Tunc diabolus vel ministri ipsius, daemones, qui de caelo deiecti sunt, videntes ignaros homines dimisso Deo creatore suo, per creaturas errare, coeperunt se illis in diversas formas ostendere et loqui cum eis et expetere ab eis, ut in excelsis montibus et in silvis frondosis sacrificia sibi offerrent et ipsos colerent pro deo, imponentes sibi vocabula sceleratorum hominum, qui in omnibus criminibus et sceleribus suam egerant vitam, ut alius Iovem se esse diceret, qui fuerat magus et in tantis adulteriis incestus ut sororem suam haberet uxorem, quae dicta est Iuno, Minervam et Venerem filias suas corruperit, neptes quoque et omnem parentelam suam turpiter incestaverit. alius autem daemon Martem se nominavit, qui fuit litigiorum et discordiae commissor. alius deinde daemon Mercurium se appellare voluit, qui fuit omnis furti et fraudis dolosus inventor; cui homines cupidi quasi deo lucri, in quadriviis transeuntes, iactatis lapidibus acervos petrarum pro sacrificio reddunt. alius quoque daemon Saturni sibi nomen adscripsit, qui, in omni crudelitate vivens, etiam nascentes suos filios devorabat. alius etiam daemon Venerem se esse confinxit, quae fuit mulier meretrix. non solum cum innumerabilibus adulteris, sed etiam cum patre suo Iove et cum fratre suo Marte meretricata est. ecce quales fuerunt illo tempore isti perditi homines, quos ignorantes rustici per adinventiones suas pessime honorabant, quorum vocabula ideo sibi daemones apposuerunt, ut ipsos quasi deos colerent et sacrificia illis offerrent et ipsorum facta imitarentur, quorum nomina invocabant.
(Martin of Braga, De Correctione Rusticorum 7-8)
Then the Devil and his servants, the demons, began showing themselves to humans in various forms, talking to people and trying to get them to offer sacrifices to them high in the mountains and deep in the woods, worshipping them as gods. And they used the names of people who were criminals, people who had spent their lives in all sorts of criminality and law-breaking. So one demon would claim to be Jupiter, who had been a magus so sunk in incestuous adultery that he took his own sister—whose name was Juno—as his wife, seduced his daughters, Minerva and Venus, and also committed the most disgusting incest with his grandchildren and all his relatives. But another demon named himself Mars, the instigator of discord and conflict. Then another demon, the deceitful deviser of all theft and fraud, decided to call himself Mercury: people who lust as much for profit as this god sacrifice to him when they pass through a crossroads by making mounds of rocks and throwing stones at them. Also, another demon took the name Saturn for as himself: since cruelty was his whole existence, he even ate his own children as they were being born. Another pretended to be Venus, a woman who was a whore and had whored herself not only in countless adulteries but also with Jupiter, her father, and her brother Mars. See how lost people were in those days when ignorant peasants honoured the demons—sinning grievously—with devices of their own, and then for their own purposes the demons used the language invented by such people, so that they would worship them as gods, offer them sacrifices and imitate the evil deeds of the demons whose names they invoked. (tr. Brian Copenhaver)
Then Jesus was led up into the desert by the Spirit, to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” But he in answer said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word coming out of the mouth of God.'” Then the devil takes him into the holy city and had him stand on the gable of the temple, and he says to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you; and they will lift you up on their hands, so you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “It is also written: ‘You shall not put Yahweh your God to a test.'” Again, the devil led him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, and said to Jesus, “These I will give to you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship Yahweh your God, and him only shall you serve.'” Then the devil left him alone, and lo, angels had come and were attending him. (tr. David Robert Palmer)
Et iam prima novo spargebat lumine terras
Tithoni croceum linquens Aurora cubile.
regina e speculis ut primam albescere lucem
vidit et aequatis classem procedere velis,
litoraque et vacuos sensit sine remige portus,
terque quaterque manu pectus percussa decorum
flaventisque abscissa comas ‘pro Iuppiter! ibit
hic,’ ait ‘et nostris illuserit advena regnis?
non arma expedient totaque ex urbe sequentur,
diripientque rates alii navalibus? ite,
ferte citi flammas, date tela, impellite remos!
quid loquor? aut ubi sum? quae mentem insania mutat?
infelix Dido, nunc te facta impia tangunt?
tum decuit, cum sceptra dabas. en dextra fidesque,
quem secum patrios aiunt portare penates,
quem subiisse umeris confectum aetate parentem!
non potui abreptum divellere corpus et undis
spargere? non socios, non ipsum absumere ferro
Ascanium patriisque epulandum ponere mensis?
verum anceps pugnae fuerat fortuna. fuisset:
quem metui moritura? faces in castra tulissem
implessemque foros flammis natumque patremque
cum genere exstinxem, memet super ipsa dedissem.
