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THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

FOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB, LL.D. 

EDITED BY 
fT. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. 

t E. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. t W. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 

L. A. POST, L.H.D. E. H. WARMINGTON, m.a., f.r.hist.soo. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 
II 




i 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

PUNICA 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY 
J. D. DUFF 

RI.A., HON.D.LITT. DURHAM 

FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDCK 

IN TWO VOLUMES 
II 




LONDON 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

MCMLXI 



First printed 1934 
Reprinted 1938, 1950. 1961 



Printed in Great Britain 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME II 

PAGE 

Book IX 2 

Book X 50 

Book XI 100 

Book XII H6 

Book XIII 204 

Book XIV 272 

Book XV 324 

Book XVI 386 

Book XVII 4.38 

Index ....... 489 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

BOOKS IX-XVII 



VOL. II 



a2 



PUNICORUM 

LIBER NONUS 

ARGUMENT 

Varro is eager to fight, and his boldness is increased by a 
successful skirmish. Paulus tries in vain to restrain his 
colleague (1-65). A horrible crime committed in ignorance 

Turbato monstris Latio cladisque futurae 
signa per Ausoniam prodentibus irrita divis, 
haud secus ac si fausta forent et prospera pugnae 
omina venturae, consul traducere noctem 
exsomnis telumque manu vibrare per umbras, 5 

ac modo segnitie Paulum increpitare, modo acres 
exercere tubas nocturnaque classica velle. 
nee minor in Poeno properi certaminis ardor, 
erumpunt vallo, fortuna urgente sinistra, 
consertaeque manus ; nam sparsi ad pabula campis 
vicinis raptanda Macae fudere volucrem 11 

telorum nubem. ante omnes invadere bella 
Mancinus gaudens hostilique unguere primus 
tela cruore cadit ; cadit et numerosa inventus, 
nee pecudum fibras Varro et contraria Paulo 15 

auspicia incusante deum compesceret arma, 

<* An African people living near the river Cinyps. 



PUNICA 

BOOK IX 

ARGUMENT {continued) 

during the night portends disaster to the Romans (6G-177). 
Hannibal encourages his men and then draws them up in 
line of battle (178-243). Varro does the same (244-277). 
The battle of Cannae (278-x. 325). 

Though Italy was disturbed by these portents and 
the gods in vain revealed tokens of coming disaster 
throughout the land, yet Varro behaved as if the 
omens for the imminent battle were favourable and 
auspicious. He took no sleep that night but bran- 
dished his sword in the darkness, at one time blaming 
Paulus for inaction, at another seeking to sound by 
night the fierce war-note of his trumpets. Nor was 
Hannibal less eager for instant conflict. Driven 
on by evil fortune, our soldiers sallied out from the 
camp, and battle was joined. For a body of Macae," 
foraging here and there in the neighbouring plains, 
discharged a cloud of winged missiles. Here Mancinus 
fell, while rejoicing to be the foremost fighter and first 
to dye his sword with the blood of an enemy ; and 
with him fell many soldiers. Still, though Paulus ob- 
jected that the entrails of the victims were ominous 
of the gods' disfavour, Varro would not have checked 

3 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ni sors alterni iuris, quo castra reguntur, 

arbitrium pugnae properanti in fata negasset. 

quae tamen baud valuit perituris milibus una 

plus donasse die. rediere in castra, gemente 20 

baud dubie Paulo, qui erastina iura videret 

amenti cessura viro, frustraque suorum 

servatas a caede animas. nam turbidus ira 

infensusque morae dilata ob proelia ductor : 

" sicine, sic," inquit, " grates pretiumque rependis, 25 

Paule, tui capitis ? meruerunt talia, qui te 

legibus atque urnae dira eripuere minanti ? 

tradant immo bosti revocatos ilicet enses, 

tradant arma iube, aut pugnantum deripe dextris. 

sed vos, quorum oculos atque ora bumentia vidi, 30 

vertere cum consul terga et remeare iuberet, 

ne morem et pugnae signum expectate petendae ; 

dux sibi quisque viam rapito, cum spargere primis 

incipiet radiis Gargana cacumina Phoebus. 

pandam egomet propere portas : ruite ocius atque 

bunc 
ereptum revocate diem." sic turbidus aegra 36 

pestifero pugnae castra incendebat amore. 

At Paulus, iam non idem nee mente nee ore, 
sed qualis stratis deleto milite campis 
post pugnam stetit, ante oculos atque ora futuro 40 
obversante malo ; ceu iam spe lucis adempta, 
cum stupet exanimata parens natique tepentes 
nequiquam fovet extremis amplexibus artus : 
"per totiens," inquit, " concussae moenia Romae, 

" The two consuls held command by turns on alternate 
days. 

^ See viii. 289 foil. • See iv. 561. 



■ 



PUNICA, IX. 17-44 

the fighting, had not the rule of alternate command " 
over the army denied him the power of decision, as he 
rushed upon his fate. Yet this rule could give the 
doomed multitude a reprieve for one day only. Back 
they went to camp ; and Paulus loudly lamented, 
because he saw that to-morrow the command would 
devolve on a madman, and that he had saved the 
lives of his men to no purpose. For Varro, in fierce 
anger and resenting the postponement of battle, 
addressed him thus : "Is this the way, Paulus, you 
show gratitude and repay me for saving your life } 
Is this the reward of those who rescued you from the 
laws and from a jury that meant mischief ? ^ Better 
bid our men at once surrender to the foe the swords 
and weapons which you called back from battle ; or 
snatch them yourself from their grasp. But you, my 
men, whose faces I saw wet with tears when Paulus 
ordered you to turn your backs in retreat, break with 
custom and anticipate the word of command for 
battle : let each man be his own commander and rush 
to action as soon as the first rays of the sun are thrown 
on the summit of Mount Garganus.'' I shall open the 
gates of the camp myself with no delay. Rush ahead, 
and make up for the opportunity you were robbed of 
to-day." Thus in his excitement he tried to animate 
the sick hearts of his men with a fatal desire for battle. 
Meanwhile Paulus underwent a change : he felt and 
looked now as when he stood after the battle and the 
field lay before him strewn with Roman corpses ; for 
the imminent disaster pressed upon his very sight. 
So sits a mother stunned and senseless, when all hope 
of her son's life is lost, and she cherishes with a last 
fruitless embrace the limbs that are not yet cold. He 
spoke thus: "By the walls of Rome so often shaken, 

5 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

perque has, nox Stygia quas iam circumvolat umbra, 

insontes animas, cladi parce obvius ire. 46 

dum transit divum furor, et consumitur ira 

Fortunae, novus Hannibalis, sat, nomina ferre 

si discit miles nee frigidus aspicit hostem. 

nonne vides, cum vicinis auditur in arvis, 50 

quam subitus linquat pallentia corpora sanguis ? 

quamque fluant arma ante t-ubas ? cunctator et aeger, 

ut rere, in pugnas Fabius quoscumque sub illis 

culpatis duxit signis, nunc arma capessunt, 

at, quos Flaminius — sed dira avertite, divi. 55 

sin nostris animus monitis precibusque repugnat, 

aures pande deo : cecinit Cymaea per orbem 

haec olim vates et te praesaga tuosque 

vulgavit terris proavorum aetate furores. 

iamque alter tibi, nee perplexo carmine, coram 60 

fata cano yates : sistis ni crastina signa, 

firmabis nostro Phoebeae dicta Sibyllae 

sanguine ; nee Graio posthac Diomede ferentur 

sed te, si perstas, insignes consule campi." 

haec Paulus, lacrimaeque oculis ardentibus ortae. 65 

Necnon et noctem sceleratus polluit error. 
Xanthippo captus Libycis tolerarat in oris 
servitium Satricus, mox inter praemia regi 
Autololum dono datus ob virtutis honorem. 
huic domus et gemini fuerant Sulmone relicti 70 

matris in uberibus nati, Mancinus et una 



<* " were slain at Lake Trasimene " are the words which 
Paulus forbears to utter. 

* The Sibyl of Cumae: see vii. 483. " See viii. 241. 

" Silius must have invented the episode that follows ; but 
he can hardly have expected his readers to believe a story so 
monstrously improbable. « See vi. 302 foil. 

^ A city of the Peligni in N. Italy, the birthplace of Ovid. 

a 



PUNICA, IX. 45-71 

and by these innocent lives, round whom the shadow 
of infernal night is now hovering, I implore you, 
Varro, go not to meet disaster. Until Heaven's 
wrath has passed away and the anger of Fortune is 
spent, be content, if our recruits learn to endure the 
name of Hannibal and cease to turn cold at sight of 
the enemy. See you not how the very sound of 
his approach drives the blood in a moment from 
their pale faces, how the swords drop from their hands 
before the trumpet sounds ? You think Fabius a 
sick man and a dawdler ; but every soldier whom he 
led to battle beneath the standards you blame is in 
the ranks to-day, whereas the troops of Flaminius <*— 
but may Heaven avert the evil omen ! Even if your 
heart is set against my warnings and entreaties, open 
your ears to the god. Long ago, in the time of our 
forefathers, the priestess of Cumae ^ foretold these 
things to mankind, and her foreknowledge proclaimed 
to the world you and your madness. Now I turn 
prophet too and tell you the future to your face in 
no riddling strain : if you move the standards to- 
morrow, you shall confirm by my death the prophecy 
of the Sibyl, Apollo's priestess, and this field shall no 
longer be famous because of Diomede ^ the Greek 
but because of you, the Roman consul." Thus Paulus 
spoke, and the tears sprang from his burning eyes. 

That night too was stained by a terrible crime 
committed in error. ^ Satricus, taken prisoner by 
Xanthippus,'' had endured slavery in the land of 
Libya, and had then been given to the king of the 
Autololes with other rewards conferred on him in 
recognition of his valour. This man was a native of 
Sulmo ^ and left two boys there at their mother's 
breast — Mancinus and one who bore the Trojan name 

7 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nomine Rhoeteo Solimus ; nam Dardana origo 

et Phrygio genus a proavo, qui, sceptra secutus 

Aeneae, claram muris fundaverat urbem 

ex sese dictam Solimon ; celebrata colonis 76 

mox I talis, paulatim attrito nomine, Sulmo. 

at turn barbaricis Satricus cum rege catervis 

advectus, quo non spretum, si posceret usus, 

noscere Gaetulis Latias interprete voces, 

postquam posse datum Peligna revisere tecta 80 

et patrium sperare larem, ad conamina noctem 

advocat ac furtim castris evadit iniquis. 

sed fuga nuda viri ; sumpto nam prodere coepta 

vitabat clipeo et dextra remeabat inermi. 

exuvias igitur prostrataque corpora campo 85 

lustrat et exutis Mancini cingitur armis. 

iamque metus levior ; verum, cui dempta ferebat 

exsangui spolia et cuius nudaverat artus, 

natus erat, paulo ante Maca prostratus ab hoste. 

Ecce sub adventum noctis primumque soporem 90 
alter natorum, Solimus, vestigia vallo 
Ausonio vigil extulerat, dum sorte vicissim 
alternat portae excubias, fratrisque petebat 
Mancini stratum sparsa inter funera corpus, 
furtiva cupiens miserum componere terra. 96 

nee longum celerarat iter, cum tendere in armis 
aggere Sidonio venientem conspicit hostem. 
quodque dabat fors in subitis necopina, sepulcro 
Aetoli condit membra occultata Thoantis. 
inde, ubi nulla sequi propius pone arma virumque 
incomitata videt vestigia ferre per umbras, 101 

prosiliens tumulo contorquet nuda parentis 

" i.e, Libyans. 

3 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 72-102 



of Solimus ; for their remote ancestor was a Trojan 
who had followed Aeneas as his sovereign and built 
a famous city which he called by his own name, 
Solimus ; but, when many Italian colonists resorted 
thither, the name was gradually shortened into 
Sulmo. And now Satricus had come with his king 
among the foreign invaders ; and the Gaetulians " 
were willing enough, when occasion required, to use 
his services to interpret Latin speech. But when the 
chance was given him of revisiting his native town 
and he could hope to see his father's house again, he 
summoned night to aid his enterprise and stole out of 
the hated camp. But he fled unarmed : to carry a 
shield might betray his design, and he started home 
with no weapon in his hand. Therefore he scanned 
the armour of the dead who lay on the field, and 
armed himself with weapons taken from the corpse 
of Mancinus. Now he felt less fear ; but it was his 
own son, slain a few hours before by a Libyan foe, 
whose limbs he had stripped, and from whose lifeless 
body he had taken the spoils which now he carried. 
Now when night came and sleep began, his other 
son, Solimus, came forth from the Roman camp, to 
relieve in his allotted turn the watch at the gate, and 
searched for the body of his brother, Mancinus, among 
the corpses lying on the field ; he wished to bury the 
hapless youth secretly. He had not hastened far 
when he saw an armed enemy coming towards him 
from the Carthaginian camp. Thus surprised, he 
took the course that chance offered him, and concealed 
himself behind the tomb of Thoas, an Aetolian. But 
then, when he saw no soldiers following close behind, 
but only a single man walking alone in the dark, he 
pprang up from the tomb and threw his javeUn at his 

9 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

in terga haud frustra iaculum ; Tyriamque sequentum 
Satricus esse manum et Sidonia vulnera credens, 
auctorem caeci trepidus circumspicit ictus. 105 

Verum ubi victorem iuvenili robore cursus 
attulit, et notis fulsit lux tristis ab armis, 
fraternusque procul, luna prodente, retexit 
ante oculos sese et radiavit comminus umbo, 
exclamat iuvenis, subita flammatus ab ira : 110 

" non sim equidem Sulmone satus tua, Satrice, proles 
nee frater, Mancine, tuus fatearque nepotem 
Pergameo indignum Solimo, si evadere detur 
huic nostras impune manus. tu nobile gestes 
germani spolium ante oculos referasque superba, 1 15 
me spirante, domus Pelignae perfidus arma ? 
haec tibi, cara parens Acca, ad solacia luctus 
dona feranij nati ut figas aeterna sepulcro." 
talia vociferans stricto mucrone ruebat. 

Ast illi iam tela manu iamque arma fluebant, 120 
audita patria natisque et coniuge et armis, 
ac membra et sensus gelidus stupefecerat horror, 
turn vox semanimi miseranda effunditur ore : 
" parce, precor, dextrae, non ut mihi vita supersit, 
(quippe nefas hac velle frui) sed sanguine nostro 
ne damnes, o nate, manus. Carthaginis ille 126 

captivuSj patrias nunc primum advectus in oras, 
ille ego sum Satricus, Solimi genus, haud tua, nate, 
fraus ulla est : iaceres in me cum fervidus hastam, 
10 



PUNICA, IX. 103-129 



I 

■■kther's unprotected back. His aim was true ; and 
Satricus, believing that he was pursued by a Cartha- 
ginian force and that his wound was due to them, 
looked round anxiously, to discover the unseen hand 
that had struck him. 

But when Solimus, running with youthful vigour, 
came up to his victim, a dismal light flashed from the 
familiar arms, and the shield of Mancinus, revealed 
by the moonlight, showed itself clear before his eyes 
and gleamed close beside him. Then the young man, 
fired with sudden wrath, cried out : ' No true son of 
Satricus, no native of Sulmo, should I be, and no 
brother of Mancinus — and I would own myself no 
worthy descendant of Trojan Solimus, if I suffered 
this man to escape unpunished ! Shall he wear before 
my eyes the noble spoils he took from my brother ? 
Is this traitor to carry off the glorious armour of a 
Pelignian house, while I am alive to prevent it ? No ! 
To you, dear mother Acca, I shall carry back this 
gift, to assuage your grief, and for you to fix for ever 
on the grave of your son." Thus shouting, he rushed 
on with sword unsheathed. 

But already sword and shield were slipping from 
the grasp of Satricus, when he heard Sulmo named, 
and the arms, and the names of his wife and children ; 
frozen horror had stunned him, mind and body. And 
then a piteous cry came forth from his half-dead lips : 
" Hold your hand, my son — not that I may live on 
(for to desire the enjoyment of such a life would be 
a crime), but that you may not bring a curse on your 
hand by shedding your father's blood. I am Satricus, 
son of Solimus, who was taken prisoner by Carthage 
long ago and have now just returned to my native 
land. You did no wrong, my son. When you hurled 

11 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Poenus eram. verum, castris elapsus acerbis, 130 
ad vos et carae properabam coniugis ora. 
hunc rapui exanimi clipeum ; sed iam unice nobis, 
haec fratris tumulis arma excusata reporta. 
curarum tibi prima tamen sit, nate, referre 
ductori monitus Paulo, producere bellum 135 

nitatur Poenoque neget certamina Martis. 
augurio exultat divum immensamque propinqua 
stragem acie sperat. quaeso, cohibete furentem 
Varronem ; namque hunc fama est impellere signa. 
sat magnum hoc miserae fuerit mihi cardine vitae 
solamen, cavisse meis. nunc ultima, nate, 141 

invento simul atque amisso redde parenti 
oscula." sic fatus galeam exuit atque rigentis 
invadit nati tremebundis coUa lacertis, 
attonitoque timens verbis sanare pudorem 145 

vulneris impressi et telum excusare laborat : 
" quis testis nostris, quis conscius afFuit actis ? 
non nox errorem nigranti condidit umbra ? 
cur trepidas ? da, nate, magis, da iungere pectus, 
absolvo pater ipse manum, atque in fine laborum 150 
hac condas oculos dextra, precor." at miser, imo 
pectore suspirans, iuvenis non verba vicesque 
alloquio vocemve refert ; sed sanguinis atri 
sistere festinat cursum laceroque ligare 
ocius illacrimans altum velamine vulnus. 165 

tandem inter gemitus miserae erupere querelae : 
12 



PUNICA, IX. 130-156 



l_ .,...,. . 

I had slipped out of the hated camp and was hasten- 
ing home, eager to see the face of my dear wife. 
I snatched this shield from a corpse ; but now carry 
it back, purged of guilt, to your brother's body ; no 
son but you have I now. But your first duty, my son, 
must be to warn Paulus, the Roman general : he 
must strive to prolong the war and give Hannibal no 
chance of a battle. Hannibal, overjoyed by the 
divine omens, hopes for an immediate engagement 
and immeasurable slaughter. Restrain, I entreat, 
Varro's madness ; for it is said that he is urging 
his standards on. For me this will be consola- 
tion enough at the end of a wretched life, to have 
warned my countrymen. And now, my son, give the 
last embrace to the father whom you have found 
and lost in the same hour." Thus he spoke and, 
doffing his helmet, embraced his son, who stood 
motionless in horror, with trembling arms. Fear- 
ing for his terror-stricken son, he strove by his 
words to heal the shame felt for the wound in- 
flicted, and to make excuses for the stroke : " None 
was present to see what we have done, none was 
privy to it. Was not the mistake concealed by 
the darkness of night ? Why tremble so } Rather 
suffer me to embrace you, my son. I, your father, 
myself pronounce you innocent, and I entreat you 
to end my troubles and close my eyes with your 

»hand." The unhappy youth groaned deeply, and 
' could find no voice or words in reply ; but he made 
haste to stop the flow of dark blood and bind up the 
deep wound with a piece torn off his own garment ; 
and his tears fell fast. At last the voice of his com- 
plaint forced its way through his groans ; "Is it thus, 

13 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

** sicine te nobis, genitor, Fortuna reducit 

in patriam ? sic te nato natumque parenti 

impia restituit ? felix o terque quaterque 

frater, cui fatis genitorem agnoscere ademptum ! 160 

ast ego, Sidoniis imperditus, ecce, parentem 

vulnere cognosco. saltern hoe, Fortuna, fuisset 

solamen culpae, dubia ut mihi signa dedisses 

infausti generis, verum linquetur iniquis 

non ultra superis nostros celare labores." 165 

Haec dum amens queritur, iam, deficiente cruore, 
in vacuas senior vitam disperserat auras, 
turn iuvenis, maestum attoUens ad sidera vultum : 
" poUutae dextrae et facti Titania testis 
infandi, quae nocturno mea lumine tela 170 

dirigis in patrium corpus, non amplius," inquit, 
" his oculis et damnato violabere visu." 
haec memorat, simul ense fodit praecordia et, atrum 
sustentans vulnus, mananti sanguine signat 
in clipeo mandata patris : fuge proelia varro ; 175 
ac summi tegimen suspendit cuspide teli 
defletumque super prosternit membra parentem. 

Talia venturae mittebant omina pugnae 
Ausoniis superi, sensimque abeuntibus umbris 
conscia nox sceleris roseo cedebat Eoo. 180 

ductor in arma suos Libys et Romanus in arma 
excibant de more suos ; Poenisque redibat, 
qualis nulla dies omni surrexerit aevo. 
" non verborum," inquit, " stimulantum," Poenus, 
** egetis, 

« The Moon, 
14* 



PUNICA, IX. 167-184 

father, that cruel Fortune brings you back to your 
country and to us ? is it thus she restores father to 
son and son to father ? Thrice and four times happy 
was my brother, whom death prevented from re- 
cognizing his father. But I whom the enemy did 
not kill — behold ! I recognize him by wounding him. 
This at least Fortune should have permitted, to com- 
fort me for my sin — she should have spared me the 
clear proof of our ill-starred kinship. But the cruel 
gods shall no longer find it possible to hide our 
sufferings." 

While the distracted son complained thus, the 
father from loss of blood breathed forth his life into 
empty air. Then the young man raised his sad eyes 
to heaven and cried : ** O Queen of heaven," thou 
that didst witness the dreadful deed wrought by my 
polluted hand, thou whose light guided my weapon 
in the night to my father's body, these eyes and this 
accursed countenance shall no longer profane thy 
deity." With these words he drove his sword into 
his own body ; and, when the blood flowed forth from 
the dark wound, he checked it and wrote his father's 
message in letters of blood upon his shield — *' Varro, 
beware of battle ! " Then he hung the shield on the 
point of his spear, and threw himself down upon the 
body of the father he so deeply mourned. 

Such were the omens for the coming battle that 
Heaven sent to the Romans. By degrees darkness 
departed, and the night that witnessed that dreadful 
deed gave place to rosy dawn. The generals, Cartha- 
ginian and Roman, summoned their men to arms in 
customary fashion ; and a day began for the invaders, 
the like of which will never be seen again. " You 
need no words of encouragement," said Hannibal ; 

15 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Herculeis iter a metis ad lapygis agros 185 

vincendo emensi ; nusquam est animosa Saguntos ; 

concessere Alpes ; pater ipse superbus aquarum 

Ausonidum Eridanus captivo defluit alveo. 

strage virum mersus Trebia est, atque ora sepulto 

Lydia Flaminio premitur, lateque refulgent 190 

ossibus ac nullo sulcantur vomere campi. 

clarior his titulus, plusque allatura cruoris 

lux oritur, mihi magna satis, sat vero superque 

bellandi merces sit gloria ; cetera vobis 

vincantur. quicquid diti devexit Hibero, 195 

quicquid in Aetnaeis iactavit Roma triumphis, 

quin etiam Libyco si quid de litore raptum 

condidit, in vestros veniet sine sortibus enses. 

ferte domos, quod dextra dabit ; nil ductor honoris 

ex opibus posco. raptor per saeeula longa 200 

Dardanus edomitum vobis spoliaverit orbem. 

qui Tyria ducis Sarranum ab origine nomen, 

seu Laurens tibi, Sigeo sulcata colono, 

arridet tellus, seu sunt Byzacia cordi 

rura magis, centum Cereri fruticantia culmis, 205 

electos optare dabo inter praemia campos. 

addam etiam, flava Thybris quas irrigat unda, 

cap ti vis late gregibus depascere ripas. 

qui vero externo socius mihi sanguine Byrsae 

signa moves, dextram Ausonia si caede cruentam 

" i.e. Etruscan. 
' i.e. Roman. 

« A district in Africa near the Lesser Syrtis, of fabulous 
fertility. 

16 



PUNICA, IX. 185-210 

you have marched victorious all the way from the 
'illars of Hercules to the lapygian fields ; brave 
Jaguntum has been wiped out ; the Alps have 
ranted you a passage ; and the Po, the proud father 
Italian rivers, flows down now in a conquered 
lannel. The Trebia is hidden beneath the bodies 
rf the slain ; the corpse of Flaminius lies upon the 
\,ydian « land ; and the fields, furrowed by no 
)lough, are whitened far and wide by Roman bones, 
greater achievement than all these is at hand ; a 
ly is dawning that shall bring with it more blood- 
ied. For me fame is enough , and more than enough , 
repay me for the toils of war ; let the other gains 
)f victory be yours. All the treasure that Roman 
ihips have brought down the rich Hiberus, all that 
tome has displayed in her triumphs over Sicily, and 
llso any booty from the Libyan shore that she has 
Jtored up — all this shall fall to your swords, with no 
is ting of lots. Take home with you all the spoil that 
rou get by the sword ; I, your general, seek no fame 
rom riches. It will be for your benefit, that the 
>ardan ^ robbers have for centuries past conquered 
md pillaged the world. To you I speak who trace 
rour origin back to ancient Tyre and Sidon : whether 
le acres of Laurentum, ploughed by Roman husband- 
len, are your choice, or whether you prefer the fields 
)f Byzacium," where a hundred blades of corn spring 
"rom one seed — I shall allow you to choose the land 
Tou like b£st, as part of your reward, I shall give 
you also the meadows watered by the yellow stream 
of the Tiber, as a wide pasture-land for the flocks 
taken from the enemy. Next I say to the allies of 
foreign blood who fight in the ranks of Carthage : 
if any of you lift up a hand red with Roman blood, he 

17 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

attolles, hinc iam civis Carthaginis esto. 211 

neu vos Garganus Daunique fefellerit ora ; 

ad muros statis Romae ; licet avia longe 

urbs agat et nostro procul a certamine distet, 

hie hodie ruet, atque ultra te ad proelia, miles, 215 

nulla voco ; ex acie tende in Capitolia cursum." 

Haec memorat. turn, propulso munimine valli, 
fossarum rapuere moras, aciemque locorum 
consilio eurvis accommodat ordine ripis. 
barbaricus laevo stetit ad certamina cornu 220 

bellator Nasamon unaque immanior artus 
Marmarides, turn Maurus atrox Garamasque 

Macesque 
et Massylae acies et ferro vivere laetum 
vulgus Adyrmachidae pariter, gens accola Nili, 
corpora ab immodico servans nigrantia Phoebo ; 225 
quis positum agminibus caput imperiumque Nealces. 
at parte in dextra, sinuat qua flexibus undam 
Aufidus et curvo circum errat gurgite ripas, 
Mago regit, subiere leves, quos horrida misit 
Pyrene, populi varioque auxere tumultu 230 

flumineum latus ; efFulget caetrata iuventus ; 
Cantaber ante alios nee tectus tempora Vasco 
ae torto miseens Baliaris proelia plumbo 
Baetigenaeque viri. celsus media ipse coercet 
agmina, quae patrio firmavit milite quaeque 235 

Celtarum Eridano perfusis saepe catervis. 



" Apulia. 

^ Of the river Aufidus on which Cannae (lit. " The Reed- 
bed ") stood. 

" The Spanish troops, who formed the backbone of 
Hannibal's army, are meant. 

** The Guadalquivir : the chief city on the river was 
Corduba. 

18 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 211-236 



11 be henceforth a citizen of Carthage. And do 
not be misled by the sight of Mount Garganus and 
the land of Daunus <* : you are standing now before 
the walls of Rome. Although the city lies at a 
distance and is far removed from this battlefield, 
she shall fall here and now, and never again shall I 
summon you to arms ; when the fight is over, march 
straight against the Capitol." 

Such was his speech. Then they threw down the 
protecting rampart and hurried over the trenches 
that delayed them ; and the general drew up his 
line in suitable order on the winding banks, ^ following 
the lie of the ground. On the left wing, ready for 
battle, stood the Nasamonians, a barbarous host, and 
with them the Marmaridae of giant stature ; next 
were fierce Moors and Garamantes and Macae ; 
Massylian warriors and a swarm of Adyrmachidae — 
a people who dwell by the Nile and rejoice to live by 
the sword, and whose skins are for ever blackened by 
their merciless sun. Nealces was appointed captain 
and commander of these troops. Then on the right 
wing, where the Aufidus makes bends and meanders 
round its own banks with circling waters, there Mago 
was in command. Here fought the light-armed peoples 
who came from the rugged Pyrenees,'' filling the 
river-banks with confused noise ; and their crescent- 
shaped shields shone in the sun. Foremost were the 
Cantabrians ; and there were bare-headed Vascones, 
and Balearic slingers who fight with leaden bullets, 
and the sons of the Baetis.** The centre was com- 
manded by Hannibal himself, conspicuous on horse- 
back, and was composed of stout warriors from 
Carthage and companies of Gauls whose Hmbs had 
often been bathed in the waters of the Po. But 

19 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sed qua se fluvius retro labentibus undis 

eripit et nullo cuneos munimine vallat, 

turritas moles ac propugnacula dorso 

belua nigranti gestans, ceu mobilis agger, 240 

nutat et erectos attoUit ad aethera muros. 

cetera iam Numidis circumvolitare vagosque 

ferre datur cursus et toto fervere campo. 

Dum Libys incenso dispensat milite vires 
hortandoque iterum atque iterum insatiabilis urget 
factis quemque suis et se cognoscere iactat, 246 

qua dextra veniant stridentis sibila teli, 
promittitque viris nulli se defore test em : 
iam Varro, exacta vallo legione, movebat 
cladum principia ; ac pallenti laetus in unda 250 

laxabat sedem Venturis Portitor umbris. 
stant primi, quos sanguineae pendente vetabant 
ire notae clipeo, defixique omine torpent. 
iuxta terribilis facies : miseranda iacebant 
corpora in amplexu, natusque in pectore patris 255 
imposita vulnus dextra letale tegebat. 
efFusae lacrimae, Mancinique inde re versus 
fraterna sub morte dolor, tum triste movebat 
augurium et similes defuncto in corpore vultus. 
ocius erroris culpam deflendaque facta 260 

ductori pandunt atque arma vetantia pugnam. 
ille, ardens animi : " ferte haec," ait, " omina Paulo ; 
namque ilium, cui femineo stant corde timores, 
moverit ista manus, quae, caede imbuta nefanda, 
cum Furiae expeterent poenas, fortasse paterno 265 
signavit moriens sceleratum sanguine carmen." 



The dead were ferried over the Styx by Charon. 
" See 11. 174 foil. 



20 



PUNICA, IX. 237-266 

lere the river, falling back with retreating stream, 
offered no protection to the combatants, there the 
elephants bore huge towers and upper-works on their 
sable backs, swaying to and fro like a moving rampart 
and raising the tall structures to the sky. Lastly, the 
Numidians had orders to ride all round about, to rove 
from point to point and busy themselves over all the 
field. 

Thus Hannibal disposed his eager forces. Again 
and again he appealed to them and could not say 
enough : he roused each man by reminding him of 
his past exploits ; he boasted that he knew the arm 
that launched each hissing javelin ; and he promised 
to be the eyewitness of all that each man did. Mean- 
while, Varro sent his army forth from the camp and 
laid the foundations of disaster ; and the Ferryman 
of the pale river" rejoiced to make room for the 
expected ghosts. The vanguard halted, forbidden to 
go on by the letters of blood upon the lifted shield ^ ; 
the portent struck them dumb and motionless. A 
fearful sight was before them : the ill-fated pair lay 
locked in an embrace, and the son had laid his hand 
on his father's breast, to hide the fatal wound. Tears 
were shed, and grief for Mancinus was renewed by 
his brother's death ; men were affected also by the 
evil omen and by the resemblance between the 
corpses. Quickly they inform Varro of the crime 
committed in error, of the dreadful deed, and of the 
shield that forbade a battle. He cried in wrath : 
" Carry these omens to Paulus ; for he, whose 
womanish heart is filled with fears, may be affected 
by that parricidal hand, which, when the avenging 
Furies came, perhaps used his father's blood to write 
that infamous dying message." 

21 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Turn minitans propere describit munera pugnae ; 
quaque feras saevus gentes aciemque Nealces 
temperat, hac sese Marso cum milite cumque 
Samnitum opponit signis et lapyge alumno. 270 

at campi medio (namque hac in parte videbat 
stare ducem Libyae) Servilius obvia adire 
arma et Picentes Umbrosque inferre iubetur. 
cetera Paulus habet dextro certamina cornu. 
his super insidias contra Nomadumque volucrem 275 
Scipiadae datur ire manum ; quaque arte doHsque 
scindent se turmae, praedicit spargere bellum. 

lamque propinquabant acies, agilique virorum 
discursu mixtoque simul calefacta per ora 
cornipedum hinnitu et multum strepitantibus armis 
errabat caecum turbata per agmina murmur. 281 

sic, ubi prima movent pelago certamina venti, 
inclusam rabiem ac sparsuras astra procellas 
parturit unda freti fundoque emota minaces 
expirat per saxa sonos atque acta cavernis 285 

torquet anhelantem spumanti vortice pontum. 

Nee vero, fati tam saevo in turbine, solum 
terrarum fuit ille labor ; discordia demens 
intravit caelo superosque ad bella coegit. 
hinc Mavors, hinc Gradivum comitatus Apollo 290 
et domitor tumidi pugnat maris ; hinc Venus amens, 
hinc Vesta et, captae stimulatus caede Sagunti, 
Amphitryoniades, pariter veneranda Cybele 
indigetesque dei Faunusque satorque Quirinus 
alternusque animae mutato Castore Pollux. 295 

" Apulians. '' Neptune. 

* Because she foresaw the Roman defeat. 

^ Legend said that each of the Twin Brethren spent six 
months of the year in Hades and six months in the upper 
world, the one taking the place of the other. 



PUNICA, IX. 267-295 



^^ation on the field. Opposite fierce Nealces and the 

' barbarous clans under his command Varro stood 

himself, with Marsians and Samnite standards and 

natives of lapygia." In the centre of the field, where 

■ he saw that Hannibal was stationed, Servilius had 

j orders to face the attack and bring on the men of 

I Picenum and Umbria. The rest of the troops were 

I on the right wing, with Paulus in command. Finally, 

Scipio had orders to deal with surprise attacks by 

the flying troops of Numidians, and was bidden to 

extend his lines, wherever the enemy's cavalry laid a 

trap by breaking their formation. 

And now the two armies closed ; and the rapid 
movement of men, together with the neighing of hot- 
breathing horses and the loud clashing of weapons, 
sent a dull roaring noise through the moving ranks. 
So, when the winds begin a battle on the deep, the 
sea is big with pent-up fury and storms that will soon 
drench the stars ; then, churned up from the bottom, 
it breathes out sounds of menace through the rocks ; 
and, driven from its caves, torments the restless water 
with its foaming eddies. 

Nor was the trouble confined to earth, when this 
crack of doom was heard : the madness of strife 
invaded heaven and forced the gods to fight. On 
one side fought Apollo and Mars with him, and the 
Ruler of the stormy sea ^ ; with them was Venus in 
despair,^ and Vesta, and Hercules, stung by the 
slaughter of captured Saguntum, and likewise wor- 
shipful Cybele ; and the native gods of Italy — 
Faunus and father Quirinus ; and Pollux who takes 
turns of hfe with his brother Castor.** On the other 



23 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

contra cincta latus ferro Saturnia luno 
et Pallas, Libycis Tritonidos edita lymphis, 
ac patrius flexis per tempora cornibus Hammon 
multaque praeterea divorum turba minorum. 
quorum ubi mole simul venientum et gressibus alma 
intremuit tellus, pars implevere propinquos 301 

divisi montes, pars sedem nube sub alta 
ceperunt ; vacuo descensum ad proelia eaelo. 
Tollitur immensus deserta ad sidera clamor, 
Phlegraeis quantas efFudit ad aethera voces 305 

terrigena in campis exercitus ; aut sator aevi, 
quanta Cyclopas nova fulmina voce poposcit, 
lupiter, exstructis vidit cum montibus ire 
magnanimos raptum caelestia regna gigantas. 
nee vero prima in tantis concursibus hasta 310 

uUa fuit : stridens nimbus certante furore 
telorum simul effusus, cupidaeque cruoris 
hinc atque hinc animae gemina cecidere procella ; 
ac prius insanus dextra quam ducitur ensis, 
bellantum pars magna iacet. super ipsa suorum 315 
corpora consistunt avidi calcantque gementes. 
nee magis aut Libyco protrudi Dardana nisu 
avertive potest pubes, aut ordine pelli 
fixa suo Sarrana manus, quam vellere sede 
si coeptet Calpen impacto gurgite pontus. 32C 

amisere ictus spatium, nee morte peracta 
artatis cecidisse licet, galea horrida flictu 
adversae ardescit galeae, elipeusque fatiscit 

" See note to iii. 324. ^ See note to i. 415. 

« See note to iv. 275. <* Gibraltar. 

24> 



PUNICA, IX. 296-323 

was Juno, daughter of Saturn, with her sword girt 
round her, and Pallas who sprang from the Libyan 
waters of Lake Tritonis ^ ; and Ammon,^ the native 
pod of Africa, whose brow bears curving horns, and 
a great company of lesser deities as well. When 
they all came on together. Mother Earth shook 
})('neath the tread of those mighty beings. Some 
of them went apart and filled the mountains round 
M ith their presence, while others rested beneath a 
high cloud ; and heaven was left empty when they 
came down to battle. 

A tremendous shout went up to the deserted sky, 
loud as the challenge sent up to heaven by the army 
of the Earthborn on the plain of Phlegra,'' loud as 
the voice with which Jupiter, creator of the universe, 
demanded fresh thunderbolts from the Cyclopes, 
when he saw the aspiring Giants coming, with 
mountains piled on mountains, to seize the throne of 
heaven. Nor was any spear the first to be thrown in 
that mighty conflict : a hissing storm of missiles was 
discharged all at once with emulous rage ; and men 
on both sides, eager for blood, were killed themselves 
by the cross-fire ; and, even before the furious sword 
was drawn, a great number of the combatants lay 
low. In their eagerness, men even stood on the 
bodies of their comrades, and trod them under foot, 
in spite of their groans. The pressure of the Cartha- 
ginians could not dislodge nor turn aside the Roman 
line ; nor could the steady ranks of Carthage be 
broken up ; the sea might as well try to wrench 
Calpe ^ from its seat by the impact of its waters. 
Blows failed for want of room ; and the close-packed 
dead had no space to fall. Helmet, clashing fiercely 
against helmet of a foe, flashed fire ; shield, striking 
VOL. II B 25 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

impulsu clipei, atque ensis contunditur ense ; " 

pes pede, virque viro teritur ; tellusque videri 325 

sanguine operta nequit, caelumque et sidera pendens 

abstulit ingestis nox densa sub aethere telis. 

quis astare loco dederat Fortuna secundo, ■ 

contorum longo et procerae cuspidis ictu, 

ceu primas agitent acies, certamina miscent. 330 

at, quos deinde tenet retrorsum inglorius ordo, 

missilibus certant pugnas aequare priorum. 

ultra clamor agit bellum, milesque, cupiti 

Martis inops, saevis impellit vocibus hostem. 

non ullum defit teli genus : hi sude pugnas, 335 

hi pinu flagrante cient, hi pondere pili ; 

at saxis fundaque alius iaculoque volucri. 

interdum stridens per nubila fertur harundo, « 

interdumque ipsis metuenda falarica murig. f|| 

Speramusne, deae, quarum mihi sacra coluntur, 340 
mortali totum hunc aperire in saecula voce 
posse diem ? tantumne datis confidere linguae, 
ut Cannas uno ore sonem ? si gloria vobis 
nostra placet, neque vos magnis avertitis ausis, 
hue omnes cantus Phoebumque vocate parentem. 345 
verum utinam posthac animo, Romane, secunda, 
quanto tunc adversa, feras ! satque hactenus, oro, 
nee libeat tentare deis, an Troia proles 1 

par bellum tolerare queat. tuque, anxia fati, 
pone, precor, lacrimas et adora vulnera, laudes 350 
perpetuas paritura tibi ; nam tempore, Roma, 



PUNICA, IX. 324-351 

shield, fell to pieces ; and sword broke against sword. 
Foot pressed against foot, and man against man. The 
ground was hidden from sight by a coating of blood ; 
and thick darkness overhead, caused by showers of 
missiles, concealed the starry sky. Those to whom 
Fortune had assigned a station in the second line 
fought with long poles and far-reaching spears, as if 
they were in the van of the host. And those who 
were banished to the third line and could win no 
glory strove to rival the prowess of those in front by 
hurling missiles. Behind them shouting did the work 
of war, and soldiers who were denied the chance of 
fighting assailed the enemy with volleys of abuse. 
Every kind of weapon was employed : some used 
stakes, others burning brands, and others weighty 
javelins, while others plied stones and slings and 
flying lances. Here an arrow went hissing through 
the sky, and there a, falarica <* which even city-walls 
must fear. 

Ye goddesses,^ whose priest I am, how can I hope 
with mere mortal voice to set forth for future ages all 
the story of that day ? Do ye grant me such bold 
utterance that I can sing of Cannae with but one 
tongue ? If my fame is dear to you, if ye frown not 
on a mighty enterprise, then summon hither all your 
music and Apollo your sire. But would that Romans 
would thereafter bear prosperity with as much con- 
stancy as they showed in that dark hour. I pray that 
Heaven may be satisfied without testing the race 
of Troy, whether they can endure such an ordeal 
again. And thou, Rome, doubtful of thy doom, weep 
not, I pray, but bless those wounds which shall bring 
thee eternal glory. For never shalt thou be greater 
• See note to i. 351, * The Muses. 

27 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nuUo maior eris ; mox sic labere secundis, 
ut sola cladum tuearis nomina fama. 

lamque inter varias Fortuna utrimque virorum 
alternata vices incerto eluserat iras 355 

eventu, mediaque diu pendente per ambas 
spe gentes, paribus Mavors flagrabat in armis. 
mitia ceu virides agitant cum flamina culmos 
necdum maturas impellit ventus aristas, 
hue atque hue it summa seges nutansque vicissim 360 
alterno lente motu incurvata nitescit. 
tandem barbaricis perfractam viribus acri 
dissipat incurrens aciem clamore Nealces. 
laxati cunei, perque intervalla citatus 
irrupit trepidis hostis. tum turbine nigro 365 

sanguinis exundat torrens ; nullumque sub una 
cuspide procumbit corpus, dum vulnera tergo 
bellator timet Ausonius, per pectora saevas 
exceptat mortes et leto dedecus arcet. 

Stabat cum primis mediae certamine pugnae, 370 
aspera semper amans et par cuicumque periclo, 
Scaevola ; nee tanta vitam iam strage volebat, 
sed dignum proavo letum et sub nomine mortem, 
is postquam frangi res atque augescere vidit 
exitium : " brevis hoc vitae, quodcumque relictum, 
extendamus," ait ; " nam virtus futile nomen, 376 
ni decori sat sint pariendo tempora leti." 
dixit et in medios, qua dextera concita Poeni 
limit em agit, vasto connixus turbine fertur. 

«» He means that the courage in defeat shown by the 
Romans was their best title to fame. 

" To be wounded in the back was a disgrace ; to fall with 
wounds in front was a glorious death : see v. 594. 
28 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 352-379 

than then. Later victories shall sap thy strength, 
till naught but the story of thy defeats « shall preserve 
thy fame. 

And now Fortune, shifting from side to side, had 
baffled the ardour of both armies by keeping the event 
uncertain ; and the hopes of Roman and Carthaginian 
hung long in the balance, while the battle raged on 
equal terms. So when light breezes stir the green 
blades of corn and the wind bends the unripe ears, the 
tops of the wheat move this way and that, and sway 
and bow and shine with a gentle changing motion. 
But at last Nealces and his savage horde, charging 
with a fierce shout, broke the Roman line and scattered 
it. The close ranks broke up and the enemy rushed 
furiously through the gaps upon the frighted foe. 
Then torrents of blood flowed in a dark stream over 
the plain ; and not a man who fell was pierced by 
one spear only. The Romans, fearing to be wounded 
in the back,^ welcomed the fatal stroke to their 
breasts, and by death avoided dishonour. 

Scaevola, ever a lover of danger and equal to any 
emergency, stood among the foremost in the centre of 
the fray ; when so many had fallen, he had no wish to 
survive them but desired a glorious death worthy of 
his great ancestor.*' When he saw that the day was 
lost and that ruin was spreading, " Life is short," he 
cried, " and little of it remains ; let me prolong that 
little ; for valour is an empty name unless the hour 
of death is sufficient to win glory." With these 
words he gathered all his strength and rushed 
furiously to the centre where Hannibal was clearing 
a path with his unresting right hand. Then, when 

fl See viii. 383 foil. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hie exultantem Caralim atque erepta volentem 380 
induere excelso caesi gestamina trunco 
ense subit, capuloque tenus ferrum impulit ira. 
volvitur ille ruens atque arva hostilia morsu 
appetit et mortis premit in tellure dolores. 
nee Gabaris Sicehaeque virum tenuere furentes 385 
coneordi virtute manus ; sed perdidit acer, 
dum stat, decisam Gabar inter proelia dextram. 
at Siccha auxilium, magno turbante dolore, 
dum temere accelerat, calcato improvidus ense 
succidit ac nudae sero vestigia plantae 390 

damnavit dextraque iacet morientis amici. 
tandem convertit fatalia tela Nealcae 
fulminei gliscens iuvenis furor, exsilit ardens, 
nomine tam claro stimulant e, ad praemia caedis. 
tum silicem scopulo avulsum, quem montibus altis 
detulerat torrens, rap tum contorquet in ora 396 

turbidus : incusso crepuerunt pondere malae, 
ablatusque viro vultus ; concreta cruento 
per nares cerebro sanies fluit, atraque manant 
orbibus elisis et trunca lumina fronte. 400 

sternitur unanimo Marius succurrere Capro 
conatus metuensque viro superesse cadenti. 
lucis idem auspicium ac patrium et commune duobus 
paupertas ; sacro iuvenes Praeneste creati 
miscuerant studia et iuncta tellure serebant. 405 

velle ac nolle ambobus idem sociataque toto 
mens aevo ac parvis dives concordia rebus, 
occubuere simul ; votisque ex omnibus unum 

" Trophies taken in battle were often fastened to the trunk 
of a leafless tree. But is it conceivable that anyone should 
find time to do this in the course of a desperate battle ? 
SO 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 380-408 



Caralis, in triumph, was about to fix on a tall tree ** the 
armour taken from a victim, Scaevola stabbed him, 
and his fury drove the sword in up to the hilt. He 
fell and rolled over, biting that foreign soil and crush- 
ing down the pains of death upon the ground. Nor 
could the rage and united valour of Gabar and Siccha 
stop Scaevola : brave Gabar, who stood firm, lost his 
right hand cut off in the fight ; and while Sicca, 
stricken with grief, hastened to help his friend, he 
trod incautiously upon a sword and fell, cursing too 
late his unshod feet ; and there he lay on the right 
hand of his dying comrade. At last the increasing 
fury of Scaevola attracted the deadly weapons of 
lightning-swift Nealces. The Carthaginian sprang 
forward, eager for the rewards of victory, and made 
more eager by Scaevola's famous name. He seized a 
boulder torn by a torrent from a cliff and carried down 
from the lofty mountains, and hurled it furiously in 
Scaevola's face. His teeth rattled, struck by that 
heavy weight ; his features were destroyed ; matter, 
mixed with brains and blood, gushed out through the 
nostrils, and a black discharge from the eyes flowed 
down from the crushed eye-sockets and mutilated 
forehead. Then Marius fell, while striving to rescue 
his friend. Caper, and fearing to survive his fall. They 
were born on the same day, and poverty was the lot 
of both their families ; they were natives of the 
sacred city, Praeneste ; they had been school-fellows, 

I^_ and the fields they tilled lay close together. In 
^■liking and disliking they never differed ; it was a life- 
^^- long marriage of two minds ; and brotherly love 
made then rich in poverty. In death they were not 
divided ; and of all their prayers Fortune granted 

SI 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

id Fortuna dedit, iunctam inter proelia mortem, 
arma fuere decus victori bina Symaetho. 410 

Sed longum tanto laetari munere casus 
baud licitum Poenis. aderat terror e minaci 
Scipio, conversae miseratus terga cohortis, 
et cuncti fons Varro mali flavusque comarum 
Curio et a primo descendens consule Brutus. 415 

atque his fulta viris acies repararet ademptum 
mole nova campum, subito ni turbine Poenus 
agmina frenasset iam procurrentia ductor. 
isque ut Varronem procul inter proelia vidit 
et iuxta sagulo circumvolitare rubenti 420 

lictorem : " nosco pompam atque insignia nosco ; 
Flaminius modo talis," ait. tum fervidus acrem 
ingentis clipei tonitru praenuntiat iram. 
heu miser ! aequari potuisti funere Paulo, 
si tibi non ira superum tunc esset ademptum 425 

Hannibalis cecidisse manu. quam saepe querere, 
Varro, deis, quod Sidonium defugeris ensem ! 
nam, rapido subitam portans in morte salutem 
procursu incepta, in sese discrimina vertit 
Scipio ; nee Poenum, quamquam est ereptus opimae 
caedis honor, mutasse piget maiore sub hoste 431 
proelia et erepti Ticina ad flumina patris 
exigere oblato tandem certamine poenas. 
stabant educti diversis orbis in oris, 
quantos non alios vidit concurrere tellus 435 

" The first consuls, elected after the expulsion of the 
kings in 509 b.c, were L. Junius Brutus and L, Tarquinius 
Collatinus. 

* These were never gained except by a commander who 
slew the commander of the enemy ; and Varro was in 
command that day : see note to iii. 587. 
32 



PUNiCA, iX. 409-435 

them one only — to die in battle side by side. The 
armour of both became the prize of Symaethus, their 
conqueror. 

But the Carthaginians were not permitted to enjoy 
for long so great a gift of Fortune. For Scipio, 
pitying the men whose backs were turned in flight, 
came up, terrible and menacing ; and with him came 
Varro, the cause of all the suffering, and fair-haired 
Curio, and Brutus whose ancestor was the first consul." 
Supported by these warriors, the army would have 
regained the lost ground by a fresh effort, had not the 
sudden onset of Hannibal arrested the ranks as they 
ran forward. When he saw Varro far off on the field 
and the lictors in their scarlet tunics moving round 
him, " Ha ! " he cried ; "I recognize the state and 
the badges of a consul ; even so looked Flaminius, 
not long ago." Then in fury he thundered on his 
huge shield, to signify his eager rage. Unhappy 
Varro ! Death might have made him the equal of 
Paulus ; but heaven's wrath would not suffer him to 
fall there by Hannibal's hand. How often was he to 
reproach the gods for saving him from the sword of 
the Carthaginian ! For Scipio rushed forward and 
quickly brought life where death was imminent, 
and turned the danger from Varro to himself. And 
Hannibal, though he lost the glory of winning the 
choicest spoils,^ was not sorry to change his ant- 
agonist for one more mighty, and to punish Scipio for 
rescuing his father by the river Ticinus,*' now that the 
chance of a duel was at last offered him. There they 
stood, the two mightiest warriors that earth has ever 
seen meet in battle ; reared in far distant lands, in 

• See iv. 454 foil. 
VOL. 11 B 2 8S 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Marte viri dextraque pares, sed cetera ductor 
anteibat Latius, melior pietate fideque. 

Desiluere cava turbati ad proelia nube, 
Mayors Scipiadae metuens, Tritonia Poeno ; 
adventuque deum, intrepidis ductoribus, ambae 440 
contremuere acies. ater, qua pectora flectit 
Pallas, Gorgoneo late micat ignis ab ore, 
sibilaque horrificis torquet serpentibus aegis, 
fulgent sanguinei, geminum vibrare cometem 
ut credas, oculi ; summaque in casside largus 445 
undantes volvit flammas ad sidera vertex, 
at Mavors, moto pro turbans aera telo 
et clipeo campum involvens, Aetnaea Cyclopum 
munere fundentem loricam incendia gestat 
ac pulsat fulva consurgens aethera crista. 450 

Ductores pugnae intenti, quantumque vicissim 
auderent, propius mensi, tamen arma ferentes 
sensere advenisse deos et, laetus uterque 
spectari superis, addebant mentibus iras. 
iamque ictu valido libratam a pectore Poeni 455 

Pallas in obliquum dextra detorserat hastam, 
et Gradivus, opem divae portare ferocis 
exemplo doctus, porgebat protinus ensem 
Aetnaeum in pugnas iuveni ac maiora iubebat. 
turn Virgo, ignescens penitus, violenta repente 460 
suflPudit flammis ora atque, obliqua retorquens 
lumina, turbato superavit Gorgona vultu. 
erexere omnes immania membra chelydri 

" The shield of Pallas, called the aegis, displayed the snaky 
head of the Gorgon, Medusa, in its centre. 

* See iv. 433. 
S4 



I 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 436-4G3 



prowess they were well matched ; but otherwise 
the Roman was superior — in sense of duty and of 
honour. 

Then Mars, fearing for Scipio, and Pallas, fearing 
for Hannibal, lighted down in haste from a hollow 
cloud upon the battle-field. And the appearance 
of the gods made both armies tremble, but the 
champions were undismayed. Wherever Pallas turned 
her breast, a baleful fire flashed far and wide from 
the Gorgon's face," and the dreadful serpents on the 
aegis sent forth their hissings. Her blood-shot eyes 
blazed — one might think that a pair of comets were 
flashing — and the ample crest that crowned her 
helmet rolled waves of flame to the sky. And Mars, 
driving the air before him by the movement of his 
spear, and covering the plain with his shield, wore a 
breastplate, the gift of the Cyclopes,^ which sent 
forth fire of Etna ; and, as he rose high, his golden 
plume struck the heavens. 

The champions, though on battle bent and each 
measuring at close quarters what he could dare to do, 
were aware, nevertheless, that gods had come down 
in arms ; and both rejoiced to have them for wit- 
nesses and became more eager for battle. And now 
Pallas turned aside with her right hand the spear 
strongly hurled at Hannibal's breast ; and Mars, 
taught by the example of the fierce goddess to help 
Scipio, straightway put in his hand a sword forged 
on Aetna, and bade him do yet mightier deeds. Then 
the Maiden was roused to fury : a sudden flush 
suffused her fierce countenance ; and, when she 
looked askance, her disordered aspect was more 
terrible than the Gorgon's face. She shook her aegis, 
and all the serpents reared up their hideous bodies ; 

35 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

aegide commota, primique furoris ad ictus 

rettulit ipse pedem sensim a certamine Mavors. 465 

hie dea eonvulsam rapido conamine partem 

vicini montis scopulisque horrentia saxa 

in Mart em furibunda iacit, longeque relates 

expavit sonitus, tremefacto litore, Sason. 

At non haec superum fallebant proelia regem. 470 
demittit propere succinctam nubibus Irim, 
quae nimios frenet motus, ac talia fatur : 
"I, dea, et Oenotris velox allabere terris 
germanoque truces, die, Pallas mitiget iras 
nee speret fixas Parcarum vertere leges ; 475 

die etiam ; ni desistis (nam virus et aestus 
flammiferae novi mentis) nee corripis iram, 
aegida praecellant quantum horrida fulmina, nosces." 

Quae postquam accepit dubitans Tritonia virgo 
nee sat certa diu, patriis an cederet armis, 480 

*' absistemus," ait, " campo : sed Pallade pulsa 
num fata avertet ? caeloque arcebit ab alto 
cernere Gargani ferventia caedibus arva ? " 
haec efFata cava Poenum in certamina nube 
sublatum diversa tulit terrasque reliquit. 485 ' 

At Gradivus atrox remeantis in aethera divae 
abscessu revocat mentes fusosque per aequor 
ipse manu magna, nebulam circumdatus, acri 
restituit pugnae. convertunt signa novamque 
instaurant Itali, versa formidine, caedem : 490 

cum ventis positus custos, cui flamina career 
imperio compressa tenet caelumque ruentes 

" See note to vii. 480. 
* Italy : see note to i. 2. 
' See note to iii. 323. * Aeolus. 

36 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 464-492 

and her first furious onset made even Mars retreat 
step by step from the fray. Then the angry goddess 
quickly tore away part of a mountain near her and 
hurled the mass of rugged rock at Mars ; and the 
noise, carried far away, terrified the isle of Saso « and 
shook its shores. 

But this duel was not hidden from the King of 
Heaven. He made haste to send Iris down, girt about 
with clouds, to quell their exceeding wrath. " Go, 
goddess," he said, *' and glide swiftly down to the 
land of Oenotria ^ ; and bid Pallas to abate her fury 
against her brother, and not to hope that she can\ 
reverse the fixed laws of Fate. Tell her this also : 
if she persists and still cherishes her anger — for I 
know the fierceness and rage of her fiery heart — • 
she shall learn how far my dreadful thunderbolts 
outdo her aegis." 

When the maiden of Tritonis '^ heard this message, 
she doubted for a space, uncertain whether to yield 
to her father's weapons. " I shall quit the field," 
she said ; " but can his defeat of Pallas turn destiny 
aside ? Or can he from his height in heaven avoid 
seeing the fields of Garganus reek with carnage ? " 
Thus she spoke, and caught up Hannibal in the bosom 
of a cloud and bore him to a distant part of the field. 
Then she left the earth. 

But Mars, encouraged by the retreat of the goddess 
to the sky, renewed his purpose. Hidden in a cloud, he 
raised with his own mighty hand the Romans prostrate 
on the field and brought them back to battle. They 
turned their standards about and began a fresh 
slaughter, and fear fell upon the foe. But now the 
gaoler of the winds,'* whose prison keeps the blasts 
under control, and who is obeyed by every wind that 

37 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Eurique et Boreae parent Caurique Notique, 
lunonis precibus, promissa hand parva ferentis, 
regnantem Aetolis Vulturnum in proelia campis 495 
efFrenat : placet hie irae exitiabilis ultor. 
qui, se postquam Aetnae mersit candente barathro 
concepitque ignes et flammea protulit ora, 
evolat horrendo stridore ac Daunia regna 
perflat, agens caecam glomerate pulvere nubem. 500 
eripuere oculos aurae vocemque manusque ; 
vortice harenoso candentes, flebile dictu, 
torquet in ora globos Italum et bellare maniplis 
/ iussa laetatur rabie. turn mole ruinae 
sternuntur tellure et miles et arma tubaeqiie ; 505 
atque omnis retro flatu occursante refertur 
lancea, et in tergiim Rutulis cadit irritus ictus, 
atque idem flatus Poenorum tela secundant, 
et velut ammento contorta hastilia turbo 
adiuvat ac Tyrias impellit stridulus hastas. 510 

tum, denso fauces praeclusus pulvere, miles 
ignavam mortem compresso maeret hiatu. 
ipse, caput flavum caligine conditus atra, 
Vulturnus, multaque comam perfusus harena, 
nunc versos agit a tergo stridentibus alis, 515 

nunc, mediam in frontem veniens clamante procella, 
obvius arma quatit patuloque insibilat ore. 
interdum intentos pugnae et iam iamque ferentes 
hostili iugulo ferrum conamine et ictu 
avertit dextramque ipso de vulnere vellit. 520 

nee satis Ausonias passim foedare cohortes : 



" An E.S.E. wind that got up daily about the same hour : 
it blew the dust over the plains of Apulia and blinded the 
Romans : see note to viii. 663. The wind is here personified. 

* See note to i. 318. 

38 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 493-521 



sweeps the sky — Eurus and Boreas, Caurus and Notus 
— yielded to the prayer of Juno who offered him no 
small rewards, and unchained for battle the fury of 
Vulturnus,« the wind that is lord of the Aetolian 
plains. Him she chose as the instrument of her 
deadly wrath. First he dived into the white-hot 
crater of Etna and caught fire from there ; then he 
lifted up his flaming face, and flew forth with a 
dreadful roaring over all the land of Daunus, driving 
before him a dark cloud of thick dust. The blast 
made the Romans blind and dumb and helpless ; 
the wind whirled fiery masses of eddying sand — 
piteous to tell — into their faces, and rejoiced to obey 
orders and fight furiously against the ranks. Then in 
vast destruction down fell soldiers and weapons and 
trumpets ; and every lance was carried backwards 
by the blast, and every Roman missile fell use- 
less behind their own backs. And the same blast was 
of service to the Carthaginian weapons : the howling 
wind quickened their javelins, as if they had been 
launched with a thong, ^ and drove their spears on- 
ward. At last the soldiers, stifled by the thick dust, 
shut their mouths tight, and mourned that they must 
die an inglorious death. Vulturnus himself, his fair 
hair hidden in black darkness and covered deep with 
sand, at one time turned his victims round and assailed 
their backs with his hissing wings ; at another time 
he attacked them in front with boisterous blast, 
rattling their weapons full in face, and hissing at 
them with open mouth. Sometimes, when they were 
bent on battle and just bringing their swords to an 
enemy's throat, the wind thwarted the intended 
blow and plucked away the hand in the very act of 
striking. Nor was he content with spreading havoc 

39 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

in Martem vomit immixtas mugitibus auras 
bisque dei summas vibravit turbine cristas. 

Quae dum Romuleis exercet proelia turmis 
Aeolius furor et Martem succendit in iras, 525 

afFatur Virgo, socia lunone, parent em : 
"quantos Gradivus fluctus in Punica castra, 
respice, agit quantisque furens se caedibus implet ! 
nunc, quaeso, terris descendere non placet Irim ? 
quamquam ego non Teucros (nostro cum pignore 

regnet 
Roma, et Palladio sedes hac urbe locarim) 631 

non Teucros delere aderam ; sed lumen alumnae 
Hannibalem Libyae pelli florentibus annis 
vita atque extingui primordia tanta negabam.** 

Excipit hie luno longique laboris ab ira, 535 

** immo," ait, " ut noscant gentes, immania quantum 
regna lovis valeant, cunctisque potentia quantum 
antistet, coniux, superis tua, disice telo 
flagranti (nil oramus) Carthaginis arces 
Sidoniamque aciem vasto telluris hiatu 540 

Tartareis immerge vadis aut obrue ponto." 

Contra quae miti respondet lupiter ore : 
" certatis fatis et spes extenditis aegras. 
ille, o nata, libens cui tela inimica ferebas, 
contundet iuvenis Tyrios ac nomina gentis 545 

induct et Libycam feret in Capitolia laurum. 
at, cui tu, coniux, cui das animosque decusque 
(fata cano) avertet populis Laurentibus arma. 

* An image of Pallas which fell from heaven and was kept 
at Troy : it was brought by Aeneas to Italy and was kept 
in the temple of Vesta at Rome : the safety of the city was 
believed to depend upon its preservation. See note to i. 659. 

" Scipio, who won the title of Africanus after the battle of 
Zama, 



PUNICA, IX. 522-548 

through the Roman army, but belched forth his 
howling blasts against Mars himself, and the hurricane 
twice caused the god's topmost crest to quiver. 

While the fury of the wind battled thus against 
the Roman troops and kindled the anger of Mars, 
the Maiden Goddess together with Juno addressed 
her Father thus : " See the storms that Mars is 
rousing against the ranks of Carthage, and the 
carnage with which he gluts his fury. Say, is it not 
thy pleasure now that Iris should go down to earth ? 
Yet the purpose of my presence there was not to 
destroy the Trojans — let Rome hold empire together 
with my pledge, and there I would fix the abode of 
the Palladium ^ — no, but I would not allow Hannibal, 
the glory of my Libyan birthplace, to be slain in the 
flower of his youth, and such promise to be nipped 
in the bud." 

Then Juno took up the tale, wrathful at her un- 
ending task : " Nay ! " she cried : " that all the 
world may know the immense extent of thy power 
and thy vast superiority over all the gods, use thy 
flaming bolt, my husband, to shatter the citadels of 
Carthage — I beg for no mercy — and bury her 
soldiers in a huge chasm of the earth and plunge 
them in the depths of Tartarus, or whelm them in 
the sea." 

Then Jupiter made answer with gentle words : 
" Ye strive against destiny, and cherish unsound 
hopes. That young warrior,* against whom thou, 
my daughter, wert fain to fight, shall destroy the 
Carthaginians and assume their name and bear to 
the Capitol the laurel for the conquest of Libya. 
That other to whom thou, my wife, givest courage 
and glory — I tell his fortune — shall turn his sword 

41 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nee longe eladis metae : venit hora diesque, 

qua nullas umquam transisse optaverit Alpes." 650 

sic ait atque Irim propere demittit Olympo, 

quae revocet Martem iubeatque abscedere pugna. 

nee vetitis luctatus abit Gradivus in altas 

cum fremitu nubes, quamquam lituique tubaeque 

vulneraque et sanguis et clamor et arma iuvarent. 555 

Ut patuit liber superum certamine tandem 
laxatusque deo campus, ruit aequore ab imo 
Poenus, quo sensim caelestia fugerat arma, 
magna voce trahens equitemque virosque feraeque 
turrigerae molem tormentorumque labores. 560 

atque ubi turbantem leviores ense catervas 
agnovit iuvenem, scintillavitque cruentis 
ira genis : '* quaenam Furiae quisve egit in hostem, 
en, Minuci, deus, ut rursus te credere nobis 
auderes ? " inquit. " genitor tibi natus ab armis565 
ille meis, ubi nunc Fabius ? semel, improbe, nostras 
sit satis evasisse manus." atque inde superbis 
hasta comes dictis murali turbine pectus 
transforat et voces venturas occupat ictu. 

Nee ferro saevire sat est : appellitur atra 570 

mole fera, et monstris componitur Itala pubes. 
nam, praevectus equo, moderantem cuspide Lucas 
Maurum in bella boves stimulis maioribus ire 
ac raptare iubet Libycarum armenta ferarum. 

• See vii. 736 foil. 

'' This name was given to elephants, when the Romans 
first saw them in Lucania about 280 B.C. in the army of 
Pyrrhus, king of Epirus. 

42 



PUNICA, IX. 649-574 

away from the Italian nation. The date of disaster 
is not distant : the day and hour are coming, when 
he shall regret that he ever crossed the Alps." Thus 
Jupiter spoke and sent Iris down in haste from 
Olympus, to recall Mars and bid him leave the battle. 
And Mars did not refuse to obey: he departed, loudly 
protesting, to high heaven, delighting as he did in 
clarions and trumpets, in wounds and blood and the 
shouting of the warriors. 

When the field was free at last from the contending 
gods, and Mars no longer filled the plain, Hannibal 
rushed up from the remotest part of the battle, 
whither he had fled step by step before the divine 
weapons. With a great shout he brought with him 
horsemen and footmen and heavy siege-engines, and 
the huge beasts that carry towers on their backs. 
And when he recognized a warrior harassing the 
light-armed troops with his sword, anger flashed 
from his blood-stained features : " What Fury," he 
cried, " what god has driven you to battle, Minucius, 
that you should dare to face me a second time ? ** 
Where is Fabius now, he who was once a father to 
you and saved you from my spear ? You ask too 
much : be content with having escaped once from 
my hand." Then, together with his insults his spear 
went forth and pierced the breast of Minucius with 
the force of a battering-ram, and cut off the reply he 
would have uttered. 

Nor was the steel enough to gratify his rage. The 
huge black beasts were brought up, and the Roman 
soldiers were matched against monsters. For 
Hannibal rode along the line, and ordered the Moors, 
whose goads controlled the Lucan kine ^ in battle, 
to prick their charges to speed, and to hasten forward 

43 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

immane stridens agitur, crebroque coacta 675 

vulnere, bellatrix properos fert belua gressus. 
liventi dorso turris, flammaque virisque 
et iaculis armata, sedet ; procul aspera grando 
saxorum super arma ruit, passimque volanti 
celsus telorum fundit Libys aggere nimbum. 580 

stat niveis longum stipata per agmina vallum 
dentibus, atque ebori praefixa comminus hasta 
fulget ab incurvo derecta cacumine cuspis. 
hie, inter trepidos rerum, per membra, per arma 
exigit Ufentis sceleratum belua dentem 585 

clamantemque ferens calcata per agmina portat. 
nee levius Tadio letum : qua tegmine thorax 
multiplicis lini claudit latus, improba sensim, 
corpore non laeso, penetrarunt spicula dentis 
et sublime virum, clipeo resonante, tulerunt. 590 

hand excussa novi virtus terrore pericli. 
utitur ad laudem casu geminumque citato 
vicinus fronti lumen transverberat ense. 
exstimulata gravi sese fera tollit ad auras 
vulnere et erectis excussam cruribus alte 595 

pone iacit volvens reflexo pondere turrim. 
arma virique simul spoliataque belua visu 
sternuntur subita, miserandum, mixta ruina. 
Spargi flagrantes contra bellantia monstra 
Dardanius taedas ductor iubet et facis atrae, 600 

quos fera circumfert, compleri sulphure muros. 
nee iusso mora : collectis fumantia lucent 
terga elephantorum flammis ; pastusque sonoro 
ignis edax vento per propugnacula fertur. 

44 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 675-604 



■y the herd of elephants. Trumpeting wildly, and com- 
pelled by many a stab, the great beasts of war came 
quickly on. A tower, freighted with men and 
javelins and fire, was borne on each dusky back and 
discharged a fierce hail of stones over the distant 
ranks ; and the Libyans, seated aloft, poured a shower 
of darts all round from their moving rampart. The 
line of white tusks stretched far in serried ranks ; and 
to each tusk was fastened a blade, whose point came 
close and flashed down straight from the curved upper 
part. Here, in the general alarm, an elephant drove 
its murderous tusk through the armour and body of 
Ufens and carried him shrieking through the trampled 
ranks. Nor had Tadius an easier death : where the 
corslet with its many folds of linen protected his 
body, the persistent point of a tusk bored its way 
in by degrees and then swung the man aloft un- 
wounded, while his shield rang. The brave man was 
not terrified by danger in this strange form, but 
turned it to glorious account : when close to the 
elephant's forehead, he stabbed both its eyes with 
quick thrusts of his sword. Maddened by the grievous 
wound, the beast rose on its hind legs and reared up 
till it threw off the heavy tower on the ground behind 
it. A piteous sight, when weapons and men and the 
blinded beast suddenly came crashing down together 
to the ground ! 

The Roman general ordered his men to hurl lighted 
torches against the fighting monsters, and to shower 
dark sulphurous brands upon the moving forts carried 
by the elephants. They obeyed at once : the backs 
of the beasts sent up smoke and flame, as the fire 
grew ; and fed by the roaring wind, it spread over 
the fighting-towers and devoured them. Even so, 

45 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

non aliter, Pindo Rhodopeve incendia pastor 605 
cum iacit, et silvis spatiatur fervida pestis, 
frondosi ignescunt scopuli ; subitoque per alta 
collucet iuga dissultans Vulcanius ardor, 
it fera candenti torrente bitumine corpus 
amens et laxo diducit limite turmas. 610 

nee cuiquam virtus propiora capessere bella : 
longinquis audent iaculis et harundinis ictu. 
uritur impatiens et magni corporis aestu 
hue atque hue iactas accendit belua flammas, 
donee vicini tandem se fluminis undis 615 

praecipitem dedit et, tenui decepta liquore 
stagnantis per plana vadi, tulit incita longis 
exstantem ripis flammam ; tum denique sese 
gurgitis immersit molem capiente profundo. 

At qua pugna datur, necdum Maurusia pestis 620 
igne calet, circumfusi Rhoeteia pubes 
nunc iaculis, nunc et saxis, nunc alite plumbo 
eminus incessunt, ut qui castella per altos 
oppugnat munita locos atque assidet arces. 
ausus digna viro, fortuna digna secunda, 625 

extulerat dextram atque adversum comminus ensem 
Mincius, infelix ausi ; sed stridula, anhelum 
fervorem efFundens, monstri manus abstulit acri 
implicitum nexu diroque ligamine torsit 
et superas alte miserum iaculata per auras 630 

telluri elisis afflixit, flebile, membris. 

Has inter clades viso Varrone sub armis 
increpitans Paulus : " quin imus comminus," inquit, 

« Famous mountains in Thessaly and Thrace. For im- 
proving pasture by burning see note to vii. 365. 
46 



} 



PUNICA, IX. 605-633 



when the shepherd burns the grass on Pindus or 
Rhodope," and the fierce blaze spreads through the 
woods, the leaf-clad heights catch fire ; and suddenly 
the flame of fire leaps from point to point and shines 
over all the lofty range. Scorched by the burning 
pitch, the beasts ran wild and cleared a wide path 
through the ranks. Nor was any man bold enough 
to fight them at close quarters : to attack from a 
distance with javelins and showers of arrows was all 
they dared. Maddened by the heat, the huge beasts 
in their torment tossed the fire on all sides and spread 
it, till they plunged headlong into the stream beside 
them. But deceived by the shallow water that over- 
flowed the level plain, they rushed far along the 
banks, and the flame, rising above the water, went 
with them. At last they dived beneath the stream, 
where the water was deep enough to cover their huge 
bodies. 

But, where battle was possible, and before the 
Moorish monsters were set on fire, the Roman soldiers 
surrounded them at a distance and assailed them 
with javelins and stones and flying bullets, like men 
besieging a citadel or attacking a fortified place on 
high ground. Mincius showed courage worthy of a 
warrior and worthy of better fortune : coming close, 
he raised up his drawn sword ; but his brave deed 
miscarried ; for the trunk of the trumpeting monster, 
discharging hot and panting breath, wound its angry 
coils round him and lifted him up ; then it brandished 
his body in that dreadful grasp, and hurled it high 
in air, and dashed the crushed limbs of the poor 
wretch upon the ground — a mournful sight. 

Amid these disasters Paulus sighted Varro on the 
field and thus taunted him : " Why are we not 

47 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

" ductori Tyrio, quem vinctum colla catenis 
staturum ante tuos currus promisimus urbi ? 635 

heu patria, heu plebes scelerata et prava favoris ! 
baud umquam expedies tam dura sorte malorum, 
quem tibi non nasci fuerit per vota petendum, 
Varronem Hannibalemne, magis." dum talia Paulus, 
urget praecipites Libys atque in terga ruentum 640 
ante oculos cunctas ductoris concitat hastas. 
pulsatur galea et quatiuntur consulis arma ; 
acrius hoc Paulus medios ruit asper in hostes. 

Turn vero excussus mentem, in certamina Paulo 
avia diducto, convertit Varro manuque 645 

cornipedem infleetens, "das," inquit, "patria, poenas, 
quae, Fabio ineolumi, Varronem ad bella vocasti. 
quaenam autem mentis vel quae discordia fati ? 
Parearumne latens fraus est ? abrumpere cuncta 
iamdudum cum luce libet ; sed comprimit ensem 650 
nescio qui deus et meme ad graviora reservat. 
vivamne ? et fractos sparsosque cruore meorum 
hos referam populo fasces ? atque ora per urbes 
iratas spectanda dabo ? et, quo saevius ipse 
Hannibal haud poscat, fugiam et te, Roma, videbo ? " 
plura indignantem telis propioribus hostes 656 

egere, et sonipes rapuit laxatus habenas. 

<• They did this when they elected Varro consul. 

^ The towns of Italy through which he must pass on his 
way to Rome. The meaning of the paragraph seems to be, 
that the gods saved Varro from death, in order that the 
Romans might show magnanimity by welcoming him on his 
return to Rome : see x. 615 foil. 



48 



I 



PUNICA, IX. 634-657 



fighting Hannibal hand to hand ? Did we not promise 
Rome that he should stand with fetters round his neck 
before your triumphal car ? Alas for our country ! 
Alas for our people who in their wickedness bestow 
their favour amiss ! " Now that they are suffering 
such calamities, they will find no answer to this 
question : was Varro's birth or Hannibal's the worse 
calamity ? and which should they have prayed 
Heaven to avert ? " While Paulus spoke thus, 
Hannibal pressed hard on the flying Romans, and 
discharged all the spears of Carthage against their 
backs, in full view of Paulus. The consul's helmet 
was struck and his shield battered ; but on he rushed, 
none the less fiercely, into the centre of the foe. 

But now, when Paulus had parted from him and 
gone to fight far away, Varro's reason tottered. He 
pulled at the bridle and turned his horse round and 
said : " Rome, thou art punished now for having put 
Varro in command while Fabius still lived. But what 
means this divided mind, this change of fortune ? Is 
it a trap laid for me by the Fates ? I long to make 
an instant end of all things by taking my own life. 
But some god arrests my sword and keeps me alive 
that I may suffer even worse. Can I live and carry 
back to Rome these rods, broken and spattered with 
the blood of citizens ? How shall I show my hated 
face through the towns of Italy ? ^ How shall I, a 
fugitive from battle, see Rome again ? Hannibal 
himself could desire for me no more cruel punishment." 

Further protest was cut short by the approach of 
the enemy : their attack drove him back, and his war- 
horse with loosened rein carried him swiftly away. 



4& 



LIBER DECIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

Description of the battle continued : valour and death of 
Paulus (1-325). Flushed with victory, Hannibal intends to 
march on Rome next day ; but Juno sends the god of Sleep 
to stop him (326-370). He yields, in spite of the strong 
protests of Mago (371-386). The remnant of the Roman 
army rally at Canusium : their miserable plight (387-414). 
Metellus proposes that the Romans should leave Italy ; but 
Scipio threatens death to him and his sympathizers (415- 

Paulus, ut adversam videt increbrescere pugnam, 

ceu fera, quae, telis circumcingentibus, ultro 

assilit in ferrum et per vulnera colligit hostem, 

in medios fert arma globos seseque periclis 

ingerit atque omni letum molitur ab ense. 5 

increpat horrendum : " perstate et fortiter, oro, 

pectoribus ferrum accipite ac sine vulnere terga 

ad manes deferte, viri : nisi gloria mortis, 

nil superest. idem sedes adeuntibus imas 

hie vobis dux Paulus erit." velocius inde 10 

Haemonio Borea pennaque citatior ibat 

quae redit in pugnas fugientis harundine Parthi ; 

atque ubi certamen primi ciet immemor aevi, 

plenus Gradivo mentem, Cato, fertur in hostes 

" See note to ix. 367. 
* Haemonia is a common synonym for Thessaly. 
50 



BOOK X 

ARGUMENT (continued) 

18). Hannibal surveys the battle-field : the faithful horse 
of Cloelius : the story of his ancestress^ Cloelia : the body of 
Paulus is found and buried (449-577). Distress at Rome 
(578-591). Fabius encourages his countrymen (592-604). 
He also calms the fury of the populace against Varro (605- 
622). Varro returns to Rome (623-639). The Senate adopts 
measures to enlist soldiers and continue the war (640-658). 

When Paulus saw that the enemy was gaining ground, 
even as a wild beast dashes of its own accord upon 
the ring of spears that surrounds it, and so, at the 
cost of wounds, brings its assailants closer, so he 
fought his way to the centre of the battle, rushing 
into every danger and courting death from every 
sword. He cried to his men with a terrible voice : 
" Stand firm, I implore you, and receive the steel in 
your breasts without flinching, and carry unwounded 
backs to the world below. ** Nothing remains save a 
glorious death. I, Paulus, shall be your leader still 
as you go down to Hades." Then on he went, swifter 
than Thessalian ^ Boreas or the arrow that comes 
back to the fight from the bow of the retreating 
Parthian. Where Cato, full of martial spirit and 
forgetful of his youth, <' was fighting, Paulus rushed 

* Cato, born in 234 b.c, would be eighteen at this date 
(216 B.C.): see vii. 691. 

51 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ac iuvenem, quem Vasco levis, quern spicula densus 

Cantaber urgebat, letalibus eripit armis. 16 

abscessere retro pavidique in terga relates 

abduxere gradus ; ut, laetus valle remota 

cum capream venator agit fessamque propinquo 

insequitur cursu et sperat iam tangere dextra, 20 

si ferus adverse subitum se protulit antro 

et stetit ante oculos frendens leo, deserit una 

et color et sanguis et tela minora periclo, 

nee iam speratae cura est in pectore praedae. 

nunc in restantes mucronem comminus urget, 25 

nunc trepidos ac terga mala formidine versos 

assequitur telis. furere ac decorare labores 

et saevire iuvat ; cadit ingens nominis expers 

uni turba viro ; atque alter si detur in armis 

Paulus Dardaniis, amittant nomina Cannae. 30 

Tandem inclinato cornu sine more ruebat 
prima acies, non parca fugae. Labienus et Ocres 
sternuntur leto atque Opiter, quos Setia colle 
vitifero, celsis Labienum Cingula saxa 
miserunt muris. iunxit fera tempora leti 35 

Sidonius non consimili discrimine miles : 
nam Labienus obit penetrante per ilia corno ; 
fratres, hie humero, cecidere, hie poplite, caesis. 
oppetis et Tyrio super inguina fixe veruto 
Maecenas, cui Maeonia venerabile terra 40 

et sceptris olim celebratum nomen Etruscis. 
per medios agitur, proiecto lucis amore 

** i.e. would not have been a defeat of the Romans. 

* Cingulum is a town in Picenum, which T. Labienus, the 
officer who went over from Caesar to Pompey at the beginning 
of the Civil War, rebuilt at his own expense. This fact may 
account for the use of the name here. 
52 



PUNICA, X. 15-42 

upon the foe and rescued the youth from death, when 
he was hard pressed by nimble Vascones and Canta- 
brians with showers of darts. The foemen fell back 
and withdrew in fear. So a hunter gleefully chases 
a roe-deer in a distant valley, and follows close till 
it is weary, hoping soon to put his hand upon it ; but, 
if a fierce lion suddenly emerges from a cave before 
him and stands in full view, gnashing its teeth, then 
the red blood leaves the hunter's cheeks, and he 
drops the weapon that will not serve him at such a 
pass, and thinks no longer of the quarry he once 
counted on. Now Paulus thrust his sword-point at 
close range against foes who held their ground ; 
now his missiles overtook the frightened cowards 
who turned their backs. He finds pleasure in 
fierce frenzy and gains glory from defeat ; a mul- 
titude of nameless enemies fall before his single 
sword ; and, had but a second Paulus been present 
in the Roman host, Cannae would have lost its 
fame." 

At last the Roman wing gave way and the front 
rank fell to pieces in full retreat. Ocres and Opiter, 
who came from the vine-clad hills of Setia, were slain, 
and likewise Labienus, whom rocky Cingulum sent 
from its high walls. *> Soldiers of Carthage slew them 
all at the same time but in different ways ; for 
Labienus was run through the body by a spear ; and, 
of the brothers, one was wounded in the shoulder, and 
the other in the thigh, when they fell. Maecenas 
too was slain by a dart that pierced his groin ; his 
name was held in high honour in the Lydian land '^ 
where his ancestors once were kings over Etruria. 
Despising life, Paulus pressed through the centre of 
• Etruria : see note to vii. 29. 

58 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Hannibalem lus trans, Paulus : sors una videtur 
aspera, si occumbat ductore superstite Poeno. 

Quam metuens molem (neque enim, certamine 
sumpto, 45 

tempestas tanta et rabies impune fuisset) 
in faciem pavidi luno conversa Metelli : 
'* quid vanos," inquit, ** Latio spes unica consul, 
incassumque moves, fato renuente, furores ? 
si superest Paulus, restant Aeneia regna ; 50 

sin seeus, Ausoniam tecum trahis. ire tumentem 
tu contra iuvenem et caput hoc abscidere rebus 
turbatis, o Paule, paras ? nunc Hannibal ipsi 
(tam laetus bello est) ausit certare Tonanti. 
et iam conversis (vidi nam flectere) habenis 65 

evasit Varro ac sese ad meliora reservat. 
sit spatium fatis ; et, dum datur, eripe leto 
banc nostris maiorem animam ; mox bella capesses." 

Ad quae suspirans ductor : " mortemne sub armis 
cur poscam, causa ista parum est, quod talia nostrae 
pertulerunt aures suadentem monstra Metellum ? 61 
i, demens, i, carpe fugam. non hostica tela 
excipias tergo, superos precor : integer, oro, 
intactusque abeas atque intres moenia Romae 
cum Varrone simul. talin', pavidissime, dignum 65 
me vita pulchraque indignum morte putasti ? 
quippe furit Poenus, qui nunc contraria bella 
ipsi ferre lovi valeat. pro degener altae 
virtutis patrum ! quando certamen inire, 

<• L. Caecilius Metellus, who later advised the Romans to 
abandon Rome after the defeat at Cannae : see 11. 415 foil. 
54 



I 



PUNICA, X. 43-69 

the fray, seeking Hannibal ; there was but one fate 
he dreaded — to die and leave the Carthaginian general 
alive. 

But Juno feared the man's might ; for, if a duel 
began, such a storm of passion would not have ended 
in nothing. Therefore she took the form of cowardly 
Metellus « : " Why," she asked, " do you, the consul 
on whom alone the hopes of Rome depend, defy 
Fortune and rage furiously to no purpose ? If Paulus 
survives, the empire of Rome still stands ; if he dies, 
he drags down his country with him. Do you mean, 
Paulus, to go forth against that warrior in his pride, 
and to deprive us of our leader in our time of trouble ? 
Just now, in his joy of battle, Hannibal would dare 
to fight the Thunderer himself. Already Varro has 
turned his bridle-rein — I saw him do it — and made 
off, reserving himself for better times. Give Fate 
time to work ; and, while you may, snatch from death 
a life that matters more than ours ; you will have 
fighting enough hereafter." 

Paulus sighed and answered : " Have I not cause 
enough to seek death in battle, when my ears have 
heard such infamous counsel from a Metellus ? Fly, 
madman, fly ! I pray heaven that no weapon of the 
enemy may wound you in the back.*' Untouched and 
unscathed may you depart and enter the gates of 
Rome with Varro as your companion ! Worst of 
cowards, did you think roe worthy of life on such 
terms and unworthy of a noble death ? Hannibal 
forsooth is raging, he whose valour would now 
challenge Jupiter himself. How far have you declined 
from the high emprise of your ancestors ! When could 

• See note to ix. 367. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cuive virum mallem memet componere, quam qui 70 
et victus dabit et victor per saecula nomen ? ** 

Talibus increpitat mediosque aufertur in hostes 
ac retro cursum tendentem ad crebra suorum 
agmina et in densis furantem membra maniplis 
per conferta virum et stipata umbonibus arma 75 
consequitur, melior planta, atque obtruncat Acherram. 
ut canis occultos agitat cum Belgicus apros 
erroresque ferae sollers per devia mersa 
nare legit tacitoque premens vestigia rostro 
lustrat inaccessos venantum indagine saltus 80 

nee sistit nisi, conceptum sectatus odorem, 
deprendit spissis arcana cubilia dumis. 

At coniux lovis, ut Paulum depellere dictis 
nequiquam fuit, et consul non desinit irae, 
in faciem Mauri rursus mutata Gelestae, 85 

avocat ignarum saevo a certamine Poenum : 
" hue tela, hue," inquit, " dextram implorantibus aiFer, 
o decus aeternum Carthaginis. horrida iuxta 
stagnantes consul molitur proelia ripas ; 
et laus haud alio maior datur hoste perempto." 90 
haec ait et iuvenem diversa ad proelia raptat. 

Flumineo Libycam turbabat in aggere pubem — 
Cristae nomen erat. bis terni iuncta ferebant 
arma senem circa nati ; pauperque penatum, 
sed domus haud obscura Tuder, notusque per Umbros 
bellator populos factis et caede docebat 96 

" See note to vi. 645. 
56 



PUNICA, X. 70-96 

I prefer to fight or against whom to match myself? 
Hannibal, whether conqueror or conquered, will make 
my name famous for ever." 

Uttering such reproaches, Paulus sped off to the 
centre of the foe. Acherras was making his way back 
to where the ranks of his supporters were thick, 
and finding a path by stealth through close-packed 
warriors and a hedge of shields ; but Paulus, swifter 
of foot, overtook and slew him. So a Belgian hound 
pursues a boar he cannot see ; never giving tongue, 
with nose to the ground he tracks unerringly the 
beast's wanderings over hill and dale, and ranges over 
uplands that no line of hunters has ever surrounded ; 
nor does he cease from following the scent once 
caught, till he comes upon the lair hidden deep in 
the thorn-brakes. 

But the consort of Jupiter, when Paulus would not 
cease from fighting and her words proved unavailing 
to stop him, changed her form again : she took the 
likeness of the Moor, Gelesta, and summoned 
Hannibal, who knew her not, away from the heat 
of battle. ** Glory of Carthage," she said, " whose 
fame will never die, we implore you to turn hither 
your armed right hand ; for Paulus is fighting fiercely 
by the banks of the swollen river ; and the death 
of no other foeman can bring you greater fame." 
With these words she hastened Hannibal to a distant 
part of the field. 

On the high bank of the river a warrior named 
Crista harassed the African host ; and his six sons 
fought together round their father. The family was 
poor but known to fame among the Tudertes " ; and 
Crista himself had a name for deeds of arms through- 
out Umbria, and taught all his troop of sons to bear 
VOL. II c 57 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

natorum armigeram pugnas tractare cohortem. 

ananima inde phalanx, crudo ducente magistro, 

postquam hominum satiata nece est, prostraverat ictu 

innumero cum turre feram, facibusque secutis 100 

ardentem monstri spectabat laeta ruinam, 

cum subitus galeae fulgor conoque coruscae 

maiore intremuere iubae ; nee tarda senectus 

(agnovit nam luce virum) rapit agmina, natos, 

saeva parens ultro in certamina et addere passim 105 

tela iubet nee manantes ex ore feroci, 

aut quae flagrarent galea, exhorrescere flammas. 

armiger haud aliter magni lovis, anxia nido 

cum dignos nutrit gestanda ad fulmina fetus, 

obversam spectans ora ad Phaethontia prolem, 110 

explorat dubios Phoebea lampade natos. 

iamque suis daret ut pugnae documenta vocantis, 

en — medias hasta velox praetervolat auras. 

haesit multiplici non alte cuspis in auro 

ac senium invalido dependens prodidit ictu. 115 

cui Poenus : " quinam ad cassos furor impulit ictus 

exsanguem senio dextram ? vix prima momordit 

tegmina Callaici cornus tremebunda metalli. 

en, reddo tua tela tibi ; memorabilis ista 

a nobis melius discet bellare inventus. " 120 

sic propria miseri transfigit pectora corno. 

At contra, horrendum, bis terna spicula dextra 
torta volant, paribusque ruunt conatibus hastae. 
haud secus ac Libyca fetam tellure leaenam 

<* The mother-eagle was supposed to throw out of the nest 
as spurious any eaglet that was unable to look steadily at the 
sun. * See ii. 401 foil. 

58 



PUNICA, X. 97-124 



led by their hardy instructor, had glutted themselves 
with slaughter of men, and then laid low with count- 
less wounds an elephant with a tower on its back. 
Then fire-brands followed, and they were watching 
with joy while the fallen monster was burning, when 
suddenly a helmet flashed and plumes waved bright 
above a higher helmet. The old man, who recognized 
Hannibal by the light he shed, was no laggard : 
willingly he urged on his troop of sons into the fierce 
conflict, bidding them hurl their weapons thick and 
fast, and disregard his fire-breathing nostrils and the 
flames that came from his helmet. Thus the bird of 
mighty Jupiter, whose care brings up her eaglets in 
the nest to be fit carriers of the thunderbolts, turns 
them to face the sun and examines them, testing 
their genuine descent by the rays of Phoebus. ° And 
now Crista was fain to set an example for the contest 
that summoned them : see, his spear flies swiftly past 
through the space between. But the point could not 
penetrate the many plates of the golden corslet ; the 
spear hung down, and the feeble blow betrayed the 
failing powers of the thrower. Then Hannibal 
accosted him : " What madness induced your hand, 
feeble with age, to strike such harmless blows ? 
Scarce did your quivering spear scratch the surface 
plates of Gallician gold.^ See ! I give you back your 
own weapon ; your famous sons should take me rather 
to teach them skill in arms." And straightway he 
pierced the breast of hapless Crista with his own spear. 
Then from the other side — terrible to see — six 
javelins hurled by six arms came flying, and as many 
spears were hurled with might. So, when Moorish 
hunters in the land of Libya have beset the den of 

59 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

venator premit obsesso cum Maurus in antro, 125 
invadunt rabidi iam dudum et inania tentant 
nondum sat firmo catuli certamina dente. 
consumit clipeo tela et, collectus in arma, 
sustinet urgentes crepitantibus ictibus hastas 
Sidonius ductor ; nee iam per vulnera credit 130 

aut per tot caedes actum satis ; iraque anhelat, 
ni leto det cuncta virum iungatque parenti 
corpora et excidat miseros cum stirpe penates. 

Tunc Abarim afFatur ; namque una hie armiger ira 
flammabat Martem atque omnes comes ibat in actus : 
" suppedita mihi tela, vadis liventis Averni 136 

demitti globus ille cupit, qui nostra lacessit 
tegmina ; iam stultae fructus pietatis habebit." 
haec fatus iaculo Lucam, qui maximus aevi, 
transadigit ; pressa iuvenis cum cuspide labens 140 
arma super fratrum resupino concidit ore. 
mortiferum inde manu properantem vellere ferrum 
pilo Volsonem (namque hoc de strage iacentum 
fors dabat) affixa sternit per tegmina nare. 144 

tum Vesulum, calido lapsantem in sanguine fratrum, 
ense metit rapido plenamque — heu barbara virtus ! — 
abscisi galeam capitis, ceu missile telum, 
conversis in terga iacit. Telesinus, ad ossa 
illiso saxo, qua spina interstruit artus, 
occumbit ; fratrisque videt labentia membra 150 
Quercentis, quem funda procul per inane voluta 
sopierat, dum supremam Telesinus in auras 



60 



" See note to vi. 154. 
" A Roman weapon : see note to v. 216. 



i 



PUNICA, X. 125-152 

a mother-lioness and press her hard, her cubs at once 
begin a furious battle but cannot prevail because 
their teeth are not yet grown. Hannibal parried all 
six darts with his shield ; then, gathering himself 
together behind it, he withstood the impact of the 
spears with their crashing blows ; and, not content 
with all the wounds and slaughter he had dealt out 
already, he breathed hard in wrath, if he might not 
slay all the six and lay their corpses beside their 
father's, and destroy the hapless family, root and 
branch. 

Now he addressed Abaris, his squire, who shared 
his martial ardour and ever accompanied him to 
battle : " Give me supply of weapons. Yon band 
of brothers who assault my shield are eager to go 
down to the dark waters of Avernus « ; and soon 
shall they reap the fruits of their foolish devotion to 
their father." As he spoke, he pierced Lucas, the 
eldest of them, with a javelin ; the point went home, 
and the youth fell with upturned face on his brothers* 
shields. Volso's turn came next. He was trying to 
pluck forth the fatal steel, when Hannibal laid him 
low, piercing his nostrils through his shield with a 
pilum ^ which he had chanced to pick up from a heap 
of corpses. Next Vesulus, whose foot slipped in the 
warm blood of his brothers, w as beheaded by a swift 
sword-cut ; and then, O inhuman warfare ! he hurled 
helmet and severed head together, using them as a 
weapon, at the backs of the retreating brothers. 
Then Telesinus, smitten to the marrow by a stone, 
where the backbone knits the frame together, fell 
prostrate ; and he witnessed the fall of his brother 
Quercens, who was stunned by a bullet hurled from 
a distant sling, even while Telesinus was breathing 

61 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exhalat lucem et dubitantia lumina condit. 
at fessus maerore simul cursuque metuque 
et tamen haud irae vacuus, non certa per aequor 155 
interdum insistens Perusinus membra ferebat ; 
hunc sude, quam raptam Libyci per terga iacentis 
armiger obtulerat monstri, super inguina fixum 
obtruncat quercuque premit violentus obusta. 
tentarat precibus saevum lenire furorem, 160 

sed Stygius primes implevit fervor hiatus, 
et pulmone tenus demisit anhelitus ignem. 
tandem cum to to cecidit grege, nomen in Umbro 
clarum. Crista, diu populo. ceu fulmine celsa 
aesculus aut, proavis ab origine consita,^ quercus 165 
cum fumat percussa lovi, sacrosque per aevum 
aetherio ramos populantur sulphure flammae, 
donee victa deo late procumbit et omnem 
collabens operit spatioso stipite prolem. 

Atque ea dum iuxta Tyrius stagna Aufida ductor 
molitur, Paulus, numerosa caede futuram 171 

ultus iam mortem, ceu victor bella gerebat 
inter mille viros. iacet ingens Phorcys ab antris 
Herculeae Calpes, caelatus Gorgone parmam, 
unde genus tristique deae manabat origo. 175 

hunc obiectantem sese atque antiqua tumentem 
nomina saxificae monstrosa e stirpe Medusae, 
dum laevum petit incumbens violentius inguen, 
detrahit, excelsi correptum vertice coni, 
afflictumque premens, tergo qua balteus imo 180 

sinuatur, coxaeque sedet munimen utrique, 

^ consita Heinsius : cognita Bauer, 

« Gibraltar. 
62 



PUNICA, X. 153-181 



I 

^^put his life and closing his swimming eyes. Perusinus 
was staggering over the ground and sometimes 
stopping, disabled at once by grief and fear and rapid 
movement, but not bereft of courage, when Hannibal 
stabbed him above the groin with a stake which his 
squire had snatched from the back of a dead elephant 
and handed to him. The fierce thrust of the scorched 
brand held him down. He had tried to appease that 
furious wrath by entreaty ; but the fatal heat filled his 
mouth as soon as he opened it, and the breath of it 
drove the fire down to the lungs. Thus at last fell 
Crista, a name long famous in Umbria, and all his sons 
with him. So a tall oak-tree, planted long ago by our 
forefathers, when smitten by Jupiter's thunderbolt, 
sends up smoke ; and the flames and sulphur of heaven 
make havoc of the boughs revered for centuries, until 
it crashes in wide ruin, conquered by the god, and the 
huge trunk, as it falls, covers all the scions that grow 
round it. 

While the Tyrian leader performed these feats near 
the waters of Aufidus, Paulus avenged his own coming 
death by slaying many victims, and fought like a 
conqueror among a thousand foes. Down went huge 
Phorcys, who came from the caves of Calpe," sacred 
to Hercules ; on his shield was engraved the 
Gorgon's head ; for that cruel goddess derived her 
birth and beginning from Calpe. Phorcys pressed 
forward, proud of his ancient race and descent from 
Medusa, the monster who turned men to stone. As 
he aimed a furious blow at the left groin of Paulus, 
the consul seized him by the crest of his tall helmet 
and turned the blow aside : then, dashing him down 
upon the ground, he drove his sword downwards 
through him, where the belt curves round the base 

63 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

coniecto fodit ense super ; vomit ille calentem 
sanguinis efFundens per hiantia viscera rivum, 
et subit Aetolos Atlanticus accola campos. 

Has inter strages rapido terror e coorti, 185 

invadunt terga atque averso turbine miscent 
bella inopina viri, Tyrius quos fallere doctus 
banc ipsam pugnae rector formarat ad artem ; 
succinctique dolis, fugerent ceu Punica castra, 
dediderant dextras ; turn totis mentibus actam 190 
in caedes aciem pone atque in terga ruentes 
praecipitant. non hast a viro, non deficit ensis : 
e strage est ferrum atque evulsa cadavere tela, 
raptum Galba procul — neque enim virtutis amorem 
adversa exemisse valent — ut vidit ab hoste 195 

auferri signum, conixus corpore toto 
victorem assequitur letalique occupat ictu. 
ac dum comprensam caeso de corpore praedam 
avellit, tardeque manus moribunda remittit, 
transfixus gladio propere accurrentis Amorgi 200 

occidit, immoriens magnis non prosperus ausis. 

Haec inter, veluti nondum satiasset Enyo 
iras saeva truces, sublatum pulvere campum 
Vulturnus rotat et candentes torquet harenas. 
iamque reluctantes stridens immane procella 205 

per longum tulit ad campi suprema cavisque 
afflictos ripis tumidum demersit in amnem. 
hie tibi finis erat, metas hie Aufidus aevi 
servabat tacito, non felix Curio, leto. 
namque, fur ens animi dum consternata moratur 210 



" Diomede : see note to i. 125. 
'' Another name for Bellona, the goddess of war. 
64 



PUNICA, X. 182-210 



I 

^0bf the spine and protects both the hips. A hot 
' stream of blood gushed forth from the gaping 
entrails ; and the dweller by Atlas went down 
beneath the soil of the Aetolian chief. « 

In the midst of this carnage there was a sudden 
alarm. A fresh onset of war was launched, and the 
Roman rear was surprised by troops trained by 
Hannibal, a master of stratagem, for this very pur- 
pose. Pretending to desert from the Carthaginian 
army, they had surrendered. Now, equipped with 
guile, they rushed in a body upon the Roman 
rear, with hearts wholly bent on slaughter. They 
lacked not for spears and swords ; for they tore 
weapons from the corpses. From far off Galba 
saw an enemy seize a standard and carry it off; 
defeat has no power to quench a brave man's spirit ; 
and with an exertion of all his strength he caught 
up the spoiler and struck him dead ere he could 
escape. But while he grasped his prize and wrenched 
it from the dying hand that was slow to yield it up, 
Amorgus came up quickly and ran a sword through 
him ; and Galba fell and died, balked of his high 
emprise. 

Meanwhile, as if cruel Enyo ^ had not yet glutted 
her savage wrath, the Sirocco lifted the surface of 
the field in whirling clouds of dust, and drove the 
burning sand in all directions. And now the tempest 
with frightful howling blew the resisting bodies of 
men to a distance, as far as the limit of the plain, 
dashing them against the sunken banks, and sinking 
them in the swollen river. Such was the end of 
ill-starred Curio ; and here the Aufidus marked the 
limit of his life with an inglorious death. For, while 
stopping with furious anger the terrified ranks and 
VOL. II c 2 65 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

agmina et oppositu membrorum sistere certat, 
in praeceps magna propulsus mole ruentum 
turbatis hauritur aquis fundoque volutus 
Hadriaca iacuit sine nomine mortis harena. 

