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Full text of "Ausonius, with an English translation"

?f r 

THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

EDITED BY 
CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. T. E. PAGE, Lirr.D. W. H.'D. ROUSE, Lirr.D. 



AUSONIUS 

I 



AUSONIUS 

tW^ksJ 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY 

HUGH G. EVELYN WHITE, M.A. 

SOMETIME SCHOLAR OF WADHAM COLLEGE, OXFORD 



IN TWO VOLUMES 

I 





LONDON : WILLIAM HEINEMANN 
NEW YORK : G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 

MC11XIX 



PR 

UZl 



CONTENTS 



A CARGO OF WINE ON THE MOSELLE Frontispiece 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION vii 

BOOK I. PREFATORY PIECES 3 

BOOK II. THE DAILY ROUND OR THE DOINGS OF A 

WHOLE DAY 13 

BOOK III. PERSONAL POEMS 33 

BOOK IV. PARF.NTALIA 57 

BOOK V. POEMS COMMEMORATING THE PROFESSORS OF 

BORDEAUX 97 

BOOK VI. EPITAPHS ON THE HEROES WHO TOOK PART 

IN THE TROJAN WAR 141 

BOOK VII. THE ECLOGUES 163 

BOOK VIII. CUPID CRUCIFIED 207 

BOOK IX. BISSULA 217 

BOOK X. THE MOSELLE ' 225 

BOOK XI. THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 269 

BOOK XII. THE TECHNOPAEGNION 287 

BOOK XIII. THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES ... 311 

BOOK XIV. AUSONIUS ON THE TWELVE CAESARS WHOSE 

LIVES WERE WRITTEN BY SUETONIUS TRANQUILLUS 331 

BOOK XV. CONCLUSION OF THE BOOK OF ANNALS . . 349 

BOOK XVI. A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE . . . 353 

BOOK XVII. A NUPTIAL CENTO 371 

APPENDIX 395 



INTRODUCTION 

THE works of Ausonius were held in high esteem 
by the poet's contemporaries : Symmachus protests 
that he classes the Mosella as equal with the poems 
of Virgil, and Paulinus of Nola has grave doubts as 
to whether " Tully and Maro " could have borne one 
yoke with his old master. Extravagant as such judg- 
ments may be, 1 they have their value as indicating 
wherein (from the modern point of view) the import- 
ance of Ausonius really lies. As poetry, in any high 
or imaginative sense of the word, the great mass of 
his verse is negligible ; but the fact that in the later 
fourth century men of letters and of affairs thought 
otherwise, establishes it as an example and criterion 
of the literary culture of that age. The poems of 
Ausonius are in fact a series of documents from which 
we may gather in what poetry was then assumed to 
consist, w r hat were the conditions which determined 
its character, and the models which influenced it. 

In a definite sense, therefore, the chief value of 
the works of Ausonius is historical ; but not for the 
history of intellectual culture alone. The poet does 
not, indeed, throw light on the economic fabric of 

. * cp. Gibbon's epigram "The poetical fame of Ausonius 
condemns the taste of his age" (Decline and Fall, ed. 
Bury, in. p. 134 note 1). 

vii 



INTRODUCTION 

society and conditions of life in his day ; but he re- 
veals to us certain sides of social life which are at 
least curious as in the picture which he draws of the 
typical agent who "managed" the estates of the 
Roman landowner of his day (Epist. xxvi.), or when 
he shows what manner of folk were the middle-class 
.^people, officials, doctors,, professors and their woman- 
kind, amongst whom so large a part of his life was 
spent. 

Both these aspects of Ausonius' work, the literary 
and the social, are explained by the facts of his life. 

LIFE OF AUSONIUS 

Decimus Magnus Ausonius was born about 310 A. D. 
His father, Julius Ausonius, a native of Bazas and 
the scion apparently of a race of yeomen (Do- 
mestica i. 2, Grat. Act. viii.), is introduced to us as a 
physician of remarkable skill and discreet character 
who had settled at Bordeaux, where he practised and 
where his son was born. Aemilia Aeonia, the mother 
of the future consul, was of mixed Aeduan and 
Aquitanian descent, the daughter of one Caecilius 
Argicius Arborius, who had fled to Dax in the an- 
archic days of Victorinus and the Tctrici and had 
married a native of that place. Whatever the reason, 
her son speaks of her in the coolest and most unim- 
passioned terms as if possessing no other virtues than 
conjugal fidelity and industry in wool- working (Parent. 
ii.). Though she seems to have lived until about 

viii 



INTRODUCTION 

353 A.D., the upbringing of her son devolved upon 
various female connections of the family, notably upon 
Aemilia Corinthia Maura, of whose strict discipline 
the poet seems to have retained painful recollections 
(Parent, v. 7-8). 

The boy's education was begun at Bordeaux ; and 
amongst his early instructors in "grammar" (Greek 
and Latin language and literature) he mentions 
Macrinus, Sucuro, and Concordius, who taught him 
Latin (Pi off. x. 11), and Romulus and Corinthius who 
were hard put to it to overcome his dislike for Greek 
(Prof. viii. 10 if.). About 320 A.D. he was transferred 
to the care of his maternal uncle, Aemilius Magnus 
Arborius, then professor at Toulouse, where the lad 
resided until his relative was summoned (c. 328 A.D.) 
to Constantinople, to become tutor to one of the sons 
of Constantine. Ausonius then returned to Bordeaux 
and continued his studies in rhetoric under Miner- 
vius Alcimus and perhaps Delphidius, the ill-starred 
son of the ex-priest of Bellenus and a descendant of 
the old Druids (Prof. i.,ii.,v.). 

Ausonius started on his own professional career 
about 334 A.D. as grammaticus at the University of 
Bordeaux (Praef. i. 20), and about the same time 
wedded Attusia Lucana Sabina, daughter of a leading 
citizen. By this marriage he had three children, 
Ausonius who died in infancy, Hesperius, and a 
daughter whose name is not mentioned. In due time 
he was promoted to a professorship in rhetoric, and 
though he practised for a while in the courts, his real 

ix 



INTRODUCTION 

bent was towards teaching (Praef. i. 17). One event 
only, so far as we know, disturbed the monotonous 
but not wholly restful (cp. Epist. xxii. 77 ff.) course of 
his professional life the death (c. 343 A.D.) of his 
wife, who had inspired the best of his shorter poems 
(Epigram xl.). How sorely he felt this loss is shown 
by the real though somewhat egotistical feeling with 
which he wrote of her more than thirty years later 
(Parent, ix.) ; and his words gain weight from the 
fact that he never married again. 

It was in 364 A.D., or thereabouts, after thirty years 
of class teaching, that Ausonius was summoned to 
the " golden palace " to become tutor to the youthful 
Gratian (Praef. i. 24 ff.) ; and the next ten years 
were spent in guiding the prince through the ortho- 
dox courses of "grammar" and "rhetoric." On one 
occasion at least the monotony of such a life was 
relieved for both tutor and pupil by a change to more 
stirring scenes. For Ausonius and Gratian both ac- 
companied Valentinian I. on the expedition of 368-9 
A.D. against the Germans, when the former was com- 
missioned to celebrate the more spectacular results of 
the campaign (Epigr. xxviii., xxxi.). The preface to 
the Griphus gives us a glimpse of the professor on 
active service, and the Bissula adds a singular detail 
to the same episode. 

In 370 A.D. the title of comes was conferred upon him, 
and five years later he took the first step in his official 
career, becoming quaestor sacri palatii. When at the 
end of 375 A.D. his pupil Gratian ascended the throne, 



INTRODUCTION 

his advancement became rapid and his influence very 
marked. His hand, for instance, has been traced in 
the legislation of this period (see Cod. Theod. xiii. 3. 
11, xv. 1. 19 and cp. Seeck, Symmachus, p. Ixxix.). 
In his rise the soaring professor drew a train of rela- 
tives after him. His father, then nearly 90 years of 
age, was granted the honorary rank of prefect of 
Illyricum in 375 A.D. (Dew. iv. 52) ; his son Hesperius 
was proconsul of Africa in 376 A.D. and praefectus 
praetorio of Italy, Illyricum and Africa in 377-380 ; 
his son-in-law, Thalassius, succeeded Hesperius in the 
proconsulship of Africa ; while a nephew, Aemilius 
Magnus Arborius, was appointed comes rerum privat- 
arum in 379 A.D. and promoted praefectus urbi in the 
year following. Ausonius himself was raised to the 
splendid post of praefectus Galliarum in 378, the office 
being united by special arrangement with the pre- 
fecture of Hesperius to enable father and son to share 
between them the toils and rewards of both posts. 
But the crowning honour was reserved for 379 A.D., 
when the ex-professor attained the consulship an 
absorbing theme discussed from all its bearings in the 
Gratiarum Actio. At the close of 379 A.D. Ausonius 
retired to Bordeaux (Domestica i. : title), no doubt to 
take possession of the ancestral estate which had 
come to him on the death of his father in 378 A.D. 

But in 383 the mainspring of the family fortunes 
was rudely broken. The army in Britain revolted 
with Maximus at its head : Treves was occupied, 
Gratian slain at Lyons, Valentinian II. driven out of 



INTRODUCTION 

Italy, and the usurper was master of the Western 
Empire. The prospects of the favourites of the old 
regime were definitely at an end. What Ausonius 
did during the domination of Maximus is unknown. 
From the explanatory note prefixed to Epist. xx. we 
learn that when the storm burst he was at Treves 
(he had no doubt returned to the court there) and it 
is possible that his continued stay in the city was in 
fact a detention at the order of Maximus. But if this 
is so, it is likely that he was soon permitted to return 
to his native Bordeaux. 

When at length Theodosius overthrew Maximus 
(388 A.D.) Ausonius may indeed have visited the court 
(cp. Praef. iii.), but was too old for public life. 
Henceforth his days were spent in his native pro- 
vince, where he lived chiefly on his own estates, 
paying occasional visits, which he disliked or affected 
to dislike, to Bordeaux (DomesL i. 29 ff., Epist. vi. 
17 ff.). Here he passed his time in enjoyment of the 
sights and sounds of the country (Epist. xxvii. 90 ff.), 
in dallying with literary pursuits, and in the company 
of friends similarly disposed. 

The date of his death is not definitely known, but 
may be presumed to have occurred at the close of 393 
or in 394, since nothing from his hand can be as- 
signed to a later year. He was then over eighty 
years of age. 

In connection, however, with his life something 
must be said on his attitude towards Christianity. 

xii 



INTRODUCTION 

When and how he adopted the new religion there is 
nothing to show ; but certain of his poems make it 
clear that he professed and called himself a Christian, 
and such poems as the Oratio (Ephemeris iii.) and 
Domestica ii., which show a fairly extensive know- 
ledge of the Scriptures,, sometimes mislead the 
unwary to assume that Ausonius was a devout and 
pious soul. But in these poems he is deliber- 
ately airing his Christianity : he has, so to speak, 
dressed himself for church. His everyday attitude 
was clearly very different. When Paulinus began 
to conform his life to what he believed to be the 
demands of Christianity, Ausonius is totally unable 
to understand his friend's attitude and can only 
believe that he is crazed. A devout and pious 
Christian might have combated the course chosen 
by Paulinus, but he would certainly have sym- 
pathised with the principle which dictated it. Nor 
does Christianity enter directly or indirectly into the 
general body of his literary work (as distinguished 
from the few "set pieces"). In the Parentalia there 
is no trace of Christian sentiment and this though he 
is writing of his nearest and dearest : the rite which 
gives a title to the book is pagan, the dead " rejoice 
to. hear their names pronounced " (Parent. Pref. 11), 
they are in Elysium (id. iii. 23) or in Erebus (id. xxvii. 
4) or amongst the Manes (id. xviii. 12) according to 
pagan orthodoxy ; but in his own mind Ausonius 
certainly regards a future existence as problematical 
(Parent, xxii. 15 and especially Proff. i. 39 ff.). 

xiii 
b 



INTRODUCTION 

Further, the conception of the Deity held by 
Ausonius was distinctly peculiar as his less guarded 
references show. In the Easter Verses (Domext. ii. 24 ff.) 
the Trinity is a power transcending but not unlike 
the three Emperors; and in the Griphus (1. 88) the 
" tris deus unus " is advanced to enforce the maxim 
" ter bibe " in exactly the same tone as that in which 
the children of Rhea, or the three Gorgons are 
cited : for our author the Christian Deity was not 
essentially different from the old pagan gods. 

There is a marked contrast,, therefore, between 
Ausonius' formal professions and his actual beliefs. 
This is not to accuse him of hypocrisy. Conventional 
by nature, he accepted Christianity as the established 
religion,, becoming a half-believer in his casual 
creed : it is not in the least likely that he ever set 
himself to realize either Christianity or Paganism. 

THE LiTEiiAKY WORK OF AUSONIUS 

The adult life of Ausonius may be divided into 
three periods: the first, extending from c. 334 to 364 
A.D., covers the thirty years of professorial work at 
Bordeaux ; the second (c. 364-383) includes the 
years spent first as Gratian's tutor and then as his 
minister ; while the last ten years of his life con- 
stitute the third. His circumstances during each of 
these periods necessarily affected his literary work^ 
which may therefore be correspondingly divided. 

The rirxl Period. The first period in the career 



INTRODUCTION 

of Ausonius is a long one, yet the output, so far as 
it can be identified,, is small in the extreme ; and 
since Ausonius was by no means the man to suppress 
anything which he had once written, we may believe 
that his professional duties left him little or no 
leisure for writing. Some of his extant work, how- 
ever, can be identified as belonging to this period. 
Possibly his earliest work (since he seems to have 
married c. 334 A.D.) is the letter written to his father 
On the Acknowledgment of 1m Son (Epist. xix.) a 
copy of forty elegiacs, very correct but very obvious 
and conventional in sentiment. To the first eight 
years of this period we must also assign the epigrams 
relating to his wife (Epigr. xxxix., xl., liii.-lv.), and 
those on certain "lascivae nomina famae " (Epigr. 
xxxviii. and Ixv.), which seem to have caused Sabina 
some misgiving. It is also probable that a consider- 
able number of the remaining epigrams especially 
those dealing with academic persons or topics (e.g. 
Epigr. vi.-xiii., lx., Ixi.) were composed during this 
period ; and it is at least a possible conjecture that 
some of the mnemonic verses on the Roman 
Calendar, the Greek Games, etc. (Eel. ix.-xxvii.), were 
written by Ausonius when grammaticus to assist his 
pupils at Bordeaux, 1 though worked up for formal 
publication at a much later date. 

The Second Period. The years spent at the impe- 
rial court were more prolific. The Easter Verses, an 

1 Compare the mnemonics of some modern Latin Gram- 
mars. 



b '2 



INTRODUCTION 

imperial commission, were written in or after 368 A.D. 
(Domestica ii. 25), and were followed by three of 
Ausonius' most characteristic works, the Griphus, the 
Cento NuptialiS) and the Bittula. 

The first of these, composed in 368 A.n. 1 while the 
poet was with the expedition against the Alamanni, 
celebrates the universality of the mystic number 
Three. Though so trivial a theme is no subject 
for poetry at all, it must be admitted that Ausonius 
here shows at his best as an ingenious versifier : 
partly by the immense range and skilful selection 
of his examples, partly by variety of rhythm, and 
partly by judicious use of assonance, the author 
succeeds in evading monotony and this though 
ninety hexameters are devoted to so unpromising a 
topic. 

The Cento Xuptialis was likewise compiled when 
Ausonius was on active service ; 2 but neither that 
"military licence" of which he speaks elsewhere as 
permissible at such a period, nor the plea that he 
wrote at the direction of the Emperor, can excuse 
the publication of this work at a much later date. 
As its title implies, it is a description of a wedding 
festival made up of tags, whose length is determined 
by^certain fixed rules, from the works of Virgil. In 
the nature of the case, the result is shambling and 

1 It was dedicated to Symmachus and published some 
years later, but before 383 A.D. 

2 If the words " sub imperatore meo turn merui" at the 
close of the preface are to be taken as no doubt they are 
in their strict military sense. 

xvi 



INTRODUCTION 

awkward as to sense, and disgraced by the crude and 
brutal coarseness of its closing episode. Neither the 
thorough knowledge of Virgil's text, nor the per- 
verse ingenuity displayed in the compilation can 
redeem this literary outrage. 

In the third work of this group, the Bissula, Ati- 
sonius sung the praises of a young German girl of 
that name, who had been assigned to him as his share 
in the spoils of the Alamannic War. Of the series 
of short poems or epigrams, which once constituted 
the work, only a brief preface addressed to Paulus, 
another to the reader, and the three opening poems 
have (perhaps fortunately : cp. Biss. u. 3 ff.) sur- 
vived. Since the heroine is represented as already 
thoroughly Romanized, the composition cannot well 
be earlier than c. 371-2 A.D. 

The poet's most ambitious and certainly his best 
work, the Mosella, is also loosely connected with the 
German War (see Mosella 423 ff.), which probably 
occasioned the journey described at the beginning of 
the poem (11. 1-11). It was not finished before 371 
A.D., the date of the consulship of Probus and Gratian 
and of the birth of Valentmian II., both of which 
events are alluded to (Mosella 409 ff., 450). After 
sketching his route from Bingen to Neumageri, Au- 
sonius breaks into a eulogistic address to the Moselle, 
and settles to serious work with an exhaustive cata- 
logue of the fish to be found in its waters. Next he 
sings of the vine-clad hills bordering the river valley 
and the general amenities of the stream, which make 

xvii 



INTRODUCTION 






it a favourite haunt of superhuman and human beings 
alike. The aquatic sports and pastimes to be seen 
upon the river having been described, the poet dilates 
upon the stately mansions which stud the banks and 
celebrates the numerous tributaries which swell its 
waters. After a promise to devote his future leisure 
to praise of the country through which the river flows, 
Ausonius commits the Moselle to- the Rhine, closing 
his poem with an exaltation of the former above the 
streams of Gaul such as the Loire, the Aisne, and 
the Mariie. 

The years following 375 A.D. must have involved 
Ausonius in much public business, and this doubtless 
accounts for an interval of comparative barrenness. 
Except Epist. xiii., written in 377 when Ausonius 
was quaestor, and the Epicedion 1 (Domest. iv.)of 378, 
nothing noteworthy seems to have been produced 
during the busiest period of his official life. But the 
consulship of 379 A.D. brought leisure and revived the 
inspiration of the poet, who celebrates the beginning 
of his term of office with a prayer in trochaic septen- 
ariaus and another in hexameters (Domest. v., vi.) : 
both these are wholly pagan in sentiment ; but the 
elect were doubtless propitiated by a third and por- 
tentous prayer in rhopalic hexameters, written (it 
seems) during the consulship itself, which is purely 
Christian in tone. At the close of his year of office 
Ausonius rendered thanks to the Emperor in an 
elaborate oration, the Gratiarum Actio. This, the only 

1 A second and enlarged edition was prepared later, 
xviii 



INTRODUCTION 

extant specimen of Ausonius' oratory, is of the class 
which must be read to be appreciated. 

The Third Period. After the consulship,, Ausonius 
found himself free from the ties of public duties, 
and was able to devote himself wholly to his literary 
pursuits. In 379 or 380 he retired to Aquitaine to 
take possession of the estate left him by his father. 
The occasion is celebrated in a short poem On his 
Palrimony (Domest. i.). At the close of 379 A.D. he 
published the first edition of his Fa.sH, dedicated to 
his son Hesperius. Originally the main part of this 
work was a list of the kings and consuls of Rome 
from the foundation of the city down to the author's 
own consulate. The list however, is not extant, 1 and 
all that remains of this production are the short 
addresses in verse which accompanied it. A second 
edition brought up to date (and probably corrected) 
was issued in 383 A.D. with a new dedication to 
Gregorius. 

Kinship of subject makes it probable that the 
Caesares was written at about the same time as 
the Fasti. In. its first edition this book comprised 
only the Monosticha i. iv. and the Tetrasticha on the 
Emperors from Nerva to Commodus ; the second 
edition was enlarged by () a series of Tetrasticha 
on the twelve Caesars, and (6) new Tetrasticha 
bringing the list down to the times of Heliogabalus. 
Another work of about the same date is the 

1 It was apparently never included in the Opuscida. 



INTRODUCTION 

Protreptictts (Epist. xxii.), an exhortation addressed to 
the poet's grandson and namesake. 

We have seen that Ausonius returned from 
Aquitaine to Treves somewhere between 380 and 
383 A.D. It was perhaps during these years that he 
wrote the Cupid Crucified, the subject of which was 
suggested by a wall-painting at Trevejs. 

In 383 A.D. Maximus seized the Empire of the 
West, and Ausonius' pupil, Gratian, was done to 
death. The poet, as we have seen, was possibly 
detained for a while at Treves; and the revolution 
seems to have profoundly affected him. A fragment 
(Epist. xx.) written at this period clearly shows the 
gloom and foreboding which had settled upon his 
spirits, and possibly checked for a time the flow of 
his poetic vein. Nevertheless, in or after 385 A.D. a 
noteworthy group of works was completed and 
published. The first of these, indeed, the Parentalia, 
was written at intervals (e.g. iv. 31 c. 379, and 
xxiv. 5, 16 in 382 A.D.) and may have been 
actually finished in 382 ; but the preface to the 
Professores indicates that the two works were issued 
together. 1 The Parentalia is a collection of thirty 
poems, mostly in elegiacs, celebrating the memory 
of the author's deceased relatives. Whether super- 
stition or mere love of verse-making be the cause, 
even remote connections whom the poet had hardly 
or never met are duly commemorated (Parent, xxi. 

1 Unless this preface belongs to the Collected Edition 
alone. 

XX 



INTRODUCTION 

1-2) : the semi-historical interest of these poems has 
already been alluded to (pp. vii. f.). The Professores 
is a similar collection of memorial verses, though 
distinguished by greater metrical variety, and 
commemorates the public teachers of the University 
of Bordeaux. A reference to the execution of 
Euchrotia with the Priscillianist martyrs (v. 37) 
shows that the work was not finished earlier than 
385 A.D. Here again, if we except the verses on 
Nepotianus (Prof, xv.), Ausonius' verse is more 
interesting as a document for social history than 
as poetry. The Epitaphs, a series of epigrams on the 
chief heroes of the Trojan War, was finished after the 
Professores and appended to it, as the author himself 
states, owing to the similarity of the two works in 
tone. The presence of the miscellaneous epitaphs 
which follow will be explained below (p. xxxvi.). 

The Genethliacos (Epist. xxi.), a letter of con- 
gratulation to his grandson Ausonius on the occasion 
of his fifteenth birthday, maybe dated c. 387 A.D. 

At this point mention must be made of the 
Ephemeris, the date of which is by 110 means clear, 
though it has been variously fixed at r. 368 and 
c. 379-380. It is not easy to decide whether the 
poet was writing in the city (i.e. at Treves) or in the 
country (Aquitaine) : the former is suggested by 
iv. 4 ff., v. 3, the latter by viii. 42 f. Consequently 
the period to which the composition is to be 
assigned is doubtful : probably, however, it was late ; 
for the Oratio which forms part of it is but a revised 

xxi 



INTRODUCTION 

and expanded edition of an earlier and independent 
poem. The Ephemeris. when complete, described 
the daily routine of the poet's life. He wakes and 
calls his servant (unsuccessfully) in sapphics, only 
rousing the laggard by the substitution of iambics 
he demands his clothes and water for washing and 
gives orders for the chapel to be opened. After 
reciting the prayer already mentioned,, which in its 
revised form runs to eighty -five hexameters, Ausonius 
decides that he has " prayed enough " (satis prccum 
datum deo) and prepares to go out, but somehow 
failing to do so, first dispatches a servant to remind 
certain friends that they are invited to lunch, and 
then visits his kitchen to animate the cook. 
Here unfortunately a considerable portion of the 
text has been lost, and only l the concluding poem 
(imperfect) which deals with troublesome dreams is 
now extant. 

The usurper Maximus was overthrown by Theo- 
dosius in 388 A.U., arid the exultation with which 
Ausonius hails the event in the Order of Famous 
Cities (ix. 1, 5 ff.) suggests that this book was 
finished in 388 or 389. But from the opening words 
of the poem on Aquileia, " non erat iste locus " it 
may be inferred that most of the series was written 
before the end of Maximus and that the alteration was 

1 Peiper inserts in the lacuna an address to a secretary 
(Ephem. vit.) : this is at best purely conjectural, and the piece 
seems rather to have been intended to stand at the head of a 
collection of poems. 

xxii 



INTRODUCTION 

made in order to admit a reference to the avenging 
of Gratiaii. As the title partly indicates, Ausonius 
here celebrates the twenty most remarkable cities of 
the Empire in a series of descriptive notices, the 
longest and warmest of which is naturally that 
dealing with Bordeaux. 

A very characteristic but by no means attractive 
work is the Techno pacgnion, a classified list of 
(probably) all the monosyllabic nouns in the Latin 
language so contrived as to form the last syllables of 
164 hexameters. This, like the Fasti, the Caesarcs, 
the Oratio, the Epicedion and certain of the Epitaphs s 
is extant in two editions. The former of these, 
dedicated to Paulinus, must have been issued before 
389, when the estrangement between Ausonius and 
his former pupil began : the second was addressed to 
Pacatus in 390, and contains a new dedication, one 
entirely new section, xiii. (On Monosyllabic Letters), 
besides a considerable number of alterations in the 
original matter. 1 

Far more attractive than the dreary work just 
named is the Masque of the Seven Sages, again 
dedicated to Pacatus in 390 A.D. The famous Seven 
are here forced to appear upon the stage in turn to 
deliver each his wise precept and to expound its 

1 Miss Byrne (Prolegomena, p. 60) considers that the first 
edition contained only the dedication to Paulinus and the 
initial section (Ttclin. ii. and iii.) ; but surely the frequent 
alterations evidenced by the Fand Z groups of MSS., above 
all the variants Pauline and Pacate in xiii. 21, show that 
the two editions were nearly co-extensive. 

xxiii 



INTRODUCTION 

practical application. Action of any sort there is 
none (for the characters appear singly), and the 
"dramatic " form is therefore a mere screen to allow 
Ausonius to turn the wisdom of the Sages into verse. 
But the artificiality is agreeably relieved by touches 
of parody (as in 11. 131-2), or of humour (11. 201, 
213, &c.). 

Only the more salient landmarks in the literary 
history of Ausonius are here noticed, and this im- 
perfect sketch must close with some reference to 
the noteworthy correspondence between the poet 
and his former pupil Paulinus. Pontius Meropius 
Paulinus, born in 357 A.D., belonged to a noble and 
distinguished family in Aquitaine. He was educated 
at Bordeaux under Ausonius, by whose influence he 
was subsequently elected consul suffectus in 378. 
In the following year he married Therasia (the 
"Taiiaquil" of Epist. xxviii. 31, xxxi. 192). At first 
there is no trace of a shadow upon the friendship 
between Paulinus and his old tutor (see Epist. xxiii.- 
xxvi.) ; but in 389 Paulinus retired to Barcelona 
where he began to strip himself of his wealth and to 
lead a life of asceticism. Ausonius tried to combat 
this strange madness on the part of his friend, which 
he compares with Bellerophon's aberration : he 
deplores the growing estrangement of his friend, 
and rashly but not obscurely blames the influence of 
" Tanaquil " (Therasia). These appeals were conveyed 
in four letters, one of which never reached Paulinus : 
the remaining three reached their destination to- 

xxiv 



INTRODUCTION 

gether in 393 A.D. and were answered by Paulinus. 
Of this part of the correspondence two letters by 
Ausonius with the reply of Paulinus are extant 
(Epist. xxviii., xxix. and xxxi.). In 393 Ausonius 
wrote once again and received a reply conciliatory 
indeed but unyielding from his friend (Epist. xxvii., 
xxx.). It was the death, probably, of the older man 
which prevented the subject from being further 
pursued. 

LITERARY CHARACTER OF AUSONIUS 

The influences which determined Ausonius' literary 
quality were perhaps three in number, his age in 
general and social surroundings in particular, his 
education and profession, and his racial stock. 

Whatever the salient characteristics of the fourth 
century may be, intellectual freshness, imagination 
and a broad human outlook are not amongst them. 
The old literary forms and methods were outworn, 
and there was no spiritual force to reanimate or to 
reshape them. The accessible realms of the intellect 
had been delimited, mapped out, and explored as 
definitely as the Roman Empire itself; and outside 
(it was now tacitly assumed) was nothing but chaos, 
just as beyond the political and military frontiers of 
the state lay nothing but barbarism. In such an 
age was Ausonius born. His family surroundings 
were not such as to exert a compensating influence, 
as the family portraits sketched in the Pa rent alia 
unmistakably show : the men and women whom he 

XXV 



INTRODUCTION 

depicts are indeed excellent social units, examples 
of domestic and civic virtue, but 110 less surely 
conventional and unimaginative. With such sur- 
roundings, it may be said, Ausonius was not more 
heavily handicapped than Shakespeare probably was ; 
but the age of Ausonius w r as emphatically not Eliza- 
bethan, and in himself he was far from being a 
prodigy : he could not but conform to the mould 
of his early circumstances. 

The conventional type which he inherited and 
which his upbringing reimpressed, was stamped yet 
deeper by the educational system of his day. In 
this the masterpieces of ancient literature were made 
subordinate to the demands of rhetoric and studied 
not so much for the sake of the thoughts or ideas 
which they embodied as of the mode of expression ; 
while rhetoric itself from a vehicle for the statement 
of facts had degenerated into a mere display of verbal 
dexterity. 

The effect of these two influences, his general 
surroundings and his education, on the work of 
Ausonius is clear. From first to last his verse i^s 
barren of ideas : not a gleam of insight or of broad 
human sympathy, no passion, no revolt : his attitude 
towards life is a mechanical and complacent accept- 
ance of things as they are. To appreciate this it is 
only necessary to read Ausonius' Lament for his Father 
(Epicedion), beginning with a mechanical catalogue 
of everyday virtues and leading up to a glorification 
of the writer's own success and then to turn to 



INTRODUCTION 

Rughy Chapel. The same defects^ narrowness in out- 
look and egoism, make sterile even those poems which 
commemorate keener sorrows than a man of seventy 
might be expected to feel at the death of his father 
at the ripe age of ninety : a favourite grandson is 
accidentally killed,, and the cry is not " O the pity of 
it/' but ff .Alas, all my hopes are upset" (Parent, xi. 
13). This is common, very common, human nature, 
but it is not great poetry. And again, grief for the 
loss of his wife (Parent, ix.), deeply felt as it was and 
much as its expression may command our pity, is too 
self-centred to engage entire respect. It is in the 
verses To his Wife (Epigr. xl.) alone that an entirely 
natural and universal expression of human feeling is 
to be found ; and even here the pedant must needs 
drag in the stiff lay-figures of Nestor with his " triple 
span " and Deiphobe of Cumae to chill the atmosphere 
of brave optimism and tenderness. 

Insensible, broadly speaking, to sentiment and 
unappreciative of the human sympathy which should 
pervade true poetry, Ausonius regarded the art (in 
practice at any rate) as the rhetorical treatment of 
any subject in verse with the inevitable rider that 
the harder the subject, the better the poetry. His 
Muse, therefore, was not of Helicon but essentially 
of the schools, and from the schools he derived both 
his subjects and his mode of treatment. The names 
of the days of the week, the Roman calendar, tabloid 
histories of the Roman Emperors, a catalogue of mono- 
syllables in Latin, or of the Trojan War heroes such 



INTRODUCTION 

were the themes in which Ausonius delighted : the 
Parentalia and the Mosella, indeed, are notable 
exceptions ; but even in these the mania for versified 
lists manifests itself, here in a complete catalogue of 
the poet's relatives, there in an exact enumeration of 
the fishes to be found in the stream. 

Bat if we could admit for a moment that these and 
similar matters were legitimate objects for poetic 
treatment, we should also have to admit that Ausonius 
was a master of his craft. The skill displayed in 
working out the unpromising theme of the Gripkus 
has already been noticed, and it is exerted to the full 
in the impossible task of making palatable the 
Technopaegnion. Ausonius, indeed, brought to his 
task many qualities and accomplishments which a 
brighter genius might have envied : his acquaintance 
with the letter, if not with the spirit, of classic authors 
was intimate ; his memory was clearly of unusual 
strength, as the quotations or reminiscences occurring 
on almost every page will show ; and his rhetorical skill 
stands him in good stead in his more ambitious works, 
the Moselle and Cupid Crucified. The peroration of the 
former (11. 438-468) may indeed be singled out as a 
really impressive example of this art. To these he 
adds the half-poetical, half-rhetorical gift for epigram 
as when he writes of Tiberius (Caesares, Tetr. iii. 4) } 

quae prodit vitiis credit operta locis, 
or of Otho (id. viii. 4), 

hoc solum fecit nobile quod periit ; 



INTRODUCTION 

and the more dubious turn for various forms of asson- 
ance such as " ignoscenda . . . cognoscenda," " legenda 
. . . tegenda" (Ludus i. 1, 3 f.), "faciendo . . . pati- 
endo " (Caesares, Tetr. v. 4) ; or in " Leonine " verses 
(often emphasising an antithesis) as 

fleta prius lacrim?'.y mine memorabo modi.9 

(Parent. Pref. 2), 
or again (id. 7-S), 1 

quae Numa cognattf sollemnia dedicat umbr/.v 
ut gradus aut mortz* postulat aut genem. 

Sometimes this degenerates into actual punning, as in 
Caesares, Tetr. iv. 4, " qui superavit avum " (unless this 
is accidental), or " non est quod mireris . . . est quod 
misereris" (Techn. ii.). 

Education and long scholastic experience in- 
fluenced Ausonius in yet other directions. 

As gramniaticus he was familiar with ancient authors, 
and, bound as he was by convention, to these he 
turned for models. Catullus and Horace are his 
masters in lyric, Plautus and Terence in the pseudo- 
dramatic Ludua, Virgil and Horace again in hexa- 
meter verse, and Martial and the Greek Anthology 
in epigram. In shorter passages and phraseology his 
debt to these and to others of his predecessors is 
immense. Unhappily this dependence is not con- 
fined to matters of technique or form. The literary 
bent of Ausonius was, in one of its aspects, towards 

1 In this preface the assonance is frequently used and its 
significance is clearly funereal. 

xxix 



INTRODUCTION 

the epigram ; and he conscientiously imitates the 
masters of this form of composition in that obscenity 
of subject and grossness of expression which, as the 
younger Pliny (Epist. iv. xiv. 4 ff., v. iii. 1 ff.) informs 
us, was regarded as essential even by the greatest 
and most staid worthies. 

Rhetoric had a profound effect upon the literary 
work of Ausonius. For him a simple statement was 
an opportunity (for verbal display) missed ; and no 
feature is so characteristic of his poems as duplica- 
tions like 

set neque tu viduo longum cruciata sub aevo 
protinus optato fine secuta virum. 

(Parent, xxx. 9 f.) 

More than this, for a necessary word or two Ausonius 
loves to substitute an elaborate tour de force. Thus 
in Epist. xvi. 314 the simple complaint "you have 
not visited me for three months " is expanded into six 
elegiac couplets ; in Epist. xv. 535 the word ' ' thirty ' ' 
is transmuted into as many lines of mixed verse ; in 
Epist. xiii. 7-24 it needs eighteen verses adequately 
to say " six." In another place Ausonius complacently 
admits this tendency, and instead of telling his book 
that it is destined for Probus, observes (Epist. xii. 7 ff.) 

possem absolute dicere, 
sed dulcius circumloquar 
diuque fando perfruar, 

-and devotes the next twenty-four lines to a defini- 
tion of Probus through his attributes. 
xxx 



INTRODUCTION 

Hitherto we have been dealing with the effect of 
his age and training upon Ausonius : the third factor, 
if not so potent, is far more interesting. Ausonius 
was of Celtic blood ; and, extravagantly as Celtic 
claims are often overrated, it is possible that an 
element in his work, which is not due to his classical 
culture, should be ascribed to the genius of his race. 
This is a distinct appreciation for the beauties of 
Nature without reference to the comfort and gratifica- 
tion which they may afford to mankind. In the 
nature of the case such an element rarely finds its 
way through the crust which unimaginative surround- 
ings and a thoroughly artificial education and career 
had imposed upon the nature of Ausonius ; but the 
subject of the Mosella afforded it some outlet. The 
locus classicus is, of course, Mosella 63 ff., where the 
poet describes the dark weeds rooted in the rippled 
sands of the river bed, how they bend and sway in the 
under-current of the waters, revealing and again con- 
cealing the bright pebbles which lie amid them. 
Elsewhere, in a passage less distinctive, perhaps, but 
of a richer tone (11. 192 ff.), he dwells upon the 
beauty of the Moselle at evening when ' ' Hesperus 
drives on the lingering shadows " and the steep sides 
of the valley are mirrored in the still waters, when 
the boat gliding with the stream seems to be moving 
over the vines which clothe the hills. In the 
remainder of his work Ausonius by his choice of 
subjects, forbade himself the use of this his most 
genuine poetic quality : yet here and there, like the 

xxxi 

c 2 



INTRODUCTION 

pebbles in the Moselle, it gleams out for a moment 
and is hidden again, as in Ephem. iii. 38 f. 

puri qua lactea caeli 
semita ventosae superat vaga nubila lunae, 

or in the passage rapidly sketching his rural life near 
Bordeaux (Epist. xxvii. 93), where "nemus umbris 
mobilibus " betrays a touch of the same spirit. 

Perhaps this naturalistic gift accounts for the vivid- 
ness with which some of the personages sketched by 
Ausonius stand out. The pictures of his grandfather, 
the shy astrologer, of his grandmother, who would 
stand no nonsense, and of his aunt Cataphronia, the 
needy but generous old maid (Parent iv., v., xxvi.) 
are excellent examples ; but perhaps the best, because 
the most varied, are to be found amongst the Pro- 
fessores. There we have the brilliant but restless 
Delphidius, ruined by his own ambitions (Proff. v.) ; 
Phoebicius (id. x. 23 ff.), offspring of Druids, who, 
finding the service of the god Belenus unremu- 
nerative, became a professor ; Citarius, grammarian 
and poet, who was equal with Aristarchus and 
Zenodotus on the one hand and with Simonides of 
Ceos on the other (id. xiii.) ; Victorius (id. xxii.), the 
zealous student of antiquities, who died, unhappily, 
before he had worked his way down to such modern 
authors as Cicero and Virgil ; and Dynamius, who left 
Bordeaux under a cloud but fell on his feet in Spain 
(id. xxiii.). Unhappily Ausonius has not condescended 
to depict the peasantry (coloni) of his day ; but in 

xxxii 



INTRODUCTION 

compensation he introduces us to two rustic figures 
whom we could ill spare. The first of these is a 
squireen, Theon, who lives in Medoc in a thatched 
farm-house near the sea coast : he has a weakness 
for making verses not of the best out of tags 
filched from another bard, Clementinus. What does 
he do all day ? asks Ausonius. Is he buying up for 
a song tallow, wax, pitch and waste paper to resell 
at a thumping profit ? Or is he more heroically 
chasing robbers until they admit him to a share in 
their spoils ? Or does he spend his time in hunting 
or fishing ? This curious person sends Ausonius rustic 
presents from time to time, such as oysters ancf 
apples, and still more rustic verses ; occasionally he 
seems to have borrowed the poet's money and then 
(as Ausonius complains) to have kept well out of his 
way. The letters to Theon (Epist. xiv. xvii.) give 
us, in fact, a very good idea of the life and pursuits 
of the small " local gentry" in the remoter parts of 
Gaul. The second character is the bailiff (or, as he 
prefers to be called, the factor) 011 the estate of 
Ausonius. In personal appearance he is grey-haired, 
bristly, truculent, with plenty of assurance just such 
a one as Phormio in Terence (Epist. xxvi.). He is a 
Greek whom Juvenal would have had no difficulty 
in recognizing. Through his ignorance of agricul- 
ture the crops have turned out a failure, and he has 
the effrontery to cast the blame upon the gods and 
the poverty of the soil. But the disaster has 
restored him to his natural element. Commissioned 

xxxiii 



INTRODUCTION 

to purchase grain to relieve the famine threatening 
the poet's household, he " comes out strong as a new 
corn-dealer," traverses the whole countryside buying 
up corn and attending all the markets. So adroitly 
does he manage this congenial business, complains 
Ausonius, that "he enriches himself and beggars 
me." 

The place to be assigned to Ausonius as a poet is not 
a high one. He lacked the one essential, the power 
of penetrating below the surface of human nature ; 
indeed his verse deals rather with the products of 
man than with mankind itself. His best quality 
appreciation for natural and scenic beauty is rarely 
indulged ; and this, after all, is an accessory, not an 
essential, of poetry. In his studies of persons (such 
as the Parentalia and Professores) he gives us clever 
and sometimes striking sketches, but never portraits 
which present the inner as well as the outer man. 

TEXTUAL HISTORY 

Ausonius did not necessarily publish a poem imme- 
diately after composition. Though it is evident that 
the first edition of the Fasti must have been formally 
issued as soon as completed in 379, the prefatory 
letters introducing the Cento and the Griphus show 
that each of these works was held back for some time 
before its definitive publication. At the same time 
the second of these documents speaks of the Gripfaa 
as " secreta quidem sed vulgi lectione laceratus," 

xxxiv 



INTRODUCTION 

i.e. as being surreptitiously circulated ; and from 
the letter of Symmachus appended to the Mosella 
it appears that the poet sometimes sent copies of 
his most recent work to friends before he made it 
public property. These "advance copies" were 
issued in confidence, as the words of Symmachus, 
" libelli tui (me) arguis proditorem " (Epist. i.), imply, 
and were not published in the full sense of the term. 
It was only after he had revised a poem to his 
satisfaction that Ausonius " published " it. This was 
usually done by sending it to a friend with an epistle 
prefixed, in which the author went through the 
polite farce l of inviting the recipient to correct its 
faults and so let it live, or to suppress it altogether 
(Ludusi. 1-4, 13-18). 

Ausonius sometimes revised, supplemented, and 
reissued poems already published, usually (but not 
always) adding a new dedication. Thus the Techno- 
paegnion, originally dedicated to Paulinus, underwent 
some alterations and additions before being re- 
published with its new dedication to Pacatus ; but 
in the second edition of the Fasti the prefatory 
poem, originally addressed to Hesperius, was merely 
adapted by slight verbal alterations to suit Gregorius. 

In the prefatory note to his second edition of the 
Epicedion (JDomest. iv.) Ausonius writes : " imagini 
ipsius (sc. patris) hi versus subscript! sunt neque 

1 Ausonius, of course, \vould have been surprised and 
annoyed had any of his correspondents taken him at hi? 
word. 

xxxv 



INTRODUCTION 

minus in opusculorum meorum seriem relati. Alia 
omiiia mea displicent mihi ; hoc relegisse amo " 
clearly showing that he kept by him a collection of 
all his published or finished work. The fruits thus 
garnered were reissued in three "collected editions." 
The first of these, prefaced by a dedication to Gratian 
(Epigr. xxvi.), appeared in or just before 383 A.D. ; 
the second was drawn up c. 390 A.D. at the request 
of the Emperor Theodosius (Praefat. iii., iv.) ; and 
finally a collection, including second editions of old 
poems and works hitherto unpublished or which had 
appeared only in separate form., was issued after 
Ausonius' death by his son Hesperius or some 
intimate friend, probably in 393. x This conclusion 
may be drawn from the lemma of Epist. xx. which is 
in the third person (contrary to Ausonius' practice) 
and, after mentioning the circumstances in which the 
letter was written, states that it is " unfinished and 
copied as it stands from the rough draft " : similarly 
the lemma to the de Herediolo (Domest. i.) is in the 
third person. In both cases it is clear that Ausonius is 
not the writer, but someone (such as Hesperius) very 
intimately acquainted with the details of his life. To 
this editor the intrusion of the miscellaneous epitaphs 
(Epitaphs xxvii. xxxv.) at the end of the series on the 
Trojan War heroes may be due ; though it is possible 
that they were placed there by the author himself 
who intended to expand them into a distinct work 
standing next to the original series. 

1 According to Seeck. 
xxxvi 



INTRODUCTION 

In the fourth century, therefore, there were current 

(a) early or " advance " copies of individual works, 

(b) formally published copies of the same, possibly 
containing small improvements, (c) three " collected " 
editions of the works. What is the relation between 
these possible sources and the extant MSS. ? We 
may say at once that there is no means of determin- 
ing whether our MSS. are to any extent dependent 
upon either the "advance" copies or the published 
editions of single works ; and it is tolerably certain 
that the collected edition prepared for Theodosius is 
no longer extant and probably was never available 
to the public. It is apparently from the collected 
editions of 383 and 393 A.D. that the surviving 
MSS. are derived. These MSS. are classified in four 
groups: (1) The Z or Tilianus group, represented 
by the Codex Tilianus (Leidensis Vossianus lat. 
Q. 107). The numerous MSS. of this class all present 
the same works in the same order and contain no poem 
assignable to a date later than 383 A.D. (2) The V 
group, a single MS. of the ninth century (Leidensis 
Vossianus lat. Ill) containing for the most part the 
poet's later works and "remains" together with 
second editions of some earlier poems, and some 
material (e.g. the Gripkus and the Versus Paschales) in 
the same shape which it wears in the Z group. (3) 
The P group, represented by Parisinus 8500, contain- 
ing selections. (4) The Excerpts (so called from the 
title of the MSS.), a further series of extracts. 

The exact history of the third and fourth groups 

xxxvii 



INTRODUCTION 

cannot be traced ; but since they contain nothing in 
common they are probably to be regarded as 
complementary to one another. Further, most of 
their contents are common to V, but include nothing 
peculiar to the Z group as contrasted with V. Con- 
sequently it is probable that P and Exc. are related 
to V \ and the presence in them of some matter not 
to be found in V 9 e.g. the letter of Theodosius (Praef. 
iii.) and the Moselle, suggests that they were derived 
from a more complete representative of this collec- 
tion than the extant Leyden MS. 

If this is so, the groups may be reduced to two on 
the one side the Z MSS., and on the other V and the 
selections. Of these two main groups, Z, which opens 
with a dedication to Gratian and contains nothing 
later than 383 A.D., represents the first collected 
edition, and V, with related MSS., reproduces the 
"posthumous" edition of 393 A.D. 

Such in its broad outlines appears to be the history 
of the text. Peiper, however, has put forward a very 
different theory. All the MSS. were derived (he 
holds) from a single copy of the final collected edition, 
and this archetype was split into two parts, the former 
being the ancestor of the Z group, the latter of V 9 
which was supplemented by the remains of another 
copy (perhaps the ancestor of Z) in a very decayed 
condition. As for P and Exc., they are to be traced 
to a defective MS. akin to, but earlier than the 
ancestor of V , since it contained the Mosellu and other 
matter not preserved in that MS. 

xxxviii 



INTRODUCTION 

This theory cannot be upheld. The poems common 
to Z and V frequently differ so markedly that the 
variants cannot possibly be attributed to the fortunes 
of the MSS. The Epicedion may be cited first in 
illustration. Here Z omits the lemma, 11. 1316, 
19-26 (all found in V\ and in 1. 38 reads "gnatos 
tris numero genui " (for <f gnatos quattuor edidimus " 
of V\ omitting further 11. 39-40. 

In the Epitaphia the same phenomena occur : in 
xxxi. 1 Z reads " et odoro perlue nardo " for the 
" bene olentis et unguine nardi " of V ; and in 1. 6 Z 
has "felix seu memini sive nihil rnemini " as against 
the <e seu meminisse putes omnia, sive nihil" of V. 
And in xxxii. 1 Z gives " Lucius : uiia quid em 
geminis sed dissita punctis " for F's "una quidem, 
geminis fulget set dissita punctis." In xxxv. 5 
we find " Quis mortem accuset ? Complevit munia 
vitae " (Z) and " Quis mortem accuset ? Quis non 
accuset in ista" (J 7 ). 

An example of another kind is afforded by the 
Oratio (Ephemeris iii.). In Z this is an independent 
poem, in V it is embodied as an episode in the 
Daily Round ; and further the text shows more than 
accidental changes. In 1. 1 Z has " Omnipotent 
quern mente colo, pater unice rerum " : V, " Omnipo- 
tens, solo mentis mihi cognite cultu " ; 11. 8-16 
are found in V but not in Z ; and in 1. 84 Z reads 
"Consona quern celebrat modulato carmine plebes," 
but V, " C. q. celebrant modulati carmina David." 

So,, too, in the Faxti. The initial poem is addressed 

xxxix 



INTRODUCTION 

to Gregorius in Z and begins 1. 9 " exemplo confide 
meo"; whereas in V it is addressed to Hesperius 
and substitutes "exemplum iam patris habes." And 
of the remaining three pieces ii. is found in V only, 
iii. and iv. in Z only. 

The Technopaegnion affords yet more striking in- 
stances of variation between Z and V . The original 
dedication to Paulinus (Techn. ii.) is found in Z 
alone, the later dedication to Pacatus (Techn. i.) in 
V only : of the sections in this work that on Mono- 
syllabic Letters (Techn. xiii.) occurs in V, but not in Z, } 
while the texts of the two groups show well-marked 
differences. Thus in x. 26 Z has ' ' nota et parvorum 
cunis " which is changed in V into "nota Caledoniis 
nuribus " ; for xiv. 3 (according to V) Z reads 
" et quod noimunquam praesumit laetificum gau," 
placing this after xiv. 19; and for xiv. 5 f . (of V) Z 
has the single line " scire velim Catalepta legens 
quid significet tau." Lastly and most significantly 
(if we remember the alternative prefaces) V has 
"indulge Pacate bonus" in xiv. 21 in place of the 
" indulge Pauline bonus " of Z. These variants can 
only be due to deliberate revision 011 the part of 
the author ; in other words the matter common to 
Z and V follows one edition in the former group, 
and another in the latter. Peiper's theory of a single 
archetype consequently collapses. 

It has been necessary to dwell on this matter at 
some length for the following reason. Owing 
primarily to an error of judgment on the part of the 

xl 



INTRODUCTION 

translator, and subsequently to the difficulty O A 
introducing a radically new system in a series of this 
nature, the text of the present edition is Peiper's 
(Teubner, Leipzig, 1886), in which (1) the two 
distinct collections were thrown into one and the 
resultant mass rearranged according to the Editor's 
notion of what was plausible ; (2) the two recensions 
of individual works were fused together confound- 
ing the two series. As a result Aifsonius' literary 
methods are somewhat obscured ; but the fact that 
the order of the "opuscula" is without significance, 
makes this disadvantage less serious. 

THE MANUSCRIPTS 

The MSS. cited at the foot of the text are as 
follows (the symbols being substituted for the 
confusing system adopted by Peiper) : 

Z = Tilianus and its fellows. 

T = Tilianus (Leidensis Voss. lat. Q. 107). 

/ = Leidensis Voss. lat. 111. 



B = Bruxellensis 5369/73. 

C Cantabrigiensis Kk. v. 34. 

G = St. Gall 899 

L = Laurentianus 51, 13. 

M = Maglibecchianus i. 6, 29. 

P 1 = Parisinus 8500. 

P 2 = Parisinus 7558. 

P 8 = Parisinus 4887. 

R = Rheiiaugiensis (Turicensis) 62. 

xli 



INTRODUCTION 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 

(1) Early Printed Editions, 

Bartholomaeus Girardinus, Venice, 1472 (edilio 

princepi). 
Julius Aemilius Ferrarius, Milan 1490 (reprinted 

at Venice 1494 and reissued by Avantiiis 

at Venice in 1496). 
Thaddaeus Ugoletus, Parma,, 1499 ; Venice, 

1501. 

Hieronymus Avantius, Venice, 1507. 
lodocus Ascensius, Paris, 1511, 1513, 1517. 
Richard Croke, Leipzig, 1515. 
Richard Croke, Florence, 1517 (Juntine Edition). 
H. Avantius, Venice, 1517 (Aldine Edition). 
Nicolaus Borbonius, Lyons, 1549. 
Stephanus Charpinusj L 
R. Constantinus 

Joseph Scaliger, Lyons, 1574-5. 
E. Vinetus, Bordeaux, 1580. 

(2) Late?' Editions. 

J. Toll, Amsterdam, 1669. 

f e> 7 ), Paris, 1730. 
SouchayJ 

Karl Schenkl, Berlin, 1883 (Mon Germ. Hist., 

Auctores Antiquissimi., V. ii.). 
Rudolf Peiper, Leipzig, 1880 (Teubner Series). 
xlii 



INTRODUCTION 

(3) Translations. 

There appears to be no English translation of 

Ausonius. A French version is by 
Etienne Francois Corpet, Paris, 1842, and 1887. 

(4) General. 

F. Marx, s.v. Ausonius in Pauly-Wissowa, Real- 

Encyclopddie, ii. cols. 2562-2580. 
Teuffel and Schwabe, Hist, of Rom. Lit. (trans. 

Warr) ii. 421. 
Samuel Dill, Roman Society in the Last Century of 

the Western Empire, ch. v. and passim. 
T. R. Glover, Life and Letters in the Fourth 

Century, pp. 102 ff. 

J. E. Sandys, Hist, of Class. Scholarship ,i. 221 ff. 
Marie Jose Byrne, Prolegomena to an Edition 

of the Works of Ausonius, New York, 1916. 

For further information on the considerable 
literature relating to Ausonius, see the very full 
Bibliography given by the last-named writer (op. cit. 
pp. 91 ff.). 



xliii 



AUSONIUS 

OPUSCULA 



VOL. I. 



D. MAGNI AUSONII 

OPUSCULA 

LIBER I 
[PRAEFATIUNCULAE] 1 

I. AUSONIUS LECTORI SALUTEM 

AUSONIUS genitor nobis, ego nomine eodem : 

qui sim, qua secta, stirpe, lare et patria, 
adscripsi, ut nosses, bone vir, quicumque fuisses, 

et notum memori me coleres animo. 
Vasates patria est patri, gens Haedua matri 5 

de patre, Tarbellis set genetrix ab Aquis, 
ipse ego Burdigalae genitus : divisa per urbes 

quattuor antiquas stirpis origo meae. 
hinc late fusa est cognatio ; nomina multis 

ex nostra, ut placitum, ducta domo veniant : 10 
derivata aliis, nobis ab stemmate primo 

et non cognati, sed genetiva, placent. 
set redeo ad seriem. genitor studuit medicinae, 

disciplinarum quae dedit tma deum. 

1 Omitted in the MSS. 



AUSONIUS 
BOOK 1 

PREFATORY PIECES 

I. AUSONIUS TO HIS READER, GREETING 

MY father was Ausonius, and I bear the same 
name. Who I am, and what is my rank, my family, 
my home, and my native land, I have written here, 
that you might know me, good Sir, whoever you 
may have been, and when you know me, might 
honour me with a place in your memory. Bazas l 
was my father's native place ; my mother was ot 
Aeduan 2 race on her father's side, though her 
mother came from Aquae Tarbellae; 3 while I my- 
self was born at Bordeaux : four ancient cities con- 
tribute to the origin of my family. Thus my 
connexions are widely spread : many, if so they 
please, may adopt names which are derived from my 
house. Others like names brought in from out- 
side ; I like such as are taken from the main line 
and are not names of connexions, but proper to 
the family. But I return to my main theme. My 
father practised medicine the only one of all the 
arts which produced a god ; 4 I gave myself up 

1 In Aquitania. 2 The capital of the Aedui was at Autun. 
3 Dax, in the Dep. des Landes. 4 sc. Aesculapius. 

3 
B 2 



AUSONIUS 

nos ad grammaticen studium convertimus et mox 15 

rhetorices etiam, quod satis, attigimus. 
nee fora non celebrata mihi, set cura docendi 

cultior, et nomen grammatici merui 
non tarn grande quidem, quo gloria nostra subiret 

Aemilium aut Scaurum Berytiumve Probum, 20 
sed quo nostrates, Aquitanica nomina, multos 

conlatus, set non subditus, adspicerem. 
Exactisque dehinc per trina decennia fastis 

deserui doctor municipalem operam, 
aurea et Augusti palatia iussus adire 25 

Augustam subolem grammaticus docui, 
mox etiam rhetor, nee enim fiducia nobis 

vaiia aut non solidi gloria iudicii. 
cedo tamen fuerint fama potiore magistri, 

dum nulli fuerit discipulus melior. 30 

Alcides Atlantis et Aeacides Chironis, 

paene love iste satus, films ille lovis, 
Thessaliam Thebasque suos habuere penates : 

at meus hie toto regnat in orbe suo. 
cuius ego conies et quaestor et, culmeri honorum, 35 

praefectus Gallis et Libyae et Latio 



1 Probably Aemilius Asper, commentator on Terence and 
Virgil : cp. Epist. xiii. 27. 

2 Q. Ter. Scaurus flourished under Hadrian, and wrote an 
Ars Grammatica and commentaries on Virgil, Plautus, and 
others. 

3 M. Valerius Probus, of Beyrut, failing to win promotion, 
eft the army and became a grammarian. Jerome dates his 



PREFATORY PIECES 

to Grammar, and then to Rhetoric, wherein I gained 
sufficient skill. I frequented the Courts as well, 
but preferred to follow the business of teaching, and 
won some repute as a grammarian ; and though my 
renown was not of so high a degree as to approach 
that of Aemilius, 1 or Scaurus, 2 or Pro bus of Bey rut; 3 
yet it was high enough to let me look upon the 
teachers of my day, men famous in Aquitaine, as 
their equal rather than their inferior. 

23 Afterwards, when three decades with all their 
festivals were passed, I left my toils as a provincial 
teacher, receiving the command to enter the Em- 
peror's golden palace. There I taught the young 
prince Grammar, and in due time Rhetoric ; for, in- 
deed, I have good reason for satisfaction and my 
boasting rests upon firm ground. Yet I confess that 
there have been tutors of greater fame, so but 'tis 
granted that there has been to none a nobler pupil. 
Alcaeus' offspring was taught by Atlas, and the son 
of Aeacus by Chiron 4 the first Jove's own son, and 
the other well-nigh sprung from Jove and these 
had Thebes and Thessaly for their homes. But this 
my pupil reigns over the whole world, which is his 
own. He created me Companion and Quaestor, 5 and 
crowned my honours with the prefectship of the pro- 
vinces of Gaul, Libya, and Italy. 6 I became consul, 7 

prime 56-57 A. D. , and calls him eruditissimus yrammaticorum. 
He is perhaps confused here with the later (second century) 
Probus, the editor of Virgil. 4 Hercules and Achilles. 

8 Tn 370 and 375. On the title comes see Seeck in Pauly- 
Wissowa, Real-Encyclopadie, iv. : in this instance it seems to 
have been a purely honorary title. 6 In 378. 7 In 379. 



AUSONIUS 

et, prior indeptus fasces Latiamque curulem, 

consul, collega posteriore, fui. 
Hie ergo Ausonius : sed tu ne temne, quod ultro 

patronum nostris te paro carminibus. 40 

II. AUSONIUS SVAGRIO 

PECTORIS ut nostri sedem colis, alme Syagri, 
communemque habitas alter ego Ausonium : 

sic etiam nostro praefatus habebere libro, 
differat ut nihilo, sit tuus anne meus. 

III. EPISTULA THEODOSI AUGUSTI 

[Theodosius Augustus Ausonio parenti salutem.J l 
AMOR meus qui in te est et admiratio ingenii 
atque eruditionis tuae, quae multo maxima sunt, 
fecit, parens iucundissime, ut morem principibus 
aliis solitum sequestrarem familiaremque sermonem 
autographum ad te transmitterem, postulans pro 
iure non equidem regio, sed illius privatae inter 
nos caritatis, ne fraudari me scriptorum tuorum 
lectione patiaris. quae olim mihi cognita et iam 
per tempus oblita rursum desidero, non solum ut, 
quae sunt nota, recolantur, sed etiam ut ea, quae 
fania celebri adiecta memorantur, accipiam. quae 

1 Suppl. Avantiua. 
6 



PREFATORY PIECES 

too, and was given the precedence on assuming the 
insignia and the curule chair, so that my colleague's 
name stood after mine. 

39 Such, then, is Ausonius : and you, on your part, 
do not despise me because I ask your favour for 
these songs of mine, without your seeking. 

II. AUSONIUS TO SYAGRIUS 

GENTLE Syagrius, 1 even as you have a home within 
my heart and, like another self, inhabit the Ausonius 
we both share, so also shall your name stand on the 
front page of my book, that there may be no differ- 
ence whether it be mine or yours. 

III. A LETTER OF THE EMPEROR THEODOSIUS 

THE Emperor Theodosius to his father Ausonius, 
greeting. 

My affection for you, and my admiration for your 
ability and learning, which could not possibly be 
higher, have caused me, my dearest father, to adopt 
as my own a custom followed by other princes and 
to send you under my own hand a friendly word 
asking you not in right of my kingship, but of our 
mutual affection for each other not to let me be 
cheated of a perusal of your works. Once I knew 
them well, but with time they have been forgotten ; 
and now I long for them again, not only to refresh 
my memory as to those which are commonly known, 
but also to receive those which general report de- 
clares that you have added to the former. As you 

1 Apanius Syagrius was praetorian praefect in 380 and 382, 
consul in 382. He was a close friend of Symmachus. 



AUSONIUS 

tu de promptuario scriniorum tuorum, qui rne amas, 
libens imperties, secutus exempla auctorum opti- 
morum, quibus par esse meruisti : qui Octaviano 
Augusto rerum potienti certatim opera sua trade- 
bant, nullo fine in eius honorem multa condentes. 
qui illos haut sciam an aequaliter atque ego te 
admiratus sit, certe non amplius diligebat. vale 
parens. 



IV. DOMINO MEO ET OMNIUM THEODOSIO AUGUSTO 
AUSONIUS Tuus 

AGRICOLAM si flava Ceres dare semina terrae, 

Gradivus iubeat si capere arma ducem, 
solvere de portu classem Neptunus inermem : 

fidere tarn fas est, quam dubitare nefas. 
insanum quamvis hiemet mare crudaque tellus 5 

seminibus, bello nee satis apta manus, 
nil dubites auctore bono. mortalia quaerunt 

consilium. certus iussa capesse dei. 
scribere me Augustus iubet et mea carmina poscit 

paene rogans : blando vis latet imperio. 10 

non habeo ingenium, Caesar sed iussit : habebo. 

cur me posse negem, posse quod ille putat ? 
invalidas vires ipse excitat et iuvat idem, 

qui iubet : obsequium sufficit esse meum. 
8 



PREFATORY PIECES 

love me, then, consent to favour me with those 
treasures stored away in your desk, and so follow 
the example of the choicest writers, with whom you 
have earned an equal place. For when the Emperor 
Octavianus was reigning, they vied with one another 
in presenting him with their works, and set no limit 
to the number of the poems which they composed to 
his praise. You may be sure that though he may 
perhaps have admired these authors as much as I do 
you, he certainly did not have a greater personal 
affection for them. Farewell, my father. 



IV. To MY LORD AND THE LORD OF ALL, THEODOSIUS 
THE EMPEROR, FROM AUSONIUS, YOUR SERVANT 

IF yellow Ceres should bid the husbandman commit 
seed to the ground, or Mars order some general to 
take up arms, or Neptune command a fleet to put 
out to sea unrigged, then to obey confidently is as 
much a duty as to hesitate is the reverse. How- 
ever much the wintry sea may rage with storms, or 
the land be yet unready for the seed, or the host still 
untrained for war, do not hesitate with such good 
councillors. Behests of mortals call for delibera- 
tion : what a god commands perform without waver- 
ing. The Emperor bids me write, and asks for my 
verse nay, almost begs for it ; power is masked 
under a courteous command. I have no skill to 
write, but Caesar has bidden me ; well, I will have 
it. Why should I deny that I can do what he 
thinks that I can do ? He by his own influence 
stirs up my feeble power, and he who bids me aids 
me as well ; it is enough for me to obey. It is not 



AUSONIUS 






non tutum renuisse deo. laudata pudoris 15 

saepe mora est, quotiens contra parem dubites. 
Quin etiam non iussa parant erumpere dudum 

carmina. quis nolit Caesaris esse liber, 
ne ferat indignum vatem centumque lituras, 

mutandas semper deteriore nota ? 20 

tu modo te iussisse, pater Romane, memento 

inque meis culpis da tibi tu veniam. 



10 



PREFATORY PIECES 

safe to disoblige a god ; though delay due to 
modesty often deserves praise, when we hold back 
despite the entreaties of our peers. 

17 Nay more, these songs of mine have long been 
ready to break out unbidden : and what book would 
not be Caesar's own in the hope to escape thereby 
the countless erasures of a wretched bard, always 
emending and emending for the worse ? Remem- 
ber only, father of the Romans, that you gave me 
the command, and where I fail you must bestow 
forgiveness on yourself. 



i r 



LIBER II 

EPHEMERIS 

ID EST 

TOTIUS DIEI NEGOTIUM 



MANE iam clarum reserat fenestras, 
iam strepit nidis vigilax hirundo : 
tu velut primam mediamque noctem, 
Parmeno, dormis. 

dormiunt glires hiemem perennem, 
sed cibo parcunt : tibi causa somni, 
multa quod potas nimiaque tendis 1 
mole saginam. 

inde nee flexas sonus intrat aures 
et locum mentis sopor altus urget 
nee coruscantis oculos lacessunt 
fulgura lucis. 

annuam quondam iuveni quietem, 
noctis et lucis vicibus manentem, 
fabulae fingunt, cui Luna somnos 
continuant. 

1 V : caedis, Peiper. 



10 



15 



12 



BOOK II 
THE DAILY ROUND 

OR 

THE DOINGS OF A WHOLE DAY 

I 

ALREADY bright Morn is opening her windows, 
already the watchful swallow twitters from her nest ; 
but you, Parmeno, sleep on as if it were the first or 
the middle watch of the night. Dormice sleep the 
winter round, but they leave food alone ; while you 
slumber on because you drink deep, and swell out 
your paunch with too great a mass of food. And 
so no sound enters the winding channels of your 
ears, a deep stupor presses on your consciousness, 
and all the dazzling beams of light do not vex your 
eyes. Old tales pretend that once upon a time a 
youth l slept on year in, year out, untroubled by the 
interchange of night and day, because Luna made 
his slumbers unending. 

1 He. Endymion. 

13 



AUSONIUS 

surge, nugator, lacerande virgis : 
surge, ne longus tibi somnus, unde 
non times, detur : rape membra molli, 

Parmeno, lecto. 20 

fors et haec somnum tibi cantilena 
Sapphico suadet modulata versu ? 
Lesbiae depelle modum quietis, 
acer iambe. 

II. PARECBASIS 

PUER, eia, surge et calceos 

et linteam da sindonem. 

da, quidquid est, amictui 

quod iam parasti, ut prodeam. 

da rore fontano abluam 5 

manus et os et lumina. 

pateatque, fac, sacrarium 

nullo paratu extrinsecus : 

pia verba, vota innoxia, 

rei divinae copia est. 10 

nee tus cremandum postulo 

nee liba crusti mellei, 

foculumque vivi caespitis 

vanis relinquo altaribus. 

Deus precandus est mihi 15 

ac films summi Dei, 

maiestas unius modi, 

sociata sacro spiritu. 

et ecce iam vota ordior : 

et cogitatio numinis 20 

praesentiam sentit pavens. 

pavetne quidquam spes, fides ? 1 

1 Added in margin of V by the first hand. Some editors 
reject the verse as an interpolator's correction. 

14 



THE DAILY ROUND 

17 Up with you, you waster! What a thrashing 
you deserve ! " Up, or a long, long sleep will come 
on you from where you dread it least." l Out with 
you, Parmeno, from your downy bed ! 

21 Perchance this ditty, tuned to the Sapphic 
mode, encourages your sleep ? Come you then, 
brisk Iambus, and banish hence the restful Lesbian 
strain. 

II. THE INTERLUDE 

Hi, boy ! Get up ! Bring me my slippers and my 
tunic of lawn : bring all the clothes that you have 
ready now for my going out. Fetch me spring water 
to wash my hands and mouth and eyes. Get me the 
chapel opened, but with no outward display : holy 
words and guiltless prayers are furniture enough for 
worship. I do not call for incense to be burnt nor 
for any slice of honey-cake : hearths of green turf 
I leave for the altars of vain gods. I must pray 
to God and to the Son of God most high, that 
co-equal 2 Majesty united in one fellowship with the 
Holy Spirit. And lo, now I begin my prayers : my 
heart feels Heaven is near and trembles. Have faith 
and hope, then, anything to fear ? 

1 Quoted from Horace, Odes, in. xi. 38. 

2 lit. " of one extent." 



AUSONIUS 



III. ORATIO 






OMNIPOTENS, solo mentis mihi cognite cultu, 

ignorate mails et nulli ignote piorum : 

principio extremoque carens, antiquior aevo, 

quod fuit aut veniet : cuius formamque modumque 

nee mens conplecti poterit nee lingua profari : 5 

cernere quern solus coramque audire iubentem 

fas habet et patriam propter considere dextram 

ipse opifex rerum, rebus causa ipse creandis, 

ipse dei verbum, verbum deus, anticipator 

mundi, quern facturus erat : genera tus in illo 10 

tempore, quo tempus nondum fuit : editus ante 

quam iubar et rutilus caelum inlustraret Eous : 

quo sine nil actunr, per quern facta omnia i 1 cuius 

in caelo solium, cui subdita terra sedenti 

et mare et obscurae chaos insuperabile noctis : 15 

inrequies, cuncta ipse movens, vegetator inert um : 

non genito genitore deus, qui fraude superbi 

offensus populi gentes in regna vocavit, 

stirpis adoptivae meliore propage colendus : 

cernere quern licuit proavis, quo numine viso 20 

et patrem vidisse datum : 2 contagia nostra 

qui tulit 3 et diri passus ludibria leti 

esse iter aeternae docuit remeabile vitae : 

nee solam remeare animam, sed corpore toto 

caelestes intrare plagas et inane sepulcri 25 

arcanum vacuis adopertum linquere terris. 

1 cp. John i. 3. 2 cp. John xiv. 9. 

3 cp. 1 Cor. xv. 3. 

16 



THE DAILY ROUND 



III. THE PRAYER 

ALMIGHTY One, whom through the worship of my 
heart alone I know, to the wicked unknown, yet 
known to every devout soul, thou art without be- 
ginning and without end, more ancient than time 
past and time to come : thy fashion and extent no 
mind can ever grasp, nor tongue express. He only 
may behold thee and, face to face, hear thy bidding 
and sit at thy fatherly right-hand who is himself the 
Maker of all things, himself the Cause of all created 
things, himself the Word of God, the Word which 
is God, who was before the world which he was to 
make, begotten at that time when Time was not yet, 
who came into being before the Sun's beams and the 
bright Morning-Star enlightened the sky. Without 
him was nothing made, and through him were all 
things made : his throne is in Heaven ; and beneath 
his seat lie Earth and the Sea and the invincible 
Chaos of darkling Night : unresting, he is the very 
mover of all things, the quickener of the lifeless. 
He is God, the begotten of the unbegotten, who 
being provoked by the guile of his scornful people, 
called the nations into his kingdom the worthier 
offshoots of an ingrafted stock to worship him. To 
our forefathers it was granted to behold him ; and 
whoso discerned his Godhead, to him it was given to 
have seen the Father also. He bare our sinful stains 
and suffered a death with mockery, thus teach- 
ing us that there is a road to lead back to eternal 
life, and that the soul returns not alone, but with 
the body complete enters the realms of Heaven 
and leaves the secret chamber of the grave empty, 
covered with earth which cannot hold it. 

*7 
VOL. i, c 



AUSONIUS 






Nate patris summi nostroque salutifer aevo, 
virtutes patrias genitor cui tradidit omnes, 
nil ex invidia retinens plenusque datorum, 
pande viam precibus patriasque haec perfer ad 

aures. 30 

Da, pater, invictam contra omnia crimina mentem 
vipereumque nefas nocituri averte veneni. 
sit satis, antiquam serpens quod prodidit Aevvam 
deceptumque adiunxit Adam : nos sera nepotum 
semina, veridicis olim praedicta prophetis, 35 

vitemus laqueos, quos letifer inplicat anguis. 

Pande viam, quae me post vincula corporis aegri 
in sublime ferat, puri qua lactea caeli 
semitalventosae superat vaga nubila lunae, 
qua proceres abiere pii quaque integer olim 40 

raptus quadriiugo penetrat super aera curru 
Elias et solido cum corpore praevius Enoch. 

Da, pater, aeterni speratam luminis auram, 
si lapides non iuro decs junumque verendi 
suspiciens altare sacrijlibamina vitae 45 

intemerata fero : si te dominique deique 
unigenae cognosco patrem mixtumque duobus, 
qui super aequoreas volitabat spiritus undas. 1 

Da, genitor, veniam cruciataque pectora purga : 
si te non pecudum fibris, non sanguine fuso 50 

1 Genesis i. 2. 
18 



THE DAILY ROUND 

27 Son of the all-highest Father, Bringer of salva- 
tion to our race, thou unto whom thy Begetter has 
committed all the powers of his Fatherhood, keep- 
ing none back in envy but giving freely, open a 
way for these my prayers and safely waft them to 
thy Father's ears. 

ai Grant me a heart, O Father, to hold out against 
all deeds of wrong, and deliver me from the Serpent's 
deadly venom, sin. Let it suffice that the Serpent 
did beguile our old mother Eve and involved Adam 
also in his deceit 1 : let us, their late-born progeny 
once foretold by sooth-speaking Prophets, escape the 
snares which the death-dealing Serpent weaves. 

37 Prepare a road that I, being freed from the 
fetters of this frail body, may be led up on high, 
where in the clear heaven the Milky Way stretches 
above the wandering clouds of the wind-vexed moon 
that road by which the holy men of old departed 
from the earth; by which Elias, 2 caught up in the 
chariot, once made his way alive above our lower 
air ; and Enoch, 3 too, who went before his end 
without change of body. 

43 Grant me, O Father, the effluence of everlasting 
light for which I yearn, if I swear not by gods ot 
stone, and, looking up to one altar of awful sacrifice 
alone, bring there the offering of a stainless life ; if 
Thee I recognize as Father of the Only-Begotten, 
our Lord and God, and, joined with both, the Spirit 
who brooded over the waters' face. 

49 Grant me thy pardon, Father, and relieve my 
anguished breast, if I seek thee not with the bodies 
of slain beasts nor with blood poured forth, nor 

1 1 Tim. ii. 14. 2 2 Kings ii. 11. 3 cp. Hebrews xi. 5. 

19 
c 2 



AUSONIUS 

quaero nee arcanis numen coniecto sub exiis : 

si scelere abstineoferrori obnoxiusjet si 

opto magis, quam fido, bonus purusque probari. 

confessam dignare animam, si membra caduca 

execror et taciturn si paenitet altaque sensus 55 

formido excruciat tormentaque sera gehennae 

anticipat patiturque suos mens saucia manes. 1 

Da, pater, haec nostro fieri rata vota precatu. 
nil metuam cupiamque nihil : 2 satis hoc rear esse, 
quod satis est ; nil turpe velim nee causa pudoris 60 
sim mihi ; non faciam cuiquam, quae tempore eodem 
nolim facta mihi. 3 nee vero crimine laedar 
nee maculer dubio : paulum distare videtur 
suspectus vereque reus. male posse facultas 
nulla sit et bene posse adsit tranquilla potestas. 65 
sim tenui victu atque habitu, sim carus amicis 
et semper genitor sine vulnere nominis huius. 
non animo doleam, non corpore : cuncta suetis 
fungantur membra officiis : nee saucius ullis 
partibus amissum quidquam desideret usus. 70 

pace fruar, securus again, miracula terrae 
nulla putem. suprema dii cum venerit hora, 
nee timeat mortem bene conscia vita nee optet. 
purus ab occultis cum te indulgente videbor, 
omnia despiciam, fuerit cum sola voluptas 75 

indicium sperare tuum ; quod dum sua differt 

1 cp. Virgil, A en. vi. 743. 

2 cp. Horace, Ep. i. 16, 35. 

3 cp. Matth. vii. 12. 



THE DAILY ROUND 

divine heaven's will from the secrets of their en- 
trails : if I, though prone to stray, hold off from 
wrong, and if I long, rather than trust, to be approved 
upright and pure. Accept a soul which makes its 
confession, if I abhor these my frail limbs, if I re- 
pent me inwardly, and if deep-seated dread racks 
all my nerves and foretastes the final torments ot 
Gehenna, and the stricken mind suffers its own 
ghostly doom. 

