw up the fingers by their sinews.

Put not now your trust in prosperity; learn that the gods are
inconstant and heaven untrustworthy. That hand which sought to wield a
sceptre, which a humbled nobility stooped so often to kiss, now torn
from its wretched trunk and left long unburied begs after death a
baneful alms. Let him gaze on this whoso carries his head high in pride
of prosperity, see trodden under foot at the cross-roads him who built
pyramids for himself and a tomb, large as a temple, to the glory of his
own ghost. He who trusted to be clothed in Tyrian purple is now a naked
corpse and food for birds. See, he who owns the world lies denied six
foot of earth, half covered with a sprinkling of dust, given no grave
yet given so many.

Heaven knew of his death and earth is freed of her hated burden, now
that the stars can breathe again. His shade oppresses the rivers of
Hell. Old Aeacus shudders and Cerberus bays to stop, in this case,
the _entry_ of a ghost. Then those shades which he had sent to death
beneath his cruel laws flock round him and hale him away with horrid
shoutings to the tribunal of the gloomy judge: even as bees whom a
shepherd has disturbed swarm round his head when he would rob them of
their sweet honey, and flutter their wings and put forth their stings,
making them ready for battle in the fastnesses of their little rock,
and seek to defend the

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 92

    rimosam patriam dilectaque pumicis antra
    defendunt pronoque favos examine velant.                           465
      Est locus infaustis quo conciliantur in unum
    Cocytos Phlegethonque vadis; inamoenus uterque
    alveus; hic volvit lacrimas, hic igne redundat.
    turris per geminos, flammis vicinior, amnes
    porrigitur solidoque rigens adamante sinistrum                     470
    proluit igne latus; dextro Cocytia findit
    aequora triste gemens et fletu concita plangit.
    huc post emeritam mortalia saecula vitam
    deveniunt. ibi nulla manent discrimina fati,
    nullus honos vanoque exutum nomine regem                           475
    proturbat plebeius egens. quaesitor in alto
    conspicuus solio pertemptat crimina Minos
    et iustis dirimit sontes. quos nolle fateri
    viderit, ad rigidi transmittit verbera fratris.
    nam iuxta Rhadamanthys agit. cum gesta superni
    curriculi totosque diu perspexerit actus,                          481
    exaequat damnum meritis et muta ferarum
    cogit vincla pati. truculentos ingerit ursis
    praedonesque lupis; fallaces vulpibus addit.
    at qui desidia semper vinoque gravatus,                            485
    indulgens Veneri, voluit torpescere luxu,
    hunc suis inmundi pingues detrudit in artus.
    qui iusto plus esse loquax arcanaque suevit
    prodere, piscosas fertur victurus in undas,
    ut nimiam pensent aeterna silentia vocem.                          490
    quos ubi per varias annis ter mille figuras
    egit, Lethaeo purgatos flumine tandem
    rursus ad humanae revocat primordia formae.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 93

crevices of their home, their beloved pumice-stone cave, swarming over
the honeycombs therein.

There is a place where the unhallowed rivers of Cocytus and Phlegethon
mingle their dread streams of tears and fire. Between the rivers yet
nearer to that of Phlegethon there juts a tower stiff with solid
adamant that bathes its left side in the flames; its right hand wall
extends into Cocytus’ stream and echoes the lamentation of the river
of tears. Hither come all the children of men whose life is ended;
here there abide no marks of earthly fortune; no reverence is shown;
the common beggar ousts the king, now stripped of his empty title.
Seen afar on his lofty throne the judge Minos examines the charges and
separates the wicked from the righteous. Those whom he sees unwilling
to confess their sins he remits to the lash of his stern brother; for
he, Rhadamanthus, is busy close at hand. When he has closely examined
the deeds of their earthly life and all that they did therein, he
suits the punishment to their crimes and makes them undergo the bonds
of dumb animals. The spirits of the cruel enter into bears, of the
rapacious into wolves, of the treacherous into foxes. Those, on the
other hand, who were ever sunk in sloth, sodden with wine, given to
venery, sluggish from excesses, he compelled to enter the fat bodies of
filthy swine. Was any above measure talkative, a betrayer of secrets,
he was carried off, a fish, to live in the waters amid his kind, that
in eternal silence he might atone for his garrulity. When for thrice a
thousand years he had forced these through countless diverse shapes,
he sends them back once more to the beginnings of human form purged at
last with Lethe’s stream.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 94

      Tum quoque, dum lites Stygiique negotia solvit
    dura fori veteresque reos ex ordine quaerit,                       495
    Rufinum procul ecce notat visuque severo
    lustrat et ex imo concussa sede profatur:
      “Huc superum labes, huc insatiabilis auri
    proluvies pretioque nihil non ause parato,
    quodque mihi summum scelus est, huc improbe legum
    venditor, Arctoi stimulator perfide Martis!                        501
    cuius ob innumeras strages angustus Averni
    iam sinus et plena lassatur portitor alno.
    quid demens manifesta negas? en pectus inustae
    deformant maculae vitiisque inolevit imago                         505
    nec sese commissa tegunt. genus omne dolorum
    in te ferre libet: dubio tibi pendula rupes
    inmineat lapsu, volucer te torqueat axis,
    te refugi fallant latices atque ore natanti
    arescat decepta sitis, dapibusque relictis                         510
    in tua mansurus migret praecordia vultur.
    quamquam omnes alii, quos haec tormenta fatigant,
    pars quota sunt, Rufine, tui! quid tale vel audax
    fulmine Salmoneus vel lingua Tantalus egit
    aut inconsulto Tityos deliquit amore?                              515
    cunctorum si facta simul iungantur in unum,
    praecedes numero. cui tanta piacula quisquam
    supplicio conferre valet? quid denique dignum
    omnibus inveniam, vincant cum singula poenas?
    tollite de mediis animarum dedecus umbris.                         520
    adspexisse sat est. oculis iam parcite nostris
    et Ditis purgate domos. agitate flagellis

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 95

So then while he settles these suits, dread business of that infernal
court, while he examines in due order the criminals of old, he marks
afar Rufinus, scans him with a stern scrutiny and speaks, shaking his
throne to its foundation. “Hither, Rufinus, scourge of the world,
bottomless sink of gold who wouldst dare aught for money; hither
conscienceless seller of justice (that crime of crimes), faithless
cause of that northern war whose thousand slaughtered victims now
throng Hell’s narrow entry and weigh down Charon’s crowded barque.
Madman, why deny what all know? The foul stains of wickedness are
branded upon thy heart, thy crimes have made their impress on thy
spirit and thy sins cannot be hid. Right glad I am to sentence thee to
every kind of punishment. O’er thee shall hang the threatening rock
the moment of whose fall thou knowest not. The circling wheel shall
rack thee. Thy lips the stream’s waves shall flee, thirst shall parch
thee to whose chin its elusive waters mount. The vulture shall leave
his former prey and feast for ever on thy heart. And yet all these,
Rufinus, whom the like punishments torment, how paltry their wickedness
compared with thine! Did bold Salmoneus’ thunderbolt or Tantalus’
tongue ever do like wrong or Tityos so offend with his mad love? Join
all their crimes together yet wilt thou surpass them. What sufficient
atonement can be found for such wickedness? What to match thy sum of
crimes whose single misdeeds outmatch all punishment? Shades, remove
from this our ghostly company that presence that disgraces it. To have
seen once is enough. Have mercy now on our eyes, and cleanse the realm
of Dis. Drive

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 96

    trans Styga, trans Erebum, vacuo mandate barathro
    infra Titanum tenebras infraque recessus
    Tartareos ipsumque[61] Chaos, qua noctis opacae                    525
    fundamenta latent; praeceps ibi mersus anhelet,
    dum rotat astra polus, feriunt dum litora venti.”

    [61] MSS. have _nostrumque_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 97

him with whips beyond the Styx, beyond Erebus; thrust him down into the
empty pit beneath the lightless prison of the Titans, below the depths
of Tartarus and Chaos’ own realm, where lie the foundations of thickest
midnight; deep hidden there let him live while ever the vault of heaven
carries round the stars and the winds beat upon the land.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 98




      Redditus imperiis Auster subiectaque rursus
    alterius convexa poli. rectore sub uno
    conspirat geminus frenis communibus orbis.
    iunximus Europen Libyae. concordia fratrum
    plena redit. patriis solum quod defuit armis,                        5
    tertius occubuit nati virtute tyrannus.
    horret adhuc animus manifestaque gaudia differt,
    dum stupet et tanto cunctatur credere voto.
    necdum Cinyphias exercitus attigit oras:
    iam domitus Gildo. nullis victoria nodis                            10
    haesit, non spatio terrae, non obice ponti.
    congressum profugum captum vox nuntiat una
    rumoremque sui praevenit laurea belli.
    quo, precor, haec effecta deo? robusta vetusque
    tempore tam parvo potuit dementia vinci?                            15
    quem veniens indixit hiems, ver perculit hostem.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 99




The kingdom of the south is restored to our empire, the sky of that
other hemisphere is once more brought into subjection. East and West
live in amity and concord beneath the sway of one ruler. We have joined
Europe again to Africa, and unswerving singleness of purpose unites the
brother emperors. The would-be third participant of empire has fallen
before the prowess of Honorius the son--that one victory that failed
to grace the arms of Theodosius, the father. Still is my mind troubled
and admits not the universal joy for very amazement, nor can believe
the fulfilment of its heart-felt prayers. Not yet had the army landed
upon Africa’s[63] coasts when Gildo yielded to defeat. No difficulties
delayed our victorious arms, neither length of march nor intervening
ocean. One and the same word brings news of the conflict, the flight,
the capture of Gildo. The news of victory outstripped the news of the
war that occasioned it. What god wrought this for us? Could madness so
strong, so deep-seated be overcome so soon? The enemy whom early winter
brought upon us, spring destroyed.

    [62] For the details of Gildo’s rebellion see Introduction, p. x.

    [63] The Cinyps is a river in Libya; _cf._ Virg. _Georg._ iii. 312.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 100

      Exitium iam Roma timens et fessa negatis
    frugibus ad rapidi limen tendebat Olympi
    non solito vultu nec qualis iura Britannis
    dividit aut trepidos summittit fascibus Indos.                      20
    vox tenuis tardique gradus oculique iacentes
    interius; fugere genae; ieiuna lacertos
    exedit macies. umeris vix sustinet aegris
    squalentem clipeum; laxata casside prodit
    canitiem plenamque trahit rubiginis hastam.                         25
    attigit ut tandem caelum genibusque Tonantis
    procubuit, tales orditur maesta querellas:
      “Si mea mansuris meruerunt moenia nasci,
    Iuppiter, auguriis, si stant inmota Sibyllae
    carmina, Tarpeias si necdum respuis arces:                          30
    advenio supplex, non ut proculcet Araxen
    consul ovans nostraeve premant pharetrata secures
    Susa, nec ut Rubris aquilas figamus harenis.
    haec nobis, haec ante dabas; nunc pabula tantum
    Roma precor. miserere tuae, pater optinae, gentis,                  35
    extremam defende famem. satiavimus iram
    si qua fuit; lugenda Getis et flenda Suebis
    hausimus; ipsa meos horreret Parthia casus.
    quid referam morbive luem tumulosve repletos
    stragibus et crebras corrupto sidere mortes?                        40
    aut fluvium per tecta vagum summisque minatum
    collibus? ingentes vexi summersa carinas
    remorumque sonos et Pyrrhae saecula sensi.
      “Ei mihi, quo Latiae vires urbisque potestas

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 101

Rome, the goddess, fearing for her city’s destruction and weak with
corn withheld, hastened to the threshold of revolving Olympus with
looks unlike her own; not with such countenance does she assign laws
to the Britons, or subject the frightened Indians to her rule. Feeble
her voice, slow her step, her eyes deep buried. Her cheeks were sunken
and hunger had wasted her limbs. Scarce can her weak shoulders support
her unpolished shield. Her ill-fitting helmet shows her grey hairs and
the spear she carries is a mass of rust. At last she reaches heaven and
falls at the Thunderer’s feet and utters this mournful complaint: “If
prophecy rightly foretold the permanence of the rising walls of Rome;
if the Sibyl’s verse is unalterable; if thou art not yet wearied of
our city and the Capitol, I come to thee as a suppliant. My prayer is
not that a consul may march in triumph along Araxes’ banks, nor that
Rome’s power may crush the archer Persians and Susa their capital, nor
yet that we may plant our standards on the Red Sea’s strand. All this
thou grantedst us of old. ’Tis but food I, Rome, ask for now; father,
take pity on thy chosen race and ease us of this hunger unto death.
Whatever thy displeasure, we have surely sated it. The very Getae and
Suebi would pity our sufferings; Parthia’s self would shudder at my
disasters. What need have I to mention the pestilence, the heaps of
corpses, the numberless deaths wherewith the very air is corrupted? Why
tell of Tiber’s flooded stream, sweeping betwixt roofs and threatening
the very hills? My submerged city has borne mighty ships, echoed the
sound of oars, and experienced Pyrrha’s flood.

“Woe is me, whither are fled the power of Latium

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 102

    decidit! in qualem paulatim fluximus umbram!                        45
    armato quondam populo patrumque vigebam
    conciliis; domui terras urbesque revinxi
    legibus: ad solem victrix utrumque cucurri.
    postquam iura ferox in se communia Caesar
    transtulit et lapsi mores desuetaque priscis                        50
    artibus in gremium pacis servile recessi,
    tot mihi pro meritis Libyam Nilumque dedere,
    ut dominam plebem bellatoremque senatum
    classibus aestivis alerent geminoque vicissim
    litore diversi complerent horrea venti.                             55
    stabat certa salus: Memphis si forte negasset,
    pensabam Pharium Gaetulis messibus annum,
    frugiferas certare rates lateque videbam
    Punica Niliacis concurrere carbasa velis.
    cum subiit par Roma mihi divisaque sumpsit                          60
    aequales Aurora togas, Aegyptia rura
    in partem cessere novae. spes unica nobis
    restabat Libyae, quae vix aegreque fovebat;
    solo ducta Noto, numquam secura futuri,
    semper inops, ventique fidem poscebat et anni.                      65
    hanc quoque nunc Gildo rapuit sub fine cadentis
    autumni. pavido metimur caerula voto,
    puppis si qua venit, si quid fortasse potenti
    vel pudor extorsit domino vel praedo reliquit.
    pascimur arbitrio Mauri nec debita reddi,                           70

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 103

and the might of Rome? To what a shadow of our former glory are we
by gradual decline arrived! Time was when my men bore arms and my
greybeards met in council; mistress of the world was I and lawgiver
to mankind. From rising to setting sun I sped in triumph. When proud
Caesar had transferred my people’s power to himself, when manners
became corrupt and forgetful of war’s old discipline I declined into
the servile lap of peace, the emperors rewarded me with Africa and
Egypt that they might nourish the sovereign people and the Senate,
arbiter of peace and war, by means of summer-sped fleets, and that the
winds, blowing alternately from either shore, should fill our granaries
with corn. Our provisioning was secure. Should Memphis perchance have
denied us food, I would make up for the failure of Egypt’s harvest by
the African supply. I saw competition between grain-bearing vessels,
and where’er I looked I beheld the fleet of Carthage strive in rivalry
with that of the Nile. When a second Rome arose and the Eastern Empire
assumed the toga of the West, Egypt fell beneath that new sway. Africa
remained our only hope and scarcely did she suffice to feed us, whose
corn-ships none but the south wind wafted across. Her promise for the
future was insecure, as, ever helpless, she demanded the loyalty of the
wind and of the season.[64] This province, too, Gildo seized towards
the close of autumn. Anxiously and prayerfully we scan the blue sea to
glance a coming sail in the fond hope that perchance a sense of shame
has extorted somewhat from the powerful tyrant, or the conqueror left
some corner unconquered. We are fed at the pleasure of the Moor,

    [64] Claudian means that the African corn-supply was not always to
    be relied upon because (1) there might be a bad season, (2) there
    might be unfavourable winds.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 104

    sed sua concedi iactat gaudetque diurnos
    ut famulae praebere cibos vitamque famemque
    librat barbarico fastu vulgique superbit
    fletibus et tantae suspendit fata ruinae.
    Romuleas vendit segetes et possidet arva                            75
    vulneribus quaesita meis. ideone tot annos
    flebile cum tumida bellum Carthagine gessi?
    idcirco voluit contempta luce reverti
    Regulus? hoc damnis, genitor, Cannensibus emi?
    incassum totiens lituis navalibus arsit                             80
    Hispanum Siculumque fretum vastataque tellus
    totque duces caesi ruptaque emissus ab Alpe
    Poenus et attonitae iam proximus Hannibal urbi?
    scilicet ut domitis frueretur barbarus Afris,
    muro sustinui Martem noctesque cruentas                             85
    Collina pro turre tuli? Gildonis ad usum
    Carthago ter victa ruit? hoc mille gementis
    Italiae clades impensaque saecula bellis,
    hoc Fabius fortisque mihi Marcellus agebant,
    ut Gildo cumularet opes? haurire venena                             90
    compulimus dirum Syphacem fractumque Metello
    traximus inmanem Marii sub vincla Iugurtham,
    et Numidae Gildonis erunt? pro funera tanta,
    pro labor! in Bocchi regnum sudavit uterque
    Scipio. Romano vicistis sanguine Mauri.                             95
    ille diu miles populus, qui praefuit orbi,
    qui trabeas et sceptra dabat, quem semper in armis
    horribilem gentes, placidum sensere subactae,

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                              Page 105

who boasts that he does not repay a debt but that he gives us of his
own, and rejoices to apportion out my daily food to me, as though I
were his slave; with a barbarian’s pride he weighs me life or death
by hunger, triumphs in a people’s tears, and holds above our heads
an universal destruction. He sells Rome’s crops and possesses land
won by my wounds. Was it for this that I waged lamentable war with
proud Carthage for so many years? For this that Regulus reckoned
his life as naught and would fain return to his captors? Is this my
reward, father, for my losses on Cannae’s field? Have the Spanish and
Sicilian seas resounded so often to our navies’ clarion for naught?
For naught my lands been laid waste, so many of my generals slain,
the Carthaginian invader broken his way through the Alps, Hannibal
approached my affrighted capital? Have I kept the foe at bay with my
walls and spent nights of slaughter before the Colline gate to enable a
barbarian to reap the fruits of conquered Africa? Has thrice-conquered
Carthage fallen for Gildo’s benefit? Was this the object of mourning
Italy’s thousand disasters, of centuries spent in war, of Fabius’ and
Marcellus’ deeds of daring--that Gildo should heap him up riches? We
forced cruel Syphax to drink poison, drove fierce Iugurtha, whose power
Metellus had broken, beneath Marius’ yoke--and shall Africa be Gildo’s?
Alas for our toil and those many deaths: the two Scipios have laboured,
it seems, to further Bocchus’[65] native rule; Roman blood has given
victory to the Moors. That long warlike race, lord of the world, that
appointed consuls and kings, whom foreign nations found ever formidable
in war, though gentle once they had

    [65] Bocchus, properly a king of Mauritania, stands here typically for
    any native monarch.

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                              Page 106

    nunc inhonorus egens perfert miserabile pacis
    supplicium nulloque palam circumdatus hoste                        100
    obsessi discrimen habet. per singula letum
    impendet momenta mihi dubitandaque pauci
    praescribunt alimenta dies, heu prospera fata!
    quid mihi septenos montes turbamque dedistis,
    quae parvo non possit ali? felicior essem                          105
    angustis opibus; mallem tolerare Sabinos
    et Veios; brevior duxi securius aevum.
    ipsa nocet moles. utinam remeare liceret
    ad veteres fines et moenia pauperis Anci.
    sufficerent Etrusca mihi Campanaque culta                          110
    et Quincti Curiique seges, patriaeque petenti
    rusticus inferret proprias dictator aristas.
      “Nunc quid agam? Libyam Gildo tenet, altera Nilum.
    ast ego, quae terras umeris pontumque subegi,
    deseror: emeritae iam praemia nulla senectae.                      115
    di, quibus iratis crevi, succurrite tandem,
    exorate patrem; tuque o si sponte per altum
    vecta Palatinis mutasti collibus Idam
    praelatoque lavas Phrygios Almone leones,
    maternis precibus natum iam flecte, Cybebe.                        120
    sin prohibent Parcae falsisque elusa vetustas
    auspiciis, alio saltem prosternite casu
    et poenae mutate genus. Porsenna reducat
    Tarquinios; renovet ferales Allia pugnas;
    me potius saevi manibus permittite Pyrrhi,                         125

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                              Page 107

been subdued, dishonoured now and poverty-stricken, bends beneath the
cruel lash of peace, and though not openly beleaguered by any foe yet
has all the hazard of a siege. Destruction threatens me hourly; a few
days will set a limit to my uncertain food-supply. Out upon thee,
prosperity! Why hast thou given me seven hills and such a population
as a small supply cannot nourish? Happier I, had my power been less.
Better to have put up with the Sabines and Veii; in narrower bonds I
passed securer days. My very magnitude undoes me; would that I could
return to my former boundaries and the walls of poor Ancus. Enough for
me then would be the ploughlands of Etruria and Campania, the farms
of Cincinnatus and Curius, and at his country’s prayer the rustic
dictator[66] would bring his home-grown wheat.

“What am I to do now? Gildo holds Libya, another[67] Egypt; while
I, who subdued land and sea with my strong arm, am left to perish.
Veteran of so many wars, can I claim no reward in mine old age? Ye
gods in whose despite, it seems, I increased, now aid me at the last;
pray Jove for me. And thou, Cybele, if ever of thine own free will
thou wert carried over the sea and in exchange for Mount Ida tookest
the hills of Rome and didst bathe thy Phrygian lions in Almo’s more
favoured stream, move now thy son[68] with a mother’s entreaties. But
if the fates forbid and our first founder was misled by augury untrue,
o’erwhelm me at least in some different ruin, and change the nature of
my punishment. Let Porsenna bring back the Tarquins; let Allia renew
her bloody battle. Let me fall rather into the hands of cruel

    [66] Doubtless a reference to Cincinnatus.

    [67] Claudian means by “_altera_” the Eastern Empire.

    [68] _i.e._ Jupiter.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 108

    me Senonum furiis, Brenni me reddite flammis.
    cuncta fame leviora mihi.”
                             Sic fata refusis
    obticuit lacrimis. mater Cytherea parensque
    flet Mavors sanctaeque memor Tritonia Vestae,
    nec Cybele sicco nec stabat lumine Iuno.                           130
    maerent indigetes et si quos Roma recepit
    aut dedit ipsa deos. genitor iam corde remitti
    coeperat et sacrum dextra sedare tumultum,
    cum procul insanis quatiens ululatibus axem
    et contusa genas mediis adparet in astris                          135
    Africa: rescissae vestes et spicea passim
    serta iacent; lacero crinales vertice dentes
    et fractum pendebat ebur, talique superbas
    inrupit clamore fores:
                             “Quid magne moraris
    Iuppiter avulso nexu pelagique solutis                             140
    legibus iratum populis inmittere fratrem?
    mergi prima peto; veniant praerupta Pachyno
    aequora, laxatis subsidant Syrtibus urbes.
    si mihi Gildonem nequeunt abducere fata,
    me rape Gildoni. felicior illa perustae                            145
    pars Libyae, nimio quae se munita calore
    defendit tantique vacat secura tyranni.
    crescat zona rubens; medius flagrantis Olympi
    me quoque limes agat; melius deserta iacebo
    vomeris impatiens. pulsis dominentur aristis                       150
    dipsades et sitiens attollat glaeba cerastas.
    quid me temperies iuvit? quid mitior aether?
    Gildoni fecunda fui. iam solis habenae

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                              Page 109

Pyrrhus; abandon me to the fury of the Senones or the flames of
Brennus. Welcome all this rather than to starve!”

So spake she, and upwelling tears choked her voice. Venus, mother of
Aeneas, wept, and Mars, father of Romulus and Minerva, mindful of
Vesta’s sacred charge.[69] Nor Cybele nor Juno stood with dry eyes. The
heroes mourn and all the gods whose worship Rome received from without
or herself inaugurated. And now began the heart of Jove to soften. With
hand outstretched he was checking the murmurings of the gods when,
shaking heaven with distraught cries, Africa, her cheeks torn, appeared
in the distance advancing amid the stars. Torn was her raiment,
scattered her crown of corn. Her head was wounded and the ivory comb
that secured her hair hung loose and broken. She rushed into Heaven’s
halls shouting thus: “Great Jove, why delayest thou to loose the bonds
of sea, to break its decree and hurl thy brother[70] in wrath against
the land? May I be the first to be overwhelmed. Welcome the broken
waters from Pachynus’ cape; sink my cities in the freed Syrtes. If so
be fate cannot rid me of Gildo, rid Gildo of me. Happier that region of
Libya that defends itself by means of its own excessive heat and thus
knows not the irksome rule of so savage a tyrant. Let the torrid zone
spread. Let the midmost path of the scorching sky burn me also. Better
I lay a desert nor ever suffered the plough. Let the dust-snake lord
it in a cornless land and the thirsty earth give birth to nought but
vipers. What avails me a healthy climate, a milder air? My fruitfulness
is but for

    [69] _i.e._ the Palladium, the image of Pallas (=Minerva), rescued by
    Metellus from the burning temple of Vesta, 241 B.C.

    [70] _i.e._ Neptune.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 110

    bis senas torquent hiemes, cervicibus ex quo
    haeret triste iugum. nostris iam luctibus ille                     155
    consenuit regnumque sibi tot vindicat annos.
    atque utinam regnum! privato iure tenemur
    exigui specie fundi. quod Nilus et Atlas
    dissidet, occiduis quod Gadibus arida Barce
    quodque Paraetonio secedit litore Tingi,                           160
    hoc sibi transcripsit proprium. pars tertia mundi
    unius praedonis ager.
                             “Distantibus idem
    inter se vitiis cinctus: quodcumque profunda
    traxit avaritia, luxu peiore refundit.
    instat terribilis vivis, morientibus heres,                        165
    virginibus raptor, thalamis obscaenus adulter.
    nulla quies: oritur praeda cessante libido,
    divitibusque dies et nox metuenda maritis.
    quisquis vel locuples pulchra vel coniuge notus,
    crimine pulsatur falso; si crimina desunt,                         170
    accitus conviva perit. mors nulla refugit
    artificem: varios sucos spumasque requirit
    serpentum virides et adhuc ignota novercis
    gramina. si quisquam vultu praesentia damnet
    liberiusve gemat, dapibus crudelis in ipsis                        175
    emicat ad nutum stricto mucrone minister.
    fixus quisque toro tacita formidine libat
    carnifices epulas incertaque pocula pallens
    haurit et intentos capiti circumspicit enses.
    splendet Tartareo furialis mensa paratu                            180
    caede madens, atrox gladio, suspecta veneno.

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                              Page 111

Gildo. Twelve courses has the sun’s chariot run since first I wore this
sorry yoke. He has now grown old amid our miseries and these many years
have set their seal upon his rule. Rule--would it were rule: a private
owner possesses me, as it had been some pelting farm. From Nile to
Atlas’ mount, from scorched Barce to western Gades, from Tingi[71] to
Egypt’s coast Gildo has appropriated the land as his own. A third of
the world belongs to one robber-chief.

“He is a prey to the most diverse vices: whatsoe’er his bottomless
greed has stolen, a yet more insatiable profligacy squanders. He is the
terror of the living, the heir of the dead, the violator of the unwed,
and the foul corrupter of the marriage-bed. He is never quiet; when
greed is sated lust is rampant; day is a misery to the rich, night to
the married. Is any wealthy or known to possess a beautiful wife, he is
overwhelmed by some trumped-up charge. If no charge be brought against
him, he is asked to a banquet and there murdered. No form of death but
is known to this artist in crime. He investigates the properties of
different poisons and serpents’ livid venom and knows of deadly herbs
unknown even to stepmothers. If any condemns what he sees by a look or
sighs with too much freedom, at the very festal board out darts some
henchman with drawn sword at a nod from his master. Each glued to his
seat tastes in silent fear of the deadly banquet; drains, pale of face,
the treacherous cup, and looks around at the weapons that threaten
his life. The deadly board is decked in infernal splendour, wet with
slaughter, dreadful with fear of sword and suspected poison. When wine

    [71] Tangiers.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 112

    ut vino calefacta Venus, tum saevior ardet
    luxuries, mixtis redolent unguenta coronis:
    crinitos inter famulos pubemque canoram
    orbatas iubet ire nurus nuperque peremptis                         185
    adridere viris. Phalarim tormentaque flammae
    profuit et Siculi mugitus ferre iuvenci
    quam tales audire choros. nec damna pudoris
    turpia sufficiunt: Mauris clarissima quaeque
    fastidita datur. media Carthagine ductae                           190
    barbara Sidoniae subeunt conubia matres;
    Aethiopem nobis generum, Nasamona maritum
    ingerit; exterret cunabula discolor infans.
    his fretus sociis ipso iam principe maior
    incedit; peditum praecurrunt agmina longe;                         195
    circumdant equitum turmae regesque clientes,
    quos nostris ditat spoliis. proturbat avita
    quemque domo; veteres detrudit rure colonos.
    exiliis dispersa feror. numquamne reverti
    fas erit errantesque solo iam reddere cives?”                      200
      Iret adhuc in verba dolor, ni Iuppiter alto
    coepisset solio (voces adamante notabat
    Atropos et Lachesis iungebat stamina dictis):
    “nec te, Roma, diu nec te patiemur inultam,
    Africa. communem prosternet Honorius hostem.                       205
    pergite securae. vestrum vis nulla tenorem
    separat et soli famulabitur Africa Romae.”
      Dixit et adflavit Romam meliore iuventa.
    continuo redit ille vigor seniique colorem
    mutavere comae. solidatam crista resurgens                         210

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 113

inflamed the passions, his lust rages more savagely; ’midst the mingled
smell of scents and flowers, ’midst curled minions and youthful choirs
he bids go sport the widowed wives whose husbands he but a moment ago
has murdered. Better Phalaris and the torments of his furnace, better
to listen to the bellowings of the Sicilian bull than to such songs as
these. Nor is the base sacrifice of their good name enough. When tired
of each noblest matron Gildo hands her over to the Moors. Married in
Carthage city these Sidonian mothers needs must mate with barbarians.
He thrusts upon me an Ethiopian as a son-in-law, a Berber as a husband.
The hideous half-breed child affrights its cradle. Thanks to those
base allies his state is more regal than that of the emperor himself.
Before him goes a body of foot-soldiers, squadrons of cavalry surround
him and client kings whom he enriches with our spoils. He drives one
and all from their ancestral houses and expels husbandmen from farms so
long theirs. My people are scattered in exile. Are my citizens never to
return from their wanderings to their native soil?”

She would have spoken further in her grief had not Jove begun from his
lofty throne--Atropos wrote down his words in adamant and Lachesis spun
them in with her thread--“Neither thou, Rome, nor yet thou, Africa,
will we suffer to go long unavenged. Honorius shall disperse your
common foe. Go in peace. No violence shall part your companionship;
Africa shall serve Rome, and Rome alone.”

He spake and breathed into Rome a youth renewed. Straightway her former
strength returned, and her hair put off its grey of eld; her helmet
grew solid,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 114

    erexit galeam clipeique recanduit orbis
    et levis excussa micuit rubigine cornus.
      Umentes iam noctis equos Lethaeaque Somnus
    frena regens tacito volvebat sidera curru.
    iam duo divorum proceres, maiorque minorque                        215
    Theodosii, pacem laturi gentibus ibant,
    qui Iovis arcanos monitus mandataque ferrent
    fratribus et geminis sancirent foedera regnis:
    sic cum praecipites artem vicere procellae
    adsiduoque gemens undarum verbere nutat                            220
    descensura ratis, caeca sub nocte vocati
    naufraga Ledaei sustentant vela Lacones.
    circulus ut patuit Lunae, secuere meatus
    diversos: Italas senior tendebat in oras;
    at pater, intrantem Pontum qua Bosphorus artat,
    Arcadii thalamis urbique inlapsus Eoae.                            226
    quem simulac vidit natus (nam clara nitebat
    Cynthia), permixto tremuerunt gaudia fletu
    complexuque fovens, quos non speraverat, artus
    “O mihi post Alpes nunc primum reddite,” dixit,                    230
    “unde tuis optatus ades? da tangere dextram,
    qua gentes cecidere ferae. quis tale removit
    praesidium terris? ut te mortalia pridem
    implorant longeque pium fortemque requirunt!”
      Cui pater in tales rupit suspiria voces:                         235
    “hoc erat? in fratres medio discordia Mauro
    nascitur et mundus germanaque dissidet aula?

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 115

upright stood the plumes, the round shield shone once more, and gone
was every trace of rust from her wingèd, gleaming spear.

Sleep was now driving the dew-drenched steeds of night, guiding them
with the reins of Lethe and carrying round the stars in her silent
course, when the elder and the younger Theodosius,[72] chief among the
heroes divine, came to bring peace to men. They bore Jove’s secret
message and mandate to the two brothers and ratified the treaty between
the two empires. So when at dead of night the driving tempest has
brought the helmsman’s skill to nought and the sinking ship groans
and shudders at the waves’ ceaseless shock, Leda’s Spartan-born sons
sustain the foundering bark in answer to the sailors’ prayers. At
the rise of the full moon the twain parted. The elder directed his
steps towards the coasts of Italy, the younger visited the couch of
Arcadius, gliding down to that Eastern city where Bosporus narrows the
entrance to the Euxine. As soon as the son saw his father (for the moon
was shining brightly), he wept, yet trembled for joy, and embracing
that form he had little hoped ever to embrace again, said: “O thou
restored now to me for the first time since thy triumphs in the Alps,
whence comest thou to thy loving son? Let me touch that hand that has
conquered so many barbarian races! Who hath robbed the world of such a
defender? How long a while has mankind prayed thine aid, and missed thy
goodness and thy might!”

Sighing, the father made answer: “Was it for this? Is a Moor become a
cause of discord between two brothers? Does the empire and court of the

    [72] Theodosius the younger is, of course, Theodosius I., the
    Emperor (see Introduction, p. vii). Theodosius the elder was his
    father. He was an able and trusted general of Valentinian I., who
    restored quiet in Britain (368-370), defeated the Alamanni (370),
    and crushed the revolt of Firmus, Gildo’s brother (see line 333 of
    this poem) in Africa (? 372-374). His death was brought about by
    Merobaudes, Gratian’s minister (_cf._ viii. 26-9).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 116

    Gildonisne salus tanti sit palma furoris?
    scilicet egregius morum magnoque tuendus
    et cuius meritis pietas in fratre recedat!                         240
    invito[73] genitore, vide, civile calebat
    discidium; dubio stabant Romana sub ictu;
    quis procul Armenius vel quis Maeotide ripa
    rex ignotus agit, qui me non iuvit euntem
    auxilio? fovere Getae, venere Geloni.                              245
    solus at hic non puppe data, non milite misso
    subsedit fluitante fide. si signa petisset
    obvia, detecto summissius hoste dolerem:
    restitit in speculis fati turbaque reductus
    libravit geminas eventu iudice vires                               250
    ad rerum momenta cliens seseque daturus
    victori; fortuna simul cum mente pependit.
    o si non cupidis essem praereptus ab astris,
    exemplum sequerer Tulli laniandaque dumis
    impia diversis aptarem membra quadrigis.                           255
    germani nunc usque tui responsa colebat:
    en iterum calcat. tali te credere monstro
    post patrem fratremque paras? sed magna rependit
    inque tuam sortem numerosas transtulit urbes!
    ergo fas pretio cedet? mercede placebit                            260
    proditio? taceo, laesi quod transfuga fratris,
    quod levis ingenio. quamvis discrimine summo
    proditor adportet suspensa morte salutem
    numquam gratus erit. damnamus luce reperta

    [73] MSS. _in primo_; Birt suggests _invito_, Koch

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 117

East quarrel with those of the West? Can Gildo’s salvation be fit
guerdon for this mad rivalry? Great no doubt are his virtues, great
should be the price paid to preserve them and such his merits as to
banish affection in a brother. Look you, though I, thy sire, willed it
not, civil war raged; the fortunes of Rome stood on a razor’s edge.
Was there a distant king of Armenia, an unknown monarch by Maeotis’
shore but sent aid to mine enterprises? The Getae gave me succour, the
Geloni came to my assistance. Gildo alone sent not a man, not a ship,
but waited the issue in wavering loyalty. Had he sought the confronting
host as an open foe my wrath had been less bitter. He stood apart on
Fortune’s watchtower and, withdrawn from the throng, weighed this side
against that, meaning to let the event decide him, dependent upon the
turn things might take and ready to embrace the side of the victor.
His fortune hung in the balance as well as his intention. Had I not
been hurried to heaven by the impatient stars I would have followed
the example of Tullus Hostilius and dragged the impious wretch limb
from limb fastened to chariots driven different ways through thorn
bushes.[74] Up to this time he has owed obedience to thy brother, now
behold he spurns his commands. After thy father’s and thy brother’s
fate art thou ready to trust thyself to such a villain? Is thine answer
that he maketh great return and hath brought over many cities to thine
allegiance? Shall honour, then, give place to utility? Can gain render
treachery welcome? I make no mention of his cruel betrayal of thy
brother; of his fickle nature; were a traitor to bring safety even when
at peril’s height death threatened, never shall he win gratitude. When
our life is saved

    [74] See note on viii. 401.

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                              Page 118

    perfidiam nec nos patimur committere tali.                         265
    hoc genus emptori cives cum moenibus offert,
    hoc vendit patriam. plerique in tempus abusi
    mox odere tamen: tenuit sic Graia Philippus
    oppida; Pellaeo libertas concidit auro.
    Romani scelerum semper sprevere ministros.                         270
    noxia pollicitum domino miscere venena
    Fabricius regi nudata fraude remisit,
    infesto quem Marte petit, bellumque negavit
    per famuli patrare nefas, ductosque Camillus
    trans murum pueros obsessae reddidit urbi.                         275
      “Traduntur poenis alii, cum proelia tollunt;
    hic manet ut moveat? quod respuit alter in hostem,
    suscipis in fratrem? longi pro dedecus aevi!
    cui placet, australes Gildo condonat habenas
    tantaque mutatos sequitur provincia mores.                         280
    quaslibet ad partes animus nutaverit anceps,
    transfundit secum Libyam refluumque malignus
    commodat imperium. Mauri fuit Africa munus.
    tollite Massylas fraudes, removete bilingues
    insidias et verba soli spirantia virus.                            285
    ne consanguineis certetur comminus armis,
    ne, precor. haec trucibus Thebis, haec digna Mycenis;
    in Mauros hoc crimen eat.
                                “Quid noster iniquum
    molitur Stilicho? quando non ille iubenti
    paruit? an quisquam nobis devinctior extat?                        290

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 119

we condemn the treachery nor brook to entrust ourselves to such
protection. ’Tis this sort that offers for purchase cities and their
inhabitants, that sells its fatherland. Most make use of such for the
moment but soon learn to hate them. ’Twas thus that Philip held the
cities of Greece; liberty fell before the attack of Macedonian gold.
Rome has ever despised the ministers of guilt. Fabricius, discovering
the plot, sent back to King Pyrrhus the slave who had promised to
mingle deadly poison for his lord; fierce war raged between them, but
Fabricius refused to end it by means of the treachery of a slave.
Camillus, too, gave back to the beleaguered city the boys brought to
his camp from out the walls.

“These were consigned to punishment for seeking to put an end to wars.
Is Gildo to live that he may kindle them? Takest thou such measures
against thy brother as another would disdain to take against an enemy?
O shame for unending ages! Gildo entrusts the governance of the south
to whom he will; the great province of Africa obeys a tyrant’s whim.
To whichever side his fickle mind inclines, he carries Libya over with
him and malignantly subjects it to a rule shifting as the tide. Africa
was the gift of the Moor. Away with the trickery of the Massyli, their
treacherous wiles and their words that breathe forth the poison of
their land. Let not brother wage war on brother, I pray. That were
worthy of cruel Thebes and Mycenae; let that accusation be levelled
against the Moors.

“What wrong is Stilicho devising? when did he fail in his obedience?
than him what more loyal

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                              Page 120

    ut sileam varios mecum quos gesserit actus,
    quae vidi post fata, loquar. cum divus abirem,
    res incompositas (fateor) tumidasque reliqui.
    stringebat vetitos etiamnum exercitus enses
    Alpinis odiis, alternaque iurgia victi                             295
    victoresque dabant. vix haec amentia nostris
    excubiis, nedum puero rectore quiesset.
    heu quantum timui vobis, quid libera tanti
    militis auderet moles, cum patre remoto
    ferveret iam laeta novis! dissensus acerbus                        300
    et gravior consensus erat. tunc ipse paterna
    successit pietate mihi tenerumque rudemque
    fovit et in veros eduxit principis annos,
    Rufinumque tibi, quem tu tremuisse fateris,
    depulit. hunc solum memorem solumque fidelem                       305
    experior. volui si quid, dum vita maneret,
    aut visus voluisse, gerit; venerabilis illi
    ceu praesens numenque vocor. si tanta recusas,
    at soceri reverere faces, at respice fratris
    conubium pignusque meae regale Serenae.                            310
    debueras etiam fraternis obvius ire
    hostibus, ille tuis. quae gens, quis Rhenus et Hister
    vos opibus iunctos conspirantesque tulisset?
    sed tantum permitte, cadat. nil poscimus ultra.
    ille licet sese praetentis Syrtibus armet                          315
    oppositoque Atlante tegat, licet arva referta
    anguibus et solis medios obiecerit aestus:

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                              Page 121

supporter have we? I will not mention the various brave deeds he did
while yet with me; of those only I will tell which I saw after my
death. When I was raised to heaven disorder--I admit it--and tumult
did I leave behind me. The army was still drawing the forbidden sword
in that Alpine war, and conquerors and conquered gave alternate cause
for dissension. Scarce could this madness have been calmed by my
vigilance, much less by a boy’s rule. Ah, how I feared for you what
the uncontrolled might of such vast armies might dare, when, your
sire removed, there came the fevered delight in change! Dangerous was
discord, more dangerous still unanimity. ’Twas then that Stilicho took
my place in paternal love for thee, tended thine immature youth, and
brought thee to the years and estate of an emperor. ’Twas he drove back
Rufinus whom thou didst confess thou fearedst. Gratitude and loyalty
I find in him alone. Did I want or seem to want aught, while yet I
lived he accomplished it. Now I am dead he worships me as worthy of
veneration and an ever present helper. If the thought of his goodness
move thee not, at least show respect to thy brother’s father-in-law:
bethink thee of Honorius’ marriage, the royal espousal of my niece
Serena. Thou oughtest to face thy brother’s foes, he thine. Could
any nation, could the combined forces of Rhine and Danube have stood
against you twain allied? Enough! bring about but the defeat of Gildo:
I ask nought else. Though he entrench himself behind the protecting
Syrtes and rely for safety on the intervening ocean; though he think to
be defended by reason of his serpent-infested country and the fierce

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                              Page 122

    novi consilium, novi Stilichonis in omnes
    aequalem casus animum: penetrabit harenas,
    inveniet virtute viam.”
                           Sic divus et inde                           320
    sic natus: “iussis, genitor, parebitur ultro.
    amplector praecepta libens, nec carior alter
    cognato Stilichone mihi. commissa profanus
    ille luat; redeat iam tutior Africa fratri.”
      Talia dum longo secum sermone retexunt,                          325
    Hesperiam pervenit avus castumque cubile
    ingreditur, Tyrio quo fusus Honorius ostro
    carpebat teneros Maria cum coniuge somnos.
    adsistit capiti; tunc sic per somnia fatur:
      “Tantane devictos tenuit fiducia Mauros,                         330
    care nepos? iterum post me coniurat in arma
    progenies vesana Iubae bellumque resumit
    victoris cum stirpe sui? Firmumne iacentem
    obliti Libyam nostro sudore receptam
    rursus habent? ausus Latio contendere Gildo                        335
    germani nec fata timet? nunc ire profecto,
    nunc vellem notosque senex ostendere vultus:
    nonne meam fugiet Maurus cum viderit umbram?
    quid dubitas? exsurge toris, invade rebellem,
    captivum mihi redde meum. desiste morari.                          340
    hoc generi fatale tuo: dum sanguis in orbe
    noster erit, semper pallebit regia Bocchi.
    iungantur spoliis Firmi Gildonis opima;

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                              Page 123

sun’s mid-day heat, yet well I know Stilicho’s ingenuity--that mind of
his equal to any emergency. He will force his way through the desert,
his own greatness will lead him.”

Thus spake the dead emperor, whereon thus the son answered: “Right
willingly, father, will I fulfil thy commands: ever ready am I to
welcome thy behests. None is dearer to me than my kinsman Stilicho. Let
the impious Gildo atone for his wrongs, and Africa be restored to my
brother still safer than before.”

While father and son thus debated in long converse, Theodosius the
grandfather made his way to Italy and entered the chaste bedchamber
where on his couch of Tyrian purple Honorius lay in sweet sleep by the
side of his wife Maria. At his head he stood and thus spake to him in
a dream. “What rash confidence is this, dear grandson, that fills the
conquered Moors? Does the mad race descended from Juba, the people whom
I subdued, once more conspire to oppose Rome’s power and recommence the
war with its conqueror’s grandson? Have they forgotten the defeat of
Firmus[75]? Do they think to repossess Libya won back by the sweat of
battle? Dares Gildo strive with Rome? Does he not fear his brother’s
fate. Fain would I go myself, old though I be, and show him the face
he knows but too well. Will not the Moor flee my very shade, should
he behold it? Why delayest thou? Up from thy bed; attack the rebel;
give me back my prisoner; waste no more time. ’Tis Fate’s gift to thy
family. While yet the race of Theodosius treads the earth the palace of
Bocchus shall go in fear. Let the spoils of Gildo be added to those of

    [75] Firmus, brother of Gildo, had, during the reign of
    Valentinian, risen against the oppressive government of Romanus,
    count of Africa, and had been defeated by Theodosius the elder.

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                              Page 124

    exornet geminos Maurusia laurea currus:
    una domus totiens una de gente triumphet.                          345
    di bene, quod tantis interlabentibus annis
    servati Firmusque mihi fraterque nepoti.”
    dixit et adflatus vicino sole refugit.
      At iuvenem stimulis inmanibus aemula virtus
    exacuit; iam puppe vehi, iam stagna secare                         350
    fervet et absentes invadere cuspide Mauros.
    tum iubet acciri socerum dextramque vocato
    conserit et, quae sit potior sententia, quaerit:
      “Per somnos mihi, sancte pater, iam saepe futura
    panduntur multaeque canunt praesagia noctes.                       355
    namque procul Libycos venatu cingere saltus
    et iuga rimari canibus Gaetula videbar.
    maerebat regio saevi vastata leonis
    incursu; pecudum strages passimque iuvenci
    semineces et adhuc infecta mapalia tabo                            360
    sparsaque sanguineis pastorum funera campis.
    adgredior latebras monstri mirumque relatu
    conspicio: dilapsus honos, cervice minaces
    defluxere iubae; fractos inglorius armos
    supposuit, servile gemens; iniectaque vincla                       365
    unguibus et subitae collo sonuere catenae.
    nunc etiam paribus secum certare tropaeis
    hortator me cogit avus. quonam usque remoti
    cunctamur? decuit pridem complere biremes
    et pelagi superare moras. transmittere primus                      370
    ipse paro; quaecumque meo gens barbara nutu
    stringitur, adveniat: Germania cuncta feratur

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                              Page 125

let the bays of Mauretania deck chariots twain and one house triumph
thus many times over one race. Thanks be to the gods who have
interposed so many years between the sacrifice of Firmus to my arms and
that of Firmus’ brother to those of my grandson.” He spake, then fled,
as he felt the breath of the approaching dawn.

Then emulous courage roused the emperor with insistent goad. He burns
to set sail, to cleave the main, to assail with the spear the distant
Moors. So he summons his father-in-law[76] and clasping his hand asks
what course of action he advises. “Full often, reverend sire, is
the future revealed to me in dreams; many a night brings prophecy.
Methought I surrounded in hunting the distant glades of Africa and
scoured the Gaetulian mountains with my hounds. The district was
distressed by reason of the incursions of a ravening lion. On all sides
were slaughtered beasts and mangled heifers, and still their homesteads
ran red with blood, and corpses of many a shepherd lay weltering in
the bloody fields. I approached the beast’s cave and saw a sight
wonderful to relate. Gone was that noble form, drooping on the neck the
threatening mane; there he crouched, defeated, humbled, with slavish
moans; fetters were upon his paws and a chain clanked of a sudden on
his neck. Now, too, my grandsire eagerly urges me to rival his triumphs
with my own. Why, he asked, did I delay and hesitate so long? Already
my ships should have been manned and the sea’s threatened opposition
overcome. I myself am ready to cross in the first vessel. Let every
foreign nation that is bound beneath my rule come to our aid. Let all
Germany be transported and

    [76] _i.e._ Stilicho.

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                              Page 126

    navibus et socia comitentur classe Sygambri.
    pallida translatum iam sentiat Africa Rhenum.                      374
    an patiar tot probra sedens iuvenisque relinquam
    quae tenui rexique puer? bis noster ad Alpes
    alterius genitor defensum regna cucurrit.
    nos praedae faciles insultandique iacemus?”
      Finierat. Stilicho contra cui talia reddit:
    “adversine tubam princeps dignabere Mauri?                         380
    auferet ignavus clari solacia leti.
    te bellante mori? decernet Honorius inde,
    hinc Gildo? prius astra Chaos miscebit Averno.
    vindictam mandasse sat est; plus nominis horror
    quam tuus ensis aget. minuit praesentia famam.                     385
    qui stetit aequatur campo, collataque nescit
    maiestatem acies. sed quod magis utile factu
    atque hosti gravius (sensus adverte) docebo
    est illi patribus, sed non et moribus isdem
    Mascezel, fugiens qui dira piacula fratris                         390
    spesque suas vitamque tuo commisit asylo.
    hunc ubi temptatis frustra mactare nequivit
    insidiis, patrias in pignora contulit iras
    et, quos ipse sinu parvos gestaverat, una
    occidit iuvenes inhumataque corpora vulgo                          395
    dispulit et tumulo cognatas arcuit umbras
    naturamque simul fratremque hominemque cruentus
    exuit et tenuem caesis invidit harenam.
    hoc facinus refugo damnavit sole Mycenas
    avertitque diem; sceleri sed reddidit Atreus                       400

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                              Page 127

the Sygambri come with allied fleet. Let trembling Africa now have
experience of the dwellers on Rhine’s banks. Or shall I sit here and
submit to such disgrace? Shall I relinquish, now that I am a man, what
I ruled and governed as a boy? Twice my father hurried to the Alps to
defend another’s realm. Am I to be an easy prey, an object of scorn?”

He ended and Stilicho thus made answer: “Wilt thou, an emperor, deign
to challenge a Moor to fight? Is that coward to have the consolation of
death in battle at thy hand? Shall Honorius fight on our side and Gildo
on the other? Ere that, chaos shall plunge the stars into Hell. ’Tis
enough to command his punishment. Thy name shall strike greater terror
into him than thy sword. Presence will minish awe; he who stands in the
lists admits equality, and struggling hosts regard not majesty. Listen
and I will tell thee something at once more profitable for thyself and
of more effect against the enemy. Gildo has a brother of like descent
but unlike in character, Mascezel, who, avoiding the evil courses of
his brother, has entrusted his hopes and his life to thy keeping. When
Gildo, after many vain attempts, found no means to kill Mascezel,
he turned his anger from the father to the children and slew those
whom himself had nursed as infants in his arms; then cast aside their
unburied bodies and refused sepulchre to the shades of those that had
been his kin. The bloody tyrant stifled all natural feelings, forgot he
was a brother, forgot he was a man, and begrudged the slain a handful
of dust. ’Twas a like deed brought its ill repute upon Mycenae, that
put the sun to rout and turned back the day. But while Atreus paid back
crime for crime and had excuse

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                              Page 128

    crimen et infandas excusat coniuge mensas.
    hic odium, non poena fuit. te perdita iura,
    te pater ultorem, te nudi pulvere manes,
    te pietas polluta rogat; si flentibus aram
    et proprium miseris numen statuistis, Athenae,                     405
    si Pandionias planctu traxere phalanges
    Inachides belloque rogos meruere maritis,
    si maesto squalore comae lacrimisque senatum
    in Numidas pulsus solio commovit Adherbal:
    hunc quoque nunc Gildo, tanto quem funere mersit,
    hunc doleat venisse ducem seseque minorem                          411
    supplicibus sciat esse tuis. quem sede fugavit,
    hunc praeceps fugiat, fregit quem clade, tremiscat
    agnoscatque suum, trahitur dum victima, fratrem.”
      Haec ubi sederunt genero, notissima Marti                        415
    robora, praecipuos electa pube maniplos
    disponit portuque rates instaurat Etrusco.
    Herculeam suus Alcides Ioviamque cohortem
    rex ducit superum, premitur nec signifer ullo
    pondere: festinant adeo vexilla moveri.                            420
    Nervius insequitur meritusque vocabula Felix
    dictaque ab Augusto legio nomenque probantes
    invicti clipeoque animosi teste Leones.
      Dictis ante tamen princeps confirmat ituros

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 129

for the bloody banquet in the unfaithfulness of his wife, Gildo’s
motive was hatred, not vengeance. Violated rights, the sorrowing
father, the unburied dead, the unnatural crime all call upon thee as
avenger. If thou, Athens, didst dedicate an altar to the sorrowing and
ordain to those that mourn a special deity, if the women of Argos won
to their aid the Athenian phalanx by their tears and bought burial for
their slain lords at the price of war;[77] if Adherbal, driven from his
throne, roused the Senate against the Numidians by the sad appeal of
unkempt locks and by his tears, then let Gildo be sorry that now this
man also whom he has crushed by so many murders is come into the field
against him, and let him learn that he must bow before thy suppliants.
Let Gildo flee headlong before him whom he put to flight and fear him
whom he o’erwhelmed with the murder of his children. As he is being
dragged off to the slaughter let him recognize his brother’s hand.”

