Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities

LCL 319: 252-253


Dionysius of Halicarnassus

δὲ κἀμοὶ τὰ πιθανώτατα τῶν μνημονευομένων. ἔχει δὲ ὧδε·

LXXVI. Ἀμόλιος ἐπειδὴ παρέλαβε τὴν Ἀλβανῶν βασιλείαν τὸν πρεσβύτερον ἀδελφὸν Νεμέτορα τῷ κατισχῦσαι τῆς πατρίου τιμῆς ἀπείρξας, τά τε ἄλλα κατὰ πολλὴν ὑπεροψίαν τῶν δικαίων ἔδρα καὶ τελευτῶν ἔρημον γένους τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Νεμέτορος ἐπεβούλευσε ποιῆσαι, τοῦ τε δίκην ὑποσχεῖν φόβῳ καὶ ἔρωτι τοῦ1 μὴ παυθῆναί ποτε τῆς ἀρχῆς. 2βουλευσάμενος δὲ ταῦτα ἐκ πολλοῦ πρῶτον μὲν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Νεμέτορος Αἴγεστον ἄρτι γενειάζοντα φυλάξας ἔνθα ἐκυνηγέτει, προλοχίσας τοῦ χωρίου τὸ ἀφανέστατον, ἐξελθόντα ἐπὶ θήραν ἀποκτείνει καὶ παρεσκεύασε λέγεσθαι μετὰ τὸ ἔργον ὡς ὑπὸ λῃστῶν ἀναιρεθείη τὸ μειράκιον. οὐ μέντοι κρείττων ἡ κατασκευαστὴ δόξα τῆς σιωπωμένης ἀληθείας ἐγένετο, ἀλλὰ πολλοῖς καὶ παρὰ τὸ ἀσφαλὲς ἐτολμᾶτο 3λέγεσθαι τὸ πραχθέν. Νεμέτωρ δὲ ᾔδει μὲν τὸ ἔργον, λογισμῷ δὲ κρείττονι τοῦ πάθους χρώμενος ἄγνοιαν ἐσκήπτετο εἰς ἀκινδυνότερον ἀναβαλέσθαι χρόνον τὴν ὀργὴν βουλευσάμενος. Ἀμόλιος δὲ τὰ τοῦ μειρακίου ὑπολαβὼν λεληθέναι δεύτερα τάδε ἐποίει· τὴν θυγατέρα τοῦ Νεμέτορος Ἰλίαν, ὡς δὲ τινες γράφουσι Ῥέαν ὄνομα, Σιλουΐαν2 δ᾿ ἐπίκλησιν, ἐν ἀκμῇ γάμου γενομένην ἱέρειαν ἀποδείκνυσιν Ἑστίας, ὡς μὴ τάχιον εἰς ἀνδρὸς ἐλθοῦσα


Book I. 76

some; and I, also, shall relate the most probable of these stories. They are as follows:

LXXVI. When1 Amulius succeeded to the kingdom of the Albans, after forcibly excluding his elder brother Numitor from the dignity that was his by inheritance, he not only showed great contempt for justice in everything else that he did, but he finally plotted to deprive Numitor’s family of issue, both from fear of suffering punishment for his usurpation and also because of his desire never to be dispossessed of the sovereignty. Having long resolved upon this course, he first observed the neighbourhood where Aegestus, Numitor’s son, who was just coming to man’s estate, was wont to follow the chase, and having placed an ambush in the most hidden part of it, he caused him to be slain when he had come out to hunt; and after the deed was committed he contrived to have it reported that the youth had been killed by robbers. Nevertheless, the rumour thus concocted could not prevail over the truth which he was trying to keep concealed, but many, though it was unsafe to do so, ventured to tell what had been done. Numitor was aware of the crime, but his judgment being superior to his grief, he affected ignorance, resolving to defer his resentment to a less dangerous time. And Amulius, supposing that the truth about the youth had been kept secret, set a second plan on foot, as follows: he appointed Numitor’s daughter, Ilia,—or, as some state, Rhea, surnamed Silvia,—who was then ripe for marriage, to be a priestess of Vesta, lest, if she first entered a husband’s house, she might bring

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dionysius_halicarnassus-roman_antiquities.1937