Sol, qui terrarum flammis opera omnia lustras,
tuque harum interpres curarum et conscia Iuno,
nocturnisque Hecate triviis ululata per urbes
et Dirae ultrices et di morientis Elissae,
accipite haec, meritumque malis advertite numen
et nostras audite preces. si tangere portus
infandum caput ac terris adnare necesse est,
et sic fata Iovis poscunt, hic terminus haeret,
at bello audacis populi vexatus et armis,
finibus extorris, complexu avulsus Iuli
auxilium imploret videatque indigna suorum
funera; nec, cum se sub leges pacis iniquae
tradiderit, regno aut optata luce fruatur,
sed cadat ante diem mediaque inhumatus harena.
haec precor, hanc vocem extremam cum sanguine fundo.
tum vos, o Tyrii, stirpem et genus omne futurum
exercete odiis, cinerique haec mittite nostro
munera. nullus amor populis nec foedera sunto.
exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor
qui face Dardanios ferroque sequare colonos,
nunc, olim, quocumque dabunt se tempore vires.
litora litoribus contraria, fluctibus undas
imprecor, arma armis: pugnent ipsique nepotesque.’
(Vergil, Aen. 4.584-629)
Dawn was by now beginning to stipple the earth with new brightness,
Leaving Tithonus’ saffron bed. From her watchtower, the ruler
Watched as the early light whitened and noticed the fleet under full sail
Standing seaward, well under way, and observed that the empty
Coastline displayed not a single oarsman strolling the harbours.
Three times, four times she pounds on her beautiful breast, and rips golden
Hair from her head by the roots. ‘Oh Jupiter! Shall this intruder
Go on his way,’ she exclaims, ‘mocking me and the power of my kingdom?
Get a force fitted, pursue them with all of our city’s resources,
Others must haul out our vessels from storage docks. Go to it, right now!
Hurry, bring fire, issue weapons, have rowers press hard upon oarlocks!
What am I saying? Where am I? What madness is warping my reason?
Unfulfilled Dido, your unrighteous acts come to haunt you!
When action was the appropriate course, you were giving him your power.
Witness the word and the honour of one, who, they say, carries with him,
Gods of ancestral shrines, who once took on his shoulders his agèd
Father! Could I not have taken him off, torn his body to pieces,
Scattered it over the sea, or murdered his comrades, and even
Served up Ascanius himself as a treat for his banqueting father?
If war’d ensued, though, the outcome was not, and could not have been, certain.
Whom did I fear? I was going to die. I’d have torched his encampment,
Filled up his holds with my fires, and once I’d extinguished the father,
Child, and the whole of his race, I’d have thrown myself onto the bonfire.
Sun: your cleansing flames survey all earthly endeavours!
Juno: you sense, and are my intercessor in, all of my anguish!
Hecate: your name is howled by night throughout cities, at crossroads!
Demons of vengeance, gods of the dying, forgotten Elissa!
Take it all in, focus your divine will, as you should, on my sufferings.
Hear what I pray. If it must be that this indescribable person
Makes it to port, that he floats back to dry land, and if this is really
Jupiter’s last word on fate and he must reach the goal of his journey,
Let him be hammered in war by the armies of valiant people,
Forced from his borders, torn far away from Iulus’ embraces.
Let him beg help, let him watch as his men are disgracefully slaughtered!
When he surrenders himself to an unjust peace and its strict terms,
Grant him no joy in his realm or the light he so loves. Let him lie dead,
Well before his due day, halfway up a beach and unburied.
This is my prayer; these final words I express with my life-blood:
Tyrians, drive with relentless hate against his stock and every
Future brood, and dispatch them as ritual gifts to my ashes.
No love must ever exist between our two peoples, no treaties.
Rise from my bones, my avenger—and there will be an avenger!—
So you can hound these Dardan settlers with hot fire and cold steel,
Now, or some day in the future, whenever that strength coalesces.
Menace of coast against coast and of waters hurled against waters,
Arms against arms, I invoke. Let them fight, they themselves and their grandsons!’ (tr. Frederick Ahl)
Iam stabant Thebae, poteras iam, Cadme, videri
exilio felix: soceri tibi Marsque Venusque
contigerant; huc adde genus de coniuge tanta,
tot natos natasque et, pignora cara, nepotes,
hos quoque iam iuvenes; sed scilicet ultima semper
exspectanda dies hominis, dicique beatus
ante obitum nemo supremaque funera debet.
(Ovid, Met. 3.131-137)
Thebes has been founded now, and even though
an exile still, you might seem fortunate
in having Mars and Venus as your in-laws,
Cadmus; nor is this all, for in addition
are offspring worthy of your noble wife,
your sons and daughters, the pledges of your love,
and grandsons too, already grown to manhood.