68 Grant, then, O Father, that these petitions may 
be fulfilled as I pray. Naught let me fear, and 
naught desire : let me feel that to be enough which 
is enough ; let me seek nothing vile, nor be the 
cause of my own shame ; let me not do to any that 
which at the same time I would not have done to 
me. May no real crime bring me to ruin, nor sus- 
picion tarnish my name : small difference there 
seems between the real and supposed guilt. Keep 
thou from me the means to do ill deeds, and let me 
ever have the calm power to do well. Let me be 
moderate in food and dress, dear to my friends, and 
ever careful to do naught to shame the name of 
father. In mind and body let me be free from pain : 
let all my limbs perform their wonted functions, and 
let not crippled habit mourn the loss of any part. 
Let me enjoy peace and live quietly, counting as 
nothing all that astounds on earth. And when the 
hour of my last day shall come, grant that the con- 
science of a life well spent suffer me not to fear 
death, nor yet long for it. When, through thy 
mercy, I shall appear cleansed from my secret faults, 
let me despise all else, and let my one delight be to 
await in hope thy judgment. And if that season 



21 



AUSONIUS 

tempora cunctaturque dies, procul exige saevum 
insidiatorem blandis erroribus anguem. 

Haec pia, sed maesto trepidantia vota reatu, 
nate, aput aeternum placabilis adsere patrem, 80 
salvator, deus ac dominus, mens A gloria, verbum, 
filius, ex vero verus, de lumine lumen, 
aeterno cum patre manens, in saecula regnans, 
consona quern celebrant modulati carmina David : l 
et responsuris ferit aera vocibus amen. 85 

IV. EGRESSIO 

SATIS preciim datum deo, 

quamvis satis numquam reis 

fiat precatu numinis. 

habitum forensem da, puer. 

dicendum amicis est have 5 

valeque, quod fit mutuum. 

quod cum per horas quattuor 

[cursum citatis sol equis] 2 - ' ' . ^U^u*-< 

inclinet ad meridiem, 

monendus est iam Sosias. 

V. Locus INVITATIONIS 

TEMPUS vocandis namque amicis adpetit ; 

ne nos vel illis demoremur prandium, 

propere per aedes curre vicinas, puer. 

scis ipse, qui sint : iamque dum loquor, redi. 

quinque advocavi ; sex enim convivium 5 

cum rege iustum : si super, convicium est. 

abiit ; relicti nos sumus cum Sosia. 

1 VP 2 : C has also the variant line "consona quern cele- 
brat modulate carmine plebes." 

2 Suppl. Translator. 

22 






THE DAILY ROUND 

tarries and the day delays, keep far from me that fierce 
tempter,, the Serpent, with his false allurements. 

79 These prayers of a soul devout, albeit trembling 
with dark sense of guilt., claim for thine own before 
the eternal Father, thou Son of God who mayest be 
entreated, Saviour, God and Lord, Mind, Glory, 
Word and Son, Very God of Very God, Light of 
Light, who remainest with the eternal Father, reign- 
ing throughout all ages, whose praise the harmonious 
songs of tuneful David echo forth, until respondent 
voices rend the air with ff Amen." 

IV. GOING OUT 

Now I have prayed enough to God, albeit we sinful 
men can never entreat Heaven enough. Boy ! Bring 
me my morning coat. I must exchange my " Hail " 
and " Farewell " with my friends. But since the 
sun for four full hours has urged on his steeds and 
now verges towards noon, I needs must speak a 
word with Sosias. 1 

V. THE TIME FOR GIVING INVITATIONS 

AND now the time for inviting my friends draws 
on. So, that no fault of mine may make them late 
for lunch, hurry at your best pace, boy, to the neigh- 
bours' houses you know without my telling who 
they are and back with you before these words are 
done. I have invited five to lunch ; for six persons, 
counting the host, make the right number for a 
meal : if there be more, it is no meal but a melee. 
Ah, he is off! And I am left to deal with Sosias. 

1 It being now ten o'clock and two hours to lunch-time, 
Ausonius remembers that he must give directions (which 
follow in vi. ) to his cook Sosias. 

23 



AUSONIUS 



VI. Locus ORDINANDI COQUI. 

SOSIA, prandendum est. quartam iam totus in horam 
sol calet : ad quintain flectitur umbra notam. 

an vegeto madeant condita opsonia gustu 
(fallere namque solent), experiundo pruba. 

con cute ferventes palmis volventibus ollas, 5 

tingue celer digitos iure calente tuos, 

vibrant! lambat quos umida lingua recursu 1 



VII. [IN NOTARIUM IN SCRIBENDO VELOCISSIMUM] 

PUER, notarum praepetum 

sellers minister, advola. 

bipatens pugillar expedi, 

cui multa fandi copia, 

punctis peracta singulis, 5 

ut una vox absolvitur. 

ego volvo libros uberes 

instarque densae grandinis 

torrente lingua perstrepo : 

tibi nee aures ambigunt, 10 

nee occupatur pagina 

et mota parce dextera 

volat per aequor cereum. 

cum maxime nunc proloquor 

circumloquentis ambitu, 15 

tu sensa nostri pectoris 

vix dicta iam ceris tenes. 

sentire tarn velox mihi 

vellem dedisset mens mea, 

1 The remainder of this poem together with much else has 
been lost. 

24 



THE DAILY ROUND 

VI. THE TIME FOR DIRECTING THE COOK 

SOSIAS, I must have lunch. The warm sun is 
already passed well on into his fourth hour, and on 
the dial the shadow is moving on towards the fifth 
stroke. Taste and make sure for they often play 
you false that the seasoned dishes are well soused 
and taste appetisingly. Turn your bubbling pots in 
your hands and shake them up : quick, dip your 
fingers in the hot gravy and let your moist tongue 
lick them as it darts in and out . . . 

VII.- To HIS STENOGRAPHER, A READY WRITER 

Hi, boy ! My secretary, skilled in dashing short- 
hand, make haste and come ! Open your folding 
tablets wherein a world of words is compassed in a 
few signs and finished off as it were a single phrase. 
I ponder works of generous scope ; and thick and 
fast like hail the words tumble off my tongue. And 
yet your ears are not at fault nor your page crowded, 
and your right hand, moving easily, speeds over the 
waxen surface of your tablet. When I declaim, as 
now, at greatest speed, talking in circles round my 
theme, you have the thoughts of my heart already 
set fast in wax almost before they are uttered. I 
would my mind had given me power to think as 

25 



AUSON1US 






quam praepetis dextrae fuga 20 

tu me loquentem praevenis. 

Quis, quaeso, quis me prodidit ? 
quis ista iam dixit tibi, 
quae cogitabam dicere ? 
quae furta corde in intimo 25 

exercet ales dextera ? 
quis ordo rerum tarn novus, 
veniat in aures ut tuas, 
quod lingua nondum absolverit ? 
doctrina non hoc praestitit 30 

nee ulla tarn velox manus 
celeripedis compendii : 
natura munus hoc tibi 
deusque donum tradidit, 
quae loquerer, ut scires prius 35 

idemque velles, quod volo. 

VIII 

[DISCUTIUNT nobis placidos portenta sopores, 
qualia miramur, cum saepius aethere in alto 
conciliant varias coetu vaga nubila formas] l 
quadrupedum et volucrum, vel cum terrena marinis 
monstra admiscentur ; donee purgantibus euris 
difflatae liquidum tenuentur in area nubes. 
iiunc fora, nunc lites, lati modo pompa theatri 
visitur : et turmas equitum caedesque latronum 5 
perpetior : lacerat nostros fera belua vultus 
aut in sanguinea gladio grassamur harena. 

1 Schenkl observes that a leaf containing the end of the 
Ephemeris and the beginning of this poem has fallen out of 
the archetype. The Translator's supplement (in brackets) is 
intended to suggest the general sense immediately preceding. 

26 



THE DAILY ROUND 

swiftly as you outstrip me when I speak, and as your 
dashing hand leaves my words behind. 

22 Who, prithee, who is he who has betrayed me ? 
Who has already told you what I was but now think- 
ing to say ? What thefts are these that your speeding 
hand perpetrates in the recesses of my mind ? How 
come things in so strange an order that what my 
tongue has not yet vented comes to your ears ? No 
teaching ever gave you this gift, nor was ever any 
hand so quick at swift stenography : Nature endowed 
you so, and God gave you this gift to know before- 
hand what 1 would speak, and to intend the same 
that I intend. 

VIII 

[STRANGE monsters disturb our calm slumbers, like 
those we marvel at when, sometimes, in the high 
upper air the wandering clouds unite and blend to- 
gether the various shapes] of four-footed beasts and 
winged creatures ; when monstrous shapes of earth 
and sea are mingled in one, until the cleansing 
eastern winds blow the clouds to shreds and thin 
them out into the clear air. Now the courts pass 
before my eyes with suits at law, and now the spacious 
theatre with its shows. Here 1 endure the sight of 
troops of cavalry cutting down brigands : or in the 
bloody arena some wild beast tears my face, or I am 
butchered with the sword. I go afoot across the 

27 



AUSONIUS 

per mare navifragum gradior pedes et freta cursu 
transilio et subitis volito super aera pinnis. 
infandas etiam veneres incestaque noctis 10 

dedecora et tragicos patimur per somnia coetus. 
perfugium tamen est, quotiens portenta soporum 
solvit rupta pudore quies et imagine foeda 
libera mens vigilat : totum bene conscia lectum 
pertractat secura manus : probrosa recedit 15 

culpa tori et profugi manascunt crimina somni. 
cerno triumphantes inter me plaudere : rursum 
inter captives trahor exarmatus Alanos. 
templa deum sanctasque fores palatiaque aurea 
specto et Sarrano videor discumbere in ostro 20 

et mox fumosis conviva adcumbo popinis. 

Divinum perhibent vatem sub frondibus ulmi 
vana ignavorum simulacra locasse soporum 
et geminas numero portas : quae fornice eburno 
semper fallaces glomerat super aera formas : 25 

altera, quae veros emittit cornea visus. 
quod si de dubiis conceditur optio nobis, 
desse fidem laetis melius quam vana timeri. 
ecce ego iam malim falli ; nam, dum modo semper 
tristia vanescant, potius caruisse fruendis, 30 

quam trepidare malis. satis est bene, si metus absit. 
sunt et qui fletus et gaudia controversum 
coniectent varioque trahant eventa relatu. 

28 



THE DAILY ROUND 

wrecking sea, bound at a stride across the straits, 
and flit above the air on new-found wings. Then, 
too, in dreams we undergo amours unspeakable, and 
night's foul shames, and unions which are the themes 
of tragedy. Yet there is escape from these when- 
ever shame bursts through the bonds of sleep, scat- 
tering the horrors of our dreams, and the mind freed 
from filthy fancying keeps watch. Then the hands 
untainted feel about the bed nor find cause for re- 
morse : the sinful guilt of luxury departs, and as the 
dream fades from us, so its stain. Now, 1 see myself 
applauding, one of a triumphant throng : again I am 
dragged through the streets a disarmed Alan prisoner 
of war. And now I gaze upon the temples of the 
gods, their sacred portals and golden palaces ; or 
seem to recline at a feast upon a couch of Sarran 
(Tyrian) purple, and presently sit feasting at the 
table of some steamy eating-house. 

22 They say the heavenly bard l set for the empty 
phantoms of sluggish sleep a place beneath an elm- 
tree's leaves, and appointed them two gates : that 
which is arched with ivory ever pours forth upon the 
air a host of deceptive shapes : the second is of horn 
and sends forth visions of the truth. But if dreams 
of doubtful import leave us the choice, better that 
cheerful sights deceive us than we should fear with 
a cause. Look you, I would even rather be deceived ; 
for, if only gloomy dreams always prove void, it is 
better to have missed what might have been enjoyed 
than to tremble at ill-fortune. 'Tis well enough it 
only fear be far from us. Some there are also who 
argue their woe and weal by contraries, and who 
forecast results by opposite interpretation. 

1 so. Virgil (Aen. vi. 282 ff.). 

29 



AUSONIUS 






Ite per oblicos caeli, mala somnia, mundos, 
inrequieta vagi qua difflant nubila nimbi ; 35 

lunares habitate polos : quid nostra subitis 
limina et angusti tenebrosa cubilia tecti ? 
me sinite ignavas placidum traducere noctes, 
dum redeat roseo mihi Lucifer aureus ortu. 
quod si me nullis vexatum nocte figuris 40 

mollis tranquillo permulserit acre somrius, 
hunc lucum, nostro viridis qui frondet in agro 
ulmeus, excubiis habitandum dedico vestris 



THE DAILY ROUND 

34 Away, you evil dreams, through the sloping 
firmaments of heaven, where wandering storms 
scatter the still-vexed clouds ; dwell in the moon-lit 
skies. Why steal you in at my doors and haunt the 
darkling couch in my confined dwelling ? Leave 
me to pass night unexcited in calm repose till golden 
Lucifer comes back for me in the rosy east. But if 
soft sleep shall soothe me with his gentle breath, 
nor any shapes trouble my rest by night, this grove 
the elm which spreads its green leaves on my 
estate I dedicate for you to dwell in on your night 
watches. 



LIBER III 
[DOMESTICA] 

I. DE HEREDIOLO 

CUM de palatio post multos aimos honoratissimus, 
quippe iam consul, redisset ad patriam, villulam, 
quam pater reliquerat, introgressus his versibus lusit 
Luciliano stilo : 

Salve, herediolum, maiorum regna meorum, 

quod proavus, quod avus, quod pater excoluit, 
quod mihi iam senior properata morte reliquit : 

eheu nolueram tam cito posse frui ! 
iusta quidem series patri succedere, verum 5 

esse simul dominos gratior ordo piis. 
mine labor et curae mea sunt ; sola ante voluptas 

partibus in nostris, cetera patris erant. 
parvum herediolum, fateor, set nulla fuit res 

parva umquam aequanimis, adde etiam unanimis. 1 
ex animo rem stare aequum puto, non animum ex re. 

cuncta cupit Croesus, Diogenes nihilum : 



1 Of Gyrene, a disciple of Socrates. For the anecdote here 
related cp. Horace, Sat. n. iii. 100. 



BOOK III 



PERSONAL POEMS 

I. QN HIS LITTLE PATRIMONY 

WHEN the author had left the court after many 
years' enjoyment of the highest distinctions, having 
even become consul, he returned to his native place 
and settled down in the little property which his 
father had left him. Thereupon he wrote the following 
playful verses in the manner of Lucilius : 

Hail, little patrimony, the realm of my forebears, 
which my great-grandfather, which my grandfather, 
which my father tended so carefully, which the last- 
named left to me when he died all too soon, albeit 
in a ripe old age. Ah me ! I had not wished to be 
able to possess you so early. 'Tis indeed the natural 
order when the son succeeds the father ; but where 
there is affection, it is a more pleasing course for 
both to reign together. Now all the toil and trouble 
falls on me : of old the pleasure only was my share, 
the rest was all my father's. It is a tiny patri- 
mony, I allow ; but never yet did property seem 
small to those whose souls are balanced, nay more, 
whose souls are one. Upon the soul it is my 
balanced judgment wealth depends, and not a 
man's soul upon his wealth. A Croesus desires every- 
thing, a Diogenes, nothing ; an Aristippus l strews 

33 

VOL. I. D 



AUSONIUS 

spargit Aristippus mediis in Syrtibus aurum, 

aurea non satis est Lydia tota Midae. 
cui nullus finis cupiendi, est nullus habendi : 1 5 

ille opibus modus est, quern statuas ammo. 
Verum ager iste meus quantus sit, nosce, etiam ut me 

noveris et noris te quoque, si potis es. 
quamquam difficile est se noscere ; yi/u>0i treavrov 

quam propere legimus, tarn cito neclegimus. " 20 
agri bis centum colo iugera, vinea centum 

iugeribus colitur prataque dimidio, 
silva supra duplum, quam prata et vinea et arvum ; 

cultor agri nobis nee superest nee abest. 
fons propter puteusque brevis, turn purus et amnis ; 25 

naviger hie refluus me vehit ac revehit. 
conduntur fructus geminum mihi semper in annum. 

cui non longa penus, huic quoque prompta fames. 
Haec mihi nee procul urbe sita est, nee prorsus ad 
urbem, 

ne patiar turbas utque bonis potiar. 30 

et quotiens mutare locum fastidia cogunt, 

transeo et alternis rure vel urbe fruor. 



II. VERSUS PASCHALES PRO AUGUSTO DICTI 

SANCTA salutiferi redeunt sollemnia Christ! 
et devota pii celebrant ieiunia mystae. 
at nos aeternum cohibentes pectore cultum 
intemeratorum vim continuamus honorum. 
annua cura sacris, iugis reverentia nobis. 

34 



PERSONAL POEMS 

his gold abroad in the midst of the Syrtes, all Lydia 
turned to gold cannot content a Midas. The man 
who sets no bounds to his greed, sets none to his 
possessions : that is the limit to wealth, which you 
decree in your own soul. 

17 But now you must know of what size is this 
estate of mine, that you may also know me and know 
yourself too, if you are capable. And yet how difficult 
this is, to know oneself ! KNOW THYSELF: as hastily 
as we read that motto, so quickly we forget it. I 
keep in tillage two hundred acres : a hundred more 
are grown with vines, and half as much is pasture. 
My woodland is more than tw r ice as much as my 
pasture, vineyard and tilth together : of husbandmen 
I have neither too many nor too few. A spring is 
near my house and a small well, besides the unsullied 
river, which on its tides bears me by boat from home 
and back again. I have always fruits in store to last 
me two whole years : who has short victual by him, 
he too has famine at hand. 1 

29 This my estate lies not far from the town, nor 
yet hard by the town, to rid me of its crowds while 
reaping its advantages. And so, whenever satiety 
moves me to change my seat, I pass from one to 
the other, and enjoy country and town by turns. 

II. EASTER VERSES COMPOSED FOR THE EMPEROR 

Now return the holy rites of Christ, who brought 
us our salvation, and godly zealots keep their solemn 
fasts. But we, guarding within our hearts an unend- 
ing worship, maintain without a break the strength 
of an inviolate homage : rites are observed once a 
year ; but our devotion is continual. 

1 cp. Hesiod, W. and D. 31; 363. 

35 
D 2 



AUSONIUS 






Magne pater rerum, cui terra et pontus et aer 
Tartaraque et picti servit plaga lactea caeli, 
noxia quern scelerum plebis tremit almaque russum 
concelebrat votis animarum turba piarum : 
tu brevis hunc aevi cursum celeremque caducae 10 
finem animae donas aeternae munere vitae. 1 
tu mites legum monitus sacrosque prophetas 
humano impertis generi servasque nepotes, 
deceptum miseratus Adam, quern capta venenis 
implicuit socium blandis erroribus Aevva. 2 15 

tu verbum, pater alme, tuum, natumque deumque, 
concedis terris totum similemque paremque, 
ex vero verum vivaque ab origine vivum. 
ille tuis doctus monitis hoc addidit unum, 
ut, super aequoreas nabat qui spiritus undas, 8 20 
pigra inmortali vegetaret membra lavacro. 
trina fides auctore uno, spes certa salutis 
[da veniam et praesta speratae munera vitae 4 ] 
hunc numerum iunctis virtutibus amplectenti. 

Tale et terrenis specimen spectatur in oris 
Augustus genitor, geminum sator Augustorum, 25 
qui fratrem natumque pio conplexus utrumque 
numine partitur regnum neque dividit unum, 
omnia solus habens atque omnia dilargitus. 
hos igitur nobis trina pietate vigentes, 

1 cp. Romans viii. 18. 2 cp. 1 Timothy ii. 14. 

a cp. Genesis L 2. 

4 A line such as is here supplied appears to have dropped 
out of the text. 

36 






PERSONAL POEMS 

6 O mighty Father of all things ; to whom are 
subject earth, sea, and air, and hell, and all the 
expanse of heaven emblazoned with the Milky Way ; 
before thee tremble the folk guilty of offences, and 
contrariwise the blameless company of righteous 
souls extols thee with prayer and praise. Thou dost 
reward our course through these few years and the 
swift close of our frail being with the prize of ever- 
lasting life. Thou dost bestow upon mankind the 
gentle warnings of the Law together with the holy 
Prophets ; and, as thou didst pity Adam when be- 
guiled by Eve, on whom the poison seized so that 
she drew him by her smooth enticements to be the 
fellow of her transgression, so thou dost keep us, 
their progeny. Thou, gracious Father, grantest to 
the world thy Word, who is thy Son, and God, in all 
things like thee and equal with thee, very God of 
very God, and living God of the source of life. He, 
guided by thy behests, added this one gift alone, 
causing that Spirit which once moved over the face 
of the deep to quicken our dull members with the 
cleansing waters of eternal life. Object of our 
faith, Three, yet One in source, sure hope of our 
salvation ! Grant pardon and bestow on me the gift 
of life for which I yearn, if I embrace this diversity 
of Persons united in their powers. 

24 Even on this earth below we behold an image 
of this mystery, where is the Emperor, the father, 
begetter of twin Emperors, who in his sacred majesty 
embraces his brother and his son, sharing one realm 
with them, yet not dividing it, alone holding all 
though he has all distributed. These, then, we 
pray, who, though three, nourish as one in natural 



37 



AUSONIUS 

rectores terrae placidos caelique ministros, 30 

Christe, aput aeternum placabilis adsere patrem. 



III. ORATIO CONSULIS AUSONII 
VERSIBUS RHOPALICIS l 

SPES, DEUS, AETERNAE STATIONIS CONCILIATOR I 

si castis precibus veniales invigilamus, 
his, pater, bratis placabilis adstipulare. 

Da, Christe, specimen cognoscier inreprehensum, 
rex bone, cultorum famulantum vivificator. 5 

cum patre maiestas altissima, non generate. 2 

Da trinum columen paraclito consociante, 
ut longum Celebris devotio continuetur : 
ad temet properant vigilatum convenienter. 

Nox lucem revehet funalibus anteferendam, 10 
nox lumen pariens credentibus indubitatum, 
nox flammis operum meditatrix sidereorum. 

Tu mensis dirimis ieiunia relligiosa, 
tu bona promittens surgentia concelebraris : 
da, rector, modicos efFarier omnipotentem. 15 

Fons tuus emundat recreatu iustificatos, 
dans mentem oblitam positorum flagitiorum, 
dans agnos niveos splendescere purificatos. 

Lux verbo inducta, 3 peccantibus auxiliatrix, 21 
ut nova lordanis ablutio, sanctificavit, 19 

1 Scaliger and most edd. reject this as a work of Ausonius. 

2 Heinsim, Schenkl : ingenerato, V, Peiper. 

3 St. John i. 4 ff. 



PERSONAL POEMS 

ties, these mild rulers of the earth and instruments 
of Heaven, claim them for thine own in presence of 
thine eternal Father, O Christ most merciful. 

III. A PRAYER OF AUSONIUS THE CONSUL 
IN RHOPALic 1 VERSE 



GOD, our hope, who dost provide for us an end- 
less home ; if we by holy prayer and vigil win thy 
pardon> then, Father, in thy mercy grant us our 
petitions. Grant us, O Christ, to know thy faultless 
pattern, O gracious King, thou quickeiier of thy 
servants who adore thee thou, who with the Father, 
the Unbegotten, art one Majesty most high. Grant 
through the fellowship of the Comforter a triple 
stay to aid us, that throngs of worshippers may 
ceaselessly prolong thy praise : to thee it is they 
haste fitly to keep vigil. Night shall bring back 
a light far beyond any taper's ray ; night which 
sends forth a beam in which believers put their 
trust ; night which broods o'er the tasks of the fiery 
stars. Thou at thy table endest our solemn fasts ; 
thou, who dost promise still increasing blessings, art 
praised by all with one accord : O thou, our Ruler, 
give us poor worthless mortals power to express the 
greatness of the Almighty. 

16 Thy fount cleanseth the sinner made justified 
by new creation : it bringeth the heart forgetful- 
ness of sins now laid aside : it causeth thy cleansed 
lambs to shine white as the snow. The light, 
brought in by the Word, the sinner's stay, even as a 
new washing clean in Jordan, hath sanctified them, 

1 Rhopalic ("clublike") verse is that in which the first 
word is a monosyllable, the second a disyllabic, the third a 
trisyllable, and so on. 

39 



AUSONIUS 

cum sua dignati tinguentia promeruerunt. 20 

Et Christus regimen elementis inrequietis 
fert undam medici baptismatis intemerati, 
ut noxam auferret mortalibus extenuatam. 

Crux poenae extremum properata inmaculato, 25 
ut vitam amissam renovaret mortificatus, 
tot rerum titulis obnoxius immodicarum. 28 

Quis digne domino praeconia continuabit ? 27 

an terra humano locupletat commemoratu, 29 

quern vocum resonant modulatus angelicarum ? 30 

Dans aulam Stephano pretiosam dilapidate, 
dans claves superas cathedrali incohatori, 
quin Paulum infestum copulasti adglomeratu. 

Fit doctor populi lapidantum constimulator, 
ut latro confessor paradisum participavit, 35 

sic, credo, adnectens dirissima clarificandis. 

Nos seros famulos adcrescere perpetieris 
sub tali edoctos antistite relligionis ; 
da sensum solida stabilitum credulitate. 

Fac iungar numero redivivo glorificatus, 40 

ad caelum invitans consortia terrigenarum, 

SPES, DEUS, AETERNAE STATIONIS CONCILIATOR ! 



IV. EPICEDION IN PATREM 

POST deum semper patrem colui secundamque re- 
verentiam genitori meo debui. sequitur ergo hanc 
summi dei venerationem epicedion patris mei. titulus 
40 



PERSONAL POEMS 

when by their merits they are grown worthy of its 
blessed unction. And Christ, who ruled the restless 
elements, bringeth the healing waters of stainless 
baptism to minish and take away the guilt of men. 
The Sinless One was hurried to the cross of direst 
penalty, that by his death he might renew the life 
we forfeited, himself the theme of praise for all 
his matchless deeds. Who can worthily express the 
praises of the Lord ? Can earth with its human 
tongues enrich his renown which tuneful choirs of 
angels echo forth above ? Thou didst open thy 
splendid palace for Stephen stoned, thou didst give 
the keys of heaven to that first founder of the Apos- 
tolic Throne : much more, thou didst add Paul the 
persecutor to thy flock. He who urged on the men 
who stoned Stephen, became a teacher of the people/ 
as the thief who confessed thee received a place 
in Paradise, so, methinks, following up his heinous 
deeds with acts worthy of renown. Thou wilt 
suffer us thy servants of these latter days to grow 
in grace, led by the teaching of that great prelate 
of our creed : give us an heart established with 
firm faith. Grant that I, being glorified, may join 
the company of them that live again, when thou 
shalt call the fellowship of earth-born men to 
Heaven, O God, our hope, who dost provide for us 
an endless home ! 



IV. AN ELEGY UPON HIS FATHER 

I ALWAYS revered my father next to God, and felt 
that I owed my parent the second place after Him 
in my veneration. And so this hymn of worship to 
God most high is followed by an epicedion upon my 

41 



AUSONIUS 






a Graecis auctoribus defunctorum honori dicatus, 
non ambitiosus, sed religiosus : quern commendo lec- 
tori meo, sive is filius est seu pater sive utrumque. 
neque, ut laudet, exigo ; set, ut amet, postulo. ne- 
que vero nunc patrem meum laudo, quod ille non 
eget et ego functum oblectatione viventium onerare 
non debeo. neque dico nisi quod agnoscunt, qui 
parti aetatis eius interfuerunt. falsum me autem 
morte [eius] obita dicere et verum tacere eiusdem 
piaculi existimo. imagini ipsius hi versus subscript! 
sunt neque minus in opusculorum meorum seriem 
relati. alia omnia mea displicent mihi ; hoc relegisse 
amo. 

Nomen ego Ausonius, non ultimus arte medendi 

et, mea si nosses tempora, primus eram. 
vicinas urbes colui patriaque domoque, 

Vasates patria, sed lare Burdigalam. 
curia me duplex et uterque senatus habebat 5 

muneris exsortem, nomine participem. 
non opulens nee egens, parcus sine sordibus egi : 

victum, habitum, mores semper eadem habui. 
sermone inpromptus Latio, verum Attica lingua 

suffecit culti vocibus eloquii. 10 

optuli opem cunctis poscentibus artis inemptae 

officiumque meum cum pietate fuit. 



42 



PERSONAL POEMS 

father. It is a title consecrated by Greek writers to 
the honour of the departed, and is expressive not of 
vanity but of devotion. And this poem I commend 
to my reader, be he son, or father,, or both. I do not 
demand that he should praise it, but I do ask him to 
love it. And indeed I do not here sing the praises 
of my father ; for he needs no praise, and I have no 
right to burden the dead with the entertainment of 
the living. Furthermore, I say nothing more of 
him than what those who were to some degree his 
contemporaries recognize as fact. For me to say 
what is untrue about him because he is dead, and 
to disguise what is true, I consider to be equally 
heinous. These verses were written under his por- 
trait, and likewise entered in the collection of my 
works. I am dissatisfied with all else of mine ; but 
this poem I love to read over and over again. 

My name was Ausonius, of no mean repute in 
the art of healing; nay, if you but knew my age, 
I was the foremost. I was born and had my 
dwelling in two neighbouring towns ; Bazas was my 
birthplace, but Bordeaux was my home. I was a 
senator in the council 1 of both towns, although 1 
filled no office and my rank was honorary. Not 
wealthy nor yet needy, I lived thriftily yet not 
meanly : as to my table, dress, and habits, I have 
always followed the same way. For Latin I never 
had a ready tongue ; but the speech of Athens 
supplied my need with words of choice eloquence. 
To all who asked I brought the aid of my art with- 
out fee, and pity bare a large share in my work. 

1 Every municipium had a senate of one hundred members 
(decuriones) who met in a council- chamber called curia. 

43 



AUSONIUS 

iudicium de me studui praestare bonorum : 

ipse mihi numquam, iudice me, placui. 
officia in multos diverse debita cultu 15 

personis, meritis, tempore distribui. 
litibus abstinui : non auxi, non minui rem ; 

indice me nullus, set neque teste, peril, 
invidi numquam ; cupere atque ambire refugi ; 

iurare aut falsum dicere par habui. 20 

factio me sibi non, non coniuratio iunxit : 

sincero colui foedere amicitias. 
felicem scivi non qui, quod vellet, haberet, 

set qui per fatum non data non cuperet. 
non occursator, non garrulus, obvia cernens, 25 

valvis et velo condita non adii. 
famam, quae posset vitam lacerare bonorum, 

non finxi et, veram si scierim, tacui. 
ira procul, spes vana procul, procul anxia cura 

inque bonis hominum gaudia falsa procul. 30 

vitati coetus eiuratique tumultus 

et semper fictae principum amicitiae. 
deliquisse nihil numquam laudem esse putavi 

atque bonos mores legibus antetuli. 
irasci promptus properavi condere motum 35 

atque mihi poenas pro levitate dedi. 
coniugium per lustra novem sine crimine concors 

unum habui : gnatos quattuor edidimus. 
prima obiit lactans ; at qui fuit ultimus aevi, - 

pubertate rudi non rudis interiit. 40 

44 



PERSONAL POEMS 

I strove to fulfil the judgment good men formed 
of me ; I myself was a judge who never satisfied 
myself. Upon many I bestowed such acts of kind- 
ness as their various walks in life, persons, de- 
serts, or the occasion demanded. I kept clear of 
lawsuits, and neither increased nor lessened my 
estate : none ever died accused by me, or even on 
my testimony. I envied none ; greed and self- 
seeking I shunned : false-speaking I abhorred as 
deeply as perjury. Parties and cabals never found 
an ally in me, and I honoured loyally the bond 
of friendship. I saw full well that he is not the 
happy man who has all that he would, but he who 
does not long for what fate has not given. No 
busybody, no tattler, seeing only what was before 
my eyes, I did not intrude upon what door or 
curtains screened. I dished up no scandal to 
wound the life of worthy men ; or if I knew such 
to be true, I held my tongue. Anger, and idle 
hopes, and carking cares all these were far from 
me, as were all hollow joys in what men count as 
goods. Meetings I shunned, and riots I forswore 
along with the ever-false friendships of the great. 
I never held it to my credit that I transgressed 
in naught, ever regarding good habits above mere 
laws. Being quick of temper, I made haste 'to 
crush this impulse, and did violence to myself to 
maintain an unruffled soul. For nine full lustres 
(forty-five years) I lived without reproach as with- 
out quarrel with one wife ; and of our union four 
children were born. The eldest girl died in in- 
fancy ; but our youngest boy died e'er he ripened 
into boyhood, though not unripe in parts. Our elder 



45 



AUSONIUS 






maximus ad summum columen pervenit honorum, 

praefectus Gallis et Libyae et Latio, 
tranquillus, clemens, oculis, voce, ore serenus, 

in genitore suo mente animoque puer. 
huius ego et natum et generum pro consule vidi ; 45 

consul lit ipse foret, spes mihi certa fuit. 
matronale decus possedit filia, cuius 

egregia et nuptae laus erat et viduae, 
quae nati generique et progeneri simul omnium 

multiplici inlustres vidit honore domos. 50 

ipse nee adfectans nee detrectator honorum 

praefectus magni nuncupor Illyrici. 
haec me fortunae larga iiidulgentia suasit 

numine adorato vitae obitum petere, 
ne fortunatae spatium inviolabile vitae 55 

fatali morsu stringeret ulla dies, 
optima auditaeque preces : spem, vota, timorem 

sopitus placido fine relinquo aliis. 
inter maerentes, sed non ego maestus, amicos 

dispositis iacui funeris arbitriis. 60 

iionaginta annos baculo sine, corpore toto 

exegi, cunctis integer officiis. 
haec quicumque leges, non aspernabere fari : 

talis vita tibi, qualia vota mihi. 



1 Ausonius himself was properly prefect of the Gatils (in 
378) ; but his prefecture was combined with that held by 
Hesperius (of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa). 



46 



PERSONAL POEMS 

son rose to the highest pinnacle of dignity,, as prefect 
of all Gaul, Libya, and Latium, 1 calm and kindly, 
gentle of glance and speech and mien, in bearing 
towards his father he was still a boy in mind and 
heart. I lived to see his son and son-in-law pro- 
consuls, 2 and my hope was always sure that he 
himself would be consul. My daughter enjoyed 
the pride of the wedded state, and won the highest 
praise both as wife and widow. She lived to see 
her son, her son-in-law, and her granddaughter's 
husband all bring glory to their house in titles 
manifold. And I, although I neither angled for 
distinctions nor affected to disdain them, bore the 
title of prefect of the great Illyricum. Such lavish 
kindness on fortune's part moved me to praise my 
God, and pray that my life might end before any 
day with fell tooth should fret the unmarred span of 
so fortunate a life. My prayers were heard and my 
request was granted : now 1 am fallen asleep after 
a peaceful end, and leave to others hopes, and 
prayers, and fears. And so, after the allowances 3 
for my funeral had been allotted, I lay amid grieving 
friends, myself not grieving. Ninety years I lived, 
without a staff, my body whole and unfailing in all 
its functions. Whoe'er you are who shall read these 
lines, you will not scorn to say : " Your life was such 
as I pray mine may be." 

2 sc. Hesperius and Thalassius, proconsuls of Africa. 

3 Arbitria (cp. Cic. deDomo sua, 37) were so called because 
their amount was adjudged (arbitrabantur) in accordance 
with the means and rank of the deceased : see Justinian, 
Dig. xi. vii. 12, 5, 6. 



47 



AUSON1US 



V. PRECATIO CONSULIS DESIGNATI PRIDIE KALENDAS 
IANUARIAS FASCIBUS SUMPTIS 

IANE, VENI : NOVUS ANNE, VENI : RENOVATE VENI, SOL. 



****** 
consults Ausonii Latiam visure curulem. 
ecquid ab Augusta nunc maiestate secundum 5 

quod mireris, habes ? Roma ilia domusque Quirini 
et toga purpurei rutilans praetexta senati 
hoc apice aeternis signat sua tempora fastis. 

[IANE, VENI : NOVUS ANNE, VENI : RENOVATE VENI, soL.] 1 
Anne, bonis coepte auspiciis, da vere salubri 10 

apricas ventorum animas, da roscida Cancro 
solstitia et gelidum Boream Septembribus horis. 
mordeat autumnis frigus subtile pruinis 
et tenuata moris cesset mediocribus aestas. 
sementem Notus umificet, sit bruma nivalis, 15 

dum pater antiqui renovatur Martius anni. 

[!ANE, VENI : NOVUS ANNE, VENI : RENOVATE VENI, SOL.] 
Spiret odorato florum nova gratia Maio, 
lulius et segetes coquat et mare temperet Euris, 
Sirius ardentem non augeat igne Leonem, 20 

discolor arboreos variet Pomona sapores, 
1 Suppl. Ptiper. 

1 See Pliny, N.H. xv. 3, 4. In the earliest times, the 
Roman year began in March, and there were only ten 
months (December being the last) : the addition of two new 

48 



PERSONAL POEMS 



V. A SOLEMN PRAYER OF AUSONIUS AS CONSUL-DESIG- 
NATE, WHEN HE ASSUMED THE INSIGNIA OF OFFICE 
ON THE EVE OF THE KALENDS OF JANUARY 

Come, Janus ; come, New Year ; come, Sun, with 
strength renewed ! 

* ***** 

****** 
soon to behold Ausonius enthroned in state, consul 
of Rome. What hast thou now beneath the Imperial 
dignity itself to marvel at ? That famous Rome, that 
dwelling of Quirinus, and that Senate whose bordered 
robes glow with rich purple, from this point date 
their seasons in their deathless records. 

Come, Janus ; come, Netv Year ; come, Sun, with 
strength renewed ! 

10 Year, that beginnest with good augury, give us 
in healthful Spring winds of sunny breath ; when the 
Crab shows at the solstice, give us dews, and allay the 
hours of September with a cool north wind. Let 
shrewdly-biting frosts lead in Autumn and let Sum- 
mer wane and yield her place by slow degrees. Let 
the south winds moisten the seed corn, and Winter 
reign with all her snows until March, father of the 
old-style year, 1 come back anew. 

Come, Janus; come, New Year; come, Sun, with 
strength renewed ! 

18 Let May come back with new grace and fragrant 
breath of flowers, let July ripen crops and give the 
sea respite from eastern winds, let Sirius' flames 
not swell the heat of Leo's rage, let party-hued 
Pomona bring on array of luscious fruits, let Autumn 

months (January and February) was traditionally ascribed to 
Numa. 

49 

VOL. I. E 



AUSONIUS 

mitiget autumnus, quod maturaverit aestas, 
et genialis hiems parta sibi dote fruatur. 
pacem mundus agat nee turbida sidera regnent. 
[!ANE, VENI : NOVUS ANNE, VENI : RENOVATE VENI, SOL.] 
Nulla tuos, Gradive, ofFendat stella penates, 26 

quae non aequa tibi ; non Cynthia, non celer Areas 
finitimus terris ; non tu, Saturne, supremo 
ultime circuitu : procul a Pyroeiite remotus 
tranquillum properabis iter. vos comminus ite, 30 
stella salutigeri lovis et Cythereie Vesper : 
non umquam hospitibus facilis Cyllenius absit. 

IANE, VENI : NOVUS ANNE, VENI : RENOVATE VENI, SOL. 
Hostibus edomitis, qua Francia mixta Suebis 
certat ad obsequium, Latiis ut militet armis, 35 

qua vaga Sauromates sibi iunxerat agmina Chuni, 
quaque Getes sociis Histrum adsultabat Alanis 
(hoc mihi praepetibus victoria nuntiat alis) : 
iam venit Augustus, nostros ut comat honores, 
officio exornans, quos participare cupisset. 40 

IANE, VENI : NOVUS ANNE, VENI : RENOVATE VENI, SOL. 
Aurea venture, Sol, porrige gaudia lano : 
fascibus Ausonii succedet Caesar in annum, 

1 Of the stars mentioned in 11. 26-32 Cynthia is the Moon, 
Areas or Arctophylax (son of Jove and Callisto) is the Bear 
Warden, the "Fiery Planet " is Mars, and "Cytherean 
Vesper" is Venus as the Evening Star. The " Cyllenian" is 
Mercury, reputed to take on the influence of whatever star 
happens to be in his "house." 

2 Ausonius is the only authority for Gratian's exploits in 
378 after the defeat of the Alemanni at Argentaria (Colmar 

5 



PERSONAL POEMS 

mellow what Summer has matured, and let jolly 
Winter enjoy his portion due. Let the world live 
at peace, and no stars of trouble hold sway. 

Come, Janus; come, New Year; come, Sun, with 
strength renewed ! 

26 Gradivus, let no star but such as favours thee 
invade thy house not Cynthia, nor swift Areas 
nearest to the earth, nor thou, O Saturn, moving 
remote in thy distant orbit : far from the Fiery 
Planet thou shalt move on thy peaceful course. Ye 
in conjunction move, star of health-bringing Jove, 
and Cythereaii Vesper, nor ever let the Cyllenian, 1 
so complaisant to his guests, tarry far off. 

Come, Janus; come, New Year; come, Sun, with 
strength renewed! 

34 All foes now vanquished 2 (where the mixed 
Prankish and Swabian hordes vie in submission, 
seeking to serve in our Roman armies ; and where 
the wandering bands of Huns had made alliance 
with the Sarmatian ; and where the Getae with their 
Alan friends used to attack the Danube for Victory 
borne on swift wings gives me the news of this), lo 
now the Emperor comes to grace my dignity, and 
with his favour crowns the distinction which he 
would fain have shared. 

Come, Janus; come, New Year; come, Sun, with 
strength renewed ! 

42 Offer thy golden joys, O Sun, to Janus, soon 
to come. A year, and Caesar shall succeed to the 
insignia of Ausonius, and wear for the fifth time the 

in Alsace). In the Gratiarum Actio (ch. ii.) Gratian is 
credited with having restored peace along the frontiers of 
the Rhine and the Danube in a single year. The reference 
to a message here supposed to be brought by Victory is 
probably anticipatory. 

5' 
E 2 



AUSONIUS 

quintam Romulei praetextam habiturus honoris, 
ecce ubi se cumulat mea purpura (mitibus audi 45 
auribus hoc, Nemesis) post me dignatur oriri 
Augustus consul, plus quam conferre videtur 
me sibi, qui iussit nostros praecedere fasces. 

IANE, VENI : NOVUS ANNE, VENI : RENOVATE VENI, SOL. 
Tu tropicum soli da l cedere, rursus et ilium 50 

terga dare, ut duplex tropico varietur ab astro 
et quater a ternis properet mutatio signis. 
aestivos inpelle dies brumamque morantem 
noctibus adceleret promissus Caesaris annus. 
ilium ego si cernam, turn terque quaterque beatus, 55 
tune ero bis consul, tune tangam vertice caelum. 

VI. ITEM PRECATIO KAL. IANUARIIS 

ANNE, bonis coepte auspiciis, felicia cernis 

consults Ausonii primordia : prome coruscum, 

Sol aeterne, caput solitoque inlustrior almo 

lumine purpureum iubar exere lucis eoae. 

anne, pater rerum, quas lani mense bifrontis 5 

volvis in hibernum glaciali fine Decembrem, 

alme, veni et festum veteri novus adice lanum. 7 

coge secuturos bis sena per ostia menses ; 2 7a 

1 Scaliger : solido da, V, Peiper. 

2 Transferred to this place by Peiper : in the MS. ( F) this 
verse follows 1. 49 in the preceding poem. 

52 



PERSONAL POEMS 

robe that distinguishes the Roman consul. Lo, how 
my honours are increased (hear this, O Nemesis, 
with an indulgent ear) : Augustus deigns to appear 
as consul after me. It is as though he did more 
than rank me with himself now he has bidden me 
to bear the insignia before himself. 

Come, Janus; come, New Year; come, Sun, with 
strength renewed! 

50 Cause the one Tropic to give place to the Sun 
and again, make that other flee ; that twice he (the 
Sun) may move through his changes from the Tropic 
Star and four times hasten to pass on from the three 
grouped Signs. 1 Urge on the summer days, and let 
Caesar's promised year speed the winter with its 
laggard nights. If I behold that year, then shall I be 
thrice, nay four times blessed ; then shall I be doubly 
consul, then my head shall touch heaven itself. 

VI. ANOTHER PRAYER FOR THE FIRST OF JANUARY 

YEAR, that beginnest with good augury, thou dost 
behold the opening of Ausonius' consulship. Show 
forth thy fiery head, eternal Sun, and shine more 
brilliantly than is thy wont, spreading a glowing 
beam of light from out the East. O Year, who art 
the father of all those things which thou dost roll 
onward from the month of twy-faced Janus to wintry 
December's icy close, come, gracious New Year, 
and on the heels of the Old Year bring in merry 
January. Drive through thy gates the twelve months 

1 A close rendering seems impossible. The two Tropics 
(of Cancer and Capricorn) are to be quickly passed (cedere 
. . . terga dare), that the Sun may run his due course be- 
tween the two Tropic Stars and the four groups (of three 
Signs each) which mark the seasons, and so bring the } r ear to 
a^close. 

53 



AUSONIUS 

sollemnes pervade vias bissenaque mundo 8 

curricula aequatis varians per tempora signis 
praecipitem aeterna perfer vertigine cursum, 10 

sic prono raptate polo, contraria Phoebus 
ut momenta ferat servata parte dierum 
et novus hiberno reparet sua lumina pulsu. 
menstrua ter decies redeunt dum cornua lunae, 
exortus obitusque manu volvente rotabis, 15 

legitimum Phoebi cohibens per signa meatum. 



54 



PERSONAL POEMS 

that are to follow. Move on along the accustomed 
ways, and as thou changest season by season the 
courses of the twelve even-moving Signs in heaven, 
bear them along in headlong career with unceasing 
revolutions, thyself so carried onwards by the steep- 
sloping heaven, that Phoebus may begin to reverse 
his motions ere all your days are spent, 1 and through 
winter's impulse may restore his fires anew. While 
thrice ten times the horned moon returns new born, 
thy hand shall bring round in succession dawn and 
eve, still keeping Phoebus to his ordained course 
amid the signs of heaven. 

1 i.e. the days which intervene between the winter solstice 
(when the Sun begins to "reverse his motions") and the 
actual end of the year. 



55 



LIBER IV 
PARENTALIA 

PRAEFATIO IN PROSA 

Scio versiculis meis evenire, ut fastidiose legantur : 
quippe sic meritum est eorum. sed quosdam solet 
commendare materia et aliquotiens fortasse lectorem 
solum lemma sollicitat tituli, ut festivitate persuasus 
et ineptiam ferre contentus sit. hoc opusculum nee 
materia amoenum est nee appellatione iucundum. 
habet maestam religionem, qua carorum meorum 
obitus tristi adfectione commemoro. titulus libelli 
est Parentalia. antiquae appellationis hie dies et 
iam inde ab Numa cognatorum inferiis institutus : 
nee quidquam sanctius habet reverentia superstitum, 
quam ut amissos venerabiliter recordetur. 

ITEM PRAEFATIO VERSIBUS ADNOTATA 

NOMINA carorum iam condita funere iusto, 
fleta prius lacrimis, nunc memorabo modis, 



BOOK IV 
PARENTALIA 1 

PREFACE IN PROSE 

1 KNOW that it is the fate of my poor poems to be 
read with a feeling of weariness : that is indeed what 
they deserve. But some are recommended by their 
subject-matter ; and at times, perhaps, the explana- 
tory heading alone so attracts the reader that, allured 
by its gaiety, he cheerfully puts up with its insipid- 
ness. This little volume is neither cheerful as regards 
its subject, nor attractive in title. It is endued with 
that mournful affection with which I commemorate 
in sorrowing love the loss of my dear ones. The book 
is headed Parentalia, after the solemn day 2 so called 
in ancient times, being indeed appointed so long ago 
as the times of Numa for offerings to departed re- 
latives. The loving respect of the living has, indeed, 
no more sacred office it can perform than to call to 
mind with due reverence those who are lost to us. 

A SECOND PREFACE CAST IN VERSE 

NAMES of my dear ones long honourably buried 
names that were once mourned with tears shall 
now be recalled in verse. What though it leave 

1 This title is explained in the Preface. 

2 See Ovid, Fasti, ii. 533 ff. 

57 



AUSONIUS 

nuda, sine ornatu fandique carentia cultu : 

sufficit inferiis exequialis hones, 
nenia, funereis satis officiosa querellis, 5 

annua ne tacitis munera praetereas, 
quae Nuraa cognatis sollemnia dedicat umbris, 

ut gradus aut mortis postulat aut generis, 
hoc satis est tumulis, satis est telluris egenis : 

voce ciere animas funeris instar habet. 10 

gaudeiit conpositi cineres sua nomina dici : 

frontibus hoc scriptis et monumenta iubent. 
ille etiam, maesti cui defuit urna sepulcri, 

nomine ter dicto paene sepultus erit. 
at tu, quicumque es, lector, qui fata meorum 15 

dignaris maestis conmemorare elegis, 
inconcussa tuae percurras tempora vitae 

et praeter iustum funera nulla fleas. 

I. IULIUS AUSONIUS PATER 

PRIMUS in his pater Ausonius, quern ponere primum, 

etsi cunctetur films, ordo iubet. 
cura dei, placidae functus quod honore senectae 

undecies binas vixit Olympiadas. 
omnia, quae voluit, qui prospera vidit : eidem, 5 

optavit quidquid, contigit, ut voluit. 
non quia fatorum nimia indulgentia, sed quod 

tarn moderata illi vota fuere viro. 



1 i.e. the tribute paid by calling upon the name of the 
dead : cp. Vergil, Aen. iii. 68, vi. 507. 

58 



PARENTALIA 

them bare, undecked, and unadorned with well 
polished phrase? The funereal tribute 1 is offering 
enough to the departed. O Dirge, so ready to do 
service with plaints for the dead, forget not thy 
yearly tribute to these silent ones -that tribute 
which Numa ordained should be offered year by year 
to the shades of our relatives, according as the 
nearness of their death or kinship demands. 2 For 
the buried, as for those who lack earth to cover 
them, one rite suffices : to call on the soul by name 
counts for the full ceremony. Our dead ones laid 
to rest rejoice to hear their names : and thus even 
the lettered stones above their graves would have 
us do. Even he who lacks the sad urn of burial 
will be well-nigh as though interred, if his name be 
uttered thrice. But you, my reader, whosoe'er you 
be, who deign to recall in these sad plaints the 
deaths of those I loved, may you pass your span 
of life without a shock, and never have to mourn a 
death save in the course of nature. 

I. JULIUS AUSONIUS, MY FATHER 

FIRST among these I name Ausonius my father ; 
and even if his son should hesitate to place him 
first, yet natural order will have it so. He was 
God's special care, seeing that he enjoyed the glory 
of a calm old age, and lived through twice eleven 
Olympiads. All that he wished for, he saw ful- 
filled : likewise whate'er he desired befell him as he 
wished. It was not that Fate was more kind to him 
than is her wont, but that this worthy man was so 
reasonable in all his hopes. His own age matched 

2 i.e. a remote relative lately dead must be commemorated. 

59 



AUSONIUS 

quern sua contendit septem sapientibus aetas, 

quorum doctrinam moribus excoluit, 10 

viveret ut potius quam diceret, arte sophorum, 

quamquam et facundo non rudis ingenio. 
praeditus et vitas hominum ratione medendi 

porrigere et fatis amplificare moras. 
inde et perfunctae manet haec reverentia vitae, 15 

aetas nostra illi quod dedit hunc titulum : 
ut nullum Ausonius, quern sectaretur, habebat, 

sic nullum, qui se nunc imitetur, habet. 

II. AEMILIA AEONIA MATER 

PROXIMA tu, genetrix Aeonia, sanguine mixto 

Tarbellae matris patris et Haeduici. 
morigerae uxoris virtus cui contigit omnis, 

fama pudicitiae lanificaeque manus 
coniugiique fides et natos cura regendi 5 

et gravitas comis laetaque serietas. 
aeternum placidos manes conplexa mariti, 

viva torum quondam, functa fove tumulum. 

III. AEMILIUS MAGNUS ARBORIUS AVUNCULUS 

CULTA mihi est pietas patre primum et matre vocatis, 

dici set refugit tertius Arborius, 
quern primum memorare nefas mihi patre secundo, 

rursum non primum ponere paene nefas. 
temperies adhibenda,, [et proximus ille vocandus l ] 5 

ante alios, quamquam patre secundus erit. 

1 Suppl. Translator. 
60 



PARENTALIA 

him with the Seven Sages, whose teaching he so 
closely practised in his life as to live by the rule ot 
wisdom rather than profess it, albeit he was not 
unskilled nor lacking in the gift of eloquence. To 
him was given the power to prolong men's lives by 
means of medicine, and make the Fates wait their 
full time. Wherefore, though his life's task is ended, 
so great a reverence for him lingers yet that our own 
age has given him this epitaph : " Even as Ausonius 
had none for him to follow, so he has none who now 
can match his skill." 



II. AEMILIA AEONIA, MY MOTHER 

NEXT will I sing of you, Aeonia, who gave me birth, 
in whom was mingled the blood of a mother from 
Tarbellae and of an Aeduan father. In you was found 
every virtue of a duteous wife, chastity renowned, 
hands busy spinning wool, truth to your bridal vows, 
pains to bring up your children : sedate were you yet 
friendly, sober yet bright. Now that for ever you 
embrace your husband's peaceful shade, still cheer in 
death his tomb, as once in life you cheered his bed. 

III. AEMILIUS MAGNUS ARBORIUS, MY MOTHER'S 
BROTHER 

NATURAL affection bade me utter first my father's 
and my mother's names, and yet Arborius refuses to 
take third place. Though it were an outrage to 
mention him first and my father after him, yet again 
it is scarcely less to deny him the first place. So let 
us compromise ; let him be named next, before all 
others, although he will be second to my father. 

61 



AUSONIUS 

tu irater genetricis et unanimis genitori,, 

et mihi qui fueris, quod pater et genetrix, 
qui me lactantem, puerum iuvenemque virumque 

artibus ornasti,, quas didicisse iuvat 10 

te sibi Palladiae antetulit toga docta Tolosae, 

te Narbonensis Gallia praeposuit, 
ornasti cuius Latio sermone tribunal 

et fora Hiberorum quaeque Novem populis. 
hinc tenus Europam fama cresceiite petito 15 

Constantinopolis rhetore te viguit. 
tu per mille modos, per mille oracula fandi 

doctus, facundus, tu celer, atque memor. 
tu, postquam primis placui tibi traditus annis, 

dixisti nato me satis esse tibi. 20 

me tibi, me patribus clarum decus esse professus 

dictasti fatis verba notanda meis. 
Ergo vale Elysiam sortitus, avuncule, sedem : 

haec tibi de Musis carmina libo tuis. 

IV. CAECILIUS ARGICIUS ARBORIUS Avus 

OFFICIOSA pium ne desere, pagina, munus : 
maternum post hos commemoremus avum 

Arborium, Haeduico ductum de stemmate nomen, 
conplexum multas nobilitate domus, 

qua Lugdunensis provincia quaque potentes 5 

Haedues,, Alpino quaque Vienna iugo. 

62 



PARENTALIA 

You, my mother's brother, and one in soul with my 
father, and to me who were as my father and my 
mother, who in my infancy, boyhood, youth, and 
manhood, instructed me in arts which it is a delight 
to have learned you the learned gownsmen ot 
Toulouse, that home of Pallas, made their chief, 
you Gaul of Narbonne a province whose tribunal 
you enriched with Roman eloquence, as also the 
courts of Spain and Novempopulonia. 1 Hence your 
fame was spread all over Europe, until Constanti- 
nople claimed you as its professor and flourished 
under your instruction. It was you, skilled and 
eloquent of speech through all its countless devices, 
through all its countless utterances of majesty ; you, 
quick of wit and sure of memory ; you who, when 
in my earliest years I was committed to your charge 
and pleased you well, said you needed nothing more 
since I was in the world. And when you avowed 
that I was a glory, I an honour to you and to my 
parents, you dictated words to be entered in the 
book of my destiny. 

23 And so farewell, my uncle, in the Elysian abode 
appointed you : I make this offering of verse to you 
from the cup of your own Muses. 

IV. CAECILIUS ARGICIUS ARBORIUS, MY GRANDFATHER 

FORSAKE not your sacred task, my duteous page : 
next after these let me celebrate the memory 
of my mother's father, Arborius who derived his 
name from a line of Aeduan ancestors, uniting the 
blood of many a noble house, both of the province 
of Lyons, and of that land where the Aedui held 
sway, and in the country of Vienne bordered by 
1 A province in the " diocese " of Vienne. 

63 



AUSONIUS 

invida set nimium generique opibusque superbis 

aerumna incubuit ; namque avus et genitor 
prescript^ regnum cum Victorinus haberet 

ductor et in Tetricos recidit imperium. 10 

turn profugum in terris,, per quas erumpit Aturrus 

Tarbellique furor perstrepit oceani, 
grassantis dudum fortunae tela paventem 

pauperis Aemiliae condicio inplicuit. 
mox tenuis multo quaesita pecunia nisu 15 

solamen fesso, non et opes tribuit. 
tu caeli numeros et conscia sidera fati 

callebas studium dissimulanter agens. 
non ignota tibi nostrae quoque formula vitae, 

signatis quam tu condideras tabulis, 20 

prodita non umquam ; sed matris cura retexit, 

sedula quam timidi cura tegebat avi. 
tu novies denos vitam cum duxeris annos, 

expertus Fortis tela cavenda deae, 
amissum flesti per trina decennia natum 25 

saucius : hoc leto lumine cassus eras, 
dicebas sed te solacia longa fovere, 

quod mea praecipuus fata maneret honos. 
et modo conciliis animarum mixte priorum 

fata tui certe nota nepotis habes. 30 

sentis, quod quaestor, quod te praefectus et idem 

consul honorifico munere conmemoro. 

1 One of the "Thirty Tyrants" who bore rule in Caul 
during the davs of Gallienus. His "reign" lasted from 
267-268 A.D. 

64 



PARENTALIA 

Alpine heights. But trouble, all too jealous of lineage 
and proud wealth, weighed heavy upon him ; for my 
grandfather and his father were proscribed when 
Victorinus 1 was holding sway as prince, and when 
the supreme power passed into the hands of the two 
Tetrici. 2 Then, while in exile in the lands through 
which the Adour breaks forth to the sea, and where 
wild Ocean rages on the shore of Tarbellae (Dax), 
though still he feared the arrows of Fortune who so 
long had sought his life, he was united in marriage 
with penniless Aemilia. In time a scanty sum gathered 
with great pains furnished his wearied age with some 
relief, though not with wealth. You though you 
cloaked your pursuits had skill in the measures of 
the heavens and in the stars which keep the secret 
of man's destiny. Not unknown to you was the out- 
line of my life, which you had hidden in a sealed 
tablet, and never betrayed ; but my mother's forward 
care revealed that which the care of my shy grand- 
father sought to conceal. When you had lived a life 
of ninety years, you found how to be dreaded are 
the arrows of the goddess Chance, and wounded by 
her shaft, mourned for a son, lost in his thirtieth 
year a death which blotted the light out of your 
life. Yet you would say that some consolation, 
though far remote, cheered you, because high dis- 
tinction awaited my destiny. And now that you join 
in the assemblies of souls that are gone before, 
surely you have knowledge of your grandson's for- 
tunes : you feel that a quaestor, that a prefect, and 
likewise a consul am I who now commemorate you 
with a tribute in your honour. 

2 The Tetrici (father and son) succeeded Victorinus. 

65 

VOL. I. F 



AUSONIUS 

V. -AEMILIA CORINTHIA MAURA AVIA 

AEMILIAM nunc fare aviam, pia cura nepotis, 

coniunx praedicto quae fuit Arborio. 
nomen huic ioculare datum, cute fusca quod olim 

aequales inter Maura vocata fuit. 
sed non atra animo, qui clarior esset olore 5 

et non calcata qui nive candidior. 
et non deliciis ignoscere prompta pudendis 

ad perpendiculum seque suosque habuit. 
haec me praereptum cunis et ab ubere matris 

blanda sub austeris inbuit inperiis. 1 

tranquillos aviae cineres praestate, quieti 

aeternum manes, si pia verba loquor. 

VI. AEMILIA HILARIA MATERTERA VIRGO 
DEVOTA 

TUQUE gradu generis matertera, sed vice matris 

adfectu nati commemoranda pio, 
Aemilia, in cunis Hilari cognomen adepta, 

quod laeta et pueri comis ad effigiem, 
reddebas verum non dissimulanter ephebum, 
***** 

more virum medicis artibus experiens. 
feminei sexus odium tibi semper et inde 

crevit devotae virginitatis amor, 
quae tibi septenos novies est culta per annos 

quique aevi finis, ipse pudicitiae. 10 

1 Perpendiculum is a mason's or carpenter's plumb-line. 
The same phrase is used figuratively of severe morality in 
Ammianus Marcellinus, xxix. ii. 16. 

66 



PARENTALIA 



V. AEMILIA CORINTHIA MAURA, MY GRANDMOTHER 

Now must a grandson's duteous affection tell 01 
Aemilia, my grandmother, who was the spouse of 
that Arborius named above. Her name was given 
her in play, because for her dark complexion she 
was called Maura in old days by her girl-friends. 
But she was not dark in her soul, which was whiter 
than a swan and brighter than untrodden snow. 
She was not ready to overlook shameful indulgences, 
but kept herself rigidly upright l and her household 
as well. When I was torn too soon from my cradle 
and my mother's breast, kindly was her early train- 
ing though hid beneath stern rule. Ye ever restful 
shades, grant peace to my grandmother's ashes, if I 
utter righteous prayer. 



VI. AEMILIA HILARIA, MY MOTHER'S SISTER, 
AN AVOWED VIRGIN 

You too who, though in kinship's degree an aunt, 
were to me a mother, must now be recalled with 
a son's affection, Aemilia, who in the cradle gained 
the second name of Hilarus 2 (Blithesome), because, 
bright and cheerful after the fashion of a boy, you 
made without pretence the very picture of a lad 
. . . 3 busied in the art of healing, like a man. You 
ever hated your female sex, and so there grew up 
in you the love of consecrated maidenhood. Through 
three and sixty years you maintained it, and your 
life's end was also a maiden's end. You cherished 

2 The masculine is explained by 1. 4. 

3 Two verses appear to have fallen out of the text. 

67 
F 2 



AUSONIUS 

haec, quia uti mater monitis et amore fovebas, 
supremis reddo films exequiis. 

VII. CL. CoNTEMTUS ET luLIUS CALLIPPIO 

PATRUI 

ET patruos, elegea, meos reminiscere cantu, 

Contemtum, tellus quern Rutupina tegit ; 
magna cui et variae quaesita pecunia sortis 

heredis nullo nomine tuta perit ; 
raptus enim laetis et adhuc florentibus annis 5 

trans mare et ignaris fratribus oppetiit. 
lulius in longam produxit fata senectam, 

adfectus damnis innumerabilibus. 
qui comis blandusque et mensa commodus uncta 

heredes solo nomine nos habuit. 10 

Ambo pii, vultu similes, ioca seria mixti, 

aevi fortunam non habuere parem. 
discreti quamquam tumulis et honore iacetis, 

commune hoc vobis munus habete, "vale." 

VIII. ATTUSIUS LUCANUS TALISIUS SOCER 

Qui proceres veteremque volet celebrare senatum 
claraque ab exortu stemmata Burdigalae, 

teque tuumque genus memoret, Lucane Talisi, 
moribus ornasti qui veteres proavos. 

pulcher honore oris, tranquillo pectore comis, 5 

facundo quamvis maior ab ingenio : 



68 



PARENTAL1A 

me with your precepts and your love as might a 
mother ; and therefore as a son I make you this 
return at your last rites. 

VII. CLEMENS CONTEMTUS AND JULIUS CALLIPPIO, 
MY UNCLES 

AND now, my lay, call back in song the memory 
of my uncles, of Contemtus who lies buried in the 
soil of Rutupiae 1 ; whose great wealth, gained through 
various hazards, perished unguarded by the name of 
any heir; for dying untimely, when he was still in 
the prime and vigour of his years, he met his end 
beyond the sea and without his brothers' knowledge. 

7 Julius lived on into extreme old age, o'erwhelmed 
with losses beyond reckoning. Cheerful, courteous, 
an agreeable host at his well-appointed board, he left 
me his heir, though only in name. 

11 Both loving, both alike in countenance, both 
mingling grave and gay, they were ill-matched in 
their allotted spans of life. Though ye lie far apart 
and lack the privilege of a common tomb, yet take 
this single offering to you both, my ' ' fare thee well ! " 

VIII. ATTUSIUS LUCANUS TALISIUS, MY 
FATHER-IN-LAW 

WHOSO would praise the nobles, the ancient 
Senate, and the houses of Bordeaux, illustrious from 
their first arising, let him tell of you and of your 
race, Lucanus Talisius of you, whose life has added 
lustre to your ancient line. Handsome and noble in 
features, gentle and kindly in heart, your gift of 
eloquence made you yet greater still. You spent all 

1 Richborough, in Kent, an important British port and a 
fortress on the "Saxon Shore," here equivalent to Britain. 

69 



AUSONIUS 

venatu et ruris cultu victusque nitore 

omne aevum peragens, publica despiciens : 
nosci inter primes cupiens, prior esse recusans, 

ipse tuo vivens segregus arbitrio. 10 

optabas tu me generum florente iuventa : 

optare hoc tantum, non et habere datum, 
vota probant superi meritisque faventia sanctis 

inplent fata, viri quod voluere boni. 
et nunc perpetui sentis sub honore sepulcrl, 15 

quam reverens natae quamque tui maneam. 
caelebs namque gener haec nunc pia munera solvo : 

nam et caelebs numquam desinam et esse gener. 

IX. ATTUSIA LUCANA SABINA UXOR 

HACTENUS ut caros, ita iusto funere fletos 

functa piis cecinit nenia nostra modis. 
nunc dolor atque cruces nee contrectabile vulnus, 

coniugis ereptae mors memoranda mihi. 
nobilis a proavis et origine clara senatus, 5 

moribus atque bonis clara Sabina magis. 
te iuvenis primis luxi deceptus in annis 

perque novem caelebs te fleo Olympiadas. 
nee licet obductum senio sopire dolorem ; 

semper crudescit nam mihi paene recens. 10 

admittunt alii solacia temporis aegri : 

haec graviora facit vulnera longa dies. 
70 



PARENTALIA 

your life in hunting, and husbandry, and all the 
pleasures of a refined life, despising public affairs. 
Eager to be recognized among the foremost, yet you 
refused to be the foremost, by living in seclusion 
from the throng at your own pleasure. When 
youth's heyday was mine, you desired me for your 
daughter's husband ; but you were suffered only to 
desire this, not also to attain it. The Gods above 
give effect to prayers, and the Fates looking kindly 
on unsullied worth, fulfil what good men desire ; 
and now, deep in the eternal tomb where rest your 
honoured bones, you still feel how constant I abide 
to your daughter's memory and to your own. For 
unwedded, I, your son-in-law, now pay this tribute 
of devotion : nor will I ever cease to be both unwed 
and your son-in-law. 

IX. ATTUSIA LUCANA SABINA, MY WIFE 

THUS far my dirge, fulfilling its sacred task, has 
sung in loving strains of those who, though dear, 
were mourned but in the course of nature. Now 
my grief and anguish and a wound that cannot bear 
a touch the death of my wife snatched away un- 
timely, must be told by me. High was her ancestry 
and noble in her birth from a line of senators, but 
yet Sabina was ennobled more by her good life. In 
youth I wept for you, robbed of my hopes in early 
years, and through these six and thirty years, un- 
wedded, I have mourned, and mourn you still. Age 
has crept over me, but yet I cannot lull my pain ; 
for ever it keeps raw and well-nigh new to me. 
Others receive of time a balm to soothe their grief : 
these wounds become but heavier with length of 



AUSONIUS 

torqueo deceptos ego vita caelibe canos, 

quoque magis solus, hoc mage maestus ago. 
vulnus alit, quod muta domus silet et torus alget, 15 

quod mala non cuiquam, non bona participo. 
maereo, si coniunx alii bona ; maereo contra, 

si mala : ad exemplum tu mihi semper ades. 
tu mihi crux ab utraque venis : sive est mala, quod tu 

dissimilis fueris ; seu bona, quod similis. 20 

non ego opes cassas et inania gaudia plango, 

sed iuvenis iuveni quod mihi rapta viro. 
laeta, pudica, gravis, genus inclita et inclita forma, 

et dolor atque decus coniugis Ausonii. 
quae modo septenos quater inpletura Decembres 25 

liquisti natos, pignera nostra, duos, 
ilia favore dei, sicut tua vota fuerunt, 

florent, optatis adcumulata bonis. 
et precor, ut vigeant tandemque superstite utroque 

nuntiet hoc cineri nostra favilla tuo. 30 



X. AUSONIUS PARVULUS FILIUS 

NON ego te infletum memori fraudabo querella, 
primus, nate, meo nomine dicte puer : 

murmura quern primis meditantem absolvere verbis 
indolis et plenae, planximus exequiis. 1 

tu gremio in proavi funus commune locatus, 5 

invidiam tumuli ne paterere tui. 

1 V: obsequiis, Pciper. 



PARENTALIA 

days. I tear my grey hairs mocked by my widowed 
life, and the more I live in loneliness, the more 
I live in heaviness. That my house is still and 
silent, and that my bed is cold, that I share not 
my ills with any, my good with any these things 
feed my wound. I grieve, if one man has a worthy 
wife ; and yet again I grieve if another has a bad : 
for pattern, you are ever present with me. Howe'er 
it be, you come to torture me : if one be bad, be- 
cause you were not like her ; or if one be good, 
because you were like her. I mourn not for use- 
less wealth or unsubstantial joys, but because in 
your youth you were torn from me, your youthful 
lord. Cheerful, modest, staid, famed for high birth 
as famed for beauty, you were the grief and glory 
of Ausonius your spouse. For ere you could complete 
your eight and twentieth December, you deserted 
our two children, the pledges of our love. They by 
God's mercy, and as you ever prayed, flourish amid 
an abundance of such goods as you desired for them. 
And still I pray that they may prosper, and that at 
last my dust may bring the news to your ashes that 
they are living yet. 

X. AUSONIUS, MY SON, A LITTLE CHILD 

I WILL not leave you unwept, my son, nor rob you 
of the complaint due to your memory you, my 
first-born child, and called by my name. Just as 
you were practising to transform your babbling into 
the first words of childhood and were of ripe natural 
gifts we had to mourn for your decease. You on 
your great-grandfather's bosom lie sharing one com- 
mon grave, lest you should suffer the reproach of 
your one lone tomb. 

73 



AUSONIUS 

XI. PASTOR NEPOS EX FILIO 

Tu quoque matures, puer inmature, dolores 

interrupisti luctus acerbus avi, 
Pastor care nepos, spes cuius certa fuisses, 1 

Hesperii patris tertia progenies, 
nomen, quod casus dederat (quia fistula primum 5 

pastorale melos concinuit genito), 
sero intellectum vitae brevis argumentum : 

spiritus adflatis quod fugit e calamis. 
occidis emissae percussus pondere testae, 

abiecit tecto quam manus artificis. 10 

non fuit artificis manus haec : manus ilia cruenti 

certa fuit fati suppositura reum. 
heu, quae vota mini, quae rumpis gaudia, Pastor ! 

ilia meum petiit tegula missa caput. 
dignior o, nostrae gemeres qui fata senectae 15 

et quererere meas maestus ad exequias ! 



XII. IULIA DRYADIA SOROR 

Si qua fuit virtus, cuperet quam femina prudens 

esse suam, soror hac Dryadia baud caruit. 
quin etiam multas babuit, quas sexus habere 

fortior optaret nobilitasque virum. 
docta satis vitamque coin famamque tueri, 

docta bonos mores ipsa suosque docens. 
et verum vita cui carius unaque cura 

nosse deum et fratrem diligere ante alios. 

1 Translator : fuit res, V (and Peipcr). 
74 



PARENTALIA 

XI. PASTOR, MY SON'S CHILD 

You also, lad of unripe years, have broken this 
sequence of laments for riper age, Pastor, my loved 
grandson, filling with bitter grief your grandfather, 
whose sure hope you would have been, third child 
of Hesperius your father. Your name, which chance 
had given you (because just when you were born a 
pipe sounded some pastoral air), too late was under- 
stood to be a symbol of your short life : because 
the breath soon passes from the pipes on which a 
shepherd blows. You perished stricken down by 
the weight of a cast tile, thrown from the roof by 
a workman's hand. No workman's hand was that : 
that hand of bloody Fate should surely have borne 
the blame. Ah me, how many of rny hopes, how 
many of my joys you broke short, my Pastor ! 
That tile, carelessly flung, reached my head. O, 
how much fitter were you to mourn the end of 
my old age, and raise a sad lament at my burial ! 



XII. JULIA DRYADIA, MY SISTER 

IF there is any virtue which a discreet woman 
could desire to possess, Dryadia, my sister, lacked 
it not. Nay more, she had many which the stronger 
sex and the nobler heart of men would gladly 
have. Well trained with her distaff's aid to main- 
tain her life and her good name, and trained in 
all good habits, she trained her household too. 
To her truth was dearer than life, and her one 
thought was to know God and to love her brother 



75 



AUSONIUS 

coniuge adhuc iuvenis caruit, sed seria vitans 

moribus austeras aequiperavit anus 10 

produxitque hilarem per sena decennia vitam, 
inque domo ac tecto, quo pater, oppetiit. 

XIII. AVITIANUS PRATER 

AVITIANUM, Musa, germanum meum 

dona querella funebri. 
minor iste natu me, sed ingenio prior 

artes paternas inbibit. 
verum iuventae flore laeto perfrui 5 

aevique supra puberis 
exire metas vetuit infesta Atropos. 

heu quern dolorem sociis ! 
heu quanta vitae decora, quern cultum spei, 1 

germane., pubes deseris, 10 

germane carnis lege et ortu sanguinis, 

amore paene filius ! 

XIV. VAL. LATIN us EUROMIUS GENER 

O GENERIS clari decus, o mihi funus acerbum, 

Euromi, e iuvenum lecte cohorte gener, 
occidis in primae raptus mihi flore iuventae, 

lactantis nati vix bene note pater, 
tu procerum de stirpe satus, praegressus et ipsos, 5 

unde genus clarae nobilitatis erat, 
ore decens, bonus ingenio, facundus et omni 

dexteritate vigens praecipuusque fide. 

1 Gronovius : Heu quanta vitae decora | quern cultum spei 
quern dolorem sociis, V. 

76 



PARENTALIA 

above all besides. Albeit she lost her husband while 
still young, she was a match for any dame in the 
strictness of life, though shunning sourness, and 
lived out six decades of cheerful life, dying in 
the same home and under the same roof as did 
her father. 



XIII. AVITIANUS, MY BROTHER 

MUSE, do thou enrich Avitianus, my brother, with 
a mournful lay. In years below me, but in gifts 
of mind above, he learned our father's art. But 
Atropos, his foe, forbade him fully to enjoy the 
gladsome bloom of youth or to pass beyond the 
bounds which mark the end of boyhood. Ah, 
what grief for his playmates ! Ah, from how glorious 
a life, and what rich hopes you turned away while 
yet a lad, my brother my brother by the law ot 
flesh and parentage of blood, in love almost my 
son ! 



XIV. VALERIUS LATINUS EUROMIUS, MY SON-IN-LAW 

O GLORY of an illustrious race, O untimely death 
to me, Euromius, my son-in-law chosen from the 
company of youths, you perished snatched from 
me in the very bloom of early youth, a father 
scarce fully recognized by your son at his mother's 
breast. You, the scion of noble ancestors, sur- 
passed even them from whom you traced your 
glorious descent, in features comely, gifted in mind, 
eloquent, active in all vigorous pursuits, and eminent 



77 



AUSONIUS 

hoc praefecturae sedes, hoc lllyris ora 

praeside te experta est, fiscus et ipse cliens. 10 
nil aevi brevitate tamen tibi laudis ademptum : 

indole maturus, funere acerbus obis. 

XV. POMPONIUS MAXIMUS ADFINIS 

ET te germanum non sanguine, sed vice fratris, 

Maxime, defunctum neiiia nostra canet. 
coniunx namque meae tu consociate sorori 

aevi fruge tui destituis viduam. 
non domus hoc tantum sensit tua : sensit acerbum 5 

saucia, pro, casum curia Burdigalae, 
te primore vigens, te deficiente relabens 

inque Valentinum te moriente cadens. 
heu quare nato, qui fruge et flore nepotum, 

ereptus nobis, Maxime, non frueris ? 10 

set frueris, divina habitat si portio manes 

quaeque futura olim gaudia, nosse datur. 
longior hie etiam laetorum fructus habetur 

anticipasse diu, quae modo participas. 

XVI. VERIA LICERIA UXOR ARBORII 
SORORIS FILII 

Tu quoque sive nurus mihi nomine, vel vice natae, 
Veria, supremi carmen honoris habe. 

78 



PARENTALIA 

in honour. This the prefect's seat, this the Illyrian 
shore learned when you were governor, and the 
Treasury itself whose advocate you were. Yet life's 
short span has robbed you of naught of your praise : 
ripe were your powers, untimely your end. 

