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Ovid XV Chapter 7: 259-306 Pythagoras' Teachings:Geological changes
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For my part, I [Note 1] would have thought that nothing lasts for long with the same appearance. So the ages changed from gold to iron, and so the fortunes of places have altered. I have seen myself what was once firm land, become the sea: I have seen earth made from the waters: and sea-shells lie far away from the ocean, and an ancient anchor has been found on a mountain-top. The down rush of waters has made what was once a plain into a valley, and hills, by the deluge have been washed to the sea. Marshy land has drained to parched sand, and what was once thirsty ground filled with a marshy pool. Here, Nature generates fresh springs, and there seals them up, and rivers, released by deep earthquakes, burst out or dry up, and sink. So when the Lycus is swallowed by a chasm in the earth, it emerges far off, reborn, from a different source. So, engulfed, flowing as a hidden stream, the mighty Erasinus emerges again, in the fields of Argos. And they say that Mysus, ashamed of its origin and its former banks, now flows elsewhere, as Caicus. Amenanus flows sometimes churning Sicilian sands, at other times dried up, its fountains blocked. Anigrus, once drinkable, now flows with water you would not wish to touch, since, unless we deny all credence to the poets, the bi-formed centaurs washed their wounds there, dealt by the bow of club-bearing Hercules. Is the Hypanis, born in the Scythian mountains, not ruined by bitter salt water, that once was sweet? Antissa, and Pharos, and Phoenician Tyre, were surrounded by sea: of which not one, now, is an island. The former settlers of Leucas lived on a peninsula: now the waves encircle it. Zancle also is said to have been joined to Italy, till the waves washed away the boundary, and the deep sea pushed back the land. If you look for Helice and Buris, cities of Achaia, you will find them under the waters, and sailors are accustomed, even now, to point out the submerged towns with their sunken walls. There is a mound near Troezen, where Pittheus ruled, steep and treeless, that once was the flattest open space on the plain, and now is a mound. For (strange to relate) the wild strength of the winds, imprisoned in dark caves, longing for somewhere to breathe, and struggling in vain to enjoy the freer expanses of sky, since there was no gap at all in their prison, as an exit for their breath, extended and swelled the ground, just as a man inflates a bladder, or a goatskin taken from a twin-horned goat. The swelling remained there, and has the look of a high hill, solidified by long centuries.' |
Note 1: I = Pythagoras
'Nil equidem durare diu sub imagine eadem |
crediderim: sic ad ferrum venistis ab auro,
saecula, sic totiens versa est fortuna locorum.
vidi ego, quod fuerat quondam solidissima tellus,
esse fretum, vidi factas ex aequore terras;
et procul a pelago conchae iacuere marinae,
et vetus inventa est in montibus ancora summis;
quodque fuit campus, vallem decursus aquarum
fecit, et eluvie mons est deductus in aequor,
eque paludosa siccis humus aret harenis,
quaeque sitim tulerant, stagnata paludibus ument.
hic fontes natura novos emisit, at illic
clausit, et aut imis commota tremoribus orbis
flumina prosiliunt, aut exsiccata residunt.
sic ubi terreno Lycus est epotus hiatu,
existit procul hinc alioque renascitur ore;
sic modo conbibitur, tecto modo gurgite lapsus
redditur Argolicis ingens Erasinus in arvis,
et Mysum capitisque sui ripaeque prioris
paenituisse ferunt, alia nunc ire Caicum;
nec non Sicanias volvens Amenanus harenas
nunc fluit, interdum suppressis fontibus aret.
ante bibebatur, nunc, quas contingere nolis,
fundit Anigrus aquas, postquam, nisi vatibus omnis
eripienda fides, illic lavere bimembres
vulnera, clavigeri quae fecerat Herculis arcus.
quid? non et Scythicis Hypanis de montibus ortus,
qui fuerat dulcis, salibus vitiatur amaris?
'Fluctibus ambitae fuerant Antissa Pharosque
et Phoenissa Tyros: quarum nunc insula nulla est.
Leucada continuam veteres habuere coloni:
nunc freta circueunt; Zancle quoque iuncta fuisse
dicitur Italiae, donec confinia pontus
abstulit et media tellurem reppulit unda;
si quaeras Helicen et Burin, Achaidas urbes,
invenies sub aquis, et adhuc ostendere nautae
inclinata solent cum moenibus oppida mersis.
est prope Pittheam tumulus Troezena, sine ullis
arduus arboribus, quondam planissima campi
area, nunc tumulus; nam (res horrenda relatu)
vis fera ventorum, caecis inclusa cavernis,
exspirare aliqua cupiens luctataque frustra
liberiore frui caelo, cum carcere rima
nulla foret toto nec pervia flatibus esset,
extentam tumefecit humum, ceu spiritus oris
tendere vesicam solet aut derepta bicorni
terga capro; tumor ille loci permansit et alti
collis habet speciem longoque induruit aevo.