When this advice had been accepted by his son-in-law, Stilicho made
ready for war the most famous regiments in the army, selecting
therefrom special companies of picked men; he further prepared
the fleet in the harbours of Etruria. Alcides himself commands
the Herculean cohort; the king of the gods leads the Jovian. No
standard-bearer feels the weight of his eagle, so readily do the very
standards press forward. The Nervian cohort follows and the Felix, well
deserving its name, the legion, too, named after Augustus, that well
called The Un-conquered, and the brave regiment of the Lion[78] to
whose name their shields bear witness.

But before they start the emperor, standing upon a platform of earth,
heartens them with his words:

    [77] A reference to the support given by Theseus, King of Athens,
    to Adrastus, King of Argos, when the Thebans had refused to allow
    the burial of the Argives slain at Thebes; _cf._ Eur. _Supplices_.

    [78] Orosius (vii. 36. 6) says Mascezel only had 5000 men. The
    legion may have been leg. viii. Augusta. The other names are those
    of various _numeri_ (the unit of the post-Diocletianic army).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 130

    aggere conspicuus; stat circumfusa iuventus                        425
    nixa hastis pronasque ferox accommodat aures:
      “Gildonem domitura manus, promissa minasque
    tempus agi. si quid pro me doluistis, in armis
    ostentate mihi; iusto magnoque triumpho
    civiles abolete notas; sciat orbis Eous                            430
    sitque palam Gallos causa, non robore vinci.
    nec vos, barbariem quamvis collegerit omnem,
    terreat. an Mauri fremitum raucosque repulsus
    umbonum et vestros passuri comminus enses?
    non contra clipeis tectos gladiisque micantes                      435
    ibitis: in solis longe fiducia telis.
    exarmatus erit, cum missile torserit, hostis.
    dextra movet iaculum, praetentat pallia laeva;
    cetera nudus eques. sonipes ignarus habenae;
    virga regit. non ulla fides, non agminis ordo:                     440
    arma oneri, fuga praesidio. conubia mille;
    non illis generis nexus, non pignora curae:
    sed numero languet pietas. haec copia vulgi.
    umbratus dux ipse rosis et marcidus ibit
    unguentis crudusque cibo titubansque Lyaeo,                        445
    confectus senio, morbis stuprisque solutus.
    excitet incestos turmalis bucina somnos,
    imploret citharas cantatricesque choreas
    offensus stridore tubae discatque coactus,
    quas vigilat Veneri, castris impendere noctes.                     450

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 131

leaning upon their spears the soldiers throng around him and attune
their ready ears to his inspiring voice. “My men, so soon to bring
defeat upon Gildo, now is the time to fulfil your promises and make
good your threats. If you felt indignation on my behalf, now take up
arms and prove it. Wash out the stain of civil war by means of a great
and deserved triumph. Let the empire of the East know, let it be plain
to all the world, that Gaul can only owe defeat to the badness of a
cause, not to her enemies’ strength.[79] Let not Gildo affright you
though he have all barbary at his back. Shall Moors stand up against
the shock of your clashing shields and the near threat of your swords?
You shall not oppose men armed with shields or shining blades. These
savages put their trust in javelins hurled from afar. Once he has
discharged his missile the enemy will be disarmed. With his right hand
he hurls his spear, with his left he holds his cloak before him; no
other armour has the horseman. His steed knows not the rein; a whip
controls it. Obedience and discipline are unknown in their ranks. Their
arms are a burden to them, their salvation lies in flight. Though each
has many wives, ties of family bind them not, nor have they any love
for their children whose very number causes affection to fail. Such
are the troops. The chief will come to battle crowned with roses,
drenched with scents, his last feast still undigested; drunken with
wine, foredone with eld, enervated with disease and venery. Let the war
trumpet rouse him from a bed of incest, let him beg aid of lutes and
choirs, for he likes not the clarion’s note, and let him learn (all
unwilling) to spend in war nights that he now dedicates to love.

    [79] He appeals to the Gallic element of the army to atone for its
    previous support of Maximus and Eugenius.

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                              Page 132

      “Nonne mori satius, vitae quam ferre pudorem?
    nam quae iam regio restat, si dedita Mauris
    regibus Illyricis accesserit Africa damnis?
    ins Latium, quod tunc Meroë Rubroque solebat
    Oceano cingi, Tyrrhena clauditur unda;                             455
    et cui non Nilus, non intulit India metas,
    Romani iam finis erit Trinacria regni.
    ite recepturi, praedo quem sustulit, axem
    ereptumque Notum; caput insuperabile rerum
    aut ruet in vestris aut stabit Roma lacertis.                      460
    tot mihi debetis populos, tot rura, tot urbes
    amissas. uno Libyam defendite bello.
    vestros imperium remos et vestra sequatur
    carbasa. despectas trans aequora ducite leges.
    tertia iam solito cervix mucrone rotetur                           465
    tandem funereis finem positura tyrannis.”
      Omina conveniunt dicto fulvusque Tonantis
    armiger a liquida cunctis spectantibus aethra
    correptum pedibus curvis innexuit hydrum,
    dumque reluctantem morsu partitur obunco,                          470
    haesit in ungue caput; truncatus decidit anguis.
    ilicet auguriis alacres per saxa citati
    torrentesque ruunt; nec mons aut silva retardat:
    pendula ceu parvis moturae bella colonis
    ingenti clangore grues aestiva relinquunt                          475
    Thracia, cum tepido permutant Strymona Nilo:
    ordinibus variis per nubila texitur ales
    littera pennarumque notis conscribitur aër.
      Ut fluctus tetigere maris, tunc acrior arsit

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 133

“Is not death preferable to a life disgraced? If, in addition to the
loss of Illyria, Africa is to be surrendered to Moorish kings, what
lands still remain to us? The empire of Italy, once bounded by the Nile
and the Red Sea, is limited to-day by the sea of Tuscany; shall Sicily
now be the most distant province of Roman rule, to which in days of old
neither Egypt nor India set an end? Go: win back that southern realm
a rebel has reft from me. It depends on your arms whether Rome, the
unconquerable mistress of the world, stands or falls. You owe me so
many peoples, countries, cities lost. Fight but one battle in defence
of Libya. Let empire restored attend on your oars and sails. Give back
to Africa the laws of Rome she now disregards. Let history repeat
itself, and the sword smite from its trunk the head of this third
tyrant[80] and so end at last the series of bloody usurpers.”

An omen confirms his word and before the eyes of all, the tawny bird,
armour-bearer of Jove, swoops down from the open sky and seizes a
snake in his curved talons; and while the eagle tears his struggling
prey with his hooked beak, his claws are embedded in its head. The
severed body falls to earth. Straightway the soldiers come hurrying
up, crossing rocks and streams in their eagerness at the call of this
portent. Neither mountains nor woods delay them. Even as the cranes
leave their summer home of Thrace clamorously to join issue in doubtful
war with the Pygmies, when they desert the Strymon for warm-watered
Nile, the letter[81] traced by the speeding line stands out against the
clouds and the heaven is stamped with the figure of their flight.

When they reached the coast still fiercer blazed

    [80] The other two being Maximus and Eugenius.

    [81] _i.e._ the Greek Λ.

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                              Page 134

    impetus; adripiunt naves ipsique rudentes                          480
    expediunt et vela legunt et cornua summis
    adsociant malis; quatitur Tyrrhena tumultu
    ora nec Alpheae capiunt navalia Pisae:
    sic Agamemnoniam vindex cum Graecia classem
    solveret, innumeris fervebat vocibus Aulis.                        485
    non illos strepitus impendentisque procellae
    signa nec adventus dubii deterruit Austri.
    “vellite” proclamant “socii, iam vellite funem.
    per vada Gildonem quamvis adversa petamus.
    ad bellum nos trudat hiems per devia ponti.                        490
    quassatis cupio tellurem figere rostris.
    heu nimium segnes, cauta qui mente notatis,
    si revolant mergi, graditur si litore cornix.
    ora licet maculis adsperserit occiduus sol
    lunaque conceptis livescat turgida Cauris                          495
    et contusa vagos iaculentur sidera crines;
    imbribus umescant Haedi nimbosaque Taurum
    ducat Hyas totusque fretis descendat Orion:
    certa fides caeli, sed maior Honorius auctor;
    illius auspiciis inmensa per aequora miles,                        500
    non Plaustris Arctove regor. contemne Booten,
    navita, turbinibus mediis permitte carinas.
    si mihi tempestas Libyam ventique negabunt,
    Augusti Fortuna dabit.”
                            Iam classis in altum
    provehitur; dextra Ligures, Etruria laeva                          505
    linquitur et caecis vitatur Corsica saxis.
    humanae specie plantae se magna figurat
    insula (Sardiniam veteres dixere coloni),
    dives ager frugum, Poenos Italosve petenti

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 135

their enthusiasm. They seize upon the ships and themselves make ready
the hawsers; furl the sails and fix the yards to the masts. Etruria’s
shore is shaken with their uproar and Arcadian-founded Pisa cannot
contain so great a number of ships. So Aulis rang with countless voices
what time avenging Greece loosed the cables of Agamemnon’s fleet. No
storm-blast deterred them nor threat of coming tempest nor the presence
of the treacherous south wind. “Seize the rope, fellow-soldiers,”
they cry, “seize the rope: let us sail against Gildo though the very
seas be against us. Let the storm drive us to battle by how crooked
so ever a course. Fain would I seize upon that shore though my ships’
beaks be shattered. Cowards ye, who cautiously observe whether or no
the sea-gulls fly back or the crow pace the beach. What if clouds
fleck the face of the setting sun or a stormy moon wear the halo that
betokens hurricane? What if comets wave their spreading tails, or the
constellation of the Kids threatens rain, or the cloudy Hyades lead
forth the Bull and all Orion sink ’neath the waves? Put your trust in
the sky, but put more in Honorius. Beneath his auspices I, his soldier,
range the boundless seas nor look to the Plough or the Bear to guide
me. Make no account of Boötes, sailor; launch your bark in mid tempest.
If winds and storms deny me Libya, my emperor’s fortune will grant it.”

The fleet is launched. They pass Liguria on their right hand, Etruria
on their left, avoiding the sunken reefs of Corsica. There lies an
island formed like a human foot (Sardinia its former inhabitants called
it), an island rich in the produce of its fields, and conveniently
situated for them who sail either to

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                              Page 136

    opportuna situ: quae pars vicinior Afris,                          510
    plana solo, ratibus clemens; quae respicit Arcton,
    inmitis, scopulosa, procax subitisque sonora
    flatibus; insanos infamat navita montes.
    hic hominum pecudumque lues, sic[82] pestifer aër
    saevit et exclusis regnant Aquilonibus Austri.                     515
      Quos ubi luctatis procul effugere carinis,
    per diversa ruunt sinuosae litora terrae.
    pars adit antiqua ductos Carthagine Sulcos;
    partem litoreo complectitur Olbia muro.
    urbs Libyam contra Tyrio fundata potenti                           520
    tenditur in longum Caralis tenuemque per undas
    obvia dimittit fracturum flamina collem;
    efficitur portus medium mare, tutaque ventis
    omnibus ingenti mansuescunt stagna recessu.
    hanc omni petiere manu prorisque reductis                          525
    suspensa Zephyros expectant classe faventes.

    [82] Birt, following the MSS., _si_. Older editions _huic …
    huic_. I print _sic_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 137

Africa or Italy. The part that faces Africa is flat and affords good
anchorage for ships; the northern shore is inhospitable, rock-bound,
stormy, and loud with sudden gales. The sailor curses these wild
cliffs. Here the pestilence falls on men and beasts, so plague-ridden
and deadly is the air, so omnipotent the South wind and the North winds

When their much buffeted vessels had given a wide berth to these
dangers, they came to land at different places on the broken
coast-line. Some are beached at Sulci, a city founded by Carthage of
old. The sea-wall of Olbia shelters others. The city of Caralis over
against the coast of Libya, a colony of great Phoenician Carthage, juts
out into the sea and extends into the waves, a little promontory that
breaks the force of the opposing winds. Thus in the midst a harbour
is found and in a huge bay the quiet waters lie safe from every wind.
For this harbour they make with every effort, and reversing their
vessels they await the favouring breezes of the west wind with fleet at

    [83] This poem was never properly finished; see Introduction, p. xi.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 138




      Semiferos partus metuendaque pignora matri
    moenibus et mediis auditum nocte luporum
    murmur et attonito pecudes pastore locutas
    et lapidum duras hiemes nimboque minacem
    sanguineo rubuisse Iovem puteosque cruore                            5
    mutatos visasque polo concurrere lunas
    et geminos soles mirari desinat orbis:
    omnia cesserunt eunucho consule monstra.
    heu terrae caelique pudor! trabeata per urbes
    ostentatur anus titulumque effeminat anni.                          10
    pandite pontifices Cumanae carmina vatis,
    fulmineos sollers Etruria consulat ignes
    inmersumque nefas fibris exploret haruspex,
    quae nova portendant superi. Nilusne meatu
    devius et nostri temptat iam transfuga mundi                        15
    se Rubro miscere mari? ruptone Niphate
    rursum barbaricis Oriens vastabitur armis?
    an morbi ventura lues? an nulla colono
    responsura seges? quae tantas expiet iras
    victima? quo diras iugulo placabimus aras?                          20

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 139




Let the world cease to wonder at the births of creatures half human,
half bestial, at monstrous babes that affright their own mothers, at
the howling of wolves heard by night in the cities, at beasts that
speak to their astonied herds, at stones falling like rain, at the
blood-red threatening storm clouds, at wells of water changed to gore,
at moons that clash in mid heaven and at twin suns. All portents pale
before our eunuch consul. O shame to heaven and earth! Our cities
behold an old woman decked in a consul’s robe who gives a woman’s name
to the year.[84] Open the pages of the Cumaean Sibyl, ye pontifs; let
wise Etrurian seers consult the lightning’s flash, and the soothsayer
search out the awful portent hidden in the entrails. What new dread
warning is this the gods give? Does Nile desert his bed and leaving
Roman soil seek to mix his waters with those of the Red Sea? Does cleft
Niphates[85] once more let through a host of eastern barbarians to
ravage our lands? Does a pestilence threaten us? Or shall no harvest
repay the farmer? What victim can expiate divine anger such as this?
What offering appease the cruel altars? The consul’s

    [84] For the consulship of Eutropius see Introduction, p. xv.

    [85] A mountain in Armenia.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 140

    consule lustrandi fasces ipsoque litandum
    prodigio; quodcumque parant hoc omine fata,
    Eutropius cervice luat sic omnia nobis.[86]
      Hoc regni, Fortuna, tenes? quaenam ista iocandi
    saevitia? humanis quantum bacchabere rebus?                         25
    si tibi servili placuit foedare curules
    crimine, procedat laxata compede consul,
    rupta Quirinales sumant ergastula cinctus;
    da saltem quemcumque virum. discrimina quaedam
    sunt famulis splendorque suus, maculamque minorem
    condicionis habet, domino qui vixerit uno.                          31
    si pelagi fluctus, Libyae si discis harenas,
    Eutropii numerabis eros. quot iura, quot ille
    mutavit tabulas vel quanta vocabula vertit!
    nudatus quotiens, medicum dum consulit emptor,                      35
    ne qua per occultum lateat iactura dolorem!
    omnes paenituit pretii venumque redibat,
    dum vendi potuit. postquam deforme cadaver
    mansit et in rugas totus defluxit aniles,
    iam specie doni certatim limine pellunt                             40
    et foedum ignaris properant obtrudere munus.
    tot translata iugis summisit colla, vetustum
    servitium semperque novum, nec destitit umquam,
    saepe tamen coepit.
                        Cunabula prima cruentis
    debet suppliciis; rapitur castrandus ab ipso                        45

    [86] Birt begins the new paragraph at _sic_, printing a comma at
    _nobis_. Alternatively, read _volvis_ for _nobis_ (so Cuiacius’

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 141

own blood must cleanse the consular insignia, the monster itself must
be sacrificed. Whatever it be that fate prepares for us and shows forth
by such an omen, let Eutropius’ death, I pray, avert it all.

Fortune, is thy power so all-embracing? What is this savage humour of
thine? To what lengths wilt thou sport with us poor mortals? If it
was thy will to disgrace the consul’s chair with a servile occupant
let some “consul” come forward with broken chains, let an escaped
jail-bird don the robes of Quirinus--but at least give us a man. There
are grades even among slaves and a certain dignity; that slave who has
served but one master holds a position of less infamy. Canst thou count
the waves of the sea, the grains of Africa’s sands, if so thou canst
number Eutropius’ masters. How many owners has he had, in how many
sale-catalogues has he appeared, how often has he changed his name! How
often has he been stripped while buyer consulted doctor whether there
lurked any flaw by reason of some hidden disease! All repented having
bought him and he always returned to the slave-market while he could
yet fetch a price. When he became but a foul corpse-like body, a mass
of senile pendulous flesh, his masters were anxious to rid their houses
of him by giving him away as a present and made haste to foist the
loathsome gift on an unsuspecting friend. To so many different yokes
did he submit his neck, this slave, old in years but ever new to the
house; there was no end to his servitude though many beginnings.

He is destined from his very cradle to bloody tortures; straight from
his mother’s womb he is hurried away to be made a eunuch; no sooner

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 142

    ubere; suscipiunt matris post viscera poenae.
    advolat Armenius certo mucrone recisos
    edoctus mollire mares damnoque nefandum
    aucturus pretium; fecundum corporis imbrem[87]
    sedibus exhaurit geminis unoque sub ictu                            50
    eripit officium patris nomenque mariti.
    ambiguus vitae iacuit, penitusque supremum
    in cerebrum secti traxerunt frigora nervi.
      Laudemusne manum, quae vires abstulit hosti,
    an potius fato causam tribuisse queramur?                           55
    profuerat mansisse virum; felicior extat
    opprobrio; serviret adhuc, si fortior esset.
      Inde per Assyriae trahitur commercia ripae;
    hinc fora venalis Galata ductore frequentat
    permutatque domos varias; quis nomina possit                        60
    tanta sequi? miles stabuli Ptolomaeus in illis
    notior: hic longo lassatus paelicis usu
    donat Arinthaeo; neque enim iam dignus haberi
    nec maturus emi. cum fastiditus abiret,
    quam gemuit, quanto planxit divortia luctu!                         65
    “haec erat, heu, Ptolomaee, fides? hoc profuit aetas
    in gremio consumpta tuo lectusque iugalis
    et ducti totiens inter praesaepia somni?
    libertas promissa perit? viduumne relinquis
    Eutropium tantasque premunt oblivia noctes,                         70
    crudelis? generis pro sors durissima nostri!
    femina, cum senuit, retinet conubia partu,

    [87] codd. _ignem_; Postgate _imbrem_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 143

than he becomes a prey to suffering. Up hastens the Armenian, skilled
by operating with unerring knife to make males womanish and to increase
their loathly value by such loss. He drains the body’s life-giving
fluid from its double source and with one blow deprives his victim of
a father’s function and the name of husband. Eutropius lay doubtful
of life, and the severed sinews drew a numbness deep down into his
furthest brain.

Are we to praise the hand that robbed an enemy of his strength? Or
shall we rather blame the fates? It would have been better had he
remained a man; his very disgrace has proved a blessing to him. Had he
had his full manly vigour he would still have been a slave.

After this he is dragged from one Assyrian mart to another; next in
the train of a Galatian slave-merchant he stands for sale in many a
market and knows many diverse houses. Who could tell the names of all
his buyers? Among these Ptolemy, servant of the post-house,[88] was one
of the better known. Then Ptolemy, tired of Eutropius’ long service to
his lusts, gives him to Arinthaeus;--gives, for he is no longer worth
keeping nor old enough to be bought. How the scorned minion wept at his
departure, with what grief did he lament that divorce! “Was this thy
fidelity, Ptolemy? Is this my reward for a youth lived in thine arms,
for the bed of marriage and those many nights spent together in the
inn? Must I lose my promised liberty? Leav’st thou Eutropius a widow,
cruel wretch, forgetful of such wonderful nights of love? How hard is
the lot of my kind! When a woman grows old her children cement the
marriage tie and

    [88] I take Ptolemy to have been a _stationarius_, _i.e._ a servant
    in a public post-house, but there is possibly some covert allusion
    to _stabulum_ in the sense of _prostibulum_, a brothel.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 144

    uxorisque decus matris reverentia pensat.
    nos Lucina fugit, nec pignore nitimur ullo.
    cum forma dilapsus amor; defloruit oris                             75
    gratia: qua miseri scapulas tutabimur arte?
    qua placeam ratione senex?”
                                Sic fatus acutum
    adgreditur lenonis opus, nec segnis ad artem
    mens erat officiique capax omnesque pudoris
    hauserat insidias. custodia nulla tuendo                            80
    fida toro; nulli poterant excludere vectes:
    ille vel aerata Danaën in turre latentem
    eliceret. fletus domini fingebat amantis,
    indomitasque mora, pretio lenibat avaras
    lascivasque iocis; non blandior ullus euntis                        85
    ancillae tetigisse latus leviterque reductis
    vestibus occulto crimen mandasse susurro
    nec furtis quaesisse locum nec fraude reperta
    cautior elusi fremitus vitare mariti.
    haud aliter iuvenum flammis Ephyreia Lais                           90
    e gemino ditata mari; cum serta refudit
    canities, iam turba procax noctisque recedit
    ambitus et raro pulsatur ianua tactu,
    seque reformidat speculo damnante senectus;
    stat tamen atque alias succingit lena ministras                     95
    dilectumque diu quamvis longaeva lupanar
    circuit et retinent mores, quod perdidit aetas.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 145

a mother’s dignity compensates for the lost charms of a wife. Me
Lucina, goddess of childbirth, will not come near; I have no children
on whom to rely. Love perishes with my beauty; the roses of my cheeks
are faded. What wits can save my wretched back from blows? How can I,
an old man, please?”

So saying he entered upon the skilled profession of a pander. His whole
heart was in his work; he knew his business well and was master of
every stratagem for the undoing of chastity. No amount of vigilance
could protect the marriage-bed from his attack; no bars could shut
him out. He would have haled even Danaë from her refuge in the brazen
tower. He would represent his patron as dying of love. Was the lady
stubborn, he would win her by his patience; was she greedy, by a gift;
flighty, he would corrupt her with a jest. None could arrest the
attention of a maidservant with so neat a touch as he, none twitch
aside a dress so lightly and whisper his shameful message in her ear.
Never was any so skilled to choose a scene for the criminal meeting, or
so clever at avoiding the wrath of the cuckold husband should the plot
be discovered. One thought of Lais of Corinth, to whom the enamoured
youth of that city brought wealth from its twin seas, who, when her
grey hair could no longer go crowned with roses, when the emulous crowd
of her admirers ceased nightly to haunt her doors and but few were left
to knock thereat, when before the mirror’s verdict age shrank back in
horror from itself, yet stood, still faithful to her calling, and as a
pander dressed others for the part, haunting still the brothel she had
loved so well and so long, and still pandering to the tastes old age
forbade her.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 146

      Hinc honor Eutropio; cumque omnibus unica virtus
    esset in eunuchis thalamos servare pudicos,
    solus adulteriis crevit. nec verbera tergo                         100
    cessavere tamen, quotiens decepta libido
    irati caluisset eri, frustraque rogantem
    iactantemque suos tot iam per lustra labores
    dotalem genero nutritoremque puellae
    tradidit. Eous rector consulque futurus                            105
    pectebat dominae crines et saepe lavanti
    nudus in argento lympham gestabat alumnae.
    et cum se rapido fessam proiecerat aestu,
    patricius roseis pavonum ventilat alis.
      Iamque aevo laxata cutis, sulcisque genarum                      110
    corruerat passa facies rugosior uva:
    flava minus presso finduntur vomere rura,
    nec vento sic vela tremunt. miserabile turpes
    exedere caput tineae; deserta patebant
    intervalla comae: qualis sitientibus arvis                         115
    arida ieiunae seges interlucet aristae
    vel qualis gelidis pluma labente pruinis
    arboris inmoritur trunco brumalis hirundo.
    scilicet ut trabeis iniuria cresceret olim,
    has in fronte notas, hoc dedecus addidit oris                      120
    luxuriae Fortuna suae: cum pallida nudis
    ossibus horrorem dominis praeberet imago
    decolor et macies occursu laederet omnes,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 147

Hence sprang Eutropius’ fame; for, though a eunuch’s one virtue be to
guard the chastity of the marriage-chamber, here was one (and one only)
who grew great through adulteries. But the lash fell as before on his
back whenever his master’s criminal passion was through him frustrated.
Then it was in vain that he prayed for forgiveness and reminded his
lord of all those years of faithful service; he would find himself
handed over to a son-in-law as part of the bride’s dowry. Thus he would
become a lady’s-maid, and so the future consul and governor of the East
would comb his mistress’ locks or stand naked holding a silver vessel
of water wherein his charge could wash herself. And when overcome by
the heat she threw herself upon her couch, there would stand this
patrician fanning her with bright peacock feathers.

And now his skin had grown loose with age; his face, more wrinkled
than a raisin, had fallen in by reason of the lines in his cheeks.
Less deep the furrows cloven in the cornfield by the plough, the folds
wrought in the sails by the wind. Loathsome grubs ate away his head
and bare patches appeared amid his hair. It was as though clumps of
dry barren corn dotted a sun-parched field, or as if a swallow were
dying in winter sitting on a branch, moulting in the frosty weather.
Truly, that the outrage to the consul’s office might one day be the
greater, Fortune added to her gift of wealth this brand upon his brow,
this deformity of face. When his pallor and fleshless bones had roused
feelings of revulsion in his masters’ hearts, and his foul complexion
and lean body offended all who came

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 148

    aut pueris latura metus aut taedia mensis
    aut crimen famulis aut procedentibus omen,                         125
    et nihil exhausto caperent in stipite lucri:
    (sternere quippe toros vel caedere ligna culinae
    membra negant; aurum, vestes, arcana tueri
    mens infida vetat; quis enim committere vellet
    lenoni thalamum?): tandem ceu funus acerbum                        130
    infaustamque suis trusere penatibus umbram.
    contemptu iam liber erat: sic pastor obesum
    lacte canem ferroque ligat pascitque revinctum,
    dum validus servare gregem vigilique rapaces
    latratu terrere lupos; cum tardior idem                            135
    iam scabie laceras deiecit sordidus aures,
    solvit et exuto lucratur vincula collo.
      Est ubi despectus nimius iuvat. undique pulso
    per cunctas licuit fraudes impune vagari
    et fatis aperire viam. pro quisquis Olympi                         140
    summa tenes, tanto libuit mortalia risu
    vertere? qui servi non est admissus in usum,
    suscipitur regnis, et quem privata ministrum
    dedignata domus, moderantem sustinet aula.
    ut primum vetulam texere palatia vulpem,                           145
    quis non ingemuit? quis non inrepere sacris
    obsequiis doluit totiens venale cadaver?
    ipsi quin etiam tali consorte fremebant
    regales famuli, quibus est inlustrior ordo
    servitii, sociumque diu sprevere superbi.                          150

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 149

in contact with him, scaring children, disgusting those that sat at
meat, disgracing his fellow-slaves, or terrifying as with an evil omen
those that met him; when his masters ceased to derive any advantage
from that withered trunk (for his wasted limbs refused even to make
the beds or cut wood for the kitchen fire, while his faithless nature
forbade their entrusting him with the charge of gold or vesture
or the secrets of the house--who could bring him to entrust his
marriage-chamber to a pander?), then at last they thrust him from their
houses like a troublesome corpse or an ill-omened ghost. He was now
free--for everyone despised him. So a shepherd chains up a dog and
fattens him with milk while yet his strength avails to guard the flock
and, ever watchful, to scare away wolves with his barking. But when
later this same dog grows old and dirty and droops his mangy ears he
looses him, and, taking off his collar, at least saves that.

Universal contempt is sometimes a boon. Driven out by all, he could
freely range amid every sort of crime, and open a way for destiny. Oh
thou, whosoe’er thou art, that holdest sway in Olympus, was it thy
humour to make such mockery of mankind? He who was not suffered to
perform the duties of a slave is admitted to the administration of
an empire; him whom a private house scorned as a servant, a palace
tolerates as its lord. When first the consular residence received this
old vixen, who did not lament? Who grieved not to see an oft-sold
corpse worm itself into the sacred service of the emperor? Nay, the
very palace-servants, holding a prouder rank in slavery, murmured at
such a colleague and long haughtily scorned his company.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 150

    Cernite, quem Latiis poscant adnectere fastis:
    cuius et eunuchos puduit! sed vilior ante
    obscurae latuit pars ignotissima turbae,
    donec Abundanti furiis--qui rebus Eois
    exitium primumque sibi produxit--ab imis                           155
    evectus thalamis summos invasit honores.
    quam bene dispositum terris, ut dignus iniqui
    fructus consilii primis auctoribus instet.
    sic multos fluvio vates arente per annos
    hospite qui caeso monuit placare Tonantem,                         160
    inventas primus Busiridis imbuit aras
    et cecidit saevi, quod dixerat, hostia sacri.
    sic opifex tauri tormentorumque repertor,
    qui funesta novo fabricaverat aera dolori,
    primus inexpertum Siculo cogente tyranno                           165
    sensit opus docuitque suum mugire iuvencum.
    nullius Eutropius, quam qui se protulit, ante
    direptas possedit opes nullumque priorem
    perculit exilio solumque hoc rite peregit,
    auctorem damnare suum.

    Postquam obsitus aevo                                              170
    semivir excelsam rerum sublatus in arcem,
    quod nec vota pati nec fingere somnia possunt,
    vidit sub pedibus leges subiectaque colla
    nobilium tantumque sibi permittere fata,
    qui nihil optasset plus libertate mereri,                          175

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 151

See what manner of man they seek to connect with the annals of Rome:
the very eunuchs were ashamed of him. At first of no account, he lay
hid, the most unknown unit of an unregarded throng, till thanks to the
mad folly of Abundantius[89] (who brought ruin on the empire of the
East and, ere that, upon himself) he was advanced from the most menial
office to the highest honours. What a happy dispensation of providence
it is that in this world the results of ill counsel fall first upon
its instigators! Thus the seer who advised Busiris to placate the
Thunderer’s wrath, what time Nile’s flood had long run dry, with a
stranger’s blood himself first stained that tyrant’s altar with his
own and fell a victim of the horrid sacrifice he had advised. Thus he
who made the brazen bull and devised that new form of torture, casting
the deadly bronze as an instrument of torment, was (at the bidding of
the Sicilian tyrant) the first to make trial of the unhanselled image,
and to teach his own bull to roar. So with Eutropius: on no man’s
goods did he sooner seize than on those of him by whom he had been
raised to power; none did he drive sooner into exile and thus, by the
condemnation of his patron, was to thank for one righteous action.

When this half-man, worn out with age, had been raised to that pinnacle
of glory for which he never would have dared to pray, of which never
to dream; when he had seen law at his feet, the heads of the nobility
inclined before him, and fortune heaping such gifts upon one whose only
hope and prayer had been to gain his freedom, he straightway forgot

    [89] By birth a Scythian. Entered the Roman army under Gratian
    and reached the position of _magister utriusque militiae_ under
    Theodosius. Consul in 393 (Zosim. v. 10. 5) and banished three
    years later to Pityus, thanks to the machinations of Eutropius.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 152

    iamiam dissimulat dominos alteque tumescunt
    serviles animi. procerum squalore repletus
    carcer et exulibus Meroë campique gemescunt
    Aethiopum; poenis hominum plaga personat ardens;
    Marmaricus claris violatur caedibus Hammon.                        180
      Asperius nihil est humili cum surgit in altum:
    cuncta ferit dum cuncta timet, desaevit in omnes
    ut se posse putent, nec belua taetrior ulla
    quam servi rabies in libera terga furentis;
    agnoscit gemitus et poenae parcere nescit,                         185
    quam subiit, dominique memor, quem verberat, odit.
    adde, quod eunuchus nulla pietate movetur
    nec generi natisve cavet. clementia cunctis
    in similes, animosque ligant consortia damni;
    iste nec eunuchis placidus.
                                Sed peius in aurum                     190
    aestuat; hoc uno fruitur succisa libido.
    quid nervos secuisse iuvat? vis nulla cruentam
    castrat avaritiam. parvis exercita furtis
    quae vastare penum neglectaque sueverat arcae
    claustra remoliri, nunc uberiore rapina                            195
    peccat in orbe manus. quidquid se Tigris ab Haemo
    dividit, hoc certa proponit merce locandum
    institor imperii, caupo famosus honorum.
    hic Asiam villa pactus regit; ille redemit
    coniugis ornatu Syriam; dolet ille paterna                         200
    Bithynos mutasse domo. subfixa patenti
    vestibulo pretiis distinguit regula gentes:

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 153

his former masters, and his slave’s mind swelled high within him. The
prisons were filled with degraded nobles, Meroë and the plains of
Ethiopia re-echoed to the weeping of exiles; the desert rang with the
punishment of men; the temple of Jupiter Ammon in Africa was stained
with gentle blood.

Nothing is so cruel as a man raised from lowly station to prosperity;
he strikes everything, for he fears everything; he vents his rage on
all, that all may deem he has the power. No beast so fearful as the
rage of a slave let loose on free-born backs; their groans are familiar
to him, and he cannot be sparing of punishment that he himself has
undergone; remembering his own master he hates the man he lashes. Being
a eunuch also he is moved by no natural affection and has no care for
family or children. All are moved to pity by those whose circumstances
are like their own; similitude of ills is a close bond. Yet he is kind
not even to eunuchs.

His passion for gold increases--the only passion his mutilated body
can indulge. Of what use was emasculation? The knife is powerless
against reckless avarice. That hand so well practised in petty thefts,
accustomed to rifle a cupboard or remove the bolt from the unwatched
coffer, now finds richer spoils and the whole world to rob. All the
country between the Tigris and Mount Haemus he exposes for sale at a
fixed price, this huckster of empire, this infamous dealer in honours.
This man governs Asia for the which his villa has paid. That man buys
Syria with his wife’s jewels. Another repents of having taken Bithynia
in exchange for his paternal mansion. Fixed above the open doors of his
hall is a list giving the provinces and their

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 154

    tot Galatae, tot Pontus eat, tot Lydia nummis;
    si Lyciam tenuisse velis, tot millia ponas,
    si Phrygas, adde; parum! propriae solacia sorti                    205
    communes vult esse notas et venditus ipse
    vendere cuncta cupit. certantum saepe duorum
    diversum suspendit onus; cum pondere index
    vergit, et in geminas nutat provincia lances.
      Non pudet heu, superi, populos venire sub hasta?
    vendentis certe pudeat, quod iure sepultum                         211
    mancipium tot regna tenet, tot distrahit urbes.
    pollentem solio Croesum victoria Cyri
    fregit, ut eunucho flueret Pactolus et Hermus?
    Attalus heredem voluit te, Roma, relinqui,                         215
    restitit Antiochus praescripto margine Tauri,
    indomitos curru Servilius egit Isauros
    et Pharos Augusto iacuit vel Creta Metello,
    ne non Eutropio quaestus numerosior esset?
    in mercem veniunt Cilices, Iudaea, Sophene                         220
    Romanusque labor Pompeianique triumphi.
      Quo struis hos auri cumulos? quae pignora tantis
    succedent opibus? nubas ducasve licebit:
    numquam mater eris, numquam pater; hoc tibi ferrum,
    hoc natura negat. te grandibus India gemmis,                       225
    te foliis Arabes ditent, te vellere Seres:
    nullus inops adeo, nullum sic urget egestas,
    ut velit Eutropii fortunam et membra pacisci.
      Iamque oblita sui nec sobria divitiis mens

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 155

prices: so much for Galatia, for Pontus so much, so much will buy
one Lydia. Would you govern Lycia? Then lay down so many thousands.
Phrygia? A little more. He wishes everything to be marked with its
price to console him for his own fortune and, himself so often sold,
he wants to sell everything. When two are rivals he suspends in
the balance their opposed payment; along with the weight the judge
inclines, and a province hangs wavering in a pair of scales.

Ye gods, are ye not ashamed that whole peoples are sold beneath the
hammer? At least let it shame you of the seller, when a slave, a
chattel the law counts dead, possesses so many kingdoms and retails so
many cities. Did Cyrus’ victory oust mighty Croesus from his throne
that Pactolus and Hermus should roll their waves for a eunuch? Did
Attalus make you, Rome, his heir, was Antiochus confined within the
appointed bounds of Taurus, did Servilius enjoy a triumph over the
hitherto unconquered Isaurians, did Egypt fall before Augustus, and
Crete before Metellus, to ensure Eutropius a sufficient income?[90]
Cilicia, Judaea, Sophene, all Rome’s labours and Pompey’s triumphs, are
there to sell.

Why heap up these riches? Hast thou children to succeed to them? Marry
or be married, thou canst never be a mother or a father: the former
nature hath denied thee, the latter the surgeon’s knife. India may
enrich thee with enormous jewels, Arabia with her spices, China with
her silks; none so needy, none so poverty-stricken as to wish to have
Eutropius’ fortune and therewith Eutropius’ body.

And now his mind, forgetful of its true nature and

    [90] Attalus, King of Pergamum, left his kingdom by will to Rome,
    133 B.C. It became the province of Asia. The terms mentioned here
    were imposed on Antiochus, King of Syria, in 189 B.C. P. Servilius
    crossed the Taurus and subdued the Isauri 78 B.C.; Crete was
    conquered by Q. Metellus between 68 and 66 B.C.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 156

    in miseras leges hominumque negotia ludit.                         230
    iudicat eunuchus; quid iam de consule miror?
    prodigium, quodcumque gerit. quae pagina lites
    sic actas meminit? quibus umquam saecula terris
    eunuchi videre forum? sed ne qua vacaret
    pars ignominia neu quid restaret inausum,                          235
    arma etiam violare parat portentaque monstris
    aggerat et secum petulans amentia certat.
    erubuit Mavors aversaque risit Enyo
    dedecus Eoum, quotiens intenta sagittis
    et pharetra fulgens anus exercetur Amazon                          240
    arbiter aut quotiens belli pacisque recurrit
    adloquiturque Getas. gaudet cum viderit hostis
    et sentit iam deesse viros. incendia fumant,
    muris nulla fides, squalent populatibus agri
    et medio spes sola mari. trans Phasin aguntur                      245
    Cappadocum matres, stabulisque abducta paternis
    Caucasias captiva bibunt armenta pruinas
    et Scythicis mutant Argaei pabula silvis.
    extra Cimmerias, Taurorum claustra, paludes
    flos Syriae servit. spoliis nec sufficit atrox                     250
    barbarus: in caedem vertunt fastidia praedae.
      Ille tamen (quid enim servum mollemque pudebit?
    aut quid in hoc poterit vultu flagrare ruboris?)
    pro victore redit: peditum vexilla sequuntur
    et turmae similes eunuchorumque manipli,                           255
    Hellespontiacis legio dignissima signis.
    obvius ire cliens defensoremque reversum
    complecti. placet ipse sibi laxasque laborat

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 157

drunken with riches, makes sport of wretched law and the affairs of
men. A eunuch is judge. Why now wonder that he is consul? Whatever he
does is a prodigy. Can the annals of the law show cases so mishandled?
What age or what country has ever witnessed a eunuch’s jurisdiction?
That nought might remain undisgraced, nought unattempted, he even makes
him ready to outrage arms, heaps portent on portent and wanton folly
seeks to outdo itself. Mars blushed, Bellona scoffed and turned her
from the disgrace of the East whene’er with arrows strung and flashing
quiver the aged Amazon practises battle or hurries back as arbiter of
peace and war to hold parley with the Getae. Our enemies rejoiced at
the sight and felt that at last we were lacking in _men_. Towns were
set ablaze; walls offered no security. The countryside was ravaged
and brought to ruin. Mid-ocean alone gave hope. Women of Cappadocia
were driven into captivity across the river Phasis; stolen from the
stalls of their homesteads, the captive herds drink the snowy streams
of Caucasus, and the flocks exchange the pastures of Mount Argaeus[91]
for the woods of Scythia. Beyond the Cimmerian marshes, defence of the
Tauric tribes, the youth of Syria are slaves. Too vast for the fierce
barbarians are the spoils; glutted with booty they turn to slaughter.

Yet Eutropius (can a slave, an effeminate, feel shame? Could a blush
grace such a countenance?), Eutropius returns in triumph. There follow
companies of foot, squadrons like their general, maniples of eunuchs,
an army worthy Priapus’ standards. His creatures meet him and embrace
their saviour on his return.[92] Great is his self-esteem; he struggles

    [91] A mountain in Cappadocia.

    [92] Claudian is scarcely fair to Eutropius. The reference here is
    to the campaign of 398 in which Eutropius succeeded in driving the
    Huns back behind the Caucasus.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 158

    distendisse genas fictumque inflatus anhelat,
    pulvere respersus tineas et solibus ora                            260
    pallidior, verbisque sonat plorabile quiddam
    ultra nequitiam fractis et proelia narrat:
    perque suam tremula testatur voce sororem,
    defecisse vagas ad publica commoda vires;
    cedere livori nec sustentare procellas                             265
    invidiae; mergique fretis spumantibus orat.
    exoretque utinam! dum talia fatur ineptas
    deterget lacrimas atque inter singula dicta
    flebile suspirat: qualis venit arida socrus
    longinquam visura nurum; vix lassa resedit                         270
    et iam vina petit.
                       Quid te, turpissime, bellis
    inseris aut saevi pertemptas Pallada campi?
    tu potes alterius studiis haerere Minervae
    et telas, non tela pati, tu stamina nosse,
    tu segnes operum sollers urgere puellas                            275
    et niveam dominae pensis involvere lanam.
    vel, si sacra placent, habeas pro Marte Cybeben;
    rauca Celaenaeos ad tympana disce furores.
    cymbala ferre licet pectusque inlidere pinu
    inguinis et reliquum Phrygiis abscidere cultris.                   280
    arma relinque viris. geminam quid dividis aulam
    conarisque pios odiis committere fratres?
    te magis, ah demens, veterem si respicis artem,
    conciliare decet.
                       Gestis pro talibus annum

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 159

to swell out his pendulous cheeks and feigns a heavy panting; his lousy
head dust-sprinkled and his face bleached whiter by the sun, he sobs
out some pitiful complaint with voice more effeminate than effeminacy’s
self and tells of battles. In tremulous tones he calls his sister to
witness that he has spent his strength for his country’s need; that
he yields to envy and cannot stand up against the storms of jealousy
and prays to be drowned in the foaming seas. Would God his prayer had
been granted! Thus speaking, he wipes away the silly tears, sighing and
sobbing between each word; like a withered old dame travelled far to
visit her son’s daughter--scarce seated aweary and already she asks for

Why busy thy foul self with wars? Why attempt battle on the bloody
field? ’Tis to the arts of that other Minerva thou shouldst apply
thyself. The distaff, not the dart should be thine; thine to spin
the thread, and, cunning craftsman that thou art, to urge on the
spinning-maids when lazy; thine to wind the snowy wool for thy
mistress’ weaving. Or, wouldst thou be a devotee, let Cybele, not Mars,
be the object of thy worship. Learn to imitate the madness of the
Corybantes to the accompaniment of rolling drums. Thou mayest carry
cymbals, pierce thy breast with the sacred pine, and with Phrygian
knife destroy what yet is left of thy virility. Leave arms to men. Why
seek to divide the two empires and embroil loving brothers in strife?
Madman, remember thy former trade; ’twere more fitting thou shouldst
endeavour to reconcile them.

It is for deeds like this that Eutropius demands

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 160

    flagitet Eutropius, ne quid non polluat unus,                      285
    dux acies, iudex praetoria, tempora consul!
      Nil adeo foedum, quod non exacta vetustas
    ediderit longique labor commiserit aevi.
    Oedipodes matrem, natam duxisse Thyestes
    cantatur, peperit fratres Iocasta marito                           290
    et Pelopea sibi. Thebas ac funera Troiae
    tristis Erechthei deplorat scaena theatri.
    in volucrem Tereus, Cadmus se vertit in anguem.
    Scylla novos mirata canes. hunc arbore figit,
    elevat hunc pluma, squamis hunc fabula vestit,                     295
    hunc solvit fluvio. numquam spado consul in orbe
    nec iudex ductorve fuit! quodcumque virorum
    est decus, eunuchi scelus est. exempla creantur
    quae socci superent risus luctusque cothurni.
      Quam pulcher conspectus erat, cum tenderet artus
    exangues onerante toga cinctuque gravatus                          301
    indutoque senex obscaenior iret in auro:
    humani qualis simulator simius oris,
    quem puer adridens pretioso stamine Serum
    velavit nudasque nates ac terga reliquit,                          305
    ludibrium mensis; erecto pectore dives
    ambulat et claro sese deformat amictu.
    candida pollutos comitatur curia fasces,
    forsitan et dominus. praebet miracula lictor

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 161

this year of office, to ensure that by his efforts alone he leaves
nothing not dishonoured, ruining the army as its general, the courts as
their judge, the imperial fasti as a consul.

No portent so monstrous but time past has given it birth and the labour
of bygone centuries produced it. Legend tells us that Oedipus married
his mother and Thyestes his daughter; Jocasta bare brothers to her
husband, Thyestes’s daughter gave birth to her own brother. Athenian
tragedy tells the sad tale of Thebes and the baneful war of Troy.
Tereus was changed into a bird, Cadmus into a snake; Scylla looked in
amaze on the dogs that girt her waist. Ancient story relates how one
was transformed into a tree and thus attached to earth, how another
grew wings and flew, how a third was clothed with scales and yet
another melted into a river. But no country has ever had a eunuch for a
consul or judge or general. What in a man is honourable is disgraceful
in an emasculate. Here is an example to surpass all that is most
laughable in comedy, most lamentable in tragedy.

A pleasant sight in truth to see him strain his sapless limbs beneath
the weight of the toga, borne down by the wearing of his consular
dress; the gold of his raiment rendered his decrepitude even more
hideous. ’Twas as though an ape, man’s imitator, had been decked out
in sport with precious silken garments by a boy who had left his back
and quarters uncovered to amuse the guests at supper. Thus richly
dressed he walks upright and seems the more loathsome by reason of his
brilliant trappings. Dressed in white the senate, perhaps even his
master,[93] accompanies the dishonoured fasces. Behold a portent! A
lictor more noble than the

    [93] _i.e._ the Emperor.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 162

    consule nobilior libertatemque daturus,                            310
    quam necdum meruit. scandit sublime tribunal
    atque inter proprias laudes Aegyptia iactat
    somnia prostratosque canit se vate tyrannos.
    scilicet in dubio vindex Bellona pependit,
    dum spado Tiresias enervatusque Melampus                           315
    reptat ab extremo referens oracula Nilo.

    Obstrepuere avium voces, exhorruit annus
    nomen, et insanum gemino proclamat ab ore
    eunuchumque vetat fastis accedere Ianus:
    sumeret inlicitos etenim si femina fasces,                         320
    esset turpe minus. Medis levibusque Sabaeis
    imperat hic sexus, reginarumque sub armis
    barbariae pars magna iacet: gens nulla probatur,
    eunuchi quae sceptra ferat. Tritonia, Phoebe,
    Terra, Ceres, Cybele, Iuno, Latona coluntur:                       325
    eunuchi quae templa dei, quas vidimus aras?
    inde sacerdotes; haec intrat pectora Phoebus;
    inde canunt Delphi; Troianam sola Minervam
    virginitas Vestalis adit flammasque tuetur:
    hi nullas meriti vittas semperque profani.                         330
    nascitur ad fructum mulier prolemque futuram:
    hoc genus inventum est ut serviat. Herculis arcu
    concidit Hippolyte; Danai fugere bipennem,
    Penthesilea, tuam; claras Carthaginis arces
    creditur et centum portis Babylona superbam                        335
    femineus struxisse labor. quid nobile gessit

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 163

consul, and a man about to grant to others a liberty which he has not
yet himself won. He mounts the lofty platform and amid a torrent of
self-laudation boasts of a prophetic dream he had in Egypt[94] and of
the defeat of tyrants which he foretold. No doubt the goddess of war
stayed her avenging hand and waited till that emasculate Tiresias, that
unmanned Melampus, could crawl back with oracles culled from farthest

Loud sang the prophetic birds in warning. The year shuddered at the
thought of bearing Eutropius’ name, and Janus proclaimed the madness of
the choice from his two mouths, forbidding a eunuch to have access to
his annals. Had a woman assumed the fasces, though this were illegal
it were nevertheless less disgraceful. Women bear sway among the Medes
and swift Sabaeans; half barbary is governed by martial queens. We know
of no people who endure a eunuch’s rule. Worship is paid to Pallas,
Phoebe, Vesta, Ceres, Cybele, Juno, and Latona; have we ever seen a
temple built or altars raised to a eunuch god? From among women are
priestesses chosen; Phoebus enters into their hearts; through their
voices the Delphian oracle speaks; none but the Vestal Virgins approach
the shrine of Trojan Minerva and tend her flame: eunuchs have never
deserved the fillet and are always unholy. A woman is born that she
may bear children and perpetuate the human race; the tribe of eunuchs
was made for servitude. Hippolyte fell but by the arrow of Hercules;
the Greeks fled before Penthesilea’s axe; Carthage, far-famed citadel,
proud Babylon with her hundred gates, are both said to have been built
by a woman’s hand. What noble deed did

    [94] In 394 Arcadius had sent Eutropius to the Thebaid to consult
    a certain Christian prophet, John, upon the result of Eugenius’
    revolt (Sozom. vii. 22. 7, 8).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 164

    eunuchus? quae bella tulit? quas condidit urbes?
    illas praeterea rerum natura creavit,
    hos fecere manus: seu prima Semiramis astu
    Assyriis mentita virum, ne vocis acutae                            340
    mollities levesve genae se prodere possent,
    hos sibi coniunxit similes; seu Parthica ferro
    luxuries vetuit nasci lanuginis umbram
    servatoque diu puerili flore coegit
    arte retardatam Veneri servire iuventam.                           345

    Fama prius falso similis vanoque videri
    ficta ioco; levior volitare per oppida rumor
    riderique nefas: veluti nigrantibus alis
    audiretur olor, corvo certante ligustris.
    atque aliquis gravior morum: “si talibus, inquit,                  350
    creditur et nimiis turgent mendacia monstris,
    iam testudo volat, profert iam cornua vultur;
    prona petunt retro fluvii iuga; Gadibus ortum
    Carmani texere diem; iam frugibus aptum
    aequor et adsuetum silvis delphina videbo;                         355
    iam cochleis homines iunctos et quidquid inane
    nutrit Iudaicis quae pingitur India velis.”

    Subicit et mixtis salibus lascivior alter:
    “miraris? nihil est, quod non in pectore magnum
    concipit Eutropius. semper nova, grandia semper
    diligit et celeri degustat singula sensu.                          361
    nil timet a tergo; vigilantibus undique curis
    nocte dieque patet; lenis facilisque moveri
    supplicibus mediaque tamen mollissimus ira
    nil negat et sese vel non poscentibus offert;                      365

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 165

a eunuch ever do? What wars did such an one fight, what cities did he
found? Moreover, nature created the former, the hand of man the latter,
whether it was from fear of being betrayed by her shrill woman’s voice
and her hairless cheeks that clever Semiramis, to disguise her sex from
the Assyrians, first surrounded herself with beings like her, or the
Parthians employed the knife to stop the growth of the first down of
manhood and forced their boys, kept boys by artifice, to serve their
lusts by thus lengthening the years of youthful charm.

At first the rumour of Eutropius’ consulship seemed false and invented
as a jest. A vague story spread from city to city; the crime was
laughed at as one would laugh to hear of a swan with black wings or
a crow as white as privet. Thus spake one of weighty character: “If
such things are believed and swollen lies tell of unheard of monsters,
then the tortoise can fly, the vulture grow horns, rivers flow back
and mount the hills whence they spring, the sun rise behind Gades and
set amid the Carmanians of India; I shall soon see ocean fit nursery
for plants and the dolphin a denizen of the woods; beings half-men,
half-snails and all the vain imaginings of India depicted on Jewish

Then another adds, jesting with a more wanton wit: “Dost thou wonder?
Nothing great is there that Eutropius does not conceive in his heart.
He ever loves novelty, ever size, and is quick to taste everything in
turn. He fears no assault from the rear; night and day he is ready with
watchful care; soft, easily moved by entreaty, and, even in the midst
of his passion, tenderest of men, he never says ‘no,’ and is ever at
the disposal even of

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 166

    quod libet ingenio, subigit traditque fruendum;
    quidquid amas, dabit ilia manus; communiter omni
    fungitur officio gaudetque potentia flecti.
    hoc quoque conciliis peperit meritoque laborum,
    accipit et trabeas argutae praemia dextrae.”                       370
      Postquam vera fides facinus vulgavit Eoum
    gentibus et Romae iam certius impulit aures,
    “Eutropiumne etiam nostra dignabimur ira?
    hic quoque Romani meruit pars esse doloris?”
    sic effata rapit caeli per inania cursum                           375

    diva potens unoque Padum translapsa volatu
    castra sui rectoris adit. tum forte decorus
    cum Stilichone gener pacem implorantibus ultro
    Germanis responsa dabat, legesque Caucis
    arduus et flavis signabat iura Suebis.                             380
    his tribuit reges, his obside foedera sancit
    indicto; bellorum alios transcribit in usus,
    militet ut nostris detonsa Sygambria signis.
    laeta subit Romam pietas et gaudia paene
    moverunt lacrimas tantoque exultat alumno:                         385
    sic armenta suo iam defensante iuvenco
    celsius adsurgunt erectae cornua matri,
    sic iam terribilem stabulis dominumque ferarum
    crescere miratur genetrix Massyla leonem.
    dimovit nebulam iuvenique adparuit ingens.                         390
    tum sic orsa loqui:

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 167

those that solicit him not. Whatever the senses desire he cultivates
and offers for another’s enjoyment. That hand will give whatever thou
wouldest have. He performs the functions of all alike; his dignity
loves to unbend. His meetings[95] and his deserving labours have won
him this reward,[96] and he receives the consul’s robe in recompense
for the work of his skilful hand.”

