A newer edition of this work is available: 2018

Seneca the Younger, Hercules

LCL 62: 114-115



percussit oculos lucis ignotae novos, 815resumit animos victus et vastas furens quassat catenas; paene victorem abstulit pronumque retro vexit et movit gradu. tunc et meas respexit Alcides manus; geminis uterque viribus tractum canem 820ira furentem et bella temptantem irrita intulimus orbi. vidit ut clarum diem et pura nitidi spatia conspexit poli, [oborta nox est, lumina in terram dedit] compressit oculos et diem invisum expulit 825aciemque retro flexit atque omni petît cervice terram; tum sub Herculeas caput abscondit umbras. —Densa sed laeto venit clamore turba frontibus laurum gerens, magnique meritas Herculis laudes canit.


830Natus Eurystheus properante partu iusserat mundi penetrare fundum. derat hoc solum numero laborum, tertiae regem spoliare sortis. ausus es caecos aditus inire, 835ducit ad manes via qua remotos tristis et nigra metuenda silva, sed frequens magna comitante turba. Quantus incedit populus per urbes

  • 814novos Ageno: novus Bücheler: bono EA


unknown light struck his unaccustomed eyes, he regained his spirit after defeat, and shook his great chains furiously; he almost carried off his victor, unbalanced him and dragged him back face-down. Then Alcides looked to my hands too; with our twofold strength we dragged the hound, mad with rage and struggling furiously, and brought him into the world. Once he saw the bright daylight and glimpsed the clear expanses of the shining heaven, 43 he shut his eyes tight to expel the hated light, turned his gaze aside and lowered each of his necks to the earth; then he hid his heads in Hercules’ shadow.

But a thronging crowd is approaching with joyful shouts, wearing the laurel on their brows and singing the well-deserved praises of great Hercules.


Eurystheus, first-born in haste, had bidden you penetrate the world’s foundations. 44 This alone was missing from the count of the labours, to plunder the king of the third-drawn realm. You dared to enter those dark approaches, where a path leads down to the distant shades in gloom, made fearsome by black woods, but filled with a great accompanying crowd. As great as the throng which moves through city streets,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-hercules.2002