Ingens ferre mala et Fortunae subdere coUa 215 
nescius, adversa fronte incurrebat in arma 
vincentum consul ; pereundi Martins ardor 
atque animos iam sola dabat fiducia mortis ; 
cum Viriathus agens telis, regnator Hiberae 
magnanimus terrae, iuxta atque ante ora furentis 220 
obtruncat Pauli fessum certaminis hostem. 
heu dolor, heu lacrimae ! Servilius, optima belli, 
post Paulum belli pars optima, corruit ictu 
barbarico magnamque cadens leto addidit uno 
invidiam Cannis. tristem non pertulit iram 225 

consul et, insani quamquam contraria venti 
exarmat vis atque obtendit pulvere lucem, 
squalentem rumpens ingestae torvus harenae 
ingreditur nimbum ac Viriathum^ moris Hiberi 
carmina pulsata fundentem barbara caetra 230 

invadit laevaeque fodit vitalia mammae, 
hie fuit extremus caedum labor : addere bello 
baud ultra licuit dextram, nee tanta relictum est 
uti, Roma, tibi posthac ad proelia Paulo, 
saxum ingens, vasto libratum pondere, caeca 235 

venit in ora manu et, perfractae cassidis aera 
ossibus infodiens, complevit sanguine vultus. 
inde pedem referens, labentia membra propinquo 
imposuit scopulo atque, undanti vulnere anhelans, 

* Viriathum Postgate : ritu iam edd. 



*• Cannae is near the mouth of the river Aufidus. 
" A chief in Lusitania (Portugal). 



I 



PUNICA, X. 211-239 



trying to arrest them by throwing his body in the 
way, he was driven headlong forward by the mass 
of fugitives and swallowed up by the swollen stream ; 
down he sank to the bottom and lay on the sands 
of the Adriatic," without honour in death. 

Mighty in endurance and incapable of bending 
the neck to Fortune, Paulus rushed right against the 
weapons of the victorious foe. Nothing gave him 
confidence now but his longing for a soldier's death, 
and his certainty that he must die. Then Viriathus,^ 
the high-souled ruler of a Spanish kingdom, drove 
before him a war-wearied Roman and slew him under 
the eyes of the consul and close beside him. O grief! 
O tears ! Servilius,'' the best warrior in all the host, 
the best after Paulus, was slain by the sword of the 
barbarian, and his single death added a darker 
stain to the guilt of Cannae. Paulus could not 
contain his fierce anger. Though the wild fury of 
the wind in his face disabled him and veiled the day- 
light with dust, he broke through the thick dark cloud 
of sand and strode on in wrath. While Viriathus in 
Spanish fashion was shouting a savage song of victory 
and beating on his shield, Paulus attacked him and 
pierced the vital part in his left breast. This was his 
last victim, his last labour ; no longer might Paulus 
take part in the war, nor might Rome make use of 
him hereafter in the great battles still to come. A 
huge stone, whose enormous weight was hurled by 
an unseen hand, struck him in the face, driving the 
fragments of his brazen helmet into the bone and 
covering his face with blood. Then he drew back 
and rested his failing limbs on a rock near by ; 

" As consul in 217 b.c. he had commanded an army at 
Lake Trasimene : see v. 98, 

67 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sedit terribilis clipeum super ore cruento i 240 

immanis eeu, depulsis levioribus hastis, 
accepit leo cum tandem per pectora ferrum, 
stat teli patiens media tremebundus harena 
ac, manante iubis rictuque et naribus unda 
sanguinis, interdum languentia murmura torquens, 
efFundit patulo spumantem ex ore cruorem. 246 

tum vero incumbunt Libyes, super ipse citato 
ductor equo, qua flatus agit, qua pervius ensis, 
qua sonipes, qua belligero fera belua dente. 
obrutus hie telis ferri per corpora Piso 250 

rectorem ut vidit Libyae, conixus in hastam 
ilia cornipedis subrecta cuspide transit 
collapsoque super nequiquam incumbere coeptat : 
cum Poenus, propere collecto corpore, quamquam 
cernuus inflexo sonipes effuderat armo : 255 

" umbraene Ausoniae rediviva bella retractant 
post obitum dextra ? nee in ipsa morte quiescunt ? " 
sic ait atque aegrum coeptanti attollere corpus 
arduus insurgens totum permiscuit ensem. 

Ecce, Cydonea violatus harundine plantam, 260 
Lentulus efFusis campum linquebat habenis, 
cum videt in scopulo rorantem saxa cruore 
torvoque obtutu labentem in Tartara Paulum. 
mens abiit, puduitque fugae : tum visa cremari 
Roma viro, tunc ad portas iam stare cruentus 265 
Hannibal ; Aetoli tum primum ante ora fuere 
sorbentes Latium campi. " Quid deinde relictum, 

" See note to ii. 90. 
68 



I 



PUNICA, X. 240-267 



gasping from his streaming wound, he sat down upon 
his shield, a formidable figure with his gory face. 
So a huge lion shakes off the lighter spears ; but 
when at last the sword has been driven home in his 
breast, he stands in the centre of the arena, quivering 
but resigned to the blow ; the blood streams from 
mane and mouth and nostrils, and from time to 
time he utters a dull roaring, and spits out blood and 
foam from his wide jaws. Then the Libyans came 
down upon Paulus ; and Hannibal himself came 
galloping where the wind drove him, and where his 
sword, his charger, and the fierce beasts that fight 
with their tusks, had cleared a path. When Piso, 
buried beneath weapons, saw Hannibal riding over 
the dead, he raised himself with an effort on his lance 
and stabbed the horse's belly with his uphfted point. 
When the beast fell, he tried in vain to bestride it. 
But Hannibal picked himself up in a moment, though 
the horse had thrown him when it fell sprawling 
on its head ; and thus he spoke : " Do the Roman 
ghosts come back again to life, to fight a second 
time ? Can they not rest even in death ? " With 
these words he rose to his full height and, while Piso 
tried to lift his wounded limbs, plunged his sword in 
up to the hilt. 

Behold, Lentulus, wounded in the foot by a Cretan" 
arrow, was galloping off the field, when he saw Paulus 
seated on the rock wet with his blood, and staring 
with fierce eyes as he sank down to death. Lentulus 
changed his purpose and felt ashamed of flight. It 
seemed to him that he saw Rome burning now, and 
blood-stained Hannibal now standing at her gates ; 
now for the first time he saw before him the Aetolian 
plain, the grave of Italy. " What still remains," he 

69 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

crastina cur Tyrios lux non deducat ad urbem, 
deseris in tantis puppim si, Paule, procellis ? 
tester caelicolas," inquit, " ni damna gubernas 270 
crudelis belli vivisque in turbine tanto 
invitus, plus, Paule (dolor verba aspera dictat) 
plus Varrone noces. cape, quaeso, hunc, unica rerum 
fessarum spes, cornipedem ; languentia membra 
ipse levabo humeris et dorso tuta locabo." 275 

Haec inter, lacero manantem ex ore cruorem 
eiectans, consul : ** macte o virtute paterna ! 
nee vero spes angustae, cum talia restent 
pectora Romuleo regno, calcaribus aufer, 279 

qua vulnus permittit, equum atque hinc ocius urbis 
claudantur portae : ruet haec ad moenia pestis. 
die, oro, rerum Fabio tradantur habenae. 
nostris pugnavit monitis furor, amplius acta 
quid superest vita, nisi caecae ostendere plebi 284 
Paulum scire mori ? feror an consumptus in urbem 
vulneribus ? quantine emptum velit Hannibal, ut nos 
vertentes terga aspiciat ? nee talia Paulo 
pectora, nee manes tam parva intramus imago, 
ille ego — sed vano quid enim te demoror aeger, 
Lentule, conquestu ? perge atque hinc cuspide 
fessum 290 

eripe quadrupedem propere." tum Lentulus urbem, 
magna ferens mandata, petit ; nee Paulus inultum, 
quod superest de luce, sinit ; ceu vulnere tigris 
letifero cedens tandem proiectaque corpus 
luctatur morti et languentem pandit hiatum 295 

in vanos morsus, nee sufficientibus irae 



» See viii. 255 ; ix. 636. 
70 



PUNICA, X. 268-296 



^Hk;ried, " to prevent the enemy from marching on 
• Rome to-morrow, if you, Paulus, abandon the ship 
in such a storm ? By Heaven I swear — if my words 
are harsh, grief prompts them — that, unless you take 
command in this terrible war and live on against your 
will amid the tempest, you are more guilty even than 
Varro. Sole hope of our suffering country, take my 
horse, I entreat. I will lift your weakened frame on 
my own shoulders and seat you safely on the saddle." 
Thereupon the consul answered, spitting out the 
streaming blood from his mutilated mouth : " Go on 
and prosper, worthy son of brave ancestors ! Nor is 
the prospect dark, when such stout hearts as yours 
still are found in the realm of Romulus. Spur your 
horse as hard as your wound will let you, and fly ; 
bid them close the city gates instantly ; the Destroyer 
will rush against her walls. The control of affairs 
must be given to Fabius. It was madness that re- 
sisted our warnings. My life is ended ; and nothing 
remains but to prove to the ignorant populace " that 
Paulus knows how to die. Shall I be carried back 
to Rome, a wounded and dying man ? What would 
not Hannibal give to see me retreating ? No such 
intention has Paulus ; and my ghost shall not go 
down thus humbled to the shades below. I who 

once But why should my failing accents detain 

you, Lentulus, with useless complaining ? Away ! 
and use your spear-point to urge your weary steed 
from hence." Then Lentulus made off for Rome, 
carrying his weighty message. Nor did Paulus suffer 
his last moments to pass without striking a blow. 
So a tigress when mortally wounded gives way at 
last and lying down fights against death ; she opens 
the jaws that have no strength to bite in earnest, 

71 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ictibus extrema lambit venabula lingua. 

iamque coruscanti telum propiusque ferenti 

gressum exultantem et secure caedis lertae 

non expectatum surgens defixerat ensem, 300 

Sidoniumque ducem circumspectabat, in ilia 

exoptans animam certantem ponere dextra. 

sed vicere virum coeuntibus undique telis 

et Nomas et Garamas et Celtae et Maurus et Astur. 

hie finis Paulo, iacet altum pectus et ingens 305 

dextera, quern, soli si bella agitanda darentur, 

aequares forsan Fabio. mors additur urbi 

pulchra decus misitque viri inter sidera nomen. 

Postquam spes Italum mentesque in consule lapsae, 
ceu truncus capitis, saevis exercitus armis 310 

sternitur, et victrix toto fremit Africa campo. 
hie Picentum acies, hie Umber Martius, illic 
Sicana procumbit pubes, hie Hernica turma. 
passim signa iacent, quae Samnis belliger, et quae 
Sarrastes populi Marsaeque tulere cohortes ; 315 

transfixi clipei galeaeque et inutile ferrum 
fractaque conflictu parmarum tegmina et ore 
cornipedum derepta fero spumantia frena. 
sanguineus tumidas in campos Aufidus undas 
eiectat redditque furens sua corpora ripis. 320 

sic Lagea ratis, vasto velut insula ponto 
conspecta, illisit scopulis ubi nubifer Eurus, 
naufragium spargens operit freta ; iamque per undas 

" See viii. 537. 

" Lagus founded the dynasty of the Ptolemies who long 
ruled over Egypt : hence " Lagean "==" Egyptian." 
72 



I 



PUNICA, X. 297-323 



and the tip of her tongue licks the spears with efforts 
that cannot gratify her rage. When lertas came 
close, brandishing his weapon in triumph and sure of 
his victim, Paulus rose up suddenly and plunged his 
sword in his foe's body. Then he looked round for 
Hannibal, eager to yield up his life, a warrior's life, 
to that glorious hand. Not so : he was overcome by 
a shower of darts from every side, from Numidians 
and Garamantians, from Gauls and Moors and 
Asturians. Thus Paulus died. A wise heart and a 
mighty arm were lost in him ; if he had been given 
sole command in the war, he might perhaps have 
ranked as the equal of Fabius. His noble death gave 
fresh glory to his country and raised his fame to the 
sky. 

The hope and courage of the Romans fell with 
their general ; the army, like a headless thing, was 
overthrown by fierce assaults ; and victorious Africa 
raged over all the field. Here lay the men of Picenum 
and brave Umbrians, and there Sicilian warriors and 
Hernican troops. Everywhere were lying scattered 
the standards, borne by warlike Samnites or men 
from the Sarnus," or by Marsian contingents ; the 
ground was covered with battered shields and helmets 
and useless swords, with targets broken by collision 
with other targets, and with foam-covered bits, 
wrenched from the mouths of mettled steeds. The 
Aufidus, red with blood, cast up his swollen waters 
over the plain and in rage restored to the banks the 
corpses that belonged to them. So an Egyptian^ 
vessel is seen like an island in the great sea ; but, 
when the rainy East-wind has dashed her upon the 
rocks, she covers the sea with scattered wreckage ; 

73 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et transtra et mali laceroque aplustria velo 

ac miseri fluitant revomentes aequora nautae. 325 

At Poenus, per longa diem certamina saevis 
caedibus emensus, postquam eripuere furori 
insignem tenebrae lucem, turn denique Martem 
dimisit tandemque suis in caede pepercit. 
sed mens invigilat cm-is noctisque quietem 330 

ferre nequit. stimulat dona inter tanta deorum 
optatas^ nondum portas intrasse Quirini. 
proxima lux placet : hinc strictos ferre ocius enses, 
dum fervet cruor, et perfusae caede cohortes, 
destinat, ac iam claustra manu, iam moenia flamma 
occupat et iungit Tarpeia incendia Cannis. 336 

Quo turbata viri coniux Saturnia coepto 
irarumque lovis Latiique haud inscia fati, 
incautum ardorem atque avidas ad futile votum 
spes iuvenis frenare parat. ciet inde quietis 340 

regnantem tenebris Somnum, quo saepe ministro 
edomita inviti componit lumina fratris. 
atque huic arridens, " non te maioribus," inquit, 
" ausis, dive, voco nee posco, ut moUibus alis 
des victum mihi, Somne, lovem. non mille premendi 
sunt oculi tibi, nee spernens tua mimina custos 346 
Inachiae multa superandus nocte iuvencae. 
ductori, precor, immittas nova somnia Poeno, 

1 optatas Ernesti : hortatus edd. 

" Quirinus is the deified Romulus : hence the " gates of 
Quirinus " are the " gates of Rome." 

'' Juno. 

* Jupiter. 

** To, daughter of Inachus, king of Argos, was loved by 
Zeus, who turned her into a heifer, to protect her from Juno's 
74 



^K;h 



PUNICA, X. 324-348 



e surface is strewn with floating benches and 
masts, with stern-ornaments with tattered sails, and 
with hapless sailors spitting out the brine. 

Hannibal had spent the livelong day in stubborn 
conflict and fierce slaughter ; and, when the darkness 
robbed his frenzy of that glorious day, he ceased at 
last from fighting and spared his men from slaying 
yet more Romans. But he was anxious and wakeful, 
and resented the inaction of night. When the gods 
had given him so much, it stung him to think that he 
had not yet gained his object — to enter the gates of 
Quirinus." Resolved to march on the morrow, he 
intended to hasten thence with swords still drawn, 
while the soldiers' blood was hot and their hands 
stained with carnage ; and already he sees the 
barriers broken and the walls on fire, and makes the 
burning of the Capitol follow close on Cannae. 

The daughter of Saturn ^ was disturbed by Hanni- 
bal's design. Knowing well the displeasure of Jupiter 
and the destiny of Italy, she took steps to curb the 
rash ardour of Hannibal and his eager hopes of a 
success he could never win. At once she summoned 
Sleep, the regent of silent night, by whose aid she 
often conquers and closes her brother's '^ eyes against 
his will. She smiled on him and said : " I do not 
summon you, divine Sleep, for a burdensome task, 
nor do I ask of your silken wings to overcome Jupiter 
and place him at my mercy. Not now need you 
close a thousand eyes, nor conquer with deep darkness 
the guardian of the heifer, Inachus' daughter — the 
guardian who made light of your divinity.^ I pray 
you to send a strange dream to the Carthaginian 

jealousy ; then a guardian with a hundred eyes, named 
Argus, was set to watch her by Juno. 

75 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ne Romam et vetitos cupiat nunc visere muros, 
quos intrare dabit numquam regnator Olympi." 350 

Imperium celer exsequitur curvoque volucris 
per tenebras portat medicata papavera cornu. 
ast ubi, per taciturn allapsus, tentoria prima 
Barcaei petiit iuvenis, quatit inde soporas 
devexo capiti pennas oculisque quietem 355 

irrorat, tangens Lethaea tempora virga. 
exercent rabidam truculenta insomnia mentem : 
iamque videbatur multo sibi milite Tiiybrim 
cingere et insultans astare ad moenia Romae. 
ipse refulgebat Tarpeiae culmine rupis, 360 

elata torquens flagrantia fulmina dextra, 
lupiter, et lati fumabant sulphure campi, 
ac gelidis Anien trepidabat caerulus undis ; 
et densi ante oculos iterumque iterumque tremendum 
vibrabant ignes. tunc vox efFusa per auras : 365 

" sat magna, o iuvenis, prensa est tibi gloria Cannis. 
siste gradum ; nee enim sacris irrumpere muris, 
Poene, magis dabitur, nostrum quam scandere 

caelum." 
attonitum visis maioraque bella paventem 
post confecta Sopor lunonia iussa relinquit ; 370 

nee lux terribili purgavit imagine mentem. 

Quos inter motus somni vanosque tumultus 
dedita per noctem reliquo cum milite castra 
nuntiat et praedam pleno trahit agmine Mago. 
huic ductor laetas Tarpeio vertice mensas 375 

spondenti, cum quinta diem nox orbe tulisset, 

•* i.e. " within five days." 
76 



PUNICA, X. 349-376 



I 

the forbidden walls of Rome ; for the lord of Olympus 
will never suffer him to enter there." 

Swiftly he did her bidding and winged his way 
through the darkness, carrying juice of poppy-seed 
in a curving horn. In silence he glided on, and went 
first to Hannibal's tent ; then he waved his drowsy 
wings over the recumbent head, dropping sleep into 
the eyes, and touching the brows with his wand of 
forge tfulness. Then Hannibal's excited brain was 
troubled by unpeaceful dreams. He dreamed that 
he was even now surrounding the Tiber with a great 
army, and standing defiantly before the walls of 
Rome. Jupiter himself was seen — a shining figure 
on the summit of the Tarpeian rock ; his hand was 
raised, to launch fiery thunderbolts ; the surround- 
ing plains smoked with sulphur, and the blue waters 
of cold Anio were shaken ; again and again the dread- 
ful fire was repeated and flashed before his sight ; and 
at last a voice came down from the sky : " You have 
gained glory enough, young man, at Cannae. Stay 
your steps ; for the Carthaginian may as soon storm 
our heaven as burst his way within the sacred walls 
of Rome." He was appalled by the dream, and 
dreaded a future and more terrible war. Then Sleep, 
having done Juno's bidding, left him ; but daylight 
could not wash out the dreadful vision from his mind. 

While the general's sleep was thus disturbed by 
groundless alarms, Mago came, reporting that the 
Roman camp with the remnant of the army had 
surrendered during the night ; and behind him came 
a rich array of booty. He promised that, when the 
fifth night was followed in succession by day," 
Hannibal should feast and make merry on the 

77 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

celatis superum monitis clausoque pavore, 
vulnera et exhaustas saevo certamine vires 
ac nimium laetis excusat fidere rebus, 
turn spe delectus iuvenis, ceu vertere ab ipsis 380 
terga iuberetur muris ac signa referre, 
" tanta mole," inquit, ** non Roma, ut credidit ipsa, 
sed Varro est victus. quonam tam prospera Martis 
munera destituis fato patriamque moraris ? 
mecum exultet eques ; iuro hoc caput, accipe muros 
Iliacos portasque tibi sine Marte patentes." 386 

Dumque ea Mago fremit cauto non credita fratri, 
iam Latins sese Canusina in moenia miles 
colligere et profugos vicino cingere vallo 
coeperat. heu rebus facies inhonora sinistris ! 390 
non aquilae, non signa viris, non consulis altum 
imperium, non subnixae lictore secures, 
trunca atque aegra metu, ceu magna elisa ruina, 
corpora debilibus nituntur sistere membris. 
clamor saepe repens et saepe silentia fixis 395 

in tellurem oculis ; nudae plerisque sinistrae 
detrito clipeo ; desunt pugnacibus enses ; 
saucius omnis eques ; galeis carpsere superbum 
cristarum decus et damnarunt Martis honores. 
at multa thorax perfossus cuspide, et haerens 400 
loricae interdum Maurusia pendet harundo. 
interdum maesto socios clamore requirunt. 
78 



I 



PUNICA, X. 377-402 



Tarpeian height. ConceaHng the divine warning 
and suppressing his fears, Hannibal pleaded in excuse 
the wounds and weariness of the soldiers after their 
fierce conflict, and spoke of over-confidence due to 
success. Then Mago, as much disappointed as if he 
had been ordered to turn and march back from the 
very walls of Rome, thus protested : " Then our 
mighty effort has not defeated Rome, as Rome her- 
self believed ; it has only defeated Varro. What 
fate makes you throw away the bountiful gift of Mars 
and keep your country waiting ? Let me rush for- 
ward with the cavalry, and, I swear by my head, 
the walls of the city will be yours and the gates will 
fly open before you without a battle." 

While Mago spoke thus in his rage and his more 
cautious brother refused to believe him, the Roman 
soldiers had begun to rally behind the walls of 
Canusium and to build a rampart round the fugitives 
beside the town. How mean, alas, was the aspect 
of that beaten army, without eagles, without stan- 
dards, with no consul in chief command, and no axes 
borne before him by lictors ! Men struggle to support 
upon feeble limbs their frames, sick with fear and 
mutilated, as if they had been crushed in the fall 
of some great building. Sometimes a sudden shout 
was heard, sometimes there was silence with down- 
cast looks. Most of them are defenceless, with no 
shield on the left arm ; there are no swords to fight 
with ; every horseman is wounded ; rejecting the pomp 
and pride of war, they have plucked the splendid 
plumes from their helmets. Their corslets are pierced 
with many a spear, and in some breastplates a 
Moorish arrow is still sticking and hanging down. 
Sometimes with cries of sorrow they ask for their 

79 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hie Galba, hie Piso at, leto non dignus inerti, 

Curio deflentur, gravis illic Scaevola bello. 

hos passim ; at Pauli pariter ecu dira parentis 405 

fata gemunt : ut verba mali praenuntia numquam 

eessarit canere et Varronis sistere mentem, 

utque diem hune totiens nequiquam averterit urbi, 

atque idem quantus dextra. sed eura futuri 

quos premit, aut fossas instant praeducere muris, 410 

aut portarum aditus, ut rerum est copia, firmant. 

quaque patet campus planis ingressibus hostis, 

cervorum ambustis imitantur cornua ramis, 

et stilus occulitur, caecum in vestigia telum. 

Ecce, super clades et non medicabile vulnus, 415 
reliquias belli atque imperdita corpora Poenis 
impia formido ac maior iactabat Erinnys. 
trans aequor Tyrios enses atque arma parabant 
Punica et Hannibalem mutato evadere caelo. 
dux erat exilii non laetus^ Marte Metellus, 420 

sed stirpe haud parvi cognominis. is mala bello 
pectora degeneremque manum ad deformia agebat 
consulta atque alio positas spectabat in orbe, 
quis sese occulerent, terras, quo nomina nulla 
Poenorum, aut patriae penetraret fama relictae. 425 

Quae postquam accepit flammata Scipio mente, 
quantus Sidonium contra, fera proelia miscens, 
ductorem stetit in campis, rapit ocius ensem, 
atque, ubi turpe malum Latioque extrema coquebant 

* exilii non laetus Summers : exilio collectis Bauer. 

" These were large branches of trees, having the smaller 
ones left on and shortened at a certain distance from the 
stock, so as to present the appearance of a stag's horn. They 
were stuck in the ground, to impede a charge of cavalry over 
a plain that offered no natural obstructions. 

^ See 11. 44 foil. 

80 



I 



PUNICA, X. 403-429 



lost comrades. Some weep for Galba and Piso, and 
for Curio who deserved to die sword in hand, while 
others lament Scaevola. that stout warrior. Each 
of these is mourned by some ; but to all alike the 
death of Paulus is grievous as the loss of a father : 
" How true a prophet he was, when he foretold the 
evils that have come upon us, and thwarted Varro's 
folly ! How often he tried in vain to save Rome from 
to-day's defeat ! How brave too he was in battle ! " 
But those who felt anxiety for the future made haste 
to dig trenches along the city walls, or used such 
materials as they had to fortify the gates. And, 
where the plain lay open, with nothing to obstruct 
the assaults of the enemy, they planted fire-hardened 
boughs shaped like deers' antlers," whose concealed 
points would wound unseen the horses' feet. 

But now, on the top of defeat and incurable 
disaster, a treasonable panic and a more dreadful 
madness stirred the hearts of those who had escaped 
the Carthaginian sword. They planned to cross the 
sea and by a change of clime to escape the Tyrian 
blades, the might of Carthage, and Hannibal. The 
leader of the exiles was Metellus,^ a man who took 
no delight in war though his family had gained high 
renown. He pressed his shameful design upon 
cowardly spirits and degenerate hearts, and had in 
view a hiding place in some distant land, which the 
name of Carthage would never reach, nor any news 
of their own forsaken country. 

But when Scipio heard of this plan, his wrath was 
kindled. He snatched up his sword — as mighty a 
figure as when he confronted Hannibal in deadly 
combat on the battle-field. He burst open the doors 
of the place where cowards were hatching their plot 

81 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

coepta viri, ruptis foribus sese arduus infert. 430 

turn, quatiens strictum cum voce ante ora paventum 
mucronem : " Tarpeia, pater, qui templa secundam 
incolis a caelo sedem, et Saturnia, nondum 
Iliacis mutata malis, tuque aspera pectus 
aegide Gorgoneos virgo succinct a furores, 435 

indigetesque dei, sponte en per numina vestra 
perque caput, nullo levius mihi numine, patris 
magnanimi iuro : numquam Lavinia regna 
linquam nee linqui patiar, dum vita manebit. 
ocius en testare deos, si moenia taedis 440 

flagrabunt Libycis, nullas te ferre, Metelle, 
ausurum in terras gressus. ni talia sancis, 
quern tremis et cuius somnos formidine rumpis, 
Hannibal hie armatus adest : moriere, nee ullo 
Poenorum melior parietur gloria caeso." 445 

his excussa incepta minis ; iamque ordine iusso 
obstringunt animas patriae dictataque iurant 
sacramenta deis et purgant pectora culpa. 

Atque ea dum Rutulis turbata mente geruntur, 
lustrabat campos et saevae tristia dextrae 450 

facta recensebat, pertractans vulnera visu, 
Hannibal et, magna circumstipante caterva, 
dulcia praebebat trucibus spectacula Poenis. 
quas strages inter, confossus pectora telis, 
seminecem extreme vitam exhalabat in auras 455 

" Scipio swears by Jupiter, Juno, Pallas, and the native 
gods of Italy, such as Quirinus. 

" Rome. 

" Scipio means that he himself is as dangerous to Metellus 
as Hannibal could be. 
82 



I 



PUNICA, X. 430-455 



bring disgrace and destruction upon Italy ; he 
rushed towering in. Then he brandished his naked 
sword before their frightened eyes as he spoke : 
" O Father " that inhabitest the Tarpeian temple, 
next after heaven thy chosen abode ; and thou, 
daughter of Saturn, whose heart is not yet softened 
by the sufferings of the Trojans ; and thou, fierce 
Maiden Goddess, who bindest on thy breast the 
aegis and the terrors of the Gorgon ; and ye gods of 
Italy — hear me when I swear voluntarily by your 
divinity, and by the head of my heroic father, as 
sacred to me as any god ! I swear that never while 
I live shall I leave the realm of Lavinium ^ nor suffer 
others to leave it. Make haste, Metellus, and call 
heaven to witness, that, even if the walls of Rome 
blaze with Carthaginian brands, you will not dare to 
turn your steps to any foreign land. If you refuse 
to swear it, the Hannibal, the thought of whom 
terrifies you and breaks your sleep, is present here, 
sword in hand." You shall die ; and no man who 
slays a Carthaginian shall win more glory than your 
slayer." These threats put an end to their design. 
At once they pledged their lives to their country in 
the manner prescribed, and swore to heaven the oath 
that Scipio dictated, and so cleansed their hearts of 
guilt. 

While the Romans were thus engaged with troubled 
hearts, Hannibal was riding over the battle-field, re- 
viewing his dreadful handiwork and feasting his eyes 
upon wounds. A numerous staff surrounded him, and 
the sights he showed them were welcome to the cruel 
eyes of the Carthaginians. Amid these heaps of dead 
lay Cloelius, with many a wound in the breast and 
at the point of death. Sinking fast and sighing out 

83 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

murmure deficiens iam Cloelius oraque nisu 

languida vix aegro et dubia cervice levabat. 

agnovit sonipes, arrectisque auribus acrem 

hinnitum effundens, sternit tellure Bagesum, 

quem turn captivo portabat in agmina dorso. 460 

hinc, rapidum glomerans cursum, per lubrica pingui 

stante cruore soli et mulcata cadavera caede 

evolat ac domini consistit in ore iacentis. 

inde, inclinatus colla et submissus in armos, 

de more inflexis praebebat scandere terga 465 

cruribus ac proprio quodam trepidabat amore. 

milite non illo quisquam felicius acri 

insultarat equo, vel si resupina citato 

proiectus dorso ferretur membra, vel idem 

si nudo staret tergo, dum rapta volucris 470 

transigeret cursu sonipes certamina campi. 

At Libys, humanos aequantem pectore sensus 
baud parce miratus equum, quinam ille sinistrae 
depugnet morti iuvenis, nomenque decusque 
erogitat letique simul compendia donat. 475 

hie Cinna (ad Tyrios namque is sua verterat arma, 
credulus adversis, et tum comes ibat ovanti) 
" auribus huic," inquit, "ductor fortissime, origo est 
non indigna tuis. quondam sub regibus ilia, 
quae Libycos renuit frenos, sub regibus olim 480 

Roma fuit ; sed enim, solium indignata Superbi, 
ut sceptra exegit, confestim ingentia bella 
Clusina venere domo, si Porsena fando 
auditus tibi, si Codes, si Lydia castra. 
ille, ope Maeonia et populo succinctus Etrusco, 485 
certabat pulsos per bella reponere reges. 

84 



I 



PUNICA, X. 456-486 



his latest breath, he was just able with a faint effort 
to raise his drooping head and support it on his feeble 
neck. His horse knew his master ; he pricked up 
his ears and neighed loudly ; then he threw Bagaesus, 
Iiis captor who was then riding him towards the 
battle-field. Galloping at speed, he flew over mangled 
corpses and ground made slippery by pools of clotted 
blood, and halted by the face of his stricken master. 
Then with sunk neck and sloping shoulders, he 
bent his knees, as he had been trained to do, to 
let his master mount ; and in his anxious concern 
he showed an affection that was all his own.« No 
more gallant horseman than Cloelius had ever ridden 
that mettled steed, either reclining at full length on 
the flying back, or standing erect with no saddle under 
him, while the horse flew over the race-course and 
covered the distance at top speed. 

Then Hannibal, marvelling much at a horse which 
showed the feelings of a man, asked who it was that 
was fighting so hard against grim death — what was 
his name and rank. And, as he spoke, he put Cloelius 
to a speedy and merciful end. Cinna answered him. 
Deceived by Roman reverses, he had taken sides 
with Carthage and now rode beside the conqueror. 
" Brave general," he said, "it is worth your while 
to hear the early history of his family. Rome, which 
now rejects the rule of Carthage, was herself once 
ruled by kings. But when she resented the reign of 
Superbus and expelled the tyrant, at once a great 
army came from Clusium's royal dome — you may 
have heard tell of Porsena and Horatius and the 
Etruscan invasion. Porsena, supported by the power 

id manhood of Etruria, strove to restore the exiled 
• i.e. such as no other horse would have shown. 

85 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

multa adeo nequiquam ausi ; pressitque tyrannus 
laniculum incumbens. ubi mox, iam pace probata, 
compressere odia, et positum cum foedere bellum, 
obsidibusque obstricta fides, (mansuescere corda 490 
nescia, pro superi ! et nil non immite parata 
gens Italum pro laude pati). bis Cloelia senos 
nondum complerat primaevi corporis annos, 
una puellarum Laurentum et pignora pacis 
inter virgineas regi tramissa catervas. 495 

facta virum sileo ; rege haec et foedere et annis 
et fluvio spretis, mirantem interrita Thybrim 
tranavit, frangens undam puerilibus ulnis. 
cui si mutasset sexum natura, reverti 
forsan Tyrrhenas tibi non licuisset in oras, 500 

Porsena. sed iuveni, ne sim tibi longior, hinc est 
et genus et clara memorandum virgine nomen." 

Talia dum pandit, vicinus parte sinistra 
per subitum erumpit clamor, permixta ruina 
inter et arma virum et lacerata cadavera Pauli 505 
eruerant corpus media de strage iacentum. 
heu quis erat ! quam non similis modo Punica telis 
agmina turbanti ! vel cum Taulantia regna 
vertit, et lllyrico sunt addita vincla tyranno ! 
pnlvere canities atro arentique cruore 510 

squalebat barba, et perfracti turbine dentes 
muralis saxi, tum toto corpore vulnus. 

Quae postquam aspexit geminatus gaudia ductor 
Sidonius : " fuge, Varro," inquit, " fuge, Varro, 

superstes, 
dum iaceat Paulus ! patribus Fabioque sedenti 515 

« One of the Seven Hills of Rome, on the W. of the Tiber. 

^ " Tyrrhene " is the Greek version of " Etruscan." 

" The Taulantes were an Illyrian people : for the victory 

of Paulus over Illyricum in 219 b.c. see viii. 289 foil. 

86 



I 



PUNICA, X. 487-615 



kings by war. Many an effort they made without 
success, and the foreign king pressed hard upon 
Janiculum." At last peace was decided on : they 
ended hostilities, stopped the war, and agreed to 
a treaty ; and hostages were given in pledge of its 
fulfilment. But Roman hearts could not be tamed 
— witness heaven ! — but were ready to face any 
danger for the sake of glory. With other Roman 
maidens Cloelia was sent across the river to the king 
as a pledge for peace — young Cloelia who was not 
twelve years old. Of brave deeds done by men I say 
nothing ; but this maiden, in spite of the king and 
the treaty, in spite of her youth and the river, swam 
fearlessly across the astonished Tiber, stemming the 
stream with childish arms. If nature had changed 
her sex, perhaps Porsena would never have been able 
to return to the Tyrrhene ^ land. But, not to detain 
you longer, from her this young Cloelius is descended, 
and owes his glorious name to that famous maiden." 

While Cinna told this tale, a sudden shout was 
heard not far away on their left hand. From a dis- 
ordered heap of weapons and mangled corpses they 
had drawn forth the body of Paulus in the centre of 
the pile. How changed, alas ! how unlike the Paulus 
whose prowess lately disordered the ranks of Carthage, 
or the Paulus who overthrew the kingdom of the 
Taulantes ^ and bound the king of Illyricum in chains ! 
His grey hairs were black with dust, and his beard 
defiled with clotted gore ; his teeth were shattered by 
the impact of the great stone ; and his whole body 
was one wound. 

Hannibal's joy was redoubled by the sight. " Fly, 
Varro, fly ! " he cried, " and save your life — I care 
not, so long as Paulus is dead. You are a consul : 

87 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et populo consul tot as edissere Cannas ! 
concedam hanc iterum, si lucis tanta cupido est, 
concedam tibi, Varro, fugam. at, cui fortia et hoste 
me digna haud parvo caluerunt corda vigore, 
funere supremo et tumuli decoretur honore. 520 

quantus, Paule, iaces ! qui tot mihi milibus unus 
maior laetitiae causa es. cum fata vocabunt, 
tale precor nobis, salva Carthagine, letum." 
haec ait et socium mandari corpora terrae, 
postera cum thalamis Aurora rubebit apertis, 525 
imperat armorumque iubet consurgere acervos, 
arsuros, Gradive, tibi. turn munera iussa, 
defessi quamquam, accelerant sparsoque propinquos 
agmine prosternunt lucos : sonat acta bipenni 
frondosis silva alta iugis. hinc ornus et altae 530 
populus alba comae, validis accisa lacertis, 
scinditur, hinc ilex, proavorum consita saeclo. 
devolvunt quercus et amantem litora pinum 
ac, ferale decus, maestas ad busta cupressos. 
funereas tum deinde pyras certamine texunt, 535 
officium infelix et munus inane peremptis, 
donee anhelantes stagna in Tartessia Phoebus 
mersit equos, fugiensque polo Titania caecam 
orbita nigranti traxit caligine noctem. 
post, ubi fulserunt primis Phaethontia frena 640 

ignibus, atque sui terris rediere colores, 
supponunt flammam et manantia corpora tabo 
hostili tellure cremant. subit horrida mentem 
formido incerti casus, tacitusque pererrat 
intima corda pavor, si fors ita Martis iniqui 545 

" See note to vi. 1. 
88 



I 



PUNICA, X. 516-545 



tell the whole story of Cannae to the Senate and the 
people and to Fabius, the man of inaction. Once 
again, Varro, if you love life so much, I shall give 
you leave to fly. But this hero, worthy of my enmity, 
whose heart beat high with valour, shall receive 
burial, and his grave shall be honoured. How great 
is Paulus in death ! The fall of so many thousands 
gives me less joy than his alone. When fate summons 
me, I pray to die like him, and may Carthage survive 
my death ! " Thus he spoke, and ordered the bodies 
of his soldiers to be buried when rosy Dawn should 
issue from her chamber on the following day, and 
piles of arms to be raised, as a burnt-offering to Mars. 
The men, though weary, made haste to do his bidding. 
They dispersed to the neighbouring copses and felled 
the trees ; and the high woods on the leafy hills re- 
sounded with the axe. Here ash-trees and tall poplars 
with white foliage were smitten and cleft by sturdy 
arms, and there holm-oaks, planted by a former 
generation. Down came oaks and pine-trees that 
love the shore, and cypresses that deck the funeral 
train and mourn beside the pyre. And lastly they 
hastily built funeral pyres — a mournful duty and a 
tribute that means nothing to the dead — until 
Phoebus plunged his panting steeds in the waters 
of Tartessus," and the moon's disk departing from 
the sky brought on the blind darkness of black night. 
Then, when the chariot of the sun shone forth with 
dawning fire and the earth resumed its familiar 
colours, they kindled the pyres and burnt the cor- 
rupting bodies of their dead on a foreign soil. They 
felt a dreadful apprehension of the uncertain future, 
and an unspoken fear invaded their inmost hearts, 
that, if the fortune of war turned against them later, 
VOL. II D 89 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

mox ferat, hac ipsis inimica sede iacendum. 

at tibi, bellipotens, sacrum, constructus acervo 

ingenti mons armorum surgebat ad astra. 

ipse, manu celsam pinum flammaque comantem 

attollens, ductor Gradivum in vota ciebat : 550 

" primitias pugnae et laeti libamina belli 

Hannibal Ausonio cremat haec de nomine victor, 

et tibi, Mars genitor, votorum baud surde meorum, 

arma electa dicat spirantum turba virorum." 

tum, face coniecta, populatur fervidus ignis 555 

flagrantem molem, et, rupta caligine, in auras 

actus apex claro perfundit lumine campos. 

hinc citus ad tumulum donataque funera Paulo 

ibat et hostilis leti iactabat honorem. 

sublimem eduxere pyram mollesque virenti 560 

stramine composuere toros. superaddita dona, 

funereum decus : expertis invisus et ensis 

et clipeus, terrorque modo atque insigne superbum, 

tum laceri fasces captaeque in Marte secures. 

non coniux native aderant, non iuncta propinquo 565 

sanguine turba virum, aut celsis de more feretris 

praecedens prisca exequias decorabat imago 

omnibus exuviis nudo, iamque Hannibal unus 

sat decoris laudator erat ; fulgentia pingui 

murice suspirans inicit velamina et auro 570 

intextam chlamydem ac supremo affatur honore : 

" i, decus Ausoniae, quo fas est ire superbas 

virtute et factis animas. tibi gloria leto 

iam parta insigni : nostros Fortuna labores 

versat adhuc casusque iubet nescire futuros." 575 

" In a Roman noble's house the hall (atrium) was adorned 
by wax portrait-busts of deceased ancestors ; and these were 
regularly carried in the funeral procession of any member of 
the family. 

90 



I 



PUNIC A, X. 546-576 



they themselves must lie in this unfriendly earth. 
Then, as an offering to the War-god, a huge pile of 
armour was raised up to the sky. Hannibal with his 
own hand held up a tall pine-torch with fire for 
foliage and called on the god to hear his prayer : 
" Hannibal, victorious over the Italian nation, burns 
these first-fruits of battle and offerings of conquest ; 
and to thee. Father Mars, whose ears were open to 
my prayers, this host of surviving men dedicates the 
choicest armour." Then he threw the torch upon 
the pyre, and blazing fire made havoc of the burning 
mass, till the crest of flame burst through the smoke 
and rose to the sky, flooding the fields with bright 
light. From here Hannibal went quickly to witness 
the funeral rites granted to Paulus, proud of showing 
honour to a dead enemy. A tall pyre was reared, 
and a soft bier was made of green turf, and offerings 
were laid upon it, to honour the dead — the shield, 
the sword dreaded by those who had felt it, the rods 
and axes taken in the battle, broken now but once 
a badge of power that all men feared. No wife was 
there, no sons, no gathering of near kinsmen ; no 
customary masks of ancestors were borne on high 
litters before the corpse to grace the funeral pro- 
cession." Bare was it of all trappings ; but the 
praise of Hannibal was glory enough in itself : sigh- 
ing he threw on the body a covering bright with 
rich purple dye and a mantle embroidered with gold, 
and uttered this last tribute to the dead : " Go, pride 
of Italy ! Go whither spirits may go that exult in 
brave deeds ! To you fame is secured already by a 
glorious death, but I must struggle on as Fate drives 
me, and she hides future events from my knowledge." 

91 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

haec Libys ; atque repens, crepitantibus undique 

flammis, 
aetherias anima exultans evasit in auras. 

Fama dehinc gliscente sono iam sidera adibat ; 
iam maria ac terras primamque intraverat urbem. 
diffidunt muris ; solam pavitantibus arcem 580 

speravisse sat est : nee enim superesse iuventam, 
ac stare Ausoniae vacuum sine corpore nomen. 
quodque adeo nondum portis irruperit hostis, 
contemptu cessare putant. iam tecta cremari, 
ac delubra rapi, caedesque ante ora nefandae 585 
natorum, septemque arces fumare videntur. 
lux una eversas bis centum in strage curules, 
ac iuvenum bis tricenis orbata gemebat 
milibus exhaustae nutantia moenia Romae ; 
atque ea post Trebiam, post Tusci stagna profundi, 
nee socium numero pariter leviore perempto. 591 

sed vero sed enim reliqui pia turba senatus 
munera sortito invadunt. celer omnia lustrans 
clamitat attonitis Fabius : " non ulla relicta est, 
credite, cunctandi ratio : approperemus, ut hostis 
nequiquam armatos ausit succedere muros. 596 

dura inter pavidos alitur fortuna sedendo, 
et gliscunt adversa metu ; ite ocius, arma 
deripite, o pubes, templis. vos atria raptim 
nudate et clipeos in bella refigite captos. 600 

sat patriae sumus, e numero si ad proelia nostro 

" Livy puts the killed at 48,200 : the estimate of other 
authorities is much higher. Eighty senators fell at Cannae. 



PUNICA, X. 676-601 

So Hannibal spoke ; and suddenly, mid the crackling 
of the flames all round, the spirit of Paulus sprang 
forth and rose triumphant to the sky. 

Meanwhile rumour waxed ever louder and louder 
till it reached heaven. Soon it found its way over 
sea and land, and came first of all to Rome. Putting 
no trust in their walls, the terrified citizens were 
content to rely upon the citadel and nothing else. 
For they had no fighting men left, and Italy was 
nothing now but an unsubstantial name. If the enemy 
had not yet burst in through the gates, they imputed 
his delay to contempt. Men thought that they saw 
the houses burning and the temples pillaged, their 
sons foully slain, and the smoke rising up from the 
Seven Hills. A single day mourned for the dead 
corpses of two hundred high magistrates, and 
mourned for the tottering walls of the depopulated 
city which had lost twice thirty thousand fighting 
men « ; and this after Trebia and the battle by Lake 
Trasimene ; and of the allies also an equal number 
had fallen at the same time. But, none the less, the 
surviving senators did their duty and entered upon 
the functions prescribed to them by lot. Fabius 
found speed and was everywhere, crying out to the 
panic-stricken people : " Believe me, there is no 
longer any reason for delay. ^ Let us make haste to 
man the walls and baffle the enemy's approach. Ill 
fortune is increased by the inaction of cowardice, and 
defeat is made worse by fear. Go quickly, ye young 
men, and pull down the armour in the temples. Strip 
the walls of your houses with speed, and take down 
for service the shields you took in fight. We are 
enough to save our country, if no one of us withdraws 

' The policy which Fabius had followed hitherto. 

93 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nil minuit pavor. in patulis ilia horrida campis 
sit metuenda lues ; muros haud fregerit umquam, 
exultare levis nudato corpore, Maurus." 

Dum Fabius lapsas acuit formidine mentes, 605 
Varronem adventare vagus per moenia rumor 
spargit et occulto perfundit pectora motu. 
haud secus ac, fractae rector si forte carinae 
litoribus solus vacuis ex aequore sospes 
adnatet, incerti trepidant, tendantne negentne 610 
iactato dextras, ipsamque odere salutem 
unius amissa superantis puppe magistri. 
quam restare viro labem, qui accedere portis 
audeat ac dirum veniat pavitantibus omen ! 

Hos mulcens questus Fabius deforme docebat 615 
cladibus irasci vulgumque arcebat ab ira. 
adversis etenim ferri non esse virorum 
qui Martem inscribant genti, non posse dolores 
condere et ex poena solacia poscere luctus. 
si vero exprobrare sinant, sibi tristius ilium 620 

illuxisse diem, quo castris viderit ire 
Varronem, quam quo videat remeare sine armis. 
his dictis sedere minae, et con versa repente 
pectora : nunc fati miseret, nunc gaudia Poeno 
consulibus reputant caesis erepta duobus. 625 

ergo omne efFundit longo iam se agmine vulgus 
gratantum, magnaque actum se credere mente 
94* 



I 



PUNICA, X. 602-627 



in fear from battle. The dreaded foe may be formid- 
able in the open plain ; but the naked Moor, for all his 
speed and activity, will never break down city walls." 

While Fabius thus encouraged hearts that had failed 
for fear, a report that Varro was approaching spread 
up and down through the city and filled all hearts with 
secret uneasiness. So, when the captain of a wrecked 
ship is saved from the sea and swims ashore alone, 
men are at a loss and uncertain whether to welcome 
the sea-tossed man or to disown him ; they cannot 
bear that the captain only should be saved when his 
ship is lost. What a stain must cling to Varro's 
name, when he dares to approach the gates, and 
presents himself, a bird of ill-omen, to his horror- 
stricken countrymen ! 

Fabius smoothed down these protests. He told 
them it was a shameful thing to be angry with a 
defeated general, and so he averted the people's in- 
dignation. Men who claimed Mars as their ancestor 
should not (he said) be mastered by adversity, nor 
be unable to hide their grief; nor should they seek 
solace for their mourning in punishing others. ** But 
if I am allowed to speak a word of reproof," " said 
he, " that day on which I saw Varro proceed to the 
camp was more painful to me than that on which 
I see him return without an army." By his words 
their threats were silenced and their feelings under- 
went a sudden change : now they pity Varro's mis- 
fortune, or reflect that Hannibal has lost the satis- 
faction of slaying both the consuls. Therefore all the 
populace poured forth in long procession to thank 
him ; and they protested that he had acted nobly, 

" The reproof falls on the electors who chose Varro as 
consul. 

95 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

testantur, quod, fisus avis sceptrisque superbis, 
Laomedontiadum non desperaverit urbi. 

Nee minus infelix eulpae grandique pudore 630 
turbatus, eonsul titubantem ad moenia gressum 
portabat laerimans ; deiectum attollere vultum 
ae patriam aspieere et luetus renovare pigebat. 
quod vero reduei turn se populusque patresque 
ofFerrent, non gratari, sed poscere natos 635 

quisque suos fratresque simul miseraeque parentes 
ire videbantur laceranda ad consulis ora. 
sic igitur muto lictore invectus in urbem, 
damnatum superis aspernabatur honorem. 

At patres Fabiusque, procul maerore remoto, 640 
praecipitant curas. raptim delecta iuventa 
servitia armantur, nee claudit castra saluti 
postpositus pudor. infixum est Aeneia regna 
Parcarum in leges quacumque reducere dextra 
proque arce et sceptris et libertatis honore 645 

vel famulas armare manus. primaeva suorum 
corpora praetexto spoliant velamine et armis 
insolitis cingunt : puerilis casside vultus 
clauditur atque hostis pubescere caede iubetur. 
idem obsecrantes, captivum vulgus ut auro 650 

pensarent parvo (nee pauca fuere precantum 
milia), miranti durarunt prodere Poeno. 
cuncta adeo scelera et noxam superaverat omnem, 

** An ancient king of Troy : here, as so often, the Romans 
are identified with the Trojans. 

* It was customary for the lictors, as they marched in front 
of the consul, to call out, " Make way for the consul." 

" The meaning is, that Rome virtually died on the field of 
Cannae. 

** Boys and girls of free birth had, like the magistrates, a 
purple border round the white upper garment which they 
wore. 

96 



I 



PUNICA, X. 628-653 



when, relying on the ancient glory and power of his 
country, he refused to despair of the city inhabited 
by the sons of Laomedon.'* 

None the less, sad at his failure and sore ashamed, 
Varro drew near the walls with faltering steps and 
weeping eyes ; it was pain to him to raise his eyes 
from the ground and look upon his native city and 
recall their losses to the citizens. Though the Senate 
and people came out then to meet him on his return, 
he felt that they were not there to thank him, but 
that each man was demanding a lost son or brother, 
and that unhappy mothers were ready to tear out 
the consul's eyes. Thus his lictors kept silence ^ as 
he entered the city and he claimed no respect for the 
high office which the gods had condemned. 

But the senators and Fabius put sorrow in the 
background and turned quickly to their tasks. Slaves, 
chosen for their strength, were armed in haste ; the 
barracks were thrown open to them ; for pride gave 
way to the safety of the state. They were determined 
to bring, by any agency, the realm of Aeneas back 
to the land of the living,'' and to arm even bondsmen 
in defence of the Capitol and the empire and glorious 
freedom. They took off from their own children the 
purple-bordered garment of boyhood ^ and put armour 
on their unaccustomed shoulders. Boys hid their 
faces behind the helmet, and were bidden to reach 
manhood in slaughter of the foe. Likewise, when they 
were begged to ransom at an easy rate the multitude 
of Roman prisoners ^ — and the number of petitioners 
rose to many thousands — they persisted, to the 
astonishment of Hannibal, in their refusal to redeem 
them. For they held it worse than any misdeed or 
' Livy puts their number at 8000. 
VOL. n D 2 97 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

armatum potuisse capi. tunc terga dedisse 
damnatis Siculas longe meritare per oras 655 

impositum, donee Latio decederet hostis. 
haec turn Roma fuit ; post te cui vertere mores 
si stabat fatis, potius, Carthago, maneres. 



PUNICA, X. 654-658 



ly crime for an armed man to surrender. Tlien 
sentence was passed on soldiers guilty of desertion : 
ley were banished to distant Sicily, to serve there 
mtil the invader should retreat from Italy. Such 
^as Rome in those days ; and, if it was fated that 
le Roman character should change when Carthage 
ill, would that Carthage were still standing ! 



LIBER UNDECIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

Many peoples of Italy revolt from Rome and join Hannibal 
(1-27). Capua too is inclined to go over to the Carthaginians : 
the wealth and luxurious habits of the citizens (28-54). On 
the motion of Pacuvius, they send Virrius and other envoys 
to Rome, asking that one of the two consuls should be a Cam- 
panian : this demand is indignantly refused by Torquatus, 
Fabius, and Marcellus (55-129). Capua goes over to 
Hannibal : Decius alone protests but in vain (180-189). 
Hannibal starts for Capua : he orders Decius to be arrested : 
Decius defies his threats (190-258). Hannibal visits the 
city and is entertained at a great banquet (259-368) : 

Nunc age, quos clades insignis lapyge campo 
verterit ad Libyam populos Sarranaque castra, 
expediam : stat nulla diu mortalibus usquam, 
Fortuna titubante, fides : adiungere dextras 
certavere palam rumpenti foedera Poeno, 5 

heu nimium faciles laesis diffidere rebus, 
saevior ante alios iras servasse repostas 
atque odium renovare ferox in tempore Samnis ; 
mox levis et sero pressurus facta pudore 
Bruttius, ambiguis fallax mox Apulus armis ; 10 

turn gens Hirpini vana indocilisque quieti 
et rupisse indigna fidem — ceu dira per omnes 

* See note to viii. 563. 
100 



BOOK XI 

ARGUMENT (conti?iued) 

Teuthras of Cumae, a musician^ plays and sings (288-302). 
The son of Pacuvius intends to stab Hannibal while feasting y 
but is induced by his father to give up his plan (303-368). 
Mago is sent to Carthage to announce the victory (369-376). 
Hannibal winters at Capua : Venus enfeebles the spirit of 
his army : he himself takes pleasure in the music of Teuthras 
(377-482). Meanwhile Mago reports at Carthage the suc- 
cesses of Hannibal and makes a fierce attack upon Hanno 
(483-553). Hanno replies, urging that peace should be made 
(554-600). But reinforcements are sent both to Spain and 
Italy (600-611). 

Next let me tell of the peoples who went over to the 
side of Libya and the camp of Hannibal after the 
signal victory on the plains of Apulia. Nowhere do 
men remain loyal for long when Fortune proves 
unstable. Too prone, alas, to distrust the unfortunate, 
the states vied with one another in open offers of 
friendship to faithless Carthage. Fiercest of all were 
the Samnites, ever ready to keep alive ancient feuds ,<* 
and eager to gratify their hatred afresh when occasion 
offered. Their example was followed by the Bruttians, 
a fickle folk whose late repentance was to avert their 
doom ; by the treacherous ApuHans who own no 
fixed alliance ; and by the Hirpini, light-minded and 
restless men who had no reason to break faith. It 

101 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

manarent populos foedi contagia morbi. 

iamque Atella suas iamque et Calatia adegit, 

fas superante metu, Poenorum in castra cohortes. 15 

inde Phalanteo levitas animosa Tarento 

Ausonium laxare iugum ; patefecit arnicas 

alta Croton portas Afrisque ad barbara iussa 

Thespiadum doCuit submittere colla nepotes. 

idem etiam Locros habuit furor, ora vadosi 20 

litoris, Argivos Maior qua Graecia muros 

servat et lonio luitur curvata profundo, 

laetas res Libyae et fortunam in Marte secuta, 

iuravit pavitans Tyrio sua proelia Marti. 

iam vero, Eridani tumidissimus accola, Celtae 25 

incubuere malis Italum veteresque doloris 

tota se socios properarunt iungere mole. 

Sed fas id Celtis, fas impia bella referre 
Boiorum fuerit populis : Capuaene furorem, 
quem Senonum genti, placuisse, et Dardana ab ortu 
moenia barbarico Nomadum sociata tyranno 31 

quisnam, mutato tantum nunc tempore, credat ? 
luxus et insanis nutrita ignavia lustris 
consumptusque pudor peccando unisque relictus 
divitiis probrosus honor lacerabat hi ant em 35 

desidia populum ac resolutam legibus urbem. 
insuper exitio truculenta superbia agebat. 
nee vitiis deerant vires : non largior ulh 
Ausoniae populo (sic tum Fortuna fovebat) 

" Phalantus founded Tarentum, a Spartan colony and for 
long the chief port of South Italy. 

** Myskelus, the founder of Crotona, was the son of 
Hercules by one of the daughters of Thespius, a prince in 
Boeotia. 

" Here, as often in Homer, " Argive " = " Greek." 

^ For the Senones see note to i. 624. 
102 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 13-39 



was like a horrible plague that spread infection all 
over the country. Now Atella and Calatia sent their 
soldiers to Hannibal's camp, their fears prevailing 
over their sense of duty. Tarentum too, the city 
of Phalantus,^ proud and fickle, threw off the Roman 
yoke. Crotona on the height opened her gates in 
friendship, and taught the descendants of the 
Thespiadae ^ to bow their necks to the bidding of 
the African barbarian. A like madness affected the 
Locrians. The low-lying coast, where Greater Greece 
preserves Argive " cities and bends round till it is 
washed by the Ionian sea, was attracted by the 
victories of Libya and her success in war, and swore 
to serve under the dreaded Carthaginians. And also 
the vainglorious Celts who dwell by the river Po 
attacked Italy in her distress ; they had ancient 
grievances, and hastened to assist the enemy with 
their full strength. 

It might be lawful for Celts, lawful for the tribes of 
the Boii, to renew impious warfare ; but who could 
believe that Capua would take the same mad decision 
as the tribe of Senones,*^ and that a city of Trojan 
origin * would ally herself with a barbarous ruler of 
Numidians — who could believe this now, when times 
have changed so greatly } But luxury, and sloth fed 
by riotous debauchery, and utter shamelessness in 
sinning, and scandalous respect for wealth and wealth 
alone — such vices preyed upon an indolent and listless 
people and a city freed from the restraints of law. 
Their savage cruelty also bore them to their doom. 
And they had the means to pamper their vices. No 
people of Italy possessed gold and silver in more 

* Capua was founded by Capys, one of the companions of 
Aeneas. 

103 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

aurique argentique modus ; madefacta veneno 40 

Assyrio maribus vestis medioque dierum 

regales epulae atque ortu convivia solis 

deprensa et nulla macula non illita vita. 

tum populo saevi patres, plebesque senatus 

invidia laeta, et collidens dissona corda 45 

seditio. sed enim interea temeraria pubis 

delieta augebat, pollutior ipsa, senectus. 

nee, quos vile genus despectaque lucis origo 

foedabat, sperare sibi et deposcere primi 

deerant imperia ac patriae pereuntis habenas, 50 

quin etiam exhilarare viris convivia caede 

mos olim, et miscere epulis spectacula dira 

certantum ferro, saepe et super ipsa cadentum 

pocula respersis non parco sanguine mensis. 

Has astu aggressus, quo verteret acrius aegras 65 
ad Tyrios mentes, quae nulla sorte daturam 
certus erat Romam (neque enim impetranda volebat) — 
Pacuvio fuit baud obscurum crimine nomen — 
hortatur summi partem deposcere iuris 
atque alternates sociato consule fasces ; CO 

et, si partita renuant sedisse curuli 
aequatumque decus geminasque videre secures, 
ultorem ante oculos atque ora astare repulsae. 
ergo electa manus gressu fert dicta citato, 
antistat cunctis praecellens Virrius ore, 65 

sed genus obscurum nullique furore secundus. 



*» '' Assyrian " =" Asiatic " = " Tyrian." 

* i.e. that one of the two consuls should always be a 
citizen of Capua. 

* Hannibal is meant. 
104 



I 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 40-66 



abundance — so favoured were they then by Fortune ; 
their garments, even those vrorn by men, were dyed 
with Assyrian ° purple ; their princely banquets began 
at noon, and the rising sun found them at their revels ; 
and their way of life was defiled by every stain. 
Moreover, the senators oppressed the people, the 
masses welcomed the unpopularity of the senate, and 
civil discord made the parties clash. Meanwhile the 
old men, more corrupt themselves, outdid the head- 
strong follies of the young. Men notorious for humble 
birth and obscure origin asserted their claims, ex- 
pecting and demanding to hold office before others, 
and to rule the sinking state. Then too, it was their 
ancient custom to enliven their banquets with blood- 
shed, and to combine with their feasting the horrid 
sight of armed men fighting; often the combatants 
fell dead above the very cups of the revellers, and 
the tables were stained with streams of blood. 

Thus demoralized was Capua, when Pacuvius, a 
man whose name is known only because of his 
misdeeds, worked cunningly upon the minds of the 
citizens, in' order to make them more eager to join 
the Carthaginians. He urged them to demand of 
Rome what he knew that Rome would never grant — 
indeed he did not wish it to be granted — that Capua 
should claim an equal share in the highest office ^ and 
that the rods should pass in turn from one consul to 
the other. And, if the Romans refused to share their 
curule chair and to admit a partner, with a second 
set of axes, to the high office, then one who would 
avenge the rebuff was near and in full view." There- 
fore a chosen body made haste to carry the message. 
Their chief was Virrius, an eloquent speaker but a 
man of low origin and second to none in violence. 

105 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

qui postquam coetu patrum ingentique senatu 
impia dementis vulgi ac vix tota profudit 
consulta et tumidis incendit vocibus aures, 
concordi fremitu renuentum effunditur asper 70 

toto e concilio clamor ; turn quisque fatigat 
increpitans, vocumque tremit certamine templum. 

Hie Torquatus, avum fronte aequavisse severa 
nobilis : *' heu Capua portantes talia dicta 
Romuleis durastis," ait, " succedere muris ? 75 

ad quos non ausi Carthago atque Hannibal arma 
post Cannas afFerre suas ? numquamne per aures 
it vestras, in Tarpeia cum sede Latini 
orarent paria, baud verbis, baud voce, sed acri 
propulsum dextra, qui tum mandata superbo 80 

ore apportabat, tanto per limina templi 
turbine praecipitem revoluti corporis actum, 
ut, saevo afflictus saxo, spectante piaret 
tristia dicta love et lueret verba impia leto ? 
en ego progenies eius, qui sede Tonantis 85 

expulit orantem et nuda Capitolia consul 
defendit dextra." rabidum hinc palmasque virorum 
intentantem oculis proavitaque facta parantem 
ut vidit maiore adeo crudescere motu, 
excipit his frendens Fabius : ** pro cuncta pudendi ! 
sedes, ecce, vacat, belli viduata procella ; 91 

quem, quaeso, e vobis huic imposuisse paratis ? 
inque locum Pauli quemnam datis ? an tua, Virri, 
prima atque ante alias sors, concedente senatu, 



" In 340 B.C. T. Manlius Torquatus was consul for the third 
time, when the envoys of the Latins made their insolent 
request, 

106 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 67-94 

When he had set forth the outrageous proposals of 
a brainsick mob at a great meeting where all the 
Roman senators were assembled, and even before he 
had ceased to enrage his hearers by his high-flown 
eloquence, a unanimous shout of angry refusal rose 
from the whole assembly ; and then each separate 
senator rebuked him, till the building shook with 
their contending voices. 

Then Torquatus rose. His brow severe recalled 
that of his noble ancestor." " How now ? " he asked. 
" Have you dared to bring such a message from Capua 
to the walls of Rome — these walls which Carthage and 
Hannibal, even after their victory at Cannae, dared 
not attack ? Have you never heard how it fared with 
the insolent spokesman of the Latins, when they came 
to the Capitol and made a like request ? Not a word 
was spoken : he was flung forth from the temple doors 
and rolled down with such violence that he was 
dashed against the pitiless rock. Thus he atoned, 
under the eyes of Jupiter, for his insolence ; and the 
penalty for his blasphemous speech was death. Look 
at me ! I am descended from that consul who drove 
the speaker forth from the Thunderer's temple, and 
whose unarmed hand defended the Capitol." Then 
in his rage he shook his fist in the faces of the envoys 
and was about to repeat the action of his ancestor ; 
but when Fabius saw him proceeding to actual vio- 
lence, he spoke next, grinding his teeth as he spoke : 
*' Out on such utter shamelessness ! See ! a consul's 
seat is vacant, deprived of its occupant by the stress 
of war. Which, pray, of your number do you intend to 
place there ? Whom do you propose, to fill the room 
of Paulus ? Are you perhaps, Virrius, summoned 
first and foremost by the lot with the permission of 

107 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

te citat ac nostris aequat iam purpura Brutis ? 95 
i, demens, i, quo tendis ; tibi perfida fasces 
det Carthago suos." medio fervore loquentis, 
impatiens ultra gemitu cohibere furorem, 
fulminea torvum exclamat Marcellus ab ira : 
" quae tandem et quam lenta tenet patientia mentem, 
o confuse nimis Gradivi turbine Varro, 101 

ut perferre queas furibunda insomnia consul ? 
nonne exturbatos iam dudum limine templi 
praecipites agis ad portas, et discere cogis 
semiviros, quod sit nostro de more creati 105 

consulis imperium ? non umquam sobria pubes 
et peritura brevi, moneo, ocius urbe facesse. 
muros ante tuos, ut par est, debita ductor 
armatus responsa dabit." consurgere cuncti 
hinc pariter magnoque viros clamore premebant. 110 
necnon et foribus propere Campana iuventus 
extulit ipsa gradum, tantaeque dolore repulsae 
concitus, Hannibalem volvebat Virrius ore. 
Fulvius (huic nam spondebant praesagia mentis 
venturum decus, et Capuae pereuntis imago 115 

iam tum erat ante oculos) : "non si Carthaginis," 

inquit, 
" ductorem vestris devinctum coUa catenis 
Romam victor agis, posthac intrare Quirini 
sacratas dabitur sedes : tende ocius, oro, 
quo mens aegra vocat." referunt haec inde citati 
mixta minis et torva trucis responsa senatus. 121 

" As Brutus was the first Roman to hold the office of 
consul, so Virrius perhaps intends to be the first Campanian 
to hold the same office. 

* M. Claudius Marcellus : see note to i. 133. 

* Q. Fulvius Flaccus, when consul for the third time, took 
Capua in 212 b.c. 

108 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 95-121 

the Senate ? and does the purple robe put you 
on a level with our Brutus ? <* Go, poor fool, to the 
mark you are aiming at : let treacherous Carthage 
make you her ruler." His fiery speech was not 
finished when Marcellus,^ no longer content to groan 
and hold his peace, burst out in fury and blazing 
wrath ; " Are you, Varro, so utterly stunned by the 
fierce ordeal of battle ? What sluggish endurance 
ties your tongue, so that you, the consul, can put 
up with the dreams of these madmen ? Will you 
not instantly turn them out from the temple, drive 
them headlong to the city gates, and compel these 
effeminate wretches to learn the power of a consul 
elected in Roman fashion ? I warn you to depart 
at once from Rome — you who are never sober and 
are doomed soon to perish. A general at the head 
of an army shall give you the answer you deserve 
in the right place — before the walls of Capua." Then 
all the House rose as one man and loudly threatened 
the envoys. The men of Capua themselves hastened 
to go forth ; and Virrius, resenting so sharp a rebuff, 
had the name of Hannibal on his lips. Thereupon 
Fulvius,*' whose prophetic soul assured him of future 
glory, and who could already see with his mind's eye 
the ruin of Capua, spoke thus : " Even if you conquer 
Hannibal and bring him here to Rome as your 
captive, never again shall you be permitted to enter 
the sacred dwelling-place of Quirinus.^ I beg you 
will hasten to the goal,* whither your folly summons 
you." Then the envoys took back this threatening 
message in haste to Capua, and reported the grim 
reply of the angry Senate. 

<' Rome. ' Hannibars camp. 

109 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Tantane, omnipotens, caligine mersa latere 
fata placet ? veniet quondam felicior aetas, 
cum pia Campano gaudebit consule Roma 
et per bella diu fasces perque arma negatos 125 

ultro ad magnanimos referet secura nepotes. 
poena superborum tamen haec durabit avorum, 
quod non ante suos Capua ad suiFragia mittet, 
quam Carthago suos. postquam nunc dicta senatus, 
nunc facta exposuit, turn veris falsa per artem 130 
Virrius admiscens cecinit fatale cruenti 
turbatis signum belli, furiata iuventus 
arma, arma Hannibalemque volunt ; ruit undique 

vulgus 
et Poenos in tecta vocant ; ingentia facta 
Sidonii iuvenis celebrant, ut ruperit Alpes 135 

Herculei socius decoris divisque propinquas 
transient cursu rupes ; ut caede referta 
clauserit Eridani victor vada ; victor ut idem 
Lydia Romano turbarit stagna cruore ; 
ut Trebiae ripas aeterno nomine famae 140 

tradiderit Paulumque idem inter proelia et idem 
Flaminium, proceres rerum, demiserit umbris. 
his super excisam primori Marte Saguntum 
et iuga Pyrenes et Hiberum et sacra parentis 
iuratumque viro bellum puerilibus annis 145 

accumulant. unum, ducibus tot caede peremptis, 
tot fusis acie, stare inter proelia nullis 
attactum telis. superum cum munere detur 
huic sociare viro dextras et foedere iungi, 



" The result of the Social War (90 b.c.) was to admit all 
Itahans as citizens ; and the people of Capua, as citizens, 
became eligible for the consulship. Perhaps Silius is referring 
to some consul of his own time who was a native of Capua. 

110 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 122-149 



Is it your pleasure, Almighty Father, that the 
future shall be hidden in such utter darkness ? A 
happier age will one day come, when loyal Rome 
shall welcome a consul from Capua ; the rods which 
she long withheld from armed force she will then 
surrender willingly and confidently to the high-souled 
descendants of her foes." This penalty, however, for 
the insolence of their ancestors shall remain, that 
Capua shall not send voters to Rome before Carthage 
sends them also.^ — Virrius, skilfully mixing truth with 
falsehood, first set forth what the Senate had said and 
done, and then sounded to his excited hearers the 
fatal note of bloody war. The frantic people cried 
out for arms and for Hannibal. They rushed together 
from every quarter and invited the Carthaginians to 
their city. Men recalled the mighty achievements 
of the Tyrian youth : how, rivalling the glory of 
Hercules, he had burst the barrier of the Alps and 
overrun the peaks that reach to heaven ; how he 
dammed the river Po with heaps of dead ; how, ever 
victorious, he dyed the Etruscan lake '^ with Roman 
blood ; how he gave eternal glory to the Trebia, and 
himself in battle sent down to Hades both Paulus 
and Flaminius, the Roman leaders. To all this they 
add his early prowess in the sacking of Saguntum, 
his crossing over the Pyrenees and the Ebro, and 
the sacrifice offered by his father when he swore in 
boyhood to make war against Rome. He alone, 
they said, was impervious in battle to all weapons, 
though so many leaders had been slain and so many 
routed. " When the goodness of Providence allows 
us to join hands with this hero and to ally our- 

'' A Roman colony was settled at Carthage by C. Gracchus 
in 122 B.C. • Lake Trasimene. 

Ill 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

fastus exsanguis populi vanumque tumorem 150 

nimirum Capua et dominatum perferat urbis, 
ceu famulis fasces aequataque iura negantis ? 
prorsus enim tanto potiorem nomine habendum 
Varronem, ut fugiat consul fulgentior ostro. 

Talia iactantes iam lectam sorte parabant 155 

mitt ere, quae Tyrios adiungat foedere, pubem. 
sed non invictum ponebat pectore robur 
tum solum Decius Capuae decus. isque receptus 
in medios coetus — neque enim differre dabatur — 
" itis," ait, " cives, violanda ad iura parentum, 160 
damnatumque caput temerati foederis aris 
iungitis hospitio ? quae tanta oblivio recti ? 
magnum atque in magnis positum populisque virisque 
adversam ostentare fidem. nunc tempus inire 164 
proelia pro Rutulis, nunc signa aciemque movere, 
dum trepidae res, et medicinam vulnera poscunt ; 
is locus officio, cum cessant prospera, cumque 
dura ad opem Fortuna vocat. nam laeta fovere 
haudquaquam magni est animi decus. hue, age, 

adeste. 
novi dis animas similes et pectora magnis 170 

numquam angusta malis ; capiunt, mihi credite, 

Cannas 
et Thrasymenna vada et Pauli memorabile letum. 
hi sunt, qui vestris infixum moenibus hostem 
deiecere manu et Capuam eripuere superbis 
Samnitum iussis ; hi sunt, qui iura dedere 175 

" Decius Magius is not a fictitious character : he was a 
highly respected citizen of Capua. 

*" The reference is to the First Samnite War (from 343 
B.C.), fought by the Romans in defence of Campania. The 
Sidicini had previously appealed to the Campanians for help 
against the Samnites. 

112 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 160-176 



selves with him, shall Capua, forsooth, put up 
with the pride and baseless insolence of an effete 
people, and be ruled by a state which refuses us, as 
if we were slaves, the rods of the consulship and equal 
rights ? Varro, forsooth, they think more worthy of 
that high title, that his flight may be made more 
conspicuous by the consul's purple." 

Talking thus wildly, they were about to send 
envoys, chosen by lot, to make an alliance with 
the Carthaginians. But Decius," the sole glory of 
Capua in that hour, refused to put aside the firm 
purpose of his brave heart. When he was ad- 
mitted to the conclave and temporizing was im- 
possible, he spoke thus : " Fellow-citizens, are 
you about to violate the ties which our fathers 
cherished, and make friends with a man whom the 
gods have condemned for breach of treaty ? How 
utterly you have forgotten the path of duty ! It is 
a noble thing, and a property of noble nations and 
noble men, to show loyalty to the distressed. Now 
is the time to go to battle in defence of the Romans, 
and to take the field while their state is critical and 
their wounds call for treatment. This is the time 
to serve them, when success lingers and when stern 
Fortune summons us to help. To court the prosperous 
is by no means the glory of a noble mind. Hasten 
hither to their support ! I know their godlike spirits 
and hearts that can bear every great disaster ; they 
can bear, I assure you, Cannae and Lake Trasimene 
and the noble death of Paulus. These are the men 
who dislodged the enemy established in your city 
and rescued Capua from the tyranny of the Samnites.** 
These are the men who, when that menace was driven 
out, gave you a constitution and put an end to the 

113 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

terrore expulso Sidicinaque bella remorunt. 

quos fugitis socios ? quosve additis ? ille ego sanguis 

Dardanius, cui sacra pater, cui nomina liquit 

ab love ducta Capys, magno cognatus lulo ; 

ille ego semihomines inter Nasamonas et inter 180 

saevum atque aequantem ritus Garamanta ferarum 

Marmarico ponam tentoria mixtus alumno ? 

ductoremque feram, cui nunc pro foedere proque 

iustitia est ensis solaeque e sanguine laudes ? 

non ita, non Decio permixtum fasque nefasque, 185 

haec ut velle queat. nullo nos invida tanto 

armavit Natura bono, quam ianua mortis 

quod patet et vita non aequa exire potestas." 

haec vana aversas Decius iactavit ad aures. 

Ast delecta manus iungebat foedera Poeno. 190 
iamque aderat praemissa duci turbante tumultu 
Autololes numerosa cohors ; ipse agmine magno 
festinata citus per campos signa movebat. 
et Decius : " nunc hora, viri, nunc tempus ; adeste, 
dum Capua dignum, dum me duce dextera vindex 
molitur facinus ; procumbat barbara pubes. 196 

pro se quisque alacres rapite hoc decus. hostis adire 
si parat, obstructas praebete cadavere portas 
et ferro purgate nefas ; hie denique solus 
eluerit sanguis maculatas crimine mentes." 200 

Dumque ea nequiquam non ulli laeta profatur, 
audita asperitate viri coeptoque feroci, 

" Son of Assaracus and grandfather of Aeneas, and be- 
lieved to be the founder of Capua. 

^ The corpses of the advance-guard who were now before 
the city. 

114 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 176-202 



fighting of the Sidicini. Compare the alHes whom you 
are deserting with the new alHes whom you are 
gaining. Shall I, with Trojan blood in my veins, I, 
to whom Capys " of old, the kinsman of great lulus, 
bequeathed his sacred rites and his name derived 
from Jupiter — shall I consort with half-human Nasa- 
monians and Garamantians, as cruel and savage as 
wild beasts, and pitch my tent cheek by jowl with 
a native of Marmarica ? Shall I put up with a leader, 
whose sword now usurps the place of justice and 
sworn agreements, and all whose glory is derived 
from bloodshed ? God forbid ! Decius does not so 
confuse right and wrong that he is capable of such 
a choice. The greatest boon with which grudging 
Nature has equipped man is this — that the door of 
death stands open and suffers us to depart from a 
life that is too hard." Such was the appeal that 
Decius made in vain to deaf ears. 

The chosen body of envoys made a treaty with 
Hannibal. He sent ahead a numerous troop of 
Autololes, and they soon arrived with noise and 
confusion. He himself was coming with the main 
body, moving in haste over the plains. Then Decius 
spoke : " Friends, now is the time and now the hour ! 
Rally round me, while the arm of vengeance achieves 
a deed worthy of Capua and of me as leader. 
Lay these barbarous soldiers low. Let each man 
among you be eager to snatch this crown of glory. 
If Hannibal tries to enter, block the gates against 
him with corpses ^ and wipe out your guilt by the 
sword. That bloodshed, and nothing else, will wash 
away the stain with which your hearts are polluted." 

While he spoke thus in vain and no man welcomed 
his words, Hannibal learned the hostility and des- 

115 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

multa feta gerens ira praecordia, Poenus 

astabat muris propereque accersere lectos 

immitem castris Decium iubet. horrida virtus 205 

armatumque fide pectus rectique cupido 

et maior Capua mens imperterrita mole 

invicta stabat, torvoque minacia vultu 

iussa duels verbisque etiam incessebat amaris. 

quern Libyae rector tot signa, tot arma ferentes 210 

spernentem increpitans magno clamore profatur : 

** post Paulum, post Flaminium componimur eheu 

vecordi Decio, mecum certasse volenti 

in decus et famam leti. rapite, ite citati, 

signa, duces, pateatne mihi Campana vetante 215 

urbs Decio, explorare libet, nova bella movent! 

cui patuere Alpes, saxa impellentia caelum 

atque uni calcata deo." sufFuderat ora 

sanguis, et a torvo surgebant lumine flammae ; 

tum rictus spumans et anhelis faucibus acta 220 

versabant penitus dirum suspiria murmur. 

sic urbem invectus, toto comitante senatu 

et vulgo ad spectanda ducis simul ora ruente, 

effundit cunctam rabiem irarumque procellas. 

Necnon et Decio propiora pericula mentem 225 
flammarant, tempusque adeo cernebat adesse, 
quo laudes ducis invicti superaret inermis. 
non ilium fuga, non clausi occuluere penates ; 
sed liber, veluti nullus penetrasset in urbem 
Hannibal, intrepido servaverat otia vultu, 230 



" Hercules. 
* He had now only one eye : see note to iv. 740. 
116 



PUNICA, XI. 203-230 



I 

^» perate design of Decius. His heart swelled high with 
anger, and he ordered a chosen troop to bring the 
obstinate man at once to his camp outside the walls. 
That austere virtue, that breast armed with loyalty 
and love of justice, that heart greater than all Capua, 
stood there unshaken and unterrified. With frowning 
brows he listened to the general's threats and even 
assailed him with bitter speech. Then Hannibal 
raised his voice to a shout as he rebuked the man who 
defied all the standards and all the swords of Carthage. 
" Paulus is dead," he cried, " and Flaminius is dead ; 
and now I am matched against this madman, Decius, 
who is fain to contend with me, that he may win 
glory and honour in death. Seize your standards, 
ye captains, and go forward with speed. I would 
fain find out whether Capua opens her gates to me 
in defiance of Decius, even as the Alps opened a 
path to me at the outset of my campaign — the Alps 
whose peaks strike the sky and which only a god ^ 
had trodden before me." His face was flushed with 
blood, and his angry eye ^ flashed fire ; he foamed 
at the mouth ; and the breathing that issued from 
his panting lungs expressed the inarticulate rage of 
his breast. Thus he rode into the city, escorted by 
all the senators and surrounded by the rabble, 
rushing to behold the general's face, while he gave 
vent to all his fury and stormy passion. 

The heart of Decius also was kindled by the 
approach of danger. He saw that the time had come, 
when he, though unarmed, might win more glory 
than the ever-victorious general. He did not run 
away nor hide himself in the seclusion of his own 
house, but lived on his quiet life with fearless mien, 
as free as if Hannibal had never entered Capua. But 

117 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cum iuvenem saevis, horrendum, concitus armis 
invadit globus et pedibus sublime sedentis 
ductoris sistit. tonat inde ferocibus alte 
incessens victor dictis : " solusne ruentem 
fulcire ac revocare paras a funere Romam ? 235 

o demens ! en, qui divum mihi munera tanta 
eripiat. Decio prorsus servabar inerti 
vincendus, Decio imbelli, cui femina nulla 
orta in Agenoreis nostrae Carthaginis oris 
cesserit. huic agedum (nam cur indigna feramus ?) 
magnanimo, miles, meritas innecte catenas." 241 

dixerat haec, necdum finem convicia norant : 
illatus velut armentis super ardua coUa 
cum sese imposuit victorque immane sub ira 
infremuit leo et immersis gravis unguibus haesit, 245 
mandit anhelantem pendens cervice iuvencum. 
at Decius, dum vincla ligant : " necte ocius," inquit, 
" (nam sic Hannibalem decet intravisse) catenas, 
foederis infausti pretium. sic victima prorsus 
digna cadit Decius ; nee enim te, sanguine laetum 250 
humano, sit fas caesis placasse iuvencis. 
en dextra ! en foedus ! nondum tibi curia necdum 
templorum intrati postes ; iam panditur acri 
imperio career, perge ac primordia tanta 
accumula paribus factis. mihi fama sub umbras 255 
te feret oppressum Capuae cecidisse minis." 
nee plura effari concessum. obnubitur atra 
veste caput, trahiturque ferox ante ora suorum. 
118 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 231-258 



now, alas, a savage band of armed soldiers quickly 
seized him and set him down before the feet of 
Hannibal who sat there in state. From his high seat 
the conqueror thundered at him with angry speech : 
" Do you intend with your single hand to prop the 
falling building and restore a dead Rome to life ? 
Poor fool ! are you the man to snatch from me the 
great gifts of the gods ? They kept me alive merely 
that I might be conquered by Decius, Decius the 
carpet-knight, weaker than any woman born on 
the Tyrian shores of our native Carthage. But why 
should I submit to insult ? Hasten, soldiers, to fasten 
round the neck of this hero the fetters he deserves." 
Thus he spoke, and the flow of his abuse was still 
unchecked. So, when a lion springs upon the herd 
and settles aloft upon their necks, he roars terribly 
in his victorious rage ; then he drives in his claws 
to keep his great weight steady, and devours the 
panting steer, perched high upon its neck. But 
Decius, while they bound him, said : " Put on the 
fetters with all speed : they are a fitting symbol of 
Hannibal's entrance and the just reward for this ill- 
starred alliance. Decius is indeed the fit victim to 
be slain. For Hannibal delights in human blood, and 
we should do wi'ong to appease him by the sacrifice 
of oxen. Look at his friendship ! look at his alliance ! 
He has not yet entered the senate-house or the temple 
doors, but already the cruel tyrant opens the prison. 
Proceed, and follow up your noble beginning with 
like deeds ! In the nether world I shall have news 
of your fall, crushed beneath the ruins of Capua." 
No more was he suffered to say : his head was veiled 
in a black mantle, and he was carried off still defiant 
in the sight of his countrymen. 

119 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Exin victor ovans sedato pectore tandem 
spectandis urbis tectis templisque serenos 260 

laetus circumfert oculos et singula discit : 
quis muris sator, et pubes sit quanta sub armis, 
quot bello pateant argenti aerisque talenta ; 
nunc qualis frenata acies, nunc deinde pedestris 
copia quanta viris. monstrant capitolia celsa 265 
Stellatesque docent campos Cereremque benignam. 
iamque diem ad metas defessis Phoebus Olympo 
impellebat equis, fuscabat et Hesperos umbra 
paulatim infusa properantem ad litora currum. 
instituunt de more epulas festamque per urbem 270 
regifice extructis celebrant convivia mensis. 
ipse, deum cultu et sacro dignatus honore, 
praecipuis multoque procul splendentibus ostro 
accipitur sublime toris. non una ministri 
turba gregis ; posuisse dapes his addita cura, 275 
his adolere focos, his ordine pocula ferre ; 
necnon et certis struitur penus. aspera mensa 
pondera caelati fulgent antiquitus auri. 
eripiunt flammae noctem, strepituque moventum 
murmurat alta domus. stupet inconsuetus opimae 
Sidonius mensae miles faciemque superbi 281 

ignotam luxus oculis mirantibus haurit. 
vescitur ipse silens et tantos damnat honores 
esse epulis facilesque coli tanto agmine mensas, 
donee pulsa fames et Bacchi munera duram 285 



A district in the centre of Campania, famous for fertility. 
" Wine. 



120 



I 



PUNICA, XL 259-285 



Thereupon the conqueror's rage at last sank to 
rest. Calm and well-pleased, in triumph he turned 
his gaze upon the buildings and temples of the city, 
and learned one thing and another — who was the 
founder of the city, how many men they had under 
arms, how many talents of silver and copper were 
available for war, the quality of their cavalry, and 
lastly the number of their infantry. They showed 
him their lofty citadel and told him of the Stellatian ^ 
plain with its bountiful harvests. By now Phoebus 
was driving his weary steeds down the sky to their 
goal, and Evening spread her gradual shade and 
darkened his car in its course to the sea. Then the 
citizens made a feast as their manner was ; the city 
kept holiday, and banquets were held at tables piled 
with regal splendour. Hannibal himself, adorned 
like a god and received with divine honours, was 
placed high upon a seat of honour covered with far- 
shining purple. Those who served at the meal were 
divided into many companies : it was the duty of 
some to set the dishes, of others to keep the fires 
alight, and of others to bring round the wine-cup in 
due order ; and yet others were appointed to pile 
up the store of food. Heavy golden cups, chased in 
relief by craftsmen of old, sparkled on the board. 
The bright lighting banished night, and the lofty 
chamber hummed with the sound of moving attend- 
ants. The soldiers of Carthage, unaccustomed to such 
banquets, were astonished and drank in with won- 
dering eyes that unfamihar scene of lavish display. 
Hannibal himself kept silence while eating, dis- 
approving the splendour of the feast and the great 
retinue that ministered to a need so easily satisfied ; 
but, when he had eaten enough, the gift of Bacchus '' 
VOL. II E 121 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

laxarunt mentem : turn frontis reddita demum 
laetitia, et positae graviores pectore curae. 

Personat Euboica Teuthras testudine, Cymes 
incola, et obtusas immiti murmure saevae 
inter bella tubae permulcet cantibus aures. 290 

namque chaos, caecam quondam sine sidere molem 453 
non surgente die, ac mundum sine luce canebat. 
tum deus ut liquidi discisset stagna profundi 455 

tellurisque globum media compage locasset, 
ut celsum superis habitare dedisset Olympum ; 
castaque Saturni monstrabat saecula patris.^ 458 

iamque lovem et laetos per furta canebat amores 291 
Electraeque toros Atlantidos ; unde creatus, 
proles digna deum, tum Dardanus ; isque Tonanti 
ut det Erichthonium magna de stirpe nepotem. 
hinc Tros, hinc Ilus, generis tunc ordine longo 295 
Assaracus, nulloque minor famave manuve 
tum Capys ut primus dederit sua nomina muris. 
concelebrant plausu pariter Sidonia pubes 
Campanaeque manus. ante omnes ductor honori 
nominis augusto libat carchesia ritu ; 300 

cetera quem sequitur Bacchique e more liquorem 
irrorat mensis turba ardescitque Lyaeo. 

Interea, Tyrio resoluta in gaudia coetu 
converso (neque enim, iuvenis non digne sileri, 
tramittam tua coepta libens famamque negabo 305 
quamquam imperfectis, magnae tamen indolis, ausis) 
mens una, inviolata mero nuUisque venenis 
potando exarmata, decus pugnaeque necisque 

^ LI. 453-458 were rightly transferred to this place hy 
Summers. 

" Cyme (or Cumae, in Latin) was a colony from Euboea. 

" PeroUa and his father, Pacuvius (see 1. 58), are historical 
personages : Livy (xxiv. 9) tells the whole story at length. 
122 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 286-308 



ftened his harsli mood. Then at last he regained a 
cheerful aspect and laid aside his pressing anxieties. 

Now Teuthras, a citizen of Cyme, played on 
the Euboean " lyre, and his singing charmed ears 
deafened by the ungentle note of the fierce war- 
trumpet. For he sang of Chaos, once a mass lighted 
by no star, where dawn never rose, a benighted world. 
Then he told how the god had severed the expanse 
of sea and placed the round world in the centre of 
the system ; how he appointed lofty Olympus to be 
a habitation for the gods. He told of the reign of 
Father Saturn over a righteous race. Next he sang 
of Jupiter — his sweet and secret dalliance, and his 
union with Electra, daughter of Atlas ; how their 
son was Dardanus, worthy of his divine parents ; and 
how Dardanus gave the Thunderer a grandson, 
Erichthonius of high descent ; then the long suc- 
cession passed through Tros and Ilus to Assaracus 
and thence to Capys, inferior to none in glory and 
great deeds ; and how he bequeathed his name to 
the city. Carthaginians and men of Capua together 
applauded the singer. First of all Hannibal in solemn 
fashion poured forth a libation in honour of Capys, 
and the rest of the company followed his example, 
spilling wine on the tables in customary fashion, and 
growing heated as they drank. 

The assembled Carthaginians gave themselves up 
to relaxation and revelry. But there was one 
young man there whom I must mention ; for I will 
not pass over your design in silence, Perolla,^ or fail 
to record your purpose, which, even though it failed, 
proceeded from a noble mind. He, alone unaffected 
by wine and not enfeebled by the poison of the 
wine-cup, was revolving in his mind a glorious task — 

123 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Sidoniae tacito volvebat pectore molem. 

quoque esset miranda magis tarn sacra libido, 310 

Pacuvio genitus patrias damnaverat artes. 

is variis oneratum epulis atque atria tardo 

linquentem gressu comitatus pone parent em, 

postquam posse datum meditata aperire novosque 

pandere conatus, et liber parte relicta 315 

tectorum a tergo patuit locus, " accipe digna 

et Capua et nobis," inquit, "consulta," togaque 

armatum amota nudat latus ; " hoc ego bellum 

conficere ense paro atque avulsum ferre Tonanti 

rectoris Libyci victor caput, hie erit ille, 320 

qui polluta dolis iam foedera sanciet, ensis. 

si perferre nequit spectacula tanta senectus 

et tremit inceptis lasso maioribus aevo, 

at tu securis concede penatibus et me 

linque meae menti. summum quod credis et aequas 

Hannibalem superis, o quantum nomine maior 326 

iam Poeno tibi natus erit ! " vibrabat ab ore 

ignis atrox, animusque viri iam bella gerebat, 

cum senior, tanti pondus conaminis aegra 

iam dudum vix aure ferens, tremebundus ibidem 330 

sternitur et pedibus crebro pavida oscula figens : 

" per si quid superest vitae, per iura parentis 

perque tuam nostra potiorem, nate, salutem, 

absiste inceptis, oro, ne sanguine cernam 

polluta hospitia ac tabo repleta cruento 335 

pocula et eversas pugnae certamine mensas. 



a See 11. 55 foil. 
124 



PUNICA, XI. 309-336 

to fight Hannibal and kill him. And, to make his 
noble desire more marvellous, he was the son of 
Pacuvius," but had spurned his father's intrigues. 
When his father, burdened by a feast of many 
courses, walked slowly away from the hall, PeroUa 
went out behind him ; and it became possible to 
reveal his plan and explain his startling design, when 
they had left part of the dwelling behind them and 
came to an unoccupied space ^ at the back of the 
building. Then Perolla spoke : " Hearken to a plan 
worthy of Capua and of ourselves." Then he drew 
back his gown and revealed a sword by his side : 
" I purpose to end the war by this blade, to cut 
off the head of Hannibal and carry it in triumph to 
the Thunderer. ^^ This sword shall seal the alliance 
which treachery has stained. If your aged eyes can- 
not bear to look on such a sight, if you shrink from 
a deed too bold for your declining age, then with- 
draw to the safety of your own house and leave me 
to my purpose. You hold Hannibal to be the chief 
of men, and you rank him with the gods; how much 
more famous than the Carthaginian shall your son 
be soon ! " Fire flashed fiercely from his eyes, and 
in his thought he was already striking the blow. But 
his father, whose ears at once refused to hear a design 
of such dreadful import, fell trembling to the ground 
and in terror kissed his son's feet again and again. 
" By what remains to me of life, by a father's rights, 
and by your life, dearer to me than my own, I entreat 
you to abandon your purpose ; let me not witness 
the hospitable board defiled with blood, the wine- 
cups filled with gore, and the tables overset in mortal 

* A garden at the back of the house, Livy says. 
* That is, to the Capitol at Rome. 

125 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

tune ilium, quern non acies, non moenia et urbes 
ferre valent, cum frons propior lumenque corusco 
igne micat, tune ilia viri, quae vertice fundit, 
fulmina pertuleris, si viso intorserit ense 340 

diram, qua vertit per campos agmina, vocem ? 
fallit te, mensas inter quod credis inermem. 
tot bellis quaesita viro, tot caedibus armat 
maiestas aeterna ducem. si admoveris ora, 
Cannas et Trebiam ante oculos Thrasymennaque busta 
et Pauli stare ingentem miraberis umbram. 346 

quid ? tanto in casu comitum iuxtaque iacentum 
torpebunt dextrae ? parce, oro, et desine velle, 
cui nequeas victor superesse. an tristia vincla 
et Decius non erudiunt componere mentem ? " 350 

Talia commemorans, famae maioris amore 
flagrantem ut vidit iuvenem surdumque timori, 
" nil ultra posco, refer in convivia gressum ; 
approperemus," ait. " non iam tibi pectora pubis 
Sidoniae fodienda manu tutantia regem : 355 

hoc iugulo dextram explora. namque haec tibi 

ferrum, 
si Poenum invasisse paras, per viscera ferrum 
nostra est ducendum. tardam ne sperne senectam : 
opponam membra atque ensem extorquere negatum 
morte mea eripiam." lacrimae tunc ore profusae, 360 
et magna superum cura servatus in arma 
Scipiadae Poenus ; nee tantum fata dederunt 
externa peragi dextra. pulcherrimus irae 
et dignus fieri compos memorabilis ausi, 

« At the battle of Zama (201 b.c.) ; but Scipio did not kill 
Hannibal there, as Silius seems to imply. 
126 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 337-364 



conflict ! Will you be able to withstand him whom 
neither armies nor walled cities can withstand, when 
his frown comes close and the fire flashes from his 
eyes ? Will you endure the thunderbolts launched 
from that head, if the sight of your sword calls forth 
the dread voice that routs whole armies on the field ? 
If you think that he sits unarmed at table, you are 
wrong. His armour is the immortal glory he has 
gained by constant warfare and hecatombs of victims 
slain. If you come close to him, you will marvel to see 
before you Cannae and the Trebia, the dead of Lake 
Trasimene and the mighty shade of Paulus. Again, will 
his officers and those who sit at meat beside him lift 
no finger while such a scene is acting ? Keep still, I en- 
treat you, and abandon a plan which, if successful, must 
cost you your life. Does not the example of Decius and 
his cruel fetters teach you to cool your passions ? " 

Thus the father spoke. But, when he saw his son 
deaf to fear and burning with desire of high renown, 
he went on thus : "I entreat no more. Go back to 
the banqueting-hall ; let us make haste. The task 
before you now is not to stab the Carthaginians when 
they fight in defence of their chief; mine is the 
throat on which you must test your blade. For, if 
you purpose to attack Hannibal, through my heart 
you must drive your weapon. Despise not my age 
and weakness. I shall throw my body in the way, 
and my death shall snatch from your hand the sword 
which you refused to surrender at my entreaty." 
Then his tears gushed forth. Thus by the high design 
of Providence Hannibal was saved, in order to meet 
Scipio in arms ° ; nor did Fate permit a foreign hand 
to perform so great an exploit. A splendid figure 
was Perolla in his wrath, and well he deserved to 

127 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

amisit quantam posito conamine laudem, 365 

cui tantum est voluisse decus ! turn reddere sese 
festinant epulis et tristia fronte serenant, 
donee laeta virum solvit convivia somnus. 

Postera lux Phaethontis equos proferre parabat, 
lam rapido summis curru splendente sub undis, 370 
et iuvenis magno generatus Hamilcare duras 
iam dudum exercet curas. Carthaginis arces 
ire ferox Mago et patribus portare iubetur 
nuntius acta ducis. praeda et captiva leguntur 
corpora dereptaeque viris sub Marte cruento 375 

exuviae, fausti superis libamina belli, 
altera curarum Libycis dimittitur oris 
heu Decius, reduci lentas servatus ad iras, 
ni poenae iuvenem indignae miseratus ab alto 
lupiter antiquam Batti vertisset ad urbem. 380 

hie Pellaea virum Ptolemaei sceptra vehentum 
eripuere minis, resolutaque vincula collo. 
atque eadem vitae custos mox deinde quieto 
accepit tellus ossa inviolata sepulcro. 

Nee Venerem interea fugit exoptabile tempus 385 
Poenorum mentes caeco per laeta premendi 
exitio et luxu corda importuna domandi. 
spargere tela manu passim fallentia natis 
imperat et tacitas in pectora mittere flammas. 
tum pueris dulce arridens : " eat improba luno 390 
et nos (nee mirum, quid enim sumus ?) acta secundis 
despiciat. valet ilia manu, valet ilia lacertis ; 

• Phaethon stands for his father, the Sun. 
' Hannibal. 

* Cyrene, where Decius was driven by foul weather, was 
then a province of the Egyptian kingdom : Decius was sent 
on to Alexandria and found a protector in King Ptolemy. 

" The Cupids. 
128 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 365-392 



complish his great design. But how much fame 
he lost by abandoning his purpose, when the mere 
intention is so glorious ! Then they hastened back 
to the feast and smoothed the trouble from their brows. 
At last sleep came and broke up the merry-making. 

When the following day was about to reveal the 
steeds of Phaethon," and his swift chariot was already 
shining beneath the surface of the sea, the son of 
great Hamilcar ^ had long been busily engaged. He 
bade proud Mago repair to the towers of Carthage 
and report to the senate the exploits of their general. 
Booty was sent with him and chosen captives and 
spoils stripped from the dead in bloody warfare, as 
thank-offerings to the gods for success in battle. 
Another of Hannibal's cares was Decius ; he, alas, 
was sent to the Libyan land, to be kept till the general 
returned and could inflict punishment at leisure. But 
Jupiter on high had pity on the innocent sufferer, 
and turned his course aside to the ancient city of 
Battus.*' And here Ptolemy, the Macedonian king 
of Egypt, rescued him from the threats of the men 
who brought him in their ship, and released him from 
his bonds. And the same land that had saved his 
life soon afterwards received his bones, to lie un- 
disturbed in a peaceful grave. 

Meantime Venus did not miss the welcome oppor- 
tunity to destroy the discipline of the Carthaginians 
by the insidious weapon of pleasure, and to tame their 
fierce hearts by luxury. She bade her children ^ 
scatter their invisible arrows broadcast and kindle un- 
seen fires in every breast. Then she smiled sweetly 
on the boys and said : " Let Juno, elated by success, 
give herself airs and despise us. That is no wonder ; 
for what are we ? Strong is her hand and strong her 
VOL. II E 2 129 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

parvula nos arcu puerili spicula sensim 
fundimus, et nullus nostro de vulnere sanguis. 
verum,agite,omeaturba,precor,nunctempus,adeste 
et Tyriam pubem tacitis exurite telis. 396 

amplexu multoque mero somnoque virorum 
profliganda acies, quam non perfregerit ensis, 
non ignes, non immissis Gradivus habenis. 
combibat illapsos ductor per viscera luxus, 400 

nee pudeat picto fultum iacuisse cubili, 
nee crinem Assyrio perfundere pugnet amomo. 
ille, sub hiberno somnos edueere caelo 
iactator, tectis malit consumere noctes ; 
ac ponat ritus vescendi saepe citato 405 

dum residet sub casside equo, discatque Lyaeo 
imbellem donare diem, turn deinde madenti 
post epulas sit grata chelys, segnisque soporas 
aut nostro vigiles ducat sub numine noctes." 

Haec postquam Venus, applaudit lascivus et alto 
mittit se caelo niveis exercitus alis. 411 

sentit flammiferas pubes Maurusia pennas, 
et pariter fusis tepuerunt pectora telis. 
Bacchi dona volunt epulasque et carmina rursus 
Pieria liquefacta lyra. non acer aperto 415 

desudat campo sonipes, non ulla per auras 
lancea nudatos exercet torta lacertos. 
moUitae flammis lymphae languentia somno 
membra fovent, miserisque bonis perit horrida virtus, 
ipse etiam, afflatus fallente Cupidine, ductor 420 

instaurat mensas dapibus repetitque volentum 
hospitia et patrias paulatim decolor artes 

ISO 



i 



PUNICA, XI. 393-422 



arm ; we but gently launch our tiny shafts from the 
bows of boys, and our wounds are followed by no 
blood. But be up and doing, my children ; the time 
has come for you to help me and inflame the hearts 
of the Tyrians with your invisible weapons. With 
dalliance, with excess of wine and sleep, you must 
rout an army that neither sword nor fire could shatter, 
nor the chariot of Mars with its utmost speed. Let 
the taste for luxury steal into Hannibal's heart ; let 
him drink it in, and not blush to rest his limbs on an 
embroidered couch, nor refuse to drench his locks with 
perfume of Assyria. He used to boast of sleeping 
under the winter sky ; now let him prefer to spend 
whole nights under a roof. He used often to take 
his food on horseback with his helmet on and the 
horse at speed ; let him change his habits and give 
up the peaceful day to the god of wine ; and then, 
when he has well drunk, let him welcome the lyre 
after the feast and either spend the night in drowsy 
sleep or watch and wake all night in my service." 

