Propertius, Elegies

LCL 18: 384-385



assideant fratres, iuxta et Minoida sellam Eumenidum intento turba severa foro. Sisyphe, mole vaces; taceant Ixionis orbes; fallax Tantaleo corripere ore liquor; 25Cerberus et nullas hodie petat improbus umbras; et iaceat tacita laxa catena sera. ipsa loquar pro me: si fallo, poena sororum infelix umeros urgeat urna meos.

si cui fama fuit per avita tropaea decori, 30aera Numantinos nostra loquuntur avos: altera maternos exaequat turba Libones, et domus est titulis utraque fulta suis. mox, ubi iam facibus cessit praetexta maritis, vinxit et acceptas altera vitta comas, 35iungor, Paulle, tuo sic discessura cubili, ut lapide hoc uni nupta fuisse legar.

testor maiorum cineres tibi, Roma, colendos, sub quorum titulis, Africa, tunsa iaces, et, Persen proavi stimulat dum pectus Achilli, 40qui tumidas proavo fregit Achille domos, me neque censurae legem mollisse neque ulla labe mea nostros erubuisse focos. non fuit exuviis tantis Cornelia damnum: quin et erat magnae pars imitanda domus.

  • 24corripere ore Auratus: corripiare Ω*
  • 27loquar ς: loquor Ω*
  • 30<nos>tra Palmer: regna Ω* (<t[er]ra)
  • 36ut Graevius: in Ω*
  • 39stimulat Plessis dum Goold*: stimulantem Ω* (<-andum)
  • 40qui tumidas Heyne: qui[que] tuas Ω*
  • 42nostros ς: vestros Ω*

Book IV

let his brothers sit as assessors, and beside the chair of Minos the stern band of the Furies, while all the court is hushed to listen to my trial. Sisyphus, rest from your rock! Let Ixion’s wheel be silent! Frustrating water, be caught on Tantalus’ lips! Let fierce Cerberus rush at no shades today, but let his chain hang slack from a silent bolt. I shall speak in my own defence: if I speak falsely, let the luckless urn that is the Danaids’ punishment weigh down my shoulders.

If any has ever derived ennobling fame from ancestral trophies, then our house has bronze spoils that tell of an-cestors 107 who took Numantia: a second host claims equality for the Libones of my mother’s line, and my family is sustained on either side by achievements of its own. Thereafter, when maiden’s toga gave way to the nuptial torch, and a different headband caught up and bound my hair, I was wedded to your couch, Paullus, destined so to leave it that on this stone I shall be recorded as married to one man alone.

I testify by the ashes of forebears 108 who command Rome’s reverence, beneath whose triumphs Africa lies ground in the dust, and him, who, when Perses was spurred on by the spirit of his ancestor Achilles, crushed the house inflated by its ancestor Achilles, that I never caused the censor’s law to be relaxed and that our hearth never blushed for any sin of mine. Upon the lustre of such grand trophies Cornelia brought no tarnish: rather was she an example to be followed in that noble house.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.propertius-elegies.1990