A newer edition of this work is available: 2018

Seneca the Younger, Hercules

LCL 62: 126-127



tandemque superis reddit. en ultro vocat omnis deorum coetus et laxat fores, una vetante. recipis et reseras polum? an contumacis ianuam mundi traho? 965dubitatur etiam? vincla Saturno exuam, contraque patris impii regnum impotens avum resolvam. bella Titanes parent me duce furentes; saxa cum silvis feram rapiamque dextra plena Centauris iuga. 970iam monte gemino limitem ad superos agam: videat sub Ossa Pelion Chiron suum, in caelum Olympus tertio positus gradu perveniet aut mittetur.


Infandos procul averte sensus; pectoris sani parum, 975magni tamen, compesce dementem impetum.


Quid hoc? Gigantes arma pestiferi movent. profugit umbras Tityos, ac lacerum gerens et inane pectus quam prope a caelo stetit! labat Cithaeron, alta Pallene tremit 980marcentque Tempe. rapuit hic Pindi iuga, hic rapuit Oeten, saevit horrendum Mimas. flammifera Erinys verbere excusso sonat rogisque adustas propius ac propius sudes in ora tendit; saeva Tisiphone, caput

  • 980marcentque A: Macetumque E


world above. 52 See, the whole company of the gods spontaneously summons me and opens the doors, with one goddess forbidding it. Will you receive me and unbar the firmament? Or must I tear down the door of the stubborn heaven? Do you still hesitate? I shall strip off Saturn’s chains, and against my unnatural father’s unbridled rule I shall loose my grandfather. Let the Titans in rage prepare war under my leadership. I shall carry rocks and trees, and grasp ridges full of Centaurs in my right hand. With a pair of mountains I shall now construct a pathway to the world above: Chiron must see his Pelion set beneath Ossa. Then Olympus, placed as a third step, will reach to heaven—or else be hurled there.


Banish these monstrous notions! Restrain the crazy impulses of your mind, which is great to be sure, but scarcely sane.


What is this? The pestilential Giants are in arms. Tityos has escaped the underworld, and stands so close to heaven, his chest all torn and empty! Cithaeron lurches, high Pallene shakes, and Tempe’s beauty withers. One Giant has seized the peaks of Pindus, another has seized Oeta, and Mimas rages fearfully. The fire-bearing Fury is cracking her scourge, and pushing in my face stakes charred in pyres, closer and closer. Cruel Tisiphone, her head encircled with

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-hercules.2002