When Venus spoke thus, her sportive infantry 
clapped their snowy wings and flew down from high 
heaven. The Moorish soldiers felt the fiery arrows, 
and their hearts were melted in a moment by that 
shower of bolts. They call for wine and dainty food, 
and for a repetition of song that sounds sweet to 
the musician's lyre. No mettled horse now sweats on 
the open plain ; no lance, hurled to a distance, tasks 
the bare arm. They bathe their limbs, drowsy with 
sleep, in water heated over the fire ; and their stern 
valour is sapped by the bane of luxury. Even 
Hannibal, breathed upon by a deceitful Cupid, piles 
high the festal board and courts the hospitality of 
eager hosts, till by degrees he grows degenerate 

ISl 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exuit, occulta mentem vitiante sagitta. 

altera iam patria atque aequo sub honore vocatur 

altera Carthago Capua, intactumque secundae 425 

fortunae ingenium vitia allectantia quassant. 

nee luxus ullus mersaeque libidine vitae 

Campanis modus ; accumulant variasque per artes 

scenarum certant epulas distinguere ludo, 

ut strepit assidue ad Phrygiam Nilotica loton 430 

Memphis Amyclaeo pariter^ lasciva Canopo. 

inprimis dulcem, Poeno laetante, per aures 

nunc voce infundit Teuthras, nunc pectine, cantum. 

isque ubi mirantem resonantia pollice fila 

ductorem vidit Libyae, canere inde superbas 435 

Aoniae laudes sensim testudinis orsus, 

concordem citharae movit per carmina linguam, 

vincere linquentes vitam quae possit olores. 

atque haec e multis carpsit mollissima mensae : 

" Argolicis quondam populis, mirabile dictu, 440 
exaudita chelys, lapidem testudine felix 
ducere et in muris posuisse volentia saxa. 
haec Amphionio vallavit pectine Thebas 
ac, silice aggeribus per se scandente vocatis, 
iussit in immensum cantatas surgere turres. 445 

altera, turbatum plectro moderata profundum, 
et tenuit phocas et in omni Protea forma 
traxit et aequoreo portavit Ariona dorso. 

^ pariter ed. : passim edd. 

" Canopus in Egypt is called Spartan (an unsuitable 
epithet), because Canopus, the steersman of Menelaus, died 
there, and the place was named after him. 

^ Aonia, a part of Boeotia, was the dwelling-place of Apollo 
and the Muses. 

" Amphion, son of Zeus and Antiope, received the lyre 
from Hermes who invented it. Three other famous musicians 
132 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 423-448 



and discards the virtues of his race ; for his mind 
was poisoned by the unseen arrow. Capua is now a 
second home to him : he calls it a second Carthage 
and honours it as much ; and the character which 
victory could not hurt is shattered by the seductions 
of vice. For the men of Capua set no limits to the 
luxury and profligacy of their lives : they went 
further and further : using various arts, they sought 
to set off their banquets by means of stage-plays : 
so Memphis on the Nile resounds ever with the 
Phrygian flute and matches Spartan Canopus " in its 
revelry. Teuthras above all charmed Hannibal, filling 
his ears with sweet music both of the voice and of the 
instrument ; and he, when he saw the general mar- 
velling at the sound his fingers drew from the strings, 
began by degrees to set forth the splendid triumphs 
of the Aonian ^ lyre ; and he sang in unison with the 
music in a voice that might surpass the dying swan. 
And this was the song he chose out of many, as most 
grateful to those who sat at meat : 

" Long ago the nations of Greece — marvellous to 
tell — heard the shell of the tortoise sound, and the 
shell had power to draw stones and bring them of 
their own accord, to make walls for a city. The 
lyre on which Amphion ^ played built walls round 
Thebes and bade the towers rise high at its music ; 
and the stone climbed up of itself upon the ramparts 
that came to the call of the musician. Another 
lyre calmed the stormy sea with its music and 
arrested the seals ; it drew after it Proteus in all his 
changes of shape,** and carried Arion on the sea- 
are next mentioned — Arion, Cheiron, and Orpheus. The lyre 
of Orpheus became a constellation (1. 461). 

•* See vii. 422 foil. 

133 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

iam, quae Peliaca formabat rupe canendo 

heroum mentes et magni pectora Achillis, 450 

Centauro dilecta chelys, compesceret iras, 

percussa fide, vel pelagi vel tristis Averni. 452 

sed, quos pulsabat Riphaeum ad Strymona, nervi, 459 

auditus superis, auditus manibus Orpheus, 460 

emerito fulgent clara inter sidera caelo. 

hunc etiam mater, tota comitante sororum 

Aonidum turba, mater mirata canentem. 

non illo Pangaea iuga aut Mavortius Haemus, 

non illo modulante sonos stetit ultima Thrace ; 465 

cum silvis venere ferae, cum montibus amnes, 

immemor et dulcis nidi positoque volatu 

non mota volucris captiva pependit in aethra. 

quin etiam, Pagasaea ratis cum caerula, nondum 

cognita terrenae, pontumque intrare negaret, 470 

ad puppim sacrae, cithara eliciente, carinae 

adductum cantu venit mare, pallida regna 

Bistonius vates flammisque Acheronta sonantem 

placavit plectro et fixit revolubile saxum. 

o dirae Ciconum matres Geticique furores 475 

et damnata deis Rhodope ! tulit ora revulsa 

in pontum, ripis utraque sequentibus, Hebrus. 

tum quoque, cum rapidi caput a cervice recisum 

portarent fluctus, subito emicuere per undas 

ad murmur cete toto exultantia ponto." 480 

" The Centaur who trained the young Achilles and other 
heroes. 

^ " Riphean " = Northern : Orpheus lived in Thrace. 

* Calliope. 

•^ Mars was the chief deity of the warlike people of Thrace. 

• The port in Thessaly from which the Argo sailed. 
' For Bistonius see ii. 76. 

134 



PUNICA, XL 449-480 

least's back. A third lyre, whose strains moulded 
the minds of heroes and the spirit of great Achilles 
in the cave of Mount Pelion — the lyre that Cheiron " 
loved, could quell the raging sea or the wrath of 
Hell itself, when he struck the strings. But the chords 
which Orpheus struck beside the Riphean ^ Strymon, 
charming the gods above and the gods below the 
earth, earned a place in heaven and shine there 
among the bright stars. Even his mother,^ together 
with the whole train of her sister Muses, marvelled 
at his playing. At his music neither Pangaeus nor 
Haemus, the mountain of Mars,^ nor remotest Thrace, 
could stand still. Wild beasts and forests, rivers and 
mountains, followed him. The bird forgot her loved 
nestlings, stopped her flight, and hung arrested in 
the motionless air. Moreover, when the Argo at 
Pagasae * refused to launch out on the blue water 
which on land she had never known, the sea, sum- 
moned by the lyre, obeyed the music and came up 
to the stern of the sacred bark. The Thracian ^ bard 
charmed with his quill the sunless land and the 
crackling flames of Acheron, and stopped the stone 
from rolling.^ Alas for the cruelty of the Ciconian ^ 
women and the madness of the Thracians ! alas for 
Rhodope pronounced guilty by the gods ! * When 
the Hebrus bore his severed head to the sea, both 
banks followed it ^ ; and then, when it was carried 
along by the rushing waves, suddenly the sea-beasts 
emerged from the water and bounded high at the 
low sound of that voice all over the sea." Thus 

' For Acheron see note to i. 92. The " stone " is that 
which was rolled uphill by Sisyphus in Hades. 

f" See ii. 75. 

* The Thracian women tore Orpheus to pieces and threw his 
body into the river Hebrus. * See 1. iSG. 

135 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sic tunc Pierius bellis durata virorum 
pectora Castalio frangebat carmine Teuthras. 

Interea placida attulerant iam flamina terris 
Magonem Libycis. lauro redimita subibat 
optatos puppis portus, pelagoque micabant 485 

captiva arma procul celsa fulgentia prora. 
at patulo surgens iam dudum ex aequore late 
nauticus implebat resonantia litora clamor, 
et, simul adductis percussa ad pectora tonsis, 
centeno fractus spumabat verbere pontus. 490 

nee lentum in medios rapienda ad gaudia vulgus 
procurrit fluctus, elataque turba favore 
certatim ingenti celebrat nova gaudia plausu. 
aequatur rector divis : ilium undique matres, 
ilium turba minor, moniti gaudere nepotes, 495 

et senior manus et iuxta populusque patresque 
mactatis superum dignantur honore iuvencis. 
sic patriam Mago et portas ingressus ovantes 
fraternae laudis fama. ruit inde senatus, 
et multo patrum stipatur curia coetu. 500 

turn divos veneratus avum de more vetusto, 
" Martem," ait, " egregium et fractas, quis Itala tellus 
nitebatur, opes, pars ipse haud parva laborum, 
nuntio. pugnatum superis in vota secundis. 
est locus, Aetoli signat quern gloria regis, 505 

possessus quondam prisca inter saecula Dauno ; 
umentes rapido circumdat gurgite campos 
Aufidus et stagnis intercipit arva refusis ; 
mox fluctus ferit Hadriacos magnoque fragore 
cedentem impellit retrorsus in aequora pontum. 510 



" Diomede : see note to i. 125. 
136 



i 



PUNICA, XI. 481-610 

Teuthras, votary of Cast alia and the Muses, enfeebled 
by his music the soldiers' war-hardened hearts. 

Meanwhile Mago had been wafted by gentle 
breezes to the Libyan land. His ship, wreathed with 
laurel, entered the desired harbour, and the glittering 
spoils on her lofty bows shone from a distance across 
the water. Then the shouting of the sailors, which 
had long been rising from the open sea, filled all 
the shore with its sound ; and, when the rowers all 
together brought the oars back sharply to their 
breasts, the sea foamed under the stroke of a hundred 
blades. Eager to snatch a hasty joy, the citizens 
waded out into the water, and the exuberant 
crowd eagerly hailed the good news with a storm of 
applause. Hannibal is ranked with the gods. All 
the women, all the little children, rejoicing at their 
mothers' bidding, and all the older citizens — senate 
and people alike — think him worthy of divine honours 
and the slaughter of oxen. Thus Mago came back 
to Carthage and entered the gates that rang with 
the report of his brother's exploits. The senate 
assembled in haste, and the senate-house was packed 
with a great assembly. Mago prayed to the gods 
in the fashion of his sires and then spoke thus : " I 
bring news of a great victory : the strength upon 
which Italy relied has been shattered ; and I myself 
played no small part in the work. The gods favoured 
us in the battle. There is a land which bears the 
name of a famous king of Aetolia " and was possessed 
by Daunus in an age long past ; the rapid stream of 
the Aufidus flows round the watery plains and cuts 
off the promise of harvest by its floods ; and later, 
dashing against the waves of the Adriatic, with a 
Joud noise it forces the salt water to retreat seawards. 

137 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hie Varro et magnum Latia inter nomina Paulus 
nomen, quis rerum ducibus permissa potestas, 
vixdum depulsa nigrae caligine noctis, 
invadunt campum et late fulgentibus armis 
accendunt ultro lucem surgentis Eoi. 515 

nos contra (nam germanum furor acer agebat 
optatae pugnae) castris cita signa movemus. 
intremit et tellus, et pulsus mugit Olympus, 
hie fluvium et campos abscondit eaede virorum 
duetor, quo numquam maiorem ad bella tulerunt 520 
reetorem terrae. vidi, eum turbine saevo 
Ausonia et sonitu bellantis fusa per agros 
uni terga daret. vidi, eum Varro citato 
auferretur equo, proieetis degener armis. 
quin et magnanimum, perfosso corpore telis, 525 

strage super socium vidi te, Paule, cadentem. 
Aegates ille et servilia foedera larga 
ultus eaede dies ; non plus optasse liberet, 
quam tum concessit dexter deus : altera iam lux 
si talis redeat, populis sis omnibus una 530 

tum, Carthago, caput terrasque colare per omnes. 
testes hi stragis, quos signum illustre superbis 
mos laeva gestare viris." tum fundi tur ante 
ora admirantum praefulgens anulus auro 
datque fidem verbis haud parvo insignis acervo. 535 
hine iterum repetens, " restat nunc sedibus imis 
vertenda atque aequanda solo iam subruta Roma, 
annitamur," ait, " vires refovete tot haustas 
casibus, et pateant non parca aeraria dextris, 



* The treaty concluded at the end of the First Punic War. 
For the battle of the Aegatian Islands see note to i. 35. 

138 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 511-539 

Here the Roman commanders — Paulus, a name 
honoured in Latium, and Varro — took the field, when 
the darkness of night had hardly been dispelled ; and 
the far-seen glitter of their weapons added a brighter 
light to the rising sun. We marched quickly from 
the camp to meet them ; for my brother was driven 
on by a passionate desire for battle. The earth shook 
and the welkin rang as we fought. Then our general, 
as great a leader in war as this earth ever bore, hid 
the river and the plains with heaps of corpses. Before 
my eyes all Italy was routed and fled from him 
alone, from the fierce onset and the sound of his 
warfare. Before my eyes degenerate Varro threw 
down his arms and galloped from the field. I wit- 
nessed also the death of brave Paulus, when he fell, 
pierced through Mith many a dart, above the corpses 
of his men. The great slaughter of that day avenged 
the Aegatian Islands and the treaty of subservience " ; 
we could not wish to pray for more than was granted 
us then by divine favour. If such a day came over 
again, Carthage would be the sole ruler over all 
nations and would be honoured over all the world. 
As evidence of the slaughter, behold these tokens, 
which it is the custom of high-born Romans to wear on 
their left hand." Therewith he poured forth before 
their astonished eyes glittering rings of gold ; and the 
truth of his words was confirmed by the goodly heap 
of rings. ^ Then he began again : " Rome is under- 
mined, and it only remains to wrench her from her 
foundations and level her with the ground. Let us 
make the effort," he cried ; " recruit your armies 
weakened by so many losses, and open wide your 

* See note to viii. 675. 

139 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quas emimus bello. defit iam belua, tristis 540 

Ausoniis terror, necnon alimenta fatigant." 

Atque ea dum memorat, torvo conversus in ora 
Hannonis vultu, quern gliscens gloria pravum 
ductoris studio iam dudum agitabat acerbo : 
** iamne tibi dextras inceptaque nostra probamus ? 
iam fas Dardanio me non servire colono ? 546 

anne iterum Hannibalem dedi placet ? atra veneno 
invidiae nigroque undantia pectora felle, 
tandem tot titulis totque exorata tropaeis, 
infelix muta. dextra en, en dextera, quam tu 550 
Aeneadis lacerare dabas, et litora et amnes 
et stagna et latos implevit sanguine campos.'* 
haec Mago, atque animos favor haud obscurus alebat. 

Cui, simul invidia atque ira stimulantibus, Hannon : 
** talia vesani iuvenis convicia miror 555 

haud equidem ; tumet ingenio, fraternaque corda 
non tarde agnoscas et virus futile linguae, 
qui ne mutatum vanis absistere credat, 
nunc pacem orandum, nunc improba foedere rupto 
arma reponendum et bellum exitiale cavendum 560 
auctor ego. atque adeo vosmet perpendite, quaeso, 
quid ferat ; haud aliud nobis censere relictum est. 
tela, viros, aurum, classes, alimenta precatur 
belligeramque feram. victus non plura petisset. 
sanguine Dardanio Rutulos saturavimus agros, 565 
et iacet in campis Latium. deponere curas 
tandem ergo, bone, da, victor, liceatque sedere 

« See ii. 276 foil. » See ii. 377. 

" This is said to Hannibal. 

140 



PUNICA, XI. 640-567 

treasury for the pay of mercenaries. Our elephants, 
so dreaded by the Romans, are now few in number ; 
and our want of food-suppHes troubles us." 

While speaking thus he directed fierce looks at 
Hanno," whose crooked mind had long been tortured 
by the growing fame of Hannibal : ** Do you approve 
now of the deeds that our hands have wrought ? Am 
I permitted now to refuse a Roman for my master ? 
Or will you vote a second time ^ for the surrender of 
Hannibal ? Unhappy man, be softened at last by so 
many glorious trophies, and change that heart, so 
black with the poison of jealousy and so full of bitter 
gall. See, that hand, that hand which you wished 
to give up to the Roman torturers, has filled shores 
and rivers, lakes and spreading plains, with Roman 
blood." Thus Mago spoke, and the manifest sym- 
pathy of his hearers gave him confidence. 

Then Hanno answered, urged on at once by jealousy 
and anger : *' Such abuse does not surprise me, coming 
from a brain-sick youth. He is proud by nature, and 
it is easy to recognize his brother's disposition and 
the stingless venom of his tongue. He need not 
suppose that I have changed and am giving up my 
pohcy in despair. For I propose that we should now 
sue for peace, should now lay down the arms that 
are stained by a breach of treaty, and avoid a war 
that will destroy us. Or rather, do you yourselves 
weigh well his proposals ; there is no other decision 
for us to come to. He asks for arms, soldiers, and 
gold, for fleets, provisions, and elephants. Had he 
been defeated, he could not have asked for more. 
We have drenched the soil of Italy with Roman 
blood, and all Latium is laid low on the battle-fields. 
Then suffer us at last, noble conqueror,*' to forget our 

141 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

in patria ; liceat non exhaurire rapacis 

impensis belli vacuatos saepe penates. 

nunc en, nunc, inquam (falsa ut praesagia nostra 570 

sint, oro, mensque augurio ludatur inani) 

haud procul est funesta dies, atrocia novi 

corda ac prospicio natas e cladibus iras. 

vos ego, vos metuo, Cannae, submittite signa 574 

atque adeo temptate, agedum, ac deposcite pacem : 

non dabitur. parat ille dolor, mihi credite, mains 

exitium accepto ; citiusque haec foedera victor 

quam victus, dabit. atque adeo, qui tanta superbo 

facta sonas ore et spumanti turbine perflas 

ignorantum aures, die, en, germanus in armis 580 

ille tuus par Gradivo, per saecula tellus 

cui similem numquam ductorem in bella creavit, 

moenia Romuleae cur nondum viderit urbis ? 

scilicet e gremio matrum rapiamus in hostem 

nondum portandis habiles gravioribus armis ? 685 

aeratas iussi texamus mille carinas, 

atque omnis Libyae quaeratur belua terris, 

ut longa imperia atque armatos proroget annos 

Hannibal et regnum trahat usque in tempora fati ? 

vos vero — neque enim occulto circumdamur astu — 

ne dulces spoliate domos ; castrisque potentum 591 

atque opibus sancite modum. pax optima rerum, 

quas homini novisse datum est ; pax una triumphis 

innumeris potior ; pax, custodire salutem 

et cives aequare potens, revocetur in arces 695 

tandem Sidonias ; et fama fugetur ab urbe 

142 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 568-596 

troubles and take our ease at home ; suffer us to keep 
some children in the families so often thinned by the 
insatiable demands of war. Now, yes now, I say — 
I pray that my forecast may prove untrue and my 
mind may be the victim of a mere delusion — the 
fatal day is at hand. I know the stubborn hearts of 
the foe, and I foresee the martial ardour that defeat 
will breed. It is Cannae, Cannae that I fear. Lower 
your standards, or rather, make haste to sue for 
peace and demand it. You will not get it. Believe 
me, their resentment is hatching a worse destruction 
than that which they have suffered ; and they will 
make this peace more readily when victorious than 
when they are defeated. Or rather tell us, you who 
proclaim those great deeds so proudly and fill the 
ears of the ignorant with your frothy flood of words — 
tell us, why that brother of yours, that match for 
Mars in battle, the greatest general whom earth has 
ever borne , has never yet set eyes on the walls of Rome. 
Shall we, forsooth, snatch from their mothers' laps 
boys who are not yet fit to carry heavy armour, 
and make them fight ? Shall we, at his demand, 
build a thousand ships of war and ransack all Libya 
for elephants, in order that Hannibal may prolong 
his command and fight on for years and exercise a 
tyrant's sway till the day of his death ? But I appeal 
to you — for the trap is set in our sight — rob not your 
homes of your loved ones, but set a limit to the armies 
and the power of these potentates. Peace is the best 
thing that man may know ; peace alone is better 
than a thousand triumphs ; peace has power to guard 
our lives and secure equality among fellow-citizens. 
Let us then after so long recall peace to the city of 
Carthage, and banish the reproach of treachery from 

143 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

perfidiae, Phoenissa, tua. si tanta libido 
armorum tenet atque enses non reddere perstat 
poscenti patriae, nil suppeditare furori 
hortor et haec fratri Magonem dicta referre." 600 

Plura annectentem (neque enim satiaverat iras 
dicendo) clamor turbat diversa volentum : 
** si Libyae decus, baud ulli superabilis armis, 
Hannibal est irae tibi, destituemus ad ipsas 
victorem metas ? nee opum adiumenta feremus ? 605 
invidia unius sceptra ut iam parta retardet ? " 
inde alacres tribuunt, quae belli posceret usus, 
absentique suum iactant sub teste favorem. 
mox eadem terris placitum traducere Hiberis, 
dum malus obtrectat facta immortalia livor 610 

nee sinit adiutas ductoris crescere laudes. 

" Mago would report their goodwill to Hannibal. 



144 



I 



PUNICA, XI. 697-611 

Dido's city. If Hannibal has such a passion for war 
and disobeys his country when she bids him sheathe 
the sword, then I advise you to refuse all supplies to 
such a madman, and I move that Mago report this 
answer to his brother." 

He would have added more ; for he had not yet 
said enough to gratify his wrath ; but loud cries 
of dissent confounded him : "If Hannibal, the 
glory of Libya, the invincible general, excites your 
anger, shall we leave the conqueror in the lurch just 
when he is reaching the goal, and refuse to send him 
supplies ? Shall the jealousy of one man delay the 
imperial power which is already secured ? " Then 
they eagerly voted the supplies required for war, 
and, in the presence of a witness,** made a show of 
their devotion to the absent general. Next they de- 
cided to send supphes also to Spain, though malicious 
envy belittled Hannibal's immortal deeds and sought 
to refuse the assistance needed for the increase of 
his fame. 



U$ 



LIBER DUODECIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

Hannibal leaves Capua : his troops have lost their vigour 
and fail in attacks upon Neapolis, Cumae, and Puteoli 
(1-103). He visits Baiae and other famous places (103-157). 
He marches against Nola hut is beaten off by Marcellus (158- 
294). The Romans become more hopeful and are further 
encouraged by an oracle from Delphi (295-341). The war in 
Sardinia : Torquatus defeats Hampsagoras : a tribute to 
the poet Ennius (342-419). Hannibal burns several cities 
and takes the city of Tarentum but not the citadel (420-448). 
He returns to defend Capua against a Roman blockadCf 

lam terra glaciale caput fecundaque nimbis 
tempora et austrifero nebulosam vertice frontem 
immitis condebat Hiems, blandisque salubre 
ver Zephyris tepido mulcebat rura sereno : 
prorumpit Capua Poenus vicinaque late 5 

praemisso terrore quatit : ceu condita bruma, 
dum Riphaea rigent Aquilonis flamine, tandem 
evolvit serpens arcano membra cubili 
et spondente die novus emicat atque coruscum 
fert caput et saniem sublatis faucibus efflat. 10 

at Libyci ducis ut fulserunt signa per agros, 
desolata metu cuncta, et suadente pavore 

• See note to xi. 459. 
146 



I 



BOOK XII 

ARGUMENT (contmued) 

heating two Roman armies on the way : he buries the body 
of Ti. Sempronius Gracchus (449-478). Unable to force his 
way into Capua, he marches against Rome (479-540). Con- 
sternation at Rome (541-557). He examines the walls and 
surroundings of the city, but is driven back to his camp by 
Fulvius Flaccus who had hastened back from Campania 
(558-573). Two attempts to fight a battle are frustrated by 
a terrible storm sent by Jupiter (574-667). Making a third 
attempt, he is stopped by Juno, acting by Jupiter's command 
(668-730). Rejoicing of the Romans (731-752). 

Unkindly Winter was now hiding in the earth his 
icy head, his temples fraught with storms, and his 
cloud-capped brow that towers aloft with menace of 
gales ; and healthful Spring was cheering the land 
with her gentle zephyrs and clear warm weather. 
Then the Carthaginians burst forth from Capua with 
terror in their van, and harassed all the surrounding 
country. Thus the serpent hides away in winter 
while the Riphaean " mountains are frozen by the 
North-wind's breath ; but at last, when the season 
gives it confidence, it glides forth from its secret lair 
and glitters with a new skin, lifting up its shining 
head and breathing forth venom from its erected 
throat. When Hannibal's dreaded standards gleamed 
over the land, the country became a desert : driven 

147 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

vallo se clausere simul trepidique salutis 
expectant ipsis metuentes moenibus hostem. 

Sed non ille vigor, qui ruptis Alpibus arma 16 

intulerat dederatque vias Trebiaque potitus 
Maeonios Italo sceleravit sanguine fluctus, 
tunc inerat : moUi luxu madefacta meroque, 
illecebris somni torpentia membra fluebant. 
quis gelidas suetum noctes thorace gravatis 20 

sub love non aequo trahere et tentoria saepe 
spernere, ubi hiberna ruerent cum grandine nimbi, 
EC ne nocte quidem clipeive ensesve reposti, 
non pharetrae aut iacula, et pro membris arma fuere : 
turn grave cassis onus maioraque pondera visa 25 
parmarum, ac nullis fusae stridoribus hastae. 

Prima instaurantem sensit certamina mitis 
Parthenope, non dives opum, non spreta vigoris ; 
sed portus traxere ducem secura volentem 
aequora, quae peteret veniens Carthagine puppis. 30 
nunc molles urbi ritus atque hospita Musis 
otia et exemptum curis gravioribus aevum. 
Sirenum dedit una suum, memorabile, nomen 
Parthenope muris Acheloias, aequore cuius 
regnavere diu cantus, cum dulce per undas 35 

exitium miseris caneret non prospera nautis. 
haec pone aggressus (nam frontem clauserat aequor) 
moenia, non ullas valuit perfringere Poenus 
tota mole vias frustraque inglorius ausi 

" Naples : the city kept up the customs and institutions 
of Greek civilization, and became, at a later date, a favourite 
place of retirement for Romans who could appreciate these 
attractions. Silius himself spent his old age there. 

148 



PUNICA, XII. 13-39 

by fear men shut themselves up behind fortifications 
and awaited the enemy, trembHng for their lives and 
distrusting even their walls. 

But the former hardihood which had burst through 
the Alps and cleared a path for the army, which had 
mastered the Trebia and defiled the Etruscan lake 
with Italian blood, was no longer there. Their limbs 
were sluggish and flabby, enervated by luxury and 
ease, by wine and the enticements of sleep. Once 
they had been used to spend cold nights under a 
stormy sky while wearing their heavy breastplates, 
and had often despised a tent when the rain and hail 
of winter were pouring down ; even at night they 
did not put off sword and buckler, quivers and lances, 
but treated their weapons as parts of their bodies. 
But now the helmet was a burden, the light shield 
felt too heavy, and their spears made no whizzing 
sound as they went forth. 

When Hannibal renewed the strife, mild Par- 
thenope " was the first to feel it, not because the city 
was wealthy or because he despised its courage ; but 
the harbour was the attraction : he wanted safe 
anchorage for vessels coming from Carthage. That 
city is now an abode of peace, a resting-place where 
the Muses dwell, and life there is free from pressing 
anxieties. Parthenope, daughter of Acheloiis, gave 
the cit)'^ its famous name. She was one of the 
Sirens, and her singing long ruled the waves, when 
her boding voice sang melodious destruction across 
the water to hapless sailors. The front of the city 
was defended by the sea, and therefore Hannibal 
attacked it on the landward side ; but all his efforts 
failed to break open an entrance : he was baffled 
in the attempt and vainly belaboured the barred 

149 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

pulsavit quatiens obstructas ariete portas. 40 

stabat Cannarum Graia ad munimina victor 
nequiquam et cautae mentis consulta probabat 
eventu, qui post Dauni stagnantia regna 
sanguine Tarpeias ire abstinuisset ad arces. 
" en, qui nos segnes et nescire addere cursum 45 

factis iactastis, quod vobis scandere nuper 
non acie ex ipsa concessum moenia Romae, 
intrate atque epulas promissas sede Tonantis 
his, quae Graia manus defendit, reddite tectis.'* 
talia iactabat famaeque pudore futurae, 60 

irritus incepti prima si absisteret urbe, 
audebat cuncta atque acuebat fraudibus enses. 
sed subitae muris flammae totoque fluebant 
aggeris anfractu tela improvisa per auras, 
haud secus, occuluit saxi quo vertice fetus 55 

ales fulva lovis, tacito si ad culmina nisu 
evasit serpens terretque propinquus hiatu, 
ilia, hostem rostro atque assuetis fulmina ferre 
unguibus incessens, nidi circumvolat orbem. 

Tandem ad vicinos Cumarum vertere portus 60 
defessum subiit varioque lacessere motu 
fortunam et famae turbando obstare sinistrae. 
sed custos urbi Gracchus, tutela vel ipsis 
certior, arcebat muris iterumque sedere 
portis atque aditus iterum sperare vetabat. 65 

lustrat inops animi rimaturque omnia circum 

<» See note to i. 293. 

'' It is implied that Greeks were not dangerous antagonists 
►—a fixed conviction in the Roman mind, 

<= See X. 375 foil. 

** The golden eagle. 

* Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, consul in 215 b.c. 
150 



PUNICA, XII. 40-66 

gates with the blows of his battering-rams. The 
victor of Cannae stood helpless before a Greek city ; 
and the event proved the wisdom of his caution, 
when he refused to march from the bloody field 
of Daunus" against the citadel of Rome. "You 
called me a laggard who could not follow up his 
victory, because you were not allowed to scale the 
walls of Rome immediately after the battle. Well, 
then, enter Naples and make for me, in a city de- 
fended by Greeks,^ the banquet which you promised 
to set in the abode of the Thunderer." " Thus he 
reproached his men, and, fearing for his fame in time 
coming if he were to fall back baffled from the first 
city he attacked, he shrank from no risks and used 
stratagems to sharpen his assault. But fire flashed 
suddenly from the walls, and a shower of missiles 
was discharged unexpectedly from the whole circuit 
of the ramparts. Even so, when the tawny bird of 
Jupiter'* has hidden her young on the top of a cliff, 
if a serpent climbs noiselessly up the height and opens 
its dreaded jaws near the nestlings, the mother- 
bird flies round and round the nest, attacking the 
foe with her beak and the talons that are wont to 
carry thunderbolts. 

Wearied out at last he thought to shift his quarters 
to the seaport of Cumae hard by, to challenge Fortune 
by change of place, and to prevent loss of repu- 
tation by causing unrest. But Gracchus,* the 
governor of the city, a surer defence than the walls 
themselves, kept the enemy away from the place, 
preventing them from encamping again by the gates 
and from hoping again to force an entrance. Hannibal 
lost courage : he rode about at furious speed and 
examined closely all the country round ; and he tried 

151 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

alite vectus equo rursusque hortatibus infit 
laudum agitare suos : " pro di, quis terminus," inquit, 
" ante urbes standi Graias, oblite tuorum 
factorum miles ? quis erit modus ? Alpibus astat 70 
nimirum maior moles, et scandere caelum 
pulsantes iubeo scopulos ; quamquam altera detur 
si similis tellus, aliaeque repente sub astra 
exsurgant rupes, non ibis et arduus arma 
me ducente feres ? tene heu Cumanus hiantem 75 
agger adhuc murusque tenet Gracchusque, moveri 
non ausus portis ? parvo in discrimine cerno, 
an vobis gentes, quaeeumque labore parastis, 
casu gesta putent. per vos Tyrrhena faventum 
stagna deum, per ego et Trebiam cineresque Sagunti 
obtestor, dignos iam vosmet reddite vestra 81 

quam trahitis fama et revocate in pectora Cannas." 

Sic ductor fessas luxu attritasque secundis 
erigere et verbis tentabat sistere mentes. 
atque hie perlustrans aditus, fulgentia cernit 85 

areis templa iugo, quorum tum Virrius, altae 
immitis ductor Capuae, primordia pandit : 
*' non est hoc," inquit, " nostri, quod suspicis, aevi ; 
maiores fecere manus. cum regna timeret 
Dictaei regis, sic fama est, linquere terras 90 

Daedalus invenit nee toto signa sequenti 
orbe dare, aetherias aliena tollere in auras 
ausus se penna atque homini monstrare volatus. 
suspensum hie librans media inter nubila corpus 
enavit superosque novus conterruit ales. 95 

** i.e. which still attends you from the past. 
^ See xi. 65. 
• Minos, for whom Daedalus built the famous Labyrinth. 
152 



PUNICA, XII. 67-95 

once more to excite his men by reminding them of 
their past deeds : " Great Heavens ! " he cried ; 
** soldiers, forgetful of your past, is your onward 
march to be stopped for ever by Greek cities ? Will 
you nowhere draw the line ? A mightier obstacle 
than the Alps, forsooth, blocks your way, and I bid 
you climb peaks that touch the sky ! And yet, if a 
land like that were before us now and other cliffs were 
suddenly to rise as high as heaven, would you not 
go forward, if I led you, and carry your arms up the 
heights ? Are you the men to stand and gape, barred 
by the ramparts and walls of Cumae, and by Gracchus 
who dares not stir outside the gates ? I see it all 
but certain, that the world will impute to chance 
every result of your exertions. By Lake Trasimene 
where the gods favoured us, by the Trebia and by 
the ashes of Saguntum, I implore you to make your- 
selves once more worthy of the reputation you trail 
after you ; " and remember Cannae." 

Thus their leader sought to lift up and steady the 
hearts enfeebled by luxury and enervated by pros- 
perity. And here, while studying all the means of 
approach, he saw a temple shining on the summit of 
the citadel ; and Virrius,^ the harsh governor of proud 
Capua, then explained its origin. " That building 
above us," he said, " was not the work of our time : 
it was raised by other hands in ancient days. When 
Daedalus — so the legend runs — feared the power of 
the Cretan king,'' he found a way to escape from our 
world and leave no trace for Minos who pursued him 
over the whole earth. He dared to ascend the sky 
on wings not his own and to reveal to mankind the 
art of flying. Keeping his body poised amid the 
clouds, he floated on, and the strange winged creature 
VOL. II p 153 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

natum etiam docuit falsae sub imagine plumae 
attentare vias volucrum ; lapsumque solutis 
pennarum remis et non felicibus alis 
turbida plaudentem vidit freta ; dumque dolori 
indulget subito, motis ad pectora palmis, 100 

nescius heu planctu duxit moderante volatus. 
hie pro nubivago gratus pia templa meatu 
instituit Phoebi atque audaces exuit alas." 

Virrius haec : sed enim ductor numerabat inertes 
atque actos sine Marte dies ac stare pudebat. 105 
ingemit adversis respectansque irrita tecta 
urbe Diearchea parat exsatiare dolorem. 
hie quoque nunc pelagus, nunc muri saxea moles 
officit audenti defensantumque labores. 
dumque tenet socios dura atque obsaepta viarum 110 
rumpere nitentes lentus labor, ipse propinqua 
stagnorum terraeque simul miracula lustrat. 

Primores adsunt Capuae : docet ille, tepentes 
unde ferant nomen Baiae, comitemque dedisse 
Dulichiae puppis stagno sua nomina monstrat. 115 
ast hie Lucrino mansisse vocabula quondam 
Cocyti memorat medioque in gurgite ponti 
Hereuleum eommendat iter, qua discidit aequor 
Amphitryoniades, armenti victor Hiberi. 
ille, olim populis dictum Styga, nomine verso 120 

stagna inter celebrem nunc mitia monstrat Avernum ; 



" Icarus, who flew too near the sun. 

^ When Daedalus beat his breast in grief for his son, he 
found that the motion of his arms carried him along in the 
air. 

<* Puteoli (Pozzuoli) : the real name is excluded by the 
metre. 

<* See note to viii. 539. 

• One of the infernal rivers : see note to ii. 610. 
154) 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 96-121 



alarmed the gods. He taught his son « also to put 
on a counterfeit semblance of wings and attempt the 
flight of birds ; but, when the feathery oarage melted, 
he saw him fall and splash the stormy sea with his 
ill-starred wings. Yielding to his sudden grief, 
Daedalus smote his breast, and his blows steered 
his flight though he knew it not.** And here he raised 
a temple to Phoebus in gratitude for his voyage 
through the clouds, and here put off his daring 
wings." 

So Virrius spoke ; but Hannibal was counting up 
all the idle days that had passed without battle, and 
was ashamed of inactivity. He groaned at his failure ; 
and looking back at the town he had besieged in vain, 
he sought to wreak his anger on the city of Dicae- 
archus.^ But here too his attempts were foiled, now 
by the sea, now by the massive stone walls and the 
exertions of the defenders. And, while his men 
laboured on and on, endeavouring to force a difficult 
passage through obstruction, he himself visited the 
strange sights which the neighbouring waters and 
land presented. 

The nobles of Capua attended him. One explained 
how the hot springs of Baiae got their name, pointing 
out that they were named after a mariner who sailed 
with Ulysses.^ Another told how the Lucrine lake 
was called Cocytus ^ in former times, and praised 
the road which Hercules made over the sea, when 
the son of Amphitryon, after mastering the Spanish 
herd,^ parted the waters asunder. A third pointed 
out Lake Avernus, formerly called Styx by the 
people, but now, under a new name, famous among 
healing waters. Once dreaded by birds and awful 
' The oxen of Geryon : see note to i. 277. 

155 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

turn, tristi nemore atque umbris nigrantibus horrens 
et formidatus volucri, letale vomebat 
sufFuso virus caelo Stygiaque per urbes 
religione sacer saevum retinebat honorem. 125 

huic vicina palus — fama est Acherontis ad undas 
pandere iter — caecas stagnante voragine fauces 
laxat et horrendos aperit telluris hiatus 
interdumque novo perturbat lumine manes, 
at iuxta caligantes longumque per aevum 130 

infernis pressas nebulis pallente sub umbra 
Cimmerias iacuisse domos noctemque profundam 
Tartareae narrant urbis. tum sulphure et igni 
semper anhelantes coctoque bitumine campos 
ostentant. tellus, atro exundante vapore 135 

suspirans ustisque diu calefacta medullis, 
aestuat et Stygios exhalat in aera flatus ; 
parturit et tremulis metuendum exsibilat antris, 
interdumque cavas luctatus rumpere sedes 
aut exire fretis, sonitu lugubre minaci 140 

Mulciber immugit lacerataque viscera terrae 
mandit et exesos labefactat murmure montes. 
tradunt Herculea prostrates mole Gigantas 
tellurem iniectam quatere, et spiramine anhelo 
torreri late campos, quotiensque minantur 145 

rumpere compagem impositam, expallescere caelum, 
apparet Prochyte saevum sortita Mimanta, 
apparet procul Inarime, quae turbine nigro 
fumantem premit lapetum flammasque rebelli 

" Owing to its volcanic nature, the Campanian coast was 
supposed to be connected with the nether world ; hence the 
infernal rivers, Styx and Acheron, were placed here also. 

^ The fire-god, more often called Vulcanus. 

" The Giants were punished for their revolt against the 
gods by being placed under mountains ; and volcanic action 
156 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 122-149 



in the gloomy shade of a dark forest, it sent up 
a poisonous exhalation to the lowering sky ; the 
infernal deities were worshipped there with savage 
rites still kept up by the cities. A swamp, not far 
away — legend tells that it opens a way to the river 
Acheron — opens up darksome abysses of stagnant 
water, and reveals hideous fissures in the earth, and 
sometimes startles the ghosts below by a flash of 
light. Then his guides tell Hannibal that close at 
hand, wrapped in gloom and sunk for long ages in 
subterranean mists, the city of the Cimmerians lay 
deep in earth under a pall of shade ; and they de- 
scribe the unfathomed night of that Tartarean city. 
Next they point to the fields that ever breathe out 
fire and sulphur and boiling pitch.** A black steam 
rises from the ground ; and the earth, long heated 
by subterranean fires, rumbles and heaves and sends 
up blasts from Hell into the air. Mulciber ^ is in 
labour and sends forth a dread sound of hissing from 
his uneasy caves. At times he struggles to burst 
his caverns or emerge from the sea ; then he sends 
forth a mournful and menacing rumbling and devours 
the torn bowels of the earth, and mutters as he under- 
mines the crumbling mountains. Men say that the 
Giants whom the might of Hercules overthrew shake 
the earth that lies piled above them '^ ; the distant 
fields are scorched by their panting breath, and, when- 
ever they threaten to burst the framework of their 
burden, the gods tremble. They could see Prochyte, 
the place appointed for savage Mimas, and Inarime 
in the distance, which stands above lapetus, while he 
spouts forth black smoke and flame from his mutinous 

is caused by their struggles : Mimas lies under Prochyte, and 
lapetus under Inarime : see note to viii. 540. 

157 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ore eiectantem et, si quando evadere detur, 150 

bella lovi rursus superisque iterare volentem. 
monstrantur Vesuvina iuga atque in vertice summo 
depasti flammis scopuli stratusque ruina 
mons circum atque Aetnae fatis certantia saxa. 
necnon Misenum servantem Idaea sepulcro 155 

nomina et Herculeos videt ipso in litore Baulos. 
miratur pelagique minas terraeque labores. 

Quae postquam perspecta viro, regressus ad altos 
inde Pheretiadum muros, frondentia laeto 
palmite devastat Nysaea cacumina Gauri. 160 

hinc ad Chalcidicam transfert citus agmina Nolam. 
campo Nola sedet, crebris circumdata in orbem 
turribus, et celso facilem tutatur adiri 
planitiem vallo ; sed, qui non turribus arma 
defendenda daret, verum ultro moenia dextra 165 
protegeret, Marcellus opem auxiliumque ferebat. 
isque ubi Agenoream procul adventare per aequor 
et ferri ad muros nubem videt : * ' arma, cruentus 
hostis adest, capite arma, viri," clamatque capitque. 
circumstant rapidi iuvenes aptantque frementi 170 
sanguineas de more iubas ; sonat inde, citato 
agmina disponens passu : " tu limina dextrae 
servabis portae, Nero ; tu converte cohortes 
ad laevam patrias et Larinatia signa, 
clarum Volscorum, Tulli, decus. ast ubi iusso, 175 
per taciturn ruptis subita vi fundite portis 



" Misenus, the steersman of Aeneas, died at Cumae. 
'• As a stable for the oxen of Geryon. 
" The people of Puteoli. 

<* Nysa is the birthplace of Bacchus t hence ** Nysaean " =s 
" belonging to Bacchus." 

158 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 160-176 



jaws, and seeks, if he is ever suffered to get free, to 
renew his war against Jupiter and the gods. They 
showed Hannibal Mount Vesuvius, where fire has 
eaten away the rocks at its summit, and the wreckage 
of the mountain Hes all around, and the discharge 
of stones seeks to rival the death dealt by Etna. He 
saw Misenum also which preserves the name of the 
Trojan " who lies buried there, and Bauli, built by 
Hercules ^ close by the sea. He looked with wonder 
at all the anger of the sea and the unrest of the land. 
When he had beheld all these sights, he returned to 
the high walls of the Pheretiades,^ and laid waste the 
Nysaean ^ heights of Gaurus where the vine-plant 
flourishes luxuriantly ; and from there he quickly 
moved his army to Nola, a colony from Cumae. Nola, 
situated on a plain, is easy of approach, but is sur- 
rounded by a ring of many forts, whose high ramparts 
prevent access to the level ground. But Marcellus, 
who came to aid and support them, was not the man 
to shelter his troops behind the forts : his object was 
to defend the town by striking the first blow. When 
he saw the Carthaginians moving like a distant cloud 
across the plain and advancing towards the city, he 
shouted out : "To arms, my men ! to arms ! the 
murderous foe is at hand " ; and as he shouted he 
took arms himself. As he cried aloud, his officers 
gathered round him in haste and fastened the general's 
blood-red plume to his helmet. Then his voice rang 
out, as he made a speedy disposition of his forces : 
" You, Nero, must guard the entrance of the right- 
Iiand gate ; and you, Tullius, pride of the Volscians, 
march your countrymen and the soldiers of Larinum 
to the gate on our left ; but, when I give the word, 
open the gates in silence and hurl a sudden shower 

159 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

telorum in campos nimbum. ferar ipse revulsa 
in medios equitumque traham certamina porta." 
dumque ea Marcellus, iam claustra revellere Poeni 
et scalis spretis tentabant rumpere muros. 180 

Insonuere tubae passim clamorque virorum 
hinnitusque, simul litui raucoque tumultu 
cornua et in membris concussa furentibus arma. 
fertur acerba lues disiectis incita portis, 
efFusaeque ruunt inopino flumine turmae ; 185 

improbus ut fractis exundat molibus amnis, 
propulsum ut Borea scopulis impingitur aequor, 
ut rupto terras invadunt carcere venti. 
nee torrente Libys viso armorumque virumque 
deiectus spe stare valet, dux Dardanus instat 190 
attonito, praegressus equo, tergisque ruentum 
incumbens hasta socios nunc voce fatigat : 
" perge, age, fer gressus. dexter deus ; horaque 

nostra est. 
hac iter ad muros Capuae." nunc rursus in hostem 
conversus ; " sta. quo raperis ? non terga tuorum, 
te, ductor Libyae, increpito. sta. campus et arma 
et Mars in manibus. dimitto e caede cohortes, 197 
spectemur soli. Marcellus proelia posco." 
sic rector Latins ; iuvenique invadere pugnam 
Barcaeo suadebat honor pretiumque pericli. 200 

Sed non haec placido cernebat pectore luno 

* The prison where they are confined by Aeolus. 
160 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 177-201 

of missiles over the plain. I myself, when the gate 
is opened, shall charge into their midst and the 
squadrons of cavalry will follow me." While Mar- 
cellus spoke thus, the Carthaginians were trying to 
pull down the ramparts ; and, disdaining to use 
ladders, they sought to breach the walls. 

Everywhere the trumpets brayed, the soldiers 
shouted, and the horses neighed ; the clarion sounded 
together with the deep boom of the horn ; and 
armour rang on the bodies of the eager combatants. 
The gates were thrown down, a fierce attack rushed 
forth, and the squadrons surprised the enemy as they 
galloped forth in a flood. So a swollen river overflows 
when its dykes are broken, and so the sea is dashed 
upon the rocks by the force of the Northern blasts, 
and so the winds, when they break prison,** make 
war on the earth. When Hannibal saw this avalanche 
of arms and men advancing, he lost courage and 
confidence. The Roman leader pressed hard on his 
dismay : as he rode in front, he bent down to spear 
the backs of the flying foe. At one time he plied 
his men with encouragement — " On ! on ! make 
haste ! This is our hour and Heaven is favourable. 
Yonder lies the way to Capua." Then again he 
addressed Hannibal : " Stay ! whither are you 
rushing ? It is you, the leader of the host, and not 
your fugitive soldiers, that I blame. Stay ! Here 
we have weapons and a field to fight on. Let the 
soldiers cease from slaughter and watch our single 
combat. I, Marcellus, challenge you to battle." 
Thus the Roman general spoke ; and the Cartha- 
ginian was fain to fight, for honour's sake and for 
the prize of victory. 

But Juno could not behold this scene with a mind 
VOL. II F 2 161 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

coeptoque avertit suprema in fata ruentem. 
sistere perculsos ille et revocare laborat : 
** talesne e gremio Capuae tectisque sinistris 
egredimur ? state, o miseri, quis gloria summa 205 
dedecori est. nil vos hodie, mihi credite, terga 
vertentes fidum expectat : meruistis, ut omnis 
ingruat Ausonia, et saevo Mavorte parastis, 
ne qua spes fusos pacis vitaeque maneret." 
vincebat clamore tubas vocisque vigore 210 

quamvis obstructas saevus penetrabat in aures. 

Polydamanteis iuvenis Pedianus in armis 
bella agitabat atrox Troianaque semina et ortus 
atque Antenorea sese de stirpe ferebat, 
baud levior generis fama sacroque Timavo 215 

gloria et Euganeis dilectum nomen in oris, 
huie pater Eridanus Venetaeque ex ordine gentes 
atque Apono gaudens populus, seu bella cieret 
seu Musas placidus doctaeque silentia vitae 
mallet et Aonio plectro mulcere labores, 220 

non ullum dixere parem ; nee notior alter 
Gradivo iuvenis, nee Phoebo notior alter, 
qui postquam, efFusis urgens vestigia frenis 
Poenorum, iuxta galeam atque insigne perempti 
agnovit spolium Pauli (puer ilia gerebat, 225 

non parvo laetus ductoris munere, Cinyps, 
dilectus Poeno Cinyps, quo gratior ora 
non fuit ac nulla nituit plus fronte decoris ; 
quale micat semperque novum est quod Tiburis aura 

** A Trojan warrior mentioned in the Iliad. 

^ Antenor, a Trojan, migrated to Italy after the Trojan 
war and founded several cities on the western coast of the 
Adriatic. The places mentioned below all belong to the same 
district. 

" The river Po. 
162 



r 



PUNICA, XII. 202-229 



at ease, and turned Hannibal from his purpose as 
he was rushing upon his doom. He strove to rally 
and recall his panic-stricken men ; "Is this the state 
in which we come forth from the lap of Capua and 
her baleful hospitality ? Stand fast, miserable men, 
whose fame, once so high, has become your disgrace. 
Believe me, if you retreat to-day, you will find safety 
nowhere. You deserve that all Italy should fall upon 
you ; and the result of all your fierce fighting is this, 
that, if you are beaten now, you have lost all hope of 
peace and of life. ' ' His shouting drowned the trumpets, 
and the noise of his angry rebuke made its way 
through the tumult to their ears. 

Young Pedianus fought bravely there in the armour 
of Polydamas." He claimed descent from Troy and 
Antenor ^ as his ancestor ; he was a worthy scion of 
his race, the pride of the sacred river Timavus ; and 
his name was dear to the Euganean land. Father 
Eridanus,'' the Venetian clans one and all, and the 
men ^ who rejoice in the spring of Aponus — these 
declared that he had no rival, either in battle or when 
he preferred the peaceful company of the Muses and 
the obscurity of a studious life, and charmed away 
trouble with the music of the lyre. No youth was 
better known to Mars, and none better known to 
Apollo. He was riding at full gallop on the heels 
of the retreating enemy, when he recognized the 
helmet and plume taken from Paulus after death. 
The wearer was young Cinyps, proud of this great 
gift from his general. Cinyps was the favourite of 
Hannibal, and the comeliest of all the host ; and 
no face was radiant with more charm than his, like 
ivory which remains ever new and bright in the air 
* The inhabitants of Patavium (Padua). 

163 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

pascit ebur, vel qui miro candoris honore 230 

lucet in aure lapis rubris advectus ab undis). 
quern postquam egregium cristis et casside nota 
fulgent em extreme Pedianus in agmine vidit, 
ceu subita ante oculos Pauli emersisset imago 
sedibus infernis amissaque posceret arma, 235 

invadit frendens : " tune, ignavissime, sacri 
portabis capitis, quae non sine crimine vester 
invidiaque deum gestaret tegmina duetor ? 
en Paulus." vocat inde viri ad spectacula manes 
et fugientis agit costis penetrabile telum. 240 

tum, delapsus equo, galeam atque insignia magni 
consulis abrumpit dextra spoliatque videntem. 
solvitur omne deeus leto, niveosque per artus 
it Stygius color et formae populatur honores. 
ambrosiae cecidere comae, violataque cervix 245 

marmoreum in iugulum collo labente recumbit. 
baud secus Oceano rediens Cythereius ignis, 
cum sese Veneri iactat splendore refecto, 
si subita invadat nubes, hebetatur et atris 
decrescens tenebris languentia lumina condit. 250 
ipse etiam rapta Pedianus casside nudos 
attonitus stupet ad vultus irasque coercet. 

Tum, galeam magno socium clamore reportans, 
immitem quatiebat equum, spumantia saevo 
frena cruentantem morsu. cui turbidus armis 255 
obvia Marcellus rapido tulit ora tumultu 
agnoscensque decus : " macte o virtutis avitae, 
macte Antenoride ! nunc," inquit, " rapta petamus, 
quod superest, Libyci ductoris tegmina " — et ardens 

" Pearls. ^ Lucifer, the morning star, 

* It was so beautiful, even in death. 
164 



PUNICA, XII. 230-259 

of Tibur, or the jewel <^ brought from the Red Sea 
which ghtters in a lady's ear and dazzles the eye 
with its purity. When Pedianus saw him in the rear- 
guard, conspicuous by the plume he wore, and recog- 
nized the glittering helmet, he rushed on him in fury, 
as if the ghost of Paulus had risen suddenly into view 
from the nether world, demanding his lost armour : 
" How dare you, meanest of cowards, to wear that 
sacred head-piece, which, even if your general wore 
it, would make men cry out against the injustice 
of Heaven ? Behold, Paulus ! " Then he called the 
hero's ghost to watch, while he drove his sharp spear 
through the ribs of the fugitive. Next he sprang 
from his horse, and tore away the great consul's helmet 
and plume ; and Cinyps saw himself stripped. Death 
robbed him of all his beauty : a Stygian hue spread 
over his snow-white skin and destroyed his comeliness. 
His ambrosial locks were disordered ; his neck gave 
way, and the wounded head fell forward over the marble 
throat. Thus the star of Venus, ^ when it returns from 
Ocean and displays itself with new-spangled bright- 
ness to its mistress, grows dim if a sudden cloud comes 
over it, and hides its failing light, growing smaller 
in the darkness. Pedianus himself, when he had 
snatched the helmet, was struck dumb by the sight 
of the uncovered face,'' and checked his fierceness. 

Then he carried off the helmet amid the loud shouts of 
his men, and urged on his fiery steed, which champed 
the foaming bit till the blood came. Marcellus, 
fighting fiercely, met him in the haste and confusion 
of battle, and recognized the glorious trophy : ** Well 
done ! " he cried, " son of Antenor, and worthily of 
your brave ancestors ! But one thing still remains : 
let us spoil Hannibal of his helmet." Eagerly he 

165 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

terrificis saevam fundit stridoribus hastam. 260 

nee forsan voti vanus foret, obvia ni vis 
Gestaris opposite tenuisset corpore telum. 
qui dum vicinis duetorem protegit armis, 
transabiit non hune sitiens gravis hasta eruorem 
ingentesque minas mutata morte peregit. 265 

avehitur raptim ductor, diserimine leti 
turbatus, eursumque furens ad castra eapessit. 
iamque fugae immodieus tendit eertamine gressum 
praeeipitem versis Poenorum exercitus armis. 
assequitur telis hostis, longasque viritim 270 

exsatiant iras eladum caeloque eruentos 
certatim ostentant et dis ultoribus enses. 
ille dies primus docuit, quod credere nemo 
auderet superis, Martis eertamine sisti 
posse dueem Libyae. raptant currusque virosque 
Massylamque feram ; et vivis avulsa reportant 276 
tegmina bellantum atque abeunt, sub cuspide terga 
contenti vidisse ducis. tum Martis adaequant 
Marcellum decori : graditur comitante triumpho 
maior, quam ferret cum victor opima Tonanti. 280 

Inde furens, postquam vallo vix depulit hostem, 
ductor Agenoreus : " quando banc quantoque cruore 
hostili labem eluerim ? mea terga videre 
contigit Ausoniae ? mene," inquit, " summe deorum, 
post Trebiam statuis tam turpi funere dignum ? 285 
vosque, invicta diu, nunc heu sine Marte inventus 

« See note to i. 133. 
166 



PUNICA, XII. 260-286 

hurled his deadly spear, and it sped with a dreadful 
whizzing noise. And perhaps he would have gained 
his end, had not brave Gestar met the weapon and 
stopped it by throwing his body in the way. He stood 
beside his general and sheltered him ; and the heavy 
spear, which thirsted for another's blood, pierced him 
through and wreaked its mighty wrath upon the 
wrong victim. Hannibal rode off in haste, troubled 
by his narrow escape from death, and galloped back 
in rage to the camp. And now the Carthaginian 
army, wholly bent on flight, turned and ran a head- 
long race for safety. Behind them came the Roman 
pursuers ; and each man glutted his long-pent resent- 
ment of defeat, and each held up his bloody sword, 
for Heaven and the avenging deities to see. That day 
first proved, what none would have dared to believe, 
though the gods had promised it — that the Libyan 
leader could be withstood in battle. They seized 
chariots and men and elephants ; they tore off the 
armour from living combatants and carried it away ; 
and then they left off, content to have seen Hannibal's 
back at the point of their spears. Then they praised 
Marcellus as equal to Mars in glory ; and he rode 
on escorted by a triumphant procession, a greater 
man than when after victory he bore the choice spoils " 
to the Thunder-god's temple. 

When Hannibal had with difficulty repulsed the 
enemy from his camp, he vented his anger thus : 
** When can I wash away this stain, and how much 
Roman blood will be needed to cleanse it ? Has 
Italy been permitted to see me turn my back ? O 
mightiest of the gods, dost thou consider me, the 
victor of Trebia, worthy of such disgrace and defeat ? 
And you, so long invincible but now, alas, defeated 

167 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

debellata bonis Capuae, non degener ipse 
gestorum Ausoniis verti victricia signa : 
vobis terga dedi. vidi, cum ad bella vocarem, 
non secus atque Italo fugere a ductore paventes. 290 
quid reliquum prisci Martis tibi, qui dare terga 
me revocante potes ? " fundebat talia Poenus ; 
at Latiae sese Nolana ad moenia turmae, 
portantes spolia insigni clamore, ferebant. 

At consueta graves per longum audire suorum 295 
eventus Roma et numquam recreata secundis, 
allato tandem faustae certamine pugnae, 
erigitur primoque deum se munere tollit. 
ante omnes pigra in Martem fugiensque laborum, 
dum bellum tonat, et sese furata inventus 300 

dat poenas latebrae ; tum, qui dulcedine vitae 
invenere dolos iurataque foedera Poeno 
corrupere, notant et purgant crimine gentem. 
punitur patriam meditati linquere terram 
consilium infelix scelerataque culpa Metelli. 305 

talia corda virum. sed enim nee femina cessat 
mentem aequare viros et laudis poscere partem, 
omnis, prae sese portans capitisque manusque 
antiquum decus ac derepta monilia collo, 
certatim matrona ruit belloque ministrant. 310 

baud tanta cessisse viros in tempore tali 
laudis sorte piget ; factoque in saecula ituro 
laetantur tribuisse locum, tum celsa senatus 
subsequitur turba. in medium certamine magno 

" The reference is to Roman prisoners taken at Cannae, 
who were released by Hannibal on condition that they should 
return if no general exchange of prisoners took place. Some 
of them returned at once to the camp, pretending they had 
forgotten something, and then departed again : they claimed 
in this way to have kept their oath. * See x. 420 foil. 

168 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 287-314 

in peace by the luxury of Capua, / was not untrue 
to my past, / did not lower my victorious standards 
before the Romans : it was you who made me retreat. 
When I summoned you to arms, I saw you slink off 
in fear, as if I had been the Roman general. What 
is left of your former spirit, when you dare to turn 
your backs and neglect my call ? " Thus Hannibal 
spoke ; but the Roman troops went back to the 
walls of Nola, shouting loud and bearing their spoil 
with them. 

And now Rome, so long accustomed to hear news 
of defeat to her armies, and never relieved by success, 
took heart again at this first sign of heaven's favour, 
when the news of a victory came at last. First of 
all, they punished for their slackness all those who 
had been slow to enlist and face hardship, and had 
concealed themselves amid the thunder of war ; and 
next they condemned the men who had clung to 
life and therefore devised a trick to evade the sworn 
agreement made with the Carthaginians " ; and so 
the nation was cleared of that guilt. Metellus also, 
who had proposed to abandon Italy, ^ was punished 
for his ill-advised policy and heinous crime. Such 
was the spirit of the men at Rome ; and indeed the 
women were as high-hearted as the men and claimed 
a share of the praise. All the matrons came eagerly 
forward, bringing their family jewels for head or 
hand and ornaments torn from their necks, as a 
contribution for the war. Nor were the men dis- 
pleased to let the women have precedence in so 
noble a cause and at such a crisis : they were glad 
to have given the opportunity for a sacrifice that 
will never be forgotten. The High Court of the 
Senate followed suit. With eager rivalry, they poured 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

privatae cumulantur opes : nudare penates 316 

ac nihil arcanos vitae melioris ad usus 
seposuisse iuvat. coit et sine nomine vulgus. 
corpore sic toto ac membris Roma omnibus usa, 
exsangues rursus tollebat ad aethera vultus. 

Addunt spem miseris dulcem Parnasia Cirrha 320 
portantes responsa viri. nam laeta ferebant 
exaudisse adytis, sacra cum voce tonaret 
antrum, et mugiret Phoebo iam intrata sacerdos : 
** solvite, gens Veneris, graviores corde timores ; 
adversa, et quicquid duri sub Marte manebat, 325 
exhaustum est vobis : restant leviora laborum 
et sine pernicie terror, dis vota precesque 
ferte modo et tepidos aris libate cruores. 
neu date terga malis. aderit Gradivus, et ipse 
Delius avertet propiora pericula vates, 330 

Troianos notus semper minuisse labores. 
sed vero, sed enim ante omnes altaria fument 
centum festa lovi ; centum cadat hostia cultris. 
ille trucem belli nubem saevasque procellas 
in Libyam violentus aget ; spectabitis ipsi 336 

aegida turbato quatientem in proelia mundo." 
atque ea Parnasi postquam clamata sub antris 
allatum, vulgique deus pervenit ad aures, 
in Capitolinas certatim scanditur arces, 



<* The port of Delphi. The chief of these envoys was Q. 
Fabius Pictor, the earliest Roman historian : his history was 
written in Greek. 

170 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 315-339 



out private wealth for public ends, rejoicing to 
strip their houses bare and keep back nothing for 
their own use in better times ; and even the 
nameless populace were of the same mind. Thus 
a united Rome made use of all her members and 
once more raised towards heaven her sore-stricken 
head. 

Hope, so sweet to the suffering, was also brought 
by the envoys who bore the answer of Apollo from 
Cirrha.« For they reported that they had heard glad 
tidings at the shrine, when the divine voice thundered 
through the grotto, and the priestess, possessed by 
the god, muttered her message : " Children of Venus, 
dismiss from your hearts all graver fears. You have 
done now with defeat and all the calamities of war 
that were appointed for you. Lighter tasks remain, 
and danger, but not destruction. Only make prayer 
and supplication to the gods and wet their altars 
with warm blood. And do not run away from your 
troubles. Mars will help you ; and the Seer of 
Delos ^ himself, who, as men know, ever lightened 
the sufferings of Troy, will turn away imminent 
danger from you. But remember this : to Jupiter 
before other gods a hundred altars must smoke in 
his honour and victims must be slaughtered by a 
hundred knives. His power will drive the angry 
cloud and fierce storms of war away to Libya ; and 
you yourselves shall see him shaking the aegis for 
battle in a stormy sky." And, when news came that 
this message had been proclaimed in the cavern of 
Parnassus, and the divine word reached the ears of 
the people, they made haste to climb the hill of the 

* Apollo : Delos was his birth-place. 

171 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sternunturque lovi et delubrum sanguine honorant. 
turn paeana canunt responsaque fida precantur. 341 

Interea assuetis senior Torquatus in armis 
Sardoas patrio quatiebat milite terras, 
namque, ortum Iliaca iactans ab origine nomen, 
in bella Hampsagoras Tyrios renovata vocarat. 345 
proles pulehra viro nee tali digna parente 
Hostus erat ; cuius fretus fulgente iuventa, 
ipse asper paci crudos sine viribus annos 
barbaric! studio ritus refovebat in armis. 
isque ubi Torquatum raptim properata ferentem 350 
signa videt pugnaeque avidas accedere dextras, 
fraude loci nota, latebrosa per avia saltus 
evolat et, provisa fugae compendia captans, 
virgulta tegitur valle ac frondentibus umbris. 

Insula, fluctisono circumvallata profundo, 355 

fastigatur aquis compressaque gurgite terras 
enormes cohibet nudae sub imagine plantae : 
inde Ichnusa prius Grais memorata colonis. 
mox Libyci Sardus generoso sanguine fidens 
Herculis, ex sese mutavit nomina terrae. 360 

affluxere etiam et sedes posuere coactas 
dispersi pelago post eruta Pergama Teucri. 
nee parvum decus, advecto cum classe paterna 
agmine Thespiadum, terris, lolae, dedisti. 
fama est, cum laceris Actaeon flebile membris 305 



" A hymn of praise, especially a hymn addressed to Apollo. 

'' T. Manlius Torquatus had subdued Sardinia during his 
first consulship in 235 b.c. 

* Fugitives from Troy had settled in Sardinia, as in most 
other parts of the western world. 

•* The island is longer than it is broad, and narrows at 
each end, the " toe " and " heel " of the foot. " Ichnusa " 
is derived from ichnos^ the Greek word for " footprint." 

172 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 340-365 

Capitol, and prostrated themselves before Jupiter, 
and honoured his shrine with the blood of beasts. 
Then they sang a paean,« and prayed that the oracle 
might come true. 

Meanwhile Torquatus, now advanced in years, was 
attacking the island of Sardinia, where he had fought 
before,'' with an army from Italy. For Hampsagoras, 
proud of the name which he had inherited from Trojan 
ancestors,*' had invited the Carthaginians to start a 
fresh campaign in the island. His son Hostus was 
a goodly youth and worthy of a better father ; and 
Hampsagoras, no friend to peace and devoted to 
barbarous customs, relied upon his son's youthful 
vigour and hoped by war to revive his own feeble 
old age. When Hostus saw Torquatus and his army 
coming on with speed and eager for battle, he eluded 
them by his knowledge of the country and fled 
through secret byways in the forest ; and so, escaping 
by familiar short-cuts, he concealed himself in a 
wooded valley under the shade of trees. 

The island of Sardinia, compassed about by the 
sound of the waves, is made narrow at the ends by 
the sea that shuts it in ; and the land within its 
borders is irregular in shape, resembling the sole of 
a naked foot.** Hence it was called Ichnusa by the 
first colonists from Greece. But afterwards Sardus, 
proud of his descent from the Libyan Hercules, named 
it anew after himself. Then some Trojans, scattered 
over the seas after the sack of Troy, came and settled 
there against their will. lolaiis, too, increased the 
fame of the island when he brought thither a band 
of Thespiadae ^ on ships of Thespiae. Legend also 
tells that, when Actaeon was torn to pieces — the 
• See note to xi. 19. 

178 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

siipplicium lueret spectatae in fonte Dianae, 
attonitum novitate mali fugisse parentem 
per freta Aristaeum et Sardoos isse recessus ; 
Cyrenen monstrasse ferunt nova litora matrem. 
serpentum tellus pura ac viduata venenis, 370 

sed tristis caelo et multa vitiata palude. 
qua videt Italiam, saxoso torrida dorso 
exercet scopulis late freta pallidaque intus 
arva coquit nimium, Cancro fumantibus Austris. 
cetera propensae Cereris nutrita favore. 375 

Hoc habitu terrae nemorosa per invia crebro 
Torquatum eludens Hostus, Sidonia pugnae 
tela expectabat sociosque laboris Hiberos. 
qui postquam appulsis animos auxere carinis, 
baud mora : prorumpit latebris ; adversaque late 380 
agmina inhorrescunt, longumque coire videtur 
et conferre gradum. media intervalla patentis 
corripiunt campi properatis eminus hastis, 
donee ad expertos enses, fidissima tela, 
perventum. dira inde lues, caeduntque caduntque 
alternique animas saevo in mucrone relinquunt. 386 

Non equidem innumeras caedes totque horrida facta 
sperarim tanto digne pro nomine rerum 
pandere nee dictis bellantum aequare calorem. 
sed vos. Calliope, nostro donate labori, 390 

nota parum magni longo tradantur ut aevo 
facta viri, et meritum vati sacremus honorem. 
Ennius, antiqua Messapi ab origine regis, 

" A large part of the Roman corn -supply came from 
Sardinia. ** The Muse of epic poetry. 

" Q. Ennius (269-139 b.c.) was the first great poet of 
Rome : he fought in the Second Punic War and wrote a 
history {Annales) of Rome in hexameter verse : fragments 
only of this work survive. 

174, 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 366-393 

grievous penalty he suffered for seeing Diana while 
bathing — his father, Aristaeus, appalled by so strange 
a tragedy, fled across the sea to the bays of Sar- 
dinia, guided, it is said, by his mother, Cyrene, to 
this unknown land. The island is free from snakes 
and breeds no poisons ; but the climate is gloomy 
and the air infected by the swamps that abound there. 
The side that looks toward Italy and defies the waves 
with its rocky cliffs is sultry ; and inland the feeble 
crops are burnt up by excessive heat, when the 
South-winds blow at midsummer. But the rest of 
the island flourishes under the special favour of Ceres." 

Such is the nature of the land, and here Hostus 
slipped away from Torquatus again and again through 
the trackless woodlands ; he was hoping for a 
Carthaginian army and Spaniards also to help him 
in the fighting. As soon as he was encouraged by 
the landing of their ships, he burst forth at once from 
his concealment ; and the armies, bristling with 
spears, faced each other, eager to come to close 
quarters. Spears, hurled from a distance, speed 
across the open space between the hosts ; and at 
last they take to the sword, that tried and trusty 
weapon. Fearful carnage followed ; they slay and 
are slain, and death by the ruthless blade overtakes 
man after man on either side. 

I cannot hope to tell of all these countless deaths and 
dreadful deeds in a manner worthy so great a theme, 
or find words to match the ardour of the combatants ; 
but grant me this. Calliope,^ in reward of my pains — 
that I may hand down to long ages the noble deeds, 
too little known, of a great man, and crown the 
poet's brow with the wreath he deserves. Foremost 
in the fight was Ennius/ a scion of the ancient stock 

176 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

miscebat primas acies, Latiaeque superbum 

vitis adornabat dextram decus ; hispida tellus 395 

miserunt Calabri ; Rudiae genuere vetustae ; 

nunc Rudiae solo memorabile nomen alumno. 

is prima in pugna (vates ut Thracius olim, 

infestam bello quateret cum Cyzicus Argo, 

spicula deposito Rhodopeia pectine torsit) 400 

spectandum sese non parva strage virorum 

fecerat, et dextrae gliscebat caedibus ardor. 

advolat aeternum sperans fore pelleret Hostus 

si tantam labem, ac perlibrat viribus hastam. 

risit nube sedens vani conamina coepti 406 

et telum procul in ventos dimisit Apollo, 

ac super his : " nimium es iuvenis nimiumque superbis : 

sperato absistas. sacer hie ac magna sororum 

Aonidum cura est et dignus Apolline vates. 

hie canet illustri primus bella Itala versu 410 

attolletque duces caelo ; resonare docebit 

hie Latiis Helicona modis nee cedet honore 

Ascraeo famave seni." sic Phoebus, et Hosto 

ultrix per geminum transcurrit tempus harundo. 

vertuntur iuvenis casu perculsa per agros 416 

agmina, et effusae pariter dant terga catervae. 

tum pater, audita nati nece turbidus irae, 

barbaricum atque immane gemens, transfigit anhelum 

pectus et ad manes urget vestigia nati. 

At Libyae ductor, Marcello fractus et acri 420 

contusus pugna, campos damnarat et arma 

" Calabria was also called Messapia, after this king. 

^ See note to vi. 43. " Orpheus. 

"* King of an island in the Sea of Marmora ; the island 
eventually took the name of the king. 

* The Homeric hexameter. 

' A hill in Boeotia where the Muses dwelt. 

" Hesiod was a native of Ascra in Boeotia. 
176 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 394-421 



of King Messapus ^ ; and his right hand held the 
vine-stafFj^ the distinguishing badge of the Roman 
centurion. He came from the rugged land of Calabria, 
and he was a son of ancient Rudiae — Rudiae which 
now owes all her fame to this child of hers. He 
fought in the van ; and, even as the Thracian bard <' 
long ago dropped his lyre and hurled missiles brought 
from Rhodope, when Cyzicus^ made war upon the 
Argo, so Ennius had made himself conspicuous by 
slaying many of the enemy, and his ardour in battle 
grew with the number of his victims. Now, hoping 
to win everlasting fame by disposing of such a 
dangerous foe, Hostus flew at Ennius and strongly 
hurled his spear. But Apollo, seated on a cloud, 
mocked his fruitless endeavour and sent the weapon 
wide into the distant air. Then he spoke : " Too 
insolent, too bold are you : give up your design. 
That sacred head is dearly loved by the Muses, and 
he is a bard worthy of Apollo. He shall be the first 
to sing of Roman wars in noble verse,^ and shall exalt 
their commanders to the sky ; he shall teach Helicon' 
to repeat the sound of Roman poetry, and he shall 
equal the sage of Ascra ^ in glory and honour." Thus 
Phoebus spoke, and Hostus was struck by an avenging 
arrow '' which pierced both his temples. Panic- 
stricken by their prince's fall, his soldiers turned 
and fled, rushing all together from the field. When 
Hampsagoras heard of his son's death, he was dis- 
tracted with rage : with hideous yells such as bar- 
barians utter, he stabbed his own heaving breast and 
hastened to join his son in the nether world. 

Hannibal meanwhile, beaten by Marcellus and 
sorely mauled in battle, had abandoned fighting in 
* Shot apparently by Apollo. 

177 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

verterat ad miseras non aequi Martis Acerras. 

inde, ubi permisit flammis atque ensibus urbem, 

Nuceriae, nihilo levior nee pareior ira, 

ineussit sese atque aequavit moenia terrae. 425 

post Casilina sibi, multum obluctatus iniquis 

defendentum armis, aegre reseraverat astu 

limina et obsessis vitam pensaverat auro. 

iamque, in Dauniacos transfundens agmina campos, 

flectebat rabiem, quo praeda vel ira vocasset. 430 

fumabat versis incensa Petilia tectis, 

infelix fidei miseraeque secunda Sagunto, 

at quondam Herculeam servare superba pharetram. 

Verterat et mentem Tyria ad conata Tarentus, 
portisque intrarant Poeni. sed enim arce corusca, 
fisa loco, manus Ausoniae stipata sedebat. 436 

hie, miranda movens, classem, quae condita portu 
adstabat (namque angustis se faucibus aequor 
irrumpit scopulos inter patuloque recessu 
infundit campis secretum gurgite pontum) 440 

inclusas igitur, quibus baud enare dabatur 
arce superposita, claustris maris extulit astu 
perque aversa tulit portatas arva carinas, 
lubrica roboreis aderant substramina plaustris ; 
inque recens caesi tergo prolapsa iuvenci, 445 

aequoream rota ducebat per gramina puppim. 

" Apulia. 

^ This ancient city was founded by Philoctetes, who 
bequeathed to it the bow and arrows of Hercules. 

* The citadel stood on what was virtually an island, and 
commanded the narrow channel connecting the inner harbour 
with the roadstead outside. Hannibal hoped to get command 
of the sea and so starve out the garrison of the citadel ; but 
he never succeeded in taking it. 
178 



PUNICA, XII. 422-446 

the open and turned his superior strength against 
hapless Acerrae. He gave the town to fire and 
sword, and then, hurling himself against Nuceria 
with as heavy a hand and as fierce an anger, 
razed the walls to the ground. Next came Casi- 
linum, where he struggled long against the ill- 
matched efforts of the defenders, till at last he 
gained entrance by a stratagem and granted the 
besieged their lives in return for gold. Then he 
shifted his army to the Daunian plains " and turned 
his fury against any spot whither booty or anger 
drew him. Petilia,^ unhappy in her loyalty and a 
second Saguntum in her fate, was set on fire, and 
the smoke went up from her ruined houses ; yet 
once she had prided herself on preserving the arrows 
of Hercules. 

Tarentum too had gone over to the invaders, and 
the Carthaginians had entered her gates. But a 
close-packed Roman garrison was quartered in the 
far-shining citadel,'' confident in their strong posi- 
tion. Then Hannibal devised a wondrous plan. The 
Tarentine fleet was at anchor and hidden away in 
the harbour ; for the sea bursts in through the rocks 
by a narrow entrance and floods an ample basin** 
with water separated from the main. Therefore, as 
the ships were shut in and prevented from sailing 
forth by the citadel commanding the entrance, 
Hannibal artfully brought them out by transporting 
them over dry land on the side away from the 
citadel. A slippery surface was laid down under- 
neath wooden wagons, and wheels, moving easily 
over the hides of freshly-slain bullocks, carried the 
ships through the meadow-land. And soon the fleet, 
* The great inner harbour. 

179 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et iam, per coUes dumosque ad litus adacta, 
innabat pelago veniens sine remige classis. 

Nuntius interea vectis non more carinis 
terrentem freta curarum fervoribus implet, 450 

dum procul Oebalios amet expugnare nepotes 
et primus rostris sulcet navalibus arva, 
assesses Capuae muros : claustra ipsa revelli 
portarum, ac totum miseris incurrere bellum. 
linquit coepta ferox, pennasque addente pudore 455 
atque ira simul, immani per proxima motu 
evolat et minitans avida ad certamina fertur. 
baud secus, amisso tigris si concita fetu 
emicet, attonitae paucis lustratur in horis 
Caucasus et saltu tramittitur alite Ganges, 460 

donee fulmineo partus vestigia cursu 
colligat et rabiem prenso consumat in hoste. 

Obvius huie sparso Centenius agmine raptim 
funditur, audendi pravus facilisque periclis. 
sed parvum decus Hannibali. nam, vitis honore 465 
perfunctus Latiae, subito stimularat agrestes 
semermemque manum sternendam obiecerat hosti. 
bis septem demissa neci (nee substitit agmen) 
milia ; bis septem, quae non sollertior ense 
sed genus insignis, iustis ducebat in armis 470 

Fulvius ; ast aeque per corpora fusa iacentum 
raptum iter est, victorque moram non passus eundi. 

" It must be supposed that each ship would need more 
than one wagon to transport it. Silius exaggerates here: 
Livy's account says that the road used was broad and level. 

'' Oebalus was an ancient king of Sparta : Tarentum was 
a Spartan colony. " See note to vi. 43. 

180 



PUNICA, XII. 447-472 

moving on over hills and through thickets without 
the help of oarsmen, reached the shore and rode upon 
the waves." 

While Hannibal startled the sea by conveying the 
fleet in this strange fashion, news came that filled 
him with a fever of anxiety. While he was far away, 
trying to take their town from the descendants of 
Oebalus ^ and ploughing the fields for the first time 
in history with the beaks of ships, he heard that 
Capua was besieged, even her gates broken down, 
and her wretched inhabitants exposed to all the 
horrors of war. In anger he gave up his enterprise. 
Shame and wrath together lent him wings ; he flew 
through the surrounding country at furious speed 
and rushed eagerly to the conflict, threatening 
vengeance. So, when a tigress has lost her cub 
and dashes forth in pursuit, the distracted beast 
traverses the whole Caucasus in a few hours and 
takes a flying leap over the Ganges, until her lightning 
speed finds the footprints of her young one ; then 
she catches her enemy and wreaks all her fury upon 
him. 

Centenius, foolhardy and careless in danger, faced 
him but was soon routed and his force dispersed. 
Yet Hannibal got little glory by it. For Centenius, 
who had once carried the vine-staff*' of a Roman 
centurion, had hastily stirred up the country people 
and thrown his ill-armed levies against the foe to be 
destroyed. Twice seven thousand men were slain, 
nor did the victor halt : twice seven thousand more, 
fully armed, were led by Fulvius, no better skilled 
in war for all his famous name ; and again the enemy 
dashed on over their prostrate bodies and refused to 
check the rate of their march. One thing only made 

181 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exequiae tantum famam nomenque volentem 
mitificae mentis tenuerunt funere laeto. 474 

namque per insidias, infandum, et ab hospite caesus, 
colloquium et promissa petit dum perfida gentis 
Lueanae, Gracchus, caeco circumdatus astu, 
occiderat, laudemque Libys rapiebat humandi. 

Sed non, ut scitum celerare ad moenia Poenum, 
adstabat res ulla loco : lam consul uterque 480 

praecipites aderant ; Nola vis omnis, et Arpis 
aevi floridior Fabius rapida arma ferebat ; 
hinc Nero et hinc volucris Silanus nocte dieque 
impellebat agens properata ad bella cohortes. 
undique conveniunt, pariterque opponere cunctos 485 
uni ductores iuveni placet, arduus ipse 
Tifata insidit, propior qua moenibus instat 
collis, et e tumulis subiectam despicit urbem, 
verum ubi tot sese circumfundentibus armis 
vallatas socium portas unaque negari 490 

intravisse sibi Capuaeque erumpere cernit, 
anxius eventus, nunc ferro frangere coetum 
obstantum meditatur, init nunc avia coepto 
consilia atque astu quaerit tot milia portis 
abstrahere artatis cinctosque resolvere muros. 495 
sic igitur secum curasque ita corde fatigat : 
" quo, mens aegra, vocas ? rursusne pericula sumam, 
non aequus regione loci ? Capuaque vidente 
terga dabo ? an, residens vicini vertice montis, 

<* The proconsul, Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, who com- 
manded an army in Lucania. 

^ Q. Fulvius FlacGus and Appius Claudius. Nero and 

Silanus were praetors. * The Capuans. 

182 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 473-499 



Hannibal pause : seeking a reputation for humanity, 
he gave burial to Gracchus," though rejoicing at his 
death. For Gracchus, while seeking by means of a 
conference to gain the adherence of the false Lu- 
canians, had been treacherously and foully slain by 
his host ; encompassed by hidden guile he had been 
murdered, and Hannibal snatched at the credit of 
giving him burial. 

But when it was known that Hannibal was hastening 
to Capua, no stone was left unturned. Both consuls ^ 
flew to the spot, and all the forces from Nola ; 
the younger Fabius brought his men with speed from 
Arpi ; Nero from one quarter and swift Silanus from 
another urged their armies on night and day for 
instant battle. From all sides they assembled ; and 
Rome was resolved to pit all her generals against 
that one young commander. He himself encamped 
aloft on Mount Tifata, the height that rises close 
by the walls of Capua, and looked down thence upon 
the city below. But now, when he saw himself 
surrounded by so many armies, and the city of his 
allies '^ blockaded, so that it was impossible either 
for him to enter or for the Capuans to sally forth, 
he was troubled for the issue. At one time he thought 
of shattering every obstacle with the sword ; or again 
he might swerve from his present purpose, and devise 
some stratagem to draw that great host away from the 
closed gates and set free the beleaguered city. Thus 
then he spoke to himself, and thus he turned over 
his anxious thoughts : " Whither does my wavering 
purpose summon me ? Shall I face the risk again, 
though the lie of the land is against me ? Shall I 
turn my back, with Capua looking on ? Or shall I 
sit here close by on the mountain and suffer the city 

183 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exscindi ante oculos patiar socialia tecta ? 600 

non ita me expert! Fabius Fabiique magister 

turbatum, Hesperio cum clauses milite coUes 

evasi victor sparsosque per arva iuvencos 

iactare accensis stimulavi cornibus ignes. 

baud dum omnes abiere doli : defendere nobis 505 

si Capuam ereptum est, dabitur circumdare Romam." 

Haec postquam placita, et tenuit sententia mentem, 
non expectato Titan dum gurgite lucem 
spirantes proferret equos, impellit in agmen 
voce manuque viros et coepta immania pandit : 510 
" perge, age, vince omnem, miles, virtute laborem 
et, quantum humani possunt se tendere passus, 
arduus accelera. Romam petis. hoc iter Alpes, 
hoc Cannae stravere tibi. eia, incute muris 
umbonem Iliacis Capuaeque repende ruinas ; 515 

quam tanti fuerit cadere, ut Palatia cernas 
et demigrantem Tarpeia sede Tonantem." 

Instincti glomerant gressus. Roma auribus haeret, 
Roma oculis ; creduntque ducis soUertibus actis 
aptius id coeptum, quam si duxisset ab ipso 620 

fatali Aeneadis campo. Vulturna citata 
tramittunt alno vada postremique relinquunt 
tardandis Italis corruptas igne carinas, 
tum Sidicina legunt pernicibus arva maniplis 
Threiciamque Calen, vestras a nomine nati, 525 

« Minucius. " See vii. 310 foil. 

'^ Cannae. * See note to viii. 514. 

184 



PUNICA, XII. 500-525 

of my allies to be sacked before my face ? That 
is not like me : Fabius and his Master of the 
Knights " did not find me discomfited when I 
escaped triumphantly through the hills beset by 
Roman soldiers, and forced the cattle, by setting 
light to their horns, to scatter through the fields 
tossing fire-brands.^ Not yet have I lost all my 
cunning. If the defence of Capua is denied me, I 
shall find it possible to besiege Rome." 

When this was settled and his mind made up, he 
did not wait until the Sun brought his fire-breathing 
steeds up from Ocean. With voice and gesture he 
urged his men to march, and revealed his daring 
design ; " On, soldiers, on ! with courage superior 
to every hardship, and increase your speed to the 
utmost limit of human endurance. Rome is your 
object. The Alps and Cannae paved the way for 
our present march. On with you, and dash your 
shields against the Roman walls, and take vengeance 
for the destruction of Capua. The fall of Capua is 
a price worth paying, if you see the Palatine Hill 
and the Thunder-god evicted from his abode on the 
Capitol." 

Thus appealed to, they marched with speed. Rome 
rang in their ears, Rome stood before their eyes. They 
believed that, thanks to their general's adroitness, 
this enterprise was better timed than if he had led 
them there straight from the field ^ so fatal to the 
Aeneadae. Quickly they crossed the river Vulturnus 
in boats ; and the rearguard, in order to delay the 
Romans, set fire to the boats and left them useless. 
Then the soldiers hurried through the territory of 
Sidicinum, and Thracian Cales,'^ the abode of Orithyia, 

VOL. II o 185 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Orithyia, domos. hinc Allifanus laccho 

haud inamatus ager nymphisque habitata Casiiiis 

rura evastantur ; mox et vicinus Aquinas 

et, quae fumantem texere Giganta, Fregellae 

agmine carpuntur volucri. fert concitus inde 630 

per iuga celsa gradum, duris qua rupibus haeret 

bellator Frusino, et surgit suspensa tumenti 

dorso frugiferis Cerealis Anagnia glebis. 

iamque adeo est campos ingressus et arva Labici, 

linquens Telegoni pulsatos ariete muros, 535 

haud dignam inter tanta moram. nee amoena re- 

tentant 
Algida nee iuxta lunonis tecta Gabinae. 
praeceps ad ripas immani turbine fertur, 
sulphureis gelidus qua serpit leniter undis 
ad genitorem Anio, labens sine murmure, Thy brim. 

Hie ut signa ferox dimensaque castra locavit 541 
et ripas tremefecit eques, perterrita pulsis 
Iha prima vadis sacro se coniugis antro 
condidit, et cunctae fugerunt gurgite nymphae. 
at matres Latiae, ceu moenia nulla supersint, 645 
attonitae passim furibundis gressibus errant, 
ante oculos adstant lacerae trepidantibus umbrae, 
quaeque gravem ad Trebiam quaeque ad Ticina 

fluenta 
oppetiere necem, Paulus Gracchusque cruenti 
Flaminiusque simul miseris ante ora vagantur. 550 
clausit turba vias. stat eelsus et asper ab ira 
ingentemque metum torvo domat ore senatus. 

" Tusculum : see note to vii. 692. 

^ Hannibal was now within three miles of Rome : he never 
got nearer. 

" Ilia, also called Rhea Silvia, was the daughter of King 
Amulius. When she bore Romulus and Remus to Mars, 
186 



p 



PUNICA, XII. 526-662 

named after her son. Next they laid waste the land 
of Allifae, dear to Bacchus, and the country where 
the nymphs of Casinum dwell ; and soon the speedy 
column passed Aquinum, and Fregellae where a buried 
Giant sends up smoke. On they rushed over the 
heights where the warlike men of Frusino cling 
to their rugged rocks, and where Anagnia rises on 
a swelling ridge, a fertile land for corn. And at last 
Hannibal set foot on the plains and corn-fields of 
Labicum and left behind the walls of Telegonus,« 
battered by the ram already but not worth delay at 
such a crisis. Nor did the iDcauty of Algidus detain 
him, nor Gabii, the city of Juno. With furious speed 
he rushed forwards to the banks where cold Anio, 
gliding noiselessly, winds smoothly with sulphurous 
waters towards Father Tiber. ^ 

Here he proudly planted his standards and measured 
out his camp ; and, when the banks shook beneath the 
trampling of his horsemen, their noise straightway 
drove Ilia down in fear to hide in the sacred grotto 
of her spouse,'' and all the nymphs of the stream took 
flight. Meanwhile the Roman women, as if the walls 
were already levelled, ran aimlessly to and fro in 
their distraction like madwomen. Their terror saw 
ghosts standing before them — ghosts of mangled men, 
who met their death by the fatal streams of Trebia 
and Ticinus ; the bleeding forms of Paulus and 
Gracchus and Flaminius moved before their eyes. 
The streets were blocked by the crowds. But the 
Senators stood erect and formidable in wrath, and 
their grim aspect quelled the mighty panic. Yet 

she was condemned to be drowned In the Anio : there she 
changed her earthly life for that of a goddess and wife of 
the river-god. 

187 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

interdum tamen erumpunt sub casside fusae 
per taciturn lacrimae : quidnam Fortuna minetur, 
quidve parent superi ? pubes dispersa per altas 555 
Stat turres atque hue ventum sub corde volutat, 
ut iam Roma satis credat defendere muros. 

Poenus ut ad somnos vix totam cursibus actae 
indulsit pubi noctem, vigil ipse nee uUam 
ad requiem facilis credensque abscedere vitae 560 
quod sopor eripiat tempus, radiantibus armis 
induitur Nomadumque iubet prorumpere turmas, 
inde, levis frenis, circum pavitantia fertur 
quadrupedante sono perculsae moenia Romae. 
nunc aditus lustrat, clausas nunc cuspide pulsat 565 
infesta portas fruiturque timore paventum. 
nunc, lentus celsis adstans in collibus, intrat 
urbem oculis discitque locos causasque locorum. 
ac legeret visu cuncta et penetraret in omnes 
spectando partes, ni magno turbine adesset 570 

Fulvius, baud tota Capuae obsidione relicta. 
tum demum castris turmas inflexit ovantes 
spectata ductor satiatus pectora Roma, 
atque ubi nox depulsa polo primaque rubescit 
lampade Neptunus revocatque Aurora labores, 575 
effundit rupto persultans agmina vallo 
et, quantum clamare valet : " per plurima vestra, 
o socii, decora et sacras in sanguine dextras, 
vobis ite pares et tantum audete sub armis, 

*• The rampart of his camp on the Anio. 
188 



ft 



PUNICA, XII. 553-579 

sometimes silent tears burst forth from beneath 
a helmet. " What," they asked, ** does Fortune 
threaten us with, and what is the purpose of the 
gods ? " The young men were distributed for service 
among the high towers, and each said to himself : 
** It has come to this, that Rome now is content if she 
can but defend her walls ! " 

Hannibal granted his men a short night's sleep, 
that they might rest after their furious march. He 
himself kept watch ; he was never willing to rest, 
and thought that every hour claimed by sleep was 
so much lost to life. He put on his shining armour 
and ordered his Numidian horsemen to gallop in 
front. Then he rode swiftly round the walls, and the 
trampling of the horses raised panic in the city. 
Now he examined the approaches, now he beat on 
the closed gates with angry spear and enjoyed the 
terror of the citizens. Or again, he stood motionless 
on some eminence, bending his gaze upon the city, 
learning the name of each spot and the origin of its 
name. He would have surveyed it all, and his piercing 
eye would have left no part unseen, had not Fulvius 
come up in furious haste, without entirely abandoning 
the siege of Capua. Then only did Hannibal, having 
feasted his eyes on the sight of Rome, turn his 
triumphant squadrons towards their camp. And, 
when night was banished from the sky, and the sea 
grew red with sunrise, and Dawn called men back 
to their labours, he sent his army forth from the 
demolished rampart,^ and, as he rode along, shouted 
with all the power of his voice : " Comrades, I adjure 
you by your countless laurels and your right hands 
consecrated by bloodshed, go forward and rival your 
former deeds ; let your boldness in battle be as great 

189 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quantum Roma timet, reliquam hanc exscindite 
molem, 680 

nil, quod vincatis, toto restabit in orbe. 
neu populi vos Martigenae tardarit origo ; 
intratam Senonum capietis milibus urbem 
assuetamque capi. fortasse curulibus altis 
iam vos, exemplo proavorum, ad nobile letum 685 
expectant de more senes mortique parantur." 

Talibus hie Poenus ; sed contra Oenotria pubes 
non ullas voces ducis aut praecepta requirit. 
sat matres stimulant natique et cara supinas 
tendentum palmas lacrimantiaque ora parentum. 590 
ostentant parvos vagituque incita pulsant 
corda virum, armatis infigunt oscula dextris. 
ire volunt et pro muris opponere densi 
pectora respectantque suos fletumque resorbent. 
ut vero impulso patefactae cardine portae 695 

et simul erupit motis exercitus armis, 
funditur immixtus gemitu precibusque per altos 
ad caelum muros plangor, sparsaeque solutis 
crinibus exululant matres atque ubera nudant. 
Fulvius antevolans agmen : " quis nesciat," inquit, 
** non sponte ad nostros Poenum venisse penates ? 601 
a portis fugit Capuae." subnectere plura 
conantem tristis caeli cum murmure vasto 
turbavit fragor et subita de nube procellae. 

lupiter, Aethiopum remeans tellure, minantem 605 
" He refers to the capture of Rome by Gauls in 390 b.c. 

190 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 680-605 



as the fear in Roman hearts. Destroy this one 
obstacle, and nothing will remain in the whole world 
for you to conquer. Nor, though they spring from 
Mars, let that parentage delay your attack : you 
will take a city that is accustomed to be taken, a 
city that the Senones entered in their thousands. <» 
Perhaps the Senators are already duly seated on 
their high curule chairs, even as their ancestors 
sat, preparing for a glorious death and waiting for 
you to inflict it." 

Thus spoke Hannibal ; but the men of Rome, on 
their side, needed no speech or appeal from any 
leader. They found incentive enough in the sight of 
women and children, and of loved parents weeping 
and holding out their hands in supplication. Mothers 
hold up their infants and stir the eager hearts of 
the men by the children's cries, and imprint kisses 
on hands that grasp the sword. The men are eager 
to march and breast the enemy outside the walls in 
close array ; and they look back at their dear ones 
and choke down their tears. But, when the opened 
gate turned on its hinges and the host sallied forth 
together in arms, the noise of beaten breasts, mingled 
with sobs and prayers, rose up over the high walls 
to heaven ; and the matrons shrieked, baring their 
breasts and letting loose their hair. At the head of 
the army rode Fulvius. " It is an open secret," he 
said, " that Hannibal was no free agent when he 
came to attack our homes : he was driven in flight 
from the gates of Capua." He was about to say 
more, when he was interrupted by a fearful crash and 
loud rumbling in the sky ; and a tempest burst 
suddenly from the clouds. 

Jupiter was returning from the land of the Ethio- 

191 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Romuleo Poenum ut vidit succedere vallo, 

caelicolis raptim excitis, defendere tecta 

Dardana et in septem discurrere iusserat arces. 

ipse e Tarpeio sublimis vertice cuncta, 

et ventos simul et nubes et grandinis iras 610 

fulminaque et tonitrus et nimbos conciet atros. 

concussi tremuere poli, caelumque tenebris 

clauditur, et terras caeco nox condit amictu. 

instat tempestas oculis, hostique propinquo 

Roma latet. iactae in turmas per nubila flammae 615 

stridorem servant, membrisque insibilat ignis. 

hinc Notus, hinc Boreas, hinc fuscis Africus alis 

bella movent, quantis aniraos et pectora possint 

irati satiare lovis. fluit agmen aquarum, 

turbine confusum fwceo et nigrante procella, 620 

atque omnes circa campos spumantibus undis 

involvit. celsus summo de culmine montis 

regnator superum sublata fulmina dextra 

libravit clipeoque ducis, non cedere certi, 

incussit : summa liquefacta est cuspis in hasta, 625 

et fluxit, ceu correptus fornacibus, ensis. 

Ambustis sed enim ductor Sidonius armis 
sistebat socios et caecum e nubibus ignem 
murmuraque a ventis misceri vana docebat. 
tandem post clades socium caelique ruinam, 630 

non hoste in nimbis viso, non ense, referri 
signa iubet castris maestasque resuscitat iras : 
" ventis debebis nimirum hiemisque procellis 

" This is taken from the Iliad, where it is said that Zeus 
(Jupiter) was absent on one occasion when his presence was 
wanted, because he had gone to partake of a feast offered to 
him by the Ethiopians. 

192 



PUNICA, XII. 606-633 



I .., 

to the ramparts of Romulus. At once he summoned 
the gods and bade them defend the Dardan city and 
each to take his place on the Seven Hills. He himself, 
raised high on the Tarpeian Mount, stirred up all 
his armoury — winds and clouds and angry hail, 
thunder and lightning and black rain-storms. The 
firmament was struck and trembled, darkness veiled 
the sky, and earth was hidden by the black robe of 
night. The enemy were blinded by the storm, and 
Rome, though close beside them, was hidden from 
their eyes. The flame, hurled through the clouds 
upon their ranks, kept roaring on, and the fire hisses 
against their limbs. Then the South-wind and 
the North, and the dark- winged South-west wind, 
began a war fierce enough to satisfy the anger in 
the breast of Jupiter. A deluge of rain came down, 
mingled with pitchy hurricanes and black storms, and 
covered all the surrounding plains with foaming waves. 
The Ruler of the gods, high on his hill-top, hurled a 
thunderbolt with his lifted arm and smote the shield 
of Hannibal. The general was resolved never to 
give way ; but the point of his spear was melted, 
and his sword was fused, as if it had been plunged 
in the furnace. 

But, though his weapons were scathed by the fire, 
Hannibal still rallied his men, telling them that the 
fire from heaven was blind, and the tumultuous 
roaring of the winds a mere empty din. At last, 
when his men had suffered and all heaven had 
come crashing down, without their seeing an enemy 
or an enemy's sword through the rain, he ordered a 
retreat to the camp, and thus revived his wrath and 
sorrow : " Rome, you may thank the winds and stormy 
VOL. II o 2 193 



W 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

unum, Roma, diem ; sed non te crastina nobis 

lux umquam eripiet, descendat lupiter ipse 635 

in terras licet." infrendens dum talia fatur, 

ecce serenato clarum iubar emicat axe, 

purgatusque nitet discussis nubibus aether. 

Aeneadae sensere deum telisque repostis 

summissas tendunt alta ad Capitolia dextras 640 

et festa cingunt montis penetralia lauro. 

turn vultus, modo non parvo sudore madentes, 

nunc laetos lovis aspectant : " da, summe deorum, 

da, pater, ut sacro Libys inter proelia telo 

concidat : baud alia potis est occumbere dextra."645 

Sic adeo orantes pressere silentia, postquam 
abstulerat terras nigrantibus Hesperus umbris. 
quern simul attollens rutilantem lampada Titan 
obruit et vitae rediit mortalibus usus, 
Poenus adest, nee se castris Oenotria pubes 650 

continet. baud dum enses stricti, mediumque iacebat 
tantum ad bella loci, quantum tramittere iactae 
sufficerent hastae, cum fulgor hebescere caeli 
per subitum coepit, densaeque subire tenebrae, 
atque dies fugere, atque armari ad proelia rursus 655 
lupiter. incumbunt venti, crassusque rotante 
Austro nimborum fervet globus, intonat ipse, 
quod tremat et RhodopeTaurusque et Pindus et Atlas, 
audivere lacus Erebi, mersusque profundis 
agnovit tenebris caelestia bella Typhoeus. 660 

invadit Notus ac, piceam cum grandine multa 

" The face of the god's image is meant. 
'' All these are great mountain-ranges. 
* Hades. 

^ The Giant imprisoned under Inarime (Ischia) : see note 
to viii. 540. 

191 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 634-661 

weather, forsooth ! for a single day's reprieve ; but 
the morrow shall never snatch you from my grasp, 
not if Jupiter descends to earth in person." While 
he spoke thus and gnashed his teeth, behold ! the 
heavens cleared and the sun shone out, the clouds 
dispersed and the sky became pure and bright. The 
Aeneadae recognized the hand of the god : laying 
down their weapons, they held their hands up humbly 
towards the lofty Capitol and wreathed the temple 
on the hill with festal laurel. Then they looked at 
Jupiter's face," cheerful now though bathed in sweat 
a little while ago : " O supreme Father of the gods," 
they prayed, " grant that Hannibal may be slain in 
battle by a bolt from heaven. No other hand has 
power to destroy him." 

Thus they prayed and then kept silence, after 
Hesperus had hidden the earth beneath the shades 
of night. But when the sun raised his ruddy torch 
and hid the morning-star, and mortal men resumed 
the business of life, back the Carthaginians came, 
nor did the Roman soldiers remain in their camp. 
Swords were not yet drawn, and a space, only the 
length of a spear-cast, separated the armies, when 
suddenly the brightness of the sky grew dim, and 
thick darkness came on ; daylight fled and Jupiter 
began to arm for battle a second time. On came 
the winds, and a thick mass of fiery cloud was whirled 
before the South-wind. Jupiter himself thundered, 
till Rhodope and Taurus, Pindus and Atlas,^ were 
shaken by it. The pools of Erebus ^ heard it, and 
Typhoeus,^ hidden in deep darkness, recognized the 
sound of war in heaven. The South-wind attacked, 
driving on a pitch-dark cloud with pelting hail, and 

195 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

intorquens nubem, cunctantem et vana minantem 
circumagit castrisque ducem succedere cogit. 

