Et Mediolani mira omnia, copia rerum, innumerae cultaeque domus, facunda virorum ingenia et mores laeti; tum duplice muro amplificata loci species populique voluptas 5circus et inclusi moles cuneata theatri; templa Palatinaeque arces opulensque moneta et regio Herculei celebris sub honore Iavacri; cunctaque marmoreis ornata peristyla signis moeniaque in valli formam circumdata limbo: 10omnia quae magnis operum velut aemula formis excellunt: nec iuncta premit vicinia Romae.
Nec Capuam pol agri1 cultuque penuque potentem, deliciis, opibus famaque priore silebo, fortuna variante vices, quae freta secundis nescivit servare modum. nunc subdita Romae 5aemula, nunc fidei memor; ante infida, senatum sperneret, an coleret dubitans, sperare curules Campanis ausa auspiciis unoque suorum consule, ut imperium divisi adtolleret orbis.
At Milan also are all things wonderful, abundant wealth, countless stately houses, men able, eloquent, and cheerfully disposed; besides, there is the grandeur of the site enlarged by a double wall,1 the Circus, her people’s joy, the massy enclosed Theatre with wedge-like blocks of seats, the temples, the imperial citadels, the wealthy Mint, and the quarter renowned under the title of the Baths of Herculeus;2 her colonnades all adorned with marble statuary, her walls piled like an earthen rampart round the city’s edge:—all these, as it were rivals in the vast masses of their workmanship, are passing grand; nor does the near neighbourhood of Rome abase them.
Nor, certes, shall I leave unsung Capua, mighty in tillage of fields and in fruits, in luxury, in wealth, and in earlier renown, who, despite Fortune’s changing haps, relied on her prosperity and knew not how to keep the mean. Now she, once rival, is subject to Rome; now she keeps faith, once faithless—when, at a stand whether to flout or court the Senate, she dared to hope for magistrates chosen under Campanian auspices, and that with one consul from among her sons she might take up the empire
- 1The ramparts of the city are noticed below (1. 9). Hopfensack conjectures that this double wall enclosed an annexe to the city in which lay the “enclosed” Theatre. But inclusum may possibly mean that the Theatre was roofed-in, like the Odeum of Herodes Atticus at Athens.
- 2Or possibly “of Hercules.” In either case the epithet indicates that the Baths were built by or under Maximian, surnamed Herculeus, who according to Aurelius Victor (Caes. xxxix. 45) adorned Milan with many fine buildings. To the same Emperor also the Palatinae arces, or imperial residence, is to be ascribed.