XV. POMPONIUS MAXIMUS, MY BROTHER-IN-LAW 

You also, not akin to me in blood yet like a 
brother you, Maximus, now dead, shall be sung by 
my dirge. For you were wedded to my sister, only 
to leave her widowed in the harvest-season of your 
life. Not your home alone felt this pang : the 
stricken Senate of Bordeaux alas ! felt this un- 
timely chance, nourishing while you were its chief, 
declining as your strength failed, and at your death 
falling into the power of Valentinus. Alas, my 
Maximus, why were you reft from us, and from the 
joy of children and grandchildren, the flower and 
fruit of your race ? And yet you do have joy of 
these, if any share of presage dwells among the 
shades, and if it is granted them to know of those 
delights which one day are to be. Longer also this 
enjoyment of delights is held to be to have fore- 
seen awhile that which you now partake. 



XVI. VERIA LICERIA, WIFE OF ARBORIUS, 
MY SISTER'S SON 

You also, Veria whether I think of you as my 
nephew's wife or as my daughter take the last 

79 



AUSONIUS 

cuius si probitas, si forma et fama fidesque 

morigerae uxoris lanificaeque manus 
nunc laudanda forent, procul et de manibus imis 5 

accersenda foret vox 1 proavi Eusebii. 
qui quoniam functo iarn pridem conditus aevo 

transcripsit partes in mea verba suas, 
accipe funereas, neptis defleta, querellas, 

coniunx Arborii commemoranda mei, 10 

cui parva ingentis luctus solacia linquens 

destituis natos, quo magis excrucias. 
at tibi dilecti ne desit cura mariti, 

iuncta colis thalamo nunc monumenta tuo. 
hie, ubi primus hymen, sedes ibi maesta sepulcri : 15 

nupta magis dici quam tumulata potes. 

XVII. POMPONIUS MAXIMUS HERCULANUS SORORIS 
FILIUS 

NEC germana genitum te 

modulamine nenia tristi 

taciturn sine honore relinquat, 

super indole cuius adulti 

magnae bona copia laudis. 5 

verum memorare magis quam 

functum laudare decebit. 

decus hoc matrisque meumque 

in tempore puberis aevi 

vis perculit invida fati. 10 

eheu quern, Maxime, fructum, 

facunde et musice et acer, 

mentem bonus, ingenio ingens, 

volucer pede, corpore pulcher, 

lingua catus, ore canorus. 15 

1 Mommsen : uxor est, P, Peiper. 
80 



PARENTALIA 

tribute of my verse. If your uprightness, beauty, 
faithfulness as a duteous wife, and skill in spinning 
wool were to be praised here, then should we have 
to summon from far back and from the inmost 
place of souls, the voice of Eusebius your great- 
grandfather. But since he is dead and buried 
long ago, and has bequeathed to me the task of 
speaking in his stead, receive these sad com- 
plaints, lamented daughter, whom, as the wife of 
my Arborius, I must not leave unsung. To him 
you leave behind your children, small comforts to 
assuage o'ermastering grief, and thereby increase 
his pain the more. But that the tender thoughts 
of your loved husband may not fail you, the 
tomb, now your abode, is built hard by your bridal 
chamber. And where the glad marriage-song first 
was raised, there stands your mournful sepulchre. 
So may we say that you are wedded rather than 
buried here. 

XVII. POMPONIUS MAXIMUS HERCULANUS, 
MY SISTER'S SON 

NOR may my dirge leave you unhonoured and 
unsung in strains of sorrow, son of my own sister, 
upon whose already ripened powers a full measure 
of high praise was lavished. Yet will it be fitter 
here to commemorate rather than to praise the dead. 
Him who was both his mother's pride and mine 
Fate's envious power laid low in the season of 
his youth. Alas, for thy fruit, my Maximus, so 
eloquent, so skilled in arts, so quick, so kind in 
heart, so gifted in mind, so fleet of foot, so graceful, 
clever of tongue as tuneful of voice ! Take as the 

81 

VOL. I. G 



AUSONIUS 

cape munera tristia patrum, 
lacrimabilis orsa querellae, 
quae funereo modulatu 
tibi maestus avunculus offert. 



XVIII. FL. SANCTUS MARITUS PUDENTILLAE QUAE 
SOROR SABINAE MEAE 

Qui ioca laetitiamque colis, qui tristia damnas 

nee metuis queinquam nee metuendus agis, 
qui nullum insidiis captas nee lite lacessis, 

sed iustam et clemens vitam agis et sapiens, 
tranquillos manes supremaque mitia Sancti 5 

ore pio et verbis advenerare bonis. 
militiam nullo qui turbine sedulus egit, 

praeside laetatus quo Rutupinus ager, 
octoginta annos cuius tranquilla senectus 

nullo mutavit deteriore die. 10 

ergo precare favens, ut qualia tempora vitae, 

talia et ad manes otia Sanctus agat. 

XIX. NAMIA PUDENTILLA ADFINIS 

TUQUE Pudentillam verbis adfare supremis, 

quae famae curarn, quae probitatis habes. 
nobilis haec, frugi, proba, laeta, pudica, decora, 

coniugium Sancti iugiter haec habuit. 
inviolata tuens castae praeconia vitae 5 

rexit opes proprias otia agente viro : 
non ideo exprobrans aut fronte obducta niarito, 

quod gereret totam femina sola domum. 

1 Militia here, as not uncommonly, indicates civil and not 
military service : the still -surviving Roman fortress at Rich- 

82 



PARENTALIA 

sad offerings ordained by our fathers, this effort to 
raise a tearful lament, cast in a woeful strain which 
in his grief your uncle presents to you. 

XVIII. FLAVIUS SANCTUS, HUSBAND OF PUDENTILLA, 
THE SISTER OF MY WIFE SABINA 

You, Sir, who love jests and merriment, you who 
hate all moroseness, neither fearing any man nor 
causing any man to fear, who entrap no man by 
trickery nor vex him at the law, but mildly and 
wisely live an upright life, come with reverent lips 
and words of good omen to do honour to the peace- 
ful shade and the remains of kindly Sanctus. His 
service x he performed diligently without tumult ; 
with him for governor the Rutupian land rejoiced ; 
his eighty years a peaceful old age marred not with 
any day of decline. Therefore be this your pro- 
pitious prayer, that Sanctus may enjoy such peace 
among the shades as he found in the season of his 
life. 

XIX. NAMIA PUDENTILLA, MY SISTER-IN-LAW 

You also, Lady, who think highly of a good name 
and upright life, speak a word of last farewell to 
Pudentilla. Well-born, thrifty, and upright, cheerful, 
modest, and fair, she shared without a break the 
wedded life of Sanctus. Keeping unstained the 
praises due to a modest life, she managed her own 
property, while her lord lived at ease : but for all 
that she did not taunt her husband nor look black 
upon him because he left a woman to manage the 

borough (Rutupiae) was in the command of the "Count of 
the Saxon Shore," but Rutupinus ager here denotes Britain. 

83 

o 2 



AUSONIUS 

heu nimium iuvenis, sed laeta superstate nato 

atque viro, patiens fata suprema obiit : 10 

unanimis nostrae et quondam germana Sabinae 
et mihi inoffenso nomine dicta soror. 

mine etiam manes placidos pia cura retractat 
atque Pudeiitillam fantis honore colit. 

XX. LUCANUS TALISIUS EORUM FILIUS 

NEC iam tu,, matris spes unica, ephebe Talisi,, 

consobrine meus, inmemoratus eris, 
ereptus primis aevi florentis in annis, 

iam tamen et coniunx, iam properate pater, 
festinasse putes fatum, ne funus acerbum 5 

diceret hoc genitor tarn cito factus avus. 

XXI. ATTUSIA Luc ANA TALISIA ET MINUCIUS 
REGULUS ADFINES 

NOTITIA exilis nobis, Attusia, tecum, 

cumque tuo plane coniuge nulla fuit. 
verum tu nostrae soror es germana Sabinae, 

adfinis quoque tu, Regule, nomen habes. 
sortitos igitur tarn cara vocabula nobis 5 

stringainus maesti carminis obsequio. 
quamvis Santonica procul in tellure iacentes 

pervenit ad manes exequialis honor. 
84 



PARENTALIA 

whole house alone. Alas ! Too young, yet happy 
that her husband and her son still lived, she met 
her final doom and died. She was of one heart 
and one in blood with my Sabina, and by me was 
she called sister unreproved. Now also my loving 
thoughts busy themselves with her peaceful shade, 
and voice these words of tribute to my Pudentilla. 



XX. LUCANUS TALISIUS, THEIR SON 

You, too, in turn shall not pass unregarded, young 
Talisius, my nephew and your mother's only hope. 
Though you were snatched from us in the first years 
of your prime, yet you were already wed, already 
early made a father : and we may think Fate 
hastened that event, that being so quickly made a 
grandfather, your own sire might not declare your 
death to be untimely. 



XXI. ATTUSIA LUCANA TALISIA AND MINUCIUS 
REGULUS, MY SISTER AND BROTHER-IN-LAW 

THOUGH slight was my acquaintance with you, At- 
tusia, and though I had none at all with him who 
was your husband, yet you are own sister of my wife 
Sabina, and you also, Regulus, rank as my brother-in- 
law. Wherefore, since ye have names which are so 
dear to me, let me touch you with the homage of 
my sorrowing verse. For although ye be buried far 
from here in the soil of Saintes, yet the last homage 
can find its way to the souls of the departed. 



AUSONIUS 

XXII. SEVERUS CENSOR IULIANUS CONSOCER 

DESINITE, o veteres, Calpurnia nomina, Frugi 

ut proprium hoc vestrae gentis habere decus. 
nee solus semper censor Cato nee sibi solus 

iustus Aristides his placeant titulis. 
nam sapiens quicumque fuit verumque fidemque 5 

qui coluitj comitem se tibi, Censor, agat. 
tu gravis et comis cum iustitiaque remissus, 

austeris doctus iungere temperiem. 
tu non adscito tibi me nee sanguine iuncto 

optasti nostras consociare domos. 10 

nempe aliqua in nobis morum simulacra tuorum 

effigies nostri praebuit ingenii ; 
aut iam Fortunae sic se vertigo rotabat, 

ut pondus fatis tarn bona vota darent. 
si quid aput manes sentis, fovet hoc tibi mentem, 15 

quod fieri optaras, id voluisse deum. 



XXIII. PAULINUS ET DRYADIA FILII PAULINI ET 
MEGENTIRAE SORORIS FILIAE. 

Qui nomen vultumque patris, Pauline, gerebas, 

amissi specimen qui genitoris eras ; 
propter quern luctus miserae decedere matris 

coeperat, offerret cum tua forma patrem, 

1 Father of Thalassius, who married a daughter of Ausonius 
(Ausonia ?), the widow of FAiromius. 

86 



PARENTALIA 



XXII. SEVERUS CENSOR JuuANus, 1 JOINT 
FATHER-IN-LAW 

YE ancients of the Calpurnian name, cease to think 
Frugi 2 the peculiar glory of your clan. No more let 
Cato vaunt himself as the one and only "Censor," 
nor Aristides pride himself as sole owner of the 
title of "The Just." For any man who has been 
wise and who has followed honour and good faith 
would rank you, Censor, as his peer. Stern and 
yet kindly, just and merciful withal, you had the 
art to blend mildness with severity. Though I 
was unacquainted with you and unallied in blood, 
yet you desired to join our houses in alliance. 
Doubtless you pictured my nature to yourself in 
such a form as to reflect some image of your own 
character; or at that time Fortune so turned her 
wheel that such a worthy wish weighed down 
the balance of Destiny. If you feel aught at all 
amidst the shades, the thought must cheer you, 
that God has willed that which you had hoped 
might be. 

XXIII. PAULINUS AND DRYADIA, CHILDREN OF 
PAULINUS AND MEGENTIRA, MY SISTER'S DAUGHTER 

You who bore at once your father's name and looks, 
Paulinus, who were a very copy of your lost sire ; 
because of whom your hapless mother's sorrow for 
his loss had begun to pass away, whilst your face 
offered her a picture of your father and mirrored, 

2 sc. Lucius Calpurnius Piso, "whose virtue and upright- 
ness were such that he was named Frugi (the Honourable) in 
distinction from all others " (Cic. Tiisc. m. xviii. 16 f.). 

87 



AUSONIUS 

redderet et mores et moribus adderet illud, 5 

Paulinus caruit quo pater, eloquium : 
eriperis laetis et pubescentibus annis 

crudaque adhuc matris pectora sollicitas. 
flemus enim et raptam thalami de sede sororem, 

heu non mature fimere, Dryadiam. 10 

flemus, ego in primis, qui matris avunculus, ac vos 

natorum tamquam diligo progeniem. 
ilia manus inter genetricis et oscula patris 

occidit, Hispana tu regione procul. 
quam tener et primo nove flos decerperis aevo, 15 

nondum purpureas cinctus ephebe genas ! 
quattuor ediderat nunc functa puerpera partus, 

funera set tumulis iam geminata dedit. 
Sit satis hoc, Pauline pater ; divisio facta est : l 

debetur matri cetera progenies. 20 



XXIV. PAULINUS SORORIS GENER 

Qui laetum ingenium, mores qui diligit aequos 

quique fidem sancta cum pietate colit, 
Paulini manes mecum veneratus amicis 

inroret lacrimis annua liba ferens. 
aequaevus, Pauline, mini natamque sorori-*. 5 

iiideptus thalamo : sic mihi paene gener. 
stirpis Aquitanae mater tibi : nam genitori 

Cossio Vasatum, municipale genus. 

1 cp. Corpus Inscr. Graec. Pars xxxiv. No. 6791 (found at 
Bordeaux) : 

Aetyai/a AovKi\\v)s SiSv/^aroKov tvQdSe Kf"ire (sic), 
$1$ /j.f/j.fpiffrai (sic) /Spffyii, fabv irarpi, Bdrepov avrfi. 

88 



PARENTALIA 

too, his character, adding to character that gift 
which your father Paulinus lacked, the gift of elo- 
quence ; you you are hurried hence in the bright 
years of early youth and grieve your mother's still 
bleeding heart. For we mourn also your sister 
Dryadia, torn from her bridal bed alas ! by an 
untimely death. We mourn for you, and I not 
least ; for I am your mother's uncle, and love you 
as the offspring of my own children. Your sister 
died amid her mother's and her father's kisses, you, 
far off in the land of Spain. O fresh and tender 
flower, so early plucked while yet your spring was 
young, a lad whose rosy cheeks were yet unfrihged 
with down ! Four children had your mother borne 
in travail, but of these she has surrendered two 
already to the grave. 

19 Paulinus, be content with these ; x for they make 
up your fair share as father, and your remaining off- 
spring are their mother's due. 



XXIV. PAULINUS, MY SISTER'S SON-IN-LAW 

WHOSO loves a cheerful soul and an unruffled 
temper, or who reverences good faith linked with 
pure affection, let him now join with me in honour- 
ing Paulinus' shade, bringing the yearly offering due 
and friendship's rain of tears. You were of one age 
with me, Paulinus, and had won rny sister's daughter 
for your bride, thus becoming almost my son-in-law. 
Your mother's people were of Aquitaine, while your 
father was of Cossio Vasatum (Bazas), sprung of its 

1 Paulinus, the father, was already dead : see 11. 1-6. 

89 



AUSONIUS 

scrinia praefecti meritus, rationibus inde 

praepositus Libycis praemia opima capis. 10 

nam correcturae tibi Tarraco Hibera tribunal 

praebuit, adfectans esse clienta tibi. 
tu socrum pro matre colens adfinis haberi 

non poteras, nati cum fruerere loco, 
inter Concordes vixisti fidus amicos, 15 

duodeviginti functus Olympiadas. 

XXV. AEMILIA DRYADIA MATERTERA 

TE quoque Dryadiam materteram 

flebilibus modulis 
germana genitus, prope films, 

ore pio veneror. 
quam thalamo taedisque iugalibus 5 

invida mors rapuit ; 
mutavitque torum feretri vice 

exequialis honor, 
discebas in me, matertera 

mater uti fieres ; 10 

unde modo hoc maestum tibi defero 

filius officium. 

XXVI. IULIA CATAPHRONIA AMITA 

QUIN et funereis amitam inpertire querellis., 

Musa, Cataphroniam. 
innuba devotae quae virginitatis amorem 

parcaque anus coluit : 

1 i.e. Paulinus was magister scriniorum. For the three 
Hcrinia (departments for receiving petitions, etc.) of the 
Western Empire see the Notitia Dignitatum, Occidens, xvii. 
(Seeck, pp. 161 f.). 

2 i.e. as rationalis or procurator. 

90 



PARENTALIA 

burgesses. When you had gained the presidency 
of the Bureaux, 1 and had been set over the Ex- 
chequer 2 for Libya, rich the prizes which you 
gained. For the Spanish province of Tarraco (Tarra- 
gona) offered you its corrector s 3 court, and anxiously 
sought to have you for its patron. You could not 
be regarded as a son-in-law you who adored your 
wife's mother as your own, and were treated as a 
son by her. A loyal friend, you lived among others 
of like heart, and died after a span of eighteen 
Olympiads. 

XXV. AEMILIA DRYADIA, MY AUNT 

To you also, Dryadia my aunt, in mournful strains 
I, whom your sister bare, almost your son, do re- 
verence with loving lips. Death, jealous of your 
happiness, hurried you from your bridal-chamber and 
the light of the nuptial torches ; and funeral cere- 
monies changed your bridal-couch for a bier. You 
learned, my aunt, to be a mother to me ; therefore 
now I, a son, offer you this sad token of my love. 



XXVI. JULIA CATAPHRONIA, MY PATERNAL AUNT 

NAY, and on Cataphronia, too, who was my aunt, 
bestow your sad lament, my Muse. Unwed and 
vowed to virginity, she cherished that love, and 
lived to old age in thrift. -Generous as a mother, 

3 The corrector, originally a commissioner appointed to 
remedy abuses (see Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyd. TV. 1646), 
was in the time of Ausonius practically equivalent to the 
praeses or civil governor: cp. Dig. I. xviii. 10. According 
to Fleury the corregidors of modern Spain answer in function 
as in title to the Roman correctores. 

91 



AUSONIUS 

et mihi, quod potuit, quamvis de paupere summa, 5 

mater uti, adtribuit. 
ergo commemorata have maestumque vocata 

pro genetrice vale. 



XXVII. IULIA VENERIA AMITA 

ET amita Veneria properiter obiit : 
cui brevia melea modifica recino : 
cinis ut placidulus ab opere vigeat, 
celeripes adeat loca tacita Erebi. 



XXVIII. IULIA '!DALIA CONSOBRINA 

PARVA etiam fuit Idalia, 
nomine praedita quae Paphiae 
et speciem meruit Veneris ; 
quae genita est mihi paene soror. 
filia nam fuit haec amitae, 
quam celebrat sub honore pio 
nenia carmine funereo. 



XXIX. AEMILIA MELANIA SOROR 

AEMILIA et, vix riota mihi soror, accipe questus, 

debent quos ciiieri maesta elegea tuo. 
coniunxit nostras aequaeva infantia cunas, 

uno quamvis tu consule maior eras, 
invida set nimium Lachesis properata peregit 

tempora et ad manes funera acerba dedit. 
praemissa ergo vale manesque verere parentum, 

qui maiore aevo quique minore venit. 

92 



PARENTALIA 

she bestowed on me all that she could out of her 
slender funds. 

7 Therefore I now call you to remembrance as a 
mother and utter the sad cry, " Hail and fare- 
well." 

XXVII. JULIA VENERIA, MY PATERNAL AUNT 

MY aunt Veneria also died an early death, and to 
her I now chant these short, measured lines. May 
her poor ashes rest in peace and repose from toil, 
and swift be her passage to the silent realms of 
Erebus. 

XXVIII. JULIA IDALIA, MY COUSIN 

LITTLE Idalia, too, is gone, who received the title 
of the Paphian queen, and herself won Venus' 
beauty ; who by birth was well-nigh my sister. 
For this was the child of my aunt, whom my dirge 
now honours with the loving homage of a mournful 
strain. 

XXIX. AEMILIA MELANIA, MY SISTER 

THOUGH I scarce knew you, Aemilia, my sister, re- 
ceive this lament which my sad strains owe to your 
ashes. When we were infants almost of one age we 
shared one cradle, though you were the elder by one 
year. But Lachesis, too jealous, hurried on your 
final hour and sent you to the shades an untimely 
death. Since, therefore, you are gone before me, 
take my farewell and do honour to our parents' 
shades his who in riper, and hers who in earlier 
years is come to rejoin you. 

93 



AUSONIUS 

XXX. POMPONIA URBICA CONSOCRUS UXOR IULIANI 
CENSORIS 

UT generis clari, veterum sic femina morum, 

Urbica, Censoris nobilitata toro ; 
ingenitis pollens virtutibus auctaque et illis, 

quas docuit coniunx, quas pater et genetrix 
quas habuit Tanaquil, quas Pythagorea Theano 5 

quaeque sine exemplo in nece functa viri. 
et tibi si fatum sic permutare dedisset, 

viveret hoc nostro tempore Censor adhuc. 
set neque tu viduo longum cruciata sub aevo 

protinus optato fine secuta virum. 10 

annua nunc maestis ferimus tibi iusta querellis 

cum genero et natis consocer Ausonius. 

1 Wife of the elder Tarquin, remarkable for her high 
spirit and for skill in augury. 



94 



PARENTALIA 

XXX. POMPONIA URBICA, JOINT MOTHER-IN-LAW, 
WIFE OF JULIANUS CENSOR 

URBICA, famed both for illustrious birth and old- 
time virtues, and renowned as Censor's wife, rich as 
was the store of your natural qualities, you have 
added those besides which your spouse taught you, 
and your father and your mother those qualities 
which Tanaquil 1 possessed, and Theano the Pytha- 
gorean, 2 and those which perished without copy 
when your husband died. And had Fate suffered 
you so to exchange, Censor would still be living in 
these our days. Yet not for long did you suffer grief 
in your widowed state, but welcomed death and 
straightway followed your husband to the shades. 
Now I, Ausonius, your fellow parent-in-law, with my 
son-in-law 3 and his children, bring you your yearly 
due with sad lament. 

8 A female disciple or, according to some, the wife of 
Pythagoras, famous both for wisdom and virtue. 

3 sc. Thalassius, son of Julianus Censor and Urbica, who 
had married a daughter (Ausonia ?) of Ausonius. 



95 



LIBER V 

COMMEMORATIO PROFESSORUM 
BURDIGALENSIUM 

PRAEFATIO 

Vos etiam, quos nulla mihi cognatio iunxit, 

set fama et carae relligio patriae, 
et studium in libris et sedula cura docendi, 

commemorabo viros morte obita celebres. 
fors erit, ut nostros manes sic adserat olim, 5 

exemplo cupiet qui pius esse meo. 

I. TIBERIUS VICTOR MINERVIUS ORATOR 

PRIMUS Burdigalae columeii dicere, Minervi, 

alter rhetoricae Quintiliane togae. 
inlustres quondam quo praeceptore fuerunt 

Constantinopolis, Roma, dehinc patria, 
non equidem certans cum maiestate duarum, 5 

solo set potior nomine, quod patria : 
adserat usque licet Fabium Calagurris alumnum, 

non sit Burdigalae dum cathedra inferior, 
mille foro dedit hie iuvenes, bis mille senatus 

adiecit numero purpureisque togis ; 10 

1 According to Jerome (Chron., Olymp. 283), Minervius 
flourished at Rome in 358 A.D. 

96 



BOOK V 

POEMS COMMEMORATING 
THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

PREFACE 

YOUR memories, too, I will recall as famous men 
now dead, whom no kinship linked with me, but 
renown, and the love of our dear country, and zeal 
of learning, and the industrious toil of teaching. 
Perchance one day another in the same way may 
make my shade his theme, and after my example 
will seek to do a pious deed. 

I. TIBERIUS VICTOR MINERVIUS, THE ORATOR 

You shall be named first, Minervius, chief orna- 
ment of Bordeaux, a second Quintilian to adorn the 
rhetorician's gown. Your teaching in its day made 
glorious Constantinople, Rome, 1 and lastly our native 
town ; which, though it cannot vie with that pair 
in dignity, yet for its name alone is more acceptable, 
because it is our native place : let Calagurris 2 make 
every claim to Fabius as her son, if the chair of Bor- 
deaux receive no less degree. A thousand pupils has 
Minervius given to the courts, and twice a thousand 
to the Senate's ranks and to the purple robes. I, too, 

2 Calahorra, in Spain, the birthplace of M. Fabius Quin- 
tilianus. 

97 
VOL. I. H 



AUSONIUS 

me quoque : set quoniam multa est praetexta, silebo 

teque canam de te, non ab honore meo. 
sive panegyricis placeat contendere libris, 

in Panathenaicis tu numerandus eris ; 
seu libeat fictas ludorum evolvere lites, 15 

ancipitem palmam Quintilianus habet. 
dicendi torrens tibi copia, quae tamen aurum, 

non etiam luteam volveret inluviem. 
et Demosthenicum, quod ter primum ille vocavit, 

in te sic viguit, cedat ut ipse tibi. 20 

anne et divini bona naturalia doni 

adiciam, memori quam fueris animo, 
audita ut vel lecta semel ceu fixa teneres, 

auribus et libris esset ut una fides ? 
vidimus et quondam tabulae certamine longo 25 

omnes, qui fuerant, te numerasse bolos, 
alternis vicibus quot praecipitante rotatti 

fundunt excisi per cava buxa gradus : 
narrantem fido per singula puncta recursu, 

quae data, per longas quae revocata.moras. 30 
nullo felle tibi mens livida, turn sale multo 

lingua dicax blandis et sine lite iocis. 
mensa nitens, quam non ceiisoria regula culpet 

nee nolit Frugi Piso vocare suam : 
nonnumquam pollens natalibus et dape festa, 35 

non tamen angustas ut tenuaret opes. 

1 i.e. with Isocrates as author of the two great orations 
Panegyricus and Panathenaicus. 

2 This was action : cp. Cic. de Orat. iii. 56 ; Quintilian. 
xi. 3. 

98 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

was of that number; but since my consulship is so 
great a theme, I will refrain, and praise you for your- 
self and not through my distinctions. Should pane- 
gyric be the field of rivalry, then must you be classed 
with the orator of the Panathenaicus ; l or if the test 
be to develop the mock law-suits of our schools, 
Quintilian must look to his laurels. Your speech was 
like a torrent in full spate, yet one which whirled 
down pure gold without muddy sediment. As for 
that art 2 in Demosthenes which that great man 
thrice over called the orator's chief virtue, it was 
so strong in you that the master himself gives place 
to you. Shall I speak also of your natural gifts and 
that divine blessing, your memory, which was so 
prodigious that you retained what you had heard or 
read over once as though it were engraven on your 
mind, and that your ear was as retentive as a book ? 
Once, after a long contested game, 3 I have seen you 
tell over all the throws made by either side when 
the dice were tipped out with a sharp spin over the 
fillets cut out in the hollowed boxwood of the dice- 
box ; and recount move by move, without mistake, 
which pieces had been lost, which won back, through 
long stretches of the game. No malice ever black- 
ened your heart : your tongue, though free and full 
of wit, indulged only in kindly jests that held no 
sting. Your table showed that refinement with 
which a censor's code could find no fault : Piso the 
Frugal would not blush to call it his. Sometimes, 
as on birthdays or some other feast, it was furnished 
with greater luxury, but never so lavishly as to 

3 A board-game, such as backgammon or tric-trac, in 
which the moves were determined by casting dice. The 
dice-box was grooved or filleted to prevent any manipulation 
of the dice. 

99 
H 2 



AUSONIUS 

quainquam heredis egens, bis sex quinquennia functus, 

fletus es a nobis ut pater et iuvenis. 
Et mine, sive aliquid post fata extrema superfit, 

vivis adhuc aevi, quod periit, meminens : 40 

sive nihil superest nee habent longa otia sensus, 

tu tibi vixisti : nos tua fama iuvat. 



II. LATINUS ALCIMUS ALETHIUS RHETOR 

NEC me nepotes impii silentii 

reum ciebunt, Alcime, 
minusque dignum, non et oblitum ferent 

tuae ministrum memoriae,, 
opponit unum quern viris prioribus 5 

aetas recentis temporis. 
palmae forensis et camenarum decus, 

exemplar unum in litteris, 
quas aut Atheiiis docta coluit Graecia, 

aut Roma per Latium colit. 10 

moresne fabor et teiiorem regulae 

ad usque vitae terminum ? 
quod laude clarus, quod operatus litteris 

omnem refugisti ambitum ? 
te nemo gravior vel fuit comis magis 15 

aut liberalis indigis, 
danda salute, si forum res posceret ; 

studio docendi, si scholam. 
viveiit per omnem posterorum memoriam, 

quos tu sacrae famae dabas 20 

et lulianum tu magis famae dabis 

quam sceptra, quae tenuit brevi. 



1 i.e. as for one very dear (pater) and also as one who has 
died untimely (iuvenis). 



100 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

diminish your slender means. And when you died 
after six decades, although you left no heir, you 
were mourned by me as a father and a youth. 1 

39 And now, if anything survives after Fate has 
struck her final blow, you are living yet and not 
unmindful of your days gone by ; or, if nothing at 
all remains, and death's long repose knows no feel- 
ing, you have lived your own life : we take pleasure 
in your fame. 

II. LATINOS ALCIMUS ALETHIUS, THE RHETORICIAN 

NOR shall Posterity arraign me on the charge ot 
unduteous silence touching you, Alcimus, and say I 
was too unworthy and unheedful to be entrusted 
with the memory of one whom our later age matches 
alone with the men of olden time. In legal elo- 
quence you were supreme, you were the Muses' 
pride, and our one model in those letters which 
learned Greece fostered at Athens, or which Rome 
fosters throughout the Latin world. Shall I speak 
of your character and of the rule of life main- 
tained to your life's end ? Or of the brilliance of 
your renow r n, and the devotion to learning which 
made you wholly shun ambition ? No man was more 
dignified than you, yet none was more agreeable 
or more generous to the needy in undertaking 
the defence if legal aid was needed, or in zealously 
teaching some pupil in the schools. Those upon 
whom you bestowed glorious renown will live in the 
memory of all succeeding ages, and your works will 
bestow upon Julian 2 greater renown than will the 
sceptre which he held so short a time. Your 

2 Apparently Alcimus had written a history or panegyric 
on the Emperor Julian : it is not extant. 

101 



AUSONIUS 

Sallustio plus conferent libri tui, 

quam consulatus addidit. 
morum tuorum, decoris et facundiae 25 

formam dedisti filiis. 
Ignosce nostri laesus obsequio stili : 

amoris hoc crimen tui est, 
quod digna nequiens prom ere officium colo, 

iniuriose sedulus. 30 

quiesce placidus et caduci corporis 

damnum repende gloria. 

III. LUCIOLUS RHETOR 

RHETOR A Luciolum, condiscipulum atque magistrum 

collegamque dehinc, nenia maesta refer, 
facundum doctumque virum, seu lege metrorum 

condita seu prosis solveret orsa modis. 
eripuit patri Lachesis quern funere acerbo 5 

linquentem natos sexu in utroque duos : 
nequaquam meritis cuius respondent heres 

obscurus, quamvis nunc tua fama iuvet. 
Mitis amice, bonus frater, fidissime coniunx, 

nate pius, genitor : paenitet, ut fueris. 10 

comis convivis, numquam inclamare clientes, 

ad famulos numquam tristia verba loqui. 
ut placidos mores, tranquillos sic cole manes 

et cape ab Ausonio munus, amice, vale. 

IV. ATTIUS PATERA [PATER] RHETOR 

AETATE quamquam viceris dictos prius, 
Patera, fandi nobilis ; 

102 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

histories will throw more lustre on Sallust's 1 name 
than he ever gained through his consulship. So in 
your virtues, graces, and eloquence you have set a 
pattern to your sons. 

27 If my pen, seeking to please, only offends, yet 
pardon me : 'tis the love I bear you is guilty, if, 
though I cannot voice aught worthy, I seek to pay 
my homage, harmfully zealous. Calm be your rest, 
and with renown outweigh the frail body's loss. 

III. LUCIOLUS, THE RHETORICIAN 

OF Luciolus the rhetorician, my fellow-pupil, my 
tutor, and afterwards my colleague, tell now, sad 
Dirge a man eloquent and skilful, whether he 
poured forth utterances shaped to the laws of verse, 
or to the rhythms of prose. Him Lachesis brought 
to an untimely end and reft from his father, leaving 
two children, one of either sex : yet can your heir 
by no means live up to the standard of your worth, 
for all the aid your high repute still lends his 
obscurity to-day. 

9 Ah, gentle friend, kind brother, husband most 
faithful, loving son and father, what a grief that you 
are gone ! Courteous to your guests, you were never 
one to browbeat your dependents or to speak harshly 
to your servants. So gentle was your nature : may 
your shade enjoy the same repose ! Take as a 
tribute from Ausonius, friend, my "farewell." 

IV. ATTIUS PATERA, THE ELDER, THE RHETORICIAN 

PATERA, renowned speaker, although in years you 
outpassed the men named earlier, yet, seeing that 

1 This Sallust was prefect of Gaul and colleague of Julian 
in the consulate of 363 A.D. 

103 



AUSONIUS 

tamen, quod aevo floruisti proximo 

iuvenisque te vidi senem, 
honore maestae non carebis neniae, 5 

doctor potentum rhetorum. 
tu Baiocassi stirpe Druidarum satus, 

si fama non fallit fidem, 
Beleni sacratum ducis e templo genus, 

et hide vobis nomina : 10 

tibi Paterae : sic ministros nuncupant 

Apollinares mystici. 
fratri patrique nomen a Phoebo datum 

natoque de Delphis tuo. 
doctrina nulli tanta in illo tempore 15 

cursusque tot fandi et rotae : 
memor, disertus, lucida facundia, 

canore, cultu praeditus, 
salibus modestus felle nullo perlitis, 

vini cibique abstemius, 20 

laetus, pudicus, pulcher, in senio quoque 

aquilae ut senectus aut equi. 

V. ATTIUS TIRO DELPHIDIUS RHETOR 

FACUNDE, docte, lingua et ingenio celer, 

iocis amoene,, Delphidi, 
subtextus esto flebili threno patris, 

laudi ut subibas aemulus. 
tu paene ab ipsis orsus incunabulis 5 

dei poeta nobilis, 
sertum coronae praeferens Olympiae, 

puer celebrasti lovem : 

1 A Celtic god identified with Apollo. Tertullian (Apol. 
24) regards him as specially connected with Noricum : in- 
scriptions relating to this god are found mostly in the region 

104 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

your prime was in the age next before my own, and 
that in my youth I saw you in your old age, you 
shall not lack the tribute of my sad dirge, teacher 
of mighty rhetoricians. If report does not lie, 
you were sprung from the stock of the Druids of 
Bayeux, and traced your hallowed line from the 
temple of Belenus ; l and hence the names borne by 
your family : you are called Patera ; so the mystic 
votaries call the servants of Apollo. Your father 
and your brother were named after Phoebus, 2 and 
your own son after Delphi. 3 In that age there was 
none who had such knowledge as you, such swift 
and rolling eloquence. Sound in memory as in 
learning, you had the gift of clear expression cast 
in sonorous and well-chosen phrase ; your wit was 
chastened and without a spice of bitterness : sparing 
of food and wine, cheerful, modest, comely in per- 
son, even in age you were as an eagle or a steed 
grown old. 

V. ATTIUS TIRO DELPHIDIUS, A RHETORICIAN 

ELOQUENT, learned, quick in word and wit, genial 
in humour, Delphidius, even as you rose to rival 
your father in renown, so must your praises follow 
hard upon the tearful lament that I have made 
for him. Almost in the cradle itself, you began 
to be the poet of a famous god ; a boy, wearing 
on your brow the garland of the Olympian crown, 
you sang Jove's praises : next, pressing onward 

of Aquileia. See Ihm, s.v. Belenus, in Pauly-Wissowa, Eeal- 
Encyclopadie, iii. cols. 199 ff. 

2 sc. Phoebicius : see Prof. x. 

3 sc. Delphidius : see the following poeir Jerome (Chrou.) 
dates his prime at 358. 

I0 5 



AUSONIUS 

mox inde cursim more torrentis freti 

epos ligasti metricum, 1 

ut nullus aequa lege liber carminum 

orationem texeret. 
celebrata varie cuius eloquentia 

domi forisque claruit : 
seu tu cohortis praesulem praetoriae 15 

provinciarum aut iudices 
coleres, tuendis additus clientibus 

famae et salutis sauciis. 
felix, quietis si maneres litteris 

opus Camenarum colens 20 

nee odia magnis concitata litibus 

armaret ultor impetus 
nee inquieto temporis tyrannici 

palatio te adtolleres. 
dum spem remotam semper arcessis tibi, 25 

fastidiosus obviae, 
tuumque mavis esse quam fati bonum, 

desiderasti plurima, 
vagus per omnes dignitatum formulas 

meritusque plura quam gerens. > 30 

unde insecuto criminum motu gravi 

donatus aerumnis patris, 
mox inde rhetor, nee docendi pertinax, 

curam fefellisti patrum, 
minus malorum muiiere expertus dei, 35 

medio quod aevi rapt us es, 
errore quod non deviantis filiae 

poenaque laesus coniugis. 

1 In 358 Delphidius conducted the impeachment of Nu- 
merian, governor of Gallia Narbonnensis, before Julian. The 
scene between Julian and Delphidius is related by Ammianus 
Marcellinus, xviii. 1. 

1 06 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

like a raging flood, you strung together an epic 
all in verse more rapidly than any man free from 
the handicap of prosody could shape as much in 
prose. In divers fields your eloquence achieved 
renown, until its fame stood as high abroad as 
here at home ; now when you appeared before the 
prefect of the pretorian cohort, and now in the 
presence of the provincial judges when you were 
briefed to defend the threatened honour or the life 
of the accused. How happy had you been had you 
pursued the Muses' tasks amid the peaceful toil of 
letters ; had not the impulse of revenge armed the 
hatred which great lawsuits l breed ; or had you 
never sought to climb up to the unrestful Palace in 
the days of tyranny ! 2 While you ever conjured up 
far-distant hope, disdaining that which lay in your 
way, and preferred success to be your work rather 
than Fate's, you lost full much, wandering through 
all the empty titles of distinction and deserving 
greater prizes than you won. Hence arose the 
crushing charges which ensued, though your father's 
sorrow won your pardon. Thereafter you became 
a rhetorician ; but lack of diligence in teaching dis- 
appointed the hopes of your pupil's fathers. It was 
by the grace of God you suffered no worse ill, but 
were carried off in middle age and spared the pain 
of your daughter's perversity and the execution of 
your wife. 3 

2 The reference is apparently to the revolt of Procopius 
against Valens in 365. 

3 Euchrotia, the wife of Delphidius, became a follower of 
Priscillian, and was executed along with other members of 
the sect under Clemens Maximus, the British pretender. 
(Sulpicius Severus, Sacra Hist. ii. 65.) 

107 



AUSONIUS 



VI. ALETHIO MINERVIO FILIO RHETORI 



O FLOS iuvenuni 


gravis invidiae : 




spes laeta patris 


omnia praecox 




nee certa tuae 


fortuna tibi 


30 


data res patriae, 


dedit et rapuit : 




rhetor Alethi : 5 


et rhetoricam 




tu primaevis 


floris adulti 




doctor in annis : 


fruge carentem, 




tempore, quo te 


et conubium 


35 


discere adultum 


nobile soceris 




non turpe foret, 10 


sine pace patris, 




praetextate, 


et divitias 




iam genitori 


utriusque sine 




conlatus eras 


herede doinus. 


40 


postque Paterae 


solstitialis 




et praeceptor. 15 


velut herba solet 




ille superbae 


ostentatus 




moenia Romae 


raptusque simul, 




fama et meritis 


pubere in aevo 


45 


inclitus auxit : 


deseruisti 




maior utroque 20 


vota tuorum, 




tu Burdigalae 


non mansuris 




lactus patriae 


ornate bonis. 




clara cohortis 


quam fatiloquo 


50 


vexilla regens, 


dicte profatu 




cuncta habuisti 25 


versus Horati : 




commoda fati, 


' ' Nil est ab omni 




non sine morsu 


parte beatum." 





1 The military terms are metaphorical : cohors (cp. Parent. 
xiv. 2) is the band of youths who were pupils and under the 
leadership of Minervius. 

1 08 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

VI. ALETHIUS MINERVIUS, SON OF THE ABOVE, 
A RHETORICIAN 

O FLOWER of our youths and your father's fair 
hope, though not your country's abiding possession^ 
Alethius the Rhetorician ! In earliest years you 
were a teacher : at an age when it would have been 
no disgrace for you, a stripling, to have been learn- 
ing still, ere you were come to manhood's estate, 
you were already held even a master equal to your 
lather, and, afterwards, to Patera. He, with the 
brilliance of his renown and gifts, enriched the walls 
of haughty Rome : you, greater than either, were 
content to lead on the bright banners of a company * 
in your native town, Bordeaux. You had every 
blessing Fate can give, but withal felt the tooth of 
her cruel jealousy. For Fortune, too early ripe, 
gave you every gift and then snatched them away 
your rhetoric, denied the fruit of mature age ; your 
brilliant marriage marred by your father's restless- 
ness ; the wealth of your line and your wife's left 
without heir. Even as the grass of midsummer, 
you were but displayed 2 and snatched away at 
once, frustrating your friends' hopes, and were en- 
riched with goods that would not endure. With 
what prophetic utterance is that verse of Horace 3 
fraught : 

"Nothing there is that is wholly blessed." 

2 cp. Virgil, ^4 e?i. vi. 869 (of Marcellus). 

3 Odes, n. xvi. 27 f. 



109 



AUSONIUS 

VII. LEONTIUS GRAMMATICUS COGNOMENTO 
LASCIVUS l 

Qui colis laetos hilarosque mores, 
qui dies festos, ioea, vota, ludum, 
annuum functi memora Leonti 
nomine threnum. 

iste, Lascivus patiens vocari, 5 

nomen indignum probitate vitae 
abnuit numquam, quia gratum ad aures 
esset arnicas. 

litteris tantuni titulum adsecutus, 
quantus exili satis est cathedrae, 10 

posset insertus numero ut videri 
grammaticorum. 

Tu meae semper socius iuventae, 
pluribus quamvis cumulatus annis, 
nunc quoque in nostris recales medullis, 15 
blande Leonti ! 

et iuvat tristi celebrare cura 
flebilem cantum memoris querellae : 
munus ingratum tibi debitumque 

carmine nostro. 20 

VIII. GRAMMATICIS GRAECIS BURDIGALENSIBUS 

ROMULUM post hos prius an Corinthi, 
anne Sperchei pariterque nati 
Atticas musas memorem Menesthei 
grammaticorum ? 

1 A fragmentary inscription found in the ruins of a Roman 
villa at Lupiac (thought to be the fundm Lucaniacua of 
Ausonius) shows the remains of verses to this same Leontius 

TIO 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

VII. LEONTIUS THE GRAMMARIAN, SURNAMED 
LASCIVUS 

You who love a glad and cheerful soul, you who 
observe festal days with their jests, their prayers, 
their shows, forget not to recall year by year the 
name of Leontius with a dirge. Enduring to be 
called Lascivus (Wanton), though the name was a 
libel on his upright life, he never forbade its use, 
because he knew it amused his friends' ears. In 
letters he had attained a high enough degree to 
qualify him for his humble chair, and to give him 
some claim to be enrolled as a grammarian. 

13 You were the constant companion of my youth, 
although you bare a heavier load of years, and still 
to-day you have a warm place in my heart, kindly 
Leontius. I take sad pleasure in the task of honour- 
ing your memory with the mournful strain of this 
complaint : it is a task unpleasing, but one that my 
verse owes to you. 

VIII. To THE GREEK GRAMMARIANS OF BORDEAUX 

" AFTER these shall I recall Romulus first, or " x 
Corinthius, or Spercheus and likewise Menestheus* 
his son, those grammarians of the Attic Muses ? All 
1 = Horace, Od. i. xii. 33. 

Lascivus : see Dezeimeris, Compte Rendu . . . de I'Acad. de 
Bordeaux, 1868-9, and Peiper's apparatus. 

Ill 



AUSONIUS 

sedulum cunctis studium docendi, ."> 

fructus exilis tenuisque sermo : 
set, quia nostro docuere in aevo, 
commemorandi. 

tertius horura rnihi non magister, 
ceteri primis docuere in annis, 10 

ne forem vocum rudis aut loquendi 
sic l sine cultu : 

obstitit nostrae quia, credo, mentis 
tardior sensus neque disciplinis 
adpulit Graecis puerilis aevi 15 

noxius error. 

Vos levis caespes tegat et sepulcri 
tecta defendant cineres opertos 
ac meae vocis titulus supremum 

reddat honorem. 20 



IX. IUCUNDO GRAMMATICO BURDIGALENSI FRATRI 
LEONTI 

ET te, quern cathedram temere usurpasse locuntur 
nomen grammatici nee meruisse putant, 

voce ciebo tamen, simplex, bone, amice, sodalis, 
lucunde, hoc ipso care magis studio : 

quod, quamvis impar, nomen tarn nobile amasti, 
es meritos inter commemorande viros. 

1 Peiper: set, V. 



I 12 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

these were patient, earnest teachers, although small 
their profit and scant their praise ; yet, since they 
were teachers in my time, I owe a tribute to their 
memory. The third of these was not my tutor ; 
the others taught me in my earliest years not to be 
unpolished in my speech and quite without refine- 
ment in my tongue. For a dullness of my brain, 
as I suppose, hindered my progress, and some mis- 
chievous perversity of boyhood estranged me from 
learning Greek. 

17 May the turf lie light upon you, may the roof 
of the tomb that holds you keep your ashes safe, 
and may the epitaph I now pronounce pay you the 
last tribute. 



IX. To JUCUNDUS, THE GRAMMARIAN OF BORDEAUX, 

THE BROTHER OF LEONTIUS 

ALTHOUGH men say you had rashly assumed your 
chair, and think you did not deserve to be called a 
grammarian, yet my voice shall hail you, Jucundus, 
so simple and so kind, my friend and my companion, 
whom I love the better for this aim of yours : since 
you loved so honourable a title, although unequal to 
it, I must commemorate you here among men of 
worth. 



VOL. 



AUSONIUS 



X. GRAMMATICIS LATINIS BURDIGALENSIBUS PHILOLOGIS 

[MACRINO SUCURONI CONCORDIO PHOEBICIO l ] 
AMMONIO ANASTASIO GRAMMATICO PICTAVIORUM 



nee reticebo senem 
nomine PHOEBICIUM, 
qui Beleni aedituus 
nil opis inde tulit ; 
set tamen, ut placitum, 
stirpe satus Druidum 
gentis Aremoricae, 
Burdigalae cathedram 
nati opera obtinuit : 
permaneat series. 

AMMONIUM [et recinam 2 ] 
relligiosum etenim 
commemorare meae 
grammaticum patriae 
qui rudibus pueris 
prima elementa dabat, 
doctrina exiguus, 
moribus inplacidis : 
proinde, ut erat meritum, 
famam habuit tenuem. 



NUNC ut quemque mihi 
flebilis officii 
relligiosus honor 
suggeret, expediam, 
qui, quamvis humili 5 
stirpe, loco ac merito, 
ingeniis hominum 
Burdigalae rudibus 
introtulere tamen 
grammatices studium. 10 

Sit MACRINUS in his : 
huic mea principio 
credita puerities ; 
et libertina 

SUCURO progenie, 15 

sobrius et puerorum 
utilis ingeniis. 
et tu CONCORDI, 
qui profugus patria 
mutasti sterilem 20 

urbe alia cathedram. 

1 Omitted in V: restored (but in a different order) by 
Scaliger, and (in the above order) by Schenkl. Peiper omits 
all but the name of Anastasius from the title. 

2 In V the name of Ammonius is omitted from the text : 
it was replaced as the first half of 1. 35 by Schenkl and 
Peiper. The result is not good ; and a full stop is here sub- 
stituted at the end of 1. 31 for Peiper's semicolon, and 1. 35 

114 



30 
31 
35 
32 

34 

30 



4C 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

X. To THE LATIN GRAMMARIANS, SCHOLARS OF 
BORDEAUX, MACRINUS, SUCURO, CONCORDIUS, 
PHOEBICIUS, AMMONIUS, AND ANASTASIUS, 
GRAMMARIAN OF POICTIERS 

Now, as the pious homage of my mournful task 
shall present each one, I will tell of those who, 
though of humble birth and rank and merit, in- 
stilled into the uncultured minds of the people of 
Bordeaux the love of letters. 

11 Let Macrinus be named amongst these : to him 
I was entrusted first when a boy ; and Sucuro, 
the freedman's son, temperate and well-suited to 
form youthful minds. You too, Concordius, were 
another such, you who, fleeing your country, took in 
exchange a chair of little profit in a foreign town. 
Nor must I leave unmentioned the old man Phoe- 
bicius, 1 who, though the keeper of Belenus' temple, 
got no profit thereby. Yet he, sprung, as rumour 
goes, from the stock of the Druids of Armorica 
(Brittany), obtained a chair at Bordeaux by his son's 
help : long may his line endure ! 

'^ I will sing of Ammonius also for, indeed, it is 
a solemn duty to commemorate a grammarian of my 
own native place who used to teach raw lads their 
alphabet : 2 he had scant learning and was of an 
ungentle nature, and therefore as was his due 
was held in slight repute. 

1 cp. Prof. iv. 13. For Belenus see note on id. 1. 9. 

2 Or perhaps the elements of Latin are meant. 

is placed between 11. 31 and 32 (whence it was possibly 
omitted through homoeoteleuton with 1. 32). 

For the order of the verses (which is much confused) in 
the MS. , see the editions of Peiper or Schenkl. 

The latter half of 1. 35 is supplied by the Translator. 

H5 
i 2 



AUSONIUS 

Pange et ANASTASIO victum habitumque colens, 

flebile,, Musa, melum gloriolam exilem 51 

et memora tenuem et patriae et cathedrae 

nenia, grammaticum. 45 perdidit in senio. 

Burdigalae hunc geriitum set tamen hunc noster 

transtulit ambitio commemoravit honos, 55 

Pictonicaeque dedit. ne pariter tumulus 

pauper ibi et tenuem nomen et ossa tegat. 



XI. HERCULANO SORORIS FILIO GRAMMATICO 

BURDIGALENSI 

HERCULANE, qui, profectus gremio de nostro et schola, 
spem magis, quam rem fruendam praebuisti avunculo, 
particeps scholae et cathedrae paene sucessor meae, 
lubricae nisi te iuventae praecipitem flexus daret, 
Pythagorei non tenentem tramitis rectam viam : 
esto placidus et quietis rnanibus sedem fove, 
iam mihi cognata dudum inter memoratus nomina. 

XII. THALASSO GRAMMATICO LATINO BURDIGALENSI 

OFFICIUM nomenque tuum, primaeve Thalasse, 

parvulus audivi, vix etiam memini. 
qua forma aut merito fueris, qua stirpe parentum, 

aetas nil de te posterior celebrat. 

1 Pythagoras symbolised man's choice in life by the letter 
Y (cp. Technopaegn. xm. 9), the two arms representing the 

116 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

42 For Anastasius also shape a mournful lay, my 
Muse ; and you, my dirge, recall that poor gram- 
marian. He was born at Bordeaux, but ambition 
transferred him to Poictiers. There he lived a poor 
man, stinted alike in food and dress, and in his old 
age lost the faint glimmer of renown which his country 
and his chair had shed on him. Howbeit, I have 
here paid a tribute to his name, that the tomb should 
not swallow up his name with his bones. 

XI. To HERCULANUS, MY NEPHEW, GRAMMARIAN 
OF BORDEAUX 

HERCULANUS, though you came from my bosom and 
my class, you have repaid your uncle with promise 
rather than with fruit. You shared in the work of 
my class, and might have succeeded to my chair, had 
not the swerving steps of slippery youth caused you 
to fall headlong, through not keeping to the right 
path traced out by Pythagoras. 1 May you have rest, 
and may your spirit dwell in peace in its last home 
you whose name I recalled a while ago amongst my 
relatives. 2 

XII. To THALASSUS, LATIN GRAMMARIAN OF 
BORDEAUX 

OF your rank and name, Thalassus, youthful 
teacher, I heard as a little boy, scarce even do I 
recall them. Of your person or attainments, of the 
family whence you were sprung, a later age pro- 
claims nought concerning you. Only report used 

paths of Vice and Virtue. It is in youth that a man must 
make his choice between these two divergent ways. 
2 See Parent, xvn. 

117 



AUSONIUS 

grammaticum iuvenem tantum te fama ferebat, 5 
turn quoque tarn tenuis, quam modo nulla manet. 

set quicumque tamen, nostro quia doctor in aevo 
vixisti, hoc nostrum munus habeto, vale. 

XIII. CITARIO SICULO SYRACUSANO GRAMMATICO 

BURDIGALENSI GRAECO 

ET, Citari dilecte, mihi memorabere, dignus 

grammaticos inter qui celebrere bonos. 
esset Aristarchi tibi gloria Zenodotique 

Graiorum, antiquus si sequeretur honos. 
carminibus, quae prima tuis sunt condita in annis, 5 

concedit Cei musa Simonidei. 
urbe satus Sicula nostram peregrinus adisti, 

excultam studiis quam propere edideras. 
coniugium nanctus cito nobilis et locupletis, 

invidia fati non genitor moreris. 10 

at nos defunctum memori celebramus honore, 

fovimus ut vivum muiiere amicitiae. 



XIV. CENSORIO ATTICO AGRICIO RHETORI 

ELOQUII merito primis aequaiide, fuisti., 

Agrici, positus posteriore loco : 
aevo qui quoniam genitus functusque recenti, 

dilatus nobis, non et omissus eras, 
quocumque in numero, tristi memorabere threno 

unus honos tumuli, serus et ante datus. 
118 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

to tell that you became a grammarian in your youth, 
but even this was then so slight that it no longer 
lingers now. Yet, be you who you were, because 
you lived and taught in my lifetime, take this my 
offering, " farewell ! " 

XIII. To ClTARIUS, THE SICILIAN OF SYRACUSE, 

GREEK GRAMMARIAN AT BORDEAUX 

You also shall be recalled by me, beloved Citarius, 
for you deserve to be praised amongst good gram- 
marians. If the custom of past ages still obtained, 
you would have the renown of Aristarchus and 
Zenodotus among the Greeks. Even the Muse of 
Simonides of Ceos yields place to the odes which 
you composed in your early years. Born in a Sicilian 
town, you came a stranger to our city, but quickly 
made it the home of culture with your learning. 
Here you soon found a wife well-born and rich ; but 
Fate grudged you the gift of children ere your 
death. But, now that you are gone, we honour you 
with the tribute of our remembrance, even as we 
cheered you, while you lived, with the gift of our 
friendship. 

XIV. To CENSORIUS ATTICUS AGRICIUS, 
THE RHETORICIAN 

FOR mastery in eloquence worthy to be ranked 
equal with the foremost, here, Agricius, you have 
been set in a lower place : since you were born and 
died in later years, I had delayed to mention you, 
yet had not also forgotten you. But be your place 
where it may, my sad lament shall recall your 
memory : early or late, homage paid to the dead 

119 



AUSONIUS 

tarn generis tibi celsus apex, quam gloria fandi, 

gloria Athenaei cognita sede loci : 
Nazario et claro quondam delata Paterae 

egregie multos excoluit iuvenes. 10 

coniuge nunc natisque superstitibus generoque 

maiorum manes et monumenta foves. 

XV. NEPOTIANO GRAMMATICO EIDEM RHETORI 

FACETED comis, animo iuvenali senex, 

cui felle nullo, melle multo mens madens 

aevum per omne nil amarum miscuit, 

medella nostri, Nepotiane, pectoris, 

tarn seriorum quam iocorum particeps, 5 

taciturne, Amyclas qui silendo viceris : 

te fabulantem non Ulixes linqueret, 

liquit canentes qui melodas virgines : 

probe et pudice, parce, frugi, abstemie, 

facunde, nulli rhetorum cedens stilo 10 

et disputator ad Cleanthen Stoicum : 

Scaurum Probumque corde callens intimo 

et Epirote Cinea memor magis : 

sodalis et convictor, hospes iugiter : 

1 An orator and rhetorician who delivered a panegyric 
(which is still extant) in praise of Constantine I. in 321 A.D. 

2 This Amyclae lay between Cajeta and Tarracina, in 
Latium. It was forbidden for any citizen to announce the 
approach of an enemy, cp, Virgil, Aen, x. 564. 

120 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

is all one. The nobility of your birth was not 
less lofty than the renown of your eloquence re- 
nown, no stranger to your chair here in this second 
Athens : bestowed on Nazarius l and famous Patera 
in former days, it trained to highest perfection 
many a youth. Now you have left a wife, children, 
and a son-in-law here on this earth and cheer the 
shades of your ancestors in their tombs. 



XV. To NEPOTIANUS, GRAMMARIAN AND RHETORICIAN 

WITTY and cheerful, an old man with a heart of 
youth, whose soul, steeped in honey with no drop 
of gall, never throughout all your life instilled 
aught of bitterness, balm of my heart, Nepotianus, 
taking your share in grave and gay alike : your 
lips once closed, you could surpass Amyclae 2 in 
silence ; when once you began to discourse, even 
Ulysses could not leave you he who left the tune- 
ful Sirens at their song. Honourable and pure, 
sparing, frugal, temperate, eloquent, you were 
second to no orator in style, while in argument 
you were the equal of Cleanthes the Stoic. 3 
Scaurus and Probus 4 you knew off by heart, and 
in memory were a match for Cineas of Epirus. 5 
You were my comrade, companion, and my guest 
continually : and not my guest alone, but the 

3 c. 300-220 B.C., successor to Zeno as head of the Stoic 
school. His Hymn to Zens (? quoted by St. Paul) is extant. 

4 See Praef. I. notes 5 and 6. 

5 Friend and agent of Pyrrhus. When on an embassy in 
Rome after the battle of Heraclea (280 B.C.), he was able to 
address any of the senators or equites by name after being 
once introduced. See Pliny, N.H. vii. 24. 

121 



AUSONIUS 

parum quod hospes, mentis agitator meae. 15 

consilia nullus mente tarn pura dedit 

vel altiore conditu texit data. 

honore gesti praesidatus inclitus, 

decies novenas functus annorum vices, 

duos relinquens liberos morte oppetis, 20 

dolore multo tarn tuorum quam meo. 

XVI. AEMILIUS MAGNUS ARBORIUS RHETOR 

To LOS A E 

INTER cognates iam fletus, avuncule, manes 

inter rhetoricos nunc memorandus eris. 
illud opus pietas, istud reverenda virorum 

nomina pro patriae relligione habeant. 
bis meritum duplici celebremus honore parentem 5 

Arborium, Arborio patre et avo Argicio. 
Stemma tibi patris Haeduici, Tarbellica Maurae 

matris origo fuit : ambo genus procerum. 
nobilis et dotata uxor, domus et schola, cultae 

principum amicitiae contigerunt iuveni, 10 

dum Constantini fratres opulenta Tolosa 

exilii specie sepositos cohibet. 
Byzanti inde arcem Thressaeque Propontidis urbem 

Constantinopolim fama tui pepulit. 
illic dives opum doctoque ibi Caesare honorus 15 

occumbis patribus, Magne, superstitibus. 

1 cp. xxiv. 9 f. He gave the best advice and, like a 
lawyer or doctor, treated the matter as confidential. 

2 cp. Parent, in. 1-2, 8. 

3 There is no other reference to this fact. 

122 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

awakener of my mind. None gave advice out of a 
heart more sincere, or concealed it, when given, 
with deeper secrecy. 1 When you had been dis- 
tinguished by your appointment as governor, and 
had lived through the changes of ninety years, you 
met your end leaving two children, to your kins- 
folk's great sorrow as to mine. 



XVI. AEMILIUS MAGNUS ARBORIUS, THE RHETORICIAN 
OF TOULOUSE 

THOUGH mourned already among my departed 
relatives, you must be mentioned here, my uncle, 
among rhetoricians. Let love of kindred claim 
that work ; but be this a tribute to the names of 
famous men, inspired by devotion to my native 
land. As doubly earned, let me pay this double 
meed of praise to my father 2 Arborius, son of Ar- 
borius, and grandson of Argicius. Your father was 
of Aeduan stock, while your mother, Maura, sprang 
from Aquae Tarbellae (Dax) : both were of high de- 
scent. A wife, noble-born and well-portioned, a home, 
a professorial chair, with the friendship of the great 
which you gained all these you attained while still 
young, while wealthy Toulouse held the brothers of 
Constantine secluded there in nominal exile. 3 From 
there your renown forced its way to the strong- 
hold of Byzantium, and to that city of the Thracian 
Propontis, Constantinople. In that place, full of 
wealth and famed as the tutor of a Caesar 4 there, 
you died, Magnus, while your parents were yet 

* This prince is identified with Constantine, born in 
316 A. D. and proclaimed Caesar in 317 A. D. This Aemilius 
Arborius is perhaps referred to in Gratiarum Actio, c. vii. 

123 



AUSONIUS 

in patriam sed te sedem ac monumenta tuorum 

principis Augusti restituit pietas. 
hinc renovat causam lacrimis et flebile munus 

annuus ingrata relligione dies. 20 

XVII. EXUPERIUS RHETOR TOLOSAE 

EXUPERI, memoranda mihi, facunde sine arte, 

incessu gravis et verbis ingentibus, ore 

pulcher et ad summam motuque habituque venusto : 

copia cui fandi longe pulcherrima, quam si 

auditu tenus acciperes, deflata placeret, 5 

discussam scires solidi nihil edere sensus. 

Palladiae primum toga te venerata Tolosae 

mox pepulit levitate pari. Narbo inde recepit. 

illic Dalmatio genitos, fatalia regum 

nomina, turn pueros, grandi mercede docendi 10 

formasti rhetor metam prope puberis aevi. 

Caesareum qui mox indepti nomen honorem 

praesidis Hispanumque tibi tribuere tribunal. 

decedens placidos mores tranquillaque vitae 

tempora praedives finisti sede Cadurca. 15 

sed patriae te iura vocant et origo parentum. 

Burdigalae ut rursum nomen de rhetore reddas. 

i.e. his eloquence was " full of sound and fury, signifying 
nothing " ; or like that of the Professor of Rhetoric in Le 
Bourgeois Oentilhomme. 

124 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

alive. Howbeit, with loving care our prince Augustus 
restored your body to your native place and to the 
tomb of your family. So year by year this day 
brings round a cause for tears and this mournful 
task of joyless devotion. 



XVII. EXUPERIUS OF TOULOUSE, THE RHETORICIAN 

Now must I renew your memory, Exuperius, an 
orator without help of rules, solemn of gait, majestic 
in speech, handsome in features and, in a word, 
admirable in gesture and deportment. Your elo- 
quence was matchless in its fluency, and if judged 
only by the ear, would please through mere force of 
sound, but if closely examined would be found to 
contain no solid thought. 1 At first the councillors 
of Toulouse, that home of Pallas, received you with 
adoration, but soon drove you as lightly away. Then 
Narbo harboured you : there, taking a high fee for 
your teaching, you trained in rhetoric the sons of 
Dalmatius 2 royal but tragic names from boyhood 
up to the beginning of manhood. When in due time 
they assumed the title of Caesar, they bestowed 
upon you the dignity of a governorship and a tri- 
bunal in Spain. Passing away, exceeding rich, you 
brought your unruffled nature and your peaceful 
years to a close in your abode at Cadurca (Cahors). 
But your country's claims and the birthplace of 
your family summon you to bequeath your title 
of rhetorician to Bordeaux. 



2 so. Dalmatius and Anaballianus, who were both killed 
in a military revolt after the death of Constantine, in 
337 CD. 

'25 



AUSONIUS 

XVIII. MARCELLO MARCELLI FILIO GRAMMATICO 
NARBONENSI 

NEC te Marcello genitum, Marcelle, silebo, 

aspera quern genetrix urbe, domo pepulit : 
sed fortuna potens cito reddidit omnia et auxit : 

amissam primum Narbo dedit patriam. 
nobilis hie hospes Clarentius indole motus 5 

egregia natam coniugio adtribuit. 
mox schola et auditor multus praetextaque pubes 

grammatici nomen divitiasque dedit. 
sed numquam iugem cursum fortuna secundat, 

praesertim pravi nancta virum ingenii. 10 

verum oneranda mihi non sunt, memoranda recepi 

fata ; sat est dictum cuncta perisse simul : 
non tamen et nomen, quo te non fraudo, receptum 

inter grammaticos praetenuis meriti. 



XIX. SEDATUS RHETOR TOLOSANUS 

RELLIGIO est, taciturn si te, Sedate, relinquam, 

quamvis docendi munus indepte es foris. 
communis patria est tecum mihi : sorte potentis 

fati Tolosam nanctus es sedem scholae. 
illic coniugium natique opulensque senectus 

et faina, magno qualis est par rhetori. 
quamvis externa tamen a regione reducit 

te patria et civem morte obita repetit, 
126 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

XVIII. To MARCELLUS, SON OF MARCELLUS, 
THE GRAMMARIAN OF NARBONNE 

I WILL not pass you by without a word, Marcellus, 
son of Marcellus. The harshness of your mother 
drove you from your home and your city, but all- 
powerful Fortune soon restored all you had lost 
and added more. For firstly, in Narbo you found 
the country you had lost; and here Clarentius, a 
stranger of high birth, was led by your noble nature 
to give you his daughter to wife. And in due time 
your classes and lectures, thronged with crowds of 
boys, brought you the title of grammarian and 
wealth. But Fortune never favours a career of un- 
varying success, especially when she finds a man 
of a crooked nature. Howbeit, 'tis not for me to 
make heavier your destiny : my task is to recall 
it. It is enough to say that you lost all at one 
stroke ; yet not your title also, whereof I do not rob 
you, but give you a place amongst grammarians of 
very scant deserving. 



XIX. SEDATUS, THE RHETORICIAN OF TOULOUSE 

IT were a thing unholy to leave you unmentioned, 
Sedatus, although it was abroad that you obtained 
your post as teacher. We had one native place, you 
and I ; but the hazards of all-powerful Destiny gave 
you a chair at Toulouse. There you found a wife, 
and children, and riches for your old age, with such 
renown as is the due of a great rhetorician. Yet 
from that land, however far, your native place now 
brings you home, and after death claims you again 

127 



AUSONIUS 

cumque vagantem operam divisae impend eris urbi, 
arbitrium de te sumit origo suum. 10 

et tua nunc suboles morem sectata parentis 
Narbonem ac Romam nobilitat studiis ; 

sed [quid conquerimur ? Longum post tempus et 

illos 1 ] 
fama, velit nolit, Burdigalam referet. 



XX. STAPHYLIUS RHETOR Civis Auscius 

HACTENUS observata mihi lex commemorandi 

cives, sive domi seu docuere foris. 
externum sed fas coniungere civibus unum 

te, Staphyli, genitum stirpe Novem populis. 
tu mihi, quod genitor, quod avunculus, unus 

utrumque, 5 

alter ut Ausonius, alter ut Arborius. 
grammatice ad Scaurum atque Probum, promptissime 
rhetor, 

historiam callens Livii et Herodoti. 
omnis doctrinae ratio tibi cognita, quantam 

condit sescentis Varro voluminibus. 10 

aurea mens, vox suada tibi, turn sermo quietus : 

nee cunctator erat, nee properator erat. 
pulchra senecta, nitens habitus, procul ira dolorque ; 

et placidae vitae congrua meta fuit. 

1 Suppl. Translator. 



128 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

as its citizen. You may have strayed away and 
spent your pains on a distant city, but the country 
of your birth resumes its right to you. And now 
your sons are following their father's example, and 
adding to the renown of Narbo and of Rome with 
their learning. But why do we complain ? After 
long years, will they or nill they, Fame will bring 
them also back to Bordeaux. 



XX, STAPHYLIUS, THE RHETORICIAN, A NATIVE 
OF Ausci 1 

So far I have kept to the rule of commemorating 
my fellow-countrymen, whether they taught in our 
city or abroad. Yet it is no sin to couple with my 
countrymen a single stranger such as you, Staphylius, 
a son of Novem Populi. You were to me a father 
and an uncle, both in one, like a second Ausonius, 
like a second Arborius. As a grammarian you 
rivalled Scaurus and Probus ; as a rhetorician, most 
ready ; in history you knew all Livy and Herodotus. 
You knew every branch of learning and all the lore 
which Varro stored in his innumerable tomes. Your 
heart was golden, your tongue persuasive and your 
speech unflurried ; no hesitating was there and yet 
no hurrying. In old age you were comely and dis- 
tinguished in appearance ; anger and grief were 
strangers to you, and your peaceful life had a be- 
fitting close. 

1 Now Auch. 



129 

VOL. I. K 



AUSONIUS 

XXI. CHISPUS ET URBICUS GRAMMATICI LATINI ET 
GRAECI 

Tu quoque in aevum, Crispe, futurum 
maesti venies commemoratus 
munere threni. 

qui primaevos fandique rudes 
elementorum prima docebas 5 

signa novorum : 

creditus olim fervere mero, 
ut Vergilii Flaccique locis 1 
aeniula ferres. 

Et tibi Latiis posthabite orsis, 10 

Urbice, Grais Celebris, carmen 
sic eAeA.icr<o. 

nam tu Crispo coniuncte tuo 
prosa solebas et versa loqui 

impete eodem, 15 

priscos ut [mox] heroas olim 
carmine Homeri commemorates 
fando referres : 

dulcem in paucis ut Plistheniden, 
et torrentis ceu Dulichii '20 

ninguida dicta, 

et mellitae nectare vocis 
dulcia fatu verba canentem 
Nestora regem. 

Ambo loqui faciles, ambo omnia carmina docti, 25 
callentes mythoii plasmata et historiam, 

liberti ambo genus, sed quos meruisse deceret 
nancisci, ut cluerent patribus ingenuis. 

1 So V: iocis, Peiper (after Heinsius) ; but what are ** Ver- 
gilii . . . ioca " ? 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

XXI. CRISPUS AND URBICUS, GREEK AND LATIN 
GRAMMARIANS 

YOUR name also, Crispus, shall be kept in memory 
by this sad lament which I offer you, and go down to 
future ages you who used to teach the youngest 
boys, unskilled in speech, the simple signs of their 
new task, the alphabet : at times it was thought 
that you used to prime yourself with wine in order 
to produce verse rivalling passages of Vergil and of 
Flaccus. 

10 F or vou a i so ^ Urbicus, held of less account for 
Latin themes, though famous for your Greek, thus 
will I raise a chant of grief. For in the company of 
your friend Crispus you would pour out a flood of 
words in prose and verse with equal ease and with 
such eloquence as to remind us of those heroes sung 
by old Homer 1 that son of Pleisthenes, so sweet 
but terse, and the impetuous lord of Dulichium 2 
whose words were as flakes of snow, and Nestor the 
king, whose melodious speech was sweet of utterance 
with the nectar of his honeyed lips. 

25 Both ready speakers, both learned in all the 
lore of poesy, and skilled alike in mythic fictions and 
in history, you were both freedmen by birth, but in 
your natures such as might well have deserved to be 
called the sons of free-born fathers. 

1 cp. r 214, 222 and A 248 f. 

2 sc. Menelaus and Ulysses. 



K 2 



AUSONIUS 

XXII. VlCTORIO SUBDOCTORI SIVE PROSCHOLO 

VICTORI studiose, memor, celer, ignoratis 

adsidue in libris nee nisi operta legens, 
exesas tineis opicasque evolvere chartas 

maior quam promptis cura tibi in studiis. 
quod ius l pontificum, quae foedera, stemma quod olini 

ante Numam fuerit sacrifici Curibus : 6 

quid Castor cunctis de regibus ambiguis, quid , 

coniugis e libris ediderit Rhodope : 
quod ius pontificum, veterum quae scita Quiritum 

quae consul ta patrum, quid Draco quidve Solon 10 
sanxerit et Locris dederit quae iura Zaleucus, 

sub love quae Minos, quae Themis ante lovem, 
iiota tibi potius, quam Tullius et Maro nostri 

et quidquid Latia coiiditur historia. 
fors istos etiam tibi lectio longa dedisset, 15 

supremum Lachesis ni celerasset iter. 
exili nostrae fucatus honore cathedrae, 

libato tenuis nomine grammatici : 
longinquis posthac Cumae defunctus in oris, 

ad quas de Siculo litore transieras. 20 

sed modo nobilium memoratus in agmine gaude, 

pervenit ad manes si pia cura tuos. 

1 V: Peiper alters to guiding, pontificum etc.; but the 
MS. reading is supported by Quintilian, viii. 2: "at ob- 
scuritas fit etiam verbis ab usu remotis : ut si commentaries 
( = ius) quis pontificum, et vetustissima foedera, et exoletos 
scrutatus auctores id ipsum petat ..." 

1 The chief town of the Sabines in early days and the 
birthplace of Numa, who was credited with seven books on 
priestly lore (Livy xl. 29). Quintilian (cp. note on text, 
1. 5) cites such hieratic works (commentarii), early treaties, 
and obsolete authors as examples of obscurity and objects of 
pedantic study. 

132 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

XXII. To VICTORIUS, ASSISTANT-TEACHER OR USHER 

SCHOLARLY Victorius, gifted with memory and a 
quick brain, how patiently you used to pore over 
books which no one read, and study only abstruse 
lore ! You liked better to unroll worm-eaten and 
outlandish scrolls than to give yourself to more 
familiar pursuits. What was the code of the ponti- 
fices, what the treaties, what the pedigree of the 
sacrificial priest at Cures 1 long before Numa's days, 
what Castor 2 had to say on all the shadowy kings, 
what Rhodope published out of her husband's books, 
what the code of the priests, what the resolutions 
of the old Quirites, what the decrees of the Senate, 
what measures Draco or what Solon passed, and what 
laws Zaleucus 3 gave the^Locrians, what Minos under 
the reign of Jove, what Themis even before Jove's 
time all these were better known to you than 
our Tully or Maro, and all the stores of Roman 
history. Maybe continued reading would have 
brought them also within your ken, had not Lachesis 
hurried on the date of your last journey. Your 
post here in our city had brought you only a faint 
tincture of renown, and given you but a slight fore- 
taste of the title of grammarian, when you died on 
the coast of far-off Cumae whither you had crossed 
over from Sicily. But now that I have numbered 
you in a company of famous men, rejoice if this my 
pious tribute reaches your shade. 

2 According to Suidas, Castor was either a Rhodian, a 
Galatian, or a Massilian. It was probably in his Xpovixa 
^- 



that he dealt with the early Roman kings. Since 
he is quoted by Apollodorus, his date is not later than 
c. 150 B.C. Of Rhodope (his wife?) nothing is known. 

3 c. 660 B.C. His code was regarded by the Greeks as the 
earliest written code which they possessed. 

133 



AUSONIUS 

XXIII. DYNAMIC BURDIGALENSI QUI IN HISPANIA 
DOCUIT ET OBIIT 

SET neque te maesta, Dynami, fraudabo querella, 

municipem patriae causidicumque meae, 
crimine adulterii quern saucia fama fugavit, 

parvula quern latebris fovit Hilerda suis, 
quern locupletavit coniunx Hispana latentem ; 5 

namque ibi mutato nomine rhetor eras, 
rhetor Flavini cognomine dissimulatus, 

lie posset profugum prodere culpa suum. 
reddiderat quamvis patriae te sera voluntas, 

mox residem rursum traxit Hilerda domus. 10 

Qualiscumque tuae fuerit fuga famaque vitae, 

iungeris antiqua tu niihi amicitia, 
officiumque meum, sensus si manibus ullus, 

accipe iam serum morte obita, Dynami. 
diversis quamvis iaceas defunctus in oris, 15 

commemorat maestis te pia eura elegis. 



XXIV. ACILIO GLABRIONI GRAMMATICO IUN. 
BURDIGALENSI 

DOCTRINAE vitaeque pari brevitate caducum, 
Glabrio, te maestis commemorabo elegis, 

slemmate iiobilium deductum nomen avorum, 
Glabrio Acilini, 1 Dardana progenies. 

tu quondam puero conpar mihi, discipulus mox. 
meque dehinc facto rhetore grammaticus, 
1 FTeinsius, Peiper : Aquilinus, V. 

T 34 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

XXIII. To DYNAMICS OF BORDEAUX, WHO 
TAUGHT AND DIED IN SPAIN 

FROM you also, Dynamius, I will not withhold my 
sad complaint from you, my fellow-citizen and a 
pleader here ; w r ho fled the country with a good 
name tarnished by a charge of adultery, to whom tiny 
Lerida gave a snug hiding-place, whom a Spanish 
wife enriched while you lay hid ; for there, under a 
changed name, you were a rhetorician a rhetorician 
disguised under the name of Flavinus for fear the 
story of your slip should betray you as the runaway. 
And though of your own accord you came back later 
to your native place, your home in Lerida soon drew 
you back to live at ease. 

