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Thebaid

LIBER III

At non Aoniae moderator perfidus aulae nocte sub ancipiti, quamvis umentibus astris longus ad auroram superet labor, otia somni accipit; invigilant animo scelerisque parati 5supplicium exercent curae; tum plurima versat, pessimus in dubiis augur, timor. ‘ei mihi,’ clamat, ‘unde morae?’ (nam prona ratus facilemque tot armis Tydea, nec numero virtutem animumque rependit) ‘num regio diversa viae? num missus ab Argis 10subsidio globus? an sceleris data fama per urbes finitimas? paucosne, pater Gradive, manuve legimus indecores? at enim fortissimus illic et Chromis et Dorylas et nostris turribus aequi Thespiadae; totos raperent mihi funditus Argos. 15nec tamen ille meis, reor, impenetrabilis armis aere gerens solidoque aptos adamante lacertos venerat; heu segnes, quorum labor haeret in uno, si conserta manus.’ vario sic turbidus aestu angitur ac sese culpat super omnia, qui non 20orantem in mediis legatum coetibus ense perculerit foedasque palam satiaverit iras.

  • 1aulae ω: orae P
  • 16datos Pω (SB: satos Heinsius (cf. 7.43)
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Book 3

Book 3

But the perfidious governor of the Aonian palace takes not sleep’s repose in the dubious 1 night, even though the dewy stars have long to labour before the dawn. Cares keep vigil in his mind and wreak punishment for plotted crime, and fear (in times of doubt the worst of prophets) revolves many things. ‘Woe is me!’ he cries. ‘Why the delay?’ For he had thought it an easy run: Tydeus would be no hard work for so large a force; he did not weigh courage and spirit against number. ‘Did they go by different roads? Was a band sent from Argos to help him? Did rumour of the crime spread through neighbouring cities? 2 Were they that I chose too few, father Gradivus, or inglorious fighters? But bravest Chromis and Dorylas are there and the scions of Thespius, equal to our towers; they could raze all Argos to the ground at my behest. And yet methinks him not impenetrable to my arms; he did not come with limbs made up of bronze and solid adamant. Oh cowards, struggling helpless against one man—if combat was joined!’ Thus he agonizes, in a tumult of shifting passion, blaming himself above all for that he had not cut down the envoy as he spoke in mid assembly and sated his foul fury in the

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.statius-thebaid.2004