dixerit astrologus, credent a fonte relatum 555Hammonis, quoniam Delphis oracula cessant et genus humanum damnat caligo futuri. praecipuus tamen est horum, qui saepius exul. [cuius amicitia conducendaque tabella magnus civis obit et formidatus Othoni.] 560inde fides artis, sonuit si dextera ferro: [laevaque, si longe castrorum in carcere mansit] nemo mathematicus genium indemnatus habebit, sed qui paene perit, cui vix in Cyclada mitti contigit et parva tandem latuisse Seripho. 565consulit ictericae lento de funere matris, ante tamen de te Tanaquil tua, quando sororem efferat et patruos, an sit victurus adulter post ipsam; quid enim maius dare numina possunt? haec tamen ignorat quid sidus triste minetur 570Saturni, quo laeta Venus se proferat astro, quis mensis damnis, quae dentur tempora lucro. illius occursus etiam vitare memento, in cuius manibus ceu pinguia sucina tritas cernis ephemeridas, quae nullum consulit et iam 575consulitur, quae castra viro patriamque petente non ibit pariter numeris revocata Thrasylli.
- 558-9 om. PFG
- 561 del. Willis
- 564latuisse Schrader: caruisse codd.
Whatever the astrologer says they’ll believe has come from Ammon’s fountain, 114 now that the oracles at Delphi are silent and the human race is doomed to darkness about the future. 115 Yet the most important of these is the one that’s been exiled most often. That’s the source of their faith in his skill, if his right hand has clanked with iron. 116 There’s no talent in any astrologer without a criminal record, but only in the one who nearly died, who just managed to get sent to a Cycladic island and finally languished on tiny Seriphus. 117 Your Tanaquil 118 asks for advice about the lingering death of her jaundiced mother—she’s already asked about you!—and about when she’ll bury her sister and her uncles, or whether her lover will outlive her. After all, is there anything more important that the gods could grant her? And yet she does not herself understand the threats from the gloomy planet of Saturn, or the signs under which Venus has a favourable aspect, which month is destined for losses, which times are destined for profit. But remember to avoid ever running into the kind of woman who you’ll see holding in her hands a well thumbed almanac like it was a clammy ball of amber. 119 She doesn’t consult anyone else, but these days is consulted herself. She will not accompany her husband when he heads for camp or for home if the calculations of Thrasyllus detain her. 120 When
- 114The oracle of Jupiter Ammon in North Africa.
- 115The great oracles such as Delphi had fallen into neglect by this time.
- 116Line 561: “and the left hand, if he has languished far away in a military prison.”
- 117State criminals were banished to small islands such as Seriphus in the Cyclades.
- 118Wife of the fifth king of Rome, Tarquinius Priscus, and an expert in divination.
- 119Carried by women for the scent they produced.
- 120The astrologer consulted by the emperor Tiberius.