Verum ubi depositis saepsit sese aggere telis, 
laeta serenati facies aperitur Olympi, 665 

nullaque tarn mitem credas habuisse Tonantem 
fulmina, nee plaeido eommota tonitrua eaelo. 
durat et affirmans non ultra spondet in ipsos 
venturam caeli rabiem, modo patria virtus 
in dextras redeat, nee Romam exscindere Poeni 670 
credant esse nefas. ubi nam tunc fulmina tandem 
invicti latuisse lovis, cum sterneret ensis 
Aetolos campos ? ubi, cum Tyrrhena natarent 
stagna cruore virum ? " pugnat pro moenibus," in- 
quit, 
" si rector superum tot iactis culmine telis, 675 

inter tot motus cur me contra arma ferentem 
afflixisse piget ? ventis hiemique fugaces 
terga damns ? remeet, quaeso, mens ilia vigorque, 
qua vobis, cum pacta patrum, cum foedera obessent, 
integrare acies placitum." sic pectora flammat, 680 
donee equum Titan spumantia frena resolvit. 
nee nox composuit curas, somnusve frementem 
ausus adire virum, et redeunt cum luce furores, 
rursus in arma vocat trepidos clipeoque tremendum 
increpat atque armis imitatur murmura caeli. 685 

Ut vero accepit tantum confidere divis 
Ausonios patres, summissaque Baetis ad oras 
auxilia, et noctu progressum moenibus agmen, 

" At Cannae. '' Lake Trasimene. 

" This appeal would have been more suitably addressed 
to the Carthaginian senate than to Hannibal's army. 
** Spain. 

196 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 6C2-688 

turned Hannibal about, forcing him to retreat to 
his camp, in spite of his reluctance and his idle threats. 

But when the invader had laid down his arms and 
was protected by his ramparts, the skies cleared and 
the face of heaven smiled again : it was hard to 
believe that so benign a Jupiter had lately wielded 
bolts and vexed with his thunders a sky so peaceful. 
Hannibal held out : he promised and vowed that 
the fury of the elements would not again attack the 
army, if only they recovered their native valour and 
thought it no sacrilege for Carthage to sack Rome. 
Where, he asked, were the thunderbolts of invincible 
Jupiter hidden away, when the sword was strewing 
the Aetolian plain" with corpses, or when the 
Etruscan lake ^ was swollen with human gore ? "If 
the Ruler of the gods," said he, " is fighting in 
defence of Rome and hurling bolt after bolt from his 
high place, why, when he is so busy, is he unwilling to 
strike down me, his adversary ? Are we to turn our 
backs, and be routed by winds and rough weather ? 
Show once more, I entreat you, that firmness of pur- 
pose with which you resolved to fight a second war, 
in spite of treaties and of the covenants of our 
senate." '^ Thus he sought to inflame their ardour, 
until the Sun loosed the foaming bits of his steeds. 
Night brought him no peace of mind, nor did sleep 
dare to visit his stormy breast ; and his frenzy came 
back with the dawn. Once mere he summoned his 
frightened men to arms, and clashed on his shield 
with a terrible din, and rivalled with his armour the 
roll of thunder. 

But when he heard that the Roman Senate, trusting 
in divine aid, had sent reinforcements to the land of 
the Baetis,** and that the troops had started from 

197 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sic agitare fremens obsessos otia, tamque 
securam Hannibalis Romam, violentior instat. 690 
iamque propinquabat muro, cum lupiter aegram 
lunonem alloquitur curis mulcetque monendo : 
" nullane Sidonio iuveni, coniuxque sororque 
cara mihi, non ulla umquam sine fine feroci 
addes frena viro ? fuerit delere Saguntum, 695 

exaequare Alpes, imponere vincula sacro 
Eridano, foedare lacus : etiamne parabit 
nostras ille domos, nostras perrumpere in arces ? 
siste virum. namque, ut cernis, iam flagitat ignes 
et parat accensis imitari fulmina flammis." 700 

His dictis grates agit ac turbata per auras 
devolat et prensa iuvenis Saturnia dextra 
** quo ruis, o vecors ? maioraque bella capessis 
mortali quam ferre datum ? " luno inquit et atram 
dimovit nubem veroque apparuit ore. 705 

** non tibi cum Phrygio res Laurentive colono ; 
en, age (namque, oculis amota nube parumper, 
cernere cuncta dabo) surgit qua celsus ad auras, 
aspice, montis apex, vocitata Palatia regi 
Parrhasio, plena tenet et resonante pharetra 710 

intenditque arcum et pugnas meditatur Apollo, 
at, qua vicinis tollit se collibus altae 
molis Aventinus, yiden', ut Latonia virgo 
accensas quatiat Phlegethontis gurgite taedas, 
exsertos avide pugnae nudata lacertos ? 715 

parte alia, cerne, ut saevis Gradivus in armis 



" Lake Trasimene is meant. 

'' Evander, who came originally from Pallantium in 
Arcadia : see note to vi. 631. 

* Diana had her temple on the Aventine Hill. 
^ See note to ii. 610. 

198 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 689-716 



Rome during the night, he attacked with increased 
violence, indignant that Rome cared so little for 
Hannibal and that the besieged citizens should thus 
take their ease. He was nearing the walls, when 
Jupiter addressed Juno and soothed her fears by this 
warning : " Spouse and sister whom I love, will you 
never, never check this Carthaginian youth whose in- 
solence knows no limit ? He destroyed Saguntum 
and levelled the Alps ; he put fetters on the sacred 
river Po and polluted the lakes." Let that pass ; 
but does he intend also to force his way into the 
habitations of the gods and into our citadels ? Bring 
him to a halt ; for, as you see, he is now calling for 
fire, and means to kindle flames in rivalry of my 
thunderbolts." 

Saturn's daughter thanked him for his warning. 
Full of anxiety she flew down from heaven and took 
Hannibal by the right hand : " Madman, whither are 
you rushing ? Are you intent on a warfare that is 
beyond the power of mortal man ? " Thus speaking 
she dispersed the cloud of darkness and revealed 
herself in her real semblance. " You have not now 
to do with settlers from Troy or Laurentum. Look 
up and see ! For I will remove the cloud for a space 
from your eyes and suffer you to behold all things. 
Where yonder peak rises high, the Palatine, so named 
by the Arcadian king,^ is held by Apollo ; he makes 
ready for battle, his full quiver rattles, and his bow 
is bent. Again, where the tall pile of the Aventine 
rises beside the other hills, see you how the 
maiden daughter of Latona" brandishes torches 
kindled in the stream of Phlegethon,*^ and thrusts 
forth her bared arms in her eagerness for battle ? 
Then look elsewhere and see how Mars, the fierce 

199 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

implerit dictum proprio de nomine campum. 
hinc lanus movet arma manu, movet inde Quirinus, 
quisque suo de colle deus. sed enim aspice, quantus 
aegida commoveat nimbos flammasque vomentem 720 
lupiter et quantis pascat ferus ignibus iras. 
hue vultus flecte atque aude spectare Tonantem : 
quas hiemes, quantos concusso vertice cernis 
sub nutu tonitrus ! oculis qui fulgurat ignis ! 
cede deis tandem et Titania desine bella." 725 

sic afFata virum indocilem pacisque modique, 
mirantem superum vultus et flammea membra 
abstrahit ac pacem terris caeloque reponit. 
Respectans abit et castris avulsa moveri 
signa iubet ductor remeaturumque minatur. 730 

redditur extemplo flagrantior aethere lampas, 
et tremula infuso resplendent caerula Phoebo. 
at procul e muris videre ut signa revelli 
Aeneadae versumque ducem, tacita ora vicissim 
ostentant nutuque docent quod credere magno 735 
non audent haerente metu ; nee abire volentis 
sed fraudem insidiasque putant et Punica corda, 
ac tacitae natis infigunt oscula matres : 
donee procedens oculis sese abstulit agmen 
suspectosque dolos dempto terrore resolvit. 740 

turn vero passim sacra in Capitolia pergunt 
inque vicem amplexi permixta voce triumphum 
Tarpeii clamant lovis ac delubra coronant. 

" The Campus Martius. 

'' Janus defends the Janiculum, and Quirinus the Quirinal 
Hill. 

200 



PUNICA, XII. 717-743 

warrior, has filled all the field ° named after himself. 
Janus from one side and Quirinus from another,^ each 
god from his own hill, come forth to war. And then 
behold the mighty form of Jupiter — how he shakes 
the aegis till it vomits forth fire and storm, and how 
he gluts his fierce wrath with bursts of flame Turn 
your face hither and dare to look at the Thunder-god. 
When he shakes his head, what storms, what mighty 
bolts you see obedient to his nod ! What fire flashes 
from his eyes ! Yield at last to Heaven, and fight 
no more against it like the Giants." With these 
words she turned him from his purpose and restored 
peace to earth and heaven. Though slow to learn 
peace and moderation, yet he was awed by the faces 
and fiery limbs of the immortals. 

As he departed and ordered the standards to be 
wrenched up from the soil of the camp, Hannibal 
looked back and swore he would return. At once 
the sun in heaven shone brighter, and the quivering 
blue of the sky glittered in the sunlight. But when 
the Aeneadae from their walls saw the standards 
pulled up and Hannibal retreating in the distance, 
they exchanged looks in silence and conveyed by 
gestures what they dared not believe while panic 
still clung to their hearts : they supposed that 
Hannibal did not mean to depart ; that this was a 
trick and a stratagem — an instance of Punic treachery; 
and mothers kept silence as they kissed their babes. 
But, when at last the army marched out of their 
sight, their fears vanished and their suspicion of a 
trick was lulled to rest. Then indeed they flocked 
to the temple on the Capitol ; and, exchanging 
embraces, they acclaimed with mingled voices the 
triumph of Tarpeian Jupiter and decked his shrine 

201 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

iamque omnes pandunt portas ; ruit undique laetum, 
non sperata petens dudum sibi gaudia, vulgus. 745 
hi spectant, quo fixa loco tentoria regis 
adstiterint ; hi, qua celsus de sede vocatas 
affatus fuerit turmas ; ubi belhger Astur 
atque ubi atrox Garamas saevusque tetenderit 

Hammon. 
corpora nunc viva sparguntur gurgitis unda ; 750 

nunc Anienicohs statuunt altaria nymphis. 
turn festam repetunt, lustratis moenibus, urbem. 

" Spaniards. 



I 



PUNICA, XII. 744-752 



with garlands. Next they threw open all the gates ; 
and from every quarter the people came rushing with 
joy, seeking for pleasure that had long been beyond 
their hopes. Some gaze at the spot where Hannibal's 
pavilion had been pitched, others at the high seat 
whither he had summoned his army to address them, 
or at the camping-ground of the warlike Asturians," 
savage Garamantians, and fierce Ammonites. Now 
they bathe in the running water of the river ^ ; 
now they rear altars to the nymphs who haunt the 
Anio ; and then, having purified the walls with 
sacrifice, they return to the rejoicing city. 

' As a preparation for religious ceremonies : see viii. 125. 



203 



LIBER TERTIUS DECIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

Hannibal withdraws to the river Tutia, and is prevented 
from attacking Rome again by Dasius, a deserter, who ex- 
plains that the city is impregnable so long as it contains the 
Palladium. He returns to the land of the Bruttii (1-93). 
The Romans take Capua (94-380). Scipio's father and uncle 

Segne iter emenso vixdum Tarpeia videri 

culmina desierant, torvos cum versus ad urbem 

ductor Agenoreus vultus remeare parabat. 

castra locat, nulla laedens ubi gramina ripa 

Tutia deducit tenuem sine nomine rivum 6 

et tacit e Tuscis inglorius affluit undis. 

hie modo primores socium, modo iussa deorum 

nunc sese increpitat : " die o, cui Lydia caede 

creverunt stagna et concussa est Daunia tellus 

armorum tonitru, quas exanimatus in oras 10 

signa refers ? qui mucro tuum, quae lancea tandem 

intravit pectus ? si nunc existeret alma 

Carthago ante oculos, turrita celsa figura, 

quas abitus, miles, causas, illaese, dedisses ? 

* imbres, o patria, et mixtos cum grandine nimbos 15 

" Six miles distant from Rome. 

" The Tiber. 

« In ancient works of art a city is often represented by a 
female figure wearing a crown of towers. 
204 



BOOK XIII 

ARGUMENT (continued) 

are defeated and killed in Spain (381-384). This news 
induces Scipio to descend to Hades, to see the spirits of his 
kinsmen (385-396). He sees many ghosts of famous men 
and women in Hades. Finally, the Sibyl predicts the death 
of Hannibal (897-893). He then returns to the upper 
world (894, 895). 

Slowly Hannibal marched away, and the Tarpeian 
hill had hardly disappeared from his sight when he 
turned a threatening face towards Rome and prepared 
to march back again. He encamped by the Tutia," 
a slender stream unknown to fame, which flows 
down noiselessly into the Tuscan river,^ with no banks 
to mar the meadowland. Here he found fault, now 
with the captains of the host, now with the prohibition 
of the gods, and now with himself. " You who raised 
the level of the Lydian lake with bloodshed — you 
who shook the land of Daunus with the thunder of 
your warfare, — whither are you now retreating, all 
courage lost ? No sword-point, no lance has pierced 
your breast. If our mother Carthage were now to 
appear before you, her high head crowned with 
towers,'' what excuse could you give, soldiers, for 
retreating with no wounds to show ? * Foul weather, 
rain and hail together, and thunder, drove us back, 

205 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et tonitrus fugio.* procul banc expellite, gentes, 
femineam, Tyriae, labem, nisi luce serena 
nescire ac liquida Mavortem agitare sub aethra." 

Terror adhuc inerat superum ac redolentia in armis 
fulmina et ante oculos irati pugna Tonantis. 20 

parendi tamen et cuicumque incumbere iusso 
durabat vigor, ac, sensim diffusus ad oras, 
signa reportandi crescebat in agmine fervor, 
sic, ubi perrupit stagnantem calculus undam, 
exiguos format per prima volumina gyros, 25 

mox, tremulum vibrans motu gliscente liquorem, 
multiplicat crebros sinuati gurgitis orbes, 
donee postremo laxatis circulus oris 
contingat geminas patulo curvamine ripas. 

At contra Argyripae pravum decus (inclita namque 
semina ab Oenea ductoris stirpe trahebat 31 

Aetoli : Dasio fuit baud ignobile nomen) 
laetus opum, sed clauda fides ; seseque calenti 
addiderat Poeno, Latiae difRsus habenae — 
is, volvens veterum memorata antiqua parentum, 35 
" longo miles " ait, " quateret cum Teucria bello 
Pergama, et ad muros staret sine sanguine Mavors, 
soUicitis Calchas (nam sic fortissimus heros 
poscenti socero saepe inter pocula Dauno 
narrabat memori Diomedes condita mente) — 40 

sed Calchas Danais, nisi clausum ex sedibus arcis 
armisonae curent simulacrum avellere divae, 
non umquam affirmat Therapnaeis Ilion armis 

** The circles are concentric. '' See note to iv. 554i. 

" The soothsayer of the Greek army. 
** The Palladium : see note to ix. 531. 
206 



I 



PUNICA, XIII. 16-43 

dear native land.' Drive out this womanish weak- 
ness, men of Tyrian race, that prevents you from 
fighting unless the sky is clear and the weather fine." 

Dread of the gods filled their hearts ; their 
weapons still smelt of the lightning, and the Thunder- 
god, the wrathful champion of Rome, was still before 
their eyes. Yet they had not lost the power to obey 
and to carry out every order they received ; and 
the desire to carry the standards back to Rome grew 
stronger in the ranks and spread by degrees to the 
outside of the circle. So, when a pebble breaks the 
surface of a motionless pool, in its first movements 
it forms tiny rings ; and next, while the water glints 
and shimmers under the growing force, it swells the 
number of the circles over the rounding pond," until 
at last one extended circle reaches with wide-spread- 
ing compass from bank to bank. 

There was one dissenting voice. This was Dasius, 
the glory and the shame of Argyripa ** — a man of 
noble birth, who traced his origin to Diomede, son 
of Oeneus and king of Aetolia. A wealthy man 
but a faithless ally, he had joined himself to fiery 
Hannibal, distrusting the rule of Rome. Thus he 
spoke, recalling the tradition of former genera- 
tions : " When an army carried on a long campaign 
against the citadel of Troy and warfare halted 
bloodless before the walls, Calchas ^ explained their 
difficulty. (The brave hero Diomede had kept the 
tale in mind and often told it, when Daunus, his 
father-in-law, asked to hear it over their wine.) 
Calchas assured the Greeks that, unless they could 
contrive to carry off the image of the Warrior Goddess*^ 
from the shrine in the citadel that guarded it, 
Ilium would never yield to the army of Sparta, nor 

207 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cessurum, aut Ledae rediturum nomen Amyclas. 
quippe deis visum, ne cui perrumpere detur, 45 

effigies ea quas umquam possederit, urbes. 
turn meus adiuncto monstratam evadit in arcem 
Tydides Ithaco et, dextra amolitus in ipso 
custodes aditu templi, caeleste reportat 
Palladium ac nostris aperit male Pergama fatis. 50 
nam postquam Oenotris fundavit finibus urbem, 
aeger delicti, Phrygium placare colendo 
numen et Iliacos parat exorare penates. 
ingens iam templum celsa surgebat in aree, 
Laomedonteae sedes ingrata Minervae, 55 

cum medios inter somnos altamque quietem 
nee celata deam et minitans Tritonia virgo : 
* non haec, Tydide, tantae pro laudis honore 
digna paras, non Garganus nee Daunia tellus 
debentur nobis : quaere in Laurentibus arvis, 60 
qui nunc prima locat melioris moenia Troiae. 
hue vittas castumque refer penetrale parentum.' 
quis trepidus monitis Saturnia regna capessit. 
iam Phryx condebat Lavinia Pergama victor 
armaque Laurenti figebat Troia luco. 65 

verum ubi Tyrrheni perventum ad fluminis undas 
castraque Tydides posuit fulgentia ripa, 
Priamidae intremuere metu. tum, pignora pacis 
praetendens dextra ramum canentis olivae, 

" Helen, wife of Menelaus. ^ Argyripa. 

* i.e. as mine. •* See note to iv. 561. 

* The " land of Laurentum " and the " realm of Saturn '* 
are names for Latium : see note to i. 605. 

f The Tiber. 

208 



I 



PUNICA, XIII. 44-69 

would Leda's child ^ return to Amyclae. For the 
gods had decreed that no city which was ever occu- 
pied by this image could be taken by any invader. 
Thereupon my ancestor, the son of Tydeus, with 
Ulysses as his companion, made his way into the 
citadel, as Calchas had indicated, and slew the 
guards in the very porch of the temple ; then they 
carried off the divine Palladium and threw open Troy to 
our conquering fortunes, with evil result. For when 
Diomede had founded a city ^ within the borders of 
Italy, he felt uneasy because of his crime and sought 
by worship to appease the Trojan deity and make his 
peace with the household-gods of Ilium. A vast temple 
was already rising on the lofty citadel, a dwelling- 
place distasteful to the goddess from Laomedon's city, 
when the Maiden of Lake Tritonis appeared in her 
divine form amid the profound silence of the mid- 
night, and warned him thus : ' Son of Tydeus, this work 
of yours is not adequate to do honour to such great 
glory ^; Mount Garganus** and the Daunianlandareno 
fitting place for me. Go to the land of Laurentum,* 
and seek there for the man who is now laying the 
foundation-stone of a happier Troy. Carry to him 
the fillets and chaste guardian-goddess of his an- 
cestors.' Alarmed by this warning, Diomede went 
to the realm of Saturn. By this time the Trojan 
conqueror was founding another Troy at Lavinium 
and hanging up armour from Troy in a sacred 
grove at Laurentum. But when Diomede came to 
the stream of the Tuscan river f and pitched his 
glittering fi' camp on its bank, the sons of Priam 
trembled for fear. Then the son-in-law of Daunus 
held forth in his right hand a branch of silvery olive 
" He brought with him soldiers whose weapons glittered. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sic orsus Dauni gener inter murmura Teucrum : 70 
* pone, Anchisiade, memores irasque metusque ; 
quicquid ad Idaeos Xanthum Simoentaque nobis 
sanguine sudatum Scaeaeque ad limina portae, 
haud nostrum est ; egere dei duraeque sorores. 
nunc age, quod superest cur non melioribus aevi 75 
ducimus auspiciis ? dextras iungamus inermes. 
foederis, en, haec testis erit.' veniamque precatus 
Troianam ostentat trepidis de puppe Minervam. 
haec ausos Celtas irrumpere moenia Romae 
corripuit leto neque tot de milibus unum 80 

ingentis populi patrias dimisit ad aras." 

His fractus ductor convelli signa maniplis 
optato laetis abitu iubet. itur in agros, 
dives ubi ante omnes colitur Feronia luco, 
et sacer umectat Flavinia rura Capenas. 85 

fama est intactas longaevi ab origine fani 
crevisse, in medium congestis undique donis, 
immensum per tempus opes, lustrisque relictum 
innumeris aurum, solo servante pavore. 
hac avidas mentes ac barbara corda rapina 90 

polluit atque armat contemptu pectora divum. 
avia tunc longinqua placent, quae sulcat aratro 
ad freta porrectis Trinacria Bruttius arvis. 

Dum Libys haud laetus Rhegina ad Utora tendit, 

« The Fates. 
210 



PUNICA, XIII. 70-94 

as a pledge of peace, and spoke thus while the 
Trojans muttered in displeasure : ' Son of Anchises, 
lay aside the recollections of rage and fear. For all 
the sweat and blood we poured out by Xanthus and 
Simois, rivers of Ida, and by the Scaean gate, we are 
not to blame : we were driven on by the gods and 
the inexorable Sisters." Say, why should we not 
spend under happier auspices what yet remains of 
life ? Let us join hands that grasp no swords. She 
whom you now behold shall be the witness of our 
alliance.' Thus he asked pardon of the Trojans, and 
displayed to their startled sight the image on the stern 
of his ship. When the Gauls dared to break through 
the walls of Rome, this goddess put a speedy end 
to them, and of that vast horde not a single man 
out of so many thousands returned in peace to the 
altars of his country." 

By these words Hannibal was discouraged. He 
ordered his men to pull up the standards, and they 
rejoiced, being eager to depart. They marched to 
the spot where Feronia's temple of surpassing wealth 
stands in a sacred grove, and where the sacred river 
Capenas waters the fields of Flavina. Legend told 
that the treasure of the temple had never been rifled 
since its remote foundation, but had grown from time 
immemorial by means of offerings pouring in from 
all quarters ; and gold, guarded by fear alone, had 
been left there for centuries. By plundering this 
temple, Hannibal steeped in guilt his greedy horde 
of barbarians, and steeled their hearts with contempt 
of the gods. Next it was decided to march far away, 
to where the fields ploughed by the Bruttians stretch 
out towards the Sicilian sea. 

While Hannibal sadly bent his steps towards the 

211 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

victor, siunmoto patriis a finibus hoste, 95 

Fulvius infaustam Campana ad moenia clausis 
portabat famam miserisque extrema movebat. 
turn prensans passim, cuicumque est nomen in armis : 
** dedecus hoc defende manu ; cur perfida et urbi 
altera Carthago nostrae post foedera rupta 100 

et missum ad portas Poenum, post iura petita 
consuhs alterni stat adhuc, et turribus altis 
Hannibalem ac Libycas expect at lenta cohortes ? '* 
miscebat dictis facta et nunc robore celsas 
educi turres, quis vinceret ardua muri, 105 

cogebat, nunc coniunctas astringere nodis 
instabat ferroque trabes, quo frangeret altos 
portarum postes quateretque morantia claustra. 
hie latera intextus stellatis axibus agger, 
hie gravida armato surgebat vinea dorso. 110 

at postquam properata satis, quae commonet usus, 
dat signum atque alacer scalis transcendere muros 
imperat ac saevis urbem terroribus implet : 
cum subito dextrum ofFulsit conatibus omen. 

Cerva fuit, raro terris spectata colore, 115 

quae candore nivem, candore anteiret olores. 
banc agreste Capys donum, cum moenia sulco 
signaret, grato parvae mollitus amore, 
nutrierat sensusque hominis donarat alendo. 
inde exuta feram docilisque accedere mensis 120 

atque ultro blanda attactu gaudebat erili. 



" Rome. 

'' Much of the detail about this animal is taken from 
Virgil (Aen. vii. 483 foil.) ; but the hind of Capua differs in 
sex, colour, and longevity. Perhaps Dryden took from 
Silius the idea of his " milk-white Hind, immortal, and 
unchanged." 

" The founder of Capua. 
212 



I 



PUNICA, XIII. 95-121 



ihore near Rhegium, victorious Fulvius, having driven 
away the invader from his native city," brought news 
of disaster to the blockaded people of Capua, and 
prepared to put the finishing touch to their misery. 
He grasped the hand of every man famous in arms, 
and said : ** Fight, to repel this disgrace. Why is 
treacherous Capua, a second Carthage to our state, 
still standing, after breaking her treaty and sending 
Hannibal against Rome, and after her claim to hold 
one of the consulships ? Why does she, at ease behind 
her lofty towers, look out for the arrival of Hannibal 
and his Libyan host ? " His words he backed up 
with deeds. He made his men rear high wooden 
towers, to rise above the top of the walls ; or again 
he made haste to bind together beams with clamps 
of iron, that he might break the tall gate-posts and 
batter down the barriers of defence. Here rose a 
mound of earth whose sides were formed of planks 
arranged lattice-wise ; and there high mantlets, 
teeming with arms, showed their protected roofs. 
When all the devices suggested by experience were 
complete, he gave the word at once and bade them 
scale the walls by the ladders. Thus he filled the 
citizens' hearts with dreadful panic ; and suddenly 
a favourable omen smiled upon his enterprise. 

There was there a hind ^ of a colour seldom seen 
by mortal eyes — whiter than snow and whiter than 
swansdown. When Capys '^ was tracing out the 
walls of his city with the plough, his heart was 
touched by the grateful affection of this little creature 
which the forest had given him ; he had reared it 
and tamed it by his kindness. Soon it lost its wild 
nature, coming readily to its master's table, and 
even fawning with pleasure when he stroked it. The 

213 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

aurato matres assuetae pectine mitem 
comere et umenti fluvio revocare colorem. 
numen erat iam cerva loci ; famulamque Dianae 
credebant, ac tura deum de more dabantur. 125 

haec, aevi vitaeque tenax felixque senectam 
mille indefessos viridem duxisse per annos, 
saeclorum numero Troianis condita tecta 
aequabat ; sed iam longo nox venerat aevo. 
nam, subito incursu saevorum agitata luporum, 130 
qui noctis tenebris urbem — miserabile bello 
prodigium — intrarant, primos ad luminis ortus 
extulerat sese portis pavidaque petebat 
consternata fuga positos ad moenia campos. 
exceptam laeto iuvenum certamine ductor 135 

mactat, diva, tibi — tibi enim haec gratissima sacra — 
Fulvius atque " adsis," orat, " Latonia, coeptis." 

Inde alacer fidensque dea circumdata clausis 
arma movet, quaque obliquo curvantur in orbem 
moenia fiexa sinu, spissa vallata corona 140 

alligat et telis in morem indaginis ambit, 
dum pavitant, spumantis equi fera corda fatigans, 
evehitur porta sublimis Taurea cristis 
bellator, cui Sidonius superare lacerto 
ductor et Autololas dabat et Maurusia tela. 145 

is trepido ac lituum tinnitu stare neganti 
imperitat violenter equo, postquam auribus hostis 
vicinum sese videt, et clamare propinquum : 

" Diana. 
214 



I 



PUNICA, XIII. 122-148 



matrons were accustomed to comb the gentle 
creature's flanks with a golden comb, and to renew 
its whiteness by bathing it in the river. The hind 
had become the deity of the city ; the people 
believed that it had Diana for its mistress, and 
offered incense to it as to other deities. This animal 
was long-lived : it was fortunate enough to prolong 
a green old age through a thousand years of activity, 
and numbered as many centuries as the city founded 
by the Trojan exiles ; but now death came to it at 
last. For a fierce pack of wolves had entered the 
city in the darkness of night — an evil omen in time 
of war — and the hind, startled by their sudden onset, 
had sallied forth from the gates at early dawn, and 
sought, in wild alarm, the fields that lay near the 
walls. The soldiers, delighting in the chase, caught 
it, and their general, Fulvius, slaughtered it as an 
acceptable offering to Leto's daughter," and prayed 
that the goddess might assist his enterprise. 

Then, trusting in the goddess, Fulvius quickly 
moved forward the troops that surrounded the be- 
sieged city ; and, at a point where the walls diverged 
from the straight line to make a curve, he invested 
them with a dense ring of assailants and penned them 
in like a beast in the toils. While the citizens 
trembled, Taurea rode forth from the gate ; his 
helmet-plume rose high as he controlled the hot 
temper of his foaming steed : Hannibal himself 
admitted that none of his Autololes or Moors could 
hurl the spear in battle with as much force as Taurea. 
His horse was restive and refused to stand still amid 
the blare of the trumpets ; but the rider schooled 
him by force, and when he saw himself within earshot 
of the enemy, shouted at close quarters : " Let 

215 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

** Claudius hue," inquit — praestabat Claudius arte 
bellandi et merita mille inter proelia fama — 150 

" hue," inquit, " solum, si qua est fidueia dextrae, 
det sese eampo atque ineat eertamina meeum." 

Una mora Aeneadae, postquam vox attigit aures, 
dum daret auspicium iusque in eertamina duetor ; 
praevetitum namque et capital, committere Martem 
sponte viris. erumpit ovans, ut Fulvius arma 156 
imperio solvit, patulumque invectus in aequor 
erigit undantem glomerato pulvere nubem. 
indignatus opem ammenti soeioque iuvare 
expulsum nodo iaculum atque accersere vires 160 
Taurea vibrabat nudis eonatibus hastam. 
inde fur ens ira telum contorquet in auras, 
at non idem animus Rutulo ; speeulatur et omni 
corpore perlustrat, qua sit certissima ferro 164 

in vulnus via. nunc vibrat, nunc comprimit hastam 
mentiturque minas ; mediam tunc transiit ictu 
parmam, sed grato fraudata est sanguine cuspis. 
tum strictum propere vagina detegit ensem. 
et iam ferrata rapiebat calce volantem 
Taurea cornipedem, fugiens minitantia fata. 170 

at Rutulus levior cedentis prendere terga 
iam profugo rapidus fusis instabat habenis. 
utque metus victum, sic ira et gloria portis 
victorem immisit meritique cupido cruoris. 
ac dum vix oculis, vix credunt mentibus hostem 175 
confisum nullo comitante irrumpere tectis, 



" This single combat is described by Livy (xxiii. 46. 12) : 
the champions were Claudius Asellus, a Roman, and Cerrinus 
Vibellius Taurea, a Campanian. 

^ See note to i. 318. 
216 




PUNICA, XTII. 149-176 

Claudius," he cried — this Claudius was a famous 
swordsman who had gained glory in a thousand 
battles — " let Claudius, if he has confidence in his 
right arm, come forth alone hither to the field, and 
meet me here in single combat."" 

The Roman, when he heard the challenge, only 
waited till the general's sanction gave him leave 
to begin ; for the soldiers were forbidden, on pain 
of death, to fight for their own hand. When the 
command of Fulvius made him free to accept the 
challenge, he rushed forth jubilant, and rode over 
the open plain, sending up a billowy cloud of gathering 
dust. Disdaining the help of a thong or the use of 
a knotted strap to add force to his weapon,^ Taurea 
brandished his spear with the strength of his unaided 
arm. Then in furious rage he hurled his spear into 
the air. Far different was the purpose of the Roman : 
he scanned closely every part of the other's body, 
seeking the surest place for his point to penetrate. 
Now he brandished his spear, and again he checked 
it, and made a feint of striking ; at last he pierced 
Taurea 's shield through the centre, but the point 
was cheated of the blood it coveted. Then he drew 
his sword quickly from the sheath. And now Taurea, 
fleeing from imminent death, urged on his flying steed 
with the iron upon his heel. But the Roman was 
more nimble in pursuit of his retreating foe and 
pressed hard at full gallop upon the fugitive. Both 
entered the gate, the vanquished driven on by fear, 
and the conqueror by rage and love of glory and by 
thirst for the blood that was his due. The citizens 
could hardly believe their eyes and doubted their own 
senses, when they saw a single foeman gallop boldly 
into the town ; but, while they trembled, he rode on 

VOL. II H 217 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

per mediam propere trepidantum interritus urbem 
egit equum adversaque evasit ad agmina porta. 

Hinc ardore pari nisuque incurrere muris 
ignescunt animi penetrataque tecta subire. 18C 

tela simul flammaeque micant. tunc saxeus imber 
ingruit, et summis ascendunt turribus hastae. 
nee pronum audendi virtute excellere cuiquam ; 
aequarunt irae dextras. Dictaea per auras 
tranat et in medium perlabitur urbis harundo. 185 
laetatur non hortandi, non plura monendi 
Fulvius esse locum : rapiunt sibi quisque laborem. 
quos ubi tam erectos animi videt, et super esse 
factorum sibi quemque ducem, ruit impete vasto 
ad portam magnaeque optat discrimina famae. 190 

Tres claustra aequaevo servabant corpore fratres, 
quis delecta manus centeni cuique ferebant 
excubias unaque locum statione tenebant. 
forma ex his Numitor, cursu plantaque volucri 
praestabat Laurens, membrorum mole Taburnus. 195 
sed non una viris tela : hie mirabilis arcu, 
ille hastam quatere ac medicatae cuspidis ictu 
proelia moliri et nudo non credere ferro, 
tertius aptabat flammis ac sulphure taedas. 
qualis Atlantiaco memoratur litore quondam 200 

monstrum Geryones immane tricorporis irae, 
cui tres in pugna dextrae varia arma gerebant : 
una ignes saevos, ast altera pone sagittas 
fundebat, validam torquebat tertia cornum ; 
atque uno diversa dabat tria vulnera nisu. 205 

hos ubi non acquis variantes proelia consul 

" Livy evidently disbelieved this detail of the duel. 
" C/. i. 278 foil. 

218 



PUNICA, XIII. 177-206 

unterrified right through the city and returned safe 
to his own army by the gate on the opposite side." 

Then all hearts burned with equal zeal and effort 
to attack the walls and force their way into the town. 
Weapons and fire-brands flashed together. Stones 
were hurled in showers, and spears rose to the height 
of the bastions. Nor was it easy for any man to 
distinguish himself by valour : rage lent equal 
strength to every arm. Cretan arrows darted through 
the sky and flew on to the centre of the city. Fulvius 
rejoiced that there was no further need for encourage- 
ment or appeal ; for one and all were eager for the 
fray. When he saw their high spirit, and also that 
each man was his own leader in action, he rushed 
with mighty force against the gate and sought out 
glorious hazards. 

Three brothers of equal age guarded the gate, and 
each had a chosen band of a hundred men w^ho kept 
watch and were stationed together. Among the 
brothers Numitor excelled in beauty, Laurens in 
speed of foot, and Taburnus in size and stature. Nor 
were they armed alike : one was a marvellous archer ; 
another brandished the spear and fought with an 
envenomed point, distrustful of the naked steel ; 
while the third was skilled in hurling fire-brands and 
lighted torches. They were like Geryon,^ that dread 
monster with triple body who is said to have lived 
long ago on the beach of Atlas : when he fought, his 
three hands plied different weapons ; one hurled 
fierce fire, and a second, behind the first, shot 
arrows, while the third brandished a stout spear ; 
and so with a single effort he inflicted three separate 
wounds. When the consul saw the brothers, each 
fighting with his different weapon, and the heap of 

219 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

conspexit telis et portae limina circum 

stragem ac perfuses subeuntum sanguine postes, 

concitat intortam furiatis viribus hastam. 

latum triste ferens auras secat Itala taxus 210 

et, qua nudarat, dum fundit spicula ab alto, 

arcum protendens, Numitor latus, ilia transit. 

at, non obsaepto contentus limine Martem 

exercere, levis bello sed turbidus ausi, 

Virrius incauto fervore eruperat amens 215 

reclusa in campum porta miseramque furori 

vincentum obtulerat pubem. ruit obvia in arma 

Scipio et oblatum metit insatiabilis agmen. 

Tifata umbrifero generatum monte Calenum 
nutrierant audere trueem ; nee corpore magno 220 
mens erat inferior, subsidere saepe leonem, 
nudus inire caput pugnas, certare iuvenco 
atque obliqua trucis deducere cornua tauri 
assuerat crudoque aliquo se attollere facto, 
is, dum praecipites expellit Virrius urbe, 225 

seu spreto, seu ne fieret mora, nudus in aequor 
thorace exierat leviorque premebat anhelos 
pondere loricae et palantes victor agebat. 
iamque Veliternum media transegerat alvo, 
iam solitum aequali ludo committere equestres 230 
Scipiadae pugnas Marium tellure revulso 
perculerat saxo. miser implorabat amicum 
cum gemitu expirans, scopulusque premebat hiantem. 
sed, validas saevo vires duplicante dolore, 
effudit lacrimas pariter cornumque sonantem 235 

Scipio, solamen properans optabile in armis 



« See xi. 65 foil. 
220 



I 



PUNICA, XIII. 207-236 

corpses round the gate, and the gate-posts red with 
the blood of the attackers, he brandished his spear 
with furious strength and threw it. The spear, made 
of Italian yew, clove the air and bore with it cruel 
death ; it pierced the body of Numitor in the side, 
which he had exposed while holding out his bow and 
raining arrows with lifted arms. But Virrius," hot- 
headed but of little account in battle, was not content 
to fight within the confinement of the walls : in his 
headstrong folly he opened a gate, sallied out into 
the plain, and exposed his hapless followers to the 
rage of the victorious Romans. For Scipio rushed 
to meet their onset and mowed down the opposing 
ranks, insatiable in his fury. 

The shady hill of Tifata had given birth and nurture 
to Calenus, a fierce warrior ; great was his body, and 
his fiery spirit as great. Often did he surprise a lion 
in its lair, or go to battle with head uncovered, or 
wrestle with a steer and force down to earth the 
horns of an angry bull ; and often he gained glory 
by some desperate deed. When Virrius made his 
precipitate sally from the town, Calenus followed ; 
but he wore no corslet, either because he despised 
its protection or to gain time ; and, carrying less 
weight, he harassed the Romans who panted under 
their heavy armour, and drove them before him in 
defeat and disorder. Already he had run Veliternus 
through the belly ; already he had overthrown Marius 
with a stone torn from the earth — Marius who was 
wont to tilt with Scipio, his equal in age, in mimic 
warfare. In his death-agony he cried to his friend 
for help, and the stone crushed in his open mouth. 
Grief doubled Scipio's strength. Even as he wept, 
he hurled his whizzing spear, eager that his friend 

221 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hostem prostrato morientem ostendere amico. 
tranavit, volucris liquidas ceu scinderet auras, 
hasta viri pectus rupitque immania membra : 
quanta est vis agili per caerula summa Liburnae, 240 
quae, pariter quotiens revocatae ad pectora tonsae 
percussere fretum, ventis fugit ocior et se, 
quam longa est, uno remorum praeterit ictu. 

Ascanium Volesus, proiectis ocius armis, 
quo levior peteret muros, per aperta volantem 245 
assequitur planta. deiectum protinus ense 
ante pedes domini iacuit caput ; ipse secutus 
corruit ulterior procursus impete truncus. 
nee spes obsessis ultra reserata tueri 
moenia : convertunt gressus recipique precantes 250 
infandum ! excludunt socios, dum cardine verso 
obnixi torquent obices, munimina sera, 
acrius hoc instant Itali clausosque fatigant. 
et, ni caeca sinu terras nox conderet atro, 
perfractae rapido patuissent milite portae. 255 

Sed non in requiem pariter cessere tenebrae. 
hinc sopor impavidus, qualem victoria novit ; 
at Capua, aut maestis ululantum flebile matrum 
questibus, aut gemitu trepidantum exterrita patrum, 
tormentis finem metamque laboribus orat. 260 

mussat perfidiae ductor coetuque^ senatus 
Virrius a Poeno nullam docet esse salutem, 

^ ductor coetuque Summers : ductorque caputque edd. 

222 



PUNICA, XIII. 237-262 

should find consolation for his fall by seeing his enemy 
dying. Like a bird cleaving the clear sky, the spear 
pierced the breast of Calenus and shattered his huge 
frame. With such force the light Liburnian galley 
skims over the surface of the deep ; when the oars, 
drawn back to the rowers' chests, strike the water 
in unison, she flies swifter than the winds, and a single 
stroke of their blades carries her further than her own 
length. 

Volesus had quickly thrown down his shield, that 
he might reach the city with more speed ; he over- 
took Ascanius who was rushing over the open plain, 
and cut off his head with the sword ; the head lay 
in front of the man's feet, and then the headless 
body fell further on ; so fast was he running. The 
besieged could no longer hope to defend walls already 
unbarred. They beat a retreat to the town, and 
(horrible to tell) shut out their comrades as they 
begged to be admitted : the hinges turned and 
the bolts were forcibly thrust home, when such 
precautions were too late. This made the Romans 
press their attack more fiercely against the 
beleaguered city. And, if black night had not thrown 
her robe of darkness over the earth, the eager soldiers 
would have broken down the gates and passed through 
them. 

But the darkness did not bring the same rest to both 
armies. On one side there was untroubled sleep, such 
as the conqueror knows. But Capua, terrified either 
by piteous complaints and shrieks of the weeping 
women or by the laments of the troubled senators, 
prayed for an end to her sufferings and a limit to 
her hardships. Virrius, the arch-traitor, was dis- 
comfited. Expelling from his heart all desire of 

223 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

vociferans, pulsis vivendi e pectore curis : 
*' speravi sceptra Ausoniae pepigique, sub armis 
si dexter Poenis deus et Fortuna fuisset, 265 

ut Capuam Iliaci migrarent regna Quirini. 
qui quaterent muros Tarpeiaque moenia, misi ; 
nee mihi poscendi vigor afuit, alter ut aequos 
portaret fasces nostro de nomine consul, 
hactenus est vixisse satis, dum copia noctis, 270 
cui cordi comes aeterna est Acherontis ad undam 
libertas, petat ille meas mensasque dapesque ; 
et, victus mentem fuso per membra Lyaeo 
sopitoque necis morsu, medicamina cladis 
hauriat ac placidis exarmet fata venenis." 275 

haec ait et turba repetit comitante penates. 
aedibus in mediis consurgens ilice multa 
extruitur rogus, hospitium commune peremptis. 
Nee vulgum cessat furiare dolorque pavorque. 
nunc menti Decius serae redit, et bona virtus 280 
exilio punita truci. despectat ab alto 
sacra Fides agitatque virum fallacia corda. 
vox occulta subit, passim diffusa per auras : 
" foedera, mortales, ne saevo rumpite ferro, 
sed castam servate Fidem. fulgentibus ostro 285 
haec potior regnis. dubio qui frangere rerum 
gaudebit pacta ac tenues spes linquet amici, 
non illi domus, aut coniux, aut vita manebit 
umquam expers luctus lacrimaeque : aget, aequore 
semper 



" Hannibal's army is meant : see line 101. 

" In Hades. 

' Twenty-seven senators accepted his invitation (Livy). 

«* See xi. 158. • See ii. 480 foil. 



224 



I 



PUNICA, XIII. 263-289 

life, he told the assembled senate that they must 
not rely on Hannibal to save them. " I hoped " — 
so he cried aloud — ** that we should rule Italy ; and 
I promised that, if Fortune and Heaven favoured the 
Carthaginian armies, the empire of Trojan Quirinus 
should be transferred to Capua. I sent a force " to 
batter down the walls of Rome and the Tarpeian 
citadel ; and I had the boldness to demand that one 
of the two consuls should be of our nation, carrying 
the rods of office and ranking with his colleague. 
I am content to have lived till now. To-night is ours : 
if any man would fain go down to the river of Acheron^ 
with Freedom as his companion for ever, let him come 
to my table and sup with me. There the wine shall 
spread through his frame and overpower his senses ; 
death shall lose its sting, and he shall swallow the 
antidote for defeat, and disarm Fate by means of 
merciful poison." Thus he spoke and went back to 
his house, and many ^ went with him. In the centre 
of the house a great pyre of oak-wood was raised, to 
receive them all alike after death. 

The populace meanwhile were still maddened by 
rage and fear. Now, too late, they remember Decius^ 
and the harsh sentence of exile passed upon his 
noble courage. The goddess Loyalty * looked down 
from heaven and troubled their traitorous hearts. A 
mysterious voice was heard and filled all the air : 
" Ye mortals, break not your oaths with the sword, 
but keep faith unstained. Loyalty outshines the 
purple sheen of monarchs. If a man rej oices to break 
his plighted word in the hour of danger, and betrays 
the dwindling hopes of his friend, neither his house- 
hold, nor his wife, nor his life, shall ever be free from 
mourning and tears. Loyalty, whom he despised and 
VOL. II H 2 225 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ac tellure premens, aget aegrum nocte dieque 290 
despecta ac violata Fides." adit omnia iamque 
concilia ac mensas contingit et, abdita nube, 
accumbitque toris epulaturque improba Erinys. 
ipsa etiam Stygio spumantia pocula tabo 
porrigit et large poenas letumque ministrat. 295 

Virrius interea, dum dat penetrare medullas 
exitio, ascenditque pyram atque amplexibus haeret 
iungentum fata et subici iubet ocius ignes. 

Stringebant tenebrae metas, victorque ruebat. 
iamque superstantem muro sociosque Milonem 300 
voce attollentem pubes Campana videbat. 
pandunt attoniti portas trepidoque capessunt 
castra inimica gradu, quis leto avertere poenas 
defuerant animi. patet urbs, confessa furorem, 
et reserat Tyrio maculatas hospite sedes. 305 

matronae puerique ruunt maestumque senatus 
concilium nullique hominum lacrimabile vulgus. 
stabant innixi pilis exercitus omnis 
spectabantque viros, et laeta et tristia ferre 
indociles, nunc propexis in pectora barbis 310 

verrere humum, nunc foedantes in pulvere crinem 
canentem et turpi lacrima precibusque pudendis 
femineum tenues ululatum fundere in auras. 

Atque ea dum miles miratur inertia facta 
expectatque ferox sternendi moenia signum, 315 

ecce repens tacito percurrit pectora sensu 
religio et saevas componit numine mentes, 
226 



PUNICA, XIII. 290-317 

wronged, shall hound him ever over land and sea, 
and persecute her victim day and night." Hidden 
in a cloud, a Fury was present now at every meeting 
and every meal, lying on the couches and boldly 
sharing the feast. In person she hands to the guests 
the foaming cup of deadly poison, and offers them 
with lavish hand the penalty of death. Meanwhile 
Virrius gave time to the deadly drink to reach his 
inmost parts ; then he ascended the pyre, embraced 
the friends who were dying together with him, and 
bade the fire to be kindled at once. 

Darkness was near its ending, and the conquerors 
came rushing on. And now the people of Capua saw 
Milo standing on the wall and calling to his comrades 
to follow. Then the gates were thrown open by the 
terrified citizens ; and those who had lacked courage 
to escape punishment by death made their way 
with faltering steps to the hostile camp. The city 
stood open ; the people confessed their mad folly 
and unbarred their houses polluted by hospitality 
to the Carthaginians. Women and children came 
flocking, and sorrowing senators, and the rabble whom 
none could pity. There stood the Roman soldiers, 
leaning on their javelins, and gazed at those men, 
unable to bear either prosperity or adversity, who 
now swept the ground with beards that covered their 
breasts, and now defiled their grey hairs in the dust, 
while, shedding unmanly tears and putting up shame- 
ful prayers for mercy, they filled the air with womanish 
wailings. 

While the soldiers looked with wonder at such 
weakness, and waited eagerly for the command to 
raze the walls, a sudden awe, felt but not expressed, 
came over them, and some divine power tamed their 

227 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ne flammam taedasque velint, ne templa sub uno 
in cinerem traxisse rogo. subit intima corda, 
perlabens sensim, mitis deus ; ille superbae 320 

fundament a Capyn posuisse antiquitus urbi, 
non cuiquam visus, passim monet ; ille refusis 
in spatium immensum campis habitanda relinqui 
utile tecta docet. paulatim atrocibus irae 
languescunt animis, et vis moUita senescit. 325 

Pan love missus erat, servari tecta volente 
Tro'ia, pendenti similis Pan semper et imo 
vix ulla inscribens terrae vestigia cornu. 
dextera lascivit caesa Tegeatide capra 
verbera laeta movens festo per compita coetu. 330 
cingit acuta comas et opacat tempora pinus, 
ac parva erumpunt rubicunda cornua fronte ; 
stant aures, imoque cadit barba hispida mento. 
pastorale deo baculum, pellisque sinistrum 
velat grata latus tenerae de corpore dammae. 335 
nulla in praeruptum tarn prona et inhospita cautes, 
in qua non, librans corpus similisque volanti, 
cornipedem tulerit praecisa per avia plantam. 
interdum inflexus medio nascentia tergo 
respicit arridens hirtae ludibria caudae. 340 

obtendensque manum solem infervescere fronti 
arcet et umbrato perlustrat pascua visu. 
hie, postquam mandata dei perfecta malamque 
sedavit rabiem et permulsit corda furentum, 



« Capys. 

^ Tegea is a town of Arcadia, and Arcadia is the home of 
Pan. 

* The reference is to the Lupercalia, a feast in honour of 
Pan celebrated every year on February 15, when the priests, 
called Luperci, ran about the city, striking persons whom 
they met with strips of goat-skin. 
SS8 



PUNICA, XIII. 318-344 

ferocity, making them loath to hurl their fire-brancls 
and reduce all the temples of Capua to ashes in a 
single conflagration. A merciful god made his way 
by slow degrees into their inmost hearts. Unseen 
by any eye, he taught them all that Capys had laid the 
foundations of that proud city in ancient times, and 
showed that it was expedient to leave human habita- 
tions for that vast extent of plain. By degrees their 
angry passions died down, and their violence was 
softened and weakened. 

It was Pan whom Jupiter had sent, in his desire 
to save the city founded by the Trojan " — Pan, who 
seems ever to stand on tiptoe, and whose horny hoof 
leaves scarce any print upon the ground. His right 
hand plays with a lash of Tegean ^ goat-skin and 
deals sportive blows among the holiday crowd at the 
cross-ways.'' Pine-needles wreathe his locks and 
shade his temples, and a pair of little horns sprout 
from his ruddy brow. He has pointed ears, and a 
rough beard hangs down from his chin. He carries 
a shepherd's crook, and the soft skin of a roe-deer 
gives a welcome covering to his left side. There is 
no cliff so steep and dangerous, but he can keep his 
balance on it like a winged thing, and move his 
horny hoofs down the untrodden precipice. Some- 
times he turns round and laughs at the antics of the 
shaggy tail that grows behind him ; or he puts up 
a hand to keep the sun from scorching his brow and 
surveys the pasture-lands with shaded eyes."' Now, 
when he had duly done the bidding of Jupiter, 
calming the angry passions of the soldiers and soften- 
ing their hearts, he went swiftly back to the glades 

<* Silius seems to be describing one of the works of art in 
which Pan is thus represented. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Arcadiae volucris saltus et amata revisit 346 

Maenala ; ubi, argutis longe de vertice sacro 
dulce sonans calamis, ducit stabula omnia cantu. 

At legio Ausonidum, flammas ductore iubente 
arceri portis stantesque relinquere muros, 
■ — mite deeus mentis — condunt ensesque facesque. 350 
multa deum templis domibusque nitentibus auro 
egeritur praeda, et victus alimenta superbi, 
quisque bonis periere, virum de corpore vestes 
femineae, mensaeque alia tellure petitae, 
poculaque Eoa luxum irritantia gemma. 355 

nee modus argento, caelataque pondera facti 
tantum epulis auri, tum passim corpora longo 
ordine captiva, et domibus deprompta talenta, 
pascere longinquum non deficientia bellum, 
immensique greges famulae ad convivia turbae. 360 

Fulvius, ut finem spoliandis aedibus, aere 
belligero revocante, dedit, sublimis ab alto 
suggestu, magnis fautor non futilis ausis, 
** Lanuvio generate," inquit, " quern Sospita luno 
dat nobis, Milo, Gradivi cape victor honorem, 365 
tempora murali cinctus turrita corona." 
tum sontes procerum meritosque piacula prima 
acciet et iusta punit commissa securi. 



" A town and mountain in Arcadia. * See xi. 41. 

" Tables, made from round sections of the citrus-tree^ a 
kind of cypress which grew in Mauretania, were a favourite 
article of luxury among the ancients. 

** Juno was worshipped under this title at Lanuvium. 
The Milo whom Cicero defended in 52 b.c. was a native 
of Lanuvium : Silius implies that the hero of Capua was an 
ancestor. 

* This was decorated with the turrets of a battlement and 

230 



PUNICA, XIII. 345-368 

of Arcadia and to Maenalus," the mountain that he 
loves ; on that sacred height he makes sweet music 
tar and wide with his melodious pipe, and all the 
flocks from far away follow it. 

Then, when the Roman general ordered that the 
gates should not be fired and the walls should be 
left standing — such moderation did him honour — the 
soldiers put away swords and fire-brands. From the 
temples of the gods and from houses glittering with 
gold, booty was brought forth in abundance, and all 
the appliances of luxurious living, and the delights 
that had brought ruin to their possessors — womanish 
garments stripped from the backs of men,^ tables 
imported from foreign lands,*' and cups whose orient 
pearls whetted the taste for extravagance. Of silver 
plate there was no end, and there was heavy gold 
plate also, embossed with carving and intended only 
for feasts. There were long processions of slaves 
everywhere ; and money enough to carry on a pro- 
tracted war was taken from private houses ; and the 
hordes of menials who had waited at the banquets 
of the rich were past counting. 

When Fulvius sounded the recall and stopped the 
plundering of the houses, he spoke from his lofty 
seat, a zealous rewarder of brave deeds : " Milo, son 
of Lanuvium, whom Juno the Preserver ^ gave to us, 
receive now the decoration which Mars confers on 
the conqueror, and bind your brows with the turrets 
of the mural crown." ^ Then he summoned those 
of the nobles whose guilt marked them out as the 
first victims, and punished their crime as it deserved 
by the headsman's axe. 

was given to the soldier who was first to scale the walls of 
a besieged city. 

231 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Hie atrox virtus — nee enim oeeuluisse probarim 
speetatum vel in hoste decus — clamore feroci 370 
Taurea " tune," inquit, " ferro spoliabis inultus 
te maiorem anima ? et iusso lictore reeisa 
ignavos cadet ante pedes fortissima cervix ? 
baud umquam hoc vobis dederit deus." inde, minaci 
obtutu torvum contra et furiale renidens, 375 

bellatorem alacer per pectora transigit ensem. 
cui ductor : " patriam moriens comitare cadentem. 
qui nobis animus, quae dextera cuique viritim, 
decernet Mavors. tibi, si rebare pudendum 
iusta pati, licuit pugnanti occumbere letum." 380 

Dum Capua infaustam luit baud sine sanguine 
culpam, 
interea geminos terra crudelis Hibera 
Fortuna abstulerat, permiscens tristia laetis, 
Scipiadas, magnumque decus magnumque dolorem. 
forte Dicarchea iuvenis dum sedit in urbe 385 

Scipio, post belli repetens extrema penates, 
hue tristes lacrimas et funera acerba suorum 
fama tulit. duris quamquam non cedere suetus, 
pulsato lacerat violenter pectore amictus. 
non comites tenuisse valent, non ullus honorum 390 
militiaeve pudor : pietas irata sinistris 
caelicolis furit atque odit solacia luctus. 
iamque dies iterumque dies absumpta querelis. 
versatur species ante ora oculosque parentum. 
ergo excire parat manes animasque suorum 395 

alloquioque virum tantos mulcere dolores. 



« See 11. 142 foil. 

" Scipio's father and his uncle were defeated and killed 
in Spain, both within one month, in 212 b.c. 
" Puteoli. 

232 



PUNICA, XIII. 369-396 

But here Taurea,'* brave in defiance — I cannot 
think it right to conceal a noble deed, even if done 
by an enemy — shouted out in anger : " Will you take 
with the steel the life of one greater than yourself, 
and take it with impunity ? Shall the lictor do your 
bidding and lay the severed head of a hero before 
the feet of cowards ? Never shall Heaven give this 
power to the Romans." Then, fronting his judge 
with a fierce stare and a frenzied laugh, he drove 
his trusty sword instantly through his own breast. 
Fulvius answered him thus : " Die with your country 
and share her fall ! Mars will judge each of us, for 
courage and for bravery in battle. You, if you 
thought it beneath you to submit to just punishment, 
might have met death in battle." 

While Capua thus atoned with blood for her fatal 
error, meanwhile cruel Fortune, who deals out sorrow 
and joy together, had slain the two Scipios ^ on 
Spanish territory — once the boast of their country 
and now her grief. It chanced that young Scipio 
was then resting in the city of Dicaearchus.'' Fighting 
was over, and he was revisiting his home, when 
rumour brought him bitter tears to shed for the 
untimely death of his kinsmen. Though it was not 
his wont to yield to misfortune, lie beat his breast 
now and rent his garments in the violence of his 
grief. No efforts of his friends, no regard for his 
high station and military command, could restrain 
him : his love raged against the cruelty of Heaven 
and refused all consolation. Day followed day, and 
was spent by him in lamenting. The faces of his 
lost kinsmen were ever present before his eyes. 
Therefore he determined to call up the dead, the 
spirits of his dear ones, and to soothe his great grief 

233 



SILIUS ITAIJCUS 

hortatur vicina palus, ubi signat Averni 
squalentem introitum stagnans Acherusius umor. 
noscere ventures agitat mens protinus annos. 

Sic ad Cymaeam, quae turn sub nomine Phoebi 400 
Autonoe tripodas sacros antrumque tenebat, 
fert gressus iuvenis consultaque pectoris aegri 
pandit et aspectus orat contingere patrum. 
nee cunctata diu vates : ** mactare repostis 
mos umbris," inquit, " consueta piacula nigras 405 
sub lucem pecudes reclusaeque abdere terrae 
manantem iugulis spirantum caede cruorem. 
tunc populos tibi regna suos pallentia mittent. 
cetera, quae poscis, maiori vate canentur. 
namque tibi Elysio repetita oracula campo 410 

eliciam veterisque dabo inter sacra Sibyllae 
cernere fatidicam Phoebei pectoris umbram. 
vade, age et, a medio cum se nox umida cursu 
flexerit, ad fauces vicini castus Averni 
due praedicta sacris duro placamina Diti. 415 

mella simul tecum et puri fer dona Lyaei.** 

Hoc alacer monitu et promissae nomine vatis, 
apparat occulto monstrata piacula coepto. 
inde, ubi nox iussam procedens contigit horam 
et spatia aequarunt tenebras transacta futuras, 420 
consurgit stratis pergitque ad turbida portae 
ostia Tartareae ; penitus quis abdita vates 
promissa implerat Stygioque sedebat in antro. 

° See xii. 121. * A Sibyl. 

234 



PUNICA, XIII. 397-423 

by speech with them. He was encouraged by the 
nearness of that swamp, where the stagnant water 
of Acheron marks the unsightly descent to Avernus.<* 
He was eager to learn at once the secrets of the future. 

Thus young Scipio bent his steps to Cumae, where 
Autonoe ^ then ruled, as Apollo's priestess, the sacred 
tripods and grotto ; and to her he revealed the pur- 
pose of his sad heart, and asked to see his kinsmen 
face to face. The priestess did not tarry long : "It is 
customary," she said, " to slay black-fleeced sheep 
before the dawn, as offerings to the dead in their 
graves, and then to bury in an open trench the blood 
that flows from the throats of the still living victims. 
Then the pale kingdoms will render up their in- 
habitants to your view. As to your further demands, 
a greater priestess than I shall answer you. For 
I will summon up a response all the way from the 
Elysian Fields, and will permit you to see at your 
sacrifice the shade of that ancient Sibyl who declares 
the mind of Apollo. Up, then ! and when dewy night 
has moved past her middle point, then purify yourself 
and go to the neighbouring gorge of Avernus and take 
with you the animals I have named, as a sacrifice to 
soften the stony heart of Pluto. Take honey also 
with you and an offering of unmixed wine." 

Encouraged by this advice and by the name of 
the priestess whose aid was promised him, Scipio 
made ready in secret the prescribed victims. Then, 
when night in her course had reached the hour 
appointed and the darkness past was equal to the 
darkness yet to come, he rose from his bed and went 
to the stormy entrance of the gate to Tartarus, 
where the priestess, faithful to her word, was sitting 
in the deep recess of the Stygian grotto. Then, where 

235 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

turn, qua se primum rupta tellure recludit 

invisus caelo specus atque eructat acerbam 425 

Cocyti laxo suspirans ore paludem, 

inducit iuvenem ferroque cavare refossam 

ocius urget humum atque, arcanum murmur anhelans, 

ordine mactari pecudes iubet. ater operto 

ante omnes taurus regi, tum proxima divae 430 

caeditur Hennaeae casta cervice iuvenca. 

inde tibi, Alecto, tibi, numquam laeta Megaera, 

corpora lanigerum procumbunt lecta bidentum. 

fundunt mella super Bacchique et lactis honorem. 

" sta, iuvenis, faciemque, Erebo quae surgit ab omni," 

exclamat vates, ** patere : accedentia cerno 436 

Tartara et ante oculos assistere tertia regna. 

ecce ruunt variae species, et quicquid ab imo 

natum hominum exstinctumque chao est ; iam 

cuncta videbis, 
Cyclopas Scyllamque et pastos membra virorum 440 
Odrysiae telluris equos. contende tueri 
eductumque tene vagina interritus ensem. 
quaecumque ante animae tendent potare cruorem, 
dissice, dum castae procedat imago Sibyllae. 
interea cerne ut gressus inhumata citatos 445 

fert umbra et properat tecum coniungere dicta ; 
cui datur ante atros absumpti corporis ignes, 
sanguine non tacto, solitas efFundere voces." 
aspicit et subito turbatus Scipio visu 
** quinam te, qui casus," ait, " dux maxime, fessae 

" One of the infernal rivers : it seems to stand here for 
Acheron. "^ Pluto. 

* Proserpina, who was carried off from Henna to the nether 
world. •* See note to ii. 530. 

* The sky and earth fbrm the First Kingdom, the sea is 
the Second, and Hades the Third : see note to viii. 116. 
236 




PUNICA, XIII. 424-460 

the earth begins to part and the hollow hateful to 
heaven opens up, while its wide mouth pants and 
belches forth acrid air from the marsh of Cocytus," 
she led him on and bade him hasten to dig a trench in 
the earth with his sword and slay the victims in due 
order ; and with quick-drawn breath she muttered 
mystic words. First of all, a black bull was offered 
to the Invisible King,^ and next an unmated heifer to 
the goddess of Henna. ^ Lastly, chosen sheep with 
woolly fleeces were slain in honour of Alecto ^ and 
of Megaera, the Fury who never smiles. And over 
them honey was poured, with an offering of wine and 
milk. " Stand firm, young man," she cried, " and 
endure the sight of those who are rising from all 
Erebus. I see all Tartarus approaching, and the 
Third * Kingdom of the world presents itself to our 
sight. Lo, shapes of all kinds come flocking, and 
all mankind who have been born and have died since 
the primal chaos ; soon you shall see everything — 
Cyclopes and Scylla, and the Thracian horses that 
fed on human flesh.-'' Fix your gaze firmly upon 
them all, and grasp your drawn sword undaunted. 
If any spirits press forward to drink of the blood 
before the form of the chaste Sibyl advances, hew 
them in pieces. But meantime look at yonder un- 
buried ghost ^ which comes quickly hither and desires 
to have speech with you. Until the funeral fire has 
consumed his body, he is permitted to speak as he 
was wont, without tasting of the blood." Scipio 
looked at him, and was appalled by the sudden sight : 
*' Great leader," he said, " what mishap has robbed 

' The horses of Diomede the Thracian : see note to iii. 38. 
' The ghost of Appius Claudius who was mortally wounded 
at Capua. 

287 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

eripuit patriae, cum tales horrida poscunt 451 

bella viros ? nee enim dextra concesserit ulli 
Appius, aut astu. decimum lux rettulit ortum, 
ut te, cum Capua remearem, vulnera vidi 
mulcentem, hoc uno maestum, quod adire nequires 
saucius ad muros et Martis honore careres." 456 

contra quae ductor : " fesso mihi proxima tandem 
lux gratos Phaethontis equos avertit et atris 
aeternum demisit aquis. sed lenta meorum 
dum vanos ritus cura et sollemnia vulgi 460 

exsequitur, cessat flammis imponere corpus, 
ut portet tumulis per longum membra paternis. 
quod te per nostri Martis precor aemula facta, 
arce quae putres artus medicamina servant, 464 

daque vago portas quamprimum Acherontis adire." 

Tunc iuvenis : " gens o veteris pulcherrima Clausi, 
baud ulla ante tuam, quamquam non parva fatigent, 
curarum prior exstiterit. namque ista per omnes 
discrimen servat populos variatque iacentum 
exsequias tumuli et cinerum sententia discors. 470 
tellure, ut perhibent, (is mos antiquus) Hibera 
exanima obscenus consumit corpora vultur. 
regia cum lucem posuerunt membra, probatum est 
Hyrcanis adhibere canes. Aegyptia tellus 
claudit adorato^ post funus stantia saxo 475 

corpora et a mensis exsanguem baud separat umbram. 
exhausto instituit Pontus vacuare cerebro 

^ adorato Bothe : odorato edd. 

" Hades. ^ See note to viii. 412. 

* The digression about funeral customs that follows 
(11. 468-487) is so out of place here and so unworthy of the 
writer that some editors have expelled it from the text. 

** This is the famous " skeleton at the feast," which re- 
minded the Egyptian feasters that they too were mortal. 

238 



I 



PUNICA, XIII. 451-477 

your suffering country of your aid, at a time M'hen 
cruel war calls for such men as you ? For Appius 
need yield to no man either in valour or in craft. Ten 
times has the dawn returned since I came back from 
Capua and saw you under cure for your wounds ; and 
you regretted nothing, except that your wounds pre- 
vented you from approaching the walls of the city and 
sharing the glory of victory. ' ' The general answered : 
*' It was only one day later that the pleasant sight 
of the sun's coursers was taken from me on my sick- 
bed, and I sank for ever in the dark stream of death. 
But the piety of my friends is slow to act, and seeks 
to observe the meaningless rites and customs of the 
people ; hence they delay to burn my body, meaning 
to carry it far away to the tomb of my fathers. 
Therefore I entreat you by our rivalry in feats of 
arms, keep away from me those drugs which preserve 
the body from corruption, and suffer my wandering 
spirit to enter Acheron" without delay." 

And Scipio replied : " Noblest scion of ancient 
Clausus,^ no business of my own (and I have heavy 
tasks to perform) shall take precedence of your 
request. ''All over the world the practice is different 
in this matter, and unlikeness of opinion produces 
various ways of burying the dead and disposing of 
their ashes. In the land of Spain, we are told (it 
is an ancient custom) the bodies of the dead are 
devoured by loathly vultures. When a king dies in 
Hyrcania, it is the rule to let dogs have access to the 
corpse. The Egyptians enclose their dead, standing 
in an upright position, in a cofHn of stone, and wor- 
ship it ; and they admit a bloodless spectre to their 
banquets. '^ With the peoples of the Black Sea it is 
the custom to empty the skull by extracting the 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ora virum et longum medicata reponit in aevum. 
quid, qui reclusa nudos Garamantes harena 
infodiunt ? quid, qui saevo sepelire profundo 480 
exanimos mandant Libycis Nasamones in oris ? 
at Celtae vacui capitis circumdare gaudent 
ossa, nefas, auro ac mensis ea pocula servant. 
Cecropidae ob patriam Mavortis sorte peremptos 
decrevere simul communibus urere flammis. 485 

at gente in Scythica suffixa cadavera truncis 
lenta dies sepelit, putri liquentia tabo." 

Talia dum memorant, umbra veniente Sibyllae, 
Autonoe " finem hie," inquit, " sermonibus adde 
alternis. haec, haec veri fecunda sacerdos, 490 

cui tantum patuit rerum quantum ipse negarit 
plus novisse deus. me iam comitante tuorum 
tempus abire globo et pecudes imponere flammis.** 

At gravida arcanis Cymes anus attigit ore 
postquam sacrificum delibavitque cruorem, 495 

in decus egregiae vultus intenta iuventae 
" aetherea fruerer cum luce, baud segniter," inquit, 
" Cymaeo populis vox nostra sonabat in antro. 
turn te permixtum saeclis rebusque futuris 
Aeneadum cecini. sed non sat digna mearum 500 
cura tuis vocum : nee enim conquirere dicta 
aut servare fuit proavis sollertia vestris. 
verum age, disce, puer, quando cognoscere cordi est, 
iam tua deque tuis pendentia Dardana fatis. 
namque tibi cerno properatum oracula vitae 505 

" The superior Sibyl who comes up from the Elysian Fields. 

^ Cumae. 

* An allusion to the refusal of Tarquinius Superbus to buy 
the books of the Sibyl, 
240 



PUNICA, XIII. 478-505 

brain and to preserve the embalmed body for cen- 
turies. The Garamantes, again, dig a hole in the 
sand and bury the corpse naked, while the Nasamones 
in Libya commit their dead to the cruel sea for burial. 
Then the Celts have a horrid practice : they frame 
the bones of the empty skull in gold, and keep it 
for a drinking-cup. The Athenians passed a law, 
that the bodies of all who had fallen in battle in 
defence of their country should be burnt together 
on a single pyre. Again, among the Scythians the 
dead are fastened to tree-trunks and left to rot, and 
time at last is the burier of their bodies." 

While thus they spoke, the ghost of the Sibyl <* 
approached, and Autonoe bade them stop their dis- 
course : " Here," she said, " here is the priestess, 
the fountain of truth ; to her so much is revealed 
that Apollo himself would not claim to know more. 
The time has come for me to depart in company with 
your band of followers, and place the victims upon 
the fire." 

But when the ancient dame of Cyme, that de- 
pository of hidden things, had tasted with her lips 
the blood of the victims, she gazed on the goodly 
face of the young hero : " While yet I enjoyed the 
light of heaven," she said, " my voice was not silent 
but rang out to the nations from the cave of Cyme.^ 
And then I prophesied of you and your part in the 
future fortunes of the Roman people. But your 
nation did not give due heed to my sayings.'' For 
your ancestors lacked the wit to collect or preserve 
my oracles. But mark me now, my son, and you 
shall learn, since you would fain know it, your own 
destiny and the destiny of Rome that depends on 
yours. For I see that you are eager to learn from 

24>l 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hinc petere et patrios visii contingere manes, 
armifero victor patrem ulcisceris Hibero, 
creditus ante annos Martem, ferroque resolves 
gaudia Poenorum et missum laetabere bello 
omen, Hiberiacis victa Carthagine terris. 610 

maius ad imperium posthac capiere, nee ante 
lupiter absistet cura quam cuncta fugarit 
in Libyan! bella et vincendum duxerit ipse 
Sidoniiim tibi rectorem. pudet urbis iniquae, 614 
quod post haec decus hoc patriaque domoque carebit. " 
sic vates gressumque lacus vertebat ad atros. 

Tum iuvenis : " quaecumque datur sors durior aevi, 
obnitemur," ait, " culpa modo pectora cessent. 
sed, te oro, quando vitae tibi causa labores 
humanos iuvisse fuit, siste, inclita virgo, 620 

paulisper gressum et nobis manesque silentum 
enumera Stygiaeque aperi formidinis aulam." 

Annuit ilia quidem, sed " non optanda recludis 
regna," ait. '* hie tenebras habitant volitantque per 

umbras 
innumeri quondam populi. domus omnibus una. 525 
in medio vastum late se tendit inane ; 
hue, quicquid terrae, quicquid freta et igneus aer 
nutrivit primo mundi genitalis ab aevo. 
Mors communis agit : descendunt cuncta, capitque 
campus iners, quantum interiit restatque futurum. 530 
cingunt regna decem portae : quarum una receptat 



" Scipio was twenty-four years old when he accepted the 
chief command in Spain in 211 b.c. 

** New Carthage (now Cartagena), taken by Scipio in 
210 B.C. 

" The consulship, which he held in 205 b.c. 

^ He was brought to trial for malversation in 187 B.C. and 
retired to Liternum, where he died soon afterwards. 
242 



PUNICA, XIII. 506-531 

me a forecast of your life, and to have sight of your 
kinsmen's ghosts. Trusted with command before the 
proper age," you shall be victorious in battle on the 
Ebro, and shall avenge your sire ; with the sword you 
shall put an end to the rejoicing of the Carthagin- 
ians; and, when you have conquered the Carthage in 
Spain, ^ you will welcome the conquest as an omen 
for the war. Then you will be chosen for a higher 
office ^ ; and Jupiter will continue to watch over you 
until he has driven all the invaders back to Africa 
and himself brought Hannibal to be conquered by 
you. Shame on the unjust citizens, who will deprive 
of home and country a hero who has done such 
things!"** Thus spoke the prophetess and was 
turning her steps to the dark pools of Hades. 

Then Scipio said : " However hard the lot in life 
assigned me, I shall struggle to overcome it ; the 
consciousness of innocence is all I ask. But, famous 
Maiden, since the purpose of your life was ever to 
help mankind in their troubles, I entreat you to stay 
your steps a while, that you may name the spirits 
of the speechless dead and reveal to me the dreadful 
abode of Hades." 

She consented, but said : ** The realm you seek to 
see is not one to be desired. The countless generations 
of past ages dwell here in darkness and flit through 
the shadows. For all alike there is but one habita- 
tion. In the midst there is a vast extent of empty 
space ; and down hither, driven by one common 
doom, come all things — whatever has been born of 
earth or sea or the fiery air since the beginning of 
the world ; and the barren plain has room for all the 
dead and for those who have yet to be born. Round 
this realm there are ten gates. One of these admits 

243 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

belligeros, dura Gradivi sorte creates, 
altera, qui leges posuere atque inclita iura 
gentibus et primas fundarunt moenibus urbes ; 
tertia ruricolas, Cereris iustissima turba 635 

quae venit ad manes et fraudum illaesa veneno. 
exin, qui laetas artes vitaeque colendae 
invenere viam nee dedignanda parenti 
carmina fuderunt Phoebo, sua limina servant, 
proxima, quos venti saevaeque hausere procellae, 540 
naufraga porta rapit ; sic illam nomine dicunt. 
finitima huic noxa gravido et peccasse fatenti 
vasta patet populo : poenas Rhadamanthus in ipso 
expetit introitu mortemque exercet inanem. 
septima femineis reseratur porta catervis, 545 

umentes ubi casta fovet Proserpina lucos. 
infantum hinc gregibus versasque ad funera taedas 
passis virginibus turbaeque in limine lucis 
est iter extinctae, et vagitu ianua nota. 
turn, seducta loco et laxata lucida nocte, 560 

claustra nitent, quae secreti per limitis umbram 
Elysios ducunt campos ; hie turba piorum, 
nee Stygio in regno, caeli nee posta sub axe, 
verum, ultra Oceanum sacro contermina fonti, 
Lethaeos potat latices, oblivia mentis. 655 

extrema hinc, auro fulgens, iam lucis honorem 
sentit et admoto splendet ceu sidere lunae. 
hac animae caelum repetunt ac mille peractis, 
oblitae Ditem, redeunt in corpora lustris. 
has passim nigrum pandens Mors lurida rictum 560 
itque reditque vias et portis omnibus errat. 



" One of the judges of the dead. 

'' He inflicts on the dead punishments which they cannot 
feel. 
244 



I 



PUNICA, XIII. 532-561 

warriors, men born to endure war's hardships ; the 
second opens to those who made laws and famous 
statutes for their nations, and were the first to 
found walled cities ; the third admits honest country- 
folk dear to Ceres, who come down to Hades un- 
touched by the poison of unfair dealings. The next 
gate is reserved for those who discovered fine arts 
and a civilized way of life, and uttered poems which 
their father, Phoebus, need not despise. The next, 
called the gate of shipwreck, lets in those whom 
winds and fierce storms destroyed. The sixth gate 
opens wide for the multitude who are oppressed by 
sin and confess their guilt ; close by the entrance 
sits Rhadamanthus « and demands penalties and 
punishes unsubstantial death.'' The seventh gate is 
unbarred for the companies of women, and here 
chaste Proserpina tends her dewy groves. The next 
gate is known for the crying of infants ; and hither 
come a multitude of babes who died on the threshold 
of life, and maidens whose wedding-torches lighted 
their funerals instead. Next, in a place apart and 
radiant with gloom dispersed, stands a shining portal 
which leads to the Elysian Fields by a secret shady 
path ; and here dwell the righteous, not in the realm 
of Hades nor under the cope of heaven, but, beyond 
the Ocean stream and hard by a sacred spring, they 
drink the water of Lethe and forget their past. Last 
is the tenth gate ; glittering with gold, it enjoys the 
privilege of light and shines as if the moon's disk 
were close beside it. By this gate souls rise again 
to heaven and, after the lapse of five thousand 
years, enter new bodies and forget Pluto. Here pale 
Death, with her hideous jaws agape, paces to and 
fro continually and wanders from gate to gate. 

245 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

** Turn iacet in spatium sine corpore pigra vorago 
limosique lacus ; large exundantibus urit 
ripas saevus aquis Phlegethon et, turbine anhelo 
flammarum resonans, saxosa incendia torquet. 565 
parte alia torrens Cocytos sanguinis atri 
vorticibus furit et spumanti gurgite fertur. 
at, magnis semper divis regique deorum 
iurari dignata palus, picis horrida rivo, 
fumiferum volvit Styx inter sulphura limum. 570 

tristior his Acheron sanie crassoque veneno 
aestuat et, gelidam eructans cum murmure harenam, 
descendit nigra lentus per stagna palude. 
hanc potat saniem non uno Cerberus ore, 
haec et Tisiphones sunt pocula, et atra Megaera 575 
hanc sitit, at nullo rabies restinguitur haustu. 
ultimus erumpit lacrimarum fontibus amnis 
ante aulam atque aditus et inexorabile limen. 

" Quanta cohors, omni stabulante per atria monstro, 
excubat et manes permixto murmure terret ! 580 

Luctus edax Maciesque, malis comes addita morbis, 
et Maeror pastus fletu et sine sanguine Pallor 
Curaequelnsidiaeque atque hincqueribundaSenectus, 
hinc angens utraque manu sua guttura Livor, 
et, deforme malum ac sceleri proclivis, Egestas 585 
Errorque infido gressu et Discordia gaudens 
permiscere fretum caelo. sedet ostia Ditis 
centenis suetus Briareus recludere palmis 
et Sphinx, virgineos rictus infecta cruore, 

" He had three heads. 

■^ Tisiphone and Megaera are two of the Furies : see note 
to ii. 530 : the third is Alecto. 

•^ To the four rivers usually placed in Hades Silius adds 
a fifth not mentioned by other writers. 

'^ When she sees the prosperity of others. 
S46 




PUNICA, XIII. 562-589 

len there lies stretching far and wide a Hfeless 
morass, with no creature to be seen, and muddy pools. 
Here fierce Phlegethon burns its banks with overflow- 
ing stream and rolls along fiery rocks, resounding with 
a roaring blast of flame. Elsewhere Cocytus rushes 
down, raving with eddies of black blood and foaming 
as it flows. Next is the Styx, by which the high gods 
and even the king of the gods deign to swear ; dread- 
ful with its stream of pitch, it carries down sulphur 
and steaming mud together. Acheron, more terrible 
than these, seethes with venom and clotted poison, 
and spouts up icy sand with a rumbling noise, as its 
black current goes slowly down through the stagnant 
pools. From this foul stream Cerberus drinks with 
more than one mouth " ; this is the drink of Tisiphone 
also, and black Megaera ^ thirsts for it, though no 
draught can slake her fury. Last of all, a river of 
tears '^ takes its rise before the entrance to the ruler's 
palace and the threshold that no prayers can soften. 
" How great a company of terrible shapes keep 
watch and have their abode in the courtyard, terrify- 
ing the dead with the noise of their mingled voices ! 
Consuming Grief is there, and Leanness which 
waits upon sore disease ; and Sorrow that feeds on 
tears, and bloodless Pallor ; Remorse and Treachery 
are there ; here is querulous Old Age, and there 
Jealousy which strangles herself with both hands ^ ; 
and Poverty, an unsightly plague that leads men to 
crime ; Error, with staggering gait, and Discord 
that delights to confound sea with sky.* There sits 
Briareus, ever accustomed to open the gates of Pluto 
with his hundred hands ; and the Sphinx whose 
maiden mouth is stained with human blood ; and 
• i.e. to cause general confusion. 

247 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Scyllaque Centaurique truces umbraeque Gigantum. 
Cerberus hie ruptis peragrat cum Tartara vinclis, 691 
non ipsa Alecto, non feta furore Megaera 
audet adire ferum, dum fractis mille catenis 
viperea latrans circumligat ilia cauda. 

" Dextra vasta comas nemorosaque brachia fundit 
taxus, Cocyti rigua frondosior unda. 696 

hie dirae volucres pastusque cadavere vultur 
et multus bubo ac sparsis strix sanguine pennis 
Harpyiaeque fovent nidos atque omnibus haerent 
condensae fohis ; saevit stridoribus arbor. 600 

Has inter formas coniux lunonis Avernae, 
suggestu residens, cognoscit crimina regum. 
stant vincti, seroque piget sub iudice culpae ; 
circum errant Furiae Poenarumque omnis imago, 
quam vellent numquam sceptris fulsisse superbis ! 605 
insultant duro imperio non digna nee aequa 
ad superos passi manes ; quaeque ante profari 
non Hcitum vivis, tandem permissa queruntur. 
tunc alius saevis religatur rupe catenis, 
ast alius subigit saxum contra ardua montis, 610 

vipereo domat hunc aeterna Megaera flagello. 
talia letiferis restant patienda tyrannis. 
sed te maternos tempus cognoscere vultus, 
cuius prima venit non tardis passibus umbra." 

Adstabat fecunda lovis Pomponia furto. 615 

« The Harpies were rapacious monsters, with the face and 
body of a woman and the wings of a bird. 

'' Avernian Juno is Proserpina, and her husband is Pluto. 

" The legend here set forth, that Jupiter, in the form of a 
serpent, was the father of Scipio, seems to have been believed 
by the vulgar at Rome ; and Scipio himself was perhaps not 
unwilling that it should be believed. 
848 



PUNICA, XIII. 590-616 

Scylla and the fierce Centaurs, and the ghosts of the 
Giants. Cerberus is here ; when he bursts his bonds 
and moves through Tartarus, not even Alecto or 
Megaera, the mother of madness, dares to face the 
savage hound, when, after snapping a thousand 
chains, he bays and twines round his loins his snake- 
hke tail. 

" On the right hand, a great yew-tree spreads its 
foliage and leafy arms ; and the running water of 
Cocytus refreshes its growth. Here birds of ill omen 
dwell — vultures who feed on carrion, troops of owls, 
and screech-owls with blood-spotted plumage ; and 
Harpies " have their nests here and cling in clusters 
to every leaf : the tree resounds with their harsh 
cries. 

" Surrounded by these shapes and sitting on a lofty 
throne, the husband of Avernian Juno ^ tries guilty 
kings. They stand before him in chains and repent 
of their crimes too late before their judge : Furies 
and Penalties in every shape hover round. How 
great now their regret that they ever held the 
glittering sceptre of tyranny ! Those who in life 
suffered undeserved and unjust punishment from 
them now mock their harsh rulers ; and the com- 
plaints they could not utter in life they have leave 
at last to express. Then one of them is bound upon 
a rock with fetters of iron, and another pushes a 
stone up a steep mountain, and a third is for ever 
lashed by Megaera with her scourge of snakes. Such 
are the penalties in store for death-dealing tyrants. 
But it is time for you to look on your mother's face ; 
her ghost is the first to come, and comes with speed." 

Pomponia now stood near. The secret love of 

Jupiter had made her Scipio's mother.'' For, when 

VOL. II I 249 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

namque ubi cognovit Latio surgentia bella 

Poenorum Venus, insidias anteire laborans 

lunonis, fusa sensim per pectora patrem 

implicuit flamma ; quae ni provisa fuissent, 

Sidonia Iliacas nunc virgo accenderet aras. 620 

ergo ubi gustatus cruor, admonuitque Sibylla 

et dedit alternos ambobus noscere vultus, 

sic iuvenis prior : " o magni mihi numinis instar, 

cara parens, quam, te ut nobis vidisse liceret, 

optassem Stygias vel leto intrare tenebras ! 625 

quae sors nostra fuit, cui te, cum prima subiret, 

eripuit sine honore dies et funere carpsit ! " 

excipit his mater : " nuUos, o nate, labores 

mors habuit nostra ; aetherii dum pondere partus 

exsolvor, miti dextra Cyllenia proles 630 

imperio lovis Elysias deduxit ad oras 

attribuitque pares sedes, ubi magna moratur 

Alcidae genetrix, ubi sacro munere Leda. 

verum age, nate, tuos ortus, ne bella pavescas 

ulla, nee in caelum dubites te attollere factis, 635 

quando aperire datur nobis, nunc denique disce. 

sola die caperem medio cum forte petitos 

ad requiem somnos, subitus mihi membra ligavit 

amplexus, non ille, meo veniente marito, 

assuetus facilisque mihi. tum luce corusca, 640 

implebat quamquam languentia lumina somnus, 

vidi, crede, lovem. nee me mutata fefellit 

forma dei, quod, squalentem conversus in anguem, 

ingenti traxit curvata volumina gyro. 

sed mihi post partum non ultra ducere vitam 645 

concessum. heu, quantum gemui, quod spiritus ante 

« The fire of Vesta. 

* Pomponia died in childbirth. 

• Mercury : see note to iii. 168. 

S50 



PUNICA, XIII. 616-646 

Venus learnt that the arms of Carthage were rising 
against Rome, she strove to anticipate the wiles of 
Juno, and entrapped her father's heart with a slow- 
spreading flame. But for this foresight, a Carthaginian 
virgin would now be kindling the altars of Ilium.'* 
So, when the ghost had tasted of the blood and the 
Sibyl had informed her and suffered the pair to 
recognize one another, Scipio thus began : " Dear 
mother, as sacred to me as a mighty god, how gladly 
would I even have died and so entered the Stygian 
darkness, for a sight of you ! What a lot was mine ! The 
first day of my life was a day of disaster that snatched 
you from me and laid you in the grave." His mother 
replied : " My son, no suffering attended my death ^ : 
when I was delivered of the divine burden I carried, 
the god born on Cyllene '^ conducted me with gentle 
hand by the command of Jupiter and gave me a 
place of equal honour in Elysium, where Leda and 
the great mother of Alcides are permitted by the god 
to dwell. But mark me, my son, and at last you shall 
learn what I am permitted to disclose — the secret of 
your birth ; then no wars will affright you, and you 
may be confident of rising to heaven by your achieve- 
ments. It chanced that I was alone at midday, 
enjoying the sleep that my weariness required, when 
suddenly I was clasped in an embrace — no common 
and familiar union, as when my husband came to 
me ; and then in radiant light, though my half- 
closed eyes were full of sleep, I saw — doubt me 
not — I saw Jupiter ! Nor was I deceived by the 
god's disguise ; for he had changed himself into a 
serpent covered with scales and drew his coils after 
him in huge curves. But I was not permitted to live 
on after my delivery. What grief was mine, that my 

251 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

haec tibi quam noscenda darem discessit in auras ! ** 
his alacer colla amplexu materna petebat ; 
umbraque ter frustra per inane petita fefellit. 

Succedunt simulacra virum concordia, patris 650 
unanimique simul patrui. ruit ipse per umbram, 
oscula vana petens, iuvenis fumoque volucri 
et nebulis similes animas apprendere certat. 
** quis te, care pater, quo stabant Itala regna, 
exosus Latium deus abstulit ? hei mihi ! nam cur 
ulla fuere adeo, quibus a te saevus abessem, 656 

momenta ? opposito mutassem pectore mortem, 
quantos funeribus vestris gens Itala passim 
dat gemitus ! tumulus vobis, censente senatu, 
Mavortis geminus surgit per gramina campo." 660 
nee passi plura, in medio sermone loquentis 
sic adeo incipiunt. prior haec genitoris imago : 
" ipsa quidem virtus sibimet pulcherrima merces ; 
dulce tamen venit ad manes, cum gloria vitae 
durat apud superos, nee edunt oblivia laudem. 665 
verum age, fare, decus nostrum, te quanta fatiget 
militia, heu, quotiens intrat mea pectora terror, 
cum repeto, quam saevus eas, ubi magna pericla 
contingunt tibi ! per nostri, fortissime, leti 
obtestor causas, Martis moderare furori. 670 

sat tibi sint documenta domus ! octava terebat 
arentem culmis messem crepitantibus aestas, 
ex quo cuncta mihi calcata meoque subibat 
germano devicta iugum Tartessia tellus. 
nos miserae muros et tecta renata Sagunto, 675 

252 



PUNICA, XIII. 647-676 

spirit departed before I could tell you these things ! " 
Hearing this, Scipio strove eagerly to embrace his 
mother ; but thrice the unsubstantial ghost eluded 
his grasp. 

Her place was taken by the spirits of his father 
and his uncle — a pair of loving brothers. Scipio 
rushed through the gloom, seeking to embrace them ; 
in vain, for the spirits he was fain to clasp were like 
mist or drifting smoke. " Beloved father, what god 
so hated Latium that he carried off you, the pillar 
of Roman rule ? Alas ! why was I ever unfeeling 
enough to be absent one moment from your side ? 
I might have thrown myself in front of you and died 
in your stead. How sorely all Italy mourns for 
your deaths ! By decree of the Senate, a double 
tomb is now rising in your honour on the grassy Field 
of Mars." They suffered him to say no more : even 
while he spoke, thus they began reply. His father's 
ghost spoke first : " Virtue is indeed its own noblest 
reward ; yet the dead find it sweet, when the fame 
of their lives is remembered among the living and 
oblivion does not swallow up their praises. But make 
haste, glorious scion of our house, and tell how great 
is the burden of war you are now bearing. Alas, how 
often dread comes over me, when I remember your 
fiery onset in the face of great peril ! I entreat you, 
my hero, bear in mind what brought us two to 
our deaths, and control your ardour in battle. Be 
warned by the experience of your kinsmen. The 
eighth summer was thrashing the rattling ears of ripe 
corn ; eight years had passed since I had set my foot 
on the neck of all Spain and my brother had con- 
quered the land and made it pass beneath the yoke. 
We rebuilt hapless Saguntum and gave her new walls ; 

253 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nos dedimus Baetin nullo potare sub hoste ; 
nobis indomitus convertit terque quaterque 
germanus terga Hannibalis. pro barbara numquain 
impolluta fides ! peterem cum victor adesum 
cladibus Hasdrubalem, subito venale, cohortes 680 
Hispanae, vulgus, Libyci quas fecerat auri 
Hasdrubal, abrupto liquerunt agmine signa. 
tunc hostis socio desertos milite, multum 
ditior ipse viris, spisso circumdedit orbe. 
non segnis nobis nee inultis, nate, peracta est 685 
ilia suprema dies, et laude inclusimus aevum." 

Excipit inde suos frater coniungere casus : 
" excelsae turris post ultima rebus in artis 
subsidium optaram supremaque bella ciebam. 
fumantes taedas ac lata incendia passim 690 

et mille iniecere faces, nil nomine leti 
de superis queror : baud parvo data membra sepulcro 
nostra cremaverunt in morte haerentibus armis. 
sed me luctus habet, geminae ne clade ruinae 
cesserit afFusis oppressa Hispania Poenis." 695 

Contra quae iuvenis turbato fletibus ore : 
** Di, quaeso, ut merita est, dignas pro talibus ausis 
Carthago expendat poenas. sed continet acres 
Pyrenes populos, qui, vestro Marte probatus, 
excepit fessos et notis Marcius armis 700 

successit bello. fusos quoque fama ferebat 
victores acie, atque exacta piacula caedis." 

" The Guadalquivir. 

'' There were three Carthaginian armies then in Spain, and 
three commanders : (1) Hasdrubal, brother of Hannibal, 
who fell at the battle of the Metaurus ; (2) Hasdrubal, son 
of Cisco ; and (3) Mago. 

« This was Gnaeus Scipio who only survived his brother 
by a month. 

^ L. Marcius Septimus is highly praised by Livy (xxv. 37), 
254 



PUNICA, XIII. 676-702 

we made it possible to drink the water of the Baetis * 
and fear no foe ; again and again we forced the in- 
vincible brother of Hannibal ^ to retreat. But, alas, 
barbarians are ever foul traitors. Hasdrubal was 
crippled by defeat, and I was in victorious pursuit 
of him, when suddenly the Spanish cohorts, a 
mercenary rabble whom Hasdrubal had enslaved 
to Libyan gold, broke their ranks and deserted our 
standards. Thus left in the lurch by our allies, we 
were far inferior in number to the enemy ; and they 
formed a dense ring round us. We died not un- 
avenged, my son : we played the man on that last 
day and ended our lives in glory." 

Then his brother ^ added the story of his own 
death : " When all was over and I was hard beset, 
I sought the protection of a lofty tower and fought 
my last battle there. Smoking torches and a thousand 
fire-brands were hurled at the building, and the con- 
flagration spread far. I have no grudge against 
the gods on the score of my death : by them my 
limbs were consigned for burning to no humble 
sepulchre, and I kept my armour in death. But I 
grieve to think that, after the disaster that brought 
me and my brother low, Spain may have yielded 
under pressure to the attacks of Carthage." 

The young man answered, and his face was marred 
with weeping : '* Ye Gods, I pray that Carthage may 
be punished as she deserves for such doings. But 
the fierce tribes of the Pyrenees are now held in check 
by Marcius,** a famous warrior who proved his worth 
in your army ; he protected our defeated forces and 
carried on the war ; report even said that the Cartha- 
ginians had been routed in a battle and paid the 
penalty for your death." Cheered by these tidings, 

255 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

his laeti rediere duces loca amoena piorum, 
prosequiturque oculis puer adveneratus euntes. 

lamque aderat multa vix agnoscendus in umbra 705 
Paulus et epoto fundebat sanguine verba : 
" lux Italum, cuius spectavi Martia facta, 
multum uno maiora viro, descendere nocti 
atque habitanda semel subigit quis visere regna ? ** 
cui contra tales efFundit Scipio voces : 710 

" armipotens ductor, quam sunt tua fata per urbem 
lamentata diu ! quam paene ruentia tecum 
traxisti ad Stygias Oenotria tecta tenebras ! 
turn tibi defuncto tumulum Sidonius hostis 
constituit laudemque tuo quaesivit honore.** 715 

dumque audit lacrimans hostilia funera Paulus, 
ante oculos iam Flaminius, iam Gracchus et aegro 
absumptus Cannis stabat Servilius ore. 
appellare viros erat ardor et addere verba, 
sed raptabat amor priscos cognoscere manes. 720 

Nunc meritum saeva Brutum immortale securi 
nomen, nunc superos aequantem laude Camillum, 
nunc auro Curium non umquam cernit amicum. 
ora Sibylla docet venientum et nomina pandit. 
" hie fraudes pacis Pyrrhumque a limine portae 725 
reiecit, visus orbus ; tulit ille ruentem 
Thybridis in ripas regem solusque revulso 
pone ferox ponte exclusit redeuntia regna. 
si tibi dulce virum, primo qui foedera bello 

" On the field of Cannae, where Scipio was in command of 
a legion. '' See x. 518 foil. 

" He caused his own sons to be beheaded for conspiring 
to restore the Tarquins. ** See note to i. 626. 

* Manius Curius Dentatus, consul in 290 r.c, who refused 
bribes from the Samnites and from Pyrrhus. 

^ Appius Claudius Caecus, who refused to make peace with 
Pyrrhus. 
256 



fNICA, XIII. 703-729 

the generals went back to the pleasant places of the 
blest, while the young man gazed after them as they 
went, and worshipped them. 

Next Paulus came, hard to recognize in the dim 
light, and drank of the blood, and spoke thus : 
" Bright star of Italy, whose martial feats, too great 
by far for a single arm, these eyes beheld," who forces 
you to descend into darkness and to visit this realm 
where those who enter must dwell for ever ? " Scipio 
spoke thus in answer : " O mighty captain, how long 
did all Rome mourn your death ! How nearly you 
carried down the Roman city in your fall to Stygian 
darkness ! Also the Carthaginian, our foe, built a 
tomb for your dead body and sought to gain glory 
by honouring you." ^ While Paulus shed tears to 
hear of his burial by the enemy, Flaminius came in 
sight, and Gracchus, and the sad face of Servilius 
who fell at Cannae. Scipio was eager to call 
them by name and converse with them ; but 
his strong desire to look on the heroes of the past 
carried him away. 

He saw Brutus who gained eternal fame by the 
merciless axe,'' and then Camillus,^ peer of the gods 
in glory, and Curius ^ next who never welcomed gold. 
The Sibyl revealed to him their faces and names as 
they came up. "This blind man^ drove Pyrrhus 
from his door and spurned the king's dishonest over- 
tures for peace ; that other ^ withstood the king who 
attacked the Tiber banks, and, when the bridge 
was broken down behind him, kept out the returning 
tyrants by his valour, single-handed. If you desire 
to see the man who concluded the peace after the 

" Horatius Codes, who kept the bridge against I.ars 
Porsena. 

VOL. II I 2 257 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Phoenicum pepigit, vidisse, hie inclitus ille 730 

aequoreis victor cum classe Lutatius armis. 

si studium et saevam cognoscere Hamilcaris umbram, 

ille est (cerne procul) cui frons nee morte remissa 

irarum servat rabiem. si iungere cordi est 

colloquium, sine gustato det sanguine vocem." 735 

atque ubi permissum, et sitiens se implevit imago, 

sic prior increpitat non miti Scipio vultu : 

'* taliane, o fraudum genitor, sunt foedera vobis ? 

aut haec Sicania pepigisti captus in ora ? 

bella tuus toto natus contra omnia pacta 740 

exercet Latio et, perruptis molibus, Alpes 

eluctatus adest, fervet gens Itala Marte 

barbarico, et refluunt obstructi stragibus amnes." 

post quae Poenus ait : " decimum modo coeperat 

annum 
excessisse puer, nostro cum bella Latinis 745 

concepit iussu, licitum nee fallere divos 
iuratos patri. quod si Laurentia vastat 
nunc igni regna et Phrygias res vertere tentat, 
o pietas, o sancta fides, o vera propago ! 
atque utinam amissum reparet decus ! " inde citato 
celsus abit gressu, maiorque recessit imago. 751 

Exin designat vates, qui iura sub armis 
poscenti dederint populo primique petitas 
miscuerint I talis Piraeo litore leges, 
laetatur spectatque virum insatiabilis ora 755 

Scipio et appellet cunctos, ni magna sacerdos 



« See note to vi. 687. " Hannibal. « See i. 98 foil. 

<* The decemvirs who were supreme at Rome from 451 to 
449 B.C. : they drew up the Twelve Tables, the first Roman 
code of laws, which was based upon Athenian law. 

* The harbour of Athens. 
258 



PUNICA, XIII. 730-756 



r 

1^^ first war with Carthage, here Lutatius <* stands, the 
? famous conqueror whose fleet won the great sea- 
battle. If you wish to look also on the ghost of 
fierce Hamilcar, yonder he moves — you can see him 
I in the distance — and his frown is not relaxed even 
by death but still retains its fierce resentment. If 
you would fain converse with him, suffer him to taste 
the blood and speak." When leave was given and 
the thirsty ghost had drunk his fill, Scipio thus began 
to reproach him, frowning upon him : " Is this the 
way, O father of lies, that Carthage keeps her treaties ? 
Is this the compact you made when a prisoner in 
Sicily ? Your son,^ breaking all covenants, is waging 
war all over Italy ; he has burst all barriers and 
fought his way over the Alps, and is upon us ; all the 
land is ablaze with barbarous warfare, and our rivers 
run backwards, choked with corpses." The Cartha- 
ginian answered : " Hannibal had Iiardly completed 
his tenth year when he vowed at my bidding to make 
war against Rome ^ ; and he may not deceive the 
gods by whom his father swore. But if he is now 
laying Italy waste with fire and striving to destroy 
her power, then I hail him as my true son, dutiful 
to me and faithful to his oath ; and I pray that he 
may regain the glory that we lost." Then, with head 
held high, Hamilcar departed in haste ; and his 
ghost seemed taller as it went away. 

Next the priestess pointed out the men who held 
the sword and, in answer to their demand, gave laws 
to the people ^ ; they were the first to borrow statutes 
from the shore of the Piraeus * and blend them with 
the laws of Italy. Scipio saw the decemvirs with 
gladness and could not gaze long enough at them ; 
he would have addressed them all, but the great 

259 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

admoneat turbae innumerae : ** quot milia toto 
credis in orbe, puer, lustras dum singula visu, 
descendisse Erebo ? nullo non tempore abundans 
umbrarum hue agitur torrens, vectatque capaci 760 
agmina mole Charon, nee sufficit improba puppis." 
post haec, ostendens iuvenem, sic virgo profatur : 
** hie ille est, tellure vagus qui victor in omni 
cursu signa tulit, cui pervia Bactra Dahaeque, 
qui Gangen bibit et Pellaeo ponte Niphaten 765 

astrinxit, cui stant sacro sua moenia Nilo." 
incipit Aeneades : " Libyci certissima proles 
Hammonis, quando exsuperat tua gloria cunctos 
indubitata duces, similique cupidine rerum 
pectora nostra calent, quae te via, fare, superbum 770 
ad decus et summas laudum perduxerit arces." 
ille sub haec : " turpis lenti sollertia Martis. 
audendo bella expedias. pigra extulit artis 
haud umquam sese virtus, tu magna gerendi 
praecipita tempus ; mors atra impendet agenti." 775 
haec effatus abit. Croesi mox advolat umbra, 
dives apud superos, sed mors aequarat egenis. 
Atque hie, Elysio tendentem limite cernens 
efRgiem iuvenis, caste cui vitta ligabat 
purpurea effusos per colla nitentia crines, 780 

** die," ait, " hie quinam, virgo ? nam luce refulget 
praecipua frons sacra viro, multaeque secuntur 
mirantes animae et laeto clamore frequentant. 



