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^^ .-. ,-■ 

tT. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. 

E. CAPPS, PH.D., IX.D. W. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 








Un two volumes 







Printed in Great Britain 






PBAEFATIO ........ 2 







AuRELius Prude:itius Clemens, like a number of 
eminent Latin ^Titers of the classical age, was bom 
in Spain; unlike them, although he visited Rome, 
he appears to have hved and Avorked in his native 
land.** In the prefatory verses which, in his fifty- 
seventh year, he WTote for an edition of his poems,* 
he indicates (at line 24) that he was born in the 
consulship of SaUa, that is, in the year 348 . He 
does not name his birth-place, and there is no con- 
clusive evidence to determine it ; but his oaati words 
associate his life with the north-eastern part of 
Spain, and on such evidence as we have it seems 
•liost likely that he was born at Caesaraugusta 
Saragossa)/ From the fact that, while he laments 
an ill-spent youth, he does not accuse himself of 
paganism or speak of ha\-ing been converted, it is 
inferred that his parents were Christians. The 
preface goes on to tell that after receiving the usual 
literary and rhetorical education (lines 7-10) he 
became a barrister (13-15) and then an adminis- 

" Cf. Perist. u, 537-548; for the visit to Rome, Perist. ix, 
xi, xii; its date must have been before 405, the year of the 
preface to the collected poems, but after 400, since he describes 
the Basilica of St. Paul, evidentlj- as completed. 

* Lines 34 ff. profess to be a programme of work still to be 
lone, as if the preface had been written first ; but this must 
irely be a literary artifice. 

' The question is discussed by Bergman in the prolegomena 
to his edition, pp. ix, x. 



trator (16-18) ; and his career was crowned with an 
honour to which he refers (19-21) in terms somewhat 
vague, but probably meaning that he received from 
the emperor the rank of " comes primi ordinis," 
which may have entailed special duties in the 
province or have been merely titular." The date 
and place of his death are unknown. 

Prudentius, then, is an example of the industrious 
public servant who is also a man of letters ; and 
although in much of his writing he handled matters 
of Christian doctrine, it is not as a theologian that 
we must think of him, but as a man of letters and a 
whole-hearted Roman who is enthusiastic for the 
faith. Fervent C hrist ian as he is, at a time when 
the hold of Christianity on the cultivated classes 
seems to have been very insecure, when the spirit 
of literature, even in a nominal Christian like 
Ausonius, is still essentially pagan, and when serious 
Christians are tending to separate themselves from 
the world, he has not cut himself off from the old 
culture nor from the patriotism of the citizen. He 
is steeped in the work of the classical Latin poets 
and suffers no qualms of conscience over his love for 
them, such as afflicted some of the Fathers of the 
Church. He regards the pagan literature and art 
not as things to be rejected but as part of the 
inheritance into which Christian Rome enters ; and 
in appropriating Latin poetic forms, lyric, epic, 
didactic, he is willing to show the world that the 
subject-matter of the new faith can fill the ancient 
moulds. At times, it is true, his enthusiasm for 

" The word militia (19) was used with reference to civil as 
well as to military service. For the " comites " see J. S. 
Reid in the Cambridge Medieval History, I, pp. 46-48, 



the old masters carries him too far. Discordia, who 
in Virgil is the personification of strife, naturally 
enough becomes Heresy and may still wear her 
" scissa palla," and Fides is easily recognised as the 
CathoUc Faith ; Phlegethon and Styx and Acheron 
had, no doubt, in the educated circles for which 
Prudentius ^\Tote, become harmless names with only 
literary associations ; but we feel that the limit has 
been passed when Jupiter's epithet " Tonans " is 
used to designate the Christians' God. Still, it is 
as a poet in whom is embodied a reconciliation be- 
tween the new faith and the old culture, and in 
whom Christian thought claims rank in the world 
of letters, that Prudentius is historically important. 
A similar quality is seen in his thoughts of Rome 
and the empire ; he is intensely Roman and patriotic, 
but there is a new character in his patriotism. The 
Christian poet, far from denying Rome's divine 
mission, sees farther into its meaning than ^ irgil 
did. The purpose which he discerns in Roman 
history from Aeneas onwards was not merely to 
unite the world in peace and good government, but 
to prepare it for the coming of Christ and for the 
r)iritual empire in which Rome is to attain her 
_reatest glory." The change from paganism to 
Christianity is not a breach >rith the past, but only 
the last stage of a development which reached its 
ideal completion when the far-off successor of Aeneas 
bowed the knee to Christ ; * and for Prudentius, as 
for Aeneas in Mrgil, Tiber is still a sacred stream, 
not, however, because it is associated with a river- 

• Cf. Aeneid, VI, 847-853; Contra Symm. I, 287-290, 
■> 7-590; II, 583fF.; PemMi, 425 ff. 
■ Afoth. 44&-8. 



god, but because it flows through Christ's earthly 
capital and past the tombs of Christian martyrs.** 

When Prudentius wrote, the Church had tri- 
umphed ; but even at the end of the fourth century 
paganism, though disestablished and officially banned, 
was not dead,* and there were dangers of heresy 
within. In both respects he appears as a defender 
of the faith. The two poems entitled Apotheosis and 
Hamartigenia are indeed concerned with the refuta- 
tion of false doctrine, but even more with the 
exposition of the true ; in the former case with 
reference to the divine nature of Christ, in the latter 
to the question of evil. Modern writers have 
remarked that the particular heresies which Pruden- 
tius chooses to attack had for the most part, at any 
rate in these precise forms, become by his time 
matters of the past. The explanation is probably to 
be found in the fact that he is not really a theolo- 
logical controversialist but a poet, and more at home 
in setting forth the positive faith of the Catholic 
Church with all the aids of his poetry and rhetoric. 
Had his interest lain primarily in theology, he would 
scarcely have begun the Apotheosis with the state- 
ment that he will only deal with a few out of many 
heretical doctrines, for fear of sullying his orthodox 
tongue. His concern is rather to present the literary 
world with a poetical treatment of Christian truth, 
following the long tradition of didactic poetry, and 
he is content to take a background from past writings 
of professed theologians. In the two books against 
Symmachus we have an echo of what has been 

" Aeneid, VIII, 72; Perist. xii, 29-30. 
* See Dill, Book I, ch. ii. (Particulars of works which are re- 
ferred to will be found in the Select Bibliography, pp. xvi-xvii.) 




called " the last great battle for the official recog- 
nition of paganism." " It arose out of the stoppage 
of state payments for the upkeep of old priesthoods 
and their rites, and the removal of the statue and 
altar of Victory which had stood for centuries in the 
senate-house at Rome. An appeal for restoration 
and toleration was presented to Valentinian II on 
behalf of the senate, whose pagan members had 
carried a motion to that effect, by Quintus AureUus 
Symmachus, prefect of the city and the most admired 
orator of the day, of whose ability and eloquence 
Prudentius speaks with the greatest respect ; but the 
intervention of Ambrose, bishop of Milan, secured its 
rejection. This was in 384, but it was neither the 
first nor the last attempt of the persistent pagan 
party, and the reign of Eugenius gave them a brief 
success, soon to be reversed by Theodosius' defeat 
of the usurper in 394. It was not till the early 
years of the new century that Prudentius wrote his 
Contra Oratianem Symmachi ; in Book II the reigning 
emperors are Honorius and Arcadius,* the youthful 
sons of Theodosius, who had succeeded him in 395, 
and Une 720 refers to the battle of Pollentia, which 
was fought in 402 or 403. Symmachus, it seems, died 
about this time. If we ask why at so late a date 
Prudentius composed this reply to a document of 384 
and in it speaks of Symmachus as if he were still 
aUve, two facts may provide the answer. First, in 
spite of imperial edicts against paganism many men 
in the upper classes were still unwilling to abandon 
their old ideas, and the emperor's efforts were often 

• Accounts of it are given in Dill, l.c.. Glover, pp. 269 ff., 
Boissier, vol. II, pp. 231-291, Camh. Med. Hist., I, 114 ff. 
» C/. lines 7 ff. 



met, as Dill remarks, with a dead weight of official 
resistance or negligence. Secondly, Symmachus, 
after ceasing to be prefect of tEe city, had published 
his appeal of 384 <* along with his other official 
relationes, and though dead yet spoke powerfully to 
a world which regarded him with immense admira- 
tion and was still highly susceptible to his influence. 
It is the posthumous appeal of his written words 
which Prudentius represents Honorius and Arcadius 
as rejecting. He is careful to define his own atti- 
tude towards the book : ^ it has deservedly a great 
reputation, which he cannot hope to diminish ; his 
own aim is purely defensive. He is, then, putting 
forth a defence of Christianity in verse which he 
hopes will appeal to the cultivated readers who 
admire the prose of Symmachus. 

These works, however, represent only half, or less 
than half, of Prudentius' production. Apart from 
them, he was a piqijeer in the creation of a Christian 
literature, and has the credit of originating new 
types of Christian poetry, the literary hymn, the 
moral allegory, and what has been called the Chris- 
tian ballad. Hymns for the use of the Church had 
been written by Ambrose, but they differ in char- 
acter from the long and elaborate odes of the Liber 

• This is Relatio III, on pp. 280-283 of Seeck's edition of 
Symmachus (Berlin, 1883). It had also been published by 
Ambrose (from the official copy) along with his reply (Migne's 
Patrologia Latina, vol. XVI, 966-982). In the text of Sym- 
machus it bears the heading " D{omino) N(ostro) Theodosio," 
but we know from Ambrose that the official copy was formally 
addressed to Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius (Seeck, 
pp. xvi f.). For the date of the death of Symmachus see 
Seeck, pp. Ixxii f. 

* I, 643 ff. 




Cathemerinon. Portions, indeed, of some of these 
have been included in the Roman Breviary and, in 
translations, in modem hymnals," but their real 
nature is not understood if we think of them as 
intended for congregational singing. They are 
literary odes in which the mythology of the classical 
ode is replaced by stories from the Scriptures. It 
is in this work that Prudentius is most attractive. 
^ The hymns are, as Mr. Raby says, his happiest 
creation, and they furnish his strongest claim to be 
called a poet. The Psychomachia, with its personi- 
fications of Virtues and Vices and its epic account of 
single combats between their leaders, develops a 
genuine Roman tendency to personify abstract ideas. 
It was the most popular of the poet's works during 
the middle ages and the ultimate inspiration of 
much moral allegory and of much religious and 
ecclesiastical art.* In the Peristepkanon Liber his 
devotion to the martyrs combines with his love of 
telling a story. As one might expect, Spanish 
martyrs figure largely in the book. It has for us 
less interest as poetrj' than as historical evidence of 
the cult of the martyrs and the place it held in the 
Christian life of the time. An excess of rhetoric 
makes the description of these pieces as " ballads " 
less appropriate than it might have been.^" 

Apart from the other poems stands the collection 

• E.g. " Corde natus ex Parentis " and J. M. Neale's version 
in corresponding metre, " Of the Father's love begotten ", 
from Cath. ix. 

• See the edition by M. Lavarenne, pp. 58 fF. He refers 
to two works by E. Male, L'art rdigieux au XIII' siide en 
France (Paris, 1910) and Uart religieux a la fin du moyen dge 
(Paris, 1908). 

• On the PerUtephanon see especially Raby, pp. 60-67. 



of four-line stanzas under the heading of Ditiochaeon 
or (in Bergman's edition) Tituli Historiarum, which 
are inscriptions intended for, or suggested by, a series 
of pictures or mosaics in a church, representing scenes 
from the Old and New Testaments in equal numbers. 
The MSS. are confused as to the title, and some have 
norie. It is possible, as Bergman thinks, that these 
quatrains were not included by Prudentius himself 
when he published his works ; they are not contained 
in the two oldest MSS. 


Prudentius was much read in the middle ages, and 
the surviving MSS. number more than three hun- 
dred ; a much smaller number, however, contain the 
complete works. Two are of special interest on 
account of their age, one having been written in the 
sixth century, the other in the seventh ; some 
others on account of their illustrations." The first 
systematic survey of all the material was made by 
J. Bergman, whose edition of the text appeared in 
1926. For this he selected the following twelve 
MSS.*- :— 

A (6th century) in the National Library at Paris 
(Lat. 8084). It now contains Cath., Apoth., 
Ham., Psych., Perist. I-V, 142. 

C (9th century) in the library of Corpus Christi 
College, Cambridge (223). 

" H. Woodruff, The Illustrated MSS. of Prudentius, Cam- 
bridge, Mass., 1930. 

' Three others, which contain the Psychomachia alone or 
almost alone, are quoted in the apparatus criticus to that 





D (10th century) in the Dean and Chapter 

hbrary of Durham Cathedral (B 4. 9). 
B (7th century) in the Ambrosian Library at 

Milan (D' 36 sup.). This MS. is available 

only for parts of the poems ; the missing 

portions have been supplied by a hand of 

the 9th or 10th century. 
F (early 10th century) in the ^'atican Library 

(Reg. 321). 
A'^ (10th century) in the National Library at 

Paris (8305). 
P (early 10th century) in the National Library 

at Paris (8086). It lacks Ham. 454 to the 

end, and Psych. 1-811. 
E (early 10th century) in the University Library 

at Ley den (Burm. Q 3). 
M (9th centur)-^), in the monastery library of 

Monte Cassino (374). 
(10th century) in the hbrary of Oriel College, 

Oxford (3). It lacks Apoth., Ham. and Psych. 
S (9th or early 10th century) in the monastery 

library of St. Gall (136). 
U (late 9th century) in the City Library at 

Berne (264). It now has considerable gaps. 

These MSS. Bergman divides into two classes 
(Class A including MSS. A to N, Class B the others), 
mainly on the grounds that they differ in the order 
of the poems and in the presence or absence of 
certain interpolated lines ; and each class is sub- 
divided into two families." His text is based on the 

• Bergman's methods are criticised by G. Meyer in Philo- 
logus 87 (1932), pp. 249 fF. and 332 ff., F. Klingner in Gnomon 
6 (1930), pp. 39 S. 


MSS. of class A, particularly on the two oldest 
wherever they are available. Where the present 
edition differs from his, the divergence is indicated. 
At a number of places, of which the most striking is 
Cath. 10, 9-16, the 9th and 10th century MSS. differ 
radically from that of the 6th, and Bergman adopts 
the view that interpolation has occurred. On the 
other hand, it has been argued that the character 
of the later text at some, at least, of these places, 
is more consistent with the view that it represents 
a revised edition from the hand of Prudentius him- 
self. In the matter of orthography Bergman in 
general follows the two oldest MSS. Particularly in 
the case of Greek words I have reverted to the 
practice of his predecessors, printing, for instance, 
sophia, not sqfia, and Phlegetkon, not Flegeton. I have 
also at a few places adopted a different punctuation. 


Arevalo (1788) in Migne's Patrologia Latina, vols. 59, 

60 (Paris, 1847). 
Dressel, Leipzig, 1860. 
Bergman, in the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum 

Latinorum, vol. 61, Vienna, 1926. 
Lavarenne, Psychomachie, texte, traduction, com- 

mentaire, avec une introduction historique, Paris, 



A. Puech, Prudence, Etude sur la poesie latine chritienru 
au IV' Steele, Paris, 1888. 



E. K. Randj Prudentius and Christian Humanismf 
Transactions of the American Philological Asso- 
ciation, vol. 51, Cleveland, Ohio, 1920. 

T. R. Glover, Life and Letters in the Fourth Century, 
Cambridge, 1901. 

F. J. E. Raby, Christian Latin Poetry, Oxford, 1927. 
P. de LabrioUe, Histoire de la litter ature latine chretienne, 

3rd edition, Paris, 1947. 

G. Boissier, La Fin du Paganisme, Paris, 1891. 

S. Dill, Roman Society in the last Century of the Western 

Empire, 2nd edition, London, 1899. 
The Cambridge Medieval History, vol. I, eh. IV. 



VOL. I. 



Per quinquennia iam decern, 

ni fallor, fuimus ; septimus insuper 

annum cardo rotat, dum fruimur sole volubili. 

instat terminus, et diem 

vicinum senio iam Deus adplicat. 5 

^ quid nos utile tanti spatio temporis egimus ? 

aetas prima crepantibus 

flevit sub ferulis. mox docuit toga 
infectum vitiis falsa loqui, non sine crimine. 

turn lasciva protervitas 10 

et luxus petulans (heu pudet ac piget !) 
foedavit iuvenem nequitiae sordibus ac luto. 

exim iurgia turbidos 

armarunt aniraos, et male pertinax 

vincendi studium subiacuit casibus asperis. 15 

bis legum moderamine 

frenos nobilium reximus urbium, 

ius civile bonis reddidimus, terruimus reos. 

tandem militiae gradu 

evectum pietas principis extulit 201 

adsumptum propius stare iubens ordine proximo. 




Full fifty years, if I err not, have I lived, and 
beyond that it is the seventh time that the heaven 
is wheeling the year and I have the benefit of the 
circling sun. The end is close upon me, and by now 
what God is adding to my days is on the border of 
old age. What profitable thing have I done in all 
this length of time ? My first years wept under the 
crack of the rod ; after that the toga corrupted me 
and taught me to utter sinful falsehoods ; « then 
lewd sauciness and wanton indulgence, to my shame 
and sorrow now, marred my youth -with the filthy 
dirt of wickedness. Next disputings armed my 
vehement spirit, and a perversely stubborn passion 
for \actory laid itself open to cruel falls. Twice with 
the law's controlling curb I governed famed cities, 
rendering civil justice to good men and striking ter- 
ror into e\^l-doers. Finally His Grace the Emperor 
advanced me in his service and raised me up, attach- 
ing me closer to him and bidding me stand in the 

• I.e. after assuming the toga virilis he attended a school 
of rhetoric, where he would practise the art of making the 
best of a case. 


haec dum vita volans agit, 

inrepsit subito canities seni, 

oblitum veteris me Saliae consulis arguens, 
sub quo prima dies mihi 25 

quam multas hiemes volverit. et rosas 

pratis post glaciem reddiderit, nix capitis probat. 
numquid talia proderunt 

carnis post obitum vel bona vel mala 29 

cum iam, quidquid id est quod fueram, mors 
aboleverit ? 
dicendum mihi : " quisquis es, 

mundum, quem coluit, mens tua perdidit. 

non sunt ilia Dei, quae studuit, cuius habeberis." 
atqui fine sub ultimo 

peccatrix anima stultitiam ^xuat : 35 

saltem voce Deum concelebret, si meritis nequit. 
hymnis continuet dies, 

nee nox ulla vacet quin Dominum canat ; 

pugnet contra hereses, catholicam discutiat 
conculcet sacra gentium, 40 

labem, Roma, tuis inferat idolis, 

carmen martyribus devoveat, laudet apostolos. 
haec dum scribo vel eloquor, 

vinclis o utinam corporis emicem 

liber, quo tulerit lingua sono mobilis ultimo ! 45 



nearest rank.* While fleeting life thus busied itself, 
of a sudden the hoar of age has stolen upon me, con- 
\'icting me of having forgotten Salia's consulship of 
long ago. Under him my time began, and how 
many winters it has seen roll on, how often seen the 
roses given back *o the meadows after the frost, the 
snow on my head proves. Will such things, good or 
bad, be of any profit after my flesh is dead, when 
death shall have wiped out all that I was ? It must 
be said to me: " Whosoever thou art, thy soul hath 
lost the world it cherished; not to God, who will 
claim thee as His, belong the things for which it was 
zealous." Yet as my last end draws near let my 
sinning soul put off her folly. With voice at least 
let her honour God, if with good deeds she cannot. 
With hymns let her link the days together, and no 
night pass without singing of her Lord. Let her 
fight against heresies, expound the Catholic faith, 
trample on the rites of the heathen, strike down 
thy idols, O Rome, devote song to the martyrs, and 
praise the apostles. And while I write or speak of 
these themes, O may I fly forth in freedom from the 
bonds of the body, to the place whither my busy 
tpngue's last word shall tend. 

• See Introduction, p. viii. 



Hymnus ad Galli Cantum 

jj^ Ales dieTpifntius 

\. luceih p^ropinquam praecinit ; 
a'^ nos excitalof mentium 

iam Christus ad vitam vocat. 

" auferte " clamat " lectulos 5 

aegros, soporos, desides ; 
castique, recti ac sobrii 
vigilate, iam sum proximus." 

post solis ortum fulgidi 
serum est cubile spernere, 10 

ni parte noctis addita 
tempus labori adieceris. 

vox ista qua strepunt aves 
st antes sub ipso cuhnine, 
paulo ante quam lux emicet, 15 

nostri figura est iudicis. 

tectos tenebris horridis 
stratisque opertos segnibus 
suadet quietem linquere 
iam iamque venturo die, 20 

ut, cum coruscis flatibus 
aurora caelum sparserit, 
omnes labore exercitos 
confirmet ad spem luminis. 


A Hymn for Cock-Crow 

The bird that heralds day forewarns that dawn is 
at hand; now Christ, the awakener of our souk, 
calls lis to life. " Away," He cries, " with beds that 
belong to sickness, sleep, and sloth. Be pure and 
upright and sober and awake, for now I am very near. 
It is late to spurn the couch after the shining sun 
is up, unless by adding a part of the night thou hast 
given more hours to toil. The loud chirping of the 
birds perched under the very roof, a little while 
before the light breaks forth, is a symbol of our 
Judge. As we lie closed in by foul darkness, buried 
under the blankets of sloth, He bids us leave repose 
behind, for day is on the point of coming ; that when 
dawn besprinkles the sky with her shimmering 
breath she may make us all, who were spent \vith 
toil, strong to embrace the hope of light. This 



hie somnus ad tempus datus 25 

est forma mortis perpetis : 
peccata, ceu nox horrida, 
cogunt iacere ac stertere. 

sed vox ab alto culmine 
Christi docentis praemonet 30 

adesse iam lucem prope, 
ne mens sopori serviat, 

ne somnus usque ad terminos 
vitae socordis opprimat 
pectus sepultum crimine 35 

et lucis oblitum suae. 

ferunt vagantes daemonas 
laetos tenebris noctium 
gallo canente exterritos 
sparsim timere et cedere. 40 

invisa nam vicinitas 
lucis, salutis, numinis, 
rupto tenebrarum situ 
noctis fugat satellites. 

hoc esse signum praescii 45 

norunt repromissae spei, 
qua nos soporis liberi 
speramus adventum Dei. 

quae vis sit huius alitis, 
Salvator ostendit Petro, 50 

ter antequam gallus canat 
sese negandum praedicans. 

fit namque peccatum prius 
quam praeco lucis proximae 
inlustret humanum genus 55 

finemque peccandi ferat. 

flevit negator denique 
ex ore prolapsum nefas, 



sleep that is given us for a time is an image of ever- 
lasting death. Our sins, like foul night, make us 
lie jnoring ; but the voice of Christ from the height 
of heaven teaches and forewarns us that daylight is 
near, lest our soul be in bondage to slumber, and to 
the very end of a slothful life sleep lie hea\'y on a 
heart that is buried in sin and has forgotten its 
natural li ght. They say that e\il spirits which roam 
happily in the darkness of night are terriiied when the 
cock crows, and scatter and flee in fear ; for the hated 
approach of light, salvation, Godhead, bursts through 
the foul d arkness and routs the ministers of night. 
They have foreknowledge that this is a sign of our 
promised hope, whereby being freed from slumber 
we hope for the coming of God. WTiat this bird 
signifies the Saviour showed to Peter, when He 
declared that ere the cock crew He should be thrice 
denied. For sin is committed before the herald of 
coming day sheds light on the race of men and brings 
an end of sinning. So he who denied Christ wept 
for the wickedness that fell from his lips while his 



cum mens inaneret innocens 
animusque servaret fidem. 

nee tale quidquam postea 
linguae locutus lubrico est, 
cantuque galli cognito 
peccare iustus destitit. 

inde est quod omnes credimus 
illo quietis tempore 
quo gallus exultans canit 
Christum redisse ex inferis. 

tunc mortis oppressus vigor, 
tunc lex subacta est Tartari, 
tunc vis diei fortior 
noctem coegit cedere. 

iam iam quiescant inproba, 
iam culpa furva obdormiat, 
iam noxa letalis suum 
perpessa somnum marceat. 

vigil vicissim spiritus 
quodcumque restat temporis, 
dum meta noctis clauditur, 
stans ac laborans excubet. 

lesum ciamus vocibus 
flentes, precantes, sobrii ; 
intenta supplicatio 
dorraire cor mundum vetat. 

sat convolutis artubus 
sensum profunda oblivio 
pressit, gravavit, obruit 
vanis vagantem somniis. 

sunt nempe falsa et frivola 
quae mundiali gloria, 
ceu dormientes, egimus : 
vigilemus, hie est Veritas. 



mind remained upright and his heart kept faith; 
nor ever after did he speak any such word by slip 
of tongue, and when he heard the cock crow he was 
made a just man and ceased to sin. Hence it is 
that we all believe it was at this hour of rest, wFen 
the cock crows in his pride, that Christ returned 
firom the dead. Then was the strength of death 
crushed, then was the law of hell subdued, then did 
the stronger potency of day force night to flee. 
Now, now let wickedness sink to rest, now let dark 
sin fall asleep, now let deadly guilt wither away, the 
victim of its o^\ti slumber ; and let the spirit in its 
turn awake, and for the time that remains, while the 
night's course is drawing to a close, stand and be 
active at its post. Let us call on Jesus -with our 
voices, in tears and prayers and soberness ; earnest 
suppUcation keeps the pure heart from slumbering. 
Long enough has deep forget fulness, as we lay curled 
up, pressed hea\ily on our sense and buried it while 
it wandered in baseless dreams. Surely false and 
; worthless are the things we have done because of 
• worldly glory, as though we did them in sleep. Let 
u'; awake ! Reality is here. Gold, pleasure, joy, 



aurum, voluptas, gaudium, 
opes, honores, prospera, 
quaecumque nos inflant mala, 
fit mane, nil sunt omnia. 

tu, Christe, somnum dissice, 
tu rumpe noctis vincula, 
tu solve peccatum vetus, 
novumque lumen ingere. 


Hymnus Matutinus 

..i^y^^''^^'^ '^ Nox et tenebrae et nubila, 
^^^ confusa mundi et turbida, 

lux intrat, albescit polus, ^ ' 
Christus venit, discedite. 
caligo terrae scinditur 
percuss a solis spiculo, 
rebusque iam color redit 
vultu nitentis sideris. 

sic nostra mox obscuritas 
fraudisque pectus conscium 
ruptis retectum nubibus 
regnante pallescet Deo. 

tunc non licebit claudere 
quod quisque fuscum cogitat, 
sed mane clarescent novo 
secreta mentis prodita. 

fur ante lucem squalido 
inpune peccat tempore, 
sed lux dolis contraria 
latere furtum non sinit. 




riches, honour, success, all the e\il things that puff 
us up, — comes morning, all are naught. Do Thou, 
O Christ, scatter our slumbers. Do Thou burst the 
bonds of night. Do Tho u un do our long-established 
sin, and pour in upon us the li^ht of the new day. 


A Morning Hymn 

Night and darkness and clouds, all the world's 
perplexed disorder, get ye gone ! The dawn comes 
in, the sky is Ughtening, Christ is coming. Earth's 
blackness is split asunder by the stroke of the sun's 
dart, and now the world resumes its colour under the 
glance of his shining orb. So presently will the 
darkness in us, the heart that knows its own sin, be 
cleared with the breaking of the clouds and grow 
light imder the rule of God. Then we shall not be 
free to hide our dark thoughts, but in the newness 
of morning the secrets of the heart will be revealed 
and made manifest. It is in the murky time before 
the light comes, that the thief offends unpunished ; 
but Ught, the foe of guile, suffers not theft to be 



versuta fraus et callida 
amat tenebris obtegi, 
aptamque noctem turpibus 
adulter occultus fovet. 

sol, ecce, surgit igneus : 
piget, pudescit, paenitet, 
hec teste quisquam lumine 
peceare constanter potest, 

quis mane sumptis nequiter 
non erubescit poculis, 
cum fit libido temperans, 
castumque nugator sapit ? 

nunc, nunc severum vivitur, 
nunc nemo temptat ludicrum, 
inepta nunc omnes sua 
vultu colorant serio. 

haec hora cunctis utilis 
qua quisque quod studet gerat, 
(miles, togatus, navita, 
T opifex, arator, institor. 

ilium forensis gloria, 
hunc triste raptat classicum. 
mercatorTiinc ac rusticus 
avara suspirant lucra. 

at nos lucelli ac faenoris 
fandique prorsus nescii, 
nee arte fortes bellica, 
te, Christe, solum novimus. 

te mente pura et simplici, 
te voce, te cantu pio 
rogare curvato genu 
flendo et canendo discimus. 

his nos lucramur quaestibus, 
hac arte tantum vivimus, 

(P^-^ri^^ ' 



hidden. Sly, cunning dishonesty loves to shroud 
itself in darkness, and the stealthy paramour cherishes 
the night because it is fitted for base deeds. But 
lo I the fiery sun arises, and there come regret and 
shame and sorrow, and no man can sin coolly under 
the eye of light. WTio does not blush in the morning 
after a bout of the wine-cup? For then desire 
moderates and the ne'er-do-well savours purity. 
Now, now it is that life is serious, now none essays 
aught sportive, now all men put a grave face on their 
follies. This is the hour that profits all for carrying 
on their several businesses, be it soldier or citizen, 
sailor, workman, husbandman or huckster. One is 
carried away by desire for fame in the courts, another 
by the grim war-trump; and here are the trader 
and the countrj'man sighing for their greedy gains. 
But we, who know nought of paltry gain or usury or 
eloquence, nor show our prowess in the art of war, 
know Thee, O Christ, alone. Of Thee A\ith pure and 
single heart, with devout voice and song, on bended 
knee with tears and singing we learn to make request. 
This is the trafficking whereby we grow rich, this 



haec inchoamus munera, 55 

cum sol resurgens emicat. 

intende nostris sensibus 
vitamque totam dispice ; 
sunt multa fucis inlita, 
quae luce purgentur tua. 60 

durare nos tales iube, 
quales, remotis sordibus, 
nitere pridem iusseras 
lordane tinctos flumine. 

quodcumque nox mundi dehinc 65 

infecit atris nubibus, 
tu, rex, Eoi sideris 
vultu sereno inlumina, 

tu, sancte, qui taetram picem 
candore tinguis lacteo, 70 

ebenoque crystallum facis, 
delicta tergens ^ livida. 

sub nocte lacob caerula, 
luctator audax angeli, 

eo usque dum lux surgeret, 75 

sudavit inpar proelium ; 

sed cum iubar claresceret, 
lapsante claudus poplite 
femurque victus debile, 
culpae vigorem perdidit, 80 

nutabat inguen saucium, 
quae corporis pars vilior I 

longeque sub cordis loco 
diram fovet libidinem. 

hae nos docent imagines 85 

hominem tenebris obsitum, 
si forte non cedat Deo, 
vires rebelles perdere. 



the employment by which alone we hve, these the 
duties we enter upon when the sun breaks forth at 
its rising again. Look intoourthoughts^^^nd 
examine our whole Ufe ; many stains are there to be 
cleansed by Thy light. Bid us so continue as Thou 
didst aforetime bid us shine when we were dipped in 
Jordan's stream and our uncleanness was done away. 
WTiatsoever the night of the world since then has 
darkened with its black clouds do Thou, O King, 
illumine ^vith the bright face of the morning star. 
Thou, O Holy One, who dost give to foul pitch the 
whiteness of milk and make crystal of ebony and dost 
wipe away the stains of sin. It was under the dusk 
of night that Jacob, wrestling boldly with the angel, 
toiled hard in unequal fight until the light arose. 
But when the beam shone forth his ham gave way 
and he was lamed, and being overcome in the in- 
firmity of his thigh he lost the strength to sin. His 
loins were wounded and enfeebled, that baser part 
of the body, far below the heart, which nurtures 
fearful lust. These figures teach us that man, sunk 
in darkness, if he peld not to God, loses the strength 

^ Some MSS. of Bergman's class B have teige. 



erit tamen beatior, 
intemperans membrum cui 90 

luctando claudum et tabidum 
dies oborta invenerit. 

tandem facessat caecitas, 
quae nosmet in praeceps diu 
lapses sinistris gressibus 95 

errore traxit devio. 

haec lux serenum conferat 
purosque nos praestet sibi ; 
nihil loquamur subdolum, 
volvamus obscurum nihil. 100 

sic tota decurrat dies, 
ne lingua mendax, ne manus 
oculive peccent lubrici, 
ne noxa corpus inquinet. 

speculator adstat desuper, 105 

qui nos diebus omnibus 
actusque nostros prospicit 
a luce prima in vesperum. 

hie testis, hie est arbiter, 
hie intuetur quidquid est 110 

humana quod mens concipit ; 
hunc nemo fallit iudicem. 


Hymnus ante Cibum 

O CRUCiFER bone, lucisator, 
omniparens pie, Verbigena, 
edite corpore virgineo, 
sed prius in genitore potens, 
astra, solum, mare quam fierent, 5 



to resume the fight ; yet he •will be more blessed 
in whom the day, when it appears, finds the unruly 
body lamed and wasted with the struggle. At last 
let the blindness be gone, which has long caused us 
to fall into danger and made us wander from the 
path with misguided steps. May this hght give us 
a clear day and make us pure to meet it ; let us speak 
no guile and think no dark thought. So may the 
whole day pass that neither lying tongue, nor hands, 
nor straying eyes commit sin, nor any guilt stain our 
body. There is One that stands by watching from 
above, who each day \iews us and our doings from 
dawn of light till evening. He is witness, He is 
judge ; He looks on every thought the mind of man 
conceives, and this judge none can dupe. 

A Hymn Before Meat 

O KIND bearer of the cross, spreader of light, loving 
source of all, bom of the Word, Thou that wert the 
fruit of a xirgin's body, yet mighty in the Father ere 
stars and earth and sea were made, hither, I pray, 



hue nitido, precor, intuitu 
flecte salutiferam faciem 
fronte serenus et irradia, 
nominis ut sub honore tui 
has epulas liceat capere. 10 

te sine dulce nihil, Domine, 
nee iuvat ore quid adpetere, 
pocula ni prius atque cibos, 
Christe, tuus favor inbuerit, 
omnia sanctifieante fide. 15 

fercula nostra Deum sapiant, 
Christus et influat in pateras ; 
seria, ludicra, verba, iocos, . 
denique quod sumus aut agimus, 
trina superne regat pietas, 20 

hie mihi nulla rosae spolia, 
nullus aromate fragrat ^ odor, 
sed liquor influit ambrosius 
nectareamque fidem redolet 
fusus ab usque Patris gremio. 25 

sperne, Camena, leves hederas, 
cingere tempora quis solita es, 
sertaque mystica dactylico 
texere docta liga strophio, 
laude Dei redimita comas. 30 

quod generosa potest anima, 
lucis et aetheris indigena, 
solvere dignius obsequium, 
quam data munera si recinat 
artificem modulata suum ? 35 

ipse homini quia cuncta dedit, 
quae capimus dominante manu ; 
quae polus aut humus aut pelagus 
acre, gurgite, rure creant, 




with bright look turn Thy sa\-ing face, and with 
gladsome countenance shine upon us, that we may 
take this meal in honour of Thy name. Without 
Thee, Lord, nought is sweet, and appetite finds no 
relish unless Thy grace, O Christ, first flavour cups 
and food, while faith sanctifies all. May our dishes 
savour of God, and Christ be poured into our bowls ; 
may all things grave or Hght, our talk, our merri- 
ment, all that we are or do, be governed by the three- 
fold love from on high. Here no plunder of the rose, 
no scent of spice smells in my nostrils, but an ambrosial 
liquor flows into me, with the aroma of faith sweet 
as nectar, and pouring from the Father's breast. 
Put away, my Muse, the paltry i\'y-leaves wherewith 
thou hast been wont to encircle thy brows ; learn to 
weave mystic garlands and tie them with a band of 
dactyls," and wear thy hair wreathed with the praise 
of God. What worthier service can the high-bom 
soul, native of light and heaven, pay, than to chant 
the gifts she has received, singing of her Creator? 
For He has given all things to man, and we take them 
with a hand that bears dominion ; all that sky or 
earth or sea produces in air or flood or field, all this 

• The phrase is suited to the metre of this hymn, which is 
the dactylic tetrameter (catalectic). 

^ Here and elsewhere the spelling of the MSS. varies between 
fragl- and flagr-. 



haec mihi subdidit, et sibi me. 40 

callidus inlaqueat volucres 
aut pedicis dolus aut maculis, 
inlita glutine corticeo 
\imina plumigeram seriem 
inpediunt et abire vetant. 45 

ecce per aequora fluctivagos 
texta greges sinuosa trahunt ; 
piscis item sequitur calamum 
raptus acumine vulnifico, 
credula saucius ora cibo. 50 

fundit opes ager ingenuas, 
dives aristiferae segetis, 
hie ubi vitea pampineo 
bracchia palmite luxuriant, 
pacis alumna ubi baca viret. 55 

haec opulentia Christicolis 
servit et omnia subpeditat. 
absit enim procul ilia fames, 
caedibus ut pecudum libeat 
sanguineas lacerare dapes. 60 

sint fera gentibus indomitis 
prandia de nece quadrupedum ; 
nos holeris coma, nos siliqua 
feta legumine multimodo 
paverit innocuis epulis. 65 

spumea mulctra gerunt niveos 
ubere de gemino latices, 
perque coagula densa liquor 
in solidum coit, et fragili 
lac tenerum premitur calatho. 70 

mella recens mihi Cecropia 
nectare sudat olente favus ; 
haec opifex apis aerio 


has He put under me, and me under Himself. Cun- 
ning craft snares birds in gins or meshes, or twigs 
smeared with the glue that comes from bark catch 
a Hne of the feathered creatures and will not let them 
go. See how through the waters the encircling 
nets draw the shoals that roam the waves ; and fish 
fall to the rod too, caught by the sharp, piercing 
hook, their too trustful mouth wounded by the bait. 
The land pours forth its native wealth in all the riches 
of its corn-crop, while here too the vine's branches 
luxuriate with leafy shoots and the berry that is the 
nursling of peace " flourishes. All this abundance 
is in the service of Christ's followers and supplies 
their every need. Far from us be the appetite that 
would choose to slay cattle and hack their flesh to 
make a bloody feast. Let tribes uncivilised have 
their savage meals from the slaughter of four-footed 
beasts : as for us, the leaves of greens, the pod that 
swells with beans of diverse sorts, will feed us with 
an innocent banquet. Foaming pails bear the snow- 
white milk drawn from a pair of teats ; and by means 
of thickening rennet the hquor solidifies, and the 
soft curd is pressed in a frail wicker basket. The 
fresh comb exudes for me Cecropian ' honey with 
the scent of nectar ; the worker bee, that knows no 

. " I.e. the olive. 

* I.e. Athenian, a literary epithet, Attic honey being 



rore liquat tenuique thymo, 

nexilis inscia conubii. 75 

hinc quoque pomiferi nemoris 
munera mitia proveniunt ; 
arbor onus tremefacta suum 
'deciduo gravis imbre pluit 
puniceosque iacit cumulos. 80 

quae veterum tuba quaeve lyra 
flatibus inclyta vel fidibus 
divitis omnipotentis opus, 
quaeque fruenda patent homini, 
laudibus aequiperare queat ? 85 

te, Pater optime, mane novo, 
solis et orbita cum media est, 
te quoque luce sub occidua, 
sumere cum monet hora cibum, 
nostra, Deus, canet harmonia. 90 

quod calet halitus interior, 
corde quod abdita vena tremit, 
pulsat et incita quod resonam 
lingua sub ore latens caveam, 
laus superi Patris esto mihi. 95 

nos igitur tua, sancte, manus 
caespite conposuit madido, 
effigiem meditata suam, 
utque foret rata materies 
flavit et indidit ore animam.^ 100 

tunc per amoena virecta iubet 
frondicomis habitare locis, 
ver ubi perpetuum redolet 
prataque multicolora latex 
quadrifluo celer amne rigat. 105 

" haec tibi nunc famulentur " ait ; 
" usibus omnia dedo tuis, 



union in wedlock, makes this clear fluid from the 
dew of the air and the slender thyme. From the 
earth too come the ripe gifts of the orchard. The 
hea\y tree is shaken and rains down its load in a 
falling shower, casting its red fruits in heaps upon 
the ground. What trumpet or lyre of old, with 
famous music of vnnd or strings, could fitly praise 
the work of Him who is rich and almighty, and all 
that is provided for man's enjoyment? Of Thee, 
best Father, when the mom is new, and when the 
sun's course is half-way run, of Thee too under the 
sinking Ught, when the time of day admonishes us 
to take food, of Thee, O God, shall be our song. 
For the breath that is warm within me, for the blood 
that pulses imseen in my heart, for the tongue 
ensconced within my mouth and beating nimbly on 
its sounding chamber, let me praise the Father on 
high. Thy hand, then, it was, O Holy One, that 
made us from the moist earth. After His own image 
He made us, and that our substance might be per- 
fected, breathed with His mouth into us the breath 
of life. Then He bade man dwell in a leafy place, 
ranging over pleasant lawns, where the scent of 
spring was unending and a swift stream in fourfold 
channel <* watered the many-coloured meads. " Be 
I all this now in thy service," He said. " All I give 
iover to thee for thy enjoyment. But I bid thee 

• Cf. Genesis ii, 10. 


I ^ ore animam dedit ex proprio A. 



sed tamen aspera mortifero 

stipite carpere poma veto, 

qui medio viret in nemore." 110 

hie draco perfidus indocile 
virginis inlicit ingenium, 
ut socium malesuada virum 
mandere cogeret ex vetitis, 
ipsa pari peritura modo. 115 

corpora mutua (nosse nefas) 
post epulas inoperta vident, 
lubricus error et erubuit : 
tegmina suta parant foliis, 
dedecus ut pudor occuleret. 120 

conscia culpa Deum pavitans 
sede pia procul exigitur. 
innuba femina quae fuerat, 
coniugis excipit imperium, 
foedera tristia iussa pati. 125 

auctor et ipse doli coluber 
plectitur inprobus, ut mulier 
colla trilinguia calce terat ; 
sic coluber muliebre solum J 

suspicit atque virum mulier. 130 

his ducibus vitiosa dehinc 
posteritas ruit in facinus, 
dumque rudes imitatur avos, 
fasque nefasque simul glomerans, 
inpia crimina morte luit. 135 

ecce venit nova progenies, 
aethere proditus alter homo, 
non luteus velut ille prius, 
sed Deus ipse gerens hominem, 
corporeisque carens vitiis. 140 

fit caro vivida Sermo Patris, 



not pluck the harsh fruit from the deadly tree that 

grows in the midst of the wood." Then the treacher- 

1 ous serpent beguiled the simple heart of the maid 

\ to seduce her male partner and make him eat of the 

I forbidden fruit, being herself doomed to ruin in 

1 like manner. Each other's body (unlawful know- 

I ledge), after eating, they saw uncovered, and their 

1 sinful lapse brought the blush to their cheeks ; 

I coverings they made by stitching leaves, that modesty 

j might veil their shame. Trembling before God for 

! the guilt they felt, they were driven out from the 

abode of innocence, and the woman, till then un- 

wedded, came under a husband's rule and was 

commanded to submit to stern laws. The wicked 

serpent, too, that devised the guile, was condemned 

to have its three-tongued head bruised by the 

woman's heel ; so the serpent was under the woman's 

foot, as the woman under the man. Following their 

lead, succeeding generations are corrupted and rush 

into sin, and through copying their primitive 

ancestors, liunping right and wrong together, pay 

with death for their rebelUous deeds. But lo ! 

there comes a new scion, a Second Man sent forth 

from heaven, not of clay as was that one before, 

but God Himself putting on man without the 

body's faults. The Word of the Father becomes 


numine quam rutilante gravis 

non thalamo, neque iure tori, 

nee genialibus inlecebris 

intemerata puella parit. 145 

hoc odium vetus illud erat, 
hoe erat aspidis atque hominis 
digladiabile discidium, 
quod modo cernua femineis 
vipera proteritur pedibus. 150 

edere namque Deum merita 
omnia virgo venena domat ; 
tractibus anguis inexplicitis 
virus inerme piger revomit, 
gramine concolor in viridi. 155 

quae feritas modo non trepidat 
territa de grege candidulo ? 
inpavidas lupus inter oves 
tristis obambulat et rabidum 
sanguinis inmemor os cohibet. 160 

agnus enim vice mirifica 
ecce leonibus imperitat, 
exagitansque truces aquilas 
per vaga nubila perque Notos 
sidere lapsa columba fugat. 1651 

tu mihi, Christe, columba potens, 
sanguine pasta cui cedit avis, 
tu niveus per ovile tuum 
agnus hiare lupum prohibes, 
subiuga tigridis ora premens. 170 

da, locuples Deus, hoc famulis 
rite precantibus, ut tenui 
membra cibo recreata levent, 
neu piger inmodicis dapibus 
viscera tenta gravet stomachus. 17| 



li\-ing flesh ; pregnant by the shining Godhead, not 
by wedlock nor espousal nor allurement of marriage, 
a maid inviolate bears it. This was the meaning of 
that age-long hate, that quarrel to the death between 
snake and man, that now the serpent on his belly is 
crushed by a woman's feet. For the virgin who 
proved worthy to give birth to God subdues all its 
poisons, and the snake, its length twisted in coils 
it cannot unravel, feebly spews its harmless venom 
on the green grass whose hue it matches. What 
void beast does not tremble now in fear of the white- 
clad flock? The dire wolf prowls amid fearless 
sheep, and with no thought of blood keeps close his 
ravening mouth. For see — by a wondrous change 
the lamb commands the Uons, and the dove gliding 
from the sky drives the fierce eagles in flight through 
the unresting clouds and the winds. Thou for me, 
;0 Christ, art the puissant dove to which the blood- 
fed bird gives place. Thou art the snow-white lamb 
that dost prevent the wolf from opening his jaws in 
all Thy fold and dost subdue and close the tiger's 
mouth. Grant, mighty God, to Thy sen'ants' devout 
prayers that with a frugal meal they may refresh 
and sustain their bodies, and that the stomach be 
aot hea\'y with immoderate feasting and strain and 
weigh upon the inner parts. Far from us be the 



haustus amarus abesto procul, 
ne libeat tetigisse manu 
exitiale quid aut vetitum ; 
gustus et ipse modum teneat, 
sospitet ut iecur incolume. 180 

sit satis anguibus horrificis 
liba quod inpia corporibus 
a ! miseram peperere necem ; 
sufficiat semel ob facinus 
plasma Dei potuisse mori. 185 

oris opus, vigor igneolus 
non moritur, quia flante Deo 
conpositus superoque fluens 
de solio patris artificis 
vim liquidae rationis habet. 

viscera mortua quin etiam 
post obitum reparare datur, 
eque suis iterum tumulis 
prisca renascitur effigies, 
pulvereo coeunte situ. 

credo equidem, neque vana fides, 
corpora vivere more animae ; 
nam modo corporeum memini 
de Phlegethonte gradu facili 
ad superos remeasse Deum. 

spes eadem mea membra manet, 
quae redolentia funereo 
iussa quiescere sarcophago, 
dux parili redivivus humo 
ignea Christus ad astra vocat. 205 



baneful draught ; let it not please us to handle 
aught that is deadly or forbidden ; and let our 
eating, too, observe due measure, to preserve the 
flesh but hurt it not. Let the terrible serpents be 
content that sinfui food brought forth, alas ! sad 
death to men's bodies ; be it enough that once 
through sin God's creature could die. The work 
of His mouth, the glowing life, dies not, because 
being created by the breath of God and flowing from 
I the heavenly throne of the Father, its maker, it has 
I the force of pure reason. Yea, it is even granted to 
restore the dead flesh after its decease, and once 
again from its tomb the old form is reborn, when the 
mouldering dust comes together. I indeed believe 
i (and my faith is not vain) that bodies live as does the 
1 soul ; for now I bethink me it was in bodily form that 
God returned from Phlegethoii with easy step to 
heaven. The same hope awaits my members, 
which, though they are bidden to rest scented with 
spices in the tomb of death, Christ my leader, who 
rose from the like earth, calls to the glowing stars. 




Hymnus post Cibum 

Pastis visceribus ciboque surapto, 
quem lex corporis inbecilla poscit, 
laudem lingua Deo Patri rependat, 

Patri, qui Cherubin sedile sacrum 
nee non et Seraphin suum supremo 5 

subnixus solio tenet regitque. 

hie est quem Sabaoth Deum vocamus, 
expers principii carensque fine, 
rerum conditor et repertor orbis, 

fons vitae liquida fluens ab area, 10 

infusor fidei, sator pudoris, 
mortis perdomitor, salutis auctor. 

omnes quod sumus aut vigemus, inde est. 
regnat Spiritus ille sempiternus 
a Christo simul et Parente missus. 1 

intrat pectora candidus pudica, 
quae templi vice consecrata rident 
postquam conbiberint Deum medullis. 

sed si quid vitii dolive nasci 
inter viscera iam dicata sensit, 201 

ceu spurcum refugit celer sacellum. 

taetrum flagrat enim vapore crasso . } 

horror conscius aestuante culpa, f 

offensumque bonum niger repellit. 

nee solus pudor innocensve votum 25j 

templum constituunt perenne Christo 
in cordis medii sinu ac recessu, 

sed ne crapula ferveat cavendum est, 
quae sedem fidei cibis refertam 
usque ad congeriem coartet intus. 30' 




A Hymn After Meat 

Now that we have fed our flesh, taking the food 
which the weakly law of our body requires, let our 
tongue render due praise to God the Father, the 
Father who, sitting on the supreme throne, holds 
sway over Cherubim and Seraphim, His sacred seat. 
This is He whom we call God of Sabaoth, who is 
without beginning and without end, maker of all 
things and creator of the world, source of life flowing 
from the clear light of heaven, who inspires faith and 
implants goodness in us, the conqueror of death and 
author of salvation. From Him do we all have our 
being and our life. The Spirit reigns eternal, He 
whom both Christ and His Father have sent. In 
His purity He enters chaste hearts, which are con- 
secrated as His temple, smiling brightly when they 
have drunk deep of God. But if He perceives sin 
or guile arising in the flesh now dedicated to Him, 
swiftly He departs as from an unclean shrine. For 
the disordered conscience bums foully with thick 
smoke as the fire of sin rages, and its blackness 
offends and drives away the good. Yet not alone do 
purity and innocent desire make an everlasting temple 
for Christ in the depths of the heart within us, but 
we must beware of the fever of excess that would 
stuff in food till the mass of it constricted the seat 


VOL. I. C 


parcis victibus expedita corda 
infusum melius Deum receptant ; 
hie pastus animae est saporque verus. 

sed nos tu gemino fovens paratu 
artus atque animas utroque pastu 35 

confirmas, Pafcer, ac vigore conples. 

sic olim tua praecluens potestas 
inter raucisonos situm leones 
inlapsis dapibus virum refovit. 

ilium fusile numen execrantem 40 

et curvare caput sub expolita 
aeris materia nefas putantem 

plebs dirae Babylonis ac tyrannus 
morti subdiderant, feris dicarant 
saevis protinus haustibus vorandum. 45 

o semper pietas fidesque tuta ! 
lambunt indomiti virum leones, 
intactumque Dei tremunt alumnum. 

adstant comminus et iubas reponunt, 
mansuescit rabies, fameque blanda 50 

praedam rictibus ambit incruentis. 

sed cum tenderet ad superna palmas 
expertumque sibi Deum rogaret 
clausus iugiter indigensque victus, 

iussus nuntius advolare terris, 55 

qui pastum famulo daret probato, 
raptim desilit obsequente mundo. 

cernit forte procul dapes inemptas, 
quas messoribus Ambacum ^ propheta 
agresti bonus exhibebat arte. 60 

huius caesarie manu prehensa, 
plenis, sicut erat, gravem canistris 

^ This is the form of the name in the Septuagint, and 
presumably in the. Latin version (if any) used by Prudentius. 



of faith in us. Hearts that spare UWng leaves 
unencumbered receive better the inpouring of God ; 
He is the soul's true food and savour. But Thou 
dost make twofold provision for our nurture ; our 
bodies and our souls with two several kinds of 
sustenance Thou dost strengthen and in\'igorate. 
Thus once Thy renowTied power revived a man set 
amid rough-voiced lions, "with a meal that came to 
him." Because he abominated a god cast in metal 
and thought it sin to bow his head before a material 
image of pohshed bronze, the people of fell Babylon 
and their king had exposed him to death, giving him 
over to the wild beasts to be devoured forthwith 
by their cruel jaws. How safe always are goodness 
and faith ! The untamed lions Uck the hero, and 
tremble before the child of God, hurting him not ! 
They stand close by him >\"ith manes laid back ; their 
fury turned to gentleness and their hunger to fawn- 
ing, they walk round their prey with jaws unbloodied. 
But when he stretched his hands towards heaven in 
prayer to the God he had proved before, being con- 
fined without remission and in need of food, a 
messenger was bidden to fly to earth and give 
nourishment to His tried servant, and quickly 
descended, while the heavens made way. It chanced 
that some way off he descried a home-gro'WTi meal 
which the kindly prophet Habakkuk was pro\'iding 
with the countryman's rude art for his reapers. 
Grasping him by the hair, he carried him off the 
ground just as he was, with the load of his full baskets, 

• The story is in "Bel and the Dragon," to be found 
among the Apocrypha, and also in the Septuagint and 
Vulgate as chapter 14 of the Book of Daniel. 



suspensum rapit et vehit per auras. 

turn raptus simul ipse prandiumque 
sensim labitur in lacum leonum, 65 

et quas tunc epulas gerebat ofFert. 

" sumas laetus " ait " libensque carpas, 
quae summus Pater angelusque Christi 
mittunt liba tibi sub hoc periclo." 

his sumptis Danielus excitavit 70 

in caelum faciem, ciboque fortis 
" amen " reddidit, " alleluia " dixit. 

sic nos muneribus tuis refecti, 
largitor Deus omnium bonorum, 
grates reddimus et sacramus hymnos. 75 

tu nos tristifico velut tyranno 
mundi scilicet inpotentis actu 
conclusos regis et feram repellis, 

quae circumfremit ac vorare temptat, 
insanos acuens furore dentes, 80 

cur te, summe Deus, precemur unum. 

vexamur, premimur, malis rotamur ; 
oderunt, lacerant, trahunt, lacessunt ; 
iuncta est suppliciis fides iniquis. 

nee defit tamen anxiis medella ; 85 

nam languente truci leonis ira 
inlapsae superingeruntur escae. I 

quas si quis sitienter hauriendo, I 

non gustu tenui sed ore pleno, ■ 

internis velit inplicare venis, 90 

hie sancto satiatus ex propheta 
iustorum capiet cibos virorum, 
qui fructum Domino metunt perenni. 

nil est dulcius ac magis saporum, 
nil quod plus hominem iuvare possit, 95 

quam vatis pia praecinentis orsa. 



and bore him through the air. Then the ra\ished 
prophet and his meal together glided gently down 
into the Uons' den, and he proffered the feast he was 
carrying. " Take with good cheer," said he, " and 
eat readily the \iands which the supreme Father and 
the angel of Christ send thee in this thy danger." 
So Daniel took them and Ufted his face towards 
heaven, and being now fortified with food, said 
" Amen, Alleluia " in response. In the same 
manner we, being refreshed by Thy gifts, O God, 
the generous giver of all good things, return thanks 
and dedicate our hymns to Thee. Imprisoned as 
we are by the world's cruel violence, as it were by a 
grim despot, Thou dost direct us and drive away the 
wild beast that goes roaring round about and seeks 
to devour us, sharpening its teeth to frenzy with 
rage, for that, O God supreme, we pray to Thee alone. 
We are afflicted, oppressed, tossed about with e\-ils ; 
men hate us, tear us, carr}' us away captive, assail 
us; faith is yoked to unjust penalties. Yet in our 
trouble we lack not healing comfort, for food comes 
down to us from above, and the Uon's fierce wrath 
subsides. And if a man be wilUng to swallow it 
eagerly, not tasting daintily but by mouthfuls, and 
make it part and parcel of his inner being, then will 
he receive from the holy prophet the food of righteous 
men who reap the han'est for their everlasting 
Master, and ^rill be satisfied. Nought is sweeter 
or more savoury, nought more helpful to man, than 
the devout words of the prophet foretelling things to 




his sumptis licet insolens potestas 
pravum iudicet inrogetque mortem, 
inpasti licet inruant leones, 

nos semper Dominum Patrem fatentes 100 
in te, Christe Deus, loquemur unum, 
constanterque tuam crucem feremus. 

Hymnus ad Incensum Lucernae 

Inventor rutili, dux bone, luminis, 
qui certis vicibus tempora dividis, 
merso sole chaos ingruit horridum. 
lucem redde tuis, Christe, fidelibus. 

quamvis innumero sidere regiam 5 

lunarique polum lampade pinxeris, 
incussu silicis lumina nos tamen 
monstras saxigeno semine quaerere, 

ne nesciret homo spem sibi luminis 
in Christi solido corpore conditam, 10 

qui dici stabilem se voluit petram, 
nostris igniculis unde genus venit. 

pinguis quos olei rore madentibus 
lychnis aut facibus pascimus aridis, 
quin et fila favis scirpea floreis 15 

presso melle prius conlita fingimus. 

vivax flamma viget, seu cava testula 
sucum linteolo suggerit ebrio, 
seu pinus piceam fert alimoniam, 
seu ceram teretem stuppa calens bibit. 20 

nectar de liquido vertice fervidum 
guttatim lacrimis stillat olentibus, 
ambustum quoniam vis facit ignea 


come. Once we take this food, arrogant power may 
pass per\-erse judgment and condemn us to death, 
the star\ed lions may rush upon us ; but as for us, 
we shall ever make confession that our Lord the 
Father is one in Thee, O God Christ, and with 
constancy shall bear Thy cross. 

A Hymn for the Lighting of the Lamp 

Creator of the glowing light, our kindly guide, who 
dost divide the times in a fixed order of seasons, now 
the sun has sunk and the gruesome darkness comes 
upon us ; give light again, O Christ, to Thy faithful 
ones. Albeit Thou hast adorned the heavens. Thy 
royal court, with countless stars and >\ith the moon's 
lamp, yet Thou teachest us to seek light from a stone- 
bom spark by striking the flint, that man might 
know that his hope of light is founded on the firm 
body of Christ, who ^villed that He be called the 
steadfast rock, from whence our little fires draw their 
origin. With lamps bedewed ^vith rich oil, or with 
dry torches, we feed them, and we make rush-candles 
too, smearing them ^\^th flower-scented wax of the 
combs after the honey has been pressed from them. 
The lively flame thrives, whether it be a little earthen 
bowl that supplies sap to a thirsty linen wick, or 
pinewood that brings its pitchy sustenance, or a warm 
tow that drinks up the smooth, round wax, while hot 
nectar trickles from the molten top in scented tear- 
drops, for the strong heat sends them dripping in a 



imbrem de madido flere cacumine. 

splendent ergo tuis rauneribus, Pater, 25 
flammis nobilibus ^ scilicet atria, 
absentemque diem lux agit aemula, 
quam nox cum lacero victa fugit peplo. 

sed quis non rapidi luminis arduam 
manantemque Deo cernat originem ? 30 

Moses nempe Deum spinifero in rubo 
vidit conspicuo lumine flammeum. 

felix qui meruit sentibus in sacris 
caelestis solii visere principem, 
iussus nexa pedum vincula solvere 35 

ne sanctum involucris poUueret locum. 

hunc ignem populus sanguinis inclyti, 
maiorum meritis tutus et inpotens, 
suetus sub dominis vivere barbaris, 
iam liber sequitur longa per avia. 40 

qua gressum tulerant castraque caerulae 
noctis per medium concita moverant, 
plebem pervigilem fulgure praevio 
ducebat radius sole micantior. 

sed rex Niliaci litoris invido 45 

fervens felle iubet praevalidam manum 
in bellum rapidis ire cohortibus, 
ferratasque acies clangere classicum. 

sumunt arma viri seque minacibus 
accingunt gladiis, triste canit tuba. 50 

hie fidit iaculis, ille volantia 
praefigit calamis spicula Gnosiis. 

densetur cuneis turba pedestribus, 
currus pars et equos et volucres rotas 
conscendunt celeres, signaque bellica 55 

praetendunt tumidis clara draconibus. 

1 mobilibus in some MSS. of both classes, 



burning shower from the liquid summit. So our halls 
shine, Father, with Thy gifts of noble flames ; their 
emulous hght plays the part of day when it has gone, 
and night with torn mantle flees before it in defeat. 
But who would not discern that the swift light has 
its source on high and flows from God? Moses in 
truth saw God in a prickly bush in the form of flame 
with brilUant light. Blessed was he who was worthy 
to behold in the sacred brier the lord of the heavenly 
throne, and was bidden to undo the ties on his feet 
lest with their coverings he pollute the holy place. 
It was this fire that the nation of illustrious blood, 
preserved by its fathers' merits and of no strength 
itself, when at last set free after long living under 
barbarous lords, followed far over desert ways. 
Wherever they turned their steps, rousing and mov- 
ing their camp amid the darkness of night, a ray that 
flashed brighter than the sun led the unsleeping 
people with a gleam that went before them. But the 
king who ruled on the banks of the Nile, burning 
with a jealous hatred, commands a mighty force to 
go to war in swift-marching companies, and his iron- 
clad ranks to sound the loud bugle. His warriors 
take up arms, girding themselves with menacing 
swords, and the trumpet blows its grim call. One 
puts his trust in javelins, another fixes sharp, flying 
heads on Gnosian" shafts. The multitude forms up 
in serried ranks of foot; others swiftly mount 
chariots with their horses and flying wheels, and dis- 
play their banners of war with their famous dragons * 

" I.e. Cretan, another literary epithet. 

* Prudentiua ascribes to Pharaoh a banner of the Roman 
imperial armies. It is described bv Ammianus Marcellinus, 
XVI, 10, 7. 



hie iam servitii nescia pristini 
gens Pelusiacis usta vaporibus 
tandem purpurei gurgitis hospita 
rubris litoribus fessa resederat. 60 

hostis dirus adest cum duce perfido, 
infert et validis proelia viribus. 
Moses porro suos in mare praecipit 
constans intrepidis tendere gressibus. 

praebent rupta locum stagna viantibus, 65 
riparum in faciem pervia sistitur 
circumstans vitreis unda liquoribus, 
dum plebs sub bifido permeat aequore. 

pubes quin etiam decolor asperis 
inritata odiis rege sub inpio 70 

Hebraeum sitiens fundere sanguinem 
audet se pelago credere concavo. 

ibant praecipiti turbine percita 
fluctus per medios agmina regia, 
sed confusa dehinc unda revolvitur 75 

in semet revolans gurgite confluo. 

currus tunc et equos telaque naufraga 
ipsos et proceres et vaga corpora 
nigrorum videas nare satellitum, 
arcis iustitium triste tyrannicae. 80 

quae tandem poterit lingua retexere 
laudes, Christe, tuas ? qui domitam Pharon 
plagis multimodis cedere praesuli 
cogis iustitiae vindice dextera ; 

qui pontum rabidis ^ aestibus invium 85 

persultare vetas, ut refluo in solo ^ 
securus pateat te duce transitus, 
et mox unda rapax ut voret inpios ; 

cui ieiuna eremi saxa loquacibus 
exundant scatebris, et latices novos 90 



swelling. At this time, free now from its ancient 
bondage, the race that had burned under Egypt's 
heat had at length halted, weary and in a strange 
land, on the shores of the Red Sea. Their dread 
enemy is upon them under his faithless leader, and 
with strong forces launches the attack ; but Moses 
firmly bids his people go forward into the sea with 
steps unfaltering. The flood separates and makes 
room for them as they travel ; the waves, opening a 
path as it were between banks, stand still with glassy 
waters on either hand while the people pass over on 
the bed of the divided sea. Yea, the swarthy warriors 
too, under their ungodly king, stirred by their bitter 
hatred and thirsting to shed Hebrew blood, venture to 
trust themselves to that trough in the deep. In head- 
long rush the king's columns were sweeping Hke a 
hiu-ricane through the midst of the flood ; but now the 
waters pour together and roll back on themselves, 
racing to meet again. Then could be seen the wTcck of 
chariots and horses and weapons, and the princes too, 
and bodies of their black henchmen floating this way 
and that, a sad day of mourning for the despot's throne. 
What tongue can tell Thy praises, O Christ? Thou 
dost overcome Egypt and by manifold afflictions 
compel her to give way to the protector of righteous- 
ness through t he deliv erance of Thy^ right hand. The 
sea, impassable when its suites rage. Thou dost 
forbid to leap, that on its bed laid bare there may 
open a passage that is safe under Thy guidance, and 
then the ravenous waves may swallow up the ungodly. 
At Thy command the barren rocks of the desert gush 
with babbling springs, and the cleft flint pours forth 

' rapidis in some MSS. of class B. 
^ salo in some MSS. of both classes. 



fundit scissa silex, quae sitientibus 
dat potum populis axe sub igneo. 

instar fellis aqua tristifico in lacu 
fit ligni venia mel velut Atticum. 
lignum est quo sapiunt aspera dulcius, 95 

nam praefixa cruci spes hominum viget. 

inplet castra cibus tunc quoque ninguidus, 
inlabens gelida grandine densius ; 
his mensas epulis, hac dape construunt, 
quam dat sidereo Christus ab aethere. 100 

nee non imbrifero ventus anhelitu 
crassa nube leves invehit alites, 
quae, difflata in humum cum semel agmina 
fluxerunt, reduci non revolant fuga. 

haec olim patribus praemia contulit 105 

insignis pietas numinis unici, 
cuius subsidio nos quoque vescimur 
pascentes dapibus pectora mysticis. 

fessos ille vocat per freta saeculi 
discissis populum turbinibus regens, 110 

iactatasque animas mille laboribus 
iustorum in patriam scandere praecipit. 

illic purpureis tecta rosariis 
omnis fragrat humus caltaque pinguia 
et molles violas et tenues crocos 115 

fundit fonticulis uda fugacibus. 

illic et gracili balsama surculo 
desudata fluunt, raraque cinnama 
spirant, et folium, fonte quod abdito 
praelambens fluvius portat in exitum. 120 

felices animae prata per herbida 
concentu pariles suave sonantibus 
hymnorum modulis dulce canunt melos, 
calcant et pedibus lilia candidis. 



new streams, giving drink to the multitudes that thirst 
under the burning sky. Water that tasted like gall 
in the pool of bitterness is made, by \-irtue of a log 
of wood, like the honey of Attica." Wood it is where- 
by bitter things taste sweeter; for it is when fixed 
on the cross that men's hope is strong. Then food, 
too, fills the camp, dropping Uke snow, showering 
more thickly than the chilly hail ; and with this meal, 
this feast, which Christ gives them from the starry 
heavens, they furnish their tables.* And the >vind 
with rainy blast brings light-winged birds in a thick 
cloud, which when once their ranks are scattered by 
the breeze and stream to the ground, fly not away 
again." These gifts once the surpassing goodness of 
the one God gave to our fathers ; and by His support 
we too are fed, nurturing our hearts with a mysric 
feast. He calls the wearj- over the sea of the world 
and guides His people, cleaving the storms ; souls 
that have been tossed by a thousand distresses He 
bids go up into the country of the righteous. There 
all the ground is covered and scented with beds of 
red roses ; watered by running streamlets it pours 
forth rich marigolds and soft violets and tender 
crocuses. There balsam, too, exudes in a stream 
from its slender shoot, the rare cinnamon breathes 
its scent, and the leaf** which the river by whose 
stream it grows carries from its hidden source to its 
mouth. The blessed souls over the grassy meads 
sing their sweet song in harmonious concert, and 
pleasantly sounds the melody of their hymns, as with 
white feet they tread the UUes. And the guilty 

• Cf. Exodus XV, 23-25. » Exodas xvi, 14 ff. 

' Numbers xi, 31. 

"* Of nard, brought down the Indus and the Ganges. 



sunt et spiritibus saepe nocentibus 125 

poenarum celebres sub Styge feriae 
ilia nocte, sacer qua rediit Deus 
stagnis ad superos ex Acherunticis, 

non sicut tenebras de face fulgida 
surgens Oceano Lucifer inbuit, 130 

sed terris Domini de cruce tristibus 
maior sole novum restituens diem. 

marcent suppliciis Tartara mitibus, 
exultatque sui carceris otio 
functorum^ populus liber ab ignibus, 135 

nee fervent solito flumina sulphure. 

nos festis trahimus per pia gaudia 
noctem conciliis votaque prospera 
certatim vigili congerimus prece, 
extructoque agimus liba sacrario. 140 

pendent mobilibus lumina funibus, 
quae suffixa micant per laquearia, 
et de languidulis fota natatibus 
lucem perspicuo flamma iacit vitro. 

credas stelligeram desuper aream 145 

ornatam geminis stare trionibus, 
et qua bosphoreum temo regit iugum 
passim purpureos spargier hesperos. 

o res digna, Deus,^ quam tibi roscidae 
noctis principio grex tuus offerat, 150 

lucem, qua tribuis nil pretiosius, 
lucem, qua reliqua praemia cernimus. 

tu lux vera oculis, lux quoque sensibus, 
intus tu speculum, tu speculum foris ; 
lumen quod famulans ofFero, suscipe, 155 

tinctum pacifici chrismatis unguine, 

per Christum genitum, summe Pater, tuum, 
in quo visibilis stat tibi gloria, 



spirits too, in their crowds often have holiday from 
punishment in hell, on the night on which the holy 
God returned to the world of men from the waters of 
Acheron, not like the morning star when it rises from 
Ocean and first tinges the darkness with its shining 
torch, but a grea+er than the sun, restoring new day 
to a world saddened by the cross of its Lord. Hell's 
force abates, its punishments are mild, and the people 
of the dead, set free from the fires, rejoices in the 
relaxation of its imprisonment, nor do the sulphurous 
rivers boil as hot as they are wont. As for us, we 
pass the long night with pious gladness in festal con- 
gregations," in sleepless prayer we earnestly heap up 
petitions that will be granted, and on the altar raised 
up make offerings to God. The lamps gleam out, that 
hang by swaying cords from every panel of the roof, 
and the flame, fed by the oil on which it floats lazily, 
casts its light through the clear glass. One would 
think the starry space stood over us, decked with the 
twin Bears, and that bright evening stars were ever)-- 
where scattered, where the Wain directs its team of 
oxen. How worthy a thing, O God, for Thy flock 
to offer Thee at dewy night's beginning — light. Thy 
most precious gift, light, by which we perceive all 
Thy other blessings ! Thou art the true light of our 
eyes, the true light of our minds ; by Thee we see 
as in a glass within, a glass without. Take the light 
which in Thy service I offer, dipped in the unction 
of the oil of peace ; through Christ Thy son, O 
Highest Father, in whom Thy glory stands visible ; 

• At the service on Easter eve, lasting throughout the 
night, and for which churches were brilliantly illuminated. 

^ umbrarum in A and some other M8S. of both classes. 
* Pater in ACD. 



qui noster Dominus, qui tuus unicus 

spirat de patrio corde Paraclitum. 160 

per quem splendor, honos, laus, sapientia, 
maiestas, bonitas et pietas tua 
regnum continuat numine triplici, 
texens perpetuis saecula saeculis. 

Hymnus ante Somnum 

Ades, Pater supreme, 
quem nemo vidit umquam, 
patrisque Sermo Christe, 
et Spiritus benigne, 

o Trinitatis huius 5 

vis una, lumen unum,^ 
deus ex Deo perennis, 
deus ex utroque missus. 

fluxit labor diei, 
redit et quietis hora, 10 

blandus sopor vicissim 
fessos relaxat artus. 

mens aestuans proeellis, 
curisque saueiata, 

totis bibit medullis 15 

obliviale poclum. 

serpit per omne corpus 
Lethaea vis, nee ullum 
miseris doloris aegri 
patitur manere sensum. 20 

lex haec data est caducis 
deo iubente membris, 



Christ our Lord and Thy only-begotten, who from His 
Father's heart breathes the Comforter; through 
whom Thy glory and honour and praise and wisdom, 
Thy majesty and goodness and love extend Thy 
kingdom with its three-fold Godhead, uniting age to 
age for ever and ever. 


A Hymn Before Sleep 

Be present, most high Father, whom no man hath 
seen at any time, and Christ the Word of the Father, 
and Thou, kindly Spirit ; O Thou who in this Trinity 
art one essence and one light, God of God everlasting, 
and God sent forth of both. The day's toil is past 
and the hour of rest comes again ; caressing slumber 
in its turn relaxes our tired limbs. The mind storm- 
tossed and careworn drinks deep the cup of forgetful- 
ness. ObHvion steals over all the body and lets no 
sense of soreness abide with the afflicted. This is 
the law appointed by God's command for our frail 

^ ACDP (foUowed by Bergman) have via ac potestas una. 



ut temperet laborem 
medicabilis voluptas. 

sed dum pererrat omnes 25 

quies arnica venas 
pectusque feriatum 
placat rigante somno, 

liber vagat per auras 
rapido vigor e sensus, 30 

variasque per figuras 
quae sunt operta cernit ; 
quia mens soluta curis, 
cui est origo caelum 

purusque fons ab aethra, «50 

iners iacere nescit. 

imitata multiformes 
facies sibi ipsa fingit, 
per quas repente currens 
tenui fruatur actu. *^ 

sed sensa somniantum 
dispar fatigat horror, 
nunc splendor intererrat, 
qui dat futura nosse ; 

plerumque dissipatis 4^ 

mendax imago veris 
animos pavore maestos 
ambage fallit atra. 

quern rara culpa morum 
non polluit frequenter, 5^ 

hunc lux serena vibrans 
res edocet latentes ; f^-'^'"' j^J^o^ '^' ' 

at qui ^oinquinatum i^^^^^^"^ r. _. , 
vitiis cor inpiavit, I 

lusus pavore multo ^^ 

species videt tremendas. 



members, that healing pleasure temper toil. But 
while kindly repose spreads through all our body, 
and as sleep floods it, lulls the heart to rest from 
labour, the spirit roams free through the air, quick 
and lively, and in diverse figures sees things that 
are hidden ; for the mind, whose source is heaven 
and whose pure fount is from the skie^, cannot 
lie idle when it is freed from care. By imitation 
it fashions for itself images of many shapes, to enjoy 
a ghostly activity while it courses qxiickly through 
them. But by contrast terror troubles our thoughts 
in dreams. At times a brilhant light comes in upon 
them and gives us knowledge of things to be ; often 
reality is scattered and a lying image makes our 
minds unhappy and afraid and deceives them with 
a dark obscurity. If a man's stains of guilty con- 
duct are few and far between, him the clear, flashing 
light teaches secret things ; but he who has j)olluted 
and befouled his heart with sins is the sport of many a 
fear and sees frightful visions. This our patriarch ' 

o Genesis xl and xli. 



hoc patriarcha noster 
sub carceris catena 
geminis simul ministris 
interpres adprobavit, 

quorum regressus unus 
dat poculum tyranno, 
ast alterum rapaces 
fixum vorant volucres. 

ipsum deinde regem, 
perplexa somniantem, 
monuit famem futuram 
clausis cavere acervis. 

mox praesul ac tetrarches 
regnum per omne iussus 
sociam tenere virgam, 
dominae resedit aulae. 

o quam profunda iustis 
arcana per soporem 
aperit tuenda Christus, 
quam clara, quam tacenda ! 

evangelista siunmi 
fidissimus Magistri 
signata quae latebant 
nebulis videt remotis : 

ipsum Tonantis agnum 
de caede purpurantem, 
qui conscium futuri 
librum resignat unus. 

huius maniun potentem 
gladius perarmat anceps, 
et fulgurans utrimque 
duplicem minatur ictum. 

quaesitor ille solus 
animaeque corporisque, 



proved by his interpretation to two ministers who 
were with him in the bondage of prison : the one 
is restored and again hands the cup to the king, but 
the other is hanged and the birds of prey devour 
him. Next he warned the king himself, when he 
dreamt a dream inscrutable, to provide against coming 
famine by shutting plenty up in store. Then was 
he made ruler and governor over all the kingdom 
and bidden to bear the sceptre in partnership, and 
he dwelt at the king's court. How deep the mysteries 
Christ lays open to the sight of the righteous in their 
sleep ! How clear, and not to be uttered ! The most 
faithful evangehst *• of the great Master, when the 
clouds are dispelled, sees things that formerly were 
sealed in darkness : the very Lamb of the Thunderer, 
red from the slaughter, who alone unseals the book 
that has knowledge of things to be. His mighty 
hand is armed with a two-edged sword, and flashing 
this way and that it threatens two strokes at once. 
«|He alone is inquisitor of soul and body both, and the 

" Revelation v, 6-9. 



ensisque bis timendus 
prima ac secunda mors est. 

idem tamen benignus 
ultor retundit iram, 
paucosquelnon piorum 
patitur perire in aevum. 
huic inclytus perenne 
tribuit Pater tribunal, 
hunc obtinere iussit 
nomen supra omne nomen. i^ 

hie praepotens cruenti 
extinctor Antichristi, 
qui de furente monstro 
pulchrum refert tropaeum. 

quam bestiara capaeem i"^ 

populosque devorantem, 
quam sanguinis Charybdem 
lohannis execratur ; 

banc nempe, quae sacratum 
praeferre nomen ausa 
imam petit gehennam 
Christo perempta vero. 

tali sopore iustus 
mentem relaxat heros, 
ut spiritu sagaci 
caelum peragret omne. 

nos nil meremur horum, 
quos creber inplet error, 
concreta quos malarum 
vitiat cupido rerum. 

sat est quiete dulci 
fessum fovere corpus ; 
sat, si nihil sinistrum 
vanae mineRtur umbrae, 


blade twice to be feared is the first and second death. 
Yet in kindness too the Avenger blunts the edge of 
His wTath, and suffers but few of the ungodly to 
perish for ever. To Him the illustrious Father has 
assigned the everlasting judgment-seat ; Him He has 
commanded to hold a name above every name. He 
is the mighty destroyer of the bloody Antichrist, 
and over that raxing monster wins a noble victory. 
This is the beast, which nothing can fill, which de- 
vours the nations, the blood-engulfing Charj'bdis that 
John curses ; the beast that dared to boast the holy 
name and is slain by the true Christ and plunges 
to the depths of hell. Such is the sleep with which 
the righteous hero rests his mind, that with prophetic 
spirit it traverses the whole heaven. As for us, we 
merit none of these things, for many an error fills 
jur heart, and a hardened desire for evil things 
corrupts xis. It is enough with sweet repose to re- 
fresh the tired body, enough if unsubstantial phan- 



cultor Dei, memento 
te fontis et lavacri 
rorem subisse sanctum, 
te chrismate innotatum. 

fac, cum vocante somno 
castum petis cubile, 
frontem locumque cordis 
crucis figura signet. 

crux pellit omne crimen, 
fugiunt crucem tenebrae : 
tali dicata signo 
mens fluctuare nescit. 

procul, o procul vagantum 
portenta somniorum, 
procul esto pervicaci 
praestigiator actu. 

o tortuose serpens, 
qui mille per meandros 
fraudesque flexuosas 
agitas quieta corda, 

discede, Christus hie est, 
hie Christus est, hquesce. 
signum quod ipse nosti 
damnat tuam catervam. 

corpus licet fatiscens 
iaceat recline paulum, 
Christum tamen sub ipso 
meditabimur sopore. 