When the rumour concerning this disgrace of the eastern empire was
known to be true and had impressed belief on Roman ears, Rome’s goddess
thus spake: “Is Eutropius worthy of mine ire? Is such an one fit
cause for Roman grief?” So saying the mighty goddess winged her way
through the heavens and with one stroke of her pinions passed beyond
the Po and approached the camp of her emperor. It happened that even
then the august Honorius, assisted by his father-in-law Stilicho, was
making answer to the Germans who had come of their own accord to sue
for peace. From his lofty throne he was dictating laws to the Cauci
and giving a constitution to the flaxen-haired Suebi. Over these he
sets a king, with those he signs a treaty now that hostages have been
demanded; others he enters on the list as serviceable allies in war,
so that in future the Sygambrians will cut off their flowing locks and
serve beneath our banners. Joy and love so fill the goddess’ heart that
she well nigh weeps, so great is her happy pride in her illustrious
foster-child. So when a bullock fights in defence of the herd his
mother lifts her own horns more proudly; so the African lioness
gazes with admiration on her cub as he grows to be the terror of the
farmsteads and the future king of beasts. Rome lays aside her veil of
cloud and towers above the youthful warrior, then thus begins.

    [95] With a play upon the sexual meaning of the word: indeed the
    whole passage, from l. 358 is a mass of obscene innuendo.

    [96] _i.e._ the consulship.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 168

                        “Quantum te principe possim,
    non longinqua docent, domito quod Saxone Tethys
    mitior aut fracto secura Britannia Picto;
    ante pedes humili Franco tristique Suebo
    perfruor et nostrum video, Germanice, Rhenum.                      395
    sed quid agam? discors Oriens felicibus actis
    invidet atque alio Phoebi de cardine surgunt
    crimina, ne toto conspiret corpore regnum.
    Gildonis taceo magna cum laude receptam
    perfidiam et fretos Eoo robore Mauros.                             400
    quae suscepta fames, quantum discriminis urbi,
    ni tua vel soceri numquam non provida virtus
    australem Arctois pensasset frugibus annum!
    invectae Rhodani Tiberina per ostia classes
    Cinyphiisque ferax Araris successit aristis.                       405
    Teutonicus vomer Pyrenaeique iuvenci
    sudavere mihi; segetes mirantur Hiberas
    horrea; nec Libyae senserunt damna rebellis
    iam transalpina contenti messe Quirites.
    ille quidem solvit meritas (scit Tabraca) poenas,                  410
    ut pereat quicumque tuis conflixerit armis.
      “Ecce repens isdem clades a partibus exit
    terrorisque minus, sed plus habitura pudoris
    Eutropius consul, pridem tolerare fatemur
    hoc genus, Arsacio postquam se regia fastu                         415
    sustulit et nostros corrupit Parthia mores,
    praefecti sed adhuc gemmis vestique dabantur
    custodes sacroque adhibere silentia somno;

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 169

“Examples near at hand testify to the extent of my power now thou art
emperor. The Saxon is conquered and the seas safe; the Picts have
been defeated and Britain is secure. I love to see at my feet the
humbled Franks and broken Suebi, and I behold the Rhine mine own,
Germanicus.[97] Yet what am I to do? The discordant East envies our
prosperity, and beneath that other sky, lo! wickedness flourishes to
prevent our empire’s breathing in harmony with one body. I make no
mention of Gildo’s treason, detected so gloriously in spite of the
power of the East on which the rebel Moor relied. For what extremes of
famine did we not then look? How dire a danger overhung our city, had
not thy valour or the ever-provident diligence of thy father-in-law
supplied corn from the north in place of that from the south! Up
Tiber’s estuary there sailed ships from the Rhine, and the Saône’s
fertile banks made good the lost harvests of Africa. For me the Germans
ploughed and the Spaniards’ oxen sweated; my granaries marvel at
Iberian corn, nor did my citizens, now satisfied with harvests from
beyond the Alps, feel the defection of revolted Africa. Gildo, however,
paid the penalty for his treason as Tabraca can witness. So perish all
who take up arms against thee!

“Lo! on a sudden from that same clime comes another scourge, less
terrible indeed but even more shameful, the consulship of Eutropius. I
admit I have long learned to tolerate this unmanned tribe, ever since
the court exalted itself with Arsacid pomp and the example of Parthia
corrupted our morals. But till now they were but set to guard jewels
and raiment, and to secure silence for the imperial slumber. Never
beyond the sleeping-chamber

    [97] She calls him _Germanicus_ because of his pacification of Germany;
    see Introduction, p. x.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 170

    militia eunuchi numquam progressa cubili,
    non vita spondente fidem, sed inertia tutum                        420
    mentis pignus erat. secreta monilia servent,
    ornatus curent Tyrios: a fronte recedant
    imperii. tenero tractari pectore nescit
    publica maiestas. numquam vel in aequore puppim
    vidimus eunuchi clavo parere magistri.                             425
    nos adeo sperni faciles? orbisque carina
    vilior? auroram sane, quae talia ferre
    gaudet, et adsuetas sceptris muliebribus urbes
    possideant; quid belliferam communibus urunt
    Italiam maculis nocituraque probra severis                         430
    ammiscent populis? peregrina piacula forti
    pellantur longe Latio nec transeat Alpes
    dedecus; in solis, quibus extitit, haereat arvis.
    scribat Halys, scribat famae contemptor Orontes:
    per te perque tuos obtestor Roma triumphos,                        435
    nesciat hoc Thybris, numquam poscentibus olim
    qui dare Dentatis annos Fabiisque solebat.
    Martius eunuchi repetet suffragia campus?
    Aemilios inter servatoresque Camillos
    Eutropius? iam Chrysogonis tua, Brute, potestas                    440
    Narcissisque datur? natos hoc dedere poenae
    profuit et misero civem praeponere patri?
    hoc mihi Ianiculo positis Etruria castris
    quaesiit et tantum fluvio Porsenna remotus?
    hoc meruit vel ponte Cocles vel Mucius igne?                       445
    visceribus frustra castum Lucretia ferrum

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 171

did the eunuch’s service pass; not their lives gave guarantee of
loyalty but their dull wits were a sure pledge. Let them guard hidden
store of pearls and Tyrian-dyed vestments; they must quit high offices
of state. The majesty of Rome cannot devolve upon an effeminate. Never
have we seen so much as a ship at sea obey the helm in the hands of a
eunuch-captain. Are we then so despicable? Is the whole world of less
account than a ship? Let eunuchs govern the East by all means, for the
East rejoices in such rulers, let them lord it over cities accustomed
to a woman’s sway: why disfigure warlike Italy with the general brand
and defile her austere peoples with their deadly profligacy? Drive
this foreign pollution from out the boundaries of manly Latium; suffer
not this thing of shame to cross the Alps; let it remain fixed in
the country of its birth. Let the river Halys or Orontes, careless
of its reputation, add such a name to its annals: I, Rome, beg thee
by thy life and triumphs, let not Tiber suffer this disgrace--Tiber
whose way was to give the consulship to such men as Dentatus and
Fabius though they asked not for it. Shall the Field of Mars witness
the canvassing of an eunuch? Is Eutropius to stand with Aemilii and
Camilli, saviours of their country? Is thy office, Brutus, now to be
given to a Chrysogonus or a Narcissus[98]? Is this the reward for
giving up thy sons to punishment and setting the citizen’s duty before
the father’s grief? Was it for this that the Tuscans made their camp on
the Janiculum and Porsenna was but the river’s span from our gates? For
this that Horatius kept the bridge and Mucius braved the flames? Was it
all to no purpose that

    [98] Notorious freedmen and tools respectively of Sulla and the Emperor

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 172

    mersit et attonitum tranavit Cloelia Thybrim?
    Eutropio fasces adservabantur adempti
    Tarquiniis? quemcumque meae vexere curules,
    laxato veniat socium aversatus Averno.                             450
    impensi sacris Decii prorumpite bustis
    Torquatique truces animosaque pauperis umbra
    Fabricii tuque o, si forte inferna piorum
    iugera et Elysias scindis, Serrane, novales.
    Poeno Scipiadae, Poeno praeclare Lutati,                           455
    Sicania Marcelle ferox, gens Claudia surgas[99]
    et Curii veteres; et, qui sub iure negasti
    vivere Caesareo, parvo procede sepulcro
    Eutropium passure Cato; remcate tenebris,
    agmina Brutorum Corvinorumque catervae.                            460
    eunuchi vestros habitus, insignia sumunt
    ambigui Romana mares; rapuere tremendas
    Hannibali Pyrrhoque togas; flabella perosi
    adspirant trabeis; iam non umbracula gestant
    virginibus, Latias ausi vibrare secures!                           465
      “Linquite femineas infelix turba latebras,
    alter quos pepulit sexus nec suscipit alter,
    execti Veneris stimulos et vulnere casti
    (mixta duplex aetas; inter puerumque senemque
    nil medium): falsi complete sedilia patres;                        470
    ite novi proceres infecundoque senatu
    Eutropium stipate ducem; celebrate tribunal
    pro thalamis, verso iam discite more curules,
    non matrum pilenta sequi.

    [99] MSS. have _surgat_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 173

chaste Lucretia plunged the dagger into her bosom and Cloelia swam
the astonished Tiber? Were the fasces reft from Tarquin to be given
to Eutropius? Let Hell ope her jaws and all who have sat in my
curule chair come and turn their backs upon their colleague. Decii,
self-sacrificed for your country’s good, come forth from your graves;
and you, fierce Torquati; and thou, too, great-hearted shade of poor
Fabricius. Serranus, come thou hither, if now thou ploughest the
acres of the holy dead and cleavest the fallow lands of Elysium. Come
Scipios, Lutatius, famed for your victories over Carthage, Marcellus,
conqueror of Sicily, rise from the dead, thou Claudian race, you
progeny of Curius. Cato, thou who wouldst not live beneath Caesar’s
rule, come thou forth from thy simple tomb and brave the sight of
Eutropius. Immortal bands of Bruti and Corvini, return to earth.
Eunuchs don your robes of office, sexless beings assume the insignia
of Rome. They have laid hands on the toga that inspired Hannibal
and Pyrrhus with terror. They now despise the fan and aspire to the
consul’s cloak. No longer do they carry the maidenly parasol for they
have dared to wield the axes of Latium.

“Unhappy band, leave your womanly fastnesses, you whom the male sex
has discarded and the female will not adopt. The knife has cut out the
stings of love and by that wounding you are pure. A mixture are you
of two ages--child and greybeard and nought between. Take your seats,
fathers in name alone. Come new lords, come sterile senate, throng your
leader Eutropius. Fill the judgement-seat, not the bedchamber. Change
your habits and learn to follow the consul’s chair, not the woman’s

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 174

                                “Ne prisca revolvam
    neu numerem, quantis iniuria mille per annos                       475
    sit retro ducibus, quanti foedabitur aevi
    canities, unam subeant quot saecula culpam:
    inter Arinthaei fastos et nomen erile
    servus erit dominoque suos aequalis honores
    inseret! heu semper Ptolomaei noxia mundo                          480
    mancipia! en alio laedor graviore Pothino
    et patior maius Phario scelus. ille cruorem
    consulis unius Pellaeis ensibus hausit;
    inquinat hic omnes.
                        “Si nil privata movebunt,
    at tu principibus, vestrae tu prospice causae                      485
    regalesque averte notas. hunc accipit unum
    aula magistratum: vobis patribusque recurrit
    hic alternus honos. in crimen euntibus annis
    parce, quater consul! contagia fascibus, oro,
    defendas ignava tuis neu tradita libris                            490
    omina vestitusque meos, quibus omne, quod ambit
    oceanus, domui, tanta caligine mergi
    calcarique sinas. nam quae iam bella geramus
    mollibus auspiciis? quae iam conubia prolem
    vel frugem latura seges? quid fertile terris,                      495
    quid plenum sterili possit sub consule nasci?
    eunuchi si iura dabunt legesque tenebunt,
    ducant pensa viri mutatoque ordine rerum
    vivat Amazonio confusa licentia ritu.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 175

“I would not cite examples from remote antiquity nor count the
countless magistrates of past history whom he thus outrages. But
think how the reverence due to all past ages will be impaired, on how
many centuries one man’s shame will set its mark. Amid the annals
that record the name of Arinthaeus,[100] his master, will be found
the slave, and he will enter his own honours as equal to those of
his owner. The slaves of Egypt’s kings have ever been a curse to the
world; behold I suffer from a worse than Pothinus and bear a wrong more
flagrant than that of which Egypt was once the scene. Pothinus’ sword
at Alexandria spilled the blood of a single consul;[101] Eutropius
brings dishonour on all.

“If the fate of subjects cannot move thee, yet have thou regard for
princes, for your common cause, and remove this stain on royalty. The
consulship is the sole office the emperor deigns to accept; alternately
the honour passes to Court and Senate. Thou who hast thyself been four
times consul spare succeeding consuls this infamy. I pray thee, protect
the fasces, so often thine, from the pollution of a eunuch’s hand; let
not the omens handed down in our sacred books, let not those robes of
mine wherewith I have subdued everything within Ocean’s stream, be
plunged in so great darkness and trodden under foot. What kind of wars
can we wage now that a eunuch takes the auspices? What marriage, what
harvest will be fruitful? What fertility, what abundance is possible
beneath a consul stricken with sterility? If eunuchs shall give
judgement and determine laws, then let men card wool and live like the
Amazons, confusion and licence dispossessing the order of nature.

    [100] Arinthaeus had held the high position of _magister peditum_.
    He died in 379.

    [101] Pothinus, the creature of Ptolemy Dionysius, was instrumental
    in killing Pompey in Egypt in 48 B.C.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 176

      “Quid trahor ulterius? Stilicho, quid vincere differs,
    dum certare pudet? nescis quod turpior hostis                      501
    laetitia maiore cadit? piratica Magnum
    erigit, inlustrat servilis laurea Crassum.
    adnuis. agnosco fremitum, quo palluit Eurus,
    quo Mauri Gildoque ruit. quid Martia signa                         505
    sollicitas? non est iaculis hastisve petendus:
    conscia succumbent audito verbere terga,
    ut Scytha post multos rediens exercitus annos,
    cum sibi servilis pro finibus obvia pubes
    iret et arceret dominos tellure reversos,                          510
    armatam ostensis aciem fudere flagellis:
    notus ab inceptis ignobile reppulit horror
    vulgus et addictus sub verbere torpuit ensis.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 177

“What need of further words? Why, Stilicho, dost thou delay to conquer
because ashamed to fight? Knowest thou not that the viler a foe the
greater the rejoicing at his overthrow? His defeat of the pirates
extended the fame of great Pompey; his victory in the Servile War gave
an added glory to Crassus. Thou acceptest my charge: I recognize the
clamour that terrified the East and drove Gildo and his Moors to their
destruction. Why sound the trump of war? No need to attack him with
javelin or spear. At the crack of the whip will be bowed the back that
has felt its blows. Even so when after many years the Scythian army
came back from the wars and was met on the confines of its native land
by the usurping crowd of slaves who sought to keep their returning
masters from their country; with displayed whips they routed the armed
ranks; back from its enterprise the familiar terror drove the servile
mob, and at threat of the lash the bondsman’s sword grew dull.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 178




    Qui modo sublimes rerum flectebat habenas
      patricius, rursum verbera nota timet
    et solitos tardae passurus compedis orbes
      in dominos vanas luget abisse minas.
    culmine deiectum vitae Fortuna priori                                5
      reddidit, insano iam satiata ioco.
    scindere nunc alia meditatur ligna securi
      fascibus et tandem vapulat ipse suis.
    ille citas consul poenas se consule solvit:
      annus qui trabeas hic dedit exilium.                              10
    infaustum populis in se quoque vertitur omen;
      saevit in auctorem prodigiosus honos.
    abluto penitus respirant nomine fasti
      maturamque luem sanior aula vomit.
    dissimulant socii coniuratique recedunt,                            15
      procumbit pariter cum duce tota cohors;
    non acie victi, non seditione coacti;
      nec pereunt ritu quo periere viri.
    concidit exiguae dementia vulnere chartae;
      confecit saevum littera Martis opus.                              20

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 179




The nobly born Eutropius who but lately wielded the reins of supreme
power once more fears the familiar blows; and, soon to feel the wonted
shackles about his halting feet, he laments that his threats against
his masters have idly vanished. Fortune, having had enough of her mad
freak, has thrust him forth from his high office and restored him to
his old way of life. He now prepares to hew wood with axe other than
the consular and is at last scourged with the rods he once proudly
carried. To the punishment set in motion by him when consul he himself
as consul succumbed; the year that brought him his robe of office
brought him his exile. That omen of evil augury for the people turns
against itself, the portent of that consulship brings ruin to the
consul. That name erased, our annals breathe once more, and better
health is restored to the palace now that it has at last vomited forth
its poison. His friends deny him, his accomplices abandon him; in his
fall is involved all the eunuch band, overcome not in battle, subdued
not by strife--they may not die a man’s death. A mere stroke of the pen
has wrought their undoing, a simple letter has fulfilled Mars’ savage

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 180

    Mollis feminea detruditur arce tyrannus
      et thalamo pulsus perdidit imperium:
    sic iuvenis nutante fide veterique reducta
      paelice defletam linquit arnica domum.
    canitiem raram largo iam pulvere turpat                             25
      et lacrimis rugas implet anile gemens
    suppliciterque pias humilis prostratus ad aras
      mitigat iratas voce tremente nurus.
    innumeri glomerantur eri sibi quisque petentes
      mancipium solis utile suppliciis.                                 30
    quamvis foedus enim mentemque obscaenior ore,
      ira dabit pretium; poena meretur emi.

    Quas, spado, nunc terras aut quem transibis in axem?
      cingeris hinc odiis, inde recessit amor,
    utraque te gemino sub sidere regia damnat:                          35
      Hesperius numquam, iam nec Eous eris.
    miror cur, aliis qui pandere fata solebas,
      ad propriam cladem caeca Sibylla taces.
    iam tibi nulla videt fallax insomnia Nilus;
      pervigilant vates iam, miserande, tui.                            40
    quid soror? audebit tecum conscendere puppim
      et veniet longum per mare fida comes?
    an fortasse toros eunuchi pauperis odit
      et te nunc inopem dives amare negat?
    eunuchi iugulum primus secuisse fateris;                            45
      sed tamen exemplo non feriere tuo.
    vive pudor fatis. en quem tremuere tot urbes,
      en cuius populi sustinuere iugum!

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 181

The unsexed tyrant has been routed from out his fastness in the women’s
quarters and, driven from the bedchamber, has lost his power. Thus
sadly, when her lover’s fidelity wavers and a former favourite has been
recalled, does a mistress leave his house. With handfuls of dust he
sprinkles his scanty hairs and floods his wrinkles with senile tears;
as he lies in humble supplication before the altars of the gods his
trembling voice seeks to soften the anger of the women. His countless
masters gather around, each demanding back his slave, useless except
for chastisement. For loathsome though he is and fouler in mind even
than in face, yet the very anger they feel against him will make them
pay; he is worth buying simply to punish.

What land or country wilt thou now visit, eunuch? Here hate surrounds
thee, there thy popularity is fled; both courts have uttered thy
condemnation in either half of the world; never wert thou of the
West, now the East repudiates thee too. I marvel that thou, blind
Sibyl,[102] who foretold’st the fates of others, art silent about thine
own. No longer does fallacious Nile interpret thy dreams; no longer,
poor wretch, do thy prophets see visions. What doth thy sister? Will
she dare to embark with thee and bear thee faithful company over the
distant seas? Mayhap she scorns the couch of an impoverished eunuch,
and now that she herself is rich will not love thee who now art poor.
Thou dost confess thou wert the first to cut a eunuch’s throat, but
the example will not secure thine own death. Live on that destiny may
blush. Lo! this is he whom so many cities have held in awe, whose yoke
so many peoples have borne. Why lament the loss of that

    [102] Claudian calls Eutropius the Sibyl because both were “old
    women.” He is referring to Eutropius’ consultation of the Egyptian
    oracle; _cf._ _In Eutrop._ i. 312 and note.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 182

    direptas quid plangis opes, quas natus habebit?
      non aliter poteras principis esse pater.                          50
    improbe, quid pulsas muliebribus astra querellis,
      quod tibi sub Cypri litore parta quies?
    omnia barbarico per te concussa tumultu.
      crede mihi, terra tutius aequor erit.

    Iam non Armenios iaculis terrebis et arcu,                          55
      per campos volucrem non agitabis equum;
    dilecto caruit Byzantius ore senatus;
      curia consiliis aestuat orba tuis:
    emeritam suspende togam, suspende pharetram;
      ad Veneris partes ingeniumque redi.                               60
    non bene Gradivo lenonia dextera servit.
      suscipiet famulum te Cytherea libens.
    insula laeta choris, blandorum mater Amorum:
      nulla pudicitiae cura placere potest.
    prospectant Paphiae celsa de rupe puellae                           65
      sollicitae, salvam dum ferat unda ratem.
    sed vereor, teneant ne te Tritones in alto
      lascivas doctum fallere Nereidas,
    aut idem cupiant pelago te mergere venti,
      Gildonis nuper qui tenuere fugam.                                 70
    inclita captivo memoratur Tabraca Mauro,
      naufragio Cyprus sit memoranda tuo.
    vecturum moriens frustra delphina vocabis;
      ad terram solos devehit ille viros.
    quisquis adhue similes eunuchus tendit in actus,                    75
      respiciens Cyprum desinat esse ferox.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 183

wealth thy son shall inherit? In no other way couldst thou have been
father to an emperor.[103] Why insatiably weary heaven with a woman’s
plaints? A haven of refuge is prepared for thee on the shores of
Cyprus. Thou hast plunged the world in war with barbary; the sea,
believe me, is safer than the land.

No longer wilt thou strike terror into the Armenians with javelin
and bow, no more scour the plain on thy fleet charger. The senate of
Byzantium has been deprived of thy loved voice; uncertainty holds the
august assembly that is now deprived of thy counsels. Hang up thy
toga, retired consul; hang up thy quiver, veteran soldier; return to
Venus’ service; that is thy true calling. The pander’s hand knows not
to serve Mars featly; Cytherea will right gladly take back her slave.
Dancing fills the island of Cyprus, home of the happy loves; there
purity commands no respect. Paphian maidens gaze forth from the high
cliffs, anxious till the wave has brought thy bark safe to land. Yet
fear I lest the Tritons detain thee in the deep to teach them how
they may seduce the sportive Nereids, or that those same winds which
hindered Gildo’s flight may seek to drown thee in the sea. Tabraca owes
its fame to the overthrow of the Moor; may Cyprus win prestige from
thy shipwreck. In vain will thy last breath be spent in calling on the
dolphin to carry thee to shore: his back bears only men.[104] Hereafter
should any eunuch attempt to emulate thine actions let him turn his eye
towards Cyprus and abate his pride.

    [103] Eutropius had been raised by Arcadius to the highest of
    all ranks, that of Patrician. These _patricii_ were called the
    “fathers” of the Emperor. Hence Eutropius, a patrician, left
    (_i.e._ forfeited) his property on his banishment to Cyprus to his
    “son” Arcadius.

    [104] A reference to the rescue of Arion by the dolphin.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 184




      Mygdonii cineres et si quid restat Eoi,
    quod pereat, regni: certe non augure falso
    prodigii patuere minae, frustraque peracto
    vulnere monstriferi praesagia discitis anni.
    cautior ante tamen violentum navita Caurum                           5
    prospicit et tumidae subducit vela procellae.
    quid iuvat errorem mersa iam puppe fateri?
    quid lacrimae delicta levant? stant omina vestri
    consulis: inmotis haesere piacula fatis.
    tunc decuit sentire nefas, tunc ire recentes                        10
    detersum maculas. veteri post obruta morbo
    corpora Paeonias nequiquam admoveris herbas.
    ulcera possessis alte suffusa medullis
    non leviore manu, ferro sanantur et igni,
    ne noceat frustra mox eruptura cicatrix.                            15
    ad vivum penetrant flammae, quo funditus umor
    defluat et vacuis corrupto sanguine venis

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 185




Ashes of Phrygia and you last remnants of the ruined East (if any such
remain), the augury was but too true, too clear the threats of heaven:
now that the blow has fallen what use to learn the presagings of this
year of portents? The sailor is more cautious; he foresees the violence
of the North wind and hauls in his canvas before the swelling storm. Of
what avail to acknowledge a mistake when his vessel is already sunk?
Can tears extenuate a crime? The sinister auspices of your consul live
on; the atonement due to unmoved fate remains fixed. Ere the deed was
done you should have realized its horror; you should have erased the
blot ere it had dried. When the body is overwhelmed by long-standing
disease ’tis all in vain that thou makest use of healing medicines.
When an ulcer has penetrated to the marrow of the bones the touch of
a hand is useless, steel and fire must sane the place that the wound
heal not on the surface, like any moment to re-open. The flame must
penetrate to the quick to make a way for the foul humours to escape; in
order that, once the veins are emptied of corrupted blood, the

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 186

    arescat fons ipse mali; truncatur et artus,
    ut liceat reliquis securum degere membris.
    at vos egregie purgatam creditis aulam,                             20
    Eutropium si Cyprus habet? vindictaque mundi
    semivir exul erit? qui vos lustrare valebit
    oceanus? tantum facinus quae diluet aetas?
      Induerat necdum trabeas: mugitus ab axe
    redditus inferno, rabies arcana cavernas                            25
    vibrat et alterno confligunt culmina lapsu.
    bacchatus per operta tremor Calchedona movit
    pronus et in geminas nutavit Bosphorus urbes.
    concurrere freti fauces, radice revulsa
    vitant instabilem rursum Symplegada nautae.                         30
    scilicet haec Stygiae praemittunt signa sorores
    et sibi iam tradi populos hoc consule gaudent.
    mox oritur diversa lues: hinc Mulciber ignes
    sparserat, hinc victa proruperat obice Nereus;
    haec flagrant, haec tecta natant. quam, numina,
        poenam                                                          35
    servatis sceleri, cuius tot cladibus omen
    constitit? incumbas utinam, Neptune, tridenti
    pollutumque solum toto cum crimine mergas.
    unam pro mundo Furiis concedimus urbem.                             39
      Utque semel patuit monstris iter, omnia tempus
    nacta suum properant: nasci tum decolor imber
    infantumque novi vultus et dissona partu
    semina, tum lapidum fletus armentaque vulgo
    ausa loqui mediisque ferae se credere muris;
    tum vates sine more rapi lymphataque passim                         45

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 187

fountain-head of the evil may be dried up. Nay, even limbs are
amputated to assure the healthy life of the rest of the body. Think
you the Court fitly cleansed by Eutropius’ exile in Cyprus? The world
avenged by the banishment of a eunuch? Can any ocean wash away that
stain? any age bring forgetfulness of so great a crime?

Ere yet he had donned the consul’s robe there came a rumbling from
the bowels of the earth; a hidden madness shook the subterranean
caverns and buildings crashed one on another. Chalcedon, shaken to
the foundations, tottered like a drunken man, and Bosporus, straying
from his course, flooded the cities on his either bank. The shores of
the strait came together and the sailors once more had to avoid the
Clashing Rocks, torn from their foundation and errant. Surely such
presages were sent by the sister deities of Styx, rejoicing that under
this consul at last all peoples were delivered into their hands. Soon
arose divers forms of ruin: here the fire-god spread his flames; there
Nereus, god of the sea, brake his bounds. Here men’s homes were burned,
there flooded. Ye gods, what punishment do ye hold in store for the
scoundrel whose rise to power was marked by such portents? O’ercome us,
Neptune, with thy trident and overwhelm our defiled soil along with all
the guilt. One city we yield to the Furies, a scapegoat for the sins of
the world.

Once the way was open for portents, prodigies of every sort hasted to
disclose themselves. Rain of blood fell, children of weird form were
born and offspring discordant with their breed. Statues wept, not
seldom the herds dared to speak, and wild beasts braved an entrance
into the city. Then seers raved

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 188

    pectora terrifici stimulis ignescere Phoebi.
    fac nullos cecinisse deos: adeone retusi
    quisquam cordis erit, dubitet qui partibus illis
    adfore fatalem castrati consulis annum?
    sed quam caecus inest vitiis amor! omne futurum                     50
    despicitur suadentque brevem praesentia fructum
    et ruit in vetitum damni secura libido,
    dum mora supplicii lucro serumque quod instat
    creditur, haud equidem contra tot signa Camillo
    detulerim fasces, nedum (pro sexus!) inerti                         55
    mancipio, cui, cuncta licet responsa iuberent
    hortantesque licet sponderent prospera divi,
    turpe fuit cessisse viros.
                                Exquirite retro
    crimina continui lectis annalibus aevi,
    prisca recensitis evolvite saecula fastis:                          60
    quid senis infandi Capreae, quid scaena Neronis
    tale ferunt? spado Romuleo succinctus amictu
    sedit in Augustis laribus. vulgata patebat
    aula salutantum studiis; huc plebe senatus
    permixta trepidique duces omnisque potestas                         65
    confluit. advolvi genibus, contingere dextram
    ambitus et votum deformibus oscula rugis
    figere. praesidium legum genitorque vocatur
    principis et famulum dignatur regia patrem.
    posteritas, admitte fidem: monumenta petuntur                       70
    dedecoris multisque gemunt incudibus aera
    formatura nefas. haec iudicis, ilia togati,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 189

strangely and frenzied hearts were everywhere ablaze, stirred by the
fires of the dread god Phoebus. Yet even had no god warned us, whose
mind shall be so dull as to doubt that the year of an emasculate consul
must be fatal to those lands? Blind folly ever accompanies crime;
of the future no account is taken; sufficient for the day is its
short-lived pleasure; heedless of loss passion plunges into forbidden
joys, counting the postponement of punishment a gain and believing
distant the retribution that even now o’erhangs. In face of such
portents I would not have entrusted Camillus’ self with the fasces,
let alone a sexless slave (oh! the shame of it!), to yield it to whom
were, for men, a disgrace, even though every oracle decreed it, and the
insistent deities gave pledges of prosperity.

Look back in the annals of crime, read o’er all past history, unroll
the volumes of Rome’s story. What can the Capri of Tiberius’ old
age, what can Nero’s theatre offer like to this?[105] A eunuch, clad
in the cloak of Romulus, sat within the house of the emperors; the
staled palace lay open to the eager throng of visitors; hither hasten
senators, mingling with the populace, anxious generals and magistrates
of every degree; all are fain to be the first to fall at his feet and
to touch his hand; the prayer of all is to set kisses on those hideous
wrinkles. He is called defender of the laws, father of the emperor,
and the court deigns to acknowledge a slave as its overlord. Ye who
come after, acknowledge that it is true! Men must needs erect monuments
to celebrate this infamy; on many an anvil groans the bronze that is
to take upon it the form of this monster. Here gleams his statue as a

    [105] Suetonius draws a lurid (and probably exaggerated) picture
    of the debaucheries of Tiberius’ old age at Capri. The same author
    describes the “scaena Neronis.” The curious may find the account in
    Suet, _Nero_, xxix.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 190

    haec nitet armati species; numerosus ubique
    fulget eques: praefert eunuchi curia vultus.
    ac veluti caveant ne quo consistere virtus                          75
    possit pura loco, cunctas hoc ore laborant
    incestare vias. maneant inmota precamur
    certaque perpetui sint argumenta pudoris.
    subter adulantes tituli nimiaeque leguntur
    vel maribus laudes: claro quod nobilis ortu                         80
    (cum vivant domini!), quod maxima proelia solus
    impleat (et patitur miles!), quod tertius urbis
    conditor (hoc Byzas Constantinusque videbant!).
    inter quae tumidus leno producere cenas
    in lucem, foetere mero, dispergere plausum                          85
    empturas in vulgus opes, totosque theatris
    indulgere dies, alieni prodigus auri.
    at soror et, si quid portentis creditur, uxor
    mulcebat matres epulis et more pudicae
    coniugis eunuchi celebrabat vota mariti.                            90
    hanc amat, hanc summa de re vel pace vel armis
    consulit, huic curas et clausa palatia mandat
    ceu stabulum vacuamque domum. sic magna tueri
    regna nihil, patiensque iugi deluditur orbis?
      Mitior alternum Zephyri iam bruma teporem                         95
    senserat et primi laxabant germina flores,
    iamque iter in gremio pacis sollemne parabant
    ad muros, Ancyra, tuos, auctore repertum
    Eutropio, pelagi ne taedia longa subirent,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 191

there as a consul, there as a warrior. On every side one sees that
figure of his mounted on his horse; before the very doors of the
senate-house behold a eunuch’s countenance. As though to rob virtue
of any place where she might sojourn undefiled, men labour to befoul
every street with this vile image. May they rest for ever undisturbed,
indisputable proofs of our eternal shame; such is my prayer. Beneath
the statues one reads flattering titles and praises too great even for
_men_. Do they tell of his noble race and lineage while his owners
are still alive? What soldier brooks to read that single-handed he,
Eutropius, won great battles? Are Byzas[106] and Constantine to be told
that he is the third founder of Rome? Meanwhile the arrogant pander
prolongs his revels till the dawn, stinking of wine and scattering
money amid the crowd to buy their applause. He spends whole days of
amusement in the theatres, prodigal of another’s money. But his sister
and spouse (if such a prodigy can be conceived) wins the favour of
Rome’s matrons by entertainments, and, like a chaste wife, sings the
praises of her eunuch husband. ’Tis her he loves, her he consults
on all matters of importance, be it of peace or war, to her care he
entrusts the keys of the palace, as one would of a stable or empty
house. Is the guardianship of a mighty empire thus naught? Is it thus
he makes a mockery of a world’s obedience?

Winter, passing into spring, had now felt the returning warmth of
Zephyrus’ breezes and the earliest flowers had oped their buds when, in
the lap of peace, they were preparing the annual journey to thy walls,
Ancyra. ’Twas Eutropius’ device that weariness of the sea[107] might
not come upon him,

    [106] Mythical founder of Byzantium (= Constantinople): said to
    have been contemporaneous with the Argonauts (Diod. iv. 49. 1).

    [107] _i.e._ to prevent his being bored with the view of the

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 192

    sed vaga lascivis flueret discursibus aestas:                      100
    unde tamen tanta sublimes mole redibant,
    ceu vinctos traherent Medos Indumque bibissent.
    ecce autem flavis Gradivus ab usque Gelonis
    arva cruentato repetebat Thracia curru:
    subsidunt Pangaea rotis altaeque sonoro                            105
    stridunt axe nives. ut vertice constitit Haemi
    femineasque togas pressis conspexit habenis,
    subrisit cradele pater cristisque micantem
    quassavit galeam; tunc implacabile numen
    Bellonam adloquitur, quae sanguine sordida vestem
    Illyricis pingues pectebat stragibus hydros:                       111
      “Necdum mollitiae, necdum, germana, mederi
    possumus Eoae? numquam corrupta rigescent
    saecula? Cappadocum tepidis Argaeus acervis
    aestuat; infelix etiamnum pallet Orontes.                          115
    dum pereunt, meminere mali; si corda parumper
    respirare sinas, nullo tot funera sensu
    praetereunt: antiqua levis iactura cruoris!
      “Adspicis obscaenum facinus? quid crinibus ora
    protegis? en quales sese diffudit in actus                         120
    parva quies, quantum nocuerunt otia ferri!
    qui caruit bellis, eunucho traditur annus.
    actum de trabeis esset, si partibus una
    mens foret Hesperiis; rueret derisa vetustas
    nullaque calcati starent vestigia iuris,                           125
    ni memor imperii Stilicho morumque priorum
    turpe relegasset defenso Thybride nomen

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 193

but a roaming summer might slide away in pleasure journeys. But so
magnificent was their return, you would have imagined they brought
conquered Persia in their train and had drunk of the waters of Indus.
Look you! Mars, returning from the distant lands of the yellow-haired
Geloni, was re-seeking the lands of Thrace in his bloody chariot.
Pangaeus subsided beneath his wheels, the mountain snows cried out
under his sounding axle. Scarce had the father stayed on Haemus’ summit
and, reining in his coursers, looked upon the toga-clad woman, when
he smiled a cruel smile and shook his gleaming crested helm; then he
addressed Bellona, implacable goddess, who, her raiment all stained
with blood, was combing her snake-hair, fattened on the slaughter of

“Sister, shall we never succeed in curing the East of effeminacy? Will
this corrupt age never learn true manliness? Argaeus yet reeks with
those heaps of dead Cappadocians not yet cold; Orontes is still pale
from misery. But they only remember evil while they suffer it; give
them a moment’s respite and all their slaughter fades from their minds
unfelt; little they reck of bloodshed that is past.

“Seest thou this foul deed? Why veil thy face with thine hair? See
what crimes a short spell of peace has wrought! what a curse has the
sheathèd sword proved! The year that has known no war has had a eunuch
for its consul. The consulship would have been at an end had a like
spirit animated Italy; this age-long office had fallen amid mockery and
no traces been left of its trampled rights, had not Stilicho, heedful
of the empire and of the character and morals of a past age, banished
from Tiber’s city

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 194

    intactamque novo servasset crimine Romam.
    ille dedit portum, quo se pulsata referret
    maiestas Latii deformataeque secures;                              130
    ille dedit fastos, ad quos Oriente relicto
    confugeret sparsum maculis servilibus aevum.
      “Quam similes haec aula viros! ad moenia visus
    dirige: num saltem tacita formidine mussant?
    num damnant animo? plaudentem cerne senatum                        135
    et Byzantinos proceres Graiosque Quirites.
    o patribus plebes, o digni consule patres!
    quid? quod et armati cessant et nulla virilis
    inter tot gladios sexum reminiscitur ira?
    hucine nostrorum cinctus abiere nepotum?                           140
    sic Bruti despectus honos?
                               “Ignosce parenti,
    Romule, quod serus temeratis fascibus ultor
    advenio: iamiam largis haec gaudia faxo
    compensent lacrimis. quid dudum inflare moraris
    Tartaream, Bellona, tubam, quid stringere falcem,                  145
    qua populos a stirpe metis? molire tumultus,
    excute delicias. Thracum Macetumque ruinae
    taedet et in gentes iterum saevire sepultas.
    damna minus consueta move; trans aequora saevas
    verte faces; aliis exordia sume rapinis.                           150
    non tibi Riphaeis hostis quaerendus ab oris,
    non per Caucasias accito turbine valles
    est opus. Ostrogothis colitur mixtisque Gruthungis
    Phryx ager: hos parvae poterunt impellere causae

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 195

this shameful name and kept Rome unsullied by an unheard of crime.
He has given us a harbour to which the exiled majesty of Latium and
the disgraced fasces might retire; he has given us annals wherein,
abandoning the East, an age polluted with servile stains might find a

“How like to its lord the inhabitants of the palace! Turn your eyes
to the city walls. Surely they at least mutter disapprobation, though
fear forbids them speak out? Do they not condemn him in their hearts?
No: list the plaudits of the senate, of the lords of Byzantium, of the
Grecian citizens of Rome. O people worthy of such a senate, senate
worthy of such a consul! To think that all these bear arms and use them
not, that manly indignation reminds not of their sex those many whose
thighs bear a sword! Has my descendants’ robe of office sunk so low? Is
Brutus’ renown thus brought to scorn?

“Romulus, forgive thy sire for coming so tardy an avenger of those
outraged fasces. Right soon will I make them pay for this joy with
liberal tears. Why delayest thou, Bellona, to sound the trumpet of hell
and to arm thyself with the scythe wherewith thou mowest the people
to the ground? Foment discord, banish pleasures. I am aweary of the
devastation of Thrace and Macedon, of vengeance twice wreaked on races
already buried. Arouse less accustomed destruction; spread fire and
sword beyond the seas, make a beginning of new devastation. Seek not
now thy foe on Riphaeus’ heights: what boots it to rouse the storm of
war amid Caucasia’s ravines? Ostrogoths and Gruthungi together inhabit
the land of Phrygia; ’twill need but a touch

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 196

    in scelus; ad mores facilis natura reverti.                        155
    sic eat: in nostro quando iam milite robur
    torpuit et molli didicit parere magistro,
    vindicet Arctous violatas advena leges;
    barbara Romano succurrant arma pudori.”

    Sic fatus clipeo, quantum vix ipse deorum                          160
    arbiter infesto cum percutit aegida nimbo,
    intonuit. responsat Athos Haemusque remugit;
    ingeminat raucum Rhodope concussa fragorem.
    cornua cana gelu mirantibus extulit undis
    Hebrus et exanguem glacie timor adligat Histrum.                   165
    tunc, adamante gravem nodisque rigentibus hastam,
    telum ingens nullique deo iaculabile, torsit.
    fit late ruptis via nubibus; ilia per auras
    tot freta, tot montes uno contenta volatu
    transilit et Phrygiae mediis adfigitur arvis.                      170
    sensit humus; gemuit Nysaeo palmite felix
    Hermus et aurata Pactolus inhorruit urna
    totaque summissis fleverunt Dindyma silvis.

    Nec dea praemissae stridorem segnius hastae
    consequitur, centumque vias meditata nocendi                       175
    tandem Tarbigilum (Geticae dux improbus alae[108]
    hic erat) adgreditur. viso tum forte redibat
    Eutropio vacuus donis, feritasque dolore
    creverat et, teneris etiam quae crimina suadet

    [108] _alae_ Rubenus; MSS. (followed by Birt) have _aulae_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 197

to precipitate them into revolt; readily does nature return to her old
ways. So be it. Since our soldiers’ valour is numbed and they have
learned to obey an unmanned master, let a stranger from the north
avenge our outraged laws and barbarian arms bring relief to disgraced

So spake he and thundered with his shield nigh as loud as the ruler of
the gods when he shakes his aegis from out the lowering cloud. Athos
replies, Haemus re-echoes; again and again shaken Rhodope repeats the
hoarse uproar. Hebrus raised from out the wondering waters his horns
hoary with frost, and bloodless Ister froze in fear. Then the god cast
his javelin,[109] heavy with steel, and stiff with knotted shaft, a
mighty weapon such as none other god could wield. The clouds part
before its onset and give it free passage; through the air it speeds
o’er seas and mountains by one mighty cast and comes to earth amid
the plains of Phrygia. The ground felt the shock; Hermus blessed with
Dionysus’ vines groaned thereat, Pactolus’ golden urn shuddered, all
Dindymus bent his forest fleece and wept.

Bellona, too, hastens forth with speed no less than that of Mars’
whistling spear; a hundred ways of hurt she pondered and at last
approached Tarbigilus,[110] fierce leader of the Getic squadron. It
chanced he had but late returned with empty hands from a visit to
Eutropius; disappointment and indignation aggravated his ferocity, and
poverty, that can incite

    [109] Alluding to the Roman custom of casting a spear as a sign of the
    declaration of war; _cf_. Ovid, _Fasti_, vi. 207--

        Hinc solet hasta manu belli praenuntia mitti
          In regem et gentes cum placet arma capi.

    [110] Tarbigilus seems to have belonged to the nation of the
    Gruthungi. The exact form of his name is a matter of uncertainty.
    The MSS. vary: Zosimus (v. 13. 2) calls him Τριβίγιλδος. His revolt
    in Phrygia (_cf._ ll. 274, etc.) took place in 399.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 198

    ingeniis, Scythicum pectus flammabat egestas.                      180
    huic sese vultu simulatae coniugis offert
    mentitoque ferox incedit barbara gressu,
    carbaseos induta sinus: post terga reductas
    uberibus propior mordebat fibula vestes,
    inque orbem tereti mitra retinente capillum                        185
    strinxerat et virides flavescere iusserat angues.
    advolat ac niveis reducem complectitur ulnis
    infunditque animo furiale per oscula virus.
    principe quam largo veniat, quas inde reportet
    divitias, astu rabiem motura requirit.                             190
    ille iter ingratum, vanos deflere labores,
    quos super eunuchi fastus, quae probra tulisset.
    continuo secat ungue genas et tempore pandit
    adrepto gemitus:

    “I nunc, devotus aratris
    scinde solum positoque tuos mucrone sodales                        195
    ad rastros sudare doce. bene rura Gruthungus
    excolet et certo disponet sidere vites.
    felices aliae, quas debellata maritis
    oppida, quas magnis quaesitae viribus ornant
    exuviae, quibus Argivae pulchraeque ministrant                     200
    Thessalides, famulas et quae meruere Lacaenas.
    me nimium timido, nimium iunxere remisso
    fata viro, totum qui degener exuit Histrum,
    qui refugit patriae ritus, quem detinet aequi
    gloria concessoque cupit vixisse colonus                           205
    quam dominus rapto. quid pulchra vocabula pigris

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 199

the gentlest heart to crime, inflamed his savage breast. Taking upon
her the similitude of his wife she comes to meet him; proudly she steps
forth like the barbarian queen, clothed in linen raiment. Close to
her breast a brooch fastened her dress that trailed behind her; she
had bound her locks into a coil that a polished circlet confined, and
bidden her green snakes turn to gold. She hastens to greet him on his
return and throws her snowy arms about his neck, instilling the poison
of the furies into his soul by her kisses. Guilefully to stir his rage
she asks if the great man has been generous to him; if he brings back
rich presents. With tears he recounts his profitless journey, his
useless toil, the pride and insults, moreover, which he had to bear
at the eunuch’s hands. At once she seized the favourable moment, and
tearing her cheek with her nails, discloses her complaints.

“Go then, busy thyself with the plough, cleave the soil, bid thy
followers lay aside their swords and sweat o’er the harrow. The
Gruthungi will make good farmers and will plant their vines in due
season. Happy those other women whose glory is seen in the towns
their husbands have conquered, they whose adornment is the spoils so
hardly won from an enemy, whose servants are fair captives of Argos or
Thessaly, and who have won them slaves from Sparta. Fate has mated me
with too timid, too indolent a husband, a degenerate who has forgotten
the valour of Ister’s tribes, who deserts his country’s ways, whom
a vain reputation for justice attracts, while he longs to live as a
husbandman by favour rather than as a prince by plunder. Why give fair
names to shameful weakness?

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 200

    praetentas vitiis? probitatis inertia nomen,
    iustitiae formido subit. tolerabis iniquam
    pauperiem, cum tela geras? et flebis inultus,
    cum pateant tantae nullis custodibus urbes?                        210

    “Quippe metus poenae. pridem mos ille vigebat,
    ut meritos colerent impacatisque rebelles
    urgerent odiis; at nunc, qui foedera rumpit,
    ditatur; qui servat, eget. vastator Achivae
    gentis et Epirum nuper populates inultam                           215
    praesidet Illyrico; iam, quos obsedit, amicos
    ingreditur muros illis responsa daturus,
    quorum coniugibus potitur natosque peremit.
    sic hostes punire solent, haec praemia solvunt
    excidiis. cunctaris adhuc numerumque tuorum                        220
    respicis exiguamque manum? tu rumpe quietem;
    bella dabunt socios. nec te tam prona monerem,
    si contra paterere viros: nunc alter in armis
    sexus et eunuchis se defensoribus orbis
    credidit; hos aquilae Romanaque signa sequuntur.
    incipe barbaricae tandem te reddere vitae,                         226
    te quoque iam timeant admirenturque nocentem,
    quem sprevere pium. spoliis praedaque repletus
    cum libeat Romanus eris.”

    Sic fata repente
    in diram se vertit avem rostroque recurvo                          230
    turpis et infernis tenebris obscurior alas
    auspicium veteri sedit ferale sepulcro.

    Ille, pavor postquam resoluto corde quievit

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 201

Cowardice is called loyalty; fear, a sense of justice. Wilt thou
submit to humiliating poverty though thou bearest arms? Wilt thou weep
unavenged, though so many cities open to thee their undefended gates?

“Dost thou fear the consequences? Rome’s old way was to reward merit
and vent on rebels a hate that knew no bound. Now he who breaks a
treaty wins riches, while he who observes one lives in want. The
ravager of Achaea and recent devastator of defenceless Epirus is lord
of Illyria[111]; he now enters as a friend within the walls to which
he was laying siege, and administers justice to those whose wives he
has seduced and whose children he has murdered. Such is the punishment
meted out to an enemy, such the vengeance exacted for wholesale
slaughter--and dost thou still hesitate? Hast thou regard to the small
numbers of thy followers? Nay, have done with peace: war will give thee
allies. Nor would I urge thee so instantly hadst thou to face men. It
is another sex that is in arms against thee; the world has entrusted
itself to the protection of eunuchs; ’tis such leaders the eagles and
standards of Rome follow. Time it is thou didst return to a barbarian
life; be thou in thy turn an object of terror, and let men marvel at
thy crimes who despised thy virtues. Laden with booty and plunder thou
shalt be a Roman when it pleases thee.”

So saying she suddenly changed into an ill-omened bird, a loathsome
sight with its hooked beak and plumage blacker than Hell’s darkness,
and perched, a sinister augury, on an old tomb.

So soon as repose from terror came to his freed

    [111] Alaric was made _magister militum_ in Illyricum: see
    Introduction, p. x.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 202

    et rigidae sedere comae, non distulit atrox
    iussa deae; sociis, quae viderat, ordine pandit                    235
    inritatque sequi. Coniurat barbara pubes
    nacta ducem Latiisque palam descivit ab armis.

    Pars Phrygiae, Scythicis quaecumque Trionibus alget
    proxima, Bithynos, solem quae condit, Ionas,
    quae levat, attingit Galatas. utrimque propinqui                   240
    finibus obliquis Lydi Pisidaeque feroces
    continuant australe latus. gens una fuere
    tot quondam populi, priscum cognomen et unum
    appellata Phryges; sed (quid non longa valebit
    permutare dies?) dicti post Maeona regem                           245
    Maeones. Aegaeos insedit Graecia portus;
    Thyni Thraces arant quae nunc Bithynia fertur;
    nuper ab Oceano Gallorum exercitus ingens
    illis ante vagus tandem regionibus haesit
    gaesaque deposuit, Graio iam mitis amictu,                         250
    pro Rheno poturus Halyn. dat cuncta vetustas
    principium Phrygibus; nec rex Aegyptius ultra
    restitit, humani postquam puer uberis expers
    in Phrygiam primum laxavit murmura vocem.

    Hie cecidit Libycis iactata paludibus olim                         255
    tibia, foedatam cum reddidit umbra Minervam,
    hic et Apollinea victus testudine pastor
    suspensa memores inlustrat pelle Celaenas.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 203

heart, and his stiffened hair sank down again, he made all haste to
carry out the commands of the goddess. He told his followers all that
he had seen and urged them to follow him. Rebellious Barbary had found
a champion and openly threw off the Latin yoke.

That part of Phrygia which lies towards the north beneath the cold
constellation of the Wain borders on Bithynia; that towards the sunset
on Ionia, and that towards the sunrise on Galatia. On two sides runs
the transverse boundary of Lydia while the fierce Pisidians hem it in
to the south. All these peoples once formed one nation and had one
name: they were of old called the Phrygians, but (what changes does
time not bring about?) after the reign of a king Maeon, were known as
Maeones. Then the Greeks settled on the shores of the Aegean, and the
Thyni from Thrace cultivated the region now called Bithynia. Not long
since a vast army of Gauls, nomad hitherto, came at last to rest in the
district; these laid by their spears, clothed them in the civilized
robe of Greece and drank no longer from Rhine’s, but from Halys’,
waters. All antiquity gives priority to the Phrygian, even Egypt’s
king had perforce to recognize it when the babe, nourished at no human
breast, first opened his lips to lisp the Phrygian tongue.[112]

Here fell the pipe once hurled into the marshes of Libya, what time
the stream reflected Minerva’s disfigured countenance.[113] Here, too,
there perished, conquered by Apollo’s lyre, the shepherd Marsyas whose
flayed skin brought renown to the city of

    [112] The reference is to Herodotus ii. 2. Psammetichus, King of
    Egypt, wishing to find out which was the most ancient nation, had
    two children reared in complete silence. As the first word they
    uttered was “Becos,” the Phrygian word for “bread,” Phrygia was
    accorded the honour.

