Statius, Thebaid

LCL 207: 140-141

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(hunc utero quondam Dryope Phoenissa gravato 615rapta repente choris onerisque oblita ferebat, dumque trahit prensis taurum tibi cornibus, Euhan, procidit impulsus nimiis conatibus infans) tunc audax iaculis et capti pelle leonis pinea nodosae quassabat robora clavae 620increpitans: ‘unusne, viri, tot caedibus unus ibit ovans Argos? vix credet Fama reverso. heu socii, nullaene manus, nulla arma valebunt? haec regi promissa, Cydon, haec, Lampe, dabamus?’ dum clamat, subit ore cavo Teumesia cornus, 625nec prohibent fauces; atque illi voce repleta intercepta natat prorupto in sanguine lingua. stabat adhuc, donec transmissa morte per artus labitur immorsaque cadens obmutuit hasta. Vos quoque, Thespiadae, cur infitiatus honora 630arcuerim fama? fratris moribunda levabat membra solo Periphas (nil indole clarius illa nec pietate fuit), laeva marcentia colla sustentans dextraque latus; singultibus artum exhaurit thoraca dolor, nec vincla coercent 635undantem fletu galeam, cum multa gementi pone gravis curvas perfringit lancea costas exit et in fratrem cognataque pectora telo conserit. ille oculos etiamnum in luce natantes sistit et aspecta germani morte resolvit. 640at cui vita recens et adhuc in vulnere vires ‘hos tibi complexus, haec dent,’ ait, ‘oscula nati.’

  • 619nodosam . . . clavam P: -sa . . . –va ω (Jortin)
  • 637ferro Σ ad 3.152
  • 638etiamnum ω: et adhuc P (e 640): extrema Markland

Book 2

Cadmus. Him once Phoenician Dryope bore in her laden womb, as suddenly snatched by the dancers she forgot her burden, and as she dragged a bull by the horn for your sake, Euhan, the child was pushed by her frantic efforts and fell forth. Then bold with spears and the hide of a captured lion, he was brandishing a knotty pinewood club, thus upbraiding them: ‘Shall one man, warriors, one man go to Argos triumphing in so many slain? Fame will scarce believe him when he returns. Alack, comrades, shall no hands, no weapons avail? Were these the promises we made the king, Cydon? These, Lampus?’ As he shouts, a Teumesian 56 javelin enters his open mouth, nor does his throat bar it. His voice is choked and the severed tongue swims in a gush of blood. Even yet he stood, until death coursed through his limbs and he collapsed. Silent he dropped, biting the spear.

You too, sons of Thespius, why should I deny and keep you from honourable fame? Periphas was raising his brother’s dying body from the ground (none more than he renowned for natural gifts or love of kin), propping with his left hand the drooping neck and with his right the side. Grief exhausts the corselet scarce large enough for his sobs and the straps do not contain the helmet awash with tears. But as he groans and groans, a heavy lance from behind shatters his rib cage and issues forth into his brother, knitting the kindred breasts with the weapon. The other fixes his eyes still swimming in the light, and seeing his brother’s death relaxes them. But his spirit was hardly gone and strength was still in the wound: ‘May your sons give you 57 such embrace, such kisses,’ he said. So they fell prostrate,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.statius-thebaid.2004