Page images
[ocr errors]

It stood in the hollow between the Arx and the Capitolium, 'Inter duos lucos, as the place was called, the site of the Asylum of Romulus. The nature of this god, and the meaning of his name, were alike matters of controversy in the Augustan age. Ovid observing that the particle 've,' in composition with certain words, signifies "small,' concludes that Veiovis is ‘ Young Jove,' an opinion supported by the appearance of the statue which he describes.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 1. 15, when recounting the establishment of the Asylum, confesses his ignorance on this point

* The place between the Capitolium and the Arx, which is now called in the Roman language 'Inter duos lucos,' (uedóplov dvoiv Opvuôv,) (at that time it received its name from the existing state of things, for it was shadowed over by a thick wood on both sides, where it touched the eminences,) Romulus set apart as a sacred place of refuge for suppliants, and built a temple upon the spot, but to what god or genius it was dedicated, I cannot positively say.'

There is, moreover, a chapter in Aulus Gellius, 5. 12, which will serve as a commentary upon this Extract, although he maintains that · Veiovis' means “The Destroyer'

'Est aedes Veiovis Romae inter Arcem et Capitolium. Cum lovem a iuvando nominassent, eum quoque contra deum, qui non iuvandi potestatem sed vim nocendi haberet, (nam deos quosdam, ut prodessent, celebrabant, quosdam ut ne obessent, placabant,) Veiovem appellaverunt, dempta atque detracta iuvandi facultate. Ve enim particula, quae in aliis atque aliis vocabulis variatim, duplicem significatum eundemque inter sese diversum capit. Nam et augendae rei et minuendae valet, sicut aliae particulae plurimae, propter quod accidit, ut quaedam vocabula, quibus particula ista praeponitur ambigua sint, et utroque versum dicantur, veluti vescum, vehemens, et vegrande, de quibus alio in loco, uberiore tractatu facto, admonuimus: vesani autem et vecordes ex una tantum parte dicti, quae privativa est. Simulacrum igitur dei Veiovis, quod est in aede, de qua supra


dixi, sagittas tenet, quae sunt videlicet paratae ad nocendum. Quapropter eum deum plerique Apollinem esse dixerunt immolaturque ritu [humano] capra: eiusque animalis figmentum iuxta simulacrum stat.'

Others, following out the idea that Veiovis was the Destroyer, believed him to be the same with Pluto, thus Martianus Capella 2, 9

Vedius, id est, Pluton, quem etiam Ditem Veiovemque dixere,' which is strongly corroborated by the Carmen Devotionis, preserved by Macrobius S. 3. 9, in which the infernal gods are invoked.

‘Dis Pater, Veiovis, Manes, sive vos quo alio nomine fas est nominare,' &c.

1. Vna nota, i. e. the Nones of March are distinguished by one event. The poet had mentioned, immediately before, the sixth of March, which was remarkable for two reasons; it was sacred to Vesta, and also the day on which Augustus entered upon the office of Pontifex Maximus.

3, 4. In addition to the passages given in the introduction, we may quote Livy, 1. 8 "Deinde ne vana urbis magnitudo esset, alliciendae multitudinis causa ...... locum qui nunc septus descendentibus inter duos lucos est, asylum aperit;' and Vitruvius 4. I 'ubi est Castoris (sc. templum) in Circo Flaminio et inter duos lucos Veiovis.'

4. Invidiosa, i. e. how little was the Roman people at that time an object of envy. 'Invidiosus' signifies-1. 'Full of envy.' * An object of envy.' 3. “An object of hatred.'

1. “Tempus edax rerum tuque invidiosa vetustas' Ov. Met. 15. 234

2. 'Antea, quum erat a tribuno plebis mentio legis agrariae facta, continuo qui agros publicos, aut qui possessiones invidiosas tenebant, pertimescebant’ Cic. Leg. Agrar. 2. 26.

3. 'Non enim debeo dubitare, iudices, quin.... etiam si is invidiosus, aut multis offensus videatur.....tamen absolvatis' Cic. pro Cluent. 57.

II. Gigantas. The allusions in the Greek and Roman poets to the origin of the Olympian gods, and to their wars with the Titans, the Giants, and various monstrous enemies, are so numerous, and withal, in many cases, appear so confused and contradictory, that it will be serviceable to the



student to present him with the whole of these fables in a connected form, as they are given by Apollodorus, and to subjoin some remarks which may serve to elucidate the narrative.

In the beginning, Uranus (Caelus) ruled the universe, and having wedded Gaia (Terra), he first begat the children named The Hundred-handed, Briareus, Gyes (or Gyges), and Cottus, exceeding great and strong, of whom each had fifty heads and an hundred hands. After these Gaia bore him the Cyclopes, Arges, Steropes, and Brontes, of whom each had one eye upon the forehead; but Uranus bound these, his sons, and cast them into Tartarus, which is the dark abyss in the realms of Hades, as far removed from earth as earth from heaven. Again, he begat sons on Gaia, those named the Titans, Oceanus, Koius, Hyperion, Krius, Iapetus, and, youngest of all, Kronus (Saturnus); and daughters, those named the Titanides, Tethys, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Dione, Theia.

But Gaia, grieved for the loss of her sons who had been cast into Tartarus, persuaded the Titans to attack Uranus, and gave to Kronus a crooked sword of adamant. Then all save Oceanus assailed their sire, and by Kronus he was mutilated. From the blood-drops sprung the Erinyes (Furiae), Alecto, Tisiphone, Megaera. The Titans then gave the supreme dominion to Kronus, and released their brethren from Tartarus.