" Alexander the Great. * A river in Armenia. 

* Alexandria. ** Homer. 

260 



PUNICA, XIII. 757-783 

priestess reminded him that the number of ghosts 
was infinite. " How many thousands, my son, do 
you suppose have come down to Erebus from all the 
world, while you look at this and that ? Every 
moment an overflowing torrent of the dead is driven 
hither, and Charon ferries the host across in the roomy 
bark that cannot hold them all, despite its size." 
Then the priestess pointed to a young man " and 
spoke thus : " That is he, who ranged in arms over 
every land, who found a way through Bactra and the 
Dahae, and drank of the Ganges — the Macedonian 
who threw a bridge over the Niphates,^ and whose 
city,'' named after himself, stands on the sacred Nile.'* 
The Roman addressed him thus : " O true-born son 
of Libyan Ammon, since your undisputed fame 
eclipses that of all other commanders, and my heart 
is fired with the same thirst for glory, tell me the 
path by which you rose to your proud eminence and 
the topmost pinnacle of achievement." Alexander 
made answer : " Cunning and caution disgrace a 
general. Boldness is the way to win a war. Valour 
without speed has never risen triumphant over 
danger. When there is great work to be done, do it 
instantly ; dark death hovers over your head while 
you are acting." Thus he spoke, and departed. Next 
the ghost of Croesus flitted up ; in the upper world 
he was rich, but death had set him on a level with 
beggars. 

And now Scipio saw a figure ^ moving along the 
Elysian path, whose hair rippled over his shining 
shoulders and was duly confined by a purple fillet. 
" Say who is this. Maiden," he asked ; " for his sacred 
brow shines with a light beyond compare, and many 
souls follow him and escort him with cries of wonder 

261 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

qui vultus ! quam, si Stygia non esset in umbra, 784 
dixissem facile esse deum ! " " non falleris," inquit 
docta comes Triviae, " meruit deus esse videri, 
et fuit in tanto non parvum pectore numen. 
carmine complexus terram, mare, sidera, manes 
et cantu Musas et Phoebum aequavit honore. 789 
atque haec cuncta, prius quam cerneret, ordine terris 
prodidit ac vestram tulit usque ad sidera Troiam." 
Scipio, perlustrans oculis laetantibus umbram, 
** si nunc fata darent, ut Romula facta per orbem 
hie caneret vates, quanto maiora futuros 794 

facta eadem intrarent hoc," inquit, " teste nepotes ! 
felix Aeacide, cui tali contigit ore 
gentibus ostendi ! crevit tua carmine virtus." 

Sed, quae tanta adeo grassantum turba, requirens, 
heroum effigies maioresque accipit umbras, 
invicto stupet Aeacide, stupet Hectore magno 800 
Aiacisque gradum venerandaque Nestoris ora 
miratur, geminos aspectat 1 actus Atridas 
iamque Ithacum, corde aequantem Peleia facta, 
victuram hinc cernit Ledaei Castoris umbram ; 
alternam lucem peragebat in aethere Pollux. 805 

Sed subito vultus monstrata Lavinia traxit. 
nam virgo admonuit, tempus cognoscere manes 
femineos, ne cunctantem lux alma vocaret. 



" Hecate or Diana : see note to viii. 362. 
"" This refers to the Eleventh Book of the Odyssey^ where 
there is a description of Hades and its inhabitants. 
" The Homeric heroes are meant. 
•* Ulysses. « See note to ix. 295. 

' The wife of Aeneas and daughter of King Latinus. 

262 



PUNICA, XIII. 784-808 

and delight. What a countenance is his ! Were he 
not in the darkness of Hades, I should have said 
confidently that he was a god." " You are right," 
answered the wise handmaid of Trivia « ; "he de- 
served to seem divine ; a great genius dwelt in his 
mighty mind. His poetry embraced earth and 
sea, the sky and the nether world ; he rivalled 
the Muses in song and Apollo in glory. All this 
region also, before he ever saw it, he revealed to 
mortals ^ ; and he raised the fame of Troy to heaven 
— Troy the mother of Rome." Scipio gazed with 
joyful eyes at the ghost of Homer and said : "If 
Fate would suffer this poet now to sing of Roman 
achievements, for all the world to hear, how much 
deeper an impression the same deeds would make 
upon posterity, if Homer testified to them ! How 
fortunate was Achilles, when such a poet displayed 
him to the world ! The hero was made greater by 
the poet's verse." 

When Scipio asked who pressed forward in such 
crowded ranks, he was told that they were the spirits 
of heroes ^ and the mighty among the dead. He 
marvelled at Achilles the invincible and gigantic 
Hector ; the vast stride of Ajax and the reverend 
face of Nestor moved his wonder ; he looked with 
delight at the two Atridae and the Ithacan,^ as great 
in counsel as Achilles in battle. And next he saw 
the shade of Castor, Leda's son ; he would soon 
return to life ; and Pollux now was spending his turn 
of life * in the upper world. 

But suddenly Lavinia^ was pointed out to him 
and attracted his gaze. For the Sibyl warned him 
that it was time to review the ghosts of women ; for, 
if he delayed, dawn might summon him to depart. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

** felix haec," inquit, " Veneris nurus ordine longo 

Troiugenas iunxit sociata prole Latinis. 810 

vis et Martigenae thalamos spectare Quirini ? 

Hersiliam cerne ; hirsutos cum sperneret olim 

gens vicina procos, pastori rapta marito 

intravitque casae culmique e stramine fultum 

pressit laeta torum et soceros revocavit ab armis. 815 

aspice Carmentis gressus. Evandria mater 

haec fiiit et vestros tetigit praesaga labores. 

vis et, quos Tanaquil vultus gerat ? haec quoque castae 

augurio valuit mentis venturaque dixit 

regna viro et dextros agnovit in ahte divos. 820 

ecce pudicitiae Latium decus, inclita leti 

fert frontem atque oculos terrae Lucretia fixos. 

non datur,heu tibi, Roma, nee est, quod malle deceret, 

hanc laudem retinere diu. Verginia iuxta, 

cerne, cruentato vulnus sub pectore servat, 825 

tristia defensi ferro monumenta pudoris, 

et patriam laudat miserando in vulnere dextram. 

ilia est, quae Thy brim, quae fregit Lydia bella, 

nondum passa marem, quales optabat habere 

quondam Roma viros, contemptrix Cloelia sexus." 

cum, subito aspectu turbatus, Scipio poscit, 831 

quae poenae causa, et qui sint in crimine manes, 

tum virgo : " patrios fregit quae curribus artus 

et stetit adductis super ora trementia frenis, 

Tullia, non ullos satis exhaustura labores, 835 

*• Hersilia, wife of Romulus, acted as peace-maker in the 
war caused by the rape of the Sabine women. 

^ The Sabines. " See note to vii. 18. 

<* The wife of the elder Tarquin. 

* She was stabbed by her father, to save her from the lust 
of Appius Claudius. ^ See x. 492 foil. 

" The daughter of Servius Tullius and queen of L. 
Tarquinius. 

264 



PUNICA, XIIT. 809-835 

** She was happy as the daughter-in-law of Venus, 
and the offspring of her marriage bound Trojans and 
Latins together for all time to come. Would you see 
also the consort of Quirinus, the son of Mars ? Yonder 
is Hersilia.^ When the neighbour nation ^ despised 
such unkempt suitors in days gone by, she was carried 
off by a shepherd-bridegroom and entered his hut, 
and lay well pleased upon his bed of straw, and forced 
her kinsmen to throw down their arms. See where 
Carmentis ^ moves ; she was the mother of Evander, 
and her prophecies hinted at this present war. Would 
you look also on the face of Tanaquil '^ ? Chaste of 
heart, she too had the gift of prophecy, and foretold 
the kingly rule of her husband, recognizing the 
favour of heaven in the flight of a bird. Next see 
Lucretia, famous for her death, the glory of Roman 
chastity ; her face and eyes are fixed upon the 
ground. Not long, alas, was Rome permitted to 
enjoy this boast which ought to be preferred to any 
other. Beside her see Virginia * ; her bleeding breast 
still shows the wound — the sad record of maidenhood 
defended by the sword — and she still approves of 
her father's hand that struck the piteous blow. Yonder 
is Cloelia,^ the maiden who stemmed the Tiber and 
stopped the Etruscan army, triumphing over her 
sex ; ancient Rome prayed to have sons as brave 
as she." Then a sudden sight appalled Scipio, and 
he asked who was the guilty shade and why she 
was punished. The priestess answered ; " This is 
Tullia ^ ; she crushed her father's body beneath 
her chariot-wheels, and pulled the reins till she halted 
above his quivering features ; therefore she floats 
on the burning stream of Phlegethon and will never 

265 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ardenti Phlegethonte natat : fornacibus atris 

fons rapidus furit atque ustas sub gurgite cautes 

egerit et scopulis pulsat flagrantibus ora. 

ilia autem, quae tondetur praecordia rostro 

alitis — en quantum resonat plangentibus alls 840 

armiger ad pastus rediens lovis ! — hostibus areem 

virgo, immane nefas, adamato prodidit auro 

Tarpeia et pactis reseravit claustra Sabinis. 

iuxta — nonne vides ? neque enim leviora domantur 

delicta — illatrat ieiunis faucibus Orthrus, 845 

annenti quondam custos immanis Hiberi, 

et morsu petit et poUuto eviscerat ungue. 

nee par poena tamen sceleri ; sacraria Vestae 

polluit, exuta sibi virginitate, sacerdos. 

sed satis haec vidisse, satis." 

Mox deinde : ** videnti 
nunc animas tibi, quae potant oblivia, paucas 851 
in fine enumerasse paro, et remeare tenebris. 
hie Marius : nee multa dies iam restat ituro 
aetheriam in lucem. veniet tibi origine parva 
in longum imperium consul ; nee Sulla morari 855 
iussa potest, aut amne diu potare soporo. 
lux vocat et nulli divum mutabile fatum. 
imperium hie primus rapiet, sed gloria culpae, 
quod reddet solus, nee tanto in nomine quisquam 
exsistet, Sullae qui se velit esse secundum. 860 

ille, hirta cui subrigitur coma fronte, decorum 
et gratum terris Magnus caput ; ille deum gens, 

" On the Capitol at Rome : the Tarpeian rock afterwards 
bore her name. 

* The two-headed dog of Geryon, a brother of Cerberus. 

" This probably refers to Cornelia, the Senior Vestal 
Virgin, who was condemned by Domitian to be buried alive 
for unchastity. 
266 



PUNICA, XIII. 836-862 

come to an end of her suffering : the water rushes 
madly forth from dark furnaces, bringing up calcined 
rocks to the surface and lashing her face with burn- 
ing stones. That other, whose heart-strings are 
gnawed by an eagle's beak, — hark to the sound of 
flapping wings with which the armour-bearer of Jove 
returns to its meal, — is Tarpeia, a maiden guilty of 
a monstrous crime. She loved gold, and for its sake 
betrayed the citadel " to the enemy, and opened the 
gates to the Sabines who had promised to reward 
her. Near her — do you not see } no venial crimes 
are punished here — Orthrus,^ who once guarded the 
cattle of the Spanish monster, is barking at a victim 
with famished throat, biting and tearing out her 
inward parts with his filthy claws. Yet her punish- 
ment is not equal to her crime : a priestess of Vesta," 
she profaned the shrine by losing her maidenhood. 
But enough, enough, of all these sights." 

Soon she added : " I purpose now to end by pointing 
out to your view a few of the spirits who are drinking 
forgetfulness here, and then I shall go back to the 
darkness. Here is Marius, soon to ascend to 
the upper world ; from small beginnings he will rise 
to hold power for long as consul. Nor can Sulla put 
off compliance with the summons, or drink long of 
the river of oblivion. Life calls for him, and the 
destiny which no god may alter. He will be the 
first to seize supreme power ; but, criminal as he is, 
he can boast that he alone will surrender it ** ; and 
no man who rises to such greatness will ever be 
willing to follow the example of Sulla. That comely 
head which the world loved is the head of Magnus,* 
with its fleece of hair rising from the forehead ; the 

* Sulla resigned the dictatorship. * Pompey. 

267 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

stelligerum attollens apicem, Troianus lulo 
Caesar avo. quantas moles, cum sede reclusa 864 
hinc tandem erumpent, terraque marique movebunt ! 
heu miseri, quotiens toto pugnabitis orbe ! 
nee leviora lues, quam victus, crimina victor." 

Tum iuvenis lacrimans : " restare haec ordine dure 
lamentor rebus Latiis. sed luce remota 
si nulla est venia, et merito mors ipsa laborat, 870 
perfidiae Poenus quibus aut Phlegethontis in undis 
exuret ductor scelus, aut quae digna renatos 
ales in aeternum laniabit morsibus artus ? " 
" ne metue," exclamat vates. " non vita sequetur 
inviolata virum : patria non ossa quiescent. 875 

namque ubi fractus opum magnae certamine pugnae 
pertulerit vinci turpemque orare salutem, 
rursus bella volet Macetum instaurare sub armis. 
damnatusque doli, desertis coniuge fida 
et dulci nato, linquet Carthaginis arces 880 

atque una profugus lustrabit caerula puppe. 
hinc Cilicis Tauri saxosa cacumina viset. 
pro ! quanto levius mortalibus aegra subire 
servitia atque hiemes aestusque fugamque fretumque 
atque famem, quam posse mori ! post Itala bella 885 
Assyrio famulus regi falsusque cupiti 
Ausoniae motus, dubio petet aequora velo, 
donee, Prusiacas delatus segniter oras, 
altera servitia imbelli patietur in aevo 
et latebram munus regni. perstantibus inde 890 

" Caesar, no less than Fompey, will die a violent death. 

^ The battle of Zama in 202 b.c, where Hannibal was 
defeated by Scipio. * Antiochus III., king of Syria. 

** Prusias was king of Bithynia. When the Romans 
demanded his surrender, Hannibal swallowed poison. He 
was seventy years old. 
268 




PUNICA, XIII. 863-890 

other, whose high head is crowned with a star, is 
Caesar, the offspring of gods and the descendant of 
Trojan lulus. When these two at last break forth 
from their seclusion in Hades, what fearful disorder 
they will stir up on land and sea ! Alas, unhappy 
men, how often will you wage war over the whole 
earth ! And the victor will pay no less dearly for 
his crimes than the vanquished." " 

Scipio answered weeping : "I grieve at the harsh 
destiny in store for the Roman state. But, if there 
is no forgiveness in the land of darkness and death 
itself is justly punished, how shall Hannibal suffer 
enough for his treachery ? Will the waters of 
Phlegethon serve to burn away his sin, or will some 
bird tear with its beak for ever his body for ever 
renewed ? " " Fear not," cried the priestess : ** no 
hfe of untroubled prosperity shall be his ; his bones 
shall not rest in his native land. For all his strength 
will be broken in a great battle ^ ; he will suffer 
defeat and stoop to beg for his life ; and then he 
will try to wage a fresh war with the armies of 
Macedon. Condemned as a traitor, he will leave his 
faithful wife and darling son behind him, abandon 
Carthage, and flee across the sea with a single ship. 
Next he will visit the rocky heights of Mount Taurus 
in Cilicia. Ah, how much easier men find it to bear cold 
and heat and hunger, bitter slavery and exile, and the 
perils of the sea, rather than face death ! After the 
war in Italy he will serve a Syrian king," and, cheated 
of his hope to make war against Rome, he will put 
to sea with no certain destination, and at last drift 
idly to the land of Prusias,'' where, too old to fight 
any more, he will suffer a second slavery and find a 
hiding-place by the king's favour. At last, when 

269 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Aeneadis reddique sibi poscentibus hostem, 
pocula furtivo rapiet properata veneno 
ac tandem terras longa formidine solvet." 

Haec vates Erebique cavis se reddidit umbris. 
turn laetus socios iuvenis portumque revisit. 895 

« Puteoli or Cumae : see 11. 885, 400. 



270 



PUNICA, XIII. 891-895 

Home persists in demanding the surrender of her 
foe, in hasty stealth he will swallow a draught of 
poison, and free the world at last from a long- 
enduring dread." 

Thus the priestess spake, and returned to her dark 
cavern in Erebus ; and Scipio went back joyfully to his 
comrades in the harbour.** 



871 



LIBER QUARTUS DECIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

The campaign of Marcellus in Sicily : a description of 
the island (1-78). Causes of the war. Death of Hiero, king 
of Syracuse : succession of Hieronymus {79-95). Hierony- 
mus is murdered, and general confusion follows (96-109). 
Marcellus prepares for action (110-124). He takes Leontini 
by storm (125-177). He blockades Syracuse by land and sea 

Flectite nunc vestros, Heliconis numina, cantus 

Ortygiae pelagus Siculique ad litoris urbes. 

muneris hie vestri labor est, modo Daunia regna 

Aeneadum, modo Sicanios aecedere portus, 

aut Maeetum lustrare domos et Achaiea rura, 6 

aut vaga Sardoo vestigia tingere fluctu, 

vel Tyriae quondam regnata mapalia genti, 

extremumve diem et terrarum invisere metas. 

sic poscit sparsis Mavors agitatus in oris. 

ergo age, qua litui, qua ducunt bella, sequamur. 10 

Ausoniae pars magna iacet Trinacria tellus, 
ut semel expugnante Noto et vastantibus undis 
accepit freta, caeruleo propulsa tridente. 



*• A small island which formed part of Syracuse. 
^ Italy. 

* Spain : see note to i. 270. 

'^ Sicily, which has three promontories, Pelorus, Pachynus, 
and Lilybaeum. 



BOOK XIV 

ARGUMENT (coutinued) 

(178-191). Allies of Syracuse (192-247). Allies of Rome 
(248-257). Sicilian allies of Carthage (258-276). Con- 
Jidcnce of the Syracusans (277-291). The genius of Archi- 
medes foils all the attempts of the Romans (292-352). A 
sea-fight (353-579). An outbreak of plague delays opera- 
tions (580-617). At last the city is taken (618-684). 

Turn your song now, ye goddesses of Helicon, to the 
sea of Ortygia ° and the cities of the Sicilian coast. 
Such is your toilsome task — to visit now the Daunian 
realm ^ of the Aeneadae and now the harbours of 
Sicily, or to traverse the land of the Macedonians 
and the country of Greece, or to dip your wandering 
feet in the sea of Sardinia, and to behold either the 
reed-huts once ruled by Carthage, or the World's 
End ^ where the sun goes down. War waged in many 
separate lands requires this of us. Come, then, let 
us follow whither the trumpets and the wars summon 
us ! 

The Isle of Three Capes '^ is a large fragment of 
Italy. It has lain there ever since, battered by the 
fury of winds and waves, and pushed forth by 
Neptune's trident,* it let in the sea. For long ago the 

* Earthquakes were supposed to be the work of Neptune : 
Silius implies that Sicily was separated from the mainland by 
an earthquake followed by an inundation. 

278 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

namque per occultum caeca vi turbinis olim 

impactum pelagus laceratae viscera terrae 15 

discidit et, medio perrumpens arva profundo, 

cum populis pariter convulsis transtulit urbes. 

ex illo servans rapidus divortia Nereus 

saevo dividuos coniungi pernegat aestu. 

sed spatium, quod dissociat consortia terrae, 20 

latratus fama est (sic arta intervenit unda) 

et matutinos volucrum tramittere cantus. 

multa solo virtus : iam reddere foenus aratris, 

iam montes umbrare olea, dare nomina Baccho 

cornipedemque citum lituis generasse ferendis, 25 

nectare Cecropias Hyblaeo accedere ceras. 

hie et Paeonios arcano sulphure fontes, 

hie Phoebo digna et Musis venerabere vatum 

ora excellentum, sacras qui carmine silvas, 

quique Syracosia resonant Helicona camena. 30 

promptae gens linguae ; ast eadem, cum bella cieret, 

portus aequoreis sueta insignire tropaeis. 

Post dirum Antiphatae sceptrum et Cyclopia regna 
vomere verterunt primum nova rura Sicano : 
Pyrene misit populos, qui nomen ab amne 35 

ascitum patrio terrae imposuere vacanti. 
mox Ligurum pubes Siculo ductore novavit 
possessis bello mutata vocabula regnis. 
nee Cres dedecori fuit accola : duxerat actos 
moenibus e centum non fausta ad proelia Minos, 40 

" The honey of Mount Hymettus at Athens was famous. 

* The famous poets of Sicily were Stesichorus, Empedocles, 
Epicharmus, and Theocritus. 

• King of the Laestrygonians : see viii. 530. 
274 



PUNICA, XIV. 14-40 

main, with the invisible force of a tornado, dashed 
itself unseen against the bowels of the land and 
tore it apart ; then rushing over the fields in full 
flood, it uprooted whole cities with their inhabitants 
and carried them to a distance. From that time 
the fast-running tide maintains the separation, and 
its fierceness forbids those thus parted to come to- 
gether again. But the space between the severed 
lands is so small that, as the story goes, the barking 
of dogs and early crowing of cocks can be heard 
across the water ; so narrow is the strait. The soil 
of the island has many virtues. Here it gives a rich 
return to the plough, and there the hills are shady 
with olive-trees ; its vines are famous, and it breeds 
swift horses, fit to endure the sound of the war- 
trumpet ; nor is the nectar of Hybla inferior to the 
honeycombs of Athens.** Here you will admire 
healing springs, whose sulphur waters have secret 
virtue ; and here you will marvel at the utterance 
of mighty poets, ^ bards worthy of Apollo and the 
Muses, who make the sacred groves re-echo with song 
and Helicon resound with the Muse of Syracuse. 
The Sicilians are ready of tongue ; but also, when 
they made war, they often adorned their harbours 
with trophies won by victories at sea. 

The first rulers of the island were the Cyclopes 
and cruel Antiphates ^ ; and next the virgin soil was 
ploughed by the Sicani, who came from the Pyrenees 
and named the uninhabited country after a river 
of their native land. Then Siculus led a band of 
Ligurians into the island, and conquered it, and once 
more changed its name.*^ Nor was the land disgraced 
by settlers from Crete, whom Minos, when he sought 
** From Sicania to Sicilia. 

275 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Daedaleam repetens poenam. qui fraude nefanda 
postquam perpetuas iudex concessit ad umbras 
Cocalidum insidiis, fesso Minoia turba 
bellandi studio Siculis subs edit in oris, 
miscuerunt Phrygiam prolem Troianus Acestes 45 
Troianusque Helymus, structis qui pube secuta 
in longum ex sese donarunt nomina muris. 
nee Zanclaea gerunt obscuram moenia famam, 
dextera quam tribuit posito Saturnia telo. 
sed decus Hennaeis baud ullum pulchrius oris, 50 
quam quae Sisyphio fundavit nomen ab Isthmo 
et multum ante alias Ephyraeis fulget alumnis. 
hie Arethusa suum piscoso fonte receptat 
Alpheon, sacrae portantem signa coronae. 

At non aequus amat Trinacria Mulciber antra. 55 
nam Lipare, vastis subter depasta caminis, 
sulphureum vomit exeso de vertice fumum. 
ast Aetna eructat tremefactis cautibus ignis 
inclusi gemitus, pelagique imitata furorem 
murmure per caecos tonat irrequieta fragores 60 

nocte dieque simul. fonte e Phlegethontis ut atro 
flammarum exundat torrens piceaque procella 
semiambusta rotat liquefactis saxa cavernis, 
sed quamquam largo flammarum exaestuet intus 
turbine, et assidue subnascens profluat ignis, 65 

" See note to xii. 89. 

** They killed Minos by pouring hot water over him when 
he was in his bath. 

" Trojan. Egesta and Elyma are the two cities. 

** Zancle, " sickle," was the ancient Greek name of Messana, 
derived from its shape. * wSicily. 

^ Syracuse : a colony from Corinth whose ancient name 
was Ephyra. Sisyphus was the mythical founder of Ephyra. 

" A fountain in Syracuse : it was supposed that the 
Alpheus, a river of Elis, flowed under the sea to meet Are- 

276 



PUNICA, XIV. 41- 

)unish Daedalus," brought forth from his hundred 
cities to suffer defeat. For, when Minos, slain by 
the horrid treachery of the daughters of Cocalus,* 
went down to everlasting darkness to sit in judge- 
ment there, his war-wearied army settled in Sicily. 
Then two Trojans, Acestes and Helymus, brought 
in a Phrygian ^ stock ; they had followers with 
them and gave their own names to the cities 
they built — names that were to last for ages. The 
walls of Zancle ^ too are not unknown to fame ; for 
Saturn made it famous when he laid down his sickle 
there. But the land of Henna ^ can boast nothing 
more beautiful than the city ^ which has built herself 
a name from the Isthmus of Sisyphus, and outshines 
all the other cities by reason of its Corinthian in- 
habitants. Here Arethusa ^ welcomes her loved 
Alpheiis to her waters abounding in fish, when he 
comes bearing trophies from the sacred games. 

But the Fire-god, no friend to Sicily, loves to 
dwell in her hollow caverns. Thus Lipare,^ whose 
interior is devoured by huge furnaces, vomits forth 
sulphurous smoke from its hollow summit. Then 
Etna belches forth the noise of her pent-up fire from 
her tottering cliffs ; night and day alike she rages 
like an angry sea with unceasing thunder-roll and 
muffled roaring. A torrent of flame wells forth, as 
if from the fatal stream of Phlegethon, and hurls 
out a pitchy shower of red-hot stones from its molten 
depths. But, though the interior of Etna boils over 
with an inexhaustible storm of flame, and though 
fresh fire is constantly generated below and streams 

thiisa, and brought with it the crowns that Olympian victors 
had cast into the stream. 

* The Lipari islands, north of Sicily, 

S77 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cohibet, mirabile dictu, 
vicinam flammis glaciem, aeternoque rigore 
ardentes horrent scopuli ; stat vertice celsi 
collis hiems, calidamque nivem tegit atra favilla. 

Quid referam Aeolio regnatas nomine terras 70 
ventorumque domos atque addita claustra procellis ? 
hie versi penitus Pelopea ad regna Pachyni 
pulsata lonio respondent saxa profundo. 
hie, contra Libyamque situm Caurosque furentes, 
cernit devexas Lilybaeon nobile chelas. 75 

at, qua diversi lateris frons tertia terrae 
vergit in Italiam prolato ad litora dorso, 
celsus harenosa tollit se mole Pelorus. 

His longo mitis placide dominator in aevo 
praefuerat terris Hieron, tractare sereno 80 

imperio vulgum pollens et pectora nullo 
parentum exagitare metu, pactamque per aras 
haud facilis temerare fidem, socialia iura 
Ausoniis multos servarat casta per annos. 
verum, ubi fata virum fragili solvere senecta, 85 

primaevo cessit sceptrum exitiale nepoti, 
et placida indomitos accepit regia mores, 
namque bis octonis nondum rex praeditus annis 
caligare alto in solio nee pondera regni 
posse pati et nimium fluxis confidere rebus. 90 

iamque brevi nullum, delicta tuentibus armis, 
fas notum ignotumque nefas ; vilissima regi 
cura pudor. tarn praecipiti materna furori 



" Another name for the Lipari islands. For Aeolus as the 
jailer of the winds see ix. 491. 

^ The constellation so called. 

« Hiero III., king of Syracuse, a faithful and valuable ally 
of Rome, died in 215 b.c. when he was more than ninety 

S78 



PUNICA, XIV. 66-93 

forth, yet — marvellous to tell — the mountain-top is 
white and harbours ice and flame side by side. The 
burning peaks are stiff with perpetual frost, eternal 
winter lies on the lofty summit, and hot snow is 
hidden beneath black ashes. 

I need not mention the realm of Aeolus," where 
the winds are at home and the storms are kept in 
prison. On the South coast Pachynus stretches far 
towards the Peloponnese, and its rocks reply to the 
Ionian waves that dash against them. On the West 
famous Lilybaeum faces Libya and its fierce West- 
winds, and sees the Scorpion ^ sink down. And 
lastly Pelorus, the third headland of Sicily, the North- 
east coast, turns toward Italy, prolonging its stony 
ridge to the sea, and raising high its mountain of sand. 

During a long life a kindly ruler ^ had governed 
the island with gentle sway. Hiero had power to 
rule his people in peace, and harassed his subjects 
with no terrors ; he was slow to violate a pledge 
sanctioned by oath, and had for many years kept 
unstained the tie of aUiance with Rome. But when 
the Fates laid him low with old age and decrepitude, 
the sceptre passed in a fatal hour to his youthful 
grandson, and the peaceful palace admitted a prince 
of unbridled passions. The young man's head — he 
was not yet sixteen — was turned by his elevation to 
the throne ; he could not support the burden of his 
crown and trusted overmuch to transient prosperity. 
Thus in a short time, while his crimes were protected 
by the sword, right disappeared and wrong in every 
form was rife ; decency was the last thing that the 
monarch thought of ; and his headlong passions were 

years old, and was succeeded by his grandson, Hieronymus, 
a boy of fifteen. 

279 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Pyrrhus origo dabat stimulos proavique superbum 
Aeacidae genus atque aeternus carmine Achilles. 95 
ergo ardor subitus Poenorum incepta fovendi ; 
nee sceleri mora : iam iungit nova foedera, pacto, 
cederet ut Siculis victor Sidonius oris, 
sed stabant Poenae, tumulumque negabat Erinnys, 
qua modo pactus erat socium non cernere, terra. 100 
saevos namque pati fastus iuvenemque cruento 
flagrantem luxu et miscentem turpia diris 
baud ultra faciles, quos ira metusque coquebat, 
iurati obtruncant. nee iam modus ensibus : addunt 
femineam caedem atque insontum rapta sororum 105 
corpora prosternunt ferro. nova saevit in armis 
libertas iactatque iugum : pars Punica castra, 
pars Italos et nota volunt ; nee turba furentum 
defit, quae neutro sociari foedere malit. 

Tali Trinacriae motu rebusque Sicanis 110 

exitio regis trepidis, sublimis honore 
(tertia nam Latios renovarat purpura fasces) 
Marcellus classem Zanclaeis appulit oris, 
atque ubi cuncta viro caedesque exposta tyranni 114 
ambiguaeque hominum mentes, Carthaginis arma 
quos teneant et quanta locos, quod vulgus amicum 
duret Troiugenis, quantos Arethusa tumores 
concipiat perstetque suas non pandere portas, 
incumbit bello ac totam per proxima raptim 
armorum efFundit flammato pectore pestem. 120 

non aliter Boreas, Rhodopes a vertice praeceps 



<* His mother, Nereis, was the daughter of Pyrrhus, king 
of Epirus ; and Pyrrhus claimed descent from Achilles. 

*• In favour of the king of Syracuse. 

* His body was left unburied. 

<* Ttie ancient name of Messana : see note to 1. 48. 
280 



PUNICA, XIV. 94-121 

heated by his mother's descent ^ from Pyrrhus, and by 
his noble ancestry, the Aeacidae and Achilles immor- 
talized in poetry. Therefore he was in eager haste to 
further the designs of Carthage ; nor did he postpone 
his crime but made a new treaty at once, stipulating that 
Hannibal, having conquered Rome, should withdraw 
from Sicily.^ But retribution was at hand, and the Fury 
denied him a grave ^ in that very soil from which he 
had just bargained that his ally should be excluded. 
For a band of conspirators could not endm-e the young 
man's ferocity and pride, his extravagance and thirst 
for blood, his contempt for decency together with his 
inhuman cruelty, and were so wrought up by fear and 
anger that they murdered him. Nor did the sword 
stop there : they went on to kill women also, and his 
innocent sisters were seized and slain. New-found 
freedom brandished the sword and threw off the yoke. 
Some favoured the army of Carthage, and others the 
Romans, their ancient allies ; nor were there wanting 
wild spirits who preferred to join neither alliance. 

Such was the disturbance and excitement which 
the king's death had aroused in Sicily, when Marcellus 
brought his fleet to anchor at Zancle ^ ; he held high 
office ; for the purple had brought him the consular 
rods for the third time. And when he had heard all — 
the murder of the tyrant, the division of opinion 
among the people, the number of the Carthaginian 
troops and the points occupied by them, what cities 
remained friendly to the Romans, and how Syracuse, 
puffed up with pride, obstinately refused to open her 
gates — then Marcellus took the field in indignation 
and speedily poured forth all the horrors of war upon 
the surrounding country. So the North-wind, when 
it has rushed down headlong from Rhodope's height 

VOL. II K 281 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cum sese immisit decimoque volumine pontum 

expulit in terras, sequitur cum murmure molem 

eiecti maris et stridentibus afFremit alis. 

prima Leontinos vastarunt proelia campos, 125 

regnatam diro quondam Laestrygone terram. 

instabat ductor, cui tarde vincere Graias 

par erat ac vinci turmas. ruit aequore toto 

(femineum credas maribus concurrere vulgum) 

et Cereri placitos fecundat sanguine campos. 130 

sternuntur passim ; pedibusque evadere letum 

eripuit rapidus Mavors ; nam ut cuique salutem 

promisit fuga, praeveniens dux occupat ense. 

" ite, gregem me tit e imbellem ac succidite ferro," 

clamat, cunctantes urgens umbone catervas. 135 

" pigro luctandi studio certamen in umbra 

molle pati docta et gaudens splendescere olivo, 

stat, mediocre decus vincentum, ignava iuventus. 

haec laus sola datur, si viso vincitis hoste." 

ingruit, audito ductore, exercitus omnis ; 140 

solaque, quod superest, secum certamina norunt, 

quis dextra antistet spoliisque excellat opimis. 

Euboici non per scopulos illisa Caphareo 

Euripi magis unda furit, pontumve sonantem 

eicit angusto violentius ore Propontis ; 145 

nee fervet maiore fretum rapiturque tumultu, 

quod ferit Herculeas extremo sole columnas. 

Mite tamen dextrae decus inter proelia tanta 
enituit fama. miles Tyrrhenus, Asilo 

" It was anciently believed that in a storm at sea every 
tenth wave was especially formidable. 
^ Antiphates : see viii. 530. 

* A rocky promontory on the south coast of Euboea. 
<* The Sea of Marmora. 

* The Straits of Gibraltar. 
282 




PUNICA, XIV. 122-149 

and hurled the tenth " rolling wave upon the shore, 
follows with a roar the flood of water it has thrown 
up and rages with boisterous wings. The army first 
laid waste the plains of Leontini — the land once ruled 
by the savage Laestrygonian king.^ The general 
pressed on fast : in his eyes, delay in defeating Greek 
troops was as shameful as defeat. He flew all over 
the field — it seemed like a contest of men against 
women — and enriched with blood the fields that Ceres 
loves. The enemy fell in heaps, and the speed of 
battle made it impossible for any to escape death by 
flight. For whenever a fugitive hoped to save his 
life, Marcellus was before him and barred the way 
with his sword. " On, on ! " he cried ; " mow down 
this feeble folk and lay them low with the steel " ; 
and he pushed the laggards on with the boss of his 
shield. " Cowards stand before you, men who have 
learnt to endure easy bouts of wrestling in the shade, 
and who delight to oil their limbs till they ghsten ; 
and those who conquer them in battle get little glory. 
To beat them at sight is the only credit you can gain." 
Thus addressed by their general, the whole army 
advanced to the attack ; their only rivalry now was 
with one another, as they contended who should excel 
in deeds of valour and take the choicest spoil. The 
current of the Euripus by Euboea does not rage more 
fiercely when it dashes through its rocky channel 
upon Caphareus," nor the Propontis ^ when it drives 
out the sounding waves from its narrow mouth ; nor 
does the narrow sea that beats upon the Pillars of 
Hercules * near the setting sun boil and rush on with 
louder uproar. 

So fierce was the battle, and yet a noble deed of 
mercy that was done there became famous. A Tuscan 

283 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nomen erat, captus quondam ad Thrasymenna fluenta, 
servitium facile et dominantis mollia iussa 151 

expertus Beryae, patrias remearat ad oras 
sponte faventis eri ; repetitisque impiger armis 
turn veteres Siculo casus Mavorte piabat. 
atque is, dum medios inter fera proelia miscet, 155 
illatus Beryae, cui, pacta ad regia misso 
Poenorum a populis sociataque bella gerenti, 
aerato cassis munimine clauserat ora, 
invadit ferro iuvenem trepideque ferentem 
instabiles retro gressus prosternit harena. 160 

at miser, audita victoris voce, trementem 
cunctantemque animam Stygia ceu sede reducens, 
cassidis a mento malefidae vincula rumpit 
iungebatque preces atque addere verba parabat. 
sed, subito aspectu et noto conterritus ore, 165 

Tyrrhenus ferrumque manu revocavit et ultro 
talia cum gemitu lacrimis efFudit obortis : 
" ne, quaeso, supplex lucem dubiusque precare ; 
fas hostem servare mihi. multo optimus ille 
militiae, cui postremum est primumque, tueri 170 
inter bella fidem : tu letum evadere nobis 
das prior et servas nondum servatus ab hoste. 
baud equidem dignum memet, quae tristia vidi, 
abnuerim dignumque iterum in peiora revolvi, 
si tibi per medios ignes mediosque per enses 175 

non dederit mea dextra viam." sic fatur et ultro 
attollit vitaque exaequat munera vitae. 

At, compos Sicula primum certaminis ora 
coepti, Marcellus victricia signa, quieto 

284 



PUNICA, XIV. 150-179 

soldier, named Asilus, taken prisoner earlier at Lake 
Trasimene, had found easy service and a kind master 
in Beryas, his captor, and had returned to his native 
land with the consent and aid of his owner. Now he 
had gone back to active service and was making good 
his former mishap by fighting in Sicily. And now, 
while fighting in the centre of the fray, he came upon 
Beryas, who had been sent by the Carthaginians to 
make a treaty with the king of Syracuse and was 
fighting side by side with the Syracusans ; but his 
face was concealed by the brazen helmet that he 
wore. Asilus attacked him with the steel, and, 
as he tottered feebly backwards, hurled him to 
the ground. Then, when he heard his conqueror's 
voice, the poor wretch, recalling his life as it were 
from Hades in fear and trembling, tore from his chin 
the straps that bound his useless helmet, and asked 
for mercy at the same time. He was about to say 
more, when the Tuscan, startled by the sudden sight 
of that familiar face, withdrew his sword and thus 
addressed his antagonist, ere he could speak, with 
sighs and tears : " Sue not, I pray, to me for hfe 
with doubts and entreaties. For me it is right to 
save my enemy. The noble warrior is he, whose first 
and last thought is to keep faith even in time of war. 
You began it and saved me from death before I saved 
you. I should deserve the troubles I have met, and 
should deserve to meet again with worse troubles, if 
my right hand failed to clear a path for you through 
fire and sword." With these words he raised Beryas 
willingly from the ground and granted a life in ex- 
change for the life he had received. 

Then Marcellus, having won his first battle on 
Sicilian soil, moved forward with his army unmolested 

285 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

agmine progrediens, Ephyraea ad moenia vertit. 180 

inde Syracosias castris circumdedit arces. 

sed ferri languebat amor : sedare monendo 

pectora caeca virum atque iras evellere avebat. 

nee, renuant si forte sibi et si mitia malle 

credant esse metum, laxis servatur omissa 185 

obsidio claustris ; quin contra intentior ipse 

invigilat cautis, front em imperterritus, armis 

et struit arcana necopina pericula cura. 

baud secus Eridani stagnis ripave Caystri 

innatat albus olor pronoque immobile corpus 190 

dat fluvio et pedibus tacitas eremigat undas. 

Interea, dum incerta labat sententia clausis, 
exciti populi atque urbes socia arma ferebant : 
incumbens Messana freto minimumque revulsa 
discreta Italia atque Osco memorabilis ortu ; 195 

tum Catane, nimium ardenti vicina Typhoeo 
et generasse pios quondam celeberrima fratres, 
et, cui non licitum fatis, Camarina, moveri. 
tum, quae nectar eis vocat ad certamen Hymetton, 
audax Hybla, favis, palmaque arbusta Selinus 200 
et, iusti quondam portus, nunc litore solo 
subsidium infidum fugientibus aequora, Mylae. 
necnon altus Eryx, necnon e vertice celso 
Centuripae largoque virens Entella Lyaeo, 

" Ephyrean = Corinthian = Syracusan. 

'' A river of Lydia, famous for its swans. 

" The concealed operations of Marcellus are amusingly 
illustrated by the hidden activity of the swan's feet while its 
body remains motionless. 

^ So called, because the Mamertine mercenaries who seized 
Catana came from Campania, once inhabited by Oscans. 

* Typhoeus, a giant, was imprisoned under Etna. Two 

286 



PUNICA, XIV. 180-204 

and turned his victorious standards against the walls 
of Syracuse," surrounding the fortifications with his 
troops. But he felt less eagerness for battle : he 
hoped to calm the blind passion of the citizens by 
his warnings and to expel the anger from their hearts. 
Yet, in case they defied him and ascribed to cowardice 
his choice of forbearance, the siege was strictly carried 
on, and his grasp was not loosened : on the contrary, 
he kept a closer watch than ever, with fearless brow 
and wary strategy, and in secrecy contrived surprises 
for the enemy. So a white swan floats on the still 
waters of the Eridanus or by the bank of Cayster,* 
and lets the current carry its motionless body, while 
its feet row on beneath the unruffled stream.'' 

Meantime, while the besieged Syracusans were 
divided in their minds, Marcellus summoned forth 
the peoples and cities ; and they brought their forces 
to aid him. Such were — Messana, famous for its 
Oscan founders,*^ a coast-town that lies nearest to 
Italy of all Sicilian towns ; and Catana, too close to 
the fire of Typhoeus, and famous for the pair of 
dutiful sons ^ whom she bore long ago ; and Cama- 
rina, which the Fates would not suffer to be moved ^ ; 
and Hybla, whose honeycombs boldly challenge 
Hymettus for sweetness ^ ; and Selinus, planted with 
palm-trees ; and Mylae, once a sufficient harbour, 
though now the bare beach offers but a doubtful 
refuge to shipwrecked mariners. Lofty Eryx too 
was loyal, and Centuripae from her high peak, and 
Entella, where the green vine-plant grows abundantly 

brothers, Amphinomus and Anapias, once carried their 
parents out of danger when there was an eruption of Etna. 

' The people of Camarina were warned by an oracle not 
to change the site of their city. » See line 26. 

287 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Entella, Hectoreo dilectum nomen Acestae. 205 

non Thapsos, non e tumulis glacialibus Acrae 
defuerunt ; Agyrina manus geminoque Lacone 
Tyndaris attollens sese affluit. altus equorum 
mille rapit turmam atque hinnitibus aera flammat, 
pulveream volvens Acragas ad inania nubem. 210 
ductor Grosphus erat, cuius caelata gerebat 
taurum parma trucem, poenae monimenta vetustae. 
ille, ubi torreret subiectis corpora flammis, 
mutabat gemitus mugitibus ; actaque veras 
credere erat stabulis armenta effundere voces. 216 
haud impune quidem ; nam dirae conditor artis 
ipse suo moriens immugit flebile tauro. 
venit, ab amne trahens nomen, Gela ; venit Halaesa 
et qui praesenti domitant periura Palici 
pectora supplicio ; Troianaque venit Acesta ; 220 
quique per Aetnaeos Acis petit aequora fines 
et dulci gratam Nereida perluit unda. 
aemulus ille tuo quondam, Polypheme, calori, 
dum fugit agrestem violenti pectoris iram, 
in tenues liquefactus aquas evasit et hostem 225 

et tibi victricem, Galatea, immiscuit undam. 
necnon qui potant Hypsamque Alabimque sonoros 
et perlucentem splendenti gurgite Achaten ; 
qui fontes, vage Chrysa, tuos et pauperis alvei 
Hipparin ac facilem superari gurgite parco 230 

Pantagian rapidique colunt vada flava Symaethi. 

* Entellus and Acestes were Trojans, who founded cities 
in Sicily. 

* Castor and Pollux, sons of Tyndarus. 

« The brazen bull in which Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum 
(Acragas), used to roast his enemies. 

" The sulphur springs there were believed to punish perjury 
with instant death. 
288 



PUNICA, XIV. 205-231 

— Entella, a name dear to Trojan Acestes.** Nor was 
Thapsus backward, nor the men of Acrae, descend- 
ing from their icy heights. From Agyrium men 
came flocking, and from Tyndaris that boasts of 
the Spartan Twins. ^ Hilly Acragas sent a troop 
of a thousand horse, whose neighings made the 
air hot and rolled a cloud of dust to the sky. 
Their leader was Grosphus, upon whose shield a 
fierce bull was engraved, in memory of an ancient 
punishment.^ When men's bodies were roasted over 
a fire in the bull, their cries took the sound of a bull 
bellowing ; and one might believe that the sounds 
were produced by real cattle driven from their 
stalls. But punishment followed ; for the inventor 
of this inhuman contrivance died in the bull he had 
made, lowing pitifully. Gela, named after a river, 
came ; Halaesa came, and Palaeca that punishes 
perjured men with sudden death '^ ; and Trojan 
Acesta ; and the Acis which flows to the sea through 
the territory of Etna and bathes the grateful sea- 
nymph * with its sweet waters. (Acis was once a 
lover and a rival of Polyphemus ; and, while fleeing 
from the clownish rage of the furious giant, was 
turned into a stream of water ; thus he escaped his 
enemy, and mixed his stream in triumph with 
Galatea's flood.) There came too those who drink 
of Hypsa and Alabis, loud-sounding rivers, and the 
transparent waters of shining Achates ; men came 
from winding Chrysa and scanty Hipparis and the 
Pantagias whose slender stream is easily crossed, 
and from the yellow waters of fast-flowing Symaethus. 

* Galatea, who had two rival suitors, Acis and Polyphemus, 
turned tlie former into a river, to save his life. 

VOL. II K 2 289 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

litora Thermarum, prisca dotata camena, 

armavere suos, qua mergitur Himera ponto 

Aeolio. nam dividuas se scindit in oras, 

nee minus oceasus petit incita quam petit ortus ; 235 

Nebrodes gemini nutrit divortia fontis, 

quo mons Sicania non surgit ditior umbrae. 

Henna deum lucis sacras dedit ardua dextras. 

hie specuSj ingentem laxans telluris hiatum, 

caecum iter ad manes tenebroso limite pandit, 240 

qua novus ignotas Hymenaeus venit in oras : 

hac Stygius quondam, stimulante Cupidine, rector 

ausus adire diem, maestoque Acheronte relicto, 

egit in illicitas currum per inania terras. 

tum rapta praeceps Hennaea virgine flexit 245 

attonitos caeli visu lucemque paventes 

in Styga rursus equos et praedam condidit umbris. 

Romanos Petraea duces, Romana petivit 

foedera Callipolis lapidosique Engyon arvi, 

Hadranum Ergetiumque simul telaque superba 250 

lanigera Melite et litus piscosa Calacte, 

quaeque procelloso Cephaloedias ora profundo 

caeruleis horret campis pascentia cete, 

et qui correptas sorbentem verticis haustu 

atque iterum e fundo iaculantem ad sidera puppes 

Tauromenitana cernunt de sede Charybdim. 256 

haec Latium manus et Laurentia signa fovebat. 

Cetera Elissaeis aderat gens Sicana votis. 
mille Agathyrna dedit perflataque Trogilos Austris, 



" Thermae was close to Himera, which was the birthplace 
of Stesichorus, a famous lyric poet. 

^ There was a famous temple of Ceres at Henna. 

* Pluto : see note to i. 93. ** Proserpina. 

• Malta, which had a reputation for textile products. 
290 




PUNICA, XIV. 232-259 

On the shore where the Himera falls into the Aeolian 
sea, Thermae armed her men — Thermae rich in the 
possession of a bygone poet.'* The river splits up 
into two channels, and its swift waters flow both east 
and west ; and the Nebrodes, as rich in shade as any 
mountain in Sicily, feeds both divided streams. From 
her sacred groves ^ Henna on the height sent forth 
holy men to battle. (At Henna a cave, opening up a 
vast fissure in the earth, reveals a hidden way and 
dark passage to Hades, by which a strange bridal 
procession once came up to a land unknown. For 
by it the Stygian king,*' stung by Cupid's arrow, 
dared to approach the light of day and, leaving dole- 
ful Acheron, drove his chariot through empty space 
to the forbidden earth. There he seized in haste the 
maiden of Henna '^ and then turned back towards the 
Styx his horses, terrified by the sight of heaven and 
the sunlight, and buried his prize in the darkness.) 
Staunch to the Roman generals and the Roman 
alliance were Petraea and Callipolis and Engyon of 
the stony fields ; Hadranum and Ergetium too ; 
Melita,^ proud of her woollen fabrics, and Calacte 
whose strand abounds with fish ; and Cephaloedium, 
whose beach dreads in time of storms the sea monsters 
that feed in the blue fields of ocean ; and the men 
of Tauromenium, who see Charybdis^ catching ships 
and swallowing them in her whirlpool, and then again 
shooting them up from the depths to the stars. 
All these supported Rome and the standards of 
Italy. 

The other cities of Sicily took the side of Carthage. 
Agathyrna sent a thousand men ; and so did TrogiluSj 
blown on by the South- winds, and Phacelina, where 
^ The famous whirlpool in the Straits of Messina. 

891 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

mille Thoanteae sedes Phacelina Dianae. 260 

tergemino venit numero fecunda Panhormos, 

seu silvis sectere feras, seu retibus aequor 

verrere, seu caelo libeat traxisse volucrem. 

non Herbesos iners, non Naulocha pigra pericli 

sederunt, non frondosis Morgentia campis 265 

abstinuit Marte infido ; comitata Menaeis 

venit Amastra viris et parvo nomine Tisse 

et Netum et Mutyce pubesque liquentis Achaeti. 

Sidonios Drepane atque undae clamosus Helorus 

et mox servili vastata Triocala bello, 270 

Sidonios Arbela ferox et celsus letas 

et bellare Tabas docilis Cossyraque parva 

nee maior Megara iunctae coneordibus ausis 

iuvere et strato Gaulum spectabile ponto, 

cum sonat alcyones cantu nidosque natantes 275 

immota gestat, sopitis fluctibus, unda. 

ipsa Syracusae patulos urbs inclita muros 

milite collecto variisque impleverat armis. 

ductores facilem impelli laetamque tumultus 

vaniloquo plebem furiabant insuper ore : 280 

numquam hoste intratos muros et quattuor arces ; 

et Salaminiacis quantam Eoisque tropaeis 

ingenio portus urbs invia fecerit umbram, 

spectatum proavis : ter centum ante ora triremes 

unum naufragium, mersasque impune profundo 285 

clade pharetrigeri subnixas regis Athenas. 

" See note to iv. 769. 

'' Triocala was fortified and held by slaves in a servile war 
from 103-100 b.c. 

* It was believed that the sea was calm for fourteen days 
in midwinter when the fabulous birds called " halcyons " were 
breeding. 

^ Achadrina, Tyche, Neapolis, and Nasos {i.e. the island 
of Ortygia). 



PUNICA, XIV. 260-286 

stands a shrine of Taurian Diana." Thrice that 
number came from Panhormos, rich in game, whether 
you follow the wild beasts in the woods, or sweep 
the sea with nets, or prefer to bring down birds from 
the sky. Neither Herbesos nor Naulocha sat idle, in- 
different to the crisis ; nor did Morgentia of the leafy 
plains abstain from traitorous war ; Amastra came 
forward, together with Menae and Tisse unknown 
to fame ; Netum and Mutyce and the soldiers of 
the river Achaetus. Aid came to the Carthaginians 
from Drepane, from the Helorus whose stream is 
heard afar, and from Triocala, laid waste later in the 
Servile War.^ On the same side was bold Arbela, 
and hilly letas ; Tabas skilled in arms, and little 
Cossyra, no larger than Megara, fought side by side ; 
also the island of Gaulum, a fair sight when it re- 
sounds with the halcyon's song and her floating nest 
rides on the smooth surface of the unruffled sea.'' 
Syracuse herself, that famous city, had filled her 
spacious walls with mustered troops and arms of 
every kind. The boastful speeches of the leaders 
roused to hotter rage a people easily swayed and 
fond of disturbance : " Never," said they, " has an 
enemy set foot within the walls of Syracuse and her 
four fortresses ^ ; our ancestors saw how the city, 
made impregnable by the nature of her harbour, 
eclipsed the laurels that Salamis won from the Eastern 
king ^ ; three hundred triremes sank in one common 
shipwreck before their eyes ; and Athens, proud as 
she was to have defeated the bow-bearing king, sank 
down unavenged to destruction in the sea." Thus 

* In 413 B.C. Syracuse defeated the Athenian fleet which 
had itself defeated Xerxes, the Persian king, at Salamis in 
480 B.C. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

flammabant vulgum geniti Carthagine fratres, 
Poeni matre genus ; sed quos, sub crimine pulsus 
urbe Syracosia, Libycis eduxerat oris 
Trinacrius genitor, geminaque a stirpe parentum 290 
astus miscebant Tyrios levitate Sicana. 

Quae cernens ductor, postquam immedicabile visa 
seditio, atque ultro bellum surgebat ab hoste, 
testatus divos Siculorum amnesque lacusque 
et fontes, Arethusa, tuos, ad bella vocari 295 

invitum ; quae sponte diu non sumpserit, hostem 
induere arma sibi : telorum turbine vasto 
aggreditur muros atque armis intonat urbi. 
par omnes simul ira rapit ; certantque ruuntque. 
turris, multiplici surgens ad sidera tecto, 300 

exibat, tabulata decern cui crescere Graius 
fecerat et multas nemorum consumpserat umbras, 
armatam hinc igni pinum et devolvere saxa 
certabant calidaeque picis difFundere pestem. 
huic procul ardentem iaculatus lampada Cimber 305 
conicit et lateri telum exitiabile figit. 
pascitur adiutus Vulcanus turbine venti, 
gliscentemque trahens turris per viscera labem 
perque altam molem et totiens nascentia tecta, 
scandit ovans rapidusque vorat crepitantia flammis 
robora et, ingenti simul exundante vapore 311 

ad caelum, victor nutantia culmina lambit. 
implentur fumo et nebula caliginis atrae, 
nee cuiquam evasisse datur ; ceu fulminis ictu 
correptae rapido in cineres abiere ruinae. 315 

" Hippocrates and Epicydes. 

^ Archimedes, the greatest mathematician and engineer 
of antiquity. His name, not admissible in dactylic metre, is 
not mentioned. See 11. 341, 676. 

" A Roman soldier. 
294 



PUNICA, XIV. 287-316 

the populace was set on fire by two brothers,** born 
at Carthage of a Carthaginian mother ; but their 
father was a Sicihan who had been expelled from 
Syracuse on a criminal charge. Brought up in 
Africa, they showed their mixed origin, combining 
Carthaginian cunning with the frivolity of Sicilians. 

Marcellus saw all this ; and, now that the rebellion 
seemed a thing past mending and the enemy were 
beginning war unprovoked, he called the gods of 
Sicily to witness, with the rivers and lakes and 
Arethusa's spring, that he was challenged to war 
against his will, and forced by the enemy to don 
those arms that he had long refused to put on. 
Then he assailed the walls with a tornado of mis- 
siles and thundered in arms against the city. The 
same ardour carried all his men along ; they vied 
with one another in activity. There was a tower, a 
building of many floors that rose up to the sky ; the 
genius of a Greek ^ had given it ten stories and had 
used up many a shady tree for the work. From it 
the besieged busily launched lighted torches and 
stones, and filled the air with the menace of burning 
pitch. Then Cimber*' aimed from a distance and 
threw a fire-brand, and the fatal weapon stuck fast 
in the side of the tower. The fire, fed and strengthened 
by the wind, spread the growing peril through the 
interior of the tower ; climbing triumphant up the 
lofty structure and its ten successive stories, it quickly 
devoured the crackling timbers, till the victorious 
flames licked the tottering summit, while a huge 
cloud of smoke spouted up to the sky. Wreaths of 
smoke filled all the interior with black darkness, and 
not a single man escaped ; as if struck by sudden 
lightning, the building crumbled down into ashes. 

295 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Par contra pelago miseris fortuna carinis. 
namque ubi se propius tectis urbique tulere, 
qua portus muris pacatas applicat undas, 
improvisa novo pestis conterruit astu. 
trabs fabre teres atque, erasis undique nodis, 320 
navali similis malo, praefixa gerebat 
uncae tela manus ; ea celso ex aggere muri 
bellantes curvi rapiebat in aera ferri 
unguibus et mediam revocata ferebat in urbem. 
nee solos vis ilia viros, quin saepe triremem 325 

belligerae rapuere trabes, cum desuper actum 
incuterent puppi chalybem morsusque tenaces. 
qui, simul affixo vicina in robora ferro 
sustulerant sublime ratem, miserabile visu, 
per subitum rursus laxatis arte catenis 330 

tanta praecipitem reddebant mole profundo, 
ut totam haurirent undae cum milite puppem. 
his super insidiis angusta foramina murus 
arte cavata dabat, per quae clam fundere tela 
tutum erat, opposito mittentibus aggere valli. 335 
nee sine fraude labos, arta ne rursus eodem 
spicula ab hoste via vicibus contorta redirent. 
calliditas Graia atque astus pollentior armis 
Marcellum tantasque minas terraque marique 
arcebat ; stabatque ingens ad moenia bellum. 340 

Vir fuit Isthmiacis decus immortale colonis, 
ingenio facile ante alios telluris alumnos, 
nudus opum, sed cui caelum terraeque paterent. 

" Archimedes. 

29Q 



PUNICA, XIV. 316-343 

On the other hand the Roman ships met with equal 
misfortune at sea. For when they came close to the 
buildings of the city, at a point where the harbour- 
water laps gently against the walls, they were dis- 
comfited by the cunning device of an unexpected 
weapon. A spar like a ship's mast, skilfully rounded 
and with all its knots planed away, carried an iron- 
clawed grapnel at its extremity ; and this spar, when 
let down from the height of the wall, caught up the 
attackers with its iron claws, and, when it was hauled 
back, landed them within the city. Nor did this 
engine of war catch up men only : it often hoisted 
up a war-ship, when it struck the vessel from above 
with the descending steel of its unyielding jaws. As 
soon as it had fixed its iron point in the nearest ship 
and raised the vessel up into the air, then a piteous 
sight was seen : the cables were suddenly let go by 
machinery, and lowered their prey with such force 
and speed that the ship and her company were 
swallowed up whole by the sea. In addition to these 
devices, small loopholes were skilfully bored in the 
wall, through which weapons could be shot secretly 
and safely ; for the high wall protected the marks* 
men. But their task was not free from danger ; for 
weapons thrown by the enemy might come back in 
revenge by the same narrow openings. Thus the 
ingenuity of a Greek ^ and cunning more pow^erful 
than force kept Marcellus and all his threats at bay 
by sea and land, and the mighty armament stood 
helpless before the walls. 

There was living then in Syracuse a man ^ who 
sheds immortal glory on his city, a man whose genius 
far surpassed that of other sons of earth. He was 
poor in this world's goods, but to him the secrets of 

297 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ille, novus pluvias Titan ut proderet ortu 

fuscatis tristis radiis ; ille, haereat anne 345 

pendeat instabilis tellus ; cur foedere certo 

hunc afFusa globum Tethys circumliget undis, 

noverat atque una pelagi lunaeque labores, 

et pater Oceanus qua lege effunderet aestus. 

non ilium mundi numerasse capacis harenas 350 

vana fides, puppes etiam constructaque saxa 

feminea traxisse ferunt contra ardua dextra. 

Hie dum Italum ductorem astu Teucrosque fatigat, 
adnabat centum late Sidonia velis 
classis subsidio et scindebat caerula rostris. 355 

erigitur subitas in spes Arethusia proles 
adiungitque suas, portu progressa, carinas, 
nee contra Ausonius tonsis aptare lacertos 
addubitat mersisque celer fodit aequora remis. 
verberibus torsere fretum ; salis icta frequenti 360 
albescit pulsu facies, perque aequora late 
spumat canenti sulcatus gurgite limes, 
insultant pariter pelago, ac Neptunia regna 
tempestate nova trepidant, tum vocibus aequor 
personat, et clamat scopulis clamoris imago. 365 

ac iam diffusus vacua bellator in unda 
cornibus ambierat patulos ad proelia fluctus, 
navali claudens umentem indagine campum. 
ac simili curvata sinu diversa ruebat 



" The ebb and flow of the tides are meant. 

^ This may refer to some religious ceremony in which 
men might not take part: cp. xvii. 16 foil. 

" For Arethusia see note on 1. 53. 
298 



PUNICA, XIV. 344-369 

heaven and earth were revealed. He knew how the 
rising sun portended rain when its rays were dull 
and gloomy ; he knew whether the earth is fixed 
where it hangs in space or shifts its position ; he 
knew the unalterable law by which Ocean surrounds 
the world with the girdle of its waters ; he vinderstood 
the contest between the moon and the tides," and 
the ordinance that governs the flow of Father Ocean. 
Not without reason men believed that Archimedes 
had counted the sands of this great globe ; they say 
too that he had moved ships and carried great build- 
ings of stone, though drawn by women only,^ up a 
height. 

While Archimedes thus wore out by his devices the 
Roman general and his men, a great Carthaginian 
fleet of a hundred sail was speeding to the aid of 
Syracuse and cleaving the blue sea with their beaks. 
The hopes of the citizens'' at once rosej^high : they 
sailed forth from the harbour and added their vessels 
to the fleet. The Romans on their side were not slow 
to suit their arms to the oar, and speedily ploughed 
the water with their blades. Their oars churned up 
the sea, the surface of the water was whitened by 
their repeated strokes, and a wake of foam spread 
wide over the hoary deep. Both fleets rode proudly 
on the wave, and a new kind of storm disquieted 
Neptune's realm. The sea rang with the sound of 
voices, and the shouting was re-echoed by the cliffs. 
And now the Roman fleet, disposed over the empty 
space of sea, had enclosed the wide waters with its 
two wings, in preparation for battle ; and their 
vessels, like a ring of hunters, shut in the watery 
plain. And then the enemy's fleet came on, also 
drawn up in the form of a crescent, and cramping 

299 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

classis et artabat lunato caerula gyro. 370 

nee mora : terrificis saevae stridoribus aeris, 

per vacuum late cantu resonante profundum, 

increpuere tubae, quis excitus aequore Triton 

expavit tortae certantia murmura conchae. 

vix meminere maris ; tarn vasto ad proelia nisu 375 

ineumbunt proni positisque in margine puppis 

extremae plantis nutantes spicula torquent. 

sternitur efFusis pelagi media area telis, 

celsaque anhelatis exsurgens ictibus alnus 

caerula migranti findit spumantia sulco. 380 

Ast aliae latera atque incussi roboris ictu 
detergent remos ; aliae per viscera pinus 
tramissis ipso retinentur vulnere rostris, 
quo retinent. medias inter sublimior ibat 
terribilis visu puppis, qua nulla per omne 385 

egressa est Libycis maior navalibus aevum. 
sed quater haec centum numeroso remige pontum 
pulsabat tonsis, veloque superba capaci 
cum rapidum hauriret Borean et cornibus omnes 
colligeret flatus, lento se robore agebat, 390 

intraret fluctus solis quasi pulsa lacertis. 
procurrunt levitate agili docilesque regentis 
audivisse manum Latio cum milite puppes. 

Has ut per laevum venientes aequor Himilco 
in latus obliquas iussamque incurrere proram 395 

conspexit, propere divis in vota vocatis 
aequoris, intento volucrem de more sagittam 

" A sea deity and son of Neptune. 

^ The flag-ship of Himilco, who commanded the Cartha- 
ginian troops carried by the fleet. 

'^ The ship, even under press of sail, moved so slowly, 
because of its enormous size, that you would have thought it 
was only propelled by oars. 
300 



PUNICA, XIV. 370-397 

the sea with its wings. Quickly the trumpets 
sounded, and the cruel braying of the brass struck 
terror as it echoed far over the empty space of 
sea ; and the noise brought Triton ° up from the 
depths, alarmed by a din that drowned his twisted 
shell. The combatants almost forgot the sea be- 
neath them : with so mighty an effort they bend 
forward to fight, planting their feet on the very gun- 
wale of their vessels, and leaning over as they shoot 
their missiles. The space of sea between the fleets 
was strewn with spent weapons ; and the ships, 
raised high in the water by the strokes of the panting 
oarsmen, ploughed the foaming sea with an ever- 
shifting furrow. 

Some ships had the oars on their broadside swept 
away by the impact of a hostile craft ; others, after 
ramming an enemy with their beaks, were held fast 
themselves by the injury they had inflicted. In the 
middle of the fleet, one formidable vessel ^ towered 
above the rest ; no huger ship was ever launched 
from the arsenals of Carthage. She struck the water 
with four hundred oars ; and when she proudly 
caught the force of the wind with her spread of sail, 
and gathered in every breeze with the ends of her 
yards, her great bulk moved forward as slowly as 
if she were propelled over the water by oars alone. ^ 
The ships that carried the Roman soldiers were light 
and handy in their advance, and answered readily to 
the hand of the steersman. 

When Himilco saw them coming up to take him 
on his left flank, with orders to use their rams, he 
quickly put up a prayer to the gods of the sea 
and took a feathered arrow and laid it duly against 

dOl 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

assignat nervo ; utque oculis libravit in hostem 
et calamo monstravit iter, diversa relaxans 
bracchia, deduxit vultu comitante per auras 400 

in vulnus telum ac residentis puppe magistri 
affixit plectro dextram ; nee deinde regenda 
puppe manus valuit, flectenti immortua clavo. 
dumque ad opem accurrit ceu capta navita puppe, 
ecce iterum fatoque pari nervoque sagitta, 405 

in medium perlapsa globum, transverberat ictu 
orba gubernacli subeuntem munera Taurum. 

Irrumpit Cumana ratis, quam Corbulo ductor 
lectaque complebat Stabiarum litore pubes. 
numen erat celsae puppis Lucrina Dione. 410 

sed superingestis propior quia subdita telis 
bella capessebat, media subsedit in unda 
divisitque fretum. clamantum spumeus ora 
Nereus implet aquis, palmaeque, trahente profundo, 
luctantum frustra summis in fluctibus exstant. 415 
hie, audax ira, magno per caerula saltu 
Corbulo transgressus (nam textam robore turrim 
appulerant nexae ferri compage triremes) 
evadit tabulata super flammaque comantem 
multifida pinum celso de culmine quassat. 420 

inde atros alacer pastosque bitumine torquet, 
amentante Noto, Poenorum aplustribus ignes. 

Intrat diffusos pestis Vulcania passim 
atque implet dispersa foros ; trepidatur omisso 
summis remigio ; sed enim tam rebus in artis 425 

" A town near Pompeii, which perished together with 
Pompeii in the eruption of Vesuvius in August a.d. 79. 

^ Venus. 

* It seems that this tower was manned by Romans, and 
that Corbulo climbed up it in order to throw fire-brands from 
it upon the Carthaginian fiag-ship. 
802 




PUNICA, XIV. 398-425 

the taut string. Then he measured with the eye 
the distance of the enemy and showed its path to the 
arrow, and, relaxing his extended arms, stood watching 
its flight through the sky till it struck its mark. A 
steersman was sitting by the stern, and the arrow 
pinned his hand to the helm ; and the hand could no 
longer steer the ship but stuck lifeless to the guiding 
tiller. The crew ran up to help him, thinking their 
vessel already taken, when, lo, a second arrow, shot 
from the same string with the same success, passed 
between the crowd of sailors and pierced Taurus, when 
he was about to take charge of the masterless helm. 

On there came a ship of Cumae, with Corbulo for 
captain, and manned by a chosen crew from the 
strand of Stabiae " ; Dione ^ of the Lucrine lake 
stood on the high poop as guardian-goddess. But 
the ship, fighting at too close quarters beneath a 
shower of missiles from above, settled down in 
mid-sea, parting the waves asunder. The foaming 
sea stifled the cries of the sailors, and their helpless 
hands, drawn down by the deep, stuck up on the 
surface, as they struggled to swim. Then, emboldened 
by wrath, Corbulo, with one great leap, covered the 
distance and boarded a wooden tower,*' which two 
triremes, bound together with iron clamps, had 
brought alongside. He climbed up the stages of the 
tower, and from the top brandished a blazing torch 
of split pine-wood. From there he rained down on 
the stern-ornaments of the Carthaginian ship fatal 
fires fed with pitch ; and the wind added strength 
to his missiles. 

The plague of fire made its way in at every point 
and spread till it filled all the decks. In the confusion 
the upper banks of oarsmen ceased to row ; but in 

SOS 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

fama mali nondum tanti penetrarat ad imos. 

at rapidus fervor, per pingues unguine taedas 

illapsus, flammis victricibus insonat alveo. 

qua nondum tamen intulerat vim Dardana lampas, 

parcebatque vapor, saxorum grandine dirus 430 

arcebat fatumque ratis retinebat Himilco. 

hie miser, igniferam dum ventilat aere pinum, 

murali saxo per lubrica sanguine transtra 

volvitur in fluctus, Lyechaei vulnere, Cydnus. 

fax nidore gravi foedavit comminus auras, 435 

ambusto instridens pelago. ferus inde citatum 

missile adorata contorquet Sabratha puppe — 

Hammon numen erat Libycae gentile carinae 

cornigeraque sedens spectabat caerula fronte : 

" fer, pater, afflictis, fer," ait, " Garamantice vates, 

rebus opem inque Italos da certa effundere tela." 441 

has inter voces tremulo venit agmine cornus 

et Neptunicolae transverberat ora Telonis. 

Urgebant nihilo levius iam in limine mortis, 
quos fuga praecipites partem glomerarat in unam 445 
puppis, adhuc vacuam taedae ; sed, proxima cursu 
fulmineo populatus, inevitabilis ardor 
correptam flammis involvit ovantibus alnum. 
primus, ope aequorei funis delapsus in undas, 
qua nondum Stygios glomerabat Mulciber aestus, 450 
ambustus socium remis aufertur Himilco. 
proxima nudarunt miserandi fata Batonis 

" See notes to iii. 10 ; ix. ^98. 
804, 



PUNICA, XIV. 426-462 

that emergency the news of their danger had not yet 
reached the lower benches. Soon the spreading 
blaze, moving on by means of fire-brands oozing 
resin, crackled with victorious flames in the hold. 
Still, where the heat was less fierce and the Roman 
fire-brands had not yet penetrated, Himilco stood, 
keeping off the foe with a dreadful hail of stones and 
delaying the doom of his ship. Here the hapless 
Cydnus, while swinging a fire-brand, was struck by 
a huge stone from the hand of Lycchaeus ; his body 
rolled over the benches slippery with blood and fell 
into the water ; the fire-brand hissed in the glowing 
sea, and the stench of it poisoned the air around. 
Then Sabratha, in rage, hurled his swift spear ; but 
first he prayed to the gods on the stern ; Ammon, 
the native god of Libya, was the guardian of the 
vessel, and sat there looking over the sea, wearing 
the horns on his brow." " O Father, O Prophet of 
the Garamantes," he cried : " help us in the hour 
of disaster, and grant that my weapon may find its 
mark in a Roman ! " While he spoke thus, the spear- 
shaft sped on with quivering flight and pierced the 
head of Telon, a dweller by the sea. 

But none the less fiercely fought those who, at 
death's door, had squeezed themselves in headlong 
flight into that part of the ship which alone was 
untouched by the fire ; but there was no escape from 
it. It devoured every obstacle with lightning speed 
and caught the whole ship and wrapt it in triumphant 
flames. Himilco was the first to leave the vessel : 
at a point where the fire-god's hellish heat was not 
yet at its height, he slipped down, half burnt, to 
the water by help of a cable, and was rowed away 
by friendly oars. Next, the pitiful death of Bato 

305 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

desertam ductore ratem. bonus ille per artem 

crudo luctari pelago atque exire procellas. 

idem, quid Boreas, quid vellet crastinus Auster, 455 

anteibat ; nee pervigilem tu fallere vultum, 

obscuro quamvis cursu, Cynosura, valeres. 

is, postquam adversis nuUus modus : " accipe nostrum, 

Hammon, sanguinem," ait, " spectator cladis iniquae." 

atque, acto in pectus gladio, dextra inde cruorem 

excipit et large sacra inter cornua fundit. 461 

Hos inter Daphnis, deductum ab origine nomen 
antiqua, fuit infelix, cui linquere saltus 
et mutare casas infido marmore visum, 
at princeps generis quanto maiora paravit 465 

intra pastorem sibi nomina ! Daphnin amarunt 
Sicelides Musae ; dexter donavit avena 
Phoebus Castalia et iussit, proiectus in herba 
si quando caneret, laetos per prata, per arva 
ad Daphnin properare greges rivosque silere. 470 

ille ubi, septena modulatus harundine carmen, 
mulcebat silvas, non umquam tempore eodem 
Siren assuetos effudit in aequore cantus ; 
Scyllaei tacuere canes ; stetit atra Charybdis ; 
et laetus scopulis audivit iubila Cyclops. 475 

progeniem hauserunt et nomen amabile flammae. 

Innatat ecce super transtris fumantibus asper 
Ornytos ac longam sibimet facit aequore mortem, 
qualis Oiliades, fulmen iaculante Minerva, 



" See note to ill. 665. 

^ Daphnis, the Sicilian shepherd, was the inventor of 
pastoral poetry ; and this Daphnis was his descendant. 

" Ajax of Locris, the son of Oileus, was punished by Pallas 
for ill-treatment of Cassandra : on his voyage home from 
Troy, she killed him by a flash of lightning. 
306 



PUNICA, XIV. 453-479 

deprived the deserted ship of her navigator. Great 
skill had he to battle with the angry sea and outsail 
the tempest. He also knew beforehand what the 
North-wind and the South portended for the morrow ; 
nor could the Little Bear," however obscured its 
movements, escape his sleepless eyes. When he 
saw there was no limit to disaster, he cried out to 
his god : " Ammon, who lookest idly on at our cruel 
defeat, to thee I offer my blood." Then he drove his 
sword into his own breast, and, catching in his hand 
the blood that flowed from it, poured it in abund- 
ance between the horns of the deity. 

Among the crew was Daphnis, ill-fated Daphnis, 
a name famous in ancient times ^ ; he had thought 
fit to leave his woodland glades and give up his 
country home for the treacherous sea. But how 
much greater the fame gained by his ancestor who 
was content with a shepherd's life ! The Sicilian 
Muses loved Daphnis ; Apollo favoured him and 
gave him the shepherd's pipe from Castalia, and 
bade the brooks keep silence and the happy flocks 
to hasten over meadow and field to hear Daphnis, 
whenever he lay on the grass and sang. When he 
played on his pipe of seven reeds and charmed the 
trees, the Siren never sent forth her wonted song 
over the sea at the same time ; Scylla's dogs were 
silent, black Charybdis was motionless, and the 
Cyclops on his rocky heights loved to hear the joyful 
strain. Now his descendant, bearing a name so dear, 
was swallowed up by the flames. 

Behold hardy Ornytus, viho swims on above the 
smoking benches and by swimming inflicts on himself 
a lingering death ; even so the son of Oileus,*' when 
struck by Minerva's lightning, stemmed the rising 

307 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

surgentes domuit fluctus ardentibus ulnis. 480 

transigitur valida medius, dum se allevat, alni 
cuspide Marmarides Sciron : pars subnatat unda 
membrorum, pars extat aquis totumque per aequor 
portatur, rigido, miserandum, immortua rostro. 
accelerant puppes utrimque atque ora ruentum 485 
sanguine! feriunt remorum aspergine rores. 
ipse adeo senis ductor Rhoeteius ibat 
pulsibus et valido superabat remige ventos. 
quam rapidis puppem manibus frenare Lilaeus 
dum tentat, saeva truncatur membra bipenni, 490 
ac fert haerentes trabibus ratis incita palmas. 

Sicania Aeoliden portabant transtra Podaetum. 
hie, aevo quamquam nondum excessisset ephebos, 
nee sat maturus laudum, seu fervida corda 
seu laevi traxere dei, bellique cupido, 495 

arma puer niveis aptarat picta lacertis 
et freta gaudebat celsa turbare Chimaera. 
iamque super Rutula, super et Garamantide pinu 
ibat ovans, melior remo meliorque sagitta ; 
et iam turrigerum demerserat aequore Nessum ; 500 
heu puero malesuada rudi nova gloria pugnae ! 
dum cristam galeae trucis exuviasque precatur 
de duce Marcello superos temerarius, hasta 
excepit raptim vulnus letale remissa. 
pro qualis ! seu splendentem sub sidera nisu 505 

exigeret discum, iaculo seu nubila supra 
surgeret, aligeras ferret seu pulvere plantas 
vix tacto, vel dimensi spatia improba campi 



Marmarica was a region of Africa, bordering on Egypt. 
^ For Rhoeteius see note on ii. 51. 
* The Aeolian Islands. 



PUNICA, XIV. 480-508 

waves with arms on fire. Sciron. a Marmarid," while 
rising on a wave, was run through the body by the 
powerful beak of a ship. Half his body was under 
water, and half above it ; and this was carried all 
over the sea — a piteous sight — fastened in death upon 
the metal beak. Both fleets now increased their 
speed, and the rowers' faces, as they sped on, were 
spattered with a bloody dew from the splashing 
oars. The Roman ^ commander's ship itself was pro- 
pelled by six banks of oars, and its stalwart rowers 
made it move faster than the wind. When Lilaeus 
quickly caught hold of it and tried to stop it, his 
^vrists were severed by a merciless axe, and the ship 
flew on, with his hands still sticking to the gunwale. 
Podaetus, a native of Aeolia,^ was borne on a 
Sicilian vessel. He had not yet attained the years 
of manhood and was still unripe for glory in arms ; 
but he was led on, either by his eager spirit and 
passion for war, or by evil fortune ; and, still a boy, 
he wielded a painted shield with his snow-white arm, 
and rejoiced to ruffle the sea with his tall ship, the 
Chimaera. On he went triumphant, outstripping 
Roman ships and Carthaginian alike, having better 
oarsmen and better archers. Already he had sunk 
the turret-ship, Nessus ; but, alas, the tiro was 
tempted to ruin by his first taste of glory. While 
he prayed to Heaven in his rash folly that he might 
strip the general, Marcellus, of his armour and 
menacing helmet-plume, an answering spear-cast 
dealt him a deadly wound. Alas for so splendid a 
youth ! Whether he hurled on high the shining 
discus, or threw the javelin above the clouds, or ran 
with flying feet that skimmed over the course, or 
covered with one swift leap a vast stretch of measured 

309 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

transiret velox saltu, decuere labores. 
sat prorsus, sat erat decoris discrimine tuto, 510 

sat laudis : cur facta, puer, maiora petebas ? 
ilium, ubi labentem pepulerunt tela sub undas, 
ossa Syracosio fraudatum naufraga busto, 
fleverunt freta, fleverunt Cyclopia saxa 
et Cyane et Anapus et Ortygie Arethusa. 515 

Parte alia Perseus — puppem banc Tiberinus 
agebat — 
quaque vehebatur Grantor Sidonius, lo 
concurrunt. iniecta ligant hinc vincula ferri 
atque illinc, steteruntque rates ad proelia nexae. 
nee iaculo aut longe certatur harundine fusa, 520 

comminus et gladio terrestria proelia miscent. 
perrumpunt I tali, qua caedes prima reclusit 
monstravitque viam ; vasta sed mole catenas 
hortatur socios et vincla abrumpere ferri 
ac parat hostili resoluta puppe receptos 625 

avehere et paribus pelago diducere ab armis : 
Aetnaeo Polyphemus erat nutritus in antro 
atque inde antiquae nomen feritatis amabat ; 
ubera praebuerat parvo lupa ; corporis alti 
terribilis moles, mens aspera, vultus in ira 530 

semper et ad caedes Cyclopia corde libido, 
isque relaxatis membrorum pondere vinclis 
Impulerat puppim et mergebat gurgite tonsas 
duxissetque ratem, pressa Laronius hasta 
ni propere duro nitentem exsurgere velox 535 

afHxet transtro. vix morte incepta remittit ; 

** The Cyclopes inhabited the rocky slopes by Etna : Cyane 
was a spring and Anapus a river near Syracuse : for Arethusa 
Bee note to 1. 53. 

* Silius is referring to Polyphemus in the Odyssey, a cannibal 
giant. 

310 



PUNICA, XIV. 509-536 

ground — each competition became him. There was 
enough, quite enough, of glory and praise to be won 
in bloodless strife : why was the lad ambitious of 
greater deeds ? When he fell, and the fatal weapon 
sank him beneath the wave and cheated his sea- 
tossed bones of a grave in Syracuse, he was mourned 
by the straits and the rocks of the Cyclopes ; Cyane 
and the river Anapus and Ortygian Arethusa wept 
for him." 

Elsewhere the Perseus, commanded by Tiberinus, 
and the lo which carried the Carthaginian Crantor, 
met in conflict. The two ships stood motionless for 
battle, bound together by iron clamps launched from 
both decks. Their weapons were not javelins or 
arrows shot from a distance ; they fought, as if on land, 
with the sword and at close quarters. The Romans 
burst their way in, at a point where a passage was 
opened and made clear by the first slaughter ; but 
one man urged his comrades to burst the heavy chains 
and fetters of iron ; and, when the ship was set free, 
he intended to carry off those who had boarded the 
hostile craft and to put the sea between them and 
their fellows. This was Polyphemus ; he had been 
reared in a cave of Mount Etna, and hence he loved 
a name that recalled the ferocity of ancient times ^ ; 
a she-wolf had suckled him in infancy ; his great 
stature and huge frame inspired awe ; his heart was 
cruel, and his eyes flashed anger continually ; and 
a blood-lust worthy of the Cyclopes filled his breast. 
By strength of limb he had burst the chains and 
started the ship ; he dipped his oars and would have 
pulled the vessel along, had not the spear of Laronius, 
hastily hurled, pinned him fast to the wooden thwart, 
as he rose with effort to his oar. His purpose was 

SU 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

namque manus servat dum suetos languida ductus, 
ignavum summo traxit super aequore remum. 

Perculsi cuneo Poeni densentur in unum, 
quod caret hoste, latus, subito cum pondere victus, 
insiliente mari, submergitur alveus undis. 541 

scuta virum cristaeque et inerti spicula ferro 
tutelaeque deum fluitant. hie robore fracto 
pugnat inops chalybis seseque in proelia rursus 
armat naufragio ; remis male fervidus ille 545 

festinat spoliare ratem, discrimine nuUo 
nautarum interdum convulsa sedilia torquens. 
non plectro ratis aut frangendae in vulnera prorae 
parcitur, et pelago repetuntur nantia tela, 
vulneribus patulis intrat mare ; mox sua ponto 550 
singultante anima propulsa refunditur unda. 
nee desunt, qui correptos complexibus artis 
immergant pelago et, iaculis cessantibus, hostem 
morte sua perimant. remeantum gurgite mentes 
crudescunt, ac pro ferro stat fluctibus uti. 555 

haurit sanguineus contorta cadavera vortex, 
hinc clamor, gemitus illinc mortesque fugaeque 
remorumque fragor flictuque sonantia rostra, 
perfusum bello fervet mare ; fessus acerbis 
terga fuga celeri Libyae convertit ad oras 5G0 

exigua sese furatus Himilco carina. 

Concessere mari tandem Graiusque Libysque, 
S12 



I PUNICA, XIV. 537-662 

hardly arrested by death ; for his dying hand still 
went through the familiar motions and pulled the 
useless oar over the surface of the water. 

The discomfited Carthaginians crowded together, 
in wedge-shaped formation, into that side of their 
ship that was free from the enemy ; but she gave 
way under the sudden weight, the sea rushed in, and 
the lo sank beneath the wave. Shields and helmets 
float on the water, images of tutelary gods and jave- 
lins with useless points. One man, having no steel, 
uses a broken piece of wood for a weapon and arms 
himself afresh with fragments of shipwreck ; another, 
with misguided zeal, hastens to rob his vessel of its 
oars ; and some tear up indiscriminately the rowers' 
benches and hurl them at the enemy. Neither helm 
nor prow was spared : each was broken up to use 
as a weapon ; and floating missiles were picked up, 
to use again. The water found its way into gaping 
wounds, and soon, expelled by the sobbing breath 
of the wounded men, poured back into the sea. 
Some grappled with a foe in close embrace and 
drowned him ; lacking weapons, they died them- 
selves that they might kill their enemies. Those who 
emerged from the water grew more savage, and were 
resolved to use the sea as their weapon ; and at last 
the sea-tossed corpses were swallowed up by the 
blood-stained eddies. There was shouting on one 
side, and, on the other, groaning and death and 
flight, and the snapping of oars mingled with the noise 
of clashing beaks. The sea boiled beneath the storm 
of battle ; and Himilco, worn out by disaster, stole 
away in a little boat and fled in haste towards the 
coast of Africa. 

At last the Greeks and Carthaginians retreated to 
VOL. II L 313 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et iam captivae vinclis ad litora longo 

ordine ducuntur puppes. flagrantibus alto 

stant aliae taedis : splendet lucent e prof undo 565 

Mulciber, et tremula vibratur imagine pontus. 

ardet nota fretis Cyane pennataque Siren. 

ardet et Europe, nivei sub imagine tauri 

vecta lovi ac prenso tramittens aequora cornu ; 

et quae, fusa comas, curvum per caerula piscem 570 

Nereis umenti moderatur roscida freno. 

uritur undivagus Python et corniger Hammon 

et, quae Sidonios vultus portabat Elissae, 

bis ternis ratis ordinibus grassata per undas. 

at vinclis trahitur cognata in litora Anapus 575 

Gorgoneasque ferens ad sidera Pegasus alas. 

ducitur et Libyae puppis signata figuram 

et Triton captivus et ardua rupibus Aetne, 

spirantis rogus Enceladi, Cadmeaque Sidon. 

Nee mora tum trepidos hac clade irrumpere muros 
signaque ferre deum templis iam iamque fuisset, 581 
ni subito importuna lues inimicaque pestis, 
invidia divum pelagique labore parata, 
polluto miseris rapuisset gaudia caelo. 
criniger aestiferis Titan fervoribus auras 585 

et patulam Cyanen lateque palustribus undis 
stagnantem Stygio Cocyti opplevit odore 
temporaque autumni, laetis florentia donis, 
foedavit rapidoque accendit fulminis igni. 

« This is not consistent with 1. 196, where it was said that 
Typhoeus was buried under Etna : two giants were not 
imprisoned under a single volcano. 

" This may refer to the corpses floating in the harbour, 
or to the exhaustion following a great effort. 
314 



PUNICA, XIV. 563-689 

the land ; and soon their captive ships were towed 
ashore in long procession, while others, lit up with 
flames, still kept the sea. The fire blazed over the 
shining water, and the sea rippled with the quiver- 
ing reflection. Among the burning ships was the 
Cyane, well known to those waters, and the winged 
Siren ; Europa too, who rode on the back of Jove 
disguised as a snow-white bull, and grasped one horn 
as she moved over the water ; and the watery Nereid 
with floating hair, who drove a curving dolphin over the 
deep with dripping rein ; the sea-traversing Python 
was burnt, and horn-crowned Ammo?i, and the vessel 
that bore the likeness of Tyrian Dido and was pro- 
pelled by six banks of oars. The Anapus, on the 
other hand, was towed to her native shore, and the 
Pegasus who raised to heaven his wings born of the 
Gorgon ; and other ships were carried captive — that 
which bore the likeness of Libya, and the Triton, and 
Etna of the rocky peaks, the pyre that covers living 
Enceladus," and Sidon, the city of Cadmus. 

The citizens were terrified by this defeat, and 
Marcellus would have been able at once to burst 
through the walls and lead his eagles against the 
temples of the gods, had not a sore pestilence and 
cruel plague, caused by the ill-will of heaven and the 
fight at sea,** suddenly infected the air and robbed 
the wretched Romans of this triumph. The golden- 
haired Sun filled the air with fervent heat, and infected 
with the deadly stench of Cocytus the water of Cyane 
which spreads far and wide into a stagnant fen ; he 
marred the kindly gifts of autumn ^ and burnt them up 
with swift lightning-flames. The air was thick and 

* The yield of the vines and fruit-trees : the corn harvest 
was over. 

315 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

fumabat crassus nebulis caliginis aer ; 690 

squalebat tellus, vitiato fervida dorso, 
nee vietum dabat aut ullas languentibus umbras, 
atque ater picea vapor expirabat in aethra. 
vim primi sensere canes ; mox nubibus atris 
fluxit deficiens penna labente volucris ; 595 

inde ferae silvis sterni ; turn serpere labes 
Tartarea atque haustis populari castra maniplis. 
arebat lingua, et gelidus per viscera sudor 
corpore manabat tremulo ; descendere fauces 
abnuerant siccae iussorum alimenta ciborum. GOO 

aspera pulmonem tussis quatit, et per anhela 
igneus efflatur sitientum spiritus ora. 
lumina, ferre gravem vix sufficientia lucem, 
unca nare iacent, saniesque immixta cruore 
expuitur, membrisque cutis tegit ossa peresis. 605 
heu dolor ! insignis notis bellator in armis 
ignavo rapitur leto. iactantur in ignem 
dona superba virum, multo Mavorte parata. 
succubuit medicina malis. cumulantur acervo 
labentum et magno cineres sese aggere tollunt. 610 
passim etiam deserta iacent inhumataque late 
corpora, pestiferos tetigisse timentibus artus. 
serpit pascendo crescens Acherusia pestis 
nee leviore quatit Trinacria moenia luctu 
Poenorumque parem castris fert atra laborem. 615 
aequato par exitio et communis ubique 
ira deum atque eadem leti versatur imago. 

Nulla tamen Latios fregit vis dura malorum, 
incolumi ductore, viros, clademque rependit 

316 




PUNICA, XIV. 590-619 

smoky and dark with vapours ; the earth was hot and 
dry, and its surface was marred by the heat ; it yielded 
no food, and no shade for the sick ; and a gloomy 
mist hung in the pitch-black sky. The dogs were 
first to feel the mischief ; next the birds flagged in 
their flight and dropped down from the black clouds ; 
and then the beasts of the forest were laid low. Soon 
the infernal plague spread further, depopulating the 
camp and devouring the soldiers. Their tongues were 
parched ; a cold sweat issued from the vital parts 
and poured down from the shivering frame ; and the 
dry throat refused a passage to the nourishment pre- 
scribed. The lungs were shaken by a hard cough, 
and the breath of the thirsting sufferers came forth 
from their panting mouths as hot as fire. The sunken 
eyes could hardly endure the burden of light ; the 
nose fell in ; matter mixed with blood was vomited, 
and the wasted body was mere skin and bone. Alas 
for the warrior famous for feats of war and now carried 
off by an ignoble death ! Noble trophies earned in 
many a fight were cast upon the funeral-pyre. The 
healing art was baffled by the disease. The ashes of 
the dead were heaped up till they formed a great pile. 
And all round lay corpses, unattended and unburied ; 
for men feared to touch the infectious limbs. The 
deadly plague, growing by what it fed on, spread 
further and shook the walls of Syracuse with mourning 
as grievous and made the Carthaginians suffer no less 
than the Roman army. The wrath of heaven fell 
with equal destruction upon both sides, and the same 
image of death was present everywhere. 

Yet, so long as Marcellus lived, no cruel visitation 
of calamity could break the spirit of the Romans, and 
the safety of that single Hfe among such heaps of dead 

S17 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

unum inter strages tutum caput, ut gravis ergo 620 

primum letiferos repressit Sirius aestus, 

et minuere avidae mortis contagia pestes, 

ceu, sidente Noto cum se maria alta reponunt, 

propulsa invadit piscator caerula cumba, 

sic tandem ereptam morbis grassantibus armat 625 

Marcellus pubem, lustratis rite maniplis. 

circumstant alacres signa auditisque tubarum 

respirant laeti clangoribus. itur in host em ; 

et, si fata ferant, iuvat inter proelia ferro 

posse mori ; socium miseret, qui sorte pudenda 630 

in morem pecudum efFudere cubilibus atris 

illaudatam animam. tumulos inhonoraque busta 

respiciunt, et vel nullo iacuisse sepulcro 

quam debellari morbis placet, ardua primus 

ad muros dux signa rapit. tenuata iacendo 635 

et macie in galeis abscondunt ora, malusque, 

ne sit spes hosti, velatur casside pallor. 

infundunt rapidum convulsis moenibus agmen 

condensique ruunt : tot bellis invia tecta 

totque uno introitu capiuntur militis arces. 640 

Totum, qua vehitur Titan, non ulla per orbem 
tum sese Isthmiacis aequassent oppida tectis. 
tot delubra deum totque intra moenia portus, 
adde fora et celsis suggesta theatra columnis 
certantesque mari moles, adde ordine longo 645 

innumeras spatioque domos aequare superbas 
rura. quid, inclusos porrecto limite longis 
porticibus sacros iuvenum certamine lucos ? 

" The common fate of a defeated army in ancient times. 

'' The Gymnasia, always so dear to the Greeks and so 
much despised by the Romans. 
$18 



PUNICA, XIV. 620-648 

atoned for their sufferings. Therefore, as soon as the 
fierce Dog-star cooled its pestilential heat and the 
devouring plague became less infectious, then, even 
as the fisherman rows his boat out to sea, when the 
wind is still and the deep at rest, so at last Marcellus 
armed his men, snatched from the clutch of disease, 
and purified the ranks with due sacrifices. Eagerly 
they gathered round the standards, and breathed 
freely when they heard the blare of the trumpets. 
They march to the attack ; and, if fate so ordain it, 
they are glad that the chance of dying by the sword 
in battle is not denied them ; and they pity their 
comrades who died like sheep and met an ignoble 
death, drawing their last breath on their dark barrack- 
beds. Looking back at the grave-mounds of the 
unhonoured dead, they feel that even to lie unburied ° 
is better than to be conquered by disease. Marcellus 
went first and hurried the lofty standards forward 
against the walls. Behind their helmets they hid 
faces emaciated by sickness, and concealed their un- 
healthy colour, that the enemy might conceive no 
hopes from it. With speed they pour a host over the 
shattered walls, and rush on in close order ; all those 
impregnable buildings and all those forts were taken 
by a single armed assault. 

In all the earth round which the Sun drives his 
chariot no city at that time could rival Syracuse. So 
many temples had she, so many harbours within the 
walls ; market-places also, and theatres raised up on 
lofty pillars, and piers that strove with the sea, and 
an endless succession of palaces whose spaciousness 
defied the competition of country-houses. Then 
there were spaces devoted to athletic contests of 
youth, ^ enclosed by a long vista of far-stretching 

319 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quid tot captivis fulgentia culmina rostris ? 
armaque fixa dels ? aut quae Marathonius hostis 650 
perdidit, aut Libya quae sunt advecta subacta ? 
hie Agathocleis sedes ornata tropaeis ; 
hie mites Hieronis opes ; hie sancta vetustas 
artificum manibus. non usquam clarior illo 
gloria picturae saeclo ; non aera iuvabat 655 

ascire ex Ephyre ; fulvo certaverit auro 
vestis, spirantes referens subtemine vultus, 
quae radio caelat Babylon, vel murice picto 
laeta Tyros, quaeque Attalicis variata per artem 
aulaeis scribuntur acu aut Memphitide tela. 660 

iam simul argento fulgentia pocula, mixta 
quis gemma quaesitus honos, simulacra deorum 
numen ab arte datum servantia ; munera rubri 
praeterea ponti depexaque vellera ramis, 
femineus labor. 

His tectis opibusque potitus 665 
Ausonius ductor, postquam sublimis ab alto 
aggere despexit trepidam clangoribus urbem, 
inque suo positum nutu, stent moenia regum, 
an nuUos oriens videat lux crastina muros, 
ingemuit nimio iuris tantumque licere 670 

horruit et, propere revocata militis ira, 
iussit stare domos, indulgens templa vetustis 
incolere atque habitare deis. sic parcere victis 

« See 11. 282 foil. 

'' Agathocles, who died at an uncertain age in 289 B.C., 
rose from a private and obscure station to be tyrant of 
Syracuse and king of Sicily. He defeated the Carthaginians 
in many great battles in Africa. " See 11. 79 foil. 

** Corinthian bronzes were greatly prized by the ancients. 

* Gold embroidery was invented by Attains III., king of 
Pergamus in Asia. 

^ Pearls. ^ See note to vi. 4. 

320 



kip 



PUNICA, XIV. 649-673 



colonnades ; and many lofty buildings adorned with 
the beaks of captured ships ; and armour fixed on 
temple-walls, either taken from the Athenian enemy " 
or brought across the sea from conquered Libya. 
Here stood a building adorned with the trophies won 
by Agathocles,^ and there was displayed the peaceful 
wealth of Hiero '^ ; and here the handiwork of famous 
artists was consecrated by antiquity. Nowhere in 
that age was the art of the painter more splendid ; 
Syracuse had no desire to import bronzes from 
Corinth ^ ; and her tapestry, wrought with ruddy 
gold and reproducing in the woof living likenesses of 
men, might rival the fabrics wrought by the shuttles 
of Babylon or by Tyre that prides herself on her 
embroidered purple ; it might match the intricate 
patterns worked by the needle on the hangings of 
Attains * or the woven stuffs of Egypt. There were 
cups also of shining silver, made more beautiful by 
inserted jewels, and images of the gods, in which the 
divinity was preserved by the artist's genius, and the 
spoils of the Red Sea^ also, and wool combed from 
the branches of trees ^ by the hands of women. 

Such was the city and such the wealth, of which the 
Roman general was now master. He stood on a lofty 
eminence and looked down on the city where the noise 
of the trumpets spread terror. A sign from him 
would determine whether those royal walls should 
remain standing or vanish utterly before the morrow 
dawned. He groaned aloud because of his excess of 
power, and shrank back from what he might have 
done. Quickly restraining the violence of the soldiers, 
he ordered that the houses should be left standing, 
and granted their temples to the gods to inhabit 
as of old. Thus mercy to the conquered took the 
VOL. II L 2 321 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

pro praeda fuit, et sese contenta nee ullo 
sanguine pollutis plausit Victoria pennis. 676 

tu quoque ductoris lacrimas, memorande, tulisti, 
defensor patriae, meditantem in pulvere formas 
nee turbatum animi tanta feriente ruina. 

Ast reliquum vulgus, resoluta in gaudia mente, 
certarunt victi victoribus. aemulus ipse 680 

ingenii superum, servando condidit urbem. 
ergo exstat saeclis stabitque insigne tropaeum 
et dabit antiquos ductorum noscere mores. 

Felices populi, si, quondam ut bella solebant, 
nunc quoque inexhaustas pax nostra relinqueret urbes ! 
at, ni cura viri, qui nunc dedit otia mundo, 686 

efFrenum arceret populandi cuncta furorem, 
nudassent avidae terrasque fretumque rapinae. 

" Archimedes was studying a mathematical problem, when 
a Roman soldier killed him in ignorance : Marcellus buried 
his body and provided for his family. 

^ The emperor Domitian : he did something to check the 
rapacity of provincial governors. Some editors suppose that 
Nerva, who succeeded Domitian a.d. 96, is meant here. 



322 



PUNICA, XIV. 674-688 

place of plunder ; and the goddess of victory, asking 
no more than victory, waved her wings unspotted by 
blood, in approval of herself. Thou too, O famous 
man,"* defender of thy native city, didst win tears 
from the conqueror. Archimedes was calmly poring 
over a figure traced in the sand, when the great 
disaster came down upon him. 

But the people generally gave themselves up to 
rejoicing ; and the vanquished were as happy as the 
victors. Marcellus matched the gods in merciful 
temper and, by saving the city, was its second founder. 
Therefore it remains and will remain for ages as a 
splendid trophy, and will throw light on the character 
of our generals in former times. 

Happy would the nations be, if our peaceful gover- 
nors would imitate our former generals and spare the 
cities from rapine. As it is, if that prince ^ who has 
now given peace to the world had not checked the 
unbridled passion for universal spoliation, land and 
sea would have been stripped bare by greedy robbers. 



S23 



LIBER QUINTUS DECIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

The Senate cannot decide what general to send to Spain. 
P. Cornelius Scipio is eager to go, but his kinsmen dissuade 
him (1-17)- He is visited by Virtue and Pleasure who 
contend for his allegiance (18-128). Encouraged by Virtue's 
arguments, he asks for the command and receives it : an 
omen of success (129-151). His fleet lands at Tarraco (152- 
179). His father's ghost eochorts him in a dream to take New 
Carthage : he does so (180-250). He sacrifices to the gods, 
rewards his soldiers, and distributes the spoil : he restores 
a Spanish maiden to her lover and is praised by Laelius for 
this action (251-285). War against Philip, king of Macedon 

At nova Romuleum carpebat cura senatum, 

quis trepidas gentes Martemque subiret Hiberum, 

attritis rebus, geminus iacet hoste superbo 

Scipio, belligeri Mavortia pectora fratres. 

hinc metus, in Tyrias ne iam Tartessia leges 6 

concedat tellus propioraque bella pavescat. 

anxia turba patrum quasso medicamina maesti 

imperio circumspectant divosque precantur, 

qui laceris ausit ductor succedere castris. 

