Ovid, Halieutica

LCL 232: 310-311

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Accepit mundus legem; dedit arma per omnes Admonuitque sui. vitulus sic namque minatur, Qui nondum gerit in tenera iam cornua fronte, Sic dammae fugiunt, pugnant virtute leones Et morsu canis et caudae sic scorpios ictu Concussisque levis pinnis sic evolat ales. Omnibus ignotae mortis timor, omnibus hostem Praesidiumque datum sentire et noscere teli Vimque modumque sui. sic et scarus arte sub undis 10Si nassae in patulas fraudes de vimine textas Decidit adsumptaque dolos tandem pavet esca, Non audet radiis obnixa occurrere fronte: Aversus crebro vimen sub verbere caudae Laxans subsequitur tutumque evadit in aequor. 15Quin etiam si forte aliquis, dum praenatat, arto Mitis luctantem scarus hunc in vimine vidit, Aversi caudam morsu tenet atque citatim Liber servato, quem texit, cive resultat. Sepia tarda fugae, tenui cum forte sub unda 20Deprensa est, iam iamque manus timet illa rapaces,

  • 10Owen’s supplement.
  • 17citatim Richmond: lita V.
  • 18cive resultat Heinsius: que resultet V.



. . . The universe submitted to natural law; to all God gave arms, and reminded them of himself. For thus threatens the calf, who bears no horns as yet on his young forehead; thus do hinds flee, lions fight with valour, and dogs with their teeth, and the scorpion with the stroke of his tail, and thus with a light shaking of his pinions does the bird fly away. In all is the fear of a death they know not, to all is given to be aware of their enemy and how to guard against him, and to know the force and measure of their own weapon. Thus the Scar,1 if by guile he has beneath the waves fallen into the open trap of a wickerwork basket2 and fears no trickery until he has seized the bait, ventures not with opposing forehead to dash against the rods: turning round he loosens the wicker-work with much lashing of his tail, and wriggling out escapes into the safety of the sea. Moreover, if by chance some kindly Scar, swimming past, has seen him struggling in the wicker-work, he grasps with his jaws his tail from behind and swiftly springs back into the clear with the fellow he protected saved. The Squid, tardy in flight, when caught perchance beneath the clear water and every moment stands in fear of clutching hands, vomits dark blood from his mouth

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-sea_fishing.1929