Plautus, The Rope

LCL 260: 406-407

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qui gentis omnis mariaque et terras mouet, eius sum ciuis ciuitate caelitum. ita sum ut uidetis: splendens stella candida, signum quod semper tempore exoritur suo 5hic atque in caelo. nomen Arcturo est mihi. noctu sum in caelo clarus atque inter deos, inter mortalis ambulo interdius. et alia signa de caelo ad terram accidunt: qui est imperator diuom atque hominum Iuppiter, 10is nos per gentis alios alia disparat qui facta hominum moresque, pietatem et fidem noscamus, ut quemque adiuuet opulentia. qui falsas litis falsis testimoniis petunt quique in iure abiurant pecuniam, 15eorum referimus nomina exscripta ad Iouem; cottidie ille scit quis hic quaerat malum: qui hic litem apisci postulant periurio mali, res falsas qui impetrant apud iudicem, iterum ille eam rem iudicatam iudicat; 20maiore multa multat quam litem auferunt. bonos in aliis tabulis exscriptos habet. atque hoc scelesti in animum inducunt suom, Iouem se placare posse donis, hostiis:

  • 7 ambulo <clam> Geppert
  • 10 alius P, alios Lindsay, aliud Seyffert
  • 11 que solum in T
  • 22 <si> in Müller


Prologue Enter arcturus from the left, wearing a star on his head.

In the city of the celestials I am a fellow citizen of he who wields sway over all peoples, seas, and lands. I am the way you see me: resplendent with a shining star, a constellation that always rises in its due season here and5 in heaven. Arcturus is my name. By night I am in the heaven, bright and among the gods, by day I walk among mortals. Other constellations also descend from heaven to earth: Jupiter, who is ruler of gods and men, dispatches10 each of us to a different post among the peoples, so that we may learn the deeds and characters of men, their virtue and good faith, and how fortune furthers each. Of those who bring fraudulent cases to court, supported by fraudulent evidence, and of those who deny the receipt of money before a magistrate on oath, we write down the15 names and bring them back to Jupiter. Every day he learns who is looking for trouble here. If bad people here expect to win a lawsuit by perjury or succeed in pressing false claims before a judge, he judges the judged matter again; he penalizes them with a penalty bigger than the20 action that they win. Good men he has listed on other tablets. And yet the wicked convince themselves that they can placate Jupiter with gifts and sacrifices. They

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plautus-rope.2012