    [113] Minerva is said to have thrown her pipe into the river when
    she observed in the reflection the facial contortions apparently
    necessary to play it; _cf._ Ovid, _Fasti_, vi. 699.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 204

    quattuor hinc magnis procedunt fontibus amnes
    auriferi; nec miror aquas radiare metallo,                         260
    quae totiens lavere Midan. diversus ad Austrum
    cursus et Arctoum fluviis mare. Dindyma fundunt
    Sangarium, vitrei puro qui gurgite Galli
    auctus Amazonii defertur ad ostia Ponti.
    Icarium pelagus Mycalaeaque litora iuncti                          265
    Marsya Maeanderque petunt; sed Marsya velox,
    dum suus est, flexuque carens iam flumine mixtus
    mollitur, Maeandre, tuo; contraria passus,
    quam Rhodano stimulatus Arar: quos inter aprica
    planities Cererique favet densisque ligatur                        270
    vitibus et glaucae fructus attollit olivae,
    dives equis, felix pecori pretiosaque picto
    marmore purpureis, caedit quod Synnada, venis.
      Talem tum Phrygiam Geticis populatibus uri
    permisere dei. securas barbarus urbes                              275
    inrupit facilesque capi. spes nulla salutis,
    nulla fugae: putribus iam propugnacula saxis
    longo corruerant aevo pacisque senecta.
      Interea gelidae secretis rupibus Idae
    dum sedet et thiasos spectat de more Cybebe                        280
    Curetumque alacres ad tympana suscitat enses,
    aurea sanctarum decus inmortale comarum
    defluxit capiti turris summoque volutus
    vertice crinalis violatur pulvere murus.
    obstipuere truces omen Corybantes et uno                           285
    fixa metu tacitas presserunt orgia buxos.
    indoluit genetrix, tum sic commota profatur:

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                              Page 205

Celaenae. Hence flow four broad auriferous rivers. Small wonder that
the waters in which King Midas bathed so often glitter with the rare
metal. Two flow north, two southwards. Dindymus gives birth to the
river Sangarius, which, swollen by the clear stream of the Gallus,
hastens on to the Euxine, the sea of the Amazon. The conjoined streams
of Marsyas and Meander make for the Icarian main and Mycale’s strand.
Marsyas flows fast and straight while his course is his own; mingled
with thy waters, Meander, he goes slowly--unlike the Saône whose
waters are hastened by the Rhone’s inflowing. Between these rivers is
a sun-kissed plain; kindly is it to the corn, thick-set with vines and
displaying the fruit of the grey-green olive; rich, too, in horses,
fertile in flocks, and wealthy with the purple-veined marble that
Synnada quarries.

Such was Phrygia then when the gods allowed it to be ravaged by Getic
brigands. The barbarian burst in upon those cities so peaceful, so easy
of capture. There was no hope of safety, no chance of escape. Long and
peaceful ages had made the crumbling stones of their battlements to

Meanwhile Cybele was seated amid the hallowed rocks of cold Ida,
watching, as is her wont, the dance, and inciting the joyous Curetes
to brandish their swords at the sound of the drum, when, lo, the
golden-turreted crown, the eternal glory of her blessèd hair, fell from
off her head and, rolling from her brow, the castellated diadem is
profaned in the dust. The Corybantes stopped in amazement at this omen;
general alarm checked their orgies and silenced their pipes. The mother
of the gods wept; then spake thus in sorrow.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 206

      “Hoc mihi iam pridem Lachesis grandaeva canebat
    augurium: Phrygiae casus venisse supremos
    delapsus testatur apex, heu sanguine qualis                        290
    ibit Sangarius quantasque cadavera lenti
    Maeandri passura moras! inmobilis haeret
    terminus, haec dudum nato placuere Tonanti.
    par et finitimis luctus, frustraque Lyaei
    non defensuros implorat Lydia thyrsos.                             295
    iamque vale Phrygiae tellus perituraque flammis
    moenia, conspicuas quae nunc attollitis arces,
    mox campi nudumque solum! dilecta valete
    flumina! non vestris ultra bacchabor in antris
    nec iuga sulcabit noster Berecynthia currus.”                      300
    dixit et ad tristes convertit tympana planctus.
    labentem patriam sacris ululatibus Attis
    personat et torvi lacrimis maduere leones.
      Eutropius, nequeat quamvis metuenda taceri
    clades et trepidus vulgaverit omnia rumor,                         305
    ignorare tamen fingit regnique ruinas
    dissimulat: parvam latronum errare catervam,
    ad sontes tormenta magis quam tela parari
    nec duce frangendas iactat, sed iudice vires:
    vasta velut Libyae venantum vocibus ales                           310
    cum premitur calidas cursu transmittit harenas
    inque modum veli sinuatis flamine pennis
    pulverulenta volat; si iam vestigia retro
    clara sonent, oblita fugae stat lumine clauso
    (ridendum!) revoluta caput creditque latere,                       315
    quem non ipsa videt. furtim tamen ardua mittit

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 207

“This is the portent that agèd Lachesis foretold long years ago. My
fallen crown assures me that Phrygia’s final crisis is upon her. Alas
for the blood that shall redden Sangarius’ waves; for all the corpses
that shall retard Meander’s slow stream. The hour is fixed irrevocably;
such, long since, was my son’s, the Thunderer’s, will. A like disaster
awaits the neighbouring peoples; in vain does Lydia invoke the thyrsus
of Bacchus in her defence. Now fare thee well, land of Phrygia,
farewell, walls doomed to the flames, walls that now rear aloft proud
towers but will soon be levelled with the ground and the bare earth.
Farewell, dear rivers: never more shall I hold my inspired revels in
your grottoes; no more shall my chariot leave the traces of its wheels
on Berecynthus’ heights.” So spake she, and turned her drums to strains
of mourning. Attis filled his devoted country with holy lamentations
and Cybele’s tawny lions burst into tears.

Eutropius, although this terrible revolt could not be hid and although
rumour had spread everywhere the dread news, none the less affects to
ignore it and shuts his eyes to the empire’s peril. ’Twas some poor
troop of wandering brigands; such wretches call for punishment not war;
a judge--so he brags--not a general should crush their strength. Even
so the great Libyan bird, hard pressed by the cries of its pursuers,
runs o’er the burning sands and flies through the dust, curving its
wings like sails to catch the breeze; but when it clearly hears the
footsteps close behind it, it forgets its flight, standing with closed
eyes and hiding its head, believing, poor fool, it cannot be seen by
those whom itself cannot see. None the less Eutropius

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 208

    cum donis promissa novis, si forte rogatus
    desinat. ille semel nota dulcedine praedae
    se famulo servire negat, nec grata timentum
    munera; militiam nullam nec prima superbus                         320
    cingula dignari; nam quis non consule tali
    vilis honos?
                 Postquam precibus mitescere nullis,
    non auro cessisse videt creberque recurrit
    nuntius incassum nec spes iam foederis extat:
    tandem consilium belli confessus agendi                            325
    ad sua tecta vocat. iuvenes venere protervi
    lascivique senes, quibus est insignis edendi
    gloria corruptasque dapes variasse decorum,
    qui ventrem invitant pretio traduntque palato
    sidereas Iunonis aves et si qua loquendi                           330
    gnara coloratis viridis defertur ab Indis,
    quaesitos trans regna cibos, quorumque profundam
    ingluviem non Aegaeus, non alta Propontis,
    non freta longinquis Maeotia piscibus explent.
    vestis odoratae studium; laus maxima risum                         335
    per vanos movisse sales minimeque viriles
    munditiae; compti vultus; onerique vel ipsa
    serica. si Chunus feriat, si Sarmata portas,
    solliciti scaenae; Romam contemnere sueti
    mirarique suas, quas Bosphorus obruat! aedes;                      340
    saltandi dociles aurigarumque periti.
      Pars humili de plebe duces; pars compede suras

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 209

sends towering promises with new gifts, if haply his foe may pause at
his entreaty. But the barbarian, in whose heart was once waked the
old love of plunder, refuses to submit to a slave; for him the gifts
of fear have no charm; haughtily he disdains any rank,[114] even the
highest, for under such a consul what honour would not be disgrace?

When Eutropius saw that no prayers could move him nor any gold win
him over; when messenger after messenger returned, his mission
unfulfilled, and all hopes of an alliance were at an end, he at last
recognized the necessity for war and summoned the council to his
palace. Thither they came--wanton lads and debauched greybeards whose
greatest glory was gluttony, and whose pride it was to diversify the
outraged banquet. Their hunger is only aroused by costly meats, and
they tickle their palates with foods imported from overseas, the flesh
of the many-eyed fowl of Juno,[115] or of that coloured bird brought
from farthest Ind that knows how to speak. Not the Aegean, not deep
Propontis, not Maeotis’ lake afar can sate their appetites with fish.
Perfumed garments are their care, their pride to move foolish laughter
with their silly jests. On their adornment and toilette they bestow
a woman’s care and find even the silk they wear too heavy a burden.
Should the Hun, the Sarmatian, strike at the city’s gates yet trouble
they for nought but the theatre. Rome they despise and reserve their
admiration for their own houses--may Bosporus’ waters overwhelm them!
Skilful dancers they and clever judges of charioteers.

Some sprung from the dregs of the people are generals; some
magistrates--though their legs and

    [114] Claudian uses the word _cingulum_ (= a soldier’s belt) as =
    military service--a not uncommon late use, _cf._ Serv. _Aen._ viii.
    724 and (frequently) _cingi_ = to serve, in the Digests.

    [115] _i.e._ the peacock.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 210

    cruraque signati nigro liventia ferro
    iura regunt, facies quamvis inscripta repugnet
    seque suo prodat titulo. sed prima potestas                        345
    Eutropium praefert Hosio subnixa secundo.
    dulcior hic sane cunctis prudensque movendi
    iuris et admoto qui temperet omnia fumo,
    fervidus, accensam sed qui bene decoquat iram.
    considunt apices gemini dicionis Eoae,                             350
    hic cocus, hic leno, defossi verbere terga,
    servitio, non arte pares, hic saepius emptus,
    alter ad Hispanos nutritus verna penates.
      Ergo ubi collecti proceres, qui rebus in artis
    consulerent tantisque darent solacia morbis,                       355
    obliti subito Phrygiae bellisque relictis
    ad solitos coepere iocos et iurgia circi
    tendere. nequiquam magna confligitur ira,
    quis melius vibrata puer vertigine molli
    membra rotet, verrat quis marmora crine supino?                    360
    quis magis enodes laterum detorqueat arcus,[116]
    quis voci digitos, oculos quis moribus aptet?
    hi tragicos meminere modos; his fabula Tereus,
    his necdum commissa choro cantatur Agave.
      Increpat Eutropius: non haec spectacula tempus
    poscere; nunc alias armorum incumbere curas;                       366
    se satis Armenio fessum pro limite cingi

    [116] Birt _artus_; I return to the vulg. _arcus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 211

ankles are still scarred and livid with their wearing of the fetters of
servitude and though their branded foreheads deny their owners’ right
to office and disclose their true title. Among them Eutropius holds
the first place; Hosius, on whom he relies, comes next. He of a truth
is more popular, a cunning artificer of justice who knows well how to
steam his cases; at times boiling with anger, yet well able to render
down that anger when aroused.[117] These sit enthroned, joint rulers
of the eastern empire, the one a cook the other a pander. The backs of
both are scarred with the whip, each was a slave though of a different
kind. The one had been bought and sold a hundred times, the other
brought up a dependant in a Spanish household.

When, therefore, the chief men were gathered together for consultation
in this strait and to comfort the sickness of the state, forthwith
they forget Phrygia and, setting aside the question of war, start
their accustomed fooling and engage in disputes about the Circus.
With heat as fierce as it is pointless they wrangle what boy can best
whirl quivering limbs in an easy somersault or sweep the marble floor
with his drooping locks; who can most twist his flanks into a boneless
arch; who can best suit his gestures to his words and his eyes to his
character. Some recite speeches from tragedy, others chant the play of
Tereus, others again that of Agave, never before staged.

Eutropius chides them; the present moment, says he, demands other
spectacles than these; it is war which now should claim all their care.
For his part (for he is an old man and a weary) it is enough to defend
the frontiers of Armenia; single-handed

    [117] Hosius, by birth a Spaniard, had been a slave and a
    cook--whence these various double meanings. He rose to be _magister
    officiorum_ at the court of Arcadius (_circa_ 396-8).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 212

    nec tantis unum subsistere posse periclis;
    ignoscant senio, iuvenes ad proelia mittant:--
    qualis pauperibus nutrix invisa puellis                            370
    adsidet et tela communem quaerere victum
    rauca monet; festis illae lusisse diebus
    orant et positis aequaevas visere pensis,
    irataeque operi iam lasso pollice fila
    turbant et teneros detergent stamine fletus.                       375

    Emicat extemplo cunctis trepidantibus audax
    crassa mole Leo, quem vix Cyclopia solum
    aequatura fames, quem non ieiuna Celaeno
    vinceret; hinc nomen fertur meruisse Leonis.
    acer in absentes linguae iactator, abundans                        380
    corporis exiguusque animi, doctissimus artis
    quondam lanificae, moderator pectinis unci.
    non alius lanam purgatis sordibus aeque
    praebuerit calathis, similis nec pinguia quisquam
    vellera per tenues ferri producere rimas.                          385
    tunc Aiax erat Eutropii lateque fremebat,
    non septem vasto quatiens umbone iuvencos,
    sed, quam perpetuis dapibus pigroque sedili
    inter anus interque colos oneraverat, alvum.
    adsurgit tandem vocemque expromit anhelam:                         390

    “Quis novus hic torpor, socii? quonam usque sedemus
    femineis clausi thalamis patimurque periclum
    gliscere desidia? graviorum turba malorum
    texitur, ignavis trahimus dum tempora votis.
    me petit hic sudor. numquam mea dextera segnis
    ad ferrum. faveat tantum Tritonia coeptis,                         396

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 213

he cannot cope with all these perils. They must pardon his age and send
younger men to the war:--it is as though a hated forewoman were sitting
among a crowd of poor working-girls and bidding them in her raucous
voice ply the loom and gain their livelihood, while they beg to be
allowed the enjoyment of a holiday, to lay aside their tasks and visit
their friends; angered at her refusal and wearied of their work they
crush the threads in their hands and wipe away their gentle tears with
the cloth.

Sudden from out that trembling throng upleaps bold Leo[118] with his
vast bulk, he whose single prowess Cyclopean hunger could scarce
match, whom starving Celaeno could not outvie. ’Tis to this fact that
he is said to have owed his name. Bold (when his foe was absent),
brave (as a speaker), great in bulk but small of heart, once a highly
skilled spinner of thread and a cunning carder, none other could so
well cleanse the dirt from out the fleece and fill the baskets, none
other pull the thick wool over the iron teeth of the comb as could he.
He was then Eutropius’ Ajax and far and near he raged, shaking not
a huge shield compact of seven layers of ox-hide, but that belly of
his, laden with continuous feastings, as he sat lazily among old dames
and distaffs. At length he arose and, panting, said, “What unwonted
sluggishness is this, my friends? How long must we sit closeted in the
women’s apartments and suffer our perils to increase by reason of our
sloth? Fate weaves for us a network of ill while we waste our time in
useless vows. This difficult task demands my action; never was my hand
slow to use iron. Let but Minerva favour

    [118] Gainas and Leo were sent by Eutropius to put down the revolt
    of Tarbigilus. Gainas, however, never left the Hellespont and
    Leo, advancing into Pamphylia, there met, and was defeated by,
    Tarbigilus (Zosim. v. 16. 5). We gather from Claudian that he had
    once been a weaver.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 214

    inceptum peragetur opus. iam cuncta furorem
    qui gravat, efficiam leviorem pondere lanae
    Tarbigilum tumidum, desertoresque Gruthungos
    ut miseras populabor oves et pace relata                           400
    pristina restituam Phrygias ad stamina matres.”

    His dictis iterum sedit; fit plausus et ingens
    concilii clamor, qualis resonantibus olim
    exoritur caveis, quotiens crinitus ephebus
    aut rigidam Nioben aut flentem Troada fingit.                      405
    protinus excitis iter inremeabile signis
    adripit infaustoque iubet bubone moveri
    agmina Mygdonias mox impletura volucres.

    Pulcher et urbanae cupiens exercitus umbrae,
    adsiduus ludis, avidus splendere lavacris                          410
    nec soles imbresve pati, multumque priori
    dispar, sub clipeo Thracum qui ferre pruinas,
    dum Stilicho regeret, nudoque hiemare sub axe
    sueverat et duris haurire bipennibus Hebrum.
    cum duce mutatae vires. Byzantia robur                             415
    fregit luxuries Ancyranique triumphi.
    non peditem praecedit eques; non commoda castris
    eligitur regio; vicibus custodia nullis
    advigilat vallo; non explorantur eundae
    vitandaeque viae; nullo se cornua flectunt                         420
    ordine: confusi passim per opaca vagantur
    lustra, per ignotas angusto tramite valles.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 215

mine attempts and the work begun will be the work completed. Now will I
render proud Tarbigilus, whose madness has caused all this turmoil, of
less weight than a ball of wool, the faithless Gruthungi I will drive
before me like a flock of wretched sheep; and when I have restored
peace I will set the women of Phrygia once more beside their ancient

So saying he sat down again. Great clamour and applause filled the
council-chamber, applause such as rises from the rows of spectators in
the theatre when some curled youth impersonates Niobe turned to stone,
or Hecuba in tears. Straightway Leo unfolds his banners and starts on
the journey whence there is to be no return. To the accompaniment of
the screech-owl’s ill-omened cry he bids march the host destined so
soon to feed the vultures of Mygdonia.

’Tis a well-favoured army, enamoured of the city’s shade, ever present
at the games, anxious to shine in the baths, not to bear sun-scorch
and rain, and oh! how different to that former army who, ’neath the
leadership of Stilicho, endured under arms the frosts of Thrace and
were wont to winter in the open air and break with their axes the
frozen waters of Hebrus for a draught. Changed is the leader and
changed their character. Byzantium’s luxury and Ancyra’s pomp[119]
have destroyed their vigour. No longer does the cavalry ride ahead of
the foot; suitable ground is not chosen for camps; no constant change
of sentries safeguards the ramparts, no scouts are sent forward to
discover which roads to take or which to avoid; their evolutions are
performed without drill or discipline, in confusion they stray hither
and thither amid dark forests, along narrow

    [119] _Triumphi_ is ironical. Claudian refers to Eutropius’ pleasure
    journey to Ancyra; _cf._ l. 98 of this poem.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 216

    sic vacui rectoris equi, sic orba magistro
    fertur in abruptum casu, non sidere, puppis;
    sic ruit in rupes amisso pisce sodali                              425
    belua, sulcandas qui praevius edocet undas
    inmensumque pecus parvae moderamine caudae
    temperat et tanto coniungit foedera monstro;
    illa natat rationis inops et caeca profundi;
    iam brevibus deprensa vadis ignara reverti                         430
    palpitat et vanos scopulis inlidit hiatus.

    Tarbigilus simulare fugam flatusque Leonis
    spe nutrire leves improvisusque repente,
    dum gravibus marcent epulis hostique catenas
    inter vina erepant, largo sopita Lyaeo                             435
    castra subit. pereunt alii, dum membra cubili
    tarda levant; alii leto iunxere soporem;
    ast alios vicina palus sine more ruentes
    excipit et cumulis inmanibus aggerat undas.
    ipse Leo damma cervoque fugacior ibat                              440
    sudanti tremebundus equo: qui pondere postquam
    decidit, implicitus limo cunctantia pronus
    per vada reptabat. caeno subnixa tenaci
    mergitur et pingui suspirat corpore moles
    more suis, dapibus quae iam devota futuris                         445
    turpe gemit, quotiens Hosius mucrone corusco
    armatur cingitque sinus secumque volutat,
    quas figat verubus partes, quae frusta calenti

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 217

paths in unexplored valleys. So goes a horse that has lost his rider,
thus a ship whose helmsman has been drowned is swept to the abyss,
chance guiding her and not the stars. So too the sea monster[120] is
dashed to pieces against the rocks when it has lost the comrade fish
that swam before it and guided its course through the waves, piloting
the great beast with the motion of its tiny tail according to the
compact which is between it and its huge companion. Aimlessly the
monster swims all unguided through the deep; then, surprised in the
shallow water and knowing not how to return to the sea, pants and to no
purpose dashes its gaping jaws against the rocks.

Tarbigilus feigns retreat and raises the presumptuous hopes of Leo,
then suddenly he bursts all unexpected upon the wine-sodden army, as,
overcome by the heavy feast, they brag over their cups of leading the
foe in chains. Some are slain as they lift their sluggish limbs from
the couch, others know not any break between sleep and death. Others
rush pell-mell into a neighbouring swamp and heap the marsh high
with their dead bodies. Leo himself, swifter than deer or antelope,
fled trembling on his foam-flecked horse, and it falling under his
weight Leo sank in the mire and on all fours fought his way through
the clinging slime. Held up at first by the thick mud, his fat body
gradually settles down panting like a common pig, which, destined to
grace the coming feast, squeals when Hosius arms him with flashing
knife, and gathers up his garments, pondering the while what portions
he will transfix with spits, which pieces of the flesh he will boil and
how much sea-urchin

    [120] The _balaena_ or whale. According to ancient naturalists the
    _balaena_ entered into an alliance with the _musculus_ or sea-mouse
    which, in Pliny’s words, “vada praenatans demonstrat oculorumque
    vice fungitur” (Pliny, _H.N._ ix. 186).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 218

    mandet aquae quantoque cutem distendat echino.
    flagrat opus; crebro pulsatus perstrepit ictu;[121]                450
    contexit varius penetrans Calchedona nidor.
      Ecce levis frondes a tergo concutit aura:
    credit tela Leo; valuit pro vulnere terror
    implevitque vicem iaculi, vitamque nocentem
    integer et sola formidine saucius efflat.                          455
    quis tibi tractandos pro pectine, degener, enses,
    quis solio campum praeponere suasit avito?
    quam bene texentum laudabas carmina tutus
    et matutinis pellebas frigora mensis!
    hic miserande iaces; hic, dum tua vellera vitas,                   460
    tandem fila tibi neverunt ultima Parcae.
      Iam vaga pallentem densis terroribus aulam
    fama quatit; stratas acies, deleta canebat
    agmina, Maeonios foedari caedibus agros,
    Pamphylos Pisidasque rapi. metuendus ab omni                       465
    Tarbigilus regione tonat; modo tendere cursum
    in Galatas, modo Bithynis incumbere fertur.
    sunt qui per Cilicas rupto descendere Tauro,
    sunt qui correptis ratibus terraque marique
    adventare ferant; geminantur vera pavoris                          470
    ingenio: longe spectari puppibus urbes
    accensas, lucere fretum ventoque citatas
    omnibus in pelago velis haerere favillas.
      Hos inter strepitus funestior advolat alter

    [121] I print Birt’s text; but unless _pulsatus_ be taken as a
    substantive (Baehrens’ suggestion, cf. P. Lat. Min. v. p. 120 l.
    169) it is untranslatable. Emendations proposed are _pulsu Cos …
    icta_ Barthius; _pulsatus aper strepit_ Buecheler; _cultri sus_ or
    _pulpae ius_ Birt. The sense demands, however, some such word as
    _Bosporus_ to make a parallelism with _Calchedona_. Possibly the
    line ended _pulsatur Bosporus ictu, perstrepit_ being a gloss on
    _pulsatur_ and eventually ousting _Bosporus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 219

stuffing will be needed to fill the empty skin. The work of preparation
goes on apace, Bosporus echoes to many a blow and the savoury smell
envelops Chalcedon.

Suddenly a gentle breeze stirs the foliage behind Leo’s back. He
thinks it an arrow, and terror, taking a missile’s place, does duty
for a wound. Untouched and stricken only by fear he breathes his last.
Degenerate Roman, by whose advice didst thou exchange the comb for the
sword, thine ancestral calling for the field of battle? How much better
to praise in safety the work of the weavers at their looms and keep out
the cold by means of morning feasts. Here thou hast suffered a wretched
death; here, while thou soughtest to shirk thy spinning, the Fates have
at last spun for thee the final thread.

Now spreading rumour shakes the palace, pale with terror upon terror.
It told how that the army was destroyed, the troops butchered, the
plain of Maeonia red with slaughter, Pamphylia and Pisidia o’errun by
the enemy. On all sides rings the dread name of Tarbigilus. He is now
said to be bearing down upon Galatia, now to be meditating an attack
on Bithynia. Some say he has crossed the Taurus and is descending
upon Cilicia, others that he has possessed himself of a fleet and is
advancing both by land and sea. Truth is doubled by panic’s fancy; they
say that from the ships far cities are seen ablaze, that the straits
are aglow and that ashes driven by the wind catch in the sails of every
ship at sea.

Amid all this confusion comes a yet more terrible

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 220

    nuntius: armatam rursus Babylona minari                            475
    rege novo; resides Parthos ignava perosos
    otia Romanae finem iam quaerere paci.
    rarus apud Medos regum cruor; unaque cuncto
    poena manet generi: quamvis crudelibus aeque
    paretur dominis. sed quid non audeat annus                         480
    Eutropii? socium nobis fidumque Saporem
    perculit et Persas in regia vulnera movit
    rupturasque fidem, leto pars ne qua vacaret,
    Eumenidum taedas trans flumina Tigridis egit.
      Tum vero cecidere animi tantisque procellis                      485
    deficiunt. saepti latrantibus undique bellis
    infensos tandem superos et consulis omen
    agnovere sui, nec iam revocabile damnum
    eventu stolido serum didicere magistro.
    namque ferunt geminos uno de semine fratres                        490
    Iapetionidas generis primordia nostri
    dissimili finxisse manu: quoscumque Prometheus
    excoluit multumque innexuit aethera limo,
    hi longe ventura notant dubiisque parati
    casibus occurrunt fabro meliore politi.                            495
    deteriore luto pravus quos edidit auctor,
    quem merito Grai perhibent Epimethea vates,
    et nihil aetherii sparsit per membra vigoris,
    hi pecudum ritu non impendentia vitant
    nec res ante vident; accepta clade queruntur                       500
    et seri transacta gemunt.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 221

rumour--that Babylon is again in arms and, under a new monarch,[122]
threatens our Empire; the Parthians, long inactive, and now scorning
slothful ease, seek to put an end to the peace imposed by Rome. Rare
among the Medes is the murder of a king, for punishment falls on the
regicide’s whole family. Thus equal obedience is offered to their
overlords, cruel as well as kind. But what would not the year of
Eutropius’ consulship dare? ’Tis that has stricken down our faithful
ally Sapor and roused the Persians’ swords against their own king; that
has cast the torch of the Furies across the Euphrates, there to kindle
rebellion, that no quarter of the globe may escape carnage.

Then indeed men’s hearts failed them, their courage ebbed away amid
all these storms; surrounded as they were on every side by the din of
war, at last they recognized the wrath of heaven and their consul’s
evil omen, learning too late--schooled by the stubborn issue--their now
irrevocable doom. They say that the twin sons of Iapetus formed our
first parents of the same materials but with unequal skill. Those whom
Prometheus fashioned, and with whose clay he mingled abundant ether,
foresee the distant future and, thanks to their more careful making by
a better workman, are thus prepared to meet what fate has in store for
them. Those framed of baser clay by the sorry artificer the Greek poets
so well call Epimetheus, men through whose limbs no ethereal vigour
spreads--these, like sheep, cannot avoid the dangers that o’erhang
them, nor foresee aught. Not till the blow has fallen do they protest
and weep too late the accomplished deed.

    [122] Varanes IV., who, like his three predecessors, Artaxerxes,
    Sapor III., and Varanes III., had observed a truce with Rome, died
    in 399 and was succeeded by Isdigerdes. For all Claudian’s real or
    simulated anxiety this monarch was as peaceably disposed as the
    previous ones (see Oros. vii. 34). Claudian seems to have made an
    error in calling him Sapor (l. 481).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 222

                                   Iam sola renidet
    in Stilichone salus, et cuius semper acerbum
    ingratumque sibi factorum conscius horror
    credidit adventum, quem si procedere tantum
    Alpibus audissent, mortem poenasque tremebant,
    iam cuncti venisse volunt, scelerumque priorum                     506
    paenitet; hoc tantis bellorum sidus in undis
    sperant, hoc pariter iusti sontesque precantur:
    ceu pueri, quibus alta pater trans aequora merces
    devehit, intenti ludo studiisque soluti                            510
    latius amoto passim custode vagantur;
    si gravis auxilio vacuas invaserit aedes
    vicinus laribusque suis proturbet inultos,
    tum demum patrem implorant et nomen inani
    voce cient frustraque oculos ad litora tendunt.                    515
      Omnes supplicio dignos letoque fatentur,
    qui se tradiderint famulis Stilichone relicto.
    mutati stupuere diu sensuque reducto
    paulatim proprii mirantur monstra furoris
    avertuntque oculos: proiectis fascibus horret                      520
    lictor et infames labuntur sponte secures:
    quales Aonio Thebas de monte reversae
    Maenades infectis Pentheo sanguine thyrsis,
    cum patuit venatus atrox matrique rotatum
    conspexere caput, gressus caligine figunt                          525
    et rabiem desisse dolent. quin protinus ipsa
    tendit ad Italiam supplex Aurora potentem

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 223

There now shone forth but one hope of salvation--Stilicho. Him the
expectation of whose visits the consciousness of deeds ill-done had
ever rendered bitter and unpleasant, him whose approach even as far as
the Alps afflicted the Byzantines with fear of death and punishment,
all now wish to come, repentant of their former wrongdoing. To him they
look as to a star amid this universal shipwreck of war; to him innocent
and guilty alike address their prayers. So children whose sire carries
merchandise across the sea, wrapt up in their amusements and heedless
of their studies, wander afield more joyfully now that their guardian
is absent, yet, should a dangerous neighbour invade their defenceless
home and seek to drive them forth unprotected as they are from their
fireside, _then_ they beg their father’s help, call upon his name with
useless cries and all to no purpose direct their gaze towards the shore.

All admit that they deserve punishment and death for deserting Stilicho
and entrusting themselves to the governance of slaves. Long they stood
dazed with altered thoughts, and as their senses slowly return they
marvel at the results of their own madness and turn away their eyes;
flinging down his rods the lictor shudders, and the dishonoured axes
fall of their own accord. Even so the Maenads returning to Thebes from
the Aonian mount, their thyrses dripping with Pentheus’ blood, learning
the true character of their dreadful hunting and seeing the head cast
by the mother herself, hide them in the darkness and lament the end of
their madness. Thereupon suppliant Aurora turned her flight towards
powerful Italy, her hair no

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 224

    non radiis redimita comam, non flammea vultu
    nec croceum vestita diem; stat livida luctu,
    qualis erat Phrygio tegeret cum Memnona busto.
    quam simul agnovit Stilicho nec causa latebat,                     531
    restitit; illa manum victricem amplexa moratur
    altaque vix lacrimans inter suspiria fatur:
      “Tantanc te nostri ceperunt taedia mundi?
    sic me ludibrium famulis risumque relinquis                        535
    dux quondam rectorque meus? solamque tueris
    Hesperiam? domiti nec te post bella tyranni
    cernere iam licuit? sic te victoria nobis
    eripuit Gallisque dedit? Rufinus origo
    prima mali: geminas inter discordia partes                         540
    hoc auctore fuit. sed iam maiora moventi
    occurrit iusta rediens exercitus ira,
    fortis adhuc ferrique memor. brevis inde reluxit
    falsaque libertas; rursum Stilichonis habenis
    sperabam me posse regi. pro caeca futuri                           545
    gaudia! fraterno coniungi coeperat orbis
    imperio (quis enim tanto terrore recentis
    exempli paribus sese committeret ausis?),
    cum subito (monstrosa mihi turpisque relatu
    fabula) Rufini castratus prosilit heres,                           550
    et similes iterum luctus Fortuna reduxit,
    ut solum domini sexum mutasse viderer.
      “Hic primum thalami claustris delicta tegebat
    clam timideque iubens; erat invidiosa potestas,
    sed tamen eunuchi, necdum sibi publica iura                        555

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 225

longer aureole-crowned and she no more bright of countenance nor
clothed with the saffron of the dawn. She stands wan with woe, even as
when she buried Memnon in his Phrygian grave. Stilicho recognized her
and stayed, well knowing the reason of her visit. Long time she clasped
his victorious hand and at length amid tears and sighs addressed him.

“Why art thou so wearied of the world whereon I shine? Leavest thou me
thus to be the sport and laughing-stock of slaves and carest only for
Italy, thou that wert once my guide and my leader? Since thy victory
over the tyrant Eugenius I have not seen thee. Has victory thus robbed
me of thee and given thee to Gaul? Rufinus was the prime cause of the
trouble; ’twas he who wrought disunion between the two empires. But
when he aimed at more there met him an army returning in righteous
wrath, an army still strong, still mindful of its former prowess. For
a moment I was dazzled by the mirage of liberty: I hoped that Stilicho
would once more hold the reins of our empire. Alas for my short-sighted
happiness! The world had begun to form one single empire under the rule
of the two brothers (for who, with the awful example[123] so fresh in
his mind, would dare embark upon a like venture?) when suddenly (it is
a monstrous story which scarce bears the telling) a eunuch came forward
as Rufinus’ heir. Thus fortune brought back my former miseries with
this one difference--that of changing my master’s sex.

At first he kept his crimes hidden behind the doors of his chamber,
an unseen and timid ruler; power was his that all envied, yet only a
eunuch’s, nor dared he yet arrogate to himself the right of

    [123] _i.e._ that of Rufinus.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 226

    sumere nec totas audebat vertere leges.
    at postquam pulsisque bonis et faece retenta
    peiores legit socios dignusque satelles
    hinc Hosius stetit, inde Leo, fiducia crevit
    regnandique palam flagravit aperta libido.                         560
    patricius, consul maculat quos vendit honores,
    plus maculat quos ipse gerit. iam signa tubaeque
    mollescunt, ipsos ignavia fluxit in enses.
    exultant merito gentes facilisque volenti
    praeda sumus. iam Bistoniis Haemoque nivali                        565
    vastior expulsis Oriens squalescit aratris.
    ei mihi, quas urbes et quanto tempore Martis
    ignaras uno rapuerunt proelia cursu!
    nuper ab extremo veniens equitatus Araxe
    terruit Antiochi muros, ipsumque decorae                           570
    paene caput Syriae flammis hostilibus arsit.
    utque gravis spoliis nulloque obstante profunda
    lactus caede redit, sequitur mucrone secundo
    continuum vulnus; nec iam mihi Caucasus hostes
    nec mittit gelidus Phasis; nascuntur in ipso                       575
    bella sinu. legio pridem Romana Gruthungi,
    iura quibus victis dedimus, quibus arva domusque
    praebuimus, Lydos Asiaeque uberrima vastant
    ignibus et si quid tempestas prima reliquit.
    nec vi nec numero freti; sed inertia nutrit                        580
    proditioque ducum, quorum per crimina miles

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 227

governing the state or of trampling on the laws. But when he had
banished the good and, retaining the dregs of the people, had chosen
therefrom advisers of no worth; when his creature Hosius stood on
his one side and Leo on the other, then indeed his self-confidence
waxed and his lust for power broke forth into open flame. Patrician
and consul he brought defilement on the honours he sold; even greater
defilement on those he carried himself. The very standards and trumpets
of war grew feeble; a palsy seized upon our swords. What wonder the
nations rejoiced and we became the easy prey of any who would subdue
us? Gone are ploughs and ploughmen; the East is more a desert than
Thrace and snowy Haemus. Alas! how many cities, how long unused to
war’s alarms, have perished in a single invasion! Not long since a
mounted band coming from Araxes’ farthest banks threatened the walls
of Antioch and all but set fire to the chief city of the fair province
of Syria. Laden with spoil and rejoicing in the vast carnage it had
wrought the band returned with none to bar its passage; now it pursues
its victorious career inflicting on me wound upon wound. ’Tis not now
Caucasus nor cold Phasis that send forces against me; wars arise in the
very centre of my empire. Time was when the Gruthungi formed a Roman
legion; conquered we gave them laws; fields and dwelling-places we
apportioned them. Now they lay waste with fire Lydia and the richest
cities of Asia, ay, and everything that escaped the earlier storm.
’Tis neither on their own valour or numbers that they rely; it is our
cowardice urges them on, cowardice and the treason of generals, through
whose guilt our soldiers now

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 228

    captivis dat terga suis, quos teste subegit
    Danuvio partemque timet qui reppulit omnes.
      “Aula choris epulisque vacat nec perdita curat,
    dum superest aliquid. ne quid tamen orbe reciso
    venditor amittat, provincia quaeque superstes                      586
    dividitur geminumque duplex passura tribunal
    cogitur alterius pretium sarcire peremptae.
    sic mihi restituunt populos; hac arte reperta
    rectorum numerum terris pereuntibus augent.                        590
      “In te iam spes una mihi. pro fronde Minervae
    has tibi protendo lacrimas: succurre ruenti,
    eripe me tandem, servilibus eripe regnis.
    neve adeo cunctos paucorum crimine damnes
    nec nova tot meritis offensa prioribus obstet.                     595
    iamiam flecte animum. suprema pericula semper
    dant veniam culpae. quamvis iratus et exul
    pro patriae flammis non distulit arma Camillus.
    nec te subtrahimus Latio; defensor utrique
    sufficis. armorum liceat splendore tuorum                          600
    in commune frui; clipeus nos protegat idem
    unaque pro gemino desudet cardine virtus.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 229

flee before their own captives, whom, as Danube’s stream well knows,
they once subdued; and those now fear a handful who once could drive
back all.

Meanwhile the palace devotes its attention to dances and feastings,
and cares not what be lost so something remain. But lest our salesman
lose aught by this dismemberment of the empire he has divided each
remaining province into two, and forces the two halves, each under its
own governor, to compensate him for the loss of other provinces. ’Tis
thus they give me back my lost peoples: by this ingenious device they
increase the number of my rulers while the lands they should rule are

In thee is now my only hope; in place of Minerva’s supplicating branch
I offer thee my tears. Help me in my distress. Save me from this
tyranny of a slave master; do not condemn all for the fault of a few,
and let not a recent offence cancel former merits. Grant me now my
request; extreme danger ever exonerates from blame. Camillus, though
justly angered at his banishment, forebore not to succour his country
when in flames. I seek not to draw thee away from Italy; thou art
enough defence for both empires. Let both have the benefit of thine
illustrious arms; let the same shield defend us and one hero work the
salvation of a twofold world”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 230


I. (XI.)

      Princeps corusco sidere pulchrior,
    Parthis sagittas tendere doctior,
    eques Gelonis imperiosior,
    quae digna mentis laus erit arduae?
    quae digna formae laus erit igneae?                                  5
    te Leda mallet quam dare Castorem;
    praefert Achilli te proprio Thetis;
    victum fatetur Delos Apollinem;
    credit minorem Lydia Liberum.
    tu cum per altas impiger ilices                                     10
    praedo citatum cornipedem reges
    ludentque ventis instabiles comae,
    telis iacebunt sponte tuis ferae
    gaudensque sacris vulneribus leo
    admittet hastam morte superbior.                                    15
    Venus reversum spernit Adonidem,
    damnat reductum Cynthia Virbium.
      Cum post labores sub platani voles
    virentis umbra vel gelido specu
    torrentiorem fallere Sirium                                         20
    et membra somno fessa resolveris:
    o quantus uret tum Dryadas calor!
    quot aestuantes ancipiti gradu
    furtiva carpent oscula Naides!

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 231


I. (XI.)

Prince, fairer than the day-star, who shootest thine arrows with an
aim more sure than the Parthian’s, rider more daring than the Geloni,
what praise shall match thy lofty mind, what praise thy brilliant
beauty? Leda would rather have thee her son than Castor; Thetis counts
thee dearer than her own Achilles; Delos’ isle admits thee Apollo’s
victor; Lydia puts Bacchus second to thee. When in the heat of the
chase thou guidest thy coursing steed amid the towering holm-oaks and
thy tossing locks stream out upon the wind, the beasts of their own
accord will fall before thine arrows and the lion, right gladly wounded
by a prince’s sacred hand, will welcome thy spear and be proud so to
die. Venus scorns Adonis returned from the dead, Diana disapproves
Hippolytus recalled to life.

When after thy toils thou seekest the shade of a green plane-tree or
shunnest Sirius’ extreme heat in some cool grot and freest thy wearied
limbs in sleep, what a passion of love will inflame the Dryads’ hearts!
how many a Naiad will steal up with trembling foot and snatch an
unmarked kiss! Who,

    [124] The marriage of Honorius and Maria, daughter of Stilicho, took
    place at Milan, Feb. 398.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 232

    quis vero acerbis horridior Scythis,                                25
    quis beluarum corde furentior,
    qui, cum micantem te prope viderit,
    non optet ultro servitium pati,
    qui non catenas adripiat libens
    colloque poscat vincula libero?
    tu si nivalis per iuga Caucasi                                      30
    saevas petisses pulcher Amazonas,
    peltata pugnas desereret cohors
    sexu recepto; patris et inmemor
    inter frementes Hippolyte tubas
    strictam securim languida poneret                                   35
    et seminudo pectore cingulum
    forti negatum solveret Herculi,
    bellumque solus conficeret decor.
      Beata, quae te mox faciet virum                                   40
    primisque sese iunget amoribus.

II. (XII.)

    Age cuncta nuptiali
        redimita vere tellus
        celebra toros eriles;
    omne nemus cum fluviis,
        omne canat profundum                                             5
    Ligures favete campi,
        Veneti favete montes,
        subitisque se rosetis
      vestiat Alpinus apex
        et rubeant pruinae.                                             10
    Athesis strepat choreis
        calamisque flexuosus
        leve Mincius susurret

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 233

though he be more uncivilized than the wild Scythians and more cruel
even than the beasts, but will, when he has seen near at hand thy
transcendent loveliness, offer thee a ready servitude? Who will not
willingly seize the chains of slavery and demand the yoke for a neck as
yet free? Hadst thou o’er the heights of snowy Caucasus gone against
the cruel Amazons in all thy beauty, that warrior band had fled the
fight and called to mind again their proper sex; Hippolyte, amid the
trumpets’ din, forgetful of her sire, had weakly laid aside her drawn
battle-axe, and with half-bared breast loosed the girdle all Hercules’
strength availed not to loose. Thy beauty alone would have ended the

Blessed is she who will soon call thee husband and unite herself to
thee with the bonds of first love.

II. (XII.)

Come, earth, wreathed about with nuptial spring, do honour to thy
master’s marriage-feast. Sing, woods and rivers all, sing, deep of
ocean. Give your blessing, too, Ligurian plains and yours, Venetian
hills. Let Alpine heights on a sudden clothe themselves with
rose-bushes and the fields of ice grow red. Let the Adige re-echo the
sound of choric lays and meandering Mincius whisper gently through his

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 234

      et Padus electriferis
        admoduletur alnis;                                              15
    epulisque iam repleto
        resonet Quirite Thybris
        dominique laeta votis
      aurea septemgeminas
        Roma coronet arces.                                             20
    procul audiant Hiberi,
        fluit unde semen aulae,
        ubi plena laurearum
      imperio feta domus
        vix numerat triumphos.                                          25
    habet hinc patrem maritus,
        habet hinc puella matrem
        geminaque parte ductum
      Caesareum flumineo
        stemma recurrit ortu.                                           30
    decorent virecta Bactim,
        Tagus intumescat auro
        generisque procreator
      sub vitreis Oceanus
        luxurietur antris.                                              35
    Oriensque regna fratrum
        simul Occidensque plaudat;
        placide iocentur urbes,
      quaeque novo quaeque nitent
        deficiente Phoebo.                                              40
    Aquiloniae procellae,
        rabidi tacete Cauri,
        taceat sonorus Auster.
      solus ovantem Zephyrus
        perdominetur annum.                                             45

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 235

reeds and Padus make answer with his amber-dripping alders. Let Tiber’s
banks now ring with the voices of Rome’s full-fed citizens and the
golden city, rejoicing in her lord’s marriage, crown her seven hills
with flowers.

Let Spain hear afar, Spain the cradle of the imperial race, where is
a house that is mother of emperors, rich in crowns of laurel, whose
triumphs can scarce be numbered. Hence came the bridegroom’s sire,
hence the bride’s mother; from either branch flows the blood of the
Caesars, like twin streams reunited. Let rich herbage clothe Baetis’
banks and Tagus swell his golden flood; may Ocean, ancestor of the
imperial race, make merry in his crystal caves. Let East and West, the
two brothers’ realms, join in their applause, and peace and joy fill
the cities illumined by the sun at his rising and at his setting. Be
still, ye storms of the north and ye mad blasts of Caurus; sounding
Auster, sink to rest. Let Zephyrus have sole rule over this year of

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 236


      Solitas galea fulgere comas,
    Stilicho, molli necte corona.
    cessent litui saevumque procul
    Martem felix taeda releget.
    tractus ab aula rursus in aulam                                      5
    redeat sanguis. patris officiis
    iunge potenti pignora dextra.
    gener Augusti pridem fueras,
    nunc rursus eris socer Augusti.
    quae iam rabies livoris erit?                                       10
    vel quis dabitur color invidiae?
    Stilicho socer est, pater est Stilicho.

IV. (XIV.)

      Attollens thalamis Idalium iubar
    dilectus Veneri nascitur Hesperus.
    iam nuptae trepidat sollicitus pudor,
    iam produnt lacrimas flammea simplices.
    ne cessa, iuvenis, comminus adgredi,                                 5
    impacata licet saeviat unguibus.
    non quisquam fruitur veris odoribus
    Hyblaeos latebris nec spoliat favos,
    si fronti caveat, si timeat rubos;
    armat spina rosas, mella tegunt apes.                               10
    crescunt difficili gaudia iurgio
    accenditque magis, quae refugit, Venus.
    quod flenti tuleris, plus sapit osculum.
    dices “o!” quotiens, “hoc mihi dulcius
    quam flavos deciens vincere Sarmatas!”                              15

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 237


Twine with a soft garland, Stilicho, the locks whereon a helmet is wont
to shine. Let the trumpets of war cease and the propitious torch of
marriage banish savage Mars afar. Let regal blood unite once more with
regal blood. Perform a father’s office and unite these children with
thine illustrious hand. Thou didst marry an emperor’s daughter, now, in
turn, thy daughter shall marry an emperor. What room is here for the
madness of jealousy? What excuse for envy? Stilicho is father both of
bride and bridegroom.

IV. (XIV.)

Hesperus, loved of Venus, rises and shines for the marriage with his
Idalian[125] rays. Maiden shame now overcomes the anxious bride; her
veil now shows traces of innocent tears. Hesitate not to be close in
thine attacks, young lover, e’en though she oppose thee savagely with
cruel finger-nail. None can enjoy the scents of spring nor steal the
honey of Hybla from its fastnesses if he fears that thorns may scratch
his face. Thorns arm the rose and bees find a defence for their honey.
The refusals of coyness do but increase the joy; the desire for that
which flies us is the more inflamed; sweeter is the kiss snatched
through tears. How oft wilt thou say: “Better this than ten victories
over the yellow-haired Sarmatae”!

    [125] Idalian: from Idalium, a mountain in Cyprus, sacred to Venus.

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                              Page 238

      Adspirate novam pectoribus fidem
    mansuramque facem tradite sensibus.
    tam iunctis manibus nectite vincula,
    quam frondens hedera stringitur aesculus,
    quam lento premitur palmite populus,                                20
    et murmur querula blandius alite
    linguis adsiduo reddite mutuis.
    et labris animum conciliantibus
    alternum rapiat somnus anhelitum.
    amplexu caleat purpura regio                                        25
    et vestes Tyrio sanguine fulgidas
    alter virgineus nobilitet cruor.
    tum victor madido prosilias toro
    nocturni referens vulnera proelii.
      Ducant pervigiles carmina tibiae                                  30
    permissisque iocis turba licentior
    exultet tetricis libera legibus.
    passim cum ducibus ludite milites,
    passim cum pueris ludite virgines.
    haec vox aetheriis insonet axibus,                                  35
    haec vox per populos, per mare transeat:
    “formosus Mariam ducit Honorius.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 239

Breathe a new loyalty into your breasts and let your senses kindle a
flame that shall never be extinguished. May your clasped hands form a
bond more close than that betwixt ivy and leafy oak tree or poplar and
pliant vine. Be the frequent kisses that ye give and receive breathed
more softly than those of plaintive doves, and when lips have united
soul to soul let sleep still your throbbing breath. Be the purple couch
warm with your princely wooing, and a new stain ennoble coverlets ruddy
with Tyrian dye. Then leap victorious from the marriage-bed, scarred
with the night’s encounter.

All night long let the music of the flute resound and the crowd, set
free from law’s harsh restraints, with larger licence indulge the
permitted jest. Soldiers, make merry with your leaders, girls with
boys. Be this the cry that re-echoes from pole to pole, among the
peoples, over the seas: “Fair Honorius weds with Maria.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 240




    Surgeret in thalamum ducto cum Pelion arcu
      nec caperet tantos hospita terra deos,
    cum socer aequoreus numerosaque turba sororum
      certarent epulis continuare dies
    praeberetque Iovi communia pocula Chiron,                            5
      molliter obliqua parte refusus equi,
    Peneus gelidos mutaret nectare fontes,
      Oetaeis fluerent spumea vina iugis:
    Terpsichore facilem lascivo pollice movit
      barbiton et molles duxit in antra choros.                         10
    carmina nec superis nec displicuere Tonanti,
      cum teneris nossent congrua vota modis.
    Centauri Faunique negant. quae flectere Rhoeton,
      quae rigidum poterant plectra movere Pholum?

    Septima lux aderat caelo totiensque renato                          15
      viderat exactos Hesperus igne choros:
    tum Phoebus, quo saxa domat, quo pertrahit ornos,
      pectine temptavit nobiliore lyram
    venturumque sacris fidibus iam spondet Achillem,
      iam Phrygias caedes, iam Simoënta canit.                          20
    frondoso strepuit felix Hymenaeus Olympo;
      reginam resonant Othrys et Ossa Thetim.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 241




When Pelion reared his height to form a bridal chamber with long-drawn
arches, and his hospitable land could not contain so many gods; when
Nereus, sire of the bride, and all the throng of her sisters strove to
link day to day with feastings; when Chiron, lying at ease with his
horse-flanks curled under him, offered the loving-cup to Jove; when
Peneus turned his cold waters to nectar and frothing wine flowed down
from Oeta’s summit, Terpsichore struck her ready lyre with festive
hand and led the girlish bands into the caves. The gods, the Thunderer
himself, disdained not these songs, for they knew that lovers’ vows
ever harmonized with tender strains. Centaurs and Fauns would have none
of it: what lyre could touch Rhoetus or move inhuman Pholus?

The seventh day had flamed in heaven, seven times had Hesperus relumed
his lamp and seen the dances completed; then Phoebus touched his
lyre with that nobler quill, wherewith he leads captive rocks and
mountain-ashes, and sang to his sacred strings now the promised birth
of Achilles, now the slaughter of the Trojans and the river Simois. The
happy marriage-cry re-echoed o’er leafy Olympus, and Othrys and Ossa
gave back their mistress Thetis’ name.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 242



      Hauserat insolitos promissae virginis ignes
    Augustus primoque rudis flagraverat aestu;
    nec novus unde calor nec quid suspiria vellent,
    noverat incipiens et adhuc ignarus amandi.
    non illi venator equus, non spicula curae,                           5
    non iaculum torquere libet; mens omnis aberrat
    in vulnus, quod fixit Amor. quam saepe medullis
    erupit gemitus! quotiens incanduit ore
    confessus secreta rubor nomenque beatum
    iniussae scripsere manus! iam munera nuptae                         10
    praeparat et pulchros Mariae sed luce minores
    eligit ornatus, quidquid venerabilis olim
    Livia divorumque nurus gessere superbae.
    incusat spes aegra moras longique videntur
    stare dies segnemque rotam non flectere Phoebe.                     15
    Scyria sic tenerum virgo flammabat Achillem
    fraudis adhuc expers bellatricesque docebat
    ducere fila manus et, mox quos horruit Ide,
    Thessalicos roseo nectebat pollice crines.
      Haec etiam queritur secum: “quonam usque verendus                 20

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 243



Unfelt before was the fire the Emperor Honorius had conceived for his
promised bride, and he burned, all unexperienced, with passion’s first
fever, nor knew whence came the heat, what meant the sighs--a tyro and
as yet ignorant of love. Hunting, horses, javelins--for none of these
he now cares nor yet to fling the spear; Love’s wound occupies all his
thoughts. How often he groaned from the very heart; how often a blush,
mantling to his cheeks, betrayed his secret; how often, unbidden of
himself, his hand would write the loved one’s name. Already he prepares
gifts for his betrothed and selects to adorn her (though their beauty
is less than hers) the jewels once worn by noble Livia of old and all
the proud women of the imperial house. The impatient lover chafes at
the delay; the long days seem as though they stood still and the moon
as though she moved not her slow wheel. Thus Deidamia, girl of Scyros,
e’er yet she sees through his disguise, inflamed with love the young
Achilles, and taught his warrior hands to draw the slender thread and
passed her rosy fingers through the locks of that Thessalian of whom
all Ida was soon to stand in awe.

