Statius, Achilleid

LCL 498: 314-315

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20Solverat Oebalio classem de litore pastor Dardanus incautas blande populatus Amyclas plenaque materni referens praesagia somni culpatum relegebat iter, qua condita ponto fluctibus invisis iam Nereis imperat Helle, 25cum Thetis Idaeos—heu numquam vana parentum auguria!—expavit vitreo sub gurgite remos. nec mora et undosis turba comitante sororum prosiluit thalamis: fervent coeuntia Phrixi litora et angustum dominas non explicat aequor. 30Illa ubi discusso primum subit aëra ponto, ‘Me petit haec, mihi classis,’ ait, ‘funesta minatur, agnosco monitus et Protea vera locutum. ecce novam Priamo facibus de puppe levatis fert Bellona nurum: video iam mille carinis 35Ionium Aegaeumque premi; nec sufficit, omnis quod plaga Graiugenum tumidis coniurat Atridis: iam pelago terrisque meus quaeretur Achilles, et volet ipse sequi. quid enim cunabula parvo Pelion et torvi commisimus antra magistri? 40illic, ni fallor, Lapitharum proelia ludit improbus et patria iam se metitur in hasta. o dolor, o seri materno in corde timores! non potui infelix, cum primum gurgite nostro Rhoeteae cecidere trabes, attollere magnum 45aequor et incesti praedonis vela profunda tempestate sequi cunctasque inferre sorores?


Book 1

The Dardan shepherd had launched a fleet from Oebalus’ shore. He had sweetly ravished unwary Amyclae 4 and was retracing his guilty way in fulfilment of his mother’s prophetic dream, 5 where Helle, a Nereid now hidden in the sea, rules the waves she hates, when Thetis (alas for parents’ auguries never vain!) down below the glassy flood took fright at Ida’s oars. Straightway she leapt from her watery bower along with her bevy of sisters. The meeting shores of Phrixus seethe and the strait cannot find room for its mistresses.

As soon as she comes up into the air, shaking off 6 the sea: ‘This fleet,’ she says, ‘is after me, to me a deadly menace. I recognize the warnings. Proteus told true. Raising her torch from the stern, behold, Bellona brings Priam a new daughter-in-law. I see Ionian and Aegean pressed by a thousand keels. And it is not enough that all the land of the Grecians leagues with Atreus’ angry sons; soon they will be looking by land and sea for my Achilles, and himself will want to follow. For why did I trust Pelion to the child 7 for cradle and the grim master’s cave? There, if I mistake not, he plays at Lapith battles and already measures himself with his father’s spear, 8 the rogue. Ah pain, ah tremors too late in my mother’s heart! Unhappy that I am, when first the planks of Rhoeteum fell upon our waters, 9 could I not have raised a mighty main and pursued the foul pirate’s sails with a deep 10 tempest and brought all my sisters

  • 4I.e. Sparta, as in 2.59.
  • 5While pregnant with Paris Hecuba dreamt that she gave birth to a torch which set fire to Troy. Therefore his parents exposed him.
  • 6Or ‘parting.’ But cf. 2.4 excussoponto.
  • 7A bold inversion reminiscent of Statius’ earlier style.
  • 8 In hasta does not say how he held the spear; presumably upright by his side.
  • 9They fell (i.e. were felled) as trees and put to sea as ship timber—a telescopic expression for which Dilke provides parallels.
  • 10Reaching down into the depths.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.statius-achilleid.2004