Silius Italicus, Punica

LCL 277: 6-7

Go To Section
Go To Section

Silius Italicus

arma remolitur; dux omnia sufficit unus turbanti terra1 pontumque movere paranti.

Iamque deae cunctas sibi belliger induit iras Hannibal; hunc audet solum componere fatis. 40sanguineo tum laeta viro atque in regna Latini turbine mox saevo venientum haud inscia cladum, “intulerit Latio, spreta me, Troius,” inquit, “exul Dardaniam et bis numina capta penates sceptraque fundarit victor Lavinia Teucris, 45dum Romana tuae, Ticine, cadavera ripae non capiant, famulusque2 mihi per Celtica rura sanguine Pergameo Trebia et stipantibus armis corporibusque virum retro fluat, ac sua largo stagna reformidet Thrasymennus turbida tabo; dum Cannas, tumulum Hesperiae, campumque cruore 51Ausonio mersum sublimis Iapyga cernam teque vadi dubium coëuntibus, Aufide, ripis per clipeos galeasque virum caesosque per artus vix iter Hadriaci rumpentem ad litora ponti.” 55haec ait ac iuvenem facta ad Mavortia flammat.

Ingenio motus avidus fideique sinister is fuit, exsuperans astu, sed devius aequi. armato nullus divum pudor; improba virtus et pacis despectus honos; penitusque medullis

  • 1omnia . . . terra Madvig: agmina . . . terras edd.
  • 2famulus Postgate: similis edd.

Punica, I

for a fresh conflict. When she upset all things on earth and was preparing to stir up the sea, she found a sufficient instrument in a single leader.

Now warlike Hannibal clothed himself with all the wrath of the goddess; his single arm she dared to match against destiny. Then, rejoicing in that man of blood, and aware of the fierce storm of disasters in store for the realm of Latinus,a she spoke thus: “In defiance of me, the exile from Troyb brought Dardaniac to Latium, together with his household gods—deities that were twice taken prisonersd; and he gained a victory and founded a kingdom for the Teucrians at Lavinium. That may pass—provided that the banks of the Ticinuse cannot contain the Roman dead, and that the Trebia, obedient to me, shall flow backwards through the fields of Gaul, blocked by the blood of Romans and their weapons and the corpses of men; provided that Lake Trasimene shall be terrified by its own pools darkened with streams of gore, and that I shall see from heaven Cannae, the grave of Italy, and the Iapygian plain inundated with Roman blood, while the Aufidus, doubtful of its course as its banks close in, can hardly force a passage to the Adriatic shore through shields and helmets and severed limbs of men.” With these words she fired the youthful warrior for deeds of battle.

By nature he was eager for action and faithless to his plighted word, a past master in cunning but a strayer from justice. Once armed, he had no respect for Heaven; he was brave for evil and despised the glory of peace; and a thirst for human blood burned Hannibal over the Romans in Italy: (1) on the Ticinus; (2) on the Trebia; (3) at Lake Trasimene; (4) at Cannae, by the river Aufidus.

  • aThe legendary king of Laurentum who welcomed Aeneas on his arrival in Italy. The “realm of Latinus” stands for either Rome or Italy.
  • bAeneas.
  • cTroy: and so “Teucrians” below stands for “Romans.”
  • dTroy was taken first by Hercules, when he had been deceived by Laomedon, king of Troy; and secondly by the Greeks under Agamemnon.
  • eJuno enumerates the four main victories gained by
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.silius_italicus-punica.1934