Thus too he communed with himself: “How long

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 244

    cunctatur mea vota socer? quid iungere differt,
    quam pepigit, castasque preces implere recusat?
    non ego luxuriem regum moremque secutus
    quaesivi vultum tabulis[126] ut nuntia formae
    lena per innumeros iret pictura penates,                            25
    nec variis dubium thalamis lecturus[127] amorem
    ardua commisi falsae conubia cerae.
    non rapio praeceps alienae foedera taedae,
    sed quae sponsa mihi pridem patrisque relicta
    mandatis uno materni sanguinis ortu                                 30
    communem partitur avum. fastidia supplex
    deposui gessique procum; de limine sacro
    oratum misi proceres, qui proxima nobis
    iura tenent. fateor, Stilicho, non parva poposci,
    sed certe mereor princeps, hoc principe natus                       35
    qui sibi te generum fraterna prole revinxit,
    cui Mariam debes. faenus mihi solve paternum,
    redde suos aulae. mater fortasse rogari
    mollior. o patrui germen, cui nominis heres
    successi, sublime decus torrentis Hiberi,                           40
    stirpe soror, pietate parens, tibi creditus infans
    inque tuo crevi gremio, partuque remoto
    tu potius Flaccilla mihi. quid dividis ergo

    [126] _tabulis_ vulg.; Birt reads _thalamis_ with the better

    [127] Birt reads _laturus_ with P; other MSS. _lecturus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 245

will honoured Stilicho forbear to grant my prayers? Why postpones he
the union of those whose love he has approved? Why should he refuse
to fulfil my chaste desires? I follow not the example of luxurious
princes in seeking the beauties of a pictured countenance, whereby the
pander canvass may pass from house to house to make known the charms
demanded; nor yet have I sought to choose the uncertain object of my
love from this house or from that, and thus entrusted to deceptive
wax the difficult selection of a bride. I sever not in violence the
bonds that unite a wedded woman to her lord; her I seek who hath long
been betrothed to me, who by a father’s orders was left my affianced
bride and who through her mother shares with me a common grandsire.
A suppliant I have laid aside my rank and acted the suitor. Princes,
second only to myself in rank, have I sent from my imperial palace
to present my petition. ’Tis no small thing I ask, Stilicho; that I
admit; yet surely to me, an emperor, son of that other emperor who,
by giving thee his brother’s adopted daughter to wife, made thee
his son-in-law,--to me thou dost owe Maria. Pay back to the son the
interest due to his sire; restore to the palace those who are its
own. Mayhap her mother[128] will be less inexorable. Daughter of mine
uncle Honorius, whence I derive my name, chief glory of the land of
swift-flowing Ebro, cousin by birth, by mother’s love a mother, to thy
care was mine infancy entrusted, in thine arms I grew to boyhood; save
for my birth thou, rather than Flacilla, art my mother. Why dost thou
separate thy two

    [128] Serena, daughter of Honorius, the elder, the brother of
    Theodosius the Great. Theodosius adopted Serena so that by adoption
    Honorius and Serena were brother and sister, by birth cousins.
    Serena was probably born in 376; Honorius not till Sept. 9, 384.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 246

    pignora? quid iuveni natam non reddis alumno?
    optatusne dies aderit? dabiturne iugalis                            45
    nox umquam?”
                       Tali solatur vulnera questu.
    risit Amor placidaeque volat trans aequora matri
    nuntius et totas iactantior explicat alas.
      Mons latus Ionium Cypri praeruptus obumbrat,
    invius humano gressu, Phariumque cubile                             50
    Proteos et septem despectat cornua Nili.
    hunc neque candentes audent vestire pruinae,
    hunc venti pulsare timent, hunc laedere nimbi.
    luxuriae Venerique vacat. pars acrior anni
    exulat; aeterni patet indulgentia veris.                            55
    in campum se fundit apex; hunc aurea saepes
    circuit et fulvo defendit prata metallo.
    Mulciber, ut perhibent, his oscula coniugis emit
    moenibus et tales uxorius obtulit arces.
    intus rura micant, manibus quae subdita nullis                      60
    perpetuum florent, Zephyro contenta colono,
    umbrosumque nemus, quo non admittitur ales,
    ni probet ante suos diva sub iudice cantus:
    quae placuit, fruitur ramis; quae victa, recedit.
    vivunt in Venerem frondes omnisque vicissim                         65
    felix arbor amat; nutant ad mutua palmae
    foedera, populeo suspirat populus ictu
    et platani platanis alnoque adsibilat alnus.
      Labuntur gemini fontes, hic dulcis, amarus
    alter, et infusis corrumpunt mella venenis,                         70

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 247

children? Why not bestow a daughter born upon an adopted son? Will the
longed-for day ever come; the marriage-night ever be sanctioned?”

With such complaint he assuages the wounds of love. Cupid laughed and
speeding across the deep bore the news to his gentle mother, proudly
spreading his wings to their full extent.

Where Cyprus looks out over the Ionian main a craggy mountain
overshadows it; unapproachable by human foot it faces the isle of
Pharos, the home of Proteus and the seven mouths of the Nile. The hoar
frost dares not clothe its sides, nor the rude winds buffet it nor
clouds obscure. It is consecrate to pleasure and to Venus. The year’s
less clement seasons are strangers to it, whereover ever brood the
blessings of eternal spring. The mountain’s height slopes down into a
plain; that a golden hedge encircles, guarding its meadows with yellow
metal. This demesne, men say, was the price paid by Mulciber for the
kisses of his wife, these towers were the gift of a loving husband.
Fair is the enclosed country, ever bright with flowers though touched
with no labouring hand, for Zephyr is husbandman enough therefor. Into
its shady groves no bird may enter save such as has first won the
goddess’ approval for its song. Those which please her may flit among
the branches; they must quit who cannot pass the test. The very leaves
live for love and in his season every happy tree experiences love’s
power: palm bends down to mate with palm, poplar sighs its passion for
poplar, plane whispers to plane, alder to alder.

Here spring two fountains, the one of sweet water, the other of bitter,
honey is mingled with the first, poison with the second, and in these
streams ’tis said

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                              Page 248

    unde Cupidineas armari fama sagittas.
    mille pharetrati ludunt in margine fratres,
    ore pares, aevo similes, gens mollis Amorum.
    hos Nymphae pariunt, illum Venus aurea solum
    edidit. ille deos caelumque et sidera cornu                         75
    temperat et summos dignatur figere reges;
    hi plebem feriunt. nec cetera numina desunt:
    hic habitat nullo constricta Licentia nodo
    et flecti faciles Irae vinoque madentes
    Excubiae Lacrimaeque rudes et gratus amantum                        80
    Pallor et in primis titubans Audacia furtis
    iucundique Metus et non secura Voluptas;
    et lasciva volant levibus Periuria ventis.
    quos inter petulans alta cervice Iuventas
    excludit Senium luco.                                               85
                                Procul atria divae
    permutant radios silvaque obstante virescunt.
    Lemnius haec etiam gemmis extruxit et auro
    admiscens artem pretio trabibusque smaragdi
    supposuit caesas hyacinthi rupe columnas.
    beryllo paries et iaspide lubrica surgunt                           90
    limina despectusque solo calcatur achates.
    in medio glaebis redolentibus area dives
    praebet odoratas messes; hic mitis amomi,
    hic casiae matura seges, Panchaeaque turgent
    cinnama, nec sicco frondescunt vimina costo                         95
    tardaque sudanti prorepunt balsama rivo.
      Quo postquam delapsus Amor longasque peregit
    penna vias, alacer passuque superbior intrat.
    caesariem tunc forte Venus subnixa corusco
    fingebat solio. dextra laevaque sorores                            100
    stabant Idaliae: largos haec nectaris imbres

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 249

that Cupid dips his arrows. A thousand brother Loves with quivers play
all around upon the banks, a tender company like to Cupid himself in
face and of equal age. The nymphs are their mothers; Cupid is the only
child of golden Venus. He with his bow subdues the stars and the gods
and heaven, and disdains not to wound mighty kings; of the others
the common people is the prey. Other deities, too, are here: Licence
bound by no fetters, easily moved Anger, Wakes dripping with wine,
inexperienced Tears, Pallor that lovers ever prize, Boldness trembling
at his first thefts, happy Fears, unstable Pleasure, and lovers’ Oaths,
the sport of every lightest breeze. Amid them all wanton Youth with
haughty neck shuts out Age from the grove.

Afar shines and glitters the goddess’ many-coloured palace, green
gleaming by reason of the encircling grove. Vulcan built this too of
precious stones and gold, wedding their costliness to art. Columns cut
from rock of hyacinth support emerald beams; the walls are of beryl,
the high-builded thresholds of polished jaspar, the floor of agate
trodden as dirt beneath the foot. In the midst is a courtyard rich
with fragrant turf that yields a harvest of perfume; there grows sweet
spikenard and ripe cassia, Panchaean cinnamon-flowers and sprays of
oozy balm, while balsam creeps forth slowly in an exuding stream.

Hither Love glided down, winging his way o’er the long journey.
Joyfully and with prouder gait than e’er his wont he enters. Venus was
seated on her glittering throne, tiring her hair. On her right hand and
on her left stood the Idalian sisters.[129] Of these one pours a rich
stream of nectar over Venus’

    [129] _i.e._ the Graces.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 250

    inrigat, haec morsu numerosi dentis eburno
    multifidum discrimen arat; sed tertia retro
    dat varios nexus et iusto dividit orbes
    ordine, neglectam partem studiosa relinquens:                      105
    plus error decuit. speculi nec vultus egebat
    iudicio; similis tecto monstratur in omni
    et capitur[130] quocumque videt. dum singula cernit,
    seque probat, nati venientis conspicit umbram
    ambrosioque sinu puerum complexa ferocem                           110
    “quid tantum gavisus?” ait; “quae proelia sudas
    improbe? quis iacuit telis? iterumne Tonantem
    inter Sidonias cogis mugire iuvencas?
    an Titana domas? an pastoralia Lunam
    rursus in antra vocas? durum magnumque videris
    debellasse deum.”                                                  116
                      Suspensus in oscula matris
    ille refert: “Laetare, parens; inmane tropaeum
    rettulimus, nostrum iam sensit Honorius arcum.
    scis Mariam patremque ducem, qui cuspide Gallos
    Italiamque fovet, nec te praeclara Serenae                         120
    fama latet. propera; regalibus adnue votis:
    iunge toros.”
                   Gremio natum Cytherea removit
    et crines festina ligat peplumque fluentem
    adlevat et blando spirantem numine ceston
    cingitur, impulsos pluviis quo mitigat amnes,                      125
    quo mare, quo ventos irataque fulmina solvit.
    ut stetit ad litus, parvos adfatur alumnos:
      “Heus! quis erit, pueri, vitreas qui lapsus in undas
    huc rapidum Tritona vocet, quo vecta per altum

    [130] Birt, following the MSS., _rapitur_; _capitur_ was suggested
    by Conington, comparing Virg. Aen. viii. 311.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 251

head, another parts her hair with a fine ivory comb. A third, standing
behind the goddess, braids her tresses and orders her ringlets in due
array, yet carefully leaving a part untended; such negligence becomes
her more. Nor did her face lack the mirror’s verdict; her image is
reflected over all the palace and she is charmed wheresoever she
looks. While she surveys each detail and approves her beauty she notes
the shadow of her son as he approaches and catches the fierce boy to
her fragrant bosom. “Whence comes thy joy?” she asks; “cruel child,
what battles hast thou fought? What victim has thine arrow pierced?
Hast thou once more compelled the Thunderer to low among the heifers
of Sidon? Hast thou overcome Apollo, or again summoned Diana to a
shepherd’s cave? Methinks thou hast triumphed over some fierce and
potent god.”

Hanging upon his mother’s kisses he answered: “Mother, be thou glad; a
great victory is ours. Now has Honorius felt our arrows. Thou knowest
Maria and her sire, the general whose spear protects Gaul and Italy;
the fame of noble Serena is not hidden from thee. Haste thee, assent to
their princely prayers and seal this royal union.”

Cytherea freed her from her son’s embrace, hastily bound up her hair,
gathered up her flowing dress and girt herself about with the divine
girdle whose all-compelling charm can stay the rain-swollen torrent
and appease the sea, the winds and angry thunderbolts. Soon as she
stood on the shore she thus addressed her small foster-children. “Come,
children, which of you will plunge beneath the glassy wave and summon
me hither fleet Triton to bear me

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 252

    deferar? haud umquam tanto mihi venerit usu.                       130
    sacri, quos petimus, thalami. pernicius omnes
    quaerite, seu concha Libycum circumsonat aequor,
    Aegaeas seu frangit aquas. quicumque repertum
    duxerit, aurata donabitur ille pharetra.”
      Dixerat et sparsa diversi plebe feruntur                         135
    exploratores. pelagi sub fluctibus ibat
    Carpathiis Triton obluctantemque petebat
    Cymothoën. timet illa ferum seseque sequenti
    subripit et duris elabitur uda lacertis.
    “heus,” inquit speculatus Amor, “non vestra sub imis
    furta tegi potuere vadis. accingere nostram                        141
    vecturus dominam: pretium non vile laboris
    Cymothoën facilem, quae nunc detrectat, habebis.
    hac mercede veni.”
                         Prorupit gurgite torvus
    semifer; undosi verrebant brachia crines;                          145
    hispida tendebant bifido vestigia cornu,
    qua pistrix commissa viro. ter pectora movit;
    iam quarto Paphias tractu sulcabat harenas.
    umbratura deam retro sinuatur in arcum
    belua; tum vivo squalentia murice terga                            150
    purpureis mollita toris[131]: hoc navigat antro[132]
    fulta Venus; niveae delibant aequora plantae.
    prosequitur volucer late comitatus Amorum
    tranquillumque choris quatitur mare. serta per omnem
    Neptuni dispersa domum. Cadmeia ludit                              155
    Leucothoë, frenatque rosis delphina Palaemon;
    alternas violis Nereus interserit algas;

    [131] _toris_ A, followed by Birt; but _rosis_ VP is attractive.

    [132] _antro_ P1; vulg. _ostro_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 253

quickly o’er the deep? Never will he have come to do us better service.
Sacred is the marriage that I seek. Make all speed in your search; may
be the Libyan sea rings to his conch, may be he cleaves the Aegean
main. Whoso shall find and bring him hither shall have a golden quiver
as a reward.”

She spake and, dividing into various bands, the scouts set out.
Triton was swimming beneath the waves of the Carpathian sea, pursuing
reluctant Cymothoë. She feared her rough lover and eluded his pursuit,
her wet form gliding through the embraces of his strong arms. One of
the Loves espied him and cried, “Stay! the deeps cannot hide your
amours. Make ready to carry our mistress; as a reward for thy services
(and ’tis no meagre one) thou shalt have Cymothoë, a complaisant
mistress shall she be though she flout thee now. Come and win thy

The dread monster uprose from the abyss; his billowing hair swept his
shoulders; hoofs of cloven horn grown round with bristles sprang from
where his fishy tail joined his man’s body. He swam three strokes and
at the fourth stranded upon the shore of Cyprus. To shade the goddess
the monster arched back his tail; then his back, rough with living
purple, was bedded with scarlet coverlets; resting in such a retreat
does Venus voyage, her snowy feet just dipping in the sea. A great
company of wingèd Loves fly after her, troubling the calm surface
of Ocean. Neptune’s palace is all adorned with flowers. Leucothoë,
daughter of Cadmus, sports on the water, and Palaemon drives his
dolphin with a bridle of roses. Nereus sets violets here

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 254

    canitiem Glaucus ligat inmortalibus herbis.
    nec non et variis vectae Nereides ibant
    audito rumore feris (hanc pisce voluto                             160
    sublevat Oceani monstrum Tartesia tigris;
    hanc timor Aegaei rupturus fronte carinas
    trux aries; haec caeruleae suspensa leaenae
    innatat; haec viridem trahitur complexa iuvencum)
    certatimque novis onerant conubia donis.                           165
    cingula Cymothoë, rarum Galatea monile
    et gravibus Psamathe bacis diadema ferebat
    intextum, Rubro quas legerat ipsa profundo.
    mergit se subito vellitque corallia Doto:
    vimen erat dum stagna subit; processerat undis:                    170
    gemma fuit.
                  Nudae Venerem cinxere catervae
    plaudentesque simul tali cum voce sequuntur:
    “hos Mariae cultus, haec munera nostra precamur
    reginae regina feras. dic talia numquam
    promeruisse Thetim nec cum soror Amphitrite                        175
    nostro nupta Iovi. devotum sentiat aequor,
    agnoscat famulum virgo Stilichonia pontum.
    victrices nos saepe rates classemque paternam
    veximus, attritis cum tenderet ultor Achivis.”
      Iam Ligurum terris spumantia pectora Triton                      180
    adpulerat lassosque fretis extenderat orbes.
    continuo sublime volans ad moenia Gallis
    condita, lanigeri suis ostentantia pellem,
    pervenit. adventu Veneris pulsata recedunt
    nubila, clarescunt puris Aquilonibus Alpes.                        185

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 255

and there among the seaweed and Glaucus wreathes his grey hair with
deathless flowers. Hearing the tale the Nereids, too, came mounted
on various beasts: one (maiden above but fish below) rides the dread
sea-tiger of Tartessus; another is carried by that fierce ram, the
terror of the Aegean, who shatters ships with his forehead; a third
bestrides the neck of a sea-lion; another is borne along by the
sea-calf to which she clings. They vie with one another in bringing
gifts to the newly-wedded pair. Cymothoë presents a girdle, Galatea
a precious necklace, Psamathe a diadem heavily encrusted with pearls
gathered by herself from the depths of the Red Sea. Doto suddenly dives
to gather coral, a plant so long as it is beneath the water, a jewel
once it is brought forth from the waves.

The nude crowd of Nereids throng around Venus, following her and
singing praises after this manner: “We beg thee, Venus, our queen, to
bear these our gifts, these adornments, to queen Maria. Tell her that
never did Thetis receive their like nor even our sister Amphitrite when
she espoused our Jupiter.[133] Let the daughter of Stilicho hereby
realize the devotion of the sea and know that Ocean is her slave. ’Tis
we who bore up her father’s fleet, the hope of his victorious land,
what time he set out to avenge the ruined Greeks.”

And now Triton’s foam-flecked breast had touched the Ligurian shore
and his wearied coils were extended over the surface of the water.
Straightway Venus flew high in the air to the city founded by the
Gauls, the city that shows as its device the fleece-covered pelt of a
sow.[134] At the coming of the goddess the routed clouds retire; bright
shine the Alps beneath

    [133] _i.e._ Neptune.

    [134] Milan; _cf._ Isid. _Orig._ XV. 1 _vocatum Mediolanum ab eo,
    quod ibi sus in medio lanea perhibetur inventa_; Sidon. Apol. vii.
    17 _et quae lanigero de sue nomen habent_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 256

    laetitiae causas ignorat dicere miles
    laetaturque tamen; Mavortia signa rubescunt
    floribus et subitis animantur frondibus hastae.
    illa suum dictis adfatur talibus agmen:
      “Gradivum, nostri comites, arcete parumper,                      190
    ut soli vacet aula mihi. procul igneus horror
    thoracum, gladiosque tegat vagina minaces.
    stent bellatrices aquilae saevique dracones.
    fas sit castra meis hodie succumbere signis:
    tibia pro lituis et pro clangore tubarum                           195
    molle lyrae festumque canant. epulentur ad ipsas
    excubias; mediis spirent crateres in armis.
    laxet terribiles maiestas regia fastus
    et sociam plebem non indignata potestas
    confundat turbae proceres. solvantur habenis                       200
    gaudia nec leges pudeat ridere severas.
      “Tu festas, Hymenaee, faces, tu, Gratia, flores
    elige, tu geminas, Concordia, necte coronas.
    vos, pennata cohors, quocumque vocaverit usus,
    divisa properate manu, neu marceat ulla                            205
    segnities: alii funalibus ordine ductis
    plurima venturae suspendite lumina nocti;
    hi nostra nitidos postes obducere myrto
    contendant; pars nectareis adspergite tecta
    fontibus et flamma lucos adolete Sabaeos;                          210
    pars infecta croco velamina lutea Serum
    pandite Sidoniasque solo prosternite vestes.
    ast alii thalamum docto componite textu;
    stamine gemmato picturatisque columnis

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 257

the clear North wind. The soldier rejoices though he cannot tell
why. The standards of war burgeon with red flowers and the spears on
a sudden sprout with living leaves. Then Venus thus addresses her
attendant throng. “Comrades mine, keep away for a while the god of war
that the palace may be mine and mine alone. Banish afar the terror
of the flashing breastplate; let its scabbard sheath the threatening
sword. Advance not the standards of war, the eagles and savage dragons.
This day the camp shall yield to my standards; the flute shall sound
instead of the bugle, the soft strains of the happy lyre take the place
of the trumpets’ blare. Let the soldiers feast even when on guard and
the beakers foam in the midst of arms. Let regal majesty lay by its
awful pride and power, disdaining not to associate with the people,
make one the nobles with the crowd. Let joy be unrestrained and sober
Law herself be not ashamed to laugh.

“Hymen, choose thou the festal torches, and ye Graces gather flowers
for the feast. Thou, Concord, weave two garlands. You, winged band,
divide and hasten whithersoever you can be of use: let none be slothful
or lazy. You others hang numberless lamps in order from their brackets
against the coming of night. Let these haste to entwine the gleaming
door-posts with my sacred myrtle. Do you sprinkle the palace with drops
of nectar and kindle a whole grove of Sabaean incense. Let others
unfold yellow-dyed silks from China and spread tapestries of Sidon on
the ground. Do you employ all your arts in decorating the marriage-bed.
Woven with jewels and upborne on carved columns be its canopy, such

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 258

    aedificetur apex, qualem non Lydia dives                           215
    erexit Pelopi nec quem struxere Lyaeo
    Indorum spoliis et opaco palmite Bacchae.
    illic exuvias omnes cumulate parentum:
    quidquid avus senior Mauro vel Saxone victis,
    quidquid ab innumeris socio Stilichone tremendus                   220
    quaesivit genitor bellis, quodcumque Gelonus
    Armeniusve dedit; quantum crinita sagittis
    attulit extremo Meroë circumflua Nilo;
    misit Achaemenio quidquid de Tigride Medus,
    cum supplex emeret Romanam Parthia pacem.                          225
    nobilibus gazis opibusque cubilia surgant
    barbaricis; omnes thalamo conferte triumphos.”
      Sic ait et sponsae petit improvisa penates.
    illa autem secura tori taedasque parari
    nescia divinae fruitur sermone parentis                            230
    maternosque bibit mores exemplaque discit
    prisca pudicitiae Latios nec volvere libros
    desinit aut Graios, ipsa genetrice magistra,
    Maeonius quaecumque senex aut Thracius Orpheus
    aut Mytilenaeo modulatur pectine Sappho                            235
    (sic Triviam Latona monet; sic mitis in antro
    Mnemosyne docili tradit praecepta Thaliae):
    cum procul augeri nitor et iucundior aër
    attonitam lustrare domum fundique comarum
    gratus odor. mox vera fides numenque refulsit.                     240
    cunctatur stupefacta Venus; nunc ora puellae,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 259

as rich Lydia ne’er built for Pelops nor yet the Bacchae for Lyaeus,
decked as his was with the spoils of Ind and the mantling vine. Heap
up there all the gathered wealth of the family, all the spoil that
Honorius the elder, our emperor’s grandsire, won from Moor and Saxon,
all that his dread father with Stilicho at his side gained from
numberless wars, all that the Geloni and Armenians have contributed
or Meroë added--Meroë encircled by furthermost Nile whose people
decorate their hair with arrows; whatever the Medes sent from the
banks of Persian Tigris when suppliant Parthia bought peace of Rome.
Let the lofty couch be adorned with the barbaric splendour of kings’
treasuries; be all the wealth of all our triumphs gathered in that

So spake she and all unannounced sought the bride’s home. But Maria,
with no thoughts of wedlock nor knowing that the torches were being
got ready, was listening with rapt attention to the discourse of her
saintly mother, drinking in that mother’s nature and learning to follow
the example of old-world chastity; nor does she cease under that
mother’s guidance to unroll the writers of Rome and Greece, all that
old Homer sang, or Thracian Orpheus, or that Sappho set to music with
Lesbian quill; (even so Latona taught Diana; so gentle Mnemosyne in her
cave gave instruction to meek Thalia)--when the sky from afar grows
more bright, a sweeter air breathes through the astonished palace and
there is spread the happy fragrance of scented locks. Soon came the
proof; in all her beauty the goddess bursts upon them. Yet Venus stands
amazed, admiring now the daughter’s

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 260

    nunc flavam niveo miratur vertice matrem.
    haec modo crescenti, plenae par altera lunae:
    adsurgit ceu forte minor sub matre virenti
    laurus et ingentes ramos olimque futuras                           245
    promittit iam parva comas; vel flore sub uno
    ceu geminae Paestana rosae per iugera regnant:
    haec largo matura die saturataque vernis
    roribus indulget spatio; latet altera nodo
    nec teneris audet foliis admittere soles.                          250
      Adstitit et blande Mariam Cytherea salutat:
    “salve sidereae proles augusta Serenae,
    magnorum suboles regum parituraque reges.
    te propter Paphias sedes Cyprumque reliqui,
    te propter libuit tantos explere labores                           255
    et tantum transnare maris, ne vilior ultra
    privatos paterere lares neu tempore longo
    dilatos iuvenis nutriret Honorius ignes.
    accipe fortunam generis, diadema resume,
    quod tribuas natis, et in haec penetralia rursus,                  260
    unde parens progressa, redi. fac nulla subesse
    vincula cognatae: quamvis aliena fuisses
    principibus, regnum poteras hoc ore mereri.
    quae propior sceptris facies? qui dignior aula                     264
    vultus erit? non labra rosae, non colla pruinae,
    non crines aequant violae, non lumina flammae.
    quam iuncti leviter sese discrimine confert
    umbra supercilii! miscet quam iusta pudorem
    temperies nimio nec sanguine candor abundat!

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 261

loveliness, now the snowy neck and golden hair of the mother. The one
is like unto the crescent moon, the other to the full. So grows a young
laurel beneath the shadow of its parent tree and, small as it now is,
gives promise of great branches and thick foliage to come. Or as ’twere
two roses of Paestum on one stalk; the one day’s fulness has brought to
maturity; steeped in the dews of spring it spreads abroad its petals;
the other yet nestles in its bud nor dares receive the sun’s warmth
within its tender heart.

Venus stood and addressed Maria with these gentle words: “All hail!
revered daughter of divine Serena, scion of great kings and destined
to be the mother of kings. For thy sake have I left my home in Paphos’
isle and Cyprus; for thy sake was I pleased to face so many labours
and cross so many seas lest thou shouldst continue to live a private
life little befitting thy true worth and lest young Honorius should
still feed in his heart the flame of unrequited love. Take the rank
thy birth demands, resume the crown to bequeath it to thy children
and re-enter the palace whence thy mother sprang. E’en though no ties
of blood united thee to the royal house, though thou wert in no way
related thereto, yet would thy beauty render thee worthy of a kingdom.
What face could rather win a sceptre? What countenance better adorn
a palace? Redder than roses thy lips, whiter than the hoar-frost thy
neck, cowslips[135] are not more yellow than thine hair, fire not more
bright than thine eyes. With how fine an interspace do the delicate
eyebrows meet upon thy forehead! How just the blend that makes thy
blush, thy fairness not o’ermantled with too much

    [135] The _viola_ was probably a pansy or wallflower, Gk λευκόϊον.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 262

    Aurorae vincis digitos umerosque Dianae;                           270
    ipsam iam superas matrem. si Bacchus amator
    dotali potuit caelum signare corona,
    cur nullis virgo redimitur pulchrior astris?
    iam tibi molitur stellantia serta Bootes
    inque decus Mariae iam sidera parturit aether.                     275
    i, digno nectenda viro tantique per orbem
    consors imperii! iam te venerabitur Hister;
    nomen adorabunt populi; iam Rhenus et Albis
    serviet; in medios ibis regina Sygambros.
    quid numerem gentes Atlanteosque recessus                          280
    Oceani? toto pariter donabere mundo.”
      Dixit et ornatus, dederant quos nuper ovantes
    Nereides, collo membrisque micantibus aptat.
    ipsa caput distinguit acu, substringit amictus;
    flammea virgineis accommodat ipsa capillis.                        285
    ante fores iam pompa sonat, pilentaque sacra
    praeradiant ductura nurum. calet obvius ire
    iam princeps tardumque cupit discedere solem:
    nobilis haud aliter sonipes, quem primus amoris
    sollicitavit odor, tumidus quatiensque decoras                     290
    curvata cervice iubas Pharsalia rura
    pervolat et notos hinnitu flagitat amnes
    naribus accensis; mulcet fecunda magistros
    spes gregis et pulchro gaudent armenta marito.
      Candidus interea positis exercitus armis                         295
    exultat socerum circa; nec signifer ullus

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 263

red! Pinker thy fingers than Aurora’s, firmer thy shoulders than
Diana’s; even thy mother dost thou surpass. If Bacchus, Ariadne’s
lover, could transform his mistress’ garland into a constellation how
comes it that a more beauteous maid has no crown of stars? Even now
Boötes is weaving for thee a starry crown, even now heaven brings new
stars to birth to do thee honour. Go, mate with one who is worthy of
thee and share with him an empire co-extensive with the world. Ister
now shall do thee homage; all nations shall adore thy name. Now Rhine
and Elbe shall be thy slaves; thou shalt be queen among the Sygambri.
Why should I number the peoples and the Atlantic’s distant shores? The
whole world alike shall be thy dowry.”

She spake and fitted to Maria’s neck and shining limbs the rich gear
which the happy Nereids had just given her. She parted her hair with
the spear’s point, girded up her dress, and with her own hands set the
veil over the maiden’s hair.[136] The procession is halted singing at
the door; brightly gleams the holy chariot in which the new bride is
to fare. The prince burns to run and meet her and longs for the sun’s
tardy setting. Even so the noble steed when first the smell that stirs
his passions smites upon him proudly shakes his thick, disordered mane
and courses over Pharsalia’s plains. His nostrils are aflame and with a
neighing he greets the streams that saw his birth. His masters smile at
the hope of their stud’s increase, and the mares take pleasure in their
handsome mate.

Meanwhile the army has laid aside its swords: the soldiers are
dressed in white and throng around Stilicho, the bride’s father. No
standard-bearer nor

    [136] Venus acts as _pronuba_. The parting of the hair with the
    spear was a relic of marriage by capture (_cf._ Catullus lxi.).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 264

    nec miles pluviae flores dispergere ritu
    cessat purpureoque ducem perfundere nimbo.
    haec quoque velati lauro myrtoque canebant:
      “Dive parens, seu te complectitur axis Olympi,
    seu premis Elysias animarum praemia valles,                        301
    en promissa tibi Stilicho iam vota peregit;
    iam gratae rediere vices; cunabula pensat;
    acceptum reddit thalamum natoque reponit,
    quod dederat genitor. numquam te, sancte, pigebit
    iudicii nec te pietas suprema fefellit.                            306
    dignus cui leges, dignus cui pignora tanti
    principis et rerum commendarentur habenae.
    dicere possemus, quae proelia gesta sub Haemo
    quaeque cruentarint fumantem Strymona pugnae,
    quam notus clipeo, quanta vi fulminet hostem,                      311
    ni prohiberet Hymen, quae tempestiva relatu,
    nunc canimus. quis consilio, quis iuris et aequi
    nosse modum melior? quod semper dissilit, in te
    convenit, ingenio robur, prudentia forti.                          315
    fronte quis aequali? quem sic Romana decerent
    culmina? sufficerent tantis quae pectora curis?
    stes licet in populo, clamet quicumque videbit:
    ‘hic est, hic Stilicho!’ sic se testatur et offert
    celsa potestatis species, non voce feroci,                         320
    non alto simulata gradu, non improba gestu.
    adfectant alii quidquid fingique laborant,
    hoc donat natura tibi. pudor emicat una

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 265

common soldier fails to scatter flowers like rain and to drench their
leader in a mist of purple blossoms. Crowned with laurel and myrtle
they sing: “Blessed father, whether the vault of heaven is thy home, or
thou walkest in Elysium, the mansion of the blest, behold Stilicho hath
now fulfilled the promises he made thee. A happy interchange has now
been made: he compensates thee for his upbringing, and renders marriage
in return for marriage, giving back to a son what thou, that son’s
father, gave to him. Never needst thou repent of thy choice; a dying
father’s love misled thee not. Worthy is he to be thine heir, worthy
to be entrusted with the child of so powerful a prince and to hold the
reins of government. Now could I tell of the battles fought beneath the
slopes of Mount Haemus, the contests wherefrom Strymon reeked red with
blood; I could sing the fame of his arms and how, like a thunderbolt,
he falls upon his foes, but the marriage-god says me nay. Our song must
be such as now befits the singing. Who can surpass Stilicho in counsel?
who in knowledge of law and equity? In thee are two opposèd qualities
reconciled, wisdom and strength, prudence and fortitude. Was e’er so
noble a brow? Whom would Rome’s highest place more befit? What heart
but thine is strong enough to bear so many troubles? Shouldst thou
stand amid the crowd whoe’er shall see thee would exclaim, ‘That is
Stilicho.’ It is thus that the aspect of supreme majesty brings its own
witness--not with arrogant voice, or pompous walk, or haughty gesture.
The graces which others affect and strive to seem to possess are thine
by nature’s gift. Modesty shines forth together with a noble sternness,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 266

    formosusque rigor vultusque auctura verendos
    canities festina venit. cum sorte remota                           325
    contingat senio gravitas viresque iuventae,
    utraque te cingit propriis insignibus aetas.
    ornatur Fortuna viro. non ulla nocendi
    tela nec infecti iugulis civilibus enses.
    non odium terrore moves nec frena resolvit                         330
    gratia; diligimus pariter pariterque timemus.
    ipse metus te noster amat, iustissime legum
    arbiter, egregiae pacis fidissime custos,
    optime ductorum, fortunatissime patrum.
    plus iam, plus domino cuncti debere fatemur,                       335
    quod gener est, invicte, tuus. vincire corona;
    insere te nostris contempto iure choreis.
    sic puer Eucherius superet virtute parentem;
    aurea sic videat similes Thermantia taedas;
    sic uterus crescat Mariae; sic natus in ostro                      340
    parvus Honoriades genibus considat avitis.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 267

and white hairs come hastening to increase the reverence of thy face.
Though dignity be the crown of age and strength, by a far different
lot, of youth, yet either season decks thee with its own peculiar
honours. Thou art the ornament of fortune. Never tookst thou up the
sword for hurt nor ever didst steep its blade in citizens’ blood. No
cruelties on thy part aroused men’s hatred; favouritism never slacks
the reins of justice. We love thee, yet we fear thee. Our very fear
testifies to our love, O thou most righteous interpreter of Law,
guardian most sure of peace with honour, greatest of our generals,
most blessèd among the fathers of our country. We all confess that
now we owe our emperor an even firmer allegiance for that thou, hero
invincible, art the father of his bride. Crown thy head with a garland,
lay aside thy rank for a moment and join our dances. An thou dost this,
so may thy son Eucherius[137] surpass the virtues of his sire; so may
the fair Thermantia, thy daughter, live to see a marriage such as this;
so may Maria’s womb grow big and a little Honorius, born in the purple,
rest on his grandsire’s lap.”

    [137] Eucherius (born about 388) was the son, and Thermantia the
    younger daughter, of Stilicho and Serena. After the death of Maria
    she became Honorius’ second wife.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 268




    Parvos non aquilis fas est educere fetus
      ante fidem solis iudiciumque poli.
    nam pater, excusso saluit cum tegmine proles
      ovaque maternus rupit hiulca tepor,
    protinus implumes convertit ad aethera nidos                         5
      et recto flammas imperat ore pati.
    consulit ardentes radios et luce magistra
      natorum vires ingeniumque probat.
    degenerem refugo torsit qui lumine visum,
      unguibus hunc saevis ira paterna ferit.                           10
    exploratores oculis qui pertulit ignes
      sustinuitque acie nobiliore diem,
    nutritur volucrumque potens et fulminis heres,
      gesturus summo tela trisulca Iovi.
    me quoque Pieriis temptatum saepius antris                          15
      audet magna suo mittere Roma deo.
    iam dominas aures, iam regia tecta meremur
      et chelys Augusto iudice nostra sonat.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 269




Eagles may not rear their young without the sun’s permission and the
goodwill of heaven. So soon as the chicks have shattered their shells
and issued forth, after that the warmth of their mother’s body has
cracked the opening egg, the father bird makes haste to carry the
unfledged nestlings aloft and bids them gaze at the sun’s fires with
unblinking eye. He takes counsel of those bright beams and under
light’s schooling makes trial of the strength and temper of his sons.
The angry father strikes with pitiless talons the degenerate who turns
away his glance, but he whose eye can bear the searching flame, who
with bolder sight can outstare the noonday sun, is brought up a king of
birds, heir to the thunderbolt, destined to carry Jove’s three-forked
weapon. So mighty Rome fears not to send me, oft tested e’er now in
the Muses’ caverns, to face the emperor, her god. Now have I won an
emperor’s ear, the entrance to an emperor’s palace and the emperor
himself as judge of my lyre’s song.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 270



      Tertia Romulei sumant exordia fasces
    terque tuas ducat bellatrix pompa curules;
    festior annus eat cinctusque imitata Gabinos
    dives Hydaspeis augescat purpura gemmis;
    succedant armis trabeae, tentoria lictor                             5
    ambiat et Latiae redeant ad signa secures.
    tuque o qui patrium curis aequalibus orbem
    Eoo cum fratre regis, procede secundis
    alitibus Phoebique novos ordire meatus,
    spes votumque poli, quem primo a limine vitae                       10
    nutrix aula fovet, strictis quem fulgida telis
    inter laurigeros aluerunt castra triumphos.
    ardua privatos nescit Fortuna penates
    et regnum cum luce dedit. cognata potestas
    excepit Tyrio venerabile pignus in ostro                            15
    lustravitque tuos aquilis victricibus ortus
    miles et in mediis cunabula praebuit hastis.
    te nascente ferox toto Germania Rheno

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 271



Let the consular fasces of Romulus open a third year, and for the
third time let the warlike procession accompany thy curule litter.
More festal in array be the coming year, and let purple, folded in
Gabine[138] guise, be proudly enriched with gems of Hydaspes; let
the cloak of peace succeed the arms of war; let the lictor guard the
consul’s tent and the Latin axes return to the standards.[139] And do
thou, Honorius, who with thy brother, lord of the East, governest with
equal care a world that was once thy sire’s, go thy way with favourable
omens and order the sun’s new course, thyself heaven’s hope and desire,
palace-nurtured even from life’s threshold, to whom the camp, gleaming
with drawn swords, gave schooling among the laurels of victory. Thy
towering fortune has never known the condition of a private citizen;
when thou wast born thou wast born a king. Power which was thine by
birth received thee, a precious pledge, amid the purple; soldiers
bearing victorious standards inaugurated thy birth and set thy cradle
in the midst of arms. When thou wast born fierce Germany trembled along

    [138] The _cinctus Gabinus_ was one of the insignia of the
    consulship. It consisted in girding the toga tight round the body
    by means of one of its _laciniae_ (= loose ends). Servius (on Virg.
    _Aen._ vii. 612) has a story that Gabii was invaded during the
    performance of a sacrifice and that the participants repulsed the
    enemy in their _cinctus_.

    [139] Claudian suggests the uniting of civil and military power in
    the hands of Honorius.

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                              Page 272

    intremuit movitque suas formidine silvas
    Caucasus et positis numen confessa pharetris                        20
    ignavas Meroë traxit de crine sagittas.
    reptasti per scuta puer, regumque recentes
    exuviae tibi ludus erant, primusque solebas
    aspera complecti torvum post proelia patrem,
    signa triumphato quotiens flexisset ab Histro                       25
    Arctoa de strage calens, et poscere partem
    de spoliis, Scythicos arcus aut rapta Gelonis
    cingula vel iaculum Daci vel frena Suebi.
    ille coruscanti clipeo te saepe volentem
    sustulit adridens et pectore pressit anhelo                         30
    intrepidum ferri galeae nec triste timentem
    fulgur et ad summas tendentem brachia cristas.
    tum sic laetus ait: “rex o stellantis Olympi,
    talis perdomito redeat mihi filius hoste,
    Hyrcanas populatus opes aut caede superbus                          35
    Assyria, sic ense rubens, sic flamine crebro
    turbidus et grato respersus pulvere belli,
    armaque gaviso referat captiva parenti.”
      Mox ubi firmasti recto vestigia gressu,
    non tibi desidias molles nec marcida luxu                           40
    otia nec somnos genitor permisit inertes,
    sed nova per duros instruxit membra labores
    et cruda teneras exercuit indole vires:
    frigora saeva pati, gravibus non cedere nimbis,
    aestivum tolerare iubar, transnare sonoras                          45
    torrentum furias, ascensu vincere montes,

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                              Page 273

the Rhine’s full course, Caucasus shook his forests in fear, and the
people of Meroë, confessing thy divinity, laid aside their quivers and
drew the useless arrows from their hair. As a child thou didst crawl
among shields, fresh-won spoils of monarchs were thy playthings, and
thou wert ever the first to embrace thy stern father on his return from
rude battles, when that, reeking with the blood of northern savages, he
came home victorious from his conquest over the tribes of the Danube.
Then wouldst thou demand thy share of the spoils, a Scythian bow or a
belt won from the Geloni, a Dacian spear or Suabian bridle. Often would
he smile on thee and uplift thee, eager for the honour, on his shining
shield, and clasp thee to his still panting bosom. Thou fearedst not
his coat of mail nor the dread gleam of his helmet but stretchedst out
thy hands to grasp its lofty plumes. Then in his joy thy father cried:
“King of starry Olympus, may this my son return in like manner from
the lands of conquered foes, rich with the spoils of Hyrcania or proud
with the slaughter of the Assyrians; his sword thus red with blood, his
countenance thus roughened by the constant blasts and stained with the
welcome dust of heroic combat, may he bring back to his happy father
the arms of his conquered foes.”

Soon when thou couldst stand upright and walk with firm step thy sire
forbade thee enervating sloth, luxurious ease, time-wasting slumbers.
He strengthened thy young limbs with hard toils and rude was the
training wherewith he exercised thy tender powers. Thou wert taught to
bear winter’s cruel cold, to shrink not before storm and tempest, to
face the heat of summer, to swim across loud-roaring torrents, to

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                              Page 274

    planitiem cursu, valles et concava saltu,
    nec non in clipeo vigiles producere noctes,
    in galea potare nives, nunc spicula cornu
    tendere, nunc glandes Baleari spargere funda.                       50
    quoque magis nimium pugnae inflammaret amorem,
    facta tui numerabat avi, quem litus adustae
    horrescit Libyae ratibusque impervia Thule:
    ille leves Mauros nec falso nomine Pictos
    edomuit Scottumque vago mucrone secutus                             55
    fregit Hyperboreas remis audacibus undas
    et geminis fulgens utroque sub axe tropaeis
    Tethyos alternae refluas calcavit harenas.
    hos tibi virtutum stimulos, haec semina laudum,
    haec exempla dabat. non ocius hausit Achilles                       60
    semiferi praecepta senis, seu cuspidis artes
    sive lyrae cantus medicas seu disceret herbas.
      Interea turbata fides. civilia rursus
    bella tonant dubiumque quatit discordia mundum.
    pro crimen superum, longi pro dedecus aevi:                         65
    barbarus Hesperias exul possederat urbes
    sceptraque deiecto dederat Romana clienti.
    iam princeps molitur iter gentesque remotas
    colligit Aurorae, tumidus quascumque pererrat                       69
    Euphrates, quas lustrat Halys, quas ditat Orontes;
    turiferos Arabes saltus, vada Caspia Medi,
    Armenii Phasin, Parthi liquere Niphaten.
      Quae tibi tuna Martis rabies quantusque sequendi
    ardor erat? quanto flagrabant pectora voto

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                              Page 275

climb mountains, to run o’er the plain, to leap ravines and hollows,
to spend sleepless nights of watching under arms, to drink melted
snow from thy casque, to shoot the arrow from the bow or hurl the
acorn-missiles with a Balearic sling. And the more to inflame thy
heart with love of battle he would recount to thee the deeds of
thy grandsire, object of dread to Libya’s sun-scorched shores and
Thule whither no ship can sail. He conquered the fleet Moors and the
well-named[140] Picts; his roaming sword pursued the flying Scot; his
adventurous oars broke the surface of the northern seas. Crowned with
the spoils of triumphs won beneath the northern and the southern sky
he trod the wave-swept strand of either Ocean. Thus did he spur thy
courage, thus sow the seeds of fame; these were the examples he gave.
Not more avidly did Achilles himself drink in the Centaur’s precepts
when he learnt of him how to wield the spear or play the lyre or
discern healing plants.

Meanwhile the world forgot its loyalty: the thunder of civil war
sounded afresh and discord shook the tottering earth. O ye guilty gods!
O shame everlasting!--a barbarian[141] exile had possessed himself of
the cities of Italy and had entrusted the government of Rome to some
low-born dependent. But Theodosius was already afoot, rallying to his
standard the distant nations of the East, the dwellers on the banks of
flooding Euphrates, clear Halys, and rich Orontes. The Arabs left their
spicy groves, the Medes the waters of the Caspian Sea, the Armenians
the river Phasis, the Parthians the Niphates.

What lust of battle then filled thy heart, what longing to accompany
thy father! What would not

    [140] Pict, to a Roman, means “painted.” They were. “well-named
    Picts” because they painted themselves with woad or other stain.

    [141] Arbogast is the “barbarian,” Eugenius (by trade a
    rhetorician) the “dependent.” See Introduction, p. ix.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 276

    optatas audire tubas campique cruenta                               75
    tempestate frui truncisque inmergere plantas?
    ut leo, quem fulvae matris spelunca tegebat
    uberibus solitum pasci, cum crescere sensit
    ungue pedes et terga iubis et dentibus ora,
    iam negat imbelles epulas et rupe relicta                           80
    Gaetulo comes ire patri stabulisque minari
    aestuat et celsi tabo sordere iuvenci.
    ille vetat rerumque tibi commendat habenas
    et sacro meritos ornat diademate crines.
    tantaque se rudibus pietas ostendit in annis,                       85
    sic aetas animo cessit, quererentur ut omnes
    imperium tibi sero datum.
                               Victoria velox
    auspiciis effecta tuis. Pugnastis uterque:
    tu fatis genitorque manu. te propter et Alpes
    invadi faciles cauto nec profuit hosti                              90
    munitis haesisse locis: spes inrita valli
    concidit et scopulis patuerunt claustra revulsis.
    te propter gelidis Aquilo de monte procellis
    obruit adversas acies revolutaque tela
    vertit in auctores et turbine reppulit hastas                       95
    o nimium dilecte deo, cui fundit ab antris
    Aeolus armatas hiemes, cui militat aether
    et coniurati veniunt ad classica venti.
    Alpinae rubuere nives, et Frigidus amnis

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 277

thine eager spirit have given to hear the beloved clarion’s note and
to revel in the bloody storm of battle, trampling upon the slaughtered
bodies of thy foes! Like a young lion in a cave, accustomed to look for
nourishment to the teats of its tawny mother, who, so soon as he finds
talons beginning to grow from out his paws and a mane sprout from his
neck and teeth arm his jaws, will have none of this inglorious food
but burns to leave his cavern home and accompany his Gaetulian sire,
to bring death upon the herds and steep him in the gore of some tall
steer. But Theodosius said thee nay, and put the reins of government
into thy hands, crowning thy head with the sacred diadem it wore so
meetly. And so did thy virtue show in earliest years, so did thy soul
out-range thy youth that all complained that to thee empire was granted

Swiftly beneath thy auspices was victory achieved. Both fought for
us--thou with thy happy influence, thy father with his strong right
arm. Thanks to thee the Alps lay open to our armies, nor did it avail
the careful foe to cling to fortified posts. Their ramparts, and the
trust they put therein, fell; the rocks were torn away and their
hiding-places exposed. Thanks to thine influence the wind of the frozen
North overwhelmed the enemy’s line with his mountain storms, hurled
back their weapons upon the throwers and with the violence of his
tempest drove back their spears. Verily God is with thee, when at thy
behest Aeolus frees the armed tempests from his cave, when the very
elements fight for thee and the allied winds come at the call of thy
trumpets. The Alpine snows grew red with slaughter, the cold Frigidus,
its waters turned to blood, ran hot and steaming, and would

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                              Page 278

    mutatis fumavit aquis turbaque cadentum                            100
    staret, ni rapidus iuvisset flumina sanguis.
      At ferus inventor scelerum traiecerat altum
    non uno mucrone latus, duplexque tepebat
    ensis, et ultrices in se converterat iras
    tandem iusta manus. iam libertate reducta,                         105
    quamvis emeritum peteret natura reverti
    numen et auratas astrorum panderet arces
    nutaretque oneris venturi conscius Atlas,
    distulit Augustus cupido se credere caelo,
    dum tibi pacatum praesenti traderet orbem.                         110
    nec mora: Bistoniis alacer consurgis ab oris,
    inter barbaricas ausus transire cohortes
    impavido vultu; linquis Rhodopeia saxa
    Orpheis animata modis; iuga deseris Oetes
    Herculeo damnata rogo; post Pelion intras                          115
    Nereis inlustre toris; te pulcher Enipeus
    celsaque Dodone stupuit rursusque locutae
    in te Chaoniae moverunt carmina quercus.
    Illyrici legitur plaga litoris; arva teruntur
    Dalmatiae; Phrygii numerantur stagna Timavi.                       120
    gaudent Italiae sublimibus oppida muris
    adventu sacrata tuo, summissus adorat
    Eridanus blandosque iubet mitescere fluctus
    et Phaëthonteas solitae deflere ruinas
    roscida frondosae revocant electra sorores.                        125
      Quanti tum iuvenes, quantae sprevere pudorem
    spectandi studio matres, puerisque severi

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 279

have been choked with the heaps of corpses had not their own
fast-flowing gore helped on its course.

Meanwhile Arbogast, the cause of this wicked war, had pierced his
side deep not with a single blade: two swords[142] reeked with his
blood, and his own hand, learning justice at last, had turned its
savage fury against himself. Thus was liberty restored; but though
Nature demanded the return to heaven of divine Theodosius whose work
was now accomplished, though the sky threw open the golden palaces
of its starry vault and Atlas staggered knowing the burden he was to
bear, yet did the emperor forbear to entrust him to expectant Olympus
until he could in thy presence hand over to thee a world at peace.
Straightway didst thou, Honorius, leave the coasts of Thrace, and,
braving the dangers of the journey, pass without a tremor through
the hordes of barbarians. Thou leavest the rocks of Rhodope to which
Orpheus’ lyre gave life; thou quittest the heights of Oeta, scene of
Hercules’ ill-omened funeral pyre; next thou climbest Pelion, famed
for the marriage of Peleus and Thetis. Fair Enipeus and lofty Dodona
look upon thee in amaze, and the oaks of Chaonia, finding tongues once
more, utter oracles in thine honour. Thou skirtest the extreme coasts
of Illyria and, passing over Dalmatia’s fields, dost cross in turn the
nine sources of Trojan Timavus.[143] The high-walled cities of Italy
rejoice in the blessings of thy presence. Eridanus bows his head and
worships, bidding his waves flow gently to the sea; and Phaëthon’s
leafy sisters, that ever weep their brother’s death, check the flow of
their dewy amber.

How many youths, how many matrons set modesty aside in eagerness to
behold thee! Austere greybeards

    [142] This is obscure. Zosimus (iv. 58. 6) and Socrates (v. 25)
    merely mention suicide, but from Claudian’s account it looks
    as though, like Nero, Arbogast’s courage had failed him and an
    attendant had had to help him to his death.

    [143] The Fons Timavi (near Aquileia and the river Frigidus) is
    called Trojan from the story of the colonization of Venetia by the
    Trojan Antenor (Livy i. 1. 3).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 280

    certavere senes, cum tu genitoris amico
    exceptus gremio mediam veherere per urbem
    velaretque pios communis laurea currus!                            130
    quis non Luciferum roseo cum Sole videri
    credidit aut iunctum Bromio radiare Tonantem?
    floret cristatis exercitus undique turmis,
    quisque sua te voce canens. praestringit aena
    lux oculos, nudique seges Mavortia ferri                           135
    ingeminat splendore diem. pars nobilis arcu,
    pars longe iaculis, pars comminus horrida contis;
    hi volucres tollunt aquilas, hi picta draconum
    colla levant, multusque tumet per nubila serpens
    iratus stimulante Noto vivitque receptis                           140
    flatibus et vario mentitur sibila tractu.
      Ut ventum ad sedes, cunctos discedere tectis
    dux iubet et generum compellat talibus ultro:
    “bellipotens Stilicho, cuius mihi robur in armis,
    pace probata fides: quid enim per proelia gessi                    145
    te sine? quem merui te non sudante triumphum?
    Odrysium pariter Getico foedavimus Hebrum
    sanguine, Sarmaticas pariter prostravimus alas
    Riphaeaque simul fessos porreximus artus
    in glacie stantemque rota sulcavimus Histrum:                      150
    ergo age, me quoniam caelestis regia poscit,
    tu curis succede meis, tu pignora solus
    nostra fove: geminos dextra tu protege fratres.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 281

struggle with boys for places whence to see thee in the tender embraces
of thy sire, borne through the midst of Rome on a triumphal chariot
decked but with the shade of a simple laurel branch. Who did not then
think that he beheld the morning-star together with the rosy sun, or
the Thunderer shine in concert with Bacchus? On every side stretches
the host of plumed warriors, each hymning thy praises in his own
tongue; the brightness of bronze dazzles the eye and the martial glint
of a forest of unsheathed swords redoubles the light of day. Some are
decked with bows, others bristle with far-flung javelins or pikes for
fighting at close quarters. These raise standards adorned with flying
eagles, or with embroidered dragons or writhing serpents, that in their
thousands seem to be roused to angry life by the breath of the wind
which, as it blows them this way and that, causes them to rustle with a
sound like the hiss of a living snake.

