Silius Italicus, Punica

LCL 277: 424-425

Go To Section
Go To Section

Punica, VIII

shield reviews her thousand squadrons in mimic warfare, till the earth resounds, and Thermodona too, the river of the Amazons. Here might be seen the men whom the fields of rocky Numana feed, and those for whom the altar of Cupra smokes by the shore, and those who guard the towers and rivers of Truentum; their shielded ranks glitter afar in the sunlight and throw a blood-red radiance skyward. Here stood Ancona, which rivals Sidon and the purple of Libya in the dyeing of cloth; and here stood Hadria washed by the Vomanus, and here the fierce standard-bearers of wooded Asculum. Picus,b the famous son of ancient Saturn, was the father and founder of Asculum long ago—Picus whom Circe by her spells deprived of human shape, and sentenced to fly about in the sky; and she speckled his feathers with bright saffron colour as he fled from her. Legend tells that the land was possessed earlier by Pelasgians, the subjects of Aesis who left his name to a river and called his people after himself by the name of Asili.

But the Umbrians, dwellers in the country, brought no less strength to the Roman army, when they came from their hills and valleys. Their rivers are the Aesis and the Sapis, and the Metaurus which drives its rapid stream over rocks in noisy eddies; and there Clitumnus bathes in its sacred waters the mighty bullc; and there is the Nar whose pale waves hasten to the Tiber, and the Tinia unknown to fame, and the Clanis, and the Rubicon, and the Sena named after the Senones. But Father Albulad flows through their midst with his mighty stream and grazes their walls and brings near his banks. The Umbrian towns are Arna, Mevania of rich pastures, Hispellum, Narnia that lies among the rocks on the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.silius_italicus-punica.1934