Absterret iuvenem, patrios patruique piare 10 

optantem manes, tristi conterrita luctu 

" The father and uncle of Africanus : see xiii. 67 1 foil. 
'' Spain. 
^ Rome was further from Spain than Carthage was. 
S24) 



BOOK XV 

ARGUMENT (continued) 

(286-319). Fabius takes Tarentum by a trick (320-333). 
The consuls^ Marcellus and Crispinus, are beaten by Hannibal 
and Marcellus is killed (334-398). In Spain Hasdrubal is 
put to fiight by Scipio : praise of Laelius (399-492). Has- 
drubal crosses the Alps, to join his brother in Italy (493-514). 
Great alarm at Rome. The consul, C. Claudius Nero, is 
warned in a dream by a personification of Italy to march 
northwards against Hasdrubal (515-559). Nero joins the 
other consul, M. Livius (560-600). The battle of the 
Metaurus (601-807). Nero returns to Lucania and displays 
to Hannibal his brother's head fixed on a pike (807-823). 

But now the Roman Senate was harassed by a fresh 
anxiety. Who was to undertake the war in Spain 
and protect the natives discouraged by defeat ? Both 
the Scipios,^ both the brothers who had waged war 
with martial spirit, had been slain by the triumphant 
enemy. Thus there was a risk that the land of 
Tartessus ^ would now yield to the supremacy of 
Carthage, through dread of an enemy nearer home." 
Meeting in anxiety and sorrow, the Senate sought for 
some remedy to heal the tottering state, and prayed 
to Heaven for a general who would dare to take over 
the decimated army. 

The young Scipio was eager to appease the spirits 
of his father and uncle ; but all his kinsmen, dismayed 

825 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et reputans annos cognato sanguine turba. 
si gentem petat infaustam, inter busta suorum 
decertandum hosti, qui fregerit arma duorum, 
qui consulta ducum ac flagret meliore Gradivo. 15 
nee promptum teneris immania bella lacertis 
moliri regimenque rudi deposcere in aevo. 

Has, lauri residens iuvenis viridante sub umbra, 
aedibus extremis volvebat pectore curas, 
cum subito assistunt, dextra laevaque per auras 20 
allapsae, baud paulum mortali maior imago, 
hinc Virtus, illinc virtuti inimica Voluptas. 
altera Achaemenium spirabat vertice odorem, 
ambrosias diffusa comas et veste refulgens, 
ostrum qua fulvo Tyrium sufFuderat auro ; 25 

front e decor quaesitus acu, lascivaque crebras 
ancipiti motu iaciebant lumina flammas. 
alterius dispar habitus : frons hirta nee umquam 
composita mutata coma ; stans vultus, et ore 
incessuque viro propior laetique pudoris, 30 

celsa humeros niveae fulgebat stamine pallae. 

Occupat inde prior, promissis fisa, Voluptas : 
** quis furor hie, non digne puer, consumere bello 
florem aevi ? Cannaene tibi graviorque palude 
Maeonius Stygia lacus excessere Padusque ? 35 

quem tandem ad finem bellando fata lacesses ? 
tune etiam tentare paras Atlantica regna 



" The choice of Hercules between Virtue and Pleasure was 
the subject of a famous apologue by the sophist Prodicus : 
it is preserved in the Memorabilia of Xenophon (ii. 1 foil.), 
and Silius follows this version closely. 

'' Lake Trasimene. 

« Spain, which is bordered by the Atlantic 

326 



PUNICA, XV. 12-37 

by their grievous loss and mindful of his youth, sought 
to dissuade him. If he went to that land of ill omen, 
he must stand on the graves of his dear ones to fight 
against a foe who had baffled the dispositions and 
beaten the armies of them both, and was now flushed 
with victory. Nor was it a simple task to take the 
burden of a mighty war on young shoulders, nor easy 
for a beardless youth to ask the command of an army. 

These anxious thoughts filled the young man's 
mind, as he sat beneath the green shadow of a bay- 
tree that grew behind the dwelling ; and suddenly 
two figures, far exceeding mortal stature, flew down 
from the sky and stood to right and left of him : 
Virtue was on one side, and Pleasure, the enemy of 
Virtue, on the other." Pleasure's head breathed 
Persian odours, and her ambrosial tresses flowed 
free ; in her shining robe Tyrian purple was em- 
broidered with ruddy gold ; the pin in her hair gave 
studied beauty to her brow ; and her roving wanton 
eyes shot forth flame upon flame. The appearance 
of the other was far different : her hair, seeking no 
borrowed charm from ordered locks, grew freely 
above her forehead ; her eyes were steady ; in face 
and gait she was more like a man ; she showed a 
cheerful modesty ; and her tall stature was set off 
by the snow-white robe she wore. 

Then Pleasure spoke first, confident in what she 
could promise : " This is madness, my son, to use 
up all the flower of your age in war. You deserve 
better things. Have you forgotten Cannae and the 
river Po, and the Lydian lake,^ more terrible than 
the Stygian swamp ? How long will you persist in 
defying fortune on the battle-field ? Do you intend 
to attack the realm of Atlas '^ also and the city of 

327 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Sidoniasque domos ? moneo, certare periclis 

desine et armisonae caput obiectare procellae. 

ni fugis hos ritus, Virtus te saeva iubebit 40 

per medias volitare acies mediosque per ignes. 

haec patrem patruumque tuos, haec prodiga Paulum, 

haec Decios Stygias Erebi detrusit ad undas, 

dum cineri titulum memorandaque nomina bustis 

praetendit nee sensurae, quod gesserit, umbrae. 45 

at si me comitere, puer, non limite duro 

iam tibi decurrat concessi temporis aetas. 

baud umquam trepidos abrumpet bucina somnos ; 

non glaciem Arctoam, non experiere furentis 

ardorem Caneri nee mensas saepe cruento 50 

gramine compositas ; aberunt sitis aspera et haustus 

sub galea pulvis plenique timore labores ; 

sed current albusque dies horaeque serenae, 

et molli dabitur victu sperare senectam. 

quantas ipse deus laetos generavit in usus 55 

res homini plenaque dedit bona gaudia dextra ! 

atque idem, exemplar lenis mortalibus aevi, 

imperturbata placidus tenet otia mente. 

ilia ego sum, Anchisae Venerem Simoentos ad undas 

quae iunxi, generis vobis unde editus auctor. 60 

ilia ego sum, verti superum quae saepe parentem 

nunc avis in formam, nunc torvi in cornua tauri. 

hue adverte aures. currit mortalibus aevum, 

nee nasci bis posse datur ; fugit hora, rapitque 

Tartareus torrens ac secum ferre sub umbras, 65 

« For the death of Paulus see x. 232 foil. 

* P. Decius Mus gave up his life to save the Roman army 
in battle against the Latins, 340 b.c. ; his son, of the same 
name, repeated the act of heroism in the battle of Sentinum 
against the Samnites, 295 b.c. 

" A river of Troy. <* Aeneas. 

* A swan, when he courted Leda. 
328 



PUNICA, XV. 38-65 

Carthage ? Take my advice, and cease to fight against 
danger and expose your Ufe to the storm of clashing 
weapons. Unless you abandon the worship of her, 
stern Virtue will bid you dash right through battle 
and flame. She it was who sent your father and uncle 
down to the Stygian waters of Erebus, she who threw 
away the lives of Paulus " and the Decii,^ while holding 
out a glorious epitaph on the tomb that covers his 
ashes to the ghost that cannot even be conscious of 
the great deeds he did on earth. But if you follow 
me, my son, then your allotted term of life will move 
along no rugged path. Never will the trumpet break 
your troubled sleep ; you will not feel the northern 
cold nor the fierce heat of Cancer nor the pangs of 
thirst, nor take your meal many a time on the blood- 
stained turf, nor gulp down the dust behind your 
helmet, suffering fearful hardship. No ; you will 
pass happy days and unclouded hours, and a life of 
ease will warrant you in hoping for length of days. 
What great things the gods themselves have created 
for the use and enjoyment of man ! How many 
harmless pleasures they have supplied with bountiful 
hand ! And they themselves set an example of 
peaceful existence to men ; for they live at ease, 
and their peace of mind is never broken. I am she 
who wedded Venus to Anchises by the waters of 
Simois,^ and from them was born the founder of 
your nation.*^ I am she who turned the Father of 
the gods into many different shapes : at one time 
he became a bird,® at another a bull with threatening 
horns. Attend to me. The life of man fleets fast 
away, and no man can be born a second time ; time 
flies, and the stream of death carries us away and 
forbids us to carry to the lower world the things that 

329 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

si qua animo placuere, negat. quis luce suprema 
dimisisse meas sero non ingemit horas ? " 

Postquam conticuit finisque est addita dictis, 
turn Virtus : " quasnam iuvenem florentibus," inquit, 
" pellicis in fraudes annis vitaeque tenebras, 70 

cui ratio et magnae caelestia semina mentis 
munere sunt concessa deum ? mortalibus alti 
quantum caelicolae, tantumdem animalibus isti 
praecellunt cunctis. tribuit namque ipsa minores 
hos terris Natura deos ; sed foedere certo 75 

degeneres tenebris animas damnavit Avernis. 
at, quis aetherii servatur seminis ortus, 
caeli porta patet. referam quid cuncta domantem 
Amphitryoniaden ? quid, cui, post Seras et Indos 
captivo Liber cum signa referret ab Euro, 80 

Caucaseae currum duxere per oppida tigres ? 
quid suspiratos magno in discrimine nautis 
Ledaeos referam fratres vestrumque Quirinum ? 
nonne vides, hominum ut celsos ad sidera vultus 
sustulerit deus ac sublimia finxerit ora, 85 

cum pecudes volucrumque genus formasque ferarum 
segnem atque obscenam passim stravisset in alvum ? 
ad laudes genitum, capiat si munera divum, 
felix ad laudes hominum genus, hue, age, paulum 
aspice — nee longe repetam — modo Roma minanti 90 
impar Fidenae contentaque crescere asylo, 
quo sese extulerit dextris ; idem aspice, late 
florentes quondam luxus quas verterit urbes. 

*■ Hercules. '' Bacchus. <* Castor and Pollux. 

^ A town in the Sabine country and a formidable neighbour 
to Rome in her infancy. 

* The earliest settlement of Romulus was a Sanctuary for 
criminals. 

330 



PUNICA, XV. 66-93 

gave us pleasure in life. Who, when his last hour 
comes, does not regret too late that he let slip the 
seasons of Pleasure ? " 

When Pleasure had ceased speaking and was silent, 
Virtue began : " How," she asked, " can you mislead 
this young man in the flower of his age and tempt 
him to a life of obscurity ? The goodness of the gods 
has granted him reason and germs of the divine 
intelligence from heaven. Man stands as high above 
all other animals as the gods above mortals. For 
Nature herself assigned man to earth as a lesser god ; 
but her fixed law has condemned degenerate souls to 
dwell in the darkness of Avernus. On the other hand 
the gate of heaven stands open to those who have 
preserved the divine element born with them. Need 
I speak of Amphitryon's son" who destroyed all 
monsters ? or of Liber, ^ whose chariot was drawn 
through the cities by Caucasian tigers when he came 
back in triumph from the conquered East, after sub- 
duing the Chinese and the Indians ? or of Quirinus, the 
hero of Rome, or the Brethren" whom Leda bore, to 
whom sailors cry in their sore distress ? See you not, 
how the Creator raised the faces of mankind towards 
heaven and gave them countenances that look up- 
wards, though he had caused all herds and flocks, all 
birds and beasts, to creep on their belly, inactive and 
unsightly ? But man is born for glory, if he can 
appreciate heaven's gift, and in pursuit of glory he is 
happy. Listen to me for a moment — I shall not go 
far for an example. Rome was once no match for the 
attacks of Fidena ^ and was content with the growth 
that the Asylum * gave her : but see to what a height 
she has been raised by the valour of her citizens. 
Consider too the cities which once spread and 

331 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quippe nee ira deum tantum nee tela nee hostes, 

quantum sola noces animis illapsa, Voluptas. 05 

Ebrietas tibi foeda comes, tibi Luxus et atris 

circa te semper volitans Infamia pennis ; 

mecum Honor ac Laudes et laeto Gloria vultu 

et Decus ac niveis Victoria concolor alis. 

me cinctus lauro produeit ad astra Triumphus. 100 

casta mihi domus et celso stant colle penates, 

ardua saxoso perducit semita clivo. 

asper principio — neque enim mihi fallere mos est — 

prosequitur labor : annitendum intrare volenti, 

nee bona censendum, quae Fors infida dedisse 105 

atque eadem rapuisse valet, mox celsus ab alto 

infra te cernes hominum genus, omnia contra 

experienda manent quam spondet blanda Voluptas. 

stramine proiectus duro patiere sub astris 

insomnes noctes frigusque famemque domabis. 110 

idem iustitiae cultor, quaecumque capesses, 

testes factorum stare arbitrabere divos. 

tunc, quotiens patriae rerumque pericula poscent, 

arma feres primus ; primus te in moenia tolles 

hostica ; nee ferro mentem vincere nee auro. 115 

hinc tibi non Tyrio vitiatas murice vestes, 

nee donum deforme viro fragrantis amomi, 

sed dabo, qui vestrum saevo nunc Marte fatigat 

imperium, superare manu laurumque superbam 

in gremio lovis excisis deponere Poenis." 120 



" The image of Jupiter in the Capitoline temple was a 
seated figure, and the triumphing general laid his laurels on 
the lap of the god. 

332 



PUNICA, XV. 94-120 

flourished but were overthrown by luxury. For 
neither the wrath of heaven nor the attacks of foemen 
are as fatal as Pleasure alone when she infects the 
mind. She brings with her an ugly train, Drunken- 
ness and Luxury ; and dark-winged Disgrace ever 
hovers round her. My attendants are Honour and 
Praise, Renown and Glory with joyful countenance, 
and Victory with snow-white wings like mine. And 
Triumph, crowned with laurel, raises me at last to 
heaven. My household is pure ; my dwelling is set 
on a lofty hill, and a steep track leads there by a rocky 
ascent. Hard at first — it is not my way to hold out 
false hopes — is the toil you must endure. If you seek 
to enter, you must exert yourself ; and you must not 
reckon as good those things which fickle Fortune can 
give and can also take away. Soon you will gain the 
height and look down upon mankind below you. 
Pleasure makes you smooth promises ; from me you 
will experience the opposite in all respects. Lying 
on a hard bed of straw, you will endure sleepless 
nights under the stars, and you will master cold and 
hunger. Also you will worship justice in all your 
doings and believe that the gods stand and witness 
your every action. Then, whenever your country 
and the danger of the state demand it, you will be the 
first to take up arms and the first to enter the breach 
in the enemy's walls ; neither steel nor gold will ever 
master your mind. Therefore I will give you, not 
garments stained with Tyrian purple nor fragrant 
perfumes that a man should blush to use, but victory 
— victory over the fierce foe who is now harassing the 
empire of Rome ; you shall destroy the Carthaginians 
and place your proud laurel upon the knees " of 
Jove." 

S33 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Quae postquam cecinit sacrato pectore Virtus, 
exemplis laetum vultuque audita probantem 
convertit iuvenem. sed enim indignata Voluptas 
non tenuit voces. " nil vos lam demoror ultra," 124 
exelamat. " venient, venient mea tempora quondam, 
cum docilis nostris magno certamine Roma 
serviet imperils, et honos mihi habebitur uni." 
sic quassans caput in nubes se sustulit atras. 

At iuvenis, plenus monitis, ingentia corde 
molitur iussaeque calet virtutis amore. 130 

ardua rostra petit, nullo fera bella volente, 
et gravia ancipitis deposcit munera Martis. 
arrecti cunctorum animi ; pars lumina patris, 
pars credunt torvos patrui revirescere vultus. 
sed quamquam instinctis tacitus tamen aegra pericli 
pectora subrepit terror, molemque paventes 136 

expendunt belli, et numerat favor anxius annos. 

Dumque ea confuso percenset murmure vulgus, 
ecce, per obliquum caeli squalentibus auro 
efFulgens maculis, ferri inter nubila visus 140 

anguis et ardenti radiare per aera sulco, 
quaque ad caeliferi tendit plaga litus Atlantis, 
perlabi resonante polo, bis terque coruscum 
addidit augurio fulmen pater, et vaga late 
per subitum mo to strepuere tonitrua mundo. 145 

tum vero capere arma iubent genibusque salutant 

" Her heart is compared here to an oracle. 

^ The orator's platform in the Forum. Scipio was now 
only twenty-four : he was a military tribune who had held 
no office higher than that of aedile ; yet he was now (211 b.c.) 
raised by a vote of the Assembly to the position of a proconsul 
commanding an army. 

<* The West, i.e. Spain : see note to i. 201. 
334 



PUNICA, XV. 121-146 

When Virtue had uttered these prophecies from the 
shrine of her heart,*^ she gained Scipio to her side ; he 
rejoiced in the examples set before him, and his face 
showed his approval. But Pleasure was wroth and 
could not refrain from speech. " I will detain the 
pair of you no longer," she cried ; " but my time will 
yet come, when Rome will learn my lessons and be 
eager to obey my commands ; and then I alone shall 
be honoured." Then, shaking her head with anger, 
she soared into the dark clouds. 

Now Scipio, with a heart full of Virtue's counsel, 
conceived mighty designs and was fired with love for 
the high task imposed upon him. Though all men 
shrank from war, he climbed the high Rostrum ^ and 
claimed for himself the heavy burden of a doubtful 
contest. There was universal excitement ; some 
thought they saw his father's face, and others that the 
stern features of his uncle had grown young again. 
But, though men were encouraged, yet an unspoken 
fear of the hazard crept into their doubting hearts ; 
they measured with fear the huge burden of the war ; 
and Scipio 's supporters were uneasy when they 
reckoned up his years. 

But while the people were considering these things, 
speaking low in their uncertainty, lo, a serpent, 
glittering with rough spots of gold, was seen to glide 
athwart the sky between the clouds, tracing a furrow 
of fire in the heavens, and it moved on towards the 
quarter where the sky ends in the shore of Atlas,^ the 
supporter of the firmament. Nor was the sky silent ; 
for Jupiter twice and three times confirmed the por- 
tent with his thunder, and his far-flung bolts crashed 
suddenly, and the heavens were shaken. Then 
indeed men fell on their knees to hail the portent ; 

335 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

summissi augurium : hac iret, qua ducere divos 
perspicuum, et patrio monstraret semita signo. 

Certatim comites rerum bellique ministros 
agglomerant sese atque acres sociare labores 150 

exposcunt ; laudumque loco est isdem esse sub armis. 
turn nova caeruleum descendit classis in aequor. 
it comes Ausonia atque in terras transit Hiberas. 
ut, cum saeva fretis immisit proelia, Caurus 
Isthmon curvata sublime superiacit unda 155 

et, spumante ruens per saxa gementia fluctu, 
Ionium Aegaeo miscet mare, celsus in arma 
emicat ac prima stans Scipio puppe profatur : 
" dive tridentipotens, cuius maria ire per alta 
ordimur, si iusta paro, decurrere classi 160 

da, pater, ac nostros ne sperne iuvare labores. 
per pontum pia bella veho." levis inde secunda 
aspirans aura propellit carbasa flatus ; 
iamque agiles, Tyrrhena sonant qua caerula, puppes 
Ausonium evasere latus Ligurumque citatis 165 

litora tramittunt proris. hinc gurgite ab alto 
tellurem procul irrumpentem in sidera cernunt, 
aerias Alpes. occurrunt moenia Graiis 
condita Massiliae : populis haec cincta superbis, 
barbarus immani cum territet accola ritu, 170 

antiquae morem patriae cultumque habitumque 
Phocais armiferas inter tenet hospita gentes. 
hinc legit Ausonius sinuatos gurgite ductor 
anfractus pelagi. nemoroso vertice celsus 

^ Scipio was begotten by Jupiter in the form of a serpent : 
see xiii. 634 foil. ; and the appearance of a serpent at this 
crisis was therefore invented by SiHus. 

" Not in person, but their hearts went with him. 

• Neptune. ** What we call the Riviera. 

* Emigrants from Phocaea in Asia Minor. 

336 



I 



PUNICA, XV. 147-174 

they urged Scipio to take arms and go whither the 
gods so clearly summoned him, and where his path 
was marked out by the image of his father." 

Men flocked eagerly to join him as comrades in war 
and helpers in the campaign, and begged to share his 
arduous labours ; to serve in the same army with him 
was glory enough. Then a new fleet was launched 
on the blue sea. All Italy went with him ^ and crossed 
over to the land of Spain. So the North-west wind, 
when it has launched fierce battle on the deep, hurls 
the arching waves high over the Isthmus of Corinth, 
and, rushing over the bellowing rocks with foaming 
flood, mingles the waters of the Ionian sea with the 
Aegean. Then Scipio sprang up in arms and standing 
forth on the stern of his ship prayed thus : " Divine 
Lord of the trident,*' whose deep seas we are in act 
to cross, if my design is just, suffer my fleet to com- 
plete her voyage, and deign, O Father, to assist our 
efforts. The war I carry across the sea is a just war." 
Then a light breeze blew, and drove the sails on with 
favouring breath. Quickly the vessels slipped past 
the coast of Italy, where the Tyrrhene sea splashes, 
and then their prows sped along the strand of the 
Ligurians.** And now from the deep they sighted 
far away the soaring Alps where earth invades the 
sky. Next came the city of Massilia founded by 
Greeks.* The settlers from Phocaea, though girt 
about by warlike tribes and horrified by the savage 
rites of their uncivilized neighbours,^ still retain, 
among unpeaceful surroundings, the customs and 
manners and dress of their ancient home. Then the 
Roman general threaded his course along the curving 
coastline, till lofty hills with tree-clad tops were 

' The Gauls, who sacrificed human victims to their gods. 

337 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

apparet coUis, fugiuntque in nubila silvae 176 

Pyrenes ; tunc Emporiae veteresque per ortus 
Graiorum vulgus, tunc hospita Tarraco Baccho. 
considunt portu. securae gurgite clause 
stant puppes, positusque labor terrorque profundi. 

Nox similes morti dederat placidissima somnos : 
visa viro stare effigies ante ora parentis 181 

atque hac aspectu turbatum voce monere : 
" nate, salus quondam genitoris, nate, parentis 
et post fata decus, bellorum dira creatrix 
evastanda tibi tellus, et caede superbi 185 

ductores Libyae cauta virtute domandi, 
qui sua nunc trinis diducunt agmina castris. 
si conferre manum libeat coeantque vocatae 
hinc atque hinc acies, valeat quis ferre ruentes 
tergemina cum mole viros ? absiste labore 190 

ancipiti, sed nee segnis potiora capesse. 
urbs colitur, Teucro quondam fundata vetusto, 
nomine Carthago ; Tyrius tenet incola muros. 
ut Libyae sua, sic terris memorabile Hiberis 
haec caput est ; non uUa opibus certaverit auri, 195 
non portu celsove situ, non dotibus arvi 
uberis aut agili fabricanda ad tela vigore. 
invade aversis, nate, banc ductoribus urbem. 
nulla acies famae tantum praedaeve pararit." 

Talia monstrabat genitor propiusque monebat, 200 
cum iuvenem sopor et dilapsa reliquit imago, 
surgit et infernis habitantia numina lucis 



<• At the battle of the Ticinus : see iv. 454 foil. 

'' There were three : Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo ; Mago ; 
and Hasdrubal, son of Hamilcar and brother of Hannibal. 

* New Carthage, the chief arsenal and military base of 
the Carthaginians in Spain, 
338 



PUNICA, XV. 175-202 

sighted and the forests of the Pyrenees were lost in 
the clouds ; then came Emporiae, an ancient settle- 
ment of Greeks, and Tarraco next, where the grape- 
vine is at home. There they found rest in harbour ; 
the ships rode in safety behind the breakwater, and 
the fatigues and dangers of the sea were forgotten. 

The profound stillness of night had brought slumber 
deep as death to Scipio, until he dreamed that the 
ghost of his father stood before him and warned him 
thus, while he was dismayed by the apparition : 
" Son who once saved your father's life," son who 
bring me honour even in my grave, this land, the 
accursed mother of war, you must utterly lay waste ; 
and the Libyan generals,^ flushed with slaughter, you 
must conquer by valour and prudence. At present 
they keep their armies apart in three separate camps. 
If you chose to join battle, and they summoned 
their forces to meet from the different points, who 
could withstand the onset of three united armies ? 
Abandon that dangerous enterprise ; but bestir your- 
self and adopt a better plan. There is a city '^ here, 
founded by Teucer long ago ; Carthage is its name, 
and the population is Punic. Like the Carthage in 
Libya, this Carthage in Spain is a famous capital. 
No other city can rival its stores of gold, or its harbour 
and lofty site, or its wealth of fertile land, or its skill 
and activity in forging weapons of war. Attack this 
city, my son, while the generals' backs are turned. 
No victory in the field could bring you as much glory 
and as much booty." 

Thus his father advised him and was coming closer 
to warn him, when the young man awoke from sleep 
and the vision faded away. He rose up and prayed 
to the gods who dwell in the nether world, and 

339 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ac supplex patrios compellat nomine manes : 

" este duces bello et monstratam ducite ad urbem ; 

vobis ultor ego et Sarrano murice fulgens 205 

inferias mittam fusis insignis Hiberis 

et tumulis addam sacros certamine ludos." 

praegreditur celeratque vias et corripit agmen 

pernici rapidum cursu camposque fatigat. 

sic, ubi prosiluit Pisaeo carcere praeceps, 210 

non solum ante alios, sed enim, mirabile dictu, 

ante suos it victor equus, currumque per auras 

baud ulli durant visus aequare volantem. 

lamque Hyperionia lux septima lampade surgens 
sensim attollebat propius subeuntibus arces 215 

urbis, et admoto crescebant culmina gressu. 
at pelago vectus servata Laelius hora, 
quam dederat ductor subigendae ad moenia classi, 
a tergo afFusis cingebat tecta carinis. 
Carthago, impenso naturae adiuta favore, 220 

excelsos tollit pelago circumflua muros. 
artatas ponti fauces modica insula claudit, 
qua Titan ortu terras aspergit Eoo. 
at, qua prospectat Phoebi iuga sera cadentis, 
pigram in planiciem stagnantes egerit undas, 225 
quas auget veniens refluusque reciprocat aestus. 
sed gelidas a fronte sedet sublimis ad Arctos 
urbs imposta iugo pronumque excurrit in aequor 
et tuta aeterno defendit moenia fluctu. 

Audax, ceu piano gradiens victricia campo 230 

<* Pisa is the place in Ehs where the Olympian games were 
held : the race referred to is that in which four-horse chariots 
competed. 

340 




PUNICA, XV. 203-230 

accosted the ghosts of his kinsmen by name with sup- 
plication : " Take the command yourselves and lead 
me to the city you have told of. You shall be avenged 
by me ; and, when the Spaniards are routed, I shall 
stand conspicuous in gleaming Tyrian purple and 
offer sacrifice at your graves ; and I shall honour 
your tombs further by sacred games and com- 
petitions." Marching in front, he quickened the 
pace and carried his army along at high speed, and 
scoured the plains. So at Pisa," when the unbeaten 
race-horse has sprung forward from the starting- 
place, he moves in front of his rivals and also, wonder- 
ful to relate, in front of the horses harnessed to the 
same chariot ; and no eye can follow the car in its 
flight through the air. 

And now, as they drew near, sunrise on the seventh 
day of their march revealed the citadel of Carthage 
growing higher hour by hour ; and the towers rose 
in height, the nearer the army came. Then, at the 
hour appointed by the general, Laelius came up by 
sea with the fleet and blockaded the city in the rear 
with a line of ships. Carthage is highly favoured by 
nature : its high walls are compassed by the sea ; 
and a small island confines the narrow entrance of 
the bay, on the side where the morning sun showers 
his rays on the earth. But where the chariot of the 
setting sun is seen at evening, there is a barren 
expanse covered with standing water which the ebb 
and flow of the tide diminish and increase. In front of 
this lagoon stands the city facing the frozen North ; 
it stands high on an eminence and runs out towards 
the sea beneath, and protects its walls by means of 
the eternal sea. 

The Roman soldiers made haste to scale the 

34>1 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ferret signa, iugum certabat scandere miles. 
Aris ductor erat. qui contra, amplexus in artis 
auxilium atque excelsa loci, praesepserat arcem. 
pugnabat natura soli ; parvoqiie superne 
bellantum nisu passim per prona voluti 235 

truncato instabiles fundebant corpore vitam. 
verum ubi concessit pelagi revolubilis unda, 
et fluctus rapido fugiebat in aequora lapsu, 
quaque modo excelsae sulcarant caerula puppes, 
hac impune dabat Nereus transcurrere planta : 240 
hinc tacite nitens informidatus adire 
ductor Dardanius, subitam trahit aequore pubem, 
perque undas muris pedes advolat. inde citati 
a tergo accelerant, qua fisus fluctibus Aris 
incustoditam sine milite liquerat urbem. 245 

tum prostratus humi, miserandum, victa catenis 
Poenus colla dedit populumque addixit inermem. 
banc oriens vidit Titan, cum surgeret, urbem 
vallari castris captamque aspexit eandem, 
ocius Hesperio quam gurgite tingueret axem. 250 

Aurora ingrediens terris exegerat umbras ; 
principio statuunt aras : cadit ardua taurus 
victima Neptuno pariter pariterque Tonanti. 
tum merita aequantur donis, ac praemia virtus 
sanguine parta capit : phaleris hie pectora fulget ; 
hie torque aurato circumdat bellica colla ; 256 

ille nitet celsus muralis honore coronae. 
Laelius ante omnes, cui dextera clara domusque, 

" These were decorations awarded by the commander for 
good service ; they were of some precious metal and worn 
on the breast, like our medals. The torquis was a circular 
ornament worn as a collar. For the " mural crown " see 
note to xiii. 366. 
S42 



PUNICA, XV. 231-258 

height, as boldly as if they were carrying victorious 
standards over level ground. The leader of the 
defence was Aris. In his evil plight he trusted to 
the high ground for protection and had fortified the 
citadel beforehand. The nature of the ground fought 
for him : a slight effort of the defenders hurled many 
of the Romans from their footing ; and rolling down 
the steep with mangled limbs, many breathed their 
last. But when the tide turned and the water of 
the lagoon flowed back fast into the sea, then it was 
possible to pass safely on foot over the place where 
tall ships had lately ploughed their furrows ; and 
from this point, where none feared him, Scipio made 
his silent effort to approach the walls, bringing up 
the crews in haste from the ships and wading forward 
at speed. Thence they ran with all haste to the rear 
of the city, which Aris, relying on the sea, had left 
unguarded. Then the defeated Carthaginian pros- 
trated himself — a pitiable object — and yielded his 
neck to the fetters, surrendering the disarmed in- 
habitants to slavery. Thus the sun, which at his 
rising saw this city surrounded by an army, also saw 
it taken, before he dipped his chariot in the western 
waters. 

Dawn came on and expelled darkness from the 
earth. First of all, altars were reared. A tall bull 
was slain as an offering to Neptune, and another was 
sacrificed to the Thunderer. Then good service 
gained its due reward, and valour received the prizes 
earned by wounds. On one man's breast glittered 
bosses " of metal ; another warrior put a circlet of 
gold round his neck ; and a third displayed with 
pride the decoration of a "mural crown." Laelius, 
above all, famous for his exploits and his lineage, 

343 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ter dena bove et aequorei certaminis alto 
donatur titulo Poenique recentibus armis 260 

rectoris. tunc hasta viris, tunc Martia cuique 
vexilla, ut meritum, et praedae libamina dantur. 

Postquam perfectae laudes hominumque deumque, 
captivae spectantur opes digestaque praeda : 
hoc aurum patribus, bello haec Martique talenta, 265 
hoc regum donis, divum hoc ante omnia templis, 
cetera bellantum dextrae pulchroque labori. 
quin etiam accitus popuH regnator Hiberi, 
cui sponsa et sponsae defixus in ossibus ardor ; 
hanc notam formae concessit laetus ovansque 270 
indehbata gaudenti virgine donum. 
turn vacui curis vicino htore mensas 
instituunt festoque agitant convivia ludo. 
Laehus effatur : " macte, o venerande, pudici, 
ductor, macte animi. cedat tibi gloria lausque 275 
magnorum heroum celebrataque carmine virtus, 
mille Mycenaeus qui traxit in aequora proras 
rector, et Inachiis qui Thessala miscuit arma, 
femineo socium violarunt foedus amore, 
nullaque tum Phrygio steterunt tentoria campo 280 
captivis non plena toris ; tibi barbara soli 
sanctius Iliaca servata est Phoebade virgo." 
haec atque his paria alterno sermone serebant, 
donee Nox, atro circumdata corpus amictu, 
nigrantes invexit equos suasitque quietem. 285 

Emathio interea tellus Aetola tumultu 
fervebat, Macetum subitis perculsa carinis. 

** The " continence of Scipio " became a stock theme of 
later moralists. 

" Agamemnon. « Achilles. ^ Cassandra. 

344 



PUNICA, XV. 259-287 

received thirty kine, and a glorious decoration for 
his victory at sea, and the arms just stripped from 
the Punic general. Spears and martial banners were 
then awarded to each according to his deserts, and 
part of the booty was picked out for them. 

When the services of men and gods were duly 
rewarded, the captured treasure was reviewed and 
the booty divided up. This gold was for the Senate, 
these talents for the purposes of war ; the allied 
kings received presents, and the temples of the gods 
were enriched first of all ; the remainder fell to the 
soldiers who had fought so nobly. Moreover, Scipio 
summoned the ruler of a Spanish tribe ; this man 
had a promised bride, a maiden famous for her beauty, 
whom he loved passionately ; and Scipio, joyful and 
triumphant, gave her back freely to her bridegroom 
who rejoiced in an unpolluted bride." Then, with 
minds at ease, they set tables on the shore hard by 
and feasted and made merry. Laelius spoke thus : 
" A blessing upon your chaste heart, O noble leader ! 
The praise and glory of mighty heroes, and their 
achievements famed in song, must hide their heads 
before you. The ruler of Mycenae ^ who launched 
a thousand ships, and he ^ who brought Thessalians 
to join the Argive ranks, were led by the love of 
women to violate the bond of alliance ; and every tent' 
then pitched on the plains of Troy was full of captive 
paramours ; but you alone had more regard for the 
honour of a foreign maiden than was shown to Apollo's 
Trojan priestess.' ** Thus and in this style they held 
converse together, until black-robed Night drove her 
dark steeds into the sky and wooed men to slumber. 

Meanwhile the land of Aetolia, dismayed by a 
sudden invasion of the Macedonian fleet, was involved 

VOL. II M 345 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

proximus hinc hosti dextras iungebat Acarnan. 
causa novi motus Poenis regique Philippo 
in bellum Ausonium sociatae foedere vires. 290 

hie, gente egregius veterisque ab origine regni, 
Aeaeidum seeptris proavoque tumebat Achille. 
ille et noeturnis conterruit Oricon armis ; 
quaque per Illyricum Taulantius incola litus 
exiguos habitat non ullo nomine muros, 295 

turbidus incessit tehs. ille aequore vectus, 
nunc et Phaeacum Thesprotiaque arva lacessens, 
Epirum cassis lustrabat futilis ausis. 
nunc et Anactoria signa ostentavit in ora 
Ambraciosque sinus Olpaeaque litora bello 300 

perfudit rapido. pepulit vada fervida remis 
Leucatae et Phoebi vidit citus Actia templa. 
nee portus Ithacae, Laertia regna, Samenque 
liquit inaccessam fluctuque sonantia cano 
saxa Cephallenum et scopulosis Neriton arvis. 305 
ille etiam, Pelopis sedes et Achaica adire 
moenia praegaudens, tristem Calydona Dianae 
Oeneasque domos, Curetica tecta, subibat, 
promittens contra Hesperiam sua proelia Grais. 
turn lustrata Ephyre Patraeque et regia Pleuron 310 
Parnasusque biceps Phoeboque loquentia saxa. 
ac saepe ad patrios bello revocante penates, 

" Philip v., king of Macedonia, an ally of Carthage since 
215 B.C., took sides with the Acarnanians against the Aetolians, 
who were Roman allies. For Emathio see note to iii. 400. 

^ Philip's mother was a daughter of Pyrrhus, king of 
Epirus, who traced his descent to Achilles. 

« A seaport town in Epirus, near the Illyrian frontier. 
For the many places mentioned below an ancient atlas 
may be consulted. * The Peloponnese. 

S46 



PUNICA, XV. 288-312 

in a fierce struggle with Philip ^ ; and the Acar- 
nanians, their next neighbours, made common cause 
with the foe. This new disturbance was due to an 
alliance formed between the Carthaginians and King 
Philip against the Romans. Philip had a splendid 
pedigree ^ and an ancient monarchy ; he was proud 
to wield the sceptre of the Aeacids and proud of his 
descent from Achilles. He terrified Oricon" by a 
night-attack ; and where the people of Taulas dwell 
in small and nameless villages along the lUyrian coast, 
he made a fierce assault in arms. He put to sea and 
fell upon the lands of the Phaeacians and Thesprotians, 
and rushed through Epirus with a campaign that led to 
nothing. At another time he displayed his standards 
on the coast of Anactorium, and overran with his 
arms the bays of Ambracia and the shore of Olpae. 
His oars stirred to fury the waters of Leucate, and 
he saw, as he rushed along, the temple of Apollo at 
Actium. Nor did he leave unvisited the harbours of 
Ithaca where Laertes once reigned, or remote Same, 
or the rocks of Cephallenia against which the hoary 
waves bellow, or the stony fields of Neritus. He went 
further : he visited with special joy the land of Pelops^ 
and the cities of Achaia, and approached the city of 
Oeneus that suffered from Diana's vengeance ^ and 
was once inhabited by the Curetes ; he promised the 
Greeks that he would fight for them against Rome. 
Next he swept through Ephyre f and Patrae and the 
royal city of Pleuron, and Parnassus with its two 
peaks, and the cliffs that have a voice for Apollo.^ 
Often too he was recalled to his own country by war, 

* She sent the Calydonian boar to punish Oeneus for not 
sacrificing to her. 

* Corinth. * The oracle of Delphi is meant. 

34,7 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cum modo Sarmaticus regna infestaret Orestes, 
aspera nunc Dolopum vis exundasset in agros, 
incepto tamen haud facilis desistere vano, 315 

belli per Graias umbram circumtulit oras : 
donee, nunc pelago, nunc terra exutus, omisit 
spem positam in Tyriis et supplex foedera sanxit 
Dardana nee legem regno accepisse refugit. 

Tunc et Tyndarei Latias fortuna Tarenti 320 

auxit opes laudemque simul. nam perfida tandem 
urbs Fabio devicta seni, postremus in armis 
ductoris titulus cauti. sollertia tutum 
tum quoque adepta decus, captis sine sanguine muris. 
namque ut compertum, qui Punica signa regebat 325 
feminea exuri flamma, tacitusque quietae 
exin virtuti placuit dolus, ire sorori 
(nam castris erat in Rutulis) germanus amatae 
cogitur et magnis muliebria vincere corda 
pollicitis, si reclusas tramittere portas 330 

concedat Libycus rector, votique potitus 
evicto Fabius Poeno circumdata telis 
incustodita penetravit moenia nocte. 

Sed quisnam aversos Phoebum tunc iungere ab urbe 
Romulea dubitaret equos, qui tempore eodem 335 
Marcellum acciperet letum oppetiisse sub armis ? 
moles ilia viri calidoque habitata Gradivo 
pectora et haud ullis umquam tremefacta periclis — 
heu quanta Hannibalem clarum factura ruina ! — 

" In 197 B.C. Philip was completely defeated by the Romans 
at Cynoscephalae, a range of hills in Thessaly, and had to 
accept harsh conditions of peace. 

'' A fearful crime or tragedy was supposed to cause the 
sun to turn back in the sky. 

" The consuls for 208 b.c, Marcellus and T. Quinctius 
Crispinus, were entrapped by Hannibal in Apulia : the 
former was killed, and the latter soon died of wounds. 
S48 



k 



PUNICA, XV. 313-339 



en the kingdom was attacked by the Orestae from 
Sarmatia or a fierce swarm of Dolopes invaded his 
country. Yet he was loath to abandon his useless 
designs, and carried on a pretence of warfare round 
all the coasts of Greece. But at last, stripped of his 
power by sea and land, he ceased to rely on Carthage 
and begged for an alliance with Rome and was forced 
to endure limitations of his kingly power." 

And now the fate of Tarentum, the Spartan city, 
increased both the power and glory of Rome. For 
that disloyal city was at length conquered by old 
Fabius, and this was the last exploit of that ever- 
cautious commander. Here also cunning won a 
victory without running risks, and the city was taken 
with no blood spilt. When he learnt that the com- 
mander of the Punic garrison was passionately in love 
with a woman, Fabius, a brave man but a lover cf 
peace, adopted a stratagem. The woman's brother 
was present in the Roman camp ; and he was com- 
pelled to go to his sister and promise a rich reward, 
irresistible to a woman's heart, if the Punic com- 
mander would open the gates and suffer an entrance 
to be made. The Carthaginian gave way, and Fabius 
gained his object : he surrounded the town with his 
army and entered it in the night when no guard was 
kept. 

But when the news came at the same time that 
Marcellus had met his death in battle, who could 
doubt that the sun was then driving his steeds back- 
wards ^ and away from Rome ? That giant frame lay 
low ; that heart, where the fierce god of war made 
his home and which never quailed before any danger, 
was cold ; the terror of Carthage lay dead on the 
field." How great, alas, that fall, that was to bring 

349 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

procubuere ; iacet campis Carthaginis horror, 340 
forsan Scipiadae confecti nomina belli 
rapturus, si quis paulum deus adderet aevo. 

Collis Agenoreum dirimebat ab aggere vallum 
Ausonio — Dauni Mavors consederat arvis. 
curarum comes et summi Crispinus honoris 345 

Marcello socius communia bella ciebat. 
ad quem Marcellus ; " gestit lustrare propinquas 
mens silvas medioque viros imponere monti, 
ne Libys occultis tumulum prior occupet ausis 
si cordi est, te participem, Crispine, laboris 350 

esse velim. numquam desunt consulta duobus." 
haec ubi sedere, ardentes attollere sese 
iam dudum certant in equos. Marcellus, ut arma 
aptantem natum aspexit laetumque tumultu, 
" vincis," ait, " nostros mirando ardore vigores. 355 
sit praematurus felix labor, urbe Sicana 
qualem te vidi, nondum permitteret aetas 
cum tibi bella, meo tractantem proelia vultu ! 
hue, decus, hue, nostrum, lateri te iunge paterno 
et me disce novum Martem tentare magistro." 360 
tum, pueri colla amplectens, sic pauca precatur : 
" summe deum, Libyco, faxis, de praeside nunc his, 
his humeris tibi opima feram." nee plura, sereno 
sanguineos fudit cum lupiter aethere rores 
atque atris arma aspersit non prospera guttis. 365 
vixdum finitis intrarant vocibus artas 
letiferi collis fauces, cum turba volucris 
invadunt Nomades iaculis nimboque feruntur 
aetherio similes, caeca f undent e latebra 
armatos in bella globos. circumdata postquam 370 

" Apulia. ^ The consulship. 

" Syracuse. * See note to i. 133. 

350 



PUNICA, XV. 340-370 

fame to Hannibal ! Perhaps, if some god had per- 
mitted Marcellus to live a little longer, he would have 
taken from Scipio the glory of ending the war. 

The land of Daunus " was then the theatre of war, 
and a hill rose between the camps of the two armies. 
Crispinus shared the burden of command with Mar- 
cellus and held the same high office ^ ; and they 
carried on the war together. To him Marcellus said : 
" I would fain search the neighbouring woods and 
station troops upon the hill that divides us ; or 
Hannibal may steal a march on us and seize it before 
we do. If you approve, I should wish you, Crispinus, 
to take part in the affair. Two heads are better than 
one." When this was settled, all were eager to 
mount at once their mettled steeds. Marcellus saw 
his son fitting on his armour and enjoying the excite- 
ment, and said : " Your wondrous enthusiasm out- 
strips your father's exertions. May your youthful 
arm meet with success ! How I admired you in the 
Sicilian capital,*' when, too young to fight, you watched 
the battle with a countenance like mine ! Come 
hither, pride of my heart, stay by your father's side, 
and letme teach the art of war to you, the tiro." Then 
he embraced the boy with this brief prayer : " Grant, 
O greatest of the gods, that I may offer to you choice 
spoils,'* taken from the Libyan general, and borne 
on my son's shoulders ! " Ere he could say more, 
Jupiter rained down a bloody dew from a clear sky, 
and dark drops fell on their ill-fated armour. Scarcely 
had Marcellus ceased speaking, scarcely had they 
entered the gorge of the fatal hill, when a swift troop 
of Numidians attacked them with the javelin, rushing 
on like a stormy cloud ; and armed masses swarmed 
forth to battle from their ambush. When the brave 

351 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

nil restare videt virtus, quod debeat ultra 

lam superis, magnum secum portare sub umbras 

nomen mortis avet. tortae nunc eminus hastae 

altius insurgit, nunc saevit comminus ense. 

forsan et enasset rapidi freta saeva pericli, 375 

ni telum adversos nati venisset in artus. 

tum patriae tremuere manus, laxataque luctu 

fluxerunt rigidis arma infelicia palmis. 

obvia nudatum tramittit lancea pectus, 

labensque impresso signavit gramina mento. 380 

At postquam Tyrius saeva inter proelia ductor 
infixum adverso vidit sub pectore telum, 
immane exclamat : ** Latias, Carthago, timere 
desine iam leges ; iacet exitiabile nomen, 
Ausonii columen regni. sed dextera nostrae 385 

tarn similis non obscurus mittatur ad umbras, 
magnanima invidia virtus caret." alta sepulchri 
protinus extruitur caeloque educitur ara. 
convectant silvis ingentia robora ; credas 
Sidonium cecidisse ducem. tum tura dapesque 390 
et fasces clipeusque viri, pompa ultima, fertur. 
ipse facem subdens : " laus," inquit, " parta perennis. 
Marcellum abstulimus Latio. deponere forsan 
gens Italum tandem arma velit. vos ite superbae 
exsequias animae et cinerem donate supremi 395 
muneris officio ; numquam hoc tibi, Roma, negabo." 
alterius par atque eadem fortuna laborum 
consulis : exanimem sonipes ad signa revexit. 

Talia in Ausonia. sed non et talis Hiberis 

" The living have duties towards the gods ; but the dead, 
and those whose death is imminent, have no longer such 
duties: see Virg. Aen. xi. 51. 
352 



PUNICA, XV. 371-399 

man, thus surrounded, saw that he owed no dues to 
the gods any more," he was fain to carry with him to 
the world below the glory of a noble death. At one 
time he rose in the saddle to hurl his spear to a dis- 
tance, at another he plied his fierce sword at close 
quarters. Perhaps he might have survived that 
dreadful pass of instant danger, had not a weapon 
struck his son's body in front. Then the father's 
hands shook, and his ill-starred shield, loosened by his 
grief, fell from his nerveless grasp. A lance came and 
pierced his undefended breast ; he fell and marked 
the turf with the imprint of his chin. 

But when Hannibal amid the rage of battle saw the 
weapon still sticking in the consul's manly heart, he 
gave a mighty shout : " Carthage, you need dread no 
longer the dominion of Rome ! That name of terror, 
that pillar of the Roman state, lies low. Yet one who 
was my peer in battle must not go down unhonoured 
to the shades. In heroic breasts there is no room for 
jealousy." At once a sepulchral altar was raised on 
high. Great trees were brought from the forest ; 
one might suppose that Hannibal himself had fallen. 
Then incense and meat-offerings, the consul's rods 
and his shield, were borne along in funeral procession. 
Hannibal himself lighted the pyre : " We have gained 
immortal glory," he said, " by robbing Rome of 
Marcellus. It may be that Italy will at last consent 
to lay down her arms. You, my men, march in the 
funeral train of that proud spirit, and give to his 
ashes the last tribute ; never will I refuse to Rome 
this concession." The other consul fared no whit 
better in the battle : his horse bore him back to the 
camp, a dying man. 

So things went in Italy. But far different was the 
VOL. II M 2 S5S 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

armorum eventus campis. Carthaginis omnes 400 
per subitum raptae pernix victoria late 
terruerat gentes. ducibus spes una salutis, 
si socias iungant vires, ingentibus orsum 
auspiciis iuvenem, ceu patria gestet in armis 
fulmina, sublimi vallatam vertice montis 405 

et scopulis urbem, cumulatam strage virorum, 
non toto rapuisse die, qua Martins ille 
Hannibal in terra consumpto verterit anno 
nee pube aequandam nee opum ubertate Saguntum. 
Proximus, applicito saxosis aggere silvis, 410 

tendebat, fratris spirans ingentia facta, 
Hasdrubal. hie robur mixtusque rebellibus Afris 
Cantaber, hie volucri Mauro pernicior Astur ; 
tantaque maiestas terra rectoris Hibera, 
Hannibalis quantus Laurenti terror in ora. 415 

forte dies priscum Tyriis sollemnis honorem 
rettulerat, quo, primum orsi Carthaginis altae 
fundamenta, novam coepere mapalibus urbem. 
et laetus, repetens gentis primordia, ductor 
festa coronatis agitabat gaudia signis, 420 

pacificans divos. fraternum laena nitebat 
demissa ex humeris donum, quam foederis arti 
Trinacrius Libyco rex inter munera pignus 
miserat, Aeoliis gestatum insigne tyrannis. 
aurata puerum rapiebat ad aethera penna 425 

** See note to 1. 148. 

* The brother of Hannibal, who fell in the battle of the 
Metaurus. 

" Carthage. <* Hieronymus : see xiv. 97. 

354, 



PUNICA, XV. 400-425 

issue of warfare on the fields of Spain. The conquest 
of Carthage, made with such hghtning speed, had 
terrified all the surrounding tribes. The Carthaginian 
generals were in a desperate plight unless they could 
unite their forces. They saw that the young com- 
mander had begun his career with a prodigious 
success, as if he wielded in battle the thunderbolts 
of his sire ° ; that within twenty-four hours he had 
taken a city defended by its site upon a lofty hill 
and its steep approach, and had heaped it with the 
corpses of the slain, whereas it had taken Hannibal, 
that great commander, fighting in the same country, 
a full year to overthrow Saguntum, so inferior to 
Carthage in population and wealth. 

Nearest to Scipio lay Hasdrubal,^ filled with pride 
in his brother's great deeds ; his camp was pitched 
close to a tree-clad height. His main strength was 
in Cantabrians together with revolted Africans and 
Asturians, swifter than the nimble Moors ; and 
Hasdrubal was as much revered in Spain as Hannibal 
was dreaded in Italy. It so happened that time had 
brought round an ancient Punic festival — the day 
on which the first foundations of the great city ^ were 
laid and a beginning of the new settlement was 
made with native huts. And Hasdrubal, recalling 
the early history of his country, made merry and kept 
high holiday, wreathing his standards with flowers, 
and seeking the favour of Heaven. Down from his 
shoulders fell a splendid mantle, a gift from Hannibal. 
Sicilian tyrants had worn this garment in state, and 
the king of Syracuse '^ had given it with other presents 
to Hannibal as a pledge of their close alliance. Two 
scenes were embroidered upon it. An eagle with 
golden plumage and outspread wings was carrying 

355 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

per nubes aquila, intexto librata volatu. 

antrum ingens iuxta, quod acus simulavit in ostro, 

Cyclopum domus. hie reeubans manantia tabo 

corpora letifero sorbet Polyphemus hiatu. 

circa fracta iacent excussaque morsibus ossa. 430 

ipse manu extenta Laertia pocula poscit 

permiscetque mero ructatos ore cruores. 

Conspicuus SicuU Tyrius subteminis arte 
gramineas pacem superum poscebat ad aras : 
ecce inter medios hostiUa nuntius arma, 435 

quadrupedante invectus equo, adventare ferebat. 
turbatae mentes, imperfectusque deorum 
cessat honos. ruptis Hnquunt altaria sacris ; 
clauduntur vallo, tenuemque ut roscida misit 
lucem Aurora polo, rapiunt certamina Martis. 440 
audax Scipiadae stridentem Sabura cornum 
excepit, geminaeque acies velut omine motae. 
exclamat Latins ductor : ** prima hostia vobis, 
sacrati manes, campo iacet. en age, miles, 
in pugnam et caedes, qualis spirantibus ire 445 

assueras ducibus, talis rue." dumque ea fatur, 
incumbunt. Myconum Laenas Cirtamque Latinus 
et Thysdrum Maro et incestum Catilina Nealcen 
germanae thalamo obtruncat. cadit obvius acri 
Kartalo Nasidio, Libycae regnator harenae. 450 

te quoque Pyrenes vidit conterrita tellus 
permixtum Poenis et vix credenda furentem, 
356 



I 



PUNICA. XV. 426-452 

Ganymede through the clouds to heaven.** And 
beside him was the Hkeness of a great cave where 
the Cyclopes dwelt, wrought by the needle on 
purple. Here Polyphemus lay, swallowing down 
with his death-dealing jaws the bleeding bodies of 
men ; around him lay the broken bones ejected from 
his maw. He himself held out his hand to demand 
the wine-cup from Ulysses, and vomited forth blood 
mixed with wine. 

Every eye rested on this garment, a triumph of 
Sicilian embroidery, while Hasdrubal, standing before 
altars of turf, prayed for the favour of the gods. 
But suddenly a mounted messenger brought news 
to the assembly that a hostile force was approaching. 
There was general dismay, and the worship of the 
gods was stopped in the middle. The rites were 
broken off and the altars abandoned. The Cartha- 
ginians sought the shelter of their camp, and, when 
dewy dawn kindled a faint light in the sky, they 
hastened to battle. When bold Sabura was struck 
by Scipio's whizzing spear, both armies took it for 
an omen and were moved by it. " Ye sacred ghosts," 
cried Scipio, " your first victim has bit the dust. On, 
ye soldiers ! fight and slay ! Rush on even as ye 
used to rush, when your generals ^ were still living ! " 
Even while he spoke, they began the work. Myconus 
was killed by Laenas, Cirta by Latinus, Thysdrus by 
Maro, and Nealces, the incestuous lover of his sister, 
by Catilina. Kartalo, the ruler of African sands, was 
met and slain by fierce Nasidius. And the land of 
the Pyrenees ^ was afraid when she saw Laelius 
raging in the midst of the enemy with a fury beyond 

" To serve Jupiter as cup-bearer. 
* The dead Sciplos. ' Spain. 

357 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

magnum Dardaniae, Laeli, decus, omnia felix 

cui natura dedit, nullo renuente deorum. 

ille foro auditus, cum dulcia solverat ora, 455 

aequabat Pyliae Neleia mella senectae. 

ille, ubi suspensi patres et curia vocem 

posceret, ut cantu, ducebat corda senatus. 

idem, cum subitum campo perstrinxerat aures 

murmur triste tubae, tanto fervore ruebat 460 

in pugnam atque acies, ut natum ad sola liqueret 

bella : nihil vitae peragi sine laude placebat. 

tunc et furtiva tractantem proelia luce 

deiecit Galam ; sacris Carthaginis ilium 

supposito mater partu subduxerat olim, 465 

sed stant nulla diu deceptis gaudia divis. 

tunc Alabim, Murrum atque Dracen demisit ad 

umbras, 
femineo clamore Dracen extrema rogantem ; 
huius cervicem gladio inter verba precesque 
amputat : absciso durabant murmura collo. 470 

At non ductori Libyco par ardor in armis. 
frondosi collis latebras ac saxa capessit 
avia, nee caedes extremave damna movebant 
agminis. Italiam profugus spectabat et Alpes, 
praemia magna fugae. tacitum dat tessera signum : 
dimissa in colles pugna silvasque ferantur 476 

dispersi et summam, quicumque evaserit, arcem 
Pyrenes culmenque petat. tum primus, honore 

<* C. Laelius, friend and companion of Africanus, played 
a conspicuous part in this war. His son, C. Laelius Sapiens, 
was the friend of the younger Africanus ; and this description 
by Silius is more applicable to him than to his father : he was 
known as Sapiens, and Cicero used his name as a title for 
his treatise " On Friendship." 

^ Homer compares the eloquence of old Nestor, son of 
Neleus, to honey. « See iv. 765 foil. 

358 



PUNICA, XV. 453-478 

belief. Laelius <* was the pride and glory of Rome, 
a man to whom bountiful Nature gave every gift and 
on whom every god smiled. When he spoke in the 
market-place and opened his eloquent lips, his words 
were as sweet as the honey that fell from the mouth 
of Nestor,^ the ancient king of Pylos. When the 
Senate was doubting what to do and desired that an 
orator should address them, Laelius swayed all their 
hearts as if by magic. Yet Laelius too, when the 
fierce note of the trumpet had struck upon men's 
ears on the battle-field, rushed into the fray with such 
ardour that he seemed to have been intended by 
Nature for war only ; no scene in life but he was 
determined to win honour from it. Now he overthrew 
Gala, a soldier who owed his life to a trick : his 
mother had saved him from the sacrificial fire of 
Carthage,*' and had put another infant in his place ; 
but no rejoicing lasts that is got by cheating the 
gods. Next he sent down to the shades Alabis, 
Murrus, and Draces ; the last of these cried out in 
his extremity with womanish shrieking ; but the 
sword severed his neck in the midst of his entreaties, 
and the lips still babbled when the head was off. 

But Hasdrubal was by no means equally eager to 
fight. He sought concealment in forest-clad hills and 
pathless rocks, unmoved by the slaughter of his men 
and his terrible losses. He fled with his eye upon 
Italy and the Alps ^ — rich rewards for flight. The 
word of command went round in secret : the soldiers 
were to stop fighting and disperse among the woods 
and hills, and all who got off safely were to make for 
the highest peak of the Pyrenees. Hasdrubal set 

** His purpose, which he carried out, was to make his way 
to Italy over the Alps. 

859 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

armorum exuto et parma celatus Hibera, 

in montes abit atque volens palantia linquit 480 

agmina. desertis Latius victricia signa 

immittit miles castris. non urbe recepta 

plus ulla partum praedae tenuitque moratas 

a caede, ut Libycus ductor providerat, iras. 

fluminei veluti deprensus gurgitis undis, 485 

avulsa parte inguinibus causaque pericli, 

enatat intento praedae fiber avius hoste. 

impiger occultis Poenus postquam abditur umbris, 

saxosae fidens silvae, maiora petuntur 

rursus bella retro et superari certior hostis. 490 

Pyrenes tumulo clipeum cum carmine figunt : 

HASDRUBALIS SPOLIUM GRADIVO SCIPIO VICTOR. 

Terrore interea posito trans ardua montis 
Bebrycia populos armabat Poenus in aula, 
mercandi dextras largus belloque parata 495 

prodigere in bellum facilis. praemissa feroces 
augebant animos argenti pondera et auri, 
parta metalliferis longo discrimine terris. 
hinc nova complerunt baud tardo milite castra 
venales animae, Rhodani qui gurgite gaudent, 500 
quorum serpit Arar per rura pigerrimus undae. 
iamque, hieme afFecta, mitescere coeperat annus. 
inde, iter ingrediens rapidum per Celtica rura, 
miratur domitas Alpes ac pervia montis 

" The gland, for the sake of which the beaver was pursued. 
This fable is mentioned by many writers of antiquity. 

^ The Pyrenees. 

" See iii. 443 : this phrase seems to stand for " Gaul *' in 
general. 
360 






PUNICA, XV. 479-504 



the example : putting off his splendid armour and 
carrying a Spanish shield for disguise, he fled to the 
mountains and deliberately left his army scattered 
in disorder. The Roman soldiers carried their vic- 
torious standards into the empty camp. Never did 
a captured city offer more plunder ; and this, as 
Hasdrubal had foreseen, delayed the swords in their 
work of slaughter. So the beaver, when caught in 
the stream of a river, bites off the part of his body 
that brought him into danger, and swims away, 
while his captors are busy with their prize." When 
the Carthaginians, trusting to the rocks and forests, 
had hastily concealed themselves in the woods, 
Scipio turned round, in search of more serious 
warfare and a foe whom he was more confident of 
defeating. They nailed up a shield on a peak of the 
Pyrenees with this inscription : " This trophy taken 
from Hasdrubal is offered to Mars by his conqueror, 
Scipio." 

Meanwhile Hasdrubal, free from alarm, had crossed 
the mountain-range ^ and was arming the tribes in the 
kingdom of Bebryx.'' He paid highly for soldiers and 
spent lavishly on war the wealth he had gained by 
war. The zeal of that spirited people was quickened 
by masses of gold and silver which he had got 
from mines far away and sent on ahead of his 
march. Thus the new camp was soon filled with a 
mercenary army — men who rejoice in the waters of 
the Rhone, and those through whose fields the Arar, 
most sluggish of rivers, creeps on. By now winter 
was wearing through and the season became milder. 
Thence Hasdrubal marched quickly through Gaul, 
and saw with wonder the conquered Alps and the 
passage over the heights ; he looked for the print of 

361 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ardua et Herculeae quaerit vestigia plantae 605 

germanique vias divinis comparat ausis. 

Ut vero ventum in culmen, castrisque resedit 
Hannibalis, " quos Roma," inquit, " quos altius, oro, 
attoUit muros, qui post haec moenia fratri 
victa meo stent incolumes ? sit gloria dextrae 510 
felix tanta precor ; neve usque ad sidera adisse 
invideat laevus nobis deus." agmine celso 
inde alacer, qua munitum declivis ab alto 
agger monstrat iter, properatis devolat armis. 
non tanto strepuere metu primordia belli ; 515 

nunc geminum Hannibalem, nunc iactant bina coire 
hinc atque hinc castra, et pastos per prospera bella 
sanguine ductores Italo coniungere Martem 
et duplicare acies ; venturum ad moenia cursu 
hostem praecipiti et visurum haerentia porta 520 

spicula, Elissaeis nuper contorta lacertis. 

His super infrendens sic secum Oenotria Tellus ; 
" tantone, heu superi ! spernor contempta furore 
Sidoniae gentis, quae quondam sceptra timentem 
nati Saturnum nostris considere in oris 525 

et regnare dedi ? decima haec iam vertitur aestas, 
ex quo proterimur ; iuvenis, cui sola supersunt 
in superos bella, extremo de litore rapta 
intulit arma mihi temeratisque Alpibus ardens 
in nostros descendit agros. quot corpora texi 630 
caesorum, stratis totiens deformis alumnis ! 
nulla mihi floret bacis felicibus arbor ; 
immatura seges rapido succiditur ense ; 



" When Hannibal came close to Rome : see xii. 558 foil. 

^ Saturn, when driven out by his son Jupiter, fled to Italy, 
where King Janus received him kindly and made him a 
partner of his throne. 
362 




PUNICA, XV. 505-533 

Hercules' foot, and ranked his brother's crossing with 
the exploit of that divine hero. 

But, when he reached the summit and rested in 
Hannibal's camp, " How can Rome," he cried, " build 
walls high enough to withstand my brother, when 
even these barriers could not keep him out ? I pray 
that his noble achievement may be crowned with 
success, and that no unfriendly god may resent our 
approach to the sky." Thence he hastened on 
his lofty line of march by a pass where the heights 
sloped down and showed a regular highway ; and he 
flew down it with forced marches. Not even the first 
invasion caused as much terror and confusion in Italy. 
Men said that here was a second Hannibal ; that the 
two armies were joining hands, and the two generals, 
gorged with Italian blood and with victory, were 
combining their forces and doubling their strength ; 
the enemy would come in headlong haste to Rome, 
and there they would see still sticking in the gate the 
javelins which Carthaginian arms had lately hurled." 

In fierce anger at these things the Land of Italy 
spoke thus to herself : " Ye gods, am I so utterly 
despised by the madness of Carthage — I, who when 
Saturn feared the sceptre of his son, suffered him to 
settle within my borders and to reign there ? ^ The 
tenth year is passing since Hannibal began to tread 
me under foot ; that youth, who has only the gods 
still to defy, hurried an army against me from the 
ends of the earth ; he made light of the Alps and 
came down in fury upon my fields. How many 
corpses of the slain have I covered ! How often 
has my face been marred by the bodies of my own 
children ! No olive-tree of mine is covered with a fair 
crop of berries ; the corn in the fields is cut down 

363 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

culmina villarum nostrum delapsa feruntur 

in gremium foedantque suis mea regna ruinis. 535 

hunc etiam, vastis qui nunc sese intulit oris, 

perpetiar, miseras quaerentem exurere belli 

reliquias ? turn me scindat vagus Afer aratro, 

et Libys Ausoniis commendet semina sulcis, 

ni cuncta, exultant quae latis agmina campis, 540 

uno condiderim tumulo." dum talia versat, 

et thalamos claudit Nox atra deumque hominumque, 

tendit Amyclaei praeceps ad castra nepotis. 

is turn Lucanis cohibentem finibus arma 

Poenum vicini servabat caespite valli. 545 

hie iuvenem aggreditur Latiae telluris imago : 

" Clausorum decus atque erepto maxima Romae 

spes Nero Marcello, rumpe atque expelle quietem. 

magnum aliquid tibi, si patriae vis adder e fata, 

audendum est, quod, depulso quoque moenibus hoste, 

victores fecisse tremant. fulgentibus armis 551 

Poenus inundavit campos, qua Sena relietum 

Gallorum a populis servat per saecula nomen. 

ni propere alipedes rapis ad certamina turmas, 

serus deletae post auxiliabere Romae. 555 

surge, age, fer gressus. patulos regione Metauri 

damnavi tumulis Poenorum atque ossibus agros." 

his dictis abit atque abscedens visa paventem 

attrahere et fractis turmas propellere portis. 

Rumpit flammato turbatus corde soporem 560 

" C. Claudius Nero, consul in 207 b.c. : for his Spartan 
descent see note to viii. 412. 

** The name of a town and a little river in Umbria : it was 
supposed that the Senones, the invaders of 390 b.c, had given 
it its name. 

* The river in Umbria, where the great battle was fought. 
364> 



PUNICA, XV. 534-560 

unripe by the swift sword ; the roofs of houses in the 
country fall down into my lap, and make my realm 
hideous with their ruins. Must I endure Hasdrubal 
too who has invaded my devastated land and seeks 
to consume with fire the little that war has left ? 
Then the African nomad will plough my fields, and 
the Libyan will commit seed to the furrows of Italy, 
unless I bury in one grave all those armies that tread 
so proudly on my wide plains." Thus she reflected ; 
and while black Night shut in the slumbers of gods 
and men, she hastened to the camp where the scion 
of Sparta "• lay. Behind his rampart of turf he was 
watching Hannibal, who was close at hand and kept 
his army within the limits of the Lucanian country. 
Here Italy in visible form accosted the general : 
" Glory of the Clausi and chief hope of Rome now 
that Marcellus is lost, awake instantly from slumber ! 
If you desire to prolong the life of your country, you 
must strike a blow so bold that, even after the foe 
has been driven from our walls, the conquerors will 
shudder at the thought of what they have done. The 
glittering arms of Hasdrubal have covered the plains 
where the Sena ^ has kept for centuries the name 
given it by the Gallic tribe. Unless you lead your 
squadrons to battle with utmost speed, Rome will be 
destroyed and you will come to her aid too late. Up 
then at once and march ! I have condemned the 
open fields by the Metaurus " to be the grave where 
the bones of the Carthaginians shall lie," Thus she 
spoke and departed ; and, even as she went, she 
seemed to draw after her the hesitating general, and 
to break down the gates of the camp for the horsemen 
to rush out. 

With a heart on fire Claudius sprang up in disorder 

365 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ac, supplex geminas tendens ad sidera palmas, 
Tellurem Noctemque et caelo sparsa precatur 
astra ducemque viae tacito sub lumine Phoeben. 
inde legit dignas tanta ad conamina dextras. 
quaque iacet superi Larinas accola ponti, 665 

qua duri bello gens Marrueina fidemque 
exuere indocilis sociis Frentanus in armis, 
turn, qua vitiferos domitat Praetutia pubes, 
laeta laboris, agros, et penna et fulmine et undis 
hibernis et Achaemenio velocior arcu 570 

evolat. hortator sibi quisque : " age, perge, salutem 
Ausoniae aneipites superi et, stet Roma cadatve, 
in pedibus posuere tuis," clamantque ruuntque. 
hortandi genus — acer avet praecedere ductor. 
ilium augent cursus annisi aequare sequendo 575 

atque indefessi noctemque diemque feruntur. 

At Roma, adversi tantum mala gliscere belli 
accipiens, trepidare metu nimiumque Neronem 
speravisse queri, atque uno sibi vulnere posse 
auferri restantem animam. non arma nee aurum 580 
nee pubem nee, quem fundat, superesse cruorem. 
scilicet Hasdrubalem invadat, qui ad proelia soli 
Hannibali satis esse nequit ? iam rursus, ubi arma 
avertisse sue cognorit devia vallo, 
haesurum portis Poenum ; venisse, superbo 585 

qui fratri certet, cui maxima gloria cedat 
urbis deletae. fremit amens corde sub imo 
ordo patrum ac magno interea meditatur amore 
servandi decoris, quonam se fine minanti 

• The Adriatic. 
366 



PUNICA, XV. 561-589 

from his slumber. Then he raised both hands to 
heaven and prayed devoutly to Earth and Night, to 
the Stars that strewed the sky, and the Moon whose 
silent light was to lead them on their way. Next he 
chose out warriors fit for the mighty enterprise. His 
march lay through the country where the men of 
Larinum live hard by the Upper Sea,« where the war- 
like Marrucini dwell, and the Frentani, ever faithful 
allies in time of war, and where the men of Praetutia 
till the vine-clad hills and rejoice in their toil. On 
he flew, faster than wings and thunderbolts, than 
winter floods and Parthian shafts. Each man urged 
himself to speed : " Haste ! haste ! Upon your 
speed depends the safety of your country and the 
preservation or fall of Rome ; so the doubting gods 
have decreed " ; thus they cried as they rushed on. 
Instead of addressing them, their general was eager 
to lead the van, and in the struggle to keep up with 
him they went still faster ; night and day they sped 
on and never tired. 

But at Rome men trembled with fear, when they 
heard that the dangers of defeat were growing apace. 
They complained that Nero was too sanguine, and 
that a single disaster might rob them of all remaining 
life. " We have neither weapons nor gold nor men, 
nor any blood left to shed. Is he, forsooth, who 
cannot match Hannibal alone to attack Hasdrubal ? 
Hannibal will come again and beset our gates, when 
he learns that our army has left its camp and gone 
far away. The new-comer and his haughty brother 
will contend for that highest prize — the destruction 
of Rome." Thus the senators protested in utter 
distraction ; yet they were fain to maintain their 
dignity, and considered any expedient by which they 

367 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

servitio eripiat divosque evadat iniquos. 690 

hos inter gemitus obscuro noctis opacae 

succedit castris Nero, quae coniuncta feroci 

Livius Hasdrubali vallo custode tenebat. 

belliger is quondam scitusque accendere Martem 

floruerat primo clarus pugnator in aevo. 695 

mox falso laesus non aequi crimine vulgi, 

secretis ruris tristes absconderat annos. 

sed, postquam gravior moles terrorque periclo 

poscebat propiore virum, revocatus ad arma 

tot caesis ducibus, patriae donaverat iram. 600 

At non Hasdrubalem fraudes latuere recentum 
armorum, quamquam tenebris Nox texerat astus. 
pulveris in clipeis vestigia visa movebant 
et, properi signum accursus, sonipesque virique 
substricti corpus, bis claro bucina signo 605 

praeterea gemino prodebat iuncta magistro 
castra regi. verum, fratri si vita supersit, 
qui tandem licitum socias coniungere vires 
consulibus ? sed enim solum, dum vera patescant, 
cunctandi restare dolum Martemque trahendi. 610 
nee consulta fugae segni formidine difFert. 

Nox, somni genetrix, mortalia pectora curis 
purgarat, tenebraeque horrenda silentia alebant : 
erepit, suspensa ferens vestigia, castris 
et muta elabi tacito iubet agmina passu. 615 

illunem nacti per rura tacentia noctem 
accelerant vitantque sonos ; sed percita falli 

" M. Livius Salinator, Nero's colleague in the consulship : 
he had been condemned and fined for embezzlement after 
the Illyrian war of 219 b.c, and had retired from public life, 
368 



PUNICA, XV. 590-617 

might escape impending slavery and the wrath of 
angry gods. While they lamented thus, Nero under 
cover of night entered the camp occupied by Livius " 
and defended by its ramparts against proud Hasdrubal 
who lay close beside it. Livius, once a soldier and a 
skilful commander in the field, had won great glory 
as a fighter in his youth ; but afterwards he was 
condemned on a false charge by the unjust populace 
and had buried himself in dudgeon in the solitude of 
the country. But when a dangerous crisis and the fear 
of imminent danger demanded his help, he came 
forward again to serve, when so many generals had 
fallen, forgoing his resentment for the sake of his 
country. 

But the secret arrival of a fresh army, though hidden 
from view by the darkness of night, did not escape 
Hasdrubal. He was struck by the traces of dust 
upon the shields, and by the emaciation of men and 
horses which proved the speed of their march ; also 
the repetition of the trumpet-call revealed that two 
armies were here combined under two generals. But, 
if his brother were still living, how had he suffered 
the consuls to unite their forces ? The only policy 
for him was to keep still until the truth was revealed, 
and to decline immediate battle. He resolved to 
flee, and his flight was not delayed by any sluggish 
fear. 

Night, the mother of sleep, had eased the hearts 
of men of their troubles, and darkness deepened the 
dreadful silence of the hour. Hasdrubal crept out 
of his camp on tiptoe and ordered his army to slip 
out without speech or noise. The night was moonless, 
and they increased their speed over the sleeping 
country ; they tried to make no sound, but the Earth, 

369 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sub tanto motu Tellus nequit. implicat actas 
caeco errore vias umbrisque faventibus arto 
circumagit spatio sua per vestigia ductos. 620 

nam, qua curvatas sinuosis flexibus amnis 
obliquat ripas refluoque per aspera lapsu 
in sese redit, hac, casso ducente labore, 
exiguum involvunt frustratis gressibus orbem, 
inque errore viae tenebrarum munus ademptum. 625 

Lux surgit panditque fugam. ruit acer apertis 
turbo equitum portis, atque omnes ferrea late 
tempestas operit campos. nondum arma manusque 
permixtae, iam tela bibunt praemissa cruorem. 
hinc, iussae Poenum fugientem sistere, pennae 630 
Dictaeae volitant ; hinc lancea turbine nigro 
fert letum cuicumque viro, quem prenderit ictus, 
deponunt abitus curam trepidique coactas 
constituunt acies et spes ad proelia vertunt. 

Ipse inter medios (nam rerum dura videbat) 635 
Sidonius ductor, tergo sublimis ab alto 
quadrupedantis equi, tendens vocemque manusque : 
** per decora, extremo vobis quaesita sub axe, 
per fratris laudes oro, venisse probemus 
germanum Hannibalis. Latio Fortuna laborat 640 
adversis documenta dare atque ostendere, quantus 
verterit in Rutulos domitor telluris Hiberae, 
suetus ad Herculeas miles bellare columnas. 
forsitan et pugnas veniat germanus in ipsas. 

«» Silius represents the soil of Italy as actively hostile to 
the invaders. 

* Hasdrubal intended to retreat across the river at dawn. 

<= See note to i. 270. ^ The Straits of Gibraltar. 

370 



PUNICA, XV. 618-644 

trampled by so many moving feet, could not be 
deceived. She confused their tracks and made them 
lose their way in the dark <* ; and, favoured by the 
darkness, she made them go round and round without 
advancing and retrace their steps. For, where the 
river runs its winding course with curving banks and 
flows back over a stony bottom to meet its own 
channel higher up, there with fruitless effort the men 
went round and round in short circles, and made no 
headway ; and the darkness ceased to help them when 
they had lost their way.^ 

Dawn rose and revealed the fugitives. The gates 
of the Roman camp were opened, an eager swarm 
of cavalry galloped out, and a storm of steel hid 
all the plains far and wide. There was no hand- 
to-hand fighting as yet ; but already the missiles 
shot in advance drank blood. At one point, Cretan 
arrows, bidden to arrest the flight of the enemy, 
flew through the air ; at another, the fatal force of 
the javelins brought death to every man whom they 
struck. Giving up all thought of flight, the enemy 
were forced to draw up their line in haste, and rested 
their hopes on battle. 

In their midst was Hasdrubal, who saw the difficulty 
of their situation. High on the back of his tall 
charger, he stretched out his hands and raised his 
voice : " By the glory you have gained at the World's 
End,*' and by my brother's achievements, I conjure 
you to show that Hannibal's brother is here. Fortune 
is fain to teach Rome a lesson by defeat, and to prove 
the might of an army which conquered Spain and 
fought many a time by the Pillars of Hercules,^ and 
has now turned its attention to the Romans. It is 
possible that Hannibal may arrive just in time for 

371 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

digna viro, digna, obtestor, spectacula pleno 645 

corporibus properate solo, quicumque timeri 
dux bello poterat, fratri iacet ; unica nunc spes, 
et poena et latebris infracto Livius aevo 
damnatum ofFertur vobis caput, ite, agite, oro, 
sternite ductorem, cum quo concurrere fratri 650 

sit pudor, et turpi finem donate senectae.'* 

At contra Nero : " quid cessas clusisse labores 
ingentis belli ? pedibus tibi gloria, miles, 
parta ingens : nunc accumula coepta ardua dextra. 
heu temere abducto liquisti robore castra, 655 

ni factum absolvit victoria, praecipe laudem : 
adventu cecidisse tuo memorabitur hostis." 

Parte alia, insignis nudatis casside canis, 
Livius : " hue, iuvenes, hue me spectate ruentem 
in pugnas ; quantumque meus patefecerit ensis, 660 
tantum intrate loci : et tandem praecludite ferro 
iam nimium patulas Poenis grassantibus Alpes. 
quod ni veloci prosternimus agmina Marte, 
et fulmen subitum Carthaginis Hannibal adsit, 
qui deus infernis quemquam nostrum eximat umbris ? " 
hinc, galea capite accepta, dicta horrida ferro 666 
sancit et, obtectus senium, fera proelia miscet. 
ilium, per cuneos et per densissima campi 
corpora tot dantem leto, quot spicula torsit, 
372 



PUNICA, XV. 645-669 

the battle. Make haste, I implore you, to prepare 
a scene fit for him to behold, by covering the field 
with corpses. All the Roman generals who could 
inspire fear " have been overthrown by my brother ; 
their only hope now is Livius, and he, aged by his 
condemnation and seclusion,^ is now at your mercy, 
a doomed victim. Go forward manfully, I entreat 
you ! Lay low the general against whom Hannibal 
would be ashamed to fight, and put a merciful end 
to his dishonoured old age." 

Nero on his side spoke thus : " Soldiers, why 
hesitate to end the struggle of this tremendous war } 
You have gained great glory by your march ; now 
complete your enterprise by valour in the field. You 
left your camp and robbed it of its strength for no 
sufficient reason, unless victory justifies the deed. 
Be first to reap the glory ; men will always tell how 
the enemy was defeated by your arrival." 

At another point Livius addressed his men ; he 
had taken off his helmet, and his white hair made him 
conspicuous. " Look hither, soldiers," he said ; " look 
at me as I rush into battle. Fill with your bodies the 
passage opened up by my sword, and close once for 
all with the steel the Alps that offer too easy a passage 
to Punic invaders. If we fail to overthrow their ranks 
with a speedy victory, and if Hannibal, the thunder- 
bolt of Carthage, comes up suddenly, what god can 
save a single one of us from the shades below } " 
Then he put his helmet on, and made good his threats 
with his sword, and fought amain with his grey head 
covered. Where the ranks of the foe stood thickest 
on the field, he slew a man for every javelin he cast ; 

" Flaminius, Servilius, Paulus, Marcelliis. 
" See note to 1. 596. 

378 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

turbati fugere Macae, fugere feroces 670 

Autololes Rhodanique comas intonsa iuventus. 

Fatidicis Nabis veniens Hammonis harenis 
improba miscebat securus proelia fati, 
ceu tutante deo ; ac patriis spolia Itala templis 
fixurum vano tumidus promiserat ore. 675 

ardebat gemma Garamantide caerula vestis, 
ut cum sparsa micant stellarum lumina caelo, 
et gemmis galeam clipeumque accenderat auro. 
casside cornigera dependens infula sacros 
prae se terrores divumque ferebat honorem. 680 

arcus erat pharetraeque viro atque incocta cerastis 
spicula, et armatus peragebat bella veneno. 
necnon, cornipedis tergo de more repostus, 
sustentata genu per campum pondera conti 
Sarmatici prona adversos urgebat in hostes. 685 

tum quoque transfixum telo per membra, per arma 
consulis ante oculos magno clamore Sabellum 
asportabat ovans et ovans Hammona canebat. 
non tulit banc iram tantosque in corde tumores 
barbarico senior telumque intorsit et una 690 

praedam animamque simul victori victor ademit. 

Adsilit, audi to tristis clamore ruinae, 
Hasdrubal, et coeptantem Arabum raptare perempto 
gemmiferi spolium cultus auroque rigentes 
exuvias iaculum a tergo perlibrat ad ossa. 695 

iam correpta miser geminis velamina palmis 

" The Gauls whom Hasdrubal had brought with him. 

•* See note to i. 415. " The poison mentioned below. 

^ In imitation of his god. 

* This was worn by priests, and might therefore inspire 
awe. 

•'' A favourite weapon with Sarmatian and Scythian horse- 
men. 

«74! 



PUNICA, XV. 670-696 

and before him fled in disorder Macae and warlike 
Autololes and the long-haired warriors from the 
Rhone." 

Nabis who came from the prophetic sands of 
Ammon * fought there with foul weapons.'' He had 
no fear of death, thinking that his god protected him ; 
and he had vowed, in his pride and folly, to fasten 
upon the temple of his nation trophies taken from 
Italy. His blue mantle was bright with Garamantian 
gems which twinkled like the stars scattered through 
the sky ; his helmet blazed with jewels and his shield 
with gold. There were horns'* on his helmet, and 
from it hung down a fillet ^ that displayed the wrath 
of heaven and the honour due to the gods. His arms 
were a bow and quiver and javelins steeped in the 
venom of asps ; for he used poison for his weapon of 
war. Further, sitting back on his horse in the 
customary position, he supported on his knee a heavy 
Sarmatian pike^ and drove it downwards upon the foes 
in front. Now too he had driven his weapon with 
a great shout through the shield and body of Sabellus, 
and was carrying off his victim in triumph and calling 
in triumph on the name of Ammon. But the aged 
consul saw it and resented such fierceness and such 
arroo^ance in the heart of the barbarian : hurling his 
javelin, he robbed Nabis of his victim and his life at 
one blow, and proved victorious over the victor. 

Hasdrubal heard with grief the cry with which 
Nabis fell, and hastened up. Standing behind him, 
he drove a javelin through Arabus, piercing him to 
the bone, as he was beginning to strip the dead man 
of his jewelled garments and his armour stiff with 
gold. The hapless man had clutched the garments 

375 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

carpebat propere et trepidos nudaverat artus. 

concidit ac sacras vestes atque aurea fila 

reddidit exanimo, spoliatum lapsus in hostem. 

at Canthus Rutilum, Canthus possessor harenae, 700 

qua celebre invicti nomen posuere Philaeni, 

ditem ovium Rutilum obtruncat, cui mille sub altis 

lanigerae balant stabulis. ipse, otia molli 

exercens cura, gelido nunc flumine soles 

frangebat nimios pecori, nunc laetus in herba 705 

tondebat niveae splendentia vellera lanae, 

aut, pecus e pastu cum sese ad tecta referret, 

noscentes matres spectabat ovilibus agnos. 

occubuit clipei transfixo proditus aere 

et sero ingemuit stabulis exire paternis. 710 

Acrius hoc Italum pubes incurrit et urget, 
ut torrens, ut tempestas, ut flamma corusci 
fulminis, ut Borean pontus fugit, ut cava currunt 
nubila, cum pelago caelum permiscuit Eurus. 
procerae stabant, Celtarum signa, cohortes, 715 

prima acies ; hos impulsu cuneoque feroci 
laxat vis subita ; et fessos errore viarum 
nee soli faciles longique laboris anhelos 
avertit patrius genti pavor. addere tergo 
hastas Ausonius teloque instare sequaci 720 

nee donare fugam. cadit uno vulnere Thyrmis, 
non uno Rhodanus ; profligatumque sagitta 
lancea deturbat Morinum et iam iamque cadentem. 



" The Philaeni were two Carthaginian brothers who con- 
sented to be buried alive, in order to give Carthage the 
advantage in a boundary dispute with Cyrene. Their place 
of burial, near the Greater Syrtis, bore their name. 

^ Cp. iv. 311. 
376 




PUNICA, XV. 697-723 

with both hands, tearing them off in haste, and had 
uncovered the quivering limbs. Now he fell over the 
body of the foe he had robbed, and gave back to the 
dead man the gold embroidery of his priestly robes. 
Then Rutilus was slain by Canthus, the lord of the 
coast to which the unconquered Philaeni gave a 
famous name." Rutilus was rich in flocks : a thousand 
sheep bleated in his upland pens ; and he himself, 
living at ease an unlaborious life, was wont now to 
temper the excessive heat for his flock by dipping 
them in the coolness of a river, and now, sitting well 
pleased upon the sward, to shear their shining snow- 
white fleeces ; or, when the ewes came home from 
pasture, he would watch how the lambs in the pens 
recognized their dams. The treacherous metal of his 
shield was pierced through, and he died, lamenting too 
late that he had ever left his home and his sheep-folds. 
All the more fiercely the Romans assailed the foe 
and pressed their attack, like a flood or a tempest, like 
the fire of a flashing thunderbolt, like the sea driven 
by the North-wind, like the hollow clouds that speed 
overhead when the East-wind has mingled sea and 
sky. In the front line under their standards the Gauls 
were stationed, men of great stature. Their ranks 
were broken by a sudden and violent attack in wedge- 
like formation ; tired out by their straggling march, 
breathless after prolonged exertion, and distressed by 
the heat, they turned and fled with the unsteadiness 
characteristic of their nation.^ The Romans speared 
their backs ; and the arrows flew close behind them 
and cut off their retreat. Thyrmis was slain by a 
single wound, Rhodanus by more than one ; and, when 
Morinus was struck by an arrow and in the act of 
falling, a javelin threw him from the saddle. Livius, 
VOL. II N S77 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cedentes urget, totas largitus habenas, 

Livius acer equo et turmis abeuntibus infert 725 

cornipedem. tunc aversi turgentia coUa 

disicit ense Mosae. percussit pondere terram 

cum galea ex alto lapsum caput, at resident em 

turbatus rapuit sonipes in proelia truncum. 

hie Cato — nam medio vibrabat et ipse tumultu — : 730 

" si, primas," inquit, " bello cum amisimus Alpes, 

hie iuveni oppositus Tyrio foret, hei mihi quanta 

cessavit Latio dextra, et quot funera Poenis 

donarunt pravi suffragia tristia Campi ! ** 

lamque inclinabant acies, cunctisque pavorem 735 
Gallorum induerat pavor, et Fortuna ruebat 
Sidonia ; ad Rutulos Victoria verterat alas, 
celsus, ceu prima reflorescente iuventa, 
ibat consul, ovans maior maiorque videri. 
ecce, trahens secum canentem pulvere turmam, 740 
ductor Agenoreus subit, intorquensque lacertis 
tela, sonat : " cohibete fugam. cui cedimus hosti ? 
nonne pudet ? conversa senex marcentibus annis 
agmina agit ; nunc, quaeso, mihi nunc dextera in 
armis 744 

degenerat, nostrique piget ? mihi Belus avorum 
principium, mihi cognatum Sidonia Dido 
nomen, et ante omnes bello numerandus Hamilcar 
est genitor ; mihi, cui cedunt montesque lacusque 
et campi atque amnes, frater ; me magna secundum 
Carthago putat Hannibali ; me Baetis in oris 750 

aequant germano passae mea proelia gentes." 



" This probably refers to the goitre or swelling of the throat 
by which inhabitants of the Alps were and are often disfigured. 
^ See 1. 594 foil. " The Guadalquivir. 

S78 



PUNICA, XV. 724-751 

with reins cast loose, pressed eagerly on the fugitives, 
and dashed his steed against the retreating squadrons. 
Then from behind he severed with his sword the 
swollen neck" of Mosa. The head and the helmet 
fell heavily upon the ground, while his frightened 
horse carried off the sitting body into the battle. 
Then Cato, who himself also was rushing to and fro in 
the centre of the fight, spoke thus : " Would that 
Livius had stood in Hannibal's path, when we lost 
the Alps at the beginning of the war ! Alas ! how 
mighty an arm Rome left unused ! how many lives 
have been saved to Carthage by the harsh verdict of 
a misguided assembly I" ^ 

By now the line was giving way ; the cowardice of 
the Gauls had made cowards of all the army. The 
Fortune of Carthage was collapsing, and Victory had 
flown over to the side of Rome. Erect on his horse 
the consul moved triumphant, and seemed to have 
renewed his youth and added to his stature. But 
suddenly Hasdrubal came up, and a squadron white 
with dust followed him. Brandishing his weapons, he 
cried to his men : " Cease your flight ! Who is the 
enemy before whom we are retreating ? For shame ! 
A feeble old man is putting our army to flight. Has 
my arm, I ask, waxed feeble for the first time in this 
battle, and are you discontented with me ? Belus 
is the author of my line, and I am akin to Dido, 
the Tyrian queen ; Hamilcar, most famous among 
warriors, was my sire ; my brother is he whom neither 
mountains nor lakes, neither plains nor rivers, can 
withstand ; mighty Carthage reckons me as second 
to Hannibal, and in the country of the Baetis " the 
tribes who have felt my arm in battle put me on a 

379 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

talia dum memorat, medios ablatus in hostes, 

ut nova conspecti fulserunt consulis arma, 

hastam praepropero nisu iacit. ilia per oras 

aerati cHpei et loricae tegmina summo 755 

incidit baud felix umero parceque petitum 

perstrinxit corpus nee multo tincta cruore, 

vana sed optanti promisit gaudia Poeno. 

Turbati Rutuli, confusaque pectora visu 
terrifico. tune inerepitans eonamina eonsul : 760 

" femineis laesum vana inter cornua corpus 
unguibus, aut palmis credas puerilibus ictum. 
ite, docete, viri, Romanae vulnera suerint 
quanta afFerre manus." turn vero efFunditur ingens 
telorum vis, et densa sol vincitur umbra. 765 

iamque per extentos alterna strage virorum 
corpora fusa iacent campos, demersaque in undam 
iunxerunt cumulo crescente cadavera ripas. 
ut, cum venatu saltus exercet opacos 
Dictynna et laetae praebet spectacula matri, 770 
aut Cynthi nemora excutiens aut Maenala lustrans, 
omnis Naiadum plenis comitata pharetris 
turba ruit, striduntque sagittiferi goryti. 
tum per saxa ferae perque ipsa cubilia fusae, 
per valles fluviosque atque antra virentia musco 775 
multa strage iacent. exultat vertice montis 
gratam perlustrans oculis Latonia praedam. 

Audito ante alios senioris vulnere, rumpit 
per medios Nero saevus iter, visaque virorum 

" Tliis is supposed to refer to horns blown by women at 
the festivals of Bacchus ; a raving Bacchant might be quite 
capable of scratching a censorious bystander. But the phrase 
is strange, and the text may be corrupt. 

'' Diana : see note to ii. 71. 

* Latona. * A mountain in Delos. 

S80 



ffli^ PUNICA, XV. 752-779 

level with my brother." While speaking thus he 
rushed into the centre of the enemy, and, when the 
bright shield of the consul flashed full in his sight, 
swung his spear and threw it. His too great haste 
failed of success : passing through the border of the 
brazen shield and through the breastplate, it grazed 
the point of the shoulder ; but it drew little blood, and 
the wound was slight. The triumph which it promised 
to Hasdrubal's prayer was not granted. 

The Romans were dismayed, and their spirits fell 
at the fearsome sight. But Livius made light of the 
assault : " Believe that a woman's hand, amid the idle 
din of horns,** has scratched my skin, or that a child 
has struck me with its open palm. On, on, my men ! 
and show what sort of wounds are dealt by a Roman 
arm." Immediately a huge cloud of weapons was 
discharged and veiled the sun with its thick shade. 
And soon by mutual slaughter the wide-spreading 
fields were covered with dead men's bodies, and the 
corpses that fell into the river were heaped up till they 
made a bridge across it. So, when Dictynna ^ goes 
a-hunting in the shady uplands, her mother '^ watches 
with joy and pride, while she beats the coverts of 
Cynthus '^ or traverses Mount Maenalus ; and all her 
train of Naiads attend her, speeding on with full 
quivers and rattling bow-cases. Then the wild 
creatures J stricken among the rocks and even in their 
lairs, lie dead in heaps through valleys and streams 
and caverns green with moss. From a mountain 
height the daughter of Latona reviews her spoil with 
pride. 

Nero heard sooner than the rest that the elder 
consul was wounded, and fiercely burst a passage 
through the midst of the fight. When he saw that 

381 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

aequali pugna : ** quid enim, quid deinde relictum est 

Italiae fatis ? hunc si non vincitis hostem, 781 

Hannibalem vincetis ? " ait. Ruit ocius amens 

in medios ; Tyriumque ducem inter prima frementem 

agmina ut aspexit, rabidi ceu belua ponti, 

per longum sterili ad pastus iactata profundo, 785 

cum procul in fluctu piscem male saucia vidit, 

aestuat et, lustrans nantem sub gurgite praedam, 

absorbet late permixtum piscibus aequor. 

non telo mora, non dictis. " baud amplius," inquit, 

** elabere mihi. non hie nemora avia fallent 790 

Pyrenes, nee promissis frustrabere vanis, 

ut quondam terra fallax deprensus Hibera 

evasti nostram mentito foedere dextram." 

Haec Nero et intorquet iaculum ; nee futilis ictus, 
nam latere extremo cuspis librata resedit. 795 

invadit stricto super haec interritus ense 
coUapsique premens umbone trementia membra : 
" si qua sub extremo casu mandata referri 
germano vis forte tuo, portabimus," inquit. 
contra Sidonius : " leto non terreor ullo. 800 

utere Marte tuo, dum nostris manibus adsit 
actutum vindex. mea si suprema referre 
fratri verba paras, mando : Capitolia victor 
exurat cinerique lovis permisceat ossa 
et cineres nostros." cupientem annectere plura 805 
ferventemque ira mortis transverberat ense 

" Livy (xxvi. 17) relates that in 211 b.c. Claudius Nero, 
then a praetor, landed in Spain with 6000 men and caught 
Hasdrubal in a trap ; but Hasdrubal was able to delude the 

382 



PUNICA, XV. 780-808 

the battle was indecisive, he cried : " What still 
remains for Italy to suffer ? If you cannot conquer 
Hasdrubal, how will you conquer Hannibal ? " Then 
he rushed with wild speed into the centre of the foe 
and there saw Hasdrubal raging in their van. So a 
monster of the angry deep tosses long over the sea 
and finds no food ; but, when the suffering creature 
sights a fish far off in the waves, in fury he 
marks his prey as it swims near the surface, and 
swallows down a wide tract of sea and the fishes within 
it. Nero was swift to strike and swift to speak : " No 
longer," he cried, " shall you slip out of my grasp. 
The pathless forests of the Pyrenees will not conceal 
you here, nor shall you cheat me again with empty 
promises, as you did once, when you were trapped in 
Spain and escaped my vengeance by the trick of a 
sham treaty." « 

Thus Nero spoke and hurled his javelin ; nor did he 
miss his mark. For the well-aimed point j ust lodged in 
the other's side, and he fell. Nero next attacked him 
fearlessly with his sword drawn, and forced down the 
trembling limbs with the boss of his shield. " If 
haply there is any dying message," he said, " which 
you wish carried to your brother, I will bear it." Has- 
drubal answered : " No death affrights me. Take 
what battle gives you : it is enough for me that the 
avenger of my death will come quickly. If you wish 
to report my last words to my brother, this is my 
message : let him burn the conquered Capitol with 
fire and mingle my bones and ashes with the ashes of 
Jupiter." In the fierce anger of death he was fain to 
say more ; but his conqueror's sword smote him and 

Roman general by a pretended negotiation, under cover of 
which he drew off his forces. 

S83 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et rapit infidum victor caput, agmina fuso 
sternuntur duce, non ultra fidentia Marti. 

lamque diem solisque vias nox abstulit atra, 
cum vires parco victu somnoque reducunt ; 810 

ac, nondum remeante die, victricia signa, 
qua ventum, referunt clausis formidine castris. 
tum Nero, procera sublimia cuspide portans 
ora ducis caesi : " Cannas pensavimus," inquit, 
" Hannibal, et Trebiam et Thrasymenni litora tecum 
fraterno capite. i, duplica nunc perfida bella 816 
et geminas accerse acies. haec praemia restant, 
qui tua tramissis optarint Alpibus arma." 
compressit lacrimas Poenus minuitque ferendo 
constanter mala et inferias in tempore dignas 820 
missurum fratri clauso commurmurat ore. 
tum, castris procul amotis, adversa quiete 
dissimulans, dubia exclusit certamina Martis. 

« See 1. 516. 



384 



PUNICA, XV. 807-823 

struck off his traitorous head. When their leader had 
fallen, his troops, having lost all hope of victory, were 
mowed down. 

And now dark night stole away the light and ended 
the sun's journey. During the night the Roman 
soldiers refreshed themselves with a frugal meal and 
brief slumber. Then, before the light returned, they 
bore their victorious standards back by the same route 
to the camp which fear kept closed. And Nero, 
carrying the head of the slain general aloft on a 
spear-point, spoke thus : "By your brother's head, 
Hannibal, we have repaid you in full for Cannae and 
the Trebia and the shore of Lake Trasimene. I defy 
you now to fight two treacherous wars at once and 
summon two armies to your side." Such is the 
reward that remains for any who desire to cross the 
Alps and fight by your side." Hannibal suppressed 
his tears, and made the disaster less by bearing it 
bravely. He vowed under his breath that in due 
time he would yet sacrifice fit victims to his brother's 
shade. Meanwhile he concealed his reverse by 
inaction, removing his camp to a distance, and 
avoiding the risks of a battle. 



VOL. II 



n2 



$85 



LIBER SEXTUS DECIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

Hannibal moves about in the Bruttian country (1-22). 
The Carthaginians are driven out of Spain : Mago is defeated 
and fees to Carthage (25, 26). Hanno is taken prisoner by 
Scipio (28-77). The army of Hasdruhal, son of Gisgo, is 
destroyed (78-114). Masinissa, a Numidian prince, joins 
Scipio (115-167). Scipio and Hasdrubal at the court of 

Bruttia maerentem casus patriaeque suosque 
Hannibalem accepit tellus. hie aggere saeptus 
in tempus posita ad renovandum bella coquebat : 
abditus ut silva, stabulis cum cessit ademptis, 
amisso taurus regno gregis avia clause 6 

molitur saltu certamina, iamque feroci 
mugitu nemora exterret perque ardua cursu 
saxa ruit ; sternit silvas rupesque lacessit 
irato rabidus cornu ; tremit omnis ab alto 
prospectans scopulo pastor nova bella parantem. 10 
sed vigor, hausurus Latium, si cetera Marti 
adiumenta forent, prava obtrectante suorum 
invidia, revocare animos ac stare negata 
cogebatur ope et senio torpescere rerum. 
parta tamen formido manu et tot caedibus olim 15 
quaesitus terror velut inviolabile telis 
S86 



r 



BOOK XVI 

ARGUMENT (continued) 

Syphax, a Numidian king : Syphaoc makes a treaty with the 
Romans ; but evil omens follow (168-274). Scipio returns 
to Spain and holds games in honour of his father and uncle 
(275-591). He returns to Rome and is elected consul : in 
spite of the opposition of Fabius, he gets permission to cross 
over to Africa (592-700). 

Mourning over the disaster that had befallen his 
country and himself, Hannibal retired to the land of 
the Bruttii. Here, behind his ramparts, he nursed 
plans for renewing the war which for the time he had 
abandoned. So a bull, when driven from his stall and 
deprived of his mastery over the herd, hides in the 
forest and prepares for conflict in a secret distant 
glade : his fierce bellowing terrifies the woods ; he 
rushes on over steep hills ; he knocks down trees and 
assaults the rocks with the fury of his angry horns ; 
and every herdsman trembles, when from some high 
cliff he sees him preparing to renew the strife. 
Hannibal's fiery spirit might have destroyed Rome, if 
the other requirements of war had been forthcoming ; 
but he was thwarted by the perverse jealousy of his 
own countrymen. Supplies were refused to him, and 
he was forced to tame his proud spirit and let it rust 
in idleness. Yet his valour had gained him respect, 
and the dread inspired by repeated bloody victories in 

887 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

servabant sacrumque caput ; proque omnibus armis 
et castrorum opibus dextrisque recentibus unum 
Hannibalis sat nomen erat. tot dissona lingua 
agmina, barbarico tot discordantia ritu 20 

corda virum mansere gradu, rebusque retusis 
fidas ductoris tenuit reverentia mentes. 

Nee vero Ausonia tantum se laetus agebat 
Dardanidis Mavors ; iam terra cedit Hibera 
auriferis tandem Phoenix depulsus ab arvis ; 25 

iam Mago, exutus castris, agitante pavore 
in Libyam propero tramisit caerula velo. 

