Tum Anci filii duo etsi antea semper pro indignissimo habuerant se patrio regno tutoris fraude pulsos, regnare Romae advenam non modo vicinae sed ne Italicae quidem stirpis, tum impensius iis indignitas crescere si ne ab Tarquinio quidem ad se rediret regnum, sed praeceps inde porro ad servitia caderet, ut in eadem civitate post centesimum fere annum quam Romulus deo prognatus deus ipse tenuerit regnum donec in terris fuerit, id servus serva natus possideat. cum commune Romani nominis tum praecipue id domus suae dedecus fore, si Anci regis virili stirpe salva non modo advenis sed servis etiam regnum Romae pateret.
(Livy 1.40.2-3)

Now the two sons of Ancus had always considered it a great outrage that they had been ousted from their father’s kingship by the crime of their guardian, and that Rome should be ruled by a stranger whose descent was derived from a race not only remote but actually not even Italian. But their indignation was vastly increased by the prospect that even after Tarquinius’ death the sovereignty would not revert to them, but, plunging down to yet baser depths, would fall into the hands of slaves; so that where, a hundred years before, Romulus, a god’s son and himself a god, had borne sway, so long as he remained on earth, in that self-same state a slave and the son of a slave woman would be king. It would be not only a general disgrace to the Roman name, but particularly to their own house, if during the lifetime of Ancus’ sons it should be open not only to strangers, but even to slaves to rule over the Romans. (tr. Benjamin Oliver Foster)




Addit etiam illud, quod vinctum fasciola Aurelianum aquila innoxie de cunis levaverit et in aram posuerit, quae iuxta sacellum forte sine ignibus erat. idem auctor est vitulum matri eius natum mirae magnitudinis, candidum sed purpurantibus maculis, ita ut haberet in latere uno “ave” et in alio coronam.
(Historia Augusta, Vita Aureliani 4.6-7)

This, too, is related, that Aurelian, while wrapped in his swaddling-clothes, was lifted out of his cradel by an eagle, but without suffering harm, and was laid on an altar in a neighbouring shrine which happened to have no fire upon it. The same writer asserts that on his mother’s land a calf was born of marvellous size, white but with purple spots, which formed on one side the word “hail,” on the other side a crown. (tr. David Magie)


Quod dico, non videbitur durum, quamvis primo contra opinionem tuam pugnet, si te commodaveris mihi et cogitaveris plures esse res quam verba. ingens copia est rerum sine nomine, quas non propriis appellationibus notamus, sed alienis commodatisque: pedem et nostrum dicimus et lecti et veli et carminis, canem et venaticum et marinum et sidus; quia non sufficimus, ut singulis singula adsignemus, quotiens opus est, mutuamur. fortitudo est virtus pericula iusta contemnens aut scientia periculorum repellendorum, excipiendorum, provocandorum; dicimus tamen et gladiatorem fortem virum et servum nequam, quem in contemptum mortis temeritas impulit. parsimonia est scientia vitandi sumptus supervacuos aut ars re familiari moderate utendi; parcissimum tamen hominem vocamus pusilli animi et contracti, cum infinitum intersit inter modum et angustias. haec alia sunt natura, sed efficit inopia sermonis, ut et hunc et illum parcum vocemus, ut et ille fortis dicatur cum ratione fortuita despiciens et hic sine ratione in pericula excurrens. sic beneficium est et actio, ut diximus, benefica et ipsum, quod datur per illam actionem, ut pecunia, ut domus, ut praetexta; unum utrique nomen est, vis quidem ac potestas longe alia.
(Seneca Minor, De Beneficiis 2.34)

You will come to see that what I am saying is not too bold, although at first it may not accord with your own ideas, if only you will give me your attention, and reflect that there are many things for which there are no words. There is a vast number of things that have no name, and the terms by which we designate them, instead of being their own, belong to other things from which they are borrowed. We say that we ourselves, a couch, a sail, and a poem, have a “foot,” and we apply the word “dog” to a hound, to a creature of the sea, and to a constellation; since there are not enough words to make it possible for us to assign a separate one to each separate thing, we borrow whenever it becomes necessary. Bravery is the virtue that scorns legitimate dangers, or knowing how to ward off, to meet, and to court dangers; yet we call both a gladiator and the worthless slave whose rashness has forced him into scorn of death a “brave” man. Frugality is knowing how to avoid unnecessary expenditure, or the art of applying moderation to the use of private means; yet we call a petty-minded and close-fisted man a very “frugal” person although there is an infinite difference between moderation and meanness. These are essentially different things, yet our poverty of language leads us to call each of the two types a “frugal” person, and likewise to say that both the man who by the exercise of reason scorns the blows of Fortune and the one who rushes into dangers unreasoningly are “brave.” So a “benefit,” as we have said, is both a beneficent act and likewise the object itself which is given by means of the aforesaid act, as money, a house, the robe of office; the two things bear the same name, but they are very different in their import and operation. (tr. John W. Basore)


