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Per catulos iactos Tigri pernice morata,
Ad mare venator callidus usque fugit.
Oeten cm fugeret, sequeretur Iasona Colchis:
Est se insectantem sic remorata patrem.
Absyrtum fratrem puerum laniavit: & eius
Membra per oppositum tabida sparsit iter.
Patre pio ut fili’ sparsos dum colligit artus:
Impia tardato filia profugeret.[1]
fabula quid sibi vult? Nimirum qud mala saepe
Ulcisci pietas crimina non patitur.

With the swift tiger held up by the beaten dogs the wily hunter flees straight to the sea. The Colchian woman, when she fled Otes [Aetes] and followed Jason, held up her father’s pursuit in just this way. She tore her young brother Absyrtus limb from limb, and scattered his bleeding members over the road between. And so the pious father was slowed while he collected the scattered limbs, and the impious daughter made good her escape. What is the meaning of the tale? Clearly that often piety will not allow us to take our right revenge for crimes.


1. The story of Medea - the Colchian woman - fleeing from her father - Aetes, King of Colchis - with Jason, is most dramatically told in Book Four of the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius.

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