Ecce aliud decus, baud uno contenta favore, 
nutribat Fortuna duci. nam concitus Hannon 
adventabat, agens crepitantibus agmina caetris 30 
barbara, et indigenas serus raptabat Hiberos. 
non ars aut astus belli vel dextera deerat, 
si non Scipiadae concurreret. omnia ductor 
magna adeo Ausonius maiori mole premebat : 
ut Phoebe Stellas, ut fratris lumina Phoeben 35 

exsuperant montesque Atlas et flumina Nilus, 
ut pater Oceanus Neptunia caerula vincit. 
vallantem castra — obscuro nam vesper Olympo 
fundere non aequam trepidanti coeperat umbram — 
aggreditur Latius rector, subitoque tumultu 40 

caeduntur passim coepti munimina valli 
imperfecta : supercontexere herbida lapsos 
pondera, et in tumuli concessit caespes honorem. 

Vix uni mens digna viro, novisse minores 



*• The narrative now returns to Spain. 

^ Hannibal's brother and one of his chief officers : in the 
summer of 203 b.c. he was defeated in Cisalpine Gaul and 
died of his wounds on board ship, while returning to Carthage, 

S8B 




PUNICA, XVI. 17-44 

the past kept him safe from all attacks, like a sacred 
thing. The name of Hannibal was enough : it took the 
place of all weapons and camp-equipment and fresh 
recruits. That great army, of men with no common 
language and divided by so many differences of 
barbaric custom, stood firm ; and respect for their 
leader kept them loyal in defeat. 

Nor was it only in Italy that the god of war smiled 
upon the Romans." The Carthaginians were driven 
at last from the land of gold and departed from 
Spanish territory ; Mago ^ too, deprived of his camp 
and driven by fear, sailed swiftly across the sea to 
Libya. 

Now once again Fortune, not content with what she 
had done for him already, was preparing another 
triumph for Scipio. For Hanno was hastening up 
at the head of a horde of barbarians with clashing 
targets, and was hurrying forward, when it was too 
late, the native Iberians. He had skill and cunning 
and valour enough, had his opponent been any other 
than Scipio. But the Roman general dwarfed all 
these great qualities by his greater force, as the stars 
are excelled by the moon and the moon by her 
brother's light ; as Atlas is the monarch of mountains 
and the Nile of rivers ; as Father Ocean is superior to 
all the seas. Hanno was fortifying his camp in haste 
— for evening had begun to throw an unfriendly 
darkness over him from the dusky heavens — when 
Scipio attacked him, and with sudden uproar the 
palisade they had begun to erect was knocked down 
uncompleted. The heavy sods were heaped on the 
top of the fallen men, and the turf became a soldier's 
sepulchre. 

Scarce one of these men showed courage that 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quam deceat pretiumque operis sit tradere famae. 
Cantaber ingenti membrorum mole timeri 46 

vel nudus telis poterat Larus. hie fera gentis 
more seeurigera miscebat proelia dextra. 
et, quamquam fundi se circum pulsa videret 
agmina, deleta gentilis pube catervae, 60 

caesorum implebat solus loca ; seu foret hostis 
comminus, expleri gaudebat vulnere frontis 
adversae ; seu laeva acies in bella vocaret, 
obliquo telum reflexum Marte rotabat. 
at, cum pone ferox aversi in terga veniret 55 

victor, nil trepidans retro iactare bipennem 
callebat, nulla belli non parte timendus. 
huic ducis invicti germanus turbine vasto 
Scipio contorquens hastam, cudone comantes 
disiecit crines ; namque altius acta cucurrit 60 

cuspis, et elata procul est electa securi. 
at iuvenis, cui telum ingens accesserat ira, 
barbaricam assiliens magno clamore bipennem 
incutit. intremuere acies, sonuitque per auras 
pondere belligero pulsati tegminis umbo. 65 

baud impune quidem ; remeans nam dextera ab ictu 
decisa est gladio ac dilecto immortua telo. 
qui postquam murus miseris ruit, agmina concors 
avertit fuga confestim dispersa per agros. 
nee pugnae species sed poenae tristis imago 70 

ilia erat, hinc tantum caedentum atque inde ruentum. 
per medios Hannon, palmas post terga revinctus, 
ecce trahebatur lucemque (heu dulcia caeli 

390 



PUNICA, XVI. 45-73 

deserves to be known by posterity ; only one is 
worthy of record. This was a Cantabrian, Larus by 
name, who could have inspired fear even unarmed ; 
so gigantic was his frame. After the fashion of his 
nation he fought with a battle-axe ; and, though he 
saw the ranks around him defeated and overthrown, 
yet, when all his countrymen were destroyed, he 
filled single-handed the places of the slain. If his 
foe stood face to face, Larus rejoiced to glut his rage 
by smiting him on the forehead ; or, if he was forced 
to meet an enemy on his left hand, he whirled his 
weapon round and struck a sidelong blow. Or, 
when a victorious foe attacked him from behind, he 
was not dismayed but could ply his axe in that direc- 
tion, a formidable fighter all round. But Scipio, the 
brother of the invincible general, hurled a spear with 
mighty force at Larus, which cut off the plume that 
fluttered on his leathern cap ; for the weapon was 
aimed too high, and the lifted axe diverted it to a 
distance. Then the Spaniard, made more formidable 
by his furious anger, sprang up with a loud cry and 
struck with his barbarous weapon. Both armies 
trembled, and loud rang the boss of Scipio 's shield 
when the heavy battle-axe came down upon it. But 
he paid dear for the blow : his right hand as it re- 
covered from the stroke was lopped offby Scipio 's sword 
and clung in death to its favourite weapon. When 
this bulwark had fallen, the ill-fated army turned at 
once and fled as one man and were scattered over the 
land. It was less like a battle than a scene of ruthless 
execution — slayers on one side and slaughtered on 
the other. Now see Hanno dragged through the 
midst of the throng, his hands bound behind his back ; 
though a captive in bonds, he begged for hfe. Ah, 

391 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

lumina !) captivus lucem inter vincla petebat. 
cui rector Latius : " tanta, en, qui regna reposcant, 75 
quis cedat toga et armiferi gens sacra Quirini ! 
servitio si tarn faciles, cur bella refertis ? " 

Haec inter celerare gradum, coniungat ut arma, 
Hasdrubalem ignarum cladis praenuntius afFert 
explorator eques. raptat dux obvia signa 80 

ac, postquam optatam laetus contingere pugnam 
vidit et ad letum magno venientia cursu 
agmina, suspiciens caelum : " nil amplius," inquit, 
" vos hodie posco, superi. protraxtis ad arma 
quod profugos, satis est. in dextra cetera nobis 85 
vota, viri ; rapite, ite, precor. vocat ecce furentes 
hinc pater, hinc patruus. gemina o mihi numina belli, 
ducite, adeste ; sequor. dignas spectabitis, aut me 
praescia mens fallit, vestro iam nomine caedes. 
nam quis erit tandem campis telluris Hiberae 90 

bellandi modus ? en umquam lucebit in orbe 
ille dies, quo te armorum, Carthago, meorum 
aspiciam sonitus admotaque bella trementem ? ** 

Dixerat, et raucus stridenti murmure clangor 
increpuit ; tonuere feris clamoribus astra. 95 

concurrunt ; quantumque rapit violentia ponti 
et Notus et Boreas et inexorabilis Auster, 
cum mergunt plenas tumefacta sub aequora classes ; 
aut cum letiferos accendens Sirius ignes 
torret anhelantem saevis ardoribus orbem ; 100 

tantum acies hominumque ferox discordia ferro 

" The son of Gisco. 

^ The dog-star, whose appearance in summer the ancients 
connected with epidemics and plagues. 

392 



PUNICA, XVI. 74-101 

how sweet to see the h'ght of heaven ! The Roman 
general answered thus : " These are the men who 
claim to rule the world, before whom the Roman 
gown and the sacred nation of warlike Quirinus must 
bow ! If you are so ready to be slaves, why do you 
make war afresh ? " 

Meanwhile a mounted scout brought tidings that 
Hasdrubal,*^ unaware of the defeat, was coming up in 
haste to join the other army. Scipio rushed his men 
to meet him ; and when he saw the battle he longed 
for within his grasp and the foe marching at full speed 
to death, he looked up to heaven and said : " Ye 
gods, I ask no more of you to-day. Ye have brought 
the fugitives forth to battle, and I am content. The 
rest depends upon your valour, my men : hasten 
forward, I pray you ! My father here, my uncle 
there, stir your rage. Go ye before me and help 
me — I follow you, my twin gods of war. Unless my 
prophetic soul deceives me, ye shall see to-day a 
slaughter worthy of your fame. Will there ever 
come an end of fighting on these Spanish plains ? 
Will that day ever dawn on earth, when I shall see 
Carthage trembling before the clash of my weapons 
and the near approach of my army ? *' 

He ended ; and the hoarse note and loud blare of 
the trumpets broke out, and the sky thundered with 
cries of battle. Then the armies met. Many are 
the victims claimed by the fury of the sea, when 
the North-wind and pitiless South-winds whelm fleets 
with their crews beneath the swollen waves ; and 
many by Sirius,^ when he kindles his deadly fires and 
burns up the panting earth with his fierce heat ; and 
no less havoc was wrought by the sword in this battle 
and by the furious strife of men. No upheaval of 

393 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

demetit. haud ullus terrarum aequarit hiatus 
pugnarum damna ; aut strages per inhospita lustra 
umquam tot dederit rabies horrenda ferarum. 
iam campi vallesque madent, hebetataque tela. 105 
et Libys occubuere et amantes Martis Hiberi. 
stat tamen una loco perfossis debilis armis 
luctaturque acies, qua concutit Hasdrubal hastam. 
nee finem daret ille dies animosaque virtus, 
ni perlapsa viro loricae tegmine harundo 110 

et parco summum violasset vulnere corpus 
suasissetque fugam. rapido certamina linquit 
in latebras evectus equo noctisque per umbram 
ad Tartessiacos tendit per litora portus. 

Proximus in pugna ductori Marte manuque 115 
regnator Nomadum fuerat, mox foedere longo 
cultuque Aeneadum nomen Masinissa superbum. 
huic fesso, quos dura fuga et nox suaserat atra, 
carpenti somnos subitus rutilante coruscum 
vertice fulsit apex, crispamque involvere visa est 120 
mitis flamma comam atque hirta se spargere fronte. 
concurrunt famuli et serpentes tempora circum 
festinant gelidis restinguere fontibus ignes. 
at grandaeva, deum praenoscens omina, mater : 
" sic sit, caelicolae ; portentaque vestra secundi 125 
condite," ait. " duret capiti per saecula lumen, 
ne vero, ne, nate, deum tam laeta pavesce 
prodigia aut sacras metue inter tempora flammas. 
hie tibi Dardaniae promittit foedera gentis, 
hie tibi regna dabit regnis maiora paternis, 130 

<* Masinissa, now sixteen years old, had commanded Hasdru- 
bal's cavalry. The prophetic fire is an invention of the poet's, 
who remembered that the elevation of Servius Tullius and of 
Ascanius was thus presaged. But is it likely that Masinissa 
should take his aged mother upon a foreign campaign ? 

394 



PUNICA, XVI. 102-130 

the earth could cost as many hves ; and no fearful 
rage of wild beasts could ever work such carnage in 
their savage haunts. Plains and valleys soon were 
soaked, and weapons lost their edge. Africans and 
warlike Spaniards fell alike, Yet, where Hasdrubal 
brandished his spear, one body of men still held its 
ground and fought on, though their shields were 
pierced and their resistance was feeble. Nor would 
that day have ended the struggle, nor that courage 
have failed, had not an arrow pierced Hasdrubal's 
corslet, inflicting a slight surface wound. Thus 
tempted to flight, he galloped away from the battle- 
field to a hiding-place, and then under cover of night 
rode on along the coast to the harbour at Tartessus. 
Masinissa," a Numidian prince, had been Has- 
drubal's right-hand man in the battle ; and his name 
became famous later for his long alliance with Rome 
and his devotion to her. The darkness of night and 
the hardships of retreat had made sleep welcome ; 
and he was sleeping, tired out, when suddenly a ruddy 
tongue of fire was seen to burn bright on the crown 
of his head ; the harmless flame caught his curling 
locks and spread over his shaggy brow. His ser- 
vants came round in haste and strove to quench with 
cold water the flames that were creeping round his 
temples. But his aged mother recognized a divine 
omen and said ; "Be it so, ye gods ! Be propitious 
and ratify your portent. May the light shine on his 
head for centuries to come ! And you, my son, fear 
not such a favourable sign from heaven, and let not 
the sacred flame on your brow alarm you. This fire 
assures you of an alliance with the Roman people ; 
this fire will bring you a kingdom wider than your 
fathers ever ruled, and shall add your name to the 

395 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ignis, et adiunget Latiis tua nomina fastis." 
sic vates, iuvenisque animum tarn clara movebant 
monstra, nee a Poenis ulli virtutis honores, 
Hannibal ipse etiam iam iamque modestior armis. 

Aurora obscuri tergebat nubila caeli 135 

vixque Atlantiadum rubefecerat ora sororum : 
tendit in Ausonios et adhuc hostilia castra. 
atque, ubi se vallo intulerat, ductorque benigno 
accepit Latius vultu, rex talibus infit : 
" caelestum monita et sacrae responsa parentis 140 
disque tua, o Rutulum rector, gratissima virtus 
avulsum Tyriis hue me duxere volentem. 
si tibi non segnes tua contra fulmina saepe 
visi stare sumus, dignam te, nate Tonantis, 
afferimus dextram. nee nos aut vana subegit 145 
incertae mentis levitas et mobile pectus, 
aut spes et laeti sectamur praemia Martis ; 
perfidiam fugio et periuram ab origine gentem. 
tu, quando Herculeis finisti proelia metis, 
nunc ipsam belli nobiscum invade parentem. 150 

ille tibi, qui iam gemino Laurentia lustro 
possedit regna et scalas ad moenia Romae 
admovet, in Libyam flammis ferroque trahendus. 

Sic Nomadum ductor. tunc dextra Scipio dextram 
amplexus : "si pulchra tibi Mavorte videtur, 155 
pulchrior est gens nostra fide, dimitte bilingues 
ex animo socios. magna hinc te praemia clarae 
virtutis, Masinissa, manent ; citiusque vel armis 

" This sentence gives two additional reasons for Masinissa's 
change of sides. 

* The Pleiades, which set in autumn about sunrise. 

* See note to xiii. 637. 

^ Carthage. • i.e. deceitful. 

S96 




PUNICA, XVI. 131-158 

history of Rome." Thus spoke the prophetess ; and 
the young man's heart was moved by a miracle so 
unmistakable. Also, his valour had received no 
recognition from Carthage ; and even Hannibal bore 
himself less proudly day by day in the field." 

Dawn was clearing away the dark clouds from the 
sky and had hardly tinged with red the faces of 
Atlas's daughters,^ when Masinissa made his way to 
the camp of the Romans, still his foes. When he had 
passed the rampart and was received by the Roman 
general with friendly looks, the king thus began : 
" The warning of the gods and the prophecy of my 
revered mother, together with your great deeds so 
blest of Heaven, have torn me away from the Cartha- 
ginians and brought me hither unreluctant to you, the 
leader of the Roman army. If you saw me many a 
time resisting your thunderbolts, then, O son of the 
Thunder-god,^ I offer you an arm worthy your accept- 
ance. I have not acted thus from foolish fickleness 
of mind or instability of purpose, nor is my heart set 
on the rewards of victorious warfare ; but treachery 
I cannot bear and a nation that has ever been false. 
Your campaign as far as the Pillars of Hercules is 
completed ; let us now together attack the mother 
of war '^ herself. With fire and sword you must force 
back to Libya the man who for twice five years has 
been the master of Italy and is now planting his 
ladders against the walls of Rome." 

Thus spoke the king of Numidia. Then Scipio 
grasped his hand and said : "If our nation seems to 
you noble in war, she is nobler still in keeping of her 
word. Banish from your mind those double-tongued* 
allies. We offer you splendid rewards, Masinissa, 
for noble service ; and Scipio will sooner be overcome 

397 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quam gratae studio vincetur Scipio mentis. 

cetera quae Libyam portari incendia suades, 160 

expediet tempus ; nee enim sunt talia rerum 

non meditata mihi, et mentem Carthago fatigat." 

hinc iuveni dona insignem velamine picto 

dat chlamydem stratumque ostro, quern ceperat ipse 

deiecto victor Magone animique probarat, 165 

cornipedem ; turn, qua divum libabat ad aras 

Hasdrubal, ex auro pateram galeamque comantem. 

exin, firmato sociali foedere regis, 

vertendas agitat iam nunc Carthaginis arces. 

Massylis regnator erat ditissimus oris 170 

nee nudus virtute Syphax ; quo iura petebant 
innumerae gentes extremaque litore Tethys. 
multa viro terra ac sonipes et belua, terror 
bellorum, nee non Marti delecta inventus, 
nee foret, aut ebore aut solido qui vinceret auro 175 
Gaetulisve magis fucaret vellus aenis. 
has adiungere opes avidus reputansque laborem, 
si vertat rex ad Poenos, dare vela per altum 
imperat atque animo iam turn Africa bella capessit. 
verum ubi perventum, et portus tenuere carinae, 180 
iam, trepida fugiens per proxima litora puppe, 
Hasdrubal afflictis aderat nova foedera quaerens 
rebus et ad Tyrios Massylia signa trahebat. 

" Syphax was in fact king of the Masaesyli, who occupied 
the western part of the extensive country called loosely by 
the Romans Numidia : he was a ruling sovereign, while 
Masinissa's father. Gala, was still king of the Massyli or 
eastern Numidians. ^ Elephants. 

* Gaetulia was a district of Africa where the natives made 
a purple dye from shell-fish : cp. 1. 569. 




PUNICA, XVI. 159-183 

in battle than in gratitude for benefits received. 
Further, you bid me carry fire-brands to Libya. Time 
will clear the way. For I have not failed to ponder 
such matters, and the thought of Carthage gives me 
no rest." Then he gave presents to the prince — a 
richly embroidered mantle and a steed with purple 
housings which Scipio himself had taken when he 
unhorsed Mago, and had approved for its mettle ; 
also a golden bowl from which Hasdrubal was wont 
to pour libation to the gods, and a crested helmet. 
When the treaty of alliance with Masinissa was con- 
cluded, forthwith Scipio laid his plans for overthrow- 
ing at once the towers of Carthage. 

In the Massylian country Syphax ° was the richest 
prince ; nor was he lacking in noble qualities. His 
sway was owned by countless tribes, and his power 
extended as far as the Ocean. He was rich in terri- 
tory and in horses, and in those huge beasts ^ that 
spread terror on the battle-field ; he had also an army 
of picked soldiers. Nor was there any man richer 
than he in ivory and solid gold, and none who dyed 
more fleeces in vats of Gaetulia.^ Scipio, eager to 
annex these resources and conscious of the danger if 
the king were to side with Carthage, ordered ships to 
put to sea and, in fancy, was already making war in 
Africa. But when the voyage was over and the ships 
made the harbour, Hasdrubal,'^ who was sailing in 
hasty retreat along the neighbouring coast, made his 
appearance, seeking new allies for his distressed 
country, and tried to gain the Massylian army for 
Carthage. 

•* Son of Cisco. This meeting of Scipio and Hasdrubal at 
the court of Syphax is historical ; Livy mentions it. 

399 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Audito pariter populorum in regna duorum 
advenisse duces, qui tota mole laborent 185 

disceptentque armis, terrarum uter imperet orbi, 
celsus mente Syphax acciri in tecta benigne 
imperat et tanto regni se tollit honore. 
turn laetos volvens oculos adversa per ora, 
sic Latium affatur iuvenem ac prior incipit ultro : 190 
" quam te, Dardanide pulcherrinie, mente serena 
accipio intueorque libens ! quamque ora recordor 
laetus Scipiadae ! revocat tua forma parentem. 
nam repeto, Herculeas Erythia ad litora Gades 
cum studio pelagi et spectandis aestibus undae 195 
venissem, magnos vicina ad flumina Baetis 
ductores miro quodam me cernere amore. 
turn mihi dona viri praeda delecta tulere, 
arma simul regnoque meo tum cognita primum 
cornipedum frena atque arcus, qui cedere nostris 200 
non norunt iaculis, et veteres tribuere magistros 
militiae, qui dispersas sine lege catervas 
vestro formarent ritu ad certamina Martis. 
ast ego, cum contra, nostris quae copia regnis, 
nunc auri ferrem, nivei nunc munera dentis, 205 

nil valui precibus : solos sibi cepit uterque, 
quos cohibebat ebur vaginae sectilis, enses. 
quare, age, laetus ave nostros intrare penates. 
ac, mea quando affert Libycum fortuna per undas 
ductorem, facili, quae dicam, percipe mente. 210 

et vos, qui Tyriae regitis Carthaginis arces, 
Hasdrubal, hue aures, hue quaeso advertite sensus. 
quanta per Ausonios populos torrentibus armis 



* An ancient name pf the island on which the city of 
Gades was built. For the tides see note to iii. 46. 

" The two Scipios. ^ The Guadalquivir. 

4.00 




PUNICA, XVI. 184-213 

When Syphax heard that the generals of two great 
nations had come at the same time to his capital — 
nations which were at war and striving with might 
and main to decide which of them should rule the 
world — his heart was lifted up. He ordered that the 
strangers should be welcomed to his palace ; and the 
respect shown to his power made him swell with 
pride. Then with cheerful looks he scanned the faces 
before him, and thus addressed the Roman general 
before Scipio could speak : " Goodliest of the sons of 
Rome, I welcome you with unclouded brow and rejoice 
to look upon you. I recall with pleasure the face of 
Scipio, your father ; you remind me of him. For I 
remember that, when I visited Gades, the city of 
Hercules, and the shore of Erythia," attracted by 
the Ocean and desirous to observe its tides, I was 
strangely moved when I beheld the great Roman 
generals,'' encamped hard by on the river Baetis.'' 
Then they gave me presents chosen from the spoil, and 
weapons also, and bridles for horses, which my realm 
had never known till then, and bows, not inferior to 
our javelins; and they gave me veteran soldiers 
to train my irregular hordes in the Roman manner of 
warfare. But when I offered in return such things as 
my country is rich in — gifts of gold or snow-white 
ivory — my entreaties were of no avail. Each of the 
generals accepted one thing only — a sword enclosed in 
a scabbard of carved ivory. Up then with joy and be 
glad to come under my roof ! Further, since fortune 
has brought the Punic general hither across the sea, 
hear with indulgent ear what I shall say. Ye also 
who rule the city of Tyrian Carthage, I pray you, 
Hasdrubal, to turn your ears and thoughts to my 
words. None can help knowing what a storm of 

401 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

tempestas ruat et Latio suprema minetur, 

utque bibant Tyrium bis quinos saeva per annos 215 

Sicana nunc tellus, nunc litora Hibera cruorem, 

cui nescire licet ? quin ergo tristia tandem 

considunt bella, et deponitis arma volentes ? 

tu Libya, tu te Ausonia cohibere memento. 

baud deformis erit vobis ad foedera versis 220 

pacator mediusque Syphax." subiungere plura 

non passus, gentis morem arbitriumque senatus 

Scipio demonstrat, vanique absistere coepti 

spe iubet et patres docet haec expendere solos. 

suadendi modus hie ; quodque est de parte diei 225 

exacti super, ad mensas et pocula vertunt. 

atque, epulis postquam finis, dant corpora somno 

et dura in noctem curarum vincula solvunt. 

lamque novum terris pariebat limine primo 
egrediens Aurora diem, stabulisque subibant 230 

ad iuga solis equi, necdum ipse ascenderat axem, 
sed prorupturis rutilabant aequora flammis ; 
exigit e stratis corpus vultuque sereno 
Scipio contendit Massyli ad limina regis, 
illi mos patrius fetus nutrire leonum 235 

et catulis rabiem atque iras expellere alendo. 
tum quoque fulva manu mulcebat colla iubasque 
et fera tractabat ludentum interritus ora. 
Dardanium postquam ductorem accepit adesse, 
induitur chlamydem, regnique insigne vetusti 240 
gestat laeva decus ; cinguntur tempora vitta 
albente, ac lateri de more astringitur ensis. 

402 



PUNICA, XVI. 214-242 

furious warfare rages through Italy and threatens 
Rome with destruction ; and how, for twice five years, 
first the cruel soil of Sicily and then the coasts of Spain 
have drunk Punic blood. Why should not the horrors 
of war cease at last ? Why should you not agree to 
lay down your arms ? Let each of you, Roman and 
African, be content to remain within his own country. 
If you incline to peace, Syphax will not disgrace you 
as peacemaker and mediator." But Scipio suffered 
him to say no more ; he explained the temper of his 
people and the supreme power of the Senate, and 
bade the king abandon his fruitless design : the 
Senate alone had power to discuss such matters. 
This hint was enough ; and the remaining part of the 
day was given up to feasting and wine. Then, when 
the feast was over, they laid them down to sleep, and 
were free, for the night, from the galling fetters of 
state affairs. 

And now Dawn came forth from her threshold, 
bringing a new day for mortal men ; and the coursers 
of the Sun left their stables for the yoke. The Sun 
himself had not yet mounted his car, but the sea was 
ruddy with flame that would soon burst forth. Scipio 
rose from his bed and went with unclouded brow to 
the king's palace. After the fashion of his country, 
Syphax used to keep lion-cubs and tame their ferocity 
by kindness ; and now he was stroking their tawny 
necks and manes while they played, and handling 
their dreadful muzzles without fear. When he heard 
that Scipio had come, he put on his mantle, and 
his left hand bore the sceptre of his ancient kingdom ; 
his temples were bound with a white fillet, and his 
sword was duly fastened by his side. Then he 

403 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hinc in tecta vocat, secretisque aedibus hospes 
sceptrifero cum rege pari sub honore residunt. 

Turn prior his infit terrae pacator Hiberae : 245 
" prima mihi, domitis Pyrenes gentibus, ire 
ad tua regna fuit properantem et maxima cura, 
o sceptri venerande Syphax ; nee me aequore saevus 
tardavit medio pontus. non ardua regnis 
quaesumus aut inhonora tuis : coniunge Latinis 250 
unanimum pectus sociusque accede secundis. 
non tibi Massylae gentes extentaque tellus 
Syrtibus et latis proavita potentia campis 
amplius attulerint decoris, quam Romula virtus 
certa iuncta fide et populi Laurentis honores. 255 
cetera quid referam ? non ullus scilicet ulli 
aequus caelicolum, qui Dardana laeserit arma.** 

Audivit laeto Massylus et annuit ore 
complexusque virum, " firmemus prospera," dixit, 
" omina, nee votis superi concordibus absint, 260 

cornigerumque lovem Tarpeiumque ore vocemus." 
et simul exstructis caespes surrexerat aris ; 
victimaque admotae stabat subiecta bipenni, 
cum subito abruptis fugiens altaria taurus 
exsiluit vinclis mugituque excita late 265 

implevit tecta et, fremitu suspiria rauco 
congeminans, trepida terrorem sparsit in aula, 
vittaque, maiorum decoramen, fronte sine uUo 
delapsa attactu, nudavit tempora regis, 
talia caelicolae casuro tristia regno 270 

signa dabant, saevique aderant gravia omina fati. 

« See note to i. 408. 

* Jupiter Ammon, the god most widely worshipped in 
Africa : see note to i. 415. 
404 



PUNICA, XVI. 243-271 

summoned Scipio to enter, and the pair — the sceptred 
king and his guest — took their seats, equally honoured, 
in an inner chamber. 

Then the conqueror of Spain spoke first in these 
words : " Syphax, august sovereign, when I had 
conquered the tribes of the Pyrenees, my first and 
most important business was to hasten to your 
kingdom ; nor was I kept back by the dangers of the 
sea between us. I ask nought difficult or dishonourable 
to your realm : unite heart and soul with the Romans » 
and take a share in their success. The Massylian 
tribes, your territory that stretches to the Syrtes,<» 
your hereditary sway over broad lands — none of these 
things can bring you more glory than Roman valour 
faithfully allied to you, and honours paid you by 
the Roman people. Need I say more ? None of the 
gods, be sure, looks with favour on any man who 
injures the armies of Rome." 

The king heard him and consented with joyful 
countenance. He embraced Scipio and said : " Let 
us confirm this favourable beginning and call upon 
the gods — Jupiter with the horned head ^ and Jupiter 
of the Capitol — to be present at our common supplica- 
tion." At once an altar of turf was reared high, and 
a bull was standing beneath the descending axe, 
when suddenly the victim burst its bonds and sprang 
away in flight from the altar, filling all the startled 
palace with its bellowing, and spreading terror among 
the dismayed attendants by its constant panting and 
hoarse roaring. The fillet also, his ancestral orna- 
ment, fell of itself from the king's forehead and left 
his temples bare. Such were the evil omens sent by 
the gods to the doomed monarch, and the menacing 
portents of disaster were present. A time was 

405 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hunc fractum bello regem solioque revulsum, 
tempus erit, cum ducet agens ad templa Tonantis, 
qui tunc orabat socialia foedera supplex. 
his actis repetit portum puppesque secundo 275 

dat vento et notis reddit se Scipio terris. 

Concurrere avidae gentes, variosque subacta 
Pyrene misit populos. mens omnibus una ; 
Concordes regem appellant regemque salutant ; 
scilicet hunc summum norunt virtutis honorem. 280 
sed, postquam miti reiecit munera vultu, 
Ausonio non digna viro, patriosque vicissim 
edocuit ritus et Romam nomina regum 
monstravit nescire pati, tum versus in unam, 
quae restat, curam, nullo super hoste relicto, 285 
et Latios simul et vulgum Baetisque Tagique 
convocat ac medio in coetu sic deinde profatur : 
" quando ita caelicolum nobis propensa voluntas 
annuit, extremo Libys ut deiectus ab orbe 
aut his occideret campis, aut, axe relicto 290 

Hesperio, patrias exul lustraret harenas : 
iam vestra tumulos terra celebrare meorum 
est animus pacemque dare exposcentibus umbris. 
mente favete pari atque aures advertite vestras. 
septima cum solis renovabitur orbita caelo, 295 

quique armis ferroque valent, quique arte regendi 
quadriiugos poUent currus, quis vincere planta 
spes est, et studium iaculis impellere ventos, 
adsint ac pulchrae certent de laude coronae. 

" Scipio. 

" On the occasion of Scipio's triumph after Zama in 
201 B.C. 

" Spain. 

" They had lived so long in Spain that they regarded it as 
their native land. 
406 



PUNICA, XVI. 272-299 

coming when he " who now sued humbly for a treaty 
of alUance would utterly defeat this king and hurl 
him from his throne, and then go before him in 
procession to the temple of the Thunder-god.^ When 
these things were done, Scipio, going back to the 
harbour, launched his ships before a favourable wind 
and returned to a familiar land.*' 

The natives came flocking eagerly to meet him ; 
and the conquered Pyrenees sent their manifold 
tribes. All had the same purpose : with one accord 
they called Scipio king and hailed him as king ; for 
they know no higher tribute to a great man than 
this. But when with friendly mien he had declined 
their offers as unfitting for a Roman, and explained 
on his side the custom of his country and the hatred 
felt by Rome for the name of king, then he turned 
to his one remaining object, now that all enemies 
were disposed of. He summoned the Romans and 
also the peoples of the Baetis and the Tagus, and 
then made this speech to the assembled meeting ; 
" Since the favour of heaven has granted us to expel 
the Libyans from this World's End, and they either 
lie dead on these plains or, banished from the West, 
tread as exiles '^ the sands of their native country, I 
purpose now to do honour to the tombs of my kinsmen 
who fell in your land, and to give to their shades the 
rest which they demand. Be of one mind with me, 
and lend a favouring ear. When the sun shall renew 
his course through the sky for the seventh time, then 
let all come hither — those who are mighty in the use 
of arms or skilled in driving a four-horsed chariot, 
and those who hope to win the prize for speed or 
delight to hurl a javelin through the air of heaven. 
Let them all come and compete together for the glory 

407 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

praemia digna dabo, e Tyria spolia incluta praeda, 
nee quisquam nostri diseedet muneris expers." 301 
sie donis vulgum laudumque eupidine flammat. 

lamque dies praedicta aderat, coetuque sonabat 
innumero eampus, simulatasque ordine iusto 
exsequias rector lacrimis ducebat obortis. 305 

omnis Hiber, omnis Latio sub nomine miles 
dona ferunt tumulisque super flagrantibus addunt. 
ipse, tenens nunc lacte, sacro nunc plena Lyaeo 
pocula, odoriferis aspergit floribus aras. 
tum manes vocat excitos laudesque virorum 310 

cum fletu canit et veneratur facta iacentum. 
inde refert sese circo et certamina prima 
inchoat ac rapidos cursus proponit equorum. 
fluctuat aequoreo fremitu rabieque faventum, 
carceribus nondum reseratis, mobile vulgus 315 

atque fores oculis et limina servat equorum. 

lamque, ubi prolato sonuere repagula signo, 
et toto prima emicuit vix ungula cornu, 
tollitur in caelum furiali turbine clamor, 
pronique ac similes certantibus ore secuntur 320 

quisque suos currus magnaque volantibus idem 
voce locuntur equis. quatitur certamine circus 
spectantum, ac nulli mentem non abstulit ardor, 
instant praecipites et equos clamore gubernant. 
fulvus, harenosa surgens tellure, sub auras 325 

erigitur globus atque operit caligine densa 
cornipedumque vias aurigarumque labores. 

« It was not an actual funeral, because the bodies of the 
dead generals were not there. 
408 



PUNICA, XVI. 300-327 

of a victor's crown. I shall give fitting prizes- 
glorious spoils from the Carthaginian booty, nor shall 
any man depart without a gift from me." Thus he 
fired the minds of all by his generosity and their 
ambition to excel. 

Now the appointed day came, and the plain was 
filled with the noise of a crowd past numbering ; and 
Scipio, with tears in his eyes, led the semblance" of 
a funeral procession with due rites of burial. Every 
Spaniard and every soldier of the Roman army brought 
gifts to throw upon the blazing pyres. Scipio him- 
self held goblets, filled either with milk or with 
sacred wine, and sprinkled fragrant flowers over the 
altars. Then he summoned the ghosts to rise up, and 
rehearsed with tears the glories of the dead, and did 
honour to their noble deeds. Thence he went back 
to the race-course and started the first contest — that 
which was to test the speed of horses. Even before 
the starting-gate was unbarred, the excited crowd 
surged to and fro >vith a noise like the sound of the 
sea, and, with a fury of partisanship, fixed their eyes 
on the doors behind which the racers were standing. 

And now the signal was given, and the bolts flew 
back with a noise. Scarcely had the first hoof flashed 
into full view, when a wild storm of shouting rose up 
to heaven. Bending forward like the drivers, each 
man gazed at the chariot he favoured, and at the 
same time shouted to the flying horses. The course 
was shaken by the enthusiasm of the spectators, and 
excitement robbed every man of his senses. They 
lean forward and direct the horses by their shouting. 
A cloud of yellow dust rose up from the sandy soil, 
concealing with its darkness the running of the horses 
and the exertions of the drivers. One man backs 
VOL. II o 409 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

hie studio furit acris equi, furit ille magistri. 

hos patriae favor, hos accendit nobile nomen 

antiqui stabuli ; sunt, quos spes grata fatiget 330 

et nova ferre iugum cervix ; sunt, cruda seneetus 

quos iuvet et longo sonipes spectatus in aevo. 

evolat ante omnes rapidoque per aera curru 

Callaieus Lampon fugit atque ingentia tranat 

exultans spatia et ventos post terga relinquit. 335 

conclamant plausuque fremunt votique peractam 

maiorem credunt praerepto limite partem. 

at, quis interior cura et prudentia circi 

altior, efFusas primo certamine vires 

damnare et cassis longe increpitare querelis 340 

indispensato lassantem corpora nisu : 

** quo nimius, quo, Cyme, ruis ? (nam Cyrnus agebat) 

verbera dimitte et revoca moderatus habenas." 

heu surdas aures ! fertur securus equorum 

nee meminit, quantum campi decurrere restet. 345 

Proximus, a primo distans, quantum aequore currus 
occupat ipse, loci tantum, sed proximus ibat 
Astur Panchates ; patrium frons alba nitebat 
insigne et patrio pes omnis concolor albo ; 
ingentes animi, membra baud procera decusque 350 
corporis exiguum, sed tum sibi fecerat alas 
concitus atque ibat campo indignatus habenas. 
erescere sublimem atque augeri membra putares. 
Cinyphio rector cocco radiabat Hiberus. 

Tertius aequata currebat fronte Peloro 355 

" Four chariots, each drawn by four horses, took part in 
this race. The four drivers were : (1) Cyrnus ; (2) Hiberus ; 
(3) Durius ; (4) Atlas. By an odd convention only one horse 
in each team is named : these are : (1) Lampon ; (2) Pan- 
chates ; (3) Pelorus ; (4) Caucasus. All were of Spanish 
breed. The names of the horses are italicized, for the 
convenience of the reader, 
410 



PUNICA, XVI. 328-355 

with fury the mettled steed, another the charioteer. 
Some are zealous for horses of their own country, 
others for the fame of some ancient stud. One man 
is filled with joyful hope for an animal that is racing 
for the first time, while another prefers the green 
old age of a well-tried veteran. At the start, Lampon,'* 
bred in GaUicia, left the rest behind ; he rushed 
through the air with the flying car, galloping over 
the course with huge strides and leaving the winds 
behind him. The crowd roared with applause, think- 
ing that with such a start their favourite had as go«d 
as won. But those who looked deeper and had more 
experience of the race-course, blamed the driver for 
putting forth all his strength at the beginning : from a 
distance they uttered vain protests, that he was tiring 
out his team with his efforts and keeping no reserve 
of power. " Whither are you careering too eagerly, 
Cyrnus ? " — Cyrnus was the charioteer — "Be prudent ! 
Put down your whip and tighten your reins ! " But 
alas, his ears were deaf : on he sped, unsparing of 
his horses, and forgetting how much ground had still 
to be covered. 

Next came Panchaies, a chariot-length and no more 
behind the leader. Bred in Asturia,^ he was con- 
spicuous for the white forehead and four white feet of 
his sires. Though high-mettled, he was low of stature 
and lacked comeliness ; but now his fiery spirit lent 
him wings, and he sped over the plain, impatient of 
the reins ; he seemed to grow in stature and size as he 
ran. His driver, Hiberus, was gay with scarlet of 
Cinyphian ^ dye. 

Third in order, neck and neck with Pelorus, ran 

* See note to iii. 334. « See note on v. 288. 

411 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Caucasus, ipse asper, nee qui cervicis amaret 
applausae blandos sonitus clausumque cruento 
spumeus admorsu gauderet mandere ferrum. 
at docilis freni et melior parere Pelorus 
non umquam efFusum sinuabat devius axem ; 360 
sed laevo interior stringebat tramite metam, 
insignis multa cervice et plurimus idem 
ludentis per colla iubae. mirabile dictu, 
nullus erat pater : ad Zephyri nova flamina campis 
Vettonum eductum genetrix efFuderat Harpe. 365 
nobilis hunc Durius stimulabat in aequore currum ; 
Caucasus antiquo fidebat Atlante magistro. 
ipsum Aetola, vago Diomedi condita, Tyde 
miserat ; exceptum Troiana ab origine equorum 
tradebant, quos Aeneae Simoentos ad undas 370 

victor Tydides magnis abduxerat ausis. 
at postremus Atlas, sed non et segnior ibat [378] 

postremo Durio ; pacis de more putares [379] 

aequata fronte et concordi currere freno.^ [380] 

lamque, fere medium evecticertaminecampum, 375 
in spatia addebant ; nisusque apprendere primos 
Panchates animosus equos, super altior ire 
et praecedentem iam iamque ascendere currum 
pone videbatur, curvatisque ungula prima 
Callaicum quatiens pulsabat calcibus axem. 380 

sensit ut exhaustas, qui proximus ibat, Hiberus 
Callaicas Cyrni vires, nee, ut ante, salire 

^ 11. 378-380 were transposed by Bothe. 

« The goal round which the chariots had to turn when 
half the race was run : the skilful driver kept as near as 
possible to the post, without touching it. 

" For this fable, which is found in other writers, see note 
to iii. 381 : it was one way of accounting for the horses' 
speed. 
412 



PUNICA, XVI. 356-382 

Caucasus, a fractious animal that loved not the caress- 
ing hand that patted his neck, but rejoiced to bite 
and champ the iron in his mouth till blood came with 
the foam. Pelorus, on the other hand, was more 
tractable and obedient to the rein ; never did he 
swerve aside and drive the car in crooked lines, but 
kept to the inside and grazed the turning-post <* with 
his near wheel. He was conspicuous for the size of 
his neck and the thick mane that rippled over it. 
Strange to say, he had no sire : his dam, Harpe, had 
conceived him from the Zephyr of spring ^ and foaled 
him in the plains of the Vettones. This chariot was 
driven along the course by the noble Durius, while 
Caucasus relied upon ancient Atlas as his driver. 
Caucasus came from Aetolian Tyde,*' the city founded 
by the wandering hero, Diomede ; and legend traced 
his descent to the Trojan horses which the son of 
Tydeus,*^ successful in his bold attempt, stole from 
Aeneas by the river Simois. Atlas came last, but 
Durius was last also and moved no faster : one might 
have thought the pair were running peaceably side 
by side and keeping level. 

And now, when near half the distance was com- 
pleted, they quickened over the course ; and spirited 
Panchates, struggling to catch up the team ahead, 
seemed to rise higher and at each moment to 
mount upon the chariot in front, and the hoofs 
of his prancing forefeet struck and rattled on 
the car of the Galhcian horse. When Hiberus, 
who came second, saw that the Gallician team of 
Cyrnus was tiring, that the chariot was no longer 

* See note to ill. 367. 

'^ Diomede : the story is told in the Iliad : the Simois was 
a river at Troy. 

41S 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

praecipitem currum, et fumantes verbere cogi 

assiduo violenter equos, ceu monte procella 

cum subita ex alto ruit, usque ad colla repente 385 

cornipedum protentus et in capita ardua pendens, 

concitat ardentem, quod ferret lora secundus, 

Panchatem vocesque addit cum verbere mixtas : 

** tene, Astur, certante feret quisquam aequore 

palmam 
erepto ? consurge, vola, perlabere campum 390 

assuetis velox pennis. decrescit anhelo 
pectore consumptus Lampon ; nee restat hianti, 
quem ferat ad metas, iam spiritus." haec ubi dicta, 
tollit se sonipes, ceu tunc e carcere primo 
corriperet spatium, et nitentem opponere curvos 395 
aut aequare gradus Cyrnum post terga relinquit. 
confremit et caelum et percussus vocibus altis 
spectantum circus, fertur sublime per auras 
altius attollens cervicem victor ovantem 
Panchates sociosque trahit prior ipse iugales. 400 

At postremus Atlas, Durius postremus in orbem 
exercent artes ; laevos nunc appetit ille 
conatus, nunc ille premit certatque subire 
dexter, et alterni nequiquam fallere tentant : 
donee, confisus primaevae flore iuventae, 405 

obliquum Durius conversis pronus habenis 
opposuit currum atque eversum propulit axem 
Atlantis senio invalidi, sed iusta querentis : 
" quo ruis ? aut quinam hie rabidi certaminis est mos ? 
et nobis et equis letum commune laboras." 410 

dumque ea proclamat, perfracto volvitur axe 



" As the four horses were harnessed abreast, this action 
was less difficult than it sounds. 

^ The three nameless horses which made up the team. 

414 




PUNICA, XVI. 383-411 

bounding ahead, and that the smoking horses were 
driven on by severe and repeated flogging, then, as 
when a sudden storm rushes down from a mountain- 
top, he leaned forward quickly as far as the necks of 
his coursers and hung above their crests,** and stirred 
up Panchates, who was chafing at being second in the 
race, and plied his whip, even while he called to the 
horse : " Steed of Asturia, shall any other get in 
front and win the prize when you are competing ? 
Rise up and fly and glide over the plain with all your 
wonted speed, as if on wings ! Lampon is panting 
hard ; his strength is gone and he grows smaller ; 
he has no breath left to carry to the goal." At these 
words, Panchates rose higher, as if he were just start- 
ing in the race ; and Cyrnus, though he strove to 
block his rival by swerving, or to keep up with him, 
was soon left behind. The sky and the race-course 
resounded, smitten by the shouts of the spectators. 
Victorious Panchates raised his triumphant crest still 
higher as he ran on ; and he drew after him his three 
partners in the yoke.^ 

The two last drivers were Atlas and Durius ; and 
now they swerved aside and resorted to tricks. First, 
one tried to pass his rival on the left ; and then the 
other came up on the right and strove to get in front ; 
but both failed in their attempted strategy. At last 
Durius, young and confident, leaning forward and 
jerking at his reins, placed his chariot athwart his 
rival's course and struck the other car and upset it. 
Atlas, no match for the other's youth and strength, 
protested with justice : " Whither are you careering ? 
or what mad fashion is this of racing ? You seek to 
kill me and my horses together." As he cried out 
thus, he fell head first from the broken chariot ; and 

415 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

cernuus, ac pariter fusi, miserabile, campo 

discordes sternuntur equi. quatit aequore aperto 

lora suis victor, mediaque Pelorus harena 

surgere nitentem fugiens Atlanta reliquit. 415 

nee longum Cyrni defessos prendere currus. 

hune qiioque, cunetantem et sero moderamina 

equorum 
diseentem, rapido praetervolat incitus axe ; 
impellit currum clamor vocesque faventum. 419 

iamque etiam dorso atque umeris trepidantis Hiberi 
ora superposuit sonipes, flatusque vapore 
terga premi et spumis auriga calescere sentit. 
incubuit campo Durius misitque citatos 
verbere quadrupedes, nee frustra : aequare videtur, 
aut etiam aequavit iuga praecedentia dexter. 425 
attonitus tum spe tanta : " genitore, Pelore, 
te Zephyro eductum nunc nunc ostendere tempus. 
discant, qui pecudum ducunt ab origine nomen, 
quantum divini praecellat seminis ortus. 
victor dona dabis statuesque altaria patri." 430 

et, ni successu nimio laetoque pavore 
proditus elapso foret inter verba flagello, 
forsan sacrasset Zephyro, quas voverat, aras. 
tum vero infelix, veluti delapsa corona 
victoris capiti foret, in se versus ab ira, 435 

auratam medio discindit pectore vestem, 
ac lacrimae simul et questus ad sidera fusi. 
nee iam subducto parebat verbere currus. 
pro stimulis dorso quatiuntur inania lora. 

Interea metis, certus iam laudis, agebat 440 

sese Panchates et praemia prima petebat 
416 



PUNICA, XVI. 412-441 

the horses too, a sorry sight, fell down and sprawled in 
disorder on the ground, while the conqueror shook his 
reins on the open course, and Pelorus flew up the 
middle of the track, leaving Atlas struggling to rise. 
It did not take him long to catch up the weary team of 
Cyrnus : he flew past with speedy car, though 
Cyrnus was learning too late the wisdom of controlling 
his pace. A shout of applause from his supporters 
drove the chariot on. And now Pelorus thrust his 
head over the back and shoulders of terrified Hiberus, 
till the charioteer felt the horse's hot breath and foam 
upon his neck. Durius pressed on along the plain, 
and increased the pace of his team by the whip. Nor 
was the effort vain : coming up on the right, he 
seemed to be, or even was, running neck and neck 
with his rival. Then, amazed by the prospect of such 
glory, he cried out : " Now, Pelorus, now is the time 
to show that the West-wind was your sire ! Let steeds 
that spring from the loins of mere animals learn how 
far superior is the issue of an immortal parent. When 
victorious, you shall offer gifts to your sire and rear an 
altar in his honour." And indeed, had he not, even 
while he spoke, been beguiled, by too great success 
and by his fearful joy, into dropping his whip, 
Durius would perhaps have consecrated to the West- 
wind the altars he had vowed. But now, as wretched 
as if the victor's wreath had fallen from his head, he 
turned his rage against himself, tearing the gold- 
embroidered garment from his breast, and weeping, 
and pouring out complaints to heaven. When the 
lash was gone, the team no longer obeyed the driver : 
in vain he flogged their backs with the reins for a whip. 
Meanwhile Panchates, sure now of victory, sped on 
to the goal, and claimed the first prize with head 
VOL. 11 o 2 417 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

arduus : efFusas lenis per colla, per armos 

ventilat aura iubas ; turn, mollia crura superbi 

attollens gressus, magno clamore triumphat. 

par donum solido argento caelata bipennis 445 

omnibus, at vario distantia cetera honore. 

primus equum volucrem, Massyli munera regis 

baud spernenda, tulit ; tulit hinc virtute secundus 

e Tyria, quae multa iacet, duo pocula, praeda, 

aurifero perfusa Tago. villosa leonis 460 

terga feri et cristis horrens Sidonia cassis 

tertius inde honor est ; postremo munere Atlantem, 

quamvis perfracto senior subsederat axe, 

accitum donat ductor, miseratus et aevum 

et sortem casus ; famulus florente iuventa 456 

huic datur, adiuncto gentilis honore galeri. 

His actis ductor laeta ad certamina plantae 
invitat positisque accendit pectora donis : 
" banc primus galeam (hac acies terrebat Hiberas 
Hasdrubal), hunc ensem, cui proxima gloria cursus, 
accipiet ; caeso pater hunc detraxit Hyempsae. 461 
tertius extremam tauro solabere palmam. 
cetera contenti discedent turba duobus 
quisque ferox iaculis, quae dat gentile metallum." 

Fulgentes pueri Tartessos et Hesperos ora 465 

ostendere simul vulgi clamore secundo. 
hos Tyria misere domo patria inclita Gades. 
mox subit, aspersus prima lanugine malas, 

" Either Syphax or Masinissa may be meant : see note 
to 1. 170. 

** A Carthaginian officer, not mentioned elsewhere in the 
poem. 

418 




PUNICA, XVI. 442-468 

held high. A light breeze fanned the mane that 
rippled over his neck and shoulders ; then with 
proud step he raised his nimble limbs, and a great 
shout greeted his victory. Each competitor received 
alike a battle-axe of solid silver with carven work ; 
but the other prizes differed from one another and 
were of unequal value. To the winner was given a 
flying steed, a desirable present from the Massylian 
king " ; the second in merit next received two cups 
overlaid with gold of the Tagus, taken from the great 
heap of Carthaginian spoil ; the third prize was the 
shaggy hide of a fierce lion and a Carthaginian helmet 
with bristling plumes ; and lastly Scipio summoned 
Atlas and gave him a prize also in pity for his age and 
ill-fortune, though the old man had fallen down when 
his chariot was wrecked. To him was given a beauti- 
ful youth, to attend on him, together with a skin cap 
of Spanish fashion. 

When this was over, Scipio summoned competitors 
for the gladsome foot-race, and offered prizes to 
heighten their zeal. " The winner," he said, " shall 
receive this helmet in which Hasdrubal terrified the 
armies of Spain ; and the second in the race shall 
carry off this sword which my father took from the dead 
body of Hyempsa ^ ; and lastly a bull shall console 
the runner who comes in third. The other bold 
competitors shall each receive a pair of the javelins 
that the Spanish mines supply, and shall depart 
content." 

Two splendid youths, Tartessus and Hesperus, 
presented themselves together amid the applause 
of the spectators. They came from Gades, that 
famous colony of the Phoenicians. Next to come 
forward was Baeticus, whose cheeks were sprinkled 

419 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Baeticus ; hoc dederat puero cognomen ab amne 
Corduba et baud parvo certamina laeta fovebat. 470 
inde, comam rutilus sed cum fulgore nivali 
corporis, implevit caveam clamoribus omnem 
Eurytus ; excelso nutritum colle crearat 
Saetabis, atque aderant trepidi pietate parentes. 
tum Lamus et Sicoris, proles bellacis Ilerdae, 475 
et Theron, potator aquae, sub nomine Lethes 
quae fluit, immemori perstringens gurgite ripas. 

Qui postquam, arrecti plantis et pectora proni 
pulsantesque aestu laudum exultantia corda, 
accepere tuba spatium, exsiluere per auras 480 

ocius efFusis nervo exturbante sagittis. 
diversa et studia et clamor, pendentque faventes 
unguibus atque suos, ut cuique est gratia, anheli 
nomine quemque cient. grex inclitus aequore fertur, 
nuUaque tramissa vestigia signat harena. 485 

omnes primaevi flaventiaque ora decori, 
omnes ire leves atque omnes vincere digni. 

Extulit, incumbens medio iam limite, gressum 
Eurytus et primus brevibus, sed primus, abibat 
praecedens spatiis. instat non segnius acer 490 

Hesperos ac prima stringit vestigia planta 
praegressae calcis. satis est huic esse priori ; 
huic sperare sat est fieri se posse priorem. 
acrius hoc tendunt gressus animique vigore 
corpora agunt. auget pueris labor ipse decorem. 495 
ecce, levi nisu postremoque agmine currens, 

" The Baetis (now Guadalquivir). 

'' The meaning is, that Corduba had been generous in 
furnishing him with requisites for his athletic career. 
« See note to iii. 359. * See note to i. 236. 

420 



PUNICA, XVI. 469-496 

over with the first down of manhood ; Corduba had 
named the lad thus after her river," and the city 
backed her favourite's successes at no small cost.^ 
Next, Eurytus made all the ring resound with 
shouting ; red was his hair but his body white as 
snow ; Saetabis had given him birth and reared him 
on her lofty hill, and his parents were present, in a 
flutter of love and anxiety. After him came Lamus 
and Sicoris, sons of warlike Ilerda ^ ; and lastly 
Theron, who drank of the river called Lethe,^ which, 
as it flows along, grazes its bank with the waters of 
forgetfulness. 

There they stood on tiptoe, bending forwards, with 
hearts beating high in the passion for renown ; and, 
when the trumpet gave the signal to start, they sprang 
forward through the air swifter than arrows launched 
from the string. The spectators shouted, each zealous 
for his own favourite ; hanging on tiptoe, with 
hoarse cries they called by name to the runner of 
their choice. The band of noble youths swept over 
the plain, leaving no print of their feet on the sand 
as they passed. All alike were young and fair of face ; 
all were fleet of foot, and all deserved to win. 

When half the distance was reached, Eurytus shot 
to the front, and kept ahead of the rest, not by much, 
but still ahead. Hard behind him came bold Hesperus, 
no slower than the other, and planted his foremost 
foot in the heel-marks of the leader. Eurytus was 
content to be in front ; for Hesperus the hope that he 
might yet get in front was sufficient. Therefore they 
increase their activity, and their bodies are driven 
forward by their spirit ; even their exertions add to 
their youthful comeliness. But see, Theron, who was 
last of the seven and running with little effort, now 

421 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

postquam sat visus sibi concepisse vigoris, 

celsus inexhaustas efFundit turbine vires 

non expectato subitusque erumpit et auras 

praevehitur Theron : credas Cyllenida plantam 500 

aetherio nexis cursu talaribus ire. 

iamque hos iamque illos, populo mirante, relinquit 

et, modo postremus, nunc ordine tertia palma, 

Hesperon infestat sua per vestigia pressum. 

nee iam, quern sequitur tantum, sed prima coronae 505 

spes trepidat tantis venientibus Eurytus alis. 

quartus sorte loci, sed, si tres ordine servent 

inceptos cursus, nequiquam vana laborans, 

Tartessos fratrem medio Therone premebat. 

nee patiens ultra toUit sese aequore Theron 510 

igneus et plenum praetervolat Hesperon irae. 

unus erat super, et metae propioribus aegros 

urebat finis stimulis ; quascumque reliquit 

hinc labor, hinc penetrans pavor in praecordia vires, 

dum sperare licet, brevia ad conanima uterque 515 

advocat. aequantur cursus, pariterque ruebant. 

et forsan gemina meruissent praemia palma 

pervecti simul ad metas, ni, terga secutus 

Theronis, fusam late per lactea colla 

Hesperos ingenti tenuisset saevus ab ira 520 

traxissetque comam. tardato laetus ovansque 

Eurytus evadit iuvene atque ad praemia victor 

emicat et galeae fert donum insigne coruscae. 

cetera promisso donata est munere pubes 



" See note on iii. 168. 
42?. 



PUNICA, XVI. 497-624 

felt that he had gathered sufficient strength : rising 
to his full height, he took all by surprise, putting 
forth in a sudden burst all the power he had been 
husbanding, and leaving the winds behind him. It 
might have been Mercury" himself, flying through 
the sky with his winged sandals fastened to his feet. 
The onlookers marvelled, as he passed one and then 
another, till he who had just before been last became 
the third in the order of the runners and pressed 
fiercely upon the track of Hesperus. And not only 
the lad in front of him but Eurytus himself, first 
favourite for the prize, was dismayed by such a display 
of swiftness. Fourth in order came Tartessus ; but 
all his efforts were vain, if the three others kept their 
respective distances ; he followed his brother, but 
Theron came between them. Theron's patience was 
at an end : with one fiery burst he flew over the 
course and passed Hesperus, who was filled with 
rage. One rival yet remained ; and the sight of 
the goal close at hand goaded on their weary 
limbs ; while hope was still possible, each sum- 
moned up his remaining strength for one short 
struggle — Theron exhausted by his effort, and 
Eurytus by the fear that crept into his heart. 
They came abreast and rushed on side by side. 
And perhaps they would have reached the goal 
together and shared the first prize ; but Hesperus, 
coming behind Theron, in his fierce anger grasped 
the hair that spread loosely over Theron's snow- 
white neck, and tugged at it. When his rival 
was hampered thus, Eurytus passed on in joy and 
triumph and flew to receive the prize of victory. 
He carried off the glittering helmet, a splendid 
gift. The other youths gained the promised reward : 

423 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

intonsasque comas viridi redimita corona 625 

bina tulit patrio quatiens hastilia ferro. 

Hinc graviora virum certamina, comminus ensis 
destrictus bellique feri simulacra cientur. 
nee, quos culpa tulit, quos crimine noxia vita, 
sed virtus animusque ferox ad laudis amorem, 530 
hi crevere pares ferro ; spectacula digna 
Martigena vulgo suetique laboris imago, 
hos inter gemini (quid iam non regibus ausum ? 
aut quod iam regni restat scelus ?) impia circo 
innumero fratres, cavea damnante furorem, 535 

pro sceptro armatis inierunt proelia dextris. 
is genti mos dirus erat ; patriumque petebant 
orbati solium lucis discrimine fratres. 
concurrere animis, quantis confligere par est 
quos regni furor exagitat ; multoque cruore 540 

exsatiata simul portantes corda sub umbras 
occubuere. pari nisu per pectora adactus 
intima descendit mucro ; superaddita saevis 
ultima vulneribus verba ; et, convicia volvens, 
dirus in in vitas effugit spiritus auras. 645 

nee manes pacem passi ; nam corpora iunctus 
una cum raperet flamma rogus, impius ignis 
dissiluit, cineresque simul iacuisse negarunt. 
cetera distincto donata est munere turba, 
ut virtus et dextra fuit. duxere iuvencos, 650 

impressis dociles terram proscindere aratris ; 
duxere assuetos lustra exagitare ferarum 



" The Roman soldiers. 

'' Livy (xxviii. 21) describes this incident of Scipio's games, 
but says that the two men were cousins, and that the elder 



PUNICA, XVI. 525-552 

a green garland crowned the unshorn locks of each, 
and each brandished a pair of javelins made of 
Spanish steel. 

When the boys' race was over, men engaged in 
more serious strife : swords were unsheathed at close 
quarters, and a mimicry of fierce warfare was waged. 
The swordsmen thus matched in arms were not men 
whom guilt and a life of crime had brought to this : 
valour urged them on and their eager desire of glory. 
It was a sight befitting the soldier sons of Mars," and 
an imitation of their accustomed task. Among these 
a pair of twin brothers met in unnatural warfare for 
a throne — what crime have kings, wading through 
slaughter to a throne, left yet uncommitted ? — while 
the vast ring of spectators cursed such madness. But 
such was the horrid custom of their nation ; and the 
brothers hazarded their lives in competition for the 
crown of their dead father.'' They met with such fury 
as befits men maddened by the passion for a throne ; 
and, falling dead together, they carried to the shades 
hearts glutted with abundant bloodshed. The swords, 
driven home with equal effort by both, pierced the 
vital parts, and the mortal wounds w^ere followed by 
last words, till their ghastly spirits fled into the 
reluctant air, still uttering curses. Even in death 
their enmity persisted ; for, when a common pyre 
was consuming their bodies together, the flame 
refused to unite and parted asunder ; and their 
ashes refused to rest together. The other swordsmen 
received different gifts, according to their valour and 
skill. Some carried off oxen trained to plough the 
soil, and others took from among the Moorish captives 

of the two had an easy victory. But Silius was led astray 
by the story of the Theban brothers, Eteocles and Polynices. 

425 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

venatu iuvenes, quos dat Maurusia praeda. 
necnon argenti necnon insignia vestis 
captivae pretia et sonipes et crista nitenti 555 

insurgens cono, spolia exuviaeque Libyssae. 

Turn iaculo petiere decus, spectacula circi 
postrema, et metae certarunt vincere finem 
Burnus avis pollens, quem misit ripa met alii ,i 
qua Tagus auriferis pallet turbatus harenis ; 560 

et Glagus, insignis ventos anteire lacerto ; 
et, cuius numquam fugisse hastilia cervi 
praerapida potuere fuga, venator Aconteus, 
Indibilisque, diu laetus bellare Latinis, 
iam socius ; volucresque vagas deprendere nube 565 
assuetus iaculis, idem et bellator, Ilerdes. 
laus Burni prima, infixit qui spicula metae ; 
est donum serva, albentes invertere lanas 
murice Gaetulo docta. at, quem proxima honorant 
praemia, vicinam metae qui propulit hastam, 570 
accepto laetus puero discessit Ilerdes, 
cui ludus, nuUam cursu non toUere dammam. 
tertia palma habuit geminos insignis Aconteus 
nee timidos agitare canes latratibus aprum. 

Quos postquam clamor plaususqueprobavithonores, 
germanus ducis atque efFulgens Laelius ostro 576 

nomina magna vocant laeti manesque iacentum 
atque hastas simul efFundunt. celebrare iuvabat 
sacratos cineres atque hoc decus addere ludis. 
ipse etiam, mentis testatus gaudia vultu, 580 

ductor, ut aequavit meritis pia pectora donis, 

^ metal li seems to he corrupt. 



« See note to 1. 176. * The two Scipios. 

426 



PUNICA, XVI. 553-581 

hunters accustomed to track wild beasts in their lairs. 
Gifts of silver also were awarded, and splendid gar- 
ments from the spoil, and war-horses, and plumes 
rising on glittering helmets — the spoils taken from 
conquered Libyans. 

And now, to end the games, men sought to win 
glory by casting the javelin. Five competitors strove 
to hit the mark — Burnus of noble ancestry, who came 
from the banks where the Tagus runs thick and 
yellow with golden sands ; and Glagus, whose famous 
arm could outstrip the winds ; and Aconteus the 
hunter, whose lance the deer, at their utmost speed, 
could never escape ; and Indibilis, who long had 
loved to fight against Rome but was now her ally ; 
and Ilerdes, whose bolt often shot down the birds 
that flew among the clouds, and who was also brave 
in battle. Burnus lodged his weapon in the mark 
and won the first prize — a handmaid who had skill 
to dye white wool with the purple of Gaetulia." Then 
Ilerdes, whose spear came close to the mark, gained 
the second prize ; he went off well-pleased with a 
lad, to whom it was mere child's play to run down 
and slay every deer of the forest. Aconteus who 
came third had for his prize a pair of hounds that 
feared not to drive a wild boar before them with loud 
barking. 

When these awards were approved by shouts of 
applause, then Scipio's brother and Laelius, clad in 
glittering purple, gladly pronounced the great names of 
the dead ^ and summoned their ghosts, and launched 
their spears as they spoke, rej oicing to honour the sacred 
ashes and thus to give additional glory to the games. 
Scipio also, whose face revealed the happiness of his 
heart, first rewarded his faithful friends with gifts 

427 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et frater thoraca tulit multiplicis auri, 
Laelius Asturica rapidos de gente iugales, 
contorquet magnis victricem viribus hastam 
consurgens umbrisque dari testatur honorem. 585 
hasta volans, mirum dictu, medio incita campo 
substitit ante oculos et terrae infixa cohaesit : 
turn subitae frondes celsoque cacumine rami 
et latam spargens quercus, dum nascitur, umbram. 
ad maiora iubent praesagi tendere vates : 690 

id monstrare deos atque hoc portendere signis. 

Quo super augurio, pulsis de litore cunctis 
Hesperio Poenis, ultor patriaeque domusque 
Ausoniam repetit, Fama ducente triumphum. 
nee Latium curis ardet flagrantius ullis, 595 

quam iuveni Libyam et summos permittere fasces, 
sed non par animis nee bello prospera turba 
ancipiti senior temeraria coepta vetabant 
magnosque horrebant cauta formidine casus. 

Ergo, ubi delato consul sublimis honore 600 

ad patres consulta refert, deturque potestas 
orat delendae Carthaginis, altius orsus 
hoc grandaeva modo Fabius pater ora resolvit : 
" baud equidem metuisse queam, satiatus et aevi 
et decoris, cui tam superest et gloria et aetas, 605 
ne credat nos invidiae certamine consul 
laudibus obtrectare suis. satis inclita nomen 
gestat fama meum, nee egent tam prospera laude 
facta nova, verum et patriae, dum vita manebit, 



" Scipio, not being formally qualified, was not granted a 
regular triumph on his return to Italy. 

* The consulship. He was unanimously elected consul for 
205 B.C. * Scipio. 

428 



PUNICA, XVI. 582-609 

equal to their deserts — his brother received a corslet 
plated thick with gold, and Laelius a pair of swift 
Asturian horses for harness — and then rose up and 
hurled his victorious spear with mighty strength, 
declaring that this was a tribute to the dead. 
Marvellous to tell, the flying spear stopped in mid- 
course and rooted itself in the ground, plain for all to 
see ; then leafage appeared in a moment and tall 
branches ; and an oak-tree at the instant of its birth 
threw a spreading shade. The prophets, foretelling 
the future, bade Scipio hope for greater things to 
come ; for the gods, said they, indicated this result 
and made it manifest by the miracle. 

When this prediction was uttered, Scipio, after 
driving the last Carthaginian from the Western coast 
and avenging his country and his kinsmen, went back 
to Italy, and Fame made his march a triumphal pro- 
cession.** And the country had no more ardent desire 
than to entrust the highest office ^ to the young 
general, with Libya for his province. But the older 
men, whose cooler heads were averse to a hazardous 
war, frowned on rash undertakings, and their cautious 
fear shrank from serious disasters. 

Therefore, when the consul,*' in the dignity of the 
great office conferred upon him, opened the debate 
in the Senate, and asked that the task of destroying 
Carthage might be his, old Fabius opened his aged 
lips and lifted up his voice, to speak thus : "I have 
had so much of life and glory — more than enough of 
both — that I need not fear lest Scipio should suspect 
me of opposing his great enterprise from motives of 
jealousy. The voice of Fame is busy enough with 
my name, and a life so spent needs no fresh praise. 
But while I live I cannot without guilt fail my country 

429 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

deesse nefas animumque nefas scelerare silendo. 
bella nova in Libyae moliris ducere terras ? 611 

hostis enim deest Ausoniae ? nee vincere nobis 
est satis Hannibalem ? petitur quae gloria maior 
litore Elissaeo ? stimuli si laudis agunt nos, 
banc segetem mete, composuit propioribus ausis 615 
dignum te Fortuna parem. vult Itala tellus 
ductoris saevi, vult tandem, haurire eruorem. 
quo Martem aut quo signa trahis ? restinguere 

primum est 
ardentem Italiam. tu fessos avius hostes 
deseris ac septem denudas proditor arces. 620 

an, cum tu Syrtim ac steriles vastabis harenas, 
non dira ilia lues notis iam moenibus urbis 
assiliet, vacuumque lovem sine pube, sine armis 
invadet ? quanti, ut cedas Romamque relinquas, 
emerit ! et tanto percussi fulmine belli 625 

sicine te, ut nuper Capua est accitus ab alta 
Fulvius, aequoreis Libyae revocabimus oris ? 
vince domi et trinis maerentem funera lustris 
Ausoniam purga bello. tum tende remotos 
in Garamantas iter Nasamoniacosque triumphos 630 
molire ; angustae prohibent nunc talia coepta 
res Italae. pater ille tuus, qui nomina vestrae 
addidit hand segnis genti, cum consul Hiberi 
tenderet ad ripas, revocato milite primus 
descendenti avide superatis Alpibus ultro 635 

opposuit sese Hannibali. tu consul abire 

"~« The Capitoline Hill. " See xii. 570. 

" A round number : thirteen years would be more exact— 
218-205 B.C. ** See iv. 51 foil. 

430 



PUNICA, XVI. 610-636 

or stain my conscience by silence. Do you intend, 
Scipio, to carry a fresh campaign to Libya ? Is Italy 
free from the enemy, and is it not enough for us to 
defeat Hannibal ? What higher prize than that is 
offered by the Libyan shore ? If glory is our motive, 
here is the field for you to reap. Nearer home. 
Fortune has pitted against you a foeman worthy 
of your steel. The soil of Italy would fain, would fain 
at last drink the blood of that merciless commander. 
Whither would you carry off your army and your 
standards ? The first thing is to put out the con- 
flagration of Italy. You run away and leave an 
exhausted foe behind you, and treacherously strip the 
Seven Hills of their defenders. While you are laying 
waste the barren sands of the Syrtis, will not that 
monster assault the walls of Rome which he knows 
already, and attack the seat of Jupiter « when it has 
neither men nor weapons to defend it ? What a price 
would he not pay, to secure your departure from the 
city ! And shall we, when we are stricken by such a 
thunderbolt of war, recall you from the shore of 
Africa, even as Fulvius was lately summoned from 
the towers of Capua ^ ? Conquer at home and cleanse 
Italy from war — Italy that has been mourning her 
dead for thrice five years '^ ! That done, then take 
your way to the distant Garamantes, and earn 
triumphs over Nasamonians. Such enterprises are 
barred at present by the sore straits of our country. 
Your famous father, whose activities brought 
fresh glory to your house, was on his way 
as consul to the banks of the Hiberus ; but, when 
Hannibal had crossed the Alps and was coming down 
to devour us, your father recalled his army and was 
the first to throw himself boldly in Hannibal's path.** 

431 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

a victore paras hoste atque avellere nobis 

scilicet hoc astu Poenum ? si deinde sedebit 

impavidus nee te in Libyam tuaque arma sequetur, 

capta damnabis consulta improvida Roma. 640 

sed fac turbatum convertere signa tuaeque 

classis vela sequi : nempe idem erit Hannibal, idem, 

cuius tu vallum vidisti e moenibus urbis." 

haec Fabius ; seniorque manus paria ore fremebat. 

Tum contra consul : " caesis ductoribus olim 645 
magnanimis gemino leto, cum tota subisset 
Sidonium possessa iugum Tartessia tellus, 
non Fabio, non, quis eadem est sententia cordi, 
quoquam ad opem verso, fateor, primoribus annis 
excepi nubem belli solusque ruenti 650 

obieci caelo caput atque in me omnia verti. 
tum grandaeva manus puero male credita bella, 
atque idem hie vates temeraria coepta canebat. 
dis grates laudemque fero, sub numine quorum 
gens Troiana sumus. puer ille et futilis aetas 655 
imbellesque anni necdum maturus ad arma 
Scipio restituit terras illaesus Hiberas 
Troiugenis ; pepulit Poenos, solisque secutus 
extremas ad Atlanta vias, exegit ab orbe 
Hesperio nomen Libyae nee rettulit ora 660 

signa prius quam fumantes circa aequora vidit 
Romano Phoebum solventem litore currus. 
ascivit reges idem, nunc ultimus actis 
restat Carthago nostris labor, hoc sator aevi 

" The meaning is: "you dared not face Hannibal then, 
and he is no less formidable now." 
" The Romans. 
• Territory made Roman by Scipio's conquests. 

432 



PUNICA, XVI. 637-664 

Do you, a consul, intend to leave behind a victorious 
foe and by this device, forsooth ! to tear the Cartha- 
ginian from our throats ? If he remains coolly where 
he is, refusing to follow you and your army to 
Africa, you will curse your short-sighted strategy 
when Rome is taken. But suppose that he does take 
fright and march his army away, and is willing to 
follow the sails of your fleet ; even then he will surely 
be the same Hannibal, whose camp you saw from the 
walls of Rome." " Thus Fabius spoke, and the older 
senators expressed loud approval of his speech. 

Then Scipio answered him : "In the hour when 
two noble generals fell together and the whole of 
Spain was occupied by Carthage and had come under 
her yoke, neither Fabius nor any one of those who 
share his opinions came to the rescue then. I faced 
that war-cloud, young as I was — I admit it — and I 
alone exposed my life when heaven was falling, and 
drew all the danger upon myself. Then the old men 
declared that it was a mistake to trust a mere boy as 
general ; and the same prophet of evil who warns you 
to-day spoke then of foolhardiness. I praise and 
thank the gods whose power protects the race of 
Troy.* That * boy,' too young for service in the 
field and unripe for arms, that Scipio, recovered Spain 
for Rome and never suffered defeat ; he routed the 
Carthaginians and followed the sun's course to its 
setting beside Atlas, and expelled the name of Libya 
from the western world ; nor did he withdraw his 
army from the land, until he saw the Sun-god un- 
harnessing his reeking coursers by the Ocean upon 
Roman territory.*' Kings also he gained over as 
allies. Now Carthage alone remains, and the con- 
quest of Carthage will crown my career ; I know this 

4SS 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

lupiter aeterni monet. Hannibali ecce senectus 665 

intremit, aut aegros simulat mentita timores, 

ne finem longis tandem peperisse ruinis 

sit noster titulus. certe iam dextera nobis 

experta, et robur florentibus auximus annis. 

ne vero fabricate moras ; sed currere sortem 670 

banc sinite ad veterum delenda opprobria cladum, 

quam mihi servavere dei. sat gloria cauto 

non vinci pulchra est Fabio, peperitque sedendo 

omnia Cunctator ; nobis nee Mago nee Hannon 

nee Gisgone satus nee Hamilcare terga dedisset, 675 

si segnes elauso traheremus proelia vallo. 

Sidoniusne puer, vix pubeseente iuventa, 

Laurentes potuit populos et Troia adire 

moenia flaventemque saero cum gurgite Thybrim 

et potuit Latium longo depascere bello ? 680 

nos Libyae terris tramittere signa pigebit 

et Tyrias agitare domos ? secura pericli 

litora lata patent, et opima pace quieta 

stat tellus. timeat tandem Carthago, timeri 

assueta, et nobis, quamvis Oenotria nondum 685 

Hannibale arva vacent, superesse intellegat arma. 

ilium ego, quem vosmet eauti consultaque vestra 

in Latio fecere senem, cui tertia large 

fundenti nostrum ducuntur lustra cruorem, 

ilium ego ad incensas trepidantem et sera paventcm 

advertam patriae sedes. an Roma videbit 691 

turpia Agenoreae muris vestigia dextrae, 

Carthago immunis nostros secura labores 

audiet interea et portis bellabit apertis ? 



« See ix. 306. 

" The two Hasdrubals : Scipio mentions all the four enemy 
commanders whom he defeated in Spain. 
434 




PUNICA, XVI. 665-694 

from Jupiter, the Father of eternal life.<* But see ! 
the old men tremble at the thought of Hannibal : 
unless their fear is a mere pretence, that the glory of 
ending at last our long train of disasters may not fall 
to me. Without doubt my arm has now proved itself 
in war, and the strength of my youth has grown. But 
do not contrive delays ; suffer the destiny which 
heaven has reserved for me to run its free course, that 
the shame of our former defeats may be wiped out. 
For wary Fabius it was glory enough to avoid defeat, 
and the Delayer gained all things for us by inaction. 
But neither Mago nor Hanno, neither Gisgo's son 
nor Hamilcar's,^ would have fled before me, if I 
had remained idle in the protection of my camp and 
refused battle. If that Carthaginian boy, scarce 
entered upon manhood, could attack the Roman 
people, the walls of Rome, and the sacred stream of 
yellow Tiber — if he could feed on Latium during 
years of warfare, shall we shrink from sending an 
army across the sea to Africa, to flutter the dove- 
cotes of Carthage ? Their wide shores dread no 
danger ; their land is undisturbed, and enriched by 
peace. Let Carthage, feared so long, at last feel fear 
in her turn ; and let her learn that, though Italy is 
not yet delivered from Hannibal, we still have weapons 
to spare. Your cautious policy has suffered him to 
grow old in Italy ; for thrice five years he has gone on 
shedding our blood in rivers ; but I will bring him 
back in fear and trembling, when it is too late, to 
see the capital of his country consumed with fire. 
If Rome sees upon her walls the shameful traces of 
Hannibal's handiwork, shall Carthage meanwhile, free 
from fear and danger, hear the report of our sufferings 
and make war with open gates ? By all means let 

435 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

turn vero pulset nostras iterum improbus hostis 695 

ariete Sidonio turres, si templa suorum 

non ante audierit Rutulis crepitantia flammis." 

Talibus accensi patres, fatoque vocante, 
consulis annuerunt dictis, faustumque precati 
ut foret Ausoniae, tramittere bella dederunt. 700 



436 



PUNICA, XVI. 695-700 

our insolent foe assault our towers again with Punic 
battering-rams, if he does not, before that time, hear 
the temples of his own gods crackling in flames 
kindled by Romans." 

By this speech the Senate was carried away. They 
followed the call of destiny and assented to Scipio's 
proposals. Praying that the result might be fortunate 
for Italy, they allowed him to take his army across 
the sea. 



4S7 



LIBER SEPTIMUS DECIMUS 

ARGUMENT 

The image of Cyhele is brought from Phrygia to Rome 
and received at Ostia by P. Scipio Nasica : the chastity of 
Claudia is vindicated (1;^5). Scipio crosses to Africa (46- 
58). He warns Syphax not to break faith with Rome : the 
camp of Syphaoc is burnt ^ and he is taken prisoner (59-145). 
Hasdruhal retreats to Carthage : Hannibal is recalled from 
Italy (^146-157). Hannibal's dream before the arrival of the 

Hostis ut Ausoniis decederet advena terris, 
fatidicae fuerant oracula prisca Sibyllae, 
caelicolum Phrygia genetricem sede petitam 
Laomedonteae sacrandam moenibus urbis ; 
advectum exciperet numen, qui, lectus ab omni 5 
concilio patrum, praesentis degeret aevi 
optimus. en nomen melius maiusque triumphis ! 
iamque petita aderat Latia portante Cybele 
puppe ; atque ante omnes, magno cedente senatu, 
obvius accitis properabat Scipio sacris, 10 

qui, genitus patruo ductoris ad Africa bella 
tunc lecti, multa fulgebat imagine avorum. 

« Cybele, the Great Mother, was the chief deity of Asia 
Minor ; and her image, a square block of stone that had 
fallen from heaven, was kept at Pessinus, an ancient city of 
Galatia. This stone the Romans now imported. The oracle 
of Delphi required that the goddess should be welcomed to 
Rome by the most virtuous Roman ; and P. Cornelius Scipio 

438 



BOOK XVII 

ARGUMENT {co7itinued) 

summons (158-169). He leaves Italy in obedience to the 
summons (170-217). He decides to go hack to Italy hut is 
prevented by a fearful storm (218-291). After landing in 
Africa he encourages his soldiers (292-337). Jupiter and 
Juno converse about the fate of Hannibal (338-384). The 
battle of Zama (385-617). Scipio returns in triumph to 
Rome (618-654). 

In ancient times the Sibyl had foretold that, in order 
to dislodge an invader from Italian soil, the Romans 
must invite the Mother of the Gods <* to leave her 
seat in Phrygia, and must set up her worship within 
the walls of their city ; and the goddess must be 
received at her landing by that citizen whom the 
whole body of the Senate chose out as the most 
virtuous of men then living. That was a title more 
glorious and higher than any triumph. So Cybele 
was invited, and now she was nearing land, on board 
a Roman vessel, when Scipio, ^iven precedence by 
all the noble senators, made haste to meet the foreign 
deity. His father was uncle of the Scipio just chosen 
to conduct the war in Africa ; and his lineage was 
long and illustrious. When he had welcomed the 

Nasica, a youthful son of Cn. Scipio who had fallen in Spain, 
was chosen by the Senate to perform this duty. 

439 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

isque ubi longinquo venientia numina ponto 

accepit supplex palmis Tuscique sonora 

Thybridis adduxit sublimis ad ostia puppim, 15 

femineae turn deinde manus subiere, per amnem 

quae traherent celsam religatis funibus alnum. 

circum arguta cavis tinnitibus aera, simulque 

certabant rauco resonantia tympana pulsu, 

semivirique chori, gemino qui Dindyma monte 20 

casta colunt, qui Dictaeo bacchantur in antro, 

quique Idaea iuga et lucos novere silentes. 

hos inter fremitus ac laeto vota tumultu 

substitit adductis renuens procedere vinclis 

sacra ratis subitisque vadis immobilis haesit. 25 

turn puppe e media magno clamore sacerdos : 

" parcite pollutis contingere vincula palmis ! 

et procul hinc, moneo, procul hinc, quaecumque 

profanae, 
ferte gradus nee vos casto miscete labori, 
dum satis est monuisse deae ! quod si qua pudica 30 
mente valet, si qua illaesi sibi corporis adstat 
conscia, vel sola subeat pia munera dextra." 

Hie, prisca ducens Clausorum ab origine nomen, 
Claudia, non aequa populi male credita fama, 
in puppim versis palmisque oculisque profatur : 35 
" caelicolum genetrix, numen, quod numina nobis 
cuncta creas, cuius proles terramque fretumque 
sideraque et manes regnorum sorte gubernant, 
si nostrum nullo violatum est crimine corpus, 

*• Dindyma and Ida are mountains in Phrygia, sacred 
to this goddess : Dicte is a mountain in Crete, whence the 
Curetes, the guardians of the infant Jupiter, brought her 
worship to Phrygia. 

^ One of the foreign priests who had brought the goddess 
over the sea. " The Claudii : see note to viii. 412, 

440 



PUNICA, XVII. 13-39 

goddess after her long voyage with hands held up 
in prayer and, standing high, had brought the vessel 
to the loud-sounding mouth of Tuscan Tiber, the 
hands of women were next employed, to draw the 
tall ship up the stream with ropes. The cymbals 
made a noise all round with their hollow tinklings, 
and the hoarse note of the drums vied with the 
cymbals. And her troop of unsexed votaries were 
there — those who haunt the twin peaks of chaste Mount 
Dindyma, and who hold revel in the cave of Dicte, and 
those who know the heights of Ida and its silent 
sacred groves." Amid their wild cries and the prayers 
of the rejoicing multitude, the sacred ship refused 
to answer the pull of the ropes : she stopped suddenly 
and remained motionless on the river-bed. Then a 
priest ^ cried aloud from the centre of the ship : 
" Touch not the ropes with guilty hands ! Away, 
away ! far from hence, all ye unchaste, I warn you, 
and take no share in the sacred task ; or the goddess 
may not be content with a mere warning. But if any 
woman is strong in her chastity, if any who stands 
here is conscious of a body unstained, let her, even 
single-handed, undertake the pious duty." 

Then Claudia spoke out. She derived her name 
from the ancient stock of the Clausi,'' but false report 
among the people had darkened her fame. Turning 
her eyes and open hands to the vessel, she spoke 
thus ; " O Mother of the gods, divine parent of 
all whom we worship, whose children cast lots for 
kingdoms and rule the earth and sea, the stars and 
the nether world,** if I am free from all stain of un- 

<* According to the legend, the lot assigned heaven and 
earth to Jupiter, the sea to Neptune, and the nether world 
to Pluto : see note to viii. 116. 

VOL. II P 4>41 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

testis, diva, veni et facili me absolve carina." 40 

turn secura capit funem ; fremitusque leonum 
audiri visus subito, et graviora per aures 
nulla pulsa manu sonuerunt tympana divae. 
fertur prona ratis (ventos impellere credas) 
contraque adversas ducentem praevenit undas. 45 
extemplo maior cunctis spes pectora mulcet 
finem armis tandem finemque venire periclis. 

Ipse alacer Sicula discedens Scipio terra 
abscondit late propulsis puppibus aequor, 
cui numen pelagi placaverat hostia taurus, 60 

iactaque caeruleis innabant fluctibus exta. 
tunc a sede deum purumque per aethera lapsae 
armigerae lovis ante oculos coepere volucres 
aequoreas monstrare vias ac ducere classem. 
augurium clangor laetum dabat ; inde, secuti 56 

tantum praegressos liquida sub nube volatus, 
quantum non frustra speculantum lumina servant, 
litora Agenoreae tenuerunt perfida terrae. 

Nee segnis, tanta in semet veniente procella, 
Africa terribilem magno sub nomine molem 60 

regis opes contra et Massyla paraverat arma ; 
spesque Syphax Libycis una et Laurentibus unus 
terror erat. campos pariter vallesque refusas 
litoraque implerat nullo decorare tapete 
cornipedem Nomas assuetus, densaeque per auras 65 
condebant iaculis stridentibus aethera nubes. 



<• Cybele was commonly represented in art and in poetry as 
sitting in a car drawn by a pair of lions. 

" Sicily was the province assigned to Scipio by the Senate ; 
but he was also authorized to cross over to Africa, if it seemed 
advisable. 

" Eagles. ** Syphax : see note to xvi. 171. 

442 



PUNICA, XVII. 40-66 

chastity, come thou and bear me witness, and prove 
my innocence by the ease with which the vessel 
moves." Then, full of confidence, she grasped a 
rope ; and suddenly it seemed that the roaring of 
lions " was heard, and Cybele's drums, though no 
hand beat them, sounded louder in all ears. The 
ship moved forward as if driven by the wind and 
outstripped Claudia as she drew it along against the 
stream. At once all hearts were cheered by stronger 
hopes that an end of war and an end of disaster was 
coming at last. 

Scipio himself made haste to depart from Sicily ^ 
and hid the sea far and wide with his advancing ships. 
He had appeased the god of the sea by the sacrifice 
of a bull, and its inward parts were cast upon the 
blue water, to float there. Then, coming from the 
home of the gods and flying through the clear sky, 
the birds that bear the bolts of Jupiter '^ came into 
view, pointing out a path over the sea for the fleet 
to follow. The sound of their cries was an omen of 
success. The eagles flew in front through the clear 
heaven, keeping such a distance that the watcher's 
eye could still perceive them, and the ships followed 
till they reached the coast of treacherous Carthage. 

Nor did Africa stand idle, on the approach of so 
fierce a storm. To meet the dreaded army and their 
famous general, she had acquired the resources of a 
king ^ and the Massylian warriors ; and Syphax was 
at the same time the one hope of Carthage and the 
one menace to the Romans. The Numidians, riding 
bare-backed according to their custom, had filled the 
plains and broad valleys and sea-shore alike, and 
their javelins hurtled in thick clouds through the air 
and concealed the sky. For Syphax, forgetting his 

443 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

immemor hie dextraeque datae iunctique per aras 
foederis, et mensas testes atque hospita iura 
fasque fidemque simul, pravo mutatus amore, 
ruperat atque toros regni mercede pararat. 70 

virgo erat eximia specie claroque parente, 
Hasdrubalis proles ; thalamis quam cepit ut altis, 
ceu face succensus prima taedaque iugali, 
vertit opes gener ad Poenos, Latiaeque soluto 
foedere amicitiae, dotalia transtulit arma. 75 

Sed non Ausonio curarum extrema Syphacem 
ductori monuisse fuit ; missique minantur : 
stet regno, reputet superos, pacta hospita servet ; 
longe coniugia ac longe Tyrios Hymenaeos 
Inter Dardanias acies fore, sanguine quippe, 80 

si renuat, blando nimium facilique marito 
statura obsequia et thalami flagrantis amores. 

Sic Latius permixta minis sed cassa monebat 
ductor ; nam surdas coniux obstruxerat aures. 
ergo, asper monitis frustra nitentibus, enses 85 

advocat et, castas polluti foederis aras 
testatus, varia Martem movet impiger arte, 
castra levi calamo cannaque intecta palustri, 
qualia Maurus amat dispersa mapalia pastor, 
aggreditur, furtum armorum tutantibus umbris, 90 
ac tacita spargit celata incendia nocte. 

*• The son of Gisco. The girl's name is Sophonisba in 
Livy : the Greek writers call her Sophoniba. 

^ Syphax was a widower : it is implied that such passionate 
ardour would have been more excusable, if he had not been 
a bridegroom already, 
444 



PUNICA, XVII. 67-91 

pledged word, the alliance to which he had sworn, 
and the ties of hospitality cemented by meals in 
common, had broken faith and divine law ; an ill- 
judged passion had changed his mind, and he had 
bought his bride at the price of his throne. The 
maiden was beautiful ; and her father Hasdrubal « 
was famous. As soon as Syphax received her in 
the lofty marriage-chamber, as if the flame of the 
marriage-torch had set him on fire for the first time,^ 
he made over his resources to his Punic father-in-law 
and broke his treaty of friendship with Rome by 
presenting his forces as a bridal gift to Carthage. 

Not the least of Scipio's cares was to warn Syphax ; 
and envoys were sent and uttered threats. They 
advised him to abide in his own kingdom, to be 
mindful of the gods and keep his pledge of friend- 
ship ; his bride and his Carthaginian alliance would 
help him little when the Roman swords were 
busy. For, if he refused their advice, the too fond 
and compliant husband would pay with his life for 
his subservience to a bride whom he loved with 
passion. 

Thus Scipio warned him and threatened also. But 
his warning was vain ; for the bridegroom's ears were 
stopped. Therefore the general, angered by the 
failure of his counsel, had recourse to the sword ; he 
appealed to the solemn oaths of alliance which the 
king had broken, and then began active warfare, 
leaving no device untried. As the enemy's tents were 
wattled with light rushes and reeds from the marshes, 
like the lonely cabins dear to the Moorish herdsman, 
Scipio attacked the camp while darkness concealed 
his stratagem, and in the silence of night scattered 
fire-brands undetected. Then, when the fires began 

445 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

inde, ubi coUecti rapidam diffundere pestem 

coeperunt ignes et se per pinguia magno 

pabula ferre sono, clare exspatiantur in auras 

et fumos volucri propellunt lumine flammae. 95 

it totis inimica lues cum turbine castris, 

atque alimenta vorat strepitu Vulcanus anhelo 

arida, et ex omni manant incendia tecto. 

sentitur plerisque prius quam cernitur ignis 

excitis somno, multorumque ora vocantum 100 

auxilium invadunt flammae. fluit undique victor 

Mulciber et rapidis amplexibus arma virosque 

corripit ; exundat pestis, semustaque castra 

albenti volitant per nubila summa favilla. 

ipsius ingenti regis tentoria saltu 105 

lugubre increpitans late circumvolat ardor ; 

hausissetque virum, trepidus ni clade satelles 

e somno ac stratis rapuisset multa precantem. 

Verum ubi mox iuncto sociarant aggere vires 
Massylus Tyriusque duces, accitaque regno 110 

lenierat pubes infaustae vulnera noctis, 
ira pudorque dabant et coniux, tertius ignis, 
immanes animos ; afflataque barbarus ora 
castrorum flammis et se velamine nuUo 
vix inter trepidas ereptum ex hoste catervas 115 

frendebat minitans ; sed enim non luce Syphacem 
nee claro potuisse die nee sole tuente 
a quoquam vinci. iactarat talia vecors, 
sed iam claudebat flatus nee plura sinebat 
Atropos et tumidae properabat stamina linguae. 120 



" The reeds of which the tents were made. 

^ Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos are the three Fates who 
spin the thread of men's lives ; and it was the special duty 
of Atropos to cut the thread and so end the life. 
446 



PUNICA, XVII. 92-120 

to unite and spread the danger quickly, and to rush 
with a great noise over the rich food " provided 
for them, the flames rose up blazing to the sky 
and drove clouds of smoke before them with their 
flying glare. The dread scourge sped like a whirl- 
wind over the whole camp ; the fire-god devoured 
his dry food with loud panting breath ; and every 
tent spouted flame. Many, starting from their sleep, 
felt the fire before they saw it ; and the flames 
stifled the cries of many for aid. The fire-god spread 
everywhere victorious, and seized men and arms in 
his fierce embrace. The plague broke all bounds, 
and the burnt-out camp flew up in white ash to 
the topmost clouds. The fire, crackling doom, made 
a great leap to surround the quarters of Syphax 
himself, and would have devoured him, had not an 
attendant, fearing disaster, dragged him, uttering 
many a curse, from the bed he slept on. 

But presently, when the Massylian and Cartha- 
ginian generals had united their forces behind a 
common rampart, and fresh troops summoned from 
all the kingdom had mitigated the disaster of the 
night, anger and shame and love for his bride — a third 
incentive — filled the king's heart with inordinate 
passion : he breathed out savage threats and ground 
his teeth, to think that his face had been scorched 
by the fire in the camp, and that he had with difficulty 
been rescued from the foe, a naked man in the midst 
of his discomfited soldiers. No man on earth, he 
declared, could ever have conquered Syphax in bright 
daylight or in face of the sun. Such was his mad 
boasting ; but Atropos ^ was already putting an end 
to his insolence and suffered him to say no more ; 
and the thread of that proud talker was nearly spun. 

447 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

namque, ubi prosiluit castris, ceu turbidus amnis, 

qui, silvas ac saxa trahens, per devia praeceps 

volvitur et ripas spumanti gurgite laxat, 

ante omnes praevectus equo, trahit agmina voce. 

contra nava manus Rutuli celsusque ruebat 125 

viso rege procul raptis exercitus armis. 

ac sibi quisque : ** videsne ? videsne, ut in agmine 

primo 
Massylus volitet, deposcens proelia, rector ? 
fac nostrum hoc, mea dextra, decus. violavit et aras 
caelicolum et casti ductoris foedera rupit. 130 

sit satis huic castris semel efFugisse crematis." 
sic secum taciti et certatim spicula fundunt. 
prima in cornipedis sedit spirantibus ignem 
naribus hasta volans erexitque ore cruento 
quadrupedem, elatis pulsantem calcibus auras. 135 
corruit asper equus, confixaque cuspide membra 
hue illuc iactans, rectorem prodidit hosti. 
invadunt vanumque fugae atque attollere fessos 
annitentem artus revocato a vulnere telo 139 

corripiunt ; tum vincla viro manicaeque, pudendum, 
addita, et (exemplum non umquam fidere laetis) 
sceptriferas arta palmas vinxere catena, 
ducitur ex alto deiectus culmine regni, 
qui modo sub pedibus terras et sceptra patensque 
litora ad Oceani sub nutu viderat aequor. 145 

prostratis opibus regni Phoenissa metuntur 
448 



PUNICA, XVII. 121-146 

For, when he rushed forth from the camp, hke a 
swollen river, which carries trees and rocks with it, 
rolling headlong down a new channel and widening its 
banks with its foaming flood, so he rode in the van 
and summoned the ranks to follow him. Against 
him stood the valiant Roman infantry ; and the 
horsemen, when they saw the king far off, seized 
their arms and rushed forward. Each man said to 
himself : " See, see ! how the Massylian king rides in 
front of his army and challenges us to battle ! May 
mine be the arm to win this glory " ! He has profaned 
the altars of the gods and broken his word pledged 
to our stainless general. Let him be content with 
having escaped once from his camp on fire ! " Such 
were their thoughts, as they hurled their javelins 
with a will. The first flying spear lodged in the fiery 
nostrils of the king's charger. With blood dripping 
from his face, the animal reared up and beat the air 
with his forefeet ; then he fell down, in rage and pain, 
and, tossing from side to side the part pierced by 
the spear-point, betrayed his rider into the hands of 
the enemy. They fell upon him ; and, though he 
strove to draw the weapon from the wound and by it 
to raise his injured limbs from the ground, flight was 
impossible, and they seized him. Then chains and 
fetters were laid upon him — a sorry sight, and a 
warning never to trust prosperity — and the hands 
that had wielded the sceptre were tightly bound. 
So he was led away — a king hurled down from his 
lofty throne, who had lately seen at his feet whole 
countries and their rulers, and whose control of the 
sea had stretched to the shore of Ocean. When the 
power of Syphax was overthrown, the Carthaginian 
" Of killing or capturing Syphax, 
VOL. II p 2 449 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

agmina, et invisus Marti notusque fugarum 
vertit terga citus damnatis Hasdrubal ausis. 

Stabat Carthago, truncatis undique membris, 
uni nixa viro ; tantoque fragore ruentem 150 

Hannibal absenti retinebat nomine molem. 
id reliquum fessos opis auxiliique ciere 
rerum extrema iubent ; hue confugere paventes, 
postquam se superum desertos numine cernunt. 
nee mora : propulsa suleant vada salsa earina, 155 
qui revoeent patriaeque ferant mandata monentis, 
ne lentus nuUas videat Carthaginis arces. 

Quarta Aurora ratem Dauni devexerat oras, 
et fera ductoris turbabant somnia mentem. 
namque gravis curis earpit dum nocte quietem, 160 
cernere Flaminium Gracchumque et cernere Paulum 
visus erat simul adversos mucronibus in se 
destrictis ruere atque Itala depellere terra ; 
omnisque a Cannis Thrasymennique omnis ab undis 
in pontum impellens umbrarum exercitus ibat. 165 
ipse, fugam cupiens, notas evadere ad Alpes 
quaerebat terraeque ulnis amplexus utrisque 
haerebat Latiae, donee vis saeva profundo 
truderet et rapidis daret asportare procellis. 

His aegrum visis adeunt mandata ferentes 170 

legati patriaeque extrema pericula pandunt : 
Massyla ut ruerint arma, ut cervice catenas 
regnator tulerit Libyae, letoque negato 

<* Once in Spain (see xvi. 112) and twice in Africa this 
Hasdrubal had saved himself by running away. 

^ Italy. • All three had fallen in battle. 

450 



PUNICA, XVII. 147-173 

ranks were mowed down ; and Hasdrubal,no favourite 
of Mars and famous for repeated flights," fled once 
more and gave up the struggle. 

Now that all her limbs were severed, Carthage 
depended entirely upon one man for support ; and 
the great name of Hannibal, even in his absence, 
kept the edifice of her greatness from falling in utter 
ruin. He alone remained ; and her desperate plight 
forced her to summon him in her need of succour and 
support. When men saw themselves deprived of 
heaven's protection, they fled to him for refuge in 
their fear. Without delay envoys sailed across the 
salt sea, to recall him and carry a message from his 
country : he was warned that, should he linger, he 
might find no city of Carthage standing. 

Dawn of the fourth day brought the vessel to the 
shores of Daunus,'' when Hannibal's sleep was dis- 
turbed by terrible dreams. For while resting at 
night from his burden of anxiety, he dreamed that 
Flaminius and Gracchus and Paulus ^ were all attack- 
ing him at once with drawn swords and driving him off 
the soil of Italy ; and the whole army of ghosts 
from Cannae and Lake Trasimene were marching 
against him and forcing him to the sea. Eager to 
escape, he was fain to flee by his familiar path across 
the Alps, and clutched the soil of Italy with both 
arms ; but the pressure of his enemies drove him at 
last to the sea and gave him to the stormy winds to 
carry oiF. 

Still troubled by his dream, he was approached by 
the envoys bearing their message. They explained 
the desperate danger of their country — how the 
Massylian army was overthrown ; how the king of 
Libya now bore fetters on his neck and was not 

451 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

servetur nova pompa lovi ; Carthago laboret 
ut trepidi Hasdrubalis, qui rerum agitarit habenas, 
non una concussa fuga. se, triste profatu, 176 

vidisse, arderent cum bina in nocte silenti 
castra, et luceret sceleratis Africa flammis. 
praerapidum iuvenem minitari, Bruttia servet 
litora dum Poenus, detracturum ignibus atris, 180 
in quam se referat, patriam suaque inclita facta, 
haec postquam dicta, et casus patuere metusque, 
effundunt lacrimas dextramque ut numen adorant. 

Audivit torvo obtutu defixus et aegra 
expendit tacite cura secum ipse volutans, 185 

an tanti Carthago foret ; sic deinde profatur : 
" o dirum exitium mortahbus ! o nihil umquam 
crescere nee magnas patiens exsurgere laudes, 
invidia ! eversam iam pridem exscindere Romam 
atque aequasse solo potui, traducere captam 190 

servitum gentem Latioque imponere leges, 
dum sumptus dumque arma duci fessosque secundis 
summisso tirone negant recreare maniplos, 
dumque etiam Cerere et victu fraudasse cohortes 
Hannoni placet, induitur tota Africa flammis, 195 
pulsat Agenoreas Rhoeteia lancea portas. 
nunc patriae decus et patriae nunc Hannibal unus 
subsidium ; nunc in nostra spes ultima dextra. 
vertentur signa, ut patres statuere ; simulque 
et patriae muros et te servabimus, Hannon." 200 

" Seexvi. 11 foil. 

^ This rhetorical point, tliat he will save his bitterest enemy, 
is more in the manner of Lucan than of Silius : see Vol. I, 
p. xiv. 
452 



PUNICA, XVII. 174-200 

permitted to die, but kept alive to grace the triumphal 
procession to Jupiter's temple ; how Carthage was 
dismayed and shattered by the repeated retreats of 
the cowardly Hasdrubal, who was now master of the 
state. With sorrow they told how they had seen 
two camps burning in the silence of night, and all 
Africa lit up with evil flames. Scipio (they said) 
moved with lightning speed, and threatened 
that, while Hannibal lingered on the Bruttian coast, 
he would destroy Carthage with fatal fires, and 
Hannibal would have no country to return to, bring- 
ing his mighty deeds with him. When they had 
spoken thus and revealed their disasters and fears, 
they wept and kissed his hand as if it were a god's. 