11 Whatever may have been the nature of your 
flight, and whatever your repute, old friendship links 
you and me together; and therefore, if the shades 
can feel at all, accept this friendly service, Dynamius, 
albeit offered this long while after your death. Though 
you have ceased to be and lie buried in a distant land, 
my reverent care dedicates this sad plaint to your 
memory. 

XXIV. To ACILIUS GLABRIO THE YOUNGER, 
OF BORDEAUX, A GRAMMARIAN 

FALLEN with short span alike of learning and of 
years, you will I commemorate in mournful verse, 
Glabrio a name drawn from a line of famous an- 
cestors Glabrio, son of Acilinus, offspring of Dar- 
danus. In old days we \vere boys together ; then 
you became my pupil, and next, when I was made 



135 



AUSONIUS 

inque foro tutela reis et cultor in agris, 

digne, diii partis qui fruerere bonis : 
commode, laete, benigne, abstemie, tarn bone dandis 

semper consiliis, quam taciturne datis, 10 

tarn decus omne tuis quam mox dolor,, omnia acerbo 

funere praereptus, Glabrio, destituis : 
uxore et natis, genitore et matre relictis, 

eheu quam multis perdite nominibus ! 
flete diu nobis, numquam satis, accipe acerbum, 15 

Glabrio, in aeternum commemorate, vale. 



XXV. CORONIS 

Quos legis a prima deductos menide libri, 

doctores patriae scito fuisse meae, 
grammatici in studio vel rhetoris aut in utroque, 

quos memorasse mihi morte obita satis est. 
viventum inlecebra est laudatio : nomina tantum 5 

voce ciere suis sufficiet tumulis. 
ergo, qui nostrae legis otia tristia chartae, 

eloquium ne tu quaere, set officitim, 
quo claris doctisque viris pia cura parentat, 

dum decora egregiae commeminit patriae. 10 

1 The grammaticus taught Greek and Latin mainly from 
the linguistic side (grammar, syntax, metre, antiquities). 
The rhetor gave more advanced instruction, but was chiefly 
concerned with training in declamation and all subjects 
subsidiary to it. 

2 i.e. as husband, father, and son. 

136 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

rhetorician, you became grammarian. 1 In the courts 
you were the bulwark of the accused ; in the country 
you farmed your estate, and deserved long to enjoy 
the fruits you earned. Obliging, cheerful, kindly 
temperate, you were always as ready to give advice 
as silent when you had given it. At once all the 
pride of your kin as presently their sorrow, you leave 
all desolate, my Glabrio, reft from us by untimely 
death : wife, children, father, mother, left alas, 
under how many names were you lost to them ! 2 Long 
mourned by me, though never mourned enough, your 
name is here recorded for all time ; and so, friend 
Glabrio, receive my sorrowful farewell ! 



XXV. CONCLUSION 

KNOW that these men, of whom you read in order 
after the exordium 3 of my book, were once teachers 
in my native place, some of grammar, some of rhe- 
toric, and some of both. They are dead, and it is 
enough that I have recalled their memories. For 
the living praise is a lure : to but cry their names 4 
will satisfy those within the tomb. Wherefore, do 
you, who in my pages read these mournful trifles, 
not look for pomp of words but for the affection 
wherewith my reverent care makes offering to famous 
and learned men, while it recalls the glories of my 
splendid native land. 

3 From JJ.TJVIS ("wrath") the first word in the Iliad and 
the title of the first Book. 

4 cp. Parent., Preface in Verse, 10 f., Epitaph xiii. 3-4. 
To call aloud upon the dead was a recognised funerary rite : 
see Virgil, Aen. vi. 507 : magna Manes ter voce vocavi ; id. 
iii. 67 : magna supremum voce cienius. 

137 



AUSONIUS 

XXVI. POETA 

VALETE, manes inclitorum rhetorum : 

valete, doctores probi, 
historia si quos vel poeticus stilus 

forumve fecit iiobiles, 
medicae vel artis dogma vel Platonicum 5 

dedit pereiini gloriae : 
et si qua functis cura viventum placet 

iuvatque honor superstitum : 
accipite maestum carminis cultum mei 

textum querella flebili. 10 

sedem sepulcri servet immotus cinis, 

memoria vivat nominum, 
dum remeat illud, iudicis dono dei, 

commune cunctis saeculum. 



THE PROFESSORS OF BORDEAUX 

XXVL THE POET 

FARE ye well, shades of famous rhetoricians : fare 
ye well, worthy teachers, whether it were history, or 
poetry, or eloquence in the courts that made you 
famous ; or whether medicine or Plato's system won 
you undying renown. And if any care of the living 
please the dead, and if the tribute of their survivors 
please them, then take the sad homage of my verse, 
a fabric of tears and sighs. Undisturbed may your 
ashes keep their place within the tomb, may the 
memory of youi* names live on until that other age 
return l in which, by grace of God our judge, we all 
shall share ! 

1 Ausonius apparently regards " the world to come" as a 
Golden Age which is to come back to man. Doubtless he 
had in mind Virgil, EcL iv. 6 : redeunt Saturnia regna. 



139 



LIBER VI 

EPITAPHIA HEROUM QUI BELLO TROICO 
INTERFUERUNT 

Ausonius Lectori Sno Salutem. 

AD rem pertinere existimavi, ut vel vanum opu- 
sculum materiae congruentis absolverem et libello, 
qui commemorationem habet eorum, qui vel pere- 
grin! [Burdigalae vel l ] Burdigalenses peregre docu- 
erunt, Epitaphia subnecterem [scilicet titulos sepul- 
crales 2 ] heroum, qui bello Troico interfuerunt. quae 
antiqua cum aput philologum quendam repperissem, 
Latino sermone converti, non ut inservirem ordinis 
persequendi [studio 3 ], set ut cohercerem libere nee 
aberrarem. 

I. AGAMEMNONI 

REX regum Atrides, fraternae coniugis ultor, 

oppetii manibus coniugis ipse meae. 
quid prodest Helenes raptum punisse dolentem, 

vindicem adulterii cum Clytemestra necet ? 

1 Suppl. Vinetns. 2 A gloss. s Suggested by Peiper. 

1 The Peplos of "Aristotle" (a collection of sixtj'-seven 
couplets commemorating Greek and Trojan heroes) contains 
the originals of many, but by no means all, of these pieces. 
Nos. xxvii.-xxxv. have no connection with the Trojan 

140 



BOOK VI 

EPITAPHS ON THE HEROES WHO TOOK 
PART IN THE TROJAN WAR 1 

PREFACE 

Ausonius to the Reader, greeting. 

1 have thought it to the purpose to finish off this 
little work and to append it for however trifling it 
may be, it is kindred in substance to my little book 
commemorating the Professors of Bordeaux, whether 
they were strangers teaching at Bordeaux or fellow- 
countrymen teaching abroad. It is the Epitaphs [that 
is to say, funerary inscriptions] on the Heroes who 
took part in the Trojan War. It consists, indeed, of 
ancient poems which I found in the possession of 
some scholar and turned into Latin, on such terms as 
not to follow the strict letter of the original slavishly, 
but to paraphrase it freely, though without missing 
the point. 

I. FOR AGAMEMNON. 2 

1, THE son of Atreus, the king of kings, the avenger 
of my brother's wife, met my end at my own wife's 
hands. What, then, avails it that in my grief I 
punished Helen's ravisher, since Clytemnaestra slays 
the chastiser of adultery ? 

War, and were probably thrust into their present place by 
an editor who, after the death of Ausonius, introduced his 
unpublished work into the published collection wherever it 
seemed to fit in more or less appropriately. See Introduction. 

2 cp. PepL I. 

141 



AUSONIUS 

II. MENELAO 

FELIX o Menelae, deum cui debita sedes 

decretumque piis manibus Elysium,, 
Tyndareo dilecte gener, dilecte Tonanti, 

coniugii vindex, ultor adulterii, 
aeterno pollens aevo aeternaque iuventa, 5 

nee leti passus tempora nee senii. 

III. AIACI 

AIACIS tumulo pariter tegor obruta Virtus., 

inlacrimans bustis funeris ipsa mei, 
incomptas lacerata comas, quod pravus Atrides 

cedere me instructis compulit insidiis. 
iam dabo purpureum claro de sanguine florem, 5 

testantem gemitu crimina iudicii. 

IV. ACHILLI 

NON una Aeaciden tellus habet : ossa teguntur 
litore Sigeo, crinem Larisa cremavit. 
pars tumulis [secreta iacet, pars] classe [relata est ; l ] 
orbe set in toto [redivivurn ostendet Homerus 2 ]. 

V. ULIXI 

CONDITUR hoc tumulo Laerta natus Ulixes : 
perlege Odyssean omnia nosse volens. 

1 Suppl. Translator. 2 Suppl. Hein*i>i. 



1 cp. Pepl. 3. 

2 cp. Hesiod, W. and D. 169. 

3 Tyndareus was the reputed and Zeus (Juppiter) the 
actual father of Helen : cp. Epiyr. lx\ 7 i. 4. 

Pepl. 1 = Anth. Pal. vii. 145. 

142 



EPITAPHS 

II. FOR MENELAUS 1 

O HAPPY Menelaus, who hast the allotted dwelling- 
place of gods, 2 and Elysium, ordained for pious souls ! 
Beloved of Tyndareus, beloved of the Thunderer as 
their son-in-law, 3 champion of wedlock, avenger of 
adultery, strong in unending life, unending youth, 
you have endured no day of death, no day of eld. 

III. FOR AjAX 4 

AT Ajax' tomb I, Valour, lie o'erwhelmed along 
with him. Here, over the mound which marks my 
obsequies, I weep with hair all torn and towsled, 
because the mean son of Atreus forced me to yield 
to his calculated wiles. Now will I make to spring 
from this noble blood a ruddy flower 5 that with a word 
of woe bears witness to that unrighteous judgment. 6 

IV. FOR ACHILLES 

NOT one the land which holds the son of Aeacus : 
his bones are buried on the Sigean shore, and at 
Larissa were his tresses burned. Part of him lies 
hidden in the tomb, part was borne home by the fleet ; 
but in the whole world Homer shall show him living 
once again. 

V. FOR ULYSSES 7 

BENEATH this mound lies buried Laertes' son, 
Ulysses. If you would learn all his story, read 
through the Odyssey. 

5 The hyacinth, on which was supposed to appear the 
Greek interjection at (alas !). cp. Ovid, Metam. x. 215, for 
the parallel story of Hyacinthus. 

6 sc. the judgment which assigned the arms of Achilles to 
Ulysses and not to Ajax. 7 PepL 12. 

143 



AUSONIUS 

VI. DlOMEDI 

CONDITUR hie genitore bono melior Diomedes, 
crimen ob uxoris pulsus dotalibus Argis, 
Argyripam clarosque viris qui condidit Arpos, 
clarior urbe nova patriae quam sede vetusta. 



VII. ANTILOCHO 

CONSILIIS belloque bonus, quae copula rara est, 
carus et Atridis, carus et Aeacidis : 

praemia virtutis simul et pietatis adeptus, 
servato Antilochus Nestore patre obii. 

non hie ordo fuit : set iustius ille superstes, 
Troia capi sine quo perfida non poterat. 



VIII. NESTORI 

Hoc tegor in tumulo quarti iam prodigus aevi 

Nestor, consilio clarns et eloquio. 
obiecit sese cuius pro morte peremptus 

films et nati vulnere vivo pater, 
eheu cur fatis disponere sic placet aevum, 5 

tarn longum ut nobis, tarn breve ut Antilocho ? 



1 Pe.pl. 14. 

2 Aegiale, daughter of Adrastus. She was incited by 



Aphrodite to unfaithfulness. 
144 



EPITAPHS 



VI. FOR DlOMEDES 1 

HERE lies buried Diomedes, nobler son of a noble 
father, banished through his wife's sin 2 from Argos, 
the city of her dowry, who founded Argyripa and 
Arpi, 3 famed for heroes, and gained greater fame 
from his new city than from the ancient seat 
whence he was sprung. 



VII. Foil ANTILOCHUS 4 

GOOD both in council and in field rare is the 
union and dear to the sons of Atreus and of Aeacus 
alike, I am that Antilochus who died to gain the 
double meed of valour and of piety in saving my 
father, Nestor. Such was not Nature's order ; yet 
it was fitter that he survived without whom false 
Troy could not be taken. 



VIII. FOR NESTOR 5 

HERE in this tomb I lie, my fourth lifetime wholly 
spent at last, Nestor, famed for wisdom and for elo- 
quence. To save me from death, my son exposed 
himself and died ; and it was by my son's wounds I 
lived. Alas, why was it Fate's pleasure so to order 
our lives, giving me so long, giving Antilochus so 
short a span? 

3 cp. Virgil, A en. xi. 246, 250 : Arpi was the later name 
for Argyripa in Apulia. 
1 Pepl, 11. 5 cp. Anth. Pal. vii. 144. 

145 

VOL. I. L 



AUSONIUS 

IX. PYRRHO 

ORBE tegor medio, maior virtute paterna, 
quod puer et regis Pyrrhus opima tuli. 

Impius ante aras quern fraude peremit Orestes, 
quid minim, caesa iam genetrice furens. 

X. EURYALO 

NEC me non dignum titulo Pleuronia credit, 
quae l communis erat cum Diomede domus, 

Euryalo et Sthenelo : nam tertius hoc ego regnum 
possedi, de quo mine satis est tumulus. 

XI. GUNEO 

GUNEA pontus habet, tumulus sine corpore iiomen. 

fama homines inter, caelum animus repetit. 
cuncta elementa duci tanto commune sepulcrum. 

quae ? caelum et tellus et mare et ora virum. 

XII. PROTESILAO 

FATALE adscriptum nomeii mihi Protesilao ; 

nam primus Danaum bello obii Phrygio, 
audaci ingressus Sigeia litora saltu, 

captus pellacis Lartiadae insidiis. 

1 Translator : cui, Peiper and MS. 

1 Pyrrhus was slain by Orestes at Delphi, where the sup- 
posed centre of the earth was marked by a conical stone, the 
Omphalos : cp. Paus. x. xvi. 3. 

146 



EPITAPHS 

IX. FOR PYRRHUS 

AT the world's centre l I am buried, greater in 
prowess than my father, seeing that while yet a boy 
I, Pyrrhus, won a king's 2 own spoils. 

3 Orestes slew me before the altar, adding sacrilege 
to treachery what wonder, when he was raving from 
his mother's murder ? 



X. FOR EURYALUS 3 

I, TOO, am not unworthy of an epitaph ; so Pleu- 
ronia holds, which was the common home of Euryalus 
and Sthenelus with Diomede. I was the third who 
held that realm, wherein a grave alone contents 
me now. 

XL FOR GuNEs 4 

THE sea holds Gunes ; this tomb, his name but 
not his body. His fame dwells amongst men ; his 
spirit is returned above. All elements unite to form 
one tomb for so great a leader. Which ? Heaven, 
earth, and sea, and the breath of men. 



XII. FOR PROTESILAUS 

OMINOUS the name assigned me Protesilaus; for 
first of the Danaans I perished 5 in the Trojan War 
when, boldly leaping, I invaded the Sigean shore 
tricked by the wiles of Laertes' deceitful son. He 

2 sc. Priam : see Virgil, Aen. ii. 533 ff. 

3 cp. Pepl. 35. 4 PepL 32. 

6 The derivation here suggested is from irpatTos and AoJs : 
i.e. he was the first of the people (to perish). 

M7 

L 2 



AUSONIUS 

qui, ne Troianae premeret pede litora terrae, 
ipse super proprium desiluit clipeum. 

quid queror ? hoc letum iam turn mea fata canebant, 
tale mihi nomen cum pater inposuit. 

XIII. DEIPHOBO 

PRODITUS ad poenam sceleratae fraud e Lacaenae 

et deformato corpore Deiphobus 
non habeo tumulum, nisi quern mihi voce vocantis 

et pius Aeneas et Maro conposuit. 

XIV. HECTOHI 

HECTORIS hie tumulus, cum quo sua Troia sepulta est : 
conduntur pariter, qui periere simul. 

XV. ASTVANACTI 

FLOS Asiae tantaque unus de gente superstes, 
parvulus, Argivis set iam de patre timendus, 
hie iaceo Astyanax, Scaeis deiectus ab altis. 
pro dolor ! Iliaci Neptunia moenia muri 
viderunt aliquid crudelius Hectore tracto. 

XVI. SARPEDONI 

SARPEDON Lycius, genitus love, numine patris 
sperabam caelum, set tegor hoc tumulo 

sanguineis fletus lacrimis : pro ferrea fata, 
et patitur luctum, qui prohibere potest. 



1 sc. Virgil (see Aen. vi. 505-6). 

2 cp. Anth. Pal vii. 139. 

3 See n 459. 



148 



EPITAPHS 

leaped down upon his shield lest his should be the 
first foot to touch Trojan soil. Yet why do I com- 
plain? My Fates sang of this doom even at the 
time when my father laid upon me such a name. 

XIII. FOR DEIPHOBUS 

BETRAYED to vengeance by the accursed Spartan 
woman's treachery I, Deiphobus, mangled in body, 
have no other tomb but that which pious Aeneas and 
Maro l have made for me by calling on my name 

XIV. FOR HECTOR 2 

THIS is the grave of Hector, and with him is buried 
the Troy he loved : along with him are laid those 
who perished together with him. 

XV. FOR ASTYANAX 

THE flower of Asia and the one poor little hope of 
so great a line, but already dreaded by the Argives 
for my father's sake, I, Astyanax, lie here, hurled 
down from the high Scaean gate. Alack ! Now 
have the walls of Ilium, which Neptune built, seen a 
deed more cruel than the haling of Hector's corpse. 

XVI. FOR SARPEDON 

I AM Lycian Sarpedon, the seed of Jove : in virtue 
of my father's godhead I hoped for heaven ; yet I 
am buried in this tomb though bewailed with tears 
of blood. 3 Ah, iron-hearted Fates ! He 4 also suffers 
grief who can prevent it. 

4 sc. Jove, who could have saved Sarpedon and so have 
escaped from sorrow himself. 

149 



AUSON1US 

XVII. NASTI ET AMPHIMACHO 

NASTES Amphimachusque, Nomionis inclita proles, 
ductores quondam, pulvis et umbra sumus. 

XVIII. TROILO 

HECTORE prostrato nee dis nee viribus aequis 

congressus saevo Troilus Aeacidae, 
raptatus bigis fratris coniungor honori, 

cuius ob exemplum nee mihi poena gravis. 

XIX. POLYDORO 

CEDE procul myrtumque istam fuge, nescius hospes : 
telorum seges est sanguine adulta meo. 

confixus iaculis et ab ipsa caede sepultus 
condor in hoc tumulo bis Polydorus ego. 

scit pins Aeneas et tu, rex impie, quod me 
Thracia poena premit, Troia cura tegit? 

XX. EUPHEMO 

EUPHEMUM Ciconum ductorem Troia tell us 

condidit hastati Martis ad effigiem. 
iiec satis est titulum saxo incidisse sepulcri ; 

insuper et frontem mole onerant statuae. 
ocius ista ruunt, quae sic cumulata locantur : 

maior ubi est cultus, magna ruina subest. 

1 cp. B 871. 2 cp. Virgil, Am. v. 809. i. 474-5. 



EPITAPHS 



XVII. FOR NASTES AND AMPHIMACHUS 

NASTES and Amphimachus, Nomion's famous seed, 1 
once champions, we are dust and shades. 



XVIII. FOR TROILUS 

THOUGH Hector was laid low, and though in 
strength of arm and heavenly aid ill-matched, I, 
Troilus, met the fierce son of Aeacus face to face, 
and, dragged to death by my own steeds, 2 am linked 
in glory with my brother, whose example made my 
sufferings light. 

XIX. FOR POLYDORUS 

BEGONE far hence, unconscious stranger, and avoid 
that myrtle-tree : 'tis grown from darts and nourished 
with my blood. Pierced through with spears and 
almost buried in my very slaying, I, Polydorus, lie 
twice interred beneath this mound. Pious Aeneas 3 
knows my story, and you also, impious king ; for as 
it was Thracian cruelty that crushed me, so it was 
Trojan piety that buried me. 

XX. FOR EUPHEMUS 

EUPHEMUS, leader of the Cicones, was laid in 
Trojan soil hard by the statue of spear-bearing Mars. 
No epitaph graven on his tombstone suffices, but 
statues also pile their weight upon him. Those 
monuments fall the sooner which are heaped up so 
high, and where magnificence is too great, great 
ruin lurks beneath. 

3 For the story of Polydorus, see Virgil, Aen. iii. 22 ff. 



AUSONIUS 

XXI. HIPPOTHOO ET PYLEO IN HORTO 
SEPULTIS 

HIPPOTHOUM Pyleumque tenet gremio infima tellus : 
caulibus et malvis terga superna virent. 

nee vexat cineres horti cultura quietos, 
dum parcente manu molle holus excolitur. 

XXII. ENNOMO ET CHROMIC 

ENNOMUS hie Chromiusque iacent : quis Mysia regnum,, 
quis pater Alcinous Oceanusque atavus. 

nobilitas quid tanta iuvat ? quo clarius istis 
est genus, hoc mortis condicio gravior. 

XXIII. PRIAMO 

Hie Priam i non est tumulus nee condor in ista 

sede : caput Danai deripuere meum. 
ast ego cum lacerum sine nomine funus haberem, 

confugi ad cineres Hectoreos genitor. 
illic et natos Troiamque Asiamque sepultam 5 

inveni et nostrum quidquid ubique iacet. 

XXIV. ITEM PRIAMO 

Qui tumulum Priami quaerit, legat Hectoris ante, 
ille meus, nato quern prius ipse dedi. 

XX1VA. [HECTORI] 

HECTORIS et patriae simul est commune sepulcrum,, 
amborum quoniam iuncta ruina fuit. 



152 



EPITAPHS 

XXI. FOR HippoTHoiis AND PYLEUS BURIED 
IN A GARDEN 

HippoTHoiis and Pyleus l lie buried in this ignoble 
soil, and over their bodies mallows and cabbages 
grow green. And yet the tilling of the garden 
troubles not their peaceful ashes, if these soft herbs 
are tilled by no rude hands. 

XXII. FOR ENNOMUS AND CHROMIUS 

ENNOMUS and Chromius 2 lie here : Mysia was their 
kingdom, Alcinoiis their father, Ocean their ancestor. 
What profits them so illustrious a descent? The 
brighter their ancestry, the heavier their lot when 
dead. 

XXIII. FOR PRIAM 

HERE is not Priam's tomb, nor am I buried in this 
place : the Danaans despoiled me of my head. A 
mangled, nameless end was mine, and so I, his sire, 
fled for shelter to Hector's ashes. There I found my 
sons, and Troy and Asia buried together, and what- 
soever of mine lies scattered everywhere. 

XXIV. FOR PRIAM AGAIN 

HE who seeks Priam's tomb must find Hector's 
first. That tomb is mine which I first gave my son. 

XXIVA. FOR HECTOR 

HERE in one common grave lie Hector and his 
country, for in their fall both were united. 

1 cp. B 842. 2 cp. B 858. 

153 



AUSONIUS 

XXV. HECUBAE 

QUAE regina fui, quae claro nata Dymante, 
quae Priami coniunx, Hectora quae genui, 

hie Hecuba iniectis peril superobruta saxis, 
set rabie linguae me tamen ulta prius. 

fidite ne regnis et prole et stirpe parentum, 
quicumque hoc nostrum a-rj^a KVVOS legitis. 



XXVI. POLYXENAE 

TROAS Achilleo coniuncta Polyxena busto 
malueram nullo caespite functa tegi. 

non bene discordes tumulos miscetis, Achivi : 
hoc violare magis, quam sepelire fuit. 



XXVII. DE NIOBE IN SIPYLO MONTE IUXTA 
FONTEM SEPULTA 

THEBARUM regina fur, Sipyleia cautes 

quae modo sum : laesi numina Letoidum. 
bis septem natis genetrix laeta atque superba, 

tot duxi mater funera, quot genui. 
nee satis hoc divis : duro circumdata saxo 5 

amisi human! corporis effigiem ; 
set dolor obstructis quamquam vitalibus haeret 

perpetuasque rigat fonte pio lacrimas. 
pro facinus ! tantaene animis caelestibus irae ? 

durat adhuc luctus, matris imago perit. 10 



154 



EPITAPHS 



XXV. FOR HECUBA 

I WHO was a queen, I, famous Dymas' child, I, 
Priam's wife, I who bare Hector, I, Hecuba, perished 
here, o'erwhelmed with showers of stones, though 
not before the fury of my tongue had avenged me. 
Put not your trust in royal state, nor motherhood, 
nor lofty birth, ye who read this my Cynosema. 1 



XXVI. FOR POLYXENA 

I AM Polyxena of Troy, mated with Achilles in the 
tomb : would rather I had died without a sod to 
cover me. You do not well, Achaeans, to unite 
enemies in the grave : this was to violate, rather than 
to bury me. 

XXVII. ON NIOBE BURIED ON MOUNT SIPYLUS 
NEAR A FOUNTAIN 

A QUEEN of Thebes was I, who am now a crag 
of Sipylus for my offence against the godhead of 
Leto's offspring. Happy and proud to have borne 
twice seven children, I buried as many as I bare. 
Yet even this did not content the gods : hard stone 
encased me round until I lost all shape of human 
form. But though my vital parts are crusted o'er, 
grief clings to them and pours forth a perpetual 
stream of pitying tears. Ah, cruel deed ! Do 
heavenly spirits hate so bitterly ? A mother's grief 
lasts on, her shape passes away. 

1 sc. ''this epitaph on my tomb." Hecuba was changed 
into a dog. 

155 



AUSONIUS 

XXVIII. IN DIOGENIS CYNICI SEPULCRO IN QUO 
PRO TITULO CANIS SIGNUM EST 

Die, canis, hie cuius tumulus ? Canis. At canis hie 
quis ? 

Diogenes. Obiit ? Non obiit, set abit. 
Diogenes, cui pera penus, cui dolia sedes, 

ad manes abiit ? Cerberus inde vetat. 
Et quonam ? Clari flagrat qua stella Leonis, 5 

additus est iustae nunc canis Erigonae. 



XXIX. ITEM DIOGENIS 

PERA, polenta, tribon, baculus, scyphus, arta supellex 
ista fuit Cynici : set putat hanc nimiam. 

namque cavis manibus cernens potare bubulcum : 
cur, scyphe, te, dixit, gesto supervacuum. 



XXX. ITEM 

EFFIGIEM, rex Croese, tuam, ditissime regum, 

vidit aput manes Diogenes Cynicus. 
nil, inquit, tibi, Croese, tuum ; superant mihi cuncta. 

nudus eram : sic sum. nil habui : hoc habeo. 
rex ait : Hand egui, cum tu, mendice, carebas 5 

omnibus ; et careo, si modo non egeo ? 

1 This epitaph is a close imitation of Antli. Pal. vii. 64. 

2 Properly a store-jar (of earthenware) = Gk. viOos. 

56 



EPITAPHS 
XXVIII. ON THE TOMB OF DIOGENES THE CYNIC, 

UPON WHICH THERE WAS A FlGURE OF A DoG 
INSTEAD OF EPITAPH 

" TELL me, dog, whose tomb is this ? " 1 " It is a 
dog's." "But what dog was that?" "Diogenes." 
" And is he passed away ? " " Not passed away, but 
gone away." " What, has that Diogenes gone to the 
shades, whose wealth was his wallet and whose house 
a cask ? " 2 t( Cerberus will not let him in." " Where 
is he gone, then ? " " Where the bright star of Leo 
burns he has been installed now as watch-dog for 
righteous Erigone." 3 

XXIX. ANOTHER EPITAPH ON DIOGENES 4 

A HAVERSACK, some barley-meal, a cloak, a stick, a 
cup these were the Cynic's scanty furniture ; but 
now he thinks this over much. For, seeing a 
bumpkin drink from his hollowed hands, quoth he : 
"Why do I carry you about, you useless cup ? " 

XXX. ANOTHER EPITAPH 5 

KING Croesus, wealthiest of kings, Diogenes the 
Cynic saw your form amongst the shades. Said he : 
" Now you have nothing, Croesus, that was yours ; 
while I still have all that I had. Bare was I : so 
am I now. I had nothing : and that I still have." 
The king replied : " I wanted for nothing when you, 
you beggar, lacked everything; and do I lack if I 
need nothing now ? " 

3 Daughter of Icarius, who hanged herself through grief 
for her father's death. 

4 Anth. Pal. xvi. 333. 5 Anth. Pal. ix. 145. 

'57 



AUSON1US 

XXXI. IN TUMULO HOMINIS FELICIS 

SPARGE raero cineres bene olentis et unguine iiardi, 
hospes, et adde rosis balsama puniceis. 

perpetuum mihi ver agit inlacrimabilis urna 
et commutavi saecula, non obii. 

nulla mihi veteris perierunt gaudia vitae, 5 

seu meminisse putes omnia, sive nihil. 



XXXII. DE NOMINE CUIUSDAM Lucn SCULPTO 
IN MARMORE 

UNA quidem, geminis fulget set dissita punctis 

littera, praenomen sic [L:] nota sola facit. 
post .M. incisum est : puto sic [ A\J : non tota 
videtur : 

dissiluit saxi fragmine laesus apex, 
nee quisquam, MARIUS seu MARCIUS anne METELLUS 5 

hie iaceat, certis noverit indiciis. 
truncatis convulsa iacent elementa figuris, 

omnia confusis interfere notis. 
niiremur periisse homines ? monumeiita fatiscunt ; 

mors etiam saxis nominibusque venit. 10 



XXXIII. lussu AUGUSTI EQUO ADMIRABILI 

PHOSPHORE, clamosi spatiosa per aequora circi 

septenas solitus victor obire vias, 
inproperanter agens primos a carcere cursus, 

fortis praegressis ut potereris equis, 
promptum et veloces erat anticipare quadrigas : 

victores etiam vincere laus potior. 

158 



EPITAPHS 

XXXI. ON THE TOMB OF A HAPPY MAN 

SPRINKLE my ashes with pure wine and fragrant 
oil of spikenard ; bring balsam too,, O stranger, with 
crimson roses. Unending spring pervades my tearless 
urn : I have but changed my state, and have not died. 
I have not lost a single joy of niy old life, whether 
you think that I remember all or none. 



XXXII. ON THE NAME OF A CERTAIN Lucius 
ENGRAVED ON MARBLE 

ONE letter shows up clearly, marked off with a 
double stop, and that single sign forms the prae- 
nomen thus : L: Next M is graved somehow thus, 
1 think, M ; for the broken top is flaked away where 
the stone is cracked, and the whole letter cannot be 
seen. No one can know for certain whether a Marius, 
or Marcius, or Metellus lies here. With their forms 
mutilated, all the letters are confused, arid when the 
characters are jumbled all their meaning is lost. Are 
we to wonder that man perishes ? His monuments 
decay, and death comes even to his marbles and his 
names. 

XXXIII. ON A WONDERFUL HORSE : WRITTEN 
BY ORDER OF THE EMPEROR 

PHOSPHORUS, who used victoriously to cover the 
seven circuits over the broad track in the uproarious 
circus, cantering leisurely over the first lap after the 
start, and saving your mettle to come up with the 
horses who led, easy was it for you to outpace swift 
four-horsed chariots also : to win a race against 

159 



AUSONIUS 

hunc titulum vani solacia sume sepulcri 
et gradere Elysios praepes ad alipedes. 

Pegasus hinc dexter currat tibi, laevus Arion 

funis eat, quartum det tibi Castor equum. 10 

XXXIV. DE SEPULCRO [CARI] VACUO 

ME sibi et uxori et iiatis commune sepulcrum 

constituit seras Cams ad exequias. 
iamque diu monumenta vacant sitque ista querella 

longior et veniat ordine quisque suo, 
nascendi qui lege datus, placidumque per aevum 5 

condatur, natu qui prior, ille prior. 

XXXV. IN TUMULUM SEDECENNIS MATRONAE 

OMNIA quae loiigo vitae cupiuntur in aevo, 

ante quater plenum consumpsit Anicia lustrum. 

infans lactavit, pubes et virgo adolevit. 

nupsit, concepit, peperit, iam mater obivit. 

quis mortem accuset ? quis non accuset in ista ? 5 

aetatis mentis anus est, aetate puella. 



160 



EPITAPHS 

winners is higher praise. Take, then, this epitaph 
poor consolation ! for your tomb, and gallop nimble- 
hoofed to join the wing-hoofed steeds of Elysium. 
Hereafter let Pegasus run on your right and Arion 
be your left-wheeler ; and let Castor find you the 
fourth horse ! 

XXXIV. ON THE EMPTY TOMB [OF CARUS] 

CARUS has built me as one sepulchre for himself, 
his wife, and children, when at length they die. 
Long now their resting-places have lain empty, and 
may that complaint grow yet older : let each come 
in the order fixed by the law of birth, and through 
peaceful years let him who is the earlier born be laid 
to rest the earlier. 



XXXV. FOR THE TOMB OF A MARRIED LADY 
OF SIXTEEN 

ANICIA has spent all those treasures which are the 
hope of a long life before her second decade reached 
its full. While a mere baby she gave suck ; while 
yet a girl she was mature ; she married, she con- 
ceived, she bare her child, and now has died a 
matron. Who can blame death ? And yet who can 
not blame him in this case ? In age's gains she is a 
crone ; in age itself, a girl. 



161 

VOL. I. M 



LIBER VII 
[ECLOGARUM LIBER] 

I. AUSONIUS DREPANIO FILIO 

" GUI dono lepidum novum libellum ? " * 

Veronensis ait poeta quondam 

inventoque dedit statim Nepoti. 

at nos inlepidum, rudem libellum, 

burras, quisquilias ineptiasque, 5 

credemus gremio cui fovendum ? 

inveni, trepidae silete nugae, 

nee doctum minus et magis benignum, 

quam quern Gallia praebuit Catullo. 

hoc nullus mihi carior meorum, 10 

quern pluris faciunt novem sorores, 

quam cunctos alios Maroiie dempto. 

" Pacatum hatit dubie, poeta, dicis? " 

ipse est. intrepide volate, versus, 

et nidum in grernio fovete tuto. 15 

hie vos diligere, hie volet tueri ; 

ignoscenda teget, probata tradet : 

post hunc iudicium timete nullum. vale. 

II. Ex GRAECO PYTHAGORICUM DE AMBIGUITATE 
ELIGENDAE VITAE 

QUOD vitae sectabor iter, si plena tumultu 
sunt fora, si curis domus anxia, si peregrines 

1 Catullus i. 1. 
162 



BOOK VII 
THE ECLOGUES 

I. AUSONIUS TO HIS SON DREPANIUS 

" To whom do I give my pretty, new book ? " 
quoth the poet of Verona long ago, and, straight- 
way finding Nepos, presented it to him. But this 
ugly, rough little book junk, trash, and drivelling 
to whose bosom shall I commit it to be cherished ? 
I have it ! (Peace, my anxious trifles !) 'Tis one 
not less learned and more generous than he with 
whom Gaul 1 furnished Catullus. No one of my own 
kin is dearer to me than he, and the Nine Sister s 
esteem him more than all other poets saving Maro. 
" No doubt, sir Poet, it is Pacatus whom you mean ? '* 
The very man ! Take wing without a fear, my verses, 
and nestle safely in his bosom. He will be ready to 
fondle you, he to guard you ; he will hide away your 
shortcomings, will pass on what he approves : after 
him, fear ye no critic ! Farewell. 

II. FROM THE GREEK. 2 A PYTHAGOREAN REFLECTION 
ON THE DIFFICULTY OF CHOOSING ONE'S LOT IN LIFE 

WHAT path in life shall I pursue ? The courts are 
full of uproar ; the home is vexed with cares ; home 

1 sc. Transpadane Gaul, of which Nepos was a native. 

2 cp. Anth. Pal. ix. 359. 

o 

M 2 



AUSONIUS 

cura domus sequitur, mercantem si nova semper 

damna manent, cessare vetat si turpis egestas ; 

si vexat labor agricolam, mare naufragus horror 5 

infamat, poenaeque graves in caelibe vita 

et gra vior cautis custodia vana maritis ; 

sanguineum si Martis opus, si turpia lucra 

faenoris et velox inopes usura trucidat? 

omne aevum curae, cunctis sua displicet aetas. 10 

sensus abest parvis lactantibus, et puerorum 

dura rudimenta, et iuvenum temeraria pubes. 

adflictat fortuna viros per bella, per aequor, 

irasque insidiasque catenatosque labores 1 

mutandos semper gravioribus. ipsa senectus 15 

expectata diu votisque optata malignis 

obicit innumeris corpus lacerabile morbis. 

spernimus in commune omnes praesentia ; quosdam 

constat nolle deos fieri. luturna reclamat : 

"quo vitam dedit aeternam? cur mortis adempta est 20 

condicio ? " sic Caucasea sub rupe Prometheus 

testatur Saturnigenam nee nomine cessat 

incusare lovem, data sit quod vita perennis. 

respice et ad cultus animi. sic nempe pudicum 

perdidit Hippolytum non felix cura pudoris. 25 

e contra inlecebris maculosam degere vitam 

quern iuvat, adspiciat poenas et crimina regum, 

Tereos incesti vel mollis Sardanapalli. 

perfidiam vitare monent tria Punica bella ; 

set prohibet servare fidem deleta Saguntos. 30 

1 cp. Martial, Epigr. i. xv. 7. 
164 



THE ECLOGUES 

troubles follow us abroad ; the merchant always has 
fresh losses to expect, and the dread of base poverty 
forbids his rest ; the husbandman is worn out with 
toil ; frightful shipwreck lends the sea a grim name ; 
the un wedded life has its sore troubles, but sorer is 
the futile watch and ward which jealous husbands 
keep ; to serve Mars is a bloody trade ; the tarnished 
gains of interest and swift-mounting usury slaughter 
the needy. Every stage of life has its troubles, and 
no man is content with his own age : the infant at the 
breast lacks understanding ; boys have hard lessons 
to afflict them, and youths the rash folly of their 
kind. Hazards still plague the full-grown man, of 
war or sea, or anger, or deceit, or the long chain of 
toils to be exchanged for ever heavier. Old age it- 
self, long looked-for and desired with mean-hearted 
prayers, exposes the poor body to be torn by diseases 
beyond number. With one accord we all scorn our 
present lot : some ('tis well known) care not to 
become as ^ods. Juturna cries out in protest 1 : 
" Wherefore did Jove give me eternal life ? Why 
has the lot of death been taken from me? " Like- 
wise Prometheus, beneath the Caucasian crags, calls 
upon Saturn's son and ceases not to chide Jove by 
name, because an endless life was given him. Con- 
sider, too, the affections of the mind. Thus, mark 
you, chaste Hippolytus was destroyed by disastrous 
care for his own chastity. And on the other hand, 
he who delights to spend a life stained with loose 
pleasures, should consider how sinful kings are 
punished, as incestuous Tereus or effeminate Sar- 
danapalus. Faithlessness the three Punic Wars warn 
us to avoid, yet the destruction of Saguntum forbids 

1 Aen. xii. 879. 



AUSONIUS 

vive et amicitias semper cole. Crimen ob istud 
Pythagoreorum periit schola docta sophorum. 
hoc metuens igitur nullas cole. Crimen ob istud 
Timon Palladiis olim lapidatus Athenis. 
dissidet ambiguis semper mens obvia votis, 35 

nee voluisse homini satis est : optata recusat. 
esse in honore placet, mox paenitet : et dominari 
ut possint, servire volunt. idem auctus honore 
invidiae obicitur. pernox est cura disertis ; 
set rudis ornatu vitae caret, esto patronus, 40 

et defende reos : set gratia rara clientis. 
esto cliens : gravis imperiis persona patroni. 
exercent hunc vota patrum : mox aspera curis 
sollicitudo subit. contemnitur orba senectus 
et captatoris praeda est heredis egenus. 45 

vitam parcus agas : avidi lacerabere fama, 
et largitorem gravius censura notabit. 
cuncta tibi adversis contraria casibus. ergo 
optima Graiorum sententia : quippe homini aiimt 
non nasci esse bonum aut natum cito morte potiri. 50 
[Haec 1 quidem Pythagorica est apophasis secun- 
dum tale quod subiectum est distichon : 

TTpcurov //-!/ /XT) (ftvvai ev avOpwiroicnv 
faevrepov OTTL Ta^icrra. TrvXas AtSao 



1 All that follows 1. 50 is found only in P 1 and its depen- 
dent MSS. 

a cp. Theognis, 425, 427 : 

trdvTcav fjikv [ify (pvi'ai firixOovioiffiv &piffrov 
tyvvra 8' STTCOS &KHTTO. irv\as 'At'Sao irepri(rai. 

1 sc. the brotherhood bound together by vows founded by 
Pythagoras at Croton. The populace became suspicious of 
this society and massacred the members. 

166 



THE ECLOGUES 

us to keep faith. Live your life and always practise 
friendship : that was the very charge which destroyed 
the learned college of the Pythagorean sages. 1 Fear- 
ing this end, then, make no friendships : that was 
the very charge on which Timon was stoned of old 
in Athens, dear to Pallas. Conflicting wishes ever 
beset and distract our hearts, nor is it enough for a 
man that things are as he wished ; for what he once 
longed to have, he now refuses. His heart is set on 
rank and dignities, but presently he regrets his 
wish : he is content to obey, that he may command 
one day : he rises to high station, and straightway 
is exposed to envy. Learning costs sleepless nights 
of toil ; yet ignorance lacks all that makes life fair. 
Become a pleader and defend the accused : you will 
find it rare to get a thankful client. Well, be a client 
then : you cannot bear your patron's domineering 
ways. A man prays earnestly to become a father : 
soon, harsh cares and anxieties steal upon him. Yet, 
on the other hand, childless old age is scorned ; and he 
who lacks heirs is the fortune-hunter's prey. Should 
you live sparingly, people will tear your character to 
rags for a miser. Be prodigal, and you will incur a 
heavier charge. All paths in life confront you with 
unfavourable issues. Therefore the opinion of the 
Greeks is wisest ; for they say that it is good for a man 
not to be born at all, or, being born, to die quickly. 

51 [Such, 2 at least, is the Pythagorean pronounce- 
ment as expressed in the following couplet : 

"The first and greatest boon is never to be born : 
The next, to pass through Hades' gates without 
delay." 

2 The following refutation of the Pythagorean view of 
life appears to have been added by a critic who took his 
Christianity more seriously than did Ausonius. 

l6 7 



AUSONIUS 

Contra sed alterius sectator dogmatis ista 55 

quid doceat reprobans, subdita disce leg-ens : 
"Ergo nihil quoniam vita est quod amemus in ista, 
nee tamen incassum fas est nos credere natos, 
auctorem vitae si iustum credimus esse, 
vita alia est nobis illi vivendo paranda, 60 

cum quo post istam possimus vivere vitam. 
illi equidem stygias properent descendere ad umbras, 
Pythagoreorum stolidum qui dogma secuti 
non nasci sese quam natos vivere malint."] 

III. DE VIRO BONO IlYAropiKH ATIO^ASIS 

VIR bonus et sapiens, qualem vix repperit unum 
milibus e cunctis hominum consultus Apollo, 
iudex ipse sui totum se explorat ad unguem. 
quid proceres vanique levis quid opinio volgi 

****** 
securus, mundi instar habens, teres atque rotimdus, 5 
externae ne quid labis per levia sidat. 1 
ille, dies quam longus erit sub sidere Cancri 
quantaque nox tropico se porrigit in Capricorno, 
cogitat et iusto trutinae se examine pendit, 
ne quid hiet, ne quid protuberet, angulus aequis 10 
partibus ut coeat, nil ut deliret amussis, 

1 cp. Hor. Sat. n. vii. 86. 
168 



THE ECLOGUES 

55 But on the other hand, read what follows now, 
and learn what a folloAver of another system teaches 
to refute this. 

57 " Therefore, since we have nothing in this 
life to love, and yet it is wrong for us to believe 
that we were born in vain, if we believe the Giver 
of our life is true, 'tis for another life we must pre- 
pare by living for Him, that after this life we may 
be able to live with Him. Let those, indeed, make 
haste to go down to the Stygian shades, who, fol- 
lowing the foolish doctrine of the Pythagoreans, 
would rather not be born than, when once born, 
to live."] 

III. ON THE GOOD MAN: A PYTHAGOREAN SENTENCE 

THE upright man and wise Apollo, when in- 
voked, 1 could scarce find one such amongst all the 
thousands of mankind sits in judgment on himself 
and searches out his whole self to a hair's breadth. 
What the great think, or what the fickle, opinion of 
the empty-headed mob, ... he cares not, but, after 
the fashion of the globe, keeps himself rounded and 
compact, too smooth for any blemish from without 
to settle upon him. However long the day may be 
when the Crab is in the ascendant, however long 
the night under the tropic of Capricorn, he reflects 
and weighs himself by the test of a just balance : 
there must be no hollows, no projections ; the angle 
must be formed of equal lines, and the rule not 

1 Chaerephon consulted the Delphic Oracle as to who was 
the wisest of men. The Pythia replied : 

avSpwv airdi'Tcav 2,<0Kpd.Tr]s ffo<p<t>Ta.Tos. 
See Diog. Laert. n. v. 18. 

169 



AUSONIUS 

sit soliduin, quodcumque subest, nee inania subter 
indicet.admotus digitis pellentibus ictus, 
non prius in dulcem declinans lumina somnum, 
omnia quam longi reputaverit acta diei : 15 

quae praetergressus, quid gestum in tempore, quid 

non? 

cur isti facto decus afuit aut ratio illi ? 
quid mihi praeteritum ? cur haec sententia sedit, 
quam melius mutare fuit ? miseratus egentem 
cur aliquem fracta persensi mente dolor em ? 20 

quid volui, quod nolle bonum foret ? utile honesto 
cur malus antetuli ? num dicto aut denique voltu 
perstrictus quisquam ? cur me natura magis quam 
disciplina trahit ? sic dicta et facta per omnia 
ingrediens ortoque a vespere cuncta revolvens 25 
offensus pravis dat palmam et praemia rectis. 

IV. NAI KAI OY IlY0ArOPIKON 

EST et Non cuncti monosyllaba nota frequentant. 

his demptis nil est, hominum quod sermo volutet. 

omnia in his et ab his sunt omnia, sive negoti 

sive oti quidquam est, seu turbida sive quieta. 

alterutro pariter nonnumquam, saepe seorsis 5 

obsistunt studiis, ut mores ingeniumque 

ut faciles vel difficiles contentio nancta est. 

si consentitur, mora nulla intervenit "Est Est/' 

sin controversum, dissensio subiciet " Non." 

hinc fora dissultant clamoribus,, hinc furiosi 10 

170 



THE ECLOGUES 

deviate a jot ; the underlying metal must be sound, 
and no tap of the finger reveal flaws beneath. He 
suffers not sweet sleep to weigh down his eyelids 
until he has pondered over all things done in the 
long day's course ; what he has left undone, what he 
has done at the right, what at the wrong moment ; 
why this action fell short in virtue, or that in sound 
reason. What have I left undone? Why has this 
opinion become settled which it was better to have 
changed? When I have taken pity on the poor, 
why have I felt deeply grieved and brokenhearted ? 
What have I wished which it would have been well 
not to wish ? Why have I perversely preferred ex- 
pediency to honour ? Have I by word or even by 
look wounded any man? Why has nature more 
power over me than self-control ? 

24 Thus he goes into all his words and acts, and 
turning all over when evening is come, he condemns 
the bad and gives the palm and prize to the good. 

IV. THE PYTHAGOREAN " YEA " AND " NAY " 

"YES" and "no": all the world constantly uses 
these familiar monosyllables. Take these away and 
you leave nothing for the tongue of man to discuss. 
In them is all, and all from them ; be it a matter of 
business or pleasure, of bustle or repose. Sometimes 
two parties both use one word or the other at the 
same time, but often they are opposed, according as 
men easy or contentious in character and tempera- 
ment are engaged in discussion. If both agree, 
forthwith " Yea, yea " breaks in ; but if they dispute, 
then disagreement will throw in a <e Nay." From 
these arises the uproar which splits the air of the 

171 



AUSONIUS 

iurgia stint circi, cuneati hinc lata theatri 

seditio, et tales agitat quoque curia lites. 

coiiiugia et nati cum patribus ista quietis 

verba serunt studiis salva pietate loquentes. 

hinc etiam placidis schola consona disciplinis 15 

dogmaticas agitat placido certamine lites, 

hinc omnis certat dialectica turba sophorum. 

estne dies ? est ergo dies ! non convenit istuc ; 

nani facibus multis aut fulgeribus quotiens lux 

est nocturna homini, non est lux ista diei. 20 

est et Non igitur, quotiens lucem esse fatendum est, 

set non esse diem, mille hinc certamina surgunt, 

hinc rauco, multi quoque talia commeditantes 

murmure concluso rabiosa silentia rodunt. 

Qualis vita hominum, duo quam monosyllaba 
versant ! 25 

V. DE AETATIBUS ANIMANTIUM. HESIODION 

TER binos deciesque novem super exit in annos 
iusta senescentum quos implet vita virorum. 
hos novies superat vivendo garrula cornix 
et quater egreditur cornicis saecula cervus. 
alipedem cervum ter vincit corvus et ilium 5 

multiplicat novies Phoenix, reparabilis ales. 

1 A sample of the word-splitting practised in the rhetorical 
schools. In 1. 18 there is a play on the two meanings of dies, 
light (daylight) and day. cp. Quintilian v. viii. 7 : dies est, 
nox non est. 

172 



THE ECLOGUES 

courts, from these the feuds of the maddened Circus 
and the wide-spread partizanship which fills the tiers 
of the theatre, from these the debates which occupy 
the Senate. Wives, children, fathers, bandy these 
two words in peaceful debate without unnatural 
quarrelling. They are the instruments with which 
the schools fit for peaceful learning wage their harm- 
less war of philosophic strife. On them the whole 
throng of rhetoricians depends in its wordy contests : 
" You grant that it is light ? l Yes ? Then it is day ! " 
" No, the point is not granted ; for whenever many 
torches or lightning-flashes give us light by night, 
yes, it is light ; but that is not the light of day." It is 
a case of " yes " and " no " then ; for we are bound to 
say: "Yes, it is light," and "No, it is not day." 
There you have the source of countless squabbles : 
that is why some nay, many pondering on such 
things, smother their gruff protests and bite their 
lips in raging silence. 

25 What a thing is the life of man which two mono- 
syllables toss about ! 

V. ON THE AGES OF LIVING THINGS : A FRAGMENT 

FROM HESIOD 2 

THREE times two and nine times ten complete the 
tale of years whereto the life of men who live to 
fulness of old age attains. Nine times the chattering 
crow passes this limit in her span of life, while the stag 
passes through four times the lifetime of the crow. 
Thrice the raven outstrips the swift-footed stag in 
length of years ; while that bird which renews its life, 
the Phoenix, multiplies ninefold the raven's years. 

2 From the Precepts of Chiron, fr. 3 (Loeb ed.) = Rzach 
(1913), fr. 171, quoted by Plutarch, Mor. p. 415 c. 

173 



AUSONIUS 

quern nos perpetuo decies praevertimus aevo, 
Nymphae Hamadryades, quarum longissima vita est. 

Haec cohibet finis vivacia fata aniniantum. 
cetera secreti novit deus arbiter aevi, 1 10 

tempora quae Stilbon volvat, quae saecula Phaenon, 
quos Pyrois habeat, quos luppiter igne benigno 
circuitus, quali properet Venus alma recursu, 
qui Phoeben, quanti maneant Titana labores, 
donee consumpto, magnus qui dicitur, anno, 15 

rursus in anticum veniant vaga sidera cursum, 
qualia dispositi steterunt ab origine mundi. 

VI. DE RATIONE LIBRAE 

MIRARIS quicumque manere ingentia mundi 
corpora, sublimi caeli circumdata gyro, 
et tantae nullam moli intercedere labem, 
accipe, quod mirere magis. tenuissima tantis 
principia et nostros non admittentia visus : 5 

parvarum serie constant conexa atomorum ; 
set solidum in parvis iiullique secabile segmen. 
unde vigor viresque manent aeternaque rerum 
mobilitas nulloque umquam superabilis aevo. 
divinis humana licet conponere. sic est 10 

1 The following seven lines are found only in V. Though 
detached by Peiper from the preceding verses, and numbered 
by him as a separate fragment, it is possible that the con- 
nection is genuine : such a passage would have formed a 
characteristic transition from the Precepts of Chiron to the 
Astronomy in the Hesiodic corpus. 

174 



THE ECLOGUES 

But we, the Hamadryad Nymphs, the longest-lived 
of living things, pass through ten lifetimes of the 
Phoenix in continuous span. 

9 This limit bounds the lives of living creatures. 
As for the rest, God, the disposer of all hidden 
time, knows what periods Stilbon 1 and what ages 
Phaenon 2 have to roll, what orbits Pyroi's 3 and the 
benignant fires of Jupiter must yet fulfil, or in what 
revolutions kindly Venus hastens on her way, or how 
long are the toils that yet await Phoebe (the Moon) 
and Titan (the Sun), before that which they call the 
Great Year 4 reaches its close, and the wandering 
stars come back again in their ancient courses as 
they stood at the beginning of the ordered universe. 

VI. ON THE NATURE OF THE POUND OR BALANCE 

WHOSO you are who wonder that the vast heavenly 
bodies still endure, hung round about the lofty circle 
of the firmament, and that no decay creeps in upon 
their mighty mass, hearken, that you may wonder 
yet the more. First-beginnings of utmost fineness 
and which baffle our sight, are in these great bodies : 
they hold close together, closely linked in a group 
of tiny atoms ; but in these tiny atoms is a solid 
particle which cannot be parted. Hence comes 
it that their strength and power endure, and that 
these motions .are not overcome by any lapse of 
time. We may compare things human with divine. 

1 The Glittering One (Mercury). 

2 The Shining One (Saturn). 3 The Fiery One (Mars). 

4 i.e. the Cycle of Ages (Shelley's "the world's Great 
Age"), at the close of which all things will return to their 
primitive stat-* and a new Cycle begin. cp. Virgil, Ed. 
iv. 4 ff. 

175 



AUSONIUS 

as solidus, quoniam bis sex de pavtibus aequis 

constat et in minimis paribus tamen una manet vis. 

nam si quid numero minuatur, summa vacillat 

convulsaeque ruunt labefacto corpora partes. 

ut, medium si quis vellat de fornice saxum, 15 

incumbunt cui cuncta, simul devexa sequentur 

cetera communemque trahent a vertice lapsum ; 

non aliter libra est. si defuit uncia, totus 

non erit as nomenque deunx iam cassus habebit. 

nee dextans retinet nomen sextaiite remote, 20 

et dodrans quadrante satus auctore carebit 

divulsusque triens prohibet persistere bessem. 

iam quincunx tibi nullus erit, si gramma ] revellas. 

et semis cui semis erit pereuntibus assis 

partibus ? et cuius librae pars septima septunx ? 25 

libra igitur, totum si nulla in parte vacillet. 

ponderis et numeri morumque operumque et aquarum 

libra : nee est modulus, quern non hoc nomine signes. 

telluris, medio quae pendet in aere, libra est 2 

et solis lunaeque vias sua libra cohercet. 30 

1 Peiper (apparatus) : prama, V, Peiper (text). 

2 cp. Ovid, Met. i. 12 : nee circumfuso pendebat in aere 
tellus Ponderibus librata suis. 

1 The wedge-like stones of which an arch is constructed. 

2 A gramma has the weight of two obols (one-third of a 
drachm). 

3 Ausonius here passes from the as or libra (the even- 
balanced pound) to libra in the sense of " balance." Thus 
the earth is balanced (cp. note on text, 1. 29) in mid-air, 
while sun and moon, day and night balance each other. The 
reference to the Caledonian tide is to be understood in the 

I 7 6 



THE ECLOGUES 

In the same way the pound is a solid whole, for it 
consists of twelve equal parts, and in these equal 
parts, small though they are, one virtue always 
abides. For if aught is subtracted from their sum, 
the total is impaired, the parts are thrown out of 
place and fall because the frame is ruined. As, if we 
were to wrench out from an arch the keystone upon 
which all the voussoirs 1 bear, the rest will follow 
suit and come to the ground, their general downfall 
caused by the topmost stone ; even so is it with the 
pound. If one ounce is wanting, it will no longer 
be a pound, but being short in weight will be called 
deunx (eleven-twelfths). The dextans (five-sixths), too, 
does not retain that name if a sextans (one-sixth) be 
taken from it, and the dodrans (three-quarters) will 
be left without the author of its being if we subtract 
the quadrans (one-fourth). So, too, the bessis (two- 
thirds) cannot endure once the triens (one-third) is 
torn from it. Take away one scruple, 2 and you will 
have no quincunx (five-twelfths) left you. And how 
can the semis (one-half) be a half if the fractions of 
the pound thus waste away ? And of what pound 
will the seplunx (seven-twelfths) stand for seven 
parts ? That is a pound, then, which is impaired 
in 110 single part. Weight and number, character, 
tasks, and waters all have a libra 3 : there is no form 
of regulation which you may not mark with this 
name. There is a libra of the earth, which hangs in 
mid-air, and a libra of their own controls the paths 

light of Pliny, who (N.H. ii. 27) quotes Pytheas of Mar- 
seilles as stating that in Britain the tide rises 80 cubits 
above the level of the land. This phenomenon, too, is to be 
explained on the theory of a natural poise or balance. The 
libra (1. 33) of the poet's character is doubtless the good 
influence of his friend which keeps him " upright." 

177 
VOL. I. N 



AUSONIUS 

Libra dii somnique pares determinat horas, 1 
libra Caledonios sine litore continet aestus : 
tu quoque certa mane morum mi hi libra meorum. 

VII. DE RATIONE PUERPERII MATURI 

OMNIA, quae vario rerum metimur in actu, 

astrorum dominatus agit ; terrenaque tantum 

membra homini : e superis fortuna et spiritus auris 

septeno moderanda choro : set praesidet ollis 

sortitus regimen nitidae Sol aureus aethrae. 5 

nee sola in nobis moderatur tempora vitae, 

dum breve solliciti spatium producimus aevi : 

creditur occultosque satus et tempora vitae 

materno ducenda utero formare videndo 

et nondum exortae leges conponere vitae. 10 

namque ubi conceptus genitali insederit arvo, 

haut dubium Solem cuicumque insistere signo. 

qui cum vicini stationem ceperit astri, 

contiguos nujlum transfundit lumen in ortus. 

ast ubi conversis post menstrua tempora habenis 15 

scandit purpureo iam tertia sidera curru, 

obliqua exilem demittit linea lucem, 

adspirans tenues per inertia pondera motus. 

quarta in sede viget primi indulgentia Solis, 

1 cp. Virgil, Georg. i. 208 : Libra die somnique pares ubi 
fecerit horas. (The reference is to the constellation, " the 
Balance.") 

I 7 8 



THE ECLOGUES 

of the Sun and Moon. Libra measures out equal 
hours of day and night, a libra curbs the Caledonian 
tides unaided by the shore : do thou also remain the 
sure libra of my character. 



VII. ON THE NATURE OF TIMELY CHILDBIRTH 1 

THE sovereign influence of the stars directs all 
Ihings which we calculate in Nature's manifold ac- 
tivities ; it is the limbs of man alone that are of 
clay : his lot, his life coming from the realms above, 
must be controlled by the company of the Seven 
Planets. But chief among them is the golden Sun, 
to whom the governance of the bright upper air 
has been allotted. And it is not the seasons of our 
life alone which he guides in us, while we spin out 
the short span of our troubled years : it is believed 
that by his glance are formed in the womb those 
hidden seeds from which there spring the seasons 
of that life we are to spend, and those laws laid 
down which are to govern the life not yet begun. 
For when conception first takes place, the Sun must 
needs stand in some planetary house, whichever it 
may be. And when he has begun to occupy the 
mansion of the star next in order, he casts no beam 
of light upon things begotten in the house near by. 
But when, after a month's space, he wheels his 
course and in his glowing car climbs up now into 
the third constellation, he sheds down upon them a 
slanting ray of feeble light, breathing some slight 
stir into the sluggish mass. In his fourth station the 

1 The source of this poem is the De Die Natall of Censori- 
nus (written A.D. 238) : the theory advanced is there alleged 
to be Chaldaean. 

179 

N 2 



AUSONIUS 

suadet et infusus teneros coalescere fetus. 20 

fulgore et trigono aspectus J vitale coruscat, 

clarum et lene micans, quinti qui cardine signi 

incutit attonitam vegetato infante parentem. 

nam sexto vis nulla loco, quia nulla tuendi 

aequati lateris signatur regula Phoebo. 2 25 

ast ubi signiferae media in regione cohortis 

septimus accepit limes rutilantia flammis 

recto castra situ : turgentis foedera partus 

iam plena sub luce videt, nee fulgura parci 

luminis intendens toto fovet igne coronae. 30 

hinc illud, quod legitimos Lucina labores 

praevenit et gravidos sentit subrepere nixus 

ante expectatum festina puerpera votum ; 

quod nisi, septeno cum lumina fudit ab astro, 

impulerit tardi claustra obluctantia partus, 35 

posterior nequeat, possit prior : an quia sexto 

aemulus octavi conspectus inutilis astri 

nescit conpariles laterum formare figuras ? 

set nono incumbens signo cunctantia matrum 

vota levat, trigono vires sociante sequenti. 40 

at si difficilis rursum trahit Ilithyia, 

tetragono absolvet dubiarum vincla morarum. 

1 Translator : fulgor tetrigono aspectus, V: fulgor tetra- 
gono, Peiper (after Vinttns) ; but the sun's aspect is triangular 
when in the fifth sign. For the quantity of the reading in 
the text, cp. 1. 40 trigono. 

2 cp. Censorinus viii. 10 : ceterum a loco sexto conspectus 
omni caret efficientia ; eius enim linea (= regula) nullius 
polygoni efficit latus. 

1 80 




DIAGRAM TO ILLUSTRATE THE VARIOUS ASPECTS or THE SUN 
IN ITS PASSAGE THROUGH THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC. 

(After the editions of Toll and Souchay. ) 

1 represents the Sign in which the Sun stands at the 
moment of conception. Starting from here, the Sun's pass- 
age through 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 forms an equal-sided hexagon ; 
through 1, 4, 7, 10, a square ; through 1, 5, 9, an equilateral 
triangle. 1-4 and 1-10 therefore are lines of quadrilateral 
aspect ; 1-5 and 1-9, of triangular aspect. The diameter of 
the zodiacal circle, 1-7, is the line of direct aspect. 1-6 and 
1-8 cannot form the sides of any equilateral figure within the 
circle ; while 1-2 and 1-12 barely constitute aspects. 



[To face p. 180. 



THE ECLOGUES 

Sun first makes strong influence felt, and, streaming 
in, causes the soft foetus to solidify. And with its 
fire his triangular aspect l flashes an enlivening glow, 
beaming bright and mild that aspect which at the 
threshold of the fifth sign beats upon the mother, 
astonished at the quickened life within her. For in 
the sixth House the Sun has no power at all, because 
for Phoebus no line of sight is marked forming a 
side of any equal-sided figure. But when he has 
accomplished half his progress through the starry 
company, and moved his blazing camp across the 
frontiers of the seventh House, then he looks upon 
the ever-growing embryo with a direct aspect and in 
full flood of light ; then he pours down his beams 
upon it without stint and warms it with all the 
heat of his fiery crown. And the reason why 
Lucina sometimes comes before the appointed hour 
of travail, and why she who is with child feels the 
pangs of labour stealing over her before the time 
awaited with prayers, is that, had he not shaken the 
reluctant bars restraining birth at the time when he 
poured his light from the place of the seventh sign, 
the Sun could not afterwards effect what he could 
have done before. Or can this be the cause, that 
the ineffective glance of the eighth planet, as of the 
sixth, cannot form any equal-sided figure ? But when 
he occupies the ninth sign, he brings relief to the 
long-drawn prayers of mothers, the resultant triangle 1 
joining its power with his. Yet if perverse Ilithyia 
tarries once again, he will break through the bonds 
of hesitation and delay when he passes on to assume 
his quadrilateral aspect (in the tenth sign). 

1 See the diagram facing p. 180. 

iSl 



AUSONIUS 

VIII. DE NOMINIBUS SEPTKM DIERUM 

NOMINA, quae septem vertentibus apta diebus 
annus habet, totidem errantes fecere planetae, 
quos indefessa volvens vertigine mundus 
signorum obliqua iubet in statione vagari. 
primum supremumque diem radiatus habet Sol. 5 
proxima fraternae succedit Luna coronae. 
tertius adsequitur Titania lumina Mavors. 
Mercurius quart! sibi vindicat astra diei. 
illustrant quintam lovis aurea sidera zonam. 
sexta salutigerum sequitur Venus alma parentem. 10 
cuncta supergrediens Saturni septima lux est. 
octavum instaurat revolubilis orbita Solem. 

IX. MONOSTICHA DE MENSIBUS 

PRIMUS Romanas ordiris, lane, kalendas. 

Februa vicino mense Numa instituit. 
Martius antiqui primordia protulit anni. 

fetiferum Aprilem vindicat alma Venus, 
maiorum dictus patrum de nomine Maius. 5 

lunius aetatis proximus est titulo. 
nomine Caesareo Quintilem lulius auget. 

Augustus nomen Caesareum sequitur. 
autumnum, Pomona,, tuum September opimat. 

triticeo October faenore ditat agros. 10 

sidera praecipitas pelago, intempeste November. 

tu genialem hiemem, feste December, agis. 

1 A feast of purification held on February 15th : see Ovid, 
Fasti, ii. 19. 

2 The months of January and February were instituted 
by Numa. 3 cp. Suet. Julius, 76. 

182 



THE ECLOGUES 



VIII. ON THE NAMES OF THE SEVEN DAYS 

THE names borne by the seven days recurring 
throughout the year, are given by as many planets, 
which the firmament rolls along in unwearied revolu- 
tions, bidding them roam amid the stars which stand 
athwart them. The first day and the last the ray- 
crowned Sun holds for his own. The Moon next 
succeeds to her brother's crown. Mars, following 
these Titan lights, is counted third. Mercury claims 
for his own the stars of the fourth day. The golden 
star of Jupiter illumines the fifth zone ; and in the 
sixth place kindly Venus follows the health-bringing 
father of the gods. The seventh day is Saturn's, and 
comes last of all ; for on the eighth the circling orbit 
restores the Sun once more. 

IX. SINGLE LINES ON EACH MONTH 

THOU, Janus, beginnest the first calends of the 
Roman year. Numa established the Februa l in the 
next month. The month of Mars brought in the 
opening of the old-style year. 2 Kindly Venus claims 
April, month of fertility. May was so called to cele- 
brate our ancestors (maiores). June is the title of 
the next period in the year. Julius enriched Quin- 
tilis with a Caesar's name. 3 August follows Caesar's 
name. 4 September brings Autumn, thy season, O 
Pomona, with wealth of fruits. October enriches 
the fields with usury of grain. Thou hurlest the 
stars headlong into the sea, unwholesome November. 
Thou spendest cheerful winter, festal December. 

4 First so called in B.C. Sin honour of Augustus (Octavian). 
It was previously known as Sextilis, the sixth month of the 
(old-style) year. 

183 



AUSONIUS 

X. ITEM DISTICHA 

IANE nove, primo qui das tua nomina mensi, 

lane bifrons, spectas tempora bina simul. 
post superum cultus vicino Februa mense 

dat Numa cognatis manibus inferias. 
Martius et generis Romani praesul et anni, 5 

prima dabas Latiis tempora consulibus. 
Aeneadum genetrix vicino nomen Aprili 

das Venus : est Marti namque Aphrodita comes. 
Maia dea, an niaior Maium te fecerit aetas, 

ambigo ; sed mensi est auctor uterque bonus. 10 
lunius hunc sequitur duplici celebrandus honore, 

seu nomen luno sive luventa dedit. 
inde Dionaeo praefulgens lulius astro 

aestatis mediae tempora certa tenet. 
Augustus sequitur cognatum a Caesare nomen, 15 

ordine sic anni proximus., ut generis, 
nectuntur post hos numerumque ex ordine signant : 

September, Bacchi munere praela rigans, 
et qui sementis per tempora faenore laetus 

October cupidi spem fovet agricolae, 20 

quique salo mergens sollemnia signa November 

praecipitat, caelo mox reditura suo. 
concludens numerum genialia festa December 

finit, ut a bruma mox novus annus eat. 

1 i.e. the comet which appeared during Caesar's funerary 
games (see Suet. Julius, 88) ; it was so called from Dione, 



184 



THE ECLOGUES 



X. COUPLETS ON THE SAME SUBJECT 

YOUNG Janus, who givest thy name to the first 
month of the year, twy-faced Janus, thou dost be- 
hold two seasons at one time. After worship of 
the gods, Numa ordains Februa in the next month, 
a feast of offerings to the shades of kinsfolk. 
Martian, leader both of the Roman race and year, 
thou wast wont to bring in the beginning of the 
Latin consulate. Mother of the sons of Aeneas, thou, 
Venus, givest thy name to April, the month which 
follows next ; for Aphrodite keeps Mars company. 
1 am in doubt whether the goddess Maia or genera- 
tions passed (maiores) named thee May, but either 
is a good patron for a month. June follows next 
with double title to renown, whether it was Juno 
or Juventa who lent her name. Then July, brilliant 
with Dione's star, 1 occupies the fixed season of mid- 
summer. Augustus' month follows that named after 
his kinsman Julius, next in the year's order even 
as he in race. Next comes a string of months 
marked by successive numbers : September, who 
soaks the presses with Bacchus' gift ; October, glad- 
dened with the seasons' usury for seedling grain, who 
flatters the grasping farmer's hopes ; November, 
who casts headlong her appointed stars, and plunges 
them in the brine, soon to return to heaven their 
home. December closes the list and ends our cheer- 
ful feasts, that from winter a new year may presently 
go forth. 

mother of Venus, the ancestress of the Julian line : cp. 
Virgil, Ed. ix. 47 : ecce Dionaei processit Caesaris astrum. 



185 



AUSONIUS 

XI. DE TRIBUS MENSTRUIS MENSUUM 

Bis senas anno reparat Lucina kalendas 
et totidem medias dat currere luppiter idus 
nonarumque diem faciunt infra octo secundi. 
haec sunt Romano tantum tria nomina mensi ; 
cetera per numeros sunt cognomenta dierum. 5 

XII. QUOTENI DIES SINT MENSUUM SINGULORUM 

INPLENT tricenas per singula menstrua luces 

lunius Aprilisque et cum Septembre November. 

unum ter denis cumulatius adde diebus 

per septem menses, lani Martisque kalendis 

et quas Maius agit, quas lulius Augustusque 5 

et quas October positusque in fine December. 

unus erit tantum duodetriginta dierum, 

quern Numa praeposito voluit succedere lano. 

sic ter centenis decies accedere senos 

quadrantemque et quinque dies sibi conputat annus. 10 

XIII. Quo MENSE QUOTAE NONAE VEL 
IDUS SINT 

AT nonas modo quarta aperit, modo sexta refert lux. 
sexta refert Mai Octobris Martisque recursu 
et qui solstitio sua tempora lulius infert. 
cetera pars mensum quartis est praedita nonis ; 
omnes vero idus octava luce recurrunt. 5 



1 In March, May, July and October the Ides were on the 
15th, in other months on the 13th, so that Nones, being eight 

186 



THE ECLOGUES 

XI. ON THE THREE SACRIFICIAL DAYS OF THE 
MONTH 

TWELVE times a year Lucina renews the Calends, 
and as often do the Ides recur by Jove's gift at the 
mid-month, while eight successive days before 1 pro- 
duce the Nones. The Roman month has these three 
names alone : all other days are known by numerals. 

XII. How MANY DAYS THERE ARE IN EACH MONTH 

JUNE, April, and November, with September, each 
month of these has thirty days. For each of seven 
months add one besides to thrice ten days, one to 
the Calends of Janus and o'f Mars, and one to those 
which May, July, and August bring, and one to 
October and December, the last month of all. A 
single month remains with but eight and twenty 
days, that month which Numa caused to follow next 
to Janus, the leader of the year. Thus the year 
reckons its days to be three hundred and sixty-five, 
with one quarter day. 

XIII. ON WHAT DATES THE NONES AND IDES 
FALL IN VARIOUS MONTHS 

SOMETIMES the fourth dawn after the Calends 
opens the Nones, sometimes the sixth brings them 
back. The sixth brings them back as May, October, 
March come round, and July, who intrudes his 
season on the solstice. The remaining months have 
their Nones on the fourth day ; while the Ides 
always come round on the eighth day after Nones. 

days earlier, fell on the 7th in the four months named, and 
on the 5th in other months. 

187 



AUSONIUS 
XIV. QUOTAE KALENDAE SINT MENSUUM 

SlNGULORUM 

POST idus, quas quisque suas habet ordine mensis, 
diversae numero redeunt variante kalendae, 
dum [vertente anno l ~\ rursumque iterumque vocantur, 
ut tandem optati procedant temporis ortu. 
ter senis unoque die genialia festa 5 

porrigit, ut lanum arcessat nova bruma morantem. 
hoc numero mensisque Numae redit autumnique 
principium referens Bacchi September alumnus, 
lulius et Maius positusque in fine December 
Octoberque die revocatur tardius uno. 10 

inde die redeunt minus uno quattuor ultra, 
quos numero adiciam : Sextilis, lunius atque 
Aprilis, post quos paen ultima meta November, 
ter quinis unoque die, lunonie Mavors, 
ut redeas referasque exordia prima, cieris. 15 

Hoc numero ad plenum vertens reparabitur annus. 

XV. RATIO DIERUM ANNI VERTENTIS 

NONAGINTA dies et quattuor ac medium Sol 
conficit, a tropico in tropicum dum permeat astrum, 
octipedem in Cancrum Phrixeo ab Ariete pergens. 
hoc spatio aestivi pulsusque et meta diei. 

1 Suppl. Mommsen. 

1 cp. Eclogue ix. 3. 
188 



THE ECLOGUES 

XIV. How MANY DAYS THERE ARE BEFORE THE 
CALENDS OF EACH MONTH 

AFTER the Ides, which each month reckons in its 
own way, the Calends return, varying with changing 
number, while, as the year rolls on, they are sum- 
moned again and yet once more, so that at length 
they may come forth at the rising of their desired 
season. For thrice six days and one the new-come 
winter prolongs feasts and cheer ere he summon 
lingering Janus. With the same tale of days Numa's 
month returns, and September, Bacchus' darling, 
who brings round the first days of Autumn. July, 
May, and December, the last of months, are recalled 
with October one day later. Then one day sooner 
return four months beside, which I will add to the 
list : Sextilis (August), June, and April, and after 
them November, the year's last goal but one. By 
thrice five days and one, thou son of Juno, Mars, 
art summoned to return and to bring back the year's 
first beginning. 1 

16 This tale will bring the rolling year once more 
to its full strength. 



XV. A COMPUTATION OF THE DAYS IN THE 
COURSE OF THE YEAR 

NINETY days and four and half a day the Sun 
wears out while he passes from tropic 2 to tropic 
star, journeying from Phrixus' Ram to the eight- 
clawed Crab. In this period lie the course and 

^ The Ram (indicating the vernal equinox) is here loosely 
called "tropic," because it marks the point at which the 
Sun passes from the southern to the northern hemisphere. 

189 



AUSONIUS 

semidiemque duosque dies deciesque iiovenos 5 

a Cancro in Chelas aequatae tempora noctis 

atque dii cursu peragit Sol aureus altero, 

autumni aestatisque simul confinia miscens. 

unde autumnales transcurrens ordine menses 

ad tropicum pergit signum gelidi Capricorni, 10 

octo dies decies octonis insuper addens 

quadrantemque dii, quinto qui protinus anno 

mense Numae extremo nomeii capit embolimaei. 

inde ad Agenorei festinans cornua Tauri, 

scandit Lanigeri tropicum Sol aureus astrum, 15 

nonaginta dies decreto fine cohercens. 

hie tibi circus erit semper vertentibus aniiis 

ter centum ac senis decies et quinque diebus. 

XVI. IN QUO MENSE QUOD SIGNUM SIT AD 
CURSUM Sous 

PRINCIPIUM lani saiicit tropicus Capricornns. 
mense Numae in medio solidi stat sidus Aquari. 
procedunt duplices in Martia tempora Pisces, 
respicis Apriles, Aries Phryxee, kalendas. 
Maius Agenorei miratur cornua Tauri. 5 

lunius aequatos caelo videt ire Laconas. 
solstitio ardentis Cancri fert lulius astrum. 
Augustum mensem Leo fervidus igne perurit. 
sidere, Virgo, tuo Bacchum September opimat, 
aequat et October sementis tern pore Libram. 10 

Scorpios hibernus praeceps iubet ire Novembrem. 
terminat Arquitenens medio sua signa Decembri. 

