« ZurückWeiter »
javelin (unde datum, v, 20) and other known facts ; but he suppresses from shame (pudore silet, v. 22) that Procris had received this javelin from Minos, king of Crete, as the price of her beauty. On being further questioned, he tells him the fatal destiny of the javelin, with which he unwittingly had himself slain his wife. While this tale was going on, Æăcus had, through his two sons, Telămon and Peleus, caused troops to be raised out of the newly-sprung up people of the Myrmidons (comp. XXXI.; whence noco milite, XXXII. 106,) and presented them to Cephalus as auxiliaries for the Athenians.
Ad regem Cephalus simul et Pallante creati 666 Conveniunt; sed adhuc regem sopor altus habebat ; Excipit Æacides illos in limine Phocus.
Phocus in interius spatium pulchrosque recessus 5 Cecropidas ducit. Cum quis simul ipse resedit;
Adspicit Æoliden ignota ex arbore factum 672
Sum nemorum studiosus," ait, cædisque ferinæ; 10 Qua tamen e silva teneas hastile recisum, 676
Jamdudum dubito: certe, si fraxinus esset,
680 15 Excipit Actæis e fratribus alter et, “ Usum
Majorem specie mirabere,” dixit, “in isto.
Tum vero juvenis Nereïus omnia quærit : 685 20 Cur sit et unde datum, quis tanti muneris auctor.
Quæ petit, ille refert, et cetera nota; pudore,
Hoc me, nate dea,-quis possit credere ?-telum 25 Flere facit facietque diu, si vivere nobis
691 Fata diu dederint! Hoc me cum conjuge cara Perdidit; hoc utinam caruissem munere semper! Procris erat,-si forte magis pervenit ad aures Orithyia tuas,-raptæ soror Orithyiæ;
695 30 Si faciem moresque velis conferre duarum,
Dignior ipsa rapi. Pater hanc mihi junxit Erechtheus,
Non ita dîs visum est :-et nunc quoque forsitan
essem ; Mecum uxor dulces concorditer exigit annos; 35 Dat mihi præterea, tanquam se parva dedisset Dona, simul jaculum, manibus quod cernis habere. Hactenus ; et tacuit. “Jaculo quod crimen in
795 Phocus ait. Jaculi sic crimina reddidit ille :
“ Gaudia principium nostri sunt, Phoce, doloris : 40 Illa prius referam. Juvat o meminisse beati
Temporis, Æacida, quo primos rite per annos
Nec Jovis illa meo thalamos præferret amori,
Ulla erat: æquales urebant pectora flammæ.
Nec mecum famulos nec equos nec naribus acres 50 Ire canes, nec lina sequi nodosa sinebam :
Tutus eram jaculo. Sed cum satiata ferinæ
Aura petebatur medio mihi lenis in æstu,
* Aura,'-recordor enim—venias,' cantare solebam, Meque juves, intresque sinus, gratissima, nostros, Utque facis, relevare velis, quibus urimur, æstus!' 815
Forsitan addiderim-sic me mea fata trahebant60 Blanditias plures, et, • Tu mihi magna voluptas,'
Dicere sim solitus, ‘tu me reficisque fovesque,
“Vocibus ambiguis deceptam præbuit aurem 65 Nescio quis, nomenque auræ tam sæpe vocatum
Esse putat Nymphæ: Nympham mihi credit amari.
Credula res amor est: subito collapsa dolore, 70 Ut sibi narratur, cecidit, longoque refecta
Tempore, se miseram, se fati dixit iniqui,
Deque fide questa est, et crimine concita vano,
831 75 Sæpe tamen dubitat, speratque miserrima falli,
Indicioque fidem negat, et, nisi viderit ipsa,
“ Postera depulerant Auroræ lumina noctem : 835 Egredior silvasque peto, victorque per herbas 80 • Aura veni,' dixi, ‘nostroque medere labori!'
Et subito gemitus inter mea verba videbar
Sum ratus esse feram, telumque volatile misi. 85 Procris erat, medioque tenens in pectore vulnus
*Hei mihi!' conclamat. Vox est ubi cognita fidæ Conjugis ; ad vocem præceps amensque cucurri. Semanimem et sparsas fædantem sanguine vestes 845
Et sua-me miserum!-de vulnere dona trahentem 90 Invenio, corpusque meo mihi carius ulnis
Mollibus attollo, scissaque a pectore veste
Viribus illa carens et jam moribunda coegit
Perque deos supplex oro superosque meosque,
855 Ne thalamis Auram patiare innubere nostris.' 100 “Dixit, et errorem tum denique nominis esse
Et sensi et docui. Sed quid docuisse juvabat?