HvMNus Ieiunantium 

O Nazarene, lux Bethlem, Verbum Patris, 
quem partus alvi virginaUs protulit, 


toms threaten no ill. Worshipper of God, remember 
that thou has been washed in the holy water of 
baptism and marked with the holy oil. See that, 
when at the call of sleep thou seekest thy pure 
3ouch, the sign of the cross seals thy brow and the 
place where lies thy heart. The cross drives out 
every sin ; before the cross darkness flees away ; 
consecrated with this sign, the spirit cannot be un- 
quiet. Away, away with the monstrosities of 
•ambUng dreams ! Away with the deceiver and his 
persistent guile ! O twining serpent that by a 
:housand winding ways and twisting deceptions dost 
iisturb hearts at rest, depart, for Christ is here! 
Jhrist is here : vanish away ! The sign thou thyself 
inowest condemns thy company. Though the 
veary body lie down for a httle, yet even in sleep 
)ur thoughts shall be of Christ. 

A Hymn of the Fasting 
O Nazarene, Light of Bethlehem, Word of the 
ither, offspring of a virgin's womb, be present, 



adesto castis, Christe, parsimoniis, 
festumque nostrum rex serenus aspice, 
ieiuniorum dum litamus victimam. 

nil hoc profecto purius mysterio, 
quo fibra cordis expiatur vividi, 
intemperata quo domantur viscera, 
arvina putrem ne resudans crapulam 
obstrangulatae mentis ingenium premat. 10 

hinc subiugatur luxus et turpis gula, 
vini atque somni degener socordia, 
libido sordens, inverecundus lepos, 
variaeque pestes languidorum sensuum 
parcam subactae disciplinam sentiunt. l^-j 

nam si Reenter diffluens potu et cibo 
ieiuna rite membra non coerceas, 
sequitur frequenti marcida oblectamine 
scintilla mentis ut tepescat nobilis, 
animusque pigris stertat in praecordiis. 20. 

frenentur ergo corporum cupidines, 
detersa et intus emicet prudentia ; 
sic excitato perspicax acumine 
liberque flatu laxiore spiritus 
rerum parentem rectius precabitur. 25 

Elia tali crevit observantia, 
vetus sacerdos, ruris hospes aridi, 
fragore ab omni quem remotum et segregem 
sprevisse tradunt criminum frequentiam, 
casto fruentem Syrtium silentio. 30 

sed mox in auras igneis iugalibus 
curruque raptus evolavit praepete, 
ne de propinquo sordium contagio 
dirus quietum mundus afflaret virum 
olim probatis inclytum ieiuniis. 35 

non ante caeli principem septemplicis 




Christ, at our pious acts of abstinence, and as our 

King look ■«'ith favour on our holy day while we offer 

the sacrifice of our fast. Nothing surely is purer 

than this rite, whereby the heart is enlivened through 

the cleansing of its tissues, and the intemperate flesh 

subdued so that fat, exuding the stinking sweat of 

excess, shall not constrict and choke the mind. 

Hereby are conquered indulgence and shameful 

appetite, the debased sloth that comes of wine and 

slumber, filthy passion, immodest pleasantry, and all 

the plagues that dull our senses are put down and 

feel the discipline of restraint. For if uncurbed a 

man abandons himself to drinking and eating and 

does not duly control his body by fasting, then in the 

consequence the spark of the noble soul wastes and 

:ools off by reason of constant indulgence, and the 

aiind falls heavily asleep in the sluggish breast. 

Let the desires of our bodies, then, be bridled, and 

:he clean flame of wisdom shine within us : so, \^-ith 

udgment awakened, the spirit will see clearly, it will 

lave freedom and more room to breathe, and will 

)ray better to the Father of all things. It was by 

;uch observance that EUas, the priest of old, grew 

-trong, when he was a sojourner in a drv' land, and 

hey say that thus remote and separate from all the 

loise of the world he put from him a multitude of 

iins while he enjoyed the pure silence of the desert. 

But afterwards he was carried away by horses of 

ire in a swift-flying chariot and soared into the 

)reezes, lest from the near contagion of filth the fell 

vorld should breathe upon a man at peace, whose 

"asts approved had given him renown. Moses," the 

aithful messenger of the awful throne, was not able 

" Cf. Exodns xxxiv, 28. 



Moses tremendi fidus interpres throni 

potuit videre, quam decern recursibus 

quater volutis sol peragrans sidera 

omni carentem cerneret substantia. 40 

victus precanti solus in lacrimis fuit ; 
nam flendo pernox inrigatmn pulverem 
humi madentis ore pressit cernuo, 
donee loquentis voce praestrictus Dei 
expavit ignem non ferendum visibus. 45 

lohannis huius artis baud minus potens 
Dei perennis praecucurrit Filium, 
curvos viarum qui retorsit tramites, 
et flexuosa corrigens dispendia 
dedit sequendam calle recto lineam. 50 

banc obsequellam praeparabat nuntius 
mox adfuturo construens iter Deo, 
clivosa planis, confragosa ut lenibus 
converterentur, neve quidquam devium 
inlapsa terris inveniret Veritas. 55 

non usitatis ortus hie natalibus : 
oblita lactis iam vieto in pectore 
matris tetendit serus infans ubera, 
nee ante partu de senili efFusus est 
quam praedicaret virginem plenam Deo. 60 

post in patentes ille solitudines, 
amictus hirtis bestiarum pellibus 
saetisve tectus hispida et lanugine, 
secessit, horrens inquinari et pollui 
contaminatis oppidorum moribus. 65 

illic dicata parcus abstinentia 
potum cibumque vir severae industriae 
in usque serum respuebat vesper um, 
rarum lucustis et favorum agrestium 
liquore pastum corpori suetus dare. 70 



to see the Lord of the sevenfold heavens till the sun 
in his passage through the constellations had rolled 
forty times on his returning path and beheld him 
lacking all sustenance. WTiile he prayed, his only 
meat was in his tears ; for vdih his weeping all 
night long he watered the dust and the ground was 
wet where he lay with face bowed low on it, until God 
spoke and His voice touched him and he trembled 
at the fire his eyes could not bear. John was no less 
a master of this power, he who went before the Son 
of the everlasting God, who made straight the crooked 
paths and by setting right the twisting ways gave a 
direct course to follow. This service the messenger 
made ready beforehand, making a way for God who 
was presently to come, so that the steep places 
should be changed to level and the rough places to 
smooth, and that Truth coming to the earth should 
find no devious way. No common birth was his : 
it was a late child that strained nipples that had 
forgotten their milk, on his mother's shrunken 
breast ; and ere he was brought forth from her aged 
womb he proclaimed a virgin pregnant with God. 
Afterwards he -vWthdrew into the wide solitudes, 
wrapped in shaggy skins of beasts or covered "with 
rough hair and coarse wool, dreading defilement and 
corruption from the impure Avays of towns. There, 
Uving sparely with devoted abstinence, in his un- 
remitting strictness he would put food and drink from 
him until the late time of evening, and used to give 
his body sustenance at these long intervals with 
locusts and the honey from wild honey-combs. He 



hortator ille primus et doctor novae 
fuit salutis. nam sacrato in flumine 
veterum piatas lavit errorum notas, 
sed tincta postquam membra defaecaverat, 
caelo refulgens influebat Spiritus. 75 

hoc ex lavacro labe dempta criminum 
ibant renati, non secus quam si rudis 
auri recocta vena pulchrum splendeat, 
micet metalli sive lux argentei 
sudum polito praenitens purgamine. 80 

referre prisci stemma nunc ieiunii 
libet fideli proditum volumine, 
ut diruendae civitatis incolis 
fulmen benigni mansuefactum Patris 
pie repressis ignibus pepercerit. 85 

gens insolenti praepotens iactantia 
pollebat olim, quam fluentem nequiter 
corrupta vulgo solverat lascivia, 
et inde bruto contumax fastidio 
cultum superni neglegebat numinis. 90 

ofFensa tandem iugis indulgentiae 
censura iustis excitatur motibus, 
dextram perarmat rompheali incendio, 
nimbos crepantes et fragosos turbines 
vibrans tonantum nube flammarum quatit. 95 

sed paenitendi dum datur diecula, 
si forte vellent inprobam libidinem 
veteresque nugas condomare ac frangere, 
suspendit ictum terror exorabilis, 
paulumque dicta substitit sententia. 100 

lonam prophetam mitis ultor excitat, 
poenae inminentis iret ut praenuntius, 
sed nosset ille qui minacem iudicem 
servare malle quam ferire ac plectere, 



\\iis the first preacher and teacher of the new salva- 
tion, for in the consecrated stream he washed clean 
the marks of old sins, but after he cleansed the 
tainted bodies the Spirit flowed shining into them 
from heaven. From this baptism, the stain of sin 
removed, men came reborn, shining as fair as does 
rough gold when it is refined, bright as the glistening 
sheen of silver ore when it is purified and polished. 
I will now recount the history of a fast in ancient 
times, a tale made kno^vn to us by the faithful Book, 
how the merciful Father's thunderbolt was appeased, 
its fires in love suppressed, and spared the inhabitants 
of a city that merited destruction. There flourished 
once a mighty and arrogant nation, given over to 
evil indulgence, and which in its debased wantonness 
had in the mass passed all restraint ; wherefore being 
stiff-necked in its stupid pride, it was disregarding 
the worship of God on high. Justice ever merciful 
is at last offended and aroused in righteous wrath. 
It arms its right hand ^^•ith a fiery sword and brand- 
ishes rattling storms and crashing whirlwinds in a 
cloud of fire and thunder. Yet giving them a brief 
: space for repentance, if haply they might be "willing 
to subdue and break their wicked lust and long- 
' continued folUes, the awful Judge, who is yet easily 
5 entreated, suspends the blow, the doom pronounced 
is for a Httle stayed. The merciful Avenger calls 
Jonah the prophet to go and proclaim impending 
punishment ; but he, knowing that the Judge who 
threatened would rather save than strike and 



tectam latenter vertit in Tharsos fugam. 105 

celsam paratis pontibus scandit ratem, 
udo revincta fune puppis solvitur, 
itur per altum : fit procellosum mare, 
turn causa tanti quaeritur periculi, 
sors in fugacem missa vatem decidit. 110 

iussus perire solus e cunctis reus, 
cuius voluta crimen urna expresserat, 
praeceps rotatur et profundo inmergitur : 
exceptus inde beluinis faucibus, 
alvi capacis vivus hauritur specu. 115 

transmissa raptim praeda cassos dentium 
eludit ictus incruentam transvolans 
inpune linguam, ne retentam mordicus 
offam molares dissecarent uvidi, 
OS omne transit, et palatum praeterit. 120^ 

ternis dierum ac noctium processibus 
mansit ferino devoratus gutture ; 
errabat illic per latebras viscerum, 
ventris meandros circumibat tortiles 
anhelus extis intus aestuantibus. 125 

intactus exim tertiae noctis vice 
monstri vomentis pellitur singultibus ; 
qua murmuranti fine fluctus frangitur 
salsosque candens spuma tundit pumices, 
ructatus exit seque servatum stupet. 130 

in Ninevitas se coactus percito 
gressu reflectit, quos ut increpaverat 
pudenda censor inputans opprobria, 
" inpendet " inquit " ira summi vindicis, 
urbemque flamma mox cremabit, credite." 135j 

apicem deinde ardui montis petit, 
visurus inde conglobatum turbidae 
fumum ruinae cladis et dirae struem, 



punish, flees in secret and turns his steps privily to 
Tarshish. He embarks on a tall ship by the gangway 
standing ready ; the wet mooring-rope cast off, the 
vessel sails and they make their way over the deep. 
But the sea grows stormy, and then search is made 
for the cause of the great peril, and the lot is cast 
and falls on the fugitive prophet. Arraigned, he 
alone of them all, and condemned to die, for the 
turning of the urn had made his guilt manifest, he 
is hurled headlong and plunged in the deep, caught 
then in a monster's jaws, and swallowed up aUve in 
the vault of its great belly. Passing swftly over, 
the prey escapes the futile stroke of the teeth, for 
he flies unhurt over the tongue -without shedding of 
blood, so that the wet grinders cannot hold the morsel 
in their bite and break it in pieces ; right through the 
mouth he passes, and beyond the palate. WTiile three 
days and nights went by he remained engulfed in the 
beast's maw, wandering there in the darkness of its 
inward parts, round and round the tortuous windings 
of its guts, his breath choking with the heat of the 
entrails. From thence, when the third night comes 
round, the monster retching spews him out un- 
harmed ; where the wave breaks at its loud-sounding 
close and the white spray beats on the briny rocks 
he is belched out, amazed at his preservation. Back 
to Nineveh perforce he turns with quickened step, 
and after upbraiding and censuring its people, laying 
their shameful misdeeds to their charge, he cries : 
" The -wrath of the great Judge hangs over you and 
•will presently burn your city with fire, believe ye." 
Then he makes for the peak of a high mountain, to 
see from there the thick smoke arise from the jumbled 
ruin, and the city in a heap of dire destruction, while 


VOL. I. D 


tectus flagellis multinodis germinis, 

nato et repente perfruens umbraculo. 140 

sed maesta postquam civitas vulnus novi 
hausit doloris, heu, supremum palpitat : 
cursant per ampla congregatim moenia 
plebs et senatus, omnis aetas civium, 
pallens iuventus, eiulantes feminae. 145 

placet frementem publicis ieiuniis 
placare Christum ; mos edendi spernitur, 
glaucos amictus induit monilibus 
matrona demptis, proque gemma et serico 
crinem fluentem sordidus spargit cinis. 150 

squalent recincta veste pullati patres, 
saetasque plangens turba sumit textiles, 
inpexa villis virgo bestialibus 
nigrante vultum contegit velamine, 
iacens harenis et puer provolvitur. 155 

rex ipse Coos aestuantem murices 
laenam revulsa dissipabat fibula, 
gemmas virentes et lapillos sutiles 
insigne frontis exuebat vinculum, 
turpi capillos inpeditujs pulvere. 160 

nullus bibendi, nemo vescendi memor, 
ieiuna mensas pubis omnis liquerat : 
quin et negato lacte vagientium 
fletu madescunt parvulorum cunulae, 
sucum papillae parca nutrix derogat. 165 

greges et ipsos claudit armentalium 
sollers virorum cura, ne vagum pecus 
contingat ore rorulenta gramina, 
potum strepentis neve fontis hauriat ; 
vacuis querellae personant praesepibus. 170 

mollitus his et talibus brevem Deus 
iram refrenat temperans oraculum 



he shelters under the shoots of a plant that sprouts 
from many a joint and enjoys a shade that of a sudden 
has grown up." But ah ! the saddened people, pierced 
by grief not kno^\^l before, is in the agony of death. 
Commons and councillors, citizens of every age, 
young men %vith pale faces, wailing women, rush to 
and fro in crowds all about the wide city. Resolved 
to appease the angry Christ -with pubUc fasts, they 
put the habit of eating from them; the matron, 
taking off her necklaces, dons dark vestures, and 
instead of jewels and silk foul ashes besprinkle her 
flowing hair. The fathers wear the dark robes of 
mourning all ungirt, the common crowd in lamentation 
put on coarse haircloth, the maids, with hair un- 
kempt and shagg}' like a beast's, cover their faces 
with black veils, the children lie rolUng in the sand. 
The king himself, pulling away the clasp, tore in 
pieces his mantle that had the glow of Coan purple, 
put off his bright jewels, his band of precious 
stones, the emblem that clasped his brows, and 
cluttered his hair -s^ith unsightly dust. None had 
any thought of drinking or of eating ; the whole 
manhood had turned from the table to fasting ; nay, 
the cradles are wet with the tears of Uttle ones cry- 
ing because milk is denied them, for the niggard 
nurse \vithdraws the liquor of the breast. The very 
flocks the herdsmen take shrewd care to enclose, lest 
roaming at large the cattle put their lips to the dewy 
grass or drink a draught from the brawling stream, 
and the sound of their plaints fills the foodless stalls. 
Softened by these and the like acts, God restrains 
His short-lived anger and turns propitious, mitigating 

' C/. Jonah iv, 5-6. 



prosper sinistrum ; prona nam dementia 

haud difficulter supplicem mortalium 

solvit reatum fitque fautrix flentium. 175 

sed cur vetustae gentis exemplum loquor, 
pridem caducis cum gravatus artubus 
lesus dicato corde ieiunaverit, 
praenuncupatus ore qui prophetico 
Emmanuel est, sive " nobiscum Deus " ? 180 

qui corpus istud molle naturaliter, 
captumque laxo sub voluptatum iugo, 
virtutis arta lege fecit liberum, 
emancipator servientis plasmatis, 
regnantis ante victor et cupidinis. 185 

inhospitali namque secretus loco 
quinis diebus octies labentibus 
nullam ciborum vindicavit gratiam, 
firmans salubri scilicet ieiunio 
vas adpetendis inbecillum gaudiis. 190 

miratus hostis posse limum tabidum 
tantum laboris sastinere ac perpeti 
explorat arte sciscitator callida 
deusne membris sit receptus terreis, 
sed increpata fraude post tergum ruit. 195 

hoc nos sequamur quisque nunc pro viribus, 
quod consecrati tu magister dogmatis 
tuis dedisti, Christe, sectatoribus, 
ut, cum vorandi vicerit libidinem, 
late triumphet imperator spiritus. 200 

hoc est quod atri livor hostis invidet, 
mundi polique quod gubernator probat, 
altaris aram quod facit placabilem, ' 
quod dormientis excitat cordis fidem, 
quod limat aegram pectoris rubiginem. 205 

perfusa non sic amne flamma extinguitur, 



His awful sentence ; for His ready mercy wilHngly 
cancels the guilt of men when they humble them- 
selves, and shows favour to their tears. But why do 
I speak of the example of an ancient race, seeing 
that Jesus, long since, when He was burdened with 
a mortal body, fasted with consecrated heart, He 
who was aforetime by the mouth of the prophet 
named Emmanuel, God with us ? This body, which 
is by nature weak and a prisoner under the lawless 
t}Tanny of pleasures. He set at liberty' by the strict 
law of virtue ; He gave freedom to the enslaved flesh 
and conquered the passion that held sway before. 
For, li\-ing remote in an inhospitable place, while 
forty days passed He never claimed the pleasant taste 
of food, but -with wholesome fasting strengthened 
the vessel which is enfeebled by its seeking after 
joys. The enemy, wondering that perishing clay 
can sustain and endure such effort, tries to find out 
by cunning artful inquiry whether it is God that has 
been received in an earthly body ; but his trickery 
is rebuked and he flees behind Christ's back. Let 
us now follow, each according to his strength, this 
that Thou, O Christ, the teacher of holy doctrine, 
hast given to Thy followers, that the spirit, being in 
command and having overcome the lust of eating, 
may triumph over all the field. This it is that earns 
the black enemy's malice and spite, this that yvios 
the approval of Him who rules earth and heaven, that 
makes the altar of sacrifice propitious, awakens 
faith in the sleeping heart, and clears away the un- 
healthy bUght from our breasts. Not so surely does 



nee sic ealente sole tabescunt nives, 

ut turbidarum scabra culparum seges 

vanescit almo trita sub ieiunio, 

si blanda semper misceatur largitas. 210 

est quippe et illud grande virtutis genus, 
operire nudos, indigentes pascere, 
opem benignam ferre supplieantibus, 
unam paremque sortis humanae vicem 
inter potentes atque egenos ducere. 215 

satis beatus quisque dextram porrigit 
laudis rapacem, prodigam pecuniae, 
cuius sinistra dulce factum nesciat : 
ilium perennes protinas conplent opes, 
ditatque fructus faenerantem centiplex. 220 


Hymnus post Ieiunium 

Christe, servorum regimen tuorum, 
moUibus qui nos moderans habenis 
leniter frenas, facilique saeptos 

lege coerces, 
ipse cum portans onus inpeditum • 5 

corporis duros tuleris labores, 
maior exemplis famulos remisso 

dogmate palpas. 
nona summissum rotat hora solem, 
partibus vixdum tribus evolutis, 10 

quarta devexo superest in axe 

portio lucis. 
nos brevis voti dape vindicata 
solvimus festum, fruimurque mensis 
adfatim plenis, quibus inbuatur 15 

prona voluptas. 



water put out fire, or the snows melt in the heat of 
the sun, as the unclean crop of rebellious sins vanishes 
under the cleansing of a restoring fast, if kindly 
Uberahty be ever joined with it. For it is a noble 
form of virtue too, to clothe the naked, feed the 
needy, give kindly aid to them that beg for it, hold 
that rich and poor share one and the same humanity. 
Blest enough the man who holds out a right hand 
that grasps at n^erit but is lavish of money, whose 
left hand knows not the kind deed : him everlasting 
wealth straightway satisfies, and profit an hundred- 
fold on his lending makes him rich. 


A Hymn After Fasting 

Christ, the director of Thy servants, who dost 
govern us with light rein and gentle curb and dost 
hedge and restrain us with an easy law, since Thou 
Thyself whilst bearing the cumbering burden of the 
body didst endure hardship, Thy example makes Thee 
greater, and Thy hand is light on Thy servants and 
Thy decree is mild. The ninth hour is wheeling 
the sun on his downward course, scarce yet has the 
daylight three parts rolled away, and the fourth still 
is left in the down-sloping sky ; we, taking our meat, 
break off the observance of our short vow and let 
eager appetite enjoy its first taste of the table's 



tantus aeterni favor est Magistri, 
doctor indulgens ita nos amico 
lactat hortatu, levis obsequella ut 

mulceat artus. 20 

addit et ne quis velit invenusto 
sordidus cultu lacerare front em, 
sed decus vultus capitisque pexum 

comat honorem. 
" terge ieiunans " ait " omne corpus, 25 

neve subducto faciem rubore 
luteus tinguat color aut notetur 

pallor in ore." 
rectius laeto tegimus pudore 
quidquid ad cultum Patris exhibemus ; 30 

cernit occultum Deus et latentem 

munere donat. 
ille ovem morbo residem gregique 
perditam sano, male dissipantem 
vellus adfixis vepribus per hirtae 35 

devia silvae 
inpiger pastor revocat lupisque 
gestat exclusis umeros gravatus, 
inde purgatam revehens aprico 

reddit ovili, 40 

reddit et pratis viridique campo, 
vibrat inpexis ubi nulla lappis 
spina, nee germen sudibus perarmat 

carduus horrens, 
sed frequens palmis nemus, et reflexa 45 

vernat herbarum coma, turn perennis 
gurgitem vivis vitreum fluentis 

laurus obumbrat. 
hisce pro donis tibi, fide pastor, 
servitus quaenam poterit rependi ? 50 



abundant plenty. Such favour does our eternal 
Teacher show us, with exhortation so friendly does 
our kind Instructor draw us on, that the light 
obedience is comfortable to the flesh. He com- 
mands, too, that none clothe himself in dismal, un- 
tidy garb and disfigure his brows, but that we comb 
and dress our hair, which is the ornament of our 
countenance, the glory of our head." " Cleanse thy 
whole body," He saith, " when thou fastest ; and let 
not thy cheeks lose their redness and wear a yellow 
hue, nor a pale cast be marked on thy face." Better 
is it to cover A\ith a cheerful modesty anything that 
we do for the honour of the Father : God sees that 
which is in secret, and rewards him who acts by 
stealth. WTien a sheep lags behind because it is 
sick, and is lost from the healthy flock, wasting its 
wool by catching on thorny bushes along un- 
frequented ways in the rough woodland, He as a 
tireless Shepherd calls it again, and driving oiF the 
wolves, takes the load on His shoulders and carries it, 
and so brings it home cleansed and restores it to the 
sunny fold ; restores it to the meadows too, and the 
green field, where no rough, prickly burs quiver and 
no bristUng thistle arms its shoots with spikes, but 
the grove is filled with pahns, the bending leaves of 
grass flourish, and the glassy stream of nmning water 
is shaded with evergreen bay. For these gifts, O 
faithful Shepherd, what service can ever be repaid 

• C/. Matthew vi, lft-18. 



nulla conpensant pretium salutis 

vota precantum. 
quamlibet spreto sine more pastu 
sponte confectos tenuemus artus 
teque contemptis epulis rogemns 55 

nocte dieque, 
vincitur semper minor obsequentum 
cura nee munus genitoris aequat, 
frangit et cratem luteam laboris 

grandior usus. 60 

ergo ne limum fragilem solutae 
deserant vires et aquosus albis 
umor in venis dominetur aegrum 

corpus enervans, 
laxus ac liber modus abstinendi 65 

ponitur cunctis, neque nos severus 
terror inpellit ; sua quemque cogit 

velle potestas. 
sufficit, quidquid facias, vocato 
numinis nutu prius inchoare, 70 

sive tu mensam renuas cibumve 

sumere temptes. 
adnuit dexter Deus et secundo 
prosperat vultu, velut hoc salubre 
fidimus nobis fore, quod dicatas 75 

carpimus escas. 
sit bonum, supplex precor, et medellam 
conferat membris animumque pascat 
sparsus in venas cibus obsecrantum 




to Thee ? No vows that we can offer in our prayers 
can make up for the price of salvation. Though we 
should turn utterly from food, and of our o%vn will 
weaken and mortify our bodies, and disdaining the 
table pray to Thee night and day, yet the zeal with 
which we ser\-e Thee is ever inferior and over-matched 
and cannot equal the Father's gift, and our frame of 
clay cannot bear to practise endurance overmuch. 
Therefore, lest our strength be undone and desert 
the frail clay, and a watery fluid prevail in whitened 
veins, enfeebling and unmanning the body, an easy 
and free measure of abstinence is laid on all ; no stem 
fear drives us ; it is each one's o^vn power that con- 
strains him to be willing. Sufficient is it, whatever 
a man does, to set about it after first appealing for 
God's approval, whether he refuse the table or put 
forth his hand to take food. God is propitious and 
with favourable countenance gives consent and 
blessing ; as now we trust it yriW be healthful for us 
that we eat of these dedicated viands. Humbly I 
ask that our act be good for us and that our food, 
spreading into the veins, may bring healing to the 
body and nourish the spirit of Christ's worshippers 
who offer this prayer. 




Hymnus omnis Horae 

Da, puer, plectrum, choreis ut canam fidelibus 
dulce carmen et melodum, gesta Christi insignia, 
hunc Camena nostra solum pangat, hunc laudet 

Christus est, quem rex sacerdos adfuturum 
infulatus concinebat voce, chorda et tympano, 5 

spiritum caelo influentem per medullas hauriens. 

facta nos et iam probata pangimus miracula. 
testis est orbis, nee ipsa terra quod vidit negat, 
comminus Deum docendis proditum mortalibus. 

corde natus ^ ex parentis ante mundi exordium, 10 
alpha et fi cognominatus, ipse fons et clausula 
omnium quae sunt, fuerunt, quaeque post futura 

ipse iussit, et creata, dixit ipse, et facta sunt 
terra, caelum, fossa ponti, trina rerum machina, 
quaeque in his vigent sub alto solis et lunae globo. 15 

corporis formam caduci, membra morti obnoxia 
induit, ne gens periret primoplasti ex germine, 
merserat quem ^ lex profundo noxialis Tartaro. 

o beatus ortus ille, virgo cum puerpera 
edidit nostram salutem feta Sancto Spiritu, 20 

et puer redemptor orbis os sacratum protulit. 

psallat altitudo caeli, psallite omnes angeli, 
quidquid est virtutis usquam psallat in laudem 

nulla linguarum silescat, vox et omnis consonet. 

ecce, quem vates vetustis concinebant saeculis, 25 

* fu8us in the Ambroaian MS. (B). 



A Hymn for Every Hour 

Give me my quill, page, that in loyal trochees I 
may sing a sweet, tuneful song of the glorious deeds 
of Christ. He alone shall be my Muse's theme, Him 
alone my lyre shall praise. Christ it is whose speedy 
coming the priest-king in his priestly vestment sang 
with sound of voice and string and tambour, drinking 
deep the inspiration that flowed on him from heaven. 
Of wonders done and proved we sing ; the world is 
witness, the verj- earth denies not that which it has 
seen, God made manifest to men to teach them in 
His own person. Born of the Father's love before 
the world's beginning, called Alpha and Omega, He 
is both source and end of all things that are or have 
been or hereafter shall be. He gave the word and 
they were created, He spoke and they were made — 
earth, heavens, the deep sea, the threefold fabric of 
the world, and all that lives in them under the lofty 
globes of sun and moon. He put on the shape of 
mortal body, members doomed to die, so that the 
race that sprang from the first man's stock should not 
perish though the law of sin had plunged him deep 
in hell. O blessed birth, when a virgin in labour, 
having conceived by the Holy Spirit, brought forth 
our salvation, and the child who is the world's 
Redeemer revealed His sacred face ! Let high 
heaven sing, sing all ye angels, let every power in 
every place sing to the praise of God, let no tongue 
keep silence, and every voice sound in concert. Lo, 
He whom seers in ancient times foretold, and the 

* quani some MSS. of clasa B. 



quern prophetarum fideles paginae spoponderant, 
emicat promissus olim : cuncta conlaudent eum. 

cantharis infusa lympha fit Falernuxn nobile, 
nuntiat vinum minister esse promptum ex hydria, 
ipse rex sapore tinctis obstupescit poculis. 30 

" membra morbis ulcerosa, viscerum putredines 
mando ut abluantur " inquit : fit ratum quod 

iusserat ; 
turgidam cutem repurgant vulnerum piamina. 

tu perennibus tenebris iam sepulta lumina 
inlinis limo salubri sacri et oris nectare : 35 

mox apertis hac medella lux reducta est orbibus. 

increpas ventum furentem quod procellis tristibus 
vertat aequor fundo ab imo, vexet et vagam ratem : 
ille iussis obsecundat, mitis unda sternitur. 

extimum vestis sacratae furtim mulier attigit : 40 
protinus salus secuta est, ora pallor deserit, 
sistitur rivus cruore qui fluebat perpeti. 

exitu dulcis iuventae raptum ephebum viderat, 
orba quern mater supremis funerabat fletibus ; 
" surge " dixit : ille surgit, matri et adstans 

redditur. 45 

sole iam quarto carentem, iam sepulcro abscon- 
Lazarum iubet vigere reddito spiramine : 
foetidum iecur reductus rursus intrat halitus. 

ambulat per stagna ponti, summa calcat 
fluctuum : 
mobilis liquor profundi pendulam praestat viam, 50 
nee fatiscit unda Sanctis pressa sub vestigiis. 

suetus antro bustuali sub catenis frendere, 
mentis inpos, efferatis percitus furoribus 
prosilit ruitque supplex, Christum adesse ut sen- 



faithful pages of the prophets pledged, comes forth, 
promised of old : let all things join in praise of Him. 
Water poured into tankards is changed to noble 
wine ; the servant tells how the >\'ine was drawn from 
the water-pot, and the very master of the feast is 
amazed at the taste that flavours the cups. " Bodies 
diseased and ulcerous, festering flesh I command," 
saith He, " to be washed "; His bidding is done, and 
the cleansing of the wounds makes the swollen skin 
pure. Eyes buried in perpetual darkness Thou dost 
anoint with heahng clay and the nectar of Thy sacred 
mouth, and presently by this cure their orbs are 
opened and hght restored to them. Thou dost 
rebuke the raging wind for upturning the sea from 
its veiA' depths with fearful blasts, and tossing the 
ship without rest ; it obeys Thy bidding and the 
wave sinks calmed. A woman has stealthily touched 
the edge of Thy holy garment, and straightway 
heaUng has come ; the pallor leaves her cheek, the 
ever-flowing stream of blood is stayed. He saw 
a young man cut off just at the passing of sweet 
youth, the bereaved mother bearing him to the grave 
with tears of farewell: " Arise," He said; and he 
rises and stands restored by his mother's side. To 
Lazarus, now four days shut sunless in the tomb, 
He gives again the power to breathe and bids him 
live, and the breath restored enters again into the 
decaying flesh. He walks over the waters of the sea, 
treading on the surface of the flood, and the restless 
deep holds up a pathway, the wave sinks not under 
the holy footsteps. One that was wont to dwell in 
chains in a tomb-cavern, gnashing his teeth, out of 
his mind, driven by Mild frenzies, leaps forth and 
flings himself on his knees when he sees that Christ 



pulsa pestis lubricorum milleformis daemonum 55 
corripit gregis suilli sordida spurcamina, 
seque nigris mergit undis et pecus lymphaticum. 

ferte qualis ter quaternis ferculorum fragmina ; 
adfatim referta iam sunt adcubantum milia 
quinque panibus peresis et gemellis piscibus. 60 

tu cibus panisque noster, tu perennis suavitas ; 
nescit esurire in aevum qui tuam sumit dapem, 
nee lacunam ventris inplet, sed fovet vitalia. 

clausus aurium meatus et sonorum nescius 
purgat ad praecepta Christi crassa quaeque 

obstacula, 65 

vocibus capax fruendis ac susurris pervius. 

omnis aegritudo cedit, languor omnis pellitur, 
lingua fatur, quam veterna vinxerant silentia, 
gestat et suum per urbem laetus aeger lectulum. 

quin et ipsum, ne salutis inferi expertes forent, 70 
Tartarum benignus intrat ; fracta cedit ianua, 
vectibus cadit revulsis cardo dissolubilis,^ 

ilia prompta ad inruentes, ad revertentes tenax, 
obice extrorsum recluso ^ porta reddit mortuos, 
lege versa, et limen atrum iam recalcandum patet. 75 

sed Deus dum luce fulva mortis antra inluminat, 
dum stupentibus tenebris candidum praestat diem, 
tristia squalentis aethrae palluerunt sidera. 

sol refugit et lugubri sordidus ferrugine 
igneum reliquit axem seque maerens abdidit ; 80 
fertur horruisse mundus noctis aeternae chaos. 

^ indissolubilis in some MSS. of both classes, 


is nigh : driven out, the thousand-formed plague of 
treacherous devils seizes upon an unclean, filthy 
herd of s\\ine and plunges itself and the maddened 
beasts together in the black waters. Bring ye in 
baskets twelve the fragments left from the feast ; 
the guests in their thousands are now amply filled 
with the eating of five loaves of bread and a pair of 
fishes. Thou art our meat and our bread, Thou our 
sweet savour that never fails ; he can never hunger 
any more who partakes of Thy banquet, not filUng 
a void in his belly but refreshing that by which he 
truly lives. The closed avenue of the ears, that 
knows no sound, clears away at Christ's bidding all 
its thick obstructions and gains the power to enjoy 
voices and give passage to whispers. Every sickness 
yields, every weakness is banished, the tongue speaks 
that had been tied in torpid silence, and the sick man 
carries his bed rejoicing through the city. Yea, lest 
those below should have no part in salvation, in His 
goodness He enters Tartarus. The door is forced and 
yields before Him; the bolts are torn away, do^^'n 
falls the pivot broken ; that gate so ready to receive 
the inrush, so unyielding in face of those that would 
return, is unbarred and gives back the dead ; the 
law is reversed, and the black doorway stands open 
to be retrodden. But while God with golden light 
was illumining the vaults of death, giving bright day 
to the astounded night, the sky was darkened and 
the stars dimmed in sadness ; the sun fled, clad in 
the gloom of mourning, from the fier}- heavens, and 
in sorrow hid himself away. 'Tis said the world 
shuddered in fear of the darkness of eternal night. 

* revulso A, reculso B [Bergman). 



solve vocem, mens sonora, solve linguam 
die tropaeum passionis, die triumphalem crucem, 
pange vexillum notatis quod refulget frontibus. 

o novum caede stupenda vulneris miraculum ! 85 
hinc cruoris fluxit unda, lympha parte ex altera ; 
lympha nempe dat lavacrimi, txun corona ex san- 
guine est. 

vidit anguis inmolatam corporis sacri hostiam, 
vidit, et fellis perusti mox venenum perdidit, 
saucius dolore multo, coUa fractus sibila.^ 90 

quid tibi, profane serpens, profuit rebus novis 
plasma primum perculisse versipelli hortamine ? ^ 
diluit culpam recepto forma mortalis Deo. 

ad brevem se mortis usum dux sahxtis dedidit, 
mortuos olim sepultos ut redire insuesceret, 95 

dissolutis pristinorum vinculis peccaminum. 

tunc patres sanctique multi conditorem praevium 
iam revertentem secuti tertio demum die 
carnis indumenta sumunt, eque bustis prodeunt. 

cerneres coire membra de favillis aridis, 100 

frigidum venis resumptis pulverem tepescere, 
ossa, nervos, et medullas glutino cutis tegi. 

post, ut occasum resolvit vitae et hominem 
arduum tribunal alti victor ascendit Patris, 
inclytam caelo reportans passionis gloriam. 105 

macte iudex mortuorum, macte rex viventium, 
dexter in parentis arce qui cluis virtutibus, 
omnium venturus inde iustus ultor criminum. 

^ So the two oldest MSS. A and B; c/. Virgil, Geo. Ill, 
421, Aen. V, 277. Most of the others iised by Bergman have 



Release thy voice, my tuneful heart, release thy 
nimble tongue. Tell of the victory of the passion, 
tell of the triumphant cross, sing of the glittering 
ensign marked upon our brows. How strange the 
marvel of the wound in His amazing death ! Here 
flowed a stream of blood, there water: water gives 
washing, and the crown is won with blood. The 
serpent saw the sacred body offered in sacrifice, saw, 
and straightway lost the venom of his inflamed gall ; 
smitten he was with sore distress, his hissing throat 
shattered. What has it booted thee, thou wicked 
serpent, when the world was new, to have brought the 
first-created man to ruin ^^•ith thy crafty incitement ? 
The mortal frame has washed its guilt away by re- 
ceiving God. The leader of our salvation gave Himself 
up to a short experience of death, that He might teach 
the dead long buried to return, by breaking the bonds 
of their former sins. Then many a patriarch and 
saint, following their creator's lead as He now re- 
turned on the third day, put on the garment of flesh 
and came forth from their tombs. There were the 
limbs assembling out of the dry ashes, the cold dust 
taking veins again and growing warm, the bones and 
sinews and innermost parts being covered with 
binding skin. Then, when He had annulled death and 
restored man to life, He ascended in victory the lofty 
judgment-seat of the Father on high, carrying back 
to heaven the illustrious glory of His passion. Glory 
be to Thee, judge of the dead and king of the living, 
who on Thy Father's throne at His right hand art 
renowned for Thy merits, and shalt come from thence 
to be the righteous avenger of all sins. Thee let 

* astutia A {Bergman), 



te senes et te iuventus, parvulorum te chorus, 
turba matrum virginumque, simplices puellulae, 110 
voce Concordes pudicis perstrepant concentibus. 

fluminum lapsus et undae, litorum crepidines, 
imber, aestus, nix, pruina, silva et aura, nox, dies 
omnibus te concelebrent saeculorum saecidis. 


Hymnus circa exequias Defuncti 

Deus, ignee fons animarum, 
duo qui socians elementa, 
vivum simul ac moribundum, 
hominem. Pater, effigiasti, 

tua sunt, tua, rector, utraque, 5 

tibi copula iungitur horum, 
tibi dum vegetata cohaerent 
et spiritus et caro servit. 

rescissa ^ sed ista seorsum 
solvunt hominem perimuntque ; 10 

humus excipit arida corpus, 
animae rapit aura liquorem ; 

quia cuncta creata necesse est 

^ In the oldest MS. A {followed by Bergman) lines 9-16 are 
as follows : 

resoluta sed ista seorsum 
proprios revocantur in ortus ; 
petit halitus aera fervens, 
humus excipit arida corpus. 

sic cuncta creata necesse est 
obitum tolerare supremum, 
ut semina dissociata 
sibi sumat origo resorbens. 

Some other MSS. have both versions, or the A version, in whole 
or part, added in the margin. 




old men and young, Thee the choir of little children, 
the company of mothers and maidens and artless girls 
praise with loud, harmonious voice in pure strains 
together. Let the ghding waters of the rivers, the 
shores of the seas, rain, heat, snow, frost, woodland 
and wind, night and day unite to extol Thee for ever 
and ever. 

A Hymx o.v the Burial of the Dead 

God, the burning source of spirits, who, by uniting 
two elements, one h\'ing and one dying, together, 
didst in Thy Fatherhood create man, Thine, O Ruler, 
Thine are both ; it is for Thee the bond is drawn 
between them ; Thee, while they cleave together in 
quickening Ufe, both soul and flesh ser\-e. But " 
their sundering apart is the dissolution and the end 
of man : the drj' earth receives his body, the breath 
of air carries off the pure spirit ; for all that is created 

" Lines 9-16 according to the text of ^ : " But when they 
are disjoined one from the other they are called back each 
to its source; the glowing spirit seeks the heavens, the dry 
earth receives the body. All that is created must needs suffer 
death at the end in such wise that the elements are parted 
and their original draws them back into itself." It is plausibly 
suggested that this was recast because it savours too much 
of pagan philosophies. Though the text followed above is 
preserved in much later MSS. (the Ambrosian 7th century 
MS. fails us here), it does not read like the work of a late 
interpolator, and it probably represents a revision by Pru- 
dentius himself. 



labefacta senescere tandem, 

conpactaque dissociari, 15 

et dissona texta retexi. 

hanc tu, Deus optime, mortem 
famulis abolere paratus, 
iter inviolabile monstras, 
quo perdita membra resurgant, 20 

ut, dum generosa caducis, 
ceu carcere clausa, ligantur, 
pars ilia potentior extet, 
quae germen ab aethere traxit. 

si terrea forte voluntas 25 

luteum sapit et grave captat, 
animus quoque pondere victus 
sequitur sua membra deorsum. 

at si generis memor ignis 
contagia pigra recuset, 30 

vehit hospita viscera secum, 
pariterque reportat ad astra. 

nam quod requiescere corpus 
vacuum sine mente videmus, 
spatium breve restat, ut alti 35 

repetat collegia sensus. 

venient cito saecula, cum iam 
socius calor ossa revisat 
animataque sanguine vivo 
habitacula pristina gestet. 40 

quae pigra cadavera pridem 
tumulis putrefacta iacebant, 
volucres rapientur in auras, 
animas comitata priores. 

hinc maxima cura sepulcris 45 

inpenditur, hinc resolutos 
honor ultimus accipit artus 



must needs at last grow weak and waste away, all 
that is joined together be separated, every fabric of 
contrary parts be undone. This death, O good God, 
Thou art ready to do away for Thy ser\-ants, and dost 
show them an indestructible path whereby bodies 
that have perished shall rise again, that so long as 
the noble is bound up AWth the mortal, as it were 
imprisoned, that part may prove the stronger which 
has drawn its source from heaven. If haply the 
earthly longing savours the mire and seeks after that 
which Ls gross, the spirit too is overcome by the weight 
and follows its bodily members downwards; but 
should the fire, remembering its origin, reject the 
nimibing contagion, it carries with it the flesh with 
which it has sojourned, and takes it, too, home to 
the stars. For whereas we see the body lying at rest 
bereft of the spirit, there remains but a short time 
ere it seek again its union with the soul on high. 
Soon will come the time when the warmth that bore 
them company shall return to the bones, and wear 
again its old dwelling quickened \vith living blood. 
Bodies that long lay dead and still and mouldering 
in their tombs will be carried into the flying 
breezes in company with their former souls. This is 
why we spend such great care on graves, this is why 
the last honour awaits the lifeless frame and the 




et funeris ambitus ornat, 

candore nitentia claro 
praetendere lintea mos est, 50 

aspersaque myrrha Sabaeo 
corpus medicamine servat. 

quidnam sibi saxa cavata, 
quid pulchra volant monumenta, 
nisi quod res creditur illis 55 

non mortua, sed data somno ? 

hoc provida Christicolarum 
pietas studet, utpote credens 
fore protinus omnia viva 
quae nunc gelidus sopor urget. 60 

qui iacta cadavera passim 
miserans tegit aggere terrae, 
opus exhibet ille benignum 
Christo pius omnipotenti, 

quia lex eadem monet omnes 65 

gemitum dare sorte sub una, 
cognataque funera nobis 
aliena in morte dolere. 

sancti sator ille Tobiae, 
sacer ac venerabilis heros, 70 

dapibus iam rite paratis 
ius praetulit exequiarum. 

iam stantibus ille ministris 
cyathos et fercula liquit, 
studioque accinctus humandi 75 

fleto dedit ossa sepulcro. 

veniunt mox praemia caelo, 
pretiumque rependitur ingens ; J 

nam lumina nescia solis 
deus inlita felle serenat. 80 

iam tunc docuit Pater orbis 


funeral procession graces it, why it is our custom to 
spread over it linen cloths of gleaming whiteness, 
and sprinkled myrrh with its Sabaean drug preserves 
the body. WTiat mean the chambered rocks, the 
noble monuments, but that something is entrusted 
to them which is not dead but given up to sleep? 
This earnest care the provident piety of Christ's 
followers takes because they believe that all that 
are now sunk in cold slmnber will presently be alive. 
He who finds bodies lying unheeded and in pity 
covers them with a mound of earth " offers in love 
a work of kindliness to Christ the all-powerful ; 
for the same law bids us all mourn as under a common 
lot, and in a stranger's death to grieve for the loss 
of our own kin. The father of saintly Tobias,* a 
holy and reverend worthy, though his meal was in 
readiness, gave preference over it to the claims of 
burial. Though his servants stood ready in their 
places, he left cups and dishes behind, and with all 
his mind on the interment, laid the bones in the grave 
with tears. Presently comes his reward from heaven, 
and he is requited with a great price ; for when his 
eyes, which knew not the sun, have been smeared 
with gall God enlightens them. Even then the 
Father of the world taught how sharp and bitter is 

• Cf. Tobit i, 18-19. » Tobit n. 




quam sit rationis egenis 
mordax et amara medella, 
cum lux animum nova vexat. 

docuit quoque non prius ullum 85 

caelestia cernere regna 
quam nocte et vulnere tristi 
toleraverit aspera mundi. 

mors ipsa beatior inde est, 
quod per cruciamina leti 90 

via panditur ardua iustis, 
et ad astra doloribus itur. 

sic corpora mortificata 
redeunt melioribus annis, 
nee post obitum recalescens 95 

conpago fatiscere novit. 

haec, quae modo pallida tabo 
color albidus inficit, ora 
tunc flore venustior omni 
sanguis cute tinguet amoena. 100 

iam nulla deinde senectus 
frontis decus invida carpet, 
macies neque sicca lacertos 
suco tenuabit adeso. 

Morbus quoque pestifer, artus 105 

qui nunc populatur anhelos, 
sua tunc torxnenta resudans 
luet inter vincula mille. 

hunc eminus aere ab alto 
victrix caro, iamque perennis, 110 

cernet sine fine gementem 
quos moverat ipse dolores, 

quid turba superstes inepta 
clangens ululamina miscet ? 
cur tam bene condita iura 115 



the remedy for them that want reason, when the 
new light makes the mind smart.** He taught too 
that no man sees the heavenly kingdom ere in dark- 
ness and sore hurt he has borne the adversities of 
the world. Therefore is death itself more blessed, 
in that through the pains of death a way on high is 
opened for the righteous and by their sufferings they 
pass to the skies. Thus bodies that have perished 
return in better days, and the frame growing warm 
again after its decease cannot any more decline. 
These cheeks which now are wan and white vrith 
wasting shall then have beauteous skin tinged with 
the bloom of blood more charming than any flower. 
No longer then shall jealous age steal away the grace 
of the brow, nor withered leanness consume the sap 
of the arms and leave them shrunken. Baleful 
Disease too, which now wastes our panting frames, 
will then in sweat suffer the penalty of his own 
torments in a thousand bonds. ^ From high heaven, 
far off, the flesh, victorious and now immortal, shall 
see him bemoaning -without end the very pains him- 
self had caused before. Why does the band of sur- 
vivors join in a loud noise of foolish lamentation, and 
senseless grief in its mourning blame laws so surely 

• Tobit xi, 7-13. 

* Morbus, personified as by Virgil at Aeneid VI, 275 (c/. 
CScero, Dt Natura Deorum III, 44), is here probably identified 
with Satan; morbus often has a moral sense (= vitium). 



luctu dolor arguit amens ? 

iam maesta quiesce querella, 
lacrimas suspendite, matres : 
nullus sua pignera plangat, 
mors haec reparatio vitae est. 

sic semina sicca virescunt 
iani mortua, iamque sepulta, 
quae reddita caespite ab imo 
veteres meditaiitur aristas. 

nunc suscipe, terra, fovendum, 
gremioque hunc concipe molli : 
hominis tibi membra sequestro, 
generosa et fragmina credo. 

animae fuit haec domus olim 
factoris ^ ab ore creatae ; 
'lf\ fervens habitavit in istis 
r^X \ Sapientia principe Christo. 
. (7 tu depositum tege corpus ; 

non inmemor ille requiret 
sua munera factor et auctor 
propriique aenigmata vultus. 

veniant modo tempora iusta, 
cum spem Deus inpleat omnem, 
reddas patefacta necesse est 
qualem tibi trado figuram. 

non, si cariosa vetustas 
dissolverit ossa favillis, 
fueritque cinisculus arens 
minimi mensura pugilli, 

nee, si vaga flamina et aurae 
vacuum per inane volantes 
tulerint cum pulvere nervos, 
hominem periisse licebit. 

sed dum resolubile corpus 



established? Be silent now, sad plaint; stay your 
tears, ye mothers. Let none lament for his dear 
ones, for this death is the renewal of life. It is thus 
that dry seeds shoot forth green after they are dead 
and buried, and, being restored from the depths of 
the ground, repeat the harvests of former years. 
Receive now, earth, this our brother into thy care, 
take him to thy gentle bosom. It is a man's body 
I leave in thy keeping ; nobly bom the remains that 
I commit to thy trust. This was once the home of 
a soul created from its Maker's mouth ; in these 
remains dwelt glowing Wisdom, whose head is 
Christ. Do thou cover the body entrusted to thee ; 
He who is its maker and author will not forget it, 
and will seek again that which He gave, the image 
of His own countenance. Come the just time when 
God shall fulfil every hope, thou must needs be opened 
up and give back the form, such as I give it up to thee. 
Never, though time's decay reduce the bones to dust, 
and the dry and scanty ashes be but the measure 
of a ver}' httle handful, never, though the inconstant 
winds, the breezes that fly through the empty void, 
carry the flesh away and leave no speck behind, will 
the man be allowed to have perished. But till Thou 

* cui nobilis ex Patre fons est ACD (Bergman). 



revocas, Deus, atque reformas, 
quanam regione iubebis 
animam requiescere purara ? 

gremio senis addita sancti 
recubabit, ut est Eleazar, 
quern floribus undique saeptum 
dives procul aspicit ardens. 

sequimur tua dicta, Redemptor, 
quibus atra e morte triumphans 
tua per vestigia mandas 
socium crucis ire latronem. 

patet ecce fidelibus ampli 
via lucida iam paradisi, 
licet et nemus illud adire, 
homini quod ademerat anguis. 

illic, precor, optime ductor, 
famulam tibi praecipe mentem 
genitali in sede sacrari, 
quam liquerat exul et errans. 

nos tecta fovebimus ossa 
violis et fronde frequenti, 
titulumque et frigida saxa 
liquido spargemus odore. 


Hymnus VIII Kal. Ianuarias 

Quid est quod artum circulum 
sol iam recurrens deserit ? 
Christusne terris nascitur, 
qui lucis auget tramitem ? 

heu quam fugacem gratiam 
festina volvebat dies ! 
quam paene subductam faeem 



dost recall the mortal body, O God, and make it new, 
ill what region wilt Thou bid the pure soul rest? 
In the bosom of the holy patriarch shall it He, hke 
Eleazar " with flowers all about him, while the rich 
man, as he burns, looks upKjn him from afar. We 
follow Thy words, O Redeemer, with which, in Thy 
triumph over the blackness of death. Thou dost bid 
the robber. Thy companion on the cross, to walk in 
Thy steps. See now, for the faithful a shining way 
lies open to the spaoious garden of paradise, and they 
may enter that grove which the serpent took from 
man. There, I pray, good Leader, give command 
that the spirit, Thy ser\'ant, be consecrated to Thee 
in the home of its birth, which it left to wander in 
exile. We shall care for the entombed bones with 
violets and green leaves in plenty, and with perfumed 
essence sprinkle the cold stones that bear the epitaph. 


A Hymn for the 25th of December 

I What means it that the sun is now returning, 
I leaving his narrow circle behind him ? Is not Christ, 

who enlarges the path of light, born this day on earth ? 

Ah, how fleeting was the grace day was bestowing 
jas it rolled on in its haste, its light all but withdrawn 

* The Lazarus of Luke xvi, 20. 




sensim recisa extinxerat ! 

caelum nitescat laetius, 
gratetur et gaudens humus : 10 

scandit gradatim denuo 
iubar priores lineas. 

emerge, dulcis pusio, 
quern mater edit castitas, 
parens et expers coniugis, 15 

mediator et duplex genus. 

ex ore quamlibet Patris 
sis ortus et Verbo editus, 
tamen paterno in pectore 
Sophia callebas prius, 20 

quae prompta caelum condidit, 
caelum diemque et cetera ; 
virtute Verbi efFecta sunt 
haec cuncta, nam Verbum Deus. 

sed ordinatis saeculis, 25 

rerumque digesto statu, 
fundator ipse et artifex 
permansit in Patris sinu, 

donee rotata annalium 
transvolverentur milia, 30 

atque ipse peccantem diu 
dignatus orbem viseret. 

nam caeca vis inortalium 
venerans inanes nenias, 
vel aera vel saxa algida 35! 

vel ligna credebat Deum. 

haec dum sequuntur, perfidi 
praedonis in ius venerant, 
et mancipatam fumido 
vitam barathro inmerserant. 

stragem sed istam non tulit 



and put out as by degrees it shortened! But now 
let the sky shine more joyously, the earth rejoice 
and be glad, for the splendour is climbing again step 
by step to its former paths. Come forth, sweet boy. 
Thy mother is Chastity herself, a mother yet un- 
wedded, O mediator^wofold in nature. Albeit Thou 
didst come from the mouth of the Father and wert 
bom of the Word, yet in the Father's heart as Wisdom 
Thou hadst understanding aforetime. Wisdom com- 
ing forth established the heavens, the heavens and 
the day and all things else ; by the power of the 
Word were all these made, for the Word was God. 
But when the ages were appointed and the world set 
in order, the Creator and Artificer himself remained 
in the bosom of the Father, until the thousands of 
years should roll past and He himself deign to visit 
a world long given to sin. For the bhnd nature 
of men, paying respect to vain babblings, beHeved 
that a piece of bronze or chilly stone or wood was 
God ; and in following these they had fallen into the 
power of the false robber, made over their soul to 
him, and plunged it in the smoking pit. But Christ 


VOL. I. E 


Christus cadentum gentium, 
inpune ne forsan sui 
Patris periret fabrica, 

mortale corpus induit, 45 

ut excitato corpore 
mortis catenam frangeret, 
hominemque portaret Patri. 

hie ille natalis dies, 
quo te creator arduus 50 

spiravit et limo indidit, 
sermone carnem glutinans. 

sentisne, virgo nobilis, 
matura per fastidia 

pudoris intactum decus 55 

honore partus crescere ? 

o quanta rerum gaudia 
alvus pudica continet, 
ex qua novellum saeculum 
procedit et lux aurea ! 60 

vagitus ille exordium 
vernantis orbis prodidit, 
nam tunc renatus sor'klidum 
mundus veternum depulit. 

sparsisse tellurem reor 65 

rus omne densis floribus, 
ipsasque harenas Syrtium 
fragrasse nardo et nectare. 

te cuncta nascentem, puer, 
sensere dura et barbara, 70 

victusque saxorum rigor 
obduxit herbam cotibus. 

iam mella de scopulis fluunt, 
iam stillat ilex arido 
sudans amomum stipite, 75 ; 



did not suffer the nations thus to fall and be de- 
stroyed. Lest perchance His Father's handiwork 
perish unregarded, He put on a mortal body, so that 
by raising the body to life He might break death's 
chain and carry man to the Father. This is the natal 
day on which the Creator on high breathed Thee 
forth and set Thee in a frame of clay, uniting flesh 
with the Word. Feelest thou, noble maiden, through 
thy weariness now come to its time, that the un- 
defiled glorj- of thy purity waxes with the honour of 
the child thou bearest? What joys for the world 
that chaste womb holds, whence comes forth the new 
age with its golden light ! That child's crying showed 
forth the beginning of the world's spring, for then 
the world reborn put away its foul torpor. The 
earth, I ween, thickly besprinkled all the countryside 
with flowers, and the very sands of the desert were 
scented with nard and nectar. All things rough and 
rude were conscious of Thy birth, O Child ; even the 
hardness of stone was overcome and clothed the 
rocks •with grass. Now honey flows from the crags, 
now the oak sweats drops of perfume from its dry 



iam sunt myricis balsama, 

o sancta praesepis tui, 
aeterne rex, cunabula, 
populisque per saeclum sacra 
mutis et ipsis credita ! 80 

adorat haec brutum pecus, 
indocta turba scilicet, 
adorat excors natio 
vis cuius in pastu sita est. 

sed cum fideli spiritu 85 

concurrat ad praesepia 
pagana gens et quadrupes, 
sapiatque quod brutum fuit, 

negat patrum prosapia 
perosa praesentem Deum : 90 

credas venenis ebriam, 
furiisve lymphatam rapi. 

quid prona per scelus ruis ? 
agnosce, si quidquam tibi 
mentis resedit integrae, 95 

ducem tuorum principum. 

hunc, quem latebra et obstetrix 
et virgo feta et cunulae, 
et inbecilla infantia, 
regem dederunt gentibus, 100 

peccator intueberis 
celsum coruscis nubibus, 
deiectus ipse et inritis 
plangens reatum fletibus, 

cum vasta signum bucina 105 

terris cremandis miserit, 
et scissus axis cardinem 
mundi ruentis solvent. 

insignis ipse et praeminens 



trunk, and the tamarisks bear balsam. How holy 
Thy manger-cradle, King eternal I The nations 
through all time, and even the dumb beasts, hold 
it sacred. The brute cattle adore it, a mere herd 
without knowledge ; the senseless tribe adores it, 
whose only vigour is in feeding. Yet though with 
faithful spirit heathen race and four-footed beast 
come together to the stall and what was brutish show 
understanding, the seed of the patriarchs deny Him, 
hating the God who is present among them, as if they 
were drugged with poisons or maddened by Furies. 
Why dost thou rush headlong on the path of sin? 
Recognise, if thou hast any remainder of sound sense, 
the leader of thy princes. On this child, whom place 
of refuge and midwife and maiden mother and little 
cradle and feeble infancy have given to the nations 
as their King, thou as a sinner shalt look when He 
is seated on high in flashing clouds, thyself cast down 
and bemoaning thy guilt ynth vain tears, when the 
awful trump shall have sounded the signal for the 
burning of the earth, and the axis of the universe 
is broken and lets its pole fall down and it crashes in 
ruin. He himself, raised in eminence above all, shall 



mentis rependet congrua, 110 

his lucis usum perpetis, 
illis gehennam et Tartarum. 

Judaea, tunc fulmen crucis 
experta, qui sit senties 
quem, te furoris praesule, 115 

mors hausit et mox reddidit. 

Hymnus Epiphaniae 

QuicuMQUE Christum quaeritis, 
oculos in altum tolUte : 
ilUc licebit visere 
signum perennis gloriae. 

haec Stella, quae solis rotam 5 

vincit decore ac lumine, 
venisse terris nuntiat 
cum came terrestri Deum. 

non ilia servit noctibus 
secuta lunam menstruam, 10 

sed sola caelum possidens 
cursum dierum temperat. 

Arctoa quamvis sidera 
in se retortis motibus 

obire nolint, attamen 15 

plerumque sub nimbis latent. 

hoc sidus aeternum manet, 
haec Stella nunquam mergitur, 
nee nubis occursu abdita 
obumbrat obductam facem. 20 

tristis cometa intercidat, 
et, si quod astrum Sirio 


requite each according to his deserts, giving these to 
enjoy unending light, those to suffer hell and Tartarus. 
Then, O Judaea, when thou hast felt the thunderbolt 
of the cross, thou shalt understand who He is whom 
death, raging under thy patronage, swallowed up, and 
then gave back. 


A Hymn for Epiphany 

All ye that seek the Christ, lift up your eyes on 
high ; there may you see the sign of everlasting 
glory. This star which in its beauty and Ught sur- 
passes the sun's orb proclaims that God has come to 
earth with earthly flesh. No servant of the night is 
this, attending the monthly moon, but sole tenant of 
the sky, ruling the course of the days. Though the 
constellations of the Bears, whose motions turn again 
upon themselves, refuse to set, yet oft are they hidden 
under storm-clouds. This star abides for ever, this 
star never sinks nor is hidden by oncoming cloud 
drawing a shade over its brightness. Perish the ill- 
omened comet, let every star that bums even with 



fervet vapore, iam Dei 
sub luce destructum cadat. 

en Persici ex orbis sinu, 25 

sol unde sumit ianuam, 
cernunt periti interpretes 
regale vexillum magi. 

quod ut refulsit, ceteri 
cessere signorum globi, 30 

nee pulcher est ausus suam 
conferre formam Lucifer. 

" quis iste tantus " inquiunt 
" regnator astris imperans, 
quern sic tremunt caelestia, 35 

cui lux et aethra inserviunt ? 

inlustre quiddam cernimus, 
quod nesciat finem pati, 
sublime, celsum, interminum, 
antiquius caelo et chao. 40 

hie ille rex est gentium 
populique rex ludaici, 
promissus Abrahae patri 
eiusque in aevum semini. 

aequanda nam stellis sua 45 

cognovit olim germina 
primus sator credentium, 
nati inmolator unici. 

iam flos subit Daviticus 
radice lessea editus, 50 

sceptrique per virgam virens 
rerum cacumen occupat." 

exim sequuntur perciti 
fixis in altum vultibus, 
qua Stella sulcum traxerat 55 

claramque signabat viam. 



Sirius' heat sink now in destruction under God's light. 
See, from the far corner of the Persian land, whence 
the sun makes his entry, wise men, skilled inter- 
preters, discern the royal ensign. As soon as it 
flashed out, all other starry orbs gave place, and even 
the fair morning star durst not put his beauty in 
comparison. " Who," say they, " is this great ruler 
who commands the stars, of whom the heavenly 
bodies thus stand in awe, whom Ught and sky obey ? 
It is a glorious thing we see, that can suffer no end, 
exalted, lofty, boundless, more ancient than heaven 
and the realm of darkness. This is that king of the 
nations and of the people of Judaea, who was promised 
to father Abraham and to his seed for ever. For the 
first father of all believers, he who offered his only 
son in sacrifice, learned that his progeny must one 
day be made equal to the stars." Now comes the 
flower of David, sprung from the root of Jesse, 
blooming along the sceptre-rod ^ and taking the 
highest place in the world." Then quickly did they 
follow, with eyes fixed on high, where the star was 
marking the way with its trail of light. But the sign 

° Genesis xv, 5. * Cf. Numbers xvii, 1-8. 



sed verticem pueri supra 
signum pependit inminens, 
pronaque submissum face 
caput sacratum prodidit. 60 

videre quod postquam magi, 
Eoa promunt munera, 
stratique votis ofFerunt 
tus, myrrham et aurum regium. 

agnosce clara insignia 65 

virtutis ac regni tui, 
puer o, cui trinam Pater 
praedestinavit indolem : 

regem Deumque adnuntiant 
thesaurus et fragrans odor 70 

turis Sabaei, at myrrheus 
pulvis sepulcrum praedocet. 

hoc est sepulcrum, quo Deus, 
dum corpus extingui sinit 
atque id sepultum suscitat, 75 

mortis refregit carcerem. 

o sola magnarum urbium 
maior Bethlem, cui contigit 
ducem salutis caelitus 
incorporatum gignere ! 80 

altrice te summo Patri 
heres creatur unicus, 
homo ex Tonantis spiritu, 
idemque sub membris Deus. 

hunc et prophetis testibus 85 

isdemque signatoribus 
testator et sator iubet 
adire regnum et cernere, 

regnum, quod ambit omnia 
dia et marina et terrea 90 



hung in the heavens above the child's head, and, 
coming low, with downward beam revealed the sacred 
Person. And seeing Him the wise men bring forth 
gifts from the East, and prostrating themselves in 
worship make offerings of incense and myrrh and 
royal gold. Recognise, O ChUd, the clear emblems 
of Thy power and sovereignty, Thou for whom the 
Father fore-ordained a threefold nature. King and 
God the treasures proclaim, and the sweet scent of 
Sabaean incense ; but the powder of mj-rrh foretells 
the tomb. This is the tomb in which God, by suffer- 
ing the body to die and raising it again from the grave, 
has broken death's prison. O Bethlehem, greatest 
art thou of great cities, since to thee it has fallen to 
bring to birth incarnate the heaven-sent leader of 
salvation. Thou dost nurse the only-begotten heir 
of the supreme Father, who is man born of the 
Thunderer's breath, yet also God in the flesh. Him 
His Father's testament, Avith the prophets to witness 
and affix their seals, bids enter on His kingdom and 
take possession " — a kingdom that embraces all 
things in heaven and sea and earth from east to west, 

• Prudentius has in mind some of the formalities connected 
with a Roman vrill. In this connection cemere is a technical 
term = hereditaiefii adire. Cf. Festus (Lindsay) 46, 18, 
Varro De Lingua Latina Wl, 98. The sentence refers, of 
course, to the Old Testament and plays on two meanings of 



a solis ortu ad exitum, 

et Tartara et caelum supra. 

audit tyrannus anxius 
adesse regum principem, 
qui nomen Istrahel ^ regat, 95 

teneatque David regiam. 

exclamat amens nuntio 
" successor instat, pellimur: 
satelles, i, ferrum rape, 
perfunde cunas sanguine. 100 

mas omnis infans occidat, 
scrutare nutricum sinus, 
interque materna ubera 
ensem cruentet pusio. 

suspecta per Bethlem mihi 105 

puerperarum est omnium 
fraus, ne qua furtim subtrahat 
prolem virilis indolis." 

transfigit ergo carnifex 
mucrone districto furens 110 

efFusa nuper corpora, 
animasque rimatur novas. 

locum minutis artubus 
vix interemptor invenit 
quo plaga descendat patens, 115 

iuguloque maior pugio est. 

o barbarum spectaculura ! 
inlisa cervix cautibus 
spargit cerebrum lacteum, 
oculosque per vulnus vomit ; 1 

aut in profundum palpitans 
mersatur infans gurgitem, 
cui subter artis faucibus 
singultat unda et halitus. 



the depths of hell and the skies above. The uneasy 
monarch hears of the coming of the King of Kings 
to rule over the name of Israel and possess the throne 
of David. Out of his mind at the news, he cries 
" He that shall take my place is upon me, driving 
me out. Go, guard, grasp thy sword and steep the 
cradles in blood. Let every male child perish. 
Search the nurses' bosoms, and at the mother's 
breasts let the boy-child's blood redden thy blade* 
I suspect guile in all that have borne babes in 
Bethlehem, lest one of them by stealth save her male 
progeny." So the executioner raging madly with 
drawn sword pierces the new-born bodies and tears 
the young Ufe out of them. Scarce can the slayer 
find room on the little frames for the gaping wound 
to fall upon; the dagger is bigger than the throat. 
O barbarous sight ! A head dashed against the stones 
scatters the milk-white brains and spews out the 
eyes through the wound; or a babe is flung all 
throbbing into the depths of the flood, and beneath 
in his narrow throat water and breath make choking 

* This spelling is found in pre- Vulgate Latin Scriptures. 



salvete, flores martyrum, 125 

quos lucis ipso in limine 
Christi insecutor sustulit, 
ceu turbo nascentes rosas. 

vos, prima Christi victima, 
grex inmolatorum ^ tener, 130 

aram ante ipsam simplices 
palma et coronis luditis. 

quo proficit tantum nefas ? 
quid crimen Herodem iuvat ? 
unus tot inter funera 135 

inpune Christus tollitur. 

inter coaevi sanguinis 
fluenta solus integer 
ferrum, quod orbabat nurus, 
partus fefellit virginis. 140 

sic stulta Pharaonis mali 
edicta quondam fugerat 
Christi figuram praeferens 
Moses, i-eceptor civium. 

cautum et statutum ius erat 145 

quo non liceret matribus, 
cum pondus alvi absolverent, 
puerile pignus tollere. 

mens obstetricis sedulae 
pie in tyrannum contumax 150 

ad spem potentis gloriae 
furata servat parvulum, 

quem mox sacerdotem sibi 
adsumpsit orbis conditor, 
per quem notatam saxeis 155 

legem tabellis traderet. 

licetne Christum noscere 
tanti per exemplum viri ? 



spasms. Hail, martyr-flowers, whom on the very 
threshold of life the persecutor of Christ destroyed, 
as the stormy wind kills roses at their birth. You 
are Christ's first offerings, a tender flock slain in 
sacrifice, and before the very altar you play in inno- 
cence with palm and crowns. \\'hat boots such 
wickedness? \Miat profits Herod from his crime? 
Amid so many deaths Christ alone is reared un- 
harmed. WTiile the blood of His generation flowed, 
the virgin's child alone has escaped untouched the 
sword that robbed young married mothers of their 
babes. It was thus that Moses, the protector of his 
people, prefiguring Christ, once escaped the ^vicked 
Pharaoh's foolish proclamation. A law had been 
decreed and ordained whereby mothers, when they 
were delivered of the womb's burden, might not 
rear a boy-child. But the zealous mid^\'ife, her spirit 
loyally disobedient to the monarch, stole away the 
little one and saved him for the hope of mighty glory ; 
and by and by the world's Creator took him to be 
His priest, by whose hands He should transmit the 
law graven on tables of stone. May we not recognise 
Christ in the example of this great man? That 

^ inmaculatorum A B (JoUouxd by Bergman). 



dux ille caeso Aegyptio 

absolvit Istrahel iugo ; 160 

atnos, subactos iugiter 
erroris imperio gravi, 
dux noster hoste saucio 
mortis tenebris liberal. 

hie expiatam fluctibus 165 

plebem marino in transitu 
repurgat undis dulcibus, 
lueis eolumnam praeferens ; 

hie proeliante exercitu, 
pansis in altum braeehiis, 170 

sublimis Amalec premit, 
crucis quod instar tunc fuit. 

hie nempe lesus verior, 
qui longa post dispendia 
vietor suis tribuHbus 175 

promissa solvit iugera. 

qui ter quaternas denique 
refluentis amnis alveo 
fundavit et fixit petras, 
apostolorum stemmata, 180 

iure ergo se ludae dueem 
vidisse testantur magi, 
cum facta priscorum ducum 
Christi figuram pinxerint.^ 

hie rex priorum iudicum, 185 

rexere qui Jacob genus, 
dominaeque rex ecclesiae, 
templi et novelli et pristini. 

hunc posteri Ephrem colunt, 
hunc sancta Manassae domus, 190 

omnesque suspiciunt tribus 
bis sena fratrum semina. 



leader, after he slew the Egyptian, freed Israel from 
the yoke; but us, who are in continual suljjection 
to the grievous power of sin, our 'Leader, disabling 
our enemy, sets free from the darkness of death. 
Moses cleanses the people in the waves in the crossing 
of the sea and purifies them with sweet ° waters, 
and carries before them a pillar of light. Moses, while 
the host does battle, stands aloft stretching up his 
arms and subdues Amalech,* and this was then a 
symbol of the cross. He "^ indeed is a truer Jesus, 
who, after long wanderings gained the victory and 
parted the prom'sed lands to his tribesmen <* ; and 
lastly twelve stones did he plant firmly in the bed of 
the river where its waters were stayed,* and these are 
the forerunners of the apostles. Rightly, then, do the 
wise men bear witness that they have seen the 
Leader of Judah, since the deeds of old-time leaders 
pictured the figure of Christ. He is King of the 
judges of former times who ruled over the race of 
Jacob, and King of the church which now holds sway. 
King both of the new temple and the old. Him 
the descendants of Ephraim worship, Him the holy 
house of Manasses and all the tribes, the twelve-fold 
progeny of the brothers, reverence. Nay, even all 

" The reference is possibly to Exodus xv, 25, 26. 

* Exodus xvii, 10-13. 

" Joshua, whose name appears as Jesus in the Septuagint 
and may have had this form in a pre- Vulgate Latin version 
known to Prudentius. 

'' Joshua xiii, 7. 

' Joshua iii, 14r-iv, 9. 

finxerint in two of Bergman's doss A MSS. 



quin et propago degener 
ritum secuta inconditum, 
quaecumque dirum fervidis 195 

Bahal caminis coxerat, 

fumosa avorum numina, 
saxum, metallum, stipitem, 
rasum, dolatum, sectile, 
in Christi honorem deserit. 200 

gaudete, quicquid gentium est, 
ludaea, Roma et Graecia, 
Aegypte, Thrax, Persa, Scytha : 
rex uniis omnes possidet. 

laudate vestrum principem 205 

omnes beati ac perditi, 
vivi, inbecilli ac mortui : 
iam nemo posthac mortuus. 



the fallen breeds that followed a barbarous ritual 
and baked a fearful idol in burning furnaces, now 
abandon the smoke-grimed gods of their forefathers, 
of stone or metal or wood, filed smooth or hewn 
or cut, to honour Christ. Rejoice, all ye nations, 
Judaea, Rome and Greece, Egypt, Thracian, Persian, 
Scythian: one King is master of all. Praise your 
Lord every one, blessed and lost aUke, the quick, the 
feeble, and the dead ; no man henceforth is dead. 