190 



THE ECLOGUES 

finish of the summer days. Ten times nine days 
and two and half a day, when hours of light and 
night are even, the golden Sun passes through in 
his second race from the Crab to the claws of the 
Scorpion, mingling the bounds of autumn and of sum- 
mer. Then, traversing the autumn months in turn, 
he passes on to the tropic l star of chill Capricorn, 
adding further to his tale eight days and ten times 
eight with a fourth part of the day, which in each 
fourth year stands at the close of Numa's month and 
takes the name of " intercalary." Then, hastening 
toward the horns of Agenor's Bull, the golden Sun 
climbs up to the tropic star of the fleecy Ram, con- 
fining ninety days within ordained bounds. Here, 
then, you have the full round of the ever-circling 
years : three hundred and three score days and five. 

XVI. WHICH CONSTELLATION THE SUN PASSES 

THROUGH IN EACH MONTH 

THE tropic star of Capricorn prescribes the open- 
ing of Janus' s reign. In the midst of Numa's 
month stands the sign of stout Aquarius. The 
Fishes twain come forth in days of March. Thou, 
Ram of Phrixus, lookest back on April's calends. 
May marvels at the horns of Agenor's Bull. June 
sees the Spartan twins march in the heavens. July 
brings the star of the Crab which blazes at the sol- 
stice. The raging lion scorches the month of August 
with his fires. Beneath thy star, O Virgin, September 
loads the vines. October's seed-time balances the 
Scales. The wintry Scorpion bids November go head- 
long. The Archer ends his shining in mid-December. 

1 Tropic Stars are those which give their names to the two 
Tropics, i.e. Capricornus and Cancer. 

191 



AUSONIUS 

XVII. A SOLISTITIO IN AEQUINOCTIUM 
RATIO 

SOL profectus a teporo veris aequinoctio 
post semidiem postque totos nonaginta et quattuor 
fervidis flagrans habenis pulsum aestivum conficit. 
inde autumnus noctis horas librans aequo lumine 
octo et octoginta goeris et super trihorio 5 

****** 
inde floridum reflexis ver revisit oreis 
additis ad hos priores goeros geminis orbibus. 

XVIII. DE MENSIBUS ET QUATTUOR ANNI 
TEMPORIBUS 

AETERNOS menses et tempora quattuor anni 
quattuor ista tibi subiecta monosticha dicent. 
Martius, Aprilis, Maius sunt tempora veris. 
lulius, Augustus nee non et lunius aestas. 
Septembri, Octobri autumnat totoque Novembri. 5 
brumales lanus, Februarius atque December. 

XIX. DE LUSTRALIBUS AGONIBUS 

QUATTUOR antiquos celebravit Achaia ludos. 

caelicolum duo sunt et duo festa hominum. 
sacra lovis Phoebique, Palaemonis Archemorique, 

serta quibus pinus, malus, oliva, apium. 

1 Some lines finishing with autumn and dealing with winter 
are missing. 

192 



THE ECLOGUES 

XVII. A COMPUTATION FROM THE SOLSTICE 
TO THE EQUINOX 

THE Sun sets forth from the warm equinox of 
spring, and, all aglow upon his fiery car, finishes his 
course through summer after one half-day and after 
four and ninety days complete. Then autumn, 
balancing the hours of night with equal measure of 
light, for eight and eighty days and three hours 
besides . . . . l Then wheeling round his steeds, 
once more he 2 visits flowery spring, when he has 
added two circuits to these former days. 3 



XVIII. ON THE MONTHS AND THE FOUR SEASONS 
OF THE YEAR 

THESE four verses following will tell you the 
eternal months and the four seasons of the year. 
March, April, May, make up the season of spring. 
June, with July and August these are summer 
months. In September, October, and all November, 
autumn reigns. The winter months are January, 
February, and December. 



XIX. ON THE QUINQUENNIAL GAMES 4 

FOUR gatherings for games did Greece celebrate 
of old. Two are festivals of gods and two of men. 
They are consecrate to Jove, Phoebus, Palaemon, and 
Archemorus, and their garlands are of pine, apple, 
olive-leaves, and parsley. 

- Apparently the Sun. 

3 i.e. to the eighty-eight days of 1. 5 : cf. above xv. 1<>. 

4 = Anth. Pal. ix. 357. 

93 

VOL. I. O 



AUSONIUS 

XX. DE Locis AGONUM 

PRIMA lovi magno celebrantur Olympia Pisae. 
Parnasus Clario sacravit Pythia Phoebo. 
Isthmia Portuno bimari dicat alta Corinthos. 
Archemori Nemeaea colunt funebria Thebae. 



XXI. DE AUCTORIBUS AGONUM 

PRIMUS Olympiacae sacravit festa coronae 
luppiter Argivi stadia ad longissima circi. 
proximus Alcides Nemeum sacravit honorem. 
liaec quoque temporibus quinquennia sacra notandis, 
Isthmia Neptuno data sunt et Pythia Phoebo 5 

ancipiti cultu divorum hominumque sepultis. 1 

XXII. QUOD IDEM QUI SACRI AGONES SUNT ET 

FUNEBRES LUDI HABEANTUR 

TANTALIDAE Pelopi maestum dicat Elis honorem. 
Archemori Nemeaea colunt quinquennia Thebae. 
Isthmia defuncto celebrata Palaemone notum. 
Pythia placando Delphi statuere draconi. 

1 Schenkl conjectures that 11. 4 and 6 should be placed at 
the beginning of xxii. 



1 = Opheltes, son of Lycurgus, king of Nemea. He was 
killed by a snake during the inarch of the Seven against 
Thebes. 

194 



THE ECLOGUES 

XX. ON THE PLACES WHERE THE GAMES ARE HELD 

FIRST in honour of great Jove the Olympian 
Games are held at Pisa, Parnassus consecrated the 
Pythia to Phoebus, lord of Claros. To Portumnus, 
god of twin seas, lofty Corinth dedicates the Isthmia. 
Thebes celebrates the Nemea in memory of the 
death of Archemorus. 1 



XXI. ON THE FOUNDERS OF THE GAMES 

JUPITER first hallowed the festival of the Olympian 
Games at the long race-course of the Grecian stadium. 
Next did the son of Alcaeus found the solemn 
Nemean rite. These festivals also are held at ap- 
pointed seasons once in four years the Isthmia, 
established by Neptune, and the Pythia by Phoebus, 
in honour of the dead worshipped both as human 
and divine. 2 



XXII. To SHOW THAT THE SACRED CONTESTS 

ARE ALSO HELD AS FUNERARY GAMES 

To Pelops, son of Tantalus, Elis dedicates its 
tribute of woe. Thebes holds the Nemea each five 
years in honour of Archemorus. 'Tis known that 
the Isthmia commemorate Palaemon's end. The 
Delphians instituted their Pythian festival to appease 
the dragon slain by Phoebus. 3 

- The reference is to Melicertes, son of Athamas and Ino, 
with whom his mother leaped into the sea. He was trans- 
formed into a sea-god and known thenceforward as Palaemon 
(the Roman Portunmus : cp. xx. 3). He had therefore been 
both god and man. 

3 cp. Ovid, Metam. i. 446 f. 

I9S 

o 2 



AUSONIUS 

XXIII. DE FERIIS ROMANIS 

NUNC et Apollineos Tiberina per ostia ludos 

et Megalesiacae matris operta loquar 
Vulcanique dies, autumni exordia primi, 

Quinquatrusque deae Pallados expediam 
et medias idus Mai Augustique recursu, 5 

quas sibi Mercurius quasque Diana dicat ; 
matronae quae sacra colant pro laude virorum, 

Mavortis primi cum rediere dies, 
festa Caprotinis memorabo celebria nonis, 

cum stola matronis dempta teget famulas. 10 

quattuor ilia etiam discretis partibus anni 

solstitia et luces nocte dieque pares, 
nee Regifugium pulsis ex urbe tyrannis 

laetum Romanis fas reticere diem, 
visne Opis ante sacrum vel Saturnalia dicam 1 5 

festaque servorum, cum famulaiitur eri ? 
et numquam certis redeuntia festa diebus, 

compita per vicos cum sua quisque colit ? 

- * Established in 212 B.C. 

2 sc. Cybele. Her worship was introduced from Pessinus 
in Phrygia in 202 B.C. 

3 It was held on March 19th, five days after the Ides, in 
honour of Minerva and Mars. It was celebrated especially 
by all whose employment was under the patronage of Minerva 
e.g. the learned, schoolboys, and artizans. 

4 The feast of Merchants, whose patron Mercury was, held 
on May 15th. 

5 On August 13th women whose prayers had bren answered 
made a torchlight procession to the grove of Diana at Aricia. 

6 The Matronalia (March 1st), when prayers were offered 
to Juno Lucina for a fruitful wedlock. 

196 



THE PXLOGUES 

XXIII. ON THE ROMAN FESTIVALS 

Now will I tell of the Games of Apollo held at 
Tiber's mouth l and of the Mysteries of the Mega- 
lesian mother, 2 and will recount Vulcan's festival 
that heralds autumn's beginning, and the Quin- 
quatrus, 3 the feast of the goddess Pallas, and the 
mid-monthly Ides which come round with May and 
August the first is Mercury's festival, 4 the second 
Diana 5 claims as her own as also those rites 6 
which wedded women practise to bring their hus- 
bands credit, when the first day of March is returned. 
I will make mention also of the feast held on the 
Nonae Caprotinae 7 when matrons doff their robes 
to clothe their handmaidens, and of those seasons, 
too, which separate the year into four parts, the 
solstices and the equinoxes, when night and day 
are equal. Nor dare I pass over in silence the Regi- 
fugitim, 8 that glad day for the Romans when they 
drove their tyrants out. Or would you have me 
speak first of the feast of Ops, 9 or of the Saturn- 
alia, the slaves' holiday, when masters turn servants? 
And of those feasts which never come round on 
fixed days, when each man worships at the cross- 
ways 10 according to the district in which he lives? 

7 July 7th. The Romans, after their defeat by the Gauls, 
were attacked by the Latins, who demanded the cession of a 
number of Roman ladies. Female slaves took their place 
disguised in matrons' dress, and made the enemy drunk. 
Tutula, one of these slaves, then climbed a wild fig-tree 
(caprifirus) and gave the signal for the Romans to attack by 
showing a torch. 

8 February 24th, when Tarquin was driven out. 

9 The Opalia, held on December 19th. Ops, the goddess 
of fertility, was the consort of Saturn. 

10 The festival of the Lares, tutelary genii of cross-roads 
(compita), was held four times a year. 

197 



AUSONIUS 

aut duplicem cultum, quern Neptunalia dicunt, 

et quern de Conso consiliisque vocant ? 20 

festa haec navigiis, aut quae celebrata quadrigis 

iungunt Romanos finitimosque duces ? 
adiciam cultus peregrinaque sacra deorum, 

natalem Herculeum vel ratis Isiacae, 
nee non lascivi Floralia laeta theatri, 25 

quae spectare voluiit, qui voluisse negant ? 
mmc etiam veteres celebrantur Kquirria ludi : 

prima haec Romanus nomina circus habet. 
et Dionysiacos Latio cognomiiie ludos 

Roma colit, Liber quae sibi vota dicat. 30 

Aediles etiam plebi aedilesque curules 

sacra Sigillorum nomine dicta colunt. 
et gladiatores funebria proelia notum 

decertasse foro : nunc sibi harena suos 
vindicat extremo qui iam sub fine Decembris 35 

falcigerum placant sanguine Caeligenam. 



1 The Neptunalia were held on July 23rd, the Consualia 
on August 21st. It was at the first celebration of the latter 
that the Sabine women were carried off, an event followed 
by the union of the Sabines and Romans. Consus was iden- 
tified with Neptune the Horseman. Thus the two feasts 
being in honour of one god constituted a double act of 
worship (duplicem cultum). 

2 March 5th. Isis was worshipped as patroness of naviga- 
tion and the inventor of sails. 

''' The Floralia, first instituted in 238 B.C., lasted from 
April 28th to May 3rd. 

198 



THE ECLOGUES 

Or of those twin celebrations that which they 
call Neptunalia, 1 and that which is named after 
Census and good counsel ? Of this festival which is 
celebrated with naval battles, or that with chariot- 
races, which unite the Romans and their neigh- 
bour-chiefs? Shall I tell also of the festivals and 
rites of strange gods introduced into Rome, of the 
birthday of Hercules or the day 2 of the Bark of 
Isis, and also the merry rites of Flora 3 held in the 
licentious theatre rites which they long to see who 
declare they never longed to see them ? Now also 
the ancient games called Equiria 4 are held : 'tis the 
chief name known to the Roman circus. The 
Dionysiac Games Rome also keeps under a Latin 
name, the same which Liber claims as consecrate to 
himself. 5 The aediles also of the plebs and curule 
aediles observe the feast called Sigillaria. 6 And 
that gladiators once fought out funerary battles in 
the forum is well known 7 ; now the arena claims 
as its own proper prey those who towards the end 
of December appease with their blood the sickle- 
bearing Son of Heaven. 8 

4 Held three times a year, on February 27th, March 14th, 
October 15th. It took its name from the horse-races insti- 
tuted by Romulus, which were held in the Campus Martius. 

5 The Liberalia, held on March 17th, when cakes (liba) of 
meal, honey, and oil were sold and burnt. 

6 The last days of the Saturnalia, when people gave little 
images (sigillaria) to one another. 

7 Gladiatorial shows, first exhibited in 264 B.C. at the 
funerary ceremonies of M. Junius Brutus, were at first con- 
iined to such occasions. Under Dornitian these contests 
occupied ten days in December. 

8 Saturn or Cronos. For the origin of the sickle see 
Hesiod, Theoy. 173 ff. There seems to be no other reference 
to glacliatoznal. combats at the Saturnalia. 

199 



AUSONIUS 

XXIV. MONOSTICHA DE AERUMNIS HERCULIS 

PRIMA Cleonaei tolerata aerumna leonis. 
proxima Lernaeam ferro et face contudit hydram. 
mox Erymantheum vis tertia perculit aprum. 
aeripedis quarto tulit aurea cornua cervi. 
Stymphalidas pepulit volucres discrimine quinto. 5 
Thraeiciam sexto spoliavit Amazona balteo. 
septima in Augei stabulis inpensa laboris. 
octava expulso numeratur adoria tauro. 
in Diomedeis victoria nona quadrigis. 
G'eryone extincto decimam dat Hiberia palmam. 10 
undecimo mala Hesperidum destricta triumpho. 
Cerberus extremi .suprema est meta laboris. 



XXV. QuiNTI ClCERONIS HI VERSUS EO PERTINENT 

UT QUOD SlGNUM QUO TfiMPORE INLUSTRE SIT 

NOVERIMUS. QUOD SUPERIUS QUOQUE NOSTRIS 
VERSIBUS EXPEDITUR 

FLAMINA l verna cient obscuro lumine Pisces 
curriculumque Aries aequat noctisque diique, 
cornua quern coiiduiit florum praenuntia Tauri, 
aridaque aestatis Gemini primordia pandunt, 
longaque iam munit praeclarus lumina Cancer, 5 

1 Walcefield : fiumina, V, Peiper. 

1 = Anth. Planud. xvi. 92. 

2 .ST. the Nemean lion : Cleonae in Argolis is near Nemea. 

20O 



THE ECLOGUES 

XXIV. SINGLE LINES ON EACH OF THE TOILS 
OF HERCULES l 

THE first toil endured was that of the Cleonaean 
lion. 2 The next with sword and brand crushed the 
Lyrnaean hydra. The third exploit presently de- 
stroyed the boar of Erymaiithus. Fourthly he carried 
off the golden antlers of the fleet-footed stag. In his 
fifth adventure he shot down the Stymphalian birds. 
Sixthly he despoiled the Thracian Amazon of her 
belt. His seventh labour was spent upon the 
stables of Augeas. The bull driven out of Crete 3 
is counted his eighth glory. The team of Diomedes 
brought his ninth victory. Spain gives him his 
tenth palm for slaying Geryones. The plucked 
apples of the Hesperides made his eleventh triumph. 
Cerberus is the final goal of his last labour. 



XXV. THESE VERSES OF QUINTUS CICERO ARE IN- 
TENDED TO SHOW US AT WHAT SEASON EACH 

CONSTELLATION is SHINING, A SUBJECT WHICH I 

HAVE ALSO EXPLAINED IN A PREVIOUS PoEM 4 

THE Fishes, showing a dim light, awaken the 
breezes of spring, and the Ram makes the cars of 
Night and Day run an even race. He is eclipsed by 
the horns of the Bull, the harbingers of flowers. 
The Twins bring in the dry opening of summer, the 
brilliant Crab establishes the lengthening days, and 

3 He carried it alive to Mycenae, where he let it go : it 
was afterwards killed by Theseus at Marathon. 

4 No other poetical work of Q. Cicero is known, and it is 
hard to see why it should be inserted in the works of 
Ausonius, if it was really by the brother of the orator. 
Ausonius' treatment of the subject is in Ed. xvii. 

201 



AUSONIUS 

languificosque Leo proHat ferus ore calores. 
post medium quatiens Virgo fugat orta vaporem : 
autumni reserat portas aequatque diurna 
tempora nocturnis dispense sidere Libra. 
ecfetos 1 ramos denudat flamma Nepai, 10 

pigra Sagittipotens iaculatur frigora terris,, 
bruma gelu glacians iubar exspirat Capricorni, 
quam sequitur nebulas rorans liquor altus Aquari. 
tanta supra circaque viget vis flanimea 2 mundi. 
at dextra laevaque ciet rota fulgida Solis 15 

mobile curriculum et Lunae simulacra feruntur. 
****** 
squama sub aeterno conspectu torta Draconis 
eminet. hunc infra fulgentes Arcera septem 
magna quatit Stellas : quam servans serus in alta 
conditur oceani ripa cum luce Bootes. 3 20 

XXVI. Hie VERSUS SINE AUCTORE EST. 
Quo DIE QUID DEMI DE CORPORE OPORTEAT 

UNGUES Mercuric, barbam love, Cypride crines. 

Hoc sic REFEI.LENDUM 

MERCURIUS furtis probat ungues semper acutos 
articulisque aciem non sinit imminui. 

1 Riese : et fetos, V. 

2 Translator: vigent umi flamina, V : vigent vi flamina, 
Peiper (after Riese), 3 cp. e 275. 



1 i.e. of grain and fruits : Virgo is sometimes identified 
with Demeter. 

202 



THE ECLOGUES 

the fierce Lion breathes from his mouth enfeebling 
heat. Then the Virgin, brandishing her measure, 1 
rises and drives moisture away. The constellation 
of the Scales, equally poised, opens the gates of 
Autumn and makes even the hours of night and 
day. Nepa's 2 fires strip the o'erteemed 3 branches 
of their leaves, the Archer rains shafts of numbing 
cold upon the earth, Winter, freezing with her frosty 
breath, sends forth Capricornus' ray, and after her 
comes Aquarius, whose pitcher from on high bedews 
the clouds. So great the fiery forces of the universe 
which strongly move above it and about. But on 
the right hand and the left the ever-moving chariot 
of the Sun speeds on with burning wheels, and the 
pale image of the Moon moves on its course .... 
the Dragon's scaly coils ever keep in sight. Below 
him twinkles the great Wain with its seven gleaming 
stars, while keeping watch over it, Bootes is slow to 
hide his light below Ocean's brink. 

XXVI. THIS LINE, WHICH is ANONYMOUS, SHOWS 
WHAT SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE BoDY ON 
CERTAIN DAYS 
CLIP nails on Tuesday, beards on Wednesday, hair 

on Friday. 4 

THE ABOVE LINE MAY BE CONFUTED IN THE 

FOLLOWING WAY 

MERCURY likes a thief's nails ever-sharpened, and 
suffers not the fingers to lose their points. His 

2 sc. the Scorpion. According to Festus, the name is 
African. 3 rp. Hamlet, n. ii. 231. 

4 Mediaeval calendars usually add a note to each month 
on these and similar matters. See also Hesiod. W. and D. 
724 f. 

203 



AUSONIUS 

barba lovi, crines Veneri decor : ergo necesse est, 
ut nolint demi, quo sibi uterque placent. 

Mayors imberbos et calvos, Luna^ adamasti : 
non prohibent comi turn caput atque genas. 

Sol et Saturnus nil obstant unguibus : ergo 
non placitum divis tolle monostichium. 



204 



THE ECLOGUES 

beard is Jove's, her hair is Venus' glory : there- 
fore these needs must mislike the minishing of that 
in which they severally delight. Thou, Mars, lovest 
the beardless, 1 and thou, Moon, the bald : these do 
not forbid hair and cheeks to be trimmed. The 
Sun and Saturn have no scruples as to nails : there- 
fore cancel that line of which gods disapprove. 

1 i.e. youths in their prime and fit for war. A persistent 
tradition denies the soldier a beard. Why the moon loves 
the bald is not clear, unless it be that the moon itself 
resembles a bald head. 



205 



LIBER VIII 
[CUP1DO CRUCIATUR] 

AUSONIUS GREGORIO FILIO SAL. 

EN umquam vidisti tabulam l pictam in pariete ? 
vidisti utique et meministi. Treveris quippe in tri- 
clinio Zoili fucata est pictura haec : Cupidinem cruci 
adfigunt mulieres amatrices, non istae de nustro sae- 
culo, quae sponte peccant, sed illae heroicae, quae 
sibi ignoscunt et plectunt deum. quarum partem in 
lugentibus campis Maro noster enumerat. hanc ego 
imaginem specie et argumento miratus sum. deinde 
mirandi stuporem transtuli ad ineptiam poetandi. 
mihi praeter lemma nihil placet ; sed commendo tibi 
errorem meum : naevos nostros et cicatrices amamus_, 
nee soli nostro vitio peccasse content^ adfectamus ut 
amentur. verum quid ego huic eclogae studiose 
patrocinor ? certus sum, quodcumque meum scieris, 
amabis ; quod magis spero, quam ut laudes. vale et 
dilige parentem. 

1 Vinetus (cp. Plaut. Men. 143 : die mi, enunqnam tu 
vidisti tabulam pictam in pariete ?). The MSS. have nebulam 
which is senseless here, and is not supported by the supposed 
parallel in tSpist. ii. (aerius bratteae fucus aut picta nebula). 

206 



BOOK VIII 
CUPID CRUCIFIED 

AUSONIUS TO HIS SON GREGORIUS, 1 GREETING 

" PRAY, have you ever seen a picture painted on 
a wall ? " To be sure you have, and remember it. 
Well, at Treves, in the dining-room of Zoilus, this 
picture is painted : Cupid is being nailed to the 
cross by certain love-lorn women not those lovers 
of our own day, who fall into sin of their own free- 
will, but those heroic lovers who excuse themselves 
and blame the gods. Some of these our own Virgil ' 2 
recounts in his description of the Fields of Mourn- 
ing. I was greatly struck by the art and the sub- 
ject of this picture. Subsequently I translated my 
amazed admiration into insipid versification. Nothing 
in it satisfies me except the title ; nevertheless I 
commit my failure to your care : we love our own 
warts and scars, and, not satisfied with erring by 
ourselves through our folly, seek to make others 
love them also. But why am I at such pains to 
plead the cause of this eclogue ? I know well 
that you will welcome whatever you know to 
be mine ; and it is for this I hope, more than for 
your praise. Farewell, and think kindly of your 
father. 

1 This person is unknown. The title "son" is one of 
endearment only, just as Theodosius (Praef. Hi.) addresses 
Ansonius as "father." 2 Aril. \\. 440 ff. 

207 



AUSON1US 

CUPIDO CRUCIATUR 

AERIS in campis^ memorat quos musa Maronis, 1 
myrteus amentes ubi lucus opacat amantes, 2 
orgia ducebant heroides et sua quaeque, 
ut quondam occiderant, leti argumenta gerebant, 
errantes silva in magna et sub luce maligna 3 5 

inter harundineasque comas gravid unique papaver 
et tacitos sine labe lacus, sine murmure rivos : 
quorum per ripas nebuloso lumine marcent 
fleti, olim regum et puerorum nomina, flores 4 
mirator Narcissus et Oebalides Hyacinthus 10 

et Crocus auricomans et murice pictus Adonis 
et tragico scriptus gemitu Salaminius Aeas ; 
omnia quae lacrimis et amoribus anxia maestis 
exercent memores obita iam morte dolores : 
rursus in amissum revocant heroidas aevum. 15 

fulmineos Semele decepta puerpera partus 
deflet et ambustas lacerans per inania cunas 
ventilat ignavum simulati fulguris ignem. 
irrita dona querens, sexu gavisa virili^ 
maeret in antiquam Caenis revocata figuram. 20 

vulnera siccat adhuc Procris Cephalique cruentam 
diligit et percussa maiium. fert fumida testae 
lumina Sestiaca praeceps de turre puella. 
et de nimboso saltum Leucate minatur 

1 Virgil, Aen. vi. 887. 2 cp. id. vi. 440 ff. 
:< id. vi. 270. 

4 cp. Virgil, Eel. iii. 106 f.: inscripti nomina regum Nas- 
cuntur flores. 



1 cp. Epitaph, iii. 5-6 and note. The phrase might also 
be rendered " the theme of woeful tragedy." 

208 



CUPID CRUCIFIED 

CUPID CRUCIFIED 

IN the aerial fields, told of in Virgil's verse, where 
groves of myrtle o'ershade lovers lorn, the heroines 
were holding frantic rites, each one of them bearing 
tokens of the death she died of old, and wandering 
in a great wood, lit by scanty light, 'mid tufted 
reeds, and full-blown poppies, and still meres with- 
out a ripple, and unbabbling streams, along whose 
banks flowers of woe hung drooping in the murky 
light, bearing the names of kings and boys of old : 
here was admiring Narcissus, Hyacinthus, son of 
Oebalus, golden-headed Crocus, Adonis purple- 
stained, and Aeas of Salamis inscribed with the 
word of woe. 1 All things which, fraught with grief 
or with the pangs of love, prolong the memory of 
sorrow even when death is passed, call back again 
the heroines to the lives which they have lost. Here 
pregnant Semele, robbed of her hopes, bewails her 
birthpangs amid the lightning, and in the void rends 
a charred cradle and brandishes the harmless fire of 
an imagined thunderbolt. Bewailing the unavailing 
gift of manhood in which she once rejoiced, Caenis 2 
grieves for her restoration to her former shape. 
Procris 3 still staunches her wounds, and loves the 
fatal hand of Cephalus which struck her down. The 
maid of Sestos 4 carries her smoking earthen lamp 
and casts herself headlong from her tower. And 
man-like Sappho, doomed to be slain by the shafts 

2 The girl Caenis was changed by Poseidon into a man 
and made invulnerable. As a man be bore the name Caeneus. 

3 Daughter of Erechtheus and wife of Cephalus. In her 
jealousy she hid in a thicket to spy on her husband while 
hunting, and was speared by Cephalus, who supposed a wild 
beast was lurking there. 4 sc. Hero. 

209 
VOL. I. 1' 



AUSONIUS 

[mascula Lesbiacis Sappho peritura sagittis. 1 ] 25 

Harmoniae cultus Eriphyle maesta recusat, 
infelix nato nee fortunata marito. 
tota quoque aeriae Minoia fabula Cretae 
picturarum instar tenui sub imagine vibrat : 
Pasiphae nivei sequitur vestigia tauri, 30 

licia fert glomerata manu deserta Ariadne, 
respicit abiectas desperaiis Phaedra label las. 
liaec laqueum gerit, haec vanae simulacra coronae : 
Daedaliae pudet hanc latebras subiisse iuvencae. 
praereptas queritur per inaiiia gaudia noctes 35 

Laudamia duas, vivi functique mariti. 
parte truces alia strictis mucronibus omnes 
et Thisbe et Canace et Sidonis horret Elissa : 
coniugis haec, haec patris et haec gerit hospitis ensem. 
errat et ipsa, olim qualis per Latniia saxa 40 

Endymioiieos solita adfectare sopores, 
cum face et astrigero diademate Luna bicornis. 
centum aliae veterum recolentes vulnera amorum 
dulcibus et maestis refovent torinenta querellis. 

Quas inter medias furvae caliginis umbram 45 

dispulit inconsultus Amor stridentibus alis. 
agnovere omnes puerum memorique recursu 
communem sensere reum, quamquam umida circum 
nubila et auratis fulgentia cingula bullis 

1 Suppl. Ugoletus : cp. Horace, Ep. i. xix. 28. 

1 Bribed by Polynices with the necklace of Harmonia, slie 
sent her husband to his death on the expedition of the Seven 
against Thebes. Amphiaraus, aware of this, charged his son 
Alcmaeon to avenge him. 

2 The letter addressed to her stepson Hippolytus. 

210 






CUPID CRUCIFIED 

of love for Lesbian Phaon, threatens to leap from 
cloud-wrapped Leueas. Sad Eriphyle l refuses the 
necklace of Harmonia, unhappy in her son and 
luckless in her husband. Here also the whole story 
of Minos and aery Crete glimmers like some faint- 
limned pictured scene. Pasiphae follows the foot- 
steps of her snow-white bull, forlorn Ariadne carries 
a ball of twine in her hand, hopeless Phaedra looks 
back at the tablets - she has cast away. This wears 
a halter, this the empty semblance of a crown, while 
this hesitates in shame to enter her hiding-place 
in the heifer wrought by Daedalus. Laodamia 3 
cries out on those two nights passed all too soon in 
unreal joys, one with her living lord, one with her 
dead. Elsewhere, fierce with drawn swords all, 
stand Thisbe and Canace and Sidonian Elissa : this 
carries her husband's blade, that her father's, and 
the third her guest's. She also wanders here, even 
as of old o'er Latmus' rocks when she was wont to 
woo the slumbering Endymion, twy-horned Luna 
with her torch and starry diadem. A hundred 
more besides, renewing the wounds of their old 
passions, revive their pangs with plaints both sweet 
and sad. 

45 Into the midst of these Love rashly broke 
scattering the darkness of that murky gloom with 
rustling wings. All recognized the boy, and as their 
thoughts leapt back, they knew him for the one 
transgressor against them all, though the damp 
clouds obscured the sheen of his golden-studded 

3 Daughter of Acastus and wife of Protesilaus. She ob- 
tained from the gods the favour that Protesilaus, to whom 
she had been wedded only one day before he set forth to fall 
at Troy, should be permitted to return for a few hours to 
the earth : see Wordsworth's Laodamia. 

21 1 
p 2 



AUSONIUS 

et pharetrarn et rutilae fuscarent lampados ignem. 50 
agnoscunt tameii et vanum vibrare vigorem 
occipiunt hostemque unum loca non sua nanctum, 
cum pigros ageret densa sub nocte volatus, 
facta nube premunt : trepidantem et cassa parantem 
suffugia in coetum mediae traxere catervae. 55 

eligitur maesto myrtus notissima luco, 
invidiosa deum poenis. cruciaverat illic 
spreta olim memorem Veneris Proserpina Adonin. 
huius in excelso suspensum stipite Amorem 
devinctum post terga manus substrictaque plantis GO 
vincula maerentem nullo moderamine poenae 
adficiimt. reus est sine crimine, iudice nullo 
accusatur Amor, se quisque absolvere gestit, 
transferat ut proprias aliena in crimina culpas. 
cunctae exprobrantes tolerati insignia leti 65 

expediunt : haec arma putant, haec ultio dulcis, 
ut, quo quaeque perit, studeat punire dolorem. 
haec laqueum tenet, haec speciem mucronis inanem 
ingerit, ilia cavos amnes rupemque fragosam 
insanique metum pelagi et sine fluctibus aequor. 70 
nonnullae flammas quatiunt trepidaeque minantur 
stridentes nullo igne faces, rescindit adultum 
Myrrha uterum lacrimis lucentibus inque paventem 
gemmea fletiferi iaculatur sucina trunci. 
quaedam ignoscentum specie ludibria tantum 75 

sola volunt, stilus ut tenuis sub acumine puncti 
eliciat tenerum, de quo rosa nata, cruorem 
aut pubi admoveant petulantia lumina lychni. 



21 2 



CUPID CRUCIFIED 

belt, his quiver, and the flame of his glowing torch. 
Yet they recognize him, and essay to wield their 
phantom strength against him, and upon their one 
foe, now lighted 011 a realm not his own where he 
could ply his wings but feebly under the clogging 
weight of night, gathering in a throng they press : 
him trembling and vainly seeking to escape, they 
dragged into the midst of the crowding band. A 
myrtle -tree is chosen, well known in that sad grove 
and hateful from the vengeance of the gods. Thereon 
had Proserpine, once slighted, tormented Adonis, 
mindful of his Venus. On the tall trunk of this Love 
was hung up, his hands bound behind his back, his 
feet tied fast ; and though he weeps, they lay on him 
no milder punishment. Love is found guilty without 
charge, condemned without a judge. Each to ac- 
quit herself of blame, seeks to lay her offences to 
another's charge. All upbraid him, and prepare to use 
on him the tokens of the death they once endured : 
these are their choice weapons, this is vengeance 
sweet each eagerly to avenge her grief with that 
which slew her. One holds a halter ready, another 
advances the unreal phantom of a sword, another 
displays yawning rivers, jagged rocks, the horrors 
of the raging sea, and a deep that has no waves. 
Some shake firebrands, and in frenzy menace him 
with torches which crackle without fire. Myrrha, 1 
with glistening tears, rends open her ripe womb and 
hurls at the trembling boy the drops of sparkling 
amber which trickle from her stem. A few pretend 
to pardon, but only seek to mock him and with 
sharp-pointed bodkins draw his dainty blood from 
which roses spring, or let their lamps' flame play 

1 See Ovid, Metam. x. 500 ff. 

213 



AUSON1US 

ipsa etiam simili genetrix obnoxia culpae 
alma Venus tantos penetrat secura tumultus. SO 

nee circumvento properans suftragia nato 
terrorem ingeminat stimulisque accendit amaris 
ancipites furias natique in crimina confert 
dedecus ipsa suum, quod vincula caeca mariti 
deprenso Mavorte tulit, quod pube pudenda 85 

Hellespontiaci ridetur forma Priapi, 
quod crudelis Eryx, quod semivir Herinaphroditus. 
nee satis in verbis : roseo Venus aurea serto 
maerentem pulsat puerum et graviora paventem. 
olli purpureum mulcato corpora rorem 90 

sutilis expressit crebro rosa verbere, quae iam 
tinota prius traxit mtilum magis ignea fucum. 
inde truces cecidere minae vindictaque maior 
crimine visa suo, Venerem factura nocentem. 
ipsae intercedunt heroides et sua quaeque 1)5 

ftmera crudeli malimt adscribere fato. 
turn grates pia mater agit cessisse dolentes 
et condonatas puero dimittere culpas. 

Talia iiocturnis olim simulacra figuris 
exercent trepidam casso tcrrore quietem. 100 

quae postquam multa perpessus nocte Cupido 
effugit, pulsa tandem caligine somni 
evolat ad superos portaque evadit eburna. 

1 See Odyxwy. 

- Son of Venus and Mercury (or Bacchus). He was born 
at Lampsacus (hence called Hellespontine), and was the god 
of gardens, the terror of birds and thieves. 



214 



CUPID CRUCIFIED 

wantonly upon his tender frame. His very mother, 
too,, the lady Venus, as guilty of like shame, passes 
fearlessly through this frenzied throng. And hasten- 
ing not to plead for her son entrapped, she redoubles 
his fear, and kindles their slackening rage with new 
bitterness. She lays to her son's charge her own dis- 
grace because she endured the hidden bonds set by 
her husband, 1 when taken in the act with Mars, be- 
cause Hellespontine Priapus 2 is laughed to scorn for 
his deformity, because Eryx 3 is cruel, arid because 
Hermaphroditus 4 is of neither sex. But words 
were not enough : with her rosy wreath golden 
Venus scourged the boy who wept and feared yet 
harsher punishment. From his torn body the en- 
twined roses drew forth a ruddy dew with many a 
stroke and, though already dyed before, took on a 
hue more fiery red. Thereat the fierce threats died 
away, and the punishment seemed too great for the 
offence, as like to leave the guilt on Venus' side. 
The heroines themselves intervene, each one pre- 
ferring to blame Fate's cruelty for her death. Then 
the fond mother thanked them for laying by their 
griefs to forgive the boy and to pardon his offences. 

99 Such visions with their night-born shapes some- 
times disturb his rest, disquieting it with idle fears. 
When these he has endured through a great part 
of the night, Cupid flees forth, banishing sleep's 
gloom at last, flits forth to the gods above, and 
passes forth by the gate of ivory. 5 

3 Son of Venus and Butes. He used to challenge his 
guests to box with him, and so slew them. He was at last 
slain by Hercules. 

4 See Epigr. cii., ciii. * cp. Virgil, Aen. vi. 895 f. 



LIBER IX 
DE BISSULA 

AUSONIUS PAULO suo S. D. 

PERVINCIS tandem l et operta musarum mearum, 
quae iiiitiorum velabat obscuritas, quamquam non 
profanus, irrumpis, Paule carissime. quamvis enim 
te non eius vulgi existimein, quod Horatius 2 arcet 
ingressu, tamen sua cuique sacra, neque idem Cereri^ 
quod Libero, etiam sub isdem cultoribus. poematia, 
quae in alumnam meam luseram rudia et incohata ad 
domesticae solacium cantilenae, cum sine metu 
[laterent 3 ] et arcana securitate fruerentur, proferre 
ad lucem caligantia coegisti. verecundiae meae 
scilicet spolium concupistr, aut, quantum tibi in me 
iuris esset, ab invito indicari. ne tu Alexandri Mace- 
donis pervicaciam supergressus, qui, fatalis iugi lora 

1 MS. used by Accursius : tamen, Peiper. 

2 Odes, in. i. 1. Odi profanum vulgus et arceo. 

3 Suppl. Peiper (in apparatus). 



1 It was fated that whosoever could untie the knot fasten- 
ing the yoke to the chariot of Gordius, king of Gordium in 

216 



BOOK IX 
BISSULA 

AUSONIUS TO HIS FRIEND PAULUS, GREETING 

You have your way at last, my dearest Paulus, 
and, though not uninitiate, are bursting into the 
secret chambers of my Muses, which the darkness 
proper to Mysteries once veiled. For though I do 
not regard you as one of that " common herd" 
which Horace prevents from entering, yet every 
god has his own rites, and Ceres is not approached 
in the same way as Liber, even by the same wor- 
shippers. The bits of poems which 1 had composed 
on my little maid, playfully and in rough, unfinished 
form, for the solace which a fire-side ditty gives 
(since they lay hid without misgiving and enjoyed 
the confidence of concealment) these you have 
forced me to bring forth from their darkness into 
the light. You have set your mind, assuredly, on 
winning a triumph over my shyness, or on showing 
in my despite how great is your power over me. 
Indeed you have surpassed in persistence Alexander 
of Macedon, who, when he could not untie them, 
cut the thongs which fastened that fateful yoke l 

Phrygia, should rule Asia. Alexander contented himself 
with cutting the knot with his sword. 

217 



AUSONIUS 

cum solvere noil posset, abscidit et Pythiae spec um, 
quo die fas non erat patere, penetravit. 

Utere igitur ut tuis, pari hire, sed fiducia dispari : 
quippe tua possunt populum non timere ; meis etiam 
intra me erubesco. vale. 



I. PRAEFATIO 

UT voluisti, Paule, cunctos Bissulae versus habes, 
lusimus quos in Suebae gratiam virguiiculae, 
otium magis foventes, quam studentes gloriae. 
tu molestus fl agitator lege molesta carmina. 
tibi, quod intristi, exedendum est 1 : sic vetus verbum 

iubet, 5 

compedes, quas ipse fecit, ipsus ut gestet faber. 



II. AD LECTOREM Hums LIBELLI 

CARMINIS incompti tenuem lecture libellum, 

pone supercilium. 
seria contractis expende poemata rugis : 

nos Thymelen sequimur. 
Bissula in hoc scedio cantabitur, haut Erasiiius : 5 

admoneo, ante bibas. 
ieiunis nil scribo ; meum post pocula si quis 

legerit, hie sapiet. 
sed magis hie sapiet, si dormiet et putet ista 

somnia missa sibi. 10 

1 cp. Terence, Phorm. 318: tute hoc intristi : tibi omnest 
exedendum. 



1 Alexander, before setting out on his conquest of Persia, 
went to consult the Oracle at Delphi. As he arrived on a 

218 



BLSSULA 

and made his way into the cave of the Pythia 1 on 
a day when it was not permitted to be opened. 

Make use of these verses, then, as freely, but 
not as confidently, as though they were your own : 
for your writings can face the public, mine make 
me blush even in private. Farewell. 

I. THE PREFACE 

As you desired, Paulus, you have all the verses of 
my Bissula playful verses which I have written in 
honour of a slip of a Swabian girl, rather amusing 
my idleness than aiming at renown. Tiresome you 
have been, so read these tiresome poems which you 
demanded : you must eat up all the mess you have 
compounded ; or, as the old saw bids : 

" Let the smith who made them wear 
The shackles which he did prepare." 



II. To THE READER OF THIS LITTLE BOOK 

You who propose to read this booklet of un- 
polished verse, smooth out your frown. Weigh sober 
poems with a knitted brow : I follow Thymele. 2 
Bissula shall be sung in this rough sketch, not 
Erasinus. 3 I warn you fairly : drink before you read. 
This is no reading for a fasting saint ; whoso shall 
read this book after a cup or two, he will be wise. 
But he will be wiser still to sleep and think this is a 
dream sent to him. 

day when no response could be given, he dragged the Pythia 
into the temple ; whereupon she exclaimed : " You are irre- 
sistible, my son. : ' 

2 A famous dancer and mime, often mentioned by Martial 
and Juvenal. 3 Unknown. 

219 



AUSONIUS 

III. UBI NATA SIT BISSULA ET QUOMODO IN MANUS 
DOMINI VENERIT 

BISSULA, trans gelidum stirpe et lare prosata Rhenum, 

conscia nascentis Bissula Danuvii, 
capta manu, sed missa manu domiuatur in eius 

deliciis, cuius bellica praeda fuit. 
matre carens, nutricis egens, [quae] nescit herai 5 

imperium, [doniini qnae regit ipsa domum,] l 
fortunae ac patriae quae nulla obprobria sensit, 

illico inexperto libera servitio, 
sic Latiis mutata bonis, Germana maneret 

ut facies, oculos caerula, flava comas. 10 

ambiguam modo lingua facit, modo forma puellam : 

haec Rheno genitam praedicat, haec Latio. 

IV. DE EADEM BISSULA 

DEI.ICIUM, blanditiae, ludus, amor, voluptas, 
barbara, sed quae Latias vincis alumna pupas, 
Bissula, nomen tenerae rusticulum puellae, 
horridulum non solitis, sed domino venustum. 

V. AD PlCTOREM DE BlSSULAE IMAGINE 

BISSULA nee ceris nee fuco imitabilis ullo 

naturale decus fictae non commodat arti. 

sandyx et cerusa, alias simulate puellas : 

temperiem hanc vultus nescit manus. ergo age^ pictor, 

puniceas confunde rosas et lilia misce, 5 

quique erit ex illis color aeris, ipse sit oris. 

1 Translator (herai, Uyoletus) : (egens) nescitere imperiinn. 
T : nescit ere imperium, M : nescivit herae imperiuni, 
nescivit . . . ere | . . . imperium |, Peiper ed. princeps. 

220 



BISSULA 
III. WHERE BISSULA WAS BORN, AND HOW SHE 

CAME INTO HER MASTER'S HANDS 

BISSULA, born and bred beyond chilly Rhine, Bis- 
sula, privy to the secrets of the Danube's birth, a 
captive maid, a free girl made, 1 she queens it as the 
pet of him whose spoil of war she was. Lacking a 
mother, wanting a nurse, she who knows not a 
mistress' control, who herself rules her master's 
house, who for her lot and native land felt no dis- 
grace, "being straightway freed from slavery ere she 
felt it, is not so changed by Roman blessings, but 
that she remains German in features, blue of eyes 
and fair of hair. A maid of either race now speech, 
now looks present her : the last declare her a 
daughter of the Rhine, the first a child of Latium. 

IV. ON THE SAME BISSULA 

DARLING, delight, my pet, my love, my joy! Bar- 
barian and adopted you may be, but you surpass 
your Roman sister-lasses. Bissula ! 'Tis a clumsy 
little name for so delicate a girl, an uncouth little 
name to strangers ; but to your master, charming. 

V. To A PAINTER : ON BISSULA'S PORTRAIT 

BISSULA, whom no wax nor any paint can imitate, 
adapts not her natural beauty to the shams of art. 
Vermilion and white, go picture other girls : the 
artist's skill cannot so blend you as to match this 
face. Aw r ay, then, painter, mingle crimson roses 
and lilies, and let that colour which they give the 
air be the very colour of her face. 

1 The play on capta manti . . . missa maun cannot be 
directly reproduced. 

221 



AUSONIUS 

VI. AD PlCTOREM DE BlSSULA PlNGENDA 

PINGERE si iiostram, pictor, meditaris alumnam., 
aemula Cecropias ars imitetur apes. 




MAP TO ILLUSTRATE THE MOSELLE OF AlJSONIUS. 

(After H. de la Ville de Mirmont.) 



222 



BISSULA 



VI. To A PAINTER : ON PAINTING BISSULA'S PORTRAIT 

PAINTER, if you intend to paint my darling's face, 
let your art imitate the Attic l bees. 



1 .. the famous bees of Hymettus. Doubtless the painter 
was directed to ransack all the flowers for suitable colours. 



NOTE. Ancient names are shown in block characters, the 
modern equivalents (in brackets) in ordinary type. The 

route followed by Ausonius is shown thus . 

Starting E. of the Nalie at Bingen, the poet travelled via 
Dumnissus and Berncastel to Neumagen, and then south- 
westwards to Treves. 

The Moselle seems to have been written in 370-1 A.D., and 
the journey described was probably taken in connection with 
the expedition against the Alamanni of 368-9. 

[See p. 224. 



223 



LIBER X 
MOSELLA 

TKANSIERAM celerem nebuloso flumine Navam, 
addita miratus veteri nova moenia Vinco, 
aequavit Latias ubi quondam Gallia Cannas 
infletaeque iacent inopes super arva catervae. 
unde iter ingrediens nemorosa per avia solum 5 

et nulla human! spectans vestigia cultus 
praetereo arentem sitientibus undique terris 
Dumnissum riguasque perenni fonte Tabemas 
arvaque Sauromatum nuper metata colonis : 
et tandem primis Belgarum conspicor oris 10 

Noiomagum, divi castra inclita Constantini. 
purior hie campis aer Phoebusque sereno 
lumine purpureum reserat iam sudus Olympum. 
nee iam, coiisertis per mutua vincula ramis, 
quaeritur exclusum viridi caligine caelura : 1 5 

1 For the date and occasion of this poem, see Introduction. 

2 Vincum, or Bingium (Bingen), lies at the confluence of 
the Nava (Nahe) and the Rhine. Ammianus records its 
fortification by Julian in 359 A.D. (xvm. ii. 4). 

3 In the revolt of Civilis, the Treveri under Julius Tutor 
were crushed at Biugen by Sextilius Felix in 71 A.D. (Tac. 
Hi*f. iv. 70). 

4 Probably Densen, near Kirchberg. 6 Berncastel. 

6 It was the custom in the later Empire to settle conquered 
barbarians in waste Roman territory : the Panegyric on 

224 



BOOK X 
THE MOSELLE * 

I HAD crossed over swift-flowing Nava's cloudy 
stream, and gazed with awe upon the ramparts lately 
thrown round ancient Vincum/ 2 where Gaul once 
matched the Roman rout at Cannae, and where her 
slaughtered hordes lay scattered over the country- 
side untended and unwept. 3 Thence onward I began 
a lonely journey through pathless forest, nor did my 
eyes rest on any trace of human inhabitants. I passed 
Dumnissus, 4 sweltering amid its parched fields, and 
Tabernae, 5 watered by its unfailing spring, and the 
lands lately parcelled out to Sarmatian settlers. 
And at length on the very verge of Belgic territory 
I descry Noiomagus, the famed cam]) of sainted 
Constantine. 7 Clearer the air which here invests 
the plains, and Phoebus, cloudless now, discloses 
glowing heaven with his untroubled light. No 
longer is the sky to seek, shut out by the green 
gloom of branches intertwined : but the free breath 

Constantius Chlorus (ix. and xxi.) refers to such a settlement 
of Chamavi and Frisii ; and Maximian populated the waste 
lands of the Nervii and Treveri with Letts and Franks. 
This was c. 293-4 A. D. Ausonius clearly refers to n later 
settlement. 

7 Noiomagus or Noviomagus, the modern Neumagen, was 
probably occupied by Constantine in his war with the Franks 
and Alauianni, between 306 and 312 A.D.: cp. Eutropius, 
Brev. x. iii. 2. 

225 

VOL. I. Q 



AUSONIUS 

sed liquidum iubar et rutilam visentibus aethram 

libera perspicui non invidet aura diei. 

in speciem quin me patriae cultumque niteiitis 

Burdigalae blando pepulerunt omnia visu, 

culmina villarum pendentibus edita ripis 20 

et virides Baccho colles et amoena fluenta 

subter labentis tacito rumore Mosellae. 

Salve, amnis laudate agris, laudate colonis, 
dignata imperio debent cui moenia Belgae : 
amnis odorifero iuga vitea consite Baccho, 25 

consite gramineas, amnis viridissime, ripas : 
naviger, ut pelagus, devexas proiius in undas, 
ut fluvius, vitreoque lacus imitate profundo 
et rivos trepido potis aequiperare meatu, 
et liquido gelidos fontes praecellere potu ; 30 

omnia solus habes, quae fons, quae rivus et amnis 
et lacus et bivio refluus manamine pontus. 
tu placidis praelapsus aquis nee murmura venti 
ulla, nee occulti pateris luctamina saxi : 
non spirante l vado rapidos properare 2 meatus 35 
cogeris, extantes medio non aequore terras 
interceptus habes, iusti ne demat honorem 
nominis, exclusum si dividat insula flumen. 
tu duplices sortite vias, et cum amne secundo 
defluis, ut celeres feriant vada concita remi, 40 

et cum per ripas nusquam cessante remulco 

1 O : speranti, Vat.: sperante, RBL: superante, Hummel- 
berg (which is perhaps preferable). 

2 O : preparare, V : reparare, RB. 

226 



THE MOSELLE 

of transparent day withholds not sight of the sun's 
pure rays and of the aether, dazzling to the eyes. 
Nay more, the whole gracious prospect made me 
behold a picture of my own native land, the 
smiling and well-tended country of Bordeaux the 
roofs of country-houses, perched high upon the over- 
nanging river-banks, the hill-sides green with vines, 
and the pleasant stream of Moselle gliding below 
with subdued murmuring. 

23 Hail, river, blessed by the fields, blessed by the 
husbandmen, to whom the Belgae owe the imperial 
honour which graces their city : x river, whose hills 
are o'ergrown with Bacchus' fragrant vines, o'ergrown, 
river most verdant, thy banks with turf : ship-bearing 
as the sea, with sloping waters gliding as a river, 
and with thy crystal depths the peer of lakes, brooks 
thou canst match for hurrying flow, cool springs 
surpass for limpid draughts ; one, thou hast all that 
belongs to springs, brooks, rivers, lakes, and tidal 
Ocean with his ebb and flow. Thou, with calm 
waters onward gliding, feel'st not any murmurs of 
the wind nor check from hidden rocks ; nor by 
foaming shallows art thou forced to hurry on in 
swirling rapids, no eyots hast thou jutting in mid- 
stream to thwart thy course lest the glory of thy 
due title be impaired, if any isle sunder and stem 
thy flow. For thee two modes of voyaging are 
appointed : this, when boats move down thy stream 
with current favouring and their oars thrash the 
churned waters at full speed \ that, when along the 
banks, with tow-rope never slackening, the boatmen 

1 sc. Augusta Treverorum (Troves, Trier), the capital of 
Belgica Prima and an imperial residence from the days of 
Constantino to those of Gratian. 

227 



AUSONIUS 

intendunt collo malorum vincula nautae. 

ipse tuos quotiens miraris in amne recursus, 

legitimosque putas prope segnius ire meatus ? 

tu neque limigenis ripam praetexeris ulvis, 45 

nee piger inmundo perfundis litora caeno : 

sicca in primores pergunt vestigia lymphas. 

I nunc, et Phrygiis sola levia consere crustis 
tendens marmoreum laqueata per atria campum. 
ast ego despectis, quae census opesque dederunt, 50 
naturae mirabor opus, non dira nepotum 
laetaque iacturis ubi luxuriatur egestas. 
hie solidae sternunt umentia litora harenae, 
nee retinent memores vestigia pressa figuras. 

Spectaris vitreo per levia terga profundo, 55 

secreti nihil amnis habens : utque almus aperto 
panditur intuitu l liquidis obtutibus aer 
nee placidi prohibent oculos per inania venti, 
sic demersa procul durante per intima visu 
cemimus, arcanique patet penetrale profundi, GO 
cum vada lene meant liquidarum et lapsus aquarum 
prodit caerulea dispersas luce figuras : 
quod sulcata levi crispatur harena meatu, 
inclinata tremunt viridi quod gramina fundo : 
usque sub ingenuis agitatae fontibus herbae 65 

vibrantes patiuntur aquas lucetque latetque 
calculus et viridem distinguit glarea museum, 
tota Caledoniis talis patet ora Britannis, 
cum virides algas et rubra corallia nudat 
aestus et albentes concharum germina bacas, 70 

delicias hominum, locupletibus atque sub undis 

1 MS$.: introitu, Peiper. 
228 



THE MOSELLE 

strain on their shoulders hawsers bound to the masts. 
Thyself how often dost thou marvel at the windings 
of thine own stream, and think its natural speed 
moves almost too slowly ! Thou with no mud-grown 
sedge fringest thy banks, nor with foul ooze o'er- 
spread'st thy marge; dry is the treading down to 
thy water's edge. 

48 Go now, and with Phrygian slabs lay out smooth 
floors spreading an expanse of marble through thy 
fretted halls ! But I, scorning what wealth and 
riches have bestowed, will marvel at Nature's handi- 
work, and not at that wherein ruin wantons, reck- 
lessly prodigal and delighting in her waste. Here 
firm sands spread the moist shores, and the foot 
resting on them leaves no recording print behind. 

55 Thou through thy smooth surface showest all 
the treasures of thy crystal depths a river keeping 
naught concealed : and as the calm air lies clear 
and open to our gaze, and the stilled winds do not 
forbid the sight to travel through the void, so, if 
our gaze penetrates thy gulfs, we behold things 
whelmed far below, and the recesses of thy secret 
depth lie open, whenas thy flood moves softly and 
thy waters limpid-gliding reveal in azure light shapes 
scattered here and there : how the furrowed sand 
is rippled by the light current, how the bowed 
water-grasses quiver in thy green bed : down 
beneath their native streams the tossing plants 
endure the water's buffeting, pebbles gleam and 
are hid, and gravel picks out patches of green moss. 
As the whole Caledonian shore spreads open to the 
Briton's gaze, when ebbing tides lay bare green 
seaweed and red coral and whitening pearls, the 
seed of shells, man's gauds, and under the enriched 

229 



AUSONIUS 

adsimulant nostros imitata monilia cultus : 
baud aliter placidae subter vada laeta Mosellae 
detegit admixtos non concolor herba lapillos. 

Intentos tamen usque oculos errore fatigant 75 
interludentes, examina lubrica, pisces. 
sed neque tot species obliquatosque natatus 
quaeque per adversum succedunt agmina flumen, 
nominaque et cunctos numerosae stirpis alumnos 
edere fas aut ille sinit, cui cura secundae 80 

sortis et aequorei cessit tutela tridentis. 
tu mihi flumineis habitatrix Nais in oris 
squamigeri gregis ede chores liquidoque sub alveo 
dissere caeruleo fluitantes amne catervas. 

Squameus herbosas capito inter lucet harenas, 85 
viscere praetenero fartim congestus aristis 
nee duraturus post bina trihoria mensis, 
purpureisque salar stellatus tergora guttis 
et iiullo spinae nociturus acumine rhedo 
eflfugiensque oculos celeri levis umbra natatu. 90 

tuque per obliqui fauces vexate Saravi, 
qua bis terna fremunt scopulosis ostia pilis, 
cum defluxisti famae maioris in ainnem, 
liberior laxos exerces, barbe, natatus : 
tu melior peiore aevo, tibi contigit omni 95 

spirantum ex numero 11011 inlaudata senectus. 



1 sc. Neptune (Poseidon), who received the waters as his 
share in the universe (cp. Horn. Hymn to Dtmeter, 86), as 
Zeus received the upper air and Aidoneus the lower world. 

230 



THE MOSELLE 

waves mimic necklaces counterfeit our fashions ; even 
so beneath the glad waters of still Moselle weeds of 
different hue reveal the pebbles scattered amidst 
them. 

75 Howbeit, though fixed upon the depths, the 
eyes grow weary with straying after fishes who in 
slippery shoals sport midway between. But their 
many kinds, their slanting course in swimming, 
and those companies which ascend up against the 
stream, their names, and all the offspring of their 
countless tribe, it is not lawful for me to declare, nor 
does he permit to whom passed the charge of the 
second element l and the safe-keeping of the watery 
trident. Do thou for me, O Nymph, dweller in the 
river's realm, declare the hosts of the scaly herd, 
and from the depths of thy watery bed discourse of 
those throngs which glide in the azure stream. 2 

85 The scaly Chub gleams amid the weeds that 
deck the sands, of flesh most tender, full of close-set 
bones, and destined to keep fit for the table but 
twice three hours; the Trout, too, whose back is 
starred with purple spots, the Roach without pointed 
bones to do mischief, and the swift Grayling darting 
out of sight with his swift stroke. And thou, who 
after buffeting amid the gorges of crooked Saravus 
(the Sarre, or Saar) where its mouth frets at twice 
three craggy piers, 3 when thou hast been carried 
down into a stream of greater note, O Barbel, dost 
more freely ply an easy stroke : improving with 
declining life, to thee alone of the whole number of 
living things belongs an old age not unpraised. 

2 The list which follows is imitated, but at far less length, 
by Pope, Windsor Forest, 182 ff. 

3 sc. of the Roman bridge Consarbriick, near the confluence 
of the Saar and the Moselle. 

231 



AUSONIUS 

Nee te puniceo rutilantem viscere, salmo, 
transierim, latae cuius vaga verbera caudae 
gurgite de medio summas referuntur in undas, 
occultus placido cum proditur aequore pulsus. 100 
tu loricate squamosus pectore, frontem 
lubricus et dubiae facturus fercula cenae, 
tempora longarum fers incorrupte morarum, 
praesignis maculis capitis, cui prodiga nutat 
alvus opimatoque fluens abdomine venter. 105 

quaeque per lllyricum, per stagna bine-minis Histri 
spumaruui indiciis caperis, mustela, natantum, 
in nostrum subvecta fretum, ne laeta Mosellae 
flumina tarn celebri defrudarentur alumno. 
quis te naturae pinxit color ! atra superne HO 

puncta notant tergum, qua lutea circuit iris ; 
lubrica caeruleus perducit tergora fucus ; 
corporis ad medium fartim pinguescis, at illinc 
usque sub extremam squalet cutis arida caudam. 

Nee te, delicias mensarum, perca, silebo, 115 

amnigenos inter pisces dignande marinis, 
solus puniceis facilis contendere mullis : 
nam neque gustus iners solidoque in corpore partes 
segmentis coeuiit, sed dissociantur aristis. 
hie etiam Latio risus praenomine, cultor 120 

stagnorum, querulis vis infestissima ranis, 
lucius, obscuras ulva caenoque lacunas 
obsidet. hie nullos mensarum lectus ad usus 
fervet fumosis olido nidore popinis. 

1 sc. a dinner at which the guest does not know which 
dish to prefer above another. See Ter. Phormio, ii. 2, 



THE MOSELLE 

97 Nor shall I pass thee by, O Salmon, with flesh 
of rosy red, the random strokes of whose broad tail 
from the mid-depths are reproduced upon the surface, 
when the still water's face betrays thy hidden course. 
Thou, with breastplate of scales, in the fore-part 
smooth, and destined to form a course at some 
"doubtful dinner," 1 endurest untainted through 
seasons of long delay thou distinguished by the 
markings of thy head, whose generous paunch sways 
and whose belly droops with rolls of fat. And thou, 
the Eel-pout, who o'er Illyricum, o'er the marshes of 
twice-named 2 Ister art betrayed and taken through 
tell-tale streaks of floating foam, hast been carried to 
our waters lest the glad streams of Moselle should be 
cheated of so famed a fosterling. With what colours 
has Nature painted thee ! Above, dark spots pick 
out thy back, and rings of saffron surround them ; 
azure hue continues the length of thy sleek back ; 
up to the middle of thy length thou art full-fleshed 
and fat, but from there right on to thy tail's tip, thy 
skin is rough and dry. 

115 Neither shalt thou, O Perch, the dainty of our 
tables, be unsung thou amongst fishes river-born 
worthy to be ranked with the sea-bred, who alone 
canst vie on equal terms with the rosy mullet ; for 
not insipid is thy flavour, and in thy plump body the 
parts meet as segments, but are kept apart by the 
backbone. Here, too, doth he, jestingly known by 
a Latin proper name that dweller in the marshes, 
most deadly enemy to plaintive frogs Lucius (the 
Pike), beset pools dim with sedge and ooze : he. 
chosen for no service at banquets, is fried in cook- 
shops rank with the fumes of his greasy flavour. 

* The Ister is also the Danube. 



AUSONIUS 

Quis non et virides, vulgi solacia, tineas 125 

norit et alburnos, praedam puerilibus hamis, 
stridentesque focis, obsonia plebis, alausas ? 
teque inter species geminas neutrumque et utrumque, 
qui nee dum salmo, nee iam salar ambiguusque 
amborum medio, sario, intercepte sub aevo ? 130 

tu quoque flumineas inter memorande cohortes, 
gobio, non geminis maior sine poll ice palmis, 
praepinguis, teres, ovipara congestior alvo 
propexique iubas imitatus^ gobio, barbi. 

Nunc, pecus aequoreum, celebrabere, magne silure : 
quern velut Actaeo perductum tergora olivo 136 

amnicolam delphina reor : sic per freta magnum 
laberis et longi vix corporis agmina solvis 
aut brevibus deprensa vadis aut fluminis ulvis. 
at cum tranquillos moliris in amne meatus, 140 

te virides ripae, te caerula turba natantum, 
te liquidae mirantur aquae : diffunditur alveo 
aestus et extremi procurrunt margine fluctus. 
talis Atlantiaco quondam ballena profundo, 
cum vento motuve suo telluris ad oras 145 

pellitur : exclusum exundat mare magnaque surgunt 
aequora vicinique timent decrescere montes. 
hie tamen, hie nostrae mitis ballena Mosellae 
exitio procul est magnoque honor additus amni. 

Iam liquidas spectasse vias et lubrica pisces 150 
agmina multiplicesque satis numerasse catervas. 
inducant aliam spectacula vitea pompam 
sollicitentque vagos Baccheia muriera visus^ 

1 Because the olive-tree was believed to have been created 
by Athena in Attica. 

234 



THE MOSELLE 

125 \Vho shall not know of the green Tench also, 
the comfort of the commons, of Bleak, a prey for 
boyish hooks, of Shad, hissing on the hearth, food 
for the vulgar, and of thee, something between two 
species, who art neither and yet both, not yet 
salmon, no longer trout, and undefined betwixt these 
twain, art caught midway in thy life ? Thou also 
must be mentioned amid the battalions of the stream, 
Gudgeon, no longer than the width of two palms 
without the thumbs, full-fat, rounded, and yet more 
bulky when thy belly teems with spawn Gudgeon, 
who art bearded like the tufted barbel. 

135 N OWj creature of the surface, shall thy praise 
be sung, O mighty Sheat-fish, whom, with back 
glistening as though with olive-oil of Attica, 1 I look 
on as a dolphin of the river so mightily thou glidest 
through the waters and canst scarce extend thy 
trailing body to its full length, hampered by shallows 
or by river- weeds. But when thou urgest thy peace- 
ful course in the stream, at thee the green banks 
marvel, at thee the azure throng of the finny tribe, 
at thee the limpid waters : in the channel a tide is 
rolled abroad on either hand, and the ends of the 
waves drive onward at the marge. So, when at 
times on the Atlantic deep a whale by wind or his 
own motion is driven to the verge of land, the sea 
displaced o'erflows, great waters rise, and neigh- 
bouring mountains fear to lose their height. Yet 
this this gentle whale of our Moselle is far from 
havoc and brings glory to the mighty stream. 

150 Now 'tis enough to have viewed the watery 
paths and to have told o'er the fishes in flieir glist- 
ening hosts and legions manifold. Let show of vines 
lead on another pageant, and let Bacchus' gifts attract 

235 



AUSONIUS 

qua sublimis apex longo super ardua tractu 

et rupes et aprica iugi flexusque sinusque 155 

vitibus adsurgunt naturalique theatre. 

Gauranum sic alma iugum vindemia vestit 

et Rhodopen proprioque nitent Pangaea Lyaeo ; 

sic viret Ismarius super aequora Thracia collis ; 

sic mea flaventem pingunt vineta Garumnam. 1 60 

summis quippe iugis tendentis in ultima clivi 

conseritur viridi fluvialis margo Lyaeo. 

laeta operum plebes festinantesque coloni 

vertice nunc summo properant, nunc deiuge dorso, 

certantes stolidis clamoribus. inde viator 165 

riparum subiecta terens, hinc navita labens, 

probra canunt seris cultoribus : adstrepit ollis 

et rupes et silva tremens et concavus amnis. 

Nee solos homines delectat scaena locorum : 
hie ego et agrestes Satyros et glauca tuentes 170 
Naidas extremis credam concurrere ripis, 
capripedes agitat cum laeta protervia Panas 
insultantque vadis trepidasque sub amne sorores 
terrent, indocili pulsaiites verbere fluctum. 
saepe etiam mediis furata e collibus uvas 175 

inter Oreiadas Panope fluvialis arnicas 
fugit lascivos paganica numina Faunos. 
dicitur et, medio cum sol stetit igneus orbe, 
ad commune fretum Satyros vitreasque sorores 



1 Now Monte Barbaro, in Campania, 
8 In Thrace : now Despoto Dagh. 



236 



THE MOSELLE 

our wandering gaze where lofty ridge, far-stretching 
above scarped slopes,, and spur, and sunny hill-side 
with salient and reentrant rise in a natural theatre 
overgrown with vines. So does the gracious vintage 
clothe the ridge of Gaurus 1 and Rhodope,' 2 and so 
Lyaeus decks the Pangaean hills, 3 his chosen haunt ; 
so Ismarus raises his green slopes above the Thracian 
sea ; so do my own vineyards cast their reflection on 
the yellowing Garonne. For from the topmost ridge 
to the foot of the slope the river-side is thickly 
planted with green vines. The people, happy in 
their toil, and the restless husbandmen are busy, 
now on the hill-top, now on the slope, exchanging 
shouts in boisterous rivalry. Here the wayfarer 
tramping along the low-lying bank, and there the 
bargeman floating by, troll their rude jests at the 
loitering vine-dressers ; and all the hills, and shiver- 
ing woods, and channelled river, ring with their 
cries. 

169 Nor does the scenery of this region please men 
alone ; I can believe that here the rustic Satyrs and 
the grey-eyed Nymphs meet together on the border j 
of the stream, when the goat-footed Pans are seized ' 
with merry ribaldry, and splashing in the shallows, 
frighten the trembling sister-nymphs beneath the 
stream, while they thresh the water with unskilful 
strokes. Oft also, when she has stolen clusters 
from the inland hills, Panope, the river lady, with a 
troop of Oread friends, flees the wanton Fauns, gods 
of the country-side. And it is said that when the 
sun's fiery orb stops in the midst of his course, 
the Satyrs and the sister-Nymphs of the crystal 

3 On the border-line between Thrace and Macedonia : now 
Pilaf Tepeh. 

237 



AUSONIUS 

consortes celebrare chores, cum praebuit horas 180 

secretas hominum coetu flagrantior aestus. 

tune insultantes sua per freta ludere Nymphas 

et Satyros mersare vadis rudibusque natandi 

per medias exire maims, dum lubrica falsi 

membra petunt liquidosque fovent pro corpore fluctus. 

sed non haec spectata ulli nee cognita visu 186 

fas mihi sit pro parte loqui : secreta tegatur 

et commissa suis lateat reverentia rivis. 

Ilia fruenda palam species, cum glaucus opaco 
respondet colli fluvius, frondere videntur 190 

fluminei latices et palmite consitus amnis. 
quis color ille vadis, seras cum propulit umbras 
Hesperus et viridi perfundit monte Mosellam ! 
tota natant crispis iuga motibus et tremit absens 
pampinus et vitreis vindemia turget in undis. 195 
adnumerat virides derisus navita vites, 
navita caudiceo fluitans super aequora le/nbo 
per medium, qua sese amni confundit imago 
collis et umbrarum confinia consent amnis. 

Haec quoque quam dulces celebrant spectacula 

pompas, 200 

remipedes medio certant cum flumine lembi 



1 This passage is imitated by Pope in his description of 
the Loddon : 

"Oft in her glass the musing shepherd spies 
The headlong mountains and the downward skies, 



THE MOSELLE 

depths meet here beside the stream and ply the 
dance in partnership, what time the fiercer heat 
affords them hours set free from mortal company. 
Then,, wantonly frolicking amid their native waters, 
the Nymphs duck the Satyrs in the waves, and slip 
away right through the hands of those unskilful 
swimmers, as, baffled, they seek to grasp their slippery 
limbs and, instead of bodies, embrace yielding waves. 
But of these things which no man has looked upon 
and no eye beheld, be it no sin for me to speak 
in part : let things secret be kept hid, and let 
Reverence dwell unspied upon, in the safe-keeping 
of her native streams. 

189 Yon is a sight that may be freely enjoyed : 
when the azure river mirrors the shady hill, 1 the 
waters of the stream seem to bear leaves and the 
flood to be all o'ergrown with shoots of vines. What 
a hue is on the waters when Hesperus has driven 
forward the lagging shadows and o'erspreads Moselle 
with the green of the reflected height ! Whole hills 
float on the shivering ripples : here quivers the far-off 
tendril of the vine, here in the glassy flood swells 
the full cluster. The deluded boatman tells o'er the 
green vines the boatman whose skiff of bark floats 
on the watery floor out in mid-stream, where the 
pictured hill blends with the river and where the 
river joins with the edges of the shadows. 

200 And when oared skiffs join in mimic battle in 
mid-stream, how pleasing is the pageant which this 

The wat'ry landscape of the pendent woods, 
And absent trees that tremble in the floods ; 
In the clear, azure gleam the flocks are seen, 
And floating forests paint the waves with green." 

Windsor Forest, 211 if. 

239 



AUSONIUS 

et varies ineunt flexus viridesque per oras 

stringunt attonsis pubentia germina pratis ! 

puppibus et proris alacres gestire magistros 

impubemque manum super amnica terga vagantem 205 

dum spectat [viridis qua surgit ripa colonus, 

non sentit 1 ] transire diem, sua seria ludo 

posthabet 2 ; excludit veteres nova gratia curas. 

quales Cumano despectat in aequore ludos 

Liber, sulphurei cum per iuga consita Gauri 

perque vaporiferi graditur vineta Vesevi, 210 

cum Venus Actiacis Augusti laeta triumphis 

ludere lascivos fera proelia iussit Amores, 

qualia Niliacae classes Latiaeque triremes 

subter Apollineae gesserunt Leucados arces ; 

aut Pompeiani Mylasena pericula belli 215 

Euboicae referunt per Averna sonantia cumbae ; 

innocuos ratium pulsus pugnasque iocantes 

naumachiae Siculo quales spectante Peloro 

caeruleus viridi reparat sub imagine pontus : 

non aliam speciem petulantibus addit ephebis 220 

pubertasque amnis et picti rostra phaseli. 

hos Hyperionio cum sol perfuderit aestu, 

reddit nautales vitreo sub gurgite formas 

et redigit pandas inversi corporis umbras. 

utque agiles motus dextra laevaque frequentant 225 

1 Suppl. Backing. 

2 cp. Virgil, Ed. vii. 17 : posthabui . . mea seria ludo. 

1 i.e. the Temple of Apollo at Actium, where the Egyptian 
fleet of Antony and Cleopatra was defeated by Augustus 
(B.C. 31). 

2 i.e. Cumaean, Cumae being a colony of Euboea. 

3 Mylasena . . . pericula should strictly mean a battle off 
Mylasa (on the coast of Caria) ; but there is no doubt that 
the reference is to the action off Mylae, where Agrippa 

240 



THE MOSELLE 

sight affords ! They circle in and out, and graze the 
sprouting blades of the cropped turf along the green 
banks. The husbandman, standing upon the rise of 
the green bank, watches the light-hearted owners as 
they leap about on stern or prow, the boyish crew 
straggling over the river's wide expanse, and never 
feels the day is slipping by, but puts their play before 
his business, while present pleasure shuts out whilom 
cares. As those games which Liber beholds on the 
Cumaean tide, whenas he walks abroad over the 
planted hills of reeking Gaurus, or passes through 
the vineyards of smoke-plumed Vesuvius, when Venus, 
glad at Augustus' victory of Actium, bade the pert 
Loves enact in mimicry such fierce combats as the 
navies of the Nile and Roman triremes waged below 
Leucas and Apollo's hold ; 1 or as when Euboean 2 
barks repeat upon the waters of echoing Avernus the 
hazards of the strife at Mylae in the Pompeian War ; 3 
or as the harmless onsets of boats and playful battles 
of the naumachia which the dark sea repeats in his 
green imagery while Sicilian Pelorus 4 looks down ; 
such the appearance which youth, river, skiffs with 
painted prows, lend to these merry lads. But when 
Hyperion pours down the sun's full heat, the crystal 
flood reflects sailor-shapes and throws back crooked 
pictures of their downward forms. 5 And as they ply 
their nimble strokes with the right hand and the left, 

defeated Dinochares, the admiral of Sextus Pompeius 
(B.C. 36). 

4 Now Capo di Faro at the N.E. extremity of Sicily. 

5 Pandas . . . umbras are probably the distorted reflections 
seen on a rippled surface, or possibly shadows foreshortened 
owing to the height of the sun in the heavens. For inversi 
corporis, cp. Pope's " The headlong mountains and the down- 
ward skies " ( Windsor Forest, 212). 

241 

VOL. I. R 



AUSONIUS 

et commutatis alternant pondera remis, 

unda refert alios simulacra umentia nautas. 

ipsa suo gaudet simulamine nautica pubes, 

fallaces fluvio mirata redire figuras. 

sic, ubi composites ostentattira capillos 230 

(candentem late speculi explorantis honorem 

cum primum carae nutrix admovit alumnae) 

laeta ignorato fruitur virguncula ludo 

germanaeque putat formam spectare puellae : 

oscula fulgenti dat non referenda metal lo 235 

aut fixas praetemptat acus aut frontis ad oram 

vibratos captat digitis extendere crines : 

talis ad umbrarum ludibria nautica pubes 

ambiguis fruitur veri falsique figuris. 

lam vero accessus faciles qua ripa ministrat, 240 
scrutatur toto populatrix turba profundo 
heu male defenses peuetrali flumine pisces. 
hie medio procul amne trahens umentia lina 
nodosis decepta plagis examina verrit ; 
ast hie, tranquillo qua labittir agmine flumen, 245 
ducit corticeis fluitantia retia signis ; 
ille autem scopulis deiectas pronus in undas 
inclinat lentae convexa cacumina virgae, 
inductos escis iaciens letalibus hamos. 
quos ignara doli postquam vaga turba natantum 250 
rictibus invasit patulaeque per intima fauces 
sera occultati senserunt vulnera ferri, 
duni trepidant, subit indicium crispoque tremori 
vibrantis saetae nutans consentit harundo, 
nee mora et excussam stridenti verbere praedam 255 
dexter in obliquum raptat puer ; excipit ictum 

242 



THE MOSELLE 

and throwing their weight in turn now upon this oar, 
now upon that, the wave reflects a watery semblance 
of sailors to match them. The boys themselves 
delight in their own counterfeits, wondering at the 
illusive forms which the river gives back. Thus, 
when hoping soon to display her braided tresses ('tis 
when the nurse has first placed near her dear charge 
the wide-gleaming glory of the searching mirror), 
delighted, the little maid enjoys the uncomprehended 
game, deeming she gazes 011 the shape of a real girl : 
she showers on the shining metal kisses not to be 
returned, or essays those firm-fixed hairpins, or puts 
her fingers to that brow, trying to draw out those 
curled locks ; even so, at sight of the reflections which 
mock them, the lads afloat amuse themselves with 
shapes which waver between false and true. 

