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Quote of the day: It was part of Tiberius' character to pr
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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VI Chapter 23: The Sibyl tells about some criminals
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Far, far within the dragon Hydra broods
With half a hundred mouths, gaping and black;
And Tartarus slopes downward to the dark
Twice the whole space that in the realms of light
Th' Olympian heaven above our earth aspires. --
Here Earth's first offspring, the Titanic brood,
Roll lightning-blasted in the gulf profound;
The twin Alo´dae, colossal shades,
Came on my view; their hands made stroke at Heaven
And strove to thrust Jove from his seat on high.
I saw Salmoneus his dread stripes endure,
Who dared to counterfeit Olympian thunder
And Jove's own fire. In chariot of four steeds,
Brandishing torches, he triumphant rode
Through throngs of Greeks, o'er Elis' sacred way,
Demanding worship as a god. O fool!
To mock the storm's inimitable flash --
With crash of hoofs and roll of brazen wheel!
But mightiest Jove from rampart of thick cloud
Hurled his own shaft, no flickering, mortal flame,
And in vast whirl of tempest laid him low.
Next unto these, on Tityos I looked,
Child of old Earth, whose womb all creatures bears:
Stretched o'er nine roods he lies; a vulture huge
Tears with hooked beak at his immortal side,
Or deep in entrails ever rife with pain
Gropes for a feast, making his haunt and home
In the great Titan bosom; nor will give
To ever new-born flesh surcease of woe.
Why name Ixion and Pirithous,
The Lapithae, above whose impious brows
A crag of flint hangs quaking to its fall,
As if just toppling down, while couches proud,
Propped upon golden pillars, bid them feast
In royal glory: but beside them lies
The eldest of the Furies, whose dread hands
Thrust from the feast away, and wave aloft
A flashing firebrand, with shrieks of woe.
Here in a prison-house awaiting doom
Are men who hated, long as life endured,
Their brothers, or maltreated their gray sires,
Or tricked a humble friend; the men who grasped
At hoarded riches, with their kith and kin
Not sharing ever -- an unnumbered throng;
Here slain adulterers be; and men who dared
To fight in unjust cause, and break all faith
With their own lawful lords. Seek not to know
What forms of woe they feel, what fateful shape
Of retribution hath o'erwhelmed them there.
Some roll huge boulders up; some hang on wheels,
Lashed to the whirling spokes; in his sad seat
Theseus is sitting, nevermore to rise;
Unhappy Phlegyas uplifts his voice
In warning through the darkness, calling loud,
O, ere too late, learn justice and fear God!
Yon traitor sold his country, and for gold
Enchained her to a tyrant, trafficking
In laws, for bribes enacted or made void;
Another did incestuously take
His daughter for a wife in lawless bonds.
All ventured some unclean, prodigious crime;
And what they dared, achieved. I could not tell,
Not with a hundred mouths, a hundred tongues,
Or iron voice, their divers shapes of sin,
Nor call by name the myriad pangs they bear.

Events: Aeneas visits the Underworld, Life and death of Salmoneus, Leto and Tityus, The punishment of Ixion, Theseus and Pirithous, Phlegyas sets fire to the temple of Apollo

quinquaginta atris immanis hiatibus Hydra
saeuior intus habet sedem. tum Tartarus ipse
bis patet in praeceps tantum tenditque sub umbras
quantus ad aetherium caeli suspectus Olympum.
hic genus antiquum Terrae, Titania pubes,
fulmine deiecti fundo uoluuntur in imo.
hic et Aloidas geminos immania uidi
corpora, qui manibus magnum rescindere caelum
adgressi superisque Iouem detrudere regnis.
uidi et crudelis dantem Salmonea poenas,
dum flammas Iouis et sonitus imitatur Olympi.
quattuor hic inuectus equis et lampada quassans
per Graium populos mediaeque per Elidis urbem
ibat ouans, diuumque sibi poscebat honorem,
demens, qui nimbos et non imitabile fulmen
aere et cornipedum pulsu simularet equorum.
at pater omnipotens densa inter nubila telum
contorsit, non ille faces nec fumea taedis
lumina, praecipitemque immani turbine adegit.
nec non et Tityon, Terrae omniparentis alumnum,
cernere erat, per tota nouem cui iugera corpus
porrigitur, rostroque immanis uultur obunco
immortale iecur tondens fecundaque poenis
uiscera rimaturque epulis habitatque sub alto
pectore, nec fibris requies datur ulla renatis.
quid memorem Lapithas, Ixiona Pirithoumque?
quos super atra silex iam iam lapsura cadentique
imminet adsimilis; lucent genialibus altis
aurea fulcra toris, epulaeque ante ora paratae
regifico luxu; Furiarum maxima iuxta
accubat et manibus prohibet contingere mensas,
exsurgitque facem attollens atque intonat ore.
hic, quibus inuisi fratres, dum uita manebat,
pulsatusue parens et fraus innexa clienti,
aut qui diuitiis soli incubuere repertis
nec partem posuere suis (quae maxima turba est),
quique ob adulterium caesi, quique arma secuti
impia nec ueriti dominorum fallere dextras,
inclusi poenam exspectant. ne quaere doceri
quam poenam, aut quae forma uiros fortunaue mersit.
saxum ingens uoluunt alii, radiisque rotarum
districti pendent; sedet aeternumque sedebit
infelix Theseus, Phlegyasque miserrimus omnis
admonet et magna testatur uoce per umbras:
"discite iustitiam moniti et non temnere diuos."
uendidit hic auro patriam dominumque potentem
imposuit; fixit leges pretio atque refixit;
hic thalamum inuasit natae uetitosque hymenaeos:
ausi omnes immane nefas ausoque potiti.
non, mihi si linguae centum sint oraque centum,
ferrea uox, omnis scelerum comprendere formas,
omnia poenarum percurrere nomina possim.'