Nuntia multivago Danaas perlabitur urbes Fama gradu, sancire novo sollemnia busto Inachidas ludumque super, quo Martia bellis praesudare paret seseque accendere virtus. 5Graium ex more decus: primus Pisaea per arva hunc pius Alcides Pelopi †certavit† honorem pulvereumque fera crinem detersit oliva; proxima vipereo celebratur libera nexu Phocis, Apollineae bellum puerile pharetrae; 10mox circum tristes servata Palaemonis aras nigra superstitio, quotiens animosa resumit Leucothea gemitus et amica ad litora festa tempestate venit: planctu conclamat uterque Isthmos, Echioniae responsant flebile Thebae. 15et nunc eximii regum, quibus Argos alumnis

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Book 6

Book 6

Rumour travels at large gliding through the Danaan cities with report that the sons of Inachus are founding rites for a new tomb and games to boot, in which martial valour will sweat in preparation for war and set itself alight, a festival according to Greek custom. Pious Alcides first began this honour for Pelops in Pisa’s fields 1 and brushed his dusty hair with wild olive. 2 Next was Phocis celebrated free of the serpent’s bond, the boyhood battle of Apollo’s quiver. 3 After that came a black cult observed at Palaemon’s gloomy altars as often as brave Leucothea renews her lamentations and returns to the friendly shore at festival time; Isthmos on either side is loud with mourning and Echionian Thebes makes tearful response. 4 And now the flower of kings, Argos’ children linking her with heaven,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.statius-thebaid.2004