Laudes

Giovanni_Benedetto_Castiglione_-_The_Feast_Before_the_Altar_of_Terminus

Part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.

Conveniunt celebrantque dapes vicinia simplex
et cantant laudes, Termine sancte, tuas:
‘tu populos urbesque et regna ingentia finis:
omnis erit sine te litigiosus ager.
nulla tibi ambitio est, nullo corrumperis auro,
legitima servas credita rura fide.
si tu signasses olim Thyreatida terram,
corpora non leto missa trecenta forent,
nec foret Othryades congestis lectus in armis.
o quantum patriae sanguinis ille dedit!
quid, nova cum fierent Capitolia? nempe deorum
cuncta Iovi cessit turba locumque dedit;
Terminus, ut veteres memorant, inventus in aede
restitit et magno cum Iove templa tenet.
nunc quoque, se supra ne quid nisi sidera cernat,
exiguum templi tecta foramen habent.
(Ovid, Fast. 657-672)

Neighbours gather sincerely, and hold a feast,
And sing your praises, sacred Terminus:
‘You set bounds to peoples, cities, great kingdoms:
Without you every field would be disputed.
You curry no favour: you aren’t bribed with gold,
Guarding the land entrusted to you in good faith.
If you’d once marked the bounds of Thyrean lands,
Three hundred men would not have died,
Nor Othryades’ name be seen on the pile of weapons.
O how he made his fatherland bleed!
What happened when the new Capitol was built?
The whole throng of gods yielded to Jupiter and made room:
But as the ancients tell, Terminus remained in the shrine
Where he was found, and shares the temple with great Jupiter.
Even now there’s a small hole in the temple roof,
So he can see nothing above him but stars.
(tr. Tony Kline)

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