Oppian, Cynegetica, or The Chase

LCL 219: 160-161

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Oppian

ΚΥΝΗΓΕΤΙΚΩΝ ΤΟ Δ

Εἴδεα μὲν τόσα θηρσί, τόσαι δ᾿ ἀνὰ δάσκιον ὕλην νυμφίδιοι φιλότητες ὁμήθειαί τε πέλονται ἔχθεά τε κρυεροί τε μόθοι νόμιοί τε χαμεῦναι. τλησιπόνων δ᾿ ἀνδρῶν χρέος ἄπλετον ἀείδωμεν, 5ἀμφότερον κρατερόν τε μένος καὶ ἐπίφρονα βουλὴν κέρδεά τ᾿ αἰολόβουλα πολυφράστοις τε δόλοισι φραξαμένην κραδίην· ἦ γάρ τε πρὸς ἄγρια φῦλα μάρναται, οἷσι θεὸς σθένος ὤπασε καὶ μένος ἠῢ καὶ φρένας οὐδ᾿ αὐτῶν πολὺ μείονας ἀγρευτήρων.

10Ἤθεα1 πολλὰ πέλει κλειτῆς πολυαρκέος2 ἄγρης, ἄρμενα καὶ θήρεσσι καὶ ἔθνεσιν ἠδὲ χαράδραις, μυρία· τίς κεν ἅπαντα μιῇ φρενὶ χωρήσειεν εἰπέμεναι κατὰ μοῖραν ὑπ᾿ εὐκελάδοισιν ἀοιδαῖς; τίς δ᾿ ἂν πάντ᾿ ἐσίδοι; τίς δ᾿ ἂν τόσον ὠπήσαιτο 15θνητὸς ἐών; μοῦνοι δὲ θεοὶ ῥέα πάνθ᾿ ὁρόωσιν. αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν ἐρέω τά τ᾿ ἐμοῖς ἴδον ὀφθαλμοῖσι, θήρην ἀγλαόδωρον ἐπιστείχων ξυλόχοισιν, ὅσσα τ᾿ ἀπ᾿ ἀνθρώπων ἐδάην, τοῖσιν τὰ μέμηλεν, αἰόλα παντοίης ἐρατῆς μυστήρια τέχνης, 20ἱμείρων τάδε πάντα Σεουήρου Διὸς υἱῷ

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Cynegtica, IV

Cynegetica, or The Chase IV

So many are the species of wild beasts, so many in the shady wood their nuptial loves and companionships, their hates and deadly feuds, their couches in the wild. Now let us sing the great business of the toilsome hunters, both their valiant might and their prudent counsel, their cunning craft and their heart armed with manifold wiles; for verily that heart wars against wild races to whom God hath given strength and goodly courage and wits not far inferior to the hunters themselves.

Many are the modes of glorious and profitable hunting: modes innumerable, suited to the various beasts and tribes and glens. Who with his single mind should comprehend them all and tell of them in order with euphonious song? Who could behold them all? Who could behold so much, being mortal? Only the Gods easily see all things.a But I shall tell what I have seen with my own eyes when following in the woods the chase, splendid of boons, and whatever cunning mysteries of all manner of delightful craft I have learned from them whose business it is; fain as I am to sing of all these things to the son of Divine

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.oppian-cynegetica_chase.1928