Statius, Thebaid

LCL 498: 60-61

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Thebaid

LIBER IX

Asperat Aonios rabies audita cruenti Tydeos; ipsi etiam minus ingemuere iacentem Inachidae, culpantque virum et rupisse queruntur fas odii; quin te, divum implacidissime, quamquam 5praecipuum tunc caedis opus, Gradive, furebas, offensum virtute ferunt, nec comminus ipsum ora sed et trepidos alio torsisse iugales. ergo profanatum Melanippi funus acerbo vulnere non aliis ultum Cadmeia pubes 10insurgunt stimulis quam si turbata sepulcris ossa patrum monstrisque datae crudelibus urnae. accendit rex ipse super: ‘quisquamne Pelasgis mitis adhuc hominemque gerit? iam morsibus uncis (pro furor! usque adeo tela exsatiavimus?) artus 15dilacerant. nonne Hyrcanis bellare putatis tigribus, aut saevos Libyae contra ire leones? et nunc ille iacet (pulchra o solacia leti!) ore tenens hostile caput, dulcique nefandus immoritur tabo; nos ferrum immite facesque: 20illis nuda odia, et feritas iam non eget armis. sic pergant rabidi claraque hac laude fruantur, dum videas haec, summe pater. sed enim hiscere campos

  • 9pubes ω: proles P
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Book 9

Book 9

Report of bloody Tydeus’ frenzy exasperates the Aonians. Even the children of Inachus bemoaned the fallen hero but little; they blame him, complaining that he broke the law of hate. Nay, ’tis said that even Gradivus, most turbulent of gods, though then of all times plying the mad work of carnage, was offended by the prowess 1 and looked not directly himself, turning his frightened horses too another way. So the Cadmean warriors rise to avenge Melanippus’ corpse outraged by so cruel a wound, spurred as though their fathers’ bones had been disturbed in their tombs and their urns given to cruel monsters. The king himself inflames them still further: ‘Does any man still have mercy or humanity for the Pelasgi? Now they are tearing limbs apart with their hooked teeth—the madness! Have we so glutted their weapons? Think you not that we war with Hyrcanian tigers, fight fierce lions of Libya? And now he lies (fine comfort in death!) gripping his enemy’s head with his mouth, expiring in unholy relish of the gore. We use pitiless steel and firebrands; for them there is bare hate, and their savagery no longer needs weapons. So let them continue in their madness and enjoy this glorious renown, provided you see it, Father supreme. Well, but they com­plain

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.statius-thebaid.2004