When they reached the palace the emperor bade all depart and thus
unbidden addressed his son-in-law: “Victorious Stilicho, of whose
courage in war, of whose loyalty in peace I have made proof--what
warlike feat have I performed without thine aid? What triumph have
I won that thou helpedst me not in the winning? Together we caused
Thracian Hebrus to run red with Getic blood, together overthrew the
squadrons of the Sarmatae, together rested our weary limbs on the snows
of Mount Riphaeus and scarred the frozen Danube with our chariot’s
wheel--come, therefore, since heaven’s halls claim me, do thou take up
my task; be thou sole guardian of my children, let thy hand protect my
two sons. I adjure thee by

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                              Page 282

    per consanguineos thalamos noctemque beatam,
    per taedas, quas ipsa tuo regina levavit                           155
    coniugio sociaque nurum produxit ab aula,
    indue mente patrem, crescentes dilige fetus
    ut ducis, ut soceri. Iamiam securus ad astra
    te custode ferar; rupta si mole Typhoeus
    prosiliat, vinclis Tityos si membra resolvat,                      160
    si furor Enceladi proiecta mugiat Aetna,
    opposito Stilichone cadent.”
                                   Nec plura locutus,
    sicut erat, liquido signavit tramite nubes
    ingrediturque globum Lunae limenque relinquit
    Arcados et Veneris clementes advolat auras.                        165
    hinc Phoebi permensus iter flammamque nocentem
    Gradivi placidumque Iovem; stetit arce suprema,
    algenti qua zona riget Saturnia tractu.
    machina laxatur caeli rutilaeque patescunt
    sponte fores. Arctoa parat convexa Bootes,                         170
    australes reserat portas succinctus Orion
    invitantque novum sidus, pendentque vicissim
    quas partes velit ipse sequi, quibus esse sodalis
    dignetur stellis aut qua regione morari.
    o decus aetherium, terrarum gloria quondam,                        175
    te tuus Oceanus natali gurgite lassum
    excipit et notis Hispania proluit undis.
    fortunate parens, primos cum detegis ortus,
    adspicis Arcadium; cum te proclivior urges,
    occiduum visus remoratur Honorius ignem;                           180
    et quocumque vagos flectas sub cardine cursus,

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                              Page 283

that marriage that makes thee kin with me, by the night that saw its
consummation, by the torch which at thy wedding-feast the queen carried
in her own hand when she led thy bride-elect from out the imperial
palace, take on thee a father’s spirit, guard the years of their
childhood. Was not their sire thy master and thy wife’s father? Now,
now I shall mount untroubled to the stars for thou wilt watch over
them. Even should Typhoeus rend away the rocks and leap forth, should
Tityus free his captive limbs, should Enceladus, hurling Etna from him,
roar in rage--each and all will fall before Stilicho’s attack.”

He spake no more but still in human form clove a furrow of light
through the clouds; he passes to Luna’s globe, leaves Mercury’s
threshold and hastens to the gentle airs of Venus. Hence he traverses
Phoebus’ path, Mars’ baleful fires and Jupiter’s quiet quarters, and
stands upon the very crown of the sky, cold Saturn’s frozen zone.
Heaven’s fabric opens, unbidden the shining doors swing back. Boötes
prepares a place in the vault of the northern sky, sword-girt Orion
unbars the portals of the south; they offer welcome to the new star,
uncertain each in turn to what region he will betake himself, what
constellation he will grace with his presence, or in what quarter
he will elect to shine alone. O glory of heaven as once thou wert
of earth, the ocean that laves the shores of the land of thy birth
receives thee wearied with thy nightly course, Spain bathes thee in thy
natal waves. Happy father, when first thou risest above the horizon
thou lookest upon Arcadius, when thou dippest to thy setting the sight
of Honorius delays thy westering fires. Through whichever hemisphere
thou takest thy wandering

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                              Page 284

    natorum per regna venis, qui mente serena
    maturoque regunt iunctas moderamine gentes,
    saecula qui rursus formant meliore metallo.
    luget Avarities Stygiis innexa catenis                             185
    cumque suo demens expellitur Ambitus auro.
    non dominantur opes nec corrumpentia sensus
    dona valent: emitur sola virtute potestas.
      Unanimi fratres, quorum mare terraque fatis
    debetur, quodcumque manus evasit avitas,                           190
    quod superest patri: vobis iam Mulciber arma
    praeparat et Sicula Cyclops incude laborat,
    Brontes innumeris exasperat aegida signis,
    altum fulminea crispare in casside conum
    festinat Steropes, nectit thoraca Pyragmon                         195
    ignifluisque gemit Lipare fumosa cavernis.
    vobis Ionia virides Neptunus in alga
    nutrit equos, qui summa freti per caerula possint
    ferre viam segetemque levi percurrere motu,
    nesciat ut spumas nec proterat ungula culmos.                      200
    iam video Babylona rapi Parthumque coactum
    non ficta trepidare fuga, iam Bactra teneri
    legibus et famulis Gangen pallescere ripis
    gemmatosque humilem dispergere Persida cultus.
    ite per extremum Tanaim pigrosque Triones,                         205
    ite per ardentem Libyam, superate vapores
    solis et arcanos Nili deprendite fontes,
    Herculeum finem, Bacchi transcurrite metas:
    vestri iuris erit, quidquid complectitur axis,
    vobis Rubra dabunt pretiosas aequora conchas,                      210
    Indus ebur, ramos Panchaia, vellera Seres.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 285

journey, thou passest over the domains of sons who with tranquil mind
and ripe control rule over allied peoples, who once again fashion the
ages from a nobler ore. Avarice is left to weep in Stygian chains,
mad Ambition and his gold banished afar. Wealth does not hold sway;
sense-corrupting gifts are of no avail; virtue alone can purchase power.

Brothers twain, with the heart of one, brothers to whose rule fate
has entrusted sea and land, if there is aught that has escaped your
grandsire’s conquering hand, aught your father has left unsubdued, even
now Vulcan prepares the arms for their subjection and Cyclops labours
on the Sicilian anvil. Brontes carves countless figures on the shield,
Steropes hastes to bend the lofty peak of the flashing helmet, Pyragmon
knits the coat of mail, smoky Lipare roars throughout its fire-belching
caves. ’Tis for you that Neptune pastures in the seaweed meadows of
the Ionian main green sea-horses who can fly o’er the surface of the
blue waters with so light a step that their hoofs are unflecked with
foam, and course o’er fields of corn so delicately that the ears do not
bend beneath their weight. E’en now I see the sack of Babylon and the
Parthian driven to flight that is not feigned, Bactria subjected to
the Law, the fearful pallor of the Ganges’ servile banks, the humbled
Persian throwing off his gem-encrusted robes. Mount to Tanais’ source,
explore the frozen North, traverse sun-scorched Libya, o’ercome the
fires of Titan and surprise Nile’s hidden spring; pass the Pillars of
Hercules, the bourne, too, whence Bacchus returned; whatever heaven
enfolds shall own your dominion. To you the Red Sea shall give precious
shells, India her ivory, Panchaia perfumes, and China silk.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 286



      Auspiciis iterum sese regalibus annus
    induit et nota fruitur iactantior aula,
    limina nec passi circum privata morari
    exultant reduces Augusto consule fasces,
    cernis ut armorum proceres legumque potentes                         5
    patricios sumant[144] habitus? et more Gabino
    discolor incedit legio positisque parumper
    bellorum signis sequitur vexilla Quirini.
    lictori cedunt aquilae ridetque togatus
    miles et in mediis effulget curia castris.                          10
    ipsa Palatino circumvallata senatu
    iam trabeam Bellona gerit parmamque removit
    et galeam sacras umeris vectura curules.
    nec te laurigeras pudeat, Gradive, secures
    pacata gestare manu Latiaque micantem                               15
    loricam mutare toga, dum ferreus haeret
    currus et Eridani ludunt per prata iugales.
      Haud indigna coli nec nuper cognita Marti
    Ulpia progenies et quae diademata mundo
    sparsit Hibera domus. nec tantam vilior unda                        20

    [144] _sumant_ B; Birt reads _sumunt_, following the other MSS.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 287



Once more the year opens under royal auspices and enjoys in fuller
pride its famous prince; not brooking to linger around private
thresholds the returning fasces rejoice in Caesar’s consulship.
Seest thou how the armed chiefs and mighty judges don the raiment of
senators? and the soldiers step forth in garb of peaceful hue worn
Gabine[145] wise, and laying aside for a season the standards of war
follow the banner of Quirinus. The eagles give way to the lictors, the
smiling soldier wears the toga of peace and the senate-house casts its
brilliance in the midst of the camp. Bellona herself, surrounded by
a noble band of senators, puts on the consul’s gown and lays by her
shield and helmet in order to harness the sacred curule chair to her
shoulders. Think it no shame, Gradivus, to bear the laurel-crowned
axes in a hand of peace and to exchange thy shining breastplate for
the Latin toga while thine iron chariot remains unused and thy steeds
disport them in the pastures of Eridanus.

Not unworthy of reverence nor but newly acquainted with war is the
family of Trajan and that Spanish house which has showered diadems upon
the world. No common stream was held worthy

    [145] As marking a festival; see note on vii. 3.

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                              Page 288

    promeruit gentis seriem: cunabula fovit
    Oceanus; terrae dominos pelagique futuros
    inmenso decuit rerum de principe nasci.
    hinc processit avus, cui post Arctoa frementi
    classica Massylas adnexuit Africa laurus,                           25
    ille, Caledoniis posuit qui castra pruinis,
    qui medios Libyae sub casside pertulit aestus,
    terribilis Mauro debellatorque Britanni
    litoris ac pariter Boreae vastator et Austri.
    quid rigor aeternus, caeli quid frigora prosunt                     30
    ignotumque fretum? maduerunt Saxone fuso
    Orcades; incaluit Pictorum sanguine Thyle;
    Scottorum cumulos flevit glacialis Hiverne.
    quid calor obsistit forti? per vasta cucurrit
    Aethiopum cinxitque novis Atlanta maniplis,                         35
    virgineum Tritona bibit sparsosque venenis
    Gorgoneos vidit thalamos et vile virentes
    Hesperidum risit, quos ditat fabula, ramos.
    arx incensa Iubae, rabies Maurusia ferro
    cessit et antiqui penetralia diruta Bocchi.                         40
      Sed laudes genitor longe transgressus avitas
    subdidit Oceanum sceptris et margine caeli
    clausit opes, quantum distant a Tigride Gades,
    inter se Tanais quantum Nilusque relinquunt:
    haec tamen innumeris per se quaesita tropaeis,                      45

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 289

to water the homeland of so illustrious a race; Ocean laved their
cradle, for it befitted the future lords of earth and sea to have their
origin in the great father[146] of all things. Hence came Theodosius,
grandfather of Honorius, for whom, exultant after his northern
victories, Africa twined fresh laurels won from the Massylae. ’Twas
he who pitched his camp amid the snows of Caledonia,[147] who never
doffed his helmet for all the heat of a Libyan summer, who struck
terror into the Moors, brought into subjection the coasts of Britain
and with equal success laid waste the north and the south. What avail
against him the eternal snows, the frozen air, the uncharted sea? The
Orcades ran red with Saxon slaughter; Thule was warm with the blood of
Picts; ice-bound Hibernia wept for the heaps of slain Scots. Could heat
stay the advance of a courageous general? No; he overran the deserts
of Ethiopia, invested Atlas with troops strange to him, drank of lake
Triton where was born the virgin goddess Minerva, beheld the Gorgon’s
empoisoned lair, and laughed to see the common verdure of those gardens
of the Hesperides which story had clothed with gold. Juba’s fortress
was burned down, the frenzied valour of the Moor yielded to the sword
and the palace of ancient Bocchus was razed to the ground.

But thy father’s fame far surpassed that of thy grandsire: he subdued
Ocean to his governance and set the sky for border to his kingdom,
ruling from Gades to the Tigris, and all that lies ’twixt Tanais and
Nile; yet all these lands won by countless triumphs of his own, he
gained them not by gift

    [146] Claudian is thinking of such passages in Homer as _e.g._
    _Il._ xiv. 245-246:

        Ὠκεανοῦ, ὅς περ γένεσις πάντεσσι τέτυκται,

    or perhaps Vergil’s _Oceanumque patrem rerum_ (Virg. _Georg._ iv.

    [147] _Cf._ note on xv. 216.

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                              Page 290

    non generis dono, non ambitione potitus.
    digna legi virtus. ultro se purpura supplex
    obtulit et solus meruit regnare rogatus.
    nam cum barbaries penitus commota gementem
    inrueret Rhodopen et mixto turbine gentes                           50
    jam deserta suas in nos transfunderet Arctos,
    Danuvii totae vomerent cum proelia ripae,
    cum Geticis ingens premeretur Mysia plaustris
    flavaque Bistonios operirent agmina campos,
    omnibus adflictis et vel labentibus ictu                            55
    vel prope casuris: unus tot funera contra
    restitit extinxitque faces agrisque colonos
    reddidit et leti rapuit de faucibus urbes.
    nulla relicta foret Romani nominis umbra,
    ni pater ille tuus iamiam ruitura subisset                          60
    pondera turbatamque ratem certaque levasset
    naufragium commune manu: velut ordine rupto
    cum procul insanae traherent Phaëthonta quadrigae
    saeviretque dies terramque et stagna propinqui
    haurirent radii, solito cum murmure torvis                          65
    sol occurrit equis; qui postquam rursus eriles
    agnovere sonos, rediit meliore magistro
    machina concentusque poli, currusque recepit
    imperium flammaeque modum.
                                 Sic traditus ille
    servatusque Oriens. at non pars altera rerum                        70
    tradita: bis possessa manu, bis parta periclis.
    per varium gemini scelus erupere tyranni
    tractibus occiduis: hunc saeva Britannia fudit;

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 291

of birth or from lust of power. It was his own merit secured his
election. Unsought the purple begged his acceptance of itself; he alone
when asked to rule was worthy to do so. For when unrest at home drove
barbarian hordes over unhappy Rhodope and the now deserted north had
poured its tribes in wild confusion across our borders, when all the
banks of Danube poured forth battles and broad Mysia rang beneath the
chariots of the Getae, when flaxen-haired hordes covered the plains
of Thrace and amid this universal ruin all was either prostrate or
tottering to its fall, one man alone withstood the tide of disaster,
quenched the flames, restored to the husbandmen their fields and
snatched the cities from the very jaws of destruction. No shadow of
Rome’s name had survived had not thy sire borne up the tottering mass,
succoured the storm-tossed bark and with sure hand averted universal
shipwreck. As when the maddened coursers broke from their path and
carried Phaëthon far astray, when day’s heat grew fierce and the sun’s
rays, brought near to earth, dried up both land and sea, Phoebus
checked his fierce horses with his wonted voice; for they knew once
more their master’s tones, and with a happier guide heaven’s harmonious
order was restored; for now the chariot again accepted government and
its fires control.

Thus was the East entrusted to him and thus was its salvation assured;
but the other half of the world was not so entrusted: twice was the
West gained by valour, twice won by dangers. In those lands of the
sunset by manifold crime there arose to power tyrants twain: wild
Britain produced one (Maximus), the other (Eugenius) was chosen

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 292

    hunc sibi Germanus famulum delegerat exul:
    ausus uterque nefas, domini respersus uterque                       75
    insontis iugulo. novitas audere priori
    suadebat cautumque dabant exempla sequentem.
    hic nova moliri praeceps, hic quaerere tuta
    providus; hic fusis, collectis viribus ille;
    hic vagus excurrens, hic intra claustra reductus.                   80
    dissimiles, sed morte pares, evadere neutri
    dedecus aut mixtis licuit procumbere telis.
    amissa specie, raptis insignibus ambo
    in vultus rediere suos manibusque revinctis
    oblati gladiis summittunt colla paratis                             85
    et vitam veniamque rogant. pro damna pudoris!
    qui modo tam densas nutu movere cohortes,
    in quos iam dubius sese libraverat orbis,
    non hostes victore cadunt, sed iudice sontes;
    damnat voce reos, petiit quos Marte tyrannos.                       90
    amborum periere duces: hic sponte carina
    decidit in fluctus, illum suus abstulit ensis;
    hunc Alpes, hunc pontus habet. solacia caesis
    fratribus haec ultor tribuit: necis auctor uterque
    labitur; Augustas par victima mitigat umbras.                       95
    has dedit inferias tumulis, iuvenumque duorum
    purpureos merito placavit sanguine manes.
      Illi iustitiam confirmavere triumphi,

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                              Page 293

as a tool by a Frankish outlaw (Arbogast). Both dared monstrous guilt;
both stained their hands with an innocent emperor’s[148] blood. Sudden
elevation inspired Maximus with audacity, his failure taught his
successor caution. Maximus was quick to arm rebellion, Eugenius careful
to attempt only what was safe. The one o’erran the country, spreading
his forces in all directions, the other kept his troops together and
himself secure behind a rampart. Different were they, but in their
deaths alike. To neither was it granted to escape an ignominious end
and to fall in the thick of the fight. Gone was their glory, their
weapons were reft from them and they reduced to their former state;
their arms were bound behind their backs and they stretched forth their
necks to the sword’s imminent stroke, begging for pardon and for life.
What a fall did pride there suffer! They who but lately had moved such
countless cohorts with but a nod, into whose palm a wavering world had
hung ready to drop, fall not as warriors at a victor’s hand but as
malefactors before a judge; he sentences with his voice as criminals
those whom he assailed in war as tyrants. With both perished their
lieutenants: Andragathius hurled himself from his ship into the waves,
Arbogast took his life with his own sword; the Alps mark the tomb
of the one, the sea of the other. This solace at least the avenger
afforded to those murdered brothers that both the authors of their
deaths themselves were slain; two victims went to appease those royal
ghosts. Such was Theodosius’ oblation at their tomb and with the blood
of the guilty he appeased the shades of the two young emperors.

Those triumphs stablished Justice on her throne

    [148] Maximus was responsible for the murder of the Emperor Gratian,
    Eugenius for that of Valentinian II. See Introduction, p. viii.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 294

    praesentes docuere deos. hinc saecula discant
    indomitum nihil esse pio tutumve nocenti:                          100
    nuntius ipse sui longas incognitus egit
    praevento rumore vias, inopinus utrumque
    perculit et clausos montes, ut plana, reliquit.
    extruite inmanes scopulos, attollite turres,
    cingite vos fluviis, vastas opponite silvas,                       105
    Garganum Alpinis Appenninumque nivalem
    permixtis sociate iugis et rupibus Haemum
    addite Caucasiis, involvite Pelion Ossae:
    non dabitis murum sceleri. qui vindicet, ibit:
    omnia subsident meliori pervia causae.                             110
      Nec tamen oblitus civem cedentibus atrox
    partibus infremuit; non insultare iacenti
    malebat: mitis precibus, pietatis abundans,
    poenae parcus erat; paci non intulit iram;
    post acies odiis idem qui terminus armis.                          115
    profuit hoc vincente capi, multosque subactos
    prospera[149] laturae commendavere catenae.
    magnarum largitor opum, largitor honorum
    pronus et in melius gaudens convertere fata.
    hinc amor, hinc validum devoto milite robur.                       120
    hinc natis mansura fides.
                              Hoc nobilis ortu
    nasceris aequaeva cum maiestate creatus
    nullaque privatae passus contagia sortis.
    omnibus acceptis ultro te regia solum
    protulit et patrio felix adolescis in ostro,                       125

    [149] Birt, with the MSS., _aspera_; I return to the _prospera_ of
    the edit. princeps.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 295

and taught that heaven gives help. From them let the ages learn that
righteousness need fear no foe and guilt expect no safety. Himself his
own messenger, outstripping the rumour of his approach, Theodosius
traversed those long journeys undetected by his enemies. Suddenly he
fell on both, passing over entrenched mountains as if they were a
plain. Build up monstrous rocks, raise towers, surround yourselves with
rivers, set limitless forests to protect you, put Garganus and the
snowy Apennines upon the summits of the Alps that all form one vast
mountain barrier, plant Haemus on the crags of Caucasus, roll Pelion on
Ossa, yet will ye not gain security for guilt. The avenger will come;
for the better cause all things shall sink to make a path.

Yet never did Theodosius forget that he and the vanquished were
fellow-citizens, nor was his anger implacable against those who
yielded. Not his the choice to exult over the fallen. His ears were
open to prayers, his clemency unbounded, his vengeance restrained. His
anger did not survive the war to darken the days of peace; the day that
set an end to the combat set an end to his wrath. Capture by such a
victor was a gain; and many a conquered foe did their chains commend to
future fortune.[150] As liberal of money as of honours he was ever bent
to redress the injuries of fate. Hence the love, the fortitude, the
devotion of his troops; hence their abiding loyalty to his sons.

Child of so noble a sire, thy kingly state was coëval with thy birth
nor ever knewest thou the soilure of a private lot. To thee all things
came unsought; thee only[151] did a palace rear; thy happy growth was
in ancestral purple, and thy limbs, never

    [150] _i.e._ by winning first the pity and then the favour of

    [151] “Only,” because Arcadius was born _before_ Theodosius became

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 296

    membraque vestitu numquam violata profano
    in sacros cecidere sinus. Hispania patrem
    auriferis eduxit aquis, te gaudet alumno
    Bosphorus. Hesperio de limine surgit origo,
    sed nutrix Aurora tibi; pro pignore tanto                          130
    certatur, geminus civem te vindicat axis.
    Herculis et Bromii sustentat gloria Thebas,
    haesit Apollineo Delos Latonia partu
    Cretaque se iactat tenero reptata Tonanti;
    sed melior Delo, Dictaeis clarior oris                             135
    quae dedit hoc numen regio; non litora nostro
    sufficerent angusta deo. nec inhospita Cynthi
    saxa tuos artus duro laesere cubili:
    adclinis genetrix auro, circumflua gemmis
    in Tyrios enixa toros; ululata verendis                            140
    aula puerperiis. quae tunc documenta futuri?
    quae voces avium? quanti per inane volatus?
    qui vatum discursus erat? tibi corniger Hammon
    et dudum taciti rupere silentia Delphi,
    te Persae cecinere magi, te sensit Etruscus                        145
    augur et inspectis Babylonius horruit astris,
    Chaldaei stupuere senes Cumanaque rursus
    intonuit rupes, rabidae delubra Sibyllae.
    nec te progenitum Cybeleius aere sonoro
    lustravit Corybas: exercitus undique fulgens                       150
    adstitit; ambitur signis augustior infans,
    sentit adorantes galeas, redditque ferocem
    vagitum lituus.
                     Vitam tibi contulit idem

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                              Page 297

outraged by garb profane, were laid upon a hallowed lap. Spain with its
rivers of gold gave birth to thy sire; Bosporus boasts thee among its
children. The West is the cradle of thy race but the East was thine own
nurse; rivals are they for so dear a pledge, either hemisphere claims
thee as its citizen. The fame of Hercules and Bacchus has immortalized
Thebes; when Latona gave birth to Apollo in Delos that island stayed
its errant course; it is Crete’s boast that over its fields the infant
Thunderer crawled. But the land that brought divine Honorius to birth
is a greater than Delos, a more famous than Crete. Such narrow shores
would not suffice our god. Nor did the bleak rocks of Cynthus hurt
thy body with their rough bed; on couch of gold, clothed in jewelled
raiment, thy mother gave birth to thee amid Tyrian purples; a palace
rang with joy at that royal deliverance. What presages were there not
then of future prosperity? what songs of birds, what flights of good
omen in the heavens? What was the hurrying to and fro of seers? Hornèd
Ammon and Delphi so long dumb at length broke their silence; Persian
magi prophesied thy triumphs; Tuscan augurs felt thine influence;
seers of Babylon beheld the stars and trembled; amazement seized the
Chaldaean priests; the rock of Cumae, shrine of raging Sibyl, thundered
once again. Cybele’s corybants surrounded not thy cradle with the
clatter of their brazen shields; a shining host stood by thee on every
side. Standards of war hedged in the royal babe who marked the bowed
helmets of the worshipping soldiery while the trumpet’s blare answered
his warlike cries.

The day that gave thee birth gave thee a kingdom;

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 298

    imperiumque dies; inter cunabula consul
    proveheris, signas posito modo nomine fastos                       155
    donaturque tibi, qui te produxerat, annus.
    ipsa Quirinali parvum te cinxit amictu
    mater et ad primas docuit reptare curules.
    uberibus sanctis inmortalique dearum
    crescis adoratus gremio: tibi saepe Diana                          160
    Maenalios arcus venatricesque pharetras
    suspendit, puerile decus; tu saepe Minervae
    lusisti clipeo fulvamque impune pererrans
    aegida tractasti blandos interritus angues;
    saepe tuas etiam iam tum gaudente marito                           165
    velavit regina comas festinaque voti
    praesumptum diadema dedit, tum lenibus ulnis
    sustulit et magno porrexit ad oscula patri.
    nec dilatus honos: mutatur principe Caesar;
    protinus aequaris fratri.                                          170
                               Non certius umquam
    hortati superi, nullis praesentior aether
    adfuit ominibus. tenebris involverat atra
    lumen hiems densosque Notus collegerat imbres.
    sed mox, cum solita miles te voce levasset,
    nubila dissolvit Phoebus pariterque dabantur                       175
    sceptra tibi mundoque dies: caligine liber
    Bosphorus adversam patitur Calchedona cerni.
    nec tantum vicina nitent, sed tota repulsis
    nubibus exuitur Thrace, Pangaea renident
    insuetosque palus radios Maeotia vibrat.                           180

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 299

in thy cradle thou wast raised to the consulship.[152] With the name
so recently bestowed upon thee thou dowerest the fasti and the year
wherein thou wert born is consecrated to thee. Thy mother herself
wrapped thy small form in the consular robe and directed thy first
steps to the curule chair. Nourished at a goddess’ breasts, honoured
with the embraces of immortal arms thou grewest to maturity. Oft to
grace thy boyish form Diana hung upon thy shoulders her Maenalian
bow and huntress’ quiver; oft thou didst sport with Minerva’s shield
and, crawling unharmed over her glittering aegis, didst caress its
friendly serpents with fearless hand. Often even in those early days
thy mother beneath thy sire’s happy gaze crowned thy tender locks and,
anticipating the answer to her prayers, gave thee the diadem that was
to be thine hereafter; then raising thee in her gentle arms she held
thee up to receive thy mighty father’s kiss. Nor was that honour long
in coming; thou, then Caesar, didst become emperor and wert straightway
made equal with thy brother.[153]

Never was the encouragement of the gods more sure, never did heaven
attend with more favouring omens. Black tempest had shrouded the light
in darkness and the south wind gathered thick rain-clouds, when of a
sudden, so soon as the soldiers had borne thee aloft with customary
shout, Phoebus scattered the clouds and at the same moment was given
to thee the sceptre, to the world light. Bosporus, freed from clouds,
permits a sight of Chalcedon on the farther shore; nor is it only the
vicinity of Byzantium that is bathed in brightness; the clouds are
driven back and all Thrace is cleared; Pangaeus shows afar and lake
Maeotis makes quiver the rays he

    [152] Honorius, who was born Sept. 9, 384, was made consul for 386.

    [153] Arcadius was made Augustus Jan. 16 (? 19), 383: Honorius not
    till Nov. 20, 393. Both succeeded to the throne Jan. 17, 395.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 300

    nec Boreas nimbos aut sol ardentior egit:
    imperii lux illa fuit; praesagus obibat
    cuncta nitor risitque tuo natura sereno.
    visa etiam medio populis mirantibus audax
    stella die, dubitanda nihil nec crine retuso                       185
    languida, sed quantus numeratur nocte Bootes,
    emicuitque plagis alieni temporis hospes
    ignis et agnosci potuit, cum luna lateret:
    sive parens Augusta fuit, seu forte reluxit
    divi sidus avi, seu te properantibus astris                        190
    cernere sol patiens caelum commune remisit.
    adparet quid signa ferant. ventura potestas
    claruit Ascanio, subita cum luce comarum
    innocuus flagraret apex Phrygioque volutus
    vertice fatalis redimiret tempora candor.                          195
    at tua caelestes inlustrant omina flammae.
    talis ab Idaeis primaevus Iuppiter antris
    possessi stetit arce poli famulosque recepit
    natura tradente deos; lanugine nondum
    vernabant vultus nec adhuc per colla fluebant                      200
    moturae convexa comae; tum scindere nubes
    discebat fulmenque rudi torquere lacerto.
      Laetior augurio genitor natisque superbus
    iam paribus duplici fultus consorte redibat
    splendebatque pio complexus pignora curru.                         205
    haud aliter summo gemini cum patre Lacones,
    progenies Ledaea, sedent: in utroque relucet
    frater, utroque soror; simili chlamys effluit auro;

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 301

rarely sees. ’Tis not Boreas nor yet Phoebus’ warmer breath that has
put the mists to flight. That light was an emperor’s star. A prophetic
radiance was over all things, and with thy brightness Nature laughed.
Even at mid-day did a wondering people gaze upon a bold star (’twas
clear to behold)--no dulled nor stunted beams but bright as Boötes’
nightly lamp. At a strange hour its brilliance lit up the sky and its
fires could be clearly seen though the moon lay hid. May be it was the
Queen mother’s star or the return of thy grandsire’s now become a god,
or may be the generous sun agreed to share the heavens with all the
stars that hasted to behold thee. The meaning of those signs is now
unmistakable. Clear was the prophecy of Ascanius’ coming power when an
aureole crowned his locks, yet harmed them not, and when the fires of
fate encircled his head and played about his temples.[154] Thy future
the very fires of heaven foretell. So the young Jove, issuing from the
caves of Ida, stood upon the summit of the conquered sky and received
the homage of the gods whom Nature handed to his charge. The bloom of
youth had not yet clothed his cheeks nor flowed there o’er his neck the
curls whose stirrings were to shake the world. He was yet learning how
to cleave the clouds and hurl the thunderbolt with unpractised hand.

Gladdened by that augury and proud of his now equal sons the sire
returned, upstayed on the two princes and lovingly embracing his
children in glittering car. Even so the Spartan twins, the sons of
Leda, sit with highest Jove; in each his brother is mirrored, in each
their sister; round each alike flows a golden dress, and star-crowned
are the

    [154] Virgil mentions the portent (_Aen._ ii. 682).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 302

    stellati pariter crines. iuvat ipse Tonantem
    error et ambiguae placet ignorantia matri;                         210
    Eurotas proprios discernere nescit alumnos.
      Ut domus excepit reduces, ibi talia tecum
    pro rerum stabili fertur dicione locutus:
      “Si tibi Parthorurm solium Fortuna dedisset,
    care puer, terrisque procul venerandus Eois                        215
    barbarus Arsacio consurgeret ore tiaras:
    sufficeret sublime genus luxuque fluentem
    deside nobilitas posset te sola tueri.
    altera Romanae longe rectoribus aulae
    condicio. virtute decet, non sanguine niti.                        220
    maior et utilior fato coniuncta potenti,
    vile latens virtus. quid enim? submersa tenebris
    proderit obscuro veluti sine remige puppis
    vel lyra quae reticet vel qui non tenditur arcus.
      “Hanc tamen haud quisquam, qui non agnoverit ante                225
    semet et incertos animi placaverit aestus,
    inveniet; longis illuc ambagibus itur.
    disce orbi, quod quisque sibi. cum conderet artus
    nostros, aetheriis miscens terrena, Prometheus,
    sinceram patri mentem furatus Olympo                               230
    continuit claustris indignantemque revinxit
    et, cum non aliter possent mortalia fingi,
    adiunxit geminas. illae cum corpore lapsae
    intereunt, haec sola manet bustoque superstes
    evolat. hanc alta capitis fundavit in arce                         235
    mandatricem operum prospecturamque labori;

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 303

locks of both. The Thunderer rejoices in his very uncertainty, and to
their hesitating mother her ignorance brings delight; Eurotas cannot
make distinction between his own nurslings.

When all had returned to the palace, Theodosius, anxious for the
world’s just governance, is said to have addressed thee in these terms:

“Had fortune, my dear son, given thee the throne of Parthia, hadst
thou been a descendant of the Arsacid house and did the tiara, adored
by Eastern lands afar, tower upon thy forehead, thy long lineage would
be enough, and thy birth alone would protect thee, though wantoning in
idle luxury. Very different is the state of Rome’s emperor. ’Tis merit,
not blood, must be his support. Virtue hidden hath no value, united
with power ’tis both more effective and more useful. Nay, o’erwhelmed
in darkness it will no more advantage its obscure possessor than a
vessel with no oars, a silent lyre, an unstrung bow.

“Yet virtue none shall find that has not first learned to know himself
and stilled the uncertain waves of passion within him. Long and winding
is the path that leads thereto. What each man learns in his own
interests learn thou in the interests of the world. When Prometheus
mixed earthly and heavenly elements and so formed human kind, he stole
man’s spirit pure from his own heavenly home, held it imprisoned and
bound despite its outcries, and since humanity could be formed in no
other way he added two more souls.[155] These fail and perish with the
body; the first alone remains, survives the pyre and flies away. This
soul he stationed in the lofty fastness of the brain to control and
oversee the work and labours of the body. The other

    [155] Claudian here follows the Platonic psychology which divides
    the soul into τὸ ἐπιθυμητικόν, τὸ θυμοειδές, the two (” geminas” )
    baser elements, and τὸ λογιστικόν (the “haec” of l. 234).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 304

    illas inferius collo praeceptaque summae
    passuras dominae digna statione locavit.
    quippe opifex veritus confundere sacra profanis
    distribuit partes animae sedesque removit.                         240
    iram sanguinei regio sub pectore cordis
    protegit imbutam flammis avidamque nocendi
    praecipitemque sui. rabie succensa tumescit,
    contrahitur tepefacta metu. cumque omnia secum
    duceret et requiem membris vesana negaret,                         245
    invenit pulmonis opem madidumque furenti
    praebuit, ut tumidae ruerent in mollia fibrae.
    at sibi cuncta petens, nil conlatura cupido
    in iecur et tractus imos compulsa recessit,
    quae, velut inmanis reserat dum belua rictus,                      250
    expleri pascique nequit: nunc verbere curas
    torquet avaritiae, stimulis nunc flagrat amorum,
    nunc gaudet, nunc maesta dolet satiataque rursus
    exoritur caesaque redit pollentius hydra.
      “Hos igitur potuit si quis sedare tumultus,                      255
    inconcussa dabit purae sacraria menti.
    tu licet extremos late dominere per Indos,
    te Medus, te mollis Arabs, te Seres adorent:
    si metuis, si prava cupis, si duceris ira,
    servitii patiere iugum; tolerabis iniquas                          260
    interius leges. tunc omnia iure tenebis,
    cum poteris rex esse tui. proclivior usus
    in peiora datur suadetque licentia luxum
    inlecebrisque effrena favet. tum vivere caste

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 305

two he set below the neck in a place befitting their functions, where
it is their part to obey the commands of the directing soul. Doubtless
our creator, fearing to mix the heavenly with the mortal, placed the
different souls in different parts and kept their dwelling-places
distinct. Near to the heart whence springs our blood there is within
the breast a place where fiery anger lurks, eager to hurt and
uncontrolled. This cavity swells when heated by rage and contracts
when cooled by fear. Then, since anger swept everything away with it
and in its fury gave the limbs no rest, Prometheus invented the lungs
to aid the body and applied their humidity to the raging of anger to
soothe our wrath-swollen flesh. Lust, that asks for everything and
gives nought, was driven down into the liver and of necessity occupied
the lowest room. Like a beast, opening its capacious jaws, lust can
never be full fed nor satisfied; it is a prey now to the cruel lash of
sleepless avarice, now to the fiery goads of love; is swayed now by
joy, now by misery, and is no sooner fed than fain to be fed again,
returning with more insistence than the oft-beheaded hydra.

“Can any assuage this tumult he will assure an inviolable sanctuary
for a spotless soul. Thou mayest hold sway o’er farthest India, be
obeyed by Mede, unwarlike Arab or Chinese, yet, if thou fearest, hast
evil desires, art swayed by anger, thou wilt bear the yoke of slavery;
within thyself thou wilt be a slave to tyrannical rule. When thou canst
be king over thyself then shalt thou hold rightful rule over the world.
The easier way often trod leads to worse; liberty begets licence and,
when uncontrolled, leads to vice. Then is a chaste

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 306

    asperius, cum prompta Venus; tum durius irae                       265
    consulitur, cum poena patet. sed comprime motus
    nec tibi quid liceat, sed quid fecisse decebit
    occurrat, mentemque domet respectus honesti.
      “Hoc te praeterea crebro sermone monebo,
    ut te totius medio telluris in ore                                 270
    vivere cognoscas, cunctis tua gentibus esse
    facta palam nec posse dari regalibus usquam
    secretum vitiis; nam lux altissima fati
    occultum nihil esse sinit, latebrasque per omnes
    intrat et abstrusos explorat fama recessus.                        275
      “Sis pius in primis; nam cum vincamur in omni
    munere, sola deos aequat clementia nobis.
    neu dubie suspectus agas neu falsus amicis
    rumorumve avidus: qui talia curat, inanes
    horrebit strepitus nulla non anxius hora.                          280
    non sic excubiae, non circumstantia pila
    quam tutatur amor. non extorquebis amari;
    hoc alterna fides, hoc simplex gratia donat.
    nonne vides, operum quod se pulcherrimus ipse
    mundus amore liget, nec vi conexa per aevum                        285
    conspirent elementa sibi? quod limite Phoebus
    contentus medio, contentus litore pontus
    et, qui perpetuo terras ambitque vehitque,
    nec premat incumbens oneri nec cesserit aër?
    qui terret, plus ipse timet; sors ista tyrannis                    290
    convenit; invideant claris fortesque trucident,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 307

life harder when love is at call; then is it a sterner task to govern
anger when vengeance is to hand. Yet master thine emotions and ponder
not what thou mightest do but what thou oughtest to do, and let regard
for duty control thy mind.

“Of this too I cannot warn thee too often: remember that thou livest in
the sight of the whole world, to all peoples are thy deeds known; the
vices of monarchs cannot anywhere remain hid. The splendour of their
lofty station allows nought to be concealed; fame penetrates every
hiding-place and discovers the inmost secrets of the heart.

“Above all fail not in loving-kindness; for though we be surpassed
in every virtue yet mercy alone makes us equal with the gods. Let
thine actions be open and give no grounds for suspicion, be loyal to
thy friends nor lend an ear to rumours. He who attends to such will
quake at every idle whisper and know no moment’s peace. Neither watch
nor guard nor yet a hedge of spears can secure thee safety; only thy
people’s love can do that. Love thou canst not extort; it is the gift
of mutual faith and honest goodwill. Seest thou not how the fair
frame of the very universe binds itself together by love, and how
the elements, not united by violence, are for ever at harmony among
themselves? Dost thou not mark how that Phoebus is content not to
outstep the limits of his path, nor the sea those of his kingdom, and
how the air, which in its eternal embrace encircles and upholds the
world, presses not upon us with too heavy a weight nor yet yields to
the burden which itself sustains? Whoso causes terror is himself more
fearful; such doom befits tyrants. Let them be jealous of another’s
fame, murder the

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 308

    muniti gladiis vivant saeptique venenis,
    ancipites habeant arces trepidique minentur:
    tu civem patremque geras, tu consule cunctis,
    non tibi, nec tua te moveant, sed publica vota.                    295
      “In commune iubes si quid censesque tenendum,
    primus iussa subi: tunc observantior aequi
    fit populus nec ferre negat, cum viderit ipsum
    auctorem parere sibi. componitur orbis
    regis ad exemplum, nec sic inflectere sensus                       300
    humanos edicta valent quam vita regentis:
    mobile mutatur semper cum principe vulgus.
      “His tamen effectis neu fastidire minores
    neu pete praescriptos homini transcendere fines.
    inquinat egregios adiuncta superbia mores.                         305
    non tibi tradidimus dociles servire Sabaeos,
    Armeniae dominum non te praefecimus orae,
    nec damus Assyriam, tenuit quam femina, gentem.
    Romani, qui cuncta diu rexere, regendi,
    qui nec Tarquinii fastus nec iura tulere                           310
    Caesaris. annales veterum delicta loquuntur:
    haerebunt maculae. quis non per saecula damnat
    Caesareae portenta domus? quem dira Neronis
    funera, quem rupes Caprearum taetra latebit
    incesto possessa seni? victura feretur                             315
    gloria Traiani, non tam quod Tigride victo
    nostra triumphati fuerint provincia Parthi,
    alta quod invectus fractis Capitolia Dacis,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 309

brave, live hedged about with swords and fenced with poisons, dwelling
in a citadel that is ever exposed to danger, and threaten to conceal
their fears. Do thou, my son, be at once a citizen and a father,
consider not thyself but all men, nor let thine own desires stir thee
but thy people’s.

“If thou make any law or establish any custom for the general good,
be the first to submit thyself thereto; then does a people show more
regard for justice nor refuse submission when it has seen their author
obedient to his own laws. The world shapes itself after its ruler’s
pattern, nor can edicts sway men’s minds so much as their monarch’s
life; the unstable crowd ever changes along with the prince.

“Nor is this all: show no scorn of thine inferiors nor seek to overstep
the limits established for mankind. Pride joined thereto defaces the
fairest character. They are not submissive Sabaeans whom I have handed
over to thy rule, nor have I made thee lord of Armenia; I give thee
not Assyria, accustomed to a woman’s rule. Thou must govern Romans
who have long governed the world, Romans who brooked not Tarquin’s
pride nor Caesar’s tyranny. History still tells of our ancestors’ ill
deeds; the stain will never be wiped away. So long as the world lasts
the monstrous excesses of the Julian house will stand condemned. Will
any not have heard of Nero’s murders or how Capri’s foul cliffs were
owned by an agèd lecher[156]? The fame of Trajan will never die, not so
much because, thanks to his victories on the Tigris, conquered Parthia
became a Roman province, not because he brake the might of Dacia and
led their chiefs in triumph up the slope of the Capitol, but because

    [156] _i.e._ Tiberius.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 310

    quam patriae quod mitis erat. ne desine tales,
    nate, sequi.
                  “Si bella canant, prius agmina duris
    exerce studiis et saevo praestrue Marti.                           321
    non brumae requies, non hibernacula segnes
    enervent torpore manus. ponenda salubri
    castra loco; praebenda vigil custodia vallo.
    disce, ubi denseri cuneos, ubi cornua tendi                        325
    aequius aut iterum flecti; quae montibus aptae,
    quae campis acies, quae fraudi commoda vallis,
    quae via difficilis. fidit si moenibus hostis,
    tum tibi murali libretur machina pulsu;
    saxa rota; praeceps aries protectaque portas                       330
    testudo feriat; ruat emersura iuventus
    effossi per operta soli. si longa moretur
    obsidio, tum vota cave secura remittas
    inclusumve putes; multis damnosa fuere
    gaudia; dispersi pereunt somnove soluti;                           335
    saepius incautae nocuit victoria turbae.
    neu tibi regificis tentoria larga redundent
    deliciis, neve imbelles ad signa ministros
    luxuries armata trahat. neu flantibus Austris
    neu pluviis cedas, neu defensura calorem                           340
    aurea summoveant rapidos umbracula soles.
    inventis utere cibis. solabere partes
    aequali sudore tuas: si collis iniquus,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 311

he was kindly to his country. Fail not to make such as he thine
example, my son.

“Should war threaten, see first that thy soldiers are exercised in
the practices of war and prepare them for the rigours of service. The
ease of winter months spent in winter quarters must not weaken nor
unnerve their hands. Establish thy camps in healthy places and see
that watchful sentries guard the ramparts. Learn how to know when
to mass your troops and when it is better to extend them or face
them round; study the formations suitable for mountain warfare and
those for fighting on the plain. Learn to recognize what valleys may
conceal an ambush and what routes will prove difficult. If thine enemy
trusts in his walls to defend him then let thy catapults hurl stones
at his battlements; fling rocks thereat and let the swinging ram and
shield-protected testudo[157] shake his gates. Your troops should
undermine the walls and issuing from this tunnel should rush into the
town. Should a long siege delay thee, then take care thou unbend not
thy purpose in security or count thine enemy thy prisoner. Many ere
this have found premature triumph their undoing, scattered or asleep
they have been cut to pieces; indeed victory itself has not seldom been
the ruin of careless troops. Not for thee let spacious tents o’erflow
with princely delights nor luxury don arms and drag to the standards
her unwarlike train. Though the storm winds blow and the rain descends
yield not to them and use not cloth of gold to guard thee from the
sun’s fierce rays. Eat such food as thou canst find. It will be a
solace to thy soldiers that thy toil is as heavy as theirs; be the
first to mount the arduous hill and, should

    [157] A well-known Roman method of attack by which the troops
    advanced to the point of attack in close formation, each man
    holding his shield above his head. The protection thus afforded
    to the assaulting band was likened to the shell of the tortoise

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 312

    primus ini; silvam si caedere provocat usus,
    sumpta ne pudeat quercum stravisse bipenni.                        345
    calcatur si pigra palus, tuus ante profundum
    pertemptet sonipes. fluvios tu protere cursu
    haerentes glacie, liquidos tu scinde natatu.
    nunc eques in medias equitum te consere turmas;
    nunc pedes adsistas pediti. tum promptius ibunt
    te socio, tum conspicuus gratusque geretur                         351
    sub te teste labor.”
                               Dicturum plura parentem
    voce subis: “equidem, faveant modo numina coeptis,
    haec effecta dabo, nec me fratrique tibique
    dissimilem populi commissaque regna videbunt.                      355
    sed cur non potius, verbis quae disseris, usu
    experior? gelidas certe nunc tendis in Alpes.
    duc tecum comitem; figant sine nostra tyrannum
    spicula; pallescat nostro sine barbarus arcu.
    Italiamne feram furiis praedonis acerbi                            360
    subiectam? patiar Romam servire clienti?
    usque adeone puer? nec me polluta potestas
    nec pia cognati tanget vindicta cruoris?
    per strages equitare libet. da protinus arma.
    cur annos obicis? pugnae cur arguor impar?
    aequalis mihi Pyrrhus erat, cum Pergama solus                      365
    verteret et patri non degeneraret Achilli.
    denique si princeps castris haerere nequibo,
    vel miles veniam.”
                            Delibat dulcia nati
    oscula miratusque refert: “laudanda petisti;                       370
    sed festinus amor, veniet robustior aetas;
    ne propera. necdum decimas emensus aristas
    adgrederis metuenda viris: vestigia magnae

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 313

necessity demand the felling of a forest, be not ashamed to grasp the
axe and hew down the oak. If a stagnant marsh must be crossed let thy
horse be the first to test the depth of it. Boldly tread the frozen
river; swim the flood. Mounted thyself, ride amid thy squadrons of
horse or again stand foot to foot with the infantry. They will advance
the bolder for thy presence, and with thee to witness glorious and glad
shall be the fulfilment of their task.”

More would he have spoken but Honorius broke in and said: “All this
will I do, so God favour my attempts. The peoples and kingdoms
committed to my care shall find me not unworthy of thee nor of my
brother. But why should I not experience in action what thou has taught
in words? Thou goest to the wintry Alps: take me with thee. Let mine
arrows pierce the tyrant’s body, and the barbarians pale at my bow.
Shall I allow Italy to become the prey of a ruthless bandit? Rome to
serve one who is himself but a servant? Am I still such a child that
neither power profaned nor just revenge for an uncle’s blood shall move
me? Fain would I ride through blood. Quick, give me arms. Why castest
thou my youth in my teeth? Why thinkest me unequal to the combat? I am
as old as was Pyrrhus when alone he o’erthrew Troy and proved himself
no degenerate from his father Achilles. If I may not remain in thy camp
as a prince I will come even as a soldier.”

Theodosius kissed his son’s sweet lips and answered him wondering:
“Nought have I but praise for thy petition, but this love of glory has
bloomed too early. Thy strength will increase with years; till then be
patient. Though thou hast not yet completed ten summers thou wouldst
hansel dangers that a man

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 314

    indolis agnosco, fertur Pellaeus, Eoum
    qui domuit Porum, cum prospera saepe Philippi                      375
    audiret, laetos inter flevisse sodales
    nil sibi vincendum patris virtute relinqui.
    hos video motus. fas sit promittere patri:
    tantus eris. nostro nec debes regna favori,
    quae tibi iam natura dedit. sic mollibus olim                      380
    stridula ducturum pratis examina regem
    nascentem venerantur apes et publica mellis
    iura petunt traduntque favos; sic pascua parvus
    vindicat et necdum firmatis cornibus audax
    iam regit armentum vitulus. sed proelia differ                     385
    in iuvenem patiensque meum cum fratre tuere
    me bellante locum, vos impacatus Araxes,
    vos celer Euphrates timeat, sit Nilus ubique
    vester et emisso quidquid sol imbuit ortu.
    si pateant Alpes, habeat si causa secundos                         390
    iustior eventus, aderis partesque receptas
    suscipies, animosa tuas ut Gallia leges
    audiat et nostros aequus modereris Hiberos.
    tunc ego securus fati laetusque laborum
    discedam, vobis utrumque regentibus axem.                          395
      “Interea Musis animus, dum mollior, instet
    et quae mox imitere legat; nec desinat umquam
    tecum Graia loqui, tecum Romana vetustas.
    antiquos evolve duces, adsuesce futurae

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 315

might fear: I mark the tokens of a noble nature. It is said that
Alexander, conqueror of eastern Porus, wept at the constant news of
Philip’s fortune, telling his companions who rejoiced thereat that his
sire’s valour left him nought to conquer. In thee I see like spirit.
May a father be allowed this prophecy--“thou shalt be as great”! It
is not to my goodwill thou owest the kingdom, for nature has already
made it thine. So even from his birth bees reverence the king[158]
who is to lead their buzzing swarms through the soft meadows, ask his
public laws for the gathering of the honey and entrust to him their
combs. So the spirited young bull-calf claims sovereignty over the
grazing-grounds and, though as yet his horns are not grown strong,
lords it over the herd. Nay: postpone thy campaigns till thou art a man
and while I do battle patiently help thy brother to fulfil my office.
Be you two the terror of untamed Araxes and of swift Euphrates; may
Nile throughout all his length belong to you and all the lands upon
which the morning sun lets fall his beam. Should I force a passage over
the Alps, should success crown the juster cause, thou shalt come and
govern the recovered provinces, whereby fierce Gaul shall obey thy laws
and my native Spain be guided by thy just rule. Then, careless of doom
and rejoicing in my labours, I shall quit this mortal life, while you,
my sons, rule either hemisphere.

“Meanwhile cultivate the Muses whilst thou art yet young; read of deeds
thou soon mayest rival; never may Greece’s story, never may Rome’s,
cease to speak with thee. Study the lives of the heroes of old to
accustom thee for wars that are to be.

    [158] As is well known, the ancients mistook the sex of the queen bee.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 316

    militiae, Latium retro te confer in aevum.                         400
    libertas quaesita placet? mirabere Brutum.
    perfidiam damnas? Metti satiabere poenis.
    triste rigor nimius? Torquati despice mores.
    mors impensa bonum? Decios venerare ruentes.
    vel solus quid fortis agat, te ponte soluto                        405
    oppositus Cocles, Muci te flamma docebit;
    quid mora perfringat, Fabius; quid rebus in artis
    dux gerat, ostendet Gallorum strage Camillus.
    discitur hinc nullos meritis obsistere casus:
    prorogat aeternam feritas tibi Punica famam,                       410
    Regule; successus superant adversa Catonis.
    discitur hinc quantum paupertas sobria possit:
    pauper erat Curius, reges cum vinceret armis,
    pauper Fabricius, Pyrrhi cum sperneret aurum;
    sordida dictator flexit Serranus aratra:                           415
    lustratae lictore casae fascesque salignis
    postibus adfixi; collectae consule messes
    et sulcata diu trabeato rura colono.”
      Haec genitor praecepta dabat: velut ille carinae
    longaevus rector, variis quem saepe procellis                      420
    exploravit hiems, ponto iam fessus et annis
    aequoreas alni nato commendat habenas
    et casus artesque docet: quo dextra regatur
    sidere; quo fluctus possit moderamine falli;
    quae nota nimborum; quae fraus infida sereni;                      425

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 317

Go back to the Latin age. Admirest thou a fight for liberty? Thou wilt
admire Brutus. Does treachery rouse thine indignation? The punishment
of Mettius[159] will fill thee with satisfaction. Dost thou hate
undue severity? Abominate Torquatus’ savagery. Is it a virtue to die
for one’s country? Honour the self-devotion of the Decii. Horatius
Cocles, facing the foe on the broken bridge, Mucius holding his arm
in the flames,[160] these shall show thee what, single-handed, brave
men can do. Fabius will show thee what overthrow delay can cause;
Camillus and his slaughter of the Gauls what in face of odds a leader
can effect. From history thou mayest learn that no ill fortune can
master worth; Punic savagery extends thy fame, Regulus, to eternity;
the failure of Cato outdoes success. From history thou mayest learn the
power of frugal poverty; Curius was a poor man when he conquered kings
in battle; Fabricius was poor when he spurned the gold of Pyrrhus;
Serranus, for all he was dictator, drove the muddy plough. In those
days the lictors kept watch at a cottage door, the fasces were hung
upon a gateway of wood; consuls helped to gather in the harvest, and
for long years the fields were ploughed by husbandmen who wore the
consular robe.”

Such were the precepts of the sire. Even so an aged helmsman oft proved
by winter’s various storms, aweary now of the sea and his weight of
years, commends to his son the rudder of his bark, tells him of dangers
and devices--by what art the helmsman’s hand is guided; what steerage
may elude the wave; what is a sign of storms; what the treachery of a
cloudless sky, the promise of the

    [159] The story of the punishment of Mettius Fufetius, the Alban
    dictator, by the Roman king Tullus Hostilius for his treachery in
    the war against Fidenae is told by Livy (i. 28. 10) and referred to
    by Claudian (xv. 254).