Hymnus de Trinitate ' 

Est tria summa Deus, tfinum specimen, vigor unus. 
corde Patris genita est Sapientia, Filius ipse est; 
Sanctus ab aeterno subsistit Spiritus ore. 
tempore nee senior Pater est, nee numine maior, 
nam sapiens retro semper Deus edidit ex se, 5 

per quod semper erat, gignenda ad saecula Verbum. 
edere sed Verbum Patris est, at cetera Verbi, 
adsumptum gestare hominem, reparare peremptum, 
conciliare Patri, dextraque in sede locare. 
Spiritus ista Dei conplet, Deus ipse : fideles 10 

in populos charisma suum difFundere promptus, 
et patris et Christi virtutem in corpora transfert. 


Est vera secta ? te, Magister, consulo. 

rectamne servamus fidem ? 
an viperina non cavemus dogmata, 

et nescientes labimur ? 
artam salutis vix viam discernere est 

inter reflexas semitas. 
tam multa surgunt perfidorum conpeta 

tortis polita erroribus, 

^ There is little MS. authority for this heading. 


A Hymn on the Trinity 

God is three supremes, threefold in person, one 
Uving power. Of the Father's love was begotten Wis- 
dom, and the same is the Son ; the Holy Spirit is from 
the everlasting lips. The Father is neither older in 
time nor greater in divinity ; for God was wise through 
infinite time past, and gave forth from Himself, to 
bring the world into being, the Word whereby He 
ever was. But while to give forth the Word belongs 
to the Father, all else is of the Word, to take on and 
wear the nature of man and restore him from de- 
struction, to reconcile him to the Father and set him 
at His right hand. This the Spirit of God accom- 
plishes, who himself is God : ever ready to diffuse His 
gracious gift upon the faithful peoples. He transmits 
into their persons the power both of the Father and 
of the Christ. 


Is our doctrine true? To Thee, the Master, I 
appeal. Are we keeping the right faith, or from 
want of guarding against venomous teachings are we 
slipping unawares ? Hard is it to discern the narrow 
way of salvation amid twisting paths. So many 
cross-roads meet us, which have been trodden smooth 
by the misguided straying of the faithless ; so many 



obliqua sese conserunt divortia 

hinc inde textis orbitis. 10 

quas si quis errans ac vagus sectabitur, 

rectum relinquens tramitem, 
scrobis latentis pronus in foveam ruet, 

quam fodit hostilis manus, 
manus latronum, quae viantes obsidet 15 

iter sequentes devium. 
quid non libido mentis humanae struat ? 

quid non malorum pruriat ? 
statum lacessunt omnipollentis Dei 

calumniosis litibus, 20 

fidem minutis dissecant ambagibus 

ut quisque lingua est nequior ; 
solvunt ligantque quaestionum vincula 

per syllogismos plectiles. 
vae captiosis sycophantarum strophis ! 25 

vae versipelli astutiae ! 
nodos tenaces recta rumpit regula, 

infesta dissertantibus. 
idcirco mundi stulta delegit Deus, 

ut concidant sophistica, 30 

deque inbecillis subiugavit fortia, 

simplex ut esset credere, 
lapis ecce nostro fixus ofFensaculo est, 

inpingat in quem vanitas, 
signum caventi, non caventi scandalum : 35 

hunc sternit, ilium dirigit. 
dum plura temptat caecus incerto gradu, 

incurrit id quod obvium est. 
fax sola fidei est praeferenda gressibus, 

ut recta sint vestigia. 40 

quis in tenebris hostis errantes tamen 

pulsat trahitque et preterit, 



side-roads join together, where tracks intertwine on 
this hand and on that ; and if, wandering at random, 
a man follows them, leaWng the straight path, he 
will plunge into the snare of a hidden pitfall which a 
band of enemies have dug, a band of robbers who 
beset travellers when they follow the byway. What 
would not the lust of men's minds devise ? What evil 
would it not itch after? They assail the being of 
almighty God with false disputings and cut the faith 
in pieces with da'-k, finical reasonings in proportion 
to the wickedness of their tongues. Using intricate 
arguments they play fast and loose with the issues 
they discuss. Woe to the deceivers' cheating 
quirks ! Woe to their crafty cunning ! The right 
rule is a foe to their prating, and bursts their tight 
knots. God has specially chosen the foolish things 
of the world to overthrow the sophistical, and by 
means of weakness has subdued strength, that 
believing might be simple. Behold, a stone is set 
to trip us up, that vanity may strike against it, a 
guide-post to the wary, but to the unwary a stumbling- 
block ; the one it lays low, the other it directs. The 
blind man groping on with uncertain step runs into 
that which stands in his way. The torch of faith 
alone is to be carried before our feet, that our steps 
may be straight. But when we go astray in this 
darkness the enemy buffets us, carries us away cap- 



qui sparsa ad ipsum conmeantum transitum 

frumenta saevus devorat, 
qui laeta Christi culta fur interpolat 45 

addens avenas aemulas. 
quas de veneni lacte in herbam fertiles 

patitur colonus crescere, 
ne forte culmum fibra inanis spiceum 

simul revulsa internecet. 50 

expectat ergo dum dolosa ^ et farrea 

fervens coquat maturitas, 
det ventilabro lecta quaeque ut horreis, 

urat recrementum focis. 
refert sed ipsa nosse, quae messem necant, 55 

zizaniorura semina. 

Plurima sunt sed pauca loquar, ne dira relatu 
dogmata catholicam maculent male prodita linguam. 
ille Patrem pellens solio detrudit in artum 
corporis humani gestamen, nee pavet ipsum 
obiectare neci duroque adfigere ligno. 5 

passibilisne Deus ? cuius species et imago 
nulli visa umquam : nee enim conprendier ilia 
maiestas facilis sensuve oculisve manuve. 
loannis magni Celebris sententia praesto est, 
haud umquam testata Deum potuisse videri. 10 

ille Pater, quem nulla acies violenta tuendo 

^ Most MSS. of the A class, including the 6th-century MS., 
have vitiosa, which Bergman adopts. 

" In lines 1 to 320 Prudentius deals with heretical doctrines 
which denied the distinct personal being of the Son, and 
expounds the orthodox view of the Trinity. One form of 
" monarchic " doctrine, in order to safeguard the unity of 


tive, tramples upon us, a cruel enemy who devours 
the proWsion laid out along the way for the very 
passage of travellers, a thief who spoils Christ's rich 
fields, sowing wild oats in them to compete with the 
com. Them the farmer suffers to be enriched by 
their poisonous sap and grow into a plant, lest haply 
the pulhng up of the worthless blade kill at the same 
time the stalk that bears the ear of com. He waits 
therefore till ripening warmth mature the false 
grain and the true, that he may store in his bams 
what the fan selects and burn the refuse in the fire. 
Yet it concerns U3 to know the very seeds of the 
tares that kill the crop. 

Very many teachings there are, but of few shall 
I tell, lest misguided utterance of unspeakable 
doctrines stain an orthodox tongue. Yonder is one 
who, banishing the Father from his throne, thrusts 
Him into the narrow vesture of a man's body and 
fears not to subject the Father to death and fasten 
Him on the cruel cross.*' Can God suffer? His 
shape and form no man has ever seen ; for that 
majesty is not easily to be grasped by thought or 
eye or hand. We have the great John's well-kno^vn 
saying on our side, which declares that it has never 
been possible to see God. He is the Father, whom 
no eye has ever had force to reach by looking from 

God, held that in Christ the Father himself was incarnate, 
whence it followed that the Father suffered on the cross. 
SabelliuB (see 178), who developed this line of thought in the 
3rd century, seems to have regarded the Trinity as three 
manifestations or modes (c/. 14) of the one God. 



eminus ardentis penetravit acumine visus, 

qui se forma hominis non induit, et Deitatis 

inmensum adsumpto non temperat ore modove. 

aut evangelic! pietas spernenda libelli 15 

iam, blaspheme, tibi est, aut numquam visa beati 

vis intacta Patris, non admiscenda caducis. 

sed tamen et Patris est specimen quod cemere fas 

humanis aliquando oculis concurrere promptum, 
quod quamvis hebes intuitus speculamine glauco 20 
umentique acie potuit nebulosus adire. 
quisque hominum vidisse Deum memoratur, ab 

infusum vidit Gnatum ; nam Filius hoc est, 
quod de Patre micans se praestitit inspiciendum 
per species quas possit homo conprendere visu. 25 
nam mera maiestas est infinita, nee intrat 
obtutus, aliquo ni se moderamine formet. 
hoc vidit princeps generosi seminis Abram, 
iam tunc dignati terras invisere Christi 
hospes homo, in triplicem numen radiasse figuram. 30 
hoc conluctantis tractarunt bracchia lacob. 
ipse dator legis divinae accedere coram 
iussus, amicitiae conlato qui stetit ore 
comminus et sacris coniunxit verba loquellis, 
carnis in effigie Christum se cernere sensit. 35 

sed maiora petens animum per vota tetendit 
inconcessa homini, plusquam mortale laborans 
ipsum, quantus erat, sine corpore visere Christum, 
denique post multi sermonis mutua, postque 
conspectum praesentis Eri et consortia longa, 40 

" Genesis xyiii. 


without with keen, flashing vision, and who does not 
put on the form of man nor quaUfy the infinity of his 
Godhead by assuming countenance or mode. Either, 
thou blasphemer, must thou reject the faithfulness 
of the gospel-book, or else the intangible being of the 
blessed Father, which cannot mingle with mortality, 
has never been seen. Yet still there is a revelation 
of the Father which it is permitted to see, which at 
sundry times has presented itself to the eyes of men, 
and to which our sight, for all its dimness, with its 
dull vision and watery eyes, has been able through 
its mists to attain. Whosoever of men is said to have 
seen God has seen the Son whom He imparted ; for 
it is the Son who, issuing from the Father, has 
manifested himself to our eyes in forms which man 
can grasp with his sight ; the pure maj esty is in- 
finite, and comes not within our vision unless it takes 
some tempering shape. It is this di\inity that 
Abraham, the founder of the noble race, the mortal 
man who entertained Christ when even thus early 
He deigned to visit the earth, saw radiated into three 
figures"; it is this that Jacob's arms touched as he 
wTestled with Him.* He who gave forth the divine 
law and was commanded to come into the presence, 
who stood face to face in friendship and conversed 
with the Holy One, understood that he saw the Christ 
in the form of flesh. But seeking greater things, he 
let his heart reach out in ambitions not permitted to 
man, desiring beyond mortal powers to see Christ him- 
self in all his greatness without the body ; and after 
much exchange of speech, after seeing his Master in 
person and holding long fellowship with Him, " I pray 

^ Genesis xxxii, 24. 



" quaeso " ait " ut liceat te nunc, Deus optime, 

respondit Dominus " mea, non me, cernere iustis 
posteriora dabo," quid apertius, absque aliena 
quam sumat facie Verbum non posse videri, 
posse tamen, cum malit, idem numquam Patre viso 45 
terrenis oculis habitu se ostendere nostro, 
saepe et in angelicas vel mortales moderatum 
induci species, queat ut sub imagine cerni ? 
hoc Verbum est quod vibratum Patris ore benigno 
sumpsit virgineo fragilem de corpore formam. 50 

inde figura hominis nondum sub carne Moysi 
obiecta effigiem nostri signaverat oris, 
quod quandoque Deus Verbi virtute coactum 
sumpturus corpus faciem referebat eandem. 
sed tamen et sentam visa est excita cremare 55 

\ flamma rubum. Deus in spinis volitabat acutis, 
vulnificasque comas innoxius ignis agebat, 
j esset ut exemplo Deus inlapsurus in artus 
I spiniferos, sudibus quos texunt crimina densis 
I et peccata malis hirsuta doloribus inplent. 60 

inculto nam stirpe frutex vitiosus iniquis 
luxuriam virgis inlionesto effundere suco 
coeperat et nodos per acumina crebra ligabat. 
; cernere erat steriles subito splendescere frondes, 
■ accensisque citum foliis magno inpete late 65 

i conlucere Deum, nee spinea laedere texta, 
i lambere sanguineos fructus et poma cruenta, 
1 stringere mortiferi vitalia germina ligni, 
/ quandoquidem tristes purgantur sanguine culpae, 

" Exodus xxxiii, 11 and 18-23. 

* The Word being conceived as the Creator. Cf. the Hymn 
on the Trinity, 6, and John i, 3. 
" Exodus iii, 2. 



Thee," he said, " O God most excellent, let me now 
know Thee." And the Lord answered, " My back 
parts, not myself, shall I grant the righteous to see." * 
VVhat is plainer than that, apart from an external 
form which He assumes, the Word cannot be seen, 
but that when He so wills, though the Father has 
never been seen, yet the Word can show himself to 
earthly eyes in habit like ourselves, and that often 
He quahfies himself and puts on the shape of angel 
or of man, that He may be visible in a likeness ? 
This is the Word which, sent forth from the Father's 
gracious mouth, took upon Him a perishable form 
from a maiden's body. The figure of a man that 
was presented to Moses not yet in the flesh bore 
the likeness of our countenance because God, in- 
tending one day to assume a body formed by the 
power of the Word,* was producing the same features. 
Yet flame also came forth and seemed to burn the 
thorny bush : God was moving amid the sharp pricks, 
and the fire was tossing its hurt-dealing tresses 
harmlessly," that God might give an example, since 
He was one day to enter into our thorny frames, 
which sins entangle \\ith thick-set spikes and bristly 
transgressions fill with bitter sorrows. For the bush 
had gone wTong from want of attention to its stock, 
had begun to spread rankly with bad sap into un- 
wholesome growth, and was making knotty joints 
along many a sharp-pointed shoot. There were the 
unprofitable boughs suddenly brightening, and God, 
stirring amid the burning leaves, shining afar with 
mighty power, yet not hurting the thorny tangle, 
lapping the blood-hued fruits, the red berries, and 
hghtly touching the shoots of Ufe on the deathly 
wood ; in as much as the bitterness of sin is cleansed 



quern contorta rubus densis cruciatibus edit. 7 

ergo nihil visum nisi quod sub came videndum, 
lumen imago Dei, Verbum Deus et Deus ignis, 
qui sentum nostri peceamen corporis inplet ; 
nam lucis genitor, Verbi sator, auctor et ignis 
creditur extra oculos, ut apostolus edocet auctor, 7 
qui negat intuitu fontem Deitatis adiri. 
credite, nemo deum vidit, mihi credite, nemo, 
visibilis de fonte Deus, non ipse Dei fons 
visibilis ; cerni potis est qui nascitur, at non 
innatus cerni potis est : latet os Patris illud 8 

unde Deus qui visibilem se praestitit olim, 
tale aliquid formans in sese quale secuta est 
passio, quae corpus sibi vindicat ; ardua nam vis 
est inpassibilis, quoniam natura superni 
ignis ad horrificas nescit descendere poenas, 8 

nee capit humanis angoribus excruciari, 
pura, serena, micans, liquido praelibera motu, 
subdita nee cuiquam, dominatrix utpote rerum, 
cui non principium de tempore, sed super omne 
tempus et ante diem maiestas cum Patre summo, 9 
immo animus Patris et ratio, \'ia consiliorum, 
quae non facta manu nee voce creata iubentis 
protulit imperium patrio ructata profundo. 
banc igitur non flagra secant, non sputa salivis 
aspergunt, alapis non vexat palma relisis, 9 

nee perfossa cruci clavorum vulnera figunt. 
his adfecta caro est hominis, quam femina praegnans 

<• Johni, 18. 


with blood, which the bush sheds as it writhes under 
tortures unrelieved. So then nothing has been seen 
but what is to be seen in the flesh, light the image of 
God, God the Word, God the fire that fills the thorn- 
bush of sin in our bodies ; for the begetter of light, 
the Father of the Word and the source of the fire 
is beUeved to stand beyond the reach of the eyes, 
as the apostle on whom we rely teaches when he 
says that sight cannot attain to the fountain-head 
of deity.** Believe me, no man has seen God; 
believe me, no man. God who comes forth from the 
fountain-head is visible, but the very fountain-head 
of God is invisibl*^ ; He that is born can be seen, 
but He that was not born cannot be seen. Concealed 
is that mouth of the Father from whence came God 
who once made himself visible, taking on himself 
such a form as suffering, which demands a body, 
followed upon. For the potency on high cannot 
suffer, since the heavenly fire cannot lower itself to 
feel dreadful pains, nor does it admit of being racked 
with human tortures. It is pure, serene, shining, 
utterly free and unconstrained in movement, not 
subject to any power, for it is master of all things, 
having no beginning from a time, but beyond all 
time and before the days began it is the majesty 
that resides with the Father supreme, yea, the spirit 
of the Father, his thought, the channel of his 
designs, which, not made by his hand nor created 
by the voice of his command, but emitted from the 
depths of the Father, carried forth his will. This 
therefore no scourges cut nor spitting defiles, nor 
hand hurts with buffeting nor nail-pierced wounds 
fasten upon a cross. It was the flesh of man that 
felt these things, flesh that a woman with child 



enixa est sub lege uteri, sine lege mariti. 

ille famem patitur, fel potat et haurit acetum, 

ille pavet mortis faciem, tremit ille dolorem. 100 

dicite, sacrilegi doctores, qui Patre summo 

desertum iacuisse thronum contenditis illo 

tempore quo fragiles Deus est inlapsus in artus, 

ergo Pater passus ? quid non malus audeat error ? 

ipse puellari conceptus sanguine crevit ? 105 

ipse verecundae distendit virginis alvum ? 

et iam falsiloqua est divini pagina libri, 

quae Verbum in carnis loquitur fluxisse figuram ? 

at non, qui Verbi Pater est, caro factus habetur. 

fige gradum, Scriptura, tuum ; nil mobile et 

anceps 110 

adfirmasse decet : Pater est, quern cernere nulli 
est licitum ; Pater est, qui numquam visus in orbe 

nee mundana inter radiavit lamina coram, 
verbum conspicuum misit, missumque recepit 
cumvoluit: Verbo praestrinxit viscera purae 115 
virginis, et Verbo struxit puerilia membra, 
ipse quidem in terris virtute et numine praesens 
semper adest quocumque loci, nee pars vacat ulla 
maiestate Patris ; nusquam est genitor Deus absens, 
per Verbum sed semper adest; atque inde 

Philippo 120 

Christus ait " tanto tecum iam tempore versor, 
et Patrem te nosse negas, quern perspicis in me ? " 
est invisibilis donum Patris edere natum 
visibilem, per quem valeat Pater ipse videri, 
nee solis sanctorum oculis, sed lumine cassis 125 



brought forth according to the law of birth, without 
the law of wedlock. He it is that suffers hunger, 
that drinks the gall and drains the vinegar. He 
it is that fears the shape of death and trembles at 
the pain. Tell me, ye blasphemous teachers, who 
maintain that the supreme Father abandoned his 
throne at the time when God entered into a mortal 
body, was it the Father, then, who suffered ? What 
would not evil error dare ? Was the Father himself 
conceived and did He grow from a maid's blood ? 
Did He himself swell a modest virgin's womb ? And 
does the page of the holy book lie, then, when it 
says that the Wo^d passed into the form of flesh ? 
It is not He who is the Father of the Word, that is 
believed to have been made flesh. Plant thy step 
firmly, O Scripture ; it is not seemly to have stated 
aught that is unsure and undependable. He is the 
Father, whom none has been permitted to see ; He 
is the Father, who has never been seen in the world 
nor shone in his own person among the world's 
luminaries. He sent the visible Word and received 
again, when He would, the Word He sent. By the 
Word He touched the pure virgin's flesh, and by the 
Word built up the child's body. He indeed is always 
and everywhere present on earth in power and 
spirit, and no part of it is without the Father's 
majesty; God the Father is nowhere absent ; but it 
is through the Word that He is ever present, and 
hence it is that Christ says to Philip, " Am I ^vith 
thee this long time, and sayest thou that thou 
know est not the Father, whom thou seest in me ? " 
It is the gift of the invisible Father that He brings 
forth the visible Son, through whom the Father 
himself can be seen, and not only by the eyes of the 


VOL. I. F 


caecorum ; caecos loquor, atra socordia quorum 
corde tenebroso verum perpendere nescit. 
quern si perspicuum mortalibus infitiaris, 
fare age, quern videat Babylonis ab arce tyrannus 
innocuas inter flammas procul exspatiantem, 130 

calcantem rapidos inadustis fratribus ignes. 
nempe ait " o proceres, tris vasta ineendia anhelis 
accepere viros fornacibus ; additus unus 
ecce vaporiferos ridens intersecat ignes. 
Filius ille Dei est ; fateorque et victus adoro. 135 

inrisas removete faces, taedasque tepentes 
subtrahite ; friget succensi sulpuris ardor. 
Filius (baud dubium est) agit haec miracula rerum, 
quem video, Deus ipse, Dei certissima proles, 
imperat inmensis ardoribus et domat iras, 140 

insultans famulante rogo, piceosque furores 
conprimit et rabiem flammarum algescere cogit. 
barbaricos calida aura sinus non tangere iussa 
praeterit et tenues stridens transcurrit amictus. 
ipse per Assyrios metuit vapor ire tiaras, 145 

ne coma fusa umeris fumo obsordescat amaro." 
haec ait, et varios iubet obmutescere cantus, 
organa, sambucas, citharas calamosque tubasque. 
stulta superstitio tacuit, vox festa quievit, 
quae male conspicuae celebrabat imaginis aurum. 150 
carmina sanctorum resonant iam sola virorum 
triplice concentu regem laudantia caeli, 
qui mare, qui terras, qui lucida sidera fecit, 

" Daniel iii, 24 ff. 

* Prudentius makes Nebuchadnezzar speak like an occi- 
dental, just as Virgil does Aeneas {Aeneid ii, 504). 



holy, but by the sightless eyes of the blind ; and by 
the blind I mean those who in the black dullness of 
their darkened heart cannot appreciate the truth. 
If you deny that He is visible to mortals, then tell 
me who it is that from Babylon's throne the king 
sees at a distance walking unharmed through the 
flames, and trampling on the consuming fires with 
his brethren unscorched." He says, you know, " Ye 
nobles, three men the devouring fire received in the 
panting furnace, and lo ! one more parts asunder 
■with a smile the flame's hot gust. That is the Son 
of God. I confess it, and yield and worship Him. 
Take ye away the brands, for they are laughed to 
scorn ; draw off" the dying logs of pitch-pine ; the 
brimstone ye set fire to is chilled. It is the Son, 
no doubt of it, that works these wonders ; He is 
before my eyes, God himself, God's most assured 
Son, commanding the measureless heat and taming 
its wrath, triumphing over the fire, his servant ; He 
subdues the raging pitch and compels the fierce 
flames to grow cold. The hot breath is forbidden 
to touch the folds of their oriental * garments ; it 
passes them by, and runs hissing past their fine 
raiment. The very heat fears to penetrate their 
Assyrian turbans, lest the hair that falls on their 
shoulders be dirtied by the acrid smoke." So saying, 
he bids the varied sounds of music cease, all the 
instruments, sackbuts, harps, reed-pipes and cornets. 
Foolish superstition is silent, stilled are the festal 
notes that were sounding in honour of the golden 
image wickedly set up to view. Now only the songs 
of the holy men ring out as with three voices in 
concert they praise the king of heaven, who made the 
sea, the lands, the shining stars, and covered his 



ignibus et mediis secures texit alumnos, 

semper in auxilium Sermo Patris omnipotentis 155 

descendit servando homini, mortalia semper 

admiscenda sibi proprio curavit amore, 

ut socianda caro Dominoque inplenda perenni, 

degenerem vitam quae tunc animalis agebat, 

[exemplo mutaret eri, similesque per artus] ^ 160 

cernere consortem terreni adsuesceret oris, 

participemque suum visu velut obside nosse, 

et consanguineo paulatim accedere Christo. 

ergo animalis homo quondam, nunc Spiritus ilium 

transtulit ad superi naturam seminis, ipsum 165 

infundendo Deum mortalia vivificantem. 

nunc nova materies solidata intercute flatu, 

materies sed nostra tamen, de virgine tracta, 

exuit antiquae conrupta exordia vitae, 

inmortale bonum proprio spiramine sumens, 170 

filius ille hominis, sed Filius ille Tonantis, 

iam solus vultum Patris aspicit et videt ipsum, 

nemo Patrem novit nisi Filius et cui monstrat 

Filius, et nostri mediator et omnipotentis. 

denique concludam brevis ut conpendia summae : 175 

non Pater in carnem descendit, sed Patris arcem 

sumpta caro ascendit, Natus per utrumque cucurrit. 

Cede, profanator Christi, iam cede, Sabelli, 
depositorque Patris Natique insane negator, 
nonne Patrem violas dum Natum scire recusas ? 180 

^ This line does not appear in the oldest 3IS8., and is 
bracketed btj Bergman. 

<• " The Song of the Three Holy Children " (Benedicite) is 
in the Greek and the Vulgate Latin versions of Daniel iii, 
after verse 23, though not in the Hebrew. 

* Cf. 1 Corinthians xv, 46. 



children from fear in the midst of the fire." Ever 
did the Word of the ahnighty Father come down to 
help and save man ; ever did He of his own love 
cause his own being to take on humanity, that the 
flesh which was to be associated with Him and filled 
with the everlasting Lord, but was then animal in 
its nature and leading a debased life, might [change 
it after its Master's example and in like body] learn 
to recognise Him as sharer of its earthly features, to 
know Him with the warranty of sight as partaker 
of its nature, and by degrees draw nearer to Christ 
its kinsman. So then man was once as the animals, 
but now the Spirit has transformed him into the 
nature of a child of heaven by the inpouring of God 
himself, who quickens what is mortal.* Now a new 
substance embodied by the spirit of God \Wthin, but 
yet our substance, derived from a virgin, has put 
off the corruption that infected the hfe of old from 
its beginning and of its own spirit assumes the good 
that is everlasting. He who is the Son of Man but 
also Son of the Thunderer now alone looks on the 
face of the Father and sees Him, None knows the 
Father save the Son and him to whom the Son, the 
mediator between us and the Almighty, shows Him. 
In fine, to put the whole matter in short, it is not the 
Father that came down into the flesh, but the flesh 
being assumed has ascended to the Father's throne : 
the Son passed both ways. 

Yield, thou desecrator of Christ, yield now, 
Sabellius,'^ thou that dost put down the Father and 
madly deny the Son. Dost thou not do violence to 
the Father in refusing to know the Son ? For there 

* See the note on line 5. 



quandoquidem non est genitor, nisi filius extet, 
nee vocitare patrem potis es quern germine fraudas. 
sed fortasse velis patriae pietatis honore 
despoliare Deum, contentus nomine nudo, 
quod Deus est, adimasque deeus Patris et generis 

vim. 185 

ecquis in idolio recubans inter sacra mille 
ridiculosque decs venerans sale, caespite, ture, 
non putat esse deum summum et super omnia 

solum ? 
quamvis Saturnis lunonibus et Cythereis, 
portentisque aliis fumantes consecret aras, 190 

attamen in caelum quotiens suspexit, in uno 
constituit ius omne deo, cui serviat ingens 
virtutum ratio variis instructa ministris. 
quae gens tam stolida est animis, tam barbara 

quaeve superstitio tam sordida, quae caniformem 195 
latrantemque throno caeli praeponat Anubem ? 
nemo Cloacinae aut Eponae super astra deabus 
dat solium, quamvis olidam persolvat acerram 
sacrilegisque molam manibus rimetur et exta. 
consule barbati deliramenta Platonis, 200 

consule et hircosus Cynicus quos somniat et quos 
texit Aristoteles torta vertigine nervos. 
hos omnes quamvis anceps labyrinthus et error 
circumflexus agat, quamvis promittere et ipsi 
gallinam soleant aut gallum, clinicus ut se 205 

dignetur praestare deus morientibus aequum, 

" In the later paganism belief in one supreme god was 
prevalent, and many regarded the gods of the old religion 
as his subordinate agents. See Bailey, Phases in the Religion 
of Ancient Rome, ch. viii. 

* An Egyptian divinity. C/. Aeneid viii, 698. 



is no begetter if there be no son, nor canst thou call 
father one whom thou dost deprive of offspring. 
But perchance thou wouldst rob God of the glory of 
fatherly love and be content with the bare name of 
God, only taking from Him the honour of fatherhood 
and the power of begetting. Is there anyone who, 
as he lies in a heathen temple anaid a thousand sacred 
objects, or worships absurd gods with salt and turf- 
altar and incense, does not suppose there is a supreme 
god who stands alone above all things ? Though he 
devote smoking altars to a Saturn, a Juno, a Lady 
of Cythera and other monstrosities, yet whenever 
he looks up to the sky he places all authority in one 
god, whom the vast system of powers furnished with 
diverse agencies obeys." WTiat race is so dull in 
mind or so barbarous in speech, what superstition so 
low, as to set forward the dog-shaped barking Anubis * 
on the throne of heaven? No man gives a seat of 
power above the stars to the goddesses Cloacina or 
Epona," though he pay an offering of strong-smelling 
incense and dig unholy hands into the sacred meal 
and the entrails. Consult the bearded Plato's 
ra\-ings, consult the close-drawn reasonings which the 
stinking Cynic produces in his illusion, or Aristotle 
contrives in a dizzy whirl. Though they are all lost 
in the uncertainties of a maze in which they wander 
round and round, though they too are wont to 
promise a hen or a cock that the physician-god may 
deign to show himself gracious to them on their 

' Cloacina the divinity associated with the great drain 
{cloaca maxima) at Rome, Epona with stables and horses. 



cum ventum tarn en ad normam rationis et artis, 
turbidulos sensus et litigiosa fragosis 
argumenta modis concludunt numen in unum, 
cuius ad arbitrium sphera mobilis atque rotunda 210 
volvatur, serventque suos vaga sidera cursus. 
non recipit natura hominis, modo quadrupes ille 
non sit, et erecto spectet caelestia vultu, 
non recipit neget ut regimen pollere supremum. 
istud et ipse Numae tacitus sibi sensit haruspex, 215 
semifer et Scottus sentit, cane milite peior. 
sed nos qui Dominum libris et corpore iam bis 
vidimus, ante fide, mox carne et sanguine ^ coram, 
quique voluminibus vatum cruce teste probatis 
rimantes digitos costarum in vulnera cruda 220 

mersimus, et manuum visu dubitante lacunas 
scrutati aeternum regem cognovimus lesum, 
abiurare Deo titulum nomenque paternum 
credimus esse nefas, qui regem protulit ex se, 
non regem populi Parthorum aut Romulidarum, 225 
sed regem summae et mediae rationis et imae, 
atque ideo rerum dominum et super omnia regem. 
carnis habet medium, summum Patris, et Stygis 

defluit his gradibus rursusque revolvitur in se ; 
est Deus, est et homo ; fit mortuus et Deus idem 

est. 230 

1 The Qth-centiiry MS. has corpore. 

<• Socrates' last words (Plato, Phaedo, 118) were a request 
to Crito to pay a cock which, he said, " we owe to Aescu- 
lapius." The cock was really a thank-offering made by persons 


death-beds," none the less, when they come to the 
standard of reason and logic, they bring their muddy 
thoughts and their contentious, clamorous arguments 
to the conclusion that there is one di\"ine power by 
whose control the round, unresting sphere revolves 
and the planets keep their courses. Man's nature 
does not admit — provided he is not a grovelling 
beast but looks at the heavenly bodies with visage 
erect — I say, does not admit of denying the might 
of a supreme governor. Of this even Xuma's sooth- 
sayer was conscious in his heart, and so is the half- 
bestial Scot, who is worse than a dog that fights in 
the wars. But we, who have now twice seen the 
Lord, in the scriptures and in the body, first by faith 
and then in flesh and blood ^^■ith us and who, when 
the books of the prophets were proved true by the 
witness of the cross, plunged searching fingers into 
the raw wounds in his side and, because our eyes 
doubted, explored the holes in his hands and recog- 
nised the everlasting king Jesus, beUeve it sin to deny 
the title and name of Father to God who brought 
forth our king from himself — not king of the nation 
of the Parthians nor of the sons of Romulus, but king 
of the highest and of the middle and of the lowest 
realm, and therefore Lord of creation and king over 
all things. He holds the middle domain, which is 
that of the flesh, the highest, which is that of the 
Father, and the lowest, which is that of hell. By 
these degrees He passes down and again returns to 
himself. He is God, He is man also; He dies, and 

who had been cured of illness through sleeping in the temple 
of Aesculapius at Epidaurus. Socrates was perhaps alluding 
to his confident belief that his soul would survive ; he would 
awake from death cured of the ills of mortality. 



omnia percurrit naturae munia pronae, 
ut sursum Patris in gremium replicata reportet 
mortua quae fuerant, ipsos quoque subvehat artus. 
haec fore cum veterum ceeinissent organa vatum, 
nos oculis, manibus, congressu, voce, loquella 235 
experti, heroum tandem intelleximus orsa 
priscorum et viso patefacta oracula Christo. 
haec est nostra salus, hinc vivimus, hinc animamur. 
hoc sequimur : numquam detracto nomine Nati 
appellare Patrem, Patris et sine nomine num- 
quam 240 
Natum nosse Deum, numquam nisi Sanctus et 

Spiritus intersit Natumque Patremque vocare ; 
sic tamen haec constare tria, ut ne separe ductu 
tris faciam, tribus his subsistat sed Deus unus. 
nee Pater ipse autem qui FiUus, ut, quia natum 245 
scimus ab innato, vere Pater et sata vere 
sit suboles, nee sit genitor sibi Filius ipse, 
perquam ridiculum est et futtile, natus ut ex se 
sive supernatus ^ fuerit, sibi ipse repente 
nascendi nova materies, ac se Deus ultro 250 

ediderit natumque sibi se fecerit ipsum. 
nil falsum aut mendax divina vocabula fingunt. 
qui Pater est, gignendo Pater, tum FiHus ex hoc 
Filius, auctore genitus quod sit Patre summo, 
summus et ipse tamen ; nee enim minor aut Patre 

unde in utroque operis forma indiscreta, nisi 

omnem 256 

^ 8(/me MS8. of both Bergman's classes have sive pater natus. 


still is God. He goes through all the functions of 
mortal nature that He may turn again and bring up 
to the Father's bosom all that was dead, and raise 
up the very bodies also. After the lyres of the old 
prophets had foretold these things, we, having found 
them come to pass, with our eyes and hands, meeting 
Him and hearing his voice and speech, understood 
at last the words of the valiant men of old and the 
prophecies that were made plain by the sight of 
Christ. This is our salvation, hence it is that we 
Hve and are quickened. This is the rule we follow, 
never to address the Father without naming the Son, 
never to know God the Son without naming the 
Father, never to call on the Son and the Father 
together but that the Holy Spirit, who is one Avith 
them, have part also ; yet that these so exist as 
three that I must not make three Gods by separating 
them, but in these three is the being of one God. 
And He who is the Son is not the Father himself, 
that, since we know He was begotten of the un- 
begotten, there may be true Father and true 
begotten Son, and the Father be not Son to himself. 
It is very absurd and vain to suppose that He should 
have been born of himself, or a secondary growth 
upon himself, suddenly becoming for himself a new 
substance of birth, and that God should have brought 
forth himself and made himself his o^vn Son. The 
divine names make no false or lying pretence. He 
who is the Father is Father by begetting, and the 
Son is Son for the reason that He was begotten and 
the supreme Father is the author of his being ; 
though yet He himself is supreme also, for He is 
not less than the Father nor unequal with Him. 
How could the shape of their work be undistinguish- 



vim maiestatis patriae generosus haberet 
Filius, idque Deus genitor, quod Filius, esset? 
pergunt ulterius scrutantes quid sit id ipsum 
gignere, si fas est humanos tendere sensus 260 

usque ad secretum, quod tempora cuncta diesque 
praevenit antiquos, et principium super ipsum 
eminet et, quodcumque potest homo quaerere, 

cum sit difficilis via noscere principiorum 
semina, qui dabitur mortali exquirere quidnam 265 
ultra principium Deus egerit, aut quo pacto 
ediderit Verbum, quod principio caret omni ? 
hoc solum scimus, quod traditur esse Deum, quem 
non genitus genitor generaverit, unus et unum, 
integer integrum, non coeptum sed tamen ortum, 270 
et conperpetuum retro Patris et Patre natum. 
sed nee decisus Pater est, ut pars Patris esset 
Filius, extendens nee se substantia tractim 
produxit minuitque aliquid de numine pleno, 
dum mutata novum procudit portio Natum. 275 

non convertibilis nee demutabilis umquam 
est Deus aut gignendo aliquid sibi detrahit, atqui 
totus et ex toto Deus est, de lumine lumen, 
quando autem lumen sine lumine ? quando 

lux fulgore caret ? quando est ut proditus ignis 280 
ignem deminuat ? quando Pater et Deus et lux 
non lucis Deus et Pater est? qui, si Pater olim 
non fuit, et serum genuit post tempora Natum, 
fit novus, inque novum ius proficit. absit, ut 

plenus proficiat, qui non eget incremento. 285 

et Deus et genitor lumenque et gloria semper 



able in both, did not the high-bom Son possess all 
the force of his Father's majesty, and were not God 
the Father that which the Son is ? Men go further, 
prying into the very meaning of begetting, if it is 
lawful to stretch human thought to the mystery which 
precedes all times and days of old and stands beyond 
the very beginning, passing all the wit of man to 
search out. Since it is hard to reach an understand- 
ing of the seeds of first beginnings, how shall it be 
given to mortal man to seek out what God did before 
the beginning, or how He gave forth the Word, 
which has no beginning ? This alone we know : our 
tradition tells us that He is God whom the un- 
begotten Father begot, one Father,' one Son, perfect 
Father, perfect Son, who had no beginning and yet 
originated, who existed eternally in time past equally 
with the Father and yet was born of the Father. 
But neither was the Father diminished, so that the 
Son would be a portion of the Father, nor did his 
substance extend and prolong itself and deduct 
something from his full Godhead bv changing a 
j>ortion so as to forge a new being in the Son. God 
can never turn nor change, nor does He by begetting 
subtract something from himself; but He is whole 
God bom of whole God, light from light. And when 
is there light without light ? \Mien is there a 
shining light that does not shine ? When does the 
flame that is emitted diminish the flame ? When is 
He who is Father and God and light not the God and 
Father of light ? If once He was not Father, and late 
in the passage of time begot the Son, He becomes 
what He was not before, and advances to a new status. 
Perish the thought that He who is perfect and needs 
no enlargement can ever advance I Both God and 


ille fuit, nee post sibi contulit ut Pater esset. 

sic fit ut aeternum credamus cum Patre Christum, 

illo auctore satum, cui nullus praefuit auctor. 

haec tu si dubitas Nati mysteria Christi, 290 

perdite, catholica non es de plebe, sed unus 

de grege turifero, venerator Deucalionum, 

devotus cippo, ficulni stipitis unctor. 

quin potius scrutare Dei signacula in ipso 

fonte vetustatis, percurre scrinia primi 295 

scriptoris, quern non bardus pater aut avus augur, 

fabula nee veteris famae, nee garrula nutrix, 

nee sago clangore loquax et stridula cornix 

rem doeuere Dei, sed coram proditus ipse, 

ipse Deus trepidum mortalem mitis amico 300 

inbuit adloquio seque ac sua summa retexit. 

nimirum meminit scriptor doctissimus illo 

orbis principio non solum nee sine Christo 

informasse Patrem faeturae plasma novellae. 

" fecit " ait " condens hominem Deus, et dedit olli 305 

ora Dei." quidnam est aliud quam dicere " solus 

non erat, atque Deo Deus adsistebat agenti," 

cum Dominus faeeret Domini sub imagine 

plasma ? 
Christus forma Patris, nos Christi forma et imago ; 
condimur in faciem Domini bonitate paterna, 310 
venturo in nostram faciem post saecula Christo. 
possum multa sacris exempla excerpere libris. 

" Worship of the dead was alien to the old Roman religion, 
but honours were paid yearly at their tombs. In imperial 
times, however, the conception of the dead as divine appears. 
Cippiis may here be simply a derogatory terra for an idol (" a 

£ost "). Deucalion, though not a divinity, seems to be used 
ere contemptuously as a type of mythical personage. 



Father and light and glory He ever was, nor did 
He afterwards confer fatherhood on himself. Thus 
does it come about that we believe Christ eternal 
along with the Father and begotten of Him before 
whom was no begetter. If thou doubtest these 
mysteries of Christ the Son, abandoned man, thou 
art not of the Catholic people, but one of the crew 
of incense-offerers, a worshipper of Deucalions, 
devotee of a grave-stone," anointer of a fig-tree 
stump. Rather scan the marks of God in the very 
fount of antiquity, run through the collection of 
books of the earliest of writers,* who did not learn 
of God from a minstrel sire or soothsaying grand- 
sire, nor from a tale of old tradition nor garru- 
ous nurse, nor noisy crow that chattered with 
prophetic cry, but God himself appearing to him 
graciously instructed the trembling mortal, speaking 
to him like a friend,*^ and revealed himself and his 
majesty. Clearly the well-informed historian tells 
us that in that beginning of the world it was not 
alone nor \*-ithout Christ that the Father shaped the 
figure of his new creation. " God," he says, " in 
creating made man and gave him the features of 
God." \\'hat is this but to say " He was not alone 
and God was by God's side in the work," since the 
Lord made the creature in the image of the Lord ? 
Christ is the figure of the Father, and we the figure 
and image of Christ ; we are made after the Ukeness 
of the Lord by the goodness of the Father, and Christ 
was to come into our likeness after ages of time. I 
can pick many an instance from the holy books, if 

* I.e. Moses, in the Pentateuch. 

* Cf. Exodus xxxiii, 11. 


I ^JdJi^r^t^ 


ni refugis, quae te doceant non in Patre solo 
vim maiestatis positam, sed cum Patre Christum 
esse Deum, velut illud ait genealogus idem : 315 

" a Domino Dominus flammam pluit in 

quis Dominus, de quo Domino, si solus ab area 
siderea spectat Pater aut ardescit in iras ? 
Filius armatam Domini Patris ignibus iram 
spargebat Dominus : sunt unum fulmen utraque. 320 

Haec si ludaicos sic intellecta rigassent 
auditus stupidas ut possent ^ tangere fibras, 
audissent Dominum virtutum, qui pereuntes 
venerat ut servaret oves ; sed ab auribus omnis 
fluxerat ornatus, caput et iam coctile Bahal 325 

finxerat auriculasque suo spoliarat honore. 
dux populi peccantis adest de monte corusci 
luminis adloquioque Dei, tabulasque tremendo 
incisas digito caeca ad tentoria defert, 
sed cadit in faciem plebs non visura profundae 330 
legis in effigie scriptum per enigmata Christum, 
infelix, quae luce oculos praestricta paventes 
texerit et presso faciem velarit amictu ! 
at nos reiecto Christum velamine coram 
cernimus atque Deum vultu speculamur aperto, 335 
nee sub lege gravi depressa fronte iacemus, 
sed legis radium sublimi agnoscimus ore. 
heu, frondosa prius ramis felicibus arbos, 
pinguibus, heu, quondam radix oleagina bacis ! 
ecce tibi inserto revirescit nunc oleastro 340 

^ The two oldest MSS. have possint. 

"» From this point to line 551 Prudentius attacks the Jews 
for their rejection of Christ. 

» Cf. Exodus xxxii. ' CJ.2 Corinthians iii, 14-18. 



you do not turn your back on them, to prove to you 
that the potency of majesty lies not in the Father 
alone, but that Christ is God with the Father, such 
as the statement of the same author of Genesis : 
" The Lord rained fire from the Lord upon the 
Sodomites." Wliat Lord, and from -what Lord, if the 
Father alone looks from the throne of heaven or 
blazes into anger? The Lord the Son was hurling 
the wrath of the Lord the Father, armed with fire. 
The two thunderbolts are one. 

Had these truths soaked the ears of the Jews ** 
and been understood sufficiently to touch their dull 
heartstrings, they would have listened to the Lord of 
the heavenly powers, who had come to save the sheep 
that were being lost; but all the trappings had 
vanished from their ears and gone to fashion a cast 
head of Baal,** robbing the ears of their honour. The 
sinning people's leader appears from the mountain 
of flashing light and from hearing the speech of God, 
bringing down to their blinded tents the tablets 
graven by that a^\•ful finger ; but the people fall on 
their faces and will not see Christ written symbolically 
in the figure of the law's mysterj'. Unhappy race, 
in that they covered their trembling eyes before the 
dazzling light and pressed close their garments to 
veil their faces ! But we have thrown back the veil 
and see Christ in person, looking upon God with 
countenance uncovered,* nor do we he with head 
bowed down under the weight of the law, but with 
face lifted up we recognise the law's splendour. 
Alas for the tree that was once so leafy, its branches 
so fertile ! Alas for the root of the ohve whose fruits 
were once so rich ! Lo, since the wild olive was 
grafted on thee, thy stem flourishes again and is 



truncus et externi vestitur cortice libri. 

iam miserere tui. non se silvestris olivi 

surculus exultans alieno stipite iactat, 

sed monet ut generis proprii memor unguine amaro 

contristare comas desuescas, stirpe nee irao 345 

invideas missis in celsa cacumina virgis. 

blasphemas Dominum, gens ingratissima, 

pascha tuum die, die, cuius de sanguine festum 
tarn sollemne tibi est? quis tandem caeditur 

anniculus ? sacer ille tibi redeuntibus annis, 350 
sed sacer in pecude. stultum est sic credere 

sanguine balantis summos contingere postes, 
lascivire choris, similaginis azymon esse, 
cum fermentati turgescant crimine mores, 
non sapis, inprudens, nostrum te effingere pascha, 355 
legis et antiquae praeductis pingere sulcis 
omne sacramentum retinet quod passio vera, 
passio, quae nostram defendit sanguine frontem 
corporeamque domum signato conlinit ore ? 
hanc fugit exclusis Aegyptia plaga procellis,! 360 
haec regis Pharii regnum ferale resolvit, 
deque potestatis mundanae grandine densa 
eripit Abraham cum stirpe et gente fideli. 
Abrahae genus est verum, cui sanguis in ore 
creditus inscriptusque rubet, cui visus in orbe 365 

haud dubitante fide Deus est, Deus ex Patre 

ille Deum vidit, visum mox credidit : at tu, 

1 Some MSS. have flagellis. 

» Cf. Romans xi, 13-24, 


clothed with a covering of bark that is strange to it. 
Have pity on thyself now. The scion of woodland 
olive does not vaunt itself, glorying in a stem that 
is not its o^vn, but gives warning that thou remember 
thy stock, cease to cloud the foliage with a bitter 
coating, and envy not, deep in thy trunk, the shoots 
that rise to high tops." Thou dost blaspheme the 
Lord Christ, ungrateful race. Thy Passover — say, 
say, whose is the blood that makes it a feast so holy 
in thine eyes ? What is the yearling lamb that is 
slain ? Thou boldest it sacred each returning year, 
but it is sacred as a beast. It is folly to believe there 
is aught sacred in i;ouching the tops of thy doorposts 
with a lamb's blood, in making merry %\ith song and 
eating unleavened bread, while thy conduct is rising 
with the leaven of sin. Art thou so ignorant as not 
to understand it is our Passover thou dost represent ? 
That in the lines drawn before by the old law thou 
dost portray all the mystery contained in the true 
passion, that passion which protects our foreheads 
with blood and smears it on our bodily dwelling in 
a mark on the brow ? * It is from this that the 
Egyptian plague flees, its violence shut out ; it is 
this that gives release from the deathly rule of the 
king of Egypt, and from the thick hail falling on the 
power of this world saves Abraham and his stock 
and faithful people. The true descendant of 
Abraham is he on whose brow the mark of the blood 
in which he has trusted is written in red, who with 
assured faith has seen God in the world, true God 
bom of the Father. Abraham saw God and straight- 

* The sign of the cross, made on the forehead, is compared 
to the smearing of the blood of the Iamb on the lintels of 
the doors (Exodus xii, 7). 



posteritas carnis, carnaliter omnia cernens, 
carnis opus sub lege.geris, quam spiritus inplet 
interior ; nee enim caelo lex carnea fluxit, 370 

quam tu carne colis, sed Christo feta meamque 
spem paritura utero. quam spem, nisi numinis 

lumen et adventum Domini, quem viderat Abrae 
prima fides, nostrisque Pater promiserat olim 
perspieiendum oculis et legis voce probandum ? 375 
nee solum legis ; nam quae iam littera Christum 
non habet, aut quae non scriptorum armaria 

laude referta novis celebrant miracula libris ? 
Hebraeus pangit stilus, Attica copia pangit, 
pangit et Ausoniae facundia tertia linguae. 380 

Pilatus iubet ignorans "I, scriba, tripictis 
digere versiculis quae sit subfixa potestas, 
fronte crucis titulus sit triplex, triplice lingua 
agnoscat ludaea legens et Graecia norit 
et venerata Deum percenseat aurea Roma." 385 
quidquid in aere cavo reboans tuba curva remugit, 
quidquid ab arcano vomit ingens spiritus haustu, 
quidquid casta chelys, quidquid testudo resultat, 
organa disparibus calamis quod consona miscent, 
aemula pastorum quod reddunt vocibus antra, 390 
Christum concelebrat, Christum sonat, omnia 

muta etiam fidibus Sanctis animata loquuntur. 
o nomen praedulce mihi ! lux et decus et spes 



way believed he had seen Him; but thou, who art 
his descendant after the flesh, seest all things in the 
way of the flesh and doest the work of the flesh 
under a law which is only fulfilled by a spirit within ; 
for it is not a carnal law that came doA^Ti from heaven, 
the law which thou dost honour in the flesh, but one 
pregnant with Christ, that should give birth to my 
hope. And what hope, but the kindly hght of the 
Godhead and the coming of the Lord, whom Abra- 
ham's faith had been the first to see, and the Father 
had promised should one day be seen by our eyes 
and proved by the voice of the law ? And not of the 
law only ; for what literature now does not contain 
Christ ? What book-case is not filled ^nth the praise 
of Christ, celebrating his wonderful works in new 
books ? The Hebrew pen, the fulness of Athens, and 
third the eloquent tongue of Italy are all composing 
them. Pilate in his ignorance gives command : "Go, 
scribe, set out in lines thrice inscribed what power 
it is that is crucified. On the head of the cross let 
there be a threefold superscription; in the three 
tongues, as they read, let Judaea recognise and 
Greece know God, and golden Rome worship Him 
while she scans the words." All the loud music that 
sounds in the curved " trumpet's hollow metal, all 
that the great deep-dra\vn breath pours forth, all the 
ringing notes of holy harp and lyre, all the mingled 
harmony of unequal organ-pipes, all the songs that 
grottos in rivalry re-echo to the shepherds' voices, 
proclaim Christ and sound Christ's name ; even all 
dumb things are quickened by the holy music and 
speak of Christ. O name passing sweet to me, my 
light and glory and hope and my shield! O sure 

' But the tuba properly so called was a straight instrument. 



praesidiumque meum, requies o certa laborum, 
blandus in ore sapor, fragrans odor, inriguus fons, 395 
castus amor, pulchra species, sincera voluptas ! 
si gens surda negat sibi tot praeconia de te, 
tam multas rerum voces elementaque tantae 
nuntia laetitiae stolidas intrare per aures, 
audiat insanum bacchantis energima monstri, 400 
quod rabidus clamat capta inter viscera daemon, 
et credat miseranda suis. torquetur Apollo 
nomine percussus Christi, nee fulmina Verbi 
ferre potest ; agitant miserum tot verbera linguae, 
quot laudata Dei resonant miracula Christi. 405 
intonat antistes Domini " fuge, callide serpens, 
exue te membris, et spiras solve latentes. 
mancipium Christi, fur corruptissime, vexas. 
desine, Christus adest, humani corporis ultor: 
non licet ut spolium rapias, cui Christus inhaesit. 410 
pulsus abi, ventose liquor ; Christus iubet, exi." 
has inter voces medias Cyllenius ardens 
eiulat, et notos suspirat luppiter ignes. 
ecce Gerasenos legio ruit effera porcos, 
et post multiplices busti sub rupe catenas, 415 

poenarum gemitus longis grunnitibus edit, 
clamarat, sed ab ore hominis " cognoscimus, lesu 
nate Deo, nate sceptris et germine David, 
quid sis, quid venias ; qua nos virtute repellas 
novimus, adventusque tui terrore iacemus." 420 

haec, ludaea, tuas vox non pervenit ad aures? 
pervenit, mentem sed non penetravit egenam 
lucis, et a primis foribus disclusa refugit. 

" Cf. Mark i, 23 ff., v, 1 ff. 

* Mercury. For the description of the gods of the pagans 
as " devils '' (Sat'yxovcs, 8at/xo'vta) cf. 1 Corinthians x, 20-21. 




repose from toil, sweet savour in the mouth, fragrant 
perfume, spring of Ufe-giving water, pure love, 
beauteous form, delight unmixed ! If a race that 
is deaf says that all this proclaiming of Thee, all these 
voices of nature, these elements that bring tidings 
of joy so great, enter not its dull ears, then let it hear 
the wild monster's demoniacal raving, the cries of the 
raging devil in the flesh he has taken captive," and 
let it, poor creature, believe its own ! Apollo writhes 
when the name of Christ smites him, he cannot bear 
the lightnings of the Word, the lashing tongue 
torments him sorely whenever the praises of the God 
Christ's wonderful works are sounded. The priest 
of the Lord thunders: "Away, cunning serpent! 
Quit his body, and undo thy hidden coils. He whom 
thou are disquieting, thou corrupt thief, is Christ's pro- 
perty. Give over, for Christ is here to avenge man's 
body. Thou may'st not make spoil of him to whom 
Christ cleaves. Away ! Thou art beaten, vain 
spirit. Christ commands: go out of him." In the 
midst of these words he of Cyllene * burns and shrieks, 
and Jupiter's breath is hot with the fires he knows 
so well. See, the wild legion drives the Gerasene 
swine headlong, and after the manifold chains that 
bound it in the rock-tomb, vents in long-drawn 
grunts the anguish of its punishment. It had cried 
out, but with the man's lips, " We know what Thou 
art, Jesus, the Son of God, born of David's royal 
stock, and why Thou comest. We know the power 
wherewith Thou dost drive us away, and are cast 
down with dread at thy coming." Has not this utter- 
ance, Judaea, reached thine ears? Yes, but not 
penetrated to thy darkened understanding; it was 
shut out and fled back from the outer door. He that 



audiit adventum Domini, quern solis Hiberi 
vesper habet, roseos ^ et qui novus excipit ortus. 425 
laxavit Scythicas verbo penetrante pruinas 
vox evangelica, Hyrcanas quoque fervida brumas 
solvit, ut exutus glacie iam mollior amnis 
Caucasea de cote fluat Rhodopeius Hebrus. 
mansuevere Getae, feritasque eruenta Geloni 430 
lacte mero sitiens exsanguia pocula miscet 
libatura sacros Christi de sanguine potus. 
novit et Atlantis pridem plaga perfida Mauri 
dedere crinitos ad Christi altaria reges. 
ex quo mortalem praestrinxit Spiritus alvum, 435 
Spiritus ille Deus, Deus et se corpore matris 
induit atque hominem de virginitate creavit, 
Delphica damnatis tacuerunt sortibus antra, 
non tripodas cortina regit,^ non spumat anhelus 
fata Sibyllinis fanaticus edita libris, 440 

perdidit insanos mendax Dodona vapores, 
mortua iam mutae lugent oraeula Cumae, 
nee responsa refert Libycis in Syrtibus Hammon. 
ipsa suis Christum Capitolia Romula maerent 
principibus lucere Deum, destructaque templa 445 

^ Some MSS. have roseus et quem. 

* Many of the older editions read tegit with very slight MS. 

" Prudentius is careless about the geography. The Hebrus 
(Maritza) is a Balkan river. 

* Ancient statements about Delphi (mainly from Roman 
times) speak of a chasm or cave, from which vapours arose 
and inspired the priestess. Modern investigation on the spot 
shows that there was at most a small underground chamber, 


dwells under the ■western sun of evening has heard of 
the Lord's coming, and he that welcomes anew the 
rosy dawn. The sound of the gospel with its piercing 
word has loosened the frosts of Scythia, and its 
warmth unlocked the H}Tcanian printer, so that 
Rhodopeian Hebrus, freed from ice, is now a kindlier 
stream as it flows from the rocks of Caucasus." The 
Getans have grown peaceable and the bloody, 
savage Gelonian, when he thirsts, fills bloodless cups 
with pure milk, for he will taste the holy draught of 
the blood of Christ. The once treacherous land of 
Moorish Atlas has learned to dedicate its long-haired 
kings at Christ's altar. Since the Spirit, that 
Spirit who is God, touched a mortal womb and God 
entered into a mother's body and by a \-irgin made 
himself man, the cavern ^ of Delphi has fallen silent, 
its oracles condemned; no longer does the cauldron 
direct responses from the tripod. Xo longer does a 
priest possessed utter ^\^th foaming mouth and 
panting breath " fates dra\\Ti from Sibylline Books. 
Lying Dodona has lost its maddening vapours. Cumae 
is dumb and mourns for its dead oracles, and Ammon 
returns no answer in the deserts of Libya. The verj' 
Capitol at Rome laments that Christ is the God who 
sheds light for her emperors and her temples have 

and the theory of intoxicating vapours is ruled out by the 
geological nature of the site. The cortina was a basin-shaped 
seat on which the priestess sat, supported by the tripod. 
Even by Cicero's time the oracle had much declined {De 
Divinatione, I, 37; II, 117), and like the others it had really 
ceased to function long before it was formally abolished. 
(Parke, History of the Delphic Oracle.) 

' This language is not appropriate to the Quindecimviri 
who had charge of the Sibylline Books at Rome and who 
consulted them when so instructed by the senate. 


imperio cecidisse ducum. iam purpura supplex 

sternitur Aeneadae rectoris ad atria Christi, 

vexillumque crucis summus dominator adorat. 

principibus tamen e cunctis non defuit unus 

me puero, ut memini, ductor fortissimus armis, 450 

conditor et legum, celeberrimus ore manuque, 

consultor patriae, sed non consultor habendae 

relligionis, amans ter centum milia divum. 

perfidus ille Deo, quamvis non perfidus orbi, 

augustum caput ante pedes curvare Minervae 455 

fictilis et soleas lunonis lambere, plantis 

Herculis advolvi, genua incerare Dianae, 

quin et Apollineo frontem submittere gypso 

aut Pollucis equum suffire ardentibus extis. 

forte litans Hecaten placabat sanguine multo ; 460 

pontificum festis ferienda securibus illic 

agmina vaccarum steterant, vitulasque revincta 

fronte coronatas umbrabat torta cupressus. 

iamque insertato reserarat viscera cultro 

vittatus de more senex manibusque cruentis 465 

tractabat trepidas letali frigore fibras, 

postremosque animae pulsus in corde tepenti 

callidus interpres numeris et fine notabat: 

cum subito exclamat media inter sacra sacerdos 

pallidus " en quid ago ? maius,rex optime, maius 470 

numen nescio quod nostris intervenit aris 

quam sufFerre queant spumantia cymbia lacte, 

" The ordinances against paganism did not extend to the 
destruction of temples ; indeed it was the emperors' intention 
that they should be preserved (c/. Contra Symmachum I, 501— 
5, referring to statues of gods as works of art). Jerome refers 
to the Capitoline and other temples at Rome in terms which 
do not imply more than neglect. But there was much 
unauthorised spoliation in different places. See Dill, Roman 
Society in the last Century of the Western Empire, p. 32 


fallen in ruins at her leaders' command." Now the 
successor of Aeneas, in the imperial purple, prostrates 
himself in prayer at the house of Christ, and the 
supreme lord adores the banner of the cross. Yet 
of all the emperors one ^ there was in my boyhood, 
I remember, a brave leader in arms, a lawgiver, 
famous for speech and action, one who cared for his 
country's weal, but not for maintaining true religion, 
for he loved myriad gods. False to God, however 
true to the world, he would bend the head of majesty 
before Minerva's feet, would Uck a clay Juno's 
sandals, grovel at the feet of Hercules, wax the 
knees of Diana, '^ and bow before a plaster Apollo or 
smoke Pollux's ** horse with the burning of entrails. 
It chanced that he was at sacrifice, making propiti- 
ator}- offering to Hecate with much blood, and cows 
had stood there in columns waiting to be struck with 
I the priests' ceremonial axes, and calves with cypress 
■twined in wreaths binding and shading their heads. 
Already the old man, wearing his ritual head-bands, 
had put in the knife and laid open the inward parts, 
and with blood-stained fingers was handling the 
tissues still palpitating in the chill of death, and like 
skilled interpreter counting, till they stopped, the 
last life-beats in the heart as it grew cold, when 
suddenly in the midst of the rites the priest turned 
pale and cried " \\'hat do I do? Some greater 
godhead, O best of princes, is interfering with our 
sacrifice, yea greater than bowls of frothing milk, the 

* Julian the Apostate (361-363). 

* A reminiscence of Juvenal {Sat. 10, 55) referring to the 
torn of writing a petition on a wax tablet and laying it 
the knees of the image. 

* But it is Castor who is the horseman {Iliad, III, 237). 



caesarum sanguis pecudum, verbena, coronae. 
accitas video longe dispergier umbras, 
territa Persephone vertit vestigia retro 475 

extinetis facibus, tracto ^ fugitiva flagello. 
nil agit arcanum murmur, nil Thessala prosunt 
carmina, turbatos revocat nulla hostia manes, 
nonne vides ut turibulis frigentibus ignis 
marceat, ut canis pigrescat pruna favillis ? 480 

ecce Palatinus pateram retinere minister 
non valet, elisa destillant balsama dextra, 
flamen et ipse suas miratur vertice laurus 
cedere, et incertum frustratur victima ferrum. 
nescio quis certe subrepsit Christicolarum 485 

hie iuvenum ; genus hoc hominum tremit infula 

et omne 
pulvinar divum. lotus procul absit et unctus ; 
pulchra reformatis redeat Proserpina sacris." 
dixit, et exsanguis conlabitur ac, velut ipsum 
cerneret exerto minitantem fulmine Christum, 490 
ipse quoque exanimis posito diademate princeps 
pallet et adstantes circumspicit, ecquis alumnus 
chrismatis inscripto signaret tempora ligno, 
qui Zoroastreos turbasset fronte susurros. 
armiger e cuneo puerorum flavicomantum, 495 

purpurei custos lateris, deprenditur unus, 

1 Some MS8. oj both classes have fracto. 

" Identical with Hecate as goddess of the world of the 

* Cf. Lactantius, Divinae Institutiones, IV, 27 : " When 
they are sacrificing to their gods and some one is standing by 
whose forehead has been crossed, the rites are ineffectual 
and the soothsayer cannot read the entrails." 




blood of slaughtered cattle, holy herbs and wreaths 
can bear. I see the spirits -vve summoned being 
scattered far away. Persephone " is affrighted and 
turns her steps back, her torches put out, her scourge 
trailing as she flees. Of no avail is our secret, 
muttered prayer, vain our Thessalian spells ; no 
offering can call back the routed spirits. Seest thou 
not how the flame is wasting away in the cold censers, 
the fire dying in the white ashes ? See, the servant 
of the palace cannot hold the bowl ; his hand is 
broken and lets the balsams spill over. The very 
flamen wonders at his bay-leaves slipping from his 
head, and the victhn disappoints the unsteady knife. 
Surely some young worshipper of Christ has stolen 
upon us ; this sort of men the priestly fillet and the 
gods' couch ever fear.* Let any that is washed and 
anointed depart, and let the rites be renewed and 
fair Proserpine return." So saying, he fell strength- 
less to the ground, and the emperor himself, as 
though he saw the ver}- Christ menacing him with 
thunderbolt outstretched, turned pale as death, and 
laying aside his diadem looked round upon the by- 
standers, to see whether there was any child of 
unction whose brow bore the sign of the cross and 
who had disordered the muttered words of Persian 
ritual." One man-at-arms out of the company of 
flaxen-haired'* lads, guarding the emperor's person, 
was found and denied not, but threw away his pair of 

" Under Julian there was a revival of the cult of Mithras, 
which had its origin in the old religion of Persia. See Dill, 
op. cit. p. 67; Bailey, Phases in the Religion of Ancient Rome, 
p. 204. 

' I.e. German. Even Augusttis and some of his early 
successors had a personal guard of Germans. 


nee negat, et gemino gemmata hastilia ferro 
proicit ac signum Christi se ferre fatetur. 
prosiluit pavidus deiecto antistite princeps 
marmoreum fugiens nullo comitante sacellum, 500 
dum tremefacta cohors dominique oblita supinas 
erigit ad caelum facias atque invocat lesum. 
iamne piget facti ? iam paenitet ? en tibi 

infelix ludaea, Deum, qui sabbata solvens 
terrea mortales aeterna in sabbata sumpsit, 505 
gentibus emicuit, praefulsit regibus, orbem 
possidet, imperii dominam sibi cedere ^ Romam 
conpulit et simulacra deum Tarpeia subegit. 
disce tuis, miseranda, malis, quo vindice tandem 
vana superstitio lex et carnaliter acta 510 

plectatur, cuius virtus te proterat ultrix. 
destructone iacent Solomonia saxa metallo 
aedificata manu? iacet illud nobile templum, 
cur iacet ? artificis quia dextra solubilis illud 
caementum struxit resolubile ; iure solutum est 515 
et iacet, in nihilum quoniam redit omne politum. 
quod fieri recipit, recipit quandoque perire. 
si nostrum contra quod sit vis discere templum, 
est illud quod nemo opifex fabriliter aptans 
conposuit, quod nulla abies pinusve dolata 520 

texuit, exciso quod numquam marmore crevit ; 
cuius onus nullis fultum sublime columnis 
fornice cui'vato tenui super arte pependit, 
sed Verbo factum Domini ; non voce sonora, 
sed Verbo, quod semper erat. Verbum caro 

factum est. 525 

^ Some MSS. of both classes have credere. 


lances with jewelled shafts and acknowledged that 
he bore the seal of Christ. The emperor leapt for- 
ward in fear, upsetting the priest and fleeing from 
the marble shrine with no attendant, while his 
trembling retinue, forgetting their master, with 
heads bent back raised their faces towards heaven 
and called upon Jesus. Dost thou not now loathe 
thy deed ? Dost thou not now repent ? There thou 
seest Christ, unhappy Judaea, as God, who, doing 
away the earthly Sabbath, has taken mankind to an 
eternal Sabbath. He has flashed upon the nations, 
his glory has shone before kings ; He possesses the 
world, and has constrained imperial Rome to yield 
to Him, and subdued the images of gods on her 
Tarpeian Hill. Learn from thy ills, poor creature, 
by whose vengeance it is that vain superstition and 
carnal keeping of the law are punished, whose 
avenging power it is that tramples upon thee. Do 
not Solomon's stones, that were built up by hand, 
,i lie in ruins, his metal-work destroyed ? That famous 
I temple lies in ruins. And why ? Because it was a 
f' craftsman's perishable hand that framed that perish- 
i able work of stone. Justly has it perished and now 
i lies in ruins, since every work of art turns again to 
)■ nothingness ; that which admits of being made is 
.' bound one day to perish. If on the other hand thou 
wouldst learn what our temple is, it is one that no 
' workman built up piece by piece \^ith the skill of 
his craft, no fabric of hewn fir or pine, nor ever rose 
out of quarried marble. It is one whose mass does 
not rest high up on pillars, supported with deUcate 
skill on curving arches. It is made from the Word 
of the Lord; not his loud-sounding voice, but his 
! Word, which ever lived. The Word was made flesh. 



hoc templum aeternum est, hoc finem non habet, 

hoc tu 
expugnare volens flagris, cruce, felle petisti. 
destructum iacuit poenis vexantibus : esto, 
matris enim ex utero quod destrueretur habebat. 
sed quod morte brevi materna ex parte solutum 

est 530 

maiestate Patris vivum lux tertia reddit. 
vidisti angelicis comitatum coetibus alte 
ire meum, cuius servor munimine, templum. 
illius aeternae suspendunt culmina portae, 
ac per inaccessas scalarum gloria turres 535 

tollitur et gradibus lucet via Candida summis. 
at tua congestae tumulant holocausta ruinae. 
quid mereare Titus docuit, docuere rapinis 
Pompeianae acies, quibus exstirpata per omnes 
terrarum pelagique plagas tua membra feruntur. 540 
exiliis vagus hue illuc fluitantibus errat 
ludaeus, postquam patria de sede revulsus 
supplicium pro caede luit, Christique negati 
sanguine respersus commissa piacula solvit. 
en quo priscorum virtus defluxit avorum ! 545 

servit ab antiquis dilapsa fidelibus heres 
nobilitas, sed iam non nobilis ; ilia recentem 
suspectat ^ captiva fidem. vis tanta novellae 
credulitatis inest ; Christum confessa triumphat 
gens infida prius, Christi sed victa negatrix 550 

subditur imperio dominos sortita fideles. 

^ Bergman reads susceptat with the 6th-century MS. 

" Pompey besieged and took Jerusalem in 63 B.C., but 
though he entered the Holy of Holies he did not rifle the 




This is the temple that is everlasting and without end ; 
this is the temple thou hast attacked, seeking to take 
it ^^-ith scourge and cross and gall. It was cast down 
in destruction by tormenting pains. Be it so, for 
from the mother's womb it had what could be de- 
stroyed : but that which, of the mother's part, was 
undone in brief death, the third day restores to life 
by the majesty of the Father. Thou hast seen my 
temple, by whose protection I am saved, rise on high 
with companies of angels. Everlasting gates support 
its high top, glorious stairs rise through towers in- 
violate, and at the summit of the steps there shines 
a white pathway. But thy whole burnt offerings 
are entombed under heaps of ruins. What thou dost 
merit, Titus has taught thee, and Pompey's armies " 
have taught thee with their rapine. Rooted out by 
them, thy members are cai-ried over every region of 
land and sea. From place to place the homeless Jew 
wanders in ever-shifting exile, since the time when 
he was torn from the abode of his fathers and has 
been suffering the penalty for murder, and having 
stained his hands with the blood of Christ whom he 
denied, paying the price of sin. See what has become 
if the virtue of his forefathers of olden times ! The 
noble race that was heir to the faithful men of old has 
scattered away from them and is enslaved, no longer 
noble ; it is in captivity under the younger faith. 
Such is the strength the new beUef possesses ; a race 
that formerly was unfaithful now confesses Christ and 
triumphs, but that which denied Christ is conquered 
and subdued and has fallen into the hands of masters 
who keep the faith. 

Temple. Titus destroyed the city in a.d. 70. The dispersion 
of the Jews had been in process long before that date. 

VOL. I. O 


Sunt qui ludaico cognatum dogma furori 
instituunt media Christum ratione secuti. 
hoc tantum, quod verus homo est, at caelitus ilium 
adfirmant non esse Deum ; pietate fatentur, 555 
maiestate negant : morum pro laude sacratum 
concelebrant, adimunt naturae sumnia supernae. 
omne opus egregium, per quod sollertia pollens 
emicat, ingenii est aut roboris : illud acuto 
corde viget, duris excellit viribus istud. 560 

mortale est sed utrumque homini; nam cana 

ingenia et validos consumimt saecla lacertos. 
haec nos in Domini virtute et laude perenni 
non sequimur : sequimur nullo quod semine terrae 
germinat, inmundum quod non de labe \'irili 565 
sumit principium ; tener ilium seminat ignis, 
non caro nee sanguis patrius nee foeda voluptas. 
intactam thalami virtus divina puellam 
sincere adflatu per viscera casta maritat ; 
inconperta ortus novitas iubet ut Deus esse 570 
credatur Christus sic conditus. innuba virgo 
nubit spiritui, vitium nee sentit amoris. 
pubertas signata manet ; gravis intus et extra 
incolumis, florens de fertilitate pudica, 
iam mater, sed virgo tamen, maris inscia mater. 575 
quid renuis ? quid inane caput, non credule, 

quassas ? 
angelus hoc sancto fore nuntiat ^ ore : placetne 
credere et angelicis aurem reserare loquellis ? 

^ Scnne, MSS. of both classes have sancto pronuntiat (or 

" In this section (552-781) Prudentius argues against the 
teaching of some nominally Christian sects among the Jews, 
who denied the divine birth of Christ while holding that his 


Some there are who set up a doctrine akin to the 
Jews' raving, and follow Christ by a middle way." 
This much they assert, that He is real man, but they 
say He is not God from heaven. In respect of good- 
ness they admit, in respect of majesty they deny; 
they consecrate and honour Him for the merit of his 
character, but they rob Him of supreme divinity. 
Now ever\' piece of excellent work through which 
potent skill shines forth is the work either of mind 
or of bodily strength, the one having the vigour of 
keen intelligence, the other surpassing in hardy 
physical power. But for man each of these is mortal, 
for the mind groA/s feeble with hoary age, and time 
wastes the stout arms. This is not the beUef that we 
follow in the case of our Lord's merit and eternal 
glor)\ We believe that He springs from no earthly 
seed, takes no unclean beginning from sin-stained 
man. It is the subtle fire that begets Him, not a 
father's flesh nor blood nor foul passion. The di\dne 
power weds a maid inviolate, breathing its pure breath 
over her untainted flesh. The strange mystery of his 
birth bids us beUeve that the Christ thus conceived 
is God. The unwedded maid is wedded to the Spirit 
and feels no taint of passion. The seal of her virgin- 
ity remains unbroken ; pregnant within, she is un- 
touched without, blossoming from a pure fertility, a 
mother now, but still a maiden, a mother that has 
not known husband. WTiy dost thou deny ? Why 
shakest thou thy foolish head, O unbeUever? An 
angel with holy lips proclaims that this shall be. Wilt 
thou not beUeve, and unlock thine ear to the angel's 

goodness entitled Him to be called the Son of God. See the 
irticle on Ebionism in Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and 




ipsa coruscantis monitum sacra virgo ministri 
credidit atque ideo concepit credula Christum ; 580 
credentes nam Christus adit, dubitabile pectus 
sub titubante fide refugo contemnit honore. 
virginitas et prompta fides Christum bibit alvo 
cordis et intactis condit paritura latebris. 
crede quod emissus solio Patris angelus infit. 585 
vel, si concretus liquidam de sidere vocem 
non capit auditus, mulier quid coniuge praegnans 
clamet anus credens et tandem sobrius audi, 
mira fides ! utero puer interceptus aniU 
virgineum Dominum materno ex ore salutat, 590 
primus et infantem non natus nuntiat infans 
iam nostrum ; ^ vagire sibi nam pusio nondum 
norat et ora Deo reserabat garrula Christo. 
promite secretos fatus ; date, pandite librum, 
evomuit spirante Deo quem sanctus Esaias. 595 

percensere libet calamique revolvere sulcos, 
sidereis quos ilia notis manus aurea duxit. 
ite hinc, dum rutilos apices submissus adoro, 
dum lacrimans veneror dumque oscula dulcia figo ; 
gaudia concipiunt lacrimas, dant gaudia fletum. 600 
advenit promissa dies quam dixerat iste 
adfore versiculus, cum virgo puerpera, teste 
haud dubie sponso, pacti cui cura pudoris, 
edidit, Emmanuelque meum me cernere fecit, 
estne Deus iam noster ? homo versatur et adstat 605 
nobiscum nomenque probat versumque vetustis 
obscurum saeclis praesenti inluminat ore. 

^ The stop is usually placed after sibi, not after nostrum. 
The punctuation in the text is due to M. Lavarenne. 

« Cf. Luke i, 41 fF. 