But “fortunate”? A judgment best reserved
for a man’s last day: call no one blest, until
he dies and the last rites are said for him. (tr. Charles Martin)
Nunc quid petam mea causa aequo animo attendite.
Hecyram ad vos refero, quam mihi per silentium
numquam agere licitumst; ita eam oppressit calamitas.
eam calamitatem vostra intellegentia
sedabit, si erit adiutrix nostrae industriae.
quom primum eam agere coepi, pugilum gloria
(funambuli eodem accessit exspectatio),
comitum conventus, strepitus, clamor mulierum
fecere ut ante tempus exirem foras.
vetere in nova coepi uti consuetudine
in experiundo ut essem; refero denuo.
primo actu placeo; quom interea rumor venit
datum iri gladiatores, populus convolat,
tumultuantur, clamant, pugnant de loco.
ego interea meum non potui tutari locum.
nunc turba nulla est: otium et silentiumst:
agendi tempus mihi datumst; vobis datur
potestas condecorandi ludos scaenicos.
nolite sinere per vos artem musicam
recidere ad paucos: facite ut vostra auctoritas
meae auctoritati fautrix adiutrixque sit.
si numquam avare pretium statui arti meae
et eum esse quaestum in animum induxi maxumum
quam maxume servire vostris commodis,
sinite impetrare me, qui in tutelam meam
studium suom et se in vostram commisit fidem,
ne eum circumventum inique iniqui irrideant.
mea causa causam accipite et date silentium,
ut lubeat scribere aliis mihique ut discere
novas expediat posthac pretio emptas meo.
(Terence, Hecyra 28-57)
Now for my sake listen to my request with open minds. I am presenting “The Mother-in-Law” to you again, which I have never been allowed to play in silence; it has been so dogged by disaster. But your good sense, allied to my efforts, can mitigate the disaster. The first time I tried to perform the play, I was forced off the stage early; there was talk of boxers—and added to that a promise of a tightrope walker—crowds of supporters, general uproar, and women screaming. I decided to use my old practice on this new play and continue the experiment: I put it on a second time. The first act went well. But then a rumour arose that there was going to be a gladiatorial show: crowds rushed in, with much confusion, shouting, and fighting for places, and in these circumstances I couldn’t preserve my place. Now there is no disturbance; all is peace and quiet. I have the chance to perform the play, and you the opportunity to add lustre to the dramatic festivals. Do not allow the dramatic art to fall into the hands of a few through your negligence. Make sure that your influence aids and abets my influence. I have never priced my art on the basis of greed; I have adopted the principle that the greatest reward for me is to serve your interests the best. So let me prevail on you not to allow an author who has entrusted his career to my keeping and himself to your protection to be cheated and unfairly derided by unfair critics. For my sake listen to my plea and grant me silence, so that other authors may be encouraged to write and it may be worth my while in the future to put on new plays bought at my own expense. (tr. John Barsby)
Transeamus ad alienas iniurias, in quibus vindicandis haec tria lex secuta est, quae princeps quoque sequi debet: aut ut eum, quem punit, emendet, aut ut poena eius ceteros meliores reddat, aut ut sublatis malis securiores ceteri vivant. ipsos facilius emendabis minore poena; diligentius enim vivit, cui aliquid integri superest. nemo dignitati perditae parcit; impunitatis genus est iam non habere poenae locum. civitatis autem mores magis corrigit parcitas animadversionum; facit enim consuetudinem peccandi multitudo peccantium, et minus gravis nota est, quam turba damnationum levat, et severitas, quod maximum remedium habet, assiduitate amittit auctoritatem. constituit bonos mores civitati princeps et vitia eluit, si patiens eorum est, non tamquam probet, sed tamquam invitus et cum magno tormento ad castigandum veniat. verecundiam peccandi facit ipsa clementia regentis; gravior multo poena videtur, quae a miti viro constituitur.
(Seneca Minor, De Clementia 1.22)
Let’s move along to other people’s injuries, in requiting which the law pursues these three goals, which the prince also ought to pursue: either to correct the person punished, or to improve everyone else by punishing him, or to allow everyone else to live more securely once the malefactors have been removed from their midst. You will more easily correct the wrongdoer himself with a lesser penalty: a person conducts his life more carefully when he is left something whole and unsullied, whereas no one is chary of a self-respect he has utterly lost. Having nothing that punishment can affect is a kind of impunity. However, a sparing use of punishment does more to correct a community’s habits, for a multitude of wrongdoers makes wrongdoing a matter of habit; condemnations that come thick and fast relieve the stigma of punishment, and strictness, when unrelieved, loses its moral authority, which is its most important healing power. The prince establishes good practices for the community, and clears away vices, if he is patient with the latter—not in an approving manner but as one who undertakes their chastisement unwillingly and with great anguish. A ruler’s clemency makes men blush to do wrong: punishment seems much more grievous when ordained by a mild-mannered man. (tr. Robert A. Kaster)