ΑΡΑΤΟΥ ΦΑΙΝΟΜΕΝΑἘκ Διὸς ἀρχώμεσθα, τὸν οὐδέποτ᾿ ἄνδρες ἐῶμεν ἄρρητον· μεσταὶ δὲ Διὸς πᾶσαι μὲν ἀγυιαί, πᾶσαι δ᾿ ἀνθρώπων ἀγοραί, μεστὴ δὲ θάλασσα καὶ λιμένες· πάντη δὲ Διὸς κεχρήμεθα πάντες. 5τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος εἰμέν· ὁ δ᾿ ἤπιος ἀνθρώποισιν δεξιὰ σημαίνει, λαοὺς δ᾿ ἐπὶ ἔργον ἐγείρει, μιμνῄσκων βιότοιο, λέγει δ᾿ ὅτε βῶλος ἀρίστη βουσί τε καὶ μακέλῃσι, λέγει δ᾿ ὅτε δεξιαὶ ὧραι καὶ φυτὰ γυρῶσαι καὶ σπέρματα πάντα βαλέσθαι. 10αὐτὸς γὰρ τά γε σήματ᾿ ἐν οὐρανῷ ἐστήριξεν, ἄστρα διακρίνας, ἐσκέψατο δ᾿ εἰς ἐνιαυτὸν ἀστέρας οἵ κε μάλιστα τετυγμένα σημαίνοιεν ἀνδράσιν ὡράων, ὄφρ᾿ ἔμπεδα πάντα φύωνται. τῶ μιν ἀεὶ πρῶτόν τε καὶ ὕστατον ἱλάσκονται. 15χαῖρε, πάτερ, μέγα θαῦμα, μέγ᾿ ἀνθρώποισιν ὄνειαρ, αὐτὸς καὶ προτέρη γενεή. χαίροιτε δὲ Μοῦσαι μειλίχιαι μάλα πᾶσαι· ἐμοί γε μὲν ἀστέρας εἰπεῖν ᾗ θέμις εὐχομένῳ τεκμήρατε πᾶσαν ἀοιδήν. Οἱ μὲν ὁμῶς πολέες τε καὶ ἄλλυδις ἄλλοι ἐόντες1
- 1ἰόντες codd. recc., cf. schol.
From Zeus let us begin;a him do we mortals never leave unnamed; full of Zeus are all the streets and all the market-places of men; full is the sea and the havens thereof; always we all have need of Zeus. For we are also his offspring;b and he in his kindness unto men giveth favourable signs and wakeneth the people to work, reminding them of livelihood. He tells what time the soil is best for the labour of the ox and for the mattock, and what time the seasons are favourable both for the planting of trees and for casting all manner of seeds. For himself it was who set the signs in heaven,c and marked out the constellations, and for the year devised what stars chiefly should give to men right signs of the seasons, to the end that all things might grow unfailingly. Wherefore him do men ever worship first and last. Hail, O Father, mighty marvel, mighty blessing unto men. Hail to thee and to the Elder Raced! Hail, ye Muses, right kindly, every one! But for me, too, in answer to my prayer direct all my lay, even, as is meet, to tell the stars.
They,e all alike, many though they be and other
- aCicero, De legg. ii. 3 “Ab Iove Musarum primordia sicut in Aratio carmine orsi sumus”; Germ. Arat. 1 f. “Ab Iove principium magno deduxit Aratus Carminis”; Avien. Arat. 1 “Carminis inceptor mihi Iuppiter.”
- bN. T. Acts xvii. 28.
- cCicero ap. Priscian. x. 11.
- dThe Elder or Earlier Race is variously interpreted in the scholia as (1) = Zeus (ἐπεὶ αὐτὸς εἶ καὶ ἡ προτέρα γενεή); (2) = Titans; (3) = the brothers of Zeus; (4) = the earlier astronomers; (5) = the heroes.
- eCicero, De nat. d. ii. 41.