* Cf. Matthew i; 18-20. 




words ? The holy Virgin herself believed the shining 
minister's prophecy, and therefore because of her 
faith she conceived Christ. For Christ comes to those 
who believe ; the doubting heart, whose faith falters. 
He rejects and will not honour. Her maidenhood 
and ready faith drink in Christ in her womb and lay 
Him up in the pure secrecy of her heart, to bring 
Him forth in due time. Believe what the angel sent 
forth from the Father's throne saith ; or, if thy 
hearing is thickened and receives not the clear voice 
from heaven, be sensible at last and hear with believ- 
ing ear what an old woman pregnant by her husband 
cries." Marvel of faith ! — the child imprisoned in 
the aged womb greets by his mother's lips his Lord, 
the maiden's son ; a child unborn is the first to 
proclaim the child who now is ours ; for the boy could 
not as yet utter his own baby voice and so, in honour 
of the God Christ, was opening lips that were ready 
of speech. Bring out the mystic prophecies, give me 
the book, and open it, that holy Esaias uttered under 
the inspiration of God. I would fain peruse it and 
unroll the lines which that golden hand traced with 
the pen in shining characters. Depart ye hence while 
I humbly adore the glittering letters, doing them 
reverence with tears, and imprint on them loving 
kisses. Joy begets tears, joy causes weeping. The 
promised day has come, which that verse foretold, 
when a virgin in labour, according to the indubitable 
witness of her betrothed, who was solicitous for her 
affianced modesty,* brought forth a child and caused 
me to see my Emmanuel. Is not God now ours ? 
As man He lives with us by our side and proves his 
name, illumining with his presence the verse that 
was dark to generations of old. Is not He God, 



'estne Deus, cuius cunas veneratus Eous 

lancibus auratis regalia fercula supplex 

virginis ad gremium pannis puerilibus offert ? 610 

quis tam pinnatus rapidoque simillimus austro 

nuntius Aurorae populos atque ultima Bactra 

attigit, inluxisse diem lactantibus horis, 

qua tener innupto penderet ab ubere Christus ? 

" vidimus hunc " aiunt " puerum per sidera ferri, 615 

et super antiques signorum ardescere tractus." 

diriguit trepidans Chaldaeo in vertice pernox 

astrologus, cessisse Anguem, fugisse Leonem, 

contraxisse pedes lateris manco ordine Cancrum, 

cornibus infraetis domitum mugire luvencum, 620 

sidus et Hirquinum laceris marcescere villis. 

labitur hinc pulsus Puer Hydrius, inde Sagittae, 

palantes Geminos fuga separat, inproba Virgo 

prodit amatores tacitos in fornice mundi, 

quique alii horrificis pendent in nubibus ignes 625 

Luciferum timuere novum : rota lurida solis 

haeret, et excidium sentit iam iamque futurum, 

seque die medio velandum ^ tegmine glauco, 

splendoremque poli periturum nocte diurna 

orbe repentinis caput obnubente tenebris. 630 

hunc ego non cumulem myrrhaeque et turis et auri 

muneribus? scio quem videam, quae dona 

hunc ego non venerer, qui caelo visus humique 
inventus rex atque Deus moderatur utrumque 
naturae specimen, tumuloque inferna refringens 635 

^ So the oldest MS. and some others. Most have velandam. 
1 66 


to whose cradle the East does reverence, offering on 
bended knee before the Virgin's lap kingly gifts on 
gilded platters for the child in swaddhng-clothes ? 
What winged messenger, swift as the rushing wind, 
came to the peoples of the morning in farthest 
Bactra to tell them a day had dawned whose hours 
were full of richness, the day on which the babe 
Christ hung on a breast unwedded? "We have 
seen," they said, " this child passing over the sky 
and outshining the trains of the ancient stars." The 
astrologer watching all night on a height in Chaldaea 
felt his blood curdle with alarm when he saw that 
the Serpent had ^iven place, the Lion taken to flight, 
the Crab drawn in his feet in a crippled row along 
his side, that the Bull was roaring in defeat, his horns 
broken, the constellation of the Goat, with his hair 
torn, fading away. Here slides off in retreat the Boy 
with the Water Pot, there the Arrows, the Twins 
wander apart in flight, the false Maiden deserts her 
silent wooers in the vault of heaven, and the 
other blazing orbs hanging in awful clouds have 
feared the new Morning Star. The sun's wan disk 
stands still feeling his overthrow close at hand, con- 
scious that he is to be curtained with a veil of darkness 
at noontide and the brightness of the sky to be lost 
in night by day while his orb covers its head ^\'ith a 
sudden blackness." Shall I not load this child with 
gifts of myrrh and incense and gold ? I know whom 
I see, and what gifts to offer in recognition. Shall I 
not worship Him who has been seen in the heavens 
and appeared on earth, who as king and God governs 
nature in both her shapes, and who by breaking open 
the realm of death in the tomb bids them that are 

" A prophetic allusion to the time of the crucifixion. 



regna resurgentes secum iubet ire sepultos ? 
caelum habitat, terris intervenit, abdita rumpit 
Tartara. vera fides ; Deus est, qui totus ubique 

numquid vana viros aut mens aut lingua fefellit ? 
numquid fortuitis frustrantia dona dederunt 640 

casibus aut caeco votum sub honore diearunt? 
quae porro causa aut ratio submittere colla 
ante pedes Mariae puerique crepundia parvi, 
si tantum mortalis erat, nee summa potestas 
inplebat teneros divinis flatibus artus ? 645 

sed iam tolle magos, tus, aurum, myrrhea dona, 
quae verum docuere Deum, praesepia, pannos, 
matris adoratum gremium face sideris ardens : 
ipsa Deum virtus factorum et mira loquantur. 
insanos video subito mitescere ventos 650 

cum iubeat Christus, video luctantia magnis 
aequora turbinibus tranquillo marmore tendi 
imperio Christi, video calcatus eundem 
cum patitur gurges tergum solidante liquore. 
ipse super fluidas plantis nitentibus undas 655 

ambulat ac presso firmat vestigia fluctu, 
increpat ipse notos, et flatibus otia mandat. 
quis iubeat saevis aquilonibus " ite, silete 
carceribus vestris amploque facessite ponto," 
sit nisi caelipotens aquilonum conditor idem? 660 
ninguidus agnoscit Boreas atque imbrifer Eurus 
nimborum dominum tempestatumque potentem, 
excitamque hiemem verrunt ridente sereno. 
quis pelagi calcarit aquas ? quis per vada glauca 
gressibus inpressis spatiatus triverit udum 665 



buried rise and go with Him ? He dwells in heaven, 
He Wsits the earth, He bursts the depths of hell. It 
is true beUef : He is God, who is every^vhere in his 
wholeness. Did vain thought or speech deceive 
those men ? Did they give bootless gifts in circum- 
stances that were mere matter of chance, or dedicate 
their offering in worship that was bUnd ? What cause 
or reason had they to bend their heads before Mary's 
feet and the little one's baby-things, if He was but 
human and the supreme power was not filling the 
tender frame with the breath divine ? But take 
away the A^ise men, the incense, the gold, the gifts 
of myrrh, which proved Him true God, the manger, 
the swaddling-clothes, the mother's adored bosom, 
that shone -snth the blaze of the star : yet the very 
power of his acts, his very miracles, would proclaim 
Him God. I see the mad winds grow suddenly 
gentle when Christ commands. I see the seas, 
contending under violent storms, spread out in calm 
expanse at Christ's bidding. I see the deep sub- 
mitting to his tread, the water making a firm surface. 
He walks on the flowing waves, resting his feet on 
them and bearing on the flood with firm steps. He 
rebukes the winds and bids the breezes sink to rest. 
Who would give command to the raging blasts, " Go, 
be silent in your prison-houses, depart ye from the 
broad sea," were he not also the creator of the blasts, 
the lord of the heavens ? The snovsy north ^\-ind, 
the rainy east, recognise the lord of the storm-clouds, 
the ruler of the tempests, and sweep away the storm 
they raised, leaving a clear, smiUng sky. Who would 
tramp the waters of the sea ? \Mio, walking over 
the dark deep and planting the weight of his steps 
on it, would tread the watery path without sinking, 



non submersus iter, sola pendulus et pede sicco, 

aequoreae nisi factor aquae, qui Spiritus olim 

ore superfusus patrio volitabat in undis 

nondum discretis nee certo litore clausis ? 

sustinuit gressum Domini famulus liquor, ac se 670 

mobilitate carens solidos substrinxit ad usus. 

quid diversa Dei memorem facta inclyta Christi ? 

altius inspecta quae,i maiestate negator, 

haud dubitans horainem, tute ipse fatebere 

inlevit caecos oculos et lumina limo 675 

reddidit umectam sacro sputamine terram 
contrectans digitis : luteum medicamen operta 
nox habuit, tenebras obducta uligo removit. 
insuper ostendit quonam caligo lavacro 
expurganda foret. variis Siloa refundit 680 

miomentis latices, nee fluctum semper anhelat, 
sed vice distincta largos lacus accipit haustus. 
agmina languentum sitiunt spem fontis avari, 
membrorum maculas puro ablutura natatu. 
certatim interea roranti pumice raucas 685 

exspectant scatebras et sicco margine pendent, 
hoc limum iubet inpositum de fonte lavari 
Christus et infusa vultum splendescere luce, 
norat enim limo sese informasse figuram 
ante tenebrosam, proprii medicamen et oris 690 

adiecisse novo, quem primum finxerat, Adae. 
nam sine divino Domini perflamine summi 
arida terra fuit, nulli prius apta medellae : 
sed postquam liquidus caelesti Spiritus ore 
virgineam respersit humum, medicabilis ilia est. 695 
inde trahit sucum lentoque umore salutem 

^ quae is strongly supported hy the MSS. Most editions 
before Bergman's read quem with slight authority. 



his soles upheld and his foot dry, were it not the 
creator of the waters of the sea, the Spirit who once 
was breathed on it from the Father's lips and moved 
to and fro on the waves, ere yet they were separated 
or shut off by a defined shore ? The sea, as its Lord's 
servant, sustained his step, and stilled and checked 
itself to afford firm footing. What need to tell of 
the God Christ's manifold glorious works? If you 
look deeper into them, you who deny in point of 
majesty while not doubting his humanity, you will 
yourself admit they are divine. He smeared blind 
eyes and with mud restored their sight, working with 
his fingers earth that was moistened with his sacred 
spittle ; the sightless night found a cure in mud, 
the coating of wet earth removed the darkness. He 
showed, besides, the washing-place that was needed 
to cleanse the mists away. It is at diverse times that 
Siloam disgorges its waters ; not always does it emit 
the stream, but at intervals the pool receives generous 
draughts. Companies of the sick yearn for the hope 
of the niggard spring, waiting to wash away their 
bodily stains by bathing in its purity. Eagerly mean- 
while they look for its loud welling from the dripping 
stone, and hang over the dry edge. With the water 
of this spring Christ bids wash the clay He laid on, 
and the face to shine with the inpouring of light ; 
for He knew that ^\ith clay He had formerly shaped 
a figure that was darkened until He gave the healing 
power of his mouth to the new Adam whom first He 
had made. For without the divine breath of the 
supreme Lord the earth was dry and not yet fit for 
heahng ; but since the pure Spirit issuing from the 
heavenly lips besprinkled a virgin's soil, it has the 
power to heal; from thence it draws sap, and with 



inlinit, infunditque diem baptismate lota. 
caecus adest oculis iam Christi ex ore retectis 
seque luto et nitidis lucem sumpsisse fluentis 
clamat, et auctorem stupefacta per oppida 

monstrat, 700 

auctorem lueis largitoremque dierum, 
non dedignatum medicae purgamen aquai 
corpore sub proprio monstrare errantibus aegris. 
milibus ex multis paucissima quaeque retexam, 
summatim relegam totus quae non capit orbis. 705 
quinque in deserto panes iubet et duo pisces 
adponi in pastum populis, qui forte magistrum 
non revocante fame stipabant undique saeptum, 
inmemoresque cibi vicos, castella, macellum, 
oppida, mercatus et conciliabula et urbes 710 

respuerant, largo contenti dogmate vesci. 
multa virum strato fervent convivia faeno, 
centenos simul accubitus iniere sodales, 
seque per innumeras infundunt agmina mensas, 
pisciculis — iam crede Deum — saturanda duobus 715 
et paucis crescente cibo per fragmina crustis. 
ambesis dapibus cumulatim aggesta redundant 
fercula, bis senos micarum molibus inplent 
post cenam cophinos ; crudus conviva resudat 
congeriem ventris, gemit et sub fasce minister. 720 
quis cumulare potest epulas in grandia parvas ? 
quis, nisi qui corpus pastumque et corporis omnem 
condens ex nihilo nulla existente creavit 



its clinging moisture spreads salvation, and pours in 
the light of day when it is washed in baptism. The 
bhnd man appears, his eyes now by Christ's mouth 
opened, cni-ing aloud that he has received the light 
by means of clay and the shining waters, and declaring 
the author of his cure through the astonished towns, 
who is the author of light and giver of day, who did 
not disdain to show forth the cleansing \-irtue of 
heaUng water in his o^^ti body to suffering sinners. 
Out of numberless miracles I shall narrate but a very 
few, recounting briefly works which the whole world 
cannot contain. Five loaves and two fishes He com- 
mands in the desert to be served to feed the people, 
who as it chanced were crowding and pressing round 
their teacher. Hunger could not call them back; 
with no thought of food, they had turned their backs 
on villages, places of defence, markets, towns, 
centres of trade and trafficking, and cities, and were 
content to feed on the bounty of his teaching. There 
is a busy swarm of companies feasting together, ^\^th 
the parched grass beneath them. Like bosom friends 
they have joined in a hundred parties, spreading in 
their crowds in countless circles, to be satisfied with 
two small fishes (believe notv that He is God!) and 
a few loaves of bread, which provide more and 
more food the more they are broken. \Mien they 
have partaken heartily the dishes are still piled high 
and running over with the \iands ; twelve baskets 
they heap with the fragments after the banquet ; 
while the cloyed guest is exuding the mass in 
his belly, the server groans under his load. \Mio 
can magnify a little meal into largeness ? \NTio 
but He who is the maker both of the body and of 
all that feeds the body, who created the world out 



mundum materia? non sicut sculptor ab aeris 
rudere decoctam consuescit vivere massam, 725 

sed Deus omnipotens orbem sine semine finxit. 
nil erat omne quod est : nil id procedere et esse 
atque novum fieri, mox et grandescere iussum est. 
parvum de nihilo primum fuit, addita parvo 
incrementa modis auxerunt omnia plenis. 730 

ergo ego, cum videam manibus sic crescere Christi 
parva alimenta hominum, possum dubitare per 

exiguas rerum species elementaque mundi 
ex nihilo primum modica et mox grandia sensim 
crevisse, ex modicis quae consummata videmus ? 735 
ac ne post hominum pastus calcata perirent, 
neve relicta lupis aut vulpibus exiguisve 
muribus in praedam nuUo custode iacerent, 
bis sex adpositi, cumulatim qui bona Christi 
servarent gravidis procul ostentata canistris. 740 
sed quid ego haec autem titubanti voce retexo, 
indignus qui sancta canam ? procede sepulcro, 
Lazare, die cuius vocem tellure sub ima 
audieris, quae vis penetraverit abdita leti, 
quod, cum te Christus penitus nigrante profundo 745 
inmersum vocat ut redeas, ceu proximus audis, 
nee remoratus ades ? quae tam vicina Charybdis 
regna tenebrarum tenui distantia fine 
coniungit superis ? ubi Taenara tristia vasto 
in praeceps deiecta chao, latebrosus et ille 750 

" A promontory (Cape Matapan) in the south of the 
Peloponnese, where there was a fabled entrance to the world 
of the dead. 

* Phlegethon, in the under-world. 



of nothing when as yet there were no materials ? 
He is not like the sculptor who brings to life a 
block that has been smelted from crude ore, but 
as God almighty He made the world without seed. 
All that is was nothing, and that nothing was 
bidden to come forth into being, to become a new 
thing, and then to grow in magnitude. The first 
creation out of nothing was small, and enlarge- 
ments added to the small increased all things in 
full measure. When, therefore, I see a small 
supply of nourishment for men thus grow under 
Christ's hands, can I doubt that by Him, too, the 
small forms of things and elements of the world first 
arose in smallness out of nothing, and then by degrees 
grew great, which now we see from small beginnings 
made perfect? And lest, after men were fed, the 
blessings of Christ should be trampled on and wasted, 
or left to he uncared for and become the spoil of 
wolves or foxes or tiny mice, twelve men were put in 
charge of them, to gather them together and save 
them and display them in laden baskets. But why 
do I with my quavering voice recount all this, un- 
worthy as I am to sing of holy things ? Come forth 
from the tomb, Lazarus, and tell whose voice it is 
that thou hast heard deep down in the earth, what 
force it is that has reached to the hidden abode of 
death, that, when thou art sunk in the dark abyss 
and Christ calls thee to return, thou hearest as though 
near by, and without delay dost present thyself. 
What gulf so near unites the realm of darkness to the 
world of the li\ang with but a slender boundary 
between ? WTiere is the gloomy Taenarum " that 
plunges down precipitously into the desolation of 
blackness, and that unexplored stream * that rolls 


amnis inexpletis volvens incendia ripis ? 

ante fores tumuli, quas saxa inmania duro 

obice damnarant scopulis substructa cavatis, 

stat Dominus nomenque ciet frigentis amici. 

nee mora, funereus revolutis rupibus horror 755 

evomit exequias gradiente cadavere vivas. 

solvite iam laetae redolentia vincla, sorores. 

solus odor sparsi spiramen aromatis efflat, 

nee de corporeo nidorem sordida tabo 

aura refert, oculos sanie stillante solutos 760 

pristinus in speculum decor excitat, et putrefactas 

tincta rubore genas paulatim purpura vestit. 

quis potuit fluidis animam suffundere membris ? 

nimirum qui membra dedit, qui fictilis ulvae 

perflavit venam madidam, cui tabida glaeba 765 

traxit sanguineos infecto umore colores. 

o mors auritis iam mitis legibus, o mors 

surda prius, iam docta sequi quodcumque iubetur, 

cui tantum de te licuit? convicta fatere 

esse Deum, solus qui me tibi praeripit, lesum. 770 

abde negatores Christi, nemo invidet, abde ; 

utere sorte tua blasphemis nocte tenendis 

perpetua. plebem iustorum capta resolve, 

qui norunt hominem atque Deum sic dicere 

ut verus summusque Deus mortalia gestet. 775 

ipse gerit quod struxit opus, nee ferre pudescit 
factor quod peperit, corpus loquor atque animae 

finxerat hoc digitis, animam sufflaverat ore. 




fire between its banks insatiate ? Before the doors 
of the tomb, on which monstrous stones, blocking 
the chambered rock, had imposed an impenetrable 
barrier, stands the Lord and calls the name of his 
friend now cold in death. Straightway the stones roll 
back and the fearsome grave sends forth a hving 
corpse, the dead man walking! Undo now in joy, 
you his sisters, the perfumed bands. The scent of the 
sprinkled spice is the only breath ; no foul air brings 
any stench of bodily corruption. The eyes that were 
wasted with oozing decay revive and shine bke a mir- 
ror with their old-time beauty, and a bright tinge of 
red gradually clothes the cheeks that were putrefied. 
Who has been able to pour life on the decaying body ? 
Doubtless He who gave the body, who breathed 
through the wet substance of the slime He moulded, 
at whose command the crumbling earth, impregnated 
with moisture, took on the hue of Ufe. O Death, 
grown gentle now, and whose authority Ustens to 
orders, Death that wert aforetime deaf, but now hast 
been taught to obey command, to whom has such 
power over thee been given ? Confess in thy defeat 
that Jesus, who alone saves me from thy hands, is 
God. Put away them that deny the Christ ; no 
man grudges them to thee ; put them away. Use 
the power that falls to thee to keep the blasphemers 
in unending night. But now that thou art made cap- 
tive, release the multitude of the righteous, who have 
learned to call Christ both man and God, meaning 
thereby that the true and supreme God has put on 
mortality. He himself wears the work He made, 
and the creator thinks no shame to bear what He 
brought to being, I mean the body and the living 
soul. The body He had shaped with his fingers, the 



totum hominem Deus adsumit, quia totus ab ipso 

et totum redimit quern sumpserat, omne 

reducens, 780 

quidquid homo est, istud tumulis, ast illud 

Occurrit dubitans hie dissertator et illud 
obicit, anne fides capit ut substantia flante 
inspirata Deo cruciatum sentiat, utque 
inferni petat ima poli barathroque coquatur? 785 
crede animam non esse Deum, sed crede creatis 
maiorem cunctis, ipsam quoque crede creatam. 
formata est namque ore Dei, quae non erat ante, 
sed formata habitu pulcherrima pictaque rebus 
divinis, et plena Deo similisque creanti, 790 

non tamen ipsa Deus, quoniam generatio non est, 
sed factura Dei est ; solus de corde Parentis 
Filius emicuit ; verus, verus ^ Deus ille. 
conlatum est animae, subito ut, quae non erat, 

ille coaeternus Patris est et semper in ipso, 795 

nee factus sed natus habet quodcumque paternum 

hace similis velut umbra Dei est. sic ipse 

factor, utroque hominem meditans de figmine 

aedificare sui similem ; sed non habet umbra 
quod corpus solidum, cuius imitatio in umbra est, 800 
atque aliud verum est, aliud simulatio veri. 
est similis saeclis quod non consumitur ullis, 
quod sapiens iustique capax reginaque rerum 

^ MSS. of class B have verus Deus ille sed istud. Some 
MSS. of class A have both versions combined. 



soul He breathed upon it with his mouth. God 
takes upon Him the whole man, because man is wholly 
from Him ; and redeems the whole man whom He 
took on, bringing back all that man is, the body from 
the tomb, the soul from the pit. 

Here ** a doubting disputant comes up with this 
objection: does the faith admit the view that the 
being breathed into us by the breath of God feels 
torment, goes to the depths of the world below, and 
is roasted in hell? You must believe that the soul 
is not God, but that, while it is greater than all 
created things, it too was created. For it was made 
by the mouth of God ; it did not exist before, but 
was made, beauteous in form, adorned with qualities 
divine, filled with God, and like its creator, yet not 
itself God, since it is not a begetting but a creation 
of God. The Son alone came forth from the Father's 
heart ; He, He is true God. It was given to the 
soul that, not being before, it should suddenly come 
into being ; but the Son is co-eternal with the Father 
and ever in Him ; not created but born. He has all 
that belongs to his Father; whereas the soul is a 
sort of semblance in the likeness of God. Thus 
spoke its maker himself when He planned to con- 
struct man in his own image of the two created 
elements in union ; but the semblance has not that 
which the real object has, of which there is but a 
copy in the semblance ; reality is one thing, the 
likeness of reaUty is another. It is like God in 
that no time can waste it, in that it is wise and 
capable of righteousness, and sits like a queen on 

" The preceding topic leads oa to a discussion of the nature 
of the soul (lines 78^951). 



imperat, ante videt, perpendit, pi'aecavet, infit, 
verborum morumque opifex instructaque mille 805 
artibus et caelum sensu percurrere docta, 
his animam similem sibi eonditor effigiavit, 
cetera dissimilem : quippe hanc conprendere 

promptum est, 
quam modus et species determinat, at Deus ingens 
atque superfusus trans omnia nil habet in se 810 
extremum, ut claudi valeat sensuve teneri. 
inconprensa manet virtus, cui linea defit 
ultima, quam spatium non mensurabile tendit. 
ergo animam factam, magno et factore minorem 
maioremque aliis atque omnibus imperitantem, 815 
corruptela putris nascentem turbida carnis 
concipit, ac membris tabentibus interfusam 
participat de faece sua ; fit mixta deinde 
peccandi natura luto cum simplice flatu. 
sed fortasse animam, Domini quia fluxit ab ore, 820 
conpositam factamque neges, velut ipsa Dei pars, 
quod dictu scelus est, taetras trahat oblita culpas 
et pessum damnata ruens chaos intret opertum. 
sit res ilia Dei, non abnuo; pars tamen ilia 
haudquaquam dicenda Dei est, quae tempore 

coepit, 825 

nee prior aut senior quam primum plasma 

putanda est. 
tunc etenim factam video, cum cordis amici 
intravit germana domum limique recentis 
hospita et ipsa recens fraterna sedit in aula, 
ilia quidem flatus Domini est, sed spiritus et vis 830 
non est plena Dei, tanto moderamine missa 


the throne of the world ; it sees before, thinks, 
takes heed, speaks, contrives words and laws, is 
furnished with a thousand forms of skill and can 
traverse the heavens in thought. In these respects 
the creator fashioned the soul Uke himself, but other- 
wise unlike. For it is easy to grasp the soul, which 
is bounded by limit and form ; but God, being great 
and extending beyond all things, has no extremity in 
Him by which He can be enclosed or laid hold of by 
thought. His power remains beyond our grasp, since 
it has no bounding line and reaches through infinite 
space. The soul, then, is created, it is both less than 
its great creator and greater than other creatures and 
rules over them all ; but at its birth the foul corruption 
of the flesh, which is subject to decay, receives it, 
and when it has passed into the wasting body, makes 
it partaker of its own impurity. Then sin comes 
about, because it arises from the mingling of the 
clay and the pure spirit. But perchance you would 
say that, since the soul flowed from the mouth of the 
Lord, it was not made nor created ; but that would 
mean that a very part of God contracts the stain of 
foul sins, a thing which it is ^\•icked to assert, and 
is condemned and cast down into the dark depths of 
hell. Granted that it belongs to God (for that I 
deny not), yet that which has had a beginning in 
time is not to be called a part of God, nor thought 
of as earlier or older than the beginning of the body. 
Plainly it was created at the time when, like a sister, 
it entered the abode of the friendly heart and settled 
in the home of its brother to sojourn mth the newly- 
formed clay, itself also newly-formed. It is indeed 
the breath of God, but not the spirit and full power 
of God, since it issued under control whereby in 



quanto jflans voluit flandi servare tenorem. 
est inpossibile spectare profunda Sabaoth, 
sed speculum Deitatis homo est : in corpore discas 
rem non corpore am sollers interprete Christo < 
qui Patrem proprium mortali in corpore monstrat. 
perspice quam varios fundamus ab ore vapores, 
spiramus quotiens animae sufflabilis auras, 
nunc flatum tepidum calor exhalatus anhelat, 
rorantes nebulas udis de faucibus efflans ; 
cum libet, in gelidum flabrali frigore ventum 
spiritus existit tenuis et sibilat aer. 
adde et distinctum quem musica tibia flatum 
concipit : aut ille est presso modulamine parcus, 
aut tumidum largo sublimat flamine bombum, 
aut raucos frangit modulos, aut lene susurrat, 
aut exile trahens sonitus producit acutos, 
aut murmur tenerum sublidit voce minuta. 
haec cum te videas mortali in corpore posse, 
cur non aeternum potuisse infundere credas 
qualem animam voluit? praescriptis quam quia 

efflavit fuditque modis, sit facta necesse est. 
denique multa sapit, sed non sapit omnia 

nostra e 
vis animae, certum sapere ac praenoscere iussa. 
iam cui certus inest modus et cui nosse negatum 

omnia, factura est ; nam condita et aucta pro- 

collige de simili, sitne haec factura. creavit 
nempe manus Domini corpus mortale lutumque 
conposuit digitis. numquid manus articulatim 
est digesta Dei ? numquid vola ? numquid et 




breathing He willed to maintain the level of his 
breathing. It is impossible to look into the depths 
of the Lord of Hosts, but man is a mirror of God- 
head. In the body we may come to know something 
that is not bodily, if we acquire skill under the 
guidance of Christ, who shows his Father in a mortal 
body. Consider how diverse are the exhalations we 
pour from our mouths in the emission of the breath 
we breathe. At one time hot breath exhales a warm 
air, blowing out moist clouds from our wet throat ; 
when we choose, thin breath issues as a chill wind 
blo^ving cold, and the air whistles. There is, too, the 
differing breath of the musical pipe : either it is slight, 
keeping the music do\vn, or with great blowing it 
raises a loud swelling sound ; it utters harsh, rough 
strains, or a gentle whisper, or taking in a meagre 
breath it brings out shrill notes, or with tone reduced 
it just squeezes out a soft murmur. \STien you see 
yourself able to do these things in a mortal body, 
why should you not beheve that the Everlasting 
could pour into man what breath He would? And 
since in his act of creation He breathed and poured 
it forth in appointed measures, it must needs have 
been created. And again, our soul has power to 
understand many things, but not all things ; only 
up to a point was it bidden to have understanding 
and fore-knowledge. Now in as much as it has in 
it a definite limit and is denied complete knowledge, 
it is a creation, for it is proved to have been brought 
into being and developed. You may gather from a 
comparison whether or no it is a creation. We say, 
to be sure, that the hand of the Lord made the human 
body and with its fingers moulded the clay. Is God's 
hand, then, arranged in jointed parts? Has it a 



claudere flexibiles patulam seu tendere palmam ? 
ista figura manus nostrae est, quam non habet 

in se 
incircumscriptus Dominus ; sed tradita forma 

humanis quae nota animis daret intellectum,^ 
ut per corpoream speciem plasmasse feratur ^ 

corporis effigiem.^ sic est plasmata vicissim 
flatu incorporeo res flabilis, oris et esse 
fertur opus, tenuis per quod constructa refulsit 
forma animae atque rudi factam se munere 

si non est factura manus caro nostra, nee oris i 

est factura anima, fliatu et spiramine coepta 
inque locum deducta aliquem ; namque omne 

quod hora 
natalis profert, locus accipit ; et locus ullus 
quod cohibere potest, modicum est, nee in 

omnia fusum ; 
et quod tarn modicum est ut certa sede locetur i 
iam titubare potest ; et quod titubaverit intra 
naturam vitii est ; vitiosum denique tristem 
reccidit in poenam : Deus hoc, mihi credite, non 

aut, si maiestas animae est, ostendite quid sit 
quod lapsam Christique inopem nova gratia in- 

undat, i. 

Spiritus et Sanctus baptismate iustificatam 
nobilitat, famulaeque decus, quod defuit, addit. 
quod quia praestatur meritis meritisque negatur, 
absurde fertur Deus aut pars esse Dei, quae 
divinum summumque bonum de fonte perenni i. 
nunc bibit obsequio, nunc culpa aut crimine 




palm ? Has it finger-tips that can bend and close 
it or spread the hand out open? That is the shape 
of our hand ; it belongs not to the infinite Lord ; but 
a form familiar to human minds has been attributed 
to Him, to enable them to understand, so that we 
speak of God having in bodily form created the image 
of his body. It is in the same sense that that which 
is spiritual was in its turn created by an incor- 
poreal breath and is called the work of his mouth, 
through which the finely-textured soul flashed and 
was conscious of its creation ^^ath power yet rudi- 
mentary'. If our flesh is not the creation of his hand, 
neither is our soul the creation of his mouth, originat- 
ing in the expiration of his breath and conducted into 
a particular place. For all that has a birth-time at 
which it is brought forth is received in some place ; 
now what can be confined in any place is small, not 
being extended universally ; and what is so small 
as to be set in a limited place of abode may be un- 
steady ; and what is unsteady partakes of corruption ; 
and the corrupt has become hable to stern punish- 
ment. This, believe me, is not God. Else, if the soul 
has divinity, show me what means it that it falls and is 
destitute of Christ until a new grace floods it and the 
Holy Spirit by baptism justifies it, ennobles it, and 
gives to it as the handmaid of God the honour it 
lacked. And since it is by desert that this is given 
or refused, it is irrational to say that the soul is God 
or a part of God, for at one time by obedience it 
drinks in the divine and supreme good from its ever- 
lasting source, and at another by sin and wickedness 

^ Bergman places a full atop at intellectum and a comma at 



et modo supplicium recipit, modo libera calcat. 
miraris peccare animam, quae carne coactam 
sortita est habitare domum, cum peccet et ipse 
angelus, hospitium qui nescit adire caducum 
cratis tabifluae ? peccat quia factus et ipse est, 
non genitus : quocumque modo sit factus, id unus 
scit factor Dominus : factum mihi credere sat sit. 
solus labe caret peccati conditor orbis, 
ingenitus ^ genitusque Deus, Pater et Patre 

solus et exceptus tormentum admittere triste 
inviolatus agit, nee quidquam sentit acerbi. 
exsortem die esse animam crucis atque doloris, 
si culpae inmunem vacuamque a crimine nosti. 
quae peccare valet, valet et succumbere poenae. 
ipsa quidem sincera fuit dum conditur oHm, 
quae collata rudem fecit viviscere limum, 
utpote de liquido naturae semine primes 
accipiens habitus superoque expressa sereno. 
sed mox, ut gravido iussa est innectier arvo, 
suavibus inlecebris nimium blandita refrixit 
deque volutabris pretiosum polluit ignem, 
dum transgressa Dei positum fas inproba calcat. 
haec prima est natura animae. sic condita 

decidit in vitium per sordida foedera camis, 
exim tincta malo peccamine principis Adae 
infecit genus omne hominum quod pullulat inde, 
et tenet ingenitas animarum infantia in ortu 
primi hominis maculas, nee quisquam nascitur 


vitandus tamen error erit, ne traduce camis 91{ 
transfundi in subolem credatur fons animarum 

^ The 6th-century MS. has agenitus, which Bergman accepts 


loses it, and now must submit to punishment, again 
in freedom treads it under foot. Do you wonder that 
the soul sins, whose lot it is to dwell in a house made 
of flesh, when the very angel sins, who is incapable 
of entering a frail dwelling-place of perishing 
structure ? He sins because he too was created, not 
begotten. How he was created only the Lord, his 
creator, knows ; enough for me to beUeve that he 
was created. Only the author of the world is free 
from the stain of sin, God unbegotten and begotten, 
the Father and He that was born of the Father ; He 
alone is exempt from stern punishment, Uves un- 
assailed, and knows no bitterness. You may say that 
the soul is free from cross and pain if you know it to 
be guiltless and sinless. The soul that can sin can 
also fall under the penalty. It was indeed clean at 
its creation, when it gave hfe to the raw clay with 
which it was united, in as much as it received its 
first disposition from the uncontaminated source of 
nature and was formed by the divine purity ; but 
then, being bidden to attach itself to the heavy 
earth, it was too much charmed by agreeable tempta- 
tions and grew cold, polluting its precious flame with 

i the mire, and wickedly transgressing and trampling 
on God's ordinance. Such is the soul's first character. 

i Thus pure at its creation, it fell into sin through 

i unclean alliance with the flesh ; then, tainted by the 
wicked deed of the first man Adam, it infected the 
whole race of men which springs from him ; infant 
souls at birth have inborn in them the first man's 
stains, and none is born sinless. But we shall have 
to shun the error of supposing that the germ of the 

Ssoul is transmitted to offspring by propagation of the 
'flesh after the manner of the blood, for which the 



sanguinis exemplo, cui texta propagine vena est. 
non animas animae pariunt, sed lege latenti 
fundit opus natura suum, quo parvula anhelent 
vascula vitalisque adsit scintilla coactis. 920 

quae quamvis infusa novum penetret nova semper 
figmentum, vetus ilia tamen de crimine avorum 
dicitur, inloto quoniam concreta veterno est. 
inde secunda redit generatio et inde lavatur 
naturae inluvies, iterumque renascimur intus 925 
perfusi, ut veterem splendens anima exuat Adam, 
quae quia materiam peecati ex fomite carnis 
consociata trahit, nee non simul ipsa sodali 
est incentivum peccaminis, inplicat ambas 
vindex poena reas peccantes mente sub una, 930 
peccandique eremat socias cruciatibus aequis. 
his crucibus Christus nos liberat incorruptae 
matris et innocui gestator corporis unus. 
naturam poenae expositam, sed non vitiorum 
naturam expositam contactibus induit lesus, 935 
atque ideo poenae nil debuit intemeratus, 
fraude carens, omni culparum aspergine liber. ^ 
quid Christi in membris peecati saeva satelles 
poena ageret ? quid mors hominis sine crimine 

posset ? 
nimirum cassis conatibus et sine nervis 940 

conciderent steriles peecati fomite nullo. 
mors alitur culpa ; culpam qui non habet, ipso 
pastus defectu mortem consumit inanem. 
sic mors in Domini consumpta est corpore Christi, 
sic periit, solitum dum non habet arida pastum, 945 

1 Behveen 937 and 938 two MSS. of class B have this line : 
quid peccatorum prosapia corpore in illo. 



vessel is made by generation from the parent stock. 
Souls do not give birth to souls, but by a mysterious 
law nature produces a work of her own to give the 
tiny vessels power to breathe, and supply the spark 
of Ufe to the assembled parts. Yet though it is 
always a new soul that is infused into the new body, 
it is nevertheless said to be old after the sins of its 
fathers, since dirt unwashed is caked hard upon it. 
Then comes the second birth and the natural filth 
is washed away ; our inner being is bom again when 
we are baptised, so that the soul shines bright and 
puts off the old Adam. But as in its fellowship with 
the body it draws occasion to sin from the incitements 
of the flesh, and itself also at the same time provokes 
sin in its comrade, avenging punishment lays hold 
of both wrongdoers together since they sin \^'ith one 
mind, and bums the partners in sin with Uke tor- 
ments. From these torments Christ sets us free, 
for He alone had a mother immaculate and wore a 
sinless body ; Jesus put on a nature Uable to punish- 
ment, but not a nature hable to the contagion of sin, 
and so He owed no debt to punishment, being un- 
defiled, without sin, free from all besmirching fault. 
What would punishment, which is the stem attend- 
ant on sin, do in the body of Christ ? What could 
death do where there was no human wickedness ? 
Naturally their efforts would be vain, they would 
fall to the ground strengthless and ineffectual where 
there was nothing to prompt sin. Death is nurtured 
an sin, and he who has no sin annihilates death because 
it is exhausted through the very want of what it 
feeds on. So was death annihilated in the body of 
Christ our Lord, so was it destroyed, being withered 
by want of its accustomed food. Reverence there- 



suspice quapropter solum inculpabile numen, 
virtutem ^ Patris et Christi, et iam desine nostrae 
invidiam conflare animae, quod sit Deus aut quod 
portio parva Dei, cum Christo abscidere quid- 

et resecare Deo partem vel carpere tantum 950 

numen non liceat, plenum sibi semper et in se. 
Est operae pretium nebulosi dogmatis umbram 
prodere, quam tenues atomi conpage minuta 
instituunt, sed cassa cadit ventoque liquescit 
adsimilis, fluxu nee se sustentat inani. 955 

aerium Manichaeus ait sine corpore vero 
pervolitasse Deum, mendax phantasma cavamque 
corporis effigiem, nil contrectabile habentem. 
ac primum specta an deceat quidquam simulatum 
adsignare Deo, cuius mera gloria falsi 960 

nil recipit. membris hie se fallacibus aptans 
fingeret esse hominem ventosa subdolus arte, 
mentitus totiens, cum diceret " inveteratis 
do veniam morbis, simul et peccata remitto : 
Filius est hominis, pestem qui pellere camis 965 

et scelerum nexus laxare ac solvere possit : 
surge valens, surge innocuus, iam tolle grabatum : 
Filius hoc hominis iubeo "? dignusne videtur 
qui testis sibi sit seque ac sua carnea norit? 
quid ? cum discipulos, hominis quid Filius esset 970 
passurus, fido iam praescius ore monebat, 
nonne fatebatur se cum virtute patema 

1 naturam ACD {Bergman). 

' The difficulty of conceiving the union of the divine nature 
with the inherent imperfection of matter led some thinkers 
to hold that the body of Christ was not a real human body 
but a semblance of it. This " docetic " doctrine was de- 



fore the di\'inity that alone is sinless, the strength of 
the Father and of Christ, and cease now to bring 
about odium for our soul by saying that it. is God, 
or a small part of God, since it is not lawful to cut 
off anything from Christ or lop a part from God, or to 
diminish the great Godhead which is ever complete 
for and in itself. 

It is worth while to make mention of the phantom 
that belongs to a misty doctrine. It consists of fine 
particles in minute structure, but it fails for lack of 
body, vanishes away ]ihe the wind, and is too fleeting 
and unsubstantial to maintain itself." There moved 
about, says the Manichean, a phantasmal God with- 
out real body, a false appearance, an empty Hkeness 
of body, having nothing tangible. Now see first 
whether it is fitting to ascribe aught that is counter- 
feit to God, whose pure glory admits of nothing 
false. Would such a God furnish himself with unreal 
members, and vrith. cunning make-believe feign 
himself man, lying whenever He said " I have mercy 
on deep-rooted diseases, and in the same act I remit 
sins. It is the Son of man who is able to drive out 
the plague of the flesh and to loosen and undo the 
bonds of \\'ickedness. Arise in health, arise in in- 
nocence, take up thy bed. I, the Son of man, 
command it." * Does He not appear worthy to bear 
witness of himself, to know himself and his body of 
flesh ? And when, knowing already before-hand, 
He warned his disciples with truthful lips what the 
Son of man was to suff"er, was He not confessing that 

veloped particularly under the influence of Gnosticism, and 
of Manicheism (c/. 956) which spread widely during the 4th 

" Cf. Matthew ix, 2-6. 



esse hominem verum ? quod si non credo, fefellit. 
si natura Dei quae sit, Manichaee, requiris, 
omne quod est, verum est. nam si mendosus agit 

quid, 975 

nee Deus est : mendum divinus non capit usus. 
obicis aeterno Domino quod lubricus ad nos 
venerit, adsimulans aliud quam verus habebat. 
obmutesce, furor ; linguam, canis inprobe, morde 
ipse tuam, lacero consumens verba palato. 980 

latranti obsistit Mattheus rabiemque refelKt, 
qui notat omne genus carnalis stirpis ad usque 
corporeum Christum, per sex septena virorum 
nomina descendens et venam sanguinis alti 
ex atavis longo texens per stemmata filo. 985 

Septimus hebdomadi venit superaddere sextae 
hunc numerum Christus, placidum qui conficit 

cuncta remittentem contractibus inlaqueata 
multimodis, hominemque hominis de morte 

inperfectus enim limus mortalis erat tunc : 990 

vir solus perfectus adest atque integer lesus, 
cui nihil ex septem septenis defuit, ex quo 
perficeret mortale genus virtute perenni. 
hie ille est nobis qui septima sabbata conplet, 
ut caro nostra Deo tandem sociata quiescat, 995 
quam bis terna malis vexabant sabbata noxis. 
curramus notis gradibus regumque sequamur 
progeniem : Christum invenies de came parentum 
effluxisse hominum, qui sit de semine David, 
stirpe recensita numerandus sanguinis heres. 1000 
quid ? cum sanctiloquus revoluto germine Lucas 

° Matthew i, 1-17. 

" I.e. the year of jubilee (Leviticus xxv, 8 ff.). 


along with the power of the Father He was true man ? 
If I believe not this, then He deceived them. If 
thou seekest, O Manichean, to know the nature of 
God, all that He is is real ; for if He is false in any- 
thing He does, then is He not God; the divine 
activity admits of nothing false. Thou chargest 
against the everlasting Lord that He came to us 
deceitfully counterfeiting something other than He 
had in his reaHty. Be silent, thou madman. Bite 
thine owti tongue, thou wicked dog ; let thy torn 
mouth devour thy words. Matthew withstands thy 
barking and refutes thy raving, for he marks the 
whole race of the carnal stock right down to the 
bodily Christ, coming down through six times seven 
names of men and tracing the course of noble blood 
from his ancestors in a long line, generation after 
generation." Seventh came Christ to crown the 
sixth seven with the number that makes the year of 
peace, which unlooses all things that are bound up 
by all manner of contracts, and frees man from man's 
death.'' For then the mortal clay was imperfect; 
but now appears the only perfect and unimpaired 
man Jesus, in whom were completed the seven times 
seven whereby to make perfect the race of men in 
everlasting goodness. This is He that fulfils for us 
the seventh sabbath of years, that our flesh, being 
at last made partner with God, may find rest after 
being vexed for six sabbaths with deadly sins. Let 
us run over the familiar steps and follow the progeny 
of kings : thou wilt find that Christ came of the 
flesh of human parents, being of the seed of Da\*id, 
and if thou examine his descent, to be counted the 
inheritor of his blood. And again, when Luke of 
holy lips turns the order of descent round and takes 


VOL. I. H 


sursum versus agit seriem, scandente nepotis 
corpora perque atavos cursum relegente vetustos, 
septenos decies conscendit Christus in ortus 
et duo (nam totidem doctores misit in orbem) ; 1005 
descensos nascendo gradus redeundo retexit 
actus ad usque apicem terreni corporis Adam, 
inde parens Deitas recipit sua nostraque mixtim, 
fitque Dei summi per Christum filius Adam, 
restat ut aeriam fingas ab origine gentem, 1010 

aerios proceres, Levi, ludam, Simeonem, 
aerium David, magnorum corpora regum 
aeria, atque ipsam fecundae virginis alvum 
aere fallaci nebulisque et nube tumentem ; 
vanescat sanguis perflabilis, ossa liquescant 1015 

mollia, nervorum pereat textura volantum ; 
omne quod est gestum notus auferat inritus, 

dispergant tenues, sit fabula quod sumus omnes. 
et quid agit Christus si me non suscipit? aut 

liberat infirmum si dedignatur adire 1020 

carnis onus manuumque horret monumenta 

suarum ? 
indignumne putat luteum consciscere corpus, 
qui non indignum quondam sibi credidit ipsum 
pertrectare lutum, cum vas conponeret arvo 
nondum viscereo, sed inertis glutine limi 1025 

inpressoque putres sub pollice duceret artus ? 
tantus amor terrae, tanta est dilectio nostri, 
dignatur praepinguis humi conprendere mollem 
divinis glaebam digitis, nee sordida censet 

" Luke iii, 23-38; but Luke makes 75 generations from 
Joseph to Adam (inclusive). 




the line upwards, making the descendant in the flesh 
mount and retrace his way through old-time an- 
cestors, Christ mounts to seventy generations and 
two " (now that is the number of teachers He sent 
into the world) ^ ; the steps He came down in his 
birth He repeats backwards, till He arrives at Adam, 
the head of all earthly flesh. Then God the Father 
receives what is his own and ours together, and 
Adam through Christ becomes the son of the supreme 
God. All that remains for thee is to suppose the 
whole race from its origin unsubstantial, unsub- 
stantial princes, Levi, Juda, Simeon, unsubstantial 
David, unsubstantial persons of great kings, the very 
womb of the pregnant virgin swelling with mere 
unsubstantial vapour and unreality ; that the blood 
turn thin-bodied and vanish, the bones grow soft and 
melt away, the structure of quick-moving muscles 
perish ; that the wind carry away our every act in 
futility, the thin airs scatter it, and the existence of 
us all be nothing but a tale. What does Christ 
achieve if He does not take up my nature ? Or whom 
does He set free from his infirmity if He does not 
stoop to assume the burden of the flesh and shrinks 
from that which is the memorial of his own handi- 
work ? Does He think it unfitting to take on a body 
of clay, who once did not believe it unfitting for Him 
to handle the same clay, when He was making a 
vessel of earth not yet become flesh, moulding the 
mortal frame out of the sticky, sluggish mire under 
the pressure of his thumb ? Such is his love of earth, 
such his aff"ection for us. He deigns to grasp with the 
divine fingers a soft clod of soil very fertile, and thinks 

* Luke X, 1. The number is 70 in the English Version 
(from the Greek), but 72 in the Vulgate Latin. 



haerentis massae contagia. iusserat ut lux 1030 
confieret, facta est ut iusserat ; omnia iussu 
imperitante novas traxerunt edita formas : 
solus homo emeruit Domini formabile dextra 
OS capere, et fabro Deitatis figmine nasci. 
quorsum igitur limo tanta indulgentia nostro 1035 
contigit, ut Domini manibus traetatus honora 
arte sacer fieret, tactu iam nobilis ipso ? 
decrerat quoniam Christum Deus incorrupto 
admiscere solo, Sanctis quod fingere vellet 
dignum habuit digitis et carum condere pignus. 1040 
destituit natura quidem destructa coactae 
telluris formam, mortique obnoxia cessit : 
sed natura Dei numquam solvenda caducam 
tellurem nostro vitiatam primitus usu 
esse suam voluit, ne iam vitiabilis esset. 1045 

Christus nostra caro est: mihi solvitur et mihi 

surgit ; 
solvor morte mea, Christi virtute resurgo. 
cum moritur Christus, cum flebiliter tumulatur, 
me video : e tumulo cum iam remeabilis adstat, 
cerno Deum. si membrorum phantasma meo- 

rum est, 1050 

et phantasma Dei est; mendax in utroque 

necesse est 
sit Christus, specie si Christus fallere novit. 
si non verus homo est, quern mors hominem 

px'obat ipsa, 
nee verus Deus est, operis quern gloria prodit 
esse Deum. vel crede mori, vel adesse refelle, 1055 
et gemina verum Christum ratione negato. 
nam quid magnifieum, si non est mortuus lesus, 
et redit ? ilia Dei virtus memorabiUs est, ut 



it not mean to touch the dinging lump. He had 
commanded that hght be made, and it was made as 
He commanded; all things were brought forth and 
took on their new shapes at the word of his command : 
man alone was held "worthy to receive features 
formed by the Lord's hand and come into being by 
God's shaping handicraft. To what end, then, has 
such favour fallen to our clay, that it should have the 
honour to be worked by the Lord's hands and made 
holy by his workmanship, being ennobled by his very 
touch ? In as much as God had resolved to unite 
Christ with earth uncorrupted. He considered it 
worthy of his will to mould it with his holy fingers 
and create his dear child. True, its original nature 
was broken down and lost to the created earthly 
form and became subject to death; but the divine 
nature, which can never be destroyed, willed that the 
mortal clay, corrupted at the first by our use, should 
be its own, so as to be no more corruptible. Christ 
is our flesh ; for me He dies, and for me He rises. 
I die by my own death, but by the power of Christ I 
rise again. When Christ dies and with tears is laid 
in the tomb, I see myself; when now He returns from 
the tomb and stands by me, I perceive God. If He 
is a mere phantom of my body, then of God too He 
is a phantom ; in both Christ must needs be false, 
if Christ can wear a false appearance. If He is not 
true man, He whose very death proves Him man, 
neither is He true God, whose glorious work pro- 
claims Him God. Either must thou believe in his 
death, or disprove his presence with us, and both 
ways deny that Christ is real. For where is the 
sublimity if Jesus returns without having died ? It 
is the wonderful power of God that having been put 



occisus redeat superis surgatque sepultus. 
quisque Deum Christum vult dicere, dicat 

eundem 1060 

esse hominem, ne maiestas sua fortia perdat. 
Nosco meum in Christo corpus consurgere. 

quid me 
desperare iubes ? veniam quibus ille revenit 
calcata de morte viis : quod eredimus, hoc est. 
et totus veniam ; nee enim minor aut alius quam 1065 
nunc sum restituar. vultus, vigor et color idem, 
qui modo vivit, erit, nee me vel dente vel ungue 
fraudatum revomet patefacti fossa sepulcri, 
qui iubet ut redeam, non reddet debile quidquam ; 
nam si debilitas redit, instauratio non est. 1070 

quod casus rapuit, quod morbus, quod dolor 

quod truncavit edax senium populante veterno, 
omne revertenti reparata in membra redibit. 
debet enim mors victa fidem, ne fraude sepulcri 
reddat curtum aliquid, quamvis iam curta vorarit 1075 
corpora ; debilitas tamen et violentia morbi 
virtus mortis erat : reddet quod particulatim 
sorbuerat quocumque modo, ne mortuus omnis 
non redeat, si quid pleno de corpore desit. 
pellite corde metum, mea membra, et credite 

vosmet 1080 

cum Christo reditura Deo ; nam vos gerit ille 
et secum revocat. morbos ridete minaces, 
inflictos casus contemnite, taetra sepulcra 
despuite ; exsurgens quo Christus provocat, ite. 



to death He returns again to the living, and having 
been buried He rises. \Miosoever will say that 
Christ is God must also say that He is man, lest his 
majesty lose its strength. 

I know that my body rises in Christ; why dost 
thou bid me abandon my hope ? I shall come by 
the same paths by which He came again from tramp- 
Ung upon death ; it is this we beheve. And I shall 
come whole ; for I shall be restored not less nor 
other than now I am ; my features, natural force, 
complexion, ^\i\\ be the same as they are now in hfe ; 
when the tomb is opened, the grave will send me 
forth again without the loss of even a tooth or a nail. 
He who bids me return >\-ill not give back aught 
infirm ; for if it is infirmity that returns, then is there 
no restoration. \\'hat calamity has robbed me of, 
what illness or pain has drained away, what consum- 
ing age -with wasting decline has cut off, all will 
return, at my coming again, to a body renewed. 
For conquered death must keep faith, not to give 
back, by the grave's dishonest}", something that is 
maimed, albeit the bodies it devoured were maimed 
already ; but then infirmity and vehement disease 
were the strength of death. It vnW so give back 
what it swallowed piecemeal in one way or another, 
that the dead shall not return less than entire, with 
something lacking to the body's completeness. Cast 
fear out of your heart, my members, and believe that 
you will return vrith Christ who is God ; for He wears 
you, and calls you back >vith himself. Laugh at 
the threats of disease, despise the blows of calamity, 
scorn the foul tomb. Wliither Christ at his rising 
calls you, go. 




Fratres ephebi fossor et pastor duo, 

quos feminarum prima primos procreat, 

sistunt ad aram de laborum fructibus 

Deo sacranda munerum primordia, 

hie terrulentis, ille vivis fungitur ; 5 

certante voto discrepantes inmolant, 

fetum bidentis alter, ast alter scrobis. 

Deus minoris conprobavit hostiam, 

reiecit illam quam paravit grandior. 

vox ecce summo missa persultat throno : 10 

" Cain, quiesce ; namque si recte ofFeras, 

oblata nee tu lege recta dividas, 

perversa nigram vota culpam traxerint." 

armat deinde parricidalem manum 

frater, probatae sanctitatis aemulus ; 15 

germana curvo colla frangit sarculo, 

mundum recentem caede tinguit inpia, 

sero expiandum, iam senescentem, sacro 

cruore Christi, quo peremptor concidit. 

mors prima coepit innocentis vulnere, 20 

cessit deinde vulnerato innoxio. 

per crimen orta dissoluta est crimine, 

Abel quod ante perculit, Christum dehinc ; 

finita et ipsa est finis exsortem patens. 




Two young brothers, a tiller of the ground and a 
keeper of sheep, first-bom of the first -woman, set 
the first offerings at the altar, of the fruits of their 
labours, to dedicate them to God, the one furnishing 
things of the earth, the other li\ing creatures ; 
with different offerings in rivalry they sacrifice, the 
one the young of a sheep, the other the produce of 
his deUing. God has accepted the sacrifice of the 
younger, but rejected that which the elder brought. 
Suddenly a loud voice rings from the throne on 
high: "Peace, Cain; for if thou shouldst offer 
aright but not di\ide the offerings by right rule, thy 
untoward sacrifice would take on the mark of sin." * 
Then a brother in jealousy of the goodness that was 
accepted arms his hand to commit parricide, and 
breaks his own brother's neck vrith his bent hoe, 
staining the new-made world with unnatural blood- 
shed, a world to be purified late in time when it was~\ 
already growing old, by the sacred blood of Christ \ 
whereby the destroyer fell. Death first began with ■ 
the wounding of one that was innocent, and passed 
away by the wounding of one that was guiltless. 
Through sin it arose, by sin it was done away, in that 
aforetime it smote Abel, and then Christ; it was 
itself brought to an end in aiming at one who is 

• Cf. Genesis iv, 7 in the Septuagint version. 




ergo ex futuris prisca coepit fabula 25 

factoque primo res notata est ultima, 

ut ille mortis inchoator rusticus 

insulsa terrae deferens libamina 

Deumque rerum miortuarum deputans 

rastris redacta digna sacris crederet, 30 

viventis atrox aemulator hostiae. 

agnosco nempe quern figura haec denotet, 

quis fratricida, quis peremptor invidus 

prave sacrorum disciplinam dividat, 

mactare dum se vota censet rectius. 35 

Marcion, arvi forma corruptissimi, 

docet duitas discrepare a Spiritu, 

contaminatae dona carnis offerens 

et segregatim numen aeternum colens. 

qui si quiescat nee monentem neglegat, 40 

paeem quieta ^ diligat germanitas, 

unum atque vivum fassa vivorum Deum. 

hie se caduco dedicans mysterio 

summam profanus dividit substantiam ; 

malum bonumque ceu duorum separans 45 

regnum Deorum sceptra committit duo, 

Deum esse credens quem fatetur pessimum. 

Cain cruentus, unitatis invidus, 

mundi colonus, immolator squalidus, 

cuius litamen sordet et terram sapit, 50 

terram caduci corporis, venam putrem, 

^ So the oldest MS, Most have quietam. 

» Marcion, who lived in the 2nd century, taught that the 
" just " (or " strict ") God of the Old Testament, who created 
the world and man and gave the law, was diiferent from and 
inferior to the "good" God revealed by Jesus Christ, who 



without end. So the tale of olden times took its 
beginning from things that were to be, and the last 
deed was indicated by the first, when the countrj'man 
who started death, making savourless offerings of the 
earth and supposing God to be the God of things 
dead, beUeved the product of his tools fit for the 
altar, in his black-hearted jealousy of the li\ing 
sacrifice. It is plain to see whom this figure denotes,' 
who is his brother's murderer, the jealous slayer 
who divides the way of holy things amiss while 
supposing that he makes his offerings more correctly. 
Marcion, a creature of the foulest clay, teaches men 
to beheve in two Gods, at variance with the Spirit; 
he offers gifts of flesh defiled, and worships the ever- 
lasting Deity in separate shapes." If he held his 
peace and heeded warning, the brotherhood would 
be happy in undisturbed quiet, acknowledging the 
one living God of the living. This man, giving him- 
self up to a vain doctrine, sacrilegiously divides the 
supreme Being, separates a bad realm and a good as 
belonging to two Gods, and matches two ruling 
powers against each other, beUeving one to be a 
God whom he confesses to be utterly bad. He is a 
bloody Cain, one that hates unity, a cultivator of the 
world, who comes to sacrifice all befouled ; his 
offering is unclean and savours of the earth, the 
earth of the mortal body, corrupt flesh lumped 

intervened to save men from hopeless subjection to the law. 
The foundation of Marcion's doctrine was the Pauline con- 
trast between the law and the gospel, not one between opposed 
powers of good and evil, so that in what follows Prudentius 
misrepresents his teaching. In the western empire the sect 
died out in the 4th century, being swallowed up by Mani- 
cheism with its opposed powers of light and darkness. (See 
Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics.) 



umore denso conglobatam et pulvere, 

natura cuius fraude floret fertili 

fecunda fundens noxiorum crimina, 

animaeque vitam labe carnis enecat. 55 

caro in sororexn tela mentem dirigit, 

mens in cerebro ventilatur ebrio, 

ex quo furores suculentos conligit 

madens veneno corporis lymphatico. 

Deum perennem findit in duos Deos, 60 

audet secare numen insecabile. 

cadit perempta denegans unum Deum, 

Cain triumphat morte fratris halitus.i 

Quo te praecipitat rabies tua, perfide Cain, 
divisor blaspheme Dei ? tibi conditor unus 
non liquet, et bifidae caligant nubila lucis ? 
insincera acies duo per divortia semper 
spargitur, in geminis visum frustrata figuris. 5 

terrarum tibi forma duplex obludit, ut excors 
dividuum regnare Deum super aethera credas. 
bina boni atque mali glomerat discrimina sordens 
hie mundus, Domino sed caelum obtemperat uni. 
non idcirco duos retinent caelestia reges 10 

quod duo sunt opera humanas agitantia curas. 
exterior terrenus homo est, qui talia cemens 
conicit esse duo variarum numina rerum. 
dum putat esse Deum qui prava effinxerit olim, 
et qui recta itidem condens induxerit, ambos 15 

autumat esse Deos natura dispare summos. 
quae tandem natura potest consistere duplex 
aut regnare diu, quam fons divisus ab arce 

^ So the oldest MS. Many have the metrically impossible 
alitus. Arevalo conjectured allitus. 


together of thick water and dust, whose nature it is 
to bloom richly -with >vickednessj pouring out proHfic 
crops of sin in guilty men, and Mrith the foulness of 
the flesh to kill the Ufe of the soul. The flesh aims 
its weapons at its sister the spirit, and the spirit is 
swung about in a drunken brain, from which it 
contracts strong frenzies, being intoxicated with the 
maddening poison of the body. It spUts the ever- 
lasting God into two Gods, daring to di\ade the 
Godhead indivisible, and is slain and perishes in 
denying the one God, while Cain triumphs in the 
death of his brother's soul. 

To what lengths does thy madness drive thee, 
faithless Cain, thou blasphemous divider of God ? Is 
not the one creator plain to thee? Is thy vision 
befogged and double ? Sight that is blurred ever 
divides along two paths, cheating the eyes with 
double shapes. The twofold form of the world fools 
thee into th^ senseless belief that a divided God 
reigns above the skies. This defiled world is a"! 
mixture of two contrasted elements, good and bad, / 
but the heaven obeys one Lord. It does not foUowJ 
that the heavens contain two kings, because there 
are two sorts of works that busy the hearts of men.1 
The outer man is of the earth, and seeing such things 
he infers that there are two Godheads of the different 
realms. Supposing that there is a God who once 
fashioned the evil, and one who similarly created 
and brought in the right, he avers that both are 
supreme Gods though of unlike nature. What 
nature that is twofold can maintain itself or reign 
for long, when a divided source shuts it off from 



separat, altemaque apicum dicione recidit? 
aut unus Deus est, rerum cui summa potestas, 20 
aut quae iam duo sunt minuuntur dispare summa. 
porro nihil summum nisi plenis viribus unum, 
distantes quoniam, proprium dum quisque revulso 
vindicat imperio, nee summa nee omnia possunt. 
ius varium non est plenum, quia non habet alter 25 
quidquid dispar habet ; cumulum discretio carpit. 
nos plenum sine parte Deum testamur et unum, 
in quo Christus inest, idem quoque plenus et unus, 
qui viget ac viguit super omnia quique vigebit 
participem nullum collato foedere passus. 30 

summa potestatum Pater est,^ dominatio rerum, 
virtutum sublime caput, fons unicus orbis, 
naturalis apex, generisque et originis auctor ; 
ex quo cuncta fluunt, et lux et tempora et anni 
et numerus, qui post aliquid dedit esse secundum ; 35 
unus enim princeps numeri est, nee dinumerari 
tantum unus potis est. sic, cum Pater ac Deus 

non sit, item Christus non sit genitore secundus, 
anterior numero est, cui Filius unicus uni est. 
ille Deus, meritoque Deus, quia primus et unus, 40 
in virtute sua primus, tum primus in illo 
quem genuit. quid enim differt generatio 

simplex ? 
unum semper erit gignens atque unus ab uno 
ante chaos genitus numeroque et tempore liber, 
quis dixisse duos rem maiestate sub una 45 

^ So A {def. B). Some MSS. of class A as well as class 
B have summa potestatum simplex dominatio. 



supremacy and abridges it by subjection to one or 
other of two sovereignties ? Either there is one God 
to whom belongs supreme power over the world, or 
else the two powers that exist are each diminished 
because there is a different supremacy. There is 
indeed no supremacy but what is one and possessed 
of plenary power, for separate beings each claiming 
his own sovereignty and rejecting control have 
neither supreme nor complete power. Dispersed 
authority is not plenar}', because the one does not 
have what the other has ; the separation takes away 
from the full measure. But we bear witness to a ^ 
God who is perfect, undivided, and one, in whom is \ 
Christ, He, too, perfect and one, who lives, and has 
lived beyond all things, and shall live, admitting no 
partner on terms agreed. The Father is sovereign. 
Lord of all things, the high source of powers, the one 
fountain-head of the world, the starting point of all 
being, author of all birth and beginning. From Him 
flow all things, both light and times and years and 
number ; it is He who appointed that after one thing 
there should be a second ; for the one is the beginning 
of number, and one by himself cannot be counted. 
In this way, since there is no second Father and God, 
and Christ also is not next after the Father, the one, 
to whom belongs the one and only Son, is anterior 
to number. He is God, and rightly God, because 
first and one, first in his own power, and then first 
in Him whom He has begotten. For what dis- 
tinction does mere begetting make ? The begetter 
and the one begotten of one before the primeval 
darkness, without number or time, will always be 
one being. Who would venture to say that that 
which reigns in one majesty and belongs to itself 



regnantem propriamque sibi retroque perennem 
ausit, et unius naturae excindere vires ? 
numquid adoptivum genitor sibi sumpsit, ut alter 
externi generis numerum praestare duorum 
debeat et geminum distans inducere numen ? 50 

forma Patris veri verus stat Filius ac se 
unum rite probat dum formam servat eandem. 
non amor adscitus sociat nee iungit utrumque 
coniurata fides, pietas sed certa genusque 
unum, quod Deus est, summam revocatur ad unam, 55 
haec tibi, Marcion, via displicet, hanc tua damnat 
secta fidem dominis caelum partita duobus. 
quae te confundunt nebulae ? quis somnus inert! 
incubat ingenio, cui per phantasmata duplex 
occurrit species bivio dispersa superno. 60 

si vim mentis hebes stupor obsidet, aspice saltern 
obvia terrenis oculis elementa, quibus se 
res occulta Dei dignata est prodere signis. 
hanc heresin praesaga Patris praeviderat olim 
maiestas : fore qui rectorem lucis et orbis 65 

scinderet in partes geminatum segrege regno, 
idcirco specimen posuit spectabile nostris 
exemplumque oculis, ne quis duo numina credat 
[imperitare, vagis mundi per inania formis].^ 
una per inmensam caeli caveam revolutos 70 

praebet flamma dies, texit sol unicus anniun ; 
triplex ille tamen nullo discrimine trina 
subnixus ratione viget, splendet, volat, ardet, 
motu agitur, fervore cremat, turn lumine fulget. 

^ This line (with vagas . . . formas) appears in the text of 
one Qth-century MS. (U), 


alone and was for ever pre-existent is two Gods, and 
to break down the strength of a being that is single ? 
Did the Father take to himself a Son by adoption, 
so that the second, being of external origin, must 
then make the number two and, being separate, 
bring in a dual Godhead? No, He is a real Son,"^ 
the likeness of a real Father, and properly proves his / 
unity by keeping the same likeness. It is no extran- \ 
eous affection that allies them, no covenant that unites 
them, but the true love of father and son and single- 
ness of nature, which is God, that make a single 
whole. This way finds no favour with thee, Marcion, 
this faith thy doctrine condemns, dividing heaven 
between two lords. WTiat fogs confound thee, 
what sleep lies hea\y on thy sluggish mind, that it 
sees an apparition of two forms standing apart in a 
divided heaven ? If a dull insensibility shuts up the"~l 
force of thy mind, look at least at the elements that | 
meet earthly eyes, the signs by which the mystery of / 
God has deigned to manifest itself. This heresy the 
Father's majesty, Asith his foreknowledge, had in 
time past foreseen — that there would arise one who 
would split the ruler of light and of the world into 
parts, making Him twofold -with separate realms. 
For this reason He set a sign and a token th?t our 
eyes can see, lest any should believe that there are 
two Godheads [ruling in divergent forms over the 
spaces of the world]. It is one fire that furnishes the 
revolution of the days in the boundless vault of 
heaven, one only sun that weaves the fabric of the 
year ; and yet the sun is threefold without distinction 
of parts, and its activity depends on three principles; 
for it shines, it speeds through the sky, and it burns ; 
it is impelled by motion, it burns ^\■ith heat, and it 



sunt tria nempe simul, lux et calor et vegetamen, 75 

una eademque tamen rota sideris indiscretis 

fungitur his, uno servat tot munera ductu 

et tribus una subest mixtim substantia rebus. 

non conferre Deo velut aequiperabile quidquam 

ausim, nee Domino famulum conponere signum ; 80 

ex minimis sed grande suum voluit Pater ipse 

coniectare homines, quibus ardua visere non est. 

parvorum speculo non intellecta notamus, 

et datur occultum per proxima quaerere verum. 

nemo duos soles nisi sub glaucomate vidit 85 

aut, si fusca polum suffudit palla serenum, 

oppositus quotiens radiorum spicula nimbus 

igne repercusso mentitos spargit in orbes. 

sunt animis etiam sua nubila, crassus et aer, 

est glaucoma, aciem quod tegmine velet aquoso, 90 

libera ne tenerum penetret meditatio caelum 

neve Deum rapidis conprendat sensibus unum ; 

spargitur in bifidas male sana intentio luces, 

et duplices geminis auctoribus extruit aras. 

si duo sunt, igitur cur non sint multa Deorum 95 

miliaV' cur numero Deitas contenta gemello est? 

an non in populos dispersa examina Divum 

fundere erat melius mundumque inplere capacem 

semideis passim nullo discrimine monstris, 

quis fera barbaries perituros mactat honores ? 100 

dissona discretum retinent si numina caelum, 

convenit et nebulis et fontibus et reboanti 

oceano et silvis et collibus et speluncis, 



gleams with light. There you have clearly three 
things together, light and warmth and movement, 
yet it is one and the same heavenly orb that performs 
them without separation, it is in one course that it 
discharges all these functions, and one common sub- 
stance underlies all three. I would not venture to 
compare anything with God as though it were on a 
par with Him, nor to match with the Lord a star 
that is his servant ; but the Father himself has willed ' 
that men infer his greatness from what is but small, [ 
since they cannot see the things on high. In the_J 
mirror of the small we mark things we do not under-*^ 
stand, and we are permitted to seek the hidden truth j 
by means of what is at hand. No man has seen two : 
suns, unless his \ision were obscured, or when a dusky 
mantle has overcast the clear sky and a cloud, block- 
ing the path of the shafts of light and reflecting their 
fire, spreads them into the shape of false orbs. 
Minds, too, have their clouds and thick atmosphere ; 
there is a cataract that veils the mind's eye with 
a watery film and prevents the thought from freely 
penetrating the translucent heavens and compre- 
hending the one God with quick perception. The 
earnest gaze is unsound and spreads into double 
vision, and so builds two altars for two creators. If 
there are two Gods, why then not many thousands ? 
Why is Deity content with the number two ? Had 
it not been better to scatter abroad whole swarms 
of divinities over the nations and to fill the wide 
world everywhere indiscriminately with the mon- 
strous demigods in whose worship wild savages waste 
their sacrifices ? If different Gods hold a divided" 
heaven, then it is natural to assign to clouds and 
springs and the sounding ocean, to woods and hills 



fluminibus, ventis, fomacibus atque metallis 
assignare Deos proprios, sua cuique iura. 105 

vel, si gentiles sordet venerarier umbras 
et placet esse duos sceptris socialibus aequos, 
die, age, quis terras dicionis sorte retentet, 
quis regat aequoreas aeterna lege procellas, 
ede coheredum distinctum ius dominorum. 110 

" unus," ais, " tristi residet sublimis in arce, 
auctor nequitiae, scelerum Deus, asper, iniquus, 
qui quodcumque malum vitioso fervet in orbe 
sevit, et anguino medicans nova semina suco 
rerum principium mortis de fomite traxit. 115 

ipse opifex mundi terram, mare, sidera fecit, 
condidit ipse hominem lutulenta et membra 

effigians quod morbus edat, quod crimine multo 
sordeat, informi tumulus quod tabe resolvat. 
ast alii pietatis amor placidumque medendi 120 

ingenium, recreans homines, mortalia servans. 
Testamenta duo fluxerunt principe utroque : 
tradidit iste novum melior, vetus illud acerbus." 
haec tua, Marcion, gravis et dialectica vox est, 
immo haec attoniti phrenesis manifesta cerebri. 125 
novimus esse patrem scelerum, sed novimus 

haudquaquam tamen esse Deum, quin immo 

mancipium, Stygio qui sit damnandus Avemo, 
Marcionita Deus, tristis, ferus, insidiator, 
vertice sublimis, cinctum cui nubibus atris 130 

anguiferum caput et fumo stipatur et igni, 
liventes oculos subfundit felle perusto 
invidia inpatiens iustorum gaudia ferre. 
hirsutos iuba densa umeros errantibus hydris 



and caves, to rivers and winds and furnaces and j 
mines gods of their own, and to each his o\vn author- 
ity. Or if thou dost scorn to worship the false gods 
of the heathen and yet wilt have it that there are 
two who share sovereignty on equal terms, tell me 
then to which of them it falls to hold the land in his 
sway, and which rules the stormy sea with eternal 
law. Show me how authority is di\"ided between the 
joint lords. " One," sayest thou, " sits aloft on a 
grim throne, the author of evil, the God of sin, cruel, 
imjust ; it is He that sowed all the ill that ferments 
in this corrupt world, and steeping his new seeds in 
snakes' venom derived the world's beginning from 
that which gives rise to death. He it is, the maker 
of the world, who created earth and sea and stars, 
who made man, assembUng his frame of clay and 
moulding a thing for disease to consume, and many 
a sin defile, and the grave destroy with hideous cor- 
ruption. But to the other belongs loving-kindness, 
the gentle will to heal, that restores man and saves 
mortality. Two Testaments flowed from these two 
Powers : the kindlier gave the New, the cruel the 
Old." Such, Marcion, is the utterance of thy 
pestilent sophistry, or rather the obWous raving of 
a mind confoimded. We know there is a father 1 
of sin, but we know he is no God for all that, 
but rather the bond-slave of hell, who shall be 
condemned to Stygian Avemus — Marcion 's God, j 
harsh, cruel, treacherous, holding high his snake- | 
wreathed head girt about with black clouds and \ 
encompassed with smoke and fire, while envy that 
cannot endure the joys of the righteous stains his 
spiteful eyes with burning gall. A thick, shaggy 
mane of writhing snakes covers his shoulders, and 



obtegit et virides adlambunt ora cerastae. 135 

ipse manu laqueos per lubrica fila reflexes 
in nodum revocat, facilique ligamine tortas 
innectit pedicas nervosque in vincula tendit. 
ars olli captare feras, animalia bruta 
inretire plagis, retinacula denique caeeis 140 

indeprensa locis erranti opponere praedae. 
hie ille est venator atrox, qui caede frequenti 
incautas animas non cessat plectere, Nebroth, 
qui mundum curvis anfractibus et silvosis 
horrentem soopulis versuto circuit astu, 145 

fraude alios tectisque dolis innectere adortus, 
porro giganteis alios luctando lacertis 
frangere, funereos late exercere triumphos. 
inproba mors, quid non mortalia pectora cogis ? 
ipse suam (pudet heu !) contempto principe vitae 150 
perniciem veneratur homo, colit ipse cruentum 
carnificem gladiique aciem iugulandus adorat. 
in tantum miseris peccati nectare captis 
dulce mori est, tanta in tenebris de peste voluptas ! 
qui mala principio genuit Deus esse putatur, 155 
quique bona infecit vitiis et Candida nigris ! 
par furor illorum, quos tradit fama dicatis 
consecrasse deas Febrem Scabiemque sacellis. 

inventor vitii non est Deus : angelus illud 
degener infami conceptual mente creavit, 160 

qui prius augustum radiabat sidus et ingens 
ex nihilo splendor nutrito ardebat honore. 

" Nimrod (Genesis x, 8-9). 