240 Now, where the bank supplies easy approaches, 
a devastating throng ransacks all the depths for fish 
ill-sheltered alack! by the river's sanctuary. 
This man far out in mid-stream trails dripping nets 
and sweeps up shoals of fish, snared in the knotty 
folds ; but this, where the river glides with peaceful 
flood, draws his seins, buoyed up with floats of cork ; 
while yonder on the rocks one leans over the waters 
which flow beneath, and lets droop the curved tip of 
his pliant rod, casting hooks baited with deadly food. 
All unsuspecting, the wandering finny tribe rush 
upon them agape ; and when too late ! their 
opened gullets feel the concealed barbs pierce deep 
within, they struggle, and their struggles are betrayed 
above, when the wand bends in response to the 
tremulous vibrations of the quivering line. Straight- 
way the boy skilfully whisks his prey from the water, 
swinging it sidelong with a whistling stroke : a hissing 

243 
R 2 



AUSONIUS 

spiritus, ut raptis quondam per inane flagellis 

aura crepat motoque adsibilat acre ventus. 

exultant udae super arida saxa rapinae 

luciferique pavent letalia tela diei. 260 

cuique sub amiie suo mansit vigor, acre nostro 

segnis anhelatis vitam consumit in auris. 

iam piger invalido vibratur corpora plausus, 

torpida supremos patitur iam cauda tremores 

nee coeunt rictus, haustas sed hiatibus auras 265 

reddit mortiferos expirans branchia flatus. 

sic, ubi fabriles exercet spiritus ignes, 

accipit alterno cohibetque foramine ventos 

lanea fagineis adludens parma cavernis. 

vidi egomet quosdam leti sub fine trementes 270 

collegisse animas, mox in sublime citatos 

cernua subiectum praeceps dare corpora in amnem, 

desperatarum potientes rursus aquarum. 

quos impos damni puer incoiisultus ab alto 

impetit et stolido captat prensare natatu. 275 

-sic Anthedonius Boeotia per freta Glaucus, 

gramina gustatu postquam exitialia Circes 

expert us carptas moribundis piscibus herbas 

sumpsit, Carpathium subiit novus accola pontum. 

ille hamis et rete potens, scrutator operti 280 

Nereos, aequoream solitus converrere Tethyn. 

inter captivas fluitavit praedo catervas. 

Talia despectant longo per caerula tractu 
pendentes saxis instanti culmine villae, 



244 



THE MOSELLE 

follows on the blow, even as the breeze whines and 
whistles when sometimes a scourge is whirled through 
empty space and disturbs the air. The dripping 
catch flounders on the parched rocks and quakes at 
the deadly shafts of light-bringing day. Beneath 
his native waters, his strength endured : enfeebled by 
our atmosphere his life wastes away in the air he 
gasps. Now his weakening body quivers with feeble 
beats, now his nerveless tail endures its last throbs : 
his gaping mouth no longer closes : his panting gills 
give back the air they have drained and blow forth 
the death-dealing breath of day. Even so, when the 
blast fans a smithy-fire, the valve of wool which plays 
in the hollow of the beechen bellows alternately 
sucks in and confines the winds now by this hole, 
now by that. I myself have seen fish, already quiver- 
ing in the throes of death, summon up their last gasp 
and, leaping high into the air, cast themselves with a 
somersault into the river beneath, gaining once more 
the waters which they never looked to find again. 
Thereat, impatient at his loss, the lad impetuously 
plunges in from on high, seeking poor fool to 
catch them as he swims. So Glaucus of Anthedon, 
the fisher of the Boeotian sea, having tasted Circe's 
deadly herbs, when he had plucked those plants 
cropped by his dying fish, 1 plunged into the Carpathian 
sea, there to find a new home : that fisherman, so 
skilful with his hooks and nets, who ransacked Nereus' 
hidden depths and swept the surface which is Tethys' 
realm that spoiler tossed on the waves amid the 
shoals he once took captive. 

283 Such sights unfold themselves along the azure * 
reaches of the river in sight of country seats which 

1 The story is told by Ovid, Mttam. xiii. 917 ff. 



AUSONIUS 

quas medius dirimit sinuosis flexibus errans 285 

amniSj et alternas comunt praetoria ripas. 

Quis modo Sestiacum pelagus, Nepheleidos Helles 
aequor, Abydeni freta quis miretur ephebi ? 
quis Chalcedonio constratuni ab litore pontum, 
regis opus magni, mediis euripus ubi undis 290 

Europaeque Asiaeque vetat concurrere terras ? 
non hie dira freti rabies, non saeva furentum 
proelia caurorum ; licet hie commercia linguae 
iungere et alterno sermonem texere pulsu. 

blanda salutiferas permiscerit litora voces, 295 

t^ , i !!' * 
et voces et paene manus : resonantia utriraque 

verba refert mediis coneuiTens fluctibus echo. 

Quis potis innumeros cultusque habitusque retexens 
pandere tectonicas per singula praedia formas ? 
non hoc spernat opus Gortynius aliger, aedis 300 
conditor Euboicae, casus quern fingere in auro 
conantem Icarios patrii pepulere dolores : 
non Philo Cecropius, non qui laudatus ab hoste 
clara Syracosii traxit certamina belli, 
forsan etinsigiies homiiiumque operumque labores 305 



1 sc, Xerxes : see Herodotus vii. 33 ff 

2 Euripus, primarily the name of the narrow channel be- 
tween Kuboea and Boeotia, came to be used as a common 
noun denoting any narrow water channel. According to 
Cicero (de Leg. II. i. 2) aqueducts were so called ; and Auso- 
nius so uses the word in Ordo Nobilium Urbium, xx. 21. 

3 The reference is to Daedalus : cp. Virgil, Aen. vi. 12-33, 
a passage closely imitated here. 

246 




MOSELLE 

.^T p; S&M 

perched on theMboppling summits of the rocks, are 
parted by the stream wandering on midways with 
winding curves, while lordly halls grace either bank. 

287 Who now can marvel at the waters on which 
Sestos looks down that sea named after Helle, 
daughter of Nephela ; who at the waves, once bridged 
across from the Chalcedonian shore a labour of the 
Great King l where the Channel 2 with intervening 
waves forbids the lands of Europe and of Asia to 
clash together ? Here is not the dread fury of that 
strait, not the wild turmoil of its north-western gales ; 
here two may link interchanging speech, and weave 
discourse with alternating waves of sound. The 
kindly shores intermingle cries of greeting cries and 
almost the grip of hands : words which resound from 
either side Echo returns, speeding with them o'er 
the intervening waves. 

298 Who has the skill to unfold the countless 
embellishments and forms, and to display the 
architectural beauties of each demesne ? Such work 
the flying man of Gortyn would not scorn he M'ho 
built that temple at Euboean Cumae and, essaying to 
reproduce in gold the fate of Icarus, was thwarted by 
a father's grief; 3 nor Philo of Athens ; 4 nor yet he 
who won admiration from his foe by the devices with 
which he prolonged the famed struggles of besieged 
Syracuse. 5 Perchance, too, even that company of 
Seven Architects, whose praise is told in Marcus' 

4 Philo (c. 300 B.C.) designed the great arsenal at Athens 
and the portico of the temple at Eleusis. 

5 sc. Archimedes, who by his mechanical devices enabled 
Syracuse to hold out against its Roman besiegers. Marcellus, 
the Roman general, was so struck by his genius that he 
gave orders that Archimedes should be spared, when the city 
was stormed in 212 B.C. cp. Pliny, A T ./7. vii. 37. 

247 



AUSONIUS 

hie habuit decimo celebrata volumine Marcei 
hebdomas, hie clari viguere Menecratis artes 
atque Ephesi spectata manus vel in arce Minervae 
IctinuSj magico cui noctua perlita fuco 
adlicit omne genus volucres perimitque tuendo. 310 
conditor hie forsan fuerit Ptoloinaidos aulae 
Dinochares, quadrata cui frnjastigia? cono \ 
surgit etjpsa suas consumit pyramis umbras, 
iussus Job Incesti qui quondam foedus amoris 
Arsinoen Pharii suspendit in aere templi. 315 

spiral enim tecti testudine virus achates 
adflatamque trahit ferrate crine puellam. 

Hos ergo aut horum similes est credere dignum 
Belgarum in terris scaetias posuisse domorum, 
molitos celsas fluvii decoramina villas. 320 

haec est natura siiblimis in aggere saxi, 

1 Marcus Terentius Varro produced between c. 60-40 B.C. 
a work in fifteen volumes (one introductory), known as 
Imagines or Hebdomades. It contained portraits and brief 
notices of nearly seven hundred famous personages, Romans 
and foreigners. The title Hebdomades was due to the plan 
of the actual work which consisted of fourteen volumes (or 
two hebdomades), and each volume of seven groups of seven 
personages each. Apparently one such group was devoted 
to the seven greatest architects. 

2 No famous architect of this name is known. It is pro- 
bable that Ausonius has unconsciously or deliberately sub- 
stituted this name for the metrically impossible Metagenes, 
who with his father Chersiphron, or Ctesiphon, built the 
fourth-century temple of Artemis at Ephesus. 

3 sc. Chersiphron (or Ctesiphon) : see preceding note. 

4 Ictinus was the architect of the Parthenon. Nothing 
further is known of the remarkable owl, which seems to have 
been furnished with eyes so lifelike as to fascinate the birds. 

248 



THE MOSELLE 

tenth volume, 1 produced these marvellous works of 
human hands ; perchance here nourished the craft 
of renowned Menecrates, 2 and that skill 3 which draws 
all eyes at Ephesus, or the genius of Ictinus 4 displayed 
in Minerva's citadel, where is that owl painted with 
colours of such magic power as to lure to it fowls of 
all kinds and to destroy them by its stare. Here also 
may have been the designer of Ptolemy's palace, 
Dinochares, builder of the pyramid which towers up, 
foursided, to a point and itself devours its own shadow 5 
he who, when bidden to commemorate Arsinoe, 
the incestuous bride/ 1 poised her image in mid-air 
beneath the roof of her Pharian temple. For from 
the vaulted roof a load-stone sheds its influence and 
by its attraction draws the young queen towards it 
by her iron-wrought hair. 7 

318 These, then, or such as these, we may well 
believe to have raised these splendid dwellings in the 
Belgic land, and to have piled these lofty mansions 
to be the river's ornament. This one stands high 
upon a mass of natural rock, this rests upon the 

5 Ammianus Marcellinus (xxn. xv. 29) describes a pyramid 
as dwindling away like a flame (hence the name) to a point 
(in conum), and explains that owing to the ratio of the height 
to the base a pyramid "devours its shadows" (umbras . . . 
consumit). When the sun is at a certain altitude above the 
horizon, the shadow cast by the apex of a pyramid does, in 
fact, fall within the area of its base. 

6 Arsinoe was sister and wife of Ptolemy II. Philadelphus. 

7 Dinochares planned the city of Alexandria (Pliny, N,H. 
vii. 125) : with him Ausonius has confused Timochares who 
commenced, but did not complete, the Temple of Arsiijoe 
(ib. xxxiv. 148). Rufinus asserts that a figure of the Sun, 
similarly poised, existed in the Serapeum at Alexandria at 
the time of its destruction in 391 A.D. A similar figure of 
Mercury is alleged to have been one of the wonders at Treves, 
and may have prompted this reference. No doubt such 
figures were really suspended by a fine wire. 



AUSONIUS 

haec procurrentis fundata crepidine ripae, 
haec refugit captumque sinu sibi vindicat amneni. 
ill^jt^nens collem, qui plurimus imminet amni, 
( "itsurpat>faciles per culta, per aspera visus 325 

utque suis fruitur dives speculatio terris. 
quin etiam riguis humili pede condita pratis 
compensat celsi bona naturalia mentis 
sublimique minans irrumpit in aethera tecto, 
ostentans altam, Pharos ut Memphitica, turrim. 330 
huic proprium clauses consaepto gurgite pisces 
apricas scopulorum inter captare novales. 
haec summis innixa iugis labentia subter 
flumina despectu iam caligante tuetur. 
atria quid memorem viridantibus adsita pratis ? 335 
innumerisque super njeoia tecta columnis ? 
quid quae flumpiea (^ubstrucla crepjdine fumant 
balnea, ferveiiti cum STulciber haustus operto 
volvit anhelatas tectoria per cava flammas, 
inclusum glomerans aestu spiraiite vaporem ? 340 
vidi ego defessos multo sudore lavacri 
fastidisse lacus et frigora piscinarum, 
ut vivis fruerentur aquis, mox amne refotos 
plaudenti gelidum flumen pepulisse natatu. 



1 i e. a weir is formed by blocking the spaces between the 
rocks, into which fish are swept by the stream. 

2 The villa standing high up on the ridge which bounds 
the valley looks down (despectu) upon the river, but at such 
a distance that the view is slightly obscured (iam caligante) 
with the haze natural to a river-valley. 

8 Ausonius here refers to the system of hypocausts, with 
connected flue-tiles let into the thickness of the walls, by 
which Roman houses and baths were heated. 

250 



THE MOSELLE 

verge of the jutting, bank, this stands back and claims 
the river for its own, making it prisoner in an enfolding 
bay. Yon occupies a hill whose bulk looms high 
above the stream, claiming free prospect o'er tilth, 
o'er waste, and the rich outlook enjoys the lands 
about as though its own. Nay, and another, though 
it rests its foot low down in the well-watered 
meadows, makes up the natural advantage of a 
mountain's height rearing its threatening steep until 
the soaring roof breaks in upon the aether, display- 
ing like Memphian Pharos, its lofty tower. This 
has for its own the catching of fish imprisoned in 
the fenced flood between the sunny, grass-grown 
rocks ; l this, perched upon the ridge's topmost 
crest, looks down with prospect just bedimmed in 
haze 2 upon the stream which slides below. What 
need to make mention of their courts set beside 
verdant meadows, of their trim roofs resting upon 
countless pillars ? What of their baths, contrived 
low down on the verge of the bank, which smoke 
when Vulcan, drawn by the glowing flue, pants 
forth his flames and whirls them up through the 
channelled walls, 3 rolling in masses the imprisoned 
smoke before the scorching blast ! I myself have 
seen some, exhausted by the intense heat of the baths, 
scorn the pools and cold plunge-baths, 4 preferring to 
enjoy running water, and, straightway refreshed by 
the river, buffet the cool stream, threshing it with 

* The reference in 11. 341-2 is to the three main divisions 
in a Roman bathing establishment. The first (tepidarium) 
was a room warmed by hot air to induce perspiration : in 
the second (caldarinm), a hot bath was taken. The swimmers 
here mentioned refused the usual plunge into the basin of 
cold water in the third division (frigidarium), preferring 
running water. 



AUSONIUS 

quod si Cumanis hue adforet hospes ab oris, 345 

crederet Euboicas simulacra exilia Baias 

his donasse locis : tantus cultusque nitorque * 

adlicit et nullum parit oblectatio lnxnm. r ___.J;' 

Sed niihi qui tandem finis tua glauca fluenta 
dicere dignandumque mari memorare Mosellam, 350 
innumeri quod te diversa per ostia late 
incurrunt amnes ? quamquam differre meatus 
possentj sed celerant in te consumere nomen. 
namque et Promeae Nemesaeque adiuta meatu 
Sura tuas properat non degener ire sub undas, 355 
Sura interceptis tibi gratificata fluentis, 
nobilius permixta tuo sub nomine, quam si 
ignoranda patri confunderet ostia Ponto. 
te rapidus Celbis, te marmore clarus Erubris 
festinant famulis quam primum adlambere lymphis : 
nobilibus Celbis celebratus piscibus, ille 361 

praecipiti torquens cerealia saxa rotatu 
stridentesque trahens per levia marmora serras 
audit perpetuos ripa ex utraque tumultus. 
.praetereo exilem Lesuram tenuemque Drahonum 365 
nee fastiditos Salmonae usurpo fluores : 
naviger uiidisona dudum me mole Saravus 
tota veste vocat, longum qui distulit amnem, 
fessa sub Augustis ut volveret ostia muris. 



1 cp. Statins, Silv. I. iii. 73 : vitreasque natatu Plaudit 
aquas. 2 cp. Statins, Silv. i. v. 60. 

8 The Sauer, into which fall the Priim (Promca) and the 
Kims (Nemesa). 

4 The Kyll and the Ruwar. 

2 5 2 



THE MOSELLE 

their strokes. 1 But if a stranger were to arrive here 
from the shores of Cumae, 2 he would believe that 
Euboean Baiae had bestowed on this region a minia- 
ture copy of its own delights : so great is the charm 
of its refinement and distinction, while its pleasures 
breed no excess. 

349 But how can I ever end the theme of thy 
azure tributaries,, or tell all thy praises,, O Moselle,, 
comparable with the sea for the countless streams 
which throughout thy length now into thee through 
various mouths ? Though they might prolong their 
courses,, yet they haste to lose their names in thee. 
For, albeit swelled by the waters of Promea and 
Nemesa, Sura, 3 no weakling stream, hurries to plunge 
beneath thy waves Sura, who delights thee with 
the affluents she has cut off, and who enjoys ampler 
renown when wholly merged in thee and bearing thy 
. name than if she blended with Father Ocean an 
** outfall unworthy fame. Thee swift Celbis, thee 
Erubris, 4 famed for marble, hasten full eagerly to 
approach with their attendant waters : renowned is 
Celbis for glorious fish, and that other, as he turns 
his mill-stones in furious revolutions and drives the 
shrieking saws through smooth blocks of marble, 5 
hears from either bank a ceaseless din. I pass by 
feeble Lesura and scanty Drahonus, nor turn to use 
Salmona's despised rivulet : 6 long has Saravus, 7 bearing 
ships upon the volume of his sounding waves, been 
calling me with all his robe outspread : 8 far has he 
prolonged his stream that he might roll his wearied 

Pliny, N.H. xxxvi. 159. 

Lieser, the Thron, and the Salm. 7 The Saar. 
8 tota veste vocat is a loan (unfelicitously employed) from 
Virgil, A en. viii. 712 : Nilum Pandentemque smus et tota 
veste vocantem Caerultum in gremium. 

253 



5 cp. 

6 Th< 



AUSONIUS 

nee minor hoc, taciturn qui per sola pinguia labens 370 

stringit frugiferas felix Alisontia ripas. 

mille alii, proul: quemque suus magis impetus urget, 

esse tui cupiunt : tantus properantibus undis 

ambitus aut mores, quod si tibi, dia Mosella, 

Smyrna suum vatem vel Mantua clara dedisset, 375 

cederet Iliacis Simois memoratus in oris 

nee praeferre suos auderet Thybris honores. 

da veniam, da, Roma potens ! pulsa, oro, facessat 

invidia et Latiae Nemesis non cognita linguae : 

[contigit haec melior, Thybris, tibi gloria, quod 

tu 1 ] 379A 

imperil sedem Romaeque tuere penates. 2 380 

Salve, magiie parens frugumque virumque, Mosella! 
te clari proceres, te bello exercita pubes, 
aemula te Latiae decorat facundia linguae, 
quin etiam mores et laetum fronte serena 
ingenium natura tuis concessit alumnis. 385 

nee sola antiques ostentat Roma Catones, 
aut unus tantum iusti spectator et aequi 
pollet Aristides Veteresque inlustrat Athenas. 

Verum ego quid laxis nimium spatiatus habenis 
victus amore tui praeconia detero ? conde, 390 

Musa, chelyn, pulsis extremo carmine netis. 
tempus erit, cum me studiis ignobilis oti 
mulcentem curas seniique aprica foventem 
materiae commeiidet honos ; cum facta viritim 

1 Suppl. Translator. 

2 Translator : Romaeque tuere parentos, P 3 : Romae tenuere 
parentes, Peiper (with other MSS. ). 

1 The reference cannot be to Treves, which lies some six 
miles from the mouth of the Saar : probably an imperial 
residence situated at Saarbriicken is indicated. 

254 



THE MOSELLE 

outfall beneath imperial walls. 1 No whit beneath 
him is blest Alison tia 2 who laps fruit-laden banks as 
he glides silently through rich corn-lands. A 
thousand others, according to the vehemence of each 
which drives him on, long to become thine : such is 
the ambition of these hurrying streams or such their 
character. But if to thee, O divine Moselle, Smyrna 
or famed Mantua had given its own poet, 3 then would 
Simoi's, renowned on Ilium's coasts, yield place, and 
Tiber would not dare to set his glories above thine. 
Pardon, O pardon me, mighty Rome ! Rebuffed I 
pray let Envy withdraw, and Nemesis who knows 
no Latin name ! To thee, O Tiber, belongs this 
higher praise, that thou dost guard the seat of empire 
and the homes of Rome. 

381 Hail, mighty mother both of fruits and men ' 
Thy illustrious nobles, thy youth trained to war, thy 
eloquence which vies with the tongues of Rome 
these are thy glories, O Moselle ! And withal, Nature 
has bestowed upon thy sons virtue and a blithe spirit 
with unclouded brows. Not Rome alone vaunts her 
old-time Catos, nor does Aristides stand alone as the 
one only critic of Justice and of 

389 But why, coursing along too freely with loose 
rein, do I, o'ercome with love, wear out thy praises ? 4 
Put by the lyre, my Muse, striking the last chords 
which end thy song ! The time shall come when, 
as I soothe my sorrows and cherish age that loves 
sunny nooks with the pursuits of inglorious ease, 5 
the glory of my theme shall commend me, when to 
their glory and renown I shall sing the achievements 

1 The Elz. 3 sc. either Homer or Virgil. 

* cp. Hor. Carm. i. vi. 12 : laudes egregii Caesaris et tuas 
Culpa dctcrere ingeni. 

* i.e. with non-epic poetry : cp. Virgil, Georg. iv. 564. 

2 55 



AUSONIUS 

Belgarum patriosque canam decora inclita mores : 395 
mollia subtili nebunt mihi carmina filo 
Pierides tenuique aptas subtemiiie telas 
percurrent : dabitur nostris quoque purpura fusis. 
quis mihi turn non dictus erit ? memorabo quietos 
agricolas legumque catos fandique potentes, 400 

praesidium sublime reis ; quos curia summos 
municipum vidit proceres propriumque seiiatum, 
quos praetextati Celebris facundia ludi 
contulit ad veteris praeconia Qumtiliani, 
quique suas rexere urbes purumque tribunal 405 
sanguine et innocuas inlustravere secures ; 
aut Italum populos aquilonigeiiasque Britannos 
praefecturarum titulo tenuere secundo ; 
quique caput rerum Romam, populumque patresque, 
tantum 11011 primo rexit sub nomine, quamvis 410 
par fuerit primis : festinet solvere tandem 
errorem Fortuna suum libataque supplens 
praemia iam veri fastigia reddat honoris 
nobilibus repetenda nepotibus. at modo coeptum 
detexatur opus, dilata et laude virorum 415 

dicamus laeto per rura virentia tractu 
felicem fluvium Rhenique sacremus in undas. 

Caeruleos nunc, Rhene, sinus hyaloque virentem 
pande peplum spatiumque novi metare fluenti 

1 The reference is not (as sometimes stated) to the Pro- 
fessores and Parentalia, since these deal with people of 
Aqtiitaine. No doubt Ausonius planned but did not execute a 
similar series commemorating the great and learned of Treves. 

1 i.e. the vicarii of Italy and Britain who, as deputies of 
the praetorian prefects of Gaul and Italy, were prefects of 
the second class. 

256 



THE MOSELLE 

and native virtues of each hero of the Belgae : 
the Muses of Pieria shall spin me smooth songs of 
soft yarn and speed at looms fitted with fine-spun 
woof: our spindles also shall not lack for purple. Of 
whom then shall I not tell? I shall mention thy 
peaceful husbandmen, thy skilful lawyers, and thy 
mighty pleaders, high bulwark for men accused 
those in whom the Council of their townsmen has 
seen its chief leaders and a Senate of its own, those 
whose famed eloquence in the schools of youth has 
raised them to the height of old Quintilian's re- 
nown, 1 those who have ruled their own cities and 
shed glory on tribunals unstained with blood and 
axes guiltless of slaughter, or who as prefects of 
second rank 2 have governed the peoples of Italy 
and Britons, children of the North, and him who 
ruled Rome, head of the world, both People and 
Senate, bearing a title all but the highest, though 
he was peer of the highest : 3 let Fortune haste at 
length to unravel her mistake, give him full draught 
of the prized cup already sipped, and give him back 
this time the substance of that proud dignity to 
be reclaimed by his illustrious posterity ! But let 
the task lately begun be fully wrought, and, putting 
off the praise of famous men, let me tell of the 
happy river in its joyous course through the green 
country-side, and hallow it in the waters of the 
Rhine. 

418 Now spread thine azure folds and glass-green 
robe, O Rhine, and measure out a space for thy new 

3 The reference is to Probus, who in 370 A.D. held the 
consulship with Gratian as his "senior" colleague (for the 
differentiation cp. Praef. i. 38). Probus had therefore fallen 
just short of the highest distinction, though, as associated 
with Gratian, he was " peer of the highest." 

257 
VOL. I. S 



AUSONIUS 

fraternis cumulandus aquis. necpraemiainundis 420 
sola, sed augustae veniens quod moenibus urbis 
spectavit iunctos natique patrisque triumphos, 
hostibus exactis Nicrum super et Lupodunum 
et fontem Latiis ignotum annalibus Histri. 
haec profligati venit modo laurea belli : 425 

hinc alias aliasque feret. vos pergite iuncti 
et mare purpureum gemino propellite tractu. 
neu vereare minor, pulcherrime Rhene, videri : 
invidiae nihil hospes habet. potiere perenni 
nomine : tu fratrem famae securus adopta. 430 

dives aquis, dives Nymphis, largitor utrique 
alveus extendet geminis divortia ripis 
communesque vias diversa per ostia pandet. 
accedent vires, quas Francia quasque Chamaves 
Germanique tremant : tune verus habebere limes. 435 
accedet tanto geminum tibi nomen ab amni, 
cumque unus de fonte fluas, dicere bicornis. 

Haec ego, Vivisca ducens ab origine gentem, 
Belgarum hospitiis non per nova foedera notus, 
Ausonius, nomen Latium, patriaque domoque 440 



1 sc. Troves (Augusta Treverorum). 

2 Nicer is the Neckar, Lupodunum probably Laderiburg. 
Ammianus speaks of the victory of Valentinian and Gratian 
(the "father and son" of 1. 422) in 368 as near Solicinum, 
but does not mention L. Probably the two references are 
to the same victory. 

3 The Waal which diverges from the left bank of the 
Rhine at Panaerden in Holland, and the Yssel which flows 

258 



THE MOSELLE 

stream : a brother's waters come to swell thee. Nor 
is his treasure waters alone, but also that, coming 
from the walls of the imperial city, 1 he has beheld 
the united triumphs of father and son over foes 
vanquished beyond Nicer and Lupodunum and Ister's 
source, 2 unknown to Latin chronicles. This laureate 
dispatch which tells of their o'erwhelming arms is 
but now come to thee : hereafter others and yet 
others shall he bring. Press on united both, and 
with twin streams drive back the deep-blue sea. 
Nor do thou fear to lose esteem, most beauteous 
Rhine : a host has naught of jealousy. Thou shalt 
enjoy endless fame : do thou, assured of renown, take 
to thyself a brother. Rich in waters, rich in Nymphs, 
thy channel, bounteous to both, shall stretch forth 
two branching streams 3 from either bank and open 
ways for you both through various outfalls. So shalt 
thou gain strength to make Franks and Chamaves 
and Germans quake : then shalt thou be held their 
boundary indeed. So shalt thou gain a name be- 
speaking double origin, and though from thy source 
thou dost flow a single stream, thou shall be called 
twy-horned. 4 

43 : 8 Such is the theme I compass I, who am sprung 
of Viviscan 5 stock, yet by old ties of guestship no 
stranger to the Belgae ; I, Ausonius, Roman in name 
yet born and bred betwixt the frontiers of Gaul and 

from the left bank of the (Old) Rhine further down and falls 
into the Zuider Zee. 

4 Ausonius suggests that the horns with which personified 
rivers are endowed were suggested by the confluence of two 
forking streams to form the headwaters of the river proper. 
The Rhine, he finds, lacks this characteristic, but the defect 
is remedied low r er down by the junction of the Moselle. 

5 i.e. a native of Bordeaux, the capital of the Bituriges 
Vivisci : cp. Strabo, p. 190. 

259 
s 2 



AUSONIUS 

Gallorum extremes inter celsamque Pyrenen, 

temperat ingenues qua laeta Aquitanica mores, 

audax exigua fide concino. fas mihi sacrum 

perstrinxisse amnem tenui libamine Musae. 

nee laudem adfecto, veniam peto. sunt tibi multi, 445 

alme amnis, sacros qui sollicitare fluores 

Aonidum totamque solent haurire Aganippen. 

ast ego, quanta mei dederit se vena liquoris, 

Burdigalam cum me in patriam nidumque senectae 

Augustus, pater et nati, mea maxima cura, 450 

fascibus Ausoniis decoratum et honore curuli 

mittent emeritae post munera discipliiiae, 

latius Arctoi praeconia persequar amnis. 

addam urbes, tacito quas subterlaberis alveo, 

moeniaque antiquis te prospectantia muris ; 455 

addam praesidiis dubiarum condita rerum, 

sed modo securis non castra, sed horrea Belgis ; 

addam felices ripa ex utraque colonos 

teque inter medios hominumque boumque labores 

stringentem ripas et pinguia culta secantem. 460 

jion tibi se Liger aiiteferet, non Axona praeceps, 

Matrona non, Gallis Belgisque intersita finis, 

Santonico refluus non ipse Carantonus aestu. 

concedes gelido, Durani, de monte volutus 

amnis, et auriferum postpone t Gallia Tarn en 465 



1 i.e. between the Garonne and the Pyrenees : cp. Caesar, 
de Bell. Gall. i. 1. Pyrene is a poetical name for the Pyrenees : 
cp. Herodotus ii. 33. 

- sc. Valentinian I. and his sonsGratian and Valentinian II. 
(the latter born 371 A.D.). 

260 



Y 



THE MOSELLE 

high Pyrene, 1 where blithe Aquitaine mellows the 
native temper of her sons : great is my daring though 
my lute is small. Be it no sin for me to have touched 
lightly on thy holy stream with the poor offering my 
Muse affords. 'Tis not for praise I hanker : I sue 
for pardon. Many thou hast, O gentle stream, who 
use to trouble the rills of the Aonian maids and drain 
all Aganippe. But as for me, so far as the flow of 
my poetic vein shall serve when the Emperor and 
his sons 2 (my chiefest care) shall give me my discharge 
from service as their tutor, and shall dispatch me, 
invested with the emblems arid dignity of the 
Ausonian 3 consulship, home to Bordeaux, my native 
land, the nest of my old age I will pursue yet further 
the praises of thy Northern stream. I will tell also 
of cities below which with voiceless channel thou 
dost glide, of strongholds which look out on thee from 
ancient walls; I will tell also of fortresses raised 
for defence in times of peril, now not fortresses but 
granaries for the unmenaced Belgic folk ; I will tell 
also of prosperous settlers upon either shore, and how 
thy waters lap their banks midway between the toils 
of men and oxen, parting the rich fields. Not Liger 
shall prefer himself before thee, not headlong Axona, 
not Matrona, set as a border-line between Gauls and 
Belgae, not Carantonus 4 himself whose stream is 
driven back by the Santonic tide. Thou too, 
Duranius, 5 whose waters roll down from their chill 
mountain-source, shalt yield, and Gaul shall rank 

3 The epithet is to be taken in the double sense of 
"Italian," i.e. "Roman," and "of Ausonius." 

4 Liger is the Loire ; Axona, the Aisne ; Matrona, the 
Marne ; Carantonus, the Charente. 

5 The Dordogne : the rivers next mentioned are the Tarn 
and the Adour respectively. 

261 



AUSONIUS 

insanumque ruens per saxa rotantia late 

in mare purpureum, dominae tamen ante Mosellae 

numine adorato, Tarbellicus ibit Aturrus. 

Corniger externas celebrande Mosella per oras, 
nee soils celebrande locis, ubi fonte supremo 470 
exeris auratum taurinae frontis honorem, 
quave trahis placidos sinuosa per arva meatus, 
vel qua Germanis sub portibus ostia solvis : 
si quis honos tenui volet adspirare camenae, 
perdere si quis in his dignabitur otia musis, 475 

ibis in ora hominum laetoque fovebere cantu. 
te fontes vivique lacus, te caerula noscent 
flumina, te veteres pagorum gloria luci ; 
te Druna, te sparsis incerta Druentia ripis 
Alpinique colent fluvii duplicemque per urbem 480 
qui meat et Dextrae Rhodanus dat nomina ripae ; 
te stagnis ego caeruleis magnumque sonoris 
amnibus, aequoreae te commendabo Garumiiae. 



1 This verse is partly imitated by Pope, Windsor Forest, 
330, 332 : 

" Old Father Thames advanced his rev'rend head 

His shining horns diffused a golden gleam." 



262 



THE MOSELLE 

gold-bearing Tarnes in lower place ; and, though he 
rushes madly 'mid wide-rolling rocks, yet shall 
Tarbellic Aturrus only pass into the dark sea when 
he has first done homage to the deity of sovereign 
Moselle. 

469 Horned Moselle, worthy to be renowned 
throughout foreign lands, and not to be renowned in 
those parts alone where at thy farthest source thou 
dost reveal the gilded glory of a bull-like brow ; 1 or 
where amid embaying fields thou dost wind thy 
peaceful course ; or where below German harbours 
thou dost clear thy outfall ; if any praise shall choose 
to breathe upon this feeble strain, if anyone shall 
deign to waste his leisure on my verse, thou shalt 
pass upon the lips of men, and be cherished \vith 
joyful song. Of thee springs and living lakes shall 
learn, of thee azure rivers, of thee ancient groves, 
the glory of our villages ; to thee Druna, to thee 
Druentia, 2 wandering uncertainly between her shift- 
ing banks, shall do reverence with all the Alpine 
streams, and Rhodanus who, flowing through that two- 
fold city, gives a name to the Right Bank ; 3 thee will 
I praise to the dark meres and deep-voiced tributaries, 
thee will I praise to sea-like Garonne. 

2 The Drome and the Durance. 

3 The city is Aries, which was intersected by the Rhodanus 
(Rhone) : cp. Ordo Urbium Nobilium, x. 1. An inscription 
from Narbonne (C.I.L. xii. 4398) shows that Ripa Dextra 
was a recognised place-name. 



263 



AUSONIUS 

EPISTULA SYMMACHI AD AUSONIUM 
SYMMACHUS AUSONIO 

PETIS a me litteras longiores : est hoc in nos veri 
amoris indicium, sed ego, qui sim paupertini ingenii 
mei conscius, Laconicae malo studere brevitati, quam 
multiiugis paginis infantiae meae maciem publicare. 
nee mirum, si eloquii nostri vena tenuata est, quam 
dudum neque ullius poematis tui neque pedestrium 
voluminum lectione iuvisti. unde igitur sermonis 
mei largam poscis usuram, qui nihil litterati faenoris 
credidisti ? volitat tuus Mosella per manus sinusque 
multorum divinis a te versibus consecratus : sed tan- 
turn nostra ora praelabitur. cur me istius libelli, 
quaeso, exortem esse voluisti ? aut d/xovcroVe/aos tibi 
videbar, qui iudicare non possem, aut certe malignus, 
qui laudare nescirem. itaque vel ingenio meo pluri- 
mum vel moribus derogasti. et tamen contra inter- 
dictum tuum vix ad illius operis arcana perveni. 
velim tacere, quid sentiam ; velim iusto de te silentio 
vindicari ; sed admiratio scriptorum sensum frangit 
iniuriae. 

Novi ego istum fluvium, cum aeternorum prin- 
cipum iam pridem signa comitarer, parem multis, 

264 



THE MOSELLE 

A LETTER OF SYMMACHUS TO AUSONIUS 

SYMMACHUS TO AUSONIUS 

THAT you ask me to send you a longer letter is a 
proof of the reality of your affection for me. But I am 
so fully aware of the poverty of my natural equip- 
ment that I think it better to cultivate a Spartan 
brevity than to expose my starved and stunted faculty 
of expression by adding page to page. And it is no 
wonder that the vein of my eloquence has run low ; 
for it is a long time now since you allowed me the 
pleasure of reading any of your works in verse or 
prose. What right have you, then, to demand of me 
heavy usury in the matter of words, when you have 
advanced me no loan in the shape of literary work ? 
Your Moselle that poem which has immortalized a 
river in heavenly verse flits from hand to hand 
and from bosom to bosom of many : I can only watch 
it gliding past. Pray tell me, why did you choose 
to deny me part or lot in that little book ? You 
thought me either too uncultivated to be able to 
appreciate it, or at all events too grudging to praise 
it, and thereby have offered the greatest possible 
affront to my head or to my heart, as the case may 
be. However, despite your ban I have penetrated 
with difficulty to the sanctuary of that work. I 
should like to withhold my opinion, I should like 
to take a fair revenge on you by saying nothing ; 
but my admiration for the work breaks down my 
sense of wrong. 

I know that river from of old when I was on 
the staff of the immortal Emperors : 'tis a match 
for many though no match for the greatest. And 

265 



AUSONIUS 

imparem maximis. hunc tu mihi inproviso clarorum 
versuum dignitate Aegyptio Nilo maiorem, frigi- 
diorem Scythico Tanai clarioremque hoc nostro popu- 
lar! Tiber! reddidisti. nequaquam tibi crederem de 
Mosellae ortu ac meatu magna narranti, ni scirem, 
quod nee in poemate raentiaris. unde ilia amni- 
corum piscium examina repperisti quam nominibus 
varia, tarn coloribus, ut magnitudine distanti, sic 
sapore, quae tu pigmentis istius carminis supra natu- 
rae dona fucasti ? atquin in tuis mensis saepe ver- 
satus cum pleraque alia, quae tune in pretio eraiit, 
esui obiecta mirarer, numquam hoc genus piscium 
deprehendi. quando tibi hi pisces in libro nati sunt, 
qui in ferculis non fuerunt ? iocari me putas atque 
agere nugas ? ita dens me probabilem praestet, ut 
ego hoc tuum carmen libris Maronis adiungo. 

Sed iam desinam mei oblitus doloris inhaerere 
laudibus tuis^ ne hoc quoque ad gloriam tuam trahas, 
quod te miramur offensi. spar gas licet volumina tua 
et me semper excipias : fruemur tamen tuo opere, 
sed aliorum benignitate. vale. 



266 



THE MOSELLE 

yet your noble and stately verse has upset my pre- 
conceptions and made this stream for me greater 
than the Nile of Egypt, cooler than the Don of 
Scythia, and more famous than this Tiber we all 
know so well. I should certainly not believe all the 
great things you say of the source of the Moselle and 
its flow, did I not know that you never tell a lie 
even in poetry. How did you discover all those 
shoals of river-fish, whose names are no less varied 
than their hues, whose size differs as widely as their 
flavour qualities which are painted in your poem in 
colours more glowing than any Nature gave ? And 
yet, though I have often found myself at your table 
and there have marvelled at most other articles 
of food which at the time were highly esteemed, I 
have never found there fish such as you describe. 
Tell me : when were these fish spawned which 
appear in your book, but did not upon your board ? 
You think I am jesting and merely trifling? So 
may Heaven make me honest, as I rank your poem 
with the works of Virgil ! 

But it is time I ceased to dwell upon your praises, 
forgetting my own vexation ; otherwise you may wrest 
the fact that I admire your work despite my annoy- 
ance into an additional tribute. You may spread 
abroad copies of your poems and always leave me 
out ; but I will enjoy your work all the same, though 
it be through the kindness of others. Farewell. 



267 



LIBER XI 

ORDO URBIUM NOBILIUM 

I. ROMA 
PRIMA urbes inter, divum domus, aurea ROMA. 

II., III. CoNSTANTINOPOLIS ET CARTHAGO 

CONSTANTINOPOLI adsurgit CARTHAGO priori, 

non toto cessura gradu, quia tertia dici 

fastidit, non ausa locum sperare secundum, 

qui fuit ambarum. vetus hanc opulentia praefert, 

hanc fortuna recens ; fuit haec, subit ista novisque 5 

excellens meritis veterem praestringit honorem 

et Constantino concedere cogit Elissam. 

accusat Carthago deos iam plena pudoris, 

nunc quoque si cedat, Romam vix passa priorem. 

Conponat vestros fortuna antiqua tumores. 10 

ite pares, tandem memores, quod numine divum 
angustas mutastis opes et nomina : tu cum 
Byzantina Lygos, tu Punica Byrsa fuisti. 

1 The original name of Byzantium (see Pliny, N.H. iv. 
xi. 18). 

268 



BOOK XI 
THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 

I. ROME 

FIRST among cities, the home of gods,, is golden 
Rome. 

II., III. CONSTANTINOPLE AND CARTHAGE 

CARTHAGE yields precedence in rank to Constan- 
tinople, but will not stand a full step lower ; for she 
scorns to be counted third, yet dares not hope for 
the second place, which both have held. One has 
the advantage in her ancient wealth, the other in 
her new-born prosperity : the one has seen her day, 
the other is now rising and by the loftiness of new 
achievements eclipses old-time renown, forcing Elissa 
to give place to Constantine. Carthage reproaches 
Heaven, now fully shamed if this time also she must 
give place who scarcely brooked the pre-eminence 
of Rome. 

10 Let your earlier conditions reconcile your 
jealousies. Go forward equal, mindful at length 
that 'twas through Heaven's power ye changed 
your narrow fortunes and your names ; thou, when 
thou wast Byzantine Lygos 1 ; and thou, Punic Byrsa. 2 

2 The citadel of Carthage : Virgil, Aen. i. 367. 

269 



AUSONIUS 

IV., V. ANTIOCHIA ET ALEXANDRIA 

TERTIA Phoebeae lauri domus ANTIOCHIA, 
vellet ALEXANDRI si quarta colonia poni : 
ambarum locus unus. et has furor ambitionis 
in certamen agit vitiorum : turbida vulgo 
utraque et amentis populi male sana tumultu. 5 

haec Nilo munita quod est penitusque repostis 
insinuata locis, fecunda et tuta superbit, 
ilia, quod infidis opponitur aemula Persis. 

Et vos ite pares Macetumque adtollite nomen. 
magnus Alexander te condidit ; ilia Seleucum 10 
nuncupat, ingenuum cuius fuit ancora signum, 
qualis inusta solet, generis nota certa ; per omnem 
nam subolis seriem nativa cucurrit imago. 

VI. TREVERIS 

ARMIPOTENS dudum celebrari Gallia gestit 

TREVERicAEque urbis solium, quae proxima Rheno 

pacis ut in mediae gremio secura quiescit, 

imperii vires quod alit, quod vestit et armat. 

lata per extentum procurrunt moenia collem : 5 

largus traiiquillo praelabitur amne Mosella, 

longinqua omnigenae vectans conmercia terrae. 

1 Daphne, near Antioch, was famed for its laurel grove, in 
which was a temple of Apollo. 

2 Before the birth of Seleucus Nicator afterwards founder 
of Antioch his mother Laodice dreamed that she had be- 
gotten a child of Apollo, who also gave her a ring with an 

270 



THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 

IV., V. ANTIOCH AND ALEXANDRIA 

THIRD would be Antioch, the home of Phoebus' 
laurel,, 1 if Alexander's settlement were willing to be 
placed fourth : both hold the same rank. These also 
doth frenzied ambition drive into rivalry of vices: 
each is disordered with her mob, and half-crazed 
with the riots of her frantic populace. This, fertile 
and secure, vaunts herself because she has the Nile 
for bulwark and is deep-embayed in her sheltered 
site ; that, because her rival power confronts the 
faithless Persians. 

9 Ye, too, go forward equal and uphold the Mace- 
donian name. Great Alexander founded thee ; while 
she claims that Seleucus whose birthmark was an 
anchor, 2 whereof the branded likeness is wont to be 
the sure token of his race ; for through his whole 
succeeding line this natal sign has run. 

VI. TREVES 

LONG has Gaul, mighty in arms, yearned to be 
praised, and that royal 3 city of the Treveri, which, 
though full near the Rhine, reposes unalarmed as if 
in the bosom of deep profound peace, because she" 
feeds, because she clothes and arms the forces of the 
Empire. Widely her walls stretch forward over a 
spreading hill ; beside her bounteous Moselle glides 
past with peaceful stream, carrying the far-brought 
merchandise of all races of the earth. 

anchor engraved on the bezel. When born, her son was 
found to have a birth-mark, shaped like an anchor, upon his 
thigh. The same sign reappeared in his descendants, and 
marked their legitimacy : cp. Justin, xv. iv. 8. 
3 See note on Mosdla, 1. 24. 

27! 



AUSONIUS 

VII. MEDIOLANUM 

ET MEDIOLANI mira omnia, copia rerum, 
innumerae cultaeque domus, facunda virorum 
ingenia et mores laeti ; turn duplice muro 
amplificata loci species populique. voluptas 
circus et inclusi moles cuneata theatri ; 5 

templa Palatinaeque arces opulensque moneta 
et regio Herculei Celebris sub honore lavacri ; 
cunctaque marmoreis ornata peristyla signis 
moeniaque in valli formam circumdata limbo : 
omnia quae magnis operum velut aemula formis 10 
excellunt : nee iuncta premit vicinia Romae. 

VIII. CAPUA 

NEC CAPUAM pol agri l cultuque penuque potentem, 
deliciis, opibus famaque priore silebo, 
fortuna variante vices, quae freta secundis 
nescivit servare modum. nunc subdita Romae 
aemula, mine fidei memor ; ante infida, senatum 5 
sperneret, an coleret dubitans, sperare curules 
Campanis ausa auspiciis unoque suorum 
consule, ut imperium divisi adtolleret orbis. 

1 Peiper: pelago, MSS. 



1 The ramparts of the city are noticed below (1. 9). Hop- 
fensack conjectures that this double wall enclosed an annexe 
to the city in which lay the "enclosed" Theatre. But 
inclutsum may possibly mean that the Theatre was roofed-in, 
like the Odeum of Herodes Atticus at Athens. 

272 



THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 

VIL MILAN 

AT Milan also are all things wonderful, abundant 
wealth, countless stately houses, men able, eloquent, 
and cheerfully disposed ; besides, there is the grandeur 
of the site enlarged by a double wall, 1 the Circus, 
her people's joy, the massy enclosed Theatre with 
wedge-like blocks of seats, the temples, the imperial 
citadels, the wealthy Mint, and the quarter renowned 
under the title of the Baths of Herculeus ; 2 her 
colonnades all adorned with marble statuary, her 
walls piled like an earthen rampart round the city's 
edge : all these, as it were rivals in the vast masses 
of their workmanship, are passing grand ; nor does 
the near neighbourhood of Rome abase them. 



VIII. CAPUA 

NOR, certes, shall I leave unsung Capua, mighty in 
tillage of fields and in fruits, in luxury, in wealth, 
and in earlier renown, who, despite Fortune's chang- 
ing haps, relied on her prosperity and knew not how 
to keep the mean. Now she, once rival, is subject 
to Rome ; now she keeps faith, once faithless 
when, at a stand whether to flout or court the 
Senate, she dared to hope for magistrates chosen 
under Campanian auspices, and that with one consul 
from among her sons she might take up the empire 

2 Or possibly "of Hercules." In either case the epithet 
indicates that the Baths were built by or under Maximian, 
surnamed Herculeus, who according to Aurelius Victor (Caes. 
xxxix. 45) adorned Milan with many fine buildings. To the 
same Emperor also the Palatinae arces, or imperial residence, 
is to be ascribed. 

273 
VOL. I. T 



AUSONIUS 

quin etiam rerum dominam Latiique parentem 
adpetiit bello, ducibus non freta togatis. 10 

Hannibalis iurata armis deceptaque in hostis 
servitium demens specie transivit erili. 
mox ut in occasum vitiis communibus acti 
conruerunt Poeni luxu, Campania fasto, 
(heu nuniquam stabilem sortita superbia sedem !) 15 
ilia potens opibusque valens, Roma altera quondam, 
comere quae paribus potuit fastigia conis, 
octavum reiecta locum vix paene tuetur. 

IX. AQUILEIA 

NON erat iste locus : merito tamen aucta recenti, 
nona inter claras AQUILEIA cieberis urbes, 
Itala ad Illyricos obiecta coloriia montes, 
moenibus et portu celeberrima. sed magis illud 
eminet, extreme quod te sub tempore legit, 5 

solveret exacto cui sera piacula lustro 
Maximus, armigeri quondam sub nomine lixa. 
felix, quae tanti spectatrix laeta triumphi 
punisti Ausonio Rutupinum Marte latronem. 

1 See Livy, xxm. vi. 6. After the battle of Cannae, Capua 
agreed to aid Rome against Hannibal, on condition that one 
of the consuls (curnles) should be a Capuan. 

2 Magnus Maximus, a Spaniard, is said by Pacatus (Paneg. 
in Theod. 31) to have been a menial and hanger-on (negle- 

274 



THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 

over half the globe. 1 Nay, and she attacked the 
mistress of the world, the mother of Latium, trust- 
ing not in leaders who wore the toga. Sworn to 
Hannibal's allegiance, she, the beguiled, the seem- 
ing mistress, passed in her folly into slavery to a 
foe. Thereafter when they were driven to their 
fall by the failings of them both, and came to ruin, 
the Carthaginians through luxury, the Campanians 
through pride (ah, never does arrogance find a firm- 
fixed throne !) that city with her power and might 
of wealth, a second Rome once, who could rear her 
crest as high, is thrust backwards and scarce can 
manage to keep the eighth place. 



IX. AQUILEIA 

THIS was not thy place ; yet, raised by late deserts, 
thou shalt be named ninth among famous cities, O 
Aquileia, colony of Italy, facing toward the moun- 
tains of Illyria and highly famed for walls and 
harbour. But herein is greater praise, that in these 
last days Maximus, 2 the whilom sutler posing as a 
captain, chose thee to receive his late expiation after 
five full years were spent. Happy thou who, as the 
glad witness of so great a triumph, didst punish with 
western arms the brigand of Rutupiae. 3 

genti*$imus vernula . . . statuarius lixa : cp. 1. 7) in the house- 
hold of Theodosius. When the legions stationed in Britain 
revolted, he was put at their head, crossed into Gaul, and, 
after routing the forces of Gratian near Paris, put Gratian to 
death at Lyons (383 A.D.). For five years (cp. 1. 6) he was 
master of Britain, Gaul and Spain, but was crushed by Theo- 
dosius in 388, and met his end at Aquileia. 

3 Equivalent to "British" (as in Parent, vii. 2, xviii. 8). 

275 
T 2 



AUSONIUS 

X. ARELAS 

PANDE, duplex ARELATE, tuos blanda hospita portus, 
Gallula Roma Arelas, quam Narbo Martius et quam 
accolit Alpinis opulenta Vienna colonis, 
praecipitis Rhodani sic intercisa fluent-is, 
ut mediam facias navali ponte plateam, 5 

per quern Romani commercia suscipis orbis 
nee cohibes, populosque alios et moenia ditas, 
Gallia quis fruitur gremioque Aquitania lato. 

XI. HlSPALIS. XII. CORDUBA. XIII. TARRACO. 

XIV. BRACARA 

CARA mihi post has memorabere, nomen Hiberum, 
HispALis, 1 aequoreus quam praeterlabitur amnis, 
submittit cui tota suos Hispania fasces. 
CORDUBA non, non arce potens tibi TARRACO certat 
quaeque sinu pelagi iactat se BRACARA dives. 5 

XV. ATHENAE 

NUNC et terrigenis patribus memoremus ATHENAS, 
Pallados et Consi quondam certaminis arcem, 

1 V: Emerita, P 1 . 

1 Ancient Arelate lay partly on the east bank of the 
Rhone, partly on an island in the stream. 

2 The epithet is either commemorative of Q. Martius Rex, 
who with M. Porcius Cato was consul when Narbo was 
founded (B.C. 118), or of the military origin of the colony. 

3 Vienne was the chief city of the Alpine Allobroges. 

4 Or, possibly, "thou makest him (Rhone) thy central 

276 



THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 



X. ARLES 

OPEN thy havens with a gracious welcome, two-fold : 
Arelate Arelas, the little Rome of Gaul, to whom 
Martian 2 Narbonne, to whom Vienne, rich in Alpine 
peasantry, 3 is neighbour divided by the streams 
of headlong Rhone in suchwise that thou mak'st a 
bridge of boats thy central street, 4 whereby thou 
gatherest the merchandize of the Roman world and 
scatterest it, enriching other peoples and the towns 
which Gaul and Aquitaine treasure in their wide 
bosoms. 

XI. SEVILLE. XII. CORDOVA. XIII. TARRAGONA. 
XIV. BRAGA 

AFTER these thou shalt be told, beloved Hispalis, 5 
name Iberian, by whom glides a river 6 like the sea, 
to whom all Spain subjects her magistrates. 7 Not 
Cordova, not Tarragona with its strong citadel con- 
tends with you, nor wealthy Braga, lying proudly in 
her bay beside the sea. 

XV. ATHENS 

Now also let us tell of Athens with her earth-born 
fathers, 8 the stronghold for which Pallas and Census 9 

street, spanned (covered) as he is with ships, and along 
him . . .' 5 Seville. 6 The Baetis (Guadalquivir). 

7 Probably because it was the residence of the vicarius, 
the deputy of the praetorian prefect of Gaul. 

8 The earliest inhabitants of Athens were believed to be 
autochthonous, sprung from the soil itself. 

9 Neptune (Poseidon). Athens was to be called after 
whichever of the two deities produced the more useful gift. 
Poseidon produced the horse ; but Athena won by creating 
the olive-tree. 

277 



AUSONIUS 

paciferae primum cui contigit arbor olivae, 

Attica facundae cuius mera gloria linguae, 

unde per loniae populos et nomen Achaeum 5 

versa Graia manus centum se effudit in urbes. 

XVI. CATINA. XVIL SYRACUSAE 

Quis CATINAM sileat ? quis quadruplices SYRACTJSAS ? 
hanc ambustorum fratrum pietate celebrem, 
illam conplexam miracula fontis et amnis, 
qua maris lonii subter vada salsa meantes 
consociant dulces placita sibi sede liquores, 5 

incorruptarum miscentes oscula aquarum. 

XVIIL TOLOSA 

NON umquam altricem nostri reticebo TOLOSAM, 
coctilibus muris quam circuit ambitus ingens 
perque latus pulchro praelabitur amne Garumna, 
innumeris cultam populis, confinia propter 
ninguida Pyrenes et pinea Cebennarum, 5 

inter Aquitanas gentes et nomen Hiberum. 
quae modo quadruplices ex se cum effuderit urbes, 
non ulla exhaustae sentit dispendia plebis, 
quos genuit cunctos gremio conplexa colonos. 1 
1 MSS.: colono, Peiper. 

1 i.e. those who with Neleus and Androclus, the sons of 
Codrus, took part in the great Ionian migration. 

2 Syracuse comprised four quarters Ortygia, Achradina, 
Tyche, and Neapolis : see Cic. in Verr. Act. u. iv. 52 f. 

3 Amphinomus and Anapias, who carried their parents 
out of the burning town when Etna was in eruption : see 
Strabo, p. 269 ; Aetna, 11. 624 if. 

278 



THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 

once contended of her to whom the peace-bearing 
olive tree first belonged, whose is the unmixed glory 
of the fluent Attic tongue, from whom went abroad a 
Grecian band and throughout the peoples of Ionia 
and the Achaean race poured into a hundred cities. 1 

XVI. CATANA. XVII. SYRACUSE 

WHO would not tell of Catana ? Who not, of four- 
fold 2 Syracuse ? the one renow r ned for the devotion 
of the fire-scathed brethren, 3 the other enfolding the 
marvellous fount and river, 4 where, flowing beneath 
the salt waves of the Ionian Sea, they join in fellow- 
ship their sweet waters in the abode which pleases 
them exchanging there the kisses of their waters 
untainted by the brine. 

XVIIL TOULOUSE 

NEVER will I leave unmentioned Toulouse, my 
nursing-mother, who is girt about with a vast circuit 
of brick-built walls, along whose side the lovely stream 
of the Garonne glides past, home of uncounted people, 
lying hard by the barriers of the snowy Pyrenees and 
the pine-clad Cevennes between the tribes of Aqui- 
taine arid the Iberian folk. Though lately she has 
poured forth from her womb four several cities, she 
feels no loss of her drained populace, enfolding in 
her bosom all whom she has brought forth, though 
emigrants. 5 

4 Ai-ethnsa and Alpheus, believed to emerge, with their 
streams still fresh, on the island of Ortygia in Syracuse : see 
Strabo, p. 270, and cp. Virgil, Ed. x. 4. 

5 i.e. Toulouse had thrown out four new suburbs, and thus, 
while founding new "cities," did not lose her "emigrants." 
In Epist. xxx. 83 Ausonius speaks of Toulouse as quinque- 
plicem in allusion to the same extension. 

279 



AUSONIUS 

XIX. NARBO 

NEC tu, Martie NARBO, silebere, nomine cuius 
fusa per inmensum quondam Provincia regnum 
optinuit multos dominandi iure colonos. 
insinuant qua se Grais Allobroges oris 
excluduntque Italos Alpina cacumina fines, 5 

qua Pyrenaicis nivibus dirimuntur Hiberi, 
qua rapitur praeceps Rhodanus genitore Lemanno 
interiusque premunt Aquitanica rura Cebeiinae, 
usque in Teutosagos paganaque nomina Belcas, 
totum Narbo fuit : tu Gallia prima togati 10 

nominis adtollis Latio proconsule fasces. 

Quid memorem portusque tuos montesque la- 

cusque ? 

quid populos vario discrimine vestis et oris ? 
quodque tibi Pario quondam, de marniore templum 
tantae molis erat, quantam noil sperneret olim 15 
Tarquinius Catulusque iterum, postremus et ille, 
aurea qui statuit Capitoli culmina, Caesar ? 
te maris Eoi merces et Hiberica ditant 
aequora, te classes Libyci Siculique profundi, 
et quidquid vario per flumina, per freta cursu 20 

advehitur : toto tibi navigat orbe cataplus. 

1 See note on x. 2. 

2 The Belcae (Volcae) were subdivided into the Volcae 
Arecomii and the Volcae Teutosagi (in Caesar, E.G. vi. 20, 
Ptol. ii. x. 8 called Tectosages) : the latter lived in the west 
of Gallia Narbonnensis, with Toulouse as their chief town. 

3 In 121 B.C., after the defeat of the Allobroges and Arverni 
by Gn. Domitius and Q. Fabius Maximus. 

280 



THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 



XIX. NARBONNE 

NOR shalt thou be unsung, Martian x Narbonne, who 
gav'st thy name to that Province (Provence) which 
once spread over a vast realm and held sovereign 
sway over its numerous inhabitants. Where the 
Allobroges encroach upon the Graian borders and 
Alpine peaks shut out Italy, where the Iberians are 
parted from thee by Pyrenaean snows, where Rhone 
sweeps headlong from his sire Leman, and the 
Cevennes thrust deep into the plains of Aquitaine, 
right on to the Teutosagi and Belcae, 2 rustic folk, 
all was Narbonne : thou in all Gaul wast first to 
display the insignia of the Roman race under an 
Italian proconsul. 3 

12 What shall I say of thy harbours, mountains, 
lakes ? What of thy peoples with their varied differ- 
ences of garb and speech? Or of the temple of 
Parian marble, once thine, so vast in bulk that old 
Tarquin, the first builder, 4 would not scorn it, nor 
Catulus 5 the second, nor he who last raised the 
golden roofs of the Capitol, Caesar himself? 6 Thee 
the merchandise of the eastern sea and Spanish 
main enrich, thee the fleets of the Libyan and Sicilian 
deeps, and all freights which pass by many different 
routes o'er rivers and o'er seas : the whole world 
over no argosy is afloat but for thy sake. 

4 Either Tarquinius Priscus who began, or Superbus who 
completed, the building of the Capitol. 

5 Q. Lutatius Catulus finished the restoration of the Capi- 
tol, which had been burnt in the struggle between Sulla and 
Marius. 

6 Domitian, who restored the Capitol, which had again 
been destroyed under Vitellius, at a cost of over 12,000 
talents. 

281 



AUSONIUS 

XX. BURDIGALA 

IMPIA iamdudum condemno silentia, quod te, 
o patria, insignem Baccho fluviisque virisque, 
moribus ingeniisque hominuin procerumque senatu, 
non inter primas memorem, quasi conscius urbis 
exiguae inmeritas dubitem contingere laudes. 5 

non pudor hinc nobis ; nee enim mihi barbara Rheni 
ora nee arctoo domus est glacialis in Haemo : 
BURDIGALA est natale solum ; dementia caeli 
mitis ubi et riguae larga indulgentia terrae, 
ver longum brumaeque novo cum sole tepentes 10 
aestifluique amnes, quorum iuga vitea subter 
fervent aequoreos imitata fluenta meatus. 
quadrua murorum species, sic turribus altis 
ardua, ut aerias intrent fastigia nubes. 
distinctas interne vias mirere, domorum 15 

dispositum et latas nomen servare plateas, 
turn respondentes directa in compita portas ; 
per mediumque urbis fontani flumiiiis alveum, 
quern pater Oceanus refluo cum impleverit aestu, 
adlabi totum spectabis classibus aequor. 20 

Quid memorem Pario contectum marmore fontem 
Euripi fervere freto ? quanta unda profundi ! 
quantus in amne tumor! quanto ruit agmine praeceps 

1 contingere (like our "contact" in certain senses) carries 
an implication of defilement or degradation. 

282 



THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 

XX. BORDEAUX 

LONG have I censured my unduteous silence in 
that of thee, my country famed for thy wine, thy 
rivers, thy famous men, the virtue and the wit of 
thy inhabitants and for the Senate of thy nobles, I 
did not tell among the foremost; as though, well 
knowing thee a little town, I shrank from touching 1 
praises undeserved. For this no shame is mine ; 
for mine is neither a barbarous land upon the 
banks of Rhine, nor icy home on frozen Haemus. 
Bordeaux is my native soil, where are skies tem- 
perate and mild, and well-watered land generously 
lavish ; where is long spring, and winters growing 
warm with the new-born sun, and tidal rivers whose 
flood foams beneath vine-clad hills, mimicking the 
sea's ebb and flow. Her goodly walls four-square 
raise lofty towers so high that their tops pierce the 
soaring clouds. Within her, thou mayest marvel at 
streets clearly laid out, at houses regularly plotted 
out, at spacious boulevards which uphold their 
name, 2 as also gates facing in direct line the cross- 
ways opposite ; and, where the channel of thy 
spring-fed stream divides the town, soon as old 
Ocean has filled it with his flowing tide, thou shalt 
behold "a whole sea gliding onward with its 
fleets." 3 

21 What shall I say ot that fountain, o'erlaid with 
Parian marble, which foams in the strait of its 
Euripus ? 4 How deep the water ! How swelling 
the stream ! How great the volume as it plunges 



8 Platea, the Greek TrAoreta (o5os) "broad," is the modern 
ench place. 3 = Virgil, A en. x. 269. 

4 See note on Mosella, 1. 290. 

283 



AUSONIUS 

marginis extent! bis sena per ostia cursu, 
innumeros populi non umquam exhaustus ad usus ! 25 
hunc cuperes, rex Mede, tuis contingere castris, 
flumina consumpto cum defecere meatu, 
huius fontis aquas peregrinas ferre per urbes, 
unum per cunctas solitus potare Choaspen. 

Salve, fons ignote ortu, sacer, alme, perennis, 30 
vitree, glauce, profunde, sonore, inlimis, opace. 
salve, urbis genius, medico potabilis haustu, 
Divona Celtarum lingua, fons addite divis. 
non Aponus potu, vitrea non luce Nemausus 
purior, aequoreo non plenior amne Timavus. 35 

Hie labor extremus celebres collegerit urbes. 
utque caput numeri ROMA inclita, sic capite isto 
BUHDIGALA ancipiti confirmet vertice sedem. 
haec patria est : patrias sed Roma supervenit omnes. 
diligo Burdigalam, Romam colo ; civis in hac sum, 40 
consul in ambabus ; cunae hie, ibi sella curulis. 

1 See Herodotus, vii. 108 : cp. Juv. *? 176, Credimus altos 
Defecisse amnes epotaque flitmina Medo Prandente. 
* See Herodotus, i. 188. 

3 According to Vinetus, this implies that the stream was 
conducted into the city by a subterranean piping, remains of 
which he himself saw and describes ; but this is hardly sup- 
ported by the description in 11. 20 ff. which shows that the 
water was visible. 

4 Divona was also the name of Cahors on the Lot. Him 



284 



THE ORDER OF FAMOUS CITIES 

in its headlong course through the twice six sluices 
in its long-drawn brink, and never fails to meet the 
people's countless purposes ? This would' st thou 
Jong to reach with thy hosts, King of the Medes, 
when streams were consumed and rivers failed ; * 
from this fount to carry waters through strange 
cities, thou who through them all wast wont to drink 
Choaspes alone ! 2 

30 Hail, fountain of source unknown, 3 holy, 
gracious, unfailing, crystal-clear, azure, deep, mur- 
murous, shady, and unsullied ! Hail, guardian deity 
of our city, of whom we may drink health-giving 
draughts, named by the Celts Divona, 4 a fountain 
added to the roll divine ! Not Aponus in taste, not 
Nemausus 5 in azure sheen is more clear, nor 
Timavus' 6 sea-like flood more brimming-full. 

36 Let this last task conclude the muster of famous 
cities. And as illustrious Rome leads at one end of 
the rank, so at this end let Bordeaux establish her 
place, leaving the precedence unsettled. This is 
my own country; but Rome stands above all coun- 
tries. I love Bordeaux, Rome I venerate ; in this I 
am a citizen, in both a consul ; here was my cradle, 
there my curule chair. 

(Pauly-Wissowa, RealencycL) gives its meaning as "God- 
like, gleaming": George Long (Diet, of Class. Geog.) derives 
it from the Celtic di or div (= God), and on or von (= water). 
It is perhaps connected with Deva (the River Dee). 

5 Aponus (now Bagni d'Abano), near Patavium, was a 
famous Roman watering place (see Claudian, Idyll, vi.) : 
Nemausus is Nimes. 

6 Now the Timao, between Aquileia and Trieste : cp. 
Virgil, Aen. i. 245 f. 



285 



LIBER XII 

TECHNOPAEGN1ON 

I. PRAEFATIO 
AUSONIUS PACATO PROCONSULI 

Scio mihi aput alios pro laboris modulo laudem 
non posse procedere. quam tamen si tu indulseris, 
ut ait Afranius in Thaide 

Maiorem laudem quam laborem invenero. 1 

quae lecturus es monosyllaba sunt, quasi quaedam 
puncta sermonum : in quibus nullus facundiae locus 
est, sensuum nulla conceptio, propositio, redditio, 
conclusio aliaque sophistica, quae in uno versu esse 
non possunt : set cohaereiit ita, ut circuli catenarum 
separati. et simul ludicrum opusculum texui, ordiri 
maiuscula solitus : set " in tenui labor, at non tenuis 
gloria," 2 si probaiitur. tu facies, ut sint aliquid. 
nam sine te monosyllaba erunt vel si quid minus, in 

1 frag. 2 (ed. Ribbeck). 2 Virgil, Georg. iv. 6. 

1 From Ttxvr) and iraiyviov, n " game of skill." 
286 



BOOK XII 
THE TECHNOPAEGNlONi 

I. THE PREFACE 
AUSONIUS TO PACATUS THE PROCONSUL 

1 KNOW that from others I cannot win approval com- 
mensurate with my modicum of pains. But if you will 
generously grant it, as Afranius 2 says in his Thais 

"Then shall I find the praise outweighs the pains." 

These verses you are about to read deal with mono- 
syllables which serve, if I may put it in that way, as 
so many full-stops. Consequently there is no oppor- 
tunity for elaborate expression, no handling of ideas 
through concepts, premisses, apodoses, and conclu- 
sions, or other scholastic tricks which cannot find 
room in single lines. They merely hold together 
like the individual links in a chain. And at the 
same time this is a trifling little work that I have 
woven, though used to spin something a little greater ; 
but "though slight the task, not slight the praise" 
if my verse wins credit. You will endow them 
with a certain value. For without you they will be 
just monosyllables or, if possible, something still 

2 Lucius Afranius lived in the earlier part of the first 
century B.C. His comediae togatae were highly esteemed, 
despite their immorality. Only fragments are now extant. 

287 



AUSONIUS 

quibus ego, quod ad usum pertinet, lusi, quod ad 
molestiam,, laboravi. libello Technopaegnii nomen 
dedi, ne aut ludum laboranti, aut artem crederes 
defuisse ludenti. 

II. AUSONIUS PAULINO Suo 1 

MISI ad te Technopaegnion, inertis otii mei inutile 
opusculum. versiculi sunt monosyllabis coepti et 
monosyllabis terminati. nee hie modo stetit scrupea 
difficultas, sed accessit ad miseriam conectendi, ut 
idem monosyllabon, quod esset finis extremi versus, 
principium fieret insequentis. die ergo : o mora, o 
poena ! rem vanam quippe curavi : exigua est, et 
fastiditur : inconexa est et implicatur : cum sit ali- 
quid, vel nihili deprehenditur. laboravi tamen, ut 
haberet aut historicon quippiam, aut dialecticon. 
nam poeticam vel sophisticam levitatem necessitas 
observationis exclusit. ad summam, non est quod 
mireris : sed paucis litteris additis, est cuius misere- 
aris neque aemulari velis. et si hue quoque de- 
scenderis, maiorem molestiam capias ingenii et 
facundiae detrimento, quam oblectationem imita- 
tionis affectu. 

1 This heading, which is omitted by the Z group of MSS., 
depends on the authority of the Lyons editors. 

288 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

smaller. In composing them, if it is a question of 
utility, I have been at play : if of trouble, I have 
been hard at work. I have called this little book 
Technopaegnion, that you might not think it has been 
all work without play for me, or all play without 
skill. 

II. AUSONIUS TO HIS FRIEND PAULINUS 

I AM sending you my Technopaegnion, the poor un- 
profitable outcome of inactive leisure. It consists in 
verses begun with monosyllables and ended with 
monosyllables. But the rock-strewn 1 difficulty of the 
task did not stop there, but went on further to the 
heart-breaking business of linking up, so that the 
monosyllable which was the ending of one verse 
might also become the beginning of the line follow- 
ing. You may well exclaim, then : " Heavens, what 
time and toil ! " Of a surety I have spent my pains 
upon a useless task : it is small, yet it brings a sense 
of surfeit ; it is disjointed, yet a hopeless tangle ; 
though it is something, it is proved to be worth just 
nothing. Nevertheless, I have taken pains to give 
it something of learning and lore ; for the rule I 
was bound to keep debarred the lighter graces of 
poetry and rhetoric. To sum up, you will find here 
nothing pretty, but (with the change of a few letters) 
something to pity and to resolve never to imitate. 
And if you should come down into these depths also, 
you will find the cramping of your ideas and powers 
of expression causes you greater discomfort than your 
effort at imitation affords you delight. 

1 Ausonius here has in mind a difficult mountain-path. 

289 
VOL. I. V 



AUSONIUS 

III. VERSUS MONOSYLLABIS ET CoEPTI ET FlNITI 

ITA UT A FINE VERSUS AD PRINCIPIUM RE- 
CURRANT 

RES hominum fragiles alit et regit et perimit FORS 
FORS dubia aeternumque labans : quam blanda fovet 

SPES 

SPES nullo finita aevo : cui terminus est MORS 
MORS avida, iiiferna mergit caligine quam NOX 
NOX obitura vicem, remeaverit aurea cum LUX 5 

LUX dono concessa deum, cui praevius est SOL 
SOL, cui nee furto in Veneris latet armipotens MARS 
MARS nullo de patre satus, quern Thraessa colit GENS 
GENS infrena virum, quibus in seel us omne ruit FAS 
FAS hominem mactare sacris : ferus iste loci MOS 10 
MOS ferus audacis populi, quern nulla tenet LEX 
LEX naturali quam condidit inperio ms 
lus genitum pie bate hominum, ius certa dei MENS 
MENS, quae caelesti sensu rigat emeritum COR 
COR vegetum mundi instar habens, aiiimae vigor et vis: 
vis tamen hie nulla est : tantum est iocus et ni- 

hili RES. 16 

IV. PRAEFATIO MONOSYLLABARUM TANTUM IN FINE 
POSITARUM 

UT in vet ere proverbio est " sequitur vara vibiam," 
similium nugarum subtexo nequitiam. et hi versi- 

1 The monosyllables in this and the following pieces are 
distinguished by italics. 

290 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

III. VERSES BEGINNING AND ENDING WITH MONO- 
SYLLABLES SO CONTRIVED THAT THE WORD WHICH 

ENDS ONE VERSE MAKES THE BEGINNING OF THE 

NEXT 1 

Things that concern men are frail, prospered, 
guided, and destroyed by Chance Chance the unstable, 
ever-changing goddess, who is flattered by fond Hope 
Hope, who knows no bounds of time ; whose only 
end is Death Death the insatiate, who is steeped in 
infernal gloom by Night Night, who must yield place 
on the return of golden Light Light bestowed by 
Heaven's gift, whose harbinger is the Sun the Sun, 
who even in their stolen loves beholds Venus and 
warrior Mars Mars unbegotten of a father, who is 
worshipped by the Thracian race a race of uncurbed 
folk, with whom every crime is right : Right bids 
them offer men in sacrifice : such is their savage wont 
wont of a savage and a daring folk, all unrestrained 
by Law Law, which was founded by the natural 
sway of Right Right which is sprung from man's 
natural affection, Right which is God's unerring mind 
mind which bedews with heavenly influence the 
deserving heart the heart, alive, formed like the 
globe, the life's power and its strength : strength, 
however, there is none in this : 'tis but a jest and a 
worthless thing. 

IV. PREFACE TO VERSES WITH MONOSYLLABLES 

ONLY AT THE END 

THE old saw runs : ' ' Misfortunes never come 
singly;" 2 and so I append to the foregoing some 
perverse trifles of the same sort. In this case, 

2 Literally "the trestle follows the plank," i.e. one evil is 
followed by another to match. 

291 
u 2 



AUSONIUS 

culi monosyllabis terminantur, exordio tamen libero, 
quamquam fine legitimo. set laboravi, ut quantum 
eius possent aput aures indulgentissimas, absurda 
concinerent, insulsa resiperent, hiulca congruereiit ; 
denique haberent et amara dulcedinem et inepta 
venerem et aspera lenitatem. quae quidem omnia, 
quoniam insuavis materia devenustat, lectio beiiigna 
conciliet. tu quoque mihi tua crede securior, quippe 
meliora, ut, quod per adagionem coepimus, proverbio 
finiamus et "mutuum muli scalpant." 



AEMULA dis, naturae imitatrix, omniparens ars, 
Pacato ut studeat ludus meus, esto operi dux. 
arta, inamoena licet nee congrua carminibus lex, 
iudice sub tanto fandi tamen accipiet ius. 
quippe et ridiculis data gloria, ni prphibet fors. 5 

VI. DE MEMBRIS 

INDICAT in pueris septennia prima novus dens, 
pubentes annos robustior anticipat vox. 
invicta et ventis et solibus est hominum frons. 
ecdurum nervi cum viscere consociant os. 
palpitat inrequies, vegetum, teres, acre, calens cor, 5 

1 Or " Harsh, unlovely, and with verse ill-agreeing though 
be the law, yet with so great a judge, my work to plead 
shall win the right." 

292 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

however, the lines end in monosyllables, while their 
beginnings are free though the ending is bound by 
rule. But I have taken pains so far as is possible, 
given the utmost lenience on my hearers' part to 
harmonize what is harsh, to give a flavour to the 
insipid, to couple up the disconnected ; in short, to 
lend sweetness to the bitter, grace to the awkward, 
smoothness to the rough. And since the dreariness 
of the subject-matter robs all these allurements of 
their charm, the reader's kindness must make them 
agreeable. Do you also entrust your work to me ; 
and that with the less misgiving, since it is better 
than mine, that so for as I have begun with a saw, 
so I must end with an adage "mules may ease each 
other's itch." 



THOU rival of the gods, Nature's mimic, universal 
mother, Art, that Pacatus may approve my trifles, 
be to my work a guide ! Harsh, unlovely, and for 
verse ill-suited though be my rule,, yet before such a 
judge of eloquence it shall receive right. 1 For even 
fooling may win praise, save when forbid by Chance, 

VI. ON THE PARTS OF THE BODY 

A BOY'S entry on his seventh year is marked by a 
second growth of teeth : the approach of ripening 
years is foretold by a more manly voice. Unconquered 
both by wind and sun is the human face. 2 The 
sinews link the flesh in partnership with the hard 
bone. Restless, full of life, round, eager, warm throbs 
the heart, wherefrom the feelings have their strength : 

2 i.e. the face needs no covering to protect it from the 
weather. 

