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Ovid XIII Chapter 3: 382-398 The death of Ajax
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|The council of princes was swayed, and it shows what eloquence can do: the gifted speaker carried away the arms of the brave hero. But Ajax, who had so often stood alone against Hector, against sword and flame, against Jove himself, could not stand against mere passion, and indignation conquered the unconquerable hero. Drawing his sword he shouted: 'This is mine, at least! Or does Ulysses demand it for himself? This I will use myself, on myself, and the iron so often drenched in Phrygian blood, will now be drenched in its master's, so that none can defeat Ajax but himself.' He spoke, and drove the lethal weapon to its full extent into his chest, that, till then, had never felt a wound. No hand was strong enough to draw out the implanted weapon: it was the blood itself expelled it, and the bloodstained ground bore a purple flower from the green turf, that had first sprung from the wound of the Spartan, Hyacinthus. In the centre of the petals letters are inscribed, shared by the hero and the boy, one reading of them being a name, AIAS, and the other one, AI AI, a cry of woe.||
Mota manus procerum est, et quid facundia posset, |
re patuit, fortisque viri tulit arma disertus.
Hectora qui solus, qui ferrum ignesque Iovemque
sustinuit totiens, unam non sustinet iram,
invictumque virum vicit dolor: arripit ensem
et 'meus hic certe est! an et hunc sibi poscit Ulixes?
hoc' ait 'utendum est in me mihi, quique cruore
saepe Phrygum maduit, domini nunc caede madebit,
ne quisquam Aiacem possit superare nisi Aiax.'
dixit et in pectus tum demum vulnera passum,
qua patuit ferrum, letalem condidit ensem.
nec valuere manus infixum educere telum:
expulit ipse cruor, rubefactaque sanguine tellus
purpureum viridi genuit de caespite florem,
qui prius Oebalio fuerat de vulnere natus;
littera communis mediis pueroque viroque
inscripta est foliis, haec nominis, illa querellae.