Salvador Dalí, La Tentación de San Antonio (1946)

Ὁ δὲ μισόκαλος καὶ φθονερὸς διάβολος οὐκ ἤνεγκεν ὁρῶν ἐν νεωτέρῳ τοιαύτην πρόθεσιν. Ἀλλ’ οἷα μεμελέτηκε ποιεῖν, ἐπιχειρεῖ καὶ κατὰ τούτου πράττειν· καὶ τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἐπείραζεν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῆς ἀσκήσεως καταγαγεῖν, ὑποβάλλων μνήμην τῶν κτημάτων, τῆς ἀδελφῆς τὴν κηδεμονίαν, τοῦ γένους τὴν οἰκειότητα, φιλαργυρίαν, φιλοδοξίαν, τροφῆς τὴν ποικίλην ἡδονήν, καὶ τὰς ἄλλας ἀνέσεις τοῦ βίου, καὶ τέλος τὸ τραχὺ τῆς ἀρετῆς, καὶ ὡς πολὺς αὐτῆς ἐστιν ὁ πόνος· τοῦ τε σώματος τὴν ἀσθένειαν ὑπετίθετο, καὶ τοῦ χρόνου τὸ μῆκος. καὶ ὅλως πολὺν ἤγειρεν αὐτῷ κονιορτὸν λογισμῶν ἐν τῇ διανοίᾳ, θέλων αὐτὸν ἀποσχοινίσαι τῆς ὀρθῆς προαιρέσεως. ὡς δὲ εἶδεν ἑαυτὸν ὁ ἐχθρὸς ἀσθενοῦντα πρὸς τὴν τοῦ Ἀντωνίου πρόθεσιν, καὶ μᾶλλον ἑαυτὸν καταπαλαιόμενον ὑπὸ τῆς ἐκείνου στερρότητος, καὶ ἀνατρεπόμενον τῇ πολλῇ πίστει, καὶ πίπτοντα ταῖς συνεχέσιν Ἀντωνίου προσευχαῖς· τότε δὴ τοῖς ἐπ’ ὀμφαλοῦ γαστρὸς ὅπλοις ἑαυτοῦ θαρρῶν, καὶ καυχώμενος ἐπὶ τούτοις (ταῦτα γάρ ἐστιν αὐτοῦ τὰ πρῶτα κατὰ τῶν νεωτέρων ἔνεδρα), προσέρχεται κατὰ τοῦ νεωτέρου, νυκτὸς μὲν αὐτὸν θορυβῶν, μεθ’ ἡμέραν δὲ οὕτως ἐνοχλῶν, ὡς καὶ τοὺς ὁρῶντας αἰσθέσθαι τὴν γινομένην ἀμφοτέρων πάλην. Ὁ μὲν γὰρ ὑπέβαλλε λογισμοὺς ῥυπαρούς, ὁ δὲ ταῖς εὐχαῖς ἀνέτρεπε τούτους· καὶ ὁ μὲν ἐγαργάλιζεν, ὁ δέ, ὡς ἐρυθριᾷν δοκῶν, τῇ πίστει καὶ ταῖς εὐχαῖς καὶ νηστείαις ἐτείχιζε τὸ σῶμα· καὶ ὁ μὲν διάβολος ὑπέμενεν ὁ ἄθλιος καὶ ὡς γυνὴ σχηματίζεσθαι νυκτός, καὶ πάντα τρόπον μιμεῖσθαι, μόνον ἵνα τὸν Ἀντώνιον ἀπατήσῃ· ὁ δὲ τὸν Χριστὸν ἐνθυμούμενος, καὶ τὴν δι’ αὐτὸν εὐγένειαν, καὶ τὸ νοερὸν τῆς ψυχῆς λογιζόμενος, ἀπεσβέννυε τὸν ἄνθρακα τῆς ἐκείνου πλάνης.
(Athanasius, Vita Antonii 5)

