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PAX.

Peace

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Turrigeris humeris, dentis quoque barrus eburni,
Qui superare ferox Martia bella solet. [M]
Supposuit nunc colla iugo stimulisque subactus,
Caesareos currus ad pia templa vehit.
Vel fera cognoscit concordes undique gentes,
Proiectisque armis munia pacis obit.[1]

The elephant, with its tower-bearing shoulders and ivory tusk, a beast accustomed to dominate the conflicts of Mars with savage ravings, has now submitted its neck to the yoke: subdued by goads, it draws Caesar’s chariot to the holy temples. Even the beast recognises nations reconciled on every side, and rejecting the weapons of war, it performs the duties of peace.

[Marginalia - link to text]Vide Suetonium in vita Gaii [Julii] Caesaris.[2]

Notes:

1.  This is translated from Anthologia graeca 9.285, which refers to an occasion under the Emperor Tiberius when the statue of the Deified Augustus was for the first time borne in procession in a chariot drawn by elephants.

2.  The episode in Suetonius’s ‘Life of Julius Caesar’ (ch. 37) is not really relevant to this text.


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DULCIA QUANDO-
que amara fieri.

Sweetness turns at times to bitterness

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Matre procul licta paulum secesserat infans,
Lydius[1], hunc dirae sed rapuistis apes.
Venerat hic ad vos placidas ratus esse volucres,
Cum nec ita imitis vipera saeva foret.
Que [=Quae] datis ah dulci stimulos pro munere mellis,
Proh dolor, heu sine te gratia nulla datur.[2]

A Lydian babe had strayed some way off, leaving his mother at a distance, but you made away with him, you dreadful bees. He had come to you, thinking you harmless winged creatures, yet a merciless viper would not be as savage as you. Instead of the sweet gift of honey, ah me, you give stings. Ah pain, without you, alas, no delight is granted.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.548 , where a baby, called Hermonax, is stung to death. See also Anthologia graeca 9.302 for another epigram treating the same incident.


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