Harpasas

Tarquin_and_the_Eagle
Helene Guerber, Tarquin and the eagle

Καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολὺν χρόνον ὁ μὲν πρεσβύτερος αὐτοῦ τῶν παίδων γένος οὐδὲν καταλιπὼν ἐμφανὲς ἀποθνήσκει. καὶ μετ’ ὀλίγας ἡμέρας αὐτὸς ὁ Δημάρατος ὑπὸ λύπης τελευτᾷ κληρονόμον ἁπάσης τῆς οὐσίας τὸν περιλειπόμενον τῶν παίδων Λοκόμωνα καταλιπών· ὃς παραλαβὼν τὸν πατρικὸν πλοῦτον μέγαν ὄντα πολιτεύεσθαί τε καὶ τὰ κοινὰ πράττειν καὶ ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις τῶν ἀστῶν εἶναι προῄρητο. ἀπελαυνόμενος δὲ πανταχόθεν ὑπὸ τῶν ἐπιχωρίων καὶ οὐχ ὅπως ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις ἀριθμούμενος, ἀλλ’ οὐδ’ ἐν τοῖς μέσοις, ἀνιαρῶς ἔφερε τὴν ἀτιμίαν. ἀκούων δὲ περὶ τῆς Ῥωμαίων πόλεως, ὅτι πάντας ἀσμένως ὑποδεχομένη τοὺς ξένους ἀστοὺς ποιεῖται καὶ τιμᾷ κατὰ τὴν ἀξίαν ἕκαστον, ἐκεῖ μετενέγκασθαι τὴν οἴκησιν ἔγνω τά τε χρήματα πάντα συσκευασάμενος καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα ἐπαγόμενος καὶ τῶν ἄλλων φίλων καὶ οἰκείων τοὺς βουλομένους· ἐγένοντο δὲ οἱ συναπαίρειν αὐτῷ προθυμηθέντες συχνοί. ὡς δὲ κατὰ τὸ καλούμενον Ἰανίκολον ἦσαν, ὅθεν ἡ Ῥώμη τοῖς ἀπὸ Τυρρηνίας ἐρχομένοις πρῶτον ἀφορᾶται, καταπτὰς ἀετὸς ἄφνω καὶ τὸν πῖλον αὐτοῦ τὸν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς κείμενον ἁρπάσας, ἀνέπτη πάλιν ἄνω κατὰ τὴν ἐγκύκλιον αἰώραν φερόμενος καὶ εἰς τὸ βάθος τοῦ περιέχοντος ἀέρος ἀπέκρυψεν· ἔπειτ’ ἐξαίφνης ἐπιτίθησι τῷ Λοκόμωνι τὸν πῖλον ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν ἁρμόσας ὡς πρότερον ἥρμοστο. θαυμαστοῦ δὲ καὶ παραδόξου πᾶσι τοῦ σημείου φανέντος ἡ γυνὴ τοῦ Λοκόμωνος ὄνομα Τανακύλλα ἐμπειρίαν ἱκανὴν ἐκ πατέρων ἔχουσα τῆς Τυρρηνικῆς οἰωνοσκοπίας, λαβοῦσα μόνον αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν συνόντων ἠσπάσατό τε καὶ ἀγαθῶν ἐλπίδων ἐνέπλησεν ὡς ἐξ ἰδιωτικῆς τύχης εἰς ἐξουσίαν βασιλικὴν ἐλευσόμενον. σκοπεῖν μέντοι συνεβούλευεν ὅπως παρ’ ἑκόντων λήψεται Ῥωμαίων τὴν ἡγεμονίαν ἄξιον τῆς τιμῆς ταύτης ἑαυτὸν παρασχών.
(Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Rhōmaikē Archaiologia 3.47)

Not long afterward the elder of his sons died without acknowledged issue, and a few days later Demaratus himself died of grief, leaving his surviving son Lucumo heir to his entire fortune. Lucumo, having thus inherited the great wealth of his father, had aspired to public life and a part in the administration of the commonwealth and to be one of its foremost citizens. But being repulsed on every side by the native-born citizens and excluded, not only from the first, but even from the middle rank, he resented his disfranchisement. And hearing that the Romans gladly received all strangers and made them citizens, he resolved to get together all his riches and remove thither, taking with him his wife and such of his friends and household as wished to go along; and those who were eager to depart with him were many. When they were come to the hill called Janiculum, from which Rome is first discerned by those who come from Tyrrhenia, an eagle, descending on a sudden, snatched his cap from his head and flew up again with it, and rising in a circular flight, hid himself in the depths of the circumambient air, then of a sudden replaced the cap on his head, fitting it on as it had been before. This prodigy appearing wonderful and extraordinary to them all, the wife of Lucumo, Tanaquil by name, who had a good understanding standing, through her ancestors, of the Tyrrhenians’ augural science, took him aside from the others and, embracing him, filled him with great hopes of rising from his private station to the royal power. She advised him, however, to consider by what means he might render himself worthy to receive the sovereignty by the free choice of the Romans. (tr. Earnest Cary)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s