    [160] For Mucius (Scaevola) holding his arm in the flame to show
    Lars Porsenna how little he, a Roman, minded bodily pain see Livy
    ii. 12.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 318

    quid sol occiduus prodat; quo saucia vento
    decolor iratos attollat Cynthia vultus.
    adspice nunc, quacumque micas, seu circulus Austri,
    magne parens, gelidi seu te meruere Triones,
    adspice: completur votum. iam natus adaequat                       430
    te meritis et, quod magis est optabile, vincit
    subnixus Stilichone tuo, quem fratribus ipse
    discedens clipeum defensoremque dedisti.
    pro nobis nihil ille pati nullumque recusat
    discrimen temptare sui, non dura viarum,                           435
    non incerta maris, Libyae squalentis harenas
    audebit superare pedes madidaque cadente
    Pleiade Gaetulas intrabit navita Syrtes.
      Hunc tamen in primis populos lenire feroces
    et Rhenum pacare iubes. volat ille citatis                         440
    vectus equis nullaque latus stipante caterva,
    aspera nubiferas qua Raetia porrigit Alpes,
    pergit et hostiles (tanta est fiducia) ripas
    incomitatus adit. totum properare per amnem
    attonitos reges humili cervice videres.                            445
    ante ducem nostrum flavam sparsere Sygambri
    caesariem pavidoque orantes murmure Franci
    procubuere solo: iuratur Honorius absens
    imploratque tuum supplex Alamannia nomen.
    Bastarnae venere truces, venit accola silvae                       450
    Bructerus Hercyniae latisque paludibus exit
    Cimber et ingentes Albim liquere Cherusci.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 319

setting sun; what storm-wind frets the Moon so that discoloured she
uplifts an angry face. Behold now, great father, in whatsoever part of
heaven thou shinest, be it the southern arch or the cold constellation
of the Plough that has won the honour of thy presence; see, thy
prayer has been answered; thy son now equals thee in merit, nay, a
consummation still more to be desired, he surpasseth thee, thanks to
the support of thy dear Stilicho whom thou thyself at thy death didst
leave to guard and defend the brothers twain. For us there is nought
that Stilicho is not ready to suffer, no danger to himself he is not
willing to face, neither hardships of the land nor hazards of the sea.
His courage will carry him on foot across the deserts of Libya, at the
setting of the rainy Pleiads his ship will penetrate the Gaetulian

To him, however, thy first command is to calm fierce nations and bring
peace to the Rhine. On wind-swift steed, no escort clinging to his
side, he crosses the cloud-capped summits of the Raetian Alps, and, so
great is his trust in himself, approaches the river unattended. Then
mightest thou have seen from source to mouth come hastening up Rhine’s
princes, bending their heads in fearful submission. Before our general
the Sygambri abased their flaxen locks and the Franks cast themselves
upon the ground and sued with trembling voice for pardon. Germany
swears allegiance to the absent Honorius and addresses her suppliant
prayers to him. Fierce Bastarnae were there and the Bructeri who dwell
in the Hercynian forest. The Cimbrians left their broad marsh-lands,
the tall Cherusci came from the river Elbe. Stilicho listens

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 320

    accipit ille preces varias tardeque rogatus
    adnuit et magno pacem pro munere donat.
    nobilitant veteres Germanica foedera Drusos,                       455
    Marte sed ancipiti, sed multis cladibus empta--quis
    victum meminit sola formidine Rhenum?
    quod longis alii bellis potuere mereri,
    hoc tibi dat Stilichonis iter.
                                   Post otia Galli
    limitis hortaris Graias fulcire ruinas.                            460
    Ionium tegitur velis ventique laborant
    tot curvare sinus servaturasque Corinthum
    prosequitur facili Neptunus gurgite classes,
    et puer, Isthmiaci iam pridem litoris exul,
    secura repetit portus cum matre Palaemon.                          465
    plaustra cruore natant: metitur pellita iuventus:
    pars morbo, pars ense perit. non lustra Lycaei,
    non Erymantheae iam copia sufficit umbrae
    innumeris exusta rogis, nudataque ferro
    sic flagrasse suas laetantur Maenala silvas.                       470
    excutiat cineres Ephyre, Spartanus et Arcas
    tutior exanguis pedibus proculcet acervos
    fessaque pensatis respiret Graecia poenis!
    gens, qua non Scythicos diffusior ulla Triones
    incoluit, cui parvus Athos angustaque Thrace,                      475
    cum transiret, erat, per te viresque tuorum
    fracta ducum lugetque sibi iam rara superstes,
    et, quorum turbae spatium vix praebuit orbis,
    uno colle latent. sitiens inclusaque vallo

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 321

to their various prayers, gives tardy assent to their entreaties and of
his great bounty bestows upon them peace. A covenant with Germany gave
glory to the Drusi of old, but purchased by what uncertain warfare, by
how many disasters! Who can recall the Rhine conquered by terror alone?
That which others were enabled to win by long wars--this, Honorius,
Stilicho’s mere march gives thee.

Thou biddest Stilicho after restoring peace in Gaul save Greece from
ruin. Vessels cover the Ionian sea; scarce can the wind fill out so
many sails. Neptune with favouring currents attends the fleet that is
to save Corinth, and young Palaemon, so long an exile from the shores
of his isthmus, returns in safety with his mother to the harbour.
The blood of barbarians washes their wagons; the ranks of skin-clad
warriors are mowed down, some by disease, some by the sword. The
glades of Lycaeus, the dark and boundless forests of Erymanthus, are
not enough to furnish such countless funeral pyres; Maenalus rejoices
that the axe has stripped her of her woods to provide fuel for such
a holocaust. Let Ephyre[161] rise from her ashes while Spartan and
Arcadian, now safe, tread under foot the heaps of slain; let Greece’s
sufferings be made good and her weary land be allowed to breathe once
more. That nation, wider spread than any that dwells in northern
Scythia, that found Athos too small and Thrace too narrow when it
crossed them, that nation, I say, was conquered by thee and thy
captains, and now, in the persons of the few that survive, laments its
own overthrow. One hill now shelters a people whose hordes scarce the
whole world could once contain. Athirst and hemmed within their rampart

    [161] = Corinth.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 322

    ereptas quaesivit aquas, quas hostibus ante                        480
    contiguas alio Stilicho deflexerat actu
    mirantemque novas ignota per avia valles
    iusserat averso fluvium migrare meatu.
      Obvia quid mirum vinci, cum barbarus ultro
    iam cupiat servire tibi? tua Sarmata discors                       485
    sacramenta petit; proiecta pelle Gelonus
    militat; in Latios ritus transistis Alani.
    ut fortes in Marte viros animisque paratos,
    sic iustos in pace legis longumque tueris
    electos crebris nec succedentibus urges.                           490
    iudicibus notis regimur, fruimurque quietis
    militiaeque bonis, ceu bellatore Quirino,
    ceu placido moderante Numa. non inminet ensis,
    nullae nobilium caedes; non crimina vulgo
    texuntur; patria maestus non truditur exul;                        495
    impia continui cessant augmenta tributi;
    non infelices tabulae; non hasta refixas
    vendit opes; avida sector non voce citatur,
    nec tua privatis crescunt aeraria damnis.
    munificus largi, sed non et prodigus, auri.                        500
    perdurat non empta fides nec pectora merces
    adligat; ipsa suo pro pignore castra laborant;
    te miles nutritor amat.
                             Quae denique Romae

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 323

sought in vain for the stolen waters, that, once within our foemen’s
reach, Stilicho had turned aside in another course, and commanded the
stream, that marvelled at its strange channel amid unknown ways, to
shift its altered track.

What wonder that the nations barring thy path should fall before thee,
since the barbarian of his own choice now seeks to serve thee? The
Sarmatae, ever a prey to internal strife, beg to swear allegiance to
thee; the Geloni cast off their cloaks of hide and fight for thee; you,
O Alans, have adopted the customs of Latium. As thou choosest for war
men that are brave and eager for the fray, so thou choosest for the
offices of peace men that are just, and once chosen keepest them long
in their charge, not ousting them by ever new successors. We know the
magistrates who govern us, and we enjoy the blessings of peace while
we reap the advantages of war, as though we lived at one and the same
time in the reign of warlike Romulus and peace-loving Numa. A sword is
no longer hung over our heads; there are no massacres of the great;
gone is the mob of false accusers; no melancholy exiles are driven from
their fatherland. Unholy increase of perpetual taxes is at an end;
there are no accursed lists,[162] no auctions of plundered wealth; the
voice of greed summons not the salesman, nor is thy treasury increased
by private losses. Thou art liberal with thy money, yet not wasteful
of it. The loyalty of thy soldiers is a lasting loyalty, for it is not
bought, nor is it gifts that win their love; the army is anxious for
the success of its own child and loves thee who wast its nursling.

And how deep is thy devotion to Rome herself!

    [162] _i.e._ lists of the proscribed and of their properties put up
    for sale.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 324

    cura tibi! quam fixa manet reverentia patrum!
    firmatur senium iuris priscamque resumunt                          505
    canitiem leges emendanturque vetustae
    acceduntque novae. talem sensere Solonem
    res Pandioniae; sic armipotens Lacedaemon
    despexit muros rigido munita Lycurgo.
    quae sub te vel causa brevis vel iudicis error                     510
    neglegitur? dubiis quis litibus addere finem
    iustior et mersum latebris educere verum?
    quae pietas quantusque rigor tranquillaque magni
    vis animi nulloque levis terrore moveri
    nec nova mirari facilis! quam docta facultas                       515
    ingenii linguaeque modus! responsa verentur
    legati, gravibusque latet sub moribus aetas.
      Quantus in ore pater radiat! quam torva voluptas
    frontis et augusti maiestas grata pudoris!
    iam patrias imples galeas; iam cornus avita                        520
    temptatur vibranda tibi; promittitur ingens
    dextra rudimentis Romanaque vota moratur.
    quis decor, incedis quotiens clipeatus et auro
    squameus et rutilus cristis et casside maior!
    sic, cum Threïcia primum sudaret in hasta,                         525
    flumina laverunt puerum Rhodopeia Martem.
    quae vires iaculis vel, cum Gortynia tendis
    spicula, quam felix arcus certique petitor
    vulneris et iussum mentiri nescius ictum!
    scis, quo more Cydon, qua dirigat arte sagittas                    530

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 325

How fixed abides thy reverence for the Senate! Old customs are
preserved, law has recovered its ancient sanctity in the amendment of
former statutes and by the addition of new ones. Such an one as thee
Pandion’s city[163] found in Solon; even so did warrior Lacedaemon
disdain walls, for unyielding Lycurgus gave it defence. What case so
petty, what judicial error so slight that it escapes thy notice? Who
with truer justice put an end to dishonest suits and brought forth
lurking truth from her hiding-place? What mercy, yet what firmness;
thine is the quiet strength of a great soul, too firm to be stirred by
fear, too stable to be swayed by the attraction of novelty. How stored
with learning thy ready wit, how controlled thy speech; ambassadors are
awe-stricken at thine answers, and thy grave manners make them forget
thy years.

How thy father’s nobility shines in thy face! How awful is thy winning
brow, how charming the majesty of a blushing emperor! Boy though thou
art, thou canst wear thy sire’s helmet and brandish thy grandsire’s
spear. These exercises of thy youth foreshadow vast strength in manhood
and convince Rome that the ruler of her prayers is come. How fair art
thou in shield and golden armour girt, with waving plumes and taller by
the altitude of a helmet! So looked the youthful Mars when after the
toil and sweat of his first battle he bathed him in Thracian Rhodope’s
mountain stream. With what vigour thou hurlest the javelin, and, when
thou stretchest the Cretan bow, what success attends thy shaft! Sure is
the wound it seeks; it knows not how to fail the appointed stroke. Thou
knowest in what fashion the Cretan,

    [163] _i.e._ Athens.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 326

    Armenius, refugo quae sit fiducia Partho:
    sic Amphioniae pulcher sudore palaestrae
    Alcides pharetras Dircaeaque tela solebat
    praetemptare feris olim domitura Gigantes
    et pacem latura polo, semperque cruentus                           535
    ibat et Alcmenae praedam referebat ovanti;
    caeruleus tali prostratus Apolline Python
    implicuit fractis moritura volumina silvis.
      Cum vectaris equo simulacraque Martia ludis,
    quis mollis sinuare fugas, quis tendere contum                     540
    acrior aut subitos melior flexisse recursus?
    non te Massagetae, non gens exercita campo
    Thessala, non ipsi poterunt aequare bimembres;
    vix comites alae, vix te suspensa sequuntur
    agmina ferventesque tument post terga dracones.                    545
    utque tuis primum sonipes calcaribus arsit,
    ignescunt patulae nares, non sentit harenas
    ungula discussaeque iubae sparguntur in armos;
    turbantur phalerae, spumosis morsibus aurum
    fumat, anhelantes exundant sanguine gemmae.                        550
    ipse labor pulvisque decet confusaque motu
    caesaries; vestis radiato murice solem
    combibit, ingesto crispatur purpura vento.
    si dominus legeretur equis, tua posceret ultro
    verbera Nereidum stabulis nutritus Arion                           555
    serviretque tuis contempto Castore frenis

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 327

with what skill the Armenian, directs his arrows; in what the
retreating Parthian puts his trust. Thus was Alcides, graced with
the sweat of the wrestling-ground at Thebes, wont to try his bow and
Boeotian arrows on the beasts of the forest ere he turned them against
the Giants and so secured peace for heaven. Stains of blood were ever
upon him and proud was his mother Alcmena of the spoils he brought back
home. Such was Apollo when he slew the livid serpent that enfolded and
brake down forests in his dying coils.

When mounted on thy horse thou playest the mimicry of war, who is
quicker smoothly to wheel in flight, who to hurl the spear, or more
skilled to sweep round in swift return? There the Massagetae are not
thy peers nor the tribes of Thessaly, well versed though they be in
riding, no, nor the very Centaurs themselves. Scarce can the squadrons
and flying bands that accompany thee keep pace, while the wind behind
thee bellies the fierce dragons on the flags. So soon as the touch of
thy spur has fired thy steed, flames start from his swelling nostrils;
his hoof scarce touches the ground and his mane is outspread over his
shoulders. His harness rattles and the golden bit grows warm in his
foam-flecked mouth. The jewels that stud his quivering bridle are red
with blood. The signs of toil, the dust stains, the disorder of thy
hair all do but increase thy beauty. Thy brilliant scarlet cloak drinks
in the sunlight as the wind blows its gay surface into folds. Could
horses choose their riders then surely would Arion, full fed in the
stables of the Nereids, have prayed for the very whip of such a master,
Cyllarus would have had none of Castor, but would have looked

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 328

    Cyllarus et flavum Xanthus sprevisset Achillem.
    ipse tibi famulas praeberet Pegasus alas
    portaretque libens melioraque pondera passus
    Bellerophonteas indignaretur habenas.                              560
    quin etiam velox Aurorae nuntius Aethon,
    qui fugat hinnitu stellas roseoque domatur
    Lucifero, quotiens equitem te cernit ab astris,
    invidet inque tuis mavult spumare lupatis.
      Nunc quoque quos habitus, quantae miracula pompae                565
    vidimus, Ausonio cum iam succinctus amictu
    per Ligurum populos solito conspectior ires
    atque inter niveas alte veherere cohortes,
    obnixisque simul pubes electa lacertis
    sidereum gestaret onus. sic numina Memphis                         570
    in vulgus proferre solet; penetralibus exit
    effigies, brevis illa quidem: sed plurimus infra
    liniger imposito suspirat vecte sacerdos
    testatus sudore deum; Nilotica sistris
    ripa sonat Phariosque modos Aegyptia ducit                         575
    tibia; summissis admugit cornibus Apis.
    omnis nobilitas, omnis tua sacra frequentat
    Thybridis et Latii suboles; convenit in unum
    quidquid in orbe fuit procerum, quibus auctor honoris
    vel tu vel genitor. numeroso consule consul                        580
    cingeris et socios gaudes admittere patres.
    inlustri te prole Tagus, te Gallia doctis
    civibus et toto stipavit Roma senatu.
    portatur iuvenum cervicibus aurea sedes
    ornatuque novo gravior deus. asperat Indus                         585
    velamenta lapis pretiosaque fila smaragdis

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 329

to thy reins for guidance and Xanthus have scorned to bear
golden-haired Achilles. Pegasus himself had lent thee his subject wings
and been glad to carry thee and, now that a mightier rider bestrode
him, had turned in proud disdain from Bellerophon’s bridle. Nay,
Aethon, swift messenger of dawn, who routs the stars with his neigh
and is driven by rosy Lucifer, seeing thee from heaven as thou ridest
by, is filled with envy and would choose rather to hold thy bit in his
foaming mouth.

What raiment, too, have we not seen, what miracles of splendour,
when, girt with the robe of Italy, thou didst go, still more glorious
than thou art wont, through the peoples of Liguria, borne aloft amid
thy troops clad in triumphal white and carried upon the shoulders of
chosen warriors who so proudly upheld their godlike burden! ’Tis thus
that Egypt brings forth her gods to the public gaze. The image issues
from its shrine; small it is, indeed, yet many a linen-clad priest
pants beneath the pole, and by his sweat testifies that he bears a
god; Nile’s banks resound to the holy rattles, and Egypt’s pipe drones
its native measure; Apis abases his horns and lows in reply. All the
nobles, all whom Tiber and Latium rear, throng thy festival; gathered
in one are all the great ones of the earth that owe their rank either
to thee or to thy sire. Many a consular surrounds thee, the consul
whose good pleasure it is to associate the senate in thy triumph. The
nobles of Spain, the wise men of Gaul, and the senators of Rome all
throng round thee. On young men’s necks is borne thy golden throne, and
new adorning adds weight to deity. Jewels of India stud thy vestment,
rows of green emeralds enrich

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 330

    ducta virent; amethystus inest et fulgor Hiberus
    temperat arcanis hyacinthi caerula flammis.
    nec rudis in tali suffecit gratia textu;
    auget acus meritum picturatumque metallis                          590
    vivit opus: multa remorantur iaspide cultus[164]
    et variis spirat Nereia baca figuris.
    quae tantum potuit digitis mollire rigorem
    ambitiosa colus? vel cuius pectinis arte
    traxerunt solidae gemmarum stamina telae?                          595
    invia quis calidi scrutatus stagna profundi
    Tethyos invasit gremium? quis divitis algae
    germina flagrantes inter quaesivit harenas?
    quis iunxit lapides ostro? quis miscuit ignes
    Sidonii Rubrique maris? tribuere colorem                           600
    Phoenices, Seres subtegmina, pondus Hydaspes.
    hoc si Maeonias cinctu graderere per urbes,
    in te pampineos transferret Lydia thyrsos,
    in te Nysa choros; dubitassent orgia Bacchi,
    cui furerent; irent blandae sub vincula tigres.                    605
    talis Erythraeis intextus nebrida gemmis
    Liber agit currus et Caspia flectit eburnis
    colla iugis: Satyri circum crinemque solutae
    Maenades adstringunt hederis victricibus Indos;
    ebrius hostili velatur palmite Ganges.                             610
      Auspice mox laetum sonuit clamore tribunal
    te fastos ineunte quater. sollemnia ludit
    omina libertas; deductum Vindice morem
    lex celebrat, famulusque iugo laxatus erili

    [164] Birt _vultus_; cod. Ambrosianus _cultus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 331

the seams; there gleams the amethyst and the glint of Spanish gold
makes the dark-blue sapphire show duller with its hidden fires. Nor
in the weaving of such a robe was unadorned beauty enough; the work
of the needle increases its value, thread of gold and silver glows
therefrom; many an agate adorns the embroidered robes, and pearls of
Ocean breathe in varied pattern. What bold hand, what distaff had skill
enough to make thus supple elements so hard? What loom so cunning as
to weave jewels into close-textured cloth? Who, searching out the
uncharted pools of hot Eastern seas, despoiled the bosom of Tethys? Who
dared seek o’er burning sands rich growth of coral? Who could broider
precious stones on scarlet and so mingle the shining glories of the Red
Sea and of Phoenicia’s waters? Tyre lent her dyes, China her silks,
Hydaspes his jewels. Shouldst thou traverse Maeonian cities in such
a garb, to thee would Lydia hand over her vine-wreathed thyrsus, to
thee Nysa her dances; the revels of Bacchus would have doubted whence
came their madness; tigers would pass fawning beneath thy yoke. Even
such, his fawn-skin enwoven with orient gems, doth the Wine-god drive
his car, guiding the necks of Hyrcanian tigers with ivory yoke; around
him satyrs and wild-haired Maenads fetter Indians with triumphant ivy,
while drunken Ganges twines his hair with the vine tendril.

Already shouts of joy and of good omen resound about the consul’s
throne to welcome this thy fourth opening of Rome’s year. Liberty
enacts her wonted ceremonies; Law observes the custom dating back
to Vindex[165] whereby a slave freed from his master’s service is
introduced into thy presence and thence

    [165] Vindex (or Vindicius) was the name of the slave who was
    granted his liberty by Brutus for giving information of the
    royalist plot in which Brutus’ own sons were implicated. For the
    story (probably an aetiological myth to explain _vindicta_, another
    word for _festuca_) see Livy ii. 5.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 332

    ducitur et grato remeat securior ictu.                             615
    tristis condicio pulsata fronte recedit;
    in civem rubuere genae, tergoque removit
    verbera permissi felix iniuria voti.
      Prospera Romuleis sperantur tempora rebus
    in nomen ventura tuum. praemissa futuris                           620
    dant exempla fidem: quotiens te cursibus aevi
    praefecit, totiens accessit laurea patri.
    ausi Danuvium quondam transnare Gruthungi
    in lintres fregere nemus; ter mille ruebant
    per fluvium plenae cuneis inmanibus alni.                          625
    dux Odothaeus erat. tantae conamina classis
    incipiens aetas et primus contudit annus:
    summersae sedere rates; fluitantia numquam
    largius Arctoos pavere cadavera pisces;
    corporibus premitur Peuce; per quinque recurrens
    ostia barbaricos vix egerit unda cruores,                          631
    confessusque parens Odothaei regis opima
    rettulit exuviasque tibi. civile secundis
    conficis auspiciis bellum. tibi debeat orbis
    fata Gruthungorum debellatumque tyrannum:                          635
    Hister sanguineos egit te consule fluctus;
    Alpinos genitor rupit te consule montes.
      Sed patriis olim fueras successibus auctor,
    nunc eris ipse tuis. semper venere triumphi
    cum trabeis sequiturque tuos victoria fasces.                      640

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 333

dismissed--a freeman thanks to that envied stroke.[166] A blow upon the
brow and his base condition is gone; reddened cheeks have made him a
citizen, and with the granting of his prayer a happy insult has given
his back freedom from the lash.

Prosperity awaits our empire; thy name is earnest for the fulfilment
of our hopes. The past guarantees the future; each time that thy sire
made thee chief magistrate of the year the laurels of victory crowned
his arms. Once the Gruthungi, hewing down a forest to make them boats,
dared to pass beyond the Danube. Three thousand vessels, each crowded
with a barbarous crew, made a dash across the river. Odothaeus was
their leader. Thy youth, nay, the first year of thy life, crushed the
attempt of that formidable fleet. Its boats filled and sank; never
did the fish of that northern river feed more lavishly on the bodies
of men. The island of Peuce was heaped high with corpses. Scarce even
through five mouths could the river rid itself of barbarian blood, and
thy sire, owning thine influence, gave thanks to thee for the spoils
won in person from King Odothaeus. Consul a second time thou didst end
civil war by thine auspices. Let the world thank thee for the overthrow
of the Gruthungi and the defeat of their king; thou wast consul when
the Danube ran red with their blood, thou wast consul, too, when thy
sire crossed the Alps to victory.[167]

But thou, once author of thy father’s successes, shalt now be author
of thine own. Triumph has ever attended thy consulship and victory thy

    [166] A reference to the Roman method of manumitting a slave _alapa
    et festuca_, _i.e._ by giving him a slight blow (_alapa_) with a
    rod (_festuca_). See Gaius on _vindicatio_ (iv. 16) and on the
    whole question R. G. Nisbet in _Journal of Roman Studies_, viii.
    Pt. 1.

    [167] The campaign of Theodosius against Odothaeus, King of the
    Gruthungi (Zosimus iv. 35 calls him Ὀδόθεος) is thus dated as 386,
    the year of Honorius’ first consulship (see note on viii. 153).
    Honorius’ second consulship (394) saw the defeat of Eugenius.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 334

    sis, precor, adsiduus consul Mariique relinquas
    et senis Augusti numerum. quae gaudia mundo,
    per tua lanugo cum serpere coeperit ora,
    cum tibi protulerit festas nox pronuba taedas!
    quae tali devota toro, quae murice fulgens                         645
    ibit in amplexus tanti regina mariti?
    quaenam tot divis veniet nurus, omnibus arvis
    et toto donanda mari? quantusque feretur
    idem per Zephyri metas Hymenaeus et Euri!
    o mihi si liceat thalamis intendere carmen                         650
    conubiale tuis, si te iam dicere patrem!
    tempus erit, cum tu trans Rheni cornua victor,
    Arcadius captae spoliis Babylonis onustus
    communem maiore toga signabitis annum;
    crinitusque tuo sudabit fasce Suebus,                              655
    ultima fraternas horrebunt Bactra secures.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 335

Heaven grant thou mayest be our perpetual consul and outnumber
Marius[168] and old Augustus. Happy universe that shall see the first
down creep over thy cheeks, and the wedding-night that shall lead
forth for thee the festal torches. Who shall be consecrated to such a
couch; who, glorious in purple, shall pass, a queen, to the embraces
of such a husband? What bride shall come to be the daughter of so
many gods, dowered with every land and the whole sea? How gloriously
shall the nuptial song be borne at once to farthest East and West! O
may it be mine to sing thy marriage-hymn, mine presently to hail thee
father! The time will come when, thou victorious beyond the mouths of
the Rhine, and thy brother Arcadius laden with the spoil of captured
Babylon, ye shall endow the year with yet more glorious majesty; when
the long-haired Suebian shall bear the arms of Rome and the distant
Bactrian tremble beneath the rule of thyself and thy brother.

    [168] Marius was consul seven, Augustus thirteen, times.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 336




    Audebisne, precor, tantae subiecta catervae,
      inter tot proceres, nostra Thalia, loqui?
    nec te fama vetat, vero quam celsius auctam
      vel servasse labor vel minuisse pudor?
    an tibi continuis crevit fiducia castris                             5
      totaque iam vatis pectora miles habet?
    culmina Romani maiestatemque senatus
      et, quibus exultat Gallia, cerne viros.
    omnibus audimur terris mundique per aures
      ibimus. ah nimius consulis urget amor!                            10
    Iuppiter, ut perhibent, spatium cum discere vellet
      naturae regni nescius ipse sui,
    armigeros utrimque duos aequalibus alis
      misit ab Eois Occiduisque plagis.
    Parnasus geminos fertur iunxisse volatus;                           15
      contulit alternas Pythius axis aves.
    Princeps non aquilis terras cognoscere curat;
      certius in vobis aestimat imperium.
    hoc ego concilio collectum metior orbem;
      hoc video coetu quidquid ubique micat.                            20

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 337




Wilt dare to sing, my Muse, when so great, so august an assembly shall
be thy critic? Does not thine own renown forbid thee? ’Tis greater
now than thou deservest; how hard then to enhance, how disgraceful to
diminish it! Or has thine assurance grown through ever dwelling in the
camp, and does the soldier now wholly possess the poet’s breast? Behold
the flower of the Roman senate, the majesty, the pride, the heroes of
Gaul. The whole earth is my audience, my song shall sound in the ears
of all the world. Alack! Love for our consul constrains too strongly.
Jove, ’tis said, when he would fain learn its extent (for he knew not
the bounds of his own empire) sent forth two eagles of equal flight
from the East and from the West. On Parnassus, as they tell, their twin
flights met; the Delphic heaven brought together the one bird and the
other. Our Emperor needs no eagles to teach him the magnitude of his
domains; yourselves are preceptors more convincing. ’Tis this assembly
that gives to me the measure of the universe; here I see gathered all
the brilliance of the world.

    [169] See Introduction, p. xv. Judging from this poem Manlius
    started by being an _advocatus_ in the praetorian prefect’s court,
    was then _praeses_ of some district in Africa, then governor
    (_consularis_) of Macedonia, next recalled to Rome as Gratian’s
    _magister epistularum_, then _comes sacrarum largitionum_
    (= ecclesiastical treasurer) and after that praetorian prefect of
    Gaul (ll. 50-53).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 338



      Ipsa quidem Virtus pretium sibi, solaque late
    Fortunae secura nitet nec fascibus ullis
    erigitur plausuve petit clarescere vulgi.
    nil opis externae cupiens, nil indiga laudis,
    divitiis animosa suis inmotaque cunctis                              5
    casibus ex alta mortalia despicit arce.
    attamen invitam blande vestigat et ultro
    ambit honor: docuit totiens a rure profectus
    lictor et in mediis consul quaesitus aratris.
    te quoque naturae sacris mundique vacantem,                         10
    emeritum pridem desudatisque remotum
    iudiciis eadem rursum complexa potestas
    evehit et reducem notis imponit habenis.
    accedunt trabeae: nil iam, Theodore, relictum,
    quo virtus animo crescat vel splendor honori.[170]                  15
    culmen utrumque tenes: talem te protinus anni
    formavere rudes, et dignum vita curuli
    traxit iter primaeque senes cessere iuventae.
    iam tum canities animi, iam dulce loquendi

    [170] _honori_ conject. Birt; _honore_ codd.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 339



Virtue is its own reward; alone with its far-flung splendour it mocks
at Fortune; no honours raise it higher nor does it seek glory from the
mob’s applause. External wealth cannot arouse its desires, it asks no
praise but makes its boast of self-contained riches, and unmoved by
all chances it looks down upon the world from a lofty citadel. Yet in
its own despite importunate honours pursue it, and offer themselves
unsought; that the lictor coming from the farm hath ofttimes proved and
a consul sought for even at the plough. Thou, too, who wert at leisure
to study the mysteries of nature and the heavens, thou who hadst served
thy time and retired from the law courts where thou hadst toiled so
long, art once more enfolded by a like dignity, which, raising thee
aloft, sets in thy returning hands the familiar rein. The consulship
now is thine, Theodorus, nor is there now aught left to add to thy
virtues or to the glory of thy name. Thou art now at the summit of
both; from thine earliest years thy character was thus formed, the
whole course of thy life was worthy of the curule chair; thy earliest
youth outrivalled age. Even then thy mind was hoar, thy pleasant talk
weighty, thy

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 340

    pondus et attonitas sermo qui duceret aures.                        20
    mox undare foro victrix opulentia linguae
    tutarique reos. ipsa haec amplissima sedes
    orantem stupuit, bis laudatura regentem.
    hinc te pars Libyae moderantem iura probavit,
    quae nunc tota probat; longi sed pignus amoris                      25
    exiguae peperere morae populumque clientem
    publica mansuris testantur vocibus aera.
    inde tibi Macetum tellus et credita Pellae
    moenia, quae famulus quondam ditavit Hydaspes;
    tantaque commissae revocasti gaudia genti                           30
    mitibus arbitriis, quantum bellante Philippo
    floruit aut nigri cecidit cum regia Pori.
      Sed non ulterius te praebuit urbibus aula:
    maluit esse suum; terris edicta daturus,
    supplicibus responsa venis. oracula regis                           35
    eloquio crevere tuo, nec dignius umquam
    maiestas meminit sese Romana locutam.
    hinc sacrae mandantur opes orbisque tributa
    possessi, quidquid fluviis evolvitur auri,
    quidquid luce procul venas rimata sequaces                          40
    abdita pallentis fodit sollertia Bessi.
      Ac velut expertus[171] lentandis navita tonsis
    praeficitur lateri custos; hinc ardua prorae
    temperat et fluctus tempestatesque futuras
    edocet; adsiduo cum Dorida vicerit usu,                             45
    iam clavum totamque subit torquere carinam:

    [171] _expertus_ Barthius; Birt keeps MSS. _exertus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 341

converse the admiration and delight of all that heard it. The wealth of
thy triumphant eloquence soon overflowed the forum and brought safety
to the accused. Yea, this most august assembly was astonied at thy
pleading, as it was twice to applaud thy governance. Next, a part of
Libya approved the administration which it now in its entirety enjoys;
but thy brief stay won for thee a pledge of perpetual love, and public
statues bear witness with enduring eloquence that thou wert a nation’s
guardian. Macedonia was next committed to thy care and the walls of
Pella, enriched once by conquered Hydaspes. The mildness of thy rule
brought to the country entrusted to thee such joy as it once knew under
warlike Philip or when the empire of Indian Porus fell to Alexander’s

But Rome could not spare thy services longer to the provinces; she
chose rather to have thee for her own; thou comest to give edicts to
the world, to make reply to suppliants. A monarch’s utterance has won
dignity from thine eloquence, never can the majesty of Rome recall when
she spoke more worthily. After this the offerings and wealth of the
world, the tribute of the empire, is entrusted to thy care; the gold
washed down by the rivers and that dug out of deep Thracian mines by
the skill of pale-faced Bessi who track the hidden seams--all is thine.

As a sailor skilled in wielding the oar is at first set in charge of
but a side of the vessel, then, when he can manage the lofty prow and
is able, thanks to his long experience of the sea, to know beforehand
what storms and tempests the vessel is like to encounter, he has charge
of the helm and is entrusted with the

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 342

    sic cum clara diu mentis documenta dedisses,
    non te parte sui, sed in omni corpore sumpsit
    imperium cunctaque dedit tellure regendos
    rectores. Hispana tibi Germanaque Tethys                            50
    paruit et nostro diducta Britannia mundo,
    diversoque tuas coluerunt gurgite voces
    lentus Arar Rhodanusque ferox et dives Hiberus.
    o quotiens doluit Rhenus, qua barbarus ibat,
    quod te non geminis frueretur iudice ripis!                         55
    unius fit cura viri, quodcumque rubescit
    occasu, quodcumque dies devexior ambit.
      Tam celer adsiduos explevit cursus honores;
    una potestatum spatiis interfuit aetas
    totque gradus fati iuvenilibus intulit annis.                       60
      Postquam parta quies et summum nacta cacumen
    iam secura petit privatum gloria portum,
    ingenii redeunt fructus aliique labores,
    et vitae pars nulla perit: quodcumque recedit
    litibus, incumbit studiis, animusque vicissim                       65
    aut curam imponit populis aut otia Musis.
    omnia Cecropiae relegis secreta senectae
    discutiens, quid quisque novum mandaverit aevo
    quantaque diversae producant agmina sectae.
      Namque aliis princeps rerum disponitur aër;                       70
    hic confidit aquis; hic procreat omnia flammis.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 343

direction of the entire ship; so when thou hadst long given illustrious
proofs of thy character, the empire of Rome summoned thee to govern
not a part but the whole of itself, and set thee as ruler over all
the rulers of the world. The seas of Spain, the German ocean obeyed
thee and Britain, so far removed from our continent. Rivers of all
lands observed thy statutes, slow-flowing Saône, swift Rhone, and Ebro
rich in gold. How often did the Rhine, in those districts where the
barbarians dwell, lament that the blessings of thy rule extended not to
both banks! All the lands the setting sun bathes in its rays, all that
its last brilliance illumines are entrusted to the charge of one man.

So swiftly did thy career fill office after office; a single period of
life was enough for the round of dignities and gave to thy youthful
years every step on fortune’s ladder.

When repose was earned and now, after reaching the highest place,
glory, laying care aside, seeks refuge in a private life, genius again
wins reward from other tasks. No part of life is lost: all that is
withdrawn from the law courts is devoted to the study, and thy mind
in turn either bestows its efforts on the State or its leisure on the
Muses. Once more thou readest the secrets of ancient Athens, examining
the discoveries with which each sage has enriched posterity and noting
what hosts of disciples the varying schools produce.

For some hold that air[172] is the first beginning of all things,
others that water is, others again derive the sum of things from fire.
Another, destined to

    [172] Claudian refers to the early Ionian philosophers. Anaximenes
    believed that air was the first principle of all things, Thales
    said water, Heraclitus fire. l. 72 refers to Empedocles who
    postulated the four elements and two principles, love and hate,
    which respectively made and unmade the universe out of the
    elements. The “_hic_” of l. 75 may be Democritus or it may refer to
    the Sceptic, Pyrrho. The “_hic_” of l. 76 is Anaxagoras, the friend
    of Pericles. “_Ille_” (79) may be taken to refer to Leucippus, the
    first of the atomic philosophers; he postulated infinite space.
    “_Hi_” (82) = Democritus, Epicurus, and other atomists. “_Alii_”
    (83) are the Platonists.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 344

    alter in Aetnaeas casurus sponte favillas
    dispergit revocatque deum rursusque receptis
    nectit amicitiis quidquid discordia solvit.
    corporis hic damnat sensus verumque videri                          75
    pernegat. hic semper lapsurae pondera terrae
    conatur rapido caeli fulcire rotatu
    accenditque diem praerupti turbine saxi.
    ille ferox unoque tegi non passus Olympo
    inmensum per inane volat finemque perosus                           80
    parturit innumeros angusto pectore mundos.
    hi vaga collidunt caecis primordia plagis.
    numina constituunt alii casusque relegant.
      Graiorum obscuras Romanis floribus artes
    inradias, vicibus gratis formare loquentes                          85
    suetus et alterno verum contexere nodo.
    quidquid Socratico manavit ab ordine, quidquid
    docta Cleantheae sonuerunt atria turbae,
    inventum quodcumque tuo, Chrysippe, recessu,
    quidquid Democritus risit dixitque tacendo                          90
    Pythagoras, uno se pectore cuncta vetustas
    condidit et maior collectis viribus exit.
    ornantur veteres et nobiliore magistro
    in Latium spretis Academia migrat Athenis,
    ut tandem propius discat, quo fine beatum                           95
    dirigitur, quae norma boni, qui limes honesti;
    quaenam membra sui virtus divisa domandis
    obiectet vitiis; quae pars iniusta recidat,
    quae vincat ratione metus, quae frenet amores;
    aut quotiens elementa doces semperque fluentis                     100

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 345

fall self-immolated into Etna’s fiery crater, reduces God to principles
of dispersion and re-collection and binds again in resumed friendship
all that discord separates. This philosopher allows no authority to the
senses and denies that the truth can be perceived. Another seeks to
explain the suspension of the world in space by the rapid revolution of
the sky (whence else the world would fall) and kindles day’s fires by
the whirl of a rushing rock. That fearless spirit, not content with the
covering of but one sky, flies through the limitless void and, scorning
a limit, conceives in one small brain a thousand worlds. Others make
wandering atoms clash with blind blows, while others again set up
deities and banish chance.

Thou dost adorn the obscure learning of Greece with Roman flowers,[173]
skilled to shape speech in happy interchange and weave truth’s
garland with alternate knots. All the lore of Socrates’ school, the
learning that echoed in Cleanthes’ lecture-room, the thoughts of the
stoic Chrysippus in his retreat, all the laughter of Democritus, all
that Pythagoras spoke by silence--all the wisdom of the ancients is
stored in that one brain whence it issues forth the stronger for its
concentration. The ancients gain fresh lustre and, scorning Athens, the
Academy migrates to Latium under a nobler master, the more exactly at
last to learn by what end happiness guides its path, what is the rule
of the good, the goal of the right; what division of virtue should be
set to combat and overthrow each separate vice, and what part of virtue
it is that curbs injustice, that causes reason to triumph over fear,
that holds lust in check. How often hast thou taught us the nature

    [173] Claudian’s way of saying that Manlius translates Greek
    philosophy into clear and elegant Latin, throwing his translation
    into the form of a dialogue.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 346

    materiae causas: quae vis animaverit astra
    impuleritque choros; quo vivat machina motu;
    sidera cur septem retro nitantur in ortus
    obluctata polo; variisne meatibus idem
    arbiter an geminae convertant aethera mentes;
    sitne color proprius rerum, lucisne repulsu                        106
    eludant aciem; tumidos quae luna recursus
    nutriat Oceani; quo fracta tonitrua vento,
    quis trahat imbriferas nubes, quo saxa creentur
    grandinis; unde rigor nivibus; quae flamma per auras               110
    excutiat rutilos tractus aut fulmina velox
    torqueat aut tristem figat crinita cometem.
      Iam tibi compositam fundaverat ancora puppim,
    telluris iam certus eras; fecunda placebant
    otia; nascentes ibant in saecula libri:                            115
    cum subito liquida cessantem vidit ab aethra
    Iustitia et tanto viduatas iudice leges.
    continuo frontem limbo velata pudicam
    deserit Autumni portas, qua vergit in Austrum
    Signifer et noctis reparant dispendia Chelae.                      120
    pax avibus, quacumque volat, rabiemque frementes
    deposuere ferae; laetatur terra reverso
    numine, quod prisci post tempora perdidit auri.
    illa per occultum Ligurum se moenibus infert
    et castos levibus plantis ingressa penates                         125
    invenit aetherios signantem pulvere cursus,
    quos pia sollicito deprendit pollice Memphis:

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                              Page 347

of the elements and the causes of matter’s ceaseless change; what
influence has given life to the stars, moving them in their courses;
what quickens with movement the universal frame. Thou tellest why the
seven planets strive backward towards the East, doing battle with the
firmament; whether there is one lawgiver to different movements or
two minds govern heaven’s revolution; whether colour is a property of
matter or whether objects deceive our sight and owe their colours to
reflected light; how the moon causes the ebb and flow of the tide;
which wind brings about the thunder’s crash, which collects the rain
clouds and by which the hail-stones are formed; what causes the
coldness of snow and what is that flame that ploughs its shining furrow
through the sky, hurls the swift thunderbolt, or sets in heaven’s dome
the tail of the baleful comet.

Already had the anchor stayed thy restful bark, already thou wert
minded to go ashore; fruitful leisure charmed and books were being
born for immortality, when, of a sudden, Justice looked down from
the shining heaven and saw thee at thine ease, saw Law, too,
deprived of her great interpreter. She stayed not but, wreathing
her chaste forehead with a band, left the gates of Autumn where the
Standard-bearer dips towards the south and the Scorpion makes good the
losses of the night. Where’er she flies a peace fell upon the birds and
howling beasts laid aside their rage. Earth rejoices in the return of a
deity lost to her since the waning of the age of gold. Secretly Justice
enters the walls of Milan, Liguria’s city, and penetrating with light
step the holy palace finds Theodorus marking in the sand those heavenly
movements which reverent Memphis discovered by

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 348

    quae moveant momenta polum, quam certus in astris
    error, quis tenebras solis causisque meantem
    defectum indicat numerus, quae linea Phoeben                       130
    damnet et excluso pallentem fratre relinquat.
    ut procul adspexit fulgentia Virginis ora
    cognovitque deam, vultus veneratus amicos
    occurrit scriptaeque notas confundit harenae.
      Tum sic diva prior: “Manli, sincera bonorum                      135
    congeries, in quo veteris vestigia recti
    et ductos video mores meliore metallo:
    iam satis indultum studiis, Musaeque tot annos
    eripuere mihi. pridem te iura reposcunt:
    adgredere et nostro rursum te redde labori                         140
    nec tibi sufficiat transmissae gloria vitae.
    humanum curare genus quis terminus umquam
    praescripsit? nullas recipit prudentia metas.
    adde quod haec multis potuit contingere sedes,
    sed meriti tantum redeunt actusque priores                         145
    commendat repetitus honos, virtusque reducit
    quos fortuna legit.[174] melius magnoque petendum
    credis in abstrusa rerum ratione morari?
    scilicet illa tui patriam praecepta Platonis
    erexere magis, quam qui responsa secutus                           150
    obruit Eoas classes urbemque carinis
    vexit et arsuras Medo subduxit Athenas?
    Spartanis potuit robur praestare Lycurgus
    matribus et sexum leges vicere severae

    [174] Birt _regit_ with the MSS. (he suggests _nequit_); Heinsius

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 349

anxious reckoning. He sought the forces that move the heavens, the
fixed (though errant) path of the planets, the calculation which
predicts the over-shadowing of the sun and its surely-fixed eclipse,
and the line that sentences the moon to be left in darkness by
shutting out her brother. Soon as from afar he beheld the shining
face of the Maiden[175] and recognized the goddess, reverencing that
dear countenance, he hurries to meet her, effacing from the sand the
diagrams he had drawn.

The goddess was the first to speak. “Manlius, in whom are gathered all
the virtues unalloyed, in whom I see traces of ancient justice and
manners moulded of a purer metal, thou hast devoted time enough now to
study; all these years have the Muses reft from me my pupil. Long has
Law demanded thy return to her allegiance. Come, devote thyself once
more to my service, and be not content with the glory of thy past.
To the service of mankind what boundary ever set the limits? Wisdom
accepts no ends for herself. Then, too, to many has this office fallen,
as well it might, but only the worthy return thereto; reappointment to
office is the best commendation of office well held, and virtue brings
back him whom chance elects. Deemst thou it a better and a worthier aim
to spend thy days in exploring Nature’s secret laws? Dost thou think
it was thy Plato’s precepts raised his country to glory rather than
he[176] who, in obedience to the oracle, sank the Persian fleet, put
his city on shipboard and saved from the Medes Athens destined for the
flames? Lycurgus could dower the mothers of Sparta with a man’s courage
and by his austere laws correct the weakness of their sex; by forbidding

    [175] Virgo (= Astraea) was a recognized synonym for the goddess
    Justice; see Virg. _Ec._ iv. 6.

    [176] _i.e._ Themistocles.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 350

    civibus et vetitis ignavo credere muro                             155
    tutius obiecit nudam Lacedaemona bellis:
    at non Pythagorae monitus annique silentes
    famosum Oebalii luxum pressere Tarenti.
      “Quis vero insignem tanto sub principe curam
    respuat? aut quando meritis maiora patebunt                        160
    praemia? quis demens adeo qui iungere sensus
    cum Stilichone neget? similem quae protulit aetas
    consilio vel Marte virum? nunc Brutus amaret
    vivere sub regno, tali succumberet aulae
    Fabricius, cuperent ipsi servire Catones.                          165
    nonne vides, ut nostra soror Clementia tristes
    obtundat gladios fratresque amplexa serenos
    adsurgat Pietas, fractis ut lugeat armis
    Perfidia et laceris morientes crinibus hydri
    lambant invalido Furiarum vincla veneno?                           170
    exultat cum Pace Fides, iam sidera cunctae
    liquimus et placidas inter discurrimus urbes.
    nobiscum, Theodore, redi.”
                               Subit ille loquentem
    talibus: “agrestem dudum me, diva, reverti
    cogis et infectum longi rubigine ruris                             175
    ad tua signa vocas. nam quae mihi cura tot annis
    altera quam duras sulcis mollire novales,
    nosse soli vires, nemori quae commoda rupes,
    quis felix oleae tractus, quae glaeba faveret
    frugibus et quales tegeret vindemia colles?                        180
    terribiles rursum lituos veteranus adibo
    et desueta vetus temptabo caerula vector?

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 351

his fellow-citizens to put a coward’s trust in walls, he set Lacedemon
to face wars more securely in her nakedness; but all the teaching
of Pythagoras and his years of silence never crushed the infamous
licentiousness of Sparta’s colony Tarentum.

“Besides, beneath such an emperor, who could refuse office? Was ever
merit more richly rewarded? Who is so insensate as not to wish to meet
Stilicho in council? Has ever any age produced his equal in prudence or
in bravery? Now would Brutus love to live under a king; to such a court
Fabricius would yield, the Catos themselves long to give service. Seest
thou not how my sister Mercy blunts the cruel sword of war; how Piety
rises to embrace the two noble brothers; how Treason laments her broken
weapons and the snakes, writhing in death upon the Furies’ wounded
heads, lick their chains with enfeebled venom? Peace and loyalty are
triumphant. All the host of heaven leaves the stars and wanders from
peaceful city to peaceful city. Return thou with us, Theodorus.”

Then Theodorus made answer: “From my long accustomed fields, goddess,
thou urgest me to return, summoning to thy standard one grown rusty in
the distant countryside. What else has been my care all these years
but to break up the stubborn fallow-land into furrows, to know the
nature of the soil, the rocky land suitable to the growth of trees, the
country where the olive will flourish, the fields that will yield rich
harvests of grain or the hills which my vineyards may clothe? I have
served my time; am I to hearken once more to the dreadful trumpet? Is
the old helmsman again to brave the seas whose lore he has forgotten?

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 352

    collectamque diu et certis utcumque locatam
    sedibus in dubium patiar deponere famam?
    nec me, quid valeat natura fortior usus,                           185
    praeterit aut quantum neglectae defluat arti.
    desidis aurigae non audit verbera currus,
    nec manus agnoscit quem non exercuit arcum.
    esse sed iniustum fateor quodcumque negatur
    iustitiae. tu prima hominem silvestribus antris                    190
    elicis et foedo deterges saecula victu.
    te propter colimus leges animosque ferarum
    exuimus. nitidis quisquis te sensibus hausit,
    inruet intrepidus flammis, hiberna secabit
    aequora, confertos hostes superabit inermis.                       195
    ille vel Aethiopum pluviis solabitur aestus;
    illum trans Scythiam vernus comitabitur aër.”
      Sic fatus tradente dea suscepit habenas
    quattuor ingenti iuris temone refusas.
    prima Padum Thybrimque ligat crebrisque micantem
    urbibus Italiam; Numidas[177] Poenosque secunda                    201
    temperat; Illyrico se tertia porrigit orbi;
    ultima Sardiniam, Cyrnum trifidamque retentat
    Sicaniam et quidquid Tyrrhena tunditur unda
    vel gemit Ionia. nec te tot lumina rerum                           205
    aut tantum turbavit onus; sed ut altus Olympi
    vertex, qui spatio ventos hiemesque relinquit,
    perpetuum nulla temeratus nube serenum
    celsior exurgit pluviis auditque ruentes

    [177] _Numidas_ Heinsius; Birt _†Lydos_.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 353

My fame has long been gathered in and where it is ’tis in safe custody;
am I to suffer its being put to the hazard? Full well do I realize
that habit is a stronger force than nature, nor am I ignorant of the
rapidity with which we forget an art that we have ceased to exercise.
The whip of an unpractised charioteer is powerless to urge on his
horses; the hand that is unaccustomed thereto cannot bend the bow. And
yet it were unjust, I admit, to refuse aught to Justice. Thou first
didst draw man from his woodland cave and free the human race from
its foul manner of life. Thanks to thee we practise law and have put
off the temper of wild beasts. Whosoever has drunk of thee with pure
heart will rush fearless through flames, will sail the wintry seas,
and overcome unarmed the densest company of foemen. Justice is to the
just as rain to temper even the heat of Ethiopia, a breath of spring to
journey with him across the deserts of Scythia.”

So spake he and took from the goddess’ hand the four reins that lay
stretched along the huge pole of Justice’s car. The first harnesses
the rivers Po and Tiber and Italy with all her glittering towns; the
second guides Numidia and Carthage; the third runs out across the land
of Illyria; the last holds Sardinia, Corsica, three-cornered Sicily and
the coasts beaten by the Tyrrhenian wave or that echo to the Ionian.
The splendour and magnitude of the undertaking troubled thee not one
whit; but as the lofty summit of Olympus, far removed from the winds
and tempests of the lower air, its eternal bright serene untroubled
by any cloud, is lifted above the rain storms and hears the hurricane

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 354

    sub pedibus nimbos et rauca tonitrua calcat:                       210
    sic patiens animus per tanta negotia liber
    emergit similisque sui, iustique tenorem
    flectere non odium cogit, non gratia suadet.
    nam spretas quis opes intactaque pectora lucro
    commemoret? fuerint aliis haec forte decora:                       215
    nulla potest laus esse tibi, quae crimina purget.
    servat inoffensam divina modestia vocem:
    temperiem servant oculi; nec lumina fervor
    asperat aut rabidas suffundit sanguine venas,
    nullaque mutati tempestas proditur oris.                           220
    quin etiam sontes expulsa corrigis ira
    et placidus delicta domas; nec dentibus umquam
    instrepis horrendum, fremitu nec verbera poscis.
      Qui fruitur poena, ferus est, legumque videtur
    vindictam praestare sibi; cum viscera felle                        225
    canduerint, ardet stimulis ferturque nocendi
    prodigus, ignarus causae: dis proximus ille,
    quem ratio, non ira movet, qui facta rependens
    consilio punire potest. mucrone cruento
    se iactent alii, studeant feritate timeri                          230
    addictoque hominum cumulent aeraria censu.
    lene fluit Nilus, sed cunctis amnibus extat
    utilior nullo confessus murmure vires;
    acrior ac rapidus tacitas praetermeat ingens
    Danuvius ripas; eadem dementia sani                                235
    gurgitis inmensum deducit in ostia Gangen.
    torrentes inmane fremant lassisque minentur

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 355

beneath its feet while it treads upon the thunder’s roar; so thy
patient mind, unfettered by cares so manifold, rises high above them;
thou art ever the same, no hatred can compel thee, no affection induce
thee, to swerve from the path of justice. For why should any speak of
riches scorned and a heart unallured by gain? These might perhaps be
virtues in others: absence of vice is no praise to bestow on thee. The
calm of a god banishes anger from thy voice; the spirit of moderation
shines from thine eyes; passion never inflames that glance or fills
with blood the angry veins; never is a tempest heralded on thy changed
countenance. Nay, thou punishest the very criminals without show of
anger and checkest their evil-doing with unruffled calm. Never dost
thou gnash with thy teeth upon them nor shout orders for them to be

He is a savage who delights in punishment and seems to make the
vengeance of the laws his own; when his heart is inflamed with the
poison of wrath he is goaded by fury and rushes on knowing nothing of
the cause and eager only to do hurt. But he whom reason, not anger,
animates is a peer of the gods, he who, weighing the guilt, can with
deliberation balance the punishment. Let others boast them of their
bloody swords and wish to be feared for their ferocity, while they fill
their treasuries with the goods of the condemned. Gently flows the
Nile, yet is it more beneficent than all rivers for all that no sound
reveals its power. More swiftly the broad Danube glides between its
quiet banks. Huge Ganges flows down to its mouths with gently moving
current. Let torrents roar horribly, threaten weary

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 356

    pontibus et volvant spumoso vertice silvas:
    pax maiora decet; peragit tranquilla potestas,
    quod violenta nequit, mandataque fortius urget                     240
    imperiosa quies.
                        Idem praedurus iniquas
    accepisse preces, rursus, quae digna petitu,
    largior et facilis; nec quae comitatur honores,
    ausa tuam leviter temptare superbia mentem.
    frons privata manet nec se meruisse fatetur,                       245
    quae crevisse putat; rigidi sed plena pudoris
    elucet gravitas fastu iucunda remoto.
    quae non seditio, quae non insania vulgi
    te viso lenita cadat? quae dissona ritu
    barbaries, medii quam non reverentia frangat?                      250
    vel quis non sitiens sermonis mella politi
    deserat Orpheos blanda testudine cantus?
    qualem te legimus teneri primordia mundi
    scribentem aut partes animae, per singula talem
    cernimus et similes agnoscit pagina mores.                         255
      Nec dilata tuis Augusto iudice merces
    officiis, illumque habitum, quo iungitur aulae
    curia, qui socio proceres cum principe nectit,
    quem quater ipse gerit, perfecto detulit anno
    deposuitque suas te succedente curules.                            260
    crescant virtutes fecundaque floreat aetas.
    ingeniis patuit campus certusque merenti
    stat favor: ornatur propriis industria donis.
    surgite sopitae, quas obruit ambitus, artes.
    nil licet invidiae, Stilicho dum prospicit orbi                    265

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 357

bridges, and sweep down forests in their foaming whirl; ’tis repose,
befits the greater; quiet authority accomplishes what violence cannot,
and that mandate compels more which comes from a commanding calm.