" Febris and Robigus were two of the many functional 
spirits recognised by the old Roman priests. The latter was 
the spirit which could cause " rust " (robigo) on crops. We 
do not hear elsewhere of Scabies as such a spirit, and Pruden- 



green serpents lick his face. With his hand he pulls^ 
the running loops of his snares into a knot, contriving | 
traps of cord doubled back and lightly tied, and 
drawing the string tight to make fast his victim. 
His is the skill to hunt game, to ensnare senseless 
creatures in his nets, to lay unnoticed traps in dark 
places to catch his wandering prey. He is the cruel 
hunter Nebroth," who is never weary of smiting in- 
cautious souls in constant slaughter, who with cunning 
craft goes about a world all rough \\ith \nnding 
tortuous ways and wooded crags, seeking to entangle 
some by deceit and hidden \nles, to break others 
with the grip of his giant arms, and work his fatal 
triiunphs everywhere. Ruthless death ! To what 
dost thou not drive human hearts ? Man himself^ 
(alas, the shame of it !), scorning the author of his 
life, does homage to his own destruction, worships 
the bloody assassin, pays reverence to the edge of 
the sword that is to murder him. So sweet is death 
to poor ^\Tetches caught by the charm of sin, such 
the pleasure they blindly draw from their bane ! He"l 
who was the first begetter of e\-il, who stained good- 
ness \^'ith sin, whiteness ^\•ith black, is thought to be 
a God ! No madder were they who, as tradition 
tells, consecrated Fever and Scurf as goddesses and 
dedicated shrines to them.* 

The contriver of e\'il is no God. It was a debased^' 
angel that conceived it in his foul mind and brought 
it into being, one that aforetime shone like a majestic 
star and blazed in great brightness >\'ith a glory 
created and maintained out of nothing. For from 

tius is probably using the word here as a synonym for Robigus ; 
the noun scabies and the adjective scabra are found in associa- 
tion with robigo. 



ex nihilo nam cuncta retro, factumque quod 

usquam est, 
at non ex nihilo Deus et Sapientia vera 
Spiritus et Sanctus, res semper viva nee umquam 165 
coepta, sed aerios etiam molita ministros. 
horum de numero quidam pulcherrimus ore, 
maiestate ferox, nimiis dum viribus auctus 
inflatur, dum grande tumens sese altius efFert 
ostentatque suos licito iactantius ignes, 170 

persuasit propriis genitum se viribus ex se 
materiam sumpsisse sibi, qua primitus esse 
inciperet, nascique suum sine principe coeptum. 
hinc schola subtacitam meditatur gignere sectam, 
quae docet e tenebris subitum micuisse tyrannum, 175 
qui velut aeterna latitans sub nocte retrorsum 
vixerit et tecto semper regnaverit aevo. 
aemulus, ut memorant, opera ad divina repente 
corrumpenda caput caligine protulit atra. 
hoc ratio sed nostra negat, cui non licet unam 180 
infirmare fidem, sacro quae tradita hbro est. 
" nil," ait, " absque Deo factum, sed cuncta per 

cuncta, nee est alius quisquam nisi factus ab ipso." 
sed factus de stirpe bonus, bonitatis in usum 
proditus et primo generis de fonte serenus, 185 

deterior mox sponte sua, dum decolor ilium 
inficit invidia stimulisque instigat amaris. 
arsit enim scintilla odii de fomite zeli 
et dolor ingenium subitus conflavit iniquum. 
viderat argillam simulacrum et structile flatu 190 



nothing were all things, back to the beginning, every-^ 
created thing everj^^vhere ; but not from nothing is ) 
God and the true Wisdom and the Holy Spirit, an ' 
eternal Being that had no beginning but has also 
created spiritual ministers. One of their number, a 
being of most beauteous features, grew over-weening 
in his greatness ; puffed up >\ith the excessive 
strength to which he had grown, bearing himself too 
highly in his big-swelling pride, and displaying his 
fires more boastfully than was proper, he persuaded 
some that he was begotten of his own might and of ' 
himself assumed substance whereby he first began 
to be, and that his birth had its origin in no creator. 
Hence his followers design to bring into being a 
stealthy school which teaches that Satan sprang on 
a sudden out of darkness, after having lived through "' 
all the past concealed in a kind of everlasting night, 
and ha\ing reigned through all time though un- 
discovered. In rivalry', as they tell, he thrust his 
head suddenly out of the black darkness to spoil the 
works of God. But this our way of thought denies ; 
it is not permitted to annul the unity of the faith 
which is handed down to us by Scripture. " Nothing," 
it says, " was made ^\^thout God, but all things by 
Him, all things ; and there is no other person not 
made by Him." But one that from his origin was 
made good, created for the practice of goodness, and 
pure from the first source of his being, became 
afterwards corrupt of his own ^^•ill because envy 
marked him with her stain and pricked him \nih her 
sore stings. For the spark of hate was fed into a 
flame by jealousy, and resentment suddenly kindled 
emnity in his heart. He had seen how a figure 
fashioned of clay grew warm under the breath of 



concaluisse Dei, dominum quoque conditioni ^ 

inpositum, natura soli pelagique polique 

ut famulans homini locupletem fundere partum 

nosset et efFusum terreno addicere regi. 

inflavit fermento animi stomachante tumorem 195 

bestia deque acidis vim traxit acerba medullis ; 

bestia sorde carens, cui tunc sapientia longi 

corporis enodem servabat recta iuventam, 

conplicat ecce novos sinuoso pectore nexus, 

involvens nitidam spiris torquentibus alvum. 200 

simplex lingua prius varia micat arte loquendi, 

et discissa dolis resonat sermone trisulco. 

hinc natale caput vitiorum, principe ab illo 

fluxit origo mali, qui se corrumpere primum, 

mox hominem didicit nullo informante magistro. 205 

ultimus exitium subverso praeside mundus 

sortitur mundique omnis labefacta supellex. 

non aliter quam cum incautum spoliare viantem 

forte latro adgressus, praedae prius inmemor, 

ense ferit dominum, pugnae nodumque 

moramque, 210 

quo pereunte trahat captivos victor amictus 
iam non obstanti locuples de corpore praedo, 
sic homini subiecta domus, ditissimus orbis 
scilicet in facilem domino peccante ruinam 
lapsus erile malum iam tunc vitiabilis hausit. 215 
tunc lolium lappasque leves per adultera culta 
ferre malignus ager glaebis male pinguibus ausus 
triticeam vacuis segetem violavit avenis ; 
time etiam innocuo vitulorum sanguine pasci, 

After 191 U (cf. note on 69) has the line 
qui cunctum regeret proprio moderamine mundum. 



God and was made lord of the creation, so that earth 
and sea and sky had learned to pour forth their rich 
produce in the service of man and yield it lavishly 
to an earthly ruler. The beast swelled up with the 
passion working in his heart, and in his bitter hate 
drew force from his soured marrows ; a beast hitherto 
without spot, for upright wisdom then kept his long, 
young body straight, he suddenly begins with sinuous 
breast to gather himself in strange t\\inings, twisting 
his bright belly in intricate coils. His darting^ 
tongue, single before, has now the trick of diverse 
speech, and being divided in guile, utters three- 
forked words. From him is the original fountain- 
head of sin, from its beginning in him sprang the 
source of e\'il ; for he learned to corrupt first himself . 
and then man, with no teacher's instruction ; and i 
lastly destruction befalls the world by the ruin of its ' 
head, and all the world's store is subverted. Just _. 
as when it chances that a robber, setting about the 
despoiling of an unwary traveller, takes no thought 
at first of the plunder, but smites its owner with 
the sword, because it is he that is the obstacle and 
hindrance in the fight, that when he perishes the 
victorious brigand may take and carrv* off his clothes, 
enriching himself from the body that can no longer 
withstand him, so the house placed under man's 
control, the world ^^•ith all its riches, fell an easy prey 
to destruction when its lord sinned, and already 
became corrupt by absorbing the evil from its master. 
Then it was that the niggard land from its infertile 
soil dared to bring forth darnel and light burs * 
over polluted fields, and spoiled the wheat crop with 

• Cf. Genesis iii, 17-18. 



iamque iugo edomitos rictu laniare iuvencos 220 

occiso pastore truces didicere leones. 

nee non et querulis balatibus inritatus 

plenas nocte lupus studuit perrumpere caulas. 

omne animal diri callens sollertia furti 

inbuit et tortos acuit fallacia sensus. 225 

quamvis maceries florentes ambiat hortos, 

saepibus et densis vallentur vitea rura, 

aut populator edet gemmantia germina bruchus, 

aut avibus discerpta feris lacerabitur uva. 

quid loquar herbarum fibras medicante veneno 230 

tinctas letiferi fudisse pericula suci ? 

noxius in teneris sapor aestuat ecce frutectis, 

cum prius innocuas tulerit natura cicutas, 

roscidus et viridem qui vestit flos rhododaphnen 

pabula lascivis dederit sincera capellis. 235 

ipsa quoque oppositum destructo foedere certo 

transcendunt elementa modum rapiuntque 

omnia legirupis quassantia viribus orbem. 
frangunt umbriferos aquilonum proelia lucos, 
et cadit inmodicis silva exstirpata procellis. 240 

parte alia violentus aquis torrentibus amnis 
transilit obiectas, praescripta repagula, ripas 
et vagus eversis late dominatur in agris. 
nee tamen his tantam rabiem nascentibus ipse 
conditor instituit, sed laxa licentia rerum 245 

turbavit placidas rupto moderamine leges. 
nee mirum si membra orbis concussa rotantur, 
si vitiis agitata suis mundana laborat 



grainless wild-oats. Then, too, fierce lions learned to 
kill the herdsman and feed on the blood of harmless 
cattle and tear with their jaws bullocks already broken 
in to the yoke ; and the wolf by night, stirred up by 
the plaintive bleating, sought to burst into the full 
sheepfolds. Skill versed in cruel stratagem tainted 
every creature, and craft sharpened the senses it had 
perverted. Though a wall surround flourishing 
gardens and vine-covered lands be enclosed with 
thick-set hedges, yet either will the wasting locust 
devour the budding shoots, or the grape-clusters be 
torn and mangled by wild birds. Little need is there 
to tell how the tissues of plants were tinctured with 
j)oisonous drugs ro that there flowed from them a 
juice fraught Anth the risk of death, which all at once 
billowed Up, noxious to taste, in tender bushes, 
though nature formerly bore hemlock that was harm- 
less and the dewy flower that clothes the green 
rhododaphne offered honest feeding to the sportive 
kids. The very elements, too, breaking down estab-"*^ 
lished order, overpass the bounds set for them and ' 
ravage all things with their havoc, shaking the world 
with lawless strength. The warring winds shiver the 
shady groves ; the forest falls, uprooted by unruly 
storms. Elsewhere a boisterous river with its rushing 
waters leaps over the banks appointed to hold it in 
check, and spreading abroad lords it far and wide 
over the ruined fields. Yet the creator ordained no~^ 
such raging for the elements at their birth, but the 
loose indiscipline of the world, breaking through 
control, upset its peaceful laws. And no wonder if 
the world's parts are shaken and tossed, if the 
machinery of the universe fails to work smoothly 
because it is throwm out of order by faults in itself. 


machina, si terras luis incentiva fatigat : 
exemplum dat vita hominum, quo cetera peccent, 250 
vita hominum, cui quidquid agit vesania et error 
suppeditant, ut bella fremant, ut fluxa voluptas 
diffluat, inpuro fervescat ut igne libido, 
sorbeat ut cumulos nummorum faucibus amplis 
gurges avaritiae, finis quam nullus habendi 255 

temperat aggestis addentem vota talentis. 
auri namque fames parto fit maior ab auro. 
inde seges scelerum, radix et sola malorum, 
dum scatebras fluviorum omnes et operta metalla 
eliquat ornatus solvendi leno pudoris, 260 

dum venas squalentis humi scrutatur inepta 
ambitio scalpens naturae occulta latentis, 
si quibus in foveis radiantes forte lapillos 
rimata inveniat. nee enim contenta decore 
ingenito externam mentitur femina formam 265 

ac, velut artificis Domini manus inperfectum 
OS dederit, quod adhuc res exigat aut hyacinthis 
pingere sutilibus redimitae frontis in arce, 
colla vel ignitis sincera incingere sertis, 
auribus aut gravidis virides suspendere bacas, 270 
nectitur et nitidis concharum calculus albens 
crinibus aureolisque riget coma texta catenis. 
taedet sacrilegas matrum percurrere curas, 
muneribus dotata Dei quae plasmata fuco 
inficiunt, ut pigmentis cutis inlita perdat 275 

quod fuerat, falso non agnoscenda colore, 
haec sexus male fortis agit, cui pectore in arto 
mens fragilis facili vitiorum fluctuat aestu. 



and the urge that plagues it gives the earth no rest ; 
for the life of man sets an example for all else to sin,-\ 
the hfe of man, whose every act is prompted by folly | 
and delusion, so that wars rage, loose pleasure wan- 
tons, lust grows hot with its unclean fire, and the 
maw of greed swallows piles of money down its wide 
throat, since no limit of possession controls it and it 
only puts new desires on top of the riches it has 
amassed. For the hunger for gold only grows keener 
from the gold it has got. Hence comes a crop of"^ 
sins and the sole root of evil, for the love of finery, / 
that like a pander unlooses the restraints of modesty, 
strains all the gushing waters of streams and the 
buried ores, and misplaced zeal, probing the dirty 
earth, scrapes out what nature has hidden away in 
secret, in hope to find some little gUstening stones in 
some of its diggings to reward its rummaging. For 
woman, not content vriih her natural grace, puts on 
a false and adventitious beauty, and as if the hand . 
of the Lord who made her had given her a face that 
was unfinished, so that she must needs further em- 
bellish it with sapphires mounted on a circlet round 
her brow to crown it, or surround her chaste neck 
with strings of glowing gems, or hang a weight of 
green jewels from her ears, she even fastens the little 
white stones from sea-shells in her hair to brighten 
it, and her braided tresses are held in place with 
bands of gold. It were wearisome to detail all the 
profane trouble matrons take, who colour the forms 
which God has dowered with his gifts, so that the 
painted skin loses its character and cannot be 
recognised under the false hue. Such are the doings~" 
of the feebler sex, in whose narrow mind a frail in- 
telligence tosses lightly on a tide of sin. But even J 



quid quod et ipse caput muliebris corporis et rex, 
qui regit invalidam propria de came resectam 280 
particulam, qui vas tenerum dicione gubernat, 
solvitur in luxum? cemas mollescere cultu 
heroas vetulos, opifex quibus aspera membra 
finxerat et rigidos duraverat ossibus artus, 
sed pudet esse viros, quaerunt vanissima quaeque 285 
quis niteant, genuina leves ut robora solvant. 
vellere non ovium, sed Eoo ex orbe petitis 
ramorum spoliis fluitantes sumere amictus 
gaudent et durum scutulis perfundere corpus, 
additur ars, ut fila herbis saturata recoctis 290 

inludant varias distincto stamine formas. 
ut quaeque est lanugo ferae mollissima tactu, 
pectitur. hunc videas lascivas praepete cursu 
venantem tunicas, avium quoque versicolorum 
indumenta no vis texentem plumea telis, 295 

ilium pigmentis redolentibus et peregrino 
pulvere femineas spargentem turpiter auras, 
omnia luxus habet nostrae vegetamina vitae, 
sensibus in quinque statuens quae condidit auctor, 
auribus atque oculis, tum naribus atque palato 300 
quaeritur infectus vitiosis artibus usus ; 
ipse etiam toto pollet qui corpore tactus 
palpamen tenerum blandis ex fotibus ambit, 
pro dolor ! ingenuas naturae occumbere leges, 
captivasque trahi regnante libidine dotes ! 305 

" I.e. silk. Virgil (Oeorgics, II, 121) speaks of the Seres 
" combing fine fleeces from the leaves." 



he who is the head and ruler of the woman's person, 
who governs the weak portion cut from his own 
flesh and bears lordship over the delicate vessel, lets 
himself go in indulgence. One sees strong men, no 
longer yoimg, turn effeminate in their self-refinement, ) 
though the creator made their bodies rude and their ' 
limbs hard with bones to stiffen them ; but they are 
ashamed to be men. They seek after the greatest 
vanities to beautify them, so that in their light- 
mindedness they dissipate their native strength. 
They love to wear flowing robes not made from sheeps' 
fleeces but of the spoils taken from branches of 
trees " and fetched from the eastern world, and to 
overlay their hardy frames \\ith lozenge broidery.* 
Art is called in to make yarns soaked in decoctions 
of plants work diverse fancy patterns \\ith threads of 
different colours. Beasts' coats are chosen for card- 
ing for their softness to the touch. One man is seen 
chasing hot-foot after luxuriant tunics, and weaving 
downy garments with strange threads from many- 
coloured birds, another shaming himself by spreading 
womanish scents with perfumed paints and foreign 
powder. Indulgence is master of all the active 
powers of our life, which the creator made and 
established in our five senses. For ears and eyes, 
and for nostrils and palate we seek out emplojinent 
which is tainted with \'icious arts ; and even touch, 
which acts over our whole body, courts the tender 
caress of alliu-ing comforts. What grief to think that 
nature's native laws should go down, and her gifts ^ 
be carried away captive by a tyrant passion ! Every J 

* Illustrations of garments ornamented in this way may 
be seen in Daremberg et Saglio, Dictionnaire des atUiquitis 
grecques et romaines, s.v. segmentum. 


VOL. I. I 


perversum ius omne viget, dum quidquid hab- 
omnipotens dederat studia in contraria vertunt. 
idcircone, rogo, speculatrix pupula molli 
subdita palpebrae est, ut turpia semivirorum 
membra theatrali spectet vertigine ferri, 310 

incestans miseros foedo oblectamine visus ? 
aut ideo spirant mediaque ex arce cerebri 
demittunt geminas sociata foramina nares, 
ut bibat inlecebras male conciliata voluptas 
quas pigmentato meretrix iacit inproba crine ? 315 
num propter lyricae modulamina vana puellae 
nervorumque sonos et convivale calentis 
carmen nequitiae patulas Deus addidit aures 
perque cavemosos iussit penetrare meatus 
vocis iter? numquid madido sapor inditus ori 320 
vivit ob banc causam, medicata ut fercula pigram 
ingluviem vegetamque gulam ganeonis inescent, 
per varios gustus instructa ut prandia ducat 
in noctem lassetque gravem sua crapula ventrem ? 
quid durum, quid molle foret, quid lene, quid 

horrens, 325 

quid calidum gelidumve, Deus cognoscere nosmet 
ad tactum voluit palpandi interprete sensu. 
at nos delicias plumarum et linea texta 
sternimus atque cutem fulcro adtenuante polimus. 
felix qui indultis potuit mediocriter uti 330 

muneribus parcumque modum servare fruendi, 
quem locuples mundi species et amoena venustas 
et nitidis fallens circumflua copia rebus 
non capit, ut puerum, nee inepto addicit amori, 
qui sub adumbrata dulcedine triste venenum 335 
deprendit latitare boni mendacis operto. 
sed fuit id quondam nobis sanctumque bonumque 



power is perverted in its action, because men turn 
to opposite purposes all that the omnipotent gave 
them to possess. Has the seeing pupil, I ask, been 
set under the soft eyelid merely to watch the shame- 
ful figures of eunuchs whirling in the theatre, pollut- 
ing its unhappy vision with a filthy amusement ? Or 
do we have a pair of breathing passages that lead 
from the centre of the brain's seat to our two nostrils, 
merely that an ill-gotten sense of pleasure may drink 
in the allurements that a vile harlot throws out from 
her greased hair ? Was it for the vain melodies of a 
girl playing on a lute, the sound of strings, the song 
inspired by inflamed wickedness at a banquet, that 
God gave us open ears and ordained a passage for 
the voice through vaulted ways ? Does the power 
to savour, which is imparted to the moist mouth, 
exist only for spiced dishes to tempt the gourmand's 
sluggish appetite and give his palate zest, that he 
may prolong feasts of many courses into the night 
and load his belly till it is exhausted with its own 
excess? Hard and soft, smooth and rough, warm 
and cold, God willed that we should learn by contact 
through the medium of the sense of touch ; but we 
spread voluptuous downs and fabrics of linen, and 
make our skin fine and delicate by lying on a couch. 
Happy the man who has been able to use with temper- 
ance the gifts granted him, and to keep frugal 
measure in his enjoyment of them, whom the world's 
rich display with its pleasant attraction and its flowing 
abundance of lying baubles does not charm like a 
child, nor enslave to a foolish love, who detects the 
deadly poison lurking under the feigned sweetness, 
in concealment under what falsely claims to be 
good ! Yet once for us it 7vas holy and good, in the 



principio rerum, Christus cum conderet orbem. 
vidit enim Deus esse bonum velut ipse Moyses 
historicus mundi nascentis testificatus 340 

" vidit," ait, " Deus esse bonum quodcumque 

hoc sequar, hoc stabili conceptum mente tenebo, 
inspirante Deo quod sanctus vaticinator 
prodidit antiquae recolens primordia lucis, 
esse bonum quidquid Deus et Sapientia fecit. 345 
conditor ergo boni Pater est et cum Patre 

nam Deus, atque Deus Pater est et Filius unum ; 
quippe unum natura facit, quae constat utrique 
una voluntatis, iuris, virtutis, amoris. 
non tamen idcirco duo numina nee duo rerum 350 
artifices, quoniam generis dissensio nulla est, 
atque ideo nulla est operis distantia, nulla 
ingenii, peperit bona omnia conditor unus. 
nil luteum de fonte fluit nee turbidus umor 
nascitur aut primae violatur origine venae, 355 

sed dum liventes liquor incorruptus harenas 
praelambit, putrefacta inter contagia sordet. 
numquid equus, ferrum, taurus, leo, funis, olivum 
in se vim sceleris, cum formarentur, habebant ? 
quod iugulatur homo, non ferrum causa furoris 360 
sed manus est ; nee equum vesania fervida circi 
auctorem levitatis habet rabidive fragoris : 
mens vulgi rationis inops, non cursus equorum 
perfui'it : infami studio perit utile donum. 
sic Lacedaemonias oleo maduisse palaestras 365 
novimus et placidum servire ad crimina sucum, 
inde per aerium pendens audacia funem 



beginning of things, when Christ created the world. 
For God saw that it was good, as Moses, the historian 
of the world's birth, bears ^\itness : " God," he says, 
" saw that all his creation was good." This faith I 
shall follow and hold it firmly grasped in my mind, 
this that the holy prophet, surveying the beginnings 
of light in ancient times, has declared under God's 
inspiration, that all that God and Wisdom created 
was good. The creator of good, then, is the Father 
and, with the Father, Christ ; for He is God, and 
God the Father and the Son are one being, in as 
much as they are made one by the one nature of 
will and authority and power and love which is 
common to both Yet are there not therefore two 
Gods nor two creators, since there is no divergence 
of being and therefore no separation of work or of 
mind, but it is one creator who made all things good. 
There is no muddy flow from the fountain-head, the 
water is not turbid at its rise, nor made unclean as 
it springs from its source ; but as the pure stream 
washes the dirty sand along its banks it is befouled 
by contact with decay. Did horse and iron and bull 
and lion and rope and oil have anv ^\^ckedness in 
them when they were made ? In the murder of a 
man it is not the iron that is the cause of violence, 
but the hand ; and when the frenzy of the circus 
rages, it is not the horse that is responsible for the 
folly or the furious din : it is the unreasoning mob, 
not the running of horses, that goes mad, and so a 
useful gift is wasted through a base passion. Thus it 
Is that, as we know, the wrestlers in the Spartan 
schools were drenched with oil, and that gentle Uquor 
was put to the service of sin ; hence it is that a man 
boldly mounts high up on the stage along a rope in 



ardua securis scandit proscaenia plantis, 
inde feras volucri temeraria corpora saltu 
transiliunt mortisque inter discrimina ludunt. 370 
sanguinis humani spectacula publicus edit 
consensus legesque iubent venale parari 
supplicium, quo membra hominum discerpta 

morsibus oblectent hilarem de funere plebem. 
mille alia stolidi bacchantia gaudia mundi 375 

percensere piget, quae veri oblita Tonantis 
humanum miseris volvunt erroribus aevum. 
nemo animum sumimi memorem genitoris in 

excitat, ad caelum mittit suspiria nemo, 
nee recolens apicem solii natalis ad ipsum 380 

respicit auctorem, nee spem super aera librat, 
sed mentem gravidis contentam stertere curis 
indigno subdit domino perituraque pronus 
diligit et curvo quaerit terrestria sensu. 
hoc pulchrum quod terra parit, quod gloria 

confert 385 

lubrica, commendat quod perniciosa voluptas, 
quod velut excitus difflato pulvere ventus 
praeterit, exemplo tenuis quod transvolat umbrae, 
his aegras animas morborum pestibus urget 
praedo potens, tacitis quem viribus interfusum 390 
corda bibunt hominum ; serit ille medullitus 

nequitias spargitque suos per membra ministros. 
namque illic numerosa cohors sub principe tali 

" The rope-dancer had long been popular. In one kind of 
performance the rope was stretched obliquely from the level 



mid air with confident steps <• ; hence that rash figures 
spring with flying leap over wild beasts and sf)ort 
amid the risks of death. It is the general public 
taste that produces exhibitions of human blood, and 
law commands the provision of men who are paid to 
suffer torture,* so that the tearing of human Hmbs 
asunder by blood-stained jaws may divert a populace 
that makes merrj' at the sight of death. I care not 
to review the thousand other wanton pleasures of 
the senseless world, which in forgetfulness of the true 
Thunderer enwTap men's life in pitiable delusions. 
None lifts on high a heart that remembers the 
supreme Father, none utters a sigh towards heaven, 
nor calls to mind the lofty throne of his origin and 
casts a thought upon his maker, nor launches his 
hopes beyond the skies. To an unworthy master 
men subject a spirit that is content to sleep heavily 
under the cares that weigh on it, with down-bent 
head they set their hearts on what is doomed to 
perish, and with eyes on the ground seek after 
earthly things. That they count lovely which is bom 
of earth, or bestowed by shifting reputation, or set 
off by baneful pleasure, that which passes like a whiff 
of wind that has scattered the dust, or flits by like 
an unsubstantial shade. With these plagues of sin 
the powerful robber besets our sickened souls. With' 
his stealthy forces he infiltrates into men's hearts and 
they draw him in. He sows all manner of wickedness 
in their inmost parts, and scatters his agents through 
their frames. For there a large force serves under 

of the stage to a high platform, the performer going up on 
one side and down on the other. 

* Bestiarii, trained to fight wild beasts and paid for their 
performances in the arena. 



militat horrendisque animas circumsidet armis, 

Ira, Superstitio, Maeror, Discordia, Luctus,i 395 

Sanguinis atra Sitis, Vini Sitis et Sitis Auri, 

Livor, Adulterium, Dolus, Obtrectatio, Furtum. 

informes horrent facies habituque minaces. 

Ambitio ventosa tumet, Doctrina superbit, 

personal Eloquium, nodos Fraus abdita nectit. 400 

inde canina foro latrat Facundia toto, 

hinc gerit Herculeam vilis Sapientia clavam, 

ostentatque suos vieatim gymnosophistas, 

incerat lapides fumosos Idololatrix 

Religio et surdis pallens advolvitur aris. 405 

heu quantis mortale genus premit inprobus hostis 

armigeris, quanto ferrata satellite ductor 

bella gerit, quanta victos dicione triumphat ! 

surgit in auxilium Chananeus atque agmina 

casside terribilis, saetarum pondera mento 410 

concutiens dextramque gravi cum cuspide 

ast alia de parte furens exercitus ardet 
regis Amorraei, turn milia Gergeseorum 
efFundunt aciem toto volitantia campo ; 
eminus hi feriunt, confligunt comminus illi. 415 

ecce Zebusiacae fervent ad proelia turmae, 
aurea tela quibus de sanguine tincta draconis 
mortifero splendore micant radiantque 

nee non terrificas pilis armare catervas 

^ Some MSS. of both classes have luxus. 

° A stout staff is spoken of as a characteristic appanage 
of philosophers. C/. Sidonius, Carm. 15, 197. 




this wicked commander and invests men's souls Math 
dreadful weapons — Anger, Superstition, Sickness-of- 
Heart, Strife, Affliction, foul Thirst-for-Blood, Thirst- 
for-Wine, Thirst-for-Gold, Malice, Adultery, Craft, 
Slander, Theft. Hideous and frightful are their 
shapes, threatening their carriage. \'aunting Ambi- 
tion is puffed up. Learning is proud, Eloquence 
thunders, Deceit contrives snares in secret. Here 
Abusive Speech snarls throughout the courts, there 
paltry Philosophy wields the club " of Hercules and 
displays her naked Sages * through the streets, while 
Idolatry coats smoke-grimed stones ^\^th wax <^ and 
in pale fear falls prostrate before altars that cannot 
hear. Alas, with what armed forces does the ruth- 
less enemy press upon the race of men, with what 
attendant trains under his command does he wage 
his iron wars, with what dominion triumph over the 
conquered ! The Canaanite rises up to his aid with 
close-set columns and daunting helm, shaking the 
weight of bristly beard on his chin and wa\-ing the 
hand that grasps his heavy spear. On another side 
in burning rage stands the army of the king of the 
Amorites, and the Girgashites in their thousands 
pour out in array and come flying over the field. 
Some smite from a distance, others join in close 
combat. See, the squadrons of the Jebusites are 
hot for battle ; their golden weapons, dipped in 
serpent's blood, with death-dealing lustre glitter and 
gleam and slay. It is thy pleasure too, O Hittite, 

* " Gymnosophist " is properly a word used by the Greeks 
to describe certain Indian ascetics. Prudentius may be think- 
ing of the CjTiics, who are often satirised for their " nakedness " 
(c/. Juvenal, 13, 122; 14, 309). 

' See note on Apotheosis, 457. 

1 2 


te, Cittaee, iuvat ; sed gens Pherezaea sagittis 420 
insultat virtute pari, sed dispare ferro. 
postremum cuneum rex promovet F.uvaeorum 
squamosum thoraca gerens de pelle colubri. 
his subnixa viris scelerum perversa potestas 
edomat invalidas mantes, quae simplicitate 425 

indociles bellique rudes sub foedere falso 
tristis amicitiae primum socia agmina credunt, 
Mammoneamque fidem pacis sub amore 

mox faciles ad vincla rapi iuga dura volentes 
addictis subeunt cervicibus, et nebulonum 430 

spirituum iussis servire ferocibus optant. 
ille, supervacuis augens patrimonia fundis 
finitimisque inhians contempto limite agellis, 
ducitur innexus manicis et mille catenis 
ante triumphales currus post terga revinctus, 435 

nee se barbaricis addictum sentit habenis. 
hie, qui ventosae scandit fastigia famae 
inflaturque cavo pompae popularis honore, 
qui summum solidumque bonum putat ambi- 

crescere successu, praeconum voce trementes 440 
exanimare reos, miserorum in corpora fasces 
frangere, terribiles legum exercere secures, 
in laqueum iam colla dedit, iam compede 

nectitur et pedibus servilia vincula limat. 
credite, captivi mortales, hostica quos iam 445 
damnatos cohibent ergastula, quos famulatu 
poenarum virtus non intellecta coercet, 

" Cf. Joshua xxiv, 11. 


to arm dread companies with javelins. But the tribe 
of the Perizzites come at us with arrows, their 
courage Uke thine, though their weapon is unlike. 
Last of all the king of the Hi\ites brings up his 
regiment, wearing a scaly breast-plate of snake- 
skin." With these warriors to support him the per- 
verse prince of e\dl overcomes weak souls, which in 
artless ignorance, unused to warfare, trust in a false 
treaty of ill-starred friendship and at first take them 
for alUes, and so become subjects of Mammon ; 
through their love of peace. Then they are carried, 
away to bondage, easy victims, who willingly sur- 
render their necks to the hard yoke and of their own 
choice obey the insolent commands of ne'er-do-well 
spirits. That man, who is enlarging his inheritance 
with properties he does not need, and, scorning the 
boundar}' between, casts longing eyes on his neigh- 
bour's bit of land, is being led in shackles before the 
triumphal cars, fettered with a thousand chains 
behind his back, and yet does not reahse that he is 
made over to cruel bondage. This one, who climbs 
the heights of windy reputation and is puffed up 
with the unsubstantial fame of popular display, who 
thinks it the chief and only real good to succeed 
in pashing himself farther and farther forward, to 
terrify prisoners at the bar who tremble at the voice 
of the criers, to break the rods on poor ^vretches' 
bodies and wield the terror-striking axes of the law, 
has already put his head into the noose, already he is 
boxmd with the hard fetter and rubbing smooth with 
his feet the shackles of slaver}'. Beheve, ye captive 
mortals, who are condemned to confinement in your 
enemy's prison-house, who are kept in durance under 
the bondage of punishment because you did not 



haec ilia est Babylon, haec transmigratio nostrae 

gentis et horribilis victoria principis Assur, 

carmine luctifico quam deflens Hieremias 450 

orbatam propriis ululavit civibus urbem. 

num latet aut dubium est animas de semine lacob 

exilium gentile pati, quas Persica regna 

captivas retinent atque in sua foedera cogunt ? 

illic natali desuescunt vivere ritu 455 

moribus et patriis exutae in barbara iura 

degenerant linguamque novara vestemque 

deque profanato discunt sordescere cultu 
nutricemque abolent petulanti e pectore Sion. 
iam patriae meminisse piget, iam mystica 

frangunt 460 

organa et externi laudant anathemata regni. 
nonne fuit melius saevum Memphitidis aulae 
imperium tolerasse patres penitusque sinistris 
adsedisse focis, positos Pharaonis iniqui 
sub pedibus, limo et paleis servire paratos, 465 

carnis et inmodicae spurco ructamine crudos ? 
quo tantum auxilii per prodigialia signa 
efFudit Dominus, populum dum forte rebellem 
servat ope inmerita, vinclis dum subdita colla 
solvit et Aegyptum virga serpente coercet ? 470 

quid iuvat aequoreum pelago cedente profundum 
pulverea calcasse via, cum conscia ponti 
saxa sub ignoto patuerunt prodita caelo 
aruit et medio sitiens in gurgite limus, 
si victor virtute Dei mediasque tenebras 475 

luce columnari scindens exercitus olim 

Cf. 2 Kings xxiv, 10 ff. " Cf. Exodus xvi, 3. 

" Exodus vii, 10. 



understand goodness, this is the Babylon ye have 
heard of, this is the removal of our race " and the 
fearful conquest of the king of Assyria which 
Jeremiah bewailed in his song of lamentation, weep- 
ing for a city bereft of her people. Is it not known 
beyond doubt that the souls of the seed of Jacob 
suffer exile among the Gentiles, held in captivity 
by the realms of Persia and compelled to join with 
them ? There they forget the way of life to which 
they were born, and shedding their native manners, 
debase themselves to obey heathen laws, adopt new 
speech and dress, learn to befoul themselves v,-iih 
unhallowed worship, and efface from their froward 
heart all thought of Zion, their nurse. They care not 
any longer to remember their own country', they 
break their holy instruments of music, and speak well 
of the sacrifices of a foreign kingdom. Had it not 
been better that their fathers should have borne A^ith 
the cruel government of the court of Memphis and 
sat well in by hearths unfriendly, under the oppressor 
Pharaoh's feet ready to be the slaves of clay and 
straw, and eating their fill of flesh till they belched 
disgustfuUy from the surfeit ? * To what end did the 
Lord lavish all that help by miraculous signs, saving 
a rebelUous people with succour they did not deserve, 
freeing their necks from the bonds laid on them and 
constraining Egypt ^^•ith the rod that crawled ? '^ 
What profits it to have trodden the deep waters by 
a sandy path while the sea made way, when rocks 
that had felt the main lay exposed under a sky they 
knew not, and the slime grew dry and parched in the 
midst of the flood, if the host that once conquered 
by the power of God and cut through the darkness 
\\ith a pillared light has lost the rich valley where it 



perdidit invent! vallem botryonis opimam, 

si nescit vers are solum, cui melle perenni 

glaeba fluens niveos permiscet lactea rivos, 

si domitam lerichon lituis atque aere canoro 480 

rursus in antiques patitur consurgere muros, 

si ripis reflui lordanis pellitur et iam 

deserit adscriptam dimensa in iugera sortem, 

denique si structam tantis sudoribus urbem 

et quae nubigenas transcendunt culmina nimbos 485 

defensare nequit, si nescit quis lapis ille est 

hostibus obsistens et inexpugnabile turris 

praesidium, quern non aerato machina rostro 

arietat insiliens, nee ferrea verbera quassant? 

angulus hie portae in capite est, hie continet 

omnem 490 

saxorum seriem constructaque limina firmat. 
quern qui rite suis per propugnacula muris 
noverit insertum, seque ac sua moenia vallo 
praecingat triplici celsa stans eminus arce, 
fretus amore petrae castis et pervigil armis, 495 

non ilium regina Tyri, non aeeola magni 
Euphratis Parthus rapiet, non decolor Indus 
tempora pinnatis redimitus nigra sagittis. 
quin si fulmineos cogens ad bella gigantas 
allophilus tua castra velit delere tyrannus, 500 

tutus eris, nee te firma statione movebit 
ipse Charon mundi, numen Marcionis, ipse, 
qui regit aerio vanas sub sole tenebras. 
nam vanum quidquid sol aspicit, ex elementis 

" Numbers xiii, 23-27. 
* C/. Joshua iii, 16. 
" Joshua xiii-xix. 

■^ The word dXX6<f>vXos = " alien," but is used particularly of 
the Philistines. Cf. the heading of Psalm 56 in the Septuagint 



found the bunch of grapes," if it cannot work the soil 
where the land flows with honey unceasing and 
colours the streams snow-white \vith its milk, if it 
suffers Jericho, after being subdued by the loud 
brazen trumpet, once more to rise to the height of 
her ancient walls, if it is driven from the banks of 
Jordan, which stayed its waters,* and abandons the 
lands that were allotted in apportioned measures,* 
if it cannot defend the city that was built with such 
labour, and the high tops that rise beyond the cloud- 
bom storms, if it knows not which is that stone that 
withstands the foe like an impregnable tower of 
defence, which no engine of war leaping upon it can 
batter down wi^h its brazen snout, nor blows of iron 
shake ? This is the keystone at the head of the 
gateway ; this it is that holds together the whole 
course of blocks and makes the structure of the 
entrance firm. If a man knows that this stone is 
duly set in the defences of his walls and girds him- 
self and his stronghold with a threefold rampart, 
while he stands at a distance on his lofty citadel in 
reliance on the love of the stone, watching and 
keeping his armour clean, such a man neither queen 
of Tyre nor Parthian that dwells by great Euphrates 
shall ravish, nor swarthy Indian whose black brows 
are \\Teathed with feathered arrows. Even should 
the prince of the PhiUstines ** gather his fiery giants 
for war and seek to destroy thy camp, thou \\'ilt be 
safe, nor will the very Charon of the world, Marcion's 
deity, he who rules over the unsubstantial realm of 
darkness below the sun in the sky, dislodge thee 
from thy strong post. For all that the sun looks 

and Vulgate. Prudentius uses it again in Tit. Hist. XAriii, 3 
{cf. Judges XV, 5). 


cuncta solubilibus fluxoque creamine constant. 505 
fallo, creaturam nisi doctor apostolus omnem 
subiectam vanis non sponte laboribus orsus 
periuro ingemuit miserans servire latroni : 
" errat " ait, " qui luctamen cum sanguine nobis 
et carne et venis ferventibus et vitioso 510 

felle putat calidisque animam peccare medullis. 
non mentem sua membra premunt, nee terrea 

oppugnat sensus liquidos bellove laeessit, 
sed cum spiritibus tenebrosis nocte dieque 
congredimur, quorum dominatibus umidus iste 515 
et pigris densus nebulis obtemperat aer." 
scilicet hoc medium, caelum inter et infima terrae 
quod patet et vacuo nubes suspendit hiatu, 
frena potestatum variarum sustinet ac sub 
principe Belia rectoribus horret iniquis. 520 

his conluctamur praedonibus, ut sacra nobis 
oris apostolici testis sententia prodit. 
nemo habitum naturae, aut inritamina peccans 
corporis accuset ; facile est frenare rebelles 
afFectus carnis nimiosque retundere pulsus 525 

materiae fragilis et viscera victa domare. 
quippe animus longe praestantior, utpote summo 
aethere demissus, subiectos si velit artus 
imperio quassare gravi iussisque severis 
dedere, regnanti domino vis nulla resistet. 530 

maior inest vis ilia homini, quae flatile virus 
ingerit et tenuem tenui ferit aere mentem. 
Parthica non aeque ventos transcurrit harundo, 

« C/. Romans viii, 20-22. 
* Cf. Ephesians vi, 12; ii, 2. 



upon is unsubstantial ; all things consist of mortal 
elements and transient matter of creation. I plead 
guilty to deceiving, if the apostle >yho instructs us 
has not said that all creation is subject, not willingly, 
to vain struggles," and lamented in pity that it is 
in bondage to the false robber. " He errs," says he, I 
" who supposes that our contest is with blood and 
flesh, with burning passions of the body and cor- 1 
rupted gall, and that the soul sins because the marrow 
is hot. It is not its body that bears dovm upon the "^ 
soul, nor earthly power that attacks the pure spirit j 
and makes war upon it, but it is ^^^th spirits of dark- / 
ness that we contend night and day, which bear rule f 
over the damp and heavy-clouded air." * All this J 
middle region, you must know, which stretches \ 
between the heavens and the earth beneath and 
suspends the clouds in its great empty space, upholds 
the government of diverse powers and is the grue- 
some seat of Ancked rulers under the command of/ 
Belial. It is with these robbers that we \vrestle, as | 
the holy words of the apostle's mouth testify to us. j 
Let no man blame the cast of his nature or the pro- 
vocation of his body for his sin. It is easy to curb 
the rebellious passions of the flesh, to beat do^\•n the 
inordinate impulses of frail matter and conquer and 
subdue the body. For the spirit by far excels it, 
since it came down from heaven on high, and if it 
cares to break ^\•ith stern rule the members that are 
put under it and subject them to strict command, 
no force can withstand its royal mastery. But there 
is a stronger force in man, one that attacks him -with 
a breath of poison and strikes the subtile soul with 
a subtile air. Not so quickly through the breezes 
flies the Parthian arrow, whose path no eye can 




cuius iter nullus potis est conprendere visus ; 
praepes enim volucres dum pennis transvolat 

auras, 535 

inprovisa venit, nee stridor nuntiat ante 
adventum leti quam pectoris abdita rumpat, 
securam penetrans medicato vulnere vitam ; 
sed magis aligera est magis et medicata sagitta, 
quam iacit umbrosi dominatio lubrica mundi, 540 
eludens excussa oculos calamique volantis 
praepete transcursu cordis penetralia figens. 
nee segnis natura animae est aut tarda cavendi 
vulneris, ignitum quoniam Deus indidit olli 
ingenium, purum, sapiens, subtile, serenum, 545 
mobile, sollicitum, velox, agitabile, acutum, 
factorem modo casta suum veneretur et ipsi 
militet ac victum proculcet sobria mundum, 
nil de pestiferis opibus aut falsificatis 
terrarum spoliis stulto oblectamine libans, 550 

ne sub fasce iacens alieno et dedita regno 
non queat argutas hostis vitare sagittas. 
sed quid ego omne malum mundique homin- 

umque maligni 
hostis ad invidiam detorqueo, cum mala nostra 
ex nostris concreta animis genus et caput et vim, 555 
quid sint, quid valeant, sumant de corde parente ? 
ille quidem fomes nostrorum et causa malorum est, 
sed tantum turbare potest aut fallere quantum 
nos volumus, qui decrepito suggesta leoni 
armamenta damus : friget fera futtile frendens, 56 
humani generis ni per suffragia gliscat. 
gignimus omne malum proprio de corpore 

ut genuit David, alias pater optimus, unum 
crimen Abessalon ; taetrum pater ille, sed unum, 



perceive ; for flitting swifty with its feathers through ' 
the winged airs it comes unforeseen, and no hissing 
proclaims the approach of death before it bursts its 
way into the recesses of the breast, piercing the un- 
concerned Ufe with a poisoned wound ; but it is a 
swifter arrow with a deadlier poison that the deceitful 
lord of the darksome world shoots, one that baffles 
the eye when it is launched, and with the quick 
passage of its flying shaft pierces the inmost heart. ! - 
Yet the soul is not naturally sluggish or slow to 
avoid the wound, since God has given it a lively 
nature that is pure, wise, delicate, tranquil, active, 
careful, quick, light-moving, keen-edged : if it but 
piously reverence its maker and fight in his service, 
and in soberness overcome the world and trample it 
under foot, tasting not in foolish enjoyment any of 
the deadly riches or fraudulent spoils of the earth, lest, 
being weighed down under its burden and given over , 
to another's rule, it be unable to avoid the enemy's j 
whizzing arrows. But why shift all the evil of the*^ 
world and of men on to the spite of a malign enemy, f 
when our sins grow out of our own minds and take 
their birth and source and power, their being and 
their strength from the heart which begets them ? 
The enemy indeed is the tinder that sets our sins 
alight, but he can only trouble or deceive us to the 
extent that we are willing. It is we who furnish 
weapons as a gift to the enfeebled lion ; the wild 
beast flags and gnashes his teeth to no purpose unless 
he gain strength from the favour of mankind. We 
beget all our sin from our own body, just as David, 
who was otherwise blessed as a father, begot the one 
guilty Absalom. In that instance a father begot, 



innocuas inter suboles genuit patricidam, 565 

ausus in auctorem generis qui stringere ferrum 
(a pietas !) signis contraria signa paternis 
egit et unius commisit sanguinis arma. 
nostra itidem diros urente propagine natos 
pectora parturiunt, versis qui protinus in nos 570 

morsibus insuescunt gignentum vivere poenis ; 
depopulantur enim nimium fecunda parentum 
viscera et interitu genitalis stirpis aluntur. 
progeniem verum ille suam, rex utpote summus 
atque Dei vates pariturae et virginis auctor, 575 

tristibus atque piis variaverat, ut Solomonis 
frater Abessalon sereret sua crimina iustis 
pigneribus dulcemque domum turbaret amaris. 
nos dignum Solomone nihil, nos degener inplet 
solus Abessalon lacerans pia viscera ferro. 580 

si licet ex ethicis ^ quidquam praesumere vel si 
de physicis exempli aliquid, sic vipera, ut aiunt, 
dentibus emoritur fusae per viscera prolis, 
mater morte sua, non sexu fertilis aut de 
concubitu distenta uterum, sed cum calet igni 585 
percita femineo, moriturum obscena maritum 
ore sitit patulo ; caput inserit ille trilingue 
coniugis in fauces atque oscula fervidus intrat, 
insinuans oris coitu genitale venenum. 
nupta voluptatis vi saucia mordicus haustum 590 
frangit amatoris blanda inter foedera guttur, 
infusasque bibit caro pereunte salivas. 

^ Some MSS. have ethnicis {the heathen), which Bergman 
adopts as being the reading of A. 

" The statement about the viper is in part as old as Herodo- 
tus (iii, 109). 



among his innocent children, a horrid patricide, but 
only one, who dared to draw the sword against the 
author of his being (alas, for filial duty !), set forces 
in motion against his father's, and fought against his 
own flesh and blood. So do our hearts give birth J 
to a galling breed of accursed children who straight- I 
way turn their teeth upon us and learn to live by the ' 
sufferings of their begetters ; for they waste the all 
too fruitful flesh of their parents and feed on the 
death of the stock from which they sprang. But 
Da\id, being a great king and a prophet of God also, 
and ancestor of the \-irgin who was to bear a child, 
had dutiful as well as unhappy children, so that 
Solomon's brother Absalom brought his crimes into 
a family that was virtuous and troubled a pleasant 
household with his sorrowful deeds, whereas there is 
nothing in us to be compared with Solomon, but only 
the debased Absalom who tears the flesh of his kin 
"\\ith the sword. If we may draw on the moralists for 
anything or take an instance from natural history," it 
is thus, they say, that the viper perishes by the teeth 
of the progeny that is brought forth through her flesh. 
She becomes a mother by her o^^Tl death ; she does 
not bear her young by an organ of sex, nor does her 
womb swell from intercourse, but when she burns 
•with the excitement of the female's heat the lewd 
beast opens her mouth wide in thirst for a mate that 
is doomed. He puts his three-tongued head into his 
spouse's jaws, eagerly entering her alluring mouth 
and inserting his baneful seed by an oral union. The 
bride, smitten \\ith the strong pleasure, takes her 
lover's head between her teeth and breaks his neck 
>\'ith a bite in the midst of their fond compact, 
drinking in the injected slaver while her dear one 



his pater inlecebris consumitur, at genitricem 
clausa necat subolis ; nam postquam semine 

incipiunt calidis corpuscula parva latebris 595 

serpere motatumque uterum vibrata ferire, 
aestuat interno pietatis crimine mater 
carnificemque gemit damnati conscia sexus 
progeniem, saepti rumpentem obstacula partus, 
nam quia nascendi nullus patet exitus, alvus 600 
fetibus in lucem nitentibus excruciata 
carpitur atque viam lacerata per ilia pandit, 
tandem obitu altricis prodit grex ille dolorum 
ingressum vitae vix eluctatus et ortum 
per scelus exculpens ; lambunt natale cadaver 605 
reptantes catuli, prolis dum nascitur orba, 
baud experta diem miserae nisi postuma matris. 
non dispar nostrae conceptus mentis : ab ore 
vipereo infusum sic conbibit ilia venenum 
coniuge Beliade, sic oscula devorat haustu 610 

interiusque rapit, sic felle libidinis ardens 
inpletur vitiis perituro mixta marito. 
tunc praegnans letale genus concepta maligni 
fert opera ingenii de semine conplicis hydri ; 
quem poenis pensare prius sua facta necesse est 615 
corruptae pro stupro animae proque orbe 

ipsam porro animam crudelia vulnera carpunt 
mille puerperiis, suboles dum parturit ex se 
contra naturam genitas, peccamina crebra 



dies. With these allurements the sire is destroyed ; 
but the young shut up within her kill their dam. For 
when the seed develops and the tiny bodies begin to 
creep about in their warm hiding-place and to shake 
the womb with their waving and lashing, the mother 
is tormented by the outrage against filial duty 
within her, and, conscious of her guilty sex, bemoans 
the fate that makes her progeny her executioners as 
they break through the barriers that stop their 
bringing forth. For because there is no passage to 
give them birth, the belly is tortured and gnawed 
by the young as they struggle into the light, till a 
way is opened through the torn sides. At last the 
grievous brood come forth by the death of her that 
has nurtured them, scarce forcing an entrance into 
life and carving out their way to birth by a crune, ' ' / 
and the young creep about licking the corpse that ^^tR/P- 
bore them, a family of orphans at their very birth, w,,^-*^ 
that have only seen the light of day as the post- ■-' j^ 
humous children of their poor mother. Just so does ^ 
our soul conceive. In the same way it imbibes the 
baneful fluid poured into it from the serpent's mouth, 
mating with the son of Belial ; in the same way it * 

gulps down the allurements of his lips, greedily draw- 
ing them in ; in the same way it burns with the gall 
of desire and is filled ^%ith sins by its union mth a 
spouse that is doomed to perish. Then being preg-^^; 
nant it brings forth its deadly brood in works of an 
evil nature, conceived from the seed of its partner 
the serpent, which must first pay the penalty for its 
deeds, for corrupting and debauching the soul and 
ruining the world. Again, cruel wounds tear the 
soul too in a thousand labour-pains, as she gives 
birth to her unnatural progeny, to wit a multitude 



scilicet et pastes materno funere natos. 620 

hinc ilia est Domini iusta obiurgatio Christi : 
" nonne pater daemon, vos increpo, peccatores, 
concubitu carnis semen sitientis iniquum 
vos genuit?" sanctum, lector, percense 

volumen : 
quod loquor, invenies Dominum dixisse profanis 625 
vera obiectantem mortalibus : " ex Patre nam vos 
esse meo genitos pietas," ait, " ipsa probaret 
ac pietatis opus." pro caeca libido ! quid hoc est, 
quod cum se thalamis desponsam mens bona iustis 
noverit, inque torum regis nuptura vocetur, 630 

et regis semper iuvenis senioque repulso 
divinum decus aeterno servantis in ore, 
malit adulterium fulvo et se munere vilem 
vendat nocticolae spurcis conplexibus Indi, 
aspernata Dei fusam per virginis artus 635 

progeniem dulcesque vocans in fornice natos ? 

sentio quam contra moveat pellacia litem, 
quo dente obnitens spinosa calumnia pugnet 
nosque lacessito vocet ad luctamina vero. 
" si non vult Deus esse malum, cur non vetat? " 

inquit. 640 

" nil refert auctor fuerit factorque malorum, 
anne opera in vitium sceleris pulcherrima verti, 
cum possit prohibere, sinat ; qui si velit omnes 
innocuos agere omnipotens, nee sancta voluntas 
degeneret, facto nee se manus inquinet ullo. 645 

condidit ergo malum Dominus quod spectat ab 

et patitur fierique probat, tamquam ipse crearit ; 
ipse creavit enim quod, cum discludere possit, 

» Cf. John viii, 44. " Cf. John viii, 41-42. 



of sins, children that have fed on their mother's 
corpse. Hence the just reproach of the Lord 
Christ : " Is not the devil — I accuse you, ye sinners — 
the father that begot you, by union with the flesh 
that thirsted for the seed of iniquity? " * Examine 
the holy book, O reader : you \vi\\ find that the 
Lord spoke as I say, bringing true charges against 
unholy men. " For love," He says, " and the work 
of love would prove you begotten of my Father." * 
" O blind lust ! What means it that the good soul, 
knoA^ing herself plighted for a true marriage, and 
called to the king's chamber to be his bride, bride 
of a king ever young, who keeps the divine beauty 
for ever on his countenance and admits not the 
approach of age, would rather choose adultery and 
sell herself cheap for a gift of gold to the foul em- 
braces of a blackamoor that loves the darkness, while 
she rejects the Son of God brought forth by a virgin's 
body, and calls children born in a brothel sweet ? 

I know the seductive argument that is brought 
forward on the other side, the sharp tooth with which 
stinging malice presses the fight, challenging us to 
the contest by attacking the truth. " If God does 
not will the existence of evil," it says, " why does 
He not forbid it ? It matters not whether He was the 
author and creator of evil, or only suffers his fairest 
works to be misapplied to sin when He could prevent 
it. If He, being omnipotent, \\'illed that all men live 
innocent lives, neither would the pure \\i\\ be de- 
based nor the hand pollute itself -with any act. There- 
fore the Lord established the evil which He looks on 
from on high and permits and sanctions, as much as 
if He himself created it ; for He has himself created 
that which, though He could shut it out. He does not 



non abolet longoque sinit grassarier usu." 
damna aures, Pater alme, meas, et claude meatus 650 
obbrutescentis capitis, ne pervia tales 
concipiat flexura sonos ; est perdere tanti 
extinctum vitae officium de parte cerebri, 
inmunem modo sese anima expertemque nefandi 
auditus felix stolida conservet ab aure. 655 

quis ferat haec iniecta Deo convicia, qui se 
divinis meminit praecellere nobilitatum 
muneribus ? multa ut taceam, vel sola be- 

res probat esse Deum, vetiti quod amore 

excitat e tumulis homines regnique per aevum 660 
participes iubet esse sui. qui si foret auctor 
servatorque mali, nunquam post damna salutis 
peccantumque obitus redivivam ferre medellam 
vellet et amissos ope restaurare secunda. 
labi hominis, servare Dei est : meritis perit iste, 665 
ille abolet pereuntis opus meritumque resolvit, 
argumentum ingens Dominum, qui talia praestet, 
nolle malum nee, quod post abluit, ante probare. 
" invitone aliquis potis est peccare Tonante, 
cui facile est in corde hominis conponere sensus 670 
quos libeat, fibrasque omnes animare pudicis 
pulsibus et totum venis infundere honestum? " 
nescis, stulte, tuae vim libertatis ab ipso 
formatore datam ? nescis ab origine quanta 
sit concessa tibi famulo super orbe potestas, 675 
et super ingenio proprio laxaeque solute 



abolish, but allows to riot unchecked." Destroy my 
ears, bountiful Father, stop up the passages of my 
head and let it lose its sense, ere their windings take 
up such sounds and give them access ; to annihilate 
the function of Ufe in a part of my brain and lose it 
utterly is not too high a price, if only my soul, thanks 
to a dulled ear, has the blessedness to keep itself 
immune and free from hearing impiety. What man, 
remembering that it is the divine grace that has given 
him the rank in which he surpasses all other creatures, 
would bear to have such insults hurled against God ?^ 
To pass over many things, God is proved good even 
by the mere fact that though men were cut off by 
their love of what was forbidden He raises them from 
the grave and bids them be partakers of his kingdom 
for ever. If He were the author and maintainer of 
evil. He would never, after the loss of salvation and 
the death of sinners, have willed to bring healing 
and restoration and by his gracious help to reinstate 
the lost. To fall is of man, to save is of God. Man 
dies according to his desert ; God wipes out the work 
of dying man and annuls his desert, a strong proof 
that the Lord who bestows such blessings does not 
will evil nor sanction beforehand that which He after- 
wards washes away. " Can one sin without the 
consent of the Thunderer, for whom it were easy to 
dispose whatsoever feelings He pleased in the heart 
of man, to endow all his tissues with pure impulses 
and pour nought but goodness into his veins?" 
Knowest thou not, thou fool, the strength of thine 
own Uberty, given thee by the creator himself? 
Knowest thou not the greatness of the power that 
was granted to thee from the beginning over a world 
at thy service, and over thine own purpose and the 



iure voluntatis, liceat cui velle sequique 

quod placitum, nuUique animum subiungere 

vinclo ? 
an cum te dominum cunctis, quaecumque 

praeficeret mundumque tuis servire iuberet 680 

imperiis, cumque arva, polum, mare, flumina, 

dederet, arbitrium de te tibi credere avarus 
nollet ut indigno libertatemque negaret? 
quale erat electus magni rex orbis ut esset 
non rex ipse sui, curto foedatus honore? 685 

nam quis honos domini est, cuius mens libera non 

una sed inpositae servit sententia legi ? 
quae laus porro hominis vel quod meritum, sine 

inter utramque viam discrimine vivere iuste ? 
non fit sponte bonus, cui non est prompta potestas 690 
velle aliud flexosque animi convertere sensus. 
atqui nee bonus est nee conlaudabilis ille 
qui non sponte bonus, quoniam probitate coacta 
gloria nulla venit sordetque ingloria virtus ; 
nee tamen est virtus, ni deteriora refutans 695 

emicet et meliore viam petat indole rectam. 
" vade," ait ipse parens opifexque et conditor 

" vade, homo, adflatu nostri praenobilis oris, 
insubiecte, potens, rerum arbiter, arbiter idem 
et iudex mentis propriae, mihi subdere soli 700 

sponte tua, quo sit subiectio et ipsa soluto 
libera iudicio. non cogo nee exigo per vim, 
sed moneo iniustum fugias iustumque sequaris. 



uncontrolled discretion of a free will, so that it may "| 
will and follow out its own determination, subjecting ' 
the spirit to no bondage ? When God made thee 
lord over all his creation and bade the world be the 
servant of thy commands, when He gave up to thee 
land and sky and sea and streams and winds, would 
He grudge and refuse to entrust thee with control 
over thyself because He deemed thee unworthy of it, 
and deny thee freedom ? WTiat sort of honour had 
it been to have been chosen ruler of the great world 
but not ruler of oneself, bearing the slur of a pri\i- 
lege that was abridged ? For what is the honour of 
a lord whose mind is not free, but whose will obeys 
a law imposed on it, and cannot vary ? And what 
credit or merit belongs to man in hving righteously 
if he has not to make a definite choice between two 
paths ? A man does not become good of his own will ~^ 
if he has not the power in his discretion to will some- I 
thing else and to divert his sentiments into an oppo- 
site course. But he who is not good of his own will 
is not good nor praiseworthy,, since no honour comes 
of uprightness that is forced, and virtue without 
honour has no worth ; and after all it is not virtue 
unless it spring forth in the act of rejecting the worse 
and seek the right path because its nature is better. 
" Go," says Adam's very father and maker and 
creator, " go, O man, who art raised in rank above 
all by the breath of my mouth, not made subject 
but possessed of power, ruler of the world, ruler also 
and judge of thine own purpose, to me only be thou 
subject of thine own will, so that thy very subjection 
may be freely made with unfettered judgment. I 
force thee not nor constrain thee, but I counsel thee 
to shun unrighteousness and follow after righteous- 



lux comes est iusti, comes est mors horrida iniqui. 
elige rem vitae ; tua virtus temet in aevum 
provehat, aeternum damnet tua culpa vicissim, 
praestet et alterutram permissa licentia sortem." 
hac pietate vagus et tanto munere abundans, 
transit propositum fas et letalia prudens 
eligit atque volens, magis utile dum sibi credit 
quod prohibente Deo persuasit callidus anguis. 
persuasit certe hortatu, non inpulit acri 
imperio ; hoc mulier rea criminis exprobranti 
respondit Domino, suadelis se malefabris 
inlectam suasisse viro; vir et ipse libenter 
consensit. licuitne hortantem spemere recti 
libertate animi? licuit; namque et Deus ante 
suaserat ut meliora volens sequeretur ; at ille 
spernens consilium saevo plus credidit hosti. 
nunc inter vitae Dominum mortisque magistrum 
consistit medius ; vocat hinc Deus, inde tyrannus 
ambiguum atque suis se motibus alternantem. 
accipe gestarum monumenta insignia rerum, 
praelusit quibus historia spectabile signum. 
Loth fugiens Sodomis ardentibus omnia secum 
pignera cara domus properabat sede relicta 
nubibus urbicremis subducere, sulpure cum iam 
nimboso ignitus coelum subtexeret aer 
flagrantemque diem crepitans incenderet imber. 
angelus hanc hospes legem praescripserat ollis 
emissus virtute Dei sub imagine dupla, 

" C/. Genesis xlx, 1. 


ness. Light is the companion of righteousness, death 
the dread companion of >\Tong-doing. Choose the way 
of life ; thy goodness must promote thee to eternity, 
thy sin, again, for ever condemn thee ; Uberty is in 
thy hands to assure either fate." Thus allowed by 
God's goodness to go his owti way, and amply en- 
riched with this great gift, he transgresses the right 
that is set before him and knowingly, of his own will, 
chooses the things of death, believing that to be 
more profitable to him which the cunning serpent has 
persuaded him to do against the will of God. The 
serpent did indeed persuade by urging, not drive with 
sharp behest ; the woman's answer to God's reproach, 
when she stood accused of the sin, was that she was 
won over by crafty persuasions and then urged the 
man ; and the man also readily agreed. Might he 
not have rejected her urging, in the freedom of an 
upright soul? He might, for God too had before 
urged him to follow after the better of his own •will ; 
but he, rejecting the counsel, trusted more in his 
cruel enemy. Now he stands between the Lord of 
life and the teacher of death. On the one hand God 
calls him, on the other the devil, the while he wavers 
and goes from side to side. 

Listen now to a famous record of events whereby 
history has given beforehand a notable sign. Lot was 
seeking in hurried flight from blazing Sodom, where 
he had abandoned his home, to save himself and all 
the dear ones of his house from the storm that was 
consuming the city \nih fire. Already the air was 
glowing red and veiling the sky with sulphurous 
clouds, and a rattling rain was kindling the day into 
flames. An angel visitor sent forth by the power of 
God in twofold shape " had laid down for them this 



omnis ut e portis iret domus atque in apertum 
dirigeret constans oculos, nee pone reflexo 
lumine regnantes per moenia cerneret ignes : 
" nemo, memor Sodomae, quae mundi forma 

cremandi est, 735 

ut semel e muris gressum promoverit, ore 
post tergum verso respectet funera rerum." 
Loth monitis sapiens obtemperat, at levis uxor 
mobilitate animi torsit muliebre retrorsus 
ingenium Sodomisque suis revocabilis haesit. 740 
traxerat Eva virum dirae ad consortia culpae : 
haec peccans sibi sola perit ; solidata metallo 
diriguit fragili saxumque liquabile facta 
stat mulier, sicut steterat prius, omnia servans 
caute sigillati longum salis effigiata, 745 

et decus et cultum frontemque oculosque co- 

et flexam in tergum faciem paulumque relata 
menta retro, antiquae monumenta rigentia noxae. 
liquitur ilia quidem salsis sudoribus uda, 
sed nulla ex fluido plenae dispendia formae 750 

sentit deliquio, quantumque armenta saporum 
attenuant saxum, tantum lambentibus umor 
sufficit attritamque cutem per damna reformat, 
hoc meruit titulo peccatrix femina sisti, 
infirmum fluidumque animum per lubrica solvens 755 
consilia et fragilis iussa ad caelestia. voti 

" On Jebel Usdum (" the mountain of Sodom "), a range 
of rock-salt cliffs at the S.W. end of the Dead Sea, large 
fragments sometimes detach themselves and appear as 
"pillars of salt " (S. R. Driver in Hastings' Dictionary of the 
Bible). Josephus (Jewish Antiquities, I, 204) says that the 
pillar into which Lot's wife was turned still existed in his 
day and that he had seen it. According to C. Geikie (The 



rule, that all the household go forth from the gates 
and keep their eyes unswervingly on the open 
country, nor turn their gaze back to see the fires that 
were lording it over the city: " Let no one think 
of Sodom, which is the prefiguration of the burning 
of the world, and, when once he has stepped from the 
walls, turn his face back to look upon the death of 
all things." Lot, being wise, obeyed the warning, 
but his light-minded •wife with unsteady purpose, Uke 
a woman, turned her thoughts backwards, and hear- 
ing the call of her dear Sodom, cleaved to it. Eve had 
drawn her husband into partnership in an accursed 
fault, but this woman by her sin brought death on 
herself alone. She stiffened in a solid mass of wast- 
ing stone ; turned into soluble rock she stands there 
a woman still, as she had stood before, preserving 
every detail modelled in a pillar of salt that has long 
borne her image, her graceful form, her dress, brow 
and eyes and hair, her face turned to look behind, 
the chin carried slightly backwards, a stiff memorial 
of an ancient sin.* Her wet figure dissolves, indeed, 
in salt sweats, but she suffers no loss to her full form 
from the waste that drips away ; and however much 
the cattle wear away the savoury rock, there is 
always as much moisture for them to lick, and she 
grows again the skin that is rubbed off and lost. 
Such is the memorial statue earned by a woman who 
sinned, for she let her weak, unstable resolution 
melt away in sHppery courses and had no firm con- 
stancy to keep heaven's commands. Lot on the 

Holy Land and the Bible) one pillar still bears among the 
Arabs the name of " Lot's Wife." Prudentius may have 
derived details of his description from a picture which he had 
seen in some church. 

VOL. I. K 


propositum contra non conmutabile servat 

Loth ingressus iter, nee moenia respicit alto 

in cinerem conlapsa rogo, populumque perustum 

et mores populi, tabularia, iura forumque, 760 

balnea, propolas, meritoria, templa, theatra, 

et circum cum plebe sua, madidasque popinas. 

quidquid agunt homines Sodomorum incendia iustis 

ignibus involvunt et Christo iudice damnant. 

haec fugisse semel satis est ; non respicit ultra 765 

Loth noster, fragilis sed coniunx respicit, et quae 

fugerat inverso mutabilis ore revisit, 

atque inter patrias perstat durata favillas. 

en tibi signatum libertatis documentum, 

quo voluit nos scire Deus, quodcumque sequen- 

dum est, 770 

sub nostra dicione situm, passimque remissum 
alterutram calcare viam. duo cedere iussi 
de Sodomis ; alter se proripit, altera mussat, 
ille gradum celerat fugiens, contra ilia renutat. 
liber utrique animus, sed dispar utrique voluntas. 775 
dividit hue illuc rapiens sua quemque libido, 
talem multa sacris speciem notat orbita libris. 
aspice Ruth gentis Moabitidis et simul Orphan, 
ilia socrum Noomin ^ fido comitatur amore, 
deserit haec. atquin thalamis et lege iugali 780 
exutae Hebraeisque toris sacrisque vacantes 
iure fruebantur proprio. sed pristinus Orphae 
fanorum ritus praeputia barbara suasit 
malle et semiferi stirpem nutrire Goliae ; 
Ruth dum per stipulas agresti amburitur aestu, 785 

^ The spelling -oo- is found as a variant in the Septuagint. 

" In Jewish legend Orpah appears as the mother of Goliath 
(Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, IV, 31). 



other hand kept his purpose unchanged once he 
started on his way, and cast no thought back to the 
city which had fallen in a heap of ashes like a lofty 
funeral-pyre, or to its consumed people and its 
people's life, its archives, courts and market-place, 
its baths, its hucksters' stalls, its brothels and 
temples and theatres, its circus and the masses that 
thronged it, and its drunken cookshops. The flames 
of Sodom enwrap all the concerns of men in righteous 
fire and condemn them under the judgment of Christ. 
To have escaped all this once is enough; our good 
Lot casts no glance back again; but his frail wife 
does glance back ; in her inconstancy she turns her 
face and looks again on what she had fled from, and 
now she stands petrified amid the embers of her 
homeland. In that figure you have a proof of free- 
dom, whereby God \\'illed that we should know that 
the course we are to take lies in our own discretion 
and we are everywhere free to tread either path. 
Two were bidden to leave Sodom ; one hastens away, 
the other falters ; one quickens his step in flight, 
the other refuses. Each has freedom of will, but 
each ■«'ills differently. Men are carried separate ways 
each by his own free choice. Many a line in the 
Scriptures records examples of this. Consider Ruth, 
of the race of Moab, together with Orpah. The one 
accompanies Naomi her mother-in-law \\-ith faithful 
affection, the other leaves her. Now they were no 
longer bound by their marriages and the law of 
wedlock, they were rid of Hebrew bridal and rite, 
and independent ; but the old religion of her temples 
urged Orpah to prefer an uncircumcised barbarian 
and to raise a monstrous scion in Goliath,** while 
Ruth, burning under the heat in the field as she went 



fulcra Boos ^ meruit, castoque adscita cubili 
Christigenam fecunda domum, Davitica regna, 
edidit atque Deo mortales miscuit ortus. 
saepe egomet memini fratres geminos ad hiulcum 
pervenisse simul bivium nutante iuventa 790 

et dubitasse diu bifido sub tramite, quodnam 
esset iter melius ; cum dextrum spinea silva 
sentibus artaret scopulosaque semita longe 
duceret aerium clivoso margine callem, 
at laevum nemus umbriferum per amoena virecta 795 
ditibus ornaret pomis et lene iacentem 
planities daret ampla viam : squalentibus unum 
contentum spinis reptasse per ardua saxa, 
porro alium campo sese indulsisse sinistro ; 
ilium sideribus caput inmiscere propinquis, 800 

hunc in caenosas subito cecidisse paludes. 
omnibus una subest natura, sed exitus omnes 
non unus peragit placitorum segrege forma, 
baud secus ac si olim per sudum lactea forte 
lapsa columbarum nubes descendat in arvum 805 
ruris frugiferi, laqueos ubi callidus auceps 
praetendit lentoque inlevit vimina visco, 
sparsit et insidias siliquis vel farre doloso, 
inliciunt alias fallentia grana, gulamque 
innectunt avidam tortae retinacula saetae, 810 

molle vel inplicitas gluten circumligat alas, 
ast aUae, quas nullus amor prolectat edendi, 
gressibus innocuis sterili spatiantur in herba 
suspectamque cavent oculos convertere ad escam ; 
mox ubi iam caelo revolandum, pars petit 

aethram 815 

^ -00- in the Septimgint and Vulgate. Cf. Matthew i, 5. 

« Rutb iv, 17; Matthew i, 6-16. 


over the stubble, proved herself worthy of the hand 
of Boaz, and being taken in pure wedlock she con- 
ceived and gave birth to the family of Christ, David's 
royal line, and numbered God along with her mortal 
descendants." I myself remember when often two 
brothers together in youthful indecision have come 
where the road split in two and hesitated long at the 
forks, wondering which path was the better ; for on 
the right a prickly forest of briers narrowed the 
track and the rocky footpath traced its mounting 
course far up along a precipitous ridge, while on the 
left shady trees along fair greensward beautified 
the scene with rich fruits and a wide plain offered a 
gently descending highway. One was content with 
the rough thorns and crept along the lofty rocks ; 
the other, again, gave his heart to the plain on the 
left. The one set his head in close proximity to the 
stars, but the other fell suddenly into miry bogs. 
There is in all the same nature, but the same end 
does not complete the course of all, because their 
decisions take different shapes. Just as at times it 
chances that a milk-white cloud of doves floats down 
to the ground through the clear air in a rich country- 
side, where a cunning fowler has laid snares and 
smeared twigs with clinging bird-lime and sprinkled 
peas or treacherous meal to bait his traps, and some 
are tempted by the deceptive grains and their 
greedy throats are caught and held by the twisted 
hair-cord, or the soft glue grips their wings and binds 
them fast about them, but others, not enticed by 
love of eating, strut about unharmed on the bare grass 
and take care not to turn their eyes towards the 
suspicious food; and then, when it is time to fly 
back into the sky, some make for the starry heavens 



libera sideream plaudens super aera pinnis, 
pars captiva iacet laceris et saucia plumis 
pugnat humi et volucres nequiquam suspicit 

auras ; 
sic animas caeli de fontibus unicoloras 
infundit natura solo, sed suavibus istic 820 

devinctae inlecebris retinentur, et aethera paucae 
conscendunt reduces, multas viscosus inescat 
pastus et ad superas percurrere non sinit auras, 
praescius inde Pater liventia Tartara plumbo 
incendit liquido piceasque bitumine fossas 825 

infernalis aquae furvo subfodit Averno, 
et Phlegethonteo sub gurgite sanxit edaces 
perpetuis scelerum poenis inolescere vermes, 
norat enim flatu ex proprio vegetamen inesse 
corporibus nostris animamque ex ore perenni 830 
formatam non posse mori, non posse vicissim 
pollutam vitiis rursum ad convexa reverti 
mersandam penitus puteo ferventis abyssi. 
vermibus et flanunis et discruciatibus aevum 
inmortale dedit, senio ne poena periret 835 

non pereunte anima. carpunt tormenta fovent- 

materiam sine fine datam, mors deserit ipsa 
aeternos gemitus et flentes vivere cogit. 
at diversa procul regionibus in paradisi 
praemia constituit maiestas gnara futuri 840 

spiritibus puris et ab omni labe remotis, 
quique Gomorraeas non respexere ruinas, 
aversis sed rite oculis post terga tenebras 
liquerunt miseri properanda pericula mundi. 
ac primum facili referuntur ad astra volatu, 845 



at liberty, clapping their wings far up in the air, while 
others lie prisoners, hurt and struggling on the 
ground with their feathers torn, and looking up in 
vain towards the flying breezes : so nature from 
their source in heaven pours on earth souls of one 
complexion, but they are caught and held there by 
agreeable temptations and few ascend again to 
heaven, while many are entrapped by clinging food 
which does not let them fly to the breezes above. 
Therefore the Father, having foreknowledge, lit the 
fires of Tartarus dark-hued with molten lead, and in 
gloomy Avemus dug channels for the pitchy bitu- 
minous streams of hell, and down in Phlegethon's gulf 
ordained that gnawing worms indwell for the ever- 
lasting punishment of sin. For He knew that the 
life in our bodies came from his breath, and that the 
soul that had its being from the everlasting Hps could 
not die, nor again could it return once more to heaven 
when it was polluted with sin, but must be plunged 
in the depths of the burning pit. To worms and 
flames and tortures He gave deathless endurance, so 
that the punishment should not die away through 
length of years while the soul never died. The 
torments keep alive, while they consume it, the stuff 
that is given them without limit of time. Death 
itself turns its back on the everlasting lamentations 
and compels the weeping \-ictims to live. But far 
away in the regions of paradise God's provident 
majesty has set rewards for spirits that are pure and 
free from every stain, that have not looked back on 
the ruins of Gomorrah, but with eyes faithfully 
turned away have left behind them the darkness that 
portends the WTCtched world's peril soon to come. 
And first they pass again with easy flight to the 



unde fluens anima structum vegetaverat Adam, 
nam quia naturam tenuem declivia vitae 
pondera non reprimunt nee tardat ferrea conpes, 
concretum celeri relegens secat aera lapsu 
exsuperatque polum fervens seintilla remensum, 850 
careereos exosa situs, quibus haeserat exul. 
tunc postliminio redeuntem suscipit alto 
cana Fides gremio tenerisque oblectat alumnam 
deliciis, multos post divorsoria carnis 
ore renarrantem querulo, quos passa, labores. 855 
illic purpureo latus exporrecta cubili 
floribus aeternis spirantes libat odores 
ambrosiumque bibit roseo de stramine rorem, 
ditibus et longo fumantibus intervallo 
fluminaque et totos caeli sitientibus imbres 860 

inplorata negat digitum insertare palato, 
flammarumque apices umenti extinguere tactu. 
nee mirere locis longe distantibus inter 
damnatas iustasque animas concurrere visus 
conspicuos meritasque vices per magna notari 865 
intervalla, polus medio quae dividit orbe. 
errat, quisque animas nostrorum fine oculorum 
aestimat, involvit vitreo quos lucida palla 
obice, quis speculum concreta coagula texunt 
inpediuntque vagas obducto umore fenestras. 870 
numne animarum oculis denso vegetamine guttae 
volvuntur teretes aut palpebralibus extra 
horrescunt saetis, ciliove umbrante teguntur? 
illis viva acies, nee pupula parva, sed ignis 

» C/. Luke xvi, 19-26. * I.e. the site of hell. 



heavens from whence flowed the soul that quickened 
Adam when he was created ; for because the down- 
bearing weights of life do not check its subtle nature, 
nor iron fetter impede it, the glowing spark cuts its 
way again through the thick air with rapid course and 
leaves the skies behind it in its return, hating the 
place of its imprisonment, where it had been con- 
fined far from its home. Then as the exiled soul 
returns to be reinstated in her heavenly country, 
hoary Faith receives her in her bosom and comforts 
her nursUng with tender fondness while with plain- 
tive voice she tells over the many toils she has en- 
dured since she took up her lodging in the flesh. 
There, stretched on a shining couch, she enjovs the 
scents that breathe from unfading flowers and drinks 
the ambrosial dew from her bed of roses, and refuses 
the prayer of the rich men burning afar off and thirst- 
ing for rivers of water and all the rain of heaven, 
to put her finger in their mouths and quench the 
tips of the flames with its moist touch. « Nor should 
you wonder that, although the damned souls and the 
just are far separated, they can see each other clearly 
and observe the fate that each has earned, across 
the great spaces that Ue between heaven and the 
centre of the earth. ^ He errs who judges souls bv 
the limit of our eyes, which are ^Tapped in a trans- 
parent tunic that makes a glassy barrier, and in 
which a thickened humour forms a mirror and with 
its coating of fluid impedes the freedom of their 
outlook. From souls' eyes do round drops roll in 
gushing showers ? Do they have rough, bristly eve- 
lashes outside them, or are they shaded with a cover- 
ing lid? Theirs is a lively \'ision; they have not a 
small pupil but a fire that can pierce the mists and 



traiector nebulae vasti et penetrator operti 

est. 875 

nil ferrugineum solidumve tuentibus obstat, 
nocturnae cedunt nebulae, nigrantia cedunt 
nubila, praetenti cedit teres area mundi. 
nee tantum aerios visu transmittit hiatus 
spiritus, oppositos sed transit lumine montes, 880 
oceani fines atque ultima littora Thylae 
transadigit volucresque oculos in Tartara mittit. 
nostris nempe omnes pereunt sub nocte colores 
visibus et caeco delentur tempore formae. 
numquid et exuti membris ac viscere perdunt 885 
agnitione notas rerum, vel gressibus errant ? 
una animas semper facies habet et color unus 
aeris, ut cuique est meritorum summa, sinistri 
seu dextri : alternas nee conunutabile tempus 
convertit variatque vices ; longum atque perenne 

est 890 

quidquid id est, unus volvit sua saecula cursus. 
expertus dubitas animas percurrere visu 
abdita corporeis oculis, ciun saepe quietis 
rore soporatis cernat mens viva remotos 
distantesque locos, aciem per rura, per astra, 895 
per maria intendens ? nee enim se segregat ipsa 
ante obitum vivis ex artubus aut fugit exul 
sanguinis et carnis penetralia seque medullis 
exuit abductamve abigit de pectore vitam, 
viscerea sed sede manens speculatur acutis 900 

omnia luminibus et, qua circumtuUt acrem 
naturae levis intuitum nullo obice rerum 
disclusa, ante oculos subiectum prospicit orbem 

« Cf. Matthew xxv, 31-il. 


penetrate the waste of darkness. Nothing obscure 
or material blocks their gaze ; the mists of night 
give way to them, as do black clouds and the whole 
round extent of the universe that spreads before 
them. And not only does the spirit ^\ith its Wsion 
cross the open spaces of the air ; its sight passes 
through mountains that stand in its way, it pierces 
to the limits of ocean and the shores of Thule at the 
end of the earth, and sends its quick glance into hell. 
For our sight, to be sure, all colours are lost in the 
night and all shapes destroyed in the hours of dark- 
ness. But do those too, who have put off the body 
and the flesh, lose any of their power to recognise 
the features of things, or go astray in their steps ? 
Ever the same in look, the same in hue, is the atmo- 
sphere about souls, on the right or on the left " accord- 
ing to the sum of each one's deserts ; no change of 
time brings alternation or variance in their lot ; 
whatever it is, it lasts for long, it lasts for ever ; the 
same course runs through ages all its own. Do you 
doubt that souls traverse >vith their \'ision things 
hidden from bodily eyes, when you know by experi- 
ence how many a time, when we are sunk in un- 
consciousness by the dew of sleep, the Uvely mind 
sees places far away and far sundered, directing its 
eyes over fields and stars and seas ? For it does not 
separate itself before death from the li\lng members, 
nor banish itself from its home \nthin the flesh and 
blood, withdrawing from our inmost parts and rea\ing 
the hfe from our breast ; but while remaining in its 
fleshly abode it explores all things >nth its keen sight, 
and turning hither and thither the sharp gaze of its 
subtle nature, not shut off by any barrier of material 
things, it Wews the world that lies before its eyes, and 



atque orbis sub mole situm sordens elementum. 
obiacet interea tellus nee visibus obstat. 905 

quin si stelligerum vultus convertat ad axem, 
nil intercurrens obtutibus inpedit ignem 
pervigilis animae, quamvis denseta graventur 
nubila et opposite nigrescat vellere caelum, 
sic arcana videt tacitis cooperta futuris 910 

corporeus lohannis adhuc nee came solutus, 
munere sed somni paulisper earne sequestra 
liber ad intuitum sensuque oculisque peragrans 
ordine dispositos Venturis solibus annos. 
procinctum videt angelicum iam iamque crem- 

andi 915 

orbis in excidium, tristes ^ et percipit aure 
mugitus gravium mundi sub fine tubarum. 
haec ille ante obitum membrorum carcere 

secedente anima, non discedente videbat. 
nonne magis flatus sine corpore cuncta notabit 920 
corporis involucris tumulo frigente repostis ? 
certa fides rapidos subterna nocte caminos, 
qui pollutam animam per saecula longa perenni 
igne coquunt, oculis longum per inane remoti 
pauperis expositos ; nee setius aurea dona 925 

iustorum dirimente chao rutilasque coronas 
eminus ostendi poenarum carcere mersis. 
hinc paradisicolae post ulcera dira beato 
proditur infelix ululans in peste reatus 
spiritus inque vicem meritorum mutua cernunt. 930 

^ So both the oldest M8S. Others have raucos. 