293 



AUSONIUS 

unde vigent sensus, dominatrix quos vegetat mens, 
atque in verba refert modulata lege loquax os. 
quam validum est, hominis quota portio, caeruleum 

fel' 

quam tenue et molem quantam fert corpoream crus ! 
pondere sub quanto nostrum moderatur iter pes ! 10 

VII. DE INCONEXIS 

SAEPE in coniugiis fit noxia, si nimia est, dos. 1 

sexus uterque potens, set praevalet inperio mas. 

qui recte faciet, non qui dominatur, erit 2 rex. 

vexat amicitias et foedera dissociat lis. 

incipe, quidquid agas : pro toto est prima operis pars. 3 5 

insinuat caelo disque inserit emeritos laus. 

et disciplinis conferta est et vitiis urbs. 

urbibus in tutis munitior urbibus est arx. 

auro magnus hoiios, auri pretium tamen est aes. 

longa dies operosa viro, sed temperies nox, 10 

qua caret Aethiopum plaga, pervigil, inrequies gens, 

semper ubi aeterna vertigine clara maiiet lux. 

VIIL DE Dis 

SUNT et caelicolum monosyllaba. prima deum Fas, 
quae Themis est Grais ; post hanc Rea,quae Latiis Ops ; 

1 cp. Juvenal, vi. 460. 

2 cp. Horace, Epist. i. i. 59 : " Rex eris," aiunt, "Si recte 
facies." 

3 cp. id. i. ii. 40 f. : Dimidium facti qui coepit habet : 
sapere aude ; Incipe ! 

294 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

they are enlivened by their mistress, Mind, and trans- 
lated into words by law articulate through the chat- 
tering mouth. How potent, yet how small a part ot 
man is the dark bile ! How great a mass of body 
rests on that slender prop, the leg ! Beneath how 
great a load moves that which controls our way, the 
foot I 

VII. ON THINGS WHICH HAVE NO CONNEXION 

IN wedlock mischief often follows if too great is 
the wife's dot. Each sex has its powers, but in au- 
thority paramount is the male. He who acts rightly, 
not he who holds sway, will be a king. Friendships 
are troubled, treaties dissolved by strife. Whatever 
you are about, begin it: good as the whole is a task's 
first half. 1 Their way to Heaven and their place 
among the gods the worthy win through praise. 
Crowded with virtues and with vices is the town. In 
guarded cities yet more strongly guarded is the 
keep. Gold is in high esteem ; and yet gold has its 
price in bronze. Long day is full of toil for men ; 
but relief comes with the night, which never falls 
on the realm of the Ethiopians a sleepless, rest- 
less tribe ; for there, moving in unbroken circle 
through the sky, shines ever the bright light. 

VIII. ON THE GODS 

THE inhabitants of Heaven also have their mono- 
syllables. First of the gods is Eight, who is Themis 
to the Greeks ; next Rhea, whom the Romans know 

1 A saying apx^l 5e rot fyfjucrv iravros is attributed to Hesiod 
by Luoian, ffermot. 3 : see Rzach, Hes. (1913),/ragrt. fals. 5. 
This is probably due to confusion with Hesiod, W. and D. 
40 : ftffcp irAeov ^/JLiffv TnxrrJr. 

295 



AUSONIUS 

turn lovis et Consi germanus, Tartareus Dis, 

et soror et coniunx fratris, regina deuin, 1 Vis, 

et qui quadriiugo curru pater invehitur Sol, 5 

quique truces belli motus ciet armipotens Mars, 

quern numquam pietas, numquam bona sollicitat Pax. 

nee cultor nemorum reticebere, Maenalide Pan, 

nee genius domuum, Larunda progenitus Lar, 

fluminibusque Italis praepollens, sulphureus Nar, 2 10 

quaeque pias divum periuria, nocticolor Styx, 

velivolique maris constrator, leuconotos Libs, 

et numquam in dubiis hominem bona destituens Spes. 



IX. DE CIBIS 

NEC nostros reticebo cibos, quos priscus habet mos, 
inritamentum quibus additur aequoreum sal. 
communis pecorique olim cibus atque homini glans, 
ante equidem campis quam spicea suppeteret frux. 
mox ador atque adoris de polline pultificum far, 5 
instruxit mensas quo quondam Romulidum plebs. 
hinc cibus, hinc potus, cum dilueretur aqua puls. 
est inter fruges morsu piper aequiperans git, 
et Pelusiaco de semine plana, teres lens, 
et duplici defensa putamine quinquegenus nux, 10 

1 cp. Virgil, Aen. i. 48 f. : Ast ego, quae divum incedo 
regina lovisque Et soror et coniunx . . . 

2 cp. id. vii. 517. 

1 Larunda or Lara was the daughter of the river-god Almo. 
Her tongue was cut out by Jupiter for betraying his amour 

296 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

as Ops ; then, brother of Jove and Census, Tartarean 
Dis, her brother's sister and his wife, the queen of 
the gods, Might, and he who rides in a four-horse 
chariot, the old Sun, and he who wakens war's fierce 
tumult the warrior Mars, by love of kindred never 
roused nor by kind Peace. Thou also shalt be named, 
thou haunter of the woods, Maenalian Pan ; and thou, 
the genius of our homes, born of Larunda, 1 Lar ; and 
thou, eminent above the streams of Italy, sulphureous 
Nar ; 2 and thou who dost punish the gods for perjury, 3 
night-dark Styx ; the calmer also of the sea whereon 
sails flit, white-backed Libs',* and thou, who never 
leav'st poor man in trouble, kindly Hope. 



IX. ON ARTICLES OF FOOD 

I WILL tell also of our articles of food, as fixed by 
ancient use, to which for relish we add sea-born salt. 
Of old food for beast and man alike was furnished 
by the oak, 5 ere that in fields there was store of 
wheaten ears. Next came spelt, and from spelt 
pottage-making meal, that 'mid the sons of Romulus 
furnishes the tables of the common folk. Thereafter, 
food and drink both (when mixed with water), pulse. 
Another fruit, no less hot than pepper, is the cori- 
ander-^zp, and, grown from Pelusian seed, the smooth, 
round lentil-5e#w, 6 and five kinds, shielded by double 

with Juturna : hence she was worshipped at Rome under the 
name of Tacita or Muta. To Mercury she bare the Lares. 

2 The Nera, a tributary of the Tiber. 

3 cp. Hesiod, Theog. 775 ff. 

4 = Aty, the " Libyan" or S.W. wind. 

5 See Hesiod, W. and D. 233. 
15 cp. Virgil, Georg. i. 228. 

297 



AUSONIUS 

quodque cibo et potu placitum, labor acer apum, 

mel : 
naturae liquor iste novae, cui summa natat faex. 

X. DE HISTORIIS 

SOLAMEN tibi, Phoebe, novum dedit Oebalius flos. 
flore alio reus est Narcissi morte sacer fons. 
caedis Adoneae mala gloria fulmineus sus. 
periurum Lapitham lunonia ludificat nubs 
ludit et Aeaciden Parnasia Delphicolae sors. 5 

Thraeicium Libycum freta Cimmeriumque secat bos. 
non sine Hamadryadis fato cadit arborea trabs. 
quo generata Venus, Saturnia desecuit falx. 
sicca inter rupes Scythicas stetit alitibus crux, 
unde Prometheo de corpore sanguineus ros 10 

adspargit cautes et dira aconita creat cos. 
Ibycus ut periit, index fuit altivolans grus. 
Aeacidae ad tumulum mactata est Andromachae glos. 
carcere in Argivo Philopoemena lenta adiit mors. 
tertia opima dedit spoliatus Aremoricus Lars. 1 15 

1 cp. Virgil, A en. vi. 859. 

1 i.e. bivalved shells like those of the walnut. 

2 Honey was the chief ingredient of mulsum (mead). 

3 Honey being an extremely dense liquid, all foreign matter 
floats on its surface : cp. Macrobius, Sat. vii. 8. 

4 The hyacinth, named after Hyacinthus, son of Oebalus. 

5 Ixion. 

6 Pyrrhus, inquiring of the oracle whether he would 
conquer the Romans, received the ambiguous reply, " Aio te, 
Aeacida, Romanes vincere posse " (I say that you the Romans 
can defeat). 7 sc. lo. 

298 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

shells, 1 of nuts. Besides, what is agreeable for food 
and drink, 2 the bees' industrious toil, honey of the 
comb : that fluid has strange properties ; for on its 
surface float the dregs. 3 

X. ON POINTS OF LEARNING 

PHOEBUS, to thee new consolation came through 
the Oebalian bloom.' 1 Another bloom sprang through 
the fault of that which is accursed for Narcissus' 
death & fount. For slain Adonis ill-renowned is the 
bright-tusked boar. The forsworn Lapith 5 is beguiled 
by Juno's shape a cloud, and she who dwells at 
Parnassian Delphi beguiles the son of Aeacus with 
her voiced Across Thracian, Libyan, and Cimmerian 
waves cleaves her way the cow. 1 Except the Hama- 
dryad perishes ne'er falls the tree's trunk. 8 That 
from which Venus was begotten Saturn cut off with 
his hook. 9 Amid Scythian crags, a mark for birds, 
stood that parched cross, whence from Prometheus' 
body dripped a bloody dew, besprinkling the rocks, 
till deadly aconite sprang from the flint. When 
Ibycus was slain, the tale was told by the high-flying 
crane. 10 At the tomb of the son of Aeacus was sacri- 
ficed Andromache's cos. 11 In Grecian prison Philo- 
poemen met a lingering death. 12 The third " spolia 

8 See the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, 272. 

9 See Hesiod, Theogony, 173 ff. 

10 Ibycus of Rhegium (flor. c. 560 B.C.), the lyric poet, was 
murdered by robbers ; the cranes, who witnessed the crime, 
caused the murderers to betray themselves in the theatre at 
Corinth. 

11 Properly "sister-in-law." 

12 Philopoemen, leader of the Achaean League, was captured 
by the Messenians and forced to drink poison while in prison 
at Messene. 

299 



AUSONIUS 

sera venenato potu abstulit Hannibalem nex. 

res Asiae quantas leto dedit inmeritas fraus ! J 

ultrix flagravit de rupibus Euboicis fax. 

stat lovis ad cyathum, generat quern Dardanius Tros. 

praepetibus pennis super aera vectus 2 homo Cres. 20 

intulit incestam tibi vim, Philomela, ferus Thrax. 

barbarus est Lydus, pellax Geta_, femineus Phryx, 3 

fallaces Ligures, nullo situs in pretio Car. 

veil era depectit nemoralia vestifiuus Ser. 4 

nota in portentis Thebana tricorporibus Sphinx. 25 

nota Caledoniis nuribus 5 muliebre secus Strix, 

XI. DE VERE PRIMO 

ANN us ab exortu cum floriparum reserat ver, 
cuncta vigent : nemus omne viret, nitet auricomum rus 
et fusura umbras radicitus exigitur stirps. 

1 cp. Virgil, Aen. iii. 1 f. 2 cp. Catullus, Attis, I. 

3 cp. Plautus, Bacchides, 121 ; Terence, Phormio, 672 ; 
Virgil, Aen. xii. 99. 4 cp. Virgil, Georg. ii. 121. 

5 V : nota et parvorum cunis, CZ. 

1 Lars was an Etruscan title (as in Lars Porsena). The 
reference is to Viridomarus, king of the Insubres, slain by 
M. Claudius Marcellus, the Roman consul, in 222 B.C. 

2 In 183 B.C. 

3 i.e. the beacon lit by Nauplius, father of Palamedes (who 
was stoned to death by the Greeks before Troy), on the pro- 
montory of Caphareus. This caused the wreck of the home- 
ward-bound fleet of the Greeks. 

300 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

opima ' ' were yielded by a Gaulish lord.} Through 
poisoned draught Hannibal was carried off by a 
late death. 2 How great the realm of Asia, brought 
to undeserved doom by wrong I From the crags 
of Euboea blazed forth the avenging Jlame. 3 Beside 
Jove's cup stands the son of Dardanian Tros.* On 
soaring wings above the air was borne the man of 
Crete/ To thee, Philomela, incestuous violence was 
offered by the brutal king of Thrace. 6 Lydians are 
savages, Getae treacherous, effeminate the children 
of Phrygia's land, Ligurians are cheats, worthless is 
counted the Carian breed. Carding the woodland- 
fleeces see the loose-robed Chink ! 7 Famous among 
monsters of triple form is the Theban Sphinx. Well 
known to Caledonian mothers is that bird, woman in 
kind, the screech-ow/. 8 



XI. ON THE BEGINNING OF SPRING 

WHEN the year at its uprising unlocks flower- 
bearing Spring, all things flourish : green is every 
grove, gay the gold-tressed Jield, and, soon to spread 
shade, up from its root shoots the sprout. No longer 

4 Ganymedes. 5 Daedalus. 6 Tereus. 

7 Modern slang for Chinese. The "fleeces" are probably 
silk, or possibly cotton. 

8 The screech-owl was believed to suck the blood of young 
children : see Ovid, Fasti, vi. 135 ff. It seems to have been 
regarded as the embodiment through magic (cp. Ovid, op. cit. 
141 : sen carmine Jiunt) of strigae (hags, witches : see Petronius, 
Sat. 63); and in Apuleius, Metam. iii. 21, the witch Pam- 
phile actually transforms herself into an owl. Hfuliebre secus 
may be understood either in the light of these passages, or 
with reference to the female characteristics noticed by 
Statius, Theb. i. 597 ff. No other reference to" the ill-repute 
of the Caledonian owls appears to be extant. 

301 



AUSONIUS 

non denso ad terrain lapsu glomerata fluit nix. 
florum spiral odor, Libani ceu mentis honor tus. 
[iam pelago volitat mercator vestifluus Ser 1 ] 

XII. PER INTERROGATIONEM ET RESPONSIONEM 



V 



Quis subit in poenam capitali iudicio ? vas. 
quid si lis fuerit nummaria, quis dabitur ? praes. 
quis mirmilloni contenditur ? aequimanus Thraex. 
inter virtutes quod nomen Mercurio? fur. 
turibula et paterae, quae tertia vasa deum ? lanx. 5 
cincta mari quaenam tellus creat Hippocratem ? Co. 
grex magis an regnum Minoida sollicitat ? grex. 
quid praeter imbem Phaeacibus inpositum ? mons. 2 
die cessante cibo somno quis opimior est ? glis. 8 
tergora die elipeis accommoda quae faciat? glus. 10 
sponte ablativi casus quis rectus erit ? spons. 
quadrupes oscinibus quis iungitur auspiciis ? mus. 4 
quid fluitat pelago, quod non natat in fluvio ? pix. 5 
bissenas partes quis continet aequipares ? as. 
tertia defuerit si portio, quid reliquum ? bes. 15 

XIII. DE LlTTERIS MONOSYLLABIS GRAECIS AC 

LATINIS 

Dux elementorum studiis viget in Latiis A 
et suprema notis adscribitur Argolicis jQ. 

1 GZ : omitted by V. The line seems to be compounded 
of elements taken from x. 24 and xii. 13. 

2 cp. Homer, v 177. 3 cp. Ephcmeris, i. 5 f. 
4 cp. Pliny, N.H. viii. 221. 5 id. ii. 103. 

302 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

in thick shower streams to earth the billowing snow. 
The smell of flowers fills the air like that pride of 
Mount Libanus, the spice (incense). Now o'er the 
sea flits the loose-robed merchant Chink. 



XII. BY QUESTION AND ANSWER 

ON whom does the penalty devolve in a capital 
charge ? On him who gives bail. But if the case be 
one of money, what assurance will be given? A 
bond. Who is matched with the " mirmillo "? The 
ambidextrous gladiator of Thrace. Amongst good folk 
what is Mercury called ? A thief'. Besides the censer 
and the bowl, what third vessel is the gods' ? The 
dish. What island girdled by the sea produced Hip- 
pocrates ? Cos. Did Minos' wife care more for herds 
or realms? For herds. What besides a cloud was 
hung over the Phaeacians ? A hill. 1 Say, what grows 
more fat on sleep though it ceases to eat ? The shrew. 
Tell me, what makes hides fit for shields ? Glue. 
" Sponte " is ablative ; what will be its nominative ? 
" Spons." What four-footed thing shares with birds 
in the auspices ? 2 The mouse. What floats on the 
sea which sinks in a river ? Pitch. What contains 
twice six equal parts ? The (Roman) pound. If four 
ounces are subtracted, what is left ? Two-thirds. 

XIII. ON MONOSYLLABIC LETTERS GREEK AND 
LATIN 

LEADER of letters in the Roman alphabet proud 
stands A, and last in the list of Argive characters is 



1 See Homer, v 177. 

iii. 57- 

303 



2 See Pliny, N.H. viii. 57 



AUSONIUS 

HTO. quod Aeolidum, quodque c 1 valet, hoc Latiare E. 
praesto quod E Latium semper breve Dorica vox . 
hoc tereti argutoque sono negat Attica gens 0. 5 
jQ quod, et O, Graecum conpensat Romula vox O. 
littera sum, lotae similis vox plena, iubeiis I. 
Cecropiis ignota notis, ferale sonans V. 
Pythagorae bivium, ramis pateo ambiguis Y. 2 
vocibus in Grais numquam ultima conspicior M. 10 
Zeta iacens, si surgat, erit nota, quae legitur N. 
Maeandrum flexusque vagos imitata vagor Z. 
dividuum Betae monosyllabon Italicum B. 
non formam, at vocem Deltae gero Romuleum D. 
hostilis quae forma iugi est, hanc efficiet TT. 15 

Ausonium si Pe scribas, ero Cecropium P, 
et Rho quod Graeco, mutabitur in Latium P. 
malus ut antemnam fert vertice, sic ego sum T. 
spiritus hie, flatu tenuissima vivificans, H. 
haec tribus in Latio tantum addita nominibus, K ; 20 
praevaluit post quam, Gammae vice functa prius, C, 

1 Turnebus : V omits : Peiper inserts . 

2 cp. Persius, iii. 56 f.: et tibi quae Samios diduxit littera 
ramos Surgentem dextro monstravit limite callem. 



1 i.e. in the word ov. From this line and from 

xxix. 36-7 it appears that Ausonius regarded ov as a distinct 
letter rather than as a diphthong. 

2 sc. as the imperative of ire. 

3 F (resembling W in sound) sounded ill-omened (cp. Pliny, 

304 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

entered H. That value which the "Eta" of the 
Aeolian race and that which e have, that has Latin 
E. The sound of short Latin E I always render the 
Dorian letter . The smooth, clear sound wherewith 
the Attic race denies, is O. 1 To the Greek H and 0, 
equivalent is the Roman letter 0. I am a letter 
like Iota and a complete word of command, 2 /. A 
stranger to the Cecropian alphabet is ominous-sound- 
ing F. 3 I stretch forth arms alternative the Two 
Ways of Pythagoras 4 and I am Y. I am a letter 
never seen at the end of a Greek word, M. 5 If Zeta 
lying on its side gets up, it will be the character 
which is read N. Copying Maeander and its strag- 
gling curves, here straggles Z. Half Beta's length 
has the Italian monosyllabic B. Though not her 
form, I have Delta's sound, and I am Roman D. 
The shape of the " hostile yoke " 6 will be given you 
by TT. I am Ausoiiian P : write me, and I shall be 
Cecropian P, and what is Rho for the Greek will be 
changed into Latin P. Like a mast carrying a yard 
at its top, so am I, T. This aspirate is a breathing 
which gives life to the smallest words, H. In Latin 
this letter is used in three words alone, 7 K ; after 
which became general the letter which once served 

N.ff. x. 12, 34), as in Virgil, Aen. iv. 460 f. : hinc exaudiri 
voces et t-erba vocantis visa ?;iri. 

4 See note on Prof. xi. 5. 5 cp. Quintilian, xn. x. 31. 

6 The yoke, under which a conquered army had to pass, 
was formed of two spears fixed upright with a third lashed 
horizontally to connect their tops : see Livy iii. 28. 

7 Kalendae, K (for Caeso, the proper name), Kaput : 
Kalumnia is sometimes added. 

305 
VOL. I. X 



AUSONIUS 

atque alium pro se titulum replicata dedit G. 

ansis cincta duabus erit cum Iota, leges rr\. 1 

in Latio numerus denarius, Argolicum X. 

haec gruis effigies Palamedica porrigitur (j). 25 

Coppa fui quondam Boeotia, nunc Latium Q. 

furca tricornigera specie paene ultima sum ^ . 

XIV. GRAMMATICOMASTIX 

ET logodaedalia ? stride modo, qui nimium trnx 
frivola condemnas : nequam quoque cum pretio est 

mers ! 

Ennius ut memorat, repleat te laetificum gau. 2 
livida mens hominum concretum felle coquat pus. 
die, quid significent Catalepta Maronis ? in his al 5 
Celtarum posuit ; sequitur non lucidius tau : 3 6 

estne peregrini vox nominis an Latii sil ? 
et quod germane mixtum male letiferum min ? 9 

1 Peiper : V has 0, which is not a monosyllable. 

2 F: et quod nonnumquam praesumit laetificum gau, CZ 
(placing this after 1. 19). 

8 V: scire velim Catalepta (Catalecta, C) legens quid sig- 
nificet tau, CZ (omitting 1. 6). 

1 To be understood in a double sense : the letter C, in 
becoming G, reverted to its early value as the equivalent of 
gamma, and its new form is differentiated in writing by a 
"twist." For the relation between 7, C and G, see Lindsay, 
Hist. Lat. Grammar, ch, i. 5. 

2 San (or sanpi), an obsolete letter used only as a numeral 
sign = 900. 

3 According to Pliny, Palamedes invented the letters Q, 

306 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

for Gamma, C, and with a twist back 1 gave a new 
name for itself, G. When Iota is flanked by a pair 
of handles, you will read rrs. 2 In Latin for the 
number ten stands Argolic X. This is the picture 
of Palamedes' long-necked crane, 3 (}). Once I was 
Boeotian Coppa, now I am Latin Q. Shaped like a 
three-pronged fork, I am last letter but one, H' . 

XIV. A SCOURGE FOR GRAMMARIANS 

AND what results from preciosity ? Now raise a 
howl thou who, too sow, condemnest trifling : there 
is a price even for shoddy wares ! As Ennius 4 says, 
"may you be filled with joy-causing pleas'." Let 
men's envious hearts distil gall-curdled pus. Pray 
what does Virgil's " Catalepta " mean ? There he 
has put in Celtic al, and follows it up with a word 
no whit more clear, tau. b Does this sound like a 
foreign or a Latin word sil ? 6 Or that which is so 
deadly when confused with its next cousin min ? 7 

|, (p, and x ' Philostratus credits him with v, < and %, v re- 
presenting the formation adopted by a number of cranes in 
night, and $ a single crane asleep with its head under its 
wing, and standing on one leg. 

4 Annales, frag. lii. (ed. M tiller) : gau = gaudium. 

5 Catalepton, ii. 4 f.: Scaliger conjectures that al, tau, and 
min were abbreviations of allium, taurus, minium, current in 

the Latin spoken in Celtic regions. Al, however, is not y 
found in the Catalepton. 

6 Sil (see Pliny, N.H. xxxiii. 12) was a pigment found in 
gold and silver mines. 

7 Red-lead, also called cinnabaris : it was therefore some- 
times confused with the drug cinnabar in prescriptions 
with unhappy results: see Pliny, N.H. xxxiii. 7. 

37 
x 2 



AUSONIUS 

imperium, litem, venerem cur una notat res ? 7 

lintribus in geminis constrains ponto sit an pons ? 1 
Bucolico saepes dixit Maro, cur Cicero saeps ? 
vox solita et cunctis notissima, si memores, lac 
cur condemnatur, ratio magis ut faciat lact ? 
an, Libyae ferale malum, sit Romula vox seps ? 
si bonus est insons contrarius et reus, est sons ? 15 
dives opum cur nomen habet love de stygio dis ? 
unde Rudinus ait "divum domus altisonum cad"? 1 
et cuius de more, quod addidit, "endo suam do"? 2 
aut, de fronde loquens, cur dicit "populea fros"? 3 
Sed quo progredior ? quae finis, quis modus et 

calx ? 20 

indulge, Pacate bonus, doctus, facilis vir ; 
totum opus hoc sparsum, crinis velut Antiphilae : pax. 4 

1 Ennius, Annales (ed. Miiller), frag. li. 

2 id. frag. 1. 3 id. frag, xxxiv. 

4 Terence, Heaut. 289 f. : capillus passus prolixe et circum 
caput Reiectus neclegenter ; pax. 

1 The French affaire seems nearly parallel : for res = im- 
perium, litem, Venerem, cp. (1) x. 17 (above) ; (2) Hor. Sat. 
i. ix. 41 ; (3) Terence, Eun. 119. 

2 Properly a pontoon-bridge. 3 Ed. i. 54. 

4 Martianus Capella, iii. 307 : quidam cum lac dicunt, 
adiiciunt t, propterea quod facit lactis. 



308 



THE TECHNOPAEGNION 

State, law-proceedings, love, why are they all de- 
noted by one word, res ? 1 That which is laid on 
boats ranged side by side, is it a brig' 2 or bridge ? 
In one of his Bucolics 3 Virgil wrote "hedge," why 
did Cicero write " kedg " ? A common word and 
one well-known to all, if you mention it, is lac 
(milk) ; why then is it condemned that pedantry 
may prefer the form lact ? 4 Has it a Latin name, 
that deadly pest of Libya, the seps ? If a good 
man is sinless and, notwithstanding, guilty, 6 is he a 
man of sin ? Why is a rich man called after Stygian 
Jove, dis (wealthy)? How comes the bard of Rudiae 7 
to say "the deep-echoing home of gods, Heav' " ? 
And what precedent has he for the phrase " into his 
own hou " ? Or in speaking of a leaf, why does he 
say "a poplar lef" ? 

20 But how far am I going ? What end is there, 
what limit, or what goal ? Pardon me, Pacatus, good, 
learned, kindly Sir. Here is the whole work spread 
out like Antiphila's hair : peace ! 

5 A snake whose bite caused putrefaction. The name is 
probably derived from the Greek o^iretv, " to rot " : cp. Lucan, 
Phars. ix. 723 ; ossaque dissolvens cum corpore tabificus 



6 It is impossible to reproduce the play on the alternative 
meanings of reus, which may denote (1) a party in a legal 
action, (2) a defendant, (3) a guilty person. 

7 sc. Ennius, born at Rudiae in Calabria, B.C. 239. The 
words cael and do shortened by apocope (cp. the Homeric 
5w and /ct) are for coelum and domus. 



39 



LIBER XIII 
LUDUS SEPTEM SAPIENTUM 

I. AUSONIUS CONSUL DREPANIO PROCONSULI SAL. 

IGNOSCENDA istaec an cognoscenda rearis, 

adtento, Drepani^ perlege iudicio. 
aequanimus fiam te iudice, sive legenda, 

sive tegenda putes carmina, quae dedimus. 
nam primum est meruisse tuum, Pacate, favorem : 5 

proxima defensi cura pudoris erit. 
possum ego censuram lectoris ferre sever! 

et possum modica laude placere mihi : 
iiovit equus plausae sonitum cervicis amare, 

novit et intrepidus verbera lenta pati. 10 

Maeonio qualem cultum quaesivit Homero 

censor Aristarcbus normaque Zenodoti ! 
pone obelos igitur primorum stigmata vatum : 

palmas, non culpas esse putabo meas ; 
et correcta magis quam condemnata vocabo, 15 

adponet docti quae mihi lima viri. 
interea arbitrii subiturus pondera tanti 

optabo, ut placeam ; si minus, ut lateam. 

1 Aristarchus of Saraothrace, a disciple of Aristophanes of 
Byzantium at Alexandria, flourished EC. 156. He is specially 
famous for his recension of the Homeric Poems, in which he 
used various critical signs, such as the obelos ("spit"), to 
mark spurious verses. 

310 



BOOK XIII 
THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

I. AUSONIUS THE CONSUL TO DREPANIUS THE 
PROCONSUL SENDS GREETING 

READ through these lines, Drepanius, heedfully 
judging whether you think they should be pardoned 
or perused. With you as judge I shall be content, 
whether you think the verse I send worth conning 
or concealing. For my first aim, Pacatus, is to earn 
your countenance : to defend my modesty shall be 
my second thought. 1 can bear a stern reader's 
criticism, and I can satisfy myself with a modest 
meed of praise : a horse learns to love the sound of 
a patted neck, learns also to endure the pliant lash 
unterrified. What finish did critic Aristarchus l and 
Zenodotus 2 with his rules demand in Maeonian 
Homer! Set down your brackets, 3 then brands 
which distinguish the chiefest bards : I will consider 
them marks of fame, not blame ; and will call those 
passages corrected rather than condemned which the 
polish of a scholar's taste shall mark against me. 
Meanwhile, ere I face a verdict of such weight, I'll 
hope to impress you ; or else myself suppress. 

2 Zenodotus of Ephesus (flor. c. 208 B.C.) was the first head 
of the Alexandrian Library. His recension of the Homeric 
Poems was based largely on his study of their language. 

3 See note 1 (above). 



AUSONIUS 



II. PROLOGUS 

SEPTEM sapientes, nomen quibus istud dedit 
superior aetas nee secuta sustulit, 20 

hodie in orchestram palliati prodeunt. 
quid erubescis tu, togate Romule, 
scaenam quod introibunt tarn clari viri ? 
nobis pudendum hoc, non et Atticis quoque : 
quibus theatrum curiae praebet vicem. 25 

nostris negotis sua loca sortito data : 
campus comitiis, ut conscriptis curia, 
forum atque rostra separat ius l civium. 
una est Athenis atque in omni Graecia 
ad consulendum publici sedes loci, 30 

quam in urbe nostra sero luxus condidit. 
aedilis olim scaenam tabulatam dabat 
subito excitatam nulla mole saxea. 
Murena sic et Gallius : nota eloquar. 
postquam potentes nee verentes sumptuum 35 

nomen perenne crediderunt, si semel 
constructa moles saxeo fundamine 
in omne tempus conderet ludis locum : 
1 Scaliger : separatis, VP. 

1 Ausonius has in mind a passage from Cornelius Nepos 
(Praef. 5): magnis in laudibus tola fere fuit Graecia (cp. 1. 29) 
victorem Olympiae citari, in scaenam vero prodire ac populo 
esse spectaculo nemini in eisdem gentibusfuit turpitudini. 

2 i.e. for different uses, the forum for legal business, the 
rostra for public speaking. 

3 The statement is loose, since Athens (for example) had 
its 0ov\VT-f)ptov. But Ausonius is thinking of the use to 
which the theatre was put in an emergency, as in 338 B.C., 
when, in the alarm which followed the capture of Elatea by 
Philip, the Athenian people <rvv&pQ.fji.fv els rb Q^arpov (Diod. 
Sic. xvi. Ixxxiv. 3). The Roman envoys to Tarentum were 
brought into the Theatre (in theatrum ut est consuetude 

312 



THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

II. PROLOGUE 

THE Seven Sages, as an earlier age called them 
nor has a later withdrawn the title to-day step 
forth upon our stage, wearing Grecian cloaks. Why 
do you blush so hotly, toga-clad Roman, because 
such famous men are to appear upon the stage ? 
With us this is a disgrace, but is not so also with men 
of Greece, 1 whose theatre serves them in place of a 
Senate House. Our proceedings have their own al- 
lotted places : the Campus for elections, as the Curia 
for the Senate, while the privilege of the citizens 
sets apart the forum and the rostra. 2 At Athens 
and everywhere in Greece the only public place for 
debate 3 is that which luxury established in our city 
at a late date. 4 The aedile in old times used to 
provide a wooden theatre, hastily run up, and not a 
massive pile of stone. That is what Murena and 
Gallius 5 did I will mention established facts. When 
men, grown powerful and reckless of expense, be- 
lieved their names would endure for ever if they 
once raised a massy structure on stone foundations 
to be a place for shows to all time, this immense 

Graeciae introducti Valerius Maximus, i. ii. 5). And the 
enraged Ephesians of St. Paul's day " rushed with one accord 
into the Theatre " (Acts, xix. 29). 

4 As late as B.C. 154 an attempt to raise a permanent 
theatre was thwarted by the senate. The first permanent 
stone theatre was built by Pompey (B.C. 55) : that of Cor- 
nelius Balbus (1. 40) was erected in B.C. 13, and in the same 
year that of Octavian was dedicated in memory of his nephew 
Marcellus. 

5 See Cic. pro Muraena, 19 ; Pliny, N.H. xxxiii. 53. L. 
Gallius is mentioned as having given a gladiatorial show when 
aedile, professedly in honour of his father : see Asconius 
Pedianus, Comm. in Cic. c. C. Antonius et L. Catilina. 

3*3 



AUSONIUS 

cuneata crevit haec theatri inmanitas : 

Pompeius hanc et Balbus et Caesar dedit 40 

Octavianus concertantes sumptibus. 

sed quid ego istaec ? non hac de causa hue prodii, 

ut expedirem, quis theatra, quis forum, 

quis condidisset privas partes moenium : 

set ut verendos disque laudatos viros 45 

praegrederer aperiremque, quid vellent sibi. 

Pronuntiare suas solent sententias, 
quas quisque iam prudentium anteverterit. 
scitis profecto, quae sint ; set si memoria 
rebus vetustis claudit, veniet ludius 50 

edissertator harum, quas teneo minus. 



III. LUDIUS 

DELPHIS Solon em scripse fama est Atticum 

yv&Oi a-eavrov, quod Latinum est : nosce te. 

multi hoc Laconis esse Chilonis putant. 

Spartane Chilon, sit tuum necne, ambigunt, 55 

quod iuxta fertur, opa re'Aos paKpov fiiov, 

finem intueri longae vitae qui iubes. 

multi hoc Solonem dixe Croeso existimant. 

et Pittacum dixisse fama est Lesbium 

yiyj/wo-Ke /coupon : tempus ut noris, iubet. 60 

set Kaipos iste tempestivum tempus est. 

Bias Prieneus dixit ot TrAeTcrrot Ka/cot, 

quod est Latinum, plures hominum stint mali ; 

set inperitos scito, quos dixit malos. 

1 Literally "divided into wedges" i.e. the wedge-shaped 
segments into which the auditorium was divided by the 
radiating gangways. 

2 See note 4, p. 313 : Ausonius loosel}' represents the three 
as having all worked to produce a single theatre. 

314 



THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

theatre with its radiating gangways 1 came into 
being : this theatre Pompey and Balbus and Octa- 
vianus Caesar 2 gave us, vying with each other in 
their outlay. But what have I to do with all this ? 
I am not come forward on this stage to explain who 
built theatres, or forums, or separate bits of our 
walls, but to prepare the way for men worthy of 
reverence and approved by the gods, and to reveal 
what their purpose is. 

47 Their usage is to deliver their own sayings, 
each that which he in his wisdom first hit upon. 
You kno\v, of course, what these are ; but if Memory 
limps among ancient matters, Chorus 3 will come 
fully to explain these sayings on which I have too 
slight a grip. 

III. CHORUS 

Tis said that Attic Solon wrote at Delphi IY<o0i 
o-eauTov, which in our tongue is " Know thyself." 
Many think this to be by Chilon the Laconian. 
Spartan Chilon, 'tis disputed whether the saw which 
comes next is yours or no, opa reA.os fj.aKpov fiiov 
wherein you bid us mark the ending of a long life. 
Many consider that Solon said this to Croesus. And 
'tis reported that Lesbian Pittacus 4 said riyv<oo-/<e 
KO.LPOV : he bids you know the time. But this 
means the timely time. Bias of Priene said ot Tr 
KaKoi, which is translated " most men are bad " ; but 
know that they are uncultured whom he called "bad." 

3 sc. in the Elizabethan sense. In Henry V. , for example, 
" Chorus " serves the same purpose as " Ludius " here. 

4 The dictator of Mitylene, who supported the commons 
against the aristocratic party to which Alcaeus belonged : 
he died 569 B.C. 

315 



AUSONIUS 

TO TTOLV, Periandri id est Corinthii, 65 

meditationem posse totum qui putat. 
apio-rov /xeVpov esse dicit Lindius 
Cleobulus : hoc est, optimus cunctis modus. 
Thales set eyyv'a, Trdpa 8' ara protulit, 
spondere qui nos, noxa quia praes est, vetat. 70 

hoc nos monere faeneratis non placet. 
Dixi : recedam. legifer venit Solon. 



IV. SOLON 

DE more Graeco prodeo in scaenam Solon, 

septem sapientum fama cui palmam dedit. 

set famae l non est iudicii severitas ; 75 

neque enim esse primum me, verum unum existimo, 

aequalitas quod ordinem nescit pati. 

recte olim ineptum Delphicus suasit deus 

quaerentem, quisnam primus sapientum foret, 

ut in orbe tereti nominum sertum inderet, 80 

ne primus esset, ne vel imus quispiam. 

eorum e medio prodeo gyro Solon, 

ut, quod dixisse Croeso regi existimor, 

id omnis hominum secta sibi dictum putet. 

Graece coactum est opa reAog paKpov ftiov, 85 

quod longius fit, si Latine dixeris : 

spectare vitae iubeo cunctos terminum. 

proinde miseros aut beatos dicere 

evita, quod sunt semper ancipiti in statu. 

id adeo sic est. si queam, paucis loquar. 90 

1 fama, MSS. (and Peiper). 

1 Son of Cypselus and tyrant of Corinth, 625-585 B.C. 

2 Flourished 580 B.C. He and his daughter Cleobulina 
were also famous for their riddles. 

316 



THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 



TO irav, 'tis the saw of Periander the Corin- 
thian, 1 who considers that careful thought can 
achieve the whole. v Apiorov /xerpov, says Cleobulus 
of Lindos : 2 that is, "moderation is always best." 
But Thales produced eyyv'a, Trapa 8' ara 3 and forbids 
us to stand surety, because to be a bondsman is ruin. 
Money-lenders do not like us to give this advice. 

72 I have said my say : I will retire. Lawgiver 
Solon enters. 

IV. SOLON 

AFTER the Greek fashion I appear upon the stage, 
Solon, to whom among the Seven Sages the general 
voice has given the palm. But the general voice has 
not the strictness of the judgment-seat ; for I regard 
myself not as the first, but one of them, because 
equality cannot brook gradation. When a fool once 
asked who was the first among the Sages, well did 
the Delphic god advise him to fasten a slip bearing 
their names about a round ball, that no one should 
be first or last. From that circle's midst I, Solon, 
come forward, in order that that word, which it is 
thought I spake to Croesus, all the human race may 
regard as spoken to itself. In Greek 'tis tersely put 
opa reXos jjiaKpov /3iov, but becomes somewhat longer 
if rendered in your tongue : I bid all men watch 
life's end. Therefore avoid calling men wretched 
or happy, because they are always in an uncertain 
state. The case stands thus. If I can, I will speak 
briefly. 4 

3 "Give surety, but ruin is at hand": cp. Proverbs vi. 
Iff. 

4 This explains the cramped style of the following 
narrative. 

317 



AUSONIUS 

Rex an tyrannus Lydiae, Croesus, fuit 
his in beatis, dives insaiium in modum, 
lateribus aureis templa qui divis dabat. 
is me evocavit. venio dicto oboediens, 
meliore ut uti rege possint Lydii. 95 

rogat, beatum prodam, si quern noverim. 
Tellena dico civem lion ignobilem : 
pro patria pugnans iste vitam obiecerat. 
despexit, alium quaerit. inveni Aglaum : 
fines agelli proprii is numquam excesserat. 100 

at ille ridens : " Quo dein me ponis loco, 
beatus orbe toto qui solus voeor ? " 
"Spectandum" dico "terminum vitae prius : 
turn iudicandum, si manet felicitas." 
dictum moleste Croesus accepit : ego 105 

relinquo regem. bellum ille in Persas parat. 
profectus, victus, vinctus, regi deditus. 
stat ille, captaiis funeris iam instar sui, 
qua flamma totum se per ambitum dabat 
volvens in altum fumidos aestu globos. 110 

ac paene sero Croesus ingenti sono, 
" O vere vates," inquit, " O Solon, Solon ' " 
clamore magno ter Solon em nuncupat. 
qua voce Cyrus motus, extingui iubet 
gyrum per omnem et destrui ardentem pyram : 115 
et commodum profusus imber nubibus 
repressit ignem. Croesus ad regem illico 
per militarem ducitur lectam manum : 
interrogatur, quern Solonem diceret 
et quam ciendi causam haberet nominis ? 1 20 

seriem per omnem cuncta regi edisserit. 
miseratur ille vimque fortunae videns 
laudat Solonem : Croesum inde in amicis habet 



318 



THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

91 The king or despot of Lydia, Croesus, was one 
of these " happy " men, extravagantly rich, one who 
used to give the gods temples built of golden bricks. 1 
He summoned me abroad. I come, obeying his com- 
mand that so the Lydians may be able to enjoy a 
better king. He asks : let me name a happy man, 
if I know one. I speak of Telles, 2 no mean citizen : 
he had offered up his life fighting for his country. 
He scorned this man asks for another. I found one, 
Aglaus : 3 he had never gone outside the bounds of 
his little farm. But he asks, laughing : " In what 
place, then, do you put me, who alone am called 
happy by the whole world?" "We must behold," 
I answer, ee the end of life first : then we can judge 
if prosperity abides." Croesus took the saying 
badly : I leave the king. He plans war against the 
Persians. He marched, was beaten, bound, handed 
over to their king. He stands, trying to imagine his 
own end, while fire was spreading all round about 
and rolling aloft on its blast clouds of smoke. 
Almost too late, Croesus with a deep cry says : " O 
true seer ! O Solon, Solon ! " With a great clamour he 
calls on Solon thrice. Moved by this utterance Cyrus 
bids the encircling fire be put out and the blazing 
pyre pulled down ; and happily a shower, poured 
from the clouds, quenched the flames. Croesus is 
straightway led to the king by a picked band of 
soldiers : he is asked whom he meant by Solon, and 
what reason he had for calling his name aloud ? 
From first to last he relates all to the king. Cyrus 
feels pity, and seeing Fortune's power, praises Solon : 

1 See Herodotus, i. 50. Croesus sent 170 " bricks " of gold 
to Delphi. 

2 In Herodotus, i. 30, he is called Tellos. 

3 See Valerius Maximus, vii. i. 2. 

3*9 



AUSONIUS 

vinctumque pedicis aureis secum iubet, 

reliquum quod esset vitae, totum degere. 125 

ego duorum regum testimonio 

laudatus et probatus ambobus fui. 

quodque uni dictum est, quisque sibi dictum putet. 

Ego iam peregi, qua de causa hue prodii. 
venit ecce Chilon, vos valete et plaudite. 130 



V. CHILON 

LUMBI sedendo, oculi spectando dolent, 

manendo Solonem, quoad ad se se recipiat. 1 

hui, quam pauca, di, locuntur Attici ! 

unam trecentis versibus sententiam 

tandem peregit meque respectans abit. 135 

Spartanus ego sum Chilon, qui nunc prodeo. 
brevitate nota, qua Lacones utimur, 
commendo nostrum yvo>$i creavrov, nosce te, 
quod in columna iam teiietur Delphica. 
labor molestus iste fructi est optimi, 140 

quid ferre possis, quidve non, dinoscere ; 
noctu diuque, quae geras, quae gesseris, 
ad usque puncti tenuis instar quaerere. 2 
officia cuncta^ pudor, honoi% constantia 
in hoc, et ulla spreta nobis gloria. 145 

Dixi : valete memores. plausum non moror. 

1 A parody of Plautus, Men. 882 : lumbi sedendo, oculi 
spectando dolent Manendo medicum dum se ex opere re- 
cipiat : cp. also Terence, Phorm. 462 : ibo ad portum quoad 
se recipiat. 

2 cp. Ed. iii. 3, 7-8, 15-16. 

1 Probably an ironical allusion to 1. 87. 

2 Literally "to betake himself back to himself"; i.e. to 
remember what he is about and to retire. 

320 



THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

thereafter he counts Croesus among his friends, and 
bids him be bound with golden chains and spend 
with him all the rest of his life. Two kings bare 
witness in my praise, and both proved me right. 
And what was said to one, that let each consider 
spoken to himself. 

129 Now I have finished that for which I came 
forward here. Look ! Chilon is coming. Fare ye 
well and applaud. 

V. CHILON 

" MY loins ache with sitting, my eyes with watch- 
ing, 1 while I waited" for Solon "to come to him- 
self." 2 Good Lord ! What " brief speaking " 3 these 
Athenians use ! When at last he has finished off a 
single saw in heaven knows how many lines, he 
goes off looking back at me regretfully. 

ISM I W 1 10 now come on am Spartan Chilon. With 
that well-known curtness which we Laconians use I 
recommend my yv<S0t o-eavroV, " know thyself," which 
is still preserved on a column at Delphi. 4 That 
irksome toil produces most excellent fruit to dis- 
tinguish what you can endure and what you cannot ; 
by night and day to examine what you are doing, 
what you have done, down to the smallest atom. 5 
All virtues self-respect, honour, fortitude lie in 
this, as well as any noble trait I have passed by. 

14(5 I have done : farewell, be thoughtful. I do 
not wait for applause. 

3 A sarcastic reference to Solon's promise in I. 90. 

4 Pausanias (x. xxiv. 1) mentions a tradition that the 
Seven Sages dedicated to Apollo at Delphi the maxims 
yvS>Qi asavrov and /u.r)$ev &yav. 

5 Literally "down to the likeness of a tiny point": 
cp. Eclogues, iii. 3. 

321 
VOL I. Y 






AUSONIUS 

VI. CLEOBULUS 

CLEOBULUS ego sum, parvae civis insulae, 

magnae sed auctor, qua duo, sententiae : 

apurrov fj-frpov quern dixisse existimant. 

interpretare tu, qui orchestrae proximus 150 

gradibus propinquis in quatuordecim sedes : 

apLo-Tov ptrpov an sit optimus modus, 

die ! adnuisti ? gratiam habeo. persequar 

per ordinem. iam dixit ex isto loco 

Afer poeta vester "ut ne quid nimis," l 155 

et noster quidam /x^Sev a-yav.' 2 hue pertinet 

uterque sensus, Italus seu Dorius. 

fandi, tacendi, somni, vigilii is modus, 

beneficiorum, gratiarum, iniuriae, 

studii, laborum : vita in omni quidquid est, 1 60 

istum requirit optimae pausae modum. 

Dixi : recedam. sit modus, venit Thales. 



VII. THALES 

MILESIUS sum Thales, aquam qui principem 
rebus creandis 3 dixi, ut vates Pindarus, 4 
[cuique olim iussu Apollinis tripodem aureum 5 ] 
dedere piscatores extractum mari ; 165 

namque hi iubente Delio me legerant, 
quod ille munus hoc sapienti miserat. 

1 Terence, Andria 61. 2 Eur. HippoL 264 f. 

3 cp. Diog. Laert. I. i. 6 : Q-pxfa ^e ruv iravruv vSwp 



4 Olymp. i. 1. 5 Suppl. Scaliger. 



1 Literally "the fourteen seats"; i.e. the first fourteen 
rows of seats in the theatre behind those reserved for niagis- 

322 



THE* MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

VI. CLEOBULUS 

I AM Cleobulus, native of a small island, but author 
of a great saying which makes me famous he whom 
they believe to have said apio-rov pirpov. Translate 
please, you who sit next the orchestra in the 
stalls close by : l is riot apio-rov //.eY/oov ." modera- 
tion is best" ? Come, tell me ! You nodded? Thank 
you. I will go on to the next point. Your African 
poet 2 has already said from this stage "do nothing 
overmuch/' and one of my own countrymen 3 says 
fjLYjfev ayav. Both maxims, Latin and Greek, bear on 
our purpose. 'Tis moderation in speech, in silence, 
in slumber, in watching, in benefits, in gratitude, in 
wrongs, in study, in toil. Whatever our whole life 
can show demands this moderation, which is timely 
cessation. 

162 I have said my say: I will go off. Let us be 
moderate ! Thales is coming. 



VII. THALES 

MILESIAN Thales I, who declared that water was 
the prime element in nature, as did the poet Pindar, 
and to whom at Apollo's command fishermen once 
gave the golden tripod dredged up from the sea ; 4 
for they had chosen me at the behest of the Delian 
god, because he had sent this gift to the Wise One. 

trates, which in B.C. 67 were appropriated to the equites. 
See Suet. Julius, xxxix. 

2 Terence, who was said to have been born at Carthage. 

3 Euripides. (See note on Text.) 

4 For this anecdote see Valerius Maximus, iv. 1, ext. 7 : 
Diog. Laert. (i. i. 7) makes Solon dedicate the tripod to 
Apollo. 

323 
Y 2 



AUSONIUS 

ego recusans non recepi et reddidi 

ferendum ad alios, quos priores crederem. 

dein per omnes septem sapientes viros 170 

missum ac remissum rursus ad me deferunt. 

ego receptum consecravi Apollini ; 

nam si sapientem deligi Phoebus iubet, 

non hominem quemquam, set deum credi decet. 

Is igitur ego sum. causa set in scaenam fuit 175 
mihi prodeundi, quae duobus ante me, 
adsertor ut sententiae fierem meae. 
ea displicebit, non tamen prudentibus, 
quos docuit usus et peritos reddidit. 
en eyym, Trdpa 8' ara. graece dicimus : 1 80 

Latinum est, sponde, noxa set praesto tibi. 
per mille possem currere exempla, ut probem 
praedes vadesque paenitudinis reos. 
sed nolo quemquam nominatim dicere : 
sibi quisque vestrum dicat et secum putet, 185 

spondere quantis damno fuerit et malo. 
gratum hoc officium maneat ambobus tamen. 

Pars plaudite ergo, pars offensi explodite. 



VIII. BIAS 

BIAS Prieneus [quod J ] dixi ot TrAeio-Toi KO.KOI, 

Latine dictum suspicor : plures mali. 190 

dixisse nollem ; veritas odium parit. 2 

malos sed imperitos dixi et barbaros, 

qui ius et aequum et sacros mores neglegunt. 

nam populus iste, quo theatrum cingitur, 

totus bonorum est. hostium tellus habet, 195 

1 Suppl. Peiper. 

2 Terence, Andr. 68 : obsequium amicos, veritas odium 
parit. 

324 



THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

I declined and did not accept it, returning it to be 
taken to others such as I deemed more eminent. 
Then, when to each of the Seven Sages it had been 
sent and sent back, they brought it again to me. I 
accepted and dedicated it to Apollo ; for if Phoebus 
bids the Wise One be chosen, 'tis fitting to believe 
that not any man but a god is meant. 

175 That man, then, am I. But the reason for 
my appearing on the stage, as with the two who 
have preceded me, is to become the champion of 
my own maxim. It will offend some, but not those 
canny ones who have learned from experience and 
have been made worldly-wise. Well, e'yym, Trdpa 
8' ara, we say in Greek: in your language, "Be 
a surety, but Ruin stands near you. 1 " I could run 
over a thousand instances to prove that those who 
give bond or bail appear at the bar of regret. But 
I do not care to mention anyone by name : let 
each of you mention such to himself and reflect how 
many have suffered loss and harm by standing surety. 
Yet may both parties still find pleasure in this service ! 

188 Clap, then, some of you ; the rest, affronted, 
hiss me off the stage. 

VIII. BIAS 

I AM Bias of Priene, and my saying ot TrXelcrrot KO.KOI 
I fancy you would render "most men are bad." I 
could wish I had never said it; "truth breeds hatred." 
But by the "bad" I meant uncultured men and 
savages, who disregard right and equity and hallowed 
customs. For this throng filling the circle of the 
theatre is of good men all. It is your enemies' 

1 cp. Proverbts, xi. 15: "He that is surety . . . shall 
smart for it." 

325 



AUSONIUS 

dixisse quos me creditis, plures malos. 
sed nemo quisquam tarn malus iudex fuat, 
quin iam bonorum partibus se copulet, 
sive ille vere bonus est, seu dici studet. 
iam fugit illud nomen invisum mail. 200 

Abeo. valete et plaudite, plures boni. 1 



IX. PITTACUS 

MYTILENA ego ortus Pittacus sum Lesbius, 

ytVo><rK Kaipov qui docui sententiam. 

set iste Kaipos, tempus ut noris, monet 

et esse Kaipov, tempestivum quod vocaiit. 205 

Romana sic et est vox : veni in tempore. 2 

vester quoque iste comicus Terentius 

rerum omnium esse primum tempus autumat, 

ad Antiphilam quom venerat servus Dromo 3 

nullo inpeditam, temporis servans vicem. 210 

reputate cuncti, quotiens offensam incidat, 

spectata cui noil fuerit opportuiiitas. 

Tempus monet, ne sim molestus. plaudite. 



X. PERIANDER 

EPHYRA creatus hue Periaiider prodeo, 

fjieXerr) TO TTO.V qui dixi et dictum iam probo, 215 

meditationis esse., quod recte geras. 

is quippe solus rei gerendae est efficax, 

meditatur omne qui prius negotium. 

1 cp. Plautus, Capt. Prologue, 67 : abeo. valete, indices 
iustissimi. 

2 Terence, Andr. 758. 

326 



THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

country that contains those of whom you think I 
spoke, "the many bad." But no one would be so 
bad a judge as not to attach himself to the side of 
the good, whether he is really good or anxious to be 
so called. So now that hated epithet " the bad " 
takes flight. 

201 I must move off. Farewell and applaud, you 
who "most are good." 

IX. PITTACUS 

BORN at Mitylene, I am Lesbian Pittacus who 
taught the saying ytyvooo-KC Katpov. But this KCU/DOS 
advises you to know the time, and that Kcupds is 
what is called the timely time. Your own word too 
has the same sense, as : "I am come in time." Your 
comic poet also, Terence, speaks of time as the most 
important of all things, when the slave Dromo was 
come to Antiphila choosing the right time, when she 
was disengaged. Reflect, all of you, how often a 
man gets into trouble who has not watched for the 
right opportunity. 

213 Time warns me not to be wearisome. Give me 
your applause. 

X. PERIANDER 

A SON of Ephyra, I come forward on this stage, 
Periander, who said /xcA-eV?? TO TTO.V, and now I make 
good my saying that to do aught rightly needs careful 
thought. For he alone succeeds in any business who 
first ponders the whole matter. Whether things go 



3 See Terence, Heaut. 364 : in tempore ad eum veni, quod 
rerum omniumst primum. 

327 



AUSONIUS 

adversa rerum vel secunda praedicat 

meditanda cunctis comicus Terentius. 1 220 

locare sedes, bellum gerere aut ponere, 

magnas modicasque res, etiam parvas quoque 

agere volentem semper meditari decet. 

nam segniores omnes in coeptis novis, 

meditatio si rei gerendae defuit. 225 

nil est, quod ampliorem curam postulet, 

quam cogitare, quid gerendum sit. dehinc 

incogitantes fors, non consilium regit. 

Sed ego me ad partes iam recipio. plaudite, 
meditando et vestram rem curetis publicam. 230 

1 Phormio, 241 f. : quom secundae res sunt maxume, turn 
maxume Meditar secum oportet quo pacto advorsam aerum- 
nam ferant. 



328 



THE MASQUE OF THE SEVEN SAGES 

well or ill so Terence the comedian declares every 
one should take careful thought. When you want 
to let a house, to carry on war or to end it, to tran- 
sact affairs of great, less, or least importance, you 
always ought to think carefully. For in new enter- 
prises everyone makes slow progress if careful thought 
is wanting to his action. There is nothing which can 
demand greater attention than to think what ought 
to be done. Therefore 'tis chance, not design, which 
governs the unreflecting. 

229 But now I must rejoin my fellow-characters. 
Applaud, and take thought while you manage your 
state affairs. 



329 



LIBER XIV 
AUSONII DE XII CAESARIBUS 

PER 

SUETONIUM TRANQUILLUM SCRIPTIS 

[MONOSTICHA] 

I. AUSONIUS HESPERIO FILIO S. D. 

CAESAREOS proceres, in quorum regna secundis 

consulibus dudum Romana potentia cessit, 

accipe bis senos. sua quemque monosticha signant, 

quorum per plenam seriem Suetonius olim 

nomina, res gestas vitamque obitumque peregit. 5 

II. MONOSTICHA DE ORDINE IMPERATORUM 

PRIMUS regalem patefecit lulius aulam 
Caesar et Augusto nomen transcripsit et arcem. 
privignus post hunc regnat Nero Claudius, a quo 
Caesar, cognomen caligae cui castra dederunt. 
Claudius hinc potitur regno. post quern Nero saevus, 5 
ultimus Aeneadum. post hunc tres, nee tribus annis : 

1 i.e. Gaius Caesar, nicknamed Caligula : see Suet. Cal. ix.; 
Tac. Ann. i. xli. 69. 

33 



BOOK XIV 
AUSONIUS ON THE TWELVE CAESARS 

WHOSE LIVES WERE 

WRITTEN BY SUETONIUS TRANQUILLUS 

IN SINGLE VERSES 

I t AUSONIUS TO HIS SON HESPERIUS SENDS GREETING 

HERE take the twice six Caesars into whose sove- 
reignty the sway of Rome passed long ago, leaving 
the consuls second in authority. A single verse here 
records each of those emperors of whom through 
all their array Suetonius once detailed the names, 
the deeds, the lives and deaths. 

II. SINGLE VERSES ON THE SUCCESSION OF 
THE EMPERORS 

Julius Caesar first opened a royal court and to 
Augustus bequeathed his name and stronghold. After 
him his stepson, Nero Claudius (Tiberius) reigned, 
and next Caesar whom the troops nicknamed after 
the soldier's boot. 1 Then Claudius gained the throne. 
Cruel Nero followed him, last of the sons of Aeneas. 2 
Then three emperors in scarce three years : aged 

2 Nero was the last of the Julian Dynasty which claimed 
descent from Aeneas. 

331 



AUSONIUS 

Galba senex, frustra socio confisus inerti ; 

mollis Otho, infami per luxum degener aevo 

nee regno dignus nee morte Vitellius ut vir. 

his decimus fatoque accitus V espasianus 10 

et Titus imperil felix brevitate. secutus 

frater, quern calvum dixit sua Roma Neronem. 1 



III. DE AETATE IMPERII EORUM MONOSTICHA 

Julius, ut perhibent, divus trieteride regnat. 
Augustus post lustra decem sex prorogat annos, 
et ter septenis geminos Nero Claudius addit. 
tertia finit hiems grassantia tempora Gai. 
Claudius hebdomadam duplicem traliit et Nero dirus 5 
tantundem, summae consul sed defuit unus. 
Galba senex, Otho lascive, famose Vitelli, 
tertia vos Latio regnantes nesciit aestas, 2 

***** 
implet fatalem decadam sibi Vespasianus. 10 

ter dominante Tito cingit nova laurea lanum : 
quindecies, saevis potitur dum 3 frater habenis. 



IV. DE OBITU SINGULORUM MONOSTICHA 

Julius inter lit Caesar grassante senatu. 
addidit Augustum divis matura senectus. 
sera senex Capreis exul Nero fata peregit. 
expetiit poenas de Caesare Chaerea mollis. 

1 cp. Juv. Sat. iv. 38 : calvo serviret Roma Neroni. 

2 cp. Virgil, Aen. i.: tertia dum Latio regnantem viderit 
aestas. 3 MSS. : turn, Peiper. 

332 



THE TWELVE CAESARS 

Galba, vainly reliant 011 his slothful partner ; effemi- 
nate Otho, degraded by a life made notorious by vice ; 
Vitellius, as unworthy of the throne as unmanly in 
his death. Fate summoned Vespasian to make the 
tenth, and Titus, blessed in his,, brief reign. His 
brother 1 following was called "the bald Nero" by 
his subject Rome. 



III. SINGLE VERSES ON THE LENGTH OF THEIR REIGNS 

Julius the Divine, 'tis said, reigned three years. 
Augustus after ten lustres prolonged his rule for six 
years, and to thrice seven years Nero Claudius (Tibe- 
rius) added two. The third winter ended the bloody 
days of Gains. Claudius dragged out a double span 
of seven years, and frightful Nero's total was as great, 
save that one consulship was lacking. Old Galba, 
profligate Otho, ill-famed Vitellius, a third summer 
knew not your rule in Latium . . . Vespasian lived 
out the full decade of his destiny. Thrice under 
Titus' sway was Janus wreathed with fresh laurels, 
fifteen times while his brother held the reins of 
cruelty. 



IV. SINGLE VERSES ON THE DEATH OF EACH OF THEM 

Julius Caesar perished under the daggers of the 
Senate. Ripe old age added Augustus to the number 
of the gods. In his retreat at Capri old Nero (Ti- 
berius) ended his life at last. Effeminate Chaerea 
wreaked vengeance on (Gaius) Caesar. Claudius met 

1 sc. Domitian : on his baldness, see Suet. Dom. xviii. 

333 



AUSONIUS 

Claudius ambiguo conclusit fata veneno. 5 

matricida Nero proprii vim pertulit ensis. 
Galba senex periit saevo prostratus Othone. 
mox Otho famosus, clara set morte potitus. 
prodiga succedunt perimendi sceptra Vitelli. 
laudatum imperium, mors lenis Vespasiano. 10 

at Titus, orbis amor, rapitur florentibus annis. 
sera gravem perimunt, sed iusta piacula fratrem. 



TETRASTICHA 1 

NUNC et praedictos et regni sorte sequentes 

expediam, series quos tenet imperii. 
incipiam ab divo percurramque ordine cunctos, 

novi Romanae quos memor historiae. 

I. IULIUS CAESAR 

IMPERIUM, binis fuerat sollemne quod olim 5 

consulibus, Caesar lulius optinuit. 
set breve ius regni, sola trieteride gestum : 

perculit armatae factio saeva togae. 

II. OCTAVIUS AUGUSTUS 

ULTOR successorque dehinc Octavius, idem 

Caesar et Augusti nomine nobilior. 10 

1 This series is found only in V and allied MSS. repre- 
senting the second edition. 

1 Suetonius regards his death as certainly due to poison, 
but states that it was not known where or by whom it was 
administered. The popular belief was that he died through 
eating mushrooms : cp. Juv. Sat. v. 146 f. : ancipites fungi 
. . . quales Claudius edit. Ambiguo therefore alludes to the 
doubtful quality of the mushrooms. 

334 



THE TWELVE CAESARS 

his end through poison in doubtful circumstances. 1 
Aero, his mother's slayer, felt the point of his own 
sword. Old Galba died, o'erthrown by ruthless Otho. 
Soon ill-famed Otho perished, but won a glorious end. 
Then came the wasteful reign of Vitellius, doomed to 
be massacred. Vespasian s rule was praised, his death 
was easy. But Titus, the world's darling, was" snatched 
away in the flower of life. Late but righteous venge- 
ance destroyed his tyrannous brother. 

QUATRAINS 

Now I will tell both of those already mentioned 
and of those who, following them upon the throne, 
fill up the list of Empire. 2 I will begin with the 
divine 3 and run in sequence over all those princes 
whom I know, mindful of Roman history. 

I. JULIUS CAESAR 

THAT command which once had been the yearly 
privilege of consuls twain, Julius Caesar grasped. 
But brief was his kingly sway, wielded for but three 
years : ruthless conspiracy of citizens in arms struck 
it down. 

II. OCTAVIUS AUGUSTUS 

NEXT came Octavius, a successor and avenger, he 
too called Caesar, and under the title of Augustus 

2 This promise was never fulfilled, or the latter part of the 
work has been lost, Heliogabalus being the last Emperor 
commemorated. 

? i.e. from " divus Julius": cp. Caemres (Monosticha), 
iii. 1. But doubtless Ausonius is also thinking of the conven- 
tional invocation prefixed to poetic efforts : cp. Virgil, Ed. 
iii. 60 : ab love principium. 

335 



AUSONIUS 

longaeva et numquam dubiis violata potestas 
in terris positum prodidit esse deum. 



III. TIBERIUS NERO 

PRAENOMEN Tiber! nanctus Nero prima iuventae 

tempora laudato gessit in imperio. 
frustra dehinc solo Caprearum clausus in antro, 15 

quae prodit vitiis, credit operta locis. 



IV. CAESAR CALIGULA 

POST hunc castrensi caligae cognomine l Caesar 

successit saevo saevior ingenio, 
caedibus incestisque dehinc maculosus et omiii 

crimine pollutum qui superavit avum. 20 



V. CLAUDIUS CAESAR 

CLAUDIUS inrisae privato in tempore vitae, 
in regno specimen prodidit ingenii. 

libertina tamen nuptarum et crimina passus 
non faciendo nocens, set patiendo fuit. 



VI. NERO 

AENEADUM generis qui sextus et ultimus heres, 25 

polluit et clausit lulia sacra Nero, 
nomina quot pietas, tot habet quoque crimina vitae. 

disce ex Tranquillo : set meminisse piget. 

1 Suet. Caliy. ix.: Caligulae cognomen castrensi ioco traxi 
quia manipulorum habitu inter milites educabatur. 

336 



THE TWELVE CAESARS 

more illustrious still. His sway, long-lived and by 
danger never outraged, revealed him as a god placed 
upon earth. 

III. TIBERIUS NERO 

NERO, who also bore the first-name Tiberius, in the 
early season of his youth ruled with applause. Vainly 
thenceforth secluded in his cave on Capri, he fancies 
place can conceal what vice betrays. 



IV. CAESAR CALIGULA 

AFTER him, nicknamed after the soldier's boot 
Caesar succeeded more cruel than that master of 
cruelty, with murders and incest thenceforth stained, 
and one who went farther than his grandfather 
besmirched with every vice. 

V. CLAUDIUS CAESAR 

CLAUDIUS, flouted in his private life, as emperor 
showed a pattern of ability. Even though he suf- 
fered his freedmen's and his wife's enormities, his 
guilt lay not in performance but in sufferance. 

VI. NERO 

SIXTH and last heir of Aeneas' race, Nero defiled 
and ended the rites of the Julian family. For every 
name that natural kinship bears, his life also shows a 
sin. Read them in Tranquillus : but to recall them 
disgusts. 



337 

VOL. I. Z 



AUSONIUS 

VII. GALBA 

SPE frustrate senex, privatus sceptra merer! 

visus et l imperio proditus inferior, 2 30 

fama tibi melior iuveni ; set iustior ordo est 

conplacuisse dehinc, displicuisse prius. 

VIII. OTHO 

AEMULA pollute gesturus sceptra Neroni 

obruitur celeri raptus Otho exitio. 
fine tamen laudandus erit, qui morte decora 35 

hoc solum fecit nobile, quod periit. 

IX. VITELLIUS 

VITA ferox, mors foeda tibi, nee digne, Vitelli, 
qui fieres Caesar : sic sibi fata placent. 

umbra tamen brevis imperii ; quia praemia regni 
saepe indignus adit, non nisi dignus habet. 40 

X. VESPASIANUS 

QUAERENDI adteiitus, moderate commodus usu, 3 

auget nee reprimit Vespasianus opes, 
olim qui dubiam private in tempore famam, 

rarum aliis, princeps transtulit in melius. 4 

1 V: es, Peiper. 

2 cp. Tac. Hist. i. 49 : maior private visus dum privatus 
fuit, et omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset. 

3 cp. Suet. Vesp. xvi. : male partis optime usus est. 

4 cp. Suet. Titus i. : ... quod difficillimum est in imperio, 

33* 



THE TWELVE CAESARS 



VII. GALBA 

OLD man, deceptive in thy promise, who, un- 
crowned, seemed worthy to wield the sceptre, and 
by empire wast revealed incompetent, higher was 
thy repute in youth ; yet 'tis a fitter order to satisfy 
men later, to dissatisfy them earlier. 

VIII. OTHO 

LIKE to wield a sceptre vying with unclean Nero, 
Otho is cut off and o'erwhelmed by swift destruc- 
tion. Yet for his end shall he be deserving praise, 
who by an honourable death did this one noble 
deed he died. 1 

IX. VITELLIUS 

BRUTAL your life and base your death, nor were 
you worthy, Vitellius, to become Caesar ; 'tis but the 
Fates' whim. Howbeit, 'twas a passing shadow of 
empire ; for the unworthy often approach the prize 
of sovereignty : none but the worthy hold them. 



X. VESPASIAN 

SET upon gathering, in reasonable spending gene- 
rous, Vespasian increased his wealth, not straitened 
it ; once in his uncrowned days bearing a blemished 
name, 2 as prince rare act ! he changed it for the 
better. 

1 cp. Macbeth, i. iv. 7 f. 

2 According to Suetonius ( Vesp. iv.), Vespasian was guilty 
of levying blackmail. 

quando privatus . . . ne odio quidem nedum vituperatione 
caruit. 

339 
z 2 



AUSONIUS 

XL TITUS 

FELIX imperio, felix brevitate regendi, 45 

expers civilis sanguinis, orbis amor. 1 
unum dixisti moriens te crimen habere ; 2 

set nulli de te, nee tibi credidimus. 



XII. DOMITIANUS 

HACTENUS edideras dominos, gens Flavia, iustos. 

cur duo quae dederant, tertius eripuit ? 50 

vix tanti est habuisse illos, quia dona boiiorum 

sunt brevia ; aeternum, quae nocuere, dolent. 



DE CAESARIBUS POST TRANQUILLUM 
TETRASTICHA 

XIII. NERVA 

PROXIMUS extincto moderatur sceptra tyraiino 
Nerva senex, princeps nomine, mente parens. 

nulla viro suboles ; imitatur adoptio prolem, 55 

quam legisse iuvat, quam genuisse velit. 

1 cp. Suet. Titus i. : Titus . . . amor ac deliciae generis 
humani. 

2 cp. id. x. : neque enim extare ullum suum factum paeni- 
tendum dumtaxat uno. 

1 See Suet. Titus, ix., who reports that Titus "declared 
that henceforth he would be neither the principal nor 

340 



THE TWELVE CAESARS 

XL TITUS 

HAPPY in thy sway, happy in the shortness of thy 
reign, guiltless of thy country's blood, 1 the world's 
darling, thou ! Dying, thou saidst one only fault 2 
was thine ; but we believe none speaking thus of 
thee not even thee thyself. 



XII. DOMITIAN 

So far thou hadst brought forth righteous princes, 
House of the Flavians. Why did the third snatch 
that away which the two had given ? Scarce is it 
worth the price to have possessed those, for good 
men's gifts are passing; injuries once done rankle 
for ever. 3 



QUATRAINS ON THE CAESARS AFTER THE 
AGE OF TRANQUILLUS 

XIII. NERVA 

THE tyrant destroyed, old Nerva next wields the 
sceptre a prince in name, in heart a father. Child- 
less is he ; adoption gives him offspring's substitute 
one whose choice delights him, whose birth he 
fain would own. 

accessory in the death of any man, vowing that he would 
perish himself rather than destroy anyone." 

2 According to Suet. Titus, x., "Titus did not himself 
reveal its nature, nor can anyone easily conjecture it." 

3 cp. Julius Caesar, in. ii. 81 f. : 

" The evil that men do lives after them : 
The good is oft interred with their bones." 

341 



AUSONIUS 

XIV. TRAIANUS 

ADGREDITUR regimen viridi Traianus in aevo, 
belli laude prior, cetera patris habens. 

hie quoque prole carens sociat sibi sorte legendi, 
quern fateare bonum, diffiteare parem. 60 

XV. HADRIANUS 
AELIUS hinc subiit mediis praesignis in actis : 

principia et finem fama iiotat gravior. 
orbus et hie : cui iunctus erit documenta daturus, 1 

adsciti quantum praemineant genitis. 

XVI. ANTONINUS Pius 
ANTONINUS abhinc regimen capit ille vocatu 65 

consultisque Pius, nomen habens meriti. 
films huic fato nullus ; set lege su'orum 

a patria sumpsit, qui regeret patriam. 

XVII. M. ANTONINUS 
POST Marco tutela datui% qui scita Platonis 

flexit ad imperium patre Pio melior. 70 

successore suo moriens, set priiicipe pravo, 

hoc solo patriae, quod genuit, nocuit. 

1 V '. sociansque virum . . . daturum, Z. 

1 The reference is to the execution of Nigrinus and four 
other consulares early in Hadrian's principate, and of Severi- 
anus and others suspected as likely to succeed him during 
his last years : see Spartianus, Hadr. vii. , xxii. 

2 Capitolinus, Ant. ii., says he was accorded this title by 
the Senate because in its presence he supported his aged 

342 



THE TWELVE CAESARS 

XIV. TRAJAN 

TRAJAN comes to the throne in life's prime, for 

war's renown more eminent, for all else like his 

father. He also, lacking offspring, takes for his 

partner by hazard of choice such an one as we 
allow worthy, but disallow as equal. 

XV. HADRIAN 

THEN Aelius succeeded, highly distinguished for 
the deeds of his mid-reign : repute more sinister 
marks its beginning and its end. 1 He, too, is child- 
less : with him shall be linked one to give proof 
how far adopted sons can excel the natural-born. 

XVI. ANTONINUS Pius 

THEREAFTER that Antoninus receives the sway, 
who by general voice and by decree was called Pius, 2 
bearing a title which proclaims his worth. Fate 
gives him no son ; but after the custom of his house 
he took from his country one to rule his country. 

XVII. M. ANTONINUS 

NEXT, charge of the state is given to Marcus, who, 
nobler than his father Pius, applied Plato's maxims 3 
to the task of empire. Dying with a natural heir 
but an abandoned prince, the only wrong he did his 
country was to have had a son. 

father-in-law ; but many alternative reasons are suggested by 
the same writer. 

3 cp. Capitolinus, M. Antoninus, xxvii. 7 : sententia 
Platonis semper in ore illius fuit florere civitates si aut 
philosophi imperarent aut imperantes philosopharentur ; see 
Plato, Republic, 473 D. 

343 



AUSONIUS 

XVIII. COMMODUS 

COMMODUS insequitur, pugnis maculosus harenae, 
Thraecidico princeps bella movens gladio. 

eliso tandem persolvens gutture poenas, 75 

criminibus fassus matris adulterium. 

XIX. HELVIUS PERTINAX 

HELVI, iudicio et consulto lecte senati, 
princeps decretis prodite, non studiis. 

quod doluit male fida cohors, errore probato, 

curia quod castris cesserat imperio. 80 

XX. DIDIUS IULIANUS 

Di bene, quod sceptri Didius non gaudet opimis 

et cito periuro praemia adempta seiii. 
tuque, Severe pater, titulum ne horresce iiovantis : 

non rapit imperium vis tua, sed recipit. 

XXI. SEVERUS PERTINAX 

IMPIGER egelido movet arma Severus ab Histro, 85 

ut parricidae regna adimat Didio. 
Punica origo illi ; set qui virtute probaret 

non obstare locum, cum valet ingenium. 

1 Commodus did not fight in the arena as a Thracx, but as 
a Thracian Amazon. For this reason he was nicknamed 
Amazonius : see Lampridius, Commodus, xii. 9 ff. 

2 He was strangled by the athlete Narcissus at the instance 
of one of his mistresses. 

3 sc. Faustina the Younger. Commodus was believed to 
be the offspring of a gladiator : see Capitolinus, M. Ant. xix. 

344 



THE TWELVE CAESARS 

XVIII. COMMODUS 

COMMODUS follows next, disgraced by his battles in 
the arena, a prince who made war with the Thracian 
sword. 1 Strangled, 2 he paid full penalty at last, 
when by his crimes he had revealed his mother's 
unfaithfulness. 3 

XIX. HELVIUS PERTINAX 

HELVIUS, chosen by the Senate's verdict and de- 
cree, 4 a prince proclaimed by statute, not by favour, 
thou! This angered the treacherous bodyguard, 
once their delusion was made plain, for the Senate 
had yielded place to the army in authority. 5 

XX. DIDIUS JULIANUS 

THANK heaven that Didius has no joy of the fruits 
ot sovereignty, and that its prizes soon were snatched 
from that false 6 old man ! And thou, father Severus, 
dread not the title of usurper: your arms do not 
seize the empire, but receive it. 

XXI. SEVERUS PERTINAX 

UNWEARYING, Severus marches from chill Ister to 
wrest the sovereignty from Didius the parricide. 
Punic 7 by birth was he, yet such as to prove by 
manliness that place is no bar when native power 
is strong. 

4 cp. Capitolinus, Pertinax, vi. : suscipere se etiam im- 
perium a senatu dixit. 

5 Pertinax was murdered by the Praetorian guards, who 
set up Didius Julianus in his place. 

6 Didius, by accepting the empire, showed himself lacking 
in loyalty to his predecessor Pertinax. 

7 According to Spartianus (Severus, x. ), Severus was a 
native of Leptis (N. Africa). 

345 



AUSONIUS 

XXII. BASSIANUS ANTONINUS SIVE CARACALLA 

DISSIMILIS virtute patri et multo magis illi, 

cuius adoptive nomine te perhibes, 90 

fratris morte nocens, punitus fine cruento, 
inrisu populi tu Caracalla magis. 