860 Infelicem animam nostroque exhalat in ore; 105 Sed vultu meliore mori secura videtur.”
Flentibus hæc lacrimans heros memorabat, et,
ecce, Æacus ingreditur duplici cum prole, novoque 864 Milite, quem Cephalus cum fortibus accipit armis.
Minos, king of Crete, having been victorious against the Athenians (for the cause of the war, comp. Introd. XXXI.) compelled them to the ignominious tribute of sending him from Athens every year, for nine years, seven youths and seven maidens. In his own country, however, a disaster had befallen him which disgraced his family. His consort, Pasiphaê, had given birth to the Minotaur, a monster, half man, half bull (whence biforme, v. 2 ; figura gemini tauri juvenisque, v. 15). To withdraw this from the eyes of the world, he caused the famous artist, Dædălus, to construct for him the labyrinth, a building which, partly from the great number of its apartments, partly from the complicated windings of the passages, made it almost impossible for a person who had once entered it, to discover his way out. In this structure Minos shut up the Minotaur ; and the youths and maidens, sent as tribute from Athens, were destined for the food of the monster, and brought into the labyrinth. The monster had already twice glutted himself with the blood of the Attic children (Acto bis pastum sanguine monstrum, v. 16), when, in the third party, sent off by lot (tertia sors, v. 17) there came as one of the youths Theseus the son of King Ægeus. This prince, by his valour, succeeded in slaying the Minotaur, and thus freed his country from its ignominious tribute. His return from the labyrinth was, however, gained only by the aid of Minos's daughter (ope virginea, v. 18), who gave him a thread, which he fastened to the threshold without, and took with him through the windings of the passages and apartments, so that (filo relecto, v. 19) he could not miss the way
As Ariadnê had done this for love of Theseus, he took her with him to screen her from her father's vengeance ; but treacherously left her at the island of Naxos, where the god Bacchus took pity on the forsaken damsel.
After these events, Dædălus also, the skilful architect, whom Minos detained against his will, sought to escape from Crete. Dædălus had been compelled to quit his birthplace, Athens, on account of a murder. Perdix, the son of one of his sisters, who had been committed to him for instruction, had evinced great talents for art. But, because he had invented the saw and the compass, Dædălus, who wished to keep to himself alone the highest reputation as an artist, pushed him down from the citadel of Athens (arce Minercæ, v. 96). . For this sentence was pronounced against him ; Perdix, however, on account of his
talent for art, had, in falling, been saved by Minerva, and changed into a bird (a partridge, i.e. perdix, unica tunc volucris, v. 85). Dædălus, thus condemned, escaped to Crete. When, after long detention in the island he could in no other way escape from the watchful power of Minos, he made himself wings, in order to fly away through the air. He himself succeeded in his flight, and got away to Sicily ; but his son, Icărus, did not duly attend to his father's directions, and so fell into the sea, which from him obtained the name mare Icarium. The island also, lying in the neighbourhood, in which Dædălus interred him, was, after him, named Icaria.
The name of Dædălus has obtained a perfectly mythic character, inasmuch as all later inventions in art were attributed to him. (Comp. the Index under Dædălus.)
Creverat opprobrium generis Minois, et omnes 155 Monstrum mirantes tunc spectavere biforme. Destinat hunc Minos thalamis removere pudorem,
Multiplicique domo cæcisque includere tectis. 5 Dædalus ingenio fabræ celeberrimus artis
Ponit opus, turbatque notas, et limina flexum 160
Ludit, et ambiguo lapsu refluitque fluitque, 10 Occurrensque sibi venturas adspicit undas,
Et, nunc ad fontes nunc in mare versus apertum, 165
Ad limen potuit : tanta est fallacia tecti. 15 Quo postquam tauri geminam juvenisque figuram
Clausit, et Actæo bis pastum sanguine monstrum 170
Janua difficilis filo est inventa relecto; 20 Protinus Ægides, rapta Minoide, Dian
Vela dedit, comitemque suam crudelis in illo 175
Sidere clara foret, sumtam de fronte coronam 25 Immisit coelo. Tenues volat illa per auras,
Dumque volat, gemmæ subitos vertuntur in ignes, 180