» Cf. Luke xvi, 19-26. 


even the dirty earth down in the world's great mass. 
And all the while the earth stands in its way, yet 
does not impede its \'ision. Indeed should it turn 
its face towards the starry heavens, nothing coming 
in the way of its eyes checks the flame of the sleepless 
soul, even though thick-gathered clouds lower and 
the sky wear a blanket of darkness before it. It is 
thus that John sees mysteries hidden in the silence 
of the future while he is yet in the body and not 
dehvered from the flesh but, by the grace of sleep 
through the medium of the flesh, free for a while to 
observe, and viiih discerning eyes travels through 
time in the settled order of years to come. He sees 
the angels arrayed in readiness for the destruction 
of a world doomed presently to be consumed with 
fire, and hears the dread bray of the stem trumpets at 
the last day. These things he saw before his death, 
when still shut up in the prison-house of the body, 
while his soul separated itself but did not depart. 
Shall not the spirit all the more without the body 
observe all things, when its bodily wrappings are 
laid in the cold grave ? It is a sure belief that the 
consuming furnaces in the nether darkness, that 
torment the defiled soul through long ages \nth 
unending fire, are before the poor man's eyes though 
he is far off over the length of space, and in the same 
way the flashing crowns that are the golden prizes 
of the righteous, though the gulf separate them, are 
displayed from afar to the souls that are plunged in 
the prison-house of punishment. So it is that to the 
dweller in paradise, blessed now, his fearful sores all 
ended, is revesrted the unhappy spirit wailing under 
the bane of guilt, and they each see the reward of 
the other's deserts,<» 



o Dee cunctiparens, animae dator, o Dee 
cuius ab ore Deus subsistit Spiritus unus, 
te moderante regor, te vitam principe duco, 
iudice te pallens trepido, te iudice eodem 
spem capio fore quidquid ago veniabile apud te, 935 
quamlibet indignum venia faciamque loquarque. 
confiteor ; dimitte libens et parce fatenti. 
omne malum merui, sed tu bonus arbiter aufer 
quod merui ; meliora favens largire precanti 
dona animae quandoque meae, cum corporis 

huius 940 

liquerit hospitium nervis, cute, sanguine, felle, 
ossibus exstructum, corrupta quod incola luxu 
heu nimium conplexa fovet, cum flebilis hora 
clauserit hos orbes, et conclamata iacebit 
materies oculisque suis mens nuda fruetur, 945 

ne cernat truculentum aliquem de gente latronum 
inmitem, rabidum, vultuque et voce minaci 
terribilem, qui me maculosum aspergine morum 
in praeceps, ut praedo, trahat nigrisque ruentem 
inmergat specubud, cuncta exacturus ad usque 950 
quadrantem minimum damnosae debita vitae. 
multa in thensauris Patris est habitatio, Christe, 
disparibus discreta locis. non posco beata 
in regione domum; sint illic casta \'irorimi 
agmina, pulvereum quae dedignantia censum 955 
divitias petiere tuas, sit flore perenni 
Candida virginitas animum castrata rfecisum. 
at mihi Tartarei satis est si nulla ministri 
occurrat facies, avidae nee flamma gehennae 


O God, the Father of all and giver of the soul, O 
God Christ, from whose mouth proceeds the Spirit, 
God in unity, by thy governance I am directed, under 
thy leadership do I live my life, under thy judgment 
I pale and tremble, under thy judgment too I 
take hope that what I do will find pardon \\-ith 
Thee, however unworthy of pardon be my act or 
speech. I confess my sin ; be Thou ready to forgive 
me and spare the confessor. I have deserv'ed all ill, 
but do Thou, who art a kindly judge, take away my 
desert and in gracious answer to my soul's prayer 
bestow better gifts one day upon it, when it shall 
have left behind this bodily lodging built up of 
sinews, skin, blood, gall, bones, to which its indweller, 
corrupted with indulgence, clings, alas I too fondly, 
and when the doleful hour shall have closed these 
eyes and the material body shall lie dead and the 
bared soul have the use of its natural vision, that what 
it sees be not one of the race of robbers, fierce, ruth- 
less, raging, >\"ith frightful, threatening look and 
voice, that shall drag me down headlong, as a brigand 
his captive, spotted as I am with the stains of my 
conduct, and send me plunging into black caverns, 
there to exact from me to the last farthing all that 
is due for my wasteful life. Many dwellings are 
there in the Father's treasure-city, O Christ, and set 
apart on sites that differ. I do not ask for a home 
in the region of the blessed. There let the com- 
panies of pure men dwell who have disdained earthy 
possessions and sought after thy riches, and the 
unspotted virgins whose flower has never faded and 
who have cut off the appetites of the heart. Enough 
for me if the features of no minister of hell meet me, 
and this soul of mine be not plunged in the depths of 



devoret hanc animam mersam fornacibus imis. 960 

esto, cavernoso, quia sic pro labe necesse est 

corporea, tristis me sorbeat ignis Averno : 

saltern mitificos incendia lenta vapores 

exhalent aestuque calor languente tepescat ; 

lux inmensa alios et tempora vincta coronis 965 

glorificent: me poena levis clementer adurat. 



the furnaces and devoured by the flames of greedy 
Gehenna. And let it be that the grim fire swallow 
me in the chasm of Avemus because for my bodily 
stain it must needs be so ; yet at least may the flames 
be gentle and the heat of their breath be mild, may 
their fury die down and their burning moderate. 
Let others enjoy the glory of infinite light and crown- 
encircled brows : as for me, may my punishment be 
light, my torment merciful. 




Senex fidelis prima credendi via 

Abram, beati seminis serus pater, 

adiecta cuius nomen auxit syllaba, 

Abram parenti dictus, Abraham Deo, 

senile pignus qui dicavit victimae, 5 

docens ad aram cum litare quis velit, 

quod dulce cordi, quod pium, quod unicum 

Deo libenter ofFerendum credito, 

pugnare nosmet cum profanis gentibus 

suasit, suumque suasor exemplum dedit, 10 

nee ante prolem coniugalem gignere 

Deo placentem, matre Virtute editam, 

quam strage multa bellicosus spiritus 

portenta cordis servientis vicerit. 

victum feroces forte reges ceperant 15 

Loth inmorantem criminosis urbibus 

Sodomae et Gomorrae, quas fovebat advena 

pollens honore patruelis gloriae. 

Abram sinistris excitatjis nuntiis 

audit propinquum sorte captum bellica 20 

servire duris barbarorum vincuUs : 

armat trecentos terque senos vernulas, 

pergant ut hostis terga euntis caedere, 

" Genesis xvii, 5. 
*" Genesis xiv. 



..>J«i>^^ PREFACE 

The faithful patriarch who first showed the way of 
beUe\ing, Abram, late in life the father of a blessed 
progeny, whose name was lengthened by a syllable 
(for he was called Abram by his father, but Abraham " 
by God), he who offered in sacrifice the child of his 
old age, teaching us thereby that when a man would 
make an accept£.ble offering at the altar he must 
•willingly and with faith in God offer to Him that which 
is dear to his heart and the object of his love, that 
of which he has but one, has counselled us to war 
against the ungodly tribes, himself giving lis an 
example of his own counsel, and shown that we beget 
no child of wedlock pleasing to God, and whose 
mother is Virtue, till the spirit, battling valorously, 
has overcome ^\'ith great slaughter the monsters in 
the enslaved heart. It chanced that insolent kings 
overcame Lot and took him captive * when he was 
dwelling in the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, 
to which he clung and where, though but an immi- 
grant, he was a great man because of the honour 
paid to his uncle's fame. Called by a bearer of the 
evil tidings, Abram learns that his kinsman, by the 
fortune of war, has been taken and put into sub- 
jection to hard bondage under the barbarians. He 
arms three hundred and eighteen servants born in 
his house, to pursue the enemy and slay them on their 



■:^.^i±A^. dives ac triumphus nv.. 

captis tenebaiit inpeditum copiis. 25 

quin ipse ferrum stringit et planus Deo 

reges superbos mole praedarum graves 

pellit fugatos, sauciatos proterit, 

frangit catenas et rapinam liberat : 

aurum, puellas, parvulos, monilia, 30 

greges ^ equarum, vasa, vestem, buculas. 

Loth ipse ruptis expeditus nexibus 

attrita bacis colla liber erigit. 

Abram triumphi dissipator hostici 

redit recepta prole fratris inclytus 35 

ne quam fidelis sanguinis prosapiam 

vis pessimorum possideret principum. 

adhuc recentem caede de tanta virum 

donat sacerdos ferculis caelestibus, 

Dei sacerdos, rex et idem praepotens, 40 

origo cuius fonte inenarrabili 

secreta nullum prodit auctorem sui,^ 

Melchisedech, qua stirpe, quis maioribus 

ignotus, uni cognitus tantum Deo. 

mox et triformis angelorum trinitas 45 

senis revisit hospitis mapalia, 

et iam vietam Sarra in alvum fertilis 

munus iuventae mater exsanguis stupet, 

herede gaudens, et cachinni paenitens. 

haec ad figuram praenotata est line a, 50 

quam nostra recto vita resculpat pede : 

vigilandum in armis pectorum fidelium, 

^ Bergman, following the 6th-century MS., prints oves, 
equarum vasa, interpreting vasa as == ornamenta. Bardy con- 
jectures aquarum vasa. 

* Lines 41 and 42 are not found in A (6th century), though 
they are in B {1th century), and Bergman brackets them as 



march, encumbered as they are and slowed down by 

the rich treasure of the great spoils their glorious 

victory has won. He himself, too, draws the sword 

and, being filled with the spirit of God, drives off in 

flight those proud kings, weighed down \\-ith their 

booty, or cuts them down and tramples them under 

foot. He breaks the bonds and looses the plunder — 

gold, maidens, little children, strings of jewels, herds , i.-^ 

of mares, vessels, raiment, cattle. Lot himself, set^'^'AC*^^ 

at hberty by the bursting of his chains, straightens 

his neck in freedom, where the hnks had chafed. 

Abram, having scattered his enemies' triumph, 

returns in the glory of recovering his brother's son 

so that ■\\dcked kings should not keep a descendant 

of the faithful stock under their violent power. To 

the warrior fresh from this great slaughter the priest 

presents heavenly food, the priest of God, himself 

also a mighty king, whose mysterious birth from a 

source that cannot be named has no ostensible 

author — Melchisedec, whose Une and forefathers no 

man knows, for they are known to God alone." Then 

also a triad of angels in the form of three persons 

\isits the old man's cabin, and he entertains them ; 

and Sara, conceiving, is amazed to find the function . 

of youtFTcome to her aged womb, becoming a mother S ^ 

when she has passed her time, and she rejoices in an 

heir, and repents of her laughter.* (Zi^^^ picture has i^ 

been drawn beforehand to be a mod^r for our hfe I' 

to trace out again with true measure, showing that/tf 

we must watch in the armour of faithful hearts, and 

• Gfenesis xiv, 18; Hebrews vii, 1-3. 

* Genesis xviii, 1-15. 

interpolated. They correspond to line 60 in the parallel between 
Melchisedec and Christ. 



omnemque nostri portionem corporis, 

quae capta foedae serviat libidini, 

domi coactis liberandam viribus ; 55 

nos esse large vemularum divites, 

si quid trecenti bis novenis additis 

possint figura noverimus mystica. 

mox ipse Christus, qui sacerdos verus est, 

parente inenarrabili atque uno satus,i 60 

cibum beatis ofFerens victoribus 

parvam pudici cordis intrabit casam, 

monstrans honorem Trinitatis hospitae. 

animam deinde Spiritus conplexibus 

pie maritam, prolis expertem diu, 65 

faciet perenni fertilem de semine, 

tunc sera dotem possidens puerpera 

herede digno Patris inplebit domum. 

Christe, graves hominum semper miserate labores, 
qui patria virtute cluis propriaque, Sed una, 
(unum namque Deurri colimus de nomine utroque, 
non tamen et solum, quia tu Deus ex Patre, 

dissere, rex noster, quo milite pellere culpas 5 

mens armata queat nostri de pectoris antro, 
exoritur quotiens turbatis sensibus intus 
seditio atque animam morborum rixa fatigat, 
quod tunc praesidium pro libertate tuenda 
quaeve acies furiis inter praecordia mixtis 10 

obsistat meHore manu. nee enim, bonft ductor, 

^ A and B have parente natus alto et inefifabili, which 
is metrically faulty. The line in the text too is abnormal. 



that every part of our body which is in caplmty and 
enslaved to foul desire must be set free by gathering 
our forces at home ; that we are abundantly rich in 
servants born in the house if we know through the 
mystic symbol what is the power of three hundred 
Avith eighteen more." Then Christ himself, who is 
the true priest,* born of a Father unutterable and 
one, bringing food for the blessed Wctors, will enter 
the humble abode of the pure heart and give it 
the privilege of entertaining the Trinity ; and then 
the Spirit, embracing in holy marriage the soul that 
has long been childless, ■will make her fertile by the 
seed eternal, and the dowered bride will become a 
mother late in life and give the Father's household 
a worthy heir. 

Christ, who hast ever had compassion on the heavy 
distresses of men, who art glorious in renown for thy 
Father's power and thine own — but one power, for 
it is one God that we worship under the two names ; 
yet not merely one, since Thou, O Christ, art God 
born of the Father — say, our King, with what fighting 
force the soul is furnished and enabled to expel the , 
sins from ^vithin our breast; when there is c^sor der ^ >^U^ 
among our thoughts and r ebellion arises ^vithin us, y - jV\ C 
when the strife of our evil passions vexes the spirit, ' ^ ^^"^ 
say what help there is then to guard her liberty, 
what array with superior force >\ithstands the fiend- 
ish raging in our heart. For, O kind leader, Thou 

" The Greek letters TIH represent 318; but they are also 
a symbol of Christ crucified, T representing the cross, while 
IH are the first two letters of the name Jesus ('IHS0T2). 

» Cf. Psahn 110, 4. 



magnarum Virtutum inopes nervisque carentes 
Christicolas Vitiis populantibus exposuisti. 
ipse salutiferas obsesso in corpore turmas 
depugnare iubes, ipse excellentibus armas -^'^ 15 
artibus ingenium, quibus ad ludibria cordis 
oppugnanda potens tibi dimicet et tibi vincat. 
vincendi praesens ratio est, si comminus ipsas 
Virtutum facies et conluctantia contra 
viribus infestis liceat portenta notare. 20 

prima petit campum dubia sub sorte duelli 
pugnatura Fides, agresti turbida cultu, 
nuda umeros, intonsa comas, exerta lacertos; 
namque repentinus laudis calor ad nova fervens 
proelia nee telis meminit nee tegmine cingi, 25 

pectore sed Mens valido membrisque retectis 
provocat insani frangenda pericula belli, 
ecce lacessentem conlatis viribus audet 
prima ferire Fidem Veterum Cultura Deorum. 
ilia hostile caput phalerataque tempora vittis 30 

altior insurgens labefactat, et ora cruore 
de pecudum satiata solo adplicat et pede calcat 
elisos in morte oculos, animamque malignam 
fracta intercepti commercia gutturis artant, 
difficilemque obitum suspiria longa fatigant. 35 

exultat victrix legio, quam mille coactam 
martyribus regina Fides animarat in hostem. 
nunc fortes socios parta pro laude coronat 
floribus ardentique iubet vestirier ostro. 


hast not exposed the followers of Christ to the 
ravages of the Sins without the help of great Virtues 
or devoid of strength. Thou thyself dost cofismarid"' 
relieving squadrons ttJ" fight the battle in the body 
close beset, Thou thyself dost arm the spirit with 
pre-eminent kinds of skill whereby it can be strong 
to attack the wantonness in the heart and fight for 
Thee, conquer for Thee. The way of victory is 
before our eyes if we m^j^fcrnark at close quarters the 
very features of the ( Virtues ^ and the monsters that 
close ^nth them in deadly struggle. 

Faith first takes the field to face the doubtful 
chances of battle, her rough dress disordered, her 
shoulders bare, her hair untrimmed, her arms ex- 
posed ; for the sudden glow of ambition, burning 
to enter fresh contests, takes no thought to gird on 
arms or armour, but trusting in a stout heart and un- 
protected limbs challenges the hazards of furious 
warfare, meaning to break them down. Lo, first 
WIorship-of-the-Old-Gods ventures to match her 
strength against Faith'sthallenge and strike at her. 
But she, rising higher, smites her foe's head do^^Ti, 
with its fillet-decked brows, lays in the dust that 
mouth that was sated with the blood of beasts, and 
tramples the eyes under foot, squeezing them out in 
death. The throat is choked and the scant breath 
confined by the stopping of its passage, and long 
gasps make a hard and agonising death. Leaps for 
joy the conquering host which Faith, their queen, 
had assembled from a thousand martyrs and em- 
boldened to face the foe ; and now she c^o^^'ns her 
brave comrades with flowers proportioned to the 
glory they have won, and bids them clothe themselves 
in flaming purple. 



exim gramineo in campo concurrere prompta 40 
virgo Pudicitia speciosis fulget in armis, 
quam patrias succincta faces Sodomita Libido 
adgreditur piceamque ardenti sulpure pinum 
ingerit in faciem pudibundaque lumina flammis 
adpetit, et taetro temptat subfundere fumo. 45 

sed dextram furiae flagrantis et ignea dirae 
tela lupae saxo ferit inperterrita virgo, 
r . excussasque sacro taedas depellit ab ore. 
^ir^=^T ^, tunc exarmatae iugulum meretricis adacto 
p>t.i«*- transfigit gladio ; calidos vomit ilia vapores : 50 

sanguine concretes caenoso ; spiritus inde 
sordidus exhalans vicinas polluit auras. 
•' hoc habet," exclamat victrix regina, " supremus 
hie tibi finis erit, semper prostrata iacebis, 
nee iam mortiferas audebis spargere flammas 55 
in famulos famulasve Dei, quibus intima casti 
vena animi sola fervet de lampade Christi. 
tene, o vexatrix hominum, potuisse resumptis 
viribus extincti capitis recalescere flatu, 
Assyrium postquam thalamum cervix Olofernis 60 
caesa cupidineo madefactum sanguine lavit, 
gemmantemque torum moechi ducis aspera 

sprevit et incestos conpescuit ense furores, 
famosum mulier referens ex hoste tropaeum 
non trepidante manu vindex mea caelitus 

audax ! 65 

at fortasse parum fortis matrona sub umbra 
legis adhuc pugnans, dum tempora nostra figurat, 
vera quibus virtus terrena in corpora fluxit 
grande per infirmos caput excisura ministros. 
numquid et intactae post partum virginis ullum 70 



Next to step forth ready to engage on the grassy 
field is the maiden Chastity, shining in beauteous 
armour. On her falls Lust the Sodomite, girt with 
the fire-brands of her countrj', and thrusts into her 
face a torch of pinewood blazing murkily with pitch 
and burning sulphur, attacking her modest eyes with 
the flames and seeking to cover them with the foul 
smoke. But the maiden undismayed smites with a 
stone the inflamed fiend's hand and the cursed 
whore's burning weapon, striking the brand away 
from her holy face. Then with a sword-thrust she 
pierces the disarmed harlot's throat, and she spews 
out hot fumes with clots of foul blood, and the 
unclean breath defiles the air near by. "A hit! " 
cries the triumphant princess. " This shall be thy 
last end ; for ever shalt thou lie prostrate ; no longer 
shalt thou dare to cast thy deadly flames against 
God's man-servants or his maid-servants ; the inmost 
fibre of their pure heart is kindled only from the 
torch of Christ. Shalt thou, O troubler of mankind, 
have been able to resume thy strength and grow 
warm again with the breath of life that was extin- 
guished in thee, after the severed head of Holofernes 
soaked his Assyrian chamber with his lustful blood, 
and the unbending Judith, spuming the lecherous 
captain's jewelled couch, checked his unclean passion 
with the sword, and woman as she was, won a 
famous victory over the foe with no trembling hand, 
maintaining my cause with boldness heaven- 
inspired ? <* But perhaps a woman still fighting under 
the shade of the law had not force enough, though 
in so doing she prefigured our times, in which the 
real power has passed into earthly bodies to sever the 

" Judith xiii. 



fas tibi iam superest? post partum virginis, ex 

corporis humani naturam pristina origo 
deseruit carnemque novam vis ardua sevit, 
atque innupta Deum concepit femina Christum, 
mortali de matre hominem, sed cum Patre numen. 
inde omnis iam diva caro est quae concipit ilium 
naturamque Dei consortis foedere sumit. 
Verbum quippe caro factum non destitit esse 
quod fuerat, Verbum, dum carnis glutinat usum, 
maiestate quidem non degenerante per usum 
carnis, sed miseros. ad nobiliora trahente. 
ille manet quod serhper erat, quod non erat esse 
incipiens : nos quod fuimus iam non sumus, aucti 
nascendo in melius : mihi contulit et sibi mansit. 
nee Deus ex nostris minuit sua, sed sua nostris 
dum tribuit nosmet dona ad caelestia vexit. 
dona haec sunt, quod victa iaces, lutulenta Libido, 
nee mea post Mariam potis es perfringere iura. 
tu princeps ad mortis iter, tu ianua leti, 
corpora conmaculans animas in Tartara mergis. 
abde caput tristi, iam frigida pestis, abysso ; 
occide, prostibulum ; manes pete, claudere 

inque tenebrosum noctis detrudere fundum. 
te volvant subter vada flammea, te vada nigra 
sulpureusque rotet per stagna sonantia vertex, 
nee iam Christicolas, furiarum maxima, temptes, 


great head by the hands of feeble agents ? Well, 
since a virgin immaculate has borne a child, hast thou 
any claim remaining — since a virgin bore a child, 
since the day when man's body lost its primeval 
nature, and power from on high created a new flesh, 
and a woman unwedded conceived the God Christ, 
who is man in virtue of his mortal mother but God 
along with the Father? From that day all flesh is 
divine, since it conceives Him and takes on the nature 
of God by a covenant of partnership. For the Word 
made flesh has not ceased to be what it was before, 
that is, the Word, by attaching to itself the experi- 
ence of the flesh ; its majesty is not lowered by the 
experience of the flesh, but_ ra ises ^Tctched men t o 
noble r thing s. He . emains what He ever was, thou gh 
b eginning to be wha t He was not ; but we are no 
longer what we were, now that we are raised at our 
birth into a better condition. He has given to me, 
yet still remained for Himself; neither has God 
lessened what is his by taking on what is ours, but 
by giving his nature to ours He has Ufted us to the 
height of his heavenly gifts. It is his gift that thou 
hest conquered, filthy Lust, and canst not, since 
Mary, \iolate my authority. It is thou that leadest 
to the way of death, that art the gate of destruction, 
that dost stain our bodies and plunge our souls in 
hell. Bury thy head in the grim pit, thou bane now 
powerless. Death to thee, harlot, down with thee 
to the dead ; be thou shut up in hell and thrust into 
the dark depths of night ! May the rivers below roll 
thee on their waves of fire, the black rivers and the 
eddying sulphur whirl thee along their roaring 
streams. No more, thou chief of fiends, tempt thou 
the worshippers of Christ ; let their cleansed bodies 



ut purgata suo serventur corpora regi." 

dixerat haec et laeta Libidinis interfectae 

morte Pudicitia gladium lordanis in undis 

abluit infectum, sanies cui rore rubenti 100 

haeserat et nitidum macularat vulnere ferrum. 

expiat ergo aciem fluviali docta lavacro 

victricem victrix, abolens baptismate labem 

hostilis iuguli ; nee iam contenta piatum 

condere vaginae gladium, ne tecta rubigo 105 

occupet ablutum scabrosa sorde nitorem, 

catholico in templo divini fontis ad aram 

consecrat, aeterna splendens ubi luce coruscet. 

ecce modesta gravi stabat Patientia vultu 
per medias inmota acies variosque tumultus, 110 

vulneraque et rigidis vitalia perv'ia pilis 
spectabat defixa oculos et lenta manebat. 
banc procul Ira tumens, spumanti fervida rictu, 
sanguinea intorquens subfuso lumina felle, 
ut belli exsortem teloque et voce lacessit, 115 

inpatiensque morae conto petit, increpat ore, 
hirsutas quatiens galeato in vertice cristas. 
, " en tibi Martis," ait, " spectatrix libera nostri, 
excipe mortiferum securo pectore ferrum, 
nee doleas, quia turpe tibi gemuisse dolorem." 120 
sic ait, et stridens sequitur convicia pinus 
per teneros crispata notos, et certa sub ipsum 
defertur stomachum rectoque inliditur ictu, 
sed resilit duro loricae excussa repulsu. 
provida nam Virtus conserto adamante trilicem 125 

" Throughout these lines Prudentius has been playing on 
the idea of baptism as a purification. God is the " spring " 
whose water washes awaj' sin. 



be kept pure for their own king." So spake Chastity, 
and rejoicing in the death of Lust, whom she had 
slain, washed her stained sword in the waters of 
Jordan ; for a red dew of gore had clung to it and 
befouled the bright steel from the wound. So the 
eonqueress deftly cleanses the conquering blade by 
bathing it in the stream, dipping it in to wash away 
the stain of blood that came from her foe's throat ; 
and, no longer content to sheathe the purified sword, 
lest rust unseen engross the clean, bright surface 
with its dirty scurf, she dedicates it by the altar of 
the dhine spring <* in a CathoHc temple, there to 
shine and flash with unfading Ught. 

Lo, mild Long-SufFering was standing with staid 
countenance, unmoved amid the battle and its con- 
fused uproar, -with fixed gaze watching the wounds 
inflicted as the stiff" javelins pierced the \'ital parts 
while she waited inactive. On her from a distance 
swelhng Wrath, sho^ving her teeth with rage and 
foaming at the mouth, darts her eyes, all shot with 
blood and gall, and challenges her ^%-ith weapon and 
with speech for taking no part in the fight ; irked by 
her hanging back, she hurls a pike at her and assails 
her -with abuse, tossing the shaggy crests on her 
helmeted head. " Here's for thee," she cries, " that 
lookest on at our warfare and takest no side. Receive 
the death-stroke in thy calm breast, and betray no 
pain, since it is dishonour in thine eyes to utter a cry 
of pain," So speaks she, and the pine-shaft, launched 
through the j-ielding airs, goes hissing after her 
angry words. Sure-aimed, it hits the very stomach 
and smites hard with full force, but is struck off" by 
the resistance of a hard cuirass, and rebounds ; for 
the Virtue had prr- "K-- • . —'' -«"*"" ", 



induerat thoraca umeris squamosaque ferri 

texta per intortos conmiserat undique nervos. 

inde quieta manet Patientia, fortis ad omnes 

telorum nimbos et non penetrabile durans. 

nee mota est iaculo monstri sine more furentis, 130 

opperiens propriis perituram viribus Iram. 

scilicet indomitos postquam stomachando lacertos 

barbara bellatrix inpenderat ft iaculorum 

nube supervacuam lassaverat inrita dextram, 

cum ventosa levi cecidissent tela volatu, 135 

iactibus et vacuis hastilia fracta iacerent, 

vertitur ad capulum manus inproba et ense 

conisa in plagam dextra sublimis ab aure 
erigitur mediumque ferit librata cerebrum, 
aerea sed cocto cassis formata metallo 140 

tinnitum percussa refert aciemque retundit 
dura resultantem, frangit quoque vena rebellis 
inlisum chalybem, dum cedere nescia cassos 
excipit adsultus ferienti et tuta resistit. 
Ira, ubi truncati mucronis fragmina vidit 145 

et procul in partes ensem crepuisse minutas, 
iam capulum retinente manu sine pondere ferri, 
mentis inops ebur infelix decorisque pudendi 
perfida signa abicit monumentaque tristia longe 
spernit, et ad proprium succenditur efFera letum. 150 
missile de multis, quae frustra sparserat, unum 
pulvere de campi perversos sumit in usus : 
'■''^i]iggp.»^J^^|iumi lignum ac se cuspide versa 



three-ply corselet of mail impenetrable, the fabric of 
iron scales joined every way with leathers interlaced. 
So Lon g-Suffe ring abides undisturbed, bravely facing 
all the hail of weapons and keeping a front that none 
can pierce. Standing unmoved by the javehn while 
the monster that shot it rages in ungovemed frenzy, 
she waits for Wrath to perish by reason of her own 
violence. And when the barbarous warrior had 
spent vriih fuming the strength of her unconquerable 
arms and by showering javelins tired out her right 
hand with no success till it was useless, since her 
missiles, ha\-ing no force in their flight, fell ineffec- 
tual, and the shafts, all idly cast, lay broken on the 
ground, her ruthless hand turned to her sword-hilt. 
Putting all its strength into a blow ^vith the flashing 
blade, it rises high above her right ear and then, 
launching its stroke, smites her foe's head in the 
very middle. But the helmet of forged bronze only 
resounds under the blow ; the blade rebounds with 
blunted edge, so hard it is ; the unyielding metal 
breaks the steel that smites it, unflinchingly receives 
the vain attack, and stands up to the striker without 
hurt. Seeing her blade shivered in pieces and how 
the sword has scattered away in rattling fragments 
while her hand still grasps the hilt after it has 
lost its weight of steel. Wrath is beside herself and 
casts away the luckless ivory that has been false 
to her, the token of honour turned to shame. 
Afar she flings that unwelcome reminder, and wild 
passion fires her to slay herself. One of the many 
missiles that she had scattered without effect she 
picks up from the dust of the field, for an un- 
natural use. The smooth shaft she fixes in the 
ground and with the upturned point stabs herself, 


VOL. I. L 


-- ^perfodit et calido pulmonem vulnere transit, 
quam super adsistens Patientia " vicimus," 

*' exultans Vitium solita virtute, sine ullo 
sanguinis ac vitae discrimine ;*'lex habet istud 
nostra genus belli, furias omnemque malorum 
militiam et rabidas tolerando extinguere vires, 
ipsa sibi est hostis vesania seque furendo 
interimit moriturque suis Ira ignea telis." 
haec effata secat medias inpune cohortes 
egregio comitata viro ; nam proximus lob 
haeserat invictae dura inter bella magistrae, 
fronte severus adhuc et multo funere anhelus, ] 
sed iam clausa truci subridens ulcera vultu, 
perque cicatricum numerum sudata recensens 
millia pugnarum, sua praemia, dedecus hostis. 
ilium diva iubet tandem requiescere ab omni 
armorum strepitu, captis et perdita quaeque ] 

multipHcare opibus, nee iam peritura referre. 
ipsa globos legionum et concurrentia rumpit 
agmina, vulniferos gradiens intacta per imbres. 
omnibus una comes Virtutibus adsociatur, 
auxiliumque suum fortis Patientia miscet. ] 

nulla anceps luctamen init Virtute sine ista 
Virtus, nam vidua est quam non Patientia firmat. 

forte per efFusas inflata Superbia turmas 
effreni volitabat equo, quem pelle leonis 
texerat et validos villis oneraverat armos, ] 

quo se fulta iubis iactantius ilia ferinis 






piercing her breast with a burning wound. Standing 
over her, Long-SufFering cries : " We have overcome 
a proud Vice with our wonted virtue, Avith no danger 
to blood or life. This is the kind of warfare that is 
our rule, to wipe out the fiends of passion and all 
their army of e\'ils and their savage strength by 
bearing their attack. Fury is its own enemy ; fiery 
Wrath in her frenzy slays herself and dies by her own 
weapons." So saying, she makes her way unharmed 
through the midst of the battalions, escorted by a 
noble man ; for Job had clung close to the side of 
his invincible mistress throughout the hard battle, 
hitherto grave of look and panting from the slaughter 
of many a foe, but now with a smile on his stem face 
as he thought of his healed sores and, by the number 
of his scars, recounted his thousands of hard- won 
fights, his O'vm glory and his foes' dishonour. Him 
the heavenly one bids rest at last from all the din 
of arms and \\'ith the riches of his spoils make mani- 
fold restitution for all his losses, carrying home 
things that shall no more be lost. She herself presses 
through the massed legions and clashing columns, 
stepping unhurt amid the deadly showers. To all 
the Virtues Long-Suffering alone joins herself in 
company and bravely adds her help ; no Virtue enters 
on the hazard of the struggle >A-ithout this Virtue's 
aid, for she has nought to lean upon, whose strength 
Long-SuiFering does not uphold. 

It chanced that Pride was galloping ab out, all 
puffed up, through the widespread squadrons, on a 
mettled steed which she had covered with a hon's 
skin, laying the weight of shaggy hair over its strong 
shoulders, so that being seated on the wild beast's 
mane she might make a more imposing figure as she 




inferret tumido despectans agmina fastu. 
turritum tortis caput adcumularat in altum 
crinibus, extructos augeret ut addita cirros 
/ congeries celsumque apicem frons ardua ferret. 185 
^ carbasea ex umeris summo collecta coibat 
palla sinu teretem nectens a pectore nodum. 
a cervice fluens tenui velamine limbus 
concipit infestas textis turgentibus auras, 
nee minus instabili sonipes feritate superbit, 190 

inpatiens madidis frenarier ora lupatis. 
hue illuc frendens obvertit terga, negata 
libertate fugae, pressisque tumescit habenis. 
hoc sese ostentans habitu ventosa virago 
inter utramque aciem supereminet et phaleratum 195 
circumflectit equum, vultuque et voce minatur 
adversum spectans cuneum, quem milite rare 
et paupertinis ad bella coegerat armis 
Mens Humilis, regina quidem, sed egens alieni 
auxilii proprio nee sat confisa paratu, 200 

Spem sibi collegam coniunxerat, edita cuius 
et suspensa ab humo est opulentia divite regno, 
ergo Humilem postquam male sana Superbia 

vilibus instructam nullo ostentamine telis 
aspicit, in vocem dictis se efFundit amaris : 205 

" non pudet, o miseri, plebeio milite claros 
adtemptare duces ferroque lacessere gentem 
insignem titulis, veteres cui bellica virtus 
divitias peperit, laetos et gramine colles 
imperio calcare dedit ? nunc advena nudus 210 

nititur antiques, si fas est, pellere reges ! 
en qui nostra suis in praedam cedere dextris 


C \<' 


looked do^vn on the columns with swelling disdain. 
High on her head she had piled a tower of h ^-aiflpd 
hair, laying on a mass to heighten her ^'^^^g «"d 
make a l ofty p e ak over her haughty brows- A cam- 
bric mantle hanging from her shoulders was gathered 
high on her breast and made a rounded knot on her 
bosom, and from her neck there flowed a filmy 
streamer that billowed as it caught the opposing 
breeze. Her charger also, too spirited to stand still, 
carries itself proudly, ill brooking to have its mouth 
curbed vsith the bit it is champing. This way and 
that it backs in its rage, since it is denied freedom 
to run off and is angered at the pressure of the reins. 
In such style does this boastful she-warrior display 
herself, towering over both armies as she circles 
round on her bedecked steed and with menacing 
look and speech eyes the force that confronts her; 
a force but small in number and scantily armed, that 
Lowliness had gathered for the war — a princess she, 
indeed, but standing in need of others' help and 
wanting trust in her own pro\ision. She had made 
Hope her fellow, whose rich estate is on high and 
Ufted up from the earth in a wealthy realm. There- 
fore Pride in her madness, after looking on Lowliness 
and her poor equipment of paltrj' arms that made no 
display, broke forth in speech with bitter words : 
" Are ye not ashamed, ye poor creatures, to 
challenge famous captains with troops of low degree, 
to take the sword against a race of proud distinction, 
whose valour in war has long won wealth for it,- and 
given it power to impose its rule on hills where rich 
grass grows ? And now — can it be ? — a newcomer 
with nothing is trj'ing to drive out the ancient 
princes ! Behold the warriors who will have our 



sceptra volunt ! en qui nostras sulcare novales 
arvaque capta manu popularier hospite aratro 
contendunt, duros et pellere Marte colonos ! 215 

nempe, o ridiculum vulgus, natalibus horis 
totum hominem et calidos a matre amplectimur 

vimque potestatum per membra recentis alumni 
spargimus, et rudibus dominamur in ossibus 

quis locus in nostra tunc vobis sede dabatur, 220 

congenitis cum regna simul dicionibus aequo 
robore crescebant ? nati nam luce sub una 
et domus et domini paribus adolevimus annis, 
ex quo plasma novum de consaepto paradisi 
limite progrediens amplum transfugit in orbem, 225 
pellitosque habitus sumpsit venerabilis Adam, 
nudus adhuc, ni nostra foret praecepta secutus. 
quisnam iste ignotis hostis nunc surgit ab oris 
inportunus, iners, infelix, degener, amens, 
qui sibi tam serum ius vindicat, hactenus exul ? 230 
nimiruin vacuae credentur frivola famae, 
quae miseros optare iubet quandoque futuri 
spem fortasse boni, lenta ut solacia mollem 
desidiam pigro rerum meditamine palpent. 
quidni illos spes palpet iners, quos pulvere in Isto 235 
tirones Bellona truci non excitat aere, 
inbellesque animos virtus tepefacta resolvit ? 
anne Pudicitiae gelidum iecur utile bello est ? 
an tenerum Pietatis opus sudatur in armis ? 
quam pudet, o Mavors et virtus conscia, talem 240 



sceptres become the spoil of their right hands, who 
seek to drive the furrow over lands that fve have 
broken up, to ravage with a strangers' plough the 
soil our hands have taken, and with war expel its 
hardy cultivators ! Absurd mob ! Why, in the hour 
of birth we embrace the whole man, his frame still 
warm from his mother, and extend the strength of 
our power through the body of the new-bom child, 
we are lords and masters all within the tender 
bones. WTiat place in our abode was granted to 
you when the grovring strength of our realm was 
matched by that of the sovereignty that was bom 
with it ? For both the house and its masters were 
bom on the same day and we grew side by side 
as the years passed, since the time when the first 
man, going forth from the hedged bounds of Eden, 
went over into the vride world, and the venerable 
Adam clothed himself with skins, whereas he had 
been naked still, had he not followed our instruc- 
tion. WTiat foe is this that from shores unknown 
arises now to trouble us, a spiritless, luckless, base, 
insensate foe, who claims his rights so late, after 
banishment till now ? Doubtless there will be trust 
in the silly dreams of the vain talk which bids poor 
wretches choose the hope of a good that may some 
day come to pass, so that its feckless consolations 
flatter their unmanly sloth with idle expectation! 
Ay, a nerveless hope it must be that flatters these raw 
troops, for in the dust of battle here the bray of the 
War-Queen's trumpet does not rouse them, and their 
courage is not hot enough to brace their unwarlike 
spirit. Is Chastity's cold stomach of any use in war, 
or Brotherly Love's soft work done by stress of battle ? 
WTiat shame it is, O god of war, O valorous heart of 



contra stare aciem ferroque lacessere nugas, 
et cum virgineis dextram conferre choreis, 
lustitia est ubi semper egens et pauper Honestas, 
arida Sobrietas, albo leiunia vultu, 
sanguine vix tenui Pudor interfusus, aperta 245 

Simplicitas et ad omne patens sine tegmine vulnus, 
et prostrata in humum nee libera iudice sese * 
Mens Humilis, quam degenerem trepidatio 

prodit ! 
faxo ego, sub pedibus stipularum more teratur 
invalida ista manus ; neque enim perfringere 

duris 250 

dignamur gladiis, algenti et sanguine ferrum 
inbuere fragilique viros foedare triumpho." 
talia vociferans rapidum calcaribus urget 
cornipedem laxisque volat temeraria frenis, 
hostem humilem cupiens inpulsu umbonis equini 255 
stemere deiectamque supercalcare ruinam. 
sed cadit in foveam praeceps, quam callida forte 
Fraus interciso subfoderat aequore furtim, 
P'raus detestandis Vitiorum e pestibus una, 
fallendi versuta opifex, quae praescia belli 260 

planitiem scrobibus vitiaverat insidiosis 
hostili de parte latens, ut fossa ruentes 
exciperet cuneos atque agmina mersa voraret ; 
ac ne fallacem puteum deprendere posset 
cauta acies, virgis adopertas texerat oras, 265 

et superinposito simularat caespite campum. 
at regina humilis, quamvis ignara, manebat 
ulteriore loco nee adhuc ad Fraudis opertum 
venerat aut foveae calcarat furta malignae. 
hunc eques ilia dolum, dum fertur praepete cursu, 270 
incidit, et caecum subito patefecit liiatum. 



mine, to face such an army as this, to take the sword 
against such trumpery, and engage with troupes of 
girls, among them beggarly Righteousness and 
poverty-stricken Honesty, dried-up Soberness and 
white-faced Fasting, Purity vrith. scarce a tinge of 
blood to colour her cheeks, unarmed Simplicity 
exposed with no protection to every wound, and 
Lowliness humbling herself to the ground, with no 
freedom even in her own eves, and whose agitation 
betrays her ignoble spirit ! "^I shall have this feeble 
band trodden down hke stubble ; for we disdain to 
shatter them with our stark swords, to dip our blades 
in their frigid blood, and disgrace our warriors mth a 
triumph that needs no manhood." Thus exclaiming 
she spurs on her smft charger and flies wildly along 
with loose rein, eager to upset her lowly enemy with 
the shock of her horse-hide shield and trample on her 
fallen body. But she falls headlong into a pit which as 
it chanced cunning Deceit had privily dug across the 
field — Deceit, one of those cursed plagues, the Vices, 
a crafty worker of trickery, who foreseeing the war 
had secretly broken the level earth with treacherous 
trenches on the enemy's side, that the ditch might 
catch their regiments in their onrush and the columns 
plunge into it and be swallowed up ; and lest the 
army should be watchful and discover the pit that 
was set to deceive it, she had concealed the edges 
by covering them with branches and laying turf over 
them to simulate ground. But the lowly princess, 
though knowing nought of this, was still on the 
further side, and had not yet come up to Deceit's 
trap nor set foot on the craftily hidden pit that meant 
her ill. Into the snare has fallen that rider as she 
galloped in swift career, and suddenly revealed the 



prona ruentis equi cervice involvitur, ac sub 

pectoris inpressu fracta inter crura rotatur. 

at Virtus placidi moderaminis, ut levitatem 

prospicit obtritam monstri sub morte iacentis, 275 

intendit gressum mediocriter, os quoque parce 

erigit et comi moderatur gaudia vultu. 

cunctanti Spes fida comes succurrit et offert 

ultorem gladium laudisque inspirat amorera. 

ilia cruentatam correptis jgjinibu§, hostem 280 

protrahit et faciem laeva revocante supinat, 

tunc caput orantis flexa cervice resectum ' 

eripit ac madido suspendit colla capillo. 

extinctum Vitiuiji sancto Spes increpat ore : 

" Desine grande loqui; frangit Deus omne 

superbum, 285 

magna cadunt, inflata crepant, tumefacta pre- 

disce supercilium deponere, disce cavere 
ante pedes foveam, quisquis sublime minaris. 
pervulgata viget nostri sententia Christi 
scandere celsa humiles et ad ima redire feroces. 290 
vidimus horrendum membris animisque Goliam 
invalida cecidisse manu : puerilis in ilium 
dextera fundali torsit stridore lapillum 
traiectamque cave penetravit vulnere frontem. 
ille minax, rigidus, iactans, truculentus, amarus, 295 
dum tumet indomitum, dum formidabile fervet, 
dum sese ostentat, clipeo dum territat auras, 
expertus pueri quid possint ludicra parvi 
subcubuit teneris bellator turbidus annis. 
me tunc ille puer virtutis pube secutus 300 



secret gulf. Thro's^Ti forward, she clings around the 
horse's neck in its tumble ; the weight of its breast 
comes down on her and she is tossed about among its 
broken legs. But the quiet, self-controlled Virtue, 
seeing the vain monster crushed and lying at the 
point of death, bends her steps calmly towards her, 
raising her face a little and tempering her joy with 
a look of kindUness. As she hesitates, her faithful 
comrade Hope comes to her side, holds out to her 
the sword of vengeance, and breathes into her the 
love of glorj'. Grasping her blood-stained enemy by 
'^ihehair, she drags her out and with her left hand 
turns her face upwards ; then, though she begs for 
mercy, bends the neck, severs the head, lifts it and 
holds it up by the dripping locks. Hope ^\•ith her 
pure lips upbraids the dead Vice: " An end to thy 
big talk ! God breaks down all arrogance. Greatness 
falls ; the bubble bursts ; swollen pride is flattened. 
Learn to put away disdain, learn to beware of the pit 
before your feet, all ye that are ovenveening. Well 
known and true is the saying of our Christ that the 
lowly ascend to high places and the proud are reduced 
to low degree. We have seen how Goliath, terrible 
as he was in body and in valour, fell by a weak hand ; 
it was but a boy's right hand that shot at him a little 
stone whizzing from his sling, and pierced a hole deep 
in his forehead. He, for all his stark menace, his 
boasting and his fierce and bitter speech, in the 
midst of his ungoverned pride and fearful raging, as 
he vaunted himself, affrighting the heavens \rith his 
shield, found what a Uttle child's toy can do, and 
wild man of war as he was, fell to a lad of tender 
years. That day the lad, in the ripening of his 
valour, followed me ; as his spirit came to its bloom 



florentes animos sursum in mea regna tetendit, 
servatur quia certa mihi domus omnipotentis 
sub pedibus Domini, meque ad sublime vocantera 
victores caesa culparum labe capessunt." 
dixit, et auratis praestringens aera pinnis 305 

in caelum se virgo rapit. mirantur euntem 
Virtutes tolluntque animos in vota volentes 
ire simul, ni bella duces terrena retardent. 
confligunt Vitiis seque ad sua praemia servant. 

venerat occiduis mundi de finibus hostis 310 

Luxuria, extinctae iamdudum prodiga famae, 
delibuta comas, oculis vaga, languida voce, 
perdita deliciis, vitae cui causa voluptas, 
elumbem mollire animum, petulanter amoenas 
haurire inlecebras et fractos solvere sensus. 315 

ac tunc pervigilem ructabat marcida cenam, 
sub lucem quia forte iacens ad fercula raucos 
audierat lituos, atque inde tepentia linquens 
pocula lapsanti per vina et balsama gressu 
ebria calcatis ad bellum floribus ibat. 320 

non tamen ilia pedes, sed curru invecta venusto 
saucia mirantum capiebat corda virorum. 
o nova pugnandi species ! non ales harundo 
nervum pulsa fugit, nee stridula lancea torto 
emicat amento, frameam nee dextra minatur ; 325 
sed violas lasciva iacit foliisque rosarum 
dimicat et calathos inimica per agmina fundit. 
inde eblanditis Virtutibus halitus inlex 

" Why western ? Luxury is usually spoken of as coming 
from the east. Many tentative explanations have been 
offered, one of them (with which Mr. T. R. Glover agrees) 
that Rome is meant. 

" Wine was often mixed with warm water. 



he lifted it up towards my kingdom ; because for me 
is kept a sure home at the feet of the all-powerful 
Lord, and when I call men on high the \-ictors who 
have cut down the sins that stain them reach after 
me." With these words, striking the air ^nth her 
gilded wings, the maid flies off to heaven. The 
Virtues marvel at her as she goes and lift up their 
hearts in longing, desiring to go with her, did not 
earthly warfare detain them in command. They join 
in conflict with the \ ices and reserve themselves for 
their own due reward. 

From the western " bounds of the world had come 
their foe Indulgence, one that had long lost her 
repute and so cared not to save it; her locks per- 
fumed, her eyes siiifting, her voice listless, abandoned 
in voluptuousness she lived only for pleasure, to 
make her spirit soft and nerveless, in wantonness 
to drain alluring delights, to enfeeble and undo her 
understanding. Even then she was languidly belch- 
ing after a night-long feast ; for as it chanced da.vm 
was coming in and she was still reclining by the 
table when she heard the hoarse trumpets, and she 
^ left the lukewarm * cups, her foot sUpping as she 
stepped through pools of Avine and perfumes, and 
trampling on the flowers, and was making her 
drunken way to the war. Yet it was not on foot, 
but riding in a beauteous chariot that she struck and 
won the hearts of the admiring fighters. Strange 
warfare ! No swift arrow is sped in flight from her 
bowstring, no lash-thrown lance shoots forth hissing, 
her hand wields no menacing sword ; but as if in 
sport she throws violets and fights \\ith rose-leaves, 
scattering baskets of flowers over her adversaries. So 
the Virtues are won over by her charms ; the alluring 



inspirat tenerum labefacta per ossa venenum, 

et male dulcis odor domat ora et pectora et arma 330 

ferratosque toros obliso robore mulcet. 

deiciunt animos ceu victi et spicula ponunt, 

turpiter, heu, dextris languentibus obstupefacti 

dum currum varia gemniarum luce micantem 

mirantur, dum bratteolis crepitantia lora 335 

et solido ex auro pretiosi ponderis axem 

defixis inhiant obtutibus et radiorum 

argento albentem seriem, quam summa rotarum 

flexura electri pallentis continet orbe. 

et iam cuncta acies in deditionis amorem 340 

sponte sua versis transibat perfida signis 

Luxuriae servire volens dominaeque fluentis 

iura pati et laxa ganearum lege teneri. 

ingemuit tam triste nefas fortissima Virtus 

Sobrietas, dextro socios decedere cornu 345 

invictamque manum quondam sine caede perire. 

vexillum sublime crucis, quod in agmine primo 

dux bona praetulerat, defixa cuspide sistit, 

instauratque levem dictis mordacibus alam 

exstimulans animos nunc probris, nunc prece 

mixta : 350 

" quis furor insanas agitat caligine mentes ? 
quo ruitis ? cui colla datis ? quae vincula tandem, 
pro pudor, armigeris amor est perferre lacertis, 
lilia luteolis interlucentia sertis 

et ferrugineo vernantes flore coronas ? 355 

his placet adsuetas bello iam tradere palmas 
nexibus, his rigidas nodis innectier ulnas, 



breath blows a subtle poison on them that unmans 
their frames, the fatally sweet scent subduing their 
lips and hearts and weapons, softening their iron-clad 
muscles and crushing their strength. Their courage 
drops as in defeat ; they lay down their javelins, 
their hands, alas ! enfeebled, all to their shame struck 
dumb in their wonder at the chariot gleaming \Wth 
flashing gems of varied hue, as Anth fixed gaze they 
look longingly at the reins with their tinkling gold- 
foil, the heavy axle of solid gold, so costly, the spokes, 
one after another, of white silver, the rim of the 
wheel holding them in place ^^^th a circle of pale 
electrimi. And by this time the whole array, its 
standards turned about, was treacherously submitting 
of its o^^•n will to a desire to surrender, wishing to be 
the slaves of Indulgence, to bear the yoke of a 
debauched mistress, and be governed by the loose 
law of the pot-house. The stout-hearted Virtue 
Soberness mourned to see a crime so sore, her allies 
deserting the right ^nng, a band once in\-incible being 
lost AAithout shedding of blood. Like the good 
leader she is, she had carried the standard of the cross 
at the head of her troops, and now she plants the spike 
in the ground and sets it up, and with biting words 
restores her unsteady regiment, mingling appeals 
with her reproaches to awake their courage : " What 
blinding madness is vexing your disordered minds ? 
To what fate are you rushing ? To whom are you 
bo\^'ing the neck ? What bonds are these (for 
shame !) you long to bear on arms that were meant 
for weapons, these yellow garlands interspersed with 
bright lilies, these ^\Teaths blooming with red-hued 
flowers? Is it to chains like these you will give 
up hands trained to war, with these bind your stout 


ut mitra caesariem cohibens aurata virilem 

conbibat infusum croceo religamine nardum, 

post inscripta oleo frontis signacula, per quae 360 

unguentum regale datum est et chrisma perenne, 

ut tener incessus vestigia syrmate verrat 

sericaque infractis fluitent ut pallia membris, 

post inmortalem tunicam quam pollice docto 

texuit alma Fides, dans inpenetrabile tegmen 365 

pectoribus lotis, dederat quibus ipsa renasci, 

inde ad nocturnas epulas, ubi cantharus ingens 

despuit efFusi spumantia damna Falerni 

in mensam cyathis stillantibus, uda ubi multo 

fulcra mero veterique toreumata rore rigantur ? 370 

excidit ergo animis eremi sitis, excidit ille 

fons patribus de rupe datus, quem mystica virga 

elicuit scissi salientem vertiee saxi ? 

angelicusne cibus prima in tentoria vestris 

fluxit avis, quem nunc sero felicior aevo 375 

vespertinus edit populus de corpore Christi ? 

his vos inbutos dapibus iam crapula turpis 

Luxuriae ad madidum rapit inportuna lupanar, 

quosque viros non Ira fremens, non idola bello 

cedere conpulerant, saltatrix ebria flexit ! 380 

state, precor, vestri memores, memores quoque 

quae sit vestra tribus, quae gloria, quis Deus et 

quis Dominus meminisse decet. vos nobile ludae 
germen ad usque Dei genetricem, qua Deus ipse 



arms, to have your manly hair confined by a gilded 
turban ^^-ith its yellow band to soak up the spikenard 
you pour on, and this after you have had inscribed 
with oil on your brows the signs whereby was given 
to you the king's anointing, his everlasting unction ? 
To walk softly ^Wth a train sweeping the path you 
have trod ? To wear flowing robes of silk on your 
enfeebled frames, after the immortal tunic that 
bountiful Faith wove with deft fingers, giving an 
impenetrable covering to cleansed hearts to which 
she had already given rebirth ? And so to feasts that 
last into the night, where the great tankard spills 
out wasted floods of foaming wine, while the ladles 
drip on to the table, the couches are soaked with neat 
liquor, and their embossed ornaments still wet with 
the dew of yesterday ? Have you forgotten, then, the 
thirst in the desert, the spring that was given to 
your fathers from the rock, when the mystic wand 
spUt the stone and brought water leaping from its 
top? Did not food that angels brought flow into 
your fathers' tents in early days, that food which 
now >Wth better fortune, in the lateness of time, near 
the end of the world's day, the people eats from the 
body of Christ ? And it is after tasting of this 
banquet that you let shameful debauchery' carrj' you 
relentlessly to the drunken den of Indulgence, and 
soldiers whom no raging Wrath nor idols could force 
by war to yield have been prevailed on by a tipsy 
dancer ! Stand, I pray you. Remember who ye are, 
remember Christ too. Ye should bethink yourselves 
of your nation and your fame, your God and King, 
your Lord. Ye are the high-born children of Judah 
and have come of a long Une of noble ancestors that 
stretches down to the mother of God, by whom God 



esset homo, procerum venistis sanguine longo. 385 
excitet egregias mentes celeberrima David 
gloria continuis bellorum exercita curis, 
excitet et Samuel, spolium qui divite ab hoste 
adtrectare vetat nee victum vivere regem 
incircumcisum patitur, ne praeda superstes 390 

victorem placidum recidiva in proelia poscat. 
parcere iam capto crimen putat ille tyranno, 
at vobis contra vinci et subcumbere votum est. 
paeniteat, per si qua movet reverentia summi 
numinis, hoc tam dulce malum voluisse nefanda 395 
proditione sequi ; si paenitet, haud nocet error, 
paenituit lonatham ieiunia sobria dulci 
conviolasse favo sceptri mellisque sapore 
heu male gustato, regni dum blanda voluptas 
oblectat iuvenem iurataque sacra resolvit. 400 

sed quia paenituit, nee sors lacrimabilis ilia est, 
nee tinguit patrias sententia saeva secures, 
en ego Sobrietas, si conspirare paratis, 
pando viam cunctis Virtutibus, ut malesuada 
Luxuries, multo stipata satellite, poenas 405 

cum legione sua Christo sub iudice pendat." 
sic efFata crucem Domini ferventibus offert 
obvia quadriiugis, lignum venerabile in ipsos 
intentans frenos. quod ut expavere feroces 
cornibus obpansis et summa fronte coruscum, 410 
vertunt praecipitem caeca formidine fusi 
per praerupta fugam. fertur resupina reductis 
nequiquam loris auriga comamque madentem 

" Cf. 1 Samuel xv. 

* Cf. 1 Samuel xiv, 24 fF. It has been suggested that 
Prudentius in lines 399 and 400 confuses the story of Jonathan 
with that of Absalom ; but perhaps he is only reading too 
much into the words of Jonathan in verses 29 and 30. 



himself was to become man. Let the renowned 
Da\-id, who never rested from the troubles of war, 
awake your noble spirits ; and Samuel too, who for- 
bids touching the sjx)il taken from a rich foe, nor 
suffers the imcircumcised king to live after his defeat, 
lest the captive, were he allowed to sur\-ive, summon 
the victor from his life of peace to a renewal of war.* 
He counts it sin to spare the monarch even as a 
prisoner; but your desire, on the contrary, is to be 
conquered and submit. Repent, I beseech you by 
the fear of the high God, if at all it moves you, that 
you have desired to follow after this pleasant sin, 
committing a heinous betrayal. If ye repent, your 
sin is not deadly. Jonathan repented that he had 
broken the sober fast with the sweet honeycomb, 
tasting, aleis ! in an evil hour the savour of honey on 
his rod, when the tempting desire to be king charmed 
his young mind and broke the holy vow.* Yet 
because he repented we do not have to lament the 
fate that was decreed, and the cruel sentence did not 
stain his father's axe. Lo, I, Soberness, if ye make 
ready to concert with me, open up a way for all the 
Virtues whereby the temptress Indulgence, for all 
her great train, shall pay the penalty, she and her 
regiment, under the judgment of Christ." So speak- 
ing, she holds up the cross of the Lord in face of the 
raging chariot-horses, thrusting the holy wood 
against their very bridles ; and for all their boldness 
they have taken fright at its outspread arms and 
flashing top,' and in the rout of blind panic career 
down a steep place. Their driver, leaning far back 
and pulling on the reins, is carried helplessly along, 

' The top of the cross being decorated with precious metal 
or jewels. 


pulvere foedatur. tunc et vertigo rotarum 
inplicat excussam dominam ; nam prona sub axem 415 
labitur et lacero tardat sufflamine currum. 
addit Sobrietas vulnus letale iacenti, 
coniciens silicem rupis de parte molarem. 
hunc vexilliferae quoniam fors obtulit ictum 
spicula nulla manu sed belli insigne gerenti, 420 

casus agit saxum, medii spiramen ut oris 
frangeret, et recavo misceret labra palato. 
dentibus introrsum resolutis lingua resectam 
dilaniata gulam frustis cum sanguinis inplet, 
insolitis dapibus crudescit guttur, et ossa 425 

conliquefacta vorans re vomit quas hauserat offas. 
" ebibe iam proprium post pocula multa cruo- 

virgo ait increpitans, " sint haec tibi fercula 

tristia praeteriti nimiis pro dulcibus aevi. 
lascivas vitae inlecebras gustatus amarae 430 

mortis et horrifico sapor ultimus asperat haustu." ^ 
caede ducis dispersa fugit trepidante pavore 
nugatrix acies. locus et Petulantia primi 
cymbala proiciunt ; bellum nam talibus armis 
ludebant resono meditantes vulnera sistro. 435 

dat tergum fugitivus Amor, lita tela veneno 
et lapsum ex umeris arcum pharetramque 

pallidus ipse metu sua post vestigia linquit. 
Pompa, ostentatrix vani splendoris, inani 
exuitur nudata peplo ; discissa trahuntur 440 

serta Venustatis collique ac verticis aurum 

^ The Qth-century MS. originally had horrifico . . . asperat 
haustus, which was altered to horrificos . . . asperet haustus. 
Bergman adopts the latter reading. 



her dripping locks befouled with dust ; then she is 
thrown out and the whirling "wheels entangle her 
who was their mistress, for she falls forward under 
the axle and her mangled body is the brake that 
slows the chariot do"vvn. Soberness gives her the 
death-blow as she Ues, hurling at her a great stone 
from the rock. As chance has put this weapon in the 
standard-bearer's way (for she carries no javehns in 
her hand, but only the emblem of her warfare), 
chance drives the stone to smash the breath-passage 
in the midst of the face and beat the lips into the 
arched mouth. The teeth within are loosened, the 
gullet cut, and the mangled tongue fills it with 
bloody fragments. Her gorge rises at the strange 
meal ; gulping do\\'n the pulped bones she spews up. 
again the limaps she swallowed. " Drink up now 
thine own blood, after thy many cups," says the 
maiden, upbraiding her. " Be these thy grim 
dainties, in place of the too much sweetness thou 
hast enjoyed in time past. The taste of bitter 
death in thy mouth, the savouring of this final, 
ghastly draught, turns to gall the wanton delights 
that allured thee in thy Ufe." At the slaughter of 
its leader her company of triflers scatters and 
nms in a flutter of fear. Jest and Sauciness first cast 
away their c}Tnbals ; for it was Avith such weap>ons that 
they played at war, thinking to wound ^rith the noise 
of a rattle ! Desire turns his back in flight. Pale 
himself ^Wth fear, he leaves behind his poisoned darts, 
abandoning his bow where it has shpped from his 
shoulder, his quiver where it falls. Ostentation, that 
parader of empty grandeur, is stripped bare of her 
vain flowing robe. Allurement's garlands are torn 
and trail behind her, the gold on her neck and head 



solvitur, et gemmas Discordia dissona turbat. 
non piget adtritis pedibus per acuta frutecta 
ire Voluptatem, quoniam vis maior acerbam 
conpellit tolerare fugam ; formido pericli 445 

praedurat teneras iter ad cruciabile plantas. 
qua se cumque fugax trepidis fert cursibus agmen, 
damna iaeent, crinalis acus, redimicula, vittae, 
fibula, flammeolum, strophium, diadema, monile. 
his se Sobrietas et totus Sobrietatis 450 

abstinet exuviis miles damnataque castis 
scandala proculcat pedibus, nee fronte severos 
conivente oculos praedarum ad gaudia flectit. 

fertur Avaritia gremio praecincta capaci, 
quidquid Luxus edax pretiosum liquerat, unca 455 
corripuisse manu, pulchra in ludibria vasto 
ore inhians aurique legens fragmenta caduci 
inter harenarum cumulos. nee sufficit amplos 
inplevisse sinus ; iuvat infercire cruminis 
turpe lucrum et gravidos furtis distendere fiscos, 460 
quos laeva celante tegit laterisque sinistri 
velat opermento ; velox nam dextra rapinas 
abradit spoliisque ungues exercet aenos. 
Cura, Famis, Metus, Anxietas, Periuria, Pallor, 
Corruptela, Dolus, Commenta, Insomnia, Sordes, 465 
Eumenides variae monstri comitatus aguntur. 
nee minus interea rabidorum more luporum 
Crimina persultant toto grassantia campo, 
matris Avaritiae nigro de lacte creata. 
si fratris galeam fulvis radiare ceraunis 470 

germanus vidit conmilito, non timet ensem 



unfastened, and jarring Strife disorders her jewels. 
Pleasure is content to go with injured feet through 
thorny brakes, for superior force makes her endure 
the painful flight, and the dread of danger hardens 
her tender soles to bear the torture of the way. 
Wherever the column turns, as it rushes this way and 
that in its agitated flight, lie things lost, a hairpin, 
ribbands, fillets, a brooch, a veil, a breast-band, a 
coronet, a necklace. These spoils Soberness and all 
the soldiers of Soberness refrain from handling ; they 
trample under their chaste feet the cursed causes of 
offence, nor let their austere gaze turn a blind eye 
towards the joys of plunder. 

'Tis said that Greed, her robe arranged to make a 
capacious fold in front, crooked her hand and seized 
on ever}' thing of price that gluttonous Indulgence 
left behind, gaping -vrith mouth wide open on the 
pretty baubles as she picked up the broken bits of 
gold that had fallen amid the heaps of sand. Nor is 
she content to fill her roomy pockets, but delights to 
stuff her base gain in monej^-bags and cram swollen 
purses to bursting ^\^th her pelf, keeping them in 
hiding behind her left hand under cover of her robe 
on the left side, for her quick right hand is busy 
scraping up the plunder and plies nails hard as brass 
in gathering the booty. Care, Hunger, Fear, 
Anguish, Perjuries, Pallor, Gsrruption, Treachery, 
Falsehood, Sleeplessness, Meanness, diverse fiends, 
go in attendance on the monster; and all the 
while Crimes, the brood of their mother Greed's 
black milk, Uke ravening wolves go prowling and 
leaping over the field. If a soldier sees his o^^•n 
brother and fellow-soldier with a helmet that glances 
^ith precious stones of tawny hue, he fears not to 



exerere atque caput socio mucrone ferire, 

de consanguineo rapturus vertice gemmas. 

filius extinctum belli sub sorte cadaver 

aspexit si forte patris, fulgentia bullis 475 

cingula et exuvias gaudet rapuisse cruentas : 

cognatam Civilis agit Discordia praedam, 

nee parcit propriis Amor insatiatus Habendi 

pigneribus spoliatque suos Famis inpia natos. 

talia per populos edebat funera victrix 480 

orbis Avaritia, sternens centena virorum 

millia vulneribus variis : hunc lumine adempto 

effossisque oculis velut in caligine noctis 

caecum errare sinit perque ofFensacula multa 

ire, nee oppositum baculo temptare periclum. 485 

porro alium capit intuitu fallitque videntem, 

insigne ostentans aliquid, quod dum petit ille, 

excipitur telo incautus cordisque sub ipso 

saucius occulto ferrum suspirat adactum. 

multos praecipitans in aperta incendia cogit 490 

nee patitur vitare focos, quibus aestuat aurum, 

quod petit arsurus pariter speculator ^ avarus. 

omne hominum rapit ilia genus, mortalia cuncta 

occupat interitu, neque est violentius ullum 

terrarum Vitium, quod tantis cladibus aevum 495 

mundani involvat populi damnetque gehennae. 

quin ipsos temptare manu, si credere dignum est, 

ausa sacerdotes Domini, qui proelia forte 

ductores primam ante aciem pro laude gerebant 

Virtutum, magnoque inplebant classica flatu, 500 

et fors innocuo tinxisset sanguine ferrum, 

^ peculator, adopted by Bergtnan, is the reading of the 6th- 
century MS. That of the 1th and some others show speculator 
only after alteration. 



unsheath his sword and smite the skull ^^ith a 
comrade's blade, purposing to snatch the gems from 
a kinsman's head. If a son chances to look on his 
father's body lying Ufeless by the luck of war, he 
joyfully seizes the belt ^\"ith its shining studs and 
strips off the blood-stained armour. Civil War makes 
plunder of his kin, the insatiable Love of Possession 
spares not his own dear ones, unnatural Hunger robs 
his own children. Such the slaughter that Greed, 
the conqueress of the world, was deahng among the 
nations, lapng low myriads of men with diverse 
wounds. One, made. sightless, his eyes prised out, 
she leaves to wander bhndly as in the darkness of 
night over many a stumbUng-block, nor lets him test 
with a staff the danger in his way. Another, again, 
she captures by means of his sight and cheats him 
with his eyes open by displaying to him some splendid 
thing, and in the act of reaching for it, all unheeding, 
he is caught by her stroke and utters a sigh at the 
sword-thrust that wounds him in the very depths 
of his heart. Many she drives headlong on to open 
fires, not suffering them to avoid the flames, in which 
gold is burning, and a man eyeing it greedily 
reaches for it though he is doomed to burn ^\^th it. 
The whole race of .men she seizes upon, all mortahty 
she destroys before it can help itself. There is no 
more furious Vice in the world to envelop the life 
of the people of the world in such disaster, condemn- 
ing them to hell- fire. Nay, she even dared — can we 
beUeve it ?— to raise her hand against the very 
priests of the Lord, the leaders posted before the 
front line, who were doing battle for the credit of 
the Virtues and filHng their war-trumpets with a 
great blast. And perchance she would have dipped 



ni Ratio armipotens, gentis Levitidis una 

semper fida comes, clipeum obiectasset et atrae 

hostis ab incursu claros texisset alumnos. 

stant tuti Rationis ope, stant turbine ab omni 505 

inmunes fortesque animi ; vix in cute summa 

praestringens paucos tenui de vulnere laedit 

cuspis Avaritae. stupuit luis inproba castis 

heroum iugulis longe sua tela repelli ; 

ingemit et dictis ardens furialibus infit : 510 

" vincimur, heu, segnes nee nostra potentia 

vim solitam, languet violentia saeva nocendi, 
sueverat invictis quae viribus omnia ubique 
rumpere corda hominum ; nee enim tam ferrea 

duravit natura virum, cuius rigor aera 515 

sperneret aut nostro foret inpenetrabilis auro. 
ingenium omne neci dedimus ; tenera, aspera, 

docta, indocta simul, bruta et sapientia, nee non 
casta, incesta meae patuerunt pectora dextrae. 
sola igitur rapui quidquid Styx abdit avaris 520 

gurgitibus. nobis ditissima Tartara debent 
quos retinent populos. quod volvunt saecula 

nostrum est, 
quod miscet mundus, vesana negotia, nostrum, 
qui fit praevalidas quod pollens gloria vires 
deserit et cassos ludit fortuna lacertos ? 525 

sordet Christicolis rutilantis fulva monetae 
effigies, sordent argenti emblemata, et omnis 
thensaurus nigrante oculis vilescit honore. 
quid sibi docta volunt fastidia ? nonne triumphum 



her steel in their innocent blood, had not the mighty 
warrior Reason, ever before all the true comrade of 
Levi's race, put her shield in the way and covered 
her famed foster-children from their deadly foe's 
onslaught. They stand in safety by Reason's aid, 
taking no hurt from all the tempest, and stout of 
heart ; only a few did Greed's javeUn touch, grazing 
them with a shght wound not skin-deep. Out- 
rageous plague that she was, she stood amazed to 
see her weapons turned from the heroes' pure throats, 
and with a groan she broke into raging words of 
passion : " We are losing the fight, alas ! for want of 
vigour, our power has lost its wonted drive, our fell 
strength to hurt is grown feeble, though it xised to 
break through every heart of man everywhere with 
force unconquerable ; for no man ever had such an 
iron nature to harden him that he could inflexibly 
scorn money or be proof against our gold. Every 
temper we have given over to death ; hearts tender, 
rough and hard, minds learned and unlearned 
alike, stupid and wise, pure and impure too, have 
been open to my hand. It is I alone who have 
carried off all that Styx now hides away with his 
greedy floods ; it is to us the hell we have enriched 
owes the peoples it keeps in durance ; the thoughts 
of all generations are of what belongs to us, all the 
world's busy stirring and mad trafficking is of us. 
How comes it that the glorious might deserts our 
prevaiUng strength and fortune makes a mock of our 
feckless arms ? Worthless to the followers of Christ 
is the yellow image on the shining coin, worthless is 
embossed silver, no treasure has any value to their 
eyes, for its glory is clouded. What means this 
new-learned daintiness ? Did not we triumph over 


egimus e Scarioth, magnus qui discipulorum 530 

et conviva Dei, dum fallit foedere mensae 
haudquaquam ignarum dextramque parabside 

incidit in nostrum flammante cupidine telum, 
infamem mercatus agrum de sanguine amici 
numinis, obliso luiturus iugera collo ? 535 

viderat et lericho propria inter funera quantum 
posset nostra manus, cum victor concidit Achar. 
caedibus insignis murali et strage superbus 
subcubuit capto victis ex hostibus auro, 
dum vetitis insigne legens anathema favillis 540 

maesta ruinarum spolia insatiabilis haurit. 
non ilium generosa tribus, non plebis avitae 
iuvit luda parens, Christo quandoque propinquo 
nobilis et tali felix patriarcha nepote. 
quis placet exemplum generis, placeat quoque 

forma 545 

exitii : sit poena eadem, quibus et genus unum 

quid moror aut ludae populares aut populares 
sacricolae summi (summus nam fertur Aaron) 
fallere fraude aliqua Martis congressibus inpar ? 
nil refert armis contingat palma dolisve." 550 

dixerat et torvam faciem furialiaque arma 
exuit inque habitum sese transformat honestum ; 
fit Virtus specie vultuque et veste severa 
quam memorant Frugi, parce cui vivere cordi est 
et servare suum ; tamquam nil raptet avare, 555 

" Joshua vii. Achar is the form of the name in the Septua- 
gint version. Achan represents the Hebrew here, though 
Achar at 1 Chronicles ii, 7. 