XXIII. OPILIUS MACRINUS 

PRINCIPIS hinc custos sumptum pro Caesare ferrum 
vertit in auctorem caede Macrinus iners. 

mox cum prole ruit. gravibus pulsare querellis 95 
cesset perfidiam : quae patitur, meruit. 

XXIV. ANTONINUS HELIOGABALUS 

TUNE etiam Augustae sedis penetralia foedas, 

Antoninorum nomina falsa gerens, 
[quo nunquam neque turpe magis neque foedius ullum 

monstrum Romano sedit in imperio? *] 100 

1 LI. 99-100 are recorded by Dousa. 

1 Severus. 

2 Antoninus Pius (Caracalla also assumed the title Pius). 

3 Geta Caesar, put to death 212 A.D. 



346 



THE TWELVE CAESARS 



XXII. BASSIANUS ANTONINUS OR CARACALLA 

UNLIKE thy father 1 in manliness, and still less like 
him 2 by whose usurped name thou dost style thyself 
thou, guilty of thy brother's death 3 and punished 
with a bloody end, to thy jeering people art rather 
Caracalla. 4 

XXIII. OPILIUS MACRINUS 

NEXT Macrinus, the prince's guard, turns the sword 
he wore for Caesar's sake against him who gave it 
even in murder sluggish. 5 Soon with his son 6 is 
he o'erthrown. Let him cease to assail treachery 
with sore complaints : what he suffers he deserved. 



XXIV. ANTONINUS HELIOGABALUS 

DOST thou also defile the sanctuary of the Augustan 
palace, falsely bearing the name of the Antonines 7 
thou, than whom no fouler or more filthy monster 
ever filled the imperial throne of Rome ? 

4 From the hooded Gaulish overall affected by Caracalla : 
see Spartianus, Carac. ix. 

6 Probably because Macrinus did not commit the murder 
himself, but through Martial, Caracalla's groom. 

6 Antoninus Diadumenus. 

7 cp. Lampridius, Hdiogab. ii. : . . . quamvis sanctum illud 
Antoninorum nomen polluerit. 



347 



LIBER XV 
[LIBRI DE FASTIS] CONCLUSIO 

I. AUSONIUS HESPERIO FILIO SAL J 

(Consulari Libro subiciendi quern ego ex cunctis Con- 
sulibus unum coegi. Gregorio ex Praef. 2 ) 

IGNOTA aeternae ne sint tibi tempora Romae, 

regibus et patrum ducta sub imperils, 
digessi fastos et nomina praepetis aevi, 

sparsa iacent Latiam si qua per historiam. 
sit tuus hie fructus, vigilatas accipe noctes : 5 

obsequitur studio nostra lucerna tuo. 
tu quoque ventures per longum consere lanos, 

ut mea digessit pagina praeteritos. 
exemplum iam patris habes, ut protinus 3 et te 

adgreget 4 Ausoniis purpura consulibus. 10 

1 Conclusio . . . sal. This heading is found only in V. 

2 So M (in place of the title read in V}. Peiper transfers 
this heading to iv. 

3 V ' exemplo confide meo : sic protinus, Z. 

4 V: applicet, Z. 

348 



BOOK XV 
CONCLUSION OF THE BOOK OF ANNALS 

I. AUSONIUS TO HIS SON HESPERIUS, GREETING 

( To be appended to my Book of the Consuls, where I 

have compressed into a single volume the names of all 

the Consuls. To Gregorius, formerly Prefect.} l 

THAT not unknown to you may be the ages which 
eternal Rome has passed under the sway of Princes 
and of Senate, I have compiled these Annals, gather- 
ing the names which Time in his swift career has left 
scattered along the path of Latin history. Be yours 
this fruit, take the produce of my night-watches : 
my midnight oil burns in the service of your delight. 
Do you, too, through a long life link together New 
Years yet to come, as my page has set in order those 
gone by. Even now the example of your father bids 
you also win forthwith the purple robe and join the 
company of Ausonian 2 Consuls. 

1 The existence of these alternative titles shows that 
Ausonius "dedicated" this book twice over, and the fact 
that each occurs in one of the two main groups of MSS. has 
an important bearing on the textual tradition of Ausonius. 
See Introduction. 

2 The epithet, of course, bears a double meaning. 

349 



AUSONIUS 

II. SUPPUTATIO AB URBE CONDITA IN CONSULATUM 
NOSTRUM 1 

ANNIS undecies centum coniunge quaternos, 
undecies unumque super trieterida necte. 
haec erit aeternae series ab origine Romae. 

III. IN FINE EIUSDEM LIBRI Aooin 2 

HACTENUS adscripsi fastos. si sors volet, ultra 

adiciam : si non, qui legis, adicies. 
scire cupis, qui sim ? titulum, qui quartus ab imo est, 

quaere : leges nomen consulis Ausonii. 

IV. DE EooEM 3 

URBIS ab aeternae deductam rege Quirino 
annorum seriem cum, Procule, accipies, 

mille annos centumque et bis fluxisse noveiios 
consulis Ausonii nomen ad usque leges. 

fors erit, ut, lustrum cum se cumulaverit istis, 5 

confectam Proculus signet Olympiadam. 

1 This piece is omitted in the Z group of MSS. 

2 This piece is omitted by V. 

3 M: de eodem fastorum libro, G. This poem also is 
omitted in V. 

1 i.e. 1118 years (cp. iv. 3-4); but since Ausonius was 
consul in 379 A.D. , this gives the date of the foundation of 
Rome as 739 instead of 753 B.C., the traditional date. 



350 



CONCLUSION OF THE BOOK OF ANNALS 

II. A CALCULATION OF THE YEARS FROM THE 
FOUNDATION OF THE CITY DOWN TO MY CONSULATE 

To eleven times a hundred years join four, then 
add eleven times one and three beside. 1 This will 
be the tale of years passed since the beginning of 
eternal Rome. 

III. LlNES WRITTEN AT THE END OF THE SAME BOOK 

UP to this point have I written my annals. If 
Fortune will, I will carry them yet further ; if not, 
you who read will add to them. Would you know 
who I am ? Look up the entry which is fourth from 
the last : 2 you will read the name of Ausonius the 
Consul. 

IV. ON THE SAME 

WHEN you receive this sequence of the years 01 
our eternal city traced down from the time of King 
Quirinus, you will read that a thousand years, a 
hundred and twice nine have ebbed away ere you 
come on the name of Ausonius the Consul. Per- 
chance when five years have been added to that 
tale, Proculus 3 shall seal the complete Olympiad. 

2 These lines were therefore written in 382 A.D., while I. 
and II. were composed in 379 A.D. It is noteworthy that 
this poem addresses neither Hesperius nor Proculus, but the 
general reader (cp. 1. 2, qui legis ; 1. 3, scire cupis qui sim ?). 

3 Proculus Gregorius was pracfectus praetorio of the Gauls 
382-3, and this book was therefore re-dedicated to him in 
383. Ausonius evidently anticipated that he would be 
consul in 384, but the arrangement was upset by the revolt 
of Maximus (383) and death of Gratian. 



351 



LIBER XVI 
GRIPHUS TERNARII NUMERI 

AUSONIUS SYMMACHO 

LATEBAT inter nugas meas libellus ignobilis ; uti- 
namque latuisset neque indicio suo tamquam sorex 
periret. hunc ego cum velut gallinaceus Euclionis 
situ chartei pulveris eruissem, excussum relegi atque 
ut avidus faenerator inprobum nummum malui occu- 
pare quam condere. dein cogitans mecum, non illud 
Catullianum, 1 

cui dono lepidum novum libellum, 
set apovo-orepov et verius : 

cui dono inlepidum, rudem libellum, 

non diu quaesivi. tu enim occurristi, quern ego, si 
mihi potestas sit ex omnibus deligendi, unum semper 
elegerim. misi itaque ad te haec frivola gerris Siculis 
vaniora, ut, cum agis nihil, haec legas et, ne nihil 

1 Catullus, i. 1. 

1 According to Hesychius, griphus (yplQos) was a form of 
riddle popular at wine-parties. 

2 cp. Ter. Eun. 1024 : egomet meo indicio miser quasi sorex 
hodie perii. 

352 



BOOK XVI 
A RIDDLE 1 OF THE NUMBER THREE 

AUSONIUS TO SYMMACHUS 

HIDING away amongst my trash was a wretched 
little book ; and I would to Heaven it had kept 
hidden and w r ere not coming to grief by betraying 
itself as the shrew-mouse did. 2 When, like Euclio's 
cock, 3 I had disinterred this from a litter of crumbling 
paper and had shaken out the dust, I read it again, 
and, as a grasping usurer, preferred to put a bad 
coin out to interest rather than keep it by me. Then, 
while reflecting, not in those words of Catullus, 

" To whom do I give my pretty, new book ? ", 
but less poetically and more truthfully, 

" To whom do I give my ugly, rough book ? ", 

I did not seek for long. For you confronted me 
the man whom I, had 1 the power to pick from all 
mankind, would ever have picked out alone. And 
so I send you this frivolous piece, more worthless 
than Sicilian "junk," 4 that, when you are doing 
nothing, you may read it, and may find something to 

3 Plaut. Aid. 465 ff. (The cock began to scratch up the 
miser's pot of gold.) 

4 Gerrae were osier baskets : for the origin of the expres- 
sion as a term of contempt, see Festus, de Verb. Signif. p. 83 
(ed. Lindsay). 

353 

VOL. I. A A 



AUSONIUS 

agas, defendas. igitur iste nugator libellus iam diu 
secreta quidem, sed vulgi lectione laceratus perveniet 
tandem in manus tuas. quern tu aut ut Aesculapius 
redintegrabis ad vitam, aut ut Plato iuvante Vulcano 
liberabis infamia, si pervenire non debet ad famam. 

Fuit autem ineptiolae huius ista materia. in expe- 
dition e, quod tempus, ut scis, licentiae militaris est, 
super mensam meam facta est invitatio, non ilia de 
Rubrii convivio, ut Graeco more biberetur, 1 set ilia 
de Flacci ecloga, 2 in qua propter "mediam noctem " 
et " novam lunam " et " Murenae auguratum " "ter- 
nos ter cyathos attonitus petit vates." hunc locum 
de ternario numero illico nostra ilia poetica scabies 
coepit exculpere : cuius morbi quoniam facile conta- 
gium est, utinam ad te quoque prurigo commigret et 
fuco tuae emendationis adiecto inpingas sphongiam, 
quae inperfectum opus equi male spumantis absolvat. 
ac ne me nescias gloriosum, coeptos inter pranden- 

1 See Cic. in Verr. n. i. 26 : Rubrius istius comites invitat 
. . . mature veniunt, discumbitur ... fit sermo inter eos et 
invitatio, ut Graeco more biberetur. 

2 Horace, Od. in. xix. 9 ff. : da lunae propere novae, Da 
noctis mediae, da, puer, auguris Murenae . . . Ternos ter 
cyathos attonitus petet Vates. 

1 Aesculapius restored to life Hippolytus after he had 
been torn to pieces. 

2 Plato, after hearing Socrates, burned his tragedies : see 
Diog. Laert. iii. 8, and cp. Apuleius, de Mag. x. 

3 sc. with fire. 

4 This was in the Alamannic campaign of 368-9 A.D. 

354 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

do in defending it. Well, this trumpery booklet, long 
since mangled by its surreptitious but wide circula- 
tion, will at last come into your hands. You will 
either, like Aesculapius, 1 restore it to life, or, like 
Plato, 2 with aid of Vulcan, 3 will deliver it from 
disrepute, if it has no right to attain to repute. 

The occasion of this bit of foolery was as follows. 
When I was on active service 4 a season which, as 
you know, is one of military freedom at my mess a 
challenge was issued to drink, not in Greek fashion 5 
as at the banquet of Rubrius, but after the manner 
described by Flaccus in that piece of his where by 
reason of "midnight" and the "new moon" and 
" Muraena's augurship " "the bard inspired calls for 
thrice three cups." At this subject of the triple 
number that poetic itch of mine at once began 
scratching away : and since this disease is easily 
communicable, may the plaguy passion pass over 
to you also, and that, with some of your improving 
colour added, you may dash the sponge which shall 
give the finishing touch to the incomplete work 
of my badly-foaming Pegasus. 6 And that you may 
know me for a boaster I began these bits of verses 

5 Asconius comments on Cicero, in Verr. u. i. 26: "Now 
the Greek fashion is, as the Greeks express it, 'to drink 
together cup for cup,' when they make offering of unmixed 
wine from their cups, first saluting the gods and then naming 
their own friends ; for as often as they call by name upon 
the gods and those dear to them, so often do they drink 
unmixed wine." 

6 The third-century painter Nealces, dissatisfied with his 
rendering of a foaming horse, began to apply a sponge to 
delete his work, but found that the first touch had produced 
the effect he had vainly laboured to attain : see Pliny, N.H. 
xxxv. 10, 104 (ed. Mayhoff). Almost the same story is 
related of the painter Protogenes : ib. 102 f. 

355 

A A 2 



AUSONIUS 

dum versiculos ante cenae tempus absolvi, hoc est, 
dum bibo et paulo ante quam biberem. Sit ergo 
examen pro materia et tempore. set tu quoque hoc 
ipsum paulo hilarior et dilutior lege ; namque iniu- 
rium est de poeta male sobrio lectorem abstemium 
iudicare. 

Neque me fallit fore aliquem, qui hunc iocum nos- 
trum acutis naribus et caperrata fronte condemnet 
negetque me omnia, quae ad ternarium et novenarium 
numeros pertinent, attigtsse. quern ego verum di- 
cere fatebor, iuste, negabo. quippe si bonus est, 
quae omisi, non oblita mihi, sed praeterita existimet. 
dehinc qualiscumque est, cogitet secum, quam multa 
de his non repperisset, si ipse quaesisset. sciat etiam 
me neque omnibus erutis usum et quibusdam oblatis 
abusum. quam multa enim de ternario sciens nee- 
lego ! tempora et personas, genera et gradus, novem 
naturalia metra cum trimetris, totam grammaticam 
et musicam librosque medicinae, ter maximum Her- 
men et amatorem primum philosophiae Varronisque 
numeros et quidquid profanum vulgus ignorat. Post- 
remo, quod facile est, cum ipse multa invenerit, com- 



1 Iambic, trochaic, dactylic, anapaestic, choriambic, anti- 
spastic, the two Ionic metres, and the Paeouic. 

2 sc. Hermes Trismegistus. The title is Egyptian in 
origin, and is applied to Thoth, the scribe-god. To him 
were attributed forty "Hermetic" books. In the third 

356 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

during tiffin and finished them before messtime, 
that is to say, while drinking and a little before 
drinking (again). Your criticism, therefore, must 
allow for the subject and the season. Nay, do you 
too read this same book when a trifle "gay" and 
" wutty ' ' ; for it is unfair for a teetotal critic to 
pass judgment on a poet half-seas over. 

I do not forget either, that there will be someone 
who with keen scent and furrowed brow will damn 
this jest of mine, and say that I have not touched 
on all the aspects which the numbers three and nine 
present. I will admit that he speaks truth, but deny 
its fairness. For if he is a good sort, let him con- 
sider that what I have left out has not been forgotten 
by me, but passed over. Next, whatever he is like, 
let him reflect how many of these instances he would 
not have found if he himself had been searching. 
Let him know also that I have not always employed 
recondite instances, and have sometimes employed 
the obvious excessively. For how many examples of 
the number Three do I deliberately ignore ! Tenses 
and persons, genders and degrees of comparison, the 
nine natural metres l together with the trimeters, 
the whole field of grammar and music and the books 
of medicine, thrice-greatest Hermes, 2 Philosophy's 
first lover, 3 the numbers of Varro, 4 and all that the 
uninitiate herd wots not of. Finally and 'tis an easy 
test let him find out himself as many as he can and 



and following centuries a mass of syncretistic literature was 
fathered on him. 

3 Pythagoras, who first called himself <t>t\6<ro<pos instead of 
crones. 

4 The reference is to a lost work by Varro entitled De 
Principiis Numerorum. 

357 



AUSONIUS 

paret se atque me, occupatum cum otioso, pransum 
cum abstemio, locum et ludum meum, diligentiam et 
calumniam suam. alius enim alio plura invenire 
potest : nemo omnia. 

Quod si alicui et obscurus videbor, aput eum me 
sic tuebere : primum eiusmodi epyllia, nisi vel obscura 
sint, nihil futura ; deinde numerorum naturam non 
esse scirpum, ut sine nodo sint : postremo si etiam 
tibi obscurus fuero, cui nihil neque lion lectum est 
neque noil intellectum, turn vero ego beatus, quod 
adfectavi, adsequar, me ut requiras, me ut desideres, 
de me cogites. 1 vale. 

GRIPHUS TERNARII NUMERI 

TER bibe vel totiens ternos : sic mystica lex est, 
vel tria potanti vel ter tria multiplicanti, 
inparibus novies ternis contexere coebum. 2 

Juris idem tribus est, quod ter tribus : omnia in istis ; 
forma hominis coepti plenique exactio partus 5 

quique novem novies fati tenet ultima finis, 
tris Ope progeniti fratres, tris ordine partae, 

1 cp. Ter. Eun.: dies noctisque me ames, me desideres, 
Me somnies, me expectes, de me cogites. 

2 cp. Mart. Capella, ii. 105 : numeri (ternarii) triplicatio 
prima ex imparibus KV$OV gignit. 

1 lit. " little poems." 

2 " To look for a knot in a bulrush" was proverbial for 
looking for non-existent difficulties ; cp. Plaut. Men. 247. 

3 i.e. do not stop at three or nine, but complete the cube 
by drinking twenty-seven cups. 

358 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

tli en compare himself and me, a hurried worker with 
a leisured, one who has lunched well with one sober- 
headed, my playful jeu d J esprit with his studied arti- 
fices. For one can find more instances than another : 
none can find all. 

But if anyone shall also think my meaning dark, 
you will defend me against him in this way : first, 
that such tours de force* will go for nothing unless 
they are dark ; secondly, that numbers are not like 
bulrushes, without knots ; 2 lastly, if you also find 
my meaning dark you who have left nothing un- 
conned, nothing unconquered then indeed I shall 
be happy in attaining what I have sought after, to 
make you want me, long for me, think of me. 
Farewell ! 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

THRICE drink or else as many times three cups : 
thus stands the mystic law whether three draughts 
thou drinkest or three thrice multipliest, with nine 
times three uneven form the cube ! 3 

4 The same virtue is in three as in thrice three : all 
things are in terms of these ; the first forming of 
the human shape, the due completion of the act of 
birth, 4 and the limit which marks man's extreme span, 
years nine times nine. 5 Three were the brethren 
born of Ops 6 (Rhea), three the sisters whom she 

4 The embryo first assumes human shape three months, 
and birth nine months, after conception : see above, Eclogues, 
viii. 15 ff., 39 f. 

5 See Censorinus, de Die Natali, who quotes Plato's view 
that the full period of man's life is represented by a square 
number, 9x9 years. 

e See Hesiod, Theog. 453 ff. 

359 



AUSONIUS 

Vesta, Ceres et luno, secus muliebre, sorores. 

hide trisulca lovis sunt fulmma, Cerberus inde, 

inde tridens triplexque Helenae cum fratribus ovum. 

ter nova Nestoreos implevit purpura fusos 1 1 

et totiens trino cornix vivacior. aevo. 

quam novies terni giomerantem saecula tractus 

vincunt aeripedes ter terno Nestore cervi, 

tris quorum aetates superat Phoebeius oscen, 15 

quern novies senior Gangeticus anteit ales, 

ales cinnameo radiatus tempora nido. 

Tergemina est Hecate, tria virginis ora Dianae ; 
tris Charites, tria Fata, triplex vox, trina elementa. 
tris in Trinacria Siredones ; omnia terna : 20 

tris volucres, tris semideae, tris semipuellae, 
ter tribus ad palmam iussae certare camenis, 
ore manu flatu buxo fide voce canentes. 
tris sophiae partes, tria Ptmica bella, trimenstres 
annorum caelique vices noctisque per umbram 25 
tergemini vigiles. ter clara instantis Eoi 
signa canit serus deprenso Marte satelles. 

1 For this and the following 11. cp. Eclogue v. 

2 i.e. if the crow lived twenty-seven (human) lifetimes, 
yet stags who live thirty-six lifetimes would surpass her by 
nine. 

3 The raven which brought news to Phoebus of the loves 
of Ischys and Coronis, and by him was changed from white 
to black: see Hesiod, Cat. of Women (Loeb Class. Lib.), 
frag. 89 and note 3. 

4 sc. the Phoenix : cp. Pliny, N. H. xii. 85. 

360 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

bare in turn, Vesta, Ceres, and Juno, a female com- 
pany. So triple-barbed are Jove's thunderbolts, so 
is it with Cerberus, so with the trident, and the triple 
egg whence Helen and her brethren came. Thrice 
was the distaff of Nestor's destiny replenished with 
purple yarn, and as many times doth the crow out- 
live that triple span. 1 And could she roll into one 
nine times the periods of three ages, yet by thrice 
Nestor's triple span do brazen-footed stags surpass 
her, 2 whereof three lifetimes doth the sacred bird 
of Phoebus 3 overpass, to be nine times outstripped 
by that fowl of Ganges, radiate of head within his 
nest of cinnamon. 4 

18 Triple in form is Hecate, three faces has virgin 
Diana; three the Graces, three the Fates, three tones 
hath the voice, 5 three are the elements. 6 Three Sirens 
were in three-cornered Sicily, triple in all respects : 
three birds, three demi-goddesses, three semi-maids, 7 
with thrice three Muses 8 bidden to strive for the 
palm, employing lips, hands, and breath, making 
melody with pipes, strings, and voice. Three the 
branches of Philosophy, 9 three the Punic Wars, 
three months go to each change in the year and 
clime, threefold the watches which share Night's 
gloom. Thrice doth that tardy sentinel, 10 who let 
Mars be caught, sound the clear call of approaching 

6 Treble, tenor, and bass. G Air, fire, and water. 

7 The Sirens were pictured as half-human and half-bird : 
the divine element in them was due to their birth from 
Phorcys. 8 For this see Pausanias, ix. xxxiv. 2. 

9 Natural, Moral, and Rational : see Quintilian, xn. ii. 10. 
10 Alectryon, stationed by Ares to give warning of the 
approach of Helios (on the occasion celebrated by Demo- 
docus), slept at his post and allowed Helios to descry the 
lovers. In punishment, he was changed into a cock : see 
Lucian, Somnium, 3. 

3 6l 



AUSONIUS 

et qui conceptus triplicatae vespere iioctis 
iussa quater ternis adfixit opima tropaeis. 

Et lyrici vates numero sunt Mnemosynarum, 30 
tris solas quondam tenuit quas dextera Phoebi : 
set Citheron totiens ternas ex acre saeravit 
relligione patrum, qui sex sprevisse timebant. 
trina Tarentino celebrata trinoctia ludo, 
qualia bis genito Thebis trieterica Baccho. 35 

tris primas Thraecum pugnas tribus ordine bellis 
luniadae patrio inferias misere sepulcro. 
ilia etiam thalamos per trina aenigmata quaerens, 
qui bipes et quadrupes foret et tripes, omnia solus, 
terruit Aoniam volucris, leo, virgo triformis 40 

sphinx, volucris pennis, pedibus fera, fronte puella. 

Trina in Tarpeio fulgent consortia templo. 
humana efficiunt habitacula tergenus artes : 
parietibus qui saxa locat, qui culmine tigna, 
et qui supremo comit tectoria cultu. 45 

hinc Bromii quadrantal et hinc Sicana medimna : 
hoc tribus, hoc geminis tribus explicat usus agendi. 

1 Hercules. 

2 See Plautus, Amphitryo, 113, 271 ff.; Lucian, Dial, oj 
the Gods, x. 

3 The Nine Muses were daughters of Mnemosyne. 

4 The reference is to an early statue of Apollo by Tectaeus 
and Angelion at Delos : see Pint, de Mus. xiv. It is figured 
on certain Athenian coins, for which see P. Gardner, Type* 
of Greek Coins, PI. XV. 29. 

* See Pausanias, ix. xxix. 2. 

362 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

Dawn. And he l who was conceived in the darkness 
of a tripled night 2 hung up the spoils enjoined on 
thrice four trophies. 

30 Also the lyric poets are of one number with the 
Mnemosynae, 3 three of whom only Phoebus once 
held in his right hand : 4 but Cithaeron dedicated 
three times three in bronze 5 such was our fathers' 
piety, who feared to slight the six. Thrice a year 
were games held at Tarentum 6 lasting three nights,, 
like the three-yearly festival at Thebes for twice- 
born Bacchus. The three first combats of gladiators 
matched in three pairs these were the offering made 
by the sons of Junius at their father's sepulchre. 7 She 
too, who asked her triple riddle of the suitors of the 
queen 8 what one being was two-legged, four-legged, 
and three-legged, and yet the same the Sphinx who 
affrighted Aonia, was of triple shape, part bird, part 
lioness, part maid in wings a bird, in paws a beast, 
in face a girl. 

42 Three are the allied gods who shine in the temple 
on the Tarpeian rock. Threefold the crafts which 
shape man's dwelling-place : one man lays stones in 
the walls, a second beams in the roof, a third adds 
the last covering of tiles. Three is a factor of the 
quadrantal 9 of Bromius, as also of the Sicilian me- 
dimnus: this into three, that into twice three parts 10 

6 In honour of Persephone arid Dis. This Tarentum was a 
spot near the Campus Martius, and not the Campanian city. 

7 Gladiatorial combats were first held in 265 B.C. by 
Marcius and Decius Brutus at the obsequies of their father : 
see Valerius Max. II. iv. 7 (and cp. Eclogues, xxiii. 33 and 
note). 

8 Jocasta, whose hand was to reward the man who solved 
the riddle of the Sphinx. 9 sc. the amphora. 

10 The quadrantal or amphora contained three, the medimnus 
six modii. 

363 



AUSONIUS 

in physicis tria prima, deus, mundus, data forma : 
tergenus ornnigenum,, genitor, genetrix, generatum. 

Per trinas species trigonorum regula currit, 50 
aequilatus vel crure pari vel in omnibus inpar. 
tris coit in partes numerus perfectus, 1 ut idem 
congrege ter terno per ter tria dissoluatur. 
tris primus par, impar habet mediumque : sed ipse, 
ut tris, sic quinque et septem quoque, dividit unus ; 55 
et numero in toto positus sub acumine centri 
distinguit solidos coebo pergente 2 trientes, 
aequipares dirimens partes ex inpare terno : 
et paribus triplex medium, cum quattuor et sex 
bisque quaternorum secernitur omphalos idem. 60 

lus triplex, tabulae quod ter sanxere quaternae : 
sacrum, privatum et populi commune quod usquam 
est. 

1 For this and 11. 54 ff. cp. Mart. Capella, vii. 733 : triaa 
vero princeps imparium numerus perfectusque censendus. 
Nam prior initium, medium finemque sortitur, et centrum 
medietatis ad initium finemque interstitiorum aequalitate 
congruit. Also Macrobius, Comm. in Somn. Scip. I. vi. 23 : 
primo ergo ternario contigit numero ut inter duo summa 
medium quo vinciretur acciperet. 2 pereunte, Z. 

1 i.e. the Efficient, the Material, and the Formal Cause. 

2 The play on the root gen- cannot be reproduced without 
taking certain liberties alike with Latin and English. 

3 The perfect number is three (cp. Mart, Capella, quoted 
in note on text, 1. 52), which when multiplied by three is 
perfectly divisible by 3 x 3. It is the first to possess a medial 
unit with a first and second unit (par, impar, 1. 54) on either 
side of it (or perhaps, to contain an even number, 2, and an 

364 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

is broken up in common use. In natural science are 
three prime causes, God, matter, and the shape 
given : l three-formed is all formation, the former, 
the formatrix, and the formed. 2 

50 Over three kinds ranges the figure of the triangle, 
equilateral, isosceles, and scalene. Three parts com- 
bined make up the perfect number, 3 in such wise 
that if a group thrice three be formed, by three 
times three the same may be resolved. Three is the 
first number which has an odd, an even, and a medial 
unit: 'but, as the unit itself divides 4 three, so does 
it five and seven ; and when 'tis placed under 5 the 
central point of the full number, it parts in two a 
series of thirds forming a continuous cube, 6 by sepa- 
rating even and equal groups from the uneven threes : 
and even numbers thrice find a centre, when the 
same midmost point of four, six, and twice four, is 
bracketed. 

61 Triple the code which Tables 7 four times three 
ordained : the canon, the private, and the common 

odd number, 3, with a unit differentiating them ; since 
2+1=3). Nine (3 x 3) contains three uneven numbers 
(3, 5, 7) possessing such a medial unit (ill, nln, mini) and, if 
the medial is placed "under" the centre (i.e. left out of 
count), itself is transformed from an odd group of three (i.e. 
of three threes : impare terno, 1. 58) into two equal (aequi- 
pares, 1. 58) of four each : the medial unit then marks the 
centre of the thirds (trientts, 1. 57) which make up the cube 8 
(sc. 2x2x2: cp. Mart. Capella, vii. 740). Yet again, if 
the medial unit is treated as a mark only, it shows the centre 
of three even numbers also which are contained in nine, viz. 
4, 6, 8 (nln, mini, iiiilim). 

4 i.e. divides it into two equal groups. 

5 i.e. when it is withdrawn from the sum and is treated as 
a mere mark. 

6 Literally, "the thirds solid (sc. united) in a continuous 
cube." 7 sc. the Twelve Tables. 

365 



AUSONIUS 

interdictorum trinum genus : unde repulsus 
vi fuero aut utrubi fuerit quorum ve bonorum. 
triplex libertas capitisque minutio triplex. 65 

trinum dicendi genus est : sublime, modestum 
et tenui filo. triplex quoque forma medendi, 
cui logos aut methodos cuique experientia nomen. 
et medicina triplex : servare, cavere, mederi. 
tris oratorum cultus ; regnata Colosso 70 

quern Rhodes, Actaeae quern dilexistis Athenae 
et quem de scaenis tetrica ad subsellia traxit 
prosa Asiae, in causis numeros imitata chororum. 
Orpheos hinc tripodes, quia sunt tria, terra, aqua, 

flamma. 

triplex sideribus positus, distantia, forma. 75 

et modus et genetrix modulorum musica triplex, 
mixta libris, secreta astris, vulgata theatris. 
Martia Roma triplex : equitatu, plebe, senatu. 
hoc numero tribus et sacro de monte tribuni. 



1 The three legal interdicts, known by the incipits of their 
formulae as Unde vi, De utrubi, and Quorum bonorum, were 
for recovering, retaining, and acquiring possession of pro- 
perty respectively : see Digest, xliii. 16 ; id. 32 ; id. 2. 

2 See Cicero, Top. ii. 10. The three methods by which 
a slave could obtain freedom were (1) by purchase, (2) by 
manumission, (3) by will. 

3 i.e. in respect of personal liberty, civic rights, or family. 
4 cp. Quintilian, xn. x. 58 ff. (who calls the third mode 

subtile or ia\v&v : cp. Milton, Sonnet xi. 2, " woven close"). 

5 For this division cp. Jerome, Dial, contra Pelagianos, xxi. 
(A school of physicians who held that diseases might be 
cured by specific treatment through diet and exercise were 
known as "Methodists.") 

366 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

law which is current everywhere. The legal inter- 
dict has three formulae, the whence by force I have 
been put out, the wherever he has been, and the which 
goods. 1 In three ways freedom is acquired, 2 in three 
ways civil rights may be attainted. 3 Three are the 
modes of eloquence, the exalted, the restrained, and 
the close-wove. 4 Medicine also has three branches, 
called theory, practice, and empiric. 5 And Medicine 
in aim is triple, to maintain health, prevent disease, 
and heal. Three are the styles of oratory : 6 the 
first from Rhodes, dominated by its Colossus, the 
second beloved by thee, Attic Athens, and thirdly 
that which the prose of Asia dragged from the stage 
to the crabbed benches of the law, imitating in our 
courts the lilt of choric songs. 

74 This number explains Orpheus' Tripod, 7 because 
there are three elements, earth, water, fire. Triple 
the classification of the stars, according to their 
station, distance, and their magnitude. The modes 8 
also are threefold, and so is Music, mother of 
measures that woven into books, 9 that possessed in 
secret by the stars, and that purveyed in our theatres. 
Mars' city, Rome, hath three orders, Knights, Com- 
mons, Senators. From this number the tribe 1 takes 
its name, as do the tribunes of the Sacred Mount. 11 

6 For these three styles see Quintilian, xn. x. 18. 

7 Either the title of a work attributed to Orpheus, or 
some symbolical figure in which the three elements were 
conceived of as the legs of a tripod supporting the universe. 

8 The Dorian, Phrygian, and Lydian. 

9 i.e. rhythm. 

ao Tribus, denoting originally a third part of the Roman 
people, is derived, according to Corssen, from tri + a root 
b(h)u = <f>v- (as in ^uA?)). 

11 The tribunate was established 494 B.C. , after the secession 
of the plebs to the Sacred Mount. 

367 



AUSONIUS 

tres equitum turmae, tria nomina nobiliorum. 80 

nomina sunt chordis tria, sunt tria nomina mensi. 
Geryones triplices, triplex conpago Chimaerae : 
Scylla triplex, commissa tribus : cane, virgine, pisce. 
Gorgones Harpalycaeque et Erinyes agmine terno, 
et tris fatidicae, nomen commune, Sibyllae, 85 

quarum tergemini fatalia carmina libri, 
quos ter quinorum servat cultura virorum. 

Ter bibe. tris numerus super omnia, tris deus unus. 
hie quoque ne ludus numero transcurrat inerti, 
ter decies ternos habeat deciesque novenos. 90 

1 sc. the praenomen, or personal name, the nomen, deter- 
mining the gens of the individual, and the cognomen : e. g. 
Marcus Junius Brutus. 

2 The bass (gravis, virdrr]}, the tenor (media, jueo-yj), and the 
treble (acnta, 



368 



A RIDDLE OF THE NUMBER THREE 

Three are the squadrons of the Knights, three the 
names borne by the nobility. 1 The chords have 
three names, 2 and three names each month 3 owns. 
Geryones was three in one, triple the compound of 
Chimaera : Scylla was triple, a mixture of three 
forms, part dog, part woman, and part fish. The 
Gorgons, Harpies, and Erinyes lived in bands of 
three, and three the soothsaying Sibyls, 4 bearers of 
a common name, whose fateful verses, couched in 
volumes three, are preserved in the keeping of the 
thrice five men. 5 

88 Thrice drink ! The number three is above all, 
Three Persons and one God ! And that this con- 
ceit may not run its course without significance of 
number, let it have verses thrice ten times three, or 
nine times ten ! 

s i.e. each month contains the three days, Calends, Nones, 
and Ides. 

4 Presumably the Sibyls of Delphi, Cumae, and Erythrae ; 
but many other Sibyls were known. 

5 The Sibylline books were first in the charge of Duum- 
viri, then of Decemviri, and (from the first century B.C.) 
of Quindecimviri. 



369 

VOL. I. B B 



LIBER XVII 
CENTO NUPTIALIS 

AUSONIUS PAULO S. 

PERLEGE hoc etiam, si operae est, frivolum et 
nullius pretii opusculum, quod nee labor excudit 
nee cura limavit, sine ingenii acumine et morae 
maturitate. 

Centonem vocant, qui primi hac concinnatione 
luserunt. solae memoriae negotium sparsa colligere 
et integrare lacerata, quod ridere magis quam laudare 
possis. pro quo, si per sigillaria in auctione veniret, 
neque Afranius naucum daret, neque ciccum suum 
Plautus offerret. piget enim Vergiliani carminis dig- 
nitatem tarn ioculari dehonestasse materia. sed quid 
facerem ? iussum erat : quodque est potentissimum 
imperandi genus, rogabat, qui iubere poterat, sanctus 
imperator Valentinianus, vir meo iudicio eruditus. 
nuptias quondam eiusmodi ludo descripserat, aptis 

1 = KfVTpcav. eyKVTpteiv means " to plant slips" (of trees). 
A late Greek word, K^vr6vi] t or KfVTovdpcav, meaning a patch- 
work garment, is also found. A cento is therefore a poem 
composed of odd fragments. Such works were common in 

37 






BOOK XVII 
A NUPTIAL CENTO 

AUSONIUS TO PAULUS, GREETING 

READ through this also, if it is worth while a 
trifling and worthless little book, which no pains has 
shaped nor care polished, without a spark of wit and 
that ripeness which deliberation gives. 

They who first trifled with this form of compila- 
tion call it a "cento." l 'Tis a task for the memory 
only, which has to gather up scattered tags and fit 
these mangled scraps together into a whole, and so 
is more likely to provoke your laughter than your 
praise. If it were put up for auction at a fair, 2 
Afranius would not give his straw, nor Plautus bid 
his husk. 3 For it is vexing to have Virgil's majestic 
verse degraded with such a comic theme. But what 
was I to do? It was written by command, and at 
the request (which is the most pressing kind of 
order!) of one who was able to command the sainted 
Emperor Valentinian, a man, in my opinion, of deep 
learning. He had once described a wedding in a 
jeu d 'esprit of this kind, wherein the verses were to 

later antiquity : e.g. Falconia Proba dedicated to Honorius 
a Cento Vergilianus dealing with the events of the Old and 
New Testaments. 

2 On the Sigillaria see above, Eclogues, xxiii. 32 and note. 

3 Rudens, 580 : ciccum non interduim. 

371 

B B 2 



AUSONIUS 

equidem versibus et compositione festiva. experiri 
deinde volens, quantum nostra contentione praecelle- 
ret, simile nos de eodem concinnare praecepit. quam 
scrupulosum hoc mihi fuerit, intellege : neque ante- 
ferri volebam neque posthaberi, cum aliorum quoque 
iudicio detegenda esset adulatio inepta, si cederem, 
insolentia, si ut aemulus eminerem. suscepi igitur 
similis recusanti feliciterque et obnoxius gratiam 
tenui nee victor offendi. 

Hoc, turn die uno et addita lucubratioiie propera- 
tum, modo inter liturarios meos cum reperissem, 
tanta mihi caiidoris tui et amoris fiducia est, ut 
severitati tuae nee ridenda subtraherem. accipe 
igitur opusculum de inconexis continuum, de di- 
versis unum, de seriis ludicrum, de alieno nostrum : 
ne in sacris et fabulis aut Thyonianum mireris aut 
Virbium, ilium de Dionyso, hunc de Hippolyto 
reformatum. 

Et si pateris, ut doceam docendus ipse, cento quid 
sit, absolvam. variis de locis sensibusque diversis 
quaedam carminis structura solidatur, in unum ver- 
sum ut coeant aut caesi duo aut unus et sequens 
<medius> cum medio. nam duos iunctim locare 
ineptum est, et tres una serie merae nugae. diffin- 
duntur autem per caesuras omnes, quas recipit 

1 Hippolytus as rehabilitated by Aesculapius, after he had 
been torn to pieces. 

2 i.e. the lines of the poet from whose works the cento is 
compiled. 

372 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

the point and their connections amusing. Then,, 
wishing to show by means of a competition with me 
the great superiority of his production, he bade me 
compile a similar poem on the same subject. Just 
picture how delicate a task this was for me ! I 
did not wish to leave him nowhere, nor yet to be 
left behind myself; since my foolish flattery was 
bound to be patent to the eyes of other critics as 
well, if I gave way, or my presumption, if I rivalled 
and surpassed him. I undertook the task, therefore, 
with an air of reluctance and with happy results, 
and, as obedient, kept in favour and, as successful, 
gave no offence. 

This book, then hurriedly composed in a single 
day with some lamp-lit hours thrown in, I lately 
found among my rough drafts ; and so great is my 
confidence in your sincerity and affection, that for 
all your gravity I could not withhold even a ludicrous 
production. So take a little work, continuous, though 
made of disjointed tags ; one, though of various scraps ; 
absurd, though of grave materials ; mine, though the 
elements are another's ; lest you should wonder at 
the accounts given by priests or poets of the Son of 
Thyone or of Virbius 1 the first reshaped out of 
Dionysus, the second out of Hippolytus. 

And if you will suffer me, who need instruction 
myself, to instruct you, I will expound what a cento 
is. It is a poem compactly built out of a variety of 
passages and different meanings, in such a way that 
either two half-lines are joined together to form one, 
or one line and the following half with another half. 
For to place two (whole) lines side by side is weak, 
and three in succession is mere trifling. But the 
lines 2 are divided at any of the caesurae which 

373 



AUSONIUS 

versus heroicus, convenire ut possit aut penthe- 
mimeris cum reliquo anapaestico, aut trochaice cum 
posteriore segmento, aut septem semipedes cum ana- 
paestico chorico, aut <ponatur> post dactylum atque 
semipedem quidquid restat hexametro : simile ut 
dicas ludicro, quod Graeci ostomachion vocavere. 
ossicula ea sunt : ad summam quattuordecim figuras 
geometricas habent. sunt enim aequaliter triquetra 
vel extentis lineis vel [eiusdem] frontis, [vel rectis] 1 
angulis vel obliquis : isoscele ipsi vel isopleura vocant, 
orthogonia quoque et scalena. harum verticularum 
variis coagmentis simulantur species mille foraiarum : 
helephantus belua aut aper bestia, anser volans et 
mirmillo in armis, subsidens venator et latrans canis, 
quin et turris et cantharus et alia huiusmodi innu- 
merabilium ngurarum, quae alius alio scientius varie- 
gant. sed peritorum concinnatio miraculum est, im- 
peritorum iunctura ridiculum. quo praedicto scies, 
quod ego posteriorem imitatus sum. 

Hoc ergo centonis opusculum ut ille ludus trac- 
tatur, pari modo sensus diversi ut congruant, 
adoptiva quae sunt, ut cognata videantur, aliena ne 
interluceant : arcessita ne vim redarguant, densa 
ne supra modum protuberant, hiulca ne pateant. 

1 So Peiper : aequilatera vel triquetra . . . vel frontis 
angulis vel obliquis, AfSS. 

1 sc. "A Battle of Bones." For the nature of this puzzle 
see Appendix, p. 395. 

374 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

heroic verse admits, so that either a penthemimeris 
(_ w ^ - w ^ -) can be linked with an anapaestic con- 
tinuation (wv^-^w-w^ ), or a trochaic fragment 
(_ ^ ^ _ ^ ^ _ ^ with a complementary section 
(w-^v^ ^v-/ ), or seven half-feet ( ^ ^ ^> ^ ^ ^ ) 
with a choric anapaest ( ^^-), or after a dactyl 
and a half-foot (- w w -) is placed whatever is needed 
to complete the hexameter : so that you may say 
it is like the puzzle which the Greeks have called 
ostomachia. 1 There you have little pieces of bone, 
fourteen in number and representing geometrical 
figures. For some are equilateral triangles, some 
with sides of various lengths, some symmetrical, 
some with right angles, some with oblique : the same 
people call them isosceles or equal-sided triangles, 
and also right-angled and scalene. By fitting these 
pieces together in various ways, pictures of countless 
objects are produced i a monstrous elephant, a brutal 
boar, a goose in flight, and a gladiator in armour, a 
huntsman crouching down, and a dog barking even 
a tower and a tankard and numberless other things 
of this sort, whose variety depends upon the skill of 
the player. But while the harmonious arrangement 
of the skilful is marvellous, the jumble made by the 
unskilled is grotesque. This prefaced, you will know 
that I am like the second kind of player. 

And so this little work, the Cento, is handled in 
the same way as the game described, so as to har- 
monize different meanings, to make pieces arbitrarily 
connected seem naturally related, to let foreign ele- 
ments show no chink of light between, to prevent 
the far-fetched from proclaiming the force which 
united them, the closely packed from bulging un- 
duly, the loosely knit from gaping. If you find all 

375 



AUSONIUS 

quae si omnia ita tibi videbuntur, ut praeceptum 
est, dices me composuisse centonem. et quia sub 
imperatore meo turn merui, procedere xnihi inter 
frequentes stipendium iubebis : sin aliter, aere 
dirutum 1 fades, ut cumulo carminis in fiscum suum 
redacto redeant versus, unde venerunt. vale. 



I. PRAEFATIO 

ACCIPITE haec animis laetasque advertite mentes, 2 
ambo animis, ambo insignes praestantibus armis ; 3 
ambo florentes, 4 genus insuperabile bello. 5 
tuque prior, 6 nam te maioribus ire per altum 
auspiciis manifesta fides, 7 quo iustior alter 5 

nee pietate fuit, nee bello maior et armis ; 8 
tuque puerque tuus, 9 magnae spes altera Romae, 10 
flos veterum virtusque virum, 11 mea maxima cura, 12 
nomine avum referens, animo manibusque pa- 

rentem. 13 

non iniussa cano. 14 sua cuique exorsa laborem 10 
fortunamque ferent: 15 mihi iussa capessere fas est. 16 

1 cp. Festus, de Verb. Signif., ed. Lindsay, p. 61 : dirutum 
vere militem dicebant antiqui cui stipendium ignominiae 
causa non erat datum, quod aes diruebatur in fiscum, non in 
militis sacculum. 

2 Aen. v. 304. 3 Aen. xi. 291. 4 Ed. vii. 4. 

6 Aen. iv. 40. Aen. vi. 834. 7 Aen. iii. 374 f. 

8 Aen. i. 544 f. 9 Aen. iv. 94. 10 Aen. xii. 168. 

376 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

these conditions duly fulfilled according to rule, you 
will say that I have compiled a cento. And because 
I served at the time l under my commanding officer, 
you will direct "that pay be issued to me as for 
regular service" ; 2 but if otherwise, you will sentence 
me "to forfeit pay," so that this "lump sum" of 
verse may be "returned to its proper pay-chest," 
and the verses go back to the source from which 
they came. Farewell. 

I. THE PREFACE 

GIVE heed to these my words and hither turn 
gladsome minds, ye twain for courage, ye twain for 
prowess in arms renowned, ye twain who prosper 
a breed invincible in war. And thou especially 
for there is clear assurance that under high omens 
thou passest o'er the deep than whom none ever 
was more strict in reverence of the gods, none 
greater in war and deeds of arms ; thou and thy 
son, the second hope of mighty Rome, the flower and 
excellence of heroes of old time and my especial 
charge he who in name is his grandfather's double, 
but in spirit and in might his father's. I sing as I 
am bidden. To each his own essay shall bring toil 
and event : for me 'tis lawful to perform a task 
enjoined. 

1 i.e. at the time of composition : the use of military 
phraseology suggests that the cento was composed while 
Ausonius was on active service, 368-9 A.D. 

2 Ausonius is here adapting the technical phraseology of 
military administration. 

11 Aen. viii. 500. 12 Aen. i. 678. 13 Aen. xii. 348. 
11 Ed. vi. 9. 15 Aen. x. Ill f. 1G A en. i. 77. 

377 



AUSONIUS 

II. CENA NUPTIALIS 

EXPECT ATA dies aderat 1 dignisque hymenaeis 2 
matres atque viri, 3 iuvenes ante ora parentum 4 
conveniunt stratoque super discumbitur ostro. 
dant famuli manibus lymphas 5 onerantque can- 

istris 15 

dona laboratae Cereris 6 pinguisque ferinae 7 
viscera tosta ferunt. 8 series longissima rerum : 9 
alituum pecudumque genus 10 capreaeque sequaces ll 
non absunt illic 12 neque oves haedique petulci 13 
et genus aequoreum, 1 * dammae cervique fugaces: 15 20 
ante oculos interque manus sunt 16 mitia poma. 17 
Postquam exempta fames et amor compressus 

edendi, 18 

crateras magiios statuunt 19 Bacchumque ministrant.' 20 
sacra canuiit, 21 plaudunt choreas et carmina dicunt. 22 
nee non Thraeicius longa cum veste sacerdos 25 

obloquitur numeris septem discrimina vocum. 23 
at parte ex alia 24 biforem dat tibia cantum. 25 
omnibus una quies operum, 26 cunctique relictis 
consurgunt mensis : 27 per limina laeta frequentes, 28 
discurrunt variantque vices 29 populusque patres- 

que, 80 30 

matronae, pueri, 31 vocemque per ampla volutant 
atria : dependent lychni laquearibus aureis. 32 



1 Aen. v. 104. 
4 Georg. iv. 477. 
7 Aen. i. 215. 
10 Aen. viii. 27. 
13 Georg. iv. 10. 
16 Aen. xi. 311. 


2 Aen. xi. 355. 
3 Aen. i. 700 f. 
8 A en. viii. 180. 
11 Georg. ii. 374. 
14 Georg. iii. 243. 
17 Ed. i. 80. 


3 Aen. vi. 306. 
(i A en. viii. 180. 
9 Aen. i. 641. 
12 Georg. ii. 471. 
15 Georg. iii. 539. 
18 Aen. viii. 184. 



378 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

II. THE MARRIAGE FEAST 

THE looked-for day was come, and at the noble 
bridal, matrons and men, with youths under their 
parents' eyes, gather together and recline on cover- 
lets of purple. Servants bring water for their hands, 
load in baskets the gifts of hard -won Ceres, and 
bear the roasted flesh of fat game. Most ample 
the list of their dainties : all kinds of fowl and flesh 
with wanton goat are present there, and sheep and 
playful kids, the watery tribe, and does, and timid 
stags : before their gaze and in their hands are 
mellow apples. 

22 When hunger had been put away and desire for 
food was stayed, great mixing bowls are set and wine 
is served. Hymns do they chant, they beat the 
ground in dances, and songs repeat. Withal, a long- 
robed Thracian priest accompanies on his seven 
strings their various tones. But on another side 
the flute breathes song from its twin mouths. All 
have the same repose from toil, and all arising leave 
the tables : passing in a throng over the jocund 
threshold, the company of fathers, mothers, boys, 
disperses into ever - changing groups, their voices 
echoing through the spacious halls beneath the 
lamps which from the gilded fretting hang. 



19 Aen. i. 724. 
22 Aen. vi. 644. 
25 Aen. ix. 618. 
28 Aen. i. 707. 
31 Aen. xi. 476. 


20 Aen. viii. 181. 
23 Aen. vi. 645 f. 
26 Ge.org. iv. 184. 
29 Aen. ix. 164. 
32 Aen. i. 725 f. 


21 Aen, ii. 239. 
24 Aen. x. 362. 
2 - 4en.Tiii.109f. 
30 Aen. ix. 192. 



379 



AUSONIUS 

III. DESCRIPTIO EGREDIENTIS SPONSAE 

TANDEM progreditur x Veneris iustissima cura, 2 

iam matura viro, iam plenis nubilis annis, 3 

virginis os habitumque gerens, 4 cui plurimus ignem 35 

subiecit rubor et calefacta per ora cucurrit, 5 

intentos volvens oculos/ uritque videndo. 7 

illam omnis tectis agrisque effusa iuventus 

turbaque miratur matrum. 8 vestigia primi 

alba pedis, 9 dederatque comam diffundere ventis. 10 40 

fert picturatas auri subtemine vestes, 11 

ornatus Argivae Helenae : 12 qualisque videri 

caelicolis et quanta solet 13 Venus aurea contra/ 4 

talis erat species/ 5 talem se laeta ferebat 10 

ad soceros 17 solioque alte subnixa resedit. 18 45 

IV. DESCRIPTIO EGREDIENTIS SPONSI 

AT parte ex alia 19 foribus sese intulit altis 20 

ora puer prima signans intonsa iuventa, 21 

pictus acu 22 chlamydem auratam, quam plurima 

circum 

purpura maeandro duplici Meliboea cucurrit, 23 
et tunicam, molli mater quam neverat auro : 24 50 
os umerosque deo similis 25 lumenque iuventae. 26 



1 Aen. iv. 136. 
4 Aen. i. 315. 
7 Oeorg. iii. 215. 
10 A en. i. 319. 
13 Aen. ii. 591 f. 
16 Aen. i. 503. 


2 Aen. x. 132. 
6 Aen. xii. 65 f. 
8 Aen. vii. 812 f. 
11 Aen. iii. 483. 
14 Aen. x. 16. 
17 A en. ii. 457. 


8 A en. vii. 53. 
Aen. vii. 251. 
9 Aen. v. 566 f. 
12 Aen. i. 650. 
15 Aen. vi. 208. 
18 Aen. i. 506. 



380 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

III. A PICTURE OF THE BRIDE AS SHE COMES .FORTH 

AT length comes forth Venus' most lawful charge, 
already ripe for wedlock, already of full age for 
marriage, wearing a maiden's look and garb, o'er 
whose flushed cheeks a deep blush spreads, suffusing 
fire, while round she throws her eager eyes and in- 
flames all with her gaze. At her the whole company 
of youths, gathered from house and field, and throng 
of matrons marvel. The whiteness of her advancing 
foot she displays, 1 her hair she had given to the winds 
to spread abroad. She wears a robe embroidered with 
thread of gold, apparel such as Argive Helen wore : 
as golden Venus is wont to appear before the gods 
in Heaven in beauty and in stature, so seemed she, 
and in such wise the joyful maid drew near the 
bridegroom's parents and sat supported on a lofty 
throne. 

IV. A PICTURE OF THE BRIDEGROOM AS HE 

COMES FORTH 

BUT from the other side there entered by the lofty 
doors a youth whose unshorn cheeks bare token of 
early manhood, clad in a cloak bedecked with needle- 
work of gold, about which ran an ample band of 
Meliboean purple in a double fret, and in a tunic 
wherein his mother had woven tissue of soft gold. 
In face and shoulders like a god was he, and in his 

1 The verb must be supplied from ostentans (in the original 
context). 

19 Aen. x. 362. *> Aen. xi. 36. 21 Aen. ix. 181. 

22 Aen. ix. 582. * Aen. v. 250 f. 24 Aen. x. 818. 

25 Aen. i. 589. 26 Aen. i. 590. 



AUSONIUS 

qualis, ubi oceani perfusus Lucifer unda 1 

extulit os sacrum caelo : 2 sic ora ferebat, 3 

sic oculos 4 cursuque amens ad limina tendit. 5 

ilium turbat amor figitque in virgine vultus ; 6 55 

oscula libavit 7 dextramque amplexus inhaesit. 8 

V. OBLATIO MUNERUM 

INCEDUNT pueri pariterque ante ora parentum 9 
dona ferunt, 10 pallam signis auroque rigentem, 11 
munera portantes aurique eborisque talenta 
et sellam 12 et pictum croceo velamen acantho, 13 60 
ingens argentum meiisis 14 colloque monile 
bacatum et duplicem gemmis auroque coronam. 15 
olli serva datur 16 geminique sub ubere nati : 17 
quattuor huic iuvenes 18 totidem innuptaeque 

puellae : 19 

omnibus in morem tonsa coma ; 20 pectore summo 65 
ftexilis obtorti per collum circulus auri. 21 

VI. EPITHALAMIUM UTRIQUE 

TUM studio effusae matres 22 ad limina ducunt ; 23 
at chorus aequalis, 24 pueri innuptaeque puellae/ 5 
versibus incomptis ludunt 26 et carmina dicunt : 27 
" O digno coniuncta viro, 28 gratissima coniunx, 29 70 



1 Aen. viii. 589. 
4 Aen. iii. 490. 
7 Aen. i. 256. 
10 Aen. v. 101. 
13 Aen. i. 711. 


2 Aen. viii. 591. 
5 Aen. ii. 321. 
8 Aen. viii. 124. 
11 A en. i. 648. 
14 Aen. i. 640. 


3 Aen. iii. 490. 
6 Aen. xii. 70. 
9 Aen. v. 553. 
12 A en. xi. 333. 
15 Aen. i. 654 f. 



382 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

youthful eyes. As Lucifer when, bedrenched with 
Ocean's waves, he lifts his sacred head in heaven, 
so seemed this youth in feature and in glance, as in 
wild haste he hastens to the threshold. Him does 
Love o'er whelm, and on the maid he fixes his gaze ; 
he tastes her kisses and, grasping her right hand, 
holds it close. 

V. THE OFFERING OF PRESENTS 

THE boys advance and, all together before their 
parents' eyes, bring their gifts, a robe stiff with em- 
broidery of gold, carrying as offerings talents of gold 
and ivory, a chair, a veil adorned with acanthus leaves 
in saffron, a great piece of plate for the table, for the 
neck a string of pearls, and a diadem of both gems 
and gold. To her a slave-girl is given with twin 
children at her breast : to him, four youths and as 
many maids unwed, all with heads shorn as custom 
is ; while on their breasts hung pliant necklets of 
twisted gold. 

VI. THE EPITHALAMIUM ADDRESSED TO BOTH 

THEN eagerly pressing forth, the matrons lead the 
pair to the threshold ; but the company of their 
peers, boys and unwedded girls, make merry with 
unpolished verse, and thus they sing : " O thou that 
art mated with a worthy lord, bride most acceptable, 



16 Aen. v. 284. 
19 Aen. ii. 238. 
58 Aen. xii. 131. 
i5 Aen. vi. 307. 
28 Eel. viii. 32. 


17 Aen. v. 285. 
20 Aen. v. 556. 
2a Aen. x. 117. 
26 Georg. ii. 386. 
29 Aen. x. 607. 


18 Aen. x. 518. 
21 Aen. v. 558 f. 
24 Georg. iv. 460. 
27 Aen. vi. 644. 



383 



AUSONIUS 

sis felix, 1 primes Lucinae experta labores 2 
et mater, cape Maeonii carchesia Bacchi. 3 
sparge, marite, nuces ; 4 cinge haec altaria vitta, 5 
flos veterum virtusque virum : 6 tibi ducitur uxor/ 
omnes ut tecum meritis pro talibus annos 75 

exigat et pulchra faciat te prole "^arentem. 8 
fortunati ambo, 9 si quid pia numina possunt, 10 
vivite felices." n dixerunt f( currite " fusis 
Concordes stabili fatorum numine Parcae. 12 



VII. INGRESSUS IN CUBICULUM 

POSTQUAM est in thalami pendentia pumice tecta 80 
perventum, 13 licito tandem sermone fruuntur. 14 
congressi iungunt dextras 15 stratisque reponunt. 16 
at Cytherea novas artes 17 et pronuba luno 18 
sollicitat suadetque ignota lacessere bella. 19 
ille ubi complexu 20 molli fovet atque repente 85 
accepit solitam flammam 21 lectumque iugalem : 22 
" O virgo, nova mi facies, 23 gratissima coniunx, 24 
venisti tandem, 25 mea sola et sera voluptas. 26 
o dulcis coniunx, non haec sine numine divum 27 
proveniunt : 28 placitone etiam pugnabis amori ? " 29 90 
Talia dicentem iamdudum aversa tuetur 30 



1 A en. i. 330. 
4 Ed. viii. 30. 
7 Ed. viii. 29. 
10 Aen. iv. 382. 
13 Georg. iv. 374 f. 
lti Aen. iv. 392. 


2 Georg. iv. 340. 
5 Ed. viii. 64. 
8 Aen. i. 74 f. 
11 Aen. iii. 493. 
14 Aen. viii. 468. 
17 Aen. i. 657. 


3 Georg. iv. 380. 
6 Aen. viii. 500. 
9 Aen. ix. 446. 
12 Ed. iv. 46 f. 
15 Aen. viii. 467. 
18 Aen. iv. 166. 



384 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

niayest thou be blessed when thou first hast felt 
Lucina's pangs and art a mother. Take goblets of 
Maeonian wine. O bridegroom, scatter nuts; wreathe 
round these altars with fillets, thou flower and excel- 
lence of heroes of old time : thou tak'st a wife to 
live out all her years with thee such is thy high 
worth and with fair offspring to make thee a father. 
Blessed be ye both, if favouring gods aught avail, 
live happily ! " The Parcae, one in heart with the 
unwavering power of Destiny, cried to their spindles, 
" Speed on ! " 



VII. THE ENTRY INTO THE BEDCHAMBER 

WHEN they twain were come into the bridal chamber 
with its soaring vault of stone, they enjoy such speech 
as is at length permitted. Meeting, they clasp hands 
and repose upon the couch. But Cytherea with Juno, 
patroness of wedlock, stirs new-born arts in them, and 
moves them to join contests hitherto unknown. And 
when he fondles her in his soft embrace, and suddenly 
has caught the flame inspiring wedded love, then he: 
" O maiden, new to my sight, bride most acceptable, 
thou art come at length, my only joy so long denied. 
O my sweet bride, these feelings arise not save by 
the will of Heaven, and wilt thou strive even against 
lawful love? " 

91 While thus he speaks, she for a long while keeps 
her eyes turned away, and hesitates through fear, 



19 Aen. xi. 254. 
22 Aen. iv. 496. 
25 Aen. vi. 687. 
2 Aen. xii. 428. 


20 A en. i. 715. 
23 Aen. vi. 104. 
26 Aen. viii. 581. 
2a Aen. iv. 38. 


21 A en. viii. 388. 
24 Aen. x. 607. 
27 Aen. ii. 777. 
30 Aen. iv. 362. 


VOL. I. 




385 
c c 



AUSONIUS 

cunctaturque metu telumque instare tremiscit x 
spemque metumque inter 2 funditque has ore lo- 

quelas : 3 

" Per te, per, qui te talem genuere, parentes, 4 
o formose puer, 5 noctem non amplius unam 6 95 

hanc tu, oro, solare inopem 7 et miserere precantis. 8 
succidimus : non lingua valet, non corpore notae 
sufficiunt vires, nee vox aut verba sequuntur." 9 
ille autem : " Causas nequiquam nectis inanes," 10 
praecipitatque moras omnis n solvitque pudo- 

rem.i 2 100 

PARECBASIS 

HACTENUS castis auribus audiendum mysterium 
iiuptiale ambitu loquendi et circuitione velavi. 
verum quoniam et Fescenninos amat celebritas nup- 
tialis verborumque petulantiam notus vetere insti- 
tute ludus admittit, cetera quoque cubiculi et lectuli 
operta prodentur ab eodem auctore collecta, ut bis 
erubescamus, qui et Vergilium faciamus impudentem. 
vos, si placet, hie iam legendi modum ponite : cetera 
curiosis relinquite. 

VIII. IMMINUTIO 

POSTQUAM congressi 13 sola sub nocte per umbram 14 
et mentem Venus ipsa dedit, 15 nova proelia temptant. 1(i 
tollit se arrectum : 17 conaiitem plurima frustra 18 

1 Aen. xii. 916. 2 Aen. i. 218. 3 Am. v. 842. 

4 Aen. x. 597. 5 Ed. ii. 17. 6 Aen. i. 683. 

7 Aen. ix. 290. 8 Aen. x. 598. 9 Aen. xii. 911. 

10 Aen. ix. 219. n Aen. xii. 699. ]2 Aen. iv. 55. 

13 Aen. xi. 631. 14 Aen. vi. 268. 15 Georg. iii. 267. 

16 Aen. iii. 240. 17 A en. x. 892. 18 A en. ix. 398. 

386 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

and dreads the threatened blow, half hoping and 
half fearing, and so pours from her lips these words : 
" By thyself, by the parents who begat thee, so goodly 
a son, O beauteous youth, I beseech thee for this one 
night alone to comfort my helplessness, and take pity 
on my prayer. I am o'ercome : my tongue fails, and 
its wonted strength deserts my frame ; and neither 
speech nor words are at command." But he : " In 
vain thou weavest idle excuse," and hesitation casts 
aside, and breaks the chains of shyness. 

A DIGRESSION 1 

So far, to suit chaste ears, I have wrapped the 
mystery of wedlock in a veil of roundabout and in- 
direct expression. But since the concourse at a 
wedding loves Fescennine songs, and also that well- 
known form of merriment furnishes an old-established 
precedent for freedom of speech, the remaining se- 
crets also, of bedchamber and couch, will be divulged 
in a selection from the same author, so that I have 
to blush twice over, since I make Virgil also immodest. 
Those of you who so choose, set here and now a term 
to your reading : leave the rest for the curious. 

VIII. IMMINUTIO 

POSTQUAM congressi sola sub nocte per umbram 

et menteni Venus ipsa dedit, nova proelia temptant. 

tollit se arrectum : conantem plurima frustra 

1 Parecbasis (irapfK@a<ris, egressus, or egressio), a technical 
term used in oratory, is defined by Quintilian (iv. 3) as 
" alienae rei, sed ad utilitatem causae pertinentis, extra 
ordinein procurrens tractatio ": its purpose, according to the 
same authority, was to soften by anticipation the bad effect 
which something following may produce. 

387 

c c 2 



AUSONIUS 

occupat os faciemque, 1 pedem pede fervidus urget, 2 
perfidus alta petens : 3 ramum, qui veste latebat, 4 105 
saiiguineis ebuli bacis minioque rubentem 5 
nudato capite 6 et pedibus per mutua nexis, 7 
monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen 

ademptum, 8 

eripit a femore et trepidanti fervidus instat. 9 
est in secessu, 10 tenuis quo semita ducit, 11 110 

ignea rima micans : 12 exhalat opaca mephitim. 13 
nulli fas casto sceleratum insistere limen. 14 
hie specus horrendum : 15 talis sese halitus atris 
faucibus effundeiis 16 nares contingit odore. 17 
hue iuvenis note fertur regione viarum 18 115 

et super incumbens 19 nodis et cortice crudo 
intorquet summis adnixus viribus hastam. 20 
haesit virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. 21 
insonuere cavae gemitumque dedere cavernae. 22 
ilia manu moriens telum trahit, ossa sed inter 23 1 20 
altius ad vivum persedit 24 vulnere mucro. 25 
ter sese attollens cubitoque innixa levavit, 
ter revoluta toro est. 26 manet imperterritus ille. 27 
nee mora iiec requies : 28 clavumque adfixus et 

haerens 

nusquam amittebat oculosque sub astra tenebat. 29 125 
itque reditque viam totiens 30 uteroque recusso 31 
transadigit costas 32 et pectine pulsat eburno. 33 
iamque fere spatio extreme fessique sub ipsam 
finem adventabant : 34 turn creber anhelitus artus 



1 Atn. x. 699. 
4 A en. vi. 406. 
7 Atn. vii. 66. 
10 Atn. i. 159. 
13 A en. vii. 84. 
16 Atn. vi. 240 f. 


2 Atn. xii. 748. 
5 Ed. x. 27. 
8 A en. in. 658. 
11 Atn. xi. 524. 
14 Atn. vi. 563. 
17 Atn. vii. 480. 


3 A en. vii. 362. 
8 Atn. xii. 312. 
9 Atn. x. 788. 
12 Atn. viii. 392. 
15 A en. vii. 568. 
18 Atn. xi. 530. 



388 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

occupat os faciemque, pedem pede fervidus urget, 
perfidus alta petens : ramum, qui veste latebat, 
sanguineis ebuli bacis minioque rubentem 
nudato capite et pedibus per mutua nexis, 
monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen 

ademptum, 

eripit a femore et trepidanti fervidus instat. 
est in secessu, tenuis quo semita ducit, 
ignea rima micans : exhalat opaca mephitim. 
nulli fas casto sceleratum insistere limen. 
hie specus horrendum : talis sese halitus atris 
faucibus effuiidens nares contingit odore. 
hue iuvenis iiota fertur regione viarum 
et super incumbens nodis et cortice crudo 
intorquet summis adnixus viribus hastam. 
haesit virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. 
insonuere cavae gemitumque dedere cavemae. 
ilia manu moriens telum trahit, ossa sed inter 
altius ad vivum persedit vulnere mucro. 
ter sese attollens cubitoque innixa levavit, 
ter revoluta toro est. manet imperterritus ille. 
nee mora nee requies : clavumque adfixus et 

haerens 

nusquam amittebat oculosque sub astra tenebat. 
itque reditque viam totiens uteroque recusso 
transadigit costas et pectine pulsat eburno. 
iamque fere spatio extremo fessique sub ipsam 
finem adventabant : turn creber anhelitus artus 



lfl Acn. v. 858. 2 A en. ix. 743 f. 21 Aen. xi. 804. 

22 Aen. ii. 53. 23 A en. xi. 816. 24 Georg. iii. 442. 

25 Aen. xi. 817. 26 Aen. iv. 690. 27 Aen. x. 770. 

2 Georg. iii. 110. *> Aen. v. 852 f. 30 Aen. vi. 122. 

31 Aen. ii. 52.. ** Aen. xii. 276. 33 A en. vi. 647. 
34 Aen. v. 327 f. 

389 



AUSONIUS 

aridaque ora quatit, sudor fluit undique rivis, 1 130 
labitur exanguis, 2 destillat ab inguine virus. 3 

Contentus esto, Paule mi, 
lasciva, Paule, pagina : 
ridere, nil ultra, expeto. 

Sed cum legeris, adesto mihi adversum eos, qui, 
ut luvenalis 4 ait, "Curios simulant et Bacchanalia 
vivunt," ne fortasse mores meos spectent de carmine. 

"Lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba," 

ut Martialis 5 dicit. meminerint autem, quippe eru- 
diti, probissimo viro Plinio in poematiis 6 lasciviam, 
in moribus constitisse censuram ; prurire opusculum 
Sulpiciae, frontem caperare ; esse Appuleium in vita 
philosophum, in epigrammatis amatorem ; 7 in prae- 
ceptis Ciceronis extare severitatem, in epistulis ad 
Caerelliam subesse petulantiam ; Platonis Symposion 
composita in ephebos epyllia contiiiere. nam quid 
Anniani Fescenninos, quid antiquissimi poetae Laevii 
Erotopaegnion libros loquar? quid Evenum, quern 

1 Aen. v. 199 f. * Aen. xi. 818. 3 Georg. iii. 281. 

4 Sat. ii. 3. 6 Epigr. I. iv. 8. 

6 e.g. Epist. iv. xiv. 4 f . 7 cp. de Magia, ix. 

1 Sulpicia, who flourished in the latter part of the first 
century A.D. , composed amatory poems addressed to her 
husband Calenus. 

2 These letters are no longer extant. Dio Cassius, xlvi. 
18, takes a sinister view of the relations between Cicero and 
Caerellia ; but Caerellia was considerably older than the 
orator (see Boissier, Cicero and his Friends, trans. A. I). 
Jones, pp. 90 ff.). 

39 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

aridaque ora quatit, sudor fluit undique rivis, 
labitur exanguis, destillat ab inguine virus. 

Be satisfied, friend Paul, 
Paul, with this naughty page : 
Laughter naught else I ask. 

But when you have done reading, stand by me to 
face those who, as Juvenal says 

tf Put on the airs of Curius and live like Bacchanals," 

lest perchance they picture my life in colours of my 
poem. 

(i My page is naughty, but my life is clean," 

as Martial says. But let them remember, learned as 
they are, that Pliny, a most honourable man, shows 
looseness in his scraps of verse, rigour in his private 
life ; that Sulpicia's 1 little work is wanton, her out- 
look prim ; that in morals Apuleius was a philosopher, 
in his epigrams a lover ; that in the precepts of Cicero 
strictness is prominent, in his letters to Caerellia 2 
licence lurks; that Plato's Symposium contains rhap- 
sodies upon favourites. For what shall I say of the 
Fescennine verses of Annianus, 3 what of the volumes 
of the Jeu d' Amour of Laevius, 4 that most ancient 
poet ? What of Evenus, 5 whom Menander has called 

3 Annianus flourished under Trajan and Hadrian : cp. 
Aulus Gellius, vii. 7. 

4 Laevius, author of erotic poems burlesquing mythological 
subjects, flourished at the beginning of the fh\st century R.C. : 
see TeufFel-Schwabe, Hist, of Roman Lit. (trans. Warre), 
150. 

6 Evenus of Paros, a writer of erotic verse, probably be- 
longs to the fourth century B.C.: he is to be distinguished 
from a fifth-century namesake, also of Paros. 

591 



AUSONIUS 

Menander sapientem vocavit? quid ipsum Menan- 
drum ? quid comicos omnes, quibus severa vita est 
et laeta materia ? quid etiam Maronem Parthenien 
dictum causa pudoris, qui in octavo Aeneidos, cum 
describeret coitum Veneris atque Vulcani, a.la-\po- 
crep.viav decenter immiscuit ? quid ? in tertio Georgi- 
corum de summissis in gregem maritis nonne obsce- 
nam significationem honesta verborum traiislatione 
velavit ? et si quid in nostro ioco aliquorum hominum 
severitas vestita condemnat, de Vergilio arcessitum 
sciat. igitur cui hie ludus noster non placet, ne 
legerit, aut cum legerit, obliviscatur, aut non oblitus 
ignoscat. etenim tabula de nuptiis est et, velit iiolit, 
aliter haec sacra non constant. 



392 



A NUPTIAL CENTO 

" the Wise " ? What of Menander himself? What 
of all the comic poets, whose lives were strict for all 
the broad humour of their subjects. What also of 
Maro, called Parthenias (the Maidenly) because of 
his modesty, 1 who in the eighth book of the Aeneid, 2 
when describing the intercourse of Venus and Vulcan, 
has gravely introduced a mixed element of lofty ob- 
scenity? And again, in the third book of the Georgia* 
on cattle-breeding, has he not veiled an indecent 
meaning under an innocent metaphor? And if the 
primly-draped propriety of certain folk condemns 
aught in my playful piece, let them know that it is 
taken out of Virgil. So anyone who disapproves of 
this farce of mine should not read it, or once he has 
read it, let him forget it, or if he has not forgotten 
it, let him pardon it. For, as a matter of fact, it is 
the story of a wedding, and, like it or dislike it, the 
rites are exactly as I have described. 

1 cp. Donatus, Vita Virgilii, 22 : vita et ore et ammo 
tarn probum fuisse constat ut Neapoli Parthenias vulgo 
appellaretur. 2 Aen. viii. 404 ff. 3 Georg. iii. 123 ff. 



393 



APPENDIX 



THE puzzle here described in the Preface to the Cento 
(p. 374) is the loculus Archemedius, of which Caesius 
Bassus (de lustris, p. 271, ed. Keil) gives the following 
account: "loculus ille Archemedius qui quattuordecim 
eboreas lamellas, quarum varii anguli sunt, in quadratam 
formam inclusas habet, componentibus nobis aliter atque 
aliter modo galeam, modo sicam, alias columnam, alias 
navem figurat et innumerabiles efficit species." Marius 
Victorinus (Ars Gramm. iii. 1, pp. 100 f., ed. Keil) also 
describes the loculus as consisting of fourteen pieces, 
"mine quadratis, nunc triangulis, nunc ex utraque 
specie." 1 The puzzle, then, consisted in a rectangle 
divided up into fourteen triangular or quadrilateral 
figures. 

From another source we learn the principle on which 
this division was effected. There is extant in Arabic 2 a 
work entitled "The book of Archimedes on the division 
of the figure Stomaschion 3 into fourteen figures which 
stand in direct ratio to it " (sc. the whole). The method 
of division there set forth is as follows : 

Take a parallelogram ABGD (Fig. 1) and bisect BG 
at E. From E draw EZ at right angles to BG, and also 

1 The poem of Ennodius, de Ostomachio Eburneo (Carm. ii. 
133, ed Hartel) is not enlightening. 

2 A fragmentary and incomplete Greek text (from a 
palimpsest MS.) is also extant : both are given by Heiberg 
in his second edition of Archimedes' \vorks (Teubner, 1913), 
ii. pp. 416 ff. 

3 The Arabic is unpointed, and the vowels therefore un- 
certain : the Greek title is 2To/mx t <' '> but the form 'Otrroyua- 
Xtov is certainly right. 

395 



APPENDIX 

the diagonals, AG, BZ, ZG. Next, bisecting BE at If 
and drawing HT at right angles to BE, draw HK in the 
direction of A, cutting BT at K. When, further, we 
bisect AL at M and join MB, the half AE of the whole 
rectangle is divided into seven parts. 

In the other half, ZG, bisect GD at N, ZG at 0, and 
join EG and GN. From 0, in line with the points BC, 





E 
FIG. i. 



draw 00 cutting DJV at 0. Z6r also is now divided into 
seven, and the whole rectangle, ABGD, into fourteen 
figures. 1 

It is these fourteen figures which are to be fitted 
together to form the various objects mentioned by our 
authorities ; and by way of an example an attempt is 
here made to reconstruct the "helephantus belua " of 
Ausonius (Fig. 2). 

1 The somewhat lengthy demonstration of the ratios (1 : 16, 
1 : 24, etc.) of these figures to the whole rectangle is here 
omitted. 

396 



APPENDIX 

The puzzle of Archimedes above described is in prin- 
ciple the same as the Chinese puzzle or Tangram which, 
however, has only seven pieces. On this latter and the 




FIG. 2. 



variety of forms which may be built up from the seven 
figures, see H. E. Dudeney, Amusements in Mathematics 
(Nelson, 1917), pp. 43 ff., with numerous illustrations. 



397 



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