But the devil, who hates and envies what is good, could not endure to see such a resolution in a youth, but endeavoured to carry out against him what he had been wont to effect against others. First of all he tried to lead him away from the discipline, whispering to him the remembrance of his wealth, care for his sister, claims of kindred, love of money, love of glory, the various pleasures of the table and the other relaxations of life, and at last the difficulty of virtue and the labour of it; he suggested also the infirmity of the body and the length of the time. In a word he raised in his mind a great dust of debate, wishing to debar him from his settled purpose. But when the enemy saw himself to be too weak for Antony’s determination, and that he rather was conquered by the other’s firmness, overthrown by his great faith and falling through his constant prayers, then at length putting his trust in the weapons which are ‘in the navel of his belly’ and boasting in them— for they are his first snare for the young— he attacked the young man, disturbing him by night and harassing him by day, so that even the onlookers saw the struggle which was going on between them. The one would suggest foul thoughts and the other counter them with prayers: the one fire him with lust, the other, as one who seemed to blush, fortify his body with faith, prayers, and fasting. And the devil, unhappy wight, one night even took upon him the shape of a woman and imitated all her acts simply to beguile Antony. But he, his mind filled with Christ and the nobility inspired by Him, and considering the spirituality of the soul, quenched the coal of the other’s deceit. (tr. Henry Ellershaw)


bibasis (maybe)

Καὶ βίβασις δέ τι ἦν εἶδος Λακωνικῆς ὀρχήσεως, ἧς καὶ τὰ ἆθλα προυτίθετο οὐ τοῖς παισὶ μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ ταῖς κόραις· ἔδει δ’ ἅλλεσθαι καὶ ψαύειν τοῖς ποσὶ πρὸς τὰς πυγάς, καὶ ἠριθμεῖτο τὰ πηδήματα, ὅθεν ἐπὶ μιᾶς ἦν ἐπίγραμμα
χείλιά πόκα βίβαντι, πλεῖστα δὴ τῶν πήποκα.
(Pollux, Onomasticon 4.102)

‘Bibasis’ was a kind of Spartan dance, in which prizes were awarded not only to boys but also to girls; one had to leap and touch the buttocks with one’s feet, and the jumps were counted. Hence the inscription in honour of one of these girls,
‘Who once did a thousand at bibasis, the most ever done’.
(tr. Matthew Dillon & Lynda Garland, adapted by David Bauwens)


Δυσμοίρων θαλάμων ἐπὶ παστάσιν οὐχ Ὑμέναιος,
ἀλλ’ Ἀΐδης ἔστη πικρογάμου Πετάλης.
δείματι γὰρ μούνην πρωτόζυγα Κύπριν ἀν’ ὄρφνην
φεύγουσαν, ξυνὸν παρθενικαῖσι φόβον,
φρουροδόμοι νηλεῖς κύνες ἔκτανον· ἣν δὲ γυναῖκα
ἐλπὶς ἰδεῖν, ἄφνως ἔσχομεν οὐδὲ νέκυν.
(Antiphanes, Anth. Gr. 9.245)

By the unhappy marriage-bed of Petale at her bitter bridal stood Hades, not Hymen. For, as she fled alone through the darkness, dreading the first taste of the yoke of Cypris – a terror common to all maidens – the cruel watch-dogs killed her. We had hoped to see her a wife and suddenly we could hardly find her corpse. (tr. William Roger Paton)


red lake

Inter quae nulla palam causa delapsum Camuloduni simulacrum Victoriae ac retro conversum, quasi cederet hostibus. et feminae in furorem turbatae adesse exitium canebant, externosque fremitus in curia eorum auditos; consonuisse ululatibus theatrum visamque speciem in aestuario Tamesae subversae coloniae; iam Oceanus cruento adspectu, dilabente aestu humanorum corporum effigies relictae, ut Britannis ad spem, ita veteranis ad metum trahebantur.
(Tacitus, Ann. 14.32)

At this juncture, for no visible reason, the statue of Victory at Camulodunum fell down – with its back turned as though it were fleeing the enemy. Delirious women chanted of destruction at hand. They cried that in the local senate-house outlandish yells had been heard; the theatre had echoed with shrieks; at the mouth of the Thames a phantom settlement had been seen in ruins. A blood-red colour in the sea, too, and shapes like human corpses left by the ebb tide, were interpreted hopefully by the Britons – and with terror by the settlers. (tr. Michael Grant)