Iscariot, a great one among the disciples of God, and 
one that sat at meat with Him ? Being false to Him 
(though He knew all) as he sat at his table and put 
his hand into the dish with Him, he fell upon our 
weapon in the heat of his desire, for he bought a 
piece of land of ill fame with the price of the blood 
of God, who was his friend, and was doomed to atone 
for his acres vrith a strangled neck. Jericho too in 
the destruction of its people saw the strength of our 
hand, when Achar " fell in the midst of \-ictory. For 
though he won glorj' by the slaughter and was 
exalted by the overthro\ving of the walls, he fell a 
victim to the gold that was taken from the beaten 
foe, picking up from the forbidden ashes a thing 
that caught his eye (but it was the accursed thing) 
and grasping covetously the sorrowful spoils from the 
ruins of the city. Neither did the nobility of his 
tribe avail him, nor his ancestry deriving from Judah, 
a patriarch of high rank in that Christ should one 
day be his kinsman, and blessed in his great descen- 
dant. Those that choose to take his race as their 
pattern, let them choose also the form of his de- 
struction ; let those who own the same race suffer the 
same pains. Why not trick with some deWce the 
countrymen of Judah or of the chief priest (for they 
call Aaron chief), since I cannot match them in the 
clash of battle ? It matters not whether the prize of 
victor}' comes by arms or by guile." With these words 
she puts off her grim look and her fiendish weapons, 
and changes to a noble bearing. In appearance, ^vith 
austere mien and dress, she becomes the Virtue men 
call Thrifty, whose pleasure it is to live sparingly and 
save what she has ; she looks as if she never snatched 
aught with greedy hands, and >\-ith her air of careful- 


artis adumbratae meruit ceu sedula laudem. 

huius se specie mendax Bellona coaptat, 

non ut avara lues, sed Virtus parca putetur; 

nee non et tenero pietatis tegmine crines 

obtegit anguinos, ut Candida palla latentem 560 

dissimulet rabiem, diroque obtenta furori, 

quod rapere et clepere est avideque abscondere 

natorum curam dulci sub nomine iactet. 
talibus inludens male credula corda virorum 
fallit imaginibus, monstrumque ferale sequuntur 565 
dum credunt Virtutis opus ; capit inpia Erinys 
consensu faciles manicisque tenacibus artat. 
attonitis ducibus perturbatisque maniplis 
nutabat Virtutum acies errore biformis 
portenti, ignorans quid amicum credat in illo 570 
quidve hostile notet : letum versatile et anceps 
lubricat incertos dubia sub imagine visus, 
cum subito in medium frendens Operatio campum 
prosilit auxilio sociis, pugnamque capessit 
militiae postrema gradu, sed sola duello 575 

inpositura manum, ne quid iam triste supersit. 
omne onus ex umeris reiecerat, omnibus ibat 
nudata induviis multo et se fasce levarat, 
olim divitiis gravibusque oppressa talentis, 
libera nunc miserando inopum, quos larga benigne 580 
foverat efFundens patrium bene prodiga censum. 

" The goddess Ma, introduced to Rome from Cappadocia, 
was identified with the Roman Bellona. Her worship, which 
resembled that of the Magna Mater, was of a wild, orgiastic 


ness she has gained repute for the quality she 
counterfeits. With this \'irtue's Ukeness the false 
Bellona" equips herself, so as to be thought not a 
greedy pest but a thrifty Virtue. With a delicate 
covering of motherly devotion she hides her snaky 
tresses so that the white mantle shall disguise the 
raging that lurks beneath and screen the fearful 
fury, and so display her plundering and thieving and 
greedy storing of her gains under the pleasing name 
of care for her children. With such semblances she 
befools men and cheats their too credulous hearts. 
They follow the deadly monster, beUe\ing hers to 
be a Virtue's work, and the ^^icked fiend takes them, 
easy, willing victims, and binds them with gripping 
shackles. Their leaders bewildered, their companies 
confounded, the Virtues' line is faltering ; for they are 
misled by the monster's twofold figure and know not 
where to see a friend in her and where to mark a 
foe. The deadly creature's changing, double form 
makes their sight unsteady and dubious, not knowing 
what to make of her appearance. But now of a 
sudden Good Works dashes in anger on to the midst 
of the battle-groimd to help her comrades, and takes 
up the fight; posted last on the field is she, but 
destined singly so to put her hand to the war that 
nought shall remain to be feared.'' Every load she 
had cast off from her shoulders, and she moved 
along stripped of all coverings ; of many a burden 
had she Hghtened herself, for once she had been 
borne down by riches and the weight of money, 
but now had freed herself by taking pity on the 
needy, whom she had cared for with kindly 
generosity, lavishing her patrimony with a wise 

» Cf. Matthew xix, 20-21. 


iam loculos ditata fidem * spectabat inanes, 

aeternam numerans redituro faenore summam, 

horruit invictae Virtutis fulmen et inpos 

mentis Avaritia stupefactis sensibus haesit 585 

certa mori : nam quae fraudis via restet, ut ipsa 

calcatrix mundi mundanis victa fatiscat 

inlecebris spretoque iterum sese inplicet auro ? 

invadit trepidam Virtus fortissima duris 

ulnarum nodis, obliso et gutture frangit 590 

exsanguem siccamque gulam; conpressa 

vincla lacertorum sub mentum et faucibus artis 
extorquent animam, nullo quae vulnere rapta 
palpitat atque aditu spiraminis intercepto 
inelusam patitur venarum carcere mortem. 595 

ilia reluctant! genibusque et calcibus instans 
perfodit et costas atque iUa rumpit anhela, 
mox spolia exstincto de corpore diripit; auri 
sordida frusta rudis nee adhuc fornace recoctam 
materiam, tineis etiam marsuppia crebris 600 

exesa et virides obducta aerugine nummos 
dispergit servata diu victrix et egenis 
dissipat ac tenues captivo munere donat. 
tunc circumfusam vultu exultante coronam 
respiciens alacris media inter milia clamat : 605 

" solvite procinctum, iusti, et discedite ab armis! 
causa mali tanti iacet interfecta ; lucrandi 
ingluvie pereunte licet requiescere Sanctis, 
summa quies nil velle super quam postulet usus 
debitus, ut simplex alimonia, vestis et una 610 

^ The Ith-century MS. and others have fide. 

» Cf. Revelation iii, 18. 


prodigality. And now, enriched in faith, she was 
looking at her empty purse and reckoning the 
sum of her eternal wealth >\'ith the interest that 
would accrue. Like a thunderbolt to Avarice was 
the sight of the invincible Virtue. Cold with terror, 
no longer mistress of herself, her senses benumbed, 
she could not move, and knew her doom had come. 
For what method of trickery would be left, whereby 
she who had already trampled on the world should 
faint under worldly temptations and once again 
entangle herself with the gold she had scorned ? As 
she stands thus in consternation the brave Virtue 
sets upon her with the iron grip of her arms and 
strangles her, crushing the blood out of her throat till 
it is dry. Her arms, pressed tight like bands be- 
neath the chin, squeeze the gorge and wrest the Ufe 
away ; no wound ravishes it in the agony of death ; 
the breath-passage stopped, it suffers its end shut 
up in the prison of the body. As she struggles, the 
victor presses hard on her with knee and foot, stabs 
her through the ribs and pierces the heaving flanks. 
Then from the dead body she takes the spoils. 
Dirty bits of un\vrought gold, stuff not yet purified in 
the furnace," worm-eaten money-bags, coins green 
with rust, things long hoarded, the conqueress 
scatters, distributing them to the needy, giving gifts 
to the poor of what she has taken. Then with a 
look of exultation she turns her eyes on the ring 
around her and eagerly calls out amid the thousands : 
" Doff your armour, ye upright, and lay your weapons 
aside. The cause of all our ill Ues slain. Now that 
the lust of gain is dead, the pure may rest. 'Tis the 
deepest rest to ^nsh for nought beyond what due 
need calls for, simple fare and one garment to cover 


VOL. I. V 


infirmos tegat ac recreet mediocriter artus 
expletumque modum naturae non trahat extra, 
ingressurus iter perani ne tollito, neve 
de tunicae alterius gestamine providus ito, 
nee te sollicitet res crastina, ne cibus alvo 615 

defuerit: redeunt escae cum sole diurnae. 
nonne vides ut nulla avium eras cogitet ac se 
pascendam, praestante Deo, non anxia credat ? 
confidunt volucres victum non defore viles, 
passeribusque subest modico venalibus asse 620 

indubitata fides Dominum curare potentem 
ne pereant. tu, cura Dei, facies quoque Christi, 
addubitas ne te tuus umquam deserat auctor? 
ne trepidate, homines ; vitae dator et dator escae 

quaerite luciferum caelesti dogmate pastum, 625 
qui spem multipUcans alat invitiabilis aevi, 
corporis inmemores : memor est qui condidit illud 
subpeditare cibos atque indiga membra fovere." 
his dictis curae emotae, Metus et Labor et Vis 
et Scelus et placitae fidei Fraus infitiatrix 630 

depulsae vertere solum. Pax inde fugatis 
hostibus alma abigit bellum, discingitur omnis 
terror et avulsis exfibulat ilia zonis. 
vestis ad usque pedes descendens defluit imos, 
temperat et rapidum privata modestia gressum. 635 
cornicinum curva aera silent, placabilis inplet 
vaginam gladius, sedato et pulvere campi 
suda redit facies liquidae sine nube diei, 
purpuream videas caeli clarescere lucem. 

« CJ. Matthew vi, 26-34; x, 9-10, 29. 


and refresh our weak bodies in moderation, and 
•when nature's measure is satisfied, draw us on no 
farther. When thou art going on a journey, carry- 
no wallet, nor take thought, when thou goest, for 
another tunic to wear. And be not anxious about 
the morrow, lest thy belly lack food ; bread for the 
day comes duly with the sun. Seest thou not how 
no bird thinks of tomorrow, but rests untroubled in 
the faith that it will be fed by God's provision ? The 
fowls of the air, which are so cheap, trust that food 
will not fail ; the sparrows which are sold for a 
humble farthing have a sure and certain faith that 
the mighty Lord cares for them, that they perish not. 
And thou, who art God's care and the image of Christ, 
dost thou fear thy creator will ever desert thee ? Be 
not anxious, O men ! He who gives Ufe gives 
food also. Seek ye in heavenly teaching the food 
that brings hght and that shall nourish and enlarge 
the hope of a Ufe incorruptible, forgetting the body. 
He who made it is mindful to furnish it with food and 
to care for the needs of its members." " 

At these words their troubles departed. Fear and 
Suffering and \'iolence. Crime and Fraud that denies 
accepted faith, were driven away and fled from the 
land. Then kindly Peace, her enemies now routed, 
banishes war. All the dread-inspiring gear is 
doffed; they unclasp their sides, pulhng off their 
belts ; their robes fall flovWng down to their feet and 
a civilian sobriety moderates their quick step. The 
trumpeters' curved brasses are silent, the sword 
returns in peace to its scabbard, the dust settles 
down on the field, the bright face of clear cloudless 
day comes back, and light from heaven begins to 
shine resplendent to the view. The squadrons, 



agmina casta super vultum sensere Tonantis 640 
adridere hilares pulso certamine turmae, 
et Christum gaudere suis victoribus arce 
aetheris ac patrium famulis aperire profundum. 
dat signum felix Concordia reddere castris 
victrices aquilas atque in tentoria cogi. 645 

numquam tanta fuit species nee par decus ulli 
militiae, cum dispositis bifida agmina longe 
duceret ordinibus peditum psallente caterva, 
ast alia de parte equitum resonantibus hymnis. 
non aliter cecinit respectans victor hiantem 650 

Istrahel rabiem ponti post terga minacis, 
cum iam progrediens calcaret litora sicco 
ulteriora pede, stridensque per extima calcis 
mons rueret pendentis aquae nigrosque relapso 
gurgite Nilicolas fundo deprenderet imo, €55 

ac refluente sinu iam redderet unda natatum 
piscibus et nudas praeceps operiret harenas. 
pulsavit resono modulantia tympana plectro 
turba Dei celebrans mirum ac memorabile saeclis 
omnipotentis opus, liquidas inter freta ripas 660 
fluctibus incisis et subsistente procella 
crescere suspensosque globos potuisse teneri. 
sic expugnata Vitiorum gente resultant 
mystica dulcimodis Virtutum carmina psalmis. 
ventum erat ad fauces portae castrensis, ubi 
artum 665 

liminis introitum bifori dant cardine claustra. 
nascitur hie inopina Mali lacrimabilis astu 
tempestas, placidae turbatrix invida Pacis, 

" Cf. Revelation iii, 21. 
* Cf. Exodus XV, 1-21. 




gladdened by the ending of contention, see the face 
of the Thunderer smiling on their unstained forces 
from above, and Christ in the height rejoicing in the 
victory of his followers and opening for his sen'ants 
his Father's home in the deep of heaven." In 
happiness Concord gives the signal to take the 
■victorious standards back to camp and return to 
their tents. Never did army look so fine, so glorious, 
as she led her troops in double column with ranks in 
long array, the regiment of foot singing as they 
marched, while on the other side rang out the horse- 
men's hymns. Just so sang \ictorious Israel, looking 
back on the yawning gulf of the sea that raged 
menacingly behind them, when now in their onward 
march they were treading the further shore drj'-foot, 
as the hanging mountain of water crashed down 
hissing at their ven,' heels and the flood falling back 
caught in the depths the dark-skinned people of the 
Nile, letting the fish svrim again in the hollow as it 
filled, and with a rush covered the sand that had 
been bared. God's company beat loud the rhythmic 
timbrels to celebrate the marvellous work of the 
Almighty, a work to be told to all generations, how 
banks of water were able to rise up with sea on 
either hand, cutting a path through the waves 
while the ■wind stayed, and the masses to be held 
poised on either side.* So when the race of Vices 
was subdued the Virtues' holy songs rang out in 
sweet, melodious psalms. 

They had reached the pass of the camp-gate, 
where the double-doored barrier s«-ings open to 
afford a narrow way of entrance ; and here arises a 
storm unlooked for, through the cunning of a woeful 
Evil, to spite and trouble calm Peace and disturb 



quae tantum sufcita vexaret clade triumphum. 

inter eonfertos cuneos Concordia forte 670 

dum stipata pedem iam tutis moenibus infert, 

excipit occultum Vitii latitantis ab ictu 

mucronem laevo in latere, squalentia quamvis 

texta catenato ferri subtegmine corpus 

ambirent sutis et acumen vulneris hamis 675 

respuerent, rigidis nee fila tenacia nodis 

inpactum sinerent penetrare in viscera teliun. 

rara tamen chalybem tenui transmittere puncto 

commissura dedit, qua sese extrema politae 

squama ligat tunicae sinus et sibi consent oras. 680 

intulit hoc vulnus pugnatrix subdola victae 

partis et incautis victoribus insidiata est. 

nam pulsa Culparum acie Discordia nostros 

intrarat cuneos sociam mentita figuram. 

scissa procul palla structum et serpente flagellum 685 

multiplici media camporum in strage iacebant. 

ipsa redimitos olea frondente capillos 

ostentans festis respondet laeta choreis. 

sed sicam sub veste tegit, te, maxima ^'irtus, 

te solam tanto e numero, Concordia, tristi 690 

fraude petens. sed non vitalia rumpere sacri 

corporis est licitum, summo tenus extima tactu 

laesa cutis tenuem signavit sanguine rivum. 

exclamat Virtus subito turbata : " quid hoc est? 

quae manus hie inimica latet, quae prospera 

nostra 695 

vulnerat et ferrum tanta inter gaudia vibrat ? 
quid iuvat indomitos bello sedasse Furores 1 

et sanctum Vitiis pereuntibus omne receptum, 


the great triumph w-ith a sudden disaster. Concord, 
thronged in the press of close-packed companies, just 
as she is setting foot ^^*ithin the safety of the ram- 
parts, receives a treacherous thrust in her left side 
from the stroke of a lurking Vice, albeit the stiff 
fabric of iron chain-mail covered her body and ^\•ith 
its links repelled the deadly point, and the firm, 
hard-knotted strands did not suffer the weight of the 
blow to reach the flesh; yet an open joint let the 
steel pass through \Wth a slight prick, just where the 
last scale is fastened to the bright cuirass and the 
breast-piece connected with the skirt. Such the 
wound that the crafty defender of the beaten side 
inflicted, lying in wait to take the \actors off their 
guard. For, when the Mces' army was driven off, 
Discord had entered our ranks wearing the counter- 
feit shape of a friend. Her torn mantle and her 
whip of many snakes Avere left Iving far behind amid 
the heaps of dead on the field of battle, while she 
herself, displaying her hair wreathed with leafy 
ohve, answered cheerfully the joyous revellers. But 
she has a dagger hidden under her raiment, seeking 
to attack thee, thou greatest of Virtues, thee alone, 
Concord, of all this number, A\-ith bitter treachery. 
Yet was she not permitted to pierce the vital parts 
of thy sacred body ; only the skin was hurt \A-ith a 
mere touch on the surface, and showed the mark of 
but a slight stream of blood. " \\Tiat means this? " 
cries the Virtue, thus unexpectedly disturbed. 
" WTiat enemy's hand is hidden here, that stabs our 
victor}' and launches its weapon amid our great re- 
joicing ? What boots it by war to have reduced the 
ungovernable Passions and brought the good back 
without loss, while the Vices perished, if a Virtue 



si Virtus sub pace cadit?" trepida agmina 

convertere oculos : stillabat vulneris index 700 

ferrata de veste cruor, mox et pavor hostem 
comminus adstantem prodit ; nam pallor in ore 
conscius audacis facti dat signa reatus 
et deprensa tremunt languens manus et color 

circumstat propere strictis mucronibus omnis 705 
Virtutum legio exquirens fervente tumultu 
et genus et nomen, patriam sectamque, Deumque 
quern colat et missu cuiatis venerit. ilia 
exsanguis turbante metu : " Discordia dicor, 
cognomento Heresis ; Deus est mihi discolor," 

inquit, 710 

*' nunc minor, aut maior, modo duplex et modo 

cum placet, aerius et de phantasmate visus, 
aut innata anima est quoties volo ludere numen ; 
praeceptor Bella mihi, domus et plaga mundus." 
non tulit ulterius capti blasphemia monstri 715 

Virtutum regina Fides, sed verba loquentis 
inpedit et vocis claudit spiramina pilo, 
pollutam rigida transfigens cuspide linguam. 
carpitur innumeris feralis bestia dextris ; 
frustatim sibi quisque rapit quod spargat in 

auras, 720 

quod canibus donet, corvis quod edacibus ultro 
ofFerat, inmundis caeno exhalante cloacis 
quod trudat, monstris quod mandet habere 

discissum foedis animalibus omne cadaver 
dividitur, ruptis Heresis perit horrida membris. 725 



falls in time of peace? " The ranks in alarm turned 
sorroAsing eyes upon her, and there was the tell-tale 
blood dripping from the armoured coat ! Then fear 
betrays the foe as she stands close by, for the pallid 
cheek shows consciousness of the outrage and gives 
proof of guilt, and the limp hand and white face 
tremble at discover}'. Quickly with drawn swords 
the whole army of the Virtues surrounds her, asking 
in an uproar of excitement her race and name, her 
country and her faith, what God she worships, of 
what nation he that sent her. And she, all pale 
with upsetting fear, says : " I am called Discord, and 
my other name is Heresy. The God I have is variable, 
now lesser, now greater, now double, now single ; 
when I please, he Is unsubstantial, a mere apparition, 
or again the soul ■within us, when I choose to make 
a mock of his divinity." My teacher is BeUal, my 
home and country the world." No further did 
Faith, the Virtues' queen, bear with the outrageous 
prisoner's blasphemies, but stopped her speech and 
blocked the passage of her voice with a javelin, 
dri\ing its hard point through the foul tongue. 
Countless hands tear the deadly beast in pieces, each 
seizing bits to scatter to the breezes, or throw to the 
dogs, or proffer to the devouring carrion crows, or 
thrust into the foul, stinking sewers, or give to the 
sea-monsters for their own. The whole corpse is 
torn asunder and parcelled out to unclean creatures ; 
so perishes frightful Heresy, rent limb from limb. 

" These expressions indicate heretical beliefs with which 
Prudentius deals in the Apotheosis and Hamartigenia. Cf. 
Apoth. 255 ff. (minor, maior). Ham. 1-16, etc. (duplex), 
Apoth. 178 ff. (simplex), 952 ff. (phantasma). Innaia anima 
seems to refer to the doctrine treated at Apoth. 820 S., that 
the soul is a verj' part of God. 



conpositis igitur rerum morumque secundis 
in commune bonis, postquam ^ intra tuta morari 
contigit ac statione frui valloque foveri 
pacificos Sensus, et in otia solvere curas,^ 
exstruitur media eastrorum sede tribunal 730 

editiore loco, tumulus quern vertice acuto 
excitat in speculam, subiecta unde omnia late 
liber inofFenso circum inspicit aere visus. 
hunc sincera Fides simul et Concordia, sacro 
foedere iuratae Christi sub amore sorores, 735 

conscendunt apicem ; mox et sublime tribunal 
par sanctum carunaque sibi supereminet aequo 
iure potestatis, consistunt aggere summo 
conspicuae populosque iubent adstare frequentes. 
concurrunt alacres castris ex omnibus omnes, 740 
nulla latet pars Mentis iners, quae corporis ullo 
intercepta sinu per conceptacula sese 
degeneri languore tegat, tentoria apertis 
cuncta patent velis, reserantur carbasa, ne quis 
marceat obscuro stertens habitator operto. 745 

auribus intentis expectant contio, quidnam 
victores post bella vocet Concordia princeps, 
quam velit atque Fides Virtutibus addere legem, 
erumpit prima in vocem Concordia tali 
adloquio : " cumulata quidem iam gloria vobis, 750 
o Patris, o Domini fidissima pignera Christi, 
contigit : extincta est multo certamine saeva 
barbaries, sanctae quae circumsaepserat urbis 
indigenas, ferroque viros flammaque premebat. 

' The Qth-century MS. A and some others have 

in commune bonis, tranquillae plebis ad unum 
sensibus in tuta valli statione locatis 
exstruitur, etc. 

The Ith-centiiry MS. is not available for lines 668-892. 



So now that a fair and happy state of circumstance 
and life has been established over all, now " that the 
peaceable Sentiments can dwell in security under the 
protection of guard-post and rampart, and find relief 
in relaxation of their cares,* a platform is set up at 
the midmost point of the camp on an elevated ground, 
a . peak-topped hillock rising to make a look-out 
whence the eye can freely range afar on every side 
without obstruction. To this projection mounts 
honest Faith and, with her. Concord, sisters sworn 
in holy alUance in the love of Christ. Then the 
sacred pair, dear to each other, take their stand 
together towering above the lofty platform, for 
their authority is equal ; and from their prominent 
place on the of the rising ground they bid 
the people attend them in their numbers. All 
assemble briskly from the whole camp. No member 
of Soul lurks in idleness, shut off in a pocket of the 
body and lying close in some retreat in ignoble 
sloth. All tents stand exposed, their curtains 
drawn back, the canvas open, so that no dweller 
therein shall he lazily asleep in undiscovered secrecy. 
With ears alert the assemblage waits to hear for what 
cause its leader Concord summons the victors now 
that war is over, or what new rule Faith will lay on 
the Virtues. Concord first breaks into speech viith 
these words : " Abundant glory has come to you, ye 
faithful children of the Father and of Christ our Lord. 
With a great struggle have you wiped out the cruel 
savages that had beset the dwellers in the holy city 
round about "with hard pressure of fire and sword. 

• With the text of A etc. " now that the folk is at peace 
and every Sentiment, down to the last, settled safely behind 
the protection of the rampart." 



publica sed requies privatis rure foroque 755 

constat amicitiis : scissura domestica turbat 

rem populi, titubatque foris quod dissidet intus. 

ergo cavete, viri, ne sit sententia discors 

Sensibus in nostris, ne secta exotica tectis 

nascatur conflata odiis, quia fissa voluntas 760 

confundit variis arcana biformia fibris. 

quod sapimus coniungat amor ; quod vivimus uno 

conspiret studio : nil dissociabile firmum est. 

utque homini atque Deo medius intervenit lesus, 

qui sociat mortale Patri, ne carnea distent 765 

Spiritui aeterno sitque ut Deus unus utrumque, 

sic, quidquid gerimus mentisque et corporis actu, 

spiritus unimodis texat conpagibus unus. 

pax plenum Virtutis opus, pax summa laborum, 

pax belli exacti pretium est pretiumque pericli. 770 

sidera pace vigent, consistunt terrea pace. 

nil placitum sine pace Deo : non munus ad aram 

cum cupias offerre probat, si turbida fratrem 

mens inpacati sub pectoris oderit antro, 

nee, si flammicomis Christi pro nomine martyr 775 

ignibus insilias servans inamabile votum 

bile sub obliqua, pretiosara proderit lesu 

inpendisse animam, meriti quia clausula pax est. 

non inflata tumet, non invidet aemula fratri, 

omnia perpetitur patiens atque omnia credit, 780 

nunquam laesa dolet, cuncta ofFensacula donat, 



But the nation's peace depends on good will between 
its citizens in field and town. Division at home 
upsets the common weal and difference within means 
faltering abroad. Therefore be on the watch, my 
soldiers, that there be no discordant thought among 
our Sentiments, that no foreign faction arise in us 
from the occasion of hidden quarrels ; for a divided 
will creates disorder in our inmost nature, making 
two parties in a heart at variance. Let our under- 
standing be united by love, our life be in accord in a 
single aim ; where there is separation there is no 
strength. And just as Jesus mediates between man 
and God, uniting mortality with the Father so that 
the fleshly shall not be separated from the eternal 
Spirit and that one God shall be both, so let one 
spirit shape in single structure all that we do by 
action of soul and body. Peace is the fulfilment of a 
Virtue's work, peace the sum and substance of her 
toils, peace the reward for war now ended and for 
peril faced. It is by peace that the stars live and 
move, by peace that earthly things stand firm. 
Without peace nothing is pleasing to God. When 
thou desirest to offer a gift at the altar, it is not 
acceptable to Him if thy soul is angry and hates thy 
brother in the depths of a heart unreconciled ; and 
if in martyrdom for the name of Christ thou shouldst 
leap into the fire with its tresses of flame, while from 
spiteful A\Tath thou dost still keep some uncharitable 
desire, it ^vi\\ not profit thee to have sacrificed thy 
precious life to Jesus, for it is peace that is the per- 
fection of merit. It is not puffed up with pride, it 
feels no jealous envy of a brother; it endures all 
things with long-suffering, believes all things. It 
bears wrong without resentment, it forgives all 



occasum lucis venia praecurrere gestit, 
anxia ne stabilem linquat sol conscius iram. 
quisque litare Deo mactatis vult holocaustis, 
ofFerat in primis pacexn : nulla hostia Christo 785 
dulcior : hoc solo sancta ad donaria vultum 
munere convertens liquido ^ oblectatur odore. 
sed tamen et niveis tradit Deus ipse columbis 
pinnatum tenera plumarum veste colubrum 
rimante ingenio docte internoscere mixtum 790 
innocuis avibus ; latet et lupus ore cruento 
lacteolam mentitus ovem sub vellere molli, 
cruda per agninos exercens funera rictus. 
hac sese occultat Photinus et Arrius arte, 
inmanes feritate lupi. discrimina produnt 795 

nostra recensque cruor, quamvis de corpore summo, 
quid possit furtiva manus." gemitum dedit 

Virtutum populus casu concussus acerbo. 
turn generosa Fides haec subdidit : " immo 

in rebus cesset gemitus. Concordia laesa est, 800 
sed defensa Fides : quin et Concordia sospes, 
germanam comitata Fidem, sua vulnera ridet. 
haec mea sola salus, nihil hac mihi triste recepta. 
unum opus egregio restat post bella labori, 
o proceres, regni quod tandem pacifer heres 805 

belligeri, armatae successor inermus et aulae, 
instituit Solomon, quoniam genitoris anheh 
fumarat calido regum de sanguine dextra. 

^ puro in the Qth-century MS. 

" Both taught heretical doctrines with regard to the Trinity. 
The name of the latter is more familiar as Arius. 



offences ; it is eager to pardon before daylight sinks, 
uneasy lest the conscious sun leave behind it an en- 
during anger. Whosoever would worship God 
acceptably with whole burnt offerings, let him above 
all offer peace. No sacrifice is sweeter to Christ ; 
it is this gift alone that pleases Him with a pure 
aroma when He turns his face towards the holy altar. 
Yet God himself gives the snow-white doves the 
skill to know, with sense that looks beneath the 
surface, the winged snake in its dress of soft, downy 
feathers, when it mingles ^\•ith the harmless birds. 
The wolf, too, A^th his gor}' jaws, conceals himself 
in a soft fleece, counterfeiting a milk-white sheep, 
while he carries on his bloodv murders by devouring 
the lambs. It is by this device that Photinus and 
Arrius " disguise themselves, those wolves so wild 
and savage. This danger to me, and this fresh 
bleeding, superficial though it be, show what a 
stealthy hand can do." A cry of sorrow arose from 
all the nation of the Virtues in their agitation at the 
grievous mischance. Then noble Faith added these 
words: " Nay, let there be no crj- of sorrow in our 
hour of Aactory. Concord has been hurt, but Faith 
defended. Indeed Concord has been saved, and 
standing by her sister Faith, laughs at her wounds. 
She is my sole salvation ; with her rescue there is 
nought to cast me down. One task alone, ye cap- 
tains, now that war is over, remains for a noble 
effort to perform ; the task that Solomon, the 
peaceful heir of a warlike throne, the unarmed 
successor to an armed court, set on foot, since his 
father panted from the slaughter and his hand 
reeked of the warm blood of kings.* For it is when 

^ C/. 1 Chronicles xxviii, 2-3 ; 1 Kings v, 2-5. 



sanguine nam terso templum fundatur et ara 
ponitur auratis Christi domus ardua tectis. 810 

tunc Hierusalem templo inlustrata quietum 
suscepit iam diva Deum, circumvaga postquam 
sedit marmoreis fundata altaribus area, 
surgat et in nostris templum venerabile castris, 
omnipotens cuius sanctorum sancta revisat. 815 

nam quid terrigenas ferro pepulisse phalangas 
Culparum prodest, hominis si Filius area 
aetheris inlapsus purgati corporis urbem 
intret inornatam templi splendentis egenus ? 
hactenus alternis sudatum est comminus armis : 820 
munia nunc agitet tacitae toga Candida pacis, 
atque sacris sedem properet discincta iuventus." 
haec ubi dicta dedit, gradibus regina superbis 
de^luit tantique operis Concordia consors 
metatura novum iacto fundamine templum. 825 

aurea planitiem spatiis percurrit harundo 
dimensis, quadrant ut quattuor undique frontas, 
na commissuris distantibus angulus inpar 
argutam mutilet per dissona semetra normam. 
Aurorae de parte tribus plaga lucida portis 830 

inlustrata patet, triplex aperitur ad austrum 
portarum numerus, tris occiduaUbus ofFert 
ianua trina fores, totiens aquilonis ad axem 
panditur alta domus. nullum illic structile 

sed cava per solidum multoque forata dolatu 835 
gemma relucenti limen conplectitur arcu, 
vestibulumque lapis penetrabile concipit unus. 
portarum summis inscripta in postibus auro 

" Cf. Revelation xxi, 15. In what follows, Prudentius 
draws many details from the description of the New Jerusalem 
in that chapter. 


blood is cleansed that a temple is built and an 
altar set up in an house adorned with gold, to be 
the majestic home of Christ. Then it was that 
Jerusalem was made glorious with her temple and, 
herself now divine, received her God to rest there, 
now that the homeless Ark was established in its 
place on the marble altar. In our camp too let a 
sacred temple arise, that the Almighty may ^•isit its 
holy of hoUes. For what does it profit to have driven 
back >vith the sword the earth-born regiments of the 
Sins, if the Son of Man coming do>vn from high 
heaven and entering the city of the cleansed body 
finds it unadorned and lacks a shining temple ? 
Hitherto have we laboured hard in close battle one 
after another ; now let the white plain dress of quiet 
peace be active in its tasks, and our soldiers un- 
harnessed hasten to build an abode for holy worship." 
So speaking, with majestic step descended the 
queen and Concord, her partner in the great work, 
to lay out the new temple and set its foundation. 
Her golden reed " runs over the ground measuring 
out the distances, so that the four sides shall square 
every way and the junctures be true, leaving no 
unequal angle to mar the neatness of the plan by 
breaking its harmonious regularity. On the side of 
the dawn stretches clear a quarter Ut up by three 
gates ; three gates open towards the south ; three 
entrances present three doors to the west ; and as 
many openings does the lofty house show towards 
the pole of the north. No building-stone is there, 
but a single gem, a block through which much hew- 
ing has pierced a passage, frames the doorway with 
a shining arch, and a single stone forms the entrance- 
court. On the tops of the gateways gleam the 



nomina apostolici fulgent bis sena senatus. 
Spiritus his titulis arcana recondita Mentis 840 

ambit et electos vocat in praecordia Sensus ; 
quaque hominis natura viget, quam corpore toto 
quadrua vis animat, trinis ingressibus aram 
cordis adit castisque colit sacraria votis ; 
seu pueros sol primus agat, seu fervor ephebos 845 
incendat nimius, seu consummabilis aevi 
perficiat lux plena viros, sive algida Borrae 
aetas decrepitam vocet ad pia sacra senectam, 
occurrit trinum quadrina ad compita nomen, 
quod bene discipulis disponit rexduodenis. 850 

quin etiam totidem gemmarum insignia textis 
parietibus distincta micant, animasque colorum 
viventes liquido lux evomit alta profundo. 
ingens chrysolitus, nativo interlitus auro, 
hinc sibi sapphirum sociaverat, inde beryllum, 855 
distantesque nitor medius variabat honores. 
hie chalcedon hebes perfunditur ex hyacinthi 
lumine vicino ; nam forte cyanea propter 
stagna lapis cohibens ostro fulgebat aquoso. 
sardonicem pingunt amethystina, pingit iaspis 860 
sardium iuxta adpositum pulcherque topazon. 
has inter species smaragdina gramine verno 
prata virent volvitque vagos lux herbida fluctus. 
te quoque conspicuum structura interserit, ardens 

" The four sides of the square temple represent here the 
four ages of man which are described in lines 845-48. 

* Compita here is the area covered by the temple (including 
the temple itself) into which ways lead from the four directions. 
Trebatius (a jurist and a younger contemporary of Cicero) as 
quoted by Servius " Danielis " in a note on Virgil (Georgics, i 
II, 383) defines compita as a place into which, or from which, I 


twelve names of the apostolic senate inscribed in 
gold. With these inscriptions the Spirit encircles the 
unseen privacy of Soul, calling elect Sentiments into 
the heart ; and at whatever side is man's life," 
whose bodily temper is given by a four-fold force, 
it approaches the altar in the heart by three 
avenues and with pure desires honours its sanctu- 
ary ; whether it be the brisk dawn of childhood, 
or the strong burning heat of youth, or the broad 
day of the man's full maturity, or the chill time 
of north ■wind calling feeble age to its devotions, 
three names present themselves at this meeting- 
place of ways on each of its four sides,^ where the 
King sets them out in honour of his twelve disciples. 
And more, the ntunber of gems, set singly in 
the fabric of the walls, sparkle conspicuously, and 
out of their clear depths the light from on high pours 
li\ing, breathing colours. A great chr^i'solite, 
speckled with natural gold, had partnered ^\^th it on 
one side a sapphire, on the other a beryl, and the 
lustre between them gave varying tones to the 
beauties it parted. Here a dull chalcedony is flooded 
with colour from the light of its neighbour jacinth; 
for as it chanced that stone with the dark depths 
imprisoned within it was shining near by vrith its 
pellucid flash of crimson. The amethyst's hue tinges 
the sardonyx, jasper and fair topaz the sardius set 
beside them. Amid these beauties are emeralds like 
grassy meadows in the spring, whose green light rolls 
out ever-changing waves. Thou too, gleaming 
chrj'soprase, hast a conspicuous place in the structure, 

ways lead from, or in, a number of directions, either with 
or without an altar, and either roofed over or in the open, 
and in which the people of a country district meet together. 



chrysoprase, et sidus saxis stellantibus addit. 865 
stridebat gravidis funalis machina vinclis 
inmensas rapiens alta ad fastigia gemmas. 
at domus interior septem subnixa columnis 
crystalli algentis vitrea de rupe recisis 
construitur, quarum tegit edita calculus albens 870 
in conum caesus capita et sinuamine subter 
subductus conchae in speciem, quod mille talentis 
margaritum ingens, opibusque et censibus hastae 
addictis, animosa Fides mercata pararat. 
hoc residet solio pollens Sapientia et omne 875 

consilium regni celsa disponit ab aula, 
tutandique hominis leges sub corde retractat. 
in manibus dominae sceptrum non arte politum 
sed ligno vivum viridi est, quod stirpe recisum,^ 
quamvis nullus alat terreni caespitis umor, 880 

fronde tamen viret incolumi, turn sanguine tinctis 
intertexta rosis candentia lilia miscet 
nescia marcenti florem submittere collo. 
huius forma fuit sceptri gestamen Aaron 
floriferum, sicco quod germina cortice trudens 885 
explicuit tenerum spe pubescente decorem 
inque novos subito tumuit virga arida fetus, 
reddimus aeternas, indulgentissime doctor, 
grates, Christe, tibi, meritosque sacramus honores 
ore pio ; nam cor vitiorum stercore sordet. 890 

tu nos corporei latebrosa pericula operti 
luctantisque animae voluisti agnoscere casus, 
novimus ancipites nebuloso in pectore sensus 

^ Bergman reads reciso with the Qth-century MS. 

" The identification of the precious stones is often dubious. 
The names used in the Authorised Version of Revelation xxi 
are here retained, but sapphirus is certainly lapis lazuli and 
hyacinthus is sapphire. 



thy star is added to the glittering stones. The crane 
was creaking \Wth the weight on its chains as it 
whirled the vast gems up to the heights.* An inner 
chamber, too, is constructed, which rests on seven 
pillars * cut from a glassy rock of ice-like cr^-stal 
and topped with a white stone cut cone-wise and 
curved on the lower part into the likeness of a 
shell, a great pearl to buy which Faith had boldly 
sold at auction all her substance and her property, 
and paid for it a thousand talents.* Here mighty 
Wisdom sits enthroned and from her high court sets 
in order all the government of her realm, meditating 
in her heart laws to safeguard mankind. In the 
sovereign's hands is a sceptre, not finished -with 
craftsman's skill but a li\-ing rod of green wood; 
severed from its stock, it draws no nurture from 
moist earthly soil, yet puts forth perfect foliage and 
with blooms of blood-red roses intermingles white 
lilies that never droop on ^nthering stem. This is 
the sceptre that was prefigured by the flowering rod 
that Aaron carried, which, pushing buds out of its 
dry bark, imfolded a tender grace with burgeoning 
hope, and the parched twig suddenly swelled into new 
fruits. ** 

We give to Thee, O Christ, Thou tenderest of 
teachers, unending thanks and offer to Thee the 
honour that is thy due ^\"ith loyal lips — for our heart 
is foul with the filth of sin. Thou didst \sish us to 
learn the dangers that lurk- unseen >nthin the body, 
and the \icissitudes of our soul's struggle. We know 
that in the darkness of our heart conflicting affections 

» Cf. Proverbs ix, 1. 

* Cf. Matthew xiii, 45-46. 

' Cf. Numbers xvii, 6-8. 



sudare alternis conflictibus, et variato 
pugnarum eventu nunc indole crescere dextra, 895 
nunc inclinatis virtutibus ^ ad iuga vitae 
deteriora trahi seseque addicere noxis 
turpibus et propriae iacturam ferre salutis. 
o quotiens animam, vitiorum peste repulsa, 
sensimus incaluisse Deo ! quotiens tepefactum 900 
caeleste ingenium post gaudia Candida taetro 
cessisse stomacho ! fervent bella horrida, fervent 
ossibus inclusa, fremit et discordibus armis 
non simplex natura hominis ; nam viscera limo 
effigiata premunt animam, contra ille sereno 905 
editus adflatu nigrantis carcere cordis 
aestuat, et sordes arta inter vincla recusat. 
spiritibus pugnant variis lux atque tenebrae, 
distantesque animat duplex substantia vires, 
donee praesidio Christus Deus adsit et omnes 910 
virtutum gemmas conponat sede piata, 
atque, ubi peccatum regnaverat, aurea templi 
atria constituens texat spectamine morum 
ornamenta animae, quibus oblectata decoro 
aeternum solio dives Sapientia regnet. 915 

* Some MSS. have cervicibus. 



fight hard in successive combats and, as the fortune 
of battle varies, now grow strong in goodness of dis- 
position and again, when the virtues are worsted, are 
dragged away to live in bondage to the worse, making 
themselves the slaves of shameful sins, and content 
to suffer the loss of their salvation. How often, when 
the plaguing sins have been driven away, have we 
felt our soul aglow with the presence of God, how 
often, after these pure joys, felt our heavenly nature 
grow cool and yield to foul desire I Savage war rages 1 
hotly, rages within our bones, and man's two-sided y ;^^-4 
nature is in an uproar of rebelUon ; for the flesh that ^^.^jjU/; 
was formed of clay bears down up>on the spirit, but 
again the spirit that issued from the pure breath of ^ f SO^ 
God is hot withLi the dark prison-house of the heart, \0'-^^ 
and even in its close bondage rejects the body's filth. 
Light and darkness with their opposing spirits are 
at war, and our two-fold being inspires powers at 
variance ■with each other, imtil Christ our God comes 
to our aid, orders all the jewels of the \irtues in a 
pure setting, and where sin formerly reigned builds 
the golden courts of his temple, creating for the soul, 
out of the trial of its conduct, ornaments for rich 
Wisdom to find delight in as she reigns for ever on 
her beauteous throne. 





Paulus, praeco Dei, qui fera gentium 

primus corda sacro perdomuit stilo, 

Christum per populos ritibus asperis 

inmanes placido dogmate seminans, 

inmansueta suas ut cerimonias 5 

gens pagana Deo sperneret agnito, 

actus turbinibus forte nigerrimis 

hibernum pelagus iam rate debili 

et vim navifragi pertulerat noti. 

sed cum caerulei proelia gurgitis 10 

iussisset Domini dextra quiescere, 

ad portum fluitans cumba relabitur 

exponitque solo litoris uvidi 

contractos pluvio frigore remiges. 

tunc de litoreis saepibus algidi 15 

arentum propere bracchia palmitum 

convectant rapidos unde focos struant : 

fascem quisque suum congerit ignibus 

expectans calidi luxuriam rogi. 

Paulus, dum fragiles cogere surculos 20 

et densere foci congeriem studet, 

incautam cumulis inseruit manum, 

torpebat glacie pigra ubi vipera 

344 " 




Paul, the herald of God, who first wath his holy 
pen subdued the ^\■ild hearts of the Gentiles and 
•with his peaceable teaching propagated the know- 
ledge of Christ over barbarous nations that followed 
savage ways, so that the untamed pagan race might 
come to know God and reject its own rituals, chanced 
once to be driven before a black tempest and with 
his ship disabled endured a stormy sea and a furious, 
wrecking wind. But when the Lord's hand made 
the dark, warring waters sink to rest, the vessel, still 
afloat, glided into a haven and on the wet shore dis- 
embarked her crew all pinched with cold and rain ; 
and then, shivering the while, they hastily gathered 
dr}', branching shoots from bushes by the shore to 
make a vehement blaze, each one, as he piled his 
bundle on the flames, looking to enjoy the warmth 
of the bonfire. Paul, busily gathering brittle t\\igs 
and pressing them on the burning heap, put an 
unwary hand into the pile, where a viper had been 

* See Introduction, pp. x-xii. 



sarmentis laqueos corporis inplicans. 

quae postquam intepuit fomite fumeo 25 

laxavitque ferox colla rigentia, 

iam flecti facilis, rettulit ad manum 

vibrato capita spicula dentium. 

haerentem digiti vulnere mordicus 

pendentemque gerens Paulus inhorruit. 30 

exclamant alii, quod cute livida 

virus mortiferum serpere crederent. 

at non intrepidum terret apostolum 

tristis tarn subiti forma periculi. 

adtollens oculos sidera suspicit 35 

Christum sub tacito pectore murmurans, 

excussumque procul discutit aspidem. 

abiectus coluber verberat aera~ 

atque oris patuli solvit acumina. 

mox omnis sanies deserit et dolor 40 

ceu nullo laceram vulnere dexteram, 

siccatusque perit vipereus liquor. 

hydrum praecipitem dum rotat inpetus, 

arsurum mediis intulit ignibus. 

sic nunc post hiemem vimque trucis freti, 45 

quo iactata ratis tunc Sapientiae est, 
cum sub sacricolis territa regibus 
vix panso poterat currere carbaso 
adflictosque suos turbine saeculi 

vectarat rabidis fluctibus innatans, 50 

morsum vulnificum lex pia pertulit. 
occultabat enim se prius abditum 
virus nee gravidum protulerat caput, 
contentum involucris atque cubilibus 
subter conprimere clausa silentia. 55 

sed, dum forte latens inpietas riget, 
dextram lustitiae pigra momorderat 



l}-ing torpid and benumbed with the frost, its body 
twined in coils about the sticks ; and now that it 
was warmed up by the smoking fire and got its stiff 
neck loosened it grew fierce again, and with its 
suppleness restored it poised its head and struck at 
his hand with its sharp teeth. Paul shuddered as he 
lifted it while it clung to the wound in his finger, 
hanging on by its bite. Others cried out, for they 
supposed the deadly venom was spreading and dis- 
colouring the skin ; but the apostle was undaunted ; 
the sudden peril in this grim shape did not affright 
him. Raising his eyes, he looked up to heaven, 
silently uttering the name of Christ in his heart, 
and shook the reptile off and cast it from him, and 
the snake, as he threw it off, lashing the air opened 
its mouth and released its fangs. Then all the 
tainted blood and the pain vanished from the hand 
as though no wound had torn it, and the xiper's 
venom dried up and disappeared. The forceful toss 
sent the serpent whirling into the midst of the fire 
to bum. 

So in our day, after the storm and violence of the 
angrv' sea whereon Wisdom's barque was driven 
about, what time she was put in fear under idolatrous 
rulers and could scarce run with canvas spread, and 
the people she carried as she floated over the raging 
waves were in distress from the storm of the world, 
her holy law suffered a bite that wounded it. For 
the poison had been lurking hitherto in secret, nor 
put forth its \-irulent head, but had been content to 
he wTapped up deep in its lair and keep close silence ; 
but while Impiety was lying stiff and unperceived, 
numb as it was, it bit the hand of Righteousness, 
for its gall was inflamed and it was heated with 



succensi stomacho fellis inaestuans. 

heu, quam catholicam nil prope profuit 

puppem nasse sacri remigio stili 60 

quern Paulus variis gentibus edidit ! 

vix portu placido tuta quieverat 

victrix edomitis mille furoribus, 

vix adstricta suis iam retinaculis 

vectores stabili condiderat solo : 65 

erumpit subito triste periculum. 

nam dum praecalidos igniculos sibi 

solvendis adolent et senio et gelu, 

dum virgas steriles atque superfluas 

flammis de fidei palmite concremant, 70 

ut concreta vagis vinea crinibus 

silvosi inluviem poneret idoli, 

palpavit nimius perniciem tepor. 

seps-insueta subit serpere flexibus 

et vibrare sagax eloquii caput : 75 

sed dextra inpatiens vulneris inritos 

oris rhetorici depulit halitus ; 

efFusum ingenii virus inaniter 

summa Christicolis in cute substitit. 

Salvator generis Romulei, precor, 80 

qui cunctis veniam das pereuntibus, 
qui nullum statuis non operis tui 
mortalem, facili quern releves manu, 
huius, si potis est, iam miserescito 
praeruptam in foveam praecipitis viri. 85 

spirat sacrilegis flatibus inscius 
erroresque suos indocilis fovet. 
obtestor, iubeas ne citus inpetus 
arsurum mediis inferat ignibus. 



rage. Alas, how all but bootless it has been that 
the Catholic barque has swum the seas under the 
oarage of the holy \\Titings that Paul put forth to 
many nations ! Scarce had she come to rest in 
safety in the calm haven after her \'ictory over a 
thousand wild storms, scarce had she been made fast 
with her mooring-ropes and landed her passengers 
on firm ground, when suddenly the grim peril burst 
forth. For while they were making hot fires to 
relieve their weariness and cold, burning in the flames 
the barren and useless shoots from the \-ine of the 
faith,*' which had grown into a thick mass of gadding 
tresses, to rid it of its rank forest-growth of idolatry, 
the all too warm caress of the heat brought the 
plague to life. The snake began to creep and t\nne 
anew and poise a head that was skilled in speech. 
But a hand that no wound can hurt turned aside the 
vain breathings of that eloquent mouth ; * its 
poisonous talent was poured out -without effect and 
stopped short on the surface of the Christians' skin. 
O Sa\iour of the race of Romulus, who dost grant 
thy grace to all that are perishing and dost establish 
as a work of thine even,- mortal whom vrith ready 
hand Thou raisest up, I pray Thee, if it may be, 
have compassion now on this man who has fallen 
into a sheer pit. Un\\-ittingly he breathes impiety, 
and in his ignorance clings to his errors. I beseech 
Thee, command that a s^vift toss shall not send him 
into the midst of the fire to bum. 

• This probably refers to the condemnation of heresies by 
the Council called by Theodosius I at Constantinople in 381. 

* Pmdentius admits the oratorical pre-eminence of Sym- 



Credebam vitiis aegram gentilibus urbem 

iam satis antiqui pepulisse pericula morbi 

nee quidquam restare mali, postquam medicina 

principis inmodicos sedarat in arce dolores. 

sed quoniam renovata lues turbare salutem 5 

temptat Romulidum, patris inploranda medella 

ne sinat antique Romam squalere vetemo 
neve togas procerum fumoque et sanguine tingui. 
inclitus ergo parens patriae, moderator et orbis, 
nil egit prohibendo vagas ne pristinus error 10 

crederet esse deum nigrante sub aere formas, 
aut elementorum naturam, quae Patris ars est 
omnigeni, summa pro maiestate sacraret, 
vir solus cui cura fuit ne publica morum 
plaga cicatricem summa leviter cute elausam 15 

duceret, et latebram tabentis vulneris alte 
inpressam penitusque putri de pure peresam 
iuncta superficies medico fallente foveret, 
sed studuit quo pars hominis generosior intus 
viveret atque animam letaH peste piatam 20 

nosset ab intemo tutam servare veneno ? 
ilia tyrannorum fuerat medicina, videre 
quis status ante oculos praesentibus ac perituris 
conpeteret rebus, nee curam adhibere futuris. 
heu, male de populo meriti, male patribus ipsis 25 
blanditi, quos praecipites in Tartara mergi 
ciim love siverunt multa et cum plebe deorum ! 



I USED to think that Rome, which was sick viith her 
pagan errors, had by now quite rid herself of the 
dangers of her old disease and that no ill remained 
behind, now that the emperor's healing measures 
had assuaged in the seat of power her grievous 
pains.* But since the plague has broken out anew 
and seeks to trouble the well-being of the race of 
Romulus, we must beg a remedy of our father, that 
he let not Rome sink again into her old filthy torpor 
nor suffer her great men's gowns to be stained with 
smoke and blood. Did the illustrious father of his 
country and ruler of the world achieve nothing, then, 
when he forbade old error to believe in shapes of 
gods that went about in the murky air, or to con- 
secrate in place of the supreme majesty the elements 
which are the handiwork of the Father who created 
all ? He was the one man whose care it was that, 
while the wound in the nation's character showed 
outwardly a scar lightly healed on the skin, the 
union of the surface should not, because of the 
surgeon's dishonesty, foster in secret a deep-seated 
wasting sore, all eaten away with putrefaction ; but 
sought diligently to make man's nobler part within 
him live and know how to keep the soul that was 
cleansed of the deadly plague safe from internal 
poison. The treatment the usurpers applied before 
had been to see what order of affairs would meet the 
passing situation of the moment, and to take no 
trouble for the future. Alas, ill did they serve the 
nation, ill complaisance did they show to the senators 
1 themselves, when they let them plunge headlong 
into hell in company with Jupiter and the great mob 

" Pagan worship was forbidden undw Tbeodosius I. 



ast hie imperium protendit latius aevo 

posteriore suis cupiens sancire salutem. 

nimirum pulchre quidam doctissimus " esset 30 

publica res," inquit, " tune fortunata satis, si 

vel reges saperent vel regnarent sapientes." 

estne ille e numero paueorum qui diadema 

sortiti aetheriae coluerunt dogma sophiae ? 

contigit ecee hominum generi gentique togatae 35 

dux sapiens, felix nostrae res publiea Romae 

iustitia regnante viget. parete magistro 

sceptra gubernanti. monet ut deterrimus error 

utque superstitio veterum procul absit avorum, 

nee putet esse deum, nisi qui super omnia summus 40 

emineat magnique inmensa creaverit orbis. 

num melius Saturnus avos rexisse Latinos 
creditur, edictis qui talibus informavit 
agrestes animos et barbara corda virorum ? 
" sum deus. advenio fugiens. praebete latebras, 45 
occultate senem nati feritate tyranni 
deiectum solio. placet hie fugitivus et exul 
ut lateam, genti atque loco Latium dabo nomen. 
vitibus incurvum, si qua est ea cura, putandis 
procudam chalybem, necnon et moenia vestri 50 

" Under Christian emperors before Theodosius paganism 
had been at least tolerated; indeed the emperor, though 
himself a Christian, was, as Pontifex Maximus, the ofl&cial 
head of the old state religion. Gratian (in 375) was the first 
emperor who refused to hold this oflBce. The senate had been 
the stronghold of paganism. Cambridge Medieval History, 
I, 114. 

" Plato, Republic V, 473d. 

' According to the legend (as in Virgil, Aeneid VIII, 
319 £f.) Saturn, on being expelled from heaven by his son 
Jupiter, took refuge in Latium, where he introduced the 
elements of civilisation. There was also a tradition of a 


of their gods ! " But this emperor has extended the 
fame of his reign further in time to come by seeking 
to establish his people's well-being. To be sure a 
learned man finely says, " The Commonwealth would 
then be blest enough, if either kings were wise or 
wise men kings." ^ Is not he of whom I speak 
among the few who, having received the diadem, 
devoted themselves to the teachings of heavenly 
wisdom ? In him the race of men and the people 
who wear the toga have found a wise leader ; Rome's 
commonwealth in our day thrives in blessedness 
because righteousness is on the throne. Obey ye a 
teacher who \vields the sceptre ; he gives warning 
that the wicked error and superstition of our fore- 
fathers of old be put away and not suppose there 
is a god except Him who stands out supreme over 
all things and created the infinitude of the great 

Is Saturn thought to have ruled our Latin fore- 
bears better, he who shaped the rude minds and 
uncivilised hearts of men \\'ith proclamations such as 
these ? '^ — " I am a god. I come to you an outcast ; 
give me a hiding-place. Conceal an old god driven 
from his throne by a savage, usurping '^ son. It is my 
pleasure to hide me here, a fugitive and exile, and 
to race and country I shall give the name of Latin. 
To prune your \ines, if you are interested in that, I 
shall beat out a cur\-ed tool of iron, and I shall 

town called Satumia (Aeneid VIII, 355-8). At line 48 
Prudentius alludes to the fanciful derivation of Latium from 
lateo. Later times looked back to the reign of Saturn in 
Latium as a golden age. Cf. lines 72-73; Aeneid VIII, 
324-5; TibullusI, 3, 35-48. 

<* Cf. the frequent description of usurping emperors as 
" tyranni." 

VOL. I. N 


fluminis in ripa statuam Saturnia vobis. 

vos nemus adpositasque meo sub honore sacrantes 

(sum quianam Caelo genitus) celebrabitis aras." 

inde deos, quorum patria spectata sepulcra 

scimus, in aere hebetes informavere minores, 55 

advena quos profugus gignens et equina libido 

intulit Italiae : Tuscis namque ille puellis 

primus adhinnivit simulato numine moechus. 

mox patre deterior silvosi habitator Olympi 
luppiter incesta spurcavit labe Lacaenas, 60 

nunc bove subvectam rapiens ad crimen amatam, 
nunc tener ac pluma levior blandosque susurros 
in morem recinens suave inmorientis oloris, 
capta quibus volucrem virguncula ferret amorem, 
nunc foribus surdis, sera quas vel pessulus artis 65 
firmarat cuneis, per tectum dives amator 
imbricibus ruptis undantis desuper auri 
infundens pluviam gremio excipientis amicae, 
armigero modo sordidulam curante rapinam 
conpressu inmundo miserum adficiens catamitum, 70 
pelice iam puero magis indignante sorore. 
haec causa est et origo mali, quod saecla vetusto 
hospite regnante crudus stupor aurea finxit, 
quodque novo ingenio versutus luppiter astus 
multiplices variosque dolos texebat, ut ilium, 75 

" The legend that Saturn on one occasion changed himself 
into a horse is referred to by Virgil, Georgics III, 92-4. 

*• The Greek stories to which Prudentius refers are those of 
Europa, whom Zeus (Jupiter) in the form of a white bull 
carried on his back, swimming from Phoenicia to Crete; 
Leda, to whom he came as a swan ; Danae, who was kept by 
her father in a brazen tower but was visited by Zeus in the 
form of a shower of gold; Ganymede, who was carried off 
by an eagle to be Jupiter's cup-bearer. The eagle is spoken 



establish for you on the bank of your river a city 
called Satumia. As for you, you will consecrate a 
grove and an altar thereby in my honour (for I am 
the son of Heaven) and will worship there." So dull- 
witted posterity shaped gods in bronze of men whose 
tombs we know were sights to be seen in their 
countr\\ The homeless stranger ^^^th his horse- 
lust " begot them and brought them upon Italy, for 
he was the first fornicator that pretended divinity 
when he whinnied after the maids of Tuscany. 

Next Jupiter, who was worse than his father and 
lived on wooded Olympus, defiled the Laconian 
women with the stain of lust, at one time carrying 
off his loved one on a bull's back* to commit his 
crime ; again, gentle and lighter than down and 
chanting soft wooing notes like a swan's sweet 
death-song, to charm the girl and make her 
veiling to submit to his \Wnged love ; or again, 
when doors were deaf and tight-wedged bar or bolt 
held them fast, the rich lover would break the 
tiles and through the roof pour streaming down a 
shower of gold for his mistress to catch it in her 
lap ; or his armour-bearer managed the vile ravish- 
ing and he held the wretched GamTtnede in his foul 
embrace, and his sister was angrier than ever at 
having now a boy as her rival. The cause and 
fountain-head of the evil is that raw stupidity 
imagined a golden age in the reign of the old stranger, 
and that with his unheard-of cleverness the ^rily 
Jupiter de\-ised many a dexterous trick and form of 
guile, so that, when he chose to change his skin 

of as Jupiter's armour-bearer (e.g. Aeneid V, 255); or as the 
carrier of his thunder-bolts (Horace, Odes IV, 4, 1 ; Ovid, 
Metamorphoses XII, 560). 



vertere cum vellet pellem faciemque, putarent 
esse bovem, praedari aquilam, concumbere cycnum, 
et nummos fieri et gremium penetrare puellae. 
nam quid rustieitas non crederet indomitorum 
stulta virum, pecudes inter ritusque ferinos 80 

dedere sueta animum diae rationis egenum ? 
in quamcumque fidem nebulonis callida traxit 
nequitia, infelix facilem gens praebuit aurem. 

successit lovis imperio corruptior aetas, 
quae docuit rigidos vitiis servire colonos. 85 

expertes furandi homines hac inbuit arte 
Mercurius, Maia genitus ; nunc magnus habetur 
ille deus, cuius dedit experientia fures. 
necnon Thessalicae doctissimus ille magiae 
traditur extinctas sumptae moderamine virgae 90 
in lucem revocasse animas, Cocytia leti 
iura resignasse sursum revolantibus umbris, 
ast alias damnasse neci penitusque latenti 
inmersisse chao. facit hoc ad utrumque peritus 
ut fuerit geminoque armarit crimine vitam ; 95 

murmure nam magico tenues excire figuras 
atque sepulcrales scite incantare favillas, 
vita itidem spoliare alios ars noxia novit. 
artificem scelerum simplex mirata vetustas 
supra hominem coluit, simulans per nubila ferri 100 
aligerisque leves pedibus transcurrere ventos. 

" Mercury (Hermes) was god of thieves. Among his other 
functions was that of conducting the souls of the dead into 
the lower world. The wand is his regular attribute ; in Homer 
he uses it to produce or dispel sleep; but it also becomes 
his official emblem in his capacity as herald of the gods. 
Prudentius no doubt has in mind Virgil's lines {Aeneid IV, 

turn virgam rapit : hac animas ille evocat Oreo 
pallentis, alias sub Tartara tristia mittit. 


and features, men thought he was a bull, or an 
eagle carrying off his prey, or a swan at his loves, 
and that he turned into money and so made his way 
to the maiden's bosom. For what would those 
foolish, rude, uncivilised folk not beUeve, who were 
wont to bestow all their attention on dealing with 
cattle and the ways of beasts, and whose minds were 
devoid of heavenly reason ? No matter to what 
belief the wastrel's cunning profligacy drew them, 
the luckless race lent a ready ear. 

After Jupiter's reign came an age more debased, 
which taught the hardy countr>-men to be the slaves 
of sin. Men who knew naught of thieving were 
first instructed in this art by Mercury, son of Maia ; 
and now he whose practised skill produced thieves 
is reckoned a great god! Expert too in Thessalian 
wizardry, as we are told, he used a wand that he 
took in his hands to call spirits of the dead back 
to the light, annulling the control of Cocytus over 
death by making the shades fly upwards, while 
others he condemned to death and plunged them 
deep in the nether darkness.** This proves that he 
was skilled both ways and armed his life with two 
kinds of crime ; for he had a guilty knowledge of 
how to raise unsubstantial spirits with muttered 
magic and cleverly bewitch the ashes in the tomb, 
and also how to rob other men of life ; and the 
simple folk of old wondered at his contrivance of 
crime and honoured him as more than human, pre- 
tending that he came through the clouds and passed 
on winged feet through the light airs. 



ecce deum in numero formatus et aeneus adstat 
Graius homo augustaque Numae praefulget in arce. 
strenuus exculti dominus quidam fuit agri 
hortorumque opibus memorabilis ; hie tamen 

idem 105 

scortator nimius multaque libidine suetus 
rusticolas vexare lupas interque salicta 
et densas saepes obscena cubilia inire ; 
indomitum intendens animum semperque paratum 
ad facinus nunquam calidis dabat otia venis. 110 

hie deus e patrio praenobilis Hellesponto 
venit ad usque Italos sacris cum turpibus hortos ; 
sinum laetis et haec votorum liba quotannis 
aecipit ae ruris servat vineta Sabini, 
turpiter adfixo pudeat quem visere ramo. 115 

Herculeus mollis pueri famosus amore 
ardor et in transtris iaetata efferbuit Argo, 
nee maris erubuit Nemea sub pelle fovere 
coneubitus et Hylan pereuntem quaerere eaelebs. 
nune Saliis eantuque domus Pinaria templum 120 
collis Aventini convexa in sede frequentat. 

Thebanus iuvenis superatis fit deus Indis, 
suceessu dum victor ovans lascivit et aurum 
captivae gentis revehit spoliisque superbus 

" Priapus, a spirit of fertility, figures as " guardian of 
gardens, part scarecrow, part warning to human thieves, 
part luck-bringer " (Rose, Handbook of Greek Mytliology, 
p. 175). 

* An almost verbatim quotation from Virgil {Eclogues, 
7. 33). 

" In the course of the voyage of the Argonauts Hylas went 
for water to a spring, and for his beauty was drawn under 
by the water nymphs. Hercules was left behind searching 
for him. The killing of the Nemean lion was one of the 
twelve labours of Hercules; he afterwards wore its skin. The 


See there, standing amid the gods, a man of 
Greece, shaped in bronze too, and gleaming on 
Numa's majestic Capitol. There was an active 
owTier of well-tilled land, a man who was notable for 
the wealth of his gardens ; but he was an arrant 
whoremonger too, and with exceeding lust used to 
plague the poor country drabs and couch obscenely 
amid the willow-groves and thick-set bushes, inciting 
a passion untamed and ever ready for misdeeds, and 
gi\ing his hot blood no rest. This man came as a 
famous god from his native Hellespont to the gardens 
of Italy " with his base rites, receiving " year by 
year a bowl of milk and these votive cakes," * and 
guarding the vineyards of the Sabine countr\-side, 
a shameful sight with the branch fastened to him. 

The passion of Hercules, who was notorious for 
his love of a girUsh boy, raged even on the thwarts 
while Argo tossed on the waters, and he blushed not 
to cover his wickedness under the wild beast's skin 
of Nemea and to search for Hylas, when he dis- 
appeared, as if he had lost a vvife. And now the 
Pinarian house fills his temple with dancing, chanting 
priests, where it stands on the slope of the Aventine 

A young man of Thebes ** becomes a god because 
he has conquered India and comes wantoning in 
triumph for his victory, bringing home the gold of 
the vanquished nation, and in the pride of his spoils 

story of the establishment of his worship at Rome is told by 
Virgil (Aeneid VIII, 184-275) and by Livy (I, 7). Tradition 
said that the families of the Potitii and Pinarii were placed 
in charge of it. 

^ Bacchus (Dionysus, Bromius, Liber). See Rose, pp. 
149 ff. 



diffluit in luxum cum semiviro comitatu 125 

atque avidus vini multo se proluit haustu, 
gemmantis paterae spumis mustoque Falerno 
perfundens biiugum rorantia terga ferarum. 
his nunc pro meritis Baccho caper omnibus aris 
caeditur et virides discindunt ore chelydros 130 

qui Bromium placare volunt, quod et ebria iam 

ante oculos regis satyrorum insania fecit, 
et fecisse reor stimulis furialibus ipsas 
maenadas inflammante mero in scelus omne rotatas. 
hoc circumsaltante choro temulentus adulter 135 

invenit expositum secreti in litoris acta 
corporis egregii scortum, quod perfidus illic 
liquerat incesto iuvenis satiatus amore. 
hanc iubet adsumptam fervens post vina Neaeram 
secum in deliciis fluitantis stare triumphi, 140 

regalemque decus capitis gestare coronam. 
mox Ariadnaeus stellis caelestibus ignis 
additur : hoc pretium noctis persolvit honore 
Liber, ut aetherium meretrix inluminet axem. 

tantum posse omnes illo sub tempore reges 145 
indocilis fatui ducebat ineptia vulgi, 
ut transire suis cum sordibus induperator 
posset in aeternum caeli super ardua regnum. 
regia tunc omnis vim maiestatis et omnis, 
parva licet, caeli imperium retinere potestas 150 

credita : ture etiam ducibus parvoque sacello 
inpertitus honos, quern dum metus aut amor aut 

adcumulant, longum miseris processit in aevum 

Ariadne, deserted on the isle of Naxos by Theseus. 
As the constellation Corona. 



abandoning himself to indulgence in company \\ith 
his emasculate following, in his lust for •wine soaking 
himself with many a draught and with the Falernian 
juice that foams from his jewelled cup besprinkling 
the dripping backs of the ^^ild beasts that draw his 
chariot. In recognition of these merits a goat is 
now sacrificed to Bacchus on every altar, and they 
that would propitiate Bromius tear green snakes 
\\-ith their mouths, as even at that time the mad- 
drunk satyrs did before their king's eyes and, I dare 
say, the maenads did too in their frenzied excite- 
ment, when the wine set them afire and whirled 
them into every sort of sin. With this company 
dancing around him the tipsy adulterer finds aban- 
doned on the sands of a lonely shore a mistress 
passing fair," whom a faithless young lover had 
deserted there when he tired of his unclean passion. 
Heated with drink, he takes up this lady-love and 
bids her stand with him amid his voluptuous, 
drunken procession and wear a royal crown to grace 
her head. And next Ariadne's fire is added to the 
stars in the sky ; ^ the price that Liber pays for her 
favour is that his mistress shall have the honour of 
lighting up the heavens. 

With such power in those days did the ignorant, 
silly, stupid rabble accredit any king, that a ruler 
could pass with all his uncleanness to an endless 
kingdom in the heights of heaven. At that time 
men beUeved that kingly power, however small, 
pKJSsessed the strength of all majesty and the govern- 
ment of all the heaven, and leaders had honour paid 
to them with incense and a httle shrine. Fear or love 
or hope kept adding to it, and the inherited tradition 
went marching on among WTCtched men to distant 


n2 - 


mos patrius : coepit falsae pietatis imago 

ire per ignaros nebuloso errore nepotes ; 155 

turn quia, quae vivis veneratio regibus ante 

contigerat, functis eadem iam munere lucis 

cessit et ad nigras altaria transtulit urnas. 

inde puellarum ludibria, pignera, partus, 

et furtivus amor iuvenum et deprensa iugalis 160 

corruptela tori, quoniam regalibus aula 

fervere tunc vitiis solita est, nee perdita luxu 

divorum suboles sancti meminisse pudoris. 

atque ut, Roma, tuos caelesti ex sede parentes, 
quis te semideam iactant auctoribus ortam, 165 

praestringam breviter, Gradivum vel Cytheream, 
ille sacerdotem violat, contra ilia marito 
subcumbit Phrygio. coitus fuit inpar utrique : 
nee terrestre deam decuit mortalis obire 
coniugium, nee caelicolam descendere ephebum 170 
virginis ad vitium furtivoque igne calere. 
sed Venus augusto de sanguine femina vili 
privatoque viro vetitum per dedecus haesit ; 
et, §i Rhea sacram lascivi Martis amore 
lusa pudicitiam fluviali amisit in ulva, 175 

crediderim generosae aliquem stirpis, sed eundem 
moribus infamem, conpressa virgine per vim 
se dixisse deum, ne stuprum numinis ullus 
obicere auderet turpi miseraeque puellae, 
haec Italos induxit avos vel fama vel error, 180 

Martia Romuleo celebrarent ut sacra campo. 

» Rhea Silvia, the mother of Romulus. 



ages, the false semblance of piety spreading through 
succeeding generations whose ignorant minds were 
clouded in a mist of error. And then too, the same 
reverence that had first fallen to li\"ing kings was 
paid to them also after they had passed from the 
light, and carried their worship over to their dark 
tombs. From all this came dishonouring of young 
women, pledgings of love, births of children, stealthy 
passion for young men, adulterers caught defiling 
the marriage-bed, because then courts used to be all 
afire Mith the misdeeds of princes, and the progeny 
of the deified abandoned themselves to indulgence 
and took no thought of pure modesty. 

And now, Rome, to touch briefly on thy progenitors 
from heaven, in rirtue of whom men boast that thou 
art half divine, Gradivus and the Lady of Cythera, — 
the one \iolates a priestess," the other for her part 
yields to a Phr}-gian mate.* It was an unequal 
match for both, for it became not a goddess to sub- 
mit to earthly wedlock with a mortal, nor a swain 
from heaven to come do\\-n to ravish a girl or to bum 
with a stealthy passion. But the truth is that Venus 
was a woman of noble blood who cleaved to a low, 
common man in a forbidden deed of shame ; and if 
Rhea became the plaything of wanton Mars' love 
and lost her sacred modesty amid the sedge on a 
river-bank, I should think it was some man of high 
birth but disreputable character that forced the maid 
and said he was a god, so that none might dare to 
reproach the poor, defiled girl with the lewd act of 
a di\inity. This legend or error it was that led our 
Italian ancestors to keep rites of Mars on the Field 

* Anchises, the father of Aeneas. 



utque Palatinis Capitolia condita saxis 

signarent titulo proavi lovis atque Pelasgae 

Palladis et Libyca lunonem ex arce vocarent, 

cognatos de Marte deos, Veneris quoque nudum 185 

accirent proceres Erycino e vertice signum, 

utque deum mater Phrygia veheretur ad Ida, 

Bacchica de viridi peterentur ut orgia Naxo. 

facta est terrigenae domus unica maiestatis, 

et tot templa deum Romae quot in orbe sepulcra 190 

heroum numerare licet ; quos fabula manes 

nobilitat, noster populus veneratus adorat. 

hos habuere deos Ancus, Numitor, Numa, Tullus, 

talia Pergameas fugerunt numina flammas, 

sic Vesta est, sic Palladium, sic umbra penatum, 195 

talis et antiquum servavit terror asylum. 

ut semel obsedit gentilia pectora patrum 

vana superstitio, non interrupta cucurrit 

aetatum per mille gradus. tener horruit heres 

et coluit quidquid sibimet venerabile cani 200 

* I.e. the temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva (Pallas) 
on the Capitoline hill. (Tradition ascribed its foundation to 
the Tarquins.) The expression " Palatinis saxis " is strange 
in this connection, but Prudentius is thinking of early Rome 
and his thought may be coloured by his memory of Aeneid 
VIII, 337 ff., where, although Evander's city is situated on 
the Palatine, the Capitol and other parts seem to be treated 
as lying within its territory. Livy (I, 10, 5) gives a tradition 
that Romulus " marked out the boundaries " of a temple of 
Jupiter (Feretrius) on the Capitol. 

* Romulus, the " father " of Rome, being through Mars 
the grandson of Jupiter. 

" I.e. Carthage, which according to Aeneid I, 15, was 
Juno's favourite seat. 

■^ In Sicily. 

' Livy (XXIX, 10-11) tells how the black stone which 
represented the Mother of the Gods (Cybele, Magna Mater) 
was brought to Rome from Pessinus in Phrygia in 204 B.C. 




at Rome, to inscribe on the Capitol " which they 
built on the rocks of their Palatine city, the names 
of their great-grandsire * Jupiter and the Grecian 
Pallas, and bring Juno from her stronghold in 
Africa,'^ deities of Mars' kin ; and it made their 
leaders fetch the nude figure of \'enus from the 
peak of Eryx,** carrj' the mother of the gods from 
Phrj'gian Ida ' and import the ^\■ild revels of Bacchus 
from green Xaxos./ There came to be one single 
home for all earth-born divinities, and you may 
count as many temples of gods at Rome as tombs 
of heroes in all the world ; to dead men glorified by 
legendary- fame our nation gives reverence and 
worship. Such are they whom Ancus, Numitor, 
Numa, and TuUus reckoned as gods, such the 
di\'inities that fled from the flames of Troy. So it 
is that we have \'esta and the Palladium 9 and our 
imaginary household gods, and it was fear of such 
that kept safe the Refuge '' of long ago. Once the 
vain superstition beset the fathers' pagan hearts, it 
ran unchecked through a thousand generations one 
after another. The young heir bowed shuddering 
before anything which his hoarv* ancestors had 

f The orgiastic ritual of Bacchus (Dionysus) reached Rome 
from South Italy and (according to Livy) Etruria. It was 
put down by decree of the senate dated 186 B.C., but was 
permitted within narrow limits. Prudentius must have had 
in mind Virgil's line " bacchatamque iugis Naxon viridemque 
Donusam " (Aeneid III, 125). 

