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Thebaid

LIBER V

Pulsa sitis fluvio, populataque gurgitis alveum agmina linquebant ripas amnemque minorem; acrior et campum sonipes rapit et pedes arva implet ovans. rediere viris animique minaeque 5votaque, sanguineis mixtum ceu fontibus ignem hausissent belli magnasque in proelia mentes. dispositi in turmas rursus legemque severi ordinis, ut cuique ante locus ductorque, monentur instaurare vias. tellus iam pulvere primo 10crescit, et armorum transmittunt fulgura silvae. qualia trans pontum Phariis defensa serenis rauca Paraetonio decedunt agmina Nilo, cum fera ponit hiems: illae clangore fugaci, umbra fretis arvisque, volant, sonat avius aether. 15iam Borean imbresque pati, iam nare solutis amnibus et nudo iuvat aestivare sub Haemo. Hic rursus simili procerum vallante corona dux Talaionides, antiqua ut forte sub orno stabat et admoti nixus Polynicis in hastam: 20‘attamen, o quaecumque es,’ ait, ‘cui gloria tanta, venimus, innumeras Fato debere cohortes,

  • 1alvum ω: altum P (Ϛ)
  • 13ponit ωΣ: cogit P
  • 21innumerae Pω (SB1 ) fatum Pω (Ϛ, Garrod)
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Book 5

Book 5

Thirst quenched by the river, the army was leaving its ravaged bed and banks—a smaller stream. Brisker now the courser devours the plain and the foot soldier exultant throngs the fields. Spirit and threat and hope return to the warriors, as though they had consumed war-fire mingled in bloody waters and hearts high for battle. Marshalled again into their formations and the stern rule of rank, each with his former place and captain, they are ordered to resume their march. Now earth rises in the first dust and the woods transmit the flash of arms. Even as the noisy swarms sheltered overseas by Pharian calm leave Paraetonian Nile when wild winter subsides; they fly with fleeing clamour, a shadow over sea and land, the pathless ether resounds; now they are fain to suffer North Wind and rains, swim in melted rivers, and pass summer under naked 1 Haemus.

Then once more speaks the leader, Talaus’ son, circled by a band of noble peers, as he stands beneath an ancient ash, leaning on the spear of Polynices at his side: ‘And yet come tell us, whosoever you be to whom we have brought such glory, the glory of owing countless cohorts to fate, 2 an

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.statius-thebaid.2004