Vel quae, qui redimi Romano turpe putavit, A duce Puniceo pertulit, ipse feras. Nec tibi subsidio praesens sit numen, ut illi, Cui nihil Hercei profuit ara Iovis. 285Utque dedit saltus a summa Thessalus Ossa, Tu quoque saxoso praecipitere iugo. Aut velut Eurylochi, qui sceptrum cepit ab illo, Sint artus avidis anguibus esca tui. Vel tua maturet, sicut Minoïa fata, 290Per caput infusae fervidus umor aquae. [Utque parum mitis, sed non impune, Prometheus, Aërias volucres sanguine fixus alas.] Aut ut Erecthides, magno ter ab Hercule victus, Caesus in inmensum proiciare fretum. 295Aut ut Amyntiaden, turpi dilectus amore Oderit, et saevo vulneret ense puer. Nec tibi fida magis misceri pocula possint, Quam qui cornigero de Iove natus erat. More vel intereas capti suspensus Achaei, 300Qui miser aurifera teste pependit aqua.
- 291Housman, following Salvagnius and others, brands this couplet as an interpolation by one who missed Prometheus and failed to detect him in 543 f.: Ovid never elsewhere repeats the same malediction.
- 293Erechthides Ellis: ethreclides, echecratides, etracides MSS.
what he bore at the Punic chieftain’s hands, who held it base for a Roman to be ransomed.1 Nor may a present deity bring thee aid, as to him whom the household shrine of Jove availed naught.2 And as Thessalus3 leapt down from Ossa’s height, so mayst thou too be hurled from a rocky ridge. Or like Eurylochus, who took the sceptre from him, may thy limbs be food for greedy snakes. Or like Minos’ fate, let the boiling heat of water poured upon thy head hasten thy death.4 [And like Prometheus, bitter yet bitter to his cost, mayst thou be fettered and feed with thy blood the birds of air.5] Or like Erechthides, thrice defeated by mighty Hercules, mayst thou be slain and hurled into the immeasurable deep.6 Or like Amyntas’ son, may the boy thou dost love detest thy shameful wooing, and wound thee with his angry blade.7 Nor may cups more trustworthy be mixed for thee than for him who was born of horned Jove.8 Or hanging like the captive Achaeus mayst thou die, who hung miserably by the stream that bears the gold.9 Or
- 2Priam; cf. Virg. Aen. 2. 506 where Priam is slain at the altar of Zeus in his own courtyard. Hercei, i.e. of the Ἕρκος or court, where the altar was.
- 3Apparently a king of Thessaly since Eurylochus was one.
- 4The fate of Minos, at the hands of the daughters of Cocalus, when he went to Sicily in search of the escaped Daedalus.
- 5Housman regards parum mitis as a rendering of Aeschylus, P. V. 944 τὸν πικρῶς ὑπέρπικρον.
- 6Probably Eryx, whom Hercules defeated in wrestling and flung into the sea; for the genealogy, see Ellis ad loc.
- 7Philip of Macedon, son of Amyntas, killed by Pausanias, whom he bad once outraged. Others explain of Archelaus, king of Macedonia.
- 8Alexander the Great, who declared himself the son of Zeus Ammon, the horned god, and loved to be represented as horned himself; according to some he was poisoned, though this is probably inaccurate.
- 9A rebel against Antiochus the Great, who beheaded him, sewed him up in an ass’s skin and hung him on a cross at Sardis, by the “golden” river Pactolus (214 b.c).