» The " image of Athena " which was the talisman of 
Troy. Rome claimed to possess it (at the temple of Vest^). 
Cicero, Pro Scauro, 48, describes it as "quasi pignus nostrae 
salutis atque imperi." Cf. Servixis on Aeneid II, 166. 

* Legend says that Romulus, in order to attract inhabitants 
to his new city, established a place of sanctuary for outlaws 
from other communities (Livy I, 8, 5). 



monstrarant atavi ; puerorum infantia primo 

errorem cum lacte bibit, gustaverat inter 

vagitus de farre molae, saxa inlita ceris 

viderat unguentoque lares umescere nigros. 

formatum Fortunae habitum cum divite cornu 205 

sacratumque domi lapidem consistere parvus 

spectarat matremque illic pallere precantem. 

mox umeris positus nutricis trivit et ipse 

inpressis silicem labris, puerilia vota 

fudit opesque sibi caeca de rupe poposcit, 210 

persuasumque habuit, quod quis velit, inde 

numquam oculos animumque levans rationis ad 

rettulit, insulsum tenuit sed credulus usum, 
privates celebrans agnorum sanguine divos. 
iamque domo egrediens, ut publica festa diesque 215 
et ludos stupuit celsa et Capitolia vidit 
laurigerosque deum templis adstare ministros 
ac Sacram resonare Viam mugitibus ante 
delubrum Romae (colitur nam sanguine et ipsa 
more deae, nomenque loci ceu numen habetur, 220 
atque urbis Venerisque pari se culmine tollunt 
templa, simul geminis adolentur tura deabus), 
vera ratus quaecumque fiant auctore senatu,^ 
contulit ad simulacra fidem dominosque putavit 

^ The Ith-century MS. and some others have quaecumque 
senatu auctore probantur {or probentur). 

" See note on Apoth. 457. 


designated as worshipful in their eyes. Children in 
their infancy drank in the error \\-ith their first 
milk ; while still at the crj'ing stage, they had tasted 
of the sacrificial meal, and had seen mere stones 
coated with wax " and the grimy gods of the house 
dripping with unguent. The little one had looked at a 
figure in the shape of Fortune, with her wealthy horn, 
standing in the house, a hallowed stone, and watched 
his mother pale-faced in prayer before it. Then, 
raised on his nurse's shoulder, he too pressed his lips 
to the flint and rubbed it with them, pouring out 
his childish petitions, asking for riches from a sight- 
less stone, and convinced that all one's \\ishes must 
be sought from thence. Never did he raise eyes and 
heart and turn them towards the throne of \\-isdom, 
but clung with credulous faith to his witless tradition, 
worshipping gods of his own house with the blood of 
lambs. And then when he went abroad, and lost in 
wonder viewed the public festivals on national holy 
days with their games, and saw the lofty Capitol, 
the laurelled priests standing at the temples of their 
gods, and the Sacred Way resounding with the low- 
ing of cattle before the shrine of Rome (for she too 
is worshipped with blood after the fashion of a 
goddess, the name of the place is reckoned as a 
divinity, the temples of the City and Venus rise to 
the same high top and incense is burned to the pair 
of goddesses together,)'' he would think that what is 
done by the senate's authority must be genuine, and 
so gave his faith to the images and believed that 
the figures standing in a row,'' which he shuddered 

* The temple of Venus and Rome, built by Hadrian, 
stood on the north side of the Sacra Via. 

' Many statues of deities stood in the area Capitolina. 


aetheris, horrifico qui stant ex ordine vultu. 225 

illic Alcides, spoliatis Gadibus hospes 
Arcadiae, fulvo acre riget, gemini quoque fratres 
corrupta de matre nothi, Ledeia proles 
nocturnique equites, celsae duo numina Roraae, 
inpendent retinente veru, magnique triumphi 230 
nuntia suffuso figunt vestigia plumbo. 
adsistunt etiam priscorum insignia regum, 
Tros, Italus, lanusque bifrons, genitorque Sabinus, 
Saturnusque senex, maculoso et corpore Picus, 
coniugis epotum sparsus per membra venenum. 235 
omnibus ante pedes posita est sua cuique vetusta 
arula. lano etiam celebri de mense litatur 
auspiciis epulisque sacris, quas inveterato, 
heu miseri, sub honore agitant, et gaudia ducunt 
festa Kalendarum. sic observatio crevit 240 

ex atavis quondam male coepta, deinde secutis 
tradita temporibus serisque nepotibus aucta. 
traxerunt longam corda inconsulta catenam, 
mosque tenebrosus vitiosa in saecula fluxit. 

hunc morem veterum docili iam aetate secuta 245 
posteritas mense atque adytis et flamine et aris 
Augustum coluit, vitulo placavit et agno, 
strata ad pulvinar iacuit, responsa poposcit. 

" Hercules, who was entertained by the Arcadian Evander 
at his town on the site of Rome {Aeneid VIII, 185 tf.). 

^ Castor and Pollux, who were said to have helped the 
Romans at the battle of Lake Regillus and brought news of 
the victory. Cicero (De Natura Deorum II, 6) recounts a 
story that Publius Vatinius, on his way to Rome by night in 
168 B.C., was told by " two young men on white horses " 
that king Perses of Macedonia had been taken that day. 

" Cf. Aeneid VII, 177-191. Tros figures in the great 
temple which Virgil imagines at the beginning of Georgics III. 



to look at, were the lords of the heavens. There 
stands Alcides," all stiff in tawny bronze, he who 
was Arcadia's guest after spoiling Gades ; the twin 
brethren too, bastard sons of a seduced mother, 
Leda's progeny, those night-riders, the two pro- 
tecting deities of lofty Rome,'' bend forward, held 
up by a spit, and fix in a sea of lead the feet that 
brought the news of great victory. By these stand 
also figures of old-time kings, Tros, Italus, Janus 
Facing-Both-Ways, father Sabinus, old Saturn, and 
Picus of the dappled body, his frame spotted from 
drinking his spouse's potion." Each of them has his 
owTi little old altar set before his feet ; and to Janus 
offering is made in a month when crowds assemble 
and auspices are taken and there is a sacred feast, 
which, alas, men still keep in its long-established 
honour, carrjang on the festal rejoicing of the 
Kalends.** In such wise has the observance grown ; 
starting in an evil hour long ago from our fore- 
fathers it was then handed on to the generations 
that followed and carried further by their remote 
descendants. Their unthinking hearts dragged a 
lengthening chain, and the blind custom spread 
do\\"n to depraved ages. 

FolloAving this custom of olden days, posterity in 
an age when it had become easy to learn the lesson 
did reverence to Augustus "with a month named in 
his honour, and with shrine and priest and altar, 
and propitiated him ^^-ith calf and lamb ; it prostrated 
itself before his sacred couch and asked for oracles. 

Picua was changed into a woodpecker by the enchantress 

* I.e. New Year's Day still has a festal character among 


testantur tituli, produnt consulta senatus 
Caesareum lovis ad speciem statuentia templum. 250 
adiecere sacrum fieret quo Livia luno, 
non minus infamis thalami sortita cubile 
quam cum fraterno caluit Saturnia lecto. 
nondum maternam partu vacuaverat alvum 
conceptamque viri subolem paritura gerebat. 255 
pronuba iam gravidae fulcrum et geniale 

parantur ; 
iam sponsus saliente utero nubentis amicos 
advocat, baud sterilem certus fore iam sibi pactam. 
vitricus antevenit tardum praefervidus ortum 
privigni nondum geniti ; mox editur inter 260 

Fescennina novo proles aliena marito. 
idque deum sortes, id Apollinis antra dederunt 
consilium : nunquam melius nam cedere taedas 
responsum est, quam cum praegnans nova nupta 

banc tibi, Roma, deam titulis et honore sacratam 265 
perpetuo Floras inter Veneresque creasti ! 
nee mirum : quis enim sapiens dubitaverat illas 
mortali de stirpe satas vixisse, et easdem 
laude venustatis claras in amoribus usque 
ad famae excidium formae nituisse decore ? 270 

quid loquar Antinoum caelesti in sede locatum, 
ilium delicias nunc divi principis, ilium 

" See Taylor, The Divinity of the Roman Emperor , pp. 229- 
232. Divine honours for Livia, the widow of Augustus, were 
refused by her son Tiberius at her death (Tacitus, Annals 
V, 2), but established by Claudius (Suetonius, Claudius, 11). 
Earlier attribution was unofficial. 

* Bergman and other editors place no stop after gerebat, 
taking pronuba as its subject; this involves taking geniale 
as a substantive parallel with fulcrum. In a Roman marriage 



Inscriptions bear witness to it, decrees of senate 
setting up a temple of Caesar in the fashion of Jupiter 
reveal it. They added a rite to make Livia Juno ; " 
and indeed the marriage that fell to her lot was of 
no better repute than when Saturn's daughter lay 
afire in her brother's bed. Her womb was pregnant 
T^-ith a child unborn, she was carrying a babe con- 
ceived of a husband and still to be brought forth. 
Brideswoman ^ and marriage-bed are pro\'ided for a 
bride already with child ; and the bridegroom calls 
his friends when the child in his bride's womb is 
already leaping and he is sure now that his betrothed 
will not be barren. The stepfather in his eagerness 
will not wait for his unborn stepson's slow appear- 
ance, and then another man's child is born to the 
new husband amid rude jests. And this was the 
counsel that the oracles of the gods, the caverns of 
Apollo, gave ; for the answer was that marriage 
never turns out better than when the bride is v.'iih 
child at the union. "^ Of such a woman, O Rome, hast 
thou made thee a goddess and consecrated her with 
titles and constant worship along with thy Floras and 
thy Venuses. Nor is it strange, for what man of 
sense but knew that they too were of mortal stock 
and hved on earth and were renowned for their 
charms, and that the beauty of their figures made 
them famous in amours till it ruined their good 

There is Antinous too, set in a heavenly home, he 
who was the darUng of an emperor now deified and 

the bride was attended to the lecius genialis by a woman 
already married once and called pronuba. 

* For the facta see Tacitus, Antuih I, 10, 4, and Dio, 
Roman History XLVIII, 44, 2. 


purpureo in gremio spoliatum sorte virili, 
Hadrianique dei Ganymedem, non cyathos dis 
porgere sed medio recubantem cum love fulcro 275 
nectaris ambrosii sacrum potare Lyaeum, 
cumque suo in templis vota exaudire marito ? 

ergo his auspicibus Traianus, Nerva, Severus 
et Titus et fortes gesserunt bella Nerones, 
quos terrena viros inlustres gloria fecit 280 

et virtus fragilis provexit in ardua famae, 
adscita e ^ terris sub religione iacentes ! 
quam pudet hoc illis persuasum talibus, ut se 
Romanasque acies censerent Martis amore 
posse regi, dum se Paphiae male blandus 

adulter 285 

venditat Aeneadasque suos successibus auget ! 
felices, si cuncta Deo sua prospera Christo 
principe disposita scissent, qui currere regna 
certis ducta modis Romanorumque triumphos ^ 
crescere et inpletis voluit se infundere saeclis ! 290 
sed caligantes animas et luce carentes 
in lovis Augustique adytis templisque duarum 
lunonum Martisque etiam Venerisque sacellis 
mactatas taetro leti inmersere barathro, 
supremum regimen crassis in partibus orbis 295 

esse rati mersoque poli consistere fundo. 

quidquid humus, quidquid pelagus mirabile 
id duxere deos. colles, freta, flumina, flammas, 
haec sibi per varias formata elementa figuras 
constituere patres, hominumque vocabula mutis 300 

^ adscitae . . . iacentis Bergman and others. 
^ triumphis Bergman with a number of MSS, including that 
of the 1th century. 


in the imperial embrace was robbed of his manhood, 
the god Hadrian's Ganymede, not handing cups to 
the gods, but reclining with Jupiter on the middle 
couch and quaffing the sacred liquor of ambrosial 
nectar, and listening to prayers in the temples with 
his husband ! 

Such then were they under whose favour Trajan, 
Ner\-a, Severus, Titus, and the brave Neros waged 
their wars ! Earthly glory made these men famous 
and mortal valour raised them to the heights of 
reno\vn while they lay under the power of a super- 
stition adopted from the earth. How shameful 
that such men as they should have been persuaded 
to believe that they themselves and the armies of 
Rome could be directed by the passion of Mars ; 
that adulterer, for no good end, making himself 
agreeable to the Lady of Paphos and courting her 
favour by heaping victories on the seed of Aeneas, 
his descendants ! Happy had they been had they 
kno\^'n that all their successes were ordered by the 
governance of the God Christ, whose \W11 it was 
that kingdoms should run their appointed courses 
and the triumphs of Rome grow from more to more, 
and that He should enter the world in the fulness of 
time. But they made sacrifice of their darkened, 
blinded souls in the sanctuaries of Jupiter and 
Augustus, the temples of the two Junos, the shrines 
of Mars and Venus, and plunged them into the foul 
abyss of death, supposing supreme power to reside 
in the gross parts of the world and to be established 
in the sunken depths of the universe. 

Every mar\el that earth or ocean produces they / 
held a god. Hills, seas, rivers, fire, all these elements, 
shaped into diverse figures, our sires set up for 
themselves, and inscribed names of persons on dumb 



scripserunt statuis, vel Neptunum vocitantes 
oceanum, vel Cyaneas cava flumina Nymphas, 
vel silvas Dryadas, vel devia rura Napaeas. 
ipse ignis, nostrum factus qui ser\'it ad usum, 
Vulcanus perhibetur et in virtute superna 305 

fingitur ac delubra, deus et nomine et ore 
adsimilatus, habet, necnon regnare caminis 
fertur et Aeoliae summus faber esse vel Aetnae. 
est qui conspicuis superos quaesivit in astris, 
ausus habere deum solem ; cui tramite certo 310 
condicio inposita est vigilem tolerare laborem 
visibus obiectum mortalibus, orbe rotundo 
praecipitem teretique globo per inane volantem 
et, quod nemo negat, mundo caeloque minorem. 
area maior enim quam qui pereurrit in ilia, 315 

et longe campi spatium difFusius in quo 
emicat ac volucri fervens rota volvitur axe. 
quamvis nonnullis placeat terram breviorem 
dicere circuitu quam sit pulcherrimus ille 
circulus, et flammas inmensi sideris ultra 320 •■ 

telluris normam porrecto extendere gyro, 
numne etiam caeli minor et contractior orbis, 
cuius planitiem longo transmittere tractu 
circinus excurrens meta interiore laborat ? 
ille Deus verus, quo non est grandior ulla 325 

materies, qui fine caret, qui praesidet omni 
naturae, qui cuncta simul concludit et inplet. 
solem certa tenet regio, plaga certa coercet, 
temporibus variis distinguitur : aut subit ortu 



statues, calling, for instance, the ocean Neptune, 
rivers in their beds Cyanean Nymphs, woodlands 
Dryads, sequestered spots Napaeas. The very fire, 
a created thing in the service of our needs, is called 
Vulcan and fashioned with the attributes of divine 
power. Represented as a god in name and features, 
it has shrines and is said to rule over furnaces and 
to be High Chief Smith of Aeolia or Etna." Some 
have sought to find divinities in the shining stars 
and dared to count the sun a god ; * yet he has laid 
on him the necessity of keeping up his sleepless toil 
before the eyes of men in a fixed path, hurrying on 
his circular orbit and flying through space in the 
form of a round ball and, as none gainsays, smaller 
in size than the universe and the heavens ; for the 
running-ground is larger than the runner, and far 
wider than the chariot is the race-course on which 
the glowing wheel flashes as it turns on its flying 
axle. Though some hold that the earth is shorter 
in circumference than is that noble circle, and that 
the vast star's fires spread over a ring that is ^\■ider 
than the measure of the world, yet is the circle of 
the heavens also smaller and more confined, whose 
surface a compass, stretching out from its inner 
mark, for all its long reach is taxed to cross ? He is 
the true God, than whom no material thing is greater, 
who is without limit, who governs all nature and at 
once bounds and fills all things. The sun is held in 
a fixed region, confined to a fixed quarter, and its 
course is marked off by differences of time : it rises 

' Cf. Aeneid VIII, 416^22. 

' The worship of Sol Invictiis held a dominating position 
from the third century to the fall of paganism. See Bailey, 
Phases in the Religion of Ancient Rome, pp. 259-261. 



aut ruit occasu, latet aut sub nocte recurrens; 330 
nee torquere facem potis est ad signa trionum 
orbe nee obliquo portas aquilonis adire 
nee solitum conversus iter revocare retrorsum. 
hie erit ergo deus, praescriptis lege sub una 
deditus officiis ? libertas laxior ipsi 335 

concessa est homini, formam cui flectere vitae 
atque voluntatis licitum est, seu tramite dextro 
seandere seu laevo malit decurrere campo, 
sumere seu requiem seu continuare laborem, 
seu parere Deo sive in contraria verti. 340 

ista ministranti regimen solemne dierum 
haudquaquam soli datur a factore potestas, 
sed famulus subiectus agit quodcumque necesse 

hoc sidus currum rapidasque agitare quadrigas 
commenti et radios capitis et verbera dextrae, 345 
et frenos phalerasque et equorum pectora anhela 
aeris inaurati vel marmoris aut orichalci 
iusserunt nitido fulgere polita metallo. 
post trabeas et eburnam aquilam sellamque 

cernuat ora senex barbatus et oscula figit 350 

cruribus aenipedum, si fas est credere, equorum, 
inmotasque rotas et flecti nescia lora 
aut ornat redimita rosis aut ture vaporat. 

hoc tamen utcumque est tolerabile. quid, 

quod et ipsae 
dant tibi, Roma, deos inferni gurgitis umbrae ? 355 
Eumenidum domina Stygio caput exerit antro 
rapta ad tartarei thalamum Proserpina regis, 
et, si quando suos dignatur adire Quirites, 
placatur vaccae sterilis cervice resecta, 

376 I 



at morning, sinks at eventide, is hidden in the night 
on its returning path. It cannot divert its torch 
towards the constellation of the Wain, nor with its 
orbit sideways approach the gates of the north -s^-ind, 
nor turn about and reverse its wonted course. Shall 
this be a god, then, this sun which by unvarying law 
is assigned to appointed functions ? A \\ider free- 
dom has been granted even to man, for he may 
change the shape of his hfe and will, whether he 
choose to ascend by the path on the right or go do^vn 
over the champaign on the left, to take rest or 
carry on his task, to obey God or turn the other 
way. This power is not given by its creator to the 
sun in its conduct of the routine of the days ; it is 
as ser\-ant and subordinate that it does what it can- 
not choose but do. Such is the star which men have 
imagined dri\'ing his car and s^Wft team, and have 
made the rays about his head, the whip in his hand, 
the bridles and trappings and panting breasts of his 
horses flash bright in shining figures of gilded bronze 
or marble or orichalc. After he has worn robes of 
state, held the ivory eagle, and sat on the curule 
chair, a bearded old man bends his face to earth 
and plants kisses (it is all but incredible !) on the legs 
of bronze-footed horses, and decks ^vith wreaths of 
roses, or smokes ^\^th incense, wheels that cannot 
turn and reins that cannot bend. 

This, however, we might contrive to bear. But 
even the shades in the gulf below give thee gods, 
O Rome. The mistress of the Furies, Proserpina, 
she who was carried off to be the bride of the king 
of hell, lifts her head from the Stygian cavern, and 
when she deigns to \isit her Romans is propitiated 
by cutting the throat of a barren heifer. She is 



et regnare simul caeloque Ereboque putatur, 360 
nunc bigas frenare boves, nunc saeva sororum 
agmina vipereo superis inmittere flagro, 
nunc etiam volucres caprearum in terga sagittas 
spargere, terque suas eadem variare figuras. 
denique cum Luna est, sublustri splendet amictu ; 365 
cum succincta iacit calamos, Latonia virgo est ; 
cum subnixa sedet solio, Plutonia coniunx 
imperitat Furiis et dictat iura Megaerae. 
si verum quaeris, Triviae sub nomine daemon 
tartareus colitur, qui te modo raptat ad aethram 370 
sidereoque deum venerandum suadet in astro, 
per silvas modo mortiferi discurrere mundi 
erroresque sequi subigit nemorumque putare 
esse deam, quae corda hominum pavitantia figat 
quaeque feras perimat letali vulnere mentes, 375 
depressos modo subter humum formidine sensus 
obruit, inplorent ut numina lucis egena 
seque potestati committant noctis opertae. 

respice terrifici scelerata sacraria Ditis, 
cui cadit infausta fusus gladiator harena, 380 

heu, male lustratae Phlegethontia victima Romae ! 
nam quid vesani sibi vult ars inpia ludi ? 
quid mortes iuvenum ? quid sanguine pasta 

voluptas ? 
quid pulvis caveae semper funebris, et ilia 
amphitheatralis spectacula tristia pompae ? 385 

nempe Charon iugulis miserorum se duce dignas 

• Cf. Aeneid VI, 243-251. 

* Proserpina was confused with Hecate (Trivia), who was 
also identified with Luna and Diana (Latonia virgo). 

" Herself one of the Furies. 

■* The exhibition began with a procession of the gladiators 
through the arena. 

378 I 



supposed to reign both in heaven and in hell," now 
to drive a pair of oxen, again with a whip of snakes 
to let loose the cruel columns of her sisters on the 
world above, and again to shower flying arrows on 
the backs of wild goats, thrice changing her form 
yet still the same.* And when she is the moon- 
goddess she shines in a shimmering mantle ; when 
she girds herself up to shoot her arrows she is 
Latona's maiden daughter ; when she sits supported 
on her throne she is Pluto's sjxjuse, ruling over the 
Furies and issuing commands to Megaera/ If you 
seek the truth, it is a dcNal from hell that is wor- / 
shipped under the name of Trivia, one that now 
carries you off to the skies and tells you there is a 
god to be worshipped in the form of a star in the 
heavens, again compels you to run about and 
about on the mazy forest-paths of the deadly world 
and to think there is a goddess of the woodlands 
who pierces men's trembling hearts and with a 
mortal wound slays their wild spirits, and again 
plunges your mind beneath the ground and over- 
whelms it with fear, to make it pray to spirits of 
darkness and commit itself to the power of black 

Look at the crime-stained offerings to frightful 
Dis, to whom is sacrificed the gladiator laid low on 
the ill-starred arena, a victim offered to Phlegethon 
in misconceived expiation for Rome. For what 
means that senseless show with its exhibition of 
sinful skill, the killing of young men, the pleasure 
fed on blood, the deathly dust that ever enshrouds 
the spectators, the grim sight of the parade in the 
amphitheatre ? ** \Miy, Charon by the murder of 
these poor wretches receives offerings that pay for 



accipit inferias placatus crimine sacro. 
hae sunt deliciae lovis infernalis, in istis 
arbiter obscuri placidus requiescit Averni. 
nonne pudet regem populum sceptrisque poten- 

tem 390 

talia pro patriae censere litanda salute, 
religionis opem subternis poscere ab antris ? 
evocat, heu, poenis tenebrosa ex sede ministrum 
interitus, speciosa hominum cui funera donet. 
incassum arguere iam Taurica sacra solemus : 395 
funditur humanus Latiari in munere sanguis, 
consessusque ille spectantum solvit ad aram 
Plutonis fera vota sui. quid sanctius ara 
quae bibit egestum per mystica tela cruorem ? 
anne fides dubia est tibi sub caligine caeca 400 

esse deum, quern tu tacitis rimeris in umbris ? 
ecce, deos manes cur infitiaris haberi? 
ipsa patrum monumenta probant : Dis Manibus illic 
marmora secta lego, quacumque Latina vetustos 
custodit cineres densisque Salaria bustis. 405 

die, quibus hunc scribis titulum, nisi quod trucis 

imperium verae ceu maiestatis adoras ? 

en quibus inplicita squalebat regia summi 
imperii tractis maiorum ab origine sacris, 
cum princeps gemini bis victor caede tyranni 410 
pulchra triumphali respexit moenia vultu. 

" I.e. for taking the souls of the dead across the Styx. 

" Pluto (Dis). 

« Greek mythology tells of human sacrifice to Artemis in 
the land of the Tauri (in the Crimea). 

<* On this matter see Bailey, op. cit., pp. 101-102. 

^ Theodosius had defeated first Maximus and then Eugenius 
with his Frankish general Arbogast (Gibbon, chapter XXVII). 




his services as guide," and is propitiated by a crime 
in the name of religion. Such are the delights of 
the Jupiter of the dead,* such the acts in which the 
ruler of dark Avernus finds content and refreshment. 
Is it not shameful that a strong imperial nation 
thinks it needful to offer such sacrifices for its country *s 
welfare, and seeks the help of religion from the vaults 
of hell ? With blood, alas, it calls up the minister of 
death from his dark abode to present him with a 
splendid offering of dead men. Vain is now our 
wonted condemnation of the Tauric rites '^ : human 
blood is shed at the Latin god's festival and the 
assembled onlookers there pay savage offerings at the 
altar of their own Pluto. What more holy than an 
altar which drinks blood drawn by ritual weapons ? 
Do you waver in your belief that there exists, in the 
blind darkness below, the god for whom you grope 
amid the silent shades ? See there ! Why do you 
deny that the spirits of the dead are counted divine, 
when your fathers' very monuments prove it ? I 
read there marble slabs inscribed " To the divine 
spirit of the dead," wherever the Latin or the 
Salarian road guards the old ashes in their thickly 
planted tombs."^ Tell me, to whom do you carve 
this inscription, but that you revere the throne of 
grim Orcus as though it were the seat of real 

Such are the rites, drawn from the early days of our 
ancestors, which entangled and defiled the imperial 
abode of supreme power, when an emperor who 
had twice been victorious and slain two usurpers,* 
turned his eyes in triumph on her noble battlements. 

His suppression of pagan worships is referred to in lines 
496 ff. 



nubibus obsessam nigrantibus aspicit urbem 
noctis obumbratae caligine ; turbidus aer 
arcebat liquidum septena ex arce serenum. 
ingemuit miserans et sic ait : " exue tristes, 415 

fida parens, habitus ! equidem praedivite cultu 
inlustrata cluis spoliisque insigne superbis 
attollis caput et multo circumfluis auro ; 
sed nebulis propter volitantibus obsitus alti 
verticis horret apex, ipsas quoque livida gemmas 420 
lux hebetat spissusque dies, et fumus ob ora 
subfusus rutilum frontis diadema retundit. 
obscuras video tibi circumferrier umbras 
caeruleasque animas atque idola nigra volare. 
censeo sublimem tollas super aera vultum 425 

sub pedibusque tuis nimbosa elementa relinquas. 
omne quod ex mundo est tibi subiacet ; hoc Deus 

constituit, cuius nutu dominaris et orbi 
imperitas et cuncta potens mortaha calcas. 
non decet ut submissa oculos regina caducum 430 
contemplere solum maiestatemque requiras 
circa humiles rerum partes, quibus ipsa superstas. 
non patiar veteres teneas ut me duce nugas, 
ut cariosorum venereris monstra deorum. 
si lapis est, senio dissolvitur aut crepat ictu 435 

percussus tenui ; mollis si brattea gypsum 
texerat, infido rarescit glutine sensim ; 
si formam statuae lamnis conmisit aenis 
lima terens, aut in partem cava membra gravato 
pondere curvantur, scabra aut aerugo peresam 440 
conficit effigiem crebroque foramina rumpit. 



He looked at a city beset with black clouds in the 
dark shadow of night, and the thick air shut out the 
clear, bright sky from the seven hills. In sorrow 
and pity he addressed her thus : " Put off thy 
gloomy habit, faithful mother. Renowned indeed 
art thou for the exceeding richness of thy garb ; 
thou raisest a head ennobled by thy proud spoils 
and dost abound in wealth of gold. But thy majestic 
crest is covered and befouled with vapours that flit 
about it, the leaden light and dense air dull thy 
\ery jewels, and smoke pouring over thy \isage 
deadens the gleam of the diadem on thy brows, I 
see murky shades moving around thee, dark spirits 
and black idols flitting about thee. I counsel thee, 
lift thy face on high above the air of earth and leave 
the stormy elements beneath thy feet. The whole 
world is subject to thee. This is the ordinance of 
God himself, by whose will it is that thou hast lord- 
ship and dost rule the world and in thy might dost 
plant thy foot on all things mortal. It becomes 
thee not as a queen to lower thine eyes and gaze 
on the perishable earth, looking about for majesty 
in the low parts of the creation, over which thou 
thyself dost stand superior. I shall not suffer thee, 
while I am thy leader, to hold to old idle notions, 
nor to worship decayed monstrosities of gods. If it 
is stone, it perishes with age or cracks under the 
stroke of a light blow ; if it is plaster covered with 
sheets of pliant metal, the cement proves treacherous 
and gaps gradually appear; if the smoothing file 
has given the shape of a statue to plates of bronze, 
then either the hollow frame droops to one side 
with the pressure of the weight, or a scurfy rust eats 
into the image and wastes it, piercing it with many 



nee tibi terra deus, caeli nee sit deus astrum, 

nee deus oceanus, nee vis quae subter operta est, 

infernis triste ob meritum damnata tenebris. 

sed nee virtutes hominum deus aut animarum 445 

spirituumve vagae tenui sub imagine formae. 

absit ut umbra deus tibi sit geniusve locusve, 

aut deus aerias volitans phantasma per auras. 

sint haec barbaricis gentilia numina pagis, 

quos penes omne sacrum est, quidquid formido 

suaserit ; horrificos quos prodigialia cogunt 451 

credere monstra deos, quos sanguinolentus edendi 
mos iuvat, ut pinguis luco lanietur in alto 
victima visceribus multa inter vina vorandis. 
at te, quae domitis leges ac iura dedisti 455 

gentibus, instituens, magnus qua tenditur orbis, 
armorum morumque feros mansuescere ritus, 
indignum ac miserum est in religione tenenda 
hoc sapere, inmanes populi de more ferino 
quod sapiunt nuUaque rudes ratione sequuntur. 460 
seu nos procinctus maneat, seu pace quietas 
dictemus leges, seu debellata duorum 
colla tyrannorum media calcemus in urbe, 
agnoscas, regina, libens mea signa necesse est, 
in quibus effigies crucis aut gemmata refulget 465 
aut longis solido ex auro praefertur in hastis. 
hoc signo invictus transmissis Alpibus ultor 
servitium solvit miserabile Constantinus, 
cum te pestifera premeret Maxentius aula. 

" Such as Fides, Pietas, Concordia. 


a hole. Let not earth be thy god, nor a star in the 
sky, nor ocean, nor a power that is buried below, 
being condemned to infernal darkness for its ill 
deserts ; but neither make gods of human wtues," 
nor unsubstantial phantoms that wander at large in 
the shape of souls or spirits. Far be it from thee to 
have a ghost for thy god, or a genius* or a place, or 
an apparition that flits through the breezes in the 
air. Leave these heathen divinities to pagan bar- 
barians ; with them everything that fear has taught 
them to dread is held sacred ; signs and marvels 
compel them to believe in frightful gods, and they 
find satisfaction in the bloody eating that is their 
custom, which makes them slaughter a fattened 
victim in a lofty grove to devour its flesh ^vith floods 
of wine. But for thee, who hast appointed law and 
justice to the conquered nations, teaching savage 
ways of war and hfe, the wide world o'er, to become 
civilised, it is a sorry shame that in thy cUnging to 
superstition thy thoughts should be those of bar- 
barous, brutish peoples who adopt them in unreason- 
ing ignorance. \\'hether we must still be ready for 
battle, or are to lay dovvn laws in peace and quiet- 
ness, or to trample under foot in the midst of Rome 
the heads of the two usui-pers we have vanquished, 
thou must needs, O queen, be ready to acknow- 
ledge my standards, on which the figure of the cross 
leads the van, either gleaming in jewels or fashioned 
of sohd gold on the long shafts. It was this standard 
that made Constantine invincible when he crossed 
the Alps as a liberator and undid a cruel bondage, 
when Maxentius was oppressing thee with his baleful 

* For the " genius " and its worship see Bailey, op. cit. 

VOL. I. O 


lugebas longo damnatos carcere centum, 470 

ut scis ipsa, patres. aut sponsus foedera pactae 
intercepta gemens diroque satellite rapta 
inmersus tenebris dura inter vincla luebat ; 
aut si nupta torum regis conscendere iussa 
coeperat inpurum domini oblectare furorem, 475 

morte maritalis dabat indignatio poenas. 
plena puellarum patribus ergastula saevi 
principis ; abducta genitor si virgine mussans 
tristius ingemuit, non ille inpune dolorem 
prodidit aut confessa nimis suspiria traxit.^ 480 

testis Christicolae ducis adventantis ad urbem 
Mulvius exceptum Tiberina in stagna tyrannum 
praecipitans, quanam victricia viderit arma 
maiestate regi, quod signum dextera vindex 
praetulerit, quali radiarint stemmate pila. 485 

Christus purpureum gemmanti textus in auro 
signabat labarum, clipeorum insignia Christus 
scripserat, ardebat summis crux addita cristis. 
ipse senatorum meminit clarissimus ordo, 
qui tunc concrete processit crine catenis 490 

squalens carcereis aut nexus conpede vasta, 
conplexusque pedes victoris ad inclyta flendo 
procubuit vexilla iacens. tunc ille senatus 
militiae ultricis titulum Christique verendum 

^ After 480 some MSS. have the line vim libertatis nimiam 
(or nimiae) patriumque dolorem. 

■ " Constantine invaded Italy from Gaul and defeated 
Maxentius in 312 (Gibbon, chapter XIV). His biographer 
Eusebius was told by him that one afternoon (probably on 
his march from Gaul) he saw the cross in the sky and under 
it the words " By this conquer." 

* Maxentius was drowned while trying to escape back into 
Rome by way of this bridge after his defeat. 




court." Thou wert mourning for a hundred of thy 
senators, as thou thyself knowest, condemned to 
long imprisonment. If a man who was betrothed 
bemoaned the filching of his promised bride at the 
hands of some cursed minion, he would be plunged 
in darkness and make atonement in cruel bonds. Or 
if a bride had begun to please the tyrant's impure 
passion and had been commanded to go up into the 
royal bed, her husband's resentment would pay the 
penalty with death. The cruel emperor's prisons 
were full of the fathers of girls. If a sire murmured 
and complained too bitterly when his daughter was 
taken away, he was not suffered to betray his anger 
or heave too frank a sigh with impunity. The 
Mulvian bridge, by hurling the usurper into the waters 
of the Tiber when he set foot on it,* bore witness to 
the divine power which it saw directing the victorious 
arms of the Christian general who was approaching 
Rome, the standard which the avenging hand bore 
at the head of his array, the emblem with which 
the javelins gleamed. The mark of Christ, wrought 
in jewelled gold, was on the purple labarum ; " 
Christ had drawn the bearings on the shields, and 
the cross blazed on the crests atop. The noble order 
of senators remembers. That day it came forth with 
matted hair, Umbs loaded with prison chains, or 
bound vnth a rough fetter, and clasping the victor's 
feet lay prostrate in tears before the famous banners. 
That day those senators did reverence to the super- 
scription which the avenging army bore, the wor- 

' The standard adopted by Constantine, bearing a mono- 
gram of the Greek letters XP (=CHR) representing the 
name of Christ. 



nomen adoravit, quod conlucebat in armis. 495 

ergo cave, egregium caput orbis, inania post haec 
prodigia et larvas stolido ^ tibi fingere cultu, 
atque experta Dei virtutem spernere veri. 
deponas iam festa velim puerilia, ritus 
ridiculos tantoque indigna sacraria regno. 500 

marmora tabenti respergine tincta lavate, 
o proceres : liceat statuas consistere puras, 
artificum magnorum opera : haec pulcherrima 

ornamenta fuant ^ patriae, nee decolor usus 
in vitium versae monumenta coinquinet artis." 505 

talibus edictis urbs informata refugit 
errores veteres et turbida ab ore vieto 
nubila discussit, iam nobilitate parata 
aeternas temptare vias Christumque vocante 
magnanimo ductore sequi et spem mittere in 

aevum. 510 

tunc primum senio docilis sua saecula Roma 
erubuit ; pudet exacti iam temporis, odit 
praeteritos foedis cum religionibus annos. 
mox ubi, contiguos fossis muralibus agros 
sanguine iustorum innocuo maduisse recordans, 515 
invidiosa videt tumulorum millia circum, 
tristis iudicii mage paenitet ac dicionis 
efFrenis nimiaeque sacris pro turpibus irae. 
conpensare cupit taeterrima vulnera laesae 
iustitiae sero obsequio veniaque petenda ; 520 

ne tanto imperio maneat pietate repulsa 
crimen saevitiae, monstrata piacula quaerit, 

^ prodigia esse deos solito Bergman with MSS. of both classes. 
The 6th- and Ith-century MSS. are not here available. 
* fiant Bergman with a number of MSS. 




shipful name of Christ which shone on its arms. 
Beware then after this, thou noble capital of the 
world, of fashioning thee unreal monstrosities and 
ghosts in senseless worship, and of scorning the 
power of the true God, now that thou hast proved 
it. I would have thee now lay aside thy childish 
festivals, thy absurd ceremonies, thy offerings which 
are unworthy of a realm so great. Wash ye the 
marbles that are bespattered and stained with putrid 
blood, ye nobles. Let your statues, the works of 
great artists, be allowed to rest clean ; be these our 
country' 's fairest ornaments, and let no debased 
usage pollute the monuments of art and turn it 
into sin." 

Taught by such proclamations, Rome withdrew 
from her long-standing errors and shook the murky 
clouds from her aged face, her nobles ready now to 
essay the everlasting ways, to follow Christ at the 
call of their great-hearted leader, and cast their 
hopes into eternity. Then for the first time, in her 
old age, did Rome become teachable and blush for 
her long histor\', ashamed of her past and hating the 
years gone by \nth their foul superstitions. Then, 
when she recalled how the lands that bordered on 
the ditches under her walls had been wet with the 
innocent blood of the righteous, and saw around her 
thousands of accusing tombs, she repented still more 
of her harsh judgment, her unbridled acts of power, 
her too great anger in the cause of a base religion. 
She sought to make up for the shocking wounds of 
injured righteousness by showing a late obedience 
and asking for pardon. Lest her great power lie 
under the charge of cruelty because she rejected 
goodness, she sought the prescribed atonements and 



inque fidem Christi pleno transfertur amore. 

laurea victoris Marii minus utilis urbi, 

cum traheret Numidam populo plaudente lugur- 

tham, 525 

nee tantum Arpinas consul tibi, Roma, medellae 
contulit extincto iusta inter vincla Cethego, 
quantum praecipuus nostro sub tempore princeps 
prospexit tribuitque boni. multos Catilinas 
ille domo pepulit, non saeva incendia tectis 530 

aut sicas patribus, sed Tartara nigra animabus 
internoque hominum statui tormenta parantes. 
errabant hostes per templa, per atria passim, 
Romanumque forum et Capitolia celsa tenebant, 
qui coniuratas ipsa ad vitalia plebis 535 

moliti insidias intus serpente veneno 
consuerant tacitis pestem miscere medullis. 
ergo triumphator latitante ex hoste togatus 
clara tropaea refert sine sanguine, remque 

adsuescit supero pollere in saecula regno. 540 

denique nee metas statuit nee tempora ponit : 
imperium sine fine docet, ne Romula virtus 
iam sit anus, norit ne gloria parta senectam. 
exultare patres videas, pulcherrima mundi 
lumina conciliumque senum gestire Catonum 545 
candidiore toga niveum pietatis amictum 
sumere et exuvias deponere pontificales. 
iamque ruit, paucis Tarpeia in rupe relictis, 
ad sincera virum penetralia Nazareorum 

" In his triumphal procession, 104 B.C. 
* Cicero, who was born at Arpinum, suppressed the con- 
spiracy of Catiline, in which Cethegus was involved, in 63 


390 1 


with entire love passed over to faith in Christ. Less 
profitable to the city was the conquering Marius' 
laurel, when he led the Xumidian Jugurtha as a captive 
amid the people's applause;" nor healing so great 
did thy consul from Arpinum* bring to thee, O Rome, 
when he put Cethegus to death in a well-deserved 
prison, as the blessing which a great emperor in our 
time planned and conferred on thee. Many a 
Catiline did he banish, that was not plotting fierce 
fires for thy houses nor daggers for thy senators, 
but black hell for men's souls and torments for the 
life '\\'ithin them. Foes were roving everywhere 
through temples and courts, holding possession of 
the Roman Forum and the lofty Capitol ; they had 
conspired to contrive a treacherous attack on the 
very vitals of thv people, with whose marrows thev 
were wont secretly to mingle bane, so that the poison 
spread stealthily within them. Therefore in peace- 
ful triumph over his lurking foe he won famous, 
bloodless Wctories, and taught Quirinus' realm how 
to have power for everlasting in a supremacy that 
is from heaven. No bounds indeed did he set, no 
limits of time did he lay down. L'nending sway he 
taught, so that the valour of Rome should never 
grow old nor the glorj- she had won know age. 

The fathers were to be seen leaping for joy, the 
world's noblest ornaments, that assemblage of old 
Catos " eager to put on, with whiter toga, the snowy 
robe of holiness, and cast off their priestly vestments. 
And now, lea^^ng but a few on the Tarpeian rock, 
to the pure sanctuaries of the men of Nazareth and 

' M. Porcius Cato, the republican stalwart of Julius Caesar's 
time and great-grandson of the famous censor of 184 B.C., 
became a type of high principle and strict conduct. 


atque ad apostolicos Evandria curia fontes, 550 

Anniadum suboles et pignera clara Proborum. 
fertur enim ante alios generosus Anicius urbis 
inlustrasse caput : sic se Roma inclyta iactat. 
quin et Olybriaci generisque et nominis heres, 
adiectus fastis, palmata insignis abolla, 555 

martyris ante fores Bruti submittere fasces 
ambit et Ausoniam Christo inclinare securem. 
non Paulinorum, non Bassorum dubitavit 
prompta fides dare se Christo stirpemque superbam 
gentis patriciae venture attollere saeclo. 560 

iam quid plebicolas percurram carmine Gracchos, 
iure potestatis fultos et in arce senatus 
praecipuos, simulacra deum iussisse revelli 
cumque suis pariter lictoribus omnipotenti 
suppliciter Christo se consecrasse regendos ? 565 

sescentas numerare domos de sanguine prisco 
nobilium licet ad Christi signacula versas 
turpis ab idolii vasto emersisse profundo. 
si persona aliqua est aut si status urbis, in his est ; 
si formam patriae facit excellentior ordo, 570 

hi faciunt iuncta est quotiens sententia plebis 
atque unum sapiunt plures simul et potiores. 
respice ad inlustrem, lux est ubi publica, cellam : 

" I.e. an institution dating from the very earliest stage of 
Roman history. Cf. note on 226. 

* The names mentioned in these lines represent prominent 
noble families of the time. The Gracchi (561) are called 
plebicolae in allusion to the tribunes Tiberius and Gains 
Gracchus of the 2nd century B.C. 

' The privilege of wearing the toga picta and tunica palmata 
had belonged in republican times to generals celebrating 
triumphs. The later phrase toga palmata (Martial VII, 2, 8, 
etc.), if it is not used to designate the costume as a whole, 


the baptismal waters of the apostles hastens 
Evander's " senate, the descendants of the family 
of Annius * and the illustrious children of the Probi. 
For it is said that a noble Anicius before all others 
shed lustre on the cit>-'s head (so famed Rome 
boasts herself), and the inheritor of the blood and 
name of Olybrius, though he was entered on the 
Register of Consuls and enjoyed the glorj' of the 
palm-figured robe," was eager to lower Brutus' rods ^ 
before a martyr's doors and humble the Ausonian 
axe to Christ. The quick faith of a PauUnus and a 
Bassus did not hesitate to surrender to Christ and 
to Uft up the proud stock of a patrician clan to meet 
the age that was to come. It were needless in my 
song to tell the tal3 of how the house of the Gracchi, 
those friends of the people, supported by the 
authority of office and holding distinguished rank in 
the high place of the senate, commanded the images 
of gods to be pulled dowTi, and along ^^ith their 
Hctors dedicated themselves humbly to the all- 
powerful Christ to be ruled henceforth by Him. We 
may count hundreds of families of old noble blood 
who turned to the sign of Christ and raised them- 
selves out of the vast abyss of base idolatry. If 
there is any embodiment of the city and its being, 
it is in these. If it is the higher order of men that 
give their country its character, these do so, when 
the people's will unites with theirs and the majority 
and the better are of one mind. Look at the illus- 
trious chamber where sit the nation's luminaries : 

would imply that the palm-embroidery appeared on the toga 
also. This was now the official dress of consuls. 

' The fasces of the consuls are here attributed to Brutus 
because he was the traditional founder of the republic, in 
which the two yearly consuls took the place of the king. 



vix pauca invenies gentilibus obsita nugis 
ingenia, obtritos aegre retinentia cultus, 575 

et quibus exactas placeat servare tenebras 
splendentemque die medio non cernere solem. 
posthinc ad populum converte oculos. quota 
pars est 
quae lovis infectam sanie non despuat aram ? 
omnis qui celsa scandit cenacula vulgus 580 

quique terit silieem variis discursibus atram 
et quern panis alit gradibus dispensus ab altis, 
aut \^aticano tumulum sub monte frequentat, 
quo cinis ille latet genitoris amabilis obses, 
coetibus aut magnis Lateranas currit ad aedes, 585 
unde saex'um referat regali chrismate signum, 
et dubitamus adhuc Romam tibi, Christe, dicatam 
in leges transisse tuas omnique volentem 
cum populo et summis cum civdbus ardua magni 
lam super astra poli terrenum extendere regnum ? 590 
nee moveor quod pars hominum rarissima clauses 
non aperit sub luce oculos et gressibus errat. 
quamlibet inlustres meritis et sanguine clari 
praemia virtutum titulis et honoribus aucti 
ardua rettulerint fastorumque arce potiti 595 

annales proprio signarint nomine chartas, 
atque inter veteres cera numerentur et aere, 

" Centres at which the distribution was made were called 
" gradus." From the time of the emperor Aurelian (270-275) 
it was in the form of bread, not grain. 

* St. Peter. 

" This house, over the site of which stands the church 
St. John Lateran, almost certainly belonged to the Plauti 
Lateranus who was condemned in 65 for conspiring against 
Nero. Constantine gave it to the Church in 313 and it WM 
for some time the official residence of the popes (Platner- 





hardly will you find a few minds still beset with 
pagan vanities and clinging feebly to their sup- 
pressed worships, who would keep the darkness that 
has been banished and refuse to see the noon-day 
brightness of the sun. 

Now turn your eyes to the people. How small 
the fraction that does not loathe Jupiter's blood- 
stained altar! All the multitude that climb aloft 
to their garrets, that wear the black pavement with 
their various comings and goings, and are fed with 
the bread that is dispensed from the high steps," 
either crowd to the tomb at the foot of the Vatican 
hill, where Ue in pledge the famed ashes of their 
father,* so worthy of their love, or hasten in great 
companies to the house of Lateranus " to get the 
holy sign of the King's anointing. And do we still 
hesitate to believe that Rome, O Christ, has devoted 
herself to Thee and placed herself under thy govern- 
ance, and that with all her people and her greatest 
citizens she is now eagerly extending her earthly 
realm beyond the lofty stars of the great firmament ? 
I am not disturbed because some men but here and 
there keep their eyes closed and will not open them 
in the light of day, so that they wander in their 
steps. Famed as they are for their services and 
noble in descent, though they have won high reward 
for their merits in promotion to dignity and office, 
though they have attained the supreme height of 
the Register and marked with their names the record 
of the years,** and in wax or bronze figure among 

Ashby, Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, p. 183). 
Evidently there was a church connected with it. 

■* I.e. have been " consules ordinarii," so that the years are 
dated by their consulships. 



attamen in paucis, iam deficiente caterva, 
nee persona sita est patriae nee curia constat ; 
et quodcumque fovent studii privata voluntas 600 
ac iam rara tenet, sed publica vota reclamant 
dissensu celebri trepidum damnantia murmur, 
si consulta patrum subsistere conscriptorum 
non aliter licitum prisco sub tempore, quam si 
ter centum sensisse senes legerentur in unum, 605 
servemus leges patrias : infirma minoris 
vox cedat numeri parvaque in parte silescat. 
aspice quam pleno subsellia nostra senatu 
decernant infame lovis pulvinar et omne 
idolium longe purgata ex urbe fugandum. 610 

qua vocat egregii sententia principis, illuc 
libera cum pedibus tum corde frequentia transit, 
nee locus invidiae est, nullum vis aspera terret ; 
ante oculos sic velle patet cunctique probatum, 
non iussum, sola capti ratione sequuntur. 615 

denique pro meritis terrestribus aequa rependens 
munera sacricolis summos inpertit honores 
dux bonus et certare sinit cum laude suorum, 
nee pago inplicitos per debita culmina mundi 
ire viros prohibet, quoniam caelestia numquam 620 
terrenis solitum per iter gradientibus obstant. 
ipse magistratum tibi consulis, ipse tribunal 
contulit auratumque togae donavit amictum, 
cuius religio tibi displicet, o pereuntum 

" The argument is put in a curious way, but seems to be 
that a majority was required, and the Christians now have it. 
Augustus {prisco sub tempore) fixed the number of senators 
at 600. On the strength of the Christian and pagan parties 
in the senate at the time of Symmachus' petition, see Boissier, 
La Fin du Paganisme II, pp. 271-2; Dill, pp. 4, 29, 36-7. 

* The words refer to the procedure in taking a division in 
the senate (" discessio "). 



the men of old, yet it is not a small number, who 
have lost their following, who represent their country 
and constitute the senate. The attachment they 
cherish is maintained only by the A\ill of individuals, 
and those now few and far between ; the nation's 
wishes oppose them and with multitudinous dissent 
condemn their restless murmuring. If in olden days 
the decrees of the conscript fathers could only stand 
if it was on record that three hundred senators were 
agreed,* let us keep to our fathers' laws : let the 
minority's feeble voice give way and fall silent in 
their little section. 

See in how full a house our benches decide that 
Jupiter's infamous couch and all the worship of idols 
must be banished far from our purified city ! To 
the side to which our noble emperor's motion calls, 
great numbers cross,* as free in mind as in foot. 
No room is there for odium ; none is intimidated by 
rude force ; it is clear to see that such is their wiW ; 
all are convinced by reason alone and follow their 
own judgment, not a command. And our good 
leader, requiting earthly services with equal rewards, 
gives to the worshippers of idols a share of the highest 
dignities, allows them to vie with the repute of their 
families, and forbids not to men who are still in the 
coils of paganism a career in the topmost worldly 
ranks when they have deserX-ed them, since the 
things of heaven never prevent men of earth from 
passing along the accustomed ways. It is he that 
conferred on thee " the office of consul and the 
judgment-seat, and gave thee the gold-wrought toga 
to wear, he whose religion does not win thy favour, 

* Symmachus. 



adsertor divum, solus qui restituendos 625 

Vulcani Martisque dolos Venerisque peroras 

Saturnique senis lapides Phoebique furores, 

Iliacae matris Megalesia, Bacchica Nysi, 

Isidis amissum semper plangentis Osirim 

mimica ridendaque suis soUemnia calvis, 630 

et quascumque solent Capitolia claudere larvas. 

O linguam miro vei-borum fonte fluentem, 
Romani decus eloquii, cui cedat et ipse 
TuUius ! has fundit dives facundia gemmas ! 
OS dignum aeterno tinetum quod fulgeat auro 635 
si mallet laudare Deum ! cui sordida monstra 
praetulit et liquidam temeravit crimine vocem, 
haud aliter quam, si rastris quis temptet eburnis 
caenosum versare solum, limoque madentes 
exeolere aureolis si forte ligonibus ulvas, 640 

splendorem dentis nitidi scrobis inquinat atra, 
et pretiosa acies squalenti sordet in arvo. 

non vereor ne me nimium confidere quisquam 
arguat ingeniique putet luctamen inire. 
sum memor ipse mei, satis et mea frivola novi ; 645 
non ausim conferre pedem nee spicula tantae 
indocilis fandi coniecta lacessere linguae, 
inlaesus maneat liber exeellensque volumen 
obtineat partam dicendi fulmine famam. 
sed liceat tectum servare a vulnere pectus 650 

" Primitive legend said that Kronos (Saturn), having been 
warned that one of his children would overthrow himj 
swallowed them as they were born, but in place of the youngest,! 
Zeus (Jupiter), Rhea substituted a stone. i 

'' The ludi Megalenses held in honour of the Magna Mater, 
Iliacae = Phrygian. Cf. 187. 

' Bacchus (Dionysus) is associated with a legendary moun- 
tain called Nysa. 



thou upholder of gods outworn, who alone dost 
plead for the restoration of those tricks of Vulcan 
and Mars and Venus, old Saturn's stones " and 
Phoebus' prophetic frenzies, the Ihan Mother's 
Megalesian festival,* the Bacchic rites of the Nysian 
god,"^ the farcical ceremonies of Isis ever mourning 
for her lost Osiris,** which even her ovm bald-heads 
must laugh at, and all the gobUns which the Capitol 
by custom keeps within it. 

How marvellous the stream of speech that flows 
from that tongue, the glory of Roman eloquence, 
surpassing even Tullius himself I Yet these are the 
jewels its rich fluency pours forth! Lips worthy to 
be bathed in the unfading sheen of gold, if only 
they would rather have praised God ! But to Him 
they have preferred unclean monstrosities and 
polluted their clear voice with sin, — ^just as, if a man 
should set himself to work the miry soil with a rake 
of ivory, or till sodden, muddy ground A^ith a golden 
fork, the black soil befouls the brightness of the 
shining prongs, the sharp tool that cost so much is 
defiled by the dirty earth. 

I have no fear that any man may charge me with 
over-confidence and imagine that I am entering upon 
a contest of mental powers. I do not forget 
who I am, I know my paltry gifts well enough and 
would not venture to join battle, nor with my Httle 
skill in speech to challenge the darts which that 
great tongue shoots. Let his book rest unattacked, 
his surpassing work keep the fame it has earned by 
its flashing eloquence. But let me be allowed to 
cover my breast and save it from hurt, and with my 

"^ See Bailey, op. cit., pp. 186 5. The priests and the inner 
circle of devotees of Isis had their heads shaven. 



oppositaque volans iaculum depellere parma. 
nam si nostra fides, saeclo iam tuta quieto, 
viribus infestis hostilique arte petita est, 
cur mihi fas non sit lateris sinuamine flexi 
ludere ventosas iactu pereunte sagittas ? 

sed iam tempus iter longi cohibere libelli, 
ne tractum sine fine ferat fastidia carmen. 



shield to meet and turn aside the flying javelin. 
For if our faith, after reaching safety in an age of 
peace, is attacked with hostile forces and all an 
enemy's skill, why should it not be right for me to 
bend and turn and parry the shafts so that the 
shots are vain and ineffectual? 

But my book is gro^^ing long; it is time now to 
halt its march, lest my song be drawn out endlessly 
and bring disgust. 


VOL. I. P 

Printed in Great Britain by 

Richard clay and Company, Ltd., 

BUNGAY, Suffolk. 



Latin Authors 

Ammiancs Makceixinus. Translated by J. C. Rolfe. 3 Vols. 

(Vols. I. and II. 2nd Imp. revised.) 
ApuiiEFCs : The Golden Ass (Metamobphoses). W. Adling- 

ton (1566). Revised by S. Gaselee. {7th Imp.) 
St. AugcstesE, Confessioxs of. W. Watts (1631). 2 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 6th Imp., Vol. II. 5lh Imp.) 
St. Augustine, Select Letters. J. H. Baxter. 
AusoNius. H. G. Evelyn White. 2 Vols. (Vol. II. 2nd Imp.) 
Bede. J. E. King. 2 Vols. 
Boethius : Tracts and De Consolatioxe Phtlosophiab. 

Rev. H. F. Stewart and E. K. Rand. (4/A Imp.) 
Caesab : Civil Wars. A. G. Peskett. {4th Imp.) 
Caesab : Gallic War. H. J. Edwards. {9th Imp.) 
Cato and Varro : Db Re Rustica. H. B. Ash and W. D. 

Hooper. {2nd Imp.) 
Catullus. F. W. Cornish ; Tibullus. J. B. Postgate ; and 

Pervigilium Veneris. J. W. Mackail. {llth Imp.) 
Celsus : De Medicina. W. G. Spencer. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. 

3rd Imp. revised.) 
CicEBO : Brutus, and Obatob. G. L. Hendrickson and H. M. 

Hubbell. {2nd Imp.) 
CicEBO : De FtviBus. H. Rackham. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Cicero : De Inventione, etc. H. M. Hubbell. 
Cicero : De Natura Deorum and Academica. H. Rackham. 
Cicero : De Offichs. Walter Miller. {4th Imp.) 
Cicero : De Oratobb. 2 Vols. E. W. Sutton and H. Rack. 

ham. (2nd Imp.) 
Cicebo : De Republica and De Legibus. Clinton W. Keyes. 

(3rd Imp.) 
CiCEBO : De Senectute, De Amicitia, De Divinatione. 

W. A Falconer. {5th Imp.) 
CicEBO : In Catilinam, Pro Flacco, Pro Mitrena, Pro Sulla. 

Louis E. Lord. {2nd Imp. revised.) 
Cicero : Letters to Atticus. E. O. Winstedt. 3 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 6th Imp., Vol. II. 3rd Imp. and Vol. HI. 3rd Imp.) 
Cicero : Letters to His Friends. W. Gl}mn Williams. 3 

Vols. (Vols. I. and II. 2nd Imp. revised.) 
CiCEEO : Philippics. W. C. A. Ker. (2nd Imp. revised.) 

CiCEBO : Pbo Abchia, Post Reditum, De Domo, De Habus- 

picuM Responsis, Pbo Plancio. N. H. Watts. (2nd Imp.) 
Ciceko : Pro Caecina, Pbo Lege Manilia, Pro Cluentio, 

Pro Rabirio. H. Grose Hodge. {2nd Imp.) 
Cicero : Pro Milone, In Pisonem, Pro Scauro, Pro Fonteio, 

Pro Rabirio Postumo, Pro Marcello, Pro Ligario, Peg 

Rege Deiotabo. N. H. Watts. 
Cicero : Pro Quinctio, Pro Roscio Amebino, Pbo Roscio 

CoMOEDO, CoNTBA RuixuM. J. H. Freese. {2nd Imp.) 
CiCEEO : TuscuLAN DISPUTATIONS. J. E. King. {2nd Imp.) 
CiCEBO : Verrine Orations. L. H. G. Greenwood. 2 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
Claudian. M. Platnauer. 2 Vols. 
Columella : De Re Rustica. H. B. Ash. 3 Vols. Vol. I. 

{2nd Imp.) 
CuBTius, Q. : HiSTOBY OF Alexandeb. J. C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. 
Flobus. E. S. Forster, and Cobneltus Nepos. J. C. Rolfe. 

{2nd Imp.) 
Fbontinus : Stbatagems and Aqueducts. C. E. Bennett and 

M. B. McElwain. {2nd Imp.) 
Fbonto : Cobbespondence. C. R. Haines. 2 Vols. 
Gellius. J. C. Rolfe. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. and II. 2nd Imp.) 
Hobace : Odes and Epodes. C. E. Bennett. {I3th Imp. 

revised. ) 
Hobace : Satires, Epistles, Abs Poetica. H. R. Fairclough. 

{6th Imp. revised.) 
Jebome : Selected Letters. F. A. Wright. 
Juvenal and Persius. G. G. Ramsay. {6th Imp.) 
LiVY. B. O. Foster, F. G. Moore, Evan T. Sage, and A. C, 

Schlesinger. 14 Vols. Vols. I.-XIIf (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., 

Vols. II.-V., VII., IX.-XII., 2nd Imp. revised.) 
Lucan. J. D. Duff. {2nd Imp.) 
Lucretius. W. H. D. Rouse. {6th Imp. revised.) 
Martial. W. G. A. Ker. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 4<A Imp., Vol. II. 

3rd Imp. revised.) 
MiNOB Latin Poets : from Publilius Sybus to Rutilius 

Namatianus, including Gbattius, Calpubnius Siculus, 

Nemesianus, Avianus, and others with " Aetna " and the 

"Phoenix." J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff. {2nd Imp.) 
Ovid : The Art of Love and Other Poems. J. H. Mozley. 

(3rd Imp.) 
Ovid : Fasti. Sir James G. Frazer. 

Ovid: Heboid es and Amobes. Grant Showerman. {^th Imp.) 
Ovid : Metamobphoses. F. J. Miller. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 9th 

Imp., Vol. II. 7th Imp.) 
Ovid : Tbistia and Ex Ponto. A. L. Wheeler. (2nd Imp.) ^ 
Persius. Cf. Juvenal. 
Petbonius. M. Heseltine ; Seneca : Apocolocyntosis. 

W. H. D. Rouse. {7th Imp. revised.) 
Plautus. Paul Nixon. 5 Vols. (Vols. I. and II. 4th Imp., 

Vol. III. 3rd Imp.) 


Flen'y : Lettebs. Melmoth's Translation revised by W. M. L. 

Hutchinson. 2 Vols, {oth Imp.) 
Pliky : Natural History. H. Rackham and W. H. S. Jones. 

10 Vols. Vols. I.-V. H. Rackliam. (Vols. I.-III. 2nd /mp.) 
Propebtics. H. E. Butler. {5th Imp.) 
Prcdentius. H. J. Thomson, 2 Vols. Vol. I. 
QciKTiLiAN. H. E. Butler. 4 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Remains of Old Latin. E. H. Warmington. 4 Vols. Vol. I. 

(EnNITJS AXD CaECILIUS.) Vol. II. (LiVTUS, Xaevtus, 

Pactjvxus, Accirs.) Vol. III. (Lucmus and Laws of 
XII Tables.) Vol. IV. (2nd Imp.) (Archaic Insckip- 


Sallust. J. C. Rolfe. (3rd Imp. revised.) 

Scriptores Histobiae Acgustae. D. Magie. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. 

2nd Imp. revised.) 
Sexeca : Apocolocyntosis. Cf. Petboxtus. 
Seneca : Epistcxae Mobales. R. M. Gummere. 3 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vols. II. and III. 2nd Imp. revised.) 
Seneca : Mobal Essays. J. W. Basore. 3 Vols. (Vol. IT. 

3rd Imp., Vol. III. 2nd Imp. reinsed.) 
Seneca : Tbagedies. F. J. Miller. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., 

Vol. II. 2nd Imp. rensed.) 
SiDONirs : Poems end Letters. W. B. Anderson. 2 Vols. 

Vol. I. 
SiLirs iTALicrs. J. D. Duff. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp., 

Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Statfcs. J. H. Mozley. 2 Vols. 
SuETO^^us. J. C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 6th Imp., Vol. II. 

5th Imp. revised.) 
Tacitus : Dialogus. Sir Wm. Peterson. Agbicola and 

Gebmania. Maurice Hutton. {6th Imp.) 
Tacitus : Histories and Annals. C. H. Moore and J. Jack- 
son. 4 Vols. (Vols. I. and II. 2nd Imp.) 
Terence. John Sargeaunt. 2 Vols. {6th Imp.) 
Tertullxan : Apologia and De Spectaculis. T. R. Glover. 

MiNucics Felix. G. H. Rendall. 
Valerius Flaccus. J. H. Mozley. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
Varro : De Lingua Latina. R. "G.Kent. 2 Vols. (2nd/mp.) 
Veixeius Paterculus and Res Gestae Dm Augusti. F. W. 

ViRGru " H. R. Fairclough. 2 Vols. (VoL I. I6th Imp., Vol. H. 

I2th Imp. revised.) 
ViTBUvTus : De Abchitectuba. F. Granger. 2 Vols. (VoL I. 

2nd Imp.) 

Greek Authors 

Achilles Tatius. S. Gaselee. (2nd Imp.) 

Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus and Onasandek. The 

Illinois Greek Club. {2nd Imp.) 
Aeschines. C.D.Adams. {2nd Imp.) 
Aeschylus. H. Weir Smyth. 2 Vols. (Vol. 1. 5th Imp., 

Vol. II. 4th Imp.) 
Andocides, Antiphon. Cf. Minor Attic Oratoks. 
Alciphron, Aelian, Philostratus : Letters. A. R. Benner and 

F. H. Fobes. 
Apollodorus. Sir James G. Frazer. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Apollonius Rhodius. R. C. Seaton. {ith Imp.) 
The Apostolic Fathers. Kirsopp Lake. 2 Vols. (Vol. I, 

6th Imp., Vol. II. 5th Imp.) 
Appian's Roman History. Horace White. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. 

3rd Imp., Vols. II., III. and IV. 2nd Imp.) 
Aratus. Cf. Callimachus. 
Aristophanes. Benjamin Bickley Rogers. 3 Vols. Verse 

trans, {ith Imp.) 
Aristotle : Art of Rhetoric. J. H. Freese. {3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Athenian Constitution, Eudemian Ethics, 

Vices and Virtues. H. Rackham. (2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Generation of Animals. A. L. Peck. (2nd 

Aristotle : Metaphysics. H. Tredennick. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 

3rd Imp., Vol. II. 2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Minor Works. W. S. Hett. On Colours, On 

Things Heard, On Physiognomies, On Plants, On Marvellous 

Things Heard, Mechanical Problems, On Indivisible Lines, 

On Position and Names of Winds. 
Aristotle : Nicomachean Ethics. H. Rackham. {5th Imp. 

revised. ) 
Aristotle : Oeconomica and Magna Moralia. G. C. Arm- 
strong; (with Metaphysics, Vol. II.). (2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle : On the Heavens. W. K. C. Guthrie. {2nd Imp. 

revised. ) 
Aristotle : On the Soul, Parva Naturaha, On Breath. 

W. S. Hett. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
Aristotle : Oroanon. H. P. Cooke and H. Tredennick. 2 

Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle: Parts of Animals. A. L. Peck; Motion and 

Progression of Animals. E. S. Forster. (2nd Imp. 

revised. ) 
Aristotle : Physics. Rev. P. Wicksteed and F. M. Comford. 

2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Poetics and Lonoinus. W. Hamilton Fj^e; 

Demetrius on Style. W. Rhys Roberts. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Aristotle : Politics. H. Rackham. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Aristotle : Problems. W. S. Hett. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd 

Imp. revised.) 


Akistotub : Rhetobica Ad Ai.kxandbum (with Pboblems, 

Vol. II.). H. Rackham. 
Abbiak : HiSTOBY OF Alexaxdeb and Ikdica. Rev. E. Iliffe 

Robson. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Athenaeus : Deipxosophistae. C. B. Gulick. 7 Vols. 

(Vols. I., v., and VI. '2nd Imp.) 
St. Basil : Lettebs. R. J. Deferrari. 4 Vols. (Vols. I., II. 

and IV. 2nd Imp.) 
Callimachus and Lycophbox. A. W. Mair; Abatus. G. R. 

Mair. {2nd Imp.) 
Clement of Alexaxdbia. Rev. G. W. Butterworth. {2nd 



Daphnis and Chloe. Thomley's Translation reWsed by 

J. M.Bkimonds; and Pabthekius. S. Gaselee. {3rd 

Demosthenes I : Olynthiacs, Philippics and Mixob Obations : 

I.-XVII. AND XX. J. H. Vince. 
Demosthenes II: De Cobona and Db Falsa Leqatione. 

C. A. Vince and J. H. Vince. {2nd Im.p. revised.) 
Demosthenes III : Meidias, Andbotion, Abistocbates, Timo- 

crates and Abistogeiton, I. and II. J. H. Vince. 
Demosthenes IV-VI : Pbivate Obations and In Neaebam. 

A. T. Murray. (\ ol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
Demosthenes Vn : Funebal Speech, Ebotic Essay, Exobdia 

and Lettebs. X. W. and N. J. DeWitt. 
Dio Cassits : Roman Histoey. E. Cary. 9 Vols. (Vols. I. 

and II. 2nd Imp.) 
Dio Chbysostom. J. W. Cohoon and H. Lamar Oosby. 5 

Vols. Vols. I.-IV. (Vols. I. and II. 2nd Imp.) 
Diodobus Sictjlus. 12 Vols. Vols. I.-IV. C. H. Oldfather. 

Vol. IX. R. M. Geer. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
Diogenes Laebtlus. R. D. Hicks. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., 

Vol. II. 2nd Imp.) 
DiONYsius of Halicabnasstjs : Roman Antiquities. Spel- 

man's translation revised by E. Cary. 7 Vols. Vols. I.-VL 

(Vol. IV. 2nd Imp.) 
EpiCTETtJS. W. A. Oldfather. 2 Vols. (Vols. I. and 11. 2nd 

EcBiPLDES. A. S. Way. 4 Vols. (Vols. I. and 11. &th Imp., 

Vols. in. and IV. oth Imp.) Verse trans. 
ExTSEBius : Ecclesiastical Histoby. Kirsopp Lake and 

J. E. L. Oulton. 2 Vols. (VoL I. 2nd /mp., VoL IL 3rd 7mp.) 
Galen : On the Natitbal Faculties. A. J. Brock. (3rd 

The Gbeek Anthology. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. (Vols. I. and 

II. 4th Imp., Vols. III. and IV. 3rd Imp.) 
Gbeek Elegy and Iambus with the Anacbeontea. J. M. 

Edmonds. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
The Gbeek Bucolic Poets (Theocbitus, Bion, Moschus). 

J. M. Edmonds. {6th Imp. revised.) 

Greek Mathematical Works. Ivor Thomas. 2 Vols. (2nd 

Herodes. Cf. Theophrastus : Characters. 
Herodotus. A. D. Godley. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. ith Imp., Vols, 

II.-IV. 3rd Imp.) 
Hesiod and The Homeric Hymns. H. G. Evelyn White. 
(6th Imp. revised and enlarged.) 
Hippocrates and the Fragments of Heracleitus. W. H. S. 

Jones and E. T. Withington. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vole 

II.-IV. 2nd Imp.) 
Homer: Iliad. A.T.Murray. 2 Vols. {6th Imp.) 
Homer: Odyssey. A.T.Murray. 2 Vols. (1th Imp.) 
IsAEUs. E. W. Forster. (2nd Imp.) 
Isocrates. George Norlin. 3 Vols. 
St. John Damascene : Barlaam and Ioasaph. Rev. G. R. 

Woodward and Harold Mattingly. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
Josephus. H. St. J. Thackeray and Ralph Marcus. 9 Vols. 

Vols. I.-VI. (Vol. V. 3rd Imp., Vol. VI. 2nd Imp.) 
Julian. Wilmer Cave Wright. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp., 

Vol. II. Srd/wp.) 
Lucian. a. M. Harmon. 8 Vols. Vols. I.-V. (Vols. I-III. 

3rd Imp.) 
Lycophron. Cf. Callimachus. 
Lyra Graeca. J. M. Edmonds. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp. 

Vol. II. 2nd Ed. revised and enlarged. Vol. III. 3rd Imp 

revised. ) 
Lysias. W. R. M. Lamb. (2nd Imp.) 
Maketho. W. G. Waddell : Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. F. E. 

Robbins. (2nd Imp.) 
Marcus Aurelius. C. R. Haines. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Menander. F. G. Allinson. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
Minor Attic Orators (Antiphon, Andocides, Demades, 

Deinarchus, Hypereides). K. J. Maidment and J. O. 

Burrt. 2 Vols. Vol. I. K. J. Maidment. 
NONNOS. W. H. D. Rouse. 3 Vols. (Vol. III. 2nd Imp.) 
Oppian, Colluthus, Tryphiodorus. a. W. Mair. 
Papyri. Non -Literary Selections. A. S. Hunt and C. C. 

Edgar. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) Literary Selections. 

Vol. I. (Poetry). D. L. Page. 
Parthenius. Cf. Daphnis and Chloe. 
Pausanias : Description of Greece. W. H. S. Jones. 5 

Vols, and Companion Vol. (Vols. I. and III. 2nd Imp.) 
Philo. 10 Vols. Vols. I.-V.; F. H. Colson and Rev. G. H 

Whitaker. Vols. VI.-IX. ; F. H. Colson. (Vols. I., II., V. 

VI. and VII. 2nd Imp., Vol. IV. 3rd Imp.) 
Philostratus : The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. F. C. 

Conybeare. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. Uh Imp., Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Philostratus : Imagines ; Callistratus : Descriptions. 

A. Fairbanks. 
Philostratus and Eunapius : Lives of the Sophists. 

Wilmer Cave Wright. (2nd Imp.) 

PiXDAB. Sir J. E. Sandys. (7tfc Imp. revised.) 

Plato : Charmides, Alcibiades, Hipparchus, The Lovers, 

Theages, Mixos and Epinomis. W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Cratylus, Parmexides, Greater Hippias, Lesser 

HippiAS. H. N. Fowler. (2nd Imp.) 
Plato : Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phabdo, Phaedbus. 

H. N. Fowler. {9tA Imp.) 
Plato : Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus. W. R. M. 

Lamb. {2nd Imp. revised.) 
■'Plato : Laws. Rev. R. G. Bury. 2 Vols. {'2nd Imp.) 
Plato : Lysis, Symposium, Gorgias. W. R. M. Lamb. (4iA 

Imp. revised.) 
Plato : Republic. Paul Shorev. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 4<A Imp., 

Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Plato : Statesman, Philebus. H. N. Fowler ; Ion. W. R. M. 

Lamb. (3rd Imp.) 
Plato : Theaetetus and Sophist. H. N. Fowler. (3rd Imp.) 
Plato : Timaeus, Cbitias, Clitopho, Mexexexus, Epistulae. 

Rev. R. G. Bury. {•2nd Imp.) 
Plutarch : Moralia. 14 Vols. Vols. I.-V. F. C. Babbitt ; 

Vol. VI. W. C. Helmbold ; Vol. X. H. X. Fowler. (Vols. I., 

III., and X. 2nd Imp.) 
Plutarch: The Parallel Lives. B. Perrin. II Vols. 

(Vols. I., n., and ^^I. 3rd Imp., Vols. UI., IV., VI., and VIII.- 
• XL 2nd Imp.) 

■PoLYBius. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. 
Pbocopius : History of the Wars. H. B. Dewing. 7 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
Ptolemy : Tetbabiblos. CL Manetho. 

QuEfTUS Smyrxaeus. a. S. Way. Verse trans. (2nd Imp.) 
Sextus Empiricus. Rev. R. G. Bury. 4 Vols, (Vol. III. 

2nd Imp.) 
Sophocles. F. Storr. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 7th Imp., Vol. II. 5th 

Imp.) Verse trans. 
Strabo : Geography. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. (Vols. I. 

3rd Imp., Vols. II., V., VI., and VIII. 2nd Imp.) 
Theophbastus : Characters. J. M. Edmonds; Herodes, 

etc. A. D. Knox. {2nd Imp.) 
Theophrastus : Enquiry' into Plants. Sir Arthur Hort., 

Bart. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Thucydides. C. F. Smith. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vols. 

II., III. and IV. 2nd Imp. revised.) 
Tbyphiodorus. Cf. Opplax. 

Xenophon: Cvropaedia. Walt«r ililler. 2 Vols. {3rd Imp.) 
' Xexophox : Hellexica, Anabasis, Apology, and Symposium. 

C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 3 Vols. {3rd Imp.) 
Xenophon : Memorabilia and Oeconomicus. E. C. Marchant. 

(2nd Imp.) 
Xenophon : Scrifta Minoba. E. C. Marchant. (2nd Imp.) 


Greek Authors 

Aristotle : De Mundo. W. K. C. Guthrie. 
Aristotle : History of Animals. A. L. Peck. 
Aristotle : Meteorologica. H. P. Lee. 

Latin Authors 

St. Augustine : City of God. W. H. Semple. 
[Cicero] : Ad Herennium. H. Caplan. 

Cicero : Pro Sestio, In Vatinium, Pro Caelio, De Provinciis 
CoNSULARiBus, Pro Balbo. J. H. Freese and R. Gardner.