« PreviousContinue »
HISTORY OF ROME.
EARLY LEGENDS OF ROME.
“ The old songs of every people, which bear the impress of their character, and of which the beauties whether few or many must be genuine, because they arise only from feeling, have always been valued by men of masculine and comprehensive taste.”—Sir J. Mackintosh, Hist. of England, Vol. I. p. 86.
THE LEGEND OF ÆNEAS.
WHEN the fatal horse was going to be brought CHAP. within the walls of Troy , and when Laocoon had
How Æneas been devoured by the two serpents sent by the gods went over to punish him because he had tried to save his coun- Troy to
the land of try against the will of fate, then Æneas and his the Latins. father Anchises, with their wives ?, and many who followed their fortune, fled from the coming of the evil day. But they remembered to carry their gods with them, who were to receive their worship in a
? Arctinus, 'Iliou mépous, quoted 3 See the Tabula Iliensis, taken hy Proclus, Chrestomathia, p. 483. from Stesichorus. [Annali dell' See Fynes Clinton, Fasti Hellen. Instituto di Corrispond. Archeolog. Vol. I. p. 356.
1829, p. 232.] · Nævius, Fragm. Bell. Pun. I. 15—20.
CHAP. happier land. They were guided in their flight from The legend the city 4, by the god Hermes, and he built for them
a ship to carry them over the sea. When they put to sea the star of Venus", the mother of Æneas, stood over their heads, and it shone by day as well as by night, till they came to the shores of the land of the west. But when they landed, the star vanished and was seen no more; and by this sign Æneas knew that he was come to that country,
wherein fate had appointed him to dwell. of the sign The Trojans, when they had brought their gods saw,showing on shore, began to sacrifice 6. But the victim, a he should milk-white sow just ready to farrow, broke from the
priest and his ministers and fled away. Æneas followed her; for an oracle had told him, that a fourfooted beast should guide him to the spot where he was to build his city. So the sow went forwards till she came to a certain hill, about two miles and a half from the shore where they had purposed to sacrifice, and there she laid down and farrowed, and her litter was of thirty young ones. But when Æneas saw that the place was sandy and barren", he doubted what he should do. Just at this time he heard a voice which said,—“The thirty young of the sow are thirty years; when thirty years are passed, thy children shall remove to a better land; meantime do thou obey the gods, and build thy city in the place where they bid thee to build.” So the
4 Tabula Iliensis, and Nævius, quoted by Servius, Æn. I. 381. quoted by Servius, Æn. I. 170. Dionysius, I. 56. Edit. Lion. 1826.
7 Q. Fabius, apud Servium, Virg. 5 Varro de Rebus divinis, II. Æn. I. v. 3.
Trojans built their city on the spot where the sow CHAP. had farrowed. Now the land belonged to a people who were the of Æneas.
Of his wars children of the soils, and their king was called Lati- with the
people of the nus. He received the strangers kindly, and granted country. to them seven hundred jugera of land ', seven jugera to each man, for that was a man's portion. But soon the children of the soil and the strangers quarrelled ; and the strangers plundered the lands round about them "0; and king Latinus called upon Turnus, the king of the Rutulians of Ardea, to help him against them. The quarrel became a war: and the strangers took the city of king Latinus, and Latinus was killed; and Æneas took his daughter Lavinia and married her, and became king over the children of the soil ; and they and the strangers became one people, and they were called by one name, Latins. But Turnus called to his aid Mezentius, king of How he dis
appeared in the Etruscans of Cære". There was then another the river battle on the banks of the river Numicius, and Tur- and was
worshipped nus was killed, and Æneas plunged into the river as a god. and was seen no more. However his son Ascanius declared that he was not dead, but that the gods had taken him to be one of themselves 12; and his people built an altar to him on the banks of the Numicius, and worshipped him by the name of Jupiter
the river Numicius
8 " Aborigines.”—Cato, Origines, apud Servium, Æn. I. v. 6.
Cato, apud Servium, Æn. XI. v. 316.—But it should be observed that the MSS. of Servius give the number of jugera variously.
Jo Cato, apud Servium, Æn. I. 267, et Æn. IV. 620.
1 Cato, apud Servium, Æn. I. 267.
12 Servius, Æn. IV. 620. Æn. XII. 794.
CHAP. Indiges, which means, “the God who was of that S very land 18.”
THE LEGEND OF ASCANIUS. How Asca- The war went on between Mezentius and AsMezentius, canius, the son of Æneas; and Mezentius pressed the city of hard upon the Latins, till at last Ascanius met him Alba Longa,
man to man, and slew him "4 in single fight. At that time Ascanius was very young, and there were only the first soft hairs of youth upon his cheeks; so he was called Iulus, or “the soft-haired,” because, when he was only a youth, he had vanquished and slain his enemy, who was a grown man. At length the thirty years came to an end, which were foreshown by the litter of thirty young ones of the white sow. Ascanius then removed with his people to a high mountain, which looks over all the land on every side, and one side of it runs steep down into a lake: there he hewed out a place for his city on the side of the mountain, above the lake; and as the city was long and narrow, owing to the steepness of the hill, he called it Alba Longa, which is, the “ White Long City,” and he called it white, because of the sign of the white sow 15.
THE LEGEND OF ROMULUS. How Romu- Numitor 16 was the eldest son of Procas, king of lus and Remus were Alba Longa, and he had a younger brother called born, and suckled by a she-wolf and fed by 13 Livy, I. 2.
15 Servius, Æn. I. v. 270. 14 Calo, apud Servium, Æn. I. 16 Livy, I. 3. Dionysius, 1. 76, pecker. 267.
et seqg. Plutarch, in Romulo.
Amulius. When Procas died, Amulius seized by CHAP. force on the kingdom, and left to Numitor only his Th share of his father's private inheritance. After this of Romulus. he caused Numitor's only son to be slain, and made his daughter Silvia become one of the virgins who watched the ever-burning fire of the goddess Vesta But the god Mamers, who is called also Mars, beheld the virgin and loved her, and it was found that she was going to become the mother of children. Then Amulius ordered that the children, when born, should be thrown into the river. It happened that the river at that time had flooded the country; when, therefore, the two children in their basket were thrown into the river, the waters carried them as far as the foot of the Palatine Hill, and there the basket was upset, near the roots of a wild-fig tree, and the children thrown out upon the land. At this moment there came a she-wolf down to the water to drink, and when she saw the children, she carried them to her cave hard by, and gave them to suck ; and whilst they were there, a woodpecker came backwards and forwards to the cave, and brought them food ?. At last one Faustulus, the king's herdsman, saw the wolf suckling the children; and when he went up, the wolf left them and fled '8; so he took them home to his wife Larentia, and they were bred up along with their own sons on the Palatine Hill; and they were called Romulus and Remus '9.
17 Ovid, Fasti, III. 54, Servius Æn I. v. 273.
18 Ennius, Annal 1. 78.
19 Gellius, Noct. Attic. VI. c. 7, quoted from Messurius Sabinus.