“Thou art as deaf to the prayers of injustice as thou art generous
and attentive where the demand is just. Pride, that ever accompanies
office, has not so much as dared to touch thy mind. Thy look is a
private citizen’s nor allows that it has deserved what it thinks to
have but grown[178]; but full of stately modesty shines forth a gravity
that charms because pride is banished. What sedition, what madness of
the crowd could see thee and not sink down appeased? What country so
barbarous, so foreign in its customs, as not to bow in reverence before
thy mediation? Who that desires the honied charm of polished eloquence
would not desert the lyre-accompanied song of tuneful Orpheus? In
every activity we see thee as we see thee in thy books, describing the
creation of the newly-fashioned earth or the parts of the soul; we
recognize thy character in thy pages.

The Emperor has not been slow in rewarding thy merit. The robe
that links Senate-house and palace, that unites nobles with their
prince--the robe that he himself has four times worn, he hath at the
year’s end handed on to thee, and left his own curule chair that thou
mightest follow him. Grow, ye virtues; be this an age of prosperity!
The path of glory lies open to the wise; merit is sure of its reward;
industry dowered with the gifts it deserves. Arts, rise from the
slumber into which depraved ambition had forced you! Envy cannot hold
up her head while Stilicho and his godlike

    [178] _i.e._ Manlius modestly regards his honours as a natural
    growth, not as the reward of merit.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 358

    sidereusque gener. non hic violata curulis,
    turpia non Latios incestant nomina fastos;
    fortibus haec concessa viris solisque gerenda
    patribus et Romae numquam latura pudorem.
      Nuntia votorum celeri iam Fama volatu                            270
    moverat Aonios audito consule lucos.
    concinuit felix Helicon fluxitque Aganippe
    largior et docti riserunt floribus amnes.
    Uranie redimita comas, qua saepe magistra
    Manlius igniferos radio descripserat axes,                         275
    sic alias hortata deas: “patimurne, sorores,
    optato procul esse die nec limina nostri
    consulis et semper dilectas visimus aedes?
    notior est Helicone[179] domus. gestare curules
    et fasces subiisse libet. miracula plebi                           280
    colligite et claris nomen celebrate theatris.
      “Tu Iovis aequorei summersam fluctibus aulam
    oratum volucres, Erato, iam perge quadrigas,
    a quibus haud umquam palmam rapturus Arion.
    inlustret circum sonipes, quicumque superbo                        285
    perstrepit hinnitu Bactin, qui splendida potat
    stagna Tagi madidoque iubas adspergitur auro.
      “Calliope, liquidas Alciden posce palaestras:
    cuncta Palaemoniis manus explorata coronis
    adsit et Eleo pubes laudata Tonanti.                               290
      “Tu iuga Taygeti frondosaque Maenala, Clio,
    i Triviae supplex; non aspernata rogantem
    amphitheatrali faveat Latonia pompae.

    [179] codd. have _Stilichone_; Birt obelizes the line; it is only
    found in V; _Helicone_ Gevartius.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 359

son-in-law direct the state. Here is no pollution of the consul’s
office, no shameful names disgrace the Latin fasti; here the consulship
is an honour reserved for the brave, given only to senators, never a
source of scandal to Rome’s city.[180]

Now had Fame, announcing our good fortune, winged her way to Aonia
whose groves she stirred with the tidings of the new consul. Helicon
raised a hymn of praise, Aganippe flowed with waters more abundant,
the streams of song laughed with flowers. Then Urania, her hair
wreath-crowned, Urania whose hand had oft directed Manlius’ compass
in marking out the starry spheres, thus addressed the other Muses:
“Sisters, can we bear to be absent this longed-for day? Shall we not
visit our consul’s door and the house we have always loved? Better
known to us is it than Helicon; gladly we draw the curule chair and
bear the fasces. Bring marvels for the people’s delight and make known
his name in the famed theatres.

“Do thou, Erato, go visit the palace of Neptune beneath the sea and
beg for four swift coursers such that even Arion could not snatch the
prize from them. Let the Circus be graced by every steed to whose proud
neighing Baetis re-echoes, who drinks of Tagus’ shining pools and
sprinkles his mane with its liquid gold.

“Calliope, ask thou of Alcides the oil of the wrestling-ground. Let all
the company proved in the games at Elis follow thee and the athletes
who have won fame with Olympian Jove.

“Fly, Clio, to Taygetus’ heights and leafy Maenalus and beg Diana not
to spurn thy petition but help the amphitheatre’s pomp. Let the goddess

    [180] Claudian is thinking of Eutropius, Manlius’ eastern colleague.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 360

    audaces legat ipsa viros, qui colla ferarum
    arte ligent certoque premant venabula nisu.                        295
    ipsa truces fetus captivaque ducat ab antris
    prodigia et caedis sitientem differat arcum.
    conveniant ursi, magna quos mole ruentes
    torva Lycaoniis Helice miretur ab astris,
    perfossique rudant populo pallente leones,                         300
    quales Mygdonio curru frenare Cybebe
    optet et Herculei mallent fregisse lacerti.
    obvia fulminei properent ad vulnera pardi
    semine permixto geniti, cum forte leaenae
    nobiliorem uterum viridis corrupit adulter;                        305
    hi maculis patres referant et robore matres.
    quidquid monstriferis nutrit Gaetulia campis,
    Alpina quidquid tegitur nive, Gallica siquid
    silva tenet, iaceat; largo ditescat harena
    sanguine; consumant totos spectacula montes.                       310
      “Nec molles egeant nostra dulcedine ludi:
    qui laetis risum salibus movisse facetus,
    qui nutu manibusque loquax, cui tibia flatu,
    cui plectro pulsanda chelys, qui pulpita socco
    personat aut alte graditur maiore cothurno,                        315
    et qui magna levi detrudens murmura tactu
    innumeras voces segetis moderatus aenae
    intonet erranti digito penitusque trabali
    vecte laborantes in carmina concitet undas,
    vel qui more avium sese iaculentur in auras                        320

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 361

choose out brave hunters cunningly to lasso the necks of wild animals
and to drive home the hunting-spear with unfailing stroke. With her own
hand let her lead forth from their caverns fierce beasts and captive
monsters, laying aside her bloodthirsty bow. Let bears be gathered
together, whereat, as they charge with mighty bulk, Helice may gaze
in wonder from Lycaon’s stars.[181] Let smitten lions roar till the
people turn pale, lions such as Cybele would be fain to harness to
her Mygdonian chariot or Hercules strangle in his mighty arms. May
leopards, lightning-swift, hasten to meet the spear’s wound, beasts
that are born of an adulterous union what time the spotted sire did
violence to the nobler lion’s mate: of such beasts their markings
recall the sire, their courage the dam. Whatsoever is nourished by
the fields of Gaetulia rich in monsters, whatsoever lurks beneath
Alpine snows or in Gallic woods, let it fall before the spear. Let
large streams of blood enrich the arena and the spectacle leave whole
mountains desolate.

“Nor let gentler games lack the delights we bring: let the clown be
there to move the people’s laughter with his happy wit, the mime whose
language is in his nod and in the movements of his hands, the musician
whose breath rouses the flute and whose finger stirs the lyre, the
slippered comedian to whose voice the theatre re-echoes, the tragedian
towering on his loftier buskin; him too whose light touch can elicit
loud music from those pipes of bronze that sound a thousand diverse
notes beneath his wandering fingers and who by means of a lever
stirs to song the labouring water.[182] Let us see acrobats who hurl
themselves through the air like birds and build

    [181] Helice = the Great Bear; so does the phrase “Lycaon’s stars,”
    for Lycaon was the father of Callisto who was transformed by the
    jealous Juno into a bear and as such translated by Jupiter to the
    sky. Claudian means that he wants the Great Bear to observe this
    assemblage of earthly bears.

    [182] The _hydraulus_ or water organ was known in Cicero’s day
    (_Tusc._ iii. 18.43). It is illustrated by a piece of sculpture in
    the Museum at Arles (see Grove, _Dict. of Music_, under “Organ” ).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 362

    corporaque aedificent celeri crescentia nexu,
    quorum compositam puer amentatus in arcem
    emicet et vinctu plantae vel cruribus hacrens
    pendula librato figat vestigia saltu.
    mobile ponderibus descendat pegma reductis                         325
    inque chori speciem spargentes ardua flammas
    scaena rotet varios et fingat Mulciber orbis
    per tabulas impune vagus pictaeque citato
    ludant igne trabes et non permissa morari
    fida per innocuas errent incendia turres.                          330
    lascivi subito confligant aequore lembi
    stagnaque remigibus spument inmissa canoris.
      “Consul per populos idemque gravissimus auctor
    eloquii, duplici vita subnixus in aevum
    procedat pariter libris fastisque legendus.                        335
    accipiat patris exemplum tribuatque nepoti
    filius et coeptis ne desit fascibus heres.
    decurrat trabeata domus tradatque secures
    mutua postcritas servatoque ordine fati
    Manlia continuo numeretur consule proles.”                         340

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 363

pyramids that grow with swift entwining of their bodies, to the summit
of which pyramid rushes a boy fastened by a thong, a boy who, attached
there by the foot or leg, executes a step-dance suspended in the
air. Let the counterweights be removed and the mobile crane descend,
lowering on to the lofty stage men who, wheeling chorus-wise, scatter
flames; let Vulcan forge balls of fire to roll innocuously across the
boards, let the flames appear to play about the sham beams of the
scenery and a tame conflagration, never allowed to rest, wander among
the untouched towers. Let ships meet in mimic warfare on an improvised
ocean and the flooded waters be lashed to foam by singing oarsmen.

“As consul at once and stateliest master, upborne by a twofold fame,
let Manlius go forth among the peoples, read in his own books and in
our calendars. May the sire’s example be followed by the son[183] and
handed on to a grandson, nor these first fasces ever lack succession.
May his race pass on purple-clad, may the generations, each to each,
hand on the axes, and obedient to the ordinance of fate, Manlius after
Manlius add one more consul to the tale.”

    [183] We do not hear of Claudian’s hopes coming true. This son was,
    however, proconsul of Africa (Augustine, _Contra Crescon._ iii.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 364




      Continuant superi pleno Romana favore
    gaudia successusque novis successibus augent:
    conubii necdum festivos regia cantus
    sopierat, cecinit fuso Gildone triumphos,
    et calidis thalami successit laurea sertis,                          5
    sumeret ut pariter princeps nomenque mariti
    victorisque decus; Libyae post proelia crimen
    concidit Eoum, rursusque Oriente subacto
    consule defensae surgunt Stilichone secures.
    ordine vota meant. equidem si carmen in unum                        10
    tantarum sperem cumulos advolvere rerum,
    promptius imponam glaciali Pelion Ossae.
    si partem tacuisse velim, quodcumque relinquam
    maius erit. veteres actus primamque iuventam
    prosequar? ad sese mentem praesentia ducunt.                        15
    narrem iustitiam? resplendet gloria Martis.
    armati referam vires? plus egit inermis.
    quod floret Latium, Latio quod reddita servit
    Africa, vicinum quod nescit Hiberia Maurum,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 365




Ceaseless are the blessings the gods shower with full bounty upon Rome,
crowning success with new successes. Scarce had the happy songs of
marriage ceased to echo in the palace when the defeat of Gildo brought
material for a hymn of triumph. Hard upon the garlands of passionate
love followed the crown of laurel, so that the emperor won alike the
name of husband and the fame of conqueror. After the war in Africa
eastern sedition waned; the Orient once more was laid low and, guarded
by the consul Stilicho, the axes rose in triumph. In due order are vows
fulfilled. Should I hope to roll into one poem all my lofty themes,
more easily should I pile Pelion on frozen Ossa. Were I silent anent a
part, what I leave unsung will prove the greater. Am I to recall his
deeds of old and earliest manhood? His present deeds lure away my mind.
Am I to tell of his justice? His military glory outshines it. Shall I
mention his prowess in war? He has done more in peace. Shall I relate
how Latium flourishes, how Africa has returned to her allegiance and
service, how Spain knows no more

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 366

    tuta quod imbellem miratur Gallia Rhenum,                           20
    aut gelidam Thracen decertatosque labores
    Hebro teste canam? magnum mihi panditur aequor,
    ipsaque Pierios lassant proclivia currus
    laudibus innumeris.
                          Etenim mortalibus ex quo
    tellus coepta coli, numquam sincera bonorum                         25
    sors ulli concessa viro. quem vultus honestat,
    dedecorant mores; animus quem pulchrior ornat,
    corpus destituit. bellis insignior ille,
    sed pacem foedat vitiis. hic publica felix,
    sed privata minus, partitum; singula quemque                        30
    nobilitant: hunc forma decens, hunc robur in armis,
    hunc rigor, hunc pietas, illum sollertia iuris,
    hunc suboles castique tori. sparguntur in omnes,
    in te mixta fluunt; et quae divisa beatos
    efficiunt, collecta tenes.                                          35
                                Ne facta revolvam
    militiamque patris, cuius producere famam,
    si nihil egisset clarum nec fida Valenti
    dextera duxisset rutilantes crinibus alas,
    sufficeret natus Stilicho: mens ardua semper
    a puero, tenerisque etiam fulgebat in annis                         40
    fortunae maioris honos. erectus et acer
    nil breve moliri, nullis haerere potentum
    liminibus fatisque loqui iam digna futuris.
    iam tum conspicuus, iam tum venerabilis ibas
    spondebatque ducem celsi nitor igneus oris                          45

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 367

the Moor as her neighbour, how Gaul has now nought to fear from a
disarmed Germany? Or shall I sing of wintry Thrace and those fierce
struggles whereof Hebrus was witness? Limitless is the expanse that
opens before me and even on the slopes of Helicon this weight of praise
retards my muse’s chariot.

For truly since man inhabited this globe never has one mortal been
granted all earth’s blessings without alloy. This man’s face is fair
but his character is evil; another has a beauteous soul but an ugly
body. One is renowned in war but makes peace hideous with his vices.
This man is happy in his public but unhappy in his private life. Each
takes a part; each owes his fame to some one gift, to bodily beauty, to
martial prowess, to strength, to uprightness of life, to knowledge of
law, to his offspring and a virtuous wife. To all men else blessings
come scattered, to thee they flow commingled, and gifts that separately
make happy are all together thine.

I will not unfold the tale of thy sire’s[184] warlike deeds. Had he
done nothing of note, had he in loyalty to Valens never led to battle
those yellow-haired companies, yet to be the father of Stilicho would
have spread abroad his fame. Ever from thy cradle did thy soul aspire,
and in the tender years of childhood shone forth the signs of loftier
estate. Lofty in spirit and eager, nothing paltry didst thou essay;
never didst thou haunt any rich man’s doorstep; thy speech was such as
to befit thy future dignities. A mark wert thou even then for all eyes,
even then an object of reverence; the fiery brightness of thy noble
countenance, the very mould

    [184] We know really nothing of Stilicho’s parentage save that the
    family was a Vandal one: _Vandalorum genere editus_, Oros. vii. 38.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 368

    membrorumque modus, qualem nec carmina fingunt
    semideis. quacumque alte gradereris in urbe,
    cedentes spatiis adsurgentesque videbas
    quamvis miles adhuc. taciti suffragia vulgi
    iam tibi detulerant, quidquid mox debuit aula.                      50
      Vix primaevus eras, pacis cum mitteris auctor
    Assyriae; tanta foedus cum gente ferire
    commissum iuveni. Tigrim transgressus et altum
    Euphraten Babylona petis. stupuere severi
    Parthorum proceres, et plebs pharetrata videndi                     55
    flagravit studio, defixaeque hospite pulchro
    Persides arcanum suspiravere calorem.
    turis odoratae cumulis et messe Sabaea
    pacem conciliant arae; penetralibus ignem
    sacratum rapuere adytis rituque iuvencos                            60
    Chaldaeo stravere magi. rex ipse micantem
    inclinat dextra pateram secretaque Beli
    et vaga testatur volventem sidera Mithram.
    si quando sociis tecum venatibus ibant,
    quis Stilichone prior ferro penetrare leones                        65
    comminus aut longe virgatas figere tigres?
    flectenti faciles cessit tibi Medus habenas;
    torquebas refugum Parthis mirantibus arcum.
      Nubilis interea maturae virginis aetas
    urgebat patrias suspenso principe curas,                            70
    quem simul imperioque ducem nataeque maritum
    prospiceret; dubius toto quaerebat ab axe
    dignum coniugio generum thalamisque Serenae.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 369

of thy limbs, greater even than poets feign of demi-gods, marked thee
out for a leader of men. Whithersoever thy proud form went in the city
thou didst see men rise and give place to thee; yet thou wast then but
a soldier. The silent suffrage of the people had already offered thee
all the honours the court was soon to owe.

Scarce hadst thou reached man’s estate when thou wast sent to negotiate
peace with Assyria[185]; to make a treaty with so great a people was
the charge entrusted to thy youth. Crossing the Tigris and the deep
Euphrates thou cam’st to Babylon. The grave lords of Parthia looked at
thee in amaze and the quiver-bearing mob burned with desire to behold,
while the daughters of Persia gazing on their beauteous guest sighed
out their hidden love. The peace is sworn at altars sweet with the
fragrance of incense and the harvests of Saba. Fire is brought forth
from the innermost sanctuary and the Magi sacrifice heifers according
to the Chaldean ritual. The king himself dips the jewelled bowl of
sacrifice and swears by the mysteries of Bel and by Mithras who guides
the errant stars of heaven. Whenever they made thee sharer of their
hunting, whose sword struck down the lion in close combat before that
of Stilicho, whose arrow pierced the striped tiger afar before thine?
When thou didst guide the easy rein the Mede gave way to thee, and the
Parthian marvelled at the bow thou didst discharge in flight.

Meanwhile a maiden of years full ripe for marriage troubled a father’s
heart, and the emperor doubted whom to select as her husband and as
future ruler of the world; right anxiously did he search east and west
for a son-in-law worthy of being wedded

    [185] By Assyria Claudian means Persia. He refers to the dispatch
    of Stilicho in 387 as ambassador to the court of Sapor III.
    (383-388) to arrange about the partition of Armenia.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 370

    iudicium virtutis erat; per castra, per urbes,
    per populos animi cunctantis libra cucurrit.                        75
    tu legeris tantosque viros, quos obtulit orbis,
    intra consilium vincis sensumque legentis,
    et gener Augustis olim socer ipse futurus
    accedis. radiis auri Tyriaque superbit
    maiestate torus; comitata parentibus exit                           80
    purpureis virgo. stabat pater inde tropaeis
    inclitus; inde pium matris regina gerebat
    obsequium gravibus subnectens flammea gemmis.
    tunc et Solis equos, tunc exultasse choreis
    astra ferunt mellisque lacus et flumina lactis                      85
    erupisse solo, cum floribus aequora vernis
    Bosphorus indueret roseisque evincta coronis
    certantes Asiae taedas Europa levaret.
      Felix arbitrii princeps, qui congrua mundo
    iudicat et primus censet, quod cernimus omnes.                      90
    talem quippe virum natis adiunxit et aulae,
    cui neque luxuries bello nec blanda periclis
    otia nec lucis fructus pretiosior umquam
    laude fuit. quis enim Visos in plaustra feroces
    reppulit aut saeva Promoti caede tumentes                           95
    Bastarnas una potuit delere ruina?
    Pallantis iugulum Turno moriente piavit
    Aeneas, tractusque rotis ultricibus Hector
    irato vindicta fuit vel quaestus Achilli.
    tu neque vesano raptas venalia curru                               100
    funera nec vanam corpus meditaris in unum
    saevitiam; turmas equitum peditumque catervas

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                              Page 371

to Serena. Merit alone had to decide; through camps, through cities,
through nations roamed his poised and hesitating thoughts. But thou
wast chosen, thus in the opinion and judgement of him who selected
thee surpassing all the candidates of the whole world and becoming a
son-in-law in the imperial family where thou wast shortly to become
a father-in-law. The marriage-bed was ablaze with flashing gold and
regal purple. The maiden steps forth accompanied by her parents clad
in scarlet. On one side stood her sire, famed for his triumphs, on the
other was the queen, fulfilling a mother’s loving office and ordering
the bridal veil beneath a weight of jewels. Then, so men say, the
horses of the sun and the stars of heaven danced for joy, pools of
honey and rivers of milk welled forth from the earth. Bosporus decked
his banks with vernal flowers, and Europe, entwined with rosy garlands,
uplifted the torches in rivalry with Asia.

Happy our emperor in his choice; he judges and the world agrees; he
is the first to value what we all see. Ay, for he has allied to his
children and to his palace one who never preferred ease to war nor
the pleasures of peace to danger, nor yet his life to his honour. Who
but he could have driven back the savage Visigoths to their wagons or
overwhelmed in one huge slaughter the Bastarnae puffed up with the
slaying of Promotus[186]? Aeneas avenged the slaughter of Pallas with
the death of Turnus, Hector, dragged behind the chariot-wheels, was to
wrathful Achilles either revenge or gain; thou dost not carry off in
mad chariot dead bodies for ransom nor plot idle savagery against a
single corpse; thou slayest at thy friend’s tomb whole

    [186] Promotus, who had rescued Theodosius from an ambush in his
    war against the Visigoths in 390, lost his life in the same war the
    year after. Stilicho succeeded to his command.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 372

    hostilesque globos tumulo prosternis amici;
    inferiis gens tota datur. nec Mulciber auctor
    mendacis clipei fabricataque vatibus arma                          105
    conatus iuvere tuos: tot barbara solus
    milia iam pridem miseram vastantia Thracen
    finibus exiguae vallis conclusa tenebas.
    nec te terrisonus stridor venientis Alani
    nec vaga Chunorum feritas, non falce Gelonus,                      110
    non arcu pepulere Getae, non Sarmata conto.
    extinctique forent penitus, ni more maligno
    falleret Augustas occultus proditor aures
    obstrueretque moras strictumque reconderet ensem,
    solveret obsessos, praeberet foedera captis.                       115
      Adsiduus castris aderat, rarissimus urbi,
    si quando trepida princeps pietate vocaret;
    vixque salutatis Laribus, vix coniuge visa,
    deterso necdum repetebat sanguine campum.
    nec stetit Eucherii dum carperet oscula saltem                     120
    per galeam. patris stimulos ignisque mariti
    vicit cura ducis. quotiens sub pellibus egit
    Edonas hiemes et tardi flabra Bootae
    sub divo Riphaca tulit! cumque igne propinquo
    frigora vix ferrent alii, tunc iste rigentem                       125
    Danuvium calcabat eques nivibusque profundum
    scandebat cristatus Athon lateque corusco
    curvatas glacie silvas umbone ruebat.
    nunc prope Cimmerii tendebat litora Ponti,

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                              Page 373

squadrons of horse, companies of foot, and hordes of enemies. To his
ghost a whole nation is offered up. Neither Vulcan’s fabulous shield
nor such armour as that of which poets sing the forging assisted thine
efforts. Single-handed thou didst succeed in penning within the narrow
confines of a single valley the vast army of barbarians that were long
since ravaging the land of Thrace. For thee the fearful shriek of the
onrushing Alan had no terrors nor the fierceness of the nomad Hun nor
the scimitar of the Geloni, nor the Getae’s bow or Sarmatian’s club.
These nations would have been destroyed root and branch had not a
traitor by a perfidious trick abused the emperor’s ear and caused him
to withhold his hand; hence the sheathing of the sword, the raising of
the siege, and the granting of a treaty to the prisoners.

He was always with the army, seldom in Rome, and then only when the
young emperor’s anxious love summoned him thither. Scarce had he
greeted the gods of his home, scarce seen his wife when, still stained
with the blood of his enemies, he hastened back to the battle. He did
not stay to catch at least a kiss from Eucherius through his vizor; the
anxieties of a general o’ercame a father’s yearning and a husband’s
love. How often has he bivouacked through the Thracian winter and
endured beneath the open sky the blasts that slow Boötes sends from
mount Riphaeus. When others, huddled over the fire, could scarce brook
the cold, he would ride his horse across the frozen Danube and climb
Athos deep in snow, his helmet on his head, thrusting aside the frozen
branches of the ice-laden trees with his far gleaming targe. Now he
pitched his tent by the shores of Cimmerian Pontus, now

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 374

    nunc dabat hibernum Rhodope nimbosa cubile.                        130
    vos Haemi gelidae valles, quas saepe cruentis
    stragibus aequavit Stilicho, vos Thracia testor
    flumina, quae largo mutastis sanguine fluctus;
    dicite, Bisaltae vel qui Pangaea iuvencis
    scinditis, offenso quantae sub vomere putres                       135
    dissiliant glaebis galeae vel qualia rastris
    ossa peremptorum resonent inmania regum.
      Singula complecti cuperem; sed densior instat
    gestorum series laudumque sequentibus undis
    obruimur. genitor caesi post bella tyranni                         140
    iam tibi commissis conscenderat aethera terris.
    ancipites rerum ruituro culmine lapsus
    aequali cervice subis: sic Hercule quondam
    sustentante polum melius librata pependit
    machina nec dubiis titubavit Signifer astris                       145
    perpetuaque senex subductus mole parumper
    obstupuit proprii spectator ponderis Atlas.
      Nulli barbariae motus; nil turbida rupto
    ordine temptavit novitas, tantoque remoto
    principe mutatas orbis non sensit habenas.                         150
    nil inter geminas acies, ceu libera frenis,
    ausa manus. certe nec tantis dissona linguis
    turba nec armorum cultu diversior umquam
    confluxit populus: totam pater undique secum
    moverat Auroram; mixtis hic Colchus Hiberis,                       155
    hic mitra velatus Arabs, hic crine decorus
    Armenius; hic picta Saces fucataque Medus,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 375

misty Rhodope afforded him a winter’s bed. I call you to witness,
cold valleys of Haemus, that Stilicho has often filled with bloody
slaughter; and you, rivers of Thrace, your waters turned to blood; say,
ye Bisaltae, or you whose oxen plough Pangaeus’ slopes, how many a
rotting helm has not your share shattered neath the soil, how oft have
not your mattocks rung against the giant bones of slaughtered kings.

Fain would I embrace each separate one; but thine exploits press on in
too close array, and I am overwhelmed by the pursuing flood of glorious
deeds. When Theodosius had warred against, and slain, the tyrant[187]
he ascended into heaven, leaving the governance of the world to thee.
With a strength equal to his thou dost bear up the tottering structure
of the empire that threatens each moment to collapse. Thus, when once
Hercules upheld the world, the universal frame hung more surely poised,
the Standard-bearer did not reel with tottering stars, and old Atlas,
relieved for a moment of the eternal load, was confounded as he gazed
upon his own burden.

Barbary was quiet, no revolution troubled the empire’s peace and though
so great a prince was dead the world knew not that the reins had passed
into another’s hands. No company in the two armies[188] dared aught as
though set loose from control. Yet surely never had such diversities of
language and arms met together to form one united people. Theodosius
had unified the whole East beneath his rule. Here were mingled Colchian
and Iberian, mitred Arab, beautifully coifed Armenian; here the Sacian
had pitched his painted tent, the Mede his

    [187] _i.e._ Eugenius.

    [188] _i.e._ of East and West.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 376

    hic gemmata niger tentoria fixerat Indus;
    hic Rhodani procera cohors, hic miles alumnus
    Oceani. ductor Stilicho tot gentibus unus,                         160
    quot vel progrediens vel conspicit occiduus sol.
    in quo tam vario vocum generumque tumultu
    tanta quies iurisque metus servator honesti
    te moderante fuit, nullis ut vinea furtis
    vel seges erepta fraudaret messe colonum,                          165
    ut nihil aut saevum rabies aut turpe libido
    suaderet, placidi servirent legibus enses.
    scilicet in vulgus manant exempla regentum,
    utque ducum lituos, sic mores castra sequuntur.
      Denique felices aquilas quocumque moveres,                       170
    arebant tantis epoti milibus amnes.
    Illyricum peteres: campi montesque latebant.
    vexillum navale dares: sub puppibus ibat
    Ionium. nullas[189] succincta Ceraunia nimbis
    nec iuga Leucatae feriens spumantia fluctu                         175
    deterrebat hiems. tu si glaciale iuberes
    vestigare fretum, securo milite ducti
    stagna reluctantes quaterent Saturnia remi;
    si deserta Noti, fontem si quaerere Nili,
    Aethiopum medios penetrassent vela vapores.                        180
      Te memor Eurotas, te rustica Musa Lycaei,
    te pastorali modulantur Maenala cantu
    Partheniumque nemus, quod te pugnante resurgens
    aegra caput mediis erexit Graecia flammis.
    plurima Parrhasius tunc inter corpora Ladon                        185

    [189] AΠ _nullum_; other MSS. _nullis_, which Birt prints. But
    _deterrebat_ needs an object (as A and Π indicate). Possibly, then,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 377

stained tent, the dusky Indian his embroidered tent: here were the tall
company of warriors from the Rhone and the warlike children of Ocean.
Stilicho and Stilicho alone commanded all the nations looked on by the
rising and the setting sun. Amid this company so diverse in blood and
speech such peace reigned beneath thy rule, so did fear of justice
secure right, that not a single vineyard was robbed, nor did a single
field cheat the husbandman of its plundered crop; rage incited to no
violence, passion to no deeds of shame; the peaceful sword was obedient
to law. Of a truth their leaders’ pattern passes to the crowd, and the
soldier follows not only the standards but also the example of his

Whithersoever thou didst lead thy victorious eagles there rivers
grew dry, drunk up by so many thousands of men. Didst thou march
towards Illyria, plain and mountain were hidden; didst thou give the
signal to thy fleet, the Ionian main was lost beneath thy ships.
Cloud-girt Ceraunia, the storms that dash the waves in foam on Leucas’
promontory--these could not affright any. Shouldst thou bid them
explore some frozen sea, thy untroubled soldiers would shatter the
congealed waters with countervailing oar; had they to seek the deserts
of the south, to search out the sources of the Nile, their sails would
penetrate into Ethiopia’s midmost heat.

Thee mindful Eurotas, thee Lycaeus’ rustic muse, thee Maenalus
celebrates in pastoral song, and therewith the woods of Parthenius,
where, thanks to thy victorious arms, weary Greece has raised once more
her head from amid the flames. Then did Ladon, river of Arcadia, stay
his course amid the countless bodies,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 378

    haesit et Alpheus Geticis angustus acervis
    tardior ad Siculos etiamnunc pergit amores.
      Miramur rapidis hostem succumbere bellis,
    cum solo terrore ruant? non classica Francis
    intulimus: iacuere tamen. non Marte Suebos                         190
    contudimus, quis iura damus. quis credere possit?
    ante tubam nobis audax Germania servit.
    cedant, Druse, tui, cedant, Traiane, labores:
    vestra manus dubio quidquid discrimine gessit,
    transcurrens egit Stilicho totidemque diebus                       195
    edomuit Rhenum, quot vos potuistis in annis;
    quem ferro, adloquiis; quem vos cum milite, solus.
    impiger a primo descendens fluminis ortu
    ad bifidos tractus et iuncta paludibus ora
    fulmineum perstrinxit iter; ducis impetus undas                    200
    vincebat celeres, et pax a fonte profecta
    cum Rheni crescebat aquis. ingentia quondam
    nomina, crinigero flaventes vertice reges,
    qui nec principibus donis precibusque vocati
    paruerant, iussi properant segnique verentur                       205
    offendisse mora; transvecti lintribus amnem
    occursant ubicumque velit. nec fama fefellit
    iustitiae: videre pium, videre fidelem.
    quem veniens timuit, rediens Germanus amavit.
    illi terribiles, quibus otia vendere semper                        210
    mos erat et foeda requiem mercede pacisci,
    natis obsidibus pacem tam supplice vultu

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 379

and Alphaeus, choked with heaps of slaughtered Getae, won his way more
slowly to his Sicilian love.[190]

Do we wonder that the foe so swiftly yields in battle when they fall
before the sole terror of his name? We did not declare war on the
Franks; yet they were overthrown. We did not crush in battle the Suebi
on whom we now impose our laws. Who could believe it? Fierce Germany
was our slave or ever the trumpets rang out. Where are now thy wars,
Drusus, or thine, Trajan? All that your hands wrought after doubtful
conflict that Stilicho did as he passed along, and o’ercame the Rhine
in as many days as you could do in years; you conquered with the sword,
he with a word; you with an army, he single-handed. Descending from
the river’s source to where it splits in twain and to the marshes that
connect its mouths he flashed his lightning way. The speed of the
general outstripped the river’s swift course, and Peace, starting with
him from Rhine’s source, grew as grew Rhine’s waters. Chieftains whose
names were once so well known, flaxen-haired warrior-kings whom neither
gifts nor prayers could win over to obedience to Rome’s emperors,
hasten at his command and fear to offend by dull delay. Crossing the
river in boats they meet him wheresoever he will. The fame of his
justice did not play them false: they found him merciful, they found
him trustworthy. Him whom at his coming the German feared, at his
departure he loved. Those dread tribes whose wont it was ever to set
their price on peace and let us purchase repose by shameful tribute,
offered their children as hostages and begged for peace with such
suppliant looks that one would have thought them

    [190] _i.e._ Arethusa.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 380

    captivoque rogant, quam si post terga revincti
    Tarpeias pressis subeant cervicibus arces.
    omne, quod Oceanum fontesque interiacet Histri,                    215
    unius incursu tremuit; sine caede subactus
    servitio Boreas exarmatique Triones.
      Tempore tam parvo tot proelia sanguine nullo
    perficis et luna nuper nascente profectus
    ante redis, quam tota fuit, Rhenumque minacem                      220
    cornibus infractis adeo mitescere cogis,
    ut Salius iam rura colat flexosque Sygambrus
    in falcem curvet gladios, geminasque viator
    cum videat ripas, quae sit Romana, requirat;
    ut iam trans fluvium non indignante Chauco                         225
    pascat Belga pecus, mediumque ingressa per Albim
    Gallica Francorum montes armenta pererrent;
    ut procul Hercyniae per vasta silentia silvae
    venari tuto liceat, lucosque vetusta
    religione truces et robur numinis instar                           230
    barbarici nostrae feriant impune bipennes.
      Ultro quin etiam devota mente tuentur
    victorique favent. quotiens sociare catervas
    oravit iungique tuis Alamannia signis!
    nec doluit contempta tamen, spretoque recessit                     235
    auxilio laudata fides. provincia missos
    expellet citius fasces quam Francia reges,
    quos dederis. acie nec iam pulsare rebelles,
    sed vinclis punire licet; sub iudice nostro
    regia Romanus disquirit crimina carcer:                            240

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 381

captives, their hands bound behind their backs, and they mounting the
Tarpeian rock with the chains of slavery upon their necks. All those
lands that lie between Ocean and the Danube trembled at the approach of
one man. Boreas was brought into servitude without a blow; the Great
Bear was disarmed.

In so short a time didst thou win so many battles without loss of
blood, and, setting out with the moon yet new, thou didst return or
ever it was full; so didst thou compel the threatening Rhine to learn
gentleness with shattered horns, that the Salian now tills his fields,
the Sygambrian beats his straight sword into a curved sickle, and the
traveller, as he looks at the two banks, asks over which Rome rules.
The Belgian, too, pastures his flock across the river and the Chauci
heed it not; Gallic herds cross the middle Elbe and wander over the
hills of the Franks. Safe it is to hunt amid the vast silence of
the distant Hercynian forest, and in the woods that old-established
superstition has rendered awful our axes fell the trees the barbarian
once worshipped and nought is said.

Nay more, devoted to their conqueror this people offers its arms in his
defence. How oft has Germany begged to add her troops to thine and to
join her forces with those of Rome! Nor yet was she angered when her
offer was rejected, for though her aid was refused her loyalty came off
with praise. Provence will sooner drive out the governor thou sendest
than will the land of the Franks expel the ruler thou hast given them.
Not to rout rebels in the field but to punish them with chains is now
the law; under our judge a Roman prison holds inquest

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 382

    Marcomeres Sunnoque docet; quorum alter Etruscum
    pertulit exilium; cum se promitteret alter
    exulis ultorem, iacuit mucrone suorum:
    res avidi concire novas odioque furentes
    pacis et ingenio scelerumque cupidine fratres.                     245
      Post domitas Arctos alio prorupit ab axe
    tempestas et, ne qua tuis intacta tropaeis
    pars foret, Australis sonuit tuba. moverat omnes
    Maurorum Gildo populos, quibus inminet Atlas
    et quos interior nimio plaga sole relegat:                         250
    quos vagus umectat Cinyps et proximus hortis
    Hesperidum Triton et Gir notissimus amnis
    Aethiopum, simili mentitus gurgite Nilum;
    venerat et parvis redimitus Nuba sagittis
    et velox Garamas, nec quamvis tristibus Hammon                     255
    responsis alacrem potuit Nasamona morari.
    stipantur Numidae campi, stant pulvere Syrtes
    Gaetulae, Poenus iaculis obtexitur aër.
    hi virga moderantur equos; his fulva leones
    velamenta dabant ignotarumque ferarum                              260
    exuviae, vastis Meroë quas nutrit harenis;
    serpentum patulos gestant pro casside rictus;
    pendent vipereae squamosa pelle pharetrae.
    non sic intremuit Simois, cum montibus Idae
    nigra coloratus produceret agmina Memnon,                          265
    non Ganges, cum tela procul vibrantibus Indis
    inmanis medium vectaret belua Porum.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 383

on the crimes of kings. Marcomeres and Sunno[191] give proof: the one
underwent exile in Etruria, the other, proclaiming himself the exile’s
avenger, fell beneath the swords of his own soldiers. Both were eager
to arouse rebellion, both hated peace--true brothers in character and
in a common love of crime.

After the conquest of the north arose a fresh storm in another quarter.
The trumpets of war rang out in the south that there might be no part
of the world untouched by thy victories. Gildo stirred up all the
Moorish tribes living beneath mount Atlas and those whom the excessive
heat of the sun cuts off from us in the interior of Africa, those too
whom Cinyps’ wandering stream waters, and Triton, neighbour of the
garden of the Hesperides; those who dwell beside the waters of Gir,
most famous of the rivers of Ethiopia, that overflows his banks as
it had been another Nile. There came at his summons the Nubian with
his head-dress of short arrows, the fleet Garamantian, the Nasamonian
whose impetuous ardour not even the sinister predictions of Ammon could
restrain. The plain of Numidia was overrun, their dust covered the
Gaetulian Syrtes; the sky of Carthage was darkened with their arrows.
Some, mounted, guide their horses with sticks, others are clad in
tawny lion-skins and pelts of the nameless animals that range the vast
deserts of Meroë. Severed heads of serpents with gaping jaws serve them
for helmets, the bright scaly skin of the viper fashions their quivers.
Simois trembled not so violently when swart Memnon led his dusky troops
o’er Ida’s summit. Not so fearful was Ganges when Porus approached,
mounted on his towering elephant and surrounded with his far-shooting
Indian soldiery.

    [191] Marcomeres and Sunno, brother chiefs of the Ripuarian Franks,
    had (?in connexion with Maximus’ revolt) invaded Roman territory
    near Cologne in 388 and been defeated by Arbogast. Stilicho’s
    successful campaign against them, of which we read here, is to be
    dated 395 (?March).

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 384

    Porus Alexandro, Memnon prostratus Achilli,
    Gildo nempe tibi.
                       Nec solum fervidus Austrum,
    sed partes etiam Mavors agitabat Eoas.                             270
    quamvis obstreperet pietas, his ille regendae
    transtulerat nomen Libyae scelerique profano
    fallax legitimam regni praetenderat umbram.
    surgebat geminum varia formidine bellum,
    hoc armis, hoc triste dolis. hoc Africa saevis                     275
    cinxerat auxiliis, hoc coniuratus alebat
    insidiis Oriens. illinc edicta meabant
    corruptura duces; hinc frugibus atra negatis
    urgebat trepidamque fames obsederat urbem.
    exitiale palam Libycum; civile pudoris                             280
    obtentu tacitum.
                            Tales utrimque procellae
    cum fremerent lacerumque alternis ictibus anceps
    imperium pulsaret hiems, nil fessa remisit
    officii virtus contraque minantia fata
    pervigil eventusque sibi latura secundos                           285
    maior in adversis micuit: velut arbiter alni,
    nubilus Aegaeo quam turbine vexat Orion,
    exiguo clavi flexu declinat aquarum
    verbera, nunc recta, nunc obliquante carina
    callidus, et pelagi caelique obnititur irae.                       290
      Quid primum, Stilicho, mirer? quod cautus ad omnes
    restiteris fraudes, ut te nec noxia furto
    littera nec pretio manus inflammata lateret?
    quod nihil in tanto circum terrore locutus
    indignum Latio? responsa quod ardua semper                         295
    Eois dederis, quae mox effecta probasti--

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 385

Yet Porus was defeated by Alexander, Memnon by Achilles, and Gildo by

It was not, however, only the South that fierce Mars aroused but also
the East. Though loyalty cried out against it Gildo had transferred the
nominal rule of Libya to the Eastern empire, cloaking his base treason
under the name of legitimate government.[192] Thus with diverse terror
a twofold war arose; here were arms, there were wiles. Africa supported
the one with her savage tribes, the other the conspiring East nurtured
with treachery. From Byzantium came edicts to subvert the loyalty of
governors; from Africa that refused her crops black famine pressed and
had beleaguered trembling Rome. Libya openly meditated our destruction;
over the civic strife shame had laid her veil of silence.

Though such storms raged on either hand, though the twofold tempest
buffeted the torn empire on this side and on that, no whit did our
consul’s courage yield to weariness, but ever watchful against
threatening doom and soon to win prosperous issue, shone greater amid
dangers: as the ship’s pilot, tossed in mid Aegean by the storms of
rainy Orion, eludes the waves’ buffeting by the least turn of the
tiller, skilfully guiding his vessel now on straight, now on slanting
course, and struggles successfully against the conjoint fury of sea and

At what, Stilicho, shall I first marvel? At the providence that
resisted all intrigues, whereby no treacherous missive, no
bribe-fraught hand escaped thy notice? Or because that amid the general
terror thou spakest no word unworthy of Latium? Or because thou didst
ever give haughty answer to the East and later made that answer

    [192] Africa belonged to the West. Gildo, in the words of Zosimus
    (v. 11. 2), ἀφίστησι τήν χῶραν τῆς Ὁνωρίου βασιλείας καὶ τῇ
    Ἀρκαδίου προστίθησιν.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 386

    securus, quamvis et opes et rura tenerent
    insignesque domos? levis haec iactura; nec umquam
    publica privatae cesserunt commoda causae.
    dividis ingentes curas teque omnibus unum                          300
    obicis, inveniens animo quae mente gerenda,
    efficiens patranda manu, dictare paratus
    quae scriptis peragenda forent. quae brachia centum,
    quis Briareus aliis numero crescente lacertis
    tot simul obiectis posset confligere rebus:                        305
    evitare dolos; veteres firmare cohortes,
    explorare novas; duplices disponere classes,
    quae fruges aut bella ferant; aulaeque tumultum
    et Romae lenire famem? quot nube soporis
    inmunes oculi per tot discurrere partes,                           310
    tot loca sufficerent et tam longinqua tueri?
    Argum fama canit centeno lumine cinctum
    corporis excubiis unam servasse iuvencam!
      Unde tot adlatae segetes? quae silva carinas
    texuit? unde rudis tanto tirone iuventus                           315
    emicuit senioque iterum vernante resumpsit
    Gallia bis fractas Alpino vulnere vires?
    non ego dilectu, Tyrii sed vomere Cadmi
    tam subitas acies concepto dente draconis
    exiluisse reor: Dircaeis qualis in arvis                           320
    messis cum proprio mox bellatura colono
    cognatos strinxit gladios, cum semine iacto
    terrigenae galea matrem nascente ferirent

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 387

good? They held thy goods, thy lands, thy houses, yet wast thou
unmoved. This thou didst account a trifling loss nor ever preferred
private to public interest. Thy mighty task thou dost parcel out, yet
dost thou face it all alone, debating the problems that must needs be
thought out, acting where deeds are called for, ever ready to dictate
where aught is to be accomplished by writing. What hundred-handed
monster, what Briareus, whose arms ever grew more numerous as they
were lopped off, could cope with all these things at once? To avoid
the snares of treachery, to strengthen existing regiments and enroll
new ones, to equip two fleets, one of corn-ships, one of men-of-war,
to quell the tumult of the court and alleviate the hunger of the Roman
populace--what eyes, never visited by the veil of sleep, have had the
strength to turn their gaze in so many directions and over so many
lands or to pierce so far? Fame tells how Argus girt with a hundred
eyes could guard but one heifer with his body’s watch.

Whence comes this mass of corn? What forest fashioned all those
vessels? Whence has sprung this untutored army with all its young
recruits? Whence has Gaul, its age once more at the spring, won back
the strength that Alpine blows twice shattered[193]? Methinks ’tis no
levy but the ploughshare of the Phoenician Cadmus that has raised up
thus suddenly a host sprung from the sowing of the dragon’s teeth;
’tis like the crop that in the fields of Thebes drew the sword of kin
in threatened battle with its own sower when, the seed once sown, the
earth-born giants clave the earth, their mother’s womb, with their
springing helms and a harvest of

    [193] In the wars against, respectively, Eugenius and the Goths.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 388

    armifer et viridi floreret milite sulcus.
    hoc quoque non parva fas est cum laude relinqui,                   325
    quod non ante fretis exercitus adstitit ultor,
    ordine quam prisco censeret bella senatus.
    neglectum Stilicho per tot iam saecula morem
    rettulit, ut ducibus mandarent proelia patres
    decretoque togae felix legionibus iret                             330
    tessera. Romuleas leges rediisse fatemur,
    cum procerum iussis famulantia cernimus arma.
      Tyrrhenum poteras cunctis transmittere signis
    et ratibus Syrtes, Libyam complere maniplis;
    consilio stetit ira minor, ne territus ille                        335
    te duce suspecto Martis graviore paratu
    aut in harenosos aestus zonamque rubentem
    tenderet aut solis fugiens transiret in ortus
    missurusve sibi certae solacia mortis
    oppida dirueret flammis. res mira relatu:                          340
    ne timeare times et, quem vindicta manebat,
    desperare vetas. quantum fiducia nobis
    profuit! hostilis salvae Carthaginis arces;
    inlaesis Tyrii gaudent cultoribus agri,
    quos potuit vastare fuga. spe captus inani                         345
    nec se subripuit poenae nostrisque pepercit:
    demens, qui numero tantum, non robore mensus
    Romanos rapidis ibat ceu protinus omnes
    calcaturus equis et, quod iactare solebat,
    solibus effetos mersurus pulvere Gallos.                           350

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 389

young soldiery burgeoned along the armèd furrows. This too must not be
passed over without full meed of praise, that the avenging expedition
did not embark until the senate had, in accordance with antique usage,
declared war. Stilicho re-established this custom, neglected for so
many ages, that the Fathers should give generals charge to fight, and
by decree of the toga-clad Senate the battle-token pass auspiciously
among the legions. We acknowledge that the laws of Romulus have now
returned when we see arms obedient to our ministers.

Thou couldst have filled the Tyrrhene sea with all thy standards, the
Syrtes with thy fleet and Libya with thy battalions, but wrath was
stayed o’ercome by prudent fear lest Gildo, terrified at the thought
that thou wast in arms against him and suspecting that thy forces
were of overwhelming strength, might retire into the hot desert and
the torrid zone, or travel east in flight or, to console him for the
certainty of death, might destroy his cities with fire. Marvellous
it is to tell: thou wast fearful of being feared and forbade him to
despair whom thy vengeance awaited. How greatly was his confidence
our gain! Safe are the towers of hostile Carthage, and the Phoenician
fields rejoice in their unharmed husbandmen, fields he might have laid
waste in his flight. Deluded by a vain hope he spared what was ours
without escaping chastisement for himself. Madman, to measure Rome
by the numbers instead of the valour of her soldiers! He advanced as
though he would ride them all down by means of his fleet cavalry and,
as he often boasted, would overwhelm in the dust the Gauls enervated by
the sun’s heat. But he soon learned that neither wounds

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 390

    Sed didicit non Aethiopum geminata venenis
    vulnera, non fusum crebris hastilibus imbrem,
    non equitum nimbos Latiis obsistere pilis.
    sternitur ignavus Nasamon, nec spicula supplex
    iam torquet Garamas; repetunt deserta fugaces                      355
    Autololes; pavidus proiecit missile Mazax.
    cornipedem Maurus nequiquam hortatur anhelum;
    praedonem lembo profugum ventisque repulsum
    suscepit merito fatalis Tabraca portu
    expertum quod nulla tuis elementa paterent                         360
    hostibus, et laetae passurum iurgia plebis
    fracturumque reos humili sub iudice vultus.
      Nil tribuat Fortuna sibi. sit prospera semper
    illa quidem; sed non uni certamina pugnae
    credidimus totis nec constitit alea castris                        365
    nutatura semel; si quid licuisset iniquis
    casibus, instabant aliae post terga biremes;
    venturus dux maior erat.
                                Victoria nulla
    clarior aut hominum votis optatior umquam
    contigit. an quisquam Tigranen armaque Ponti                       370
    vel Pyrrhum Antiochique fugam vel vincla Iugurthae
    conferat aut Persen debellatumque Philippum?
    hi propagandi ruerant pro limite regni;
    hic stabat Romana salus. ibi tempora tuto
    traxerunt dilata moras; hic vincere tarde                          375
    vinci paene fuit. discrimine Roma supremo
    inter supplicium populi deforme pependit;
    et tantum Libyam fructu maiore recepit
    quam peperit, quantum graviorem amissa dolorem
    quam necdum quaesita movent. quis Punica gesta,

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 391

made more deadly by the poisoned arrow of Ethiopia nor thick hail
of javelins nor clouds of horsemen can withstand Latin spears. The
cowardly Nasamonian troops are scattered, the Garamantian hurls not
his spears but begs for mercy, the swift-footed Autololes fly to the
desert, the terror-stricken Mazacian flings away his arms, in vain the
Moor urges on his flagging steed. The brigand flees in a small boat
and driven back by the winds met with his just fate in the harbour of
Tabraca, discovering that no element offered refuge, Stilicho, to thine
enemies. There he was destined to undergo the insults of the overjoyed
populace and to bow his guilty head before a lowly judgement-seat.

Let not Fortune claim aught for herself. Let her be ever favourable;
but we trusted not the issue to a single fight, nor was the hazard set
with all our force to be lost at a single throw. Had hard chance at all
prevailed, a second fleet pressed on behind, a greater leader was yet
to come.

Never was a more famous victory nor one that was the object of more
heart-felt prayers. Will anyone compare with this the defeat of
Tigranes, of the king of Pontus, the flight of Pyrrhus or Antiochus,
the capture of Jugurtha, the overthrow of Perses or Philip? Their fall
meant but the enlargement of the empire’s bounds; on Gildo’s depended
the very existence of Rome. In those cases delay entailed no ill; in
this a late-won victory was all but a defeat. On this supreme issue,
while leanness racked her people, hung the fate of Rome; and to win
back Libya was a greater gain than its first conquest, even as to lose
a possession stirs a heavier pain than never to have had it. Who would

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 392

    quis vos, Scipiadae, quis te iam, Regule, nosset,                  380
    quis lentum caneret Fabium, si iure perempto
    insultaret atrox famula Carthagine Maurus?
    haec omnes veterum revocavit adorea lauros;
    restituit Stilicho cunctos tibi, Roma, triumphos.                  385

       *       *       *       *       *

                              Page 393

now be telling of the Punic wars, of you, ye Scipios, or of thee,
Regulus; who would sing of cautious Fabius, if, destroying right, the
fierce Moor were trampling on an enslaved Carthage? This victory, Rome,
has revived the laurels of thy heroes of old; Stilicho has restored to
thee all thy triumphs.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Printed in Great Britain by R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, Edinburgh_

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