The general listened with a fixed and stern coun- 
tenance. He kept silence and pondered anxiously 
in his heart, considering whether Carthage was worth 
so great a sacrifice. And then he spoke thus : " How 
dreadful the doom that waits on mortal men ! how 
envy ever stunts the growth of great deeds and nips 
them in the bud ! Long ago I might have over- 
thrown Rome and sacked the city and levelled her 
with the ground ; I might have carried her people 
away into slavery and dictated conditions of peace. 
But I was refused money and weapons and fresh 
recruits for my army which victories had worn out ^ ; 
and Hanno thought fit to cheat my soldiers even of 
bread to eat ; and now all Africa is wreathed with 
fire, and the Roman lance beats on the gates of 
Carthage. Hannibal is now the glory of his country 
and her only rock of refuge ; their one remaining 
hope is in my right arm. I sliall march away, as the 
senate has decreed ; I shall save the walls of Carthage 
and at the same time save Hanno." * 

453 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Haec ubi detormit, celsas e litore puppes 
propellit multumque gemens movet aequore classem. 
non terga est ausus cedentum invadere quisquam, 
non revocare virum ; cunctis praestare videntur, 
quod sponte abscedat, superi, tandemque resolvat 
Ausoniam. ventos optant, et litora ab hoste 206 

nuda videre sat est. ceu flamina comprimit Auster 
cum fera et abscedens reddit mare, navita parco 
interea voto non auras poscit amicas, 
contentus caruisse Noto, pacemque quietam 210 

pro facili cursu reputat satis, omnis in altum 
Sidonius visus converterat undique miles ; 
ductor defixos Itala tellure tenebat 
intentus vultus, manantesque ora rigabant 
per taciturn lacrimae, et suspiria crebra ciebat, 215 
baud secus ac patriam pulsus dulcesque penates 
linqueret et tristes exul traheretur in oras. 

Ut vero afFusis puppes procedere ventis, 
et sensim coepere procul subsidere montes, 219 

nullaque iam Hesperia et nusquam iam Daunia tellus, 
haec secum infrendens : ** mentisne ego compos et 

hoc nunc 
indignus reditu, qui memet finibus umquam 
amorim Ausoniae ? flagrasset subdita taedis 
Carthago, et potius cecidisset nomen Elissae. 
quid ? tunc sat compos, qui non ardentia tela 225 
a Cannis in templa tuli Tarpeia lovemque 
detraxi solio ? sparsissem incendia montes 
per septem bello vacuos gentique superbae 
Iliacum exitium et proavorum fata dedissem. 
cur porro haec angant ? nunc, nunc invadere ferro 230 

«^ido. 
454 



PUNICA, XVII. 201-230 

When he had thundered out this speech, he launched 
his tall ships and sailed with many a groan over the 
sea. None dared to attack his rear as they departed, 
none dared to recall him. All thought it a gift from 
Heaven, that he should go of his own accord and at 
last set Italy free. Men prayed for wind and were 
content to see the shore with never an enemy upon it. 
So, when the gale ceases to blow and departs, leaving 
the sea once more to the mariners, their prayers are 
modest and ask no favouring breezes : it is enough 
for them that the storm has ceased, and they find 
the calm as good as a speedy voyage. While all the 
Carthaginian soldiers bent their gaze upon the sea, 
Hannibal kept his eyes steadily fixed on the Italian 
coast ; the silent tears flowed down his cheeks, and 
again and again he sighed, like an exile driven to a 
dismal shore, who leaves behind his native land and 
the home he loves. 

But when the winds rose and the ships began to 
move forward, while the hills grew less and less in 
the distance, till Italy disappeared and the land of 
Daunus was no longer visible, Hannibal thought 
thus as he gnashed his teeth : ** Am I mad ? Do 
not I deserve to return thus, as a punishment for 
ever leaving Italy ? Better that Carthage had been 
burned with fire, and the name of Elissa <* been 
blotted out for ever ! Was I in my senses then when 
I failed to carry my fiery weapons from Cannae to 
the Capitol, and to hurl Jupiter down from his throne ? 
I ought to have scattered fire-brands over the Seven 
Hills which none then defended ; I ought to have 
consigned that proud nation to the destruction of 
Troy and the doom of their ancestors. Why should 
this thought, however, torment me ? Who prevents 

455 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

quis prohibet rursumque ad moenia tendere gressus ? 
ibo et, castrorum relegens monumenta meorum, 
qua via nota vocat, remeabo Anienis ad undas. 
flectite in Italiam proras, avertite classem. 
faxo, ut vallata revocetur Scipio Roma." 236 

Talibus ardentem furiis Neptunus ut alto 
prospexit vertique rates ad litora vidit, 
quassans caeruleum genitor caput aequora fundo 
eruit et tumidum mo vet ultra litora pontum. 
extemplo ventos imbresque et rupe procellas 240 

concitat Aeolias ac nubibus aethera condit. 
tum, penitus telo molitus regna tridenti 
intima, ab occasu Tethyn impellit et ortu 
ac totum Oceani turbat caput, aequora surgunt 
spumea, et illisu scopulus tremit omnis aquarum. 245 
primus, se attollens Nasamonum sedibus, Auster 
nudavit Syrtim correpta nubilus unda ; 
insequitur sublime ferens nigrantibus alis 
abruptum Boreas ponti latus ; intonat ater 
discordi flatu et partem rapit aequoris Eurus. 250 
hinc rupti reboare poli, atque hinc crebra micare 
fulmina, et in classem ruere implacabile caelum, 
consensere ignes nimbique et fluctus et ira 
ventorum, noctemque freto imposuere tenebrae. 
ecce, intorta Noto veniensque a puppe procella 255 
antemnae immugit (stridorque immite rudentum 
sibilat) ac similem monti nigrante profundo 
ductoris frangit super ora trementia fluctum. 



" Neptune had been propitiated by Scipio (see 1. 50) and 
now prevents Hannibal from returning to Italy. 

* See note to i. 193. « See note to i. 408. 

4^56 



PUNICA, XVII. 231-258 

me from attacking in arms even now and marching 
a second time against the walls of Rome ? I shall go. 
I shall march back over the remains of my former 
camps and tread a familiar track to the waters of the 
Anio. Turn the ships' prows back towards Italy and 
alter our course ! I warrant that beleaguered Rome 
will summon Scipio ere long to return." 

While Hannibal raged thus furiously, Neptune " 
looked forth over the deep and saw the ships turning 
back to shore. Then the sea-god, shaking his blue 
locks, churned up the sea from the bottom and drove 
the swollen tide above the coast-line. At once he 
summoned the winds from the rocky cave of Aeolus,* 
with rains and stormy blasts, and veiled the sky 
with clouds. Then with his trident he stirred up 
the inmost recesses of his realm, and smote the sea 
from East and West, and troubled the whole source 
of Ocean. High rose the foaming waves, and dashed 
on every rock till it shook. First, the cloudy South- 
wind, rising in the land of the Nasamones, caught 
up the waters of the Syrtis ^ and left it bare ; the 
North-wind followed, bearing aloft on its dark wings 
part of the sea which it had carried off ; and the 
black East-wind thundered with opposing blast and 
seized its share of the deep. Now thunder rent the 
sky, and now the lightning-flashes came thick and 
fast, and the inexorable sky rushed down upon the 
ships. Fire and rain, waves and angry winds, all 
worked together, and darkness covered the sea with 
night. But lo ! a gust, launched by the South-wind, 
struck Hannibal's ship astern ; it roared against the 
yard, while the cordage creaked and whistled with 
a fearful noise ; then it carried a wave, mountain-high, 
from the darkling deep and broke it over Hannibal's 

4)57 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

exclamat, volvens oculos caeloque fretoque : 
" felix, o frater, divisque aequate cadendo, 260 

Hasdrubal ! egregium fortis cui dextera in armis 
pugnanti peperit letum, et cui fata dedere 
Ausoniam extreme tellurem apprendere morsu. 
at mihi Cannarum campis, ubi Paulus, ubi illae 
egregiae occubuere animae, dimittere vitam 265 

non licitum, vel, cum ferrem in Capitolia flammas, 
Tarpeio lovis ad manes descendere telo." 
Talia dum maeret, diversis flatibus acta 
in geminum ruit unda latus puppimque sub atris 
aequoris aggeribus tenuit, ceu turbine mersam. 270 
mox, nigris alte pulsa exundantis harenae 
vorticibus, ratis aetherias remeavit ad auras 
et fluctus supra, vento librante, pependit. 
at geminas Notus in scopulos atque horrida saxa 
dura sorte rapit, miserandum et triste, biremes. 275 
increpuere ictu prorae ; tum murice acuto 
dissiliens sonuit, rupta compage, carina, 
hie varia ante oculos facies : natat aequore toto 
arma inter galeasque virum cristasque rubentes 
florentis Capuae gaza et seposta triumpho 280 

Laurens praeda ducis, tripodes mensaeque deorum 
cultaque nequiquam miseris simulacra Latinis. 
tum Venus, emoti facie conterrita ponti, 
talibus alloquitur regem maris : ** hoc satis irae 
interea, genitor ; satis ad maiora minarum. 285 

cetera parce, precor, pelago, ne tollat acerba 
hoc Carthago decus, nullo superabile bello 

<» Claudius Nero, the conqueror at the Metaurus, is meant. 
458 



I 



PUNICA, XVII. 259-287 



head. He shuddered and cried out, as he surveyed 
the sea and sky : " Fortunate were you, O brother 
Hasdrubal, and made equal to the gods in your death. 
You died gloriously, falling in battle by a soldier's 
hand ° ; and Fate permitted you to bite the soil of 
Italy as you died. But I was not suffered, either to 
breathe my last on the field of Cannae, where Paulus 
and many another hero fell, or, when I carried fire- 
brands against the Capitol, to be struck down to 
Hades by the bolt of Jupiter." 

While he lamented thus, two waves driven by 
opposite winds smote both sides of his vessel and 
held it fast beneath the dark heaps of water, as if 
a water-spout had sunk it. Then, driven up by 
boiling eddies of black sand, the ship came up again 
to the surface and hung above the waves, kept on 
an even keel by the opposite winds. But the fierce 
South-wind dashed two other vessels against the 
cliffs and jagged rocks — a pitiful sight to see. As 
they struck, their beaks crashed ; and then the hulls, 
split by the sharp rocks, cracked as their frame- 
work broke up. Now a motley sight was seen : 
all over the water there floated, together with 
weapons and helmets and scarlet plumes, the treasure 
of Capua in her palmy days, the Italian booty set 
apart for Hannibal's triumph, tripods and tables of 
the gods, and images which the Romans had vainly 
worshipped in their affliction. Then Venus, appalled 
by the sight of the raging deep, spoke thus to the 
Ruler of the Sea ^ : " Sire, have done with your 
wrath for the time ; your threats are terrible enough 
to secure greater objects. But now, I pray you, be 
merciful to the sea ; or else cruel Carthage may boast 
* Neptune. 

459 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

progenuisse caput, nostrosque in funera Poeni 
Aeneadas undis to toque eguisse profundo." 

Sic Venus, et tumidi considunt gurgite fluctus. 290 

obviaque adversis propellunt agmina castris. 

Dux, vetus armorum scitusque accendere corda 
laudibus, ignifero mentes furiabat in iram 
hortatu decorisque urebat pectora flammis : 
" tu mihi Flaminii portas rorantia caesi 295 

ora ducis ; nosco dextram. tu primus in ictus 
ingentis Pauli ruis ac defigis in ossa 
mucronem. tibi pugnacis gestantur opima 
Marcelli. Gracchusque cadens tibi proluit ensem. 
ecce manus, quae pulsantem te, belliger Appi, 300 
moenia sublimis Capuae de culmine muri 
excelso fusa moribundum perculit hasta. 
ecce aliud fulmen dextrae, quo nobile nomen 
Fulvius excepit non unum pectore vulnus. 
hue prima te siste acie, cui consul in armis 305 

Crispinus cecidit. me tu comitare per hostes, 
qui nobis, meraini, ad Cannas laetissimus irae 
Servili fers ora ducis suffixa veruto. 
cerno flagrantes oculos vultumque timendum 
non ipso minus ense tuum, fortissime Poenum 310 
o iuvenis, qualem vidi, cum flumine saevo 



•* That some verses, perhaps a great many verses, have 
been lost here seems to me certain. For the present episode 
is not completed ; and the following episode requires intro- 
ductory matter which is lacking. There is no other instance 
in the poem of narrative so faulty. Further, it is known that 
Scipio and Hannibal met in conference before the battle; 
and it is inconceivable that Silius should pass over an 
incident so dramatic. 
460 



PUNICA, XVII. 288-311 

that a son of hers proved invincible in war, and that 
the Aeneadae, my children, needed the sea and all 
its waves to put Hannibal to death." 

Thus Venus spoke, and the swelling waves sank to 
rest.« ........ 

and they pushed their army forward, to meet the foe. 

Hannibal, a veteran soldier, knew well how to 
heighten the ardour of his men by means of praise. 
In a fiery speech he roused their spirit to madness, 
and inflamed their hearts with ambition to excel. ^ 

You it was," he said to one, " who brought me the 
dripping head of slain Flaminius ; I recognize that 
hand. — And i/ou rushed forward first to strike huge 
Paulus, and drove your point in to the bone. — And 
1/ou bear the glorious spoils taken from brave Mar- 
cellus. — And i/ours was the blade which Gracchus 
wetted with his life-blood, as he fell. — I see too the 
hand which laid warlike Appius " low with a spear 
launched from the summit of the rampart, when he 
was attacking the walls of lofty Capua. — And yonder 
is another arm, like lightning in speed, which inflicted 
more than one wound on the breast of noble Fulvius. 
— You who slew the consul Crispinus in battle, come 
hither and stand in the front rank. — Keep by my side 
through the fray, t/ow who at Cannae, as I remember 
well, rejoicing in your martial ardour brought me 
the head of Servilius fixed upon a pike. — Next, O 
bravest son of Carthage, I see i/our flashing eyes 
and countenance as formidable as even your sword ; 
just so I saw you by the bloody stream of the famous 

* The speech that follows gives a complete list of the 
Roman generals killed in the war. That all the soldiers who 
killed them should be living and present now is highly 
improbable. " See xiii. 445 foil. 

461 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

insignis Trebiae complexum ingentibus ulnis 

mersisti fundo luctantem vana tribunum. 

at tu, qui gelidas Ticini primus ad undas 

Scipiadae patris tinxisti sanguine ferrum, 315 

incepta exequere et nati mihi redde cruorem. 

horrescamne ipsos, veniant si ad proelia, divos, 

cum stetis, turmae, vidi contermina caelo 

quas iuga calcantes summas volitare per Alpes, 

cum videam, quorum ferro manibusque capaces 320 

arsere Argyripae campi ? num segnior ibis 

nunc mihi, qui primus torques in moenia telum 

Dardana, nee nostrae facilis concedere laudi ? 

te vero, te, te exstimulem, qui, fulmina contra 

et nimbos tonitrusque ac summi numinis iras 325 

cum starem, perferre sonos ac vana iubebas 

nubila et ante ducem Capitolia celsa petebas ? 

quid vos, quis claro deletum est Marte Saguntum, 

exhorter, quos nobilitant primordia belli ? 

ut meque et vobis dignum, defendite, quaeso, 330 

praeteritas dextra laudes. divum ipse favore 

vincendoque senex patriam post trina labantem 

lustra et non visos tam longa aetate penates 

ac natum et fidae iam pridem coniugis ora, 

confisus vobis, repeto. non altera restat 335 

iam Libyae, nee Dardaniis pugna altera restat. 

certatus nobis hodie dominum accipit orbis." 

Hannibal haec ; sed non patiens remorantia verba 

" He was rescued by his son and survived the battle. 

^ An ancient city of Apulia, also called Arpi, said to have 
been founded by Diomede. It suffered from Hannibal in 
217 B.C. 

462 



PUNICA, XVII. 312-338 

Trebia, when you clasped a Roman officer in your 
mighty arms and drowned him in the depths, in spite 
of his strugghng. — You next, who were first to dye 
your sword with the blood of the elder Scipio " beside 
the cold stream of the Ticinus,now complete your task 
and give me the life-blood of his son. Need I fear to 
meet the gods themselves in battle, when you stand 
firm — my men, whom I saw treading peaks that 
reached to heaven and speeding over the Alpine 
heights, — when I see before me those who, sword in 
hand, set fire to the far-stretching plains of Argyripa ^ ? 
■ — And i/ow, who hurled the first missile against the 
Roman walls, unwilling that even I should outstrip 
you in the race for glory, shall I find you less active 
now ? — And you above all, do you need encourage- 
ment, who, when I confronted the lightning and 
thunder, the storm and the wrath of Jupiter himself, 
bade me ignore the idle rattling of the clouds, and ran 
in front of me against the height of the Capitol ? — 
Need I appeal to you, the men who destroyed Sagun- 
tum by your prowess and won renown from the first 
campaign of the war ? I call on you : maintain your 
former fame in a manner worthy of me and of your- 
selves. I myself, favoured by the gods, have grown 
old in a career of conquest ; and now, after thrice five 
years, I go back to my distressed country, and I 
hope, relying upon you, to see my home, so long un- 
visited,*' and my son, and the face of the wife who has 
ever been loyal to me. Neither Carthage nor Rome 
can fight another battle. To-day must decide the 
struggle between us for the mastery of the world." 
Thus Hannibal spoke ; but, when Scipio opened his 

*^ Hannibal had never seen Carthage since he left it for 
Spain with his fatiier about tlie year 238 B.C. 

463 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Ausonius miles, quotiens dux coeperat ora 

solvere ad effatus, signum pugnamque petebant. 340 

Haec prociil aeria speculantem nube sororem 
ut vidit divum genitor maestosque sub acri 
obtutu vultus, sic ore effatus amico est : 
" qui te mentis edunt morsus ? da noscere, coniux ; 
num Poeni casus ducis et Carthaginis angit 345 

cura tuae ? sed enim reputa tecum ipsa furores 
Sidonios. gentem contra et fatalia regna 
Teucrorum quis erit, quaeso, germana, rebelli 
fractis foederibus populo modus ? ipsa malorum 
non plus Carthago tulit exhausitque laboris, 350 

quam pro Cadmea subiisti exercita gente. 
turbasti maria ac terras iuvenemque ferocem 
immisti Latio ; tremuerunt moenia Romae, 
perque bis octonos primus fuit Hannibal annos 
humani generis, tempus componere gentes. 355 

ad finem ventum est ; claudenda est ianua belli." 

Tum supplex luno : ** neque ego, haec mutare 
laborans, 
quis est fixa dies, pendenti nube resedi ; 
nee revocare acies bellumve extendere quaero ; 
quae donare potes (quoniam mihi gratia languet, 360 
et cecidit iam primus amor) nil fila sororum 
adversus posco : vertat terga Hannibal hosti, 
ut placet, et cineres Troiae Carthagine regnent. 
illud te gemini per mutua pignora amoris 

• Romans. ^ The Fates. 

" An invidious description of Rome. 
464 



PUNICA, XVII. 339-364 

lips to address the Roman soldiers, they resented the 
delay and refused to listen, demanding the signal 
for battle. 

Juno watched these things from a cloud in the 
distant sky, and the Father of the gods marked her 
eager gaze and sad countenance. Then he addressed 
her with friendly speech : " What grief preys upon 
your heart ? Tell your husband what it is. Is it 
the plight of Hannibal that torments you, and anxiety 
for your loved city of Carthage ? Just consider in 
your own heart the madness of that people. Will 
there ever come a time, I ask you, sister, when they 
will cease to break treaties and wage fresh war against 
the Teucri ^ whose dominion is ordained by Fate ? 
Carthage herself has not suffered more and endured 
more than you yourself have done, in your exertions 
for the defence of that people. You stirred up land 
and sea ; you sent forth that proud young warrior 
against Italy ; the walls of Rome were shaken ; and 
for twice eight years Hannibal has been the foremost 
of all living men. The time has come to quiet the 
nations. We have reached the end, and the gate of 
war must be shut." 

Then Juno made her humble petition : ** I did not 
seat myself upon this overhanging cloud, in order that 
I might change events whose term is fixed already ; 
nor do I seek to recall the armies and prolong the 
war. I ask only what you have power to grant — • 
since my influence has waned and your first passion 
for me has cooled ; I do not interfere with the spinning 
of the Three Sisters.^ Let Hannibal retreat before 
the foe, since such is your pleasure, and let the ashes 
of Troy ^ reign at Carthage. But one thing I beg of 
you, I your sister and your spouse, in the name of 

465 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et soror et coniux oro : tranare pericla 365 

magnanimum patiare ducem vitamque remittas 
neve sinas captum Ausonias perferre catenas, 
stent etiam contusa malis mea moenia, fracto 
nomine Sidonio, et nostro serventur honori." 

Sic luno, et contra breviter sic lupiter orsus : 370 
** do spatium muris, ut vis, Carthaginis altae : 
stent lacrimis precibusque tuis. sed percipe, coniux, 
quatenus indulsisse vacet. non longa supersunt 
fata urbi, venietque pari sub nomine ductor, 
qui nunc servatas evertat funditus arces. 375 

aetherias quoque, uti poscis, trahat Hannibal auras, 
ereptus pugnae. miscere hie sidera ponto 
et terras implere volet redeuntibus armis. 
novi feta viri bello praecordia. sed lex 
muneris haec esto nostri : Saturnia regna 380 

ne post haec videat, repetat neve amplius umquam 
Ausoniam. nunc instanti raptum avehe leto, 
ne, latis si miscebit fera proelia campis, 
Romulei nequeas iuvenis subducere dextrae." 

Dum statuit fata Omnipotens urbique ducique, 385 
invadunt acies pugnam et clamore lacessunt 
sidera. non alio graviores tempore vidit 
aut populos tellus, aut, qui patria arma moverent, 
maiores certare duces, discriminis alta 
in medio merces, quicquid tegit undique caelum. 390 
ibat Agenoreus praefulgens ductor in ostro, 
excelsumque caput penna nutante levabat 

« In 146 B.C. Carthage was destroyed by P. Cornelius Scipio 
Aemilianus, the younger Africanus, a grandson, by adoption, 
of the elder Africanus. " Italy. 

4-66 



PUNICA, XVII. 365-392 

the twofold tie between us : suffer the noble leader 
to pass safe through danger, and spare his life ; let 
him not be taken captive, to carry Roman fetters. 
Also, let the walls of my city, though sorely battered, 
remain standing when the Carthaginian name has 
perished, and be preserved to honour me." 

Thus Juno spoke, and Jupiter answered her briefly 
thus : " I grant to the walls of lofty Carthage the 
reprieve you seek. Let them stand, in answer to your 
tears and entreaties. But hear how far your husband 
is able to grant your requests. The days of Carthage 
are numbered, and another Scipio °^ shall come, to 
raze to the ground the towers which for the present 
are safe. Further, let your prayer for Hannibal be 
granted : let him be rescued from the fray and 
continue to breathe the air of heaven. He will seek 
to throw the world into confusion and to fill the earth 
with renewed warfare. I know his heart, which can 
bring forth nothing but war. But I grant him life on 
one condition : he must never hereafter see the land of 
Saturn ^ and never again return to Italy. Snatch 
him away at once from imminent death ; or else, if 
he joins in fierce battle on the broad plains, you may 
be unable to rescue him from the right hand of the 
young Roman general." 

While the Almighty Father thus fixed the doom 
of Carthage and of Hannibal, the armies began the 
battle, and their shouting challenged the stars. 
Never did the earth behold mightier nations in con- 
flict or greater generals in command of their country's 
armies. High was the prize of victory set before 
them — even all that the wide canopy of heaven 
covers. The Punic leader came forth, glittering in 
purple ; and the head he bore so high was made higher 

467 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

crista rubens. saevus magno de nomine terror 

praecedit, Latioque micat bene cognitus ensis. 

at contra ardenti radiabat Scipio cocco, 395 

terribilem ostentans clipeum, quo patris et una 

caelarat patrui spirantes proelia dira 

effigies ; flammam ingentem frons alta vomebat. 

sub tanta cunctis vi telorumque virumque 

in ducibus stabat spes et victoria solis. 400 

quin etiam, favor ut subigit plerosque metusve, 

Scipio si Libycis esset generatus in oris, 

sceptra ad Agenoreos credunt ventura nepotes : 

Hannibal Ausonia genitus si sede fuisset, 

baud dubitant terras Itala in dicione futuras. 405 

Contremuere aurae, rapido vibrantibus hastis 
turbine, et horrificam traxere per aethera nubem. 
inde ensis propiorque acies et comminus ora 
admota ac dira flagrantia lumina flamma. 
sternitur, in medium contemptrix turba pericli 410 
quae primis se praecipitem tulit obvia telis, 
gentilemque bibit tellus invita cruorem. 
fervidus ingenii Masinissa et fervidus aevi 
in primas Macetum turmas immania membra 
infert et iaculo circumvolat alite campum. 416 

caerulus baud aliter, cum dimicat, incola Thyles 
agmina falcigero circumvenit arta covinno. 
Graia phalanx patrio densarat more catervas 
iunctisque adstabat nulli penetrabilis hastis. 
immemor has pacti post foedus in arma Philippus 



" For the colour see iv. 518. 

^ From the metal of his helmet. 

* Philip v., king of Macedonia, had sent 4000 men and 
a sum of money to the aid of Carthage : he soon found out 
that he was " backing the wrong horse," 
468 



PUNICA, XVII. 393-420 

by his ruddy crest of nodding plumes. Dread and terror 
of his mighty name went before him ; and his sword 
that Rome knew so well shone bright. Over against 
him was Scipio, arrayed in glowing scarlet," and 
displaying his dreadful shield, on which were en- 
graved the figures of his father and his uncle, breath- 
ing fierce battle ; and his lofty front sent forth a 
mighty flame. ^ Though there was present so great a 
force of combatants and weapons, yet, for all, the 
hope of victory depended upon the leaders alone. 
Nay — so strongly were men moved by confidence 
in their leader or fear of his adversary — most believed 
that, if Scipio had been a son of Africa, universal 
empire would have fallen to the sons of Agenor ; 
but, had Hannibal been born in Italy, they doubted 
not that Rome would have ruled the world. 

When the spears were hurled with speed and force, 
the air was shaken and a fearsome cloud spread over the 
sky. Next came the sword at close quarters, and face 
pressed close to face, and eyes blazed with baleful flame. 
Those who despised the danger and rushed forward 
to meet the first shower of missiles were all laid low, 
and the earth grieved as she drank the blood of her 
sons. Masinissa, hot by nature and hot with youth, 
hurled his huge frame against the front rank of 
Macedonian '^ horsemen, and dashed round the field 
with flying javelineers. Even so the woad-stained 
native of Thule ^ drives his chariot armed with scythes 
round the close-packed ranks in battle. The phalanx 
of Greeks was drawn up in close order after the fashion 
of their country, and no foeman could force a way 
through the thick hedge of their pikes. For Philip, 
forgetting his pledges and faithless to his treaty, had 
* See note to iii. 597. 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

miserat et quassam refovebat Agenoris urbem. 421 
rarescit multo lassatus vulnere miles 
atque aperit patulas prostrate corpore late 
inter tela vias. irrumpit mole ruinae 
Ausonius globus et periuria Graia resignat. 425 

Archemorum Rutilus, Teucrum Norbanus (et ambo 
Mantua pubenti genetrix dimiserat aevo), 
obtruncat Samium bellacis dextra Caleni, 
at Clytium Selius, Pellaeum et vana tumentem 
ad nomen patriae Clytium ; sed gloria Pellae 430 
baud valuit misero defendere Daunia tela. 
Saevior his Latius vastabat Bruttia signa 
Laelius increpitans : " adeone Oenotria tellus 
detestanda fuit, quam per maria aspera perque 
insanos Tyrio fugeretis remige fluctus ? 435 

sed fugisse satis fuerit. Latione cruore 
insuper externas petitis perfundere terras ? ** 
haec dicens Silarum, meditantem in proelia, tele 
praevenit. hasta volans imo sub gutture sedit 
et vitae vocisque vias simul incita clausit. 440 

Vergilio Caudinus, acerbo Laiis Amano 
sternitur. accendunt iras vultusque virorum 
armorumque habitus noti et vox consona linguae, 
quos ubi nudantes conspexit Hamilcare cretus 
terga fuga : " state ac nostram ne prodite gentem," 
vociferans subit et convertit proelia dextra : 446 

qualis in aestiferis Garamantum feta veneno 
attollit campis ferventi pastus harena 
colla Paraetonius serpens lateque per auras 

«» The capital of Macedonia and birth-place of Alexander. 
Presumably Archemorus andTeucer were Macedonians also. 

^ Hannibal had forced many of these to accompany him 
when he left Italy. 

" See note to iii. 225. 

4,70 



PUNICA, XVII. 421-449 

sent them to the war, to prop up the falling city 
of Agenor. Worn out by many a wound, their 
ranks grew thin and, when corpses fell fast, wide 
passages opened up between the spears. In rushed 
a body of Romans carrying vast destruction with 
them, and broke the formation of the perjured Greeks. 
Archemorus was slain by Rutilus and Teucer by 
Norbanus — Mantua was the mother of both these 
youthful conquerors — the hand of warlike Calenus 
slew Samius, and Selius slew Clytius ; Clytius, a 
native of Pella," was filled with empty pride by 
the name of his native town, but the fame of Fella 
could not defend the hapless wretch from the Roman 
sword. 

Fiercer even than these, Laelius for Rome made 
havoc of the Bruttian ^ ranks, taunting them thus : 
" Was the land of Italy so hateful to you, that you 
must needs flee from it over rough seas and furious 
waves on ships of Carthage ? To have fled was 
surely guilt enough. Do you seek also to drench a 
foreign soil with Roman blood ? " As he spoke thus 
he hurled his weapon, too quick for Silarus who was 
about to strike. The flying spear lodged in his throat, 
and the stroke robbed him of speech and life together. 
Caudinus was slain by Vergilius, and Laiis by fierce 
Amanus. The fury of the Romans was heightened 
by the faces of their antagonists, the familiar fashion 
of their weapons, and their kindred speech. When 
the son of Hamilcar saw the Bruttians exposing their 
rear in flight, he came up shouting, " Stand firm and 
prove no traitors to our nation ! " — and his valour 
rallied the fugitives. Even so, on the parching 
plains of the Garamantes, an Egyptian " snake that 
has fed on the burning sands lifts its venomous neck on 

471 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

undantem torquet perfundens nubila tabem. 450 

continue infesta portantem cuspide vulnus 
impedit antevolans Herium, cui nobile nomen 
Marrucina domus clarumque Teate ferebat. 
atque illi, magnum nitenti et laudibus hostis 
arrecto, capuli ad finem manus incita sedit ; 455 

quaerebatque miser morienti lumine fratrem, 
cum iuvenis subit et, leto stimulatus acerbo, 
Pleminius saevum mucronem ante ora coruscat 
ac fratrem magno minitans clamore reposcit. 
huic proles Barcae : ** germanum reddere vero 460 
si placet, haud renuo. maneant modo foedera nostra, 
Hasdrubalem revocate umbris. egone aspera ponam 
umquam in Romanos odia ? aut mansuescere corda 
nostra sinam ? parcamque viro, quem terra crearit 
Itala ? tum manes inimicos sede repellat 465 

aeterna socioque abigat me frater Averno." 
sic ait et clipei propulsum pondere toto, 
lubrica qua tellus lapsantes sanguine fratris 
fallebat nisus, prosternit et occupat ense. 
extendit labens palmas, Heriumque iacentem 470 
amplexus, iuncta lenivit morte dolores. 
tum Libys invadit mixtae certamina turbae 
convertitque mens per longum hostilia terga : 
ut cum fulminibus permixta tonitrua mundum 
terrificant, summique labat domus alta parentis, 475 
omne hominum terris trepidat genus, ipsaque ob ora 
472 



PUNICA, XVII. 450-476 

high and hurls liquid poison far through the sky and 
drenches the clouds. Herius, who bore a noble name 
from the famous town of Teate ^ where he dwelt 
among the Marrucinians, was aiming a thrust mth 
his spear, when Hannibal at once rushed before him 
and prevented him. Herius, eager to meet a foe so 
famous, made a mighty effort ; but Hannibal drove 
his sword up to the hilt in the Roman's body. The 
dying man's eyes sought his brother, Pleminius ; and 
up Pleminius came. Maddened by his brother's fate, 
he brandished his sword in Hannibal's face, and with 
loud threats demanded the life of the dead man. 
Hannibal replied thus : " Agreed, if you indeed are 
prepared to restore mi/ brother to me ! Only our 
bargain must be kept , and you must call back Hasdrubal 
from the shades. — Shall I ever forget the fierce hatred 
that I bear to Rome ? Or shall I suffer my heart to 
be softened ? Shall I spare a single son of Italy ? 
Then may my brother keep my unloved spirit far 
from his eternal abode and drive me away from 
communion with him in Avernus ! " Speaking thus 
he brought down the full weight of his shield upon 
Pleminius and felled him, where the earth, slippery 
with his brother's blood, made his footing insecure ; 
then he attacked him with the sword. As Pleminius 
fell, he stretched out his hands to embrace the body 
of Herius ; and the pangs of death were lightened 
because they died together. Then Hannibal plunged 
into the thickest of the fray ; far and fast he rushed 
on, forcing the foe to turn their backs. So, when 
thunder and lightning together affright the heavens, 
and the high dwelling of the Mighty Father is 
shaken, every race of man on earth is terrified ; the 
• See note to viii. 5:^0. 
VOL. II Q 473 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

lux atrox micat, et praesens adstare viritim 
creditur intento perculsis lupiter igne. 

Parte alia, ceu sola forent discrimina campo, 
qua misceret agens truculentum Scipio Martem, 
aspera pugna novas varia sub imagine leti 481 

dat formas. hie ense iacet prostratus adacto ; 
hie saxo perfracta gemit lacrimabilis ossa ; 
ast hos, turpe, pavor fusos proiecit in ora ; 
horum adversa dedit Gradivo pectora virtus. 485 

ipse super strages ductor Rhoeteius instat, 
qualis apud gelidum currus quatit altior Hebrum 
et Geticas solvit ferventi sanguine Mavors 
laetus caede nives, glaciemque Aquilonibus actam 
perrumpit stridens sub pondere belliger axis. 490 

iamque ardore truci lustrans fortissima quaeque 
nomina obit ferro. claris spectata per orbem 
stragibus occumbit late inter tela iuventus. 
qui muros rapuere tuos miserasque nefandi 
principium belli fecere, Sagunte, ruinas ; 495 

qui sacros, Thrasymenne, lacus, Phaethontia quique 
poUuerant tabo stagna ; ac fiducia tanta 
quos tulit, ut superum regi soliumque domosque 
irent direptum : mactantur comminus uno 
exitio ; redduntque animas, temerata ferebant 500 
qui secreta deum et primos reserasse negatas 
gressibus humanis Alpes. formidinis huius 
plena acies propere retro exanimata ruebat. 

• See note to ix. 367. 

'' The Hebrus is a Thracian river, and the Getae a Thracian 
people : Mars was supposed to live in Thrace. 

" Weight is a common attribute of divinity in ancient 
mythology. 

<* The river Po. * The Capitol. 

474, 



I 



PUNICA, XVII. 477-503 



fierce light flashes full in their faces, and each man in 
his panic believes that Jupiter stands in visible form 
before him and aims the fire at him. 

Elsewhere, as if there were no fighting on the field 
except where Scipio drove the rout before him in 
furious warfare, the fierce battle displayed strange 
and diverse forms of death. One man lies prostrate, 
pierced by the sword ; another, whose bones have 
been shattered by a stone, groans pitifully ; some 
whom fear laid low lie prone in dishonour ; others 
are brave men who offered their front to the slayer." 
The Roman general presses on over the heaps of 
dead. Even so, by the cold Hebrus,^ Mars, rejoicing 
in slaughter, stands erect in his chariot and drives it 
forward, melting the Getic snows with hot streams 
of blood ; and the car, groaning beneath the god's 
weight," breaks the ice that the North-winds have 
piled up. And now Scipio in his burning rage sought 
out and slew with the sword all the bravest and 
most famous. The soldiers renowned over the world 
for feats of slaughter were slain over all the field in 
this battle. The men who ravished Saguntum and 
began the abominable w^ar by destroying the walls 
of that ill-fated city ; those who polluted with gore 
the sacred lake of Trasimene and the pools of 
Phaethon's river ^ ; those who were bold enough to 
march against the throne and dwelling « of the King 
of Heaven, to sack it — all these were slain in hand- 
to-hand battle and shared the same doom. Slain 
also were those who boasted that they had desecrated 
the secret places of the gods and opened up the Alps 
where no foot of man had trodden till then. The 
Carthaginians, filled with fear for such guilt, turned 
in haste and fled, robbed of their senses. Thus, when 

VOL. II Q 2 475 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

haud secus ac tectis urbis Vulcania pestis 
cum sese infudit, rapidusque incendia flatus 505 

ventilat et volucres spargit per culmina flammas : 
attonitum erumpit subita formidine vulgus, 
lateque ut capta passim trepidatur in urbe. 

Verum ubi cunctari taedet dispersa virorum 
proelia sectantem et leviori Marte teneri, 510 

omnes in causam belli auctoremque malorum 
vertere iam vires tandem placet. Hannibal unus 
dum restet, non, si muris Carthaginis ignis 
subdatur, caesique cadant exercitus omnis, 
profectum Latio ; contra, si concidat unus, 515 

nequiquam fore Agenoreis cuncta arma virosque. 
ilium igitur lustrans circumfert lumina campo 
rimaturque ducem. iuvat in certamina summa 
ferre gradum ; cuperetque viro concurrere, tota 
spectante Ausonia ; celsus clamore feroci 520 

provocat increpitans hostem et nova proelia poscit. 

Quas postquam audivit voces conterrita luno, 
ne Libyci ducis impavidas ferrentur ad aures, 
effigiem informat Latiam propereque coruscis 
attollit cristis ; addit clipeumque iubasque 525 

Romulei ducis atque umeris imponit honorem 
fulgentis saguli ; dat gressum habitusque cientis 
proelia et audaces adicit sine corpore motus. 
tum par effigies fallacis imagine vana 
cornipedis moderanda cito per devia passu 530 

belligerae datur ad speciem certaminis umbrae, 
sic Poeni ducis ante oculos exultat et ultro 
Scipio lunoni simulatus tela coruscat. 
at, viso laetus rectore ante ora Latino 

«^Cp. iv. 517. 
476 



PUNICA, XVII. 504-634 

^the scourge of fire has spread over the buildings of 
a city, and a gale fans the flying flame and scatters 
it over the house-tops, the people rush out into the 
streets, appalled with sudden fear ; and there is wide- 
spread consternation, as if enemies had taken the city. 

But Scipio was impatient of delay and weary of 
pursuing lesser adversaries in different parts of the 
field. He resolved to turn all his might at last against 
the cause of war and the originator of all Rome's 
calamities. While Hannibal alone survived, Rome 
had gained nothing, even if the walls of Carthage 
were set on fire and all her soldiers slain ; on the 
other hand, if Hannibal alone fell, all her weapons 
and all her men would profit the people of Carthage 
not at all. Therefore he turned his gaze all over the 
field, seeking and searching for Hannibal ; he longed 
to begin the crowning conflict, and would welcome 
all Italy to watch the contest. Rising to his full 
height, he challenged his foe with taunts and a shout 
of defiance, and demanded a fresh antagonist. 

Juno heard his speech and feared it might reach 
the ears of the dauntless African general. Therefore 
she made haste to fashion a shape in the likeness of 
Scipio, and adorned its high head with a glittering 
plume ; she gave it also Scipio 's shield and helmet, 
and placed on its shoulders the general's scarlet 
mantle ; " she gave it Scipio's gait and his attitude in 
battle, and made the bodiless phantom step out boldly. 
Next she made a phantom steed, as unsubstantial as 
his rider, for the phantom warrior to ride at speed 
over the rough ground to a mock combat. Thus 
the Scipio whom Juno had fashioned sprang forth 
before the face of Hannibal and boldly brandished 
his weapons. The Carthaginian rejoiced to see the 

477 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

et tandem propius sperans ingentia, Poenus 635 

quadruped! citus imponit velocia membra 
et iacit adversam properati turbinis hastam. 
dat terga et campo fugiens volat ales imago 
tramittitque acies. turn vero, ut victor et alti 
iam compos voti, ferrata calce cruentat 540 

cornipedem et largas Poenus quatit asper habenas : 
" quo fugis, oblitus nostris te cedere regnis ? 
nulla tibi Libyca latebra est, o Scipio, terra.'* 
haec ait et stricto sequitur mucrone volantem, 
donee longinquo frustratum duxit in arva 645 

diversa spatio procul a certamine pugnae. 
tum fallax subito simulacrum in nubila cessit. 
fulmineus ductor : " quisnam se numine caeco 
composuit nobis," inquit, " deus ? aut latet idem 
cur monstro ? tantumne obstat mea gloria divis ? 550 
sed non avelles umquam, quicumque secundus 
caelicolum stas Ausoniae, non artibus hostem 
eripies verum nobis." frena inde citati 
convertit furibundus equi campumque petebat, 
cum subito occultae pestis collapsa tremore 555 

cornipedis moles ruit atque efflavit anhelo 
pectore lunonis curis in nubila vitam. 
tum vero impatiens " vestra est haec altera, vestra 
fraus," inquit, " superi ; non fallitis. aequore mersum 
texissent scopuli, pelagusque hausisset et undae ! 
anne huic servabar leto ? mea signa secuti, 561 

quis pugnae auspicium dedin^us, caeduntur ; et absens 

478 



PUNICA, XVII. 635-562 

Roman general facing him ; hoping soon to win a 
mighty prize, he threw his nimble hmbs across his 
horse's back and quickly hurled his furious spear at 
the adversary. The phantom turned round and fled 
fast along the plain and past the fighters. Then 
indeed Hannibal, sure of victory and of attaining his 
high ambition, spurred his horse till the blood came, 
and roughly shook the reins that lay loose on its neck. 
" Whither do you flee, Scipio ? You forget that you 
are retreating from our realm. For you there is no 
hiding-place on the soil of Libya." Speaking thus 
he pursued the flying phantom with drawn sword, 
until it led him astray to a spot far removed from 
the strife of battle. Then the delusive phantom 
vanished suddenly into the clouds. Fire flashed from 
Hannibal's eyes : " What god," he cried, " has 
masked his divinity and matched himself against me ? 
or why does he hide beneath this phantom ? Are the 
gods so jealous of my fame ? But, whichever of the 
gods it is that favours Rome, he shall never snatch 
my victim from me nor rob me by craft of the real 
foe." Then in fury he turned his fleet horse's head 
and was riding back to the field, when suddenly, 
by the contrivance of Juno, the stalwart steed, 
smitten by a mysterious fever-fit, fell down and 
soon breathed forth its life into the air from pant- 
ing lungs. Hannibal could endure no more : " From 
you, ye gods," he cried, ** from you comes this 
second deception ; but I see through your devices. 
Oh that I had been drowned at sea, that the rocks 
had been my tomb, and that the waves of ocean had 
swallowed me down ! Was I saved for a death like 
this ? The men who followed my standard and 
whom I led on to war are being slaughtered, and I am 

479 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

accipio gemitus vocesque ac verba vocantum 
Hannibalem. quis nostra satis delicta piabit 
Tartareus torrens ? " simul haec fundebat et una 
spectabat dextram ac leti fervebat amore. 666 

Tunc luno, miserata virum, pastoris in ora 
vertitur ac silvis subito procedit opacis 
atque his alloquitur versantem ingloria fata : 
" quaenam te silvis accedere causa subegit 570 

armatum nostris ? num dura ad proelia tendis, 
magnus ubi Ausoniae reliquos domat Hannibal armis ? 
si velox gaudes ire, et compendia grata 
sunt tibi, vicino in medios te tramite ducam.'* 
annuit atque onerat promissis pectora largis 675 

pastoris patresque docet Carthaginis altae 
magna repensuros, nee se leviora daturum. 
praecipitem et vasto superantem proxima saltu 
circumagit luno ac, fallens regione viarum, 
non gratam invito servat celata salutem. 580 

Interea Cadmea manus, deserta pavensque, 
non ullum Hannibalem, nusquam certamina cernit 
saevi nota ducis. pars ferro occumbere credunt, 
pars damnasse aciem et divis cessisse sinistris. 
ingruit Ausonius versosque agit aequore toto 585 

rector, iamque ipsae trepidant Carthaginis arces : 
impletur terrore vago cuncta Africa pulsis 
agminibus, volucrique fuga sine Marte ruentes 
tendunt attonitos extrema ad litora cursus 



« Like Turnus in the Aeneid (x. 681), he was contemplat- 
ing suicide. 
480 



PUNICA, XVII. 663-589 

not with them ; I hear their groans and their cries to 
Hannibal to help them. What river of Tartarus will 
ever purge away my guilt ? " Even as he poured forth 
this complaint, he looked to the sword in his right 
hand " in his passionate desire for death. 

Then Juno took pity upon him. Putting on the 
likeness of a shepherd, she suddenly emerged from a 
shady grove, and addressed him thus while he had in 
mind a dishonourable death : " For what purpose 
came you here, a man in arms, to our peaceful wood- 
lands ? Seek you the stern battle, in which great 
Hannibal is defeating the remnant of the Romans ? 
If speed is your desire and you seek to get there 
quickly, I will guide you by a neighbouring path to 
the midst of the combat." He assented, and loaded 
the shepherd with promises of rich reward, saying that 
the rulers of mighty Carthage would give a great 
recompense and that he himself would be no less 
generous. Starting forward, he moved with great 
bounds over the surrounding plain ; but Juno in 
disguise led him by a circuitous way, and, mis- 
directing him, earned no gratitude by saving his Hfe 
against his will. 

Meanwhile the Carthaginian army, deserted and 
affrighted, could see no sign of Hannibal nor of his 
famous achievements in the field. Some thought he 
had been slain by the sword ; others, that he had 
abandoned the battle in despair, unable to cope with 
the ill-will of the gods. On came Scipio and drove 
them in flight all over the plain ; and now even the 
towers of Carthage trembled. When her armies 
were routed, all Africa was filled with terror and 
confusion : flying, not fighting, panic-stricken men 
rushed with utmost speed to the most distant shores. 

43] 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

ac Tartessiacas profugi sparguntur in oras ; 690 

pars Batti petiere domos, pars flumina Lagi. 

sic ubi, vi caeca tandem devictus, ad astra 

evomuit pastes per saecula Vesvius ignes, 

et pelago et terris fusa est Vulcania pestis, 

videre Eoi, monstrum admirabile, Seres 595 

lanigeros cinere Ausonio canescere lucos. 

At fessum tumulo tandem regina propinquo 
sistit luno ducem, facies unde omnis et atrae 
apparent admota oculis vestigia pugnae. 
qualem Gargani campum Trebiaeque paludem 600 
et Tyrrhena vada et Phaethontis viderat amnem 
strage virum undantem, talis, miserabile visu, 
prostratis facies aperitur dira maniplis. 
tunc superas luno sedes turbata revisit, 
iamque propinquabant hostes tumuloque subibant, 
cum secum Poenus : " caelum licet omne soluta 606 
in caput hoc compage ruat, terraeque dehiscant, 
non ullo Cannas abolebis, lupiter, aevo, 
decedesque prius regnis quam noniina gentes 
aut facta Hannibalis sileant. nee deinde relinquo 
securam te, Roma, mei ; patriaeque superstes 611 
ad spes armorum vivam tibi. nam modo pugna 
praecellis, resident hostes : mihi satque superque, 
ut me Dardaniae matres atque Itala tellus, 
dum vivam, expectent nee pacem pectore norint." 
sic rapitur, paucis fugientum mixtus, et altos 616 

inde petit retro montes tutasque latebras. 

« Spain. " Cyrene. 

" The Nile, standing for Egypt. ** See note to vi. 4. 

* This observation received some confirmation recently 
when eruptions in Japan and Sumatra produced remarkable 
phenomena in Europe. 

^ The field of Cannae. The " river of Phaethon " is the Po. 
4S2 



PUNICA, XVII. 590-617 

Some were scattered in flight as far as the land of 
Tartessus '^ ; some sought the city of Battus,^ and 
others the river of Lagus.'' So, when Vesuvius, at 
length mastered by some hidden force, vomits forth 
to heaven the fires it has fed for centuries, and the 
visitation of the fire-god spreads over sea and land, 
the Seres in the east — a marvel beyond belief — see 
their wool-bearing trees ^ grow white with the ash 
from Italy.* 

But at last Hannibal was weary ; and Juno, the 
queen of heaven, made him sit down on a hillock hard 
by, whence he had a clear view of all that awful 
battle and could trace every detail. As he had once 
seen the field ^ by Mount Garganus,the marshes of the 
Trebia, the Etruscan lake, and the river of Phaethon, 
all covered with corpses, so now — unhappy man — he 
witnessed the dreadful sight of his army overthrown. 
Then Juno returned ill-pleased to her home in heaven. 
And now the enemy came up close to the hill where 
he sat, and he said in his heart ; " Though the earth 
yawn asunder, though all the framework of heaven 
break up and fall upon my head, never shalt thou, 
Jupiter, wipe out the memory of Cannae, but thou 
shalt step down from thy throne ere the world forgets 
the name or achievements of Hannibal. Nor do I 
leave Rome without dread of me : I shall survive my 
country and live on in the hope of warring against 
Rome. She wins this battle, but that is all ; her foes 
are lying low. Enough, and more than enough for 
me, if Roman mothers and the people of Italy dread 
my coming while I live, and never know peace of 
mind." Then he joined a band of fugitives and 
hurried away, seeking a sure hiding-place among the 
high mountains in his rear. 

VOL. II Q 3 483 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

Hie finis bello. reserantur protinus arces 
Ausonio iam sponte duci. iura improba adempta 
armaque, et incisae leges, opibusque superbis 620 
vis fracta, et posuit gestatas belua turres. 
excelsae turn saeva rates spectacula Poenis 
flammiferam accepere facem, subitaque procella 
arserunt maria, atque expavit lumina Nereus. 

Mansuri compos decoris per saecula rector, 625 
devictae referens primus cognomina terrae, 
securus sceptri, repetit per caerula Romam 
et patria invehitur sublimi tecta triumpho. 
ante Syphax, feretro residens, captiva premebat 
lumina, et auratae servabant colla catenae. 630 

hie Hannon clarique genus Phoenissa iuventa 
et Macetum primi atque incocti corpora Mauri, 
tum Nomades notusque saero, cum lustrat harenas, 
Hammoni Garamas et semper naufraga Syrtis. 
mox victas tendens Carthago ad sidera palmas 635 
ibat et effigies orae iam lenis Hiberae, 
terrarum finis Gades ac laudibus olim 
terminus Herculeis Calpe Baetisque lavare 
solis equos dulci consuetus fluminis unda, 
frondosumque apieem subigens ad sidera mater 640 
bellorum fera Pyrene nee mitis Hiberus, 
cum simul illidit ponto, quos attulit, amnes. 



" Carthage was required to surrender all her elephants 
she had also to pay 10,000 talents by instalments. 

" " Scipio was by popular consent styled Africanus. 
Henceforth every land where troubles arose was viewed by 
Roman nobles as the potential source of a nickname of 
honour " (Heitland, Roman Republic, i. p. 340). 

* He was a sick man, or he must have walked. 

** Taken prisoner in Spain : see xvi. 72 foil. 
484. 



PUNICA, XVII. 618-642 

Thus the war ended. At once and wiUingly the 
citizens opened their gates to Scipio. He took from 
them their excessive power and their weapons, and 
engraved conditions of peace upon tablets ; he broke 
down the power of their overweening wealth, and 
the huge beasts « laid down the towers they carried. 
And then the citizens saw a cruel sight, when their 
tall ships were set on lire ; the seas blazed up with a 
sudden conflagration, and Ocean was terrified by the 
glare. 

Scipio had gained glory to last for ages ; he was the 
first general to bear the name of the country he had 
conquered ^ ; he had no fear for the empire of Rome. 
And now he sailed back to Rome and entered his 
native city in a splendid triumphal procession. Before 
him went Syphax, borne on a litter,*' with the down- 
cast eyesof a captive, and wearing chains of gold about 
his neck. Hanno^ walked there, with noble youths 
of Carthage ; also the chief men of the Macedonians, 
with black-skinned Moors and Numidians, and the 
Garamantes whom the god Ammon sees as they scour 
the desert, and people of the Syrtis that wrecks so many 
ships. Then Carthage ^ was seen in the procession, 
stretching out her conquered hands to heaven ; and 
other figures also — Spain now pacified, Gades at the 
World's End, Calpe the limit of the achievements of 
Hercules in ancient times, and the Baetis that is wont to 
bathe the sun's coursers in its sweet waters. There 
too was Pyrene, the fierce mother of wars, thrusting 
her forest-clad height to heaven, and the Ebro, no 
gentle stream when it pours with violence into the 
sea all the streams it has brought down with it. But 

• Images of conquered cities, mountains, and rivers were 
regularly carried in triumphal processions. 

485 



SILIUS ITALICUS 

sed non ulla magis mentesque oculosque tenebat, 
quam visa Hannibalis campis fugientis imago, 
ipse, adstans curru atque auro decoratus et ostro, 645 
Martia praebebat spectanda Quiritibus ora : 
qualis odoratis descendens Liber ab Indis 
egit pampineos frenata tigride currns ; 
aut cum Phlegraeis, confecta mole Gigantum, 
incessit campis tangens Tirynthius astra. 650 

salve, invicte parens, non concessure Quirino 
laudibus ac meritis non concessure Camillo ! 
nee vero, cum te memorat de stirpe deorum, 
prolem Tarpei mentitur Roma Tonantis. 

" For Fhlegra see note to iv. 275. 

" " Father of his country " was a Roman title of honour 
which very few Romans gained. 

• For the divine paternity of Scipio see note to xiii. 637 foil. 



486 



PUNICA, XVII. 643-654 

no sight attracted the eyes and minds of the people 
more than the picture of Hannibal in retreat over 
the plains. Scipio himself, erect in his chariot and 
splendid in purple and gold, gave to the citizens the 
spectacle of his martial countenance. So looked 
Bacchus, when he drove his car, wreathed with 
vine-leaves and drawn by tigers, down from the 
incense-breathing land of the Indians ; and so looked 
Hercules, when he had slain the huge Giants and 
marched along the plains of Phlegra," with his head 
reaching the stars. Hail to thee, father ^ and un- 
defeated general, not inferior in glory to Quirinus, 
and not inferior to Camillus in thy services ! Rome 
tells no lie, when she gives thee a divine origin and 
calls thee the son of the Thunder-god who dwells on 
the Capitol." 



487 



INDEX 



N.B. — The names of common soldiers, Roman or Carthaginian, 

which seem to have been invented by Silius are omitted. 

{The references are to the book and line.) 



Abaris, x. 134 

Abella, \iii. 543 

Acarnan, xv. 288 

Acerrae, viii. 537 

Acesta, xiv. 220 

Acestes, xiv. 45 

Achaeraenius (Persian), vii. 647 

Achaetus, xiv. 268 

Achates, xiv. 228 

Acheron (river in Hades), i. 94 etc. 

Acherras, iii. 299 

Acis (lover of Galatea), xiv. 221 

Acragas, xiv. 210 

Actaeon, xii. 365 

Actium, XV. 302 

Aeetes, viii. 498 

Aegates, i. 61 etc., islands off the 
west coast of Sicily where C. 
Lutatius Catulus destroyed the 
Carthaginian fleet in 241 b.c, and 
so ended the First Punic War 

Aeneadae, see Vol. I. p. xi/ 

Aeneas, vii. 474 

Aeolius, i. 193 

Aequi, viii. 489 

Aethiopes, iii. 265 

Aetna, xiv. 58 

Aetoli campi, i. 125 

Aetolus ductor (Diomede), iii, 707 

Africus (a wind), iii. 659 

Agathocles, xiv. 652 

Agenor, i. 88 

Agyllae, v. 17 

Aias, xiii. 801 ; xiv. 479 

Albula, vi. 391 

Alecto, ii. 673 ; xiii. 592 



Alexander, xiii. 763 

AUia, i. 547 : vi. 555 

Almo, viii. 363 

Alpes, crossing of the Alps by 
Hannibal in 218 b.c., iii. 477-646 

Alpheus, xiv. 54 

Amphion, xi. 443 

Amphitryoniades, ii. 582 

Aniulius, viii. 295 

Arayclae, ii. 434 ; viii. 528 

Anapus, xiv. 515 

Anchises, xv. 59 

Ancon, viii. 436 

Angitia, viii. 498 

Anio, i. 606 ; 863 

Anna Perenna, viii. 25-231 ;i Anna, 
Dido's sister, driven from Africa, 
went to Cyrene and thence to 
Italy where she became a Nymph 
of the river Numicius. At Juno's 
instigation she urged Hannibal 
to fight at Cannae 

Antenor, viii. 603 

Antiphates, viii. 530 

Anxur, iv. 532 

Apenninus, ii. 314 

Appius Claudius Caudex, vi. 661 

Appius Claudius Pulcher, xiii. 453 

Aquileia, viii. 604 

Aquinum, viii. 403 

Arar, iii. 452 ; xv. 501 

Archimedes, xiv. 341-352 ; 676-678 
The name is excluded by the 
metre ; but we are told how 
he defended Syracuse against 
Marcellus, and how his death 

489 



INDEX 



was lamented by the Roman 
general 

Arcitenens, v. 177 

Ardea, i. 293, 667 

Arethnsa, xiv. 53, 515 

Argi, i. 26 

Argo, xii, 399 

Argus, X. 346 

Argyripa, iv. 554 

Ancia, iv. 367 

Arion, xi. 448 

Aristaeus, xii. 368 

Amus, V. 7 

Arpi, viii. 242 

Arrctinm, v. 123 

Arsacidae, viii. 467 

Asbyte, ii. 56-269. This African 
princess, who brought a troop of 
her own sex to fight for Carthage, 
was evidently intended as a 
companion figure to Virgil's 
Camilla 

Ascraeus, xii. 413 

Aspis, lii. 244 i 

Assaracus, iii. 566 

Assyrlus rex, xiii, 886 

Astur, i. 231 

Athenae, xiv. 286 

Athos, iii. 494 

Atina, viii. 397 

Atlantiades, xvi. 136 

Atlas, 1. 201 

Atridae, xiii. 802 

Atropos, xvii. 120 

Aufidus, i. 52 ; vii. 482 

Ausonia, i. 302 et<5. 

Auster, xiv. 455 

Autololes, iii. 306 etc 

Autonoe, xiii. 401 

Aventinus, xii. 713 

Avernus, vi. 154 ; x. 136 

Babylon, xiv. 658 

Bactra, iii. 613 

Baetis, iii. 405 etc. 

Bagrada, i. 407 

Baiae, viii. 539 

Baliares, iii. 365 

Barcas, i. 72 ; xvii, 460 

Battiadae, ii. 61 

Battus, viii. 57 

Baiili, xii. 156 

Bebrycia aula, iii. 443 ; xv. 494 

Belides, i. 75 



Bellona, iv. 4jj. 

Belus, i. 73, 87 

Berenicis, iii. 249 

Bistones, ii. 76 

Bitias, ii. 409 

Bocchus, iii. 285 

Bogus, iv. 131 ; v. 402 

Boii, iv. 148 ; v. G50 

Bononia, viii. 599 

Boreas, i. 587 etc. 

Bostar, iii. 6, 649, 713 

Brennus, iv. 150 

Briareus, xiii. 588 

Brundisium, viii. 574 

Brutus (L. lunius Collatinus), viiL 

361 
Byrsa, iii. 242 
Byzacia, ix. 204 

Cadmus, vii. 637 

Caere, viii. 472 

Caesar, lulius, xiii. 864 

Caieta, vii. 410 

Caiabri, vii. 365 

Calais, viii. 513 

Calchas, xiii. 41 

Caledonius, iii. 598 

Cales, viii. 512 

Callaecia, iii, 345 

Calliope, iii. 222 ; xii. 390 

Calpe, i. 141 etc. 

Calydon, xv. 307 

Camarina, xiv. 198 

Camillus, M. Furius, i. 626 ; vii. 
559 ; xiii. 722 ; xvii. 652. The 
chief hero of early Roman history 
who returned from exile at Vcii 
to defeat the Gauls in 390 B.O. 

Campania, viii. 525 

Campus Mavtius, viii. 257 

Cancer, i. 194 ; xv. 50 

Cannae, i. 50 etc. 

Canopus, xi. 431 

Cantaber, iii. 326 

Canusium, x. 388 

Caphereus, xiv. 143 

Capitolium, i. 64 etc 

Capreae, vii. 418 

Capua, xi. 29 etc. 

Capys, iv. 381 

Carmentis, vii. 18 ; xiii. 816 

Carteia, iii. 396 

Cai thago, i. 3 etc. 

Carthago Nova, iii. 368 



4>90 



INDEX 



Casinum, iv. 227 
Cassandra, xv. 282 

Castalius, xi. 482 etc. 

Castor, ix. 295 ; xiii. 804 

Castulo, iii. 99 

Catane, xiv. 196 

Cato, M. Porcius, vii. 691 ; x. 14 

Caucasus, xii. 460 

Caudine Forks ; viii. 565 

Caurus, ii. 290, etc. 

Caj?ster, xiv. 189 

Cecropidae, xiii. 484 

Cecropius, ii. 217 ; xiv. 26 

Celtae, viii. 17 

Centaurus, iii. 42 ; xL 451 

Centuripae, xiv. 204 

Ceraunia, v. 386 

Cerberus, ii. 538 ; xiii. 574 

Ceres, i. 214| 

Cethegus, viii. 575 

Charon, xiii. 761 

Charybdis, ii. 308 

Chimaera, xiv. 497 

Choaspes, iii. 317 

Cicero, viii. 406 

Cicones, ii. 75 

Cilnius, vii. 29 

Cimmeria, xii. 132 

Cinna, x. 476 

Cinyps, v. 185, 287 ; xvi. 354. 

Circe, viii. 440 

Cirrha, xii. 320 

Clanis, viii. 453 

Claudia, xvii. 34 

Clausus, viii. 412 ; xiii. 466 

Cleonae, iii. 34 

Clitumnus, iv. 546 

Cloelia, x. 492 

Cloelius, X. 456 

Clotlio, iv. 369 

Clusium, V. 124 

Cocalides, xiv. 43 

Codes, Horatius, x. 484 

Cocytus,'xii. 117 etc. 

Collatia, viii. 361 

Corbulo, xiv. 408 

Corduba, iii. 401 

Corfinium, viii. 520 

Cortona, vii. 472 

Corvinus, v. 78 

Corythus, iv. 720 

Cremera, ii. 6 

Cremona, viii. 692 

Cres, ii. 93 



Crispinus, xv, o*j 
Crixus, iv. 151 
Croesus, xiii. 776 
Croton, xi. 18 
Cumae, xii. 60 
Cunctator, vii. 536 ; xvi. 674 
Cupido, vii. 442 
Cures, iii. 594 
Curetes, ii. 93 
Curio, viii. 425 
Curius, xiii. 723 
Cybele, viii. 363 
Cyclades, i. 472 
Cyclopes, iv. 433 etc 
Cyllene, iii. 203 
Cyllenis, xvi. 500 
Cyllenius, iii. 108 
Cymp, viii. 531 
Cymodoce, vii. 428 
Cyniothoe, iii. 58 
Cynosura, iii. 665 
Cynthia, iv. 480 
Cynthus, xv. 771 
Cypres, vii. 456 
Cyrene, iii. 252 ; iv. 628 
Cytherea, iii. 572 
Cyzicus, xii. 399 

Dacus, i. 324 

Daedalus, xii. 91 

Dahae, xiii. 764 

Danai, xiii. 41 

Daphnis, xiv. 406 

Dardania, i. 43 ; xv. 453 

Dardanides, xvi. 191 

Dardanius, i. 486 etc. 

Dardanus, xi. 293 

Daunius, i. 291 etc. 

Decii, XV. 43 

Decius, xi. 158 foil. ; xiii. 280. A 

citizen of Capua, who resisted 

the entry of Hannibal 
Delos, V. 204 
Diana, iv. 360 etc. 
Dicaearchus, viii. 533 
Dictaeus, ii. 94 
Dictynna, ii. 71 
Dido, i. 23 etc. 
Dindyma, xvii. 20 
Diomedes, viii. 241 etc 
Dione, iv. 106 
Dis, xiii. 415 
Dolopes, XV. 314 
Doraitian, iii. 007 foil. 

491 



INDEX 



Drepane, xiv. 269 
Druentia, iii. 468 
Ducarius, v. 645 
Duilius, vi. 665 
Dulichius, i. 379 
Durius, i. 234 

Ebusus, iii. 362 

Edonis, iv. 776, 

Egeria, iv. 367 

Electra, xi. 292 

Elissa, i. 81 etc. 

Elysium, ii. 698 

Emathius, iii. 400 

Enceladus, xiv. 579 

Ennius, xii. 393-414'; the father of 
Roman poetry ; fought as a 
centurion in Sardinia ; his epic 
poem, the Annales, included this 
war 

Enyo, X. 202 

Ephyre, xiv. 656 

Epirus, XV. 298 

Erebus, i. 92 etc. 

Erichthonius, xi. 294 

Eridanus, i. 132 etc. 

Erinys, ii. 595 

Eryx, vi. 697 

Euganeus, viii. 603 

Eumenis, ii. 544 

Euripus, xiv. 144 

Europe, i. 200 

Burotas, iv. 364 ; vi. 312 

Eurus, ii. 173 etc. 

Fabii, vi. 637 

Fabius (Q. Maximus), the wary 

antagonist of Hannibal, i. 679 ; 

ii. 380 foil. ; vii. 547 foil. ; xvi. 

604 foil. 
Fabrateria, viii. 396 
Faesula, viii 477 
Falernus, vii. 166 
Falisci, iv. 223 
Faunigena, v. 7 ; viii. 356 
Faunus, ix. 294 
Feronia, xiii. 84 
Fibrenus, viii. 399 
Fidena, xv. 91 
Fides, i. 330 etc. 
Flaminius, iv. 705 etc 
Fregellae, v. 542 
Frentani, viii. 519 
Frusino, viii. 398 

492 



Fucinus, iv. 344 

Fulvius, Cn. Flaccus, xii. 471 ; 

xvii. 304 
Fulvius, Q. Flaccus, xi. 114 etc. 
Fundi, viii. 529 

Gabii, xii. 537 

Gades, i. 141 ; iii. 4 

Gaetulia, iii. 288 ; xvi. 569 

Galatea, xiv. 226 

Galba, viii. 469 ; x. 194 

Ganges, viii. 408 

Garamantes, ii. 58 etc. 

Garganus, iv. 561 

Gaurus, viii. 532 

Gela, xiv. 218 

Germanicus, iii. 607 

Geryones, i. 277 

Gestar, ii. 327 

Getae, ii. 75 

Gigantes, vi. 181 

Gisgo, xvi. 675 

Gorgo, iii. 314 

Gortyna, ii. 90 

Gracchi, iv. 495 

Gracchus,Ti.Sempronius,xii. 63etc. 

Gradivus, i. 433 etc. 

Graecia Maior, xi. 21 

Gravii, i. 235 ; iii. 366 

Graviscae, viii. 473 

Grosphus, xiv. 211 

Hadranum, xiv. 250 

Haemonius, x. 11 

Haemus, iii. 495 

Halaesa, xiv. 218 

Halaesus, viii. 474 

Hamilcar, father of Hannibal,''1. 
77 foil. ; killed in battle, i. 141 
foil. ; converses with Scipio in 
Hades, xiii. 732 foil. 

Hammon, iii. 10 ; v. 357 ; ix. 298 

Hampsagoras, xii. 345 

Hannibal, swears eternal hostility 
against Rome, i. 70 foil. ; is chosen 
by the army in Spain as general, 
i. 182 foil. ; his character, i. 56-69 ; 
attacks Saguntum, i. 268 foil. ; is 
wounded there, i. 535 foil. ; is 
presented with arms by the 
Spaniards, ii. 395 foil. ; visits the 
temple of Hercules at Gades, iii. 
1 foil. ; sends his wife and child 
to Africa, iii. 62 foil. ; crosses 




INDEX 



the Alps, iii, 477 foil. ; defeats 
the Romans by the Ticinus (iv, 
56 foil.), the Trebia (iv. 498 foil.) 
and Lake Trasimene (v. 1 foil.) ; 
refuses to allow his infant son to 
be sacrificed, iv. 763 foil. ; loses 
an eye, iv. 751 foil. ; escapes from 
the enemy by a stratagem, vii. 
268 foil. ; defeats the Romans at 
Cannae, ix. I foil. ; winters at 
Capua, xi. 189 foil. ; buries three 
Roman generals, x. 558 foil. ; 
xii. 473 foil. ; xv. 381 foil. ; 
attacks Rome, xii. 489 foil. ; is 
summoned home and departs 
reluctantly from Italy, xvii. 149 
foil. ; is defeated by Scipio at 
Zama, xvii. 292 foil. 

Hanno, a Carthaginian senator and 
inveterate enemy of Hannibal 
and his family, ii. 276 foil. ; iv. 
771 ; viii. 22 foil. ; xi. 554 foil. ; 
xvi. 12 foil. ; xvii. 197 foil. 

Hanno, a Carthaginian general, 
xvi. 29, 72, 674 ; xvii. 631 

Harpe, ii. 117 

Hasdrubal, son-in-law of Hamilcar, 
i. 144 foil. 

Hasdrubal, brother of Hannibal, 
xiii. 682 ; crosses the Alps, xv. 
473 foil. ; defeated and killed in 
battle of the Metaurus, xv. 635 
foil. 

Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo and father- 
in-law of Syphax, xvi. 108 ; xvii. 
148 

Hebrus, ii. 75 ; iii. 620 

Hector, xiii. 800 

Helicon, xii. 412 

Hellespontus, viii. 621 

Helorus, xiv. 269 

Helymus, xiv. 46 

Henna, xiv. 238 

Hennaeus, i. 214 

Herbesos, xiv. 264 

Hercules, ii. 356 etc. 

Herdonia, viii. 567 

Hermus, i. 159 

Hersilia, xiii. 812 

Hesiod, xii. 413 

Hesperia, i. 4 etc. 

Hesperides, i. 431 ; ii. 78 

Hesperos, xi. 268 

Hiberis, iv. 69 



Hiberus, i. 480 ; v, 161 
Hieron, v. 490 ; viii. 614 
Hieronymus, xiv. 85 
Hiniera, xiv. 233 
Hipparis, xiv. 230 
Hippo, iii. 259 
Hispal, iii. 392 
Hispania, xiii. 695 
Hispellum, viii. 457 
Hister, i. 326 
Homer, xiii. 778 foil. 
Hostus, xii. 347 
Hybla, xiv. 200 
Hymenaeus, xiv. 241 
Hymettus, ii. 218 
Hypsa, xiv, 227 
Hyrcani, xiii. 474 

lacchus, vii. 187 ; xii. 520 
laniculum, x. 488 
lanitor, ii. 552 
lanus, xii. 718 
lapetus, xii. 149 
lapyx, ix. 185 
lapyx (adj.), i. 51 
larbas, viii. 54 
Ichnusa, xii. 358 
Ida, vii. 437 
Idaeus, i. 126 
Idalius, v. 19 
Idume, iii. 600 
letas, xiv. 271 
Iguvium, viii. 549 
llerda, iii. 359 
Ilia, xii. 543 
Iliacus, iii. 151 etc. 
Ilion, xiii. 43 
Illyricus, x. 509 
Ilus, xi. 295 
Ilva, viii. 615 
Imilce, iii. 97 ; iv. 775 
liiachius, i. 287 
Inarime, viii. 541 
Tndibilis, xvi. 564 
Indus, viii. 408 
lo, xiv. 517 
lolasii, xii. 364 
lonius, xi. 22 
Iris, ix. 471, 529 
Irpini, xi. 11 
Isthmiacus, xiv. 341 
Isthmos, XV. 155 
Italia, i. 344 etc. 
Itelides, vii. 429 



INDEX 



Italus, i. 70 etc. 
Ithaca, XV. 303; 
Ithacus, ii. 183 
lulus, viii. 71 
luno, i. 26 etc. 
luppiter, ii. 26 etc. 

Labicum, xii. 534 

Labienus, x. 32 

Lacon, iii. 295 ; iv. 361 ; xiv. 207 

Laelius, xv. 217, 453 

Laertes, i. 290 ; vii. 693 

Laestrygon, xiv. 126 

Lagus, xvii. 591 

Lamus, viii. 529 

Lanuvium, viii. 361 

Laomedontiadae, x. 629 

Larinas, xv, 565 

Latinus, i. 40 etc. 

Latium, i. 42 etc. 

Latius, i. 567 etc. 

Latonia, xii. 713 

Laurens, i. 605 etc. 

Laiis, xvii. 441 

Lavinia, viii. 176 

Leandrus, viii. 621 

Leda, xiii. 633 

Ledaeus, ii. 434 

Lentulus, i. 676 

Leontini, xiv. 125 

Leptis, iii. 256 

Lerna, vi. 182 

Lethe, i. 236 

Leucate, xv. 302 

Leucosia, viii. 578 

Liber, xv. 80 ; xvii. 647 

Liburna, xiii. 240 

Libya, ii, 50 etc, 

Libycus, i, 35 etc. 

Libye, i. 194 

Libys, i. 657 etc. 

Libyssus, i. 247 etc. 

Liger, iv, 120 

Ligures, i. 628 

Lilybaeon, xiv. 75 

Lindus, iii. 364 

Lipare, xiv. 56 

Liris, iv, 348 

Liternura, vi, 654 

Livius, M. Salinator, xv. 593 

Lixus, iii. 258 

Locri, xi. 20 

Lotophagi, iii, 310 

Lucae boves, ix. 572 

494 



Lucifer, vii, 639 
Lucretia, xiii, 822 
Lucrina, xiv. 410 
Luna, viii, 480 
Lusitanus, v, 335 
Lutatius, vi. 687 
Lyaeus, iii. 370 etc. 
Lycius, viii. 494 
Lycurgus, iv, 364 
Lydius, i. 157 etc. 

Macae, ii. 60 

Macetes, xiii. 878 

Maeandrus, vii, 139 

Maecenas, x. 40 

Maenala, xiii. 346 

Maenas, iii, 102 

INIaeonides, vi, 607 

Maeonius, iv, 525 etc. 

Magii, iv, 187 

Mago, brother of Hannibal, iii. 
240 ; is wounded and tended by 
Hannibal, v, 344 foil ; pours out 
before the senate at Carthage the 
rings taken at Cannae, xi, 532 
foil. ; dies of wounds on board 
ship, xvi, 27 

Maharbal, iv, 562 ^ 

Mancinus, ix. 13 — / t x, 

Mantua, viii. 593 \ 

Marathonius, xiv. 650 

Maraxes, vii. 324 

Marcellus, M, Claudius, winner of 
spoUa opivia, i, 133; defeats 
Hannibal at Nola, xii. 161 foil, ; 
attacks and takes Syracuse, xiv. 
110 foil. ; is slain in Apulia, xv. 
334 foil, 

]\rarcia, vi, 403, 576 

IMarcius, xiii, 700 

Marius, xiii. 853 

Marmaricus, ii, 57 

Marmaridae, ii. 165 etc. 

Marrucinus, viii. 519 

IMarrus, viii. 505 

Mars, i. 118 etc. 

Marsi, iv. 220 

Marsya, viii, 503| 

Martigena, xii, 582 

Masinissa, xvi, 115 folL 

Massagetes, iii, 360 

Massicus, vii, 166 

Massilia, xv, 169 

Massylus. ii, 108 etc. 




INDEX 



Maurus, il. 161 etc. 
Waurusius, iv. 567 
Mayors, ii. 365 etc. 
;Medusa, ii. 69 
Megaera, iii. 37 
Jlegara, xiv. 273 
Jlelite, xiv. 251 
Memnon, iii. 334 
Memphis, xi. 431 
Memphitis, xiv, 660 
Meninge, iii. 318 
Mercury, iii. 203 
Jlessana, xiv. 194 
Messapus, xii. 393 
itetaurus, vii. 486 
Metellus, x. 420 ; xil. 305 
Methymna, vii. 211 
Mevaiiia, vi. 647 
Miliclms, iii. 104 
Milo, xiii. 300 
Mimas, iv. 276 
Minerva, xiii. 55 
Minos, viii. 470 ; xiv. 40 
J[inucius, vii. 523 
:Misenus, viii. 538 
Molossus, ii. 6891 
Monoecus, i. 586 
Morgentia, xiv. 265 
Mucins, viii. 386 
Mulciber, iv. 668 etc. 
Munda, iii. 400 
Murrus, i. 377 foil. 
Musa, i. 3 etc. 
Musarum domus, viii. 593 
Mutina, viii. 591 
Mutyce, xiv. 2GS 
Mycenae, viii. 620 
Mygdonins, viii. 504 
Mylae, xiv. 202 
Myrice, iii. 103 

Nabis, XV. 672 
Nais, V. 21 etc. 
Nar, viii. 451 
Narnia, viii. 458 
Nasamon, i. 408 etc. 
Natura, xi. 187 ; xv. 75 
Naulocha, xiv. 264 
Nealces, ix. 226 
Nebrissa, iii. 393 
Nebrodes, xiv. 236 
Nemea, ii. 483 
Neptunicola, xiv. 443 
Neptunus, iii. 412 etc. 



Nereis, iii. 413 

Nereus, iv. 298 etc. 

Neritius, ii. 317 

Neritos, xv. 305 

Nero, C. Claudius, viii. 413 ; xii. 483 

Nestor, xiii. 801 

Netum, xiv. 268 

Niloticus, xi. 430 

Nilus, iii. 265 etc. 

Niphates, xiii. 765 

Nola, viii. 534 ; xii. 162 

Nomades, ii. 186 etc. 

Notus, i. 288 etc. 

Nuba, iii. 269 

Nuceria, viii. 532 

Nucrae, viii. 564 

Numana, viii. 431 

Numicius, i. 666 ; viii. 100 

Numidae, i. 215 etc. 

Nursia, viii. 417 

Nympha, v. 19 

Nysaeus, iii. 393] 

Oceanus, ii. 396 etc. 

Ocnus, viii. 599 

Odrysius, iv. 431 

Oea, iii. 257 

Oeagrius, v. 463 

Oebalius, xii. 451 

Oeneus, iii. 367 

Oenotri, viii. 46 

Oenotrius, i. 2 ; see Vol. I. p. xiii 

Oete, iii. 43 

Oiliades, xiv. 479 

Olpaeus, XV. 300 

Olympus, iii. 671 etc. 

Orestes, xv. 313 

Oricos, XV. 293 

Orithyia, viii. 514 

Orpheus, xi. 460 

Orthrus, xiii. 845 

Ortygie, xiv. 2, 515 

Oscus, viii. 526 

Ossa, iii. 495 

Othrys, iii. 495 

Pachynum, xiv. 72 
Pactolus, i. 234 
Pacuviua, xi. 58, 311 
Padus, iv. 177 
Paeonius, xiv. 27 
Paestum, viii. 578 
Pagasaeus, xi. 469 
Palaestiuus, iii. 606 



495 



INDEX 



Palatia, i. 15 ; xii. 709 

Palici, xiv. 219 

Palladium, ix. 531 ; xiii. 50 

Palladius, i. 238 

Pallas, ix. 297, 

Pan, xiii. 326 

Pangaeus, ii. 73 

Panhormos, xiv. 2C1 

Pantagias, xiv. 231 

Paphos, vii. 457 

Paraetonius, iii. 225 

Parcae, iv. 203 

Parnasius, iii. 391 

Pai^nasus, xii. 337 

Parrhasius, xii. 710 

Partlienope, viii. 534 ; xii. 28 

Parthus, x. 12 

Pasiphae, viii. 471 

Patrae, xv. 310 

Paulus, L. Aemilius, colleague of 

Varro in the consulship, viii. 278 

foil. ; is advised by Fabius, viii. 

298 foil. ; fights bravely and falls 

at Cannae, x. 1-308 
Pelasgi, viii. 443 
Peliacus, xi. 449 
Pelignus, viii. 510 
Pelion, iii. 495 
Pella, xvii. 430 
Pellaeus, xi. 381 
Pelopeus, iii. 252 
Pelops, xv. 306 
Pelorus, iv. 494 
Pelusiacus, iii. 25 
Pergama, iii. 569 
Pergameus, i. 47 
Perseus, iii. 315 
Perusinus, vi. 71 
Petiliaxii. 431 
Petraea, xiv. 248 
Phacelinus, xiv. 2G0 
Pliaeaces, xv. 297 
Phaethon, vi. 8 ; vii. 149, 200 ; xi. 

369 etc. 
Phaethontius, vii. 149 
Phalanteus, xi. 16 
Phalantus, iv. 529 
Phalaris, xiv. 212 
Pharius, 1. 214 
Pheretiades, xii. 159 
Philaeni, xv. 701 
Philippus, XV. 289 foil. 
Phlegethon, ii. 610 etc, 
Phlegraeus, iv. 275 

496 



Phocaicus, iii. 369 
Phocais, 1. 335 ; xv. 172 
Phoebas, xv. 282 
Phoebe, xv. 563 
Phoebeus, iii. 99 etc. 
Phoebus, i. 193 etc. 
Phoenissa, viii. 184 
Phoenissus, iii. 362 
Phoenix, i. 89 ; xvi. 25 
Phorcynis, ii. 59 
Phrygius, i. 91 etc. 
Phryx, i. 106 etc. 
Picentes, v. 208 
Picentia, viii. 578 
Picenus, viii. 424 • 
Picus, viii. 439 
Pierius, xi. 415 
Pindus, iv. 520 
Pinna, viii. 517 
Piraeus, xiii. 754 
Pisaeus, xv. 210 
Piso, viii. 463 
Placentia, viii. 591 
Pleuron, xv. 310 
Poenus, i. 16 etc. 
Pollentia, viii. 597 
Pollux, ix. 295 
Polydamas, xii. 212 
Polyphemus, xiv. 223 
Pompey, xiii. 862 
Pomponia, xiiL 61a 
Pomptinus, viii. 379 
Pontus, xiii. 477 
Porsena, viii. 389 
Praeneste, ix. 404 
Priamidae, xiii. 68 
Privernum, vi. 43 
Prochyta, viii. 540 
Propontis, xiv. 145 
Proserpina, xiii. 546 
Proteus, vii. 420 
Ptolernaeus, xi. 881 
Publicola, ii. 8 
Punicus, i. 602 etc, 
Pygmalion, viii. 64 
Pylius, vii. 597 
Pyrene, i. 190 ; iii. 425 
Pyrrhus, xiii. 725 ; xiv. 94 
Pythia, xii. 323 

Quirinus, iii. 627 etc. 
Quirites, iv. 48 ; xvii. 646 

Ravenna, viii. 601 
Reate viii. 415 



INDEX 



Regulus, vi. 62 foil. 
Rhadamantlms, xiii. 543 
Rhenus, i. 594 
Rhesus, ii. 76 
Rhodanus, i. 594 etc. 
Rhodope, ii. 73 etc. 
Rhoeteius, ii. 51 
Rhoeteus, i. 115 
Riphaea, xii. 7 
Roma, i. 5 etc. 
Romanus, i. 80 etc. 
Romuleus, iii. 618 etc. 
Romulus, xiii. 793 
Rubico, viii. 453 
Rudiae, xii. 390 
Rufrae, viii. 566 
Ruspina, iii. 260 
Rutuli, i. 584 etc. 

Sabatla stagna, viii. 490 

Sabellus, iv. 221 

Sabini, viii. 423 ; xiii. 843 

Sabinura, iii. 596 

Sabratha, xiv. 437 

Sabus, viii. 422 

Saetabis, iii. 373 ; xvi. 474 

Saguntinua, i. 271 

Saguntos, i. 502 etc. 

Saguntum, xvii. 328 

Salaminiacus, xiv. 2S2 

Salernum, viii. 582 

Sallentinus, viii. 573 

Same, xv. 303 

Samnites, i. 664 etc. 

Sancus, viii. 420 

Sapis, viii. 448 

Sardoiis, vi. 672 

Samiaticus, iii. 384 

Sarnus, viii. 537 

Sarranus, i. 72 etc. 

Sarrastes, x. 315 

Sason, vii. 480 ; ix. 409 

Sassina, viii. 461 

Satura, viii. 380 

Saturnia, ii. 527 etc. 

Satumius, i. 70 etc. 

Saturnus, viii. 440 

Satyrus, iii. 103 

Scaeae portae, xiii. 73 

Scaevola, viii. 384 

Scaptia, viii. 895 

Scaurus, viii. 370 

Scelerata Porta, vii. 48 

Sclpio, P. Cornelius, the elder 



Africanus ; saves father's life in 
the battle of the Ticinus, iv. 454 
foil. ; the legend of his divine 
birth, iv. 476 ; vii. 487 ; thwarts 
the project of Metellus, x. 426 
foil. ; descends to Hades, xiii. 397 
foil. ; seeks and obtains the com- 
mand in Spain, xv. 1 foil. ; takes 
New Carthage, xv. 152 foil. ; his 
continence, xv. 263 foil. ; his 
preference of Virtue to Pleasure, 
XV. 18 foil. ; his visit to Syphax, 
xvi. 170 foil. ; celebrates funeral 
games in Spain, xvi. 284 foil. ; 
is chosen consul, with power to 
cross to Africa, xvi, 592 foil. » 
returns in triumph to Rome; 
xvii. 618 foil. 

Scylla, V. 135 ; xiii. 440 

Scyllaeus, ii. 306 

Scythicus, xiii. 486 

Sedetanus, iii. 372 

Selinus, xiv. 200 

Sena, viii. 453 

Senones, i. 624 ; iv. 160 ftto. 

Seres, vi. 4 ; xvii. 595 

Serranus, vi. 62 

Servilius, v. 98, 114 

Setia, viii. 377 

Sibylla, xiii. 621 etc. 

Sicania, iv. 502 

Sicanius, i. 35 

Sicanus, viii. 356 

Sicelides Musae, xiv. 467 

Siculus, i. 62 

Sidicinus, v. 551 ; xi. 175 n. 

Sidon, vii. 634 etc. 

Sidonis, viii. 70 

Sidonius, i. 10 etc. 

Sigeus, i. 665 ; ix. 203 

Signia, viii. 378 

Silarus, viii. 580 

Siinbrnvium, viii. 369 

Simois, xiii. 72 

Sinuessa, viii. 527 

Sipus, viii. 633 

Siren, xii. 33 

Sirius, i. 256 

Sisyphius, xiv. 51 

Smyrnaeus, viii. 50 1 

Sophonisbe, xvii. 71 

Sora, viii. 394 

Soracte, viL 662 

Sparta, iv. 366 



497 



INDEX 



Spartanus, i. 421 etc. 

Sphinx, xiii. 589 

Stabiae, xiv. 409 

Strymon, xi. 459 

Stygius, i. 94 etc. 

Styx, iii. 601 etc. 

Sucro, iii. 372 

Suebus, V. 134 

Suessa, viii. 3f8 

Sulla, xiii. 855 

Sulmo, viii. 510 

Superbus, x. 481 

Surrentum, v. 466 

Sutrium, viii. 491 

Sychaeus, Dido's husband, i. 90 ; 

viii. 123 
Sychaeus, son of Hasdrubal, iii. 

245 etc. 
Synhalus, v. 352 
Syphax, xvi. 171, 221 
Syracosius, xiv. 30 
Syracusae, xiv. 277 
Syrticus, v. 243 
Syrtis, i. 408 etc. 

Tabas, xiv. 272 
Taburnus, xiii. 195 
Tagus, i. 234 etc. 
Tanaquil, xiii. 818 
Tarchon, viii. 473 
Tarentum, xi. 10 
Tarpeia, xiii. 843 
Tarpeius, i. 117 
Tarraco, iii. 369 
Tartara, ii. 695 etc. 
Tartareus, ii. 674 etc 
Tartessiacus, vi. 1 
Tartessius, x, 537 
Tartessos, iii. 399 
Taulantius, x. 508 
Taurea, xiii. 143 foil. 
Tauromenitanus, xiv. 256 
Taurus, iii. 494 
Taygeta, iv. 363 
Teate, viii. 520 
Tegeatis, xiii. 329 
Telegonus, xii. 535 
Telon, viii. 541 
Tethys, iii. 60 etc. 
Teucer, iii. 368 
Teucri, xii. 362 etc. 
Teucrius, xiii. 36 
Teuthras, xi. 288 
Thapsus, iii. 261 ; xiv. 206 

498 



Thebe, iii. 678 
Therapnaeus, viii. 412 
Therapne, vi. 303 
Thermae, xiv. 232 
Thermodoii, . iii. 430 
Thermodontiacus, ii. 80 
Theron, ii. 149 foil. 
Thespiades, xi. 19 ; xii. 3G4 
Thesprotius, xv. 297 
Thessalus, xv. 278 
Thetis, vii. 120 
-.Thoanteus, iv. 769 ; xiv. 260 
Thoas, iv. 260, 769 ; ix. 99 
Thrace, xi. 465 
Thraces equi, iii. 38 
Thracius, i. 587 
Threicius, ii. 73 
Thybris, i. 607 etc. 
Tiberinus, vi. 383 
Tibur, viii. 364 
Ticinus, i. 45 etc. 
Tifata, xii. 487 
Timavus, xii. 215 
Tingis, iii. 258 
Tinia, viii. 452 
Tirynthius, i. 661 etc. 
Tisiphone, ii. 530, 614 
Tisse, xiv. 267 
Titan, i. 209, 435 etc 
Titania, ix. 169 
Tithonus, i. 576 
Titus, iii. 603 
Tmolus, iv. 738 
Tonans, i. 133 etc. 
Toiquatus, xi. 73 
Trasimennus, i. 49 ; v. 8 etc 
Trebia, i. 47 etc. 
Trinacria, xiv. 110 
Triton, xiv. 373 
Tritonia, ix. 439 
Tritonis, iii. 322 
Trivia, viii. 362 
Trogilus, xiv. 259 
Troia, i. 513 
Troianus, viii. 602 etc 
Troiugenae, xiii. 810 
Troius, i. 42 
Tros, xi. 295 
Truentum, viii, 433 
Tuder, vi. 645 
Tuders, iv. 222 
TuUia, xiii. 835 
TuUius, viii. 404 
Tullus, viii. 405 



INDEX 



Ttinger, vii. 682 
Tusculum, vii. 692 
Tuscus, viii. 362 
Tutia, xiii. 5 
Tyde, iii. 367 
Tydides, xiii. 48 ; xvi. 371 
Tyndaris, xiv. 208 
Typhoens, viii. 540 
Tyrius, i. 82 etc. 
Tyros, i. 74 
Tyrrhenus, i. Ill etc 

Ufens, viii. 382 
Ulixes, ii. 182 
Utica, iii. 241 
Uxama, iii. 384 

Vaga, iii. 259 

Vagenni, viii. 605 ' 

VaiTO, C. Terentius, a popular 
loader, viii. 242-257; his rash- 
ness, viii. 258 foil. ; after the 
defeat of Cannae is kindly received 
by the people of Rome, x. 615 

Vasco, iii. 358 

Veientes, vii. 40 

Velinus, iv. 183 

Velitrae, viii. 377 

Venafrum, viii. 401 

Veneti, viii. 604 

Venus, ii. 83 etc. 

Vercellae, viii. 597 

Verginia, xiii. 824 

Verona, viii. 595 



Vespasian, iii. 597 
Vesta, iii. 566 
Vestalis, iv. 411 
Vestinus, viii. 515 
Vesuvinus, xii, 152 
Vesvius, viii. 654 ; xvii. 593 
Vettones, iii. 378 
Vetulonia, viii. 483 
Virgil, viii. 593 
Virgo, ix. 460, 526 
Viriasius, v. 551 
Viriathus, iii. 354 
Virrius, xi. 65 ; xii. 86 ; xiif. 
Vocontia rura, iii. 467 
Volcae, iii. 445 
Volesus, ii. 8 
Volscus, vi. 20 ; xii. 175 
Vomanus, viii. 437 
Vulcanius, vii. 120 
Vulcanus, iv. (594 etc. 
Vulturnuni, viii. 528 
Vulturnus, x. 204 

Xanthippus, ii. 434 ; vi. 327 
Xanthus, xiii. 72 
Xerxes, xiv. 286 

Zacynthus, i. 275, 290 
Zama, iii. 261 
Zanclaeus, xiv. 48 
Zancle, i. 662 
Zephyrus, v. 466 
Zeusis, vii. 6(i5 



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" On Things Heard," " Physiognomies," " On Plants," 
" On Marvellous Things Heard," " Mechanical Problems," 
" On Indivisible Lines," " Situations and Names of 
Winds," " On Melissus, Xenophanes, and Gorgias." 

Aristotle : Nicomachean Ethics. H. Rackham. 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

Aristotle : Oeconomica and Magna Moralia. G. C. 

Armstrong. (With Metaphysics, Vol. II.) 
Aristotle : On the Heavens. W. K. C. Guthrie. 
Aristotle : On the Soul, Pabva Natuhalia, On Breath. 

W. S. Hett. 
Aristotle : The Categories. On Interpretation. H. P. 

Cooke ; Prior Analytics. H. Tredennick. 
Aristotle : Posterior Analytics. H. Tredennick ; 

Tones. E. S. Forster. 
Aristotle : Sophistical Refutations. Coming-to-be and 

Passing-away. E. S. Forster. On the Cosmos. D. J. 

Furley. 
Aristotle : Parts of Animals. A. L. Peck ; Motion and 

Progression of Animals. E. S. Forster. 
Aristotle : Physics. Rev. P. Wicksteed and F. M. Corn- 

ford. 2 Vols. 
Aristotle : Poetics ; Longinus on the Sublime. W. 

Hamilton Fyfe ; Demetrius on Style. W. Rhys Roberts. 
Aristotle : Politics. H. Rackham. 
Aristotle : Problems. W. S. Hett. 2 Vols. 
Aristotle : Rhetorica ad Alexandhum. H. Rackham. 

(With Problems, Vol. II.) 
Arrian : History of Alexander and Indica. Rev. E. 

Iliffe Robson. 2 Vols. 
Athenaeus : Deipnosophistae. C. B. Gulick. 7 Vols. 
St. Basil : Letters. R. J. Deferrari. 4 Vols. 
Callimachus : Fragments. C. A. Trypanis. 
Callimachus : Hymns and Epigrams, and Lycophron. 

A. W. Mair ; Aratus. G. R. Mair. 
Clement of Alexandria. Rev. G. W. Butterworth. 
Colluthus. Cf. Oppian. 
Daphnis and Chloe. Cf. Longus. 
Demosthenes I : Olynthiacs, Philippics and Minor 

Orations : I-XVII and XX. J. H. Vince. 
Demosthenes II : De Corona and De Falsa Legatione. 

C. A. Vince and J. H. Vince. 
Demosthenes HI : Meidias, Andhotion, Ahistocbates, 

TiMocRATES, Aristogeiton. J. H. Vincc. 
Demosthenes IV-VI : Private Orations and In Neaeham. 

A. T. Murray. 
Demosthenes VII : Funeral Speech, Erotic Essay, 

Exordia and Letters. N. W. and N. J. DeWitt. 
Dio Cassius : Roman History. E. Gary. 9 Vols. 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

Dio CiiRYSosTOM. 5 Vols. Vols. I and II. J. W. Cohoon. 

Vol. III. J. W. Cohoon and H. Lamar Crosby. Vols. IV 

and V. H. Lamar Crosby. 
DiODORUs SicuLus. 12 Vols. Vols. I-VI. C. H. Oldfather. 

Vol. VII. C. L. Sherman. Vols. IX and X. Russel M. 

Geer. Vol. XI. F. R. Walton. 
Diogenes Laektius. R. D. Hicks. 2 Vols. 
DiONYSius OF Halicarnassus : Roman Antiquities. Spel- 

man's translation revised by E. Cary. 7 Vols. 
Epictetus. W. a. Oldfather. 2 Vols. 
Euripides. A. S. Way. 4 Vols. Verse trans. 
EusEBius : Ecclesiastical History. Kirsopp Lake and 

J. E. L. Oulton. 2 Vols. 
Galen : On the Natural Faculties. A. J. Brock. 
The Greek Anthology. W. R. Paton. 5 Vols. 
The Greek Bucolic Poets (Theocritus, Bion, Moschus). 

J. M. Edmonds. 
Greek Elegy and Iambus with the Anacreontea. J. M. 

Edmonds. 2 Vols. 
Greek Mathematical Works. Ivor Thomas. 2 Vols. 
Herodes. Cf. Theophrastus : Characters. 
Herodotus. A. D. Godley. 4 Vols. 
Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns. H. G. Evelyn White. 
Hippocrates and the Fragments of Heracleitus. W. H. S. 

Jones and E. T. Withington. 4 Vols. 
Homer : Iliad. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. 
Homer : Odyssey. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. 
IsAEus. E. S. Forster. 

IsocRATES. George Norlin and LaRue Van Hook. 3 Vols. 
St. John Damascene : Barlaam and Ioasaph. Rev. G. R. 

Woodward and Harold Mattingly. 
Josephus. H. St. J. Thackeray and Ralph Marcus. 9 Vols. 

Vols. I-VII. 
Julian. Wilmer Cave Wright. 3 Vols. 
LoNGUS : Daphnis and Chloe. Thornley's translation 

revised by J. M. Edmonds; and Parthenius. S. Gaselee. 
LuciAN. 8 Vols. Vols. I-V. A. M. Harmon; Vol. VI. 

K. Kilburn; Vol. VIII. M. D. Macleod. 
Lycophron. Cf. Callimachus. 
Lyra Graeca. J. M. Edmonds. 3 Vols. 
Lysias. W. R. M. Lamb. 
Manetho. W. G. Waddell ; Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. F. E. 

Robbins. 

6 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

Marcus Auhelius. C. R. Haines. 

Menandeh. F. G. Allinson. 

Minor Attic Orators. 2 Vols. K. J. Maidment and 

J. O. Burtt. 
NoNNos : DioNYSiACA. W. H. D. Rouse. 3 Vols. 
Oppian, Colluthus, Tryphiodorus. a. W. Mair. 
Papyri. Non-Literary Selections. A. S. Hunt and C. C. 

Edgar. 2 Vols. Literary Selections (Poetry). D. L. 

Page. 

PaHTHENIUS. Cf. LONGUS. 

Pausanias : Description of Greece. W. H. S. Jones. 5 

Vols, and Companion Vol. arranged by R. E. Wycher- 

ley. 
Philo. 10 Vols. Vols. I-V. F. H. Colson and Rev. G. H. 

Whitaker ; \^ols. VI-IX. F. H. Colson. 

Two Supplementary Vols. Translation only from an 
Armenian Text. Ralph Marcus. 
Philostratus : Imagines ; Calhstuatus : Descriptions. 

A. Fairbanks. 

Philostratus : The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. F. C. 

Conybeare. 2 Vols. 
Philostratus and Eunapius : Lives of the Sophists. 

Wilmer Cave Wright. 
Pindar. Sir J. E. Sandys. 
Plato : Charmides, Alcihiades, Hipparchus, The Lovers, 

Theages, Minos and Epinomis. W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Cratylus, Parmenides, Greater Hippias, Lesser 

HippiAS. H. N. Fowler. 
Plato : Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus. 

H. N. Fowler. 
Plato : Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus. 

W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Laws. Rev. R. G. Bury. 2 Vols. 
Plato : Lysis, Symposium, Gorgias. W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Republic. Paul Shorey. 2 Vols. 
Plato : Statesman, Philebus. H. N. Fowler ; Ion. 

W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Theaetetus and Sophist. H. N. Fowler. 
Plato : Timaeus, Critias, Clitopho, Menexenus, Epi- 

STULAE. Rev. R. G. Bury. 
Plutarch : Mobalia. 15 Vols. Vols. I-V. F. C. Babbitt ; 

Vol. VI. W. C. Helmbold ; Vol. VII. P. H. De Lacy and 

B. Einarson ; Vol. IX. E. L. Minar, Jr., F. H. Sandbach, 

7 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

W. C.Helmbold; Vol. X. H.N. Fowler: Vol. XII. H. 
Cherniss and W. C. Helmbold. 

Plutarch : The Parallel Lives. B. Perrin. 11 Vols. 

PoLYBius. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. 

Procopius : History of the Wars. H. B. Dewing. 7 Vols. 

Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. Cf. Manetho. 

QuiNTUs Smyrnaeus. a. S. Way. Verse trans. 

Sextus Empiricus. Rev. R. G. Bury. 4 Vols. 

Sophocles. F. Storr. 2 Vols. Verse trans. 

Strabo : Geography. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. 

Theophhastus : Characters. J. M. Edmonds : Hehodes, 
etc. A. D. Knox. 

Theophrastus : Enquiry into Plants. Sir Arthur Hort. 
2 Vols. 

Thucydides. C. F. Smith. 4 Vols. 

Tryphiodorus. Cf. Oppian. 

Xenophon : Cyropaedia. Walter Miller. 2 Vols. 

Xenophon : Hellenica, Anabasis, Apology, and Sympo- 
sium. C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 3 Vols. 

Xenophon : Memorabilia and Oeconomicus. E. C. Mar- 
chant. 

Xenophon : Scripta Minora. E. C. Marchant. 



VOLUMES IN PREPARATION 

GREEK AUTHORS 



Aristotle : History of Animals. A. L. Peck. 
Plotinus. a. H. Armstrong. 

LATIN AUTHORS 

Babrius and Phaedrus. B. E. Perry. 

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