But Kronus bound them again, and again imprisoned them in Tartarus, and having wedded his sister Rhea, forasmuch as Gaia and Uranus had prophesied to him, saying, that he would be bereft of power by his own child, he swallowed all who were produced, Hestia (Vesta), the firstborn, then Demeter (Ceres), then Hera (Juno), and after these Pluto and Poseidon (Neptune). But Rhea, filled with wrath at these things, passed over to Crete at the time when she chanced to be pregnant by Zeus (Jupiter), and having brought him forth in a cave of Dicte, gave him to the Curetes, and the Nymphs Adrasteia and Ide, daughters of Melisseus, to be reared. These last nurtured the boy with the milk of Amalthea, and the Curetes, clad in armour, watched the babe in the grot, smiting their shields with their spears that Kronus might not hear its cries. But Rhea rolled a stone in swaddling clothes and gave it to Kronus to swallow, as if it had been the new-born infant.

Now when Zeus had attained his full vigour, he took Metis (i..e. counsel, prudence) as his assistant, who administered a drug' to Kronus, which caused him to vomit up first the stone and then the children he had swallowed, along with whom Zeus waged war upon the Titans. After they had fought for ten years, Gaia pronounced that the victory would be to Zeus if he could obtain the prisoners in Tartarus for allies, upon which he slew Kampe, who kept watch over their bonds, and set them free. Then the Cyclopes gave to Zeus thunder and lightning and levin-bolts; to Pluto a helmet, to Poseidon a trident. Thus armed they got the mastery over the Titans, and having thus shut them up in Tartarus, set over them The Hundred-handed as guards, and themselves cast lots for dominion; to Zeus fell the empire of heaven; to Poseidon, of the sea; to Pluto, of the realms below.

But Gaia, being grieved for the Titans, bore to Uranus the Giants, in vastness of body surpassing all, in might unconquerable; terrible they were to look upon; long thick hair flowed down from chin and head, and their feet were covered with serpent scales. They were born, as some say, in Phlegrae; as others, in Pallene; and they darted blazing oaks and rocks against heaven. Porphyrion and Alcyoneus stood forth superior to the rest, of whom the latter was immortal in the land where he was born: he it was that drove the cows of Helios (Sol) from Erythea. Now it became known to the gods, from an oracle, that unless they were aided by a mortal, it was impossible for them to destroy the Giants, and thus they invited Hercules to be their ally. Alcyoneus first fell pierced by his shafts, but received new vigour when he touched the earth, till the hero, counselled by Athene (Minerva), dragged him forth from his native soil, and then he perished. Porphyrion fell, smitten by the bolts of Zeus and the arrows of Hercules. Apollo shot out the left eye of Ephialtes, Hercules the right. Eurytus was slain by the thyrsus of Dionysius (Bacchus); Clytion by red-hot lumps of iron hurled by Hephaestus (Vulcanus); or, as some say, by Hecate. Athene cast the island of Sicily upon Enceladus as he fled, and stripping off the skin of Pallas, used it as a shield for her own body in the fight. Polybotes was chased over the sea by Poseidon, who, tearing off a portion of Cos (the fragment became the isle of Nisyros), overwhelmed the fugitive. Hermes (Mercurius), wearing the helmet of Hades (Pluto), slew Hyppolitus; Artemis (Diana) slew Gration; the Moerae (Fata) slew Agrius and Thoon, who fought with brazen clubs, the rest Zeus smote down with his bolts, and Hercules transfixed all as they fell with his arrows.

After the gods had vanquished the Giants, Gaia, being the more enraged, mingled with Tartarus, and brought forth Typhon in Cilicia, in form half man half brute. In size and might he surpassed all the progeny of Gaia. Down to the thighs he bore the shape of man, in vastness immeasurable, so that he overtopped all mountains, and full oft his head grazed the stars: hands too he had, the one reaching to the east, the other to the west, and from these issued a hundred serpent heads.

Down from the thighs rolled huge viper coils, whose wreaths being extended to the head itself, gave forth loud hisses. His whole body was covered with wings, grisly hair streamed from head and chin, and fire flashed from his eyes. Such was Typhon, and such he sped on with howls and hisses, hurling blazing rocks against heaven, while stormy billows of flame boiled from his mouth. The gods, when they saw him rushing to the assault, fled to Egypt, and, being pursued, assumed the form of beasts. But Zeus, having struck him with his bolts from afar, advancing nearer, scared him with his adamantine sabre, and followed him to the Casian mountain above Syria, but, on approaching more closely to grapple with the wounded foe, was enveloped in the snaky spires, borne off prisoner to Cilicia, and there confined in the Corycian cave. Released from durance by the arts of Hermes, he suddenly appeared in a chariot drawn by winged steeds; again he smote Typhon with his bolts, chased him to the mountain Nysa, from thence to Thracian Haemus, and at last, as he was fleeing through the Sicilian sea, crushed him beneath Aetna.

Finally, Poseidon having consorted with Iphimedeia, daughter of Aloeus, begat two sons, Otus and Ephialtes, styled the Aloidae. These each year waxed in breadth a cubit, and in height a fathom, until having attained the age of nine years, and being nine cubits in breadth and nine fathoms in height, they took thought to war against the gods. They piled Ossa upon Olympus, and Pelion upon Ossa, threatening that by these they would scale the heavens; and boasted, too, that, heaping the sea over the mountains, they would make its bed dry land, but the land they would make sea. Ephialtes wooed Hera (Juno), and Otus, Artemis. They imprisoned Ares (Mars), but Hermes stole him out. The Aloidae were destroyed in Naxos by the wiles of Artemis, who, transforming herself into a deer, bounded between them; but they, thinking to take sure aim at the beast, shot each other.

In reference to these legends we may observe,

1. That according to the accounts here followed, the throne of heaven was occupied by a succession of different rulers.

« PreviousContinue »